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Creative Writing Share your fan fiction, stories, poems, essays, editorials, song lyrics, or any other related written work. All written must be your creation. Start a new thread, and keep replying to that thread as you add on more chapters. Anyone can join in at anytime.


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  #16  
Old 06-02-2007, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Now and Forever | Genesis

“Quite the amount of reports we’ve got here,” Grant Jefferson said to his boss, Giovanni Cristos II, over the constant noise of Rocket agents mulling through the messy rooms Archer and his group had left behind in their frantic escape.
“He had quite the control of portions of Wall Street, Hong Kong. Even the National Exchange of Stock in Metropolis, Hakkou. It looks like we’d’ve had to have intervened sooner or later.”

“What? He had control of the NES? How does he do that? The NES is supposed to be the most secure exchange in the world! Oh, if we could learn his secrets…”

“There’s more sure,” the Dutch inventor said, smoothing over his trim blonde hair. “It seems they’re more advanced on than ours when it came to mecha research. However, the amount of data they have here will reduce that difference in due time.”

“I trust your group will be able to crack their OS?”

“Certainly sure. We haven’t hired them from MIT for nothing.”

“Good. Why don’t you get right on that, then?”

“Certainly, Mr. Cristos. I’m on my way.” The Dutchmen departed, datastick holding Aqua’s research in hand.

“Now,” Giovanni said, clasping his hands together, “where did Archer go?” The Rocket leader looked around. This room was filled with banks of computers, all surrounded in an astounding amount of sensors and security cams.

“Sir,” said an agent, black cloak whirling around his muscular body. “It seems that preliminary investigation has found that Archer has gone back to sea. Most likely, it was via the Persian Gulf by heli. However, there is a chance he deployed from an Aqua facility along the coast of the Red Sea.”

“Thank you. What is your name again?”

“Neo Bush, sir,” replied the man. He was young as Giovanni’s men went. However, he packed firepower. Three pistols were strapped on his waist, along with four pokéballs. Additionally, an assault rifle was strapped onto his back along with a Texan drawl that ran deep in his veins.

“Thank, Mr. Bush.”

“Your welcome, boss,” Neo replied, before leaving.

“Good, very good, men!” he shouted. His rich, deep voice rolled over the serious attitudes each of his men held and released. “It is time for us to leave. Intel will take care of the rest. After all, you were tasked as a strike force. It is a fine capacity for you.” The Italian boss left the headquarters, ducking to exit. Trust Archer to make all the doors only accessible to sailors – short and squat, or at least used to ducking. Giovanni quickly made his way through the halls.

“We should almost use this for ourselves,” Giovanni mumbled to himself. He shook his head. No, that would not do. UPA intel probably had it marked already. He would give it to al-Tarrim as a reward for their cooperation… Yes… that sounded nice.

“Sir, would you like us to fire up the heli’s?” one of the pilots asked.

“Certainly,” Giovanni replied. He examined the helicopters, untouched, untainted it seemed, by the elements. Good, he thought to himself. The pokémonite shielding had done its job. His gaze followed the whirlwind the helicopters created to the desert beyond. All around lay sand: orange, gold, yellow, white, even hints of blue and red, on occasion.

“Wherever Archer is,” he said to himself, “we’ll get him.”

===================================

I looked up at the building. It had a stately appearance to it: four glass doors rose resolutely from the ground, shined to a clearness of exceptional quality; meanwhile, the gym squatted squarely in line with the curving streets, their curve matching it’s own; finally, the sign amazed me – hand painted, it read:
“Port Re Bayview Charter Gym, Official Gym of Grande Re 1992-202; Official Gym of Port Re 2007- . Established 1989.” It wasn’t just the words that it had, but the ornate detail wrapped around them. In each corner of the sing were orbs of gold to complete the masterful art piece the building entailed.

“Yep, this is it,” Kody said, after the first wave of awe pasted.

“And what a beauty it is,” I said.

“And what a beauty it is,” Kody repeated.

“Old as well,” I added.

“You got that right,” Kody said.

I nodded. While training technically did exist in the sixties and seventies, it was in the nineties that it had really taken off. This gym was formed in the eighties, when only the elite few took to training. Among them, my parents.

“A quarter century of battling…” Kody began, speaking in an awed voice. “If these walls could tell what they have witnessed – the hallowed champions that have walked through these doors to challenge the leader here.”

“And the crack jobs that never got a second badge,” I added, half joking, half serious.

“Yes, and even they have stories to be told,” Kody said, not frazzled by my comment.

“Well, what are we waiting for?” I asked.

“Indeed,” Kody replied. He raised his hand to a button that sat atop a trashcan placed directly in front of the doors. The blue button slid into the stone cylinder and released a gasp of energy. Slowly, the doors lowered into the floor, silent as could be. We walked inside when they had lowered.

Inside, the gym was even more amazing. A fountain bubbled water out and down a series of depictions of pokémon, all exquisite. On each of the walls, up and down, was printed the names of challengers that had gained a Sun Badge. Furthermore, those that had went on to champion a league had their picture placed in a gallery that ran into a separate room. The walls all curled towards a circular desk that sat in the far end, a glass door on either side.

“Hello,” I said, when we had reached the desk. The secretary quickly minimized a game on her computer (was it Minesweeper?) and smiled at us.

“Welcome to Port Re Bayview Gym. I’m assuming that both of you are here to challenge Master Andrew Derks?”

“Just one, ma’am,” I replied.

“Good. The leader is not busy at all today, so he will be with you shortly. Actually, I’ll page him and he’ll take you directly to your challenge. Oh, license and registration, please?”

“Certainly.” I withdrew my trainer card from my pocket and a sheet of e-paper, which had the information I had filled out this morning at the pc on it, from its roll on my belt.

“Thank you,” she said. She quickly looked to her computer and blazed my information onto a form.

“You are Battle #789213, Battle #231 of the season. I trust you will be taking the public style challenge?”

“Uh, well, what do you think?” I asked Kody.

“I doubt you’d be able to complete the obstacle course. And as for the three junior trainers? I’m not sure. However… I do think that we should hurry. I did some research last night, and apparently the ferry accepts boarders at four. They leave at five thirty. And, they are quite the elite thing here, so everyone traveling to Freede, Botantine, or even Guantahn will want to get on. Furthermore, we don’t really know where Heather is, so finding here will take at least two hours.”

“So the private style?” the secretary asked.

“I guess,” I replied. “Though I really ought to do the public style.”

“Oh well,” Kody said.

“Yeah, oh well,” I seconded.

“Great! I’ve page Master Derks, and he should be here any second.”

“Yeah, I guess,” I replied.

“Well, Connor, wanna’ Halo?”

“Certainly,” I replied, withdrawing my navi from my backpack and flicking it on. Kody did likewise and we immersed ourselves in the game.

Finally, the leader arrived through one door.

“Welcome to my gym!” the man said. He extended a large, sweaty hand, and I shook it firmly.

“I trust you’re challenging me,” the man said, looking at me with pale blue eyes.

“Yes, that’s right,” said the secretary. “Andrew, you should get along with the battle, it seems they’re in a hurry.”

“Okay. Certainly. Just a second,” he said, smiling. His smile spread from ear to ear, each ear surrounded in curly brown hair.

“Connor O’Brien, here,” I said, smiling. Behind this smile I hid a mound of fears higher than I had seen in a long while.

“Ah… an O’Brien, then? Well, I’ll be glad to defeat you.”

“Okay… I’ll be glad to lose,” I replied with a smirk.

He led us through the left door, glass sliding into the ground, into a long hallway. As long as it was, there were only three doors. The first was directly after the entrance, the second halfway down on the other side. The final one looked out into a courtyard that housed a battle court.

“If you were to take the public style challenge, or even my personal style – Bay Style, I would have you go through the first door. However, since you’ve chosen the private style, I’ll just have the battle in the court. Unfortunately, since you’re an O’Brien, it’ll be short.”

I eyed him angrily, and then continued to follow him silently. If he had a problem with my family… well… that was that, right?

“I resent that,” Kody said. He looked at me and mouthed ‘why didn’t you say something’. I just shook my head in reply.

“Well, good thing this little O’Brien doesn’t.”

“Just shut up, and we can get on with the battle,” I said, frustrated.

“If you say so, little O’Brien,” the leader replied before opening the door and walking through. He turned to the left and approached the semi-circle on that side. I did likewise for the right side, eyes constantly glaring at him.

“Alright!” Andrew Derks began. “This will be a one-on-one, yes?” I nodded. “Battle between Connor O’Brien of Rio Grande and Master Andrew Derks, Leader of Official City Gym, Port Re Bayview.”

“Are you ready, little O’Brien?” Andrew asked. His hand cupped around a red and white sphere.

“Why, indeed I am… Charol!” I shouted, dreading every minute of it. This was going to be hell…

“That’s fine. Jolteon!”

Each pokéball hinged open, releasing the aura it held inside.

Mine was the first to complete the release. Charolt, red-brown hide shining in the sun, erupted in flames on the spine, mane, and tail. The colt whinnied, nodding to me as if he was sentient. He hoofed the ground impatiently.

Meanwhile, Andrew’s pokémon was released. The gold and yellow cat immerged, tail jolting, eyes beady and glaring. Examining the cat, I could tell by the shape of the face, and thinness of the body and legs, that this cat was young. Maybe, just maybe, that was a point in advantage for me. For once.

“Begin!” Andrew Derks shouted.

“Jolteon, Charge!” Andrew shouted.

I nodded. That was expected. Quickly, lightly, I mulled over the choices I had. They were slim. At best. However, a strategy formed in my mind. Should I take it? Did I even have a choice?

