best laid plans
Yo, name's Chris. Chris Avrich. I'm a fourteen year old boy who's relatively normal: I like to watch TV, play with friends, play video games, and watch movies.
I once heard the following quote in one of said movies:
"The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray".
Heh. I passed it off once I heard it: little did I know just how well that quote would soon fit my life.
The brown-haired man placed a hand against the bald spot just above his forehead, letting loose a small sigh. "Joseph, I appreciate your enthusiasm, I really do, but can you please call me back later? I'm in the middle of some important research."
Joseph spoke in an excited tone of voice. "But, Elm, this is worth it. Trust me."
"...Just get it over with," Elm muttered.
"It's real this time. A sonogram showed life inside: and nothing we have ever seen before."
"Are you sure?" Elm asked. "Perhaps you just didn't recognize the Pokemon. It's not like we can all know every Pokemon off of memory."
"Elm, trust me. I looked at all six hundred and fifteen species: it took me a while, yes, but I can positively identify that this is not a known Pokemon!"
"Then I'll send someone over for it. I'll make the phone call in a moment: but I've got to go to do it. I'll speak more about this later, Joseph. Bye."
Elm sighed, and put the phone into the receiver without bothering to give Joseph a chance to respond. He then picked it back up and began to dial the number of the Avrich house.
"Mommm..." the boy whispered, gently batting at the arm that shook him. "I-... I dun wanna go 'ta school today. I wanna stay home 'n' bake cookies with youuuuu... ZzZz..."
The shaking gradually got more violent, until Christopher Avrich rolled over and slipped his legs out of the bed, hitting the ground with a soft and lazy thud.
"We can bake cookies later, dear," his mother said, her tone echoing obvious annoyance. "When Professor Elm isn't asking for you."
"Elm's askin' fer me?" Chris asked, suddenly waking up a bit. It was an oddity. Sure, he usually accepted Chris when he went over to volunteer as a lab assistant, but never had he been summoned there. He sighed and stretched, letting a loud yawn loose.
"Yes," his mother said. "Now, get dressed and hurry over there. He said it was somewhat urgent."
Chris nodded slowly. "Then it might help if ya leave the room, 'cuz I sure as hell ain't getting undressed with you watchin', mom."
His mother nodded, glaring daggers at him. He grinned in response.
Elm examined his notes one more time, from the title down:
Geology of Tohjo Falls: Possible 'Evolution Hotspot'?
The recent discovery of a mysterious energy in Tohjo Falls has lead researchers to believe that Tohjo Falls may be a spot where Pokemon will have a boosted evolution process: some earlier, some outside their normal methods...
It was then he heard the knock on his door, a light rap. He nodded toward Ian, who looked up from his own papers toward the door.
"Answer it, it's probably Chris," he said.
Ian, the faithful lab assistant he was, nodded back and set down his papers, before walking toward the door.
Elm looked back down at the notes, and examined a few more lines, before a familiar voice rang through his ears. He grinned, set down the small stack of paper, and walked toward the lab's entrance, hands in his pockets.
"It's nice to see you, Chris," Elm said.
The boy was dressed in his usual attire: not much different from what Elm expected, otherwise he would have informed his mother on the phone to make him wear it anyway. He was not dressed for official matters, but this was good: business wear on a non-business trip was usually pretty problematic.
Chris slipped a hand beneath the rim of his hat, black with an orange arch-shape on the front, and flipped it around on his head so he could see better. He slid that hand back into the pocket of his red hoody, and nodded toward Professor Elm.
"Yo, Elm! What's up?"
"I see you're energetic this morning," Elm said.
Chris allowed himself a grin and nodded. "Surprisingly so, considering I'm up at nine-thirty A.M."
"You don't get up as early usually?" Elm asked.
"Nope. Usually asleep 'till a nice, healthy... say, one or two o'clock."
