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

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Charlie managed to stifle his own squees as the presented Togepi did nothing but be cute. Immediately after which, he tried putting a name to the face of the trainer that owned the newly hatched babe. It at least seemed like everyone else knew him. "Maybe it's just one of the guys that I haven't been formally introduced to yet." He thought with a shrug. The cave ahead was showed it's gaping, beckoning maw. And yet, no one really seemed to want to go in first, possibly a side effect of the group's last endeavor in a dark, winding hole. "Welp, like my dad's dad always said: To live in fear of the unknown, is to live in fear of life itself." He mumbled in a bit of self encouragement. "Ready to venture forth, Quinn?" he asked the smiling Cyndaquil as he began tying his hair down.

"Quiiiqui!" The bubbly fire mouse replied. Charlie transitioned her atop his head. What about you, Aeris? Y'all ready?"

Aeris thought that the Togepi was also cute, though she didn't squee at it as there was another Pokémon she hadn't encountered yet that would be more squee worthy to her. She didn't think too much more about it as they were about to enter Rock Tunnel. Charlie seemed to take the initiative. "Yeah, me and Blaze are ready to go." she replied to his question, taking steps into the tunnel along with Charlie, Blaze in front of them to provide light if needed.

Rays of light could only follow the two for but so far before the darkness of the cave overtook them. Blaze knew her cue, however, and stretched out the flame of her tail, making sure the two were never too far from a source of sight. "Quinn, wanna help Blaze out? Give us some extra light?" Charlie asked. She replied soon after, and the pads back ignited, doubling their source of light.

The cave was well lit now in front of the two as they continued their way into the tunnel, Aeris staying close to Charlie.

With the all clear to go in, Callum rushed ahead into the now well-lit cave. Having returned all of his Pokémon before reaching the cave entrance, he was able to go forward at his own speed. While avoiding and looking around the piles of slag, Callum eventually found one of the aforementioned paths that lead to where the Pokémon lived.

As Callum entered the pathway the light slowly started to taper out and his forward vision became more limited. Suddenly a swarm of Zubats came flying in from the top of the cave, and Callum hit the ground pulling out his Butterfree's Poké Ball, and released it into the air. Callum's Butterfree was in flight for a moment before eradiating a psychic wave around it. The Zubats in the air suddenly started to pass out or fly away in fear. Callum laughed a little as some of them started to slam into walls and stalactites; before long they had all flown away.

"Thanks buddy!" Callum yelled, before his Butterfree took off down the path in front of him. "Hey don't fly off like that!" Callum called out after it. Soon he found himself running forward, into a fading trail of sleeping powder. Suddenly his Butterfree stopped and turned around in the air as if it was going to turn around for another attack and Callum tripped over something on the ground.

Skidding across the ground lightly and slightly hurting his knees, Callum turned over onto his ass only to be staring an asleep Shuckle in the face. Upon noticing that it was asleep, Callum pulled out his Pokédex and scanned the Pokémon.

image
213 Shuckle
Mold Pokémon
imageimage
HT 2' 00"
WT 45.2 lbs.
It stores berries in its shell. The berries eventually ferment to become delicious juices.

Cool another Bug Pokémon. Callum thought as he pulled out an empty Poké Ball. His Butterfree, at this point, had performed a couple of dive bombing Tackle attacks on the Pokémon in front of him. Pressing the Button on the Poké Ball and tapping it against the Shuckle resulted in the Shuckle being pulled in and instantly locked inside of the Poké Ball. After a moment a beam emitted from Callum's Pokédex and connected with the captured Shuckle's Poké Ball. The Ball dematerialized and was transported to Callum's Pokémon Box.

Cool, I didn't even have to go put it into the PC for the researchers to look at.

Getting up from the ground, Callum almost got hit by a rock that was almost a foot in diameter. "What the hell..." Callum didn't have time to finish his sentence as an Onyx propelled another rock at Callum's Butterfree, which missed and landed a couple yards behind Callum. Quickly Callum pulled out his Oddish and released it. At the same time he removed Butterfree's Poké Ball with his other hand and tried to aim the return beam at her.

Missing the first shot with his off hand, Callum's Butterfree continued to dance around the air dodging the thrown rocks. Suddenly the Onyx slammed its tail against the ground and a large grouping of Stalactites came crashing to the ground. Running and diving Callum managed to get clear as a cloud of dust appeared over the battlefield.

"Free. Free. Free." Callum could hear the pain filled cries from within the dust. Overtop of the cloud, particles of sleeping powder filled the air and the sound of the Onyx collapsing asleep echoed off of the walls. Not knowing what had happened, Callum panicked and ran into the slowly settling cloud looking for his Pokémon.

After a couple seconds of searching Callum almost got hit by a red beam of light streaming from his Oddish. The Pokémon had used its Absorb attack on the sleeping Pokémon and looked in good shape after being pelted with chips of rock from when the Stalactites hit the ground. Quickly Callum returned his Oddish and continued his search for his Butterfree after hearing a final weak, "Free."

As the dust finally settled he found his Butterfree covered in blood, pinned between two of the fallen Stalactites. Aiming its Poké Ball at it, Callum tried to return it, but the beam ceased to produce. Instead the ball just sat in his hand, like it was broke.

"Return damnit!" Callum yelled in fear as he tried to get the return beam to produce again. It failed and he shoved the broken, piece of junk Poké Ball back into his pouch.

