Piekid11: Is there really any other reason to battle? xD Anyways, glad you liked the chapter. Thanks for stopping by!
Great chapter, Michael did win a bit easily but yeah, types and stuff. I do think the whole thing of giving money to a victor is a bit odd, even if it is out of respect. I don't think those annoying kids at the start really respected Rowan at all. I kinda liked the ones in the Oreburgh park, they seemed alright, Henry just needs to get a few buckets of self-confidence. Keep up the working of a good nature.
It appears I cannot think of a good signature.
Oh, Henry seems like the perfect travel partner for Michael, right? ...right? XD
Brilliant chapter, I've been waiting for some battle action. I like the way that you use Michael's simple strategies (grass absorbs water and the like) to defeat those other trainers. I was hoping Turtwig and Michael were going to have a moment, but I guess it's too early for that. ;_;
I also like the way that no one has really researched pokemon in this time period, so type advantages don't really exist.
I wonder what pokemon Henry has. If it's a Bidoof, I'm gonna laugh. XD
Great chapter as I said before, looking forward to next week.
Poliwhirl is an awesome pokemon. So there. Think aout that long and hard. That's what she said.
I was considering a Bidoof, but Henry has to have some dignity :P His pokemon will be made clear in the chapter after the next, or maybe even in the next, depending on how I work things out. I'm doing a lot of editing here.
And yes, Henry is the perfect travel companion, isn't he? I've been waiting since Chapter 1 to post him... haha. Glad you're enjoying everything.
See you next chapter!
I had to do a bit of PokeDex research for this one... you'll see how all that plays in soon enough. Sorry for the one-day delay, but I just had to do some more planning. Read on
"... so there are eight Gyms all over Sinnoh, and one leader for each Gym. Those trainers are really good, and you get a badge for each one you beat," Henry was saying, as they walked down Helix Avenue. It was a pretty busy road, full of pedestrians and hikers carrying shovels, but according to Henry, it was the fastest route to the Gym. During the past five minutes, he had covered the basics of the Gym's operation, all the trainers that would be there, and told Michael more about the worldwide competition that they called the Pokémon League. Apparently each country had its own, though each circuit was united under one logo.
"And who's the leader for this town?" Michael asked.
"Byron. I've battled him before, and he's really good. That's kinda how I got stuck with Chester and Veronica. They both won the Oreburgh Gym, and I'm the only one who lost."
"Okay, and let's say I beat all the Gyms. Then what happens?"
"Well, you can go to the Elite Four. They're the four most powerful trainers in the region. And after you've beaten them, well, if you get lucky enough, you get a shot at the most powerful one. The champion."
"And after that?"
Henry's growing smile faded for a moment. "I don't know. I don't think anyone's won before. They say you get a plaque, and your name goes down in a place called the Hall of Fame. Oh, and there's a money prize too."
Instantly, Michael leaned in. "How much?"
"Fifty thousand dollars."
Michael felt as if he'd been slapped in the face. "Fifty thousand dollars... is there an age limit?"
"I don't think so."
Michael beamed, and looked up towards the sky. It was a clear summer blue.
Fifty thousand... imagine if I won! I'd be the most powerful person in Sinnoh! I'll never have to count my money again.
Indeed, it would be rather fitting if he left his home as a poor, homeless drifter, and eventually found riches on his travels. It would be the perfect success story, something that would inspire people to write books and even movies. Michael turned back to Henry, and saw that he had been looking up as well.
"I'm gonna take the Gym challenge," Michael said.
Henry's face fell. "Wow. I bet you have what it takes, though. You look like it. But me, I stink. I want to sign up for a rematch, but I don't think I'll make it."
Michael grumbled. "My God, you're so fricking depressed. You're never gonna get anywhere, you know that?"
"But it's true! He knocked my team out flat."
"So try again and kick his ass this time."
"I guess..." Henry said, without enthusiasm. They continued walking, and now, Michael could see a large brick building up ahead. It was bordered by shrubs, which hid a thinning lawn. They neared it, and Michael could see a sign that jutted out of the soil: 'Oreburgh City Gym. Leader - Byron.'
"That's it?" he said. "That's the Gym?"
Henry looked up. "Yeah."
"Not too big on advertising, are they?"
"They don't have to be. Just being the first Gym of the League makes it popular."
The path that led up to the building wasn't paved. Now, Michael could see the sign in detail. Its surface was dented slightly, and there was a smaller inscription underneath the text: "I rock this town!" He chuckled to himself.
"So how do we do this; do I just walk in and say I want a battle?"
"Pretty much," Henry nodded.
Michael stepped forward and knocked on the door. There was no answer.
"Hello?" he called. His hand fell down to the doorknob, and he gave it a turn. It wasn't locked. He opened the door slowly and stepped in.
Inside, the ceiling was high and the floor was covered with tumble mats. Small, square windows lined the walls, giving light to the room. It was spacious, clearly designed for a large event, but today the benches that lined the walls were empty. The only other people there were a young man and woman, both standing in the center. The man was reading something on a clipboard, dressed plainly in a polo shirt and pants. The woman stood behind him, humming, with her arms draped over his shoulders. They were so caught up in their task that they didn't notice when the door slammed, and the two new arrivals stepped into the room.
"...so they want me to give ten percent of my profits towards the new museum, and in return they'll give me free advertising," said the man, scratching his chin. "What do you think?"
The woman laughed loudly. "Oh, they've been asking that for months now! Can't you just say no already and stop playing nice?"
Michael raised an eyebrow. A puzzled look had crossed Henry's face as well. He was about to back away when the man suddenly looked up.
"Uh, hello. Can I help you?"
The man snapped his fingers. "Oh, right, right, you're trainers! Sorry for not recognizing you, I'm really busy today. Are you here to schedule a battle?"
"Yeah," Michael said.
The man nodded. "Okay. I'll put you on the waiting list." He flipped back a few pages and drew a pen from his pocket.
"Wait a minute, there's a waiting list?"
He smiled. "Well, this is a popular Gym. A lot of people are waiting to get their first badge."
"Especially since the Gym leader is so handsome!" The woman smiled, tilting his face toward hers.
"So, both of you want a battle?"
Michael stole a sideways glance. Henry shrugged, biting his lip. "Yeah," Michael said loudly. "The little kid too."
"All right. Names please?"
"Henry McPherson... I battled you on Monday, so you might remember me..." Henry's gaze fell to the floor.
"Here for a rematch? That's good for you, boy. The sign of a remarkable trainer is his determination." Byron scribbled down a few notes, then turned to Michael.
"Okay. I don't think I've seen you before. Is it your first time here?"
"Okay, then I'll have to register you in the records. First off, are you a boy or a girl?" Michael's lips parted, and Byron chuckled. "Just kidding. All right, I'll need your age and date of birth."
"I'm thirteen. July 19, 1950."
Byron scribbled some more. "Okay, now I need to -"
But before he could finish, he was interrupted by a loud slam. A man's bald head poked through one of the side doors.
"Uh, Byron? Phone call. It's urgent. From the landscaper."
Byron sighed and pocketed the pen. "Now?" The man nodded, and Byron turned back to Michael. "The way it is, your battle will probably be next Tuesday. We open at nine in the morning, so be there early. Henry, yours will be on Wednesday."
Byron waved casually, then turned to leave. The two disappeared behind the door, talking animatedly, leaving only the woman. She looked over to the boys and let out a playful tsk.
"He's always so busy, that Byron. Here." She reached into her pocket and pulled out a crumpled piece of paper. "He always gives these things out to new trainers. Looks like he forgot this time, so you can have this one."
"Thanks." Michael took a look at its cover. 'THE POKÉMON LEAGUE: INFORMATION FOR THE FUTURE MASTER'. He didn't feel like reading what was inside at the moment, so he shoved it into his pocket.
Once he was outside, he collapsed into a nearby bench, grateful for the sun's heat on his face. Henry sat down as well, placing the cage next to him, and rested his elbows on his knees. The Stunky squeaked.
"Well, we have our battles." Michael said after a short silence. "That Byron guy doesn't look so tough, though."
"He's really good," Henry said, still staring at the ground. "He knocked my entire team out in less than a minute."
Michael looked at the sign again. "Well, he should really come up with a new slogan. 'I rock this town' is really cheesy." He continued to stare at it for a while, through narrowed eyes.
