Pokémon being caught: Magikarp, Lotad, Poliwag
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I was awake when we had landed at Aspertia City. The place was huge, dominated by a lookout point that towered above the other buildings. I had been here once before, to see my cousins at a family meet up. They lived on the far side of the city from the lookout, next to the Trainer’s school. My Mother lay asleep, strapped onto the Swellow as we flew through the air. We had been going for hours and it was a miracle that the Flying-types had made it. I remembered the scene that came to us as we left Lacunosa Town.
We took off, soaring through the air, a few possessions in backpacks that we had hastily prepared. As we took off Mother had been chastising me, telling me that it was my entire fault. But as we flew over the walls we all fell silent. The Ice sheet was huge, towering higher than the walls now, and extending at a running pace towards Lacunosa Town. A few people had noticed and were screaming below us. The unstoppable force of ice was strangely beautiful, towering high with Cathedral-like spires of frozen water towering upwards. We continued onwards, flying over the space that the Giant chasm had inhabited until only a few minutes ago. I swear to Arceus that I saw two yellow specs, like the ones that we had first seen in the cave before Kyurem leapt out at us. I looked across at Sam.
“I can’t believe what we’ve done,” he said. “We’ve just killed a town, just to try to catch a Pokémon.”
I didn’t say anything to try to comfort him, there was nothing that I could say without feeling dishonest. We continued to fly on, outpacing the ice sheet and going on to open fields again.
Dad directed Sam to where our cousin’s house was and we landed the Staraptor and Swellow in their garden. I slipped off the bird Pokémon and lay down on the grass for a few minutes. The journey was a massive exercise of physical control and mental willpower, I had had to concentrate on the air in front of me and now I was exhausted. Some lights flicked on, and soon Horris, my Uncle, opened the door out onto the garden.
“Who’s there?” He shouted out. My Father came off the Staraptor that he had been riding with Sam.
“It’s me, Horris, Michael,” Dad replied. Horris was a slightly more generously proportionned man than my father, standing tall with large legs like tree trunks. He was bald and his face was lined with a greying beard and his green eyes stared out into the darkness.
“Thank Arceus you’re safe, we heard about what had happened in the news and were so worried,” he exclaimed.
“How many people survived?” I asked, standing up and flicking a strand of brown hair from my face.
“About six thousand survived, either running off or on Pokémon. Three thousand died,” Horris replied, a look of sadness in his eyes. I sat back down. I had killed three thousand people, just to show off to a friend. We were shown in by Horris and I went up to one of my cousin’s, Gareth’s, room to sleep.
I woke up the next morning, lying in Gareth’s bed. The room was like any teenagers, messy, smelly, and full of magazines and other junk. I sat up, still in my clothes, Cottonee lying on top of me, and stretched myself out. Then it struck me again of what had happened. Guilt wracked me again. But I had to get past that. It was in the past now, and I had to carry on living. I stood up and started to make my way downstairs. Sure enough my parents were there, drinking coffee and watching the TV screen.
“And now to our main story: Half of Unova has been covered by an ice cap after it started spreading at an alarming rate yesterday. Three thousand people are dead or missing and millions have been displaced. We shall now go to our correspondent in Milstraton City, on the edge of the ice cap,”
The scene then changed to a reporter standing in a winter outfit by Milstraton Airport. Dad turned around to face me.
“We’ve made a decision. We’re already being a burden to Uncle Horris and Aunt Grace by staying here, so they would be grateful if there was one less mouth to feed. So, if you’d like, we’re comfortable with you going off to be a trainer,” he said. Mum turned around, nodding. I was dumbstruck. I had only ever dreamed of becoming a trainer, never even thought about it.
“Well, I guess I’d love to, if you were fine with it,” I replied. Suddenly I realised the implications of becoming a trainer. I’d rarely see them, if ever again. Sam entered the room from the balcony. He looked refreshed, his dark brown hair combed off his face, standing reasonably tall, his blue cap in his hand and satchel, a bit battered now, on his shoulder.
“So, are you ready to go?” He asked.