His vision of his Pokémon obscured by the fallen Stalactites, Callum rashly lowered his shoulder and charged one at one of them. The large pillar toppled over and onto the ground when he hit it, and the other one followed it after losing its support; his Butterfree followed down with them.

For the first time Callum had gotten a good look at his previously trapped Butterfree. Blood was covering its right side, and its right wing was almost completely destroyed.

Already in a panicked state, Callum went into shock as he ran over and picked up his Butterfree from the ground and held it in his arms.

"You'll be alright. You'll be alright. I'll get you to a Pokémon Center. Just be alright Butterfree. Just be alright Butterfree. Just be alright Butterfree."

Callum kept repeating that last sentence as he stood up and ran back down the path he had come down and down the rock tunnel to the Lavender Town Pokémon Center with his dead Pokémon in his arms.

"Watch yourself when fighting that Machop, Dalton. You are weak to his type. If you are not up to the fight, just let me know and I'll switch you out," Eileen called out to the Swinub as she watched him cautiously size up a Machop. Once the Rock Tunnel had been explained to the group, Eileen had taken her time to explore the first few paths near the entrance. She was less than thrilled once she scoped out the types of Pokemon that were in the tunnel; having already battled most previously.

Training is training though. And so began a number of short scuffles between her Pokemon and the ones that dwelled in the tunnel. The most interesting battle was the one Eileen was having with the egg that she was babysitting. Having already almost dropped it half a dozen times since being given it, Eileen was now trying to make room for it to be carried in her bag.

Can't hold it in my arms without almost dropping it whenever I move. Can't just leave it on the ground when I'm writing things down or getting a bit caught up in a battle. Just gotta move a few things, she told herself. Her bag was already organized in an efficient way; making her unsure if she could even make more room for an egg. Just have to move the small stuff into more of the side pockets. I really need to sell some of this stuff when I have the chance, or give them to someone who could use it. I'm certainly not going to need a Moon Stone anytime soon.

"There," she said triumphantly, making a slight crater by moving some clothes around before placing the egg inside. "Not too shabby, right?" she asked Hughes, who had just finished a battle(s) with a group of Zubats. Eileen gave him a pat on the head after his bark of a reply, keeping an eye on Dalton as he soundly defeated the Machop.

"A very nice battle Dalton, though I think we'll keep you on some easier Pokemon until you get stronger. Soon you'll be able to take on whole groups of Machops," she told him enthusiastically, letting him catch up before they went back into the main tunnel. "I'm thinking we might just skip to the end of the tunnel and do one more pathway of battles. Not too keen on tunnels," she explained to her Pokemon, noticing a familiar face running along the main tunnel as they exited one of the pathways.

"Hey Callum, how are-" Eileen started, raising her hand to greet him before stopping halfway once she saw his expression and caught a glimpse of what he was carrying. "Is that..? How? What did you do!?" she asked as Callum continued past her to the entrance of the tunnel. She darted after him, trying to make sense of what could have happened to his Pokemon. Knowing she wasn't going to get an answer from him just yet, she continued to follow him out of the tunnel as he made his way to the Pokemon Center outside.

Callum nearly slammed into the automatically opening doors of the Pokemon Center and raced through the waiting room. At some point during his dash to the Center, Callum's cries of, "just be alright Butterfree," had faded away to whispers, and eventually nothing. Tears had soon replaced them and streams of wet and dry tear marks marred his face as he came to a halt at the front desk. Quickly and carefully he placed his Butterfree on the table as a nurse approached, before he called out to her in a half audible sob, "please just save him!"

The nurse quickly saw the Pokemon and reached out a gentle hand to a clean shoulder of Callum's otherwise blood soaked clothing and softly spoke with a tone light in sadness and grief, "I'm sorry, but your Butterfree is already dead." Callum tuned out the nurse as she continued to speak and he came to the realization of what he had already known; his tears slowed. "There's nothing that we can do for him. I'm sure he's in a better place, but Sir, I do need to ask if you're okay."

Callum tuned back in to hear her ask if he was okay. He truly had no idea, but he nodded his head yes anyways. "I'm sorry to ask you this so soon, but we have no place to keep her and I need to know if you would like her cremated or, since we do have a Pokemon graveyard located in Lavender Town, would you like him buried there along the shoreline?" The soft voice vanished as the tears in Callum's eyes began to flow like streams from his eyes as he choked out the answer, "the...the shore." The nurse nodded and moved his Butterfree to a cart before rolling it away.

Eileen stayed silent as the nurse tried to explain the situation with Callum. Looking around, she noticed numerous disgusted looks by the patrons with a few turning back and murmuring once the nurse proclaimed the Butterfree as dead. Turning away from them, Eileen looked over Callum. He clothes were a mess, covered in blood and dirt. He seemed to not even be able to comprehend anything the nurse was saying, until he managed to make a short reply. As the nurse took the Pokemon away, Eileen spoke up.

"Just what exactly happened in the tunnel Callum? How could you let this happen to your Pokemon?! I told you, I told you that this sort of thing would happen due to your inability and unwillingness to take better care of your Pokemon! You could have stopped this from happening!" Eileen told him with malice, continuing long after she should have stopped.

Eileen? Callum though as the woman started to address him. Callum had no idea she had been following him and her voice took him by surprise. He turned to try and answer her first question before she continued. The accusations that followed hurt like salt to a wound. He felt like he should have tried to return him sooner, he should have told him to fly away from it, or he should have told him to stay close by him after he released him, or any number of a million things to prevent his friend from dying.

