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The Chronicles of Giselle Valentine

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Carmen Lopez, Jun 8, 2010.

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  1. OOC: I realized that if I wanted to repost -anything- I had to post this fic first. It's my baby because it's my first finished Pokemon Fanfiction so enjoy it in all its newbie glory! To be honest, I'm not sure how edited this copy is, so there maybe typos. And I still very much welcome any constructive criticism so feel free to drop any advice you may have.

    Giselle was, once again, back in her bedroom, the television going, in her hometown of Pallet. She had failed for the fourth or fifth time to win a gym badge so she was severely depressed. She was dazed, her dull brown eyes out of focus, only vaguely listening to the TV. She just played with her long white hair inattentively. Her depression wasn’t helped by the continual praise that her friends received from the people around the town as she returned from the Pewter City after another fiasco.

    “Did you hear about Elisabeth? Her Squirtle is already fully evolved!”

    “Or what about Jean. He’s on his, what, seventh badge?”

    “Don’t forget Marie. She collected over 100 different species of Pokémon and she’s not that far into her journey!”

    Giselle hated them all: for reminding them of her failure and for praising her friends in front of her. No one ever mentioned her name, except in gossip and in a joke. She felt like an embarrassment to her town. Pallet Town had a reputation for producing the greatest trainers around and Giselle didn’t measure up. She couldn’t catch a Pokémon to save her life. The fact that she even had two Pokémon was a bit of an accident. She had also never beaten a trainer. She wondered why she even became a trainer in the first place…oh yeah that’s why.

    Trainers were heroes: glamorous, strong, and respected…what Giselle wanted to be. They traveled all over the world and had powerful Pokémon. And in Pallet Town, strong trainers were next to God in the minds of the townspeople. They adored their hometown heroes. Giselle wanted desperately to be adored like that. She received her starter Pokémon, Charmander, and set out on the road, but she found out that being a trainer was much more difficult that she could have imagined.

    There was no one to make you dinner on the road, no one to give you money, no one to remind you to be sure to pack a coat, no one to take care of your Pokémon when you didn’t feel like it…Life on the road turned out to be very harsh and unforgiving. It required something that Giselle felt she didn’t have.

    And then there was the Pokémon training itself. It was nothing like Giselle saw on TV, where the trainers seem to know everything there is to know about battling and Pokémon, where everything always turned out perfectly. Pokémon battling took much more strategy than just calling out attacks and then there was more to training Pokémon that just battling. It was like taking care of a child; they had their own personalities, too, but Giselle wasn’t great with identifying with her Pokémon. They needed things like humans did, like food. And Giselle didn’t always have it to give. Those were dark days. She never got much farther than Pewter City.

    So it was with a heavy heart that she kept returning home after all her failures, the subject of all Pallet Town’s gossip and the butt of many jokes. This time was no different and she was starting to reach her breaking point. A commercial for a cheap ship ride to Sinnoh flashed across the TV screen, catching Giselle’s interest for the first time. She wanted out of Pallet Town and out of Kanto completely. The commercial said that all who wanted to go should go to Vermillion City three days from now and pay just $100 to board the ship. Giselle had heard enough and turned off the TV before the commercial had even finished.

    This was her chance, she though, to get out of this godforsaken town. She began making preparations immediately.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Everything then happened very quickly. She packed up just the basics for the journey: five outfits, her Pokédex, and some food for herself and her Pokémon. She also made the decision to take the money intended for college if she had opted not to be a trainer. Not that it was a lot of money; it was only about $5000—that wouldn’t be enough for a semester at a college. And of course she would take her two Pokémon, Charmander and Caterpie who hated her. All that was left was to tell her parents what she was about to do.

    Giselle waited until dinner to tell her parents. Meal times where always subdued, the atmosphere tense when she was home. Though Monique and Claude Valentine never mentioned it, Giselle could tell that her parents were disappointed in her failure as a trainer. They had hoped that Giselle would as great a trainer as they had been in their younger days. But it never happened and Giselle resented their disappointment.

    The family ate in silence. Giselle’s beautiful mother had her usual “I have the world on my shoulder so don’t bother me look” while her stoic father maintained his poker face. Giselle had inherited her white hair and plain face from her father. Dinner dragged on and on until Giselle could no longer stand it and broke the silence.

    “Mother, Father, I’m leaving in three days for a trip to Sinnoh,” she quickly said.

    Neither one said anything for a moment, and then Monique asked haughtily “What do you know about Sinnoh?”

    Now it was Giselle’s turn to be silent because she really didn’t know anything about Sinnoh—but she wasn’t about to admit that to her mother.

    “It’s her decision. Let her go,” Claude said flatly as though her mother were fondling over her, “it doesn’t matter one way or the other.”

    Giselle had expected this reaction. After all, they never were supportive at anything she did. She got up from the table and walked back to her room. This would be the longest three days of her life.

    ~~~​

    The next two days had passed without incident. She didn’t go outside of the house for the entire time. At about 2 a.m. on the third day Giselle couldn’t sleep because she was so wound up about her trip. She didn’t see the point of waiting until the sun came up so she got up to leave right then.

    She stepped out into the cool darkness. The sky over Pallet Town was beautiful. Giselle preferred Pallet Town at night. The houses were all dark and no one was out late because the people of Pallet Town were good people who didn’t walk the streets at night. She let out her Pokémon to check them before leaving. Charmander came out of his Pokéball and stretched walked around a bit and Caterpie remained still after being released. They looked all right to Giselle; she reached out to pet them. Charmander just stood there and Caterpie jerked away.

    Giselle couldn’t figure out why Caterpie hated her, why Caterpie looked at her with such contempt. She didn’t know what else to do with her Pokémon so she recalled them and walked on. Pallet Town was on the ocean so Giselle could take a ferry to Vermillion City—something most trainers didn’t do. They preferred to take the long way catching Pokémon and taking on gym challenges along the way. Giselle ached as she thought about what her friends might think of her now.

    The small ferry had the color scheme of a Pikachu, the unofficial mascot of Pallet Town, so it almost glowed in the dark it was so bright. Giselle wasn’t fond of Pikachu because of its connection to Pallet Town and as a result she thought the ferry looked ridiculous. But she was grateful that there was a ferry going at 2:30 in the morning. It never got any business but it was a Kanto-wide law that said that that public transportation must operate 24 hours a day.

    Giselle boarded the ferry, surprising the captain who didn’t expect riders. She walked to the very back of the ferry and sat down. She was relieved to be leaving Pallet Town. She had never been to Vermillion and for the first time in a very long time she was excited.

    The ferry trip would take about forty-five minutes so Giselle used the time to think about what she would do in Sinnoh. She had $5000 which she figured would be plenty. She was planning to buy everything else she needed for the road in Sinnoh. And on the off chance she needed money she would sell anything she found on the road. She had heard plenty of stories from trainers about the treasure they found while traveling.

    After she was done contemplating, Giselle got up from her place in the back of the ferry to look at the ocean. Like the heavens above, the ocean was magnificent. It was calm and dark blue; red lights would emanate from the waters occasionally signaling that Staryu and Starmie were just beneath the surface. Giselle soaked in the salt air and in what seemed like no time they had arrived in Vermillion City.

    Unlike Pallet Town, Vermillion City was bustling with people even in the early morning. Burly workmen and sailors were calling to each other in loud voices. Being a port city, there were crates loaded with all kinds of cargo with Machoke and Machamp helping with the moving. There also were people from all over the world chatting with strange accents. The sights and sounds of the city overloaded Giselle’s senses as she had never seen anything like it. She liked Vermillion—but it wasn’t enough to change her mind about leaving.

    A sign conveniently located a short distance away had the arrival and departure times and the origins and destinations of the ships entering and leaving Vermillion harbor. Giselle immediately knew which ship was hers as it was the only one leaving for Sinnoh. It left at 8:00 a.m.—about five hours and forty-five minutes from that point.

    Finally, Giselle had started to get sleepy so she headed to the Pokémon Center for a nap. The city was much larger than Pallet Town but the center wasn’t difficult to find because signs told people in which direction to go. It took only ten minutes to find it; Giselle rushed in and collapsed into one of the chairs but not before setting the alarm on her Pokédex to 7:20. She was about to fall asleep when a harried looking man entered the Pokémon Center.

    A woman, presumably a person waiting for him, called out, “Hey you’re back! How was Sinnoh?”

    At the word Sinnoh, Giselle perked up.

    “Don’t even get me started,” the man grumbled, “it was terrible. For starters, everything was…”

    Giselle stopped listening. She didn’t want to hear anything that would deter her from her escape from Kanto. She was sure whatever Sinnoh held could not be worse than what she was leaving. But she began to feel uneasy anyway. She tried to block the self doubt out her mind and fell into an uneasy sleep.
     
    #1 Carmen Lopez, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. BEEP! BEEP! BEEP

    The alarm rang out and Giselle heard it loud and clear. Her body was stiff from the odd angle at which she had slept so she stretched a bit before running out of the Pokémon Center. She went back the way she came to reach the harbor. The sunrise casted golden light over Vermillion City and the ocean looked even more beautiful. Children now played joyfully in the streets.

    There were many ships moored in the harbor with signed indicated which ship was which. Giselle quickly found her ship and she stopped dead. It was a piece of junk, so beat up and so rusted she wondered how it was still floating. It was small wonder why it was so cheap. By then it was 7:50 so the ship would be leaving in ten minutes. Giselle ran on to the ship, paying $50 ($4950 left) as she went.

    The inside of the ship was just as terrible as the outside and it smelled like dead fish. The only thing that kept Giselle going at this point was the fact that she was leaving Kanto behind—for how long she didn’t know but she was going. The ship was already very crowded and suffocating. Just for something to do, she let out her Pokémon in the cramped quarters. Charmander came out and took a deep breath and nearly gagged on the smell. He looked a little reproachful about being out of his Pokéball. Caterpie on the other hand started to walk away.

    “Hey!” Giselle hissed, “Come back here!”

    But Caterpie wasn’t listening and continued on her trek. Giselle told Charmander to stay there as she ran after Caterpie. Chasing after a Pokémon on a crowded ship was pretty difficult and Giselle kept bumping into people. Even with her trainer on her heels calling her, Caterpie never stopped and she moved pretty fast for a Caterpie. People all around were starting to point and stare. Embarrassed Giselle recalled her and vowed not to let Caterpie out again until they reached Sinnoh.

    But she would have to break that vow. It took forever to reach their destination; the ship moved so, so slowly. Occasionally the ship would have to stop at refueling points along they way. Giselle had to let out her Pokémon again because she thought it was probably bad to leave Pokémon in their Pokéballs too long. And while Caterpie didn’t run away this time, she started to cry—loudly prompting Giselle to recall her once again. Giselle was half dead and close to tears by the time they reached Sinnoh. When they had stopped, she wanted to run off the ship in relief but something was happening.

    Uniformed officers were entering the ship and people mumbled among themselves as they took out their wallets. The officers walked around collecting checks from everyone. Giselle was thoroughly confused. She turned to the lady next to her.

    “Can you tell me what on earth is happening?”

    “They’re collecting the charge to get off the ship.”

    “What?!” Giselle said, alarmed. What charge? How much?”

    “The commercial advertising this said that there was a sort of charge to enter Sinnoh because of some loophole in a law. I didn’t quite understand it,” the lady explained. “Any way it costs $3500.”

    Giselle was floored. From the look on the lady’s face Giselle guess that she was supposed to know about the charge. She tried not to convey her shock and horror. When the officers reached her, she counted out the money ($1450 left) and handed it to the officers who weren’t happy with $3500 in cash money. She turned back to lady.

    “How much would a return trip cost?” Giselle asked as nonchalantly as she could.

    “$5000,” the woman said before turning and walking away.

    Giselle tried to calm herself down. She berated her own stupidity at not watching the whole commercial. She could hear her mother’s haughty voice taunting her and she tried to push it away. She turned to walk off the ship with the other passengers.

    ~ ~ ~​

    The battered ship was anchored in a canal. Twilight had fallen as had the temperature and Giselle was shivering. Once again she had forgotten to bring a coat and warm clothing in case of emergencies. A sign told her that she was in Canalave City—a perfect name for a city that was cut in half by a large canal.

    This new port city was similar to Vermillion in most respects. There were metal and wooden crates with all kinds of things everywhere and people from all over the world, but it also had a very distinct look. The streets of Canalave were made of cobblestone which gave the city an old world look. Modern buildings stood on contrast of the wooden buildings that were beside them and the delicious smell of food from all different cultures filled the air.

    Giselle couldn’t believe that she was out of Pallet Town and out of Kanto. This was the furthest she had ever been away from home so for about 30 minutes she just wandered around the city. There were many people fashionably dressed for the nightlife and laughter filled the streets. Giselle had never been a party-person because she always felt so awkward in that setting. She recognized a group of Pokémon trainers talking with each other using words with which she was unfamiliar.

    “Did you see that battle today? That supposed ‘expert’ was totally owned by some kid.

    “Yeah I saw that and some arrogant noob get put in his place. You should’ve seen the way he got pwn’d!

    She didn’t know what it meant to be ‘owned’ or ‘pwn’d’ or what a noob was but that wasn’t the only way they were different. The trainers were wearing elaborate, colorful clothing whereas in Kanto trainers Giselle knew of wore either jeans or khaki shorts and a T-shirt like Giselle herself was wearing. Most of them also had some kind of gadget such as a music player or phone but all of them had on the same high tech watch; blue ones for the boys and pink for the girls.

    Giselle felt plain and oddly inferior in comparison to them. She looked down at her feet and rushed away. As she passed, she distinctly heard one of the girls in the group say, “Geez! What a foreigner! I wonder if she as stupid as she looks?” while the other laughed.

    The feeling of inferiority increased. Her face burning, Giselle lost her will to explore the city any further. Giselle didn’t know how those trainers knew she wasn’t native. Maybe it was the clothes or the expression on her face. Or maybe they could sense her ineptness, her weakness… At this point Giselle was staring to lose the feeling in her fingers so she decided to find a clothing store. As it looked like she was already in the shopping district, she dashed to the nearest one, eager to get out of the cold.

    Unfortunately for Giselle, the clothes in that store were expensive. Very expensive. So she had to find another store only to encounter the same thing. It wasn’t until the fifth store she visited did she find prices that weren’t cheap but not through the roof either. Giselle didn’t find the salespeople very helpful either. She had to find everything herself and they reminded Giselle of her mother with their snobbishness and silence. She willed herself not to cry in humiliation and didn’t dare lift her head to face them.

    She tried to find clothes that resembled the ones those trainers were wearing. In all, the red coat, red hat, black gloves, jeans, and shirts in assorted colors Giselle found amounted to $400. Giselle honestly wanted to put it all back but she didn’t want to give the salespeople anymore reason to look down on her. It pained her to take out the money to give to the cashier ($1050 left) who gave her a strange questioning look as she took the money.

    Darkness and Giselle’s spirits had fallen by the time Giselle exited the store. She could barely feel the cold now. This definitely wasn’t the best way to start off in Sinnoh. She felt tired, hungry, and drained and wanted to find a place to sleep and the sights and sounds of the city seemed very far away now. She wondered what she was going to do next as she ran off into the night.

    ~ ~ ~​

    The first place Giselle thought to go was the Pokémon Center. There she could let her Pokémon out for a little while and change her clothes. As in Vermillion City, there were signs that pointed trainers in the right direction. Giselle had one of her hands balled into a fist while the other was curled tightly around her shopping bags. She could barely see straight in her frustration so it was a surprise that she had gotten herself to the Pokémon Center.

    It was a two story building that looked like an odd combination of a hotel and modern looking hospital. She walked through the automatic doors but instead of walking straight into the Pokémon Center itself, she had entered into a sort of lounge area. It was very cozy, almost like a coffee shop but without the smell of coffee. All around there were oddly shaped chairs and giant pillows upon which trainers could rest. Brightly colored potted plants gave color to the place. There was also a map of what appeared to be the whole Sinnoh region and the floor plan of the Pokémon Center. She saw that the area was full of trainers and their Pokémon, but now was not the time to consider them. She wanted to find the bathroom quickly so she could change her clothes before anyone noticed her.

    Giselle took a quick glance at the map to find the bathroom and set off for it, her head down once more. It was on the left side of the building in the Pokémon Center itself. Unlike the lounge area, the center looked like a conventional Pokémon Center with its white tiled floors, soft pink colored walls and generic plants. Nurses and Chansey tended to Pokémon while assuring worried trainers that their Pokémon would be fine. Some people were using the phones while others had let out their Pokémon for fresh air. Giselle made a quick note to have her own Pokémon checked out before leaving the center. The bathroom wasn’t far away so she walked there quickly.

    Surprisingly and mercifully, the bathroom was empty as Giselle entered. Everything in the bathroom was shades of blues and greens reminiscent of the ocean and surgically clean. She also found that there were even showers for traveling trainers. Giselle ran across the tiled floor into the large handicap stall. She changed out the clothes she had on and into the two brightly colored shirts, one blue and green striped and the other bright red, that were supposed to be worn as layers and the jeans (a preppy look) in the shopping bag.

    The new clothes didn’t suit her. Giselle felt very uncomfortable and self-conscious in them. She didn’t like material of the shirts and the jean felt very stiff. She exited the stall to and realized the jeans felt even worse when she was walking and Giselle kept pulling at them. She looked at her reflection in the floor length mirror and found that that look was just not her and it showed in her face. The colors seemed so garish on her. Only her extreme longing to fit in kept Giselle from taking off her new clothes and throwing them away.

    She tried to inject confidence into her demeanor as she walked out of the bathroom with the rest of her clothes in the shopping bag, but that was difficult to do while wearing irritating pants. The material was very itchy for some reason and Giselle continued to pull at them drawing many curious glances. She knew her face was turning red as she walked to a chair that was in the corner and sat down gratefully.

    As she looked around the Pokémon Center, she finally took notice of the Pokémon. She had never seen many of them before so she took out her Pokédex to identify them. However, it only told her that information about these new Pokémon was unknown. Apparently her Pokédex was only for Pokémon known to be native to Kanto. In spite of her discomfort, Giselle found them interesting anyway.

    She saw an adorable little Pokémon that closely resembled a penguin who kept chirping “Piplup, Piplup.” She also noticed a particularly brutal looking blue Pokémon that looked like a cross between a dragon and a shark. Apparently it wasn’t as menacing as it looked because it was letting a small Pokémon which kept calling out “Buneary” play with its tail.

    The Pokémon Giselle found the most interesting was bipedal and wolfish in appearance. It was blue, black, and yellow and it looked as though it had a band of black across its face. The Pokémon was showing off its moves to its trainer, a teenage boy with two-toned purple and black hair. The Pokémon was manipulating water in the air using psychic power, its entire body glowing blue.

    Giselle was captivated by the beautiful site and was gazing at the Pokémon mesmerized. She also found the trainer rather attractive as well. Time seemed to have stopped. The boy noticed Giselle staring at him and his Pokémon and narrowed his green eyes slightly. With one mysterious glance from its trainer, the Pokémon directed the water it was manipulating into a nearby potted plant.

    “Time to go Megumi,” the boy said quietly with a smirk. With one more look at Giselle, he and Lucario turned and walked away.

    Giselle felt her face grow hot and shook her head to bring herself back to reality. Even though she couldn’t tell if she had just gotten snubbed or not, she was still embarrassed. She had to get that incident out of her mind because she still had some plans to formulate. But first she still had to figure out if the Pokémon Center had any beds left.
     
    #2 Carmen Lopez, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  3. The return to reality brought back Giselle’s itchy jeans and her self-consciousness. In an attempt to take her mind off her frustration she decided to stop a passing nurse to see if there were any beds left.

    “Miss, excuse me but are there any beds left here?” Giselle asked timidly.

    “Sorry,” replied the red headed nurse, “but all the rooms have been taken or reserved.”

    Giselle suddenly had a flash of annoyance and had to restrain herself from rolling her eyes.

    “Fine then,” she snapped with a little more force than warranted. Giselle couldn’t blame the nurse for glaring at her before marching off.

    Giselle could not believe it. Since when were rooms at a Pokémon Center reserved? Everything seemed to be going wrong. Her blood was boiling and tears of frustration threatened to spill over. But Giselle stopped them because she didn’t cry in public.

    Instead she contented herself with Plan B: buy some things a sporting good store and camp out. Though she didn’t know her way around Canalave City, Giselle figured that there may be something in the shopping district where she had bought her clothes. She decided to head there right after she had her Pokémon checked out.

    There was no line as Giselle walked over to the counter and handed her two Pokéballs to another red headed nurse.

    “Do either of your Pokémon have any serious injuries or conditions that I should know about?” the nurse asked professionally.

    “No,” Giselle sighed.

    Surprised by Giselle’s lack of interest, the nurse took the Pokémon to the back where, Giselle knew, there was a healing machine. While she waited, Giselle looked around the Pokémon Center again at the trainers and their Pokémon. Everyone seemed to be at ease with their Pokémon. Even the weakest Pokémon in the room looked much stronger than hers. The jealousy Giselle felt nearly overcame her. As she turned her back on the room, Giselle saw that the nurse was already back and had sat the Pokéballs back on the counter.

    “Your Pokémon seem to be okay,” the nurse began, “but neither Pokémon looks as though it is getting enough exercise. Make sure they have adequate time out of their Pokéballs each day.”

    “All right,” Giselle murmured. She collected her Pokémon and walked away.

    Giselle used the clock on her Pokédex and discovered in was after 10:30 p.m. She didn’t know if anything would even be open. She hurried quickly out of the center, back through the lounge, and out of the building.

    Giselle retraced her steps back to the area where she had bought her clothes. She was grateful to have a coat, gloves, and a hat, but the jeans and shirts were still uncomfortable. It had gotten colder and the wind whipped at her white hair. The streets were filled with people dressed warmly against the cold but very vibrantly. Despite her new clothes, Giselle still felt as though people were staring at her. But this time no one insulted her. However, people kept bumping into her and rushing off with saying a word.

    She was relieved to find herself back in the shopping district. Now that Giselle looked properly she saw signs that revealed all of the stores within the district and their opening and closing times. There was one store that caught Giselle’s interest at once: The Rugged Rhyhorn Camping Goods Store. Unfortunately for Giselle, it closed at ten.

    She tried to suppress her rising panic by telling herself that this couldn’t be the only place that sold camping supplies. She concluded that she would just have the wander around a bit until she found another place, but she also made sure to keep out of people’s way. As she walked, Giselle kept dwelling on the way the people in Sinnoh were acting. Though Pallet Town was by no means friendly to her, generally the people of Kanto seemed nicer than their Sinnoh counterparts. They didn’t use the word ‘foreigner’ with such derisiveness as those trainers did. Giselle was feeling resentful toward every one she had encountered in Sinnoh, from those trainers to the boy with the Lucario.

    After about thirty minutes of walking, Giselle found a place called Ditto’s Discount Department Store. They had these stores in certain cities Kanto, but Giselle had no idea they had expanded to Sinnoh. The best things about them were that they sold absolutely everything from paint to Pokémon goods and were open twenty-four hours a day. Finally, something had gone right for a change.

    She went into the store and found aisles upon aisles of stuff. She grabbed a shopping cart and started dropping things in: a compact tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, blanket, a five bottles of water, a lighter, more food, and a bigger back pack to put it all in. Giselle made sure to get a few health supplies for her Pokémon such as Antidote, Paralyze Heals, and Potions. She also found an awesome electronic map of the entire Sinnoh region which included a compass for only twenty dollars.

    Though it was a discount store, things still added up fast. The total price for everything was $300. This time Giselle couldn’t put anything back even if she wanted to; everything was needed. She grudging gave the cashier her money. The cashier, Giselle was not pleased to see, had the same expression as the cashier at the other store ($750 left).

    Before leaving, Giselle repacked everything in her new backpack and she threw the shopping bags in a nearby recycling bin. She put the rest of her money inside of her coat pocket. To her surprise, she found the backpack was not that heavy. She had already decided she would head out of the city and set up camp.

    Giselle took out the map and consulted it to find the best route out. The map projected a holographic image of Sinnoh. Giselle zoomed in on Canalave City and discovered a route that led to another bigger city called Jubilife. She wanted to camp out on that route and spend the next day walking to Jubilife City to try her luck there.

    She repacked the map and start going east. The night sky grew more beautiful as the lights of the city faded away behind her. Though she hadn’t looked at a clock, she knew it was long after midnight. Giselle walked for what seemed like forever before she found an area suitable to set up camp. She hadn’t eaten hardly anything the entire day, but she didn’t feel like feeding herself, though she felt weak.

    Giselle set up the tent and crammed the sleeping bag in it. She was going to put the backpack in the tent as well but then it was too crowded. She decided to leave it right outside the tent, but she took the map, her Pokéballs, and her Pokédex with her. She was about to crawl into the tent and into the sleeping bag before realizing she hadn’t fed her Pokémon either.

    She had to force herself to feed them because she didn’t want to and didn’t feel like it. Charmander gratefully ate every bit of the food Giselle gave him, but Caterpie refused her food.

    Giselle didn’t even bother to force feed Caterpie. After Charmander had finished she returned them both to their Pokéballs and climbed into the sleeping bag and used her coat as a blanket.

    For the first time as she was staring up at the ceiling, Giselle started to get second thoughts. She had no idea what she was going to do now that she was in Sinnoh. Giselle foolishly thought she would know immediately what she would do when she arrived. With a jolt, she realized that she only had $750 left out of the $5000 she had taken with her. And it was very hard to believe she had only been here for mere hours. Sinnoh seemed to be a cold place in more ways than one. It took a long time for Giselle to fall asleep.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Giselle was awoken the next morning, not from the sun streaming into the tent, but by a very disgusting smell. She sat bolt upright because it smelled like something dead and her first horrible thought was that it was one of her Pokémon. She looked around the tent and saw Caterpie had let herself out of her Pokéball. It took a couple of seconds before Giselle realized that the smell was coming from Caterpie’s antennae. Giselle figured that this was her punishment for not feeding Caterpie.

    Giselle groaned and put her fingers in her hair and felt that her long hair was tangled and knotted. She had, of course, forgot to bring a comb so her hair was going be stuck that way until she bought one. She still had on the same clothes from last night, but they weren’t as uncomfortable. Either Giselle’s tossing and turning during the night had broken them in, or she had simply gotten used to them.

    She was a little annoyed with Caterpie as it wasn’t her fault she didn’t want to eat last night, but she unzipped the tent and crawled out to get some Pokémon food for Caterpie anyway. The leaves from the trees filtered the morning sun so that its light appeared greenish-yellow. The ground, including Giselle’s backpack, was covered in dew.

    As she reached in her backpack to pull out the food, she felt like there was something missing. But she was so weak from hunger herself she didn’t take time to look. She fed Caterpie who surprisingly ate the food without giving Giselle problems, but the Pokémon still maintained her coldness. Giselle wondered a couple of times if Caterpie had come from Sinnoh. Since Caterpie was already eating, she let out Charmander for breakfast too. Charmander had already eaten the night before so it didn’t eat as much this time.

    After returning both Pokémon to their Pokéball, she decided to eat herself. Giselle pulled an Instameal and a bottle of water from her backpack. All she had to do was add water to the meal and her rice and vegetables were ready to eat. She sat outside the tent to eat her breakfast while observing the scenery.

    All around Giselle, Pokémon were starting to become active. Giselle was slightly annoyed by the fact that her Pokédex couldn’t identify them as she wanted very much to know what they were.

    On the other hand, capturing them was out of the question. On the TV shows, Pokémon would generally stay in one place so the capturing went smoothly. That wasn’t the case in real life; to Giselle, it seemed as though the Pokémon was testing the trainer. If that were indeed the case, Giselle failed miserably. She received Charmander from Professor Oak and when she subsequently used it to capture more Pokémon. It was a fiasco.

    One occasion, she managed to hit herself in the head with her own Pokéball and another time she accidently hit Charmander and found out that you couldn’t capture a Pokémon that had already been captured—even if it was your own Pokémon. The only reason she had Caterpie was because she captured it after she inadvertently scared off the Pidgey that were annihilating it. But Caterpie had never taken to her.

    She was lost in her thoughts and memories and didn’t notice the trainer, a teenaged girl, who had walked up. To Giselle’s surprise, the trainer was simply dressed in jeans, a pink shirt, and hiking boots with her shoulder brown hair pulled back in a ponytail—nothing like the trainers in Canalave except for the big pink watch on her left wrist. The girl had noticed Giselle’s Pokéballs.

    “You’re trainer, right? Can I battle? My name’s Maya Santos by the way.”

    Of course Giselle’s battling skills were nearly as bad as her capturing skills, but she decided to give it a shot anyway. After all, she needed the money.

    “Sure why not. I’m Giselle Valentine,” she replied. “What are your rules?”

    “How about a one on one? Nice and simple,” she said, clearly eager for a battle.

    “All right then,” said Giselle, faking confidence she didn’t have. She picked up a Pokéball and released Charmander.

    “Oh wow,” Maya said, eyeing Charmander. She pulled out her Pokédex, which was pink and opened like laptop, and pointed it at Charmander.

    “Information unknown,” the Pokédex said in a feminine voice. Apparently her Pokédex was only programmed for Pokémon native to Sinnoh

    Getting her head back in the battle, Maya picked one of her own Pokéballs from her waist and released one of her Pokémon.

    “Are you ready to battle, Skorupi?” A look of hesitation flashed across her face for an instant before it was gonGiselle was leery about Skorupi’s fangs but proceeded anyway, but before she could even call out an attack—

    “Skorupi use Sand Attack!” In an instant the air was filled with dust, choking Charmander. It was now impossible to see. But Maya wasn’t done yet.

    “Now use Poison Sting in that dust cloud!” The Skorupi, unnoticed by Giselle, had climbed up a nearby tree and started launching its attack from above. Though unable to see anything, Giselle could tell Charmander was taking major damage.

    Giselle was starting to freak and tried to calm herself down to think of a way out of this. “Charmander use Ember!” It was the first thing that popped into her head.

    Inevitably the attack missed but it did help repulse the bug Pokémon so Giselle ran with it.

    “Charmander just keep using Ember!” Giselle shouted, though she could barely see her Pokémon.

    Charmander repeatedly used its fire attack—so much so that Maya and Skorupi had memorized Charmander’s movements. Skorupi now had no problems dodging Charmander’s attacks, even using the very tree it had climbed as a shield.

    Giselle was at a loss at what to do next. She closed her eyes briefly to clear her head; Maya took that chance

    “Skorupi use Whirlwind and then use Poison Fang!”

    Skorupi kicked up more wind that Giselle thought possible. Charmander and Giselle tried to protect themselves from the fierce wind by putting crouching low with there arms around them. Skorupi moved in for the kill. It leapt down from the tree and sunk its venomous fangs into Charmander’s back with brutal force and didn’t let go.

    Giselle only looked on helplessly as Charmander tried valiantly to shake off Skorupi. It was no use because Skorupi was bigger and hadn’t taken hits in the battle and Charmander fainted, exhausted from the effort.

    Maya recalled Skorupi as soon as the battle ended. She was a bit taken aback by how short the battle was and by the fact that she had won with her bug Pokémon. Giselle wasn’t even thinking of her loss—only of giving this girl her money and then healing Charmander, whom she had already recalled.

    Giselle ducked inside the tent quickly to take her money out of her coat pocket. Then, she hastily shoved $50 ($700) into the hand that didn’t have the Pokédex which Maya had taken out again.

    Maya has a slightly curious look on her face but Giselle didn’t ask questions. Maya didn’t either; she just bowed and said thanks.

    “Good-bye for now. Maybe we’ll see each other again.” Without delay, Maya ran off with surprising speed and disappeared into the forest.

    Giselle dropped to the ground by her bag and started digging frantically for some potion. Of course it would have to be at the bottom of the bag. When she finally came up with it, she released Charmander and sprayed the medicine onto his wounds.

    Giselle knew immediately there were was something wrong. Usually Pokémon jerk slightly when sprayed with medicine because it stings, but Charmander didn’t react at all. Charmander looked more than just exhausted. His eyes were screwed up in pain and his breathing was labored, as though it was taking a great deal of effort.

    Terrified, Giselle picked up Charmander trying to figure out what was wrong. Then she saw it on Charmander’s back: the two puncture wounds with purplish liquid around them.

    Charmander had been badly poisoned.
     
    #3 Carmen Lopez, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  4. OOC: What was I thinking with Reina's outfit? It's hideous!

    Antidote! It was the only thought in Giselle’s head as she laid Charmander gently onto the ground and rummaged through her bag a second time. To Giselle horror she couldn’t find it. She was so sure she was just missing it that she emptied everything out onto the ground but to no avail.

    Charmander was looking worse and worse so Giselle had to take action. She made sure she had Caterpie’s Pokéball, picked up Charmander again and started running as fast she could.

    “Help! Anybody! Please, my Pokémon needs help!” She screamed at the top of her lungs. She didn’t know what direction the Pokémon Center was in and if Charmander would make it until then. As she was running, Giselle tripped over a fallen branch and she hit the forest floor hard, still shielding Charmander from harm.

    She didn’t care about the mud or the cuts or the scratches, she just kept running. Suddenly there was a clearing in the forest and even though the sun was blinding her she kept going for the sake of her Pokémon. There were two girls up ahead but Giselle didn’t see them and promptly crashed into them, sending them all to the ground.

    “Hey! What are you do--,” began one of the girls.

    “Help me!” Giselle cut her off, “Please, do you have Antidote.”

    Both girls looked at Charmander and quickly took action. One of the girls searched through her bag while the other was instructing Giselle to lay Charmander down and to stay calm.

    “Reina do we have that medicine we made form the Pecha Berries?” asked the one calming Giselle.

    “Right here, Carmen,” she replied, handing over vial with some pink powder in it.

    Carmen raised Charmander’s head up a little and poured the powder into his slightly open mouth. For one moment nothing happened, and then Charmander’s breathing slowly began to stabilize.

    Giselle breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Thank you so much.”

    “You’re welcome,” Reina said brightly. My sister and I are always willing to help a Pokémon in need, right Carmen?” Reina had light brown skin, dark brown eyes, black hair that was cut short. She had on a hot pink sweater, black miniskirt with black leggings, and hot pink wavy soled boots to match the sweater. She accessorized the look with chunky pink and black jewelry. She wore a navy blue traveling bag around her waist and pink watch like Maya had.

    “Sure,” Carmen merely said. Carmen also had light brown skin, but her black hair was long and wavy. She had piercing silver eyes. She was dressed more simply in a chocolate colored sweater, jeans, and brown boots. Carmen sported a black sports bag worn on her back. Giselle also noticed an elaborate ring on her middle finger. She also had a pink watch.

    “I guess we should formally introduce ourselves,” Reina said, “My name is Reina Lopez and this is my older sister Carmen. What’s your name?’

    “Giselle Valentine.”

    “Hmm, cool. So as you can see I’m more of a talker than Carmen who’s more observant. Well to be fair, she talks more when she’s explaining something”

    Giselle could see that. All the while Reina was talking, Carmen was looking at Giselle intently. The she spoke.

    “You’re foreign.” It wasn’t a question.

    However grateful Giselle was for her saviors, she couldn’t help but feel yet another stab of annoyance at that statement. Rather than bother with pretenses, Giselle simply asked, “How did you know?”

    “First off, your white hair isn’t a common sight here in Sinnoh and your name is definitely foreign. You have a slight accent, and you also give off the air that you’re a newbie, a beginning trainer,” she added at the sight of Giselle’s confusion. Usually, beginning trainers don’t leave their own region until they’ve challenged their own league. How did you get so far from Kanto?

    Giselle was impressed by her observations. “Um, how did you know it was Kanto specifically?

    “The Charmander of course. Only Kanto trainers are given the option of Charmander as a starter.”

    “Oh, right,” Giselle said.

    “See I told you she’ll talk if she’s explaining something,” Reina said with a smirk. “But seriously, Carmen, leave the aura and emotion reading to Gardevoir and Lucario. You scare people sometimes”

    “I still want to know how you got so far from home. Isn’t that a little expensive for a newbie?” Carmen implored.

    Giselle cracked a smile but not in amusement; the reality of her situation had returned in full force. If they wanted to know so badly why not tell them her story? After all, they saved Charmander. Besides she was jaded and didn’t care anymore, but even she was surprised at how easy the words came from her lips.

    “I’m from Pallet Town and there are high expectations for the trainers. Let’s just say I didn’t live up to those expectations and even my parents are ashamed. I only have two Pokémon and one hates me. To attempt to salvage the rest of my pride and dignity, I took the $5000 for college and caught a ship from Vermillion to this place. I lost over half my money in a fee just to get off the ship. Everything here seems to be expensive. The weather cold and the people are snobby and colder still. And I couldn’t even heal my Charmander. I guess I’m just as pathetic here as I am at home, huh? But at least know one knows me here.” And with that the tears welled up, but this time she couldn’t stop them from falling.

    The sisters stood there, watching Giselle fall apart. Reina was at a complete loss at what to do, but Carmen strode forward and grasped Giselle’s shoulders. Surprised, Giselle lifted her head but the tears didn’t stop.

    “You want to know what I think. You’ve been alone for too long. You never once mentioned a specific person during your story. Meeting people is a big part of being a trainer. You can’t be off by yourself all the time. Why don’t we all walk back to get your things and talk some more? I assume you have other things, right?” Carmen added with a slight smile.

    Giselle nodded, her face streaked with tears. Seeing that the situation was under control, Reina pulled tissue from her bag and gave it to Giselle who took it and began wiping her face.

    “Let’s head back, shall we?” Reina said.

    And they all walked back into the forest.

    ~ ~ ~​

    “Guys?” said Giselle timidly, “I don’t quite remember where I left my things exactly. I was in such a panic when I left.”

    Giselle was in the middle of the two sisters as they walked. Charmander was put back in his Pokéball to rest bit more.

    “Oh, well,” said Reina, I guess we’ll have to keep wandering around until we find it. I wish we had a Swinub since they have a good sense of smell. Do you at least remember the general direction, Giselle?”

    “Somewhat, I guess. It seems like all I’ve been doing here is wandering around,” said Giselle with a sigh and a sniff.

    “Now we start talking,” said Carmen, “explain all about how you got here.”

    “Well I saw a commercial for a discounted trip to Sinnoh and I jumped at it,” Giselle began. Carmen was already looking suspicious but she didn’t interrupt. “I was so sick of Pallet Town you wouldn’t understand. The people had nothing better to do with their lives than follow the lives of trainers. I went to Vermillion City to catch the ship to Sinnoh. It only cost $50 to board, but the ride took forever. Then when we arrived in Sinnoh, we all had to pay a $3500 charge to even set foot in Sinnoh because of some law—“

    Both sisters reacted.

    “What law?” asked Reina sharply. “And what is this charge?”

    Carmen asked, “Was that ship a piece of junk?”

    “As a matter of fact it was,” said Giselle, whose nostrils were filled with scent of dead fish at the thought of it.

    “Of course,” said Carmen darkly. “It’s a scam. A while ago our government imposed a law to keep these junk ships from entering our harbors by imposing a huge fine on the ships’ captains. But they found a way around that by making the passengers pay. They lie to them saying that there is a fee to enter Sinnoh in fine print in those commercials.”

