Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Chapters 1-11 Completed!)

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    Default Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Chapters 1-11 Completed!)

    Pokemon: A Re-Imagining

    Volume I: Breaking Away
    Chapter 1: School's Out
    Chapter 2: Portrait of the Pokemon Trainer as a Young Man
    Chapter 3: The Birds & Bees
    Chapter 4: Rock and Roll
    Chapter 5: Moondance

    Volume II: Out of the Blue
    Chapter 6: Cool Cool Water
    Chapter 7: Down Along the Cove
    Chapter 8: Right as Rain

    Chapter 9: Garden of Earthly Delights
    Chapter 10: Firewater

    Volume III: Shock and Awe
    Chapter 11: Sail on Sailor
    Chapter 12: I'm Your Fan
    Chapter 13: Electroshock Therapy
    Chapter 14: Crossroads

    and more...

    Introduction: The Beginning and Afterwards

    I know specifically when and where I first heard of the cultural phenomenon known as Pokémon. It was circa 19997 or 1998, and I was a very young child in an art class. All the other kids were drawing Pokémon, but I was drawing the Japanese import that I identified with at that time: Godzilla.

    Then, of course, the unstoppable pop culture juggernaut truly entered the American conscious (especially that of people my age), and soon I wanted, like many people my age, to have Pokémon. I very clearly remember a family trip to Morro Bay and the Winchester Mystery House where the Pocket Monsters were the only thing on my mind.

    I remember when my uncle showed me a manga (we called them comic books back then) called 'The Electric Tale of Pikachu.' The episode was based on the Sabrina saga of the games/anime and was a legitimately spooky ghost story. I was hooked.

    On Christmas, circa 1999, my brother and I got matching Gameboy Colors, and, of course, the game that made that system essential. He got red, I got blue, he picked Squirtle, I got Charmander, and so it begun.

    I remember, very specifically, a Pokémon birthday party that I had in 3rd Grade. My mom made Gameboy cakes, and all the kids came over. I distinctly remember watching the first episode of the anime, and one kid looking at the Pidgey and saying that that was the Pidgey that would evolve into Ash’s Pidgeotto. Had we lived about a decade later, we would have said: “What a newb.”

    And now, for some reason, ten years later, I’m drawn back to that bright unreal world full of fantastical creatures. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps an attempt to recapture some lost youth. Anyway, I had a compulsion to write about it, to re-interpret and re-imagine the Pokémon story. Some things are changed, but I hope that I’ve kept true to the spirit of the original.

    Chapter 1: School’s Out Forever
    The sun rising over the eastern mountains shone its rays of light down into Ash’s eyes. He opened them to be immersed in the dawning of a new day. He looked over at the clock. Fourteen minutes after seven. And then, freight train-like, it hit him what the day meant, and he jumped out of bed like a small child on Christmas morning.

    He had spent the last eighteen years waiting and wishing for this day to come. He looked around, one last time, at his humble little bedroom, its window facing north where his adventures would take him. He looked at the colorful posters hanging on the wall, the well-worn desk with its disorganized pencils and papers, and the Nintendo 64 with its tangled Rattata’s nest of wires. He turned on the television. Three boys were walking down railroad tracks. All boys must leave home, he thought, and I’m leaving today, I’ll be on my way.

    He rushed over to the shower, and then raced to brush his teeth and put on his black shirt, red-and-white jacket, blue jeans, and red hat. Ash then ran down the stairs to the first floor of his humble abode, a skip in his step, Butterfrees in his stomach.

    He talked to his parents, seated at the kitchen table on the first floor. He paid attention to small details, all the little things that one would not notice unless they looked for them. This would be the last time he would see this room in a while. He took it all in.

    Mom and Dad were overjoyed to see their son spread his wings and fly, but a hint of sadness filtered in as they contemplated the absence of the young man that they had spent the last eighteen years of their lives raising.

    They gave him all the old clichés about growing up and finding his own way in the world, but he was not sure. Up to this point, he had thought that it was a sure thing: he was going to go out into the world and make his name as a Pokémon trainer. He looked to the north and saw the road stretch north to the horizon, which seemed an infinite distance away. It was going to be a long road.

    Ash walked out the door and took one final look at home. It was a humble two-story house with thatched roof, fitting in well with the other houses in Pallet Town. He looked lovingly at its wattle-and-daub walls, its glass windows, its darkly varnished wooden doors, the flowers that Mom had planted last spring in the front yard. He could already tell that he was going to miss home.

    Pallet perhaps would be better described as a village than a town. It was so small, in fact, that it only sent off half a dozen trainers this season to go out and make their way in the world. Around it stretched fields to the east and west, a pastoral farming community that served as the breadbasket of the area. Here, men and Pokémon worked in unison to plant, raise, and harvest crops from the good earth. It was a simple, honest existence.

    There were a few big cities in the area to the east, places of commerce and industry, places removed to some degree from the earth itself. Here, on the other hand, people had a connection to the natural world because they were part of it.

    Ash wore a heavy, bursting-to-the-brim green backpack, (his concerned, best-interests-at-heart Mom packed in anything that he would ever possibly need) and carried in his hands semi-tamed Pikachu. Pikachu was, until two nights ago, a denizen of the forest, living off the gifts of nature. An electric creature, it was found gnawing on the electric wires outside the Ketchum residence, trying to take some of the current for itself. Ash tried to capture the creature, which gave him a high-voltage electric shock. He eventually managed to get the creature to tolerate his presence, although it still preferred to live free of the confines of a Pokeball.

    He needed a starting Pokémon to begin his journey, to leave home and venture forth to the world beyond Pallet Town, to challenge other trainers and hopefully win a name for himself. He had been dreaming of this day for his entire life.

    This quest was a traditional rite of passage, akin to the walkabout of the aboriginal Australians. In theory, a young person would journey out and find valuable life experiences. In practice, the vast majority of young trainers would run crying home after a few hours, unable to deal with the harsh realities of the cruel, cruel world.

    Those that succeeded, however, had the chance for fortune and fame as professional Pokémon trainers, the opportunity to compete in prestigious tournaments with a national audience. Ash knew he had a long way to go.

    He opened up the latch on the gate which kept the wild creatures out of the village, and walked out towards Professor Oak’s lab, a sizeable two-story building that stood on a hill to the south of town. It was a blue-roofed structure with circular windows, constructed from dusty red brick.

    Professor Oak was probably Pallet Town’s most famous son. A world-famous authority on Pokémon, he began his career as a self-confessed failure as a trainer, he turned to academic study, where he excelled, earning a degree from Cerulean City University. He then began his life’s work, an epic project that combined all the known data about the various Pokémon species and placed all the knowledge in an encyclopedia.

    It was the first edition of the Pokémon Encyclopedia that made the professor a household name. After a distinguished academic career, he settled down in the town of Pallet to be with his family and continue with his study. He continued to publish books about Pokémon, including "Tangela’d up in Blue", "The Taming of the Sandshrew", and "Do Magnemites Dream of Electric Sheep"?

    Oak’s lab stood out as a decidedly modern building in a rustic area. Here, Oak and his several apprentices lived, conducted experiments, and studied Pokémon brought in from around the world by trainers and scientists.

    Ash saw his fellow trainers already patiently waited at the door for the professor to make his appearance. There were five of them, three boys, two girls, all of them looking forward to leaving home and seeing the whole wide world. Pallet Town, a great place to grow up in, was far too sleepy and quiet for a young person with dreams of fortune and fame.

    Ash looked around at all his fellow trainers who were leaving today. They looked very young and unprepared to leave home so suddenly. He remembered the other crops of trainers that Pallet had sent out. All of them were back in town, working as farmers or merchants. In fact, Pallet hadn’t contributed a professional trainer to the Pokémon League since Ash was a 10 year-old boy, and that trainer barely lasted a season in League competition.

    “Oh, isn’t that Pikachu so cute?” asked Hazel, a brown-haired, brown-eyed girl with a small pink Jigglypuff in her arms.
    “Yeah, I wish I had it!” responded Sara, with long blonde hair, pale blue eyes, and a smile on her face.

    “I see you finally caught a Pokémon,” replied Ash’s hated rival, Gary, who was also the grandson of Professor Oak. They both hated each other with a passion, but neither of them really knew where it all started.

    Gary did not do anything to help mend bridges between them. He walked around with a sneering face that seemingly begged for a slapping hand, and his hair was so sharply spiked that it could potentially impale small birds. He wore an arrogant outfit of black t-shirt, necklace with meaningless symbol, tight black jeans and aforementioned spiked hair dyed red-purple.

    “It took you long enough,” he continued.

    “Hey, at least I caught one, and didn’t just take the family pet and call it my starter Pokémon.”

    “At least my Eevee is tamed and obeys my orders. You can’t even convince your Pikachu to get into a Pokeball!”

    “Because it hasn’t been raised and conditioned to be domestic and docile! Pikachu still has a wild streak!”

    “Just like boys,” said Hazel to Sara, “While they bicker amongst themselves, Jigglypuff and I are going to become league champions.”

    “Well,” said Gary to Ash, “If you’re confidant in your Pikachu’s abilities, I challenge you to a Pokémon battle.”

    An invitation to a Pokémon battle was not something that was turned down, period. To decline would be a social faux pas of catastrophic proportions.

    It ultimately evolved from war, when Pokémon where used as devastating weapons, and when the loser of a battle would end up charred, crushed, poisoned, or encased in a block of ice. Just like the dueling and jousting of the medieval era, a somewhat organized and tamed simulation of Poke-warfare became a way to settle disputes amongst noblemen. Gradually, the Pokémon duels evolved into a sport, and gyms (originally established under the patronage of aristocratic families) became the focal point of the game.

    Soon, Pokémon battling became an incredibly popular spectator sport, its tournaments attended by thousands and followed by many more with ears glued to the radio and eyes to the television. In the modern rendition, neither creature nor trainer were in danger, and any trainer who contributed to the death of a Pokémon in the ring would be banned from the league for life and would be at the mercy of an unorganized, woefully understaffed police department.

    Ash and Gary squared off, leaving ten feet or so of closely trimmed grass between them for the battle to take place. The others gathered around them in a loose circle, eager to see their first real Pokémon battle in person. It would not have been out of place for them to have started chanting ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’ schoolyard-style.

    “Go, Eevee!” yelled Gary, hurling his Pokeball like a baseball pitcher. The red-and-white ball bounced on the ground and unleashed a small brown-and-cream colored doglike Pokémon that uttered a small bark.

    “I choose you, Pikachu!” shouted Ash to the yellow electrically charged mouse that lounged before him on the grass. It lay there, seemingly oblivious to the call to battle.

    “Come on, Pikachu!” shouted Ash, “It’s time to battle!”

    Pikachu was motionless.

    “Pikachu, use your thundershock attack!”

    It stood still.

    “Look at that, everybody,” stated Gary with an egotistic grin, “Ash can’t even get a yellow mouse to follow his commands!”

    “Dammit, Pikachu! You’re making me look like complete and utter IDIOT in front of everyone! Get off your ass and do something!”

    “Ash,” said Gary, “Must be the worst trainer in the history of competitive Pokémon battling! Sorry, Pikachu, but I’m going to have to put you out of your misery. Eevee, quick-attack!”

    The other trainers looked on as Eevee ran quickly at the electric mouse and knocked it over.

    “Oh!” they shouted as it looked like Ash would be ridiculed in his first ever battle. Eevee returned to its trainer for further instruction, betraying its domestic origins.

    The attack seemed to shake Pikachu out of its malaise, and the electric creature jumped onto its feet and growled its name at its opponent. Small sparks flared from its red cheeks, and then a large electric spark flew through the moist conducting air at Eevee, then surged through the unfortunate former pet into the ground.

    Gary’s Pokémon fainted, and the trainer was left with the humiliation of having to return the failed Pokémon to its Pokeball. The other trainers clapped, as none of them really liked the young punk Gary, but all of them enjoyed seeing a fellow trainer having to eat his words.

    “Great job, Pikachu!” shouted Ash, jumping off the floor with the joy of his first ever victory. “What do you think about that, Gary?”

    “Great-you won a single battle. You still can’t control your Pikachu-it only attacked because it was hurt by my Eevee.”

    “That’s not true-Pikachu respects and trusts me as its trainer.”

    “Sure.”

    “All right Ash!” shouted the other trainers, who genuinely liked their friend and neighbor.

    The laboratory’s double doors flung open, and Professor Oak invited the would-be trainers in. The salt-and-pepper haired professor wore a spotlessly white lab coat, a pale pink dress shirt, and slacks, looking like the stereotypical sleazy old man.

    He was excited to send a half dozen or so young people from his town out into the world to begin their Pokémon quests, but he was also worried, more worried than one usually feels when they send clueless young men/women out into a big, bad world full of dangerous creature with strange powers, with only the family pet to protect them.

    Oak, an addicted reader of trash tabloids, had read of a gang of criminals called ‘Team Rocket’, an organized criminal organization with aims to take control of the entire region. (He had also read several conflicting reports about Elite Four Lance’s sexuality, but that’s neither here nor there.) He thought twice about sending the novice trainers out into the world in a time of gangs and criminality, but decided that snot-nosed 18 year-olds (not any police agency, government bureau, or idealistic superhero crusader) were the best hope for dealing with the rocket menace.

    “Hello, Ash, Gary, Hazel, Timmy, Johnny, Sarah. This is a big day for you. Come on in, I want to give you something before you go.”

    They walked into the tiled room, bookshelves on all the walls. Random computer equipment lay disorganized on the floor. Oak had on a desk in front of them six small red electronic devices reminiscent of game boys or cell phones.

    “This is my newest invention,” he said proudly, “The Pokedex. It is a portable database with basic information about the creatures that you will meet on your travels. Just point it at the Pokémon in question and press this button and it will identify the creature and give you some basic information.”

    “Thank you,” said the wannabe trainers in unison.

    “There’s one problem,” said the professor in an extremely serious voice. “It’s incomplete. I know that there are more Pokémon out there, but I can’t go find them in my old age. So that is why I’m calling on you. You are going to live my dream for me.”

    “Don’t worry, everyone,” said Gary, “I’ll take care of it all by myself. Especially you, Ash. You’ll have a hard enough time with that Pikachu of yours.”

    “Hey, my Pikachu defeated your Eevee in battle!” Ash responded to Gary’s mindless ego trip.

    “That was a fluke!” Gary yelled.

    “Let’s stop bickering,” said the Professor, acting as the voice of reason. “You should be happy-your story is just beginning! You have a whole world waiting for you to explore it! Now, you have independence and freedom, a chance to write your own story!

    Before you leave, I would like to give you just a little bit of advice. The world is a great place to go out and discover, but it is also home to people who you can’t trust. You’ve all been told to not talk to strangers. Well, you can talk to strangers, but be careful. Some strangers are people that you really shouldn’t talk to. You may encounter a criminal organization called ‘Team Rocket’ a group of thieves, gangsters, and thugs who are dedicated to using Pokémon for their own insidious purposes. Be careful.”

    “We’ll just have to defeat Team Rocket,” said Ash with all the confidence of a would-be hero.

    “What are you thinking Ash? If you mess with gangsters, you’ll be sleeping with the Magikarp! Do you honestly think that you’ll be able to take them down?” asked Gary.

    “I guess not…”

    “Why don’t you wait until you’re older and more experienced before you go off trying to save the world? I wish all of you the best of luck in your adventures. Be sure to call old Professor Oak once in a while and tell me about the great new things you’ve discovered, okay?”

    “Sure,” they all said, many of them with no desire to keep in contact with the old professor.

    “Well, it seems like your adventure is about to begin. Seeing all you young people go out makes me feel young again,” said Oak, slightly teary-eyed.

    “Goodbye,” said everybody in unison.

    “Wait,” said the Professor. “Could you do one more thing for me? Let’s get a group picture of all of you going out to make your way in the world!”

    “Do we have to?” asked the young people.

    “Yes. Please indulge a sentimental old man.”

    The young trainers and Professor Oak assembled in front of the lab in a line, smiling and united for the last time in awhile. Professor Oak’s reluctant aide snapped the shot, and then the group disassembled and went on their separate ways after saying goodbye.

    Ash said goodbye to all his fellow trainers, and promised to meet up with them sometime on his adventure. He went back home and said a final goodbye to his mother and father, made sure that he had all his things, and walked back out into the sunshine, where Gary’s older sister May was waiting for him.

