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Challenger!

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by PKMN Breeder Grey, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. Over the span of my long, unexplained absence (CLASSIFIED! D:
     
  2. There seems to be an odd facsination occuring around these parts with using the *emotes* in prose rather than writing onomatpoeiacally; for instance you used *THUD!* rather than, say, 'landed/ing with a harsh thud' - for the purposes of having a story in which you aid the suspension of disbelief, I would say that carrying on the prose form is much better than using *emotes* as these can have a jarring effects. Usually an asterix is to denote a footnote, not someone falling to the ground and seriously injuring their neck.

    Though your story is good, it seems both long and short. This is due to the fact aht you have various chapters contained within a single post, that, while not being bad, makes reading this a longer task than usual and makes the story seem a little daunting, if you catch my drift. In the aspect of how it is short, each section covers a singular scene, again not bad as this is how most sections do work, however you could do with a bit more of 'fleshing out' detail, the scene in which Grey and Gale do not so much arrive, but appear, at the docks springs to mind. There is no information of the atmosphere in particular, beyond it being 'late afternoon' - also, your characters emotions are mentioned fleetingly - is he so collected that the hour-long walk from his house to the dockside will wash away all that anger?

    On a note on your battle between Gale and the Charmander, some of the action got confused in parts. There are a few stories around here which have pokemon battles (or just plain fisticuffs) and they tend to use shorter sentances to both convey the speed at which the fight is taking place and to keep the action itself from getting confused (in such as it doesn't look as if someone's managed to punch themselves in the back of the head).

    Also, Grey's ability to understand Pokemon seems a bit dues ex machina, as it has a somewhat flimsy backstory and is only really explained in passing. A tad more of an explantion to this would make it work better. I point you in the direction of Psycho Monkey's 'Rise of Team Neos' and specifically the relations between Brian and Axel if you want a non-psychich explanation for this phenonmena.

    You have potential, you just need practice. Writing more helps this :p
     
  3. Hm, I see what you mean, Tat. Looking back at this, it's not exactly the best I've written, but it is just the expository chapter. I do see where you stand about the emotes and the detail and Grey and Gale magically poofing at the docks. Detail is indeed in order. Also, Grey's link with Grey (and soon-to-be-built link between him and Charmander) was one of my biggest mistakes.

    I try to make this link more of an empathetic one than that of a psychic one. I sort of got the idea from the Ralts line's abilites. The little blurbs coming from the Pokemon themselves are just translations of their emotions. In this light, I stand to make chapter two much better than this and remove any deus ex machina and probably redo chapter one. Thanks for the criticism and I'm totally checking out the story you recommended! :)
     
  4. Nice job, Grey ^^

    I'll be looking forward to the next chapter(s).
     
  5. Disclaimer: I DO NOT own the Pokémon franchise in any way shape or form. I do support the official release, as should all fans of the game, and I write this purely for the fun of it and to improve my writing ability.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*0*

    Grey bounded off the gangplank onto the port Village of Seabreeze Village, taking in everything in sight. Seabreeze was a calm Village with a lazy atmosphere soaked in sea air. To the left was a wide expanse of white, sandy beach with multiple trainers and their Pokémon lounging, playing, and, in one instance, a Golduck surfing a wave created by a Tentacruel.

    Besides the beautiful beach, there was an urban area; a small city could be seen several miles past the cabins and houses, which were predominately white and sky blue. Finally, to either side and the back of the Village, there was a palm tree jungle, sure to be teeming with Pokémon.

    Grey stretched happily and adjusted the strap of his messenger bag, silently laughing at his sister as she tripped off the gangplank and fell face first into the sand.

    "Good luck, Grey. I'll be watching during the conference!" Zachary said, bidding his nephew goodbye.

    "Thanks Uncle Zach! And thanks for flying us here!" Grey shouted back over the noise of the propellers. He watched as the seaplane flew off into the sky again before turning to his sister, who was picking sand out of her hair.

    "Beautiful, huh, sis? Nothing like Puel Village; the sun‘s shining and it‘s a great day to wear shorts!" he commented whilst hiding his laughter. And he'd been right in his comment. Being so close to Fiore, which was so close to Sinnoh, Almia had been a slightly chilly region, and anybody who knew Grey knew he hated the cold with a passion.

    "I hate the heat," Rachel muttered bitterly. She got back up and dusted her clothes off as Vulpix padded behind her loyally, unaffected by the heat she so hated.

    "So, genius," she continued scathingly, obviously still angry at Grey for getting her tangled up in his runaway, "what are you going to do now? You can't leave Village without any provisions, can you?" Grey flashed her a smile.

    "I didn't leave home without any money, sis. I have three-thousand in cash from… a friend, and some money I saved up from birthdays and chores. A good trainer's always prepared." Grey produced said money from a wallet in his back pocket before replacing it.

    "Where'd you get…?" Rachel began before deciding it was best not to ask. "So, you have money. Got a plan? I don't think this region has any gyms, you know." The pinkette was determined to derail her brother's plans as best she could.

    "This place is under a combined Kanto/Johto League jurisdiction. Of course it has a Gym Challenge. Any other obstacles you want to throw my way or are you done?" Grey smirked. Rachel growled under her breath while Vulpix did her best to calm her fuming partner.

    "Well, first things first: registration. Seabreeze Village has a woman named Professor Hawthorne who registers new trainers. I should stop there first," Grey explained offhandedly.

    "How do you know these things? I thought all you did when you watched the Pokémon Channel was watch the battles!" Rachel spat. Grey's patience was beginning to wear thin. What was this; Twenty Questions?

    With a raised eyebrow, Grey looked at his sister with a glint of frustration in his eyes. What had her so mad? If she wanted to leave, she could've just gotten on the plane back to Almia; she didn't have to stick around and baby him.

    "If you want to go home, then just go. I planned to do this with just the Pokémon I catch, anyway," Grey said darkly. Rachel let out a small gasp at what her brother had just said to her. Did he really mean that? To be fair, she was intruding on his venture so, naturally, Grey had a right to be a bit mad but Rachel never would've expected him to say anything like that.

    "You have a choice, you know," Grey stated, bringing Rachel out of her mire of thought. "You can go home and get mom and dad to come get me or you can come with, provided you keep your mouth shut."

    "Don't tell me what I can and can't do!" Rachel snapped, instantly regretting it as Grey stiffly picked up his back and slung it over his shoulder.

    "Well, fine then. I'm going to Professor Hawthorne's lab. You coming or what?!" Grey barked harshly.

    Rachel said nothing, instead opting to pick up Vulpix and follow in shocked silence.

    "Right, well… Great." The silence between the two siblings was a bit awkward and uncomfortable but, most of all, foreign. They'd never disagreed this badly before.

    "Well…" Rachel began tentatively. "I guess I'm stuck with you one way or another. So, lead the way."

    And so he did. Grey and his sister walked off the docks and into Seabreeze Village, the tension between them thick. Despite that, the two managed to quietly enjoy the sights the village had to offer.

    On their way to Hawthorne's lab, there were many merchants peddling fruit from the jungle, clothes and souvenirs for tourists. They were also very aware of the abundance of Water and Grass-Type Pokémon that either wandered peacefully through Village as wild ones or followed their trainers loyally if caught.

    Grey noted with a slight laugh at the sight of a truly massive Venusaur sunbathing in front of one of the houses with one of its leaves acting as a visor. The memory of himself and Soul running for their lives from a Venusaur not unlike this one after accidentally burning a baby Bulbasaur made a bubble of blissful reminiscence well up in his chest.

    "What are you laughing about?" Rachel asked in an attempt to break the silence. In her arms, Vulpix mewled at a few Caterpie passing by her owner's legs.

    "Just an old memory involving a Venusaur tribe back home…" the boy laughed. "And I thought you were mad at me?" he added afterwards. Rachel snapped her head to the side in a show of anger. She'd just been trying to be nice was all. She sighed loudly.

    "This is going to be a long, long trip, isn't it?" she moaned. Vulpix licked her face and mewled sadly as well.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*0*0*0*

    "Ehhh… Strange… what would a Torterra be doing out here, of all places?" the woman's voice was rich with knowledge, but it was by no means the voice of an old woman.

    She was in her mid teens with bright, curly red hair that glowed like burning spirals. Her eyes were a curious steel gray color but not without kindness. She was a bit on the short side, standing at five-foot-six-inches, and had a fraction of baby fat still on her. Under her standard lab coat was a black shoulder-less shirt and blue capris. Flats adorned her feet and her face was devoid of make-up. But she could really care less. With skin a shade between tanned and pale white, Juniper Hawthorne didn't think she needed make-up to look good.

