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Revealing Secrets

by Carmen Lopez

Carmen Lopez Everyone has a secret... After being plagued by mysterious nightmares, Carmen travels to Johto hoping to get answers.

Moving On: Redux: This is re-write of my second fic. I've been stuck in a writing funk for a while now, but I got inspired to re-write Moving On because quite honestly, I hate it. The biggest thing is the change from third to first person and I will be making edits to make it flow better (because it was horridly written!) I didn't change much in the first chapter because things don't start going downhill until chapter two. However I will be making significant content changes later. If you've never read the first incarnation, consider yourself lucky. This fic is a sequel but can stand on its own.
It was a relief to finally get off the ship. It seemed as though I had been away from land forever but finally I was in Goldenrod City. As I surveyed my new surroundings, my first impression was that the city lived up to its name. There were the typical modern skyscrapers and buildings, but here and there I saw structures accented with golden materials. Even parts of the streets were made of golden bricks which gave the city an overall sunny atmosphere.

Though it probably didn’t show on the outside, I was pretty emotional about being in a different region. Sure I’d been far from home, the actual house, in which I’d grown up, but I was always in Sinnoh. Now I was in a completely different region where I got to experience being a foreigner. It was a mysteriously lonely feeling that I really didn’t expect. But that was only part of what was on my mind…

I was in the port area of the city where many people were going from ship to ship and workers were unloading cargo. I noticed that the people of Johto seemed to be a bit more laidback than the people of Sinnoh. Of course that was impossible to nail down after being here for all of twenty minutes.

However they were certainly more polite than the people of Sinnoh. A young girl dressed in a pale yellow sundress and a straw hat only gently brushed my arm as she ran past with her Sentret. Realizing what she had done, she stopped.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” she apologized with a slight bow. Then she ran off with her black hair blowing in the wind.

Well that was different. Back in Sinnoh’s large cities something like that would have gone unnoticed by everyone involved. Interesting…

There certainly was a lot to see and do as I walked along. Goldenrod was also great for shopping because I saw store after store my sisters would be in paradise. Not to mention the prices were much cheaper than in Sinnoh. I guess that was the advantage of having better access to raw materials to make things. Oddly enough, for a large city there were a lot of restaurants offering home cooked meals or ingredients “fresh from the farm” that were normally only seen in rural areas.

I found myself on a more open street when something caught my eye. A boy with flaming red hair was running very swiftly in my direction As soon as he drew level with me, he tripped over his own untied shoelaces and fell to the ground, skinning his knee. A lot of people laughed as he got up quickly and dusted off his blue t-shirt and khaki cargo shorts. Okay maybe these people weren’t as friendly as they appeared. I was going to offer to help, but then he looked around and pointed at me with such conviction that I was a little alarmed.

“HEY! You tripped me!” he accused in a very loud voice with fire in his deep blue eyes.

“No,” I said calmly. I was now uncomfortably aware that more people had stopped and started to stare. “I believe you tripped over your own shoelaces,” I pointed out.

He was clearly taken aback by my calm response. Was I supposed to be fired up or something? Nevertheless, he rallied back at once.

“No excuses! We’re going to battle right here, RIGHT now!” he yelled. “Wait, what?” I asked, wincing at the absurdity of it all. He reminded me of Reina in her younger days. She’d stop random people in the streets who’d merely made eye contract with her and demand a battle. I gave a small smile at the thought.

“WHAT ARE YOU SMILING AT!? GET YOUR POKEMON OUT NOW AND LET’S BATTLE,” he shouted with a Pokéball in his outstretched arm.

A few of the passers-by laughed. A couple of teenagers even said “Aww, isn’t he cute?”

The boy looked outraged. “Who do you think you’re calling cute!?” And he started to argue with the two girls who understandably couldn’t take him seriously.

I thought I was off the hook and began to walk away, but before I could take three steps, the boy was back in front of me.

“Oh, here you are again,” I said with a slight smile.

“And yet you’re STILL smiling,” he said mutinously. “We battle now.”

“Hey kid,” said a teenaged boy who was in the crowd. “See that ring on her finger? That’s not to look pretty. That’s the ring you get after becoming a Sinnoh League Champion. She’d own you in battle for sure.”

