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

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"Yes I'm from Hoenn; specifically Rustboro City. I'm here because I got a job at the Devon Corporation. A couple of researchers needed someone to catch all of the species of bug Pokémon for their project. I got the job and they had me start here because a bunch of trainers, which I'm assuming is your group, started here and it allowed for a faster trainer registration and equipment set up. It works out pretty good since I always wanted to travel the world, and since I want to go everywhere; I'm the challenge here because some places require the region's badges in order to enter them," Callum explained while continuing walking.

In the meantime his Ledyba had returned to him and was resting on his bag again. His Spinarak left his should and was battling it out with a Drowzee. The String Spit Pokémon was on top of its head sucking its blood with Leech Life. The Drowzee tried to get it off by using Headbutt on a nearby tree. The Spinarak jumped off before it connected and finished the Drowzee off with a Night Shade. The early Headbutt caused a Spearow to fall from the tree, and the Bug Pokémon quickly retreated to his trainer.

Fary nodded. "It's fine. I'd rather have it cleaned out at this point then suffer any longer." Fary said holding her hand out trying to avoid how she hurt her hand and focus on fixing it. "I'm sorry about earlier with Misty. Things haven't been going well for me it seems. Man, maybe I should of never left Black City." she sighed thinking about everything that's been happening.

"Though I also have a reason to be here as well. Damn Family traditions." she looked at the ground at that point thinking of the task her father gave her.

I want you to breed and train a Dragonite better then mine. Then I will consider your training finished Fary and you will take over the family breeding.

At Fary's acceptance, Rochelle nodded to Kirsten and the Water-type carefully sprayed Fary's hand with water, washing away the blood and leaving the cuts bare. Rochelle set Kirsten down on the ground again, and Kirsten stuck around to observe the proceedings, though she was looking a little tired from being out of the water. Rochelle then collected the supplies she planned to use, drying off Fary's hand before she applied disinfectant and gauze, and wound a bandage fairly tightly over it, securing the end with the small clip as she had been taught.

"I'm not the one you should be apologising to, I think," she said quietly in answer to Fary's mention of the episode with Misty. "You and Jordan need to figure out what's going on between the two of you... I hope you've both learned something from your choices," she added. Even someone with no experience of being in a relationship, such as Rochelle, could tell that things had started to go downhill from the night in Pewter City.

"Now, before I let you go, one last thing. Don't take the bandages off, no matter how tempting it gets," she instructed. "Your hand will heal faster if you leave it alone... also, I'm gonna need the clip back eventually, since I don't have much in this kit," she said. Her supplies were indeed finite.

Rochelle punctuated her last sentence with a yawn, a small one so as not to offend. "Um, sorry. Didn't get much sleep last night," she explained.

The selective hearing that Eileen seemed to have ignored almost everything Callum said until he mentioned that he might join the group on the way to Vermillion. "Excellent that you're joining us on the trip, Callum. It'll be nice to not be considered the 'new person' anymore, even though there was not that much time difference between when I joined and when you did," Eileen told him as a few of the other Trainer's in the group could be seen close by, "Seems like they didn't move too far a head of us."

Her attention turned to her Exeggcute who seemed to be having difficulty taking on his opponents now that he had been battling for a while. Ari was not used to the constant battling that she normally had Hughes do, and it was evident that he was about to be too tired to even continue his battle with a Drowzee. "Ari, return!" Eileen called out, raising his Pokeball to return her tired Pokemon back, "You'll get used to this soon enough. Hughes!"

Her fire Pokemon took Ari's place in the battle with the Drowzee, and the foe quickly fell to Hughes' bite attack. Compared to Ari, Hughes looked no worse for wear and seemed eager to continue his win streak by taking on the next closest Pokemon: a Mankey. "Good boy Hughes. Are you even tired yet?" she asked her Pokemon, getting an energetic bark that certainly sounded like a 'no'. "Good, just keep up with us okay?" she asked, getting another bark as a reply.

Mika's Pokemon were busy as well, training heartily against the local population of wild ones, and the occasional trainer passing through the area. Especially Toxina, as her Double-Kick made short work of the Meowth, Rattata, and other Normal-Types in the area. Bones was making short work of a few Drowzee, his Dark attacks making them fall easily, and the Bugs in the trees and Grass-Types around were no match for his Ember. Gruumsh, which is what Mika had named his new Mankey upon noticing it was missing an eye, was quite the battler. The Pig-Monkey Pokemon battled with speed and ferocity, and Mica was quite impressed with him.

Toxina took down a Snubbul with a well placed Poison Sting to the chest, watching the pink Pokemon fall to the ground. She looked awfully proud of herself, and suddenly started to glow with an ethereal light... Mica had seen this many times before, but it was always a reward to see. Toxina's form grew bigger, larger, and stronger. When the light faded, she was twice as large as her previous form, and her body was coated with larger spikes than before. She looked over at Mika and let out a happy cry.

Mika, I evolved! I feel much stronger, now.

Mica smiled and patted her gently, rubbing her ears affectionately. "Great job! You look great, Toxina." He smiled and looked back to the rest of the group.

"Hey... did anyone happen to find a Moon Stone while we were in Mt. Moon?" He asked the group curiously, just in case he wanted to evolve her into a Nidoqueen.

"Congratulations!" Aeris said when she walked over to Mika, noticing that his Nidoran evolved into Nidorina. "I didn't find a Moon Stone, though I did find a fossil. I know that won't help, though." She gave Mika a nuzzle on his nose, smiling. Then she remembered her scratches.

"I got a new addition to my team who did this to me." she said, pointing towards her scratched face. "I'm not too happy about it, but she might be a decent team member." Felina was taking care of a couple of Oddishes before coming over to Aeris, purring and smiling. "You're a little trouble maker, but you will do alright." She patted Felina's head and scratched between her ears.

Blaze, Ekans and Xal decided a break was in order and went over to Aeris. "Good work, everyone. And let me introduce the newest member of the team." She picked up Felina and held her in her arms. "This is Felina." she said to her team. "She seems to be quite capable of handling herself." "Meowth!" Nice to meet you all. The team welcomed her, each with their own unique cry.

Aeris let Felina down when she heard her Pokedex ding a few times. "Huh?" She fetched it out of her pocket and opened it. It seemed to be providing her with new information, or at least something she hadn't noticed before. Abilities.

Blaze/Charmeleon: Blaze
Powers up Fire-type moves in a pinch.

Tristan/Butterfree: Compoundeyes
The Pokémon's accuracy is boosted.

Ekans: Shed Skin
The Pokémon may heal its own status problems.

Xal/Geodude: Sturdy
The Pokémon is protected against 1-hit KO attacks.

Sonya/Venonat: Tinted Lens
Powers up "not very effective" moves.

Felina/Meowth: Pickup
The Pokémon may pick up items.

"Ooo, all sound like useful abilities. Good to know that." Aeris put her Pokedex back in her pocket, watching as Felina was getting along with her other Pokemon. She smiled at it.

Simon let Shadow wander for a bit, following the Pokémon as he moved through some high grass. After the grass was a field filled with groups of large leaved plants that looked vaguely familiar. And after the field was another section of grass. The changes in scenery were lost on Shadow as the Pokémon had his head to the ground and appeared to be following a scent. Simon brushed stray leaves from the bottom of his pants leg. "What are you doing, bud?" the trainer asked. They cleared the grass and still Shadow was focused on something. At least he's easier to track. Simon thought. The reversal in color and change in stature post-evolution was nice.

At the sound of his trainer's voice Shadow looked up and gave an anxious whine. They were getting closer to whatever it was. Good Simon thought. Shadow broke into a slow run.

"Hey!" and Simon followed.

Past some more grass and towards the edge of a man-made dirt barrier Shadow skidded to a halt. They'd reached an area of trees. Forepaws raking against bark, Shadow attempted to climb the nearest one. More trees. Crossing his fingers against Pidgeys Simon looked up. The tree was full of branches all of which had healthy leaves. There was nothing but green to see. Light green, some dark green, and lots of leaves in between.

"I don't see anything here. Calm down, you're making a mess." Simon backed up a few steps and detached a Pokéball from his bandolier. "Let's try something."

Shadow's whining ceased and he moved toward the arriving Pokémon.

"Drow?" Drowzee yawned as he emerged. The Pokémon looked around. "Zee?"

"Good morning," Simon knelt down to talk to the sleepy Pokémon, "Could you Headbutt that tree please? Shadow move out of the way."

"Yen!" Seeing his teammate Shadow happily obliged. "Migh. Te. Mi."

"Zee..." Drowzee gave another yawn but did turn to look at the tree Shadow had scratched up.

Simon and Shadow cleared a path for the psychic Pokémon. "ZEE!" the Pokémon dashed forward, its form actually blurring to Simon's eyes just before the headbutt struck. There was the sound of angry flapping. Please don't be Pidgeys. Or Spearow. Simon silently pleaded. Beedrill would be bad as well. Be something small Simon decided. The lowest branches began to shake. Then two rocks fell to the ground.

At least, that's what it looked like to Simon. Dark green, the same color as the leaves, the two large objects were unmoving. They also seemed to be hovering a few inches above the ground.

"What is that?" the trainer wondered out loud. He moved forward to get a better look closely followed by Shadow.

They looked sort of like a pine cone. If a pine cone had undergone massive doses of radiation and somehow mutated to giant-size. Simon leaned closer. Suddenly the closest pine cone's eyes snapped open.


Uh-oh Those eyes were not friendly. Simon scrambled backwards. He retrieved his Pokédex as he moved and pointed the device at the leftmost Pokémon. "Shadow, Drowzee?" the trainer called. The Pokémon answered from a short distance away. The second pine cone began to open its eyes just as the Pokédex beeped.

No. 204 Pineco
Bagworm Pokémon
HT 2' 00"
WT 15.9 lbs.
It looks just like a pinecone. Its shell protects it from bird Pokémon that peck it by mistake.

"PINE!" The first angry Pineco dropped to the ground and began hopping towards Simon. Woah!

"Shadow use tackle on the angry one. Drowzee, use Confusion on the one behind." Simon ordered. The trainer continued to walk backwards.

The Pokémon gave their affirmative cries. Shadow dashed forward quickly. He launched into the air and then lunged towards his target. Drowzee remained closer to the trainer but was equally as focused on his own attack.

"Piiiine. Co." Drowzee's target began to spin in place as the Confusion attack took effect. Simon himself became a little confused as he watched the Pokémon raise itself into the air while still spinning. He sidestepped a bit and caught a glimpse of something anchoring the Pokémon to the tree above. Ah. Now things made more sense.

"Well done." Simon complimented Drowzee. He looked towards the Pineco that had been tackled. It had been moved several yards in the attack. Unfortunately the Pineco didn't have any visible damage. There was a strange fog or mist surrounding it. "Shadow try a bite attack." Simon called. The trainer glanced back at the confused Pineco. It was still spinning in place.
"Might!" Sharp teeth latched onto the angry Pineco.

"Drowzee-" Simon turned but his words stalled when he saw the Pokémon was already starting an attack. "...use disable." Simon finished quietly. A dark glow, the signature of the Disable attack, started around Drowzee and was echoed around the Pineco. "Pine!" Completely ignoring Shadow and the sharp teeth still embedded in its side the Pineco's eyes focused on Drowzee. "Co..." Another glow began to form. But this glow wasn't dark. This glow And it was getting brighter.

"Shadow move!" Simon called out. He hit the button on Drowzee's Pokéball and aimed while dropping to the ground.

*Piiiiiine* There was a bright flash, a roar, and then silence.

"Pah." Simon spat out bits of grass that had blown into his face. He slowly sat up, blinking several times to try and clear his vision. "Shadow?" he called.

"Yen!" Shadow answered. Free of debris the Pokémon was a few feet away from some Pineco-sized drag marks. At the end of the drag marked trail was a crater.

