Lately I've not been feeling too great about Dragon Days. I don't have the same passion for it that I had for Rival's Story and I'm not sure I ever did. I think it was, to some degree, born out of egotism. I think the reputation I gained from Rival's Story gained it what following it currently has and I think if that had been my first story then it would probably have fallen into obscurity by now.
That said, as long as people are following it and want me to continue, I'll keep writing it (up until its natural lifespan that is, but that goes without saying).
This is a new idea I had that I think has a lot more passion behind it. Before you ask, I haven't yet decided whether it's set in the same universe as Rival's Story and Dragon Days but that doesn't matter, neither of them are relevant to it either way.
Please let me know what you think of this story. I really feel I need to improve myself as a writer as I think I've let things slip recently.
The following will be tagged when a new chapter is posted:
9) Johnny Gaddar
12) Misheard Whisper
Please let me know by posting in this thread if you wish to be added to this list.
Chapter 1 - Moving Day
Chapter 2 - The Journey Begins
Chapter 3 - Gym Battle!
Chapter 4 - An Unexpected Encounter
Chapter 5 - The Hunt is On!
Chapter 6 - A Bitter Rivalry Part 1
Chapter 7 - A Bitter Rivalry Part 2
Chapter 8 - Safari Game
Chapter 9 - Across the Sea
Chapter 10 - The Expedition Begins
Chapter 11 - The Fight for Freedom
Anyway, here is the first chapter, let me know what you think!
“But Dad,” objected Darren gloomily, “I don’t wanna go to Saffron. There’s nothing there. I wanna stay here in Pewter.”
“You don’t understand, Darren,” explained his father, “I’ve done a lot of research into this move. I understand Saffron is far away but you’ll still see your friends. Saffron City is in a unique position. It’s at the centre of Kanto. It’s a perfect place to set up a business. We’ll be rich and you can have anything you want.”
“What I want is to live in Pewter City with my friends,” retorted Darren.
Darren was sixteen years old. He had lived in Pewter City for his entire life. He was a tall boy with fairly long, dark hair that went down to the top of his collar. He wanted to be the Gym Leader of Pewter City after the current Leader, Simon, retired. It was the kind of thing people called a pipe dream but he had the backing of all of his friends who were sure he was capable.
Darren had built up a local reputation as a great Pokémon trainer after a trip to Mt. Moon with three friends of his three years back. They’d gone there with the expressed mission of catching Pokémon as they were all aspiring Gym Leaders or Champions and only had one or two Pokémon each. Darren’s only Pokémon at the time was an Eevee that he’d been given by his father as a gift for his tenth birthday. Darren had nicknamed the Eevee ‘Tails’ after one of his favourite video game characters and the two had been inseparable ever since, but Darren was all too aware that he was never going to become a Gym Leader with just an Eevee.
Darren, then thirteen years old, had taken Tails with him into Mt. Moon to catch some new Pokémon even though neither of them were very experienced with battling. The four boys had gone into Mt. Moon with high hopes but catching Pokémon had turned out to be a lot harder than they made it look on TV. Two of Darren’s friends had run out of Poké Balls before they succeeded in catching anything. The other had eventually managed to catch a Zubat, after having spent over two months’ worth of pocket money on Poké Balls. Darren had come out on top though – he’d caught a Clefairy, the rarest Pokémon in the local area. Some people had even claimed that Clefairy were extinct. After that, Darren got a reputation for being a fantastic Pokémon trainer.
Darren never told anyone that his capture of Clefairy had been down to little more than luck. He’d spotted a wild Geodude hidden in a small alcove and decided to sneak up on it to throw a Poké Ball. What he hadn’t realised though was that the Geodude had been locked in a vicious battle with a wild Clefairy. Darren had never had particularly good aim and his Poké Ball had ended up hitting the floor in front of Geodude. As the startled Geodude fled, Darren had rushed forwards to check if the Poké Ball was still usable and, to his surprise, he had accidentally captured Geodude’s opponent, the Clefairy, which he nicknamed ‘Moon’, after the place in which he’d captured it.
Still, Darren didn’t feel guilty about his undeserved reputation – he knew he was destined for great things. While it was true that neither of his Pokémon were particularly adept at battling, he knew that one day they would be. He was only sixteen after all, he had plenty of time to become great.
“Look, Darren,” lectured his father for about the hundredth time, “Saffron City may be small but it is in the middle of Kanto. Its geographical position is perfect for it to become the new business heart of Kanto and Silph Co. will be at the heart of that heart.”
Darren glared at his father contemptuously. He hated his father even more for all the sense he was making. He knew that what his father was saying was true, but he didn’t want it to be. Even though Darren was only a few inches shorter than his father, the man still seemed to tower above him. His broad shoulders, protruding belly and aura of confidence gave him a magnetic presence that could not be ignored. Even though his hair was thinning and grey, he wore the glasses that fashion forgot and a suit to go with them, he still carried the air of an impressive man.
We’ll have all the money we could have ever dreamt of, Darren,” explained his father, “Don’t you understand?”
The only thing Darren didn’t understand was why his father had chosen to name his company ‘Silph Co.’. Their surname was ‘Brown’ and his father’s forename was ‘Andrew’. Of course, it’s not compulsory to name a company after yourself but you’d think that if you didn’t, you’d choose a word that described the company in some way. No, Darren’s father had decided that the name for his company would be Darren’s mother’s maiden name. He’d never even suggested once that he’d intended to name it in her memory. Mr. Brown had never even mentioned the company and his late wife in the same sentence. Darren almost wondered if his father was aware of the fact that they shared a name.