A few people in the crowd laughed and catcalled making the boy turn crimson. He quickly regained his composure and put his Pokéball back at his belt and turned to me.

“I’ll let you go this time,” he lectured. “But don’t think you’ll be so lucky next time!” And he took off once more.

I was speechless. The rest of the crowd laughed again before dispersing. For whatever reason, I was good at attracting complete weirdoes, but even so that encounter was odd. Putting that random scene behind me, I looked for the signs to the park once more. It turned out that I was a lot closer than I thought because three blocks later, I was standing before the gates of the park.

It was like an oasis in the middle of the city. Trees, flowers, and lush grass flourished here as did bird Pokémon and grass types. The park was full of people relaxing by spending time with their Pokémon, reading, or playing games. I took a deep breath and found that the air here smelled like the country side. I would’ve actually believed I was in the country if I didn’t see the tall buildings surrounding the park.

All that was left to do now was find Ramón which honestly wouldn’t be that difficult. Speaking of weirdoes, let’s just say that my brother didn’t exactly blend in. Sure enough, after about five minutes of walking around, I saw a dark haired young man sitting on a bench up ahead who was attracting a good amount of attention to himself. For one he drawing some strange looks due to the Claydol, a seemingly ancient enormous book he was reading, and the fact that girls seemed to find him very attractive with his long dark eyelashes as his most prominent feature. As usual, he didn’t seem to mind the interest.

“Hey, Ramón!” I called as I walked over to him. Ramón looked up from the book he was reading and smiled. He was dressed simply in a button-down and jeans and wearing a gold necklace with a charm that resembled the diamond shaped apparatus on the mythical Pokémon Suicune. It had once belonged to their grandfather who passed it down to his daughter, her mother, who passed it on to Ramón. At the bottom of the charm was a Pokéball that I knew held Suna, his Flygon.

“Wow,” Ramón said vaguely. Many people describe him as being very spacey and it very much showed in the way he spoke. “It was hard enough to believe that you actually said yes to my offer. I thought you were only joking with me and yet here you are.”

“Of course,” I said nonchalantly as I sat down next to him. I suppose I would eventually have to tell him that I’d been making plans to come all along—his offer non-withstanding. His Claydol, named Nendoru, rotated once to acknowledge me before staring down two small children who walked away nervously. I groaned when I saw the book he was reading. It was simply called Legendary Beasts of the Johto Region. The book really did look old and as Ramón turned a page, dust flew out of it.

“Um, Ramón, are you sure you should have that book out in the elements like this,” I asked.

Ramón shrugged. “Eh, it’s tougher than it looks. Would you like to read it when I’m done?”

“I think I’ll pass,” I said. I was unable to keep the skepticism out of my voice. . “I’ll read it when there is clear-cut evidence that these legendary Pokémon actually exist.”

“We’ve only been together for a few minutes and you’re already starting with that,” said Ramón, slightly amused. “I’m not going to argue with you right now, but one day you’ll see the light.”

As if.

“In the mean time why don’t we just head to my house? We can talk there,” he said.

“All right,” I sighed.

Ramón closed his book and put it in the messenger bag under the bench. What’s bothering you,” he asked when we started walking again with Nendoru floating beside its trainer. “I know something is because I can see it in your eyes.”

I sighed deeply again. I’ve heard people say Ramón and I were enigmatic and hard to read, but we could read others. However, of the two of us, Ramón was even more perceptive--to the point that he could read me like a book. Even after all these years, it’s still slightly unnerving.

“You love messing with Reina with your emotion reading, but you don’t like it when I do it to you,” Ramón said.

“Heh,” I said. “It’s not that I like messing with her. It’s just that it’s easy because she’s so dense. But as to what’s bothering me…" Suddenly I pulled up short. I couldn’t even spit out the real reason why I was here. It just seemed so outlandish that I could hardly believe it. I didn’t want to look into his brown eyes which were so much like Mom’s and so unlike my silver ones. Ramón didn’t push me. “I’m here when you can finally say it yourself.”

“All right…” I trailed off. I then changed the subject. “It seems to be really nice here.”

