So, I was working on this pretty sparingly this past week up until about two or three days ago when I went on a writing kick and really got into the process of deciding where this series was going to go. Honestly, this isn't the direction I expected the story to take, at least not so soon, but I'm glad things turned out the way they did.
Stay tuned after the read for more spoiler-free info on what my overall plans for the Centralverse are!
The sun was glaring through the roof of the forest. The only audible sounds were splashing in a nearby stream and the gleeful cheers of a group of small, round pink Pokemon. They drifted through the air as the dandelion-like leaves on their head rustled in the wind; their dark beady eyes sparkling as they spun in the air.
A chilling powdery snow broke over the breeze, bringing one of the Pokemon to the ground. It landed softly in a patch of grass as it shivered, sneezing slightly as it came to a stop. It was in a stupor as a red and white capsule came careening directly into its face.
The ball opened, shooting a beam at the Pokemon, diminishing it into a red light that spiraled into the ball as it closed shut. A red light was blinking on the center button as the ball shook once, then twice, then a third time. It came to a stop. Maya’s first catch was a success.
Maya kneeled down as she picked the ball off of the ground and pulled the Pokedex given to her the day before by Professor Reid from her back pants pocket. She opened the red sliding cover and a red sphere appeared on the screen as the machine booted up.
“Hello, Maya. I am Debra, the Pokemon Index Artificial Intelligence unique to this system. I was created specifically for your needs and desires.” The monotonic computer programmed voice echoed through the air, scaring a flock of Pidgey from a nearby tree. “My sensors indicate you have captured a new Pokemon. Would you like me to share my knowledge of its species with you?”
Maya was taken aback by the complexity of the system’s technology, but agreed to hear about her new Pokemon.
Pokedex Entry: #187
Hoppip, the Cottonweed Pokemon. Its body is so light, it must grip the ground firmly with its feet to keep from being blown away.
It has notable attacks such as Synthesis, Splash, and Tackle.
Maya thanked Debra and closed the cover over her Pokedex, slipping it back into her pocket. She then turned her attention to Avey who had assisted her in weakening Hoppip. “Thanks for helping me out, Avey.” The tiny cub smiled and nodded in response. “Munch still isn’t feeling well after our battle yesterday. I guess I’ll just have to let him rest until we get to Cherrygrove.” Avey patted Maya on the leg in a subtle act of compassion and reassurance and the two made their way back to the campsite where Lucas was cleaning up.
“Wow, it looks like we never camped here at all!” Maya was surprised by Lucas’s efficiency in tidying up.
“Yeah, well, my sister is a total clean freak. I guess it’s just kind of rubbed off on me over the years.” Lucas shrugged and changed the conversation. “So, did you guys manage to catch anything?”
“Why don’t you see for yourself?” Maya unclipped a shrunk Pokeball from her belt and tossed it into the air as it enlarged and popped open. A flash of white light burst onto the ground and began to take the form of the Pokemon from before.
“Hoppip!” The Pokemon smiled as it hovered to its new trainer.
“A Hoppip, huh? I remember seeing a few of these guys at the Academy,” Lucas said, sounding slightly unimpressed. “Have you thought of a name for it?”
“I was thinking...maybe, Zephrya?” She looked to the Hoppip who cheered in approval, gleefully nestling her new friend’s face. “Hey, you know, you should catch something, Lucas.” Zephrya began floating into the air as a small breeze passed, she clung to Maya’s head and let out an exasperated cry. Maya gently patted her as she looked to Lucas for a response.
“Maybe once we get passed Violet City. I’m not exactly planning on losing any sleep to catch a Pidgey.”
“Well, what’s wrong with catching a Pidgey?”
“They aren’t exactly the rarest or most powerful Pokemon, Maya, especially for a Flying type. They’re a dime a dozen and Avey and I just aren’t interested in having something like that on our team.” Avey looked at Maya who was clearly offended by Lucas’s stance.
