Hello! This is my first fanfic, so I'd appreciate all of your criticism. Since the chapters will be a bit long I'll post them weekly, every Sunday night is my goal. If I can't make it to the deadline, or if you feel it's too long, I will make them shorter, that's why I need your opinion.
So let me tell you what it's all about:
-Just like the anime and main series video games, it will follow the adventures of two rivals in their way to become Pokémon Masters, but the plot will be a bit more mature and twisted to keep things fresh.
-Setting: this story takes place in the all-original Shico region, which instead of being based of a Japanese region, its inspired in South-eastern Mexico, so I might include some Mexican folklore elements in the story. That's why the story is titled "Jade and Obsidian", as both were considered precious materials by ancient Mexican civilizations, and of course, to fit the "version formula" from the games (notice the first name ends with a "d" -the final E is mute-, as with previous first versions: Red, Gold and Diamond), which means these elements will be represented by two new legendary Pokémon, but otherwise, I'll stick to the already existing Pokémon. If I ever create one or two more, I'll post illustrations for them.
-Next week I'll post the region map so you can get an idea on how the journey of our characters unfolds.
Well now, enjoy it (I hope): Pokémon Jade and Obsidian!
I. This is not a game
It was summertime in the Shico region, and the sun shone brightly every day in Heeavensdoor Town. Those were beautiful days indeed.
Unfortunately, not everyone thought that.
Luzbeth was awaken around four o’clock in the morning when the phone in her bedroom rang as loud as an Exploud’s uproar. The girl, altered by the noise, hurried to pick up the squeaking machine before the noise drove her insane. She had a vacant look in her face, but that expression dissapeared after a few seconds, then she desperately said to the one on the other side of the line:
"NO! That can’t be true!!"
She stood silent a few moments listening the detalis on the bad news. Then, without hanging on the phone, she went running into her mother’s room. The woman didn’t seem to wake up after her daughter’s call, and Luzbeth, desperate for the situation, began to cry. She tried to shout to get her mom listen, but her voice was gone now. So she shook her with all of her strenghts until a response finally came.
"What happens?", said the mother, with the same sleepy expression her daughter had when she first answered the phone.
"Oh mom! –the girl yelled– Someone attacked the Gym and dad’s been hurt. He’s in the hospital."
"What happened?", asked Lily (that was the mother’s name) visibly altered, but not as much as Luzbeth.
"Someone challenged him to a fight and send an Electrode. The challenger orderer their Pokémon to use Explosion... but it was not an Electrode, it was a real bomb!! So dad got caught in the blast. His helper James rescued him and managed to take him to the hospital in Cashville City, where he is now. James told me the news himself, he is still at the phone, waiting for your answer."
"I can’t believe it!!", shouted Lily while he was running to get the phone and speak personally with the man who saved her ex-husband’s life.
Once Luzbeth was alone, she resumed her crying.
A few minutes later, Lily came back, with a more serene mood and embraced her daughter for a while. When the girl couldn’t shed one more tear, her mother told her:
"He will be alright, he’ll be in the hospital for a week or two to recover from the injuries. But the doctors say that even after being released, he must rest in home, so he can’t be the Leader anymore."
"Has James informed this to the League?"
"Yes, and... I’ve got more news for you, darling –said Lily in a deep voice."
"What’s it?", Luzbeth asked. She was really worried.
"You’re the new Leader of Vertigo City."
"What?!", the girl replied nearly shouting because of the surprise. "But my life is here, in Heavensdoor."
"It will be just until a new replacement is found, unless you want to take the spot permanently. Thank God it’s summer, so you won’t have to leave school and by the time the new school year starts, you’ll already be back here. If you don’t want to be alone in that big city, you can take your friends there. I know Leaders are allowed to have some trainers in the Gym for testing challengers and other important dos."
"But they can’t stand each other!! I know in the past they were so close, but now... if I can make them settle down their dispute, I’ll go with them, but I doubt that will happen."
"Well you only got tomorrow to do that, because on Monday the bus will come and take you to Vertigo."
"But that’s too little time!!" Luzbeth complained.
