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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Pokémon Azure: Storm Island

    Pokémon Azure: Storm Island
    A fanfic written by Kate Wintersbite and Jake the Menodix


    Welcome to my topic dedicated to the fanfic Pokemon Azure: Storm Island. It's a cooperative work between me and a close friend of mine. The aim is to tell a story about a girl's journey through Storm Island, a region set on a large tropical island. I'm aspiring for a well-written, complex story that will make one think, experience emotional reaction, etc. The chapters are long and designed for those with a high school or higher reading level. That said, the chapters are long. If your attention drifts often or easily, this will possibly be a hard read. Light occasional swearing may happen as well.

    Me and my partner in this project will be alternating chapters on our Deviant Art pages (for example, the upcoming Chapter 5 will be on his page), but I will be posting them here. Hopefully this isn't breaking any rules.

    Background information for the region, chapters, cities and characters will be posted in this topic. My hope is that it will be regularly updated, but considering it took a year for chapter 4 to be finished... who knows.

    Table of Contents
    1. Chapter 1 - Just a City Girl (Deviant Art Link)
    2. Chapter 2 - An Important Decision (Deviant Art Link)
    3. Chapter 3 - Off to Silvermist! (Deviant Art Link)
    4. Chapter 4 - Capture Fever (Deviant Art Link)
    5. Chapter 5 - Prepare for Trouble! (Deviant Art Link)
    6. Chapter 6 - The Fabled Pillar (Deviant Art Link)
    7. Chapter 7 - Pride's Downfall (Deviant Art Link)
    8. Chapter 8 - Untitled (Coming Soon!)


    Note: If you have a Deviant Art account, my partner and I would be appreciative if you could post your reviews, criticisms, comments, etc on the respective chapter pages. If you'd prefer to do that here on the boards though, I have no problems with that. And now, on with the show!
    Last edited by Caitlin; 12th October 2011 at 10:22 AM.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island Voyages

    Storm Island: Chapter 1
    Just a City Girl


    - - - - - The sun shined brightly into the window. A Taillow landed on the window sill and let out a chirp, signaling that morning had arrived. A young girl stirred in her sleep, tossing and turning. She sat up and looked at her clock. 7:28 AM. She rubbed her eyes, let out a yawn and stretched. Stepping out of her bed, she walked toward the window, then swatted the Taillow off of the window and looked outside. The palm trees lining the beach waved gently in the wind that was blowing ashore. She let out a sigh and smiled.
    - - - - - She walked over to a dresser, opened it, and pulled out some clothes. She disappeared into a closet. About a minute later, with her pajamas ruffled in her hands, she emerged from the closet, then threw her pajamas into a basket beside her bed. She looked into a mirror that was hanging on the wall. "Well well, Andrea, aren't you looking snazzy?" she muttered to herself. She grabbed a pin off of the table and stuck it onto the chest pocket on her black and orange shirt. Grabbing a brush off the table, she ran it through her silky brown hair, puffed it up a bit with her hands, then smiled into the mirror.
    - - - - - She started to walk down the stairs when she realized she had forgotten something. She went back into her room and over to her desk, grabbing her cell phone and stuffing it into her purse. She then returned on her way down the stairs.
    - - - - - A news report was on in the kitchen. "It has been a week since the Catrianna Subway System's western tunnel collapsed, and still no progress is being made in fixing the problem. There have been many reports of explosions in the vicinity of the Slate Valley quarry, but there has been no confirmation of this yet. We'll keep you posted. In other news..."
    - - - - - "Haven't they made any efforts to fix that tunnel, dear?" a woman asked.
    - - - - - A man in police uniform replied, "They can't. Not until the investigation is complete, which could take awhile."
    - - - - - "That's a shame... They were just about to open the subway system, too!" she said.
    - - - - - "Yeah, it's unfortunate..." he said, struggling to open a bottle of lemonade. He noticed Andrea walk into the room. "Hey there, sport!"
    - - - - - "Hey mom, hey dad."
    - - - - - "Well, look at you! You're lookin' pretty snappy today, Andrea!" Andrea's mom said.
    - - - - - "Thanks." she nodded.
    - - - - - "What's the occasion?"
    - - - - - "The Catrianna Corporation is holding a meeting of sorts at the Crimson Crawdaunt. Mr. Winston asked me to come in. He probably wants me to help, but he also said he'd like a word with me." Andrea replied.
    - - - - - "A word, eh?" her dad asked. "Maybe it's that promotion you've been working at for the past year." He took a sip from his lemonade.
    - - - - - "Yeah, you've earned it." her mom said.
    - - - - - "That's what I'm hoping for." She walked over to the refridgerator and grabbed a bottle of water out and put it in her purse. "It'll be awhile before I have to arrive."
    - - - - - "Uh huh..." Andrea's dad said in an uninterested tone. His gaze was fixed on a reflection of himself in the window. "Damn, do I look good or what?"
    - - - - - Andrea's mom spproached her dad. "You do, sweetie! Especially in that important uniform." The two started to hug and make incomprehensible giggling noises.
    - - - - - "You know, on second thought? I'm just gonna go for a walk." she said with a grimmace on her face. She grabbed a black bandana with a pink Pokeball design embroidered on it from the table. She tied it around her hair, adjusting it to her own sense of perfection. She looked back to see her parents still cuddling, then opened the door and stepped out. "Goodness..." she muttered to herself. She walked towards the beach, which was right in front of her house. Looking up and down the coast taking in the sights, she spotted a reddish brown rock. She ran over to it and jumped on top of it, taking a seat as she looked out to the vast, blue ocean that lay before her.
    - - - - - A Krabby side-stepped its way down the beach, inching closer and closer to Andrea. It attempted to climb onto the rock but was unsuccessful. Fearing the big and menacing girl, it scurried away as she swatted at it.
    - - - - - "Stupid things..." Andrea muttered to herself. She felt a slight rumbling in her purse and heard a noise. "Huh?" she said, digging to find the source of the rumbling. She pulled her phone out, opened it and said, "A message?" She paused. "...From Larson?!" she asked, shocked. "Dear Andrea;" she began reading. "I'll be home shortly. I figured I'll take a break from my journey through Johto to catch up with you and the gang. I should be in Crestfall by noon today, then Azure Ridge the next day." Closing her phone, she sighed. "Larson's coming home... Finally..." Opening her phone again, she began to type a message. "Hey there, Larson! I'd call, but you're probably out in the middle of the ocean right now so you'd never get it. I just wanted to say that I'm looking forward to your return... See ya soon!" Clicking the 'send' button, she closed her phone again and looked at her watch. She stood up and dusted off her white cargo pants, then walked down the beach to the east.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - "Alright, Angelique. Right here." A heavy set man with glasses said while carrying one end of a table. "Ready?"
    - - - - - "Yeah." A young girl with ruby pink hair replied, holding the other end of the table. "One... two... three!" she said, releasing the table. She rubbed her forehead with her arm and placed it on her hip. "Well! That's the last of the tables, right?"
    - - - - - "Yeah." the stocky man replied. "Could you head into the back room and do some inventory counting while I tend to some paperwork up here?"
    - - - - - "Sure thing, Mr. Winston." Angelique replied, turning her attention to the back room, making her way through the maze-like setup of the tables strewn about the restaurant.
    - - - - - Mr. Winston turned around and focused on some papers sitting on the counter next to him. He raised his thick glasses up as he looked at a chart of his projected profits. An 'X' was scribbled onto the peak of the line with 'Andrea' scrawled next to it. Another line arched higher on the graph with 'New Girl' written along the curve. He sighed and picked the paper up, folding it twice and sticking it into his pocket. "I really hope-"
    - - - - - Suddenly the door opened and Andrea walked in. She closed the door behind her then walked behind the counter, taking a seat on a stool in front of Mr. Winston. "Mornin', Chaz!"
    - - - - - Worried that Andrea might look at the papers, he spread them all over then stacked them into a neat pile. "Good morning." he said quickly and quietly. "So much paperwork!"
    - - - - - "Anything I can help with?" she asked.
    - - - - - "Huh?" Mr. Winston said. He took a good look at her and cleared his mind. "Sorry, a lot's going through my head."
    - - - - - "I understand. It's not everyday that a corporate client comes through your door. But, I'll be with you 100%!"
    - - - - - Mr. Winston made a weird groaning noise. "Yeah..." he said, turning around. He took a deep breath and turned around again.
    - - - - - Andrea raised her eyebrow inquisitively. "So what was it you wanted to talk to me about?"
    - - - - - "Yes..." he said slowly. He called out to the back room. "Hey, Angelique! Can you come in here?"
    - - - - - Angelique emerged from the back room with a clipboard in hand and a pencil tucked away above her ear. She leaned on the door frame and said, "Yeah, boss?"
    - - - - - Andrea looked at Angelique, then back at Mr. Winston. "Go on..." she said.
    - - - - - "Uh. This is Angelique." Mr. Winston said carefully, as if his words were about to set off a bomb. "She's going to be working here."
    - - - - - Angelique waved as she continued to lean against the door.
    - - - - - "Alright, let's just..." Mr. Winston muttered to himself. "She'll be replacing you. I'm sorry, but-"
    - - - - - "Replacing?" Andrea asked sadly.
    - - - - - Mr. Winston took a deep breath. "Yes." he nodded.
    - - - - - "Move aside, I'm takin' charge from here." Angelique smirked.
    - - - - - "Remember the past few months I've asked you to bring in a cute Pokémon to help keep the guests entertained a bit?" Mr. Winston continued. "Month after month passed with no results."
    - - - - - "A waitress should not be judged by a small creature following her."
    - - - - - "Well, now you've learned that they are. And that's not all. Some of our repeat customers have... how to put this nicely..."
    - - - - - "They think you're ugly." Angelique chimed in.
    - - - - - Andrea stared blankly at the table. "Really?" she asked.
    - - - - - "I wouldn't go that far, but... they said a cuter face around here wouldn't hurt."
    - - - - - "I..." Andrea started, but couldn't form a sentence.
    - - - - - "I understand how much you've put into this place, how much you want to see it succeed. Hell, you turned it around, but there's only so much a single person can do. Your replacement may actually be what's best for this place." Mr. Winston said, trying to make it sound like he didn't want it to happen.
    - - - - - "I... I..." she said, starting to lose herself. She looked from side to side, her vision blurring up. "I gotta get outta here..." she said, getting up and bolting for the door, slamming it behind her.
    - - - - - Mr. Winston sighed. "I really, really hope I made the right choice and that she doesn't take it too hardly."
    - - - - - "Hey, lighten up." Angelique said. "You said it yourself. You're looking to grow and she was holding you back." She flipped her hair to the side. "Now are we going to rock these suits or what?"

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - Outside, Andrea was sitting at a table in the outdoor café. She had her head resting in her arms, her bandana undone and beside her, almost crying. "I... This..." she stumbled with her words trying to make sense of what had happened.
    - - - - - A group of men and women in business suits approached the restaurant. One of them stopped the group and raised her arm to grab their attention. "Alright, folks. Here's where our meeting will be held." she called out. She looked at Andrea momentarily, noticing her crying and said to the rest of the group, "Uh, I'll catch up with you guys in a minute."
    - - - - - "Yes sir, boss!" one of the men said. He led six others into the restaurant, leaving the woman alone.
    - - - - - The woman approached the table that Andrea was at and sat down. "Hey there, what's the matter?"
    - - - - - Andrea looked up at the woman and wiped a tear from her cheek. "Huh?"
    - - - - - "I'm Jenna Catrianna. What's your name?"
    - - - - - "Um... Andrea." she replied.
    - - - - - "What's troubling you, Andrea?"
    - - - - - "I... I was just fired. From here."
    - - - - - "Oh no, that's terrible!" she said with enthusiasm in her voice. "Why?"
    - - - - - Andrea quickly fixed her hair up and struggled to put her bandana back on, but failed. Leaning back into her chair with her arms crossed and looking off to the side she said, "I was replaced... For not being cute enough, I guess..."
    - - - - - Jenna Catrianna studied Andrea. "You look cute enough to me." She grabbed Andrea's hand and tightened her grip trying to comfort her. "But hey, Andrea, don't let it get to you. It happens. I went through it when I was younger..." she recalled. "But I didn't let it defeat me. I believed in myself."
    - - - - - "And what good will that do me now?" Andrea said.
    - - - - - "Think of it as a new chapter in your life... Believe in yourself. Find a hobby or a passion and work towards it. You never know what you're capable of accomplishing until you try it."
    - - - - - "Ha, thanks..." Andrea said sarcastically. "I guess."
    - - - - - "You'll be fine." she said, looking at her watch. "I have to get going. Good luck with everything." She stood up and pushed the chair under the table. "There's something I like about you, so I'll do you a favor."
    - - - - - Andrea looked up. "Oh yeah?"
    - - - - - "I think I might just go antagonize that person who replaced you... Bye!" she said and walked into the restaurant.
    - - - - - Andrea raised her eyebrow. "What a bizarre and eccentric lady..." She tried to tie her bandana around her hair again, then looked into the restaurant through a window. Angelique was bringing the group some menus. "I... I should probably just leave." she said, then walked down the street with her hands in her pockets. Andrea passed by the Storm Island Radio Centre and Doctor Spruce's Pokémon Research Laboratory as she slowly trudged home, thinking. A noise in the trees behind the small laboratory caught her attention. "Huh?" Andrea approached the fence that lined the sidewalk along the street and looked around. Seeing nothing, she shrugged and turned around. "Maybe that- Ooof!"
    - - - - - A Furret came swinging through the tree, crashing into Andrea and knocking her down. It sniffed at her, then bit at her bandana and making off with it.
    - - - - - Andrea picked herself up and felt for her bandana. "Hey! Give me that back, you thief!" she said. She charged at the Furret, which was taunting her, and tackled it. She wrestled the bandana from Furret's grasp and put it in her pocket.
    - - - - - The Furret jumped on top of her and started licking her face.
    - - - - - "Hey, quit it!" she said, laughing. "That tickles!"
    - - - - - The front door to the laboratory opened up and out stepped a bearded man in a lab coat. He placed his hand on his slightly grey hair as he walked over to Andrea. "So there you are, you little scamp." he raised a Pokéball and said, "Furret. Return."
    - - - - - Furret looked around before being converted into a red glob of energy and sucked into the Pokéball.
    - - - - - "My apologies. My name is Dr. Spruce, are you alright?"
    - - - - - Andrea stood up and shook her head side to side. "My head hurts a little..." she quietly said, rubbing the back of her head. "I guess I'll be fine though." She took her bandana out again and placed it over her head.
    - - - - - Dr. Spruce put the Pokéball in the pocket of his lab coat and looked at the pin attached to her shirt. "Good to hear, Andrea."
    - - - - - "How..." she asked.
    - - - - - "The pin on your shirt. It has your name engraved on it."
    - - - - - Andrea placed her hand over the pin and looked down, fumbling to take it off.
    - - - - - "Anyways, I'm glad you were here to stop this Furret in time. My colleague would have my head if I were to lose it."
    - - - - - "Don't mention it..." Andrea said shyly.
    - - - - - "I have a question, are you busy?"
    - - - - - "...No, not really."
    - - - - - "Good, then perhaps you'd like to do me a favor?"
    - - - - - "I don't know, I real-"
    - - - - - "It's settled then! Just come into my lab and hear me out, please?"
    - - - - - Andrea let out a sigh. "Well... I have nothing better to do..." She knelt down and picked her purse off of the ground, then followed Dr. Spruce into the laboratory.
    - - - - - Inside, the laboratory looked much bigger than it did outside. The lab was a marvelously high-tech looking place. An electric hum permeated the air as well as the beeping from machines and small chatter from the working technicians. Several tables were laid out around the room with several scientists each, covered in papers, tools, small devices and Pokéballs of all different types. Very expensive and complicated looking machines with an array of blinking lights lined the walls. A crisp breeze blew in from a few open windows, keeping the lab workers cool and calm.
    - - - - - "Pretty impressive place, don't you think?" Dr. Spruce asked.
    - - - - - "Yeah..." Andrea said, looking around and taking the sights and sounds in. "I used to have an interest in this place when I was younger, but..." she paused.
    - - - - - "But?"
    - - - - - "Oh... it's nothing. Nevermind." she replied. "I guess it was a false interest, this place looks way too technical for me."
    - - - - - "Perhaps we can test this out?" Dr. Spruce said, leading Andrea into a small office. He took a seat at a desk that was covered in papers and lined with small silver statues. Presumably they were research awards, as they were all engraved with Dr. Spruce's name as well as specific years. "I'll have to ask this first, though. Do you have any arrangements scheduled with anyone today? Anyone to visit, anything to do, that kinda stuff?"
    - - - - - "I kinda..." she paused and sighed. "No."
    - - - - - "That's a bit of a shame, isn't it? My philosophy is that everyone should always be busy, busy, busy! We should have things to keep us occupied. Having things to do is the spice of life, even if these things are boring or mundane." Dr. Spruce replied. He took the Pokéball holding Furret out of his lab coat pocket and placed it on a small scale. He pushed a button on the scale, causing a green light to begin scanning the Pokéball. "While we're waiting, I'd like to ask you a favor." he paused. "That is, if you don't mind."
    - - - - - "A favor?"
    - - - - - "Yes. I need this Furret delivered to a colleague of mine. Her name is Professor Ansen, perhaps you've heard of her. She lives north of here, in Bluele-"
    - - - - - "Oooh, no. I don't think so."
    - - - - - "Aww... Why not, if I may ask?"
    - - - - - "I'm really not in the mood to be dealing with a furry nuisance right now. Because of these creatures, I... I lost my job this morning."
    - - - - - Dr. Spruce leaned forward. "This is perfect, actually." he said in a serious tone. "You see, Andrea... When I was young, before I got into research, I was a bit like you. Only I had no hope for a future. My father was never around and my mother had to work in two jobs just to make ends meet. I blamed the Pokémon for this... My father took off one day, leaving my mother, aiming to be a master trainer of Pokémon. I hated them for this, but one day as a birthday surprise, my mother gifted me with a Skitty. I took responsibility for it, kept it happy... I must say, ever since that day, my life has never been the same. I started researching them... learning about them... I began to develop my bond with them."
    - - - - - "That's a sweet story, Doctor, but--"
    - - - - - "Now, human emotions are not my area of expertise, but you seem very... how can I put this?" he paused. "Frustrated. Resentful. Jealous of another, even." He leaned back in his chair. "I know I may seem pushy, but I insist. Blueleaf Village is an absolutely gorgeous place this time of the year. It's a very relaxing place to be, your worries and troubles just melt away. You'll feel better the second you walk into town."
    - - - - - Andrea looked down in thought. "I have been a bit negative lately..."
    - - - - - "So can I count on you?" he asked.
    - - - - - Andrea put her hand on her chin, thinking. "Yeah. I could use some relaxation."
    - - - - - "Wonderful!" he said happily. A beep signaled that the device's scan of the Pokéball was complete. He picked up the Pokéball and tossed it to Andrea. "Catch!"
    - - - - - Andrea reached out both hands and fumbled with the Pokéball as it landed in her arms. She held it in her left hand, studying it, then smiled. "I can see my reflection in it... I'm smiling?" she said.
    - - - - - "Feeling a bit better already?" Dr. Spruce asked.
    - - - - - "A bit." she said, staring at it. She clicked the center button, causing it to shrink. "Woah!" she said, surprised.
    - - - - - "Yeah, they're designed to do that for easy storage so that you can carry them in pockets and the like." Dr. Spruce replied. He opened a drawer on his desk and pulled out a small pamphlet. Unfolding it on his desk, he revealed a large map of Storm Island, placing his finger on the south eastern coast. "This is Azure Ridge, as I'm sure you already know. I'll guess you know your way around the immediate area, right?"
    - - - - - "A little." she replied.
    - - - - - "Right. As I said, Blueleaf Village is north of here, and between us and the town is Route 301. It's decently short, and shouldn't take you more than an hour to cross. Maybe even less if you keep your pace up."
    - - - - - "Sounds easy enough..." Andrea said, studying the map.
    - - - - - "As with anywhere else in the world, wild Pokémon lurk within the tall grass outside of town. Avoiding the tall grass is your safest bet, but if you find yourself unable to, be on your guard. You may need to sic that Furret on a wild Pokémon if it approaches you."
    - - - - - "Goodness!" Andrea exclaimed. "That sounds awfully cruel."
    - - - - - "Pokémon are very competitive creatures. They don't mind it at all." Dr. Spruce said, kneeling down to retrieve a box from under his desk. With a loud crash, he placed it on the table and rummaged through it. "Furret may be injured during a battle, however." He pulled out several purple squirtbottles with a shiny, silver liquid inside. "These will ease Furret's injuries should you need them." he said, handing them to Andrea.
    - - - - - Andrea grabbed the bottles, unzipped her purse and stuffed them inside. "Thank you."
    - - - - - Closing the box up, Dr. Spruce said, "That just about covers up the basics. Since this will just be a simple delivery I won't bother getting into much else." He picked up the box and dropped it on the floor with a crash, kicking it back under his desk. "One last thing." he said. He turned his attention to the large room outside his office. "Hey, Beverly! Could you come in here? Bring the picture from a few days ago with you!"
    - - - - - A young red haired scientist walked into the room and placed a photo onto Dr. Spruce's desk. "Here is the picture you requested, Doc." she said. "Is that all?"
    - - - - - "Yes and thank you. Dismissed." he said to the young scientist as he sent her off.
    - - - - - "What's this?" Andrea asked, taking the picture and looking at it.
    - - - - - "This is the uglier side of a research center such as this. Our security camera spotted this three nights ago."
    - - - - - The photo showed a man and a young woman inside the lab ransacking the place. The woman was in a pink shirt and had a striped pink hat. She was holding a Poké Ball with a smile on her face. The man had medium length brown hair and a peculiar scar over his left eye.
    - - - - - "These two are thieves, obviously... They can't be trusted. I'm very sure that they skipped down already, but if you see them while you're on your way to and back from Blueleaf Village, hide until they go away." Dr. Spruce said in a serious tone.
    - - - - - "Got it." Andrea nodded. She placed the photo back onto the desk.
    - - - - - "Well, that's that. When you arrive and deliver Furret, Professor Ansen will likely send you back with another Pokémon to deliver to me, so that way you're not stuck on Route 301 without a Pokémon. But, if she's absent minded about that, stop by my lab anyways when you get back. We'll negotiate payment." He smiled. "Also, it'd probably be a good idea to stop by and notify your parents."
    - - - - - Andrea placed the Pokéball in her purse. "I planned to."
    - - - - - "I guess that's it." Dr. Spruce said. He reached into his lab pocket and pulled out a phone. "Let me give you my number, just in case anything happens. It's 1432-6012-A. Got it?"
    - - - - - Andrea pulled out her phone and muttered the numbers back as she input them into her phone listing. "Yeah."
    - - - - - "Alright, dismissed. Good luck, Andrea."
    - - - - - "Thanks, I guess." she replied. Andrea placed her phone back into her pants pocket and stepped out into the larger room of the laboratory. She quickly passed by the scientists as a few of them looked up at her silently.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - "Well, I guess I'm getting the day off." Andrea's dad said as he walked into the kitchen. "Jack called and said we're getting the day off."
    - - - - - "Wonderful to hear, dear!" Andrea's mom replied. "You two have been overworked lately, in my opinion."
    - - - - - "Being a police officer is a tough job, but I love it. I get to meet all sorts of fascinating people." he said, taking a sip from the same lemonade bottle from earlier in the morning. "Like that peculiar Dr. Spruce fellow down the street."
    - - - - - "Oh?" his wife asked.
    - - - - - "Yeah. A few nights ago--" he started, being interrupted by the door opening. "Andrea?"
    - - - - - "What are you doing home so early?" her mother asked.
    - - - - - Andrea silently walked over to the kitchen table and unpinned her Crimson Crawdaunt nametag from her pocket, placing it on the table. "Mr. Winston replaced me..."
    - - - - - "Rep--" Andrea's dad started. "Replaced?! Why I oughta go over that and kick his--"
    - - - - - "No, dad." she started. "I don't think that'd solve anything." She reached into her pants pocket and grabbed Furret's Pokéball, clicked the button to enlarge it and placed it onto table next to the nametag.
    - - - - - "A Pokéball?" Andrea's mom started. "How... Where did you get that?"
    - - - - - "Dr. Spruce asked me to do him a favor." Andrea said. "He wants me to take this to Professor Ansen in Blueleaf Village."
    - - - - - "Blueleaf Village?" her mom asked. "I'm not sure if I feel right with that."
    - - - - - Andrea's dad sat down at the table. "You know, Meredith... this might just be what our daughter needs. She's nineteen, she's beautiful, and she never leaves the house that often. It's almost like a crime, and you know how I feel about crime!"
    - - - - - Andrea looked down at the pokeball and laughed shyly. "Heh, thanks dad..."
    - - - - - "You're a strong individual, Andrea. This shouldn't be a problem, riiiight?" he said, turning to Meredith.
    - - - - - Meredith looked at her daughter, then back at her husband. "You're right. But I still don't like the idea. If you do leave, be careful."
    - - - - - "I will." She said, grabbing the Pokéball.
    - - - - - "Huh... several weeks ago you said you'd never want to look after a Pokémon, and now..." her dad started, making a fake tear wiping motion. "They grow up so fast!" he said in a joking manner.
    - - - - - "You're such a rascal, dear!"
    - - - - - "Yes, I am." he said. He snapped his fingers. "I know! Spud, come in here!" he called out.
    - - - - - A Growlithe charged into the room, sliding across the shiny hardwood floor to the feet of its master. It wagged its bushy tail as it stared at Andrea's father expectantly.
    - - - - - "Good boy!" he said. "Would you like to see Andrea's new Pokémon?"
    - - - - - Spud yelped with joy and excitement.
    - - - - - "Well Andrea? How about it?" Meredith asked.
    - - - - - "Um..." Andrea held the Pokéball out in front of her. "Uh... Come on out?" After a short pause, she shook it, then turned it around to look at it. "Hmm..." she said, stratching her head.
    - - - - - Suddenly, a burst of white light filled the room as the Pokéball opened. Furret appeared on the floor in front of Andrea, looking around the room and investigating its new surroundings. It looked up at Andrea and made a purring noise.
    - - - - - "A Furret, eh?" Andrea's dad said. "It's cute!"
    - - - - - Spud leapt towards Furret and started licking it. He smiled and barked as he continued to lick Furret.
    - - - - - "Hey, they like each other!" Meredith said.
    - - - - - "Of course they do, Spud's the sweetest!" Andrea's dad said, looking at his watch. "13:04... Did you want to head up to Blueleaf today?"
    - - - - - "Yeah. Dr. Spruce said Professor Ansen was expecting Furret today." Andrea said, looking down at Furret as it brushed up against her leg.
    - - - - - "If you leave now, you should be back in time for dinner." Meredith said. "I think so, at least. I've never been to Blueleaf Village."
    - - - - - "Yeah, the walk isn't long." he replied.
    - - - - - "Well, I guess I'll be heading off now..." Andrea said. "Wish me luck, okay?"
    - - - - - "Have fun, dear." Meredith said.
    - - - - - "Take pictures with your new phone! The Blueleaf trees should be in full bloom around now." He stood up and placed his hand on Andrea's shoulder. "Loosen up a bit while you're out there. Relax and enjoy yourself."
    - - - - - "Thanks, you two." She raised the Pokéball again and said, "Furret... get back in this thing."
    - - - - - Furret looked around one last time, turning into a ball of red light and slipping into the Pokéball.
    - - - - - "I'll call you guys if anything happens." She bowed as she waved good by. She walked towards the door and opened it, stepping outside.
    - - - - - Andrea's dad sat back down at the table, opening his bottle of lemonade again.
    - - - - - Meredith turned around with a look of frustration on her face. "Marvin... how could you!"
    - - - - - "How could I what?" Marvin asked, tightening the cap to his lemonade back on. "She has to get out into the world eventually... Who knows? Maybe this little trip of hers, even if only for a few hours, will inspire her to do something with her life. We certainly can't rely on Chaz down at the restaurant to make that happen anymore, can we?"
    - - - - - "You may be right... I just don't know if we did the right thing sending her off like that. She's never been a confident one..."
    - - - - - "You worry too much!"
    Last edited by Caitlin; 28th June 2011 at 01:11 AM.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island