“Rare or powerful? A Pokemon’s a Pokemon, it shouldn’t matter how rare or powerful it is! That’s such a shallow way to be, even for the son of a legend.” The two long-lost friends found themselves in the heat of their first real argument, barely a day into their journey together. Zephyra, upset by the yelling, drifted down onto Avey’s head in search of more comfort.
“You, of all people, are going to make some snide remark about who my father was? I’m sorry, but you’re not exactly the daughter of some poor fisherman, Maya, your father is the world’s most famous Pokemon Breeder and a multimillionaire. You aren’t entitled to shove your ideals down other people’s throats just because you’re some rich kid who had an easy upbringing!”
“Easy upbringing?! You have no idea what I had to go through growing up!”
“Go through? What, was it too nice and clean for you in your giant mansion?” Lucas had calmed down considerably, but his tone was becoming increasingly aggressive. “One butler waiting on you hand and foot wasn’t enough for you?”
“No, I mean, that’s not how I meant it...it was big, empty and lonely,” Maya answered somberly, feeling somewhat dejected and nervously pinching her arm. “That’s how it felt anyways.”
“Whatever. Everything’s packed and I wanna get to Cherrygrove by noon.” Lucas knew he had spoken out of term, but wouldn’t admit it. He picked up Maya’s bag and handed it to her somewhat aggressively. “We’re leaving.”
It was an hour before noon and Cherrygrove was only a mile ahead, the small town perfectly visible from the hills outside of the city. Maya was following a few feet behind Lucas, the duo divided by Avey and Zephyra who had become quick friends on their morning trek. Maya still was visibly upset and Lucas had no intention of apologizing, despite knowing he should.
With only a half hour until they reached town, it would be a bit trivial for the duo to take a breather, but something caught Lucas’s eye that stopped him dead in his tracks. Maya, her head hanging low and not paying any particular attention to where she was walking, bumped into Lucas.
“Oof -- Why’d you stop?”
“Did you see that,” Lucas asked, shouting excitedly.
“I see the Cherrygrove Pokemon Center, exactly the place you said you wanted to be by noon. It’s ten ‘till, we should keep going.”
“You can go ahead if you want, but I’m going to catch that Pidgey.”
Hearing those words, the despondent Maya felt a somewhat confused rage rising within her.
“A WHAT?! After all of that stuff you said earlier, you’re all...giddy about catching a Pidgey?!”
Lucas turned to her, and very calmly and seriously said, “Maya; this Pidgey had golden feathers. Golden feathers.”
“You can’t be serious?” Maya was dumbfounded by Lucas and decided it was best just to walk away from him. “Fine! Have fun chasing the birds. I’m checking into the Pokemon Center. Let’s go Zephyra.” The cottonweed Pokemon drifted on to Maya’s head, holding on carefully but with a tight grip as they walked the last short stretch to Cherrygrove. Lucas and Avey, meanwhile, had run into the woods where Lucas had seen the golden Pidgey fly to.
“Any idea what’s wrong with him?”
Maya had waited nearly an hour, Munch lying on the cold steel of the table, groaning as the doctor, an average, middle-aged man, pressed his stethoscope against the Pokemon’s bloated stomach.
“Hmm.” The doctor said nothing, instead, he flipped through some sheets on a clipboard. Grabbing the black ink pen from his pocket; the doctor scribbled something onto a slip of paper and handed it to Maya.
“We’re going to need to keep him overnight to treat him for those stomach pains,” the doctor said, then called out into the hall for a nurse to bring a gurney.
“Keep him overnight?” Maya was genuinely concerned for Munch’s health, but also to how Lucas would react to this news. She looked at the slip the doctor gave her; it was a subscription for some kind of medicinal Pokemon food. “Pokemon food? Why does Munch need this? I thought he was just being a drama queen because of our battle yesterday.”
