It was a poster that informed Keira of the lecture. It was stabled on a lamppost near the door of the Mossdeep City Gym, and the sun was setting as a man walked away. He had informed Keira that she was just a few minutes late, and she could not challenge the Gym today before locking it.
‘What do you think of this?’ said Keira, examining the poster. ‘This lecture seems interesting.’
Beside the young woman stood a short blue Pokémon with an orange blotch denominating his belly. His head and tail sported fins, and his cheeks ended in points. He gave no response to his Trainer.
Keira was much taller than the Marshtomp, considering he was just a young Pokémon. She wore black trousers and a yellow shirt, with a black jacket covering it. Her brown eyes hid behind glasses, and her hair was short and light brown.
‘The lecture started about five minutes ago,’ said Keira. ‘We have to hurry if we want to get there.’
As usual, Marshtomp gave no objection to Keira; after months of spending time with her, her got used to the fact that she almost always used him as a listening device, and he didn’t mind. He followed his Trainer to the Mossdeep Space Center, and the gravel beneath their feet gave a hollow crunching noise.
The Space Center was alight and glittering in the distance. Several towers rose up into the sky, and all of them gave off flashing signals. A rocket was directly behind it, but it was still obviously under construction, with many metal scaffoldings surrounding it.
The stars were becoming more apparent in the sky, and the moon took its place amongst them. Keira and Marshtomp quickened their pace; the pair had gotten lost while travelling to Mossdeep City, and Keira was sure had they didn’t, they would’ve gotten here in time to challenge the Gym. The glass doors slid open to welcome the pair, and they walked to the desk situated only a few steps away from the main entrance.
‘Welcome to the Mossdeep Space Center,’ a receptionist said. ‘I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to return your Pokémon; it’s the policy.’
‘Right. Sorry,’ said Keira as she produced Marshtomp’s Poké Ball and withdrew him. ‘Is the lecture still on?’
‘You mean Dr. Argon’s? I’m afraid not; it just ended.’
‘Late again…’ said Keira. ‘Well, is there a cafeteria here? I’m starving.’
‘There is, but it’s for employees only,’ said the receptionist, and Keira began developing an unreasonable dislike for the woman. ‘But Dr. Argon’s lecture should be on again tomorrow, and it’s free admittance then as well; you’re welcome to come.’
‘You seem disappointed,’ said a man. ‘I couldn’t help but hear the conversation. I’m Aphid Argon.’
Keira briefly studied the man. He was only slightly taller than her, his face was tired, but he looked beaming. He stood with a slight hunch. His eyes were blue, and his hair was a dark blonde. He couldn’t have been more than five years older than Keira. He offered his hand.
‘Nice to meet you, my name is Keira Maden.’
‘So you’re interested in my lecture,’ said Aphid as the pair shook hands. ‘You just missed it, but it’s always pleasing to see someone show interest in my work. The cafeteria is open to employees, but also to invited visitors; give her a card, Andrea.’
Seemingly reluctant, Andrea placed a card on the desk.
‘Right this way,’ said Aphid as Keira picked up the card and followed him. ‘From your outfit, I assume you’re a Pokémon Trainer.’
‘I am,’ said Keira.
‘And so, you must be interested in the lecture because it involved Deoxys.’
‘It’s a mysterious Pokémon.’
Aphid pushed open the door to the cafeteria, where only a few other scientists were eating; they all wore the same white lab coat that Aphid wore.
‘Where do I go to pick my food?’ said Keira, looking around in vain and trying to find a counter, but the room was lined with long tables and chairs, all of which had a small piece of paper in front of them.
‘You order off of the menu,’ said Aphid. ‘Take a seat anywhere you like.’
‘It’s more of a restaurant than a cafeteria then, isn’t it?’ said Keira, pulling a chair close to the entrance and sitting down as Aphid sat opposite her.
‘It is more of a restaurant, except you don’t have to pay for anything, and calling it a cafeteria keeps us humbled,’ said Aphid. ‘Now what do you want to know about my lecture?’
Keira hesitated; she was only willing to go to the lecture because she was bored, and happened to stumble across the poster. Telling Aphid that she wasn’t interested in his science will probably upset him, and more than anything; Keira wanted to eat.
She looked over the menu and quickly circled the meal she wanted, before setting the paper down by her side.
‘The poster mentioned something about the origins of Deoxys,’ said Keira. ‘I’m interested in that.’
‘Ah, yes, I figured you would,’ said Aphid. ‘Well, our research indicates that some form of virus was brought close to earth by a space rock.’
