“It is futile... we can not accomplish such a tremendous task, Professor Smith,” I whispered. Sweat flowed down my rosy cheeks and ended at the bottom of my hairy chin.
I reached my tanned hand into a pocket on my pants, pulling out a small handkerchief that I proceed to rub across my wrinkled forehead to wipe the sweat off.
“Do not say that, Professor Kevin. We cannot let these dreaded, negative thoughts cloud our minds with false accusations and defeat. We will create the world’s first artificial Pokemon and we shall be remembered for years to come for our impressive invention.” Professor Smith boldly exclaimed.
The lab was newly built with the latest equipment and technology you could find. With sky blue tiles aligned next to each other on the walls, there were some stains on them that showed signs of experimentation being conducted. The ceiling was pure white, about ten feet from the ground, with a ceiling fan spotted in the middle of it all. Previously, two other professors owned the lab, so the lab was not exactly the newest, but it sufficed for the work and plans that Professor Smith and I have concocted while working together on our experiments, as well as our most important project as of date which we were currently working on. When Professor Smith and I entered the lab for our very first time, we were greeted with the smell of rotten eggs and bacon – one of the previous professors left what appeared to be their lunch on the marble table located by the entrance. The newest editions of Dell computers, however, made up about sixty percent of the lab, along with the wires that connected them to the outlets.
He frowned at the computer screen as wrinkles covered his aged face. He grabbed his long, white beard and started to tug at it consistently while he entered deep thought, he sighed dismissively, lowering his elbow on the table to rub his forehead and scratch along his receding hairline.
We both stood firmly on our spots with our attention focused on the programming code set in front of us on our reports, we equally rummaged through papers, occasionally muttering codes and problems to ourselves, completely lost in each other’s work. After what felt like tireless hours, Professor Smith clutched one particular piece of paper in his hand.
“Maybe if I enter these codes, we will finally have completed our creation!” Professor Smith eagerly stated, as he reached for the new keyboard. He handed the paper excitedly to me, shoving it roughly in my hands as he looked down at the keys before him. “Read me off the twenty following numbers I have written down on the sheet of paper to your left, Kevin,” he said. As he hunched over, the loud popping sounds of his bones startled me.
“00100011101001010010,” I responded to Professor Smith. I wondered if those numbers were actually correct, feeling a hint of doubt in my old friend‘s work before me.
“Cursed machine!” Professor Smith roared furiously as he slammed his fist on the computer table. He fumed silently, clutching his fist so tightly his knuckles were beginning to turn a pale shade of white as he chewed his lip, staring furiously at the screen’s glaring “error” sign.
“Maybe if we reversed some of the numerals in the binary code… Professor, the code may come out correct this time around,” I said with little belief in my own words. I took a closer look at the paperwork with hope that my suggestion would work.
“We shall try, Kevin,” the Professor said, as a frown proceeded the reply. He readied his fingers to type the new programming code.
“11011100010110101101,” I said. I had simply just reversed the numerals of the first binary code and read them off once more to Smith.
“Would you like to process your data?”
“Yes O No X”
Professor Smith stared dimly at the screen for a moment, shocked at the accessibility just be reversing the numerals of the code. “Professor Kevin,” he whispered excitedly, his voice starting to boom in joy, “it worked, it worked!” Professor Smith shouted, as a large smile spread across his pallid face.
“Professor, I told you!” I yelled excitedly. Seeing the Professor smile brought a smile upon my face, because it was not too often you see such a serious man such as Professor Smith let his emotions be overwhelmed with excitement in such a manner.
“All I have to do is push “yes” and our dreams would finally come true! Kevin, go over to that hourglass-shaped generator towards the back of the lab and turn it on. There’s a golden lever that you need to pull to activate the machine,” he prattled on, his voice quavering with excitement. He shifted his attention towards the computer screen once again, his shoulders stiffened and his breath came in shaky gasps as he feebly, and rather unsuccessfully, tried to calm himself down.
I walked towards the generator that seemed to stick out more than anything else that resided in the lab. The golden lever quickly caught my focused attention and lured me to it. After I walked towards the large lever, I pulled it to activate the machine. Huge lights emerged from the inner-core of the generator with enough light to supply a village a week’s worth of energy. The machine seemed to roar to life, as bolts whirred within its depths. The loud growl seemed to dim down to a purr as Professor Kevin examined the mechanism, cupping his hand over his mouth to shout back to Professor Smith.
“Things are going good, Professor Smith, all you need to do now is click yes and we can finally show the world our creation – Porygon, the first cyberspace Pokemon!” my voice raised at the slightest thought of the fame and recognition we would achieve.
“Just as planned, great job!” Smith said. He selected “yes” on the main computer, and hoped that the generator would fully execute the aforementioned task.
“Data is loading. This may take several minutes.”
“The generator appears to be gathering the information and programming code from the main computer now. In several minutes, Porygon should emerge from within that chamber right next to the generator, and we would have accomplished what has never been accomplished before!” Professor Smith shouted. The excitement he felt must have been incomparable to anything I felt, for despite my own anxiousness in the creation of Porygon, it was almost as if I could feel Professor Smith’s tension radiating in the room.
