The Road to Indigo (Pokemon RP (Closed): Chapter 7: Dead Living On The Radio...)

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Mika smiled as he waited on Tristan and the other Pokemon to rest for a bit before taking a seat on the grass, resting and enjoying the warm air. He smiled and watched his Pokemon moving about in the field.

"It's such a nice day..." Mika commented, humming a little tune from memory and enjoying the warm air. "Hmmm... Bones, I think I want you and Artemis to battle for me. That sounds good?"

It sounds fair, Mika. I would quite like to battle against her Charmander, to see how I fare against another Fire Pokemon. Especially one as powerful as a Charmander.

"Alright then... Ready when you are, sweetie." Mika said to his girlfriend, waiting for her to pick which of her Pokemon she was going to use.


Blaze and Tristan were resting after having fought a few more wild Pokemon. Aeris allowed them to lie in the grass, Blaze with her tail out of it, for a few moments. "You did well with fighting earlier." Aeris said to her Pokemon, which looked at her with smiles on their faces.

After a few more moments, they were up again. "Well, I'm ready. And I'll use Blaze first." Blaze walked forward and in front of Aeris, facing Mika and his Pokemon. "Don't hold back." Aeris mused. Her Pokedex gave a sort of ding sound and she picked it up. New information about Blaze was there, her moves to be exact. Metal Claw and Smokescreen? And she forgot Growl? Should be interesting to see how that works. she thought to herself and put her Pokedex back in her pocket.

Tyler exited the Pokemart, now sporting a new belt that had six individual holsters for miniaturized Pokeballs. The belt had cost him $75. A bit pricy, but it was a necessary purchase. At least now he didn't have to fish around in his already-messy backpack for his Pokeballs. Tyler believed his Pokemon deserved a bit more dignity than that. In addition to the belt, he also purchased some labels to place on the Pokeballs so he could tell which Pokemon was inside. Geist's ball bore an image of a bent spoon, Tank's had a picture of a purple skull-and-crossbones, and Blitz's was decorated with a lightning bolt.

The young Trainer decided to head out to the grass for a bit of training with his team. If they were going to take on Brock, they needed to be ready. As he prepared Tank's Pokeball, however, something caught his attention. A Pokemon battle about to begin. Moving in a bit closer, he saw that it was Aeris and Mika, with Rochelle spectating. This'll be interesting, he thought as he reached the group.

"Are you sure, ma'am? There's nothing at all?" Simon's voice had a whining edge that he disliked but couldn't help. He was having hard time believing that there wasn't any work available. People always had packages to deliver. Every day.

Getting into Pewter City's Ninjask Courier building had proven to be a fairly simple task. As soon as he supplied his identification card and the proper numbers the guard at the side door let him in. Simon had taken the ease of entrance as a good sign.

"I'm sorry, dear.", the elderly woman behind the counter apologized. "All of the assignments have been taken by the local delivery boys." Simon couldn't be certain, but for a second he imagined there was a just a hint of stress on the word 'local'. He wondered if being from out of town had anything to do with there being no assignments.

"Alright, well thanks for checking. Have a good day, ma'am." Just because he didn't have an assignment didn't mean he could be lax in his manners.

"You too, dear. Take care."

As the secretary returned to her phone and pile of paperwork Simon glanced down at his Pokémon. Shadow was vigorously scratching at his ear and seemed oblivious to his trainer's plight. Simon whistled quietly to get Shadow's attention then turned toward the front door of the office building. He walked slowly toward the door.

'So much for having some extra cash. Would have been nice. Maybe there will be something to do at the next town.' Simon thought as he leaned against the door.

"Yen!" Just then Shadow noticed his trainer was leaving. He bounded toward the door. One step, two steps, then the young Pokémon leapt into the air. He went a good distance before landing on all fours. Unfortunately for Shadow, the polished marble floor was not designed for those with furred paws. With a yelp the Poochyena began to slid toward the wall instead of his intended target. Sharp claws scrapped against the floor ineffectually. Shadow whined as he tried to backpedal to no avail. Just before the Pokémon slid into the wall Simon knelt down and stuck his hand out. Shadow's muzzle bumped harmlessly against his open palm.

"Chee..."