‘You mean a meteorite,’ said Keira. ‘I’m not an idiot.’
‘Well, the rock in question might not have hit the surface of earth. As you know, a satellite that is circling our planet has the job of protecting earth from meteors; it only has one shot before it has to come back to earth, so we have to calculate our options before firing it at the meteor.
‘Firing the Hyper Beam that is; we charge it with the attacks of Pokémon. It does lose it over time, and we have to bring it back to charge it then as well. Anyway, we think that that meteor was carrying a virus; its properties are unknown at this moment, and contact with the Hyper Beam must have been how Deoxys was born.’
‘But that sounds farfetched,’ said Keira; she leaned forward in her chair, having suddenly become interested in what Aphid had to say. ‘If it did happen that way, then how did Deoxys end up on earth?’
‘We can’t understand the workings of a human brain, let alone a Pokémon’s,’ said Aphid. ‘Nor a Pokémon from outer space; where many of the Pokémon we know today possibly come from. There is a smaller meteor coming towards earth, and it will be shot apart when it gets close enough, and it is very similar to the meteor which might have originated Deoxys; acquiring it might be our only chance for finding the answer to that question, and more. But letting it fall to earth is a risk no one is willing to take.’
‘Because of the virus?’
‘Yes,’ said Aphid, leaning back in his chair. ‘We know nothing about how it will affect us, or our planet. Anyway, it’s getting late. When you’re done, hand the visitor card back to Andrea. Enjoy your meal.’
He pushed his chair back, and slowly got up. Keira stared at the table in front of her; a waiter must have picked the menu while she was listening to Aphid. She sat motionless for minutes, her mind racing of what she could be with a Deoxys by her side.
It had been a week since Keira battled and defeated the Mossdeep City Gym. Marshtomp was by her side, and they were lying down atop the tallest hill of Sootopolis, along various other Trainers and their Pokémon. It was a starry night, and all of them were watching the sky expectantly.
It was the day when a meteor was supposed to be to destroyed, and it would send lights flying across the sky, dashing from star to star. There was no wind, and no words; only the sound of breathing filled the hill. Some of the Trainers were sitting, others were standing with their cameras ready.
‘Anytime now,’ said a voice from the front of the crowd; Keira recognised him as Stark, a boy she had met two days ago. ‘Ten seconds.’
Everyone who had a camera raised it to their eyes. Some of them had their sight set on their watches, almost shaking with excitement. To Keira’s right, a couple started holding hands, and to her left, an old woman struggled to get up off of the grass, using her cane for support. Keira pushed herself up and helped the woman.
Slowly, a light began to grow in the sky, and in an instant, a beam shot from it. A shooting star was scattered into many pieces, many of them flying away from where the star had been. Everyone around Keira started clapping.
‘It’s a beautiful sight,’ the old woman said.
Sounds interesting! Haven't read much about Deoxys, i remember watching the film(?) quite a while ago and it seems like a good thing to write about. I look forward to seeing how this progresses and whether or not Keira will get a chance to capture a Deoxys and how that encounter goes.
Grammar wise this all seemed fine, and your speech was natural and well flowing, so not much to improve there.
Good job, keep me posted if you post another chapter!
The sky filled with a single beam of light for a few seconds, and in those short moments, Marshtomp was filled with a feeling of longing; Keira had told him that a lot of Pokémon come from space. He got on all fours, and took a deep breath. The grass was fresh, and its smell worked its way into Marshtomp seamlessly; he knew that he belonged to Earth.
Keira was by an old woman, talking about Sootopolis. She was distracted for now. He walked over to a tree and began climbing; it was not as easy as when he was a Mudkip. The fin on his head kept bumping on branches, and although it didn’t pain him, it was annoying. His hands were slippery, as was his entire body; it was hard enough trying to pull himself up, but resistance was too much.
He settled on a branch big enough to hold him, halfway up the tree, and kept on observing the sky. The light had disappeared, almost everybody was walking away, and Keira’s voice reached him.
‘Come on, Marshtomp,’ shouted Keira. ‘Our journey to Ever Grande won’t be quick, and I bet we’ll get lost again.’
With a nod and a last glance at the sky, Marshtomp leaped off of the branch he was sitting on. He landed on all fours, and trailed after Keira. Sootopolis was quiet; the lights were off, and the night seemed darker after it had been lit. Keira made her way down staircases and hills, and to the lowest point in Sootopolis City; the Pokémon Center.