Sam and I walked down the streets of Aspertia City. His blue jacket, red cap and rucksack were all a bit tattered after yesterday and we both agreed that it was time to buy some new clothes before we did anything.
There was one vast mall in Aspertia, stretching for almost a kilometre on each of the four floors. The biggest clothes store was Kitting Out, so we went in there. We had a laugh in the changing room, trying out dresses, stupid hats, punk outfits, but eventually we both started to look for some new clothes. We weaved between the long isles on the wooden floorboards that these sorts of shops always seemed to have, looking at clothes in the mirrors that made every pillar seem purposely built for that purpose.
“If you want to be a trainer you have to be prepared for both hot and cold areas. Most of the area around here in the South is relatively warm as it’s the summer, so these shorts would be good,”Sam said, picking out a pair of long brown shorts that seemed to fit my lanky build.
“Have this shirt too, and for winter wear this jumper,” he said, indicating towards a light blue shirt and a darker jumper. I also selected out some skins and a white satchel to carry my stuff in, and we left the store.
We reached the lookout, where apparently I was to receive my starter Pokémon, at noon.
“Why do I need a starter Pokémon? I’ve already got Cottonee,” I asked as we ascended the tower.
“Come on, they’re giving out free Pokémon, what’s there to lose?” He replied, almost at the top. We reached the top of the lookout and the wind almost whipped off my new cap. The view here was stunning, looking out on the planes below Aspertia City. Apparently this tower had been built to warn of incoming invaders. I could almost imagine bored soldiers sitting up here, looking out into the darkness. There was a woman wearing green trousers and an orange jacked stood near the edge. Sam made his way to her.
“Bianca, is that you?” He asked. She turned around. She was wearing green glasses that looked strange on her. I wondered how Sam knew her.
“Sam, what are you doing here?” She asked. It appeared that they knew each other, and a brief conversation ensued, catching up on what had happened.
“And now I’m here to get this Trainer his Starter Pokémon,” Sam concluded his tale.
“Well, I’m not sure that that’s feasible. After all he’s not in the catchment area for Aspertia City officially, and he already has a Pokémon,” she said, trailing off. She didn’t look too intelligent, and I couldn’t see her being an assistant for a professor.
“How about you do something for me and I’ll get you a starter.” she concluded.“A group of wild Pokémon have been causing problems around here. It would be a massive favour if you could do us a favour and take care of them.” she said.
“OK, you’ve got a deal,” I replied, brushing aside my cap. Bianca handed me a map and profiles of each of the criminals before I departed.
I had seen both of the Pokémon before. One was a Lotad, a Pokémon that from the top looked like a lily pad, but also had a deep blue body and a yellow bill. The other was a Poliwag, another Water-type, with a round spiralling body and a long transparent tail. Unsurprisingly their spree of crime had followed around the river bank where mobility would be easiest, and for me most difficult to find them. I made my way to the centre of town, through which the river flowed. The river was very wide this close to the sea, spreading across a good fifty yards.
The water was a murky brown colour, making me rather unwilling to dive into it. I struck some luck in the form of a leaf floating on the surface of the water. It was a strange crescent shaped leaf, one which I didn’t recognise. It was barely wet and floating downstream, so the maker of it must be close. There was only one grass type that frequented the waterways, and if this wasn’t the one that I was looking for, fate was pitted against me. I descended a ladder towards the pebbly beach that skirted the river during the summer, walking upstream. I was fortunate, and found what I was looking for.
What I saw first was a pile of green mush, clogging up one of the drains leading into the river. It looked like spinach, rammed into the pipe with much force. Then I saw a figure resting just on the edge of said pipe. It looked like it was wearing a green leafy sombrero, its yellow bill open, a laugh resounding from it. It was that Lotad!