    She was two years older than Ash and his cronies, with dark hair and moonbeams in her dark eyes. Ash blushed as she walked up to him. He had always had a crush on her, as she was the sexually attractive older girl in the neighborhood.

    “Best of luck on your quest, Ash!”

    “Thanks,” he said, smiling back at her, blushing.

    “I have something for you, Ash.”

    “What is it?”

    “My brother told me not to give you a town map, but when do I ever listen to him? Take this map.”

    “Thank you,” he replied somewhat awkwardly. “This, uh, this, this will really help me out.”

    “You’re welcome. I’m happy to help,” she replied.
    “Yeah, thank you so much,” he replied as beads of sweat rolled down his hands.

    “Why’ll you’re out so far from home, you want to write me a letter every once in a while, let me know how you’re doing?”

    “I’d be glad to,” he said.

    “Goodbye.”

    “Bye.”

    Ash walked away as if on air, happy that the pretty older girl that he had a crush on wished HIM good luck! He reflected on his day. He had defeated Gary, gotten a gift from his hot older sister, and now he had freedom and independence. Great day, he thought.

    He stood in the center of town and looked one last time at his home for the last 18 years, the sheltered place he grew up in, the bright and shining world that made him. To him, it was much more than a rural farming community. He knew that he was leaving everything that was comforting and familiar. Ash looked towards the horizon to the north, to the vast land beyond the town’s stone fence, and realized how much he would miss it all.

    In the middle of his nostalgia and pining for the childhood innocence now gone, Ash was interrupted by an obese man, who walked up to him and began babbling about the wonders of technology.

    “Isn’t technology incredible?” he asked, making intense and uncomfortable eye contact, “Did you know that Pokémon can be stored as electronic data and transported over the internet?”

    “I did know that, in fact,” said Ash, unaware of where the conversation was going.

    “Technology is great, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, I’m a big fan.”

    Ash walked away slowly, Pikachu at his tail. Ash unlatched the gate that divided Pallet Town from the rest of the region, and the two of them began walking north on Route 1. The area shone with Arcadian rural charm, scattered trees in the foreground, fields in the background and distant mountains beyond that. The dirt path through tall grass route could not be properly called a road. Ash remembered a heavy rainfall a few years ago that turned the trail into impassable mud and cut off Pallet for a time.

    Ash had a spring in his step as he walked alongside his Pokémon. It was springtime, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, the wind blew through the tree branches, and all was right with the world. It was enough to make anyone want to start whistling a happy song.

    Suddenly, Ash heard a rustling in from behind him. He turned around and saw a small bird Pokémon fly into view and perch on a nearby tree branch. Ash knew it was a Pidgey, a very common creature in the area, and a creature that (when domesticated) made a good dinner. He pulled out the red Pokedex to see how it worked. He pointed the device at the Pidgey and pressed a green button.

    “Pidgey,” said the Pokedex through a speaker in a monotone robotic voice, “Is a very common normal/flying type Pokémon that usually lives in forests and fields. Its diet consists of small bugs. When angered, it flaps its wings at ground level to kick up blinding sand.”

    “Seems like a worthy opponent, Pikachu. Why don’t you show him the power of your thundershock attack?”

    “Pika?” asked the creature, unaware or unwilling to follow its trainer’s orders.

    “See that Pidgey?” asked Ash, pointing, “I want you to attack it.”

    “Pika,” it sighed.

    “As your trainer, I tell you what to do."

    “Pika.”

    “Don’t’ you respect me as your trainer?”

    “Pika.”

    “Don’t you respect me as a being of superior intelligence to you?”

    “Pika.”

    “Look, we’re going to have to work together if we’re going to go anywhere.”

    “Pika.”

    Ash looked up to see the Pidgey flying away.

    “Look-it got away!All because of you!"

    Ash turned back around to see his backpack moving on the green grass, as if life was breathed into it. He ran up to it, and a small purple rat scurried away.

    “Get out of there!” he yelled.

    He pulled out the Pokedex, typed in the word ‘Rattata’, and pressed the ‘enter’ button.

    “Rattata is a very common normal-type Pokémon that bites when it is attacked. Small and quick, it is able to adapt to many environments because it will eat almost anything edible.”

    Ash looked up from the screen to see the Rattata rifling through his backpack again. It retreated, and the angered trainer grabbed a rock from the ground and threw it in the general direction of the Rattata. He did not hit the pesky rodent, who disappeared into the undergrowth of a small copse of trees on the side of the road. Ash trudged on, with even his own Pikachu’s unwillingness to battle two wild Pokémon.

    It was the afternoon, and the sun was leaving its throne at the center of the open sky. The dirt path narrowed, and the tall grass leaned in, brushing their backs and hair. They had made good progress on the dirt road, and the increase in vegetation on the roadside told Ash that they were nearing Viridian City. He felt his backpack weigh him heavily down into the earth. He was going to have to lighten his load. The gentle sounds of a babbling stream reached their ears.

    Ash saw a glint of metal ten yards into the distance. He ran up to it to find that the object in question was a red bicycle lying on its side on the grass. He looked around to see if the owner of the bike was anywhere to be found. There was not, and Ash decided to take advantage of the opportunity presented to him.

    He got on the bike, placed Pikachu on his shoulder, and began peddling north, happy and carefree, whistling ‘Bicycle Built for Two.’ Suddenly, the bike did the exact thing that one does not expect a bicycle to do- the wheel exploded! Thrown by the blast, Ash blacked out.

    He came to his senses a few minutes later. He opened his eyes slowly, and saw a redheaded girl about his age standing over him.

    “What happened?” he asked slowly.

    “Why don’t you explain that to me?” she asked accusingly. “Look at my brand new bike-it’s a wreck! What did you do to my bike?”

    “It exploded,” Ash stated matter-of-factly.

    “It exploded,” she repeated incredulously.

    “It did,” he replied to the girl that was suddenly screaming banshee-like at him.

    “Well, it makes no difference what happened to my bike. All I know is that you’re going to pay me back for the bike. It cost me a ton, and I just got it a week ago. You’re going to have to”-

    “Pikachu!” Ash interrupted. “Where’s Pikachu? Is it okay?”

    “You have a Pikachu?”

    “Yes-it was with me. Oh, I hope that it’s okay,” he said, worried, as he got up and began the search for his Pokémon. After a few seconds, he saw a fat yellow shape lying in the green grass. He picked up the Pikachu and saw that it was unconscious.

    “Pikachu! Pikachu! Are you okay? Oh, please, Pikachu, wake up!”

    It was motionless, with only the gentle rhythm of its breathing telling Ash that it was still alive. His face was flushed and his mind was fogged with worry.

    “Quick,” said the girl, “We have to get your Pikachu to a Pokémon Center. There’s one in Viridian City.”

    Ash ran towards Viridian with the girl, his Pikachu in his arms. They saw the town in the distance, an arts-and-crafts/log cabin-style town on the outskirts of a dark green pine forest. They ran past the grass, trees, houses, and people to the Pokémon Center, a white, modern, red-roofed building that stood out from the houses and other buildings in the city, hurrying, running as fast as they could, the whole surrounding earth a blur, the whole world melting into anxiety. Ash and the girl ran inside the door.
    Last edited by King Koop; 5th June 2009 at 03:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    I like it...I especially like your description and build up prior to Ash receiving Pikachu. "Gary hurled the poke-ball like a baseball pitcher..." is one of my favorite descriptions.

    keep up the good work, and ill be reading.

  3. #3
    Registered User King Koop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    Thanks. Here's the next part.

    Chapter 2: Portrait of the Pokémon Trainer as a Young Man

    The Pokémon Center waiting room was a banally cheerful place, potted plants standing on the carpeted floor, Pokémon-related posters adorning the otherwise bare utilitarian walls. Time seemed to stand still, as the room was window-less and had no connection to the dimming of the day outside. Ash paced up and down the room nervously, worrying about his poor little Pikachu that was currently in the emergency room.

    They had rushed the fainted Pokémon to the center, and it was quickly assigned to the emergency room. The nurse commented on how damaged it was, making Ash feeling extremely guilty about what happened. The thought of his little yellow mouse alone in the ER weighed heavily upon his conscious.

    The girl was in the lobby, making a phone call. Ash was alone with his thoughts. His day, which had started out so promising, had ended up a disaster. His new-found freedom, Ash thought, could be only the freedom of so many ways to go wrong. He could definitely use some guidance right about now.

    He was only a few hours from home, but for all Ash was concerned it could be a thousand miles. He only had responsibility for a single Pokémon, and that Pokémon was currently being operated upon in an emergency room.

    He looked around the room. A poster on the wall advertised the official Pokémon League Regional Competition with abstract representations of the different Pokémon types. He read the small print. ‘Eligible: Trainers holding eight or more official Pokémon League badges.’

    That seemed to be an infinite way away. If he could not even get Pikachu to follow him and stay safe, how in the world could he possibly make it to the tournament?

    Ash sat down on the couch and picked up a magazine from the coffee table. It was entitled Pokémon Trainers’ Monthly, and the colorful title page had a picture of the Elite Four leader Lance with a menacing dragon standing behind him. He opened the magazine to a random page and began reading. The article was entitled ‘Diminishing Opportunities for Pokémon Trainers?’ He looked around the lonely room and began reading.

    ‘Only about fifty percent of eligible trainers pass the test to get an Official Pokémon League trainer’s license,’ read the article. Well, thought Ash as he took his license out of his wallet, I’ve already passed that hurdle.

    ‘Out of every hundred licensed trainers, approximately eighty will only last a week or less after leaving their hometowns. According to a poll of recent trainers fitting this category, the majority failed to capture even a single Pokémon…’

    This could be me, thought Ash, pining for the home that he had only just left. He definitely was not out of the woods yet.

    ‘After a trainer is able to survive away from home for at least a week,” the article continued, ‘They usually find that their troubles are just beginning. The average professional Pokémon trainer is in debt due to the seemingly never-ending parade of hotel and restaurant bills, payments for Pokeballs and other supplies, fees for challenging gym leaders, tournament entry fees, and a host of other expenses.’

    Ash picked up his wallet, which felt very light for all the money he was going to have to pay in the future.

    ‘Of the trainers who remain and are able to pay the various expenses, only about 5% are able to win a single gym badge. In total, only 00.01% of all Pokémon trainers stay active in the field for more than a year.’

    Ash wondered if he was really in the top 1/1,000th percentile of all Pokémon trainers. He read it again – it only said active in the league for over a year. Those that achieved success in the league must be a small percentage still, and those that became league champion a miniscule proportion. It seemed almost impossible to accomplish what he had dreamed about all his life.

    ‘Due to all of the factors conspiring to make a prospective Pokémon trainer’s journey nearly impossible,’ concluded the article. ‘It is no surprise that many young people are foregoing this traditional rite of passage and instead spend their time in more realistic pursuits.’

    Ash decided to perhaps reconsider his career choice. Maybe it was unrealistic? After all, was Ash really in the very top percentile of everyone who wanted to be a Pokémon trainer? But what else would he do with his life? He couldn’t possibly see himself settling down and taking up a ‘day job.’He thought about Pikachu. Because of his idiocy, the little woodland creature was now unconscious and in the ER.
    He thought about his new-found freedom. He had only left Pallet Town that morning, and he was already missing the places he knew.

    Maybe he should go home, like the law of averages said he would.

    The girl returned from the lobby. Her fiery red hair contrasted with her cool sea-blue eyes. She was a teenager like Ash, and wore a contemporary outfit of jeans and a grey sweatshirt. A blue raindrop symbol hung down from a pendant attached to her necklace. The raindrop was identical to a symbol on the league poster. It was getting late, and the room was deserted except for them.

    He looked at the two Pokeballs on her belt. Yes, even she was a better trainer than he was. She sat down next to him.

    “I’m really sorry about your bike,” he said.

    “It’s okay- I know you didn’t do it on purpose. No one would put their own Pokémon in jeopardy like that.”

    “I know.”

    “And I see that you’re really worried about your Pikachu.”

    “I am-it’s my first Pokémon.”

    “Yeah, I remember when I caught my first Pokémon.”
    “You know, we never got to introduce one another. My name is Ash Ketchum, I’m from Pallet Town.”

    “Hello, I’m Misty, from Cer…. err, uh, Vermilion City. So, what are you doing out on Route 1?”

    “Well, I just started out to become a Pokémon trainer,” replied Ash, taking his license out of his wallet. “But I don’t think I’m going to be a very good one.

    Why do you say that?” she asked, looking him in the eye.

    “It’s just my first day setting out, and look at what I’ve gotten into, so far – your bike is wrecked, and my Pikachu is in the emergency room. It seems like I can’t get anything right.”

    “I know you’re worried…” she responded empathetically.

    “Look at this article. Most trainers don’t even last one week away from home! The chances of me getting to the Pokémon League are like a million to one.”

    “Don’t let the statistics get you down,” she told him, smiling at him in a way that made everything seem not so bad, “You’ve gotta have faith – it’s very important.”

    “I know, I know,” he said, feeling a little better about himself and his future.

    “How is your Pokémon training going?” he asked, pointing to the two Pokeballs on her belt.

    “It’s going pretty well, I guess,” she replied, blushing.

    “Well, how long have you been at it? Do you have any badges?”

    “Um… I don’t,” she replied, somewhat uncomfortably and awkwardly.

    “You must have been training for a while. You’ve already gotten out here from Vermilion City.”

    “Um… uh…,” Misty began to reply awkwardly, “I guess I have to tell you something. I guess you can say that I’m kind of running away from something…”

    “What?”

    “Okay. I’m not really from Vermilion City (although I kind of wish I was), I’m from Cerulean City. Do you see this teardrop on my necklace?” she asked, showing it to him.

    “Yeah.”

    “It’s the symbol of the Cerulean City Gym. My dad was the gym leader and he just retired a couple of months ago. I inherited the gym along with my sisters.”

    “So you’re a gym leader?”

    “Not yet. I’m the youngest of four, and my three older sisters have taken control of the gym because they think that I’m too young and immature to handle it by myself. It really bugs me because they don’t care about Pokémon training at all.

    They call themselves ‘The Waterflowers,’ they’re a vocal pop group. They’re using the gym to host concerts and stuff. I can’t imagine that they’re any good at Pokémon battling. And I’m really pissed off because I really, really, really want to be gym leader.”

    “That’s too bad.”

    “Yeah, so I left Cerulean City about a week ago to go out and capture some new Pokémon and hopefully prove to my sisters that I’m ready to be gym leader.”

    “What does your dad have to say in all of this?”

    “He’s been kind of sick recently – that was really why he had to retire. I’m carrying his trusty Starmie with me as my starting Pokémon. It was one of his most reliable Pokémon, and I’m really happy to have it.”

    “That’s great. What other Pokémon do you have?”

    “I caught a Staryu, a member of the same family, on a beach in Cerulean. Cerulean City Gym traditionally uses water-type Pokémon, so I want to go capture some Pokémon from the oceans and lakes.”

    “Where are you going?”

    “I don’t really know. I guess I want to go out and see the world and capture some new Pokémon like you. Thinking about it, I guess I should really get back to Cerulean and try to figure everything out.”

    The Pidgey cuckoo clock cuckooed eleven times.

    “It’s really getting late,” Misty said, yawning, “I guess I’ve got to get to sleep now. I’ll talk to you in the morning.”

    “I can’t sleep – not while Pikachu is in there.”

    “I understand, Ash – you just have to trust that everything is gonna be okay.”


    “I hope so.”
    “Don’t say that! Please have faith.”

    They said goodnight, then she lay down on the couch, her rolled-up sleeping bag acting as a pillow. Ash got up and turned all the lights off except for a small lamp on the coffee table. He grabbed his copy of the Official Pokémon Trainer’s Manual from his backpack and started glancing over it. It was nothing new to him.

    He lied on the other couch and closed his eyes, but he could not get to sleep. He had too many things to think about. A lot had happened to him since leaving home that morning. He had left home with a small yellow electric mouse which refused to battle some wild Pokémon, he had ridden an explosive bicycle, he had seen his Pikachu KO’d by said bicycle, he met a girl who would be a Gym Leader in spite of herself, and he was left to think about all of this in an incredibly depressing Pokémon Center waiting room.

    The others, he thought, had probably already caught wild Pokémon, probably already passed through Viridian City, leaving him behind, alone. He looked up at the spinning ceiling fan and thought and worried about his present and his future. He really wasn’t sure that he was ready to leave home, not sure at all.

