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Thread: A Quick Trip

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    Hello there! I do not often post my work here, but thought I would for this one. Here's my latest Pokemon fanfic, A Quick Trip (Rated PG for now).

    Disclaimer: I don't own the Pokemon or places mentioned/visited in this story.

    Genre: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama (later on), Suspense (later on)

    And just so you're not confused:
    "Example" is for humans and Pokemon speaking in their native tongues (meaning humans speaking English, and Pokemon speaking their names).
    "<Example>" is for Pokemon-speech translated into English.
    "Example" is for human/Pokemon thoughts.

    Also, constructive criticism is highly encouraged. Always looking to improve.


    And now, without further ado, I present you with...

    A QUICK TRIP
    (to Hoenn and Back)


    Chapter One
    No-Good City-Folk

    All was calm on Route 39. A warm sea breeze from the south brought the salty scent of Olivine City well beyond the city limits. The sun shone brightly overhead, glinting off the wings of a Skarmory as it took flight. A herd of Mareep took to grazing, their fleece shimmering in the sunlight. Swarms of Ledyba buzzed overhead, as a couple of Nidoran nestled themselves in the grass. The only noise to be heard was the bleating of Mareep.

    But the serenity was not to last, for the rumbling of dozens of hooves interrupted the peaceful scene as a large group of Tauros came charging down the hill. The Ledyba took to the trees at the thunderous noise. The Mareep herd and Nidoran scattered, hurrying out of the immediate path of the panicked bull Pokemon. A young man and woman, out for a midday picnic, leaped to their feet and stumbled backwards as the many Tauros approached, blind with hysteria. The woman’s Furret bristled its fur and retreated to a nearby tree.

    “There’ll be no stopping those Tauros until they hit something,” said the young man, as they watched the frenzied Tauros thunder by.

    “But they’re headed right for the city!” the young woman gasped.

    The man started to reply, but was interrupted by the cry of a teenage boy, as he bolted down the hill after the rampaging Tauros. “Oh, crud! Oh, crud! Oh, crud! Granbull! Noctowl! Come on, guys!”

    The man sighed. “It’s Marcus again. Should’ve known he was behind this.”

    Marcus Piper--brave as he was crazy--had lost control of the Tauros herd. Again. The last time they’d only made it to the edge of his grandfather’s field, but this time he hadn’t been able to stop them. He wore a white T-shirt with an orange Pokeball design on the side, and a pair of baggy cargo shorts. A pair of worn-out sneakers donned his feet, and red sweatbands clung to his wrists. He was skidding down the hill at top speed. As the wind whipped at his messy brown hair, it snatched his blue flat-bill cap right off his head.

    But not for long. A large purple bulldog--Granbull--leaped into the air and snagged his trainer’s hat in his huge jaws. The Granbull landed with surprising nimbleness and, with a quick toss of his head, snapped the cap back to Marcus as they both ran. Marcus caught the cap and winked a blue eye at his partner. “Thanks, bud!”

    With renewed vigor, Granbull tore forward even faster than before. Behind him, an owl Pokemon of impressive size glided low to the ground.

    “Noctowl, carry Granbull to the front of the herd!” Marcus exclaimed, calling out directions as he ran. “Granbull, stop those Tauros with your Scary Face!”

    The two Pokemon obeyed. Noctowl flapped his wings and surged forward, catching Granbull in his strong talons as he flew. The bulldog Pokemon felt his paws leave the ground and watched as Noctowl carried him over stampeding Tauros. Noctowl overtook the herd easily and dropped Granbull several yards ahead of them. Granbull rose on his hind legs, teeth bared. He pulled down on his ears, made the scariest face he could think of, and barked loudly.

    It worked. At least, it seemed to. Several Tauros in the front of the stampede reared back or skidded forward in surprise. The rest just plowed into them, which only served to whip up the frenzy even more.

    “MOOOOOOHH!”

    “<Oh, crud! Oh, crud! Oh, crud!>” Granbull howled in Pokemon language, as he stumbled backwards in fright. He cringed, hoping with all his might to escape certain squashing.

    “Noctowl, use Hypnosis!” Marcus called--just in time.

    The owl Pokemon swooped in front of Granbull and spread his wings defiantly before the stampeding Tauros. His eyes widened, and all of the Tauros dropped to the ground in a heap, snoring softly.

    The danger now averted, Noctowl turned his head around to Granbull and hooted, “<Wow, some day, huh?>”

    Granbull plopped back onto his rear, panting, and muttered, “<I think I just saw my life flashing before my eyes.>”

    Their trainer, having finally caught up with them, skidded to a stop among the sleeping Tauros. He placed his cap back on his head and pulled it backwards. “Whew! That was a close one! Good job, guys!”

    Marcus paused and looked around at the many sleeping Tauros. He crossed his arms over his chest and frowned. “Now how are we going to get all these Tauros back home?”

    Granbull and Noctowl sighed.

    *****

    “Grandma? Granddad? We’re back!” Marcus called, throwing open the door to his grandparents’ home. The Tauros had returned to grazing peacefully (as peacefully as Tauros could) out in the Pokemon ranch’s field.