“It really is,” said Ramón. “Sometimes I wonder why Mom and Dad left for Sinnoh, but I always remember why.”

“Yeah,” I said. Our Sinnoh-born father had spent a significant portion of his life in Johto where he met our mother, but they got caught up in the wrong kind of life. They apparently made some enemies so dangerous they could never return. That’s about all they would ever tell us.

A light breeze played with my long, thick wavy hair as we walked back into the city. It was warm, unlike the cool winds that usually blew around most of Sinnoh. Watching the people of Johto was fascinating. The clothing among the non-trainers was different with brighter colors than were seen in Sinnoh, but as it was warmer. I looked forward to wearing lighter clothes to accommodate the weather. I also spied the trainer gear.

“So that’s the Pokégear I’ve heard so much about,” I commented as I, glanced at the device that looked no different than a Smartphone.

“They’re really interesting devices,” said Ramón distantly. “The most important function is the radio though.”

“The radio?” I asked. “Somehow I expected something a bit more high tech.”

“Johto is unique in that the radio is just as important as the television. That’s another reason why I like it here,” Ramón responded. “The radio programs here are pretty interesting. There’s even one that explores the old stories and mythology.”

“So people here talk about what will be on the radio more than they talk about the TV? I like it,” I said. It sounded like something out of old days.

“That’s the Goldenrod Radio Tower right there,” said Ramón pointing at a tall black building with a huge antenna on its top. “There are always a lot of people there trying to get their five seconds of fame by being on the radio. You know,” he added, “I don’t think I feel much like walking. Would you like to see an aerial view of the city before taking off?”

“What? Oh, yes I would,” said I said in excitement. When Dragonite had evolved and I rode him for the first time, I realized that the weight I carried lessened when I was in the open sky.

He pulled the Pokéball from the necklace, released Suna, and recalled Nendoru. Suna stretched her magnificent diamond shaped wings wide to the amazement of some young children, ready to fly. I followed suit and released Dragonite.

“Ready?” asked Ramón as he climbed on Suna’s back. The Flygon was very cold to everyone except Ramón. She was never outwardly aggressive, but she made it clear that only Ramón was allowed to enter her space. Dad had given Suna to Ramón as a child when she was a Trapinch. Since they grew up together, they shared a close bond. She attempted to nuzzle Ramón who returned the friendly gesture with a pet on the head. “Right, Suna. It will be fun to travel around the city.”

I climbed on Dragonite’s back and already felt like a weight had been lifted off of me. Dragonite stretched his wings out to the delight of some of the small children in the area. “Exactly where are we flying to, Ramón?”

“Oh, around the city, and then to my house,” he responded.

That was just fine with me. Dragonite rose into the air on wings that seemed too small to support us. I looked down at my brother who was still on ground. “Catch me if you can!” I yelled.

We rose even higher before shooting off into the cloudless blue sky. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have a clue where I was going because I wasn’t following my brother. All that mattered was that sweet adrenaline surge. The people on the ground were just little spots on the ground as Dragonite and I flew above the level of the higher skyscrapers because I had no fear of heights. It occurred to me that this could be completely illegal…I would have to feign ignorance if we got caught. I decided not to use Dragon Dance or else I’d lose Ramón and Suna for good—especially since the Flygon was already slower. He did eventually catch up and pulled up next to me after I descended a bit.

“You know,” he yelled. “We should be thankful you can’t fly or else you’d never come down to earth again.”

“Maybe you’re right…” I said thoughtfully.

“Anyway, follow me!” he said.

Goldenrod City was very, very large and it seemed to take a very long time to reach the outer borders of the city—not that I didn’t enjoy it. I only wished I remembered to put on the harness so we could do spirals and other tricks, but there was freedom in flying free like this. All good things come to an end though; we finally reached the boundaries of the city and the buildings began to fade to trees.

“We can walk the rest of the way,” Ramón called out as he and Suna landed on the ground.

“All right,” I said as I reluctantly returned to land. I felt her adrenaline surge fade away into nothing and the feeling of apprehension return. It was shame because it was peaceful here; the sounds of the big city were already far away. .