    -

    Ash was woken up by a hand tapping on his shoulder. He opened his eyes. It was light. Misty was standing over him with a smile on her face and a Pikachu in her arms.

    “Pikachu!” he shouted excitedly as he jumped out of the couch and hugged the creature tightly.

    “Pika!” it responded happily.

    “Your Pikachu really recovered well,” said the white-clad nurse in a gentle voice.

    “Thank goodness that you’re all right,” he said to Pikachu, “I was really nervous…”

    “It seems like your Pokémon has made a full and complete recovery,” the nurse calmly continued, “You should be glad that you got it in here as quickly as you did.”

    “Thank you very much for taking care of my Pikachu.”

    “Sure, that’s our job, after all,” she responded with an obviously rehearsed line.

    “You see, Ash,” said Misty, “Things do turn out right after all.”

    “You’re right, I guess.”

    The nurse returned to the lobby.

    “Hey Ash,” asked Misty, good-naturedly, “Where are we headed?”

    “Well,” replied Ash, unfolding the map that May gave him, “Where do you want to go?”

    “I guess I have to get back to Cerulean City. I really need to talk to dad and my sisters. I guess I really kind of ran out on them.”

    “Okay,” he responded, moving his finger across the map, “We’ll have to go through Viridian Forest, Pewter City, and then, apparently, there’s a mountain pass between Pewter and Cerulean.”

    “Yah. It’s Mt. Moon. I remember hearing all the stories about fairies and stuff up there. I’ve never been there, though.”

    “Okay, so you’ll be traveling with me for a while?”

    “Sure. I know you really care about your Pikachu. I guess I can trust you. I’ve already trusted you with my, uh….”

    “I know. It’s kind of dangerous to be traveling alone, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, Ash, heard about Team Rocket?”

    “Yeah, I would hate to be robbed out on the road somewhere. So we’re traveling together for a little while now?”

    “Yeah, be on my side, I’ll be on yours. It’s ten in the morning, let’s get ready to go in about half an hour or so.”

    “Yeah.”

    Approximately an hour later (you can’t ever expect Ash to do anything on time) our two heroes and the recently recovered Pikachu were out of the building and ready to explore Viridian City and the forest beyond.

    The city seemed to be part of the woods and vice versa, its well-worn dirt streets were lined by shady pine trees. Most of the buildings seemed to have been constructed from logs as well, forming an organic part of the forest area. ‘Viridian City,’ read a signpost, ‘The Eternally Green Paradise.’

    The morning sun shone down through the trees, creating patterns of light and dark under the calm breeze. Ash felt the nice warmth of the sun on his face. Pikachu seemed unusually happy. Ash petted the creature on the head, and it joyfully pronounced its name and smiled.

    “I’m glad that you’re feeling better,” he said to his Pokémon.

    “Pika Pika!”

    “I wonder if Pikachu likes me now,” Ash said to Misty as the three of them walked through town.

    “Pika!” it replied, agreeing with Ash.

    “You do?”

    “Pika!”

    “Do you respect me?”

    “Pika!”

    “That’s great. Misty, I wonder why Pikachu’s warmed up to me like this.”

    “Because you carried it to the Pokémon Center, Ash! Because you were up all night worrying about it!”

    “But it was knocked out! How could it know?”

    “Pokémon can pick up on emotions, Ash. It can tell.”

    “Really?”

    “Yeah.”

    Ash, Misty, and Pikachu walked through the town’s streets. Ash spied out of the corner of his eye a sign reading ‘GYM’ and he was drawn to it like a Venomoth to a candle. The sign belonged to a somewhat intimidating-looking single-story compound that stood somewhat isolated from the rest of the town.

    Ash walked up to the gym’s eight foot tall wooden doors, seemingly made for giants.

    “Do you honestly think that you’re ready to take on a Gym Leader, Ash?”

    “I don’t know. I just want to take a look inside, see what a gym’s like.”

    Ash knocked on the door’s brass knockers. There was no answer.

    “The gym is empty,” said a voice from behind. Ash looked around and saw a fairly nondescript t-shirt-clad twenty something man walking up.

    “The Pokémon League sure is taking its sweet time in sending us a Gym Leader. It’s been over a year!”

    “That’s too bad,” said Ash. “If one gym’s closed, then there are only seven badges, which means that…”

    “There is a temporary gym in Saffron City,” said Misty knowledgeably.

    “I’ve heard rumors,” said the man, “That we’re going to get a new gym leader soon. I wonder who it is.”

    “Well, thanks for telling us,” said Ash.

    “Yeah,” agreed Misty, “If you didn’t tell him, he’d be knocking at the door all day.”

  4. #4
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    i like it. i think ive read this chapter before, but the changes are good and the writing is crisp and very enjoyable. keep it up, bud!

  5. #5
    Registered User King Koop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    Chapter 3: The Birds and the Bees

    Ash and Misty walked through the sliding doors into the Pokemart, a one-stop convenience store for all the Pokémon trainer’s needs. The store had rows and rows of heavily marked-up Pokémon-related retail merchandise.

    Ash examined the mart’s collection of Pokeballs, eager to begin adding wild Pokémon to his collection. He looked at the selection, and found that all of the Pokeballs except for the basic variety were out of his price range.

    “We’re going through Viridian Forest, right? It’s full of disgusting bug Pokémon, and they have horrible poison stings! Better be prepared.”

    “Good thinking,” Ash replied, as he walked up to the cash register.

    “Could you please tell me where you carry antidotes?”

    “They’re on the shelves,” said the apathetic pimply-faced teenager manning the cash register, “Look for yourself.”

    “Could you just tell me where they are?”

    “They’re somewhere – just look.”

    “What happened to customer service?”

    “Customer service?”

    “Yeah.”

    “It’s long dead. Now are you gonna buy something or not?”

    “Antidotes are right here,” said Misty, “I’ll grab you one.”

    “Thanks. That’ll be five Pokeballs and one antidote, please.”

    Ash and Misty paid for their purchase, walked out the door and walked north through the town, where an old man suddenly walked up to them.

    “Hello,” said the old man, looking and sounding somewhat senile. “I just had my morning coffee, and I feel great. Ah, coffee. I don’t know where I’d be without it. Ah, you have Pokeballs. I’ll show you young whippersnappers how to catch a Pokémon, then.”

    “Thanks very much,” said Ash, trying to humor the old man, “But I already know how to catch a Pokémon.”

    “Look- a wild Pidgey! I’ll show you how to catch one now,” said the old man as he took a Pokeball off of his belt and threw it at the Pidgey. “It’s important to have the right throw,” he said. “Underhand, overhand, fastball, slow ball, curveball, there are a lot of different options.”

    The old man’s demonstration did not go exactly as planned, as the Pidgey knocked the Pokeball away with a wing. He took another ball and threw it, with a similar result.

    “I’ll get it this time.”

    “You know what they say, Misty,” said Ash in a somewhat hushed tone, “Those that can’t do, teach.”

    “Tell me about it.”

    Several more Pokeballs were wasted in the old man’s futile attempt to demonstrate the art of Pokémon catching to the younger generation.

    “Look, grandpa,” said Misty, impatient, “We’re going now. I could probably teach you how to catch a Pokémon.”

    Ash and Misty left the outskirts of Viridian City for Route 2. About fifteen minutes later, the old man finally caught the Pidgey.

    “Look, kids, I caught it!” he said, unaware that his audience had got up and left. “Hey, where did you guys go?”

    Ash and Misty were already at the guardhouse leading into Viridian Forest. They walked inside and looked at photographs of the forest hanging on the walls. Ash checked his watch. It was three in the afternoon.

    “Are you going through Viridian Forest?” asked a young woman sitting on a chair.

    “Yes.”

    “Be careful, it’s a natural maze! I always have to travel through the winding forest path when I go shopping in Viridian City.”

    “Thanks for the advice.

    They walked out of the door and into the depths of Viridian Forest. They were under the shadows of tall green pines, their feet cracking on fallen needles. Their ears were filled with the sounds of the forest, trees swaying in the wind, birds chirping. The forest was inviting, dark and deep. One could almost say that it echoed with laughter.

    “Keep an eye out for wild Pokémon,” Ash instructed Pikachu.

    “Pika,” it replied in the affirmative.

    “Thanks buddy.”

    “Pika! Pika!”

    “What?”

    Pikachu was pointing with its arm at a small green insect crawling on the ground. Ash grabbed his Pokedex from his pocket.

    “Eww – it’s a bug, I hate bugs!”

    “Why?”

    “Because they’re icky and disgusting!”

    “I don’t think so. Besides, it doesn’t matter – I’m catching the bug, you’re not.”

    “Caterpie,” stated the Pokedex as it displayed an image of the creature on its screen, “Is a common bug-type Pokémon, and is the first stage of a three – stage evolutionary family. Its suction-covered feet enable it to tirelessly climb slopes and walls.”

    “Pikachu, quick-attack!”

    “Pi-Ka!”

    Pikachu ran quickly across the forest floor and hit the Caterpie at high speed, sending the small light-green bug flying. Ash grabbed a Pokeball from his bell and threw it at the bug Pokémon. The Caterpie was enveloped. It struggled valiantly to free itself from its red and white prison, but it was no use.

    “Yes!” shouted Ash, jumping up with joy, “We got Caterpie! I caught my first Pokémon!”

    “I’m happy for you, but it’s still an icky bug.”

    Ash, Misty, and Pikachu walked further on into the forest, which did indeed seem to be a maze. The trail split into several paths, each one leading deeper into a sea of tall pine trees. The sun shone a red/pink/orange through the tree branches.

    “It’s getting late,” said Misty tiredly.

    “What time is it?”

    “It is,” she responded checking her watch, “Seven thirty.”

    “You’re probably right. I’d hate to get lost in the dark in these woods.”

    Ash, Misty, and Pikachu set up camp in a clear area of the forest, laid out their sleeping bags, and started a small campfire to keep the wild Pokémon away. Ash released Caterpie from its Pokeball, and it began walking on its small feet around the campsite.

    “Why did you let that slimy bug out?” asked Misty, adding a dead tree branch to their fire.

    “You’re just hurting his feelings now.”

    “Feelings.”

    “Bugs have feelings too. Listen, Caterpie, I don’t think you’re slimy and disgusting. You’re all right with me.”

    Suddenly, Ash heard a cry and the rustling of leaves, and saw his Caterpie thrown by a gust of wind into the branches of a nearby tree.

    “What was that?”

    “Kyroo!” shouted a bird Pokémon as it flew into sight, kicking up sand, dead leaves, and pine needles from the ground. Ash pulled out his Pokedex to identify the creature, which resembled a Pidgey on steroids.

    “Pidgeotto is a normal/flying type Pokémon, the evolved form of Pidgey. It is common in woods and eats small insects such as Caterpie and Weedle. Very territorial, it will peck fiercely at any intruder.”

    “I’m not gonna let you make a meal out of my Caterpie!” shouted Ash at the wild bird. “I’m gonna catch this Pidgeotto,” he said to Misty, “I think it would make a good addition to my team. Go, Pikachu!”

    “Chu!” it cried as it mentally prepared to battle. The Pidgeotto flew above the trees and then swooped down at Pikachu. However, the speedy electric mouse was easily able to evade the attack.

    “Pikachu, thundershock!”

    “Chu!” it affirmed as sparks flew from its red cheeks and turned into an electrical current that zapped the Pidgeotto, which plummeted from the sky. It hit the ground, electrocuted like a Texas state inmate.

    Ash then threw out a Pokeball, which quickly encapsulate the Pidgeotto. The bird was too dazed and confused to put up much of a struggle, so it was fairly easily caught, and Ash now had a trio of Pokémon on his team.

    “All right! Pidgeotto! Great job, Pikachu!”

    “Chu!”

    “That’s right! Hey Pikachu, why don’t you climb that tree there and see if you can find Caterpie?”

    “Chu,” the electric mouse replied. It climbed up the tree’s branches, and, minutes later, returned with Caterpie, slightly beat up but no worse for the wear. Caterpie, however, behaved strangely, seeming using the string shot attack on itself. It was soon encased in a cocoon, and changed form into a different Pokémon.

    “Metapod,” said the Pokedex in a robotic voice, “Is the evolved form of Caterpie, a transitional stage between Caterpie and Butterfree. It is motionless, and its hard outer shell protects its vulnerable insides. Its face gives the expression of a dignified aristocratic butler.”

    “Yeah! It evolved! That’s great!”

    “It’s still a bug.”

    “So what?”

    “I still don’t like it.”

    “I don’t raise my Pokémon so that they’ll be acceptable to you. I raise them to become strong in battle. Hey, if you want to be a gym leader, you’re going to have to get over your biases like that. You’re very insectist.”

    “We only use water Pokémon at the Cerulean City Gym, no icky bugs.”

    “Okay.”

    “I’m going to collect some strong new water Pokémon for my team. You’ll see.”

    “Yeah. It’s getting late. Let’s have something to eat, and go to bed pretty soon.”

    “Okay.”

    The sun went down in the sky, and the small campsite was bathed in a warm, fiery glow. Ash took a dehydrated protein bar, which looked about as appetizing as eating tree bark. He ate it, and it had absolutely no taste whatsoever. Such is cuisine in the campsite in the middle of a forest…

    “You didn’t turn out to be such a bad Pokémon trainer after all,” she told him encouragingly.

    “Yeah, I guess…”

    “C’mon, you’ve got to believe in yourself.”

    “Okay.”

    “Hey – you caught two Pokémon today, and one evolved! That’s a good sign, right?”

    “Yeah – the article in the magazine said that the majority of wannabe Pokémon trainers don’t even catch one Pokémon.”

    “Well, you’re at least a little bit above average. You have more Pokémon than me now! I really need to catch some. When we get to a coastal area…”

    “How do you catch water Pokémon?”

    “Fishing pole.”

    “Oh.”

    “Yeah, they’re the best kind – they’re also just so perfect and elegant. Not like these gross bugs.”

    “So you really think that you’ll be the gym leader?”

    “I hope so.”

    When?”

    “I don’t know…. I know I’m not ready right now.”

    “What exactly do you do as gym leader?”

    “Well, you take care of the gym, and every trainer in the town comes to train in the gym. And then like trainers challenge you and you have the power to give out the badge. You see this symbol on my necklace. That’s what our Cascade Badge looks like.”

    “That’s cool.”

    “Yeah, I don’t know. It’s really nice to be on the road like this, away from home, you know.”

    “Tell me about it.”

    “I’ve been gone for like a week or so. I guess I really ran away. I don’t know why. I don’t know how I’m gonna explain it…”

    “Well, why did you leave?”

    “I guess I just wanted to prove everybody wrong. I guess, uh, I just wanted to show how independent I’ve grown. I guess I really wasn’t ready.”

    “Yeah, I’m not feeling so confident about going out into the world either.”

    “So you want to get to the Pokémon League?’

    “I want to become a Pokémon trainer first.”

    “Well, you kinda already are one. You’ve already caught two Pokémon, haven’t you?”

    “You’re right. I know, I have my license and everything, but I don’t feel like a trainer now. I’m just feeling like a pretender.”

    “Well, Ash, it’s getting late. I’m sure everything will be better in the morning.

    “I’m getting really tired,” Ash yawned. “Let’s go to sleep.”

    “Good night.”

    “Don’t let the Caterpies bite!”

    “Don’t remind me of that! It’s bad enough to be in a forest full of icky bugs, now I won’t be able to get to sleep!”

    “Don’t worry; the fire will keep all the wild Pokémon away.”

    “I guess. Good night and make sure to count bikes to go to sleep.”

    “Okay.”

    It was night, the sun was resting over the mountains, the moon was out, and the stars were shining in the sky. The humans were asleep, and their Pokémon huddled next to them, the campfire burned out. Pidgeotto and Metapod, in nature mortal enemies, were now teammates and friends. Pidgeotto, in its limited understanding of itself and its world, knew that it was going to have to take on a leadership role on the young Pokémon team, as it was an evolved species and had much more experience than Pikachu or Metapod.

    Then it was morning, daybreak, and the sun rising over the mountains to the east. The whole world was stirring, the sounds of the forest coming to life.

    Ash and Misty were up and at ‘em, drinking a little coffee and eating a little breakfast, the campfire burned out, ready for a brand new day. Pikachu, too, was eating, the same food as humans, and enjoying it. Pidgeotto too was eating with the humans. They quickly got the bird into its Pokeball, packed up camp, and were on their way, eager to get out of the mazelike forest and back into the civilized world. After a short walk, it became clear that they were lost.