“No, your Munchlax’s pains are very real. The incident you wrote in the paperwork; that was a Selfdestruct attack.” One of the nurses opened the door to the examination room and wheeled the gurney next to the table Munch was lying on. “Munch, here, is too inexperienced to perform the attack properly. We won’t know exactly what the problem is until we do some tests, but, if it’s what I think it is, Munch should be back to one hundred percent health tomorrow morning.”
The nurse tried rolling Munch on to the gurney, but his weight and noncompliance to move made it very near impossible. Munch swatted at the nurse, and rolled onto the gurney, the suspension barely holding the weight of his body. The nurse struggled to get the gurney started out of the room, but nonetheless, she was successful.
Maya was slightly embarrassed by the whole ordeal, feeling somewhat responsible for Munch’s behavior. The doctor gave her instructions on where to to get the subscription filled and where she could find Munch afterwards. Maya was so flustered and caught up in her thoughts that she had forgotten to ask the doctor to clarify why Munch needed the special Pokemon food.
It was still early morning in Unova, the sun hadn’t yet come out and the sweet smells and sounds of the night still lingered outside. Casey had been awake for nearly an hour; she had just finished preparing for her first day working at the Opelucid Gym. She was in the kitchen searching for food to pack for her lunch when she opened the fridge and discovered a bento box with a note attached.
Today’s a big day; your first day working for Auggie at the Opelucid Gym!
You mentioned you acquired a taste for the oriental cuisine they have in Sinnoh,
so I did some research and spent the night making this for you.
Don’t heat it for any more than 30 seconds or you’ll ruin it!
And be sure you aren’t late for work. Auggie expects a lot from you.
There are marked barrels of food for each of your Pokemon in the food closet at the gym.
I got them on discount at Poke ‘N Stuff!
Casey grabbed her lunch out of the fridge and her car keys from the hook next to the front door. She walked out the door and onto the driveway where the burgundy four-door sedan her parents bought for her was parked. As she took a whiff of the fresh morning air, she considered walking the back roads to the gym, which would had afforded her the opportunity to smoke a joint on the way. Realizing she only had fifteen minutes before she was supposed to be at the gym, she got behind the wheel of her car and backed out of the driveway.
The drive from the house to the Opelucid gym was quick, but also calming for Casey. It eased her anxiety over the expectations she felt she absolutely had to fulfill on her first day. Sitting in her car parked outside of the gym, she grabbed a pill bottle from her backpack and popped it open, downing two with a sip from a bottle of water. Her tensions slowly beginning to ease, she got out of the car and went inside.
Casey entered through the side door of the gym, just as Augustus had instructed. The area she entered into was the locker room where the gym trainers left their belongings and sometimes hung out when they weren’t working. The room was completely empty, the other gym trainers not expected to arrive until closer to eight or nine o’clock.
Casey removed her belt from her bag, studded with six Pokeballs, three attached to each side. She left her bag in her locker, designated by the number twenty-seven. She locked it and headed out into the hall. Along the way, she passed the kitchen and the food closet Natalie had mentioned in her note. She left her lunch in the refrigerator and peered inside the closet, where four large barrels of food had been left, each one specific to her Pokemons’ liking. She heard the clattering of the overhead lights switching on in the arena and headed down the hall to check it out.
Augustus was sitting in the dirt, cross legged, on the far end of the arena. On the ground around him were six basic-style Pokeballs. The glare he gave Casey made her tense up as she realized why she was asked to be at the gym so early. She was going to battle Auggie.
Casey walked down the bleachers onto the ground below. Of all of the gyms Casey had battled in, this was surely the most intimidating. The arena was massive in size, the rows of fluorescent lighting hanging overhead barely able to light the entirety of the floor below. There was a certain mystique to be held by the darkness in the ceiling above the lighting fixtures.
She studied every inch of the field as she walked towards the end opposite of Augustus, surveying areas where her Pokemon may be at a disadvantage...but, the only problem would be the areas of darkness where a Ghost or Dark-type may be able to take advantage of the field.
