Chapter 3 - Learning to Operate a Pay Phone
It had been a long time since Artemis had been on a train. What with his parents' breeding centre going so well, he could afford to take a limousine with a chauffeur everywhere. Now though, he wouldn't be able to watch the world from the other side of a tinted glass window; he was going to journey through it taking in all the sights and sounds. That was the reason for interviewing with Amadeus, he wanted an adventure. He wasn't looking to battle gym leaders or win at the Silver Conference, he just wanted to learn everything there was to know about pokémon and how to care and look after them.
"Cherrygrove City, next stop. Next stop, Cherrygrove City," the train's conductor called as he sauntered up the aisle.
****! thought Artemis. He'd almost missed his stop, he had to jump off the train as it began to leave the station. It was a miracle that he remembered everything in his rush but somehow, he managed it. At home he was constantly losing things or forgetting to bring things with him.
"'Scuse me," he said to a teenage girl working in a kiosk marked 'Information'.
"Do you know how I can get to the Pokémon Centre?"
"Yeah, just go out the station doors and it'll be the sixth building on the left."
"Thanks!" Artemis replied gratefully.
"Whatever, get out of my line."
Artemis walked out of the station doors and turned left. He didn't need to count the buildings, the Pokémon Centre loomed over the houses surrounding it. The building was a hot shade of pink and had multiple levels, 5 or maybe 6. It was shaped like a smallish skyscraper but there was the unmistakable 'P' sign above the door that stood for Pokémon Center.
As he ventured in, he was immediately overwhelmed with the sweet smell of baking bread and the sound of many people talking. Surveying the room, he decided since his pokémon wasn't injured or tired that he needn't go to the desk behind which a nurse stood smiling. Instead, he made his way into the corner of the room, the place where the pay phones were housed. He wanted to ring home to make his parents aware that he had made if there safely. He sat in front of the phone with no idea how to work it. There was a large screen with a normal looking phone but he couldn't see any buttons. Picking up the phone, the buttons were revealed to be affixed to the telephone itself. He dialed his home number and waited.
"Hello?" came the voice from the other end.
"Mother? I'm at Cherrygrove," Artemis spoke into the reviever.
"Artemis? Hold on, let me turn on the video link," the screen infront of him burst into life as his mother's face took shape on it.
"Oh son, it's great to see you alive and well. What's that honey? 'Remember what Professor Oak said?' Oh right! Professor Oak asked me to pass something onto you."
"He wants you to call him right away. Do you have his number?"
"Well it's saved on all the phones anyway. What's that honey?" his mother looked away from her son's blue eyes and turned to see something off screen, "Oh my! One of the Charmanders is hatching! I have to go, mummy loves you!" and with that she hung up.
Artemis then began to make an attempt at calling professor Oak. Suddenly, the phone rang again and he recognised the number that now flashed onscreen as his own.
"Hello?" he said picking up.
"Yes, Artemis. I just wanted to tell you to put a brush through your hair, it's filthy!" his mother told him sternly before hanging up for a second time.
Artemis struggled with the pay phone until the nurse he had seen behind the desk walked over.
"You hold down 7 to bring up the pre-existing contacts," she informed him while peering over his shoulder.
"Thanks but how did you know that's what I wanted?"
"I couldn't help but overhear your conversation with your mother," she replied.
"Okay, well, thanks," Artemis repeated.
"And by the way, your hair looks jive like that." the nurse added before turning away and taking her place back behind the desk.
Artemis quickly managed to ring Professor Oak thank to the nurse's guidance.
"Hello, Professor Oak?"
"Yes yes. Who is this?" came the voice of Samuel Oak, the top pokémon professor of the day and age.
"Hold on while I activate the video," the screen once again lit up but this time with the face of a very old man, about 65 years old.
"Ah! Artemis! So your mother passed on my message?" Oak said upon seeing Artemis' face on his screen.
"Yes, professor. What is it you want?"
"Well, m'boy. You know how the newest batch of trainers were due to leave a week ago?"
"Well, I got a call the day before that one of the trainers couldn't make it and was in fact, moving to the Hoenn region."
"An utter travesty," Artemis added sarcastically.
"Yes indeed," Oak didn't quite understand the concept of sarcasm.
"But the other two went without a hitch. The problem is, I still have a spare pokémon that probably wants to go off on an adventure. Would you be interested in taking it?"
"Oh yes please!"
"Now, it's Bulbasaur, the grass type. You're in Johto, right?"
"Well, he's not going to be very much help to you at first but would you take him anyway?"
"Of course! But why are you giving it to me?"
"Because your parents were the ones who bred her!"
"Oh right. How will I get it?"
"I'll transfer its pokéball to your Pokémon Centre. You're in Goldenrod, right?"
"No professor, Cherrygrove."
"Right, right. Well, I'll send it now. It was nice talking to you again and my have you grown! What's that honey?" Oak said looking away from Artemis' handsome face.
"Professor! Don't call me that while others can hear!" the voice of Tracy Sketchit came through the reciever but he was still off screen.
"****! Sorry hon - Tracy!" professor Oak said before he turned his attention back to Artemis looking embarrassed.
"Sorry Artemis. There's an incident involving a Muk and Squirtle! Bye!" Oak hung up quickly.
Artemis got up to go but suddenly, the phone rang again and he noticed the number that now flashed onscreen wasn't a number but the name 'Professor Oak'.
"Hello?" he said picking up.
"Yes, Artemis. I just wanted to tell you to put a brush through your hair, it's filthy!" Oak advised him quickly before hanging up for a second time.
Nutjobs, the lot of them Artemis thought as he got up and walked over to the nurse.
"'Scuse me, has there been a pokéball with a Bulbasaur in it transferred here by Professor Oak?" Artemis inquired.
"Hold on there," said the nurse as she got up and walked into a back room.
"This has better be productive," Artemis said to himself.
The nurse came back holding a pokéball. "I think this is the little pokémon you're looking for," the nurse said happily.
"Okay. Thanks nurse," Artemis replied as he took the pokéball from the nurse.
"Call me Nurse Joy!" Joy replied before running off to check on an injured Buizel.
Since Amadeus had told him that he would meet him here today, he decided he would just have a seat in the waiting area. All the seats were taken except for one seat, as he walked over to it he glanced at the girl sitting beside it. He marvelled at her beauty for a moment but stopped to ogle at her cleavage that was being proudly shown off by the low-cut, pink blouse and silver waistcoat that she was wearing. Her Houndour jumped up as he walked past it. He almost managed to step on its paw.
"Watch it!" Amelia shouted at Artemis.
"Sorry," he replied quietly before taking the seat beside her.