What right does that give her to judge me right after he died? In what way should she be allowed to accuse me of any actions I could have taken? She orders her Pokémon around like they are her slaves, and Butterfree was...is my friend. And she wasn't there. She doesn't know what happened. How could she know the situation we were in? Why does she so directly accuse when she didn't give me a chance to talk, to explain, to grieve.

Callum's tears completely dried as his anger at Eileen became greater than his grief for Butterfree. More than anything he wanted to hit her for what she had just said. Vividly he saw himself raising his hand and back handing her across the face while screaming at her. He wanted to do it, but something inside him held him back, something that cared for her and felt that while she was wrong, she didn't deserve that.

Instead Callum just spoke bluntly in a calm, but progressively louder and angrier tone. "What gives you any right to judge me like that? You don't even know what happened. You never gave me a chance to speak. How do you know I could have stopped what happened and saved Butterfree's life? What gives you any right to automatically declare it my fault!?"

Callum's voice dropped again into a soft voice soaked with sadness, "why would you be so cruel after I just lost my friend? After all I've done for you..."

Callum didn't want to finish his sentence. He didn't want to continue to accuse her like she had done to him. His eyes welled up again as he walked away from Eileen and out the door. He had to pick a gravesite, buy a tomb stone, and probably a few other things he couldn't think of right now. But most of all he had to just get away for now.

For one of the few times in her life, Eileen was speechless. She had half a mind to go out there and follow after him, telling him about how disappointed she was and how childish he could be, but there was no point. "We're going," she told her Pokemon, who had been standing by idly after following their Trainer as she headed back towards the Rock Tunnel.

There were sounds of battle apparent all around Charlie as he watched Nina, Talon, and Parker best a group of Mankey. "Alright guys, don't let up! Parker, stay focused! Keep up that hustle, Tal! Use Thunderbolt instead, Nina! Double Kick won't do that much damage!" Soon, the dim environment came alight with brief jolts of electricity. The bushy haired trainer tried giving more advice, but seemed unable to keep up with his pokémon. Talon especially, it seemed the little Pidgey could barely contain itself as he swooped in and out of his enemy's range, striking down with its talons every time.

Focusing back on Nina, he could see she had her opponent on the ropes. "Finish strong, finish strong-!" "OrRAH!" She complied spectacularly, striking one last bolt of thunder to throw the Mankey off it's feet. "Whoo!" "Qui!" Charlie and Quinn cheered on the victory. From the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of Talon's aerial maneuvers, using the poor lighting of the area to confuse and flank the Mankey. Then, with one mighty flap of his wings, a fierce gust of wind rendered the Monkey Pig unable to battle.

"Allllriiiight~! Parker, your the last one! Keep on 'im!" It seemed the last Mankey displayed its best impression of a pincushion, as quills of poison had been administered to most of its body. Groggy and disoriented, the Mankey sloppily swiped at the Spinarak, only to have its endeavors countered by simple sidesteps or more poison. "Hey! Don't toy with a weakened opponent! It's disrespectful! C'mon Parker, let 'im rest already!" Charlie called out.

"Spiiii..." He replied disappointingly to his master's pleas, but carried them out none the less. One quick swipe with Parker's mandibles finished the Mankey, leavng the three pokémon to revel in their respective victories. "Good work everyone!" Nina returned first, nose held high as she snootily sauntered back to Charlie. "Piiidg!" Talon eagerly followed suit, taking perch upon one of Charlie's outstretched arms.

"You've just been itchin' to fight today, haven't you?" The trainer replied, stroking at the Pidgey's crest. As Parker found his own perch (on the back of Charlie's leg, as his usual spot had been taken by the flaming mouse), Charlie decided to move on. "C'mon guys, let's go see where Aeris vanished to, she couldn't have gotten far-" His musing was interrupted, as a familiar trainer bolted by him, wearing a clear expression of distraught as he made his way out of the cave, a Butterfree in his grasp. "Callum...? What-" Interrupted again, he was, as Eileen took after the bug based trainer. "Uhhhokayyy..." Something obviously went down, and Charlie wondered if he should investigate. "Find Aeris first, then let curiosity go wild." He brought himself back to the task at hand.

There was something that Sarah's Father had told her long ago when her first close relative had passed away. He had told her that without loss there was no way to truly understand what we had. The memories of her grandfather had become precious to her after all and this explained that. An old Kanto philosopher had once said that all life was suffering and that in that suffering, we began to understand all that was right with the world. Perhaps suffering was the wrong word, translations between languages were always a pain to work with. Suffering seemed to be the word that applied the most to life though so perhaps it was appropriate.

Sarah saw the blood on that rocks, it appeared that a battle had taken place, although she had never seen one to this extent. The area was covered in debris and blood spatter was something she had never seen happen when two pokemon had done battle. It was unnerving, the quiet that had fallen over the cave as she walked into this section, as if all had vanished from this evil place. As if the spirit of the dead lingered over this site and somehow Sarah knew that something was not right with the world. She felt sick and her breath became heavy even after she walked away from it.

Not seeing the rest of her companions she continued to reflect upon the site as she walked towards where she hoped the exit would be. Who had battled in such conditions? It had to be recent, she doubted that if any official or construction worker had come across the scene that they would have left it in such a state.