She stood ready as Auggie picked himself off of the ground, grabbing one of the Pokeballs as he got to his feet. Her first reaction was to reach for her belt, but she wasn’t sure who she would send out, instead waiting to see what Auggie would do. Silence and tension crept over the battlefield as the two combatants stared each other down, waiting to see who would make the first move.
Suddenly, Auggie’s serious mannerisms exploded as he burst into a hysterical cackle.
“Boy, you really do take this seriously, don’t you,” he asked, fighting through his laughter to continue, “Oh, man. That’s a good trait to have. Most of my trainees go running scared when they find me here like this.” Auggie calmed himself, finding a balance between seriousness and playfulness.
Casey loosened up as well as she responded, “God, you had me all worked up! I thought you were going to make me battle you for the job.”
“No way, you’re more than qualified for the position, a lot more than my other trainees.” He jested as he tossed the Pokeball in his hand into the air. Casey’s anxiety was rising as she watched it carefully soar towards the ceiling, disappearing in the darkness for a few seconds before it began plummeting down towards Auggie. “But, we are going to have some friendly competition. The rules are simple, so listen up. It’s two versus two, no substitutes.” Without thinking, Casey quickly grabbed a ball from her belt and tossed it to the center of field, while Auggie caught his ball and did the same. “I won’t hold anything back, so give it your all!”
On Auggie’s side appeared a bipedal husk with a slender, curved, beige-colored head spouting a slithering tongue made of flame. Sheer golden claws extended from the center of the steel cuffs on its arms, and pipe-like bands seemed welded onto its molten red body, leading to its tail, the tip non-existent and agape as it expelled a gaseous fog.
From Casey’s ball appeared a weasel-like Pokemon with two tails. It had light-blue fins on it’s arms, just above its cream padded paws. It posed, ready for battle, as it twitched its tiny, thin whiskers protruding from the button-like nose on the end of its snout. The yellow sac around its neck expanded and collapsed as it attempted to make itself look more intimidating.
“Buizel, start things off with an Aqua Jet,” Casey commanded and the Sea weasel Pokemon complied, a bubbling geyser forming beneath its feet. After a moment, it lurched forward encapsulated in a bullet of water and almost immediately made contact with its opponent.
Heatmor staggered but managed to keep its footing. As Buizel landed in front of it, she immediately trapped the Water-type with a crushing bear hug.
“Heatmor, use Giga Drain!”
A crimson aura enveloped the two combatants as Buizel’s life force was siphoned through Heatmor’s tail. Buizel cringed, but quickly reacted as he let loose a cascading blast of water from his mouth, sending Heatmor spiraling towards the ground with Buizel still in his grasp. The water from the Hydro Pump followed them as Heatmor reeled back, and the fountain of water fell to the arena floor in the form a gentle rain. Heatmor released her grasp on Buizel as she collided into the ground. Buizel hopped up and quickly put some distance between himself and Heatmor.
“Nice escape, Buizel!” Casey praised him as he smirked cockily in agreement. For a second, his confidence went limp as the damage from the Giga Drain became more apparent and Heatmor lifted herself up, virtually unscathed. Casey worried for Buizel, but quickly devised a counter attack. “Alright, keep your distance and try a Sonic Boom!”
Buizel collected himself, hopping into the air and spinning 90 degrees as his two tails whiplashed around his body, the impact breaking the sound barrier and sending a roaring blast across the arena towards Heatmor. Auggie clasped his hands over his ears and closed his eyes tight to protect himself from the sand kicked up by the blast. He shouted something, but it was barely audible through the ringing in the air caused by Buizel’s attack.
As the dust settled, it was clear Auggie had commanded Heatmor to attack, as it shot forward and immediately began charging at Buizel. Buizel flipped into the air, narrowly dodging the vicious Anteater Pokemon.
“Buizel, use Aqua Tail, now!”
Auggie responded almost immediately, “Counter with Flamethrower, Heatmor!”
