The Badge Starts Here
I stared at the steel door with the words GRINGEY CITY GYM on it, bulging a couple of inches out to anyone reading. There was no doorknob. It was just a huge steel wall, basically. I knocked on the door. One tap.
I was on the floor before I knew what hit me. When I regained any of my sense of comprehension, I saw the beauty before me.
June. She glared down at me. “I guess my trap door worked,” she spoke.
I felt shaky and tingly as I sat up on the ground. “Tr-tr-tr-tr-trap… d-d-do-o-or?” I stuttered, sparks sparking off of me on occasion.
“Yeah. I set a trap door last night,” June answered.
“W-w-wh-why?” I asked.
She walked inside of the Gym, the door now wide open. She turned her head back to me, a nasty look on her face. “Welcome to Gringey City Gym.” She disappeared inside.
Confused and still trembling weakly, I stood up and cautiously edged my way past the door. As I stepped inside, lights cut on everywhere, making it very bright.
Several doors lined the two longest walls that were facing each other from opposite ends of the building, a set of bleachers in front of each wall, a battlefield between them. Unlike at Pewter Gym, these bleachers were filled with people. Kids, adults, even Nurse Joy and a few Officer Jennys!
I remembered seeing a Nurse Joy when I had left the Pokemon Center this morning. She must have been standing in for this Nurse Joy. They can’t leave the Pokemon Center unattended.
“What…?” I marveled over the sight before me, still squinting hard in the sudden light.
June walked over the tile floor, the only part of the building that wasn’t made of metal, to a huge lever on the floor near the bleachers and flipped it. A humming noise I didn’t notice was on, suddenly turned off. “That was the shock control to the door.” She turned and walked to the battlefield as the entire audience laughed and applauded. “Whenever I have Gym battles, the entire town often likes to come out to watch in support.”Everyone cheered and shouted out.
“We love you, June!”
“Juni is the best!”
“You’re gonna win this one, sweetheart!”
I walked forward, starting to get control of my body again and stared at everyone in the bleachers in awe.
A man hopped out of his seat and walked near the battlefield. He had on a really nice, bright yellow suit and black sunglasses. “I will be serving as the referee for this Gym battle,” the man explained.
Wow, he looks different than the other Gym referees I’ve seen so far, I thought to myself. Though they all have their own flair, I guess...
“This battle will be between Gringey City’s own Gym Leader, June,” the referee started.
The entire Gym went nuts with applause.
“And Gary from Pallet Town,” the referee continued in a bored voice.
The entire place booed! Even Nurse Joy and the Officer Jennys!
“This will be a three-on-three Pokemon battle,” the referee went on. “The first Trainer to defeat the opponent’s will be declared the victor. This battle will have no time limit. Only the challenger is allowed to substitute. Let the battle begin!”
“Okay, Gary. It’s time!” she said with a deadly seriousness I felt wasn’t truly who she was. Not compared to how kind she was when we first met.
Was this June when she was in Gym Leader mode? I considered. Or did I upset her last night?
“I choose you! Ampharos!” June tossed her Poke Ball with grace and out came her first Pokemon.
Ampharos. The Light Pokemon and the evolved form of Flaaffy. An Ampharos’s light from its tail can be seen from as far as space. It is used in emergencies as a beacon in the place of a lighthouse.
“That’s so cool, June!” I admired.
“Really…?” she asked. She appeared to be blushing for a moment. I could swear a calm was coming over her. Then she shook her head and her intimidation returned. “Choose your Pokemon or I’ll take it that you’re forfeiting the match!”
I stared at her in shock.
She really was mad. At me.
I looked at Ampharos, taking a moment to think. “Okay. For my first choice, go Beedrill!” I yelled out, tossing the Poke Ball.
Beedrill flew out.
“Oh, disgusting! A Bug Pokemon,” June sneered.
Everyone in the stands booed.
“Hey! I’m not a huge fan of Bug types, either, but that’s no reason to insult it.” June was now getting on my last nerves.
June gave me a suspicious look, and then looked over to Beedrill. “He is the one who just evolved, yes?”
