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ENFP 9w1
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Discussion Starter #1
pokemon.jpg

Overview:
It's the year 2019, and Kanto has become a hotbed for social interaction. Smartphones, World Wide Web, and websites like Personality Cafe, have given people new ways to connect like never before. Larger cities like Celadon City, Saffron City, and Cerulean City, have become diverse metropolitan areas packed with residents, merchants, entrepreneurs and other professionals, philanthropists, and travelers from all over the world. Consequently, the crime rate has peaked, as drug trafficking, poaching, and gang violence thrive in the less secure corners of each town.

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Region: Kanto
Year: 2019
Layout:
kantomaplabeled.jpg kantomaplarge.jpg

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Rules:
You can join or leave the story at any time, just be mindful of these three things.

1. Use Bulbapedia as the information database for towns, side characters, pokemon, and items. It also has a convenient search feature, so you can easily search the name of something you aren't familiar with (but if no luck, then just use google).

2. Make a Character Post:
-- Your character must be human (although they need not be good humans).
-- Mention their MBTI type (or "unknown" if you don't know it)
-- Describe them physically and mentally, and explain what they're doing in Kanto.
-- Although your character may own more than three pokemon, you can only carry and control up to three at a time.
-- List each of your character's pokemon, each of their levels (basically their age, from 1-100), and each of their movesets; a moveset contains up to four moves, each of which can be used in infinite ways (Bulbapedia will show all possible moves for each pokemon).

-- Pokemon can be swapped out later, so don't get hung up if you can't decide which pokemon to start out with, or if you don't yet know all of the pokemon there are to choose from. Moves can change too, as the pokemon grows or through the use of a TM.

-- After your Character Post, you can begin contributing to the story, by describing your characters actions, thoughts, and feelings.

3. You can't harm, trap, or control another author's character or their pokemon without that author's permission, but you can harm non-playable characters; so for example, it'd be illegal to directly attack another author's pikachu without permission, but you could command your lucario to high jump kick some random gang leader off a cliff if you really wanted to. This rule is because fight scenes between authors gets complicated over writing. However, while you can't directly hurt each other, you can still perform competitive stunts like create walls that would be difficult to bypass without the right Pokemon or strategy.

4. ((Anyone may use double parenthesis at anytime to indicate an out-of-character message. Although if you forget this convention it's okay))
 

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INFP 6w5 629
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*

Character: Mina, INTJ(?) female

Age: 10 (might be changed)

Goal: "To be the very worst like no one ever was." in other words, she wants to become the world champion so that no one else can be.

Physical: See picture. When she isn't wearing a dress, she may be wearing shorts with a sweater tied at the hip.

Personality: Confrontational, but not usually abrasive. Smart but naive. Arrogant. Likes GARNiDELiA, but you'll never catch her listening to anything but metal.

Family: Mina has a home in Pallet Town. Mother is never home, but she adores her older brother. He's in the process of some pokedex research thing, but before he went, he took a nidoran♀ he bred, exp. shared it once, handed it to her and said, "You're set." He left without saying goodbye the next morning. Neither has contacted the other since, but for different reasons.

Pokemon:
Nidoran♀ "Nali" Lv. 2 Poison
"A mild-mannered Pokémon that does not like to fight. Beware, its small horns secrete venom."

Scratch
Scratches the foe with sharp claws.
Growl
The user growls in a cute way, making the foe lower its Attack. stat.
Charm(?)
Charms the foe and sharply reduces its Attack.


*No, I didn't draw this. I only changed some colors.
 

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ENFP 9w1
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
gillianflying.png
Character: Gillian, ENFP (type 7), male

Age: 16

Goal: "To obtain a girlfriend." What he means, is that although he enjoys being single, he wants to experience partnership.

Physical: See picture. He's usually outside in his durable work clothes, but when he plans to spend time indoors, he wears jeans and colorful button ups.

Personality: Boyish. Optimistic. Affectionate but tries to hold back. Can become unfocused when excited. Protective, and considers people from his hometown as family. His dream is to one day visit a school for breeders.

Family: Gillian lives on a small ranch in Pallet town, with his uncle and two older sisters. They earn their living by selling milk, both locally and to distant buyers. When he makes long distance deliveries, his uncle lets him ride the family's prized Meganium, a grass type creature which the family uses to grow crops.

Pokemon:

Meganium ♀ "Ruby" Lv. 40 Grass rsz_1meganium.png
"Meganium's breath has the power to revive dead grass and plants. It can make them healthy again."

grassy terrain - "The user turns the ground to grass for five turns. This restores the HP of Pokémon on the ground a little every turn and powers up Grass type-moves."
frenzy plant - "The user slams the target with an enormous tree. The user can't move on the next turn."
aroma therapy - "Heals all status problems with a soothing scent."
energy ball - "The user draws power from nature" and fires it at the target. This may also lower the target's Sp. Def stat."

Pidgey ♂ "Pokey" Lv. 5 Normal/Flying rsz_1pidgey.png
"Does not like to fight. It hides in tall grass and so on, foraging for food such as small bugs. "

tackle - "Charges the target with a full-body tackle."
sand attack - "Lowers accuracy of target by hurling sand in its face."
gust - "Hits target with a gust of wind whipped up by wings."

Miltank ♀ "Cream" Lv. 12 Normal rsz_1miltank.png
"If it has just had a baby, the milk it produces contains much more nutrition than usual."

growl - "The user growls in a cute way, making the foe lower its Attack. stat."
defense curl - "The user curls up to conceal weak spots and raise its Defense stat."
stomp - "The foe is stomped with a big foot. It may make the foe flinch."
milk drink - "Heals the user by up to half its full HP. It can be used to heal an ally."



((If you can't post pictures yet, you can always edit your character post later. Also, don't feel pressured to use sprites, you can use any kind of picture you want. But if you do want to use sprites, you can find them online and resize them, or I can help you crop them from sprite sheets.))
 

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Character: Hazel, ENFJ, 7w6, so/sx.
Age: 23
Height: 5'4

Goal: A prima donna girl. To find a handsome, clever, rich husband in order to settle and never have to work.

Personality: Lively and playful. Although perfectly able to care for herself given her respectable education, she loves to play Damsel in Distress.

Family: Hazel's mother, cheerful and ambitious, is a florist, whose flower arrangements are highly desired across the Kanto region, and thus seldom ever home. The father, stoic and sarcastic, is a closeted homosexual who never leaves the home due to a chronic depression. He's a freelance writer.

Pokemon:-

Vulpix ♂:
Timid in nature. Freely controls fire; sprouts more tails as it grows.

Confuse Ray: Confuse target.
Ember: Breathes small flame, with chance of burning target.
Quick Attack: Rams into target.
Will-O-Wisp: Burns target, but no damage on impact.

Oddish ♂:

Absorb: Damages target, and heals a percentage of the damage dealt.
Acid: Attacks target, with chance of lowering their defence.
Poison Powder: Poisons target.
Tackle: Tackles target.
 

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ENFP 9w1
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67 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Viridian Forest is "a forest which lies between Viridian City and Pewter City in the middle of Route 2. The deep and sprawling forest is said to be a natural maze as many people get lost inside." The trees in the forest are so thick that little light gets in, and because of this the forest is full of bugs and birds, which attract bug-catchers and other trainers.

Gillian rode through the forest atop his meganium. Its saddle jangled with thick glass bottles, notebooks, and pokeballs bound by ropes around the beast's side.

He rose a steel cage to a bright fault in the forest's ceiling, and called out, "Pokey!" His pidgey darted from its prison into the sky. He commanded, "Down!", and it nose dived behind him. He had named the bird "Pokey", because he could feel its talons through the arm-perch when it landed. "Return!" The bird leveled out before hitting the floor, and grabbed onto his outstretched, protected right arm with a flap to kill its momentum.

They rode on further until they entered a large clearing, containing only a single enormous tree at its center. From the tree hung more glass bottles, a tire swing, and a latter leading into a treehouse.

Gillian used this area to train pokemon, because he had read they were intuitive creatures, which would, after some days of repetition, understand him. "Up!" He gently threw his right arm, and Pokey fluttered above him in the open field.

* *

He stroked the neck of his meganium, and spoke in a soft voice. "Ruby... Through the middle... Are you ready?" He leaned to see the side of her large yellow eyes, and then pointed at the large tire swing. The meganium turned them to face the swing.

In the distance beyond the swing, about a quarter mile behind the foliage and trees that surrounded them, he heard the sound of other human beings. Judging by the pitch of their voices, they were around his age. He would have commanded Ruby to walk in their direction, but he had already just communicated that he wanted to train, and she would lose the will to participate if he changed his mind too much.

"Pokey, the tire swing!" The boy pointed, and the bird fluttered to perch on the swing. "Energy Ball!" He patted the meganium's neck, and vapor rose from the grass around her feet into her gaping mouth. "Pokey, up!" The bird fluttered straight upward, as a bright green flash shone from Ruby's mouth through the center of the tire, causing it to spin and swing.

"Down!" The bird lost altitude, but because the tire was still spinning, Pokey continued flapping in front of it, suspended in midair.

"Energy Ball!" Repetitiously he commanded Ruby to attack the tire swing while Pokey was in the way, "Up!", to sharpen the bird's agility.

Again, he heard the screech of laughter nearby, and lost his focus. He decided they had trained enough for the day. Upon reaching for his journal, he could distinguish feminine voices among the choir of people now entering the forest. He hoped that if he stayed a bit longer, then a group might find him and exchange traveler's tips with him. He could appease his uncle with the excuse that Ruby had gotten challenged to a pokemon battle; his uncle often teased that a real man never backs down once eye contact is made.

So he continued issuing commands for several minutes, maintaining a steady rhythm. Still no one came, and he checked his watch. His uncle had instructed him to be back in Pallet town before tourists awoke. He pinched the bridge of his nose, unsettled by how his chores at home seemed to consume his attention, leaving hardly any time left to gain worldly knowledge and experience.

**

"Down!" The exhausted pidgey fluttered back into position, breathing laboriously. He noticed, and unhitched a glass of milk for it from the saddle. This would be the last set of reps, he thought, and then they'd return to Pallet town.

"Energy Ball!" As vapor rose from the forest floor, he heard voices approaching. A diverse group, by the sound of it. He took his eyes off Pokey to look around, but he couldn't see anything beyond the dense vegetation enclosing the clearing. Ruby's blast disrupted his daydream, and he saw Pokey lying on the ground. The pidgey had gotten nicked. Gillian hopped off of the meganium and ran to kneel at the bird's side. Hot red patches were exposed where the blast had singed its feathers.

He held it in his arms, and felt that it was still breathing, weakly. Arching his back he yelled, "Grassy Terrain!"

Ruby stomped her feat, and the plants in the area began to reflect sunlight like a mirror. Golden blades slithered between rocks and branches on the ground, tracing up his boots. Pokey's shivering body relaxed as this occurred, and its red skin returned to its natural paleness.