Buizel, still mid-air above its opponent, charged down toward Heatmor with its tails glowing as bright and vibrant as cobalt. Just before Buizel made contact, Heatmor launched a deadly, lashing flame from her mouth. The flame made contact just as Buizel crashed down onto Heatmor, sending both Pokemon careening to the ground. Both Pokemon lay still on the ground, blackened from stray embers of the Flamethrower.
Neither attack gained enough momentum to deal a finishing blow, but the strain of battle began to show on both Pokemon as they picked themselves up, especially on Buizel.
Casey considered forfeiting the round , but knew Buizel would never forgive her for pulling him out of a fight like this. They’d been in situations like this before; Buizel taking on more than he could handle. It irked Casey to no end that Auggie and Heatmor’s experience outweighed their type advantage.
“Your Buizel is looking pretty worn out. You should consider calling back before it gets itself seriously hurt,” Auggie taunted them in hopes it would give his opponents another push.
“Your Heatmor isn’t looking that great either. And you should note that we have the type advantage...we can still win this,” Casey retorted.
“We’ll see! Heatmor, burrow into the ground!”
That was it. Casey was kicking herself for not picking up on the fact that the arena floor was all dirt. Any Pokemon capable of digging could easily take advantage of that.
“Stay alert, Buizel! Heatmor’s going to try to hit with another Giga Drain!”
Buizel stood his ground, waiting to react the moment Heatmor came up. Buizel waited for any sign of his opponent, any sound or vibration that might give away Heatmor’s position.
“I’m not surprised you figured out part of my plan, Casey, but I doubt you saw this coming. Heatmor, attack now!” Just as Auggie called out, Buizel noticed the ground moving in at least eight different directions. Not knowing what to do, Buizel jumped into the air just as several Heatmor came tunneling out of the floor below, some disappearing as they failed to catch Buizel, until finally the real Heatmor had him in her grasp once again.
“Put more pressure on Buizel’s sternum! We don’t want a repeat of last time!”
Once again, Heatmor had Buizel within its Giga Drain attack, and a Hydro Pump wasn’t going to get them out of this one. Casey had to think fast, she considered every possible defense as she watched her friend slowly fading in front of her. Finally, she noticed the the pools of water that had collected on the ground from Buizel’s water type attacks.
“Use Whirlpool, Buizel!” Casey had a ‘eureka’ moment as she proudly called out to Buizel.
Buizel nodded and looked up as its tails began spinning in propellor-like fashion. The water from Buizel’s earlier attacks began pooling from the ground, forming a rapid vortex beneath the two Pokemon. Spiraling into the air, Buizel could feel himself fainting as Heatmor drained what was left of his health. Finally, Buizel gave out, and the Whirlpool diminished into a waterfall as both Pokemon came crashing down to the ground below.
Casey ran out into the field to check on Buizel, while Augustus stood still in his place, waiting to see if Heatmor would get up. Casey cradled Buizel in her lap as she praised him and returned him to his Pokeball. Heatmor, meanwhile, had attempted to pull itself up before succumbing to the injuries sustained by the near twenty foot drop. Round one was a tie.
Augustus said nothing, instead just returning Heatmor to the peaceful stasis within her ball and dropping it onto the ground. The ball rolled a few feet away before coming to a stop, Auggie ignoring it as he plopped down on the floor and started fiddling with his Pokeballs, examining each one as he if he were wondering what was in it.
Casey got the sense that Auggie didn’t have the emotional connection with his Pokemon that she did. It was surprising to her; to see such a powerful trainer with his background behave this way towards his Pokemon. She walked through the scars of the battlefield, avoiding the holes in the scorched, damp earth, as she returned to her post.
“It’s your move, Case. Hopefully you’ve got something more impressive than that stubborn Buizel of yours.” Casey thought Auggie was bitter due to the outcome of the first round, but he was in fact, pushing her into using her strongest Pokemon.
Casey, now on her side of the field and aggravated by Auggie’s attitude, held a Pokeball in each hand. She looked at both, considering the strengths and weaknesses of both. In one hand, she held the capsule containing her most trusted and well-trained ally, and in the other rested the ball of her most consistent and dependable companion.