The words her father had said to her only enraged her further and she had run away for the day to mourn in her own way. He had apologized later for being tactless but as she had sat by the river crying she had realized that he was right. Life was suffering and the overcoming of such suffering. It was both cruel and kind in its own ways and she carried that perspective even now.

As she walked out of the Cave, she bumped into Eileen. She didn't say anything though and just continued to walk into the Cave with such a determination that it silenced Sarah before she could even make an apology for bumping her.

She also saw Callum walking in the opposite direction, and she saw that there were the streaks of tears in his eye. She realized that he had lost something dear in that cave and that nothing would ever be as right for him as it had been before he entered the cave. She also realized that anything she would say would ultimately be useless but she pursued him anyways. Rational was not something someone grieving had any large amount of and she wanted to make sure that he didn't do anything unintelligent in the process. Perhaps when she caught up with him she would know what to say.

Dukkha. That was the word. An unclear translation meant that it didn't just mean suffering, but she was sure that was what it would mean today.

Aeris thought to give all her Pokémon a little training, apart from Blaze who was providing her with light, and watched them all making great progress. They were all already fairly strong, so much training wasn't needed, but some was better than none.

During her training, she saw as Callum and Eileen hurried past them, and she noticed something in Callum's arms. She hadn't been able to see it well, but she hoped everything was alright. Jessie returned above Aeris' head, noticing the same as she did. Blaze kept herself close to Aeris, and once she found Charlie, she returned her other four Pokémon back into their Pokéballs. "Did you see what happened to Callum? I just saw him holding something, and Eileen rushing after him."

It was brighter in the cave than Rochelle[1] had expected. Bright caves were good. Much easier on the nerves... but she still stuck close to the group regardless. Knowing the others were close by helped, but she couldn't shake the hollow feeling in her stomach. Glancing over at the Togepi Simon was carrying was a welcome distraction.

"Say, Simon, where'd you get your Togepi?" she asked as she fell into step beside Simon.

Simon was focused on maintaining his balance. He reminded to himself yet again that he had not been prepared for this baby Pokémon. Shadow, thankfully, had settled down after being introduced to his new friend. The canine kept pace behind Simon as they entered the cave. But Simon's newest addition would not stop moving. Everything was interesting to Togepi. Everything was new. But she was so happy- sounding Simon couldn't really be annoyed, just nervous.

"Togeprrri" The Pokémon chattered happily, reaching for the nearest wall and then for the water dripping from the ceiling and then for something Simon couldn't see. He shifted his weight some more and debated his options. Perhaps he could find a way for Shadow to carry his pack. At least until they were through the cave.

"...where'd you get your Togepi?" Simon heard someone say.

Huh?

"Oh. Hello." He turned to see he'd gained company.

"Tog. Geh." Togepi turned as well in a full bodied squirm.

"She hatched from the egg the Day Care couple gave me." Simon replied. He smiled down at his Pokémon, first with fondness and then in triumph as he managed to make Togepi more secure by cradling her to his chest. She was actually smaller than the fragile-marked packages he'd normally carry that way.

"I wonder if they knew what you would be?" The trainer said quietly, thinking about the Day-care couple. He hadn't considered it before.

"Priii."

"Maybe. Don't most Eggs have a shell pattern that resembles the Pokémon inside?" Rochelle thought aloud, remembering part of her schooling. Simon's Pokémon seemed to still be wearing a good portion of its Egg's shell.

"Bit of a wriggler, isn't she?" she noted, cracking a smile at the sight of the little one waving stubby little arms around. Kara, on the other hand, was paying no attention to the squeaker, instead lazily following Rochelle from a distance.

[TBC][2]

[1] This is a collab with CounterAttack, Rochelle pieces are his.
[2] A piece remains, to be placed.

Quite a few members of the group seemed to be going off the beaten path inside the imposing Rock Tunnel, possibly for training purposes. Jordan didn't want to spare the extra time inside the stone walls. Even with the large entrance and the clear walkways that were a stark contrast to the other mountain he had been inside, caves were like, his least favorite type of natural feature. All the negatives of the ocean floor with none of the water to enjoy on top of it. Besides, having trained to the fulled on the hilly inclines of the Route before them, his Pokemon looked like they could use a bit of a breather. At least half of them.

Vicky was thrilled to find another tunnel. The Zubat flew up into the upper reaches of the hollowed out cavern and perched in there for the moment. Zubitbit. Zubit. Bitbit. So much more room here. Kicks Mt. Moon's ass. I may stay here.

"C'mon Vicky! I can't get up there broette! Come on back down!"

Bit! Foine! Vicky came back down towards the earth, landing on Jordan's shoulder. Zubitbitbit. You're lucky I like you.

Vince followed in behind his trainer. Uneasy being surrounded by rocks in the cave, he was a bit on edge. Luckily the foreman's words were true, and they made it through without spotting a Rock Pokemon that would be lethal to the Mantis Pokemon.

As the party emerged out the other side of the tunnel, Eileen came walking back towards them, Pokemon in tow. Jordan didn't understand the double back but Eileen was able to explain to everyone what had happened with Callum and why he rushed on through.

"Dude. That sucks, bro," was all he could really offer in this time. He had been rather fortunate not to deal with death too much in his life at this point, so it was hard to come up with a comparable feeling. The closest he could come in his mind was when he broke his specialty Tine board off some rocks a couple years ago, but this really wasn't the same. "So where is he?"