“That’s right. In yesterday’s battle with Robin.” A smiled crossed my face. “So, Beedrill is a boy? Cool! Beedrill, use Twinneedle, now!”
Beedrill flew forward and Ampharos began skillfully dodging the Poison Bee’s constant jabs at its face and body.
“Cotton Guard!” June called.
Ampharos’ body became covered in a white fluff. The fluff continued to grow and Ampharos was no longer visible behind it.
Beedrill was jabbing, but the damage was now cushioned.
“ThunderPunch!” June ordered.
Ampharos pulled a hand from the fluff and socked Beedrill a good one that sent the Bug out of the air and straight to the ground.
Beedrill bounced and laid there.
“Beedrill, get up, buddy! Come on!” I pleaded. “Get up, Beedrill!!”
“It’s over,” June smiled cruelly. “Your ‘buddy’ is finished.”But Beedrill’s wings fluttered! They stopped, and then started again continually. Beedrill lifted up off the ground and floated about, looking fine.
“There we go!” I said. “Beedrill, Toxic Spikes!”
Beedrill put his two stingers in front of him and a deep purple orb appeared between them. The orb was tossed into the air and it exploded into multiple spikes that hit the ground before disappearing.
June didn’t do anything. She just seemed to be waiting for something.
Now, how do we get around that Cotton Guard? I pondered.
“I don’t know what that move you just used was, but now it’s my turn,” June said. “Thunder Shock!”
“Beedrill! Get ready! Use Rage attack!”
Beedrill flew and jabbed at Ampharos, which did nothing.
Ampharos charged up and hit Beedrill with a ThunderShock.
Beedrill crumbled in pain to the floor.
“Come on, Beedrill!” I urged. “Hang in there! You have to get back up!”
Beedrill struggled back up shakily, now looking mad.
Just like I wanted.
“GOOOOO!!” I pushed him on.
Beedrill charged at Ampharos.
“Keep that Bug at a distance!” June was in her own rage. “Thunder Shock again and finish it!”
Ampharos hit Beedrill with another jolt, and Beedrill kept trying to move forward through the shock!
“BEEDRILL, YOU CAN DO IT!!!” I yelled as loud as possible to encourage my Pokemon to keep going.
Beedrill was getting more angry by the second.
The more damage the user of Rage attack takes, the more powerful the attack gets.
Beedrill was infuriated by now and even with Thundershock going, Beedrill kept pushing forward into the attack. Finally, he pulled back one of his stingers when he was close enough and rammed it right at Ampharos, who flew back despite its Cotton Guard attack defending it.
“Yeah!” I shouted excitedly.
“What is this?!” June screeched. “Thunderbolt that thing and end this already!”
Beedrill was already moving. He was hit with the more powerful move, Thunderbolt, but Beedrill ignored the blast and flew through it, slamming into Ampharos with all his might.
The collision caused a bright flash of light and a loud explosion occurred between the two Pokemon.
I shielded my eyes against the light. When I felt able to look again, I saw Beedrill and Ampharos.
“Both Beedrill and Ampharos are unable to battle!” the referee declared, blinking several times either in shock or from the effects of that light explosion.
No one made a sound.
June was looking in shock, just as I was.
“That was excellent, Beedrill. Thank you!” I returned Beedrill to his Poke Ball and smiled at June.
“Ampharos, you did incredible,” June said gratefully, returning it to its Poke Ball. Then she glared at me.
“That was a great round, June! Your Ampharos was tough! What an explosion!”
She blushed visibly, the anger giving way to surprise and perhaps embarrassment. “Thank you…” Then she sneered at me. “ I guess your Beedrill wasn’t half bad. Next up. Go, Manectric!” She threw her Poke Ball.
Manectric. The Discharge Pokemon and the evolved form of Electrike. It is said that this Pokemon can summon storm clouds at will. It generates the electricity for such an occurrence from the friction in its fur when it runs.
The crowd cheered again loudly for June.
“Crush him, June!”
“He won’t get lucky like that again!”