"Then good luck, my dear. You must be strong". Lily made a pause and sighed. "We must be strong."
After those words, she gave her daughter a big hug and send her back to sleep.
The next morning, Luzbeth felt very sad, but she managed to eat her breakfast without breaking down to tears. She had some hot cakes and chocolate milk, which she loved (her mother did that in purpose for relaxing her) and that was enough to calm her down a bit. She took a shower, and after getting dressed, did a pair of phone calls.
John was playing on his Wii when his father, Professor Willow, interrupted him.
"You’ve got a phone call, son", said the professor, holding the phone in his left hand and a cup of cofee in his right.
"Tell them I’m not available; I’m in the toilet or asleep."
That was enough for him to turn the console off and ran to take the call. Willow handled the phone to his child. A feminine voice was heard over the receiver.
"Got somehting to do this afternoon?" asked the voice tenderly. Indeed, it was Luzbeth.
"Not really. Why?". John felt excitedly curious when saying this.
"There’s something important I want to tell you"; she made a pause to breathe some air. "Can you drop by my home in an hour, please?"
"Yes. I’ll catch you later". John pretended to sound cool and hide his excitement. He was lucky to not have a video phone so she couldn’t see his face.
"See you later, boy."
John’s face was shining like a silver plate. “Something important”, he thought. “She may ask me to be her boyfriend. That would be cool”. A few minutes later, while at he shower, he changed his mind: “Nope, that’s too good to be true. There’s a lot of things that can be important... but it would be nice if my first thought turned out to be true”.
Two blocks away, Dick was listening to the radio when the phone rang. Because of the loud volume of the music, he didn’t notice he was receiving a call until the song ended. Then he ran to pick up the phone before the one calling could hang on. As he lifted the receiver, a screen turned on and Luzbeth’s face appeared in it.
He smiled, but that lasted less than a second, as he saw her face looked worried.
"Sorry if I made you wait too long", the boy apologized; "it was the music that didn’t let me hear you calling."
"Don’t worry kiddo. I’m glad you’re enjoying your weekend". Luzbeth smiled so sweetly when she excused the boy that he had a hard time hiding his reaction to her extreme kindness. "Are you busy today? I’d like to have you in my home this afternoon."
Again, Dick had a hard time hiding his emotions. He was thrilled with the invitation. But he was known for his ability to keep his face unexpressive, and although difficult, this time was no exception.
The boy accepted the invitation and sang one more song for the joy before leaving his house.
Of course she didn’t tell Dick that John was coming and vice versa.
Dick took the bus while John rode his bike all the way to Luzbeth’s house. The two boys arrived nearly at the same time. Dick made it first and knocked the door, and a few moments later, John appeared before Luzbeth came to open.
"What are you doing her, you moron?", asked Dick, surprised.
"The same thing I’m asking to you, Mareepface."
John called Dick “Mareepface” due to his curly hair which resembled the wool of a Mareep, the sheep Pokémon, since they were kids. Back then, it didn’t bother Dick, but now, at the age of sixteen, and being declared rivals, he couldn’t stand that humiliating nickname. He was about to shout an insult to his former friend, when the door opened.
"Hi boys, I’m glad to see you", it was Lily who opened with a joyful smile. "It’s been a time since I don’t see you together", she noticed how angry they were, feeling a bit nervous. She made a brief pause and after a few seconds, resumed: "Luz is in her bedroom, you know the way, don’t you?"
The boys said hello while entering the house and continued arguing all the way to the girl’s room. They traded insults while crossing the living room then told each other they weren’t welcome while walking up the staircase. John was saying “Well fu-!” when Luz appeared impending him to to finish his curse on Dick.
"You don’t know how lovely you sound when you say things like that", said the girl in a sarcastic tone, showing how annoyed she was.
"Oh, sorry, but he started the fight."
"It doesn’t matter to me. Can’t you just stay quiet a few minutes, please? Do it for me as a special favor, there’s something important I need you to know."
She had no reply, but the two boys calmed down.
"Please come with me."