Andrew looked at me, grinning smugly. I grinned right back. It seemed to worry him.

“Okay, Jolteon,” he said a minute or two later, “get close to the Charolt!”

The cat quickly ran forward, reeling in the distance between it and its challenger.

I nodded resolutely. Any second now, he would be within range.

“You have to do something, Connor!”

“I am doing something, Kody,” I replied.

“Perfect! Charolt, Ember!”

“Jolteon, Volt Tackle!” Andrew shouted.

My colt nodded, opened his maw, and released ball after ball of fiery elemental energy. Each shot towards the young cat, and each was escaped from with a quick bound to the left, a roll to the right, a pause, or a jump.

I cursed under my breath as the Jolteon came with ten feet of my colt. There was little I could do. “Ember!” I repeated.

The colt ran ball after ball of fire down the path the Jolteon was taking, but each was missing. I cursed once more. He had little enough experience as is, let alone against a moving target – a small moving target at that.

I sighed and raised my pokéball.

There was hardly any choice.
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2007, 03:11 PM
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Default Re: Now and Forever | Genesis

Wow... didn't realize how deep this was buried... sorry that I didn't post sooner - vacation and all. Not like anyones reading anyways, but... Here's the next chapter.

CHAPTER SEVEN: SOMETHING

The S.S. Greenback bobbed next to Dock 82 in the Western Maritime District of the city. All around, shouts and squeals filled the air. I sighed, wishing that it wasn’t so loud. I mean, the pomp and circumstance of the place was nice, but the ambience that was allegedly a large portion was missing.

I turned my gaze from the sleek blue ferry-cruise liner to the city behind us. The jagged outline was comforting, skyline almost identical to that of Rio.

I could even catch the outline of the American Dragonite store where we had found Heather, lugging around three bags. We had been forced to drag her out of the store all the while making sure her precious merchandise wasn’t damaged. I sighed and cursed her under my breath.

If I had disliked Heather before the journey had started, I was certainly getting close to hating her.

“There opening the gate!” Kody shouted excitedly. I shifted my gaze from the city back to the ship. The firm blue lines of the ship were capped with the command bridge and a series of glass towers. A grin spread across my face. Battle courts.

“Finally,” Heather replied with a sigh of relief. She walked forward quickly, cutting me off from the entrance when we came to the gate.

“Hey!” I shouted.

“Oh… ah… sorry?” Heather said innocently, whirling around to look at me.

“Whatever,” I replied. “Just move along.”

“Hello, and welcome to the liner S.S. Greenback. May I take your tickets please?”

We each handed her our tickets, and got back only a portion.

“Thank you,” she said after we got back our stubs.

“-sure you do not jump into the ocean.

“Once again, welcome to the S.S. Greenback. Part of Orion Marine-Space Transportation, this cruise liner-ferry hybrid prides itself in providing journeymen and women from Port Re the quickest non-aerial transportation to the Western Islands top cities – Freede, Botantine, Guahtahn, and the Pearl Island cities.

“Also, we at Orion pride ourselves in the quality of customer service we provide. We are rated five stars by the Journeymen’s Journal, Diaries of a Trainer, and the Freede Union. For example, tonight we will be holding a casual dance at seven o’clock in honor of the beginning of our seasonal daily service. You may now reach Freede, Guantahn, and Delta City daily. The dance will occur on Deck AAA, at the bow, with a beautiful view of the Saint Islands at sunset.

“Furthermore, we have battle courts in operation daily. Our courts are regulation size and feature state-of-the-art specialization of terrain and conditions. Our referees all have aced the examinations of quality and each received Hakkou’s Order of Grant from the Ministry of Journeying.

“Remember that most of all, we keep your happiness as our top priority. If you have any questions or comments, drop a note card in any comment box – there is one and each bedroom as well as in many other locales. Most of all, be sure to enjoy your ride of Orion Marine-Space Transportation Corporation’s S.S. Greenback.”

“Ah… a dance!” Heather said, looking at Kody. It was more than a hint. I sighed. Here we go again, I thought to myself.

“Whatever,” Kody replied. He glared at the redhead. She innocently twirled her hair with one finger, staring at Kody.

I almost cracked up.

“There’s no chance!” Kody shouted. He turned and walked away, indifferent.

“Well, that sucks,” Heather replied. She turned to me. I looked at her, and could see that she was almost tearing up. I smiled warmly. Er… as warmly as I could. “You want to battle?”

I quickly looked at my options. “Sure, why not?”

“Okay. Let’s go find a court.”

“Um, what about our bags?”

“Oh… I forgot about those. Connor, could you please bring them to our rooms? Pretty please?”

I slowly turned my gaze to her. Her green-brown eyes shone with humbleness. She looked as pathetic as a puppy. Nonetheless, I relented.

“Thanks a million times over, Connor. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“I know what I’d do with out you,” I mumbled under my breath. As I picked up her bags, I sighed. Inside, my whole mind was exploding.

“What?” she asked.

“Oh… nothing,” I said. I slowly lifted her backpack and shopping bag. Thankfully, she only had wanted to bring one bag. I had a hunch who would be carrying it until we got to Freede was. And then, finally, she could go along her own way, per her request. “But you owe me.”

“I sure do,” she said with a smile.

I sighed. What in the world was I doing? Did it qualify as flirting if you had a strong hate for the person? Well, I had just done so, so I guess it did. Here I was in the middle of the ship, carrying a ton’s worth of bags for a girl my friend disliked and I nearly hated. What was wrong with me?

I shook my head as I rounded a corner and shuffled down a flight of stairs, trying to find our two rooms. I didn’t know. All that I could do was continue to live, and wait for the right cards to come my way. And then when I did, do all I could to play them in the right way.

I sighed. Girls. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them…

-----

“This will be a double battle match between Heather and Connor on one side, and Chloe and Zak on the other. The match will be un-timed. Any violation of the aforementioned ferry battle codes will result in a fine of a centurii hakk. The match will begin at my whistle, after all four pokémon have been released.

“You ready?” Heather asked me. She leaned against the back rail of the small battle platform we shared. In my opinion, it was far too small.

I nodded, not even looking her way.

“Pikachu!” Chloe shouted. The tall girl raised a pokéball, her blonde-brown hair shimmering in the early evening sun.

“Tailow!” added Zak. The heavy-built boy unclipped his pokéball from his belt, long grey shirt rubbing against the other five pokéballs.

Both their pokémon immerged. The first was a small golden mouse with red electrical sacs, and the second an energetic blue, red, and white bird. The bird soared through the breezeless air excitedly. I stared and stared. Pokémon like those were rare, halfway to the South Pole from Japan. The only reason I even knew what they were was that we had a very thorough science program at the academy.

The bird filled the court with its caws. I was almost tempted to look it up in my dex, but resisted.

“Not like we had a choice anyways,” Heather said with heavy sarcastic overtones. “Felurn!”

Heather’s pokéball hinged open and released her plump red-orange striped kitten with a cream underbelly and a short stubby tail that twitched excitedly.

I did likewise. My red-brown colt greeted me with a whinny.

“Pikachu and Tailow versus Charolt and Felurn! Ready, set, go!” the referee shouted. He lowered two golden flags to waist level, and then raised them over his head.

“So,” Heather said, “what’s our strategy?”

“What? I thought you were the one that was supposed to get together one. After all, you were the one to suggest battling.”

“That may be,” she said, glaring at me, “but back against the weird American, you were the one to make up the three pronged whatever you called it.”

“Just a second. Charolt, Smokescreen!” I shouted. “That strategy was one of the first ones we read with Professor Trillium, you of all people should have been interested in battle tactics!”

“I didn’t even read that, Connor. Remember? I planned on being a coordinator.”

“Oh yeah…” I shrugged. “Give me just a few minutes and I’ll have one. Charolt, Smokescreen again!” I shouted.

My colt opened its red-brown maw and released a steady stream of black-grey smoke. The cloud spread, gathering in the center of the battle court, hiding our opponents, and also their pokémon, from view.

I quickly thanked God that I had spent a few hours last night studying Charolt’s dex entry, and then slowly began to go over the tactics I had learned through the past two years under the kind eye of Professor Trillium.

Finally, I had a general idea of one. “Okay,” I said, “here’s what we’ll do…”

(cont. next post)
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: Now and Forever | Genesis

(cont. from previous post)

-----

Aaron Kasul churned the water vigorously with a pair of oars. He didn’t really understand why he, of all the morphs Seymour could have picked, had been chosen as the leader of this “flotilla”. He looked back and all around him. His was the lead boat, and held seventeen morphs, all crammed into the back while he rowed in front. Of course they hadn’t been able to get motors. And anyways, those would have made things all too easy for the Aqua artillery and machine guns to shoot them down. Those in the boat were, thankfully, a small group. They consisted of, mostly, the fire type, as well as some other species that, due to their “minor elemental strains”, had a weakness to water. Whatever that meant.

Aaron sighed. Maybe it was a good thing that he had been chosen. It was a sign that Seymour trusted him. Or that, and this one was more likely, he was that Seymour didn’t think he was worthy of being part of the “distraction” that they were currently running towards the Aqua citadel in the middle of the Great South Bay.

So here he was, in the middle of the bay, blisters popping up on his fingers, with only a pistol to defend himself. But that was all that could be spared. And it wasn’t like it would work, anyways. Not against the large granite citadel the Aqua agents where housed in. Along with the pitiful, dreadful conditions of the pokémorphs under that. Aaron shivered all over. He was still having nightmares.