“Wow! I’ve never seen that before!” I gasped. “Amazing!”
Manectric startled everyone as it howled in pain and its body began to shiver and become covered in a purple shade.
Everyone but me.
“Manectric??” June cried out in horror.
“The effects of Toxic Spikes,” I smiled confidently. “Any Pokemon you send out gets hit with poison in our battle unless they can fly, or have an Ability to keep them from touching the ground, or are of the Steel or Poison type. The only way to get rid of it is you have a Pokemon who is already a Poison type enter the field or by using the moves Rapid Spin or Defog.” I beamed proudly over my knowledge.
Everyone booed me though.
“Kick him out of the Gym!”
I glared at them all as I grabbed my next Poke Ball. “Primeape, go!”
Primeape was out and eagerly faced his opponent.
“Get it with the Karate Chop!”
Primeape flew forward with passion, energy, and a loud screech as he attacked the disoriented opponent.
Manectric was hit hard and rolled a bit before catching its balance on its feet.
“Manectric, use Thunder Wave!”
Manectric shot a weak blue Electric wave to Primeape, causing instant Paralysis.
“Good move,” I muttered.
Now we were at a disadvantage. We may not be able attack some turns.
“Primeape, Screech!” I covered my ears as Primeape let out its piercing screech, but my ears still rang.
Everybody and every Pokemon covered their ears except Primeape.
When it was done, I yelled, “Seismic Toss!”
Manectric was still shaking its head from the Screech and didn’t see Primeape coming for it.
Primeape grabbed Manectric by its back paws and started spinning, faster and faster and faster. He let go and Manectric was flung right into June!
June fell and slid fast towards the bleachers where her supporters leaped down to cushion her fall. Everyone booed me louder than ever.
“Disqualify him! He attacked the Gym Leader!”
“Who does that guy think he is, throwing Pokemon at the Gym Leader like that?”
“He should be put under arrest! Officer Jennyyyy!!”
“I’ll show him a Seismic Toss if he likes hitting women!” an Officer Jenny said furiously at me from behind June.
I was starting to get worried for my own safety, now. “June, are you okay?” I called. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean for it to hit you! Honest!”
June was glaring at me, then she looked to her Manectric softly. “Are you okay, sweetie?” she asked it.
Manectric licked her face.
Manectric got up as soon as June did and ran back onto the battlefield.
Just as it landed and growled at Primeape, the poison set in and Manectric hit the ground, unconscious.
Everyone gasped. Not a word was spoken for a very long time.
“Manectric is unable to battle,” the referee said hesitantly. “Primeape is the winner.”
Primeape cheered excitedly for a minute until he realized no one, including me, was making a sound. He got quiet and just stood there.
I was too afraid of the audience to start cheering.
June returned her Manectric. “Thank you, Manectric,” she said to it inside its Poke Ball. She chose the last Poke Ball and gave me a death stare.
“This guy should be arrested!”
“I’m filing charges!”“Kill him!!”
June kept her cold eyes on me as she threw her final Poke Ball, and out came a Pokemon I recognized instantly.
Electrode. The Ball Pokemon. Voltorb’s evolved form. Both Voltorb and Electrode are best avoided at any and all costs. They have a tendency to explode without warning, sometimes not of its own free will.
I was in disbelief over this data. I knew this Pokemon exploded, but I had no idea they couldn’t control it!
The Toxic Spikes poison hit Electrode.
It didn’t seem like it was enjoying itself as the Poison set in and turned it a shade of purple.
Suddenly Electrode exploded!!!
It caught me off guard, making me gasp at the same time that my heart jumped into my throat, causing me to choke as fear filled my chest.
Everyone in the Gym gasped at the exact same time as me.
Light smoke covered the Gym, everyone coughing and crying out.
It took a couple of minutes for the smoke to fade, and a few minutes after that before it was completely cleared.
Electrode was gone. There was no trace of its existence.
Primeape was caught in the blast and was lying facedown on the floor.
Cries erupted as Primeape suddenly started moving!