    Currently, the girl was situated in the fleshy leaves of a palm tree, binoculars around her neck and a clip board in hand. She was studying the habits of a wild Torterra with avid interest. It was common knowledge that the Grass and Ground Continent Pokémon was native to the chilly forests of Sinnoh, constantly on the move in search of a source of water. However, whatever in the name of Arceus it was doing on a tropical island - much less how the gentle giant got there - was a mystery.

    But, that's what Hawthorne did as a Professor…in training. She studied the habits of Pokémon in their natural habitats and frequently did field work such as this.

    "Well, my friend, it looks like the heat of the island doesn't affect you too adversely," Juniper commented. She chuckled and continued, "Any trainer lucky enough to capture a heat-resistant Torterra would make the others jealous indeed. Wouldn‘t you say, Rosewood?"

    "Fur-furret!" the Furret squeaked from around her owner's neck. Juniper laughed softly and scratched the Long Body Pokémon around her ears, eliciting a squeal of happiness from her friend.

    She peered at the Torterra through her binoculars as it sat at the edge of a small lake, lapping up water while several Taillow perched on the tree on its back, plucking away at the nuts growing on its back. Being the Pokémon it was, Torterra didn't mind one bit. What was unusual about this Torterra was the fact that the greens on its body were much lighter than one that would've grown up in Sinnoh and the earthy browns on its shell were darker and rich. She noted this on her clipboard with a fascinated smile.

    This is why she loved her job.

    Suddenly, as she got up to descend the tree, she lost her footing, tumbling down with a surprised shout right smack in Torterra's tree. She popped her head out from the foliage, spitting out the few leaves in her mouth and shaking the ones in her hair loose while scaring the Taillow away at the same time. Rosewood fell onto the Torterra's head soon after.

    Did we forget to mention the good Professor was, as one might say - accident prone? This quality was to blame for many of the chain reaction messes started in her laboratory but it was also what gave Juniper her eccentric charm.

    "Oh, my!" she exclaimed, plucking a leaf off of her head.

    "Ret?" Rosewood piped up, scurrying up the Torterra's body up to its tree.

    "These leaves…" she paused, staring at the leaf like it was the answer to all of life's mysteries. "They're so SOFT!"
    Despite having ridiculously small limbs, Rosewood smacked her paw into her face in exasperation at this. Sometimes, her owner was a bit air-headed.

    "You could stuff a mattress with these and sleep better than if it was filled with Pidgeot feathers! Maybe there's something in the berries and water on the island!" she speculated wildly. "Or maybe it's the much warmer temperatures in contrast to the cold of Sinnoh?! This has got to be a great discovery on how regional climate and geography affect the growth and development of -- "

    "Terra… Tor!" the behemoth growled. Not that it had minded, but random humans falling into his tree wasn't exactly what he'd call normal. But, then again, Torterra was a seven-hundred pound plant-animal, so he really couldn't talk.

    "Oh! I'm sorry, Torterra," Juniper said embarrassedly. Torterra gave a noncommittal grunt and returned to lapping up his water. "At any rate, would you mind coming back with me to my lab to study you? I promise you can return home after I finish~" the Professor pleaded in a childish giggle.

    Torterra replied by heaving its huge bulk away from the water and towards Seabreeze Village. What was the harm in humoring this one for a while? He led a pretty uneventful life as it was.

    "Thank you, Torterra! I promise I'll be quick," Juniper sang happily.

    "Terra…" I always did get the crazy tennants…

    "Fur, Furret." Tell me about it.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*0*0*

    "Lab of Professor Amelia Hawthorne: Pokémon Habitat Study conducted here," Grey read off the sign in front of the relatively large building.

    Instead of being in the city area, Professor Hawthorne's lab was situated on the far east side of Seabreeze Village. It was a large building, painted sky blue and white like most of the Village, and possessed a fairly large open space behind it with three visible ponds and a windmill that stretched into part of the jungle before a fence closed the area off. Grey and Rachel could see various forms of Pokémon inhabiting the area as well.

    "Seems like a nice place to work," Rachel noted.

    "Yeah, it does. But we aren‘t here for a job application, are we?" Grey pointed out with an enthusiastic grin on his face. "All I need to do is get registered and I'm in the running for this region's Gym challenge like that." Grey snapped his fingers for emphasis.

    "It's really that easy?" Rachel queried. She'd always figured Pokémon trainer registration would take a lot more than that. "I expected some kind of huge process."

    "Nah, it's surprisingly easy. Anyway, let's go!" Grey threw the door open, scaring several lab aides in the process. The shocked people turned to look at the boy in the Arcanine jacket with looks of shock, fear or surprise. As expected, an awkward silence hung in the air.

    "Uh… who are you, kid?" one aide asked once he'd regained composure.

    "I'm here to see Professor Hawthorne," Grey stated. "Name's Grey Thomas from PuelVillage."

    "And I'm his sister Rachel."

    "Vul vul!"

    "Ah, a kid from Almia, huh? Well, the professor didn't say anything about any new trainers coming through. You here for a Pokémon?" The aide asked. "By the way, my name's Jeremy. You guys can get back to work now; I got this," he added to his co-workers.

    "Nah, not for a Pokémon. Just for registration in the Gym challenge and maybe a Pokédex." Grey's eyes shone with anticipation at the prospect of his very own Pokédex. It would be much, MUCH better than that useless Ranger Browser.

    "I'm afraid I don't have the authority to do that; the Professor keeps all twelve Starter Pokémon and Pokédex models in storage and we can't touch them without her permission," Jeremy said apologetically.

    "What?!" Grey shouted, his dreams momentarily deflated. "But, she IS here, right?" he pleaded.

    "Well, yes, but --" Jeremy began.

    "Jeremy? Who's down there?" a female voice asked from a room in the back.

    "New trainer, Professor Hawthorne," Jeremy called back. You want me to take care of it or --"

    "Oh, no, no," the Professor shouted back, again cutting Jeremy off. "I'll take care of it, just let me finish putting Nidoking back in the enclosure."

    There was a sound of a Nidoking's roars of protest as someone argued with him to get him to return to the enclosure.

    "I know, baby, but it's only for a bit okay?"

    "Do! Nido-rah!" Nidoking bellowed sadly, obviously attached to the Professor.

    "I'll be back, I promise. Okay?" the Professor cooed.

    "Nido!" the Poison Pin Pokémon growled before heavy footsteps were heard before fading.

    Then, in stepped Professor Hawthorne. A woman in her late thirties, Amelia Hawthorne's hair was a rusty red color with a few silvery streaks in it. Her eyes, looking slightly bored, were a dark hazel color and she wore a black-as-ebony sundress underneath her stark white lab coat.

    "My, my. Don't you look like a rebellious one?" she remarked as soon as she laid her disinterested eyes on Grey's face. "You look ready for a fight."

    "And you're really blunt. Anyone ever tell you that?" Grey volleyed.

    "Grey!" Rachel admonished. Professor Hawthorne just laughed. She placed her hands on her hips, regarding Grey with a wry smile, and said,

    "You certainly don't care for formalities, do you? I like that; today's youth are too formal and polite. It's nice to see somebody like you around." Grey beamed. "Now, whaddaya want?"

    "Not your stereotypical professor, are you?" Grey wondered aloud. "Well, that's not important. I'm here to register for this region's Gym challenge and League and to get a Pokédex. Can you do that?"

    "Of course," the Professor said airily. "It won't take too much time off my schedule anyway, unlike June's antics tend to," she muttered. She waved the thought away with a hand and continued speaking. "All I have to do is get a Pokédex registered under your name and then you're all set. Now, follow me."

    Amelia led the siblings to a room on the upper level of the lab where most of the important equipment was. There was a container capsule of some kind with twelve Pokéballs - four trays of three balls - sat motionless. There was a large computer of some kind near the back and two file cabinets which didn't see much use, as files were strewn all over the ground and on tables. A coffee machine was sat next to the capsule container and next to that was a drawer with a reading lamp with some very important papers on it, as well as a smaller personal computer.

    The professor opened the drawer while Grey, Rachel and Vulpix waited in the doorway. She came back up with a black device in her left hand and five Pokéballs in her right and handed both items to Grey.

    "So, this is --"

    "A Pokédex, yes," Hawthorne cut in. "It has the ability to give information on any Pokémon you want to analyze, be it wild or trained. It can also detect which moves Pokémon in your possession currently know, as well as their level of growth, vital stats, health condition, et cetera. All you have to do is activate it and press your thumbprint onto the green lens on the center and it's registered in your name."

    Grey did as instructed, plucking a stylus from the side of the Pokédex and touching the screen tentatively. The device's screen lit up and flashed the words:

    Pokédex Ver. 5.0

    on the screen. Grey pressed his thumb onto the lens and the screen analyzed it before finally registering it as Grey's.

