My name is Jack, and today I begin my Pokémon Journey. Before I get started though, I’ll give you a little back-story on where I’m from. I grew up in the Kazan Region; a chain of islands surrounding one larger one with an active volcano at its center. The whole chain is actually in what should be a freezing cold climate, but the heat from the volcano and the lava sprouts keeps it pretty mild year-round. Each of the eight islands around the volcano specializes in a different type of Pokémon, and the landscapes reflect that in some cases. The islands have ferries running between them regularly, and most goods are shipped that way.
The island I was born on was Kasai Island. The fire type island. Nothing too crazy about the towns, but there are hot springs and lava spouts out in the country. I, like many others, chose a fire type as my starter. I remember it really well, because a lot of people made fun of me for it for a long time. I got to Professor Koa’s lab late and the only Charmander left was what looked like the runt of the litter. It was smaller than the books said was normal, and instead of orange, it was pale yellow. But when I saw him I knew he was the one for me.
I named him Firedrake.
Jump forward two years to now. I’m 18. Firedrake is the strongest Charizard in my school, and the only one that’s black. And together we are about to begin our journey. As is tradition, we save the gym of our island for last, so we can return and see just how much we have changed.
I’ve said goodbye to my family, promising to keep in touch and call in at every Pokémon center. I’ve packed my backpack with a few changes of clothing, a hoodie, a folding camp saw, a short, thick machete, a tarp, sleeping bag, rope, my PokeGear, PokeDex, Pokéball, and all the money I could save up.
“Well Firedrake, you ready?” I asked
“ZAR” he growled, Yeah!
But before we could even make it out of the main town we found our first new friend. Well he found us. And he didn’t like us.
“Look, I’m telling you it’s a shortcut.”
“ZAR” I know I’ve heard that one before.
“I don’t need sarcasm from an overgrown lizard”
He punched me in the arm hard enough to make me stumble. I glared back at him over my shoulder. He was smiling. I shook my head and kept walking when I head growling ahead of me.
A malnourished Houndour was walking up from behind a dumpster.
“Hey there little bit, what are you up to?”
He kept growling and moved closer. I knelt down and put out one hand palm down.
“ZAR” You want me to take care of him?
“No, he’s just scared. Take a step back, I got this one.”
The Houndour started inching closer, and sniffed at my hand. With my other hand I reached back and pulled out a few pieces of beef jerky from my bag. The poor thing flinched back when I did. I tossed a few small pieces out towards him, having them get progressively closer leaving a large piece in my hand.
He started coming closer, eating as he came, and he snatched the last piece out of my hand. I got up and started walking past him and away. Firedrake and I got to the other end of the alleyway when we heard one of the trash cans behind us fall over. I looked back and saw Houndour looking between me and the trashcan acting like he wasn’t at all interested in me.
“If you want to come with me, I don’t mind. I’ll make sure your better off than you are now, and I’ll give you some more jerky.”
“ZAR” It’s really not that bad. And some more company would be nice
“Grr-oughr” I can take care of myself. I don’t need anyone’s help.
“I didn’t say you needed anything. I can see you’re doing fine here. I’m just saying if you want to come with me we can make a deal. I’ll make sure you are taken care of and well fed, and in return you help me win some badges.”
“Grr-oughr” Well…I guess that sounds reasonable…
“Well then we have a deal! Pokéball go!”
And that was the first wild Pokémon I caught.
I made it to the edge of the island last night, and stayed at the PokeCenter by the port there. They double as Hostels and provide free rooms to traveling trainers. I let the nurse Joy there take a look at Houndour and Firedrake.
“I wanted to talk to you about your Houndour” Nurse Joy said to me. She hadn’t quite given the balls back to me.
“What is it?” I reached out, and she pulled them back again.
“There are signs of abuse. Scars, badly mended bones…”
“Are you implying it was me?”
“I’m just saying they were there…”
“I found Houndour in a back alley. I haven’t really gotten to know him, but that might explain the way he reacted to me in the first place.”
“I just hate to see Pokémon treated so badly…” Joy started to slide my Pokéball back towards me.
“What did you think of Firedrake? My Charizard.”
“He was in excellent condition, but-”
“He was my first Pokémon, and the only one I’ve had a chance to get to know.”
“And the Houndour?”
“Is going to be taken care of. I promise you.”
“Alright…” She slid my Pokéball the rest of the way across the counter and returned them to me.
“I will treat them with the care, and respect they deserve. I promise.” I turned and walked down the hall to my room before she could answer.
I should warn you now if you haven’t already figured it out, this is a journal, and I tend to ramble. There’s a lot of information about this region, and the battles I have, so I’m just giving the cliff notes version.
