Let’s go on an adventure in the region where it all began!
Below each section is a spoiler tag with the author's name; if you want to try to guess who wrote what, don't reveal the spoilers until you've made your guesses and then see how you did! The authors in the Kanto trainer fic Exquisite Corpse were (in random order):
Feel free to comment on the resulting story, but keep in mind that critical reviews of the sort you might post on a regular fic don't really make sense here - this was a game, not a serious fanfic, so it's not the place for grammar or plot nitpicks! Now, without further ado!
The Serebii Exquisite Corpse Kanto Trainer Fic
*BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEP! BLEEP! CLICK!*
Today was the day. Many children look forward to the tradition of going off on a Pokémon journey when they turn ten, and Rust was unsurprisingly no exception. His alarm clock was shut off in an instant, and he ran downstairs without even bothering to change out of his PJs. His mother awaited him at the bottom of the steps; she must have gotten up earlier to prepare breakfast.
“Good morning Rust!” she greeted. “I already- woah!” Rust was paying little mind to his mom, rushing past her to finish the pancakes she prepared. Those pancakes were the last obstacle separating Rust from his new journey, and he was going to make sure they pay with their implied lives for doing so.
“Rust! I know you’re excited, but that’s no excuse for pushing me around like that!” she scolded. Rust didn’t seem to hear. A sigh. “I’ll go get the presents…”
Rust had already vanquished the pancakes by the time his mother returned to the kitchen. She carried a singular box, which was large enough to hold… Rust couldn’t quite guess. “Well here it is.” she said as she placed it down. “How about you open it now? I know you want to go as soon as possible...”
Another obstacle! The world was cruel, to throw so many things in his way! Rust was sure to make quick work of the present’s outer defenses, before carefully pulling off the lid of the box underneath with the precision of a surgeon on a Monday morning. And at the center: clothes. And disappointment.
Rust’s mom began to justify herself; “I know you’re a big fan of Red, so I got you a jacket and a cap that look kinda similar to his. Why don’t you go try it on, and get dressed while you’re at it?”
Rust realized he was still wearing pajamas. A trivial matter, but the fact that his journey was to be delayed even longer still managed to strike a nerve. And so, he went back upstairs, put on a black shirt and the first pair of jeans he could grab from his dresser, came back downstairs, slipped the jacket on, and ended the run-on sentence by throwing the cap on his head with little care as to how it looked. Now he was ready.
But first, the obligatory goodbye to his mother. She embraced Rust and rested her head on his. “Oh, I promised myself I’d stay strong for you. But gosh, I didn’t realize it’d be so hard!” She squeezed Rust tighter. Would she ever let go? Yes, but she followed with “Oh! I almost forgot! Wait here, there’s one more thing.” Which meant that Rust must continue to wait. Might as well just break it to him that he was actually born a day later than he was told.
Rust’s mother returned with a blue bookbag. “There are some spare clothes in here, and I also packed a lunch for you. And in the side pocket here,” she then pointed to said side pocket. “Is some money for the road. Y’know, for souvenirs and stuff. Don’t worry about food or anything like that, you can get some for free at a Pokémon center as long as you show your Pokédex.” She paused for a bit, before handing the bag to Rust. Finally, she leaned down and kissed his forehead.
“Stay safe out there, okay?” She whispered softly. “I love you.”
And then Rust spoke for the first time all day: “I will, Mom.” He turned to leave, before calling back. “Oh, and I love you too!”
Now, after all that, it was time. Rust could see the Pokémon professor’s lab not too far off in the distance. No sign of his friend, maybe he could get there before her…
Nope. “Hey Rust!” a familiar voice sounded. “Wow, are you late or what?” Curse that woman with the inconveniently non-existent name! Mom clearly conspired with Azure to make sure she would get here before he did!
“Oh Rust! Glad you could make it!” The professor greeted. Professor Oak had clearly seen better days, but the youthful spirit that inspired his work was still just as strong as when Rust first met him.
Standing next to him, a Pokéball in her hand, was Azure. She was obnoxious, manipulative, and Rust’s best friend since pre-school. She was always the dominant one in their relationship, winning at everything she did whenever Rust was involved. It was as if Rust’s presence caused some inner prodigy to awaken inside her and absolutely crush anything that stood in her way.
“You lost the bet, y’know?” Azure said in her usual mocking tone. “You know what that means.”
“Azure? What’s going…” Oak started, and then paused, realizing it was best to not interfere.
Azure attached her Pokéball to her belt, and went to grab the two remaining Pokéballs from the table. “First to get here gets first dibs on their starter.” She held the two out for Rust to pick. “Loser picks one without knowing what’s inside.”
A fifty-percent chance of choosing a Pokémon with a type advantage over Azure’s. The same chance to choose one with a disadvantage. This was it. Rust considered his options carefully. He knew Azure. Her left hand seemed all too eager to relinquish its hold of the ball, which would mean her right should be the correct choice. But the right hand was closer to Rust, which should mean it was the wrong choice. Rust placed his hand over the right Pokéball. Azure gave a smirk. He switched to the left. The smirk turned to her trademark grin. He switched back over and snatched the Pokéball from her right hand.
“Go, whoever you are!” Rust called out as he summoned his very first Pokémon. The figure shaped itself into… a Bulbasaur.
“Yes!” Azure squealed in triumph. She threw the other ball behind her; a quick thinking assistant flung himself out of hiding to catch it. A thumbs up assured his victory.
“Come on out, Flannery!” Oh no. Rust picked wrong. Azure’s new Pokémon materialized in front of her to reveal a Charmander. Knowing Azure, though, the two options were probably both Bulbasaur.
“Well then, now that both of you have chosen-” Oak was cut off by Azure, who held her hand out behind her while keeping most of her focus on Rust.
“Hold it, Oldie!” she ordered. “Me and Rust are gonna have a battle!”
“O-oldie?” was all that poor Oak could manage.
“Malva, use Scratch!” Azure called out to her Charmander.
“Wait! I’m not ready yet!” Rust should’ve been prepared for this. He silently berated himself for not anticipating the inevitable. “Um, Bulbasaur, dodge it!”
But the sauropod, or whatever it was that Rust was taught a Bulbasaur was, could not keep up with Malva’s speed. The glowing white claws of the Charmander pierced his side. The attack didn’t seem to do all that much, but if this kept going…
“Keep going, Flint!” Azure ordered. Malva, who apparently was Flint now, nodded her (or his?) reply.
Rust began to think. A Bulbasaur starting out should know Tackle and Growl. Tackle does damage, and Growl lowers attack. Since Azure’s strategy is to keep attacking…
“Bulbasaur, try a Growl!”
“Dodge it, Blaine!”
The Charmander stopped its attack and looked back at its trainer. How do you dodge a sound? Meanwhile, Bulbasaur’s Growl attack went completely unnoticed.
Oh. That’s how.
The rest of the fight was a futile and embarrassing effort by Rust to stop Blaine’s(?) attacks. Bulbasaur eventually began to show very noticeable signs of weariness. There was only one thing left for Rust to do. He couldn’t have his journey be delayed by a fainted Pokémon.
“I forfeit.” Rust sighed in defeat before calling his equally disappointed Bulbasaur back. The beat up Pokémon, despite looking completely worn out, gave Rust an unforgettable look. A look that seemed to say, “I can do this!” But Rust couldn’t risk it. Not now, at least.
“Awesome! Good job, Chili!” Azure grabbed the very confused Charmander and began to do a victory dance with it. Poor thing. Azure eventually seemed to understand the look her Pokémon was giving her, gave a look of her own back, and recalled Chili back into his/her Pokéball. Her energy seemed to have been disturbed by that small moment, but it quickly came back in full force. She ran forward, grabbed one of the two Pokédex off the table, and ran off before anyone could do anything about it, calling “See you at the league, Rust!”
“Well.” Oak began. Rust had completely forgotten he was there. “She never changes, does she?”
“No…” Rust replied absentmindedly.
The professor gave a small chuckle. “Well I suppose that’s why we have these journeys. To learn more about yourself and Pokémon, so that you can come back all the wiser.” He shook his head. “But I’m getting off topic. If you want, Rust, you can switch over to Squirtle as your starter.”
Rust looked down at his Pokéball. Switching would give him the advantage over Azure. But…
“No. I think I’ll stick to my Bulbasaur.” The look on that Bulbasaur’s face when Rust recalled him was the face of someone who wanted to escape the confines of the lab and see the world. To experience the thrill of battle and climb their way to the top. Rust couldn’t switch now. He made his choice.
Oak smiled. “Good. I think you’ll make a wonderful trainer.” He left the topic at that. “Now, you probably know the drill by now.” He picked the remaining Pokédex off the counter behind him. “This is your Pokédex. In it is information about every known Pokémon out there. But to see that information, you have to go out and catch them all. There’s no fun in just having it all at your fingertips!” Another chuckle. “The Pokédex is also proof that you are an official Pokémon trainer now, so don’t lose it!”
Rust looked down at the red object in his hands. He’d need to register it later, but from now on, he was a Pokémon trainer. Rust looked back up at Oak. “Thank you very much, professor!”
