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 Pokemon, Revisited 
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
Posts: 14
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is effectively an attempt to take the stories of Pokemon and add a complex plot with emotionally deep characters. Hopefully it works out. I have posted this before, on Serebii (which is NEVER ON :censored: :censored:), PokeCommunity, Bulbagarden, and FF.net, but I want to spread it out. The first six chapters are posted as they are on FF.net, so the coming soon stuff is obviously ignorable.

{bulbasaur}

CHAPTER ONE: A Trainer's Journey Begins! The Wild Pokemon of Masara Town!

Somewhere between the rival towns of Masara and Tokiwa, a strange man made his way through the untamed road, wondering if his life could possibly worsen. He kept his head low and covered by his hands, although this action was irrelevant, as his brown hair couldn't possibly get any wetter.

The man paused for a moment, and turned around to look down the road behind him. He saw a strange dark object moving silently through the grassy plains, noticeable because the falling rain seemed to be avoiding the creature, arcing away from it and leaving a dry patch for the creature to traverse.

The man wondered for a moment why he had left Tokiwa City without any Pokemon besides his beloved Lizardon, who refused to fight in the rain, for rather obvious reasons. Perhaps in his haste he had not considered the effects the weather could have on his dear Pokemon. And now it was too late.

The man turned back towards the tiny lights of Masara Town, and began to run in earnest. The creature, though he did not turn back to watch it again, sped up precisely the same amount, knocking the wild grass aside as it began to chase the man in earnest.

The man knew that wild Pokemon ought not to behave like that; most gave up quickly and pursued easier prey. That meant that his enemies controlled the strange entity now zooming towards him. The man knew that he had to get to Masara Town, he had to warn Dr. Okido of the dangers that had appeared in all of Kanto. He also feared that he would not be able to get there in time, unless he happened across another trainer in the dim light of dusk.

The creature paused for an uncertain moment, and began to glow a deep, haunting shade of purple. An explosion of light and sound rocketed from it, and a beam of light bounced through the air, heading inexorably and unavoidably towards the man. The man screamed, and pushed himself as hard as he could, wondering what horrors the beam held.

The beam suddenly froze, and dissolved into hundreds of tiny star-shaped objects were rotated uncertainly, cutting rain drops into pieces as they fell. Then, the stars began moving at a rate no human could match, and tore straight at the man.

When they reached him, they cut through him, tearing his skin open. He screamed in agony and fell to the ground, writhing. Blood mixed with water, and more stars, which had not reached the man before his collapse, sped past, then stopped, and doubled back, aiming straight at the man.

With his last ounce of strength, he rolled to the side as far as he could. It did him no good, for the stars simply readjusted their course and finished killing him. The creature floated over the man, determined to be the last thing he ever saw.

***

Later that day, as six o'clock forced itself upon Masara Town, alarm clocks went off throughout the town and the townsfolk dragged themselves out of bed. At the Pokemon Research Institute, on the south edge of town, Dr. Okido stood over a circular table adorned with various Monster Balls.

Dr. Okido, an elderly man, with slowing fading hair, woke at five, so he showed no signs of drowsiness, unlike the townsfolk, who seemed to be moving slower than slugs. He noted this because he expected several of his assistants to show up soon, but none had arrived, much to his irritation.

He also expected a friend of his to arrive, for Dr. Okido had received an urgent letter explaining that there was a plot of some sort to control Pokemon and kill various Pokemon authorities, but the friend had not arrived yet. Dr. Okido desperately hoped that his friend had merely been delayed.

The door suddenly banged open, and Dr. Okido's grandson, Shigeru strode in.

“Could you not destroy every door in this building?” Dr. Okido shouted angrily.

“Sorry, gramps,” Shigeru shrugged.

Dr. Okido frowned at the lack of an honorific, but managed to remain calm and began, looking down at Shigeru's messy brown hair. “You've been eleven for some time now, Shigeru-kun, but you've yet to obtain a Pokemon of your own. Are you interested in Pokemon?”

Shigeru nodded eagerly, “Of course, Okido-senpai,” he said, deciding that it might be wise not to tempt Dr. Okido to change his mind.

“Yes, I thought so. I have assembled a few Pokemon of late to study, but I am done with three of them, and each seems like a good pairing for a new trainer.” Dr. Okido turned to the desk and removed three Monster Balls from it, and then turned back towards Shigeru. “I have with me three Pokemon. Fushigidane, Hitokage, and Zenigame.”

Shigeru looked at the three spheres in his grandfather's hand, shut his eyes, and took one randomly. He reopened his eyes and tossed the Monster Ball lightly. It landed, and Hitokage popped out.

“Ka!” it shouted happily, looking towards Shigeru. Shigeru smiled slightly, and turned back towards his grandfather. “Thank you,” he said, still deferential, as his grandfather might yet change his mind.

The reddish lizard rubbed happily against Shigeru's legs, murmuring little syllables of contentment. Shigeru looked slightly nervous, as the fire that burned on the creature's tail was hot and dangerous, but after a moment he relaxed, bent down, and scratched the monster's head kindly. The creature shut its eyes and began to drool happily. Shigeru appeared a little uncomfortable about this too, and this time he pulled himself away.

“Hey,” he said, smiling, “You can't go drooling on me!”

Hitokage looked up with a bit of resentment, and bared its rather nonthreatening teeth.

“You can't impress me, you hothead,” Shigeru said. Shigeru looked up through his messy brown hair towards his grandfather, who was now giving out instructions to various lab assistants. “Thanks,” he said. His grandfather turned and made a shushing noise.

Shigeru stood up, grabbed Hitokage and its Monster Ball, and left the building. His grandfather, far too busy, didn't pay much notice to his departure.

Shigeru sighed.

***

Only an idiot would call Satoshi a fan of school. That much could be ascertained after spending only a few minutes with the dark-haired, eleven-year old boy. He generally sat in the back of the room, away from the eyes of his teachers.

He often kept a magazine hidden under the desk, looking at the pictures of awesomely tough Pokemon and their trainers. His plan of hiding these things under the desk never worked quite as much as he hoped, for somehow the teachers always noticed. Sometimes he suspected that they paid little attention to the children up front, and only watched the kids in the back.

He was probably right.

Describing life at West Masara Primary School required only one word: underwhelming. The first few years involved admiring the Pokemon that the fifth- and sixth-years had managed to catch, and pretending to learn spelling, arithmetic, history, and various asinine forms of science, like what kinds of clouds there were. As Satoshi was planning on becoming a Pokemon trainer, none of these seemed particularly useful.

On this judgment, he was probably wrong.

Still, Satoshi reflected, at least now I'm a fifth-year. In all honesty, however, no comfort came from this fact. The bitter realization of being a fifth-year, and thus an eleven-year old, was that being eleven made no difference in a person's life if he couldn't catch a Pokemon.

A warning bell rang through the halls, and the last few students shuffled in. Satoshi noticed that the Okido kid wore a Monster Ball on his belt buckle. It was about time, he was the grandson of the most famous Pokemon researcher, surely he could have an entire fleet of Pokemon if he wanted them.

Okido looked in Satoshi's direction and smirked coldly, daring him to ask what monster Okido now owned. Satoshi didn't bother. Did it really matter all that much?

The official morning bell rang, and the students quickly sat down. Another boring adventure in the ninth circle of hell was about to begin.

***

A few mind-numbingly boring hours later, Satoshi staggered into the cafeteria, and sat down. Much to his annoyance, Okido joined him, followed by a girl Satoshi didn't know, and one of Okido's friends, Tanaka or something.

The girl had long brown hair, and resolutely refused to wear the school uniform, much to the annoyance of her teachers (and parents, who wondered why she had detention every day). Instead, she had a green shirt and a red skirt on. Tanaka wore a uniform that was a size too big for him, a hand-me-down from his older brother. This, coupled with his unusually light hair, made him seem much younger.

Okido looked at Satoshi. “How's it going, Sato?” he asked.

Satoshi's eyes narrowed briefly at the lack of an honorific, but he quickly recovered and then shrugged. “It's alright, I guess... You, Okido-san?”

“Call me Shigeru,” the boy responded. “Everyone else does.” The girl rolled her eyes at this comment, but 'Shigeru' continued. “Anyways, life is good. I got my first Pokemon today, you see.”

“A Hitokage!” Tanaka supplied. “He's called Hothead!”

The girl frowned. “Such a stupid name,” she said. “I don't like it much.”

“Who asked you, Setsuko?” Shigeru retorted. Tanaka grinned, and the girl rolled her eyes again. Satoshi rather wished they'd go away. His friends, Yamato, Kiyoshi, and Masaru were all staring, wondering if Satoshi was sitting with the group by choice.

There was a silence for a few moments, then the girl- Setsuko- opened her mouth and pointed. “Well, Okido-kun, there's something for you to battle. Why don't you show us what a good trainer you are?”

Several people, Satoshi noticed, were also pointing towards a window, and whispering amongst themselves. A Fushigidane was standing on the windowsill, looking at the large number of humans with something resembling panic in its eyes.

Shigeru stood up, and grabbed the Monster Ball on his waist. “Easy,” he said calmly. “Hothead is a Fire-Pokemon, and stronger and faster than Fushigidane besides.” With a simple movement, the Monster Ball flew up in a graceful arc, and then landed near the toad-like Pokemon, which radiated fear and started to back away.

Hothead, however, was faster than Fushigidane, and jumped towards it, radiating twice as much confidence and determination as the plant-carrying Pokemon radiated sheer horror.

Fushigidane, however, recovered from its fear and lashed out, shooting some strange, glowing, green seeds at Hothead. Hothead jumped out of the way of most of them, but one managed to latch on, and it quickly sprouted, covering Hothead in small, unobtrusive vines.

There was silence in the cafeteria. Normally, a teacher's Pokemon would have dealt with an intrusion of a wild Pokemon, but Shigeru had preempted any attempts of the teachers to deal with the situation. Some seemed curious as to how Shigeru would handle himself, some were even whispering amongst themselves.

Shigeru nodded slightly, and then said, softly (although the noise echoed in the silent room), “Sparks.”

Hothead spun about, the fire of its tail burning much brighter than usual. Once, twice, three times, Hothead spun, and several sparks of flame burst out and rocketed towards the Fushigidane. It let out a little squeak of terror as the flames collided with the bulb on its back, and it fell out the window. There was, however, a sudden burst of green light and Hothead fell to the ground uncertainly.

Shigeru grinned proudly. “Perfect victory,” he said. There were a few claps in the cafeteria, but, much to Shigeru's obvious annoyance, there was little else. Satoshi grinned as well, and Shigeru took it as a compliment. It wasn't.

You're a bit vain, thinking that the fifth- and sixth-years, half of whom have their own Pokemon, really care about some minor victory in a battle no idiot could lose.

Satoshi stood up and left the cafeteria, well aware that not only Shigeru's gang staring at him, but his own friends too. He didn't much care. A crazy idea had entered his head. A quick trip to his backpack, the collection of one small item, and a mad dash outside followed this idea.

Satoshi stepped out into the dull grounds, and sprinted towards the cafeteria's window. The loser of Shigeru's little battle lay on the ground, whimpering, but the small bursts of green light floating out of the window and connecting with it suggested that it wouldn't be weak for long.

Satoshi held a Monster Ball in his hand, and tossed it hopefully.

One shake. Two shakes. Three.

Caught.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: So ends part one. Next chapter, up soon, will be entitled, “A Fierce Battle! The Impossible Quest Begins!”


Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:58 pm
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
Posts: 14
{charmander}

CHAPTER TWO: A FIERCE BATTLE! THE IMPOSSIBLE QUEST BEGINS!

The beginning is uncertain. As probability would have it, our world developed. Even that has mysteries and uncertainties across the board. Somehow, our society developed amongst the Pokemon.

And now? They'll develop for us. Porygon was the first, and even now research is being done into creating Porygon 2.0 (and, some say, 2.5). But an electronic Pokemon is not what the consumer has in mind. So something else had to be developed.

We can't make real Pokemon completely from scratch, however. We would have to code every gene, every piece. We can't do that. So a template has to be selected.

We went through the database of Pokemon. There are so many interesting reports, but very few actually seem worth the effort to modify. But one seemed to be a definite. It's capabilities are amazing. It can, within certain limits, mimic any other Pokemon's powers.

The search for it was the hardest part, as it was hidden in the deepest rain forests of a continent far outside our sphere of influence. That, however, was soon discovered to not be a problem. An idiot, “Tajiri” had imported one of these. He was, as it turned out, highly insane, so we were able to kill him without interference, and the Pokemon was ours.

Then began the cloning. A simple procedure, only the tiniest bit of hair was needed, and then our efforts began. Ironically, we discovered that the Pokemon's DNA was difficult to alter, and most of early experiments failed horribly.

So, we began to test the waters in other ways. We created the first fully viable human clone, who was altered just enough to guarantee that he would be indistinguishable from the original (a fully grown man) in only a few days. The two of them began working side by side, and with twice the genius available, the cloning and reorganization was soon underway.

With that, our product was completed. We were millions of dollars over budget, of course, but such things were to be expected with the high failure rates we had. Nonetheless, the president and the board of directors were contacted, and we planned to make an official statement in a manner of weeks, once their were more and we were sure the prototype wouldn't collapse.

Then, an even worse disaster struck. The experiment proved to be far more powerful than our safeguards could counteract. Last week, M-2 destroyed the facility on Guren Island. At first, we believed that a volcanic eruption could be triggered by M-2, but, to our relief, it seems to have left Guren Island.

Where it will go next, however, we have no ideas.

***

Satoshi held the Monster Ball in his hand uncertainly. He had, he realized for the first time, committed something that might be interpreted as a major crime. After all, Shigeru, not Satoshi, had battled Fushigidane. Shigeru, not Satoshi, had the right to catch Fushigidane with a Monster Ball.

And yet, he didn't really feel any remorse. Shigeru, perhaps in the bask of glory, had neglected to catch the Pokemon. So, perhaps, Shigeru wouldn't care. And Shigeru, now that Satoshi was thinking, never had to know.

Someone started clapping, and Satoshi whirled about.

“I was wondering if you would catch it.” Shigeru stood there, smirking as if the whole matter happened to be the most hilarious thing he'd seen in a long while.

Satoshi froze, his jaw dropped in horror as he realized that Shigeru knew.

“Oh, don't worry. I don't care about that. I didn't want that Fushigidane, so I decided to let someone else catch it. I'm actually glad it was you. You look like a good trainer.”

