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Within My Own Nightmares

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Dawn_Hero, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    Hey guys, Dawn_Hero here! For close to three or four years now, I've played with the idea of this fic, but I never really tried it out. It wasn't until back in July I posted it for the first time as "Pokémon Silver Chronicles," but my schedule got in the way of my updating things and I realized I needed to re-do several parts of my fic, so I decided to end it. I re-started yet again with the new title "Within My Own Nightmares," but I had rushed so much that I'd left out crucial details and I really didn't give it my all. Now, I know you all must hate me by now for it, but this is it: my final hurrah. There's no more re-do's, no more make-ups, just this final version of my fic. :D Characters are being re-hauled, there's now a new prologue, and there will be many more differences to come. Hopefully you'll stick with it, because I guarantee it'll be something worth reading!

    I know my chapters are long, but hopefully the story itself isn't TOO boring. I've got tons of plans in store for this fic, so let's see just how well this works out hahah. :) This fic will consist of three "books," each one's name being directly linked to the part of the story that specific book holds within it. The books will contain around 20 or so chapters each, and just because I love music so much the first chapter of each book will have a verse from a song that I feel will be relatively appropriate. Hopefully it doesn't detract too much from the experience for those of you who dislike that type of thing.

    I encourage anyone who reads this to post with opinions, constructive criticism, etc. I love to hear what anybody thinks whether it's good, bad, or ugly, so don't be shy about posting or PMing me regarding the story. It doesn't have to be reviews, just thoughts on different chapters or whatever else. I love finding out what you guys think of my work, no matter how nice or horrid those thoughts are. :3

    Oh! And I almost forgot. This fic is rated PG-13, for anyone who cares about that sort of thing.

    Well then... Shall we begin?

    ~Trailer For This Fic~
    And if I die before I wake...
    I pray the lord my soul to take.

    • Kai678
    • GastlyMan
    • RoflLuxray
    • Mrs. Lovett
    • Moonlightning
    • Glimmer
    • KatieKitten
    • Phoopes
    • CrystalBlush
    • Kutie Pie

    If you want to be sent a PM every time I finish posting a new chapter, please feel free to ask in a post or through PM to be added to the list.

    • Honorary mention for Best Journey Fic in the 2011 Spring Awards on Bulbagarden Forums (March 28th, 2011)
    • Zach Oxford was nominated for Best Main Character in the 2011 Spring Awards on Bulbagarden Forums (March 28th, 2011)

    I'm more than honored that this fic has been in the running for awards after all the hard work I've put into it. Many thanks to my dedicated readers and reviewers- without you guys, this fic would never be what it is today. You really give me the motivation to keep going. With some luck, maybe there's a chance even more honors will be bestowed upon it in the future. :D

    ===Table of Contents===

    Prologue: The Flames of War
    Chapter One: The Monster's Message.
    Chapter Two: The Devil at Hand.
    Chapter Three: The Mother's Agenda.
    Chapter Four: The White Queen.
    Chapter Five: The Third Rival.
    Chapter Six: Queen Takes Rook.
    Chapter Seven: Bittersweet. (Part I / Part II)

    Within My Own Nightmares

    The Book of Greed

    Sweet dreams are made of this.
    Who am I to disagree?
    Travel the world and the seven seas -
    Everybody is looking for something.

    Some of them want to
    use you.
    Some of them want to
    get used by you.
    Some of them want to
    abuse you.
    Some of them want to be abused.

    ~Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics.

    Note: The Prologue is a different style than most of this fic. For the true experience of how this story will be, please continue to chapter one.

    Prologue: The Flames Of War

    September 10th, 2000 A.D.
    Cinnabar Island; 8:35 P.M.

    The ocean waves churned, crashing against the shore of the barren island of Cinnabar and shaking the worn boats at the dock as two women faced each other in the night. A single breeze rolled across the sand and played with their hair, making the differences between the two obvious from even a distance. The woman on the right, young and vibrant, wiped away her sleek blond hair from her bright grey eyes, whereas the woman on the left, although of the same age, seemed tired and nearly decrepit after months of war. Her curly, shoulder-length brunette hair blew into her face, hiding her brown eyes and the frown plastered beneath them.

    "You've done well to get this far, Patricia," the woman on the right said, her weary Garchomp eying Patricia's battered Gengar with apparent bloodlust. "But let's end this fighting once and for all. We don't need to continue on this way any longer - we both know that. Surrender, and we can finally end this war so you can return home to your husband and baby boy."

    Patricia bit her lip, unsure of whether she should trust her enemy or not. She'd never lost a battle in her life, and if she could defeat her this war would surely be over...

    But her mind drifted to the region of Johto, slandered and beaten by the war at hand. The friends she had made so long ago when she began her travels were now dead, and it wouldn't be long before the entire country would collapse. This woman - this monster - gave an ultimatum far too late in this fight for her to ever consider taking it. Her eyes drifted back to the limp body of a man yards away, bruised and unconscious.

    Jeff... It's alright. I'll get you out of here. Just trust me.

    The woman's thoughts were interrupted by a sweet, apparently understanding voice. "You care for him deeply, don't you? Just think of what would happen to your son if this war were to continue on... You don't want him without a father, do you? This needs to end."

    Tears began to well up in Patricia's eyes as she thought of her little boy at home, only six years old and already asking to join a trainer school so he can be like Mommy and Daddy.

    But Mommy and Daddy won't back down and let their country be taken over. Not ever. She'd die before she lets that happen. Zach needs to be taught what true trainers are all about.

    "You can ask to end this all you want, but it's you that started this conflict. Don't blame us for defending our homes!"

    The blonde-haired woman closed her eyes and sighed, running a hand through her hair.

    "We're each down to our last Pokemon... This really is the end of the line. I was hoping you would listen to reason, but if you truly won't, good luck."

    Patricia exhaled, gazing at the Gengar in front of her. "Good luck."

    Nearly instantly the opposing trainer burst into action. "Garchomp, hit it with a dragon claw!"

    Patricia was prepared. "Gengar, quickly - dodge it and counter with a shadow ball!"

    The two Pokemon leapt into action, performing the age-old dance of death. The bulking blue dragon, its dorsal fin cutting through the air, shot towards the purple ghost as the creature slid to the right and narrowly avoided the dragon's vicious claws. The beast roared defiantly and spun to the right, only to be struck with a purple ball of energy. It shrieked in agony, skidding backwards.

    "Perfect," Patricia whispered. "We've got them on the run, Gengar -use hypnosis!"

    The creature locked eyes with the bulky dragon, but the land shark dashed forwards and raked its claws through the creature's torso. Gengar spun and fell to the ground, gasping for air, as the blonde-haired woman let out an appreciative cheer.

    "You've got it now, Garchomp!"

    The ghost let loose another shot of energy, slamming into the dragon's stomach and knocking the breath out of it. Garchomp stood there stunned momentarily before falling to one knee and letting loose a deafening roar.

    Both women glared at each other across the deserted island. Patricia could see why her opponent had been praised so highly in her home country, and from the look on the woman's face, she was thinking the same of Patricia. They both knew the obvious, however; one heavy-hitting attack would decide the fate of two regions and all the people affected by this war of misunderstanding. Two champions would decide the fate of the world. There was no time to spare.

    "Hurry, Gengar - Focus Blast!"

    "Garchomp, give us your most powerful Earthquake!"

    An orange ball of energy began to slowly appear between Gengar's hands as the ghost let out a sinister cackle, the dragon staring it down with a sense of hatred as the entire island began to shake. The waves splashed against the shores and the buildings in the distance began to rattle, windows breaking and walls beginning to crack.

    The two creatures stared each other down as crackling and an eerie orange glow signified the readiness of Gengar's last attack. Finally, Patricia thought to herself as she fell to her knees from the overwhelming shaking of the Earth. The war's over. Earthquake can't do any damage to my Gengar since it levitates.

    The opposing woman looked on, smiling, as the purple ghost cackled maniacally and shot forth the ball of energy. As Patricia watched, however, every hope of winning seemed to drain from her body. The ghost itself was shaken at the last second by the overwhelming move, and its focus blast missed Garchomp's head by mere inches. She slammed her fist into the ground, cursing loudly into the night air, until it suddenly hit her; Earthquake still won't hit her Pokemon.

    "Gengar, hurry! Prepare another focus blast while Garchomp is preoccupied! We've got this!"

    The blond-haired woman continued to stare at her opponent with a determined look on her face. A look that, from any other contestant, wouldn't have bothered her at all... But there was something behind those grey eyes...


    It suddenly hit Patti harder than anything she'd ever experienced before. The ground itself began to churn and crack, and large waves smashed against the rocks at the beach, dragging them back with them into the ocean. A deep rumbling arose from within the Earth as the dragon snarled and sputtered, its eyes squinted with concentration.

    Why would she use Earthquake on my Pokemon when she knows that it won't do any damage? None of it made sense. None of it could make sense. Unless...

    "No!" Patricia screamed, trying in vain to get to her feet but falling back down to the ground. Had she been too late?! Had she really been that oblivious to everything that was going through her opponent's head?!

    Gengar's focus blast began to crackle and spark, nearly ready to be sent flying towards the opposing creature, but something else was now on Patricia's mind. "Don't do this!" she shrieked. "Fight fairly!"

    "This is fair!" the woman yelled back, her high-heeled boots quivering but still planted firmly on the ground. "I'm sorry it's come to this... But there's no other options!"

    The ground itself began to split and crack as an unbearable heat began to fill the air. The rumbling itself seemed to become a thing, seemed to come alive, as a mansion towards the north of the island began to split and crack. Then, in one sudden movement, it shattered into pieces as rocks and ash began to fly through the air.

    "No!" Patricia screamed, trying in vain to crawl towards the wreckage in hopes of stopping what was to come, but to no avail. The pieces flew through the air as lava began to pour from the crater that was once a Pokemon mansion, creeping across the mile-long island and towards the scene of the battle.

    "Garchomp, you've done enough - now finish them off with a single crunch while they're sufficiently distracted!"

    Patricia's eyes widened as she noticed the large chunk of rock flying through the air towards their position. She let out a shriek as she turned to see its impact site - the unconscious body of the man she'd loved for well over a decade, Jeffrey Romeike.

