I was never a good conversationalist, typically enjoying thinking to myself. Taking in my surroundings. Walking in peace.
Not June. She wouldn’t shut up.
Luckily, I’m a good listener. I guess.
“So my Elekid was defeated immediately,” June continued. “He was just a baby, so, no surprise there. But when his Raichu beat my Magnemite was when I began to get worried. He knew Brick Break and tore his way right through us. Luckily my Flaaffy came out and helped us. Cotton Guard was a life saver. Then we slowed him down with Cotton Spore and took full advantage. His Raichu is actually naturally slow because he evolved him rather soon when he first caught it years ago, so slowing him down even further only resulted in an even worse defeat for him. Then, Lt. Surge sent out his Jolteon.”
I guess I’m gonna hear this entire battle, I realized. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t mind hearing about any Pokemon battle, but June had been talking about practically her entire life!
From growing up with her parents, to her crushes on boys in school, to her crush on Lt. Surge, to begging him to allow her to train under him, to losing battles to him.
I just wanted to enjoy the scenery and think about my upcoming Gym battle. We were walking through a very peaceful, open field with just a few trees and plenty of sunlight.
June’s constant blabbering may have even been scaring away wild Pokemon.
I still needed to capture more.
“Please, don’t!” a voice cried.
“Give ’em up,” another voice demanded.
Me and June looked to each other for a second in surprise, then ran ahead to the noises. We soon located a group of kids close to our age.
There were four of them surrounding one little boy. The little boy was in tears, sitting on the ground, staring at the others in fear.
One of the boys grabbed the kid on the ground, lifted him up, and then shoved him back down. Then all of them started punching and kicking him.
“HEY!” me and June shouted in unison. We ran up to the boys and they all stopped beating up the lone kid and turned to me and June with frowns on their faces.
“What do you think you’re doing?” June shouted.
“Mind your own business, you two!” one of the boys shot back.
My fists tightened and began to shake. “Why are you beating up that kid? You bullies! Ganging up on one person. Who do you think you are?”
“Oh, so you want some of this, too?” the tallest boy challenged. He moved swiftly and swung at me, catching me under my right eye.
I cried out and hit the ground. By the time I opened my eyes, two of the boys were above me, sending punches and sharp kicks at my face and body. I covered my face with my arms, but I couldn’t catch my breath as they sent blows directly to my stomach.
“Stop it!!” June screamed out loudly. I witnessed her run at one of the boys, but he turned quick and shoved her down.
The other two boys held her down to the ground as she struggled to fight them off of her. “Ha ha, she’s pretty,” one boy said with a sneaky grin.
“Yeah, why you hanging around with this chump?” the other boy asked June. “He’s pathetic. You should roll with our crew. I may even allow you to be my girlfriend.” The kid laughed cruelly.
June snorted loudly and spit a phlegm filled glob of spit at the boy’s face.
The two boys beating me up stopped suddenly and turned to stare at their friends.
I noticed the little boy they had been getting beaten up was also staring at the boy who got spit on.
The boy with June’s spit on his face seemed to be breathing heavily in anger. He wiped his face but spit was still clinging to it and his hand now. He bent down and grabbed a handful of dirt, and shoved his hand into June’s face.
June cried out in surprise.
He then angrily bawled a fist and raised it over his head.
I kicked both of my attackers off of me and ran to the one about to hit June. My foot pulled back as far as I could. He turned around, seeing me coming, but it was too late as my foot shot forward and high at his face with all the force I had behind it.
The kid collapsed once my foot connected.
All of us stared down at him silently.
He seemed to be unconscious. It didn’t even look like he was breathing. Suddenly, he coughed hard. He sounded like he was choking as his coughs continued. Spurts of blood shot out of his mouth and two white objects lay in the blood on the dirt. His teeth had just been taken out!
June wiped her face to get some of the dirt off and immediately kicked one of the kids near her, right between the legs.
The kid screamed and rolled over on the floor, grabbing himself in agony.
June stood up and dusted off her clothes and wiped her face a bit more.