“Cottonee, go! Use Energy Ball!” I commanded, throwing the capsule containing my friend. The puffy Pokémon appeared from Plasma and prepared a green ball of matter to shoot at the Lotad. It was too late, however, as the Lotad dived into the water and started to swim downstream, shooting right past us. I ran along the pebbly beach, slipping along with Cottonee as we tried to catch up with the speedy swimmer. We were starting to catch up with him; soon we would be able to land a hit. I heard a whooshing sound behind me and a round blue figure with spirals running along its midriff leapt out of the water. It was Poliwag! A jet of water issued from its mouth, knocking me over midstride. I lay helpless as it dived back into the water and swam away with its crony.
I walked along the streets, wondering what to do. If I went after them again they would do the same thing, if not worse. I had to find a way of chasing them even when Poliwag attacked me again. I heard footsteps coming up behind me and turned. It was Sam.
“You look wet,” he concluded upon seeing me. “How goes the search for the criminals?” He asked.
“Badly, it would seem,” I replied. “When I come close to reaching one, the other springs out from nowhere and knocks me down.” I explained to him.
“Ah, have you thought of getting another Water Pokémon to help you? That way it could chase one while you could take care of the other one when it assaults you,” he suggested. My mind clicked at that moment. It filled the hole in my plan. All I needed to do was get a Water type.
I walked back out of the mall in Aspertia, this time holding a Fishing Rod. I looked back at the huge building, with its domed roof that looked a bit like the Battle Dome in Hoenn. I used to do a little fishing with Dad when I was younger and was sure that I could pull this off. I had in the other hand a map of the City, combined with the prime fishing spots marked out by a helpful guy in the shop. The closest place was close to here, only half a mile down the road. So I set off, prepared to catch a Water Pokémon.
I was sat, eating a sandwich, Cottonee by my side, next to one of the tributaries of the river that ran through Aspertia. Apparently the river ran down from the mountains and the Magikarp migrated along here every year. If I didn’t get something here then I would get nothing anywhere. But it seemed like that was the case. We had been waiting here for a few hours and still we had not had a single tug on the fishing line. Even Cottonee looked a little bored, a feat that until now had seemed impossible. Suddenly I felt a tug on the line. We had a fish! I hastily yanked the rod out of the water and sent a red-orange flailing creature flying out of the water. It was a Magikarp, now hopelessly flopping on the side of the river, attempting to return to its watery home.
“Cottonee, use Energy Ball!” I commanded as my partner suddenly perked up. The fluffy ball put its green, leafy arms together and summoned a glowing orb of energy. He fired it at the Magikarp and sent it flying. Suddenly I was concerned that we would knock out the Pokémon but thankfully it landed again, still weakly flopping about. I took out a Poké Ball out, turning on the capture mechanism and preparing to throw it. I released the ball from my hand and it fell, almost in slow motion, towards the Magikarp.
Bleep…Bleep…Bleep…PING! The Magikarp was caught! I walked over and collected the red and white orb, still slightly shaking on the ground. Magikarp was mine now. Everything was now in place for my plan. All I needed was to find the irritating duo.
I walked along the river bank, once again searching for the two Pokémon that had so effectively managed to escape my grasp. I wondered over to the drainage pipe that had been the scene of their most recent crime. It was still blocked with the green mush. I could even see the place where Poliwag’s Hydro Pump had sent me toppling, the wall adjacent to it splattered with water. It had always annoyed me when humans did this sort of thing, but a Pokémon doing it fascinated me, the fact that something that small and obeying would want to rebel against society. I let Magikarp out of its Poké Ball and it gently swam around in the flowing river. I looked at the map that Bianca had given to me. Most of the time the crime was in a similar area, it seemed, but now the crime had occurred somewhere different. Perhaps the pair were resettling for some reason. Whatever the reason for this most recent crime I was determined to make it their last one. I would capture them. I looked at the furthest bridge, my fishing line hanging where the current ran strongest, where Lotad would most probably swim. I turned back to Magikarp.
“Magikarp, I want you to scour the nearby area. Look for Lotad and Poliwag. If you find them, come straight back to me,” I ordered the rather docile Pokémon. It dived beneath the surface. I waited, but not for long. Soon Magikarp flew out of the water, a glowing orb of energy following it. A disc-shaped leaf bobbed up to the surface and started to swim, right towards the bridge. The plan was going perfectly so far, Lotad had taken the bait and now Magikarp was chasing it, all the way towards the rod. I had to follow the plan too so I, Cottonee on shoulder, ran alongside the swimming Water-type.
