A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

By QBOak

Adventure / Drama

Opening Statements Part 2 Of 2

As I ran further into the grass, deeper into the trees, slits of sunlight repeatedly hitting me in the face, making their way through the leaves trying to block the light, I searched. Searched for something I wasn’t sure I had even seen. Something I may have imagined. I only saw it for a moment, after all. A brief second, even. But something about that was so familiar. Something I couldn’t let go. Something that deep inside, I knew I had to chase down.

But then what?

Was it a rare Pokemon? I didn’t have any Poke Balls to catch it with. Or any Pokemon to battle against it with. It was basic knowledge that you have to weaken a Pokemon before you can capture it.

I slowed down my running, and with a deep breath, I ran forth again, faster than before. Something. Something! Something about that tail!! It inspired me to move on and go after it. I ran, looking as careful as possible, tearing past a group of Sandshrew.

A few wild Pidgey stared at me from the treetops as I ran past them, too.

A couple of Mankey glared at me as I moved on through the trees, hanging from the branches at first, and then swinging swiftly after me. I wasn’t sure if they were chasing me or not. I knew Mankey, and especially their evolved form, Primeape, were a very dangerous species of Pokemon that were quick to anger. But they soon stopped following.

I didn’t care, running like mad until I was out of breath and exhausted. My hands on my knees, I inhaled and exhaled heavily, swallowing what little saliva I had in my mouth down my dry, dying throat. My eyes scanned my surroundings once more before I let out a defeated sigh... only to hear a rustle!

A Spearow was hiding behind a clump of grass, staring at me.

I ignored it and looked about. When I looked back, the Spearow was still looking at me. “What do you want?” I said angrily to it.

It just stared back.

I was in no mood for this ugly bird Pokemon. I knew they were known for having a bad temper, but at the moment, I was mad as well and would’ve battled it myself if I had to.

Finally ready to walk back to Pallet Town, something caught my eye.

The Spearow. Its eyes. Something was familiar about that look. Like it was hiding something...

“HEY!” I screamed.

Spearow took off into the sky, flapping its wings frantically. I ran after it and leaped, trying to grab it with my bare hands, but it quickly turned mid-flight and pecked my fingers!

I screamed from the pain and released my catch.

That Spearow was giving me the same look Rattata did!

I just knew I had to... do something... But there was nothing I could do. I had no means of catching this Pokemon. Images of that white tail kept flashed into my mind. That tail. Where was it from? It inspired me to find out. It had to be connected to that Rattata and this Spearow. I felt it in my heart. I made another desperate lunge at Spearow, but it was out of my reach. I fell hard to the ground and watched as it flew higher and higher into the sky, until it just about disappeared from my view. Just before it did, I could’ve sworn something happened to it. I’m not sure what. I can barely explain it. It’s like it changed somehow.

Perhaps it evolved?

I knew some Pokemon changed through evolution. When reaching a certain level, or gaining access to certain stones, some Pokemon change their form and become even stronger in some ways. But, no. That wasn’t an evolution. I was sure of it. I felt somewhere in my heart that that wasn’t an ordinary Spearow.

I felt I may never find out the answers to what I witnessed. Things I couldn’t decipher, or even repeat vocally. That white tailed Pokemon was driving me mad because it looked so familiar. Like something I had seen once before maybe. In a book? On TV? Sighing with great disappointment I turned around to head back to Pallet Town before realizing… I had no idea where it was. I had never gone off on Route 1 alone. I was always with my mom or dad when we went to Viridian City or to other places. This was truly my first time on my own. Spinning in a low circle, I saw that everything looked the same.

Trees and grass everywhere.

I was out of breath and dying for water. I have to get back to Pallet Town before it’s too late! I knew. I couldn’t miss out on my Starter Pokemon! I knew I was going for Charmander, and nobody was gonna take him from me! I decided to just walk in the opposite direction I had seen the Spearow hiding in the grass patch. As I walked, I saw more familiar spots. This was where the Mankey were swinging after me from, I thought. Right along these trees. I could tell because… well… I wasn’t sure to be honest. I guess it was just wishful thinking. But it was better than nothing. After a while of seeing constant wild Rattata, none giving me any odd looks but instead staring at me cautiously as I would expect them to before running away, some of the grass started looking like it was freshly trampled on. I picked up my pace, following these patches of grass. Eventually, a clearing was visible. Pallet Town was just ahead! Seeing Prof. Oak’s mansion, I ran towards it.

But blocking the trail leading towards Prof. Oak’s mansion was a huge crowd of people I quickly realized were my neighbors!

I stopped before them and they turned to stare at me, bewildered.