“Alright, Professor, I understand. Look! The chamber is shaking!” I alerted him. We both scurried towards the chamber and waited to see if we had succeeded in our long awaited task.
The chamber violently rattled and shook about. Copious amounts of energy compressed together and started to take a polygonal shape. Moments after, a multilateral shaped component appeared on the other shape, almost as if it were forming in midair on top of the first polygon, after that had seemed to “finalize” into its shape, two identical triangular prisms formed underneath the first, original shape and began to grow what would have appeared as legs – very oddly shaped legs, at that – on the Pokémon.
“I can’t believe what my eyes are seeing right now, Professor,” my voice cracked towards the end. I was in complete astonishment at what had taken place within the depths of the chamber as we both stared, our mouths gaping in pure and utter shock at what had just happened.
A large blast emerged from the chamber where the programmed Pokemon assembled. White beams of light started to escape the chamber, which resulted in an explosion within it. The ground trembled as a plummet of smoke emerged from within.
“AH!” I yelled after I jumped from the minor aftermath of the explosion. I looked to my left and saw that the Professor jumped in time, too. The cloud of gray smoke filled the area, along with a couple of untouched computers smoldering and smoking from within as the explosion impacted them. We both looked where the chamber and generator had originally been positioned. But to our surprise, we were greeted with a mysterious object hovering above. The cloud of debris finally cleared up, and we were able to get a good glimpse of the unknown object.
Polygonal-shaped body, triangular prism feet, blue rectangular prism tail, the multilateral one head, and hexagonal eyes that stared emotionless, almost blankly emerged out of the smoke.
“Professor Smith... I... I can’t believe this,” I said. I was speechless from the Pokemon that floated right above.
“We did it! We did it! We have created the first programmed Pokemon ever!” Professor Smith shouted. He ran towards me and gave me a firm handshake, seemingly unfazed at the destruction that had just taken place in the lab.
Porygon looked below and spotted us. It appeared to be examining us as it gathered information, its almost eerie blank stare boring through us.
“Professor Kevin, pass me my sheets so I can look over the moves we built into this Pokemon’s database,” Professor Smith said as he kept his attention locked on our newest creation, waving his hand frantically towards the desk, almost as if to bat away a pesky fly.
“Sure thing, Professor,” I said as I ran towards the desk on the other side of the lab to obtain Smith’s paperwork. I rummaged through the papers hurriedly, pulling out a partially wrinkled paper from the pile. I pulled and rubbed it along the edge of the desk in a frantic attempt to smooth it out before I ran back to Professor Smith, shoving the paper in his outstretched hands.
“Here you go!” I shouted, turning my attention eagerly to the Porygon in front of us.
“Thanks, Professor Kevin. Ahem, Porygon! Can you understand me?” the Professor questioned the programmed Pokemon. According to his judgments, Porygon should be capable of fully understanding human speech.
Porygon nodded and slowly hovered its body closer to the Professor. Its eyes became determined on the collection of Dell computers towards the center of the lab, however.
“I want you to use a Hyper Beam attack!” he shouted the command towards the Porygon.
Porygon ignored the order and slowly glided over to one of the abandoned computers that sat unattended to in the laboratory. It circled around the computer, and began to shine with a dim glow.
“Porygon...? What are you trying to do?” I asked it. I knew it could not answer, but I hoped that it would have understood me, and somehow could have given me some idea as to what its intentions were as it continued to bob around the computer, glowing more.
Porygon positioned its body in front of the computer screen. The computer’s screen flickered on and the Porygon went straight towards it. The little multi-shaped Pokemon entered the computer and appeared in a cell-shaded form on the computer screen.
“Porygon!” Professor Smith shouted. He ran to the computer to observe what the Pokémon was doing and what it was planning to do.
The Porygon moved straight to the Internet Explorer icon, and seemed to have disappeared into it as soon as it stopped. After the digitally programmed Pokemon entered the icon, the icon on the screen was highlighted as if it had been clicked on, which was quite impossible seeing as the two professors stood dumbstruck, staring idly at the screen, trying to reason what had just happened.
“Oh dear... this is worse than I thought,” Professor Smith said to me. a worried expression creased the fine lines along his face, and it seemed like he did not know how to explain what dangers Porygon may have on the Internet.
“Professor, is it really that bad that it just went on the web?” I questioned. I didn’t have any clue as to what dangers it could possibly have from surfing the Internet, although I was quite nervous to find out what they were from Professor Smith‘s facial and body expressions.
“Yes, it is.” He gulped, reaching his hand up to scratch his short, chubby fingers aimlessly over the back of his head as he stared in horror at the computer. “You see, Porygon’s intelligence is top-notch and remarkably high. If Porygon manages to reach another computer that does not belong to us, the Pokemon may be in danger of Firewalls and Internet Securities that people may have on their computer. Porygon is also capable of shut ting down all ways of Internet communication, and disrupting the ability to send data to others. With Porygon in cyberspace, our chances of pinpointing the exact coordinates of where it may end up is jus about virtually impossible,” Smith sighed. He sat firmly in the wooden chair, as the loud creaking of the chair echoed around the lab.
