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Thread: Roots // PG-13

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    Default Roots // PG-13

    Roots // Professorfic


    INDEX //

    0.1 // Chapter One
    0.2 // Chapter Two
    0.3 // Chapter Three
    0.4 // Chapter Four
    0.5 // Chapter Five
    0.6 // Chapter Six
    0.7 // Chapter Seven
    0.8 // Chapter Eight
    0.9 // Chapter Nine
    1.0 // Chapter Ten
    1.1 // Chapter Eleven
    1.2 // Chapter Twelve
    1.3 // Chapter Thirteen
    1.4 // Chapter Fourteen
    1.5 // Chapter Fifteen
    1.6 // Chapter Sixteen | (2)
    1.7 // Chapter Seventeen
    1.8 // Chapter Eighteen
    1.9 // Chapter Nineteen
    2.0 // Chapter Twenty | (2)
    2.1 // Chapter Twenty-One
    2.2 // Chapter Twenty-Two
    2.3 // Chapter Twenty-Three
    2.4 // Chapter Twenty-Four
    2.5 // Chapter Twenty-Five
    2.6 // Chapter Twenty-Six
    2.7 // Chapter Twenty-Seven
    2.8 // Chapter Twenty-Eight
    2.9 // Chapter Twenty-Nine
    3.0 // Chapter Thirty
    3.1 // Chapter Thirty-One
    3.2 // Chapter Thirty-Two
    3.3 // Chapter Thirty-Three | (2)
    3.4 // Chapter Thirty-Four
    3.5 // Chapter Thirty-Five
    3.6 // Chapter Thirty-Six
    3.7 // Chapter Thirty-Seven
    3.8 // Chapter Thirty-Eight | (2)
    3.9 // Chapter Thirty-Nine | (2)
    4.0 // Chapter Forty | (2)
    4.1 // Chapter Forty-One
    4.2 // Chapter Forty-Two
    4.3 // Chapter Forty-Three (Coming soon)


    INTRO //

    Hey everyone. This is a little idea I had a while ago, and I think it needs a certain introduction before we begin.

    As the title says, this is a Professorfic. Specifically, it's about the childhood of Professor Rowan, and how he grew up to be the person he is today. The games/canon gave absolutely no information about this whatsoever, so I had a lot of creative room to work with. The result was, for better or worse, the thread you see today.

    Rating: PG-13 for swearing. That's pretty much it, but if there's ever an exception, I'll let you know.

    Chapter sequence: I label each chapter as a decimal, so whatever number it is, just imagine the decimal point moving one place to the left. Chapter 1 is written as Chapter 0.1, Chapter 2 is Chapter 0.2, and so on. This means that Chapter 10 will be Chapter 1.0. (Chapter 0.5 is not half a chapter!)


    A NOTE ON CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY //

    This story is set in 1963, so there will be some obvious differences between it and a story set in today's world. Obviously, people in 1963 didn't have all the super-cool gadgetry we (and therefore, the trainers in the games) have today, but I think that makes the story all the more interesting.

    About songs. I don't like to put much music in the writing in general, but some chapters are the exception. What you have to know is that I do take some liberties pertaining to release dates. The story is set in 1963, but a lot of awesome songs were released after that, and I think they set the mood perfectly for some scenes, so I use them. When I do, I'll make sure to put the real release date in an author's note, for those who are interested.

    The essence of this fic is based on the games, especially certain characters and situations within them. It's supposed to be a story of how the young Rowan grew up to be a professor, but really, it's much more. I will sometimes stray from the common geography of Sinnoh and its towns for the sake of the story, so if you notice a particular thing that doesn't seem to be in its correct place, rest assured, because everything is 100% intentional.

        Spoiler:- PM List (Post here or PM me if you want to be added)::



    And here... we... go!



    0.1

    For the people of Sinnoh, summer 1963 was the peak of the year. Temperatures soared well into the 90s, sending half of the country’s inhabitants indoors, and the other half outside. Newspapers and televisions broadcasted the heat of the Space Race, an ongoing competition between them and the Hoenn region, which raised both passion and controversy worldwide. Citizens marveled at the newly-refined pokéball, which was booming in sales, both for trainers and for average people. It was, at the first glance, a summer like any other. But it would also be the one to change Sinnoh forever.

    May 17th began like any other day for Jubilife — a city that, even then, was already a teeming metropolis. Its jagged skyline basked under the full glare of the Southern sun, cutting a striking silhouette that dominated the lowlands around it. Cars cruised along the network of streets, flashing sleek, bulky frames and vibrant colors. People strolled at leisurely paces, dressed in the colorful, casual style that had taken hold of the new generation.

    Deep in the downtown area, at the edge of a busy intersection, stood a small newsstand, one of many that dotted the city. A crowd larger than the usual size was gathered around it, waving copies of Sinnoh Post in the air, their voices a chorus of anger and awe. The rows of baskets arranged around the stand were rapidly being depleted as hands grabbed for the issues, unfurling them to reveal the same cover image — a round, gray sphere dotted with craters, beneath the title: “Hoenn Spacecraft Captures the Moon.” The picture dominated the whole side of the street, fanned out in front of readers’ heads, and held aloft in the air by dozens of debaters who carried on heated arguments.

    Near the baskets stood the scattered remnants of a line, a group of people who were impatient to learn what all the fuss was about. One lady who managed to push her way to the front reached into one of the baskets and grabbed the last issue that remained. She unfolded it and gasped as she read the front cover. “Well I’ll be. They’ve done it again!”

    “What is it?” asked a man behind her. The lady shook her hand in dismay and handed him the issue.

    “Looks like they’ve stepped up their game,” she said.

    The man opened up to the cover story and scanned the text. His face soon fell into the same expression of betrayal that was reflected all around him. “That blasted Hoenn… always one step ahead of us.” He placed the issue back without buying it.

    “Don’t worry!” piped up a young boy beside them. “We’ll beat ‘em! Pictures of the moon, that’s nothing! We’ll put a man on there one day!”

    There was a chorus of cheers and applause at this. A portion of the crowd left with copies of the newspaper in hand, and newcomers began to arrive in their place. By the end of the day, everyone would know.



    In another part of town, well beyond the hubbub of the city center, was a quiet suburban area, the likes of which were cropping up around most major Sinnoh cities. It surrounded the downtown in a ring, a miniskirt of flowery nature and planned development, where life moved at a relaxed, efficient pace.

    This was the home of the only middle school in West Jubilife — a collection of brick buildings whose design dated back to the '40s, and whose subsequent renovations through the years gave it a worn, semi-modern look. An ancient bell was suspended above the main office, a relic of rusty metal, its glint dull in the sun's glare. The students and faculty were all indoors, leaving the school's grassy yards empty and quiet. For the most part, at least.

    In a far-flung corner of one of the playgrounds, a hedge rustled. There was another moment of stillness, then the motion repeated, this time dislodging several leaves from the already-thinning crown. Tufts of dark fur shifted beneath the leaves. Moments later, a head poked out of a gap between the branches, revealing the face of a Stunky.

    His purple and beige coloring blended well with the patterns of light and shade, though his presence was given away by the tiny bush, which shook even from the smallest of motions and scraped dryly against the wall beside it. Every time he heard the noise, his ears perked, then flattened again. Black eyes darted back and forth across the landscape, as if diligently searching for something in the depths of the playground.

    For a few minutes, the only sound was the creak of swings rocking with the wind.

    Then, a single cry sliced through the silence.

    "THERE IT IS! GET IT, GET IT!"

    Something large and metal hit the ground with a clang, missing the Stunky's body by inches. In a snap, the pokémon sprang out of the hedge and sprinted off as fast as he could, clawing across grass and gravel. The pounding of footsteps behind him shook the ground, drowning out the quivers of his heart. After a frenzied search, his eyes locked on a target — a garbage can that stood against a wall. When he reached it at last, the Stunky skid to a halt and made to turn behind it. But there was already someone waiting there.

    "Gotcha!"

    A pair of hands shot out and grabbed the pokémon by the tail, locking around it in an iron grip. Before he could react, a strange force lifted his legs from the ground, breaking his contact with the tangible world and casting him off into empty air. He clawed and kicked in an attempt to pull himself back, but the world seemed to spin and tilt of its own accord, and somewhere in the muddled blur he could see the ground receding, the clumps of dirt growing smaller and smaller…



    //////



    Michael Rowan stood up slowly. His smile was wide, and there was a mischievous gleam in his blue eyes. He hoisted the Stunky up into the air like a fresh kill, ignoring its squeals and flails.

    From the other side of the playground, two other boys ran to catch up with him. The first was blond and bespectacled. The second was a bit taller, and carried a large net. Upon seeing the squirming Stunky, he let it drop to the ground.

    "Man... how did you catch that thing?" he panted, wiping a film of sweat from his forehead.

    "Yeah, that must have been, like, seventy miles per hour!" said the first boy.

    Michael gave a shrug. "Stunkies are stupid. They can run fast and everything, but all you have to do is scare them a couple times, and they'll corner themselves." He lowered the pokémon to the side, still taking care to hold it away from his body, and dusted off his shirt. "Well that was a good use of eleven minutes. It was nice hunting with you today. Cory. Brendan."

    The boys all shook hands, nodding at each other like military officials. Their arms were covered with dirt, leaves, and bruises, earned from many months of outdoor adventures. Steering clear of the buildings' windows, they began to stroll around the yard, watching the Stunky hang from Michael's outstretched arm and claw at the empty air. Whenever one of the boys leaned in too close, the Stunky would lunge at him, making all three of them jump back.

    "Looks like we got a feisty one," the blond boy, Cory, remarked.