“Where are you coming from, Gary?” asked Mrs. Tot. This was Kiwi’s crazy mother. That’s how I referred to her. In my head, anyway. As I said, you must be crazy to name your child after a fruit.

Out of breath, I explained, “…Chasing… Pokemon… Pink... Tail...”

“Chasing Pokemon? Oh my goodness, are we too late? Did you get your Starter already?” Mrs. Tot gasped.

“No… I didn’t get it yet, but I saw this…” I struggled.

“GARY! You can’t go out trying to catch Pokemon without a Pokemon to battle beside you to weaken it Dito!” She then laughed loudly.

Everyone else laughed with her.

Mr. and Mrs. Butters, who were Robin’s parents.

Ms. Say, who was Aly’s mom.

And all the other neighbors and some kids who were either not allowed by their parents to become Pokemon Trainers or just weren’t interested and stayed in school.

“Thanks,” was all I bothered to mumble, and then ran past them to Prof. Oak’s place. It was a long travel, besides me being tired already, up the curving path before even reaching the lengthy, swerving steps to his enormous mansion door where I knocked rapidly.

Footsteps approached from behind the door as I grabbed my knees, trying to catch my breath. It opened and I saw Prof. Sketchit, Prof. Oak’s assistant.

“Hey, Prof. Sketchit,” I said with exhaustion.

“Gary! Please, come on in! What’s wrong?” Prof. Sketchit asked while escorting me inside.

“Water…” I managed.

“Okay, just wait here. Or have a seat!” Prof. Sketchit ran and disappeared into another room, his white lab coat flowing behind him.

“Did you say, ‘Gary’?”

I looked up to see Prof. Oak, an excited smile on his old, aging face. The smile faded once he saw it was me. “Oh, you.” He immediately brightened up again. “Ha ha ha! I’m sorry, Gary, I just thought maybe you were my grandson!”

Oh, yes. Gary Oak. I’m not sure why my mom named me Gary. I guess she just liked the name. But it just so happened to also be the name of Gary Oak, Prof. Oak’s grandson, a great professor in his own right with resurrecting and caring for ancient Pokemon under his resume. He’s a lot more reserved than his grandfather, though. He doesn’t bother with TV shows and radio. He prefers revealing information more privately. Just about everything he has accomplished has been revealed by the other professors he informs. They have to say, “Prof. Gary Oak has discovered…” He never says it himself! I was very impressed with his work on Pokemon evolution. Not how some Pokemon evolve through trading, reaching certain levels, and coming into contact with elemental evolution stones, but the Pokemon evolution Gary discovered was that as time passes, Pokemon seem to gain access to new moves and abilities!

As an example, at some point a very long time ago, the very existence of the common move Extreme Speed was still under debate. But when an indisputable amount of Pokemon were appearing with this attack, it solidified it as official. Gary didn’t start his research until years after this weird incident began, but Pokemon continued gaining new attacks, and some moves were even found to be able to be passed on by breeding Pokemon with others. Abilities also began to come into prominence, like a Pikachu being able to Paralyze an opponent just by them coming into physical contact with it. This Ability became known as Static. Pokemon also seemed to be going through some form of adaptation, as Gary Oak refers to it, with their typings. In the case of Magnemite, long ago established as solely Electric type, the acceptance came to be that it was both Electric type and Steel type, and this type of thing continues to this day with a variety of other Pokemon.

“Hey, Prof Oak!” I straightened up and extended my hand, just now starting to breathe easier but still desperate for water.

“My boy, what’s wrong? You look like you’ve seen a Gastly! HA HA HA HA HA!” Prof. Oak laughed heartily at his weak joke.

“If it were, I wouldn’t have chased after it like I did...”

“Here’s your water, Gary,” Prof. Sketchit said, returning with a tall cup full of water and ice.

I took it from him eagerly and drank from it, water spilling down my chin and dripping onto the floor. With a loud gasp and a smile, I thanked the young man.

“So, Gary, what has got you so exhausted? Exactly what were you chasing?” Prof. Oak asked me.

I took a deep breath and stated, “I saw…”

A loud knock at the door interrupted me.

“I’ll get it!” Prof. Sketchit rushed to open the door.

“Hi, Prof. Sketchit!” I heard in unison from the doorway.

I recognized the voices and smiled immediately.

“Oh, hello Kiwi, Robin, and Aly! Come on in!”

The trio entered the mansion with smiles and upon seeing me, smiled even brighter.

“Gary, what’s going on, man?” greeted Robin.

“Gary, oh my gosh, when did you get here? Finding out secret info on raising Pokemon before the rest of us? Huh? Huh?” accused Aly.

“Garyyyyyy!!” squealed Kiwi.