    As Marcus entered, a grinning purple monkey swung into the hallway and grabbed onto Marcus’s face. His tail served as an extra appendage (a literal appendage, with a hand and everything), and he used it to snatch Marcus’s hat and place it on his own little head. The monkey then swung onto Marcus’s shoulder and laughed.

    “Aipom pom!”

    Marcus chuckled at the little monkey’s antics. “I was only gone an hour, Aipom!”

    “Oh, Marcus,” he heard his grandmother call from another room, “did you manage to get all the Tauros back?”

    He reclaimed his cap and followed her voice into the kitchen, where the sturdy old woman was busily chopping vegetables. “You bet, Grandma!” he replied, dropping into a chair. Aipom slid off his shoulder and onto the table, where he proceeded to lift himself up on his tail and bounce up and down. “Aipom, get off the table!”

    “Pom pom!” the monkey declared, laughing. He leaped onto the hanging lightbulb and swung up into the rafters.

    Granbull plodded into the kitchen and took his seat next to Marcus at the table--just like a person. A purple, big-jawed person. Marcus patted him on the head. “Granbull here was a big help. He and Noctowl managed to rein the big ol’ beef-heads in!”

    Grandma laughed. She was about to say something when her husband, Marcus’s grandfather, swung open the backdoor and walked in, overalls muddied from work outside. An old Growlithe trotted in behind him. “Hyee-doggy! Those young Mareep know how to give an old man a workout! Guess they don’ know I was just gonna give ’em a good wool-trimmin’!”

    He snapped the large shearers a couple of times to emphasize his point.

    “Oh, hey, Marco!” he said, bushy eyebrows raised. “Were those Tauros okay for ya?”

    Marcus and Granbull looked at each other and shrugged.

    “Oh, yeah. Same old, same old.”

    Granbull nodded. “<They’re just as dumb and slobbery as ever,>” he muttered in Pokemon-speak. To the humans it sounded like the low bark of a dog.

    Aipom hung upside-down by his tail from the beams overhead, clutching his toes with his hands. He grinned down at Granbull and said, “<Look who’s talkin’! Hah!>”

    “<Why you little--!>” Granbull barked, leaping onto the table and shaking his jowls angrily. This only made the monkey Pokemon laugh harder.

    “Granbull! Get down!” Granddad exclaimed sternly, snapping his shearers angrily. “You know you’re not supposed to sit on the table!”

    Granbull pointed up at Aipom and whined.

    “I don’t care what Aipom told you,” Granddad replied, accurately guessing what Granbull had said, “I’m telling you to get off the table!”

    Granbull complied and, with an enormous frown (for his jowls were quite large), skulked out of the room.

    “Wow, Granddad,” Marcus whistled. “It sounded like you actually knew what Granbull was talking about that time.”

    “I did,” Granddad said, sliding his shearers onto the counter and wiping his face with a dish towel (much to his wife’s displeasure). “It’s not hard to figure out what the problem is whenever that pesky monkey’s around!”

    Aipom laughed again.

    “Oh, that reminds me--” Grandma mused, stabbing her knife into the cutting board and turning around, “--someone called for you earlier, Marcus. Someone from the city. Said his name was… Eh… Er… Er-something…”

    “Erwin?” Marcus offered.

    “Erwin! That was it!”

    “City-folk? Nothin’ good can come from no-good city-folk!” Granddad declared--for the fourth time that week.

    Marcus ignored the jab. “He’s a trainer in the Olivine City gym. An assistant of Jasmine. What did he want?”

    “Didn’t say,” Grandma continued, turning back to her vegetable-cutting. “Just that he needed to speak with you. Best not keep city-folk waiting!”

    Aipom folded his little arms over his chest and hung upside-down in front of Marcus. “<Yeah. They hate that,>” he said smugly, though Marcus couldn’t understand him.

    “I’m warnin’ ya, Marco!” Granddad said, as Marcus rose to leave. “Nothin’ good can come from city-folk!”

    “Alright, I’ll watch out for ’em, Granddad!” Marcus replied with a laugh, hurrying out of the kitchen. Aipom bounded after him.

    Granddad reached down and patted the old Growlithe that had fallen asleep at his feet. “That’s right. Nothin’ good from city-folk…”

    *****

    His second trip down the hill was much more peaceful than the first. The picnickers had since left (probably fearing an encore of earlier events), but most of the Pokemon had returned to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Aipom was perched on Marcus’s shoulder, pointing and snickering at Pokemon they passed that he thought were funny looking. Granbull, despite his general dislike for the monkey, had insisted on coming along. He was as loyal as they come, and always stuck by his master.

    Marcus was used to Route 39. He took it often when he delivered their ranch’s products--milk from Miltank and wool from Mareep--to the Olivine market. Many of the citizens had come to like him, but others were convinced he was a troublemaker. Still, they all had to acknowledge his way with Pokemon--befriending, training, and battling them.

    He’d grown especially close to Jasmine, Olivine City’s gym leader and the city’s representative of the Pokemon League. For years it had been her Ampharos that had lit the port city’s lighthouse. But her Ampharos had grown old, and a new one had been needed. It was Marcus’s that had been chosen to replace it: an Ampharos he had raised since she was just a baby Mareep. He made frequent visits to see his Ampharos there in the lighthouse, as she guided ships safely to shore day in and day out.

