Rated PG for mild swearing.
For those of you new to the series, I highly recommend first reading the prequel to this; 404 Error. Without having first read that, much of this story will very likely make little to no sense to you.
UltimatePokemonExpert ; President People ; Shymain ; Deadly.Braviary ; PurplePoliwag
Spoiler:- Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Crisis In Tanko
In a relatively small yet spacious laboratory in Talpel Town, a middle-aged, pudgy, balding man was pacing around nervously. Occasionally, he idly kicked aside some clutter, such as crumpled up papers or empty Poké Balls.
"Come on," he muttered. "Where is she..."
Just then, he heard the door open, and looked up to see a teenager with fiery orange hair walk in. She was wearing a yellow tank-top and blazing red shorts, all of which gave her a distinctly fiery appearance, though the look on her face was one of worry and concern.
"You wanted to see me, Professor Redwood?" asked the teenager.
The professor nodded. "That I did, Maggie," he replied. "As you may or may not know, I suggested to Red that he go and visit an old colleague of mine, one who might be able to tell him more about that strange egg he found."
Maggie nodded, having indeed known this.
"Well, that was two weeks ago. Red left almost immediately for the Hojot region in the west, and not long afterward I got a call from Professor Conifer confirming that he arrived, but he seems to have vanished after that. Nobody knows where he went after he left the lab. All Professor Conifer knows is that he went out the door after Red to give him something he had left behind, and Red was nowhere to be seen."
"That's horrible!" Maggie gasped. "What can we do, Professor?"
"I'm getting to that," Redwood answered. "I'd like you to travel to the Hojot region and search for Red. I would've asked Orange and Violet to go, except Orange is busy handling the Ivadirin Gym in Red's absence, and Violet seems somewhat reluctant to travel without him."
"I'll do it," nodded Maggie. "Which way do I go?"
"When you hit Route -23, there's a winding mountain trail you can take," explained Professor Redwood. "Just head south instead of north. Follow the path and you'll end up in Krab Wen Town. You should locate Professor Conifer's laboratory, and start from there."
Maggie nodded her understanding of this. Once she left the laboratory, she removed a small sphere from her belt. This sphere was half red and half white, the two halves separated by a thin black line, on which there was a single white button- a Poké Ball. Maggie pressed the button, and the ball doubled in size, growing to roughly the size of a baseball in her hand. Once this happened, she tossed the ball up, and it split open along the black line. A mass of glowing yellow energy flowed forth from the ball, forming itself into an equine shape on the ground. At that point, the glowing faded, and it was revealed that the creature that the ball had contained was a cream-colored horse-like Pokémon. Its head, tail, and parts of its legs all seemed to be on fire. Unperturbed by these flames, Maggie climbed up onto the back of this creature.
"OK, Rapidash," she stated. "Let's ride!"
Rapidash neighed in response before taking off, galloping across the strange landscape, which seemed to consist of rocks, grass, pools of water, and (oddly enough) numbers in equal measure. They headed north first, speeding across Route -1. Many times, the wild Rattata had to scatter to avoid being trampled.
Finally, Maggie and Rapidash arrived in Ivadirin City. On Maggie's request, the Fire Horse Pokémon slowed down to a walk as they approached a massive structure which looked to be made chiefly out of roofing tiles. The sign attached to the building claimed it to be the Ivadirin City Pokémon Gym. Outside the doors, there stood a pair of people who looked rather happy to see Maggie. One of them was a boy with messy orange hair the same color as Maggie's, and the other was a girl with long black hair and a purple shirt.
"Hi, Orange," smiled Maggie. "Hi, Violet."
"Hey, Maggie," grinned Orange, the boy. "Good to see you again."
"Any news about Red?" asked Violet.
"No," sighed Maggie. "Look, Professor Redwood sent me to the Hojot region to search for him. Violet, I'd like you to take over Bincanar Gym in my absence, OK?"
Violet nodded. "Of course. Just make sure you find him, OK?"
"Will do," promised Maggie.
"Yeah, you better find him, Maggie," said Orange, who attempted a brave smile despite his unusually grim voice. "Good luck."
"Thanks," Maggie replied. "OK, Rapidash," she added. "Let's move."
Rapidash gave a small neigh in response before taking off once more. Maggie waved goodbye to Violet and Orange before focusing on where Rapidash was going.
They came to Route -22, which ordinarily would take nearly half an entire day for a human to traverse. However, on Rapidashback, going at high speeds, it took a mere forty-five minutes. Remembering what Professor Redwood had said, Maggie ordered Rapidash to turn left instead of right when they reached the end of the route, and they immediately found themselves on a narrow, twisting, rocky path.
Rapidash was forced to slow down as they traveled this harrowing path. It overlooked tall cliffs for the most part, and at times they were forced to go down steep slopes, and then up other steep slopes. At various points on the terrain (which consisted of numbers and grass, but primarily rocks), there were posted wooden signs, all of which indicated that Maggie was on the right path.