Oak’s smile didn’t falter at all. And then it did. “Oh! I almost forgot! If you want to catch anything, you’ll need these.” Oak brought out a cardboard box from under his desk, and took out ten regular Pokéballs. “Five for you, and five for Azure, though you might want to leave now if you plan on catching up and delivering these to her.”
Current Location: Prof. Oak’s Lab, Pallet Town Pokémon: Bulbasaur Lv. 5 Badges: 0
Spoiler:- Part 1 written by:
Like I had any chance at all of catching up with Azure, really. I could actually see her when I dashed out of the lab, way off in the distance kicking her way through the tall grass. But somehow she seemed to breeze along without any trouble, while Bulbasaur and I got jumped by what must have been every single rattata, pidgey, and confused diglett on the entire route. By the time the two of us staggered into Viridian City, Azure was long out of sight, and Bulbasaur and I desperately needed a break.
"Oh, Professor Oak's granddaughter?" the nurse at the Pokémon Center's counter said. "Sure, she was here maybe half an hour ago. Headed out towards Indigo, if I'm not mistaken, but she asked for a room for the night, so she'll be back."
She'd be back. I let myself relax a bit at that, and didn't go rushing out the instant the nurse handed Bulbasaur over. It was a bit silly to keep dashing after her like this, especially when she was the one who'd gone and left me behind--not that she realized I was going to end up a trainer today, of course. And she clearly didn't really need these five extra pokéballs, either, or she wouldn't have taken off to a new route already. I probably ought to take some time to get to grips with this whole idea of pokémon training myself.
There was a pond not far from the Pokémon Center, the centerpiece of what was almost a little park, a narrow scruff of grass and flowers punctuated by signs asking patrons not to feed the magikarp. I settled down right at the water's edge and gratefully tore off shoes and stifling socks. I stuck my legs in deep and swished them gently back and forth, enjoying the cool play of water between my toes. I let Bulbasaur out, too, just to see what it would do when there wasn't anything in front of it to beat up.
The grass-type wandered around a bit, sniffing at the ground, and ate a few violets off the stem. Then it came over and sat down next to me, closing its eyes and relaxing in the sun. I reached over and ran my fingers over its head. The skin was tough and rubbery, like what I thought you'd find on a rhinocerous or elephant, even though it looked smooth. Bulbasaur didn't complain about my fussing, but it didn't give any sign that it noticed when I stopped, either. After a couple minutes I left it alone, to photosynthesize or whatever it was doing.
I idly kicked a plume of water with one foot, letting it splash back down a second later. So if this was being a trainer, yeah, I could get used to it. All that battling, the badges, glory, whatever--but I had to admit, I was more in it for the lazy afternoons with no parents, no schoolwork, nothing to worry about besides when Azure would get back.
The Pokémon Center was doing a steady business, people coming and going in ones and twos and three, some anxious at a run, others meandering along, laughing and chatting with their friends or trying handle a gang of rowdy pokémon. The pond rippled with the bodies of the magikarp that were not to be fed, most of them keeping well away from the weird pale appendages I'd stuck into their home. Over on the far side of the pond, where the water was shaded by a cluster of dense reeds, I thought I caught sight of a poliwag lurking amidst a dense net of weeds.
Maybe I should make my first catch here? A water-type would go well with Bulbasaur, and it would give me something to use against Azure's charmander in particular. Honestly, if I hadn't been in such a rush to leave Pallet Town, I probably would have headed down to the shore to see what I could find there; a krabby or a horsea would have been a great first capture.
I was feeling too lazy, though, not ready to break the peace of the scene with a battle, until I caught the flash of gold in amongst the magikarp's rusty scales.
I sat up straight, peering hard into the middle of the school. I was sure I'd been imagining it--sure it was just a sunbeam that had hit one of the fish at just the right angle, made it sparkle brighter than the norm. The magikarp flitted to and fro at random, oblivious to my attention. And then there it was again--definitely golden, gleaming bright at the center of the fishy cloud.
"Bulbasaur. Hey." I poked the pokémon, and it grunted, blinking at me in obvious displeasure. "Sorry. But there's a rare pokémon here we've got to catch. You see that gold magikarp in there?"
Bulbasaur got back to its feet, stretched down and then way up with a creaky growl, then leaned forward and peered into the water.
"Can you reach it with your vines?"
Bulbasaur snorted something, and one vine snaked out, prodding the water delicately with its tip. Then Bulbasaur let it sink under, letting the vine play out slow and smooth so it crept across the pond's pebbly bottom towards the wheeling fish. Bulbasaur narrowed its eyes, sliding the vine ever closer to its quarry, and then the water exploded in a huge splash that sent magikarp darting in all directions.
Bulbasaur's vine came out of the water empty, and then whipped back down, sending up another huge plume of water. The grass-type struck and struck again, making no attempt at subtlety now that the magikarp were on their guard.
"Um," I said. Bulbasaur's vine sent a magikarp pinwheeling out of the water this time, but it was an ordinary red, and the grass-type let out a snarl of frustration. I watched the fish hop its way back to the pond, letting gasping and "karp"-ing all the way. Bulbasaur's vine slashed down again. "Hey, um. Why don't you... why don't you maybe give it a rest for a few minutes and try again once the magikarp calm down?"
Bulbasaur let out a battlecry and struck out again, and then again. By now I was pretty sure the magikarp were thoroughly traumatized and all hiding under rocks somewhere, but Bulbasaur let out another cry, one that I couldn't mistake for anything but joy, and this time I caught the flash of gold when its vine came whipping back to the surface.
I got about a second and a half for elation before Bulbasaur's vine snapped taut and dragged the grass-type face-first into the water. Then I was treated to a few more of dumbfounded shock before Bulbasaur broke the surface again, thrashing and wailing but still hanging grimly onto the magikarp. And after that, I decided I might as well just give up on staying dry.
The splash I made jumping in swamped Bulbasaur for a moment, but then I reached down and grabbed him and almost immediately got pulled under myself. I used to make fun of those magikarp fishermen, you know, but the fish on the other end of Bulbasaur's vine pulled hard.
"Throw it on the bank!" I gasped. "Quick! Get it out of the water!" I myself as firmly as I could against the bottom of the pond, Bulbasaur clutched against my chest. The grass-type growled and twisted around, bringing his vine around in a wide arc that sent the magikarp sailing up onto the grass.
"Okay good, good!" I yelled, and bonked Bulbasaur on the head with his pokéball. The magikarp flopped to the ground, and I chucked Bulbasaur's pokéball as close to it as I could. "Go! Tackle! Stop it from getting back in the water."
Bulbasaur was on the attack even as it materialized, leaping straight at the disoriented fish and knocking it farther up the slope. The margikarp let out one of those low, dull-sounding cries, then flipped up on its tail and lunged right back at Bulbasaur.
The grass-type managed to get out of the way, and the magikarp came down with an impact that I could feel in my gut. Wow. Okay, that settled it. I seriously needed that thing for my team. Bulbasaur smacked it down with another tackle, then yelped as it took a tail-slap to the face.
"Okay, back off, back off," I said, taking out one of my pokéballs. "Let me get a clear shot." There was still plenty of fight left in the magikarp, but I was honestly a little worried about how close the battle was looking. It should catch easy enough, even if it was unusually strong for its species.
I'd been expecting the magikarp to take that as an opening to skeddadle, or at least try to flop away from the ball, but it paid no attention at all to what I was doing, and Bulbasaur had to retreat even farther from one of those too-strong tackles. The pokéball smacked solidly against golden scales, and in a twitching minute the magikarp was mine.
I smiled and slogged my way back to shore, scooping the ball up and collapsing on the grass in a soggy heap. Magikarp. Not normally what I would have gone for, at least not starting out, but you couldn't just pass up a shiny pokémon, not even if it was one of the most common ones around.
Bulbasaur made a wheezy grunting noise. "Nice job," I said, but stopped just short of petting him, remembering at the last minute that he'd be bruising up from the magikarp's attacks. It felt a little silly to be potioning up with the Pokémon Center right there, but after that little bit of excitement I wasn't feeling inclined to move. Bulbasaur ducked its head against the spray, then shook itself off, sending droplets of water and potion alike spattering in all directions.
"How about we have proper introductions with your new teammate, huh?" I asked it as I flicked the magikarp's pokéball into the grass.
The fish reappeared lying on its side on the ground, mouth working industriously as it gulped air into its lungs. One pinprick pupil rotated around until it pointed my way. "Child!" it said. "Human child, you've defeated me!"
"Oh," I said. "No. No, no. Nope. Nuh-uh. Talking pokémon, not good."
"Time is short, and the road ahead long!" the fish continued while I fumbled with its pokéball, trying to find the "release" option on my pokédex. "We can afford no delay. I am Gl'blooplebloople, seventeenth of my line and the only one blessed with Ho-Oh's shine. I lie before you now as the Great Renewer's emissary. I come bearing a message."
"There, I released you. You can go now," I said. "Go find somebody else for your quest thing or whatever."
"Doom! Doom upon the world, the purifying fire returns! We must make haste, human child! We alone can turn aside the Great Renewer's fury!"
"Go on. Back to the water with you," I said, making scooping motions with my hands, trying to shoo it back into the pond. "Good fishy." It wouldn't budge.