“So Firedrake, we’ve been training your flight abilities and strength for a while now, just around the island. Do you think you can carry me to the next island?”
“ZAR” Carrying your corpulent posterior across a sea this small shouldn’t be too bad.
“There’s no need for insults. A simple yes would have sufficed.”
Firedrake came up behind me, and grabbed the straps of my backpack, a sturdy military rucksack, and lifted me up in the air. I’m not going to lie; it was pretty terrifying. It’s not like Sento, the next island, is that far away, but this was the first time we were flying this far together and over open water. All that aside it was pretty fun! I mean come on, FLYING!
When we arrived at Sento Island, Firedrake was worn out. I didn’t blame him; I weigh 250, plus my backpack.
“You did great, thanks a lot!”
“ZAR” Yeah…any time
“Do you want to keep walking with me, or do you want to take a nap in your ball.”
"ZAR” You know, taking a nap while you carry me might not be a bad idea.
“Alright buddy, rest easy”
I returned Firedrake to his ball, and decided to let Houndour out for a while. When he came out he was looking around confused.
“Hey Houndour, want to come out and stretch your legs?”
“Grr-oughr” Just to stretch my legs?
“Yeah, why not? Firedrake is tired, and I like company.”
“Grr-oughr” Well, I guess…
Houndour was wary for a while. He followed me, but never got too close. He always kept just out of arm’s reach, and looked as if he was ready to turn and run.
“Hey Houndour, what would you say to a nickname? Firedrake seems to like his, and just wandering around calling you Houndour all the time just seems so impersonal.”
“Grr-oughr” It almost sounds like you care.
“Well of course I do. Why wouldn’t I?”
“Grr-oughr” The last guy didn’t.
It took me a minute to answer. “I’m sorry to hear that. I am. People can be jerks.”
“Grr-oughr” Can and will.
“Not always. Ask firedrake if you want-”
“Well, what have we here?” Interceded an old familiar voice
“Oh, not you again…”
“That’s right Jack. Your old friend Douglas.”
“Old friend nothing. You’ve gone out of your way at every chance you’ve had to try to make my life miserable Douggy. And all of them have failed.”
“Grr- I hate that name! Let’s go!” He pulled out a Pokéball.
“If it will get you out of my hair. One on one, no bets.”
“Agreed. Croconaw go!”
“Houndour, you up for a fight?” Houndour steeped foreword, emitting a low growl.
“Croconaw Ice fang!” Douglas called
“Houndour use Fire fang!”
They flashed by each other in a burst of steam as their fangs met each other.
“Roll with it Houndour”
Croconaw turned in mid air and swiped up at Houndour. Houndour tried to roll, but Croconaw’s claw still caught hard on Houndour’s leg.
“Houndour use faint attack” He lunged foreword and caught Croconaw as he landed, sending him flying back and bouncing off a tree.
“Rrr Croconaw use Hydropump!”
“What!? Houndour try to keep it back with a flamethrower!”
Croconaw pulled himself back and let loose a powerful jet of water. Houndour’s flamethrower met it and pushed it back, but it didn’t hold. The hydropump hit Houndour like a wrecking ball, throwing him back to the ground.
“Now crunch Croconaw” And before the steam had cleared, Croconaw lurched forward and clamped his jaws on Houndour’s already wounded leg. He let out a pitiful whimper.
“Enough! This match it over.” I started walking forward.
“Not yet. Skullbash Croconaw!”
“I SAID ENOUGH!” I put myself between Houndour and Croconaw and took the skullbash right in the chest. It hurt, but I didn’t let it show. I gave Croconaw a Glare that could stop a Darkrai in its tracks.
“What’s a matter? Scared your little Houndour will get hurt? He can take more of a beating that this. I know that for a fact.”
“You were his first owner.” Realization dawning
“Meh, he was weak.”
I let Firedrake out.
“Leave here now, or things are going to get really nasty.” I said, not trying to hide the menace in my voice.
“Heh, whatever.” He said, trying to hide the crack in his voice, “Later loser.”
I watched him walk away and waited a minute before I doubled over in pain. Croconaw weren’t supposed to know skullbash, but my bruised, and possibly cracked, ribs said otherwise.
“Houndour, you ok?”
“Grr-oughr” Yeah, I’ll be fine. I just- he broke off into a fit of coughing.
“That’s enough of that. I’m taking you to a Pokémon center. Back in your ball. Firedrake, can you help me get to the Pokémon center?”
We must have been quite a scene walking in. On the way we hit a bad patch of trail, and I twisted my ankle really bad. So in I limped, leaning heavily on a shiny Charizard. The resident Nurse Joy rushed over.
