Re: [PG] Pokemon Chronicles: Chains of Friendship
Chapter one. Stark - Winds of Change.
Minor HeartGold and SoulSilver spoilers below.
Stark was standing on the near-silent hills overlooking the small town of New Bark, covered in nothing but grass and a small handful of dandelions. He could hear nothing but the crisp, autumn wind that was blowing in his face and the chirps of the Pidgey and Wingull flying overhead. Leaves of gold and red were being blown around, covering the hill lightly and even getting stuck in his shoulder-length red hair. Together, with the silver and blue sky meeting the town on the horizon made a scene like no other. Playing with the Poke Balls on his belt, he couldn’t help but feel as if there were a bowling ball in his stomach. He didn’t want to go. Doing the right thing was never easy, especially if you were Stark.
“Typholosion,” Stark said softly, taking one of the Poke Balls off of his belt and speaking to it as if the Pokemon were right in front of him. “I hate having to do this... but Lance was right. Ethan was right. I’m not fit to be a Pokemon trainer. I’ve used all of you guys as weapons and to prove my power. The power I don’t really have. Being boastful the way I have, saying that I was going to be the strongest ever... it was all because of him. And I don’t want to be like that. I’ve abused you all.”
Suddenly, a white beam of energy shot out of the Poke Ball, to his astonishment, forming a Pokemon a little taller than he was. Being bear-like and ferocious-looking, it had blue skin and a yellow underbelly. It had sharp teeth, even sharper claws, pointed ears, and it normally had fire coming out of its back. Except now, the flames weren’t there. It wasn’t as ferocious as it was supposed to be. It was on its tiny legs, supposedly on its knees, crying. This surprised him a bit. But Stark knew what it was trying to say.
“No, Typhlosion!” Stark said, raising the pitch of his voice. “What I did was wrong! Unforgivable! I can’t be a Pokemon trainer now. You don’t understand.”
The Pokemon named Typhlosion shook its head and roared softly.
Stark put his head down depressively and shook his head. “You’re making this harder than it needs to be. Please. One last time. I command you to get inside the Poke Ball.” Typhlosion struggled, but Stark had no problem getting him back in. He pointed the ball at his Pokemon as a red beam shot out of the middle. The beam hit Typhlosion and transformed it into more red energy, ultimately going back into the Poke Ball.
Stark started to make his way down the grassy hills as he began to hear the voice of two children laughing. Looking around, he found the two children going at it with each other in a Pokemon battle. They were both a year or two younger than he was. The girl had a levitating, purple, ghostly Pokemon with a red necklace. The boy, who was not too much shorter than Stark, had a petite version of his Typhlosion that seemed so familiar. Same blue skin with a yellow underbelly with flames coming out of his back, but with a short, pointed snout. It was a Cyndaquil.
He clenched his fists, trying to hold back the memories from his past. Stark remembered back when his Typhlosion was a Cyndaquil. That was back when he was last here in New Bark Town. He couldn’t help it; the past was flooding his mind like Tohjo Falls. His crime, which led him away from this small town, has now led him back. I stole the Cyndaquil. I ran away from this place. I ran away from my home. With every sentence in his thoughts, he tightened his fists.
“Hey, Marina! Go easy on me!” the boy said, loud enough for Stark to hear him.
“No chance, Jimmy! You’re going down!” the girl named Marina laughed, pointing at the boy’s Cyndaquil. “Little Miss! Use Psybeam!”
Jimmy was quick to respond. “Cyndaquil! Quick! Use Flamethrower!”
Silver could see the two attacks clash as the wind began to get more intense but was still soft. A small column of flames spouted from the Cyndaquil’s mouth while a very confusing-looking rainbow beam blasted from Little Miss’s forehead. Yellow sparks came from where the two attacks met as Marina and Jimmy continued to laugh.
“Don’t give up Cyndaquil!”
“We can’t lose this one, Little Miss! Let’s show him that girls rule and boys drool!”
From Stark’s view, he could see that it was a fair fight. They both loved their Pokemon. They respected them, and showed that they could have fun. Granted, it was competition, albeit friendly. But they showed compassion. They weren’t using their Pokemon as weapons as he did. They weren’t using their Pokemon to prove how talented they were as people. Doing everything right, they have the potential to become great Pokemon trainers.