He laid the comatose pidgey in its cage, mounted the meganium, and trudged forward. Hanging the cage on Ruby's straps, he wrote an entry in his notebook.

Training Diary #3 said:
Teamwork is about moving without colliding.
Communicating without words.

I see progress.
Everyone is in sync.



(All posts need not be this length)
 

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((Ahh, the nostalgia.. Count me in.))

Watson.png

Character: Watson, ISTP, 9w8, sx/sp.
Age: 60
Height: 5'9

Goal: A lucky adventurer who retired early in order to finally be able to embark on the journey of his lifetime, where he'll go and what he'll see are all but a mystery.

Personality: Investigative and down to earth. Adores the little joys in life.

Family: His wife, Dorothy, passed away about a year ago, he still craves her company but knows she'd have never let him do something as stupid as leaving his two children Xander (26) and Emily (24) to their own devices. Watson has a strong relationship with them and thinks he's done a well enough job to be able to take care of themselves.

Pokemon:

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Machop ♂ "Yungun"(young one) Lv. 8 Fighting
Its whole body is composed of muscles. Even though it's the size of a human child, it can hurl 100 grown-ups.

Karate Chop: The target is attacked with a sharp chop. Critical hits land more easily.
Focus Energy: Focuses power to raise the critical-hit ratio.
Meditate: Meditates in a peaceful fashion to raise Attack.
Foresight: Negates accuracy reduction moves.

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Togepi ♀ "Pip"(Pipsqueak) Lv.1

Growl: Growls cutely to reduce the foe's Attack.
Charm: Charms the foe and sharply reduces its Attack.
Future Sight: Two turns after this move is used, a hunk of psychic energy attacks the target.
 

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Hazel had been tending the roses with Rapidash manure when the postman came dashing down the cobbled street of Pallet Town, panting heavily. He was very handsome, but neither clever enough nor rich enough to tempt her.

'Hazel,' said he, 'I've got a message for you -- from Larry. He said -- he said -- he said you're to meet him for lunch in -- in Viridian. Today. Near -- near the lake. Take care. Bye.'

Having expected nothing else, she continued with the roses unconcerned until she had just time enough to clean down, change her floral dress twice or thrice, and quit the house. She could have sworn that, when she passed her parents' bedroom on the way out, she caught a glimpse of her father fitting into her mother's old wedding dress, but dismissed the uncertainty and moved on.

'What a strange thought,' said she, but realising she had no companion, released Vulpix and Oddish to walk by her side. 'What a strange thought,' she continued. 'To think of father in a dress seems very strange. Let's hear you, Vul--'

Two well-dressed sailors strode by, and she suddenly remembered her parasol hadn't been pressed. As it bloomed into formation, she turned round to observe their destination, losing all subtlety when they ignored her presence and stopped at her front door and knocked.

'Oh, had I not manured the front beds!'

About to return home, the sailors were welcomed without her. They took quick glances up the street, to and fro, then stepped over the threshold and closed the door, followed only by the sound of an ironclad lock.

'Curious -- No, we mustn't dwell. Larry's waited long enough. Let's hope the boy in Route One is elsewhere. His obsession with Rats astonishes me. Don't you agree, Oddish? Nobody wakes with ambitions to raise a Raticate, let alone a Ratata. Should he demand a battle, I shall defeat him, of course ...'

Such were the lucky musings of Hazels mind, for had she dwelt any further, she would have diverted. Nevertheless, as she pressed on down the cobbled street; the sunlight reacting aromatics of mango and orange and pomegranate from Oddish's foliage; Vulpix prancing in his trainer's shadow; heads turned in awe of their picturesque trio.

'Morning, Hazel,' were the repeated greetings from local tradesmen. Beefy men with carts of fruit, and slender men with hanging Magikarp, dropped their work in hopes Hazel would reply or wave or show any acknowledgement to their acquaintance. Naturally she paid the favours and compliments until she reached the end of Pallet Town at the top of a hill, and quit the grounds at last.

When she reached the top of the hill, however, she found herself barricaded by a dense plague of Ratata and Raticates, each of them the size of dustbins. Fear and disgust flowed through her, and to take flight was her natural inclination, until she observed an unconscious figure in the middle of the plague.

'The boy,' said she, then turned to Oddish who sensed her fear and plunged himself into the earth, disguised as long grass. 'Oh, excellent stuff, Oddish. Very useful.'

Two pokeballs sat open on the ground beside the boy's twitching arm, an arm covered in fang-bites and slashes, blood trickling in to the dusty road. The longer Hazel stood to observe the sight, the more the rats pounced closer and closer and closer towards him, greedy and gluttonous to the core of their disease-ridden bones. Without knowing what she was doing, Hazel held her parasol out before her and charged with a mighty scream. Some rats pounced away, but others only turned round and made to attack her instead.

Next moment, Oddish began to fire seeds Hazel had never seen before that, once they hit the rats, instantly sprouted roots that locked themselves into the ground, pinning the rats in place. Vulpix, with the odd fox cry, pranced esoterically around the plague, shooting flames of ember, his eyes glowering as daylight got harsher and harsher than even Hazel felt the unbearable heat. Still, she charged for the boy, Vulpix soon following from behind, and when she reached him, tore off his neckerchief and tied it round his forearm.

'He's faint and pale and cold -- even in this heat. Vulpix, use Confuse Ray on the lot of them, and follow up with Will-O-Wisp; Oddish, I need your aroma to help waken the boy!'

Before long, the rats gave long, wailing cries as pulsating burns scurried them away as they ran mad hither and thither, into trees and even into one another, fainting stupidly.

'Oddish, it's working. We ought to get him to the Viridian Medical Centre; I can see it from here.'

The battle over and the heat of daylight tamed, to Virdian City they were to go.
 

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Corvus Cretin
ENTP 7w6 so/sp
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1504748867_blue.jpg

Character- Augustus ENTP 7w8 so/sx
Age- 20
Height- 5'7

Goal- Traveled to Kanto from his home region Hoenn on a whim, seeking new adventures and challenges where he can find new pokemon, friends and the girl of his dreams as he embarks on a new quest to become the Kanto league champion and uncover the regions mysteries.

Personality- An adventurous quick thinking smartass that can be a bit egotistical. Loves exploration of the world and it's secrets, a truth seeker. Ambitious with an affinity for interesting and powerful pokemon.

Family- His father once an aspiring pokemon master has long since retired and given up on this goal. He is now content to travel around Hoenn taking photos of anything interesting along the way. His mother is a historian from Eterna City in Sinnoh, and knows alot about the pokemon universe and it's lore. Once had a lucid dream where she climbed to the peak of Mt Coronet and found Arceus at the end of the Hall of Origin. To this day she believes this dream to be a telepathic message from Arceus forecasting some kind of destiny for her whatever it may be. His sister lives in Johto and is a pokemon breeder. She is gonna marry some guy that is a member of Team Rocket, who he joined due to being dirt poor and being told that joining them and bringing back Giovanni would make him rich.

Pokemon- 1370333_1399047944708_full.png

Flygon ♂ "Venus" Lv. 100 Dragon/Ground
"It whips up sandstorms with powerful flaps of its wings. It is known as "The Desert Spirit."

Earthquake-"The user sets off an earthquake that strikes every Pokémon around it."
Dragon Dance-"Raises the user's Attack and Speed by 1 stage."
Dragon Claw-"The user slashes the target with huge sharp claws."
Iron Tail-"The target is slammed with a steel-hard tail. This may also lower the target's Defense stat.

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Gengar ♀ "Nyx" Lv. 69 Ghost/Poison
"Sometimes, on a dark night, your shadow thrown by a streetlight will suddenly and startlingly overtake you. It is actually a Gengar running past you, pretending to be your shadow."

Shadow Ball- "The user hurls a shadowy blob at the target. This may also lower the target's Sp. Def stat."
Sludge Wave- "Has a 10% chance to poison the target. Hits both foes and ally in Doubles matches. Acid Downpour Base Power: 175"
Focus Blast- "The user heightens its mental focus and unleashes its power. This may also lower the target's Sp. Def stat."
Taunt- "The target is taunted into a rage that allows it to use only attack moves for three turns."
 

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Character: Iloria, INFJ, female

Age: 26

Goal: She hopes to find and understand general principles and goals by which she can guide her activities, and to live meaningfully in accordance with that general framework. She ultimately wants to be able to make sense of what she is doing in such a way that she can feel satisfied with herself, and in particular she hopes to have meaningful relationships in which she and another person contribute valuably to each other’s lives.

Physical: She has dark gray hair that, in the right lighting, appears to shine with a bright, silvery glow. Most of the time, her eyes convey either distance and detachment, or a deep and intent engagement with what is presently going on (she spends little time between these two extremes, as she is usually very focused on something, whether present or absent). She dresses in fairly casual, nondescript clothes.


Personality: She values uniqueness and wants to be moved by things. She is most comfortable thinking through a lens of emotionally tinted abstraction. She is anxious when she feels that she lacks direction and is unsure of what she is aiming at, how to proceed, or how her current actions make sense rationally and emotionally. She believes that careful reflection and planning gives one the best chance of success in one's endeavors. But she is occasionally so discouraged or sidetracked by something new that she finds especially compelling, that she does not complete what she sets out to do. Most of the time when she changes her plans, though, it is because she determines that revising her lower-level goals will allow her best to accord with her higher-level goals. Her level of confidence can vary considerably based on recent events, and dejection sometimes slows her progress. She sometimes dwells on the past. She is generally friendly and helpful to others, though she can at times seem distant and oblivious. She frequently travels, so that her Pokémon can participate in various battles and she can take different jobs teaching people about how best to take care of certain Pokémon that she knows especially well. She also travels in part because she is interested to become familiar with many different places

Family: She is her parents' only child. She grew up in the countryside. Her parents are both botanists, and they do research on local plants. When people from out of town come (most frequently for an annual festival that the village holds), her parents offer guided hikes and tours of the village. Her family sought to teach her an ethic of "service and gratitude." During a time when the economy worsened, she began assisting some local Pokémon trainers in order to make some extra money. In doing this, she became fascinated with Pokémon. She visits her parents on occasion, when her travel schedule allows it.

Pokémon:

Slowpoke ♂ "Altioran" Lv. 45 Water/Psychic

Houndour ♀ "Sempiterna" Lv. 40 Dark/Fire

Omanyte ♂ "Tacitus" Lv. 1 Rock/Water
 

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Updates/changes ((tentative))
Age: 18

Pokémon:

Slowpoke ♂ "Altioran" Lv. 45 Water/Psychic

“It is always vacantly lost in thought, but no one knows what it is thinking about. It is good at fishing with its tail.” “

Yawn – “A huge yawn lulls the foe into falling asleep on the next turn.”
Confusion – “The target is hit by a weak telekinetic force. It may also leave the target confused.”
Dream Eater – “An attack that works only on a sleeping foe. It absorbs half the damage caused to heal the user's HP..”