On paper, Team Aqua existed, much like Magma, Galaxy, Storm, and Fist, as merely a group of civil servants pledged to the sciences and the betterment of mankind. If that meant a few morphs having to go through horrid conditions…

Well… they were only morphs.

And the only reason Aqua claimed to need armed forces of any sort was that the rival groups hired mercenaries to attack and raid Aqua research vessels. Anyone that had ever been into the facility, except maybe a few of the low grunts, knew what a bunch of hogwash that was.

“Mommy, look at the strange fishy!” squealed a Vulpix morph excitedly. Her voice wavered, and it was hard to tell if she was enjoying it or hating it. Her mother, a loving Ninetails morph dressed in scraps of grey cloth, nodded and cuddled her child.

Aaron smiled. They had gotten back out together. Others hadn’t been so fortunate. Aaron knew nearly everyone had left someone. He was an exception. They had got him separately – his parents had already been killed in a morph revolt. His brother had joined the Chinese National Army and subsequently been killed while digging trench works for the real soldiers.

But what of that fish?

Aaron peered over the side of boat. To his great horror…

It isn’t a fish, Aaron thought to himself.

“Code 42! Code 42!” Aaron shouted into the cheap walky talky set they had managed to get.

Quickly, the periscope rose, submarine following. The sleek black frame was hardly noticeable in the thick of night.

“God save us all,” whispered a morph behind him.

“Oh, God,” Aaron seconded.

Nervously.

-----

“… and finally we go in for the kill,” I said, outlining the plan that had quickly formed in my mind. “Got it?” I asked her.

“Yep,” she replied.

I smiled and turned to the battlefield. A thinning layer of smoke hid the far half of the court from view. Luckily it did the same to our opponents. We had needed to renew the cloud three times. However, it still managed.

“Now you two,” I said, beginning our strategy, “go forth and Ember!”

The two fire-types looked at me with a strange expression and walked forward slowly. Each opened their mouths, preparing to spew fire.

Maybe they hadn’t understood it. I bet they didn’t. But they had heard the word “Ember” and so they let the balls of fire loose into the cloud of ever-thinning smoke.

What came back in exchange was a muffled counter attack. “Pikachu, Quick Attack away” and “Tailow, Wing Attack away the cloud”.

I could barely make out our two pokémon, let alone the opponent’s pokémon. However, as the blue, red, and white bird finally was able to clear, or at least thin, the cloud, I could barely see four shadows of the four creatures battling it out.

The three-colored bird rose and fell, rose and fell. Its wings glowed silver as it dove, and it cawed a fierce cry. The smoke quickly spread through the whole entire court.

Heather coughed, muffling the sound with her arm. “I guess that makes it somewhat easier to see,” she commented.

I smiled and giggled. “Definitely,” I replied, straightening my face. “Charolt, Ember!”

“Felurn, Quick Attack on Pikachu.”

“Yeah,” I added, “do it on Pikachu as well.”

Felurn and Charolt charged. The first ran ahead, growling at her opponent. The second provided suppressive fire, shooting ball of flame after ball of flame.

Squealing in terror from the entourage of fire, the golden mouse looked to its trainer for help. The blonde haired girl nodded. The mouse squeaked in reply and rolled to one side, and then bounded towards his opponents.

My colt’s flame traced the Pikachu. However, he did so poorly. Each flaming ball of energy was either too low, too high, too far to the left or right, or too slow and thus easily escapable. However, one was able to nick the Pikachu’s lightning bolt tail.

The mouse yelped in pain and shifted its eyes from its trainer to my colt. It charged, jumping out of the way of the kitten’s attempt to jam her body into its soft golden fur, and sent a bolt of electricity towards my colt.

“Tailow! Gust on Felurn!” shouted Zak.

The red, blue, and white bird dove, small vortex of wind pushed forward by its wings.

“Charolt, try to dodge it!” I said quickly. Once again, here I was, with Charolt’s “strain” type or whatever being weak to “strain” type white. While the “strain” types did explain some stuff, like why certain pokémon had advantages when the typage said they didn’t. Still, the troubled more than helped.

My colt whinnied and galloped away form the mouse on the soft, grassy loam. But the mouse followed, much more agile and more experienced. Bolt of electricity followed vengeful bolt of electricity. However, the Pikachu was just as wonderful at aiming elemental energy as Charolt was, and so missed every time.

However, he was just as lucky. The sparks made contact, finally, when a bolt of thunder pulsed through the tail, forking for each leg, and running up the spine.

My colt moaned in pain. His beady eyes met mine, and his pupils filled with the loyalty that I had only seen in cheesy journey flicks. Finally, the colt fell to the ground with an echoing thud.

“Charolt has been defeated!” the referee shouted over the cheers Chloe and Zak displayed so eagerly.

“You can still win, Heather,” I whispered to her encouragingly. “Just try to separate them so that they both can’t attack at once.”

“Right,” she said, and tried her best to think up a strategy.

“You can do it,” I repeated as I returned Charolt. Through my mind their ran a thousand questions, and they all were answered with this poor excuse: this was getting far too close to not be a sympathy call. I sighed. I was too far deep in this situation to get myself out. That much was obvious. However, I would make sure that wouldn’t be the same case next time.

I sighed, and went on watching Heather battle. She fought bravely, but all too poorly against the two pokémon.

“Felurn, Ember!” Heather shouted in desperation. For about the tenth time. The kitten jumped up and splayed ball after ball of fire at her opponents.

Finally, two connected on the diving Tailow near its right wing tip. The smell of singed feathers tickled my nostrils as the bird spiraled downward. Before it could make contact with the ground, however, a pale red beam of light caught it and held on. The bird was sucked back into its pokéball.

“Tailow’s out!” shouted the referee. This time, it was my turn to cheer. And cheer I did. Until Chloe ordered a Spark from her Pikachu in a quick attack that sent Felurn spiraling into the air.

Heather sighed, unclipped her pokéball, and caught the kitten in a beam of pale red light.

“Great, now we’ve got to pay up…”

“It was a pleasure to battle you two. I bet we’ll see you tonight at the dance, right?”

I looked down, and realized I was holding Heather’s hand. I quickly withdrew it, and raised it to my cheeks. They were burning up.

“Ah, no…” Heather said quickly, “we’re just friends.”

“Oh, I see… well, the denial phase is always fun,” said Zak. He smiled at Chloe and kissed her on the cheek. “You’ll get over it eventually.

“We’re not in anything,” I said. I glared knives at him.

“If you say so…” He shrugged, and along with his girlfriend left.

“Good riddance,” I mumbled under my breath as I shelled out a centurii to the referee. The 100 hakk bank note was gleefully ripped from my hand. The referee mumbled a thank you and went back to the office of-sorts that was situated behind the referee’s stand.

“You don’t think we are…, do you?” Heather asked.

“Heck no,” I replied quickly. Was it too quickly? Was the things they said really true? I knew what the answer was in my conscious mind. But in my subconscious? Ah… there was where the mystery lied. I guess I’d just have to wait and see.

-----

“I still don’t know why they thought that…” she trailed off, pausing to take a lick of her vanilla cone.

I did likewise, sliding my tongue over the cold, chocolate ice cream that filled the bowl I had bought. I leaned against the railing and looked across the deck: Kody was no where to be seen. He wasn’t really even answering his navi. I had a hunch where he was though. Playing Halo. With a slurpy. In his room.

I smiled. Yep. Or, he was: visiting a Jihad site, with a slurpy, in his room.

Either dreadfully poor way of putting it into Clue form, he was enjoying himself. And also very depressed at the same time. That was what puzzled me about him sometimes. It seemed like the only coping strategy he knew was to let himself immerse himself in a game or fandom. Either way, it ended up failing more often then not.

“So, you want to battle someone else?” Heather asked.

I shook my head. “Nope. Not only are we low on money, but with our pokémon as they are… well, you get the picture. I’ve been seeing a few signs about some training courts below decks. Maybe we should go practice instead?”

“Sounds like… fun,” Heather said kindly.

“How about it then?”

“Sure!”

-----

Giovanni Cristos II looked out over the Persian Sea from the command bridge of the RSS Raider. The average sized destroyer rolled lightly in the breezy sea – by no means gale force windy, but by no means calm either. All around the ship buzzed tiny Tyrant-class patrol craft, moving quickly like the Surskit they looked like.

For the first few hours of the search, he had worried that he would get in trouble with the UN, or the UPA, or even Britain. However, the Rocket Naval Corporation was privately owned and operated, and the only relation they had to the mafia-like organization called Team Rocket was that they shared the same name. Or so the UN thought. Or at least wanted to think. And in some ways it was true. After all, the RNC was paid by Rocket’s leader. It just so happened the leader of RNC and the leader of Team Rocket were one in the same.

Giovanni smiled. The hunt for Archer was progressing rapidly. Nearly all of the Red Sea had been cleared for the Aqua boss. After all, most in Africa and Arabia were still under the UN order to stay away from the coasts due to the evolution of pokémon, and so the scouring of the sea had been easy. Apparently, the electric types had severed all connections, because they still followed that command. Heck, they probably hadn’t even gotten the re-invention of the pokéball, even though it had been out since 2310 – over one hundred years. Well, that was what isolationist policies yielded.

“Sir,” said Grant Jefferson, “it seems that the treating with Jupiter has gone well. Galaxy wishes to join us, and only request they remain an independent – that they aren’t consolidated.”

“Good, Grant. Have you already sent our surveillance psychics in?”
“Yes sir! SPTF Teams Bravo and Charlie have made it to Sinnoh and by the end of the day will be in Galactic installations.”

“That’s good.”