Stark couldn’t help but turn and run away, sprinting helplessly towards the town. How come I didn’t have that kind of a start?
The tree where Stark used to creep and spy on the Elm laboratory still had the same “E + I” engraving with a heart carved around it. It still had the same, barren handle-like stub of a branch coming off of the side that he gripped for some reason every time he watched the lab, waiting to build up the courage to go in. He remembered his original intentions; to go into the lab and beg for a Pokemon. But he thought that tactic made him look weak. So, I resorted to the very thing my father does for a living, illegally.
Through the window, he suddenly noticed that a tall, lanky man with a white lab coat and wire frame glasses was carrying a large stack of books with a shorter and older man, probably his teacher, with a lab coat and two Poke Balls in his hands. But Stark recognized the taller man instantly.
“Professor Elm,” Stark whispered.
After a few moments, a feminine voice whispered in his ear, “What about him?”
Startled, Stark turned around to find nothing but trees. The voice was familiar. And there was someone behind him a second ago. But when he turned around, there was a girl with long blue hair hanging upside-down from a tree branch right in front of his face, startling him further. Out of breath and somewhat relieved, Stark shook his head.
“Are you out of your mind, Kristen?” Stark asked, trying to keep his voice down.
The girl, in a normal voice, scoffed. “I’ve told you before; it’s Kris. And why would you say that? Aren’t I supposed to be the one questioning your sanity? Why are you here? Stealing another Pokemon? Don’t you know that –“
“Enough of your questions!” Stark whispered loudly. “Yes, I know stealing is wrong! No, I’m not here to steal!”
“Oh,” was all Kris had to say at first. But after mulling it over for a moment, she moved on. “So, what are you doing here?”
Stark tried to ignore her, but he couldn’t. “I... I don’t know myself, honestly.”
Kris tilted her head and blinked. “Hmm. So you are going to steal another Pokemon. Not like he has any more. He just gave the last three to some kids. Two of them were battling over by the Silent Hills closer towards the Tohjo Falls.”
“I’m not here to steal!” Stark hissed.
“Obviously not, since there isn’t anything to steal.”
Stark put his palm to his face. “Will you stop being so annoying?”
“No,” Kris said, winking with a smile. “Here for a Pokemon battle?”
Stark sighed and shook his head. “No. I’m here to see Professor Elm.”
Kris wrinkled her eyebrows in astonishment. “Professor Elm? Why? You’re not…?”
For a few moments, the two just stood there in silence. Stark nodded his head a couple of times, and Kris gasped. He was just as surprised that he told her as she was that he admitted it. Looking back to the lab, Stark noticed that the shorter of the men came out a side door to the small courtyard where he and Kris were standing. Startled, Stark quickly hid behind the tree with the “E + I” markings on it. Meanwhile, Kris was left out in the open, speechless. After nodding to herself, she looked up and waved to the shorter of the two men as Professor Elm followed out the door.
“Hey professors! I came to visit some of my Pokemon that I’ve left here.”
“Kris?” asked Elm with his somewhat nasal voice. “It’s been a while. Your Pokemon have been doing tremendously well. Your Mr. Mime and your Jynx have been quite fond of each other recently. They’ve left you an egg to care for. It’s inside. Professor Oak has been here helping me taking care of it.”
“Really?” Kris asked, excited, as the shorter of the two men, Oak, nodded. She shook her head immediately afterwards. “Wait. Professor Elm, do you remember that one Cyndaquil you had?”
Stark’s eyes opened as wide as they could go. Listening in on the conversation and trying to keep hidden, Stark didn’t know what to do. He couldn’t run. All he could do is hide. He didn’t want to do this now. I don’t want to be weak.
“Which Cyndaquil?” asked Elm, confused. “The one I gave to Jimmy? I remember it quite well. It always tried to burn off my hair…”
Krys shook her head. “No. The one that was stolen a year ago.”