“Oh my goodness! Are you ok?” She asked
“I’ve been better. I got hit with a skull bash, but I want you to take a look at my Houndour first.”
“Yeah” I pulled his ball off the holder on my belt, “he got beat up pretty bad too.”
“Oh, of course.” She said, a little surprised.
After Joy had taken Houndour, and Firedrake just because, she took an x-ray of my chest. Only one rib was cracked, there were lots of bruises though. Joy took me to a room, gave me some ibuprofen, and confined me to my bed.
I didn’t get around to saying where I was yesterday. The islands have one main road going through the middle, used primarily for shipping, and the main city (‘island name’ city) where the gym is located. The closest Pokémon center after yesterday’s battle was in a small town, not too far from the main road. It was actually setup like my own home town Astillia. A handful of small roads branching off to subdivisions, restaurants, and everything else a small town needs.
“Your Pokémon are fighting fit! We hope to see you again soon!” Joy said
“Not too soon I would hope.”
“Of course. Maybe next time you can even walk in on your own.”
“Thanks again for the food and medicine. My Pokémon and I will both appreciate it. Is there any way I can pay you back? Something I could help out with around here?”
“Well, we could use a hand cleaning around here.”
“Show me where.”
I swept and mopped the main lobby, cleaned the front windows and the bathrooms. In return I was given more medicine for my Pokémon, and a little extra spending money. I checked the map on my PokeGear and found the best way to get to Sento City. It was a three day hike, with one other town along the way.
“Houndour, come on out.” I had reached the edge of town now, and was about to start my hike.
“Grr-oughr” Another casual stroll?
“If you’re up for it.”
We had been walking for about twenty minutes in a comfortable silence when Houndour spoke up.
“Grr-oughr” So. A nickname?
“Yeah. Some people say it helps strengthen the bonds between trainer and Pokémon. Even helps the Pokémon level up faster.”
“Grr-oughr” Really? So… what did you have in mind?
“Well, I was thinking Dante. He wrote an epic poem called The Divine Comedy.”
“Grr-oughr” A story teller?
“He’s very famous and well known.”
“Grr-oughr” Have you heard his story?
“Well…no…But it’s on my reading list.”
“Grr-oughr” Uh huh. Well…I kinda like it.
We made camp in a clearing not too far from the trail.
On the road again. I didn’t really think about the terrain around here. Sure it’s a three day hike, but a day and a half of that is through the desert. There is a well marked path of telephone poles sticking out of the ground every hundred feet or so, and a well at the edge for trainers to use.
“Alright guys” I said to Firedrake and Dante “Drink up.
“Grr-oughr” It looks like it’s going to be a long walk.
“Sure is, and you guys are riding in your Pokéball.”
“ZAR” Why would you think that’s going to happen?
“Because it’s going to be hot, and there isn’t going to be a lot of water. I can carry enough for me if I only drink it sparingly.”
“Grr-oughr” He’s right.
“ZAR” That’s new.
“Alright, that’s enough of that. Back in your ball.” Charizard let out an annoyed sigh, and returned.
It’s evening now. I ran into a Sandshrew after maybe an hour of walking. It was walking along the trail keeping parallel with me for maybe twenty minutes before I stopped in my tracks.
“You going to come out and say hi?”
“Yeah I noticed you. You ok?”
“SAND” Of course. I’m fine. Why would you ask?
“Well you’ve been following me for a while now.”
“SAND” Well, it’s just that… trainers usually have water…
“Aren’t there springs around here?”
“SAND” Yeah, but it’s frozen over.
“SAND” Some people showed up started freezing them.
“Where is the nearest one?”
“SAND” Over that way a bit. No one is there anymore, so now we’re just waiting for it to melt.
“Can you take me to it?”
“SAND” Sure, if you give me some water.
‘Over that way a bit’ turned out to be about another twenty minutes walk perpendicular to the trail. We got there, and the modest sized pool was completely frozen over. It was solid enough to walk out in the middle of it. All around in the sand were footprints, tire marks, and trash. Lots of people had been here.
“What happened here?”
“SAND” Like I said. People showed up, and froze the water.
“How did they manage that?”
“SAND” No idea. They had a big truck, something shot out, and the water froze.
“I think that deserves some investigation.”
“SAND” Yeah somebody should, but after everyone else has gotten something to drink.
“Oh, of course. Firedrake, Dante, GO! Now, use your hottest flamethrower!”
Slowly, but surely the ice started to melt. As it did, Pokémon began to appear from everywhere. Diglet, Onix, Geodude, and all kinds of other ground and rock Pokémon. As the ice melted they came forward to drink. It didn’t take us too long to completely melt it, being in the middle of a desert and all, and when we were finished I turned back to Sandshrew.