    Brendan lowered his head so that his eyes were level with the pokémon's. "He looks hungry. I bet if we let him loose in the cafeteria he'd clear all the tables like a lawnmower!" He extended his index finger and brought it to the Stunky's face. "Here, Stunky, Stunky…"

    The Stunky began to growl, and just as Brendan was about to touch its nose, a cage of glinting teeth snapped at his finger, making him pull back at once. But paradoxically, this intrigued the boys all the more, and they stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to form a triangle around it. After surveying the upside-down Stunky from various angles, Cory reached from behind to poke one of its ears. He had hardly made contact for a second before the Stunky jerked its head up to face him.

    Cory withdrew his hand in a flash. "Whoa!"

    Brendan snickered. "Ha, you got scared!"

    Cory, who had hidden his finger behind his other palm in reflex, lowered his arms with a scowl. "Shut up! You try it, if you're so smart."

    Brendan brought his finger close to the Stunky's head and wavered with it in the air, trying to find the right moment to strike.

    Observing his friends' antics, Michael smiled. "See, I told you this would be better than history!"

    Cory nodded. "Yeah, I'm sick of learning about this stupid country. Why should I care what some random people did a thousand years ago if I wasn't even there?"

    "Yeah," Brendan agreed. "Mr. Caesar's a total dipstick. He doesn't even know what he's talking about, all he does is give us work."

    "He's a talking textbook," Michael said. "He's been parroting everything the authors said this whole chapter." He squinted, scanning the colony of box-like buildings around them. "He probably hasn't even noticed we're gone yet. He's still busy picking through his lunch. And those summaries will probably take everyone at least another fifteen minutes to finish."

    Brendan made a face. "Man, I'm sick of those. He sent me another letter a couple days ago just for missing three of them. I had to get up early to take it from the mailbox, because my parents said if they get another one, they'll send me to summer school."

    Michael snorted. "I say we egg his house on the first day of break. One for every letter. That should brighten him up a bit."

    Cory laughed. "That would be so cool! I heard another group of kids was gonna do the same for Mrs. Stanton. And they were gonna spray paint her car."

    "We should so do that," Michael said. "And it's not like we'll get in trouble either, 'cause no one can give detentions over summer."

    "Yeah."

    The boys' smiles slowly subsided, and as one, their gazes fell on the Stunky. The pokémon was rocking listlessly like a pendulum, probably realizing the futility of its position. After a brief silence, Cory tilted his head.

    "So what're we gonna do with him?"

    "We should bring him to lunch tomorrow," said Brendan. "Or no — how about on the last day of school? It would be the best prank ever!"

    "But then we'll need a place to keep him."

    Brendan paused. "We could tie him to a pole."

    "Yeah, and who's gonna guard him? Some kiss-up will set him free."

    "Not if we put him somewhere hidden. We could use one of those storage sheds by the basketball courts, and spray everything with musk so no one will come near it."

    Michael nodded. "That should be pretty easy. I bet we just have to scare him into doing it." He looked down at the motionless Stunky. "Come on ugly! Is that all you've got?"

    "Shake him a little," Brendan suggested.

    Michael bit his lip and shook the pokémon from side to side. When nothing happened, he shook it harder, until the Stunky's torso became a blur. Right then, there was a loud squirting sound, and a dim green gas shot out to engulf the three boys' heads. It billowed around them like car exhaust, making them double over in spasms of coughing. The smell reminded Michael of rotten eggs, and nearly made him drop the Stunky in an attempt to cover his face.

    "Eugh! It smells worse than my socks!" Brendan wheezed. He stumbled away from the cloud, fanning the air with his hand.

    Cory looked down at his shirt, which had been white before, but was now coated with a greenish-brown film. He tried to brush it off, but the particles were embedded in the fabric. "Man! Isn't this smell supposed to last for days or something?"

    "Weeks, actually," Michael corrected, his nose buried under his shirt collar. As the gas cloud cleared around them, he moved the Stunky as far from his face as possible, keeping steady against its squirms.

    Cory grimaced. "Well that was stupid. Now if they find him, they're gonna know it's us!"

    "Hang on. I think my mom knows how to get this stuff off," said Brendan. "I'll just tell her it was an accident and she'll clean all three of us."

    "I guess that works." Cory crossed his arms, and as he watched the Stunky flail around, he smiled. "Now that it already sprayed us, though, we might as well have some fun with it. Let's dunk its head in the toilet next!"

    Brendan grinned. "Then we'll bring it to lunch!"

    Michael smiled as he thought this over, but as he looked at the Stunky some more, he shook his head. "Nah, we gotta be more creative. The cafeteria's too big, and he might get too scared to make a mess of it. Why don't we bring him home and use him for experiments?"

    "Hah, yeah! We'll be like those badass scientists in the newspaper," Cory said. "We'll do surgery on him and try to clone him and stuff!"

    Brendan clapped his hands together. "And after we've fixed him up a bit, we can train him so he'll do whatever we tell him! Forget the cafeteria — next year we can make him mess with the whole school! He'll be a Super Stunky. We'll have loads of time over break to plan everything out and get our supplies together. All we need is a cage."

    "Good idea!" Michael beamed. "We'll go to the hardware store and get us a cage." He brought the Stunky close to his face and gave it a playful rattle. "Did you hear that, little fella? You're coming home with us."

    The Stunky shivered.

    "BOYS!"

    A shrill voice pierced the air like a dagger, and instantly, all three heads turned in the direction of the sound. Through his still-smarting eyes, Michael saw a woman exit one of the buildings. Her lips were slightly parted, and she was descending the stairs as fast as her two-inch heels would allow.

    Cory turned back, his eyes wide. "Teacher!"

    Michael groaned. "Shit! We have to get out of here!"

    "Are you kidding? We'll be in even more trouble!" Brendan said.

    "That's if we get caught, now let's go!" With the Stunky in hand, Michael turned and sprinted away.

    He was a pretty decent runner for his age, able to outrun nearly every boy in his class. The only person who was faster had been his older brother, Richard. They'd always be having races, before he left.

    Michael's eyes remained fixed on the fence as he ran, narrowing on a row of trees. Beyond them was the open street, a direct path into the city that bypassed all the school's protective zones. He had discovered it two years ago, and it never failed him.

    "GET BACK HERE RIGHT NOW!" the woman shrieked, but her voice quickly faded into the distance.

    "Fat chance," Michael whispered to himself.

    He neared the fence in a few second's time. With a grunt, he hoisted himself up, using the diamond-shaped gaps as handholds, and with the Stunky still in hand, pushed himself over the edge. Cory and Brendan followed suit, crashing down beside him. When they had all landed safely, Michael jumped to his feet.

    "Now RUN!" He tightened his grip on the Stunky's tail and, without a second thought, sped off towards freedom.



    //////



    Three days later, Michael sat in a quiet classroom, his eyes cast downward. The desk's surface was blackened from years of carving, which he idly traced with his fingers, following the messy patterns that past students had left. His mother, Patricia, sat beside him. Her back was stiff and her hands were folded in her lap, her classical business pose. To his left, a large window gave a glimpse of a happy outside world. Michael yearned with all his heart to be there, but it seemed that the authority figures had other plans.

    Mrs. Maxwell's desk was a little island at the head of the classroom. Unlike everything else in the room, her things weren't dirty or worn-down. All her papers were in their proper places, and she even had separate folders for each period, which she replaced every new year when the old ones had fulfilled their purpose. She never ate in class, so there were no lingering odors around her desk.

    Mrs. Maxwell had greeted them in her usual calm mood, though she still looked a little crabby after the chase. Michael watched her scribble something onto a piece of paper for a minute, then slam the pencil back into the holder. When she rose from her seat, her chair rolled off towards the wall.

    "Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. And for someone of his intelligence!" She planted herself on a wooden stool that stood before her desk, facing them both.

    "What did he do this time, Barbara?" Patricia asked, more tired than angry. She was fidgeting with the gold chain around her neck. After all the times Michael had been called in, the two women had become so familiar that they addressed each other by their first names.

    "I caught Michael skipping class on Tuesday with two other boys. I went to look for them, and I found them in the playground, harassing a wild Stunky." Mrs. Maxwell fixed her gaze on Michael, who made a valiant effort not to look back. After bolting from school that previous day, neither he nor his friends had heard anything about their misconduct. Yet, when they walked into their first-period class, all three found a notice waiting on their desk, informing them that they were called in for a conference sometime during the week. Brendan and Cory were able to get theirs over with on Wednesday and Thursday, and wash the smell off of themselves and their clothes. As usual, Michael was the only one left waiting.

    Upon hearing Mrs. Maxwell's words, Patricia let out a sad sigh. For a moment, Michael wondered if she was about to cry. And as much as he hated to admit it, it scared him a little. His mother wasn't the crying type. But then again, there were still a lot of things he didn't know about her.

    "I don't like to deal with these things, Patricia," Mrs. Maxwell continued. "The first time, well okay, maybe he just didn't know his place. The second time, well, I'll have him clean the desks after class. I can even excuse a third for a kid like him, but this is simply intolerable. We've tried every single punishment under the sun — cleaning, writing lines, but nothing seems to be getting to him. I read the rules to my classes on the first day of every year. I always tell them that after they've caused enough trouble, the next step is suspension. So, it hurts me to say this, but I will have to suspend your son for the remainder of the school year."

    She paused to let the words sink in. Michael puffed out his cheeks, waiting to be overcome by some sort of emotional response. But the truth was, he didn't feel anything. The word 'suspension' had lost meaning to him a while ago. And besides, it was only one week. What could be so unfathomably important that he simply had to be at school to see it? The last days consisted of nothing but free periods, since teachers were all busy with their grade books and assignment records. They couldn't assign any more work either, since it would only add to the things they themselves had to do. So what else was there to miss? A party?

    Michael stole a sideways glance at his mother, readying himself for tears or an angry glare, but saw her to be perfectly calm. She was staring ahead with a pensive expression, her chin resting in her hands.

    "It's not your fault, Patricia," Mrs. Maxwell was quick to say.

    Michael grumbled. The only thing he hated more than conferences was the invisible rule that everyone there seemed to adhere to — it is always the student's fault.