“You haven't even seen me do anything yet,” Satoshi protested.

Shigeru scoffed. “But I bet you'll accomplish a lot. After all, you had the bravery to catch the Pokemon in the first place. Come on, you'll miss lunch.”

Shigeru turned around, and walked back towards the front doors of the school, leaving Satoshi to stand there, wondering what could possibly happen next.

***

“Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!”

The chant rose across the playground as Tanaka hurriedly made a chalk outline of the “Arena” as he insisted on calling it. The chants came from the underclassmen, who had never seen a real live Pokemon battle before. The fifth-years sat on the edge of the basketball court (the closest thing Tanaka could find to an “Arena”), and the sixth-years, of which there couldn't be more than ten, stood further off, feigning disinterest.

Satoshi took a moment to glare at them. Acting soooo much cooler when you probably don't even have Pokemon of your own...

Shigeru nodded in Satoshi's direction, as if to say, “They wouldn't be here if they did.”

Tanaka ran over to the two opponents. “All right!” he shouted. “The Arena is complete! You two can begin whenever you want!”

Satoshi nodded, and held out his hand for Shigeru to shake. Shigeru merely smirked, and walked towards the opposite end of the Arena.

Satoshi took one look at the crowd, many of whom chanting the words, “Shigeru! Shigeru! Shigeru!” For a moment Satoshi thought he heard his own name floating silently through the din, but he couldn't make it out.

So, far from undaunted, Satoshi made his way towards his end of the “Arena.” The only Pokemon in his possession was a grass-type which had only recently recovered, and Shigeru had a fire-type that seemed fierce, perhaps indestructible when it came to battling such a creature as Fu (Satoshi felt the name seemed somehow appropriate).

Then Satoshi realized that Setsuko and Yamato stood together on his end of the battlefield. Turning, he realized that Tanaka and another boy (Watanabe, maybe?) stood behind Shigeru.

“We're your cheerleaders!” said Setsuko, smiling as though she'd known Satoshi all her life. Yamato groaned at the term.

“Why aren't you with Shigeru?” he demanded, his green eyes narrowing through his long brown hair.

“Because he already has two hangers-on. They worship him... it's rather pathetic,” Setsuko responded, not at all put off by Yamato's belligerent attitude.

“And you don't?”

“Not at all. Shigeru's nice enough, but he's hardly as good as people say he is. Now, come on! We're holding up the match!”

Satoshi reluctantly turned towards Shigeru, who was tossing Hothead's Monster Ball with an impatient manner. “Hurry up, huh?”

“Fine!” Satoshi yelled. The crowd cheered again, and Satoshi tried to remember how the matches went. He recalled seeing a battle between a Nidorino and a Gangar once, but he only seemed to remember that the dodging ability of a Pokemon, not its attacks, decided a battle.

Well, then he'd just have to keep Fu on his toes.

“Go, Fu!”

“Go, Hothead!”

The two Pokemon landed in the middle of the stadium, inside a Monster Ball representation that Tanaka had drawn. Fu let out a little squeak and turned and started running the other way. The crowd laughed, but Satoshi merely grinned. He needed that to happen so that Fu would remain unhurt until Hothead was near exhaustion.

“Hothead, use Sparks!” Shigeru shouted, and the lizard complied, twirling its tail and creating the little balls of fire. Fu dodged them easily; having once battled Hothead before, he knew Hothead's style.

Satoshi realized suddenly that he would only have to give out one order, and that that order would not be required until Hothead had run out of energy to keep using Sparks. Once that happened, Hothead wouldn't be able to do half as much damage to Fu...

Hothead and Fu began to race in circles around the “Arena,” Hothead constantly on the offensive and either swinging his tail to do damage or actively trying to knock Fu out of the chalk lines Tanaka had drawn. Fu's refusal to do anything had Shigeru dangerously overconfident, and Satoshi could hear both Yamato's and Setsuko's whispers for him to tell Fu to do something.

But Satoshi knew that patience would save him. Hothead's incompetence when it came to hitting moving targets seemed laughable. Shigeru himself was realizing that sooner or later, Hothead would not be willing to keep generating flames. After all, each one dimmed the inferno on the creature's tail, the inferno that kept it alive.

Unfortunately for Fu, he lacked the endurance to keep the cycle up forever. Hothead caught up, and soon Fu had burst into flame.

“Fu, Mistletoe Seed!” Satoshi shouted, having waited for this moment.

Fu rolled to the side, extinguishing a lingering flame at the same time, and turned towards Hothead. The bulb on Fu's back shot out several large seeds, which wrapped around Hothead and started to shoot green bursts of light back at Fu.

The chase restarted, with Hothead quite willing to pursue Fu before he ran out of health. Satoshi stared at the two Pokemon, hoping against hope that Fu would survive.

Suddenly, Hothead shot forward and scratched at Fu, who fell to the ground. Shigeru smirked. “I guess I-”

A green burst of light shot from Hothead to Fu. Fu rose unsteadily on its legs, shaking slightly, and Hothead fell to the ground.

There was no cheer. Just silence.

Satoshi had somehow won.

***

Shigeru and Satoshi walked towards their tiny neighborhood in silence. Shigeru had not reacted well to his loss, and Satoshi felt uncomfortable going with him. But the two suffered from an affliction unavoidable: they lived in the same neighborhood.

Worse, this quiet neighborhood was on the outskirts of town, far away from the elementary school. Normally, Nanami, Shigeru's sister, would show up in Dr. Okido's car and drive Shigeru to the lab. Nanami had learned of the battle though, and thus hadn't bothered.

After another long fifteen minutes, Satoshi realized that they had missed the street they needed to turn on to. The two now stood with all of Masara Town behind them, and the wild and untamed plains to Tokiwa City.

“Um...” Satoshi muttered nervously. “Shouldn't we go back?”

Shigeru ignored him, and stepped forward.

“Take one more step and you're a dead man!”

Shigeru froze, and Satoshi swung around. Nanami, Shigeru's fiery-haired older sister, was storming forth, and Satoshi inwardly reflected that between her and a Gyarados, he'd take the Gyarados.

“Just where do you think you're going?”

“I'm leaving,” Shigeru responded.

“Leaving? Oh no, you're not! Grandfather needs you in the lab!”

“Oh, of course, NOW he needs me!”

“And what's that supposed to mean?”

“What does it sound like?” Shigeru began walking into the grass, as Satoshi backed away from the advancing tempest.

“That's it! Get back here, now!”

“STOP BOSSING ME AROUND!” Shigeru screamed, turning to face his sister. “YOU'RE NOT DAD!”

The sound of the slap echoed around the trio.

Then, silence.

Satoshi somehow found himself traveling with the Okidos to the lab, although he didn't know for the life of him how he'd ended up in the truck. Nanami and Shigeru were crying, Shigeru from pain, Nanami from... something else. Satoshi wasn't sure.

Satoshi kept himself entertained by flipping through a photo album. Most of the pictures were of Shigeru and Nanami together, but some showed a man who didn't seem old enough to be Dr. Okido. Satoshi wondered if Shigeru's father had died recently.

The truck soon arrived at the lab, and Satoshi and Shigeru were unceremoniously kicked out of the car. The two boys found themselves wandering through the lab, Satoshi for the very first time.

Dr. Okido was waiting at the other end of the room, with a pensive expression on his face. He held two red handheld consoles of some sort, Satoshi wasn't sure.

Dr. Okido smiled as the two boys entered. “Excellent, Shigeru. You found a friend. You two will be perfect.”

He held out the handhelds, and Satoshi took one cautiously.

“Allow me to explain,” Dr. Okido began.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: I always have a lot to say while I'm writing these things, but I always forget about it when I get here. Anyways, the next chapter is entitled, “THE DISADVANTAGED BATTLE! RUN!”


Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:59 pm
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
Posts: 14
{spearow}

CHAPTER THREE: THE DISADVANTAGED BATTLE! RUN!

The police officers stood around the body, whispering to themselves. The man, identified as a “Mori, Hiroto,” thanks to a barely-intact wallet, had died an incredibly painful death, literally sliced into by thousands of small objects. The police knew immediately that a normal Pokemon couldn't have done this; the wild ones were too weak, and any Pokemon that had ever belonged to a trainer couldn't attack humans because of the alterations made to it by a Monster Ball. And as for humans? Impossible.

This left the annoying question as to what exactly killed Hiroto.

One police officer, who had rifled through the wallet, looking for information on what might have led to Hiroto's death, looked up after a few moments and said, “There's a letter addressed to Dr. Okido in here.”

His partner looked up. “There's also a pretty beat-up package addressed to Dr. Okido in one of his pockets. He seems like a good place to start.”

***

Shigeru and Satoshi sat comfortably on chairs, Shigeru rubbing his cheek, as Dr. Okido explained to them exactly what he had in mind.

“You see, boys, when I was about your age, I had a dream to document all the Pokemon in the world. I became a trainer, and traveled all of Kanto, and even left the region to explore the lands to the north. However, I doubt I ever managed to catalog half of them. After awhile, I lost sight of that dream, and focused on other things. Impressing a girl, mainly. You'll understand later.

“Nonetheless, I could have become one of the Four Emperors of the Kanto League if I had continued as a trainer. Around that time I realized that I had rather forgotten about my initial dreams, and so put them aside so that I might be able to focus on Pokemon resear-”

The doorbell to the lab rang, and Dr. Okido paused. A few moments later, Satoshi heard a lab assistant open the door and a brief discussion, before the door shut and an assistant rushed into the room.

“Dr. Okido, the police wish to speak to you,” the assistant said. “Something about a package for you being found on a dead body.”

Dr. Okdio's face paled, but he quickly regained composure and said, “Thank you, Inoue-san. If you'll excuse me boys, I'm sure this will only take a moment.”

He walked calmly out of the room, carrying himself as confidently as possible, but Satoshi still felt that Dr. Okido seemed unusually nervous about something. Dr. Okido's assistant followed him uncertainly, perhaps wondering why the police were visiting the research lab.

Shigeru stood up suddenly and crept to the doorway, listening intently. Satoshi, uncertainly, followed him.

The adults stood around a small table, talking intently.

“Do you know of a Mori Hiroto?” one policeman asked.

Dr. Okido gasped. “Yes,” he said. “He was a friend I'd been communicating with for some time.”

“Communicating? Sending letters back and forth?” the second policeman demanded.

“Yes.”

“Such as this one?” the first policeman held out an envelope.

Dr. Okido held out his hand to take the envelope, but the policeman didn't give it to him. He sighed. “Yes. But... how did you get it?”

“Excuse me?”

“Why would he have a letter for me, if he was coming to visit? Why wouldn't he just tell me once he arrived?”

“How do you know he was coming? We didn't mention that.”

“He sent me this letter,” Dr. Okido said angrily, reaching into his pocket and producing a folded piece of paper.

The police officer grabbed it quickly and read over it slowly. “Yes. Well, that's an interesting question. Why don't we read the letter?”

Dr. Okido took something off the table and reached for the letter again. This time the policeman relinquished it, and Dr. Okido opened the letter.

The policeman took the letter and began to read it aloud.

“Dr. Okido,

“I write this not in the hope that you will ever read this letter, but as a precaution that you will be able to obtain the information you need. It is my hope that this letter should arrive to you if I do not.

“To cut a long story short, I believe my life is in danger. Ever since I obtained the package, the people of Tokiwa City have been hostile. Not just a few, but many of them. I suspect a conspiracy of some sort, which is why I've decided to come visit you. I'll be safer in Masara Town.

“My store has also been vandalized and robbed, but I've kept the package on my person, so it was not in danger.

“I will not describe what the Package can do in this letter. That is for you to discover on your own, but I recommend you attempt to use it on a relatively weak Pokemon; a stronger one will be disastrous.

“Your friend,

“Mori.”

Satoshi and Shigeru exchanged glances.

“What do you think the package does?” Satoshi whispered.

Shigeru shook his head and raised one finger to his lips, then returned his attention to the other half of the lab.

The police were opening the Package. As they removed the wrapping, they found one thing. A purple Monster Ball, with two small red circles along its side. A white 'M' was inscribed between the two.

Dr. Okido paused. “That's... rather anticlimactic,” he said. The second policeman nodded.

“I was expecting a weapon,” the first added. “Or, some sort of medicine. That's... rather mundane.”

Dr. Okido frowned. “Is there anything else?” he asked. “I have some research to do today, but this bad news... I think I'll try to wrap it up quickly...”

“No, Dr. Okido. We'll keep you informed. Thank you for your time.”

Dr. Okido tried to smile, but failed rather pathetically, coming off as even less than a grimace. “Yes... If you need any assistance in Pokemon-related crimes, you know I'm always willing to assist the police.”

He ushered the two policeman out, and perhaps a few more words passed between them, but Satoshi and Shigeru didn't hear. Instead, they hurriedly returned to their seats, attempting to look as angelic as possible.

Dr. Okido returned to the two boys, looking more pale than before. “Well, I apologize for the interruption. Where was I? Something about... oh yes, my dream.” The professor sighed.

“To make a long story short, I ultimately kept putting it off, and putting it off, and suddenly realized that I'm an old man. I can't do it. Those two handhelds you have are the first in a new line of Pokemon technology. They store data on Pokemon you've seen. There are a few other prototypes, I've sent most of them off to one of my old partners...” Dr. Okido frowned again for a few moments, lost in the sadness of the loss of his friend.

“Well, my point is... Will you two go out, and find as many Pokemon as you can? Between the two of you, I have no doubt that the Pokemon Zukan's, that's what I'm calling it you see. Um... The Pokemon Zukan's data will no doubt be quickly filled. Or at least, a large amount of data will be added to it. Perhaps it will even become standard issue for trainers some day, as more Pokemon are still being discovered.”

Dr. Okido continued speaking in his uncertain tone. “I... This isn't at all how I imagined this,” he said. “I wish... it had gone better.”

“It's alright, Dr. Okido,” Satoshi said, cutting in during a pause so the professor wouldn't have to keep floundering for words. “I know I'm willing to do it.”

Shigeru nodded. “It means leaving, and going on an adventure! Who wouldn't do it?”

Dr. Okido smiled. “Thank you, boys,” he said. “The Pokemon Zukan are connected wirelessly, so I expect you'll be able to compare your discoveries, and I'll have the data without you two having to return. Now, let's get you boys some Monster Balls so you'll have a good start.”