The other two boys who were beating me up ran to their two hurt friends. “This ain’t over!” one of them yelled. “Come on, you two little girls!” The two kids ran away as their friends hobbled away, holding themselves where they were most in pain.
June and I stared after them until they were out of sight, then turned to the remaining boy who had gotten beat up.
June walked over to him and knelt down beside him. “Are you okay?” she asked gently.
The boy nodded. His eyes were running in tears. “Thank you, both...” he whispered, and began crying.
“Awww.” June reached out and pulled him close to her in a tight hug. “It’s okay, now.”
I stared back to where those bullies ran off, and then walked over to June and got to my knees. “What’s your name?” I asked the boy.
“My friends call me Arnold,” the boy replied, looking up at me.
“I’m Gary. This is June.”
Arnold looked over to June, and he seemed to stop crying, a smile crossing his face. “Hi, June.”
“Hello, Arnold,” June smiled back.
Why don’t I get a hi and a smile…? I wondered for a moment, squinting suspiciously at the kid. “So, who are those kids?” I asked Arnold sharply.
Arnold turned back to me. “Steve, Shawn, Dominique and John. They’re a bunch of bullies. I’ve known them since before we were Pokemon Trainers. They were okay back then, but now that they have Pokemon to raise and want to be strong and win Badges and stuff, they went bad. They steal Pokemon and beat up Trainers and stuff.”“What?? That’s horrible!” June gasped in anger. “You can’t just go around robbing kids of their Pokemon! When I see those chumps again…” June’s voice trailed off.
“They can’t possibly get away with this,” I added. “They have to get caught eventually. Right?”
Arnold lowered his head and stared at the ground. “I’m just glad they didn’t steal mine.”
I stood up. “Well, where are you headed?”
Arnold’s mouth opened slightly as he hesitated for a moment before speaking. “I was on my way to Fuchsia City,” Arnold explained. “I was going to go and get my second Badge from there, hopefully, but along the way I wanted to stop by the Safari Zone and capture some rarer Pokemon.”“The Safari Zone…” I remembered.
A famous place and a must see spot in the Kanto region filled with some of the rarest Pokemon ever. Open to anyone to have fun and capture all the Pokemon they could manage with a limited amount of the special Safari Balls they hand out to capture the Pokemon.
When I was much younger, I had been there with both my parents and my sister. All the rare Pokemon we had encountered, but that my mom refused to allow us to try to capture and take home. My dad even swore he saw a Chansey, not that mom cared.
I definitely need to head there, I thought. It’s right by Fuchsia City. No way I’m skipping that place. “So, you have a Badge already?”
“Yeah!” Arnold said with a bit of excitement in his voice. “I won the Rainbow Badge and then…” Arnold seemed to freeze for just a moment, until his eyes lowered away from mine. “I went to Saffron City…” Arnold stopped talking. Then he chuckled a bit and looked up at June and smiled. He turned back to me. “Now I’m on my way to Fuchsia City.”
“What happened in Saffron City?” June asked. “Isn’t there a Gym there? A Psychic Gym, if I’m not mistaken. Run by a woman.”
“Sabrina…” Arnold muttered.
“Yeah! What happened there?”“I just didn’t win, I guess,” Arnold said quickly, and he swiftly stood up. “Anyway, thanks for the help.” Without another word, he ran off!
I looked at June.
She shrugged, and then reached in her bag and pulled out a handkerchief, which she handed to me. “You look really bad.” She pulled out a small mirror and held it up to me.
I did look in really rough shape. My nose was bleeding, and both my eyes were swollen. I sighed. As if I didn’t have low enough self esteem about my looks, I told myself. I took June’s handkerchief and dabbed at my nose, eventually just holding it still against it. With another sigh, I said, “Okay, then. Let’s just get out of here.”
She silently nodded, and we continued along the path.
It wasn’t too long before my nose was no longer dripping blood, and I could go without holding the handkerchief to it. Now holding the Town Map in my hands, I noticed we were approaching a cave. “We’re approaching something called External Cave.”
She turned to me. “I’ve never heard of it.”
“Well, it shouldn’t be long before we arrive there.”
Sure enough, a short, and surprisingly quiet while later, we saw the large mouth of the cave, jagged rocks lining the curved top. Inside was barely visible.