    Meanwhile, Patricia had begun to shake her head slowly, as if she was just as confused as Mrs. Maxwell was. "I try, I really do... but I just don't know what's gotten into him."

    Mrs. Maxwell managed a small smile. "It really hurts me to do this, Patricia. Especially since his grades are perfect. What I'm starting to wonder is if there could be any outside sources that are causing his bad behavior. How is your relationship with Michael?"

    Patricia looked startled by the question. "Fine!"

    "How often do you converse?"

    "I try to talk with him as often as I can. But it seems like he doesn't want anything to do with me."

    Partially true, Michael thought. The only times he didn't like his mother were when she tried to make conversation that didn't want to be made, gluing a fake smile to her face and asking him about things she never used to care about. She did that more often nowadays, so he responded likewise.

    Mrs. Maxwell continued. "Has Michael ever shown any interest in extracurricular activities? The science club? Debate team?"

    Patricia shook her head again. "No. I offered it to him, but he refused."

    "You know, kids who are enrolled in afterschool clubs or weekend activities tend to have better performances in school, and a better attitude overall. So, maybe it's time to consider something for your son." For the first time during the meeting, both women turned to look at Michael.

    "Well, Michael? What do you have to say?"

    "Science club is for geeks," he said simply. "I don't want to build a rocket out of a plastic bottle. I'd rather have the real thing."

    Mrs. Maxwell sighed. She went back to her desk and took a long sip from her water bottle. "Well, then there's very little I can recommend for you, Michael. The point of school clubs is, sort of, to let kids experience real-world concepts in a classroom setting."

    "Which is boring," Michael replied.

    Mrs. Maxwell gave a nod, registering his response. She turned to address Patricia. "What about at home? Are there any problems there that may be causing Michael stress? That can often cause someone to act up in school."

    Patricia's eyes widened. "Of course not! Not that I know of, at least."

    "What about you, Michael? Do you have anything to add?"

    "No." Nothing I'd say to you, that is.

    Mrs. Maxwell nodded again. She did this so frequently, it reminded him of a bobblehead. "Another thing I've been noticing over time is that a source for bad behavior can often lie in the type of friends someone has." Her eyes trailed off towards the ceiling, then came down to find Michael.

    Instantly, he did a double-take. Cory and Brendan were his two best friends, and nothing would ever change that. They had met on the third day of school after finding themselves in the same detention room.

    That day, Michael had brought a pack of water balloons to school, hoping to liven up the usually boring recess hour. Little did he know, two other boys had been thinking the exact same thing. When none of the teachers had been looking, they had each fled individually from the yard and snuck into the nearest building to fill the balloons. They were fighting over water fountain privileges when a teacher came and caught them all.

    "Great minds think alike, I suppose," Michael had said, and a bond was forged.

    From that day on, he, Cory, and Brendan sat together at lunch, during lessons, and on the bus. Though the two boys didn't get good grades, and couldn't understand half of their homework, Michael enjoyed being in their company. They would meet on the weekends to play sports in the backyard. On rare occasions, they wandered around the downtown with whatever allowance their parents gave them. They'd also pull pranks on people they didn't like, but it was always something small, like a fake letter or a quarter stuck to the ground. Sure they goofed off in class sometimes, but who didn't?

    "My friends are normal!" Michael countered, staring at Mrs. Maxwell in disbelief. "I don't care about their grades! And you're the one who's always talking about rights. What happened to everyone being equal?"

    Mrs. Maxwell shook her head sadly. "You are who your friends are, Michael. I think that if you spent your time with the responsible people at this school, you'd be more responsible yourself."

    "So you'd rather have me make friends with the dweebs in the science club just because I have the 'potential'?"

    "Don't talk back to her, Michael! She knows what she's talking about!" Patricia immediately came to Mrs. Maxwell's defense. Still no surprise there.

    "But my grades are perfect! Look, she even said so herself!"

    "It's not just about grades, Mike! It's about your entire personality! Before you entered middle school, you were a sweet little boy. Now look at you! When was the last time you washed your hair?"

    Michael reached up and found a small black tuft that hung limp on his forehead. He combed his fingers back, feeling the strands shift and twist away. They were soft, though a bit dirty from all his time spent outside.

    "My hair's fine!" Michael sank back into his seat, his cheeks reddening.

    For a few moments, Mrs. Maxwell did not speak. Her eyes moved back and forth between the many posters on her back wall. They depicted moronic phrases like "Reading makes you a better person!" and "Bully-free Zone!" She seemed to be weighing an idea on her tongue, arranging and processing it before speaking.

    "If you're still willing to consider an extracurricular activity, Patricia, I think I have something that might be a good fit. It's almost summer again… and that means the Pokémon League's starting another season." Michael closed his eyes and let out a sigh. "Kids from all over Sinnoh will be coming to get their starter pokémon from Professor Emerson. Maybe you could take Michael this year."

    Patricia made no response.

    "I know it's not typically the kind of activity thirteen-year-olds get into, but considering that Michael's a self-motivated type of learner, and seems to prefer real-world applications to studying for exams, traveling and battling Gyms might be more a benefit to him than school clubs. There are lots of kids in the lower grades who've battled Gyms during summer vacations, and from what I've heard from their parents, it had a great impact on their character."

    Patricia shook her head. "I don't know... he can be so reckless sometimes, that I just don't know... That Stunky... what if the same thing happens to his starter?"

    "Perhaps having his own pokémon will teach him a thing or two about responsibility. You and Michael can raise the pokémon together, and then whenever you feel he's ready, you can take him to get his trainer card and he can start collecting badges."

    Patricia looked over to Michael, who shrugged. "I don't want a starter."

    "And why not?" asked Mrs. Maxwell.

    "Because it's a scam."

    Mrs. Maxwell began to shake her head, a laugh escaping her lips. Patricia joined in, probably out of guilt. But to Michael, it made perfect sense. The little he knew about the Pokémon League was enough to convince him of its shadiness. Obviously, people who gave out free pokémon would be expecting something in return — if not money, then at least a contract. Would it involve pledging himself to them? Would he have to advertise their company? Were they just using kids as pawns to raise pokémon to their full power, them demanding them to be returned? The possibilities were endless. Michael stared at the palms of his hands for a while, caught in a loop of thought.

    "Michael, how could it possibly be a scam?" Mrs. Maxwell said. "It's such a great learning opportunity. Think about it, we spent all year talking about the different species of pokémon, and this summer, you'll be able to have hands-on experience with them! It'll make classes much more interesting for you."

    "I don't want one, I already told you."

    "You know, I think we should try this year," Patricia said, giving her son a glare. Michael's heart sank. If something had his mother's approval, it would happen no matter what. "Maybe it's the fact that he's never had a pokémon of his own that causes him to misbehave around them."

    "I hope I'm right!" Mrs. Maxwell let out a cackle. Apparently, it was supposed to be funny.

    By some invisible trigger, the two women rose and shook hands, officially ending the meeting. Patricia turned to leave, but before Michael could follow, Mrs. Maxwell put a hand on his shoulder and held him back.

    "You're a smart kid, Michael," she whispered. "Don't waste your talents."

    There was something in her eyes that he couldn't decipher. Hope? Forethought? She patted him on the shoulder, and he walked off without another word.



    //////



    The Rowans were lucky enough to have a house just outside the city, instead of being bottled up in an apartment like so many others were. It was back from the days when the family had money, when Michael's father was still alive and his two brothers, Richard and Brian, were still living with them. Michael secretly referred to them as the good days, though there had been nothing good about them at all. With three family members gone, all that was left were two strangers.

    The house had two floors. Michael's bedroom was separate from the others — a cozy loft placed just above the kitchen. It had one large window overlooking his tiny backyard, and walls that were covered with posters. His shelves were overflowing with records, board games, and other random objects that had amassed through the years. It was nothing to be proud of, but a room was a room.

    The first thing Michael did after coming home was slam his door and flop down onto his bed. He threw his backpack onto the ground, letting all the junk inside spill out.

    Suspended for the rest of the year... what kind of idiot does that? And she even said that I get good grades. Moron. Even worse, now I have to survive a drive all the way to Sandgem to get some stupid pokémon from some guy I've never even heard of before. Why can't Mom just suck it up and accept the fact that she can’t control my life?

    "Sku sku!"

    His train of thought was interrupted by a muffled screech. Michael sprang up.

    "Shit!" he whispered. He ran over to his closet and slid open the doors.

    The Stunky was still there, in the cage he had bought from a hardware store. It was circling the perimeter uncertainly, its tail quivering. When it saw him, the Stunky let out an accusing growl.

    "Shut up, shut up!" Michael kicked the cage, and the pokémon shrank back into a corner. He hadn’t told his mother that he had kept the Stunky, and was very careful to keep it hidden until he could sneak it out. Patricia was the biggest pro-pokémon rights person he had ever seen, and if she ever found out, there was no telling what could happen.

    By the perfect stroke of luck, Patricia's voice sounded from downstairs. "Mike? Is everything all right?"

    Michael looked at the Stunky one last time, giving it the sharpest, coldest glare he could manage, and closed the doors. Seconds later, Patricia entered the room, holding a metal tray and a kitchen towel.

    "Yeah, everything's fine." He stepped away from the closet and sat down in his chair.

    "What was that screech I heard?"

    "Don't know. Probably something outside."

    Patricia smiled a little. "Well, okay. Dinner will be ready soon. And I want you to go to bed straight after that."

    Michael lifted an eyebrow. "Why?" Though he already knew what her next words would be, it was a good stalling tactic.

    "I'll be driving you to Sandgem tomorrow. You'll be getting your starter. Come on, you already know this. You heard your teacher."

    Michael didn’t hide his grimace. "She only said that to make you happy. I don't want a starter. It's all a freaking scam!"