"You need to train them big time if you want to win, though," Henry pressed on. "Seriously, Byron's the master on rock type pokémon!"
"Hang on. Did you say rock?" Michael's eyes were fully open now.
"You mean, this Gym only uses one type of pokémon?"
Michael smiled. His gaze trailed off back to the sign. The letters, which had been carved deeply into the wood, now seemed to stand out against the background. "You know, we could really use this to our advantage."
"I've been thinking about this for a while, ever since I beat your friends. Have you ever noticed whether an attack has different effects on different pokémon?"
Henry rubbed his forehead. "Well, I guess. I mean, when Chester and Veronica used Water Gun and Hydro Pump on your Turtwig, it barely did anything. But when they use it on other people's pokémon, it practically knocks them out the first time. One day, they were battling a kid with a Hondour. They won in, like, thirty seconds. I counted."
"Do you know why that happened?"
Henry shook his head. "I guess some pokémon are weaker than others?"
"Maybe... but I think there's something else at play. Like... people use water to douse fire. But water, just normal water, doesn't ever hurt plants. Plants absorb it to make themselves healthier. And Turtwig is a grass pokémon, so..."
"So water attacks can't hurt it?" Henry's face lit up. "That's why you won!"
"I think so."
"But this gym is rock type. If a rock falls on a plant, won't it die?"
"Well... it's something I learned in science class. It's called biological weathering. Some species of plants can break down entire boulders. Kind of like decomposition, when flies and stuff pick at a dead corpse."
Henry's nose crinkled in disgust. "Are you sure that'll work?"
"Well, if it'll get me the win, it's worth a try."
"But won't it be... you know... cheating?"
Michael groaned. "Look, I honestly don't think that guy's gonna care if we do a little extra prep before the battle. It's not like it's a test. He never said that we couldn't try to help ourselves. And that's the most important part. Whatever people don't say you can't do, you can do."
"I've never really thought about it that way... Hey, you know what you should do? You should make a chart with all the types on it. And for every one you can write down what it's weak against and what it's strong against. That'll make you win the Gym for sure." Henry beamed. "We could bring it in on battle day, even. It would be so nifty!"
Michael cringed, unable to stop himself. "Okay, just please don't say 'nifty' again. That's what all the dweebs say. They think it's cool, but really, it's not."
"... I guess." Henry flushed a little at Michael's correction, and looked down at his thumbs. "You know, we could train together too. Since our battles are close and stuff. Just to help each other out."
"Uh, problem? I have nowhere to stay."
"You can share the hotel room with me. It has two beds. I have it 'till the end of the week too."
"All right. But first I want to find more about this Gym. Let's go to the Pokémon Center. There should be a bunch of trainers there." Michael rose from the chair, and Henry followed. They made their way back to the familiar building, and when Michael entered, he took a good look around.
There weren't that many kids here, though his gaze eventually found a young boy sitting in the corner. He was fiddling around with a metal cube, a mound of curly hair shielding his face from view. Michael guessed he was a trainer - the belt strapped to his waist held three pokéballs. The boy didn't notice their approach. Up close, Michael saw that the cube had a small screen. It flickered to life when the boy pressed the buttons, then went blank again a few seconds later. Each time it did, the boy let out a small groan.
"Hey," Michael said. "Do you have a minute?"
The boy looked up. His face was flushed, and his glasses were askew. His hat bore the pokéball insignia, the same that was on the back of the machine. "Huh? Who're you?"
"Just a trainer."
"We want to know more about the Oreburgh Gym," Henry piped up.
The boy eyed them briefly, then shook his head. "Uh, sorry, I can't help you. I'm busy." He looked back down at his machine and rapped it against the wall. "You stupid piece of... work already!" The screen flashed again. It now covered with tiny white stripes.
"What is that thing?" Michael said.
"It's a Pokémon Data Exploiter," the boy huffed. "It's the newest model, but it's just as bad as the rest... Come on, you stupid piece of shit! Work!" He knocked it against the wall one more time, so loudly that several heads turned. The boy ignored the murmurs, and lowered the device into his lap. There was a dent on the corner, but the screen had died.
"It's no use." His shoulders sagged. "I'm done for."
The boy looked up at Michael. "The professor gave it to me. I'm one of is interns-in-training. It's a summer camp." He sighed. "The professor wants us to gather info on sixty species of pokémon by the end of the month and record them here. I already got ten, but then this stupid gizmo died on me!" He gave it another half-hearted tap. "It'll take forever to get it fixed. By then, all the other guys will beat me."
"Well that's a stupid competition. Is there a prize?"
"Yeah. You get this super cool new pokéball that the professor designed himself. It's supposed to be foolproof, but I don't believe him."
Michael chuckled. "I wouldn't rely on that idiot too much. He doesn't know shit about what he's doing. You know, my friends and I, we call him -"
"Professor Chrome Dome, yeah," the boy said absently. "Everyone calls him that behind his back, even some of his real assistants. It's funny, but it's sad at the same time. You know, 'cause he can't help it or anything. He's lazy and stuff, but he's pretty nice once you get to know him."
"Whatever. So are you gonna help us or not?"
"The Gym," Michael said. "Have you been there? Do you know anyone who's battled Byron before?"
The kid shrugged. "I'm not really into the League, since my camp's taking too much of my time. But I've been there before, you know, just to see what types of pokémon he has, and... " He rubbed his chin, as if deciding whether to continue. "Well, okay, here's the thing with Byron. He says he prefers to use rock pokémon, but really, he's well-rounded with the moves. And one of his pokémon isn't even rock type."
"Then what is it?" Michael said, now more impatient than ever. "Tell us!"
"I would tell you if I could, but all my data's in here!" the boy held up the contraption. "And I can't get it started!"
"Perfect." Michael slapped his forehead. "Can't you just get it fixed or something?"
"Not when Sandgem Town's over a hundred miles away! Going back now would be like reserving a spot in last place!"
"Then get it fixed here," Michael said. "There should be a repair shop or something."
The boy shook his head. "No, it won't do any good. The professor designed it himself, and it's completely unique so only he knows how it works."
"Then he's a dipstick!" Michael exploded. "Didn't he give you something, anything, in case it malfunctioned?"
The boy opened his mouth for an angry reply, but then, his face lit up. "You know... maybe he did. I remember him giving us all this little pouch before we left. It had a bunch of tools to fix it..."
"Yes, and where did you put the pouch?" Michael said.
The boy held up a finger. "Hang on, I might have it here..." he slid his backpack off his shoulder and placed it in his lap, unzipped it and began to search through it.
Michael waited with his arms crossed, and Henry clicked his tongue. When the boy finally took out a large pouch from the bag, Michael sighed with relief.
"I almost forgot I had this," the kid said. "Thanks!"
"All right, all right. So can you do it yourself?"
The boy shook his head. "I don't know... I forgot most of what he showed me. But I can try. We'll need a table, though." He looked around, and pointed to an empty wooden table in the corner, well away from the machines. The three went over and sat down, and the boy spilled out the tools onto the surface. There was a small screwdriver, a few colored wires, an extra battery, and a few extra screws. He watched as the boy opened the device's back, revealing a jumble of wires and lights.
"My gosh," Henry said. "That thing looks like it's about to eat me alive! Did you say it was the newest model?"
"Then what did the first one look like?"
The boy paused and looked at Henry. "Uh... you don't want to know. You couldn't even carry it in your pocket because it was so big. You had to use a special case, and it was pretty heavy. So if you were a researcher and you had to lug it around all day, you'd be having backaches all the time. The professor told us all about them. The Data Exploiters were originally storage systems, just for regular computers, but then the scientists got sick of using paper to record their pokémon data, and they converted the systems to store that instead. They've made a lot of improvements since the first Data Exploiters, like they made it portable and stuff, but there's still something missing. They can't make a device that's both small and fast and doesn't die every other time you use it." The boy held up a clump of wires to the light, but dropped them instantly. "Owww! My God, that's hot!" He rubbed his fingers and looked down at the open device. "Ugh, man, this is so impossible! I don't even know what's making it act up like this!"
"Do you know how wires work?" Henry said.
"Well... no. Something about positive to the positive? Or positive to the negative?"
"No," Henry said. "Don't you just match up the colors or something? Liked red to red and blue to blue?"
"Ugh." Michael rose. "Don't you two pay attention in class? Lemme see it."