“Don’t worry, Professor. We will find that Porygon before anything can happen to it or before anyone can even notice it lurking in cyberspace.” I said in a fail attempt to ease him. He was deep in thought and, by the look of his expression, deeply concerned and worried, too.
“Hey, Smith! How have things been going with you? And how about your wife and children?” I asked my old friend. We had not worked together in over ten years in the laboratory. His aged skin complemented the long, gray, curly hair that reached to his broad shoulders. He still wore the white lab coat from years ago when we both inhabited the same working area. His insanely large glasses were among the finest glasses up-to-date. Brown shoes that completely showed especially with his high businessmen pants, which barely reached his ankles covered in black tube socks. I knew he had probably suffered from memory loss, as do many older people, but I respected him and still eagerly waited to hear his voice.
“Kevin, it’s great to see you again! I’ve been doing splendid! My wife and two kids are doing swell, they have just graduated fifth and sixth grade, so they've been handling how they'd focus their time mainly on their next year of school!” he shouted. He was very excited to see me once again. We both came to visit the old lab we used to work in years ago. Many things have changed. I brushed off my brown leather suit with my tanned, hairy hands to remove easily spotted lint. After the lint was removed, I stuck my hand deep into my pockets, which seemed to have a hole inside. I didn’t know how to initiate a conversation; it’s pretty hard to when you haven’t communicated with a good friend over many years. My face started to itch an unbearably itch; one that feels like it’d never fade away. My hand reached past my pale face, and scratched right above my slate gray mustache, but just a few centimeters below my large, rosy nose.
The lab was still modernized with the newest forms of technology that get produced. The tiles encased onto the floor were still in place with only a few of them being cracked. It appeared to me that the lab had been under great care, which made me feel appreciated inside. Crystal tiles were placed tightly against the floor, along with futuristic gadgets and wires lined the walls of the room. Dell computers consumed the laboratory in every different direction on every available table that hadn’t already been used for something else.
I smiled after the reply. We were still overwhelmed with excitement to see each other, and our lab, again. He shifted his attention towards some burn marks that seemed impossible to get rid of near two computers that centered a small table near the corner of the room.
“That is great to hear! I've been also doing good myself, just been a little occupied with my new job working at Verizon. And, hey, Smith? This place looks better than it did years ago, huh?” I asked Smith. We were both still filled with joy at finally seeing each other. I looked towards the area where the damage had been made, and awaited his response.
“Of course, Kevin! And it looks like most of the explosion that took place years ago has finally been cleaned up. But I do always wonder what became of our Porygon,” he said. His eyes seemed to cloud over as his gaze settled on the computer that remained untouched since the accident years ago. It seemed to have an eerie aura to it, almost as if Porygon itself were lurking within its hard drive, ready to spring to life and pounce out at them. They each stared uneasily at the computer.
“I know, I know. And here is the exact computer Porygon entered, remember? Oh, the memories,” I said, as I looked towards Smith’s serious face. He looked like he wanted to say something, but it was not too clear if he would build up the will to say what he wanted. He took a deep breath, held it, and then sighed. He seemed to be ignoring my words – I knew Porygon was on his mind.
“Yes, you are correct. If only I didn’t let our creation escape into the Internet. Who knows? Maybe we could have showcased it at that Science Convention three years ago. I just hope we get t-...” the Professor paused in the middle of his sentence, stammering. His focus shifted towards the computer screen, the same exact one Porygon entered years ago.
“What the-...?” I was very confused. I looked at the computer screen as well. It slowly seemed to start glowing, as if it were booting up, it was an old, outdated computer after all. The only reason that its presence was permitted in the lab was because of Professor Smith‘s determination to keep it here. He held a strong and firm belief that if the Porygon were to ever wished to return, it would be through that computer. Despite the annoyance of our fellow professors in keeping such an out-of-date “waste of space“, Professor Smith seemed to have more focus on that computer than any of the newer ones that ran three times as fast with more memory. Alas, here it was in front of us now, turning on by itself as it did those years ago when Porygon entered it. Finally, it finished booting up, with the Internet Explorer icon highlighted once more. It seemed to quiver as if it were clicked and dragged a bit, and the cell-shaded Porygon appeared on the screen, with the same blank gaze. The small icon seemed to grow as if it were approaching the screen.
Porygon exited the screen and reappeared back into our world slowly, as if carefully pulling a sticker from a piece of paper, it looked as if it were trying to free itself from a sticky residue left in the screen. It appeared to be cheerful after it locked its hexagonal eyes on us. The cyberspace Pokemon slowly floated above us and started to examine us carefully.
“Kevin, what do you predict Porygon was doing all those years in the Internet?” Smith asked me, astounded. He stood in front of the computer screen the Porygon emerged from to prevent it from leaving again, as if he were blockading the Pokemon. It was one of the only computers that were on, so the other Dell computers didn’t really need to be covered, especially since it appeared to use the main one as means of cyber-travel.