Elm sighed, allowing his palm to slap against his face and slide on down, as if the friction of the action would erase all his woes. "You know, it's not healthy for a growing body- heck, it's not healthy for ANY body to get out of the natural human cycle. We are not nocturnal, Chris - we sleep through the night and wake up in the morning."
Chris's grin disappeared, and he closed his eyes, shaking his head.
"I didn't come here to be lectured, Professor," he said. "Let's get to the pointttt..."
Elm nodded. "Fine, fine, we'll discuss your sleeping habits later. First, follow me."
The two of them headed to the back of the lab, where Elm stopped the two of them in front of a computer. He clicked around a bit, typed in a few commands, and then pressed a single key dramatically. He turned around, hiding the computer from sight.
"Alright, Chris. First thing's first," he said. "You know I've never -asked- for you to come here. But I need a favor from you. It's not urgent, but I feel like it'd be best to get it over and done with."
Chris nodded. "Alright?"
"I have an acquaintance north of Cherrygrove City named Joseph Estar. Of course, he prefers to be known in the world of business as 'Mr. Pokemon'."
"Whoa, Mr. Pokemon? Isn't he like, the second most eccentric researcher out there?" Chris asked.
"...And who's the most eccentric?" Elm retorted.
"Pretty sure it's Professor Birch of Hoenn."
"...Oh, I thought you were going to call me-"
"You?" Chris said, practically biting his tongue to stifle a laugh. "You're boring."
Elm flushed a deep red. "...S-shut up, Chris, let's keep going. Joseph discovered an egg he claims to be an unknown Pokemon. He wants the Elm Laboratory to come down and retrieve it."
Chris nodded in understanding. "Sounds pretty interesting: but unknown? Is he sure?"
"He sounds sure," Elm responded. "But I feel like it's probably a misunderstanding. Which is why, no offense meant to you, I want you to be the one to go and do it so my understaffed lab - consisting of a grand total of two people, excluding the occasional volunteer - doesn't waste time and resources."
Chris's face flushed a deep red. He was worrying almost immediately, Elm could tell, and thus stepped aside to reveal what now sat on his computer desk.
"I can read you like a book, Chris," Elm said with a grin. "I know you're worried about safety, since you don't have your own Pokemon. That's why one of these can be yours."
Chris stood, jaw about to crash through the floor.
"Take your pick. These are all, interestingly enough, gifts from Professor Birch of Hoenn except for one of them. Apparently a trainer who he supported gave them to him."
On the desk, there were three Pokeballs.
Professor Elm picked up the Pokeball in the middle. "First of all, let me introduce you to the one that's native of Johto... well, the entire Indigo Country, but you know." The Professor pressed his thumb against a silver, metallic button in the center of the ball. It puffed into a bigger size in his hand, then burst open. He had to keep a firm grip on the ball in order to prevent dropping it.
A blast of white light burst out from the ball, and materialized into a small pink Pokemon, quadripedal with a tail waving around behind it. Its tail was tipped in white, while its muzzle was a creamy tan.
"This here is Slowpoke: Referred to by many as 'the dopey Pokemon'. It's a little dopey, yes, but it's a lot more skilled in battle than most people think. It does not feel pain for a long while after an injury, and this can be an advantageous thing. A good partner for protection, but not the best company in the world."
Elm turned around and picked up the Pokeball to the right. "Here's our second, located here in Johto as well but is actually quite findable in Hoenn due to a recent discovery - hence why I didn't say it's a native... we actually don't know where they originated from, now. Birch's supported trainer found them, and caught a few: this here is a baby, so be careful not to make any sudden movements, otherwise you'll frighten it."
He pressed the release switch, and the flash of light occured, materializing into a Pokemon that he was sure Chris recognized, as they were often used as a villain's Pokemon in horror movies (though it was a common misconception: if treated right, these little guys were loyal).