    As Marcus approached the edge of the port city, a young man in his twenties came to meet him. “Ah, Marcus! I was hoping you’d come!”

    “Erwin! Hey, man! What’s up?”

    “<Besides your general weirdness,>” Granbull commented.

    “<And your crazy hair!>” Aipom added, snickering to himself. It was quite true, for Erwin was a tad eccentric, and it showed most notably in his peculiar hairstyle. His blond hair was parted right down the middle: half of it was standing on end, as if electrocuted, and the other half was sleeked back. His attire was mostly normal--albeit a bit formal--, consisting of a steely gray vest over a white button-down, and a pair of black pants and shoes. He pushed a pair of glasses up his nose as he approached, smiling at Marcus.

    A Pokemon floated behind Erwin. It actually looked like three gray, one-eyed Pokemon stuck together with magnets. Marcus had seen it before, but it still confused him every time. Magneton, he remembered it was called.

    “<That thing’s staring at me with its three eyeballs,>” Aipom whined. "<Make it stop.>"

    Marcus turned his attention back to Erwin.

    “I’ll cut to the chase,” the Olivine gym assistant began, pushing his glasses up again--they seemed to slide down a lot--, “Miss Jasmine has a friend in Hoenn, and needs someone to pick something up for her. Ever heard of the Devon Corporation?”

    Marcus shrugged, throwing Aipom off-balance. “Yeah, sure. They’re pretty famous all over the place.”

    “Well, their headquarters is in Rustboro City,” Erwin continued, “and they’ve just developed some new equipment for gym leaders. Johto’s been a little slow on the uptake these past few years, but our Pokemon League’s making a comeback! Trouble is, there’s not a mail-carrier that runs from Hoenn to Johto, so Jasmine needs someone to pick her package up.”

    “But why me?” Marcus inquired.

    “<Yeah, why us?>” Granbull echoed.

    Erwin grinned, sliding his glasses back up his nose. Again. “Well, naturally, it needs to be someone she can trust, and we’ve all got our hands full right now with the big trainer boom in Johto as of late. And since you’re a responsible guy and the toughest trainer this side of Ecruteak--besides us, of course--Jasmine thought you’d be a perfect fit for the job.”

    “Well, gee, that’s cool and all,” Marcus replied, scratching his head, “but what about Ampharos? She won’t have anyone to visit her if I’m gone.”

    Erwin retrieved a Pokeball from his belt and extended it to Marcus. “I anticipated that, and I have her Pokeball right here.”

    Marcus received the Pokeball and raised an eyebrow. “What about the lighthouse then? If Ampharos is gone, who’ll guide the boats into port?”

    “Jasmine says her Ampharos can hold down the fort until you get back,” Erwin answered--he seemed to have an answer for every objection. “She may be old, but she’s still got plenty of light in her for that lighthouse!”

    Marcus still seemed unsure. “Okay, so how will I get there?”

    “<I’m not swimming,>” Aipom resolved, arms crossed.

    “<You can’t swim,>” Granbull muttered.

    “<Which is why I’m not doing it.>”

    “Don’t worry about getting there! We’ll take care of it. We’ve already got a round-trip ticket for the S.S. Aqua to take you from here all the way to Slateport City in Hoenn!”

    “Whoa. Sounds like you guys had this all figured out,” Marcus mused, looking down at the Pokeball in his hand. “A trip to Hoenn and back, huh? An adventure outside of Johto? Sounds like fun.”

    He turned to the two Pokemon with him. “What do you think, guys? Should we take a quick trip all the way to Hoenn?”

    “<Nope. Sounds like trouble. Let’s just go home,>” Granbull woofed.

    “<Do they have girls in Hoenn?>” Aipom inquired. “<Because if they do, I’m totally in.>”

    Marcus still couldn’t understand them, but it didn’t matter. He’d already made up his mind: “Great! That settles it!”

    He turned back to Erwin, who was eagerly awaiting his reply. “Erwin, we’re in.”

    “Perfect! Glad to hear it!” the assistant exclaimed. “Especially,” he thought, breathing a sigh of relief, “because those tickets were nonrefundable!”

    Granbull groaned. Aipom laughed.

    Erwin handed Marcus a round-trip ticket. “This ticket will see you there and back. You can use it at your leisure; there’s no specified date on the return trip. The ship leaves at ten o’ clock in the morning, so I’ll meet you at the dock then. Sleep well, Marcus! You have an adventure ahead of you!”

    Marcus couldn’t help but think that maybe he’d made a rash decision. His grandfather had told him many times that “nothin’ good can come from city-folk.”

    But as he parted ways with Erwin that afternoon, he was excited. Excited for a chance to explore beyond the life he’d grown accustomed to. Excited for a chance to see new things. Excited for…

    an adventure.

    And it was just a quick trip, right?
    Last edited by Hotshot; 15th August 2013 at 4:52 PM.

    (Credit for the banner image goes to All0412 from DeviantArt!)

    Chapter Three: The Seashore House
    "Do you guys have any milk?"
    "No, but we have soda pop."
    "How about some fresh water?"
    "Fresh out. Would you like a soda pop?"

  2. #2
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    Hey, that was a pretty fun first chapter. I'm not very good at reviewing, since I never know what to say, but I'll leave a reply all the same.