I have to get out of here... but how? Stark’s mind was rushing. He had no idea how to face the professor the way Kris was trying to set it up, but there seemed no other way to apologize and hand over the Typhlosion now. Looking up, he pondered the idea of climbing the tree. That way, I can hide in the tree. When Kris tries to reveal where I was, I will have appeared to have run away! Standing up and facing the trunk of the tree, which was still keeping him out of the professors’ line of vision as well as Kris’s now, he grabbed onto a low, sturdy branch and pulled himself up with all of his strength.
“Oh. That Cyndaquil,” Elm replied depressively. “I never got to see it again. The police saw the boy a few times, but he always got away. They said his name was Stark. Ever since, he’s even stolen other towns’ precious Pokemon. I bet he’s long gone now.”
“He’s not as far away as you think,” Kris replied with a wink as she pointed to behind the tree. By that time, Stark was already hidden towards the top of the tree where he couldn’t be seen from below. Elm had made his way over to the tree quietly when Kris noticed that Stark was missing. She looked around and gasped. “But he was here just a second ago!”
“Stark was here?” Elm asked in horror. “He might be here to steal some of the other trainers’ Pokemon!”
Kris shook her head. “I don’t think he was here to steal Pokemon. He was here to –“
Suddenly, a loud crack echoed in the air as one of the tree’s thicker branches began to snap. It came crashing down from the other side as a fiery Pokemon carrying a boy landed next to the main lab building with a small thud. Kris, Elm and Oak, alarmed, turned around to see a Typhlosion carrying Stark, struggling out of his Pokemon’s protective grip.
“Let me go, Typhlosion!” Stark shrieked, kicking and wiggling around in his Pokemon’s arms. Typhlosion simply refused by shaking his head and walking over to Professor Elm, setting Stark right in front of him. Elm was speechless. Stark couldn’t muster any words; not even a simple hello. The air was tense as Kris, behind the professors, was pointing enthusiastically towards Elm and mouthing the words, “Say you’re sorry; don’t just stand there!”
Stark’s lips quivered a bit as he looked down at his feet. “Um… I’m... I’m...”
Elm pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose closer to his eyes. “What are you doing here, young man? Can’t you see that it’s illegal to steal another person’s Pokemon? Not only that, but think of the ethical problems. The only Pokemon here are ones that belong to trainers who have lived here and are out traveling. Do you seriously think I’d allow you to steal them? And another thing –“
“I’m not here to steal,” Stark said softly, interrupting Professor Elm.
“I’m not here to steal,” Stark said again, this time a little louder. “I’m here to give back my Typhlosion. I know it’s a little late, but…”
“… but I know I’ve done wrong things. I’ve not only been stealing. I have also hurt a lot of people doing what I’ve done. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told it’s wrong, but I just kept winning. I figured… that if they couldn’t beat me, that it didn’t matter. I thought that they didn’t deserve the Pokemon I stole from them. I believed only in power.
“But then Lance came along,” Stark said, going on. “I was cast aside easily. In fact, I was beat so hard that even I thought what he was doing was wrong. But I knew he, morally, was right. I was abusing my Pokemon.”
Elm frowned, folding his arms. “What are you saying?”
Stark looked up, with a confident, neutral glare. “I’m saying that I don’t deserve a great Pokemon like Typhlosion. Even though I’ve misused him as a weapon, he’s taken every insult I’ve thrown at him. He turned into love, as if I were some sort of drill sergeant. But he doesn’t deserve me. Even Ethan was right. You have to love your Pokemon, and do the right thing. And the right thing is… to give him back.”
Kris, in the background, was even starting to cry. She had never seemed so impressed in all her life, nor seen such an apology anything like this one. Professor Oak was dumbfounded, and Professor Elm was putting on a grin that told Stark that he couldn’t be any happier than he was now.
Typhlosion, however, was stomping around angrily, shooting flames in the sky harmlessly. He was obviously enraged.
“Stark,” Professor Elm said, calmly so he wouldn’t aggravate the Typhlosion further, “I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’ve come back and have apologized. But you can keep your Typhlosion.”
Typhlosion immediately began to settle down as Stark’s jaw dropped. “What? Wait, what do you mean? Why?”
Professor Elm smiled as he walked up to Stark, placing his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Everyone makes mistakes. But you owned up to it. I’m letting you off the hook.”