    Storm Island Voyages: Chapter 2
    An Important Decision


    - - - - - Andrea made her way down the street from her house to the old stone bridge that spanned the river separating the beachfront from the rest of the city. She stopped along the bridge and jumped up onto the barrier along the side of it, taking a seat and looking down the river that twisted towards the beach. She pulled Furret's Pokéball from her pocket and said, "Am I really ready for this? I'm not much of an explorer... I easily lose my way." Pondering, with thoughts racing through her head, she hopped back to the ground and continued her way towards the small building that separated the bustling city of Azure Ridge and Route 301.
    - - - - - She stepped into the small building. To both sides were tables with security guards behind them, sitting at computers and reading papers. A familiar red haired scientist was inside talking to one of the guards when she turned to see Andrea walking in.
    - - - - - "Ah, Andrea!" she called out. "It's me, Beverly!"
    - - - - - Andrea approached Beverly and waved.
    - - - - - "Dr. Spruce forgot to give you something before he sent you off." she replied. "So he interrupted my work... Thankfully!" She reached into her lab coat's pocket, pulled out a small blue device with a wrist strap and gave it to Andrea.
    - - - - - "What is it?" Andrea asked, looking at it.
    - - - - - "Dr. Spruce gives this to all of his employees. It's a touchscreen mobile research tool. It can be used to scan Pokéballs to tell you some information about the Pokémon inside. It also doubles as a watch and it even has a pedometer in there!"
    - - - - - Andrea strapped the device to her wrist, tapping the screen. "Cool, thanks!" She paused, then looked back at Beverly. "Employees? Was I hired without knowing it?"
    - - - - - "I doubt he'd do that to you. He'll likely ask to have it given back when you return." Beverly replied. "Anyways, try it out! Stick the Pokéball that the Doctor gave to you in front of it."
    - - - - - Andrea grabbed Furret's Pokéball and held it up to the device. A few beeps were heard before it chimed, "Furret!" The screen of the device displayed some information about Furret, including known special attacks, his favorite food and even his personality.
    - - - - - "I think the good Doctor mainly wanted you to have it so that you could get to know Furret a bit." Beverly replied. She led Andrea over to the northern exit of the building, looking out into Route 301. "As I'm sure he explained to you, you may run into a wild Pokémon out here. Your Pokémon will be able to act on his own, but performs best when under the command of a trainer. Knowing the names of his abilities is step one in that regard."
    - - - - - "I see." she said with a hint of confusion and a lack of confidence, studying the device. "I think..."
    - - - - - "It's pretty simple. You'll get the hang of it before you reach Blueleaf Village, most likely." She put her hand out to shake Andrea's hand. "I should get back to the lab. Good luck." With that, Beverly made her way back to the lab.
    - - - - - Andrea stepped out into Route 301, looking around. Tall, unkept grass filled the immediate area. A gate, presumably to Blueleaf Village, could be seen in the distant foothills, under the shadow of Storm Island's tallest mountain, Mount Hope. The sun was high in the sky, beaming down onto the area and continuing the savage heatwave that has been plaguing southern Storm Island for the past two weeks.
    - - - - - Andrea walked over to the tall, ragged grass, walking along the outside of it looking for a way through. She let out a frustrated grunt upon finding out that she would need to cross through the grass, taking Dr. Spruce's warnings in mind. She then took a deep breath to calm herself and stepped into the waist high grass. "Dad would kill me if I ever let the grass grow this high at home..." she joked to herself, looking from side to side scanning for movement in the grass.
    - - - - - Before she knew it, Andrea had reached the other side of the grass to the foot of a hill. She rubbed her forhead in relief as she made her way up the hill. A flock of Pidgey flew overhead, prompting Andrea to take out Furret's Pokéball. She held onto it so tightly her knuckles turned white. She was visibly afraid of what could happen out here. As she walked up the hill, a thick clear string shot out from the trees at her, barely missing. "What the?!" she yelled as she dived for the ground.
    - - - - - A large green spider came crawling out of the trees along the newly placed spider web line. It reached the middle of the line, then floated down to the ground along another line. A large pattern could be seen on the spider's back that looked like a very angry face.
    - - - - - "Oh crap!" Andrea yelled as she clicked the button on Furret's Pokéball, causing it to grow. In a panic, she rotated it around in her hands trying to remember how she unleashed Furret the last time. "Help me out, you!" she yelled in fear.
    - - - - - Furret suddenly popped out of the Pokéball in a bright white flash, down on all fours with a look of anger on his face. He tried to scare the spider away with a menacing growl without success.
    - - - - - The spider slowly closed in towards Andrea and Furret, arching its long black and yellow striped legs. The large horn on its head began to let off a purple glow as it jumped towards Furret. Furret dodge to the side, countering with a large smack to the head with his tail.
    - - - - - "Uh... uh..." Andrea said, trying to remember the list she saw on her wrist device earlier. "Furret, use your Headbutt attack!"
    - - - - - Furret hopped backwards and knelt down on all four of his stumpy legs. Growling, it charged at the spider with incredible speed, knocking it down the hill. It gave chase after the stunned spider as it tumbled down the hill, pouncing on top of it. The large spider lay motionless on the ground Furret jumped off of it and began to celebrate.
    - - - - - Andrea picked herself off of the ground and dusted herself off. "Good grief..." she said. She ran down the hill towards Furret as it poked the motionless spider. "What a rush!" she said as she knelt down next to Furret. She looked at the large spider then shivered. "Let's get moving before this thing wakes up... if it's even still alive..." She held out Furret's Pokéball. "Furret, come back."
    - - - - - Furret faded into a red ball of light and flowed into his Pokéball, which Andrea placed back into her pocket.
    - - - - - Andrea again continued on her trek through Route 301, trudging slowly as the heat sapped her energy. She reached into her purse, taking out the water bottle and quenching her thirst with nearly half of it. She removed her bandana and bunched her hair up into a pony tail, tying it in place with the bandana. She looked at the sun as it poured its blistering heat down into the hillside. She looked around nervously, attempting to anticipate her next run in with a wild Pokémon. "Jeeze, it's awful lonely around here... You'd think there'd at least be people walking by!" she muttered to herself.
    - - - - - Andrea found herself overheated and took cover under a tree. She grabbed her water bottle again, drinking the rest of it. She took the empty bottle and began to fan herself as she looked at her watch. "14:32?!" she gasped. "I... I can't be that slow, can I?"
    - - - - - Suddenly, a noise could be heard in the tree above her. Flapping wings joined in with the strange noise. Two Pidgey were in the tree fighting over a large yellow berry. Andrea, quickly getting up to avoid the feathery brawl, startled the two tiny birds who turned their attention to her. As if uniting against a common enemy, the two birds dived out of the tree, homing in on Andrea.
    - - - - - "Not again!" she yelled as she bolted off in a random direction. Not watching where she was going, she swatted away at the two Pidgey to try to scare them off. Sensing that swinging wildly at them alone would not scare the attacking Pidgey away, she reached into her pocket and pulled out Furret's Pokéball once more. She tossed the Pokéball up into the air and dived for cover into some bushes.
    - - - - - Furret popped out of the ball, looking around for Andrea. He saw the two Pidgey hovering around a bush, chirping loudly and excitedly. With a sense of duty, he charged towards the bush then skidded to a stop to assess the situation. He hopped up into the air towards the two birds, swinging his tail at one and knocking it out of the air. The other Pidgey quickly flew away rather than staying to fight. Furret approached the remaining Pidgey which was standing its ground on the dirt pathway. As Furret charged to tackle it, the Pidgey kicked up some dirt, creating a large cloud of dust and obscuring Furret's vision. It then took off and flew a circle around Furret, crashing into the back of his head.
    - - - - - "Uh oh..." Andrea said as she peaked through the bushes. "You can do it, Furret!" she called out to boost his confidence.
    - - - - - Alas, it appeared as if Furret was not winning the fight. The cloud of dust lingered as Furret was struck again and again by the rampaging Pidgey. Eventually the dust cloud settled allowing Furret to see again. With a quick jump into the air and a flick of the tail, Furret knocked the Pidgey down once again. Not wanting a fight that it couldn't win, the Pidgey flew off into the horizon.
    - - - - - Andrea emerged from the shrubs. "These trainers are insane if they deal with this all day..." she said, dusting herself off once again. She knelt down next to Furret. "I may just have to keep you out of this ball. You can be my body guard!"
    - - - - - Furret looked at Andrea and let out a chirp with limited enthusiasm. He put his paw on his head and rubbed at a small cut hidden beneath his fluffy fur.
    - - - - - "Uh oh... Are you okay?" Andrea asked, inspecting the wound. She recalled the spray bottles that Dr. Spruce gave her and rummaged through her purse in pursuit of one. She shook it and looked at it. "Alright, how do I use this thing..." She aimed the bottle and pulled the trigger, spraying a silver mist onto Furret's wound. "It'll be alright, little guy." she said, comforting him. She smiled as Furret nuzzled up against her in appreciation. "Well, let's get moving, aye?" She looked around and realized that she had backtracked quite a bit when trying to escape from the attacking Pidgey. "Oooh..." she groaned.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - "Okay, I'll be leaving now!" A young boy in his early teens said, speaking to his mother. He stepped outside of his ranch style home, adjusting his black and red baseball cap to shade his eyes from the sun which was now setting in the western sky behind Mount Hope. He readjusted the yellow backpack that hung off his right shoulder and placed his hands in his shorts pockets and walked through the dirt paths of Blueleaf Village. He stopped along the road to inspect one of the Blueleaf trees, grabbing a small red berry from one of the flowers blooming off of it. He popped it into his mouth and continued south reaching the rickety wooden archway that marked the village limits. Fraught with boredom, he pulled a Great Ball out of his pocket and began to toss it up and down.
    - - - - - The young boy walked down the slopes of Route 301, whistling a tune. He peered into the distance and saw a girl walking up the pathway. "A trainer?" he asked to himself. "I could go for a battle!" He hurried down the path towards the girl, skidding to a stop before her. "Excuse me, miss!"
    - - - - - "Yeah?" the girl, Andrea, replied.
    - - - - - "I was wondering, are you a Pokémon Trainer?!" he asked with enthusiasm.
    - - - - - "Umm... Not really, no." she said. She pulled out Furret's Pokéball, saying, "I'm just delivering this to Professor Ansen."
    - - - - - "You have a Pokémon though! Now we have to battle, those are the rules!" the boy said energetically.
    - - - - - Andrea looked at the young boy, bewildered. "Rules? What rules? Who's rules?"
    - - - - - "They're just the rules. I dunno who wrote them!" he replied.
    - - - - - "Look, kid, I really can't--"
    - - - - - "You can't ignore the rules!" he interrupted. "Are you a coward, afraid you'll be beaten by me?" He tipped his hat back, revealing his bright blue eyes. "I don't blame you, though... I'm the greatest trainer on Storm Island!"
    - - - - - Andrea looked to the sides in confusion. "You?"
    - - - - - "That's right!" He jumped up and spun in the air, turning his hat backwards. "Randy Fletcher's the name, being the best is my game!" As if suddenly turning serious again, he turned his hat back around. "Now, are you going to battle, chicken!?"
    - - - - - Andrea looked at Randy as he strutted around her doing a chicken dance. In a moment of anger, she grabbed Randy's shirt by the collar and pulled him closer. "If it will shut you up!" she yelled, pushing him back.
    - - - - - "Jeeze lady..." he said quietly and innocently, rubbing his neck.
    - - - - - "Alright, Furret... Let's humour this punk." she said, grabbing Furret's Pokéball and calling him out. Furret appeared in a bright flash of light, ready to battle.
    - - - - - Randy studied Furret, then grabbed a Great Ball from his pocket. "You'll see why I'm the greatest!" he said. He took a few steps back and turn his hat backwards once again. "Gastly! Show this girl what you can do!" he called out, tossing the Great Ball into the makeshift arena.
    - - - - - Gastly appeared from the Great Ball with a burst of eerie wind. A dark purple cloud emanated from it as the ghost floated into the sky.
    - - - - - "What the hell is that thing..." Andrea said to herself. She held up her wrist device trying to identify it, but it didn't seem to do anything. "Uh... Alright, Furret! Use your Headbutt attack!"
    - - - - - Furret nodded and charged towards the Gastly. It lept up towards ghost, who faded from existence, reappearing off to the side. Furret attempted to compensate for missing, but crashed into the ground. Undaunted, he got back up and attempted another Headbutt, once more failing to make contact.
    - - - - - Randy laughed obnoxiously as he watched the scene. "This is rich!" he said. He turned to Andrea. "Let me give you a pointer, miss! Gastly is a ghost. Your Furret has no hope of touching him, because you can't touch what's not there..."
    - - - - - "No way..." she said, unsure of the situation. "Alright, Furret! Back off and keep your guard up!"
    - - - - - Furret nodded and put some distance between himself and Gastly. It growled in an attempt to intimidate the ghost, but Gastly just responded with a blood chilling laugh.
    - - - - - "Is this all you've got, miss? No other Pokémon?" Randy asked.
    - - - - - Andrea shook her head. "Nope..."
    - - - - - Randy turned to Gastly. "Let's finish this, Gastly! Use Shadow Ball!"
    - - - - - Gastly summoned a ball of shadowy purple energy. With a ghostly shriek it flung the ball of energy at Furret, who was cowering in fear. However, the ball of energy dissipated into nothingness when it touched Furret.
    - - - - - "No way!" Andrea said in disbelief. "Furret, continue keeping your guard up!"
    - - - - - "Oh! My mistake." Randy said with a cheerful look on his face and his finger in the air. "Gastly, now let's finish it off. Dark Pulse, now!"
    - - - - - Gastly cackled as it summoned an orb of black fire, then tossed it at Furret. Furret attempted to dodge the ball of black but was too slow, being blasted back into a tree. He attempted to get back up but stumbled back to the ground, defeated.
    - - - - - "Another victory!" Randy chimed. He waved for his Gastly to come over to him. "Me and Gastly are undefeatable because we have a true bond!"
    - - - - - "Yeah, isn't that great..." Andrea said, looking at Furret.
    - - - - - "Alright, Gastly!" Randy started. "Let's blow this popsicle stand!" He snapped his fingers.
    - - - - - Gastly turned its attention to Andrea, staring deep into her. Suddenly, Andrea's vision faded to black, and only herself, Furret, Gastly and Randy were visible. Gastly faded from view. What appeared to be the large Spinarak from earlier in the day emerged from the black abyss in front of her, only much larger. It towered over her as it rose to strike at her.
    - - - - - Andrea closed her eyes in fear as the spider's horn flew towards her. After a pause, she opened her eyes wondering why she hadn't been attacked yet. Her vision had been restored and Randy was nowhere to be found. She looked around and saw Furret laying on the ground under a tree. "Oh no..." she muttered as she ran over to him.
    - - - - - Furret looked up at Andrea and let out a groan. I picked itself off of the ground then chirped with joy.
    - - - - - "You... You took a dive?" she asked in astonishment. "Oooh, whatever." she said, looking at her watch. "We need to hurry to Professor Ansen's lab!" Andrea led Furret into Blueleaf Village and looked around. She saw a large single story building with two windmills towering above it on the other side of a pond. "That must be it, follow me!" She ran through the dusty dirt paths of the town with Furret in tow towards the large laboratory. She noticed that the lights were off. "Oh no... no, no!" she said as she pounded on the door. "Come on..."
    - - - - - She looked up into the sky to see the moon rising to the south. The sky was darkening. The ambient sounds of chirping birds and other wildlife faded and only cricket sounds could be heard. "Come on, Furret. Follow me." she said, guiding Furret back into the center of town. She approached a house and knocked on the door.
    - - - - - A large man with a grizzle beard answered the door. He put his hands under his suspenders that covered his plaid shirt. "Can I help ya?" he said with a grim, rural drawl.
    - - - - - "Um, I'm from the city and I ne--" she said, being interrupted by the door closing in her face. "No, I guess y'all can't help me, ya hick." she said, trying to mockingly imitate the man's voice. She moved onto the next house, knocked on the door and met similar treatment. She continued trying house to house, but gave up after being rejected for a fourth time. "Well now what am I going to do? Sleep outside like a bum?"