    Giselle rolled her swollen and puffy eyes. That didn’t help much as she didn’t read the fine print. On the other hand she didn’t know why the other passengers on the ship were so willing to pay that charge if they knew about it. Maybe they were desperate too.

    “Keep on with your story,” Reina said.

    Giselle continued. “When I got off the ship, I explored Canalave for a while before coming across a group of trainers. They had on the “hottest fashions” and I felt like a loser. They knew I was a foreigner right off so I tried to fit in with the trainers here by getting new clothes. They cost $400 and they were uncomfortable. It seemed like every trainer was wearing the latest fashions. Even you, Reina.”

    At this Reina smiled. “You wanted to fit in so badly you paid $400 for clothes!? Wow. You do realize we don’t dress like this when we’re on the road.

    “I realized that after my battle with Maya Santos where my Charmander got poisoned.”

    “Yeah, I’m dressed up because Carmen and I are going out tonight.”

    “And you’ve already gotten dressed?” Giselle couldn’t help asking.

    “Of course, why not?” said Reina as if getting ready for a night on the town in the morning was perfectly normal.

    “She’s an odd one,” said Carmen, “she also made me get ready as well.”

    “You call that getting ready?” said Reina gesturing at Carmen’s outfit. “You look so plain!”

    “I look fine,” said Carmen stubbornly. “I look classy.”

    “Whatever,” Reina said, “I’ll get you in something interesting by the end of this day.”

    Carmen made noise of impatience. “Anyway, Giselle, please continue.”

    “It seemed like everyone I met was as cold as the weather, from those trainers to the salespeople and everyone in between. People were just unhelpful. What is wrong with the people here—“Giselle stopped short, afraid she had offended her saviors.

    Reina shot her a look.

    “Wait a second. I’m sorry! I was just frustrated! I mean Maya was decent. I just—“Giselle stopped when she saw Reina was smiling again albeit in an accusatory way.

    “Ok, ok, ok. I’ve heard stereotype before. Just because we don’t trip over ourselves trying to offer help to foreigners does NOT mean we’re cold. You actually have to ASK for help for it to be given. Name one person besides Carmen and me that you asked for help.

    Giselle naturally had nothing but at the word ‘foreigner’ she rallied back.

    “What is with that word? I’ve never heard the word ‘foreigner’ used with such scorn.”

    Reina was about to say something back, but Carmen, who had been simply listening the whole time, stopped her.

    “Those are just cultural differences,” Carmen stated. “From what I’ve heard the people of Kanto are stereotyped as being suffocating. But we all know that it’s just that—a stereotype. So Giselle you should take heart that not everyone in Sinnoh is that mean. It’s a different culture. In Kanto, people will offer help. Here, you generally must ask for it, as my sister so kindly said.”

    “But the word ‘foreigner,’” Giselle began again.

    “Is just a word,” Reina finished. “You can make any word sound derisive by the way you say it.”

    Giselle had to admit she had a point. “I’m sorry, guys.”

    “Oh, that’s all right.” Reina said. “Oh look here must be your things!”

    Giselle was so involved in the conversation she wasn’t even paying attention to where there were walking. Her campsite was the same as she left it—which was in a huge mess. After making a spot check that nothing had been stolen, Giselle rushed forward and hastily packed everything back in her bag. “Where were you guys going tonight anyway?” Giselle asked when she was finished.

    “We were trying to pick between Jubilife City and Veilstone City,” Reina replied.

    “I think we should go to Veilstone. We need to do some shopping,” Carmen said seriously.

    “Oh please,” Reina said exasperated, “the only reason you want to go to Veilstone is because of the game corner and the casinos. She’s a compulsive gambler,” Reina added in a whisper to Giselle.

    Carmen flushed in outrage. “I am most certainly not a compulsive gambler! Even you said I win more than I lose. And you weren’t complaining about that $500 gift certificate I won you!”

    “Then why did you lie and say you needed to go to the Department Store?” Reina asked slyly.

    “I didn’t lie! We really do have to go!” said Carmen who was trying to regain her lost composure. “I mean it’s okay if we make a stop by the game corner. And besides the reason YOU want to go to Jubilife is because you want to be on TV.”

    “And I have no shame in admitting that,” said Reina. “Everyone wants their five minutes of fame…”

    Giselle was busy trying not to laugh. It was a wonderful feeling; she didn’t remember the last time she had wanted to laugh. These sisters certainly had cheered her up. But it was time for it to end.

    “I guess I should be going,” said Giselle. “It was very nice to meet you both.”

    The sisters looked at each other. Then Reina turned backed to Giselle.

    “Are you joking? Didn’t Carmen say you had been alone for too long? You’re coming with us for awhile.”

    “What?” said Giselle blankly. She had never contemplated traveling mates and didn’t know what it would be like. All her friends in Pallet Town had struck out alone. Giselle had always been independent and a loner and she had never really connected with her friends now that she thought about it. They were just people to talk to and occupy time. But that way hadn’t been working for her.

    “Of course you’re coming with us,” Carmen said gently. “We still haven’t talked enough.”

    Giselle felt feeling she couldn’t then describe. All she knew was that there was something good in store for her.

    “Of course I’m coming with you,” Giselle repeated.
     
    #4 Carmen Lopez, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  5. OOC: Still trying to catch typos before I post chapters

    The sun was higher in the sky as noon approached. The girls were headed through the forest toward the road. Giselle had just refused to get dressed at that moment, despite Reina’s insistence. She had no desire to put back on any more uncomfortable clothes, though Reina said that heat might remove the itchiness.

    “Why not get dressed now.”

    “Because it’s pointless. I can do it later.”

    “You don’t know what may happen later,” said Reina as though stating the obvious. “You said you bought some clothes in Canalave. Well, wear those.”

    “But they’re itchy and uncomfortable!” Giselle complained.

    “I already told you heat may remove the discomfort. Let me see the clothes.”

    “You want me to dig through all that stuff?”

    “Sure.”

    They all stopped as Giselle groaned and started digging through her bag. She didn’t know how heat would remove the itchiness, but she kept searching. Finally she pulled out a pair of jeans and a funky blue shirt with geometric cutouts and a light pink shirt to go underneath.

    “I don’t know why I bought these. This isn’t even my style—“but Reina interrupted.

    “Those look awesome! You have to wear that tonight. But you don’t have the right shoes for the job. We’ll just have to buy some when we get Carmen something interesting then!” Reina looked positively excited about it, while Carmen merely groaned.

    “So I don’t have to put those clothes on now.”

    “No, not without the shoes.”

    Giselle was in disbelief as she stuffed the clothes back in her bag. “Are you even a Pokémon trainer? You seem to care a whole lot about your looks.”

    “I’ll have you know that I am a trainer,” said Reina as she started walking again with Giselle and Carmen following. “I recently reached the Elite Four. And even though I lost to Lucian, it was still a great battle because my Pokémon fought their hardest. My dream is to become the greatest Steel type Pokémon trainer in the world. I’m not quite there yet but hey, I’m trying.”

    Giselle was amazed. She didn’t know who Lucian was but the fact that Reina made it to a region’s Elite Four was amazing. “What about you, Carmen? You’re a trainer, right?” Giselle asked.

    “Yeah I’m a trainer, too,” was all she said.

    “Oh, don’t be so modest, Carmen,” said Reina sternly. “She actually won the Pokemon League Tournament; that’s what the ring is for. Now she's training to take on the Elite Four” she told Giselle.

    If Giselle was amazed before, she was floored now. She was talking with a person who'd won the League Tournament! Although she felt a weird kind of honor, she couldn’t help but feel slightly jealous.

    “It’s not that I’m trying to be modest,” said Carmen, slightly annoyed. “I just don’t know how to say that without sounding conceited. Pokémon training and battling is just something I love and enjoy doing. And don’t you start treating me any differently!” She snapped at Giselle.

    “Yes ma’am,” said Giselle in a small voice and Carmen looked ashamed of herself, but quickly regained her poise.

    “Sorry I snapped; that was totally uncalled for. I just don’t like people to make a huge deal of it.”

    Reina looked like she wanted to say something more, but a look from her sister stopped her.

    “Now for a change of subject,” said Carmen. “Since we can’t decide where we want to go, Giselle you should decide for us. Will it be Veilstone or Jubilife?”

    “But I don’t know anything about either place.”

    “Well, Jubilife is Sinnoh’s most modernized city and is a high tech paradise. And it is home to the biggest TV station in Sinnoh,” Reina explained. “Think about Giselle! We could be on TV! And since the Porygon line is Jubilife’s mascot we could get discounts in certain places because of Carmen’s Porygon-Z.”

    “And Veilstone is Sinnoh’s entertainment capital full of arcades, shopping, restaurants, and game corners,” Carmen countered back. “It’s also a good place to see Pokémon battles. And we could get discounts there as well. Lucario represents the city and Reina has a Lucario.”

    “So which one will it be, Giselle?” Reina inquired eagerly.

    Both sisters were looking at Giselle in anticipation. Giselle wasn’t sure; both cities sounded amazing. But which one: the high tech paradise or the entertainment capital? She wanted to see both.

    “Uhhhh…This is so hard. I pick….Veilstone!”

    “Fine, Veilstone it is,” said Reina, a little gloomily. “May I ask why you picked it?”

    “I wanted to see how Sinnoh trainers battle. Maybe I’ll learn something”

    “Cool,” Reina said. “And speaking of Pokémon why don’t we stop walking for a little while and introduce ours to you.”

    Okay,” Giselle said. She was interested to see what kind of Pokémon they had.

    “You don’t mind Carmen?”

    “Not a bit,” Carmen responded brushing her hair from her eyes.

    Each girl took six Pokéballs from her waist and threw them into the air. In a dazzling display of light, twelve Pokémon appeared.

    “All right,” said Reina happily. “These are my Pokémon: my starter Empoleon, Lucario, Magneton, Salamence, Beldum, and Onix.” She gestured toward each one as she called their names. “I also have a few other Pokémon not in my party right now. All of these, except Salamence are from Sinnoh. I picked up Salamence from the GTS when it was a Bagon.

    “And these are mine: my starter Blaziken, Milotic, Porygon-Z, Drapion, Gardevoir, and Dragonite. To make a long story short, Sinnoh trainers don’t get the option of Torchic as a starter but there was mix-up and I ended up with it. By the way, this is the team that I used to beat the champion. I also have about ten more Pokémon in storage.”

    Giselle recognized Onix, Magneton, and Dragonite, while Porygon-Z was obviously Porygon’s final evolution. The others she didn’t recognize. Empoleon, Blaziken, and Salamence looked fierce and powerful; Milotic and Gardevoir were two of the most beautiful Pokémon Giselle had ever seen. Drapion had to be Skorupi’s evolution with those impressing fangs and claws. Beldum was the strangest of the group, simple looking like a ball attacked to some sort of handle.

    Giselle looked thoughtful as she said, “It’s ironic that you assumed I was from Kanto because of Charmander and you have a starter you’re technically not supposed to have.”

    “Well to be fair a person’s starter is usually an indicator of where he or she is from. I’m just an exception,” Carmen said and she, of course, had a point.

    Reina turned to all of the Pokémon. “All right guys why don’t you just chill for a while,” she said and the twelve agreed and went off to do there own thing. Then the two sisters turned back to Giselle.

    “Now it’s your turn for introduction,” said Carmen.

    Giselle didn’t want to; her Pokémon were nothing next to theirs and she hated to show them Caterpie. But Carmen seemed to read her mind.

    “We’re not going to laugh or anything like that. Besides we want to help you become better trainer so we need to see what you have right now. And we need to see if Charmander has recovered”

    Giselle sighed and picked her two Pokéballs from her waist and released Charmander and Caterpie. Charmander looked much better and was happy to be out of its ball. Caterpie, as usual, was annoyed.

    Before Giselle could stop her, Reina reached out to touch Caterpie. Caterpie wasn’t happy with being touched and promptly used String Shot, covering Reina’s whole arm in sticky string.

    “Caterpie!” Giselle cried in shock and embarrassment.

    “Don’t,” said Carmen. “She was asking for that. Reina you can’t just go touching people’s Pokémon. Remember that Stunky incident?”

    “Don’t remind me,” Reina said darkly trying to pull the string off her arm. “That smell lasted the whole day.”

    “Giselle, could my sister use Charmander’s tail flame to burn the string away?” Carmen asked.

    “Sure,” Giselle replied.

    Reina walked over to Charmander and knelt down, putting her arm over the tail flame. In seconds all of the string was gone.

    Just then there was a commotion coming from the other Pokémon. Empoleon and Lucario were facing each other with their game faces on ready to fight.

    Giselle looked concerned but Reina said, “Here we go again.”

    “Um, aren’t you going to stop them?” Giselle asked Reina.

    “Nope. Paris and Meilene—that’s Empoleon’s and Lucario’s nicknames— are always at each other. Or as I should say, Paris is always at Meilene. They’ve had a rivalry ever since I added Meilene to the team when she was a Riolu and Paris was a Piplup. You see, Meilene is a thinker and more of a loner and Paris always wants to play so inevitably they clash with Paris always being the instigator. Boys aren’t supposed to pick on girls but try telling that to Paris. This has been going on for so long that I don’t even bother stopping them anymore. Besides it’s good practice for them both.

    Giselle, Carmen, and Reina, along with the rest of the Pokémon had stopped what they were doing to watch the fight. Paris charged at Meilene who used Iron Defense to shield herself. There was a grating sound of steel against steel as Paris collided with Meilene, with neither one being harmed. The force of the collision repelled the two steel types away from each other, but they both landing gracefully on their feet. Then Paris used Metal Claw which Meilene countered with Flash Cannon. The light from Meilene’s attack temporarily blinded everyone so no one could see what was going on. When they regained sight, they saw again that the two Pokémon were unharmed.

    Paris and Meilene were staring each other down wondering what the other would do. Suddenly Paris used Water Pulse which Meilene countered with her own Water Pulse with amazing speed. The jets of water met in midair with neither one yielding. Then both Pokémon stopped their attacks to size each other up. Just when Giselle thought there would be more, Meilene and Paris walked away from each other. This random battle was over as quickly as it began.

    “That’s all?” asked Giselle.”

    “Yep. That’s how it always is. They spar with each other for a little bit then they walk away.”

    Everything settled back to normal once more. Charmander didn’t leave Giselle’s side while Caterpie went off by itself and did nothing. Salamence and Dragonite took to the skies; Lucario went to sit with Gardevoir and Milotic; Empoleon joined Drapion and Onix; and Beldum idly floated after Magneton, attracted by Magneton’s magnetism. Porygon-Z however floated over to Carmen.

    “Oh all right,” she said. “But make sure to come back when I call you.” Carmen then pulled out what looked like phone and computer combined; Porygon-Z digitized itself and entered the phone/computer device through an infrared port.

    Giselle didn’t know what had just happened so Carmen explained.

    “Porygon and its two evolutions are artificially made Pokémon who can travel in cyber space. As a result they can enter computers and many electronic devices and if there is an internet connection they can travel all over the world using the internet. They’re amazing and rare Pokémon and I’m so grateful I have one as my friend.”

    “But how do you call it back?” Giselle wanted to know.

    “Through an e-mail. I don’t bother to pretend to be an expert in how it works. However, I believe each Porygon, Porygon2, and Porygon-Z acts as its own computer with an e-mail address in some way. And just like you can send an e-mail from one computer to another no matter how far away it may be, you can send one to the Pokémon. They can somehow receive and understand the message.”

    Giselle was thoroughly confused but didn’t inquire further. She looked at Carmen’s and Reina’s Pokémon and wondered what it took to raise strong Pokémon. Giselle marveled at how the two sisters seemed to be in tune with their Pokémon. She looked back her own Pokémon and as usual she didn’t know what to do and the feelings of inadequacy threatened to return again in full measure.

    Carmen looked at Giselle and saw the uncertainty in her eyes. It then dawned on her that Giselle simply may not know how to relate to her Pokémon; she remembered her mother saying she had been the same way when she was a young trainer and what had helped her to overcome that. Carmen wanted to see if the same thing would help Giselle as it did her mother.

    ~ ~ ~​

    The three girls were still watching the Pokémon. Paris and Meilene kept well away from each other in their respective groups. Dragonite and Salamence were now breathing fire as they were flying. Magneton was drifting around lazily with Beldum close behind. Charmander still refused to leave Giselle’s side and Caterpie had climbed up a tree and onto a high branch. Giselle was feeling slightly uncomfortable and was on the verge of recalling both of her Pokémon when she started talking just for the sake of talking.

    “Hey Reina,” said Giselle.

    “What is it?” asked Reina who was now busy with her pink watch.

    “Do your other Pokémon have nicknames?”

    “Two of the others do,” said Reina. Onix is called Acero and Salamence is called Clair after the famous Dragon trainer. Magneton and Beldum don’t because I like their species names.”

    “What about Carmen?”

    “She only named one of her Pokémon and that’s Milotic whom she named Nerissa. She never said why she didn’t name the others.”

    Giselle was interested because she had never thought about giving her Pokémon names. She always felt awkward calling Pokémon by human names or little pet names. But hearing Reina talk about it made it seem cooler somehow. As they were talking, Carmen had walked over to Gardevoir, Meilene, and Nerissa. Though none of the Pokémon could talk, it seemed as though they had a deep connection with Carmen, even Meilene. Giselle sighed and was about to simply start watching the Pokémon again, when Carmen came back over to her and Reina.

    “Giselle,” she began. “Tell me something. I want to hear in your words what your relationship with your Pokémon is like.”

    “Erm,” Giselle really didn’t know where to began. “I already told you that Caterpie hates me. And with Charmander, it’s just I don’t, I mean can’t.” She struggled with the words to explain her predicament.

    Carmen helped her out. “You just don’t know how to relate to your Pokémon or how to get to know them. How often do you just let them out of their Pokéballs and spend time with them?”

    Now that she thought about it, she only let her Pokémon out for air and for food, and the (very) occasional battle. Giselle could feel her face grow hot with embarrassment and shame. She felt very stupid.

    Giselle’s facial expression explained everything to Carmen, but Reina was slightly less keen.

    “Are you going to answer the question, Giselle?” Reina asked, unintentionally tactless.

    Carmen looked at her in disbelief but that was an issue for another day. Instead she turned back to Giselle.

    “I noticed a slight change in Charmander when Reina used its tail flame to burn off that string. It was almost has if it was happy. That’s why I consulted with Meilene and Gardevoir to see if they noticed it too and they did. I believe that means that Charmander likes to feel useful and is more at peace when it is busy doing something.”

    This only made Giselle feel worse. How did Carmen know more about Charmander, whom she had only known for hours, than his own trainer?

    “That wasn’t to discourage you, you know,” said Carmen reading Giselle face.

    “Before you say anything else, let me ask you something,” said Giselle wryly. “Is my face really that easy for people to read?”

    “Sure is,” replied Carmen, smiling.

    “Wait a second,” Reina cut in. “I can’t read her face. I mean it’s probably not that easy to read. It’s probably because you’re just incredibly perceptive about those things.

    “No, you’re just incredibly dense about those things,” said Carmen flatly. “But let’s get back on the subject here.” Reina looked mutinous, but Carmen ignored her. “To put it simply, you just have to do things with your Charmander to find what it likes best. Here’s a start: remember, Giselle, it seems to like helping out.”

    Even before Carmen said that, Giselle was racking her brains as to what she should do with Charmander, who still hadn’t left her side. She was determined to make good use of Carmen’s findings. Carmen went back to watching her Pokémon and didn’t interrupt Giselle’s thoughts, for which she was glad. Reina had started to pace around absentmindedly. What, thought Giselle, could she do. She was sure that this was a no brainer for anyone else, but she had to work a little harder to find a deceptively simple answer.

    Just then, Reina had accidently stepped into a hole no doubt left by a Pokémon. Her foot sunk deep into the hole and was sent face first into the dirt. There was about two seconds of complete silence before both Giselle and Carmen started to laugh. There was a metallic rasping sound coming from somewhere. As they looked around they realized that even Beldum was laughing at Reina. The rest of her Pokémon, including Magneton with a still laughing Beldum in tow, rushed over to form a semicircle around the three girls out of concern for their trainer.

    “That’s not funny, you three,” Reina said indignantly, still face down on the ground. “Bleaah, now I got dirt in my mouth!”

    That only made Giselle laugh harder and when Reina finally stood up, her outfit ruined Giselle began crying from laugher. Both sisters looked at Giselle in amazement. But at the sight of Giselle laughing so hard, they began to laugh, too.

    “Was it really that funny, Giselle?” Carmen asked through her laugher.

    “Yes,” choked Giselle. She didn’t know why it was so funny but it just was.

    “Giselle, this is an emergency! My outfit is totally messed up! What are we going to do!?” She said as seriously as she could while laughing.

    “You can just wash them,” Giselle shouted. “After all, mine are itchy, and, and…” Giselle suddenly stopped laughing and trailed off, her thoughts going into overdrive.

    “Erm, Giselle? What happened there?” Reina asked.

    “You told me my clothes needed heat, right? How do we do that? Could Charmander help?”

    Reina’s jaw dropped slightly. “Ok, that totally came out of nowhere. Are you bipolar or something like that?”

    Carmen, however, smiled. “Sometimes inspiration hits you in odd moments.”

    “Well, Reina, can Charmander help?” Giselle repeated more urgently.

    “As a matter a fact it could,” said Reina reaching into her backpack. “All we need is this.” And she pulled out what looked like a plastic bag and handed to Giselle.

    “What am I going to do with this?” Giselle asked puzzled.

    “I forgot to mention it earlier, but I’m almost sure your clothes are made of Sinnoh cotton. It’s cotton that is native to this region, of course. It’s a strange material; when it’s harvested, processed, and made into clothes, the clothes are very itchy and uncomfortable. But if you apply enough heat to them, the itchiness disappears and you have to most comfortable material you’ve every felt.”

    “And this bag?”

    “The bag itself is heat and flame resistant. See the lining on the inside of it? Put the clothes inside of the bag and put it in a dryer or hold it over a fire or anything like that. The bag won’t be ruined but anything inside will heat to a high temperature. I don’t think I even need to explain the rest.”

    “No, you don’t,” said Giselle. She pulled the clothes out of her backpack once more and shoved them in the bag.

    Carmen, who had been once again only been listening, called over her Gardevoir.

    “Gardevoir, please lift this bag into the air.”

    “Gardevoir,” breathed the Pokémon. She glowed with a blue light as she levitated the bag psychically. As with the boy’s Lucario, she found the sight beautiful. She knelt down beside Charmander.

    “All right, Charmander,” Giselle said, feeling slightly awkward. “I need your help; I need you to use Ember on that bag, ok?”

    Charmander looked very surprised to receive an order outside of battle, but he looked very pleased nonetheless. He opened his jaws wide and breathed fire as hard as it could at the bag. Giselle was amazed; that Ember attack was even stronger than it was in battle but she had no idea why.

    After a few moments, Reina spoke up. “That should be enough.”

    “Ok,” said Giselle. “Charmander, you can stop now.”

    Charmander obeyed immediately and looked extremely happy and proud of himself. Giselle couldn’t help but feel as though she had a ball of fire in her as well.

    Gardevoir lowered the bag into Giselle’s hands. She winced, expecting the bag to be hot before remembering that Reina said the bag was flame resistant. First, she merely peeked in the bag and saw that the clothes looked the same. Then she reached into the bag and touched the clothing with her hands. She was shocked to discover that the very texture of the clothes had changed. The shirts were snuggly soft, and the jean already had a comfortable, broken in feel.

    “You did great!” she said as she picked Charmander up and raised him over her head, laughing. The only other time Giselle had held Charmander was when he was poisoned and she was screaming for help. She didn’t realize how warm the fire type was.

    Then Giselle and Charmander looked into each other’s eyes. Charmander’s eyes seem to shine with delight. Almost instantly a strange feeling bubbled inside of her. Giselle couldn’t describe with words what the feeling was. It was as though she had had a breakthrough, a moment of clarity. For the first time, Giselle felt like she related to her Pokémon, felt like her Pokémon was more than just a pet, felt like she had finally gotten it. Was this what it felt like? Was this really the connection that trainers felt with their Pokémon?

    Neither Carmen nor Reina nor any of their Pokémon said or did anything. All of them knew the significance of that moment. It was amazing how just a simple action could make a world of difference. The sun overhead seemed to shine the brightest it ever had.
     
    #5 Carmen Lopez, Jun 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  6. I've never read CoGV before, but I guess I now know where Reina Carmen comes from, right? The way you write is simply fantastic, and the chapters feel like they came from an actual book. Reading this was almost like watching the anime...but I could keep on going and read what happens next :3

    Add moar, moar, moar <3333333

    and maybe I'll get around to reading that super long chapter :3
     
  7. OOC: I'm going to start posting chapters one at a time after this

    What Giselle was feeling at the moment wasn’t exactly happiness; it was something like she was viewing the world differently. So when she finally put Charmander back on the ground, she felt like a massive obstacle to her Pokémon training had been removed. However, even with her and Charmander on the same level, she still had her other Pokémon to deal with. Though she couldn’t figure out what to do, she knew exactly who might.

    “Carmen, do you think you could help out with Caterpie? The situation with her is a little different than with Charmander.”

    “Tell me about it,” Reina muttered under her breath.

    “Hmm,” Carmen looked thoughtful. “You know I’m going to need back story, right?”

    “Figures,” said Giselle. “Okay, it was at the end of the day and I had just spent the whole day trying and failing to capture Pokémon. So of course I was frustrated and I was desperate. Everyone had caught Pokémon except me! I ended up coming across this Caterpie being annihilated by some Pidgey. I was going to just walk away but I tripped and fell, scaring away the Pidgey. Then there was only the Caterpie left and I just through a Pokéball at it and caught it.”

    “Say no more,” said Carmen. “I can already see what the problem is. Trainers earn the respect of their Pokémon in the battle in which they were captured. Of course your starter is an exception and there are others but this is the general rule. You hurt Caterpie’s pride by capturing it even though you didn’t battle it.”

    That certainly explained a lot, Giselle thought. Now what was she going to do about it. “But do I have to release it? I really don’t want to…”

    “I think you already know what to do,” said Carmen.

    After a few moments, Giselle came to a conclusion. “Now I just have to get it out of that tree,” she said.

    All three girls turned to the tree in question and looked up. Caterpie was still on her branch doing nothing.

    “Hey, Caterpie,” Giselle called. “Come down here please.”

    But Caterpie didn’t obey; it merely looked at Giselle with a “why are you bothering me look.” For one brief second, Giselle thought of Monique.

    Giselle turned to Carmen. “What do I have to do?” she asked.

    Carmen shrugged. “You’ll just have to talk it down.”

    Giselle knew that was the only way deep down, but it still felt like she was trying to talk a desperate person out of committing suicide.

    “Caterpie, I know why you’re acting like this,” Giselle said with as much sincerity as she could muster while shouting. “I’m sorry that I was so stupid, that I didn’t think about your feelings. I can make it up to you if you want. We’ll do it honest this time and have a proper battle.”

    Reina was stunned, but Carmen was pleased.

    “A re-capture?” said Reina. “This will be interesting.”

    “If you want to give me a second chance, will you come down from that tree?” Giselle asked.

    At first, Caterpie did nothing. But after a few moments, miraculously, Caterpie turned on its branch and crawled down the tree.

    Giselle was astonished by the fact that Caterpie was willing to give her a second chance, but now she didn’t know what to do. She had never captured a Pokémon honestly before; she had no idea what to do, but Carmen did what she does best.

    “We can help, you know,” Carmen said as though reading Giselle’s mind.

    Caterpie had crawled right in front of Giselle, but she still looked suspicious. She was still wandering if Giselle had only said that her down from the tree.

    To Giselle’s very great surprise, she herself sensed that. She had never been able to even slightly sense her Pokémon’s feelings before. Maybe Carmen’s influence was rubbing off on her.

    “Watch this, Caterpie,” said Giselle. She took Caterpie’s Pokéball from her waist and smashed it against a tree, shattering it into a million pieces, surprising everyone. “Now do you believe me?”

    Caterpie took a long calculated look at her trainer, sizing her up. Here was the girl who humiliated her by capturing her when she was down. Now she wanted a second chance. But she did really seem sincerely sorry…

    Giselle beckoned the two sisters over to her. “Uh guys, do you happen to have an extra Pokéball? I don’t have anymore.”

    Carmen and Reina groaned playfully.

    “Honestly, Giselle, what kind trainer are you?” Reina said, handing a somewhat different pinkish Pokéball to Giselle.

    “What kind of ball is this?” Giselle asked.

    “It’s a Heal Ball,” Carmen explained, “You know how you have to nurse a Pokémon back to health after you capture it? Well, this ball heals the Pokémon for you as long as you have less than six Pokémon with you.”

    “Nice,” said Giselle. “Are you ready, Caterpie?”

    Caterpie got into its battle pose signaling that it was ready to brawl. Giselle turned to Charmander.

    “Charmander, you know what I need to do but I can’t do it without your help.”

    At the word ‘help’ Charmander puffed himself up importantly and his eyes sparkled.

    “All right, let’s begin!”

    As soon as the words were out of Giselle’s mouth, Caterpie used String Shot on Charmander with surprising speed. Neither Giselle nor Charmander saw it coming, so Charmander was covered in sticky string. While his movements were restricted, Caterpie took the opportunity to repeatedly tackle Charmander in the chest and stomach. Giselle froze, paralyzed by not being able to come up with a strategy and disbelief that Caterpie’s attacks were so strong. She closed her eyes to concentrate—a bad move.

    “Giselle, you can’t close your eyes in the middle of batt-,” Carmen was saying, but Reina interrupted.

    “GISELLE, IS CHARMANDER A FIRE TYPE OR NOT?!!? COME ON NOW! THINK ON YOUR FEET!”

    “Oh, right,” said Giselle, clearing her head. She took one hard look at the battling Pokémon and made her move. “Charmander hang in there and use Ember straight ahead!”

    Charmander grimaced in pain but managed to execute its attack. The Ember burned away the string but it also hit Caterpie, doing major damage. Caterpie screeched in pain and was writhing on the ground from the attack.

    Giselle was thrilled; this was the first time she had landed an attack on a Pokémon in battle, but she was determined not to let that go to her head.

    “Charmander, use Scratch while it’s down! Quickly!” Giselle said urgently.

    With amazing strength, Charmander lunged himself at Caterpie and began to brutally scratch her with his claws over and over to prevent her from attacking back.

    “All right, Charmander I think that’s enough,” said Carmen, seeing Caterpie on the ground singed and covered in scratches.

    But Caterpie wasn’t done. When Charmander and Giselle had their guard down, Caterpie attacked once again, tackling Charmander to the ground.

    Giselle was both stunned and horrified, but something was happening. Charmander begin to glow with a faint, but noticeable orange glow that Giselle had never seen before.

    “Giselle, that’s Charmander Blaze ability!” Carmen called out. “Here’s your chance to use a fire move.”

    Giselle didn’t ask questions. “Charmander use Ember now.”

    The flames were hotter and burned brighter than before and Caterpie took a direct hit. This time Caterpie didn’t get up.

    “Heal Ball, go!” Giselle said gleefully as she threw the ball at Caterpie.

    “’Heal Ball, go’? Kinda corny don’t you think?” Reina said. “Well maybe that’s how they do it in Kanto.”

    The ball twitched once, twice, three times, then moved no more. Giselle had done it; she just made her first legit capture.

    “I can’t believe it,” Giselle whispered.

    “I can,” said Carmen. “All you have to do is focus—without closing your eyes.”

    “Yeah, Giselle, you’re not a Lucario or something,” Reina said.

    “Heh, heh, you have a point. Touché,” said Giselle.

    “What does ‘touché’ mean anyway,” said Reina. “Is that another Kanto phrase, or something?”

    “Yeah, something like that,” Giselle explained. “It just means that the person had a point that can’t be refuted.”

    She walked over and picked up the Pokéball off the ground. Had that battle really done the trick?

    “Well, Giselle, take a look,” said Carmen.

    Giselle excitedly pressed the button on the Heal Ball and released Caterpie. The ball had done its job perfectly; Caterpie was fully healed and looked like it had never even been in a battle. For one moment, Giselle and Caterpie just looked at each other in silence.

    “Caterpie?” Giselle said. There was no point in beating around the bush, and she said aloud the question she was thinking, “Are we friends now?”

    Caterpie just stood still, then amazingly it smiled, or whatever it was Pokémon did when they were happy. And when Giselle looked into Caterpie’s eyes, she knew she had finally earned its respect. There was no longer the cold, uncaring look in her eyes. Giselle was, of course, ecstatic.

    “Come here, Caterpie.” Giselle called out joyfully.

    Caterpie crawled over to Giselle and promptly tackled her in a playful way.

    “Oomph,” went Giselle as she fell, caught off guard, to the ground for the second time that day. Giselle gave Caterpie a hug, something the Pokémon would never had let happen before. “I had no idea you were that much of a brawler.”

    Both Carmen and Reina laughed, while Giselle smiled faintly to herself, obviously lost in thought. It didn’t go unnoticed.

    “What are you thinking about, Giselle?” Carmen asked.

    “Well,” began Giselle, picking herself off the ground. “I had months and months of misery and failure back home, yet I’ve already made major progress the mere two days I’ve been here. I’m not sure if that’s pathetic or not.”

    Giselle wasn’t used to being this open with people, saying aloud what was on her mind. But she was pleased and content. Her two Pokémon respected her and her whole outlook on this thing called Pokémon training had totally changed. Carmen and Reina amazed her with their help and support. She pinched herself just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming.

    Carmen smiled more broadly. “That’s the power of friendship.”

    Friendship?

    “Arg,” Reina groaned. “We’ve been in once place to long! I vote we start moving again.”

    “I have an idea,” Carmen spoke up. “I say we postpone our Veilstone trip and help Giselle capture more Pokémon.”

    “Wait, what? Now!?” Giselle sputtered, totally knocked for six.

    “Yes”

    “But I wanted to spend more time with Charmander and Caterpie!”

    “And you will. They’ll be helping you capture more Pokémon. I’d called that bonding.”

    “I totally second that motion,” Reina said, clearly excited.

    “Well, why don’t we?” Carmen said. She then turned to her Pokémon. “Guys did you have a nice resting time?”

    The answer from the Pokémon was clearly yes.

    “Good. It’s time for us to go now.” And she recalled all of her Pokémon except Dragonite.

    She then pulled out her computer/phone no doubt to call back Porygon-Z. About thirty seconds later, in a flash of red light, zeros, and ones, Porygon-Z reappeared. Carmen recalled it as well.

    Excluding Clair, Reina also recalled all of her Pokémon, including Paris and Meilene who looked like they were going to have another fight.

    “Ready to go?” both sisters asked together.

    Giselle’s head was beginning to spin. Everything was happening so fast! Charmander and Caterpie, who were now both at Giselle’s side, looked at her encouragingly. Giselle sighed.

    “Do I really have a choice?”

    “No,” the both simply said.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Giselle felt as though everything was surreal. It was a brisk afternoon. Reina and Carmen had informed Giselle that Sinnoh was indeed colder than the other regions. However while the it was slightly chilly, it wasn’t cold enough for the heavy coat that Giselle had bought the night before, so she decided her red long sleeve shirt would do. Giselle wondered what they would do next, but she didn’t have to wonder for long.

    “All right, Giselle,” Reina began. “We’re going to take you out Pokémon capturing, but there are some rules.”

    “Rules?” asked Giselle questioningly.

    “Yes, rules,” said Carmen, smiling. “And here they are. First off, you can’t ask where we are. Second off, you can’t ask what the Pokémon is. Capture first, ask questions later. Got it?”

    “I guess so,” said Giselle.

    A slight breeze played with Giselle’s hair, which was now free of knots thanks to a comb that Reina gave her.

    “Come on, Giselle, pick a dragon,” said Reina.

    “What?” Giselle asked, confused.

    “Pick a dragon,” she repeated. “We’re going to Fly to our destinations. Who would you rather ride with? Me or Carmen?”

    Giselle looked at the two dragons Pokémon, Dragonite and Clair, the Salamence. She decided to base her choice on which she thought was more comfortable to ride—Salamence.

    Salamence was slightly taller than Reina, but she hopped on the dragon’s back gracefully. “Come aboard, Giselle,” Reina called out.

    Giselle kneeled down to her Pokémon’s level to get to the attention of Caterpie who was enjoying the breeze and Charmander who was looking at the Dragonite and Salamence with admiring eyes. “It’s time to return to your Pokéballs now. I promise you’ll be out shortly though.” And with that Giselle returned the two content Pokémon to their Pokéballs.

    Giselle had never flown on a Pokémon before so she was nervous about climbing on Clair’s back. Reina held out her arm to help Giselle get on.

    “Come on now, Giselle, you’ll have to get used to this,” Reina said with a mischievous smile.

    “Yeah, yeah,” grunted Giselle as she pulled herself up.

    It was strange feeling sitting on Salamence’s back. Reina sat in front of Clair’s wings while Giselle was sitting almost in the middle of her wings. After actually getting on the creature’s back, Giselle thought she was going to be in for an uncomfortable ride. Reina looked back and saw the Carmen too had climbed onto her Pokémon.

    “All set?” asked Reina happily. “Then let’s use Fly!”

    Dragonite and Salamence rose into the air and took off with amazing speed. Giselle was surprised that the ride wasn’t uncomfortable like she thought it would be. In fact it was very smooth. She enjoyed the wind in her face and hair. But there was one thing she didn’t understand.

    “Hey, Reina!” Giselle called out. “What did you mean by “use Fly”?

    “Oh, that. Well Fly is the name of move that has a different effect in battle and outside of battle. In battle it is an attacking move; outside of battle it’s a transport move. The Pokémon using Fly can fly at an abnormally high speed to get itself and its rider to different areas fast.”

    “But aren’t we too heavy?”

    “For Salamence? No. How much weight a Pokémon can carry depends on the Pokémon itself. The two of us together don’t weigh that much and Clair can easily carry us. Dragonite can carry heavier trainers because it is heavier and stronger.”

    “Oh,” said Giselle. And with that she didn’t say anymore and just enjoyed the ride. The scenery blurred as it soared beneath them. It seemed as though Reina and Carmen and their Pokémon had flown around these parts many, many times.

    Too soon they we’re descending. This time they were on a grassy route. She could see the skyline of a big city on the horizon. Giselle was about to ask where they were until she remembered that she wasn’t allowed to.

    “Come on, Giselle,” Reina whispered as she jumped down.

    Giselle jumped to the ground into grass that came up to her knees and looked around. Trees dotted the landscape here and there and there were pretty flowers on the ground. Giselle could hear a stream in the distance.

    As Giselle was enjoying the scenery, Carmen walked over and nudged her.

    “Look at that,” she whispered, pointing.

    Giselle followed the direction of Carmen’s pointing and saw what she thought was a very cute Pokémon. From its head to about the middle of its body it was blue while the rest of it was black. It had bright yellow eyes and its tail had a yellow star on its tip.

    Reina clapped a hand on Giselle’s shoulder. “I think you know what comes next.”