The side of Simon's mouth twitched as he resisted a laugh. He glanced at the desk but the secretary seemed deeply immersed in a phone call. 'Glad no one saw that.' Simon thought. Shadow leaned his head back and shook himself vigorously from head to tail.

"Come on." Simon reached down to carefully pick up Shadow. He shouldered open the glass door and set his Pokémon down on the grass as soon as they were outside.

Now that he was on familiar, and stable, ground the Poochyena turned to growl at the office building. His small frame visibly vibrated with the sound and his fur stood on end.

"It's not really their fault." Simon pointed out with a quiet chuckle. "Maybe the janitor went overboard with the waxing. You shouldn't have tried to tackle the door."

With his amused smile still in place Simon began walking down the nearest path. If he remembered correctly it would take him to the Pokémon Center. Shadow joined him after a final defiant head-toss.

Mika smiled, sending out Bones first to battle. The Dark-Type Pokemon yipped happily, then took an offensive stance, readying himself for the thrill of friendly combat.

"Go ahead, hun... send out your first Pokemon, and let's start!" Mika smiled and giggled a bit, eagerly waiting for the battle.

Artemis stood on his shoulder, watching the humans curiously. She flapped her wings lightly now and again, and nuzzled her beak against her Trainer's hair. Mika giggled a bit, his scalp being a ticklish spot of his, and he smiled.

"I guess you're going to use Blaze first, right hun? He's a higher level, and he won't have the type disadvantage that Tristan has." Mika assumed, thinking tactically about the battle.

"You do remember that Blaze is a girl, right?" Aeris said and chuckled a little. "Yes, I just said that I'm going to use Blaze first." Blaze stood there in a fighting stance, ready to battle Bones. "I know Ember will be useless against Bones, but she has other moves as well." Tristan flapped about, mostly over Aeris' head, watching the fight.

"Blaze, scratch Bones!" Aeris commanded her Charmander, who began scratching Bones when she had the chance.

"Hehehe... sorry. Just slipped my mind, is all." He said with a slight grin, changing to a serious expression when Blaze started to rush forth, running her claws along Blaze's shoulder, leaving a few scratch marks on his fur. "Bones, use Smog!"

Bones opened his maw, and billowing out came a purple-black cloud of a noxious gas that enveloped the Charmander, causing it to cough and hack, then shivering a bit as she seemed to have been poisoned by the attack.

Aeris rummaged through her backpack and found one of her Antidotes. She sprayed it over Blaze and her coughing lessened. "Alright. Now, use Metal Claw!"

Blaze's claws hardened and gained a sort of metal coating. She rushed towards Bones and scratched him with her Metal Claw attack.

"Hey, Tyler, over here," Rochelle called out to the Trainer in question as she spotted him walking up. Evidently he had had the same idea of getting his Pokémon some training. She waved to him and beckoned him over, inviting him to join her as she watched Aeris and Mika battle against each other. It would be nice to have some company for the moment, besides that of her Pokémon.

Natalya, however, was curious as to why Rochelle was now speaking a fair bit louder than normal. She spotted the cause of it: another human who had just walked up, and promptly took off from the ground, flying over and landing just short of Tyler to give him a curious look from a short distance away, head to one side. She hopped to one side, her expression changing to what could be considered pensive.

"Oh, Natalya, come on. Tyler's just one of the guys, he's fine. Come back," Rochelle told the little Murkrow. Natalya cawed once at Tyler, turned and flew back to Rochelle, landing on her knee before hopping down to the ground. It seemed to Rochelle that she was a little protective of her Trainer companion, in addition to not liking the idea of being in a Poké Ball.

"Uh...I don't think your Murkrow doesn't like me very much," Tyler said as he tentatively approached Rochelle and sat down on the grass nearby. It was a good place as any to watch the unfolding Pokemon battle between Aeris and Mika. It was fascinating to see a real-life Trainer battle, since most of the matches he witnessed were on television, and those were usually between high-level trainers in national championships. Hopefully, Tyler could get a few in himself before even thinking about attempting to take on Brock.

"Ah, don't worry about Natalya. I think she's still getting used to the fact that she's outside of the forest, with humans like us. She'll come around eventually," Rochelle answered, lightly touching her Murkrow's beak with a finger. "Phoenix seemed to take to his new life quite easily, didn't you?" she asked, looking at the Spearow as he dabbed at the water of the lake with his beak to get a drink.