    First of all, I'm glad that this has the Hotshot sense of humour. You know that I'm a big fan of that. It's also kinda nice that you're using Pokémon who aren't seen all that much in fan fiction. It's a nice idea having a country boy trainer from Johto going to Hoenn, since that could make for some interesting situations like cultural differences and whatnot.

    The characters' personalities should make for a fun dynamic. Granbull seems delightfully snarky.

    Uhh... let's see. The description was fine. I guess the house wasn't described a whole lot, but then again, Marcus is going to Hoenn, so it's not like a huge description was necessary since I doubt we'll be seeing the place again for awhile.

    So, yeah. I liked it, and I'm eager to see what's next!
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griff4815 View Post
    Hey, that was a pretty fun first chapter. I'm not very good at reviewing, since I never know what to say, but I'll leave a reply all the same.
    Good at reviewing or not, I always appreciate that you spend the time to read the stuff I write! (P.S. I think you're a solid big-picture reviewer, and I need that just as much as the nitty-gritty details!)

    It's also kinda nice that you're using Pokémon who aren't seen all that much in fan fiction. It's a nice idea having a country boy trainer from Johto going to Hoenn, since that could make for some interesting situations like cultural differences and whatnot.
    I've always enjoyed reading stories that give some character to Pokemon who aren't seen much, so I often try to do the same. As for Marcus the country boy... Hah. You read my mind. Although he's not nearly as hick-ish as his grandparents, and has some connection to "no-good city-folk", he's definitely a farm boy.

    The characters' personalities should make for a fun dynamic. Granbull seems delightfully snarky.
    Thanks. I'm hoping that I'll be able to juggle both human and Pokemon personalities sufficiently.

    I guess the house wasn't described a whole lot, but then again, Marcus is going to Hoenn, so it's not like a huge description was necessary since I doubt we'll be seeing the place again for awhile.
    That was my original thinking. The house and ranch aren't really that significant, though I'm welcome to suggestions as to how much description/attention should be applied to them.

    Thanks for reading and reviewing, buddy!

    (Credit for the banner image goes to All0412 from DeviantArt!)

    Chapter Three: The Seashore House
    "Do you guys have any milk?"
    "No, but we have soda pop."
    "How about some fresh water?"
    "Fresh out. Would you like a soda pop?"

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    No problem!

    That was my original thinking. The house and ranch aren't really that significant, though I'm welcome to suggestions as to how much description/attention should be applied to them.
    As it's not overly important, like you said, I'd say just one or two sentences of description would be good, just to give an idea of Marcus and family's way of living. Nothing too detailed though, since I don't see a point in bogging people down with paragraphs of description for something that's hardly ever going to be seen again.
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013

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    Griff: I included a little bit of description of the ranch in chapter two, so hopefully that will help a little. I'm still trying to figure out where the best place for some added description would be in chapter one.

    Anyway, here's chapter two. Please do read and review! (It's a good deal longer than the first chapter; let me know what you think, readers!)

    Chapter Two
    First Glimpse of a New Land

    “See? What’d I tell ya? City-folk come buttin’ into our peace, an’ nex’ thing y’know, they’re whiskin’ ya off to who-knows-where!”

    “If you were a Pokemon, you’d be a Krabby,” Grandma said, quieting her grouchy husband. She had affirmed Marcus’s choice; having been a traveler herself, she was a little more openminded about the rest of the world than her husband. Marcus recalled that she had been a Pokemon trainer years ago, before she settled down with Granddad.

    “Besides, a Pidgey has to leave the nest sooner or later,” she reminded her husband, as they helped Marcus pack some basic necessities for his trip.

    Granddad was sitting on Marcus’s bed, rolling up a jacket to stuff in the teenager’s knapsack. “I know it! I jus’ wish he’d go somewhere more sensible--like Route 38!”

    Marcus rolled his eyes. “Route 38’s just up the road, Granddad.”

    “Exactly!”

    Marcus and Grandma laughed. They’d already packed the necessary items for Marcus’s short journey: some money, a change of clothes, toothbrush, jacket, and a couple of other small things he might need. He’d tied a little sleeping bag on the side too, because Rustboro City was several towns away from the port. Marcus would probably have to spend a night or two outside. He didn’t mind it, though. He’d done it many times before, spending the night out with Granbull and the Mareep.

    Despite Granddad’s rants (and they were many), Marcus felt sure he was doing the right thing. He’d always been fond of Jasmine--and even weird ol’ Erwin--so he was excited for a chance to help them out.

    Grandma handed him a pair of red swim trunks. “Here, you’ll want these.”

    “Trunks? What’s he gonna need trunks for?” Granddad asked, furrowing his brow.

    “I heard Hoenn’s got some pretty beaches,” Grandma replied, with a wink. “They probably have some pretty girls to go with ’em. I don’t want Marcus missin’ out!”

    Marcus looked skeptical, but took the trunks anyway. “Uh… Thanks, Grandma.”