    "That's actually pretty cool," Rachel remarked. Realizing her mistake, she quickly added, "Not as cool as the Ranger Browser, though." Hawthorne snorted loudly.

    "That piece of junk? It can't do half the things the Pokédex can. You might as well sell it for parts," she laughed raucously as Rachel's face tinged pink.

    "Told you so," Grey said in a teasing voice. Turning back to the Professor, he said, "So, this thing will act as my trainer's license, too, right?"

    "Exactly. Now, would you like a choice in a Starter Pokémon?" she offered, gesturing to the capsule container to her left. Grey waved the thought off, stating,

    "No, I already have a Pokémon with me and he's a registered Starter, anyway." Grey paused for a moment, a look of pensiveness on his face. "But, my sister doesn't; why not give her a choice?"

    "Who; me?!" Rachel screeched. "Oh, no, I couldn't! I already have Vulpix and Pokémon Rangers aren't allowed to use Pokéballs!"

    "Well, we aren't in Almia," Hawthorne pointed out. "Outside of their rules, you're perfectly authorized to use Pokéballs."

    "Live a little, sis. You can't go through life abiding by every single rule!" Grey got behind his sister and gave her a push towards the capsule container. It opened up, revealing four trays of three balls each all stacked on top of one another.

    "Ohhh," Rachel whined. "I really shouldn't do this."

    "Vul! Vulpix!" Vulpix urged. Oblivious to the rules of the Pokémon Rangers, much less what was going on, Vulpix supported her owner in this endeavor.

    "Just pick one and quit bellyaching!" Hawthorne huffed. "It's really getting on my nerves."

    "You?" Grey scoffed. "Try living with her."

    Ignoring the peanut gallery, Rachel tentatively studied each tray. The top one was marked with a stamp which read ‘Kanto', the second ‘Johto', the third ‘Hoenn' and the last read ‘Sinnoh'. She bent down to look at the third tray and Vulpix got up on her hind legs to paw at it. Each ball was marked with a different elemental symbol.

    Fed up with waiting, she plucked the ball with the blue mark off the tray and felt the ball in her hand. Its cold metal surface sent a chill down her spine. It made her feel as if she were breaking every rule she'd been taught as a Ranger.

    "Come on, sis! What's the point of using that stupid Styler at your side if you don't even get to make friends with the Pokémon you meet? Just let the little guy out," Grey said passionately.

    Rachel gulped uneasily. She blanched at the thought of what her dad would've done to her if he saw her now.

    "Okay…" she mumbled. She popped the ball open, releasing a shiny burst of white light that landed on the floor and took the shape of a young Pokémon.

    It was about two feet tall and its body was mostly an azure color with a white underbelly and orange gills. It's tail was a lighter blue than its body and it had a fin at the top of its head. Its small black eyes blinked in confusion as it looked up at the person who released it.

    "Kip?" it chirped. Rachel nodded her head to the left in regard to the small Pokémon. The blue Pokémon turned to Vulpix, who regarded the little one with a friendly air.

    "Vulpix." Hello.

    "Mud, Mudkip!" Hi there! Are you an apple? the little Mudkip asked with a sweet but clueless grin.

    "Hey, check it out," Grey laughed. "He likes Vulpix."

    "A Mudkip from the Hoenn region. It's a Water-type that evolves into a pretty powerful ally. Good choice," Hawthorne congratulated with a few smatterings of applause. She turned to Grey and said, "Look it up on your Pokédex." Grey pointed the black device at the Mudkip and it beeped before bringing up an image of it onscreen before reciting,

    Mudkip. The Mud Fish Pokémon. Mudkip are generally relaxed Pokémon, only attacking if threatened. This Pokémon uses the fin on its head as a radar to detect nearby bodies of water and also to detect danger. Mudkip are amphibious Pokémon, using the orange gills on their cheeks to breathe underwater. Despite their small bodies, Mudkip possess surprising strength, able to shatter boulders with this power.

    Gender: Male

    Known Attacks: Water Gun, Tackle, Bide, Mud Slap, Growl

    Current Condition: Healthy


    Grey switched the Pokédex off, marveling at the information it yielded.

    "That's so awesome. It really can tell you all that. Thanks a lot, Professor Hawthorne," Grey said ecstatically.

    "It was my pleasure. Now, may I trouble you for a favor?"

    "Sure, what is it?" Grey wondered, watching his sister interact with her new Mudkip.

    "He's so cute," she said, stroking his head fin. "Hey there, little guy. My name's Rachel."

    "Kip!" You're pretty!

    Rachel giggled lightly, placing Vulpix on her lap and carrying the Mud Fish in her arms. Mudkip stared down at the ground, wondering how the world got so big so suddenly. Did he get bigger? Or did the world get smaller?

    "I'd like you to go look for my daughter, Juniper. See, she's a bit coo-coo in the coconut and likes to do field work on her own which gets her into more trouble than she can handle. Girl‘s just like her dad," she said, a note of nostalgia settling into her voice.

    "Anyway, she's out in the Seabreeze Jungle observing how the native Pokémon live their lives. You can't miss her; she's got red hair and a very loud voice."

    "Wonder where she got her personality from," Grey joked with Amelia. The Professor laughed and said,

    "That was pretty good. You're not half bad, Mr…" she trailed off.

    "It's Grey Thomas. Nice to meet you, Professor Amelia," Grey said. He shook hands with the woman, who deemed the child to be a child after her own heart: sarcastic, cynical and always up for a laugh.

    "Well, no need to worry about it. Rachel and I will go look for your daughter and bring her back for you. After that, we'll head off for the first badge," Grey said enthusiastically.

    "Thanks, kid. Just make sure nothing happens along the way, if you know what I mean," Amelia said with a sly wink. Grey nodded his head to the left in confusion, making Amelia's face falter. "You have no clue what I'm talking about, do you?"

    "Not really," the boy shrugged. "Well, if that's all, let's go, Rachel!"

    "Say what?" Rachel turned around, Vulpix on her shoulder and Mudkip doing a handstand balanced on her head. Needless to say, Amelia and Grey burst out laughing.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*0*

    "Say, Rosewood. How do you think this Torterra got here?" Juniper mused, riding on said Continent Pokémon's shell. "You think a trainer released it here or something?"

    "Furret." No clue.

    "Or maybe the League released it here as part of an experiment. Either way, this is one unusual Torterra. I can't wait to get home and study him."

    "Teeeee…ra. Torterra." Maaan… Does she always talk this much?

    "Oooooh, these leaves and shell are so soft," Juniper gushed, snuggling into Torterra's tree. Makes a great place to sunbathe or just rest in the shade. I wish I had a Torterra like this. Hey, Torterra!"

    "Ter!" No! Torterra was beginning to regret his decision.

    "Awww," the young researcher groaned. "Okay, fine. I did make a promise, didn't I?"

    "Fur fur. Ret Furret!" Rosewood trilled. You can't do this to every Pokémon we meet. It's bad for my image, you know!

    "Oh, well. At least I can visit. Right, Torterra~?" Jasmine sang. The giant tortoise Pokémon sighed exasperatedly. Why, oh, why, had he decided to humor her?

    "You think Sylva would've come if we asked? That Grovyle's always in such a bad mood; she never leaves the lab, so I had to drag her in her ball," Juniper commented. "Why do you think she's always so grouchy?"

    As Juniper continued to talk to Rosewood and Torterra, she was completely unaware of the rolling thunderclouds about a mile off looming towards Seabreeze Jungle. The coal black thunderheads flashed white hot as they stomped and roared their way towards Village. Back in Seabreeze Village, the Village was getting ready for the inevitable storm, closing window shutters and packing up shop for the day, but Juniper Hawthorne was spared such negative thoughts through sheer ignorance.

    Neither was she aware of the mysterious man hidden near foot of a small mountain in the jungle, or of the small troop of ten dressed in green infantry garb with hair spiked outwards like the back end of a bird that followed loyally behind him. She had no idea of the green and white military-style outfit decorated with gold pins and medals and green shoulder pads sewn in that he wore with an arrogant gait.

    The was perched on a small cliff in the rock face, standing with a proud, silent menace and an immeasurable amount of self-confidence. The man's name was Kestrel, a commander from Team Simurgh, and he knew that this thunderstorm was no normal occurrence.

    "Oh, no," Kestrel whispered with a savage husk in his tone. A tone that practically screamed that this man was not to be toyed with. "This is no ordinary storm," Kestrel laughed darkly, revealing unusually white teeth. "This storm marks the beginning phase of a long, long campaign. A campaign that begins… with you, Zapdos… Legendary Bird of Thunder…"

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*0*

    Amelia had told them where to look for Juniper: the Seabreeze Jungle, a place that the girl frequented for her research. The jungle was hot, it was muggy and it was crawling with Grass and Bug types. Aside from the last characteristic, it was Grey's ideal place to spend a couple of hours. His two Fire types wouldn't mind either.