“Porygon, you will stay and you will obey us!” I shouted to the gleeful Pokemon. It seemed to not have paid the slightest attention to my order.
A tremendous amount of light exerted from the cyber Pokemon and went in all sorts of directions as it lit up every section of the room. Every computer automatically turned on at the same rate, and Porygon transported itself into the closest uncovered computer with a rapid jolt of energy. The dimension Porygon created faded away, and suddenly the entrance into cyberspace closed.
“I can’t believe we let him get away… again,” I murmured to Professor Smith. I sighed, turned my head to the left, and saw him take a seat on the chair by the computer Porygon exploited. We were baffled with how foolish we were to have let it escape our grasps again.
“No, Kevin, not again,” Smith said. He turned to face the computer, it was still on from when Porygon remerged from the computer not even a few minutes ago, Smith started typing at an unbelievable rate, and managed to pinpoint which computer Porygon sent itself to since it had not been long since it went into cyberspace.
“There we go, Kevin. According to this tracker, Porygon should be two houses away. If we get there quick enough, we may just be able to trap it, and force it to come out! Now grab those two Pokeballs in my bag on the table, and follow me!” he ordered me, and ran out the door into his navy blue car. The interior design was modernized with a GPA, built-in computer, and other required equipment. All seats of the car were created with a black, leather material, and a caramel-toned carpet.
I reached inside, but just as my hand was within grasping distance of them, I realized that I did not see just two of the ruby-and-white spherical shaped objects, but four of them. I didn’t know which two he specifically wanted, so I grabbed them all.
“But the computers are two houses awa-… Oh, whatever. I’m coming right now, Smith!” I yelled. After I stuffed the four Pokeballs into my pockets, I ran out through the door and jumped straight into the car.
The engines roared to life and the tires skidded as the car was initiated. We drove off not even thirty feet, and reached our destination.
“Here we are, Kevin. Are you ready?” my old pal asked me. He took his jacket off and tossed it into the backseats.
“You betcha, we‘re not going to let this Porygon escape us again.” I responded back to Smith with uncertainty, as I opened my door, and looked above at the house that appeared to have become vacant many years ago, it had a creepy, haunted feel to it as we approached it. None of us knew what to expect, but by the looks of the broken wooden front door, cracked windows, and gloomy appearance, we assumed it wouldn’t be one of our greatest journeys. The abandoned house towered at about three-stories high, and no light could be seen through the windows. Smoke puffed heavily out of the chimney, so either there was a new resident - who I hoped had intentions of fixing the house up or at least attempting to make it livable, or it was just haunted – I preferred my first assumption.
“Let’s go,” he immediately said. He locked the car doors, and we walked across the dirt path that was surrounded with dead trees and clumps of dried, shriveled and discolored grass. Vague, bright-yellow eyes glared at us from atop the trees, but their bodies remained too dark for us to know what it was. Small, dry, yellow clouds of dust lifted above the curved path after each step we took. We approached the dark gray door that had various cracks and holes towards the top and bottom of it. We both took a quick glimpse of each other and slowly reached towards the shiny, golden doorknob, which surprised us with its fresh look. Before we even touched the knob, the door opened itself.
“Seems pretty weird, but we are on an urgent mission, Kevin. We need not be afraid of whatever may come our way; don’t forget the Pokemon we have that I told you to bring. With them inside, we have nothing to fear,” Smith said confidently. He seemed more bold than usual, but of course I wouldn’t complain about his sudden burst of courage.
“Yes, Smith. We’re going to find that Porygon, so let’s go!” We ran inside the abandoned house. The cold, wooden door tightly shut right behind us. I looked around my left and right – the house was lined with couches with springs that pointed out from the seat and paintings that seemed to date back to the Renaissance, a time where young, creative minds expressed their feelings onto their canvases. A dusty television set with cobwebs, a tall, brown Grandfather Clock with a rusty interior, and staircases with red carpets that was placed tightly onto each individual step were all located towards my left. The smell of socks and dirty laundry circled the area, which made the journey here all the less enjoyable. A vague mist shrouded the area and made eyesight poor.
“I’m assuming the computer should be located on the second floor, Kevin. Let’s take the stairs and hurry!” Smith yelled and we both ran to the stairs.
We quickly ran past the rugged carpets and the dusty wooden floor that had nothing that protected it from gathered dust. Once we drew closer to the stairs, I grabbed the wood-crafted railing, which appeared to have pieces of chipped wood stick out. Each step we took the creaked sound of the steps grew louder and louder. The designs of the stair’s carpet looked exquisitely unique and interesting, but I had no time to stop to examine the fine work. Towards the top step there was a large chandelier that dangled precariously from the ceiling on a bunch of black, thin wires that released little jolts of electricity as it passed through into the chandelier.