"In the east, where the sunrise stains the water bloody, there we will find the Prophet of Stars' End. And from them we will learn what the next step on our quest must be."
Bulbasaur was watching the magikarp intently, fascinated by the weird sounds coming from the fish's mouth. It put out a querulous vine, reaching towards those glimmering golden scales. "Bulbasaur, don't touch that. It's got Destiny."
"As do you, human child. For the fact that we're speaking now must surely mean that it was the two of us meant to
"Yeah. Great. Good luck with that. Anyway, I'm gonna just... head this way, kind of. You know. Wild pokémon to beat, badges to get. Normal trainer stuff. Come on, Bulbasaur."
I hauled myself to my feet and started back towards the Pokémon Center at a trot, Bulbasaur tromping along beside. It kept looking back, though, and I could tell by the wet slapping noises that the crazy magikarp was still hot on our heels.
"Could you perhaps slow down? I'm afraid I can't move very quickly on land," the magikarp said.
Sounded like a good time to get running. "Return, Bulbasaur," I said, and got started just as soon as it had flashed into energy. I only made it about three steps, though, before something hit me between the shoulders like a gold-scaled sack of bricks.
"You're pretty strong," I wheezed once I was sure my teeth were actually intact, trying to get my eyes to focus properly on the magikarp that had landed a couple of feet from my face.
"Well, of course. We magikarp have always been the most powerful of fish," the magikarp said, completely without irony.
"Just exactly how long have you been hanging out in that pond?" I slowly pulled myself into a sitting position, wincing as I reached up to poke at my chin. Definitely scraped, and from the feel of it I'd gotten bits of gravel embedded in it. Hands, too. Hadn't even been five minutes, and this whole chosen business was already paying off.
"Not long. I awoke but a few days ago. I cannot say how long my slumber lasted, but when it began that pond was a basin before the mighty waterfall that marked the edge of the Great Renewer's domain. I fear something must have gone wrong, very wrong, for my awakening to have been so long overdue. We cannot waste any more time!"
"As I said earlier, my name is Gl'blooplebloople. The seventeenth, if you must."
"I am not calling you Gl'blooplebloople in public."
"It's just, it's--here, listen. I know how this thing works, okay? Talking pokémon, legendary quest, all of that. I started this adventure so I could hang out with my friend and get out of Pallet Town for once. I didn't sign up for an epic adventure or danger or, you know, serious responsibility. I know how this ends. There's going to be violence, and death, and probably at least one city's going to catch on fire. Even if I manage whatever vague prophecy thing you're going on about, what am I going to have to live with afterwards? Get it? I never set off to be anybody special. I know, I was dumb to go after the shiny, that was just asking for trouble. But I never wanted any of this, and I still don't. So if you don't mind, could you please go back to your pond and wait for some other idiot to come along and catch you and let me get on with my life?"
The magikarp lay there in silence, regarding me with one large eye. "Really, now," Gl'blooplebloople said at last. "I had expected the human I found to be a little more enthusiastic about finding a god-touched magikarp who offered them the opportunity to save the world."
Current Location: Viridian City Pokémon: Bulbasaur lv. 5, Shiny Magikarp lv. 5 Badges: 0
Spoiler:- Part 2 written by:
Instead, what I got was the interior of a strange plastic sphere. For a long time, my surroundings were pale and gray, and though I could hear the faint sounds of items shifting in the pocket I was in, rhythmic with the human’s footsteps, I had no idea where we were or where we were going.
This continued for some measure of time, during which the human sometimes made turns and stops, occasionally saying a few words to people I surmised he was running into along the way. At one point, I heard the zipper of my pocket opening and the human’s hand reach inside to pull something out. My capsule was rudely pushed aside, causing me to flop about, and a moment later the zipper closed.
“Bulbasaur, Go!” the human shouted, and I once again heard the familiar cry of the offensive sprout-backed creature.
A slew of battle sounds ensued, as the Bulbasaur and its opponent battled, finally resulting in what I inferred was a victory. Moments later, the zipper of my pocket opened again and the Bulbasaur’s capsule clattered back into place.
The human seemed to be in some sort of forest. I could tell by the sounds of tall grass swishing about his feet and from the spray-bottles that he deployed every minute or so. I am no stranger to spray bottles – trainers love to use them when they enter my domain of residence. But finally, at one point, my human seemed to run out, which elicited a disappointed sigh and a quickened pace.
But finally, minutes later, my moment came. My human once again stopped and entered a conversation with two others, reaching for the Bulbasaur’s capsule again. But the battle did not seem to go well, and a few moments later, the creature was returned. There was a pause, and the human took out mine. My plastic cage opened, revealing a thick, sunny forest, and I plopped down into soft grass.
My entry produced an instantaneous reaction.
“Ha ha ha!” came the laughs of two other humans. One of them pointed. “You think you’re going to beat me with a Magikarp?”
I began to thrash about, willing the forest to quake with the force of my ultimate rage. “Fools!” I shouted. “I am the Ruler of the seas! I will sweep down your pride with the force of a hundred waves!”
“Glub, glub glub…”
I felt my heart sink with dread as I watched my Magikarp flop pathetically in the grass. On land, the fascinating golden color of its scales looked sickly, and it was making noises that sounded like it was drowning. There was no way I was going to win…
Across from me, my opponent gave a command. “Charmander, use scratch!”
The Charmander lunged at my Magikarp and drew back a paw to slice at its skin. I closed my eyes, expecting the sound of claws tearing scales, but what I heard instead was a wet, resounding slap. I opened my eyes and looked up to see the Charmander staggering back, my Magikarp still flopping around where it was before. The Charmander lunged again, and then the unexpected happened -- my Magikarp heaved its body up into the air and slapped the Charmander across the face with its tail.
I held my breath. Each time the Charmander would lunge, my Magikarp would slap it back in an almost rhythmic sequence. Step, step… slap. Step step… slap. Finally, after an entire minute of this, the Charmander fainted.
My opponent’s jaw dropped. He recalled his pokemon and sent out another. ”Go, Rattata!”
The purple rat plopped down into the grass.
“Use Bite!” said the trainer.
The Rattata scampered forward, opening its jaws. Anticipating its attack, my Magikarp sprang up into the air again, and with surprisingly good timing, delivered a smack that hit the Rattata head-on. The pokemon flew back like a purple ball, bounced in the grass and fell fainted.
The trainer recalled his last pokemon in dismay. His friend pushed himself forward. “No way!”
Both of them looked down at my Magikarp, which was still flopping about and making glub-glub noises with greater frequency than before.
“I’ll take that thing down!” the friend said. “Bulbasaur, go!”
My shoulders sank as the trainer sent out a creature identical to my Bulbasaur. If the Grass-type knew Razor Leaf, then I was done for.
The trainer pointed at my Magikarp. “Bulbasaur, use Razor Leaf!”
The Bulbasaur scampered a few feet forward and released a storm of tiny green leaves. They whipped through the air towards my Magikarp, who leaped into the air again, heaved his body around, and swiped his tail across the leaves just as they made contact. Each and every one of those leaves bounced off, as if his tail were made of solid gold armor, and sent back at the Bulbasaur at double the speed. The Bulbasaur gave a cry as they hit and fell down.
“No!” the trainer cried.
The Bulbasaur rose to its feet, shaken, but not yet fainted. The trainer ordered it to use Tackle, and as the Bulbasaur launched into a run, my Magikarp scooped up a bit of dirt from the ground with his tail and flicked it into the Bulbasaur’s eyes. The Bulbasaur skidded to a stop, crying and shaking its head in an attempt to dislodge the dirt. While it was busy, my Magikarp quickly flopped over to it and tail-slapped it across the face. This turned out to be the final blow. Moments later, the Bulbasaur collapsed, and the trainer was left empty-handed, glancing down at the pokemon that had just knocked out two teams.
Realizing my victory, I puffed out my chest and collected my Magikarp into my hands. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a League to win.”
Leaving the two trainers utterly perplexed, I went on.
In a matter of minutes, I reached the exit of the Viridian Forest and emerged into the sunlit streets of Pewter City. I healed my team of two at the Pokemon Center, bought some items, and walked straight into Brock’s Gym.
I saw the Gym Leader up on his pedestal and walked forward. There were some other trainers inside, battling against each other to practice before challenging Brock, but I walked right past them and ascended the steps to where the Gym Leader was standing.
The young man smiled and crossed his arms. “Are you sure you’re ready to face me?”
“I’m sure,” I said. Raising my miracle Magikarp high overhead, I raised my voice so that everyone else in Brock’s small Gym could hear me: “I will beat your entire team with this one pokemon!”
Current Location: Pewter City Gym Pokémon: Bulbasaur lv. 5, Shiny Magikarp lv. 5 Badges: 0
Spoiler:- Part 3 written by:
“At least you got the confidence part down,” Brock said as he withdrew a Poké Ball from his pocket. “But let’s see if you can match it with your skill. Go, Geodude!”
Out came a round, rocky Pokémon with bulky arms, its huge eyes giving a glare as intense as its trainer’s. The atmosphere of the Gym had changed, and for the first time since I began my journey, I felt like it was going somewhere.