    “What? Capture it?” Giselle said in a forced whisper. “I don’t even know what it is!”

    “So what? Capture first, ask questions later, remember?”

    Giselle sighed and resigned herself. “What do I do now?” she asked.

    “Confidently walk up to it with your Pokéball out. If it doesn’t run away, the battle is on,” Carmen explained, handing Giselle more Heal Balls.

    “All right,” said Giselle, taking the Pokéballs. Nervousness and now excitement together flowed through her.

    The grass curiously seemed to muffle her steps as Giselle walked over to the mystery Pokémon, Charmander’s Pokéball in hand. As Giselle grew close, the Pokémon finally noticed her. It turned its yellow eyes on Giselle and finally to the Pokéball in her hand. It growled softly. The game was on.

    Giselle released Charmander and the two Pokémon stared each other down. Giselle wasn’t exactly sure what to do so she attacked first.

    “Charmander, use Ember!”

    The Pokémon dodged the attack and began charging toward Charmander, its body electrified—a Spark attack. Charmander tried to run from it but the Pokémon charged faster. And when Charmander tried to throw it off by changing directions, the Pokémon changed directions faster. But something was starting to come out of Charmander’s mouth: thick black smoke—Smokescreen.

    Giselle gasped. “Charmander use Smokescreen to throw it off!”

    This time Charmander turned to face the Pokémon and blasted black smoke directly at the Pokémon, totally engulfing it; it couldn’t see anything. Giselle was suddenly reminded of her battle with Maya.

    “Now Charmander, use Ember in that smoke until you hit it!”

    Charmander used Ember repeatedly in the cloud, reminiscent of Skorupi launching Poison Sting in the dust cloud. From the shrieks of the Pokémon, Charmander had landed multiple hits.

    When the wind blew the smoke away, the Pokémon was down, hurt by the Ember attacks. Giselle took the chance.

    “Don’t say it,” Reina said under her breath.

    But she did.

    “Heal Ball, go!” Giselle cried as she threw the Heal Ball.

    The Pokémon went in the Pokéball. It twitched once, twice, and then no more. The Pokémon was caught. Giselle walked over to pick up the Pokéball and then turned to Reina and Carmen.

    “Ok, I caught it, now I can ask questions. What is this?”

    “That’s a Shinx,” said Reina brightly. “It’s an electric type that evolves twice—first into Luxio, then into Luxray. And yours is a male!”

    Giselle released Shinx from his Pokéball fully healed. He blinked his big eyes a couple of times, and looked around finally turning to Giselle with a gentle curiosity. Giselle knelt down and scratched Shinx on the tuft of hair on its head and he purred. He had a sunny disposition. Charmander came over to see his new friend and teammate and began to converse with each other. Though Giselle couldn’t tell what they were saying, it sounded like everything was good. They looked happy at any rate.

    “That’s an adorable scene,” said Giselle. “But it’s time to go now, right?”

    “You bet,” said Reina. “But the next time you go to catch a Pokémon, don’t say Pokéball go, all right? It’s corny.”

    Giselle laughed. “All right. I won’t, I won’t.”

    They flew around to one more unknown place: to a forest. There, Giselle use Caterpie to add a female Budew to the team. Budew and Caterpie got along rather well together, but they did regard each other with some reservation, as two Sassy Pokémon would.

    Soon night had fallen and Reina, Carmen, and Giselle, and all of Giselle’s Pokémon, were all sitting around a camp fire started by Charmander. They had decided to camp out outside of the forest where Giselle captured Budew.

    “So how was your day?” Carmen asked Giselle.

    “This was one of my best days ever!” said Giselle, happily.

    “I have something for you, Giselle. It’s a gift. We’ll have to go into town tomorrow.” Carmen said.

    Giselle’s day kept getting better and better.

    After that, the girls just talked around the fire while the Pokémon ate their food. From their conversations, Giselle learned more about the relationship between Reina and Carmen.

    “I already told you I wanted to be the best steel type trainer in the world, right?” Reina said enthusiastically. “Well I also hope to capture the Steel type legendaries Heatran and Dialga.”

    Carmen made a disparaging noise.

    “And just what was that supposed to mean?” Reina said indignantly.

    Carmen turned to Giselle. “You see those Pokémon don’t exist.”

    “WHAT!” shouted Reina in outrage, “they do too exist!”

    “There is no definitive evidence,” Carmen countered.

    “There are ancient writings and stories about all of those Pokémon. You’ve heard of them. You’ve been to Canalave and Celestic Town and other places. And older people talk about them all the time.”

    “Those stories are just myths and if you believe them then there must be about 13 or 14 legendaries running around Sinnoh!” Carmen said exasperated.

    “One day you’ll see, Carmen.” Reina replied rather sagely. She then turned to Giselle. “We’re from a village on the shores of Lake Verity and there’s a story about a Pokémon that resides in a cavern in the lake called Mesprit. When I was about five, I saw it!”

    “You were sick at the time; are you sure you weren’t imagining things,” asked Carmen sincerely, without an ounce of sarcasm.

    “No, I wasn’t. And Ramón saw it, too. Ramón is our older brother,” Reina added. “Do you doubt him, too, Carmen?”

    “You know I do. The two of you believe some weird things.”

    “Cynthia believes it, too.”

    “What Cynthia believes is her business.”

    At this point, Giselle was just enjoying the sisters’ conversation as they continued to argue back and forth. So Carmen is a skeptic of legendary Pokémon and Reina is believer in them. Giselle was sure it would have been the other way around. And they also had an older brother. She wanted to ask them if they had any other siblings but her eyes were heavy…she didn’t realize just how sleepy she was.

    “Giselle, are you still awake.”

    “Huh,” mumbled Giselle sleepily.

    “I think it’s time for us to turn in,” said Carmen.

    “Right,” said Reina.

    It was a good thing that the tent was easy to put together because Giselle was half asleep putting it up. Carmen and Nerissa put out the fire and both sisters set up their own tents. After returning all of her Pokémon to their Pokéballs, Giselle took her sleeping bag into her tent. She put all her Pokéballs, the ones with Pokémon and the other empty ones that Carmen had given her, beside the sleeping bag. She thought the day had come to a close. She crawled in her sleeping bag and fell asleep almost instantly, but the night had more adventures in store.

    Giselle stirred from her deep sleep and drowsily sat up right. It was still very dark outside, but she had a creepy feeling that someone was watching her. She looked toward the wall of her tent and gasped. There was an outline of a man outside her tent! Her first thought was that there was a robber outside. Giselle picked up Charmander’s Pokéball and stuck her head out of the tent to scare the man off, but there was no one there. Thoroughly creeped out, Giselle retracted back into the tent and zipped it up tight.

    Suddenly the hairs on the back of Giselle’s neck stood up. She looked around the tent and noticed a sinister red light. Giselle let out a scream. The thing emitting the light also screamed with a ghostly wail. Giselle thrashed around the tent in total darkness trying to get out. She threw aside a Pokéball that was in her way and to her horror the Pokéball hit something solid.

    The unknown creature was turned into red energy and captured in the Pokéball. Giselle screamed her loudest yet.

    The noise had awakened both Carmen and Reina who came rushing over. Mercifully, one of them had a flashlight. Carmen was the one who opened the tent and Reina shined the flashlight in. The Pokéball twitched on the floor once and remained still.

    “What happened?” asked Reina anxiously.

    “I don’t know. I saw something outside and then there was creepy, something inside,” gasped Giselle incoherently.

    “Wow, it had to be bad,” implored Reina. “You can barely put two words together.”

    Carmen, however, looked at the Pokéball on the floor.

    “Did you just catch a Pokémon?”

    “What, I don’t know,” said Giselle. Then a horrible thought hit her. “Wait, I didn’t battle it,” said Giselle frantically, not even caring what she had even caught. “What if it hates me like Caterpie did!?”

    “Calm down, Giselle,” said Reina. “Carmen said that was the general rule and that there are exceptions. Let’s see what you have before jumping to conclusions.”

    “Ok,” said Giselle, steeling herself. She picked up the Pokéball with trembling hands and pressed the button.

    Out of the dazzling light came the most bizarre Pokémon Giselle had ever seen. It appeared to be a gray blob with a single glowing red eye and a skull over its face.

    “Wha- what in the world?” said a bewildered Giselle.

    “That’s a Duskull,” Reina said smiling. “They’re Ghost Pokémon. I’d heard a rumor that there was a colony of them around here but I didn’t believe it. Anyway Duskull evolve twice, first into Dusclops, then into Dusknoir with the help of a Reaper Cloth. According to my Pokédex,” she whipped it out, “it’s a male!”

    Once Giselle got over the shock of it all, she felt that warm feeling again. As unusual as the circumstances were, she had caught yet another Pokémon. It seemed to have a playful and rather cuddly nature for a Ghost type from the way it nuzzled Giselle. She couldn’t be afraid of it now.

    “Duskull?” said Giselle uncertainly. Duskull turned, knowing she was talking to him. “You’ve just scared me to death, but I’m still really tired. Can we talk some more in the morning? And you can meet some new friends.”

    “Dusk…,” he agreed and went back into the Pokéball without complaint.

    The three girls looked at each other. “What a night, huh,” said Reina yawning. “But really we do need to get back to sleep.”

    “Yeah,” said Giselle.

    The girls returned to their tents. Giselle pinched herself to make sure she wasn’t dreaming. What a whirlwind day. In Kanto, she never dreamed she would have caught three Pokémon or make two friends in one day. She was looking forward to getting to know her Pokémon even more when morning came. She vaguely wondered what surprise Carmen had in store for her. For the first time, she was looking forward to the next day. Maybe that really was the power of friendship.
     
    #7 Carmen Lopez, Jun 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  8. Well I'm re-reading this now and I remember why I loved it so much the first time around. Everything about the story is just so awesome, and I love the way you make Sinnoh, and just the Pokemon world in general, seem. All your characters are so loveable, and the variety of Pokemon makes me happy. I'm glad you decided to re-post this, so I could decide to re-read it :>
     
  9. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    I read the original but never commented because I didn't want to grave dig. Now that Giselle is active again I can publicly state how great of a story it is. :D I hope once at a time doesn't mean once a day though.
     
  10. I need to reread again... if simply due to the fact that I am SEVERELY behind in my editorial duties. >>

    But needless to say, I loved it the first time around, and loving it the whatever time around it is for me, and the first time probably for several readers. ^^
     
  11. Good Story you give good Definition & Detail cant wait for more chapters ;)
     
  12. OOC: Thanks for the replies!

    When Giselle awoke the next morning, it took a few seconds to realize what she was so happy about. She had five Pokémon now; one of which she still had to introduce to her other Pokémon. After she changed clothes, and combed her hair, she grabbed her Pokéballs dashed out of the tent into the bright sunshine of the crisp. She was very surprised to find that Carmen and Reina were already up. Carmen was helping her Gardevoir practice fine control over her psychic powers by having it make origami figures using only her powers. Reina was sitting on the log from the night before, playing with her pink Pokédex. She was dressed more simply than before, in a sweater and jeans.

    “Why didn’t you guys wake me up?” Giselle asked.

    Reina looked up. “I wanted to, but Carmen told me not to do it. She said she had had a long day yesterday.”

    “Well, I guess she was right,” said Giselle.

    Carmen caught one of the origami cranes that Gardevoir had made as it floated toward the earth.

    “Good job, Gardevoir. These cranes are awesome. You’re getting even better control over your powers.” Carmen turned to Giselle and Reina. “I believe it’s important to train a Psychic Pokémon not only to practice using their powers in battle, but to practice fine control. It makes its attacks more powerful overall as well. And Giselle I have your surprise,” she added nonchalantly.

    “What?” said Giselle. Was this the start of another whirlwind day, one full of surprises? “What is it?”

    “This,” said Carmen, reaching into her backpack. She pulled out a Pokémon egg in a clear protective container. “It’s for you.”

    “Are you serious? This is mine? What’s going to hatch?” asked Giselle rapidly.

    “You ask many questions, young one,” said Reina teasingly.

    “And I will answer them,” Carmen began. “Yes, I’m serious, that is yours, and I’m not telling or it wouldn’t be surprise.”

    “Just one little hint?”

    “Ok, here’s one,” said Carmen, while Giselle got excited. “The father is one of my Pokémon and the mother is one of Reina’s.”

    “Ok, let me see. You have Porygon-Z, Drapion—“but Carmen cut her off.

    “Who says that the parents are currently in our party?”

    “Good point,” groaned Giselle. “That wasn’t much of a hint. But can you tell me when it hatches?”

    “It could be an hour from now, a day from now, or a week from now,” said Carmen. “I was carrying it around for a while, but I had to store it because I was competing in a tournament and they count the egg as a Pokémon in your party. So I don’t exactly know when it is supposed to hatch.”

    “But when did you pick it up?” Giselle asked.

    “Early this morning,” Carmen replied “Gardevoir teleported me to the Pokémon Center and I stored Porygon-Z to get the egg out.”

    “Wow,” said Giselle, excited. “I can’t wait to see what hatches!” The fact that, when the egg hatches, she would have a full team of six made her jubilant. However, she was still a little nervous about the prospect. Would she get along with all of them? She happily looked at the egg inside the container again.

    “And so you can keep the egg on you at all times, I also brought this,” said Carmen holding up what looked like a black fabric wrap one would carry a baby in.

    “Are you serious?” Giselle asked again as she took the wrap from Carmen, uncertain.

    “Of course. This is the best way to carry an egg. You don’t have to put it in your backpack and your body heat will help the egg hatch faster. The egg is safe and secure and won’t ever fall out. Plus, you’ll be able to feel even the slightest movements from the egg. And best of all, the Pokémon will be more attached to you because of the closeness. Now this wrap can be worn in the front or the back.” You can wear in the back when you’re not carrying around your backpack…”

    It only took one look into Carmen’s silver eyes to see that she was serious. Carmen instructed Giselle to take the egg out of its container and put it in the wrap.

    She felt a little awkward as she put the wrap on. Giselle decided to wear it on her back for the time being. She couldn’t help feeling like a mother with her baby, but then again, that is what she was—if one considered Pokémon as children. Once she was sure the egg wasn’t going anywhere, Giselle said “Now I think I’ll let everyone else out to play.”

    Giselle was in awe as she released all five (FIVE) of her Pokémon. Charmander, Caterpie, Shinx, Budew, and finally Duskull appeared. For a split second, Giselle had forgotten that her other Pokémon had never met Duskull before. Then, she decided to introduce Duskull to the rest of her Pokémon.

    “Guys, this is the newest member of our team, Duskull!” Giselle said cheerily.

    But her other Pokémon looked very apprehensive and Duskull didn’t look at all abashed by their apprehension.

    “Oh, come on now. Duskull doesn’t bite! Go on, and introduce yourselves.”

    At Giselle’s nudging, each Pokémon came forward and talked to Duskull. Giselle thought the situation had been smoothed over since they began playing together with a ball that Reina had given them. As Giselle watched, she tried to notice all of her Pokémon personality traits and perks. It really was rather like watching a group of children play.

    Charmander took the leadership role and the other Pokémon acknowledged it. He was the one who lead whatever game they wanted to play. Giselle guessed she shouldn’t be surprised that her little helper would be the leader. His enthusiastic personality kept things running smoothly for the most part.

    What was a surprise was that Shinx’s personality changed when he played a game. He had a competitive side in spite of his sunny personality. He loved to play hard. This put him at odds with Caterpie who liked to play just as hard. But whenever a fight was about to break out, Charmander was always able to quell it and Shinx and Caterpie did work well together if they put in the effort.

    While she was sassy like Caterpie, Budew was a bit of a crybaby, and worse yet, a sore loser—completely unlike Caterpie. She cried every time the game didn’t go her way. She annoyed everyone else, especially Caterpie who would give her looks of contempt every time she threw a tantrum. Giselle could already see that Caterpie and Budew would have an interesting and complicated relationship. Despite all of Budew’s outbursts, the other Pokémon, including Caterpie, always forgave her because she did have a nice side.

    It turned out that the other Pokémon had every right to be apprehensive of Duskull because he was an odd one. There would be times when he remained completely immobile even letting the ball bounce off his head and onto the ground. Then he would remain in one place and spin around in circles, completely weirding out the others. But the creepiest thing he did involved sneaking up on someone and using Astonish, effectively scaring the living daylights out of the victim. While all the other Pokémon got used to Duskull’s little joke after awhile, Budew fell for it every time. She would then run crying to Giselle.

    Giselle found Duskull’s antics hilarious but she didn’t let it show. She had to be firm and tell Duskull to knock it off. Duskull liked Giselle pretty well, but he never listened for long, and he would go back to his ways. Giselle sighed. Maybe that old saying “the most difficult Pokémon were the most rewarding” would be true in this case. Giselle certainly hoped so.

    Carmen and Reina were merely watching from the sidelines, remembering their own beginnings. Carmen recalled how difficult it was for Gardevoir, then a Ralts, to control and wield her psychic powers and the self-esteem issues Nerissa had when she was a Feebas. Reina vividly recalled that first fight between Meilene and Paris. They and Reina were in the Pokémon Center at the time and were subsequently thrown out by the nurse as a result of the fight. Reina didn’t know how that fight started even to this day.

    Giselle would have loved to have just simply watched her Pokémon, but Carmen had other ideas.

    “We need to see what kind of attacks they have,” Carmen suggested as she and Reina walked over to Giselle.

    “What, you mean have a battle?” asked Giselle.

    “Or you could use your Pokédex.”

    “Mine doesn’t work on any Pokémon that is not native to Kanto,” said Giselle. “I guess I forgot to say that.”

    “Well, then we’ll have to use mine,” said Carmen as she pulled her own pink Pokédex out of her bag. First she pointed it at Budew who was cowering behind Giselle’s legs after being Astonished by Duskull yet again.

    “Known attacks,” said the Pokédex in a feminine voice, “Water Sport, Absorb, Growth. Also has the Poison Point Ability.”

    “Have you heard of those moves before?” Carmen asked.

    “Sure,” said Giselle. She knew about most Pokémon moves from her early school days. “But what does it mean by Poison Point ability? Is that a kind of move? ”

    “No, abilities are something that Pokémon can use involuntarily, unlike moves.” Carmen explained. “It’s complicated. Abilities can have many different effects—sometimes in battle, other times outside of battle, and sometimes both. Every Pokémon has one. Remember Charmander’s Blaze ability? That’s an ability that amplifies the power of fire attacks when a Pokémon is in a pinch. All of the fire type starters have the Blaze ability. It’s an example of an in-battle ability. On the other hand, Reina’s Magneton has the Magnet Pull which works both in and out of battle. In battle, it prevents Magneton’s Steel type opponents from being recalled. Out of battle, it makes Steel types easier to find in the wild, hence why Reina always has it with her.”

    “And what does Poison Point do?” Reina asked eagerly.

    “When an opponent hits a Pokémon with the ability with a physical attack, the opponent could get poisoned.”

    “So wait, Budew could poison her opponents, just from physical contact? That’s really cool. Let’s see everyone else.”

    At the present, Shinx knew Spark, Bite, Charge, and Tackle and had the Intimidate Ability. She even checked Charmander and Caterpie. Charmander knew Ember, Scratch, Smokescreen, and Growl, an attack Giselle had never used in battle before, and the Blaze ability. Caterpie only knew Tackle and String Shot but Giselle knew she could be dangerous with just those moves alone. She also had the Shield Dust ability. Duskull knew Astonish, Foresight, Disable, Night Shade, and Leer along with its Levitate ability.

    The next thing Carmen wanted to do was test everyone’s attacks. All of Giselle’s Pokémon performed their attacks with just a few hiccups. For example, Shinx’s Spark attack was hit and miss. One time it would be perfect, another time it would seem like it was lacking in power. Budew’s Water Sport was a little weak but her Absorb was really good. Despite the fact that Duskull knew more attacks than any of the other Pokémon, it refused to use any of them except Astonish. Giselle didn’t know why she even expected Duskull to normally perform attacks. Reina found the whole situation with Duskull funny, but Giselle was just a little exasperated.

    “You’ve got to be kidding me,” Giselle said through her teeth.

    “Well,” said Carmen, “no one ever said it would be easy, Giselle.”

    At those words, Giselle remembered the trouble she when she was back home. Again she thought of her mother and haughtiness and Giselle resolved not to give up and prove her mother right.

    “You’re right,” said Giselle. “I relish the day that I look back on this and laugh.”

    “That’s the spirit,” Reina said as she clapped a hand on Giselle’s shoulder. “By the way, could we go to Veilstone today? You know, to reward ourselves and so Giselle can experience the sights and sounds of the city.”

    “If Giselle wants to,” said Carmen.

    “Sure,” Giselle said. As she did, she felt the egg move. “Ah! That must mean the egg will hatch soon!”

    “What, did it move?” Reina asked.

    “Yes it did.”

    “Hmm. Then it should hatch in less than two days now. I didn’t realize it was that close,” said Carmen.

    Giselle was excited—both about the egg and going to a big city.

    “When do you want to leave for Veilstone, Reina?” Giselle inquired.

    “Now.”

    “I should’ve known.” Giselle was still trying to get used to Reina spur of the moment decisions. She wondered vaguely if her battle style was the same way.

    “We can do some shopping during the day and then hit the casinos and restaurants at night.”

    At the word ‘casino’ Carmen’s silver eyes flashed.

    “All we have to do is feed our Pokémon and we can leave,” said Giselle.

    I think you mean you have to feed YOUR Pokémon and we can leave. Carmen and I have already taken care of our Pokémon. We’ll pack while you feed.”

    “Fine, fine,” Giselle grumbled. She took out some Pokémon food out of her back pack and called her Pokémon over. Tired by all their playing, they ate ravenously. Duskull promptly finished all his food in one bite and attempted to steal the rest of Budew’s food. Giselle had to break up the ensuing fight but Budew ended up in tears anyway.

    After Giselle managed to calm Budew down, she recalled all her Pokémon and packed her things. She shifted the egg around to the front to put on her backpack. Giselle made a mental note to get a bag that could be worn around the waist like Reina’s in Veilstone. Carmen and Reina had already released Clair and Dragonite. Giselle noted that they were wearing their coats. Carmen had a brown Mareep wool coat while Reina had an orange bubble coat.

    “We forgot to tell you that you’ll need a coat. We’re flying over Mt. Coronet and it’ll be cold. But there is a cave that goes through the mountain if you would rather walk through it.”

    “No, flying is fine,” said Giselle, getting her coat from her bag and putting it on. “It won’t hurt the egg will it?”

    “Nah,” said Reina.

    “Great!”

    Once again, Giselle chose to ride with Reina, and they took to the sky. The scenery flew beneath them. Looking down, Giselle could see a city.

    “That’s Eterna City!” Reina called out, pointing at the city below. A few minutes afterward she pointed ahead. “Now we’re going to come upon Mt. Coronet soon so we’re going to have to fly through a pass in the mountains.”

    “Mt. Coronet?”

    “Yeah, it’s the mountain the cuts Sinnoh in half. It’s a sacred mountain. The legendary Pokémon Arceus lives above the mountain.”

    “Oh,” said Giselle, remembering Carmen who didn’t believe in legendary Pokémon.

    They were flying in a southeastern direction according to Reina. As they gained altitude, it got colder and colder and Giselle’s ears popped. The bitter cold seemed to bite Giselle’s face and her hands were getting numb as she had forgotten to wear gloves. She was starting to wonder if walking would have been a better idea. Reina and Clair seemed to be used to this. The mountain looked like the snowcapped backbone of Sinnoh. They had to bear the cold for what seemed like an eternity before they finally began to descend a hold steady at a lower altitude.

    “That was fun, wasn’t it?” Reina called out. Giselle couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic or not. “At least the wind wasn’t high. Then there would have been a blizzard.”

    Giselle kept looking down as they flew and saw houses and other buildings. She could tell it had recently rained from the huge puddles on the ground. Suddenly, Carmen and Dragonite flew level with Reina, Giselle, and Salamence. The two sisters gave each other a mysterious looked and before Giselle could think, started going fast, very fast—they were racing each other.

    Giselle nearly lost her stomach as they Salamence flew at breakneck speed. Dragonite and Salamence were even with each other, with every dive, with every hair pen turn, but Carmen had something up her sleeve.

    “Dragonite, it’s time to take it to the next level!”

    A red aura and what looked like electrical energy began to surround Dragonite. Unbelievably, Dragonite flew even faster until he and his rider were a blur. This was the power of Dragon Dance. Giselle had no idea how Carmen was able to stay on or avoid getting sick.

    Not to be out done, Reina had her own tricks.

    “Time to flatten out, Clair!”

    The Salamence stretched out her neck as far as she could. This cut down on the resistance and they flew faster, but Reina wasn’t done. “We’re going upside down, hold on Giselle!”

    “Wait, WHAT! WHY!” Giselle yelled, totally off guard.

    Salamence turned over. Giselle’s hands were still numb from the cold and she couldn’t hold on. She fell off Clair’s back.

    Giselle screamed as she fell toward the earth. She held onto the egg for dear life, but it was still securely close to her body. She though she was going to die. Reina, on the other hand wasn’t so concerned. She had Clair pull into a sharp dive and hover under Giselle. Giselle landed on Clair’s back and they flew off again.

    “I thought I told you to hold on!”

    “Ugh.”

    They had fallen far behind Carmen and Dragonite, so Reina decided to have Clair use Dragon Dance as well. Since she was riding Clair, Giselle could feel the energy that the Salamence generated inside her own body. To, Giselle, the intensity was frightening, but Reina seemed to love it. Maybe she liked the power but Giselle was truly scared. If Clair was fast before, it was nothing compared to now. Giselle thought she was going to be sick. They eventually caught up with Dragonite and they were even once more.

    After a few more minutes of madness they landed. Carmen hopped off Dragonite to the ground clearly thrilled by the race. Reina jumped down too, but Giselle practically fell off.

    “Oh…” Giselle moaned as she staggered to her feet. “Never…again.”

    “Come on, Giselle!” Reina said in wild excitement. “Where’s your sense of adventure?”

    “Obviously, it’s not where yours is.” Giselle groaned. And then she promptly passed out.
     
    #12 Carmen Lopez, Jun 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  13. OOC: I distinctly remember not liking this chapter for some reason...

    “Giselle?”

    Giselle groaned as she regained consciousness. Her head was still spinning but otherwise she was fine.

    “Great, you’re awake,” Reina said brightly.

    “How long was I out?” Giselle asked

    “About ten minutes. I caught you as collapsed.”

    Her backpack was laying a short ways away but she was still wearing the egg. She sat up and walked over to get her backpack. As she did, she felt the egg move. She realized with a slight shock that they had reached the boundaries of a huge city.

    “So this is Veilstone City?” Giselle asked in wonder.

    “You got it,” said Carmen. This is the entertainment capital of Sinnoh, and also the gamer’s and shopper’s paradise.”

    Taking a closer look, Giselle saw that Veilstone was very appropriately named. The city was looked as though it was gouged out from the rocks and mountains.

    “It’s really cool,” said Reina eagerly. “If there’s a movie premier, or a debut of to new videogame or anything of that nature, it’s probably happening here. Come on, let’s go!”

    They decided to go in through the main gate to the city. Though the city was quite large, at this time of day there weren’t a lot of people who went though the gate. The girls were greeted by a life-sized statue of a Lucario. Giselle believed that the statue was made from the stone from which Veilstone was hewn.

    “There are about ten statues of Lucario around the city because, as I said before, it’s the mascot,” Carmen explained as they walked. “The biggest one is the one on the highest point of the city. It’s called ‘The Protector.’”

    “Fighting types in general are popular here,” said Reina. “But Lucario reigns supreme. From what I’ve heard, every Veilstone gym leader has had a Lucario. It’s one of my favorite Pokémon. Their ability to sense emotion comes from their ability to read auras. They can also learn many different kinds of attacks. Meilene is especially good with her Dragon Pulse. Lucario are cool, calm, collected—the complete opposite of me. They’re strong too.”

    “You sound like a Lucario fangirl,” Carmen teased.

    “So what? Even you can’t deny that Lucario is the best of all fighting types.”

    “You only think that because its part steel,” Carmen mused.

    Reina’s brown eyes widened in would-be innocence. “Maybe I do, but so what? Hm. Come to think of it, Meilene and I haven’t had that quality battle time together lately. I’ve been so focused on Beldum training wise. I’ll battle using Meilene tonight. Would you like to see a Lucario in action, Giselle?”

    “Wow, sure,” said Giselle in awe. She thought back to the boy and his Lucario back at the Canalave Pokémon Center, and then of Meilene when she was battling Paris. “One day I would like a Lucario.”

    “Good luck with that,” said Reina, smiling. “They’re incredibly rare and very, very hard to find in the wild. I got mine as an egg from a traveler in Canalave who was impressed that I wanted to be Steel type trainer. There’s no telling where he got it.”

    “Oh,” sighed Giselle. Maybe she just wasn’t meant to have such a cool Pokémon. Giselle remembered that not too long ago, she’d said she wanted an Arcanine just like her father had. Monique had told Giselle that some Pokémon were out of her league and Arcanine was one of them.

    “How could you even hope to have a Pokémon like Arcanine at the rate you’re going,” her mother sneered.

    Monique was a bitter one all right, but that was her own fault. Giselle couldn’t deny how much it hurt, but she wouldn’t and didn’t let her mother see. And she wasn’t about to let it get to her now, not when there was so much to see around the city. Carmen noticed the look on Giselle’s face but this time she didn’t say anything immediately. Giselle looked around in wonder at the city around her.

    True to its name there were stone walls everywhere. The modern skyscrapers looked powerful and impressive. Some of the buildings were built on top of small plateaus and there were a few buildings that seemed to be nothing more that hollowed out boulders and more that seemed to be caves carved into the rock walls. There were stores everywhere; some stood alone, while others occupied the lower floors of the larger skyscrapers. A mixture of people walked the streets. Businessmen and women in suits carrying briefcases dashed about importantly. Students still in their uniforms called out to one another as they looked for a place to go after school. Suddenly, Reina stopped them.

    “This is the place,” she said brightly. “The famous Veilstone Department Store!”

    Giselle didn’t even know they we’re heading to a specific place and her jaw dropped when she saw the store. It was about seven stories and each floor was very large. The building was very sleek with a large display on the ground floor.

    “This place has everything you’d ever want for Pokémon and for people,” Reina said. “The first couple of floors are for Pokémon merchandise and outdoors supplies, the next two floors are the clothing area, then the fifth and sixth floors are something like a novelty shop, and the seventh floor is a restaurant.”

    “All that is in one building?” Giselle was mystified by the randomness.

    “Yep,” said Reina. “That’s why it’s unique and famous. Are you ready to go in?”

    “Sure!” Giselle was excited and couldn’t wait to go shopping.

    As they entered, Giselle once again had sensory overload. The place was filled with all kinds of colorful things. The shelves and counters were all unusually shaped and brightly colored. All of the stuff on this floor was for Pokémon.

    “We need to load up on supplies,” said Carmen as they walked. “I realized I was almost out of Hyper Potion and other stuff this morning.”

    The girls separated and went to different parts of the store, but remained on the same floor. The only thing Giselle needed on this floor was Antidote. She quickly found it. Giselle still had no idea what happened to the Antidote she had bought back in Canalave. Perhaps it had been stolen during the night. As she continued to walk around, she remembered that she only had $750 left and she had no idea how long she would remain in Sinnoh. This effectively curbed her desire to shop. She wondered vaguely what she would do for money. To push the thought of money out of her head, Giselle observed the other shoppers. Most of the people on this floor were trainers and many of them had on the same watch as Carmen and Reina. Giselle also noticed that she wasn’t getting unkind stares from people anymore. Maybe she was finally starting to look like she fit in.

    She eventually found Carmen and Reina again. They each had a shopping basket full of stuff.

    “That’s all you got?” Reina asked incredulously.

    “Don’t be rude, Reina,” her sister said sternly.

    “I wasn’t being rude—“But Carmen held up her free hand to stop her sister.

    “Ready to check out?” Carmen asked Giselle politely. Once again Reina looked mutinous and started to mutter under her breath.

    “Yeah,” said Giselle and suddenly she had a flashback to the rude cashiers in Canalave.

    “Is there something wrong,” Carmen asked, noticing the look on Giselle’s face.

    “No, it’s fine,” Giselle replied. Hopefully she would encounter the rudeness now that she was with Carmen and Reina.

    The check out counter wasn’t far from their current place. There were only two people at this counter and both were being served by the two cashiers. Giselle decided to let Reina and Carmen in front of her to see how native Sinnoh trainers did it. When they got to the register, the sisters loaded their goods onto the counter. The cashiers didn’t seem as haughty and rude this time around. When it was time to pay, however, neither Carmen nor Reina pulled out money; instead they pulled out their Pokédexes. Utterly bewildered, Giselle watched as the cashiers took the Pokédex and waved them in front of something she couldn’t see. Was this how Sinnoh natives paid for things?

    After Reina and Carmen were done paying for their things, Giselle pulled them aside. “Uh, what was that?”

    “What was what?” both sisters asked in unison.

    “The Pokédex thing!”

    Realization dawned on Carmen. “Of course,” she said. “Here in Sinnoh, trainers with a Pokédex have the option of storing money on it. And if you don’t have a Pokédex, you put money onto a card with a computer chip. Hard money rarely changes hands here. We or a cashier just point it a special device like you would point it at a Pokémon and money is exchanged for purchases and sales. After a Pokémon battle, for example, the losing trainer would swipe their Pokédex or card in front of the winner’s to award prize money. And this way is safer than carrying around hard money.”

    “Well that certainly explains a lot,” said Giselle gloomily. “No wonder those cashiers looked at me like I was an idiot.”

    Reina just shook her head. “Hey, you didn’t know. Don’t look so down. Tell you what: Why I pay for the antidote and then we’ll go and get you a card to put your money on.”

    “All right,” said Giselle. She watched again as Reina paid with her Pokédex. Giselle was now grateful that she had traveling mates to show her around. She looked around at Carmen who was apparently lost in her own thoughts. Giselle was about to ask her what she was thinking about when Reina returned.

    “Time to get the card!”

    Reina led the way over to what looked like an ATM in a corner. It was colored blue and entirely touch screen. There were only three options upon the screen: “Deposit Money” “Withdraw Money” and “Purchase New Card.” Reina pressed the final option.

    “The card itself is free. How much money do you want to put on it?” Reina asked Giselle.

    Giselle decided to keep $100 in cash and have the $650 to Reina.

    “Wow,” said Carmen. “That was a lot of money you were carrying around. You were lucky that you weren’t robbed.”

    “I think I would have gone crazy if that had happened.” Giselle said, thinking of her nightmarish first day in Sinnoh.

    “Be Grateful that you weren’t,” said Reina as she inserted the money into the machine. “Oh, you’ll need to put in a PIN for the card.”

    Giselle walked up to the machine and put in a PIN—her birthday. A card popped out and Giselle collected it. The card was blue in color with an outline of the Sinnoh region on it.

    “Thanks,” said Giselle.

    “Any time,” said Reina easily.

    The rest of there time in the store was fun. On the third floor, they found Pokémon clothes as well as human clothes, including Pokémon costumes. They release some of their Pokémon on this floor as well. Reina tried on an Empoleon costume much to the bewilderment of Paris. Meanwhile, Carmen’s Gardevoir levitated a crown onto her head. Still wearing the Empoleon costume, Reina playfully annoyed Meilene by putting neon pink bows on her ears which Meilene promptly removed as soon as Reina’s back was turned.

    Giselle had finally found some shoes to go with her outfit. They were blue with a low wedge heel. Budew had found a pink scarf from somewhere that she refused to take off when the group decided to leave. Giselle had to admit that the scarf was cute on Budew, even after she read the price tag. ($50!!? For a scarf!?) The scarf was supposed to be 100% battle proof, explaining the price. Giselle sighed and paid for it, besides, Budew wasn’t leaving without it anyway.

    They were exhausted after all their shopping and other adventures which included Reina having to recall Meilene and Paris before they got into another fight (“Oh no you don’t. You’re not getting us kicked out of here.”). They found themselves in the restaurant on the top floor. Unlike the lower floors, the restaurant was painted in soothing colors: blues, greens, and browns for weary and tired shoppers. The chairs were ergonomically designed for comfort. The conversation turned to their families as Reina and Carmen compare the stationary they had bought for their mother.

    “So was your mother a trainer?” Giselle asked.

    “When she first started out she was going to be a trainer, but that didn’t work out,” Carmen explained. “She never really had her heart in battling and that was one reason why she had a difficult time relating to her Pokémon. She thought the only thing you had to do was battle with them instead of spending quality time together with them and getting to know them as well.”

    So that was how Carmen knew how to help me, Giselle thought. Her mother had had the same problems.

    “But after a while she discovered that battling wasn’t the only thing she could do with her Pokémon,” Reina continued. She’s a Johto native and her starter was Chikorita. Mom found that she liked homemaking and gardening much more. One day she accidently broke Chikorita’s Pokéball and ended up having to spend the day with it. She discovered that Chikorita liked flowers a lot and it had a gift with them and that’s what they bonded over.”

    “So she decided to have her Pokémon help her with domestic things,” Carmen went on. “She has a Blissey, Shuckle, Miltank, and the Chikorita has since evolved into Meganium. We grew up on eggs and milk from Blissey and Miltank. Shuckle makes the best berry juice and Meganium has such a calming influence. She’s a really good cook and great for advice.”

    Giselle didn’t know any of those Pokémon except for Blissey, but it sounded like the Lopez household was pleasant—at least more so than her own.

    “Now enough about our mom. What about yours?” Reina asked.

    At that question, Giselle regretted bringing up the subject of family as Giselle had never had a great relationship with her mother. But on the other hand she relished telling the story. She was silent for a little while before she spoke.

    “Heh, my mother was this beautiful girl from Goldenrod City. She earned a lot of fame from being a model and she was an excellent trainer,” Giselle began sardonically. Reina had looked as though she wanted to interrupt but thought better of it. Giselle continued in the same wry tone. “She thought she had it all—money, looks, respect and she did for a while. But then she got complacent for a few years; she didn’t take her training or career so seriously. It cost her big time. She was overtaken in both her modeling career and her training by younger models and younger more powerful trainers.”

    Something seem to flash in Carmen’s silver eyes as thought she had had an epiphany of some kind, but Giselle merely continued her story.

    “So my mother “retired” from modeling and training and decided to settle down. She married a person she thought was as great as she was. Now she just sits around watching soaps and criticizing me all day.” Of course, Monique never told Giselle anything besides her being an excellent model and trainer. However, Giselle put the details together over the years.

    Reina and Carmen were completely silent at this rant as was half the restaurant. At this point, Reina was looking as though she regretted asking about Giselle’s mother. Carmen just shook her head.

    “It sounds like your mom is taking out her anger and disappointment on you,” Carmen said sagely.

    Giselle considered that for a second. She had always known that her mother was bitter but it still didn’t stop her cruel words from hurting. Before she could start to dwell on the subject, Reina interrupted.

    “Can we talk about this later?” Reina asked eagerly. “It’s magic hour and Veilstone is starting to come to life!”

    Giselle got up to look out of one of the windows of the restaurant. It was beautiful; everything was dyed red and orange in the sunset and the streets lights and the lights of the skyscrapers were coming on.