    They were now nearing the entrance to the jungle and the change in temperature could be felt even from this distance.

    "Mud-mud, Kip kip kip!" I like be-ing tall! Mudkip sang, still being cradled and babied by his new trainer. An aura of childish warmth radiated out from him; something Grey was quick to pick up, although in weak fragments.

    "Vul vulpix." You aren't tall. You're being carried. Andromeda told the young Mud Fish.

    "Kip kip?" What‘s a carry?

    "What do you think they're talking about?" Rachel wondered, stroking Mudkip's head fin.

    "Well, Mudkip likes being tall but Andromeda told him he's just being carried. Sounds to me like he's still a bit young," Grey replied offhandedly. Rachel looked at him confusedly.

    "You know what they're saying?" she asked with barely concealed surprise. Her gaze flicked between the Mudkip in her arms and her headstrong younger brother.

    "Bits and pieces of it," Grey replied, flicking through the options on his Pokédex. "I think it'll come in handy."

    "You never told any of us about it back home," Rachel pointed out. Grey let out a barking laugh.

    "Knowing you guys, you'd call me insane and send me to the loony bin!" the boy exclaimed. "All those times you thought I was talking to Soul for the heck of it, I understood at least some of what he was saying. He gets sidetracked a lot, but he's got a nice opinion on things."

    As Grey predicted, Rachel's mouth hung open, her expression not unlike that of a fish out of water. He sighed, half in exasperation and the other half in contentment as they had officially crossed into the burning hot floor of the jungle. Digging up Soul's Pokéball, he tossed it into the air and watched as Soul materialized in a flash of light.

    "Char!" Soul said. Turning to Grey, he blinked at the Pokédex in his trainer's hands. "Charmander?"

    "It's a Pokédex, Soul. It's extremely useful… In fact," Grey said, an idea coming to him. He pointed the Pokédex at the Charmander and it beeped three times before a picture of Soul appeared on its screen.

    Charmander. The Lizard Pokémon. Charmander have the potential to become powerful Pokémon and are easily the most mild-mannered Pokémon in their line of evolution. A Charmander's tail flame is closely related to its strength in battle, as well as its emotions and health. The flame is the source for all of Charmander's Fire-type attacks, as well as the Dragon-type moves a Charmander may learn. Charmander and its flame should not be neglected, but tended to regularly and with care.

    Gender: Male

    Known Attacks: Ember, Scratch, Growl, Smokescreen

    Current Condition: Healthy


    "Charmander?!" Soul shouted in disbelief. There was no way that thing was right! He knew WAY more attacks than that!

    "Char char char! Char! Mander!" he shouted, reaching for the Pokédex.

    "What? No, you psychopath," Grey laughed.

    "Mander!"

    "Don't worry about it. A little training and you'll have a lot more attacks," Grey assured his partner.

    "You're a freak," Rachel muttered.

    "Yeah, go look in a mirror," Grey shot back. Soul pointed and laughed at the girl, making her face go red.

    "Stupid lizard," Rachel grumbled. Her anger was soon replaced by fatigue as a wave of heat from inside the jungle barreled into her.

    "Aaaugh!" she moaned. "Why is it so hot?! I hate hot!"

    "You own a Fire-type and we're in a tropical jungle!" Grey exclaimed. "Quit shoving your foot in your mouth all the time."

    "Stop pointing it out!" Rachel argued weakly.

    "If I didn't, I'd probably just laugh and you'd get even angrier." Rachel conceded and reluctantly trudged behind Grey, slightly comforted by Mudkip's singing.

    The jungle was much larger than it appeared from the outside. Most everything was covered with some kind of foliage, however beautiful, ugly, or just plain disgusting it looked. Bug-types such as Butterfree and Dustox flew from flower to flower, collecting their morning meals. Grey suddenly realized that it was still morning; near eleven o'clock, he reasoned from the sun's position in the sky. Even so, the heat of the sun beat down on them like a person beats a drum.

    After a while of walking in silence, except for when they were calling out Juniper's name, Rachel came up with a question.

    "Hey, Grey?"

    "Yeah, what's up?" Grey answered, still scanning the undergrowth for tracks that might've looked human. "Another thing you want to point out that's wrong about my journey?"

    "No, not that," Rachel assured, shifting Mudkip's weight in her arms. The Mud Fish stirred a bit from his nap before resting his blue head in the crook of Rachel's arm.

    "Catching Pokémon," she began. "Like… how would you do it?" Grey stopped in his tracks, pensive for a moment as Soul accidentally bumped into his leg.

    "You know… I never thought about that. I could try catching a Pokémon now, but…"

    "Char char." Let's wait. Soul said sleepily.

    "You're probably right, Soul. Anyway, let's keep going. I can hear running water," Grey said. "That means there's probably a stream or a river nearby and it's possible that Juniper stopped there. Plus, it gives Grey and I a chance to get some training in."

    "If you say so," Rachel said.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*0

    "Okay… I think we may be lost," Juniper groaned, looking out at the expanse of open grassland before her. This was definitely not they way back home; this was the way to Wind Town. The Cloud River was flowing to the south, which definitely meant the next town was down that way.

    "Torterra, are you sure this is the way back to Seabreeze Village?" Juniper asked, turning to face the Continent Pokémon. But Torterra only grunted and turned to go back into the jungle.

    "Torterra?!" the redhead screeched.

    "Fur! Furret!" Rosewood shouted. Both trainer and Pokémon hung their heads in exasperation, their moods dampening further when they heard a rumble of thunder nearby. Juniper looked up to see that a large thunderhead was approaching, meaning rain would inevitably follow.

    "Oh, man," Juniper groaned. "Well, it doesn't make any sense to just sit here and wait for the rain. Let's go to Wind Town and wait there until the storm blows over then head back tomorrow, Rosewood."

    "Ret fur," the Long Body Pokémon sighed. She jumped off of Juniper's shoulder and proceeded to trot alongside her as they followed the Cloud River towards the next town.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*

    "Sir!" a Simurgh grunt shouted. He ran over to where Kestrel was stood, still watching the approaching thunderstorm and the legendary bird cloaked by the black clouds. He breathed heavily, clutching his chest because of his asthma.

    "Yes, what is it, grunt?" Kestrel asked with an air of sophistication. The grunt took a hit off of his inhaler before continuing.

    "Sir, there are a trainer and a Pokémon Ranger down in the lower levels of the forest with a Charmander, Vulpix and Mudkip. What should we do? Take action or just leave them be?"

    Kestrel put a hand to his chin and closed his eyes in thought. The two the grunt spoke of could pose a bit of a problem if left alone. But, on the other hand, they didn't know anything about Kestrel and his squad's presence, so they really couldn't do much to stop them, even if they did know. Any other man would've taken the logical route and ignored the children. But, Kestrel was not a man of logic, even if his appearance bespoke one. He was ruthless and sadistic, always relishing the sight of the weak squirming and begging for their lives. He let out a dry laugh.

    "Send one of our men after them," Kestrel finally decided. "Have watch them carefully to asses if they‘d be any kind of a threat. Normally, I‘d have them both eliminated… but that‘s not why we‘re here."

    The grunt saluted with a shout of ‘Sir!', and went to go inform one of his squad mates. Kestrel smiled a devil's smile. Even though they wouldn't die by his hands, he could leave it to his imagination to see how the two would perish.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*

    "Soul, get it with Ember; finish it!" Grey ordered. Soul spat out the fireball, striking the wild Butterfree in the chest with the blow and knocking it out. It quickly got back up and flew in the opposite direction, however, securing Soul's victory.

    "Char char!" he laughed triumphantly as his tail flame flared up. Checking the Pokédex, Grey found out that when Soul's flame flared up, it meant he had grown stronger in some way, so that put a smile on his face. Their training was paying off.

    "That poor Butterfree," Rachel whined.

    "Kip kip!" Crispy bug!

    "Oh, don't be such a baby, Rae. He'll be fine," Grey said. He looked around to see if there was anything he could use as a training implement.

    "Okay, Soul, let's try something different," Grey said, putting the Pokédex back in his pocket. Grey picked out one of the many fallen palm leaves on the ground and held it up.

    "That last Ember attack was good, but you still don't have control over it. Before that, it fizzled out like during our fight with Zigzagoon and Jimmy," Grey explained. Soul huffed indignantly at the accusation that his fire was anything less than powerful.

    "Sorry, but it's the truth," Grey laughed. "Now, to remedy that, we're going to train in a new way. I'll place these fallen leaves into the river and you have to blast them before they get too far away. It'll teach you aim, as well as train your fire." The Charmander eyed the leaf with a look of skepticism.