A hiker standing outside the entrance couldn't help but overhear the conversation. "Ha-ha-ha-choo!" he sneezed, unable to make a better first impression due to his hay fever. "Sniffle, sorry for intruding, but if you're friend's had a Pokemon pass on, he probably took it there to the...ha...ha....snort, agh. Took it to the House of Memories. That there Mr. Fuji runs it. He's a kind man. He'd be able to look after it for him and give it a proper resting place. Ha-choo! Damn cheap Silph pills!" Butting in complete, the hiker ambled off to suffer from allergies in peace.

With a cloud now hanging over the party following their first brush with death, the group made the solemn walk into Lavender Town.

END OF CHAPTER 6!


CHAPTER 7: DEAD LIVING ON THE RADIO...

Charlie stayed silent as the news of the passing were officially confirmed to the others. As he began returning his pokémon to their respective devices, Jordan gave his condolences. Charlie felt he needed to add something, but...hesitated. "I...uhhh..." His eyes scanned the dark floor of the cave. As the crew continued moving on, he let out a sigh. "Maybe i'll have something to say when we meet back up with Callum in person."

Moving southbound, the kids eventually reached an exit. Charlie had to squint a bit to let his eyes adjust to the sudden change in light, but he could still make out the brightly colored greeting sign that appeared to his immediate left. Welcome to Lavender City! Home of the Buena Bulbasaur Morning Show! Only on 98.2 FM! the sign said, making obvious implications towards the massive, hard-to-miss radio tower in the distance. In the sign's background, there was a green haired woman holding a bulbasaur; Charlie could only assume they were the show's hosts. "Huh, wonder if the Xtransciever can pick that station up..." He pondered if the device could play radio stations at all.

Aeris returned everyone but Jessie and Blaze to their respective Pokéballs before they were out of the cave. Jessie stayed on top of her head, and Blaze by her side. Once outside, Eileen gave them terrible news. Aeris held a hand over her mouth as she gasped and became a bit teary eyed. "That's...terrible..." she said quietly. Anyone could understand how Callum might be feeling now. No one wants to lose their Pokémon.

Staying close to the group, Aeris looked towards the radio tower. "I've always felt it was weird that they changed the Pokémon Tower into a radio tower." she said to no one in particular, mostly to herself. It really was weird, since it had been a graveyard for Pokémon for the longest time. At least Mr. Fuji had been able to move them to a new location, but still.

As the party made their way into town, there was an eerie presence settling in over the aged houses that dotted the sleepy little town. Coming down from the mountains, the coast line should have been visible in the distance, but there was no sign of the shimmering waters as a thick fog blanketed the area. It was tough even to pick out the roofs of the buildings, but still the familiar red of the Pokemon Center could be seen near the town's entrance. It made sense to go there, even with the recent sombre connotations regarding Callum's fallen Butterfree.

It took a second to rediscover the door to the building but the group made their way in. The nurse that had to give Callum the bad news was still there, but she was the only one.

"Hello!" she greeted the new group of travellers. "Welcome to the Pokemon Center. Would you like your Pokemon healed?"

"Yeah sure," murmurs of agreement could be heard throughout the group. As the trays were passed around and Pokeballs loaded up, the lights flickered for a brief moment in the Center. Had to just be some faulty wiring.

The healing system seemed to be working properly. It wasn't too long before the nurse returned with the rack full of trays. As she came out, the lights flickered again, lasting a bit longer this time. She looked up, a bit annoyed, but once they came back on, her pleasant disposition returned.

"Here you go!"

"Uh....what's like, up with the lights?" Jordan finally asked.

"Oh, don't worry about it! Someone will be looking into it! Or they should be...I thought it was going to be taken care of a couple days ago, but oh well!"

"Ummmmm....OK?"

With her duties done the nurse returned to the back room. With the massive decreased in traffic lately, there was no reason to stay out here.

"That was like, weird."

The conversation didn't stop the lights as they shorted again. Suddenly, music filled the Center. A quick search revealed the culprit: a satellite radio resting on one of the bookshelves in the lobby. The tunes coming from it did not sound appropriate for a hospital rating room however. It sounded more like something akin to a gothic metal show.

Once the music stopped playing, there was an audible silence lasting for ten seconds before a woman's voice could be heard. At least it was assumed to be a woman. It was tough to tell with the exorcist undertones.

"Submittttt...there...is...no...escape...your...pennance...will...be...due"

The person coughed loudly after that, almost like they were trying to unlodge a cantaloupe. Then a weak voice could be heard on the microphone. It sounded the same as before, but without the effect of gargling gravel.

"Anyone...out there...help...ACCKKKK!"

More silence. Then the first voice returned.

"No...help...give...us...what...is...ours...your...blood...your...souls...will...be...ours..."

Finally the voice relented, but it's assault on the senses did not relent as another music track played, just as out of place with the Poke Center as the other one.

Jordan looked around, clearly spooked. "What the hell is going on here bros..."

As Callum left the Pokémon center he headed towards the water's edge at the bottom of the town. On his walk over his tear started off and on again as his anger faded and uncovered his guilt and sadness again. Replaying the scene over and over in his head until he came to; washing the blood off his skin in the shallows of the saltwater bay.