I focused my attention on Magikarp, who gave me her usual blank stare. This was it, my first gym battle. This was what all those days of training and traveling had led up to. This would be my first opportunity to prove to the world that my Magikarp, this magical catch that no salesman nor fisherman could ever match, this golden-scaled piece of perfection, would take me all the way to the top of the Indigo Plateau. I could see it now: Magikarp would steamroll every other Gym Leader’s team, her Tackle even stronger than a Snorlax’s Body Slam, her Flail more devastating than a Gyarados’s Hyper Beam, her Splash able to bring even a Dragonite to its knees. And I will be known in all of Kanto—no, in all of the world as the greatest trainer, the very best, and I will be able to achieve that with this one Magikarp. And no trainer or Pokémon will stand in our way, no one can stop our ascent to becoming the Champion, no one—
“If you’re done daydreaming,” Brock said with a cheeky grin, “you can send out your Magikarp so we can start our battle.”
Regaining my senses, I nodded and threw Magikarp onto the field. Determined to keep my word of beating his entire team with her, I shouted, “Magikarp, crush that Geodude with Tackle!”
Current Location: Pewter City Gym Pokémon: Bulbasaur lv. 5, Shiny Magikarp lv. 5 Badges: 0
Spoiler:- Part 4 written by:
Her flopping grew stronger, transitioning from an ineffectual bounce to a full-on thrash. I clenched my fists and ground my heels into the gym floor. This was it. One way or another, this was going to be the move that finished Brock’s geodude. I knew it.
And then, my magikarp—my beautiful, golden magikarp—threw herself full-force into geodude’s face. Her forehead met his nose with a crack, and before I knew it, the geodude went flying. He wasn’t just knocked back a couple of inches, nor was he knocked back a few feet. No, when I say he went flying, I mean he went flying—as in, launched from his spot like a pop rocket, directly into his trainer’s face from halfway across the gym floor. And as Brock went down with a bloody spray, I stared in wide-eyed wonder at him, at his geodude, and then at my pokémon. Magikarp had gone back to flopping at my feet. Her large, vacant eye steadied itself on me as she opened and shut her mouth in desperation.
I might have said a few choice words that I can’t really repeat in polite company right then.
To be honest, I’m not sure if that win counted. For one, I didn’t take out all of Brock’s pokémon. Sure, Geodude was most definitely out cold, but Brock still had an onix most other trainers had to contend with. But after spending an afternoon in the hospital, getting the fragments of his nose set by a rather attractive nurse, his assistant gave me a badge and told me that if it kept me from coming back to finish the battle, I could consider this gym beaten. And as much as my mother had taught me to be an honorable person who finished what they started, I was certainly not going to argue against a practically free badge.
They seemed perfectly grateful for the fact that I’d accepted, in any case, and with that, they pointed me in the general direction of Cerulean City and told me to leave town and never set foot in Pewter again.
So I did. Leave town, I mean. I’d set foot in Pewter on one other occasion, but that’s unfortunately a story for another day.
That particular day, it was sunny, which was only relevant because I knew what was between Cerulean City and me.
“The Mt. Moon cave system,” I said. “You guys don’t know what’s in Mt. Moon, do you?”
Magikarp stared up at me from the fishing pail I was carrying her in as of now. Her eyes were just as blank as always, and she opened and closed her mouth slowly, which somehow only highlighted her vacant stare. Bulbasaur, meanwhile, was far too busy admiring the grass around us as we walked along Route 3. I couldn’t blame him. With the majesty of the mountain rising in front of us, the field was a little more attractive than usual. Besides, it was the first route we had come across that wasn’t infested with rattata.
I sighed. Even knowing that they weren’t listening to a word I said, I told them, “There’s only one way to get through Mt. Moon without nearly killing yourself climbing it: go through its cave system. Downside is, the cave system is a labyrinth full of zubat, more zubat, the occasional geodude, and just for a change of pace, what the Japanese call zubatto. You guys know what zubat are, right?”
Magikarp snapped her mouth a little higher, which I took to mean yes. Bulbasaur tore his eyes away from the grass just enough to **** his head at me. In response to that expression, I put Magikarp’s bucket down, pulled up my pant legs, and squatted beside my pokémon.
“Okay, for you, they’re flying-types,” I said. “Pretty serious ones capable of inducing confusion, too. They’re not stuff you want to be battling unless you and Magikarp are a little bit stronger and have a companion traveling with you.” I scratched my head and squinted at the grass. “If I recall correctly, Route 3’s got a few good candidates. Spearow’s a pretty hard-hitter and can shrug off a Leech Life or two, but the problem’s the geodude. But … there’re mankey and nidoran here too, and both of those can use fighting-type attacks, but they’re harder to find. They’re our best bet, though, so Bulbasaur, go in there and find me a mankey or nidoran, okay?”
Bulbasaur cocked his head a little more and croaked. At that, I frowned and sighed.
“You have no idea what either of those things are, do you?” I asked.
He croaked again, this time a little slower.
With another sigh, I rubbed the back of my neck. “Okay. Mankey are round, fluffy things with long limbs and pig noses. You’ll know what they are if they try to use Scratch on you. And nidoran are rabbit-like things covered with spikes. They come in two colors: purple and pink. I don’t care which you get; it’s just that the pink one hits harder than the purple one. Got it?”
For a third time, Bulbasaur croaked, drawing out that single noise as he tilted his head even more. And for the umpteenth time, I sighed as I let my head droop.
I was about to say something to the effect of “you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?” when at my side, I heard a loud clatter. Looking up, I caught sight of Magikarp propelling herself into the field. Her fishy form was swallowed whole by the grass, but I could hear the sounds of her fins smacking against something that squealed back at her. It didn’t sound like a mankey or a nidoran, but no matter how much I tried to peer into the grass, I couldn’t make out what it actually was. I just knew I would probably have to catch it if I wanted another pokémon at all. So, with my eyes still on the grass, I plucked an empty poké ball out of my pocket, stood up, and waited.
Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait long. After only a few seconds, something round and pink flew out of the grass, heading right at my face. On instinct—or, perhaps, memory of what happened to Brock—I flinched, throwing my hands up to block the projectile. The empty ball was still clutched firmly in one of my fists, so the second the marshmallowy object struck my hands, the device activated, sucking the pokémon in. There wasn’t even a moment in which it wiggled around in my hands or made me wait for that triumphant ping. It simply clicked and fell still.
And that was how I caught my third pokémon.
I blinked at the ball, uncertain for a moment as to what had just happened or what to do about it, but then, finally, I pulled out my pokédex and pointed it at the device.
“Please let it be mankey or nidoran,” I muttered. “Please, Arceus, let it be mankey or nidoran…”
“Jigglypuff,” the pokédex helpfully chimed, “the balloon pokémon. It captivates foes with its huge, round eyes, then lulls them to sleep by singing a soothing melody.”
I might have said several words I unfortunately cannot reprint in mixed company right then too.
By the time Magikarp flopped onto the road—or, more accurately, swam through the grass and fell unceremoniously onto the dirt with her fins paddling along the earth as if it was water—I had calmed down. Dropping back into a squat, I reached out to pet Magikarp.
“Okay, no big deal,” I said. “I’ll just have you go out and fight another one, okay?” I flashed the ball at Magikarp. “Just remember, round and pink is a jigglypuff, and I don’t want another jigglypuff, all right? Go after the fluffy, white, round monkey with long limbs or the pink or purple pokémon with long ears. I want a mankey or a nidoran, okay? Maaaankey or niiiiidooooraaaaan.”
Magikarp blinked lazily at me, then shuffled herself back around and hopped back into the grass. A few seconds later, a second jigglypuff shot over my head, and Magikarp flopped back in front of me. This time, her tail fin was wagging, and her mouth was somehow grinning—an impressive feat for a fish.
Unfortunately, I was too busy glancing from Magikarp to the unconscious jigglypuff and back with a slow, baffled gaze to applaud my pokémon’s skills.
“Um,” I finally said, “Magikarp? That’s not a mankey or a nidoran.”
She opened her mouth wide and snapped it shut at me. I had no idea what that was supposed to mean, but I imagined it was out of indignation.
With another sigh, I opened my mouth to explain to Magikarp what the difference between jigglypuff and everything else was, but before I could, I heard a high-pitched scream in the distance. Swiveling around, I found myself facing a young, female trainer … who was at least half a football field away from me.
The main character (now named Red because the forumites are SO original) took out Bulbasaur's Poké Ball, anticipating a fight, but the Lass just whipped out her cell phone and started texting the local police about an attempted molestation. Sensing a battle he couldn't win (not one with just one badge on hand), Red took out a smoke bomb and threw it onto the ground, obscuring everything with a dense, thick fog. He took off running whilst the Lass was distracted.
Upon reaching the entrance to Mt. Moon, Red looked up in wonderment. The anime had done it no justice. The mountain was massive. It must be brimming with rare and adventurous Clefairies. At least one of them surely must want to accompany Red on his quest to become the number one Pokémon Master in the world (back when "the world" was restricted to just the Kanto region). Most certainly Red wouldn't be inundated with Zubats and Geodudes, the first of which could obviously only evolve once into a rather lame Pokémon, and the second of which required Red to be sociable in order to unlock its full potential. Red gleefully ran into the entrance.