Self-destruct Simon realized. How unpleasant. The trainer picked up his pack and walked towards the battleground.

"co...." At the bottom of the crater a blackened Pineco was unconscious. "I guess that's one way to end a fight." Simon noted. "Migh." Shadow seemed to agree. The Pokémon pawed at the ground, causing bits of dirt to drop onto the downed Pokémon.

"Yes, you win." Simon laughed quietly. The words sounded a bit odd, prompting Simon to place a hand over his ears. After effects of the explosion, he reasoned. Where's the other one? Simon spun around.

"Pi." The remaining Pokémon still looked a bit confused but not angry. It had a shimmering mist around it, the same kind its partner had earlier. Simon checked the Pokédex entry. Protect. "I think you are smarter than your friend." Simon informed the Pineco.

"Pine. Pi. Co. Pine." the Pineco answered.

"Migh. Te. Yen. Mi." Shadow picked up the apparent conversation, adding comments of his own.

"Pine.....pine" The Pineco looked up at the tree it had fallen from. Oddly Simon began to feel a bit guilty. "Sorry for disturbing you?" he offered. The trainer also didn't want another explosion to occur.

"Pine...." The Pineco moved its body back and forth. Then it slowly began to move upwards. Simon watched until it disappeared into the leaves.

"Might?" Now that the fight was over Shadow decided he was hungry. He pushed against Simon's pack and gave his trainer a pleading look. "No more snacks. You already had half of my sandwich." Simon told Shadow sternly.

"Yen..." Shadow's ears and tail drooped momentarily. "Migh?" Then something else caught his attention.

Another scent? Simon guessed. "We don't need any more explosions." he warned.

"Yen." Shadow began moving along a nearby path at a deliberately slow pace. His head was up and his ears twitched every few seconds. Not a scent, Simon decided, but a sound. As they rounded a group of hedges a building came into view. Simon stopped to inspect the building while Shadow continued moving until he was on the front porch. Made of what looked like stone or brick the majority of the building was sort of a pinkish hue. Dark wood shutters matched the door and the roof was a vibrant red color. A bit like the Pokémon center. A simple mailbox was situated in front of the building. A large mailbox not unlike those in front of Simon's office building. A business, maybe?

"Why did you-oh." As he walked up the steps Simon could hear the sound of an argument. He stepped back to take a closer look at the sign above the door.

Pokémon Day Care - 'Let us raise your Pokémon!'

A daycare center for Pokémon? He had heard of such a place but never actually seen one. It this spot seemed like an odd place for a daycare. Simon looked up the path and then turned to see the other direction. There was no one in sight. "It's kind of hidden." Simon noted. Ignoring his trainer Shadow pushed against the door. It opened it slightly. The muffled argument became became clear.

"We're sorry but the Pokémon you gave us did not get along." An elderly female voice was apologetic but firm.

"I don't care if they get along or not your job is to make me an egg from what I give you. My buyer is already upset and let me tell you you do not want-" Simon shook his head. That voice had to belong to a man in a suit. That arrogance and tone would produce nothing less than a designer outfit and probably a phone or laptop. Expensive things, for showing off and looking like you were important. There was a list of standard phrases entry-level delivery boys were supposed to use when dealing with someone so pompous. They were the type most likely to file unwarranted complaints. The list had a lot of apologies and soothing assurances.

"We're sorry." Another voice joined in the conversation Simon was eavesdropping on. A male voice that sounded just as old as the woman's. "We can care for the Pokémon but they won't be providing any eggs." There was a slight pause. "No matter what we do."

"Oh really? Because I've got a nice negligence report here that I can just-"

Simon sighed and took a step back. He really had no place here. He had no authority. It wasn't like he could just...

"-and let me tell you, Vulferam Hart never takes no for an-."

Wait a minute. Simon quickly pulled his pack around and undid the top. Pushing past his latest purchases he withdrew the package he'd gotten from his office.

Vulferam Hart, Attorney at Law
c/o White Room Industries

Oh no. There was a non-too-gentle shove to the trainer's back. Simon found himself falling forward against the door, stumbling into the lobby, and instantly attracting the attention of the occupants. The trainer glanced backwards to see Shadow just behind him.

"As I was saying, are you prepared for the full attention of my department to come barreling at full steam against-"

"Sir? Excuse me, sir?" Simon rose to his feet and stepped forward. The older couple behind the counter looked at the trainer while the lawyer paid him no attention. Instead the man continued to rant for a few seconds.

"Sir!" Simon braced himself as the man, who actually was in a suit, finally turned in his direction.

"How dare you? Can't you see I'm busy. Do you even know. Who. I. Am?" Which each word the man's voice rose in volume. His face turned red and Simon was briefly reminded of how Pineco looked before it self-destructed.

Shadow didn't care for the man's attitude. "Migh." He walked in between his trainer and the man, forcing both to take a step backwards.

Simon held out the package along with the electronic signature device he'd hastily removed from his pack. "Yes sir," he replied, "and I'm supposed to deliver this to you."

The Suit yanked the package out of Simon's grasp. He mumbled a bit as he read over the shipping label.

"There are the parts we ordered last month. Why'd it take so long, boy?" the man sneered.

Because you refused to pay for the delivery. Simon thought.

"I'm sorry sir, the item was marked for pick-up only."

"I don't want to hear it just give me that-" The man took the signature device from Simon and used the attached pen to scribble on the receipt. "Here." Simon was forced to drop his pack to catch the device. He winced as the pack landed on his foot and something fell to the floor.

The Suit turned to the elderly couple. "I've got to get this back to the office. But I'll be back to finish this conversation." Completely ignoring the mess he'd created the man walked out of the building.

*Whew* Simon sighed quietly in relief. He knelt down and began to pick up the Potions that had fallen out of his pack.

"Thank you." Simon's head jerked up and he saw the couple had stepped out from behind the counter.

"It' was no problem." The trainer replied. He finished putting stuff back in order and stood up, holding the pack by one of its straps. "I'm glad I could help." And glad he could get rid of the package. A good deal in the end. "Sorry for barging in like that." Simon added though he made no mention of the eavesdropping.

"It's quite alright." The older woman turned to look at the man, who looked back. There was a moment of silent communication. It was something Simon had seen his parents do often. Something he didn't really understand. So he waited patiently for some sort of cue. While he waited he observed the couple. They were dressed in plain clothes. Both had greying hair but somehow they didn't seem as old as his own grandparents. They both moved without any sort of assistance and didn't have the gaze of the absentminded.

Abruptly the man gave a quick nod and headed toward the back of the room. "Would you mind waiting here for a minute? My husband won't be long." The daycare woman smiled. A normal looking door was opened and the man disappeared. Strange sounds, and the sound of several Pokémon, were heard until the door swung closed. Shadow's head tilted in confusion.

Simon nodded as he shouldered his pack. "Okay."

Exciting by the sounds that he could no longer hear Shadow bounded forward. He leaned against the counter in an attempt to reach the door.

"Shadow, be careful." Simon warned. The Pokémon whined and dropped back down to the ground.

"Oh he's not hurting anything. So are you a Pokémon trainer?" The woman asked. She gestured to Simon's chest where his bandolier was on clear display.

"Yes ma'am. And a courier." Simon detached his ID from a sleeve on his pack and held it up for a few seconds. When the woman made no move to step forward he put the card away. Shadow walked closer, brushing against Simon's side. Simon dropped his hand down gently on Shadow's head, scratching behind his ears until the Pokémon made a happy sound.

"Well. Perhaps you could do us a favor." There was the sound of a soft click and Simon looked up to the man returning. He had a small plastic container in one hand and something held carefully against his side.

Both trainer and Pokémon leaned forward. A Pokémon egg! Simon recognized the spherical object. He'd never seen one before. Well, not a real one.

"'d. *ahem* A favor?" Simon stumbled over his response as the man neared. The egg was mostly white but had some blue and red accents.

The daycare woman continued, "One of the other centers sent us this egg. But we're a bit overbooked you see. We want someone who will appreciate the Pokémon to take care of it. A Pokémon ranger or breeder. Or a trainer. Like you."

"What do you say?" The daycare man gave a broad grin and placed the egg in Simon's hands.

"Me? But...Thank you." Simon remained still, not wanting to move, not wanting to do anything to disturb what he'd been given. "Are you sure?" He asked nervously.

"Relax, boy. It's a tough one." The daycare man laughed at Simon's expression. "You're not going to break it just by holding it."

"What is it?" Simon asked. Despite the man's assurances he cautiously tilted the egg on its side. He found that the red and blue accents covered the entire egg.

The old man hesitated before replying. "We have our suspicions. I hope you don't mind but we'd like to keep it a surprise. Just in case we're wrong."

Simon nodded. "Okay." In his current mood he felt like agreeing to anything. He had a Pokémon egg. A real Pokémon egg.

"Let me see that pack of yours." the daycare man requested. Wordlessly Simon handed it over. The man took the bag to the counter and set it down. He held up the container he'd brought along with the egg. "This is Pokémon food," Shadow's ears twitched at the familiar word, "but it's designed for baby Pokémon. It's made to last. So this ought to keep you until you can buy some more at a Pokémart. Be sure to specify that you want food for a young or baby Pokémon. There is a difference." Simon nodded again and let the man put the container of food in his pack. There was a brief shuffling sound "You have a bike that you're not using?" The man looked curiously at Simon.

The trainer shrugged. Is that a bad thing? Simon wondered.

"Do call us when it hatches?" The daycare woman stepped closer and gave Simon's arm a friendly pat.

"Yes ma'am." Simon replied.

"Great! Let me just get you our number." The woman turned and disappeared behind the counter. "We had cards made just the other day..." There was the sound of drawers being opened and closed rapidly.

The daycare man handed Simon his pack and traded for the egg while Simon put the pack back on.

"Unfortunately we can't tell you when it'll hatch." The man apologized, "But when it's ready, it's ready. Don't be alarmed if there is glowing either. That's normal."

"O...kay." Simon took the egg back and hefted it up a few times. It wasn't that heavy. But maybe he should use the bike. That way he wouldn't have to carry the egg around all day. Plus he'd cover more ground.

"Here you go, dear." The daycare woman returned, triumphantly waved a small card, "What did you say your name was?" She handed Simon the card. It had the daycare's logo, address, and phone number on it. Scribbled on the backside was another number and the couple's full names.

"Simon. Simon Braddock ma'am." He shifted the egg so he could hold out his hand.

"Simon! That's a good name." The daycare woman's handshake was gentle but the man's was solid. Simon was surprised to notice that both couple's hands were calloused. They work for a living. He reasoned. Caring for Pokémon had to be a tough job.

"Indeed it is, " Simon was startled until he realized the daycare man was referring to his 'good' name. "If you ever have Pokémon in need of care feel free to stop by. Or mention us to one of the other couples. We're networked!" The man happily reached over to pat a large bulky machine that Simon identified as a very very old computer.

"I'll do that." Simon assured the couple. "And thank you." Cradling the egg against his chest Simon waved as he left the building. The couple's own farewells were mirror images of each other. Though, just as the door closed, Simon heard the man mutter something about his bike.

"I wonder what that was about." Simon commented to Shadow.

"Migh." Shadow's response was to yawn.

Once he was on the porch Simon paused. Out of curiousity he scanned the egg with his Pokédex.

HT ??
WT ??

"Well it was worth a shot. So what do you think, bud, what is it?" Simon leaned down and held the egg out. Shadow sniffed at the offering. And appeared to lose all interest. Instead Shadow diverted his attention to Simon's pack.

"Yeennn?" The Pokémon asked hopefully.

Simon laughed as he stood up straight. "You can't be hungry already." Shadow whined, dropping to lay on his back as though he was starving. Simon laughed again at his Pokémon's antics. "Alright. Okay. We'll stop to eat in Vermillion, I promise. First thing."