Looking at the faded red water made him feel sick and he quickly turned away from the water and back towards the city. Unbeknownst to Callum a wave of fog had rolled in, completely obscuring the town from view. Due to this Callum couldn't find the direct road back and instead just headed back in the general direction of the town.

Before long Callum had gotten himself lost in a graveyard. Eerie music seemed to surround him as he tried to find his way out and failed. The next thing Callum knew the music had stopped and a spooky voice replaced it. He quickly back up against a large gravestone and rapidly scanned the area around him seeing nothing. Soon the voice was gone and more music replaced it.

Callum was almost shitting himself due to his unsettled mental situation, and his current surroundings. Suddenly Callum heard an electric buzz heading his way and thought the experience wasn't over.

"A troubled soul not causing a ruckus? What are you doing here child?"

"I got lost in the fog and could find my way out of this graveyard." Callum said not wanting to bring up what just happened in fear of sounding insane. "I'm sorry if I'm trespassing."

"Nonsense, my child," the man rolled closer to where Callum kneeled. "If those who are burdened could not come here for solace, then there would be no safe harbor in this town. This is a place for all to come to remember and grieve." He took a breath as if the sentence took a lot out of him. "Even travelers such as yourself."

"Thank you, although I'm not here to remember and grieve right. That is something that still hurts to do. My name's Callum and if you wouldn't mind could you show me the way out, but I first I should probably find the resting place for my friend first." Callum said forming a weak smile at the old man's kindness despite his overall mood.

The man leaned in as best he could before spying the blood on Callum's clothes. "Of course, my child. Come this way." He rolled along an aisle in the fog, sure to maintain a short distance ahead of Callum.

Callum followed the man in the electric wheelchair to the end of row of graves near the edge of the forest. There was still a fair bit of space between the end of the row and the forest which was clearly meant for new graves to be added.

"Can I have my Butterfree buried as close to the forest as possible? I feel like he'd have liked to be buried there." Callum said in a dry voice trying not to cry again.

The man squinted a bit to confirm exactly where he was in the graveyard. "It is a very popular spot," he informed Callum. "But I'm sure we can find him a home near the trees." He rolled a little closer. "Yes, certainly." He rolled back towards Callum. "Oh, where are my manners. I must be forgetting them in my old age. I am Mr. Fuji. I am the director of this facility."

"Thank you, Mr. Fuji." Callum said quietly as Mr. Fuji now led him out of the graveyard.

Aeris had always wanted to go to Lavender Town, since she'd heard of how you could get Ghost Pokémon nearby. For some reason, she'd only heard of them appearing near Lavender Town, and not anywhere else in Kanto. Maybe it had something to do with the former Pokémon Tower. She entered the Pokécenter with the others, and had her Pokémon healed, returning Jessie and Blaze to their Pokéballs while they were to get healed, then released them back out when she got her Pokéballs back.

Just as Charlie received his Pokemon, the lights flickered in a sporadic fashion before going out completely. "Huh." It wasn't the sudden blackout that spooked him, but rather the spontaneous broadcast that put him on edge. "That doesn't sound normal..." He released Quinn from her ball, and as he placed her on his head, the flame pads on her back ignited. "Should we do something about that? Or is it just like some sort of publicity stunt that they do around here?" He asked to the air.

"Probably the latter, considering this town's history." Aeris said to him. Blaze was a little spooked, and Jessie just floated above Aeris as she was want to do. "Yeah, that sounds like that would be a thing." He began towards the exit. "So!" He clapped his hands in a decisive fashion. "We're just passing through, right? What's the next route? We should get a head start or something." He asked speedily, his urgent voice contrasting his fairly normal stature.

"Hmm. Well, if I remember right, the next gym is in Celadon City, which means we have to go through Saffron City to the west." Aeris said, excited that she'd be going up against a gym leader that was weak to her favorite type. "Ohhh yeahhh, I could I forget? The grass gym is next." He helped with changing the subject. "She's gonna get so stomped." He added. "So...yeah, right? We're leaving Lavender Town, never looking back and never returning for all eternity, right?" He was at the door by this point. Sounded like he was ready to go.

"Aww, but I want a Gastly. Even though I'm starting to like Jessie here more" Aeris gave Jessie a little rub on her head when she mentioned her "I still want one, but I don't know where you'd get one now. Don't tell me you're afraid of ghosts?" She and Jessie giggled a bit at that.

"Hu-whu-uh-nooo." He stammered a response. "Aeris please, I am an adult." He added, deepening his voice for added effect. "Uh huh. An adult that can't wait to get away from the scawy ghost town." She was having too much fun with teasing Charlie. "Well, if you're not afraid of ghosts, I guess that white hand on your shoulder isn't real, then."

"What white hand?" He took a quick cautionary look. "Q-quit tryin' to spook me, Aeris." She giggled at him taking a look. "I'm not trying, by the looks of it." She nudged his shoulder. "I'm just messing with you a bit."

It had been many years since Eileen had last been to Lavender Town, having been brought by her mother when she had come to visit her old co-worker, Mr. Fuji. It was certainly different than it was on her last visit, though seeing any changes was quite difficult with the abundance of low level fog enveloping the town. "Remember this place, Hughes? You were just a pup back when I first brought you here when we tagged along with mom," Eileen mused as she recalled the vague memories of her last visit, oblivious to her Pokemon's clear unease at being back. The hair on Hughes' back was bristling, and he let out a low growl after sniffing the ground.