He looked up and turned shakily back at me with a weak smile.
It took me a while to find my voice. “Primeape!” I uttered gratefully.
The referee seemed to find his as I responded to my Pokemon. “Electrode is unable to battle…” he spoke shakily. “Primeape is the winner and the battle goes to Gary from Pallet Town…”
I ran forward as he was talking and grabbed my Primeape in my arms in a huge hug.
Amongst the boos and the hissing, I hugged Primeape and didn’t dare let go. “Primeape! You’re okay! I’m so happy! You did it! Everybody, come on out!” I tossed all of my Poke Balls and was soon surrounded by my friends. “We did it, everyone!” I wanted to hug all of my Pokemon, especially the two who worked hard to make this win happen. But one of those two Pokemon was a buzzing, gigantic bee.
But he had worked so hard for me today...
I reached out slowly. Very slowly. Forcing my hand closer to the insect. And patted him gently on his gross, hairy head.
All of my Pokemon cheered and Beedrill raised his stingers attached to his forearms into the air joyously, his eyes watering.
My hand jerked back immediately, my smile being more forced. “Thank you, Beedrill,” I told him. “I really appreciate your hard work. Thank you so much.” I looked over at all of my Pokemon, pleased with my team. “Ow!” Something smacked the side of my head! “What the...?”
A green object sat on the floor.
I picked up the hard object and then scanned the audience, leering hard.
They all were looking at me in silence. Nobody moved.
I looked behind me, but it was the same scene, except June was there, too. “Who threw-?” I started angrily.
A bright light near the floor interrupted me. I looked down to see Metapod. It had a bright light coming out from a hole in its body!
I stared at the green thing in my hand.
It matched the shape of the hole missing from Metapod! It was a piece of the Pokemon!
I yelled out in disgust and dropped it, wiping my hand on my jeans.
The white light pushed out of the Metapod shell and antennae became clear to my view. The enormous wings spread wide.
Butterfree! My Metapod had evolved into a Butterfree!!
“Butterfree!” I was next to tears as I stood up.
Butterfree flew about the room, giving its wings a good stretch before coming back to me and flapping its wings gently in front of me.
I stared at Butterfree for a very long time and it stared back. I had a feeling I knew what was going on and what it wanted. I sighed. Why did I have to capture these Bugs? I thought, my skin starting to crawl. To fulfill a promise to my mom, I answered myself. She probably doesn’t even care about this promise. She doesn’t even care about Pokemon, I countered. My arm extended to the Butterfly, and I ran my hands along one of its magnificent wings. The touch was scaly and hard, and yet smooth. I scrunched up my face slightly, trying to work on being okay with this. It’s not that bad, I told myself. It’s just... Ugh... I sighed through my nostrils and pulled my hand away, relief coming over me and my face relaxed a bit.
My Pokemon all cheered.
I smiled at my Pokemon as they celebrated, Butterfree fluttering its wings with happiness. “Thank you, everyone, for all of your support and extreme patience with me,” I said, feeling so grateful to have these Pokemon as my friends. Including Beedrill and Butterfree. My eyes teared up as I stared at my two Bug types. “You’ve been more than tolerable of me after all this time. And I’m still not there yet, but you guys have helped me get to where I am now. Which is much further than when we first met. We’ve all become so much stronger in so many different ways. Thank you, everyone.” I hugged them all, except Beedrill and Butterfree, who thankfully were flying above us in circles, Beedrill’s creepy buzzing noise driving me insane. But I was too excited over our accomplishments today to be bothered by the sound.
A collective “Aaaaaawww!” arose from the Gym. Everyone was touched by this moment, it seemed.
“This is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life,” a voice said.
I looked up to see June. “June...” The happiness within me began to fade as I saw her face and remembered the ending of our battle.
But June was smiling! “Your Pokemon respond to your love in ways I’ve never seen before. Just to touch you and help you overcome your fear, your Metapod evolved for you. You tried so hard to overcome a fear you have, and when you touched your Beedrill, Butterfree was moved enough to want to become a part of that beautiful moment and evolved. You are a beautiful and wonderful Pokemon Trainer.” She knelt down to me, holding an open case in her hand. Inside of it was a Badge I recognized.