“Here we are, Smith. There are four rooms up here, so let’s start from the first one on the left and work our way from there,” My confidence began to build as I said that to Smith. We both nodded at each other, and walked across the scarcely lit hallway. As we approached the first door, we opened it and examined the room – a rather large king-sized bed with purple quilts and pillows, a dresser with shattered glass pieces scattered randomly upon the two red books placed upon it. I questioned myself: “What in God’s name happened here?” Of course, I didn’t know. The scent of roses swirled the area, but it barely complemented the appearance of the room.
“No computer here, Kevin,” he said. We walked out the room and closed the door behind us. Not too far away, we approached the second door. This door was about seven-feet high and four-feet wide, and entirely made of wood. I reached my hand towards the golden doorknob and twisted the oddly smooth and clean handle to open the door. We entered the room, but all we saw was nothing except a wooden floor, faded, old wallpaper with various images of cherubs and angels was torn at some spots, some rips leaving eerie imprints in the paneled wood underneath almost like claw marks… I shook my head and looked around, this room had a television set similar to the one we encountered on the bottom floor.
“Hmm...” Smith hummed curiously to himself. We walked in against our own free will, as if some strange force pulled us into the room – the door slammed behind us!
“What the hell?” I wanted to shout, but with what just happened, I didn’t want to do something that may have set off yet another trick. We were now trapped inside a room, and as I turned around to pull the golden doorknob, I realized with a pang of horror that the door would not budge open. After I looked at Smith, we both shifted our attention towards the ominous television, almost free of will.
The television turned itself on to one of those buzzing channels that display a lot of white and black snowy dots when you lose connection. A white screen soon consumed the television set and a loud, deafening beep sound set loose around the room. My eyes instinctively squinted tight, eventually closing all together as the white screen became uncomfortably bright, growing more luminous still as the sound of the beep increased in volume as well.
“Kevin, do you have the slightest idea what’s happening?” Smith shouted to vocalize himself above the beeps. He removed his wrinkled hands from his ears to hear my response, wincing at the sound from the television.
“No, Smith!” I shouted back to him. I placed my hands back over my ears, because the beeps were growing deafening. My eyes slowly opened, and looked towards the television – there were two, bulged-out, white eyes that stared at both Smith and I.
The eyes closed, and a body started to emerge from the screen. It appeared in our world and showed itself to us.
“Smith, isn’t that a Rotom?” I said. I didn’t have to yell since the beeps paused once the Rotom exited from the television.
“Yes… I think it is. But, Rotom, why? Why have you trapped us here?” Smith questioned the Rotom. I didn’t have any idea if it understood human speech or not.
Rotom’s orange, triangular-shaped body and light blue electricity jolted out from the bottom of its body. Rotom vigorously hovered up and down above us as we watched it. I wondered if it didn’t understand us, or it just plain-out ignored our questions.
It formed swirling, purple energy around its ghostly body, and launched them in rays and waves that went straight towards us. Something inside told me that this was Confuse Ray.
“Smith, get out of the way!” I shouted. I lunged my body in an attempt to get him out of the way, but the sinister ray had already made contact with him. My body slid across the floor and into the wall, as a large amount of dust raised up. I wanted to see if my old friend was all right, but Rotom started to grin at me, and then it let of a loud cry.
“Rooooootom,” it shouted, as it appeared to charge up for a Shadow Ball attack.
The natural radiation of light that was emitting from Rotom’s body seemed to dim for a moment, then the plasma-like Pokemon seemed to glow with an extraordinarily bright light as the dimmed silhouette of the Pokemon appeared to be displaced from its body, tightening its focus into a dark, black ball that quivered uneasily, as it rocketed forward to Smith and me.
“Smith, duck!” I shouted to him, but the command was vocalized too late.
The Shadow Ball hit the both of us and sent us through the dingy, wooden door. The door shattered into many pieces as the shards of wood exploded behind us and we flew through one of the windows in the hallway that sent us outside. We were shot through a couple of trees that were in the front of the house and ended up on the cold, dirt path once again. Bruised and cut up, we laid there on the cold earth below us with very little energy to get up.
“Are you okay, Smith?” I managed to gather enough strength to ask him. He placed his hand over his head that had a large, red lump on his forehead and grunted as he did so. He must have hit his head hard upon the ground or tree.
“...Where are we? Are you fine, Kevin?” he vaguely responded. He looked around in a 360 degree turn, and looked back at me. His face changed into a confused one, as he kept rubbing his head.
“I’m okay… but by now Porygon probably is within a different city… we better get back to the lab and fix ourselves up, and hopefully, we will be able to track it once again. But it appears that Rotom used Confuse Ray on you and wiped away parts of your memory. I really do hope this doesn't affect anything, and I'm sure it'll wear off soon, so there shouldn't be much to worry about, sir,” I said, as I found even more energy to rise myself up. I walked over to him and grabbed his hand to pull him up.
“Sounds like a good idea, Kevin,” he responded in agreement. He didn’t have too much energy to give his own input on my idea, or to respond. I knew he just wanted to lie down and sleep for week at this point. We slowly limped away from the abandoned house and made it to his car as a clock tower in the distance chimed, notifying us that it was noon.