Inside was pitch black. There were no holes in the ceiling, so there was no light shining through, and it appeared that no one bothered to civilize the place by stringing up some lights on the cavern walls so that people could see where they were going. Oh, if only there was a special Pokémon move that would remedy this situation! But alas, there was not, so Red had to continue bumping into everything as he made his way deeper into the cave.
Along the way, Red bumped into Bug Catcher Robbie. What kind of horrible parents would name their child Bug? The Robbies, that's who. Bug wanted to challenge Red to a battle and sent out a Caterpie. Red, thinking this was the perfect opportunity to grind some easy levels onto his new Shiny Magikarp so that it would evolve into a magnificent Red Gyarados all the sooner, sent out the aforementioned fish. There was a convenient puddle nearby and, as every Pokédex states is within Magikarp's nature, the fish naturally leapt into the puddle and started to splash around. Even though it was very dark in the cave, Red could still very visibly see his Shiny Magikarp start to change color. It wasn't evolution. Before Red's very eyes, he could see his Shiny Magikarp change from gold to red. The water was also changing to a reddish hue. It was all so clear now. Red had been sold a fake Shiny Magikarp for an exorbitant price! This rare Magikarp was not rare at all! It was merely painted gold! Only a fool could've fallen for such a scheme. Thoroughly embarrassed, Red abandoned the now-Non-Shiny Magikarp to the puddle, threw a wad of Poké Dollars at Bug, and stormed off in defeat.
Further on down the cave, Red found a wild Clefairy! What a miraculous find! Not wishing to risk having it run away, Red immediately chucked a Poké Ball at it. A random Zubat suddenly swooped in and intercepted it, being caught instead. The Clefairy escaped. Red got a headache.
Three more times Red found a wild Clefairy. What a wondrous event! And three more times, a wild Zubat interfered, becoming caught instead. They were all level 6. Red now had a full team! He should be feeling accomplished, but instead he merely felt like the world's most powerful Psyduck. His OCD kicked in and he felt a powerful urge to release his Jigglypuff so that he could play a dual-type run of Pokémon, with Poison-types being the common theme amongst his party members. He remembered the Nidorans he had come across before, and the Weedles (or were they Caterpies?). Powerful though his urge was, he resisted the notion trudged onward.
Red escaped the perilous Mt. Moon and only had four Zubats to show for it. Over the horizon, he could see Cerulean City. Looking downwards, Red could see that the path to Cerulean City was paved with many annoying Trainer battles. He would have none of it. Red sent out all four of his new Zubats and proceeded to have them lift him up and fly him over all the Trainers and right to the city gates. Upon entering the city, he was greeted with popping champagne bottles, confetti, hula girls, and celebratory music.
"Welcome!" said one of the girls. "You're the 1,000,001st visitor to Cerulean City!"
I stared at her. Sure, it was known as the city of mermaids, but I’d never thought anyone took it that literally.
The mermaid, presumably Misty, winked at me and dived to swim a few more graceful laps through the water before she emerged on the opposite bank of the pool and sat down, her mermaid “tail” bending awkwardly at the knees. “All right, challenger! I assume you’re here for the Cascade Badge, so let’s get to it. You can use up to six Pokémon, but I’ll be using two. Ready?”
“I, er, I think so,” I said, checking my Pokéballs. Grass beat Water, right?
Misty squeezed some water out of her hair and then pulled a Pokéball out of somewhere - I supposed the mermaid costume had pockets. “Go, Staryu!”
The light of the ball formed into a five-armed star with a large red gem in the middle. It stood on one of the floating platforms, letting out strange, alien noises. I’d heard of this Pokémon, sure, sometime when I was a kid. Maybe I’d known it was a Water-type, somewhere deep down? I wasn’t quite sure. Yet again, I cursed the circumstances that had thrust me out on this journey with no preparation. I’d never thought I’d ever have to think about or interact with Pokémon. Why did I have to do this?
“All right, well, go Bulbasaur,” I said, clumsily unclipping the first ball on my belt and throwing it. I almost missed the platform I’d been aiming for. Bulbasaur kept his balance without complaints, though, bless him.
“Staryu, Rapid Spin!” Misty ordered, pointing decisively at Bulbasaur. The change in her manner surprised me; it’d been a bit hard to take her mermaid act seriously, but in her gym leader role, she was all business.
“Er, try a Vine Whip?” I said. Bulbasaur nodded and sprouted vines from the base of his bulb as the Staryu launched itself into the air, spinning so fast it appeared as a blur. As it shot towards Bulbasaur, he sent his vines directly into its path, wincing as he braced himself.
Thwap. The Staryu crashed straight into the vines and pulled them with it halfway towards Bulbasaur’s place on the platform, spinning all the while - it took me a moment to see that as it spun it was pulling Bulbasaur’s vines into a tangle around itself. He grunted in pain as his vines wound tightly around each other, compressing in front of him, until finally the Staryu’s momentum ran out. For a second it hung suspended in mid-air, wrapped in a bundle of vines; then, the vines started to untwist, and I watched open-mouthed as the Staryu helplessly started to spin in the other direction, eventually flying straight into the opposite wall of the gym as Bulbasaur gave a victorious cry.
“What on earth,” Misty said, frowning as her Staryu slid ungracefully down the wall. She took out a Pokéball and recalled it. “Well, that was a fluke. I see your Bulbasaur’s clever, no thanks to you, but that won’t be enough. Starmie, show them what we’re made of!”
Her next Pokémon was also a star, except bigger and purple. God, I wished I’d been one of those kids who just memorized entire Pokédexes before they were five years old. “Okay, Vine Whip again?” I said.
“Confusion,” Misty said. And as Bulbasaur extended his vines, Starmie started to glow with an eerie purple light, and suddenly so was Bulbasaur. Confusion was right - I wasn’t sure what was going on exactly, but it couldn’t be good.
Bulbasaur cried out, grimacing, as the strange glow levitated him into the air. He was obviously in pain. Could I do anything about it? “Bulbasaur, try - try a Leech Seed!”
He gritted his teeth and managed to shoot a small seed towards Starmie, which embedded itself in one of its arms. The Starmie gave a weird, echoing grumble as it lost its concentration, but it was too late - Bulbasaur fell onto the platform, still and unmoving.
“Return, I guess,” I said and pressed the button to recall him. What could I do next? Well - the name of that move had given me an idea. Probably a dumb one, but I could try it.
“Zubat, go! Use Supersonic!” I called, throwing another ball. Zubat One screeched something barely prickling the upper edge of my hearing range, and the Starmie wriggled in discomfort.
“Another Confusion, Starmie,” Misty said, and her Pokémon started to glow purple, only to fall flat on its face. Or, well, it had no face. Flat on its gem.
“Zubat, uh, Leech Life.”
Zubat One zoomed across the room and sank her tiny fangs into the flesh of the Starmie’s back. I could see faint green tendrils of energy snaking from the Leech Seed into Zubat One’s body, too.
Misty sighed. “Starmie, snap out of it. Use a Confusion.”
It used confusion all right, flailing its arms ineffectually on the ground.
“All right, great, keep it up, Zubat,” I said. The Starmie struggled to get up again as Zubat One happily sucked up its blood. After a second it managed to stand and sort of drop itself down onto its back, slamming Zubat One into the platform, but even then all she had to do was crawl out from underneath and latch onto one of its arms instead as it continued to flop.
“Come on, Starmie!” Misty said, gritting her teeth.
And the Starmie finally managed to take on that purple glow again, and Zubat One fainted with a pathetic squeak.
So I sent out Zubat Two and did the same thing.
And then Zubat Three, and Zubat Four.
After Zubat Four’s Supersonic made the Starmie repeatedly slap itself in the gem, he only needed a short Leech Life, combined with Bulbasaur’s enduring Leech Seed, to knock it unconscious.
“What the…?” Misty stared at the immobile Starmie and the fat little Zubat sitting triumphantly on top of it, grinning dopily. She recalled it, frowning. “I can’t believe I have to give you this.” She tossed a tiny metal object my way; I only just managed to grab it before it sailed over my head. “Do you have some kind of trickster legendary watching over you, because there is no way you just took out Starmie using a bunch of Zubat.”
“You better believe it,” I say, as I pocket my Pokeballs and pick up my bag. “See, Terence, there's only one thing you have to know to be get good at Pokemon battling.”
He looks at me, rapt with attention. “Really? What is it?”
I shrug and pull a face. “Pfft, I'll be damned if I know. Just wanted to see how it'd sound if I actually knew what I was talking about.”
“Yeah, sorry mate. Hard work and lots of vegetables, that's what it all comes down to.”
I glance towards the exit. It's nearly two o’clock and I haven't eaten since one, so of course, I'm bloody starving.
“What, vegetables? You mean in Pokemon battling?”
“No - you have to eat them, you berk.”
“Yeah, I know.” I sling my bag over my shoulder and stretch out my arms. “Well, not really much reason for me to hang around here any longer, so… I’m out of here. See you later, Terence.”
“You're - you're not going to stay for a bit?”
“Nah, I've got places to be, people to see, stuff like that. And you know, to be honest…” I take in my surroundings again; the murky pool water reeking of chemicals, the grimy, chipped tiles, and the ugly as hell plastic sea shell decorations stuck to the walls - to be really honest, this is the dankest excuse for a Pokemon Gym I've ever seen in my life. “I'd really rather not spend any more time than I have to in this place,” I finished.