Houndour ♀ "Sempiterna" Lv. 40 Dark/Fire

“It uses different kinds of cries for communicating with others of its kind and for pursuing its prey.”

Howl – “The user howls to raise its spirit and boost its Attack stat.”
Fire Fang – “ The user bites with flame-cloaked fangs. It may also make the target flinch or leave it burned.”
Thief – “An attack that may take the foe's held item if the user isn't holding one.


Omanyte ♂ "Tacitus" Lv. 1 Rock/Water
“A prehistoric and long-extinct Pokémon that was resurrected from a fossil. Swims by twisting its 10 tentacles about.”

Surf – “A big wave crashes down on the foe. Can also be used for crossing water.”
Ancient Power – “The user attacks with a prehistoric power. It may also raise all the user's stats at once.”
Protect – “It enables the user to evade all attacks. Its chance of failing rises if it is used in succession.”
 

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Hazel, as she admired the view of Route One, felt rather incompetent in her strength with the boy at her side. He was weak and frail, incapable in holding himself upright, that all his weight was on her arm and she was left to balance them against her parasol.

Route One was much larger than she anticipated with unprecedented obstacles in her path, as her principal ambitions had been to reach Viridian City for a simple lunch with an old friend. Indeed she could see the medical centre over some forestry, but it seemed too far away. Hazel looked at Vulpix and Oddish for some support, but they had little to contribute to current predicaments, that they could do no more than sigh in sympathy.

The dirt track road was not without its pleasures, however. There ran a river that swerved naturally here and there, untouched by human hands, that narrowed in view towards Viridian City. Poliwhirl popped in and out of the surface, blowing streams of water into the air as the odd Pidgey soared down and flew seamlessly through the fountains. There were Psyduck waddling unsteadily with their hands clamped to their heads, some falling flat in the sunlight, others diving into the river with their feet flickering above the surface. As Hazel headed down the hill, she could see two Charizards fighting in the distance, their wings spread wide, the span of their bodies, as their trainers remained below. The world for a moment seemed so much larger than she remembered, for she had always been so focused on her goals, on looking for a husband, that all that laid out before her felt foreign, despite it being in her eyes these twenty-three years. Nevertheless, she walked on in the blazing sunlight for almost half an hour before she at last reached the entrance of the city, and fell for a quick moment's rest upon a bench.

'May I be of any help?'

Hazel looked up and found an officer before her. He was handsome in the shadow cast by his hat, but soon his full face hit daylight and Hazel was disenchanted.

'Yes -- please,' replied she. 'The boy was attacked by rats and he's too weak to move. Can you carry him to the centre?'

The officer nodded, took the boy in his arms, and dashed away without delay; Hazel, with Oddish and Vulpix, on their trail.

Having just quit the fields of Route One that bore only two persons in sight, Hazel was rather amazed to find the city crowded with people no matter where she looked. Nobody seemed too concerned of her existence, unlike back home in Pallet Town, for everybody was either too preoccupied with their partner's or with their daily routines. As she winded through the streets of Viridian, smiling at the Butterfree attending the city gardens and orchids of topiary, of tulips and lilies, and berries of Pecha and Rawst, to name a few, she was on the lookout for Larry near the lake, but in vain.

'Not that I expected him to stay,' thought she. 'I'm half an hour late.'

Feeling guilt and fear that Larry would think the worst of her, she at last reached the medical centre, the boy limp in the officer's arms.

'Nurse Joy,' said the officer, 'we need your help ASAP. Attacked by Raticates on Route One. Probably infected. This young lady may have saved his life.'

Nurse Joy, a tall lady in white with red hair in a French braided bun, grabbed an isolated bed, upon which the boy was placed, and quit the room with a few assistants following from behind. The officer turned to Hazel, who stood helplessly in silence.

'He'll be fine. You should get some rest and something to eat -- you look nearly -- well,' he added, taking off his hat, 'you look unblemished, if I may say so myself.'

Hazel begun to feel the dangers in her own silence, influencing her decisions being made for her, that she said her thanks and farewell before being asked for lunch. Determined to find Larry, she instinctively grabbed Oddish to hold in her arms, and headed for the lake as Vulpix playfully chased a Bellsprout along the pavement.

On the way were clothing shops for trainers and pokemon alike, and although Hazel was determined to find Larry, she couldn't help but stop at an eye catching dress: high-waisted with a flared skirt the shade of mulberry, with white wildflower patterns and a matching hat to go. Desperate to try it on, Hazel resisted the temptation and at last reached the lake, finding herself alone despite the Slowbro with its tail in the water. As Oddish jumped out of her arms to commute with the Slowbro, Hazel sat upon a seat with Vulpix on her lap, and pulled her phone out of her pocket.

'If he actually had a phone, I could text him,' said she, then noticed four missed calls from her mother. 'Strange. She never calls me.'

Attempting in vain to call her mother, for nobody answered, she got up and paced the edge of the lake, Slowbro, although still in motion, watching her every step with his large eyes and pinprick pupils, his jaw hanging open in a permanent delight. Moments later her phone vibrated with a message from service with four voicemails.

"Hazel, it's your mother - I need your help. I'm in Saffron City. Please call."

"Hazel, I'm -- you, keep your voice down!"

"Hazel. I'm not in Saffron anymore. I don't know where -- I can't get hold of your father."

"Hazel, the servers are going down. This might be my last call -- I understand if you can't call back. I've been put in a crate with a few others. I can't -- they're opening -- I'm sorry -- you, who're you talking to? Give that here. Hello! Hello? Who's this?"


Copious tears fell like rain, and Hazel stared at her phone lost for words. With a deep breath, she called for her pokemon and dashed back to the medical centre in sought for the officer. When she barged through the doors, however, she found herself face to face with Larry.

'Oh, Larry,' said she, sobbing. 'It's my mother. She's in danger. I don't know where. She rang and left voicemails saying she doesn't know where she is -- she was in Saffron. Here, you ought to listen.'

Without having time to speak, Larry grabbed the phone, perplexed.

'It says you're out of service,' said he. 'There are no voicemails.'

Hazel looked at the screen. He was right: no service; no voicemails. She fell to her knees, her face in her hands.

'What am I going to do? She's lost forever. I have nothing. Oh, how I hate those rats!'

'Rats?'

Hazel shared the story of the rats, the boy, the officer, her being late for lunch, whilst Larry placed his hand upon her shoulder and smiled in empathy.

'So you're the one who saved the boy?' said he. 'The officer told me all about it, but he didn't catch your name. I think he went looking for you, hoping to ask you out for lunch. Anyway, the boy's fine and currently asleep. Come, we should find the officer and report your mother. He shouldn't be too far away.' As he lead the way out of the medical centre, he added, 'Is that your Oddish? I've never smelt one like that. Pomegranate, is it? No, mango. Aromatherapy! That's it. A unique passive that's stimulated when the pokemon detects stress or disharmony, although it's usually an active move. You're lucky. Maybe it's he who kept the boy --'

Televisions around them, display monitors and advertising screen on buildings, flickered and blackened, followed by the image of a person in a white, blank mask. The person never spoke. The face simply turned as if it could see the world at large, as if it were watching the people below, all of whom froze, dumbfounded and fearful.

Next moment, the screens went blank then returned to their original state; Hazel felt her phone vibrate.

'A message? I thought ... "We have your mother. Your messages have been wiped. We are watching your every move. Should you dare fight against us, your pokemon will be ours.'

She had just time enough to show Larry the message before her phone deactivated, useless. Shopkeepers begun to close their shops early, pulling the blinds and locking the doors, sceptical of any onlookers. Hazel saw the dress and hat from earlier, but the maker caught her eye, shook his head, and took the dress off display. All the shops soon closed and the people of Viridian indoors, Hazel and Larry were alone, notwithstanding the innocent pokemon around them, all of whom were confused with the sudden change in the atmosphere. Slowbro in the distance merely stared unconcerned, his tail in the lake, as his mouth hung open, wide in delight.
 

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Iloria sat looking out the window of an inn in Cerulean City. The sun had already vanished, but some lingering rays still reached above the horizon and painted the sky with a deep blue glow. Pervaded by that blue, the park outside the window resembled an underwater scene. Traces of stars began to slip into view in the highest reaches of the sky.

Iloria would often watch this transition between sunset and night. The ephemeral blue associated with this time was soothing and helped her to focus her thoughts. She was thinking now of how to organize her advice for the people she had met earlier that day. They had told her all about their Houndour and how he had lately been sullen and seemed bothered by something. She had first given some general thoughts based on her extensive experience with this type of Pokémon, and she had then greeted the Houndour and studied him carefully. Wanting to reach the best judgments she could, she had quieted unrelated lines of thought that might distract her. Her phone, whose volume she had forgotten to turn off, had made a sound, and she had quickly shut it off. She had noticed that the Houndour’s eye was somewhat cloudy, a sign of an illness common in Houndours that usually went away on its own. The Houndour had also showed signs of boredom. She had said that she would take the night to organize the best advice she could and would return the next day. As she structured her advice now, she considered various ways in which one might help a Houndour to feel more relaxed, and in which a Houndour could enjoy lighthearted play in addition to training for Pokémon battles. She also planned to suggest some common medicines that could be used if the Houndour’s eye did not clear up in the next couple days; if these medicines did not resolve the issue, it would be necessary to go to see a medical professional. When Iloria could not think of any further advice, she turned her chair back to her desk and turned on the desk lamp, which was the only source of illumination here. She wrote an outline of her thoughts on the notepad that came with the room. When she was finished, she leaned back in her chair. As part of a training program that could branch off into various different careers, she had developed a special expertise on a few Pokémon and was, under the supervision of a Pokémon professor, providing consulting to people seeking help in caring for these Pokémon. At this point, she was most interested in ultimately becoming a Pokémon professor, a career which would require further academic study after this training program. But she would remain open to other options for now, as she thought that the best way to achieve fulfillment was to be open to several possibilities for a while, in order to carefully assess the different options and ultimately make the best decision one could in light of one’s past experience She saw little merit in a quick decision, since she feared that, if she decided something quickly, she could easily become locked in dissatisfaction and would then struggle to free herself and go a different way.

She turned to the next page of the notepad and began scribbling absentmindedly in order to feel like she was doing something. Removing a Poké Ball from her pocket, she summoned her Slowpoke, Altioran. He appeared on the bed and yawned nonchalantly.

“Well done!” she congratulated him, since yawning was one of the moves that a Slowpoke could employ in a Pokémon battle; this move could make an opponent fall asleep on the next turn. Just by being lazy, Altioran was practicing a useful skill.