“There. How’s that?”
“Now, can you show me where the people who did this went?”
“SAND” Yeah, but there are a few things I need to take care of. I need to make sure everyone gets water, and there were some that were wounded I want to make sure are ok.
“If you take me to your wounded I can give them some medicine.”
“SAND” You…would do that?
“Of course. I have plenty to spare.”
Well, not too much to spare. There were more wounded than I anticipated. They weren’t that many wounded from Pokémon battles though which was unsettling. There were clear marks from boots, maybe a car fender, and lots of ice wounds. It was awful, sickening even, but eventually over. Night was falling by the time I finished, so I decided to go ahead and make camp here.
Bout time to get going. Sandshrew is leading me in the direction the Ice People went. Straight out into the desert. I have no idea where the trail is now, but Sandshrew knows the way.
“Hey Sandshrew, what do you plan on doing after all of this?”
“SAND” Not sure. Probably go back and keep an eye out for those people and make sure they don’t come back.
“Well, I don’t think they’ll be coming back here.”
“SAND” Why not?
“There’s no reason. Coming here and freezing a bunch of springs seems kinda like something someone would do as a test.”
“They came, they froze, they left. You said there was a big truck that something shot out of?”
“SAND” Yeah. They froze it, ran around a little with a lot of boxes, and then they got really excited. Then they left. Kicking any Pokémon they ran across out of the way and battling any that tried to stop them.”
“They were probably taking measurements with those boxes and got excited because it works.
“SAND” Because what works?
“Whatever was on that truck.”
“So I was wondering, if you would like to come with me. Travel, train, and keep an eye out for these guys.”
“SAND” That might not be too bad. Once you’ve seen one sand dune, you’ve seen them all.
“So, what do you say?” I reached to my belt and pulled off an empty ball.
“SAND” How about a quick battle? If I just say yes, I’ll be a laughing stock. Word travels fast in the desert.
“Have it your way. Dante go!”
Sandshrew opened up with rollout.
“Jump out of the way and use ember!” Dante jumped, and narrowly avoided getting his paws hit, then landed, turned, and let loose with a jet of flame. Right at me.
“GAH! Watch where you’re shooting that!”
Sandshrew continued his roll and turned back to Dante.
“Use ember again!” This time he hit dead on. Sandshrew unrolled and staggered a bit, then lunged forward with a poison sting.
“Use smog and run!” One of the needles nipped his tail, but that was it. Sandshrew started coughing in the smoke and kicking up sand everywhere.
“Dante, close your eyes and tackle straight to your left!” He followed my directions, keeping the sand out of his eyes, and hit Sandshrew head on. Sandshrew started to stagger up again when I threw my pokeball.
I started to mutter “A+B+Down A+B+Down A+B+Down A+B+Down A+B+Down” It worked.
“I caught Sandshrew!” As the smoke and sand cleared I saw Dante walk forward and start glowing. And right there he evolved to Houndoom. I ran up to him and gave him a hug.
“Congratulations! Way to go Dante!”
“Grr-oughr” Hey, it’s what I do!
“Well, you and Firedrake say hello to our newest team mate.” I let them both out.
“ZAR” How come I haven’t gotten to come out and play yet?
“Because you are already ridiculously powerful. I need a balanced team. And say hi to Terra.
“SAND” Terra? I like it.
“ZAR” Hey how you doing. He said in passing. He then turned back to me. Look I haven’t had a good battle since we left.
“Fine you can have the next one.”
“SAND” Alright, can we go find these guys now? The next spring isn’t too far from here, and that’s probably where they went.
“One second though.” I went ahead and gave Terra the Sandshrew a potion. “Alright guys, I want to watch what these guys are doing first, so Firedrake, Dante I want you in your Pokéballs.”
We got to the top of a particularly high sand dune, and looking down we could see them. There were grunts running around in pale blue jumpsuits with the same logo on the back. An H shaped like a mountain with a snowing storm cloud on top. There were scientists running around in lab coats with the same logo taking measurements of the spring below. There were tents setup in rows further away, sleeping quarters I guess, one big one to the left, command judging by the number of guards, and a bigger to the right, I guess that’s where they had most of the equipment judging by the scientists running around it.
I got out my PokeGear and started taking pictures; especially faces and license plates where I could. Before too long, the main event started. An old military jeep rolled out of the largest tent and pulled towards the spring. There were some crazy electronics in the passenger seat and in the back. Where there would be a gun mounted, there was some crazy looking thing from a sci-fi movie. Instead of a metal barrel, there was a glass cylinder with a pale blue spiral running down the middle.