    - - - - - Furret rubbed up against her leg and nodded.
    - - - - - "Aww..." she said, scratching behind Furret's ear. "You're a cutie, you know that?" Leading Furret back to the lab, she searched for a place to lay down. She eventually decided to sit and lean against the building. "Just like camping, I guess..." she said. She reached into her pocket, grabbed her phone and dialed her parents' number. The phone rang three times before being answered.
    - - - - - "H-yello? You've reached the Dennison residence!" a voice replied.
    - - - - - "Hi dad..."
    - - - - - "Andrea! Where are you, the sun just set over the ocean a few minutes ago!" he asked energetically.
    - - - - - "I got into town a little later than I expected... I was attacked by this giant green spider, and these two birds, the some kid came up and..." she paused. "Well, it's nothing interesting."
    - - - - - "Sounds interesting! You okay?"
    - - - - - "Yeah... I'm fine. I guess I'll have to camp out here in Blueleaf." she said, yawning. "Walking here wore me out..."
    - - - - - "Good! Err, good that you'll be camping out. It's good to get away from it all sometimes."
    - - - - - "Mhmm. My mind's been taken off of what happened earlier today, at least." Furret jumped on top of her. "Oof! Easy there, you."
    - - - - - "It sounds like you've got someone who plans to use you as a pillow!" he said. "Well, I'll tell Meredith that you won't be coming home tonight. I can't say she'll be happy, but I'll try to keep her from flipping into anger mode. That sound alright?"
    - - - - - "Yep. Good night."
    - - - - - "See you tomorrow!"
    - - - - - Andrea clicked the 'end call' button and closed her phone. "So, Furret, do you wanna sleep out here under the stars, or in your little ball?"
    - - - - - Furret yipped and licked Andrea's cheek.
    - - - - - "Uh... I'll guess you want to stay out here then." She took her purse and shoved it against the wall, laying her head on it. Furret readjusted himself next to her and started to snore lightly. She smiled, then fell asleep.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - "My child..." a voice whispered. "My child, wake up!" the voice whispered again.
    - - - - - Andrea opened her eyes. A faint and ghostly outline that she could not identify hovered in front of her. She realized that she was still dreaming, as she was in a field of flowers at the top of a mountain peak.
    - - - - - The figure moved through the field of flowers towards a circle of stones at the end of the field. Inside the circle of stones was a pristine well of water that twinkled in the starlight. "An important decision... Choose wisely..."
    - - - - - Andrea stood up in the field of flowers. "Important? What?" she muttered, her vision blurry.
    - - - - - The figure submerged into the water, fading from view. "The time will come..."
    - - - - - Andrea opened her eyes again. She was on the ground in front of the laboratory. She looked around and saw Furret curled up against her, asleep. She put her head back down on her purse and thought, before quickly falling back asleep.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - It was bright and early in the morning when a cheerful woman with blonde hair walked down the road whistling a tune. She had her hands in her pockets, carrying a white totebag with blue trim over her shoulder. Her bright pink toenails gleamed in the sun through her ruby red flip flops. Her shirt had a quote on it that read, "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."
    - - - - - She approached the laboratory, grabbing a key ring from her pocket. Jamming one of the keys into the keyhole of the door, she twisted it when a noise caught her attention. "Hunh?" she said, walking to the side of the building. At her feet, Andrea was stirring in her sleep with Furret by her side. "A girl? And a Furret?" She reached into her pocket and grabbed a small device and placed it next to Furret, moving it left and right as it scanned. "Yep, this is the one..." she said. She tapped on Andrea's shoulder to wake her up. "Excuse me, miss?"
    - - - - - Andrea opened her eyes to see Professor Ansen standing there. She raised her head and looked around, then at her watch. "Yeah?" she finally responded.
    - - - - - "Greetings, I'm Professor Ansen. What's your name?" she introduced herself.
    - - - - - "Andrea Dennison." she said, stretching.
    - - - - - "Ah, Spruce's errand girl..." She turned her attention to Furret. "And this is the Furret you're delivering, yes?"
    - - - - - Andrea nodded, patting him on the head. "Yeah. This is the one." she said, sleepily.
    - - - - - She studied Andrea as she patted the Furret and smiled. "It's good to see that." she said. "I can see a bond between you already, even if it's small." She stood up, motioning towards the door of the laboratory. "Dr. Spruce said that you were very reluctant to do this, but it looks like you had fun on your way here."
    - - - - - "Fun?" Andrea said, recalling her run in with the Spinarak and the two Pidgey. "Perhaps." She then recalled her battle with Randy. "I can say though that I was wrong about these creatures all these years..." She tapped on Furret to wake him up. "Come on, Furret. It's time to head inside." She raised Furret's Pokéball and called him into it, then followed Professor Ansen into the lab.
    - - - - - Inside, the laboratory was very much the same as Dr. Spruce's lab. The same machines lined the walls, the same mechanical hum. Tables with papers and Pokéballs lined the room in neat rows. The only difference was that it was dead in the room. No scientists had arrived for a day of work.
    - - - - - Professor Ansen walked over to a window and opened it, letting in a crisp breeze. "Welcome to my humble laboratory, where science, research and human intuition meet." she said as she picked a lab coat off of a rack and put it on. "If you'd step into my office, please..."
    - - - - - Andrea followed Professor Ansen into a small room similar to Dr. Spruce's office, then placed Furret's Pokéball on a desk. "Well, here he is..." Andrea said.
    - - - - - Professor Ansen swiped the Pokéball from the desk. "Thank you, I'll take that off your hands..." She noticed Andrea had a look of sadness in her eyes and chuckled. She then scanned the Pokéball with the same device as earlier. "Oh?" she said as the device beeped. "Now this is interesting!"
    - - - - - "What is it?" Andrea asked.
    - - - - - "Over the past year or so, me and my colleagues have made extensive progress on Pokémon genetics. There's some stuff we still don't have a clue about." She placed the Pokéball on the desk. "There's an anomaly in this Furret's genetic make up."
    - - - - - "An anomaly? Is that bad?" Andrea asked.
    - - - - - "To be honest, I'm not sure." She took a seat at the desk and rummaged through some papers. "I believe a good friend of mine, Professor Oak, may have given me some information about it... somewhere..." she said, continuing to go through the papers. "Well, I can't find it, this place is such a mess... But if I remember, there are no obvious negative effects known yet. There's only been three documented cases of this anomaly so far."
    - - - - - "Hmm, interesting." Andrea replied, somewhat uninterested.
    - - - - - "You don't sound too enthusiastic." she said. "Well, interest comes with time, I suppose. And on that note!" she said, standing up energetically. "I have a question for you! Dr. Spruce called me yesterday as you made your way here and he said that you'd recently been let off from your old job."
    - - - - - "Mhmm..." Andrea replied quietly.
    - - - - - "He also told me that you've got a few emotional issues to work on, but I don't see that in you. However, I do see potential!" She picked up Furret's Pokéball and placed it in Andrea's hands. "How would you like to help me with some research?"
    - - - - - "Research?" Andrea said, looking at Furret's Pokéball, then back at Professor Ansen.
    - - - - - "Yeah. I've got a small time staff of scientists and workers here and can't spare any for the most interesting parts of science, working out in the field and being on the forefront of discovery!"
    - - - - - "I don't know..." she said, unsure.
    - - - - - "Well, think of this. Furret's already started to enjoy your company, and he'll continue to have your company if you're one of my researchers. He'd be awfully sad without you around..."
    - - - - - "But wouldn't you want to keep him here to study his... 'anolamy'?" Andrea replied, stumbling on the scientific word.
    - - - - - "You are as impossible as Dr. Spruce said..." she said quietly. "It's not every day an opportunity like this falls into someone's hands! You never know, it could be a very important decision..."
    - - - - - Andrea thought on those words, recalling her dream from the night before. "Important decision..?" she started. "Hey, sure. Why not, it's not like I have a future otherwise... no friends, no job, no..." she stopped herself from rambling on and on.
    - - - - - "You've got a friend, that Furret. As well as me! Aaaaand now you've got a job as well!"
    - - - - - "Heh... I guess you're right."
    - - - - - "I hope your parents will be okay with it, but you're old enough to start making your own decisions. If they don't, 'oh well' I guess is all I can say. You've gotta get out into the world eventually, ya know?" She said, walking over to a file cabinet. She opened it and pulled out a journal, a compact electronic device as well as a few empty Pokéballs, then brought them over to her desk and placed them on it. "I see you've already got one of those things on your wrist."
    - - - - - Andrea raised her hand and looked at the device strapped around her wrist. "Yes, one of Dr. Spruce's assistants gave it to me."
    - - - - - "That's called a Researcher Kit, or an R-Kit for short. It borrows the technology and ideas behind the Pokétch that's all the rage over in the Sinnoh region, but it also improves it. You can link it up wirelessly with a Pokédex, Pokéballs, even the PC system that Poké Centers use. The best part about it is that it has a fully featured touch screen interface in bright, vibrant colors."
    - - - - - "Neat-o." Andrea responded, looking at her R-Kit.
    - - - - - Professor Ansen picked up the compact device and flipped it open. "This is a Pokédex. A lot of progress has been made in the designs of these, too. Seven years ago, they were plastic hunks of worthless crap. Nowadays, they're sophisticated pieces of technology that hold all kinds of information." She pointed to several buttons on the touch activated screen. "You've got info about Pokémon, info about berries, contest theories, trainer tips, all of that." She handed the Pokédex to Andrea. "It's even got a camera on it, so if you come across anything very bizarre or confusing, don't be afraid to send me some neat pictures!"
    - - - - - Andrea grabbed the Pokédex, opening it and studying it. She then stuffed it in her shirt pocket and said, "Thanks."
    - - - - - "I also include a journal for my researchers to use. You could probably keep all of that information down in the 'personal' section of the Pokédex, but I find it much more convenient and quicker to just write it by hand. It's also got my number written on the inside cover." she said, passing the journal along to Andrea. She picked each of the small, empty Pokéballs up and offered them to Andrea. "Here, have these as well. If you find anything I might be interested in studying closer, feel free to catch it and send it to me... Or you can catch some of your own, I guess. It doesn't matter to me that much."
    - - - - - Andrea reached out and Professor Ansen dropped six Pokéballs into her hand. "Thank you, ma'am."
    - - - - - "Don't mention it." she said. "I have a feeling you'll make a fine researcher. You could even surpass me in knowledge some day, kid..."
    - - - - - "I doubt it." Andrea coldly replied.
    - - - - - "You're impossible..." the professor muttered. "Anyways! My first task for you will be delivering some notes of mine to my friend, Reginald Kerk. He's a bit of an... eccentric fellow who doesn't seem to value technology too much. Nevertheless he's quite a bright bulb in the world of science and research."
    - - - - - "Reginald Kerk? Where have I heard that name before?" Andrea asked.
    - - - - - "Remember the news a few months back, that guy who had supposedly awoken the legendary Kyogre off the shores of Crystal Bay? That's him. Ever since that day, he's been studying the ocean and all about it in search of new kinds of Pokémon, he even set up a small shack out there." She said, handing some papers to Andrea.
    - - - - - "Ok, and... Where's Crystal Bay again? I'm terrible with directions." Andrea said quietly.
    - - - - - "Your R-Kit should have a map function on it. That is if Dr. Spruce has cared to keep it up to date. I'd be surprised if he did..."
    - - - - - Andrea looked at her R-Kit. She noticed a button on the side and pressed it. A mechanical buzz could be heard as the R-Kit rumbled and split into two screens. It chimed, signaling it was bringing up the map, graphically displaying Andrea's head as it floated over Blueleaf Village. "Wow, this thing is impressive! It even knows what I look like..." She pressed another button and studied the map as it began to trace a route of travel between her current location and Crystal Bay.
    - - - - - "Yeah, they're pretty neat bits of gadgetry." She said, sitting back down. She leaned back in the chair, placing her hands behind her golden blonde hair and looked around in thought. "I guess that's it, for now. I can't think of anything else you'd need."
    - - - - - Andrea saluted. "I won't let you down, Professor."
    - - - - - "It's supposed to be another scorcher out there today... If you need, feel free to grab a bottle of lemonade out of the ice box just outside my office here." she replied. "And, please be wary of my Cyndaquil, she likes to hop in their from time to time and cool off."
    - - - - - Andrea nodded in thanks and took her exit. "Cyndaquil?" she muttered to herself as she made her way to the ice box. She opened it to see a small echidna like creature, curled up and asleep next to a bowl of cherries. She let it be as she reached for a bottle of lemonade that was sitting in a tray of ice. Smiling at the sleeping Cyndaquil, Andrea closed the door and made her way outside. She pulled her phone out and dialed her parents' number, then started walking south along the path. The phone rang twice before being answered.
    - - - - - "Hello? Meredith speaking." a voice responded.
    - - - - - "Hi, mom!" she replied.
    - - - - - "Andrea! I've been so worried!" Meredith replied. "When Marvin said you weren't coming home last night I was worried something happened."
    - - - - - "No, I'm fine..." she said. "If I'm not so slow this time I should be home in about two hours."
    - - - - - "Wonderful, dear!" she said happily. "How was your little trip?"
    - - - - - "It's been good so far. It got a little scary at parts, but very relaxing. And exciting!"
    - - - - - "Exciting? How so?"
    - - - - - "Well, I've got a job working with Professor Ansen of Blueleaf Village, for starters..."
    - - - - - The other end of the phone was silent. After a pause, Meredith continued, "A... a job? In Blueleaf?"
    - - - - - "Yeah..." Andrea said. "I hope you don't get too upset, but I'll be travelling a bit."
    - - - - - Another pause permeated the atmosphere. "Travelling? I don't know about that."
    - - - - - "I had a feeling you'd disagree, mom. But I've already made my commitments."
    - - - - - Meredith sighed. "Maybe Marv was right... After you left yesterday, he told me that I've been keeping you at home too much, even unfairly."
    - - - - - "Truth be told, I do want to get out a bit. Maybe follow in Larson's footsteps."
    - - - - - "That boy Larson... I always knew he was a bad influence!" she joked. "We'll discuss it further when you get home, alright? I have to run, I've got a thing to finish up before you return."
    - - - - - "Alright, I'll be back soon. Bye!" She closed her phone and placed it in her pocket, then started to inspect the R-Kit. She pressed several buttons to familiarize herself with the features. Satisfied for now, she reached into her pocket and pulled out Furret's Pokéball, then tossed it up into the air. It exploded in a flash of white light, unleashing Furret. "So that's how these things work... How would you like to escort me home, little guy?"
    - - - - - Furret followed Andrea back through the south gate of town into the rolling foothills of Route 301. He chirped at her cheerfully.
    - - - - - "What's that? I'm afraid I don't understand..." Andrea said, scratching him behind his left ear. She opened her shirt pocket and pulled out the Pokédex, then scanned Furret with it.
    - - - - - "Furret, the Long Body Pokémon!" the Pokédex said in a vaguely mechanical voice. "Furret is a very slim Pokémon, making use of this trait to squirm through tight areas to escape danger."
    - - - - - Andrea continued to read the data on the screen as she walked along the path with Furret in tow. "That's not right..." she said, studying Furret. "You're too short!"
    - - - - - "Height and weight data for all Pokémon within this index are averages. Furret is known for a wide range of heights. This specific Furret is 4'10'' tall." the Pokédex said.
    - - - - - "Oh, uh... Thanks." Andrea said, surprised.
    - - - - - "You're welcome, ma'am."
    - - - - - "Okaaaaay..." Andrea started. "That's enough out of you." she said, placing it back into her shirt pocket. "So Furret, let's get going. You'll get to meet my good friend, Larson!" She smiled, continuing down the path.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  4. #4
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island Voyages