Iloria found that there could be a certain charm in sluggish idleness, at least in Pokémon or pets. The image of a carefree and relaxed life was pleasant, and it temporarily transported her away from her own everyday life. Altioran’s life also bore a distinctive aura of mystery. In descriptions of the Slowpoke, it was often said that no one knew what this sort of Pokémon was thinking. How, Iloria wondered, did Altioran make sense of life, or did he need to? What did he hope for? He seemed to be happy with very little. Was he, then, happier than Iliora? Did she wish she could be happy in the way Altioran was? In any case, she could not be happy in that way, as there was so much that she hoped for that she must struggle to attain. She imagined the path to all she hoped for as a long rope extending far up a mountain. Eventually that rope would reach a level surface, but, beyond that step, the mountain would continue until the rope reached another level surface, and another. She did not know whether the mountain’s final peak was attainable, or whether that peak even existed. After all, there were many goals that by their nature could never be complete. If her goal were to express how she valued a person she cared about, her pursuit of that goal could never be complete. As long as she continued to value the person, she would not say that she was “done” expressing her care and would never do so again. Her active valuing of the person could consist of specific acts with definite beginnings and ends, but the overall activity would never be complete. The mountain would then have steps but no peak. In the pursuit of any goal, she imagined the rope and its surroundings being imbued with a glow that brightened with each step (or continuously as she ascended, if she valued her present activity for its own sake). It was because she could experience this glow that she would be motivated to act. But, in striving for happiness, should she really make the arduous ascent toward any distant glow? Should she struggle on the ground, as she did, to even decide what to seek to reach toward? Would it be better for her to try to alter her perception of things and change her hopes? Maybe she should seek to submerge herself in apathy. In a way, it seemed that seeing things through the lens of complete apathy might the solution to all problems, since no desire can be unfulfilled if one has no desire, and nothing valuable can be lacking if nothing is valuable. But apathy was not a kind of satisfaction or fulfillment; joy was different from indifference, and so a life of apathy was not an option for Iloria. Standing at the foot of the mountain, looking at the rope pointing ever upward toward something valuable, she concluded, then, that she should not try to make the rope disappear with apathy. But maybe, rather than climbing the mountain, it would be easier just to pull the rope and its glow down. In other words, maybe she should just try to make herself capable of being completely happy and fulfilled with very little. Even supposing that those who could be happy with a little were most fortunate, though, she could not change the fact that she saw value in certain things far above where she was now. Moreover, she wanted to continue to see it, and she could not accept an approach that sought to deny it. She would be hesitant to say that Altioran was unfortunate if he only saw worth in idleness and sleep, and could be happy with a little. But, even if the things she hoped for in life were difficult to achieve, the worth that she saw, and that drove her toward her goals, mattered to her, and she was glad that she saw it. If she valued something, it was difficult for her to want no longer to value it.
***
Iloria awakened early the next morning to the sound of the fire alarm. She briefly retained a faint and weary grasp of what her dream had been, but the jarring reality of the noise quickly ushered the world of that dream away. After taking her phone from her bedside table, she rushed downstairs to find several other people already gathered outside. Someone who worked at the inn informed everyone that a fire drill was going on. Iloria wondered whether it was necessary to have a fire drill so early in the morning. As she wore away time standing outside the building, she grew bored and decided to go for a walk. As she strolled amid the trees in the park, she noticed that, although the sun had just returned, it was already much warmer than any day in the past few weeks of lingering winter. It was one of those unusual days when the quiet solitude of winter was mingled with the warmth of spring, as the many living things that would soon return had not yet realized the warmth was not a dream.

A misty drizzle swept away the stillness. It gradually strengthened, and the air was filled with the scent of rain, after a month of unbroken dryness. Iloria remembered how her parents had told her that this scent was not of the rainwater but was from the plants, as they were affected by receiving the first rain in a long time. Her parents had taught her the general technique of closely associating important aspects of her life with experiences that she would have fairly frequently, like the experiences of the scent of rain or of listening to a certain song. Whenever she had those experiences, she would be reminded particularly vividly of the things they had come to signify and would be moved to deeper gratitude. Fortunately, links of this kind could form automatically; sometimes, she was unaware of them, until an outwardly mundane experience brought to mind some meaningful occurrence in her life that she had not thought about for a while. The scent of rain would always remind her of her parents. It brought to mind a fact that she knew because of them, the fact of where the scent of rain came from. When she really thought about it, a truth could gain particularly deep meaning when she had learned it from someone important to her. To think that this truth existed in her mind because of that person, that her knowledge of it was a lingering trace of this person’s effect on her,… Wait! She emerged from her thoughts and remembered the sound her phone had made when she was focused on the Houndour yesterday. She turned the power on her phone back on, and quickly learned that her mother had sent her a message asking if she had arrived safely at Cerulean City; Iloria had been so focused on what she was doing at the time that she had barely noticed the sound. Not receiving a reply, her parents had been very concerned and had tried to contact her multiple times. Angry at herself for forgetting, she quickly began to reply, with her fingers shaking and slowing her typing.
 

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((Larry was a conflicted fellow of reasonable fortune and an unsettling disposition. Born Laurence, but adopted Larry as a means to distance himself from his father, he had been raised as an only son to take over his father's business that had little to do with pokemon, and more to with furniture. His mother was a singer. Throughout his life, Larry had only time enough to catch and train a singular pokemon, a Squirtle, of which both parents refused to acknowledge; and although he had very little direct experience with actual pokemon, had researched enough to make up for it.

At seventeen, Larry met his Squirtle in Vermillion City during a raid of pokemon thieves who were determined to steal well-trained pokemon as a means of shipping them off for a trade, in order to obtain pokemon from another region. Squirtle, who never had a trainer, was naturally bold in temper with humanlike qualities, and managed to acquire enough endurance to guard the locals, and destroy the thieves' ship to set the captured free. Larry had been caught in the ship, having tried to rescue the pokemon, and was found to be too much of a nuisance to ignore, and thus tied in a cabin. Almost drowning from the sunken ship, Squirtle rescued Larry and brought him to shore; and having a mutually bold temperament, they were too attached to separate, and remained partners thenceforth.

Now, at twenty-three, Larry had settled in Viridian City to savour is fortune, and worked as a researcher for a pokemon magazine. During his first month's research four years prior, he encountered a girl named Hazel with a reddish-brown egg the size of a football. She had been laying upon a field of daisies tracing the spiral grooves on the shell with her finger, whilst an Oddish mimicked her gestures with its foliage. Not being the best with girls, but determined to do his job, Larry puffed his chest and approached Hazel. Not being one to turn down a boy's attention, and determined to playfully form their acquaintances, Hazel found Larry's stuttered speech endearing, and they remained close friends to this day.))

* * *​

As Hazel made dumplings in Larry's kitchen, the latter sat at his computer to research the current events of a lost network. The former, however, although deeply concerned for her mother's captivity, found the research dull and slow, and preferred to indulge in gluttony whilst hearing news secondhand in hopes to tame her determinations to quit the apartment and go looking for her mother alone. Larry shared information, and Hazel would critique; Larry would detach and share his opinions, and Hazel would critique. Gradually did Larry fall silent, and kept the readings to himself.

'We cannot stay here,' said Hazel at last, wrapping some dumplings in filament paper, and placing them in a carrier basket. 'We need to go. There's bound to be nothing online only a few hours after the incident. I know they are in Saffron City -- I just know it. It's there we must go, and it's going to take some time before we find transport.'

'You don't want to fly?' said Larry, submitting to the bitter realisation of nothing valuable to read.

'No -- I can't. And Oddish can't stand being off land. We'll have to travel back to Pallet Town and get father to sail us to Vermillion City. Oddish is at least used to boats. We should get back now --'

'We'll go in the morning --'

'No. We'll go now. I know it's dark, but we'll be fine.'

Hazel had already gathered her things and was at the door, one hand on the handle, the other hanging a parasol and basket of dumplings at the elbow with an Oddish on the top, and Vulpix at her feet.

'Are you coming?' asked she.

'Not on boat,' replied Larry; and added after a silence, 'I'll meet you there.'

They stared into one another's eyes for a few moments before they both of them nodded, and Hazel quit the building. When she reached the twilit streets of Viridian City and headed for Pallet Town, passing a Mr Mime at a small park, she decided to visit the boy at the medical centre. She knew there was little to do for him at this stage, but to see him in a healthier state and taken care of would at least put some of her nerves at ease.

When she reached the counter, Nurse Joy seemed already to know of Hazels ambitions, and without word, nodded to a Chansey who came waddling out of an opposing office, and lead Hazel down the passageway.

Wards of occupied patients whom Hazel could only witness in glimpses were all around her: one woman with an arm the size of a champagne ham from a Beedrill attack, and one man with broken bones from a wild Tauros; then they passed wards of status conditions, where patients were paralysed or put to a deep slumber, or vomiting from a lethal poison gas; and then at last they reached the section of youths where they found the boy unconscious in his bed.

Hazel placed her hand upon his as if to assure him that he's not alone, but the boy made no movement. Expecting nothing different, Hazel grabbed his report at the end of the bed, and felt her bottom lip tremble as she read the results: incurably rabid with potential emotional outbursts, although tamable with the right medication; non-contagious; severely damaged tendons, but still in function; inconsistent sleeps and awakenings, with the occasional condition of unexplained paralysis that comes and goes; traumatically stressed. Hazel returned the report, wished the boy the best of luck, then nodded at Chansey who lead her back to the waiting room.

Determined to leave the city to be alone with her tears, Hazel kept her eyes to the pavement and held her breath until she reached Route One. At the park bench she dropped her weight and cried for her mother, for the boy, for how useless she is with nothing to do, nothing to change, nothing to hope for, realising how vulnerable and pathetic she feels, how in danger her mother is in, how much pain she must be in, attacked or possible even --

The affects of Oddish's aromatherapy kicked in, and Hazel returned to her senses, embracing both pokemon.

'I'm being stupid,' said she, getting to her feet. 'All will be well -- I'm sure of it. How could I think otherwise? These are people I'm talking about -- my mother. No, we must carry on. Father will know what to do.'

The walk through Route One to Pallet Town was calm and quiet to Hazel's relief. There were wisps of nightly pokemon in the distance, but she couldn't make them out. Indeed there were the sounds of Hoothoots and Noctowls, and possibly even Murkrows, but the sight of wisps grew her fascination for she could not fathom their cause.

'I haven't got time for Raticates, if that's what they are,' said she, and Vulpix nodded. 'Should we encounter them, I have no mercy. Where's Oddish?'

Oddish, who had once been sitting upon Hazel's basket of dumplings, had jumped to the field and wandered aimlessly to and fro. Hazel called for his return, but he was determined. After observing her surroundings for any danger, and sighing at the sight of Pallet Town from which she was yet again diverted, she ran after Oddish across the field. They were halfway between the road and the coastline of forestry when the sun set its last light behind them, finding themselves engulfed in darkness.