    “Pewter City is to the north of here, right?” asked Misty.

    “Yeah. That means we should go this way,” Ash responded, pointing to a direction in the forest.

    “How do you figure?”

    “Well, the sun, rises in the west, right?”

    “No, it rises in the east, which means that north is that way,” Misty replied, pointing in the opposite direction.

    “I don’t think so.”

    “The sun rises in the east – everybody knows that!”

    “No.”

    Their conversation was cut short by a young man with a safari-style mesh pith helmet, a Butterfree net, sneakers, and a box for storing Pokeballs. It was, all in all, a totally ridiculous outfit.

    “I challenge you to a Pokémon battle!”

    “Aren’t you a little young to be out in Viridian Forest?” asked Ash.

    “No – I have my Pokémon trainer’s license just like you! I see you have Pokémon,” he said, pointing to Ash’s Pikachu and the two Pokeballs on his belt, “So you can’t back down. I am a bug catcher, and I challenge you to a Pokémon duel, one Pokémon a side.”

    “Hey bug boy,” said Misty, disgusted with the idea that a trainer would actually like bug Pokémon, “Don’t you have school to go to or something?”

    “I don’t have school today”-

    “I’ll battle you!” interrupted Ash, not one to back down from a challenge.

    “Okay. Go, Weedle!”

    Weedle was a small brown-colored bug, the only thing remotely intimidating about its appearance being the sharp spike on its head. It crawled slowly towards Ash, completely unthreatening.

    Ash glanced at the Pokedex, which mentioned something about a poisonous stinger.

    “I choose you, Pidgeotto!”

    “Kyroo!” cried the bird as it flapped its wings to intimidate its opponent.

    “Weedle, poison sting!”

    The Weedle slowly moved towards Pidgeotto with its stinger raised. Needless to say, the attack was evaded.

    “Pidgeotto, use gust attack!”

    “Kyroo!” Pidgeotto cried as it flapped its wings, kicking up sand and leaves, and pushing the Weedle through the air to collide with a tree, knocking the small bug out instantly.

    “Weedle! Weedle!”

    “Looks like Weedle is bugged out,” said the triumphant Ash.

    “That’s a horrible pun,” replied Misty.

    “I know.”

    “You win,” said the kid. “I guess I need to diversify my Pokémon team.”

    “Why don’t you start with capturing more than one Pokémon?” asked Ash.

    “That’s a good idea.”

    Ash and Misty continued on their way, leaving the bug catcher to meditate on his first taste of bitter, bitter defeat. They were deep in the forest, the tree canopy so thick that it almost blocked out the sun. They came upon a Kakuna hanging on a tree, motionless.

    “Kakuna,” said the Pokedex, “Is a transitional stage between Weedle and Beedrill. Almost incapable of moving, this Pokémon can only harden its shell to protect itself from predators.”

    “All right. I could use a Beedrill in battle. This’ll be a piece of cake to catch, too. Pikachu, use your thundershock to weaken it.”

    Pikachu shocked the Kakuna, knocking it down from the tree trunk. At that point, Ash and Misty heard the sound of angry buzzing, and made the unfortunate realization that the Kakuna was a member of a large colony of Kakuna and Beedrill. A swarm of Beedrill flew down from the tree branches to defend one of their kind.

    “There must be fifty of them! What should we do, Misty?”

    “Run, Ash, run! You idiot!”

    Ash, Misty and Pikachu ran as fast as they could away from the swarm, veins pulsing with adrenaline, classic flight-or-fight response. Unfortunately, it looked like they would have to fight, as the reached a dead end in the forest path.

    “Pikachu! Quick! Thundershock!”

    “Chuuuuu!”

    Pikachu’s attack brought down a dozen or so of the angry Beedrill, but the swarm closed in on our heroes, buzzing viciously. Our heroes were sweating nervously. Ash took his second Pokeball and threw it into battle.

    “Pidgeotto, go! Knock them away with a gust of wind!”

    Misty took out her two Pokeballs in an effort to stop the quickly advancing Beedrill swarm.

    “Go Starmie! Go Staryu! Use your water gun attacks!”

    Our heroes’ three Pokémon used their best efforts to deal with the dangerous Beedrill, but they barely made a dent in the rapidly advancing storm. They were quickly closing in; there was no time to do anything. Ash and Misty’s four Pokémon were completely exhausted in their efforts to protect themselves and their trainers. They lied down on the grass in a pile, feeling a quarter past dead.

    Ash saw his life flash before his eyes. He was born, he grew up in Pallet Town, he had a lot of fun exploring the surrounding countryside, he went to the local school, he developed a rivalry with the neighbor’s kid, he dreamed of becoming a Pokémon trainer, took an exam, and became one. Truth be told, he hadn’t really done too much with his life, and it seemed like it was going to end shortly.

    He had one Pokémon left, and it had to be one that had no capability to move or attack. It was his last chance.

    “Metapod, go!”

    “Hey, Ash, you know we’re screwed, right?”

    “I know. Metapod, harden!”

    Metapod obeyed its trainer’s orders, hardening its outer shell with a metallic glint. The technique, however, did draw the attention of a Beedrill at the head of the swarm, which quickly buzzed over to Metapod and then swooped down, dive bomber-style, its sharp, poisonous stinger ready to attack.

    Metapod’s hard outer shell broke the Beedrill’s stinger, causing the bug-type Pokémon to fall onto the ground and faint. Cracks began emerging in Metapod’s exoskeleton, and a purple Butterfree flew out of the cocoon and into the air. It flew, naturally, instinctually, above the trees, and was silhouetted against the sun in the sky blue sky.

    With no time to spare, Butterfree began flapping its large black and white wings, sending a pale blue powder into the air and at the Beedrills. The entire swarm plummeted to the ground, their eyes closed. All the Beedrills began sleeping peacefully.

    “Yes!” Ash shouted ecstatically, jumping into the air, happy and relieved just to be alive.

    “Yeah! We’re alive! We’re alive!” Misty replied happily as she hugged Ash tightly. The two of them jumped up and down as if they had been saved from a Death Star garbage compactor.

    Ash’s Pokémon were joyous as well, congratulating their new teammate on saving everything. Misty’s star-shaped Pokémon, however, were less apt at expressing emotion, having no eyes, mouths, faces, or any other way of communication.

    Ash and Misty rounded up their Pokémon and started walking over the sleeping Beedrill, careful not to step on them, as it could cause more of their kind to swarm again. They walked north to the forest’s edge where the tree cover thinned and the shining sun lit up the sky again. They were back on Route 2, heading north to Pewter City, the town visible in the distance.

    “You know, Ash, you forgot to catch a Beedrill in the forest, but we are not going back there.”

    “Oh well. I guess when I head back around here, I’ll have to catch one then. I’m just glad to be out of there now.”

    “Tell me about it.”

    “Hey, Butterfree is a bug, and it totally saved us. Do you still think that it’s icky and disgusting?

    “No, I guess that Butterfree is a bug that I can respect. It’s so pretty, and of course I’m happy that it saved us from those horrible Beedrills.”

    Ash pulled out the Pokedex.

    “Look at that – the Pokedex says that Butterfree has sleep powder and poison powder. That’s great! It’ll really help me battle.”

    “I’m just glad that we got out of that forest. I never want to go back.”

    “I’ll be back there someday. I’m gonna have to – Viridian City’s got to get a new gym leader some time. Hey Misty, if things don’t work out in Cerulean City, you could become the gym leader here.”

    “No way. They’d probably make me use bug Pokémon or something,” she replied, bugged out like a Watergate hotel room.

    Ash and Misty walked north to Pewter City, where (doubtlessly) some new adventures await them.

  6. #6
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    another good chapter. pretty solid writing too, and I love reading your re-makes of the story!

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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    Chapter 4: Rock and Roll

    ‘Pewter- A Stone Grey City’ read the sign on the outskirts of town. True to the motto, the town’s buildings were constructed using stone block masonry. The town was bordered to the south by Route 2, to the east by the foothills of a mountain range, and to the north and west by the Pewter Desert, a dry area formed by the rain shadow of mountains surrounding it on three sides.

    Pewter was an orderly, rectangular city of stone, Neolithic-looking buildings laid out in a grid of cobbled streets. It was a larger town than Pallet or Viridian, large enough to host multiple hotels and restaurants. The entire town was situated on the southern fringe of a large plateau that stretched into a desert region to the northwest.

    “Ah, civilization,” said Misty, happy to get out of the bug-infested Viridian Forest. “Let’s go to a hotel and get a nice hot shower and get all the dirt and stuff off.”

    “We don’t have time for that,” replied Ash, “We need to get to Pewter City gym and challenge the gym leader there!”

    “What’s the hurry?”

    “C’mon. I want to get my first league badge!”

    “That can wait.”

    “Okay. Just let me go check the gym out, please?”

    “Fine."
    Ash, Misty and Pikachu walked on a short tree-lined dirt path to the city proper. There was a small garden to the right, its plantings swaying in the breeze.

    “When it’s less windy,” said the gardener, to no one in particular, “I’m going to spray repel to keep Pokémon out of my garden.”

    “That’s great,” said Ash, humoring the man. “Hey, do you know where the Pewter City gym is?”

    “Yeah. It’s one block northwest of here.”

    “Thanks, man,” replied Ash to the gardener. “Good luck with spraying your repel.”

    “Yah, it’s tough having a garden, believe it or not. Last year, a bunch of Caterpies got into my garden and ate everything! I’m not gonna let it happen this time.”

    “You see Ash?” teased Misty, ‘Look at what your beloved bugs are doing to this guy’s garden.”

    “Sure.”

    “They walked to the west on a stone-cobbled street, past shops, including the ever-ubiquitous Pokemart. It looked exactly the same as the one in Viridian City, and Ash would see that it was identical to every single branch of the nation-wide chain.

    “Pewter seems like a nice place,” said Ash.

    “Yeah,” Misty responded.

    Pewter City gym’s entrance was an arrangement of three stones that resembled a Neolithic dolmen, giving the whole building a Stonehenge vibe. Large monolithic stones made up the gym’s walls, and it was clear that part of the building was ancient. A blank marquee stood over the entrance. Ash walked through the monolithic portal and knocked on the anachronistically modern door behind it.

    A teenager, about Ash’s age opened the door to reveal a large, dark room behind him.

    “Hey, is the gym leader there?” Ash asked.

    “No, Brock is at work. If you’re one of these bug catchers who thinks that he can take on the gym leader, then you can bug off.”

    “I’m no bug catcher. I’m Ash Ketchum, from Pallet Town, and I challenge Brock to a Pokémon battle!”

    “Hey Ash,” said Misty, not amused, “Do you think that this guy has any idea of who you are? You’re not some big celebrity here.”

    “Pallet Town? Some punk from there rolled in here yesterday and beat Brock. Brock was undefeated!”

    “Dammit! That means Gary or another trainer from Pallet was already here!”

    “Yeah, Gary, that was his name.”

    “How could Gary have gotten here so quickly?”

    “Maybe,” responded Misty, “Gary didn’t waste a whole lot of time getting lost in Viridian Forest.”

    “So, when is Brock going to get off work?” asked Ash, ignoring Misty.

    “About five o’clock. He works at the museum; he digs up some old fossils and stuff. How about this? The gym is free tonight. How about I book you for a match tonight? That’ll be a $125 entry fee,” he said, holding his hand out, expecting it to be filled with money.

    “Okay,” said Ash, not happy at the amount of money that was changing hands.

    “Your name is Ash, right?”

    “Yeah, Ash Ketchum,” he replied proudly.

    The kid walked out to the exterior of the gym, to the marquee under the sign that read ‘Pewter City Gym.’ He adroitly climbed up the rocks, took a marker out of his pocket and starting writing a message on the marquee-TONIGHT 7:30 BROCK VS ASH KETCHUM.

    “All right! See, Misty, I am somebody after all!”

    “You wish,” she responded.

    “Hey, when I beat Brock tonight, people will start taking notice.”

    “You think you can beat Brock?” asked the kid working at the gym, climbing back down to earth.

    “It’ll be tough, but I think that I can handle it.”

    “You’re right it’ll be tough. As I said, Brock’s only been beaten once. He’s the only real serious trainer around here, and he sure can take care of all the bug catchers and other wannabes around here.”

    “I’m no wannabe,” replied Ash, offended, “I’m as real as real can get."

    “Well, good luck. So you’re just rolling in here to face Brock?”

    “Yah,” replied Ash.

    “Before you leave Pewter, you gotta check out the museum of science.”

    “I’ll do that.”

    “Yeah, it’s really cool.”

    “Hey Ash,” said Misty, “Before you battle, don’t you think it would be a good idea to heal your Pokémon at the Pokémon Center?”

    “Yeah, good idea.”

    The Pokémon Center was, again, the same as the one in Viridian. The white, two-story building had a Pokeball emblem over its door. They walked into the lobby and had a major sense of déjà vu.

    Ash and Misty turned their Pokémon over to the nurse on duty, and then exited the building and went to the youth hostel next door. After a shower and a change of clothes, the two were ready to experience
    everything that Pewter City had to offer, which wasn’t much, really.

    They walked down the street to a café, its rock walls decorated with contemporary paintings. Ash and Misty sat down at a table under a landscape labeled ‘Mt. Moon Range.’

    “Let’s see,” said Ash, looking at the menu, “What looks good?”

    “I think I’ll have the Cinnabar Volcano Burger! Looks good!”

    “Yeah. I think I’ll have one two!”

    The waiter walked over with two waters, and took their order.

    “So, as Gym Leader Misty, what inside advice do you have for me about the Pewter City gym leader?”

    “His name is Brock. He specializes in rock-type Pokémon.”

    “That’s stuff that everybody knows. Do you have any special knowledge as a gym leader?”

    “I don’t know. I haven’t actually really done anything as a gym leader. Haven’t competed in any of the tournaments or anything like that. I know that Pewter is a rock-solid gym, though. Bruno of the Elite Four was originally from Pewter.”

    “Oh, the Elite Four, they’re the governing body of the Pokemon League. They’re the best trainers-they’re all former league champions.”

    “Yeah, Lorelei is a real idol of mine. She knows how to use water Pokémon.”

    “She’s pretty new, right?”

    “Yeah. Some guy just retired like six months ago. Lorelei was the champion of the Sevii Islands League.”

    “Misty,” asked Ash, changing the conversational subject to something more relevant to his personal affairs, “Does your gym charge a fee to challenge the leader?”

    “Yeah-where do you think the money comes from? People also come and watch and buy tickets, and a lot of times we have bands and stuff come and play at the gym.”

    “That’s cool. I’d hate to get embarrassed by Brock in front of a crowd.”

    “If you don’t want that to happen, Ash, you’re gonna need to use some strategy. You have three Pokémon, and none of them are very good against the rock type. What are you going to do?”

    “It’s going to be tough, but I guess we’ll have to fight smart.”

    “You bet, especially with a crowd against you. They’ll probably be cheering and stuff. Don’t let it get to you.”

    “I’ll try not to.”

    “Well, good luck. You’re gonna need it,” she said, smiling.

    “Great. You wanna go to the Museum of Science after lunch?"

    “Yeah, let’s get going. Hey waiter, can we get the check?”

    The check was gotten, and our two heroes left the little café and headed to the grand Museum of Science, a large stone-brick building, gray like every other structure in Pewter. There were two stories, and Ash and Misty went in through the sliding door entrance (apparently constructed for crowds that never appeared) and paid the small entrance fee.

    By this point, Ash was paid up with paying fees. It seemed like that Pokémon training was not an economically viable career choice, with all the assorted fees, bills, payments and other expenses involved.

    On the first floor of the museum were two large fossils, labeled as ‘Kabutops’ and ‘Aerodactyl.’ The accompanying sign identified the display as fossils of long extinct Pokémon, excavated from the area around Mt. Moon.

    “What do you think, Ash? I’m glad that Aerodactyl is extinct. I would hate to run into one in the wild.”

    “I don’t know about that. I would love to have an Aerodactyl on my Pokémon team. It looks like it could do some damage. Hey – it could sure help me out in the battle against Brock.”

    “You’re probably right about that.”

    The second floor had a large opaque white stone labeled ‘fragment of the Moon Stone.’ The accompanying sign stated that it was a fragment of a meteor that had crashed into Mt. Moon in prehistoric times and gave it its otherworldly name. Legend has it that the moonstone was originally from the moon (hence the name.) The moonstone was also rumored to have strange powers, including causing some species of Pokémon to evolve.