    "It is not a scam, Michael. It teaches you responsibility. This has been one conference too many. It's time you started thinking about your future and what you want to do with your life. I don't want you ending up a failure like..." Patricia paused, her lips pursed. "I don't want you ending up a failure at all, okay? No more arguments. I'll call you when the food's ready." With that, she turned to leave.

    When the coast was clear, Michael jumped out of his chair and slid open the closet doors. The Stunky was peering at him through the bars, scared, but silent. He sighed with relief.

    "That was a close one. You better keep quiet from now on, you little cretin. Hear me?" As he began to close the doors, the Stunky began to whimper. With a groan, Michael slid one open again and looked down at the pokémon.

    "What now?"

    No answer.

    "Are you bored?" he asked.

    The Stunky blinked.

    "Are you tired?"

    The Stunky blinked again. Its gaze was fixed on him, unwavering.

    "Are you hungry?" he tried again.

    The Stunky growled. Michael rolled his eyes.

    "Too bad."

    And then he closed the door.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 9th August 2014 at 12:53 AM.


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    Let me start this review by saying that I've always had a fondness for books and movies set in this time period, so I'm very excited to find a story like this. Admittedly, I would've preferred Professor Oak (I'm a huge nostalgia-lover, so don't take it personally) but reading this I can see that tough, conceited Rowan makes a much more interesting character than do-good, Gary-Stu-ish Oak.

    I found one (I think) mistake:

    When she rose from her seat, her chair skidded off towards the wall.
    So far, everything looks good. The antics, the meeting (I found the narrator's faint, dry sarcasm in a few places to be particularly funny), and the pretty original plot setup added up to nice little read, more than enough to keep me interested until the next chapter.

    You're a very good writer. I don't know where else to go with this, I just wanted to let you know. XD

    There's not much I can criticize, to be honest, since this fic was pretty much exactly what I like, but one thing I managed to come up with is the possible overuse of "dude." The dialogue sounded like something you'd hear today, not so much in the 1960s. Of course, I don't know how much they used "dude" back then, but I thought its usage in that way was something fairly new.

    If you're starting a PM list, I would love to be on it. :)
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    Writing in a different time period was somewhat of a challenge. (I had to look up sixties slang, and I was surprised by what I found :P) 'Dude' was used in a somewhat different context, (according to the site I'm using, it means someone who's not cool), but I decided to use it in a modern way for the sake to familiarity.

    Anyways, I'm glad you liked the chapter! I'll make a PM list as soon as I can, and correct that mistake you spotted. Thanks for reviewing!


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    I've gotta say, I'm really impressed by your writing. When I first read what you said this fic would be about, I'll admit I wasn't incredibly interested. But the way you delivered it and the way you introduced Rowan as such a little rebel slacker kept me going through the entire chapter with my eyes glued to the screen. xD It seemed strange to me that he would treat the Stunky that way, but that just makes this fic all the more fun to read in my opinion. It really makes you wonder how he changed to the calm, business-like man he is in D/P/Pt (kinda like his mother was during the conference. o: ) It's a really unique idea, and you really followed through with it quite well.

    I don't want you ending up a failure like..." Patricia paused, her lips pursed. "I don't want you ending up a failure at all, okay?
    Oooh, suspense. I love it. Just who ended up a failure? Is it his mom? Hahahah. Either way, you did a really amazing job with this. I can't wait to read the next chapter! If you don't mind, could you add me to the PM List too? I wanna know what happens next. >: D

    P.S.- It's a stupid side note, but it made me laugh. xD In my fic, the mother of the main character is named Patricia too hahah. I love coincidences like that.
    Last edited by Dawn_Hero; 10th July 2010 at 11:31 AM.
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    Hey Dawn Hero, thanks for stopping by. PM List updated!

    P.S.- It's a stupid side note, but it made me laugh. xD In my fic, the mother of the main character is named Patricia too hahah. I love coincidences like that.
    That's very interesting :P I'll have to read it sometime.

    Anyways, I'm very glad you liked the story See you next chapter.


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    Very interesting and unique concept. Maybe I be on the PM list because I am certainly looking forward to the next chapter.

    (Credit to Yami Ryu for my awsome Tentacool!)

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    This was really good. I like the personality you've given to Rowan, especially the parts where he really doesn't care if Stunky is happy or not. I read this the other day, so I don't remember too much... just that I liked it (: I don't want to be on any PM List just because then I'll feel bad if you spend the time to PM me and I don't end up reading for some reason :x


    BA~

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    PM list updated. Thanks, cooler3o5!

    And BA, I understand perfectly. I'm glad you liked the story!

    Heads up guys: chapter 2 will be posted on Friday, or late Thursday. (Depending on when I can come online.) It's all done, I just need to look it over one last time.

    See you next chapter!
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 14th July 2010 at 10:34 PM.


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    All right, here it is. Chapter two! It's one of the shorter ones, but it shouldn't be too bad.

    0.2

    The next morning, Michael was woken by a loud tapping on his door, followed by a shout from his mother.

    "Michael, wake up! Come down for breakfast, I don't want you to be late!"

    He pulled the covers over his burning eyes, shielding them from the outside light. From the confines of his closet, he heard the Stunky shuffling around, and from downstairs, the clatter of silverware. Morning sounds.

    Here goes nothing...

    Taking a deep breath, Michael threw off the covers and sprang to his feet, ignoring the rush of dizziness that followed. He threw on a random combination of clothes — faded jeans, and a T-shirt that advertised a long-forgotten brand. After giving the Stunky's cage a good kick to remind it to keep quiet, Michael descended the stairs.

    Patricia awaited him behind the kitchen counter, already fully dressed and made up. She greeted him with a smile.

    "Eat up, Mike. You have a big day ahead of you." She gestured towards the table, which held an assortment of steaming plates that looked like they could have fed three people.

    A series of snide remarks ran through Michael's mind, conveniently arranged for him to choose. But he managed to remain silent while he ate, figuring it would only make things worse if he talked back. Michael forced down some bacon and eggs, took a few bites from an apple, and was packed away into the car in a matter of minutes. He turned his head away towards the window as his mother sat down beside him, hoping to stretch the silence through the entire ride. But as always, Patricia had other plans. Upon starting the car, she immediately sighed and began to gush.

    "Oh, Michael, you have no idea how long I've waited for this day to come! You, getting your first pokémon and raising it all by yourself..."

    "Mrs. Maxwell said you had to help me," Michael pointed out.

    But Patricia was too caught up in her monologue to notice. "Aw, you'll be able to handle it, Mike, I know you will! So which one will you choose? They have a selection of three. They're all very adorable. I went to get a brochure, and I saw their pictures. Apparently, they’re really rare to find in the wild, but the lab breeds their own so they never have to be taken from their natural habitats. The League chose them specifically because the species are monotypes, and because their higher evolutions have a wide range of abilities. Um, what were they called again? I think they were... Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup? Yes, that's right! Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup. Has a nice ring to it! Don't you think so? Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup... Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup... Turtwig, Chimchar, Piplup..."

    It went on like this for another one hour, twenty-seven minutes. By the time they left the highway and the trees that lined the road had cleared to reveal a sunny town, Michael's brain was fried from counting and the car's engine was sputtering.

    "Well, here it is! Sandgem Town!" Patricia beamed, as they passed a billboard welcoming them in big, colorful letters. Michael lifted his cheek from the car window, his head heavy. But almost as soon as he laid eyes on the town, Michael knew he had seen all there was to see.

    Sandgem, as he expected, was far less populated than Jubilife. It consisted more of open pastures than paved roads, and the tallest structures were wooden windmills with metal roosters perched on top. Houses were widely spaced. To the far south, the horizon was streaked with white sand, forming the beginnings of a beach. The entire place seemed so quiet, so secluded, that Michael wondered how a famous pokémon professor could ever live here.

    The Pokémon Research Lab appeared in the middle of nowhere, against a background of puke-green trees. It was a shabby stone building with a large windows, and an urgent need of fresh paint. A large crowd of people was gathered by its door and dotted around the lawn. Michael immediately noticed that it consisted mostly of little boys and girls, who were all scurrying around their parents and talking. There were a few grandparents there as well, and the occasional party balloon. Suddenly, Michael felt very, very stupid.

    Patricia pulled into the gate and drove into the property, where countless other cars were lined up by the fence, taking up almost every inch of space. After a good deal of searching, she finally squeezed in on a hillside, partially wedging her car in between two others.

    This event must be a pretty big deal, Michael thought as he stepped out. After a lifetime of car exhaust and city pollutants, the sudden onslaught of clean, sweet air was almost gagging.

    Patricia joined his side moments later, and took a look around. "Mmmm, isn't it lovely here?" She inhaled, then let out her breath with an aaaaah.

    The two began to walk towards the lab, and with each step he took towards the crowd, Michael felt more and more out-of-place. Patricia tried to take his hand, but he immediately yanked it away.

    "Will you stop? I know how to walk."

    Patricia sighed.

    Upon taking his place in line, Michael was pleased to see that no one was paying any particular attention to him. Apparently, the children there were too excited about getting their first pokémon to think about anything else. Michael, who had never bothered with pokémon or pokémon training in his life, knew roughly as much about the Pokémon League as a TV commercial did. He knew the basics, like that it involved traveling around the region to beat Gym leaders, that there was some wigged-up tournament every four years where people competed to become the League Champion, but it didn’t mean all that much to him. If you lived in Jubilife, you didn’t have time for pokémon, simple as that. You were too busy paying bills, keeping your job, building your future. So far, Michael had been perfectly happy living this way, but now it seemed, Patricia wanted to blast him back to preschool.

    There was a tall outdoor clock positioned just in front of the lab, where everyone standing in line could see it. It was one of the new digital models, and was programmed to count down instead of up. Every time the timer reached zero, a loud bell rang, and a batch of four or five kids with their parents would rush in through the lab doors. There would be a few seconds of uproar as the crowd shifted forward, then the clock would reset to 5:00 and the chatter would settle down once more.