Hazel froze, the warmth of Vulpix against her leg. As she crept towards the silhouette of Oddish in the weak moonlight, wisps of light begun to form all around them, some bright and white, others flickering blues and pinks, and Vulpix begun to growl.

'I haven't got time for this,' said Hazel, murmuring in tone.

Reaching Oddish and crouching at his disposal, the wisps glided in a circular motion, slow at first, but then got faster and faster, brighter and brighter, like burning magnesium, that Hazel pulled her pokemon towards her and closed her eyes in fear. Next moment, an esoteric sound drowned the hoots of the nocturnal, a sound of something strange, something almost theatrical, that Hazel looked up and found a swan-like creature before her. She made to reach out for it, but in vain. She was still. The swan glowed in the dark, even against the spiralling light behind it, and bowed before Hazel until they were head to head.

Hazel closed her eyes as tears of neither joy nor sadness fell down her cheeks and onto her lap. A warmth passed through her, a strength, hope, perhaps, and she embraced it with all her might, afraid to let it go -- but something told her she was meant to let it go, to let it pass, and so she relaxed her body, her shoulders, her head, allowing it to happen. The moment seemed to last forever, but through Hazel's closed eyes she could sense the light dimming, fading, and the esoteric sound soon passed. When at last she opened her eyes, the lights had gone, the wisps, the swan; and with one shared look at Vulpix, who had the crescent moon reflected in his eyes, Hazel felt her body grow limp, and she fell to the grass, motionless.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Gillian awoke to the bark of Viridian City's announcement system warning civilians to stay inside. "A SWARM OF RATTATA AND RATICATE HAVE BEEN SPOTTED ON ROUTE 1. IT IS DANGEROUS TO WALK THE ROUTE AT THIS TIME."

He combed his fingers through his curly brown hair, appreciating Ruby's memory of the route to the Pokemon Center. Stroking her smooth fur he asked, "Are we going to the Pokemon Center, Ruby?". She purred, rumbling his saddle, and causing Pokey to flap and caw in its cage. "You alive, Pokey?" The pidgey stopped flapping at the sound of its name.

He checked his watch and sighed. "I should tell Uncle we're gonna be late." As he ticked a knob on his watch to check the weather, and then a calendar, and then his contacts list, the sound of his uncle's blaring voice in his earbuds pierced his eardrum.

Uncle: "Hey Kiddo. Where are you?"
Gillian: "Viridian."
Uncle: "Okay. Don't talk to anyone and come straight home."
Gillian: "Alright. Well I still need to meet with Clair."
Uncle: "You haven't met with her yet?! What time did you agree on?"
Gillian: "Well she said she's pretty fluid with timing."
Uncle: "No! You don't ever leave a girl waiting. I should have trained you, to be, what's the word... Wait! It'll come to me."
Gillian: "Chivalrous?"
Uncle: "Yes! If you already know, then why do I always have to tell you this?!"

Gillian sighed, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his overalls. Before him was a stone bridge with the encouraging message "BE SOMEONE" graffiti'd in white. As they crossed, he saw a restaurant beyond it named Muscle Maker Grill and chuckled.

Uncle: "What's funny?"
Gillian: "Uncle... I just need to practice more is all."
Uncle: "No! I never trained you. If I did then you would be chivalrous, and we wouldn't be having this discussion. It's because I didn't trained you, Gillian."
Gillian: "Fair enough. So I just need to train and get experience, to become what I want to become."
Uncle: "Hm. If I trained you, then you would hold the door for your sisters, instead of just leaving it up to me."

He laughed, causing two school girls on the sidewalk to giggle.

Uncle: "I'm serious. When you find a wife, you should hold the door for her."
Gillian: "You're right."
Uncle: "You should listen to your uncle's experience, so you don't have to go through it yourself."
Gillian: "That's true."
Uncle: "You just agree so that I'll stop talking. You just want me to get off your case."

He laughed again, so hard that he almost fell off the saddle. People briefly turned to identify him, as his visceral laughter pervaded their shops and conversations.

Uncle: "You're inexperienced Gillian, that's all it is. As you get older, life will keep throwing things at you... Don't forget to pick up that repel when you go to the Pokemon Center. Did you go already?"
Gillian: "Not yet. And there's an alert about Raticate on route 1."
Uncle: "Raticate? Well I'm glad you told me. Please stay in the center."
Gillian: "Ruby could handle it."
Uncle: "No. A Raticate gets its claws on you, what am I gonna do? Just stay inside and wait for me."
Gillian: "Mm."
Uncle: "I'm hanging up so you can focus. Don't go fight the Raticate. If you get bitten and sick, I'm not going to help you."
Gillian: "But what if it attacks a lady?"
Uncle: "You won't see it because you'll be in the Pokemon Center! Are they going to send an exterminator?"
Gillian: "Not sure. I wonder how they usually deal with swarms."
Uncle: "I know that area gets them a lot. I feel sorry for the people who live there. Kids can't play outside because of rats."
Gillian: "Yeah."
Uncle: "Alright, Gillian."
Gillian: "Bye, Uncle."

* *

After several minutes of riding through the blistering heat, he arrived at the lake near the Pokemon Center to meet with Clair, Blackthorn City's gym leader. He gasped in awe as her cape rolled in the breeze, casting an illustrious shadow over the lake's shore of stones. Slick scaly leather covered most of her body, and she kept her long turquoise hair in a pony tail.

The Pokemon Center could be seen from across the lake, in the distance. Although her face was beautiful, he gulped at the viciousness with which she glared across the lake. The boy climbed from Ruby, and carried Pokey's cage to her, unlocking the cage near her boot. She turned her head and locked eyes with him, scowling softer now. Gillian understood that if he unlocked eyes with her, she would dismiss his training.

The two trainers circled each other steadily, walking, glaring vigilantly as if they were in mortal combat. She snapped at Pokey, and lifted her elbow, causing it to flutter from the ground to her bicep. "Gillian. Do you remember what we spoke about before?" Her eyes narrowed. "I do." Gillian tried not to displease her, because he feared she would abandon him one day due to his incompetence. "Teamwork requires focus..." he said thoughtfully, measuring the distance of her steps to better match her speed. Moist strands of hair threatened to eclipse his eyes every step he took. He continued speaking, resolve in his voice, "And communicating without speaking." Clair was smiling now.

"Good, Gillian." Her serpentine eyes closed and reopened drearily, raising the hairs along the back of his neck. She held out her arm, pointing at him with her index finger. The gesture astonished him, but because Pokey was on top of her extended arm, he couldn't maintain eye contact with her, as the bird's torso blocked her face from his view. He gulped, and continued to circle at a steady pace. As he and Pokey gazed at each other, he realized that Pokey had been walking towards him. It stopped at the tip of her gloved index finger, balancing on one leg.

"Tackle!" Her commanding voice echo'd throughout the surrounding trees. He glimpsed her piercing gaze as Pokey ducked its head, rushing past his ear in an instant, blinding him. When he opened his eyes again she had vanished. He looked behind to see Ruby observing him, and Pokey in the sky beyond the trees. The lake beside them was lifeless, except for the presence of a Slowbro, fishing indolently from an edge with its armored tail.

He sighed, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his overalls, and observed the red Pokemon Center across the lake, its distant form blurry from the sweltering heat. He whistled for Ruby to come near, and began to unpack the items he had brought for Clair. From a large hiking bag, tied by rope to Ruby's side, he cupped out several pokeballs, and one by one he released the captive Pokémon into the lake. Soon the lake contained several Dratini, a snake-like Pokémon with a blue body and a white underside. A small one of about 3 feet approached where he was kneeling near the edge of the lake. It had white, three-pronged fins on the sides of its head and a white bump on its forehead. He kicked off his socks and boots, folded up the legs of his overalls, and dipped his feet in the cool water.

Jingling a runny glass of milk teasingly, he mimicked his youngest sister. "Want some Moo Moo milk? Come get some Moo Moo milk boo boo." Oval, purple eyes blinked with recognition, above a large, round, white snout. It swam to his feet, slithered between his legs onto his lap and kissed him. He giggled, and then held the milk bottle for Dratini as it slurped. He whispered, "I'll take that as a yes." As he stroked its soft, fish-like scales.

"Well done, Gillian!" Clair's voice boomed from behind him, as he looked to see her sitting atop a small boulder, an Abra perched upon her lap; its face kite-shaped, with a small, pale yellow snout and two short pointed ears with pale yellow interiors, it had been trained to teleport her to Blackthorn City whenever she deliberately closed her eyes and held her breath. She placed two large shopping bags which read "Silph Co." next to her on the grass, and removed her boots and socks. Holding the infantile Abra, she moved to sit beside Gillian, and as her legs submerged he noticed that her feet were decorated with blueberry nail polish.

His dark brown eyes kept focused on the water, as he kneaded the Dratini in his arms. "Where'd you go?"

She began to answer, "I went to get some-" he interrupted her, asking, "But why didn't you communicate with me? I thought we were a team." The gym leader tilted her head and wore a concerned expression.

He furrowed his eyebrows thoughtfully. "If teamwork is about communicating, then not communicating is the opposite of teamwork." He held his palm to his chest to calm his beating heart. He wasn't particularly upset with her, but somehow, expressing what he did triggered a panic attack within him, and hot tears ran down his cheek, blurring the world around him. When Clair sighed, he regretted crying in front of her, but as he wiped his tears, he cried harder, restraining only the sound from escaping his throat. "I'm sorry." He croaked.

"It's alright, Gillian," she assured, "but you can't cry at every difficulty-" He interrupted, "I won't!" Gym leader Clair scoffed. "If you keep crying, then I'll think you'll never be strong enough to ride in my league of dragon knights. If I disappear from the battle field without communicating with you, are you going to cry before the enemy, Gillian?" He stroked loose strands of hair from his wet eyes. "Do you see?" She asked. "Now rise!"

He released the Dratini into the lake as he stood, sniffling. "Good... Equip the clothes I brought for you in those bags. Quickly!" He sprinted to where she had been sitting on the boulder, and removed a dark blue outfit and boots from the bags. Upon closer inspection, he saw that the outfit was made from a scaly material, similar to her own, although it was a darker shade of blue. He would have asked anyone but her to talk him through it, but without a doubt, she would have considered his questions a waste of time. So he stripped from his overalls and suited up, flipping his cape dramatically as he turned to walk towards her, still sitting with her limbs in the lake.

She sat the Abra on the grass beside her, and began paddling the surface with her feet. Dratini were born and lived beneath waterfalls, so they were drawn to her steady splashing, and soon the water around her legs gurgled with snakish figures. "Gillian!" She urged. "Jump in the pool, and do as the Dratini do." So he unequipped his boots, and dived into the lake. The scaly clothing he wore would keep him warm underwater, and would dry quickly on land.