The gunner in the back, a little guy who was crammed in between more electronics, aimed at the spring, and let loose a blast of white mist. As soon as it touched the spring it began to freeze, and slowly but surely the rest of the spring froze over too. I had seen enough, I began creeping back down the dune.
“Alright Terra, nightfall isn’t too far off, and when it comes I want to go in there and wreak a little havoc. You in?”
It’s about 11:30 now. It’s plenty dark, and the lights in the larger tents are off, an only a handful of the sleeping tents are lit now.
“Ok, it should be dark enough now. Everyone out, but stay quiet.”
“ZAR” What’s the plan?
“I’m going to go into the main tent and see if I can find any names. Firedrake I want you to get to the science tent over there and wait for my signal. When I give it, I want you to go nuts. Smash everything you can, and burn everything else. Dante I want you to sneak around the sleeping tents and in any where people are sleeping I want you to try to grab boots, pants, and do anything else you can do to slow people down. When Firedrake goes off, use your ember to set some tents on fire, and then get over to Firedrake. Terra I want you to dig pits in front of the trucks so that when they try to drive off, they fall in. If things start to seem buggy around any of you, get back here as fast as you can. Agreed?”
We all got into position, and I entered the office tent. It was about 15’X10’ with a few tables, and some boxes of papers. I started snooping and didn’t find anything too useful, err, that I could make sense of anyway. It looked like some orders for parts, but it was in some type of code. That or they really did need dozens of frying pans and spatulas. I took pictures of everything, but didn’t really get very far before I was interrupted.
“Well, what have we here?”
“Why Douggy! Isn’t it past your bedtime?”
“My father is going to be very interested as to why you decided to snoop around our facilities.”
“Your father? He’s the one running this?”
“That’s right. Team Hyoga is going to run these stupid islands.”
“I don’t know what you guys have planned, but I don’t think I like it. So I think I’m going to stop it.” I felt around, and turned the flash on my PokeGear’s camera back on.
“Oh yeah?” Douglas asked, pulling a Pokéball out. “How are you going to do that?”
“Like this” I took a picture of Douglas, blinding him temporarily with the flash and closing my eyes to keep myself from becoming blinded. I then ran forward and punched him in the nose. I’m pretty sure I broke it.
Firedrake let out an enormous roar and got to work. I heard several crates smash, and metal warp, then the tent burst into flame. Firedrake walked out of the front flap like a scene from a movie and casually started strolling over.
“ZAR” How’s that?
“Great, but we need to scoop up the others and get out of here quick-” before I even finished, Dante came hauling ass around the nearest burning tent with a boot in his mouth and a half dressed grunt chasing after him.
“GET BACK HERE YOU LITTLE BASTARD!”
“That’s MY little bastard! Return Dante! Firedrake, use Scary Face!” The look on that poor grunt’s face will stay with me forever. Because I got it on camera.
“Neat. One down, one to go. Let’s go find Terra.” We started running over to the trucks when people started rushing out of now blazing tents. I took a chapter from a book I read once and started shouting.
“In the office, the office! It’s team Rocket.” And then again in a slightly different voice “By the latrines, they’re getting away” People started yelling and relaying my orders and heading off in all different directions. I got to the trucks and called out again, quieter.
“Terra! It’s time to get out of here. Where are you?”
“SAND” Sup? He poked his head out of the sand about a foot away.
“We’re bailing. What direction is the next town?” He looked around, and at the sky, then pointed away from the trucks and camp.
“Awesomesauce. Return Terra. Firedrake, I need a ride.”
“ZAR” Hop on, but watch out for my wings.
Firedrake made the best time he ever has. Two hours tops and we landed in front of the police station at Tochi Town.
“I really hate asking you to fly so hard. Thank you.”
“ZAR” Anytime. I ran up to the door and started banging on it.
“Hey! You guys need to see this!” The Jenny at the front desk looked up at me. “It’s an emergency.” She came over and unlocked the door.
“What’s wrong?” She asked
“I’ve have evidence of a new faction.”
“Like Team Rocket, or Plasma. These guys call themselves Team Hyoga. They’ve got a thing for ice.”
“That’s all we need. Another group of nutjobs trying to cause chaos.”
“If you have a computer I have some pictures on my PokeGear that might help.”
“Sure, come on in.”
I showed Jenny the pictures I had taken. She recognized a few of the scientists as wanted members from the now dispersed Team Rocket, and I made sure she got a good look at Douglas. However, I left out the parts about me sabotaging the camp and the equipment.
“This last guy’s name is Douglas Glacio. He said his father was in charge, and he was planning to take over the islands.”
“I know that name. Glacio was on a wanted list for a while. He was a high ranking lieutenant in Team Rocket, but was released on parole after making a deal. Most of the people he sold out were next in line to take his job, but nobody could really prove that.”
