The countryside flashed by as Axion attempted to relax in his seat within Goldenrod's magnet train. While it was designed to provide comfort during the ride, he was continually shifting in his seat. Grassy fields and the occasional tree were visible for an instant in the window before being replaced with a slightly different variation of the same theme. Shifting the ponytails of his long, light brown hair out of the way and placing his backpack on the floor, he attempted to lay down along the bench seat. His gray jacket bunched up beneath him, only furthering his discomfort. The other passengers paid him little notice, each attending to their own comfort. He pulled out his Pokegear, attempting to review the plan before the train arrived in Saffron City. On the screen, the image of Magnemite appeared, its magnets slowly rotating in the picture. This was his target, and soon his months of planning would come to fruition.
Axion stepped into the harsh sunlight of Saffron City, standing still while his eyes adjusted. It was not small by any means, but Saffron seemed smaller, quieter than the city he had left hours ago. People on leisurely walks, kids quietly playing in the yards, the flowers just starting to bloom in the mild April weather. If it had been near the seaside, it might have made him feel at home, resembling Olivine City in its laid back demeanor.
The Pokemon Center was his first stop. As always, Nurse Joy stood by the front counter, with her eternal smile shining bright. “Welcome to the Pokemon center,” she beamed. “How can I assist you today?”
Axion gave her a slight smile. “I'm actually wondering if there are any buses to Cerulean City, or the Power Plant if that is an option.”
She thought for a moment, then sighed. “I'm so sorry, the last one left an hour ago. We wont have any more for another three days. But you are welcome to wait here if you want.”
Shaking his head, Axion replied “No, I'll just head there on foot. My thanks though.” Without further discussion, Axion departed from the center, the doors silently sliding open for his exit.
After asking a nearby couple for directions to the Poke Mart, Axion made the short trip to the small, blue-roofed structure. The clerk, black hair somewhat unkempt from sitting at the counter all day, momentarily peered at him through thick black glasses before returning to his crossword. Silently, Axion selected a few great balls, food, and some paralysis and health potions as a precaution. The clerk lazily looked over the stock before uttering only a “$5,600 please.” Axion silently complied, handing over the requested amount, then loading his already overstuffed pack with the additional supplies.
Route 5 lay ahead, the long yet noticeable incline appearing to be an overly large annoyance to Axion. Feeling somewhat lonely, he removed the lone pokeball from his belt, and threw it, yelling “Scyther, lets go!” As the ball opened, the red light and energy slowly coalesced into a mantis-like being, with a vaguely reptilian head. “Scyther” it said as Axion's companion finally shook himself and spread his wings and reveled in his freedom. “Sorry bud. Didn't want to bring you out on the train, you would have been overly bored and cramped.” The enormous bug failed to give any vocal reply, but a swift nod provided acceptance of Axion's reasoning. The two set off walking up the slope towards Cerulean City, the vaguest of bumps in the distance.
Axion sat in the mess hall of the Cerulean City Pokemon Center. It was almost entirely empty, only two other scattered trainers seated with their Pokemon, all eating in relative silence. The male trainer seated closest to the food was gorging himself, making a mess of his jacket and hands. His Snorlax and Gulpin were eating in a similar fashion, the two bulbous pokemon devouring their bowls almost as fast as their master. The girl was much more refined, her Squirtle picking and choosing the best morsels from its plate. She appeared quite young, likely having just started her journey from one of the surrounding cities. Axion merely finished his rice, and made sure Scyther was adequately fed with the available pokemon food. The pair quietly gathered their possessions from the sparsely furnished shared sleeping quarters before heading into the empty lobby, and then exiting into the morning sunrise. It was still early, the sunlight closer to red than the later white-yellow. The pair had arrived in Cerulean City rather late, and Axion had little desire to camp out when a perfectly good Pokemon Center was nearby. Setting out early was his preferred strategy, he had a pokemon to find.