“Giovanni, we will continue to consult mercenary and paramilitary organizations, as well as the many motor cycle gangs of America, Hakkou, and the Sevii Islands.”

“We don’t need them any more.”

“Yes we do sir. Most of them still pledge their forces to Hackley. We cannot let their pokémon genetic manipulation and cloning technologies pay a group ten times larger than their actually main cell. Besides, they are weak. We have eliminated or scattered four of the fifty-some remaining Nebula cells. If we take out the main group that Hackley still controls, there is no longer a Nebula to deal with, but separated factions numbering under one-hundred agents total. With the MC’s, PMC’s, and other teams as our allies, there is little chance their fall will be take longer than a week.”

“But they still have the skill to beat us – the talent that remains in only a handful of our most elite officers.”

“But our grunts alone outnumber them ten to one, Giovanni. Isn’t that enough?”

“Size matters not, numbers count for nothing,” quoted Giovanni from a monk he had met in the Kingdom of Tibet while going on his journey. “You of all people, Grant, should at least remember that. Do you remember where I found you?”

“Yes sir. The Sinnoh Underground.”

“Do you want to go back there? Try to survive against a scrawny kid, half your size? Would you do it with three grunts?”

“No, sir,” Grant quickly replied. He saluted Rocket-style and left.

-----

The sun hung low in the western sky, outlining the small peninsula that held the larger portion of the Indian Ocean from us. I looked back, hardly able to see the larger city that only hours before had loomed menacing and gigantic to me.

A collection of rocks in an arc were just behind the wake of the ferry. And they called them islands. I chuckled. What a joke.

“You ready for the dance?” Kody asked, walking over to me and leaning against the back of the deck, looking out over with me from a trio of pools to the large wake the ferry formed.

“What? Oh, yeah… I guess.”

“Heather told me that you promised to dance with her.” Kody stretched his arms out and sighed. “Thanks.”

“No problem, I guess. She really irks me though.” I glared at Kody. “But when you stormed off like that, she was sort of sad. And then… well, I don’t know. She just… wasn’t as weird.”

“Ah…” Kody said jestingly, “you’re in wuv!”

“No, I’m not,” I replied angrily, glaring once more at him. “I just think that, maybe – and just maybe: I’m not really sure about this – she’s not a total moron. I’m just seeing something about her that I never noticed before.” I looked at Kody coldly. He smiled back. “Just maybe,” I repeated.

“What do you to do together anyways? When I was off somewhere else, I mean.”

“We just battled a couple. Got some ice cream. After that did some training. You didn’t miss much. It’s probably more fun to look up your Jihad site, anyways. Though you did miss Felurn and Charolt frying each other with their ember attacks.

“You really do hate fire-types, don’t you? More than you dislike Heather, I would think.”

“Ten times more,” I replied, shivering automatically. Automatically? The thought rang through my head. If this was just a whole charade and I didn’t dislike fire types because of that attack in Redwood forest by that Charizard, then what? I silently, guiltily knew the answer. I rubbed my hands against my stomach, seeing where a scar still rose, running up my side. Here I was, being a Liberal Democrat, and fearing fire-types because of something I hated but was supposed to agree with. Well, I did agree with it. It was just hate… they were… weird. And how they used pokémon to find pleasure… I shivered all over.

Was it the fault of that Charizard that I had began to fear fire-types? I shook my head…

Maybe it was time to let the old wounds heal. Maybe… Time to let my Charolt be my friend and not a tool. Am I truly ready yet? I though I wasn’t ready to talk to Heather again… And yet I did, and yet it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would. Maybe it wasn’t a fear at all, the fire-types, just a fill-in so that I wasn’t a hypocrite. Unionists where hypocritical, not liberals of any kind.

But maybe I’m not ready… Maybe I still hate Heather… I know I still hate fire-types.

Honestly, I don’t know.

But I know how to find out.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:12 PM
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Default Re: Now and Forever | Genesis

Sorry for the long wait... summer has gotten the best of me. However, I'll soon be into a groove (hopefully) and get ahead. So, expect them weekly again now.

CHAPTER EIGHT
VENOM AFFECT

Aaron Kasul coughed violently, eyes hardly able to open. A small ball of sickness rose in his stomach. He coughed again. Blue lumps rose all over his body, forming a terrain so varied and treacherous, that a miniature-sized mountaineer would have had a field day.

He fell to the floor, the cool tiles refreshingly cool. And yet so hard. Aaron moaned when a rifle butt slammed into his spine. He coughed once more, and spewed bile onto the floor, watery yellow slime almost alive.

This was not how it was supposed to end.

“So, good chap,” said an all-too happy voice behind him. The man jabbed the rifle butt deeper into the blue pokémorph’s scrawny back. “What’ll it be?”

“I don’t know,” Aaron whispered. His voice crackled and gurgled with another ball of bile that cascaded unto the floor.

“Dare I try the fire beds on you? I hear they are quite enjoyable.”

“No… no… Just give me time to think…” Aaron closed his eyes, a pang echoing through his head. It was worse than it had been for the past day and a half, ever since the entire refugee flotilla had been ambushed by a squadron of Rocket subs.

“I certainly will. But don’t expect God to grant you time enough to find a way to escape. Eventually you will join us. They always do… or…”

Or what? Aaron asked himself. He knew… or at least he figured…

“But yes, I’ll go get you a nice little finger sandwich and a glass of tea, aye? And then maybe, later, well… we’ll see,” said the man. Aaron looked up at him. The man, at least he hoped he was a man, left coldly with a joy-filled bounce to his step, violet locks cascading down his body and flying behind him like a cloak of shadows.

I hate you, Aaron shouted in his mind, shrill. I hate you so much.

-----

I sighed as the alarm clock blared in our room on the ferry, waking me with a start. I sat up. And was greeted with an all-too painful knock on the forehead from the all-too low bunk above me.

“Ow!” I screamed in pain, rubbing my forehead vigorously.

Apparently, that woke Kody up. “What did you do that for?”

“For nothing. Actually, I woke up and though ‘Oh, let’s myself on the noggin!’”

“Whatever. Come on, the ferry probably is near to port anyways. By the way,” Kody said with a wink after he jumped down from his bunk. “Saw you two dancing it up last night. You like it?”

“Heck no,” I replied quickly. I smiled, and he didn’t know why. Last night… well… I had figured out a few things. One of them was that hating people, or things was a waste, and in two cases had been entirely pointless. The first was because of misunderstanding; the second was from hiding my homophobia.

I quickly pulled on a shirt. This time, it was a thin white tee. I was perfectly fine with that. After all, December is very hot.

“So, you two talk about me?” Kody asked suspiciously.

“Not really,” I replied. “We only talked about our hopes and our pokémon. She’s sort of irked by you.”

“Really,” Kody said thoughtfully. “Well, I know it’s not my fault,” Kody added, glaring at me. “Anyways, the sooner we can get to her friends house and leave her there, the better.”

“Amen to that,” I said. After all, that had been what we had promised to do. And only just to make sure she got to Ashley something’s house, because of something I had wanted so bad that Heather had given me – dirt on David Williams. “Though, maybe we shouldn’t…”

“What I don’t get, Connor, is why you still go on pretending that you actually enjoyed it. I know you didn’t.”

“Yeah,” I said half-heartedly. I leaned against a wall and thumbed through my pokédex until I came to the HOOVED MAMMALS section of the dex. I read the entry for my pokémon silently as the liner chugged forward towards the now-visible Freede Harbor.

-----

“-and even Ainu has compromised some of their Game Corner profits.

“All is coming together nicely, sir. We have captured the man – he was where you said he would be – and have begun to… convince… him. Hopefully we’ll be pulling our trump out by the end of this day.”

“Thank you, Richard. Tell Harley that he will have his pay in the usual place once we have the prisoner on our side. And drop him a few hundred extra for being so early… It is the fifth still, correct?”

“Yes sir. Harley was commissioned to do so by next Monday, the eighth.”

“Well then, credit him an extra thousand euros. Oh, and give him an Eevee egg at that. He is seriously in need of more pokémon than just a Cacturne.”

“Will do, sir. Will that be all?”

“Yes, Grant. Thank you.”

“Your welcome, sir,” the blonde Dutchman said. He bowed. He then raised his right hand to his left shoulder in an interesting gesture and quickly, fluidly moved his two arms together and a part until his left arm fell to his side and his right arm was raised in a salute, wrist raised slightly so that his hand angled down.

Giovanni returned the favor with a standard salute, and then his aide turned around and exited.

The mob boss stood up, stretching then flicking the dust off his long black overcoat. He chuckled as the his third largest monitor, situated just below the largest one show a small Wingull trying to catch a Frisbee with his two leathery golden feet. Giovanni remembered his first pokémon, a small gull very similar to Wingull, Cigull in Sicillia Region. Now, that Cigull was an Emedra, strong and valiant, somewhere in his pokémon palace back home in Sicillia.

His cream-colored cat rubbed against his hand and he lowered his hand to her furry touch. Persian was his favorite pokémon now, though Emedra did come in a close second. However, the sea eagle was old. Very old, and should have been dead five years ago when it reached the species life expectancy of seventeen.

Persian purred as Giovanni rubbed the little nook between her ears. Her deep red ruby stone set into her skull glowed in satisfaction.

“Well, girl, I think we should go for a walk, don’t you?” Giovanni asked.

The cream-colored cat nodded and slowly stood up, stretching her four limbs, wrapping her long, velvety tail around his outstretched hand.

-----

The L-train skidded to a stop at Patriot Park Station, doors sliding open with a screech. I was the first to get off, and quickly led Kody and Heather through the exit and down the stairs to street level.