The three entered Luzbeth’s bedroom. It had light green walls decorated with posters of rockstars. Her bed had red blankets and in the corner there were two Pikachus. One was a plush doll, the other was a real electric mouse with red cheeks, and lied asleep. The air smelled like lavander. It was Luzbeth’s perfume, and made Dick and John feel very pleased there, easily forgetting their dispute for a while.
"So...", she started, in a deep, slow voice, "I’m leaving town."
"WHAT!!!", Dick and John shouted in unison.
A tear escaped from her right eye. The boy’s hearts were broken, they tried to wipe the teardrop in her cheek, but they were afraid of what can happen next.
"You’re joking, didn’t you?"; John was dying out of fear.
"No she isn’t you idiot, can’t you see her face?". Dick was, of course, unexpressive, but his voice sounded strained; "You’re so stupid..."
"Dick!! Stop it", Luzbeth angrily ordered to her friend. "Dad was injuried and I’m replacing him as the Gym Leader of Vertigo City until the League finds a new replacement."
"But Gym Leaders have no social life", John complained.
"I know, and that’s why I need you two. As you may know, Gyms have more than one trainer working inside. Usually they aid the Leader sharing tasks and if someone tries to challenge the Leader, they must first beat these other trainers as a passing test to earn the right to battle the Leader. I want you to be those trainers."
"Whoah!", John cried out. "It will be a pleasure for me, but..."
"Yeah", Dick interrupted, "of course I’ll take it, but...".
Then John started talking again, even when Dick hadn’t finished his speech. So John and Dick ended up shouting together:
"But only if he doesn’t go!!". They pointed each other as they said this.
Luzbeth was brought to tears. Again.
"I know this would happen. Why did I even bother to ask you this? I had a little hope you weren’t that selfish just for today."
Dick couldn’t stand it, and quietly explained:
"I’d love to go with you, but it’s not like I’m going with him. Things have changed, and I won’t spend that much time with John."
She looked at John, who didn’t say a word, just expressed he agreed by nodding his head. Then he hit Dick in the head jokingly, trying to change the sad mood of the occasion.
"That’s it!!!" Dick shouted, looking really angry for the first time in years. "I’ll kill you!!"
Instead of starting a fight, they just exchanged insults. As a final act of desperation, Luzbeth shouted at them:
"Why can’t we be friends the three of us again, like it was before? I don’t get why you started fighting so suddenly. If I didn’t know you so well, I’d think both of you have a crush on me and that’s why you fight."
The two boys instantly shut and blushed.
"Don’t tell me you...? Damn! Now I hate you. Both! Get the fuck out of here!!", she screamed.
She kicked them out of her house, while the boys uselessly tried to explain things to her. Luzbeth didn’t hear a word, just kept on pushing them to the entrance door and once they were outside the house, she shouted with a final kick:
"And don’t you dare come see me ever. NEVER!!! Understand?". She shouted even after they faded away on the horizon, both of them riding John’s bike.
Once they were far enough from her house, John noticed the intruder in his vehicle and stopped so brusquely Dick was sent flying away. He fell on the grass and hurt his left arm. Interestingly enough, John didn’t go on, but instead he helped his rival getting up.
"Thanks", said Dick without conviction.
The two walked together for a while, in silence. Tension was still in the air though. Finally, Dick broke the silence:
"We ruined it."
"I know. But it was not our fault, I wouldn’t go with you" answered John, "and you wouldn’t go with me either.
"What we’re gonna do?"
He got no answer.
A few minutes later, John smiled and explained his idea:
"We can visit her in Vertigo City whenever we like, we just have to schedule it so we don’t come across with each other."
"That’s the worst idea you’ve ever had. You speak as if Vertigo was down the corner, but even on bus, it takes a whole day to get there, and the ticket is expensive. Let alone getting there on foot. Walking there will take us an eternity."
"That’s not a problem for me", bragged John proudly, "I’ve got my bike."
"Still, you won’t make it. I know you."
"OK, so come up with a better idea, you Einstein", exclaimed the irritated boy.