Stark, happy but still confused, hugged his Typhlosion in sheer elation. He started jumping around naively, as if he were a little kid again. The pressures of evil-doing seemed to melt away inconspicuously as this feeling of happiness washed over his mind like turning on a heater in the middle of winter. It gave him goosebumps and yet still he felt as if there were more to say.
“Professor Elm?” Stark asked, running back, “Why are you being so kind to me? I’ve done so many terrible things to people.”
“Because, Stark. I know about your father. He was the leader of Team Rocket.”
Stark cringed. The joyful feelings that danced around inside him now withered like a flower in late autumn. He began to turn away, at least until the professor continued on.
“He must have been a bad influence on you,” Elm replied, using his hands while he talked. “I think he’s the real person to blame in this situation. Like Pokemon, humans’ offspring act just like their parents. Pokemon inherit their abilities from their ancestors, just as humans inherit their family members’ unique behaviors.”
“That’s no reason to forgive me,” Stark retorted, shaking his head. “And are you saying that when I have children, they’re going to be like me? A monster?”
Oak shook his head, laughing. “Excuse me for interrupting, Stark, but can you possibly consider that as humans, we’re capable of good and evil. We can change that on a dime if we want. But when Pokemon are influenced, it takes the strength of their masters to change.”
Sighing, Stark smiled and closed his eyes. “I think I get what you guys are saying.”
Elm stared at him in surprise. “Really? Tell me, because I’m having a hard time explaining myself.”
“I think you’re trying to say is that you can’t really come up with an explanation, but you feel as though it’s the right thing to do,” Stark replied, opening his eyes with a smile. “Also because my Pokemon was going to tear down your lab if you didn’t.”
Shrugging, Elm smiled. “Well, more or less. Either way, yes, I think it’s the right thing to do. But you have to be good to it.”
Stark nodded, and grinned at its equally happy partner. “Yeah. I was when I had given back all of those other Pokemon I stole. I felt sad to give them away, but their owners missed them. Some of them said that they had gotten angry at them before they were stolen and never got the chance to say that they were sorry. I know now what it feels like to love your Pokemon. And hopefully, one day, we can beat Lance!”
Kris cheered, running up to hug Stark, who laughed upon their embrace. Much to his embarrassment, she pecked him on the cheek before she let go, and then walked up to hug his Typhlosion. She then proceeded to walk away, and then yelled as she started to run, “Gotta go, but it was nice seeing you all! I’ve got to go practice my ninja skills with Janine!”
She was gone in a flash, much to Stark’s surprise. “So that’s how she managed to appear in front of me like that.”
“Like what?” asked Elm, just as dazed as he was.
“Nothing,” Stark said, putting his palms against the back of his head with his elbows up in the air. “We’ve got to go, too. I’m thinking about registering myself to enter in the Silver Conference this year. Maybe I might run into Lance there.”
“Wow, so soon?” Elm asked. “I wish you both could have stayed longer. But do call me! Every Pokemon Center has my number if you want to store some of your Pokemon with me sometime.”
“Call me if you would like, too,” Oak said cheerfully, stepping forward. “I have my own talk show in Goldenrod, and if you’d like to sometime, I can interview you for an episode or two. My audience wants me to switch things up a little bit other than just reporting my research data.”
Stark chuckled to himself as he turned around and walked back towards the town as his equally happy Typhlosion followed him. “I might take you up on your offer sometime. Take care.”
“See you again sometime!” Elm shouted, waving at him even though he knew Stark couldn’t see him from behind. “Let me know if there is anything you need!”
“I will!” Stark shouted back. He felt good. Finally having a chance to do something good in his life, he couldn’t help be hold the same cheery grin as the sun was beginning to set in the distance. He was taking it in as he left through the gates of the laboratory’s campus. As he walked back into town, heading to the closest Pokemon Center, he could swear that in the briefest of moments that he saw a shining Pokemon flying over a rainbow that seemed to appear out of thin air in the open, golden skies.
The next main character for chapter two is Kris. The title will be Kris - The Secret of Crystal Lake!
❒ SINGLE ❒ TAKEN ✔ LAPRAS RIDER
of Pokémon Elite 2000.
Last edited by Professor Geoffrey; 09-15-2010 at 01:51 AM.