“If the son is any indication of the father, I wouldn’t doubt it.”
“I’ll be sure this information is put to good use. Thank you.”
“Anytime; do you need anything else? I really pushed my Pokémon getting here, and would like to get them to a Pokémon center.”
“Sure thing, but first I have a few papers for you to fill out before you leave.” She pulled out a folder about a centimeter thick.
“I thought you said a few…”
I’ve finally made it to Sento City. I didn’t write anything yesterday because nothing really happened. I woke up at the Pokémon center, got my Pokémon back, stopped by the Pokémart to get more food and nutrient packs (different types for different kinds of Pokémon) and headed out. Sento City was only a few hours walk from Tochi. On the road I ran into a few wild Pokémon and trainers, and won all of the battles. Some of them were pretty close calls, there was a water specific trainer, and it was Dante’s speed that kept us floating.
The Sento Gym was an impressive building. It looked like a temple more than anything. It was built of hand and Pokémon carved stones and fit together without using any type of adhesive or mud packing or anything. I began my walk up the steps. There were lots. At the top of Gym Temple there was a wide open court surrounded by seats like a coliseum, but only going a few rows high.
“Hello!” I called out “I’m here to battle!”
“Is that so?” Called a gruff voice.
“It is.” I responded. From behind a pillar stepped a man built like a slab of marble.
“Heh. I’m the gym leader here, and my name is Daxton. You don’t look that strong.”
“And you don’t look that smart.”
“A true trainer trains beside his Pokémon.”
“Well my flamethrower attack is somewhat lacking.”
“Feh. Relying on elemental attacks is weak.”
“And refusing to use your Pokémon’s full power is dumb.”
“Strength is full power.”
“How the hell are you a gym leader?”
“By being the strongest.”
“Alright, I’m bored. Let’s battle and get this over with.”
“Fine if you-”
“If you say one more thing about strength I’m going to blast you off this building.”
He let out a deep belly laugh. “You talk tough kid.”
We went to opposite ends of the field where he called out his first Pokémon.
“Machamp go!” His Machamp appeared flexing all four arms showing much larger than average muscles
“Machamp focus energy” He brought all of his fists together and bowed his head.
“Terra sand attack then fury swipes.” He ran forward dragging one claw behind him then simultaneously jumped and swung his claw and just let loose. I counted five before his momentum failed and he dropped down.
“Now! Dynamic Punch!” And he delivered a punch that would have knocked Terra flat, if he hadn’t had a round back. Instead he rolled a bit before landing sprawled on his stomach.
“Terra use rollout!”
“Machamp catch him.” And he did. He stopped terra cold with his bare hands. There were four of them, but still. That was impressive. “Vital Throw” Machamp grabbed terra and threw him.
“Stay rolled and bounce with it!”
“Cross chop before they can recover” Machamp surged forward faster than I ever would have expected, and hit like a ton of hammers. Terra went down hard.
“Terra! Are you ok?” He started get back up but couldn’t. I walked over to him. “It’s ok, you did your best and that’s all I can ask. Thank you.”
“SAND” Any time.
“Your Pokémon are as weak as you are.” Daxton called.
“Meh meh, me mehmehmeh.” I mocked “Firedrake, go get him!”
“ZAR!” Let’s do this!
“Machamp come out swinging with Dynamic Punch”
“Dodge it and use Wing Attack!” Machamp came rushing forward with both right arms pulled back. Charizard ducked to his right, Machamp’s left, and stuck out his wing clotheslineing Machamp with the forces of both Pokémon. The result looked like something out of an old samurai movie. The two foes stood in their follow through stances waiting. Machamp fell, and Firedrake rose, shuck his wing, and came back towards our side of the arena.
“Machamp return. Sawk, your turn.”
“Firedrake use Air Slash.”
“Sawk double kick” Firedrake flew forward with one claw extended as Sawk jumped in the air to kick. The first connected with Firedrake’s chin, but he spun with it using the momentum to increase his own swipe. When his claws connected with Sawk the Sawk went soaring to land flat on his back.
“Firedrake use flame burst!” And before Sawk got a chance to get his feet back Firedrake sent an explosive fireball at him and hit dead on.
“Sawk use retaliate!” Sawk rolled back with the explosion then leapt forward driving a punch straight at Firedrake and connecting with his stomach.
“While he’s in close use fire fang!” Firedrake clamped down on Sawk’s shoulder and took a step forward using his neck and legs to fling Sawk back.
“Sawk! You have to keep fighting!” Sawk got one arm under him and tried to rise, but couldn’t and collapsed. “You did well. Come on back. Poliwrath go!”
