OOC: So my most neglected fic has its time to shine. This OOC will be rather long so feel free to skip it. First off, Moving On will be posted at a slower rate than CoGV because it's still unfinished (yeah, I know I said I wouldn't post it until I finished it...well, I couldn't wait XD). Second, I made a number of minor cosmetic changes such as fixing some of the clunkier dialogue. I also made changes to take into account HGSS (i.e. changing Tin Tower to Bell Tower) and to make way for Gen V (i.e. instead of Goldenrod being the largest city, it became one of the largest cities). I must say that the server dying, was a blessing in disguise because it motivated me to finish this. And without further ado, here is my second fic ♥ Stepping off the ship was like a sigh of relief to Carmen Lopez. It seemed as though she’d been away from land forever, but finally she was in Goldenrod City, Johto. Carmen stretched toward the cloudless blue sky as her silver eyes surveyed her beautiful and magnificent new environment. She saw immediately that Goldenrod City lived up to its name. Many of the buildings were made of materials that reflected the golden rays of the sun or of yellowish bricks. Even parts of the street were made of golden bricks giving the city a very sunny mood. Though it probably didn’t show on the outside, it was very emotional to Carmen to be in Johto. Sure she had been far from the home, the actual house, in which she grew up, but she was always in Sinnoh. Now she was in a completely different region where everything seemed to be different on the surface. It was a mysteriously lonely feeling being so far from home that even Carmen herself didn’t expect. But that was only part of what was on her mind… Carmen was in the port area of the city where many people were going from ship to ship and workers were unloading cargo. Just from noticing their very presence, Carmen saw that the people of Johto seemed to be of a different caliber than the people of Sinnoh. They seemed to be more emotional as shown by their speech: be it when they were upset, happy, friendly, or mean. 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 Carmen’s 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 certainly different, thought Carmen. Back home something like that would have gone unnoticed by everyone involved. Interesting…She was conscious of the fact that she was drawing a certain amount of attention to herself even from the trainers, but it was more curious than scornful. As Carmen left the port area, she realized that she was in the one of the largest cities in the world. There seemed to be nothing but a sea of skyscrapers and people. Ramón, her older brother had wanted to her to meet as soon as possible at Goldenrod Park. He told her that even though the city was gigantic, it was well marked by signs so the park would be easy to find. Luckily, she was used to, and liked large cities so she had no trouble wading through the sea of people and skyscrapers. There certainly was a lot to see and do as she walked. Apparently Goldenrod was also great for shopping because Carmen saw store after store and huge department stores in which she knew her sister would be in heaven. Not to mention the prices were much cheaper than in Sinnoh. Oddly enough, for a large city there sure were a lot of restaurants offering home cooked meals or ingredients “fresh from the farm” that were normally only seen in rural areas. As Carmen walked, something caught her eye. Running towards her at a very high rate of speed was a young boy with flaming red hair. As soon as he drew level with Carmen, he tripped over his own untied shoelaces and fell to the ground, skinning his knee. He got up quickly and dusted off his blue t-shirt and khaki cargo shorts, as many people laughed. Looking around, the boy found Carmen and quickly pointed. “HEY! You tripped me!” he accused in a very loud voice with fire in his deep blue eyes. “No,” said Carmen calmly yet uncomfortably aware that people had stopped and started to stare. “I believe you tripped over your own shoelaces,” she pointed out. Apparently the boy was expecting Carmen to get upset as he looked very much taken aback by her calm response. But he rallied back at once. “No excuses! We’re going to battle right here, RIGHT now!” he yelled and Carmen imagined a cartoonish background of flames in the absurdity of it all. “Wait, what?” asked she half amused and half annoyed. He reminded her 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. She 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 “Awww, 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 honestly couldn’t take him seriously. Carmen thought she was off the hook and began to walk away. However, before she could take three steps, the boy was back in front of her. “Oh, here you are again,” said Carmen 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 winning the Sinnoh Pokemon League Tournament. She’d own you in battle for sure.” A few people in the crowd laughed and catcalled making the boy flush crimson. He quickly regained his composure and put his Pokéball back at his waist and turned to Carmen. “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. Carmen was speechless. The rest of the crowd