I turn to leave, when I hear a voice screaming from the other side of the room.
I turn back round again to see Misty, running along the edge of the pool towards me. I exchange curious glances with Terence as we watch her jog, arms akimbo, towards us. I wait until she finally reaches us when I point to the nearby sign and say, “It says no running.”
“Hey, I own the place, bozo, so I can run if I want to,” she says, slightly out of breath.
“Mmm, doesn't really set a brilliant example, but whatever. What do you want?”
“Well uh… ahh…”
God, she looks really bashful all of a sudden - but then that might be the fact that she just got completely slaughtered in a Pokemon battle by a swarm of Zubat. How do these people even get gyms in the first place? Honestly, if the rest of the gyms are going to be as easy as these past two, then what's the point? Where’s the fun in it? And if they are all really easy like this, then shouldn't there be Pokemon Masters running around everywhere already? And then the achievement won't mean a thing anymore because it has no value, and we’ll go through a trainer inflation period or something and then everyone’ll have to work on getting like, hyper good to even things out again, finally restoring balance to the broken system of Pokemon battling standards after a year-long period of madness and chaotic anarchy. Man, that'd be crazy.
Oh crap, she's talking. Just nod and agree with whatever she’s saying.
“Mmm, mhmm. Yeah.”
There's a look of surprise on her face. “You mean… you think it's a good idea? You'd actually be OK with that?”
“Errr, haha yeah, course, why not?” Oh my god. What the hell am I agreeing to?
She grins and claps her hands in glee. “OK then! I'm going to start getting ready - I'll meet you at the Pokemon Centre in an hour?”
“Great! I'm so excited, I can't wait!”
And before I can say anything, she runs off again to the far end of the pool and disappears behind a door. Christ, all this disregard for basic safety in this place, it's a wonder no-one’s slipped and cracked their head open on the floor yet. You'd think the owner of the place would know better.
But forget that, what was all that about meeting at the Pokemon Centre in an hour? What's she getting ready for? I spin around to see where Terence has got to, but of course, he's nowhere to be seen. Probably wandered off somewhere and got himself stuck in a bush or something, the berk.
There is one person nearby though: that guy standing by the entrance who, since I came in, has done nothing but just stand there and stare at the wall for the entire day. Probably a complete nutter but whatever, could be worth a try, anyway.
“Err, excuse me, mate?” I say tentatively as I approach him.
No response. He just carries on standing there, completely ignoring me. Maybe he’s deaf. I try again, waving my hands in front of his face this time as well.
“Hellooooo? Can you hear me? Anyone in there?”
I position myself right in front of his face so he can't possibly avoid me. “Oi. Oi. OI!”
He finally snaps. “What?” he snarls.
I take a step back and hold my hands up in a defensive gesture. “Woah, alright, calm down, just wanted to ask you a question.”
“Let me ask you a question, since you're so keen on getting my attention,” he says, rounding on me. Oh christ, here we go. I knew I should've just kept my mouth shut.
“Do you know how long I've spent standing here, day in, day out, doing the same thing, over and over to every bloody person who walks in this place?”
“Twenty years. Twenty bloody years of spouting the same old crap every day; ‘water types are weak to grass and electric types!’ And what've I got to show for it? Eh? What do you think I - me - yours truly, have got to show for it?”
Oh crap, he's looking at me like he wants to to actually say something. Just come out with anything so you can get out of here.
“Err, well, paired with some good references, that's some pretty solid experience for your CV?”
Crap, he doesn't look happy. No wonder he's so angry, he'd be terrible at this job to begin with if he's like this all the time.
“Nothing. I've got nothing to show for it. Even still after all these years, no family, no girlfriend, no skills, no libido -”
“- and you know what the best part is? That stupid, useless, bikini bimbo of a Gym Leader who runs this place, doesn't even give a toss! Twenty-four hour work days, no breaks, no personal phone calls - won't even give me the money to buy a chair for me to sit on.”
“You mean you don't have your own chair? Like, one you can bring from home?”
“Sod the chairs mate, it's the principle of the thing, innit? If they're not willing to support our rights to fair working conditions, then you bet your arse I'm gonna do something about it.”
“Right, which is…?”
“I'm on strike.”
“...You're on strike? You, just you? Right now?”
“You better believe it, mate.”
“Right… and what's the point of that, then?”
“...You trying to be funny?”
Oh my god. I really don't want to listen to this. Just get out for god’s sake, before he tries to rope you into joining the union or something.
“Lemme give you a leaflet,” he says, rummaging around in his pocket. “Tells you more about FUGG.”
“The Federated Union of Gym Greeters.”
“You are kidding.”
“Do I look like I'm effin’ kidding?”
“Alright, look - I’m really interested in supporting your… cause, or whatever it is, alright? I really am. But I've really got somewhere to be, so…” Back away, just back away.
“Solidarity, mate!” He shouts at me as I half-run, half-walk towards the exit. “Stick it to those bastards, show ‘em what we’re made of!”
Finally, I'm outside and I slam the door behind me. Finally, some fresh air. I'm never going back in there again, I know that for sure.
I take a quick breather and watch the people walk past, doing whatever it is people do on a Tuesday afternoon. I glance at my watch; still got a fair bit of time before my bus leaves for Vermillion. Oh, and I guess I really should swing by the Pokemon Center to see what that Misty bird wants as well. I am a bit curious, to be fair.
I'm just leaning against the wall, looking at nothing in particular and trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my day when I spot Terence, bobbing through the crowd towards me.
“Hey, you alright?” I say as he approaches. He looks kind of anxious, like he's hiding something or like he’s just pissed himself.
“Umm, I kind of need to show you something. It's over there…” he points vaguely towards the town center.
I glance at my watch again. As much as I really don't care about whatever Terence wants to show me, I suppose I do have some time to kill.
“Alright fine, but make it snappy - I've got to see what that bloody Misty girl wants and I don't want to miss my bus to Vermillion on top of that.”
“That bloody Misty girl?” Damn, it was her again. I hadn’t realised that she was listening in to my conversation.
“Yes, you. What is it?” She scowled at me. She hadn’t taken the previous experience well, it seemed.
“A couple of things. Firstly, your team sucks. Seriously. Your highest level Pokemon is that Bulbasaur. And by the way, has it occurred to you that you have four Zubat? Who needs four Zubat?”
“I do!” I didn’t want to explain what I planned to do with them, so I left it at that.
“Well, whatever. You need to train more if you’re going to get more badges. Surge will smash you otherwise, for instance. And you have other stronger opponents to worry about as well.”
“Sure, whatever.” I’d probably just go and buy some Rare Candy from a store. Or rob one. I managed just fine with this team, so there was no need to bother grinding on every trainer in Kanto, right?
“Oh. What’s the other thing? You know, you were going to tell me a couple of things.”
“Ah.” Now she grinned. “There is no bus from here to Vermillion.”
I blinked. “What?” She laughed at my reaction, seemingly taking a bit too much pleasure from it. She then left me to contemplate this piece of news with the other member, who I chose to ignore. They probably didn’t have anything important to say to me anyway, and I had to figure out how to get to the next town. I had hoped to avoid all human contact, but now the chance was real that I would have to battle someone on my way to the next Gym.
I wandered off, cursing the design of the city. Why the heck put a fence around the whole town like that, and ledges by the Gym that were only passable from the higher end? I bet Misty was in some way responsible for that. Eventually I gave up, deciding that the only way through was going through someone’s backyard. I waltzed in through the front door, ignored the wails of protest of the people inside the, frankly, very poorly kept homestead, and made it back outside.
A man in black clothing, with a red ‘R’ emblazed on his shirt, jumped upon my arrival, and shouted, “W-who are you?”
And then the jack-booted creep threw a few of the Pokeballs at me and scrambled away, legging it towards the side of the house.
I didn't get to see where he ended up. Namely because an extremely large and extremely confused swarm of beedrill materialised in his wake. Where had he gotten so many wasps? And why were they all so angry?
My hand flew to my belt, and I found myself opening almost all of my pokeballs.
My legion of Zubat appeared above me. with a rush of wings like crumpling paper.
"Keep them off me!" I yelled as I launched myself after the Rocket, hurtling towards the side of the house. The bats flapped confusedly after me, milling about my head- I hadn't had enough face time with all of them yet, but I’d been hoping the obvious danger would mobilise them to the cause. Or at least present the wasps with more interesting targets. "Not me, the bees!”
The Zubat bobbed around for another confused second, squeaking in my wake, and then I was around the corner of the house and out of sight, my feet pounding on the paving. An angry cacophony of flapping and droning erupted behind me. My plan had worked, then.
I felt a little bad about that, as I ran. It wasn’t fair to ditch them like that - but then again this was Team Rocket. I had a moral duty to take chase. I’d come back and explain it all properly to them later. Probably.
I emerged around the front of the house and then I could see the Rocket again, scrambling down the street ahead, arms pumping at his sides. I followed, as fast as I could, but by Mew he was fast. But he wasn’t showing any signs of slowing - we scrambled into a side alley and he was already pelting it down another street - and so my hand went to the first ball on my belt, materialising Bulbasaur in my arms.