I turned to June. “I guess Charmeleon can help us,” I suggested. I took its Poke Ball and held it out. The beam of light shot out and Charmeleon emerged from it.
“Charmeleon!” it exclaimed.
“Charmeleon, we’re going to enter External Cave,” I explained. “Care to guide the way with the flame on your tail?”
“Char Charmeleon!” Charmeleon nodded.
“Well, we can help, too!” June pulled off her large bag and dug around inside to pull out a Poke Ball. She turned it in her hand and I saw a small black sticker with a yellow letter ‘P’ on it. “Pikachu, go!” she called out, throwing it to the ground. The Poke Ball bounced and popped open, revealing Pikachu.
“Pika Pika!” it cried out.
“Pikachu, Flash!” June told it.
Pikachu closed its eyes and started glowing. It wasn’t a blinding light like back when it blinded the cops in Gringey City, but it was bright enough to surely light up the cave all by itself.
Pikachu. The Mouse Pokemon and the evolved form of Pichu. Pikachu build up energy in their electric glands and need to discharge often. Not doing so can result in a short, or in worst case scenarios, death.
“Isn’t he so cute??” June squealed, kneeling down to hug him tight, to Pikachu’s visible pleasure.
“Yeah,” I admitted.
June smiled up at me.
We entered the cave with our two Pokemon. It was nice and bright now. Only a few steps in and all four of us heard it.
The flutter of wings.
The screeching sound from a distance.
“DUCK!” June screamed.
“Cha!” Pikachu cried out, ducking down.
“Char!” Charmeleon pressed itself down on the ground.
I turned to June in confusion instead of ducking.
I was instantly hit in the face several times by something. I fell to the floor and curled up, crying out in pain from the attack on my already sore face. “What is that?!?”
“They’re Zubat!!” June informed me.
Zubat. The Bat Pokemon. They reside in caves and sleep in the daytime. Prolonged exposure to the sun can result in bad health conditions.
The Zubat were flying out of the cave and then back in, bothered by the sunlight. It was very loud and even more terrifying. Eventually, they all flew deeper inside the cave and the screeching sound they were making, ceased.
June stood up first.
Pikachu, and then Charmeleon, got up shortly after her.
When I found my legs, I followed the crowd, more than a little shaky. “I shoulda caught one,” I muttered. “Darn it.”
June looked at me and just shook her head.
“Well, let’s proceed, team.” I took a deep breath to calm myself. It didn’t help.
The four of us walked carefully, keeping our eyes out for more surprise attacks in the air, our heads looking above us.
The next attack came from below, and just for me. I was thrown high up as something hit me from under my sneakers! My head hit the ceiling and I came crashing back down to Earth. “OOOOOOWWWW!!” My voice echoed and my eyes were filling with tears from hitting that rocky ceiling. Squinting hard to look at what had just attacked me, I saw a Diglett! This little squirt was what had popped up from the ground under my feet and gave me a strong tossing?
Diglett. The Mole Pokemon. Diglett live in caves and never show up in the bright daylight as their skin is very thin and exposure to bright sunlight will cause their blood to heat up and make them sick. Its feet are never seen.
“A Diglett!” I felt a bit dizzy from the hit to my head, but I stood up anyway. “Let’s see…” I thought of which Pokemon would be best to battle a Diglett. I knew they were one of the fastest little diggers in the world. They could pop in and out of the ground at some of the quickest recorded speeds in history. But who could battle it, anyway? My hands wavered over my belt as I thought about it, thinking on which Poke Ball to grab.
Suddenly, Diglett went underground and disappeared!
“NOOOOOO!!” I had an instant flashback to the Abra that got away from me way back when I had gotten my Dimensia Badge. “NOT AGAIN! COME ON!!”
Suddenly, Diglett appeared again, right under Charmeleon!
Charmeleon went flying as the Dig attack hit with super effective damage, being as Fire types are weak to Ground type moves like Dig.
“Okay, then! It’s a battle!” I acknowledged. “Charmeleon, Growl attack, now!”