“Hey, Kwiatkowski,” a deep voice growled like a lion from the entrance of David Kwiatkowski’s meager cubicle in the middle of the office, David looked up, biting his lip nervously as he recognized the voice. He had been poring over some newspaper clippings he held in his lap, neglecting his work. The office had recently been refurbished. The walls were cloaked in old statistics from previous years, each paper barely pinned onto the wall, like a frail leaf barely hanging on the tree's stem in the midst of fall. Fluorescent lights consumed the area in a bright, blue hue. Crystalline tiles lined the floors, evenly placed tightly against one another, resembling an army of soldiers preparing for combat.
“Where is the census I asked for this morning? How in God’s name do you plan on doing your job if you can’t even take census every morning? Jesus, Kwiatkowski, twenty people could have died and you’re too busy reading the damned paper?”
“Uh, oh,” David mumbled, casting the newspapers aside nervously as he pulled up the Excel program on his computer, obscuring the standard logo of ’North Oakland Medical Center’ on his desktop’s wallpaper, “yeah, I’ll get to it.”
His boss, Sherman O’Malley, living up to the temperamental Irish stereotype, continued to prowl through the cubicles, barking orders to people occasionally, to the point where by the time he reached his office, his face had grown the same bright shade of red as his hair. Looking down at his work, David sighed as he continued to take census.
Several hours passed, and as lunch break drew near, David kept glancing nervously at the newspaper clippings beside him, they seemed to be taunting him right now, as if they were whispering, “read me… read me…”. Shaking his head furiously, David turned back to his computer, glancing down at the small digital clock in the corner of his computer repeatedly as it grew nearer to noon.
At several minutes to noon, David leaned back in his chair to stretch, looking at O’Malley’s office to see that the door was closed shut. Smiling a little, David leaned forward in his chair, opening Internet Explorer on his computer. He waited for it to load, drumming his fingers nervously on his desk as he reached back for the newspaper on the other side of his desk.
He pulled it open carefully, taking it as if it were something delicate as he scanned through the articles, smiling to himself as he found a tiny article on the bottom of the page reading, “Mad Scientists Release Virus?”
David continued to read on, slowly lowering the newspaper onto his desk as he examined the picture of two men carefully. One appeared to be darker in complex ion, smiling weakly at the photographer, with a slight tuft of hair along his upper lip. The other man, looking much older in age, simply glared at the camera, his eyes dark as his forehead bore great lines across it. The caption underneath the photo read, “left, Kevin and right, Smith; the scientists known to have released the virus, “Porygon” into cyberspace.”
Taking a deep breath, David adjusted the position the paper on his keyboard. Of course, this newspaper was nearly ten years old - he had to be careful with it. He read on how the two “mad” scientists had been conducting an experiment to create a super virus, as the article put it, into cyberspace as a surefire way to obtain personal information and perform one of the biggest cases of identity theft imaginable.
David frowned at this, looking at the two men. They did not appear to be thieves, but they did appear… troubled. Of course, David reassured himself, anyone would appear troubled if they were being accused of such an act.
Continuing back to the article that David had read so many times before, he bit a piece of dry skin off his lip nervously as he proceeded to reread the part of the article that interested him.
“Be sure to keep all firewalls and anti-virus programs running and up-to-date on your computer as you surf the Web. The program, “Porygon”, has been known to be vicious and will attack without forewarning. Remember the basics of Internet safety, do not share your password or personal information with people you do not know or do not trust. Keep all information to yourself. If you have experienced any odd or malicious behavior detected on your PC, report this IMMEDIATELY. Do not try to confront the program on your own, as it can be dangerous - if not deadly.”
The last part had confused David immensely, and he was sure it confused everyone else who read this as well, since several weeks after this newspaper had been printed, another newspaper had been printed as well, saying that the program was still at large, however dormant considering that there had been no cases of identity theft that could be traced back to occurring from the “malicious Porygon program.”
David sighed and stretched back in his chair, scratching his scalp as his stomach growled for lunch. He picked up the Styrofoam cup. The steam lifted into the atmosphere like pale, vaporous smoke exhaled out of the mouth on a cold, winter day. The soothing aroma caressed David's senses, seeping through his lungs like silk. His mouth watered as the coffee drew closer towards his quivering lips, only to be taken in by a desperate yearning in his mouth. The coffee warmed his tingling tongue with an army of curious taste buds, slipping through his ever-welcoming throat. He placed the cup down after one refreshing gulp and felt a sudden boost of energy and activity. Remembering that he had opened Internet Explorer, David carefully stacked the newspapers in a pile under his desk as he turned to his computer. He frowned curiously, the Internet Explorer icon remained highlighted, but did not open.
David moved the cursor over again, and double clicked the icon. Again, it remained highlighted, but showed no sign of attempting to load. Groaning, David stood up to talk to Ronald, the “technical expert” of their department, but just as he stood up, the screen turned all white and harshly bright.