Stark, the boy who was announcing the time to all the Trainers on that hill, was waiting for her by the entrance. He was quite tall, and his clothes consisted of a red shirt with a yellow diamond printed on it, and a pair of trousers that ended in the same shade of yellow, with the majority of them being red. His face was almost perfectly round, and seemed too small in comparison to his height. His eyes were blue, and his hair was messy and brown, with a slight tinge of green.
‘Are you ready?’ he called out to Keira as soon as she was within earshot.
‘Yeah, let’s go,’ Keira said. ‘Do you want to swim, Marshtomp, or go into your Poké Ball?’
In the water was a large blue Pokémon. Two fangs jutted out of her mouth, and her eyes were determined and yellow. The Pokémon had a broad tail, and a tuft of whiskers that was thick enough to look like fur. Marshtomp jumped into the water next to the Pokémon, while Stark and Keira climbed onto the Walrein’s back.
‘I don’t like this part,’ said Keira. ‘Let’s make it quick.’
The Walrein gave a deep moan before diving into the water. Keira was surrounded by the blue as the Pokémon dashed to the tunnel that rested under the sea. Marshtomp dived moments later, trying in vain to catch up to the Walrein; the larger Pokémon was clearly faster.
Darkness overtook the group, and the extremely dim light of Sootopolis disappeared. Stark pulled on his Pokémon’s whiskers, and she started rising. It was another quick torrent of water, and Keira struggled not to gasp. They finally broke the surface of the water, and the lights returned.
They were outside Sootopolis. The moon and stars cast a reflection on the sea and on every pair of eyes that gazed up at them. Seconds later, Marshtomp rose up from his dive full of energy, while Keira remained shivering and dripping with water.
‘Alright, I’m going back under,’ said Stark. ‘I think I saw something.’
‘In the dark?’
‘You’re welcome to join me.’
‘No, thank you,’ said Keira. ‘I’ll wait for you with Marshtomp.’
Keira jumped onto Marshtomp’s back; the only reason she had not used him for the trip out of Sootopolis was that Walrein was much faster. She clung onto her Pokémon as Stark dived back into the water, the Walrein sending a splash of water that Marshtomp managed to avoid.
The pair remained on the surface. It was a silent night, and the moon was slowly making its way out of the sky. It was only then that Keira felt at ease.
‘You like climbing trees, don’t you, Marshtomp?’ said Keira.
There was something different about her voice; it was faint and weak, and carried a sad tone. Marshtomp knew that Keira wasn’t just talking as she usually did; she was talking to him. She turned her head towards her Pokémon, and he gave a nod.
‘You don’t have to evolve then,’ said Keira. ‘I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t want you to evolve, but it’s clear that you’ve resisted evolving all this time, and good for you, because you’re still a competent, amazing Pokémon. If you don’t want to evolve, then it’s fine.’
Another splash of water broke the silence, and Walrein reemerged from the sea, with Stark holding a white rock.
‘Guess what this is?’ he said, furiously wiping at his eyes and spitting water.
‘It’s a rock,’ said Keira. ‘That’s what you dived for?’
‘It’s a white rock. It probably came from space,’ said Stark. ‘Considering what we just saw, it’s a fitting end to the day.’
‘It’s just a rock,’ said Keira. ‘It doesn’t matter where it came from.’
‘We both have eight Badges now as well,’ Stark continued, as if he had not heard a word Keira said. ‘And we’re going to the Pokémon League, so you could say that this rock symbolises our “rise to the stars”, if you will.’
‘On that subject, when are you going to evolve your Pokémon? A Marshtomp won’t hold up in the Pokémon League.’
Had Keira not been on his back, Marshtomp would’ve tackled Stark to the sea. The idea of evolving revolted him, and had he known that, he would not have become a Marshtomp in the first place; the world was bigger, and as a tiny Mudkip, any exploration or adventure seemed more dangerous than it was, and all victories felt deserved.
‘Marshtomp will evolve by his own choice,’ said Keira. ‘I won’t push him.’
‘Also, why not nickname him?’ said Stark. ‘I named this big girl here Rose. You should probably give your Pokémon nicknames as well.’
‘Maybe later,’ said Keira. ‘I can’t think of anything right now. Let’s just go to Ever Grande.’
‘If Marshtomp evolves, then it we would’ve gotten there faster,’ Stark grumbled. ‘Lead the way, Rose; to that big waterfall.’
‘Are you going to take that rock with you?’ said Keira after the group had started moving, and the edges of the volcano surrounding Sootopolis started disappearing into the horizon.