"Well, she's a cutie, at least." Mika said with a smile as he was kissed by Aeris. He managed to find a spot on her face that wasn't scratched, and gave her a soft kiss back. "I've got my own new team-member... and he's quite the fighter."

Mika watched Aeris scan each of her Pokemon and discover their special abilities, something he didn't know the Pokedexes could do. "Hmm... Let me try that."

The young, blonde boy let out each of his Pokemon from their Pokeballs, calling them all over to him from their battles. He fished the Pokedex from his pocket, and pointed it at each of them.

Bones/Houndour: Flash Fire
Strengthens Fire-Type moves when hit with Fire.

Toxina/Nidorina: Poison Point
Induces Poison status to foes upon physical contact.

Artemis/HootHoot: Keen Eye
Accuracy can not be lowered by Opponent moves.

Claw/Sandshrew: Sand Veil
Boosts evasion in a Sandstorm

Take/Paras: Effect Spore
Chance of status problems upon Physical contact.

Gruumsh/Mankey: Anger Point
Attack is boosted to maximum upon Critical Hit

"Huh.. not bad, I suppose." Mica said aloud, putting back the Pokedex and letting his Pokemon mingle with Aeris' for a few moments. He smiled as Toxina stumbled a few times, getting used to her new body. "Hehe, looks like Bones might not be too keen on Felina..." He pointed out to Aeris, that Bones was playfully growling at the Scratch-Cat Pokemon... Obviously not meaning it.

"Huh. Catching Bug Pokemon for Devon Corp? I'm guessing that's easier said than done," replied Tyler.

Off to the side, a Rattata was flung backwards out of the grass by a well-placed Double Kick. It rolled along the ground before coming to a stop along the trail. In pursuit followed Tank, who speared the Mouse Pokemon in the side with a Peck attack before it could stand up. The Nidoran gave a victorious grunt and returned to Tyler's side.

"Tank..." he said. "What did I say about the tall grass?"

Tank giggled mischievously. "Ran ran!"

Tyler grinned and looked at Callum. "By the way, this is Tank, my Nidoran." He then pointed to Geist, who had been silently following the three trainers. "And that's Geist. Just evolved into a Kadabra."

As Vince slashed through the resident flora and fauna of Route Five and Spike came out to join his team mate for a bit, Jordan surveyed the landscape. The tiny building down the way had to be the entrance to the trail that Misty was referring to. "Hey bros!" he called out. "I think the thing is like this way to go to the next place!"

Vince led the way cutting through the grass leading up to what looked to be no bigger than Jordan's bedroom at home. Jordan pushed the door open, it creaked loudly. The lights above it didn't appear to work. A quick flick of the switch confirmed that. "Here Vicky," he said releasing his final Pokemon. "You can like lead the way and stuff."

Zubitbit! "Hurray dark!"

The group eventually reunited at the building and made the quick trek through the darkened pass. Vicky and Jordan led the way. Jordan tripped over something in the dark, nearly wiping out before retaining his balance. He picked it up, about to chuck it on the wall when it felt heavy, and like a bottle. The rest of the walk was uneventful, as dark dank underground alleyways tend to be. Emerging into another poorly lit shack, it looked like they had just went around in a circle, but there was a fair bit of sunlight coming through, highlighting the other door. It allowed Jordan to see that the bottle he had been holding was labelled "Full Restore", a lucky find.

Walking through out onto the tail end of Route 6, the group was immediately blasted with the scent of the ocean, a scent Jordan had been longing for since he had left on this forced journey. Beckoning in the distance, a large metal frame, looking like it could belong to a house towered over a relatively small port city ahead. A few buildings clustered around the only other thing battling the skeletal home for dominance; the large cruise ship located on the edge of the water. A sign on the road ahead read "Welcome to Vermillion City: The Port of Exquisite Sunsets".

"All right bros!" Jordan exclaimed as he returned Vicky to her ball. "We totally made it! Aw this is going to be awesome! And we still got like a bunch of time until the party starts too! Killer score!" Jordan wasted little time heading down towards Vermillion, eager to get back to his familiar element.

So this was Vermilion... an interesting place, Rochelle thought, as she entered the city in question with the others. Primarily orange in colour, the city was a decent-sized one, about the same size as Cerulean, but it seemed much more open to her. And there was the distinct smell of the ocean in the air. It reminded her of her home in Goldenrod, when she would sit and watch the waves at night on the nearby Route 34.

Rochelle had returned her Pokémon to their Poké Balls during the trip through the underground path. She let Kirsten out for a bit of the ocean air, knowing that the Water-type would like the scent on the wind and quickly scheduling a small swim for the Pokémon. Her Pokédex, however, bleeped at her when she released Kirsten from her ball, detailing some new information.

Pokémon Recognised: Horsea. Updates:
Techniques: BubbleBeam, SmokeScreen, Water Gun, Focus Energy

Intrigued by one move in particular, Rochelle tapped a button on the device, revealing some more details.

Focus Energy: The user takes a deep breath and focuses its mind, allowing it to produce stronger attacks in battle.

"Interesting..." she mused to herself, looking down at the little creature before picking her up. She resolved to have Kirsten try that in a battle at some point in the future. For now, though, the group of Trainers were at peace, relatively speaking. Curious about one of the reasons for coming to Vermilion City, Rochelle caught up to Jordan and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Say, Jordan, could I get a look at the pass you were given?" she asked. "I didn't pay much attention during breakfast." And there were other things going on... argumentative things, she silently added, wanting to bring up neither the fight between Fary and Misty nor the reasoning behind it. She had spoken her piece to Fary, and hopefully she would do something about it... though there was the option of saying the same to Jordan and hoping he'd get it. She wasn't sure if that would work, though.

The Route that they had come out to once they were out of the Underground Route was empty, much to Eileen's dismay. 'Maybe because it's just a short route, so there aren't any trainers,' Eileen reasoned with a disappointed look on her face as they entered into Vermillion. There were a few interesting places she wanted to check out while here, but the first thing that needed to be done was to heal her Pokemon. 'And ask Nurse Joy a quick question.'

She looked for the familiar sign and building of the Poke Center, spotting it close by to where they had entered the city. In the distance she saw a large cruise ship that she could only assume was the ship they'd be on tonight. 'Can't make out the name from here, but it's the only one there large enough to fit the description,' she thought as she quickly made her way over to the Pokemon Center, speeding up when she saw some school children running around outside it.

The basic layout of the Center was similar to the previous Centers she had been in, with the front desk and healing section right in the front. The Nurse behind the desk looked at the entrance after hearing the doors open, about to greet this new traveler before she was cut off by Eileen sprinting across the floor right to her.

"Here are my Pokemon," Eileen said, returning Hughes into his Pokeball before handing her three to Nurse Joy.

"Okay. I'll get these out for you in a jiffy," the Nurse responded after she was over the initial shock. She had seen quite a few hasty Trainers in her time, but she had never seen someone make it across to the desk so fast. "Any reason for being so rushed?" the Nurse asked.

"Kinda. When are the schools let out here?" Eileen asked, looking up at the clock on the arch above the front desk.

"They should have gotten out around twenty minutes ago," Nurse Joy responded, listening to Eileen's second question before answering, "They usually got to Route 6 to play with their Pokemon. Sometimes they battle too." That seemed to be what the Trainer wanted to hear as she grinned when she was told that.

"Thanks for the info. I'll just wait over there for my Pokemon," Eileen told the Nurse before heading over to some benches to the side of the Center and taking a seat.

Mika stretched as they finally reached the port city of Vermillion. He took a deep breath of the sea air and looked up at the early afternoon sun, covering his eyes as it shone brightly. It was a nice day, and he felt good.

"It's a nice day, and I'm excited for the party." He said cheerfully, holding Aeris' hand for a short while, but letting go once they reached the Pokemon Center and he handed his Pokemon in to be healed. Once that was taken care of, he made an immediate beeline for the video-phones. He sat down at one of the screens, and dialed out the number to his older sister in Celadon City. On the screen appeared a woman in her early 20's, no older than 23, with blond hair like Mika's but much longer. The resemblance between the two was there, but here eyes were violet, rather than cyan like Mika's. Her face was also prettier, but that was because of softer features, and makeup of course.

"Hey little brother!" She said with a smile as she saw her younger sibling on the screen. "How's your journey?"

"Not bad, sis. I've already got another full party, and I'm in Vermillion right now... I'm headed back your way after this... just like last time." He said with a smile, which became softer around the edges as the words 'last time' spun through his mind.

"Hey, get your mind out of the past..." She snapped at him, pulling him out of the memory. "... have you been taking your medication? I've seen that look before, and you only get that way when you haven't taken your pills."

"I... I ran out last night, I was gonna get some this morning, but we left before I could get to the pharmacy... I was kinda calling you to see if you had any there... also, I need some nice clothes. Like, anniversary dinner clothes, or something. My group got invited onto the SS.Anne for their Aniversary party."

"Really? No fuckin' way. Good job, kiddo." She smiled and nodded. "Yeah, I can send you your slacks and a nice shirt and vest. It's a little warm for the suit jacket in Vermillion... but as for your pills, you took them with you, buddy. Talk to the pharmacy, they should be able to get you some, if not today, within a couple of days."

"Thanks sis... love you. Tell Kevin I said hi." He smiled and blew her a kiss, blushing lightly.

"Love you too, little bro. Will do, bye." She hung up the phone, and Mica hung up as well... after a few minutes, some clothes of his appeared in the transporter, and he went to put them in one of the bunk-rooms, where he put the rest of his things.

After entering Vermillion City, Callum took a moment to take in the sights. The sea air was crisp and different from the mountain and forest air that he was normally used to. The sun was beating down a little and Callum return his Spinarak, Ledyba, and Pineco; the Pineco having been released during the walk down from Route Six. After removing his jacket, Callum followed Eileen as she rushed to the Pokémon Center.

Taking his time after entering, Callum slowly walked over to the Nurse Joy. "Welcome to the Vermillion City Pokémon Center. How may I help you?" The Nurse greeted Callum. "I was hoping to get these four Pokémon healed," Callum replied, as he removed his Nincada, Ledyba, Spinarak, and Pineco from the green bag on his belt. "That's no problem. I'll have them healed in no time at all," The Nurse replied before taking his Pokéballs.

With a smile and a thank you, Callum left the front desk and headed to the phones. He had told the Researchers that he would call them when he was in the next city, and he planned on being good for his word. Callum picked up the phone for the booth and dialed their number. After a few rings one of the Researchers picked up the phone.

"Hello Callum. I'm assuming that you managed to arrive in another city."

"Yes I'm currently in Vermillion City."

"Ah yes that's good. We haven't finished the examinations and tests on your Paras yet. It will be a bit longer before those are completed."

"That's alright. Actually today I caught my seventh Pokémon on the way to Vermillion City. I was wondering if there was anything set up since I can only carry six of them at a time."

"Oh why yes. I guess I never thought telling you before. Since you are an employee of the Devon Corporation, you have access to our Pokémon storage facilities. As long as those lackeys in administration did their job, a box should already be connected your trainer ID. Since you will be storing Pokémon there, I request your permission to access the box. We'll be able to examine any Pokémon you store there as soon as possible. This should work in your favour since we won't have to wait for a manual transfer, and we will likely be done before you get a machine to withdraw them from."

"That sounds good. I'm going to leave two of my Pokémon in there for later. I wish you luck on your research."

"Thank you. Good bye."

The research had hung up the phone and the screen reverted back to a menu screen. After a second of searching, Callum managed to find the box section. After the machine finished verifying his Trainer ID, a screen with a grass background appeared. At the top of the screen was the Box's title, Devon Box 387, and in the middle there were two options; "DEPOSIT" and "WITHDRAW". After selecting deposit, the screen prompted him to insert the Pokémon into the transporter. A second after the balls containing Metapod and Weedle were placed into the transporter, they were digitalized and images of both Pokémon appeared in the box. With that finished Callum exited the program and removed his Pokédex.