“What the-…” David started to say, several by passers stopped to see what was going on in his cubicle, as he stared dumbstruck at the screen, the pixels had started moving like a ripple when stone hits water. From the center of the ripple, a baby blue shape emerged, followed by the rest of the form, a soft bubblegum pink face with blank white eyes. David’s eyes widened as the rest of the figure emerged, its body a pink and blue mass of odd shapes and edges.
Stumbling back from the… thing, David tripped over his chair, sending it spinning out of his cubicle as several people scattered now, running back to their desks for Pokeballs or to call for help. The thing that had emerged from David’s computer floated above the cubicle, wandering the office idly as it appeared to be taking in its surroundings. The door in O’Malley’s office slammed open, nearly knocking a frantic man carrying paperwork into the wall, as he looked back at his boss and rushed back to his cubicle.
“What is going on out-…” O’Malley bellowed, before his eyes settled on the polygonal mass floating about his office.
“Porygon… Somebody let Porygon into this office!?” O’Malley screeched, his voice unearthly high.
“Pory…gon?” David murmured to himself, looking back at the pink and blue object. If it really was Porygon, why had it gotten through the company’s massive amount of anti-virus protections and firewall? No virus, despite how malicious, could have made it through that. Unless, David gulped, it wasn’t a virus after all. What if, he thought as people continued to run about, gathering their belongings and Pokeballs from this unknown threat, this “virus” was really a Pokemon?
Gathering a new thread of hope, David scrambled for his Pokeballs on his desk, selecting several, as well as a few Ultra Balls that he stashed in his back pocket, and running for the Porygon which was now peering out of the floor-to-ceiling windows on the far side of the office.
“Kwiatkowski!” Mr. O’Malley shouted, “What are you doing? You need to get out of here until that thing is taken care of!”
“It’s just a Pokemon!” David shouted back, clutching one of the Pokeballs in his fist.
“Just a… Pokemon?” O’Malley repeated, frowning. He stared at the Porygon for a moment, then ran back into his office with a new determination in his face, and reappeared as he, too, now was clutching a single Pokeball in his fist.
David thrust one of his Pokeballs into the air, as a scarlet beam of red light erupted from inside, fading to reveal a large tan and yellow bird with a trail of red and yellow feathers fluttering down from its head. Its great wingspan and wide body showed to be intimidating in the small, tightly-packed office. Porygon's Special Attack has been increased from its ability, Download, due to Pidgeot's lower Defense. One super-effective move from this dangerous Pokemon could mean the end of Pidgeot.
“Pidgeot!” David shouted, “Use a Wing Attack on the Porygon!”
Pidgeot responded immediately, rising up to the fluorescent lights of the office where the mood of the area dramatically changed, then streaked down with its extraordinary right wing colliding into the Porygon, knocking it back several feet, but appearing to not phase it much.
“Kwiatkowski,” O’Malley said from behind him, lifting his own Pokeball, preparing to throw it, “you really don’t know about that Porygon, do you? It made national news. National news. It was created in Harvard, I remember reading, and if it made it all the way here to California, you can’t underestimate it. We know absolutely nothing about this… Pokemon,” he said the final word uneasily, glancing at the idle Porygon that hovered nearby, “except that it could be dangerous - and is extremely powerful.”
David looked back at the Porygon, as the remaining of the office workers had finally fled, leaving just David Kwiatkowski, and his long-hated boss, O’Malley as they faced the Pokemon. A few potted plants had been knocked over, their soil spilling out from the frantic fleeing of the others, and a few chairs were lying on their sides around the cubicles. The space they stood in remained relatively undisturbed, the cubicles lined to their right and the great window on their left streaming in sunlight.
Without a word or warning, O’Malley his Pokeball into the air, as an identical crimson streak of light raced do the ground, revealing a squat, navy blue Pokemon that stood on its stout hind legs. It had great white fists, and two small eyes that were perched on its head, it turned a bit to face its master, revealing a great white belly with a hypnotic black swirl in it. It looked fierce, glancing from the Porygon, to David’s hovering Pidgeot above it, to David himself, and finally rested its eyes on O’Malley, its gaze softening a bit.
“Poliwrath,” O’Malley barked in such a fierce tone that was familiar to David, “use a Waterfall attack!”
Poliwrath lurched forward, shooting a forceful spray of water from the center of its stomach as it ran into the Porygon simultaneously. Porygon bravely stayed in place while Poliwrath charged further and barely dodged the powerful move, hitting it on the lower-right side of its body. The Poliwrath jumped back unscathed from the force, as the Porygon quivered a little bit, sinking in the air slightly as it gathered the strength to look back at the attackers.
Something seemed to dawn in its eyes, as it identified them as threats. The Porygon floated up a bit, at equal level with David’s Pidgeot, and started to glow dimly, rejuvenating itself with Recover. After a moment, it looked ready to fight, its blank eyes seemed angry, even.
“Pidgeot,” David jumped up to seize the chance, “use U-Turn!”
Pidgeot responded immediately once again, diving for the Porygon as it attacked it straight on with its beak, making it recoil back a bit, using the momentum to fly back to David in a single, swift movement, where David recalled the bird Pokemon, thrusting another Pokeball into the air.