    “<Woohoo! Girls!>” Aipom exclaimed, popping out of Marcus’s closet with some very tiny swim trunks clasped in his tail-hand. He bounded up onto Marcus’s bed and stuffed his own trunks into Marcus’s knapsack. Then he raised himself on the end of his tail and bounced up into the rafters. “<When they see me in those babies, the ladies will lose their minds!>”

    *****

    It wasn’t long before Marcus was all packed up and prepared to go. Knapsack on, shoes tied, cap backwards, Ampharos and Noctowl in Pokeballs on his belt, Granbull and Aipom at his side, and ticket in hand--he was ready. Granbull had a totebag around his shoulder with the lunch Grandma had made: personalized sandwiches for each of them.

    She’d even put in an extra one in case they met a pretty girl.

    Grandma sure was weird.

    Marcus hugged his grandmother, endured another verbal jab from his grandfather, and then hugged him too. Marcus knew the old man didn’t mean any harm--it was how he expressed his sadness at seeing his grandson leave.

    Marcus still thought he was exaggerating, though. He’d be back before long. After all, it was only a quick trip to Hoenn and back.

    As he crossed the field where Granddad’s Tauros were grazing, he looked back and waved to his grandparents, who were both still at the door of their tiny house in the hills. Their barn stood beside it, where a lot of Pokemon Marcus had grown up with dwelt. Granddad would let some of them out to graze and exercise a little later. He paused a moment at the edge of Granddad’s field, and scanned the sky. Not a cloud; only a flock of Pidgey flying overhead, heading who-knows-where.

    Marcus grinned. He was about to join them.

    Aipom leaped from his perch on the boy’s shoulder and hopped toward Route 39’s familiar path. “<Hurry up, Slowpokes! There are babes waiting for me!>”

    Granbull stopped to scowl at Aipom, but then followed the purple monkey. Marcus just laughed and hurried after them. This was going to be a good day. He could feel it in his bones.

    His very own adventure.

    *****

    It wasn’t long before they reached Olivine City. The port city was already bustling with life as markets opened, ships came in to dock, and citizens and sailors busied themselves with their business. Towering high above them all, the watchful lighthouse stood guard on behalf of incoming ships, though its services were not necessary on such a bright and sunny day as this. Marcus smelled the salty sea air. It wasn’t as thick or as usual, he noted. Probably due to the fresh breeze swept in from the ocean. Sailboats would have a hard time leaving port today, but luckily most sea vessels nowadays typically employed other--more advanced--means of travel.

    The dock was crowded as always, and Marcus had a hard time finding Erwin (despite the gym assistant’s outrageous hairstyle). Granbull was much too short to be of any help, but Aipom proved the usefulness of his prehensile tail once again, this time climbing up onto a windowsill to get a better view. When he had spotted Erwin--via his half-sleek, half-spiky hairdo--the Aipom leaped back onto Marcus’s shoulder and turned his head in the right direction.

    “Oh, there he is! Thanks, Aipom!”

    Granbull rolled his eyes. “<I could do that too if I had an extra arm sticking out of my butt.>”

    Aipom stuck his tongue out at the bulldog Pokemon and retorted, “<But you don’t, do you?>”

    “Erwin!” Marcus called, shoving his way past a couple of burly sailors and a Machoke. Granbull managed to squeeze through too. “I’m ready to go!”

    Erwin greeted the teenager with a handshake and then slid his glasses back up his nose. “Fantastic! And you’ve got your ticket then? Great; you’re all set. The ship’s leaving soon, so we’d better get you on it. Right this way!”

    Marcus followed Erwin along the crowded dock, past sailors and Pokemon carrying crates and barrels of supplies for trading or voyaging, keeping his eyes on the spiky side of Erwin’s hair so he never lost sight of him. Granbull, whose legs were a good deal shorter, had a harder time keeping up, but he managed alright (though he nearly knocked an unwary woman off the dock and into the water when he bumped into her).

    “You’ll be riding the High-Speed Vessel S.S. Aqua from here to Slateport City,” Erwin explained while walking. As they neared the vessel, it became obvious that the ship was built for speed. It wasn’t terribly small either, and in fact could carry over thirty passengers comfortably. It had nearly as many today, all lined up to board. Erwin drew near the end of the line and stopped to make sure Marcus had everything accounted for.

    “Okay, you’ve still got your ticket? Good. Now, the captain’s name is Captain Sully, and he makes frequent trips to and from Olivine. Should be a fairly quick ride; no more than a couple of hours. Remember, your destination is the Devon Corporation in Rustboro City, which is northwest of Slateport. Here’s a map--” He paused to hand Marcus a map of Hoenn. “--in case you need help. Oh, and let me give you my number in case you need to contact me--”

    After writing his phone number down on a small piece of paper, he gave it to Marcus. “Alright, that should do it. Now, is there anything I’m forgetting?”

    Marcus scratched his head. “I just have one last question: This thing that I’m picking up… What is it exactly? If you don’t mind telling me, I mean.”

    “Ah! Not at all. I meant to--it just slipped my mind. You’re picking up a PokeNav from the president of the Devon Corporation, an acquaintance of Jasmine’s. You’ve heard of the Pokemon Navigator, correct?”

    Marcus, Granbull, and Aipom shook their heads.

    Somewhat surprised, Erwin continued, “Hm… The Pokegear, then. Are you familiar with the Pokegear developed by Silph Co.?”

    Marcus and Granbull nodded. Aipom stuck a tail-finger in his ear.