“I should start my research when we get back,” said Ramón in a far away tone.

I was almost afraid to ask, but I did so in spite of myself. “What are you researching?”

“It doesn’t involve legendary Pokémon if that’s what you’re thinking,” he replied. “It’s something…a bit harder to research than legendary Pokémon. I think you’ll find it very relevant though.”

His tone was incredibly suspicious and I narrowed my eyes when he didn’t continue on. His research has never been remotely relevant to anything I was doing. I think by now I’ve established that crypto-Pokézoology, old myths, and conspiracy theories mean nothing to me. Just then a chill came over me. What if he was saying that he knew his research had everything to do with the secret that I didn’t even want to think about? The nightmares, the memory loss… Did he really know? No, there was no way. Yes, he could read me, but even he couldn’t read minds.

We were silent for most of the way as we wound their way along the twisting path. However, the walk wouldn’t be totally uneventful. As we reached the top of the hill, I heard an already too familiar voice.

“HEY! I knew I’d find you again!”

I rolled my eyes. “You’ve got to be kidding me. You again?”

“Yes! Me again!” said the red haired boy as he stepped from behind a tree. ”And I’ve changed my mind! We battle NOW!”

“Okay, back up. How on earth did you find me?” I said slowly.

“HOW?! Well, that’s really none of your business,” he said loudly, pulling out his Pokéball once more.

“What’s your name anyway?” asked Ramón calmly as though he were meeting a well-behaved child.”

He paused for a few moments as though thinking about his next move. “That is also none of your business!” he screeched, Pokéball still outstretched.

Ramón thought for a second. “Well, if you don’t tell us your name then I’ll simply have to call you Nemo.”

“WHAT?! That’s stupid! Don’t EVER call me that again,” he said, outraged.

“Then what’s your name?”

“I’m not telling you!”

“Then I’m going to continue calling you Nemo,” concluded Ramón.

The boy was almost shaking in anger. “You know what? I DON’T have to take this!” And with that he stormed off into the woods from whence he came. I rolled my eyes again. He could’ve at least offered an alias if his own name was so terrible.

Ramón looked mysteriously intrigued at the boy as though he saw something in him. “Bye Nemo,” he called. He then turned to me. “Exactly how did you meet him anyway? He’s rather loud,” he added, stating the obvious.

“It was totally random. He tripped over his own shoelaces, blamed me for tripping him, then demanded a battle,” I said. “And he was that loud the whole time." As I said it, I felt a headache coming on.

“Random meetings are the best kind of meetings,” said Ramón who looked deeply amused by the whole thing.

Ramón’s house was just over the hill in a small clearing. It looked very cozy and comfortable which surprised me. I was expecting a house that was in the shape of a Claydol or something. The trees that surrounded the clearing shaded the area and filtered the sunlight. It had a large back porch that would be great for just sitting and thinking. A soft wind played with the wooden wind chimes creating a gentle sound.

It was also quite cozy, but it seemed very open. The light colors and the skylight gave the impression that the house was bigger than it was. The living room contained a sofa, a couple of plush chairs, and cushions on the floor. A large flat screen TV hung on the wall and a radio sat on a tables. There was a fireplace in the corner and a door way to her right lead to the kitchen.

“This place looks way too normal to be yours,” I said. “Not that I’m complaining.” I’ve seen Ramón’s idea of housekeeping before and the results were usually downright disgusting.

“I knew you’d appreciate it so I kept it clean. My office is just the way I like it though.” Ramón yawned hugely. “Hmm, I more tired than I thought I was."

I knew what those words meant. “You’re off to take a nap? Way to be a good host.”

He laughed. “You’re a big girl. I think you can take care of yourself. Oh, and by the way. There’s someone coming later who I really want you to meet. I think you’ll find her interesting.”

There was that tone again. “All right then,” I said. “Have a good nap.”

I plopped myself down on the sofa after Ramón went to his room. My headache had somehow gotten a bit worse in a pretty short time. I guess I can’t blame Nemo though. This headache was probably due to stress. I took out my phone and started playing my favorite slot machine game which was modeled after the slots in Veilstone City. At least that would help distract me until Ramón woke up.
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