    "Jeff!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. "Jeff, wake up!" Garchomp sped across the land, narrowing the gap towards Gengar with an impeccable speed as lava shot through the air and slowly consumed building after building on the other side of the island as it made its way towards the battle site.

    As the focus blast finally was ready to fire, Patricia knew what had to be done. "Gengar, quickly! Hit it now!" She pointed her finger in the air at the boulder speeding towards Jeff's location, and the ghost, eying the dragon nervously, obeyed. She felt as if she could feel the grasp of her first loss choking her as the orange ball of energy shot towards the rock with precision, cutting through it and blowing it to pieces as the dragon's teeth sank into Gengar and made it pass out from the intense pain.

    Patricia gazed at the shower of rocks that slammed into Jeff, battering him to pieces as she screamed out his name and crawled over to him. Across the island the blonde-haired woman looked at the scene, shocked, as she recalled her prized creature that had won her so many battles before. After winning this once and for all, it was time for her to become a leader once again. Trying her hardest to feign interest, she did the best she could do in order to keep up appearances.

    "Hurry, Patti - the boats at the dock! We can still make it out of here!"

    The lava crept towards the location, but Patricia no longer cared what the other woman had to say; that's what she had already intended to do. She picked Jeff up and recalled her Gengar, limping towards the boats docked less than thirty yards away. Everything seemed to be in slow motion to her now - the panicked look on her enemy's face as she raced towards the docks, the burning buildings of Cinnabar, and the clouds of ash now hovering over what used to be a city. She felt like she was in a dream - a nightmare - one that she would wake up from any second. A rock smashed into the ground next to her as she continued her journey, turning back only to see the sign that had originally said "Welcome to Cinnabar - the fiery town of burning desire" catch fire and burn before her eyes.

    The woman ran towards the boats and jumped into the one nearest her, untying it and kicking away from the deserted island that was now the site of her latest victory. She grabbed the oars in the boat and began to row frantically as Patricia slumped her husband into a worn metallic rowboat nearby, quickly doing the same.

    The two watched as the lava overtook the island and began to meet the waves that now roared all around them.

    Cinnabar had fallen.

    Kanto had fallen.

    Johto had fallen.

    All that was left was death and the bitter sting of the first loss that she had ever had. Now sufficiently far enough away from what had once been Cinnabar - now only a churning mass of lava covered with clouds of ash - she looked down at her husband and huddled up next to him as water sprayed against her face.

    Blood trickled from his forehead and cheeks as he breathed slowly, painfully. The rocks, even after Gengar's focus blast, had been far too big. Tears began to run down her cheeks as she stared at Jeff, wishing that, for one last time, he could open his beautiful blue eyes - the ones that she was so thankful her son had inherited from him - and tell her he loved her one last time. Would he know she tried to save him? Would he remember how much she cared...?

    She curled against him and, for the final time, held her husband. She felt his pokeballs against her waist, felt the waves which sprayed water into her face as they were crashing against their boat, and heard a rather cold woman's voice off in the distance yell across the waves, "Patti, it's over. You can go home now."

    She had failed her mission... The war was over now, they were overrun. Johto had fallen to Sinnoh for Arceus knows what reason. And now, curled up at the bottom of a boat next to the only man she'd ever truly loved, all she had was a little boy at home who wanted to be the one thing that had killed her husband in front of her very own eyes.

    A Pokemon Champion.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  2. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    I really enjoyed this! :D I'm a little late on the band wagon, it seems, though. XD I really did like this, though, especially how you conveyed the relationship between Patricia and her husband, I could really feel her love there, as well as her devastation. Very nice. :3 I'm a little iffy on how he was able to wake up at the last moment to say good bye- it seems a little too much like that Hollywood, dramatic ending with the tragic conclusion to a romance, especially since he was just unconscious, but I really liked her reaction in anycase. If I'm being honest, the other leader's shock at the end of the battle seemed a little sudden- I guess it was a bit late for the compassion of her reaction, and her sudden compassion, in any case, seemed odd, considering. She'd had the entire end of the battle to realise the devastation she'd caused with the sparking of the volcano, and she'd intended it in the first place. Even if she'd been too wrapped up in the battle to really notice, she would still know what ahe was causing, and if it was the fact that Jeff got badly injured that sparked the shock (as a physical proof of the results of her actions etcetera), it's still after the whole destruction of the island and still seems too compassionate. I don't know, just my personal opinion. :)

    Really, though, I enjoyed this! The ending in particular when she discusses her son... It got to me. :3 Your writing is delightfully fluid, especially as it gets on, and I loved your characterisation (except for a few minor niggles but that was only because I liked it so much). The action was well-paced and well woven into the story, and the plot has definitely caught my attention. :3 I'll be keeping an eye out for this for sure, haha. Put me on the pm list? :3
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  3. Phoopes

    Phoopes There it is.

    Wow... this was really good. Your description is spot on, and your characterization is great as well. My only problem with it is Jeff being able to wake up at the end. Seemed a little too good to be true IMO. Other than that, it seems wonderful. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this one. Add me to the PM list please. :D
  4. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    Thanks! I'm glad I got feedback on this so quickly. :D Hahah. I see what you mean, regarding both Jeff waking up and Cynthia caring too much towards the end. I went back and fixed both. :3 Thanks for the input - I love characterization, but at the same time, I do get caught up in those Hollywood moments. Hahah. I've gotta fix that!

    You're way too kind. ^^;; Thank you. You've been added to the PM list, and chapter one will be out a week from today. I really hope I can keep up with your expectations! :D

    Like I'd said to KatieKitten, I've fixed the Jeff scene. You guys were right. :3 But I'm really glad you enjoyed this... I figured I wouldn't get much praise at the beginning, so this was a nice little surprise. xD I've added you to the PM list - I hope to see you again next Sunday for Chapter One. :) Hahah. I love your guys' feedback!
  5. Phoopes

    Phoopes There it is.

    I enjoyed the now edited version. Makes it seem less Hollywood-esque. Also, I noticed something that I hadn't noticed before.

    In this sentence, God should be capitalized. Also, a suggestion. Since it is a Pokemon fan fic, maybe you could use "for Arceus knows what reason." I've noticed other people do that, and it seems to go over well. Just a suggestion.
  6. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    I actually had several chapters written out and did the "Arceus" thing in those. xD I dunno why I didn't in this one. My bad! Thanks for that catch, Phoopes. :D I'm glad you enjoy the newer version better; I'm really pleased with this prologue, especially since it's the first one I've ever done. xD Hahah. I'm happy I've already got someone ready to show me what can be improved upon before the story's even officially started. c:
  7. RoflLuxRay

    RoflLuxRay Pokemon Physiologist


    And you really did improve some aspects on your writing, i really enjoyed reading this. reaaaaaaally did. I'm sure this will explain more on your story ahead??


    I'll be looking forward to more.
  8. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    x3 I quite like your edits, good job - and don't worry, lord knows we all do it, me included. xD Some of my old oneshots, god... In any case, I'm looking forward to your next chapter~! x3
  9. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    Good to see you back and reading, Luxray! ;D I missed you, man. Hahahah! Thanks for the compliments - I tried. Chapter One was smoothed out (or, at least, I hope it appears that way), so things should be somewhat similar when you read it through, except for details and such. And hmm.... Maybe I should just NOT include Svetlana this time lololol.

    @Katiekitten- Thanks! :D I'm glad you liked them. xD Hopefully Chapter One isn't as screwy as this was... Hopefully. Hahah.
  10. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    Chapter One: The Monster's Message.

    I stared up at the sky, the rain pouring down around me and hitting me in icy waves. Was this my town...? I could no longer remember. The sky above was growing black and thunder began to roar, letting loose a wind that cut into my damp skin, chilling me to the bone. I knew I had to run, had to get away. Something was coming for this town- something was coming for me- but I couldn't tell what it was. I glanced around the area, searching in futile for any signs of danger.

    To my left was a building, dark and silent, as if it were caught in the throes of a horrible nightmare. The look of it sitting there, alone in the field, sent a shiver up my spine. As another guest of wind blew I shook my head, turning away from the sight and instead looking around for any clues about where I was at. All I could see was a forest ahead of me, outlining this small town and casting an ominous shadow in my direction. This dreadful feeling... Was it coming from there?

    I hesitantly took a step forward, unsure of whether or not I wanted to know what was hiding inside of the darkness.

    Another step forward.

    I gazed intently at the trees, searching for any sign of movement, any sign that I wasn't going crazy. The wind roared past my ears, the rain drenching my clothes and making them stick to my skin. I fought off my fear, fought off the need to run away and continued to trudge through the storm.

    Whatever's hiding, I can tell it doesn't belong here. It doesn't want to be here. At the same time, though, I can sense its urgency. What does it need to do so badly...?

    I found myself standing at the tree line, too scared to step into the forest. The space between the trees seemed to darken, seemed to intensify, as if they were housing something far more sinister than shadows. I gulped. Whatever it was that was coming, it was close.

    Lightning shot overhead and the wind howled as it tried desperately to escape from this oncoming force. I'm losing my mind... I thought to myself nervously. Nothing's here. I need to go back before the storm hits. I need to go home -

    I stopped, frozen in place, as I stared into the trees. I couldn't continue my thoughts. I could only stand there, gazing back into a single, piercingly blue eye that had appeared in front of me within the shadows. Its glare felt strong and invasive- almost demonic- as if it was staring directly into my soul. Suddenly I began to feel as if I was drowning, as if this thing was suffocating me without even touching me. It was at that moment it spoke, a gasping, rattling sound that chilled me far worse than the storm ever could have.

    "I need to deliver a message."

    I shot straight up in my bed, gasping for air. I looked around wildly for the monster, the trees, the storm...


    Only a messy, poster-covered bedroom. I fell back down onto my bed, trying to catch my breath. Another bad dream. That had to be the millionth one this week, but none of those had felt that... Strange. None of those had felt that real. I could've sworn I had actually been standing out in a field somewhere, drenched in the rain. My hair clung to my sweaty forehead as I gave a small groan of annoyance. Time for a shower, I guess. I pulled the blankets off of myself and stood up, wobbling at first before quickly gaining my balance. That monster had said something about delivering a message, too. What could that dream have meant...?