She hesitantly chose the latter, launching the ball into the field.
“You haven’t let me down yet, Lickilicky!”
A light flashed onto the field, the Pokemon appearing resembling a chubby pink baby. It gallantly twirled as it materialized, slicking back the tuft on its head and letting its long, slender tongue roll out of its mouth and over the ivory bib-like pattern under its chin and the three amber bars on its belly.
For Lickilicky, showmanship was just important as its battle prowess. As he looked around, he quickly went from showing off his dazzling choreography to slumping his chunky body in disappointment, realizing there was no audience to impress. He looked back at Casey slightly aggravated.
“Don’t look at me like that! We’ve talked about this, you left that circus to compete in battles, just like you wanted. There won’t always be an audience for you to woo with your dashing, good looks.” Casey was equally stern and flattering, just as she knew she needed to be with Lickilicky.
Licklicky quickly shapened himself up, looking back towards Auggie’s side of the field as he waited for his next move.
However, Auggie was in a hysterical fit, once again, rolling around on the ground as he cupped his stomach with his hands.
Casey become flustered as she realized Auggie was laughing at Lickilicky.
“What exactly do you think you’re laughing at?!” Casey confronted Auggie for blatantly offending her friend.
“THAT thing is the best you’ve got?” Auggie continued laughing as he ridiculed both Casey’s choice in Pokemon and Lickilicky’s apperance. “I’m sorry, really and truly, but, is a Lickiwhatever really the best you can do?” Auggie’s attitude was surprisingly unprofessional, especially for being one of the most well respected Gym leaders in the region.
Casey’s aggravation fully kicked in, and it showed well through her response. “Why don’t you stop acting like a child, get off your ass and find out!”
“Wow. Well, I guess I deserved that. Still, I am your boss, so I suggest you restrain that tongue of yours from here on out.” Auggie lifted himself up with a Pokeball in his hand. It felt like deja vu for Casey, but this time, she was angry and ready for a fight.
Auggie very nonchalantly tossed a Pokeball into the field, yawning as the light materialized into a massive beast with a Godzilla-like frame. It heaved its armored skull back as it roared, shaking the very earth beneath it. Its heavy black tail was beating the ground, an intimidation tactic that Lickilicky naturally ignored.
Casey and Lickilicky looked on at Aggron, both standing their ground in the face of the mighty iron plated beast. They refused to let the stoic glare of Aggron’s sharp icy eyes put them off. At this moment, both Casey and Lickilicky were in perfect sync with one another, ready to take the fight as they waited for Auggie’s first move.
“Stand your ground, Aggron. Use Iron Defense if this blob tries anything funny.”
“Don’t...CALL HIM THAT!” Casey shouted in anger as she gave her first command, “Hit that hulking hunk of metal with a Gyro Ball!”
Licklicky started a slow run towards Aggron, beginning a spin midway that accelerated rapidly as he moved across the field. A ring of aqua tinted energy formed around Lickilicky as it spun in Aggron’s direction.
Aggron held its ground, its body slightly glowing as it used Iron Defense in preparation for the rotund blur moving towards it. Licklicky made contact, first bouncing off of Aggron, then hitting it again, and then again. This went on for a moment, Aggron unflinching until the fifth or six hit when Auggie finally ordered it to counter with Iron Tail. Aggron quickly batted its opponent away with the massive appendage extending from its rear.
Lickilicky spun out into the distance, landing on his large bottom and quickly recovering at Casey’s request. Both Pokemon seemed unharmed as they stood eagerly awaiting their trainers’ next command.
“Show them your Dragon Tail, Lickilicky” Casey shouted triumphantly as she remembered the many battles Lickilicky’s Dragon type attack had gotten them through.
