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A Journey of Ice and Fire: Chapter 2: Too Far, Too Fast

by Ronan91

Ronan91 Ronan and Sterling arrive at Viridian City. Having caught his first pokemon, Sterling is determined to win his first gym badge but things don't quite go to plan.
“So where do you think we should go first?” Sterling asked as he and Ronan made their way along the road to Viridian City. Pallet Town had long since disappeared from view. The open fields stretched out as far as they could see with trees dotting the roadside.

“Well Viridian City is our next stop. We should probably pick up some supplies,” answered Ronan.

“Isn’t there a gym in Viridian City?”

Ronan nodded. “There is but the leader is supposed to be a pretty tough guy to beat. I think maybe we should get some more pokemon and badges before we try there,” he explained.

“More pokemon hmm? I like the way you think.” Sterling swung his bag off his shoulders and started rummaging around inside it for something.

“What are you doing?” Ronan asked.

“Pokemon Masters have to start somewhere,” replied Sterling as he ran off into the long grass. Ronan sighed but followed at a more sensible pace. A group of rattata scattered away from Sterling’s footfalls. He tried to throw a pokeball at them but missed.

“You didn’t really think that would work, did you?”

“I figured it was worth a try,” Sterling said as he went to retrieve his pokeball. “Guess I’ll have to do this the old fashioned way. Squirtle, I choose you.” Sterling spotted a nearby tree containing a flock of spearow and ordered Squirtle to tackle it. The pokemon ran forwards and kicked the base of the tree causing it to shake. Most of the spearow flew away but one was less easily frightened off, it landed behind squirtle and kicked up sand into squirtle’s eyes when it turned around. “Tricky little thing. It’ll be a nice addition to the team. Squirtle use tail whip!” Squirtle was still having trouble seeing with all the sand in its face, but even so it wagged its tail and spearow let its guard down. “Alright Squirtle now tackle it.”

Sterling was already getting his pokeball ready but Squirtle still could not see and so spearow easily flew aside of the half blind tackle, flying to the safety of a tree branch.

“You need to get that sand out of its face first,” Ronan said.

“And how do you suggest I do that?” At that moment a jet of water shot into the air. “Awesome, Squirtle learned water gun.” Squirtle used the spray of water to clean the sand out of its eyes. Now that it was able to see again, Squirtle took aim at the still gloating spearow. The jet of water shot across the field at such speed that Ronan thought the bird would lose its feathers when it made impact. The feathers stayed attached but the spearow itself was knocked down from its tree branch, tumbling onto the ground below.

Sterling had his pokeball ready and threw it at the fallen spearow. The ball spun through the air, found its target and absorbed the stunned spearow in a swath of red light. For a few tense moments the pokeball rocked back and forth before the light of the button flashed one last time and it was over.

“Well that was easy,” Sterling said as he went to fetch his new pokemon.

“Oh really? So I didn’t see you sweating just now?” Ronan asked derisively.

“I had faith in my Squirtle. And now I have twice as many pokemon as you so you had better keep up,” replied Sterling with a satisfied smile. Squirtle came running over and gave a celebratory leap of joy. “Way to go, Squirtle. I couldn’t have done it without you.” Sterling returned Squirtle to its pokeball.

“Can we move on now?”

“Yeah let’s go. My chances of getting my first gym badge have just doubled,” Sterling ran back to the road and Ronan followed after him with a sigh.

“If your plan is to throw pokeballs at everything that moves between here and the city we’ll never make it before it gets dark.”

Sterling laughed. “You know I would but the professor only gave us six pokeballs each. So unless you want to give me yours, I’m happy to keep going whenever you’re ready.”

“Are you sure? You could tackle our first gym with an army of spearow,” Ronan suggested jokingly.

“One of each pokemon I catch will do fine, thank you. You should worry more about your own collection. You’re falling behind already,” replied Sterling.

“Slow and steady wins the race,” said Ronan. The pair continued along the road, rising up a steep grassy hill. From the crest they could see far across the valley. Fields of flowers surrounded Viridian city. On the far side of the city was a dense forest that stretched to the distant mountains.

“Come on. Time to get my first gym badge,” said Sterling eagerly. They both ran down the hill to the first line of buildings. Viridian City was much bigger than Pallet Town. Ronan wasn’t used to seeing this many people in one place. It wasn’t just people either; everywhere Ronan looked, pokemon of all kinds were helping their partners with their jobs. A vileplume scattered pollen across a field of flowers, a poliwhirl watered a garden, a machamp unloaded a moving van in what looked like a single trip.

“Shall we find the pokemon centre?” asked Ronan.

“No, that can wait. I can see the gym over there. We can rest up once I have my badge,” replied Sterling. He started walking towards the largest building in the city. Above the wide glass doors was the symbol for the pokemon league and the words Viridian Gym in polished steel letters. A tall man with broad arms and dark hair stood to one side of the doors and a nidoking stood on the other side. The man held out his arm to stop the boys as they approached.

“Are you registered challengers?” he asked with a deep voice.

“Registered?” Ronan asked confused.

“Relax,” said Sterling as he reached into his pocket. He pulled out his pokedex and opened it to show a picture of himself and his trainer number. It even showed his Squirtle and the newly caught spearow. He showed the screen to the man on the door who raised his eyebrow sceptically before turning to unlock the doors.

“Here we go,” Sterling said almost to himself with a steadying breath. Ronan reached for his own pokedex and showed the screen to the doorman. He nodded but held out his arm again to stop them from entering.

“Only one challenger at a time.”

Ronan and Sterling looked at each other. Ronan shrugged. “Good luck, I guess. You’re the one with twice as many pokemon after all.”

Sterling went inside and the doors closed behind him. Ronan tried to peer in after him but the glass in the doors became tinted so all he could see was his own reflection.

“Is every gym this secretive?” he asked. The man on the door just looked just looked at him. Ronan was about to settle down on the wall nearby but before he could the doors slid open again. Sterling came back out, drenched in sweat and a look of horror on his face.

“That was fast,” said Ronan.

“Shut up. We’re leaving,” replied Sterling stiffly.

“What happened?”

“Let’s go. Now!” Sterling walked away quickly with his head down.

“Pokemon centre it is then,” Ronan said to himself. He gave the gym a reproachful look before following Sterling down the street.