It was the same Badge Robin had in his case! A red circle surrounded by yellow spikes.
“I am more than happy and truly honored to present you with the Thunder Badge.”
Everyone in the Gym applauded to my great surprise.
“They get a bit excited in their support for me,” she whispered. “They’re sweet people. I think they just feel sorry for me for all of my losses.”
I didn’t know what to say to that, so I didn’t. I just took the Thunder Badge and stood tall. “Everybody!” I raised the Badge for my Pokemon to see. “We have our second Badge! The Thunder Badge!”
I sat in the Pokemon Center that night, my heart still pounding from thoughts of the battle I had.
Everybody in the Gym apologized for how they acted towards me, including June for zapping me at the door and being a bit rude. They all were forgiven, of course. It was sweet that they loved their Gym Leader so much.
Two Badges, I thought. I should let Prof. Oak and my mom know how I’ve been. I got up and walked over to one of the phone booths, taking a seat. The large computer monitor stood before me, the phone receiver in my hand, and I dialed the first number.
The phone rang in my ear a few times before the senior’s face popped up on the screen. “Gary, my boy!” he said with delight. “How have you been?”
“I’m doing great! Did you hear that I got the Badge of Obsidian City?” I asked.
“Yes, your mother told me just the other day,” he replied. Prof. Oak’s face went solemn. “You know, you need to be much more respectful to your mother. And call her every chance you get. She cares about you and is constantly stressed and worried for you. It’s very important that you always speak to your mother with respect. You need to recognize and understand that.”
I sighed. “Prof. Oak, I understand that, but she was-!”
“What?” Prof. Oak interrupted. “Complaining about your Pokemon that got you seriously injured? A Pokemon that left you for dead? Gary, I understand the situation that occured, but this is your mother. She has a great reason to be scared. Just look at the situation. Your dad is gone. Your sister hasn’t been heard from in the past couple of months. You’re all she has. She has lost her entire world. Her life. Her loved ones. To Pokemon.”
I stayed quiet. “You’re right, Professor.”
“That’s right, Gary. Now, you make sure to call her, is that clear?”“Yes, Professor.”Prof. Oak smiled. “It’s good to hear from you. And congratulations on your work at Obsidian Gym. I need to call Shane some day. I haven’t spoken to that lad in some time. By the way, I noticed I haven’t been receiving any Pokemon from you, Gary. What is going on out there? Kiwi has sent me a few. Robin has sent me several, even though most of them are the same exact Pokemon that he swears may be just a bit different and maybe have an abnormality even though they don’t. Aly has sent me the most of all! But I haven’t received even one from you.”My eyes were wide in surprise. “Well, I have a Charmeleon-“ I began.
“Oh? Let me see the young sport!” Prof. Oak interrupted.
“Okay! Charmeleon, go!” I sent it out. “Charmeleon, say hi to Prof. Oak!”Charmeleon looked at the monitor and smiled. “Charmeeeeleon!” It flexed its muscles on its arms.
Prof. Oak laughed. “How good to see you again, Charmeleon! You look like you’re in good shape! How have you been with Gary?”
Charmeleon nodded its head. “Char, Charmeleon!”
Prof. Oak laughed again. “How good to hear!”
The three of us laughed.
“Prof. Oak, I have a Butterfree, a Beedrill, Primeape, and Hoothoot right now,” I said. “But I’m going to catch even more. I promise! I’m catching every last Pokemon out there. So make room, Prof. Oak!”
“We shall see, my boy. Good luck!”“Thanks! Oh, and I also now have two Badges! My second one is from Gringey City!”
“Gringey City?” Prof. Oak rubbed his chin, staring at me more sternly. “Wow. That’s quite a distance you’ve traveled, Gary. You would think you’d have at least ten Pokemon with that kind of walking.”
“Thanks, Professor…” I said, feeling horrible despite my cool Pokemon and my two Badges.