Some Dratini acknowledged his vibrant entrance, bumping against his hip as he swam to where Clair was paddling. Staying beneath the cluster of dragons to not get in their way, he palmed their soft underbellies as they passed by. With a final splash, Clair lifted her legs from the lake and held them above the water, causing Gillian and the Dratini to bring their heads above the surface to face her. "An impossible challenge lies before us!" She spoke to the congregation in a commanding voice. Their heads bobbed in the lake around her. "We must root out the evil which plagues this land, but it's far too large for us to handle individually! Work together, and protect peace." She rose her fist, and the Dratini began to squeal. Gillian looked left and right at the squealing Dratini, bewildered. Clair saw him and scowled. "Out of the water!" She told him, pointing beside the Abra. He hadn't done anything wrong, he thought, and yet as he swam around to shore, he felt the tear ducts in his eyes welling. He felt there was nothing he could do to avoid displeasing her, because he simply wasn't what she wanted him to be; he wasn't a Pokemon.

He stood in front of her without bothering to re-equip his boots, certain she would have dismissed his training if he had done so. "As I promised," she held a palm open towards him while still looking at the congregation of Dratini, "in exchange for caring for this lot, and for the Miltank that fed them, I will give you the smallest one." His eyes widened, and he ran over to Ruby, suppressing the urge to laugh. He found Miltank's pokeball, and returned to place it in Clair's open palm. Clair used gifts to express affection, finding it simpler to separate compassion from her verbal dialogue, so that she could focus on being commander. She stood and walked to the boulder near her boots and bags. "Before I do though," she glared across the lake, "investigate the Pokemon Center. I'll round up the Pokemon in the meantime. Just report what you see." Her gaze turned to him, and he nodded. He equipped his dark boots and left for the Pokemon Center, leaving his Pokemon behind.
* *

The Pokémon Center, an enormous capsule shaped building colored red and white to resemble a pokeball, stood before him on the corner of a crossroad. Trainers would use Pokémon Centers as gathering places, so they could share information about Pokémon. Gloved fingers gripped the door handles of the Pokemon Center's glass doors, as he paused to listen to the city's second announcement. "A SWARM OF RATTATA AND RATICATE HAVE BEEN SPOTTED ON ROUTE 1. ATTACKS HAVE BEEN REPORTED. IF YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW GETS HURT, CALL THE POKEMON CENTER IMMEDIATELY. THANK YOU." He pulled open the door, and was greeted by the nurse at the front desk, a crowd of people bustling between them. The crowd was so loud that he merely threw his arm in the air to acknowledge the nurse, and continued to look around for anything or anyone that seemed out of place. He waded through the people to line in front of the pharmacy desk.

"It's an infestation!" One woman behind him said to another. "If there's an infestation right next door, what do you think will happen next? We're going to be infested! Infestation spreads!" A burly masculine voice behind her chimed in, "A Raticate's teeth are strong enough to gnaw through steel. Their teeth keep growing so they have to gnaw on hard things to wear them down, like rocks and logs." Gillian looked back to see that the man had construction worker clothes on, and was probably experienced with many types of Pokemon. The man continued, "Where I work, we have to spray repel around the site every week, or else Raticate will gnaw through the support beams and collapse the entire building."

Gillian reached the drug department's service counter at last, and ordered two gallons of repel. A ruff of white hair spun as the pharmacist, a man with sleepy looking eyes above a large nose, and a name tag which read "Crane", turned from placing an item in a medicine cabinet to respond to Gillian. The man's frown bent into a sneer as he mocked Gillian's appearance, "Halloween ain't for another 6 months kid, heh heh heh." Although Gillian's ego would deflate during his dealings with women, it often inflated whenever he faced another competitive man, to better match their energy. Gillian gave a brief chuckle as he stroked his hair back, and then looked into the man's face, searching for physical flaws on the man that he could poke fun at in response. The pharmacist looked more like a vulture than a man; conniving and skeptical. What he had planned to say about the man's nose in particular tickled him before he could say it and he leaned forward onto the counter swallowing his cackle. "Let the boy slide!" A woman from behind him exclaimed, causing Gillian to release his laughter aloud. "It's not that funny kid. Here's the bill." The man slid a slip of paper and a pen to Gillian. The price of 1 unit of repel sold for $350, and Gillian had ordered what would normally cost $1400. He underlined various bits of text on the paper with his index finger, in disbelief. "$4200?!" A Scrafty carrying two jugs of clear liquid came into view from behind the man, and placed them on top of the counter with a thud. His uncle would have preferred he called home, rather than spending a large amount of money on his own, but the line behind him extended all the way to the lobby, and there was only one line.

He felt for his wallet, which usually existed as a lump in either of his back pockets. "Oh, crap!" He patted his butt and realized he'd left it in his overalls. He turned to the long nosed man and announced, "I'll have to come back." The man reach and caught Gillian's arm before it left the counter. "Wait! If you sign for it, I can put half the cost on your tab!" Gillian scribbled his name on the paper as the Scrafty returned one of the gallons of repel to its proper location. "Great..." The pharmacist placed a pocket-sized medicine bottle, with a black cap labeled Z in red, next to the repel. Unbeknownst to Gillian, the bottle contained a drug that would flip a person's priorities when ingested, so that they'd decide to do first what they would never do normally. Under the street name, "Extreme Speed", the substance had been reported to be used by criminal syndicates to interrogate captives, and enrage swarms of Pokemon. "When you buy a gallon of repel or more, you get a free bottle of Zygotaphin. It's an anti-depressant. Thanks, have a nice day. Next customer please." Gillian habitually glanced at the customer behind him before grabbing the repel, pocketing the Zygotaphin, and exiting the Pokemon Center.
* *

Upon returning to the lake, he found his overalls folded near the water, with three pokeballs laying on top of them. He took the collection behind a tree, and began to undress, before he heard footsteps on the grass nearby; a quick peak revealed a girl and her Pokémon. As he held his back to the tree, her image lingering motionless in his mind, he could swear it was Hazel.

He peaked when it was safe, to see the three of them loitering around the lake. 'If he actually had a phone...' the girl said, clicking on her device. The scent of Oddish reminded him of home, and he quietly sat, returning his back to the tree. It was definitely Hazel. All he could do was wait. He sat and listened to her be with herself.

The girl stood as if to leave, so he peaked again, and saw that she was pacing back and forth. She had so much energy, he thought, unable to peel his eyes away to hide. Her scent seemed to make the grass around her greener, and the sun more golden. He remembered how he and his friends would change when she was around them, speaking to each other in a more distant and public style. At the grand opening of Pallet Town's little healing center, which only had a cafeteria which contained the healing machines, he became irritated by how his close friend would stop agreeing with him whenever she came to loiter at the table; cutting down his opinions all of a sudden. It wasn't her fault, he and his friends were just weak-willed.

He returned his back to the tree and exhaled. Although he was weak, if he kept to his priorities, he would become strong in time. If he was sincere, then he would- "Hazel, it's your mother..." The sound of Hazel's voicemail pervaded the trees. "I need your help. I'm in Saffron City. Please call... Hazel, I'm -- YOU, KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN!" Gillian turned to look, and saw that Hazel had stopped pacing, and was watching her phone. "Hazel. I'm not in Saffron anymore. I don't know where -- I can't get hold of your father... Hazel, the servers are going down. This might be my last call -- I understand if you can't call back. I've been put in a crate with a few others. I can't -- they're opening -- I'm sorry -- YOU, WHO'RE YOU TALKING TO? GIVE THAT HERE. HELLO! HELLO? WHO'S THIS?"

He hadn't yet registered the occurrence, as he watched tears drip from her cheeks. She called for her Pokemon and dashed away from the lake. Brows furrowed, he returned his back to the tree, and let his eyes rest on a Caterpie that hung invisibly among the leaves of a neighboring oak. Adjusting his watch, he sent a text to Clair stating, "Kidnapping in Saffron City." After a moment, Clair responded with a black check mark. Gillian sighed, before his watch glowed with another message. "Can you make it?" He sent a black check mark, purposefully ignoring the consequences.

From the grass he picked Ruby's pokeball, which he identified by its aroma, and released her by the lakeside. After donning his overalls, he went into Ruby's pack and got his work boots, stuffing his medicine, the gallon of repel, and Clair's outfit back into the pack. Ruby's pale green head turned to observe Gillian; the two stamen-like protrusions that sprouted from the top of her nose, each tipped with its own anther, waddled as she deciphered Gillian's intentions. After climbing onto the saddle, he peered across the lake to see whether Hazel had come out of the Pokemon Center yet. Pokeballs clacked in his pocket as Ruby began to walk around the lake toward their destination.

When he entered and couldn't find her, he at last sat in the lobby while an endless beauty-products commercial aired. His fatigue, and the drone of the television, would lull him to sleep until nightfall.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
As night fell, his uncle would pass through Route 1 to pick up Gillian from the Pokemon Center, riding a carriage pulled by Tauros, and he would collect any unconscious trainers he found along the way, as well as their Pokemon.




((Anyone can describe, control, or ignore my NPC characters))
 

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It was a chilly morning. Sitting on the edge of the lake, Machop, with his eyes closed deep in meditation, inhaled air deep into his lungs. It was quite a relaxing and focusing activity. He somehow managed to grow half his experience just by meditating. That old Watson, he's too amateur and mature to understand anything about training, so Machop took it by his own hands for the sake of self defense. Foresight was a move he had learned by himself, and would drift into using it during meditation from time to time.

All of a sudden a vision came to his mind, mobs of Ratata and Raticate were swarming into Pallet town, it was time to act, he thought.

Inside the tent, situated by the lake, Watson was still amidst inflating and deflating a sleep bubble from his nostril, there was nothing like sleeping in the tent, Watson always thought, it's so much more comfortable than the fluffy sagging mattress his wife, Dorothy, had bought for them a couple decades ago. ..."..PI!" Watson woke from the growls of this little hatchling.

This little cute creature, still partly engulfed by the eggshell it has hatched from, was a present he got from his kids upon embarking on his journey. The apparent stress of Togepi was made clear when Watson spotted young Machop making a sprint for the tent, with a serious look on his face.

Without any warning, machop tackled the tent, taking it apart mid-air, and started fleetingly disintegrating all the parts and packing them together. "Machop!" Machop said, and Watson understood, "Already packing, are we?.. Alright, alright, now where did I leave my toothbrush.."

The party has parted their camping ground about 2 minuted later. With Togepi sitting beside him, Watson was brushing his teeth. They were moving at top speed. Asking for a fair price to buy the neighbor's minotaur carriage was a brilliant idea, thought Watson, for Machop it was just a regular morning jog. Watson remembered to check a device he got from his son Xander, he called it a Pokedex, it was a great tip from him to check his pokemon's progress every once in a while, since for some reason they were leveling up by themselves. "Let's see your moves.. Foresight.. hmm.."