"So how are you and your Pokémon doing? Is the Pikachu you found all right?" Rochelle asked, making conversation while the two of them watched Aeris and Mika's battle unfold. "What happened to that little guy, anyway? You let it go? Catch it?"

Tyler produced Blitz's lightning-bolt decorated Pokeball from his belt and enlarged the device. "He's right in here," he explained. "I gave Blitz the chance to go back to the forest, but he wanted to team up with me". The Trainer smiled a bit. "That's the name I gave him, by the way. He has a scar or two, but otherwise, he's perfectly fine". Tyler aimed the Pokeball to the ground and released Blitz, who took a few moments to register where he was before facing his Trainer. The faint scar across his eye was easily visible.

"Hey, Blitz. Why don't you say 'hi' to Rochelle and her Murkrow over there?" he asked the Pikachu, pointing towards Rochelle.

"Pika?" Blitz replied, turning to face the other human.

"C'mon, Blitz. She isn't gonna hurt you".

"Pika...pi pika pi," said Blitz, looking uncertainly at the stranger.

"Bones, quickly, while she's distracted with the Antidote, use Snarl!" Mika called out to his Pokemon, who growled and barked and hissed at the Charmander, sending out waves of Dark-Type energy and causing Blaze to double back, as if she had been hit by an attack. "Great job!"

Blaze ran at Mika's Houndour, her claws glowing with a metallic sheen as she slashed at the Fire-and-Dark-Type Pokemon. Bones took the attack and shrugged it off as if he had merely been hit with a rolled-up newspaper.

"Steel-Type attacks don't do much damage against Fire-Types, hun... Remember your matchups. Bones, another Snarl!" Bones repeated his attack, doing the same as before, causing the female Charmander to double-back once again, obviously wounded. Suddenly, Blaze's tail lit up and increased the flame's size... something Mika had expected. "Watch out, Bones... Her Blaze ability has gone into effect... her Fire moves will be more effective now."

"Hey there, little guy," Rochelle said to Blitz, turning to properly face him. "Guys, come over and say hi," she added, looking over to the team as they stood around or swam back and forth. Hopefully Natalya wouldn't be shy or afraid, given her protective side. Kirsten liked meeting new people and Pokémon - much like Rochelle herself - and she hoped Phoenix would react appropriately. He'd been fine with Fary the night before.

"Murr..." Natalya began, still a little worried about the newcomer and his Pokémon. She plucked up her courage and hopped over to investigate. "Row?" she added, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"Aww, look at you. Such a cutie," Rochelle said, scratching Natalya under what looked like the brim of a hat made of feathers. As she did so, the other two members of her team came over: Phoenix hopped up onto Rochelle's knee and Kirsten jumped out of the lake with a bit of effort. The latter was a bit more curious about Tyler and Blitz, bouncing over on her tail and looking up at the Trainer. She was quite acrobatic, given that she had to find some way to avoid falling over on land.

Fary walked over to Jorden near the center and kissed him softly. "Hey how are you?" she asked then blinked hearing her Xtransceiver ring, it was mom and dad as she picked it up. "Hi honey. You're dad tried to keep me from calling you but I couldn't help it. So how are you? Any luck yet and how's your little Zorua? Oh my who is that boy with you honey?" her mom asked seeing Jordan.

"Dear no need to throw questions at Fary like that, wait.. a boy." her father said seeing Jordan as well.

"Mom Dad this is Jordan, he's a trainer just like I am." Fary sighed. "Any way I'm doing fine, I've caught a Pidgey, a male Nidoran and a Murkrow. As for Zorua she's doing fine. We're in Pewter right now getting ready to face Brock." Fary said.

"That's good sweety, I hope you're taking care of them like I taught you. My that boy is cute, you should date him honey." her mom said giggling.

"Dear what are you saying? I don't want my little girl with someone I don't know." her dad said back his face not looking too happy.

Fary blushed. "Ummmm well." she said.

"I didn't know that. Now I do." Aeris noted as the battle continued. Blaze's tail fire became twice as much. "Her Fire attacks may be twice as powerful, but I'm still up against another Fire type Pokemon. It's worth a shot, though. Blaze, use Ember on Bones!"