“Here it is…” Kody stated.

“Yep,” I replied. “You said you’d meet Ashley here, right?” I said, looking at Heather, who was curling her brown-red hair in boredom.

“Yeah… though she said she might not be able to get here. Something about the annual Kite Festival at Monument Park or something. But she said we should wait here, because she had seen the festival so much it was boring. She gave a time. It might have been two or three.”

“Oh…” Kody said. “Well, we’ve only got one choice, right?”

“Sure.” Heather challenged Kody with her raised hand. “One on one?”

“I don’t think we really have a choice, you know.”

“Okay,” Heather replied. “Whatever.”

Heather walked away to an overgrown field of grass with thin white outlines for the court. I took a position in the middle of the field off to one side and raised my hands. “Okay guys, ready?”

They both nodded in reply.

“Good. One versus one, no subbing, no funny business. You know the rules. Begin!” I shouted boringly.

“Alright, Arbon!” Kody shouted. He raised a pokéball, twirling it into the air as he pressed the button. A red beam shout out, quickly taking the form of his black and green puppy.

“Go, Sneasel!” Heather countered. She raised an identical ball and activated it. A black feline with red tail feathers immerged, long silver claws shining in the mid-day sun.

I smiled. So Heather had two pokémon already? Well, that was okay. At least that meant she only had a fire type as one half of her party instead of her whole party.

I sighed at the thought. There I was again, automatically injecting a hate of the element. Well, practice would change that; at least I hope so.

“Kody’s Herbine, Arbon, versus Heather’s Sneasel! Begin!” I shouted, copying the referee at my parents’ gyms as best as I could.

“Alright,” Kody began, “Arbon, Vine Whip!”

Heather smiled. Apparently, she had trained a bit with Sneasel some time. Maybe it had been when I had challenged the Port Re gym… “Slash it to bits!” Heather shouted.

Her feline nodded loyally, raising both hands, and zipped forward to intercept the Herbine’s attack. The leafy-green twin ropes curled towards the cat as she moved quickly forward, zigzagging towards the two vines. Finally, she brought down her claws. Both vines split in half.

“Arbon, Poison Sting!” Kody offered.

The green and black dog nodded, charging forward, pushing small needles of venom out of his mouth towards the black feline.

“Sneasel, Icy Wind!” Heather shouted.

The feline nodded and shot a small cloud of crystalline vapor towards her opponent. The silvery-blue cloud and silvery pricks of venom shot through each other, both going on to hit their targets. Both targets, in turn, whimpered in pain and retreated back towards their trainers.

“Sneasel, Scratch!” Heather commanded.

The black feline charged forward, one hand raised, the other falling limp to her side, a small needle of venom oozing purple into her body.

“Arbon, Acid Tail!” Kody countered.

The black and green canine whipped his long, supple tail forward towards the Sneasel, and missed by more than four yards. Again the whip-like tail shot forward, and again the forked end of venomous purple energy missed its mark.

“Sneasel, finish him off!”

Heather’s eyes spelled anger at Kody as her feline carried out her order. The black feline raised both arms, and brought them down upon her foe.

It was at this time that three things happened. The first: Sneasel made contact with Herbine’s side. The second: Herbine’s vine-like tail knocked the feline off her feet with a quick snap. And the third: Heather’s Sneasel fell to the ground, a fresh set of venomous bruises on her legs.

Sneasel twitched violently as the poison spread. “I forfeit!” Heather shouted. She quickly ran forward to her cat, shooting a glare at Kody.

“Heather,” I shouted. “Here!” I threw her an antidote spray bottle, and she quickly, vigorously applied it.

“Oh crap,” she said as the blue mist fell over her body. “She’s not going to make it… is she?”

“Quick,” I added, “to the ‘center!”

-----


“Well, I don’t think your Sneasel will be able to go with you tonight. She seems to have been deeply poisoned. Luckily, you used a high quality antidote on it. That helped greatly. But… the poison had already spread much by that time, and so it merely slowed the process. How long, exactly, was it that she had been poisoned?” the nurse asked, wiping her sweaty palms against her white apron.

“Thank you, ma’am,” Heather said, rubbing her eyes.

I looked at my watch. “Ten o’clock,” I murmured under my breath. So much for getting rid of Heather tonight… Kody wouldn’t be happy to hear that.

And was I?

I sighed, thumbing through my pokédex. “Let’s see,” I mumbled, “Charolt is probably Smith’s Scale Level 10 by now, at least. Right?” I quickly scrolled down to the attack list for my colt. I smiled. That meant, if my estimate was right, that his skills and gifts could really be exploited. Including against water-types.

My mouth watered at the thought. A water-type to call my own… Definitely worth having to use a fire-type, of all things to use it.

Once again, my mind danced across the thought. Was I really hating the type? Or was it… the thing that I feared even worse than that?

I wasn’t sure, and quickly pushed it as far away as I could. Just battle, I told myself, even if it means going against your so-called principles.

“Connor, I want to make it up to you,” Heather said, rising from the couch across from me.

“Really,” I grunted in reply, hardly noticing.

“No, seriously. Anything I can do? A movie? How about dinner at one of the nice restaurants on Main Street? Ashley’s told me loads of times that Bistro Bliss is the best restaurant in the province. So, how about it?”

“Maybe,” I replied. I looked back down at my pokédex, playing the part of the indignant jock.

“Hopefully you will,” she said, almost dreamily. “After all, you saved my Sneasel’s life. I owe you big.”

“Yeah…” I said half-heartedly.

“Well,” she said, “good night.”

“Yeah,” I replied.

She scurried quickly off to her room, leaving a small pink and red backpack lazily sprawled out on a couch opposite me.

“Wait! You forget… Oh well, I’ll just take it to her myself.”

I walked over to it, sliding my pokédex back onto its place on my belt, and picked up the backpack. It was rather light, and the cover was loose. I quickly flipped it open. Inside was the usual girl stuff: eye liner, hair shampoo and five other conditioners, as well as the unmentionable items. That was all in a small red bag. Beside it were five pokéballs and a great ball, as well as a laptop.

What the frick? A laptop? And she had made me carry this? I slid it out, guilt playing across my conscience. I booted it up and waited. Hopefully, oh so hopefully, she wouldn’t remember that she had this little backpack out here still. I hoped.

The laptop booted up and the desktop popped up.

Just for the sake of curiosity, I opened up Documents and probed through the files: e-Journal, Poetry, Project Auburn, Short Stories, Fanfiction, School Projects the folders read. I looked at the size count. 470 terrabytes?

Wow was all I could think.

-----

The serene night outside was nothing compared to the stillness of the hallway. Of course, that was mostly because it was ten thirty, and nearly everyone with any sense in them was asleep, or they were still out partying. I would have preferred to be either one of them.

For now, I would face a challenge unseen before in my life.

I walked slowly down the hallway, admiring the criss-crossing patters of the tiling. I traced the lines of the ceiling with my eye. My hands raced along the walls, following the zig-zag of pink against the dull white brick glued together with a cream-white mortar.

To say the least, I was stalling for time.

The backpack was still cupped in my hands, and I felt its heaviness upon my mind. Here was the spark that could ignite the fire of incidental… incidental what? Incidental love? Likeness? Friendship? True hate? Nemesis? Rivalry? Indifference? Boredom? Sibling hood?

Whatever it was, I didn’t want to find out.

Finally, and with a sigh, I knocked on the door of room 58. Slowly, oh so slowly, the sound waves spread. And slowly the door creaked open.

“Heather, fancy seeing you here,” I began, and instantly my whole body broke out in warning. That was about as cheesy as those chick flicks on Disney Channel that I saw at the pass at late nights when flipping channels just for the heck of it. Okay, I admit that maybe I did more than looking at the pass. “Anyways, you left this out there,” I said, shoving the backpack into her.

“Oh… thanks Connor. Um… so have you decided on if you’ll take me up on my offer?” she asked, leaning against the door frame.

“Oh, I guess. But we’re not going to do that alone. Either Kody or your friend – Ashley or whoever, will be with us.”

“Ashley Parker, you mean? About that… I guess she left south for Botantine a few days ago… Figured we were no shows.”

“That’s my fault, isn’t it? If I hadn’t gotten grounded, we could have left a week earlier.”

“Yeah… but I also forgot to remind her. Really,” she shrugged, “it’s no biggie.”

“Though Kody won’t think it’s so small. You know he was somewhat counting down the time he had to put up with you, right?”

“Yeah… I sort of figured that much. After all, he does sort of have a vendetta against me.”

“Well, nice talking to you…” I said, trailing off to the inevitable conclusion.

“Yeah,” she twirled her hair with her finger. “It was great.”

I slowly turned away, walking slowly back towards my room next door.

“Oh, and Connor…” I looked back. Our eyes met. “Thanks.”

I sighed and turned away again as the door swung shut behind me.

Kody would hate me for this…

I would hate me for this…
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  #20  
Old 07-25-2007, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Now and Forever | Genesis

This chapter is pretty long - over 5000 words. So yeah... only two posts though. Good thing they lengthened the limit, or it'd be three...

But this is sort of a mature chapter, just that Connor is differentiating between straight and gay to his Charolt, because he's explaining why he 'hates' fire-types... Hopefully it makes sense, all those (imaginary) people taht are reading.

CHAPTER NINE
CITY SONG

The next day dawned: tendrils of sunlight cascaded through the windows; Pidgeys, Phalks, and Tailows chirped as greater bird pokémon looked down from above, ready to dive in for the kill. I woke up to the sound of the alarm clock. The dull beep bored into my ears like a drill.