The boy stepped aside as Michael bent down beside the table. He pressed his palm to the inside wall, and yanked it back instantly before the heat could burn him. "I think it's overheated. That might be the problem. When machines get too how they can crash because their systems fail. Plus, it looks like your battery's really old. You'll have to change it."
"Do you know how to do that?"
"Yeah. Just give me the spare." Michael unhooked the battery, ignoring the patches of pain in his fingers. The boy gave him the new one, and Michael slid it into the holder. "Now give me two new red wires and a new blue wire." The boy handed him the wires, and Michael clipped them into place.
"I think that's it. But yeah, like I said before, it probably just got too hot and crashed."
"But why does it heat up like that? I swear, sometimes I can't even hold it because it burns my hands."
"You can't fix it," Michael said. "Machines generate heat, and the only way to cool them down is to kill the power for a while. Just don't overwork this thing. It's too crappy to take a hit." He fastened the lid, tightening it in with the screwdriver. "Also, just keep it in a cold place. Like the refrigerator or something."
"What? I'm serious. You have to keep machines cool. Blow it with a fan or something. Here." He handed the device to the boy. "See if it works now."
The kid flipped a switch, and the screen blinked to life. "So far so good..." Michael watched as a title screen popped up - Pokémon Data Exploiter - v9.5. Designed by Sandgem Labs. Then it vanished, replaced by a large scrolling list where a bunch of pokémon names were registered.
"We've got it!" the boy cried. "I have the list up! Thanks so much!"
"Okay, now can you tell us what pokémon Byron has?"
"Yeah, definitely! Hang on." The boy scrolled down the list. Henry hopped up from his seat and leaned over to watch.
"Wow, this is so cool."
The screen read:
POKéMON DATA EXPLOITER v9.5
DATA FILE // POKéMON ENTRIES
No. 001 TURTWIG [GRASS]
No. 002 GROTLE [GRASS]
No. 003 - - - - - - - - -
No. 004 CHIMCHAR [FIRE]
No. 005 - - - - - - - - -
No. 006 - - - - - - - - -
No. 007 PIPLUP [WATER]
No. 008 - - - - - - - - -
No. 009 - - - - - - - - -
No. 010 STARLY [FLYING]
No. 011 - - - - - - - - -
No. 012 - - - - - - - - -
No. 013 BIDOOF [???]
"What are all the spaces for?" Henry said.
"They're the ones I haven't gotten yet."
Michael pointed to Bidoof's entry. "Why are there question marks there?"
"Because I don't know what type it is. I've battled a trainer who had one, and the pokémon just bit and clawed at mine. They didn't shoot water out of their mouths or anything. Its attacks were just normal."
Michael shrugged. "So put 'Normal'. The professor lets you write your own entries, right?"
"Yeah." The boy continued scrolling.
"Man, how many do you have here?"
"I added in sixty slots, but I only have about ten... oh, here, I have the entries from Byron's gym!" He showed them the screen. "Here's his first pokémon."
No. 031 GEODUDE [ROCK]
This guy looks exactly like a rock, but it's strong and fast. In battle, it can use Rollout and knock down opponents using its arms, which it swings around. It lives by the mountains and sometimes on hiking trails. it likes to hide in plain sight, among other rocks, which can make it really hard to find.
"Interesting," Michael said. "Next?"
The boy showed him the next screen.
No. 034 ONIX [ROCK]
A giant worm-thing made of rocks. It likes to burrow deep in the ground where it's nice and cool. It has a good sense of direction, so it never gets lost. In battle, it likes to whip enemies with its tail, which it uses like a club. It can screech really loudly too, which distracts opponents and throws them off balance.
"All right, here ya go..." The final entry flashed before Michael's eyes.
No. 060 BRONZOR [Steel?]
It uses a lot of non-physical attacks that can confuse the opponent. Its habitat and diet is unknown, though it can be a good
The boy sighed and turned off the device. "That's all I could get. I didn't finish it because I didn't really know a whole lot about it. Byron wouldn't let me stay either to observe it; he said that there were other people waiting to battle him."
Michael's shoulders sagged. "Well that sucks. Didn't you get anything else out of it?"
"No. But it was amazing in battle, though. It can knock out a pokémon without even touching it."
"That's strange... were any moves you used effective against it?"
"I used my Buneary. She's really fast, and I just told her to use Jump Kick, and that did the trick."
Michael nodded. "Interesting. Well, thanks a lot kid. You've been a big help."
"Yeah, thanks!" Henry smiled.
"No prob. Hey, before you go, can you do me a favor?"
He turned the device back on. "Do you have any pokémon that I don't have data on? I need a leg up in the competition."
"Sure," Michael said. "Let's see... do you have Stunky?" He gestured towards the cage in Henry's hands.
The boy shook his head. "Nope. I saw one before, but I never got a chance to record anything... Do you mind?"
"Not at all. I'll give you the entry. Let's see... it shoots out a really smelly gas from its butt. The gas is green, and the smell lasts for weeks."
As Michael talked, the boy typed furiously into the device. "Uh-huh."
"They live in grassy areas, mostly near the suburbs, and they're really hard to catch. They run really fast."
"... Okay. Got it. Thanks!"
Michael nodded. "No problem." He looked at the device some more, and smiled. "You know what that Pokédex needs? It needs a feature where you could add in pictures of pokémon."
Suddenly, the boy looked up. "What?"
"You know, a picture. Like put a little camera in there so when you see a new pokémon you take a picture of it. That would be boss, instead of reading stupid text."
"No, I mean... what did you call it?" The boy held up the device. "Poké...what?"
"Pokédex." Michael shrugged. "I don't know, just a shorter name for it. Pokémon Data Exploiter feels so lame to say. Like the cat's got my tongue or something."
The boy rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "Pohh-kayy-dex... I like it! I'll have to remember that."
Michael nodded. "Well, good luck with the competition."
"Thanks. Good luck with the battle."
"Cool. Let's go, Henry." Michael turned for the door, and Henry started after him.
"Bye!" the boy called after them, and they left the building.
When Henry joined him outside, Michael put his hands in his pockets. "This is really interesting... do you realize that if we keep this up, we can beat every single Gym in Sinnoh? All we have to do is read up a bit on the pokémon, assemble a team to counter the leaders, and we'll be done!"
"What are you gonna do if you win? Are you gonna challenge the other Gyms?"
Michael thought for a moment. "Probably. If I get good enough, I can win fifty thousand bucks. What are you gonna do if you win?"
Henry puffed out his cheeks. "I don't know... All I want is to get the Coal badge so I can prove to myself and other people that I can do it. Maybe get the next two ones if I'm good enough... but I never thought about doing the entire League. It seems like such a big thing for one person."
A smile tugged at Michael's lips. "Then what about two?"
Henry raised an eyebrow. "Huh?"
"What if we challenged the League together? Think about it. Doing it as a team will be better than doing it alone."
"But we have no money!" Henry protested, fiddling with the edge of his shirt.
"We'll start making some when we win battles. Look at how much I got just for Route 203."
"But it could take weeks for us to get anywhere! What if we don't make it? We'll have to go back home."
Michael rolled his eyes. "Cry me a river. I'm not a coward. I'm not gonna sit home wasting my entire life in my stupid room, moping about how dull my life is and how unfair everyone is to me. Remember how you told me that your friends treated you like dirt? Well, I had it even worse than that. But I'm actually gonna do something about it, because the fact is, if your life sucks now, it's gonna keep on sucking until you change it. I'll make my own money and success one day, and if you want to travel with me, then you have to share that goal. I'm not gonna stop you if you don't want to. So you can just go home right now, like a little baby, and keep on crying and whining. And maybe in a few months, you'll get to read about my victory in the newspaper."
Henry was hesitant. His tongue rolled around between his cheeks as he grappled with conflicting thoughts. His eyes frequently darted to the path, and for a minute, Michael was certain that he would refuse. After all, defeating the Pokémon League was probably far beyond his simple, sixth-grade fantasies.
But to his surprise, the little kid took his hand firmly and shook.
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 18th February 2011 at 9:17 PM.