    Storm Island: Chapter 3
    Off to Silvermist!


    - - - - - A uniformed officer of the Azure Ridge Police Force was sitting on a floral pattern couch, watching the TV. A news report about the scorching heat wave was being discussed by the news anchor and the meteorologist. The heat wave would continue its grip for the foreseeable future. Next to him was another officer, Andrea's father. On his lap was Spud the Growlithe, licking his orange, furry paw.
    - - - - - "I bet you're pretty pscyhed that your son is coming home, Jack. How long has it been, two years?" Marvin asked.
    - - - - - "Yeah, two years... He's been having quite the adventure out in the world. He's taking a break and sticking around for a few weeks, it'll be good to have him back." Jack said.
    - - - - - "How's life been, with him gone?"
    - - - - - "Aside from a bit of loneliness every now and then, it hasn't been too bad. It's actually been kind of relaxing."
    - - - - - "Relaxing, you say..." Marvin said, leaning back and day dreaming. He was imagining himself and Meredith lounging on the beach, soaking in the sun and the atmosphere, unburdened by the worries that Andrea might stumble on the two.
    - - - - - "Yeah. It's kinda a shame that your daughter's been sticking around so much lately. I bet you and Meredith have been looking to rediscover your marriage, eh?" he said, nudging on Marvin's shoulder and making motions with his eyebrows.
    - - - - - "Funny you should mention that, actually..." Marvin said. "Andrea is out right now, and Meredith said she's got a job up in Blueleaf Village. So I might be getting some alone time with my wife for the first time in nineteen years..."
    - - - - - "Oh really now?" Jack said with a sinister grin on his face. "Just don't screw up like last time, or you'll have another 19 years of that on your hands..."
    - - - - - "Nah, I can't say that... she's brought nothing but joy to my life. So please don't call her a 'screw up'!"
    - - - - - "Well, you're right. She isn't a total screw up if she's getting out and about."
    - - - - - Marvin sat there calmly and closed his eyes. "You know... next time you have a negative thought about my daughter... just let it go." he laughed.
    - - - - - "Yeah, I guess." he said, standing up. "I should probably get down to the boardwalk, there's supposed to be some event there and I guess I should go and keep the peace." He patted Spud on the head, "See ya later, Spud."
    - - - - - "Alright, get outta here, ya wise guy!" Marvin said in a sarcastic tone.
    - - - - - "Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk!" Jack echoed back as he stepped outside.
    - - - - - Marvin motioned for Spud to hop off of his lap, then stood up and stretched. He walked over to the window and looked toward the sky, seeing the sun beaming down onto the city without mercy. He adjusted his uniform before asking himself, "Why am I even wearing this thing on my day off?" He unbuttoned the overcoat and tossed it onto the couch, then hung his hat on a rack near the door. He opened the door to let some air exchange between the inside and outside to see Meredith tending to the garden out front. "Beautiful day for some gardening, don't you think?"
    - - - - - "I suppose so, if you like triple-digit temperatures."
    - - - - - "It could be worse, we could be inside." he said, stepping out. "This house is like a damn furnace sometimes."
    - - - - - "You're the one who insisted on buying into that 'energy use reduction' scam last summer..." Meredith laughed.
    - - - - - "Hey, come on now... Give me a break!" he said, fanning himself off. He looked down the street towards the old stone bridge to see Andrea crossing it. "Hey, there's our daughter now!" he said, waving.
    - - - - - Meredith muttered something under her breath as she covered some seeds with some dirt and padded it down. She then stood up as Andrea approached the two and dusted her hands off. "Welcome home!"
    - - - - - "Hi mom, hi dad." she said, readjusting her bandana. "Sorry I couldn't get home last night..."
    - - - - - "No, don't worry about it." Marvin said. "So how was it up there? Did you get a good look at the Blueleaf trees?"
    - - - - - "I... <i>saw</i> them, but I didn't really get a good look at them." she laughed. "It was pretty relaxing up there, but they kinda don't like city people."
    - - - - - "Unfortunate..." Meredith said quietly. "So! What's the deal with this job you've accepted?"
    - - - - - "I'll be doing some light travelling. I need to deliver some stuff to a friend of the Professor." Andrea said, awaiting a barrage of angry comments.
    - - - - - "And after that? Will you be coming home?" Meredith asked.
    - - - - - "I'm not sure, that's the only task I've been given at the moment."
    - - - - - "I still don't know if I'm alright with all of this..."
    - - - - - "I had a feeling you'd say that, mom... but I have to get out of this house sometime."
    - - - - - Meredith stayed silent, thinking.
    - - - - - "Listen, Meredith. Andrea's a grown woman now... It's time she makes some decisions for herself, you know?"
    - - - - - "I just don't know if I can let go." Meredith said, quietly. "I really care for you, Andrea, I don't want you to get hurt out there..."
    - - - - - Andrea lowered her head and shy said, "I understand, mom. I'll be careful. But I've got to do this."
    - - - - - "It's not like she'll be leaving forever, either." Marvin interjected.
    - - - - - "Yeah, I'll still be around. I'm just a phone call away, remember that."
    - - - - - Without words, Meredith turned around and entered the house, closing the door behind her.
    - - - - - "Oooh, boy..." Marvin said, watching his wife disappear into the house. "I had a feeling... She probably needs some alone time..." Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out some small, shiny coins and handed them to Andrea. "I have a feeling that this won't be the only task the Professor gives you. I want you to head to the local shop and buy yourself one of those new backpacks, just in case."
    - - - - - "Understood." Andrea said, accepting the coins and placing them in one of her numerous pockets.
    - - - - - "Those backpacks come with a small radio attached to them for both, well, radio and global positioning. If you ever get lost, those things will get you out of a jam." He looked back into the house, then back at Andrea. "But, they need to be activated, and can only be done so with a special key card that the Radio Station here hands out for free. Go grab one of those too, before you leave."
    - - - - - "Okay, I'll do so right now."
    - - - - - "Good. In the meantime, I'll go see about comforting your mother. I knew she wouldn't like this, but..." He grabbed Andrea's shoulders and stared deep into her. "Be careful out there. Make your father proud."
    - - - - - "I'll try." Andrea said, wiping away a tear that was forming in the corner of her eye. "I hate goodbyes..." she said, hugging her father.
    - - - - - "That's my girl." he replied. He let go of Andrea, then sent her off and disappeared back into the house.
    - - - - - Andrea turned around and crossed the stone bridge once more and walked down the western fork in the road. Lining the street were several buildings, small shops, a Pokécenter and the entrance to the Catrianna Subway system. She made her way to the blue-roofed Pokémart and entered. Inside, the air was crisp and cool, a welcome change from outside. The shop was empty, aside from the clerk behind the counter. Andrea slinked through the tightly crammed shelves in search of a backpack, finding a rack of them on the back wall. Looking for one that would closely match her shirt, she grabbed a black backpack with gold stripes on it then brought it to the counter.
    - - - - - The clerk took a laser projector and scanned the bar code on the tag. "That will be $35.75, ma'am."
    - - - - - Andrea reached into her pocket for the coins, then placed them on the counter.
    - - - - - The clerk scooped the coins up and counted them, then placed them in the cash register and handed the backpack back to Andrea. "Remember, those things come with--"
    - - - - - "A radio, I know. Thanks." Andrea said quickly and shyly, snatching the backpack and rushing back outside. She turned down the street, heading for the Storm Island Radio Centre. She approached the monstrously tall building, swinging the backpack over her arms. When she reached the doors leading to the Radio Centre, she entered and looked around. The inside was very drab and boring looking, but a lot of people were strewn about the room, like it was a gathering place.
    - - - - - "Can I help you?" a man from behind a desk called.
    - - - - - Andrea approached the desk and said, "Uhh... yeah, I'm looking for one of those little key card things for my new backpack radio."
    - - - - - "Ah, yes. If you'll follow me into the other room, we'll get you registered in our database and get you your card." the man said. He led Andrea into a back room that was lined with computers, wires and screens. A map of Storm Island was displayed on a large screen, with hundreds of little dots scattered around the island, marking the locations of other people with the special backpacks. He grabbed a small card and placed it onto a small machine. "Name?"
    - - - - - "Andrea Dennison."
    - - - - - "Ah, Dennison. I know your dad, he's a pretty swell guy." he said, tapping on a keyboard that was attached to the machine. Letter by letter, Andrea's name rose up on the card in a silvery line of text as if by magic. Following that, the date, August 14th, imprinted itself onto the card. He clicked a few more buttons and a sunset pattern faded into the card. "Here you go, ma'am." he said, handing the card over.
    - - - - - "Thanks!" Andrea said, grabbing the card. She unzipped her backpack and dropped the card in, not wanting to figure out how to activate the radio at the moment. "If that's all, I'll be on my way."
    - - - - - The man studied Andrea up and down. "We also have a special promotion going on." he said, leading Andrea over to a green screen. "Now..." he said, his words trailing off as Andrea noticed a camera swoop down from the ceiling. The camera flash blinded her for a second. When her eyesight returned, the man was standing behind the counter again, still muttering words too quiet for Andrea to hear. "That's all, have fun!" he said, offering Andrea a second card and finishing his little speech.
    - - - - - Andrea, confused, walked over, grabbed the card and began to study it. Her picture was on the lower left corner, smiling, which did not match what she thought she was doing when the camera snapshotted her. On the card, her name was imprinted on the top, followed by three lines; one for 'Wins', one for 'Losses' and a final one for 'Win/Loss Ratio'. She flipped the card over to see the words 'STORM ISLAND LEAGUE' emblazoned on the top as well as eight faces printed on the card. "Uh..." she said.
    - - - - - "Please move along, ma'am. You wouldn't want me to call your dad in here to arrest you for loitering, now would you?" the man said jokingly.
    - - - - - Andrea shook her head in amazement as she continued to study the card and walked out into the lobby of the radio station. Reaching into her purse, she pulled out her cell phone, navigating her small list of phone numbers. She stopped on Larson's number and hit the send call button, then stepped outside into the blistering heat as the phone rang.
    - - - - - "The phone you are trying to reach is not active at the moment." a female voice replied. "If you would like to make anoth-"
    - - - - - "Figures..." Andrea said, placing her phone back in her purse. She tapped on her R-Kit's screen attempting to bring up the map, but then remembered that the large 'M' shaped button on the side activated the map. She clicked on the button as it split into two screens once more and brought up a map. The map traced a route west outside of Azure Ridge, arching through Silvermist City as it made its rounds to Crystal Bay. Following the map, she began to walk westward.
    - - - - - "Oh yeah!" she said, grabbing her phone once more. She dialed Dr. Spruce's number and waited for an answer.
    - - - - - "Hello?" a female voice responded.
    - - - - - "Hi, can I speak with Dr. Spruce?" Andrea said.
    - - - - - "He's out, east of town on Route 323 visiting a friend."
    - - - - - "Ah, alright... Well, could you tell him that I, Andrea Dennison, delivered his Furret to Professor Ansen?"
    - - - - - "Can do, but I'm wondering why you didn't return... Oh well, no need." the voice said. "Professor Ansen called ahead and said you'd be working for her, so you can keep that R-Kit. Good luck with your first mission."
    - - - - - Before Andrea even had time to say "Thanks!", the connection closed. "Rude..." she said, then put her phone back in her purse.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    - - - - - Andrea was sitting under the shade of a palm tree, fiddling with her new backpack. With the Radio Card in her hand, she looked at every inch of the backpack wondering what to do to activate it. Looking inside, she found a small slot on the bottom. She slid the card into the slot, being greeted with a calming tone indicating that the radio had been activated. "Hmm... I wonder what kinda stations they've got on this thing..." she said to herself. "Oh well, I'll figure that out later." Andrea stood up and swung the backpack around her arms and looked towards the sky. The sun continued to pummel the area with its unrelenting heat.
    - - - - - A flock of seagulls appeared out of the glare of the sun, swooping down over the trees and circling overhead. One of them swooped down and squawked, spitting some water at Andrea.
    - - - - - "Hey!" Andrea said, jumping to the side to avoid being splashed. She reached into her pocket and grabbed Furret's Pokéball and tossed it into the air. As Furret emerged from the ball, the flock of Wingull began to fly away. "Ugh, these..." she started to mutter. "Anyways, would you like to be my bodyguard again?" she asked, turning her attention to Furret.
    - - - - - Furret nodded with joy, then flipped to look at the horizon, covering his eyes with his paw to block the sunlight. It led Andrea down the path towards the water.
    - - - - - "You silly little thing..." Andrea said. Following Furret, she took out the Pokédex and started to read some info off of it. Information about Storm Island legends, contests, people and places could be found on it. She came across a trainer tip titled 'The Importance of Nicknames' and continued to read it. "Hmm... Hey, Furret! Would you like a nickname?"
    - - - - - Furret turned back to look at Andrea and nodded with a look of joy on his face.
    - - - - - "How about... King?" Andrea asked, being greeted with Furret shaking his head. "Dune? Patches? Schwartz? Shnookums?"
    - - - - - Furret responded with a head shake after every name was listed.
    - - - - - "Alright... How about... Furball?" she said, shrugging.
    - - - - - Furret jumped with joy in approval of the name.
    - - - - - "Interesting... You'll take a generic name over something more, well, interesting." Andrea said. "Whatever. Your choice."
    - - - - - The two continued walking along the route, passing near some grass. Suddenly, a large rat leaped out of the grass and clung to Andrea's leg. The large buckteeth of the rat began to glow white as it sunk its fangs into Andrea's ankle.
    - - - - - Andrea leaped skyward in pain, shouting as she crashed onto the ground attempting to shake the rat off of her foot. "Mother of all..." she said in pain, grabbing the Rattata and trying to pull it off. She put her fingers below its jaw and pried it off of her leg. Holding the mouse by its tail, she flung it around like a sling, letting it fly towards the water as she let it go. She looked at the bleeding wound on her ankle. "Aaaagh!" she growled in pain. "I guess mom was right..." she said, struggling to stand up. "I should have gotten a first aid kit..."
    - - - - - Andrea and Furball made their way to the beach that snaked along the route. On the beach was a Pokécenter, sitting under the shade of a grove of palm trees. Andrea stepped inside, still bleeding from her injury, and approached the front counter.
    - - - - - "Hello there! How may we help you today?" the nurse behind the counter asked.
    - - - - - "Strange question, but... do you treat people here?" Andrea asked, raising her leg up to show the gaping wound on her ankle.
    - - - - - "Goodness!" the nurse said in shock. "What happened?"
    - - - - - "Some... rat thing bit me."
    - - - - - "Okay, come sit down over here." the nurse said, motioning to a chair as she opened a small door on the counter. She reached into a drawer and pulled out a small spray bottle of orange liquid and a bandage. "It doesn't look <i>too</i> bad, at least." she said, squirting the orange liquid onto the wound.
    - - - - - Andrea winced in pain as the spray disinfected the wound. "Thanks..." Andrea said. "I guess I need to be more aware of my surroundings."
    - - - - - "It's always a good idea." she said, wrapping the bandage around Andrea's ankle. "There you go, good as new! Keep that on for a few days to avoid infection."
    - - - - - Andrea stood up, still having a bit of pain around her ankle area. "How often do people come in for stuff like this?"
    - - - - - "Not often. Pokémon around here don't attack people too often. However, be safe." the nurse said. "Especially in this weather. Infection spreads easier in the warmth, so don't push yourself."
    - - - - - Andrea reached into her pocket and pulled out a few coins. "So uh... How much is the treatment?"
    - - - - - "Huh? It's free of charge!" the nurse responded.
    - - - - - "Wow, really?" Andrea asked in confusion. "Well then, I'll be on my way." she said, making her way out the door with Furball behind her.
    - - - - - "Good luck!"
    - - - - -
    - - - - - Outside, a somewhat refreshing westward breeze had kicked up. Some children were playing in the sand under the supervision of their parents, who were soaking in the run rays. Andrea picked her foot off of the ground to ease pressure on it, then looked around. "So, Furball... Let's press on!" She took a look at her R-Kit, pressing random buttons to try to get an idea of how it worked.
    - - - - - The temperature popped up on the screen, catching on fire. "105 Degrees!" it chimed. "Remember to keep hyrdrated and seek shelter when overwhelmed by the heat!"
    - - - - - "Good grief..." she said, continuing to push buttons. Without looking where she was going, she bumped into a heavy set man and fell to the ground.
    - - - - - The man knelt over and offered his hand to Andrea, pulling her up. "Careful, friend." he said, stroking his bushy beard. Slinging a shiny, oaken walking stick over his shoulder, he took note of Furball. "Ah, a trainer... Are you?"
    - - - - - "Umm. Not really. I'm just passing through to deliver something." Andrea asked.
    - - - - - "Aww, I was hoping to test out this new Pokémon I captured!" he said politely. "I'll let you be on your way if time is of importance to you."
    - - - - - "Hmm... I could waste a few minutes." Andrea replied. "What do you say, Furball? Are you up for a battle?"
    - - - - - Furball nodded, then started punching at the air to show off his power.
    - - - - - "That settles it, I guess." Andrea said, taking a few steps back.
    - - - - - "This should be fun!" the hiker said. He pulled a Pokéball from his pocket and tossed it up into the air. "Spearow! Show me what you can do!"
    - - - - - A flash of bright white light lit up the area as a small, rough-neck bird appeared. It flapped its stumpy red wings, fluttering down to the sand. It took one angry stare at Furball then let out a chilling shriek.
    - - - - - Andrea grabbed her Pokédex and scanned the bird with it. "Spearow, the Tiny Bird Pokémon!" the Pokédex said. "Its loud cry can be heard over half a mile away. If its high, keening cry is heard echoing all around, it is a sign that they are warning each other of danger or coordinating a swarming ambush."
    - - - - - "Look out for that hooked beak, Furball. It looks pretty wicked." Andrea said in warning.
    - - - - - "Alright, lass. Prepare for destruction!" the hiker yelled. "Spearow, fly over that Furret and run him in circles to tire him out!"
    - - - - - Without question, the Spearow flapped its stubby wings and slowly gained altitude. After reaching a significant height, it dived down at Furball and began to circle him. Furball held his ground, keeping an eye on Spearow's movements.
    - - - - - "Hmm..." Andrea said. "Yeah, keep doing nothing, Furball." she said to herself quietly.
    - - - - - Slowly, Spearow started to fall as it attempted to keep its constant height over Furball. Fed up with just circling around, the Spearow expended a lot of energy to climb in height once more, than made a kamikazi divebomb at Furball. Furball dived to the side to avoid the attack. Spearow smashed right into the sand, burying itself leaving only its feet above the sand.
    - - - - - "Gah! Spearow, I said..." the hiker yelled, then sighed. "Dig yourself out!"
    - - - - - "Furball, use this to your advantage!" Andrea called out.
    - - - - - Furball nodded, then jumped into the air and flipped, bringing the full force of his long tail down onto Spearow's exposed feet. He stopped to inspect Spearow, noting that its legs were motionless. He poked at its feet, then grabbed and pulled at them. With a large, cloudy explosion of sand, Spearow went flying loose over Furball's head, crashing down into the ground, knocked out.
    - - - - - "Spearow is unable to battle. The victory goes to Furret!" a voice called off from the side. The parents and their children who were playing on the beach were now spectators in Andrea's battle.
    - - - - - "Well played, milady. I didn't think that one through, but you seemed to know what was up!" the hiker said, recalling his Spearow into its Pokéball. "Unfortunately, my Spearow has a long way to go, especially when it comes to following orders... But I've got one last trick up my sleeve, since we're here!" he said, pulling out another Pokéball. "Finish the job, Pikachu!"
    - - - - - With a bright flash of electric sparks, a Pikachu exploded onto the battlefield, ready for battle. "Pi, Pika!" it called out.
    - - - - - "Pikachu, huh?" Andrea asked. She knew all about Pikachu despite never seeing one in person, due to its enormous popularity among people all over the world. "Careful there, Furball. This will be a tough one."
    - - - - - The Pikachu charged at Furball wrecklessly, shedding sparks from its red cheeks. Furball kicked some sand up to block Pikachu's field of vision. Despite this, Pikachu continued charging headlong as Furball stepped to the side. As Pikachu passed through the cloud of sand, Furball whipped around and smashed it on the back of its head with his tail, sending it tumbling. He then got down on all four legs and ran towards Pikachu, headbutting him.
    - - - - - "Alright, go Furret!" one of the kids from the crowd called out.
    - - - - - "Kick his ass!" one of the parents said.
    - - - - - "Pikachu, no more games! Volt Tackle!" the hiker called out.
    - - - - - Pikachu created a large shield of electric energy around him and began to run at Furball. Furball ran in fear as the Pikachu closed the gap, then sharply turned to the left. Pikachu was moving too fast to react in time, smashing full force into a palm tree. Surprisingly, Pikachu stood up. It stepped towards Furball in a dizzy haze, stumbling.
    - - - - - "Uh oh..." the hiker said. "Alright, Plan B, Pikachu!"
    - - - - - Pikachu plopped into the sand and groaned. Furball approached it cautiously, offering to help the poor vermin up. Andrea began to call out as Furball locked hands with the Pikachu, but it was too late. Furball's fur stood up on ends as static electricity sparked off of him.
    - - - - - Andrea thought quickly. "How..." she whispered, then had an idea. "Furball, ground yourself somehow if you can!"
    - - - - - Hearing Andrea's command, Furball struggled against the electric impulses to put his tail to the ground. Upon contact with the ground, the electric charge dissipated, leaving Pikachu vulnerable to attack. Furball let go of Pikachu's hand, then leapt into the air. Flipping in mid air, Furball smashed his tail full force into Pikachu, then scurried away.
    - - - - - "No way, I can't believe this!" the hiker yelled. "Get up and fight, Pikachu!" After a moment of no movement, the hiker pulled out Pikachu's Pokéball and called him back. He picked up his walking stick and approached Andrea. "Well done, lass. That was some quick thinking."
    - - - - - "Thank you." Andrea said cheerfully. "We did it, Furball!"
    - - - - - Furball jumped for joy, squealing as he punched towards the air.
    - - - - - "That was fun. I'll let you get on with your delivery now, toodles!" the hiker said, walking away with the stick slung over his shoulder.
    - - - - - Andrea looked to the shore. The crowd that had gathered to watch her first victory had dispersed and returned to their day. "What a rush... Too bad nobody cares anymore..." looking up to the sky to see the sun burning away like it always does, she continued. "Oh well! Let's get moving, the heat is catching up to me." Andrea continued along on her trek through Route 302 on her way to Silvermist City. She braved rocky cliffs and rickety bridges before finally coming to a hill overlooking the city. "It's beautiful..."

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  5. #5
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island

    Oh bollocks, I forgot to post chapter four!

    Storm Island: Chapter 4
    Capture Fever!


    · · · ·Thin, whispy clouds had begun to form in the bright blue sky. The weather had begun to cool a bit as the sun made its descent through the afternoon sky. A fierce wind had begun to pick up, and as every resident of Storm Island knows, a fierce wind signals that a much needed tempest would be arriving in a few days. Andrea was walking along the road leading into the gleaming metropolis of Silvermist City, scratching behind Furball's ear. She took a deep breath and smiled, happy to have finally arrived in town.
    · · · ·"We're here, Furball!" she said, grabbing ahold of her bandana to avoid having it blown away. She looked upon the city in awe, wondering why she'd never thought to travel to the city before. Then she remembered her encounter with the giant Spinarak on her journey to Blueleaf Village. "Right, right... Well, let's not dawdle, Furball." she said, following the path into the city.
    · · · ·Down the road, a young couple were rounding the corner. The man of the group was wearing hiking gear, carrying a box with "FRAGILE" written on the side. His tan hair flipped down in the wind over his face, covering his left eye as he turned to comment towards his female companion. She was carrying a bag slung over her shoulder and wearing a fedora. With an Eevee perched on her shoulder, the girl leaned over to make another comment. The two smiled at each other and laughed.
    · · · ·As the couple approached, the man noticed Furball. "A Furret, eh?" he said. "I had one of these when I was younger..."
    · · · ·"That's right!" the girl said. "You gave it to me as a token of appreciation! Aww, that brings back some memories..."
    · · · ·"Mmmhmm." the man said. "Have a good day, miss. If you'll excuse us, we're off to the caverns!"
    · · · ·Andrea stepped to the side to let them pass and nodded.
    · · · ·Following behind her companion, the girl said, "Look at you, being so polite all of a sudden!", then looked back at Andrea.
    · · · ·Andrea looked back at the two as they strolled into the countryside, sharing a laugh. "What a strange couple..." she said. Coming across a large sign, she stopped to inspect it. "City history... no, I don't care for that." she said, then looked at another side of the sign to find a very detailed map of the city. "Ah, here we go!" As she was tracing a route through the city, an intense wind picked up and blew her bandana away. "Hey!" she yelled, chasing after it as it blew down the road.
    · · · ·Furball charged ahead after the runaway bandana, slowly gaining on it as he left Andrea in the dust. With a powerful leap, he soared into the air, grabbing the knot of the bandana in his mouth. He gracefully rolled onto the ground as he landed, then made his way back to Andrea. Presenting her bandana, he made a happy chirp, delighted to be a help.
    · · · ·"You have no idea how happy I am that you got it back!" she said, using it to tie her hair back into a ponytail so that it wouldn't blow away again. "I love this thing... Larson gave it to me for my 16th birthday, just before he left." she sighed, happily recalling memories, but remembered that she had a job to do. "Let's... let's just keep moving..."
    · · · ·Andrea made her way through the busy and crowded streets, heading in a vaguely southward direction. Despite living in a large city, she'd never seen so many people out and about, busy with their days. It was quite a nerveracking sight to her, as she shyly slipped in and out of the crowds with Furball close behind her. As she passed near a large buidling with trees growing from the top of it, she noticed a small and dilapidated sign pointing down a dirt road out of the city. The sign read 'Silvermist Bicycle Shop'. Curious, she followed the small shady path out of town.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    · · · ·"Why did my father have to set the shop up out here?!" a distraught man yelled to himself. He was surrounded by shiny bicycles that hadn't sold in months, all lined up neatly along the walls of the shop. "I haven't seen a customer in weeks!"
    · · · ·An older man opened the door of the shop and stepped in. "What was that, son?" he said, investigating the basket of berries that he was carrying.
    · · · ·"Nothing, father... I'm just getting frustrated about the lack of customers again." his son echoed back.
    · · · ·"I can understand your frustration." he said, pacing back and forth. "Things have not gone as smoothly as I had hoped with this location."
    · · · ·"Then what can we do about it?"
    · · · ·"Pack our bags, I suppose. I've thought about buying a shop up in Crestfall... All of the tourists would be very interested in buying a bicycle to get around the island, right?"
    · · · ·"Father, with all due respect, that could ruin us financially!"
    · · · ·"Staying here doesn't offer much hope either, son. It would be prudent of us to at least try."
    · · · ·The younger man let out a frustrated grunt. "I just don't know what to feel anymore."
    · · · ·"How about happiness? That you proved your old man wrong after all these years?"
    · · · ·The younger man looked up at his father from the mess of paperwork sitting on the table, then started laughing. "You know, you may be right..." he began, before being interrupted by a knock at the door. He shifted his attention to the visitor. "Hello! How can we help you, ma'am?"
    · · · ·Andrea stepped into the shop. "Umm... you sell bikes here, right?" she said shyly.
    · · · ·The father and son looked at each other with devious grins on their faces. "Yes, we do." the father said.
    · · · ·"You'll be our first customer in weeks!" the son said, jumping over the counter. "It's such a relief!"
    · · · ·"Umm... thanks?" Andrea said. "So what kind of bicycles do you have here?" she asked, kneeling to inspect the bike next to her.
    · · · ·"We've got plenty of different kinds... mountain bikes, street bikes, dir-" the son said, pausing. "You've got money, right?"
    · · · ·"Son!"
    · · · ·Andrea took her backpack off and unzipped it. She pulled out a small brown leather bag that jingled as it moved. "I think I have enough for a bike in here..." she said, rummaging through her coin purse.
    · · · ·The son looked greedily at the sack of coins before snapping out of his trance. "Right! So, we have mountain bikes, street bikes, dirt bikes, decorative bikes... What's your plan?"
    · · · ·"I'm really just looking for a quick way back to Azure Ridge once I'm done with my errand out here..." she said, counting through her coins.
    · · · ·"A mountain bike sounds like what you'd want, then! The cliffs between here and Azure Ridge are quite treacherous, but these bad boys are built for 'em!" the father said, polishing the handle on one of the mountain bikes.
    · · · ·Andrea walked down the row of mountain bikes, comparing the price on the tags to her handful of coins. Settling on a black and green bike, she placed the coins down on the counter next to her. "I like this green one."
    · · · ·The son zipped across the shop, almost achieving flight, to greedily count the coins. "Yes! This is enough!"
    · · · ·"Excuse my son, ma'am. He's..." the father paused, thinking. "A little... Ah, nevermind. He's my boy, afterall."
    · · · ·Andrea tried to ignore the two looked down at her new bike. "I've never owned something this expensive before..." she said, thinking. "But what if I come across a situation where I'm better on my feet?"
    · · · ·"That's not a problem at all!" the father said, kneeling down next to the bike. He pointed to three spots along the frame. "This thing can collapse into a more managable size when you don't need it."
    · · · ·"Ooh, neat. Thanks!" she said, guiding the bike towards the front door.
    · · · ·"No, thank you!" the son said. "You've been a big help... If you're ever in Crestfall, come look for the shop we'll have there!"
    · · · ·The father turned around. "Now what makes you think we're moving to Crestfall, son?"