    “Well, let’s go,” said Reina. “There are arcades, casinos, and battles to be had and other interesting things.”

    “Do those interesting things include Deoxys transforming at those meteor rocks,” asked Carmen sarcastically.

    “Can it, Carmen.”
     
    #13 Carmen Lopez, Jun 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  14. The girls decided to take the elevator back down. Giselle was excited about the nightlife of Veilstone. This would be her first night on the town in a big city, but she was most thrilled about the idea of watching Reina and Meilene battle. The egg moved again but harder than before and Giselle couldn’t wait until it hatched. Reina was telling Giselle about some of the other sites around Veilstone.

    “For someone who wanted to go to Jubilife, you sure seem excited about Veilstone,” Giselle said to Reina.

    “I adore Veilstone too, but I just wanted to be on TV.”

    When they reached the ground floor and exited the store, they saw that the scenery and the kind of people roaming the streets had changed. Music could be heard in the distance. There were more gamers and college age students out now. Trainers all around were boasting about the strength of their Pokémon and challenging each other to battles. Though the temperature had dropped significantly, many weren’t wearing coats and some were even wearing shorts or shorts sleeves—these people were either unusually tough or just used to it. Everyone was fashionably dressed so Reina led Carmen and Giselle into a nearby clothing shop.

    “Ok, Giselle, you change into the outfit that Charmander fixed and I’ll get Carmen an outfit,” Reina said over Carmen’s protests.

    “Gotcha,” Giselle replied.

    It didn’t take Giselle long to find the dressing room. Her experience with clothes this time around was much better. Giselle pulled the outfit—the funky blue long sleeved shirt with the cut-outs, pink undershirt, and skinny jeans—out of her bag once more. She put her backpack down along with the egg which shuddered again. The fabric of the clothing was as soft as ever as she changed into it. She slipped into her new blue wedge heels and felt glamorous. It was amazing to think that two days ago she would have thought the outfit was ugly on her. As she admired herself in the mirror, she heard thumps and scrapes as Reina dragged Carmen into the dressing room area—an exceptional feat as Carmen was bigger than Reina.

    “All right!” Carmen said in exasperation. “Let go of me! I can walk myself.” Then stomps followed and there was the slamming of the door across from Giselle.

    Giselle opened her door just in time to see Reina throw a box over Carmen’s door saying as she did so “Hey you forgot the shoes!”

    Thump! “OW!” Carmen shrieked. “That hit me on the head!”

    “Oops,” said Reina insincerely. “Honestly, she can be so stubborn with these kinds of things. You’d at least think a person as collected and together as her would at least handle this with more composure. Giselle, you look great by the way.”

    Giselle was trying hard not to laugh. “Thanks,” she said. She could already tell this would be an interesting night. While Carmen was still getting dressed, Giselle went back to retrieve her egg and backpack.

    About five minutes later, Carmen exited the dressing room. She was wearing a silver tunic top, black skinny jeans, and silver stilettos with the highest heel Giselle had ever seen. The whole look was accessorized by chunky silver earrings. It was obvious that Reina picked the outfit as Carmen looked thoroughly annoyed. Giselle thought that Carmen looked beautiful. The silver in the outfit really brought out her eyes which looked cold at the moment.

    “I can’t believe you,” Carmen said to Reina in a low voice. “Look how high these heels are!”

    “It’s not like you can’t walk in them,” said Reina dispassionately. “Besides you look like a model.”

    Carmen made a noise in her throat. “I think I’ll leave the modeling up to Isabel. Ah, Isabel is our older sister, Ramón’s twin.” Carmen added at the confused expression on Giselle’s face.

    “Oh,” Giselle said. She hoped Isabel was nothing like Monique.

    “I’m going change now. And don’t run off without me!” Reina said as she headed into a dressing room.

    “Don’t worry,” said Carmen. “We’re not you.”

    “So your sister is a model?” Giselle asked to pass the time.

    “Yeah, but that’s just something she does as a hobby. Her real passion is being a coordinator. She even won the in Grand Festival a couple of years ago. She may be focusing more on her modeling now. I really need to call her later,” Carmen added as an afterthought.

    To Giselle, it seemed that the Lopez family was very talented. “Are the twins anything alike?”

    “They get along really well but they’re total opposites. She’s into the glitz and glamour and he’s, well, not. Like I said before he believes in strange things but he’s very intelligent. Do you have any siblings?”

    “No, I’m an only child,” said Giselle. She was glad about it not having brothers and sisters. Being compared to them, as she would have inevitably been by her parents, would have been unbearable. Just then Reina exited the dressing room. She was wearing long sleeved red minidress with black leggings and red heels. She was wearing what looked like necklace made of red gems and heavy black eye make-up. She walked over to Carmen.

    “Well let’s go now,” said Reina as she tugged at Carmen’s arm. “Let’s show Giselle the gaming district.”

    “Let go of me,” said Carmen again, pulling her arm out of Reina’s grip.

    Before they could get out of the store, Giselle spotted a dark purple waist bag that she had to have. Giselle scooped up the bag which cost $30 and promptly went to buy it. Now that she had the card, Giselle had no worries about the nasty looks from cashiers. As she walked to the counter, the cashier, a young man, narrowed his eyes mysteriously. Giselle put the bag on the counter and the cashier rung it up.

    “Well, well, what do we have here?” he said in a soft would-be seductive voice. “It looks like your bag is on sale.” He pressed a few more buttons on the register and the amount came up as $10.50.

    Giselle never saw anything about a sale. She handed over her card uncertainly. The cashier swiped it, not taking his eyes off Giselle. He handed her card back along with the bag. Giselle felt her face grow hot as she took them back. As she turned to walk back, she almost ran into Reina who was grinning mischievously. Reina linked arms with Giselle and led her back over to Carmen who looked annoyed once more.

    “Guess what, Carmen,” Reina said eagerly like a kid showing off something cool. “Giselle’s got an admirer! He couldn’t keep his eyes off Giselle.”

    As Giselle’s face grew hotter still, Carmen threw up her hands and walked out of the store.

    “Hey! Wait for us, Carmen!” Reina called out.

    It turned out that Carmen really was adept at walking in those heels. She walked fast and was far ahead of Giselle and Reina, who had to run to catch up to her. Panting, they finally caught up but Carmen still didn’t slow down. As the walked, they passed by more stores and there were mouth-watering smells wafting from the restaurants. Either because of the running or the fabric of her clothes, Giselle wasn’t cold. The music was growing louder.

    “Are we headed to the gaming district now?” Giselle ask gasping.

    “Yeah,” said Carmen. We don’t have much farther to go.”

    Giselle noticed that Reina was awfully quiet now and glanced over at her. She looked as though she were formulating some idea in her head. Giselle didn’t know what she was planning. The number of people in the streets began to increase as it grew darker. For the first time, Giselle saw nightclubs, arcades and game corners and she knew they had reached their destination.

    “Well,” said Reina. “What do you think, Giselle?”

    If she had sensory overload in Canalave, it was nothing compared it this. The place was an explosion of color, smells, and festive sounds. The streets were filled with people carrying shopping bags. Most of the Pokémon Giselle saw were fighting types—some she knew, some she didn’t. Carmen stopped them in front of a building. The entire front of it was covered in sleek, black glass and the entrance was lined with lights that flashed different colors. The sign out front said “Veilstone Game Corner.” Giselle couldn’t help but smile at the memory of Reina accusing Carmen of being a compulsive gambler and the fact that she felt her egg move again.

    “So this is your first stop on your gambling spree?” Reina asked Carmen.

    “I am not going on a spree. I just want to try my luck here,” Carmen replied as she walked through the doors of the game corner.

    The interior was dark because of the fact that the overhead lights were dimmed. The machines provided all the light. The Clefairy and Pokéball pattern on the carpet also glowed in the dark. While Giselle admired the scenery, Carmen slipped off unnoticed by neither Giselle nor Reina who was adjusting her dress.

    “Where did Carmen go?” Giselle asked.

    “Huh? Oh, she must have gone to find a machine already,” said Reina. “Let’s find her.”

    For someone wearing very high heels, Carmen moved fast because she was no where in sight. Giselle was fascinated to see this different side to Carmen. Reina and Giselle passed old fashioned arcade games, racing games and roulettes, but it was at the slots that they found Carmen. As they approached, Carmen was swiping her Pokédex—coins or any other hard money wasn’t even used to play games here. Carmen was in a daze; she didn’t even react when Reina waved her hand in front of her face rapidly.

    “Is she all right?” Giselle asked, concerned.

    “She’s fine,” Reina said highly amused, “but when she’s at the slots she doesn’t notice anything around her. There was this one time when she was at another game corner when this armed robber being chased by the police came running through the place. It was total drama and pandemonium, but Carmen never realized what was going on. She just played away on the slots—didn’t run away or react at all. She only knew about the whole event when she heard about it on the news the next day.”

    “Wow,” said Giselle. She never would have expected it from calm, rational, collected Carmen. Somehow it made her seem more human to Giselle and she liked Carmen for it.

    “This could take a while,” said Reina. “And I have no interest in anything here. I really feel like battling now. Would you like to come with me?”

    “Sure! But are you sure Carmen will be all right?”

    “Of course,” said Reina. “Now let’s go.” She grabbed Giselle’s arm and led her out of the game corner and into the festive sounds of the night.

    “We’re going to the Battle Area of Veilstone.” Reina explained. “There are all kinds of places to battle there, including the Veilstone Gym. It’s a really fun place and it’s pretty active at this time.”

    “Is it far from here?” Giselle asked, her breath rising in the cold air.

    “Well, we could walk, but the trolley might be faster. I hope we can hop on one that isn’t too crowded. Look, there’s a trolley stop on that corner,” Reina added, pointing at the intersection ahead.

    The stop was denoted by a sign that simply said “Trolley Stop” with a Pokémon Reina said was called an Infernape, a dual Fighting and Fire type. About five minutes later, the trolley appeared. Giselle was very surprised; she was expecting a sleek, modern vehicle, but instead it was a replica of the old fashioned trolleys.

    “You’ll need to use your card to pay for the fare,” Reina informed Giselle.

    The both climbed aboard the warm trolley and paid their fare. A little over half of the seats were filled—mostly with teenagers and young adults. Giselle and Reina found two seats near the back. Giselle didn’t realize how long she had been standing until she sat down in the very comfortable seats. The stares Giselle received still didn’t bother her as they weren’t done out of scorn; it was only because her hair wasn’t a common site—just as Carmen had said. Giselle’s egg gave another shudder as the trolley took off.

    The trolley passed more game corners, restaurants, theaters, and night clubs. After a little while, Giselle began seeing more and more trainers and Pokémon. They were now obviously in the battle district. The trainers were itching for a battle. Giselle was a terrible gauge of skill level in trainers so she had no idea if they were strong or not. Reina cast glances out of the window at the trainers with a smirk on her face and a spark in her eyes, clearly eager as they were.

    Finally, the trolley stopped in front of building that greatly resembled an immense coliseum many other smaller buildings surrounded it. Giselle’s eyes couldn’t take in the largeness of the place.

    “What is that place?” Giselle asked in awe.

    “That is a place where trainers can find each other to ask for information or for a battle,” Reina explained. “It’s called a Trainer Pike. The larger cities in Sinnoh have places like this but they just look different. For example, the one in Jubilife is a modern high-tech futuristic building. It’s one of the first places I went when I got to a new big city.”

    “This is really cool,” said Giselle. She wasn’t sure if Kanto had anything like this.

    “Are you going to battle or will you just watch?” Reina asked.

    “I think I’ll just watch,” said Giselle. “I have a lot to learn.”

    “Suit yourself then,” said Reina. “This will be fun.”

    Before they went anywhere, Giselle heard a teenaged girl talking loudly, as though she wanted her voice to carry. Giselle turned, as did a lot of other people, to see exactly who was making the commotion. The girl was very beautiful and very snobbish looking. She had long straw colored silky hair and was wearing a silk green evening gown that seemed to shine. Her friends were trying to quiet her down.

    “Geez, I’m tired of all these amateurs! I want a real battle. Isn’t there anyone here who can offer a real challenge?” the girl called out putting great flourishing emphasis on her words.

    “Shush, Carla,” her female friend hissed. The friend had short black hair in a pixie cut and was deeply tanned. She was bundled up in a black pea coat and jeans tucked into black boots and shivering slightly.

    “Yeah, you’re embarrassing us,” said her other friend, an auburn haired boy wearing black framed glasses, harshly. He wore a red thermal shirt, orange vest, and khaki cargos.

    “Whatever,” Carla said loudly, and then she turned to the small crowd. “Is there anyone out there worthy to battle me?” she said pompously.

    Reina was already walking forward, Pokéball out before Giselle could stop her. “The name’s Reina Lopez and I’ll battle you; just name the place.” Reina said as the crowd egged her on.

    “It’ll be in the coliseum. I’ve already reserved a battle room,” said Carla while her friends groaned and put their faces in their hands. “Follow me.”

    Giselle could not believe this girl’s arrogance and gaudiness. She despised attitudes like the one Carla had. Reina however had a devious look on her face and followed Carla and her two friends with Giselle and a small crowd not far behind. They headed through the automatic double doors of the coliseum and into a large circular room with a control center in the middle. It also had seven doors along the opposite wall. Carla headed straight to the door in the middle and pushed it open. Giselle’s jaw dropped.

    It was a huge Pokémon arena with spotlights on the middle. It was as much as coliseum inside as it was out. There was stadium seating all around the arena and to Giselle’s surprise, there was already a large crowd of people sitting in the stands. Giselle saw the crowd behind her go up some stairs that led to the seats. Casting one look back at Reina and Carla, Giselle followed the group up the stairs along with Carla’s two friends. Giselle picked a seat right in the front row. To Giselle’s amazement, Carla’s two friends sat down beside her to her left. The female friend who was sitting next to Giselle spoke to her.

    “Are you friends with the girl Carla challenged?” she asked.

    “Oh, yes,” said Giselle. She looked back down to the field and saw Reina, Carla, and the referee discussing something, most likely the rules of the match.

    “Well, is she any good?” the male friend inquired.

    “Actually, I’ve never seen her battle. But I do know she did make it to the Elite Four and lost to Lucian.” Giselle said matter-of-factly, recalling everything from memory. “She also wants to be the greatest steel type trainer in the world.”

    “Wow,” breathe the girl, clearly impressed.

    The male friend gave a slight laugh. “Carla has no idea what she just got herself into. By the way, my name’s Antonio Reyes, but can call me Tony. I hail from Pastoria City. What’s your name?”

    “I’m Giselle Valentine from Pallet Town. That’s in Kanto,” she added looking at their confused expressions.

    “Heh, and I’m Luz del Sol,” said the black haired girl said. “I was born in Sunyshore City, but I spent a good part of my life in Hoenn. I am so not used to this cold,” she added with a shiver.

    They all looked down on the arena again.

    “Well, at least this’ll be an interesting battle,” Tony said. “Maybe Reina can knock some sense into her.”

    “You see we’ve been friends for years, even when we were far apart,” Luz explained to Giselle. “But this arrogant pompous attitude is a very recent development and we have no idea where it came from.”

    “She’s starting,” said Tony, half amused, half annoyed.

    “Welcome, everyone, welcome! My name is Carla Ramirez and this is my opponent, Reina Lopez.”

    Even sitting in the stands, Giselle could see both Reina and the referee rolling their eyes. Tony and Luz groaned again. “Is she serious,” they both said simultaneously, incensed. But Carla wasn’t done yet.

    “We’ll be putting on a show that none of you will ever forget,” but Carla was drowned out by boos from the crowd.

    “Get started already!”

    “Yeah, quit putting us to sleep!”

    The referee raised her hand to quiet the crowd. “This will be a one on one match with no time limit. The battle will begin now!”

    Reina held out her Pokéball first. “Hey! I call the shots here!” Carla said indignantly. “Who said you could go first?”

    “I did,” said Reina in a menacing voice. “Let’s play Meilene!” The Lucario came out of her Pokéball crouching. She stood up an assumed a taunting, battle pose. The crowd went wild over Meilene.

    “Oh, wow, a Lucario?” said Luz. “This’ll be really interesting.

    Carla wasn’t too pleased over the attention being paid to Lucario and Reina.

    “Now it’s my turn,” she said, trying to get attention focused back on her.

    “I hope this is over fast,” said Tony. “Before she blows a gasket.”

    Carla pulled out a Pokéball covered in what looked like capsule of some kind. “Come on out, Ambipom!” she called out.

    In an explosion of stars, confetti, and white smoke, Ambipom somersaulted out. It looked like a purple primate with two tails ending in hand shaped appendages.

    “She chose Ambipom?” said Luz incredulously. “That’s interesting.”

    Giselle hesitated before asking, wondering if Luz and Tony would think less of her. “Um, guys I’m still kinda new to this. What type is Ambipom? I’m not familiar with it.”

    Both friends turned to her in surprise, and then Luz spoke. “Wow, you’re really not from here. Most Sinnoh trainers would love to look like they know it all and not ask questions.”

    “Hey, now. No stereotypes,” said Tony warningly.

    “Anyway,” Luz continued as if Tony hadn’t said anything. “Ambipom is a Normal type while Lucario is a Fighting and Steel type. Carla’s Ambipom knows a couple of Fighting moves but if that Lucario lands an Aura Sphere on it, it may not survive the hit.”

    “Aura Sphere?”

    “Yeah, only a few Pokémon can use it and it’s powerful.”

    Finally the battle was starting.

    “Ambipom, use a dazzling Swift attack!”

    Ambipom flipped in midair as shimmering gold stars emanated from its body toward Meilene. Reina smirked.

    “Meilene, block that attack with your psychic powers!”

    Meilene began to glow blue and the stars begin to lose speed as they moved toward her before stopping completely. She focused her powers and shattered the stars filling the arena with shimmering sparkles.

    “How beautiful,” breathed Luz.

    “Good grief, Carla’s over her head,” Tony said. “It takes a lot of power to do that to a Swift attack.”

    “You got that right,” Luz agreed.

    With friends like these, who needs enemies, thought Giselle. She couldn’t help but notice how different Reina was in battle. She had a cool calculated exterior and she kept that smirk on her face. It was slightly intimidating.

    Carla was astounded, but she tried to regain her poise. “All right Ambipom use Agility and then Double Hit!”

    Ambipom rushed forward at blinding speed. Reina did nothing except to keep smirking. Ambipom smacked Meilene twice, once with each of its tails, but the attack didn’t so much as leave a scratch on Meilene.

    “Please tell me she didn’t forget that Lucario was part steel,” Tony said.

    “Hey, why didn’t that attack do anything?” Carla said pouting. Apparently she had forgotten.

    Reina looked in disbelief. “What did you expect a Normal attack to do against Meilene’s steel body?”

    “Ok, now it’s time for me to get serious,” Carla said. “Ambipom use Agility then Focus Punch. Try avoiding that!”

    Both of Ambipom’s tail hands began to glow as charged at Meilene with the same unbelievable speed. Once Ambipom was close enough to Meilene, it began throwing punches in rapid succession. Amazingly, Meilene was able to dodge all of the high speed attacks as the crowd oohed and ahhed.

    “Look at her move,” Giselle said. She was watching the battle carefully trying to pick up any pointers. She wondered if she would be able battle like that someday—calm and together the way Reina was. Giselle would have been panicked out of her mind.

    After attack for a while, Ambipom’s attack began to slow down—it was getting tired.

    “Now let’s make our move, Meilene,” Reina said. “Use Force Palm straight to Ambipom’s chest!” Carla gasped in horror.

    The palm of Meilene’s right paw began to glow. At the blink of an eye, Meilene slashed Ambipom across the chest. The attack did major damage but Ambipom was still standing, however Giselle could tell something was wrong. Ambipom winced in pain as it tried to move and at times it stopped moving completely. Giselle knew immediately that it had been paralyzed.

    “Time for the final move, Meilene. Use Aura Sphere!”

    Meilene drew up a sphere of blue aura on her right paw and launched it at Ambipom at point blank range. Ambipom temporarily glowed with the same blue as the aura as it was lifted off the ground. It was thrown backward a few yards before it hit the ground hard, clearly knocked out. The referee announced Reina and Meilene the winner.

    The crowd cheered; all of the people enjoyed seeing Lucario. Carla rushed to Ambipom with what looked like Revive in her hand. Giselle felt like she’d learned a lot from the match. Using attacks wasn’t everything in a battle. Meilene dodging those high speed attacks was one of the most impressive things about the whole match. It was also about using a Pokémon’s natural abilities, like when Meilene stopped an attack using her psychic powers. Giselle wondered if she would be able to do that. Now she wanted practice battling herself.

    After a while, the audience began to talk among themselves again, waiting for the next battle to commence. Giselle, Luz, and Tony looked down to see Reina recalling Meilene motioning Giselle to come with her as she herself turned to walk out of the arena. Carla was still tending to Ambipom who was now conscious once more.

    “Well, it was very nice meeting you,” Luz said. “We should see if Carla’s all right.”

    “Yeah, maybe we’ll meet again,” Tony mused. “And tell your friend her Lucario is the hotness.”

    They all laughed and walked exited the stands together. They said their goodbyes and Giselle went out of the same door that Reina had. Giselle found her right outside the door.

    “Reina, you and Meilene were awesome!” said Giselle.

    “Thanks, glad you liked it.”

    “I liked it and I learned a lot.”

    Giselle and Reina left out of the coliseum and into the vibrant scenery of the night. They needed to walk a short distance to find another trolley stop. Giselle had one burning question to ask Reina.

    “How did Meilene dodge those high speed attacks, Reina?”

    “A lot of Pokémon can do it with practice, but Lucario have an added advantage,” Reina explained. “They can sense aura and use it to try to predict their opponent’s next move.”

    “How can you beat something that can predict your next moves?” Giselle said.

    “The aura reading makes Lucario a formidable opponent but it doesn’t make it unbeatable. In rare cases Meilene’s, and any other Lucario’s, aura reading fails it, and most of the time it comes down to hitting Meilene with something she can’t evade. Lucian did it and so did my sister. She practiced beating my Lucario for her battle with Cynthia who also has one.”

    “Oh,” Giselle said simply and they didn’t speak for the rest of the way.

    Giselle could now hear a band playing in the distance. She was thinking about what her next trainer battle would be like and how well she would fare in it. She still had a lot of training ahead of her, but she didn’t mind. For now she was content and relaxed. She enjoyed the sounds of the city as the egg moved again.
     
    #14 Carmen Lopez, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  15. The trolley arrived a few seconds after Giselle and Reina arrived at the stop. This time the trolley was very crowded and there were only two seats left at the very back. After Giselle and Reina paid and boarded, the trolley was officially full and didn’t accept any more passengers.

    “Would you like to get some dinner after we get Carmen?” Reina asked.

    “Sure,” replied Giselle. She had just realized how hungry she was and wondered how Sinnoh food differed from the food in Kanto.

    “But first we need to visit the Pokémon Center. I know Meilene wasn’t hurt or anything but I still want to check her and the rest of my Pokémon.”

    “Yeah I do too,” said Giselle.

    The trolley wound its way through the streets of Veilstone, letting off passengers and picking up new ones. Reina and Giselle got off at a stop across the street from their first one. They both had to cross the street to get back to the game corner where they left Carmen. Giselle recognized the game corner from a short distance away. As they walked up to it, Carmen was coming out of it looking her usual calm self.

    “Well,” said Reina. “How did you do?”

    “Eh, it was a bit of a slow start,” said Carmen. “I lost almost all of my money. Don’t worry, I got it all back and then some,” she added when Giselle gasped. “I also won three free breakfasts at The Moonstone Café.”

    “Nice. It has some of the best food ever,” Reina informed Giselle.

    “Where to next?” asked Carmen.

    “I need to go to the Pokémon Center. Meilene totally owned an Ambipom earlier,” Reina said.

    “Hmm. That’s not too far from here. We can walk.”

    Along the way, Reina gave Carmen a blow by blow commentary of her match. Once again, Giselle was amazed at the change in Reina’s personality as she battled. Now she could’ve been an excited teenager.

    Carmen was mildly amused. “I would’ve just ignored her. You must have been really eager for a battle.”

    “As a matter of fact I was. But she was asking for it. I mean really asking for it.”

    “I was sitting beside her two friends and they were cool.” Giselle said. “They said the arrogance was a recent development. Maybe your battle brought her down a few notches.”

    “Maybe,” said Reina, stopping. They were already in front of the Pokémon Center and it was unbelievable.

    The whole thing looked like a theatrical production. The Pokémon Center sign was done completely in neon and lights like one that would indicate a Broadway production. The Center itself looked like a theater. However as they went inside, it looked like a normal Pokémon Center. Giselle noticed it was much larger than usual, probably due to the fact that the city was known for its many, many battles.

    Reina took her Pokémon to a nurse while Carmen released Gardevoir and Giselle, all of her Pokémon.

    Charmander, Caterpie, Shinx, Budew, and Duskull appeared, happy to see Giselle. They rushed to her.

    “Hey guys,” Giselle said warmly. She pulled out some food out of her bag and gave it to her Pokémon. But suddenly she was hit with another question. “Hey, Carmen, I really don’t know a lot about Pokémon dietary habits. What else can they eat?”

    “Well, it depends on their natural habitats. For example, Shinx would eat mostly meat so it’s safe to feed it meat. But the vast majority of Pokémon will eat berries. What flavor berries they like depends on the individual Pokémon.”

    “Now I wish I had berries to see,” said Giselle.

    “You’re in luck,” said Carmen as she pulled handfuls of berries of all shapes and sizes out of her bag. “Now I’m arranging them by flavor: spicy, dry, sweet, bitter, and sour. These berries are safe for humans to eat too—but many won’t taste so great raw and some are so spicy, your throat will burn.”

    “All right guys pick some berries,” Giselle said.

    Giselle’s Pokémon sniffed around the berries. Shinx and Duskull dived for the spicy flavored ones, Budew and Caterpie preferred bitter berries, and Charmander liked sweet berries. All of her Pokémon ate a second flavor from their favorite, and they all had a flavor they hated. For Shinx, it was dry; Duskull, bitter; Budew, sweet; Caterpie, sour; Charmander, spicy. Giselle made mental notes at what Pokémon liked what.

    After having her fill of berries, Budew happily played with her pink scarf, but Duskull had other ideas. He snuck up on Budew and used Astonish, causing her to jump out of fear. Duskull grabbed on the Budew scarf and glided away. Tears of anger welled up in Budew’s eyes. Giselle was about to break the fight up when Budew began to glow. What happened next was hard for Giselle to explain. Budew let out a shout and Duskull was stopped in his tracks. She calmly waked over to Duskull and took her scarf back. As Giselle ran over to him, she saw in amazement that Duskull had been knocked out.

    “That was an Extrasensory attack, and a pretty good one.” Giselle didn’t notice Carmen had walked up behind her.

    “But the Pokédex didn’t say anything about that attack,” said Giselle.

    “Yeah, sometimes that happens,” said Carmen nonchalantly.

    “And now it’s my turn to get a Pokémon checked out,” sighed Giselle, picking up Duskull. Surprisingly few people noticed the spat between Budew and Duskull.

    As she walked over to the counter, Reina was coming back.

    “What happened?’

    “Let Carmen explain,” Giselle answered.

    There was no one in line when Giselle placed the fainted Pokémon on the counter.

    “Can you tell me what happened,” the black haired nurse said politely.

    “Well you see, Duskull was picking on Budew, and Budew struck back. Shows what happens when you pick on a girl,” Giselle said in amusement.

    “Ah,” said the nurse with a slight smile. She didn’t asked any more questions as she picked up Duskull and carried it over to a machine. It only took a few moments for Duskull to be revived and back to itself.

    “Thank you, nurse,” said Giselle brightly as Duskull glided it back to her.

    “You’re very welcome,” the nurse smiled back.

    As she walked back with Duskull beside her, Giselle reflected back to her first Sinnoh Pokémon Center visit a couple of days ago. It seemed so much longer than that. She was so close to giving up then. She felt a rush of gratitude toward Carmen and Reina, who were having fun making Shinx jump in the air for berries.

    “Great, you’re back!” said Reina. “Now let’s get some dinner.”

    Giselle recalled her Pokémon. “Where’s our restaurant?”

    “One block away,” Carmen replied. “Let’s head out.”

    Giselle pushed her hair back as she, Reina, and Carmen left the center and walked down the street. For a moment, Giselle wondered what she would be doing if she had remained at home. She would’ve come undone under her parent’s shame and the people’s gossip. As she looked up at the beautiful city lights, she felt that sense of heaviness leave her. Her rash decision had paid off.

    “Here it is Giselle,” Reina’s voice sounded far off for a moment. Giselle jerked herself back to the present.

    The restaurant was called VeilStar Grove and it looked it was carved into the rock wall rather like a cave. Giselle marveled at how it was built and she wanted to see what it looked like on the inside but she thought it would be rather small. She could smell something delicious wafting from inside. Her mouth watered.

    They went inside and Giselle saw it was slightly bigger than she thought. It was still cozy however, but very nice. The bricks of the wall hid the earthiness of the rock wall behind it. A small fireplace in the corner with protective glass in front of it held a blazing fire. There were wooden tables all over the restaurant that seated four with some people pushing tables together to accommodate a larger group.

    “We’re a party of three,” she heard Carmen saying.

    “Right, this way,” the host said.

    The host led them to table in the middle of the restaurant where they sat down. Carmen and Giselle sat beside each other while Reina sat across form Giselle. The menus were already on the table along with the silverware. Giselle picked up one of the menus and let out an audible gasp. The prices were outrageous; she might have been back in that Canalave clothing store.

    “What is it, Giselle,” Reina asked.

    “If it’s about the prices, don’t worry. We have it covered,” said Carmen calmly.

    “Oh yeah, we do,” said Reina. “Remember when Carmen said that some places in Veilstone will offer a discount to anyone with a Lucario? Well, this restaurant is one of them. Any person with a Lucario will only pay a third of the prices along with everyone else in the party.”

    “Awesome,” said Giselle with a sense of relief.

    “And besides, it’s rare that anyone here pays full price for anything,” Carmen explained. “There are all kinds of discounts floating around the internet and the restaurant offers all kinds of specials that certain people know how to find.”

    “Wow,” said Giselle and she turned back to the menu once more as waitress wearing black came over to their table.

    “May I take your order?” asked the waitress.

    “I’d like a bowl of broccoli and cheddar soup and water,” said Carmen.

    “Um, I want deli sandwich and a soda,” said Reina.

    Giselle looked at the menu again. She still didn’t want to pick the most expensive thing on it. “I’ll take the pasta salad and lemonade.”

    “Oh, and waitress a steak for my friend, Meilene,” Reina said quickly.

    “Who’s Meilene?” she asked bewildered.

    Reina pulled out a Pokéball and released her Lucario. Understanding dawned across the waitress’s face. Half the restaurant looked around in delight. Lucario really was revered in this town.

    “I’ll be right back with your order,” the waitress said cheerfully.

    “Have a seat Meilene,” said Reina, pulling out the chair beside her. Giselle had never seen a Pokémon eat at a table with humans before so it came as a bit of a surprise. It looked as though Meilene was used to it though. She sat down without comment. After glancing at Meilene, Giselle remembered something.

    “Hey, Reina. You never collected you prize money from Carla after your battle.”

    “Oops. Ah, well. It didn’t matter much anyway,” said Reina. “I didn’t exactly need it, and she was already humiliated as it was.”

    “Oh,” said Giselle.

    Their food arrived about 20 minutes later. The waitress placed their food in front of the four of them just as Giselle’s stomach gave a particularly loud rumble. They all laughed.

    “Guess you really are hungry, Giselle,” Reina giggled. “Let’s dig in, shall we?”

    Giselle ate a forkful of her pasta salad which was the best she had ever tasted. She knew at once why the place was expensive. The food had a sharper taste than was she expected; it was somewhat different than milder Kanto food, but this was only one restaurant. She was about to ask how Meilene was going to eat her steak as she didn’t have hands to manage silverware—until she saw the Lucario use her psychic powers to lift her knife and fork. Giselle was amazed.

    “How exactly do Meilene’s psychic powers work? I mean it’s not a psychic type. ” Giselle said.

    “Lot’s of non-Psychic Pokémon are capable of using Psychic power.” It was Carmen that answered, as Reina was stuffing her face. “If you recall, your Budew use an Extrasensory attack and that’s psychic.”

    Giselle had forgotten about that. So her Budew could use Psychic power. For some reason that made Giselle feel proud.

    “Anyway, while non-Psychic Pokémon can use Psychic moves, they won’t be as powerful as they would be if they were Psychic themselves,” Carmen continued. “And while a non-Psychic type may be capable of using Psychic power, not all of them will be able to.

    “Yeah,” said Reina. “I have a friend who’s still trying to get her Electabuzz to use Psychic. She keeps saying that she knows it has inner power. I keep telling her that it’s just not going to happen, but she keeps trying, the poor Electabuzz.”

    “With a lot of training, Meilene became really good at using her power,” Carmen continued, “but she’ll never be as good as, say, Gardevoir with Psychic attacks. But that goes with anything. My Blaziken can use Flying type moves but not to an extent as an actual Flying type.”

    “That’s really interesting,” said Giselle. “I want to teach my Pokémon all different kinds of attacks”

    “It’s a really good strategy,” Carmen said. “Just make sure you play to your Pokémon’s strength. Different Pokémon will have an affinity for certain kinds of attacks. You’ll just have to watch your Pokémon to see what kinds of moves it likes or is capable of using. It’s a lot more complicated than that though and a lot deeper. You’ll learn a lot more through trial and error because every Pokémon is different. ”

    “Thanks for the advice, Carmen,” Giselle said cheerfully. She took a drink of her lemonade, which was just as good as the pasta salad.

    They spent the rest of dinner just talking. Giselle asked more about teaching attacks to Pokémon. Carmen also told her about Technical Machines and how a person could buy them at different places. Giselle also had fun watching Meilene manage her knife and fork. She had better table manners than her trainer. Then, the conversation turned to what they wanted to do next in their Pokémon journeys.

    “I realized that I had been getting complacent lately,” Carmen said. “But hearing about your mother, Giselle, made me realize that that wasn’t what I needed to be doing.”

    Giselle remembered that look of epiphany that Carmen had on her face when she was ranting about her mother.

    “I really like battling and I need to look for stronger trainers to battle so I don’t get complacent. Our brother Ramón is traveling through Johto right now and I was thinking of finding him and traveling with him for a while.”

    “Didn’t you say he believed in odd stuff?” Giselle asked.

    “Yeah, but I need a change of pace. As weird are the things in which he gets involved, I always learn a lot with him and I also see many new things when I’m with him. There was this one time that he showed me a hidden shrine inside Mt. Coronet that many people just don’t get to see. It was very beautiful.”

    “He’s more intuitive than Carmen is. They’re more alike than they say they are only he doesn’t have a gambling problem,” Reina mused while Carmen shot her a look. “But do you want to challenge the Johto League, Carmen?”

    “No, I think I’m done with leagues. I may just become a wandering trainer always on the lookout for stronger trainers,” Carmen said thoughtfully.

    “Well, I’m going off to Hoenn,” said Reina eagerly. “It’s really an outdoorsy region, and the ocean is never far away. The famous Pokémon trainer Steven also lives there. He’s a powerful Pokémon trainer and he has a Metagross, which is Beldum’s final evolution. I would really love to battle him.”

    “Wait, you’re going to Hoenn just to find one trainer?” ask Giselle incredulously.

    “Of course not,” said Reina seriously. “I also going to catch some more Steel types and maybe even learn how to surf and wakeboard while I’m there. Hoenn also has some awesome undersea caverns that are just asking to be explored. And,” Reina leaned in closer to Giselle. “Carmen said she didn’t like it because she thinks the game corners there are a joke.”

    “I said nothing of the sort,” said Carmen irritated, but Reina just laughed. “What are you doing next,” Giselle?” she asked, ignoring Reina. “Are you going back home?”

    Somehow, Giselle never thought about it. What on earth would she do next? She had certainly learned a lot the past few days. She absentmindedly touched her egg which was making slight movements near constantly now.

    “You don’t to answer now, Giselle. Just give some thought to it,” Carmen said. She then stopped the passing waitress. “Could we get the check now?” All four of them had finished their meal.

    “Sure,” said the waitress and she walked away.

    “Now when we leave here, we’ll go to a Trainer’s House to turn in for the night,” said Carmen.

    “What’s a Trainer’s House,” asked Giselle.

    “It’s a place where trainers can go to spend the night,” Reina explained. “The larger cities in Sinnoh will have them all over the place.”

    The waitress came back with the check and Reina, Carmen, and Giselle paid. Giselle was relieved that Meilene had indeed gotten them a discount. The Pokémon had even gotten to eat for free.

    “Thanks buddy,” Reina said to Meilene.

    “Lucar,” Meilene said in appreciation.

    Reina recalled Meilene and they all left the warm, cozy restaurant into the cold air of the outdoors. The streets were much more crowded than before. People almost had to swim to get from one area to another.

    “Good grief! Where did all these people come from?” Reina asked.

    “I guess more people than usual are out tonight,” Carmen said loudly over the noise. “Let’s try to stick close to each other. We don’t want to get separated in this.”

    Giselle made sure to keep her eyes fixed on Reina’s back, but that was easier said than done. The number of people was unbelievable. Suddenly, Giselle heard a shout followed by a loud noise in the distance. Almost immediately after, the crowd surged in the opposite direction that the girls where traveling toward the noise. Reina, Carmen, and Giselle were separated instantly in the chaos, with Giselle being carried in a different direction than Reina and Carmen.

    Even though she could barely tell which way was up, Giselle tried to fight against the crowd but to no avail. She had no choice but to go with the crowd and she had no idea where they were going. After what seemed like an eternity of pandemonium, the crowd stopped surging, but there were still a lot of people and Giselle didn’t know where she was. She wandered through the crowd disoriented for about a half an hour becoming more and more panicked.

    After a while, crowd began to thin, but she also noticed her surroundings becoming seedier and seedier. There were no skyscrapers here and everything was dingier and darker. Giselle had the ominous feeling she was being watched and every little noise was making her jumpy. She tried not to let her fear show but that was hard to do.

    Giselle hadn’t realized were she was walking and found herself facing a brick wall. She had no idea what to do now except try to retrace her steps, but the she heard a woman’s voice behind her.

    “Well, well, well, what do we have here?”

    Giselle whipped around and saw two people. The woman who had spoken was tall and with had long red hair and wearing a black dress. Her companion, a man, was also tall. He had shoulder length brown hair and a long black trench coat.

    “Oh look, Talia,” said the man in a low voice. “It has an egg…”

    “I see, Alejandro, I see.”

    Giselle had no idea how to get herself out of this situation.

    “Don’t even think about screaming, no one’ll hear you,” Talia said in a menacing voice, as if reading Giselle’s mind.

    “Just let us take the egg and we might let you go,” said Alejandro as he walked toward Giselle. “Now, be a good girl.”

    Giselle instinctively shielded her egg with her arms. Talia cackled.

    “Fine, be that way. It looks like we’ll have to take it by force!” She pulled out a Pokéball.