Charmeleon got up and used Growl, but Diglett went under again.
I remembered our battle we had back when Charmeleon was a Charmander and we battled a Trainer’s Sandslash. “Jump! And aim down and Fire Fang!”
Charmeleon jumped just as Diglett appeared from the ground. Charmeleon faced downward with its fangs on fire and chomped down on Diglett’s head.
Diglett screamed out its name and dug underground, Charmeleon losing its grip.
Charmeleon sent an Ember attack into the hole. It stood there, sending a long stream of fire after the Diglett. A moment later, my Pokemon stopped and turned to me.
“Hmm. I guess it ran away.” I rolled my eyes. “Oh, whatever. Let’s just keep on going.”Charmeleon nodded.
Before Charmeleon was even finished agreeing, the ground began to rumble. The entire cave felt like it was rocking!
June and Pikachu were crying out as I struggled to remain standing.
Charmeleon let out a pained scream and fell backwards. “Mel!” Charmeleon remained still on its back.
“Charmeleon!” I ran to my Pokemon, stumbling from the quaking cave and knelt down next to it.
“Char…” it said weakly.
“Gary, he’s hurt really badly!” June called to me. “Return him to his Poke Ball! Please!”
I stared at Charmeleon, who still didn’t move, and I couldn’t hold myself up anymore as I was forced to sit. “Come back.” I returned him.
The quaking cave slowly stopped shaking and silence surrounded us instead.
My body was shivering on its own from what had just happened.
I turned to June and her Pikachu, who both were laying on the ground from the previously rumbling cave, and then turned to see what they both were looking at. I gasped in disbelief.
Diglett hadn’t returned. Or maybe it had. Only now, it was a Dugtrio!
Dugtrio. The Mole Pokemon and the evolved form of Diglett. Dugtrio are known to form when three Diglett group together and combine.
“It came back,” I muttered. “With friends.” I grabbed a Poke Ball. “Hoothoot, I need you!”
Hoothoot appeared from his Poke Ball.
“Confusion!” I ordered.
Hoothoot took hold of Dugtrio with his Psychic powers before the opponent could dig away and he forced it back against the cave wave, leaving a line of raised dirt leading right to Dugtrio.
Hoothoot charged at Dugtrio, but as he aimed with Hypnosis, Dugtrio went underground.
“Fly high, Hoothoot! And get ready!”
Hoothoot remained flying in circles, awaiting Dugtrio to appear. Dugtrio popped up and Hoothoot rose even higher, avoiding the Ground type move as Flying types can’t take Ground type damage under normal circumstances. Hoothoot was in the perfect position to use Hypnosis, and he caught Dugtrio with it.
Dugtrio’s eyes started to close and it stopped moving. A second later, it was fast asleep.
“Poke Ball, come on!” I tossed my Poke Ball… at the same time another Poke Ball was thrown from someone else!
Mine got there first and hit Dugtrio, pulling it inside with a red beam and hitting the ground. The Poke Ball shook for a few seconds. Soon enough, the ping made it official I had captured my sixth Pokemon!
I ran to the Poke Ball and snatched it up.
“Hey!” a voice rang out. “I caught that there Dugtrio!”
I looked up and from around the corner I saw the little punks. The four kids who had attacked me, June, and Arnold.
“You guys!” I growled. “I caught this Pokemon. Beat it!”
The kid who I kicked in the mouth cracked his knuckles, giving me a look that said he wanted my head on a platter.
The four kids walked up to us slowly.
Pikachu ran at them but stopped short and sparked his cheeks as a warning.
One of the kids smiled and then, with a swift movement, kicked Pikachu!
Pikachu cried out as he was hit, flying back, and he hit the wall. The poor mouse slid down it and hit the ground on his face.
Two of the other boys grabbed June as she made a movement to get her Pikachu.
The other two boys stared at me. The one I kicked, and the one June kicked.
“Let’s see what Pokemon you have, beautiful,” one of the boys holding June said.
The other two boys in front of me attacked.
I was kicked between the legs, forcing me to bend over and gasp helplessly, now defenseless. A fist was swung at my nose and I fell down, unable to move. The two boys stomped on me, jumping up and down in joy. Kicking me, spitting on me. I curled up into a ball and they proceeded to jump on my back.