Pretty nice chapter there, 50k for beating the league, elites and champion? There's the real motivation for Michael. Hoping to see your man with the Pohh-kayy-dex again later in the story (Did they ever get his name?). Next chapter possibly the gym battle? I like how you've put in Byron instead of making up some other randomer instead. Now, we can see Byron has at least three Pokémon, while Michael only has Turtwig and Stunky (Who I think would be less than willing to battle for Rowan). So it's either, request a one-on-one battle, catch some more stuff, or preform a sweep with Turtwig =O. Looking forward to stuff, have fun writing.
It appears I cannot think of a good signature.
Actually, he does pay attention to a certain degree. (Otherwise he wouldn't be able to get good grades in science.) You will see the boy with the Pohh-kayy-dex later, and I'll reveal his name then. There's a reason I introduced the Dex in this chapter
See you next chapter which, hopefully, I'll be able to get done by the end of the week. Of course, I'll post with any schedule updates I may have. Thanks for stopping by!
Pretty good chapter! So, next chapter is most likely the gym battle. Can't wait to see what pokemon Henry has. I also wonder if Stunky is going to battle. Can't wait!
So Michael is going to take on the Sinnoh League? I actually forgot about that conversation between Cynthia and Rowan at the League until this moment. And Byron is the Oreburgh City gym leader? Makes sense but I didn't think he was that old.
I really liked the custom Pohh-kayy-dex entries. Kind of wish we could do that in the games.
Keep up the good work!
I used Byron as the Oreburgh leader because, as we all know, he's Roark's father, and it would make sense if his son inherited the Gym when he got old enough. Bulbapedia doesn't give Byron an age, so I just made one up. I did the calculations somewhere so it would all fit, but I don't remember where I put the paper... The Underground man will be a Gym leader too, since he's Byron's father. They don't give him an official age either, so I have a lot of room to be creative.
See you next chapter!
Just a few comments, as thats all I have time for at the moment.
Overall, two great chapters that I missed. I really enjoyed the length and description that were incorporated into both, I really felt as if I was traveling with Michael, and it was a nice escape from packing for college. It also had the ability to motivate me to write my final chapter, which is pretty darn impressive. :]
Anyways, I really like Henry as a character, I think he makes an excellent companion to Michael, the contrast is awesome. I also liked how you made Byron the first gym leader and how you got Michael into battling. I thought the money was the perfect segway for it!
Not a very good review, but I am pressed for time. Keep me posted!
Latest Chapter- 5: Don't Pressure Us
Chapter 6: Up All Night Current Status- First Draft in Progress.Spoiler:- Review Policy and Image Credit:
Great chapter, the bit about the Pokedex was pretty cool. Lucky Michael's such a genius, right? What with the electronic repairs and the grass > rock mentality, you really accurately portrays Michael as the Boy Wonder, though his attitude can be less than helpful. >.<
I've still been trying to figure out what Pokemon Henry has. Perhaps a Starly, seeing as he was destroyed by Byron, but I'll have to see. It's driving me mad. :O
I'll be waiting for next week.
Poliwhirl is an awesome pokemon. So there. Think aout that long and hard. That's what she said.
Manaphyman: Thanks for stopping by! Don't worry about the review, I'm grateful to have you reading.
Isosceles: I've already planned out his team, and they'll make an appearance in the next chapter. (That chapter may or may not include the Gym battle, though, depending on how I plot it out.) Either way, you'll get a glimpse of his team soon.
Glad you both liked the chapter(s), and see you next week!
EDIT 8/27/10: Update! As expected, school is taking up a lot of my time. I've had two tests already, and one more to study for. I've been making tiny steps in writing Chapter 8 in the meantime, but it's nothing major. I'm estimating that maybe it'll get posted by next week, but that depends on how busy I am. Over the weekend, I'll definitely get more done, though, so it's not all bad.
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 27th August 2010 at 9:40 PM.
I've read the first two Chapters and absoloutely love the concept of the fic. An amazing idea to look at the 'roots' of a really well known professor and make them somewhat disturbed and wrecked and rather unstable too. So I love that idea in fullness. When you added in what they had done to that Stunky and the sort of plans they had for the Pokemon really worried me beyond belief, I hated him for what he had done and for his neglect of Pokemon life and I love that. It means you have your work cut out to bring Rowan back to the way he is in the games but from your talent that I've seen I can't wait to see how you do it.
For plot, an avid description and a burning passion to write something different and in a unique and unseen style placing your characters in a different time period without the technology we're use to is such a big feat and thus from what I've seen it's definitely an 8/10. Can't wait to catch up and read more!
Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar
I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence
Haha, you got it. Professor Rowan is Professor Tree, so his history would be the tree's 'roots', literally. His foundation is his childhood, and from there he grew into the professor he is today. Finally someone got the title :P And yeah, it will be a big job to get Michael Rowan to transform, but that's what's so fun about writing this.
So, thanks for the review harryheart! (As everyone probably saw by my update in the last post, school will be interfering with the whole writing/posting schedule. I don't want to be redundant, so just read that for more info.)
Hopefully, I'll see you all next week!
Hey, what ever happened to this? I hope Chapter 8 is up soon!
~I have claimed the almighty Lotad~
Spoiler:- My Friendcodes + Credit:
... Anyone still here?
Grr. Yeah, it's been a while. I'll cut to the chase this time; I guess I owe you at least that much: Schoolwork. No time. etc. Onto the good stuff!
All right, before we begin Chapter 8, there are two things I want to get straight.
First off, here I feature some 60's music, mostly songs by the Beatles. (Tell me you didn't see this coming.) Of course, not all of their songs were released before 1963, but they had too many awesome hits after that date for me to leave them out. Therefore, the years won't really correspond, and the story won't be completely historically accurate. (But hey, the record players are accurate, right? Right?)
Second, (if any of you remember lololol) this is the chapter after Michael and Henry decide to take the League challenge together. This chapter will be full of battle scenes (snippets, actually). I hate writing battle scenes, so I wrote a bunch of them.
Anyways, I hope my awful late-ness won't suddenly plunge Roots into an unfathomable abyss or anything and you'll still enjoy the chapter.
The Oreburgh Trainer's Hotel was one of the town's newer buildings, built to commemorate the Pokémon League's third successful year of operation. When it was created in 1948, the League was meant to be a small, exclusive competition aimed towards giving gifted trainers opportunities for prolonged careers. Budget cuts forced it to reform, however, and in 1950, the challenge was expanded to include trainers from any part of the region. They would roam about the continent, challenging Gyms and each other, all looking up towards the final destination of the Elite Four. The challenge grew in popularity over the years; the 1956 season was met with an unprecedented level of entries, to the point where Sinnoh was stirred into a mass-migration, and cities were at a loss for what to do to accommodate all the new trainers flooding in.
Government officials created the eight-hotel chain in 1957, going beyond normal codes to built a sleek, silver structure that would stick out of the landscape like a sore thumb. They would be accompanied by a Pokémon Center, a customer-friendly facility designed especially to meet trainers' needs, and a Gym nearby. The goal was to make the structures memorable, to unify the diverse cities of Sinnoh under one logo - the pokéball. Eight buildings standing in eight cities, each exactly the same in design and furnishing, to give trainers from all over a sense of unity and pride.
But to Michael, it was just another thing to squint at.
From a distance, the hotel’s ten-floor glory shone with the sun’s painful light. Its windows were lined up in perfect rows, and the shades overhanging them did not sag the least bit. A vast lawn stood in place of the parking lot, housing shrubs and trees all trimmed to an eerie perfection. A tall sign stood by its entrance, an array of tubes spelling the phrase "WELCOME TRAINERS!" in traffic-stopping letters. When he and Henry crossed over into its walkway, Michael had to cup his hands over his eyes to shield them from the glare.
"Something smells like big business.” Michael said, looking up. “This is practically the tallest building in the town.”
"Yeah they’re pretty rich,” Henry said, nodding his emphasis. “And it's obvious why, I mean, so many people sign up for it and they get profits from selling merchandise.”
“Then the room better be the best damn thing I’ve ever slept in.”
Henry beamed. “It is! It’s amazing. Wait till you see."
He led them up to the lobby, which was dotted with people, much like the Pokémon Center was. The front desk took up most of the space; the rest was an elevator, a few framed advertisements, a magazine rack, and a candy machine. The woman behind the front desk tilted her head to see the new arrivals, and smiled.
"Good morning, Henry!" she called over the general noise.