    Through it all, Michael stood with his shoulders hunched, drawing circles in the dirt with his shoes. The other kids were running about and chatting, throwing around rapid, irrelevant questions. Michael ignored them, focusing his attention on the clock's display, watching as it ticked from 5:00 down to 1:00. Ding ding! Four more out of the way.

    When at last his portion of the line was called, Patricia escorted him in with a girly squeal. He trailed behind a group of screaming children, letting them push open the doors to the lab.

    Inside, the building was spacious and drafty. The walls were adorned with drawings of pokémon, all wearing cartoon-character smiles. The children crowded around a mural of the starters. It was obviously hand painted — the lines were wobbly and the color was smeared and uneven. Nevertheless, the children gazed upon it as if it were a great masterpiece.

    The only thing inside the lab that aroused his interest — and also the thing most of the children ignored — was a colorful timeline that ran across the lobby's perimeter. It depicted a brief history of pokémon research, and was decorated with photos, posters detailing facts, and occasionally even relics. Michael ran his eyes over the collection, which covered the years from 2000 B.C. all the way to the present. The current year was left blank, because there was always more to come.

    Right then, a loud voice sailed over the chatter.

    "Excuse me, excuse me!"

    Michael turned to see a short, elderly man shove his way through the crowd. At first, he didn't attach any significance to him, because the man was a head shorter than most of the adults. He wore a white lab coat with the label 'Professor Emerson' stitched onto the pocket. His smile seemed friendly.

    "Welcome to my laboratory!" he wheezed. "Children, this way. Parents, may I please ask you to wait in the lobby?"

    The parents all obeyed without hesitation, waving as they watched their children go. From somewhere among them, he caught a glimpse of his mother's face. She was smiling directly at him, her eyes dancing. Michael felt his face redden. What was this, a graduation ceremony?

    Professor Emerson ushered the kids through a narrow hallway. They carried on their conversations from outside, their voices reduced to excited whispers. And Michael was right in the middle of it. At one point, he felt a tap on his shoulder.

    "So which one are you getting?" asked a girl with pigtails.

    "I don't know," he replied, keeping his eyes fixed on the professor's bald spot. He could almost see his own face reflected in it, long and expressionless.

    The professor led them into a small room, well distanced from the hubbub of the front lobby. The walls weren't even painted here, and the tiled floor was dirty, despite someone’s evident efforts to scrub it. The children all crowded around a long wooden table. Fortunately, Michael was taller than the rest, so he didn't have to push them out of his way to see what was on it. The table contained three large boxes standing side-by-side. Each contained a different label - 'PIPLUP', 'TURTWIG', and 'CHIMCHAR' - scrawled in black marker.

    Michael couldn't help but think: That's it?

    The professor stepped behind the table. "All right, kids, ah, pick out whatever one you -"

    Before he could finish, the kids leaped forward. A tide of squirming hands rose up towards the boxes, each trying to get the other out of their way.

    "Kids, please be patient! You will all get your turn!" Professor Emerson shouted, but to no avail.

    One hand clasped firmly around the ridge of the Piplup box and pulled. A second later the box was on the floor, with hundreds of gray pokéballs rolling around the room. The professor grabbed the sides of his head.

    "No, no, no! What are you doing? Boys and girls, pick those up right now!"

    He was ignored.

    "I got dibs on the Piplups!" one boy shouted, and dove down into the pile.

    "Hey I wanna go next!" another boy said.

    "That's not fair!" the pigtailed girl stamped her foot. "Stop it!"

    "Enough!" the professor shouted, his neck cords bulging. "Children, please, form an orderly line in front of the boxes!"

    "Hey professor, why does your face go all red when you yell?" another girl said.

    The professor's smile was beginning to twitch. "It's a cardiovascular condition. Now please, form a line."

    "Is that like your heart?"

    "Form a line please!"

    "Hey look, I can juggle!" Michael turned his head. A boy had crept up beside the Chimchar box, and was tossing three pokéballs into the air. Several kids began to clap.

    "Please, put those down now! Go on, form a line!"

    "I wanna juggle too!"

    "Me too!"

    The professor jumped back as another box was ripped in half. The kids amassed in front of the table, grabbing as many pokéballs as they could hold. Two girls began running around the room, pelting each other. Others were trying to juggle, hitting the ceiling lamps and walls. Meanwhile, the professor was treading through the mess, arms flailing.

    "Children, please, calm down! Pick one, just one!"

    The Turtwig box was the only one still intact, which two boys were taking care of, gripping it by the edges and tugging it in separate directions. Their game of tug-of-war ended with a loud rrrip, and a fountain of silver pokéballs spilled out onto the floor. Shreds of cardboard drifted to their feet. When Professor Emerson rushed to separate them, he slipped on a pokéball and fell on his side. His yelp was lost in the laughter. Finally, he let out a scream.

    "Everyone take a pokémon and OUT!"

    The box fell to the floor, and the boys ran off in separate directions.

    "OUT! OUT! OUT!"

    One by one, the children slowly left the room. One boy skipped away with four pokéballs hidden in his shirt. The professor didn't notice. The last one to go was a weeping girl, who left with nothing at all.

    Michael was the only one left, standing amid a room that appeared to have been swept by a hurricane.

    Without a word, he stepped forward and extended a hand to Professor Emerson. The man rose to his feet, taking a series of long, deep breaths.

    "... Animals... those kids..." He bent over the table and clutched his stomach. "They don't pay me enough to do this... every blasted year the same thing..."

    “Sorry ‘bout that," Michael said. "I didn't want to be here anyway. My mom, she only sent me because —”

    The professor raised his hand with a grimace. "Look, I don't care, I don't care! Just grab a pokéball and get out."

    Michael looked down. The floor was littered with them. The pokéballs were all identical — shiny and metal. He bent down and picked one up. It felt cool in his hands.

    Michael looked up at the professor again. "Can I, uh, release it to see what it is? I still want to –"

    "Get out!" Emerson yelled. Michael crinkled his nose, and the man sighed. "Just... just get the hell out, kid... I have fifty more waiting outside the lab..."

    As Michael stepped towards the exit, the professor turned away. He sat down in a corner and began to light a cigarette.



    //////



    When Michael reached the lobby, his mother greeted him with a bear hug.

    "Well, how was it?" She beamed.

    "The kids were crazy. They knocked the professor down and everything."

    "Well, kids will be kids! So, which one did you get?"

    Michael shrugged. "Don't know. The room was a mess and there were pokéballs everywhere, so the guy just made me pick a random one."

    "Oh." Patricia's smile faded a little. Evidently, this wasn't the heartwarming mother-son moment she had been expecting. "Well, let's find out! Is there some special way of releasing it?"

    Michael shrugged again and lifted the pokéball up to eye level. The device was entirely smooth, except for a tiny red crank positioned along the center line.

    "Try turning that, see what it does," Patricia said.

    Michael took a deep breath. He turned the knob with his finger and held the pokéball out at arm's length. The bottom part of the sphere fell down along an inner hinge, revealing a hollow interior. Moments later, a blinding white flash filled the room.

    "Aaargh!" Michael slammed his hands over his face, and the pokéball clattered to the floor. All around him, he heard a series of gasps.

    "Whoa!" someone shouted.

    Michael opened his stinging eyes, and found himself peering down at a runty Turtwig. It looked nothing like its drawing. Its skin was an aquamarine blue instead of the grass green it was painted with, and the sprout on its head was paler than the norm. Its shell was a light brown, and its eyes were yellow. They stared back.

    "Tu-tur?" It cocked its head. Michael lowered his hands from his face, revealing a crowd of wide-eyed people surrounding him.

    "Your Turtwig's all funny-looking!" said a boy. "Look, mine's a different color than yours!" He pointed to his Turtwig, which was the exact copy of the mural.

    "Hey, mine too!" shouted a girl. Another carbon copy stood at her side. Same green skin. Same black eyes. They were staring at him too.

    A feeling of dread filled Michael's heart. "You mean... mine's defective?" He looked down at his own Turtwig, not sure what to do. The other kids had begun to laugh. They were younger and less mature than he was. And they were laughing.

    Patricia rushed to his side and wrapped her arms around his shoulders. "Now, now, there is no such thing as a defective pokémon! We'll just go see the professor and ask him about it. Pick him up, Michael."

    With great reluctance, Michael lifted the pokémon into his arms. It was light for its size, and looked even more underfed up-close. The people parted as Patricia led him through, but their eyes followed Michael every step of the way, boring into him from all sides.

    I have a defective pokémon... a ****ing defective pokémon. And I didn't even want a pokémon.

    Patricia rounded the corner and entered the same hallway Michael had left moments ago.

    "Where was the room?" she asked, and Michael pointed to the door. When she knocked, Michael heard a faint sigh.

    "Come in!" Professor Emerson said, his voice coated with honey. Patricia pushed open the door and entered. The professor was still sitting in his chair, amidst all the rubble. This time he was chewing gum, though the smell of smoke still lingered in the air.

    When he saw Michael, his face fell. "Oh, it’s you. What now?"

    Patricia stepped forward. "My son here received a Turtwig from you, and it looks different from everyone else's. We were wondering about that." She motioned for Michael to come forward. The Turtwig squealed as he held it up to the light.

    Professor Emerson rose from his chair to take a look at the pokémon. He cupped its head in his large hands, his gaze lingering on its oddly-colored skin.

    "Hmm... well, yes, there appears to be a slight difference in pigmentation... Eh, it’s inconsequential. Probably a birth defect. Nothing to worry about. You may go now."

    Before they had time to protest, Emerson ushered them out of the room. Before he closed the door, he took a quick glance down the hallway.

    "If there’s anybody else coming, tell them they can wait." He winked, and shut the door.