    “Look at that,” said Misty, “Isn’t the moonstone beautiful?”

    “It’s just a rock.”

    “It’s more than a rock. Look at the sign – it came from outer space!”

    “So?”

    “You don’t understand, do you?”


    Ash and Misty returned to the Pokémon Center, Ash’s team healed, rested, and ready for battle. In the waiting room, he studied a poster on the wall that advertised the Pokémon league. To compete in the regional tournament in Indigo City, a Pokémon trainer had to earn all eight badges from city gyms around the region.

    “I guess the path to the league begins today,” said Ash. “My first badge.”

    “Yeah, the match starts in about an hour,” said Misty, glancing at her watch. “We should get over to the gym.”

    They walked through the Stonehenge-esque doorway into Pewter Gym. The arena proper was a square area about forty feet in every direction. A concrete wall surrounding the arena rose about ten feet, and above it was a row of seats that extended all the way around the arena. Several large boulders leaned on the arena wall, adding to the theme.

    Ash went into the arena, onto the small raised pedestal labeled ‘visitor’. Misty paid for a ticket and joined the rather thin crowd waiting for the match to begin.

    The kid who they had previously entered the arena and stood on the home pedestal.

    “Hey Ash, we’re still waiting for some people to get here, so I challenge you to a match now, before you fight Brock.”

    “All right. Butterfree, you’ve shown guts before, I choose you!”

    The fluttering Butterfree exited its Pokeball as the crowd started to come alive.

    “Go, Sandshrew!” said the kid, to the crowd’s applause. The small desert Pokémon uncurled from a tight ball and stood on two feet. Ash pulled out the Pokedex from his pocket for some quick pre-match information.

    “Sandshrew burrows deep underground in arid locations far from water. It only emerges to hunt for food. Lucky for you, the stone floor will prevent it from using its digging.”

    “Sandshrew, scratch!” yelled the trainer as his Pokémon tried to hurt Butterfree with its sharp claws. The flying Pokémon, however, quickly flew up into the sky to evade the attack.

    “Butterfree, sleep powder!”

    Butterfree flapped its wings quickly and unleashed a pale blue powder on Sandshrew, which caused the desert dweller to lie down on the floor and take a nap.

    “Sandshrew, wake up! Wake up!”

    His commands did nothing, as the Sandshrew continued to sleep away. The young trainer returned his Pokémon to his Pokeball.

    The crowd was now warmed up. The clock struck seven-thirty, and the lights in the rafters, stories up, came on, putting the spotlight on the arena.

    It was time for Brock’s big entrance, and he walked in, looking strikingly like a slightly older version of the kid that Ash had just defeated in battle. He had dark skin and an almost Zen-like calmness, even with battle approaching.

    “BROCK! BROCK! BROCK!” chanted the crowd as an ‘Eye of the Tiger’-esque rock riff blasted through the building’s ancient speaker system. They had a taste of battling, and were eager to see their hometown hero defeat the challenger.

    “Hey Ash Ketchum,” he said as he took his position on the ‘home’ rock pedestal. “You were rock solid in that fight. But are you ready to take on me?”

    “Never been more ready. Let’s go!”

    “All right! Hey audience, did you hear that? We’re gonna have a Pokémon battle! I want to thank all of for showing up and showing your support.”

    The crowd cheered.

    “Thank you.”

    “How bush league is this?” asked a somewhat drunk spectator sitting near Misty. “The gym leader has to be his own announcer!”

    “We’re gonna start in a few minutes,” shouted Brock. “I am going to face a trainer named Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town, this is his first gym battle. We’re using regulation gym rules, two Pokémon a side. Let’s go!”

    The crowd cheered. Ash sent out Pidgeotto, and Brock responded with Geodude, an anthropomorphic rock with eyes, a mouth, and two arms. Pidgeotto flapped its wings and squawked at its opponent, whereas Geodude flexed its rocky muscles.

    “Found in fields and mountains, people often mistake them for boulders and trip over them,” said Pokedex, almost automatically.

    Ash called Pidgeotto over, and began to tell it a battle plan.

    “I know this doesn’t fall under any of the conventional moves you know, but I have an idea…”

    “Good luck Ash!” yelled Misty, warming up to Ash.

    “Thanks. Pidgeotto, show him what you go!”

    Pidgeotto flew into the air, apparently with some kind of trick up his sleeve. He swooped down at Geodude, grabbed its rocky head/body in his claws, and flew up near the roof, to the crowd’s confusion. Geodude struggled in vain to free itself from Pidgeotto’s talons.

    Up near the rafters, Pidgeotto released its grip, sending Geodude plummeting to the floor below. It landed with a loud, painful thud. The crowd booed loudly.

    “Geodude, return.” said Brock, his stone wall façade cracking slightly. He took out his second Pokeball, his final chance to win the battle.

    “Go, Onix!”
    “Gyrooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

    Onix was an intimidating monster of a Pokémon, a giant rock snake about 20 feet long. Its screech carried to the top of the rafters, making it clear that Onix was there to battle.

    Pidgeotto was intimidated; sweating profusely at the thought of the creature it was to battle. You could see the fear in its eyes.

    “Pidgeotto, don’t be afraid. You had a type weakness against Geodude, and you were able to beat it with a little smarts. Use your brain! Quick-attack!”

    Pidgeotto, somewhat motivated by Ash’s speech, let out a pathetically high-pitched battle cry before flying quickly and colliding with Onix.

    Rather than doing damage to its foe, Pidgeotto simply bounced off Onyx’s rocky exterior and fell to the floor, unconscious. His ‘attack’ did the exact opposite of what it was intended to do, and the crowd loved it.
    “BROCK! BROCK! BROCK!”

    “Pidgeotto, return,” said Ash, sweating nervously. Onix was a monstrous opponent, and it did not have to move a stony muscle to defeat Pidgeotto.

    “Go, Pikachu!”

    Now, there are a few things that any self-respecting Pokémon will never want to do. (Note ‘self-respecting’, so Jinx, etc. are out of this discussion.) On the top of the do-not-do list is letting one’s trainer down in battle. Little Pikachu, even with the odds heavily against it, was determined to fight a respectable fight.

    “CHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!” It yelled as it unleashed a blinding flash of lightning at its opponent. Onix was unscathed.

    “Hey Ash,” yelled Misty from the crowd, “You idiot! Rocks don’t conduct electricity! Pikachu’s attacks are useless against Onyx!”

    “Pikachu was just warming up! Just wait till-

    “Ash,” yelled the previously quietly battling Brock, “You can have your little lovers’ spat on your own time. I’m here to battle!”

    “Lovers? I’ll show you lovers!”

    As its trainer and others were yelling, Pikachu was in deep thought about how it could possibly win its battle. Its concentration, however, was interrupted by a hard tackle from Onix that sent it flying.
    That hit caused a small spark in Pikachu’s mind, a mental light bulb to go off, and he HAD the idea, the way to defeat Onyx in battle.
    It started running away, and the Onix started chasing it around the arena. A few drunk fans in the seats near Misty started booing and shouting profanities.

    “What a pussy!”

    “Yellowbelly. Literally!”

    From a Pidgeotto’s eye view, the action of Onyx chasing Pikachu would seem like a giant, real-life version of ‘Snake.’ And that was Pikachu’s plan. As Onyx chased it, it crossed over itself, and then chased Pikachu through the loop of its own body. As it did so, the knot was tightened, and Onyx found itself literally tied in knots.

    “All right, Pikachu! That was some great original thinking, great idea! I don’t even think that Onyx can get out. Great job, buddy!”

    “The match’s not over yet,” said Misty who found herself acting as the other half of Ash’s personality sometimes.

    On the contrary, the match was pretty much over. The mighty Onyx, in all its strength, could not free itself from the trap of its own body. It let out a resigned cry of defeat, and Brock called it back to its Pokeball. Ash stood victorious.

    The crowd did not know what to do. They were used to cheering after a Brock victory, and Gary rolled into town with such a snot-nosed punk attitude that he was booed before he stepped into the arena. But what was the crowd to do when Brock was clearly defeated by a trainer as rock-solid as he was?

    “He did a great job,” said Brock, addressing the crowd.

    “Thanks, you put up a really tough fight,” said Ash, causing the crowd to cheer just a bit.

    “Ash Ketchum, I present to you the Boulder Badge, the symbol of Pewter Gym. This badge shows that you have triumphed. Keep up with the Pokémon training, you have talent.”

    Ash accepted the gray octagonal badge, and then jumped up and down with pure, unrestrained joy. The sparse crowd could not help but feel some of the young man’s happiness.

    “Great job Ash!” said Misty, who had come down to the floor to congratulate her friend. “You did it, you really did it!”

    Ash was victorious, and Brock’s record was now 11-2.


    That night, Ash and Misty had dinner with Brock and his younger brother at their residence, a small, humble, unassuming house right next to the monolithic gym. Brock asked them about where they were from, etc.

    “So you’re going to be Gym Leader of Cerulean City?” he asked in a way that was almost patronizing the young lady.

    “Yeah.”

    “You know, I wish the both of you the very best of luck in your journeys. I wish I could go with you.
    My father was an alcoholic, he drove the gym into the ground, and I had to stick around town and try to take care of things. I’ve never been outside of Pewter City. I was planning on going out to catch Pokémon and see the world, but my uncle Bruno was promoted to the Elite Four, and I had to be Gym Leader.
    Sometimes I feel like I’m going to go crazy if I don’t get out of this place soon.”

    “Hey Brock,” said Rocco, his younger brother, “I want you to go with Ash and Misty. I’m 18 now; I can take control of the gym temporarily. I don’t think the bug catchers will give me too much trouble. Go, catch some new Pokémon, and come back to build a better Pewter Gym?"

    “You really mean it?” asked Brock, as happy as Ash was when he won his badge.

    “Yes.”

    “I want you to join us,” said Ash. “We could really use your advice and everything.”

    “Well,” Brock replied, addressing his two new companions, “You know about my situation now. So, then, what are you running from?”

  8. #8
    Registered User King Koop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining

    Author's note: this is all I have for now. Working on Part 6, hope to finish it this weekend. As always, any questions, comments, criticisms, etc. welcome.

    Episode 5: Moondance

    Mt. Moon stood higher than anything but the stars, the southernmost of the great northern mountains that separated the Kanto region from the wild lands of the north, Pewter and Cerulean at the foothills of its mighty range. The cave system under the mountain is the only mountain pass connecting the two cities, as the surrounding range is almost impassible. Mt. Moon seems to challenge all in its shadow.

    Because of its prominence, Mt. Moon is the subject of many myths and legends, many having to do with the rocks that give the mountain its name. These stones have strange characteristics, including a pale glow, and also induce evolution in several species of Pokémon. Because of these properties (unlike any terrestrial rock) it has been hypothesized that they are fragments of a meteorite that crashed into the mountain during ancient times. So far, no one has seen the original meteorite.

    In the folklore of the region, the moonstones literally come from the moon, and the rare, elusive Pokémon called Clefairies are also said to be extraterrestrial in origin. According to some myths, the meteor was a spacecraft of sorts that brought the Clefairies to earth. These shy creatures have only been sighted at Mt. Moon, where they are once in a blue moon glimpsed wandering the mountain’s caves. It is rumored that a colony lives at the mountain’s peak.

    The caves that link Pewter and Cerulean together are also home to rare fossils, some of which are currently on display at the Pewter Museum of Science. These are the remains of ancient, long-extinct Pokémon. Brock, Pewter City gym leader, has up to the mountain on several archaeological expeditions.

    Our three protagonists walked up the steep and winding route to the foot of Mt. Moon. The sun was setting over the mountains to the west. The mountain itself loomed in the distance.

    “Onyx was actually a family heirloom,” said Brock, “It’s an ancient Pokémon, passed down from generation to generation in our family. Onyxes live for literally hundreds of years. My uncle Bruno gave it to me when he went to become an Elite Four.”

    “What does it eat?” asked Ash, panting as he walked up the steep route. Pikachu, walking alongside him, seemed to be in much better shape, as it was not breathing heavily.

    “Believe it or not, it eats rocks. It was a real help when we were excavating some fossils up here a couple summers ago.”

    “Really?” asked Misty, absolutely perplexed. “You know, we always saw Mt. Moon in the distance when I was growing up in Cerulean. When I was a little girl, I always heard the stories about Clefairies from the moon, and at night I would always look up at the mountain to try and see one.”

    “I’ve been up here many times,” said Brock, “and I’ve never seen one. They live at the peak of the mountain, and it’s almost impossible to get up there. It’s a steep climb, and there’s a danger of falling down a few hundred feet. I’ve heard that there is a cave passage to the top, but I don’t believe it.”

    “Has anyone been to the peak?” asked Ash, perplexed.

    “Once in a blue moon. Climbing up the mountain is hard, and it’s either that or navigating the labyrinth of caves in the mountain’s belly.”

    After a long hike, they reached the foot of Mt. Moon, which stood so high that its peak seemed to be up with the stars and orbiting planets. There were a few sparse shrubs amongst the many large boulders that stood around the cave mouth. Next to the entrance was a combined Pokémon Center/store, housed in a log cabin-style building. A sign near the cave mouth warned the potential spelunker of bloodsucking Zubats, and also alerted of possible Team Rocket criminal activity at the mountain.

    Suddenly, our heroes were approached by a youngster with a backwards baseball cap, a blank white t-shirt, and shorts.

    “I like shorts! They’re comfy and easy to wear! I even wear shorts during the winter!”

    “That’s great, kid,” said Ash in the most condescending way possible.

    “Are you dissing me?”

    “No, I’m not dissing you, I just don’t want to hear you talk about shorts!”

    “That’s it. I challenge you to a Pokémon duel, two a side-unless, of course, you’re chicken.”

    “I’m not chicken, let’s go!”

    “What a strange person,” said Brock to Misty.

    “Who do you mean-Ash, or that other kid?”

    “Both, I guess.”

    “Go, Spearow!”

    “Kurukooo!” yelled Spearow as it flapped its wings to try to intimidate any potential opponent.

    “Eats bugs in grassy areas. It has to flap its short wings at a very high speed to remain airborne,” said the Pokedex.

    “Pikachu, I choose you!”

    “Pika!”

    Spearow flew over to Pikachu and began pecking it and attacking with its wings.

    “That’s it,” said the youngster, “Fury-attack!”

    “Pikachu, thunder-shock!”

    “Chu!”

    Pikachu flashed sparks from its cheeks, and the Spearow soon had volts pumped through it. The charred, blackened bird fell to the ground, fried in a way that would make a certain Kentucky colonel proud. The youngster returned the Spearow to its Pokeball, and then sent out a Rattata to continue the fight. The small rodent was not match for a high-voltage electric shock.

    After the victorious battle, our heroes walked into the Pokémon Center. Ash and Misty hung out in the lobby as Brock purchased two extra flashlights from the counter.

    “Have I got a deal for you!” stated a somewhat shady-looking middle-aged man in a cheap suit who approached them in the lobby. He took a sparkling golden Pokeball out of his pocket and presented it to Ash. “I have a swell Magikarp, only $500. It’s a deal that you would have to be a complete moron to pass up.”

    “Well, that sounds pretty expensive,” said Ash, entranced by the bright, shiny Pokeball.

    “Don’t do it Ash,” said Misty, “A Magikarp is not worth that much money. If you have a fishing pole, you can catch it anywhere. It’s useless.”

    “Useless?” asked the Magikarp salesman. “Why don’t you tell me how useless it is when it evolves into the mighty Gyarados, capable of creating storms at sea?”

    “That’s like a 1/1,000,000 chance!” said Misty. “Pretty much all of the Magikarp in the world end up as the special of the day at a seafood restaurant!”

    “Fine,” said the salesman as he walked away, dejectedly, to wait until another sucker walked in the door.

    Ash, Misty, and Brock left the center and walked into the cave’s gaping mouth. Soon, they were deep enough in so that the entrance was only a small beam of light shining in a sea of darkness. The large central cavern beneath Mt. Moon had a high ceiling, with stalactites hanging down to be run into by the unwary spelunker. A series of hanging lanterns glowed star-like showed the direct path throughout the cave and towards the mouth at the Cerulean side of the pass. The flashlight beams showed a variety of strange rock forms in the cave.