The river following Route 10 offered up a pleasant sound to Axion as he traversed the road toward the power plant. A few trainer had attempted to battle him, but he had politely refused, despite their demands to the contrary. A few Rattata and Venonat frolicked in the surrounding grass, however Axion ignored them. As a shadow passed over the path in front of him, he looked up; a Fearow was slowly circling the area. As he returned his view to the road ahead, a shriek startled him. From his side, a Venomoth flew into him, the Fearow's dive in an identical path. As Venomoth's momentum carried him into the river, he quickly grabbed for Scyther's pokeball. His backpack had fallen off, and was now floating downstream. “No!” he yelled in vain. Quickly returning to shore, the poke ball in his hand flew forth, and Scyther appeared. Slightly confused at why Axion was wet, Scyther gave him a quick “Scy-” before Axion cut him off. “My backpack's floating downstream. See if you can catch it!” Immediately, the bug took to the air, using its far superior speed to outpace Axion. Running, he watched as both his equipment and only pokemon traveling rapidly downstream.
When Axion finally caught up to his companion, the large green insect was not alone. A Squirtle was seated next to him, its brown shell and leathery blue skin wet as if from a recent swim. Axion's pack, apparently still intact and sealed, sat next to the smaller of the pair. As he got closer, he could vaguely hear the two conversing, but could only guess at the actual topic. From the path behind him, he heard a feminine voice. “Squirtle, there you are!” As he turned around, Axion recognized the girl from the Pokemon Center. “And I see you've made a friend.” The girl was smiling, her hands wiping away the slightest of tears. She was cute, the blond hair framing a young yet eager face. Very common for a trainer, she had on close-fitting pants and a shirt, covered with a light jacket. “So whats your name” she asked inquisitively.
“I am Axion, a trainer from Olivine City. And you are?”
She gave another smile. “I'm Tiffany from Viridian City. I was on my way to Lavender town, but my little Squirtle here wanted to take a swim. He ended up a little farther downstream than expected. I almost thought he'd gotten swept away. “
“Apparently his misadventure was quite helpful in the end, as your Squirtle managed to procure my missing backpack for me. I am quite thankful for this, as it contains some rather unique components, and I would be hard pressed to replace them. So for this, it seems I am in your Squirtle's debt.”
A peal of laughter like tinkling bells echoed across the valley. “I doubt Squirtle will ever cash in on that, but I'm sure Squirtle was just happy to help. Isn't that right, Squirt?”
“Squirtle squirtle!” came the enthusiastic reply.
“See? Everything worked out here. Anyway, why are you all the way out here? This area doesn't really have anything notable, does it?”
Axion nodded. “For most people, this is just an out of the way route. But I'm going after a specific pokemon. From my research, the power plant at the end of this route keeps a steady supply of them around.”
Tiffany's face gave a quizzical look. “What pokemon is that?”
With a smile on his face, Axion looked towards his eventual destination. “Magnemite.”
The power plant was a large mechanical monster, built almost directly into the rock wall beside it. From where Axion and Scyther stood, the tall stacks of the facility blew very faint smoke, and heat waves radiated from above the rooftop. The sound of machinery whirring and buzzing drafted across the grassy field. However, Axion was quite content to be reasonably far away. Sitting down in a relatively clear area, he pulled out a small sandwich he had packed, and drug out a small can of pokemon food for Scyther. The pair ate greedily, savoring the small morsels as the sun sat overhead. After both had satisfied their hunger, Axion set to work on assembling the small electromagnetic field generator that had been carefully stored in his backpack. After checking twice to make sure that the device had been correctly assembled, he sat down for a moment. The device in front of him was about 2 feet tall, and was shaped in the approximate silhouette of a mushroom. Around the outer circumference of what would be considered the cap, 4 small antennas were arrayed equally. A cable at the base of the stack connected to a miniature electric crank generator. “Ready bud?” Axion asked Scyther, who was distractedly looking off into the distance at the mountains. A confirming “Scyther” was all he needed to hear. With a muted whirr sound, the hand crank began turning, and Axion could hear the very faint crackles emanating from the static rods. Now came the wait.