Dr. Okido took them to the main section of the lab and opened a drawer, and scooped out a large number of Monster Balls. However, walking towards the boys, he slipped, and the vast quantity rolled out over the floor.

“I meant for you each to have five,” he said. “I was going to use some of those others for my own purposes.”

Satoshi and Shigeru nodded and quickly scooped up the Monster Balls, each keeping five and returning the rest to Dr. Okido's drawer. Dr. Okido stood up and smiled. “You're so kind,” he said. “Thank you. Now, run along, and get to catching Pokemon.”

The two boys left the lab in high spirits.

“So,” Satoshi said. “Should we travel together?”

Shigeru frowned. “No,” he said calmly. “I think we're both good enough so that we won't need each other. We're not both necessary.”

Satoshi sighed. Since the catching of Fu, Shigeru had encouraged Satoshi and said he was a good trainer. Satoshi wondered if Shigeru really meant all of what he had said.

“Let's leave tomorrow,” Shigeru suggested. “This'll give us lots of time to prepare.”

“Yes,” Satoshi agreed. “That's sounds good. And we'll be on pretty much even footing.”

Shigeru nodded. “Well, I guess we'll run into each other on our journeys. Good luck.”

“You too.”

***

Satoshi approached his front door uncertainly. He didn't know what his mother would think about him owning a Pokemon, even if it was a docile one like Fu. He also dreaded her discovery that he had agreed to help Dr. Okido research Pokemon, since it meant he would leave home, and not return for quite some time.

He waved to his neighbor, a woman around the same age as his mother who owned two Rafflesia. She smiled, and noticed his Monster Ball. “Wow,” she said, “You've finally got a Pokemon. What kind?”

“Fushigidane,” he responded, grateful for the small delay.

Still, the conversation went by far too quickly, and Satoshi soon found himself opening the front door. Luckily for him, the situation he had feared had become far too complicated for it to resolve in his mother to get upset.

His mother sat at the kitchen table, across from Setsuko, who now wore a white hat. Satoshi froze at the door, for both women turned to him, and smiled.

Unmitigated disaster.

Setsuko spoke first. “Hello, Satoshi-kun. What took you so long? Your mom was worried sick.”

“Er... I went to visit Dr. Okido.”

“You did?” Satoshi's mother's eyebrows rose in astonishment. “Whatever were you doing there?”

“Um... well... I'm sort of friends with his grandson... And, we sort of ended up going there.”

Setsuko looked mildly surprised. Satoshi hoped she wouldn't comment that the two had only properly met that very day. He wondered exactly how to continue his story, as it would lead to his obtaining the Zukan.

“Well, I, um, sort of agreed to do a job for Dr. Okido.”

“Which is?”

“I agreed to go out and catch Pokemon for him.”

Setsuko's jaw dropped, and his mother merely sat there for a few moments. “I see. Well, you'd better pack then, I suppose.”

***

Satoshi's mother had surprised him on few occasions, and that was one of them. She had apparently long expected him to leave, and helped him prepare a package of clothing and other important goods. She even had a Potion for him to use.

Setsuko left soon after the conversation, for she had wanted a partner for a homework assignment. Since Satoshi would no longer be going to school in any official sense, he couldn't help.

Satoshi had gone to bed expecting a nice, long rest, but he couldn't stay asleep for more than ten minutes straight. He struggled downstairs, began eating a large breakfast his mother had prepared, and tried to focus on staying awake.

It turned out that staying awake would not be difficult, for there was such a commotion a few minutes later that both Satoshi and his mother looked outside. There was practically a parade of people seeing Shigeru off.

Satoshi sighed. He should have expected this. Shigeru's grandfather was a celebrity of sorts, it was no surprise that so many people would be happy to show their devotion to Dr. Okido by seeing his grandson off.

Satoshi exchanged a quick goodbye with his mother, and ran off down the street in a direction away from the crowd. He could leave town by a different route, and thus avoid Shigeru all together.

He soon found himself at the edge of town, and there, much to his surprise, stood Setsuko, leaning against a tree.

“Why aren't you saying goodbye to Shigeru?”

“I did last night... Satoshi, you're not... upset, are you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, that Shigeru gets all this fanfare, and you don't...”

“No! Of course not! It's just annoying, that's all. Most of those people don't even know him.”

Setsuko smiled slightly. “True. Well, I wanted to say goodbye, and...” She gulped. “Come back soon, okay?”

“Yeah,” said Satoshi. “Sure. Want me to bring you a Pokemon?”

Setsuko's eyes widened. “You'd do that, for me? But... no, I'll get one of my own. Bye.”

Setsuko walked away, heading back into town. She turned briefly, to wave, and then continued on.

Satoshi, meanwhile, turned north, and began to jog towards Tokiwa City, uncertain of what he would find. The path was rough, and covered in wild grasses. The trees grew here and there, making small patches of woods along the way.

Slowly the sun climbed in the sky, until it was nearly noon. Satoshi wondered how far along he'd gotten. Surely he should be approaching Tokiwa City by this point. He wondered if he should have followed the road, but then reminded himself that he didn't want to meet Shigeru.

A Koratta suddenly popped out of the wild grass, and Satoshi decided that it would be a good time to try and catch it. Much to his frustration, however, a large Onidrill swooped down and ate it. Satoshi frowned, and angrily tossed a rock at it. The bird flew out of the way and continued on.

Satoshi continued wandering northward, when he ran into the same Onidrill. Satoshi threw another rock at it, and again missed. This time, however, he made contact with something else. A nest of Onisuzume was disturbed, and one rose up and flew straight towards him.

Satoshi gasped, and dodged the bird. He grabbed his Monster Ball and quickly released Fu for battle, when it occurred to him. The bird had an advantage over the simple toad Pokemon. Still, he had to try.

“Fu, use your Mistletoe Seed!” Satoshi shouted. The Fushigidane released a seed, but the Onisuzume dodged it and began to peck at Fu.

Fu attempted to ram into the bird, but it again flew into the air, quite capable of dodging the toad's simple attempts to hurt it. Once more it swung down, continuing to peck Fu. It was obvious he wouldn't hold out much longer.

Satoshi dived forward and grabbed Fu, and then began to sprint across the field. Some distance away, he reached into his bag for the Potion, but as he pulled it out, the Onisuzume caught up with him, and pecked not Fu or Satoshi, but the Potion itself. The healing spray exploded out through the hole, and was wasted.

“That's not fair!” Satoshi cried, returning Fu to his Monster Ball quickly. But apparently, the Onisuzume didn't care about fair, for it continued its assault on him.

Satoshi got up, and continued running. Sooner or later, he HAD to find Tokiwa City.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Well, I've got to learn to pace myself. The lab seen took up more space than I'd intended, which cramped the rest of the chapter because I didn't want to make a giant behemoth. Oh well.

Next chapter? “THE NURSE OF TOKIWA CITY! THE UNLUCKY ADVENTURE!”


Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:59 pm
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
Posts: 14
{chansey}

CHAPTER FOUR: THE NURSE OF TOKIWA! THE UNLUCKY ADVENTURE!

Satoshi ducked into a copse of trees and leaned against one, panting heavily. He'd been running for nearly an hour, and still Tokiwa City remained out of sight. Fu was probably in critical condition, so Satoshi quickly returned him to his Monster Ball to stall that crisis.

The Onisuzume had given up the chase, Satoshi noted happily. That meant he could walk the rest of the way. Gasping, he took out his Zukan, wondering briefly if Dr. Okido had supplied it with any useful functions. Luckily, he had.

Apparently, the various Zukan owners could communicate with one another, and Satoshi's inbox already had a message, from none other than Nanami, entitled, “Kanto Map.”

Satoshi opened the file, which revealed an in-depth map of the Kanto Region, and, better yet, it displayed Satoshi's location. He was only an hour's journey away from Tokiwa City. He'd stay around the city limits for the rest of the day, catch a few Pokemon, and then the next morning he'd continue on north.

He left the cooling shade, and moved on. Soon, the towers of the city came into view, and awhile after that, Satoshi found himself on the outskirts of town.

The first building was a Pokemon Center, a large building, white and shining. It was small compared to the towers that were visible in the distance, but Satoshi knew that it was much larger than even Dr. Okido's lab.

He approached the doors, which opened automatically, and entered the Center. The lobby made up the entire downstairs area, at the far end of which stood a row of counters, behind which sat the healing machines. Most were empty, except for one.

A young girl sat there, probably no older than Satoshi. She smiled as he walked in. “Hello, and welcome to the Tokiwa City Pokemon Center. Do you need us to heal your Pokemon?”

“Yes, please,” said Satoshi.

“Bring them here. This service is free of charge,” she added. “We use the revenue from the hotel upstairs and the donations we receive to pay for this service. Would you like to reserve a room?” she asked, taking Fu's Monster Ball.

“Yes, please,” said Satoshi. “I just got chased by a wild Pokemon, halfway from Masara Town to here.”

The girl smiled, and looked at the Monster Ball. “A bird, I'm guessing?”

“How'd you guess?” Satoshi asked sarcastically. “Poor Fu. He's not been having the best of battles of late. Two battles against a Hitokage, and then that.”

“That is bad luck,” the girl agreed, straightening her dark auburn hair. “Still, I'm sure you'll run into a Pokemon you can battle against soon.”

“I hope so,” Satoshi said. “I won't get very good if I always fight foes that can thrash Fu...”

“Um...” the girl paused, as if she wasn't sure what to say next. “We haven't had any customers today, which is kind of odd. So, you see, I was going to have a trainer heading towards the Sekiei Plateau help me catch a certain Pokemon. But, well, since no one has come... Would you help me?” The girl's sapphire eyes widened hopefully.

“Sure,” said Satoshi. “What kind of Pokemon do you want me to catch for you?”

“A Lucky. They have some healing powers, and it can be useful when the power is down.”

“Alright,” said Satoshi. “That's something I bet Fu can handle.”

“Good, thank you,” the girl smiled. “Let's go.”

Satoshi waited a few moments while the girl gathered up some healing items (“For your Pokemon.”), and then the two of them left the building. The girl led him around the outskirts of the city, past a small lake. This took an hour, so the two of them stopped for lunch.

Soon after, they continued their passage, northwards this time. The city curved away from them, leaving them in an open field extending far west, all the way to Shirogane Mountain. The two made their way carefully, for the road here was far more wild than that between the cities of Kanto.

The girl took out a strange machine, slightly similar in shape to the Zukan. “It's a sort of Pokemon radar,” she explained. “I can use it to track Pokemon... So, let's go northwest.”

The two continued on, coming to a small rock formation a few hours later. Satoshi stared at the cave leading into it.

“Some Lucky like that kind of area,” the girl explained. “So there's probably one in there, you see. Pretty smart idea, huh?”

“Oh yeah,” Satoshi agreed. “We'll have it caught and be back before the sun sets.”

The girl smiled. “Alright then, let's get this show on the road. Got Fu ready?” She gestured toward the Monster Ball on Satoshi's belt.

Satoshi approached the cave uncertainly, and poked his head into it. The cave was small, but he could see one large Lucky sitting there, eating some berries.

“Go, Fu,” he whispered, gently letting the Monster Ball slip out of his fingers and land on the ground softly. Fu popped out, and, knowing what Satoshi wanted, remained silent.

The Pokemon looked up at his trainer, uncertain.

“Just use your Mistletoe Seed,” Satoshi whispered. “Hopefully it won't even notice.”

Fu gave a small nod, and crept forward. A small seed shot forth from the bulb, with only the tiniest bit of noise, and landed quietly in the berry pile. The Lucky worked its way through the berries, eating leaves and all, until finally it had devoured everything in the pile.

Satoshi grinned, everything was going to plan.

Until... the Lucky started to convulse. It shook for a few moments, and then its mouth popped open of its own accord and a burst of green light shot towards Fu. Satoshi groaned inwardly. Not good.

The Lucky first took a bite of the egg in its pouch to heal, and then began looking around for what had happened, and soon another burst of light shot forth from it. It followed the light straight towards Fu, who had, like Satoshi, frozen in place. The Lucky's eyes narrowed, and it struck out at Fu, who was knocked out of the cave by the force.

Satoshi ducked out of the cave as well, and noted that the nurse had backed away quickly. He didn't blame her, the Lucky seemed incredibly angry. It charged at Fu, who only just managed to dodge out of the way.

“Fu, quickly! Body Blow!”

Fu charged forward and rammed into the Lucky with as much force as it could. Unfortunately, the Lucky was fat enough that the toad bounced off of it without much effect. Satoshi sighed. Once again this would be a battle of Fu trying to survive while hurting the opponent with the seeds.

Except, the Lucky charged at Satoshi this time instead, and he fell to the ground. His hat and backpack flew away from him, and the Lucky continued to strike at him. Satoshi fought back, rather desperately.

He heard the nurse cry out, “Don't worry, I've got it!” and in the corner of his eye, he saw her reach into his backpack and pull a Monster Ball out. It seemed to take forever for her to throw it, and for the Lucky to be absorbed in the red light.

Except, it wasn't a Monster Ball at all. It was the strange M Ball that Dr. Okido had had. Satoshi stared, and then remembered the mad scramble to grab Monster Balls. He must have accidentally picked it up.

The Ball didn't even shake. There was just the click, and then... It was caught. Satoshi stared blankly. There was something wrong.

He held up his Zukan. It was beeping strangely. He flipped it opened, and it opened to a different function. Radio waves were being broadcast directly towards the M Ball.

The nurse began walking towards the ball, but Satoshi waved her away. “Get back,” he said. “This isn't normal.”

She looked at him quizzically, but then the Lucky burst out of the M Ball, the pieces of which landed at Satoshi's feet. And it had changed. Once pink, like most Lucky, it had developed a strange green sheen. Its egg had also changed dramatically, becoming strange, twisted and black.

“Luck,” it said calmly, before throwing the egg at Satoshi. He cringed, but nothing made contact. Satoshi reopened his eyes. Fu lay on the ground, covered in egg shell. Satoshi stood there a moment, his mouth open.

Fu would risk his life for me? Satoshi thought. That didn't seem right. A Pokemon trainer needed to develop a bond with a Pokemon before such events would happen. Bonding didn't just happen overnight. He quickly returned Fu, and grabbed his cap and the broken M Ball.

The nurse screamed, and Satoshi looked up. The Lucky was advancing on her instead. And Satoshi didn't have a Pokemon.

So, Satoshi did the stupidest thing imaginable. He ran past the Lucky, grabbed the girl, and pulled her away, into the now setting sun.