    Suddenly, our heroes heard a scream, and a young lady ran into the light. Ash recognized her as a fellow trainer from Pallet Town.

    “Hazel!”

    “Oh, hi Ash! Sorry, I was just kinda freaked out, you know, with all this talk about criminals and stuff in the caves.”

    “Yah, I see. How is your training going?”

    “Really really great. I just won the Boulder Badge. The gym leader wasn’t there, so I just had to defeat some kid. It was easy.”

    “Damn,” muttered Brock under his breath.

    “Yeah,” the girl continued, “My Jigglypuff is serving me well. It sings a song that puts both humans and Pokémon to sleep. I’ve already caught six Pokémon. How many have you caught, Ash?”

    “Well,” he replied, somewhat embarrassed that he might not measure up, “I have three Pokémon in total.”

    “So you only caught two?”

    “I’m about quality, not quantity!”

    “Well, see you later, Ash,” she said, “My flashlight is out of batteries. I need to go back to the store and get a new one.”

    “Bye.”

    Our heroes walked deeper into the dark cave system, Ash almost smacking his head against a hanging stalactite. He turned around. The cave entrance was a dot, a star in the night sky.

    Ash pointed his flashlight up at the ceiling, and he suddenly heard the rustling of wings and several high-pitched shrieks.

    “Zubats!” said Brock. “Be careful, Ash, Misty, they will literally suck your blood.”

    “Pikachu, thundershock!”

    The cave was momentarily illuminated by a flash of electric light. Seconds later, Ash’s flashlight fell on two purple Zubats lying motionless on the cave floor. Ash pointed the Pokedex for more information.

    “Zubat, a poison/flying type Pokémon, forms colonies in perpetually dark places. It uses ultra-sonic echo location to identify and approach targets."

    Brock threw a Pokeball at one of the Zubat, and it was captured without any fight at all. Ash took out a Pokeball to catch a Zubat of his own. However, a third Pokeball entered the light and captured the Zubat.

    “Hey!” yelled Ash, creating an echo in the cavern. “What are you doing taking my Zubat?”

    “I’m very sorry,” said a voice from the darkness, “But I need that Zubat for my research. I am prepared to compensate you $1,250 for your loss of a Pokémon.”

    “You got yourself a deal,” said Ash, swinging his flashlight to reveal a man with orange glasses and a moustache, dressed in black, a comb-over sitting unconvincingly on his head.

    “I am Fritz,” he responded, “Paranormal investigator extraordinaire.”

    “What do you need the Zubat for?” Ash asked as he pocketed a cool $1,250.

    “I am investigation the single biggest cover-up in the history of the Kanto Region! We have been lied to, again, and again by the Pewter City government; and I am going to expose the truth!

    This very mountain is the sight of an extraterrestrial vessel’s crash into our planet! With the echolocative powers of this Zubat, I am going to find a cave passage to this mountain’s peak, where I will see the crash sight itself!”

    “What are you talking about?” asked our three heroes in unison.

    “Are you blind as a proverbial Zubat? It’s clear that Pewter City has dismissed stories of extraterrestrial encounters as pure mythology so that they can use the advanced alien technology for their own nefarious purposes! Heard of the moonstone? It has tremendous power! Think of what else can be up there!”

    “You should stick with us,” said Brock, acting like a true big brother, “There’s news of the criminal organization, ‘Team Rocket’, in the mountain, and I don’t think you can protect yourself with just the Zubat.”

    “That’s a hoax too! The government obviously fabricated stories of criminal activity here to prevent people from coming to Mt. Moon and finding out the real truth! Look at the name- Team Rocket. Rocket- as in spaceship, as in alien spaceship landing on this very mountain that they’re trying to cover up!”

    As Fritz rambled on, Ash and Misty looked at each other with looks of absolute disbelief. Ash, Misty, and Brock were led by this strange man to a large rock in the cave wall, which he rolled aside to reveal a forked cavern, with paths leading into the darkness in two directions.

    “I told you!” said the strange man. “Why did somebody roll this rock to cover up (get it?) this passage. Now here’s what we’ll do. You send your Zubat into that cave, I’ll send mine into this one, and if one of them returns, we’ll know it’s a dead-end.”

    Brock and the very strange man both released their Zubats into the cave, and Brock’s Zubat came flying back several minutes later. They continued down into the other cave. The cave had a rather steep grade upward, and several times someone tripped on a rock and almost fell all the way back down.

    After about half an hour of climbing, Ash looked up and saw a faint light visible in a cavern about them. They climbed a few more minutes, and the four of them (and Pikachu) found themselves in a large roofless cavern, open to the starry sky above. Brock’s eyes immediately fell on two fossils sitting on the floor.

    “Look at these fossils. Somebody has been digging for fossils up here! They can’t do that, they’re protected…wait. Team Rocket’s been here!” he said, finally getting it.

    “That’s our cue,” said a female voice from above. The Team Rocket agents made a very theatrical entrance, jumping acrobatically into the cave and ‘sticking’ a perfect landing. Our heroes were faced with a long dark red-haired young woman and a purple-haired young man, both wearing a red ‘R’ on their uniforms signifying who they worked for.

    “We are Agents Jesse and James of Team Rocket,” said the woman, standing arrogantly in knee-high black boots. “We were sent by our boss to steal rare fossils from Mt. Moon. Please hand the fossils over promptly.”

    “I’m not gonna!” said Ash defiantly. “Those fossils don’t belong to you!”

    “I see you think you’re going to be the hero,” said purple-haired James. “Look, you don’t want to mess with Team Rocket. We demand that you give us those fossils now.”

    “No.”

    “Okay,” said Jesse, “You’ve given us no other choice. Prepare for battle. Go, Ekans!”

    “Yeah,” said James, clearly the follower. “Go, Koffing!”

    The purple snake and anthropomorphic gas blob/naval mine were ready to fight.

    “Hey!” said Ash, “Pokémon League regulations clearly state that only one Pokémon can be in battle per side at any one time!”

    “Shut up, Ash!” said Misty.

    “Koffing, smokescreen!” said James, and suddenly the cavern was filled with a thick, blinding smoke. In the haze, Ash released Pidgeotto, who blew the smoke away with its gust attack.

    “Go, Geodude!” said Brock. The personified rock walked, ape-like over towards its serpentine foe. Ekans tried to bite it, but Geodude held the snake in its rocky hands and twisted it into a knot, baby Hercules-style. Geodude had clearly learned something from its teammate’s defeat back at the gym.

    Meanwhile, Koffing coughed up an amount of poisonous sludge at Pidgeotto, thus incapacitating it and forcing it to withdraw from battle.

    “It’s one on one now!” said Jesse, mocking Ash’s by-the-book request. “Are you happy now?”

    “Geodude, rock-throw, or in this case, Koffing throw!” shouted Brock. Geodude quickly obeyed its trainer’s orders, grabbing Koffing in its hands and chucking it, football-style against the cave wall. It bounced off and exploded. When the smoke cleared, the two Rocket agents were down two Pokémon.

    “Great job, Geodude!” said Brock.

    “I guess we’ll have to use our other Pokémon-go Meowth!” said Jesse.

    “We use this Pokémon because it wanders out at night and picks up loose change,” said James, “But it can also fight. Show ‘em, Meowth!”

    “Cats hate water,” said Ash to Misty, “Would you like to do the honors?”

    “Sure, go Staryu!”

    The golden starfish flew out of its Pokeball and stood on two of its legs, waiting for further orders.

    “Staryu, use your water gun!”

    The Pokémon shot up a spray at Meowth that messed up its fur and sent it running. Agent Jesse was forced to return the clearly unwilling fighter to its Pokeball.

    “Great job, Brock and Misty!” said Ash.

    “We demand that you hand over the fossils anyway,” said Jesse arrogantly.

    ‘Yeah,” agreed James like a real yes-man, “And give us all of your Pokémon while you’re at it.”

    “That’s totally illogical,” said Fritz, who had up to this point been quiet during the confrontation. “You lost the Pokémon battle. What leverage do you have to ask them to give their possessions over to you?”

    “Who are you?” asked Jesse.

    “I am Fritz, paranormal investigator extraordinaire, truth seeker, bringer of light to darkness.”

    “Hey Rockets,” said Ash, “Why don’t you get lost?”

    “We’re not leaving until we get the fossils,” said James. “We were sent to get the fossils, and we’re not going to let the boss down. Just listen to me for a second – when promotion time comes around, and the boss sees that we weren’t able to steal some fossils, do you think we’ll be promoted to henchman or assistant gang criminal coordinator? I don’t think so.”

    “Shut up James!” said Jesse. “We need to think of a plan to steal those fossils.”

    “Why don’t you just be a pal and give those fossils to us? This is our first assignment. How do you think it will look to the boss when we tell him we could not complete our first assignment?
    And besides, do you see the white uniforms we’re wearing? We haven’t won the right to wear black uniforms yet, and all the other grunts are giving it to us for it. They think we’re just”-

    “You’re an idiot, James! Real gangsters don’t ask their victims to ‘be a pal!’”

    “Don’t call me that. What’s your big plan to get those fossils? I think asking them nicely might work.”

    “No it won’t work! We need to distract them so that we can go and take those fossils when they’re not looking.”

    “They just heard you say that! How do you suppose that”-

    “Could you please cease your bickering?” asked Fritz, a still smoking cigarette hanging out of the side of his mouth. “I am investigating a possible alien landing on this mountain, and you two wannabe criminals are wasting my time.”

    “Hey Jesse, let’s bicker some more just to piss the man off.”
    Brock suddenly released Onyx, which let out a loud roar upon being summoned.

    “Look at that, Jesse, let’s get out of here.”

    “You’re right.”

    Jesse and James exited through the cave that lead into the room, and then came walking back, already lost.

    “Which way is out?”

    “You follow that cave down to the central cavern, then take a right,” said Fritz.

    “Thanks,” said the Rockets as they left for a final time.

    Our heroes climbed out of the cavern and onto the side of the mountain, their lungs immediately filled with cold, invigorating mountain air. They were high above the world, almost at the peak of Mt. Moon. The stars that shined in the cosmos above seemed to be in reach. A few small Alpine shrubs stood scattered on the steep slope. Ash and Misty looked down at Pewter, Viridian, and Pallet towns in the distance.

    “Isn’t the view romantic?” asked the red-haired girl.

    “Why does everything have to be romantic?” asked Ash, as Brock noted the place as a good site to take a date.

    “Forget about the view!” said the extremely strange paranormal investigator, “The landing site should be somewhere near here!”

    It was a short hike up to the peak, the top of the mountain, where the stars seemed in reach. One of them seemed to be on the peak itself. A closer look showed that it was a massive moonstone, glowing like its namesake above in the starry night sky, doubtlessly the meteor that originally crashed into the mountain. Suddenly, a dozen or so pink, fairy-esque creatures appeared and formed a circle around the meteor.

    “Clefairies,” Ash, Misty, and Brock whispered to each other.

    “Look – aliens,” said Fritz quietly, “My theory is proven.” He took out a camera and took a few photographs, careful not to use the flash, which would disturb the Pokémon.

    “Thank you,” he said, “For helping me prove my theory! The government cannot cover up these extraterrestrials any longer! I’ll publish these pictures in a book, and then we’ll be able to see through the lies!”

    The man walked down into the cavern and out of sight. Ash took out his Pokedex to get more information on the Pokémon before him.

    “Clefairy is a normal-type Pokémon whose cute and magical appeal has many admirers. It is very rare and only found on Mt. Moon. According to mythology, Clefairies come from the moon.”

    Then, the Clefairies began dancing around the moonstone, like planets in orbit around a sun. The moonstone ceased to simply glow, and instead began shining with an intense otherworldly light. A few of the Clefairies evolved with the help of the moonstone into Clefable, a mystic creature described by the Pokedex as one of the rarest Pokémon in the world.

    Ash, Brock, and Misty looked at each other with absolute awe. Even though Ash was burning to increase his collection, he knew it would not be right to take a Clefairy from the mountain. At the same time, they all looked up at the moon itself, and wondered if that was really the home of Clefairies. The Clefairies themselves looked up at the moon almost longingly.

    They walked back down into the cave, knowing that they were one of the very few people in the whole wide world who had ever observed the moondance.

    “Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance, with the stars up above in your eyes…”

    End of Volume I: Breaking Away
    Last edited by King Koop; 8th May 2009 at 03:45 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Volume I "Breaking Away" completed.)

    Nice. :) I really really like it. There were a few spelling mistakes here and there, but nothing too super duper major. And I think Onyx should be Onix. That's how they spell it in the games. =/ Then again, I could be wrong.

    But otherwise, wow! That's amazing! =]


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    Registered User King Koop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Volume I "Breaking Away" completed.)

    Author's Note: thanks for everybody who read the story and commented on it. You never know, I might write you into the story.
    Also, I really enjoy hiding pop culture references in the story for people to find them. If you look back, you may find quotations from Wilco, Led Zeppelin, Cream, the Beach Boys, Star Wars, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Richard Thompson, Shakespeare, Art Bell, The Band, Montys Python, Renaissance and Baroque-era art, and pretty much everything else that I'm currently intereted in.

    Volume II: Out of the Blue

    Prologue: What Goes On

    For the first few days, Pallet Town seemed a lot quieter with its young people gone. The town was sleepy to begin with, but it seemed almost abandoned after its crop of young trainers left to go out and make their way in the world.

    Professor Oak, venerable Pokémon professor, was home, at his laboratory/house, enjoying his semi-retirement and thinking about the young trainers that he had sent out almost a week ago to go and make their way in the world.

    Timmy was too afraid of the darkness to spend even one night away from home. He returned to Pallet Town and a job with his name on his shirt.

    Sara got lost in the natural maze of Viridian Forest and spent several days wandering the woods before running out of supplies and returning home.

    Johnny made it through the forest maze and reached Pewter City, where he received a beating from Brock so bad that he decided to forget about Pokémon training and go into business as a telemarketer for a pharmaceutical company.

    Hazel made it through Viridian, Pewter, and Cerulean, collecting two badges in the process.

    Gary won the Boulder Badge and Cascade Badge, collecting over two dozen Pokémon in the process, and earned himself an invitation to an exclusive party aboard the S.S. Anne.

    And Ash destroyed a girl’s bike, barely made it through Viridian Forest, eked out a lucky victory against the Pewter City Gym Leader, and got through the Mt. Moon range with a lot of help.

    Chapter 6: Cool, Cool Water

    Cerulean City was a larger settlement than Pewter or Viridian, an orderly, well laid-out collection of Cape Cod-style homes on the southern edge of a large inlet of the ocean. Across the bay stood a tall white lighthouse, its silhouette looming through the mist that had rolled in from the open ocean. The city was bordered on land by a series of foothills that grew taller and eventually led to the rugged mountains that bordered the region to the north.

    It was the afternoon now, the mist dissipated by the sun’s bright rays, and the deep ocean bay reflected the light back like constantly moving glass. Ash and Brock were taking a walk downtown, finding some time to look around. They had arrived earlier that day, were welcomed to the city, and got all the dirt and dust of the winding mountain road off. Ash, of course, had his Pokémon-battling career on his mind, and had planned a battle at the Cerulean City Gym that night.

    “So, what do you think about Misty’s dad as an announcer now?” asked Ash.

    “I don’t know. I guess he’ll probably be better than most of the announcers out there. Listen to the radio lately? The announcers suck! They don’t know a thing about what they’re supposed to be explaining to us.”

    “Well, Brock, as a gym leader, you know, do you have any advice for me?” Ash asked as the two of them walked down a broad, tree-lined avenue in the fading sunshine, Pikachu scampering at their heels.

    “You know, Ash, you kind of lucked out today. You’re going to be facing Misty, and it’s her first battle.”

    “Well, I mean, anything specific?”

    “You know her better than I do.”

    “Well, you’re a gym leader,” Ash replied over the sound of waves gentling lapping against the rocky shore. They had walked down the sloping street to the waterfront, where the air was wet with ocean spray and wooden docks stretched into the water. The waves lapped against the docks and onto the sandy beach in the shadows, large rocks barely visible above the rolling water.

    “Well, as you see, this Gym is dedicated to water Pokémon, and they of course have an advantage in their element. I’d look to avoid getting your Pokémon in the water.”

    “Thanks, anything else?” Ash asked as they walked along the waterfront. An old man stood, fishing pole in hand, eyes on the horizon. A few other people were out and walking as the town lights shone down and the sun slowly sank over the ocean.