Five minutes passed, then ten. Axion took a short break to take a drink of water as well as rest his slowly tiring arm muscles. Scyther walked around, restless and somewhat affected by the small electromagnetic field he was generating. As the sun started to drop, Axion resumed powering the small generator, hoping for the best. As the sun's edge nicked the mountain's crest, Axion's face contorted into something resembling disappointment, almost sadness. His arm, now almost hanging limply from the day's hard exertions, wobbled about as he stood up. Motioning to his pokemon, the two worked on setting up his tent before it became too dark to operate. A small camp stove, once removed from the backpack, provided warm soup for both Axion and Scyther, the beverage both refreshing and relaxing them. The pair then laid down, and stared at the stars that slowly came out, obscured by the rare straggling cloud. After an indeterminate time, Scyther returned to his poke ball for a nap, and Axion climbed into his small yet cozy tent. The sleeping bag wrapped around him like a warm cocoon as he slowly drifted to sleep.
As Axion slowly woke from his slumber, he heard something like the faintest of hums surrounding his tent. Creeping almost in-perceptively, he grabbed a flashlight and poked his head out from the tent in order to see the disturbance. The setting half-moon cast a dim light across most of the valley, reflecting off the metal spheres floating through the small campsite. He silently reached for Scyther's poke ball. As he launched from his hidden position, he rapidly called out “Scyther, lets go! Double team now, coral them in!” As Scyther materialized, multiple copies of itself quickly surrounded the amassed Magnemite. The Magnemite, momentarily confused, flew around in circles and attempted to break free. “Now Scyther, X-Scissor on one of them!” As the copies all raised their now-glowing front claws, the numerous Magnemites began to rapidly spin their protruding magnets. Small jolts appeared from the poles, and the duplicates rapidly decreased in number. As what Axion assumed to be the real Scyther struck a Magnemite, a jolt hit him. Instantly the rest of the Magnemite took the opportunity to flee, one fell to the ground momentarily, taken aback by Scyther's direct hit.
Scyther, on the other hand was currently showing extreme pain as he tried to move. The small floating robot, having recovered from the hit, began rapidly spinning, apparently charging power. “Scyther, try and use quick attack to get behind the generator!” Despite Scyther's obvious paralysis, the insect very rapidly managed to move itself behind the small electrical device before collapsing. The instant he ended his travel, Magnemite released a powerful thunderbolt. But instead of hitting Scyther, the electricity was redirected and absorbed by the four conducting rods. Magnemite continued its discharge in an attempt to reach his opponent, however the machine effectively continued to act as a ground and melting all the while. . The discharge finally ended, and the device had been reduced to molten fused slag, but Scyther was more or less no worse for wear. Magnemite seemed to be floating lower to the ground now. Shifting position, a piercing wave of sound arced toward Scyther. “Use razor wind to counter sonic boom!” Axion yelled, barely audible over the now almost solid wave of sound energy. Scyther's wings began to buzz, resembling the sound of a motor, and the rapidly condensed air impacted with a roar as the sound wave dissolved into relative silence.
Scyther's paralysis decided to kick in at this moment, and its entire body locked up, forcing him to fall to the ground. Noticing this, Magnemite began to hover forward. As the opponent began the trek towards him, Scyther slowly stood up, a permanent grimace on his face accentuated by ticks of pure torture. A glow appeared in front of the one-eyed pokemon, a yellow ball that became larger as Magnemite pulled its last reserves of energy for a final strike. As the ball reached its apex, a massive vortex of electrical energy, Axion looked directly at Scyther. “Vacuum wave, I believe in you!” With obvious pain, Scyther's eyes blazed with confidence. His claws moved rapidly in circles, creating a space free of air. The offensive moved launched as Magnemite's electro ball shot towards its intended target. As the attacks met, the swirling mass of electricity flared, and continued on as vacuum wave struck its target. Magnemite, having almost no energy, was struck by the full impact, falling to the ground. Axion watched in horror as electro ball enveloped Scyther. For a moment, there was only the light and radiant energy releasing in coruscating waves over Scyther. As it finally subsided, Axion looked in awe as Scyther somehow remained conscious. “We did it Scyther!” He ran over to his friend, giving him a health potion and parlyz heal to ensure his wounds. As Axion turned around, he saw the wobble in the grass of the Magnemite. Determined, he chose a great ball, and tossed it towards the small sphere. Both Axion and Scyther watched as the ball wobbled once, twice. Click.