    Giselle was scared out of her wits. This time her Pokémon were in danger. Who was to say that they would stop with the egg? She was much more afraid now than she ever had been in Sinnoh thus far. But she knew one thing: she wasn’t going down like some damsel in distress; she was going down fighting. She pulled out Charmander’s Pokéball.

    “Oh!” said Alejandro in disgusting delight. “She wants to play!”

    “Come on out Machamp,” said the Talia, her beautiful, yet frightning face flushing. “Time to kill a noob!”

    “Let’s go Charmander!” Giselle tried to inject confidence into her voice. She didn’t know how she could win, but she had to try—for the sake of her Pokémon.

    Both the Talia’s and Alejandro’s laugher filled the small area.

    “Oh my goodness,” Talia emphasized every word. “You really are an idiot aren’t you? Machamp use Cross Chop!”

    The Machamp crossed its arms and smashed them against Charmander who was instantly knocked out. Giselle thought fast. She quickly recalled Charmander to keep it from further injury. Giselle had two options: Duskull and Budew. She knew that Duskull would have an immunity to Machamp’s Fighting moves, but she didn’t know what else that Machamp had up its sleeve, or even if Duskull would behave. And Budew had a Psychic move of her own. But would it be enough?

    “Come on sweetie, we don’t have all day,” Alejandro crowed. It was now or never.

    “Duskull, come on out!” The gray blob of a Pokémon came out of his Pokéball. Giselle could tell he was thrilled with his dismal surroundings, but now was not the time.

    “Duskull use Night Shade!” Giselle shouted.

    The entire area was silent. Duskull merely turned to face Giselle to look at her as if she’d just morphed into a Diglett. Giselle clenched her teeth. There was no way Duskull was doing this to her now. Alejandro and Talia continued laughing. At the sound of their laugher, Duskull turned back to face them. Strange ghostly blue balls of fire began to surround Duskull and the same moment they surrounded Machamp. There was no one laughing now.

    “What do you think you’re doing?” screeched Talia.

    On Duskull’s command, the balls of fire converged on the four armed Pokémon and it screamed in agony. Giselle saw an angry red burn on the Machamp’s abdomen. It was a Will-o-Wisp attack. Giselle didn’t know or care where the attack came from, but she was happy it came.

    “Attack it now Machamp! You can work through the burn!” Talia yelled.

    But the Pokémon was in too much pain. It tried to attack Duskull, but he merely phased through the Machamp. Duskull looked like it was having a lot of fun watching the Machamp in pain.

    “Nice going, Duskull,” said Giselle excitedly. Duskull looked back at his trainer, loving the compliment.

    Then, Duskull turned back to the battle. He taunted the Machamp, enraging both the Pokémon and its trainer. Duskull merely dodged all of Machamp’s futile attacks.

    “Duskull, use Night Shade!” Giselle attempted to use a direct attack again, but once again Duskull refused to do it. He just kept messing with the Machamp.

    And then it hit Giselle. She heard Carmen’s voice in her head: Different Pokémon will have an affinity for certain kinds of attacks. Duskull hated using direct attacks because he liked to screw with his opponents by using status moves and other annoying attacks. Giselle’s mind went into overdrive yet again. Before Duskull, Giselle was only familiar with three other Ghost types: Gastly, Haunter, and Gengar. She knew that those three were famous for the Confuse Ray move. Perhaps Duskull would know the attack as well.

    “Duskull use Confuse Ray!” Giselle called out.

    For a second there was nothing, and then a bizarre ball of red light appeared at the top of Duskull’s head. He sent the ball of light at the Machamp whose eyes became immediately unfocused. Then it tried to launch another Cross Chop.

    “No, STOP!” Talia yelled, but to no avail.

    At the point where Machamp would release its arms on its opponent, it hit itself instead in its disorientation.

    “Enough of this nonsense!” Alejandro shouted. He too pulled out a Pokéball and released a Pokémon that Giselle didn’t know. It was blue with a large red bulge on its throat. Machamp stumbled to its feet. It had knocked itself out of its confusion and did it’s best to work through the burn that was sapping its power.

    “Toxicroak, Faint Attack that thing,” he said furiously.

    The Toxicroak’s whole right arm glowed black. With awesome speed it drew up close to Duskull, and smacked him on the head before Duskull could react, knocking him out.

    “Duskull, are you all right?” Giselle asked frantically. She ran over to Duskull and picked him up. He stirred feebly but didn’t seem seriously hurt.

    “And now, the egg,” the woman said in a quiet yet threatening voice.

    Giselle had no idea how she would battle two on one. Machamp, even with its burn, was a lot to handle.

    “Ready for a double attack, Talia?” asked Alejandro coolly. They didn’t wait for Giselle to call out another Pokemon.

    “Let’s do it, Alejandro,” Talia replied.

    Both the Machamp and the Toxicroak raised their fists to attack. Giselle closed her eyes anticipating the attack and the pain that would follow. One moment followed, and then another, and then another, but the attack never came. She opened her eyes to see that the two Pokémon were frozen, still in the same attacking position. They both had a blue outline of psychic energy around them and both wore a bewildered expression.

    “Now since when was two people with Pokémon on one person without Pokémon fair?”

    Giselle looked around the frozen Pokémon and saw Reina, Carmen, and Carmen’s Gardevoir standing behind the duo. Reina was the one who spoke. The duo whipped around to face the sisters.

    “It looks like we just ran into a part of the moron brigade,” Carmen said. Her face showed no sign of anger but her silver eyes were so cold they seemed to burn.

    “And who are you?” Talia spat.

    “I don’t think that’s any of your business,” Carmen said callously. “You can release them now Gardevoir. I think we got their attention.”

    “You little wretch,” Alejandro said in anger. “Toxicroak, attack!”

    “You too, Machamp!” Talia screeched.

    “You’re even more ignorant than you look,” Carmen said with a voice dripping with ice. “Gardevoir use Psychic!”

    The two of them realized their mistake far too late. Gardevoir glowed blue as did the two Fighting types. The Psychic type raised her delicate arms. She focused her power and lifted Machamp and Toxicroak into the air. They were both clearly in pain and taking a lot of damage as the writhed and twisted in midair. Giselle could feel the hair on the back of her neck stand up at the power of the attack. The change in Carmen when she battled was as spectacular as Reina’s. She was as cold as ice. Somehow, Giselle had never really appreciated Gardevoir’s beauty before. She was as cool and imposing as her trainer. Or maybe they were like this only because they were facing down two thugs.

    “Time to deliver the final blow, Gardevoir.”

    Gardevoir lower her arms and Machamp and Toxicroak slammed onto the hard ground moved no more. No one spoke for a moment. Then Talia let out and ear splitting roar as she launched herself at Carmen, preparing to punch her. Carmen didn’t so much as flinch as she caught Talia’s fist in her right hand. Giselle heard Talia’s knuckles crack. Carmen had much more muscle than Talia. Giselle saw Alejandro’s eyes fall on the ring on Carmen’s middle finger.

    “Talia, let’s go,” he said urgently.

    “And why in the world should we?” Talia said, turning to glare at him. She turned back to Carmen, but suddenly she too noticed the ring on one of the fingers crushing her fist. She snatched away from Carmen.

    With one last malevolent look at Carmen, Reina, and Giselle, the duo walked away without a word. Giselle only just realized how fast her heart was pumping or how hard she was breathing. Both sisters ran over to Giselle.

    “Are you all right,” Carmen asked. Her eyes were no longer cold; they were full of concern now.

    Giselle put her hand on her forehead. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just need to get Duskull and Charmander to the Pokémon Center,” she said quickly. “I want to get out of here.”

    “All right, let’s go now,” Reina said gently.

    Giselle’s mind was still buzzing about her ordeal. She felt a new surge of gratefulness at the two sisters.

    “Thank you so much guys,” Giselle said.

    “You’re very welcome,” Carmen said kindly.

    “You were really amazing back there Carmen. You handled that situation awesomely,” Giselle said in admiration.

    “Those two idiots are a part of a Sinnoh-wide gang that calls themselves the Takers,” Carmen said in a low voice. “Did you notice the symbol on their necklaces?”

    “Yes, I did as a matter of fact,” said Giselle.

    “The gang members make it their mission to steal Pokémon from beginning trainers,” Carmen continued. “And I’m sorry to say they’ve succeeded in some cases.” There was a short pause. “I encountered two other members of the gang. They stole my Gardevoir a while back. I almost never saw it again.”

    “No way!” said Giselle in shock.

    “It hurt me to my core. I went after the ones that did it.” Carmen suddenly cast her eyes down. “When I found them, let’s just say I didn’t handle as well as I did here. I lost control. I’m not too proud of it but I did learn a lesson.”

    Reina remembered that day well. She hoped she would never have to see her sister like that again. It was lucky that their brother showed up: for both Carmen and the gang members.

    Giselle was stunned. From hearing her story and witnessing her earlier, she never wanted to be on the wrong side of Carmen. She couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to have a Pokémon stolen from her or how she would react to it.

    “All I can say is to be on the lookout for them,” Carmen advised. “Increased police presence has kept them at bay, but, as you saw tonight, they’re still a threat.”

    They were back in the bright lights and noise of the city and this, more than anything else soothed Giselle.

    “I have just one question, guys,” Giselle said. “How did you find me?”

    “Eh, it was a combination of Meilene’s aura and Gardevoir’s psychic power,” Reina said. “You hadn’t gone too far so that was good.”

    “I wonder what caused the crowd to surge like that,” Giselle thought aloud.

    Carmen glared at Reina. “There was some noob that had his Pokémon use Explosion to get everyone’s attention. Then he yelled into the crowd that he saw Deoxys transforming at the meteor rocks. Word traveled fast and then people from miles around just had to see something that doesn’t even exist!”

    “Deoxys does to exist,” Reina shot back hotly. “And that very well could’ve been a genuine sighting!”

    “No, it doesn’t,” Carmen said. “I can’t believe people would be so gullible. And this one here,” Carmen shot a nasty look at Reina, “wanted to go with them!”

    “They were so not gullible, Carmen! What if it was a sighting?” Reina said indignantly.

    “But it wasn’t and we got separated from Giselle!”

    The sisters bickered all the way back to the Pokémon Center, but Giselle didn’t mind. She found the whole thing funny. The nurse at the center took only a few minutes to heal Charmander and Duskull. After the shock had worn off, Giselle realized two things: that she had battled for the first time and discovered Duskull’s battling style.

    “Hey, Carmen,” Giselle said as they left the center. “Is there anywhere around here where I can buy at Toxic TM? I kind of discovered that that Duskull likes to inflict status conditions on his opponents.”

    “Wait, you discovered that in your battle with those two goons?” Carmen said in pleasant surprise.

    “Oh yeah, I didn’t tell you how that battle went, did I?”

    Giselle gave them all the details of the battle. She described every thought that went through her head before and during the battle, everything up to the sisters’ arrival.

    “Wow,” said Reina, impressed. “Looks like Giselle is a critical thinker in battle. You’re doing a lot better under the pressure of battle.”

    “Yeah, but you and Carmen do a 180 during battle. You two completely change your demeanor,” said Giselle, who was panting because they were going uphill. “I don’t feel that change yet.”

    “The more you battle, the more your battling style will emerge,” Carmen said.

    “And by the way,” said Reina. “Carmen isn’t always that cold when she battles. It was just because of who she was facing.”

    “I thought as much,” said Giselle.

    “I was just trying not to let anger cloud my judgment like it did last time,” Carmen said simply. “We can get that TM tomorrow; we’re at the Trainer’s House.”

    I really should ask more questions about where we’re going, thought Giselle. Once again, she didn’t realize they were headed toward a specific destination. The trainer’s house resembled a large mansion with many rooms and as such it looked out of place in the middle of the city. Giselle guessed it was something like a bed and breakfast. The house was on a small hill and had a great view of the city that surrounded it. They entered into the house and a woman with short gray hair and glasses greeted them.

    “Do you have any vacancies?” Carmen asked the woman.

    “We sure do. In fact, this house is almost empty tonight,” the woman said kindly. “I’ll lead you upstairs.”

    The house looked very comfortable with its fireplace and cozy chairs. It almost reminded Giselle of her own house, only without the coldness. The woman led them down a hall and into a large room with one door on each of its four walls. The woman led them through the door on the right. The room had hardwood floors, a large picture window with dark curtains, and a closet and two bunk beds. The dresser and night stand matched the beds.

    “I hope you enjoy your stay tonight,” said the woman, leaving out of the room.

    “I’ll be right back guys,” Carmen said, following the woman out of the room.

    Giselle walked to the nearest bottom bunk and collapsed on it.

    “What a day this has been,” Giselle sighed. She realized how exhausted she was from the night’s events and just from all the walking she did. She took off her shoes and her bag and placed them beside her bed. She took off the egg which was still moving continuously and placed it beside her on her pillow.

    “Long day, huh,” said Reina sitting on the other bottom bunk.

    “Tell me about it,” said Giselle as she stared up at the bed above her. She was so tired she could barely think. Within about two minutes she was asleep.
     
    #15 Carmen Lopez, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  16. OOC: Three in one day?

    The next morning Giselle found sunlight streaming into the room forming little squares on the floor. Giselle was asleep when Carmen came back to the room, but once again both she and Reina had already gotten up. For some reason Carmen’s question from last night weighed on her mind: What are you doing next, Giselle? Are you going back home?

    As she fully awaken, she realized she still had on her clothes from last night. Giselle got up and pulled a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a light green long sweater (that Charmander had “fixed”) out of her bag and went to take a shower. Before she could go out of the room, Reina followed by her Magneton and Beldum entered the room.

    “Oh, you’re awake. Man you fall asleep fast. Anyway hurry up and shower so we can go for breakfast,” she said very quickly. She was wearing jeans, a blue shirt, and a brown jacket.

    “That’s what I’m about to do.”

    “When you’re done, come down to the basement and get us.”

    “All right.”

    Reina turned and left with her two Pokémon. Giselle went down the hall to the bathroom to shower. It was soothing to her entire body. She wanted to stay there a lot longer, but she couldn’t; she quickly got dressed and went to finish packing her things. Her anticipation continued to rise about her egg, which moved more and more with each passing hour. She put it on and her bag on and left the room.

    When she went downstairs, the woman from the night before pointed her in the direction of the basement and Giselle dashed down there. Giselle’s jaw dropped when she finally got there. It was huge underground Pokémon arena upon which Carmen and Reina were having a practice battle.

    It was Reina and Meilene versus Carmen and Blaziken and the battle was very fast paced. Giselle could see immediately that she was watching two powerful trainers. Meilene and Blaziken were using what Giselle thought were capoeira like moves on each other. Blaziken was very graceful as he ducked and dodged Meilene’s moves and he had spectacular jumping power with his long legs; it almost seemed as though it could fly. Blaziken lunged at Meilene, but she dodged and took to the sky using her psychic power.

    “Meilene, use Psychic from above,” Reina said, her voice full of excitement.

    Blaziken was instantly surrounded by a blue glow. He struggled as he tried to keep from being overcome by the attack. Giselle wondered how Carmen was figure a way out of that bind, but Carmen had a slight smile on her face. She was not cold merely focused.

    “Blaziken, use Flamethrower on Meilene!”

    A renewed determination flashed across Blaziken’s face. He stood up straight and opened his mouth wide. The Flamethrower had amazing range. Reina’s jaw dropped; apparently she didn’t think Blaziken would be able to launch an attack while struggling against Meilene’s Psychic attack.

    “Meilene use your powers to block that Flamethrower!”

    “Blaziken use Sky Uppercut!” Carmen counted back. Reina gasped

    The Lucario stopped the Flamethrower with her powers, but in the process she released Blaziken from the Psychic attack. She was now wide open for an attack. Blaziken did his highest jump yet and hit Meilene with a brutal uppercut. Meilene fell from the sky and hit the ground with a thud.

    “Well, Reina, you still haven’t learned how to use Psychic to attack and defend,” Carmen said wisely.

    “You’re telling me,” Reina said. “I really need to practice that.”

    She pulled out a Pokéball and recalled Meilene. “You did great, chica, take a good rest.” She pulled another Pokéball from her waist. “Shall we have one more round, Carmen?”

    “Why not?”

    The next battled ended even quicker than the last one—and again in Carmen’s favor. Reina sent out Paris and Carmen sent out Drapion. Reina was caught off guard when Drapion used Thunder Fang, Brick Break, and Earthquake; apparently these attacks were recent acquisitions.

    “When did Drapion learn those moves?” Reina said aghast as she recalled Paris.

    “It’s a secret,” Carmen said slyly, recalling Drapion. She had on jeans and a black sweater.

    “Ah well, thanks for the matches, Carmen. Now let’s get some breakfast,” said Reina eagerly.

    “We’re eating at that café, right?” Giselle asked.

    “Correct. It’s on Valor Lakefront which is a few miles south of the city,” Carmen said. There’s a ritzy village there with a luxury resort and some of the most beautiful houses in Sinnoh. It’s really nice.”

    “Oh,” said Giselle. It sounded like Resort Gorgeous in the Sevii Islands.

    “We’ll have to fly there to reach it quickly because the terrain is so rough,” said Reina.

    “You won’t be racing this time, will you?” Giselle said anxiously. “Because if you are, I think I’ll walk.”

    Carmen and Reina both laughed.

    “Not this time,” said Carmen.

    “But only because you asked so nicely,” added Reina, winking.

    They climbed out of the basement and thanked the woman for their stay before leaving the house. The morning was chilly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The gamers, partygoers, and trainers from the night had largely disappeared now. Once again, businessmen and women, along with other professionals roamed the streets and the children were probably in school now.

    “Wait a second, guys. Can we buy that Toxic TM?”

    “I actually think I have one,” Reina said, she opened up her waist bag. “Let me check.”

    “Why didn’t you say that last night?” asked Giselle.

    “I just wasn’t thinking about it,” said Reina. “Oh, look! Here it is.” She pulled out a purple disc from her bag. “Here,” she said, handing it to Giselle.

    “Thanks,” said Giselle. She put the disk in her bag and hoped it wouldn’t be damaged. She had never actually used a TM before but she was excited to use one.

    “And now we can go,” said Reina.

    Carmen and Reina released their dragons for yet another flight. Giselle hopped aboard Clair once again and they and Carmen took to the sky. Giselle reflected on her time in Veilstone. And what a time it was. It was almost a dream or rather a scene from someone else’s life. Last night was certainly a night to remember. Giselle looked down at the city as it passed beneath them. She definitely wanted to return. But now the city was disappearing and being replaced by rugged mountains and trees. Even from their height, Giselle could see that it would rough to travel the area by foot.

    “This is an excellent place to go hiking,” Reina said. “It’s also actually one of my favorite areas to train. There are all kinds of caves around here, too. However, there is a road not far from here that most people take, but where’s the fun in that?”

    Where indeed, thought Giselle. She’d never had much luck with the outdoors, but maybe that would change too. For some reason, she was now itching to train her Pokémon and even more eager for her egg to hatch.

    Giselle began to see building now: they were obviously nearing the village. It really was swanky, just as Carmen said. The houses were huge and the trees and harsh terrain around them had been tamed and they all had beautiful manicured yards and landscaping. Now the rough hills merely looked stepped. As they continued on, Giselle now saw white cobblestone walkways and tall buildings. They began to descend into what looked like the village square.

    “Well, this is it,” said Reina. She and Giselle got off of Clair’s back as Carmen landed a short distance away.

    At the center of the square was an enormous elaborate fountain. Stores and restaurants surrounded them as people in their expensive casual wear moved about. Little pathways led to other areas of the village.

    “The ocean isn’t far from here either,” Carmen said. “We can go to the beach after breakfast.”

    “Too bad it’s too cold to swim in it,” Reina sighed. “That’s another good thing about Hoenn—the ocean’s is always warm.”

    “The café is that way,” Carmen said, pointing to the pathway nearest them.

    They walked along winding pathway which contained stairs in places to accommodate the terrace like landscape. Giselle was hungry by this point and had to resist the urge to ask whether they were there yet in spite of the beautiful scenery. Maybe the pathway seemed so long because she was so hungry.

    “If you climb up high enough, you’ll be able to see the ocean,” Reina said. “You can almost smell it!”

    Giselle could actually, but it only made her hungrier for some reason. The smell of salt air never made her hungry back home.

    “Here we are!” said Carmen. “The Moonstone Café!”

    It was a neat little restaurant that overlooked the surrounding area. The café resembled a white washed beach house. It was on stilts to help it cope with the uneven land.

    “Great, I’m starving,” Giselle said.

    They all went inside. It was an airy place that smelled of fresh food. The furniture was all wooden and something that would be found on the patio of a person’s home. There was an enormous window on the opposite wall that gave an awesome view. The whole place had a beach vibe that Giselle loved. There were only a few other people in the restaurant.

    Giselle plunked into the nearest chair, and Carmen and Reina joined her. They all ordered the same thing: a fruit and berry dish. They all had different berries so they sampled each other’s dishes. Giselle’s favorite was the Hondew Berry. Carmen informed her that those berries made good gift items because they were uncommon.

    “Ah,” sighed Reina, leaning back in her chair after she was done eating. “I am totally full. You know we could also visit Lake Valor.”

    “Lake Valor?” said Giselle.

    “Yes,” said Carmen. “We’re on Valor Lakefront. The lake isn’t that far away. In fact, it’s closer than the ocean.”

    “There are three big lakes around Sinnoh: Verity, where Carmen and I are from, Valor, and Acuity,” it was Reina’s turn to explain. “And just like Verity, Acuity and Valor both had legendary Pokémon that live in caves in the middle of them.”

    “I should’ve seen this coming,” Carmen said. “I’m not even going to argue with you this morning.”

    “Good. You’re taking the path of least resistance,” said Reina with relish. “Would you like to see the cave in the lake, Giselle?”

    “Sure,” said Giselle.

    They all were about to get up from the table, when Giselle suddenly stopped.

    “What is it?”

    “What’s the matter?”

    “The egg,” Giselle said in wonder. Excitement was building inside of her. The egg was vibrating ceaselessly and she took it out of the carrier and placed it on the floor where she sat down beside it. Cracks were beginning to appear. “It’s hatching!” Carmen and Reina quickly sat down beside her. The egg continued to vibrate and in a few moments it turned black with pink at its two tips. Then, it began to glow and morph into a Pokémon. Giselle could not believe her eyes.

    The Pokémon was black and about two feet tall. While it still had its eyes closed, Giselle saw what looked like gorgeous eyelashes. Its left ear resembled the fuchsia feathers that it had as a tail. However, it’s most striking feature were its impressive claws. The Pokémon finally opened its eyes and the first thing it saw was Giselle.

    “Sneasel?” said the Pokémon inquisitively. It was sensing things for the first time.

    Giselle put her hands to her mouth as tears welled up in her eyes. What on earth do you say to your newly hatched Pokémon? Giselle thought. “Hello, new friend,” was the first thing that came to mind.

    Sneasel understood the gesture though. It acknowledged and respected Giselle and showed it by smiling. Even through its wide eyed innocence, Giselle could sense the slyness and was sure it would be no Pokémon to cross. She surprised herself at being able to sense that.

    “Meet the result of the unholy union of my Weavile and Carmen’s Lopunny,” Reina said. “This one’s a male by the way. You can tell because the ear feathers are much longer on the males.”

    “I told you the parents weren’t necessarily in our party,” said Carmen.

    “Yes, you did,” said Giselle smiling.

    The owners, delighted that an egg hatching had happened in their restaurant, let Sneasel pick from the berries that they had. He used his claws to eat with to stab each berry. Giselle was pleased to see that he liked the Hondew berries as much as she did. Giselle wanted to pick up the Sneasel, but she was slightly afraid of his claws.

    “Those claws look really sharp,” said Giselle.

    “They’re actually soft,” said Carmen. “A Sneasel’s claws don’t start to harden until about a week after it hatches. In the meantime, they like to sharpen their claws on rocks and trees and other objects.”

    “You have to watch them carefully, too,” warned Reina. “You wouldn’t believe what newly hatched Pokémon can get into.”

    “ Right,” said Giselle. “Come on, Sneasel. You have to meet the rest of your friends,” she added in excitement.

    “Sneasel…” he agreed.

    The Pokemon followed Giselle, Carmen, and Reina out of the restaurant. Sneasel’s eyes widened as he tried to take in the scenery for the first time. Carmen was taking them to a wide open field not far from their current location.

    “What are Sneasel’s parents like?” Giselle asked.

    “Lopunny is really sweet,” Carmen told her. She took out her Pokédex and showed her Lopunny’s entry. “He’s very mild mannered.”

    “Which I why I’m so surprised he made an egg with my Weavile, Dulce,” Reina interjected. “She’s a piece of work, she is. But then again most Weavile are.”

    “Wait, what?” asked Giselle, suddenly alarmed.

    “Sneasel and Weavile have a reputation for being vicious but once you gain their trust, they’re fiercely loyal,” Reina said. “Since you hatched Sneasel from an egg, it’ll be a lot easier than if you’d caught it in the wild. Don’t worry, Giselle. You and Sneasel will be fine.”

    Giselle looked at the Sneasel who was now shredding a flower with his claws. She couldn’t imagine it being vicious.

    “Sneasel just hatched so he’s still exploring the world,” Carmen said as though she had read Giselle’s mind. “Once he starts interacting with other Pokémon, his personality will start to emerge.”

    “Oh.”

    They had arrived in the large open field surrounded by trees. It was filled with grass and flowers that were used to the cooler temperatures of Sinnoh. They were now overlooking the sandy beach and the cold steel blue ocean. All three girls released their Pokemon into the field. Sneasel looked amazed at all of the Pokémon. Giselle’s Pokémon came over to her; they were obviously curious about Sneasel.

    “Well Sneasel, these are the rest of your friends: Charmander, Budew, Caterpie, Shinx, and Duskull,” Giselle said to Sneasel. “Guys, Sneasel hatched from the egg I was carrying.”

    They all made sounds of understanding. Giselle could see that Budew was also leery of Sneasel’s claws and Duskull was trying to find a way to scare him.

    “Do Sneasel get along with other Pokémon?” Giselle asked.

    “It’s complicated,” said Reina. “They’re good with their teammates, but wary of outsiders. It’s kind of like it would be with their pack in the wild. Just like with all Pokémon, some Sneasel are better at teamwork than others.”

    Giselle felt slightly better. So Sneasel weren’t necessarily cold toward their teammates. Then another thought occurred to Giselle.

    “What type is Sneasel?”

    “Oh yeah,” said Reina as she slapped her hand to her forehead. “It’s a dual Dark and Ice type, meaning you should avoid being hit with Fighting moves.”

    Now Giselle’s other Pokémon were inviting Sneasel to hang out with them. Giselle thought that Sneasel would be reluctant to leave her side, but she was wrong: Sneasel was eager to be with everyone else.

    Carmen saw the look on Giselle’s face. “He just wants to get to know his pack more. It’s a defense mechanism for the wild. They need to know exactly who is in their While they’re still young, it’s important that they stay within their group until they get more experience.”

    “That makes sense,” said Giselle. She looked at the Sneasel who was socializing with Shinx and Charmander a short distance away.

    “So,” Reina began. “What are you going to name him?”

    “Not everyone names their Pokémon, Reina.” Carmen told her sister.

    “I know, but it makes it’s more fun that way.”

    “I wouldn’t know what to name them,” Giselle replied.

    “Names just come to you out of no where,” Reina said. “And you’ll just have to let them come to you.”

    Salamence flew over to join her trainer. Giselle thought it must be cool to own a dragon, and then she remembered with a shock that Charmander would evolve into a dragon. She had a hard time seeing her Charmander as a Charizard or any of her Pokémon evolved. She turned her eyes back to Sneasel and her bottom jaw nearly hit the ground. Sneasel had managed to climb up a very tall tree and looked like he was having the time of his life. Giselle on the other hand was horrified.

    “Oh, no! Sneasel, you have to get down from there! You might hurt yourself!” Giselle gasped.

    “Sneasel?” He looked as though he didn’t understand what Giselle was so scared about. Sneasel was thoroughly unconcerned.

    Giselle turned to Carmen and Reina. “We have to get him down there!” she cried. “Can you use psychic power to get him down?”

    “That’s a no go,” said Carmen. “Sneasel is a dark type, remember? He won’t be affected by psychic power.”

    “Besides Giselle, if he got himself up there, he’ll get himself down,” Reina said wisely.

    Why are they so calm? Giselle thought.

    “I didn’t think his claws would be sharp enough to help him climb trees!” Giselle was panicking. “I can’t believe this!” She closed her eyes in shame.

    “Calm down, Giselle,” Carmen said serenely. “Look, he’s climbing down now.”

    And sure enough, Sneasel was using his claws to climb down from the tree. Giselle breathed a sigh of relief and ran over to Sneasel.

    “I’m so glad you’re all right,” Giselle said.

    Sneasel gave her a look that plainly said “what are you so worried about? I can climb trees just fine.” Giselle couldn’t stay upset. She left Sneasel to the other Pokémon and went back to Carmen and Reina.

    “They’re a bit more independent than most species are when they first hatch,” Carmen said.

    “I can see that,” said Giselle sighing.

    They spend the rest of the morning doing things with their Pokémon. Giselle used the Toxic TM on Duskull who was excited to have one more weapon in his arsenal. She marveled at the way Carmen and Reina talked to their Pokémon as though they were human. After spending time with Reina and Carmen, she was sure she would be able to do that someday. Being the trainer of Sneasel’s mother, Reina taught Giselle more about the species. Giselle remembered the Pokémon that Monique had said were out of Giselle’s league, and Sneasel and Weavile were squarely in that category.

    “Weavile are pretty tough Pokémon. Their claws are even more brutal that Sneasel’s,” Reina told Giselle. “Once I saw Weavile completely slice a thick metal pole in half.”

    “Wow,” breathed Giselle. Sneasel was already pretty strong if he could climb a tree all by himself. Toughness was in his blood.

    “I had to teach it Metal Claw simply because all of my non-steel types know at least one Steel move,” Reina continued. “For example, Salamence knows Steel Wing.”

    “What is it like training only one type of Pokémon?” Giselle asked. “I mean, how did that happen?”

    Reina thought about it for a second. “Steel types have always been my passion, ever since I learned what Steel types were. I always viewed them as strong and majestic. And it was something girls didn’t do. Sure there was the Jasmine the Johto Gym leader but after all, she was in Johto. Everyone used to tell me that I wouldn’t make it far with only steel types—but I got all the way to the top 8 in the Sinnoh league where I fell to another trainer's Bronzong.” Reina finished with a wicked smile. “Losing like that was cruel irony though. I battled my Dad's Bronzong all the time so I should've known better. Oh well. No regrets.”

    “That was a really cool story,” said Giselle, impressed. Just then Sneasel had come back to Giselle. He had speared a rather large green berry with his claws and presented it to his trainer, clearly looking for her approval. Giselle took the berries off Sneasel’s claws and raised it to her mouth.

    “Giselle, I would-,” but Reina didn’t get a chance to finish her sentence. Giselle had already taken a bite of one of the berries. Bitterness filled Giselle’s mouth and she was temporarily speechless. Reina put a hand to her mouth. “That was a Durin Berry and it’s so bitter it can’t be eaten raw.”

    “But it’s really good!” said Giselle as she took another bite. Reina’s jaw dropped. Sneasel looked really pleased with himself.

    “You’re probably the first person to ever eat those raw. I can’t believe it,” Reina said, impressed. “But then again, Isabel could eat Tomato Berries raw so there you go.”

    After that, Carmen taught Giselle how to practice attacks with her Pokémon. The problems that Shinx was having with his Spark attack were even more prominent and Giselle could see he was getting frustrated. Carmen guessed that he was wasting too much of his electricity and that was causing some of his attacks to be underpowered.

    “Shinx just needs to focus on not releasing the excess electricity after every Spark attack,” Carmen explained.

    Giselle listened to every word and mulled it over. Thinking back to her school days, she remembered a move called Charge which would store electricity to use for the next electric attack.

    “Carmen, can Shinx learn a move called Charge?” she asked.

    “He sure can,” Carmen said, pleased that Giselle had figured it out on her own. “Now, it’s mostly takes concentration to pull it off….”

    With a bit of practice, Shinx was able to store up electricity and use it to power his Spark attack. The attacks improved dramatically and were much more powerful than before. Shinx was certainly more satisfied to say the least.

    “Thanks, Carmen!” Giselle said. “You say thanks too, Shinx.”

    “Shinx!” said the grateful Pokémon.

    Giselle spent time with all of her Pokémon. She could tell that Sneasel was becoming close to all of Giselle’s Pokémon. Since he was newly hatched, he did fall for Duskull’s Astonish a few times. The last time Duskull did so, Budew used her new found confidence attacked him again with Extrasensory. Duskull never Astonished Sneasel again after that.

    They all decided to head down to beach so that Nerissa and Paris could take a dip in the ocean. Carmen, Reina, Giselle, and most of their Pokémon slid down the sandy hill onto the beach. Clair and Dragonite flew down while Meilene and Gardevoir levitated themselves down. Other trainers and Pokémon lined the white sand beach and some people were braving the cold water to swim in the ocean close to the shore. Giselle could see boats as well as a city in the distance.

    “Look Sneasel! It’s the ocean!” said Giselle.

    Sneasel took a deep breath and inhaled the salty air. Nerissa and Paris happily dived into the ocean. Charmander kept his distance from the water and stayed with Giselle and Sneasel. The rest of Giselle’s Pokémon played close to the water.

    By mid-afternoon, it became clear just how attached Sneasel was to his new family. A Pokémon wearing a small blue top hat that looked like a smaller version of Ambipom began to harass Budew. Shinx, Caterpie, and even Duskull came to her rescue, but before Giselle could stop him, Sneasel jumped in with surprising speed. He attempted to slash the Pokémon who ducked in the nick of time so that only the hat took the attack. It fell to the ground in pieces.

    For a moment, no one did anything. The Pokémon, seeing that it was outnumbered and overpowered, ran its trainer, a young boy in shorts. He turned to face Giselle, angry.

    “What did you do to my Pokémon, you stupid foreigner!” he yelled.

    “Excuse me!” said Giselle. She tried to keep her cool but she was outraged: the word “foreigner” had once again riled her.
    “I believe your Pokémon was the one that started this!”

    But the boy would have none of this.

    “Let me show you how we do it in Sinnoh. Then you can go back to whatever crap region you came from. Let’s go Aipom! You! Get your Sneasel and let’s battle.”

    “WHAT? No Way! Sneasel’s too young to battle!” Giselle shouted. Out of the corner of her eye, Giselle saw Reina make a movement as though she wanted to jump in. Carmen held out her hand to stop her sister. Sneasel walked over to stand behind Giselle. “You’ll have to battle one of my other Pokémon. Are you up for a battle Charmander?”

    Charmander agreed. He was eager to help Giselle in anyway he could. The boy rolled his eyes.

    “Why of course. You’re Kanto trash.”

    Giselle was having a hard time not letting her anger show. “Make your move.”

    “Ah, letting me make the first move, are we?” the boy taunted Giselle. “That’s a big mistake. Aipom use Swift!”

    Giselle knew from experience that there was no avoiding the attack. “Charmander, use Ember to block the attack.” Using one offensive attack to block another was something Giselle saw Reina do in her battle against Carla. Whenever the flames hit the stars, there were miniature explosions. Charmander managed to stop the worst of the attack and was relatively unharmed when the weakened stars hit him.

    Evidently the boy expected Giselle to be a total noob and wasn’t happy when his attack didn’t work. A crowd had gathered around them and he didn’t want to lose. “Aipom use Shadow Claw!”

    Aipom’s tail hand was surrounded by a purple ghostly glow. It drew up close to Charmander and began attacking. Charmander dodged all of its attacks but one was bound to hit at one point. Since it was so close to Charmander….

    “Charmander use Smokescreen!’

    Aipom was right in Charmander’s face and was overcome by the thick black smoke. It coughed and sputtered and was unable to move. Giselle was pleased at how well that worked. Charmander moved in and began to scratch Aipom only it didn’t look like a normal Scratch attack. Charmander’s claws looked oddly metallic…

    “Giselle, that’s Metal Claw!” Reina called out.

    “Really now?” Giselle was impressed. “Keep at it, Charmander!”

    Charmander kept clawing the Aipom who was still struggling with the smoke.

    “Aipom, you have to attack,” yelled the boy, desperation was starting to creep into his voice.

    But it was no use. Aipom was still unable to breathe normally.

    “Charmander finish this with Ember!” Giselle said, attempting to keep her cool. Excitement was coursing through her once more. Was it really about to happen?

    Charmander let out the stronger Ember attack he ever had and Aipom took a direct hit. When the smoke finally cleared, Giselle, the boy, and everyone in the crowed saw that Aipom had been knocked out.

    “You did wonderful, Charmander!” Giselle shrieked. Charmander smiled. He was proud of himself and Giselle.

    The crowd cheered and shouted things like “that Charmander was so cute” and “not so tough are you kid” before dispersing. The boy grudgingly pulled out his red Pokédex and walked over to Giselle. She instinctively pulled out her card. He swiped the infrared port across Giselle’s card with a little more force than was called for. A loud beep told Giselle that the money had transferred. The boy recalled his Aipom as walked away without a word. With an added bounce to her step, Giselle walked over to Carmen and Reina.

    “I cannot believe this! I won my first battle!” Giselle said. She was almost glowing with happiness.

    “Congratulations!” Carmen said. Giselle could see the happiness in her silver eyes.

    “That was great, Giselle!” Reina yelled, ruffling Giselle’s hair. “You have really come a long way!”

    “Thanks guys,” said Giselle as she fixed her hair back. Sneasel, who was still beside her, was impressed by Charmander’s Metal Claw and was attempting to make his claws metallic as well.

    “Sneasel,” Giselle knelt down. “You’re can’t just jump into something without thinking. You could’ve been hurt.”

    “Sneasel,” he said looking down.

    “It’s okay,” said Giselle. “We’ll practice battling a little later. Does that sound good?”

    Sneasel looked happy about the prospect of training. Giselle sighed.

    “Is there anyway for me to get a victory meal? I am starving.”

    Carmen and Reina laughed.

    “I guess winning battles make you hungry,” said Carmen. “But we haven’t eaten since breakfast so we should eat something.

    The girls recalled their Pokémon. Giselle decided to leave Sneasel out of his Pokéball so he could see the world some more. The sun seemed to shine more brightly than usual as they all walked along. Giselle realized that she still had a decision to make, but she was as unsure now as she was when Carmen asked her the night before. But she didn’t let it bother her. For now she just enjoyed the sunshine and her friends as they laughed and talked
     
    #16 Carmen Lopez, Jun 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  17. [me=Reina Carmen]gets off her butt and posts. [/me]

    OOC: Wow, the newbie writer mistakes really come out here << Please forgive them. It's not as bad as later chapter which I have to edit because it's so bad XD;

    Giselle was paddling a canoe on Lake Valor. The water was so clear Giselle could see the bottom of the lake which reflected the clear blue sky above. Reina had shown her the cave in the middle of the lake, but Azelf wasn’t around. She claimed that it was likely wandering Sinnoh now. The forest and hills surrounding the lake was abuzz with the sounds of Pokémon. The land around the lake was left largely untouched so that people could enjoy the natural scenery. At that moment the lake was largely devoid of people and Giselle enjoyed the peace and quiet.