"Well I do have an idea", said Dick: "let’s become trainers. The first one who gets there with the badges of all the Gyms between Heavensdoor and Vertigo will stay with her."
"But didn’t you hear it? She hates us now, she may accept a one-day visit, but she won’t take us there permanently as helping Gym Trainers."
"You said it –she hates us now. When she sees what we can do for her, she’ll have to forgive us. Or at least the one who gets to win. The loser can just U-turn and head back home so she won’t find out we had this bet."
"Why about our own lives?", John complained, "You wanted to go to the University and become a psychologist, and I’m playing guitar to be a musician.
"She said it was not going to be permanent. By autumn we will be back home. If not, just be realistic. I’m a jerk at school and it’s the same when it comes to your guitar playing. So let’s just enjoy our adventure."
"Your idea is so stupid that I like it."
"You know, I always was the one who thought", Dick taunted him.
The boys laughed together just like they did in the early days, but after a while they looked at each other noticing the situation. They gave their toughest faces they could, traded one last insult and Dick took the bus while John kept on riding his bike.
Morning had broken again. Monday arrived. And it was time to go for Luzbeth. Of course she didn’t hate John and Dick. So the three reunited once more at the bus station. The waiting room bore a sign reading “Welcome to Heavensdoor Town. Hopes of a better future are blowing in the wind” as a welcome for travelers that came to the town. Luzbeth read the sign, sitting between the two boys. Then she said with a smile:
"Well... let’s hope this is really the start of a new, promising future."
None of the boys said a word.
At nine o’clock a fancy red bus with the logo of Shico’s Pokémon League arrived and took the girl away. The three of them shared a big hug¸ driven into tears. Even Dick cried.
"We will miss you", said the formerly cold guy.
"Me too, but I’ll catch you in a few months"; she wiped her own tears and then wiped the ones in John and Dick’s cheeks. She kissed both in the same cheek and finally got on the bus.
The machine made a big noise and started running, each second gaining speed. In less than a minute, it was out of sight.
Luzbeth was crying in silence during the trip. This was the first time she would spend so much time outside Heavensdoor Town since she was a baby. She was born in Vertigo City, where her parents got marry. They gave birth to an unwanted child, Roger (that was the reason they married actually), and eight years later, Luzbeth was born. Raising Roger gave the family lots of trouble, thus they divorced when Luzbeth was only two years old. Lily took Luzbeth with her, moving to Heavensdoor Town (she wanted to be as far from his husband as she could) while Jenkins –her ex-husband– stayed in Vertigo with Roger, but the troublesome child left home when he was fifteen and since then no one knew about him. The next year after the breakup, Luzbeth met John and Dick in kindergarten and they became an insperable trio, as they shared one thing in common: the three of them were children of divorced parents. Dick was living with his mother just as Luzbeth while John lived with Professor Willow, his mother left them and just like Roger, no one knew from her since then. On holidays Luzbeth spent a weekend or two with his dad, and chatted with him inceasently on the phone, so in spite of the distance, father and daughter were really close. Luzbeth was quite aware of Roger’s runaway and felt sad about that, but she was such a lighthearted and cheerful girl she didn’t let it ruin her life; sooner or later she’ll find her lost brother. As long as her loyal friends Dick and John were with her, things would be alright.
By the time they were fourteen, adolescence came by and after eleven years of deep friendship, it was obvious that John and Dick would develop feelings towards their friend. She was sweet, intelligent and had a great sense of humor. And she even was very beautiful, at least to their eyes. Neither John nor Dick could help falling in love with her. By the same time, it was time for high school, and each one took different paths for their secondary education. John went to a private school funded by her father’s wealth due to his prestigious as a scientist in the region but left school to start a band; Dick, on the other hand, went to a public school and Luzbeth attended to a girls institute. This situation was a critical hit to Dick and John’s friendship, since they had less time to spend together. That was not the case with Luzbeth, because she spent all of her free time with one of her friends. It was rare that the three could get together because of John’s commitments with his band or Dick’s schoolwork (Luzbeth’s school had a liberal “no homework” policy, so she didn’t have to deal with homework), so it was just Dick and Luz or Luz and John. That weakened the friendship really bad. The few times the three could get together, John and Dick felt a bit unconfortable because of the lack of convivence with each other. Of course they spoke by the phone and used internet for chatting trhough instant messaging, but it wasn’t the same anymore.