    Patricia turned to Michael and opened her mouth to speak, probably some predetermined phrase of consolation. Michael groaned. "Whatever. I don't care. Just take me home already." He dropped the Turtwig onto the floor. Then, he reached into his pocket for the pokéball, turned the knob, and watched the bolt of white light suck the creature away.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 14th March 2014 at 7:59 PM.

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    Ooh, a shiny Turtwig, eh? That's not what I was expecting. xD Poor thing, everyone's treating it like a monster. And speaking of monsters... Those kids... ._. You think Rowan wouldn't want to ever be a Professor after that. Poor Emerson. Lol. 'Cept he doesn't exactly seem like the most wonderful guy either. Oh well. Oh, and I'm half-excited to see how Patricia will handle Michael's attitude if he keeps acting like that towards Pokemon. You've really done a great job already developing them and their relationship. :3

    All in all, great chapter, even if it was a bit on the short side. I couldn't really find any problems with your grammar or spelling, so that's great too. Can't wait for the next chapter!
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    "Sorry 'bout/about that," Michael said.
    I'm not sure which you meant, but it was originally just "bout," which I don't think is correct (but what do I know? XD)

    Anyway, I'm naturally a little wary of a shiny Turtwig for probably obvious reasons, but I'm sure you'll handle it fine. That was also a good (and funny as well :P) way for apathetic Michael to pick a Pokemon without actually having to show any preference.

    Not much happening but that's to be expected in a chapter like this. I'm starting to get curious as to what Rowan will be doing on his journey (I assume gym battles, if nothing more than to have something to while he's on the road) and what will happen with the Stunky. Part of his team, I guess?

    I'll be waiting for the next chapter. :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn_Hero View Post
    And speaking of monsters... Those kids... ._. You think Rowan wouldn't want to ever be a Professor after that. Poor Emerson. Lol.
    Yes, that part was really fun to write. Nothing like an old man being troubled by those rotten kids, right? :P

    About the Turtwig... there's a specific reason I made it a shiny, but it'll become clear later on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Umbreon Ruler View Post
    "Sorry 'bout/about that," Michael said.
    I'm not sure which you meant, but it was originally just "bout," which I don't think is correct (but what do I know? XD)
    Yeah, that's just the inflection Michael puts on the word. He's supposed to say "bout" instead of "about", and I just decided to leave out the apostrophe. But now that you mention it, I should probably add one in to make it clearer. Thanks for pointing it out!

    The Stunky will play more of a role in the next few chapters, but its significance will really come into play later on.

    Thanks for the reviews!
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 16th July 2010 at 5:36 PM.


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  13. #13
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    These characters are awsomely created! Rowan fascinates me, I am loving his character, but also wanting to see his transformation.

    Hate his mom. (Not that I hate how your portraying her, like I hate the character) She's annoying, which fits in well with Rowans character!

    I feel bad for Professor Emerson.
    Last edited by cooler3o5; 16th July 2010 at 9:00 PM.

    (Credit to Yami Ryu for my awsome Tentacool!)

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    Thumbs up

    Hiya, I just read those chapters and I must say, you're a very skilled writer. You captured intricate personalities and pretty much brought them to life. Rowan actually reminds me a bit of myself sadly, when I was younger. xD I also like the time period, as others have previously stated.

    I've been in a slump lately because I haven't been able to find excellent fics lately, but I'm very excited for this one. Teehee. Keep writing and stay gold.

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    cooler3o5: I can't wait to write his transformation... it's very fun working with characters like Michael.

    As for Patricia, she's my vision of a nagging mother. She'll also be getting more of a role later on.

    Lost Dream: I'm honored at your comment. (And it's very interesting that Michael reminds you of yourself... haha :P)

    Thank you both for the reviews! Chapter three will be coming in about a week. See you next chapter.


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    Ooh, Roots, that sounds like an interesting read. *Click* Oh look. Something based on a character that we all know. Looks like this will be a normal journey fic where a do-gooder goes around battling gyms and eventually becoming the league champion before settling down to research for no reason. ... Sounds like my kind of read!

    That's what I was thinking, but this fic is a lot different to my expectations so far. In a good way.

    So yeah. Good story? I enjoyed reading it very much so? That Stunky seemed cool, but Michael was being all crazy to it, which made me dislike him, but my opinion is easily swayed. Shiny Turtwig, sounds like some huge coincidence that he happened to pick that one up. If I were to rate this which I am now going to, I would and will give this 4.65/5 without any clear method of how I am rating it. So bye then.
    It appears I cannot think of a good signature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddypower View Post
    Ooh, Roots, that sounds like an interesting read. *Click* Oh look. Something based on a character that we all know. Looks like this will be a normal journey fic where a do-gooder goes around battling gyms and eventually becoming the league champion before settling down to research for no reason. ... Sounds like my kind of read!

    That's what I was thinking, but this fic is a lot different to my expectations so far. In a good way.

    So yeah. Good story? I enjoyed reading it very much so? That Stunky seemed cool, but Michael was being all crazy to it, which made me dislike him, but my opinion is easily swayed. Shiny Turtwig, sounds like some huge coincidence that he happened to pick that one up. If I were to rate this which I am now going to, I would and will give this 4.65/5 without any clear method of how I am rating it. So bye then.
    Hey, glad you liked it. The shiny is supposed to be a coincidence, but its significance will be explained later on. As for the Gyms, the storyline will be somewhat different from the traditional trainer story. Or a lot, depending on how you interpret it. Thanks for the comment!


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  18. #18
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    Alright, count me in.

    I love what you're doing with Rowan. His devious, middle school boy from hell personality is endlessly entertaining-watching him become a trainer and professor will certainly be a delight.

    Your first chapter was good; I enjoyed how you altered your description to help set the tone. (Happened in your second chapter as well, "Puke green trees") Rowan's mistreatment of the Stunky was hilarious, and I enjoyed how you really highlighted his personality when he refused to feed it.

    I was a bit disappointed when, in your second chapter, Rowan received a Shiny Turtwig, although I liked how you handled it. In my fic, shiny's are not only not special, but are common as well, so I could relate to this. I guess the only reason I was irked by Rowan's shiny Turtwig is the fact that I think they're ugly. But oh well.

    Please keep this going, and send me a VM or PM whenever a new chapter comes out. I will be reviewing!

    Latest Chapter- 5: Don't Pressure Us

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manaphyman View Post
    I love what you're doing with Rowan. His devious, middle school boy from hell personality is endlessly entertaining-watching him become a trainer and professor will certainly be a delight.
    Thanks for the review, Manaphyman. Michael was a fun character to write, and I can't wait to write more of his story. (The Gym leaders will be especially fun to do. Since the story's time period is different from the anime and games, I can think up all-new Gym leaders for the towns. It's like building a whole new world.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Manaphyman View Post
    I was a bit disappointed when, in your second chapter, Rowan received a Shiny Turtwig, although I liked how you handled it. In my fic, shiny's are not only not special, but are common as well, so I could relate to this. I guess the only reason I was irked by Rowan's shiny Turtwig is the fact that I think they're ugly. But oh well.
    I like your take on the shinies. I'll be doing it a little differently, but as I've said before, it'll be clear later on. (I don't think I'll be spoiling anything by saying this. In my story, shinies are a concept that's unknown to the majority. I'll develop that as the story continues.)

    So with that, I'll add you to the PM list. Welcome aboard!


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    I've really gotten into your story here, Mrs. Lovett. I never would have expected Rowan to have acted that way in his younger age, very interesting. (:

    I have been bored out of my mind for an unfortunate large majority of the summer, so I was just looking around the fanfics section, and found your fanfic. I used to write, and I would get all these ideas, and then just throw them away and forget about the fic in general because I'm a lazy ***. ;D Who knows, maybe I'll overcome it soon, boredom can change people.

    Anyways, great fic, yadayadayada, I would very much like to read the third chapter, so add me to the pm list if you'd like.

    -PK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piekid11 View Post
    I used to write, and I would get all these ideas, and then just throw them away and forget about the fic in general because I'm a lazy ***. ;D Who knows, maybe I'll overcome it soon, boredom can change people.
    Aww. That was an old problem of mine. (It still is, too, though to a lesser extent.) I have all these story ideas and beginnings in my computer and notebooks that haven't been touched in months, and some even years. It's just that I get a good idea for a story, but drop it midway because I don't have enough inspiration. Few of my stories survive this 'line', but I'm sure you'll find yours one day.

    I'm rambling :P Anyways, I'm glad you liked the story and thank you for the comment! I'll add you to the list.


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    Alright, I've read the second chapter. It was good, and that's my main comment. It was cool how you have the boxes for each starter so big and contain a lot; shows how the time period is different, and how giving out so many starters at once could lead to having hardly any at the current time period ;P

    I noticed Rowan went a little out of character when he helped up Emerson, purely because... well, he help him up, haha. He doesn't seem like the kind to help up an adult. I like how he snapped back into character when he just dropped Turtwig on the floor though. I love how much he could care less about Pokémon.

    I only skimmed through other reviews, so sorry if this was mentioned - you're wrong with the Pokéballs you have in this story. In the fourth Pokémon movie (I think it was the fourth... whichever one revolved around Celebi and Suicune) Oak was shown when he was a kid, and he has a grayish Pokéball that you have to crack a small dial thing so the Pokémon can get out. I went and found a picture from Bulbapedia here.

    Shiny Turtwig... muh. I always think shinies are dumb, so I'll avoid really commenting on that.