Standing up, Callum felt his stomach rumble. He realized that he hadn't eaten yet today and quickly went over to the Cafeteria to grab a sandwich.

"Uh, yeah, totally, Rochelle." Jordan dug around in the pocket of his sweatshirt and produced the pass that Bill had given to him. "I hope this thing isn't like, too rich, or anything. Don't have any other clothes then this you know?"

He looked around the city, just being near the salt water again was reviving his urge to go out and hit the ocean with his board. It was calling to him. But he had no board, not for a while, anyway. There were other things that could be done though, and even just getting a glimpse of the ocean, after the forests and the mountains that were traversed, would be enough for now.

"Hey, Rochelle, I was thinking about like heading down to the ocean there, just to like walk and stuff. You interested in coming with?"

Aeris was enjoying the sights around Vermilion, so long as she stayed away from the ocean. She thought about getting her Pokemon healed, and went to do just that. She saw Mika talking to someone on the phone, and caught a glimpse of the conversation, enough to confirm who it was. She smiled at him, thinking how nice it must be to have an older sister. Her name was called up to get her Pokemon back, so she went to do that. After securing the Pokeballs on her belt, she went back outside, however reluctantly she did so.

Staying as much away from the water as she could, she came across a Pokemon Fan Club. Going inside, there were quite a few people there with their Pokemon, either grooming the Pokemon or letting them play together. It was so adorable, Aeris thought. A man in a suit with a hat and finely groomed mustache came up towards her and shook her hand. "Welcome to the Kanto Pokemon Fan Club! I'm the president of this here fan club. Here we love and adore Pokemon without going into battle with them. I must tell you that I simply love my Rapidash, having had it for a long time now we've bonded so much and..."

He didn't get very far when Aeris started looking around for said Rapidash and finding it at the back of the room. She darted towards it and looked at it with amazed eyes. "Awwwww, it's so adorable!" she said with a bit of a squeal. "She is, isn't she?" the president said. "She's my pride and joy. Don't know what I'd do with myself if I lost her." Aeris was about to pet the Rapidash when the president took her hand away from it. "I can't allow you to do that. For one, it'd mess up her fur. And secondly, you'd get a very nasty burn. She only allows those who she trusts to pet her. Anyone else who tries it gets burned." Aeris had a sad look on her face, with puppy dog eyes no less. The president couldn't stand to look at it for long. "Oh, alright. But don't say I didn't warn you." Aeris was practically bouncing on the spot out of joy.

She went to the front of the Rapidash and looked her into her eyes. The Rapidash looked back, not sure whether to trust this girl or not. Aeris took out one of her Pokeballs and released Blaze, who stretched a bit. "Char. Charmeleon." Ah, a Rapidash. And a well treated one at that. The Rapidash seemed to like the compliment and put down her head for Aeris to pet her. When she did, she didn't get burned like the president said she might get. "Amazing! She's never let anyone pet her this quickly after meeting them. Perhaps it was because you have a Charmeleon, a fellow Fire type." Aeris giggled. "I also just have a way with Fire types. They're my favorite."

After some time, Aeris was about to leave when the president stopped her. "Would you like to join the Pokemon Fan Club? We often hold Pokemon beauty contests to see which one is the cutest, most adorable and just all around best looking." Aeris thought about it for a moment. "Hmmm. Nah, I'm good. I'm more of a Trainer who has her Pokemon battle. Thanks for the offer, though. And thank you for showing me your Rapidash. Oh! Before I forget..." She took out her Pokedex and got data on the Rapidash, then left with a goodbye.

She headed now towards the Pokemart. Though she had stocked up in Cerulean City, she wanted to see if there was anything new in stock here in Vermilion City. And indeed she did find something new. Great Balls and Super Potions were available where they had not been in Cerulean. She bought a few of each, sold her Pokeballs because she knew the Great Balls were better, stocked up on a few other items just in case, then headed outside, not sure where to go now. It was some time until they'd go to the cruise ship, which she wasn't all too keen on going to, but she didn't want to be the only one not to go from their group.

Eileen anxiously awaited for her Pokemon to be healed, watching as members of the group came in and went about their own things. Mika and Callum went over to the phones which reminded Eileen that she needed to call her parents again when she had the chance. 'I need to give myself an hour window just in case it takes them a while like before,' she thought to herself, heading over to the front desk when her name was called.

A quick thanks later and she was out of the Pokemon Center and was heading back to Route 6. She let out her new Meowth to make sure she was feeling all right, getting a swift scratch to the face as a result. "Ow! Jeez Cleo, you cut off my bandages," Eileen complained, taking off the sliced bandage. Cleo, meanwhile, was going off on some sort of Poke-rant at her new Trainer; none of which Eileen understood. "Uh want to battle?" she asked, getting a scratch on the hand for that one.

'Let's try a different approach then,' she thought, examining her hand before turning back to Cleo. "If you don't want to battle that's fine Cleo, but you still have to serve a purpose on this team. Now I know that you are a great thief, so why not just keep doing that? Just give me any items of value and the rest you can keep in your little bandolier there. How's that sound? That way you don't have to battle very often, and you can do something you enjoy." Eileen hoped the compromise worked. If she didn't she wasn't sure what she would do with her Meowth.

Cleo seemed to be thinking over the proposition, walking around in the grass briefly before making her decision. She went back over to Eileen and held up a paw, agreeing to the proposal with a hand shake. "Excellent! You can start now if you like. I'll just be battling some of the kids around here, so you have the whole area to check out. If you find anything let me know," Eileen told her Meowth after shaking her paw, watching as the Meowth trotted off back into the grass.

'Now that that is settled...' Eileen went over to the pond close by to clean her face, letting the water settle so that she could see her reflection. 'Not too bad I suppose. Only a few cuts are still visible, though I still need a bandage for that big one.' Her attention turned to the footsteps approaching her, and looking up she saw a young boy approaching her.

"This..." the boy started dramatically, twirling his small net in hand, "Is my territory lady! If you want to stay here you have to defeat me, Keigo, in battle!" Keigo seemed sure that this would scare off the random girl so that he could go back to playing with his Pokemon, but he was sorely mistaken.

"Let's battle then," Eileen replied gleefully, watching as the boy seemed taken aback by this. He recovered after a moment and called out a Weedle, declaring it the strongest one in the city. "That might be the case, but it isn't a match for my Pokemon," she said, calling out Hughes to do battle.

The battle was over before young Keigo even knew it, his two Weedles and one Caterpie falling quickly to Hughes' Ember attack. Eileen wrote it down in her notes that this was one of the fastest victories she's won, only being beaten by another Trainer earlier on in her journey who had just one Bug Pokemon. "That was an easy battle. Would this be considered my territory now?" Eileen asked in jest, walking over to the defeated boy before he returned his Pokemon and ran off yelling 'Elijah!'

"Wait! You haven't given me my victory money!" Eileen called out, chasing after the boy with Hughes by her side. When she finally caught up the boy was crying to a slightly older child wearing close to the same clothes as he was.

"Is this her Keigo?" the boy asked, listening to Keigo's sobs. "You have defeated my friend in battle, but I, Elijah, shall avenge him!" the older boy declared, twirling his own net as he called out his Butterfree.

Eileen and Hughes shared a glance of disbelief, wondering if Elijah was serious by sending out his Butterfree. Seemingly he was as he ordered his Pokemon to use Gust, the Butterfree flapping its wings and creating large gusts of winds. Hughes was barely fazed by the move, having dealt with it many times when battling Pidgeys early on in the journey. "Hughes, finish this battle with a Flame Wheel!" Eileen called out, hearing Elijah jest that there was no way his Butterfree could lose in one move.

The boy found out the hard way how wrong he was as Hughes hit the Butterfree hard and fast, knocking it down to the ground before it even had a chance to evade. "Nooooooo!" Elijah yelled, running over to his Pokemon to make sure it was okay, "You okay there buddy? We'll get you to the Poke Center, don't worry."

"Your Butterfree will be fine. Just give me my victory money and you can go," Eileen said, watching as the two boys fished out some money from their pockets before running back to Vermillion. "Let's see...1, 2, 3...a little over four dollars. A little less than what I was hoping," Eileen muttered, counting out her small winnings. She heard Hughes bark and looked up, seeing Cleo trotting by with a pleased look on her face.

"Find anything good?" Eileen asked, watching her Pokemon smile proudly as she handed over a small, light green disc to her Trainer. "Awesome Cleo! You found a TM! That's amazing," she said, examining the TM number on it. 'TM 62 is...a bug-type move if I'm correct. Don't really have a use for that though. Oh well,' she thought, giving Cleo the shiniest of her new coins for doing such a great job.

"Let's go see if we can find anyone else to battle," she stated, looking around the area for more Trainers.

After getting a ham, lettuce, and tomato sandwich Callum started eating till he heard his name announced over the Pokémon Center intercom. Quickly scarfing if down he headed over to the front desk and retrieved his Pokémon; thanking the nurse. Callum turned and left the Center following this.

Once outside, Callum looked around for a minute. There was a Poké Mart, a Pokémon Fan Club building, a large dock, and finally the gym. Disappointment reached Callum when the Gym entrance was inaccessible for the time being. A heavy sigh left his mouth and he instead headed back up to Route Six. If I can't fight a gym leader, I might as well see if I can do my job. I might be able to relax up there a little more if everyone from that insane group stays in this city.

After Callum entered Route Six he headed straight for the tree lines, releasing his Spinarak and Ledyba with him. Performing his normal climb and search tactics brought him no new bugs for his collection. I guess I might have all of the Bug Pokémon in this area, Callum thought. The conclusion wasn't pleasing and he returned back down from the trees after returning his searching partners.

Lost for things to do, Callum returned his Spinarak and Ledyba before lying back down on the ground. Just for something to do with his hands as he watched clouds pass in the sky, Callum started to pull weeds out of the ground. Suddenly as he pulled on a leaf Callum heard a cry. He let go of the leaf that he was pulling on and an Oddish uprooted itself from the ground.

The Pokémon yawned and a beam of red light was shot at Callum. The beam hit but he rolled to the side out of its way. The attack made him feel a bit drain, but he still fished a Netball out from his bag; the ball had a Pineco sticker on it. "Go Pineco!" Callum yelled out as he pressed the button on the Netball and tossed it into the air. The ball opened up and a red light emerged; materializing into a Pineco. "Do your thing," Callum commanded as he pulled out his Pokédex and scanned the Weed Pokémon.

043 Oddish
Weed Pokémon
HT 1' 08"
WT 11.9 lbs.
It often plants its root feet in the ground during the day and sows seeds as it walks about at night.

"Pine Pineco." The Bagworm Pokémon said upon its release, before casting out a light green force field. "Oddisssshhhh. Cried back the Pokémon with a blue body and green leafs. A stream of acid shot out from between the center of its leafs, and hit the force field around the Pineco. The force field disappeared and the Pineco remained unharmed as it quickly hopped over to the Oddish and bit onto a leaf on its head.

"Oddiiiiissssshhhhh!" Was screamed as the Pokémon struggled to get free, obviously in pain. The Pineco paid no heed to the Oddish's cry, as it started to spin around. The Oddish's body was starting to hit off of the Pineco's shell, as the Pokémon start to change its rotation speed and tilt back and forth.

Finally the Pineco let go of the leaf and the Oddish flew a few meters. The impact was a bit disorienting as the Oddish released a purple cloud of powder in the wrong direction of the Pineco. The Pineco quickly bounced over while still spinning and hit it again, knocking it to the ground.

Even though the Oddish didn't have the strength to right itself off of the ground, it fired a red beam as it tried to use Absorb on the Pineco. The Pineco was hit for a second before moved out of the way and stopped spinning. The small amount of energy the Oddish gained from the attack wasn't enough to help it. I'm probably going to need more than Bug Pokémon if I want to beat all of the gyms. This Oddish still wants to fight as well after all of that. I guess it would make a good member of my team. The Pineco start to jump forward again as it intended to try for another Bug Bite.