    A scratching sound at my window knocked me out of my thoughts. I hesitantly stepped over and opened up the curtains, almost expecting to see a blue eye glaring back at me from the other side of the dirty glass. Instead I was greeted with the sight of an overgrown pine tree branch, the needles scraping against my window sill. With a sigh - was that disappointment I just felt? - I opened my window and let the cool morning breeze wash over me.

    The scent of rain. Grinning, I leaned out the window and felt the gentle drizzle tap against my face as thunder roared overhead. So there really is a storm, eh?

    The dream flashed through my mind again and realization fell upon me like the icy sheets of rain had in my nightmare. I knew exactly where the nightmare had taken place- I couldn't believe it hadn't all clicked together before now. As I gazed at the line of trees less than five blocks away, their shadows intermingling, a small shiver ran down my spine. I hadn't been far away from my house at all. In fact, the dream had taken place directly next to Professor Elm's research lab...

    ...Wait. Professor Elm!

    I shot up but suddenly felt my head bounce back, a sharp pain searing across my forehead as I looked dumbly at the windowsill I had just hit. Groaning, I slowly began to regain focus on the task at hand.

    How could I have completely forgotten? Today's the day! April first! I finally get to choose my first Pokémon! Searching for a clock, I began to panic. Had I slept in?! By instinct my eyes flew to the wall my bed was rested against, but the space where the clock had been was now inhabited by the diploma I had received for having graduated from years of classes at a trainer school. I cursed silently- replacing that clock was the stupidest decision I had made in ages. This had to be the millionth time I'd gone to look there for the time only to see that stupid piece of paper. My eyes finally found the alarm clock stationed on my nightstand and I breathed a sigh of relief. "Only eight-forty-five," I said to myself reassuringly. Trainers were supposed to arrive at the lab around ten, so I was just fine. As I sank back into reality with a sigh of relief, the nightmare flashed through my mind once more. It had felt so real...

    I shook my head, turning to the posters lining my room in hopes of comfort. Over the years I'd actually amassed quite a collection: The three starters of the Johto region, different artists' drawings of legendary Pokémon, and tons of different famous trainers. As I looked around the room I whispered their names to myself in my mind, hoping in vain that the thought of them would help alleviate my stress.

    Claire... Jasmine... Karen... Cynthia... Prudence...


    My eyes lingered on her poster for a split second, an ecstatic look in her young eyes as the champion's crown slightly slipped over them, before I forced myself to wander over to the other posters that I'd chosen for my room. I had made sure to have a poster for every single gym leader of Johto, the region in which I lived. Falkner, Bugsy, Whitney, Morty, Jasmine, Chuck, Pryce, Claire... I loved how cool they all looked, but the posters that especially popped out to me were those of Cynthia. She was the champion of the Sinnoh region, but more importantly, she was my idol. On top of being a champion, she'd also defeated so many gyms and captured so many Pokémon that it wasn't even funny.

    Whatever she did she always made sure to do well, something which I had taken to heart at a very young age. I frowned. She probably never had to deal with a boring little town where nothing happened like New Bark when she was growing up. The coolest thing to me, though, was that she was one of the only people who my mother could never defeat. It was considered treacherous to idolize such a woman after the war between Sinnoh and Johto that ended nearly a decade ago, but I had never been one to care for what others thought. I silently admired her poster as a flash of lightning outside temporarily lit up my room. She even looked cool... Her black outfit, her platinum-blonde hair, her piercing gray eyes...

    "I need to deliver a message."

    I let out another shiver, snapping out of my daydreams. That wasn't real, Zach. Stop making yourself think about it. With a heavy sigh I peeled myself away from my poster collection. I had to get ready for my first Pokémon! I navigated through the mess of my room, careful to avoid stepping on any heaps of clothes that could be covering up something valuable, before opening up the door and walking across the hall to the bathroom.

    "Are you awake, Zach?" my mother called up to me from downstairs. "Want some breakfast to start your day off right?" The smell of cleaners and soap wafted up from the staircase leading to the living room, the first sign that it was a Friday morning. She'd more than likely spent the entire night cleaning the house, just like she always did at the end of each week. As I walked across the hall I couldn't help but wonder if the extra strength of the aroma this morning had anything to do with me leaving today. It seems like she's always reaching for the detergent whenever she doesn't want something to happen.

    Oh well. It's alright, just as long as she doesn't start asking me to clean up my room again. I chuckled. It's the only room in the entire house that isn't ever perfectly clean besides the basement, and that's just because Mom's horrified there's monsters down there.

    "Sure, Mom, thanks, but give me a few minutes. I'm going to take a quick shower first."

    I strode into the bathroom and closed the door, undressing before I got into the shower and turned it on. Everything that had led up to this point seemed to flash through my mind. All my years in trainer school with my two friends Ashley and Duncan had finally paid off, and the three of us would finally be beginning our journey today. I'd graduated with them from the Violet City Pokémon Academy with honors in everything but battling and history, where I'd consistently received a mix of decent and horrible markings through-out my years of education. You could ask me all you wanted to about type advantages, but ask for me to use that as a strategy in battle or tell you how we'd lost the war with Sinnoh and I'd be screwed.

    None of that battling or history stuff matters anyways, since I've graduated and can finally become a trainer. I could now collect my Pokémon on the first of any month, and my friends and I had chosen- with a little pushing from a certain someone- to start in April. I knew exactly how today was going to go down; I'd go ahead and eat breakfast, grab my things and then head off to Elm's lab, where I'd meet up with the legendary Pokémon researcher Professor Elm and his four aides in order to collect my very first Pokémon.

    To some people, it might be sort of scary to go to a famous professor's lab and demand a Pokémon, but here in New Bark Town we all knew each other. In fact, his four aides- Prudence, Piper, and Paige Emerson- were all like sisters to me. In fact, they were all actually sisters, too. They'd each been around while I was growing up and had even babysat me when I was younger. We always used to play when I was little, and we still get to hang out a lot now when they aren't away doing research for the Professor.

    Heck, I even had a poster of Prue that she gave me hanging up in my room. Hers were relatively rare, though, seeing as how she hasn't fought any gyms since she decided to become Elm's battle research assistant. Out of all the sisters, I'd have to say she was my favorite, too- she was just so strong, so pretty-

    I shook my head, feeling my face turn bright red with embarrassment. I was getting off track... My brain must have been rattled from when I had hit it on the windowsill.

    I turned off the shower and stepped out, drying myself with a towel and then wrapping it around my waist. As I left the bathroom I stole a glance at my reflection in the mirror; patches of dirty blonde hair were sticking out at horrifying angles, some dangling into my bright blue eyes. Laughing, I patted it down so that it fell neatly over my eyebrows like always. Wouldn't want to start my journey off with a bad hair day, now would I?

    With that I rushed into my room to throw on some clothes, knowing that the sooner I got out of this house the sooner this boring story I called a life could come to an end. As I threw a black T-shirt over my head a cold gust of wind blew through my room - the wind roared past my ears, the rain drenching my clothes and making them stick to my skin - making me shiver, nature's way of reminding me to grab one of my favorite white zip-up hoodies. I was never one for wearing white clothes due to how messy I tended to be when it came to eating or drinking, but the Lugia silhouette across the front had cemented it as one of my favorite articles of clothing.

    I casually glanced at my alarm clock as I walked out into the hallway, tugging the hoodie down over me. Nine-oh-five. Still plenty of time to eat before I head out. I casually walked down the stairs to the living room, careful to grab the backpack I had prepared the night before that was sitting at the landing. As I glanced around the living room, I quickly realized with a small groan that I had been right about my mother spending the entire night cleaning.

    The living room was spotless; the windows to my front and left were absolutely immaculate except for the streams of rain sliding down their surfaces. The large TV tucked neatly into the corner where the two windows met was dusted completely with the documentary Search for the Red Gyarados flickering across its screen at a low volume, one of the few shows my mother and I both enjoyed watching together. The furniture, neatly arranged around the windows and TV to create our living room, looked as if it had been vacuumed. Directly to my right was my mother's trophy shelves, all of her cups and badges sparkling in the dim light the windows let in. Plastered above it was a home-made wooden sign with the phrase "It's good to be Queen" etched into it, my mother's trademark ever since she rose to fame for her battling skills.

    I walked past the display, trying my best to forget its presence as I sat down at the dining room table. To the left of me, right next to the front door, was yet another window. The blinds were closed on this one, but I had a feeling that if I had opened them this window would be spotless as well. Mom seemed compulsive about having everything perfectly cleaned in her house. I smirked.

    Except my room, that is.

    "Ready for breakfast, little boy blue?" my mother asked with a smile, walking out from the kitchen with two plates already made. She smoothed out her black top, now covered with specks of hash browns and eggs, her brown eyes bright and energetic despite the long night she'd just spent doing chores. She sat a large plate in front of me that was almost overflowing with burnt bacon and soggy hash browns as she set hers down across the table from myself. She was the Queen of cleaning, alright, but cooking was never exactly her specialty. Behind her, an entryway and window gave access to a counter where the kitchen began, entirely white and sparkling after my mother's scrub-down. I quickly realized that the cleaner and soap I had been smelling had actually been coming from there, masking the faint scent of smoke still lingering from when I assumed the eggs burnt.

    She took off her pink rubber gloves and placed them on the kitchen counter before picking up two glasses of milk and quickly turning back to face me, her slightly curly, shoulder-length brown hair bouncing around her. "Bacon, eggs and hash browns. Your favorite!" Well, it's the thought that counts. She sat down across from me and began to eat as I gazed at my plate, toying with my eggs before beginning to do the same.

    "So, how'd you sleep?" she asked, stirring me from my thoughts as she took a bite of her bacon.

    "Not so well..." I sighed, shoveling down my eggs. The eye flashed through my mind yet again, sending a shiver down my spine as I thought of what it had said. What message was it wanting to deliver...? I shook my head. It was just a stupid dream, Zach. Stop acting like you can find some sort of meaning behind it. Do you seriously have to analyze everything? A look of deep interest and concern had spread across Mom's face. Noticing it, I quickly continued. "I'd really rather not talk about it, though."