    - - - - - - - - - -


    · · · ·"No... that didn't do it either..." An older man wearing a bandana and lab coat said, overlooking a younger man. He reached into his pocket and unfolded a piece of paper. Scratching his head in confusion, he sighed.
    · · · ·The younger man put the wrench he was holding onto the floor and stood up. "Reg... why exactly do you think I'll know more about this than you?" he said, dusting off his red and white shirt and running his hand through his ragged brown hair. "You know I was never very good with electronics."
    · · · ·"And you think I am? I'm the one and only Reginald Kerk! I don't own technology!" he said, agonising over the diagram that he unfolded.
    · · · ·"Yeah, well..." the younger man said, trying to think. "I don't know what to tell you, really."
    · · · ·"Do you know anyone who might have a shred of an idea of what to do?"
    · · · ·He reached into his pocket and pulled out a phone. "My dad, maybe?" he said curiously. "No... he's probably busy." he said, continuing to scroll down through names and numbers. "Ah!" he said, stopping on the name 'Andrea Dennison'. Dialing her number, he waited for a response.
    · · · ·"Hello?" Andrea's voice asked.
    · · · ·"Hey, it's Larson!"
    · · · ·"Larson?"
    · · · ·"I told you I'd get in touch with you. This is probably earlier than you thought, but..." he said, trailing off.
    · · · ·"What's on your mind?"
    · · · ·"What do you know about..." he said, lowering his phone. "Hey Reg, what is this thing again?"
    · · · ·Reginald shook his head in confusion. "I don't know. One of Catrianna's new analyzer machines. Has something to do with fruits and vegetables, I think."
    · · · ·"Do you know anything about some sort of berry analyzer?"
    · · · ·There was a pause on the line. "Not really. Why?"
    · · · ·"I'm here visiting Crazy Old Kerk and he, surprisingly, took on a bit of modern life. He's having trouble piecing it together. I was wondering if you might know what to do."
    · · · ·"Have you tried reading the manual?" Andrea joked.
    · · · ·Larson laughed. "I know, I know... that's the last thing I always do, but yes. We tried that."
    · · · ·"I could come over and have a look at it."
    · · · ·Larson stood up, shocked. "Come over?"
    · · · ·"Yeah, I'm actually in the area. I can see Kerk's hut on the beach from here."
    · · · ·"Wow, really? That's great! So you'll be here in a few minutes?"
    · · · ·"I think so. See ya soon." Andrea said, hanging up.
    · · · ·"Right." he said, closing his phone. "Good news, someone will be over to have a look at your..." he paused, looking at the machine. "thing."
    · · · ·Mr. Kerk sat down and unscrewed the cap on a bottle of lemonade. "Good. I've been trying to get this thing up and running for a week now!" he said, then took a drink. "Who's coming?"
    · · · ·"You remember my long time friend Andrea, right?"
    · · · ·Mr. Kerk looked up in thought for a moment. "I don't think I do. I never really knew your friends when you were growing up. Heck, I barely knew you."
    · · · ·"She's a smart girl, she'll have it all fixed up in no time." he said, walking out from under the hut and looking out into the ocean. "I'm just wondering how the hell she got out here." he turned back around and sat down at the table. "She's never been the biggest fan of Pokémon... I remember a short while after I had just met her, we wandered off into the wilderness. We weren't watching where we were going, and she fell into this deep hole. You know what was down there?"
    · · · ·"Horrible evil things!" Mr. Kerk yelled.
    · · · ·"Kinda. There was a Sandslash down there. Two actually, if I recall. One kept walking up to her and poking her with its spikes, she was so scarred. I jumped down there and scarred it off with a bunch of rocks, but I think it was too late. She hasn't liked Pokémon since."
    · · · ·"I don't blame her." Mr. Kerk said, sipping from his lemonade again. "I see why you're surprised she's out here, then."
    · · · ·"Yeah." Larson said, tapping his fingers on the table. "Maybe she's gotten over her fear and dislike. I don't know how that could have happened though. Nothing I tried worked. She didn't like Charmander when I first showed him to her. Clefairy creeped her out. She doesn't like bugs. I was afraid to show her Steelix when I was in town last year, too." he started thinking. "She tries avoiding her father's Growlithe, now that I think about it."
    · · · ·"I'm no expert on people, but... She's a girl. Maybe you weren't showing her the right things. You never tried something soft, cuddly and sweet, did you?"
    · · · ·"I didn't think to." he said, looking up at Mr. Kerk. "By the way, don't mention to her that I told you that. That experience has always been a touchy one for her."
    · · · ·Mr. Kerk put a finger in front of his lips. "I'll be quiet."
    · · · ·"Good. She'll be here any moment." he said. "I hope, at least."
    · · · ·"I'm sure she can take care of herself. I'm assuming that she's about as old as you, and if she's as smart as you say, I'm sure she could get herself out of any situation that arises."
    · · · ·"Situation?" a female voice said from behind them. "What have you gotten me into this time, Larson?"
    · · · ·Larson and Mr. Kerk turned around and stood up. "Nothing, don't worry... Andrea was it?" Mr. Kerk said.
    · · · ·Andrea ran up and tackled Larson, hugging him tightly and knocking him into the table. "Welcome back!"
    · · · ·"Heh, uh... thanks." Larson said as if he couldn't breath. "How's life been in the city?"
    · · · ·"Terrible, as always." Andrea joked, letting Larson go, then looking down. "I was fired yesterday..."
    · · · ·"Oh no... that's terrible! What was Mr. Winston thinking? You single handedly turned that place around!"
    · · · ·"He found some new girl to replace me..." Looking back up at Larson, she continued. "It's okay though. That and all of our friends leaving finally motivated me to get out of the city for awhile."
    · · · ·"That's good, at least." Mr. Kerk said. "City life is for chumps."
    · · · ·Larson looked over at Mr. Kerk with a condescending glare. "So anyways, over here in this corner is Mr. Kerk's... thing... he needs working on."
    · · · ·"You're as descriptive as always." Andrea said, kneeling down to look at the machine. She studied each side of it, then opened a panel on the bottom of it. She followed the wires as they went to their respective parts. "I think I know what the first problem is. Hand me a screwdriver, would you?"
    · · · ·Larson picked up a screwdriver off of the table and handed it to Andrea, then looked at Mr. Kerk. "Told you she would know what to do."
    · · · ·Andrea fiddled with some blue wires, connecting a few of them. She tightened several screws around the wires, then looked around again. "Wrench, please?"
    · · · ·Mr. Kerk handed Andrea a wrench from his pocket. "How do you know all of this stuff?"
    · · · ·"If I remember, she stayed in school for another year after I took off for Kanto."
    · · · ·"Yeah..." she said, taking some bolts out of the underside of machine. "I had dreams of working for Silph Co. a few years ago. If I stayed in school and took some engineering classes, I'd have a better chance." She sealed up the panel on the bottom of the machine and looked at the front side of it. "Then I met Mr. Winston, he said he was looking for someone young and cute to draw in customers for his restaurant." she pushed a bunch of buttons on the machine, then sighed. "And then... Yeah."
    · · · ·"I guess he didn't need you anymore." Mr. Kerk said. "That's pretty rude of him."
    · · · ·Andrea sighed, then look around the back of the machine. "Mhmm... Whatever. I probably wouldn't have gotten to go anywhere if that didn't happen. Part of me has always wanted to travel, but..." she trailed off.
    · · · ·"The whole wild Pokémon thing, right?"
    · · · ·Andrea paused, petrified, then stared at Larson for a second. "Yeah." Flipping a switch on the back of the machine, it lit up and a plate in it to spin around. She flipped the switch again to turn it off. "All done! You guys just forgot to hook up the power supply and remove some stoppers."
    · · · ·"Mr. Kerk did. I just dropped by and was useless." Larson joked. "I'm glad I called you."
    · · · ·"Me too. You're lucky I was in the area."
    · · · ·"Yeah, about that... What are you doing out here?"
    · · · ·Andrea slipped her backpack off and tossed it onto the table. Rustling through it, she removed a folder and placed it onto the table. "Professor Ansen hired me to deliver these to Mr. Kerk here."
    · · · ·"Did she now?" Mr. Kerk said, looking through the papers. "She told me to expect someone by the weekend. It's only Monday!" he said, patting Andrea on the back. "You're a quick worker."
    · · · ·"Thank you." Andrea said shyly. "It was nothing."
    · · · ·Larson approached the two and leaned on the table. "You? Hired by the Professor?"
    · · · ·"Yeah, I guess..." she said, grabbing a large blue piece of fruit out of her purse. She reached into her pocket and pulled out Furball's Pokéball and said, "That's not all."
    · · · ·Larson looked at the Pokéball in Andrea's hand. "Don't tell me..."
    · · · ·"Come on out, Furball!" she said, clicking the button on the front of the Pokéball, then placing it on the table. With a violent flash of light, Furball appeared on the ground next to the table. "Don't tell you what, Larson?"
    · · · ·Larson looked at Furball as he grabbed the blue fruit off of the table and began to nibble on it. "Color me surprised."
    · · · ·"I told you, Larson." Mr. Kerk interjected. "Something cute and furry."
    · · · ·"Mr. Winston fired me over not having a Pokémon of my own. That was the point when I realised maybe I was wrong all these years about them. And then this scamp charged out of nowhere and started licking me, it was pretty cute."
    · · · ·"Huh... well, good to hear it! Sort of." Larson said. "I'll assume this is your only Pokémon right?"
    · · · ·Andrea nodded.
    · · · ·"She just started yesterday, remember that." Mr. Kerk said.
    · · · ·"So did I when I caught my first Pokémon." Larson said with a smug look on his face. "But we're all different."
    · · · ·Andrea nodded again. "I want to get used to this whole thing before I catch another."
    · · · ·"Fair enough." Larson said, reaching into his pocked and opening his phone. "Let me make a phone call, alright? I'll be back shortly." he said, then wandered off near the water.
    · · · ·There was a long silence before Mr. Kerk finally said, "Larson's a good kid. Don't let it get to you."
    · · · ·Andrea turned around to look at Mr. Kerk. "Don't let what get to me?" she asked, confused.
    · · · ·"Seems like he's trying to push you." he said, kneeling down to have a look at his new machine. "Something tells me he's been waiting for years for you to have your own Pokémon. He's just excited by it and wants to get you into the whole thing as quick as possible."
    · · · ·"He's always been kind of impatient." Andrea said, looking back at him as he was talking on the phone. "But I think that's what I like about him. He's not a dull person, always busy."
    · · · ·"That's good. The Professor will likely have you just as busy." he said, standing back up and inspecting the plate inside the machine. "Field work for science never ends."
    · · · ·Andrea looked down, kicking at the sand, unsure of what to say.
    · · · ·Larson hang up his phone then walked back to the hut. "Alright! Will that be all, Reg?"
    · · · ·"I think so. I can manage the rest from here."
    · · · ·"Good. Let's get going Andrea!" he said, patting Furball on the head.
    · · · ·"Going? Where?"
    · · · ·"I told you we'd hang out when I got back. Here I am."
    · · · ·"Oh, uh... Right." she smiled and laughed. "I forgot."
    · · · ·"You two take care." Mr. Kerk said, grabbing a pot from a shelf in the corner of his shack. "I'm gonna go grab some water to fill this thing up."
    · · · ·"You too, Mr. Kerk." Andrea said. "Pleasure to meet you."
    · · · ·Mr. Kerk nodded then headed off towards the water.
    · · · ·"So what will we do in the city?" Andrea asked, leading Larson and Furball up a path towards Silvermist City.
    · · · ·"I don't know. See the sights? Visit the hot springs?" he said, running his hand through his hair. "It doesn't matter to me what we do, just as long as we get to catch up."
    · · · ·Andrea smiled, then bumped into him playfully. "I may have an idea. Follow me!" she said, running forward, leaving Larson in the dust.
    · · · ·"Hey, wait up!" Larson said, chasing after her.
    · · · ·Andrea stopped at set of stone stairs heading up the hill towards the city limits, waiting for Larson. "Hurry up, the sun will be dow-" she started, being interrupted by a burst of water. She looked up and wiped the water away from her face, trying to find where the water came from.
    · · · ·"Andrea!" Larson called out as he came to a stop in front of her. "You alright?"
    · · · ·"Just a little wet..." she said, taking her bandana off and wringing the water out of it. "I'll be fine."
    · · · ·Before he knew it, Larson was targetted by a fly-by drenching. He couldn't help but laugh it off, then looked up. "It has to be that lone Wingull up there."
    · · · ·Andrea took a few steps forward and shouted towards the sky, "Hey! You! Learn some manners!"
    · · · ·The Wingull circled around, then swooped down over the water. It fluttered to a stop just on the shore, then waddled up to Andrea, Larson and Furball, then squawked with joy. It looked at Larson, then at Andrea, then back at Larson again. With a loud squawk, it spit more water at Larson.
    · · · ·"That's it." Andrea said, diving at the Wingull, attempting to tackle it. "C'mere!"
    · · · ·Sensing his master was in distress, Furball leapt into action, tackling the Wingull before it could fly away. The two rolled into the water, struggling and splashing about, neither gaining the upper hand.
    · · · ·"Come on Furball! You can do it!" Andrea said, watching the struggle. She stood up as Larson stepped up to her.
    · · · ·"I can't help but laugh." Larson laughed, watching the spectacle in front of him. "Grab one of your empty Pokéballs."
    · · · ·"What?" Andrea asked, reaching into her pocket for a Pokéball. "You sure?"
    · · · ·"It's distracted, this is an easy catch." Larson said, thinking back to his first capture. "Trust me."
    · · · ·Andrea clicked the button on the Pokéball, causing it to grow. She took a step back, charged up, then tossed the Pokéball underhand towards Furball and Wingull. The Pokéball grazed Wingull, opening and sucking it inside. "Yeah!"
    · · · ·The ball came to a rest in the sand, sitting under an inch of water. It shook gently as the button glowed red. After a moment, it stopped shaking, but then shook again. With a violent burst of light, the Pokéball snapped in two, releasing Wingull. Dazed from the attempted capture, it started flopping about in the water, trying to fly off.
    · · · ·"Oh no..." Andrea said. "What now?"
    · · · ·"That depends... Do you really want it?"
    · · · ·Furball pounced on the Wingull again, slapping at it furiously to keep it grounded. The Wingull responded by spitting a pressurized burst of water at Furball, knocking him back. Making its escape, the Wingull jumped out of the water and tried flying away, fluttering about.
    · · · ·Andrea grabbed another Pokéball from her pocket, then said, "I have to try..." She took another step back and charged up another throw as Wingull attempted to flutter toward the horizon. She aimed carefully, then threw the Pokéball into the sky, striking Wingull again. It opened up, Wingul slipping inside in a bright flash of light, then dropped into the ocean with a large splash.
    · · · ·"Nice throw, but uh..." Larson started. "How are you going to get it back?"
    · · · ·Andrea scratched her head and then giggled. "I didn't think that one through..." she said, slipping her backpack off and pulling her purse strap over her head. "Watch my stuff, please?" she said, dropping them onto the sand as she charged into the water. She swam out to where she believed the Pokéball fell into the water then dived down in search of it. After searching for a few moments, she returned to the surface for air. "I don't see it!" she called out.
    · · · ·"Come back! You probably won't find it..." Larson shouted.
    · · · ·Andrea dived back down underwater to see Furball swimming along looking for the Pokéball as well. She looked through as many nooks and crannies of the bright coral reef as she could, but to no avail. Furball however, had better luck, squirming into a small tube, reemerging on the other side with the Pokéball in his furry paws. He swam up to Andrea and handed the Pokéball to her, then swam for the surface with her quickly behind him. She gasped for breath and made her way back to shore, collapsing on the sand in front of Larson. "Got 'em." she said, out of breath.
    · · · ·Larson knelt down and helped Andrea up. "I gotta hand it to ya... Nice work." he said, standing her up. "Looks like all of those years playing Softball during school weren't a waste, eh?"
    · · · ·Coughing and trying to catch her breath, Andrea laughed. "I don't think I'll ever do something that crazy again..."
    · · · ·Larson laughed, then motioned for Andrea to follow him. "Not ready, huh?"
    · · · ·Andrea held the Pokéball up in front of her as she followed Larson toward the city. "Raising more than one Pokémon at a time... Is it a difficult thing to do?"
    · · · ·"Not really. A bit at the start, but you get used to it very quickly."
    · · · ·"Oh..." she said, a hint of doubt in her voice. "How about you, Furball? Do you think this might be a bad idea?"
    · · · ·Furball shook his head and chirped.
    · · · ·"You'll be fine." Larson said. "Have you thought about nicknaming your new Wingull?"
    · · · ·"I haven't even considered it... You know I've always been terrible with names!"
    · · · ·"We can figure out when we get back to town then, alright?" Larson said, stopping to look at the sun as it was sinking over the horizon, casting a bright and beautiful orange and pink gradient over the sky. "Perfect timing. I love sunsets, and we've got a perfect view!"
    · · · ·"I wouldn't say perfect, the city is blocking it out... But you can stand here and watch if you want, but I really need to get into some dry clothes." Andrea said, walking off.
    · · · ·"Aww, don't be such a wet towel! Err... uh." he laughed. "But you're right, we need to dry you off."
    · · · ·"Lucky for me I have a spare set of clothes in that backpack... Come to think of it, I don't even know how they got in there, I didn't stop by my house after I bought it." she said, stretching her arm out to take back the backpack from Larson. "Can I have it back?"
    · · · ·"Sure." he said, handing the backpack to her.
    · · · ·The two made their way through the winding trails of Crystal Bay, inching closer to the city as the moon began to rise in the southern sky and the stars began to twinkle into visibility. The lamps lining the path into the city turned on, comfortably brightening the area as a cool breeze kicked in. The bird chatter from earlier in the day ceased as crickets began to hum their melodious tune. The sun finally down, the island was at peace from the savage heat wave for now.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  6. #6
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island

    Storm Island: Chapter 5
    Prepare For Trouble!