Blaze opened her mouth and spew a little fire at Bones. The grass around him burned a little, but the fire didn't spread across the grass, thankfully. Tristan watched with interest from high above, in case the fire would go his way.

Tyler grinned. Blitz seemed to be playing nice with Rochelle's other Pokemon. The Pikachu took a special interest in Kirsten, Rochelle's Horsea, presumably because their kind wasn't native to the Viridian Forest/Pewter City area. The two radically different Pokemon seemed to hit off well enough, as they began to chatter back and forth. Even though it sounded like Blitz and Kirsten were only saying their own names, the two were reacting as if speaking a common language. Tyler never understood the finer points of Pokemon communication. At best, he could guess what Pokemon said to him through context and gestures.

His train of thought was interrupted when Blitz attempted to copy Kirsten's tail-bouncing, only to lose his balance and fall flat on his back. Tyler couldn't help but laugh a bit. "Nice job, Blitz," he said jokingly.

"Pika..." replied Blitz as he scrambled back to his feet.

"You know what? I think the others could use some fresh air too..." Tyler mumbled as he reached for Geist and Tank's Pokeballs. He released the Abra and Nidoran, who both looked at each other, then to Tyler, then back to each other. Oh, right...I never introduced my team to each other, he thought. As good a time as any for them to get to know each other.

Jordan was barely at the Pokemon Center for a minute before Fary came up to him and surprised him with a kiss. "Uhh....." he tried to answer before hearing a strange ringing. He looked over to see Fary talking into some kind of advanced video phone? There were people in the screen.

"Uh....hi?" he said timidly. Fary said they were her parents. Parents? What the fuck! We haven't even done anything yet! Way too soon. Ah man! Fary's mom seemed just like an older version of Fary from the sound of it, but her dad didn't seem to keen on him being here. Fuck, he's totally giving me the "I know you fucked my daughter treatment"! I haven't even done it!......Yet! Man, I better get out of this.

"Uh...yeah, um Fary, I'm gonna go like, train my bros up for taking on Brock. Maybe I'll try and find the others there....uh, yeah, later!" Jordan walked off, hoping his quest would actually end up having a point as he headed out for some training.

Rochelle giggled a little when Blitz tried to imitate Kirsten bouncing on her tail. "Yeah... Kirsten does that for a reason. She has no feet," she said with an amused smile before her thoughts drifted elsewhere. They settled on the Pewter City Gym, and Brock waiting for anyone to challenge him. She figured Kirsten would be able to easily defeat his team if he only had one or two rather than the maximum size the legalese allowed, six. Could Kirsten defeat six Rock-type Pokémon on her own? That was unlikely at best. She was young, inexperienced and didn't know what it was like to face another Trainer in battle.

As Rochelle's other companions, Natalya and Phoenix, approached the new Pokémon that appeared, Rochelle remembered her Pokédex and pulled it out, quickly collecting data on Tyler's entire team and displaying each entry in turn before she switched it off.

Mika smiled at Aeris' last-ditch effort to have Blaze win, the young Charmander female sending out a barrage of tiny flames at Bones, who took the attack, shaking a bit afterwards, though he was still standing.

"Once more! Snarl!" Mika called to his Pokemon, the black-furred canine Pokemon barked and growled and bared his teeth at Blaze, shaking her constitution with the waves of Dark energy, and knocking her back onto the ground, unable to fight any more. "Excellent work, Bones!"

You fought well, Blaze... It was a nice match. Perhaps you will win next time. Bones told the other Fire-Type, going over to her and helping her up to her feet again after a few moments.

"Bones, you go ahead and come on back for now..." Mica said to his Houndour, sending out his HootHoot, Artemis, to do battle against Aeris' Butterfree. "Alright, hun... let's see what Tristan can do."

Blaze stood up and walked back over to Aeris. "Don't worry about losing. You can't win every time." She hugged Blaze, then let go of her and let her lie down on the grass, with her tail on her stomach so it wouldn't touch the grass. "Tristan, you're up."

Tristan flew down and in front of Aeris, facing Artemis. "I'd like to see how he fares against your Hoothoot as well. Tristan, use Tackle!" Tristan nodded and tackled the little Hoothoot, sending it flying back to Mika.