    A flash of disappointment. "Oh? Why not?" she asked eagerly, using a fork to toy around with her food.

    "No reason... Just because. Besides, I need to finish up here quickly if I'm going to be heading out to Elm's lab here in a few." I quickly moved on to my hash browns, none of them standing a chance against my fork and appetite. If cooked properly, hash browns could be one of my favorite foods of all time. Though this wasn't precisely the case, I had no qualms with eating as much of them as possible. "I was hoping to get there early and maybe get some tips from Prue and Piper on battling before everyone else shows up. We both know how much I'd need it."

    She let out a little laugh. "Look outside, Zach! Do you honestly think I'm going to let you get your first Pokémon in this kind of weather? You're staying home! I can't believe I forgot how rainy it always is this month..." She looked off to the side thoughtfully before shaking her head and continuing. "I'm sure that May's probably a better month to begin your grand adventure anyways, right? It's definitely much warmer, that's for sure."

    My jaw dropped as I held a piece of bacon up to it. "Wait... What?! Are you being serious?!"

    "Well, it's not like it's the most brilliant idea to go out during a storm now, is it? No Pokémon will be running around, you'll catch a cold... Next month will be warmer anyways. Besides, it's dangerous out there in the rain. You never know what could happen."

    I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Last month I didn't go because she figured it was far too cold for a lot of Pokémon to appear, and that would be the month most trainers started their journey so everything would be way too crowded. I had actually somewhat agreed with her logic then, but this... This was getting ridiculous.

    I put my fork down, refusing to eat anything else. "I waited until April like you asked me to- all my friends did, too! I'm not waiting any longer! I want to get out there and be a trainer, just like you!"

    She smiled at me, trying her best to hide the all-knowing look she gets on her face when talking about Pokémon. The look she knows for a fact that I hate with a burning passion. "Now, now, I get that and all. But being a trainer... It's a lot harder work than you realize. Trust me, an extra month of preparation would do wonders. I know how you want to be the best, and people who prepare themselves always do better!" The amount of thinly veiled self-admiration in her last sentence made me cringe.

    "Do you honestly expect me to wait just because of a little rain, Mom? You know how much I love this kind of weather- we both do!" I felt trapped; there's no way she could honestly think some rain would stop me... Right? I could feel the anger bubbling up inside of me. "Can't you see that you're being ridiculous?"

    "Well, you wanted to pick a Cyndaquil as your first Pokémon, right? It wouldn't be good for it to be in the rain!" She took a bite of her hash browns, laughing a little, as I lowered my head. She must've noticed how I wasn't kidding, as the next time she spoke her voice was much softer. "I realize it's a pain... But c'mon. We can get through this! I'm sure your friends will wait, too. Don't worry about it, Zach." She paused, contemplating something. "What if I were to say you could get it today and then leave after a couple of weeks when we're sure it wouldn't rain anymore?"

    I looked back up at her, glaring, before I shoved my plate forward. "I'm finished." I sat up and pushed my chair in, grabbing my backpack and heading upstairs.

    "Awww, Zacher-bear, don't be like that!" my mother called after me. "Come on, it's not that bad!" There was a moment of silence as I stomped up the stairs before she quickly added, "but if you're going to go to your room, sweetie, then why not clean it up a little?"


    I trudged into my room and shut the door behind me, pressing my back against it as I thought of what I could do. No matter what, I had to get my Pokémon. Walking out the front door wouldn't do anything- my mom has some of the strongest Pokémon I've ever seen. I can't really fight her face-to-face about what I'm going to do. In fact, I never really had to before this- I almost always agree with what she has to say.

    I was already beginning to feel bad at the thought of hurting my mother's feelings by stomping off like that, but I forced my guilty thoughts aside as I restlessly looked around my room. I had to find a way to get out of this house and get my first Pokémon! If I could get it, I'm sure someone at the lab- Prue, more than likely- would defend me if Mom stomped over and tried to drag me home. But... What could I do to get out of here?

    There's always something...

    As I stood there, lost in thought, a gentle breeze rolled through my room and washed over my face, snapping me out of my daydreaming instantly. "That's it!"

    I ran over to my window, looking out at the pine tree. "Don't fail me now," I cautioned it, clumsily raising myself up onto the windowsill. I never was good at P.E., either. Why do I always have to suck at the really important stuff? As I gently stuck out a foot and placed it on one of the lower branches of the tree, something my mother had said downstairs came to mind.

    "It's dangerous out there in the rain. You never know what could happen."

    I snickered, shoving the thought out of my mind as I grabbed onto another branch and swung myself off the windowsill. Like what, Mom? Look at me! I'm fine! Before I knew it I was working my way down the tree, pine needles jabbing into me from all sides. I couldn't remember the last time I had climbed down this tree, but it seemed just as stable as it used to be. Thankfully this tree's on the side so mom can't see me. Now if I can stay nice and quiet, I might just get away with this -


    A branch gave way underneath me, making me hurdle to the ground. With a loud yelp of pain I landed directly on my butt, branches and twigs cascading down around me. I was on my feet in seconds, rubbing my sore behind and letting out a small groan as I limped away from my house as fast as I possibly could. "Hopefully mom didn't hear any of that," I muttered to myself. "Not only would I get killed for sneaking out, but I'd probably get a nice 'I told you so' before the execution." I began to feel bad again, running away like this, but I knew it was the only way to become a trainer today. Who cares if it was childish? Once my mother makes up her mind about something, there's absolutely no going against her. Sadly, it sounded like she had made up her mind about me not leaving the house today.

    I walked along, listening for the sound of my mother's yells when she realized what I'd done, but they never came. The soreness had already gone away since the fall wasn't far, and I knew if I had to I'd be able to sprint to Elm's lab if my mom started coming after me. As I continued the journey, my mind slowly started to drift from thoughts of my mother to thoughts of the adventure ahead of me.

    The light rain was actually rather pleasant, and to me the sight of all these white houses lined up one after the other, their picketed yards wet with rain, was actually sort of pretty. If this is what I had ahead of me in the other towns, it would actually be sort of... Well, fun to travel, not just because of Pokémon, but because of the sights you'd see. Up ahead I could see Duncan's house and I stopped for a second, wondering if I should go tell him to come with me to the lab since he'll be going in half an hour or so anyways. I quickly remembered his father, though, who was the type of man that, if he even so much as had a small suspicion I had sneaked out, would drag me back to my mother kicking and screaming. Duncan could wait.

    I trudged along in the drizzle, lightning cracking overhead as I turned the corner. Elm's lab was finally visible through the gentle rain, the building silent and dark in the midst of an approaching storm. With a laugh I quickened my pace, rushing past the last few houses on the block and making my way across the large clearing around his laboratory. I knew that even though the lights were off, Elm and the Emerson sisters were all in there preparing for the new trainers who would be coming within the hour. It's not like they're asleep...

    They can't go to sleep, right? They're always working. Always. But if that's the case... Why does it look so... Deserted?

    A single thought shot through my mind, chilling me to the core.

    To my left was a building, dark and silent, as if it were caught in the throes of a horrible nightmare.

    I stopped in my tracks, gazing at the building for a second. It's just like my dream... But... But that's impossible. It's just a coincidence... Despite telling myself that, I turned to the right, gazing nervously towards the line of trees so far away from me in the distance. There was a part of me afraid of what I would find within those shadows if I went to look. The more I stare at it, the more trees that seem to appear. They're everywhere.

    All I could see was a forest ahead of me, outlining this small town and casting an ominous shadow in my direction.​

    I shivered, beginning to walk towards the lab again as I gazed out past the clearing and into the forest. This is getting too weird. Way too weird. I need to get inside. Fast.The rain began to pick up, slapping against my face as a rough wind blew past me. The wind intensified, lightning cracking overhead as the gentle drizzle began to turn into a downpour. The storm was almost here.

    The wind roared past my ears, the rain drenching my clothes and making them stick to my skin.

    I fought off the memory of my dream, desperately wanting to scream at myself to stop thinking so much as I neared the laboratory. I was close enough to it I felt as if I could taste the brand new life that was about to begin- all the accomplishments I was going to have, all the friends and people I would meet... I would never have to worry about having a boring life in some small little town ever again.

    That's right, Zach, distract yourself.

    I laughed as I neared the corner of the building, mostly to quiet my nerves. Not far now... Not far... I glanced back at the forest again, as if to try and shrug off the strange power it seemed to have had over me after my dream, but found myself frozen in fear instead. A single, piercingly blue eye stared back at me from behind the line of trees. It widened, noticing my gaze, and in an instant it disappeared.

    I couldn't move.

    That... That was just my imagination... Th-there's nothing there now... A shiver ran down my spine. I couldn't deny what I'd seen, even from such a distance. It was exactly like in my dream. I couldn't move my eyes from where I'd seen it, couldn't take a step away, I felt as if I couldn't even breathe. What's going on here...? What exactly's hiding in those trees...? What's coming after me...?!

    The space between the trees seemed to darken, seemed to intensify, as if they were housing something far more sinister than shadows.​

    I tried to speak, tried to do anything, but all that came out of me was a high-pitched whistle. Then, from within the trees, the shadows began to churn. I stared, wide-eyed, as part of the forest's unified shadow moved forward, breaking away slowly at first, then picking up speed. It began to shoot along the ground, separating itself completely from the darkness underneath the trees as it zoned in on its prey. I tried to move, tried to run, but I felt as if I couldn't control my own body anymore. I can't even scream. This... This thing. It's finally found me.

    I knew I had to run, had to get away. Something was coming for this town - something was coming for​
    me - but I couldn't tell what it was.

    The shadow stopped abruptly in front of me, a perfect, black circle that was unaffected by the falling rain. Then, before my eyes, it began to morph. A silvery-white strand of what looked like smoke rose from the middle of the shadow, and as more of the figure appeared I saw that the smoke was coming from a dark black head, a red chain showing up around the creature's neck. Its blue eye stared at me yet again, the other hidden beneath the silvery smoke.