The day John turned fifteen he held a party and was doubtful to invite Dick, but he decided to have his old pal in the event. But it didn’t turn good. Luzbeth felt sick after two beers and went home. The two boys, unconfortable with the situation (by that time, Luzbeth was the only common thing that linked them together), got drunk and in a last attempt to save their friendship by the ways of ceonfessing a deep secret, ended up confessing their feelings for their childhood friend; both were surprised by the fact. At the begining they laughed about it, but then alcohol kept entering to their bodies and they had a fight which went to blows. After that night, none of them met each other again, save a few encounters at Luzbeth’s where things always ended with a fight. When asked about the sudden change, John explained how Dick got drunk and broke an important vessel that had cost his father a fortune, while Dick said John got drunk and started a “it’s my party and I do what I want to” attitude that pissed him off and at the end John called him a “poor beggar” due to the fact that he attended a public high school.
All of these memories passed trhough her mind as the bus traveled through the region, except the party incident from the last year, ‘cause she wasn’t present at the fight of course. “That’s it!”, she finally realized. “That’s why their versions were so different: they were both lying! That explains it all. How could I ever be so idiot to believe them?”. She wanted to cry again, this time of shame for living fooled by her own friends during the last thirteen months, but she contained herself now. Instead, she wondered how hard a Gym Leader’s life can be.
Three days later, by midday, John’s doorbell rang and his father opened the door. Professor Willow was surprised watching Dick standing in the doorway, since he was pretty conscious of the hatred between them, but as the professor had nothing against him, he was kind and invited him to come in.
"Someone’s looking for you, John", shouted Willow slowly from the living room.
"OK dad, let’em in"; John was in his bedroom and after the door slightly opened from the outside to reveal Dick, dressed all in blue and grining a grin that grew when he saw John’s jaw falling due to the surprise.
"Yeah, I knew you were waiting for me –said with sarcasm the Mareep haired boy."
"So? What do you want?"
"You already know. Your dad’s a Pokémon professor, I want him to teach me how to be a trainer and give me a license."
The door opened completely. Willow appeared next to Dick with an innocent smile.
"He told me everything. I’m glad you guys want to become trainers. Usually trainers start at the age of eleven, but it’s never too late to start a journey!", he finally uttered, satisfaction in his face, "Come with me, please."
John and Dick followed Willow to the basement of the house, where the lab was located. Then Willow took some chairs and put them next to a blackboard; he proceeded to ask the boys to sit down.
"I’ve got these three Pokémon", he started his speech. "I was examining native Pokémon, you know, Pokémon that are exclusive to one particular region, so I got this Treecko from the Hoenn region, a Charmander from Kanto and this Totodile from Johto. Professors Oak, Birch and Elm gave them to me, but since my studies are almost done, I might give one to you. How do you like it?"
"That’s so timely" said Dick.
"Great! Thanks dad!", said John.
"I’m glad you like it. Now, choose one."
Dick looked at the three Poké Balls, the capsules on the desk that held each of the aforementioned Pokémon. All of them had white bottoms, but on the top, one was green, another one was red and the last one was blue. He noticed that Charmander’s fire beats Treecko’s grass, while Totodile’s water was super effective against Charmander, but was weak to Treecko, making it a perfect cycle. None of them was neutral to the others. It was either resistant or effective against them. Obviously one of them would have a type advantage over his rival, but who? John looked Dick mischievously; with a smile, then told him:
"You’re in my house, you’re my guest. So as a token of appreciation, I’ll let you choose first."
"I’m not as idiot as you. If I choose first, you’ll pick up the one that weakens my Pokémon. YOU choose first."
"No I won’t!"
As always, they started to fight. Willow took two empty Poké Balls and threw them at the boys’ heads.
