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)
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.
“<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.
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…
And it was just a quick trip, right?