    "Char char?" You sure?

    "Of course I am," Grey assured, placing the first three leaves into the water. Soul took careful aim and concentrated on building up a fireball in his mouth. The leaves floated down the river and Soul unleashed the first blast, just missing it. The second successive blast came as a puff of smoke and the last one was the only one that hit the leaf. The three leaves floated downriver, leaving Soul feeling down.

    "It's alright; just keep trying, Soul!" Grey urged. "Learning to fire Ember rapidly will help your control over it. Just keep it up."

    "Char!" Soul grunted. Grey placed the next three into the river as Soul narrowed his eyes at the offending green objects.

    He launched the first Ember attack, just skimming the edge of the leaf and creating a cloud of steam; the second hit its mark this time and the third unfortunately came out as a weaker burst but still hit nonetheless.

    "Charmander?" Soul wondered in surprise. He had felt the last one as a puff of smoke in his mouth and was understandably shocked when it came out as a fireball, however small.

    "You're getting it, Soul!" Grey cheered. "Next round!"

    The next round came, this time with five leaves, and Soul took aim. The first, second and fifth Embers hit their marks as full fireballs, the third was a smoke puff and the last was a tiny fireball.

    This continued for an hour, with Soul steadily increasing his power and control over Ember. Checking the Pokédex to see why the training had gone so well, Grey found that all Charmander (and to an equal extent, Magmar and Chimchar) are born with better control over their fires than other Fire-types because their flame was both internal and external. Using the external flame yielded easier control, since Charmander had two sources of fire to call upon.

    All through their training, Rachel watched Grey's enthusiasm towards his Pokémon, always pushing Soul to get better. Grey didn't push him too hard, either; he let Soul go at his own pace. Maybe she was wrong, she thought. Rachel pushed that thought away. It was ridiculous. A Pokémon Ranger becoming a trainer? Utterly ridiculous.

    "Okay, Soul, that's enough for now," Grey said as another leaf burst into flames only to be put out moments later.

    "Char Charmander," Soul said, starting to rummage through Grey's bag for an Oran berry. He took three from the bag and speared them on a stick before roasting them over his tail. Grey himself pulled out a bag of sliced bread and toasting that over Soul's tail as well.

    "Is there anything in there for us?" Rachel asked grumpily. Grey nodded and swallowed his mouthful of toast.

    "A couple of apples at the bottom. I think Mudkip might like them," he said before taking a Pecha berry out, squishing it and spreading it on the toast.

    Rachel set Mudkip down to dig through the satchel for an apple while Vulpix snacked on a few Rawst berries herself. As Rachel picked up the red fruit, a brown blur jumped out of the river, took the apple and began to chew on it.

    The Pokémon in question had dark brown-orange fur from being out in the sun most of the time, a yellow ring around its neck which looked curiously like a floatation ring, two tails, blue fins on its arms and one cream spot on its back. It looked over at Rachel and Grey and their Pokémon before returning its attention to its stolen apple.

    "Hey!" Rachel shouted at the Pokémon!

    "Wait," Grey said suddenly, pulling out his Pokédex. It pinged, brining up a picture of the Pokémon before them.

    Buizel, the Sea Weasel Pokémon. Buizel are Water-type Pokémon that tend to live in fast-moving rivers. The yellow ring around Buizel's neck is a floatation sac that allows the Pokémon to keep its head above water which is an essential trait for living in its habitat. Buizel uses its twin tails much like boat propellers to swim with or against the current. Buizel are known for their signature move, Aqua Jet.

    Gender: Female

    "That's awesome," Grey said. "But what's it doing in a jungle? I always thought they lived near plains or mountainous areas. Plus, this river doesn‘t really move that fast."

    "A river like this tends to pick up the farther down it goes. This part of the river would probably move faster during the rain," Rachel pointed out. "It must have come up here for food."

    "Well, looks like it's my lucky day," Grey grinned, pulling out an empty Pokéball and enlarging it. "Soul, we're catching this one!"

    The Charmander sprung up immediately and grinned at the promise of a battle.

    "But that's a Water-type," Rachel said. "Soul won't stand a chance!"

    "You never know until you try, right?" Grey persisted. "Soul, let's start while it's eating. Smokescreen for cover."

    Soul grimaced at the thought, but obeyed and sent the black cloud of smoke out from his mouth. The Buizel, suddenly confused as to why the lights went out, looked around wildly, shouting in annoyance.

    "Bui bui!~!" she shouted, using Quick Attack to sprint out of the cover, stopping to rub her stinging eyes.

    "Ember," Grey ordered. As per usual, Soul's tail flame grew as the fireball formed in his mouth before being launched at Buizel. The attack hit, but, due to Buizel's typing, it didn‘t hurt too badly. She was, however, left with a black burn mark on her arm.

    Buizel growled angrily before jumping into the air and cracking her tail like a whip, sending a brutal Sonic Boom attack crashing into Soul's head. He fell onto his back, which allowed Buizel to fire Water Gun, striking Soul square in the gut.

    "Chaa~ar!" Soul screamed in agony, the water acting like an acid to him. Grey grit his teeth, hating to see Soul get hit so hard.

    "Soul, get back up!" Grey urged his friend. Soul staggered back up and flared his tail again, ready to get back on the offensive.

    "Great," Rachel muttered. "He's going to embarrass himself."

    "Vul vul," Vulpix sighed as Mudkip watched with a wide, cute smile.

    "She can't see too well after the Smokescreen. Get in there and use Scratch," Grey said. Soul charged forward, catching Buizel off guard as she attempted to clear her eyes of the burning sensation, and raked his claws across her stomach.

    "Another one, Soul!" Grey urged, his grin returning.

    "Cha~rmander!!" Soul screamed, lashing out again. This time, however, his claws glowed with a metallic silver sheen before he slammed them into the side of Buizel's head.

    "The heck was that?" Grey blinked, astonished. He flicked through the Pokédex once more, looking for info on the new attack.

    Metal Claw, the device recited monotonously. A Steel-type attack Charmander learns after reaching a certain level of power. This attack may have the side-effect of raising the user's attack power. Steel-type attacks are effective against Ice and Rock-type Pokémon, but do half the amount of damage against Fire, Water, Steel and Fighting-type Pokémon.

    "Bui bui! Bui!" Buizel shouted angrily, shooting off another Water Gun. Grey was caught off guard, so he screamed out the first attack to come to mind.

    "Ember attack! Counter it!" Soul's fireball crashed into the water stream, effectively canceling both attacks out. "Great; now get her with Metal Claw!"

    Soul's claws again glowed silvery white, but just before Metal Claw hit, a cracking rumble of thunder sounded, it began to rain, and Buizel suddenly gained a speed boost. She twisted her body around the attack before blasting Soul with a close-range Water Gun attack. Soul fell flat on his back and Buizel jumped back into the river, but not before taking her stolen apple with her.

    "Told you you'd embarrass yourself, little brother," Rachel said smugly, laughing along with Vulpix.

    "Vul vul pix!" the Fox Pokémon laughed. You got your ass handed to you!

    "Mud Mudkip?" What's an ass?

    "Charmander!" Shut up!

    "Yeah, Soul's right! We did our best and we're just beginners, anyway. Cut us some slack, will you?" Grey growled, his mood dampening along with his clothes in the rain. He dug into his bag for an umbrella as Soul began to protest against the feeling of rain against his skin, the combination creating small threads of steam.

    "Return, Soul," Grey said clearly, calling the Charmander back into his ball. Grey heaved a sigh and got his bag before getting up to leave. "Well, you can't win them all, especially with a type advantage for the opponent. We'll just try harder and maybe we'll find Buizel tomorrow; for now, let's just get to the next town before we drown out here."

    "Yeah, let's," Rachel agreed, putting Mudkip back into his ball and carrying Vulpix close so she wouldn't get wet.

    The two continued down the road, careful to stay away from any tall trees because of the lightning that started up. The thunder was almost deafening. It was like this storm was angry or something; furious even. The rain progressed from small droplets to large spheres that felt like stones were being dropped on their heads.

    "Still want to be a trainer?" Rachel shouted over the thunder. "You'll have to travel like this a lot!"

    "It's worth it!" Grey shouted back over the rain. "I told you; I'm not giving up! Never say die!"

    "You're so -- !" But Rachel's words were drowned out by the sound of a massive roll of thunder and the light of a blinding thunderbolt that seemed to split the sky apart. Between the thunderheads, Grey saw a flash of something yellow; something huge. He stopped in his tracks, causing Rachel to bump into him before gawking at the sight before them.