Once he got their attention, he suggested:
"Why don’t we have a lottery? I’ll bring three pieces of paper and I’ll paint them red, green and blue, just like these Poké Balls. You take a paper randomly and the color of the paper is the color of the Poké Ball you’ll take. Have we got an agreement?"
Both John and Dick nodded their heads.
First came Dick, arguing for the “special guest” treatment John suggested before. Then John picked up a paper from the sack. Then they showed their papers to Willow.
The professor took the blue and red balls and handled the former to Dick and the latter to John.
"What?! You got a Totodile? That’s not fair", cried John.
"Don’t be silly, you tried to cheat and be unfair from the start. That’s what you get when you act like that."
John expected his father to defend him, but he didn’t.
The boys pushed the button in the center of each of the Poké Balls and threw them to the air, as indicated by Willow. A red lizard-like Pokémon with a flame in the tip of its tail, Charmander, came out of John’s ball, and a little crocodile with a crest in its head popped out of Dick’s Ball; Dick looked at his Totodile. It wasn’t sky blue with a red crest like it was supposed to be, but instead it was greenish blue with a dark blue crest; furthermore, sparkles shone around the critter’s body when it was released.
"Is it sick?", the curly haired boy asked.
"No he isnt’t", Willow explained, "Just like humans, Pokémon are not exactly the same. But of all these individual differences, the most rare is when a Pokémon has a distinct color to the one that’s common for their species."
The two boys stood silently listening to Willow’s explanation as if he was telling them a children story.
"This phenomenon is what some people call a shiny Pokémon, altough scientifically it is known as alternate coloration. This is so rare that two years ago, Sinnoh went into a rage when someone in Johto found a red Gyarados; alternate colored Totodile are greenish blue with dark blue crests. So congratulations, you got an ultra-rare shiny Totodile."
Dick celebrated his triumph over John and when he cheered down, Willow went on with his Pokémon lesson:
"I’d like to give you a Pokédex, that’s an electronic encyclopedia that records Pokémon data. But Oak is a bit hesitant to develop a regional Pokédex for Shico because of the times. I got some old National Dexes, but they may be too much for you..."
"Don’t worry dad, we’re grownups, we can handle that. How many entries does that thing have?"
"About five hundred."
"Well, we might not catch’ em all, but there’s nothing we can lose, right Dick?"
"For the first time in years I agree with you."
"But remember boys, this is not a game. Pokémon training is a hard task to do."
Willow asked the boys a few minutes off to look for the Pokédexes; he returned with two Game Boy-like divices, one red and one blue. Each one took the Pokédex that matched his Pokémon color.
"And what’s next?", John asked quite entusuastic, "Will things be all free for us because we are trainers, or how will we afford our journey?"
"Oh no", Willow laughed. "Pokémon training is a bit like gambling. When you meet a trainer, you exchange trainer cards. The cards are not ordinary pieces of plastic: they’ve got an electronic device that scans your wallet and tells your challenger how much money you count on, so you bet half your total money in each battle. That’s how it works, and don’t try to cheat by keeping your money or your card out of your wallet. Once a winner is decided, the trainer card of the winner scans the money received, and non-scanned money will make a noise you’ll regret for the rest of your life, so if you don’t want to bet all of your money, customize the rules when you meet someone. In the case of Gym fights it’s a bit different: you bet half your money AL-WAYS, but they offer big amounts as prizes."
"And I thought it was just a thing of throwing balls and giving commands to the Pokémon–said a surprised John."
"I told you, this is not like those videogames of yours in which your characters don’t sleep nor eat or money and food come free and magically. This is the real thing, son, and just like every job, you have to earn your money through your activity."
"Maybe videogames are even better than the real thing", responded the son.
"You’re lying, aren’t you? C’mon Johnny! This thing gets more interesting each time."
"You said that because you have the shiny with a type advantage", said a discouraged John.
"If it bothers you that much we can trade Pokémon. Since we haven’t used them, nor received trainer cards, we can still change and be the original trainers of the one we get at the end."
"And prove you’re better than me and show pity? No way, man!! My Charmander will beat your ‘dile even if it was gold colored!!!"
"You bet it!"