‘Yeah, it’s going to be a symbol,’ said Stark. ‘We will look back on this white rock, and remember simple times when none of your Pokémon had nicknames.’
great second chapter! I loved that it was from Marshtomp's POV, as looking at it from the eyes of the pokémon is something rarely done well. Here though, you pulled it off and the addition of a pokémon not wanting to evolve, even being repulsed by the idea of evolving was something i hadn't seen before, and something i particularly enjoyed.
I do wonder if that rock is going to play a large significance, but only time will tell i guess.
‘We both have eight Badges now as well,’ Stark continued, as if he had not heard a word Keira said. ‘And we’re going to the Pokémon League, so you could say that this rock symbolises our ‘rise to the stars’, if you will.’
Where you have rise to the stars it needs to be in " rather than '.
Keep me posted!
Keira fumbled through her bag, trying to find her Poké Balls. Marshtomp was next to her, clearly bored, and was waving his arms around as he rocked on his heels.
‘Sorry about that,’ said Keira. ‘It’s really messy in here.’
‘That’s fine, ma’am,’ the nurse said. She was right behind the counter, and her machine was ready to heal Keira’s Pokémon.
After a few more seconds of rummaging, Keira managed to produce her five Poké Balls, each of them was a different colour than the other. She withdrew her Marshtomp into one, and handed them to the nurse. Slowly, the nurse stuck them into their designated places, and pulling a lever that seemed too big and unnecessary, the Poké Balls started to glow.
‘The other Pokémon Centers don’t have a lever,’ said Keira. ‘And their machines don’t take as long.’
‘Yes, but we’re not exactly the most accessible of them,’ the nurse said bitterly. ‘This Pokémon Center hasn’t seen any sort of work done to it in over fifty years. On one side, we have a waterfall, and on the other, there is a cave that is sprawling with the most dangerous of critters.’
Keira had thought the other nurses took too long to heal her Pokémon, but after seeing how long this machine took, she had a new appreciation for it. When the Poké Balls stopped glowing, the nurse handed them back to Keira.
She seated herself in one of the chairs as she waited for Stark, who had gotten distracted and started fishing over the waterfall. She placed the five Poké Balls back in her bag after sending out her Marshtomp. The Pokémon looked healthy and refreshed, but he was still popping on his heels out of boredom.
The doors split open, and Stark gave a wave as he headed for the nurse, handing her his six Poké Balls. After a minute of the machine whirring and growling, the nurse handed him back his Pokémon, and he rushed to Keira’s side.
‘I think the machine takes longer if there are more Pokémon,’ said Keira. ‘Should we start with Victory Road, then?’
‘Are you going to walk with your Marshtomp?’
‘It would be weird not having him out of his Poké Ball,’ said Keira. ‘He’s always been there.’
‘So had my Blaziken, but I don’t walk around with it.’
‘Maybe you’re just not used to it,’ said Keira. ‘I always had Mudkip out of his Poké Ball when I started out.’
‘Anyway, you remember that white rock I found yesterday?’
‘Well, I sold it,’ said Stark. ‘There was this guy who had been picking rocks and examining them outside the Center, and pocketing some of them, so I sold my rock to him, and made a pretty good chunk of money.’
‘I doubt you made that much.’
‘For a rock?’ said Keira. ‘Who would pay that for a rock?’
‘It all worked out well,’ said Stark. ‘I told you that rock was going to be useful.’
‘I’m pretty sure you can never recreate that,’ said Keira. ‘Anyway, should we leave?’
Stark gave a nod, and Keira picked up her blue shoulder bag. All her Poké Balls were audibly there, flying amongst the mess that was in it. She followed Stark out of the Pokémon Center, where Victory Road loomed and seemed like the biggest obstacle in Keira’s journey.
She remembered all the times she had taken a written exam; no matter how much she prepared for them, she would always be nervous before going into the exam hall. Marshtomp had noticed her uneasiness, and nudged her forward, still being the rock that she always relied on.
She took slow steps after Stark, and they were both silent. The entrance of Victory Road drew closer and closer, and soon enough, they were enveloped in the darkness. After the light of the sun, Keira stood in the dark, the outline of Stark next to her, and Marshtomp’s hold still on her arm. He had clearly felt the nervousness she had been feeling, and his hand felt very slippery. She gave a grin as she realised it was her turn to comfort her Pokémon.
‘Don’t worry, Marshtomp,’ said Keira. ‘We’ve been through worse, and this is just a cave; nothing will happen here.’
‘There’s the guy who bought my rock,’ Stark whispered. ‘Look, a few paces in front of us.’