    · · · ·The night was unusually quiet. The only noises to be heard were the gentle crashing of the waves, the slight breeze kicking through the leaves of the palm trees and the crickets singing their tunes. The temperature had cooled dramatically compared to the day, and large ominous clouds could be faintly seen along the horizon, brightened by the full moon that hung over the ocean. Along the lamp-lit ornate stone path leading to Silvermist City, Andrea and Larson were strolling by.
    · · · ·"So what's it like? Travelling the world, seeing all sorts of sights and meeting people..." Andrea asked, trying to squeeze the water out of her hair and clothes.
    · · · ·"Pretty neat, I suppose." he said, pulling a bizarre looking Pokéball out of his pocket. "I get to see things like this."
    · · · ·"What is it?" Andrea asked, taking a closer look at it as Larson handed it to her. She struggled to hold it up, being much heavier than she expected.
    · · · ·Larson laughed. "It's a Heavy Ball. There's a guy in Azalea Town over in Johto who makes those out of plants that grow in the region. So they're kinda rare elsewhere." He took it back and placed it back in his pocket. "My Steelix is inside that one."
    · · · ·"Interesting... I've really been missing out, haven't I?" she asked quietly.
    · · · ·Larson nodded. "I afraid you have, but you've had your reasons. I respect that."
    · · · ·Andrea, having been looking down for the past few moments, raised her head and looked forward, noticing a bright flash in front of her. "What's that?"
    · · · ·"What's what?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·"That." Andrea said, after another bright flash poked through the shrubs lining the path in front of them.
    · · · ·"I don't know, let's go see." Larson said, quickening his pace as he came closer to the origin of the bright flashes. He slowed down and carefully poked his head around the corner of a neatly trimmed hedge to see what it was.
    · · · ·On the water-soaked rocks, two people were seen collecting half a dozen Pokéballs that sat on the ground. A woman dressed in blue jeans and a pink denim jacket kneeled over to pick one of the Pokéballs up, looking over towards her assistant. He knelt down to pick up another of the Pokéballs, stashing the ones he had in small pouch wrapped around his belt. He turned towards his female assistant, a peculiar scar covering his left eye. He pointed towards a Spheal that was resting on a smooth brown stone poking over the surface of the water, gleaming in the moonlight. A small white squirrel with a blue stripe running down its back and along its curled bushy tail began to run towards the Spheal.
    · · · ·"What is it?" Andrea asked.
    · · · ·"Just some trainers it looks like. Seems strange that they're catching so many Pokémon at once... maybe they're Breeders." Larson said, returning to the path.
    · · · ·The girl laughed as the Spheal was quickly subdued by the electrical attacks doled out by the white squirrel. "Think anyone will find us?" she asked.
    · · · ·"They haven't the past few nights... idiots." the man said. "I'm surprised."
    · · · ·Andrea motioned towards Larson. "Come back here!" she whispered.
    · · · ·"We've already exceeded our quota for the week." the man laughed. "Funding for this operation should be no problem."
    · · · ·"Good. And your daughter?"
    · · · ·"She's in place, monitoring the situation."
    · · · ·"This is too easy..." the girl said, looking around. "The last time things were too easy, the boss made sure heads rolled when there was a mistake."
    · · · ·"Listen, Domino. You're worrying too much." the man said, tossing a Pokéball at the sleeping Spheal. "Let's just focus on our objective here, the fur."
    · · · ·Andrea looked at Larson. "Fur?" she asked in a quiet whisper.
    · · · ·Larson looked back at Andrea, confused and shrugged. "I don't know."
    · · · ·The girl turned around. "I heard something." she said, brushing her blonde, windswept hair out of her face. "Stay here." she said, walking along the jagged rocks towards Larson and Andrea. "Don't bother hiding, I already know you're there." she called out.
    · · · ·"What do we do?" Andrea asked.
    · · · ·Larson stepped into view. "Follow my lead and play dumb. Let's just act like we were passing by."
    · · · ·"Mind telling me what you're doing out here this late?" the girl asked.
    · · · ·"Just returning to the city." Larson said. "Nothing wrong with that, is there?"
    · · · ·"I suppose not..." the girl replied. "You can never be too careful. I just wanted to make sure you weren't some crazy sociopaths."
    · · · ·The man walked up behind her and asked, "Is there a problem here?"
    · · · ·"No sir." Larson replied. "As I was telling your... associate here, the girl and I were just heading back into town. Right?"
    · · · ·Andrea was looking at the scar over the man's eye, distracted. Snapping out of her studious trance, she nodded in agreement. "Just passing by."
    · · · ·The man looked at the two, then turned around. "Very well. Move along."
    · · · ·Andrea and Larson continued following the path as the two returned to the slippery and jagged rocks. A moment passed before Andrea said, "We're really going to just let them do what they're doing?"
    · · · ·"We don't even know what it is they're doing." Larson said.
    · · · ·Andrea stopped walking. "I think I do." she said, looking back down the path. Pulling out her phone and cycling through the numbers, she continued. "When that guy looked at me... did you notice that ugly scar on his face?"
    · · · ·"Yeah, what about it?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·"I've seen that guy before, I think..." she said, pushing some buttons on her phone. "He might be the guy who broke into Dr. Spruce's research lab last week."
    · · · ·"That son of a..." Larson said, starting to run back down the path.
    · · · ·Andrea looked back up and notice that Larson took off. "What are you doing?!" she said, closing her phone and running after him. "Larson!" she called out.
    · · · ·Back on the slippery rocks, the two overheard the commotion. "I think we've got trouble, Sal." the girl said, motioning for the small white squirrel to stand by her side. Larson slid into her view. "Yeah. I knew it."
    · · · ·"Well well..." the man said, pulling a black and red Pokéball from the pouch attached to his belt. "You've made a mistake coming back here, boy!"
    · · · ·"Who are you?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·"Someone you don't want to get involved with. Get ready, Domino." he said, tossing the Pokéball into the clearing separating the two. A large white cat with a jewel on its forehead appeared from the Pokéball, assuming an attack position and growling. "Prepare for trouble!"
    · · · ·"And make it double..." Domino said, ordering the squirrel to stand next to the large cat. "Damn it Sal, now I'm starting to sound like our useless duo."
    · · · ·Larson pulled the Heavy Ball from his pocket and tossed it into the clearing. "All right Steelix, you're up!" A massive snake made of spiked iron boulders emerged from the ball, rearing his head up and grinning at the two. Letting out a piercing roar that could be heard from miles away, he lurched forward in anticipation for the battle. "Andrea... I know you're just a beginner, but I could probably use your help!"
    · · · ·"Umm..." she said, pulling a Pokéball from her pocket. "Furball! Let's help him out!" she said, tossing the Pokéball into the air. It exploded in a bright burst of light, revealing the Wingull that she had captured earlier. "That's... not right."
    · · · ·Sal nodded and laughed. "This should be good. Get ready, Domino."
    · · · ·"The girl is obviously inexperienced." Domino said. "Let's play into that, Pachirisu! Blast that bird out of the sky!"
    · · · ·Pachirisu, the electric squirrel, ran out onto the battlefield, bursting with sparks. It had trouble spotting Wingull, flying high in the sky, due to the darkness. Frustrated, it turned its attention to Steelix. Steelix shined brightly in the moonlight, unafraid. With that characteristic wicked grin across his face, Steelix slithered forward.
    · · · ·"Steelix, lets make this quick! No mercy! Use Iron Defense!" Larson shouted.
    · · · ·Steelix stopped in its tracks and began to coil up like a snake. Wispy clouds if white energy puffed off of Steelix as he began to shine even brighter in the moonlight.
    · · · ·"Distract them, Andrea. Steelix is charging something up that I'm sure you'll like."
    · · · ·"Uh, umm..." Andrea said in a panic. "Wingull, where are you?! Get back here and do something!" No movement could be seen in the sky. "Oh dear..." she said, pulling out her last Pokéball and tossing it out into the clearing. "Maybe you can do something useful, Furball!"
    · · · ·Furball exploded onto the scene, his fur puffed up in anticipation. It immediately leapt to action without any commands, charging after Pachirisu.
    · · · ·"Look out, Pachirisu! Zap that little fur ball with everything you've got!"
    · · · ·Pachirisu charged up, glowing brightly in the darkness. The blue stripe along its back began to glow even brighter with electricity. With a loud shout, it whipped its tail at Furball, knocking him through the air in a shower of sparks.
    · · · ·"Persian! Finish it off with your Crush Claw ability!" Sal commanded. The large white cat leapt into action quickly, red light glowing off of its claws.
    · · · ·"Call Furball back, Andrea. It's time to wipe these guys out."
    · · · ·Andrea held out Furball's Pokéball. "Are you sure?" she asked as Furball receded back into the Pokéball.
    · · · ·"Trust me." he said, nodding and grinning. "Let's end this now, Steelix! Bladestorm!"
    · · · ·Steelix rose up from his rock-hard coil pose, almost laughing as he looked back and forth between Persian, Pachirisu, Sal and Domino. He surprisingly and quickly lurched into the air, wrapping himself into a spiked iron wheel. Charging about in random, seemingly careless directions, the iron assault caused everyone to run for cover.
    · · · ·"Should have seen that coming..." Sal said to Domino, frustrated. He poked his head up from behind the rock the two were hiding behind to see Steelix still whirling about. "Uh oh, Persian!" he yelled as Steelix closed in on Persian, sending it skyward as the two collided. Sal quickly pulled out his red and black Pokéball and called Persian back before it landed in the ocean.
    · · · ·"What do we do? That thing's too much for us!" Domino asked, popping out from cover to recall Pachirisu.
    · · · ·Sal pulled a solid black Pokéball from his pouch. "We give up. Follow my lead." As the dust settled from the chaotic assault, Sal stepped out into view. "Easy there, fella!" he said, trying to calm the enraged Steelix. "You got us, kid! We give up." he said, motioning for Domino to follow. "You want these Pokémon we've been catching? Take 'em!"
    · · · ·"Sal!" Domino whispered.
    · · · ·"I said follow my lead." he said quietly, unlatching the satchel on his belt and walking to the center of the rocky outcropping.
    · · · ·"Gotta hand it to ya, Larson..." Andrea said, taking a deep breath as she followed him out towards Sal and Domino.
    · · · ·"Figured you'd enjoy that." Larson said.
    · · · ·"Enjoy? I don't know about that!"
    · · · ·"Hand 'em over." Larson ordered.
    · · · ·As Sal was reaching out hand Larson the pouch, he quickly retracted it and tossed the black Pokéball towards his feet. A thick cloud of choking smoke burst from it as he shouted, "Run!" The two disappeared between the cloud of smoke and the cover of darkness.
    · · · ·"I knew it!" Larson shouted as he pulled Andrea out of the cloud, coughing.
    · · · ·Andrea breathed in deeply. "Why did you charge off like that?"
    · · · ·"I didn't think that would happen..." he said, catching his breath. He pulled out his Heavy Ball and held it out. "Bleh... Come back, Steelix. We'll get them another day." As Steelix faded into red and slipped back into the Heavy Ball, Larson asked, "I wonder where your Wingull is?"
    · · · ·"Good question." Andrea said, looking up at the sky. "Do Pokémon run off after they've been captured?"
    · · · ·"I haven't heard of it. It'll come back if we stay around here." he said, looking up at the sky. "Speaking of which, I think that's it right there!" he said, pointing towards a Wingull carrying something in its mouth, diving towards the two.
    · · · ·The Wingull flapped its wings feverishly as it landed on the ground, then waddled up to Andrea and Larson. Dropping the pouch on the ground in front of Andrea, it squawked and head butted her ankle playfully.
    · · · ·"Glad to see you were helpful!" she said sarcastically, kneeling down to pick up the pouch. She opened it to reveal a large collection of black and red Pokéballs. "Don't tell me... Did you go and grab this as they ran off?"
    · · · ·Wingull sang a happy tune in agreement.
    · · · ·"Well all right! You were helpful!" she said, rifling through the pouch and counting at least 30 of the peculiar black and red Pokéballs. "Let's let these guys go." she said, handing the pouch to Larson and grabbing two handfuls.
    · · · ·"Good idea..." he said, flinging some into the rocky outcropping.
    · · · ·One by one as Andrea and Larson threw the Pokéballs into the water, Spheals, Sealeos and Walreins popped out, roaring and squeaking in appreciation. The last one that Andrea threw revealed a Spheal with a star-shaped pattern along its back. It bounced up and down back towards them, looking at Andrea expectantly.
    · · · ·"Hey look, it thinks you're its mother!"
    · · · ·"Me?" she said, kneeling down and patting the Spheal. "Hey there. Go back to your family, okay?"
    · · · ·The Spheal squeaked like a chew toy, licking at Andrea's ankle. It hopped back as she gently kicked it away and pointed out towards the water. Stopping next to a large Walrein, presumably its father, it looked back at the two and smiled, barking happily.
    · · · ·"What a day..." Andrea said, recalling Wingull. "Where are we going to stay the night? I don't think there are any hotels in the city..." she said, beginning to walk along the path.
    · · · ·"How about the Silvermist Hot Springs?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·Andrea pointed at her still damp hair and clothes. "Maybe you've forgotten, but..."
    · · · ·"Oh, right... Well hey, that doesn't matter! You don't have to jump in the water if you don't want to."
    · · · ·The two arrived in the city shortly. It was surprisingly quiet for such a lovely night, filled with the echoing sounds of the waves crashing along the shore and the soothing sounds of crickets. They walked through the paved, lantern-lit streets recalling past experiences with each other. Larson detailed his travels through Kanto, including visiting the Silph Co. Headquarters, where his mother worked long ago. Andrea spoke of her boring and uneventful life, detailing her day to day responsibilities at the restaurant she was fired from. The two came across a rocky cave entrance on the western edge of the city, with a sign standing next to it.
    · · · ·"This is the place! Silvermist Hot Springs." Larson said. "You'll like it."
    · · · ·"Have you been inside?"
    · · · ·"This is the only way to get in and out of town on this side."
    · · · ·"Oh..." she said, awkwardly.
    · · · ·They stepped inside to be greeted by a peculiar sight; Large pools of water with fountain springs in them could be seen stretching to the back of the cave. The area was filled with people, young and old, despite the weather being so hot. Picnic tables lined the walls. A surprisingly cool misty breeze weaved its way in and out of the blunt, rocky spires that dotted the ceiling.
    · · · ·Larson led Andrea over to a picnic table set up next to a changing room. "If you wanna get into your dry set of clothes, I'll be right here." He watched as Andrea disappeared into the changing room, then shifted his attention towards the large crowd within the hot springs. He could see a few harmless battles going on between kids, older folks gossiping and some Pokémon running about playfully. He twiddled his thumbs patiently waiting for Andrea to return, then sighed. "Girls... They always take forever!" he muttered to himself. Ever patient, he continued to wait.
    · · · ·Andrea emerged from the changing room in a new set of dry clothes; A sky blue polo shirt that extended halfway down her brown shorts, ending in white frills. A sleek and shiny pair of black sandals. Her characteristic black and pink bandana was tied around her forehead like a headband, her hair tied up behind it in a ponytail that waved ever so gently in the breeze. A pair of black sunglasses was perched upon her bandana. She sat down next to a bewildered Larson.
    · · · ·Studying her up and down, Larson nodded. "Wow." he laughed. "You look incredible."
    · · · ·"Thanks." she said. "Feels good to get out of those old clothes... but I feel a lot warmer now that I'm dry!" She tossed her backpack onto the ground next to the table, retrieving her collection of Pokéballs and Pokédex from it. Adjusting the R-Kit on her wrist, she noted, "I'm glad these things are water proof, too."
    · · · ·"What took you so long?"
    · · · ·"I called my dad about those creeps we ran into. He's happy to see that we took care of them... You know, for now. Too bad they got away."
    · · · ·"We took care of them?" Larson joked.
    · · · ·"You know what I mean. You know that I'm a terrible trainer."
    · · · ·"I can change that." Larson said, reaching into his backpack. He pulled out an ornate oaken case with a large Pokéball etched into it. Opening it, he revealed a collection of badges. Eight from the Kanto Region, six from the Johto region and a copper medallion signifying that he competed in a tournament at the Indigo Plateau.
    · · · ·Andrea studied the badges. "You always did like showing off!" she said. "I'd be open to pointers."
    · · · ·"How about we head off to the Silver Ridge Caverns tomorrow? I'll teach you all of the basics while we're there."
    · · · ·"Hmm..." she said, idly tapping away at the R-Kit attached to her wrist. "I don't have anything better to do..."
    · · · ·Leaning up against the smooth stone wall, Larson leaned his head to the side and yawned. "I don't know about you, but I'm beat." he said, kicking his legs up onto the table. "Thankfully most of the people seem to be getting ready to leave, it'll be nice and quiet."
    · · · ·Andrea leaned up against the wall as well. "Look at us, we're such bums... I miss my nice, soft bed."
    · · · ·"Put it out of mind. You'll be without one for awhile unless you're lucky."
    · · · ·Andrea stretched, resting her head on Larson's shoulder. "Greaaaat... Out of sight, out of mind..." she said dozily. Her eyes grew heavy very rapidly as she silently watched people leave the hot springs one by one. Before she knew it, she fell asleep.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    · · · ·The sun was low in the sky, giving a golden glow to everything around Andrea, Larson and Furball as they walked down the main path out of the city. It was early in the morning; the birds had begun their singing as the flowers opened up in preparation for a warm day in the sun. Down the precarious cliff, one could see the ocean, sparkling in the morning sun. Large rain clouds could be seen in the far distance just over the horizon, signaling that a storm would soon bring Storm Island some much needed relief from the sweltering heat.
    · · · ·Andrea was licking a rapidly melting ice cream cone as she walked along beside Larson. "Mmm... Pineapple!" she said excitedly.
    · · · ·Larson watched as the ice cream dripped down the cone, over her hands and down onto the ground. "I don't know what made you think that investment was a good idea."
    · · · ·"Just because." she said, biting a chunk of the cone off. She offered the cone to Furball, asking, "Want some?"
    · · · ·Furball sniffed the waffle cone before opening his mouth wide and chomping it right out of Andrea's hand.
    · · · ·"Hey! Thief!" she squealed angrily. "You owe me for that..." she said, scratching behind his ear as he nibbled happily on the cone. "So where's the entrance to this place we're going?"
    · · · ·"Just up around the corner if I remember." Larson said. "It's been years since I've been here. Hopefully there won't be too many people asking for trainer battles here... it's a popular hangout for trainers of all skill levels."
    · · · ·The two came across a sign indicating the entrance to the Silver Ridge Caverns. Flimsy, weather-worn wooden planks held up a literal ton of dirt and rocks out of the way of the cave entrance, a sight that made Andrea uneasy about venturing into the cave. Dangling from the main entrance was a flickering lamp, indicating that the area was still maintained and hopefully safe. Reassured by Larson, Andrea and Furball stepped inside. The air was much cooler inside the dusty and dilapidated mine shaft. A track with a mine cart rusted to it stretched into the distance, dimly lit by lanterns lining the walls.
    · · · ·"This place is kind of scary looking..." Andrea said uneasily, slowly walking through the tunnel as she dodged massive cobwebs. "And you're sure this is safe?"
    · · · ·"Of course." he said, grabbing a Pokéball from his pocket. He tossed it into the tunnel ahead of them, causing a small, stocky pink creature to emerge. Looking back at Larson with a grin on her face, she showed her small fangs and fluttered her tiny wings. "You know the drill, Star." Larson said, nodding. Suddenly, Star began to glow brightly.
    · · · ·The bright light emanating from Star caused the sticky cobwebs to shine brightly in the tunnel ahead. "I don't know if that makes me feel any better... I hate spider webs and I hate spiders!"
    · · · ·"Relax." Larson said, following Star down the tunnel. "This'll help you toughen up. Especially when the wild Pokémon start crawling all over us."
    · · · ·Very uncomfortable, Andrea nodded and followed Larson and Star down the tunnel, occasionally looking behind her. "You're sure we won't get lost, too?"
    · · · ·"Trust me." Larson said. "I know what I'm doi-AAAH!" he shouted, falling down a hole he wasn't paying attention to. Acting quickly, he grabbed the ladder that leaned up against the wall of the hole. The ladder was so old that it crumbled to dust from the force. A loud thud could be heard, followed by a thick cloud of dust rising up from the hole as Andrea, Star and Furball looked down it.
    · · · ·"Larson?" she called out. "You all right?"
    · · · ·Larson stumbled to his feet, dusting himself off. "I think so..." he said in pain. "Can't believe I didn't see that..." Looking around, he found himself in a pitch black cavern with a soft green glow on the horizon. "Star, come down here, I can't see."
    · · · ·Without hesitation, Star hopped to her master's aid, bouncing down the hole, brightening the area.
    · · · ·"Oh wow..." Larson said, amazed. "You've gotta see this, Andrea!"
    · · · ·"It'd help if I could see anything up here!" she shouted as she heard a slithering noise behind her. "How do I get down, I don't want to be up here anymore..." she watched Larson disappear from view as Star looked back up at her and shrugged, then followed him. "Hey!"
    · · · ·Larson returned a moment later with a large, grassy vine in his hand. "Catch!" he said, tossing the vine up through the hole back at Andrea. "See if you can tie that to anything and climb down with it."
    · · · ·Andrea struggled to see in the darkness for something to tie the vine around, eventually finding a jagged stalagmite near the hole. Fumbling about in the dark, she managed to tie the vine around it, then dropped the end down the hole. "I have a feeling this is a bad idea, Larson..." she called out as she grabbed the vine and looked down. Another slithering noise prompted her quick descent down the hole. Feeling safer now that she was in the bright glow of Star, she uttered, "Wow..."
    · · · ·The sight that greeted the two was bizarre. The cave was overgrown with thick, green grass and vines. Old bits of iron and wood, presumably from old mine cart tracks, poked out of the rampaging overgrowth. Large, colorful mushrooms grew from the walls, shaking and releasing glowing spores every now and then. To the left was an abandoned tent, ravaged by the vines and grass. In front of the tent was a thick wooden desk with boxes and papers still strewn across the top of it.
    · · · ·"What's going on here?" Larson asked. "This wasn't here the last time I was!"
    · · · ·Andrea walked towards the desk, slopping through the wet, mucky grass. "Ewww... Not my new sandals... This is so gross!" she said, trudging through the overgrowth. Reaching the desk, she picked up the book. "Storm Island Mining..." she said, reading what was on the cover of the dirt-caked book. Opening it, she read to herself. "Wow, this is unreal."
    · · · ·"What is it?" Larson asked, inspecting a large green crystal jutting from a wall.
    · · · ·"Foreman Honeywell's Log, dated Tuesday, August 16th..." she read. "Something strange is in this cave. Johnson found something incredible! As he was drilling into the northern wall of Dig B, a peculiar vine poked out. Within seconds, the vine had wrestled the drill out of his hand and dismantled it. Within minutes, the strange plant had devoured the tunnel!"
    · · · ·"Cool." Larson remarked.
    · · · ·Andrea flipped the page. "Wednesday, August 17th: Things have taken a turn for the worse. Danson's gone missing. Others are saying that the plants are becoming violent! We've already moved the camp back twice today, we can't do this much longer. What's happening?" she said, flipping the page again. "Thursday, August 18th: Corporate HQ has shut us down after hearing of Danson's disappearance. Perhaps it's for the best, we may have uncovered something best left locked away behind these stone walls. I've ordered the men to collapse the tunnel to contain the growth. I hope that it works."
    · · · ·Larson slopped around through the thick grass, trying to wrap his mind around the situation. "I don't get it... What's going on?"
    · · · ·"What are you asking me for?" she said, placing the book back on the table.
    · · · ·"You're a researcher, aren't you?"
    · · · ·"I..." she started. "That's it!" She reached into her pocket and pulled her phone out. "I'll call the professor, see if she..." Her enthusiasm turned to disappointment as she remembered that she was in a cave. "Well... I don't know what to tell you."
    · · · ·As the two were trying to figure out what to do, between staying and investigating or leaving, the vine that Andrea climbed down came to life. It coiled up behind Larson, latching onto his wrist and yanking him forcefully.
    · · · ·Larson pulled back, shouting, "What the hell?!" as he tried to untangle himself from the vine. "Get it off, get it off!"
    · · · ·Andrea leapt to action, attempting to untangle the vine but to no avail. "I don't like this one bit!" she said, frantically trying to free Larson as the vine continued pulling at him. She looked back at Star who was watching in amazement and yelled, "Don't just stand there, do something!"
    · · · ·Star looked at Andrea, puzzled, then back at Larson as he struggled against the vine, all while having a bemused look on her face.
    · · · ·"She's not much of a fighter..." Larson said, biting at the vine in a vain attempt at freedom. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Pokéball, then tossed it behind him. In a bright flash of light, a large, skinny insect with soulless eyes appeared, a monstrous mushroom growing straight out of its back. It crawled about effortlessly, yet slowly towards Larson.
    · · · ·Andrea leapt skyward at the sight of the large Parasect, crashing down onto the desk behind her. Grabbing the desk in a panic, she tried to catch her breath. "What is THAT?!"
    · · · ·"My ticket out of here. Help me out, Blade! Cut this cursed vine to pieces!"
    · · · ·Blade slowly shambled towards the vine attacking his master. With a swift swing of his freakishly large claws, Blade quickly shredded the vine, loosening its grip on Larson's wrist. The vine retreated up the hole, dripping a thick gooey substance.
    · · · ·Larson shook his wrist, happy to be free. He turned to Andrea to see her clutching the desk with a look of fear on her face. "What's the matter?"
    · · · ·"I... I..." she stuttered, turning around. "I do [i]not[/] like bugs..."
    · · · ·Larson smirked, then held up Blade's Pokéball. "Heh, girls." He held the Pokéball out. "Come on back, Blade. Andrea's about to lose it 'cause of you."
    · · · ·The large insect made a short hissing noise before being sucked back into the Pokéball.
    · · · ·"Ugh..." Andrea said, shaking. "Bugs send chills down my spine..." she said, trying to compose herself. "What do we do now? I vote that we get the hell out of here."
    · · · ·Larson looked back up the hole. "Our way out slithered back up." he said, motioning for Star to follow. "Let's make the best of it and explore a bit. We'll find another way out."
    · · · ·Not seeing another way out and unwilling to be left in the darkness, Andrea followed Larson and Star, Furball close behind her. They tromped through the wet grass, keeping a vigilant eye out looking for squirming vines, heading towards the mysterious green glow ahead of them.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  7. #7
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island