The other kids turned at the disturbance, some snickering, though Henry paid them no mind. "Good morning Miss Katie!" he replied sunnily. "Guess what? I decided to challenge Byron again. And my friend Michael's taking the challenge too! We're gonna go drop off our stuff and battle out in the courtyard." Henry jostled Michael’s arm, proving that he was there. The clerk smiled.
"I'm glad to hear that. Good luck to the both of you!" She waved, and they got inside the elevator.
Henry's room was on the second floor, a little way down a wide hallway. It was smaller than Michael expected, but cozy to make up for it. Two beds dominated the center, with a nightstand in between and a vanity desk off to the side. Sunlight sifted through cracks in the closed blinds, casting sleepy shadows on the carpet. There was a rotary phone and a TV too, which made him smile. Upon entering the boys went their separate ways - Michael to the TV and Henry to the desk, where he took out a planner and scribbled down the date of the battle.
"There!" he said, and closed it with a satisfied smile. "Now all we gotta do is be ready. And look, I know just the place to battle. There's this courtyard out back. They're all trainers, of course, and they have matches there all the time. And since we’re gonna challenge the League together, I figured we should battle together too. We’ll be the unstoppable team of Henry and Michael!"
"Mhmm," Michael replied, though his mind had trailed off. He was kneeling down beside the TV set, staring expectantly at the screen as he pressed the power button. For a few seconds, the screen remained blank.
"... but you gotta be careful when we’re out there. Some of these kids are really tough. They've lost to Byron loads of times so they have a lot of tricks up their sleeves. But now that you’re here, we can show ‘em who’s boss! Right?”
"Uh-huh." Michael pressed the button harder, but still to no effect. Meanwhile, Henry found a magazine within the rubble on the desk and held it up. “Look, this is Pokémon League Weekly. It’s a magazine that’s especially for the competition. They have weekly tips from the Champion, official merchandise catalogues, and other really cool stuff that helped me loads when I just started out. Even experienced trainers read it, and I think it’s really helpful. You’ll like it too. The hotels keep them up to the last five issues I think, so when we have time, I’ll take you down to the lobby and we’ll pick out a few. You can read them till the newest one comes.”
“Cool.” Michael gritted his teeth. His finger was sore from where the button had wedged into his skin, and when he pulled it away, he saw a small square indentation. A groan escaped him, and he shook the television box with both hands. The antennae rattled noisily. "What the hell? Why won’t this TV work?"
Henry looked over the side of the bed. "Oh. Yeah, that's broken. The staff told us that they're gonna repair all the bad TVs next week, but-"
"Next week?" Michael rose, mouth agape. "You can't be serious, man! Do you know how much stuff you're missing? They update on the Space Race ten times in a week, and twice that for the news! Ugh. This is perfect. My one chance of catching up with things and it's blown!" Michael plopped down onto the bed, and the mattress creaked.
"Hey, it's not all bad,” Henry said, sliding over onto the other bed. “You can still read the Weekly.” He proffered the magazine, and Michael took it grudgingly.
The first thing he saw was a picture of a tanned, smiling boy posing next to a pair of girls against a background of steel arches. The heading read ‘Ricky Sheldon - Two Years Later’ and Michael guessed that he was the current Champion. A pokéball belt hung loosely from the boy’s waist and he wore a black pokéball-logo cap, though Michael had a hunch Ricky cared more for the girls than the pokémon.
When he opened the magazine, Michael saw large pictures and columns of print. The text was airy and friendly, though as he read, he noticed that it placed more emphasis on the League’s glamour and excitement than its actual mechanics. At the top of every page was an image of Ricky Sheldon’s head, next to the words “I did it - so can you!” in bold print. With every page he turned Michael felt more and more awkward in this uncharted territory, yet more and more immersed as the world of pokémon trainers wrapped itself around him. For a full two minutes, he was able to forget entirely of the Space Race, and let his mind be filled with pokéball maintenance tips, badge cleaning, and even color coordination.
He was about halfway through an absurd column about pokémon fashion - dark shades are in, apparently - when a sudden low-key music filled the room. At first, Michael thought he was hallucinating, but when he sat up, it became louder. The sound was tired and drawn-out, like a countryman hauling a heavy sack of potatoes, or old people dancing. The images made Michael cringe. He dropped the magazine onto the bed and looked over to see Henry standing by the vanity, a record player open beside him.
Michael’s grimace must have been disgusting, for he pushed the player’s arm away and cut off the song at once. “What?”
“What the hell did you do that for?” Michael said.
Henry shrugged. “I like to play music while I read. It’s relaxing.”
Michael crossed his arms and sighed. “Okay. First of all, you don’t randomly blare out music when someone else is reading. It’s not cool, and on top of that, it’s rude. I didn’t ask you to play me anything. And second of all... dude. Your mom must have dropped you on your head when you were little, because your taste is terrible. Forget relaxing; that song’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard!”
His words met Henry full in the face, and within seconds, the boy’s shoulders had drooped. “Sorry. I was just trying to make things a bit more fun. You know, since the TV wasn’t working. It’s just that this record is the only one I have. But I like it.”
Michael peered into the record player, but all he saw was a shiny black record with no label. "So whose is it?"
"My mom's," Henry replied.
"No, I mean the band. Who's the band?"
“Huh?” Henry’s eyebrows perked, then lowered. “Oh. No band, sorry. It’s an individual artist. I forget her name, but she’s really good.”
Michael snorted. “And how old is she, ninety?”
“What’s that supposed to mean? I think the song’s really cool. It reminds me of the country.”
"More like retirement community. You need to really reconsider your tastes."
Henry bit his lip. "But there's nothing wrong with the song! My mom says-"
"I'm not asking you what your mom says. Seriously, you’re way younger than she is, and no teen would listen to that album. And yes, this even applies to you. You can’t like this stuff. You just can’t. End of story.”
Henry sat down in the chair and began to twist himself back and forth. “Yeah, I guess...”
“You ‘guess’ what? Isn’t there any other music you listen to?”
“Do you listen to Pink Floyd?"
Henry shook his head. "Nope."
Michael stifled a laugh. "Pathetic. All right, let's try again. Do you listen to Jimi Hendrix?"
"How about the Beach Boys? The Rolling Stones?"
Henry shook his head for both, and repeated the motion for every single big name Michael called out, his eyes blank like a child's. When Michael had recited every single band in his collection, and had each one of them rejected by Henry, all he could do was stare in amazement.
"What rock do you live under? Seriously! You can't tell me you've never heard of any of them! And the Beatles, dude. How can you not know who the Beatles are?"
"I never said I didn't know who they were..." Henry said, his voice dropping to its familiar whisper. "I just don't listen to them."
"What, do you not like them or something?"
"No, I do. Their songs are really carefree and happy. You know, they make you feel good. And at the same time, some of them are really deep too. But my mom doesn't let me to listen to them. She thinks they're a bad influence."
"She thinks that if I'll listen to them, I'll want to do drugs and wear my hair long and stuff."
"What's wrong with long hair?" Instinctively, Michael reached up to brush back his bangs. He hadn't cut his hair in over a month, so the ends nearly touched his shoulders. As a result of evenings cutting it with school scissors in front of a bathroom mirror, his layers were uneven and his hair formed a sort of messy black helmet. Yet, it was a style he had always liked, and one that any trip to the barber would ruin. Henry backpedaled instantly.
"Oh, I didn't mean you!" he said. "I don't think that all kids with long hair are bad. That would be unfair to, you know, the kids that aren't. It's just that some of them are. Like in my neighborhood, there's a group of kids who like to pick on people." Henry shifted. "They idolize rock bands, and they try to look like them by wearing their hair long. They get wasted after school too. One of them got into a car crash last month. I think it's because of the drugs, but my mom said it's because his hair was too long and he couldn't see what was in front of him. And she doesn't want me to be like them. My school, even. They suspend any boy with hair longer than the tips of his ears and they don't let him come back until he gets it cut."
"That's messed up," Michael said, shaking his head with true pity for the little kid. "What dump of a school do you go to?"
"It's a private school."
"Then it's no wonder you're such a sissy. The kids at private schools are too sheltered. You never learned to face the real side of life. You know, if you spend your entire childhood doing what your mommy says, you're never gonna learn to be yourself. You wanna listen to the Beatles? Let's listen to the Beatles." Michael went over to his backpack and opened it to its largest pocket, where he had packed his records. He had browsed rather hastily through his music collection that night, so of the Beatles he only had Abbey Road and The Beatles. Michael took out both albums and set them down on the table.