I quickly got up, slamming the clock off. I threw my covers off and onto the floor, and slid off the bed. Luckily, it wasn’t a bunk bed, or I would have had the same fate as I had had yesterday.

I pulled on a lime-green polo shirt and with it khaki pants. Finally I found my shoes under Kody’s bed, and with them batted him on the back until he turned over and looked at me with a groan. “Thanks a lot,” he said sarcastically.

“You’re welcome,” I returned. “Listen, um… I have to tell you something about Heather…”

“What?”

“Well, I guess Ashley thought we were no shows… and so she left… Meaning…”

“Meaning no breaking away from her, meaning she’ll stay with us?”

“Exactly!” I said, slowly backing towards the door.

“Why… why… I’m going to kill you!” Kody shouted, charging towards me.

I quickly threw open the door and bolted, glad I had clipped my pokéball onto my belt, just in case.

“Connor, I’m going to get you!” Kody shouted, darting out after me, pokéball clipped on his belt.

“Yeah, well we’ll see about that,” I said, looking back at him and sticking my tongue out, almost playfully.

I suddenly hit something. Hard. I was knocked to the ground, and closed my eyes from the pain of my neck whipping into the tiles. “Ow…” I mumbled. I opened my eyes to see who I knocked down, and it was none other than Alex Ketchum.

“Hello,” Kody said humbly.

“I’m sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ooooooooooooooo sorry!” I exclaimed.

“It’s fine.”

“Actually,” I said, whispering to him. “Kody back there was going to attack me.”

“Ah… so…” Alex said.

We still couldn’t get over it. Here he was, the fourth generation pokémon master en-training, en route to another national championship, no doubt. (Which of course, though I didn’t figure it out at the time, would mean that we had zero chance of winning it ourselves.) “Would you battle us?” Kody said quickly.

“Sure… but I’d probably beat you, unless you’ve been at it for a while…” Alex stated humbly.

“Actually, we just started.”

“Oh. Well, I actually do have a pokémon I’ve recently caught.”

“Oh goodie!” Kody exclaimed.

I sighed and nearly laughed as Kody walked up to Alex and shook his hand.

“Glad to meet you, okay, let’s battle!” Kody said quickly. Ah, the sweetness of fan boy obsessions.

“I’ll get Heather, you two can start!” I shouted, as Kody led Alex out of the pokémon center to the nearest battle park, which was Millennium Battle Park. We had planned to go there anyways and then challenge the gym this evening or tomorrow.

“Sweet!” Kody shouted back.

I sighed and walked back to our room, and then over one to Heather’s. I quickly rapped on the door and waited patiently for it to open. Heather did so shortly and met me with a smile.

“Hey. So, are we going to Millennium Battle Park already?”

“Yeah. You wouldn’t believe it, actually. We ran into Alex Ketchum. Literally, actually.” I rubbed my chest, where a bruise was already forming. “Kody is battling him probably right now.”

“Really, let’s go!” Heather exclaimed. She burst past me and ran down the hall.

I chased after her quickly, almost laughing. But, that wasn’t until after I had gone back into our room and grabbed a 12-pack of Silver Bullets along the way. Hey, what can I say? I like my energy drinks.

-----

“Arbon, Poison Sting!” Kody shouted in Millennium Battle Park for what I figured was the hundredth time.

“Rinit, Shadow Fang!” Alex countered. He commanded a young raccoon with black rings around his eyes and a dark grey and light grey bloody patterned very similarly to that of a Zigzagoon, mostly because they were related very closely, excepting the thousands of miles in between the two. I smiled that at least something in Advanced Biology had paid off, and slowly closed off the thought, watching the battle progress.

Alex Ketchum’s raccoon had beaten Kody’s canine to its prey, and so was the first to sink his teeth into his opponent. Of course, momentum still carried him, and he ended up swing around, and then back, nearly ripping out a huge piece of Herbine’s fleshy stomach. It was, as the raccoon pokémon swung back that Herbine managed to grip his opponent with his fangs, surrounded in a purplish aura.

“Rinit, Revenge!” Alex shouted.

Revenge is an interesting attack, in that it seems physical and special at the same time. In fact, at least according to the grip of Techniometrics I have, it is in a category that only a few other rare attacks are placed in, in that it takes the energy of its opponent attack and uses it. Somewhat like Reflect and Light Screen, except it bites back instead of just taunting. Or… something like that. I nearly failed the course this year, so what can you expect?

I waved to Kody rather strangely. He looked at me, confused, and then noticed the empty pack of energy drinks. You can fill in the blanks...

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes, so Rinit’s Revenge attack glowed red and struck Arbon and knocked him down. And so the battle was over and Herbine was returned and Alex paraded his victory about. And so I found myself, in my caffeine-high state, challenging the Master of Training himself with my best friend and a friend I happened to like today more than, say, a week ago watching me.

“All right!” I shouted. It wasn’t like how I usually spoke, as it was high pitched and squeaky. Like a said, really super hyper high on caffeine and everything. “Charolt, go get ‘em! Yipee!”

By the way, it was about at this time that the caffeine faded from my system and a mother of killer headaches filled my mind. Meanwhile, Alex called out his pokémon – this time also a local pokémon, but this time a water- and flying-type called Altroan.

Altroan is a very dull pokémon, and of course my headache did nothing to help the situation. As I watched the plain brown and green mallard sit calmly on the soft grassy loam of the battle park, my mind worked slowly, hampered much by the headache (did I mention that yet? As you can tell, I am writing this down in another caffeine high…) to create a strategy.

It didn’t look good, as I already was a type down. And of course, it was one of the mother of all type advantages. One that could kill an unwary fire-type such as Charmander or Cubno, especially if it managed to extinguish their tail flame.

“You ready, Connor?” Alex asked, looking rather concerned.

I didn’t blame him. I was jittering all over, almost like I was in a seizure, which of course I wasn’t. “Yes,” I managed to hear myself saying through my searing headache. It was about that time that the fact that this wasn’t exactly going to turn out good in my favor. I ignored that fact.

“All right then, Altroan, Water Gun!” Alex said simply.

The duck honked in reply and swooped upward, ready to release a deadly jet of water.

“Let’s see,” I thought aloud. “Charolt, Shadow Ball!” I said, knowing it was one of the only options I had. Fire attack would do little affect… unless… I would save that thought, I thought to myself, for later on in the battle when I could take advantage of it.

My colt nodded, if begrudged. I quickly and quietly reminded myself to talk to him after the battle and a visit to the pokémon center, and work out the hate we had developed on the first few days of our journey together. He played a ball of writhing purple-black energy towards its opponent, and it just so happened to be a well aimed one, or possibly a luckily aimed one – whichever one, you can decide, probably the latter – and collided with the jet of iridescent blue water, pushing it back into the mallard’s maw. The duck was pushed back. It fell, or at least half so, as it also failed to get control by flapping his feathery wings rapidly, back towards Alex Ketchum.

That first clash ended, I quickly modified my strategy. “Charolt, Tackle!” I shouted hoarsely.

My colt charged forward, questioning me, but nonetheless obeying, and charged towards the duck. The duck, still on the ground, quickly tried to soar upwards. However, this attempt was failing.

Alex was forced to order a counterattack, which he probably would of anyway. “Water Gun, and finish it.”

I smiled. Remember that little affect I mentioned before? Well, this was just about the situation I had wanted. Though, I would have preferred the Altroan to not be trying to fly upwards. But other than that…

“Ember!” I countered calmly. My colt emitted a flurry of fiery energy at the incoming beam of water.

“It isn’t going to work,” I heard Heather say from somewhere behind me.

The steam that quickly rose over the battlefield proved her wrong.

“Now, Shadow Ball until you can locate it, then Tackle it to the ground, and trample it if it hasn’t fainted yet!” I shouted.

Alex glared at me cruelly. “Altroan, try to fly up! If you can’t get ready to dodge that Shadow Balls or hit them with a Water Gun- ”

But he was cut off from continuing, as my colt released its first onslaught. The duck quacked loudly and skip-hopped out of the way. A stream of watery energy shot through the steamy fray, and was followed by an out-of-control ball of black-purple energy.

I sighed in relief as my colt came galloping back towards me.

Obviously, I had won.

No, we had won.

I ran out to my Charolt and stroked his side, careful not to touch the flame. For though I had traced my disliking of fire-types to homophobia, I still didn’t want to get consumed in fire. I lowered my eyes to his level, recalling that from what I think was from a Year 4 unit in Science about Communicative Science.

It’s horribly lucky that nearly all pokémon species can understand English (which is one of the only languages in use on Earth, other than the tribal languages of Africa and Arabia, Alaska and South America, where during the Great Civil Wars they reverted back to primeval instincts, for some reason.), or I would have been toast. Only a few young adults were known to have mastered Basic Pokémonic, which was more based on telepathy. It wasn’t a coincidence that most of them were telepaths, including, though I didn’t know it – either the telepathy part or the Basic Pokémonic part – the man I had just defeated in battle.

“Hey guy, thanks a lot for fighting hard.” I nuzzled against his muzzle, strangely disturbed by the gesture. “Listen,” I forced myself to say, “we’ve not really understood each other, have we?”

The colt nodded in reply. “Char… ar… olt. Olt.” Of course I didn’t understand.

“He said ‘Yeah, but that’s both our faults,’” Alex said, walking up to me. “I know Basic, if you want me to translate.”

“Um… sure?” I asked confusedly. Great, what was next, David’s goth sister being psychic? Ironically, I wasn’t far off the mark with that muse.

“All right.”

“Thanks…” I lowered myself back to Charolt’s level. “So, you know, we didn’t really hit it off… but let me begin from the beginning.”