While Blitz was still occupied with Kirsten, Tank decided to try talking to Natalya and Phoenix. Geist opted to remain where he was, silently watching the battle in front of them. The Abra was never one for socializing. The only time he really seemed to animate was when he was with Tyler. Scooting over next to Geist, Tyler scratched the spot between the Pokemon's ears.

"Hey buddy, why aren't you hanging out with the other Pokemon?" he asked.

"Abraaa..." Geist replied timidly.

"Aw, don't tell me you're shy," said Tyler. "You gotta bond with your teammates! Look at Tank and Blitz. See how much fun they're having?"

After a moment of consideration, the Abra reluctantly stood up. "Abra?" he asked, nodding towards the other Pokemon.

Tyler chuckled. "C'mon, Geist. I'm sure they'll like you!"

Geist let out an approximation of a sigh and walked slowly over to Tank, who was still engaged in conversation with Natalya and Phoenix.

Fary sighed and hung her head some. "Mom look I am dating him, we got together last night. Dad please be nice." Fary said waiting for her parents to react.

"Oh god sweety I'm proud of you. He's cute and a trainer." her mother said giggling.

"DEAR how are you happy about this? That's our little girl." her dad said.

"Dad please just calm down he's nice and I'm happy." Fary said.

"Look mom dad I have to go." fary said ending that call to the sound of her parents trying to stop her.

"Hey, I remember that guy," Rochelle commented to Tyler as Geist approached. "He was at the, um, the Viridian Pokémon Center, that's right." She watched the six Pokémon interact with one another, content to sit back and observe for a little while.

"So, um... what are your thoughts on the whole Gym battling thing?" she eventually asked. "I figure Kirsten can take down the Rock-type guy who hangs out in Pewter, judging by what I learned back in school. Am I right, Kirsten?" she added, looking down at the Horsea and gently scratching under what looked like her chin with one finger.

"Sea," Kirsten answered with a determined look in her eyes and a nod. She turned to the lake, bounced over to it and paused for a moment, then sprayed a small jet of water at the lake's surface; a Water Gun attack. Kirsten then bounced back over to Rochelle and the others, proud of herself.

"Well, that's certainly a step up. That'll come in handy during any battles against Rock-type Pokémon," the Trainer praised, not going into further detail as to how many different types of Pokémon Kirsten would be able to beat with her Water-type attacks. She knew the majority of the advantages and disadvantages of Pokémon types, although there were some she didn't quite understand.

The Owl Pokemon took flight, taking this match into an aerial combat between the two Pokemon. As Tristan flew in for a Tackle, Artemis tried to roll out of the way, but was slower than the Butterfly Pokemon, and slammed into.

"Use Peck!" Mika called out, the Flying-Type going in close and slamming her beak against the Bug-Type, dealing a considerable amount of damage. Artemis then retreated, keeping her distance so as not to be hit with another Tackle.

Tristan backed away after Artemis pecked him. He was hurt, but still flying, which was good. "You're doing alright, Tristan. Now, use Confusion!" Tristan sent a telekinetic force at Artemis, which hit her and had her spinning a little.

"Geist? Yeah, I'm sure you saw him back at Viridian," Tyler replied. When Rochelle asked about Gym battling, he tugged at his goatee in thought. "I'm sure you'll have a pretty good chance against Brock. Your Horsea's Water type attacks will be very powerful against his Rock-types. Although Tank over there knows Double Kick, it's still not as powerful against Brock's Pokemon as Water-type attacks, so I'll be having a bit of a harder time," he added.

As Terinth walked into the PokeMart, she walked over to the supplies and stocked up on food. As she walked out of the store, she heard the sound of a battle going on just outside of the city. She walked out and saw Mika and Aeris their HootHoot and Butterfree go at it. She looked at the rest of the group, and saw some of the pokemon grouped up. She let her pokemon out into the rest of the group to give them some air.

"Try not to get into trouble. We don't need another rush like we did this morning." She said to her pokemon. She looked at the two pokemon battling. It looked like the Butterfree was sending out a burst of some sort, and it had sent the HootHoot spinning. She watched as her Lillipup scrambled over to Tyler's Nidoran, sniffing at it curiously, while her Mankey walked up to the pokemon and sat down, observing.