June was screaming.
The louder the laughter of these cowards became...
The more abuse I sustained...
The longer June’s continued...
I was becoming more and more enraged.
These stupid punk bullies can’t get away with this.
“GET OFF OF MEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”
“JUNE!” I forced myself up with a loud shout, catching my attackers off guard, and they dropped down, looking at me angrily. There was still great pain from between my legs that forced me to bend over and take a short breath, but I quickly hobbled over to the kids, my rage carrying me on. I grabbed a large rock along the way and raised it over my head, smashing it down onto one of the kid’s faces.
Wailing out in fright, he tried to run as I continually beat him over the head with it, blinded by fury.
His friend let out a warcry and I turned to him. He was charging right for me like a football player. His mouth was wide open, blood filled in his mouth and running down his face. This was the kid whose teeth I had kicked out earlier.
With a strong grunt, I pulled back my arm and hurled the rock at him as hard as I could.
The rock slapped against his lips and he covered his face and screamed, stumbling right past me. He stopped running and just stood there in his leaned angle, grunting and cursing.
I turned to June’s captors.
One was holding her in a headlock with a large knife to her throat, smiling maniacally. “Give us your Pokemon, kid.”
“Gary,” she whimpered to me.
“Shut up!” the other kid screamed at her as the one with the knife shook her roughly.
My teeth gritted angrily.
“Just roll your Poke Balls over to us without a word,” the boy said without the knife sneered at me. “Or the redhead is gonna get it.”
I couldn’t think of a way out of this quickly. I unclipped my six Poke Balls from my waist and knelt down slowly, still trying to think of how I could avoid losing my Pokemon.
The guy holding June leaned his head against hers and sniffed her hair. “You sure do smell almost as beautiful as you look,” he snickered.
June’s eyes had widened as she was sniffed, but her face didn’t read fear as she stared ahead solemnly. Suddenly, June leaned her head forward, onto the knife, then swiftly swung her head backwards into her captor’s face! The guy backed up a bit, releasing June, a dazed look on his face, and June grabbed the knife from him.
Everybody froze for a moment.
June seemed unsure of what to do, a stunned look on her own face. With a shrill scream, she leaped at the guy who was just holding her and jabbed the knife into his shoulder. “DON’T YOU EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!!!!” she shrieked with a lunatic’s face.
The boy screamed, staring at June in shock and horror and fell to his knees.
June pulled the knife out of his shoulder.
It didn’t go in very deep, but far enough to get the message across.
June then kneed him in the face.
He fell into the cave wall and didn’t move.
With a jumble of surprised, confused, and terrified noises, the three other boys ran away from us.
I turned to June.
She had gone over to her Pikachu and was holding him in her arms. She kissed his forehead and returned him to his Poke Ball. As she turned to me, she wiped at her eyes.
The knife June had stabbed the kid with was on the floor.
I hobbled over to the knife as I slipped my Poke Balls into my pocket and knelt down next to it, still sore all over. It took me a few moments before I had decided what to do with the weapon, and I finally took off my backpack and pulled out a few paper towels and a plastic bag. I wrapped the knife up and put it in the bag, then put it all back in my backpack. “We’ll give that to Officer Jenny. We have to tell her what happened,” I explained to June, who was watching me.
With a relieved breath, I sat on the floor and leaned against a rocky wall, my eyes closed, taking time to regain my energy and wait for the pain to fade away. It could have possibly been hours before my eyes opened again. When they did, June was right beside me, without me even knowing she had gotten that close to me, with a fresh handkerchief in her hand.
“Thank you,” I said as I took it from her. I put it to my nose and slowly stood up with June’s help.
We both looked back at the remaining kid who was still knocked out from June’s kick. He remained a silent statue.
June held onto me, giving me much needed assistance as we moved on without him the rest of the walk.
The quiet walk.
I don’t know if the cave was long or if the walk was now uncomfortably silent and only seemed long due to what we had just been through, but it seemed like we were walking forever before I finally saw the sunlight from the end of the cave.