    I let out a low moan of protest, trying to shake my head but unable to do anything at all as this- this thing began to suffocate me with some strange power. The creature continued to gaze at me, its breath rattling in the cold, rainy air as my mother's words echoed through my mind yet again. "It's dangerous out there in the rain. You never know what could happen." I wished I had listened to her, wished I had stayed inside as the creature shortened the gap between the two of us. I couldn't move my eyes away from the monster, couldn't run, couldn't scream as it slowly began to speak to me, its rattling voice whispering through the rain the six words that filled me with more fear than I had ever thought possible.

    "I need to deliver a message."
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  11. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    x3 Haha, I really felt that I could identify with Zach- I swear, his mother was a little too familiar. x3 I really enjoyed this~! I quite liked the cyclical nature of it, once I clued in, and your first person is strong- the chapter flowed well. x3

    My favourite quote:

    That brief moment of silence. xD I smiled.

    I have nothing else to say, really - I didn't spot any mistakes. x3 Great job m'dear <3
  12. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D I was wondering if the characterization was alright with the characters, so it's sort of a relief to know that the main character and the mother were able to be related to and whatnot. That's a total relief hahah. Your favorite quote is actually one of mine, too. xD It's the major line that stands out to me in this chapter, so it's funny that you mentioned that. Anyways, I'm really glad you enjoyed Chapter One. :3 I hope to see you again for Chapter two this Sunday!
  13. RoflLuxRay

    RoflLuxRay Pokemon Physiologist

    Wow, you really worked up description and feel this time, it's so well described I feel that I'm inside!!

    With that clear, it's pretty obvious you're going to get the story flowing on your head, and it did at a nice pace with... well I'm outta words, but it's great.

    I have to admit i giggled at that one, the rest is suspense and slice of life, but quite a slice.

    Just on small note, I noticed you mixed the thought with the text, outlining them with Italics. It really outshines, but I'm not really sure if you should use >"< these bad boys whenever you do it. That's how i do it, doesn't mean your way is wrong or anything.

    Not pretty much else to say since I've followed your story closely so far lol. This reeboot really promises a lot, can't wait for the next chapter
  14. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    I'm glad you enjoyed it the second time through. :) I'm trying to revamp the chapters the best I can while adding a little bit more description that changes it a bit. I'm happy that the description part seems to have gone over well. :D

    I used to do things that way, but it just made it harder to discover when Zach was thinking and when he was speaking aloud. Otherwise, I'd gladly take your offer. :D

    Thanks so much for being such a loyal reader, RoflLuxRay! You're the best! I hope to see you next week for Chapter Two!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  15. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    Alright, guys... Without further ado, here's Chapter Two! Just a quick note, though... I did reference four aides in Chapter One, but there are only three. Sorry! I deleted that reference and everything should be alright now. :)

    Chapter Two: The Devil At Hand.

    I stared in horror as the creature lifted up a black, shadowy hand towards me, its breath seeming to chill the already-cold morning air. The wind began to roar, rain cutting into my skin as lightning shot overhead. I didn't know what this creature was, didn't know what it wanted, and I didn't know what message it had to deliver, but what I did know was that I had to get away. I fought my fear, reaching deep inside myself in order to find something- anything- to help me get away from the fate I was about to face.

    The creature continued to stare into my eyes, its gasping breath eerily distinguishable over the wind as it lurched towards me in the midst of the storm. I knew I had to run, had to get away, had to scream, had to do anything.

    As its shadowy fingers crept towards my face I could feel a scream building inside of me. I don't want to die! For Arceus's sake, I haven't even started my journey yet! I don't want to die! I could feel my legs start to quiver beneath me. My rising scream was suffocated deep inside of my chest. All I could do was mutter a soft, feeble, "no...!"

    The creature stopped and stared at me curiously, its hand still outstretched. I continued to force myself to speak. "W-what do you want from me...? What a-are you...?!" The creature's eyes widened, its look turning to that of surprise.

    "You... Don't know me...?"

    It began to shake its head furiously, lurching away from me and toward the tree-lines. "You..."

    Its voice rattled as it turned around, its sunken eyes locking on to me.

    "You must not be the one I'm looking for..."

    The wind began to howl, slamming against my face and stinging my eyes as the monster slowly drifted away through the gale. Against my will they shut tightly, blocking out the sight in front of me and leaving myself helpless in the midst of a storm. Then, as quickly as the gust had came, it went away. The wind itself went away, the rain returning to a gentle drizzle as I nervously opened my eyes, half-expecting the creature to be standing in front of me. The creature was gone. The dark, ominous feeling in the air had dissipated. I could actually breathe again. I gasped for air, falling backwards onto the cement as I stared in shock at the trees.

    "What just happened...?!" I whispered to myself, looking around wildly for any sign of the strange creature. "That did just happen... Right...?" I finally caught my breath, wobbling to my feet so the back of my pants didn't get too wet. What did that thing want from me? What made it go away?

    More importantly, how come the same thing had happened in my dreams?

    I glanced nervously at the trees once more- no eyes, no scary shadows. Just a small forest caught in a little rainstorm. I gave a sigh of relief. "Okay... So I have gone crazy," I muttered to myself, rubbing my forehead as if hoping the delusions that I was suffering from would go away quickly. "I've gone completely insane - "


    I jumped in surprise, looking around wildly for the culprit of the noise. Had the creature never really left? Another crash, this time accompanied with screams. That sounded almost like it was coming from... From...

    Professor Elm's lab! Realization flooded upon me as I sprinted towards the empty building. The creature couldn't be going after them, right? Right?! As I turned the corner, I could feel all the color drain from my face. Wrong.

    One of the windows of the lab was shattered, a broken computer and stapler laying face down in the wet lawn and surrounded by thousands of shards of glass. "Someone get it out of here!" a girl's voice screamed from the inside- a voice I knew very well. Piper screeched again, this time almost sounding as if she were in pain. Was it one of the aides that the creature had been looking for?

    I ran towards the lab, crunching over the glass on the lawn and winding up directly at their front door. What could it want from these guys?! I don't care how scary that thing is- I've gotta save them! Summoning my courage, I swung open the door and ran inside, slamming it behind me as I took in the scene.

    The lab was torn to pieces; desks were overturned, the bookcases Elm always had lined up along his walls were lying on the ground with their books scattered everywhere and torn pages resting on the floor. I could see other computers had been broken as well- several were resting in the middle of the room with the glass from their screens coating the ground.

    "Zach?! What are you doing here? Get down!" another voice yelled towards me. A man poked his head out from an overturned computer table by the broken window, his short brown hair sticking out at odd angles and a small cut bleeding right above his left eye. His glasses were askew and his white lab coat was cut open, the blue shirt underneath somewhat dirty.

    "Professor Elm...?"

    A book shot at me from the middle of the room. I quickly ducked, the book hitting along the wall right where my head had been a mere second ago. "What's going on here?!" I yelled, running for cover behind a huge bookcase on its side to my left. I quickly peeked around the corner of it, looking for what had attacked me.

    A tiny black Pokémon- one I couldn't believe I had missed seeing my first time looking around the lab- was stationed in the middle of the room, growling defensively in my direction. It had what looked like a large, red feather sticking out of its head and three more sticking out of its lower back to form a sort of tail. On each of its hands and feet were two large, white claws that it was sharpening menacingly as it stared at me. On its head and chest were a small yellow oval.

    I learned about this Pokémon in Trainer School- it's a Sneasel! What's it doing down in New Bark Town? They're only ever up in the mountains! The Sneasel picked up another book and threw it in my direction with a territorial screech, forcing me to stop thinking and duck back behind the bookcase instead.

    "Wait, wait, wait! Zach's here?" another voice called out, this time belonging to Professor Elm's aide Paige. I peeked out from my hiding place as her head popped up from behind a shelter made of three book cases on their sides at the opposite side of the room, her shoulder-length, slightly curly black hair falling over her face and into her eyes from the battle with the Sneasel. "Hey, Zach! I was wondering when you'd get here! Sorry the lab's sort of a mess, but-" a Pokémon encyclopedia hit her in the forehead before she could finish her sentence, making her fall back behind the bookcases with a painful grunt.

    "Paige! What did I tell you about ducking?!" Professor Elm cried out. "Are you alright?"

    "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," she called back, a both pained and resentful tone in her voice.

    "What Paige was saying," another voice called out, this time belonging to Piper, "is that when we woke up this morning and came down to the lab to get ready for you guys coming today, we found a wild Sneasel waiting for us in here." I looked over at the black Pokémon, who was now growling and walking over to the bookcase shelter where all three aides seemed to be hiding. "We don't know how it really got in here, but we're guessing it somehow followed Prue home from her latest trip to Mt. Silver."

    "Sorry!" Prue called out guiltily, waving a hand above their hiding spot before quickly bringing it back down with a yelp of surprise as an airborne keyboard missed it by an inch. As Piper began ranting to Prue and Paige about how they needed to keep themselves hidden from the Sneasel by not showing themselves, I thought about what she had said.

    Mt. Silver... That was a mountain between the Kanto and Johto regions where hardly any trainers were allowed to go because of the ferociously strong Pokémon living there. Prue got to go, however, since she beat all the gyms in both Kanto and Johto and was an aide of Professor Elm's.

    "Mt. Silver... So this thing's monstrously strong then...?" I asked feebly, trying to keep my hands from shaking. Piper paused, contemplating the answer as someone else replied for her.

    "Nah, trust me, if it was as strong as your average Pokémon in Mt. Silver there wouldn't be anything left in the lab by now. I think this one's just a baby," Prue called back. "Probably only a few days old. The problem's that we can't find our Pokéballs in this mess- we had them sitting on our desks before that thing attacked in a rage and destroyed everything." Prue paused, then muttered more to herself than anyone else, "just one hit from my Kingdra or Typhlosion probably would've knocked it out for good so that we could bring it back to where it came from."

    I looked around, trying to spot Prue's Pokéballs- or any Pokéballs, for that matter. There had to be something we could do to fight this thing. Sadly, as far as I could see, there seemed to be no trace of anything we could use whatsoever. The Sneasel screeched and chucked a stapler at Professor Elm, who barely managed to dodge it. How strange that a person can't even find any Pokémon to fight this thing with in a research lab...