"Oh, I'm sure you'll be fine," Rochelle said with a short laugh. "I think I'd have to rely on Kirsten to defeat Brock; both of my other Pokémon are birds and, well, I'm sure you know how it is with that particular type match-up." She gently scratched Phoenix behind his head as she spoke, getting a quiet, "Rrrr..." of comfort from the little bird in response. Just as she had suspected, Phoenix was taking to working with Rochelle pretty easily.

"So, um... whereabouts are you from, then? Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh..." Rochelle asked Tyler to try and keep the conversation going. "I believe I mentioned my home town yesterday; Goldenrod City. Used to hang out at the Radio Tower with a few friends, picked up a radio card for my PokéGear when I could afford to buy the device itself." Rochelle held up her left wrist; the PokéGear, in a white and light blue colour scheme, was strapped to her wrist in the same manner as an ordinary watch.

"Sadly, it doesn't pick up the Kanto transmissions," Rochelle noted, returning her hand to resting on her knee.

While Fary was finishing up her call, Jordan was heading for the bushes. If he could beat this Brock guy, he wouldn't have to worry about money for a little bit anyway. At least from the sounds of it. He found a nice bit of bushes off to the side. He could see stick and Red having a battle there, so he decided to stay out of the way.

"All right bros! Come on out!" He reached into his pocket and pulled out Vince and Spike's Pokeballs before releasing them into the field.

Vince emerged, holding his scythes up in full glory, while Spike just appeared to be in his usual frenzied daze. "Scyyyyyther!" Ahhhh yeah!

"Mankey! Mankey! Mankey!" I'm out! I'm out! What do I do? Let's do stuff! I wanna do stuff!

"OK bros, we gotta get some training done so we can beat that Brock dude, and get all his money, OK? Money equals food bros, and food is good.So get out there and...uh...beat some stuff up, k bros?"

Both of Jordan's Pokemon gave a nod and headed into the grass to take on all comers.

"Goldenrod? Ah, so you're from Johto. Pretty cool. I've always wanted to go there," Tyler replied with a polite smile, momentarily distracted by Rochelle's PokeGear. Aw man, I wish I had one of those, he thought idly. Maybe if he saved enough from winning Pokemon battles, he could get one some day. Focusing back on the conversation, he continued. "I'm a Kanto native myself. Born and raised in Saffron City. In case you don't know, it's right between Lavender Town and Celadon City. The Gym Leader there is a woman named Sabrina. She specializes in Psychic Pokemon, so she's one of the tougher trainers in the Kanto League".

"So what do you want to do now?" Simon asked his Pokemon as they continued walking along the dirty path. After finding out that he didn't have any assignments Simon had stopped by a restroom to change out of his uniform. Now he was aimlessly wandering the town...

"Cheee?"

...with Shadow at his side. The Poochyena seemed a bit bored though he perked up somewhat at Simon's question. The trainer had an idea of what was wrong. Now that they were away from the forest there were no Pidgeys for Shadow to chase or large puffball Pokemon for him to fight. So, to Shadow, the city was boring.

As they passed another building Simon noticed a series of large posters was attached to one of its windows. Brock the Gym Leader welcomes all contenders! Try your luck against the The Rock-Solid Pokémon Trainer! the posters proclaimed.

'Hold on a minute.'

"We should probably be preparing for this gym battle." Simon realized. He stopped walking. In the middle of the road Simon began to pat down his pockets. After rejecting two minimized Pokéballs as empty he pulled out the one that contained Pennant.

"How about a warm-up battle?" Simon asked Shadow. The question was somewhat rhetorical as he didn't expect an answer. With a quiet grunt of effort Simon tossed the Pokéball into the air. "Come on out, Pen." he called.

In a flash of white light the Pidgey materialized in mid-air. The emptied Pokéball arced away from its tenant, causing Simon to sidestep in order to catch the item when it dropped.

"Pidgaaah" Pen gave a sharp cry as she circled overhead of her trainer. Simon had to squint against the sun to see the flying Pokemon's outline. After giving a second shorter cry Pen swooped down and landed on a nearby mailbox.

"Good morning, Pen." Simon said with a brief grin. "Ready for some practice?"