    “Well, the PokeNav is quite like the Pokegear,” Erwin went on to explain, “except that its original intent was to monitor Pokemon, their feelings, and their growth. Not to mention, it had a host of other functions built in. However, the Devon Corporation’s recent advancement in technology--along with the help of former Professor Samuel Oak--has led it to the development of a new generation of PokeNav--one which serves as both a Pokemon Navigator and a Pokedex, allowing it to store data on any and all known Pokemon! Isn’t that great?!”

    Marcus nodded slowly. Granbull shrugged. Aipom was too busy picking his ear to care.

    “Yes?” Marcus ventured, still not really understanding. All the technological talk and terms made his head spin. He did recognize the name Samuel Oak. Everyone--even Marcus’s Granddad--knew who Oak was. The man was as legendary as Lugia, the guardian of the seas.

    “The new PokeNav would be useful to any trainer, to be sure,” Erwin persisted, his excitement growing, “but just think of how invaluable it would be to gym leaders, as they seek to help teach and train the next generation of Pokemon trainers! The Johto League is making them standard-issue for all its gym leaders. I’ve heard that Kanto, Sinnoh, and Unova have too. Naturally, Hoenn has been on the ball for some time already, but we are quickly following suit!”

    Erwin wasn’t finished. He went on to ramble about different functions of the new PokeNav and their “indispensable” uses, and other some-such as that. Marcus had lost focus shortly after Granbull did (the bulldog Pokemon had been distracted by Aipom’s uncouth breach of etiquette). The teenage boy turned his attention to the S.S. Aqua, which was just receiving its last few passengers.

    “Uh, Erwin?” Marcus stammered, interrupting the gym assistant’s monologue. “I think the boat’s about to leave!”

    “Well, it’s not really a boat,” Erwin corrected, pushing his glasses up. “It’s more of a ship.”

    “Okay, well, ship then. Don’t I need to be on it?”

    Erwin’s eyes widened. “Oh, yes! Yes! Off you go!” He shoved Marcus up to the bridge, where a burly sailor stood inspecting tickets.

    Erwin waved him on. “Take--luck! I mean, good luck! Take care! Come back soon!”

    Marcus flashed his ticket, and the sailor allowed him, Granbull, and Aipom to board the ship. “You’re just in time,” the man said with a big grin. “I was worried that weird fellow’d make ya miss your boat!”

    “Whew… Me too,” Marcus replied, breathing a sigh of relief as he cast one last, brief look at Olivine City and Erwin, who was just disappearing back into the crowd, only his hair still visible.

    “Hah. I knew it was a boat.”

    *****

    It wasn’t long before the S.S. Aqua had, like an oversized speedboat, thrust itself upon the ocean and was hurtling over sea at high speeds. Marcus had to hold onto his hat to keep it from flying off in the wind. Most of the other passengers had gone below deck, but he had wanted a full view as he traveled across the ocean for the first time. Granbull wasn’t overly excited about this because, apparently, sea travel made him queasy. He tottered towards Marcus, standing by the railing, and Aipom, standing on the railing, and whined pitifully. He clutched his stomach with one paw, and held the other to his mouth: a sure sign of seasickness.

    “<Urf…>” Granbull moaned. “<I don't feel so good...>”

    “<Hey, if you’re gonna toss your cookies,>” Aipom said, folding his little hands over his chest as he clung to the railing by his tail, “<toss ’em overboard. This is a poop deck, not a puke deck.>”

    “You don’t look so good, Granbull,” Marcus said, withdrawing a Pokeball. “Here, I’ll hold onto the bag of sandwiches for now. You take a rest.”

    Granbull gratefully handed the totebag over to his trainer and allowed himself to be returned to the Pokeball in a flash of red light. Now that it was just him and Aipom, Marcus looked for something to do. “What do you think, Aipom? Should we go below deck?”

    “Aipom! Pom!” Aipom just laughed and pointed towards the stern of the boat. Marcus followed the monkey’s line of sight to two figures, one large and the other small, seated side-by-side along the back railing.

    *****

    The larger of the two figures was a teenage boy, and looked about Marcus’s age; perhaps a little older. He was built bigger than Marcus--both broader and chubbier--and had a fuller, rosier face. A big puff of curly blond hair sat on his head. His clothes--a forest green shirt, cutoff jean shorts, and hiking boots--looked heavily worn and weathered. An enormous backpack filled with all sorts of necessities for a long journey (even a frying pan tied to the outside) lay next to him.

    His name was Harold. Harold Flynn.

    He was sitting cross-legged behind the rail, with his fishing rod in hand. At his side sat the smaller figure: a decidedly frog-like Pokemon. It had dark blue skin and white stripes around its waist. Black and orange markings decorated its fingers, and the orange sacs on its cheeks were filled with poison. A pair of yellow eyes stared out over the sea, unblinking, as the S.S. Aqua hurtled over the water.

    “You know, Croagunk,” Harold began, all smiles, “sometimes it feels great to just sit here, on a boat, with nothing to do. Isn’t this relaxing?”

    Not even sparing his trainer a glance, Croagunk replied, in the tongue of Pokemon, “<It would be if you would stop talking.>”

    “I love just sitting here fishing with my best buddy at my side!” the chubby blond boy continued, still grinning at his frog-friend. “I can’t think of anything more fun!”