"Pineco please stop," Callum requested and the Pokémon stopped. After a moment of searching, Callum found the last Pokéball without a sticker in his bag. After removing it he threw the Pokéball at the Oddish. It made contact and the Pokémon was pulled inside. After a minute of violent shaking, the Pokéball stopped and chimed as the blinking button turned solid white.

Callum walked over to the Pokéball and picked it up. "I hope we can be good buddies," Callum told the Pokéball, and quickly placed the Oddish sticker from his collection onto the Pokéball. "Good job as well Pineco," Callum congratulated his Pokémon. Felling a bit thirsty Callum removed his canteen and drank the last of it. He had forgotten to refill it and went off to the water's edge in order to refill it. His Pineco followed in behind him.

"What do you mean you refuse to battle just with me?! I can take on both of you without needing a partner," Eileen explained, furious at the way the two teens before her were acting. Earlier she had approached the two teens (seemingly a couple with the way they were acting) and asked for a battle; being quickly shot down by the couple for not having a partner to battle with.

"Sorry lady, my girlfriend and I only battle together. So either find someone or don't bother coming back," Camper Ricky told Eileen, handing his girlfriend a finished flower necklace. Eileen raged for a minute before storming off to go and find someone, telling the couple to wait for her there.

She headed back the way she came towards Vermillion, hellbent on finding someone to partner up with. 'So that I can smite those damn kids and make them regret the day they were born,' Eileen thought, seeing a familiar face by the pond and running over.

"You! Callum! Be my partner for a battle! I'm going to teach those kids a lesson!" she yelled frantically, keeping an eye on Ricky and Nancy to make sure they were still there.

"One moment..." Rochelle answered, half-paying attention to Jordan's question while she examined the S.S. Anne pass, cradling Kirsten in the crook of one arm. Like Jordan had said, it allowed ten guests to board the ship, promising a full night's worth of entertainment. Pokémon were evidently allowed on board, as the entertainment included battling among its listed attractions.

Jordan's worry about a dress code seemed to be an unnecessary one, as the pass made no mention of any particular restrictions on attire. He would probably also be interested in the available food, knowing him. Rochelle, however, was of the mind that she would need to at least clean up and make herself presentable for an event such as this. She made a note to go through her items of clothing for suitable attire... and also another note to buy a journal or something in which to keep the little notes she made. She would forget them otherwise.

"Interesting that someone would just give these away, at no charge," she mused, handing the pass back to Jordan before thinking over his question. "Um... sure, why not," she agreed, falling into step beside him. She wanted to ask Jordan about a couple of things... and maybe see how his Pokémon fared in battle against her own. That would be an interesting match, especially if Jordan proved himself to be at least somewhat smart about his battling. Rochelle thought that he sometimes came across as being a couple of eggs short of an Exeggcute.

She had no intention of insulting Jordan, of course, which is why she did not give voice to that particular thought.

Callum removed his filled Canteen from the pond and returned it to his pack. And here I thought I'd have a quiet afternoon and she then comes raining down. "I don't remember agreeing to become your slave. I'm not sure what has you in such a bind but I have no reason to battle them. Seriously I just want to relax since I can't get into the Vermillion Gym. Please go find someone else to bother," Callum responded calmly to Eileen.

The waves from her overly aggressive personality and the group she was with had been clashing with Callum waves since this morning; his normal relaxed self was hidden away by the effect. Callum's Pineco could sense the offbeat from his trainer and hopped in between the two, shouting towards Eileen.

Hughes didn't appreciate the way Callum's Pineco was shouting at his Trainer. He stepped in front of the Pineco and barked back, basically telling the Pokemon to back off or else.

"Woah down there everyone. Let's just calm down and relax. Hughes, leave Callum's Pineco alone. Callum, how about we go about this a different way? Is there anything I can do to change your mind? Anything at all?" Eileen asked, taking a step back to rethink how she was going about this. It was then she remembered what her Meowth had given her.

"How about this TM I recently obtained. It's a bug-type move, and I don't really plan on using it. If you help me and we win I'll give it to you. How does that sound?"

Callum mulled it over in his head for a minute. "Fine, but you also owe me a favour," Callum replied with respite in his voice.

"Excellent. Let's get over there then," Eileen said with excitement, taking Callum's hand and dragging him over to where the couple were. "Hey I found someone to battle with," Eileen told Ricky and Nancy, the two Trainers laying down in the grass.

"You 'found someone'? You are totally going to lose with that attitude. You have to be in tune with your battle partner, and clearly since you just picked some random guy off the route there won't be any tuning going on," Ricky said snobbishly, with Nancy giggling next to him.

"I don't care about all that junk. I just want to get this battle going so that I...we can kick your butts," Eileen replied, letting Hughes go into battle. The couple laughed and sent out their own Pokemon; a Squirtle and Rattata.

"You think you can handle one of these guys?" Eileen asked Callum with a smirk, grabbing out her notepad and pencil to take down battle notes.

"Ya sure," Callum replied to Eileen before kneeling down beside his Pineco. "Look I know you may not like him, but do your best to work together. I know you can beat their butts, so do good," Callum told his Pineco.

"Pineco. Pine co." Alright. I'll try.

Pineco then hopped forward onto the battlefield standing beside Hughes waiting for the battle to start. In the meantime Callum sat on the ground before turning and lying on his side, with his arm under his head. Picnicker Nancy started the battle by ordering her Rattata to use Quick Attack on Eileen's Growlithe.

"Dodge it Hughes, and use an Ember attack!" Eileen ordered her Pokémon to do, jotting down the first moves of the battle. She looked over to Callum expecting him to start giving orders to his Pokémon, only to find him lying down taking a nap. 'Is...he serious? Is this due to confidence in his Pokémon, or because he doesn't care? Perhaps I shouldn't have gotten him to battle with me,' Eileen thought, turning her attention back to the battle to see Ricky's Squirtle about to use a Water Gun attack on Hughes.

Hughes was busy paying attention to the Rattata, trying to dodge its Quick Attacks and fire back with some Embers. The Squirtle shot out a strong spiral of water towards the Pokémon, using his strongest water attack to hit the vulnerable fire Pokémon.

The Pineco jumped in the way of the Water Gun and produced Protect's green force field. As the Water Gun made contact it simply bounced off and failed. "Damn it!" Ricky yelled. "Use Water Gun again!" The Squirtle quickly fired out another beam of water. Pineco quickly produced another Protect force field but this time the Water Gun Broke through, and started to push the Pineco back.

The Rattata was proving to be a tricky opponent, both managing to dodge Hughes' attacks and hitting back with its own. "Hughes, keep using Ember! Back the Rattata up!" Eileen called out, looking at Hughes who had given her a weird look as a reply. He knew that continuing to use his Ember was useless if he couldn't hit the Pokémon, but the smile on his Trainer's face told him she had a plan. He turned back to his opponent, using Ember to try and back him up like Eileen told him to. The smaller Pokémon dodged to the side with the Embers hitting the grass behind her. Hughes then realized what Eileen had meant, but it was too late for him to continue the attack just yet as the Rattata was told to use Hyper Fang.

The Rattata's shining teeth dug into Hughes before it was thrown off. Hughes pushed the Pokémon back by trying to use Bite on it, and once it was far enough away he used Ember once more.

Pineco was struggling to move as the Water Gun was keeping up persistent pressure. Suddenly the Pokémon started to use Rapid Spin. The water from the Water Gun was breaking up in the different layers of bark that protected Pineco's body. A fine mist started to fill the air as Pineco started to hop towards the Squirtle; the Water Gun no longer posing any damage.

Nancy wasn't sure what the older girl's game was, but she was sure she was up to something. 'That's been way too many attacks used that have missed, and yet she keeps telling her Pokémon to do it. Why?' Then it hit her when she felt the heat from the fires that were on the grass near her. Her Rattata was backed up into a corner of fire with nowhere to go, and the Growlithe was right in front of her.

"No!" Nancy shouted after hearing Eileen tell Hughes to use Bite, watching as the bigger Pokémon grabbed a hold of her Rattata and knocked it out with the move. "R-return!" Nancy said, raising up her Pokéball in shame that she didn't realize what was happening. 'If only Ricky's Squirtle wasn't busy with that Pineco, he'd have been able to stop the fires,' she thought as she brought out her next Pokémon; a Pikachu.

As Hughes was trapping the Rattata, Pineco had made it over to the Squirtle. "Squirtle use Withdraw," Ricky commanded and the Squirtle withdrew itself into its shell. Pineco was keeping up the Rapid spin but it had almost no effect as it made contact with the shell. Angry the Pineco jumped on top of the Squirtle's shell and started to bounce up and down on it. The spinning base point that Pineco stood upon started to lightly crack the squirtle's shell with the persistent balancing.

"I could use a little help over here Nancy," Ricky said as the Pineco wouldn't let up. "Pikachu use Quick Attack on the Pineco. Knock it off of Squirtle," Nancy commanded. Her Pikachu dashed towards Callum's Pineco made contact with it midair. The force knocked the Pineco back a few meters and stopped its Rapid Spin.

Hughes moved in with an Ember attack now that the two opponents were distracted, the attack hit Nancy's Pikachu before Ricky told his Squirtle to fire back with a Water Gun. Steam let out as the two attacks hit, neither Pokémon backing down.

Eileen looked back down at Callum, not pleased with the way he was acting. 'If he wants to sleep and lose battles on his own time that's fine, but now when we're in a double battle,' she told herself before ordering Callum's Pineco to use Rapid Spin against the Pikachu, hoping that the Pokémon would listen.

"He won't listen to you. I trust my Pokémon enough that I let them battle how they want to. They survived long enough on their own in the wild, so it's only natural," Callum replied with a yawn as he continued to watch the battle. Is it that strange to just let them battle in their own way?

True to Callum's word, the Pineco completely ignored Eileen and instead used bug bite on the Squirtle's tail. The Pokémon broke its Water Gun as Pineco tried to Rapid Spin like it did with the Oddish. The Squirtle was having none of it and countered with its own Rapid Spin. As the tail withdrew it broke free on the Bug Bit and the Squirtle started to spin; slowing each other down on contact.

Eileen pursed her lips at Callum's remark, deciding to just focus on her own Pokémon for now. "Hughes attack the Pikachu with a Flame Wheel!" Eileen said to her Pokémon, hoping that the Pikachu's static ability wouldn't affect Hughes if he was covered in fire. Nancy heard this and told her Pikachu to use Thunder Shock before Hughes could get close.

The Pikachu's body glowed yellow as it let out Thunder Shock after Thunder Shock while trying to hit Hughes before the Pokémon could pick up the needed speed. Hughes still charged forward, managing to dodge most of the Pikachu's attack while hastening his speed. Even though a few of the Thunder Shocks hit them he charged through; letting out a stream of fire from his mouth once he was within distance for the attack.

The Rapid Spins soon stopped and Ricky was getting impatient. "Bite attack now Squirtle!" He yelled as the Tiny Turtle Pokémon tried to use Bite on the Pineco. A green force field once again appeared and the Squirtle was knocked back on contact. The Pineco, not about to let the Squirtle regain ground, started to rapid spin again; before jumping hard into the Squirtle. The force of the contact sent the Squirtle flying backwards into the path of one of the Pikachu's Thunder Shock attacks.

The Pikachu and Nancy were too busy focusing on Hughes to notice that Ricky's Squirtle was thrown in the way by the Pineco, neither of them realizing it. Ricky however yelled at Nancy to have her Pokémon stop, but it was too late as the Thunder Shock hit the Squirtle dead on. The Squirtle fell down after the attack, the outside of his shell burnt from the strength of the attack.

"No!" Ricky yelled out at the sight, being followed by his girlfriend's same yell as he Pikachu was knocked out by Hughes' Flame Wheel attack.