“Hey Kiwi, Aly, Robin!” I said as I moved towards them to hug Kiwi and Aly, then proceeded to squeeze the life out of Robin’s hand in a firm shake as he attempted the same to me.

Prof. Oak put his arms around us happily and with a big smile, said, “It’s great you all have arrived and on time. You four are here for a monumental event! Today is the day you four will choose your starting Pokemon!”

“Yeah!” the four of us cheered.

Though in the back of my mind, I wondered exactly how the four of us were going to get one of three Pokemon…

“Would you guys like any water or food? Times will get pretty hard from here on out, so you may want to make sure you eat good while-”

No!” we said together, firmly. We wanted our Pokemon already!

Prof. Oak laughed. “Fair enough then, kids. Follow me.”

We followed the professor behind a door and into a room where a fancy, huge machine stood. He went near it, but me and the others stayed behind and watched. The machine reached from the ceiling to the floor, the middle of it made seemingly of glass. Suddenly, the glass portion opened and smoke cleared from within.

Me and my friends moved closer at the sight of the three Poke Balls inside.

“Inside of these three Poke Balls lies one of the three Starter Pokemon of the Kanto region,” Prof. Oak informed us. He grabbed one Poke Ball and held it out.

It opened with a popping noise and a white beam of light hit the floor, forming the shape of something. The white faded, and it was revealed to be a Bulbasaur! It looked up at me and my friends and said, “Bulbasaur!”

“Awww, how sweet! Look at those eyes!” Aly cried out.

“Ah! A Bulbasaur, ha ha ha!” Robin laughed.

“Awww, adorable!” Kiwi bounced.

I stared at it in silence, knowing this was not the Pokemon I wanted at all.

“Next.” Prof. Oak had the second Poke Ball in his hand and a white beam shot out again.

The revealed Pokemon this time was Charmander.

“Yes! Charmander!” Smiling, I moved forward just a bit.

“That looks a bit dangerous. Just look at the fire on its tail!” Kiwi said in surprise.

“Now that’s the Pokemon I want there,” said Robin with a grin.

“It looks so tough!” Aly chipped in.

She was right. It had a prideful stance to it and held a promise in its face of confidence and power. Just the Pokemon for me.

The final Pokemon the professor sent out was Squirtle, of course. It stared up at us with a winning smile. This was the only Pokemon I’d accept if I couldn’t have Charmander. It could beat a Charmander with its type advantage.

But everyone knows a well raised Charmander evolves into Charmeleon and afterwards, a ferocious Charizard. At that point, Charizard could crush the fiercest opponent, regardless of typing.

“Oh, my gosh, I want that one!!” screamed Kiwi, startling the three Pokemon a bit.

“Wait, I want that one!” let out Robin to my surprise. He just said he wanted Charmander.

“It is cute... But I think I want Bulbasaur!” Aly said happily.

Bulbasaur smiled up at Aly and exclaimed its name.

“Now, Bulbasaur is a Grass and Poison type Pokemon,” Prof. Oak explained. “It can beat Water types like Squirtle due to a type advantage. But it has a bad chance of winning against Fire types like Charmander. Charmander, however, is weak to Water types. And Squirtle is weak to Grass types. These all are weak to other types, too. So be careful and learn all you can as you embark on your journey, kids. Now, since Gary did get here first, I say we let him choose first.”

“YES!” I shouted and went straight to Charmander. “Hey, buddy! My name is Gary! I choose you as my first Pokemon! How’s that sound?” I smiled at Charmander as it stared back at me blankly.

We stared at each other for a while before it gave me a nasty look. Before I could react, out from its mouth came a spiral of fire!

I roared out in surprise and terror, expecting scorching pain to overtake me and end my Pokemon journey before it even begun. “OOOOOOFF-GLAAAARPFFFBBBBLARGBARGABLE!!” Before any pain hit, I was stopped from screaming by what felt like a punch of water to my face and couldn’t breathe! The second I was able to, I inhaled deeply and loudly, let out my breath in an exhausting weeze, and collapsed to the floor.

There was darkness. Once I realized this, my eyes instinctively opened. To my surprise, Prof. Oak, Prof. Sketchit while fiddling with his orange headband he always wore, Kiwi, Robin, and Aly were all hovering above me! “What the???” I sat up and they moved out of my way.

“Good to see you’re feeling better, Gary,” Prof. Oak said with a smile. “Seems that Charmander was a bit uncomfortable with you staring at it. Thankfully, Squirtle used Water Gun to protect you.”

My eyes tightened close as I shook my head hard in disbelief and then they opened wide. “Whoa! Really?” I turned to the others.

Squirtle stared up at me with a bright smile and wide arms, its knees slightly bent as if ready to jump.

Bulbasaur was standing near Aly’s legs.