It was small as well, with black fur clinging tightly to its skin. A bit of protective cartilage over its head looked like a skull mask, and two stripes of cartilage on its back were also present. Its belly and muzzle lacked its fur, revealing its real skin color: a light, golden brown.
"This here is called a Houndour. They are commonly seen as evil, and while they can be dangerous, they are very loyal if domesticated and would not hurt a fly unless told to by the person they trust. It's called the 'Dark Pokemon', and as I just said, it's a misconception. It conveys its feeling using different cries: some people have actually managed to interpret these, and basically be able to communicate with their Houndour."
Elm turned around and picked up the last Pokeball on the desk. "And, finally, your last choice is the one that isn't found in Johto or Kanto, and very rarely even in Sinnoh. It's a Pokemon sent to me for later study, but I suppose I can just ask for another to be sent if you pick it."
He pressed the release switch, the flash of light occured, and the light materialized into a Pokemon shaped into half an orb. It was a light shade of yellow, with green dots scattered across it skin. It walked forward and sat next to the other two Pokemon, momentarily revealing a green underside.
"This one," Elm proclaimed. "Is called Shroomish. They live in damp, dark forests, hence why they're not here in Johto. If it senses danger, it scatters spores from the top of its head, a multitude of types that can cause a multitude of problems: such as poisoning, paralysis, and unconsciousness. Poisoning is the most painful..."
Elm recalled the time he got an accidental inhalation of Shroomish poison spores. He was in bed for a week, and took another week to recover, all of it spent in total misery.
"So, Chris - What's your pick?"
Chris stood there for quite a few moments in utter silence. Elm saw his eyes darting from Pokemon to Pokemon, examining each carefully.
Meanwhile, just outside the lab, unknown to Elm, Chris or Ian, a pair of eyes was watching them. They were a bright blue, but despite the traditionally soothing color, they had an odd malice to their feel. These eyes were joined by a second pair, these as black as night itself.
"Sneasel," the boy said. "I suppose we'll be taking one of those Pokemon, too."
The Pokemon nodded, the red feather adorned on its head shaking a slight bit.
Chris was oddly excited at the moment. He hadn't even gotten the permission he knew was necessary from his mother, but his mind ran wild with the thoughts of a traditional Pokemon adventure. With a bit of impulsiveness, his hand extended, finger pointing to the Pokemon the far left: the half-orb, dotted with green. Shroomish.
"Shroomish?" Elm said. "Excellent choice, Chris."
Chris suddenly reached up, catching the Pokeball thrown to him. A flash of red light occurred, follow shortly by another, and the other two Pokemon disappeared.
Chris didn't return Shroomish, however. Instead, he knelt down and motioned for the Pokemon to come toward him.
"Is it a guy or a gal, Elm?" he asked.
"A female," Elm responded.
"Right... well, I'll call ya Bosca, girl."
Elm seemed a bit surprised. "Advanced vocabulary for a fourteen year old," he said, speaking of the name's origin. "Boscage, right? Means a thicket of trees; like a Shroomish lives in."
Chris shrugged. "I heard it in a movie once."
This seemed to satisfy Elm as well as the nickname seemed to satisfy the Pokemon; Bosca walked over to Chris and stared up at him expectantly. Chris extended a hand, gently stroking the Mushroom Pokemon, eliciting a satisfied look from her.
Chris nodded dutifully. "You and me, Bosca - we'll become the best of pals, okay?"
"...mish," Bosca replied timidly.
Chris stood up and faced Elm. "Well then, is there anything else, Professor? 'cuz I'm sure as hell ready to go."
So, guys. Let me warn you now. The updates to this story will be few and far apart: it's my third project currently going on. I'm only writing this at the moment at all in order to be able to write and hopefully rid myself of the horrible case of writer's block I'm currently going through for my other stories.
A bit of background information on this story: I've done it before. It was my second piece of written fiction submitted anywhere (I once did a fanfiction based off an online game I played). I'm revising it, and plan to complete it sometime this year (I made it to eight chapters before).