"Wow, you have Abbey Road!" Henry said. "That's their best!"
"I know. And from now on, we only listen to this.” Michael quickly replaced Henry's record with his and slid the player's arm over to start the song.
Immediately, a smooth, snappy beat shook the room, followed by the voice of John Lennon.
Here come old flat-top he come... groovin' up slowly he got...
The song went on, the notes weaving into strands of memories that entangled Michael's mind. The song made him think of summer, of his last days of school, sitting on a desk and throwing paper airplanes. He was walking through the halls with Cory and Brendan again, his footsteps in tune with the beat of drums. Music had always had that effect on him - it made his thoughts soar, and if he played it loud enough, he'd enter another world. Brian would always be complaining how he couldn't study with all the ruckus.
Beside him, Henry was also enjoying the tune. He was strumming his fingers against the wood and humming along to the words.
"This is amazing!" he said, smiling. "I haven't heard this song in such a long time. It reminds me of... well, me!"
"That's what music does," Michael said. "It puts you in a different state of mind."
"Yeah... and I don't want to stop listening to it!" Henry said. "Let's stay in a little longer, okay?"
"We'll be sitting here for hours. Let's just bring it with us."
"Out to the courtyard?" Henry looked to the door uncertainly.
"What? Is it not allowed or something?"
"No, but don't you think it'll be a bit weird if we just play music out in the open? People will stare and stuff."
"So what?" Michael switched off the record player, which had only begun to blare the chorus, and lifted the box into his arms. "Let's go. It'll attract attention and we'll get more challenges." With his free hand, he hoisted his backpack onto his shoulder and motioned for Henry to follow.
They did not have to go far; the courtyard’s entrance was also on the first floor, at the end of an adjacent hallway. It was a simple, square field enclosed by a brick wall and centered by a flagpole. There were more than a few kids here, some hanging back in the corners and some running with their pokémon and flying kites. But what dominated the scene, and what Michael noticed first, was a large rectangular boundary marked by white paint. A mass of kids stood on the sides, cheering and pumping their fists around some sort of event. As he drew closer, Michael realized that in the center were two pokémon - a Poochyena and a Linoone - beating the crap out of each other.
"Wow! Let's watch!" Henry beamed. He tugged him forward by the sleeve, and Michael pressed the record player closer to his chest.
"Watch the player, watch the player!" But before he could pull away, he was already in the middle of the action, jostled by countless elbows and hands, his head filled with the noise. Through the constantly moving gaps, he could glimpse a boy in a black jacket squatting down on the Linoone’s end of the battlefield. His teeth were bared in a snarl that made him look strikingly similar to his pokémon.
"Go! Go! Use Slash!" he shouted, while the crowd of kids continued to cheer. Michael couldn't tell if the Linoone had obeyed or not; it continued to claw ravenously at the Poochyena's body as it had before, like a boxer whose adrenaline had gone off the edge.
The unfortunate opponent stood on the other side of the battlefield - a young girl, visibly younger than her opponent, watching the combatants twist over and around each other, with blue eyes so large they looked ready to burst. Michael strained to follow the pokémons’ moments, but just when he pinpointed their location, the blur of color had moved to another, taking a trail of dirt and whipping tails with it. Then, without warning, their dance snapped. The Linoone, apparently, was the one that had struck the final blow. The only thing Michael had time to see was a set of sharp, glinting talons raised up to the light, then brought down onto a wriggling grey body, drawing blood. The smaller pokémon collapsed, and the Linoone bellowed its victory. The girl's mouth fell open in what might have been a scream, but the sound was swallowed in an outbreak of applause. The boy in the black jacket stood and raised his arms like a champion boxer, before a posse of boys surrounded him, frantically exchanging strips of money. It all happened so fast that Michael barely had time to assess the situation.
Henry, however, seemed to process it perfectly. He was standing on his toes, pointing and shouting just like the others. His frantic gaze jumped from Michael, to the battlefield, then back again. “Wow, that was so amazing! Michael, did you see that last one? Huh? Did you see it? That kick, then the Slash, then the Poochyena just fell! It was so awesome! That kid’s good!”
Michael could only nod in reply.
It became quiet in waves, and the party surrounding the winner gradually receded, allowing him to pace the arena in all his arrogance.
"Anyone else wanna battle?" the boy shouted. "Come on, anyone?"
Several kids turned heads, but for a while, no one stepped up to take the challenge. The boy’s grin grew wider, as if this was what he had been expecting. Suddenly, Michael felt someone nudge his shoulder. He turned, and saw Henry wink.
"Come on, you so got this!"
"No!" Michael hissed. "Don't you get it? We can't rush into a battle that quickly! We have to watch to see what strategy this kid has so we can counter him."
“You sure? Well, fine then,” Henry said.
They watched in silence as another boy, a taller blond, rose up for the challenge. The two met, exchanged some verbal abuse, then went off in separate directions. The blond boy pulled a pokéball from his pocket and twisted it open. A bright flash lit his hands, then a small pokémon landed at his feet. A Turtwig. Michael's eyebrows perked. Quickly, he threw his backpack onto the ground and sat down next to it. Henry looked over, and bent down next to him.
"What are you doing?" he whispered.
"I'm making a chart." Michael took out his notebook and a pencil, and began to sketch a table. He divided it into several rows and columns, labeling the first row as 'Grass', and the first column as 'Normal' to stand for the Linoone. "See? This is perfect! That guy has a Turtwig, so by watching him, I can get a few good pointers on what to do with mine." Once he finished, Michael put his pencil down and watched.
The boy's Turtwig, meanwhile, had launched into a slow jog, its eyes narrowed. It made a clunky, labored pace, its leaf flopping awkwardly. Then, a gust of brown wind swept it off its feet, nearly too fast for the eye to see, and rolled with it onto the asphalt. The kids roared. Two bodies tumbled over, and the circle wobbled and widened as people rushed to step out of their way. Linoone was on top of its opponent now, lashing out with claws and tail, knocking the Turtwig forward and backward while the cheers drowned out its cries. It was a pitiful sight, and Michael tore his gaze away from it just in time to jot down a note: 'Linoone is very fast. Turtwig is slow. Linoone will knock out Turtwig before it can throw a single leaf.'
As he predicted, the boy with the Turtwig lost, and in a matter of minutes. The Linoone boy was once again surrounded by applauding fans, his white grin visible for only a few fleeting moments between the jumping bodies. His group of friends immediately broke off from the main crowd, headed away towards the flagpole. Michael caught glimpse of the blond boy somewhere behind, departing off to the sidelines, his eyes sunken.
"Wow, that boy was really good!" Henry said, watching the group go. "You should have battled him though. You could have so taken him.”
“Dude, did you see what he did to that kid’s Turtwig? The same thing would have happened to mine.”
Henry shook his head. “But you’re a better trainer than he was. You could’ve just done the leaf thing and knocked the Linoone out!”
Michael folded the chart and placed the notebook into his backpack. “What makes you think that if that kid’s Turtwig lost, mine would win? Same species of pokémon are the same. I mean, yeah, some can have genetic differences that would make them stronger or faster or weirdly-colored, but a Turtwig’s never gonna beat a Linoone in a race.”
“I guess,” Henry said. “So are we gonna go find some people to battle? I’ve got my team ready.” He tapped his knapsack.
Michael took a look around. A good portion of the crowd had left, though the kids that had stuck by were beginning to converge. They were all still on speaking terms, however, their voices mellow and hushed. When he and Henry approached, the circle opened a little. A boy with glasses immediately distanced himself to meet them, smiling, apparently recognizing them. He was a bit taller than Henry, and had a mound of red curls flopping over his ears.
“Hi Sebastian!” Henry said, and skipped forward to meet him. “I didn’t see you there. Long time no see!”
“Yeah, where have you been all week?” the boy asked. “You’ve missed so much! Maria went on to Eterna and this one kid, Eric I think, got so frustrated he went home!”
Henry’s jaw dropped open. “Wow! Well, you know what they say. First Gym’s the hardest.” The two shared a laugh. Henry promptly turned to Michael and tugged him forward. “This is Michael. He’s my friend. I met him over by Route 203. We’re gonna take the Gym challenge together!” Then, to Michael, he repeated the introduction. “Mike, this is Sebastian. He’s one of the kids I met here. He’s really nice, and he’s a good trainer too.”
