Okay folks, here's the first chapter of Sanpo Nepenti!
Table of Contents:
Chapter One: The Evolution of Tansy
Chapter Two: Trees Upon Trees
I've never submitted fanfic to any kind of forum before, so I'm pretty nervous. It's probably very cliché, being a Kanto journeyfic, but over the course of the story I hope to take the plot and characters somewhere interesting. Also, it's more anime-inspired than game-inspired. I'm updating my Livejournal concurrently with concept art and notes, so feel free to check that out. Thank you very much if you decide to read/review!
--"What Is" Jack
"Bella?" a gravelly voice whispered into the darkness. "Are you there?"
"Bella~!" another voice replied, apparently unable to stifle its rosy cheeriness.
Professor Oak smiled weakly. How Tansy had managed to get Bella to say her own name rather than "Chansey" was something he’d probably never figure out.
"Everything's on schedule? The Flinch will be here?" The predawn light was getting stronger over the hills and fields surrounding the lab.
Bella frowned momentarily. Professor Oak was so confident their plan would go off without a hitch that he wouldn't be expecting anything but an affirmative answer, and were there a wrinkle, how was she expected to tell him what it was? An instant later her sunny disposition regained control. Bella was sure Tansy would be happy, and that would make the Professor happy. "Bella~," she warbled.
"Good." Professor Oak sat back on his ankles. He and Bella had been planning it for weeks: they had arranged for the three tiny Flinch, whom Tansy had befriended shortly after arriving at the lab, to fly to her window at dawn, perch on the sill, and awaken her with sweet birdsong and sunlight.
The Professor thought it wasn't a bad way to greet (or be greeted by) the day, and he didn't want anything to mar it: the day his granddaughter began her Pokémon journey.
Most children -- or perhaps, they were children no more -- set off on their Pokémon journey when they turned ten. But Tansy, who had become a quiet, melancholy child ever since moving to the lab, expressed no desire to leave it on her tenth birthday. Since she seemed so happy among all the Pokémon in Professor Oak's care, and so eager to learn everything about them all, he indulged her. But he knew (or hoped) that one day she would be drawn out into the wider world to the search for friends -- both Pokémon and human -- as yet undiscovered.
Now, three years later, Tansy had finally labeled herself as "ready". Ah, his precious Tansy, growing up and becoming more and more like her mother each day...
A thundering sound outside the open window shook Professor Oak from his reverie. As the thundering grew louder he looked around wildly at Bella, who had a placid smile on her face.
Professor Oak stared in horror as three huge, three enormous shapes blundered through the window, exploding into the room screeching and squawking and sending feathers flying everywhere.
The Professor stood in silent horror. Bella smiled. Tansy sat bolt upright. Leaning over her bed, long necks bursting through the window like flames from a firework were NOT three tiny Flinch, NOT their evolution the graceful Quaille, but the elephantine Oscringe, each five feet tall and blaring raucous salutations.
"BELLA!" shouted Bella gleefully and launched herself at Tansy. She wrapped her arms around Tansy's neck and nuzzled her cheek contentedly. Tansy sagged slightly under the Chansey's weight.
"Grandad!" Tansy cried, spotting Professor Oak, who was spread across the bedroom wall like a paint spatter. "The Flinch evolved all the way to Oscringe! All three of them! I'm so proud of you!" she said to them, stretching her arm its utmost to ruffle the feathers of the nearest Oscringe, as Bella was still fastened around Tansy's neck.
"B-b-but they were still Flinch th-three weeks ago," stammered the Professor, wobbling slightly as he peeled himself off the wall. "Bella, why didn't you tell me?" He rounded on the Chansey, who frowned again. "They were supposed to sing to you."
"They were still Flinch three days ago," Tansy said quietly as Professor Oak came and sat on the edge of her bed. One of the Oscringe leaned forward and took a tuft of his hair in its beak playfully. "I've been going around for the past few days saying goodbye to everyone..."
Bella detached herself and wandered off to fix some eggs for breakfast. Tansy reached forward and smoothed some of the wayward feathers on the nearest Oscringe's head. "When I told the Flinch I was leaving for my journey, they started crying," she said softly. "And of course, that got me crying."
Professor Oak scooted forward and pulled his granddaughter into an awkward hug. She laughed a little, her face buried in his labcoat. "No, I told them it was okay, because of course it's sad when someone's leaving, someone you love." She looked up into her grandfather's face. "But soon you have to be strong, and live your life so that person can be proud of you. They wouldn't want you to be sad forever."
He stroked Tansy's hair. "I suppose the Flinch took 'be strong' to heart, my dear," he said, releasing her.
"Yeah," Tansy laughed.
An hour or so later, Tansy stood at the bottom of the hill, surrounded by a small circle of well-wishers: her grandfather and little brother Gary, long-time friend of the family Delia holding her small son Ash, and Tansy's other grandparents, who'd travelled up from Mandarin Isle to see her off.
After Delia fussed one last time over Tansy, asking her to make sure she had everything, telling her to call immediately upon her arrival in Viridian City, and urging her to be not shy if she ever needed to discuss "girl things", Tansy's grandmother drew forward, taking something from her purse.
"Your mother wanted you to have this," she said. Tansy took the glittering object. It was a large circular pendant on a long tarnished chain. "She bought it when we went to the Ruins of Alph."
It was a taijitu, made of yellow and green amberite. "Sandie wore it when she began her own journey, and she said it always brought her good luck," said her other grandfather. "When you were born, she said she'd give it to you the day you started your own, because from then on you were her good luck."
Tansy smiled, trying to silence the tiny sprout of a thought that whispered, Does that mean Gary was her bad luck...? "Wow," she said aloud, "thank you so much..." She put the pendant around her neck.
"And here's your Pokédex," said Professor Oak, handing her a small red flip-top device.
"Um, Grandad, I was kinda thinking..." began Tansy, taking a steadying breath. "Do you think -- I mean, would it be okay if -- when it's time for me to register, I didn't register as Tansy 'Oak'? I mean--" she rushed on, watching her grandparents' faces, "--I don't want people bothering you or interrupting your research if they find out someone related to you is doing something. Like every time Dad---"
Tansy cut herself off inadvertently. They never talked about her father anymore, and Tansy didn't know how he'd spilled into the conversation. She'd kept a lid on anything pertaining to him for so long...
She expected her grandfather's face to be stony at the mention of his son. But to her surprise it was soft. "I know, dear," he said softly. "You can have whatever last name you'd like, but at least still be 'Tansy'." He hugged her. "And don't worry about me. Gary and I will be fine."
Tansy nodded and looked around at Gary, who was rolling sideways down the long hill with Ash, both of them laughing hysterically. "Gary, gimme a hug!" she shouted.
"Uh-uh!" he shouted back, on his feet again and covered in grass.
"Tansy!" yelled Ash, running over and grabbing her around the middle. At only five, Ash was not yet shy about public hugging.
"Bye Ash!" Tansy said, ruffling his hair and causing grass to fall out. "Where's Bella?" she asked. "She should be out here by now..."
"Here she comes," said Professor Oak, pointing at a large pink blob bounding down the drive to where they were standing.
"Bella~!" said the Chansey upon reaching them, and proffered a large tray of new eggs. Tansy's grandmother took one. Ash took two. Delia agreed to take the rest of the tray home.
After hugging each of them, after one last round of good-byes, Tansy finally turned and faced north, where somewhere through the trees lay Viridian City. And, possibly, him...