Before long, Route -26 turned to Route -27, or so the signs claimed. The trail got less mountainous and more grassy (though still with rocks and numbers thrown in here and there), and they found themselves going along the coast of the sea.
"OK, I think we should be nearly there, Rapidash," Maggie stated as they passed the entrance to a cave, from which the echoing roaring of a waterfall could be heard. "Just past Kojot Falls, if memory serves- Rapidash, stop!" she exclaimed suddenly, as a young boy could be seen stumbling out of a nearby stone arch. He was wearing a yellow and black baseball cap backwards- the hat gave off the impression of an Ultra Ball, and some of his black hair could be seen protruding from beneath it. He was also wearing a red and white sweatshirt, along with a pair of yellow and black shorts. A silver-colored backpack was on his back.
Rapidash screeched to a halt as the youth cried out in fear. Once the Fire Horse came to a stop, however, he looked decidedly less frightened. "Hey, what the-" he stated as he looked around. "Where am I?" he asked.
"Well, you're on Route -27," Maggie stated. "Not far from the Hojot region."
"Route what, not far from the who what now?" responded the youth. "I don't get it! I just started as a trainer in Johto, I try to take a little trip to Kanto, I go through this weird stone arch, and suddenly I'm here." As he said this, he removed a small red device from his pocket- a Pokédex- and pointed it at Maggie's ride.
"Rapidash, the Fire Horse Pokémon, and the evolved form of Ponyta," the machine droned. "At full gallop, its four hooves barely touch the ground because it moves so incredibly fast."
"You mean you've never heard of the Tanko or Hojot regions?" asked Maggie. As the boy shook his head, the Gym Leader looked a little confused. "Huh. I guess the portals don't really exist in Johto and Hojot..." At this, she proceeded to explain to the boy all about Tanko and Kanto, and how they seemed to be alternate dimensions between which it recently became possible to freely travel.
"...Whoa," the boy said once Maggie finished her story. "That's a lot to take in... but I guess there's no other way to explain it, is there?"
"I highly doubt it," smiled Maggie. "My name's Maggie McPixel. What's yours?"
"Ethan. Ethan Golde," replied the boy. "I was gonna compete in the Johto league, but I had wanted first to go and visit Professor Oak, get me some advice, you know? I mean, nothing against Professor Elm, but he himself told me that Professor Oak knew way more than he did."
"Well, as long as you're in this dimension, I hear the Hojot region has its own Pokémon League," Maggie suggested. "I'm headed to Hojot myself to look for a missing person, maybe we could travel together. I'll likely be going all over the place to look for him anyway, and I like the idea of helping out a new trainer."
"Hey, now you're talking!" grinned Ethan. "I like that idea! As long as there's Gym Leaders to battle, badges to collect, and a Pokémon League competition to enter, I'm in! I may never have heard of this place before, but there's no way a real Trainer would let something like that stand in my way!"
Maggie giggled. "You remind me of my boyfriend," she said, though there was a look of definite sadness in her eyes as she thought of Red, wondering where he was.
"Well, if Hojot is laid out like Johto is, I think I know how to get there," stated Ethan. With that, he ran off in the direction in which Maggie had been heading in any case. With a quick order to Rapidash, Maggie went off after him.
The scenery changed. No longer was the landscape strewn with random chunks of grass, rock, and numbers, but now, there was nothing but a grassy plain. Green for the most part, though some patches of grass were white, and others were bright pink. The trees also stopped sporting numbers and roofing tiles, and instead seemed to grow leaves exclusively, though many parts of the trees were a lovely shade of blue. Odd colors aside, it reminded Maggie of the Kanto region, where she had visited once with Red.
Eventually, they saw buildings. Several houses, plus one larger structure. To Maggie's mild surprise, these houses were not lined with chunks of rock, or numbers, or anything like that, but instead aluminum siding of multiple colors.
"Whoa," Ethan remarked as they arrived. He examined a nearby sign, which served to welcome them to Krab Wen Town. "It's like New Bark Town, but... the colors are weird, you know?"
"I think so," Maggie replied.
"Hey," Ethan said suddenly upon noticing the sign. "'Krab Wen Town'? Krab Wen- that's New Bark spelled backwards!"
"Wow," said Maggie. "What are the odds of that?" At that point, she climbed off of Rapidash's back. "Thanks, Rapidash," she added as she held out the Poké Ball she had sent it out of. "Take a nice, long rest," she said. At these words, a beam of transparent red energy flew forward from the button. As it struck Rapidash, it converted the Fire Horse Pokémon into that same transparent red energy and sucked it back into the ball. "Anyway," she stated, "I was told to go and find Professor Conifer's lab, so if you're still up for traveling with me, we should probably get going."
"I guess so," nodded Ethan. "I got a hunch I know where the lab might be, anyway, given that this place looks very similar to New Bark Town thus far. Follow me." With that, Ethan ran off in one direction. Maggie ran after him, dearly hoping that this Professor Conifer would help her to find Red.
End of Chapter 1.