“We're going the wrong way!” she screamed. “There's nothing but wilderness until the Sekiei Plateau this way!”

“What other way is there?” Satoshi shouted back.

“This way!” the nurse suddenly grabbed him and started dragging him southward. “There are a couple of bikes down here, in case people get lost!”

They found a small locker of some sort, and the nurse took out two collapsible bicycles, both red. “Get on!” she yelled, jumping onto hers, and pedaling away.

Satoshi climbed onto his bike and followed her, riding against the sunset towards Tokiwa City. The bikes sped along so quickly Satoshi gathered that he didn't actually have to pedal, they moved on their own.

This was an immense convenience, for just as the sun sunk out of the sky, they arrived on the outskirts of town. They got off the bikes, which suddenly sped back into the wilderness. Satoshi watched them go, and then his jaw dropped.

The Lucky had kept up with them.

“What the...” the girl trailed off. “Impossible. That must be a Lucky of a very high level. It's a miracle I managed to keep it in the Monster Ball for so long.”

“No,” said Satoshi. “That wasn't a Monster Ball. It was... something else. You caught it. The Ball changed it.”

“That's why... Why it changed?”

“I think so.”

The two started running into the town, which led them into a residential section. Satoshi approached the nearest door, and began to knock. “Please!” he cried. “Please let us in!”

There was no answer. They ran from house to house to house, while the Lucky continued to approach. And no one answered a single door. They couldn't all be asleep or ignoring the pleas for help.

Soon, they ran out of houses, and fell into a commercial district of high rising towers. They wove this way and that, trying to stay out of sight of the Lucky, to no avail. It was following their motions perfectly.

The towers gave way to smaller and smaller buildings, until they found more housing. Satoshi approached one house, but the nurse grabbed his arm. “Look,” she said.

Satoshi turned. There was a building that had been reduced to rubble, except for a small stretch of wall. Satoshi approached it, for there was a sign on it, and read aloud.

“Mori Hiroto's Fine Pokemon Wares,” he read. Mori, Hiroto. The man who had sent Dr. Okido the M Ball, and had died... and the man who had gotten them into this mess now.

He stood staring for a few moments, but then the Nurse grabbed his arm and they continued running, this time northward. After a few more blocks, Satoshi saw a lit window. “In here!” he cried.

They pushed open the door and dove inside. The building was a large apartment complex, and the lit window had been on the fifth floor. The nurse blocked the door, and then the two ran up the stairs to see who had the light on. The stairs were dark, but they were not particularly dusty, so people had been through the area recently.

They pushed their way up to the fifth floor, and began checking the apartments. Finally they found one with a door ajar, and opened it. It was a simple place, perhaps only two rooms. A girl stood over one of the beds, crying. In it lay an old man, convulsing and screaming.

“NOT THE COFFEE! AUGH! IT BURNS!” he cried.

Satoshi stared. “What's going on?” he asked.

“Grandpa... well... I was up all night, studying, and Grandpa went to sleep... and then, when morning came... he was like this. So were the neighbors. Everyone was like this...”

“I didn't sleep last night either!” exclaimed the nurse. “I couldn't, for some reason.”

Satoshi paused. “And you two are probably the only normal ones in the city?” he asked.

The granddaughter of the convulsing man nodded. “I... I have an idea though. You see, I have a Pokemon... and, every time it sings, I wake up. If we can just amplify the sound...”

“I can do that,” the nurse said calmly. “There's something in the Pokemon Center. Is your Pokemon powerful?”

“Yes, it's an Okorizaru,” she said. “Why?”

The Lucky burst into the room, glaring.

“Oh. Go, Okorizaru! Use Cross Chop!” the granddaughter commanded. Her giant ape Pokemon lashed out at the Lucky, and miraculously knocked it out in one hit. The Lucky then sort of dissolved, as if shedding a skin, and suddenly the original was there, normal as ever.

The nurse tossed another Monster Ball at it, and caught it. “I'll pay you back later. For now, let's get to the Pokemon Center.”

AUTHOR'S NOTES: So, Lucky has been taken down, and the M Ball plot has been resolved, although Mori's has not been. Chapter 5 will add some more details to this. And what is chapter five, you ask? Simple. “HUNT THE RAMPAGING POKEMON! TOKIWA REBORN!”


Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:00 pm
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
Posts: 14
{caterpie}

AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yes, I changed the title. Sue me. (Unless you're, say, the Pokemon Company, in which case I'd like to point out fair use and the fact that I make this only in loving honor of Pokemon)

CHAPTER FIVE: PLANS TO BE MADE! TOKIWA REBORN!

Satoshi and the nurse nodded. “One question,” said Satoshi. “How'd your Okorizaru learn to sing?”

The girl smiled. “It listened to the radio a lot. Now, go! Hurry!”

The two others nodded and dashed down the stairs, the large ape following them. They reached the streets, and the nurse looked around. “Which way?” she muttered to herself. “Um... we're near... Daiba Street. OK. Come on.”

The Okorizaru suddenly picked up Satoshi and the nurse, one in each boxing glove, and began to charge down the streets. Satoshi tried to pay attention to the streets they went past, but Okorizaru was moving far too quickly.

Finally, they found themselves back on the outskirts of town. Okorizaru stopped calmly in front the door, and the nurse jumped off of its glove and unlocked the door. She led the Okorizaru into a back room behind the counters, and then Satoshi heard the worst imaginable noise.

It was more of a screech, the most unpleasant tone Satoshi had ever heard. He covered his ears desperately, not that it made the slightest bit of difference. The tone echoed throughout the Center, perhaps the entire city. Satoshi began to wish that he'd just go deaf already; surely the tone was of the right frequency to shatter his ear drums.

Then, the front door burst open. “What the hell is this?” shouted a man, walking in. “Turn off the damn sound!”

“It's not me!” Satoshi yelled. “In... the back room!”

The man dashed to the room, and turned off the sound. He, the nurse, and Okorizaru left the back room, the first two looking disheveled.

“This must be another nightmare,” the man said. “I must still be dreaming.”

“No,” said the nurse. “The sound was to wake you up. Everyone... in Tokiwa City... was asleep. For an entire day.”

“Except for you and this kid?”

“And one other. Those who stayed a... wake...” she yawned. “I've been up nearly two days,” she noted. “I need some sleep. I've never been up so long. This boy can talk to you though.”

She walked upstairs, still yawning, and the man turned to Satoshi. “What... exactly... how did this happen?”

Satoshi shrugged. “If I had to guess, it looked like some Pokemon was eating your dreams... but...”

“That's not possible. Caught Pokemon can't attack humans, and a wild one wouldn't be able to hit the entire-”

“Wait, what about caught Pokemon?”

“They can't attack humans. Something about the Monster Ball. Don't ask me, I'm no scientist. I just know that it works.”

Satoshi's eyes widened. That Lucky had been caught, and then it had started attacking them, wildly and uncontrolled. What if something else had been caught in an M Ball, and that someone had controlled the monster... if the amplifier in the Center, or somewhere else, had been used, constantly throughout the night... nearly everyone would have been hit.

He neglected to mention this to the man however. Instead, he nodded. “Thanks for the information. I just got my Pokemon yesterday.”

The man smiled. “Good times. Back in those days it felt like every Poppo was a brush with death and every bit of money you earned was a fortune. They go by too quickly. Are you going to Guren Island or Nibi City?”

“Nibi. I'm from Masara Town, working for Dr. Okido... he wanted a new trainer to collect data on Pokemon.”

The man grinned again. “I wouldn't mention that to too many people. This is Tokiwa City, and we've had rivalries for some time. I think half of the town would kidnap Dr. Okido if they could, just to make him live here, for the honor. They're a bit miffed he'd choose to stay in what they see as a backwater town.”

“It IS a backwater town,” Satoshi said. “This place is overwhelming. Nice, yes. But completely overwhelming.”

The man laughed. “You're great, kid. Now go get some sleep. You deserve it.”

Satoshi nodded, and suddenly the weight of the Onisuzume and the Lucky came down upon him. How long had he been running that day? Certainly enough, and at such speeds, to make his former gym teacher proud. He doubted he could get up the stairs to a room, and then it occurred to him that he'd never been given a key...

That didn't matter. He'd saved the city. They weren't going to deny him a free bed when he was a hero and the only person to actually need that bed.

***

Satoshi got up well after sunrise, his legs hurting slightly, and he managed to climb down the stairs and discovered that breakfast was available. He gathered some food items up, not really looking at what he was eating, and gulped it all down, then he climbed BACK up the stairs and into the shower.

And then he WOKE up. His legs stopped hurting in the hot water, and there not been a time limit on showers, Satoshi could have stayed in there until noon.

After he dressed and decided to face his nemesis, the day, he went back downstairs and discovered a town meeting in progress.

The nurse and the man from the night before sat there, as did the older man who had been dreaming about the coffee. Also at the table sat a group of people Satoshi did not recognize.

“Ah, hello!” one said. “So you're the trainer who saved us. We just met this morning. You see, although you woke all the people in Tokiwa City... it turns out not all of us were here.”

“What?” Satoshi said.

“Er... yes... You see... people have disappeared... We don't know where they've gone.”

More pieces of the puzzle fell into place. Mori had been incredibly concerned that most of Tokiwa City knew about the M Ball and wanted to kill him for having it. Whoever had planned this wouldn't have wanted their own people trapped in the city. They had probably intended some sort of message to the world about power, but Satoshi had accidentally stepped into the middle of that.

Satoshi decided that he would only stay in Tokiwa City as long as he thought necessary, perhaps to catalog rare Pokemon that lived near the area, just for Dr. Okido, and then he would go straight to the forest, and through it, to Nibi City. A day's wait seemed like a reasonable amount.

The adults had resumed talking, and Satoshi decided to sit down and wait for a little while, just enough time to see if they needed him for something. Satoshi realized a few minutes in that this assumption was nothing short of vain, for Tokiwa City had to have other Pokemon trainers, like the girl with the Okorizaru.

Still, after awhile the Okorizaru trainer's grandfather stood up and walked to Satoshi. “This is a rather boring affair,” he said calmly. “Perhaps you would like to learn something about Pokmeon?”

Satoshi nodded eagerly. “What will you teach me?” he asked.

“Well,” the man said. “Are you any good at catching Pokemon?”

“I got Fu by myself, but... someone else had weakened him for me,” Satoshi admitted.

“That's quite alright. There are things you could be interested in knowing. I'll catch you your next Pokemon, if you'll be willing to listen to the old ramblings of an old man like me.”

“Of course,” Satoshi said. “You're a Pokemon trainer?”

The man laughed. “I taught my granddaughter at least TWICE as much as she knows. She is a talented Pokemon trainer, but she gets by only through the ideas of elemental advantages and doing things like fighting fast Pokemon to improve her Pokemon's speed. She has no sense of finesse.”

Satoshi walked with the man in silence for awhile, and the old man turned to Satoshi, his eyes widening. “Oh, do not get me wrong! She IS a powerful trainer, but she is more concerned with winning than anything else. And, knowing what she knows will make you a better trainer. I won't deny that. I'm just saying, sometimes even she has her flaws.”

Satoshi nodded. “Thank you,” he added. “For what you're about to show me. Whatever it is.”

“Of course. Ah, here we go.”

A simple Caterpie was eating some leaves in the trees. It was apparently quite oblivious to the approach of the trainers.

“Watch carefully,” the man said. “I will teach you the most important part of catching a Pokemon. Go, Kyuukon!”

Satoshi stared at the radiant fox and its six tails. Its brown fur shone in the sun, and the more red parts of its hair, which Satoshi, after years of experience with Pokemon magazines, saw were brushed at least twice a day, if not more so. This old man had to know what he was talking about. Caring for a Kyuukon was almost insanely difficult.

The Kyuukon didn't even wait for its master's instructions. With a casual swish of just one tail, again a display of the impressive amount of training that had gone into it, it released a move Satoshi didn't even recognize. The Caterpie fell from the tree, burning slightly.

“Burn,” the old man explained. “There's several statuses. Your Fushigidane, or Fu, as you call him, has Mistletoe Seed, of course, but there are others. Freeze, Sleep and Paralysis are more or less the same thing, but freezing is most effective. There's other stuff too, but I think the more important thing is that someone take advantage of the fact that that Caterpie is in no condition to resist a Monster Ball. I think that it will make a nice beginning to your collection, and besides, Butterfree can have some useful capabilities if you train them correctly.”

Satoshi grinned, and reached for one of the Monster Balls in his pocket, took it out, and threw it towards the creature. Again, he eagerly watched as there was one shake, and then another, and then another.

And then? It was done. Caught. Satoshi had another Pokemon.

Somehow, it seemed like another all too easy victory.

So, Satoshi decided that when he got back to the Pokemon Center, he'd get the Monster Balls the nurse owed him, and maybe see about finding another store.

After all, he HAD to catch a Pokemon for himself, or he'd never amount to much of anything.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Remember what I had to say about pacing? I'll work on that. Somehow, this is going to become a mega-epic.... I just know it... Next chapter: “STOP THE RAMPAGING POKEMON!”


Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:01 pm
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Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
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{mankey}

CHAPTER SIX: Stop the Rampaging Pokemon!

Satoshi and the old man walked through the door happily, having spent the walk back joking and talking about various Pokemon training styles.

“And then, you know what that American did?” the old man said, hardly coherent through the laughter.

“What?” Satoshi asked, also laughing.

“He said-”

“Ah hem,” a voice punctuated the joke. “Although I'm sure he hasn't heard all five of your jokes, we still have far more important matters. The power was specifically cut from most of the grocery stores in town, and the restaurants as well. Our population has been dramatically decreased overnight. I'm not sure what we're going to do.”

The old man rolled his eyes. “There'll be plenty of food, and we can consolidate our workers into the grocery stores we need. You're forgetting,” he added calmly. “That a vast population can't just disappear. It's gone somewhere, and people will notice it.”

“Perhaps. Perhaps not.”

“Unless, of course, you're proposing that they have completely removed the need to eat?”

“I... uh...”

“I rather expect that the majority of the people who are missing were aware of the situation but unable to do anything about it. Rather than be left behind, they were dragged along as well, so that the secrets this strange incident hides cannot be revealed. Perhaps we out to look outwards, at the rest of the world, and find what has happened to them?”

“That's a fascinating theory. Almost as if you were in on the whole thing.”