    A loud screeching was heard followed by another boom of thunder, as a figure spread the black clouds apart with its wings. The electricity from the storm seemed to come straight from it and it writhed and twisted like living snakes of lightning. The bird Pokémon screeched again, sending a Thunderbolt attack into the clouds before pumping its massive yellow wings and flying away.

    Mouth hanging open, Grey silently pulled out his Pokédex and pointed it at the thunderbird, hoping to find out what it was. The Pokédex pinged for the fifth time that day, bringing up an image of the bird that controlled storms.

    Zapdos, the Electric Pokémon. Zapdos is known in legends as the Bird of Thunder. It gathers electricity from the atmosphere during flight, releasing the excess power as thunderbolts. Zapdos is known to bring storms wherever it flies. No further information.

    "Whoa…" Grey breathed. "You still want to tell me being a trainer's not worth it?" Rachel could only shake her head no.

    *0*0*0*0*0*0*

    This took me a while to write. Unlike the last two chapters, this chapter's about the usual length for me.

    I promised you a new character, I gave you three. Although, Kestrel doesn't get much of an intro.

    As for Grey having food in that satchel of his… Well, it had to be somewhere. Where do you think Brock kept all those pots and soup ingredients?

    Rachel lieks Mudkipz! Who saw that one coming?

    It's official. Grey's entered as an official challenger of the Silver Ring Archipelago Gym Challenge. How will he fare?

    The first Gym is located in a place called Knight City, but they'll have to go through Wind Town and cross plains land to get there, leaving Grey ample time to capture, train and strategize.

    I'm betting that most of you thought Juniper was the real Professor Hawthorne, huh? Got you there! She's a bit crazy, but it's the cute kind of crazy.

    Anyone spot the D/P reference?
     
    #5 PKMN Breeder Grey, Oct 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  6. Okay, so, it's been a while… Actually, 2 months… So sue me, I'm in high school D:

    Anyway, here's the new character I promised, but the Pokémon that'll help Grey comes later. Much later. Enjoy ~

    ---
    Chapter 3: The Start of a long Campaign
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Grey bounded off the gangplank onto the port town of Seabreeze Village, taking in everything in sight. Seabreeze was a calm town with a lazy atmosphere soaked in sea air. To the left was a wide expanse of white, sandy beach with multiple Trainers and their Pokémon lounging, playing, and, in one instance, a Golduck surfing a wave created by a Tentacruel.

    Besides the beautiful beach, there was an urban area; a small city could be seen several miles past the cabins and houses, which were predominately white and sky blue. Finally, to either side and the back of the town, there was a palm tree jungle, sure to be teeming with Pokémon.

    Grey stretched happily and adjusted the strap of his messenger bag, silently laughing at his sister as she tripped off the gangplank and was slightly trampled by the other passengers.

    "Beautiful, huh, sis? Nothing like Pueltown; the sun‘s shining and it's a great day to wear shorts!" he commented whilst hiding his laughter. And he'd been right in his comment. Being so close to Fiore, which was so close to Sinnoh, Almia had been a slightly chilly region, and anybody who knew Grey knew he hated the cold with a passion.

    "I hate the heat," Rachel muttered bitterly. She got back up and dusted her clothes off as Andromeda padded behind her loyally, unaffected by the heat her owner so hated.

    "So, genius," she continued scathingly, obviously still angry at Grey for getting her tangled up in his runaway, "what are you going to do now? You can't leave town without any provisions, can you?" Grey flashed her a smile.

    "I didn't leave home without any money, sis. I have three-thousand in cash from… a friend, and some money I saved up from birthdays and chores. A good Trainer's always prepared." Grey produced said money from a wallet in his back pocket before replacing it.

    "Where'd you get…?" Rachel began before deciding it was best not to ask. "So, you have money. Got a plan? I don't think this region has any gyms, you know." The pinkette was determined to derail her brother's plans as best she could.

    "This place is under a combined Kanto/Johto League jurisdiction. Of course it has a Gym Challenge. Any other obstacles you want to throw my way or are you done?" Grey smirked. Rachel growled under her breath while Andromeda did her best to calm her fuming partner.

    "Well, first things first; registration. Seabreeze town has a woman named Professor Hawthorne who registers new Trainers. I should stop there first," Grey explained offhandedly. He started to rummage through his bag, taking out the supplies he'd packed the night before - Berries, a planner, an extra shirt - until he found Gale and Brave's PokéBalls.

    "How do you know these things? I thought all you did when you watched the Pokémon Channel was watch the battles!" Rachel spat. Grey's patience was beginning to wear thin. What was this; Twenty Questions?

    With a raised eyebrow, Grey looked at his sister with a glint of frustration in his eyes. What had her so mad? If she wanted to leave, she could've just gotten on the boat back to Almia; she didn't have to stick around and baby him.

    "If you want to go home, then just go. I planned to do this with just the Pokémon I catch, anyway," Grey said darkly. Rachel let out a small gasp at what her brother had just said to her. Did he really mean that? To be fair, she was intruding on his venture so, naturally, Grey had a right to be a bit mad but Rachel never would've expected him to say anything like that. Was she really drifting that far apart from her brother?

    "You have a choice, you know," Grey stated, bringing Rachel out of her mire of thought. "You can go home and get mom and dad to come get me or you can come with, provided you keep your mouth shut."

    "Don't tell me what I can and can't do!" Rachel snapped, instantly regretting it as Grey stiffly picked up his bag and slung it over his shoulder.

    "Well, fine then. I'm going to Professor Hawthorne's lab. You coming or what?!" Grey barked harshly.

    Rachel said nothing, instead opting to pick up Andromeda and follow in shocked silence.

    "Right, well… Great." The silence between the two siblings was a bit awkward and uncomfortable but, most of all, foreign. They'd never disagreed this badly before.

    "Well…" Rachel began tentatively. "I guess I'm stuck with you one way or another. So, lead the way."

    And so he did. Grey and his sister walked off the docks and into Seabreeze Village, the tension between them thick. Despite that, the two managed to quietly enjoy the sights the village had to offer.

    On their way to Hawthorne's lab, there were many merchants peddling fruit from the jungle, clothes and souvenirs for tourists. They were also very aware of the abundance of Water and Grass-Type Pokémon that either wandered peacefully through town as wild ones or followed their trainers loyally if caught.

    Grey noted with a slight laugh at the sight of a truly massive Venusaur sunbathing in front of one of the houses with one of its leaves acting as a visor. The memory of himself and Gale running for their lives from a Venusaur not unlike this one after accidentally burning a baby Bulbasaur made a bubble of blissful reminiscence well up in his chest.

    "What are you laughing about?" Rachel asked in an attempt to break the silence. In her arms, Andromeda mewled at a few Caterpie passing by her owner's legs.

    "Just an old memory involving a Venusaur tribe back home…" the boy laughed. "And I thought you were mad at me?" he added afterwards. Rachel snapped her head to the side in a show of anger. She'd just been trying to be nice was all. She sighed loudly.

    "This is going to be a long, long trip, isn't it?" she moaned. Andromeda licked her face and mewled sadly as well.

    ----

    "Ehhh… Strange… what would a Torterra be doing out here, of all places?" the voice was rich with knowledge, but it was by no means the voice of an old woman.

    She was in her mid teens with bright, curly red hair that glowed like burning spirals. Her eyes were a steel gray color but not without kindness. Under her standard lab coat was a black shoulder-less shirt and blue capris. Flats adorned her feet and her face was devoid of make-up. But who could honestly blame her? With skin a shade between tanned and pale white, Juniper Hawthorne didn't need make-up to look good.

    Currently, the girl was situated in the fleshy leaves of a palm tree, binoculars around her neck and a clip board in hand. She was studying the habits of a wild Torterra with avid interest. It was common knowledge that the Grass and Ground Continent Pokémon was native to the chilly forests of Sinnoh, constantly on the move in search of a source of water. However, whatever in the name of Arceus it was doing on a tropical island - much less how the gentle giant got there - was a mystery.

    But, that's what Hawthorne did as a Professor…in training. She studied the habits of Pokémon in their natural habitats and frequently did field work such as this.

    "Well, my friend, it looks like the heat of the island doesn't affect you too adversely," Juniper commented. She chuckled and continued, "Any trainer lucky enough to capture a heat-resistant Torterra would make the others jealous indeed. Wouldn‘t you say, Rosewood?"

    "Fur-furret!" the pink Furret squeaked from around her owner's neck. Juniper laughed softly and scratched the Long Body Pokémon around her ears, eliciting a squeal of happiness from her friend.

    She peered at the Torterra through her binoculars as it sat at the edge of a small lake, lapping up water while several Taillow perched on the tree on its back, plucking away at the nuts growing on its back. Being the Pokémon it was, Torterra didn't mind one bit. What was unusual about this Torterra was the fact that the greens on its body were much lighter than one that would've grown up in Sinnoh and the earthy browns on its shell were darker and rich. She noted this on her clipboard with a fascinated smile.