    It was now a month after Sneasel had hatched and Giselle still hadn’t made her decision though she thought about it a lot. As Carmen said, most trainers start in their own regions first then move on to a new region. And Giselle would prove everyone wrong back in Pallet Town if she returned and she hated not having anything to tell Carmen and Reina about Kanto. But Giselle was getting used to Sinnoh and all of its quirks. She was just as confused now as she had been a month ago.

    Giselle had had a conversation with Carmen two days before about her confusion.

    “It just feels like I left a lot of loose ends when I ran away like that. I wonder if anyone even cares what’s happening to me right now.” Giselle had not had contact with her family or anyone else in Pallet Town since she’d gotten to Sinnoh.

    “You didn’t exactly leave on the best of terms, did you?” Carmen had said. “I just can’t imagine what it must feel like to leave home like that. But what do you mean by loose ends?”

    “I don’t know,” Giselle shrugged. “It’s like I left a lasting memory in everyone’s mind: one of the failure Giselle, the butt of every joke Giselle. In spite of the fact that I hate Pallet Town, that’s not how I imagined leaving.”

    Carmen had been straightforward. “Do you want to go back and prove them wrong?”

    “That’s the problem. I’m not sure if I would be able to face them again. I don’t know if I should go back or stay here.”

    “Only you will be able to decide that,” Carmen had replied. “But I think you’ll find your answer soon enough. I can feel it.” Giselle wondered how soon it would be. And so, Carmen’s words filled her thoughts.

    “Charmander!” He was sitting in front of Giselle in the front of the boat. It brought her back to the present.

    Giselle sighed. “Charmander, I’m in a catch twenty-two. I’m not sure if I want to go home or not. I’d like change everyone’s opinion of me, but I’m not sure if that would be the best thing.” When she asked Carmen and Reina how to go about talking to your Pokémon, they just said to talk to them as you would a person. They would understand what the intent behind what she was saying.

    Giselle looked thoughtful for a while, and Charmander mimicked his trainer. For the past month she had practiced training and spending time with her Pokémon. True to Carmen’s word, Sneasel’s personality had emerged. Clever and sly, he could figure a way into or out of anything and he was fiercely loyal to Giselle and the rest of her Pokémon. Giselle still hadn’t had a real battle with him yet, but she did train with him and he learned some new attacks. Shinx’s competitive side began to become even more prominent than before and he loved to battle. Budew was not as much of a crybaby as she was, but she would still attack anyone who messed with her scarf.

    Just as Giselle was about to paddle one more time around the lake, she heard a yell.

    “GISELLE! IT’S TIME FOR US TO GET STARTED ALREADY!”

    Reina was the one yelling and she was waving her arms while standing on the shore. The day before, Reina had asked Giselle if she would like to go hiking the next day. Giselle agreed immediately but started to get misgivings. Carmen had asked Reina to bring Giselle back in one piece, she kept referring to that “Geodude incident” that she never properly explained and she dropped a few other ominous comments. Reina merely laughed off Carmen’s remarks and she deviously said “you’re going to have the time of your life, Giselle.” It didn’t take much for Giselle to remember falling off a flying Salamence to realize that Reina was probably serious. However, she didn’t back out. Reina would probably scare her out of her mind, but she trusted her.

    Giselle was already wearing her hiking gear and her waist bag was in the boat with her. Reina had said it wouldn’t be too difficult so she wore jeans, hiking boots, and a brown jacket. Likewise, Reina wore almost the same thing except, her jacket was green. Giselle paddled her canoe over to where Reina was, both she and Charmander got out, and she tied up the canoe for the next person.

    “All set?” Reina asked Giselle. “Good! Now I also brought Sneasel’s mother with us. The species are actually pretty good at rock climbing—

    “Rock climbing?” said Giselle incredulously. “You never said anything about rock climbing. You just said it would be a hike.”

    “Yeah, well I might’ve forgotten to mention it but that’s beside the point here,” Reina said dismissively. “Anyway, Weavile can also show Sneasel even more of what being a Sneasel is. Let’s go, shall we?”

    Giselle was wondering if she would indeed come back in one piece as she and Reina began to walk together. Charmander caught onto Giselle’s apprehension, and was looking unsure now. Reina looked positively thrilled. She hummed a tune that Giselle didn’t recognize as they walked. She had chosen Meilene along with Weavile to be her hiking partners, but she didn’t release them right then. For a while they walked along a safe path before Reina stopped.

    “Let’s take a less traveled path to get there,” Reina said eagerly. Giselle’s ominous feelings only increased.

    Reina led them into the woods surrounding the path. Walking in the woods wasn’t too difficult but Giselle still had to be careful. The leaves on the ground were very slippery and Giselle nearly fell quite a few times. At one point she and Charmander were miles behind Reina. Giselle had no idea how Reina managed to move so quickly. She was also annoyed by the fact that she had forgotten to bring a hair tie; her hair was constantly getting tangled with bit of everything. Reina didn’t have to worry too much about it as her hair was cut short.

    For the umpteenth time, Giselle slipped and fell on fallen leaves and she ended up with a cobweb in her face. As she tried to get the web off her face, she heard laugher echoing up ahead. Giselle looked up to see Reina was nearly out of sight. Charmander sighed.

    “Come on Giselle! You have to keep up!” she called out cheerfully. “You’re too slow!”

    By now, Giselle was starting to seriously consider turning back. She pulled herself to her feet once more and marched toward Reina who stopped to let Giselle and Charmander catch up. When the finally did, Giselle was looking mutinous.

    “All right, I’ll give you some advice,” Reina said. (About time, thought Giselle). “You’ll just have to get use to it. The more you do it, the more you start learning how to keep your balance.”

    Some advice, thought Giselle as she pulled another leaf out of her hair.

    “I’ll never understand how you and Carmen can stand having hair that long,” Reina said.

    Giselle sighed and they kept walking. She noticed that the terrain was starting to slope upward and was starting to get rougher. Now she had to worry about tripping over rocks along with slipping on leaves and pine straw. Charmander was much better at keep his balance than Giselle was. However, this time Reina stopped to help Giselle whenever she fell. They didn’t talk much as Giselle was trying to concentrate on keeping her balance. There still wasn’t a cloud in the sky as they hiked along. For the most part, the hike was peaceful—at least until Giselle caused a disturbance.

    She tripped on what she though was a rock. Grumbling, Giselle got back to her feet with Reina’s help. When they looked down, they saw that it was in fact a Geodude Giselle had tripped over. And it was not happy about being tripped over.

    “Uh oh,” said Giselle. The Geodude launched rocks at Charmander which he dodged. Giselle gasped. She knew fire attacks wouldn’t do much. “Charmander use Metal Claw!”

    The attack worked pretty well. The Geodude had deep claw marks in its rock body. Metal Claw did things to Rock types that a Normal Scratch attack didn’t do. The Geodude relented after that and ran away from them. Giselle was relieved that it didn’t Self-Destruct.

    “You handled that well enough,” said Reina. “I remembered when you would’ve fell to pieces over something like that.”

    “Yeah well, it’s amazing how much a person can grow in a month,” Giselle said sagely.

    Reina laughed and they continued on. They had entered an area that wasn’t totally full of tripping hazards, so they could talk more. Giselle enjoyed listening to Reina talking about her favorite training areas of Sinnoh, including the area under Sinnoh’s Cycling Road.

    “At first I didn’t want that road built as I was sure it would disturb the Pokémon and ruin the area,” Reina said. “And while they were building it, the Pokémon were disturbed and didn’t appear as often. You can imagine how upset I was.” Reina and Giselle paused for a moment to get their footing again. Then, Reina continued. “However after the road was finished and people started to use it, the Pokémon started to reappear again. And because more people use the road above, few people even think about the area under the road anymore. It’s even better than before!”

    “Wow,” said Giselle. She wondered if she would have a favorite place to train. Now the terrain was starting to turn rough again—it’s roughest yet. Giselle had heard that the Charmander line was native to mountain regions. Maybe that was the reason he was so good at keeping his balance here: it was in his blood. Reina released Meilene to walk with her. All four of them had to walk along a precarious ledge that dropped off onto the ground some twenty feet below. Giselle could see rocks every so often on the ground below them.

    “Don’t look down, Giselle.” Reina’s warning had, of course, come too late. Giselle was being extra careful now, as she feared the rocks. “Up ahead it a good spot where we can rest and release Sneasel and Weavile. Your Sneasel can practice climbing with the help of his mother.”

    “Got it,” said Giselle shakily. Her breathing was heavier now that their path had become more dangerous. Reina had said it wouldn’t be difficult, but that was exactly the way she found this hike—difficult. At one point she had to grab a tree root to keep from falling.

    “It’s not much farther now!” said Reina. “Just a little more.”

    The silence of the area was broken by a strange noise; it sounded as though something was rolling down a hill. Instinct told Giselle where to look to see it: a Graveler was rolling down the hill towards them. And it was moving fast. Giselle attempted to move aside to let it roll by. In just one heart stopping second, Giselle lost her footing and she was falling. Falling. She couldn’t even scream. Was this really happening? Or was it really just a dream? No, this had to be real because she could feel. She could feel her body hit the ground, yet she could feel no pain. Why was that? Giselle was having trouble contemplating that as darkness overtook her. And then there was nothing.

    “GISELLE!”
     
    #17 Carmen Lopez, Jun 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  18. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    [me:psycho Monkey]forgives Carmen for her newbie mistakes[/me]

    This chapter was great! If I remember correctly, the last one was a really good one, and I'm sure with your 'older and wiser' editing it will be even better than I remember.
     
  19. OOC: Mr. Psycho, I ♥ reading your comments. This chapter is unedited from the time I first posted it. Btw, I hope we start seeing some Rise of Team Neos soon ^^

    Where am I? For whatever reason, Giselle wasn’t hurt so she surveyed her surroundings. This spacious bedroom looked familiar. The hardwood floors were very clean without a foot print in sight. A handsome wood framed mirror hung on the door reflecting the rest of the room. All of the mahogany furniture in this room was sturdy and well built and the bed’s coverings were luxurious and comfortable. An flatscreen TV was on the wall opposite the bed currently showing a commercial. The beautiful trinkets around the room gave and air of elegance and wealth. The room was neat and put together and obviously very nice, but it had a cold feeling that even the serene green walls could not mask.

    Why did it take me so long to recognize this place? This is my bedroom back in Pallet Town. Giselle knew there was no way this could be real. But she couldn’t wake up and yet she knew she wasn’t dead either. She had no idea what was going on. Her confusion would only deepen when she saw who entered the room next. Giselle looked up to see herself enter the room. But when did I look so depressed? The Giselle that entered the room looked dejected and defeated, her two Pokéballs on her waist. Giselle just watched herself, barely able to breathe, disbelieving. She knew that she was invisible to her other self, a past self. The other Giselle closed the door and collapsed on the floor. She clutched her chest with her eyes closed. Giselle just unwillingly watched the whole scene. She wished she could turn away, but she couldn’t. This must have been what Reina felt when she had to watch Giselle fall apart in the forest over a month earlier.

    After a while, the other Giselle got to her feet again, but her eyes were very red. She held her head up and faced her reflection on the mirror on the door. Without warning, the other Giselle picked up one of her heavier trinkets and hurled it at her mirror where it smashed. The mirror cracked and large shards of it fell to the floor. Both Giselles heard a snide voice from the floor below. Her mother must have heard the noise.

    “I hope you know that breaking your stuff won’t do you any good,” said Monique scathingly. “So clean up the mess and do something useful with yourself.”

    Giselle didn’t remember any of this happening, so it couldn’t be a memory. Suddenly, the other Giselle strode across the room and flung the door open once more and flew out off, leaving the mess behind. Giselle took once glance at the TV and her jaw dropped. It was the commercial for the trip to Sinnoh but “she” had already left the room and didn’t see it. What was going on? Giselle took one last look at her room before taking off after herself.

    The other Giselle was stopped halfway down the stairs when Giselle caught up. Monique was already at the bottom—no doubt to dispense more of her motherly advice.

    “Once again, you failed again to win a gym badge,” Monique sneered at the other Giselle. “I expect Brock has tired of looking at you.”

    The other Giselle pushed passed her on her way to the door as Monique muttered about someone named Genevieve like she often did. Giselle was left behind to ogle at her mother. How could a mother say something like that to her own child? Is that the way Monique got her kicks? Maybe Monique felt bad about how her own Pokémon training days had ended. It wasn’t anger that filled Giselle as it usually did. She was actually feeling sorry for her mother. Giselle looked up to see her other self pass by her father who was coming in the door as she was going out of it. He said nothing as she passed, nothing at all. Giselle head was starting to hurt from the bizarreness of this whole scene and longed to wake up. The part of her brain that was still working tried to analyze the scene.

    She realized her house was expensive and filled with luxury items but it never had the love or the lived in feeling that a house was suppose to have. After all, it was the people who set the mood of a house and this one had three unhappy occupants. Now that Giselle thought about it, she really didn’t remember much about the details of her house while she was in Sinnoh and she knew why. Looking at herself, depressed like that, she saw just how much her home had been an unhappy place for her. She had subconsciously tried to push it out of her mind and had pretty much succeeded.

    Giselle exited her house and onto her large front yard. She couldn’t see her other self but she had a feeling where she was. Whenever Giselle would storm out of the house, she would try to clear her head a bit, and then do something she felt like a trainer should do. Giselle was astounded at how little she knew about Pokémon training and how much she merely guessed at it. It didn’t take her long to find her other self. It was on the usual road that led out of Pallet Town. She remembered spending a lot of time walking that road. Giselle ran to catch up to herself. It was so odd being able to see herself like this. Maybe this was an out of body experience.

    The other Giselle had that lost look on her face. For some odd reason, Giselle heart was starting to pound. Something was about to happen but she didn’t know what… Both Giselles entered a wooded area off of the road. Giselle knew that her other self was not going anywhere in particular and was just wandering around looking for something unknown. Most of the time, nothing would happen, but this time was different. The other Giselle had spotted someone up ahead. Giselle looked at the someone and immediately knew why she had caught the other Giselle’s attention.

    The young girl looked completely out of place in the woods as she held her Clefairy. She had beautiful dark curly hair, blue eyes, a heart shaped face, and pale skin. She decorated her hair with a pink bow and she was wearing a lacy white dress with a bow around the waist to match the one in her hair. The girl was obviously a noble lady—one from Kanto’s elite. Giselle remembered that she used to desperately scope out what she thought were weak trainers. That’s how badly she wanted to win a battle. And this girl looked like a weak enough trainer, and being from Kanto’s elite, she would give a lot of money if she was defeated. The other Giselle walked quickly to catch up to her, with Giselle not far behind.

    “Excuse me,” the other Giselle said. “But are you a trainer?”

    “Yes, I am,” said the girl in a sweet voice. “I take it you want a battle. My name is Vivienne, by the way.”

    “My name is Giselle. We’ll have a two on two battle,” the other self said. Giselle cringed at the way “she” was trying to make herself sound tougher than she was. Was that really the way she was? Somehow, she had never noticed it before. And those rules? Her other self was obviously hoping that Charmander would take out the Clefairy in her arms, because before she gained Caterpie’s respect, it wouldn’t battle traffic for Giselle.

    “Why don’t we start?” said the other Giselle with her falsely confidence voice. “Go Charmander!”

    And Charmander appeared out of the Pokéball and Giselle was shocked. Her first night in Sinnoh, the nurse at the center had told Giselle that Charmander hadn’t been getting enough time out of his Pokéball, and for the first time, Giselle could see it. Charmander looked pale and his tale flame didn’t burn with the vigor that it did now. Charmander had become a lot healthier in the time Giselle was in Sinnoh and she just had never noticed it before.

    Both Giselles had expected Vivienne to send out Clefairy, but instead she pulled out a Pokéball. What came out of it shocked them. Giselle even let out an loud gasp unheard by Vivienne or the other Giselle. It was a Tyrannitar and everything about it was brutal—its teeth, its claws, its everything. And it was out for blood. Giselle thought her other self was a fool if she continued this battle. The other Giselle had an empty look on her face as all the fight drained out of her. She could tell she had made a horrible mistake in her judgment.

    The Tyrannitar let out an earth rumbling roar and Charmander lost it. He began to run around in circles, crying so loudly that he could no longer even hear the other Giselle’s voice. Giselle could see the embarrassment on her other self’s face. She quickly recalled Charmander. Giselle hoped “she” would forfeit this match, but to her horror, she didn’t.

    “Go Caterpie!”

    Giselle could forget what her house looked like but she would never forget how cold Caterpie was. It bristled at the very sound of Giselle’s voice.

    “Use String Shot!” the other Giselle said. Caterpie merely brushed her off and refused to perform the attack.

    Vivienne raised one of her dainty eyebrows. “Tyrannitar use Giga Impact!”

    Giselle closed her eyes to avoid seeing what happened next. She heard loud stomps as Tyrannitar charged and then she heard Caterpie scream as the Tyrannitar slammed into her. Giselle was afraid to look and she was horrified when she finally did so. Caterpie had been burnt to a crisp. The other Giselle just stood there for a minute, before recalling Caterpie. Vivienne didn’t say a word. She just had a look of sheer disdain on her lovely face. She recalled Tyrannitar, and without even collecting her prize money, or even taking a backward glance at the other Giselle, she walked away. As she left, both Giselles clearly heard her say “how pathetic.”

    When Vivienne was out of sight, the other Giselle fell to her knees with her face in her hands, crying as Giselle watched. Giselle knew this person was her but she felt oddly detached. But then again, this was an out of body experience, so maybe the detachment was called for. Giselle knew that her other self had a million thoughts running through her mind and was feeling even lower than ever. But even she didn’t see what was coming next.

    The other Giselle stood up looking slightly deranged, her eyes very red. She pulled out Caterpie’s Pokéball and released her—but instead of the usual bright white light that accompanied the Pokémon, the light was blue. Caterpie was still burnt and crispy and clearly in pain. Giselle knew what was coming before it even happened.

    “NO!” Giselle shouted, tears welling up in her eyes. But no one could hear her.

    “You know what, Caterpie,” the other Giselle spit every word at her injured Pokémon. “You don’t like me, and now the feeling is mutual. You’re a lost cause.” She then did the unthinkable. She turned her back on her injured Pokémon and walked away.

    “Wait! Come back here!” Giselle shouted at herself, but it was useless. She rushed over to Caterpie, who was in more pain, and crying louder than ever. Giselle wanted to pick her up, but she found she couldn’t touch the Pokémon. “No, no, no,” Giselle moaned and closed her eyes as the tears ran down her face. Was she really capable of such a monstrous thing? Behind her closed eyes, Giselle could see brightness. Her eyes flew open and she saw that Caterpie was glowing. The light was becoming brighter and brighter until it overtook her. Blinded, she closed her eyes once more...

    When she opened her eyes, she was back in the canyon where she had fallen, flat on her back with Charmander standing over her. She was strangely lightheaded and her back ached slightly but otherwise was physically fine. She could hear voices coming from a short distance away, but couldn’t concentrate on what they were saying. Giselle realized that the voices were those of Carmen and Reina and it sounded at though Carmen was scolding her sister. She didn’t know how Carmen got there, but that didn’t matter.

    Charmander was happy to that Giselle was conscious and he alerted Reina and Carmen, who were accompanied by Meilene and Gardevoir. They quickly stopped talking and rushed over to Giselle.

    “Oh, you’re awake,” said Carmen in relief. “No, don’t try to get up on your own,” Carmen added as Giselle tried to sit up.

    “Oh, Giselle, I’m so sorry!” sobbed Reina. Her eyes were really red, as though she had been crying a while. “I didn’t think it would be THIS dangerous! I was glad Meilene was able to lessen the impact of the fall!”

    “That’s all right…” Giselle struggled to say. She wasn’t feeling well at all.

    Carmen closed her eyes for a few seconds and sighed. “Look Giselle, we need to get you back to the campsite. Gardevoir will teleport us back. Here, let me help you.” She leaned down and Giselle grabbed onto her arm to stand up.

    “How will Reina get back?” Giselle asked quietly.

    “I’ll be flying back,” choked Reina.

    Giselle didn’t know if Reina was in any shape to fly but she didn’t say anything. Gardevoir had come to stand beside her trainer.

    “This may be a strange sensation, teleporting that is.” Carmen warned. “Go ahead and recall Charmander.” After Giselle did so, they were ready to teleport. And Carmen was right. It was the oddest sensation Giselle had ever experienced. She felt her body was flying though a world that was made of nothing but aura and psychic energy. Giselle, Carmen, and Gardevoir were only in this world for a few seconds before emerging. They were back on the campsite where they had spent the past couple of nights.

    “Just lie down in the tent for awhile and rest, all right?” Carmen said warmly.

    “All right,” Giselle whispered.

    Carmen helped her inside the tent where Giselle laid on top of her sleeping bag. For a while, she just stared up at the ceiling, her mind still full of what she had seen when she was unconscious. Was that where she was headed if she’d continued in Kanto? The look on her face as “she” abandoned Caterpie still haunted her. Though none of that actually happened, Giselle still felt guilty, as if she had done it. The way her parents reacted was not out of the ordinary and Giselle hadn’t felt this badly since that day she had met Carmen and Reina. She just felt sick.

    Giselle guessed she had fallen asleep at some point because Carmen had to gently shake her awake to check on her.

    “Are you feeling any better?” Carmen asked.

    Giselle head was feeling much better and her back wasn’t aching, but she was still obsessing about what she had seen and her heart was heavy.

    “Yeah, I’m fine,” she said hurriedly. “How’s Reina?”

    “Still sulking outside,” said Carmen as she rolled her eyes. “Are you sure you’re doing better?”

    “Yeah,” said Giselle. “I need some air, too.” Carefully, Giselle and Carmen crawled out of the tent into the bright sunshine. Giselle was starting enjoy wooded areas after spending so much time in them. They found Reina and Meilene sitting on a fallen tree not far away. She was staring at the ground while Meilene was trying to comfort her. Even now, Giselle admired the relationship those two shared. When she looked up and saw Giselle, she jumped from the tree and walked over.

    “Giselle, so you forgive me for this whole ordeal?” Reina cut directly to the chase. Her eyes were swollen now.

    “You know I do,” said Giselle, smiling. Reina returned the smile and high fived her.

    “I told you sulking and crying wouldn’t do anyone any good,” said Carmen.

    “Now,” started Giselle. She was making a huge effort not to show how much what she saw bothered her. “I have questions, and you have the answers to them. First off, why am I not dead?”

    “Well, it happened so fast, Meilene and I barely had time to react,” Reina explained. “But it was Meilene that slowed your fall at the last like nanosecond. Even so, your head snapped back and hit the ground and you fell unconscious. Satisfactory answer?”

    “Succinct, yet very satisfactory,” Giselle agreed. “Next question: how did Carmen find us?”

    “Meilene was able to form a telepathic link with Gardevoir. She was then able to teleport us right to your location,” Carmen answered.

    Giselle sighed. She focused mindlessly on her white hair, which needed a trim. For a while they said nothing and then Carmen spoke.

    “What’s wrong, Giselle? You only go silent like that when you have something on your mind. I noticed that about you.”

    “It’s nothing,” said Giselle. How did she do that? Sometimes she seriously thought that Carmen had psychic abilities. It was almost scary

    “It’s something,” Carmen retorted. “The sooner you can get it off your chest the better you’ll feel.”

    Giselle sighed. Why was it so hard for her to speak her mind? “Okay, okay, I’ll talk.” She told them everything in detail about she’d seen while she was unconscious: Giselle seeing herself, her parents, her terrible memories, her battle, her breakdown, her abandonment of an injured Pokémon….”Am I really capable of something that horrible?” Giselle asked when she was finished with her story. It was the thing that kept eating at her.

    Reina merely looked shocked with amazement at the story, so it was Carmen who answered Giselle’s question.

    “I don’t know. You tell us. Are you capable of something like that horrible?”

    That question made Giselle think. She thought back to the day she had decided to leave Kanto for Sinnoh. Giselle knew that she was close to her breaking point after that last Pewter City gym fiasco. The rash decision to leave her region and travel thousands of miles to an unknown one was made out of sheer desperation. But the other Giselle hadn’t seen that commercial and then endured her parents’ coldness and another disastrous battle. It was more than her fragile self could stand and she snapped. She realized two things and then she spoke to Carmen and Reina.

    “I am capable of something like that. I was at the brink when I left Kanto,” Giselle said frankly. “If just one more bad thing had would’ve happened to me, I would have lost it.”

    “Wow,” said Reina.

    “And that’s not all,” Giselle continued. “I realized that coming to Sinnoh was the best thing that could’ve happened to me. I mean sure the first day sucked, but then I met the two of you. It was a very good thing I changed my environment.” It was true. She needed to be somewhere that was free from everyone’s expectations, and in her case, Sinnoh was the first opportunity for an escape.

    “And with that, I think you’ve made your decision,” said Carmen.

    “Hey, you’re right!” said Giselle brightly.

    Reina gave her a round of applause. “And so, Giselle remains in Sinnoh! Sweet! Are you taking the league challenge too?”

    “I guess I should,” said Giselle. “How do you register for the Sinnoh league anyway?

    “There’s a place to register in every major city in Sinnoh. They can even update Pokédexes now. We can go anytime you get ready,” answered Carmen.

    “How does tomorrow sound?” asked Giselle.

    “Sounds awesome,” said Reina. She then took out a Pokéball and released her Weavile, Dulce. “Why don’t we train with Sneasel for awhile since we didn’t do it earlier?”

    Giselle thought Weavile was a magnificent Pokémon. If Sneasel’s claws were brutal, they were nothing compared to Weavile’s. Dulce in particular had especially beautiful eyelashes.

    “All right,” Giselle responded as she released Sneasel. Giselle was relieved to have her decision out of the way. Carmen had been right when she said she’d find her answer soon. She just never thought it would involve a near fatal fall off a ledge.
     
    #19 Carmen Lopez, Jun 16, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  20. Yay! A tiny bit of normality back. I luffles your Sneasel. So small and cute, yet so slashy and dangeous! :D
     
  21. OOC: Glad I could help with the return of normality, Secad ^^ This chapter...if it conflicts with our shared universe, it may receive substantial edits.

    The next day the trio found themselves at the registration center in Veilstone City. The center was located on the edge of the Battle District. The area looked very different in the daytime without the bright lights and flamboyantly dressed people. The center itself was very high tech and modern. Giselle saw newly registered trainers excitedly exited the building ready to start their own journeys. A group of young students and their teacher on a field trip passed them. Giselle wondered if any of those students had the same big dreams that she had when she was their age. She just hoped that they would get the opportunity to fulfill them someday.

    “Man, being in this area makes me itch for a battle,” said Reina. “I’m headed to an arena when we get done here.”

    “And they say I’m battle hungry,” muttered Carmen.

    “Shall we go in already?” asked Reina impatiently.

    “Of course,” said Giselle.

    The inside was just as modern as the outside. It was full of computers and other machines Giselle had never seen before. Receptionists stood behind counters along the far wall.

    “This is one of the larger registration centers,” Carmen explained. “Reina and I registered in Professor Rowen’s lab when we received our starters in Sandgem Town. You can use anyone of the computers by the way.”

    They went to the nearest one. Like everything else in Sinnoh, it was touch screen. The screen displayed, among other things, options for new trainers and one for trainers that have registered in other regions. Giselle clicked on the latter and followed the instructions and answered the questions while Carmen and Reina looked on.

    “Do you have a Pokédex?”

    “Yes,” Giselle selected.

    “Please insert it into the slot.”

    A slot popped out at the bottom of the computer. Giselle pulled out her red Pokédex and put it in just like it said. She heard a few mechanical sounds and then all of her information was displayed on the screen: her name and hometown, her picture and finger print, how many badges she’d won (zero), how many Pokémon captured (two native, four non-native), and of course, the region she had been registered in. She used the fingerprint device to positively identify herself.

    “Are you sure you want to register for the Sinnoh League?”

    “Yes.”

    “You will not be able to participate in a previously registered league. Is that okay?”

    “Yes.” (Definitely)

    “Congratulations! You are now registered for the Sinnoh League. Please take this voucher to a receptionist to receive your new Pokédex. All of your information has been transferred into the new Pokédex.” The voucher popped out of the side of the computer and Giselle took it. She assumed the voucher had a computer chip in it.

    “Would you like to keep your old Pokédex?”

    “Yes.” (Why not?) The Pokédex came out of the same slot it went in.

    “Thank you for registering!” And with that the screen went back to its welcome screen.

    “Wow,” said Giselle. “That didn’t take long at all!” She held the voucher up to her eyes, looking at it as though it was the golden ticket.

    “I’m glad it didn’t,” said Reina. “I still want that battle.”

    “Wait, does everyone that registers get a Pokédex?” asked Giselle.”

    “No,” answered Carmen. “Only if you had one to begin with. But you’ll have to contact Professor Rowen to get it upgraded. I’m pretty sure this Pokédex will be programmed for Sinnoh native Pokémon so you’ll no longer be able to identify Charmander and Caterpie.”

    “Oh,” said Giselle.

    They walked over to reception counter that was full of newbie trainers, a few as young as ten. Giselle was mystified at seeing trainers this young. She knew that Kanto trainers had to be at least thirteen to register for the league and wondered what the minimum age for other regions were. Giselle looked for the receptionist with the fewest people in line and found her. She was just finishing up with her one person and Giselle, Reina, and Carmen took the chance. Giselle handed her voucher to the receptionist, almost shaking with anticipation. When the lady handed Giselle her new pink Pokédex she nearly died of happiness.

    “Look at it guys,” Giselle said once they were out of the center. She kept toggling through all of the features of her new Pokédex. She made sure to have her money transferred to the Pokédex and the proceeded to check to make sure every dime was there.

    “We see it, Giselle,” said Reina, slightly amused. “We have one. And now I’m going for a battle. Coming, Giselle?”

    “Sure,” said Giselle. She wanted to test out her Pokédex too.

    “You do that,” said Carmen. “I’m going for coffee. Meet me at that coffee shop down the street when you’re done.” Giselle noticed that all of Sinnoh seemed to be coffee obsessed, but she still hadn’t tried the stuff yet.

    “We’ll see you soon then,” said Reina, brightly. The both watched Carmen as she walked away from them before turning back to the task at hand.

    It didn’t take Reina long to find an opponent as the first person she asked said yes.

    “Awesome,” the boy said. “I hope you’re a worthy opponent. My name is Carlos by the way.” He had long shiny black hair that reached to about the middle of his back and concealed one of his eyes, which were also black.

    “My name is Reina and let me tell you. You have no idea. My friend here will just watch.”

    “Fine by me,” he replied. “Why don’t we hit the open air arena?”

    “Great,” said Reina, a battle-hungry look in her eyes.

    They walked about five minutes to a circular, but otherwise unremarkable building—at least until they entered. Then, Giselle’s jaw dropped. There was no ceiling; the building just opened up into the sky.

    “This is one of my favorite arenas,” Reina explained to Giselle. “Not only do you have to deal with what your opponent is throwing at you, you have to deal with what nature throws at you. You could be hit with rain, snow, burning sun, anything. It keeps things interesting.”

    “It won’t be interesting today,” said Carlos, brushing his hair from his face. “The weather’s perfect.”

    “And now let’s get this battle started already,” said Reina.

    “Ooh, a feisty one!” said Carlos. “You’ll be fun to battle.”

    “Just make sure you have that attitude after this battle,” said Reina as they walked to their respective ends of the battle field. Giselle sat on a bench that was far off to the side of the middle of the arena.

    “Here we go!” said Reina. “Go, Acero!” Giselle was suddenly reminded of her fiascos at the Pewter City gym against Brock’s Onix.

    “Come on out, Medicham!” Carlos called out.

    Giselle was eager to use her new Pokédex. She pointed it at Medicham. “Medicham,” her Pokédex said in a feminine voice. “the meditate Pokémon. Through yoga training, it has honed its sixth sense. Its movements are elegant. It is the evolved form of Meditite.” Giselle squeed in her head.

    “All right, Medicham. Let’s start this off with a Force Palm!” It lunged at Onix with its right hand glowing.

    But Reina had the “I’ve got something up my sleeve look.”

    “Acero, block that with Sandstorm!” The Onix’s midsection began to churn and sand was expelled from between the spinning segments. Medicham had no time to stop and hurled itself into the storm, taking damage.

    “Nice one!” said Carlos, impressed. “But watch this! Medicham use Rain Dance!”

    Medicham really was as elegant as the Pokédex said. It used psychic power to lift itself in the air where it did a graceful dance full of flips and kicks. Rain was summoned out of no where and it promptly stopped the sandstorm. Reina was bewildered in interested way.

    “What are you planning, Carlos?” Reina called out.

    “Only this,” he said. “Medicham use Hidden Power.” Blue orb encircled Medicham. Reina’s jaw dropped; she immediately knew what was happening. When the blue orbs made contact with Acero, they burst spilling water all over him. Acero roared in anguish at both the rain and the Water-type Hidden Power.

    Carlos laughed. “I bet you didn’t see that coming did you?”

    “I admit that was good,” said Reina. “But don’t count us out yet. Acero use Dig!”

    The great rock snake burrowed deep under the arena. After a while, it was so quite, Giselle could hear a pin drop.

    “Oh, and while you’re down there, use Rock Polish and then Harden!” Reina added easily. Giselle couldn’t tell if Acero could even hear her; there were no sounds emanating from underground.

    “Ok, Medicham, time to put your psychic power to work,” said Carlos, enjoying the thrill of battle.

    Medicham closed its eyes sat on the ground cross-legged before levitating. For a while there was nothing as the moments ticked by and the rain eventually stopped. Then suddenly Medicham’s eyes flew open—it could sense Acero, but before it could react, Acero exploded out of the ground in a shower of mud and rocks with amazing speed for something so large. He slammed into Medicham who went sailing across the room before hitting the ground hard.

    “Hurry, Acero, before it can get up, use Earthquake!” Reina yelled.

    The Onix slammed his tail onto the ground, creating an earth shaking shockwave. Giselle could almost see the ripples as they slammed one by one into Medicham. But neither Carlos nor Medicham nor were done.

    “Heh, it’ll take more than that to beat Medicham! Use Hi Jump Kick!”

    Giselle was surprised it could get up again, apparently Reina was too because her jaw dropped. Medicham leapt high into the air and aimed a kick right at Onix’s head.

    “Acero use Sandstorm once more!”

    Once again, the Onix’s midsection began to spin and expel grainy sand. Medicham flew through the grating sand but this time it wouldn’t be stopped. Though the sand absorbed some of the impact, Acero still took a hard hit. Medicham landed gracefully on its feet a few yards in front of its trainer.

    “Wow,” said Reina. “It‘s a good thing I did use Harden, huh. Now, to make sure that doesn’t happen again, Acero use Sand Tomb!”

    The very ground under Medicham began to turn to quicksand, and it sunk into a ground a few inches, immobilized. No matter how much Medicham struggled, it was completely trapped.

    “Oh, dear,” said Carlos.

    “Now it’s time to end this,” said Reina. “Acero, pick Medicham up!”

    The Onix crawled over to Medicham, wrapped his tail around it, and snatched it out of the sand trap. Acero lifted Medicham up to his eyes,

    Reina smiled. “Use Dragonbreath!”

    Giselle cringed. Acero exhaled a stream of sickly green air directly into Medicham’s face and it promptly fainted.

    Carlos looked a little shocked. He recalled Medicham from Acero’s grip. “Good job. We’ll have to train a little more later.” He then turned to Reina. “Good battle! As you can see, Medicham needs a little work”

    “Yeah, I noticed it was a little on the slow side and its psychic abilities were off,” Reina noted.

    “Medicham’s been having problems ever since she evolved,” Carlos explained. “We’re going to train a little bit north of the city for a while. Thanks again for the battle.”

    “You’re very welcome,” said Reina as she recalled Acero.

    Like a true gentlemen, Carlos held the door open to the arena for both Reina and Giselle. They bid farewell to each other before going their separate ways. And after a quick trip to the Pokémon Center, Giselle and Reina headed to the coffee shop. It didn’t take them long to find Carmen’s table, but she wasn’t alone. Giselle recognized Luz del Sol from Reina’s battle with her friend Carla on Carmen’s left. When Giselle set eyes on the person on Carmen’s right, she nearly died. Luckily no one at the table, including Carmen who was distracted by something on the table, spotted them, because Giselle snatched Reina back out of the coffee shop.

    “Ow! What was that for?” said Reina indignantly.

    “The girl on Carmen’s right!” Giselle said frantically.

    “Yeah, what about her?”

    “It’s Vivienne!”

    Reina gasped, but Giselle knew what she saw. She had the same dark curly hair and nearly the same outfit that she had in Giselle’s vision--the pink bow and the lacy white.

    “We can’t go in there,” whispered Giselle.

    “Oh, come on Giselle!” said Reina. “That’s vision didn’t happen, remember? And how on earth could that girl be Vivienne?”

    “I know it didn’t happen, but it’s her,” said Giselle, anxiously biting her lip. “And I still don’t want to face her.”

    Reina promptly put her hands on Giselle’s shoulders and marched her back into the coffee shop. Giselle gulped. But Reina wasn’t done messing with Giselle.

    “Hey, guys!” she called out. All three girls looked up. Indeed, Carmen looked slightly annoyed that Reina had shouted across a room.

    “Hello,” said Vivienne and Luz at the same time. Giselle and Reina walked up to the table to see that Carmen was on her phone.

    “Oh,” said Luz, smiling, “I remember you now, Giselle. We were watching the battle that Reina was having with Carla.” She almost the same as she did when Giselle last saw her, except now her short black hair had a single lavender streak.

    “I remember,” said Giselle. She was determined not to let the sight of Vivienne unnerve her.

    “By the way,” said Carmen. “This is Vivienne Devereaux. She’s from the Sevii Islands of the Kanto region. I told her you were also from Kanto, Giselle.”

    “Yeah,” said Giselle, who was uncomfortable aware that Vivienne was looking her with curiosity in her blue eyes. A look of shock crossed Reina’s face but it was gone in an instant.

    “Did I just hear the sound of Reina yelling across a room?” said an unknown male voice. “I haven’t heard that in a while.”

    “Ramón?” said Reina smiling. She walked over behind Carmen and looked over her shoulder and motioned Giselle to come too.

    Giselle thought Carmen just had her phone on speaker mode, but it was actually on video mode. Ramón had black wavy hair, Reina’s brown eyes, and long gorgeous eyelashes. She couldn’t help but notice that he was very handsome and was trying not to blush. He was in an organized office area and holding a cup of coffee.

    “Long time no see. How are you?” asked Reina.

    “I’m in Ecruteak City area doing some research on the two towers and the two legendary birds that are supposed to roost on them,” he explained. “Scoff all you want, Carmen, but they’re real, and if you come with me I’ll show you.”

    “Whatever,” said Carmen indifferently.

    “Err, Ramón?” said Reina. “Is that your office?” He nodded.”It’s a little too neat for you, don’t you think?”