laughed before dispersing. Well that was odd, she thought. Putting that random scene behind her, Carmen looked for the signs to the park once more. It turned out that she was a lot closer than she thought because before she knew it, she was found her standing at 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. Carmen took a deep breath and found that the air here smelled like the country side. She would’ve actually believed she was in the country if she didn’t see the tall buildings surrounding the park. All that was left to do now was find Ramón so Carmen set off on the sidewalk that wound its way around the park. About half way around, she stopped. Up ahead was a dark haired young man sitting on a bench 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. However the man didn’t seem to mind the interest people were showing him. “Hey Ramón!” Carmen called as she walked over to him. Ramón looked up from the book he was reading and smiled. He was dressed simply in a T-shirt and jeans and wearing a gold necklace with charm that resembled the diamond shaped apparatus on the mythical, at least in Carmen’s eyes, Pokémon Suicune. It had once belonged to her 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 she knew held Suna. “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’d actually said yes to my offer. I thought you were only joking with me yet here you are.” “Of course,” Carmen said, sitting down beside him on the bench. His Claydol, named Nendoru, rotated once as though to acknowledge Carmen before staring down two small children who walked away nervously. Carmen groaned when she 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,” Carmen 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,” said Carmen dismissively. “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, thought Carmen. “In the mean time why don’t we just head to my house? We can talk there,” he said. “All right,” said Carmen sighing. Ramón closed his book and put it in the messenger bag under the bench. What’s bothering you,” he asked when they had started walking again with Nendoru floating beside its trainer. “I know something is because I can see it in your eyes.” Carmen sighed. Both she and Ramón were both described to be enigmatic and hard to read, yet good at reading others. However, out of the two, Ramón was more mysterious and more perceptive—to the point where even Carmen had trouble figuring him out. Yet he could read her like one of his books, something that was slightly unnerving to her that she still wasn’t used to. “You love messing with Reina with your emotion reading, but you don’t like it when I do it to you,” Ramón said. “Heh,” said Carmen. “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? It’s a little complicated.” As in, I really don’t exactly know myself. Ramón dropped his head and smiled. “I’ve heard that line before. Well, I’m here when you actually sort out your words and feelings.” “All right…” Carmen trailed off. She had the feeling that he already knew what was on her mind, but was just waiting on her to say it herself. It was almost like a test of sorts. It was really ironic that she could help others get over what was bothering them, but often had trouble expressing what was troubling her very soul. Before it could get her down, she 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,” said Carmen. Her Sinnoh-born father had spent a significant portion of his life in Johto where he met their mother, but they had got caught up in the wrong kind of life… A light breeze played with Carmen’s long, thick wavy hair as they walked back into the city. It was warm, unlike the cool winds that usually blew around 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. There was no need to wear dark colors to absorb and hold heat. Carmen also noticed that the trainer gear here was different as well. “So that’s the Pokégear I’ve heard so much about,” remarked Carmen, looking at the cell phone like device that most of the trainers seemed to have. “They’re really interesting devices,” said Ramón distantly. “They have maps, phones, GPS, and a host of other functions. But its most important function is the radio.” “The radio?” asked Carmen. “Somehow I expected something a bit more high tech.” “Johto is unique in that the radio is far more important than TV. 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,” said Carmen. Maybe people here won’t be so obsessed with looks. “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?” They had reached a sort of miniature park that offered some open area with benches and some vending machines where people could rest from all their walking. “What? Oh, yes I would,” said Carmen excitedly. When Dragonite had evolved and she rode him for the first time, she realized that the weight she always carried on her mind to lessen when she was in the open sky. Like her and their younger sister Reina, Ramón also had a dragon that he used to get around. He pulled the Pokéball from the necklace and released Suna, his Flygon and recalled Nendoru. Suna stretched her magnificent diamond shaped wings wide to the amazement of some young children, ready to fly. Carmen followed suit and released her Dragonite. “Ready?” asked Ramón as he climbed on Suna’s back. To everyone except Ramón, Suna seemed to be a very stand-offish Pokémon. She was never outwardly aggressive, but she made it clear that only Ramón was allowed to enter her space. Their father had given Ramón Suna when she was a Trapinch and he was very young. Since they grew up together, they shared a close bond. Carmen was always amazed at how Suna was so at ease and relaxed when she was around Ramón. She attempted to nuzzle her trainer who returned the friendly gesture with a pet on the head. “Right, Suna. It will be fun to travel around the city.” Carmen climbed on Dragonite’s back immediately and already felt the weight lift off her heart. 