    My eyes lit up, a clever grin spreading across my face. Maybe we could after all! "Professor Elm!" I called out, hoping the Sneasel wouldn't follow my voice over to my hiding place since I wasn't as well-defended as the aides. "Don't you have the starter Pokémon you were going to give away to us today? Where are they? Maybe we could use them to fight this thing off, especially if it's only a baby!"

    Professor Elm let out a cry of delight. "Excellent thinking, Zach!" he called back. "I'm so used to the thought of having them reserved for new trainers that I didn't even think of using them!" He gave a thoughtful hum. "They should be..."

    He let out an annoyed groan from behind his hiding spot. "They're in the back of the lab. There's no way we could get to them without the Sneasel noticing." I glanced over my bookcase, noticing the door to my far left at the back of the building. Elm was right, there's no way we could get there without the Sneasel noticing what was going on.

    "Zach!" Prue called out, seemingly excited. "Are you still by the front door?"

    "Yeah... Why?"

    "That means you're the one with the clearest shot to get back there since the rest of us are piled behind layers of defense! Do you think you could go get one of the starters? We'll try to distract this thing- once we do, you run back there as fast as you can and bring back a Pokémon!"

    I gulped, my entire body shaking now at the thought of trying to run past the creature. How was I supposed to sneak past this thing when I'm the biggest ditz around? "W-what?!" I whimpered, suddenly feeling rather weak.

    I could hear Piper quickly hiss at Prue from behind their book cases, "Yeah, what?!"

    "Just calm down!" Prue yelled back at me. "We've got you covered! You'll be fine, don't worry about us. Just get up and run as fast as you can once we tell you to!"

    I peeked over the bookcase as Prue stood up, her sleeveless black top decorated with cuts and claw marks. Her blue jeans had a long slash from her ankle to her knee, and her jet black hair fell down messily past her shoulders. Despite all this, her green eyes had a look of determination in them- the kind they always had whenever she was ready to do something. She quickly reached down and pulled up a panicked Piper, whose low-cut black top sported a large cut across the stomach. Her brown hair, reaching down to her middle, was just as messy as Prue's but her brown eyes had the exact opposite look of her sister's: fear.

    "You better know what you're doing, Prue, or if this thing doesn't kill you, I will!"

    Paige seemed to be snickering at her sister's nervousness as she stood up afterwards, a bruise already starting to appear on her cut-up face from the encyclopedia that had previously hit her.

    "It's fine, just trust me!" Prue said reassuringly, picking up the keyboard the wild Sneasel had thrown at her hand earlier and banging it against the bookcases they'd been hiding so desperately behind. "Hey! Fresh prey over here!"

    The Sneasel needed no further coaxing. It quickly turned to them and threw a stapler at Prue, which she dodged with ease. It then turned on Paige, throwing another book that hit her directly in the stomach.

    "Paige! Can't you duck?!"

    She doubled over, groaning in pain, "It's harder than you think, Professor!"

    "Go, Zach! Run!" Prue yelled, motioning to me hurriedly as the Sneasel began pelting each of the aides with different objects. A chair leg nearly hit Piper outside the head as she ducked for cover, Paige darting to the left as a shard of glass whizzed past her ear. "We've got this covered!"

    Why on Earth did I run in here thinking I could save them when I'm the biggest wuss in this entire town? Why do I feel the need to stick myself in a situation like this?! Fighting off the thoughts in my head, I nodded my head nervously and ran out from my wooden shelter, bolting for the door on the far end of the room as the many startled cries of the aides as they dodged various items met my ears. Why did I have to come early? Why did I have to let myself run and get the Pokémon? Why did I have to try and impress them? I shook the thought from my head, focusing on the task at hand. The lab was large- I had a long way to go. Okay... Maybe if I'm quiet, this Sneasel won't even notice me. It's worth a try, right?

    Wrong again.

    Before the thought had fully formed, my foot crunched on the broken glass of a computer screen, immediately catching the little devil's attention. It turned to face me sinisterly, letting out a low growl as I darted towards the door. So much for that idea.

    "No you don't!" Prue seethed, slamming the keyboard down yet again on the bookcase. She never could handle losing well- if this plan were to fail, it would be a severe blow to her unmatchable pride. I gulped. Not to mention my physical health. "We're what you want!" she yelled out desperately.

    The Sneasel didn't seem to agree with her; it continued to chase after me, knocking over a small table as it picked up speed. Letting out a nervous moan, I ran as fast as I could. That wasn't really saying much- I hated running. It was horrible and, more importantly at this moment in time, I was horrible at it. Hell, I couldn't even run a mile in less than nine minutes. I glanced back- despite my having a head start, the Sneasel was already gaining on me.

    "Hey! No!" Piper yelled out, the fear previously found in her voice now replaced with anger. "Leave him alone!" Piper followed Prue's lead, grabbing the stapler and slamming it against the bookcases. They all began shouting at the Sneasel, making as much noise as possible in hopes of drawing its attention away from me but to no avail.

    I nervously peeked over my shoulder at the Sneasel, who was gaining on me far quicker than I had expected. Panting and sweating, I tried my hardest to go faster, but it was still going to catch me. Before I even would know what was going on it would be shredding me to pieces. This is it! I'm screwed! I haven't even started my adventure yet and I'm already done for! I glanced back again. The Sneasel was even closer now, a devious grin on its face as it lifted its claw predatorily. I gulped, forcing myself to run faster. It... It looked hungry.

    "We said leave him alone!" Prue yelled, maneuvering over the bookcases in one swift movement. In a moment she was chasing after us, her jet-black hair flying behind her as her sisters yelled at her to get back behind the bookcases.

    I could feel the Sneasel gaining on me, its sharp claws just inches away. The bloodlust surrounding it - or my imagination, at the very least- was almost palpable in the air between us. Thirty feet away from the door... Twenty feet away... I wasn't going to make it, especially since I had to get myself into that dang room. I dashed madly towards it, locking my eyes on the destination. Come on, come on, I can make it!


    My knees slammed against something hard, forcing me down to the ground. I looked back, trying desperately to catch my breath and rubbing my knee. A single chair lay on its side directly next to me, the cheap metal slightly dented from where my knee had collided with it. Reality sunk in- it was too late. The Sneasel was at my feet, brandishing its claws for the attack as I let out a low moan of terror. This is it... I closed my eyes and prepared for the onslaught, knowing that within seconds my body may be beyond recognition. The Sneasel let out a low, victorious growl as it lunged towards me for the kill.


    The Sneasel and I both froze in place, the two of us staring curiously at Prue as she glanced down at her high-heeled boots. A previously-intact piece of glass lay underneath them, now shattered into thousands of tiny shards. She looked back up at us, seemingly unsure of what to do.


    Her eyes drifted down to the pieces of shattered glass at her feet yet again before focusing back on us, the cruel glare of the Sneasel catching her attention. She lifted her hand up and nervously waved.

    "I come in peace...?" The Sneasel darted towards her and she let out a high-pitched scream, sprinting back towards the bookcases her sisters refused to leave.

    I sighed, relieved to still be alive as I scrambled to my feet and ran towards the door, opening it and throwing myself inside instantly. As I turned back and slammed the door I could see Prue barely get back behind the bookshelves in time, Sneasel's claws just barely missing her foot. The claws kept going and slashed into the shelves, all three aides screaming unanimously.

    I rested my body against the door, regaining my breath and realizing that this was the second time in one day I'd felt like I was about to die. All I'd wanted was excitement this morning- boy, did I get it!- but I never wanted this much excitement. "Hurry!" Professor Elm cried at the top of his lungs, snapping me away from my thoughts. Right. I have a mission I have to accomplish before I think of anything else.

    I rushed to the center of the room, looking around wildly for the Pokéballs containing the three different starters of the Johto region. Sweat dripped down my brow as I realized the Professor had never allowed me back here before until today. I wonder what that says about how he thinks of me, eh? I shook the thought from my head and glanced around, noticing several differently colored Pokedexes, Trainer Cards and Pokegears on a desk not too far away. So that's what I'll be getting later on...
    Worn books covering the topics of breeding and evolution lined the walls, more than likely Elm's. To my right were heaping pots of berries - both foreign and domestic - stacked on top of desks, probably all thanks to Paige's contributions from her gatherings. Dozens of expensive glass cabinets lining the walls were filled with different potions and herbs that had to have been thanks to many long, hard nights behind a mixer on Piper's behalf. Finally, in the center of the wall directly in front of me there was a machine housing nine Pokéballs, more than likely thanks to... Wait! There we go!

    I ran over and quickly pried open the glass casing around the Pokéballs. There were three columns of the small red-and-white devices, each column having three Pokéballs in it and, at the bottom, a picture of the Pokémon inside. Underneath the left row was a picture showing a tiny green Pokémon with leaf buds surrounding its neck, a large leaf sticking neatly out of its head. The tiny Pokémon's red eyes looked up at me from the picture joyfully. This has to be Chikorita, the grass-type starter. Not exactly what I'm looking for. That little thing never really was my favorite, but I'd learned to never say how weak it was in front of Ashley, since she'd always go berserk at the thought of someone insulting the teensy creature.

    I glanced at the right-most column, where a tiny, blue, alligator-like Pokémon known as Totodile stared up at me from its picture, red spikes going down its back to a tiny tail. The creature was waving its arms around happily, black markings surrounding its eyes while a V-Shaped yellow strip went from arm to arm. Its mouth was open in what looked like a happy squeal, exposing its tongue and razor-sharp teeth. This was the water-type starter and probably one of the tougher, scarier choices. This thing's right up Duncan's alley. I chuckled. These weren't the Pokémon I wanted, though.

    I looked to the middle, where a happy little Pokémon with a long nose was looking up at me from its own picture. Its back was covered in a sleek blue fur, flames raging from the holes adorning the fur's surface. It was standing on its two hind legs in the picture, but I knew from seeing it before that it normally walked on all fours. This was Cyndaquil, the normally timid fire-type starter that I'd always wanted to start my journey with. The fact it was so shy had always seemed somewhat... Comforting to me.

    I grabbed the first Pokéball in the Cyndaquil line and ran back to the door, carefully opening it.