“Seriously now, Gary. Get focused. This isn’t all about getting Badges and raising only six Pokemon, which you don’t even have.”
That was a low blow.
“This is about catching every known Pokemon and discovering all kinds of brand new ones yet to be seen. Remember that.”“Right, Professor.”“Good. Take care now!” He hung up.
I returned Charmeleon to its Poke Ball and turned back to the now black monitor. Calling Prof. Oak had been a bad idea. I had only been reminded that, despite all my accomplishments, I had gotten next to nothing done compared to my rivals. Even beating Robin meant nothing. I dialed my mom and waited as the phone rang.
My mom’s face appeared on the screen. A displeased look came over her face. “Oh. Hello,” she said.
“Hi, mom!” I said cheerfully.
“Hi,” she said coldly.
“I got my second Badge! The Thunder Badge!” I held up the case for her to see the Badges.
“Good for you,” was all she said.
I sighed, knowing this wasn’t going to be a good conversation. “So… how’s life?” I tried.
“Just fine,” she said. “I’m a widow because my husband was killed raising Pokemon, my daughter is who knows where raising Pokemon and never calls, and my son is raising a Pokemon that nearly killed him.”“Mom, it didn’t nearly kill me. It was a misunderstanding.”“It left you for dead,” she said angrily.
“Don’t you believe in second chances? Misunderstandings?” I snapped.
“Yes! But not for that!” she cried.
Silence joined us temporarily.
“Okay,” I sighed. “Mom. I understand how you feel.”
“Oh, do you?” she asked. “You understand how it feels? Then how come you are out there raising the very things that contributed to your father’s death and your sister’s disappearance?”
I couldn’t reply.
We sat there in silence.
“Look, I got things to do and they don’t involve sitting here saying nothing on the phone, so if you don’t have anything more to say, I’ve gotta go.”
I inhaled deeply before speaking, and I spoke slowly and strongly. “Mom, I am going to become a Pokemon Master. I will catch them all. I will beat them all. I will return to Pallet Town safe and sound. I promise.”
She stared at me. “Fine,” she said shortly. “Is that all?”“Yes,” I answered.
“Good. Goodbye,” she said shortly.
“Goodbye,” I said in a small voice.
We both hung up at once.
I don’t know if everyone in the Pokemon Center overheard our conversation, but I was sure enough did. I kept my eyes to the ground as I walked out, not wanting to catch anyone’s eyes. I took out my Town Map and walked as fast as I could, far away, deep into the city, not knowing where I was going. Once I was as alone as I thought I could be in this busy place, with no people around, just houses and long stretches of streets and cars parked and occasionally driving by, I scanned my Town Map for where I would go next, but only for a few seconds. The tears came before long, clouding up my view. I stood there with the Town Map close to my face and cried on that empty street.
“I’m on my way to Celadon City. I’ll be going for my Rainbow Badge there,” I told Nurse Joy.
“Well, good luck then, Gary. And congratulations again on your Badge,” Nurse Joy said with a captivating smile. “And again, I’m so sorry for the trouble we caused you during your Gym battle. We just love our girl so much and we truly support her and hope she keeps her status as a Gym Leader! She’s such a good kid.”
“It’s okay, Nurse Joy. And I really appreciate that you guys gave me some extra medicine and food and things for me and my Pokemon. I really appreciate it a lot.”
“Of course! It was the least we could do for the trouble we put you through, honey.”
I wanted to quit being a Pokemon Trainer and spend the rest of my life with her at that last word, but I cleared away the childish thought with a hard shake of my head. “Well, I’ll be seeing you, Nurse Joy. Thank you!”
“Thank you, Gary. Good luck!”
I stepped out into the gloomy weathered late morning and took the path leading out of the city. It looked like it might rain. The road out of the city led to an open field. No forests to go through on this trip. Nothing but the sky above me and thin, light grass around me on this beautiful countryside walk. So it’s Celadon City for my Rainbow Badge, then I’ll go to- I started thinking to myself.
“Gary! Please! Hold on!” I heard a voice calling.