Both Keira and Marshtomp threw their heads forward, where a man had been examining the floor of Victory Road. His hair was dark and muddied, and his right hand was vigorously scratching at his left arm.
‘He doesn’t seem sane,’ said Keira in a whisper. ‘Maybe we should just avoid him.’
They had taken only taken a few steps when the man flung his gaze at them. He looked familiar, and Keira felt uneasy as he stared at her. It wasn’t until he got up from his crouch that she recognised him.
‘Dr. Argon?’ said Keira. ‘I can’t believe you’re here.’
‘Keira, was it?’ said Aphid, a smile spreading across his face. ‘What luck! This is great!’
‘Yes, it’s Keira,’ she said. ‘Umm, what are you doing in Victory Road?’
‘And you, you’re the boy who had that rock!’ said Aphid, looking at Stark and still scratching at his arm. ‘How are you, Chris?’
‘You two,’ said Aphid. ‘Keira, listen. Do you remember that night a week or so ago? I told you about the Deoxys, and the meteor that would be destroyed, right?’
‘Yes, you did.’
Keira was becoming very nervous; this wasn’t the same Aphid Argon she had met. She took a step back as he took several steps towards her. It seemed that both Marshtomp and Stark had sensed the danger, and they remained by her.
‘Well, you were the only one who showed interest in my research. Everyone thought I was crazy, even some other scientists.’
Now was probably not a good time to tell Aphid that she had only considered going to the lecture because she was bored. She tried to find her words, but there was nothing.
‘Well, I feel safe telling you this because of that!’ said Aphid. ‘I changed the settings of the satellite to let a piece fall on earth. I wanted to find it, and I wanted to research Deoxys, to see if whatever created it can benefit all of us.’
‘But that would be dangerous,’ said Keira. ‘You said so yourself. You said that no one knows what that virus would do to humans.’
Aphid’s hands shot forward and clasped Keira’s shoulders. He was about to speak, but all Keira could focus on was what looked like a dark rash creeping towards his neck. She let out a gasp, and almost on command, Marshtomp had jumped up to Aphid and struck him down, while Stark grabbed her hand, and pulled her forwards.
They started running, Marshtomp following behind them, as Aphid howled in the dark. Keira didn’t have the heart to run, but she was sure Stark would have dragged her had she stopped. They took many turns, and jumped over several rocks before they stopped behind one that was large enough to hide them.
‘What wrong with you?!’ said Stark. ‘Why weren’t you running? And you knew that guy?’
‘I met him once,’ said Keira, pulling her wrist away from Stark. ‘But he’s different now; we shouldn’t have run away. We should’ve stayed and tried to help him.’
‘Help him? That man was insane!’
‘He wasn’t insane a week ago!’ said Keira. ‘He might need medical help! I saw his skin, and it looked like it had been crystallised! We have to go and help him!’
‘If he wanted help, he would’ve asked for it! He was more than capable of talking!’
‘And you!’ said Keira, turning her attention to Marshtomp. ‘Why would you hit him?!’
‘Calm down, Keira, your Pokémon was only trying to protect you!’ said Stark. ‘And I would’ve done the same.’
‘I don’t need protection,’ said Keira. ‘And certainly not from a man who clearly needed help!’
‘That man was a danger,’ said Stark. ‘I don’t care about how he was when you met him; he’s crazy now, and that’s what matters.’
‘I don’t care if you two are with me or not,’ said Keira. ‘I am going back to help him.’
‘That’s your problem, Keira! You don’t need to help him!’ said Stark. ‘You’re too sympathetic!’
‘Are you with me or not?’
Keira was rubbing at her wrist as Stark considered her offer. His anger slowly faded, and he let out a sigh.
‘Fine,’ said Stark. ‘But only because I know you’ll hurt yourself.’
‘I can do just fine without you,’ said Keira. ‘While we’re at criticising each other, why don’t we talk about your obnoxious attitude; I don’t need your protection, so stop thinking I’m a clumsy bitch without you.’
‘You didn’t show me anything else!’ said Stark, his anger returning. ‘You can’t even rely on your Pokémon to take you out of Sootopolis!’
‘So I don’t like water, that is your argument?’
‘Hey, I’ll stop my misogyny when you show me that I should!’
‘Fine, then don’t come with me!’ Keira had become furious. ‘If you’re going to keep that stupid bias of yours, then leave!’
Immediately, Stark turned his back to Keira, and started walking away. She shot her head back at Marshtomp, who gave a nod without her needing to say a word. Aphid needed help, and she would try all she could to deliver it to him.