"This...this is all your fault Ricky!" Nancy screamed at him after picking up her battered Pokémon.

"What?! It was yours! Your stupid Pikachu was the one that knocked out my Squirtle! Maybe if you were a better Trainer this wouldn't have happened!" Ricky replied, getting a slap to the face for his insult.

"I hate you Ricky! It's always about your Pokémon! You never paid enough attention to me! Maybe if you did we'd have been able to beat this couple! You know what? We're through Ricky. I'm done and out. I'll leave your Pokédolls outside of my house so you can pick them up later. Good bye!" With that Nancy ran away back to Vermillion in tears, with Ricky yelling that they were Poke-Action Figures not dolls.

"So...can I have my money now?" Eileen asked, writing the last of the notes for the battle. Ricky responded by fishing out some money and throwing it onto the ground yelling, "Just you wait! I'm going to get my buddy and his girl to come and kick your butts! As revenge! Let me go and find them and they'll take you on!"

"Okay sounds good," Eileen replied, picking up the money that was on the ground as Ricky ran to go find his friends. "The money is mine, by the way," she told Callum after picking it up and counting it out, putting it in her pocket before congratulating Hughes.

More fighting. Isn't there a stable person in this universe? Callum sighed as he got up and walked over to his Pineco. "Good job buddy," Callum replied as he rubbed the bark near the Pokémon's stem. Up close it was clear that Pineco was tired and Callum returned him to his Netball. "What was with that couple comment? Also I'll be taking that TM now," Callum told Eileen as he held out his hand.

Fary decided she needed to clear her head and a good way to do this was to walk around Vermillion; first she knew she needed to get her hand looked at.

After 5 minutes of looking around the city she found the green roof of the human doctor. She always found it funny how they were on opposite sides of the city.

"Um excuse me I need someone to look at my hand." Fary said walking up to the front desk.

The nurse got up and took a look at her hand and wrote something down quickly. "Dear I'll need you to wait here for a doctor." she said walking her to a chair.

Fary nodded and waited for about 10 minutes then was taken back by a doctor. "Well Miss Nitashi based on what I see I can already tell you that I'll need to stitch up your hand and that you may also have some cracked bones. I, however, would like to take a closer look at your hand, take some X-Rays and so on." the doctor said.

After an hour and a half of tests and scans the doctor sewed up her hand and give her some pain meds and some antibiotics. "Take these both once every 6 hours. Once you run out I want you to see a doctor in the next town or so on." he said handing Fary a bag with the meds and some bandages in it.

Fary left the clinic and walked around Vermillion spotting two guys watching her closely.

"Seeing anything or are you just staring at something you can never have?" she asked them not looking very pleased as she held her hand close to her.

Both men looked at Fary for a second and then burst into laughter, and one on the left blurted out "Oh, I'm sorry, are we bothering you?" his accent was heavy, clearly not from the town.

"I'm just not use to my ass and chest being watched as I move is all. I'm not for sale so looking will do you no good I'll have you know. I'm not a piece of meat after all." Fary said clenching her fist some.

"Look, lady, I've seen better. Don't flatter yourself." the one on the right said. He had a different accent, and was holding a bottle of something in his right hand.

"Then why even bother me if you've seen better? Look, I should be going." Fary said starting to walk past them.

Both of them shrugged "Right. We gotta be heading towards the Anne, anyway. Hurry up, Sergei." he started walking, but Sergei walked up to Fary "Look, forget what my idiot brother has to say. I promise we meant no harm. And I'll be more than willing to make it up to you."

"Ok then what do you want? First I'll tell you what I want though, I would like to know your damn names and how do you plan on making it up to me?" she said raising an eyebrow stepping back some not really sure she wanted to know the answer.

"Of course. I am Sergei, and my brother over there is called Russel. Say hello, Russel." Russel merely scoffed and went back to chugging whatever drink he had.

"How can you be brothers Sergei? You sound different. Anyway I'm Fary from Unova." Fary said. "You still didn't tell me how you plan on making it up to me." she said sticking her hand out for a hand shake.

He shook heartily, then responded "We were separated at birth. Nasty legal proceedings and bureaucratic nonsense, all that good stuff." Russel belched, and tried getting Sergei back. "C'mon, we're gonna be late. We'll miss lunch..."

"You still didn't answer my question." Fary said pulling her hand away from him.

"Well what do you want?" he took a couple steps back.

"No idea. Just for my hand to stop hurting and maybe, never mind." she said sighing.

"Awww, what's wrong?" he stepped back to her, seeming concerned.

"Nothing, just some shit is all." Fary said looking over at Russel.

Russel offered her his bottle "Here. Maybe a drink'll help ya out."

"Well I'm not old enough but fuck it." Fary said taking the bottle and downing half of what was left.

Russel whistled "Damn, this lady can down a drink." He laughed, patting her on the back "How about we go get some more?" "Suddenly interested?" Sergei said, smirking. "Well, maybe we can go paarty. She seems like she needs to calm down."

"Yea that sounds like a good idea." Fary said downing the rest of the bottle not even getting drunk yet. "Hey are you both interested in me now?" Fary giggled some kinda buzzed.

"I like a girl who knows how to have a good time." Russel laughed. Sergei elbowed him "Come on. I saw her first..."

"Well you both saw me at the same time." Fary said walking with them. "So what now?"

"There's a bar on the ship we're headin' to. And there's probably some more fancy food on there." Russel said, putting an arm around Fary. "How about you join us for some dinner?"

"So my drinking changed your mind I see." Fary said not noticing the arm around her and let her Zorua jump on her shoulder. "Come here Rogue."

"Oh, you're a trainer?" he said, noticing the Zorua. Russel then answered her question "I'm a lot more interested now that you seem to have calmed down." Sergei then butted in "An Unova Pokemon? Interesting. What brings you to Kanto?"

"I want to start my training were my parents did and I need to breed a Dragonite. Also my ex kinda left me high and dry. Damn Elite Four. I also want to be a gym leader in Black City." she said petting Rogue.

"I know what its like to follow a parent's legacy..." Sergei said, walking ahead. "I'm stopping here to wonder what sort of Pokemon I can catch around these parts." Russel shrugged "I'm just trying to see what I can get here in Kanto. Money. Women. Maybe a decent gig."

"Where are you both from? Hell I came a long way but you might have travled longer then me." she said. "So just here for women and money I see." she said Rogue licking her cheek.

Russel didn't seem hurt by her comment "I came from Hoenn." Sergei turned around, walking backwards "I'm from Unova."

"Where from Unova? Hell I might have been there, in fact I'm sure I have been." Fary said finding her self cuddling into Russel.

"I came from Opelucid City." Sergei turned around again, now leading them towards the docks.

"Yea I've been there a lot." Fary said the pain meds starting to set in. "Awww walk with me Sergei." Fary reached for him.

He walked back towards her, putting his arm around her as well. "You know, in all my time wondering Unova, I've seen a Zorua. You must be very lucky. I imagine he'd make a good opponent for Asura..."

"Rogue is a she and my father breed her for me." Fary said an arm around both of the brother's waists giggling and smiling.

"You're father's also a breeder? Small world." Sergei said. "Jeez, man, how much longer until we reach the fucking ship?" Russel whined. "Calm down, man. I can see it up ahead. So anyway, Ms. Fary, how have you been enjoying Kanto?"

"Yea he taught me how to breed. Well so far I beat Brock." she said walking a head of them and turned around smiling.

"We beat the ol' Lieutenant a couple days ago." Russel spoke up, trying to make it sound as big and epic as possible. "I did better." he then quipped. Sergei groaned and shook his head "Anyway, I imagine this journey has been long and troublesome. Perhaps you could use some companionship."

"I've been travailing with a group of trainers so it's not like I'm alone. Also I'm use to battling a current member of the Unova Elite Four so Brock was nothing." Fary said not noticing their advances.

"A member of the Elite Four? Which one?" Sergei was curious now. She didn't look the type to have any association with someone like that.

"The Dark trainer Grimsley, he and I were together for a few years." she said a hint of sadness in her voice.

"Ooooh, an item... for a moment I was afraid you were like his student or something..." he seemed relieved, but didn't notice her tone.

"He broke up with me right before he joined the Elite Four. My knowledge of Pokemon came from him and my parents. All of them are famous in their own right, my dad a breeder, my mother a Coordinator, and my ex as a trainer." she stopped and sighed trying not to cry.

"My father was a former trainer, apparently of some prestige, and then settled down to try breeding. I remember when I turned 13, he gave me an egg to raise. And he gave me another when I left for my own journey. It's tough to live up to legacy..." he pulled her a little closer, trying to comfort her. Russel seemed a little less interested. "C'mon, lady. Let's see a smile. We're at the docks, and the Anne is right in front of us!" he pointed forward and sure enough, the S.S. Anne was in sight.

"Eh fuck it, between my pain meds and some booze I may feel better." Fary said cuddling into Sergei her Zorua running around yipping. "I need to take my mind off the fact that I fucked up with someone by sleeping with Brock. Damn I can't say no sometimes." she said.

Russel tried his best not to laugh again "Well, maybe you and me can head back to my room, and I can help ya unwind." "Russel!" Sergei growled, scowling at him. "Oh, c'mon, we can share..." "RUSSEL!" After that, he seemed to stop. "Spoilsport..."

"Sorry but I'm not looking for sex. Hell I'm jsut looking for a good time and maybe to feel better." Fary said looking at the two brothers. "Nice try though." she said.

Russel gave Fary an exaggerated look of disappointment, but then started stepping forward, taking the lead "I can settle for a good time. C'mon! The ship awaits!"

Fary nodded following him. "Shit I don't have my pass with me Jordan has it." Fary said sighing.

"Relax, we can cover for ya." Russel said, grinning. Sergei asked Fary "So this Jordan... he has a way to contact you, right?"

"I don't think so no. He and I well kinda aren't on speaking terms right now." Fary said looking at her feet.

"Maybe we should wait for him?" he suggested.

"Yea I should. I really need to talk to him and hope I can fix things. Hell maybe if I see you two on the boat we can party. You can call me when ever you want. I have an Xtransceiver." Fary said writing down her number and giving it to both of them.

Sergei wrote down both of their numbers and gave them to her. "If you ever need someone to talk to, I don't really have that much else to do. Just don't call Russel at night. He's cranky. If you ever want a good battle, or you end up on the Anne, give us a shout." he showed her the screen long enough for her to write it down. "Good luck, missy." He said, walking towards his brother.

Fary entered the numbers and waved to them walking off and decided to go train her Pokemon. "let's go Rogue." she said.

"Heh, she was cute..." Russel smirked. "Calm down, brother." Sergei replied, trying to sound commanding. "You gotta lighten up, man. I saw the way you looked at her." Russel started jabbing him with his elbow. "She seems to be troubled, and I wanted to try and help..." "Yeah, that's all it was..."

(Credit for Sergei and Russel goes to Mr. Omega. Thanks for help making the post.)

"That TM is going to have to wait until after you help me win the next battle with that kid's buddies since it sounds like it's going to be another double battle," Eileen said to Callum, shrugging at his first question. "How should I know? Maybe they normally only fight other couples, though that's changed now," she replied with a slight smirk, checking where the Rattata had bit Hughes.

"Poor fella, looks pretty painful. If we do battle the kid's friends I'll keep you out of it," Eileen told her Pokemon, hearing him whine at that, "Okay you can battle one more Pokemon, after that though I'll use Ari." That seemed to make the Growlithe whine more before she told him to shush and stop complaining or Ari would be the only battler for the next match. Hughes stayed silent after that, laying down in the sun next to his Trainer while they waited for the kid to come back.

"Another battle wasn't part of the deal. That means we have to renegotiate. What else do you have to offer me in exchange for my help in this next battle?" Callum asked Eileen as he removed his bag from his back and placed it on the ground. Next he laid down on the ground; his bag acting as a head rest, and the damp ground from the just finished battle cooled his back.