    Croagunk continued to stare out over the water. “<I can. Like sleeping on hot coals, for instance. Or being eaten alive by ravenous Sentret.>”

    “Yep, this is the life!”

    “<You do realize you can’t catch anything at this speed, right?>”

    Harold sighed. Turning his gaze back on the sea, he murmured, “I wish I could understand what you’re saying.”

    Croagunk looked up at him, smiling smugly. “<I wish you’d fall in. That would be hysterical.>”

    “Oh, Croagunk!” he exclaimed, erupting with fake laughter as he pretended to understand his Pokemon’s speech. “You’re hilarious!”

    “<True. And you’re an idiot.>”

    *****

    “Hey, let’s go over and talk to them, Aipom!” Marcus suggested, already moving in the direction of Harold and Croagunk.

    “<What? But they aren’t girls!>”

    Aipom groaned, but followed his trainer nonetheless. When they reached the duo seated at the back of the boat, Harold stumbled to his feet, still gaining his sea legs. Croagunk ignored them.

    “<Harold, sit back down. Maybe they’ll go away.>”

    “Hi there! I’m Marcus,” Marcus greeted, offering the larger boy a handshake, “and this here’s Aipom!”

    “Hey, Marcus!” Harold returned with a fist bump, which resulted in an awkward mess of neither knowing what to do. “Whoops. Sorry ‘bout that. Name’s Harold! Harold Flynn! Pleased to meet ya!”

    Then, gesturing to his Croagunk, he added, “And this ray of sunshine is Croagunk! Trust me, he’s pleased to meet ya too! He’s just not so good at showing it.”

    “<Yeah, that’s it,>” Croagunk muttered, rolling his eyes.

    Aipom hopped over to the frog Pokemon and clapped him on the back (which nearly sent him tumbling overboard).

    “<Hey, dude! You seem pretty cool. I’m Aipom!>”

    “<Delighted.>”

    Marcus placed his hands on his hips. “Look at that. They’re pals already! Say, that’s not a Johto Pokemon, is it?”

    “Nope, Croagunk’s from Sinnoh,” Harold replied with a grin. “Pastoria City, actually. Same as me!”

    Marcus whistled. “Wow. Sinnoh, huh? That sure is far. What brought you fellas all the way to Johto?”

    Harold chuckled and patted the oversized backpack at his side. “I’m a backpacker! Spent the past year backpacking across Kanto and Johto! And now it’s on to Unova!”

    “Uh, isn’t this boat going to Slateport City in Hoenn?” Marcus asked, his face paling.

    Harold frowned. “Hoenn? I thought this was the boat to Unova!”

    “<I tried to tell you,>” Croagunk said with a ribbit.

    Harold inspected his ticket. “Right ticket, wrong boat. I wonder how the ticket-checker guy missed that. Bummer, man.” His smile returned just seconds later. Nothing could keep this guy down. “Oh, well! Looks like we’ll be backpacking across Hoenn this time, Croagunk!”

    He looked back at Marcus. “Well, now that that’s settled, what brings a country boy like you out to Hoenn?”

    Marcus cringed a moment, but found himself laughing. “It’s that obvious, huh? I’m runnin’ an errand for Jasmine, gym leader of Olivine. Needs me to pick something special up for her in Rustboro City.”

    “Oooh, something special, huh? Sounds sketchy,” Harold commented, eyeing Marcus closely. “What is it? An experimental Pokemon? Plans for world-domination? Drugs? I heard she’s notorious for getting trainers to pick up drugs for her.”

    “<Why do we always make friends with the weird ones?>” Aipom asked, raising an eyebrow at Harold.

    Croagunk rolled his eyes. “<Tell me about it.>”

    Marcus laughed again, nervously. “No, no… Nothing like that. A Poke-something. Said it was like a Pokegear, but also like a Pokedex… Or something.”

    Harold was obviously disappointed. “Oh, that’s not as exciting as I’d hoped it’d be.”

    Harold’s stomach rumbled. “Aw, man. I’m starving. Croagunk, do we have any of that trail mix left?” He unzipped a few of his backpack’s pockets, looking for snacks.

    “<Nope. You inhaled it for breakfast.>”

    “Darn, I think I ate it already,” he muttered, plopping down next to the pack.

    Marcus looked down in his totebag. “Hey, my Grandma packed an extra sandwich in here if you want it.”

    Harold’s face lit up. He leaped to his feet. “Really? Grandma-food? I love grandma-food!”

    “<What?!>” Aipom protested, climbing onto Marcus’s shoulder. “<But that’s the pretty girl’s sandwich!>”

    The two trainers ate their sandwiches ravenously. Marcus hadn’t realized how hungry he was. Aipom, too, devoured his--a peanut butter and banana sandwich almost as big as his face--in mere minutes. Between mouthfuls, with crumbs all over his pudgy cheeks, Harold explained, “I was gonna try to catch a fish or something to cook for lunch, but no luck.”

    Before Marcus could respond, they were both startled by a man’s voice from behind: “The only thing you could catch at this speed is a Sharpedo, lad! And you don’t want one of those on the end of your line!”