Arriving at Pallet town''s entrance, the sky looked awfully bleak, there was no one on the streets. "Something's going on here" Said Watson with a hint of suspicion. Machop took a glimpse back at him, giving him an acknowledging look. "Machop, use foresight" Said Watson, and with that, Machop closed his eyes mid-running, opening them immediately, letting go of the carriage, which made it slowly break on its own for several meters. Machop took off left on a street corner in front of them. Watson took Togepi and ran chasing him as hard as he could.

As he turned around the corner himself, it was apparent that Machop knew exactly what he was doing, but the young chap, Watson thought, he was way too ambitious and hot headed, which became quite clear by his insistence on taking on a mob of Ratata and Raticate that swarmed before them. Angry, vicious beasts, were they, thought Watson, and ugly too. They were ruining street furniture and tried breaking into the houses on the street, but one building in particular got their major attention, it was the town's medical center. The creatures would consecutively bash their head upon the building's glass facade, deeming it only a matter of time until their rampage would maneuver inwards.

There was other trainers on the other side of the street, he saw. One particularly standing out was a red haired teen, donning on a blue overall, with a Meganium and a Pidgey taking turns at the bastards, one at a time. Machop jumped headstrong right into the mob, using karate chops left and right, strengthened by his focused energy. "We've got to do something to help him, Togepi" Said Watson. With that said, Togepi's look became serious. Machop, with all his vigor, became awfully tired from every attack and started to et bitten and scratched. The angry sprawl of muzzled creatures took his fatigue as a sign of weakness, and started swarming at him.

At that moment, Togepi's eyes glared white whilst he levitated from Watson's hands. One moment he couldn't believe what he was seeing, and the next moment, he found himself on his knees. An immense wave of psychic energy emanated from Togepi that forced him down. In front of them, the impossible was done, as row after row of Ratatas and Raticates came crashing down on the street's surface, defeated. Watson noticed Togepi was falling down and caught him mid-air. He ran towards Machop, the poor lad was unconscious, these folks have got a lot to explain to him, "But first," said Watson, "let's get you healed".

((You guys can use Watson as an NPC, he doesn't reveal much about himself to others, so that saves you some headache. Machop and Togepi would love some attention though))
 

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Iloria sat idly beside an ornate fountain as she waited for her friend Polyhymnia to arrive. She and Polyhymnia had gone to school together, until Iloria transferred to a different school that was reputed to provide better preparation for the sort of work with Pokémon that she was interested in. They had not seen each other for about a year and a half; Iloria had let Polyhymnia know that she was coming to Cerulean City, and she was eager to see her, although she was also somewhat nervous, even though she knew there was no reason to be nervous. It was just that they had not met in so long, and Iloria did not want to give Polyhymnia a worse impression of herself. Iloria felt vaguely as if she were about to enter an interview and had recited to herself some things that she could say. She tried to shake away such thoughts. She tried to focus instead on enjoying the feeling of having slept well. After many days of inadequate sleep and early work, she had woken up at noon today.

Polyhymnia was currently studying at a university in Cerulean City. Her main area of study was literature, but she also had an interest in music and had composed several songs for voice and piano. Given her name, Polyhymnia was a bit disappointed that she had never composed a hymn and did not know how to go about doing that. By a spark of improbable good fortune, the university’s music department was set to offer a course on hymn composition next semester, so Polyhymnia planned to take that course.

Iloria had always been amazed by Polyhymnia’s extroverted energy. Polyhymnia’s excited and spontaneous way of approaching things was so different from Iloria’s own that she sometimes wanted to ask Polyhymnia, “How do you do it?” Iloria wondered whether Polyhymnia had a distinctive way of seeing the worth of things. Perhaps Polyhymnia generally saw a world resplendent in brilliant sunlight, while Iloria saw a world overswept with the subtle glow of dusk. It seemed that Polyhymnia could also see things as Iloria did, since they had sometimes shared conversations that bore an ambiance of contemplative stillness. But Iloria could not easily see things as Polyhymnia did, and this made Polyhymnia’s good qualities all the more admirable to Iloria.

Iloria’s eyes were fixed on the bright cerulean sky, as reflected in the water of the fountain. She did not notice it very much, though. She was thinking of how she had caused her parents needless worry in forgetting to tell them that she had arrived in the city, as she usually would do. They had said that it was fine and that they were glad she was liking Cerulean City so far. But they had clearly been very concerned. Iloria was well acquainted with the irony of reflection becoming an obstacle to the very things it aimed at. She hoped generally to be grateful and to recognize the value of others who were significant in her life, but her thoughts about such things, which should have been helpful for living as she wanted to, sometimes became a dense fog, a crowd of phantoms that hid their own counterparts in the real world. For instance, she had once liked someone at school, and a couple times she did not notice that he was right there because she was distracted thinking of him. This kind of situation had resulted in some more serious problems in her life that she did not want to dwell on now. Of course, reflection was important and valuable, but it sometimes led Iloria to live in her thoughts, as if the world were all in her mind, like the world of a dream. But the things she cared about and hoped for were things external to herself. Of course, she knew that, and it was strange to think how one could sometimes forget something while still knowing it.

When one is thirsty, she thought, one might imagine drinking water. But one would not be content just to imagine the experience of drinking water; one would want it to be a reality. In general, one would not be satisfied with just imagining and thinking of some hoped-for aim; if one were satisfied only with imaginings, one might never do anything. Or maybe one would still eat or drink so that one could go on imagining. But sometimes it seemed that imagining things could at least partially fulfill a desire. The experience of imagining the sound of a favorite melody seemed closer to the experience of actually listening to the melody, than the imagined experience of drinking water was to actually drinking water; an imagined melody could provide some genuine solace even when one was surrounded by the coldest silence. And sometimes the object of desire simply was an imagining. Sometimes Iloria liked to imagine what it would be like to be one of her Pokémon, but she did not wish that she actually were a Pokémon. The fact that she imagined it was not because she wanted it to be true; it was just because she wanted to imagine it.

Iloria’s thoughts were more disorganized than usual. She looked around as several people, cheerfully enjoying the weather, strolled past her. Checking the time on her phone, she saw that it was 2:05 P.M, so Polyhymnia was five minutes late. A current of anxiety began to rise within Iloria, but she supposed Polyhymnia would arrive soon. In the meantime, she released her Omanyte, Tacitus, so that he could swim in the fountain. She was not completely sure that Pokémon were allowed in the fountain, but she did not think anyone would mind. Tacitus was generally quiet and well-behaved. The Omanyte was an extinct Pokémon, but some Omanytes had recently been generated from fossils. Iloria was intrigued by this resurrection of a lost past, and it was for this reason that she had becoming interested in having an Omanyte herself. But, because the process for bringing them to life was so complex, Omanytes were very expensive, and her parents had been unable to afford one. So Iloria had saved money from miscellaneous side-jobs and was ultimately able to buy Tacitus a couple weeks ago. She was still getting to know him and trying to figure out how to train him, so he had not yet risen beyond Level 1.

On the other side of the square, Iloria saw someone waving emphatically. Polyhymnia looked no different than the last time Iloria saw her, but Iloria still did not recognize her for a moment. Her feeling of confusion was like what she felt when, upon awakening, she was for a few seconds unsure of where she was. Realizing that Polyhymnia had arrived, Iloria leapt up and ran over to her.
“It’s so great to see you!” Polyhymnia exclaimed.

***

Iloria returned to the inn shortly before sunset. She had enjoyed her time with Polyhymnia and was glad to have met with her. Polyhymnia had showed her around some parts of the city, and they had had some time to catch up and generally appreciate the value of shared experience. She had also introduced Polyhymnia to Tacitus (she had already met Iloria’s other Pokémon, who had seemed like they might still recognize her now). Polyhymnia was somewhat worried that she had not said anything interesting and made the time worthwhile for her friend, but she was overall content. Arriving in her room and glancing into the mirror, she was bewildered to notice that her shirt was on backwards. She quickly reassured herself that this was not the sort of shirt for which that would be particularly noticeable. But, although it was not so obvious that Polyhymnia definitely would have noticed, it was not so subtle that she probably would not have noticed. Iloria tried to reassure herself that it did not matter. This was not the sort of situation in which she would be judged harshly for something like that. Still, it was unusual for Iloria to have made this kind of mistake. She would sometimes focus so carefully on planning some aspect of her life that she neglected other aspects, but she generally did not forget about things (like making sure not to put a shirt on backwards) that would have some importance for most things that she did. She wondered why she had been so distracted lately.
 

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Hazel woke next morning in her own bed, in Pallet Town, confused. The mosaic duvet, the white walls, the bonsai tree upon her writing desk,were all too familiar, that she sat bolt upright, sure of herself that she had something to do, like a mission – but what? She reached for her phone from the bedside table, but it was dysfunctional.

A ship's horn hooted in the distance, and Hazel pushed open the window to lean over the frame, the air scented with fertilised flowers from below and a hint of saltiness from the sea. Somewhere out of sight played an accordion as the people of Pallet Town walked by her home, arm in arm; a large man pulling a cart of fruit to the marketplace along the cobbled road; and outside her front door sat a carriage with a Tauros. Feeling something off about the moment, Hazel withdrew to her room, knocking something off the writing desk, that tinkered on the floor. It was a crescent shaped feather with something like a ruby on the point. She made to pick it up, but as soon as her fingers touched the feather, scenes of the previous night flashed into her mind: the wisps in the dark; Oddish running across the fields of Route One; and something like a glowing swan -- was it a pokemon? -- blinding the scene. Where did the feather come from? Wracking her memory seemed only to confuse her more.

Laughter from downstairs brought her to consciousness, and she gave herself a quick look in the mirror, fixing her hair into a messy bun to save herself the labour, and headed down the passageway. On the way, she made a quick stop to her parent's bedroom for curious reasons, but found it clean through and through, despite a navy blue neckerchief on the floor sticking out from under the bed. She dismissed the object, however, and descended the stairway, finding her father in conversation with a beefy, jolly bearded man, who laughed heartily with his hand upon his chest.

When the stranger caught her eye, he rose instantly to his feet, his belly knocking the table a small fraction.

'I hope you're well, madame,' said he, nodding his head in concern.

'Yes, very well, thank you,' replied Hazel.

'You probably don't know of me, but I believe you know my nephew -- well, know of him, sounds more probable -- his name's Gillian. The boy never shuts up about you, to put it frank.' The man laughed, whilst Hazel's father, who usually disliked company, looked rather tired as he stared into his coffee. '"Hazel this, and Hazel that". Anyway, sorry to make you uncomfortable. I merely came to check up on you. Last night, I was passing through Route One, you see, and found myself being jumped at by this Vulpix here,' the man pulled two Poke Puffs out of his sidebag that hung upon the back of his chair, and threw them to Oddish and Vulpix who were evidently occupied with two other Poke Puffs from before. 'When I looked out into the field, I saw a figure -- you -- laying in the moonlight. Vulpix lead the way, and when I got to you, Oddish was nudging you awake, but you wouldn't move. I thought you'd died, to be honest, but something caught my eye -- that very thing in your hand right now. Do you know what that is?' Hazel shook her head. 'It's a Cresselia Feather, also known as a Crescent Moon Feather, or a Lunar Wing. I cannot say what it's exact properties are, but I know that's no fake. People sell imitations in marketplaces as jewellery -- usually as painted Pidgey or Sparrow feathers -- but that's genuine. I knew you were somehow alright after seeing that, so I brought you straight here. Forgive me, but I checked your ID from your bag, and I knew of your father here ... I'm glad you're alright after all.'