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. Fine by me, thought Carmen. Dragonite rose into the air on wings that seemed too small to support himself and his trainer. Carmen looked down at her brother who was still on ground. “Catch me if you can!” she called, getting out of herself. Dragonite rose even higher before shooting off into the cloudless blue sky. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have a clue where she was going. All that mattered was that she felt the sweet adrenaline surge. The people on the ground were just little spots on the ground as she and Dragonite flew above the level of the higher skyscrapers to avoid being seen. This time she decided not to use Dragon Dance or else she’d lose her brother for good. He did eventually catch up and pulled up next to her. “You know,” he said. “We should be thankful you don’t have wings because if you did, you’d never come back down.” “Maybe you’re right…” Carmen said thoughtfully. “Anyway, follow me!” he said going in front of her. 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 she didn’t enjoy it. It was like something out of the movies as they flew around the buildings and bird Pokémon in flight. Looking back on it, it was amazing they weren’t stopped by the police when they 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,” said Carmen, who really wasn’t ready to land but she did so anyway, then both siblings recalled their Pokémon. Carmen felt her adrenaline surge fade away into nothing. Though they were in the woods, the distant sounds of the big city still reached their ears yet it was still very peaceful. “I should start my research when we get back,” said Ramón in a far away tone. Carmen was almost afraid to ask, but she did so in spite of herself. “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….” Ramón trailed off. “And you’re not going to tell me what it is yet?” asked Carmen. She hated it when he left her hanging like that. “No, I’ll explain everything later…when we reach the house.” Carmen knew it was no use in pressing him so they just walked on. They were silent for most of the way as they wound their way along the twisting path along the way. However, the walk wouldn’t be totally uneventful. As they reached the top of the hill… “HEY! I knew I’d find you again!” “You’ve got to be kidding me,” sighed Carmen. “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, how on earth did you find me?” said Carmen 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 sticking with 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. Ramón looked mysteriously intrigued at the boy almost as though he saw something in him. “Bye Nemo,” he called before turning to Carmen. “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,” said Carmen. “And he was that loud the whole time. But let’s head to the house before this headache gets worse.” “All right,” said Ramón who looked deeply amused by the whole thing. Ramón’s house and a second house were just over the hill in a small clearing. It was a simple, yet nice house that looked rather cozy and comfortable. The trees that surrounded the clearing shaded the area and filtered the sunlight into little squares. It had a large back porch that would be great for just sitting and thinking. A soft wind played with the wooden wind chimes making a gentle sound. The inside proved to be just the same, yet very open. The light colors and the skylight gave the impression that the house was bigger than it was. As they walked into the living room, Carmen saw a simple sofa and a few comfortable chairs. There was a fire place in the corner and a door way to her right lead to the kitchen. “Right,” said Ramón. “The house isn’t that big so you can look around by yourself. I’m going to sleep now.” “You said you were going to explain what you were researching when we got here,” Carmen pointed out. “And I will—after I sleep. There will also be someone coming that I really want you to meet,” he said. “I think you may find her interesting. And I have a secret as well. Hmm, you know, it’ll be nice to tell someone about this…well, see you in a little while…” He headed off down the hallway and in one of the bedrooms. Carmen plopped herself down onto the sofa, realizing her head was hurting worse. Sometimes her brother’s mysteriousness and his stream of consciousness made her brain bleed, but there was nothing to be done about that. She pulled out her cell phone and began to play a slot machine game, wondering what secrets her brother held for her. OOC: Psst, the next new chapter is nearly done!