“Firedrake, you still good?”
“ZAR” Yeah, for a bit anyway.
“Poliwrath use low sweep!” Poliwrath rolled forward and spun sweeping his leg out in a low…well, sweep.
“Fly Firedrake!” Firedrake jumped up flapping his wings, his ankle only getting clipped. Then he more fell forward than anything and tackled using his mass, momentum and one more powerful flap of his wings.
“Use submission Poliwrath” Poliwrath grabbed Firedrake, slammed him down and the two of them rolled with Poliwrath landing on top.
“Firedrake you did good, now finish him off Dante!” Houndoom came out and let out a vicious growl that had nothing to do with Pokémon moves, and everything to do with the wild and unknown. Poliwrath took a step back.
“Poliwrath dynamic punch!”
“Dante roll and use thunder fang!” Dante sidestepped and rolled out of the way of the punch then surged forward like a bolt of lightning and clamped down on Poliwrath’s arm. Poliwrath bucked like he had just stuck a penny in a power outlet and dropped to one knee.
“Now finish it with a-”
“Hold it” Daxton shouted over me. “Before we continue, how about we make this more interesting. If you beat me, I’ll pay for the rest of your travel expenses. All of them. But if you lose, you go home and stay there. You never try to journey again, and you give up on becoming a Pokémon master.”
“All of my expenses? Food, supplies…everything?”
“Everything. But if you lose-”
“But if you do. You go home.”
“Poliwrath use blizzard!”
“What?! Dante use flamethrower underneath you.” Poliwrath summoned a storm of freezing ice and wind that circled around Dante viscously. If it wasn’t for his flamethrower dulling the worst of the cold, it could have been a one hit KO. After a minute it finally died down.
“Poliwrath use Ice Beam.”
“Dodge it and use Smog” The ice beam went a foot wide of Dante, and he started releasing a dark thick fog from his mouth. Poliwrath started coughing.
“Dante use faint attack!” Dante charged through the smoke; juked left then right, and rammed forward knocking Poliwrath back and clear of the smoke.
“Poliwrath,” Daxton called “use hypnosis!” Poliwrath’s spiral began to spin and turn
“Dante close your eyes and use odor sleuth! Then use another faint attack!” Dante took in a deep breath and his head snapped straight towards Poliwrath, then he ran forward and hit Poliwrath head on. Poliwrath went down hard, and stayed there.
“Well, congrats kid. You beat me. Poliwrath return.”
“So all that crap about strength and strength alone was just to get me to fall for your final little ruse.”
“Yup, you figured me out. I have some more fighting Pokémon of different types depending on what the trainers coming through here use.”
“You were serious about finding my trip right?”
He let out an explosive sigh. “I suppose I have to. Come with me.”
He led me up a flight of stairs to the very top of the temple-gym there a raised pedestal stood waiting with the Sento Badge. Two green fists striking on a brown background. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out what looked like a credit card with the same logo on it.
“Alright! I got the Sento Badge!”
“Don’t do that.”
“I won it I can do what I want.”
“And how much longer do you have on your journey?”
“Well, this is actually my first gym.”
“You’re kidding me.”
“Oh, that’s going to be a lot of money.”
“Any chance of you going easy on it and just using it for emergencies?”
“Nope. The deal was all expenses paid, so that’s what it’s going to be.”
“Well, I always knew this was a possibility. You won fair and square.” He offered one hand to me, and I shook it.
“Thank you. That was one tough battle; I know I’ve got a ways to go.”
“Yeah, but you still won. You used some interesting tactics to keep the tides from turning on you. Not many trainers will do that, they usually just go by the books with standard attacks. That flamethrower to stay warm in the blizzard was genius. Where did you get the idea?”
“Way. Well, I think I’ll be on my way now. I’m going by the Pokémart.”
“Well hey, don’t spend it all in one place.”
“I will make no such promise!”
I made the cashier at the Pokémart’s day. I bout lots of medicine of different types. Lots of food for me and the Pokémon, rope and a folding grappling hook, a folding shovel, and a new solid black vest with lots of pockets which I immediately filled with all kinds of useful goodies. A multi-tool, precision screwdriver set, and monocular (half a binocular so it fits in a pocket.)
The next island is Kusa island, the grass island. Before I get there though, I need to get off this one. There is a port with a ferry three towns over, so I guess now I just start walking.