Of course, the fact that Darren understood why they were moving to Saffron didn’t mean he cared. He wanted to stay in Pewter and train to beat the local Gym Leader. After that he wanted to go on a Pokémon journey around Kanto with some of his friends, beating all of the Gym Leaders, getting Badges and catching all the different, exciting species of Pokémon. Maybe one day he could even go somewhere far away, like Johto. Then he could finally return to Pewter an accomplished man and take over from Simon, who’d surely want to retire by then.
Darren knew that he’d be lonely in Saffron. It would just be him and his Dad. Darren’s mother had died when he was still very young. He hardly remembered her at all now but he still wished she was around. Darren felt like part of what made him so keen to leave Pewter City and travel Kanto was the fact that his mother wasn’t around anymore. A lot of the boys around his age didn’t want to leave their mothers alone and childless but Darren didn’t have that issue. He didn’t care about leaving his father alone and childless.
A few days after that final, futile clash, Darren and his father were on their way to Saffron City. It took several hours travelling to get there by truck with all their luggage and Darren couldn’t imagine why it was such an important city. The only thing of note in the entire city was a Gym, which doubled as a Fighting Dojo. Other than that there were a few houses around and not really much else. Darren had studied tour guides desperately, sure that his father’s geographical logic was a front for some sort of secret. He’d even looked into Legendary Pokémon – perhaps his father had secretly heard that an old Kanto Legend had made Saffron City its home and wanted to catch it for himself or, better yet, so that he could give it to Darren. It was nice to have these fantasies but deep down Darren knew that they were just that – fantasies. If he wanted something special to happen with his life, he was going to have to make it happen for himself.
When they arrived at their new home, Darren was instructed to go up to his new room and unpack. The room actually looked quite pleasant while it was empty. The white walls, flat-pack furniture and wooden flooring made it look quite fashionable and spacious. Darren was surprised his musty old father had managed to choose a place like this. The only mess in the room was Darren’s suitcase that he was supposed to be unpacking lumped in the corner. The open window let a gentle breeze come into the room. It was a much less industrial city than Pewter. It was like living in a meadow. Objectively, Darren thought that this was probably one of the nicest places to live in the world but that didn’t change the fact that the move had uprooted his life. After all, what’s the point in living in a nice place if you have no friends to enjoy it with?
Darren knew that he had to leave so he started formulating a plan as soon as he was in his room. He spread a map of Kanto across the floor of his beautifully empty room and sat at the bottom of it with Moon the Clefairy and Tails the Eevee. Tails traipsed over gracefully and planted herself on the far side of the map. She had always been a gentle Pokémon, unlike Moon, who excitedly jumped from side to side of the map, eagerly anticipating finally going on a journey and being a powerful battler like the Pokémon he’d seen on TV.
Darren ignored Moon’s excitability and studied the map carefully. It was true, Saffron was the middle of Kanto. Unfortunately, that made it quite a difficult place to plan starting a journey from. The eight Gyms of Kanto were located in Saffron, Pewter, Viridian, Cinnabar, Lavender, Fuchsia, Celadon and Vermilion.
The obvious place to start was Saffron itself. Darren suspected his father would try and track him down so he’d have to stay away from the obvious routes. His father was sure to expect him to head to Pewter as soon as possible so Darren decided that instead he’d head south to Vermilion. After that, he’d head further south to Fuchsia and beat the Gym Leader there. From Fuchsia it was pretty simple to get to Celadon, which was right near Saffron but that was where it became dangerous. Outside of taking a huge detour back the way he had came or going through the caves on Seafoam Island, the only way to reach the Gyms in Pewter, Viridian and Cinnabar would be to go back through Saffron. Darren hoped that by that point he’d have proved that he was a capable Pokémon trainer anyway, having collected five Badges. There’d be nothing his father could do to stop him.
Of course, he had to collect those five Badges first. Darren wasn’t a stupid boy. He knew better than to run out in the middle of the night. If he did that his Dad would know he’d run away as soon as morning came, in which time the Gym wouldn’t have opened and Darren would’ve gotten nowhere. Instead, Darren decided that he would leave first thing in the morning, telling his Dad that he wanted to meet people or something like that. That way his Dad wouldn’t be suspicious until quite late in the evening, possibly even waiting until the following morning to actually do anything about it.
Darren also knew that if he used his real name it’d be no time before word of his Gym beating exploits reached his father and his Pokémon adventure would be very short lived. He decided that he needed a pseudonym. His surname, ‘Brown’ was no good. For one thing, that was just as likely to get back to his father. Not to mention, he’d look like an idiot if he went around using a colour for a name!
“I need a name, guys,” muttered Darren to Moon and Tails, “Can you think of anything?”
Darren looked to Tails first. She just looked back apologetically. Darren stroked her to let her know that he didn’t hold it against her. He then looked to Moon, who was trifling through Darren’s suitcase.
“Moon!” snapped Darren, “I’ll unpack when I’m ready! Leave that alone!”
Moon did not desist. Instead the Clefairy continued to rummage through the suitcase until he found what he was looking for. He pulled out a business card belonging to Darren’s father and pointed to one of the words on it.
“Silph, eh?” mused Darren, “I like it! Good job, Moon!”
So, that night Darren packed his bags ready to go on a Pokémon adventure and the following morning, Silph left, with Moon and Tails in tow, to get his first Badge at the local Gym.