"Maybe I can teach you how to actually battle instead of just letting your Pokemon do everything. That strategy might work for chumps like those kids, but when the Trainers are more experienced the battles will be much more difficult for you to win like that. I don't see how you managed to even beat Brock," Eileen replied, petting Cleo after her Pokemon returned from another frolic in the forest. No items this time, though she did find a few coins that Eileen let her keep. "I don't really know what else I can give you. I do have some things of value, but I don't plan on giving those up. Maybe I can just owe you another favor?" she asked.

"And yet I still beat him. So maybe there's a method to my madness that you are too proud to see," Callum said as he got up from the ground in order to speak to Eileen face to face. "I'll make you a deal. You owe me another favour, you don't bother me about how I chose to let my Pokémon battle, and you stop getting these cuts. You're going to badly mark your face if keep this up," Callum told Eileen as he grabbed her face and started to rub his thumb below the largest on her face. "You'll need to bandage this one as well."

"The cuts aren't my fault really, they're all hers," Eileen replied after he grabbed a hold of her, gesturing to the Meowth in her lap with her eyes, "Cleo here has been stalking me since I first entered Cerulean, waiting for the chance to get some of my more valuable things. She's the reason for all of these." Cleo seemed to disagree with that statement, jumping off of Eileen's lap in slight anger.

Meowth! Meow-meowth! Cleo said, pointing at the big cut above Eileen's eye.

"Okay I guess you can make a case that this one I caused, but I was being chased in the forest by Cleo before I knew she was simply a little Meowth. It was scary, and I ran into a tree. Thankfully I have many spare glasses in my pack. But all the cuts after that were her fault," Eileen said to Callum, watching as Cleo went to take a nap by the pond, "I'll take care of them when we head back to the Pokemon Center. Most of them aren't too deep, at worst a bandage or two for the big cut. As for your terms, I'll agree to them and keep myself from discussing your battle methods."

"Fine but head back after this battle," Callum said letting go of her face. "Also if this isn't the Claydol calling the Seviper black, you should probably focus on improving your relationships with your Pokémon. It doesn't matter how well you can order your Pokémon to battle, if they'd rather attack you than whom or what you are battling; you are going to be in trouble and get hurt."

"I just barely caught her, of course she's not going to like me just yet. She seemed pretty pleased when I gave her the ultimatum earlier about items and battling. Soon she'll love me just as much as my other two Pokemon," Eileen replied, looking over at the pond that Cleo was sleeping by. It was then that Ricky and two other Trainers came into view, with Ricky leading the others towards where Eileen and Callum were sitting.

"It was that couple over there! They're the ones that ruined my life!" Ricky yelled, pointing his finger in accusation at Eileen and Callum.
"We'll take care of them Ricky, don't you worry. You two..." the other young, male Trainer started, stepping in front of Ricky, "...are going down! Prepare to face defeat from I, Jeff! And my lovely girlfriend here of a whole five months, Isabelle!"
"You're so sweet Jeff. Let's get this over quick so we can go and grab a shake at the diner we like!" Isabelle replied with a giggle, the sheer sappiness of these two new Trainers making Eileen gag.

"So are we going to be responsible for two break ups today?" Callum asked Eileen jokingly, as their new challengers made their approach. "Also we are not a couple so stop calling us that. And don't blame us for the fact that you two could only blame each other for losing. I swear I..." Callum was going to continue but found it easier to just facepalm. "Can we just get this over with so I can get my TM?"

"I suppose we will be. It's certainly been an exciting day so far," Eileen replied after standing up and dusting herself off, telling Hughes that he'll be the starting Pokemon for this battle. "And don't worry about the TM. You'll get it once we win," she added, watching as the couple laughed at them.

"Not even a couple! Do you seriously think we'd believe that? Come on, when we got here you had her face in your hands!" Jeff laughed, wiping a tear away from his face.
"Oh I think it's quite cute Jeff; especially their little threat of breaking us up. Though it won't be cute for much longer," Isabelle replied, taking a Pokeball out of her pocket at the same time Jeff did.

"Go Pidgey!" "Go Spearow!" The two called out, throwing their Pokeballs so that their two bird Pokemon came out flying.

Callum opened his mouth but couldn't form the words to make a counter about holding Eileen's face in his hands. Instead he shut his mouth and pulled a Pokéball out from the bag on his belt. He pressed the button on the ball and tossed it into the air. The red light that emerged from it quickly formed into his Spinarak. "Just do your thing and beat them fast," Callum told his Spinarak as it headed in for battle.

"Hah this battle will be over before we've even warmed up," Isabelle said with another giggle, telling her Pidgey to use Gust on the Spinarak. The Pidgey flew higher into the air and started to flap it's wings at great speeds, a small tornado forming from the gusts and heading towards the Spinarak.

"It certainly will be my dear, and then we ca- SPEAROW! No!" Jeff called out as he watched his Pokemon fall to the ground, a crispy shade of brown. In the short moment he was distracted Eileen had told Hughes to use Ember, hitting the bird Pokemon with a powerful blow knocking it out.

"What was that about this battle being over?" Eileen asked with a laugh of her own, recalling Hughes now that his opponent was defeated and sending out Ari. Ari seemed a little confused by the sudden circumstances, taking a second to realize that this was a battle. "The Bug Pokemon is on your side in this battle," Eileen informed him, the Exeggcute glancing over at the Spinarak. Jeff cursed quietly before sending out his last Pokemon; a Raticate.

The gust sent the Spinarak flying backwards and Isabelle ordered her Pidgey to use a Quick Attack before turning to see what Jeff's cry was about. Shock crossed her face as she watched the hurt Spearow fall. Wasting no time as the Pidgey attacked it, the Spinarak attached a piece of web to it as it was hit. The String Spit Pokémon made good name of its species' name as it covered the Pidgey in a sticky string. The Pidgey came crashing down to the ground and the Spinarak stuck its pincers into the Tiny Bird Pokémon. After Spinarak was done its fill with its leech life attack it finished the Pidgey off with a Poison Sting.

Isabelle had turned back in even more shock as the Spinarak had turned her Pidgey into little more than food. "What's wrong with you and your Pokémon," she asked rhetorically as she returned her Pidgey. Quickly she pulled out another Pokéball and released another Pidgey. "Use Gust and don't get close to that Bug Pokémon," Isabelle commanded her Pidgey.

"Ari use Leech Seed on the Raticate!" Eileen told her Pokemon. The Exeggcute shot out a few glowing seeds from itself at the Raticate. The seeds hit the Pokemon and started to rapidly sprout vines that entangled the Raticate before glowing red and sucking the energy out of the Pokemon.

"No Raticate! Try to break out!" Jeff called out, watching as his Pokemon struggled to get off the ground after falling over.
"Ari use Hypnosis while you have the chance," Eileen said, watching as Ari's eyes proceeded to glow yellow as thin, glowing beams were shot at the struggling Raticate. The foe was hit and slowly stopped fighting the Leech Seed before succumbing to sleep.
"Wake up buddy! Wake up! This isn't the time!" Jeff yelled in anguish, frantically trying to wake up his Pokemon.

The Pidgey was following her owner's words to the "t". The bird was flying around in the sky and sending small tornados at the Spinarak. The Bug Pokémon was struggling as it was constantly being set flying and its attempts to catch hit the Pidgey with its String Shot were always missing. This isn't looking good.

"Ari help out the Spinarak! Use Barrage!" The Exeggcute looked across the battlefield and noticed that the opponent's Pidgey was hurting his ally.

Ex-egg! Ex! Ari cried out, sending out a flurry of small eggs at the flying Pidgey, knocking it down to the ground hard.

"Nice aim Ari, that monocle of yours must help your aim," Eileen replied with slight sarcasm, her Pokemon not understanding and instead thinking she was telling the truth. It stared at the monocle for a few seconds before Eileen told him to pay attention to his opponents. "One has an advantage over both of you, so don't lose focus!"

Spinarak wasn't about to waste any time waiting. It quickly scurried across the field and jumped on top of the Pidgey, hitting it with a Poison Sting attack. That would have been close. Maybe I should switch Spinarak out after this Battle. The Pidgey wasn't out of the battle yet and knocked the Spinarak off it, before trying to take to the air again.

As it tried to ascend it was hit with another Barrage attack, keeping it pinned down to the ground. The assault continued for another minute before the Pidgey was out of the match, causing Isabelle to scream out in frustration.

"This isn't fair Jeff. Help out your Pokemon so that he can help mine out!" she demanded. Poor Jeff was still trying to get his Raticate to wake up, the rat Pokemon out like a light as it's energy was still being drained. "I can't sweetie! I don't even understand how he can be sleeping through this!" Jeff explained to Isabelle, tapping on the ground to see if that would wake it up.

"Just keep trying!" Isabelle replied, returning her second Pidgey before sending out a third one to battle.

Callum pulled out Spinarak's Pokéball and returned it. Reaching into his bag he pulled out the next Pokéball blindly and released it. The Oddish that he had just caught appeared from the red light released from the ball. "Are you alright to battle Oddish? I know you took a lot of damage from my Pineco but are you good to go?" Callum asked his Pokémon. "Odd Oddish." I'm good to battle. Came the reply as the Oddish stepped out to the field.

Eileen smiled after seeing Callum's latest Pokemon enter the battle, happy to see that even he knew when to return a Pokemon. 'And I thought he only caught bug Pokemon,' Eileen thought, looking at the playing field and deciding it was time to end this. "Ari use Uproar! Be as loud as you can!" The couple across from her looked with confusion at her command, knowing it would wake up Jeff's Raticate.

"Maybe it's just been a fluke so far, or something," Jeff muttered to Isabelle, getting a shrug as a reply. Eileen smiled as Ari started to bounce around and make a bunch of noise, glowing a bright blue color as sound waves started to hit both opponents.

"Ack it's hitting both our Pokemon!" Jeff yelled, watching as his Raticate was hit by the soundwaves. The weakened Raticate had barely woken up before it was hit with the numerous waves, being kept on the ground by the attack. Isabelle's Pidgey was faring slightly better as it flew in the sky and tried to dodge most of the attack.

The Oddish followed Ari's lead and used Acid. A stream of caustic matter emerged from the Oddish as it covered the flying Pidgey, bogging it down. The Radicate had already fainted by the time the sludge hit it and was promptly returned. The Pidgey on the other hand was struggling to fly with the heavy, acidic substance covering it. Flapping its wings was a challenge as its cries were faded out by the Uproar. Oddish took aim at the slowly moving Pidgey and hit it with the red beam from its Absorb attack. The Pidgey slowly fell to the ground as the condition of the Oddish was improving every second. As soon as the Bird hit the ground it was returned by Isabelle.

"That's the end of that. So are you two broken up yet?" Eileen asked jokingly, watching as the couple hugged each other in grief over their loss.

"N-no. We'll work together to make our team stronger. I'm sorry for yelling at you Jeff dear, it was just so stressful to see the battle slipping out of our fingers," Isabelle said, grabbing a tissue from her pocket and wiping her eyes.
"It's okay sweetie. This was a good battle, and our Pokemon will be stronger for it," Jeff replied, giving her a hug as Eileen approached them.

"Can I have my prize money now that I've beaten you two?" she asked, looking over at Ricky who looked downtrodden at the loss his friends received.

"Yes. Here you go. You have strong Pokemon, and I'm sure the bond you have with them and your boyfriend over there will only strengthen with time," Jeff said wisely, handing over some money to Eileen.