“Alright,” Alex translated.

“Good. If you can understand this, I didn’t really like fire-types. Can you understand?”

Charolt nodded, which of course required no translation.

“Yes, he-”

“-I sort of understood that… Anyways, for a long time, actually until a little while after we met, I didn’t know why I didn’t like them. If you know what a Charizard is, well, I was attacked by one a few years ago. And I was hurt really bad, and so my parents wouldn’t let me go out or anything. But, as I actually figured out just a while ago… it wasn’t that sort of thing that bothered me.

“Now, how to explain this… um… Charolt, do you know what homosexuals are?” I asked, shivering all over from saying it.

Charolt shook his head ‘no’. “Well,” I looked at Andrew this time. “Do you know if pokémon understand it?”

He nodded yes, and added, “Usually.”

“Well, it’s something that I don’t really think should happen, but believe people have the right… but that’s just politics. What it is this: if, for example, but this will never happen, I had romantic interest in Heather. That would be heterosexual, and is perfectly normal for human beings and for pokémon. Understand?”

“He says that he does, but that it doesn’t really seem to explain you hating him.”

“I’ll get to that, okay?”

“Char,” nodded my colt.

“But, now say that I took a romantic interest in Kody. Which, I must add, shall never, ever, in five million years happen. That would be homosexual, and that is not normal…”

“Of course, since that group of people is sort of a group on its own, they aren’t exactly the same as the normal society… you see they tend to do things with pokémon, or at least some of them do, that offend most people. These are dirty things that we shouldn’t even know about, but of course someone had to add it to a Wikipedia entry about ice-types. But what they due is sick and wrong. That offends me.

“But that doesn’t exclaim my dislike of fire-types either, does it?”

Charolt nodded as if he understood.

“What bothers me is that, well, do you know what co-ordinators are?”

Charolt nodded again.

“Good. Co-ordinators you see are, if they are male, usually accused of being the aforementioned group of people that I don’t like. Anyways, I was at a convention in my town and was watching a very good co-ordinator battling in the final round. I think his name was Harley or something. Unfortunately, when he won, he was met by his boyfriend… which made me throw up into my popcorn cup. Of course, he used fire-types… That was a few months after I was attack by Charizard, and so it seemed that there was little difference between me disliking fire-types because I had just been attack by one, and of course, my homophobia.

“And that’s why I ‘hate’ fire-types. Can you understand that?”

“He says that you are somewhat shallow. But yes, he understands you. That doesn’t me your even though.”

“Good.” I crouched down below his eyes, looking up at him humbly. “Now, can you forgive me?” I asked.

Charolt nodded, and I stood up, shouting for joy.

Well, that was one part of correcting my poorly formed hates…

Now it would soon be time for the other half.

“You mind going back into your pokéball now?” I asked Charolt quickly.

He nodded and was quickly sucked up into his spherical ball, which I clipped back unto my neck chain.

I slowly walked back over to Kody and Heather.

“So, now that we have that done with…” Kody said, “we should probably work on moving out…”

“Sure, Kody. We’ll definitely leave tomorrow after I challenge the gym… If you mind, I happened to have promised to go out to lunch with Heather. Unfortunately, I promised to do so alone,” I stated bluntly. I shook my head mentally for changing my promise in her favor. “As she owes me for saving her Sneasel.”

“You what? Are you joking? This is a bunch of crap!” Kody exclaimed. “Why you little- ”

“I’m sorry Kody. I didn’t really want too… but you know…” I said quietly to him.

I then turned to Heather, who glared at me angrily. “Will you still take me up on your offer?” I asked quickly, forcing it out before she could yell at me. I had already made one friend angry. Could I make both angry at one time?

She frowned then suppressed it with a smile. “I guess… but I have to… reiterate a few things to you, including that ‘it’ll never happen’ phrase.”

“Whatever,” I said, falling back into my old bored-of-you attitude. I quickly pushed it away and followed her out of Millenium Battle Park.

“Okay. Come on, we’re going to hit Bistro Bliss on Freede Harbor.” As we left the field in which we had battled, she whispered over my shoulder to me, “Thank you for coming alone.”

I smiled bleakly.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: Now and Forever | Genesis

So, let us review the current situation:

I was about to go on what I certainly didn’t want to but what would most likely end up being a date with Heather.

I had recently professed my homophobia to my first and (currently) only pokémon, Charolt.

Kody was as pissed off at me as possible, as I was about to go what I certainly didn’t want to but would most likely end up being a date with Heather, which Kody happened to totally hate.

So Heather and I left Millenium Battle Park to go to Bistro Bliss, which I’m guessing would end with a kiss. No matter how much I disliked the thought of that, I managed to go along with it anyway. Maybe it was my subconscious steering me in the right direction. I’d put a higher bet in the fact I was at the worst part of the nearest thing to a caffeine hangover, which is a lot like a real hangover. Or so I’m told. Because, of course, I’ve never drunk. Not meaning that I haven’t tried.

But since I was leaving with Heather to downtown Freede, I left Kody and Alex together in the middle of a battle park. This is his version of what happened, at least as far as Kody is concerned; though, from what Alex told me about it, I doubt some parts of it.

-----

I glared at Connor as he left, holding Heather’s arm all too closely. That little S.O.B! I kicked angrily at the ground and cussed under my breath.

I sighed as the sun shot through the trees and a trainer on the court next to us shouted as loud as he could, “Hey, isn’t that Alex Ketchum?”

Minutes later, about one-hundred trainers were crowded around the both of us, each asking for a battle.

“All right, two at a time, you’ll be battling me and my friend. Any questions?” Alex finally managed to scream over the din.

“So, who wants to go first?” I added.

Two twins stepped forward, each dressed nearly alike. The first favored green ribbons over her blonde locks and a green dress, while the second favored red ribbons over her brunette locks and a red dress to cover her perfect skin.

“We’ll battle,” the green-dressed one said. “I’m Henrietta, and that’s Yale.”

“We’ve both made it into the Hakkou National Cup. I’m sure your friend can’t say the same thing, Alex.”

“Actually, he already has six pokémon, even if he looks like a noob.”

“I do?” I asked quietly as the twins took a position on the opposite side of the battle court.

“Yeah, here,” he said, handing me five pokéballs. Actually, they were ultra balls and shone in the midday sun, the light reflecting off their sleek black finish. Special ultra balls in fact – custom made.

“I’ve a license to carry twelve anyways.”

“Why?”

“Confidential. Can’t tell, but it has something to do with Team Angel.”

“Oh,” I said, as I replaced the five empty pokéballs on my belt with the Alex’s five.

“You ready then?”

“Well, it’d help to know which ones you have in here,” I stated matter-of-factly, “but other than that, yes.”

“Good. I’ve done this before. Believe me, it gets boring real fast. So, if you’ve got a Nintento Playcube or something similar, get ready to use it. Glad I have my Bulldog Mini on me.”

“Okay,” I said nervously, thinking about pulling out my Navi, but deciding not to. “Let’s kick some Alex-loving ass.”

“We’re ready!” Alex announced. “We’ll choose first. Go, Dragonite!”

“Go!” I added. Both our pokéballs flooded the grassy court in red light; Alex’s took the form of an orange dragon. Mine… or rather also Alex’s… took the form of a powerful grass-type with a mushroom cap atop her head and two powerful fists, balled together, ready for a fight.

“He does have powerful pokémon,” I heard one – I think it was Henrietta – say in amazement. “No matter. Go, Thundyk!”

“And Fernyk!” Yale added.

The two pokémon I knew well – they were quite popular in the western islands. Both were psychics, and evolved from the same pokémon.

The two pokémon looked like twins, each having an orange-red or golden band running down the center of their humanoid bodies. On either side was light grey skin that ran down to the knees and out to the elbows, where orange-red or golden yellow again took their turn. Each psychic’s head was the same light grey, except for mastering brown-green pupils and a small mark above the eyes at the forehead. Thundyk boasted a golden yellow thunderbolt, streaking down from the ridge atop the head to just above where the eyes began. Fernyk, meanwhile, flashed a volcanic symbol that spread out above the highs, the cap just below the ridge on top of the head.

“Dragonite and Breloom versus Thundyk and Fernyk!” shouted a guy who had stepped forward, fashioning himself as a referee.

“Don’t worry about type advantages. Breloom is above Smith’s Scale level 95. Fat chance either of the two over there are past 60. And as for my Dragonite… he’s at least over 120. Last time I brought him in to be tested, he scored level 110, and that was last month… so yeah… we’ve got these battles in the bag, in case you had any doubts.”

“Thanks,” I said bluntly.

“Begin!” shouted the referee.

“All right,” Alex whispered to me. “You distract both of them, or try to, and I’ll get Dragonite to go in for the kill.”

“Okay,” I said. “Breloom, Mega Drain them!”

“Good,” he said quietly. “Dragonite, Mako 7!”

“What the heck is that?” I whispered loudly.

“Oh… you’ll see. Did you watch the Japanese National Cup last year?”

“I remember now, but wasn’t that Echo 7?”

“Same thing, just a different name.”

I smiled, glad to be watching a master at work instead of on the receiving end like I had been.

“Now, distract them,” Alex said silently in my mind.

Wait a minute, in my mind? What the heck?

“Don’t be alarmed. How do you think I talked to Connor’s Charolt?”

“I just thought you were really good,” I thought back. Then, I shouted, “Breloom, Mach Punch!”

The grass-type humanoid charged forward. Her fist rose above her head prepared to do her master’s bidding.