Soon Poliwag leapt out of the water, firing a cold jet of water straight at me. I dived down, narrowly avoiding the Hydro Pump.
"Cottonee, use Giga Drain!" I commanded.
Cottonee leapt up, its leaves glowing and tendrils coming out of them and gripping Poliwag before it could dive down again. The Giga Drain attack would take a lot of energy from Poliwag with it being a Water-type; it by itself might be enough to finish the battle. However, Poliwag managed to hold on and dived into the water. I could soon lost sight of the blue Tadpoll Pokémon, but I had an idea about how to get its attention.
"Cottonee, throw some of your Cotton into the Water!" I told the Pokémon. Cottonee expanded, then neatly sliced off some of its own protective fur and threw it into the water. Poliwag leapt out of the water for another Hydro Pump. My plan had worked, Poliwag had thought that the cotton was actually my Pokémon, and so had been decieved.
"Don't let him get away this time, use Leech Seed!" I shouted. Out of Cottonee's fur came a small seed. It looked a bit like a pumpkin seed, I thought. Cottonee fired the seed into the air and it planted itself in Poliwag's soft blue skin, quickly growing into vines that wrapped around the Pokémon.
"Finish off with Energy Ball!" I ordered. Cottonee formed a ball of green energy in between its leaves and fired it at the opponent. Before it struck, however, Poliwag glowed red, and curled up. The Pokémon was using Endure, a move that prevented the user from being knocked out. It seemed to think that I wanted to defeat it, and it was mistaken.
I pulled a Poké Ball out of my pocket. I pressed the central button, engaging the capture mechanism. I threw the capsule at my opponent. Thanks to Endure, Poliwag had been left with such little HP that I could easily capture it. I threw the Poké Ball at him and it opened up, turning the Pokémon into Plasma and swallowing it up. It rested on the beach, rolling.
The Poliwag had been caught; all I needed to do now was find Lotad. I looked towards the bridge and heard a cry as a green and blue speck swung above the river, hung by the fishing rod.
I slowly walked over to the most boring battle that I had ever seen. Magikarp was leaping out of the water, tackling the Lotad while it spun like it was a piñata. It swung under the bridge and a small crowd had gathered, amused by the spectacle. I decided that enough was enough.
“Cottonee, use Solar Beam!” I commanded. The Lotad opened its eyes in horror as Cottonee started to charge up. Its leaves started to glow and a brilliant white ball formed in its hands. The ball turned into a beam which fired straight at Lotad, hitting him square on and hurling him up towards the bridge. He came loose from the line and flew up in the air, twirling and tumbling over the spectators. He started to fall and another Poké Ball flew up into the air. The ball fell into the river and even as it splashed about Magikarp swam up to it and picked it up in its mouth. By the time he delivered it to his hand it was still. I had defeated the devilish duo from Aspertia City.
I stood in Professor Juniper’s lab. It was brilliantly clean and all the surfaces shone. On the table before me were three Pokémon. The first, a Snivy, looking proud in her green collar, was licking her tail. The second, a Tepig, looked at me naively, blinking at the bright light. The last one was an Oshawott, sat, looking down at the table, looking uninterested. Bianca came up to me, still wearing those glasses. After the battle my rod had been confiscated, unfortunately, as it was illegal to hang one without permission or supervision. But luckily I had been given no criminal charge, given what I had done.
“So, which one do you want?” She asked. I had made my decision a while ago.
“I’ll take the Tepig,” the Fiery Pokémon gave a squeal of joy as it was swallowed by a Poké Ball, which was then placed in my hand.
“You seem capable enough in capturing Pokémon, so I won’t give you a lecture on that. Take care and I hope to see you again!” Bianca said as I made my way out of the lab, ready to start my life as a Trainer.