    This is why she loved her job.

    "Well," Juniper said, "I think that's enough for today. Let's go see if we can get Torterra to come back othe lab with us so we can -- woah!"

    Suddenly, as she got up to descend the tree, she lost her footing, tumbling down with a surprised shout right smack in Torterra's tree. She popped her head out from the foliage, spitting out the few leaves in her mouth and shaking the ones in her hair loose while scaring the Taillow away at the same time. Rosewood fell onto the Torterra's head soon after.

    Did we forget to mention the good Professor-in-training was, as one might say - accident prone? This quality was to blame for many of the chain reaction messes started in her laboratory but it was also what gave Juniper her eccentric charm.

    "Oh, my!" she exclaimed, plucking a leaf off of her head.

    "Ret?" Rosewood piped up, scurrying up the Torterra's body up to its tree.

    "These leaves…" she paused, staring at the leaf like it was the answer to all of life's mysteries. "They're so SOFT!"

    Despite having ridiculously small limbs, Rosewood smacked her paw into her face in exasperation. Sometimes, her owner was a bit air-headed.

    "You could stuff a mattress with these and sleep better than if it was filled with Pidgeot feathers! Maybe there's something in the berries and water on the island!" she speculated wildly. "Or maybe it's the much warmer temperatures in contrast to the cold of Sinnoh?! This has got to be a great discovery on how regional climate and geography affect the growth and development of -- "

    "Terra… Tor!" the behemoth growled. Not that it had minded, but random humans falling into his tree wasn't exactly what he'd call normal. But, then again, Torterra was a seven-hundred pound plant-animal, so he really couldn't talk.

    "Oh! I'm sorry, Torterra," Juniper said embarrassedly. Torterra gave a noncommittal grunt and returned to lapping up his water. "At any rate, would you mind coming back with me to my lab to study you? I promise you can return home after I finish~" the girl pleaded in a childish giggle.

    Torterra replied by heaving its huge bulk away from the water and towards Seabreeze Village. What was the harm in humoring this one for a while? He led a pretty uneventful life as it was.

    "Thank you, Torterra! I promise I'll be quick," Juniper sang happily.

    "Terra…" I always did get the crazy tennants…

    "Fur, Furret." Tell me about it.

    ----

    "Lab of Professor Amelia Hawthorne: Pokémon Habitat Study conducted here," Grey read off the sign in front of the relatively large building.

    Instead of being in the city area, Professor Hawthorne's lab was situated on the far east side of Seabreeze Village. It was a large building, painted sky blue and white like most of the town, and possessed a fairly large open space behind it with three visible ponds and a windmill that stretched into part of the jungle before a fence closed the area off. Grey and Rachel could see various forms of Pokémon inhabiting the area as well.

    "Seems like a nice place to work," Rachel noted.

    "Yeah, it does. But we aren‘t here for a job application, are we?" Grey pointed out with an enthusiastic grin on his face. "All I need to do is get registered and I'm in the running for this region's Gym challenge like that." Grey snapped his fingers for emphasis.

    "It's really that easy?" Rachel queried. She'd always figured Pokémon Trainer registration would take a lot more than that. "I expected some kind of huge process."

    "Nah, it's surprisingly easy. Anyway, let's go!" Grey threw the door open, scaring several lab aides in the process. The shocked people turned to look at the boy in the Arcanine jacket with looks of shock, fear or surprise. As expected, an awkward silence hung in the air.

    "Uh… who are you, kid?" one aide asked once he'd regained composure.

    "I'm here to see Professor Hawthorne," Grey stated. "Name's Grey Thomas from Pueltown."

    "And I'm his sister Rachel."

    "Vul vul!"

    "Ah, a kid from Almia, huh? Well, the professor didn't say anything about any new trainers coming through. You here for a Pokémon?" The aide asked. "By the way, my name's Jeremy. You guys can get back to work now; I got this," he added to his co-workers.

    "Nah, not for a Pokémon. Just for registration in the Gym challenge and maybe a Pokédex." Grey's eyes shone with anticipation at the prospect of his very own Pokédex. It would be much, MUCH better than that useless Ranger Browser.

    "I'm afraid I don't have the authority to do that; the Professor keeps all twelve Starter Pokémon and Pokédex models in storage and we can't touch them without her permission," Jeremy said apologetically.

    "What?!" Grey shouted, his dreams momentarily deflated. "But, she IS here, right?" he pleaded.

    "Well, yes, but --" Jeremy began.

    "Jeremy? Who's down there?" a female voice asked from a room in the back.

    "New Trainer, Professor Hawthorne," Jeremy called back. You want me to take care of it or --"

    "Oh, no, no," the Professor shouted back, again cutting Jeremy off. "I'll take care of it, just let me finish putting Nidoking back in the enclosure."

    There was a sound of a Nidoking's roars of protest as someone argued with him to get him to return to the enclosure.

    "I know, baby, but it's only for a bit okay?"

    "Do! Nido-rah!" Nidoking bellowed sadly, obviously attached to the Professor.

    "I'll be back, I promise. Okay?" the Professor cooed.

    "Nido!" the Poison Pin Pokémon growled before heavy footsteps were heard before fading.

    Then, in stepped Professor Hawthorne. A woman in her late thirties, Amelia Hawthorne's hair was a rusty red color with a few silvery streaks in it. Her eyes, looking slightly bored, were a dark hazel color and she wore a black-as-ebony sundress underneath her stark white lab coat.

    "My, my. Don't you look like a rebellious one?" she remarked as soon as she laid her disinterested eyes on Grey's face. "You look ready for a fight."

    "And you're really blunt. Anyone ever tell you that?" Grey volleyed.

    "Grey!" Rachel admonished. Professor Hawthorne just laughed. She placed her hands on her hips, regarding Grey with a wry smile, and said,

    "You certainly don't care for formalities, do you? I like that; today's youth are too formal and polite. It's nice to see somebody like you around." Grey beamed. "Now, whaddaya want?"

    "Not your stereotypical professor, are you?" Grey wondered aloud. "Well, that's not important. I'm here to register for this region's Gym challenge and League and to get a Pokédex. Can you do that?"

    "Of course," the Professor said airily. "It won't take too much time off my schedule anyway, unlike June's antics tend to," she muttered. She waved the thought away with a hand and continued speaking. "All I have to do is get a Pokédex registered under your name and then you're all set. Now, follow me."

    Amelia led the siblings to a room on the upper level of the lab where most of the important equipment was. There was a container capsule of some kind with twelve PokéBalls - four trays of three balls - sat motionless. There was a large computer of some kind near the back and two file cabinets which didn't see much use, as files were strewn all over the ground and on tables. A coffee machine was sat next to the capsule container and next to that was a drawer with a reading lamp with some very important papers on it, as well as a smaller personal computer.

    The professor opened the drawer while Grey, Rachel and Andromeda waited in the doorway. She came back up with a black device in hand and handed it to Grey.

    "So, this is --"

    "A Pokédex, yes," Hawthorne cut in. "It has the ability to give information on any Pokémon you want to analyze, be it wild or trained. It can also detect which moves Pokémon in your possession currently know, as well as their level of growth, vital stats, health condition, et cetera. All you have to do is activate it and press your thumbprint onto the green lens on the center and it's registered in your name."

    Grey did as instructed, plucking a stylus from the side of the Pokédex and touching the screen tentatively. The device's screen lit up and flashed the words:

    Pokédex Ver. 5.0

    on the screen. Grey pressed his thumb onto the lens and the screen analyzed it before finally registering it as Grey's.

    "That's actually pretty cool," Rachel remarked. Realizing her mistake, she quickly added, "Not as cool as the Ranger Browser, though." Hawthorne snorted loudly.

    "That piece of junk? It can't do half the things the Pokédex can. You might as well sell it for parts," she laughed raucously as Rachel's face tinged pink.

    "Told you so," Grey said in a teasing voice. Turning back to the Professor, he said, "So, this thing will act as my Trainer's license, too, right?"

    "Exactly. Now, would you like a choice in a Starter Pokémon?" she offered, gesturing to the capsule container to her left. Grey waved the thought off, stating,

    "Now, I already have two Pokémon with me and one of them's a registered Starter, anyway." Grey paused for a moment, a look of pensiveness on his face. "But, my sister doesn't; why not give her a choice?"

    "Who; me?!" Rachel screeched. "Oh, no, I couldn't! I already have Andromeda and Pokémon Rangers aren't allowed to use PokéBalls!"

    "Well, we aren't in Almia," Hawthorne pointed out. "Outside of their rules, you're perfectly authorized to use PokéBalls."