Henry stepped back, and the two boys looked each other over. Sebastian wasn’t much - he wore a simple T-shirt and jeans, and stood with a neutral posture pretty relaxed for his age. As his eyes traced Michael’s face, it was obvious that he sensed the age difference. “How old are you?” the boy asked.
“Thirteen,” Michael said, figuring there was no use hiding it. He watched, unsurprised, as Sebastian’s eyebrows climbed.
“Wow. That’s kinda late. When did you get your starter?”
“Few days ago.”
Sebastian nodded, but didn’t press it further. “Okay. So yeah, we were just about to get a battle started. Can you believe it? We had to wait for an hour so that Dennis kid and his group could finish.” He shook his head slowly. “He’s so annoying.”
“You mean that kid who just won?” Michael said. He looked over towards the flagpole, where the group of boys was gathered. They were kicking around something now - a soccer ball, it seemed - and laughing maniacally. When the ball hit the flagpole, it wobbled noisily, and the laughter increased. The kids around them were either watching in annoyance, or trying to ignore them.
“Yeah,” Sebastian said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kid here before, though,” Henry said. “When did he check in?”
“About a day after you left. He’s been walking around like he owns the place from the start, and he hasn’t even battled the Gym yet.”
“Well, has anyone here beaten him before?”
“Oh yeah. But he never lets it get to him.” Sebastian’s face darkened. “He’s a friggin’ cheapskate, that kid. If he loses the bet, he says he’ll pay you tomorrow, but he never does. And if you ask about it, he pretends he doesn’t know what you’re talking about. So don’t battle him. Ever. It’s a loss either way.” He took a deep breath, and the redness in his cheeks subsided a little. “Anyway. We’re all waiting for him to take the Gym and move on outta here. His match is tomorrow, I think, and for our sake, I hope he wins. That way the decent ones will be able to practice too.”
“Okay. So who’s battling who now?”
“We were thinking of doing it in a sort of tournament style, only everyone gets to battle everyone. So one person gets to be it for the round, and the others in the group take turns battling him or her. If they win, then the next person in line goes, but if they lose, then the challenger takes their spot and the next person comes in, and so on.”
“Sounds cool,” Henry said. “Who’s it?”
Sebastian pointed to himself. “Me. Kyle already called first, but the rest we’ll just choose as we go along. You guys in?”
“Sure,” Michael said.
“All right,” Henry said, pumping his fist. “Let’s do this!”
From there, the group arranged itself pretty quickly. Michael got in line after Cindy, and Henry went behind him. Sebastian took his place at the head of the battlefield, and removed one pokéball from his belt.
“Go!” he shouted, releasing a jet of white light, which gathered itself into a ball and took the shape of a Geodude. The pokémon rolled around on the terrain, its two arms flexing, then finally settled in front of its trainer.
The second boy, Kyle stepped forward to take the second side. He released a Machop. Suddenly, the box in Michael’s arms began to feel very, very heavy. Grinning, he set it down and opened it. Henry noticed, and bent down at once.
“What are you doing?” he said.
“I thought this could make things more interesting.” Michael slid the arm over the record and turned up the volume. Within seconds, ‘Come Together’ was blasting out through the courtyard, so loud that the ground seemed to shake.
HERE COME OLD FLAT-TOP HE COME... GROOVIN' UP SLOWLY HE GOT -
JU JU EYEBALL HE ONE... HO-LY ROLLER HE GOT -
HAIR - DOWN - TO HIS KNEE.
GOT TO BE A JOKER HE JUST DO WHAT HE PLEASE...
The sound spread, awakening curious eyes from all over their section of the courtyard. Michael waved to them nonchalantly, and placed the record player into his lap. Henry covered his ears, but Sebastian and the others didn’t seem to mind. The line began snapping, and over the sound he heard -
“Geodude, use Rollout!”
At the command, Geodude tucked its arms over its eyes and rolled forward. The brown ball gained speed, until the cracks on its body seemed to smooth out and its arms vanished in the blur. It zigzagged across the field, throwing up a cloud of dirt, advancing towards the Machop to knock it down like a bowling pin.
On the other side of the field, Machop stood quite still, with a single reedy arm raised in front of it. It appeared rather silly at first, and for a moment, Michael was certain that Geodude would strike first. The pokémon was rolling forward with ferocious speed, its arms flattened, while the Machop stood, its eyes narrowed and focused.
And then, the tiny reedy green arm became a veined, muscular fist.
The song was split by the sickening crack of bone against rock, and the Geodude flew out backwards across the ground it had covered only seconds ago. The pokémon bounced, its arms flailing, and finally rolled over near the white boundary line. Michael leaned forward, unable to believe his eyes. Machop had just whacked a fifty mile-per-hour Geodude like a baseball, and wasn’t the least bit tired. In contrast, the pokémon looked more pumped than ever, huffing as it bounced on the balls of its feet. For a while, the music faded to his ears.
“Wow, Machop’s awesome!” he heard a girl from the line exclaim. “I’m telling ‘ya, that kid can’t fail.”
Michael continued to watched Geodude. There was a lapse in attacks for a moment; the Machop was pumping his energy and the Geodude was clawing weakly at the ground, trying to pull itself up. Before it could succeed, however, the Machop was on top of it again, pelting it with kicks and bullet punches that must have knocked the air out of its cold, hard body. When the Machop bounded back to its trainer, the Geodude was rolling around idly, its eyes closed.
He felt the question coming. Quickly, Michael reached into his backpack and pulled out the chart, adding in a new row labeled ‘Fighting’, then a new column, ‘Rock’. When he finished, he turned to the kids in the line.
“You guys have seen that Machop battle before, right?”
The blonde-haired girl who had spoken before looked down. “Yeah. We battle a lot. Why?”
“Have you seen it battle other rock-like pokémon like Geodude?”
The girl shrugged. “Yeah.”
“What would you say happens in those battles? Does the Machop lose, or does it usually knock them all out?”
She thought for a moment. “It’s hard to say... actually, yeah, I guess he does win a lot against rock pokémon. When he battled Martha’s Graveler, he practically had it in the bag from the start.” She looked over to the girl next to her, who smiled sheepishly.
“He’s a good trainer,” Martha said.
Michael smiled to himself. “Interesting. Very interesting.” He bent back over his chart and placed an ‘E’ in the intersecting square.
In less than a few minutes, Sebastian had lost. His next pokémon - a Shinx - had managed to defeat the Machop, but had given way to Kyle’s Glameow. By then, Abbey Road was more than halfway through. The surrounding kids had either gotten used to the music and were ignoring it, or were watching from the sidelines and singing along. From there, the battle concluded quickly. Kyle sent out a Skorupi, and Sebastian a Piplup. Piplup held out for a little while, using a combination of Bubblebeam and Peck, but eventually lost, leaving Skorupi the winner. When Sebastian came back to the sidelines, loosening his pokéball belt and wiping the sweat from his brow, Michael’s arm was sore from writing.
“All right, who’s next?”
The girls quickly exchanged glances. “Uh...”
“Wait, wait! I wanna go!” Henry scrambled to his feet. “I wanna go next.”
“Okay,” Sebastian said. “Go Henry.”
Henry beamed. “All right! Now you’ll finally see me battle, Michael!”
Still sitting with his legs crossed, Michael nodded. “Yup.”
“Wish me luck, guys!” Henry waved, and skipped onto the battlefield. He searched through his knapsack, pulling out a pokéball, then putting it back for another. The Skorupi, meanwhile, was clicking its jaw impatiently.
“Come on, Henry!” Kyle called. “Just pick one!”
“All right, all right!” Henry finally settled on one - though they all looked the same to Michael - and put the other two away. He twisted the pokéball open, squinting as the light burst around him. At first, Michael thought he was hallucinating. What appeared to be a pile of leaves had landed at Henry’s feet, shifting and squirming as if there was something ugly hiding inside.
“Oh, there he goes again.” Martha sighed.
“He always uses him,” Cindy said, crossing her arms. “Poor kid. He’s probably just trying to show off.”
“Wait, what?” Michael turned to the girls. “What are you talking about? What is that?”
Cindy shrugged. “A Burmy.”
“A Burmy,” she repeated. “And none of us have any idea how he got one. They’re supposed to live in this exotic, faraway island, so it’s practically impossible.”