“Or, perhaps, YOU are. Spreading doubt and discord, as well as distracting us from the real issues at hand... It is just the sort of thing the enemy, whatever it is, would want us to focus on, and the only way that could happen would be if someone was just paranoid enough to suspect those around him. It would be rather ingenious, really, if it weren't such a trite cliché.”

“Stop it both of you!” the nurse shouted. “We're not enemies!” It seemed incredulous that such a young girl could get the attention of everyone so quickly.

“I'm sorry... Nurse Arai,” the angry man replied, sitting back down. “I got out of hand.”

The old man nodded. “I apologize as well. My dreams were not pleasant, and I don't think I've quite recovered from the shock.”

“Nor I,” the angry man replied. “Sorry, Oonishi.”

The old man- Oonishi nodded, his bald spot shining slightly as he did so. “I attempted to goad you as well, Kinjo.”

The nurse rolled her eyes. “Honestly. Either you're fighting to the death or you're trying to out-apologize the other. Please, just... be normal.”

There was laughter from the rest of the adults. Kinjo was a darker man, who, Satoshi thought, would probably be smiling under normal conditions. He did not seem to be used to the more solemn face he was wearing at the time. To his left sat a young woman, probably a trainer, who had dyed her hair green. Satoshi wondered what kinds of Pokemon she raised. Left of her was a police officer, who had a long scar on his right cheek. Left of him sat the nurse, left of her an empty seat which Oonishi sat down in, and left of him, sat a businessman of some sort, wearing a formal suit which seemed quite out of place under these conditions. Finally, left of him was the empty seat that the man from the previous night had been sitting in.

The young woman spoke up next. “I like Oonishi's idea about trying to find out what's going on in the rest of the world, and that we should focus on consolidating down to what we need. I too doubt that every missing person was part of some massive conspiracy.

“Next,” she added. “We should discuss a more pressing problem. Satoshi, Oonishi, and his daughter are the only people with Pokemon left in the city. The rest were also taken.” She paused here, sniffed sadly, but pressed on. “I myself lost a Rafflesia. But I do not think that wallowing in misery is the course of action. We must work on recatching Pokemon and retraining them in the hopes of defending ourselves.”

The policeman nodded. “It can't hurt,” he noted. “But unfortunately we were knocked out. Ms. Oonishi was quite lucky, and perhaps unnoticed, or unaffected. Her Okorizaru should be trained to.... 'sing' at any opportunity. That is the only thing that can protect us.”

The businessman nodded. “My company has a large amount of resources. It's possible we could rent or buy Pokemon from other cities. Surely, other Pokemon have the abilities to create the sounds the Okorizaru does.”

“Yes,” Oonishi agreed. “Iwaku and Biriridama are two good examples. I believe that even a Nyasu can generate the sounds required for an awakening. And, there should be Mankey and Okorizaru to the west, approaching the Sekiei League. All in all, on that count, we should be capable of defending ourselves.”

Kinjo, listening intently, said nothing.

“So,” Nurse Arai said. “We have plans on every count then. I also think, for our own safety, anyone who isn't a certified Pokemon trainer should be evacuated. This is mainly children, and I am sure their mothers will go with them. This is an emergency, perhaps on the national level. We can't endanger anyone.”

Satoshi soon got bored with the adults, who continued on a few other points that the nurse had not considered. This discussion, Satoshi realized, couldn't accomplish anything. They'd keep going around and around, always meaning to change something, but never actually being able to.

Instead of remaining, he stood up and began to wander around Tokiwa City. He decided he'd have to catch some Pokemon, but he didn't know where any shops were with Monster Balls. Uncertain, he decided to go to the burnt down Pokemon Mart. Perhaps there was a box of them hidden in the rubble. It felt wrong, but Satoshi doubted anyone would miss them.

In daylight, buses and cars went by along the streets, people moving about, no doubt lost as to what to do. Until those few adults did something, left their Pokemon Center and faced the city, Satoshi doubted that anything good could come. In fact, it was entirely possible that there thieves and looters moved amongst the streets, looking for empty houses to loot. Satoshi thought he'd remembered hearing about something like that in the news after a disaster.

Finally, he reached the burned Pokemon Mart, and began digging through the rubble. He quickly found what he was looking for, a box full of Monster Balls. Satoshi took a few for himself, but resolved he'd give the others to the adults, who would no doubt be attempting to collect Pokemon. It would be the least he could do.

Satoshi walked back to the Pokemon Center, and, as he'd gotten used to going this way, managed to make it to his destination rather quickly. A large news van was parked outside the Pokemon Center, with the nurse, who again seemed so small in comparison, talking to a woman Satoshi recognized as one of the reporters for a news program aired in Nibi City.

The reporter had long, straight dark hair, and had the air of a fashion junkie. Her attire consisted of two shades of color: hot pink and white. Satoshi approached uncertainly, not wanting to interrupt the interview, but the reporter turned briefly, whilst flinging some strands of hair behind her shoulders, and saw Satoshi.

“Perfect!” she cried. “A resident of Tokiwa City to tell us about the sleep!”

“Um...” Satoshi and Nurse Arai both stood there for a moment.

The reporter faltered. “Is something wrong?” she asked. “Oh! Of course, you might not feel comfortable relating the experience. Quite alright... Disappointing, but we can mention-”

“Actually,” said Nurse Arai. “This is the boy from Masara Town I mentioned.”

“Ah! The hero of our story!” the reporter smiled even broader. “That is even better!” she straightened her glasses and approached Satoshi. “So, where shall we begin?” she asked.

“I didn't really do anything,” Satoshi muttered, but the reporter paid him no heed, despite the fact that he spoke the truth.

In fact, the nurse's eyes widened as well, as if finally realizing that Satoshi had not really accomplished anything except attempting to catch a Lucky, and then to keep Nurse Arai safe. The granddaughter of Oonishi had accomplished the only worthwhile parts to the tale.

“Such modesty! Just answer the questions, this shouldn't take long. And SMILE for the camera. You've done a lot, you should be happy. When did you get that fine Pokemon?”

“Two days-”

“Wait,” Nurse Arai stepped forward. “He protected me, yes, but he didn't have anything to do with saving Tokiwa City. I do know the girl who did those parts, however.”

The reporter sighed. “Yes, very well,” she said. “Just delete that bit,” she added calmly. “Let's get in the van dear, we'll go talk to her straight away.”

“If you don't mind, I'd like to come as well,” Oonishi stood in the doorway. “It's my house. And let's bring the boy as well. He's going north soon, so we might as well assist him on his journey.”

“All right. Come on, everyone. We've got a story to film.”

In two minutes, the news van began speeding down the road, the driver listening calmly to Oonishi's directions, and then they arrived. Satoshi jumped out of the van first, and began his trek northward, deciding to look in the region between Tokiwa and Nibi for more Pokemon before pressing on.

So it was only natural that something had to go wrong. This time, it wasn't a Fushigidane in a window, or dropping a ton of Monster Balls on the floor, or being chased by another ferocious Pokemon. Just screaming.

Almost a nice change of pace, in its own demented little way.

He turned around, and saw a stream of Mankey flowing out the door and towards the news van. There were hundreds, and they'd even subdued the Okorizaru, as they were carrying it and Oonishi's granddaughter. The force then crashed into the truck, knocking it over, and carrying it with the flow.

Satoshi stared. It would be him, up against hundreds. No, Fu and Kya, his newfound Caterpie, only one of whom stood a chance of lasting against one Mankey. He should have healed Kya before leaving, but it was too late now.

Still, there was one chance. Satoshi dashed after the rampaging Pokemon, and soon found a path that went diagonally away from the Mankey. Perfect. He dashed down it even faster than before, until he reached and intersection, and began moving parallel to the Mankey. He watched the swarm intently, although being careful to avoid getting himself hurt.

Soon, another diagonal route made itself apparent, and Satoshi darted along it, so that he'd reach the intersection before the Mankey did. Quickly, he released Fu and Kya, who both waited for instructions intently.

“Try Vine Whip! And Spit Thread!” he shouted desperately.

The vines shot across the road in several layers, an attempt to prevent the Mankey from ducking under them or jumping over them. The Mankey attempted to climb the vines, and, as they had not quite formed a vertical wall, the monkey Pokemon pulled that off pretty quickly.

Luckily, the spit threads caught the Pokemon which got too near the top, sending them back down to the ground. This naturally meant the Mankey landed on their fellow Pokemon, significantly slowing the progress. It also meant that a natural ramp of Mankey soon stood next to the vine barrier, and the survivors continued undeterred.

Satoshi groaned. Couldn't anything go right? He picked up Fu and Kya and dashed after the monkey Pokemon, with his partners constantly enveloping the Mankey in string or grabbing bunches and tossing them aside without care. The truck, in the middle of the pack, got closer and closer, and Satoshi, decided it was time to try something else.

“Fu! Vine Whip that traffic light, let's swing our way in!”

Fu complied, and Satoshi jumped as Fu did so. They swung their way towards the truck, and by a stroke of luck managed to land inside it, displacing several Mankey.

The old man who had assisted Satoshi grinned. “Good thing you showed up!” he said. “They dropped Kyuukon's Monster Ball.” The old man picked it up and tossed it out of the truck. Kyuukon began shooting fire in every direction.

Soon after, the truck stopped moving, and Satoshi pulled himself out of it. They'd progressed quite a ways, and Satoshi saw that the Mankey had nearly all been stopped. Except one, which was still running around. Kyuukon was ignoring it.

Satoshi crept towards the creature and threw a Monster Ball. After all, it would be a useful addition to his team...

A few moments later the ball clicked. Satoshi grinned. He had a good feeling about the rest of the day.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yay, another chapter done. Satoshi, as always, shows interesting ideas, but lacks any actual means of pulling things off, and generally screws stuff up. Next up:

The Showdown of Tokiwa City! A Flaw in the Team!


Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:02 pm
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Bug Catcher
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:55 pm
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{pidgey}

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Showdown of Tokiwa City! A Flaw in the Team!

“DAMMIT!” a man swore in the darkness. “Dammit, dammit, dammit!”

The room had sunk under a blanket of shadow, only partially illuminated by a set of computer screens, each of which displayed a video feed. Most of them focused on a street that had recently suffered a Mankey affliction. Entirely planned, of course.

The man, who sat far enough away from the computers to hide any details about his description, reached for something in the darkness, and produced a remote-like object. He waved his hand around, pointing the remote at the computer, and cycled through several different 'channel's of live feed.

A door opened, basking the room in temporary light. A woman, whose beauty faded in her angry expressions, quickly stepped in and shut the door behind her, obscuring her from view as well.

“What's the problem?” she demanded coldly. Her voice radiated a no-nonsense attitude, harsh and pointed.

“It's... the Mankey experiment. The radio wave one. It failed.”

“Dammit!” she swore. “What happened? I need every detail.”

“It's pretty simple,” he said. “The Mankey started swarming, carrying the vehicle. They were following orders perfectly, they would have thrown the van off a cliff. But then this brat showed up. The same one we saw on the footage after we started tracking that rogue Master Ball.

He sighed, shaking his head, and then continued. “Anyways, he used a Caterpie and a Fushigidane, and he managed to stop them long enough for that old geezer to release a Kyuukon. Between all that... the Mankey got stopped pretty easily.”

“Pathetic!”

“I'm aware of that. I did warn you NOT to use wild Pokemon. After all, they're much weaker than Pokemon that have been used by their masters. Don't worry though, the radio waves were a success. We can branch out now.”

“Good. And how goes our attempts to obtain those fossils from Nibi and Mt. Otsukimi?”

“Things are going exactly as scheduled. We plan to rob the museum soon, and the mining is happening as quickly as could be expected. We are trying to be stealthy, after all.”

The woman laughed. “Indeed. Keep me informed.”

She turned away, reopened the door, and left the room.

***

Satoshi, the nurse, and the adults had quickly returned to the Pokemon Center after the attack, and while the majority sat at a table, recovering, Oonishi and Satoshi had begun training the various Mankey that the two had caught using the Monster Balls from the store.

“So you see,” the old man explained, “keeping the Pokemon jumping adds to their strength and dexterity, and will keep them disciplined. You have to focus on discipline; a Pokemon that isn't trained properly will probably ignore your instructions. I don't think you need to worry too much with Fu and Kya though. They're Pokemon that are recommended starters for trainers, so they aren't hard to handle.”

Satoshi nodded, writing everything down on a notebook he'd had the sense to bring with him. Still though, he kept Fu and Kya out, and had them perform exercises as well. Keeping them all properly raised was definitely important, especially for the tasks ahead.

“So,” Oonishi said. “Where do you plan to go next?”

Satoshi sighed. He had yet to consider that. “Well,” he began. “I wonder if the gym leader is still around. He might be willing to at least show me a few valuable Pokemon for the Zukan. And, if he's gone too, I guess I'll have to go north.”

The old man sighed. “The Eight Gym Leaders aren't around much any more, I'm afraid. Most of them don't do anything except compete in battles, ignoring their other duties to the community. You'll notice that there aren't a lot of great trainers any more. It's because the gym leaders don't train anyone. I suspect Sakaki will be the same.”

Satoshi nodded. “All right,” he said. “I guess I should get going. The Pokemon Zukan I'm trying to complete won't fill itself. Unfortunately.”

Oonishi laughed for quite awhile after this, and after he was done, Satoshi said his good-byes and left the Pokemon Center, heading northwards to the large hill upon which the Pokemon Gym sat.

The Pokemon Gym had a distinct Greek influence to it, a building similar to the Parthenon. The only distinctive difference Satoshi saw were the two ornate double doors leading in. Satoshi highly doubted the original had been constructed out of such high-quality wood.

He ascended the stairs slowly, uncertain of how exactly he would make his proposal to Sakaki. The Gym Leaders ranked amongst the most powerful trainers in the world, supposedly. Surely Sakaki would not have the time to help Satoshi out, as he would be far too busy helping the citizens with the problems facing the town. But, Oonishi had said... and Oonishi should know.

Except... Satoshi couldn't get anywhere near the doors. He attempted from several different angles, but he always found himself turned around again and walking back down the stairs. He looked at the doors from the bottom of the steps, and wondered if the first test involved finding a way through the doors.

“Why bother?” he muttered to himself. “It's obvious I won't ever be able to get in.”

“What's the problem?” asked a familiar voice.

Satoshi swung around, not believing he could possibly be hearing that voice. Oddly, he'd been correct. Leaning against a tree, only a few feet away, stood Shigeru.

“Can't get in?” Shigeru asked.