"Ah yes, good times. We'll have to go and say hi to Mr. Fuji before we leave. Also need to check on that cool tower and get us a new Pokemon..." she trailed off at the end of the sentence, remembering the recent upset that had happened at the Rock Tunnel. "Let's follow the others," she stated, trying to push the thought out of her head as she headed in the direction of the Pokemon Center.

The trainer and Pokemon entered the center after the initial flickering of the lights, arriving just in time to hear the creepy radio transmission. "Oh neat. Sounded like one of those ARG things. Maybe it leads to a prize if it can be deciphered," Eileen said with excitement, walking over to the book shelf that the radio was sitting on. Picking it up, she maneuvered the dial to see if she could find the station again, but had no such luck. "Might be on certain intervals," she started, placing the radio back on the shelf before turning to the others, "Hey I was gonna go and check out the tower if anyone wants to join. Should be fun, and I hear there are some great Pokemon to catch there!"

She saw that Aeris and Charlie were already at the center's entrance, nodding in approval at their clear excitement for going to the tower. "I see you two are ready to head out! It is going to be great! I wasn't allowed to go the last time I was here since my mom said it was 'haunted' and 'creepy', but I never understood why people were saying that. I thought it looked cool, and the idea of a graveyard type tower thing is neat," she explained as she walked over to the entrance, clapping a hand on the two trainer's shoulders.

Sarah wondered what the dead thought of their resting place now. The glowing radio tower, a reminder of progress and technology standing over what could have been described as a memorial to the past. The contrast was staggering and it was apparent which won the battle. While there was still a grave yard, the evidence of hundreds of dead were already wiped away. She remembered a story from her childhood, a Marrowak that refused to pass on to the next world and a trainer that helped her do so. A happy ending but it drew attention to the nature of that pokemon's offspring.

Cubone, its protection being its mother's own corpse. A skull mounted on its head and a solid bone in its hand. A Cubone wasn't a Cubone until its mother passed on. At least that's what Sarah believed. They were identified by the sorrowful cry and the grim reminder of their parent's fate. Why was she thinking about this?

She knew exactly why. That splatter of blood on the rock, Callum's haunted face as he moved through the tunnel. Death came too soon to that Pokemon and it reminded her of the mortality that all things faced. It didn't help that they were in the town of death itself. Whose mind couldn't wander to topics such as this as they walked through the fog fittingly setting over the graveyard? The ground seemed harsh and uninviting to her, the grass only half alive and the fog crawling over it, grabbing tombstones and trees and shrubs as it curled around her.

She saw a man lay flowers at a grave. They appeared vibrant, contrasting against the grey drab that had appeared around this place. She thought she saw a few tears fall from the old eyes and trickle down the cracks and bends in his skin. He didn't bother to wipe them, he allowed himself time to weep for this companion of his. Whether it was people or Pokemon, there was always a void of loss whenever one passed. Sarah felt the ache in her own heart and almost shed a tear for this old man.

Eventually he stood up and turned to face her. His face showed no surprise, as if he had known she was there all along.

He spoke, "This is not a place for the young and the happy dear. This is a place for those who have lost and those who mourn the loss."

She blushed unexpectedly, "I'm sorry, I don't even know how I found myself here. I was thinking about the Tower and how it used to be a place not unlike this one."

The man closed his eyes, "Yes, I have a few of my friends underneath that radio tower as well. I understand why they built it, no one wants the memories of the dead intruding upon the guests of this town, but it hurts none the less. They have moved the graves here, but the dust and bones still remain in that tower's base."

"So then, would their spirits be unresting if that was the case?"

"There aren't many who still believe in spirits miss," was his response, "What they may feel is irrelevant in the scheme of modernization and change. All we can do is move along with it and save what we can of the old world. Progress is good, but remembrance is too."

Their conversation ended as abruptly as it had started and he moved towards the exit of the graveyard. Sarah closed her eyes and murmured a prayer to whatever was out there and continued walking through the tombstones.

Eileen's somewhat utter disregard for the statements on the radio and her enthusiasm for checking out the tower put Jordan at ease somewhat. She's all like smart looking and stuff, Thinking back to the movies he'd sometimes watch with his dad on late night cable. There must be like no ghosts or anything. For sure. Yeah...

"Um, I'm up for like, not being here anymore," Jordan offered. "So yeah, we can like check out that Tower thing? That sounds less like death." Everyone seemed to be in agreement, so the party moved away from the creepy unblinking Joy and the creepy radio, and left the Pokemon Center.


It was a short walk from the Center to the skyline-dominating Radio Tower. Good thing, because the fog that had settled throughout the town had made it difficult to traverse. The doors of the Tower creaked open, which was amazing considering they were sliding glass doors, and the fog that was outside in the town, appeared to be just as thick, if not more so, inside the building.

"Uh Eileen," Jordan asked. "You sure like there are things here? Cause I don't think there's anything here. But like, fog and stuff..."

"Wait, hold up-!" Was all Charlie could spurt out before the group entered into the tower. "I thought we were leaving the town ASAP! Why'd we end up here?!" He wanted to yell, but some reason could only raise his voice past an exasperated whisper. The fog inside the building should've been absurd enough to set off some flags in the boy's mind, but he was far too spooked to provide comment on the occurrence. Quinn, sensing the fear in her trainer, started showcasing a fear of her own. "Like Jordan said, there's nothing even in here-OW! Quinn!" He cried, as the timid Cyndaquil dug her claws into her trainer's scalp, hoping the tighter embrace would provide some security.