I tried not to trip at the sudden weight of him, hugging him against my chest.
“Bulbasaur,” I panted, struggling to keep this pace up. It felt like my heart was trying to beat out of my chest. “Need you - stop him - vinewhip - use vinewhip, trip him!”
The look Bulbasaur levelled me was shocked and somewhat judging.
“Pleaaaaaase,” I begged, sucking in my breaths. “I’ll explain- later-!”
His eyes narrowed at me, sharp and unimpressed, but then I turned him back to the man scrambling ahead of us and I could feel him tense as he flicked out two of his vines, snagging the Rocket by the ankles.
The man dropped like a stone. He even gave a little shriek as he faceplanted into the tarmac, sliding a few feet before he came to a stop, and I pulled up beside him, setting Bulbasaur down to brace my hands against my knees.
“Wouldn’t- ‘ve had to do- that if you hadn’t ‘ve- run,” I managed between panted breaths.
The Rocket said nothing (or rather nothing that made any sense) and Bulbasaur sat himself at my feet, staring at me again. His squat little face wasn’t that expressive, but he still somehow managed to seem disapproving. His vines curled curtly back into its bulb.
“Oh, don’t - give me that,” I panted, trying to catch my breath. I pointed at the faintly groaning man’s uniform, the red ‘R’ blatant and obvious on his jacket back. “Rocket - see? Bad guys. We need to know - what they’re up to. We’ll be heroes.”
We’d managed to run ourselves into a part of the city I’d never visited before. It was dark and crowded, surrounded by big brick buildings that loomed around us but as I squinted at the doorway to the nearest one, I thought I could see rows of metal shelving reaching up towards the ceiling. The warehouse district, maybe?
I turned back to the Rocket and squinted at him, trying to think of what to do next.
I did want to question him. It wasn’t surprising that Team Rocket was in Cerulean - the news had talked about them possibly having a base around here, but I’d thought they’d be running some kind of underground casino. Lots of cash and beer, and all that stuff that adults like.
This guy was in broad daylight in someone’s backyard. This had to mean something big.
I straightened as I caught my breath at last, looking at the winded man. He was starting to pick himself up, craning his head back to look at me and Bulbasaur, and now that I was closer I could see just how big he was. He’d be way taller than me, once he was standing.
“You’re just- you’re just a kid!” he spluttered as I loomed over him.
I scowled, crossing my arms across my chest.
“Team Rocket,” I snarled.
I could see his sneaky little eyes flicking around the street as well, already planning his escape. He wouldn’t get the better of me and Bulbasaur, though. I wouldn’t let him.
“Look, kid,” he began in a stupid, slow voice, pulling himself to his knees - like he was talking to a baby. His voice was deeper than I’d expected. I guess not all Rockets sound like they did in the movies. “I’m sure this all a misunderstanding. Call off your runt and I’ll pretend this never happened, alright? Let you walk away. What would your mother think?”
Misunderstanding, pfft. I clenched my fists (which definitely weren’t shaking, no, even if I was a little afraid) and stuck out my jaw, trying to look more confident than I felt.
“What’s Team Rocket doing in Cerulean?” I demanded.
He snorted as he looked at me, his big, ugly face twisting into a smirk. “Look, kid. I don’t know who you think you are, but this is not a time to play hero.”
In the corner of my eye I could see his fingers twitch, inching back towards his pokeballs..
Nothing for it, then.
I looked to Bulbasaur and he had seen this too - he shifted its bulb, primed, ready.
And that’s how I ended up crouched in a warehouse with my Bulbasaur, in downtown Cerulean, tying a member of Team Rocket to a pipe with an escape rope.
Current Location: Cerulean city, some empty warehouse Pokémon: Bulbasaur (lv. 8), Jigglypuff (lv. 6) Badges: 2
Spoiler:- Part 10 written by:
I left him there and gave an anonymous tip-off to the Jennys before taking the Technical Machine from the Grunt and sneaking out of the city. It was dark, so I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way, before deciding to just roll with it. I crossed a sandstone bridge, fighting some trainers along the way. My Bulbasaur leveled up to level 9 and my Jigglypuff leveled up to level 8. None of the battles were very exciting, though I did have to work to defeat them, due to my Pokemon being under-leveled. I’m still not even sure how I managed to defeat Cerulean Gym.
Like I said, none of them were too interesting. Until I got to the end of the bridge. There was a man at the end of it that I recognised. He was the partner of the grunt that I’d tied up in that warehouse. The one who’d ran away. Even though he was disguised, I still recognised him.
“Not him,” I muttered under my breath, keeping my hood over my head, so as to not be recognised.
“Hey! Kid!” the Team Rocket member called out. I flinched. “Congratulations on reaching the end of Nugget Bridge. Here’s your reward; a nugget!”
As I accepted the nugget I thought, “Was that really the challenge?” and “Good, I haven’t been recognised.”
He then continued, “Hey, would you like to join Team Rocket?”
‘No,’ I thought inwardly.
He kept going, “We’re a really cool group of people who love Pokémon. Everyone who joins gets their own Zubat. So, how about it?”
This guy was really starting to get on my nerves, but I decided to play along.
I pretended to be considering it, before asking: “Is there a uniform that you have to wear?”
“Of course,” he replied. “It’s really cool. It’s all black with a big red capital ‘R’ on the front.”
I then asked, “If there’s a uniform, then why aren’t you wearing it?”
“Um...” he thought for a moment. “It’s my orders.”
“Hang on,” I said, pretending to recall something. “I think I’ve seen people in that uniform stealing Pokémon.”
He visibly panicked for a second. I surreptitiously sent out both of my Pokémon, remembering to block my ears.
“Bulbasaur,” I cried out, “Tie him to that tree with Vine Whip.”
He did so as I called out, “Jigglypuff, Sing.”
He tried very hard to resist it, but in the end he succumbed to sleep.
I continued up the route, fighting various trainers. They were way too easy. My Bulbasaur leveled up to level 10, and my Jigglypuff leveled up to level 9. I remembered the tip Misty had given me about my condition, which was why I was travelling up this route. Hopefully Bill would be able to help me.
I reached a cottage near Cerulean Cape. I’d heard of Bill before, of course. He had invented the Pokémon storage system, and was often talked about back home in Pallet town. When I saw the cottage I chuckled, remember a stupid myth back at home; that he had a secret garden behind his house with heaps of powerful Pokémon in it. I have no idea how that started.
When I entered I saw a Clefairy on the ground.
It spoke, shocking me, "Hello! I'm a Pokémon…”
This shocked me, before it continued, “No I'm not! Call me Bill!”
So this was Bill. I didn’t think that he was a Pokémon, though.
Bill kept going, “I'm a true blue Pokémaniac! Hey! What's with that skeptical look? I'm not joshing you, I screwed up an experiment and got combined with a Pokémon! So, how about it? Help me out there!”
“Sure,” I replied. “How?”
“Just wait for me to get in, then turn the machine on by pressing that big red button over there on that control panel,” Bill answered, pointing to a control panel.
He went over to a huge machine in the back of the cottage that took up the whole back wall. The door shut and I pressed the button. The door opened and a man came out. He had brown hair and looked younger than I expected him to be.
“Yeehah! Thanks, bud! I owe you one! So, did you come to see my Pokémon collection?” he asked.
“Actually, I didn’t,” I replied. “Misty sent me; she thought that you might be able to give me some advice on something.”
“Really?” he inquired incredulously. “What is it?”
I demonstrated by turning into my Pikachu form.
“Wow!” Bill said in amazement. “You can turn into a Pokémon.”
“I’m not sure why you’re concerned—this is absolutely fascinating!” He seemed to realize that his face was a bit too excited. “But I’ll do my best to find out the cause.”
It was hard not to notice how Bill’s cottage had bits of machinery and technology randomly scattered throughout normal house things like tables, chairs, and shelves. There was a computer on the coffee table. A who-knows-what device next to the cabinet with dishes.
Bill led me over to a machine on the far side of the room and I climbed onto it, which felt a bit strange because I still wasn’t used to these legs.
“Will this change me back to normal?” I asked.
“Oh, no this is just a scanner—the same kind they use at Pokémon Centers. Normally it’s for identifying problems and maladies in Pokémon, although I used it a lot in my early experiments with the Pokémon transporter.”
He went over to the computer and started typing away on it. I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye. A few scattered bubbles suddenly drifted into view? They honed in on Bill, who brushed them aside without a second glance. More bubble floated into the room soon afterward, until the computer monitor was almost completely covered.
“Oh honestly, how am I supposed to work like this?” Bill asked, shooing the bubbles away and giving a pointed stare to something in the other room. I caught sight of a blue-finned tail swooshing out of view, then suddenly a Vaporeon bounded into the room, circling me excitedly.
“Stone-evolutions can happen to even the youngest Pokémon,” Bill explained. “Of course, it’s not recommended, but Pokémon have a will of their own, and well…things happen.” His voice had just the slightest touch of exasperation.
“How come you can talk human, huh?” the Vaporeon yipped.
“I am a human.”
“You don’t look like one!” it giggled.