“Why are you still here?” Satoshi responded. “Shouldn't you have passed through here by now?”

“Oh, that? Er... I kind of got delayed, you see. I didn't leave until this morning. What's the deal with the city? Something seems to be... weird...”

“Everything's weird,” Satoshi answered. “Half the city disappeared, the gym won't let me in, and that Monster Ball your granddad got? It turns Pokemon into rather evil creatures that attempt to kill everything around them.”

“What? How do you know what that Monster Ball is? It disap- You took it!”

“I didn't mean to!” Satoshi cried. “When he tripped, and all the balls went everywhere, and we just grabbed some up, I grabbed it by mistake! I didn't even know until yesterday evening!”

Shigeru nodded. “Well, that does explain a lot... We should call my grandfather. He needs to know before he destroys his lab looking for that stupid thing. Poor Mori. Did you see the body when you went north? It was horrible...” Shigeru retched slightly in memory of whatever he had seen.

Satoshi shook his head. “Come on,” he said. “We should hurry. I don't know if the computer system is going to stay on or not. I think they mentioned taking it down because of how much power it wasted.”

Shigeru's eyes widened. “Take off the computers! Why would they do that? They'd completely isolate themselves from the outside world! And, they would have to take care of any extra Pokemon they had on them.”

“Luckily for them, they don't have extra Pokemon. All I've seen are an Okorizaru and a Kyuukon. They're both pretty powerful, but they said that was all they had left. I think they'll catch more soon, but they'll want guards to protect the city.”

Shigeru didn't seem to take that too seriously, but he shrugged and the two of them began the walk back to the Pokemon Center. Satoshi began to wonder if he wouldn't do anything that day besides walking.

As they walked, Shigeru kept staring up at the towers that made the main part of the city; awestruck. Satoshi would sometimes look up with him, but after the last day, they didn't seem to be quite so impressive as before.

The two boys walked through the doors of the Center and approached the simple computer that sat in the corner. A simple gray box, the whole design reeked of blandness. Satoshi wished he'd had his family computer, a much nicer design. Custom-built, too.

The computer also heavily lacked in functions, offering only a link to a Pokemon storage facility, a log-in screen to access a person's own PC, and a link to Dr. Okido's own computer, where he ran an FAQ and a few other functions to help trainers.

Shigeru took over, going from one window to another at rapid speed. Satoshi wondered if his companion had done this sort of thing before. Perhaps he had.

Soon though, an icon of a telephone appeared on the screen and shook slightly. A ringing sound accompanied it until the icon disappeared and the face of Dr. Okido filled the screen.

“I'm a litt- Shigeru! Satoshi-kun! I'm glad to see you! How is the Zukan project coming along?”

“Er...” Shigeru said. “I got a bit distracted, but I did manage to catch a Poppo!”

“And I caught a Caterpie and a Mankey!” Satoshi added.

Dr. Okido sighed. “Well, it's not great, but I expect you'll catch more as you get on.”

“Grandfather,” Shigeru said. “You remember when you spilled all of those Monster Balls?”

“Of course!” Dr. Okido said. “Why?”

“I accidentally grabbed that weird Ball,” Satoshi explained. “Someone borrowed my Monster Balls to catch a Lucky, and they threw that one. It... turned evil.”

Dr. Okido paled. “Evil? As in... it attacked you? That's... not good. Thank you for telling me,” he added. “I... wonder who made such a thing.”

“We'll find out!” Shigeru said eagerly, and Satoshi nodded.

Dr. Okido turned even paler. “No,” he said calmly. “That would not be wise. I don't want you two getting mixed up in all of this. Just... do the job I've given you. Don't worry about anything else.”

Shigeru sighed. “Yes, grandfather,” he said sadly. “Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

Shigeru turned off the computer. “Well,” he said. “That's a disappointment. But I can think of other things worth doing.”

“Like?”

“Like a battle of course! I want a rematch!”

Satoshi sighed. “All right,” he agreed. “Two-on-two?”

“Yes, that's all I've got. Come on, let's do this outside.”

The two boys found a small area a few blocks away that Satoshi felt was just perfect for battling. The arena lay within a park, so several large trees provided shade for the arena, keeping it nice and cool now that afternoon had set in.

Satoshi remembered Shigeru's two Pokemon; Hothead, who would be best dealt with by Ki, his Mankey, who didn't have weaknesses to fire types; and a Poppo, which Satoshi couldn't think of any way to deal with. He'd come up with something, he decided.

Shigeru silently tossed a Monster Ball into the arena, and Hothead popped out. It bared its teeth menacingly, but Satoshi didn't feel concerned as Ki jumped out of its Monster Ball. Shigeru looked slightly impressed, but soon reverted to his disinterested expression. Satoshi wondered why he looked so bored.

Ki jumped forward and attempted to administer a Kick Down on Hothead, who jumped out of the way and tried a Sparks attack, which missed. Ki jumped in and scratched Hothead, who scratched back.

Satoshi realized that Hothead seemed nervous; he cringed when Ki jumped in, struck hesitantly, didn't even try glaring at Ki to make the monkey jump back. He wondered what had happened to it.

But then, in a flash, Ki delivered a final Kick Down and Hothead collapsed. Shigeru recalled it calmly and tossed his second Monster Ball into the arena. It opened and revealed the Poppo, which let out a fierce and terrible cry. And Satoshi doubted that its call even counted as an attack.

Ki couldn't back away fast enough.

Satoshi watched in horror as the feral creature swept downwards, flapping its wings angrily and stirring up the air around it. A mini-tornado slid along the ground towards Ki, who didn't really stand a chance. In a few moments, Ki fell to the ground, unable to stand up to the winds.

Satoshi sighed, he had expected as much, but he had hoped to get an attack or two in. He decided that Fu would have to finish the fight, so he tossed the Monster Ball into the arena. Fu, of course, wouldn't stand a chance either.

“Release your Mistletoe Seed!” Satoshi shouted desperately, as his enemy's bird Pokemon readied yet another mini-storm. Fu quickly shot a seed out, which latched on to its opponent, and even managed to withstand one cyclone.

“Now,” Satoshi shouted. “Attack!”

Fu jumped into the air...

And Poppo promptly blew him back down to the ground in another tornado. Satoshi stared.

Shigeru smirked, and walked forward, a hand outstretched. Satoshi shook it sadly.

“I knew you got lucky,” Shigeru added as he walked away. “Still, see you around?”

Satoshi nodded, neglecting to mention Shigeru's being forced to use an attack capable of stopping all of his Pokemon to win. He watched his old schoolmate walk away, and then decided that tomorrow, for certain, he would get out of Tokiwa City.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yeah, yeah. I took forever. I know. Sorry. Hopefully, I'll add a chapter tomorrow/Sunday. Anyways, next chapter: THE TREK NORTH! A THIEVING POKEMON!


Last edited by Legendary on Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:58 pm
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Pokemon Ranger
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Okay, I'm really confused as to why no-one is commenting on this. ;(

This story is actually pretty good, the chapters are of great length and the characters seem well developed. Good job here, and it's good to know that you're still going with it. :] Nice work.

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Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:01 am
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Bug Catcher
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Thanks! It's nice to get an encouraging review.

Chapter 8 will be up soon, I'm just tweaking with it a little.


Sun Feb 03, 2008 9:13 am
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Bug Catcher
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{rattata}

CHAPTER EIGHT: The Trek North! A Thieving Pokemon!

The water rose, the water fell. Though few had seen it who had not participated in it, an exodus of mass proportions had taken place. And Nature, powerful though it was to resist changes and disturbances, found itself shaken.

What had seemed a million people had walked through the Tokiwa Forest, and Nature, pressed for space, had fought back in its typically passive-aggressive manner. The Pokemon that had been disturbed had left the forest and begun terrorizing the surrounding areas.

Beedle and Caterpie, not to mention most of their brethren, had crawled outside the forest and began building a new nest, to the east, near a tiny village between Tokiwa and Nibi. The once graceful birds that had flown over the forest had opted to fly elsewhere, and now great flocks swooped through the air, east, west, south, north. Any direction. It did not particularly matter to the Pokemon.

Meanwhile, the Pikachu had retreated deeper into the forest, a once common Pokemon now becoming limited to smaller areas. Pikachu, unfortunately, lacked a pack instinct, and fights broke out amongst the habitats. A once common Pokemon quickly became amongst the rarest of the rare.

The trees of the forest lacked any particular urge to migrate, and were instead in ruins. Many had been torn down by the humans who had left Tokiwa. A great gash split one quarter of the forest from the rest, and any who flew over the forest would see it.

Then of course, came the damage from the overuse of Digda's Hole, a strange cavern system which led all the way to Kuchiba City. The Digda had not taken well to the sudden invasion, and had fled the cave, and settled in the village.

Meanwhile, of course, the villagers who had become so terrorized by the insect and mole Pokemon that had left the forest found their own ways of coping. They abandoned their homes, and made an exodus southward.

Their arrival was not welcome in Tokiwa City, which already sat on the brink of ruin. However, the exodus confirmed one theory regarding the missing people; that they had traveled away; and so the arrival also came as a reassurance.

But everything had fallen out of balance, and the few who knew the ways of the forest feared that the real effects of the ecological breakdown had not yet come to pass.

And when they did? Tokiwa City would find itself entirely unprepared to deal with the consequences of a rapidly collapsing environment, not to mention the more pressing concerns of the humans who did not know that the ripples of the exodus had spread, long and far.

So, the water rose, and the water fell, crashing against the shores of a lake that would soon fade away, as the numbers of those that drank its water multiplied.

***

Satoshi woke the next day feeling refreshed, and wondering what on Earth could possibly happen next. The last few days seemed like a blur; catching Fu, surviving the Lucky, and his reunion with Shigeru... Three days... It seemed like far too long a time for so much to happen.

He followed the same routine as he had the previous morning; quickly eating and then showering afterwards. Then, he dashed out the front door and into the wild world. It took him what seemed an eternity to cross the entirety of Tokiwa City, but once he'd left it, he found himself amongst the many-colored blossoms that made the wilderness before the abrupt beginning of the Tokiwa Forest.

Unfortunately, the passage between Tokiwa and Tokiwa Forest was long and arduous, containing rough terrain all the way across the path. Satoshi found that he became exhausted extremely quickly, and so decided to sleep beneath a tree before continuing on...

***

And so he dreamed. The majority of the spurts of temporary consciousness are uninteresting at best; disturbing at worst. Nightmares and constantly recurring (yet quickly forgotten) dreams played out.

And then something changed...

The world became one constant color, gold, shining, and then a woman stepped out of the gold. She was young, perhaps only fifteen years older than Satoshi. Her face, pale, cold smooth, shone out in contrast to her long dark hair. She wore a red uniform of some sort, with boots to match, and she walked towards Satoshi.

One of her hands held three cards, each sporting an intricate design of gold on a blue background. She held them out to Satoshi, wordless. Satoshi took a card, and flipped it over.

The design resembled that of a Tarot card. On it, an intricate picture, a cloaked man, hobbled over and sitting against a decrepit building, holding out a tin. Another man stood nearby, holding out a hand with a golden coin in it. Below were letters of a strange sort. It seemed as if each letter had an eye.

“Beggar.” The sound echoed, and yet... Satoshi could have sworn the speaker had not spoken up, nor done anything but whisper. He stared at the woman, uncertain.

“You are the beggar,” she explained kindly.

He glared at her, and reached for the other two cards, as if to change his fate, but she withdrew them and the cards burst into flames.

“Those are not for you,” she said forcefully. “You will find those who have them, of course, but you must not ask what the cards read. Tell of your own destiny. They will give you theirs, if they so choose.”

A strange fog began to appear around the woman, and she sighed. “The shields are being raised. Be sure you sleep properly three days from now, for I will visit you then. Your companions will soon find that destiny waits for no one.

“Are you ready?” she asked.

“What? Ready for what?”

“Are you ready?”

“Ready for what?”

“You are not ready. You must be ready. Do not assume that you can survive by wits alone. Follow the card. It means everything.”

“Beg for mercy?” Satoshi muttered sarcastically. “Yeah, that'll be a big help.”

The woman sighed again, longer, drawn out, exasperated. “I see faces and images all around you. Remember Mori. He's important.” Her feet were now covered in fog, and the tendrils of air began to glide upward, obscuring the rest of her.

“I know he's important! He stole that weird Monster Ball!”

“What?” the woman struggled against the fog for a moment, as if she wished to step forward but could not. Sighing (again), she said, “Did it have an 'M' on it?”

“Yes! Why?”

“Where is it? Is it safe?”

“It's been destroyed!”

The woman smiled for the first time in the dream. A cold smile, and cruel, but Satoshi thought that her expression might have been based upon the fact that her entire legs were now surrounded in thick fog.

“That is as it should be. If you find another, destroy it too. Destroy them all!” The fog spread upwards quickly now, covering her torso, her chest, her neck. “Goodbye, Satoshi. We both have things to do. Remember, she will-”

Her head disappeared into the fog, and Satoshi found himself alone, the last two words, an unfinished sentence, echoing throughout the dream world.

***

Satoshi awoke with a start. He sat up groggily, and rubbed his eyes. Doing so, he noticed he held something in his hand. A blue card with a gold design on one side, and a picture of a beggar on the other. He started.

He had not had that card when he had gone to sleep. It should have gone away when the dream ended, like all other shadowy parts of his subconscious. Yet there it sat, the beggar seemingly staring at him.

Satoshi felt rather uncomfortable about that.

Luckily, his discomfort over the card did not last long, for as he looked down, he noticed something wriggling in his backpack. His eyes widened and he snatched the bag away from whatever was inside.

It was a purple, rat-like creature, and it sat there, looking up angrily at him. Satoshi realized that it had clutched onto something in its mouth, but he couldn't tell what. It looked an awful lot like food though.

“Hey! Give that back!” he shouted angrily.

The rat Pokemon looked up at him for a moment, then rammed into his leg.

Satoshi had never had an idea of how strong Pokemon were. He'd thought, reasonably, that Pokemon like fighting types would be quite strong, but he'd never imagined that a single Koratta could knock a person over.

It could.

As he fell to the ground, his backpack fell out of his hands and back to where it had been sitting. In front of the Koratta, who eagerly bit onto one of the straps and started carrying it away.

Satoshi jumped up and dashed after it, across even more treacherous and bumpy terrain than before. The Koratta knew its habitat well, and jumped this way and that across the surface. Satoshi could hardly keep up with it.