    The lab had become near-ruined ruined in my few moments away, with even the previously untouched lab equipment being scraped or destroyed. The Sneasel was clawing into the shelter of the three aides as they yelled in protest. Behind his desk, Professor Elm was holding his forehead and cursing silently. Had he been hit, too? I pondered the question for a split second. More than likely. I doubt he's any good at dodging, either. Clutching the Pokéball tightly, I strutted into the room. Don't worry, Zach- you can do this! The Sneasel's just a baby. You'll beat it in no time!

    "Sneasel!" I yelled, holding the Pokéball containing Cyndaquil in my hand nervously. The Sneasel halted its onslaught against the bookcases and turned to me with a dark, sadistic smile slowly spreading across its face. It let out a small growl as it began brandishing its claws. Oh God. Maybe drawing attention to myself wasn't the best idea.

    "Zach!" Professor Elm called out. "There you are! What took so long?"

    I gulped, gathering up my courage as the Sneasel began to walk towards me. "Sorry, Professor. I, uh, had to get the right Pokémon!" I eyed the Sneasel and held out the Pokéball, victory seemingly in my sight.

    "Go, Cyndaquil!"

    The entire room froze, watching the Pokéball as nothing happened.

    I looked down at it, slightly confused, before thrusting it in the air again as I yelled, "Go, Cyndaquil!"


    Uhh... I guess we're experiencing some technical difficulties here. The Sneasel began to snicker as it walked over to me, dragging its claws along the bookcase fort. I began to panic. "What's going on? What's wrong with my Pokéball?! Go, Cyndaquil!"

    Professor Elm sighed, as if wondering how I'd even managed to graduate from trainer school. "Click the button in the middle of the Pokéball to release it, Zach! Quickly!"

    Oh, right. I'd always forgotten about that part. I punched through the air, tapping the button in the middle of the Pokéball to release a red beam of light as I yelled, "Go, Cyndaquil!"

    This time Cyndaquil actually appeared in the middle of the room, poking its nose into the air and letting out a nervous "Cynda...?"

    I stared at the Pokémon with wonder as it stared back at me, shivering and whimpering as if it thought I was about to lunge. Could it hear how stupid I just was...? The Sneasel looked at this turn of events curiously, as if wondering just what was happening in front of it. Now's my chance!

    "Er... Now, Cyndaquil! Flamethrower!"

    The Cyndaquil began to look around the room, cowering with fear as its eyes locked onto the Sneasel that had caused so much devastation. Wait... Why isn't it using the move? Doesn't it know I'm a trainer and it needs to do as I say? As I was lost in thought the Sneasel saw its opportunity and lunged, its claws raking into Cyndaquil and making the tiny fire-type skid backwards as it let out a painful screech. "Zach, it doesn't know flamethrower!" Piper yelled out from behind her cover. "It's just a baby! Try something easier!"

    Oh... Right. Duh.

    "Come on, Cyndaquil! How about a tackle then, instead!" Cyndaquil still refused to listen. It stared at the Sneasel, letting out a low, defensive growl that sounded more like a whine. Sneasel went in for another blow, and this time Cyndaquil knew exactly what to expect.

    It began to run in the opposite direction as fast as it could, trying with all its might to escape those sharp claws. I watched desperately as Sneasel chased Cyndaquil around the lab, slowly gaining speed on it. "What do I do?!" I cried out. "I thought Pokémon were supposed to listen to what I said!"

    Paige piped up this time, pulling her messy hair away from her face. "That Cyndaquil's nervous, Zach! It's never had a trainer before, so it probably doesn't fully get how to take orders yet. Try and calm it down so it might listen to you, kid!" I looked at her, desperate for more help than what she gave, but she simply returned the look from over the book case with an apologetic smile. "Come on, you've got this!"

    I clenched my fists, thinking of what to do. Cyndaquil continued to run from the Sneasel but was hit by its claws yet again, tumbling over and wobbling as it got back up. The tiny black Pokémon began to walk over towards the frightened creature menacingly, its claws outstretched as it prepared to attack. The fire mouse seemed frozen in place with fright, unable to do anything but stare down its attacker. "Cynda," it moaned, shaking slightly as the Sneasel stopped in front of it. The creature held its claw up high, snickering before shooting it down for the finishing blow.

    "No!" I yelled out, jumping in and pushing the Sneasel away in the nick of time. The Sneasel skidded away and hit a desk, quickly jumping to its feet and glaring at me as it charged in to attack. "Cyndaquil, come on! You have to trust me on this! We can beat it, I know we can!" I stared at it for a moment hopefully before quickly adding, "you've got this! Just use tackle!"

    Cyndaquil looked at me questioningly, but seemed to realize it had no choice. It let out a weak growl and got back on its feet, unsteadily at first, but slowly regaining its balance as it recovered a bit from its fright. The Sneasel was almost to us, rushing in for its next attack.

    "Now, Cyndaquil! Tackle!"

    Right as the Sneasel went to swipe with its deadly claws Cyndaquil shot forward, hitting it directly in the stomach with its head and pushing it backwards. The Sneasel staggered for a second, catching its breath as a look of shock filled its face. "Again! Come on, Cyndaquil!"

    Cyndaquil stopped temporarily, as if unable to believe that it had actually just caused damage. Its entire demeanor then seemed to change to that of overwhelming arrogance and pride as it lunged again, knocking the Sneasel backwards onto its stomach. The Sneasel turned around, letting out a high-pitched screech that made everyone in the room cringe. It's clever, I'll give it that.

    Seeing its chance, the Sneasel lunged forward and powerfully swiped the startled fire-type, sending Cyndaquil flying backwards several feet and leading it almost to the brink of defeat. I bit my lip. "No... Come on, Cyndaquil! We can do this!" I can't let everyone down! Not now! Not during my very first battle! The tiny fire-type, who had just seemed so filled with every type of confidence imaginable, now staggered to its feet with a horrified look on its face, swaying and panting heavily as the Sneasel charged towards it. The black creature shot forward, brandishing its claw and as it swung-


    Cyndaquil launched itself through the air, brutally colliding with Sneasel's forehead and knocking it all the way back into a bookcase. An encyclopedia on the upper-most shelf swayed dangerously before crashing down onto Sneasel's head with a loud thunk, a rather unexpected finishing blow. The surprised Pokémon let out a low groan of defeat before falling over, unconscious.

    What...? Did... Did I just defeat that thing? Did I just use a Pokémon to win my very first battle?! I stared at the creature for what felt like hours, waiting to see if it would show any signs of getting back up. Professor Elm was the first to break the silence, moving out from behind his desk with a cry of delight. "Congratulations! You actually beat that thing down, Zach!"

    My jaw dropped. "I... I actually did...? It's over?" I could feel the blood rushing to my face as I jumped into the air, letting out a squeal of delight. "I did it! It's actually over!" Cyndaquil stood shivering at my feet, watching its defeated opponent in horror. Then, when it finally seemed to sink in that the enemy would no longer be getting up, it let out an arrogant "Cynda!" and began to squeal with joy, skipping around my feet. Didn't take long for it to forget that it was just about to die of fright, did it?

    "Way to battle, kid!" Prue commented, cautiously stepping out from behind the bookshelves with the rest of her sisters after making sure it was safe. "You've got talent!"

    "No, I really don't. It was all Cyndaquil," I replied, embarrassed. The tiny fire-type seemed to nod its head. "Trust me, I'm no battler, I just - "

    "Wanted to help?" Piper said, smiling. "Yeah, that's exactly what makes you a good battler." I blushed, looking down at my Cyndaquil as it looked back up at me, wearily squeaking a proud "Quil!" How was it that the aides always knew what to say to me?

    I bent down and petted the small Pokémon's head, admiring how well it did out there during its first battle. The fact it won despite having me as a trainer had to say something pretty amazing about it. Elm cleared his throat, shaking me from my thoughts. "I guess we should thank you for coming early," he said with a chuckle, patting me on the back. "You saved us!" He paused for a minute, staring curiously at the Cyndaquil that was panting at my feet. Elm had always struck me as somewhat eccentric, but I'd always held him in high regard. Even though I hadn't battled perfectly, his praise made a large smile spread across my face.

    "Now that we're on the topic of you coming, though... Was that the Pokémon you were hoping to start your journey with?" he asked, arching an eyebrow.

    I laughed a little, picking up the exhausted Cyndaquil. The flames on its back went away, letting me hold it up properly in order to give it a hug. I stared at it, thinking for a second before replying. "Yeah, it is. Don't thank me for coming early, though," I replied. "I just wanted to come and get my Pokémon before anyone else did, and maybe even get some battling tips from you guys." I gave the Pokémon a squeeze as it let out a content cry, rubbing up against me.

    "I guess you got your wish then, didn't you?" Paige laughed, putting her hands on her hips. "Now then, Professor, I say we might as well give him his stuff now if he's already gotten his Pokémon. What do you think?"

    My face brightened. "You mean I get to keep this Cyndaquil?"

    "Yes! Yes!" Professor Elm grinned, patting me on the shoulder yet again as he walked towards the back of the lab. "Of course you do!" He looked over his shoulder at the Cyndaquil nestled in my arms, a large smile still plastered across his face. "Besides, it's already incredibly attached to you. I wouldn't want to separate the two of you if I could help it. That one's always seemed a bit... Nervous. Taking you away from it once it's already warmed up to you might make it never trust a trainer."

    He continued to the back room, opening up the door and walking in. "Here, I'll be right back- I'm going to go grab all the things for your journey. Might as well pull out all the stuff for the other kids, too, while I'm back here..." His voice trailed off as he closed the door behind him.

    "Well, guys, we better get cleaning." Piper sighed, stepping over some shards of glass as she walked towards the back room as well. "Congratulations, Zach," she said with a smile before continuing on. "Who wants to sweep and who wants to start fixing the book cases? I'll go get some garbage bags and band-aids... We need to get this lab somewhat presentable before everyone shows up. Oh, and if we pick up all these pages and save them, we might even be able to salvage some of our books!"

    I noted to myself that Piper seemed to be the only one excited by that prospect as she went to the back room after Professor Elm. Paige stayed behind, her hands on her hips. "I always get stuck with the hard work, don't I?" she asked, going over to their shelter of book cases and beginning to move their cover back into its original place while rubbing her stomach gingerly. As I watched, I couldn't help but wonder just how many times she'd gotten hit by flying objects today. Prue let out a little laugh that knocked me out of my thoughts as she gently nudged my side.