He bowed.

Hazel longed to say something, anything, but her mind went quiet. She twirled the Lunar Wing in her fingers -- what does it do? Does it do anything at all? Neither herself nor her father were in a communicative mood, which went detected by Gillian's uncle, who sculled the remains of his tea, and gathered his things to leave.

'Thank you,' said Hazel, at last. 'For everything.'

'Aye, it's meh job. Take care of yourself, now. My nephew will have an episode if he finds out where I've been, and to stay any longer might strike him dead.'

Laughing, he quit the building for his carriage, while Hazel kept him company until he left; and when the sound of a ship's horn drowned out the trots of the pulling Tauros, Hazel remembered everything: her mother, the shutdown network, Saffron: that she returned indoors to her father, whose eyes hadn't removed themselves from his coffee. She was determined for an urgent takeoff to Vermillion City. How she was to get to Saffron thence, she hadn't the faintest idea.

'Dad, I need you to take me to Vermillion City.'

No response.

'It's mum -- she's in trouble -- the network is down and there's no contacting her. I believe the police are on the case, but I don't know if they know it's got something to do with Saffron City. We need to get their asap. Please,' she added, pleadingly, for her father still hadn't looked at her since she woke up.

Hazel knew her father to be a depressed man, and had been since his youth. Seldom would he leave the house for months on end, and seemed to go through episodes where he would spontaneously shut and lock all windows and doors, and on the odd occasion, drawing the curtains. Being a freelance writer the whole of the Kanto region, he had contacts, but rarely acknowledged their existence. Presently, Hazel wondered if he was having one of these episodes.

'Please, dad. She needs our help. She could be dead, or about to be if we don't hurry up.'

Here he raised his eyes. Oddish and Vulpix had finished their treats, and detecting something disharmonious in the air, gathered at Hazel's side. The three stood at the open doorway, the sunlight beaming through, casting their silhouettes across the dining room, larger than her father, who rose to his feet and stood in the shadows.

'I'll phone the lads,' said he, 'and we should be able to leave in half an hour minimum.'

They looked at one another for a quiet moment, then Hazel nodded in thanks, and dashed off to shower and ready herself for a few days. She rummaged through her drawers, throwing the odd garment over her shoulder, Oddish running mad about the room as if it were raining, then shoved everything into a bag, deciding she could make the packing tidier when she gets onto the boat. At ten minutes to spare, she decided to give Vulpix a quick shower of his own, massaging an oak scented shampoo through his hair and many tails. She knew how much Vulpix hated water, but after dealing with rats and sweating through Route One, she thought bathing a necessity. Oddish had a natural cleaning property. After a calling sign from her father, Hazel gathering her things and a Pokebag, the four of them headed to the waterfront predominated by yachts and sailors.

Trainers of all kinds were on the docks, from a Lickitung running to and fro from having stolen its trainer's curry -- a spicy tomato-based sauce with poached eggs, and pita on the side; to Corsola on the rocky sidelines, amongst Shellders and Poliwags; and an Alakazam boarding one of the boats. Vulpix had dashed ahead to sniff a Leafeon, who seemed startled at first, then indifferent to the fox's whereabouts as it returned to cleaning its own paws. When a sailor whom Hazel recognised as Campbell called them over, her father lead the way.

Hazel recalled Campbell from school. Both tall and handsome and rich, but not all that clever, he was popular amongst the girls, and secretly admired by the boys whether they acknowledged it or not. Hazel could do little more than judge that he had the best skin she had ever seen, perhaps smoother than a newborn. A part of her wished he would hug her, merely so she could feel his skin against her neck, but considering that as creepy, pushed the image aside. Although she had known his goodness with people, she always felt there was something rather off about him, something that disconnected him from anybody who tried to get close. As she observed his uniform, two other men joined their company, one of whom was a captain, and they and her father discussed the journey of expected winds and pokemon at bay.

'Campbell,' said the captain, 'something is different about you today. Ah, your neckerchief, you haven't got it on.'

Campbell placed his hand to his neck, then laughed.

'So I haven't,' said he. 'I must've misplaced it. I definitely had it yesterday. Oh well, I'm sure there's a spare one on the boat. Are we ready then? Great! All aboard.'

When the boatmen headed up the wharf, Hazel caught eye with her father.

'Odd about Campbell losing his neckerchief,' said she. 'I remember him being very anal about his appearance.'

'Anal, indeed,' replied her father, and Hazel detected a faint smile she hadn't seen in a long time. 'He's lucky the captain's in a good mood today. Something about finding a water stone on the seafloor and evolving his Eevee into a Vaporeon. I beat you'd be excited if you found a fire stone for your Vulpix, aye?'

'Right. Well, we should probably get on board. I don't think we should be wasting time when mum's in trouble.'

They both of them nodded, and when they reached the decks, the boat departed.

It was a calming ride for the most part, boys and girls on their sailboats, accelerating full speed with their Staryus and Starmies hydro-pumping from the back, their inner rubies glistening in the sunlight. Before Hazel could fully enjoy the moment, however, a large, black shadow drifted in the depths of the waters. Divers below called everybody to pull back, closer to shore, and the captain of the boat delivered the same warning through the speakers.

'A mysterious object has been spotted below,' called he. 'Everybody make your way closer to land.'

The shadow had turned round, and again drifted under the boat. The world for a moment went quiet and still, that Campbell and her father observed from the front decks. Hazel and Vulpix looked at one another, whilst Oddish hid behind her legs, for he never felt secure off of land, but to have him in a pokeball seemed to make him even more insecure, as he would have neurotic tendencies to release himself for Hazel's presense.

'It's not a Wailord, is it?' yelled Campbell to the other sailor. 'Either that, or a giant Tentacruel.'

Hazel, however, was not convinced, and by the sound of his own voice, nor was Campbell. Ahead Hazel could see the bridge of Route Seventeen, and before long, the captain indicated their location through the speaker. When all thought the scene was safe and clear, the boat begun to sway hither and thither, as the large, mysterious shadow rose out of the water.

A giant submarine now floated beside them, big and black. From the top, a latch had been released and a roof swung open, allowing a man in a white mask to climb out, a black object tied to his back; six others followed pursuit.

'Can we help you, gentlemen?' called the captain through the speaker. 'Your submarine is unregistered, unclassified, and thus illegally in usage. I advise you --'

From the side of the submarine, four long, extensive claws shot themselves towards the boat, two of which aimed for Hazel and her pokemon. She ducked in time, a near miss, and Vulpix growled. Next moment, the boatmen all came to the decks and released their pokemon, a Pidgeot, a Dewdong and a Cloyster, all of whom attempted to destroy the claws, from ice-beams to strong winds, but in vain. The seven trespassers did no more than release a Gyarados each, and they were outnumbered. The sailors were forced to keep the Gyarados at bay.

One of the claws grabbed hold of Oddish, who screeched as he was pulled to the submarine, helpless. Hazel screamed for him, commanding Vulpix to cast flames here and there, but produced nothing effective; the man in the white mask took the object off his back, soon revealed as a gun, that shone a red laser upon Hazel's chest. She froze, petrified, and suddenly her heart beat drew louder. At the sound of a bang, she raised her arms to her face, and found herself pushed to the floorboards, followed by a limp Vulpix falling by her side.

The sailors and their pokemon, busy protecting the boat from the Gyarados, noticed nothing. The Gyarados were returned, and calmly did the seven men enter the submarine, returning to the depths of the sea without having spoken a word.

'Vulpix?' said Hazel.

Hazel held Vulpix towards her, and noticed a syringe in his hind leg that injected the last of its purple fluid. As she pulled out the syringe, Vulpix gave a broken yelp before his head hung loosely over Hazel's hand, and she broke into tears, her face pressed against his body.
 

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"MR. WATSON! .. MR. WATSON, WAKE UP!"

Watson got shaken back to reality with a couple of slaps to his face. "Wuh.." He exhaled, while rubbing his eyes. This particular nurse Joy was rather feisty, yet, she seemed rather concerned. "I'm sorry to tell you this Mr. Watson, but.. your Machop.. I'm afraid he's been stolen. His pokeball has been in the mending station one moment, and at the other moment it was gone."

"There is a suspect, however, a group actually, the camera footage has some evidence for that." Nurse Joy continued "... I think you are familiar with team Rocket? Yes, the ones who were disbanded a long time ago. Turns out that the couple with a talking Meowth were not cosplayers after all.. those bastards.. I'm so sorry, Mr. Watson, I should have known better."

".. You've got to be kidding me!" Said Watson, in a tone not as nonchalant as his usual. "And where am I supposed to find him now?? Machop is one of a kind. I swear, If I wouldn't find hi-" "Wait! I've given the team Rocket's footage to the poke-police, your Machop will be at your side soon enough I would imagine." - "NONE OF THAT BULLCRAP" Said Watson in a raised voice "I want to see the footage, I will track them down myself." - "Are you sure you've got the right Pokemon who could match their power? Maybe I should call the-" "YES I DO. Besides, I've got an idea on who to call to help me. Now, show me the footage, please"

* * *​

Xander has been working on the process of preservation of an old art piece he found which he thought would fit his new apartment pretty well. It's been not so long ago that he was still traveling around the Johto region, challenging the different gyms there. Winning against the final four sure had a great benefit price-wise.

All of a sudden, his poke-phone was ringing. ".. Pops.." He picked up the call and answered. "Hey pops, how's it going? .. What? That can't be.. You could be sure I've got the time, it's Machop we're talking about after all!" Xander was the one who found Machop to begin with. The two grew close together before coming back to Kanto. Machop.. he'll have a hard time forgiving himself for allowing himself to be stolen like that, better find him soon. Xander thought. "Pallet town center, got it. Stay right there pops, I'm coming over."

* * *​

"There you are, child! Took you long enough!" Watson said, smiling with pride at the vision of his son, swiftly descending from the sky atop his Skarmory. It was a marvelous sight, the way his son works with his Pokemon. There was something very royal about the way he went on with them.

"Hey pops!" Said Xander. He was quite a tall chap, buzzed black hair was encircling his jaw and his scalp, piercing blue eyes contrasting. The name fit him right from the start, Watson thought, and it seemed to grow well on him as he grew older. "Come on down that hefty beast, I've got something to show you" Said Watson, taking his poke-phone out with team Rocket's footage in it.
 
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