Peeling her away, Charlie prompted to just carry her in his arms, where she promptly curled into a ball. "So yeah, there's nothing in here, r-right? So let's like, bounce. This place is giving me-uh, Quinn, the heebie jeebies." He promptly suggested.

"Well of course there are things here Jordan. It isn't just an empty building. When I was here last my mother told me that it used to be a graveyard for Pokemon, and I recall people going into and out of the building. Looks like it changed a little bit since then," Eileen noted as she led the way into the building. She felt alongside the wall before finding the light switches, standing triumphantly as she got a sense of the area once they were turned on.

The first floor lobby was completely deserted of any life, with only inanimate objects seen jutting out from the fog that settled a few feet above the ground. All the furniture was stacked to one side of the room, almost as if it had been thrown aside in one sweep. Some of furniture was oddly stacked, almost as if it could not have been put in place by normal means. "Huh, guess they must be redecorating the place. Probably why no one is here."

As she moved further into the center of the lobby (excusing the constantly flickering lights as 'electrical issues'), she began looking for the stairs to the next floor. Stepping on something wet, she stepped back and kicked away at the fog which revealed a carpet. "That is a nice red carpet. Must have been a leak around here. Perhaps they are doing a complete renovation due to all the problems this old building seems to have," she mused aloud as she continued to explore.

As Eileen continued to explore the area with reckless scientific abandon, the otherworldly aspects of the lobby were starting to get to Jordan. He rummaged in his pockets, trying to find a Pokemon he wanted to bring out to make him feel somewhat better about this situation. Although Charlie's Pokemon wasn't offering much assurance that they would be well equipped to handle this either.

"Ummm, let's see," It was tough to tell which one was which in the fog, but eventually the blue sticker was visible enough and he was able to release Vicky from her ball.

"Bit bit...bit....bitbit!" All right, I'm...what...what the fuck! Vicky apparently wasn't much better off and immediately flew onto Jordan's shoulder.

"Vicky just like, um, yeah, stay here, with me. This place is mucked up."

"Bitbitbit! Bitbit!" I'm not going anywhere! Screw that! She clung tight to Jordan's hoodie.

"Ummmm, are those stairs over there?" Jordan ask thinking he saw something through Eileen's clearing attempts. "It's not the door. I think that's something better to find."

Unlike Charlie and Jordan, Aeris wasn't unnerved by the fog or any otherworldly aspects around. Jessie remained on top of her head, looking around carefully, while Blaze kept relatively close to Aeris, a bit more spooked than her trainer. Her tail fire did provide some light, though it was still hard to see much through the fog.

It was strange how the building seemed to be empty of people aside from them. And while she wasn't unnerved by the fog, it was still strange that it was inside the building. Even so, like Eileen, she pressed onwards and to the stairs Jordan mentioned.

But not before spooking Charlie a bit. She whispered to Jessie to go invisible for a moment and pop out in front of him. Both of them had a cheeky smirk on them, and Jessie did as her trainer asked. She popped out in front of Charlie and let out a ghastly sounding cry. "Miiiiisdreavuuuuuus~" Oooooooooooooo~

Now, there were a slew of ways Charlie could've reacted to such a masterful spook. He could've screamed, fainted, soiled himself, or jumped into his friend's arms and went "Ruh Roh Reris!" Instead, Quinn ended up reacting much faster than her trainer. "QUI-!" She squealed in fright, And what followed from her mouth was reflexive stream of flame. Quick reflexes on his behalf, Charlie held her above his head before she could do any damage to the mischievous Misdreavus (or to his sweater).

"Whoa, Quinn-!" He lowered her back down. "Hey, hey, it's me...it's me." He reassured the fiery mouse, holding her close as the flame on her back died out. "C-cyn...q-qui.." She whimpered in reply, burying herself into his arm. "I know, I know...she got me too." Charlie sympathized as he cradled her and stroked her fur. As he managed to diffuse that particular bomb, Charles took a few slows steps forward, until he was shoulder to shoulder with his fellow trainer, Aeris. His face scrunched into the most sourest, most grimacing, most blaming, shaming "Shame on You!" look he could muster. "Having fun?" He asked through gritted teeth. It was a challenge to take the face seriously, he looked quite silly wearing it.

When Aeris turned towards Charlie, he was clearly giving her a look that was supposed to make her feel bad about what she did, but there was no way she could take such a silly look seriously. She let out a little giggle and a snort. "Oh yes, quite a lot, in fact." Jessie sat on top of her trainer's head, quite pleased with herself. Although, like her trainer, once she saw the scared Cyndaquil in his arms, she felt bad. She hovered down to Quinn and rubbed her cheek against her. "Misdreavus, misdreav. Dreavus. Misdreavus." Sorry about that, little one. It was all meant in good fun. I mean no harm to you. Then she hovered back up to Aeris' head to rest there.

"Sorry. I just couldn't help myself after I noticed how scared you are when it comes to ghosts." Aeris said, apologizing to Charlie before kneeling down to pet Quinn. "Sorry about that, Quinn. Didn't mean for you to get that scared." She stood up again to face Charlie. "I'll try to hold back on making any further scares for the two of you." She gave him an apologetic smile before turning back with her head hung a little, still feeling bad about scaring him and Quinn.

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