A much larger Pokemon’s silhouette appeared in the bright red light, fading to reveal an enormous fiery orange and black-striped hound with a mane of pale yellow fur lining its face, and billowing out as its tail. The Arcanine barked excitedly, puffing out a plume of white-gray smoke as it looked intently at the Porygon.
“Poliwrath,” O’Malley cut in, “use Brick Break!”
The Poliwrath ran forward, its fists tightening as it leaped up once more, pounding its fists mercilessly into the Porygon. The Porygon buckled under the attack, falling down to the ground from the attack, yet remaining vigilant and keeping airborne.
“Kwiatkowski,” O’Malley turned to David, “what types of Pokemon are weak to Fighting-type attacks?”
“Uh, Normal… and Dark-types, I think.” David recited, racking his brain through the seventeen known types.
“I think Porygon is a Normal-type,” O’Malley reasoned, looking at the fresh bruises on the opposing Pokemon’s body, “none of our other attacks hurt it that much.”
I nodded, agreeing with O’Malley as the Porygon started to glow once more. I expected it to recover itself again, but instead of absorbing the light, the light was discharged from its body in all directions.
“A Discharge attack?” David shout ed to O’Malley over the sound of crackling electricity emitting from the Porygon. The lightning struck out, knocking Arcanine back a bit, almost paralyzing, as the great dog-like Pokemon barked out in pain. The Poliwrath buckled to its knees as the electricity continued to sizzle around its body, the electric currents visible in the Water-type Pokemon’s translucent skin. Poliwrath stumbled to its feet, its sides rising and falling tremendously from the impact of the attack. David knew that Poliwrath wouldn’t be able to take another Discharge attack from the Porygon.
“Arcanine, try for a Fire Blast attack!” David shouted, turning his attention back to his own Pokemon, as Arcanine gaped its mouth wide, revealing its sharp fangs and great pink maw, David turned back to O’Malley quickly.
“Can Poliwrath learn Aqua Ring, or Recover, or any other move like that?” David demanded.
“No, it can’t,” O’Malley said resolutely, “but, my Poliwrath does know Protect.” He put in quickly.
“Try and keep your Poliwrath protected when you see Porygon glowing again. This Pokemon is strong, and unless you have any other Pokemon on you then we can’t take any chances.”
“Don’t have to tell me twice,” O’Malley grunted, turning back to the battle as a great star-shaped plume of fire soared through the air, consuming the small Porygon’s body. When the fire faded, leaving a trail of smoke. The Porygon was now drifting lazily to the floor, its body still bruised, and now greatly scorched, from the attacks.
The Porygon began to glow again, David felt a knot tighten in his stomach - if it recovered now… the battle would go on for ages, and if it used Discharge, then he just hoped that O’Malley had the well-being of his Poliwrath in his mind.
Just as predicted, it started to shoot currents of electricity from its body once again, this time soaring forward so that the impact of the shock would be more powerful. Without warning, O’Malley shouted for his Poliwrath to use Protect.
Without hesitation, the Poliwrath jumped to life and a pearly-blue barrier formed around the Pokemon, where the currents of electricity hit the barrier, they diminished in a small puff of white smoke and the barrier merely rippled.
The computers around the area had been going haywire, as they all turned on, off, back on, and went to various popular websites, such as Google and Yahoo. Lights flickered in the main room, as did the insignificant lights that were merely used to light up desks.
Porygon charged up yet again, charging its remaining power for a Tri Attack. Yellow jolts of electricity, eruption of fire rings, and icicles formed around Porygon, surrounding it. It shot it straight at the Arcanine, carefully aiming to hit it on the back.
Arcanine, on the other hand, was not as lucky as Poliwrath when avoiding the attack. The force of the electricity made it sink to a kind of sitting-position, its claws scrambling the ground as electricity scorched its usually heat-resistant fur. Arcanine grunted, attempting to rise to its feet once again as it glared hatefully at the Porygon. Without any command from David, the Arcanine scrambled forward, gaping its mouth wide as fire burst around its fangs and maw, giving it a wild, feral look as it lurched forward and sank its teeth hard against the Porygon’s metallic skin. The Porygon was thrust down into the ground by Arcanine, who was still clamping its jaws tightly on the Pokemon. Instinctively, David reached for one of the Ultra Balls he had stowed in his back pocket, and pulled it out, aiming and throwing it at the Porygon who was held mercilessly in Arcanine’s jaws before him.
Smith and I entered through the doubled-doors, and rushed in. We walked towards the weakened Porygon, and gazed in astonishment.
“Smith, look!” I shouted. Smith's memory was slowly, but surely returning. He was awe-struck, as he shifted his attention towards the damaged area, and bruised Porygon.
The Porygon disappeared in a flash of white light as the Ultra Ball thudded to the ground. David smirked as the ball rocked on the lustrous, black flooring. A plan was already forging in his mind as to what he could do with such a unique, intelligent Pokemon such as Porygon...
Arcanine stared vengefully at the ball as it wiggled back and forth...