    “Well, you gotta use some psychology when you’re doing these things. Like me- I mostly face bug catchers, junior trainers, those kinds of guys, so I use big, intimidating Onyx to make them nervous, you know, make ‘em sweat a little.

    You don’t really have any really intimidating Pokémon, so I’d chip away at her self-esteem. She’s not technically a gym leader and don’t let her forget it. Plant the seed of self-doubt in her.”

    “That sounds kinda emotionally abusive,” Ash responded, leaning out on the side of the dockside wall and looking towards the lonely sea, listening to the ocean’s roar, Pikachu on his shoulder.

    “I’m about half kidding. Still, I think you should be confidant- Pikachu can take on any of Misty’s Pokémon. I’d use it as your last one, though, kind of a trump card.”

    “Pika!” responded the electric mouse, recognizing its name spoken.

    “Alright.”

    “You’ll be fine.”

    “Thanks.”

    The sun was setting, the rays slipping away. Ash and Brock walked back to the gym past restaurants with signs on the windows advertising all-you-can-eat deep-fried seafood specials. The sun was descending over the ocean, its fading light reflected in the living water.

    Cerulean City Gym was a large, circular building in the center of town, capped by an azure dome. Ash and Brock walked in through a tall revolving door and stepped inside onto cool blue-and-white tiles in the lobby, where a small stand offered The Waterflowers’ records, t-shirts, jackets, posters, etc. A small sign on the wall listed the names and accomplishments of past gym leaders, and a larger one listed the trio’s performance on the charts, and their three top 10 hits.

    “I can see why Misty’s so mad. Look at this. It’s not a gym, it’s a concert hall.”

    “Yeah, Ash, I’d never let Pewter City sell out like this.”

    “That’s what it is-selling out.”

    Ash and Brock waked through a short barrel-vaulted tunnel with mosaics of aquatic Pokémon on the sides. The young nervous trainer turned to his starter Pokémon and asked it if it was really ready to battle. Pikachu nodded its head.

    They stepped into the arena proper, which was composed of a rectangular swimming pool on the first level, surrounded by tiled floor on all sides. Patterns of tiles on the short sides of the swimming pool marked the spots that the two dueling trainers stood. The far side, across from Ash, had a vaulted entrance.On the two long sides of the wall, the tiled floor bordered a marble wall that rose up on story to the spectator seating one floor up.

    The distinct smell of chlorine hit Ash and Brock’s noses the moment they entered. Lights on the roof shone down, almost blindingly.

    Brock walked back to the gym’s lobby and entered the spectator seating area, past a sign warning that spectators in the first five rows were liable to get wet. He sat down in a nice comfy seat (much more comfortable than the ones back in Pewter), and was suddenly surrounded by three quite attractive young girls.

    These were the Waterflowers, Lily, Daisy, and Violet, the Cerulean City-based teen-pop singing sensation/teen phenomenon, whose popularity amongst fellow teenage girls overshadowed any serious Pokémon battling in the city. The seating area was deserted except for them, a testament to the lack of gym battling popularity in Cerulean.

    “You think that that kid can take on Misty?” asked one of the sisters.

    “I don’t know,” replied Brock stoically.

    “Well, you know him, don’t you?”

    “He defeated me for the Boulder Badge.”

    “Wow!”

    “What’s a Boulder Badge, Daisy?”

    “It’s a badge that you get for some gym, I don’t know.”

    “I’m Brock, I’m the leader of the Pewter City Gym,” said Brock, standing up tall, the three muse-like pretty girls surrounding him filling his head with thoughts.

    “That’s awesome. We’re more interested in singing then in Pokémon battling.”

    “I know, I’ve seen you on TV.”

    “Yeah, we’ve been on TV, doing concerts and stuff.”

    “I know, with your three top-10 hits, and all…”

    “Yeah, we have good songwriters. There’s a dude out in Saffron City that writes them.”

    It was at this point that Brock made the observation that the three sisters seemed to share a personality between them. He didn’t know their names, and when he talked, addressed them all, not as individuals.

    Back on the floor, Ash took his spot on the red tile-patterned visitor’s end of the pool, Pikachu at his feet. He looked up to see Brock looking down at him from the railing to one side of the pool.

    “Good luck,” he said.

    “Thanks.”

    Then, suddenly, a deep blue curtain descended from the roof on the opposite side of the pool, signaling that the battle was about to begin. An organ line came through on the speaker system, and Ash recognized it immediately as the opening to the Surf Brothers’ “Cerulean Girls.”

    “Ready, Pikachu?” asked Ash, looking down at his little buddy, confidant in the electric mouse’s type advantage against its potential opponents.

    “Pika!” it replied enthusiastically.

    “That’s it!”

    The curtain rose to show Misty in an entirely different light. Her hair, usually tied up in a tight ‘do, now cascaded down like a blazing waterfall. She wore a bathing suit that matched her flowing hair, and her bare feet stood in a crimson shell that must have come from a gigantic Cloyster. She was an absolute stunner compared to the much more down-to-earth girl that Ash had been traveling with for the last five days.

    “So, Ash, ready to battle?” she teased.

    “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

    “You must be pretty confidant, then.”

    “Why do you say that?”

    “You’re not dressed to get wet.”

    “I’m dressed to kill.”

    Back in the empty stands, Brock and the Waterflowers looked down at the situation developing.

    “Looks like the battle’s about to begin,” said one of the sisters.

    “Yeah,” said another.

    “I hope Misty doesn’t lose,” chimed in the third, “Because we’re almost out of badges.”

    “So, you’re from Pewter City?” asked one of them.

    “Yeah.”

    “What’s it like?”

    “Badly in need of pretty girls like you.”

    Back on the floor, the battle was on. As per custom, they both released their Pokémon at the same time. Ash, deciding to first indirectly attack using status changes, sent out Butterfree, which fluttered out of its Pokeball and began circling the pool.

    “Go, Staryu!”

    The abstract-looking jeweled starfish dived into the wat
    er. Ash brought out his Pokedex for some immediate information.

    “Staryu is an enigmatic water-type Pokémon that can effortlessly regenerate any appendages lost in battle. Its glowing red center is prized as a jewel.”

    ‘Just like a woman,’ Ash thought to himself. ‘Next thing, she’ll send out a shoe Pokémon.’

    “Staryu, tackle it!”

    Staryu leaped out of the water and hit Butterfree with a flying tackle, almost knocking it out of the sky. The flying Pokémon quickly recovered and flew high above the water, casting its shadow on the bottom of the pool.

    “How’s she doing?” asked one of the sisters, clearly not understanding the battle.

    “I think she’s winning.”

    “Really?”

    “Yah.”

    “I don’t know. Her Pokémon is in the water, isn’t that a bad thing?”

    “Well, it’s a water-type, so I think that…”

    “Are you doing anything tonight, girls?” asked Brock, the words ‘three on one’ echoing in his mind.

    “Yeah, we’re having dinner with Misty, you know, to welcome her home. You and your friend are invited too.”

    “Sounds great,” said Brock, eyeing an opportunity.

    “Butterfree, use poison powder!” yelled Ash, blissfully unaware of his friend’s pathetic attempt to pick up three sisters at the same time.

    Butterfree began flapping its black and white wings back and forth and unleashed a toxic dust on the surface of the water. Staryu was affected, its body covered by the poisonous dust. The Pokémon sank to the bottom of the water, the spores washed off, any toxic elements rendered harmless by the pool’s chlorine.

    “What about that, Ash. Toxic dust isn’t too effective in chlorinated water. How about thinking things through before you do them?”

    “I’m just getting warmed up.”

    “Sure you are,” she replied sarcastically. “Staryu, water gun attack!”

    “Quick, Butterfree, get out of the way!”

    Staryu shot a blast of water that missed Butterfree and instead drenched Ash, almost knocking him into the water. He picked up his beloved red cap from the slippery tile and stood on soaked shoes, ready to battle some more.

    “All washed up,” said Misty.

    “That’s a terrible pun,” said the waterlogged Ash.

    Staryu attacked again, this time knocking Butterfree into the water, where it would be helpless against a water-type opponent. Ash, not wishing his Pokémon a watery fate, called it back. It would now be an uphill climb, one Pokémon against two.

    “Come back, Butterfree,” said Ash.

    She’s pretty good, isn’t she?” asked one of the sisters.

    “Yeah,” said Brock, rolling the dice, “I think you’re pretty good, too.”

    “Thank you. It’s nice to know that our music is being appreciated.”

    Shut down.

    “Hey Pikachu,” said Ash, “I think it’s time to turn it up a notch.”

    “Chu!” it responded in the affirmative.

    “That’s right.”

    “So, Ash, you’re pretty confident in your type advantage?”

    “You better believe it.”

    “I’ll show you that type advantage is nothing if you don’t have the training skills to back it up!”

    “Go right ahead.”

    “Staryu, tackle!”

    “Pikachu, thunder-shock!”

    “The orange star-shaped Pokémon flew into the air, only to be hit by a shocking burst of static electricity and knocked back into the water.

    “There you go, Pikachu! Now finish it off!”

    “Chu!”

    Pikachu sent another electric shock, this time into the water, which conducted it and shocked Staryu badly. The red jewel in its center started flashing, a sign that Staryu was badly hurt.

    “Come back, Staryu,” said Misty. The battle was now down to one-on-one, and Misty had a distinct type disadvantage.

    “Well, you really showed me,” Ash replied mockingly.

    “Shut up Ash! This is my FIRST GYM BATTLE, and I’m not gonna lose it! Go, Starmie!”

    The purple-colored star Pokémon spun rapidly out of its Pokeball and into the water. Its central jewel shone with all the colors of the rainbow from different angles. Misty knew that Starmie well, as it was her father’s main Pokémon in battle.

    “Isn’t it pretty?” asked one of the sisters, “The rainbow colors in its jewel? We could use it for a light show at one of our concerts.”

    “Starmie, water gun!” said Misty.

    Pikachu quickly jumped out of the way and Ash was drenched in water yet again.

    “You did that on purpose!”

    “Maybe I did.”

    “You’re trying to break my concentration. Well, it won’t work.”

    “Starmie, tackle!”

    “Pikachu, avoid it!”

    Again, Pikachu evaded the attack, and Ash was hit. This time, the rapidly spinning Starmie hit Ash straight on and knocked him into the water. Pikachu, eager to defend its trainer, jumped into the swimming pool and unleashed a powerful electric shock that surged through the three living things in the water.

    “Oh my god! Is he okay?” asked a Water flower sister.

    “I don’t know, Daisy. What do you think, Violet?”

    “I hope he knows how to swim.”

    Starmie sank like a rock to the pool’s bottom. Its central core flashed intermittently, showing that it was in critical condition. Pikachu swam out of the water and shook its yellow fur off, looking now worse for the wear.

    “Starmie, come back,” said Misty.

    Ash dragged himself out of the water and onto the side of the pool, wet, shocked and victorious.

    “Are you okay, Ash?”

    He raised his hand in a ‘V’ for victory sign.

    “I’m a bit shook up, but I’m all right.”

    “We’ll get you a change of clothes,” said one of the sisters to Ash.

    “Before you leave,” said Misty, “I have something for you.”

    She held out a small, shining blue teardrop in her hand.

    “Here’s the Cascade Badge. As the Cerulean City Gym Leader, I have the authority to give it to you.”

    “Thanks, Misty.”

    Ash exited the arena to go and get some warm, dry clothes. Brock and Misty’s sisters came down from the stands to the soaked tiled floor, the girls careful not to get their nice new shoes wet.

    “Good job, Misty!”

    “Thanks, Daisy, but I didn’t win.”

    “Well, you tried your best.”

    “Yeah, sister, you shouldn’t feel bad about it.”

    “I can’t help it,” Misty replied dejectedly. “It was my first ever gym battle and I lost it.”

    Ash returned to the drying arena wearing swim trunks and a Waterflowers ‘In Bloom Tour’ T-shirt.

    “Sorry, sis.”

    “I don’t know. I was always sure that I’d win my first battle.”

    “Don’t worry,” said Ash, putting his arm around her, “You just ran into a future champion. You’ll be fine – you’ll win a gym battle sometime.”

    “Thanks, Ash,” was the sarcastic response, “That makes me feel so happy and confidant about my future as a gym leader.”

    “You guys can spend the night at our house for a couple of days,” said one of the sisters.

    “Misty’s always been kind of a wandering gypsy,” said another, “So we know that you’re going to want to hit the road pretty soon.”

    “Well,” said Brock to the three sisters, “I wonder what the sleeping arrangements are gonna be tonight?”

  11. #11
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Volume I "Breaking Away" completed.)

    agreed, very good episode/chapter

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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Volume I "Breaking Away" completed.)

    Thanks, everyone for your comments. You know, this story is over 20,000 words long so far? I hope you've enjoyed the story so far. I'm probably not going to be able to finish ch. 7 until this weekend at earliest. Next episode, we'll visit the reclusive genius Bill at his home near Cerulean.

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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Volume I "Breaking Away" completed.)

    Chapter 7: Down Along the Cove

    Professor Oak woke up one morning. He still kept up some of his research with his aides, but was mostly settled down in his quiet life as a James Herriot-esque country doctor.

    He sat down to a nice breakfast of fried Pidgey eggs and biscuits. He took up the ‘Viridian Times’ (Pallet Town was too small to have a newspaper) to see if anything was going on in the world outside the cozy confines of Pallet Town.

    “Look at this,” he said to his aide, “The scores from around the gyms! Ash defeated the Cerulean City gym leader, Misty, in her first battle! That means that both Ash and Gary have two badges now!”

    “That’s great, Professor. I see you taught them well.”

    “Yeah, especially when I was never much of anything as a Pokémon trainer.”

    “I see you’re living vicariously through your grandson and his rival, then.”

    “A little bit, just a little bit.”

    “Yeah.”

    “There’s a telephone call, Professor."

    “Could you answer it?”

    “Sure, Professor.”

    “It’s Ash Ketchum, Professor.”

    “What does he want?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Give me the phone – hello Ash.”

    “Hello, Professor Oak.”

    “Ash, I just read in the newspaper about your victory in Cerulean City. Congratulations, young man.”

    “Thanks, Professor. So, how’s Gary doing?”

    “To be perfectly honest, a lot better than you. He’s already caught over twenty Pokemon.”

    “Well, you know, I believe in quality, not quantity.”

    “That’s the way to go. Gary is catching Magikarp after Magikarp in the hopes that one of them will eventually evolve into Gyarados. But I’m not complaining! I’ve eaten free Magikarp filets for the last two nights!

    While you’re in Cerulean City, why don’t you head up to the cape and catch up with my old friend Bill? He lives in a cottage on the cape, and he takes care of the lighthouse as well. He’s a great Pokémon collector, and he invented the electronic storage system we use to transport them over the computer.”

    “I don’t know. Misty told me that he’s known as kind of an eccentric recluse.”

    “Yeah, he’s really into his work and doesn’t like to be bothered. But just tell him that I sent you and you should be fine.”

    “Thanks, Professor, well, goodbye, I guess.”

    “Goodbye Ash, and good luck on your Pokémon journey.”

    “Thanks, bye.”

    Ash hung up the phone. He was in the living room of Misty’s family, complete with kitschy nautical décor, i.e. bottled ships and old sea maps. One read ‘Here be Dragonairs.’ The window was fogged up, but the dark and infinite sea was clearly visible, looming behind the Cape Cod buildings.

    It was, appropriately, a blue misty morning, bringing to mind immediately the ‘blue aura’ mentioned in the city’s motto. The sun was obscured by clouds, and there was a cold wind blowing in from the sea.

    They just had a fine home-cooked breakfast, and the slightly homesick Ash had just called his mother (as well as Oak) in Pallet Town. He now sat down in an extremely comfortable easy chair, Pikachu laying down lazily on the white ottoman at his feet, Misty in the chair next to him, and Brock in a wooden chair pulled in from the kitchen. A lamp bathed the scene in a soft warm glow.

    “How’s everything in Pallet?” the redhead asked, her hand fiddling with a bracelet on her other arm.

    “Good. Professor Oak says that we should go and visit his friend Bill, who lives around here.”

    “Bill?” Misty asked incredulously. “He’s kind of a weird hermit: he just lives by himself, out on the Cape, and comes into town once every couple of weeks to get supplies and God only knows what he’s doing out there.”

    “Maybe he’s misunderstood,” suggested Brock, “Maybe he got fed up with the demands and pretensions of society and decided that he would isolate himself from...”