“Go, Kya!” he shouted, throwing the Monster Ball ahead of the Koratta.

The green caterpillar popped out of the Monster Ball and began spraying its Spit Thread all over the Koratta, which quickly began to slow down. Satoshi darted forward, grabbed the backpack.... and tripped over a rock.

The backpack went flying into the air again, and the Koratta tried to run and pick it up, but it had become entangled in the various threads. It struggled for awhile, and then fell over. Kya, not wanting to waste a good opportunity, gave it a gentle nudge and knocked it over onto a sharp rock.

Satoshi stood up and retrieved his backpack. He took a quick look at the Zukan, which revealed that Shigeru had not yet caught a Koratta, so Satoshi readied a Monster Ball and tossed it forward.

The ball didn't work. Neither did the next one, or the one after that. Satoshi rapidly cycled through the Monster Balls he'd obtained in Mori's shop, even having Kya administer a few more Body Blows to the Koratta. Nothing worked, and soon Satoshi was down to one Monster Ball.

Satoshi shook his head angrily and nodded towards Kya, who administered one final body blow. The Koratta was knocked unconscious.

Satoshi turned to recall Kya, but froze. The Kya had burst into white light, and slowly began to shift in appearance. Suddenly, it was no longer a simple Caterpie, but had become a Transell!


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Hooray! Yay! Etc. Satoshi can't catch a Koratta, but Kya has evolved! Next chapter? THE TOKIWA FOREST! A FERAL POKEMON!

Cya.


Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:34 am
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poplers wrote:
Okay, I'm really confused as to why no-one is commenting on this. ;(


Perhaps it could be because people just don't have the time or inclination to trawl through six chapters off the bat. I mean, a massively long chapter is daunting enough, but six chapters in succession like this is more than a short story, and could put off readers. Hell, you have to put aside half an hour just to get into it and comment on it.

Quote:


This story is actually pretty good, the chapters are of great length and the characters seem well developed. Good job here, and it's good to know that you're still going with it. :] Nice work.


Yes, the chapters are of an adequate length, but posting them in that bulk of six isn't great. :P

The hook at the beginning is the best thing going for this story, but I would suggest leaving more hints throughout it; it was only as I counted back through the chapters to make sure that my post was valid, that I remembered about that.

I'm not saying that you should explain it immediately, but you need to make sure the reader is kept hooked; else it's not much of a hook.

Also, why have you changed all of the Pokemon's names? I mean, I'm not some noob saying that out of 'lolol, what a gay idea etc' but I mean it in a literary sense; it's not as if it's going to encourage the reader to read on, if anything, I was turned off by the idea of having to work out what each one was.

I suppose it could be argued that you are doing it to emphasise your 'darker' take on Pokemon, but surely you can do that with the normal Pokemon's names?

Also, your character's names; can I ask why they are Japanese/made up? I realise that the main character's name is derived from the creator of Pokemon, but aside from that, I think that name's are another point that can force people to lose interest.
Chances are, your readers are English; if you're saying they're not, why are you writing in English? Most English readers will just breeze over the names because they can't pronounce them without first having to say them out loud; hell, I did.

If it's a name like John, or Steve, chances are, the reader might know a person with that name, and will become more personally attached to that character. With unrecognizable names, you can become lost in a sea of s's and z's, and displaced vowels and before you know it, you've lost interest and gone to look at another fic.

This fic is better than a hell of a lot, and you're too far into it to really take my points into consideration, but I thought I'd just point them out to you. ;)

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Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:01 pm
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Pokemon Ranger
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Quote:
If it's a name like John, or Steve, chances are, the reader might know a person with that name, and will become more personally attached to that character. With unrecognizable names, you can become lost in a sea of s's and z's, and displaced vowels and before you know it, you've lost interest and gone to look at another fic.

Well you could also say that a writer isn't to draw all of his influences from other people, but from himself and not choose names like 'John Doe' and 'Bob Smith' etc.. because then the reader does relate to a person in RL, and I wouldn't want to do that. I don't read stories to be sucked back into my own world, I read them to go to another, and choosing bland, boring, and often lame names won't help a story get any better.

I actually quite like the names, they show originality and quality and somewhat of a respect for the creator of pokémon.

Oh, and Obs, stop saying hell so much, it doesn't make you look cooler. :x

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Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:46 pm
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Wolf- Thanks for the criticism; you're right, it IS difficult, and I've gotten quite a few complaints on the various sites this is on. I'm thinking of attaching a guide to the beginning of each chapter, covering new Pokemon names; and when the name is close enough to the English version, I'm already just taking the English (Caterpie, for example). Each is Japanese though, and I've also gotten compliments for it, which is why I'm reluctant to rename them now. Also, all 493 Pokemon in Japanese (and places) are added to my dictionary... I don't want to do that all over again.

Still, although I can appreciate the problems with Japanese Pokemon names, I'm not entirely sure how difficult a name like "Satoshi" can be. I've seen FAR worse using the English language. *cough*anything fantasy*cough*

poplers- Thanks.


Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:00 pm
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I just sort of breezed over it, as I do with many pieces. I'm happy to say no grammar errors popped out at me. Your chapter lengths are decent and you have a fairly good balance between description and dialogue. Good job.

Poplers-He's probably trying not to say "hell" too much. I know most kids in my school it all the time out of habit along with some more flavorful words, so that's probably what it is. It may even sound more akward to say "heck" or something like that over "hell" after hearing/saying for so long...At least that's how it is with me...

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Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:41 pm
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{pikachu}

CHAPTER NINE: The Tokiwa Forest! The Feral Pokemon!

A dense fog, more solid than iron itself, had settled over Yamabuki City, the center of Kanto, the crossroads between the other main cities. Many had noticed the fog, many were concerned. But none could penetrate it.

What few people did know, however, was the origin of the mysterious fog. The forces that had so adversely terrorized Mori and the rest of Tokiwa had not limited their scope of operations, but had spread the fires across all of Kanto.

Everything was in a state of flux, and nothing would be left alone, for the fog that had isolated Tokiwa City had arrived after a great journey. The world, which was still mostly unaware of the dangers that had befallen Tokiwa City, turned their eyes instead towards Yamabuki.

Soon though, nothing would be the focus of their attention, for each would look inward at their own problems.

That was, at least, the plan.

***

Three. Three cards, three starters, three trainers. Natsume could see each clearly in her mind's eye, the two boys, the girl. Zenigame, Fushigidane, and Hitokage. Each was important, each had a destiny.

Worse, the majority of their destinies were inescapable, and some parts fatal, although Natsume could not see if their dooms were avoidable.

Natsume, ever calm, looked up at her calendar. The month of May had begun so recently, only three of the squares on the page had been crossed out in her deep purple ink.

She shut her eyes, and wished that the fog would go away. It was difficult, speaking to the outside world beyond it, and so far, she could only find three conduits for her psychic energy.

The three with destinies. Worse, their destinies were highly... irregular. Changeable. Which, for them, meant only good things.

Natsume doubted very much that their destinies could possibly be improved, but she had to hope. It had been why she'd bothered reaching for them in their dreams in the first place. She shut her eyes, and began to meditate. She'd need to be calm and collected for when it came time to meet Dr. Okido's grandson. She expected some powerful things from him. The other boy's card had many interpretations... She hoped that Shigeru's card could help her find the perfect fit.

***

Satoshi sighed, clinging on to the only Monster Ball he had left. How could he have failed to catch such a pathetically weak Pokemon? No one considered Koratta to have any actual uses whatsoever, except perhaps as a training Pokemon. He'd only wanted one for the Zukan.

The more he thought about it, the more it seemed his career as a trainer consisted only of lucky victories and humiliating defeats. What if he wasn't really good at this sort of thing? He thought briefly of turning around, going home, and turning in his Zukan. He had three Pokemon, he could train them for awhile...

But... if he did that... he could only see Shigeru's smug face when he too returned home, with a complete Zukan, and saying to Satoshi, “I told you only one of us was needed to do the job...” Then came the image of Dr. Okido, disappointedly putting away the Zukan, and saying, “Well... there will be other trainers...” His mother... Setsuko might be the only one happy. Hadn't she told him to be back soon? Or would she too think that Satoshi was a failure?

“I have to keep going,” he muttered to himself. “I've caught four species of Pokemon, Shigeru only has two. If I keep catching Pokemon, I'm sure I can stay ahead of him. I just have to train harder.”

Training. Oonishi had given him a variety of training techniques, and Satoshi decided he might as well try a few of them out.

He released his three Pokemon, and took his first good look at them. Fu, Satoshi noticed, seemed lower to the ground than before, and his bulb had definitely begun to expand. The flower might come into bloom at any moment.

Ki had already settled himself onto a tree branch, and had probably only stayed because the Monster Ball controlled him enough to keep him within a certain radius of Satoshi (barring an emergency of some sort).

Meanwhile, Kya had not moved an inch, not even enough to have lost balance and fallen over onto his side. Apparently being a Transell put some serious limitations on mobility. Hopefully he'd be able to attack later or something.

In short, Satoshi thought, he had a better team than most beginners would, but hardly something that stood a chance against Shigeru. Shigeru, after all, lived with the famous Dr. Okido. He probably had all sorts of information.

“Alright,” Satoshi said calmly. “Let's get this started. First, let's focus on building your speed. So... we're a bit into the forest... Run to the edge, and back to me.”

He took out the stopwatch Oonishi had given him the previous day, and clicked the START button. Fu and Ki raced away, whilst Kya continued to sit on the ground. Satoshi sighed. He'd have to get Kya to evolve again, and soon.

Satoshi kept training his Pokemon for another hour. Kya was tossed back and forth by Ki and Fu's vines, then they mock battled against one another, and then Satoshi had the two of them uproot a nearby tree. Both Pokemon seemed stronger afterwards, and Fu's bulb had definitely become inflated. He would definitely evolve soon.

Satoshi gathered up his three Pokemon, and began to walk through the forest. He wanted to get to Nibi City before sunset. Satoshi briefly wondered if it too had suffered; if it too had suffered an evacuation and an attack like Tokiwa City had... Satoshi doubted he'd ever get anywhere.

Tokiwa Forest itself was a dense, overgrown area, with few paths that Satoshi could see. Until, that is, he found himself in an area whose trees had fallen to the ground, torn aside by something big. He looked around uncertainly. The path extended in two directions, moving northward up until where he stood, and then diverting suddenly to the east. Satoshi wasn't entirely sure what to make of all of that.

“What happened here?” he said aloud.

“Something you don't want to know about,” a voice answered.

Satoshi looked around, but as far as he could tell, no one else stood in the clearing. Then a man in a black uniform with a letter 'R' on it stepped into the clearing.

“I'm a member,” he began, “of a group of forest rangers who patrol the area. We believe that it is connected to that disappearance of people in Tokiwa City. We aren't sure how they could have caused this level of devastation, however. You'll notice that there isn't a single plant growing in this area.”

Satoshi looked around, and saw that not a thing grew in the clearing. “Who do you work for?” Satoshi asked after a moment's consideration.

“The forest rangers, as most of us guardsmen in Kanto, are paid for by private donations. Would you like to donate? The more money we get, the more effective we can be.”

Satoshi considered for a moment, but since he had heard of the Nature Guardsmen, and they did save many trainers from situations that got out of control, so it seemed like a reasonable donation, especially since he happened to be a trainer himself.

He reached into his bag, pulled out a wallet, and took out about half of his money, which wasn't much, and handed it to the man in the strange black uniform, who took the bills with a strangely hungry look in his eyes. He pocketed the money quickly, as if afraid that Satoshi would change his mind and take the money back.

The man then nodded to Satoshi, and walked away. “Thanks, kid,” he said. Satoshi could have sworn that once the man had disappeared into the bushes, he'd started running. Perhaps he had an assignment to complete.

Satoshi suddenly heard more noises in the bushes, and swung around. A yellow mouse had emerged from the clearing and was darting across it, heading towards a Beedle. The many-segmented attempted to ready the point on its head for a Poison Needle attack. Pikachu, however, released an Electric Shock, and shocked the Beedle before it could do anything.

The Pikachu then began to eat the berries that the Beedle had been attempting to guard, one after another. When it ran out, it released electric shocks into the nearby trees, knocking more berries down. Satoshi felt little jolts himself each time, even though he was standing well away from the trees.

Remembering his utter failure at an attempt to capture a Koratta, Satoshi decided that this Pikachu would be his saving grace and his major success. After all, these Pokemon didn't live in many other places. Still, he'd make sure Shigeru hadn't caught one himself.

He flipped open the Zukan and looked at the list. It displayed several important pieces of information.

POKEMON LIST
Pokemon Seen: 13
Pokemon Caught: 4
Total Pokemon Caught: 12

Satoshi gasped. Shigeru had caught six more Pokemon since yesterday? That couldn't be right. The list of Pokemon showed that Shigeru had caught a Zenigame, a Koratta, and the entire Beedle line, not mention had evolved his Hitokage into a Lizard.

Shigeru really was the better trainer, it seemed.

But Satoshi decided not to mope, but to prove himself Shigeru's better by actually training. Fu was close to evolution, and had been a wild Pokemon besides. He'd actually started out farther behind.

Satoshi decided that the best Pokemon to use for this battle would be Ki, who could probably use Kick Down to whittle away the Pikachu's health. He tossed the Monster Ball out, and Ki landed near the Pikachu, and quickly struck.

The Pikachu was decidedly unhappy about having its lunch interrupted, and struck back with a cold fury Satoshi had never seen in a Pokemon, not even the evil Lucky that had attacked.

Ki attempted to fight back, but the Pikachu was incredibly quick, and one lightning bolt after another after another rained down on the Mankey. When Ki had fainted, Pikachu turned in Satoshi's direction.

Satoshi wanted to run away as far as he could, but he didn't dare move.

The Pikachu smiled, and approached Satoshi. Once next to him, it began nuzzling his leg. Satoshi hesitantly reached down to pet it, and it made a sort of purring noise in its throat. It then leaned up and began licking his hand.

Satoshi sat down next to it, still letting the mouse lick his hand happily when...

“****!” Satoshi looked down at his hand. Three of his fingers were bleeding, and the Pikachu was licking its lips, intrigued by the new flavor it had discovered. Satoshi stood up and ran away, but the electric mouse followed happily. Or hungrily. Satoshi decided not to find out.