“Gary,” June whispered.
We picked up the pace and soon we were outside.
I took a long, deep breath and smiled, but the smile faded once the pain from my face hit me.
“Come on, Gary. I can see Celadon City right there,” June urged. She seemed desperate to keep moving. She seemed very afraid.
I followed her lead as she pulled me down the road.
I saw it.
Celadon City. It looked so nice from afar. A truly beautiful city. There were tons of buildings with various purposes.
I could just barely remember this path I was now taking. I had been down this road before, with my mom, dad, and sister, but the memories weren’t strong. I was too young to remember much of it at all. But, now, I was ready to make new memories for myself. For my life.
As we arrived at Celadon City, many people were staring at me. I must have looked like I had just came out of a car accident. Me and June were walking around, trying to find a Pokemon Center, and also marveling at the sights of the buildings, the fashion, the food, the atmosphere, the intensely sweet and alluring smells. So much more different than the trees and natural environment we had been travelling through recently.
A police siren sounded, and before I could turn, a police motorcycle pulled up in front of me.
“Officer Jenny!” June gasped. “Please, help us!”“What’s going on here? Are you okay, kids?” Officer Jenny asked me. “What happened to you?”
“We were jumped,” I told her. “By a bunch of kids. Four of them. They tried to steal our Pokemon. Back at External Cave.”
“Steve, Dominique, John and Shawn?” Officer Jenny asked.
I nodded wearily.
“Yes! I think that was their names!” June exclaimed.
“We’ve been after those four for several months now…” the pretty officer shook her head. “Well, hop in, kids. I’ll take you guys to the Pokemon Center. They should be able to tend to your wounds.”
“My Pokemon,” I said as I got in her sidecar, June squeezing in beside me. “I’m fine. Just, please, my Pokemon.”
Officer Jenny nodded. “Hang on, kids.” She drove off fast.
I had a reflective moment as we drove around the city. A bit of nostalgia. Or déjà vu. Heading to the Pokemon Center, I remembered Mankey. I remembered our near death attack. I remembered how we barely survived, Officer Jenny driving us to the Pokemon Center to save his life. And now, here I was again, in a similar situation, though not nearly as dire.
We were all gonna be just fine.
When we arrived at the Pokemon Center, June and I made sure our Pokemon were in the care of Nurse Joy before anything else. Then, I walked with Nurse Joy to the back of the Pokemon Center where she tended to my wounds. I wasn’t there long. I felt just fine enough.
Officer Jenny then drove us to the precinct where me and June were questioned about what happened. We explained everything and I even gave the knife to Officer Jenny.
By the time we had gotten out, it was night outside.
“Well, that was something, huh?” June said.
“You feeling okay?” June asked me, putting her hand on my shoulder.
I nodded and gently moved my shoulder, though I’m not sure exactly how intentional the movement was.
Her hand fell off of it at my action, and she seemed to breathe heavily. “Gary. Thank you.” She reached out and hugged me.
My eyes were wide in surprise. “June… I didn’t do anything.”“You were about to give up your Pokemon to save me.” She pulled me in closer.
I reached up and gently pushed her back a little.
A surprised look was strong on her face, a look of possibly sorrow in her eyes.
I smiled at her. “Thank you for saving my Pokemon. I appreciate it.” I kept my hands on her shoulders and gave them a light squeeze.
She smiled back at me slightly, a weary look on her face.
She pulled me in for a hug again. “Thank you, Gary,” she whispered.
I didn’t push her off this time.
I didn’t hug her back, either.
I just stood there and reflected.
I had caught a brand new Pokemon. A Dugtrio. My sixth Pokemon!
Me and June still had all of our Pokemon. Not one was stolen.
Some may have been injured, but they’d be just fine.
We’d all be just fine.
Only a couple of buildings away, I noticed a building with a giant, beautiful flower sitting on top of it.
The flower looked familiar to me.
A big, wooden sign in front of the building, with bold, black letters, read: CELADON CITY GYM
June continued to hug me.
I closed my eyes and inhale a sweet aroma I wasn’t sure was from her hair, or from the sweet scents wafting through Celadon City.