    The two boys leaped to their feet, having been completely unaware of the man’s approach. They turned to look at the speaker, and were met with an ear-piercing, squawking noise.

    “Squaaaaaawk! Sharpedo! End of your line! End of your line!”

    Marcus blinked a few times, his ears still ringing.

    Before them stood a tall, grisly-looking man of rugged build. His scarred face, shaved head, and black, stubbly beard made him appear all the more menacing. He wore a navy blue coat with cutoff sleeves, a pair of dark pants, and scuffed-up boots. Except for his weathered coat, his torso was bare, revealing a hairy, barrel-chest. A dark blue bandanna was tied around his head.

    Marcus and Harold both thought he looked like a pirate.

    A parakeet Pokemon perched on his shoulder. Its head was black and shaped peculiarly like an eighth note, and its body was covered in blue, green, and yellow feathers. It squawked again. “Squawk! Sharpedo! Sharpedo!”

    “Whoops, sorry about that, lads,” the man who looked like a pirate said, shooing the bird away. “Chatot’s as noisy as they come!”

    He extended a hand to Harold, then to Marcus. “I’m the captain aboard this here ship! The name’s Captain Sully!”

    For a scary-looking pirate-man he was surprisingly goodnatured.

    “I’m Harold,” Harold spoke up, grinning at the captain. “And this is Michael--”

    “Marcus.”

    “I mean ‘Marcus.’”

    “Glad to meet you, boys,” Captain Sully replied with a big grin of his own. “I just wanted to let you know that we’d be arrivin’ soon. You can already see the shoreline off in the distance from the bow.”

    “Awesome!” Harold fist-pumped the sky. “A new adventure awaits us, Croagunk!”

    Marcus hurried to the front of the ship, with Harold at his heels. Aipom and Croagunk followed with Captain Sully and Chatot (who had returned to perch once more on its master’s shoulder). Marcus shielded his eyes from the sun and squinted. Along the horizon he could see land fast approaching. The sand of a beach. Trees along the shore. Tall buildings glinting in the sunlight. Mountains in the distance.

    He grinned. There it was. It was his first glimpse of Hoenn.

    A sudden unease returned to him. Turning back over his shoulder, he asked, “Hey, Captain, that is Hoenn, right?”

    Captain Sully raised an eyebrow.

    (Credit for the banner image goes to All0412 from DeviantArt!)

    Chapter Three: The Seashore House
    "Do you guys have any milk?"
    "No, but we have soda pop."
    "How about some fresh water?"
    "Fresh out. Would you like a soda pop?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Cebu, Philippines
    Posts
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    Default

    Hey, I really like this!

    It's a very relaxed adventure story, taking a step away from the tried and true "HEADSTRONG TRAINER DECIDES TO GO BE A MASTER" and, with the same elements, making an adventure story out of a completely different context. And the fact that good adventure fics are far and few between nowadays makes this even better. I've been looking for a good adventure fic for MONTHS and I think I've finally found it!

    I also really like that you're using some of the lesser used Pokemon in the franchise. I specifically love Normal types, and Granbull & Aipom are some of my favorites. Their personalities are adorable, and the inclusion of your particular Croagunk is really cool. And like they said, the "farm boy" character in Marcus is really fresh. It's good to see some variety in comparison to the headstrong, big dreaming protagonists that make up most adventure fics. I guess you could say your characterization is really good in your story.

    I'm excited to see where you take your story. Hopefully you take this farther than most people take their adventure fics.

    Feel like you need a little more Pokemon in your life? Tune into our show!
    EPISODE 55 - SLOWPOKE HOLIDAY
    Looking for something Pokemon-related to listen to while playing through Pokemon XY? This episode is for you!!
    Released: 12/11/14


    Guess who claimed Luxray?!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    A state of confusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstinftw! View Post
    Hey, I really like this!

    It's a very relaxed adventure story, taking a step away from the tried and true "HEADSTRONG TRAINER DECIDES TO GO BE A MASTER" and, with the same elements, making an adventure story out of a completely different context. And the fact that good adventure fics are far and few between nowadays makes this even better. I've been looking for a good adventure fic for MONTHS and I think I've finally found it!

    I also really like that you're using some of the lesser used Pokemon in the franchise. I specifically love Normal types, and Granbull & Aipom are some of my favorites. Their personalities are adorable, and the inclusion of your particular Croagunk is really cool. And like they said, the "farm boy" character in Marcus is really fresh. It's good to see some variety in comparison to the headstrong, big dreaming protagonists that make up most adventure fics. I guess you could say your characterization is really good in your story.

    I'm excited to see where you take your story. Hopefully you take this farther than most people take their adventure fics.
    Thanks for your kind review, jstinftw! I hope to work on the next chapter sometime this weekend (and will hopefully have it up in the coming week), so be on the lookout! I'm hoping to continue writing the story from the two perspectives I've got right now: humans and Pokémon, so we'll see where that goes. And I do very much like Harold and Croagunk. They're a fun pair.

    Again, thanks for the review!

    (Credit for the banner image goes to All0412 from DeviantArt!)

    Chapter Three: The Seashore House
    "Do you guys have any milk?"
    "No, but we have soda pop."
    "How about some fresh water?"
    "Fresh out. Would you like a soda pop?"

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