    BA~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom View Post
    I noticed Rowan went a little out of character when he helped up Emerson, purely because... well, he help him up, haha. He doesn't seem like the kind to help up an adult. I like how he snapped back into character when he just dropped Turtwig on the floor though. I love how much he could care less about Pokémon.
    I guess you could interpret the scene in different ways. Me, I wrote it to be a sort of awkward moment for Michael, when he doesn't really know what to say to this old guy who got knocked over by a bunch of kids. (Almost like a bit of his good side coming out.) You have a good point, though; I was just thinking of something different when I wrote it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom View Post
    I only skimmed through other reviews, so sorry if this was mentioned - you're wrong with the Pokéballs you have in this story. In the fourth Pokémon movie (I think it was the fourth... whichever one revolved around Celebi and Suicune) Oak was shown when he was a kid, and he has a grayish Pokéball that you have to crack a small dial thing so the Pokémon can get out. I went and found a picture from Bulbapedia here.
    I actually own that movie on video. I re-watched it a couple days ago for fun, and I saw that pokeball too, (There's a reason for everything!) but it didn't occur to me to change anything. I want to be as accurate as possible in this story, so I'll just go and back-edit that when no one's looking...

    Thanks for pointing those things out! I appreciate your help.


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    Decided to post this one a day early, since it's one of the shorter ones as well. (You're probably tired of hearing that, so I'll explain: This is a turning point in the story. You'll see why as you read. The next chapter will be short too, and after that, they'll start lengthening.)

    And without further ado, chapter three.


    0.3

    When Michael got home, the Stunky was squealing. Upon slamming the door to his room, making sure his old 'DO NOT DISTURB' sign was visible, he opened the closet and looked down. The Stunky was shuffling around in its cage, clawing at the metal with a hungry fervor. When it saw him, it mewed again, this time louder. Michael let out a groan.

    He ran down to the kitchen and grabbed three strings of bacon from the breakfast table, then came back and tossed them into the cage. The Stunky pounced upon the food immediately, tearing and chewing.

    "At least that'll keep you quiet," Michael grumbled, then slid the doors closed.

    He descended the stairs again, this time turning into the living room, where the only phone in the house was kept. He plopped down into one of the armchairs, figuring he could use a friend’s advice.

    Michael twirled the rotary, and after three rings, Cory's voice answered. "Hello?"

    "Hey," Michael said.

    "Hey Mike. I heard about the suspension... Me and Brendan got them too. Till the end of the year, right?"

    "Right."

    "I know! Man, imagine what we could do with an extra week of no school! It's like paradise!"

    Michael twisted the cord around his index finger. "Yep."

    There was a pause on the other end. "Uh, Mike? You sound upset. Are you mad about it or something?"

    "No, no. I was actually really happy about it, but my mom just officially ruined summer for me."

    "What'd she do?"

    "She took me to Sandgem to get a starter pokémon... it was such a drag."

    "From Professor Chrome Dome?"

    "Yeah."

    "Whoa! How bad was it?"

    "Like, I could use it as a mirror." Michael began to laugh. "And get this, he was totally hooked on smoking. He lit up right there in his office, after all the kids left. The pokéballs all got mixed up, so I had to pick a random one. It was a Turtwig, but it was all weird-looking. "

    "Weird how?"

    "The color. It was different. You know how Turtwigs are supposed to be this grassy green color? And their eyes are black? Well, mine's not. Mine's this light blue-green, and its eyes are yellow."

    "Wow... was it defective or something?"

    It often scared Michael how his friends could think on the same plane as he did. "Yeah," he answered. "And that's not even the point, I mean, that professor guy is a total dipstick. When me and my mom went to ask what was up with it, he kicked us out. He didn't even answer our question. So now I'm stuck with a crappy Turtwig and a mom who's gonna make me raise it for the rest of summer."

    "Bummer," Cory said slowly. "No, seriously, I feel your pain. But it's not all bad right? I mean, when I got my starter, my mom said that she was gonna force me to raise it too, but she never did anything. I haven't opened that pokéball in three years and I don't think she cares. My grades are more important to her."

    "Still, our moms are different. Mine usually keeps her promises." Michael sighed. "And I don't even want to raise a pokémon. It's stupid."

    Cory was silent for a few moments. Michael could tell he was eating something, due to faint crunching noises on the other end. "Hey, do you still have that Stunky?" he asked suddenly.

    "Yeah," Michael said.

    "Do you think you can sneak out today and drop it off at my pad? Then we could all do experiments on it. I already know some. I found this special food recipe that can help pokémon grow super powerful. We should try it on the Stunky to see if it works. Think about it, we could have the most powerful pokémon on the block! We'll pay people to battle us, and we'll make a fortune!"

    Michael laughed along with his friend, and instantly felt his energy return. “Sure thing.”

    "So where is it right now?" Cory said.

    "Closet."

    "Cool. Can you come over in a minute, then? The old man's out with friends, and he won’t care what we’re up to. We'll use the garage."

    Michael looked over his shoulder. Somewhere in the kitchen, he heard the clang of pots and pans. If he got caught, there was no telling what Patricia would do to him.

    "Yeah. I'll be there."



    //////



    Michael kept a thick rope rolled up beneath his bed, unbeknownst to his mother. He had put it there when he was six, and from then on, used it whenever he needed to make a getaway.

    When he got to his room and kneeled down, Michael found it waiting there, like an old friend. One end was tied to the bed’s leg, in an unbreakable knot that would fully support his weight.

    Michael pulled out the rest of its length, and with a mass of coils in his hand, he pushed open his window and threw it out. The rope unraveled with a quick hiss, dropping all the way into the grass. Michael went over to his closet and took out the Stunky's cage, ignoring the pokémon’s squeaks as he sat down onto the pane.

    He opened the window wider and peered down at the ground. He no longer had a fear of heights, thanks to years of experience. Looping his arm through the cage’s handle, Michael gripped the rope with both hands and pushed himself off of the edge. After a moment of exhilaration, he tightened his grip and let himself swing back towards the wall of the house, using his feet to cushion the impact. The Stunky began to screech and rattle about, but the cage was secure. Score. Michael grunted, and began to inch his way down.

    Throughout the whole thing, the Stunky was restless. It kept turning in place, lifting its tail threateningly, as if being outside again had suddenly thrown its sense of location out of whack. Michael was able to suck up his annoyance until he was safely on the ground.

    You're gonna get yours soon anyway... he thought with a smile.

    Cory's house stood on the other side of the street, at the very end of the lane. His family was too poor and lazy to bother with appearances, so the lawn was overgrown and the paint on the driveway was faded. The gate in front of the house was always unlocked, and Michael let himself in with ease. He went over to the garage door and knocked.

    "Hey guys, I'm here."

    "All right, hang on!" came a muffled voice. Seconds later, Cory slid up the door to reveal a messy garage. Brendan was standing off to the side, around a wooden table. Both boys wore thick gloves.

    "Bring it in, bring it in." Cory grinned. Michael set the cage onto the table, directly beneath the ceiling lamp. The Stunky paced in circles some more, then its eyes finally locked on its captors.

    "Here, take a pair of these." Brendan threw Michael an extra pair of gloves. "Pokémon can get nasty."

    Michael pulled them on, and Cory clapped his hands.

    "All right. Gentlemen, say hello to the food of the future!" He took down a glass container from the shelf, and opened it to reveal a strange brown mixture.

    "So that's supposed to make the Stunky super strong?" Michael said.

    "Yup. I got the recipe from a garden catalogue. It's supposed to make plants grow faster, and since it works on plants then I guess it can work on pokémon, right?"

    "Ha! Wouldn't it be the coolest thing if its tail grew to the size of a truck?" Brendan grinned. "We could spray the whole town!"

    Michael snorted. "Well, what are we standing around for? Let's do it!"

    "Yeah!" Cory lifted the container and held it over the cage. "Begin the countdown! Ten!"

    "Nine!" Michael shouted.

    "Eight!" Brendan joined in.

    "Seven!"

    "Six!"

    "Five!"

    "Four!"

    "Three!"

    "Two!"


    "ONE!" Cory turned the box over and let the mixture spill out, releasing a puff of dust. Michael's nostrils burned from the smell of fertilizer. The Stunky rushed to get out of the way, but the cloud swallowed it whole. The cage shook with the force of its flails.

    "Hold it, hold it!" Michael cried. "It's gonna fall off the table!"

    Cory steadied the cage with his hands. His glasses were coated in brown film. "The transformation's happening! Get some water, quick!"

    Brendan ran out of the garage and came back a few seconds later with a hose in his hands.

    "Get back!"

    He pulled the handle, and a jet of water shot out of the nozzle. The blast hit the Stunky against the wall of the cage, causing the whole thing to topple off the table. The remains of Cory's mixture trickled away into the driveway, revealing a shaking Stunky. Its fur was black and dripping, but other than that, there was no change. Michael's shoulders sagged.

    "Well that was a waste of time."

    "Tell me about it." Brendan lowered his arms, letting the dripping hose sag to the ground.

    Cory kneeled down beside the Stunky, wiping his lenses. "I don't get it. I got the recipe right..."

    "Well apparently you didn't." Michael said. "What catalogue did you get it from anyway?"

    Cory shrugged. "Don't know. Some magazine my mom had in her closet. It's from like five years ago."

    "That explains it," Brendan said. "They've probably come up with a better one now. One that actually works."

    The three boys stood in silence for a while.

    "So what now?" Michael crossed his arms.

    Cory thought for a moment, then smiled. "Hey, I have an idea." He went back to the shelves and took down a second box. This one was larger, and was filled with glinting metal equipment.

    "What's that for?"

    "I read in the paper that a hospital was offering this new type of surgery. Debridisomething. We could try it on the Stunky."

    "Nice." Michael smiled.

    "But we don't even know what Debridi is," Brendan said. "What if we don't do it right and it dies?"

    "So?" Cory said.

    "I don't know, it just seems like a waste. We did all that to catch it, and we didn't even have time to play around with it. We should do the surgery last."

    Cory shrugged and placed the box back onto the shelf. "Whatever. Hey, let's go watch the Space Race now. We'll sneak some soda from the fridge."

    "Sure," Michael said.

    "Right behind ya."

    The boys took off their gloves and cleaned up the best they could before going into the house. Michael was the last to leave the garage. He took one final look at the Stunky, who had watched them in silence, then slammed the door behind him.