    Storm Island: Chapter 6
    The Fabled Pillar


    · · · ·"There has to be some logical explanation for this." Andrea said, studying the damp, thick vines and other vegetation that had the stone walls of the cave in a choking strangle hold. She held her R-Kit out in front of her, hoping that it would tell her anything at all about the vines. Tapping one of the touch screen buttons, it beeped, displaying information on the screen. "Hmm?"
    · · · ·"What is it?" Larson asked, walking over.
    · · · ·Andrea read the information to herself before growling. "Nothing. It's telling me how to properly use this thing."
    · · · ·"You should read it sometime." Larson joked as he walked towards the bright green glow up ahead.
    · · · ·"You should learn to joke less..." Andrea muttered as she followed him.
    · · · ·"What was that?"
    · · · ·"Nothing." she replied. "I'm just scared of this place... What if we can't get out?"
    · · · ·Larson scratched his head. "I don't know, honestly. We'll figure something out."
    · · · ·The two had reached the source of the glowing green light. A large, thick cloud of luminescent gas was swirling at the top of the cavern, giving off a yellowish greenish glow. Inside the cloud, the silhouettes of several flying Pokémon could be seen. Much like the tunnels found before this cavern, the area was covered in thick, damp vegetation. Large crystals and mushrooms sat on the walls.
    · · · ·Andrea held her hand up to her nose to cover it. "This place smells awful..."
    · · · ·"Yeah, it's pretty ripe." Larson said without covering his nose. He looked up towards the swirling cloud of luminescent gas, puzzled. "This breaks every law of nature that I can think of."
    · · · ·"Not really." Andrea said, thinking back to her school days. "Certain gaseous elements are known to glow like this in energy rich environments. My guess is that there's something unnatural about this overgrowth that's fueling the light."
    · · · ·Larson laughed. "I wish I were as smart as you. I never was much of a bookworm."
    · · · ·Andrea retrieved her Pokédex from her purse, then opened it. "Maybe the professor would be interested in some pictures of this." she said, taking several photos with the camera attached to the Pokédex. As she was doing so, a floating boulder with thick, burly arms caught her attention.
    · · · ·The Pokédex automatically switched modes as it caught sight of the boulder. "Geodude, the Rock Pokémon." it said in a feminine, digital voice. "Geodude sits still on mountain paths, often being mistaken as a simple stone. It possesses the ability to levitate, something that still baffles researchers."
    · · · ·"Oh boy, Geodude..." Larson said. "I remember my first real trainer battle was up against one of those, all the way in Pewter City in Kanto. I didn't know what I was up against."
    · · · ·Andrea studied the Geodude's movements, as it hadn't noticed the two yet. As it hovered around to inspect its surroundings, it was suddenly attacked by one of the wiggling vines that it curiously poked. It cried out as it struggled against the vine, which wrapped itself around both arms, trapping it. "Uh oh..." she remarked. She rushed up to the struggling Geodude and attempted to free it, but again had no luck in untangling the vines. "Settle down there... rock... thing." she said, trying to calm the struggling Geodude.
    · · · ·"I could have him out in a jiffy." Larson called out.
    · · · ·Andrea shook her head. "Don't even! I don't want to see that grotesque bug again!" She studied the vine, noticing that it went limp as she continued to fiddle with it. She looked behind her to see another vine creeping up behind her, ready to strike. With a shout, she dove out of the way as the vine stretched to reach her, unable to. "Larson, what do I do?"
    · · · ·"Good question..."
    · · · ·The Geodude was able to struggle free of the now lifeless vines. Shouting, it charged rapidly at the vine attempting to attack Andrea. Grasping it with its bulky hands, it tied the vine into a large, complex knot. It hovered down to Andrea, offering its hand to help her up.
    · · · ·Thinking twice, Andrea eventually grabbed onto the Geodude's coarse, rocky hand. "Thank you." she said, bowing politely.
    · · · ·Without acknowledging her further, the Geodude hovered off towards another tunnel, disappearing from sight.
    · · · ·"Now what?" she said, nervously looking around her to make sure the vines weren't moving.
    · · · ·Larson counted the tunnels that branched off of the cavern they were in, counting four. "Why don't we explore these tunnels, let's see if we can find the source of this plant life, or at least a way out." He pointed towards a tunnel to the right and said in a low, gruff voice. "Follow me!"
    · · · ·Andrea couldn't help but giggle a small bit at Larson making such a voice. It helped to calm her down a bit. "What's that from? That voice." she asked.
    · · · ·"You know, the short, fat looking guy with the bushy red beard who reads those fiction stories up at Ambrose Castle." he said, looking around at the vines. The two came across a large green crystal structure nearly three times as tall as Larson. "What's the deal with these crystals? They're everywhere!"
    · · · ·"I don't know." Andrea said, kneeling down in front of the crystal. She placed her hand on it; it was warm to the touch. Touching it filled Andrea with a relaxing and soothing feeling. Thinking, she placed her R-Kit next to it and began pressing buttons. A small light emitted from the R-Kit, scanning up and down the crystal. Physical properties of the crystal appeared on the R-Kit's screen.
    · · · ·"So what is it?" Larson asked inquisitively.
    · · · ·Andrea read down the list of information. "...Alive..."
    · · · ·"What? What do you mean 'alive'?"
    · · · ·"My R-Kit says that it's organic. It's generating its own energy, more than it can contain."
    · · · ·Larson looked up and down the tunnel. "That would explain the grass and these creepy vines."
    · · · ·Andrea stood back up, nodding. "Maybe." she said.
    · · · ·The two continued down the tunnel, coming across the abandoned remains of another mining outpost. Like the previous one, there were several tents, a desk, as well as mine carts, exposed tracks and crates full of mining supplies. Atop the desk was a mining helmet, with the dim light still turned on.
    · · · ·"Check it out!" Larson said, picking up the helmet. "If the light is still on, that means someone must be nearby." He handed it to Andrea as he called out. "Hello?! Anyone here?"
    · · · ·An echo was all that greeted Larson.
    · · · ·"Or something turned it on." Andrea said, paranoid. "I find it hard to believe that someone would be down here."
    · · · ·"We're here. It's not out of the question." he said, stopping at a large pile of loose stones. "I think there was an old tunnel here... hold on, I've got an idea." he rushed back to the camp just a few feet back, then started digging through the crates. Picking one up, he tossed it into a mine cart and slowly wheeled it towards the pile of rubble. "I've always wanted to do this!"
    · · · ·Andrea looked at the crate as it slowly and noisily wheeled before her. A large skull and crossbones adorned the side, with 'DANGER' written below it. She looked back up at Larson in horror. "You can't be serious."
    · · · ·"I am." he said with a smirk on his face. "We might want to step waaaaaaaaay back." Leading Andrea, Star and Furball back a sizable distance, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a Great Ball. Tossing it up and down as he thought, he nodded and then threw it into the tunnel. A large black and blue feline Pokémon emerged. The golden rings around his ankles sparked as he investigated his surroundings. His large, round ears perked back as Larson called out. "Albrecht, we need your help. Do you think you could blast that mine cart over there with some electricity?"
    · · · ·Albrecht the Luxio nodded as more sparks shot off of his ankle rings. Locked onto the mine cart, he growled and discharged a large bolt of electricity towards it.
    · · · ·"Ok, now we run!" Larson said, rushing backwards through the tunnel with Star and Albrecht close behind.
    · · · ·"You're out of your mind!" Andrea yelled as she chased after them. She took cover down a branching tunnel shortly before the crate full of dynamite exploded, causing her heart to skip a beat. As the cloud of dust rushed outward from the tunnel, she looked back. The mine cart was a twisted wreck of jagged metal sitting in a small crater. The pile of rubble was still there, but less of an obstacle now. "I can't believe you just did that."
    · · · ·Larson held Albrecht's Great Ball out. "Return." Albrecht turned into red blob of energy and slipped into the Great Ball. "Me neither. My ears are ringing now, too..." he said, walking back down the tunnel. "At least I can see light ahead... that's promising."
    · · · ·Andrea rushed down the tunnel to investigate what the ray of light was. Crossing over the pile of rocks, she stumbled excitedly into the newly exposed cavern and looked toward the ceiling. A large hole could be seen in the ceiling, with water dripping down onto the cavern floor. "It's sunlight!" she called out excitedly, unaware that Larson was next to her.
    · · · ·"Don't get too excited, how do we get up there?"
    · · · ·Looking around for a way up, she noticed a large pillar near the hole that offered hope of escaping the cave. A narrow, winding cliff wrapped around the wall of the cavern, leading up to it. "How about we head around the side and up?" she said, pointing towards the walls.
    · · · ·"That sounds like a plan." Larson said. "Wait here, I'll make sure it's safe."
    · · · ·Watching Larson scoot along the narrow, rocky cliff, Andrea wasn't paying attention to the vines that were creeping up on her. Dripping with water, one of the vines caught Andrea's attention as it moved over her head and dripped all over her. She backed up as the vine slowly moved towards her. "Uh, Larson?" she said, slowly.
    · · · ·Larson was scaling the rocky wall, unable to see. "What is it?" he said as he struggled to reach the next flat stone to hang on to.
    · · · ·"We've got a problem." she said, swatting the vine away as it slowly inched closer to her. The vine quickly dodged out of the way, grabbing onto her wrist. "Help!" she shouted.
    · · · ·Larson dropped off of the wall, tumbling down the sloped cliff. Regaining his balance, he rushed over to help Andrea escape the vines which were now wrapped all around her. "This is nuts!" he said as he started tearing at the vines. "I know what'll get you out quickly..." he said, reaching into his pocket.
    · · · ·"No! No no no no..." Andrea protested as she struggled against the constricting vines. "Don't you have anything else?"
    · · · ·As he continued to attempt to pry off the vines without luck, he shook his head. "No... Not unless you like fire."
    · · · ·"Fire would be good right now if I weren't trapped in this mess." she said, looking around. "Uh oh..." She noticed a vine stretching down from the ceiling just above her. It began to wrap around her neck.
    · · · ·"That's it." Larson said, reaching into his pocket. He took Blade's Pokéball out and then dropped it onto the mucky grass. "You're gonna have to deal with it." he said as Blade appeared. "Come on Blade, let's help her out." he said, watching Blade shred the vines to bits without effort as he crawled all over a whimpering Andrea.
    · · · ·"Get... get it..." she said, paralyzed in fear as the large, zombie-like insect slowly crawled off of her, his job done. She was relieved as Larson called the insect back into its Pokéball. "I... I hate you." she muttered. "But I love you at the same time. Thanks." Taking Larson's hand, she struggled back to her feet. "I'm done. Get me out of this place. I don't care how."
    · · · ·Larson looked back up at the hole, wondering if Drake, his Charizard, might be able to fit through it. "I'll see what I can do."
    · · · ·Andrea noticed a clustered mass of vines moving towards them, coming from another tunnel. "Think fast, we've got company..."
    · · · ·Larson turned around to see the large bunch of vines slowly shambling forth. "Is that..." he said, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out a Pokédex which was much different in design than Andrea's.
    · · · ·"Tangrowth!" the Pokédex said. "Tangrowth are known to take refuge in caves or heavily wooded areas. One should take care around a Tangrowth, as they aggressively ensnare and strangle anything that intrudes upon its territory."
    · · · ·Andrea made an incomprehensible mumbling noise, stepping back.
    · · · ·Larson nodded. "Order Furball to attack it. This is perfect training for you."
    · · · ·"Are you out of your mind?!" Andrea shouted as the tangled mess of vines shambled closer. "I need to stop asking that... you clearly are." She turned to Furball, who stood bravely, watching the tangled mess of vines. "Go get him..."
    · · · ·Furball slowly approached the Tangrowth, unsure of how to attack it. As Furball inched closer, a thick, thorny vine rose up out of the Tangrowth and slammed down, barely missing him. The ground shook upon impact as bits of grass and water splashed upward.
    · · · ·"Study its movements." Larson said. "If you want to defeat it, that's your first objective."
    · · · ·Andrea thought as she continued to watch Furball dodge the thorny vines that were smashing down. "Furball! Let's try to trick it! Stand on his head!"
    · · · ·Perplexed, Furball looked back at Andrea.
    · · · ·"Trust me." she said.
    · · · ·Furball nodded, barely dodging another thorny branch that swept towards him. He used his quick speed to jump onto the Tangrowth's body, then carefully watched as the thorny vines hovered above, poised to strike. Furball quickly jumped off as the brambles sped downward, smashing the Tangrowth down into the mucky grass. The vines fell limp.
    · · · ·Larson laughed, surprised. "Now that's thinking out of the box."
    · · · ·Andrea pulled a Pokéball out of her pocket. "I think the Professor might want to see this!" she said as she threw the Pokéball at the Tangrowth.
    · · · ·To her surprise, the Tangrowth quickly snapped to life, violently swinging a vine at the Pokéball. The Pokéball was deflected towards the wall, shattering on impact. The Tangrowth started shambling towards the Andrea and Larson. It retracted some of the vines along its face, revealing a pair of very angry eyes.
    · · · ·"Furball, again!" she called out.
    · · · ·Furball approached the Tangrowth as it slowly made its way towards Andrea. Attempting to jump on top of the Tangrowth, he was knocked out of the air by one of the thorny briars. Shaking the attack off, he prepared to run back into the battle before being grabbed by vines growing from the wall.
    · · · ·Andrea grabbed another Pokéball. "I'm starting to panic..." she said as she tossed the Pokéball, releasing Wingull. "Wingull, help us out here!"
    · · · ·Wingull took flight, circling around the Tangrowth as it continued to approach Andrea. Not paying attention, it was knocked out of the air by a vine attack from behind. Like Furball before it, Wingull was also constricted by the vines as it crashed to the ground.
    · · · ·Seeing the tide of the battle turn, Larson reached into his pocket and pulled out a Pokéball with a green and yellow swirl on it. "Good thing I'm here." he said, tossing the Pokéball. In a bright flash of fire, a large, orange dragon-like creature appeared, roaring angrily and flapping its large wings in anticipation for battle. "Let's get cooking, Drake!"
    · · · ·Drake took a few lumbering steps toward the Tangrowth, sploshing about in the damp grass. It laughed at the Tangrowth as it continued to slowly shamble forward, then began to breath fire at it. Set ablaze, the Tangrowth quickly sped up, running about trying to put the flames out. Drake hopped toward the fireball, picking it up and flying out of the hole in the ceiling. A moment later, he came crashing down into the ground, knocking Andrea and Larson off of their feet. Standing up, Drake looked down at the defeated Tangrowth, then began to breath more fire onto it.
    · · · ·"Drake is quite vicious..." Andrea said, pushing herself off of the ground.
    · · · ·Larson stood back up. "Only when he wants to be. That's enough, Drake. You might end up killing it."
    · · · ·Drake obeyed the command, ceasing his fire breath and walking back to his master triumphantly.
    · · · ·Andrea looked at the charred lump of vines laying lifeless on the floor. "Maybe now I can catch this thing..." she said. Taking one of her last remaining Pokéballs, she tossed it at the Tangrowth. The Tangrowth was sucked into the Pokéball, which fell to the ground and shook gently. After a brief moment, a loud beep was heard. The capture was successful. "All right!" she said, walking over to pick it up. As she did, the vines surrounding the Furball and Wingull loosened, allowing them to escape.
    · · · ·"Congratulations!" Larson said. "Even though I technically did the work..."
    · · · ·Andrea picked up the Pokéball and looked at it, brushing off some dirt and a blade of grass that was stuck to it. "I'm glad that's taken care of..." she said, looking at her surroundings. The vines dangled peacefully and lifelessly, dripping with moisture from the cave ceiling. "You think we're out of trouble, Larson?"
    · · · ·Larson held out a Pokéball and recalled Star. "I don't want to stay and find out. Come over here."
    · · · ·Andrea placed the Pokéball in her pocket, then retrieved Furball and Wingull's Pokéballs, recalling them as well. "Are we leaving, now?"
    · · · ·"Yes, I think it's time we leave." He motioned towards Drake. "Hop on, he'll fly you out. I'll be right behind."
    · · · ·Andrea timidly approached Drake as he growled deeply while looking at her out of the corner of his eye. Despite his mistrust towards Andrea, he did as his master told, kneeling down and allowing Andrea to climb onboard. He stood up as Andrea grabbed on tight, then began to flap his wings slowly. He took a large leap upward, soaring into the air and out of the small, rocky hole toward freedom.
    · · · ·Flying high in the sky, Andrea absorbed the surrounding area. A large waterfall was cascading off of a nearby mountain peak, creating a lake in the densely forested area surrounding the hole. The skyline of Silvermist City could be seen below her to the west and the skyline of Azure Ridge was seen on the eastern horizon. "This is incredible..." she said, then began to scream in terror as Drake dive bombed towards the ground. "Stop, up up!" she shouted, but to no avail.
    · · · ·Drake continued his descent, smashing into the ground with great force. Andrea lost her grip and flew off on impact, tumbling to the ground next to Drake. As she looked back up, he stepped out of her sight, jumping back into the hole to retrieve Larson. Dazed, she stood up and dusted herself off.
    · · · ·After a brief moment, Drake came soaring out of the hole again with Larson onboard. He simply landed on the ground gently, rather than crashing as he did with Andrea. "There we are, thanks Drake." he said, holding out Drake's Nest Ball.
    · · · ·Drake spit a small fireball to the side as he nodded and slipped back into the Pokéball.
    · · · ·"So, now what?" he asked.
    · · · ·Andrea adjusted her bandana, looking around at her surroundings. "I catch my breath... Your Charizard is a monster." she said, shaking her head.
    · · · ·"Wild ride, eh?"
    · · · ·"You have no idea... Anyways, let's look around." she said, wandering over to a crystal clear pond coated in lily pads and surrounded by tall weeds. Gazing into the pond, a faint outline she couldn't pinpoint captured her attention, seeming to dance along the surface. She blinked and looked again, but still saw the faint outline. "Hey, Larson, come look at this!"
    · · · ·Larson walked over, looking around. "Find something?"
    · · · ·"I don't know how to describe it, but... do you see anything in the water?"
    · · · ·He stared at the pond, unable to see anything. "No, I don't." he said, walking away. "Maybe you're going crazy."
    · · · ·"I wouldn't doubt it..." she said. Looking across the pond, she saw a rickety old sign that was covered in moss and vines next to a faded, dirt trail that was covered in leaves and permeated by unruly tree roots. "Do you know what's up that way?" she asked.
    · · · ·"I didn't even know there was a forest here, so don't ask me." Larson replied.
    · · · ·Splashing through the long, ankle high pond, she walked over to the sign. As she brushed the vegetation away from the sign, bold black letters appeared. "Jadestone Point?" she said, reading.
    · · · ·"Never heard of it."
    · · · ·"Sounds interesting, I'm going to check it out. I think it's up this..." she said, trailing off as she visually traced the overgrown dirt road. "...path..."
    · · · ·"Are you sure you won't get lost?" Larson asked, catching up to her.
    · · · ·Andrea tapped on the screen of her R-Kit, before saying in a confused tone, "Uhh... no, I'm not sure."
    · · · ·"Good. Not knowing what you're getting into is how adventures begin!" Larson said excitedly.
    · · · ·"It's also a good way to get yourself killed..." Andrea mumbled quietly, then started walking up the trail.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    · · · ·Nearly an hour had uneventfully passed since Andrea and Larson began their hike along the dilapidated trail into the forest. Andrea was visibly distressed, fearing she had gotten the two lost. As he tried to calm Andrea down, Larson looked to his side to see a peculiar sight shrouded by the thick forest. "Hey, Andrea, over here!" Larson whispered loudly, trying to catch Andrea's attention. "Keep quiet, too."
    · · · ·"Eh?" Andrea said, sneaking up behind Larson. Peering into the clearing from behind a tree, she saw two people and an Eevee standing around a green stone pillar that protruded from a small, pristine spring. Around the strange pillar of stone, crystal formations similar to those in the caverns sprouted from the ground. Small orbs of light fluttered around the area much like lightning bugs, shifting hue from yellow to green. "Hey, I recognize those two!" she whispered. "I ran into them as I was coming into the city the other day..."
    · · · ·"Him?" Larson said, raising his eyebrow. "That guy is Trent Foxworth, he runs the gym in Silvermist City."
    · · · ·"Neat-o." Andrea said, uninterested. "Let's go ask them what they're up to."
    · · · ·"I'd rather not... Foxworth's a bit of a hot head." Larson said. "But it's your call."
    · · · ·Andrea thought, but before she could answer, a bright flash of light caught her attention. The Eevee accompanying Foxworth and his companion had hopped off of his shoulder, perching on the green, moss covered stone. Globes of energy began to swirl around it as a faint, pale green glow began to radiate off of its plush fur. Then, another surge of blinding light enveloped the area, kicking up a moderate gust of wind. As the light faded, a larger, yellowish fox-like creature with broad leaves sprouting from its ears and tail stood atop the pillar. Letting out a howl, it hopped off of the pillar into the spring, splashing violently as it playfully returned to Foxworth's side.
    · · · ·"Well I'll be damned, it did work!" Foxworth said excitedly, turning to his female companion. "Audrey, you were right!"
    · · · ·"I always am." she said, nodding graciously. After writing some notes down in a notebook, she continued. "Perhaps it's time we get back to the gym? I'm sure you'll have plenty of people waiting to challenge you."
    · · · ·"Yeah... I didn't plan on spending the night out here just to find this place again." he said, grabbing a swirly green and yellow Pokéball from his belt. "Baxter, return!" he said as the new Pokémon slipped into the ball.
    · · · ·"Maybe you can rename him, too... I never did like Baxter." Audrey said, grabbing a Pokéball of her own from her purse. As she tossed it into the air, a large, golden Pokémon appeared, wielding a twisted and mangled iron spoon in its claw-like hand. "Take us home, Kadabra."
    · · · ·The Kadabra raised the spoon in the air in a triumphant pose with purple wavy energy emanating from it. Foxworth and Audrey began to glow a pale shade of pink then disappeared with an audible "Whoosh!", followed quickly behind by Kadabra itself.
    · · · ·Andrea walked into the clearing cautiously. "What was that?" she asked, confused. "Evolution?"
    · · · ·"Yeah. It's quite a sight, isn't it?" Larson responded, following her into the clearing.
    · · · ·Andrea knelt down to inspect the base of the strange green pillar. "So is this Jadestone Point?"
    · · · ·"I guess so." Larson said, looking up at the thick canopy surrounding the small clearing.
    · · · ·Andrea retrieved her phone from her purse and began dialing a number. "I'm going to call the Professor, see if she's heard anything about it..." After a few moments of ringing, an automated message greeted her.
    · · · ·"Hello!" Professor Ansen's voice said. "I'm currently not in the lab at the moment. If you could leave a message or call back later, that'd be great, thanks!"
    · · · ·"Figures." Andrea said and hung up. She held her wrist up and pressed a button on her R-Kit, causing a small beam of blue light to scan along the surface of the pillar in a circular motion. Her face lit up in surprise.
    · · · ·"What are you doing?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·"I wish I knew... I'm just pressing random buttons to see what this thing I've got can do." Andrea said. She began reading the information on the small screen to herself, when one caught her attention. "This doesn't make much sense."
    · · · ·"Is this thing 'alive' too?" Larson asked jokingly.
    · · · ·"No... but its energy content is off the charts." she said. She stood up, then said, "Come over here and grab me... just in case."
    · · · ·"In case what?" he asked, stepping next to her.
    · · · ·Andrea closed her eyes and held her hand out. She reluctantly placed her hand on top of the smooth, rounded spire. The sensation was unlike anything she'd ever felt before; Warmth and happy thoughts flooded her mind. Her sore legs felt as if they were well rested. There was a peculiar tingling along her ankle.
    · · · ·"Well?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·Andrea opened her eyes and looked around as she pulled her hand back. "That... what is this thing?" she asked in astonishment.
    · · · ·Larson placed his hand on the stone. A similar experience greeted him as well; memories of his mother returned as if they were brand new experiences. He also felt well rested after touching the stone.
    · · · ·As Larson had his hand on the pillar, the peculiar tingling continued along Andrea's ankle. She unwrapped the bandage around her ankle and gasped. The large bite that she suffered from the other day had vanished completely. "This can't be real."
    · · · ·"It's hard to believe." Larson said, his hand still on the pillar.
    · · · ·Andrea hastily grabbed her Pokédex and began to take pictures of the stone and the surrounding area. Wading through the ankle high water, she stubbed her toe lightly on a small green gemstone that was sticking out of the dirt below the water. Kneeling down, she looked closer at it; the gem was pristine and flawless, rigidly shaped as if already fashioned into a piece of jewelery. Inside the fist-sized gemstone was a beautiful red maple leaf, encased since ages long forgotten. "The Professor will definitely want to see this!" Having taken enough pictures, she walked back over to the pillar. "Umm, Larson." she said. "You can take your hand off of it, now."
    · · · ·"I... yeah, you're right." he said, pulling back. "I'm not much of a bookworm, but I'm really interested in what the heck this thing is. Let me know if you find anything out later on."
    · · · ·Andrea nodded. "Hopefully I do." Unsure of what to do from here, she continued. "Well... maybe we can make our way back to the city now, eh?"
    · · · ·"I agree." he replied. "I doubt you want to walk back, of course."
    · · · ·"Through that horrible cave? Not a chance."
    · · · ·"Hmm." He reached into his pocket and pulled out Drake's Nest Ball, then tossed it up into the air. A violent burst of fire enshrouded the large dragon Pokémon as Drake appeared and roared anxiously. "Drake, I'm going to ask you to do something you've never done before. Do you think you're able to lift two people?"
    · · · ·Drake flexed the muscles on his stubby, weak looking arms and nodded.
    · · · ·"Well all right then! Let's try." Larson said, turning to Andrea. "Hop on!"
    · · · ·Once again, Andrea timidly approached Drake. "Try not to do anything crazy this time, okay big guy?" she said, climbing onto his back.
    · · · ·As his master walked over towards his back, he turned around and shook his head.
    · · · ·"What?" Larson asked before being violently grappled into the surprisingly strong grip of Drake's small arms. "Wait, you've got to be kiddiiiiiiiiiii--" he shouted as Drake leapt towards the sky and began flying.
    · · · ·With Larson firmly held in his arms and Andrea resting comfortably on his back, Drake flew skyward to the south west toward the gleaming skyline of Silvermist City, flapping furiously to keep afloat. Regardless of the extra weight, Drake persevered, leading his master and new friend back to the safety and security of the bustling city.

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

  8. #8
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokémon Azure: Storm Island

    I need to remember to post these chapters...