    "Live a little, sis. You can't go through life abiding by every single rule!" Grey got behind his sister and gave her a push towards the capsule container. It opened up, revealing four trays of three balls each all stacked on top of one another.

    "Ohhh," Rachel whined. "I really shouldn't do this."

    "Vul! Vulpix!" Andromeda urged. Oblivious to the rules of the Pokémon Rangers, much less what was going on, Andromeda supported her owner in this endeavor.

    "Just pick one and quit bellyaching!" Hawthorne huffed. "It's really getting on my nerves."

    "You?" Grey scoffed. "Try living with her."

    Ignoring the peanut gallery, Rachel tentatively studied each tray. The top one was marked with a stamp which read ‘Kanto', the second ‘Johto', the third ‘Hoenn' and the last read ‘Sinnoh'. She bent down to look at the third tray and Andromeda got up on her hind legs to paw at it. Each ball was marked with a different elemental symbol.

    Fed up with waiting, she plucked the ball with the blue mark off the tray and felt the ball in her hand. Its cold metal surface sent a chill down her spine. It made her feel as if she were breaking every rule she'd been taught as a Ranger.

    "Come on, sis! What's the point of using that stupid Styler at your side if you don't even get to make friends with the Pokémon you meet? Just let the little guy out," Grey said passionately.

    Rachel gulped uneasily. She blanched at the thought of what her dad would've done to her if he saw her now.

    "Okay…" she mumbled. She popped the ball open, releasing a shiny burst of white light that landed on the floor and took the shape of a young Pokémon.

    It was about two feet tall and its body was mostly an azure color with a white underbelly and orange gills. It's tail was a lighter blue than its body and it had a fin at the top of its head. Its small black eyes blinked in confusion as it looked up at the person who released it.

    "Kip?" it chirped. Rachel nodded her head to the left in regard to the small Pokémon. The blue Pokémon turned to Andromeda, who regarded the little one with a friendly air.

    "Vulpix." Hello.

    "Mud, Mudkip!" Hi there! Are you an apple? the little Mudkip asked with a sweet but clueless grin.

    "Hey, check it out," Grey laughed. "He likes Andromeda."

    "A Mudkip from the Hoenn region. It's a Water-type that evolves into a pretty powerful ally. Good choice," Hawthorne congratulated with a few smatterings of applause. She turned to Grey and said, "Look it up on your Pokédex." Grey pointed the black device at the Mudkip and it beeped before bringing up an image of it onscreen before reciting,

    Mudkip. The Mud Fish Pokémon. Mudkip are generally relaxed Pokémon, only attacking if threatened. This Pokémon uses the fin on its head as a radar to detect nearby bodies of water and also to detect danger. Mudkip are amphibious Pokémon, using the orange gills on their cheeks to breathe underwater. Despite their small bodies, Mudkip possess surprising strength, able to shatter boulders with this power.

    Gender: Male

    Known Attacks: Water Gun, Tackle, Bide, Mud Slap, Growl


    Current Condition: Healthy

    Grey switched the Pokédex off, marveling at the information it yielded.

    "That's so awesome. It really can tell you all that. Thanks a lot, Professor Hawthorne," Grey said ecstatically.

    "It was my pleasure. Now, may I trouble you for a favor?"

    "Sure, what is it?" Grey wondered, watching his sister interact with her new Mudkip.

    "He's so cute," she said, stroking his head fin. "Hey there, little guy. My name's Rachel."

    "Kip!" You're pretty!

    Rachel giggled lightly, placing Andromeda on her lap and carrying the Mud Fish in her arms. Mudkip stared down at the ground, wondering how the world got so big so suddenly. Did he get bigger? Or did the world get smaller?

    Hawthorne handed Grey five PokeBalls, which he stowed away in his bag, before an idea came to her. Driven by pure laziness, she turned to Grey and said,

    "I'd like you to go look for my daughter, Juniper. See, she's a bit coo-coo in the coconut and likes to do field work on her own which gets her into more trouble than she can handle. Girl‘s just like her dad," she said, a note of nostalgia settling into her voice. "Anyway, she's out in the Seabreeze Jungle observing how the native Pokémon live their lives. You can't miss her; she's got red hair and a very loud voice."

    "Wonder where she got her personality from," Grey joked with Amelia. The Professor laughed and said,

    "That was pretty good. You're not half bad, Mr…" she trailed off.

    "It's Grey Thomas. Nice to meet you, Professor Amelia," Grey said. He shook hands with the woman, who deemed the child to be a child after her own heart: sarcastic, cynical and always up for a laugh.

    "Well, no need to worry about it. Rachel and I will go look for your daughter and bring her back for you. After that, we'll head off for the first badge," Grey said enthusiastically.

    "Thanks, kid. Just make sure nothing happens along the way, if you know what I mean," Amelia said with a sly wink. Grey nodded his head to the left in confusion, making Amelia's face falter. "You have no clue what I'm talking about, do you?"

    "Not really," the boy shrugged. "Well, if that's all, let's go, Rachel!"

    "Say what?" Rachel turned around, Andromeda on her shoulder and Mudkip doing a handstand balanced on her head. Needless to say, Amelia and Grey burst out laughing.

    - - - - - - - - - - -

    "Say, Rosewood. How do you think this Torterra got here?" Juniper mused, riding on said Pokémon's shell. "You think a Trainer released it here or something?"

    "Furret." No clue.

    "Tor Terra terra." My dad was a Venusaur and mom was reeased here. Torterra said offhandedly.

    "Or maybe mom released it here as part of an experiment. Either way, this is one unusual Torterra. I can't wait to get home and study him."

    "Teeeee…ra. Torterra." Maaan… Does she always talk this much?

    "Oooooh, these leaves and shell are so soft," Juniper gushed, snuggling into Torterra's tree. Makes a great place to sunbathe or just rest in the shade. I wish I had a Torterra like this. Hey, Torterra!"

    "Ter!" No! Torterra was beginning to regret his decision.

    "Awww," the young researcher groaned. "Okay, fine. I did make a promise, didn't I?"

    "Fur fur. Ret Furret!" Rosewood trilled. You can't do this to every Pokémon we meet. It's bad for my image, you know!

    "Oh, well. At least I can visit. Right, Torterra~?" Jasmine sang. The giant tortoise Pokémon sighed exasperatedly. Why, oh, why, had he decided to humor her?

    "You think Sylva would've come if we asked? That Grovyle's always in such a bad mood; she never leaves the lab, so I had to drag her in her ball," Juniper commented. "Why do you think she's always so grouchy?"

    As Juniper continued to talk to Rosewood and Torterra, she was completely unaware of the rolling thunderclouds about a mile off looming towards Seabreeze Jungle. The coal black thunderheads flashed white hot as they stomped and roared their way towards town. Back in Seabreeze Village, the town was getting ready for the inevitable storm, closing window shutters and packing up shop for the day, but Juniper Hawthorne was spared such negative thoughts through sheer ignorance.

    Neither was she aware of the mysterious man hidden near foot of a small mountain in the jungle, or of the small troop of ten dressed in green infantry garb with hair spiked outwards like the back end of a bird that followed loyally behind him. She had no idea of the green and white military-style outfit decorated with gold pins and medals and green shoulder pads sewn in that he wore with an arrogant gait.

    The man was perched on a small cliff in the rock face, standing with a proud, silent menace and an immeasurable amount of self-confidence. The man's name was Kestrel, a commander from Team Simurgh, and he knew that this thunderstorm was no normal occurrence.

    "Oh, no," Kestrel whispered with a savage husk in his tone. A tone that practically screamed that this man was not to be toyed with. "This is no ordinary storm," Kestrel laughed darkly, revealing unusually white teeth. "This storm marks the beginning phase of a long, long campaign. A campaign that begins… with you, Zapdos… Legendary Bird of Thunder…"

    ------------------

    This took me a while to write and, like the last two chapters, is sort of short for me. Well, anyway…

    I promised you a new character, I gave you three. Although, Kestrel doesn't get much of an intro.

    Rachel lieks Mudkipz! Who saw that one coming?

    It's official. Grey's entered as an official challenger of the Silver Ring Archipelago Gym Challenge. How will he fare?

    The first Gym is located in a place called Knight City, but they'll have to go through a new town and cross plains land to get there, leaving Grey ample time to capture, train and strategize.

    Sadly, not too many Pokémon appearances in this chapter. We'll correct that in the next one.

    I'm betting that most of you thought Juniper was the real Professor Hawthorne, huh? Got you there! She's a bit crazy, but it's the cute kind of crazy.

    I think Grey's fallen into the realm of the Youngster. Damned shorts are taking hold of everyone's minds!
     
    #6 PKMN Breeder Grey, Dec 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014

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