    “Yeah, it is,” admitted Ramón. “But I’ll have to wait a little while to break it in. I have to leave right now, so I’ll talk to you later. Bye!”

    “Bye,” both sisters said, and the screen of the phone went black.

    “They say people known for their intelligence are supposed to be really organized,” chortled Reina. “But Ramón says he can’t concentrate if his workspace is organized. You should see him ‘break in’ in a work space.”

    “It makes me cringe,” said Carmen. “He literally grabs stuff like pencils, paper, books, and whatever else he can get his hands on, and starts throwing it around. The room is effectively demolished in about five minutes. When he lived at home, he used to drive mom crazy because he would never let her organize anything in his room.”

    “Yeah, but none of that matters,” Luz interjected, because he is a totally hottie.”

    They all laughed. Though Giselle didn’t know how she saw Vivienne in a vision, but she decided to act like she’d never seen her before. Vivienne didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. And that look she gave Giselle was probably for her white hair or something like that.

    “In the time it took you two get back, I could’ve had three cups of coffee,” said Carmen. “At least I had Luz and Vivienne to keep me company.”

    “You said you were from the Sevii Islands, right?” Reina asked Vivienne. “Giselle never told us about them.”

    “That’s correct,” said Vivienne. “It’s an island chain south of the Kanto mainland. To be exact, I’m from Resort Gorgeous on Five Island.”

    “It’s kind of like Valor Lakefront,” Giselle explained. “It’s just as swanky and probably just as awesome, even though I’ve never been there.”

    “It was a nice place to grow up,” said Vivienne. “But I also had a lot of fun on my Pokémon journey in Kanto.”

    “Did you take the Pokémon league challenge?” asked Luz.

    “Yes,” answered Vivienne. “I finished in the top sixteen. You can’t imagine how happy I was, even if I didn’t win,” Vivienne finished with a nod to Carmen.

    “Wait,” Reina interrupted. “How old are you?”

    “How old do I look?” asked Vivienne mischievously.

    “To be honest, I think you’re twelve,” Reina said bluntly.

    Vivienne smiled broadly. “I’m actually nineteen.” Luz had to stifle a laugh.

    “All righty then,” said Reina trying to change the subject. “Now what are you doing in Sinnoh?”

    “After I’d competed in the league, it was time for a change of scenery, and so, here I am,” Vivienne answered.

    Giselle wondered if she would let Reina live that little slip up down. Finishing top sixteen in the league was very impressive. Then she suddenly remembered the Luz said she’d spent most of her time in Hoenn. “Luz, did you challenge the Hoenn League?”

    “Not yet,” she said. “I have all eight of my badges so I’m qualified, but I had to take a short break and come back home. I’ll be going back to Hoenn soon to take the challenge.”

    “I want to go to Hoenn soon, too,” said Reina. “I want to find Steven and capture more Steel type Pokémon.”

    “You’re on the search for Steven?” asked Luz, impressed. “I wish you the best of luck then.”

    “Well, since you know Hoenn well…” and so began the Hoenn questions Reina had for Luz. For a while they just had conversations ranging from every subject imaginable. Hearing these conversations made Giselle want to start her journey—particularly her gym battles. The girls gave her plenty of helpful advice and told their own stories of gym battle fiascos and triumphs. After a while, the conversation turned back to what they wanted to do next in their Pokémon journeys.

    “Hey, Carmen was Ramón serious about wanting you to come with him on his research mission?” asked Giselle almost casually.

    “Yeah, he was,” said Carmen.

    “Are you seriously considering going?” asked Reina.

    “Actually, I am,” replied Carmen, but then she hesitated.

    Giselle guessed that Carmen was starting to rub off on her because she picked up Carmen’s uneasy pause.

    “What was that pause for?” Giselle asked tentatively.

    Carmen sighed. “Well you see. If I do go with him, I’ll have to leave in two days.”
     
    #21 Carmen Lopez, Jun 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  22. O. Ma. Fudge. This is amazing! Reina Carmen you are so awesome! *registers as fan-girl* I'll be watching... Always...
     
  23. OOC: This chapter was long o.o Also, I did some minor edits to make it less silly but even people who've read it before may not notice the changes. It was just something that bugged me.

    Giselle and Reina both gasped.

    “H-how long have you been thinking about this?” asked Giselle dumbfounded.

    I’ve been talking with Ramón for the past month,” Carmen answered. “But I kept changing my mind as to whether I wanted to go or not. Now I have merely hours to make my decision.”

    Giselle was amazed. She didn’t think Carmen was the one to put off important decisions like that. It must’ve been a hard choice for her to make. Giselle could see nothing but contemplation in her silver eyes as she sat with her hand under her chin.

    Finally, Reina spoke. “Just make a decision, already, yes or no. You’ve been thinking about this for much longer than a month. Well?”

    Carmen turned to her sister in surprise. “You know for once in you’re life, you’re making sense. I’m going to go with my first instinct. My decision is yes—yes, I will go. I can download an electronic ticket from my phone now. I’m glad you can get those last minute.”

    “Wow, Reina,” said Luz. “You reminded me of Tony just then. He always urges me to make decisions on my first instincts. You can say he’s a carpe diem person.”

    “Sounds like me and Tony would get along,” Reina said. “But we start for Canalave now, don’t we?”

    “Yeah, I want to get there by six,” said Carmen looking up from her phone. “The reason that I need to leave in two days is because that’s when the ship leaves. It’ll take me about eight hours to get there, and Ramón said he wanted to start his mission as soon as possible. Plus, this is the time of year when ship rides will start getting expensive.”

    “But, how will you get to Canalave?” asked Vivienne. “It took me ages to get here from there.”

    “We’re taking the train,” said Luz. “OMG, did I just invite myself?”

    Reina laughed. “It’s fine. We can all go together. Are you all right with that, Vivienne?”

    “Sure, but what is the Underground Train?” Vivienne asked.

    “Sinnoh has an extensive system of underground tunnels, so a few were used for the train,” Carmen explained. “We’ll be in Canalave in a few hours.”

    Vivienne’s looked surprised. “And why did no one I asked tell me about this?”

    “That’s Sinnoh for you,” said Luz. “The people here can spot non-natives from a mile away. You see, some people here like to screw with foreigners. Most likely whoever you asked spotted you as a foreigner and didn’t tell you about the train. It was expensive getting here too, wasn’t it Vivienne?”

    “It was. It cost a fortune,” she said.

    “And Canalave is the worst about that,” Luz finished. “Personally I think the people in Hoenn are nicer. Don’t get me wrong, Sinnoh is awesome. Every region has its faults.”

    “Yes, you’re right,” said Vivienne. “Goodness knows Kanto has them.”

    “Shall we leave out now?” asked Reina. “We can reach the train station fastest by a trolley. There’s one that goes directly to the train station with no stops.”

    The all agreed and got up from the table after collecting their bags. Giselle remembered that Luz said she wasn’t very tolerant of cold weather. She grabbed her woolen black coat and put it on over her thick sweater. Vivienne wasn’t much more tolerant of the cold as she put on a thick pink coat. After spending a month in Sinnoh, Giselle was as used to the chill as Carmen and Reina; their sweaters were enough to keep them warm. They only had to walk a short distance to the trolley stop, and they had to wait only five minutes for it to come.

    As they boarded the trolley, Giselle was thrilled to use her new Pokédex to pay her fare. Reina, Carmen, and Luz also used their Pokédexes to pay, while Vivienne used a card.

    “Hey, Vivienne,” said Giselle as they sat down in the mostly empty trolley. “Did you find out before you came here that hard money is rarely used?”

    “No, I didn’t,” she answered. “It’s amazing how much they don’t tell you about Sinnoh. But anyway, I was buying some items in Canalave and when I paid with money, the cashiers looked at me like I was some kind of alien. And when I asked what why they were looking at me like that, they didn’t give me an answer. So basically I threatened to send out my Tyranitar if someone didn’t give me an answer. They talked then.”

    So this Vivienne had a Tyranitar too. Giselle didn’t let the shock show on her face. “I wish I had been that assertive then…” and Giselle once again told the story of her fiascos in Sinnoh. It provided good entertainment for the trolley ride. Carmen was silent as she watched the scenery go by and even Reina wasn’t as active as she usually was. Giselle noticed it but didn’t say anything.

    If the trolley hadn’t stopped there or if she hadn’t seen the large amount of people entering and exiting it, Giselle would have never have noticed the train station entrance. She had expected a huge building but it was merely a couple of escalators. The quintet exited the trolley and got on the down escalator. Giselle wasn’t sure what she expected as she descended into the underground, but it wasn’t that. It was as though they had entered a giant mall full of bright lights, stores, and people in true Veilstone style. A giant sign carved out of stone welcomed them to Veilstone Station.

    “I can’t believe I forgot to tell you about this place, Giselle,” said Reina. “It’s a train station, but it’s also one of the best malls in Sinnoh. There are four more entrances to the station besides this one if you want to bypass the mall to get to the train. But this is one of the hang out spots of Veilstone.”

    Giselle could see that. There were plenty of teenaged students still in their uniforms either out for lunch or cutting class. Signs pointed out the south, east, and westbound trains. They almost had to drag Vivienne away from the stores, which Giselle has to admit were awesome.

    They swiped their Pokédexes (or in Vivienne’s case, her card) to get through a gate that led to the westbound train. Many people were milling around the platform, some looking down the tunnel, waiting for it to come. Giselle saw men and women in business and office attire who had presumably came through one of the other entrances. On the opposite rock wall—once again in true Veilstone fashion—was a giant bas-relief of a Lucario using Aura Sphere. Signs overhead stated that the train would arrive in five minutes.

    “They actually just built this train not too long ago,” Reina explained. “At first I didn’t want it built—“

    “You mean like Cycling Road?” asked Giselle, smiling.

    “Yeah, yeah,” said Reina mockingly brushing Giselle off. “Anyway, Sinnoh has extensive underground caverns that are full of neat stuff. You can go into the caverns if you have permission to dig around. I thought the train would mess all that up because it had to go through portions of it. Apparently the underground is even more extensive than I thought because there’s still plenty of room for treasure hunting. You can still go down there as normal because it’s not like the train didn’t take up as much space as I thought.”

    “The Underground is one of my favorite places in Sinnoh,” said Luz. “The treasure is so, like, awesome. Once I dug up a nice Dome Fossil and got it turned into a Kabuto in Oreburgh City. Eventually it evolved into the amazing Kabutops I have on my team now.

    “Nice,” said Giselle. “How do you get permission to go into the Underground though?”

    “You have to get it in Eterna City,” Luz answered.

    Three minutes later, a light appeared down the tunnel; it grew larger and larger until the train came into full view. Giselle was amazed. The train, bearing the legend “Sinnoh Transit,” was lustrous and virtually silent. It was painted glossy black with a light blue stripe than ran the length of the train. As soon as the doors of the train open, there was chaos as people both boarded the train and exited it at the same time. Giselle was surprised there was no pile up. To make sure she wasn’t separated this time, she grabbed onto Carmen’s backpack strap to keep up with her. They headed to the nearest door and entered onto the train, moving quickly to get seats together.

    “Whew,” said Vivienne as she straightened her coat and dress. “That was worse than the Saffron Station. At least the trains here are nicer though.”

    Giselle had never ridden a train before so she had nothing to compare it to, but she had to agree that they were nice. The blue reclining seats were nice and comfortable and there were plenty of cup holders. The group was fortunate enough to get seats facing each other so they didn’t have to yell across the aisle or turn around to talk to each other. Though, she could barely feel the train moving, Giselle could tell they were going fast. They settled down for what would be a calm ride despite the many people around them. Right when Luz was about to say something her phone rang.

    “Excuse me,” she said before she pulled her phone, which resembled Carmen’s, out her bag and answered it. “Hello? Oh, hey Tony!” Luz’s face fell. “You’re kidding right? All right, I’m on the train now so I’ll be there soon. Bye.”

    She put her phone back in her bag. “Bad news guys. Apparently Carla had some kind of freak out in the Hearthome City contest hall so I’ll be getting off at the station there.”

    “I’m really sorry,” said Reina. “I was looking forward to hearing more about Hoenn.”

    “Oh, don’t worry,” Luz said. “I’m still coming to Canalave, but I probably won’t be there until after your sister leaves. Will you still be around then?”

    “Most likely,” Reina answered. “I need to erase Giselle’s bad memories of the place.”

    “It was very nice to meet you though,” Luz said to Carmen.

    “You too,” said Carmen. “And I might tell Ramón that you said he was hot just to see how he takes it.”

    “Go right ahead. I meant what I said. I may come to Johto just to see him sometime. But don’t worry: I’m not a stalker.” Luz’s eyes shifted in mock suspiciousness.

    They all laughed. To pass time, Vivienne told the story of the story of her adventures in Canalave. She ran into a lot of the same stuff Giselle did, including the stares. The difference was that Vivienne stood up for herself despite looking like a twelve year old and probably wearing something pink and frilly and Giselle had to admire her for that. Including a brief stop in at the small Solaceon Station, it took about an hour to reach Hearthome City.

    “Bye everyone!” Luz said. “I’ll see you later!” And with that, Luz got off the train.

    Reina sighed. “It’ll be another two hours or so before we reach Canalave. By the way, Giselle, you’ll enjoy Hearthome City. Stop and watch a contest in the Contest Hall while you’re there.”

    “Ok,” said Giselle. She began to imagine what it would be like to finally start her journey properly. What kind of things would she see and experience? And what kind of stories would she tell? Giselle thought of all her Pokémon and smiled to herself. She would end up spending the next two hours daydreaming. Carmen telling her about Jubilife when the train stopped there only fueled her dreams as she though of the technology wonderland. She prayed with all of her being that her hopes would not be dashed this time. It had taken a long time for her to even dare to hope in this manner again.

    Finally, they arrived in Canalave, back where Giselle’s Sinnoh adventures had begun. Since this was the terminus, everyone had to depart the train. Instead of Veilstone’s rock walls, the walls here were beautifully tiled. Giselle could see the multiple exits that led to different areas of the city. The girls followed the stream of people up the main escalator, however. This Canlave Station entrance was above ground rather than entirely underground like Veilstone Station. There were restaurants and stores here too but nothing like Veilstone. However, the things here looked more expensive and it was even harder to drag Vivienne away.

    They had arrived at twilight. Giselle was once again exposed to the canals, the sites, smells, and the people of Canalave. But this time it was different. Giselle had a more hopeful outlook on life so that the city seemed nicer than it was than when she’d first arrived in Sinnoh. She never appreciated how beautiful the sunset over the ocean was. All of the water was dyed with the reds, oranges, and yellows from the setting sun. Ships docked in the harbor off cargo and passengers. Already, the nightlife was starting as shown by the well dressed people. Giselle was attracting stares once more for her white hair, but they were looks of curiosity and admiration rather than looks of scorn.

    “Ah,” Carmen breathed. “I love being back here. I had forgotten how good it smelled.”

    “Speaking of,” said Vivienne. “Can we get something to eat? I’ve heard that the food was world class here.”

    “Sure,” said Reina. “But not around here, the prices are sky high. By the way, since we’re going out—“

    “No,” said Carmen flatly. “There will be no dressing up tonight. I don't feel like it.”

    Reina muttered something that sounded like “killjoy” under her breath as they walked along. They passed by more clothing boutiques, and even passed the one Giselle had bought her clothes in her first night in Sinnoh. Finally, Vivienne couldn’t resist any longer and she had to stop at one of the stores.

    “Well since we’re stopping anyway,” said Reina happily.

    Carmen rolled her eyes.

    “Vivienne, is what you’re wearing considered, um, normal in Kanto?” Reina asked delicately.

    “No,” she answered as she shifted through the clothes rack. “It’s mostly a Resort Gorgeous thing. And even then, not everyone there dresses like this. Oh, this is nice,” she added as she picked up a nice gold top.

    In the end they all ended up buying something and wearing it out of the store to Carmen’s dismay. Giselle found an (inexpensive) short black dress and blue leggings. Reina bought herself a pink dress that complimented her boyish figure. Vivienne got a pair of black pants to match her top. After Reina started whining, Carmen bought an emerald green shirt, jeans, and a black suit jacket.

    “Oh, come on Carmen,” said Reina. “If you didn’t really want to buy it you didn’t have to. No one made you.”

    “YOU forced me,” Carmen retorted. “And if I didn’t, I would have just listened to you whine the rest of the night.”

    “Well you have point there,” agreed Reina. “And Vivienne you look so different without the dress. That’s a good thing by the way.”

    “Thanks,” she said. She had also removed the ribbon from her hair, but she still looked about twelve. “Now, time to get something to eat.”

    The restaurant they picked served the best tasting pasta Giselle had ever put into her mouth. It was either that or she was extremely hungry because she ate more than she’d ever eaten. Vivienne, Reina, and Carmen were amazed.

    “I didn’t know you could put away that much Giselle,” said Reina in wonder.

    “Yeah, well,” Giselle said after she swallowed a forkful of pasta. “This is good and I’m hungry.”

    Vivienne took small lady like bites as she ate her food. “This is amazing,” she appraised.

    “You know,” said Carmen. She looked really thoughtful. “I can’t believe I’m leaving the day after tomorrow. I’ve never left Sinnoh before.”

    “You’re not having second thoughts are you?” asked Reina.

    “No,” said Carmen. “But I am getting a little excited. I wonder what Johto is like.”

    “I’ve heard stuff about it,” Vivienne said. “The people of Johto are supposed to more laidback. And Goldenrod City is supposed to be spectacular. It’s the largest city in the world, so it should be.”

    “That’s where my ship will arrive,” said Carmen. “Ramón said it was cool. He hates cities so if he says it’s cool, it must be.”

    “I can’t wait to visit Jubilife personally,” said Giselle. “It sounds like a lot of fun. Besides I want to get a phone like yours, Carmen.”

    “I love this phone.” Carmen whipped it out again. “But my brother said that the ones in Johto are supposed to be even more advanced than here. Those kinds of phones are called Pokégear.”

    “It always depressed me that Kanto was so technologically behind Sinnoh,” Vivienne said. “But as a trade off, we do have the culture.”

    “You know, Giselle,” Carmen began. “You should go back home some day and explore your native region.”

    “Maybe,” said Giselle skeptically. She wondered if she would ever return to Kanto at all.

    When their checks arrived, Giselle was very much surprised to see that the prices weren’t through the roof. It was by no means cheap, but not impossible either. Carmen said that in Canalave that was a steal.

    “We can stay at the Pokémon Center tonight,” said Carmen. “Let’s reserve a room before they fill up.”

    Giselle was having major flashbacks now. She remembered how bad she felt back then. They had arrived in the same Pokémon Center as Giselle did nearly a month before. Everything was the same as before. The lounge was filled with trainers and still no smell of coffee. With what happened to Vivienne, she was slightly surprised that she didn’t see the boy with the Lucario. They crossed the lounge and went into the center itself. There was no one in line to see the receptionist (the same one that Giselle had snapped at the first night), so Carmen went straight to her.

    “Excuse me, but are there any more rooms left?”

    The receptionist smiled. “You got the last one!” she handed over a key to Carmen and throwing a curious glance at Giselle. “It is room number twenty.” Giselle tried to arrange her face to look like there was nothing out of the ordinary.

    “Thank you,” said Carmen. And fortunately for Giselle, the receptionist didn’t say anything else.

    They milled around the Pokémon Center for a while and let their Pokémon out for some air. It turned out that while Vivienne had a Tyrannitar, she didn’t have a Clefairy. In fact, it seemed like Vivienne had a thing for fierce looking Pokémon. She had a Nidoking, Gyarados, Persian, and a Pinsir.

    “You just keep shattering those stereotypes don’t you, Vivienne?” Reina said.

    “Well yes,” said Vivienne smiling. “Cutesy Pokémon aren’t my thing.”

    Reina high fived her. “That is awesome! I can totally see we’re going to get along.”

    “Thanks!” said Vivienne.

    They decided to call it a night to avoid getting thrown out after Meilene and Paris got into another fight that nearly resulted in Meilene using Focus Blast on Empoleon. The room was just as nice as their bedroom had been in the trainer’s house. This time, they had a view of Canalave City from their second story room. The full moon had risen and was casting moonlight in through the skylight and onto the wood floors. There were comfortable bunk beds on either side of the room and a small dresser.

    “Hey Reina,” said Giselle. “How many nights can we stay here?”

    “Two night limit for obvious reasons,” she answered back.

    Vivienne and Giselle took the top bunks while Carmen took the bunk under Giselle, leaving the last one to Reina. It took Giselle a while to fall asleep, so she just stared at the ceiling in the meantime. She could feel something inside her, could feel that something was about to move. Her journey in Sinnoh had come in a full circle of sorts. Though she couldn’t explain it, it felt significant. It did give her time to reflect on what the past month meant to her. She’d gained four Pokémon that she loved to pieces and had a wonderful relationship with Charmander and Caterpie. It made her happy just thinking about it. Slowly her eyelids grew heavy and she finally fell into a deep sleep full of sweet dreams.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Gray clouds rolled in the next day making it dreary and oppressive. Carmen was very pensive for most of the day, and Giselle and Vivienne had to admit that the clouds were getting to them as well. But Reina was so uncharacteristically quiet that it was almost scary. All of them were worried about her, but she would talk to no one until about midday, when Carmen finally managed to get her to talk.

    “I don’t know why I feel like this,” she confessed. “It’s not like we haven’t been apart before…” she trailed off.

    “So that’s what this is about?” said Carmen in mild surprise. “For some reason I didn’t expect that of you.”

    “I didn’t expect it either,” Reina admitted. “I mean, I was fine yesterday.”

    Giselle had a sudden inspiration. “I know! Why don’t you two spend the rest of Carmen’s last day together? You can get some sisterly bonding time.”

    Reina seem to brighten at once. “If that’s okay with you and Vivienne…”

    “It’s perfectly fine with me,” Vivienne said at once.

    “And it’s good to me,” said Carmen.

    Reina had that mischievous glint in her eye. She smiled at Carmen in a way that slightly worried her sister. “Well let’s get going,” she said as she pulled on Carmen’s arm “After all we have stuff to do.”

    “Hey wait! What are you doing?!” They heard Carmen protesting as Reina dragged her off.

    Giselle and Vivienne laughed. “Have a good time!” Giselle called after them.

    But the day wouldn’t just be fruitful for Reina. By talking to Vivienne back in their room in the Pokémon center, Giselle figured out a major mystery about her mother’s past.

    “Wait, your mom is Monique Valentine? I knew your name sounded familiar.” Vivienne said incredulously when Giselle was telling her the story of her family.

    “Yeah?” said Giselle curiously.

    “My mom is Genevieve Devereaux! She’s a former model too. She used to tell me all about the catfights she go into with your mother.”

    “No way,” said Giselle in realization. “So that must be the Genevieve my mom is always muttering under her breath about! My mother never went into detail about any of that stuff.”

    “Then I have a story for you,” said Vivienne. And so began the scandalous story of the two former models and bitter rivals. Vivienne told her everything from the catfights, the man stealing, the backstabbing, and the legendary Pokémon battles between the two. She also went into detail about what happened to her mother once the younger models appeared on the scene. “After a bad period, Mother reinvented herself as a coordinator and even won the Ribbon Cup. She’s retired now, but she still offers advice to anyone who asks. What about Monique?”

    “Let’s just say it wasn’t so pleasant,” said Giselle lightly.

    “Ouch,” said Vivienne.

    Giselle and Vivienne had so much to talk about they didn’t notice the hours pass by or when it began to darken, so it was a surprise when Reina and Carmen walked into the room. Both sisters looked much more cheerful than before.

    “I take it you’re feeling better Reina?” Giselle said.

    “I am,” she replied. “And I promise there won’t be anymore emo moments.”

    “Um, what’s an emo moment,” asked Giselle and Vivienne at the same time.

    Reina and Carmen laughed.

    The girls’ day ended on a happy note, but Giselle found she couldn’t sleep nor apparently could Carmen. Giselle could hear her digging through her bag for something in the bunk under her but because the room was dark, she couldn’t see what she was doing. A cold heavy rain was falling outside Vivienne and Reina were fast asleep and their light snores fill the room.

    “Carmen?” Giselle said quietly.

    “Oh, Giselle,” she said. “I didn’t know you were still awake. Are you feeling all right?”

    “Well, it’s just taking me a while to fall asleep. Are you feeling excited?”

    Carmen sighed. “I am actually. And I was thinking about you and how much you’ve changed.”

    “I was thinking about that too, and it still feels like some sort of dream,” said Giselle.

    “Just a month before, you ran up to Reina and me carrying a poisoned Charmander and had a breakdown shortly afterward.”

    Giselle grinned in the darkness. “It’s all thanks to you and Reina that I changed.”

    “We won’t take all the credit. It was in you all along,” Carmen said. “We just helped bring it out.”

    “I just want to say thanks for all your help and for being a good friend.” Giselle meant all of it from the bottom of her heart.

    “You’re very welcome,” Carmen replied back.

    “By the way, what are you doing?” Giselle asked. Carmen was still digging around in her bag.

    “Just getting a little something ready for tomorrow.”

    “Oh,” sighed Giselle. Afterward, she just left Carmen in silence. She regarded both Carmen and Reina as something like mentors and would greatly miss Carmen. Feeling a bit more drowsy than before, Giselle waited for sleep to come as she stared at the ceiling once more.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Giselle was relieved to see that the clouds had rolled out by the next morning. The weak sunlight bathed the whole room in soft yellow light. The rain had made everything much chiller than before, so that everyone needed a coat today when they went out. They could see their breath as they walked to the harbor to see Carmen off. Everything was wet and soggy but the air was clean and refreshing rejuvenating everyone. They followed the signs to the right ship which was the total opposite of the ship Giselle took the Sinnoh. It was sleek and clean with no rust in sight.

    “Well, this is it,” said Carmen. “The decision I made to go with my brother on a research mission has finally hit home. But I can’t wait to see what my mom’s native region is really like.”

    “That’ll be some adventure,” Reina said. “Make sure to call me whenever something interesting happens, all right?”

    “All right,” Carmen agreed. “And Vivienne it was very nice to meet you.”

    “It was a pleasure,” said Vivienne, bowing slightly. “I hope we’ll see each other again.”

    “I’m sure we will if you stay in contact with these two,” said Carmen. She then turned to Giselle. “Giselle, Giselle,” she shook her head. “I can’t say anything that hasn’t been said or thought about. I have something for you though.” She pulled out a black draw string pouch from her bag and gave it to Giselle. “Just consider a gift. Wait till later to open it.”

    Giselle wanted dearly to open it right then, but she resisted. “Thanks so much.” Giselle was sure whatever it was, it would make her happy.

    Suddenly, a horn on the ship blasted and a warning alarm sounded to alert everyone to get off the drawbridge up ahead. They saw the bridge slowly open up across its middle to get ready for the ship that would pass through.

    “That’s my cue to hurry,” said Carmen in a very non-rushed way. “Bye guys.” She gave Giselle and Vivienne a hug. When she got to Reina, they just stared at each other for a moment, exchanged unsaid things between them, before hugging each other. They saw Carmen mysteriously whisper something in her sister’s ear before turning and giving one last wave to them all before running on the ship.

    Giselle didn’t know what that feeling was in her chest. Simultaneously, it was sadness and happiness. Sadness because she was saying good bye to a friend, and happiness because she knew then that she had made a friend for life and knew they would see each other again. Soon the ship began to lurch into motion. Slowly, it moved forward out of the harbor and into the canal where it picked up a bit of speed. Some people had stopped to look at the ship make its journey up the canal. Reina, Giselle, and Vivienne watched the ship until it was out of sight.
     
    #23 Carmen Lopez, Jun 21, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  24. OOC: The first of two~

    The girls continued to stare out over the deep blue ocean for a while after that. To Giselle, it felt so strange not to have Carmen with them, but it was something she would have to get used to. She knew it was going to happen someday, but that knowledge in no way lessened the impact of Carmen’s leaving.

    “I noticed something,” Reina said suddenly. “Carmen seemed like she was missing something but I can’t figure out what it was.”

    Vivienne frowned slightly. “You’re right but what was it?”

    Giselle was silent because she hadn’t noticed a thing and for some reason, she felt embarrassed for it. They were all quiet for a while and therefore jumped at the sound of a shout right behind them.

    “HI GUYS!”

    Vivienne, Reina, and Giselle whipped around and found themselves facing Luz. In her absence she had added a thick burnt orange scarf and matching hat and gloves to her familiar black wool pea coat. “I didn’t expect to find you this soon!” she exclaimed.

    “I was wondering how we were going to get in contact with you,” said Reina. “We forgot to ask for your number.”

    Luz looked toward the ocean. “It looks like I didn’t get here fast enough,” Luz observed. “Carmen is already gone.”

    “You just missed her,” said Giselle.

    “Ah well,” she said. “That was my bad luck. And right now, what I require is coffee or hot chocolate to warm me up.”

    “Sounds good,” said Reina.

    “Is all of Sinnoh really obsessed with coffee?” Giselle asked as they began to walk.

    “I wouldn’t go so far as to say ‘obsessed,’” said Reina. “But it is very popular here. You’ve never had it before, have you Giselle?”

    “No, but I’d love to try some today,” Giselle said.

    “Have you Vivienne?” asked Luz.

    “Actually I haven’t,” said Vivienne. “Tea was always the thing in Kanto.”

    “Which is really ironic because I really hate tea,” Giselle responded.

    “Well coffee is popular in Hoenn too and is actually where most of the world’s coffee is imported from,” said Luz. “Well, here’s a coffee shop!”

    Giselle shouldn’t have been surprised that they had come upon one so quickly. This coffee shop in particular looked as though it was made of the same wood that made up a rowboat. On the inside, however, it looked and smelled like a regular coffee shop (even though Giselle had only seen one other). People sat at the tables chatting with friends or working of laptops over a cup of coffee and some kind of pastry. Soft acoustic music played in the background to create the serene atmosphere. Luz led the way up the counter to order her coffee.

    “Hihowareyoutoday!MayItakeyourorder?” the cashier said very quickly and crisply. Giselle raised an eyebrow. It was apparent that the cashier had had way too much caffeine.

    Luz took a deep breathe and delivered her order. “Iwouldliketohaveasmallhalfcafdecafmochafrappachinowithashotofcherryflavoringandashotofsoymilk.”

    At this, Giselle's eyes widened. Reina delivered her order for a smalldoubleshotexpressocappuccinolattewithtwoshotsofvanillaflavoringandwhipcreamontop just as quickly as Luz did. Vivienne tried valiantly to order in the same rapid fire pace, but she kept it simple with her smalllattewithwhipcream. When it was Giselle turn, she felt as though she had been asked to give a public speech. She knew that she should keep it simple with something she’d never had before, but she still felt like a Stantler in the headlights.

    “Um, I think I, um, just want a….plain coffee,” Giselle said shakily. She heard Luz and Reina gasp behind her.

    Now it was the cashier’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “Areyousureyoudon’twantanythingelsewiththat?”

    “Nope, that’s it!” said Giselle with a bit more confidence.

    The waitress shot her a dirty look before handing her a bright blue cube to put on their table. Luz picked a table in the corner and they all sat down. Reina sighed.

    “Giselle, I hate to say it, but your coffee is not going to be good,” she said gravely.

    “Why not?” Giselle asked. “Did I totally mess that up?”

    “Well,” began Luz. “You ordered black coffee with nothing in it. It’s not going to taste very good.”

    “Oh,” said Giselle. No wonder the cashier had looked at her strangely. She was a little disappointed that her first coffee drinking experience would be bad, but there was nothing to be done now.

    A little while later, a waitress brought them their coffee in black cups. Luz’s, Vivienne’s, and Reina’s coffee were various shades on brown whereas Giselle’s was solid black, as black as the cup it was in. As Giselle lifted her cup of coffee to her lips, Reina and Luz both held their breath. Giselle cooled it for a few seconds before taking a sip. She instantly flashed back to the Durin Berry Sneasel had given her. The hot bitterness spread throughout her mouth perking her taste buds.

    “This is quite good,” Giselle said.

    “Are you serious?” asked Luz incredulously.

    “I sure am,” said Giselle earnestly. “The bitterness reminds me of a Durin Berry!” Luz cringed at the mere mention of the berry. Giselle knew all about the berries of Sinnoh now because her Pokédex had a berry identifier as well.

    Reina laughed. “So I shouldn’t be surprised that you like the stuff.”

    “Mine is pretty good too,” appraised Vivienne. “It’s sweet!”

    “Yeah, but now I wish I had gotten the shot of vanilla like Reina did,” Luz said. “The cherry’s okay, but I think Vanilla would’ve been better.”

    “Mine is just perfect,” said Reina as she enjoyed every sip.

    “Oh, by the way, Reina,” Luz said suddenly. “I have a business proposition for you.

    “Oh?” said Reina intrigued.

    “You see, I managed to get two plane tickets to Lilycove Airport in Hoenn for $150.”

    “What? It costs like $300 per ticket this time of the year! How did you manage that?” Reina asked, amazed.

    “It was a discount,” said Luz brightly. “But the only thing is, two people have to be present the day of the plane’s departure or I’ll have to pay full price for a ticket. So….I’m wondering if you would like to come with me?” she added quickly.

    It didn’t take Reina long to make her decision. “There’s no way I can pass up a deal like that. When does the plane leave?”

    “One week from today!” Luz said excitedly, thrilled that Reina had said yes.

    Giselle was shocked and a little sad that Reina was also leaving, but was relieved that she had a week to say goodbye this time.

    “You know what means, right Giselle?” Reina asked with deviousness in her eyes.

    “Um, no?” said Giselle uncertainly.

    “We have one week to erase all of your bad memories of this place!” Reina said boldly.

    “Considering I spent less than twenty-four hours here last time, don’t think that’s a bit much?” asked Giselle.

    Reina was looking as though Giselle has a point. “Well, anyway, we should still plan to do something everyday for the rest of this week!”

    “I like that idea,” said Luz. “I just wish it wasn’t so cold outside.”

    “By the way, Giselle,” Reina interjected. “Wait to open Carmen’s gift until our very last night here. It’ll be the climax of the week. Don’t you agree?”

    Giselle was eager to see her gift that very night, but she agreed to it anyway. Besides it sounded as though Reina would have them very busy so she wouldn’t dwell on the gift.

    Vivienne drained the last bit of her coffee and sat her cup down on the table. “So what are we doing today?”

    “I was thinking we could go down to the docks. I’m sure Paris would like to be in the ocean again,” said Reina brightly. “He loves cold water.”

    “Nice,” said Luz. “I’m a water type trainer, so I try to get to the ocean as much as possible. That’s not a problem in Hoenn.”

    “You never said you were a water Pokémon trainer,” said Vivienne. “What Pokémon do you have with you?”

    “I guess I forgot to mention it,” said Luz shrugging. “But I have my starter Swampert, Mantine, Lanturn, Walrein, Ludicolo, and Sharpedo and a few others in storage. I keep saying I’m going to nickname them some day, but I haven’t gotten around to it.”

    “Wow,” said Reina. “I’ve never seen some of those before. Let’s get to the docks!”

    “But wait,” said Vivienne frowning. “What about Kabutops?”

    “I had to switch him out for Ludicolo,” Luz explained. “I forgot you had a liking for fierce looking Pokémon.” And Vivienne indeed looked disappointed at not being able to see a Pokémon with scythes for forearms.

    They paid for their coffees and headed out. Along the way, Reina explained her steel trainer aspirations to Luz and Vivienne as Giselle just listened. Giselle had no idea what it would be like to train a single Pokémon type. She didn’t feel she had an affinity toward any type like the ones Luz and Reina had for water and steel types respectively. Giselle looked up to see a small empty beach and an extensive system of docks that led to a small island a short distance away. Luz ran out onto the beach as the other followed.

    “You have no idea how weird it feels to be on beach with winter clothes,” she called out.

    As far as the weirdness went, Giselle was neutral on that matter. But as Luz was used to region with a much warmer climate, it was understandable. The girls released their Pokémon onto the beach. Paris, Vivienne’s Gyarados, and Luz’s near entire team headed to the ocean. Only Ludicolo stayed with Luz and it was one of the strangest Pokémon Giselle has ever seen. It greatly resembled a walking Pinap Berry with a duck bill with a cheerful expression to boot. Onix, Persian, Nidoking and Charmander stayed as far away from the water as possible. Magneton and Beldum drifted along aimlessly, while everyone else played at the water’s edge.

    Luz’s Pokémon were very fascinating to Giselle. Swampert was the joker of group and got along well with Paris. Walrein looked very king-like and very content in the freezing water. Lanturn was a very good natured Pokémon who played with Giselle’s Pokémon close to the shore. Sharpedo looked nothing short of vicious, but Luz said he was sweet with her Pokémon. He only went berserk when he saw someone harming them or Luz herself—rather like Sneasel was becoming. Mantine was a huge, much bigger than a normal Mantine and was pretty fast. He practically flew underwater and did high, graceful jumps out of the water. Luz said she often rode on his back in Hoenn’s warm water.

    But Ludicolo took the cake. He was perpetually happy and enjoyed entertaining the girls. Giselle thought she’d seen it all until Luz took a small radio out of her bag. When the music started so did Ludicolo. It pop locked, wind milled, and did all kinds of dance moves Giselle never thought possible of something shaped like a pineapple shaped Pokémon. Reina, Giselle, and Vivienne laughed their heads off when Luz and Giselle’s Duskull joined in—even though Duskull only spun in circles.

    “So he’s always like this?” Giselle choked through the laugher.

    “Basically,” said Luz, breathless from the dancing. “He always puts a smile on my face whenever I’m feeling down.”

    Luz hit the off button on the radio and Ludicolo’s dancing stopped but he was still as happy as ever. Duskull was too dizzy to levitate and promptly fell on the ground. Giselle picked him up and held him until he regained his sense of balance.

    “Hey, Giselle,” said Reina out of the blue. “Can I see your Pokédex for a second? I want to show you something.”

    “Sure,” said Giselle, still cheerful over Ludicolo’s and Duskull’s (would be) dancing. She handed it to Reina who immediately began pressing buttons on the touch screen. Giselle was determined to spend this last week with Reina being positive. She would greatly miss her but she knew she would be all right.

    “Look up, Giselle!” Reina said suddenly.

    Giselle barely had time to look up when a bright light blinded her. She grimaced and lights now danced in front of her eyes. “Hey, what’s going on?”

    “Oops, I forgot to turn off the flash,” said Reina guiltily. “I didn’t think it would be that bad in the day time. Anyway, the Pokédex also has a trainer card option. It’s sort of like a trainer ID. I took your picture for it.” Reina looked down at the picture she took and cringed slightly—something Giselle didn’t miss.

    “What’s wrong with the picture?” said Giselle.

    “Oh, nothing,” said Reina as she pressed more buttons.

    “Let me see,” said Giselle in a low voice.

    Unwillingly, Reina handed over the Pokédex and Giselle nearly died when she saw the picture. She had one eye closed and the rest of her face was in a scowl. It was the ugliest picture she’d ever taken, and that included that disastrous school picture in the third grade. She looked at Reina in horror.

    “How do I delete this?” she asked urgently.