"Dgeey" Pen ruffled her feathers and to Simon's surprise did an approximation of a nod. With her feet clamped tightly to the mailbox Pen leaned forward and moved her entire body up and down.

'Huh....' Simon looked at Pen with a thoughtful expression. He talked to Shadow out of habit and because the Poochyena seemed to understand him every now and again. 'I didn't really expect for-' Shadow bumped his head against Simon's leg in an urgent manner.

"Poocheee..."

"Right. Training. Okay, let's go you two. Shadow, see if you can find anything nearby."

"Chee!" Nose to the ground, Shadow immediately deviated from the road and began moving with purpose. He wandered in a slow half-circle, stopping to sniff the air every few steps. Then Shadow disappeared into a patch of grass. After a few minutes there was the sound of a short bark and the Pokémon dashed forward. The tall grass quivered and shook giving a clear indication of direction for Simon.

"Be careful!" he called as he followed his Pokémon. Pen began to fly back and forth between Shadow and Simon. Apparently her view was better than Simon's. Shadow barked once more for guidance. Using the sound as a compass Simon reached the Poochyena. In a small clearing several feet away two Caterpie were grazing on short blades of grass.

Two of them. Two of his own Pokémon. Perfect. "Alright. Pen. Shadow. Let's go!" At the sound of his near-shout the two Caterpies turned. Shadow and Pen gave affirmative cries and rushed forwards.

The fight went fairly well, considering Simon was giving direction to both of his Pokemon one after the other. Shadow seemed to enjoy herding the Caterpie so that Pen could dive down and attack them. It became almost a game to them. Shadow kept the Caterpie from fleeing and Pen buffeted them with her wings and claws. In short order both Caterpies were knocked out. Pen was winded but triumphant as she dropped down to the ground. Shadow had his head held high and his tongue stuck out as he too caught his breath.

"Well done, both of you." Simon praised his team. He knelt down to pet Shadow and held out his arm so that Pen could hop onto it.

"Chee..." Shadow leaned into Simon's hand as the trainer scratched behind his ear.

While he was knelt down Simon surveyed both of his Pokemon for damage. Neither one appeared to be injured but to be safe Simon decided to stop by the Pokémon Center. With Pen still perched on his arm he began to make his way back to the road. Shadow followed, keeping pace with Simon despite the height of the grass. 'I wonder what the group is up to.' Simon thought. Were they at the gym yet? Pen fidgeted a bit and Simon lifted his arm so she could get back into the air.

"Hmm... Psychic-types. According to a couple of my other Trainer friends, they're kinda rare. At least, they are in Johto. It must have been difficult to find enough people to run a Psychically oriented Gym and provide a challenge for the Trainers who attempt to beat the Leader," Rochelle noted, letting Phoenix jump down from her knee and hop over to see if Blitz was friendly to more than just Kirsten.

"I had a look around the Goldenrod Gym once. There were a few people hanging around plus the Leader, Whitney. It seemed like a pretty complex place because of its maze; I wonder if all Gyms are like the Goldenrod one, or if they're all different according to the type of Pokémon used and the Leader's preferred style of design."

Artemis was struck by the Psychic wave, faltering in her flight and falling, hitting a tree branch and catching herself back into flight. She flew in for another Peck, but she was confused and hurt herself in the process.

"Hypnosis!" Mika called out, and Artemis stared deep into Tristan's eyes, and Mika hoped that the Butterfree would fall into sleep.

Tyler nodded. "Yeah, Psychic-types are some of the rarer Pokemon out there," he replied. "But they're also one of the more powerful ones. That's why Sabrina's Gym is such a challenge for a lot of people". He paused for a moment, listening to Rochelle's curiosity about Kanto Gym design.

"Well, for the most part, the Kanto Gym Leaders aren't really big on crazy, over-the-top architecture," said Tyler. "Generally, they're indoor buildings that reflect the aesthetic of the Leader's preferred type. Misty's Gym in Cerulean has a pool, Erica's Gym in Celadon has a lot of plants, stuff like that".

"Blaine, the head of the former Cinnabar Gym, was the exception to the "not crazy" rule though. His Gym used to reside in Cinnabar Island's volcano until the thing erupted. After that, the old man moved it into a hollowed-out cave out in the Seafoam Islands. Er...besides him, the Gyms around these parts are pretty much 'normal'".

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