“Come on now, leave us be for five seconds while I try to work this out,” Bill said, and Vaporeon bounded off. He hit a button on the keyboard, and a bunch of long, narrow beams of light started shining all over me. It stung my eyes, so I closed them and waited for it to be over.
“Well, everything seems to be normal here. I’ll send the data off to some of my colleagues. A few of them have seen stranger things than I. In the meantime, how about I make us some coffee?”
“So, tell me about your day,” Bill said, pouring a cup of coffee while we waited for a response.
“I’d rather not,” I said flatly. “Not to mention I can’t remember most of it.”
Bill tilted his head. “How strange. Do you think it has something to do with becoming a Pokémon?”
I shook my head. “No, this started way before that. Ever since I started my journey, strange things have been happening, almost like the world keeps jumping around me without my knowing about it. This is just the latest weirdness.”
Bill set a cup of coffee down on the table and out of nowhere a Jolteon immediately jumped up to sniff it.
“Now now, you know you’re not allowed to have any of that. Last time she got into the coffee, she was an invisible blur for the next five hours straight. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was spiked with X Speed,” Bill said, chuckling a bit at his own joke.
Jolteon abandoned the coffee and bolted over to curl up next to Bill on the couch. Her fur spikes poked his side. I got the feeling that was intentional.
“Oh, and here’s the last one,” Bill said as a Flareon wandered into the room. The fire-type zeroed in on me and cautiously stepped forward, looking very suspicious.
“You smell like a human!” Flareon exclaimed, sounding alarmed.
I snickered. “Tell that to Vaporeon.”
“So you can understand them right now, can’t you?” Bill asked me.
I paused, realizing that it had come so naturally, I hadn’t even questioned it. “That’s right...I can.”
“This just keeps getting more and more interesting.” Suddenly, an email alert sounded from his computer. “Oh, a response!” he exclaimed, immediately jumping up and running over. Everything was silent as he read what was on the screen. Even the Eevees were watching him, wondering what was so interesting.
“Amazing...if this is true…? But how could it be...? There’s no way…”
“What?!” I asked anxiously.
Bill jolted slightly, as though he’d been so absorbed he’d forgotten I was there. “Right, so...you know that Pokemon’s cell structure is energy based, yes?”
Everyone said that all the time but no one ever explained what the heck it was supposed to mean. Whatever, I just nodded.
“According to one of my colleagues in Sinnoh, your cellular energy signature is exhibiting both temporal and spatial fluctuations!”
“You can figure something like that out using science?!” I blurted out.
Bill nodded sagely. “I never question my colleagues’ abilities. But if this is true, it would probably explain your form changing, as well as all the strange events surrounding you. This is incredible.”
Suddenly, the sound of shattered glass rang out and a burst of smoke filled the room. All three Eevees scattered in alarm. Bill and I leaped up from the couch.
“What’s going on?!” Bill cried out.
A man’s voice sounded in reply, “We’re Team Rocket, and we’re here for the human-Pokémon freak! So give them to us quietly and maybe we’ll leave this place standing.” Footsteps sounded throughout the house, and I spotted the shadows of several Rockets through the smoke. We were surrounded.
“I’ve no idea what to do! I’m not a Pokémon trainer,” Bill said to me, his voice frantic.
“Maybe not, but I am!” I exclaimed, running over to my Pokéball belt and opening both of them. Two flashes of light cut through the smoke as Bulbasaur and Jigglypuff materialized.
“If you want a fight, you’ll get one!” the Rocket called out, and two of his partners released their own Pokémon. I couldn’t see them, though. I had no idea what we were up against.
“Vine Whip, Pound!” I called out frantically.
Bulbasaur extended his vines and snapped them forward with a loud crack, striking something, though I couldn’t tell what. Jigglypuff floated forward, flailing her paws around, but not striking anything. I groaned—our opponents had to be much faster, and used to battling in this kind of condition. With a flurry of wings, Jigglypuff was sent flying back towards me, completely deflated. Bulbasaur glanced around nervously, but then suddenly a huge shaggy figure appeared in front of him and locked its fangs around him. The grass-type cried out and then went limp.
I recalled the both of them, feeling my heart sink. What was I supposed to do now? Both my Pokémon had been defeated so easily.
But...wait. I was a Pokémon now. I could fight too! But I wasn’t exactly the strongest Pokémon. But I’d never considered if I could turn myself into a different Pokémon! I closed my eyes and concentrated hard, willing myself to become bigger and stronger. All of a sudden, I could feel my height shooting up, muscle and bulk expanding outward on my frame, wings sprouting…
“You’ve turned into a Dragonite!” Bill exclaimed.
A grin crossed my muzzle. This was perfect. I flapped my wings rapidly, driving the smoke from Bill’s cottage and revealing our opponents. The Rockets jumped backward in shock, clearly not ready to fight a dragon-type.
“Don’t just stand there, capture it!” the squad leader commanded.
I drew my heavy tail back and focused all my energy. An aura made of glowing green scales grew around my tail, growing in intensity as the Rockets’ Pokémon rushed at me. Their attacks hit..but I barely felt them in this new form. Planting both feet firmly on the ground, I swung my tail in a wide arc, catching all of the Rockets in the green energy field and hurling them through the front door and out of sight. I stood there, panting hard with a raging adrenaline rush. So this was how it felt when Pokémon battled.
I liked it.
Bill emerged slowly from behind the couch, surrounded by Eevees. “I don’t suppose that group will be bothering you anytime soon?”
Feeling a burst of confidence, I closed my eyes and imagined my human form, feeling my body shrink and my wings and tail receding.
“Awesome, it looks like I can fully control it now!” I said brightly.
Bill dusted himself off and glanced around the cottage. “Well, I was needing to clean up anyway. In any case...you won’t be needing my help getting back to normal, now will you?”
I shook my head. “Nah, in fact, I’d say my journey just got ten times more exciting. How many trainers can be a part of their Pokémon battles so closely?”
“I do hope you’ll drop by from time to time—I’d love to find out more about how it develops.”
Nice! I like how things started out pretty zany, then ended up going much more dark and serious in the second half. I think we managed to hit a lot of trainerfic cliches without even trying. Too bad things got cut off where they did, it would have been nice to see where the pokémorph concept that got introduced in the last couple of sections would have gone. Not that it would have lasted too long, given the nature of the Corpse, but we managed to get a couple reasonably long-running threads going.
Anyway, I had a great time writing my section, and it was a lot of fun reading through the final product. I hope everybody else had a good time with their part, too, although judging by the results I think most people were. :P
In which an undead trainer, a bloodthirsty super-clone, and an irascible ex-Rocket grunt set out to rescue an imprisoned Mew--if they don't end up murdering each other first.
In the end, I guess Rust (or Red now) never finished his journey, maybe got caught by some random trainer, while Azure steamrolled the Pokemon League with a Magikarp she found in Mt. Moon. The End?
The Magikarp of Destiny idea was genius, and I love how it wordlessly preserved it's power for the next few posts until it was released. And of course, it's replaced by four Zubat's. Things got wierd towards the end, yet otherwise it all kinda fit together. Shame it only got two badges in; I knew it wouldn't get that far, but I hoped for it to at least get to Vermillion (so close!). Overall, I enjoyed it, made me laugh quite a few times, and I'm looking forward to the final EC!
I really enjoyed the first part, with all of Rust's anxiousness to start his journey. I like how there was a nod to the protagonist's in-game silence, but that Rust started talking in the end.
The scene where Rust sees the Magikarp was hilarious. :P His attitude towards his journey in this scene was noticeably different than in the first one, but strangely, I still got the feeling of personality continuity. I think the idea that this scene started to develop would make a really good humor fic (or any scene with a super-powered Magikarp, really).
I could see it now: Magikarp would steamroll every other Gym Leader’s team, her Tackle even stronger than a Snorlax’s Body Slam, her Flail more devastating than a Gyarados’s Hyper Beam, her Splash able to bring even a Dragonite to its knees.
I loved the Pewter Gym win; Brock will probably have to spend some time fixing up his public image now.
Oh, if only there was a special Pokémon move that would remedy this situation! But alas, there was not, so Red had to continue bumping into everything as he made his way deeper into the cave.
Reminds me of how I went through Rock Tunnel when I played Pokemon for the first time.
The human-pokemon twist at Bill's cottage was interesting too, and I like how the whole thing managed to end on a somewhat calm note, despite the dark, chaotic moments that came up later on. All of the parts were a great read, and it was fun seeing how some of them stood out drastically from their predecessors, while others managed to continue the story of the previous ones.
Now I'm off to read the rest of the ECs!
The story of Professor Rowan - Currently being revised.
Credit for picture: "Emma" (littlebuster-k2); Credit for signature: 9dragonsbreed
So you should expect the truth from me. Only, you shouldn't expect it to be the truth you assumed.
Oh yes, and you should read my story Happenings Between Goals.
I absolutely loved the prophetic, over-powered Magikarp and how long he lasted before his sad, ignominious end. Definitely my favourite character. This all remained pretty coherent, as well, which was surprising but delightful. I love how my part with the mildly-terrifying protagonist actually kind of fit into with the characterisation of the previous segment - and then it became a pokemorph story. Teehee.
Floating over your rocky spine
The glaciers made you and now you're mine