I got to the next town by nightfall with nothing too interesting happening. A few trainers and lots of wild fighting Pokémon. The best thing thought, is in the lobby of the Pokémon Center I’m staying in is a wall of wanted posters. I guess word travels fast between the Jenny’s and Joy’s. The pictures were all of the clearer ones I had taken. The trucks, the frozen springs, any faces, or parts of faces that someone might recognize were posted, and front and center was Douglass Glacio and the logo for Team Hyoga. Below them was a caption that read:
Attention all Trainers:
Please be aware that the formation of a new Faction has been confirmed. The new group seems to be composed of mostly ex-Team Rocket members, has an affinity for ice, and operates under the name Team Hyoga. Their current motives are unknown, but are believed to be sinister in nature. Any information is appreciated, and can be reported in at any Police Station or Pokémon Center.
And that made me feel really good. If he hadn’t been such a jerk growing up I might be sad about his predicament, and feel sorry that his dad was trying to take over the islands. But things were what they were. And I felt good.
Well, bout time to head back out. Two more towns, and then the port. I think I’m going to have to be more cautious in my travels though. Me and Terra were on our way out of town when a tall man in a dark blue jacket and beret stopped us.
“Kid if you know what’s good for you, stay out of our way.” He said in a deep baritone. Several other grunts started walking out from around me wearing similar colors.
“Mr. Glacio I presume?” I dropped my right hand down to the machete at my side. I had started wearing it there after I took those pictures for such an occasion as this.
“Presume nothing. You got guts kid, but if you try another stunt like that I won’t be this kind.”
“Why be this kind to begin with?” I slid my left hand into my pocket where my phone was and dialed 911.
“To be frank, we needed the publicity. We were done with that stunt, had all of the data we needed, and learned plenty. The loss of our equipment was regrettable, but people know who we are and what we can do. And we have you to thank for that.”
“Heh. You appreciate what I did. I took some pictures that made you look like idiots. An 18 year old with three Pokémon took out your entire operation and humiliated your son and team in under an hour.”
“Well, when you put it that way…” Off in the distance the sounds of sirens began to grow closer
“Took them long enough.” I pulled my phone out of my pocket and put it to speaker phone. “Thank you” I said into the receiver.
“It’s what we’re here for” replied the business calm voice of a female EMT.
“Oh, this isn’t over.” Glacio said, the menace rolling off “we have people everywhere. If you are seen anywhere outside of your little home town of Astillia there will be repercussions.” Three patrol cars were coming into view. Glacio nodded his head at one of his lieutenants and they turned and ran into another alley. A few seconds later a black Dragonite leading a small pack of Fearow went shooting out.
“Sand” Well, this could be a problem.
“It’ll keep things interesting at least.” Then the cops finally showed up.
“So why do you think that was the leader of Team Hyoga, and what would he want’ with you?”
“I know because he told me, and you can check the 911 call for that. He also probably wanted to keep me from taking any more pictures.” I left out the bit about sabotage again.
“I’d like you to come down to the station with me and answer a couple questions.”
“Can’t you just call the Jenny in Tochi? I told her everything, and the 911 call got what just happened here.”
“It won’t take long.”
Lies, blasphemy, and slander. ‘It won’t take long’ turned into six hours of talking with sketch artists giving descriptions on each member, and the unusual Dragonite, giving all of the details of the conversation before the 911 call, questions about the meaning of the conversation, and lots and lots and lots of paperwork.
I made it about half way to the next town before it got dark, and I made camp. Once again, nothing too interesting happened besides an unusually heavy rain storm, and some more trainers and wild Pokémon.
“So Terra, how you doing?” I asked. We had just broken down camp and everyone had eaten.
“Sand” Ya know, it’s not too bad. More walking than I thought, but lots of fights,and plenty of food and water. Life’s pretty good.
“True that. I’m just waiting to get jumped again though.”
“Sand” I’m up for round two. I want to actually get in some fighting this time, not just digging tunnels.
“Hey, those were some awesome tunnels. I bet those guys had an interesting time trying to get out of there the day after.”
“Sand” Oh yeah. I hit water in a couple of them and made pits of quicksand.
“No way! That’s genius!”
“Sand” My thoughts exactly.
“Hey there’s the next town!"
“Sand” Kinda small.
“It’s on the way to a port city so there are probably only the bare essentials of a city. Any type of entertainment type places would go out of business quick with a beach down the street.”
“Sand” What is your peoples obsession with sand and sun?
“Ya know, I don’t really know. It’s not just the sand, it’s also the ocean and swimming and the pretty girls.”
“Sand” Hmm, the water not so much, but the pretty girls I can understand.
“Alright, you know how people get edgy about Pokémon walking around. Especially if they aren’t small and fluffy.”
“Sand” Isn’t there some kind of –ism about that?
“Probably, but for the mean time it’s probably best to not draw too much attention.”
“Sand” I guess…
“I’ll be quick, I’m just topping off on supplies. There’s still plenty of daylight left to travel.”