It was at about this time that Dragonite dove down towards the two psychics, playing a beam of golden energy at the both of them. The beam was so large and powerful that Breloom automatically jumped back as it engulfed the two psychic humanoids in golden light.

Quickly, Henrietta and Yale returned their pokémon and stepped away, sulking.
“All right,” I shouted all too confidently, “who’s next?”

-----

“It isn’t really a bistro, is it?” I asked quietly as walked onto the patio. Small, circular tables sat atop the bright black brick. The only larger opening led to the counter.

“Yeah… more of a café – for trainers mostly. It is on the main tourist strip though, so expect to shell a thousand hakks…”

The man standing behind the counter looked up at us, rubbing the stubs of a grisly beard with his hand thoughtfully. He next stepped back so we could see the menu. It was printed in a plain, cheap script across the back wall, with the occasional new sheet tacked on to cover an old price with a new one. On either end of the small, cramped room was a door that, I assumed, led into the kitchen area.

“I’m planning on it,” I said weakly as we walked up, scanning the board for good choices.

“What you want,” the man said in a hard Bostonian accent.

“What is there?” Heather asked curiously.

“We got mean Torchic wings, and our Tauros burgers aren’t that bad. But our sandwiches are the best on the island… they all come with fries and onion rings and a drink, in case you didn’t figure it out…”

“My treat, right?” I said to Heather as I began my order. “The club sandwich sounds good. Which meats – Torchic, Tauros, what else?”

“Miltank and the GM beef they’ve been working on… it’s 1599, if you care.”

“Okay, that sounds good. The whole meal, then.”

“And I’ll take a pair of Torchic wings, crisp, with lots of sauce,” Heather added.

“It’ll be right up - the meal, right?” Heather nodded in reply. “Total’s 3708 – with tax 4171 and a five tenths,” though it sounded more like ‘tence’.

“Thanks,” I said as I brought out a five thousand note and a half hakk to go with it.

“Eight hundred and twenty nine back at you,” he said as his fingers worked like clockwork on the register. It clicked open and the man set the notes on the counter, the ancient machine moaning as he slammed its belly back shut.

“Thanks,” I repeated as Heather and I walked away from the counter to grab our drinks and then find a table.

We sat down, setting our King’s Cola – one Cherry and one Lemon-Lime – onto the table. The 30 oz. bottles were rather plain, but nonetheless their innards thirst quenching. We both took long, enjoyable sips. Finally, Heather set her green-yellow cola down.

“So… about what you said about never being interested in me…” she said, looking up at me with her deep green eyes, grinning in an evil way. “You were lying, weren’t you?” she cracked open her Dew and took a sip while I searched for an answer.

“Well, I guess you never know…” I began.

“Wrong,” she stated simply. “I can tell you like me right now,” she added accusingly.

“That’s just… incorrect. I don’t like you, okay. Not romantically. As a friend…” I shrugged, “sure. Actually, you know I used to hate you as much as Kody now does. Don’t make me go back like that.”

“Oh…” Heather looked away as the man brought us our food. She curled her hair angrily with one finger, dipping a fry into the barbeque sauce that flowed over and around the tantalizing Torchic meat. “Well… when you want to tell the truth, we’ll talk about it…”

“Yeah,” I replied half heartedly, glad as could be for that bit of conversation to pass. “Hey, what do think Kody and Alex are doing?”

“If I can think of anything, it might be that they’re challenged by a mob of kids. Remember when that happened on Ash Ketchum’s TV show about his journey?”

I chuckled, sinking my teeth into the thick sandwich, the freshness of it astounding. In between chews, I said, “Yeah… that happened… like twenty times, didn’t it?”

“Around that much… and I bet Kody is playing the role of his fiancé, Dawn.”

“Something like that,” I replied, looking away.

A cold silence fell over the table, and it veiled most of the rest of our meal.

-----

“So what’s that, the thirtieth battle?” I asked Alex Ketchum bleakly.

“Yeah, Kody, something like that,” he mumbled, not even looking up from his Bulldog Mini, a small handheld gaming system much like Nintendo’s Playcube.

I don’t know how that guy managed to deal with it.

“Aggron,” I commanded, “Hyper Beam!”

“Pidgeot, Swift!” Alex added.

Alex’s two pokémon – the first a steel-armored grey behemoth, the second a cream-white and brown winged eagle with a long red and gold ribbon stemming from his head.

Pidgeot collided with its first opponent, a Manectric, by shooting small stars of gold energy at it.

Meanwhile, Aggron knocked the other opponent, a Flygon, down to the ground with a wide beam of energy that made a crater in the ground.

“Return,” the opposing trainers said, the first a tall guy with blonde hair, and the second a girl that looked at him constantly for support. They left together arm in arm.

“When will this be over!” I exclaimed, hating Connor for this. After it all, it was his fault – his and Heather’s. I kicked the dirt angrily, as two new opponents came forward.

They called out Sandshrew and Chimecho, and Alex’s two pokémon went to work, flowing coercively together to make short work of them.

I finally fell to temptation and pulled out my pokénav, opening a mindless game of solitaire.

-----

The silence finally was broken as Heather got up to dump her leftovers into a trash bin.

When she came back, she was grinning mischievously.

“What?” I asked.

“Oh… you’ll see…”

“What is it?” I asked again. I did so for two reasons – the first because I was curious, and the second because I had a feeling she was going to get revenge.

“Oh, I just got us tickets to go out on a catching safari in the forest. It’s mostly protected, after all. They sell them nearly everywhere.”

“Only two?”

She nodded.

“You know what, I can’t do this!” I exclaimed, as I got up and threw away my trash.

“Come on, Connor, we’ll just go as friends, then, it doesn’t matter,” she said innocently, twirling her finger as she often had done. How could she weed me out like that so quickly? And how could I turn that down?
Certainly not.

“Oh… fine…” I finally said, “but no lovey dovey fluff or anything like that…”

“Good. Come on then, we’ve got to get to Fifth and Brunswick in five minutes,” she said, standing up and pushing in her chair. She left the café, and I quickly ran after her so as not to get lost.

What the hell was I thinking?

-----

The safari bus we rode in was crowded to say the least. My legs were crushed against the seat in front of me, and Heather was pushed against me all too close for comfort.

“And to your left is Millennium Battle Park – and oh! It looks like we have a popular trainer there. Remember that when you get back – he’ll probably still be there.”

I chuckled at that.

“Anyways, folks, we are moving out of the town now to the small area where catching is allowed. Called Silur Woods, it was donated by the president of Silur Corporation, Mr. Wood, who has a mansion nearby. He intended this piece of property to be for trainers, as there were few other places in the forest where catching is allowed – and none, mind you, by the city of Freede. There are some by the small villages of Hanover and Bristol, but they are very hard to get to as both those towns have virtually no ports and few good roads leading to them. So, this is called Silur Woods because of Mr. Wood, and is a great place for catching pokémon.

“We are going to be getting off here, the first of our three catching stops. Let’s say that you get back here at three o’clock. It’s two thirty now, so that should give you ample time to find a pokémon and try to catch it.”

“Let’s go!” Heather said excitedly. She stood up, nearly hitting her head on the ceiling (which of course I did. Lucky me) and filing in to the long line of eager trainers preparing to catch a pokémon.

“Wait up!” I shouted as a few trainers pushed past my attempts to get in. By the time I got off the bus, Heather was already out of sight.

“Oh well,” I said to myself, “at the least, now I’ll be able to be on my own.”

I quickly ran out into the forest, falling a sketchy path towards what sounded like a small creek.

A half hour later I returned with no pokémon to speak of and boarded the bus again.

“Any luck yourself?” I asked Heather as she crammed in next to me.

She nodded. “Caught a Tailow.”

“Ah… nice,” I stated as the safari bus roared to life and rolled out of Silur Woods along the two track. Tailow weren’t all super common like, say, Rattata, but still they were down here a lot. Epecially during summer. The other half of the time they were up in Hoenn, parts of China, and Taiwan.

“You?”

I only replied by shaking my head.

“Our next destination is another area donated by Mr. Wood, this one named after his youngest daughter, Cherry. Cherry Woods is, in fact, an area where there are numerous streams, intersecting at a small lake, where many small water pokémon are abundant. Other than that, however, there are also many pokémon that depend more heavily on water consumption such as water and grass-type pokémon. Fire pokémon, unfortunately, are quite rare. However, we are also visiting a small area where mountain pokémon are abundant, and some fire-types are there as well. That said, we are nearly at our Cherry Woods stop. Let’s try to be back here in forty minutes: may the catching begin!”

“Here we go again,” I thought aloud. I followed Heather through the slow moving line out of the bus and then walked briskly out into the forest with her.

We walked for a while, the ambience of the forest thrilling us. I noticed the way the foot-long leaves swayed gentle in the wafts of the ocean breeze. The sultry scent was still noticeable, but minimally so. The narrator on our bus had had a way of distracting you from the amount of land you were crossing, and so I was amazed at how far in we truly were. Green was everywhere. It was, really, a lot like the forest surrounding my own home on Rio Grande Ridge. Only it was bigger. And meaner, though I didn’t believe this until a heavy scream echoed through the area.

“What was that?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “But let’s not find out.”

We stopped and sat. My fingers slid down to my belt, ready to release my Charolt.

Another scream echoed through the area, this one much closer.

“This might be trouble.” As I spoke, I looked up the main path. To my horror, a handful of trainers were running towards us for their lives. Behind them, I could make out a feint shadow. The beast was large and stood erect, tank-like body thundering through the light undergrowth. As it drew closer I could tell what it was, and that those trainers had good reason to run.

It was an Ursaring.
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