    //////



    The three of them proceeded into Cory’s living room, a narrow space stuffed with a bit more furniture than it was meant to hold. A TV box rested on a long table, consisting of a rounded screen, some dials, and a single speaker on the right side. Michael and Brendan settled onto the couch in front of it, and after bringing them their drinks, Cory began to fiddle with the channels. He fixed it on News Channel Five, which was owned by SNN, the largest news company in the country. It aired the Space Race twice every day without failure — once in the morning, once in the evening. Even when there weren’t any new developments, they always aired commentaries and analyses, keeping things fresh instead of filling all their time with recaps of previous coverage. Over the course of a few months, Michael learned more than school had ever told him about outer space, the Earth, and even a bit of rocket science.

    Once the channel logo had appeared, Cory sat down beside the other boys and opened his soda. “All right, here it comes…”

    The screen flickered, and the image of a middle-aged man appeared, sitting behind a desk against the backdrop of a starry sky. This was Sinnoh’s main anchorman, Freddie Horner. During the Space Race, he was an almost ubiquitous presence on the news — and despite the other guests and reporters who appeared on the program, it was always him before the camera whenever there was a new update.

    For the next two hours, Michael sat leaning forward, wholly immersed in his words. Apparently, Team Rocket’s spacecraft had taken snapshots of the moon, and had transmitted them successfully back to Earth. The spacecraft had been launched early in January, as part of Hoenn’s campaign to unlock the secrets of the first extraterrestrial body within man’s reach. After Freddie Horner recounted the mission, the TV displayed a slideshow of the pictures. The moon was nothing interesting, just a giant grey ball covered in craters. There was no evidence of life on its surface, neither people nor pokémon.

    Michael and his friends devotedly tuned in every afternoon to check up on Sinnoh's own team of scientists, Team Galactic. Like most of the Sinnoh population, he, Cory, and Brendan shared a desire to beat Hoenn — although, like most of the Sinnoh population, they weren’t always sure what this meant. Most of the time, the Space Race seemed like a back-and-forth relay, one team one-upping the other with a new record or novelty. Occasionally, a real milestone was made, but after the excitement over the actual event wore off, it would still boil down to one country getting the glory, while the other seethed with frustration and tried to top it.

    Eventually, Michael simply took ‘victory’ to mean making the most groundbreaking accomplishment, something that would tip the scales in Sinnoh’s favor so much that they’d be permanently stuck there. He didn’t yet know what that would be, but he knew he would recognize it when it happened.

    In the meantime, he kept a mental tally of achievements as the years went by, celebrating whenever their country was in the lead. Up until that moment, it had been a tie. (Team Galactic had sent the first man into space the previous September.) But of course, the Rockets always found a way to turn the tables.


    Once the program was over, the boys ceremonially slapped their hands against the pillows of the couch, mocking Team Rocket and admonishing Team Galactic for letting their guard down.

    “I’m telling you guys, this is only the beginning.” Cory was saying. “My mom got the latest paper, and it says in there that Team Rocket’s got the whole mission planned out. They’re gonna land a person on there, and then they’re gonna start building a huge colony that can support life. People might actually start living on the moon twenty years from now.”

    Brendan wrinkled his nose. “Sounds like a drag to me. Farming my own food, living under a dome, seeing the same people over and over again… It’ll probably be years before they figure out how to hook up a TV there.”

    “Well, look on the bright side,” Michael said. “If Team Rocket locks themselves up in a bubble, that’ll leave Team Galactic free to focus on the important stuff.”

    “Like what?” asked Brendan.

    “Like this.” Michael stood and went over to a table, where Cory kept his newspapers. He took the latest issue of Sinnoh Post, the one that had first announced the moon pictures, and began to leaf through it. “I forgot where I read this, but someone said that Team Galactic found samples of the kinds of rocks that were on the moon, and they’re completely different from anything that’s found on Earth. Most of the rocks here have been weathered too much, and because of all the things that live in the soil, they’re always changing and being broken down. But the rocks on the moon aren’t being weathered at all. They’re much stronger and harder, and if Team Galactic can synthesize a new material from them, they can revolutionize the way we build stuff. So while Team Rocket grows seeds in plastic bags, Team Galactic’s gonna be improving life for people back here. And that’s what’s important.”

    He lowered the newspaper, and saw his friends looking back at him in interest. With his can of soda in hand, Cory nodded slowly. “Yeah. That’s some deep stuff. I like your thinking, Mike.”

    Michael gave a shrug, but smiled. “Hey. I’m just saying what I read.”

    Cory brought over the entire stack of newspapers, and the boys spent some time flipping through the old news, picking out interesting articles and laughing at the advertisements. But Michael knew that he was running on borrowed time, so he was careful to take his leave before too much of it could pass. Filled with a renewed sense of desire and purpose, he parted with his friends and set off towards home.

    Getting back up to his room was always harder than coming down, but this time it was made worse by constantly-dripping cage, and the Stunky pausing every so often to shake the water off its hide. When he finally arrived in his room, Michael dropped the cage onto the carpet with a sigh. He pulled the rope back up and closed the window.

    "Welcome back."

    Michael jumped. At first he thought he was hearing things, but when he turned around, he saw that Patricia was seated at his desk. Her arms were folded in her lap, and her expression was perfectly calm. Michael's heart sank.

    "I come into my son's room to check up on him, and I see this." She gestured towards the rope. "And an open window. Two hours later, he comes back. With the Stunky." Patricia rose to her feet. Behind her eyes, a storm was brewing. "Let me guess. You were at your friend's house, weren't you?"

    "It's not what it looks like!" Michael said. "I was going to put it back! To release it back into the wild!"

    "STOP TALKING!" Patricia roared, and Michael shrank against the wall. She rose from her chair and advanced towards him, fingers curling into fists. "I know you weren't just about to release it. The cage is soaking wet, and that Stunky looks like it's been through a hurricane! It was one thing to harass that poor creature in school, but to take it home too? What were you planning on doing with it, hmm?"

    Michael cleared his throat. "Just... keep it as a pet."

    "You know what? I don't believe you. I don't believe a single word that comes out of your mouth anymore. I really, truly thought that when I took you to get your Turtwig, everything would be all right. And now that I see this, I'm beginning to wonder whether I should go back to Sandgem myself and return it! Apparently you didn't hear what your teacher said. Your behavior got you suspended from school! This isn’t about some detention or referral to the guidance counselor anymore — your entire future is at stake here!”

    Michael scoffed, and Patricia spread out her arms emphatically. “What, you don’t believe me? You don’t think that’s true? What about when you get to high school? When all the other kids around you are going to be focusing on their goals and their careers, and you’re still sitting in detention for chasing Stunkies around playgrounds, what do you think that’ll say about you? What do you think it says to a mother when she finds out that her son wastes his time running off from class, sneaking into movie theaters, and fooling around with school property? Oh, I forgot. You don’t care about any of that. After all, school doesn’t matter to big bad Michael. As long as you’ve got the coolest records and are up to date on all those shows you watch, everything’s fine and dandy.”

    “So you’d rather have me challenge Gyms?” Michael blurted. “Go around battling some stupid tournament instead of learning? I thought you wanted me to focus on school!”

    “You and I both know that grades aren’t your problem, Michael,” Patricia replied. “Your problem is your attitude! And believe me, if you don’t fix that, then your brains will go down the same way. You can’t avoid it forever. Either you start listening to what adults are telling you and start acting responsibly, or you become a dropout and spend the rest of your life switching from job to job. I think you know which of those options is the right one to choose, and learning to treat other living things with respect is a good place to start! Because right now, you obviously have no constructive input from any of your activities. Even worse are those hooligans you hang out with…”

    Michael clenched his fists. "Will you stop including my friends into every single complaint you have of me? You blame them for everything! In a few weeks you'll start blaming them for the fucking bad weather!"

    Patricia's flush deepened. "Don't you dare talk like that to me! If I hadn't found out what you were doing with that Stunky today, the same thing would probably have happened to your Turtwig!"

    "That's not true!" he said automatically.

    But Patricia lowered her gaze, shaking her head. "I can't believe this... after all I've done for you, this is how you repay me? Have I been that bad of a mother to you?"

    Michael contemplated answering, but held his tongue.

    No. Not now.

    "You treat pokémon as if they were your toys! Your toys, Michael! Do you understand how that makes me feel?"

    Michael turned away and crossed his arms.

    "Answer me!"

    He remained silent.

    "Michael, you can't spend the rest of your life like this! I know you care about your future as much as I do!"

    Michael had been determined to remain silent for the rest of the conversation, at least until his mother had finished blowing off steam. But right at that moment, he felt something click. A series of events assembled in his mind. School. His brothers. His childhood. The montage nearly overrode the image of his mother, red and haughty and ticking like a clock.

    Then, the words seemed to push themselves forward. "You don't care," Michael said. "You never did, and you never will."

    There was a terribly long silence. Patricia drew back a little. The words seemed to strike a chord somewhere in her heart, and for a moment, she just stood there.

    When she finally spoke, her voice wobbled. "Whatever you have going on in that head of yours, you better kick it out fast. For now, you're grounded. No phone. No television. No contact with those kids. You are not to set foot outside this house without my permission. That will give you some time to think about what you just said to me." Patricia left without another word. The door slammed loudly, but after that, the house was dead quiet. Even the Stunky had stopped whimpering. It was peering through the bars now, looking at Michael curiously.

    It's all that stupid Stunky's fault... Michael decided. But he was too weary to do anything about it.

    The conversation between him and his mother had been short, but in that time, Michael had managed to sever their already fragile bond. And deep down, he knew it would never mend again.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 11th May 2014 at 1:14 AM.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Northampton, PA
    Posts
    1,791

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    Hey, thanks for the PM.

    I didn't find anything wrong with the grammar, and it was a really nice read. I wonder what Rowan's mom will do now?

    Can't wait for the next chapter. See ya around.

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