“Liiicc,” he shouted a triumphant battle cry as he once again charged his opponent. About eight feet away from Aggron, Lickilicky jumped forward, using the girth of his stomach to launch himself at Aggron’s iron coated head. Lickilicky’s stubby tuft of a tail extended as it glew a light energy the same as the ring that formed around its Gyro Ball. Auggie was too busy laughing to issue a counter, thus the Dragon Tail made contact, staggering Aggron a bit before he swatted Lickilcky away with his heavy plated arm.
Casey watched the events unfolding before her with mixed emotions. She was pleased by the damage done by Lickilicky’s Dragon Tail, but fed up with Auggie’s persistent mockery of her Pokemon.
Auggie quickly collected himself after seeing Aggron take the hit, responding with an offense typical of large Iron Armor species.
“Beat it down with Metal Claw, Aggron!” Aggron roared, and in a rush of aggression reared its gigantic claws back and reaped them across the loathsome pink blob. Thankfully, Lickilicky was quick to dodge, only being grazed by the attack. Had he been a second later, he would have been caught in Aggron’s relentless onslaught caused by its obvious lust for blood. Aggron was in strong pursuit of Lickilicky, its sharp metal claws either missing or barely grazing the dodgy Lickilicky.
“Lickilicky it’s time to finish this! Use Power Whip, now!”
Licklicky nodded as it reared its head back, its long tongue extending and glowing with hot violet brilliance. Its tongue lashed down on Aggron’s head and across its chest, leaving a sizable dent in its armored head. Aggron reacted quickly, grabbing on to Lickilicky’s tongue and pulling it in.
“Lickilicky,” Casey shouted for her friend, remembering what happened to Buizel when Heatmor had him within her grasp, and fearing what may come next.
“Crush it, Aggron. Use Metal Burst.”
Casey’s heart dropped hearing Auggie’s command. Metal Burst countering against an attack as powerful as Power Whip meant this battle was over for sure, but it was the pain Lickilicky would experience that concerned her the most.
Lickilicky was in a panicked struggle as Aggron raised its other arm in the air, forming a flashing ball of energy in the air. Just as Aggron was about to finish the fight, Casey called out to Auggie.
“Wait! Stop, we forfeit!” Casey was nearly in tears as she imagined what would happen next.
Auggie was in somewhat of a shock, hearing Casey give up at the mere thought of what would happen to Lickilicky as a result of the Metal Burst.
“Aggron, hold it!” Auggie called the beast down, who shot back a defiant look of frustration at his trainer. Aggron was just waiting for the moment it would send Lickilicky into oblivion. “Casey, are you sure you want to quit?”
“Yes, you win, just, please, tell Aggron to let Lickilicky go!” Casey’s emotional turmoil was reaching its peak. She was barely able to hold back her tears as she waited for Auggie to call Aggron off.
“Aggron, you heard her! They don’t want to fight anymore. Let Lickilicky go!” Aggron roared at his trainer, attempting to communicate, but it was hopeless. Aggron was hell bent on sending a message. It was a wild beast. It wasn’t meant to be here, held in captivity by some buffon. It brought the massive glowing sphere down on to Licklicky, the flash blinding both Casey and Auggie as Aggron released its grip on Lickilicky’s tongue and sent him rocketing to the far end of the area.
When Casey finally regained her sight, she saw Licklicky lying motionless in front of the heavily cracked and damaged plaster wall. Auggie was also down, apparently a victim of Aggron’s vicious rampage. However, Aggron now stood motionless with a blank stare as the jackal-like figure in front of him held out its spiked paw. Casey noticed one of her Pokeballs had opened up, and recognized the creature immediately as her Lucario.
Lucario, shrouded in an aura as blue as the oceans and the fur on his body, looked determinedly at Casey, who was trying to digest everything around her.
“Go to him.” Lucario’s head motioned towards Lickilicky as Casey heard the voice in her head. “The human is fine.” Casey had heard this mysterious voice in her head many times before. It was what brought her and Lucario together initially, and what has kept them together since their meeting.
She looked towards Auggie as he sat up, blood trickling down his temple from when his head met the ground after being smacked down by Aggron. Auggie noticed Casey watching him as he grabbed Aggron’s Pokeball, preparing to return him now that he had been calmed by Lucario’s aura.