"Cool. Thanks for the battle. Hope you guys do well," she replied in a chipper mood now that the battle was over, watching the couple and Ricky make their way back to Vermillion. "That went well," she told Callum, putting her money away after counting it and taking out the TM disc. "And this is yours for helping me out with the battles. Thanks too, I know I can be a little demanding at times. Now, are we ready to head back? I think our Pokemon need some healing, and I need to get ready for the party. Not going to wear torn, worn-out, dingy clothes to something like an anniversary party," Eileen said with a laugh after handing over the TM, returning Ari to his Pokeball and calling Cleo over so they could head back.

"Cool," Jordan answered. Looking quickl;y around the area, it seemed like everyone was off doing their own thing in the city. "All right then, I guess we can like, go now."

It wasn't a long walk to get oceanside. Jordan had an almost sixth sense for the salt water, and being away from it for a week, he missed it dearly. As they came up to the wharf ahead, Jordan gazed out onto the shimmering sea. "Man I miss this," he said as the two of them were walking. "Just like even being here, like close enough to the beach. It just like, reminds me of home, you know? And like, what I had there. Deep stuff."

As they continued on the path next to the shore, a small hut offered an entising advertisement. "This week, try out the old-fashioned approach to fishing! Free Old Rods for anyone to use while on the Vermillion shore!"

"That doesn't look too bad," Jordan commented. "Like, we could do that for a little bit, if you want. Like just take a breaking from the walking and stuff. What do you think Rochelle?"

Mika headed over to the pharmacy, checking in with the staff there and wondering if he could get his prescription filled... they said it would take at least a day for them to get the medication in stock, and Mika gave them his phone-number so that they could call him when it's ready. Once he was done with that, he went outside and went next door to the Pokemart... where he saw Aeris standing nearby.

"Aeris!" He called to the girl, approaching her and smiling, looking at her and seeing that she looked a little pensive. "Mm, how's your day going so far, Aeris... get everything you need?"

He stretched and looked out at the ocean, smiling softly and looking towards the beach. "Hey, I need to buy some things... but, do you want to go somewhere after I'm done?"

Rochelle more or less understood what Jordan meant, but he had clearly spent a lot more time near, or in, the sea at Fuchsia than she had back in Goldenrod. Just walking beside the water he looked the part of someone who practically spent every waking moment at a beach. In a brief silence that fell after Jordan finished speaking, Rochelle briefly wondered about one of the cities in Kanto... Cinnabar Island. Did Vermilion offer a ferry to the island, or would people who wished to visit have to find some other form of travel?

Since there was a Gym on the island, travelling by water one way or another was inevitable. Aeris was not going to enjoy that, Rochelle knew. Her hydrophobia would put her off the idea of even going near the water.

As Jordan and Rochelle walked side by side, Kirsten followed from the water. The little Water-type was enjoying herself after being away from H2O for so long, occasionally diving below when she took an interest in something she'd seen. Rochelle assumed these to be Pokémon, but Kirsten had no interest in battling at this time. She was interested in socialising, meeting new Pokémon and seeing what they were up to. She began to tease a Magikarp by darting around it and poking it with her tail: the fish Pokémon did nothing to retaliate, instead just giving her a look.

Rochelle let Kirsten do as she pleased: she knew that the Horsea would come back to her when told. Jordan's mention of fishing brought the female Trainer's attention back to solid ground, and Rochelle looked over at the hut. It seemed a little odd that the advertisement would describe the fishing rods as being 'old'... perhaps it was part of the marketing. Nonetheless, fishing would most likely add a few pages to her Pokédex, if Pokémon took the bait. "Sure, why not. Might as well try it while we're here," she said as the two headed over to the fishing hut.

Rochelle collected a fishing rod from the rack... it really was old. Or at least it had been used a lot. The handles were worn down from use. Still, it was functional, and that was what mattered. After hearing out the guy behind the counter, who gave her some advice about fishing and the right way to cast, she took her acquisition down to the water's edge. There a familiar Horsea jumped out onto the land and bounced over to investigate, looking up at the fishing rod. "Horsea?"

"Kirsten, I need you to stay out of the water for a while, okay? Or at least stay where I can see you," Rochelle said to the little creature, who cocked her head, a little confused. "This is dangerous for Water Pokémon like you, little one. I don't want you getting hurt by it," she explained. "You can watch if you want, and there might be a battle in it for you." As Kirsten bounced back into the water to observe the proceedings, Rochelle stood up, placing her pack down beside her, and recalled the words of the man back at the hut, who had introduced himself as the 'Fishing Guru'.

"Okay, so you flick the switch on the rod here before you cast. That allows the line to play out. You're right-handed? Alright. Bring the rod over your right shoulder, then once you're ready and you're sure there's nothing that could get caught on the lure, you quickly whip it over your shoulder like so. Stop it when your right hand ends up out in front of and just below your jaw.

"A fast enough motion can send the lure flying a good length, and you'll often find the best catches farther out to sea. Keep one finger rested on the line: that'll tell you when something's pulling at the lure. The line often twitches a little with the movements of the water, but you soon learn to tell when a Pokémon's taken interest."

Rochelle tried her best to imitate the Guru's demonstration. Rod over the shoulder, check. Line release switch, check... in one swift movement she swung the rod back out in front of her, and watched the lure sail through the air. That was surprising, getting it right the first time. She doubted she'd manage that again without a bit more practice. So now all she had to do was wait for something to fall for it.

It took about ten minutes, during which time there were a large number of false alarms, but eventually something yanked hard on Rochelle's line, and it didn't let up. Rochelle could tell that a Pokémon was on the hook, and she began to reel it in. Half a minute later a round blue-and-white creature with a flat tail broke the water close to the edge. The Pokémon had a black spiral on its front. It let go of the lure, dropping to the ground with narrowed eyes. "Wag! Poli! Wag!" it called out, annoyed by the trick of the fishing lure. It probably thought it had found a tasty morsel of food.

Rochelle immediately pulled out her Pokédex and scanned the Water-type:

imagePoliwag. Tadpole Pokémon.
Height: 2'00" / 0.6 m. Weight: 27.3 lbs. / 12.4 kg.
Type: Water

Description: Its skin is so thin, its internal organs are visible. It has slight trouble walking on its newly grown feet.

The position of Water-type on Rochelle's team was already taken: Kirsten saw to that. She bounced in front of Rochelle to defend her from attack, but Rochelle had other ideas. "Kirsten, no. Let Iskra handle this one," she said as she set her fishing rod down and released the Electric-type from his Poké Ball. The Flaaffy immediately turned to the unfamiliar Pokémon and released a ThunderShock in its direction. The Poliwag hopped out of the way of the attack, and promptly spat a few bubbles towards Iskra, eyes still narrowed in anger.

Iskra shrugged off the bubbles popping against his skin, looking to Rochelle for guidance. "Give it another ThunderShock, buddy," she urged, and he complied, hitting the Poliwag straight in the middle of its black spiral. The Tadpole Pokémon squealed as it flailed about under the effects of the lightning bolt, accidentally rolling into the water as it did so. When it realised where it was, it stuck a small pink tongue out at Rochelle and swam off.

"How rude," Rochelle commented, eyebrows raised, as she watched the Poliwag go for a few seconds before looking over at Jordan to see how he was doing. With any luck he had fished up less hostile catches.

Aeris hugged Mika when he came to her, glad to see him. "I've bought all I needed for now. Yeah, we can do something after you're done shopping. I was thinking of maybe doing some more training with my Pokemon. Blaze has become a fairly good powerhouse by now, so the others might want to train a bit as well."

It was true, Blaze was her strongest team member. She'd need to give the others a bit more training before she'd be confident enough to take on the next gym leader. Even though she might end up using Blaze because of how powerful she was right now.

Mika nodded and smiled, telling Aeris that.. "I'll be right back in a few minutes." And then going to buy some supplies.

He picked up a few basic things: Pokemon food, Potions and Super Potions, some more Pokeballs, and a couple of Great Balls, and a few status healers(3 Antidotes, 3 Paralyze Heal, and 2 Awakenings) for his pack. Once that was all said and done, he went back out to Aeris, the sweet girl who was willing to date him, and grabbed her hand. "Let's go, then."

He started walking with her... not sure where, as neither of them was really leading at the moment. "So, where do you want to go train? There's a big grassy area East of the City. We can try there, and then there's Diglett's Cave, which is full of Ground Type Pokemon that'll be useful against Lt. Surge. Or... maybe I could battle against you, if you want?"

Aeris held Mika's hand gently, smiling. "I don't think I want to go too far away from the others, and I'm not sure how powerful the Digletts are in the Diglett Cave, so maybe we should just head back for now. We wouldn't want to be too far away when the party starts." As much as I'm not looking forward spending time on a giant ship.

They both walked back to the route where they had entered Vermilion, and met Eileen and Callum on the way. "Hi there." Aeris said and waved towards them with her free hand. Blaze was out of her Pokeball, as usual, and walking alongside Aeris. "Were you two training on that route just earlier?" she asked them.

When Tyler arrived in Vermillion with the others, he took the opportunity to eat some lunch at the Pokemon Center while the staff attended to his Pokemon. Geist and Tank hadn't been roughed up too badly, but it didn't hurt to make sure they were okay. He had just finished a pre-made turkey sandwich with a side of chips and milk when Nurse Joy called his name.

"Tyler Page? Your Pokemon are ready."

Throwing out his trash, Tyler exited the cafeteria and approached the counter, where the Nurse held a tray containing his three Pokeballs. She offered a friendly smile as the trainer took the devices and placed them into their correct places on his belt.

"Thank you," he said before exiting the Center. Since there was some downtime before the party on the S.S. Anne, Tyler thought he might as well challenge some other trainers to pass the time. A battle with Lt. Surge was over the horizon, so a little more battle experience couldn't hurt. As he headed north towards Route 6, he noticed Callum, Eileen, Mika, and Aeris not too far ahead.

He offered a greeting to the group.

"What're you guys doing to kill time until later?" he asked.

Alan had continued to follow the group but had split off quickly to feed his pokemon as well as himself once they had entered Vermillion. So far he didn't have much, and he realized he should probably get around to getting to know the rest of the group. It seemed he would be travelling with them for a while, he had though about it before but it had become clear now that he and Eileen would be joining the group.

Once they'd all finished eating Alan had the pokemon go back into their balls and he left to rejoin Eileen. He knew where she would be, at the entrance of one of the routes leading out of the city to find a battle. Once he got close he saw the group that had gathered. He walked up to them calmly with pen and paper in hand.

"Hope nobody minds my tagging along for this. Figure it is about time I actually got to know you all in a bit more depth, except for Eileen of course."

Callum returned his Oddish to its Pokéball. "Thanks for the good work. I know you'll be a welcome part of my team," Callum said to the Pokéball while Eileen collected her winnings. After putting the Pokéball away; Callum picked up his pack from the ground and put it on, before turning back to listen to Eileen as she spoke.

"What party?" Callum asked out of intrigue while they were walking back, after he took the TM. He didn't get an answer before one of the people he saw before with Eileen's group showed up with visibly younger boy. I think that girl introduced herself during that craziness, but I can't remember her name.

Not wanting that fact to be obvious he simply waved back in a short simple manner. Her question that quickly followed was easy to answer. "I was out searching for some Pokémon, before Eileen dragged me into helping her battle some couples," Callum replied with a slight shrug. Before he could make ask a question back, Tyler had shown up as well and asked a question of his own.

"No idea right now really. Eileen and myself were just heading to the Pokémon to get our Pokémon healed," Callum managed to get out before a fourth person showed up.

"Ummm. You can tag along if you want but Eileen and I were just heading back to the Pokémon Center. We just finished up battling a few trainers on the route and our Pokémon need some healing. Oh yeah I'm Callum by the way," Callum replied a bit nervously. So many people showing up in such a short period of time was starting to overwhelm him. It feels like these people are swarming me for some reason.

"Damn guess I took too long then. Oh well, if I need to I can always write about the journey here if nothing comes up soon. Name's Alan by the way, and in case you wondered I'm a reporter assigned to Eileen." Alan said as he held his hand out for him to shake.

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