“And what’s so special about it? Is it super powerful or something?” Michael turned back to the battlefield. The pile of leaves had sprouted a tiny head. The leaves covered all but two yellow eyes, and a twisted horn protruding from the top.
“No one knows. We’ve seen him battle with it and stuff, but it’s no different than any other pokémon. The only thing is...” Cindy’s voice trailed off, and she bit her lip.
“Yes?” Michael said. “What is it?”
“Well, it’s sort of hard to explain. Once, when we all went out for a walk outside the hotel, Henry took Burmy. And you see how he has those leaves covering him up?” She pointed to the pokémon. He was dodging an array of slices from the Skorupi, hopping from one toothpick foot to another. When he jumped, instead of falling as it should have, the cloak of leaves remained attached to his torso as if glued there.
“Yeah,” Michael said. “What about it?”
“It changed. And it was totally sudden, like the minute he came out of the pokéball. It went from green to, like, a shade of pink. And it was all fluffy, like it wasn’t made of leaves anymore.”
Michael nodded slowly. “And does that happen every time he goes outside?”
“I can’t say I watch it a lot, but the leaves stay on mostly when he’s here, like in the courtyard with all the grass. But the minute we go out into the city, the leaves go away. It’s the weirdest thing.”
“And he’s never taken it to a specialist or anything?”
“Nope. No one knows about it. And he doesn’t seem to care either. He just likes it because it’s ‘special’.” She put air quotes around the word.
Michael’s pencil made a clink clink sound as he tapped the notebook’s spiral. He watched Henry call out a command, and the Burmy’s entire three-pound bulk leaped upon the Skorupi. The Skorupi snarled, and tossed him off with its claws.
“Do the types of moves Burmy uses change when his cloak changes?”
Now Cindy’s eyebrow perked. “You ask a lot of questions. Honestly, I have no idea.”
“Actually, Cindy, I think they do!” Martha snapped her fingers. “Remember the time when he used a grass attack? And then he never used it anywhere else?”
“What are you talking about? No they don’t.” The girls both turned as Tony stepped forward. “You guys have got it all wrong. Burmy always uses the same moves in a battle no matter what.”
“How do you know, you don’t even watch!” Martha said, hands on hips.
“Yeah I do. Are you kidding me?”
“No you don’t, and you know it!”
“Guys, guys!” Michael threw up his hands, and they looked down at him. “It doesn’t matter if the moves change or not. I was just curious. I needed to figure out something.”
“Fine.” Tony shrugged and backed away. “All I’m saying is that they don’t change.”
“Do too,” Martha said.
Michael rolled his eyes. He began watching the battle again, and from what he gathered, Henry was losing. Burmy was being whipped by the Skorupi’s tail, writhing under the gusty blows. When it could take no more, Burmy crumpled, and became once more a pile of leaves on the sidewalk.
“Aww!” Henry shouted. “Darn. All right, return.” He called Burmy back inside and swapped its pokéball with a second.
The pokémon it yielded was a Clefairy, giddy and bouncing. Henry gave the command almost immediately.
“Clefairy, use Wake-up Slap!”
Michael leaned forward.
The Skorupi was charging, the thorn on the end of its tail brandished forward. It wasn’t as fast as the Geodude, though menacing to make up for it. Clefairy shied off to the side, its eyes trembling as they held its thorn in their focus.
“Come on, Clefairy! You gotta get out of the way! Use Wake-up Slap!” Henry urged.
The Skorupi was advancing, yet Clefairy remained still. Then, suddenly, it came to its senses. It turned its tail and scampered away, as fast as its two legs would allow. Michael exploded in laughter. He clutched his stomach and rolled onto his back, letting the pencil fall from his grasp. The battle had become a playground chase, with the Clefairy running and hopping while the Skorupi snapped at its heels.
“Aww! Come on, Clefairy!” Henry slapped his forehead and groaned. “You can’t keep doing this! Don’t bail out on me now!”
The Clefairy ignored him. Its eyes were as wide as golf balls. When the Skorupi’s tail snapped forward they would bulge, and the pokémon would let out a loud squeal.
Kyle, however, remained serious. “Skorupi, finish it off! Use Poison Sting!”
The Skorupi gained speed. Its tail whipped out to the side, the thorn jabbing into Clefairy’s skin. The pokémon let out a pained scream, then its kicks stopped. Its legs became limp, and its body tumbled over. Skorupi’s tail had left a large wound. Blood oozed, mixing with dirt, yet there was a third, purple substance trickling onto the sidewalk.
“Yuck!” Martha gasped. “I’m never gonna raise a poison pokémon.”
Henry’s face fell further. His voice was barely audible over the music as he said, “Okay, return.” He reached into his knapsack one final time and pulled out a third pokéball, his last. He looked at it thoughtfully, then twisted it open.
The pokémon released was a Pachirisu, a face that was all too familiar. Michael’s neighborhood was crawling with them; he often saw them picking food out of trashcans and scampering up tree trunks, often throwing acorns down at people’s heads. This one looked exactly like the type - its eyes were round and mischievous, and its bushy tail twitched with excitement. Michael couldn’t help but feel an old loathing bubble up.
“Pachirisu, use Quick Attack!”
“Skorupi, use Poison Sting!”
At first, it seemed like it would be a repeat of Clefairy’s struggle. The Skorupi charged forward, while the Pachirisu hung back, sparks gathering at its cheeks. But then it sprang forward as well, its tail bouncing off its heels. Skorupi raised its tail like a sledgehammer and brought it down, but the smaller pokémon leaped out of its way with surprising speed.
“Wow!” Sebastian said. “That was quick! I think he’s getting the hang of it.”
Henry was beginning to smile again. He clenched his fist. “All right! Now follow through, buddy!”
The Pachirisu swiveled around back towards the Skorupi and leaped on top, pinning its tail to its back. The bolts on its cheeks flared up, and shot a current through the Skorupi’s body. The Skorupi’s muscles seized, trying desperately to shake the Pachirisu off in between violent spasms.
Now, Kyle’s face began to show a trace of frustration. “Skorupi, hang in there! Crunch!”
The Skorupi rolled over several times, until the Pachirisu’s arms slipped. Its lips spread open into a smile of silver razors. They opened and shut, closing on a chunk of Pachirisu’s tail and legs.
“No!” Henry shouted. “Get out of it! Hurry!”
The Pachirisu tried to wriggle free, but the Skorupi’s jaw was locked. Its teeth swished from side to side, in a sickening grinding of skin, while the Pachirisu’s eyes rolled up to their whites. The pokémon fell limp, and Skorupi spat it out.
“Well done!” Kyle grinned. His Skorupi turned away from its victim and went back to its trainer. Michael felt a slight pity for the kid as Henry bent down beside his fallen pokémon.
“All right... return.”
Pachirisu’s twitching body faded into white, then vanished inside the capsule.
The Henry that came back to them was sullen and sighing.
The first one to speak was Martha. “It’s okay,” she said, giving him a pat. “Better luck next time.”
“Yeah dude,” Sebastian said. “You’ll get better, don’t worry.”
Henry nodded his thanks. He stopped beside Michael last. “Are you ready to go? I’m gonna go back inside now.” His tone revealed nothing.
“Sure.” Michael stood up. He closed the record player and tucked it under his arm. “See you guys around.”
“Bye everyone.” Henry waved, and they headed back towards the building. Once they were well out of earshot, he let out an exasperated sigh.
“I hate this,” he mumbled. “It’s always the same thing over and over again, and I don’t know why. At the rate I’m going, I’ll probably flunk the Gym again... Man, I’m sick of losing.”
“That’s great then.” Michael smiled. He folded his chart neatly and placed it back into his backpack. “Because I know exactly how we can beat it.”
Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 18th February 2011 at 9:18 PM.
Yes! For a while I thought you forgot about this. *shrugs* Oh well, who hasn't been busy lately?
Henry's party is... not what I expected. Though I can now understand how he lost the gym battle. But I'm kind of wondering how he got Pokemon that are supposed to be pretty rare if he's a nervous and kind of unconfident trainer. But I thought Michael's Pachirisu issues were pretty funny.
I'm also impressed with the amount of detail you used to describe the time period and the trends and technologys in that time period. Fics with a lot of detail are always good.
Well, not to bad a chapter considering the wait. All that's left to say is good work.