“I’m fine! Check on Lickilicky,” Auggie shouted to Casey as he returned Aggron to its Pokeball and immediately set the locking mechanism to prevent it from escaping from its ball later on.
Casey ran to Lickilicky’s side, while Lucario finally relaxed, the aura he emitted before now dissipating. Auggie looked down at Aggron’s Pokeball, wondering what had gone wrong. A silence had fallen across the room, each individual wrought with emotion and trapped within their thoughts.
The peaceful region of Johto was shrouded in a calming twilight. Maya had just returned to her room in the Pokemon Center after checking on Munch, who had been sleeping since he was checked into the Center’s hospital. She opened the window on the far side of the two-bed room and a cool chill rushed in, crawling up her spine and sending shivers through her body. She quickly closed the window, and as she turned around, she noticed Lucas’s backpack kneeling against the leg of one of the beds. He must have come into town while she was with Munch, but now, he was nowhere to be seen.
At first, Maya wasn’t too concerned, until she noticed his burgundy Unova Academy jacket lying on the bed. Without hesitating, Maya pulled on her own plain ivory hoodie and grabbed Lucas’s jacket as she turned off the light and headed out the door.
Maya found Lucas sitting in the woods, right where the trees met the road. He had his knees pressed to his chest, shivering until he noticed Maya and he attempted to mask it. Avey was sitting next to Lucas, staring attentively at the road, and looking a bit tuckered out. The sun had set, and moon sat high in the sky, as bright and full as can be. It shone enough light on the road for Maya to notice Lucas had laid out bird feed in the dirt.
“You know it’s in the low sixties tonight,” Maya said cutely.
“Really? I hadn’t noticed,” Lucas replied sarcastically. “What are you hiding behind your back?” He asked curiously and peered around as Maya moved so he couldn’t see.
“I’ll tell you under one condition.” Maya held her pointer finger out, almost directly in Lucas’s face as he gently swatted it away.
“Fine, what is it?” It was hard to tell whether Lucas was asking what the condition was, or what Maya was hiding.
“Accept my apology for how I acted earlier.” She held out Lucas’s jacket as he sat looking sort of bewildered. “I’m sorry.”
“Oh, yeah, of course. I didn’t realize you were still on about that.” Lucas took the jacket from Maya’s hand and quickly put it on, zipping it up as Avey began acting erratically, attempting to draw Lucas’s attention to the road. “Thanks for th-- What is it, Avey?” Lucas had completely forgotten that Maya was there when he saw the golden feathered Pidgey pecking away at the feed on the road.
Maya tried getting his attention, but her attempts were fruitless as he and Avey quickly and silently prepared a battle strategy. Instead, she slowly and somberly started walking back into town. She felt rejected by Lucas, not even getting an apology in return.
Meanwhile, Lucas and Avey failed to notice the large caravan truck coming down the road into town. The Pidgey flew away out of sight as the truck passed Lucas, the look on his face frightening Avey as he be buried his face in the ground.
Maya watched as the truck drove by, thinking she had saw someone peeking out from the back of the truck. She assumed her mind was playing tricks and continued into town as Lucas had a nervous breakdown over losing the Pidgey again.
There you have it! As I stated before the story, I'd quickly like to go through how the rest of the series is going to work. From here on out, you can expect the standard chapter of Central to be 10 - 13 pages/4500 - 6000 words, as the last two have been.
The story itself is going to be divided into four major arcs, each one focusing on a different plot point and occurring within a different season. In between these arcs, I'll be taking a publishing hiatus from Central to work on tie-ins for the series, after which I'll begin releasing Central again.
I've yet to decide exactly how long Central will run, right now, I don't really have an end game in sight, but I'm anticipating it to run anywhere between 45 - 60-ish chapters.
So, yeah, I'm going to start working on the next chapter now. Oh, and also expect a chapter list and character bios in my original post in the near future.