    “That’s very philosophical of you, Brock,” she replied.

    “I do what I can.”

    “Well, Bill is like a genius Pokémon researcher, isn’t he?” asked Ash.

    “Yeah,” replied Brock, “He was the guy that invented the process of storing Pokémon electronically via the internet.”

    “That’s really cool.”

    “Well, I guess we can go pay him a visit,” Misty said, “I know where he lives and stuff. He’s kind of a recluse, so I don’t know if he’ll welcome us with open arms.”

    “I’ll just say we know his old friend Professor Oak. Let’s get going,” replied Ash, eager to go out and walk even after days of hiking through the Mt. Moon range.

    “You two can go,” Brock replied, getting up and folding his arms, “But I’m going to stay here for today. Misty, your sisters said that they’d show me around town, and we’re gonna party tonight.”

    “Party?” Misty asked incredulously.

    “Yeah, we’re gonna party hardy!"

    “Have fun. I guess I’ll go take Ash to see Bill…”

    “Bye.”

    They walked outside to an overcast Cerulean day, the sun still behind gray clouds, a cold sea breeze lightly shaking the leaves of the trees. The city was beginning to wake up, and people were out and about in the tree-lined streets.

    “There’s the bike shop,” Misty pointed out to Ash as Pikachu followed them on its little feet, “Where I got that bike that, you know…”
    “Yeah, I’m still sorry about that.”

    “It’s okay, but when you’re a big, rich, successful Pokémon trainer, will you remember me and buy me a bike?” she asked, tongue firmly in cheek.

    “Sure,” he responded, smiling.

    “Yeah, the gym is just up that street there. That restaurant there is pretty good, if you want to like go eat or something.”

    “Yeah.”

    “So, what do you think of Cerulean City, Ash?”

    “It’s pretty nice, I guess.”

    “Pika,” chimed in the small electric mouse.

    “Well, Pikachu seems to like it!”

    “Yeah.”

    “Probably only ‘cause he has a ton of water Pokémon to beat up on.”

    “Yeah,” she responded, “Just wait till he gets to a rock or ground-type city.”

    “He seemed to be okay with Pewter City.”

    “Touché.”

    “Yeah, you have a nice little town, I guess.”

    “Thanks.”

    They walked north along the avenue, and quickly came upon a crowd gathered in front of large two-story house. It was a fairly nice domicile, a cluster of three trees standing in the yard, and two policemen barred the person-high door. The mumbling of the assembled mob seemed to collect into a single, monotonous drone.

    “What’s going on?” Ash asked a nearby passerby.

    “This house got broken into last night,” the man replied.

    “Yeah, and a prototype Technical Machine containing ‘dig’ was stolen,” chimed in a glasses-wearing woman.

    “You think Team Rocket is behind this?” asked a voice in the crowd.

    “Maybe,” responded another.

    “I don’t think so,” replied a third. “People blame the Rockets for everything. Next thing you know, they’ll blame the Rockets for what’s going on with Sylph Corporation!”

    “Move along!” shouted a police officer from the house’s entryway. “Nothing to see here! Let’s get going, get back to your business.”

    “Let’s get out of here,” Misty said to Ash.

    They kept walking until they got to a large wooden bridge that crossed a narrow inlet of the ocean at the end of the bay. On the near side were a few buildings framing either side of the bridge, and the far side appeared to be a wilder area covered with shrubs and a few trees.

    “‘Nugget Bridge,’” Ash read from a sign as Pikachu perched its chubby yellow body on his shoulder.

    “You know why it’s called that?” asked Misty knowingly.

    “No.”

    “About a hundred years ago, there was another bridge here, but it was old and falling apart. Then a guy from Cerulean came back from the Pewter Gold Rush (Brock could tell you more about that) with a giant gold nugget that he had dug up, and he donated it to pay for the construction of a new bridge.”

    “Learn that in school?”

    “Yeah.”

    They walked onto the wooden slat bridge, the moving water beneath them and the wild untamed land ahead of them. Two people were at the other end of the bridge, walking towards them. Suddenly, a sketchy-looking man in a suit approached them, sending off bad vibes as he walked.

    “You know, children,” he began talking in a sketched-out voice, “This place is called nugget bridge, and we have a nice shiny nugget for you if you can defeat those trainers over there in a two-on-two battle.

    “Hey Misty! You’re back in town!” shouted the blonde-haired, skirt-clad walking towards them, a fairly nondescript young man in jeans and a sweatshirt by her side.

    “How’s it going, Lauren?”

    “Pretty good. Thanks for telling us that you would be gone for like a week. If not, I’d be really worrying about you. So, what brings you back?”

    “Take a wild guess,” Misty responded, hugging her old friend.

    “The gym?”

    “Yeah.”

    “I remember when we were little, and you always said that when you grew up, you’d be a gym leader like your dad.”

    “I can definitely see you doing that,” chimed in Ash.

    “You know my boyfriend, Michael?”

    “Yeah,” replied Misty, “Nice to meet you again.

    “I see you’re bringing a new guy to the Cape. Where’d you meet him?”

    “We’re just friends,” the Misty replied, blushing.

    “Sure.”

    “Well,” replied the suit-wearing man, who had previously been standing quietly, “Enough with the small talk. We’re going to have a battle, two-on-two. The winner,” he stated as he pulled a small lump of gold out of his pocket, “Wins this gold nugget.”

    “Sounds like a good deal,” replied Ash, “I think we can take them, Misty.”

    “I guess you’re my partner in this battle, Ash.”

    “Yeah.”

    “Well, let’s go.”

    “Okay,” replied the man, who looked and sounded very out of place in the situation, “Let’s start the battle… now!”

    Ash and Misty sent out Staryu and Pikachu against their opponents’ Nidoran male and female.

    “Although they are small,” said the Pokedex, taking some initiative, “These Pokémon are rendered dangerous by their venomous barbs. The female has smaller horns. When they sense danger, these Pokémon stiffen their ears.”

    “Thanks,” said Ash. “You ready, Misty?”

    “Yeah. Staryu, quick-attack!”

    The golden starfish spun rapidly through the air at the Nidoran, knocking them both on their feet and then returning like a boomerang.

    “Nidoran, use horn-attack!” said the boy.

    The male Nidoran charged at Pikachu, who avoided the attack and then turned to Ash for further instruction.

    “Pikachu, use thundershock!”

    Pikachu complied, sending sparks out from its cheeks which grew into a lightning bolt. The male Nidoran was hit. Then, Staryu sprayed its water gun between the two Nidoran. The water conducted the electricity, and both Nidoran were shocked. The two Jr. Trainers had to concede defeat.

    “Great job!” shouted the sharply dressed man, who had previously been silently observing the battle. He handed the small gold nugget to Ash, who had a very pleased smile on his face.

    “Well, bye, Misty,” replied the blonde girl, unshaken by her defeat, “It’s nice to see you back in town.

    “Yeah. Nice to see you too.”

    “Well, congratulations,” the man replied, sending off bad vibes, “You know, you two seem to have quite the talent in Pokémon battling. With your skills, you could go far in the ranks of Team Rocket.”

    “Team Rocket?” asked Ash as if he had never heard of the organization before.

    “Yes. We’re looking for talented young trainers such as yourselves. I am prepared to offer you a starting salary of”-

    “Not interested,” replied Ash, always wanting to be the hero.

    “Not interested, eh? So, you’re not interested in the opportunity of a lifetime. What do you think, young lady?”

    “I don’t want to be a criminal either.”

    “Criminal? Oh, I see that you’ve been brainwashed by all the media and everybody who think they know what we’re about. Well, I’ll tell you what we’re really about. Team Rocket is about”-

    “I don’t want to hear it,” said Ash, perfectly a goody two-shoes.

    “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. I can offer you a starting salary of…”

    “Look, we’re not interested,” replied Misty.

    “Yeah, get lost.”

    “It’s really a shame. You two could do great as Team Rocket agents. I’ll just leave my card here, and I know I’ll get a call.”

    The Team Rocket recruiter crossed the bridge as the sun began to slowly descend over the mountains from its place high in the sky. In the distance, past the tangled shrubs and growing trees, loomed a tall white lighthouse in the distance. A small dirt path wound through the uneven matted growth and towards the Cape, the aforementioned lighthouse at its end. They both felt extremely awkward after having been mistaken for a couple. Pikachu walked beside them, blissfully ignorant of the tangled threads that human relationships become.


    After a walk, they were on the Cape itself. The vegetation thinned out as the earthy soil became a sandy beach. A few empty beer bottles lay next the driftwood that had washed on the shore.

    “So, what did she mean about bringing me to the Cape?” asked Ash, trying to break the ice again.

    “Um,” she replied, blushing awkwardly, I guess this is kind of, you know, a dating spot.”

    “Yeah,” replied Ash, spying a something carved into the bark of a tree rooted where the grass met the sand. He walked up to it and saw ‘Brian + Misty’ inside of a heart carved into the bark.

    “Who’s Brian?” he asked almost accusingly.

    “Some boy I had a thing with last summer,” she replied, cheeks fully blushed. “It’s all over now, though.”

    “Yeah, so this is where you’d go?” he asked as an orange and pink sunset filled the dimming sky.

    “It’s kind of a romantic spot, isn’t it? With the sun setting over the mountains and the ocean…”

    “Yeah, is Bill’s cottage near here?”

    “Just down along the cove.”

    The tall lighthouse loomed against the sky, its light seeming very dim against the emerging stars. The cape ended in a cliff, raised about thirty feet above the surrounding beach, a pedestal to the lighthouse that stood right before the rock took a 90 degree turn and plummeted to the sea below.

    In the lighthouse’s shadow was a small wooden cottage with a sloping roof and shutters pulled down on the windows. To Ash, it looked far too small to possibly hold all the equipment that he imagined Bill experimenting with.

    They were suddenly, immediately surrounded by a trio of loudly barking dog-like creatures, one with bright yellow spikes, the second with scales and a mermaid’s tail, and the third with fiery red-orange fur. The creatures glared at them and struck fighting poses, waiting for Ash, Misty, and Pikachu to make the first move.

    “Be still,” Misty whispered softly.

    “I guess these are guard animals?” Ash replied in the same tone.

    “Yeah… what should we do?”

    “Let’s see. How about this? I send Pikachu after the water-looking creature, you send Starmie and Staryu after the fire one, and then I send out Butterfree to hopefully send them to sleep.”

    “You really think that we can pull it off?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “Me neither.”

    Ash suddenly, unintentionally took a step backward, and immediately found his leg pierced by sharp pin missiles, as if he had unwittingly had a porcupine thrown at him. He cried out obscenities in pain and fell to the sandy ground.

    Pikachu immediately, instinctively, went to defense of its trainer and shocked the attacking Pokémon with a thunderbolt of electrical power.

    “STOP!” shouted a voice walking over a sand dune.

    The three Pokémon immediately froze into place, obviously well-trained to respond to vocal commands. A brown-haired man wearing a polo shirt ran over to the scene and immediately addressed Ash, Misty and Pikachu.

    “What are you doing on my property?”

    “We were sent to go and see you by Professor Oak,” replied Misty, as Ash dragged himself off of the sand.

    “Sam Oak? He’s an old friend of mine – we go way back! How’s the professor doing?”

    “Very well,” responded Ash, holding his right leg gingerly, “He’s still working on his research.”

    “You’re hurt!” stated Bill, just noticing the half-dozen or so pins stuck in the side of the young man’s leg. “I’m very sorry. Yeah, Flareon, Vaporeon, and Jolteon are guards for me; make sure that no kids or anybody disrupts my important research. We need to get you back to my cottage and get those pins out of you.”

    “Why don’t you send him to a Pokémon Center?” asked Misty sarcastically.

    “Pika!” responded the chubby yellow mouse.

    Ash, always eager to learn about Pokémon, pulled out his red Pokedex to get information on the three standing ahead of him on the sand.

    “I’ll save you the trouble,” said Bill. “I wrote the Pokedex entries for the three Eevee evolutions. Vaporeon-Lives close to water. Its long tail is ridged with a fin that is often mistaken for a mermaid’s. Jolteon-It accumulates negative ions in the atmosphere to blast out 1,000-volt lightning bolts. Flareon-When storing thermal energy in its body, its temperature could soar to over 1,600 degrees.”

    “I wish I had a Vaporeon,” said Misty, petting the Eevee evolution. “Look how cute it is!”

    “You just like it because it’s a water Pokémon,” said Ash.

    “Water Pokémon are my favorite, you’re right.”

    “Yeah, Bill, Misty is taking over the gym here.”

    “Really? Congratulations. I was never much into Pokémon battling, it never appealed to me. Ever since I was a kid, really, I wanted to study Pokémon, learn about them, categorize them.

    Come back with me to the sea cottage, and we’ll get those pins out of your flesh.”

    The three Eevee evolutions went back to patrolling the outskirts of Bill’s property.

    The interior of the sea cottage was surprising. It was a cozy little room, the wall facing the door covered with bookshelves, three wooden chairs clustered around a circular table near the window. Bill sat Ash down on one of the chairs and (painfully) pulled the pins out of his leg.

    “Thanks,” said Ash, his leg feeling very sore. “Where do you do your research, Bill?”

    The Pokemaniac said nothing, but walked over to a bookshelf and pushed it, causing the whole part of the wall to rotate and reveal a ladder leading down to a basement filled with a variety of electronic machinery, the concrete floor covered with a Rattata’s nest of wires.

    “There,” he replied.

    “Oh, cool,” said Ash, getting a bit of vertigo as he looked downward.

    “The lighthouse looks a bit like it’s going out,” said Misty.

    “Oh the lighthouse! The lighthouse! I totally forgot about it! Look- could you three go up there and light it up for me? Just get your Pikachu there to give the lantern a little shock, and it should be shining in no time.”

    “Okay,” said Ash.

    They climbed back up the ladder, and walked outside. It was now night. They walked up to the tall lighthouse, an off-white building about five stories high. Ash opened the red door, and the three of them walked in.

    A spiral staircase led up to the lantern room. Ash, Misty, and Pikachu walked up the staircase, their hands on the railing, careful not to fall all the way down.

    “You see, Ash, he is a strange guy.”

    “Yeah, but he’s getting some good research done. You know, he came up with the electronic storage of Pokémon.”

    They were at the lantern room, with a great view of where the sky loves the sea. The light was fading.

    “Pikachu, put some volts into the lantern,” said Ash.

    “Chu. Chu!”

    Pikachu flash sparks from its cheeks, and soon the lantern was glowing with a bright white light. It shone across to the sea. The gang returned to Bill’s cottage. The man himself was standing on the first floor of his facility, looking through a now-opened window.

    “Thank you very much,” he said.

    “You’re welcome,” said Ash.

    “Out of all of those, what is your favorite Pokémon?” asked Misty.
    “My favorite Pokémon? I’d have to say Eevee, because it’s very versatile. You’ve already seen the three different types it can evolve into with the help of the evolutionary stones.”

    “By the way,” said Bill, “I’d like to give the two of you something for helping me out with the lighthouse. Have you ever heard of a ship called the S.S. Anne?”

    “Of course I’ve heard of it,” replied Misty. “It’s a great big cruise ship that sails over the ocean, it’s so romantic.”

    “The S.S. Anne is going to be docking at Vermilion Harbor in three days, and there’s going to be a big party on board. I’ve been invited, and I can’t make it, and besides, I just can’t stand those kinds of fancy social occasions. I would like you to go instead of me.” Bill held out the S.S. Anne ticket.

    “Thanks,” said Ash. “We’ll go.”

    “We better get going soon,” replied Misty, “It’s getting late, and we have to get home. Goodbye.”

    Our two protagonists walked back down the cape, and on Routes 24 and 25 back home.

    “So,” began Ash, a tired Pikachu weighing heavily on his shoulder, “You want to go get dinner somewhere in Cerulean? I’m really hungry, we haven’t eaten all day.”

    “Yeah, I know a few places that serve this late.”

  14. #14
    Reader and Writer Legacy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Chapters 1-7 Completed.)

    Yes, Bill ftw! Brian and Misty huh? I like it, hopefully this leads somewhere! Anyways, another good chapter, I like this remake a lot.

  15. #15
    Registered User King Koop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pokemon: a Re-Imagining (Chapters 1-7 Completed.)

    If you can guess who Brian is based off of...
    (hint, look at the references in the last two episodes, such as titles and other quotes.)

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