    "You did do pretty good back there, Zach," she said with a smile. "I know you don't think you're good at battling, but cut yourself some slack. You'll do wonderfully as a trainer."

    I gave a weak smile. I can't just do 'great.' Can't you see that? There are too many people that are close to me who are amazing battlers to even consider just settling for 'great.' Despite my negative thoughts, all I could reply with was a weak, "thanks, Prue. I guess I just hope that Sneasel's alright."

    "Oh, that's right!" Prue whirled around and trotted over to the Sneasel, picking the book up from the floor and placing it back on the bookcase before examining the tiny creature.

    "It looks like it's fine, we only need to give it a good healing. There's a machine in the back room to heal a trainer's Pokémon, so..." She trailed off, turning around to face me with a sly grin. "Do you wanna catch it?"

    I stared back at her, shocked. "What? I... I can?"

    She winked at me. "Of course you can! You're the one that beat it, right? Someone needs to catch the poor thing in order to heal it, anyways!"

    I could feel my entire body shaking with excitement as I gave her an ecstatic grin. Could this really be happening? Could I already be getting my first Pokémon?! "Y-yeah, I guess. Sure! Thanks, Prue!" I couldn't believe my luck. My first Pokémon I'll capture... And it's from Mt. Silver? That's something to brag about right there! I couldn't wait to tell Ashley and Duncan when they got to the lab.

    Prue straightened up and hollered towards the door leading to the backroom, "Piper! While you're back there, mind bringing back some extra Pokéballs?"

    After several clunks and scraping sounds arose from the aide searching for cleaning supplies, Piper's chipper voice rang out over the din. "Sure thing!"

    Prue flashed a smile, arching her eyebrow playfully. "Ta-dahhh," she said while giving me a hug. "You're already going to catch your first Pokémon- consider it a gift for all your hard work." My face flushed. This had to be the best gift ever, and she of all people was giving it to me. I couldn't think of a better way to start off my adventure.

    "Lucky!" Paige teased, panting slightly as she finished picking up the last book shelf from their fort and placing it against the wall. "It took me ages to catch my first Pokémon, and that was just a Hoppip!"

    "Here I am!" Piper said with a grin, hustling over with a broom in her hand as she handed me a few Pokéballs. "There's the five Pokéballs you're supposed to start your journey with. This way you'll get to practice using them right off the bat! But hey, after all it took to beat that Sneasel, I think you really do deserve to catch it." She winked at me. "Just don't tell too many people we let you, deal?"

    Cyndaquil let out a triumphant cheer in my arms as I set it down, eyeing the Pokéballs in my hands. The tiny fire mouse trotted over to the defeated dark-type, as if trying to remind us that it was the one who had defeated it. With a nervous groan Professor Elm walked into the room as well, trying hard to keep all the items he had in his arms from falling. Deciding it would be best to ignore the activities of everyone around me, I gazed at the Pokéball in my hand before turning back to the unconscious Sneasel.

    "Here goes nothing, guys..." Nervously, I walked over to the creature and knelt down. This is it. The start of my journey. My time to shine. I stared at the little trouble-maker for a second before gently tapping the Pokéball against its head, the red beam shooting out and pulling the Sneasel inside of the red-and-white sphere. The middle button began to flash as the six of us stopped and watched.



    Three times...

    A burst of light shot out of the ball as the creature re-appeared, letting out a weak growl before falling back over. A failed capture. Everyone crowded around me as my face turned an even darker crimson.

    "Oh... That's alright," Prue muttered awkwardly, rubbing my back. "Here, try again." I sighed, grabbing another Pokéball and tapping it against the creature's back. This day really can't get any more embarrassing, can it? Why does it have to happen in front of Prue of all people? Yet again, the red beam of light enveloped the Sneasel and drew it into the small device as the middle button began to flash.


    Please, stay in there!


    Don't resist, I'll take good care of you!

    Three times...

    Please don't screw up again, Pokéball...!


    The Pokéball chimed, the sign of a successful capture. I froze, staring at it in shock. "Did... Did it work...?"

    I turned to look at everyone else, their excited expressions telling me all I needed to know. "It worked!" I yelled with delight. "I did it!"

    "Yay! Way to go!" Prue chuckled, clapping quickly for me. "Your first Pokémon!" She then walked over and took the Pokéball from me, grabbing Cyndaquil's Pokéball as well and calling it back in. "I'll just go heal these for you, rookie. It'll only take a second!" With that she walked briskly to the backroom while everyone else joined in on the praise, each telling me congratulations as they began to busy themselves with cleaning up.

    "So, what are you going to do now?" Piper asked, sweeping up all the glass from the floor into a garbage bag while Paige fixed the desks. "Are you going to take the Pokémon Gym challenge?"

    I considered the question as I began to help pick up book pages from the ground. The thought of meeting each and every gym leader in the Johto region, fighting their Pokémon to show my mastery against different Pokémon types and getting badges to prove my prowess as a trainer... I could feel myself already getting giddy at the thought of it. Besides, to become a Pokémon league champion you had to get all eight gym badges. If I ever wanted to show my mother what I was made of, I really didn't have a choice.

    "Yeah, I think I will," I finally replied, placing a stack of papers on a nearby desk.

    "Well, that's cool." Paige said, wiping her hands off on her jeans as she walked over to me. "So I'm guessing you're heading to Violet City, right? That'd be the closest gym- easiest, too, so long as you don't tell Falkner I told you so." She chuckled, picking up a page I had missed and placing it on the top of my stack. "Him and I go way back. Nice guy, but I always destroyed him in battles. It was just a couple years before I got out of trainer school that he became a gym leader, since his father died in the Sinnoh war. He may be easy, but just watch your back- ever since his dad died, he's always been trying to prove how great flying-types are."

    I nodded back at her, trying to remember everything she had just said while silently admiring her. Paige seemed to know just about everyone, it seemed. How on Earth she managed to know a gym leader so well without me knowing of it I had no idea. Realizing I hadn't actually said anything yet, I smiled and replied. "Yeah. My friends and I were going to be heading there right off the bat. Speaking of friends..."

    I looked over at Piper, who was picking up the clock that had fallen from the wall and was now hanging it back up. Nine-fifty-five. "Ashley and Duncan should actually be here any minute."

    "Well then, you can show off the brand new Pokémon you've caught!" Prue said cheerily, returning from the back room and handing me my Pokéballs containing my first two Pokémon with a large smile. "Won't they be jealous?"

    "Oh, Prue, while we're on the subject of Pokémon," Piper interrupted, pointing at a desk towards the front door as I clipped the two Pokéballs onto my belt. "I found all our Pokéballs in a corner behind our desks and put them back on top of them. That Sneasel must have hit the desk pretty hard- no wonder we couldn't find 'em." I looked over and noticed Piper already had her six Pokéballs attached neatly to her belt. Prue and Paige nodded their heads and walked over to the battered up desk, collecting their Pokéballs as well.

    "Alright, guys," Professor Elm called out, gathering all five of our attention. He was standing authoritatively over a desk towards the back of the lab, piles of new equipment sprawled over the top of it. "If you guys are done chatting, I have all of your starting gear laid out, Zach." I immediately darted over, taking in the sleek look of the pokedexes, pokegears, trainer cards, potions, and Pokéballs adorning the table. It all looks so... Official. This has to be the coolest thing ever. "Now, each trainer starts off with one Pokedex to record data, a Pokegear to keep in touch with fellow trainers, a trainer card to show you're a certified trainer, and five Pokéballs to catch Pokémon. Luckily, I have all of these things for each new trainer that walks into my lab - "

    The sound of someone clearing their throat filled the air, making both Professor Elm and myself turn around in surprise. Two shadowy figures stood in the lab's doorway, taking in the scene surrounding them with what seemed to be mild surprise.

    "Uh, yes... Can I help you?" Professor Elm asked sheepishly, scratching his somewhat-balding head. The two figures nodded their heads and walked further into the lab, a bolt of lightning from outside illuminating their appearance. My heart sank as I realized who the two really were.

    A boy with medium-length dark blonde hair walked towards the table we were positioned at, his cold, blue eyes studying us as his black hooded sweatshirt dripped rainwater onto the floor. At his side was a girl with long brown hair pulled back in a ponytail, two strands of her hair falling down on either side of her face. She was wearing a pink hoodie that fit her comfortably, the bottoms of her blue jeans rolled up to her ankles while she inspected the mess around her with disgust.

    "Professor Elm, we're here for our Pokémon," the boy said with a smirk.


    Well? There's Chapter Two for you. Zach's got his first two Pokemon and two new teens have entered the mix... But will he really be able to control a vicious Sneasel and overly timid Cyndaquil?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  16. RoflLuxRay

    RoflLuxRay Pokemon Physiologist


    ¡¡Yes she's baaaack!! wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

    Ok, enough of that. Good chapter as usual, and slightly longer than last time. This one must be around... 6-7k, enjoyed every single word of it. Despite being THAT long, it actaully flows nice and not too many events happen, and if they do, they have enough room to fit description and dialogue nicely.

    As I recall it, but better; great job Mate.

    I look forward to the next chapter... And to see somebody in that chapter... you know what I'm talking about
  17. Dawn_Hero

    Dawn_Hero Written Insanity~

    I love how much you like her. xD Too bad the changes mean she isn't Russian anymore, and that she's actually really sweet, kind, and down to earth. I can't even joke about that with a straight face. xD Anyways, I'm happy you're enjoying all the updates so much. :3 Hopefully I'll see you next week for Chapter Three!
  18. katiekitten

    katiekitten The Compromise

    Finally managed to read this~! Enjoyed it again, well done. x3 And from Rofl's reaction I'm looking forward to properly meeting this new female character. X3 You managed the tension of the forest scene well (the mystery has my interest piqued and I enjoyed your first person as ever. :3 I quite liked the charmed sisters making their appearances as well- I'm ashamed I only just recognised the names! Very nice. <3
  19. CrystalBlush

    CrystalBlush Typo..........↑

    WHAT, change to that.
    Awesome story!
  20. CrystalBlush

    CrystalBlush Typo..........↑

    can i be on the pm list?

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