I turned and saw a girl running down the path towards me with a very large black duffel bag on her shoulder. “June?”
“Gary, wait a second!” June said, stopping before me and breathing hard to catch her breath. “I’m leaving!” She smiled brightly.
“Leaving?” I asked.
“I’m relieving my duties as a Gym Leader at Gringey City,” she said with a sigh of relief. “I am going to go off on my own journey trying to understand how to become a better and stronger Pokemon Trainer.”
“You’re going on a Pokemon journey? Like, to collect Badges and challenge the Pokemon League and stuff?”“No, no, no,” June denied. “I just want to understand what it means to be a great Pokemon Trainer first. I want to battle and travel the world and see how the real masters do it and then, maybe someday, I will pursue becoming a proper Pokemon Trainer. But first, I need to understand what that means.” She stared deep into my eyes. “You know what I mean?”I stared back and nodded. “Yes, I do.”She smiled at me.
I turned away. “Well, I wish you good luck on that quest, June. I’m headed to Celadon City, myself.”
“Huh? Let me come with you!” she offered.
I looked at her like she was crazy. “What???”
“Please, Gary?” she begged. “Pleeeease???”
I just stared at her, trying to find a way to politely tell her “no.”
“You’re an incredible Pokemon Trainer, Gary. As a Gym Leader, that Poison move you used on me shouldn’t have confused me so badly, but it did. There are things about it I still don’t know! If the Pokemon League HQ found out about our match, they’d fire me immediately! I’m gonna get fired as it is! No question. So, I quit instead. You’re so experienced and intelligent and powerful! Please, let me tag along! Not for long! Just for a bit, okay? Please? I feel like I could learn so much from you!”“What about Lt. Surge?” I remembered, still trying to lose this crazy chick.
“How can I face that man when I abandoned the Gym he gave me?” Tears welled up in her eyes. “I can’t. He’ll kill me when he finds out. Gary, I’ll be of any assistance I can be. Anything you say at all!”
“I don’t really need any though…” I couldn’t think up an excuse for why she couldn’t travel with me.
June’s chin fell to her chest. “Okay. I’m sorry, Gary. Look at me, bugging you to death. Halting your Pokemon journey. Please, forgive me. I’ll go.”
A noise from afar made me look up and stare past June. Sirens?
Yes. Police sirens! I couldn’t see any police cars, though.
June looked towards Gringey City. “They’re coming for me,” she said sadly. “They want me back. They want me to continue living there and being their Gym Leader.” Tears fell from her eyes. “They want me to stay there and be with them. They’ve been so supportive and helpful and loving. I should stay there with them.” Tears were rolling down her cheeks faster. She closed her eyes and shook her head hard. “But I don’t want to! I want to travel the world! I want to see new things and people and Pokemon! But they love me so much. I’m like a daughter to them all. They love me and want me to be happy, but they know I’m weak! They won’t want me to travel. They’d think it’s too dangerous for a weak Trainer like me. They won’t say it to my face, but they think I need more skill and experience before going off into the world of Pokemon. But... But... But… I just want to... to...” She fell to her knees and started bawling before me.
I stared toward Gringey City. The sirens were closer, but I still didn’t see any cars yet. What could I do? My eyes squinted at June as I took an extra second to think about the situation. My hand reached out to her, but she didn’t see it because she was crying so hard. “June, get up!” I shouted, grabbing her hand and pulling her up to her feet.
She gasped in surprise and stared at me.
“Are you sure you didn’t do anything illegal?” I demanded.
“What?? No!” she said in surprised.
“So, you’re sure they only want to convince you to come back with them?” I pressed her.
“Yes!” she shouted.
“So, you’re one hundred percent free to legally leave on your own of your own free will with no consequences?”
“Yes!!” she repeated.
“Then, you’re coming with me,” I conceded. “Now, RUN!”
And we ran.
With my two Badges.
To Celadon City.
Running from the cops.
Little did we know, running from the cops would’ve been a day in paradise for us compared to what we would be facing soon enough.