He turned around, recalled his Mankey quickly, and started running again, only to realize that the Pikachu was gaining, when he felt a nip on his ankle. He reached for a different Monster Ball and threw it straight at the Pikachu. Kya popped out and, weighing nearly four kilograms more than the average Pikachu, slowed the wild Pokemon's progress immensely, and caused it no shortage of pain.

Satoshi recalled Kya and threw the Monster Ball at the Pikachu again, and then a third time. This time, the Pikachu was expecting the assault, and fainted its opponent Transell before it hit. Satoshi recalled it, cursing. Now that it was fainted, the Monster Ball would not open until the Transell was healed.

So, he reached for a different Monster Ball altogether, and threw it right at the Pikachu, without clicking the release.

Pikachu, expecting a Pokemon, shocked the Monster Ball, and triggered the release function, popping open the Monster Ball and getting enveloped within it. The creature struggled for a few moments, but failed to get out before the locking mechanism had sealed.

Satoshi didn't waste any time celebrating, however. After retrieving the Monster Ball, he turned his attentions to his bleeding fingers, nursing them carefully. Still, he'd had another success. Perhaps he was getting better...


AUTHOR'S NOTES:

The evil Pikachu has arrived, we get our first encounter with the Rocket Gang (I presume you lot figured out that he scammed Satoshi out of his money? It's not a big spoiler, so I see no reason to hide it), and our first indications that a Zukan owner has the third starter. Assuming that it is not Shigeru but a third individual with a Zenigame, and that this person is the third in Natsume's vision... Well, at least you know it is a girl. Assuming all that's true. Next chapter:

The Rocket Gang! Save the Forest!


Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:04 pm
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Fixed stupidity. Natsume originally called the destinies "inescapable and fatal" and then later on "changeable."

The chapter has now been fixed. Natsume now sees that the majority of the destiny is inescapable, and there is a doom present, but she can't tell if the doom is inescapable as well.


Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:04 pm
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{grimer}

CHAPTER TEN: The Rocket Gang! Save the Pokemon!

Dr. Okido and his granddaughter bent over the computer displaying the data that the three Zukan trainers had collected. Dr. Okido had considered using his spare Fushigidane to gather data on Pokemon in the immediate area, but in the past four days, thirteen Pokemon species had been collected. At that rate, they'd be done in about a month and a half.

He had had considerable doubts about using three new trainers to collect data on the rumored one hundred and fifty species of Pokemon that were in the Kanto region, but he had realized that they had not peaked yet, and it would difficult to find good trainers amongst the experienced who hadn't already accomplished all that they were likely to.

He had also sent a different prototype, with larger capacities for data storage, to Dr. Odamaki of the Houen region, hoping that between the two regions, the framework for a true Pokemon encyclopedia could be laid.

Nanami sighed. “So, the Pikachu species is omnivorous,” she said, pointing to a detailed photograph the Zukan had provided. “That's new information. We thought they primarily lived on berries.”

Dr. Okido nodded, distracted. “Do you think I should have sent that girl after the two boys?” he asked. “I mean, it seemed like such a good idea at the time, but now I'm beginning to wonder if I didn't make some sort of mistake.”

Nanami rolled her eyes. “No, grandfather,” she said kindly. “I think she's perfectly competent, and besides, that girl can probably keep those two reigned in. If I know Shigeru-chan, he'll probably spend more time challenging Sato-san to the death than actually collecting Pokemon.”

Dr. Okido laughed. “He sounds just like your father, Nanami-chan. I hope he's half as good. And perhaps the battling will help him move on. It's been a year since your father died, but he's just become withdrawn, and is antagonistic to anyone who tries to get close, not to mention insulting to anyone who doesn't know him. I don't think he's used an honorific in six months. Sometimes I forget them.”

Nanami smiled, but the mention of her father had made her falter. She looked back down at the work below her.

“I know Shigeru-chan hasn't come as far as I have, but I don't think that's bad. You say it's been a year, but I think it's ONLY been a year. Mom hasn't exactly been around for us, so Shigeru has found himself short two parents... I miss him too, grandfather. If your reasons for sending Shigeru-chan out into the world were to make him stop grieving, I don't think you did the right thing.”

“No! Of course not! That's not why I sent him at all! I just said... I hope...”

***

Satoshi wrapped his fingers in bandages carefully, almost wishing that he had not encountered the Pikachu, which he had decided to nickname “Chu,” as it followed the naming pattern he had established.

Satoshi now sat against a tree, watching for any wild Pokemon and recovering. He wondered if he should return to Tokiwa and the Pokemon Center there; he had only one fully healed Pokemon. But.... it seemed rather a waste of time. After all, Shigeru could easily be in Nibi City right now, catching wild Pokemon and becoming more powerful.

Satoshi knew he'd have to become more powerful to stand a chance against Shigeru, but he had no idea how to go about it. First off, there came the obvious point that Shigeru's grandfather must have bestowed large amounts of experience upon him. Then, the fact that Shigeru's team already had superiority and that he would only continue to train as time went on.

Then, Satoshi had an idea. There had to be trainers traveling across Kanto, just like him, and some of them would easily be at Satoshi's experience level. If he could find them, he would be able to train much quicker than with merely battling the wild Pokemon he had encountered thus far.

Satoshi realized that they would have stayed on the roads that most trainers went through between towns. Thus far, Satoshi hadn't done a lot of following roads. Between the encounter with the Onisuzume, straying far from the beaten path to battle the Lucky, and chancing upon the clearing, Satoshi had found that even getting a little bit of data for his Zukan was easier accomplished by avoiding the main routes.

He briefly wondered if he should have tried to battle that forest ranger. But that man would have had Pokemon like Nidoking and Dodrio, powerful and fast creatures that a simple Pokemon like Fu would never had stood a chance against.

Still, there had to be trainers in the forest, and Satoshi knew he'd have to find one of them. And seeing as the only way to do that was to get onto a path and follow it, Satoshi stood up and began to look for a path, rationalizing that heading in a straight line north would at least get him to Nibi City, even if he couldn't find a path.

Luckily, there turned out to be a path only a few meters away, and Satoshi quickly began following it, looking for bug catchers and other types who would stay on the Tokiwa Forest paths.

Again, Satoshi proved to be remarkably lucky, for he found just such a character a few more meters down the road. The trainer was decked in loose clothing, wearing a straw hat, and carrying a large butterfly net.

“Hey!” The trainer cried happily. “Welcome to Tokiwa Forest, trainer. I suppose you'll be wanting a battle with me? But I should warn you, my bug Pokemon are fierce and you'll regret battling them.”

Satoshi laughed. Bug Pokemon were the laughingstocks of any real Pokemon competition, perhaps only beaten by Poison, who had no actual uses in battle. There was the minor risk that the trainer had a Strike, a powerful Pokemon armed with two scythes as arms, or perhaps a Kairos, with two pincers that would tear Pokemon apart, but... Besides that, there wasn't much that the insect world had to offer.

Still, Satoshi readied Fu's Monster Ball, waiting only for the other trainer to show Satoshi what he had to offer. The other trainer seemed just as reluctant, perhaps offended by Satoshi's laughter.

The two trainers stood facing each other another moment, each waiting for the other to strike, but they waited a few moments to long. Out of the forest jumped two men with guns, holding them up to the two battlers.

“Give us your Pokemon!” the first man shouted angrily.

“Or we'll shoot you!” the other man added unnecessarily.

The two trainers stared at their assailants, open mouthed.

“Hurry it up!” shouted the first man. “Come on! Just give us your Pokemon!”

Satoshi couldn't think of anything to do, so he sadly grabbed his four Monster Balls and handed them over angrily. 'How can this be happening?' he wondered. 'I just started and now I'm being robbed?'

Once the Monster Balls had been grabbed, the two men dashed back into the forest, leaving Satoshi and the bug catcher staring.

Then Satoshi realized that the men wore black uniforms with a red letter 'R' on them. That had been the uniform the ranger wore. “Great,” Satoshi muttered. “I gave my money and my Pokemon to those thieves. What's wrong with people?”

When there wasn't an answer, Satoshi looked up to discover that the bug catcher had disappeared. “Hey!” Satoshi shouted. “Where'd you go?”

He darted off into the trees, ignoring the obvious dangers of traveling without a Pokemon. “Come back!” Satoshi yelled angrily. “We've gotta get those Pokemon back!”

No answer. Nothing but the imposing shadows cast by trees, and the calls of wild Pokemon that Satoshi doubted he wanted to see even with Fu and the rest of his partners.

Satoshi knew he'd have to find the criminals and find a way to sneak his Pokemon back into his own possession, but the task required an insane amount of bravery and luck.

He had to start somewhere, though, so he stood still, shut his eyes, and listened. Listened for humans, Pokemon in states of agitation, anything. Once he heard something, he'd go that way.

***

A bike rode through the forest, sticking to the roads that Satoshi had ignored. Flying behind it was a Spear, the large wasp-like Pokemon buzzing contentedly, enjoying the exercise the trainer gave it. In the basket of the bike sat a Zenigame, wearing an overly large white hat.

The girl riding the bike stopped and leaned against a tree for a moment, panting for breath. “I'm probably way behind Satoshi-kun and Shigeru-kun...” she sighed.

“Zeh?”

The girl looked down at her hatted partner. “You'll like them, Keruma,” she promised. “Well, Satoshi-kun, I think. Shigeru-kun's probably way too over the top for you. He's a bit of a rough trainer.”

“Zeh?” the turtle repeated.

“Well,” the girl giggled. “You'll see what I mean. But they've both got a bunch of Pokemon for you to play with.” She reached into the bag she wore over her shoulder and pulled out the Zukan. “A Fushigidane, a Lizard, a Transell, a Poppo, a Koratta, a Pikachu and even a Mankey!”

The blue turtle grinned happily, and then noticed a passing Butterfree. It turned to its trainer. “Gah mee!” it cried.

“No,” the girl said uncertainly. “Someone already has a Transell... I should let them just evolve their Pokemon. We're looking for Pokemon in evolution trees nobody has yet.”

Keruma didn't seem to get this, and charged after the Butterfree anyways. The Spear, incidentally named Kureodora that the girl owned darted after it and gave the turtle a whack.

The girl laughed. “All right, we have to get to Nibi City before the boys leave, so come on. Into the Monster Balls.”

The girl recalled her partners, straightened her red skirt, and jumped back onto her bike, unaware that she had already passed one of the two boys she was so desperately chasing.

***

Satoshi looked at the two trainers he had managed to find after scouring the forest for what felt like ages. They had stashed the guns away into a wooden box, and now stood over some materials Satoshi couldn't see. Satoshi also noted that the Monster Balls were on the other side of them.

The men stood with their backs to him, muttering calmly. Satoshi listened intently, hoping he'd figure out what these two men had in mind with the Pokemon, or with whatever they were standing over, but he couldn't hear a word.

Satoshi gave up listening and quickly crept up to the box where they'd stashed the guns. Satoshi reflected for a moment of how stupid it was to put your weapons into a box when you could be snuck up on, but he realized it was his only chance.

The box opened easily, revealing both guns. Satoshi picked them up, and decided to turn the tables. “Hey, you!” he shouted.

The uniformed men swung around, and stared at Satoshi, kneeling on the ground, pointing both guns at them.

“Now,” Satoshi demanded, “give me back my Pokemon!”

The uniformed men laughed. “Those are empty!” one said with a grin.

“See for yourself!” the other man added.

Satoshi stared, and, deciding to aim at a tree, just in case, pulled one of the triggers. Nothing. He pulled the other. Nothing again.

“Um...” Satoshi froze. “Wait... you... YOU ROBBED ME WITH EMPTY GUNS?”

The men exchanged glances happily. “Yep,” once said. “Idiot. Go, Betobeta!”

Satoshi gasped as a pile of sludge landed on the ground. The 'mouth' of the Pokemon smiled maliciously, and it began creeping up to Satoshi, both of its arms outstretched. The stench was overwhelming, and Satoshi saw that the area it crept through withered instantly.

Satoshi took a deep breath, and charged right at the sludge Pokemon. Just out of arm's reach, he jumped over the sludge Pokemon and pushed the two men aside as he landed. He fell into the pile of Monster Balls and found his four Pokemon quickly. Then it occurred to Satoshi that only Fu was in any condition to fight, and its elemental types would not be the sort of thing to win a battle against a Betobeta.

So, he'd have to get lucky, and pull off a distraction or two. He grabbed Kya's Monster Ball and tossed it at the two men. The fainted Pokemon popped out and rammed into the two men, knocking them back in their surprise. The Betobeta sped towards it, only to discover it couldn't fight back.

He quickly recalled Kya and tossed out Chu, who still retained consciousness. “Electric Shock!” Satoshi commanded. The electric strike missed the Betobeta, but landed too near the thieves for their comfort.

“Dust Shot!” one of them cried.

The Betobeta retaliated with a move Satoshi had never seen before. Huge amounts of gunk and dust were raised up and sent straight towards Chu, who only barely managed to get out of the way in time.

“What the-!?” Satoshi cried before getting knocked off his feet and colliding with a tree.

“That Betobeta was imported straight from Shino, kid! It knows a few tricks that most other Pokemon don't!”

Satoshi glared. “Chu, try again!” he cried. Again the Pokemon missed, but the lightning hit a tree, which burst into flames.

“****!” one of the thieves cried, as the flames began to spread. He called out a Crab, which began spreading out bubbles, quickly dousing the flames.

Satoshi recalled Chu, grabbed the remaining Monster Balls, and darted northwards, taking the opportunity whilst the thieves were distracted.

***

Much, much later, Satoshi collapsed against the counter at a police station. “I'd like to report a LOT of Pokemon theft. I recovered the Pokemon though, so you should try to distribute these back to their trainers.”

The policeman looked down at the eleven-year old boy standing in front of him. “Slow down, kid. Tell me the whole story.”

And so Satoshi did.


AUTHOR'S NOTES: Yes, the Rocket Gang put out the fire. Satoshi couldn't have helped, and assisting would have been bad for him anyways. Let that be a warning to people who play with lightning in forests.

The girl's Pokemon are named after the second avatar of Vishnu, also a turtle, and a Thriae maiden (one of the many Greek nymphs). They are slightly altered to fit the Japanese language, however. The proper names are “Kurma,” and “Kleodora.” The mythological names are the patten she follows, much like Satoshi's syllable pattern. I carefully avoided her name, but it should be getting obvious.

Satoshi, Shigeru, and the girl will reunite (yes REunite, Satoshi knows her) in “The Third Zukan! Zenigame Battle!”


Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:57 pm
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