    Storm Island: Chapter 7
    Pride's Downfall


    · · · ·Panic overtook the busy central street of Silvermist City in front of the Pokémon Center as a large orange dragon-like creature dived towards the ground recklessly. Just as it seemed that the Charizard would slam into the ground, he pulled up abruptly, keeping a firm grasp on the young man tightly wrapped in his stubby arms. Flapping his large wings furiously, the Charizard landed in the middle of the street, releasing the man.
    · · · ·"What'd you tell me about a wild ride, Larson?" Andrea said, stumbling off of Drake's back onto the brick walkway.
    · · · ·"I need to find a better Pokémon for flight..." Larson said, reaching into his pocket. Pulling out Drake's Nest Ball, he held it in front of him. "All right, Drake, return." With Drake safely inside the Nest Ball, Larson looked around at the spectating crowd. "What are you all lookin' at? Show's over."
    · · · ·Still confused, the crowd dispersed and went about their normal routine.
    · · · ·"Right... Follow me!" he said in the familiar, low, gruff voice.
    · · · ·"Where to?" Andrea asked.
    · · · ·"To the Silvermist City Gym, of course!"
    · · · ·Andrea stopped in her tracks. "What... what for?"
    · · · ·"Don't worry, I'm not going to force you into battling the gym leader... but maybe seeing a gym battle will help with your skills as well, ya know?"
    · · · ·Andrea was skeptical of Larson's plan, but followed him down the bustling street any ways. The two stopped in front of a pristine looking green house with a large Pokéball design painted onto the glass walls.
    · · · ·"In we go!" Larson said, holding the glass door open for Andrea.
    · · · ·Inside, the gym was a marvel to look at. All kinds of exotic plants, trees and bushes lined the glass walls. Leafy, untamed vines hung from the wooden rafters running along the ceiling. Several Grass-type Pokémon were idly wandering through the indoor garden, looking at the leaves, splashing in the pond or watching the battle that was taking place in the center of the gym.
    · · · ·"We're in luck, it looks like there's a battle going on!" Larson said excitedly. "Let's go watch."
    · · · ·As Larson and Andrea joined the small crowd spectating the battle, a man with thick, tan hair that hung over his left eye yelled, "I knew this would be too easy!" Standing before him was a Leafeon, and on the other side of the arena was a young boy that Andrea recognized. "Come on, show me your last Pokémon and let's get this laughing stock out of the way!" he called out.
    · · · ·The boy turned his hat around as he threw a Pokéball out into the arena. "Gastly, I choose you! You can do it!" A round, gaseous Pokémon with bright, angry eyes emerged, emitting a dark, chilling wind as it floated skyward.
    · · · ·"Gastly, eh?" Foxworth replied, then laughed. "You should learn a thing or two about basic strategy, Mr. Fletcher!"
    · · · ·"My Gastly is undefeated!" Randy shouted back. "Gastly, put that Leafeon to sleep!"
    · · · ·Gastly slowly floated over towards Leafeon, staring intently at her. The dark purple gas cloud that surrounded Gastly began to swirl in a spiral pattern in an attempt to hypnotize the Leafeon.
    · · · ·Foxworth shook his head. "Leaf, let's try your new Solar Beam out!"
    · · · ·Leaf, clearly unaffected by the hypnotic swirl of ghostly energy, sat patiently on the arena floor, looking up towards the glass ceiling. Her eyes closed, she began to soak up the sun's rays that shined in. A soft glow emanated from the leafy Pokémon as she returned her attention to the Gastly that floated before her.
    · · · ·"Let 'er rip, Leaf!" Foxworth called out.
    · · · ·Leaf fixed a cruel gaze on Gastly, her short, pale yellow fur puffing out. She roared with power as a monstrous beam of sunlight plowed down onto Gastly, shattering through the glass roof. As the blindingly bright beam subsided, Gastly was lying on the ground which was now covered in thick grass and broken shards of glass, defeated.
    · · · ·Speechless, Foxworth clapped slowly. "I... Wow..."
    · · · ·"I've never seen something like that before!" Larson said in amazement. "Such power..."
    · · · ·"I'm totally screwed if I challenge him to a battle." Andrea added. "I'm not gonna bother, so don't even suggest it. I know what you're thinking."
    · · · ·"You sure?"
    · · · ·"Are <i>you</i> sure?" Andrea said. "I've only been a trainer, what, one day? It's not happening."
    · · · ·"If you say so..." Larson said.
    · · · ·Audrey stepped forward, standing in the middle of the arena. Pointing to the right towards Foxworth, she yelled, "Gastly is unable to battle! The victory goes to Leader Trent Foxworth! Let's give him a hand, folks!" The crowd cheered with limited enthusiasm.
    · · · ·Foxworth and Randy walked towards the center of the arena to shake hands. "It was a good match, but your skills need work, Randy." he said, shaking Randy's hand.
    · · · ·"Whatever, mister..." Randy said, looking off to the side, crushed.
    · · · ·As Randy walked away, he shrugged then turned to the crowd. "That was my 6th victory over the past two days! Are there any more challengers today? Come on, step forward!"
    · · · ·Larson reached around Andrea then pointed down to her. As Andrea began to turn to make a sarcastic comment, he snapped his arm back quickly.
    · · · ·"You there!" Foxworth said, pointing towards the two.
    · · · ·Andrea and Larson looked at each other, then back at Foxworth.
    · · · ·"Come on, miss, I don't have all day!"
    · · · ·"Me?" Andrea asked in horror. "I don't think so."
    · · · ·"You've been volunteered!"
    · · · ·Andrea looked at Larson angrily and pushed him lightly. "You idiot!"
    · · · ·"C'mon, what's the worst that can happen?" Larson asked.
    · · · ·Foxworth crossed his arms, then looked at his watch. Tapping his foot impatiently, he called out, "Unless anyone else wants to have a battle! Anyone?" After a moment of no volunteers, he walked over to Andrea. "What's your name?"
    · · · ·"Andrea."
    · · · ·"Tell me, Andrea. Why are you here if you don't want to challenge me to a battle?"
    · · · ·Andrea pointed. "He brought me here."
    · · · ·Foxworth looked at Larson. "You've got a sick sense of humor, don't you? What's <i>your</i> name and why don't <i>you</i> battle me?"
    · · · ·"The name's Larson. I will battle you as well... when the time is right. I'm on vacation right now." Larson said. "Come on, Andrea. Give it a shot at least. There's no harm in trying."
    · · · ·"I hate you." she said, playfully. She turned her attention to Foxworth and sighed. "Ok, fine, whatever. Let's get this over quickly."
    · · · ·Foxworth's face lit up. "Good. Follow me out into the arena. I'll go easy on you."
    · · · ·Larson whispered to Andrea, "Try your hardest. Don't give in. If you don't win, that's what training is about: Losing and overcoming what caused you to lose."
    · · · ·"Fine." Andrea said, stepping to the end of the arena opposite of Foxworth. "I guess I'm ready."
    · · · ·Audrey stepped forward into the center of the arena. "This will be a standard gym battle! Each trainer will have three Pokémon to battle with. When all three are unable to battle, the winner will be declared."
    · · · ·Foxworth reached for a Pokéball that was strapped to his belt, then tossed it out into the arena. "Brute, I choose you!" In a burst of ethereal, leafy clouds, a small, blue reptilian creature appeared, sporting a large, flowery blossom on his back. It growled at Andrea, pacing back and forth energetically, ready for battle.
    · · · ·Andrea reached into her pocket and pulled out her Pokédex. "Ivysaur, the Seed Pokémon. Exposure to sunlight increases its strength, making it a formidable foe during sunny, summer weather." Placing the Pokédex back into her pocket, she thought. She grabbed Wingull's Pokéball then tossed it into the arena. Wingull appeared, lifting off and circling the arena as he studied the Ivysaur that was sitting on the ground.
    · · · ·"Flight? An excellent strategy... for a beginner. Brute, let's humor her! Bring that bird down to your level!" Foxworth shouted. Brute nodded and hopped toward the center of the arena. He looked up, keeping an eye on Wingull as he circled around in the air.
    · · · ·"Keep your guard up and stay out of range, Wingull! Spray him with some water, see if that does anything!" Andrea said.
    · · · ·As Wingull flapped his wings to keep afloat, Brute lashed out with a pair of tentacle like vines that were wrapped around the large flower on his back. Brute latched onto Wingull, who began to spray water all over him in an attempt to break free. Enjoying the shower, Brute reeled his vines back in, bringing Wingull down to his face.
    · · · ·Foxworth laughed uproariously as Brute began to shake Wingull around and sing cheerfully to him. "This is too good!" Foxworth said.
    · · · ·Andrea took advantage of the comical situation by ordering another attack. "Use that beak of yours to do something!"
    · · · ·Wingull's beak began to glow a bright white as his eyes closed. With one forceful flap of his wings, he pushed forward, painfully drilling into Brute's face, releasing him from the vines. Free once more, he regained his distance by flying towards the shattered glass roof.
    · · · ·"Well well! Let's finish this one off, Brute. Razor Leaf!"
    · · · ·A storm of green leaves erupted off of Brute's back, floating around him delicately. The edges of the leaves shined like sharp knives. Without moving, Brute shot the leaves up towards Wingull in a wild spraying motion. Wingull was unable to dodge the attack successfully, being struck by the razor sharp leaves and knocked to the floor. Brute charged over to the fallen seagull and once again wrapped the vines around him.
    · · · ·"Finish it off, Brute." Foxworth commanded.
    · · · ·Brute raised Wingull above his head, then smashed him down onto the hard, compact dirt floor. He continued to do so before Audrey stepped forward.
    · · · ·"That's enough, Brute! Let it go!"
    · · · ·Following the order, Brute let Wingull go. Wingull slumped to the floor and attempted to retreat, falling over, dazed.
    · · · ·"Wingull is unable to battle! That leaves Foxworth with three Pokémon and the challenger with two!"
    · · · ·"That was fun, eh Brute?" Foxworth said, laughing.
    · · · ·Andrea recalled Wingull, then looked over at Larson who was nodding. She shook her head, then reached back into her pocket and pulled out another Pokéball. "You're up, Furball. Don't disappoint!" she said, throwing the Pokéball.
    · · · ·Furball appeared with a bright flash of light, towering over Brute. Taking in his surroundings, Furball locked onto the Ivysaur, then awaited a command.
    · · · ·"Thump his head with your tail, Furball! That seems to have worked on everything else!"
    · · · ·Furball nodded, then crouched down on all fours. With a powerful leap, he sprinted towards Brute, who stood there like a stone wall. Jumping into the air, he curled into a ball, flipping several times before uncurling again and bringing his tail down in a wide arc.
    · · · ·"Snatch that furry monstrosity out of the air with your vines, quickly!" Foxworth called out.
    · · · ·Brute attempted to catch Furball in mid air, but was unable to stop him in time. Furball smashed his long tail down onto Brute's head in between the eyes, then began to furiously and blindly slap away at him. Stunned, Brute flopped over unable to move and grunted lowly.
    · · · ·Audrey stepped back into the arena. "Brute is unable to battle. Foxworth is down to two Pokémon!"
    · · · ·"Ha! Color me impressed!" Foxworth said, recalling Brute. "You won't be ready for what's next, though!" He tossed another Pokéball out into the field.
    · · · ·An explosive splash of water preceded the appearance of a short blue tadpole-like Pokémon with two large purple antennae sprouting from the sides of its round head. It was sitting on its tail, rocking back and forth as it looked at Furball with a large grin and a look of ignorant serenity on its face.
    · · · ·Andrea grabbed her Pokédex again. "Wooper, the Water Fish Pokémon!" it chimed. "When walking on dry land, Wooper leaves behind poisonous footprints. Great caution should be taken around wetlands and marshes when walking barefoot." Placing the Pokédex back into her pocket, she remarked, "Well that information doesn't help me... Smash it with your tail, Furball!"
    · · · ·Once more, Furball rushed toward his opponent who again sat still without reacting. With a swift twirl, Furball punted the Wooper across the gym. An audible squishing noise could be heard as the Wooper collided with the wall and deformed slightly before popping back into shape, still keeping the large grin on its face. Meanwhile, Furball fell over in pain, rubbing his tail that was now covered in a clear, sticky and slimy poison.
    · · · ·Again Foxworth laughed at the situation. "Wooper, let's help that fur ball out, shall we? Give it a bath it won't soon forget!"
    · · · ·Wooper slowly waddled over to the arena, still keeping that bizarre smile on its face. It stood next to Furball who was still rolling around in pain, then began to conjure some water in front of it. The water began to cycle slowly before turning into a raging vortex of water that scooped Furball up. As Furball quickly spun around in the water, Wooper cried out. The vortex dissipated, violently throwing Furball out of the arena and into a tree. Furball slumped onto a branch, passed out from the dizzying whirlpool.
    · · · ·Audrey entered the arena and pointed towards Wooper. "Victory goes to Wooper! The challenger has only one Pokémon remaining! Can she make a come back?"
    · · · ·"I doubt it..." Andrea said, recalling Furball. She reached for her last Pokéball, then tossed it into the arena. Tangrowth popped out of the Pokéball in a swirl of leaves.
    · · · ·"Well that's not good." Foxworth said. "Now you have a type advantage! This will just end in disaster for Wooper." He held up Wooper's Pokéball. "Wooper, return. I don't want you to get hurt."
    · · · ·"Type advantage?" Andrea asked to herself curiously.
    · · · ·"I guess that means Foxworth is only down to one Pokémon as well!" Audrey said. "This is it, the deciding battle!"
    · · · ·"Grass-type vs. Grass-type... We'll see which is trained better!" Foxworth said. With Leaf still at his side from the battle against Randy, he sent her out into the field of battle. "Go to war with that heap of vines' mind, Leaf! Keep your distance and aggravate it!" he said, laughing.
    · · · ·"Remember what you did back in the cave, Tangrowth? I think you know what to do." Andrea said.
    · · · ·Tangrowth slowly shambled forward, the vines sprouting off of it wiggling gently as it moved. Leaf approached gingerly.
    · · · ·"Be careful not to fall for the same trick I used on you!" Andrea said.
    · · · ·As if it hadn't heard Andrea, the Tangrowth continued to inch closer towards Leaf. Leaf kept her distance, the large, broad leafy tuft on her head twitching with anticipation.
    · · · ·"On second thought, this is boring!" Foxworth said. "Let's just end it with a Solar Beam!"
    · · · ·Leaf backed off a sizable distance and looked up towards the glass roof. Like before, she sat down to absorb the sun's rays as they poured into the gym. Having absorbed enough energy, she began to glow faintly.
    · · · ·"Game over!" Foxworth shouted.
    · · · ·"Take cover, Tangrowth! Andrea yelled.
    · · · ·Leaf approached Tangrowth who insisted on shambling forward slowly. She howled as the soft, pale glow around her faded and a blinding beam of light surged through the broken ceiling, raining down onto Tangrowth.
    · · · ·"Bam! Victory!" Foxworth cheered, leaping upward and punching toward the sky.
    · · · ·As the ray of light faded, Tangrowth stood firm, empowered by the solar energy that just poured into it. It drew back some of the vines around its face, revealing that characteristic pair of angry eyes.
    · · · ·"No freakin' way!" Foxworth yelled.
    · · · ·Powered up, Tangrowth rapidly charged towards Leaf, jumping on top of her before she could react. Constricting her with its vines, it lifted her up into the air, then brought out a pair of barbed and clubbed vines and began to violently beat on her mercilessly.
    · · · ·"Leaf, put up your Leaf Shield!"
    · · · ·Dazed, Leaf shook while in the grasp of Tangrowth. Leaves sprouted all over her which snapped off, forming a protective barrier around her. The flimsy, leafy barrier did little to stop the unrelenting assault by Tangrowth. Satisfied with the beating it had just given out, it loosened its grip, dropping Leaf to the ground.
    · · · ·"Get up! GET UP!" Foxworth yelled angrily. After Leaf failed to respond, he recalled her. "Unbelievable!"
    · · · ·"I... I won?" Andrea asked, confused. "What? Really?"
    · · · ·Audrey stepped forward one last time. "What a stunning comeback! The victory goes to the challenger, Andrea!"
    · · · ·The small crowd erupted with delight, cheering Andrea on for putting Foxworth in his place.
    · · · ·Audrey motioned for Andrea to come over. "Over here, Andrea." she said. "And you too, Trent."
    · · · ·Foxworth and Andrea approached the center of the arena. Still shocked, he reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a shiny, copper badge shaped like an acorn. "I didn't think you had what it takes... Maybe I was wrong about you." he said begrudgingly. "Or was I? Did that feel like luck to you? Because that's what it felt like to me. I didn't put my game face on until it was too late. I made a mistake." he sighed. "Still. You've defeated me in a fair competition. As such, you've earned this. Take it and wear it with pride." He opened Andrea's hand and placed the badge into it.
    · · · ·Andrea looked down at the badge, then back at Foxworth.
    · · · ·"Who knows, kid. One day I might see your name in the news as one of the greatest trainers on Storm Island... I doubt it, but the impossible has happened before. But, I have to thank you for the entertainment you've given me."
    · · · ·"You're welcome, I guess?" Andrea said, still surprised.
    · · · ·"Now, I'm not sure what your aim is or if you're planning on taking on the gym challenge. But hear me out... That road will not be an easy one. If you feel that your victory here was a total fluke, which it was, be warned. The other Gym Leaders of Storm Island, some more skilled than I am, are among the best trainers the island has to offer. They will show no mercy and they will not take you lightly as I did. They will test your strengths, weaknesses, and the bond between you and your Pokémon. Good luck."
    · · · ·Audrey clapped and jokingly wiped a fake tear from her eye. "Since when did you care so much?" she laughed.
    · · · ·"Shut up." he replied. He returned his attention to Andrea. "Come back some day, then we can have a real battle. Until then, have fun out there, and keep your friend Larson out of trouble." He turned to the crowd. "That's it for today, folks. I'll be open to more challenges in the coming days... Let's give a final hand to Andrea!"
    · · · ·The crowd clapped and cheered more than before, happy with him changing from a jerk to a nice guy... for now. The crowd dispersed, heading home for the afternoon.
    · · · ·Andrea skipped happily over towards Larson. "I can't believe it!" she said.
    · · · ·"Believe it. You did pretty good out there for a beginner."
    · · · ·Andrea pinned the badge onto the top corner her shirt's pocket, then looked back at Foxworth as he discussed how to fix the ceiling with Audrey. "Maybe I will come back someday for a rematch."
    · · · ·"That's the spirit!" Larson said, patting her on the back. "Let's go visit the Pokémon Center and get your little warriors patched up. Maybe catch dinner as well afterward."
    · · · ·"Sounds like a plan." Andrea said, following Larson towards the door. As she did, she noticed a screen attached to the wall next to the door. She took a second to study the contents, seeing a list of trainers who've challenged the gym and defeated Foxworth. Her name appearing last on the list brought a smile to her face. Not wanting to be left behind, she quickly followed Larson outside.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    · · · ·The Pokémon Center was oddly empty for an area as populated as Silvermist City. Only a few tourists were seen waiting on benches as their Pokémon were tended to and healed from their injuries and sicknesses. Andrea sat next to Larson, twiddling her thumbs and waiting, counting the number of floor tiles there were. Losing count at around 150, she leaned on his shoulder. "So what's the plan after today?" she asked.
    · · · ·"I'm heading home to Azure Ridge. I should have been there yesterday, but you sidetracked me a bit." Larson said. "Are you coming with me?"
    · · · ·"I think..." she said, popping upright. "Wait, I totally forgot!" She reached into her purse and pulled out her cell phone. "I was supposed to call the professor when I delivered that stuff to Mr. Kerk." she said, going through the small list of numbers stored on her phone. She pressed the call button when reaching Professor Ansen's number.
    · · · ·After three rings, the professor picked up the phone. "Y'ello, you've reached Professor Ansen's Research Institute!"
    · · · ·"Hello professor, it's Andrea! I delivered the research notes to Mr. Kerk for you."
    · · · ·"Already? I gave you a week! Wonderful!"
    · · · ·"I wanted to get it out of the way as soon as possible, I've got a friend who's returning home... I didn't want to get distracted by his return."
    · · · ·"Larson, right?"
    · · · ·"Yeah... how'd you know?"
    · · · ·"His dad told me. I'm not sure why, to be perfectly honest."
    · · · ·"Maybe he fancies you!" Andrea joked.
    · · · ·"Oh brother..."
    · · · ·"Any ways, have you heard anything about the Silver Ridge Caverns lately?" she asked.
    · · · ·There was a short pause on the line. "No..? what about it?"
    · · · ·"You'd have to see it to believe it. Hold on a second." Andrea said. She grabbed her Pokédex and opened it, navigating to the pictures menu. "How do I send the pictures I've taken to you?" she asked.
    · · · ·"Most Pokémon Centers have communication hubs installed in them. You'll be able to send from there."
    · · · ·Andrea stood up and looked around. She saw a large booth with a screen and several cables attached to it in the corner. "Gimme a moment." She briskly walked over to the booth and saw a silver scanner on the table with 'Pokédex' written above it. "I think I found it." she said, placing the Pokédex on the scanner.
    · · · ·"There should also be a slot nearby to stick your phone into."
    · · · ·Andrea looked around, finding the slot in question. She placed her phone into it, causing the large screen to light up.
    · · · ·After a moment, Professor Ansen appeared on it and waved. "Brilliant, eh?" she asked. She began typing away at the computer on her desk. "Okay, I've got your images... this is remarkable... This is the Silver Ridge Caverns?"
    · · · ·"Yeah. I thought it was an old, dusty mine."
    · · · ·"It's supposed to be... Did you find anything interesting?" she asked, looking through the pictures. "It looks like you did. I've got the physical data of a crystal it looks like... I'll have to go over this tomorrow. Good work! These last pictures, they're from outside the caves, right?"
    · · · ·Andrea nodded. "They were taken at Jadestone Point, which I've never heard of."
    · · · ·"Jadestone Point..?" the professor asked inquisitively. "It <i>sounds</i> familiar... And the structure of this stone... it also looks familiar. I'm not sure from where."
    · · · ·Andrea grabbed the green gemstone that she had found earlier from her backpack. "I also found this thing."
    · · · ·Professor Ansen studied the gemstone. "Looks like a Leaf Stone. Those cause genetic instability in certain Pokémon, causing them to evolve. I have enough of those laying around, you can keep it if you want."
    · · · ·"Cool." Andrea said, putting the stone back into her backpack.
    · · · ·"Well! You've given me a lot of information to analyze over the next few days! In return for making me work a little harder, I have a new task for you. Have you ever heard of a place called Cinder Hill?"
    · · · ·Andrea shook her head.
    · · · ·"It's a city on the western shores of the island, built under the shadow of a dormant volcano. I have a few seismograph instruments set up on the slopes out there that have stopped sending me some information that I need, so when you have the time, could you head out there an see what the problem is?"
    · · · ·"Sure, no problem." Andrea said. "Oh! One last thing, before I forget. I'll be right back." She walked over to the desk at the middle of the Pokémon Center and rang the bell.
    · · · ·A nurse with long pink hair walked up. She pushed a long bang out of her eyes and asked, "How may I help you?"
    · · · ·"I was wondering if the Tangrowth I'd left over here is all better."
    · · · ·The nurse looked at the screen on the desk in front of her. "Yep! Your other two Pokémon still require some light treatment, so they'll be ready shortly as well. Let me go get it for you." she said, disappearing into the back room. She returned with Tangrowth's Pokéball and placed it on the desk. "As always, Pokémon healthcare is free of charge!"
    · · · ·Andrea nodded and thanked the nurse, then walked back to the communication hub. "I think I found you a research subject while I was in that cave, too." she said.
    · · · ·"Oh, goodie! If you want to send it over, place the Pokéball in the round hole to your left and press the button."
    · · · ·Andrea slipped the Pokéball into the hole and pressed the button. The Pokéball seemed to fade from existence with a shower of blue sparks.
    · · · ·On the other end, Professor Ansen picked up the Pokéball and showed it on the screen. "Got it!"
    · · · ·"No way..." Andrea said in disbelief.
    · · · ·"You better believe it." the professor said, unleashing the Tangrowth that was inside. In a panic, she flew out of her chair out of sight, screaming. Shortly after, the Tangrowth turned into a red blob of energy, being sucked back into the Pokéball. The professor took her seat again. "Sorry about that, I just panicked a little. I don't know why."
    · · · ·Andrea giggled. "I think that's everything..."
    · · · ·"All right! I'll be hard at work figuring out what you found out there in that cave. If you need anything, feel free to give me a call. Over and out!" The screen faded to black as she hung up.
    · · · ·Andrea retrieved her belongings and headed back up to the central desk.
    · · · ·The nurse was returning with Andrea's two other Pokémon. Placing them on the desk, she said, "It's been a pleasure serving you! We hope to see you again soon."
    · · · ·"You probably won't, but thanks!" Andrea scooped up the Pokéballs, placing them in her pocket. She rushed over to Larson who was reading a pamphlet taken off of the table in front of him.
    · · · ·"Everything taken care of?" he asked.
    · · · ·Andrea nodded.
    · · · ·"All right then! Let's go out for some dinner!"

    My real father lost his head at King's Landing. I made a choice, and I chose wrong. ~ Theon Greyjoy

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