    “Well you see,” said Reina as she slowly backed away. “I tried and I don’t know how. Apparently the Pokédex has locked in the picture.” And with that Reina promptly took off running, laughing along the way.

    “REINA!” yelled Giselle and she chased after her. “THIS ISN’T FUNNY!”

    Vivienne and Luz laughed as Giselle ran after Reina along the beach. Sneasel, however, thought Giselle really needed help and ran in front of Reina who didn’t see him. She tripped over him and fell face first into the sand. Sneasel then jumped on her back in a self-satisfied way, apparently proud of himself for bringing down a supposed enemy. He looked at Giselle for her approval. She had managed to stop short of the pile up and began to laugh at Reina and Sneasel.

    “Oh, Sneasel, I didn’t really need help! We were just playing around!” she said giggling.

    “Sneasel,” he looked disappointed in himself for not being able to see that Giselle wasn’t in danger.

    “Don’t look so down,” said Giselle warmly. “It’s good to know that you’ll come to my rescue when I’m in trouble.

    Sneasel looked slightly happier as she jumped down from Reina’s back.

    “Ugh,” came Reina’s muffled voice from the sand. “Why does this keep happening to me?” She raised her face from the ground and everyone saw that sand was clinging to her eyebrows and laughed.

    “That reminds me of something Sharpedo did,” said Luz as Reina brushed the sand from her face. “A boy was trying to ask me out, but Sharpedo was a wee bit over protective, thought I was in danger, and nearly Skull Bashed him. Poor boy, he nearly wet himself in fear.”

    “Your Pokémon really are something,” said Vivienne as everyone laughed.

    “Tell me about it,” Luz said happily. “We’ve had some fun times…”

    They spent the rest of that day on the docks as they began to fill of with people. All four of the girls had a battle and all of them except Giselle won their battles. But Giselle wasn’t upset—after all, the battle was good and she did her best.

    “What’s this?” asked Reina mockingly. “Did Giselle lose a battle and yet didn’t fall to pieces?”

    “Nope,” said Giselle happily.

    “Our little Giselle really is growing up,” said Reina.

    ~ ~ ~​

    True to Reina’s word, they had an activity for every day for the next week. The day after the docks, they visited the Canalave Gym leader and were permitted to watch a battle between Byron, the gym leader and a challenger, a girl from Hearthome City. Reina swooned over every move Byron’s steel types made. He was a very formidable trainer and had some of the most powerful Pokémon Giselle had ever seen. He defeated the challenger with relative ease and she had to run to the Pokémon Center after her Staravia was slammed with a Gyro Ball from Byron’s Bronzong. Afterward, he greeted Reina and gave her a Metal Coat as a gift.

    “Was that not the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?” said Reina as they left the Gym.

    “To tell the truth, I’m a little afraid of what it’ll be like when I battle him,” said Giselle nervously.

    “He’s powerful,” Reina agreed. “And you’ll have to be clever to find a way around his Pokémon’s defenses.”

    “Yeah,” said Giselle distantly.

    On day two, they decided to take it easy and do a little shopping. Luz found out that she could but Net Balls and Dive Balls in Canalave so she loaded up on them. As she only captured water types, it was really all she needed. Giselle bought a few more Pokéballs and more supplies. After they went shopping, they went on a restaurant tour of the city and ate so much good food, they nearly burst. Vivienne used a video phone to call home to her mother. Genevieve Devereaux still had her model looks with her blonde hair and blue eyes. She was happy to see her daughter.

    “I’m glad to see you’re safe,” she said. “How is Canalave? Do you like it?”

    “It’s great, Mother,” said Vivienne. “I tried coffee for the first time a couple of days ago. And by the way, I’m with Monique Valentine’s daughter now.”

    At the mention of the name, Genevieve narrowed her eyes slightly, but she recovered almost immediately. “Really?” she asked curiously.

    Vivienne pulled Giselle beside her. “This is her!”

    Giselle was a little awkward as she said hi. “I’d also like to say that I’m nothing like my mother,” she added just in case the thought had crossed Genevieve’s mind.

    Genevieve laughed. “So she hasn’t changed at all, has she? I’ll have to talk to you later,” she said to Vivienne. “I have a young model and coordinator that I’m meeting with tomorrow on the other line named Isabel Lopez and--“

    “You mean, my sister Isabel?” Reina interrupted.

    “Oh, is she your sister?” asked Genevive. “Let me put her on then. Immediately the screen split and on the left appeared a young woman of striking beauty. She had long straight black hair, Carmen’s silver eyes, and a commanding expression that could alternatively drive people away from her or draw them to her.

    “Hey Isabel,” Reina said.

    “Oh, hi,” said Isabel. “I was wondering why I got put on. But where’s Carmen? Don’t tell me she actually went with Ramón on his research mission.”

    “She sure did,” said Reina and Isabel sighed.

    “I didn’t think she’d actually go considering how weird she thinks his missions are,” Isabel said shaking her head. “But then again, they are a lot alike so maybe she’ll be all right. Well, it was good seeing you, little sister, but I have to go. Hugs and kisses!” Isabel did a virtual kiss on each of Reina’s cheeks. Vivienne said good bye to her mother and the phone went black.

    “You know, it’s horrible when she does that in person,” said Reina. “The sophisticated kiss. I dodge it whenever she does that. It’s cool that she’s in Kanto now.”

    “Just how weird are Ramón’s missions?” asked Luz blushing slightly.

    “I don’t think they’re weird at all,” said Reina. “Most of his missions involve proving the existence of legendary Pokémon, which of course, Carmen doesn’t believe in.” Reina shook her head, disparaging over her sister’s disbelief. “They are real and Ramón and I both know it.”

    “They really are real,” said Luz. Reina’s ears perked. “I saw a legendary dragon Pokémon in Hoenn called Rayquaza.”

    Reina inhaled sharply. “Do tell!” she said eagerly.

    “Well, I was surfing on a route outside of Pacifidlog Town, and there was a pop up thunderstorm with some awful lightning. And while I’m praying I don’t get struck, I see a shadow ripple across the water when lightning flashed across the sky. As suddenly as that storm appeared, it was gone. I looked up to the sky and I see something retreating high in the sky…”

    “That was definitely Rayquaza,” Reina agreed. “And that was near the Sky Pillar which is Rayquaza’s roost.”

    “I’m really missing Hoenn right now,” said Luz longingly.

    “Well, we’ll be here this time next week,” said Reina. “I wonder if I’ll get to see Rayquaza. By the way do you believe in legendary Pokémon, Vivienne?”

    She looked thoughtful. “I’m not sure. At times I thought I’ve seen things, but when I investigate it turns out to be nothing. So honestly, I’m open to the whole idea, but I’m not totally convinced.”

    “One day you will be,” said Reina satisfactorily.

    “I really want to see one now,” said Giselle eagerly.

    Reina smiled “If you stick around long enough you will. Sinnoh has more stories about legendary Pokémon that any other region.”

    Giselle smiled at herself at the thought of seeing a legendary Pokémon for herself. She was looking forward to the next day for whatever Reina had planned. And she didn’t disappoint. They headed back to the docks to go Pokémon fishing. Giselle had never been before and was therefore very excited. Giselle was able to rent one while Reina, Vivienne, and Luz had their own rods. Everyone had a different lure. Reina had one shaped like a smiley face; Giselle had a Yanma lure; Vivienne sported a Goldeen shaped one, while Luz had one in the shape of a human index finger, which freaked everyone out.

    “Hey, don’t knock it till you try it,” said Luz, waving the finger lure at them. “You wouldn’t believe how well it works. I’ve even caught a Gyarados with it once.”

    The lure turned out to work extraordinarily well. She kept catching Pokémon after Pokémon, mostly Finneon and their evolution Lumineon. After a while though, something gave a huge jerk on Luz’s line, nearly pulling her into the freezing water. Her Sharpedo, who was swimming nearby, immediately went on high alert to be ready to help his trainer. Luz had to stand up to put more muscle into pulling the line, but what ever it was had a lot of fight left in it. She insisted on doing it on her own, however, and turned down the others’ attempts to help her.

    “Wow, this is a big one,” grunted Luz. “Is it another Gyarados?”

    Without warning, the Pokémon on the end of the line jumped out of the water an attempted to attack Luz. Her eyes widened at the sight of the Octillery and she immediately pulled out a Net Ball from her waist and enlarged it. Giselle immediately took out her Pokédex and identified it, but there was something different about the Octillery on her Pokédex screen and the one that was struggling with Luz. When he saw Octillery, Sharpedo lunged with his teeth bared. Octillery realized it had bit off more than it could chew when it caught sight of Sharpedo’s brutal fangs. It practically jumped in Luz’s Net Ball when she threw the ball at it. It twitched three times before becoming still. Within a few seconds, the ball and the Octillery disappeared to the Pokémon storage system.

    Everyone was stunned. “Luz,” breathed Reina. “That was a shiny Octillery!”

    “Oh, so that’s what a shiny Pokémon is,” said Giselle excitedly. She had heard of them but had never seen one because they were supposed to be very rare. The Octillery in her Pokédex was red while Luz’s was a brownish color.

    “I wasn’t going to let him get away, but I didn’t think it would be that easy. Sharpedo basically scared him into the Pokéball,” said Luz grinning. “I’ve always wanted an Octillery and now I have a shiny one. So lucky!”

    Iron Island was next on Reina’s list for the week. According to Reina, Iron Island is an abandoned mine that was full of wild Pokémon and was an excellent place to train. It was very cave like but Giselle could see the last vestiges of the mining that once went on there. Abandoned mine carts littered the landscape every now and then and Giselle could see metal drums all over the place. The silence in the old mine was periodically punctured by the sounds of wild Pokémon.

    Vivienne’s Nidoking impressed them all with his immense strength. He smashed apart any boulders and any other obstacles that were in their way. Luz decided to do some training with her Octillery. His attacks were powerful, but he was a bit of coward. He completely freaked out when a Golbat flew by. However when Luz encouraged him, he gained a bit of courage; enough of it to use an Ice Beam attack on the Golbat and knock it out. Out of Giselle’s Pokémom, Duskull enjoyed being in the cave most—just as Giselle thought. She also made a mental note to come back whenever she challenged Byron to a gym battle.

    Reina’s next adventure was a little odd to Giselle.

    “Erm, a library?” said Giselle uncertainly. “You want to visit a library?”

    “Not just a library. The Canalave Library,” Reina corrected her. “You can learn all about the legendary Pokémon around Sinnoh, and other fascinating stories. Ramón used to take me there all the time when he was here. It’ll be an interesting experience.”

    Giselle still wasn’t convinced. When they first entered the library, it didn’t look remarkable at all—at least until they got to the top floor. The very atmosphere was different from the rest of the library. It felt very mysterious there, almost as if time itself had stopped. Some of the books there were very old and were almost too faded to read. Reina, however, made a beeline straight for a certain book as if she’d done it a million times. She pulled it off the shelf and set it on a nearby table as everyone gathered around.

    “These are a collection of all of my favorite stories of the Sinnoh region,” said Reina. “This only gives a shortened version of them, but it’s still really good.”

    “So it’s a book of myths,” said Vivienne, interested.

    “No, not myths,” Reina corrected again. “Myths aren’t real. These stories are.”

    Vivienne looked as though she wanted to dispute that, but she decided against it. Giselle found all of the “stories” in the book very interesting. The one that stuck out to her most was a Sinnoh Folk Story. It said that at one time there was no distinction between human and Pokémon and that they even ate at the same table. She had a flashback of the restaurant in Veilstone where Meilene ate at the same table with them. Giselle wondered how many other aspects of these stories were in Sinnoh daily life. By the time they left the library they knew all of the supposed legendary Pokémon of Sinnoh from Uxie to Arceus.

    The next and final adventure was one of the creepiest experiences that Giselle had ever had. Reina had said that she was going to prove the existence of the legendary Pokémon Darkrai. By this time Giselle knew that Reina was a little too obsessed with legendaries for her own good, but even she wanted to know if Reina could actually do it. She waited until it was dark to tell them the story.

    “Okay, there have been all kinds of stories of people in Canalave who have fallen asleep only be plagued by nightmares they couldn’t wake up from,” Reina explained in a mysterious tone. “The only thing these people had in common was that they were all near the Harbor Inn at some point before they fell asleep that night. It just has to be the work of Darkrai, but everyone seems skeptical. So we’re going to walk by that old inn and then when we go to sleep Darkrai will torment us. Now, let’s head to the Harbor Inn now!”

    By then both Giselle and Vivienne were starting to feel uneasy despite Reina’s and Luz’s cheerful conversations. Why on earth would someone be excited about possibility of being tormented with nightmares? Giselle had a shrewd suspicion that Vivienne was hiding the fact that she shared Carmen’s beliefs about legendary Pokémon. But both Giselle and Vivienne went along with the plan. As they neared closer and closer to the inn, Giselle began to believe her imagination was playing tricks with her. It sincerely felt as though an ominous feeling was growing more intense by the second. The number of people began to dwindle as they got closer and closer…

    Soon they found themselves in front of the inn. The sign out front was faded and the words “The Harbor Inn” were barely legible. It looked like an old run down wooden building. There was no sign that told people to stay out, but it was locked up tight—Reina couldn’t even turn the doorknob. Giselle felt the menacing presence, but no one else seemed to. Vivienne now looked skeptical instead of uneasy, and none of the girls besides Giselle were remotely afraid. If she didn’t get away from that place she was likely to lose it.

    “I think we should go now,” said Giselle hurriedly.

    Reina didn’t seem to notice anything. “I think you’re right. We’ve spent enough time here. Why don’t we camp out since we’re not so far from the city’s boundaries?”

    Giselle didn’t like the idea of spending the night outdoors after that creepy experience, but she didn’t say anything. She feigned calm as she said, “I can open the bag Carmen gave me too.”

    “Goody,” said Luz brightly. “Off to the woods!”

    Glad to leave the presence of the Harbor Inn, Giselle followed right behind Reina who was leading. The further they got from that place the better Giselle felt. The moon was in that not quite full phase where it was still just as beautiful and gave off plenty of light. They decided to set up camp in a clearing in the peaceful woods. Reina was so eager to get to sleep she convinced them all to set up there tents. Reina and Luz eagerly ducked into their own tents eager to see if Darkrai would haunt them as they slept. Vivienne sighed and bid Giselle goodnight as she climbed into her own pale pink tent. Just that quickly, they all had forgotten about the gifts.

    Giselle didn’t want them to disturb them even though she knew it was too soon for them to fall asleep. There was also a part of Giselle that wanted to be alone to see what Carmen had left her. She quickly entered into her tent, but it was too dark to see of course. Giselle released Charmander to use his tail flame for light and he was happy to be of use to Giselle as he always was. She dug around her waist bag until her hands found the soft felt bag. Giselle opened it and poured the contents, which included a beautiful shining stone, a gray hooked claw, a piece of gray cloth, a pink Pokétch, and a note, onto the floor of tent.

    The note was the first thing that Giselle went for. She seemed to hear Carmen’s voice in her head as she read her neat handwriting.

    Dear Giselle,

    I thought I would leave you with some useful items for your Pokémon journey. Three of these items, the Shiny Stone, Reaper Cloth, and Razor Claw, help with evolution. I’ll let you figure out when to use these items and on which Pokémon. I’m also giving you my Pokétch because you can now make better use of it than I can. It already has a lot of applications on it and you can always add more when they are released. However I want you to remember that “belonging” in Sinnoh is more than just the clothes we wear or the stuff we have. I wrote my number on the back of the note so you can call me whenever something major happens.

    Love, Carmen

    Giselle smiled to herself. The letter was as to the point as Carmen was in person. She had finally discovered what it was that Carmen was missing when she left. She had taken her own Pokétch off her wrist and gave it to Giselle who put it on right then. Carmen was right about the belonging though. She belonged in Sinnoh because it was her escape from a horrible situation that could have crushed her. It wasn’t all about her clothes, her things, or the slang she used. It was with a shock that she realized that Reina and Luz would be leaving tomorrow…

    “Thanks for your help, Charmander,” said Giselle as she recalled him. Starting when Reina left, her own journey would officially begin. It gave her a heady feeling, but this time she felt she was ready. When morning returned, she would as Vivienne if she would like to accompany her. Giselle had already learned that she was not to be trusted to be alone for long periods of time. With a positive outlook on the next day, she fell asleep.

    ~ ~ ~​

    Giselle was walking in a beautiful, serene forest. Though it was dark, Giselle had no trouble seeing things. How strange… There were no Pokémon in this forest, only the soft breeze playing with the trees. Giselle’s feet followed a well-worn, winding path without having to think about it. Pretty flowers grew along the path and on the some of the trees adding color among all the green. It had just rained recently because the smell was still on the air. Up ahead, Giselle could see what looked like earthbound moonlight. Instinct told her it was nothing bad, so she followed the light. She came upon a small pond that appeared to be reflecting the light that was being given off by a beautiful creature. Could it be? Giselle walked closer but the light grew larger and larger, overcoming her…

    Giselle could tell that morning had arrived when before she had even opened her eyes. She was, once again, the last one up as she could hear voices outside. Giselle emerged from her tent to repack it.

    “Good morning, Giselle!” Reina and Luz greeted. Reina took one look at the Pokétch on Giselle’s wrist and squealed.

    “So that’s what Carmen was missing when she left! She gave her Pokétch to you!” Reina gasped again. “Oh no! We were supposed to open your gifts last night and we forgot!”

    “Don’t worry. I opened them before I went to sleep last night. Carmen also gave me a Reaper Cloth, Shiny Stone, and a Razor Claw, but she wanted me to figure out what works on which Pokémon,” recounted Giselle.

    “Yeah, it’s more fun that way,” said Reina. She looked up to the sky. “In two hours I’ll be on at the airport waiting on a plane to take me to Hoenn.”

    “Later today we’ll be in the sun kissed region of Hoenn,” said Luz, glowing. “I can’t wait to hit the ocean!”

    “Oh, Giselle,” said Vivienne suddenly. “I meant to ask you something. Since I want to see Sinnoh, and you’re going to be traveling around Sinnoh collecting your gym battles, may I accompany you?”

    “Sure,” said Giselle at once. “I was just going to ask you the same thing!”

    “Nice,” replied Vivienne.

    “By the way, Giselle,” said Luz. “I assume you didn’t have nightmares from Darkrai.”

    Giselle thought back to the beautiful creature in her dreams and decide to keep it to herself. “Nope. Not at all.”

    “Ah, well,” said Reina looking disappointed. “None of us did then.”

    “My dream did have darkness though,” said Luz. “Only I was in the Dewford Gym battling Brawley…” Luz trailed off with a dreamy, faraway expression.

    “You really are boy crazy,” said Vivienne shaking her head.

    “And I don’t deny it,” said Luz winking.

    “Why don’t we have one last cup of coffee before we leave?” asked Reina smiling.

    It didn’t take them long to get back to Canalave. Fortunately for Giselle, their chosen path didn’t take them anywhere near the Harbor Inn. They went to a different coffee shop than from a week ago. However the cashier was still just as put off when Giselle ordered only plain black coffee.

    “That will never stop being funny, Giselle,” said Reina laughing. “You never cease to amaze me.”

    Too soon it was time for Reina and Luz to be off to the airport. According to Luz, the airport was built away from the city and on a manmade island to avoid noise pollution. Because of that, they had to take a covered foot bridge to reach it. Like Veilstone Station, Canalave airport was rather like a mall on the inside. Huge plasma screens displayed the departure and arrival times for planes that came from all over the world. The airport itself was huge and they had to do a lot of walking. They also had to watch out for people pulling rolling suitcases or small children to avoid causing pile ups. Giselle saw people who had had long flights sleeping on the benches that line the walls.

    “We’d better say good bye here,” said Reina. “It gets kinda crazy beyond this point.”

    For the first time, Giselle throat begin to close and tears formed at the corner of her eyes. Reina looked in disbelief.

    “Giselle, are you serious? You’re going to start getting all emotional on me now?”

    “I’m sorry,” said Giselle as she tried to keep her voice steady. “It didn’t hit me until now.”

    “Well, now is not the time to fall to pieces,” said Reina. “I know I’m a difficult person to get over, but you’ll be all right.”

    “Yeah, Giselle,” agreed Luz. “I felt the same when I had to leave Carla and Tony behind. But technology is a wondrous thing,” she added holding up her phone.

    “Oh, yeah,” Reina said as she pulled a piece of paper and a pen out of her bag. “Besides, you’ll have Vivienne with you. As you travel through Sinnoh, she can tell you all the good things about Kanto for when you return.”

    “As if,” said Giselle smiling slightly.

    “Way if,” said Reina. “Now here’s my email address. Whenever I stop a Pokémon Center or any place with a computer, I’ll remember to check my email.”

    Luz looked at one of the screens. “Our flight will be leaving in about an hour. Good thing the line isn’t long. It won’t take us long to get all checked in.”

    “Now it really is good bye,” said Reina as she hugged Giselle. “Vivienne make sure you take good care of Giselle!”

    “Will do,” said Vivienne with a slight bow.

    Giselle and Vivienne watched as Reina and Luz gave one last wave before turning and walking away. A crowd of people blocked their line of sight, and by the time the crowd dispersed, they could no longer see Reina or Luz. Giselle sighed.

    “Where to now?” she asked Vivienne.

    “What do you mean?” Vivienne inquired, her blue eyes widening. “We need to prepare for your first Sinnoh gym battle!”

    “Oh, yeah!” said Giselle, she took out her Pokédex to see if it had any information. “According to this, the first gym is in Oreburgh City! We should start heading there now.” Slow but surely, Giselle could feel the excitement rising.

    “But first let’s get out of this airport,” said Vivienne.

    As they tried to find there way back out, Giselle began to think of the future for the first time. She pictured herself standing in a stadium with powerful trainers as she was getting ready to compete in the Sinnoh League. But she would have to take it one day at a time. They had arrived back at the bridge once more and they began to cross it.

    “Vivienne?” said Giselle.

    “Yes?”

    “How did you feel when you were standing in Indigo Plateau, getting ready to compete?”

    “Like I was on top of the world,” she replied smiling. “All of my struggles had led to that point and it was so worth it.”

    They had reached the end of the bridge. Giselle suddenly remembered that she had a map of Sinnoh that she’d long forgotten after meeting Reina and Carmen. She wanted to go through Jubilife City on their way to Oreburgh City. Giselle took a deep breath.

    “Are you ready to hit the road, Giselle?” asked Vivienne.

    “You bet.”

    The sun was high in the cloudless sky as they struck out on their journey. Giselle already knew she would most definitely miss Carmen and Reina but she had learned a lot from them. She was going to have an adventure of a lifetime. Maybe one day she would help a trainer just like Carmen and Reina helped her, but for now she was focused on her next gym battle. Giselle stopped and took one last look back at Canalave where it all began and where she would return again. Giselle turned and ran after Vivienne with the cold ocean breeze blowing through her white hair.
     
    #24 Carmen Lopez, Jun 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  25. OOC: This is the final chapter of The Chronicles of Giselle Valentine. Moving On will be posted next, but it may be a little while as I want to finish it entirely--I only have two chapters to go and I'm half way done with one of them. Thanks again to everyone who read this! Re-posting this was extremely therapeutic.

    Epilogue

    Giselle and Vivienne traveled westward from Canalave City toward Oreburgh City. Along the way they finally hit the colorful high tech wonderland that was Jubilife City. It was beyond amazing, but they didn’t stay long, but both girls had eventually picked up phones there. Giselle and Vivienne agreed to return after Giselle’s gym battle which Giselle thought was a win-win situation. If she lost her gym battle, it would cheer her up. If she won, it would be a nice victory treat. When they got to Oreburgh City, they found it was different than the fast paced world of Jubilife.

    Oreburgh City was a mining town, but was a lot different that Giselle’s idea of one. She expected mining towns to be grimy and gritty and the people would be bitter, but in Oreburgh’s case that couldn’t be further from the truth. The city had its grimy places but was for the most part very clean. Oreburgh’s citizens were very pleasant, welcoming, and very energetic. They were enthusiastic in explaining everything about their city and the town’s pride and joy which was the mine. Like the rest of Sinnoh, the mine was technologically advanced. Giselle and Vivienne were having a good time there, but the time had finally arrived. They were heading toward the Oreburgh Gym for Giselle’s gym battle and she was slightly nervous in an excited kind of way.

    “You’ll be fine,” said Vivienne soothingly. “We’ve been training for this for a while now. I think you’re more than ready for this battle, Giselle.”

    “I hope so,” Giselle said quietly. She adjusted the yellow hard hat that both she and Vivienne had bought from the gift shop at the museum. It seemed to be a fashion item among the people in Oreburgh City and Giselle and Vivienne wore them for fun. She’d actually met the gym leader earlier that day as he was leaving the mine. When she mentioned that she wanted a gym battle, Roark enthusiastically agreed to it. He said he’d be back at the gym later that day. Giselle already knew that he specialized in Rock types like Brock of Kanto so she prepared carefully…

    It wasn’t at all hard to find the gym. It was as famous as the mine was because Roark was also the mine’s supervisor. Signs and people eagerly pointed out the gym which greatly resembled the rest of the buildings in town. Giselle had walked through the doors of the Pewter City gym more times that she would have liked but she didn’t let herself think about all those failures. After all it was a new day, a new region, and a new gym. Giselle took a deep breath and entered the gym. Just as she had expected, Roark was waiting.

    The large interior of the gym reminded Giselle of the mine only without the darkness. It had rock walls and the floor of the gym resembled the ground inside the mine. There were boulders here and there and the high ceiling’s beams were exposed. Vivienne immediately went to sit in the stands that surrounded the arena. Roark, who had red hair, a bright red hardhat, glasses, and a modified version of the uniform the workers wore, was at the other end of the gym smiling.

    “Finally,” he said eagerly. “I was wondering when you’d get here! I’m not one for a lot of talk before a battle, which will be a three on three. Shall we start?”

    He was nearly as to the point as Carmen was. “Yeah, we should,” replied Giselle. She pulled out a Pokéball. “Go, Sneasel!”

    Sneasel came out of his Pokéball with a somersault and landed gracefully on his feet, displaying his claws which glinted in the light. Sneasel had a weakness to Rock type attacks but there was a chance that Roark’s Pokémon might have a Ground subtype.

    Roark looked in mild interest as he pulled out his own Pokéball and sent out Geodude. It was total déjà vu for Giselle. She remembered facing down a Geodude in the Pewter City Gym but things were going to be different this time. Giselle took a deep breath as Roark made the first move. “Use Rock Throw!”

    Geodude raised its arms and as it did so numerous rocks seemed to rise out of the ground under its command control. The Rock Pokémon made one fluid throwing motion and the rocks began to hurl themselves at Sneasel who was now on the run. All of the training in the mine had paid off. He jumped, ducked, and dodged all the rocks with amazing speed that came to him, but Giselle knew they couldn’t dodge forever. Sooner or later Sneasel would be hit and potentially knocked out. Suddenly she noticed the large boulder right behind Sneasel.

    “Sneasel, jump behind that boulder and then climb on top of it!” Giselle had learned that Sneasel could hook his claws into just about anything and climb on. Sneasel hoisted himself onto of the boulder so he could look down on Geodude. “Now use Icy Wind!” Even though Sneasel liked using physical attacks more, he wasn’t bad at using long range ones. Geodude cowered as it was hit by the subzero winds of the attack. Giselle could hardly believe she was doing so well when her last gym battle ended so badly. The thought of that calmed her down more than anything.

    Not to be outdone, Roark had a way to bring Sneasel back down to earth. “Geodude, unleash an Earthquake attack!”

    “Uh, oh,” said Giselle under her breath.

    Geodude, who was fairly close to Sneasel’s rock, rose straight into the air and then slammed to the ground creating an intense shockwave. The boulder Sneasel was standing on started to morph before it cracked on its bottom and began to fall to pieces. Sneasel had to jump again to avoid the dust and debris from the falling boulder and Roark seized the opportunity.

    “You won’t beat me that easily! Use Rock Throw again, Geodude!”

    As Sneasel was in mid air, it was very difficult to evade. Giselle once again used the technique of attacking to defend.

    “Sneasel, use Icy Wind again!”

    Sneasel took a huge breath and exhaled frigid air again. While it was effective at deflected the worst of the attack, Sneasel still took damage. He hit the ground hard but was able to get to his feet. Geodude, unnoticed by Giselle or Sneasel, had drawn up very close to Sneasel. Giselle clenched her teeth: Geodude was a lot faster than she thought.

    Roark smiled. “Geodude use Brick Break!” Geodude balled its fists in an attempt to slug Sneasel.

    Giselle caught it in the nick of time. “Sneasel dodge and then use Ice Punch!” Sneasel loved using this attack. His claws were enveloped by a layer of ice. With Geodude so close, Sneasel had no trouble punching Geodude and sending it flying. Gleeful that Ice Punch worked so well Giselle called out, “Go after it Sneasel, and use Metal Claw!”

    Sneasel had finally perfected this attack by watching Charmander. His claws went metallic as it charged at Geodude. Roark smiled mischievously and both Giselle and Vivienne knew she had made a huge mistake.

    “Geodude, Self Destruct!”

    Everything seemed to move in slow motion before Giselle’s widened eyes. Geodude began to glow white and it exploded with a huge bang. Sneasel had no time to stop and took the full brunt of the attack. Giselle hoped against hope that Sneasel had somehow managed to make it out of that, but she knew it was futile. And sure enough, when the smoke cleared, Geodude and Sneasel were both blackened and knocked out. Giselle sighed. She had battled enough Geodude to know that they could explode but it was a blow none the less. Giselle closed her eyes for a second. We both just lost one Pokémon so we’re still even. Don’t give up, Giselle thought to herself.

    The next match up was Budew and her pink scarf versus Onix. At first, Giselle was a little concerned that Onix would have the upper hand just because its sheer size. It was a lot bigger than a normal Onix. Somehow, Giselle had never realized just how small Budew was until now, but it turned out that size didn’t matter at all. Onix had managed to use Bind on Budew, but her Poison Point ability took effect and Onix was poisoned. One Extrasensory and a Mega Drain later, the mighty rock snake crashed to ground like a ton of bricks, brought down by something that was just a foot tall.

    “I’m really surprised,” said Roark as he recalled Onix. “Most trainers generally go with Budew that have the Natural Cure ability. I really should’ve exercised more caution.”

    Budew was overjoyed at her victory and did a little dance, making Giselle laugh which broke some of the tension of the battle. Giselle took a deep breath. She had the upper hand—for now anyway.

    “Time for my strongest Pokémon,” said Roark. “Go, Cranidos!”

    Giselle wondered if it would be rude to pull out her Pokédex in the middle of a battle, so she decided against it. She had read about Cranidos anyway. The Pokémon had a gray body, short arms, and the top of its head, its back, and its tail were blue. Spikes protruded out of the back of its head. Giselle knew it was a pure rock type but wasn’t sure what was in store for her, but she didn’t have to wait long to find out.

    “Cranidos, use Zen Headbutt!” Roark called out.

    “Oh dear.” Giselle remembered Carmen saying that a variety of Pokémon could use Psychic attacks but for some reason she didn’t expect it from a pure rock type.

    The top of Cranidos’s head began to glow with a pinkish color as it began to charge at Budew. Giselle immediately learned how strong Cranidos was. It only took one attack and Budew was knocked out cold. As she recalled it, Giselle realized that she was down one Pokémon. If she lost this, this gym battle was lost. In the stands, Vivienne crossed her fingers. Truthfully, she wanted desperately for Giselle to win this because losing would be a huge hit to her confidence…

    Giselle took a Pokéball from her waist. It was a massive gamble but something in her told her to do it.

    “Go, Charmander!” Roark looked puzzled while Vivienne simply looked dumbfounded. Giselle couldn’t even explain to herself exactly why she did it. Maybe it was because Charmander had been with her throughout everything she’d gone through and deep down wanted to win her first gym battle with him. And after all, Charmander had learned some new tricks.

    “Well that certainly is interesting,” said Roark. “I know type matching isn’t everything but that’s a huge risk. Let’s see how well your Charmander stands up to Stone Edge!”

    A giant stone with a lethal pointed tip rose out the ground and Charmander was forced quickly dodge to keep from being gored. Both Giselle and Charmander were slightly unnerved by the strength of that attack but she quickly regained composure. But before either of them could do a thing, Roark and Cranidos had sent another Stone Edge at them and took to using the attack repeatedly.

    “Now it’s your turn to use Brick Break! Try to destroy the rocks as the come!” Charmander’s fists glowed white as he aimed precise punches to the rocks that rose out of the ground while making sure not to remain in one place to long to become an easy target.

    “While we have it occupied, use Take Down, Cranidos!”

    Giselle took action. Charmander didn’t have much time to dodge the attack, but she had to do something. “INCOMING! Charmander use Metal Claw on Cranidos!”

    Charmander’s claws glowed with a metallic sheen as he broke into a run toward the charging Pokémon. He slashed Cranidos across the chest as Cranidos slammed into him. Both Pokémon were dealt heavy damage and both flew backward a few feet. However, to Giselle’s horror, it was Cranidos that rose first to its advantage.

    “This is it!” Roark called out. “Finish this with Zen Headbutt!”

    Charmander was still down when the attack hit…and after Cranidos head butted Charmander in the stomach, he didn’t move at all. Giselle held her breath, not daring to breathe. Was it? Could it really the end?

    “Well,” said Roark. “It looks like this is ov—

    Suddenly Charmander began to struggle to his feet, determination etched into his face. Then something odd happened: Charmander began to glow bright red. Giselle first thought that it was just his Blaze ability, which wouldn’t be much help against the rock typed Cranidos, but this glow was a much more vivid red than Giselle remembered. Suddenly, the red glow was replaced as Charmander began to glow bright white, so bright that the gym was illuminated. His extremities and tail began to grow longer as he grew taller. Then the white light dissipated…

    “Charmeleon…” he said in a low voice.

    Giselle put her hands over her mouth to stifle the squeal. Charmander evolved! Her Charmander actually evolved! Charmeleon was a rich crimson color and his claws were far more pronounced now. The look in Charmeleon’s eyes was as fiery as his now bigger tail flame. Giselle was so overcome with happiness that she almost forgot she was in the middle of a gym battle. Roark brought her back to the situation at hand.

    “Looks like things have gotten interesting,” he said. “But is it enough to help you win this? Cranidos, use Stone Edge!”

    Charmeleon was now faintly glowing red again indicating that Blaze was still in affect. Giselle was eager to see how much more powerful Charmeleon was than his pre-evolution. “Dodge the attack and use Brick Break!”

    Charmeleon evaded the sharpened stone and lunged for Cranidos. He was much faster than he was as a Charmander, so the attack missed Cranidos, who was miraculously able to dodge, by mere millimeters. But then Giselle had just remembered she had used a TM on Charmeleon the day before. She realized it would be perfect with all she’d read about Charmeleon all those years ago…

    “Charmeleon use Iron Tail!”

    Charmeleon’s tail turned to steel and he slammed Cranidos with one ferocious swing of his tail. Cranidos was sent backwards and it smashed into a boulder that was behind it before falling to the ground, knocked out. Charmeleon didn’t need to utilize Blaze after all.

    It took a few seconds for it to sink in. She had won. After all her failures, she had finally won, and Giselle was as far beyond elated as a person could possibly get.

    “You did well Cranidos,” said Roark. “Take a good rest.” He looked up at Giselle. “I have to hand it to you, Giselle. You did well this battle. You have a loyal Pokémon there, so take care of it.”

    I will,” said Giselle as she high fived Charmeleon. “Charmander, I mean Charmeleon, you were awesome.”

    “Char,” said Charmeleon as thanks. The look in his eyes was different than when he was a Charmander. The sweetness was gone and was replaced by toughness, but he still had the same loyalty that Charmander had.

    “As your prize for defeating the Oreburgh Gym Leader, here’s an official Coal Badge,” said Roark, holding it out to Giselle. “There’s a computer chip in Sinnoh badges so if you have a Pokédex, you can scan that badge and it’ll be recorded there. And thanks for the battle by the way.”

    She took her first gym badge ever with shaking hands. “I should be thanking you, Roark.”

    “You’re welcome then,” he replied. “The road to the Sinnoh League only gets tougher from here. You’re going to have to train much harder.”

    “I will,” said Giselle as she tipped her yellow hardhat. She looked around and saw that Vivienne had already left the stands to join her.

    “Is it time for us to get going once more?” asked Vivienne.

    “Yeah,” said Giselle. “Thanks again Roark!”

    “Anytime,” he said. “And say hi to my father. He’s the gym leader in Canalave.”

    “All right,” Giselle said happily.

    After they were outside the gym, Giselle was still in disbelief. Charmander evolved and she got a gym badge. She once again felt as though she were in a dream or someone else’s life. But there was one thing that bugged her. “Vivienne, do you know why the red glow that Charmander had when the Blaze ability activated was so, well, red?”

    “I think it was because it was so close to evolution,” she said slowly. “Blaze was feeding on the extra energy that Charmander’s body was building up for evolution. As I’ve never seen it happen before, that’s my only guess.”

    “Wow,” said Giselle. She looked down at Charmeleon, whom she still hadn’t recalled. “Hey, Charmeleon, why don’t we get to the Pokémon Center to give you and the rest of the team a rest? You can have all the Pecha Berries you want when we get there.”

    “Char,” said Charmeleon eagerly.

    “And I can’t wait to call Reina, Carmen, and Luz to tell them the good news!” said Giselle enthusiastically. She thought of all of them and wondered what they were doing right at that very moment.

    “Well, Giselle, all I can say is that I’m proud of you,” said Vivienne warmly.

    “Thanks,” Giselle answered. At that moment she had the same warm feeling that she had when she and Charmander had connected for the first time in the woods that day. With that Coal Badge she had already exceeded the expectation of her parents and everyone else in Pallet Town. But whenever Giselle thought about Kanto it was as though it were a part of a different lifetime. Reina seemed sure that she would return someday, but that was still up in the air. For now she just enjoyed being in the present with Vivienne, Charmeleon and the rest of her Pokémon by her side. The road ahead really would be hard, but with friends both near to her physically and the friends that were with her in spirit, Giselle knew she’d be all right just like Reina and Carmen had always said.
     
    #25 Carmen Lopez, Jun 22, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  26. And for your viewing pleasure. Art by Virgil of Giselle's Budew and Duskull! \o/

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Carmen, I just spent the day reading this.

    And I'm so glad I did! It's absolutely incredible! You've inspired me to pick up a pencil once more. So, I must say, thanks so much -- for everything. For a fantastic read (I was literally overjoyed when Sneasel hatched, and saddened when Carmen had to leave) and for inspiring me to take up writing once more.

    I always knew you were a phenomenal writer, and this restores my faith in that :)
     
  28. I hearts this fic <:3! I read it before, and for some reason (a reason I cant explain), Its even better than before! ;D ;D ;D

    But what about Veilstone diarys? That was one of my favourites! Why is it not posted?! >:( >:( >:(
     
  29. Wow, I got three angry faces XDD Diaries will be posted after I finish with Moving On. Rest assure it'll be posted and it'll have some edits as well. Hopefully it'll be better than before as well!

    Also, thanks for reading ♥
     
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