Charmander had its arms crossed and was staring indignantly at me.

“Hey, thank you, Squirtle!” I nodded gratefully.

“Squirt Squirtle Squirt!” the Water Starter said back to me.

“Now that Gary is awake again, you may all now choose your three Pokemon,” Prof. Oak stated.

I stood up and walked over to Charmander again. “I choose Charmander.” I stared back at Prof. Oak with determination.

“What??” everyone exclaimed.

Even Bulbasaur looked surprised.

Squirtle looked at me first in shock. It then seemed as if disappointment came over its face, and finally sadness as it lowered its head.

I immediately felt bad. Squirtle did help me and now it seemed like maybe it wanted to be my Pokemon. But I needed to become a Pokemon Master, controlling all sorts of Pokemon. Including a roughneck like Charmander. If I could accomplish that, I could use any Pokemon!

“Gary, that thing is dangerous! Choose something else!” Kiwi suggested.

“Yeah, Gary. Go with Squirtle...” Aly knelt down and held Bulbasaur closer to her.

“Yeah, I dunno if you can handle it, Gary,” winked Robin. “Maybe you should give it to me to raise.”

“Hmph.” I glared at Robin. “Prof. Oak, I choose Charmander,” I said firmly.

“If you’re sure, Gary.” Prof. Oak walked over and handed me Charmander’s Poke Ball.

I turned to it and held out its Poke Ball. “Charmander, return!”

It stared at me as it was sucked back inside its Poke Ball by a red beam.

“Well, then. It seems Aly and Bulbasaur have become an item so I’d say they both have chosen each other. Wouldn’t you agree, Tracey?” Prof. Oak asked.

“Indeed, Prof. Oak. I agree with that.” Prof. Sketchit stroked his little beard with thumb and pointer as he stared at the pair. He stopped and pushed up on his cheeks with the same fingers, the ends of his thick mustache on this upper lip raising with the motion. With a nod, he added, “No doubt about it.”

Prof. Oak gave Aly her Poke Ball, but she just continued hugging her new friend.

“I want Squirtle!” Kiwi and Robin screamed at once. They both glared at each other.

“Now, now, you two. I have the solution to this. Tracey, my boy, the Poketch!” Prof. Oak stated.

“Right.” Prof. Sketchit lifted his right arm and I could see his Poketch XX strapped to his wrist.

I always wanted one, but the cost of those phones was beyond my family’s means. As well as most of my friends’.

“Heads or tails, you two?” Prof. Sketchit asked.

“Heads!” Robin and Kiwi shouted. They growled threateningly at each other.

“HEADS!!” Kiwi went.

“TAILS!!” went Robin at the same time.

Prof. Sketchit lowered his wrist as the electronic coin flipped on his Poketch XX.

It landed on…

TAILS!

Robin got Squirtle! “Yeah!!” he burst enthusiastically.

Squirtle looked up warily at Robin, smiling a bit, but not seeming completely happy. It stared back to me and didn’t look away until Robin took the Poke Ball from Prof. Oak and knelt down beside it. “Hey there, buddy. I’m Robin, your new Trainer!” he greeted it warmly.

Squirtle smiled back.

“Welcome to the team. Together, we can beat the very best!” He laughed as he tends to do sometimes, even when what he says isn’t any kind of a joke, or is just corny, and returned Squirtle to its Poke Ball.

As it was sucked in, glowing red, Squirtle turned one last time back to me before going inside.

“Sooo…” Kiwi looked down.

“Ah, yes. Kiwi,” Prof. Oak beamed. “I knew there were four of you coming today, so I did have something special setup.”

Kiwi brightened up. “Really? Like what?”

Prof. Oak pulled a Poke Ball from his pocket and out from it came a Pidgey!

Me and Robin erupted in strong laughter. Once we realized Aly and Kiwi were glaring at us, we stayed quiet and stared at the ground.

Kiwi looked helplessly at Prof. Oak. “Um… A Pidgey…?”

“Not just any Pidgey, Kiwi. This one has been trained to know a special move called Heat Wave,” Prof. Oak informed her.

“Heat Wave?” me and my three friends said in shock.

“That’s right.” Prof. Oak’s smile widened. “Come with me.” He walked through another door and into another room, the Pidgey following close behind, flapping its wings in the air as it flew. In this room were shelves and shelves and shelves and shelves of Poke Balls!

“These are from Pokemon Trainers who have received their first Pokemon and Pokedex from me,” Prof. Oak explained.

“There’s… millions!!” Robin exclaimed in awe.

Kiwi, Aly and I stared silently, awed.

Prof. Oak laughed. “Hundreds of thousands to be certain. Sadly, some Pokemon pass away while others seem to have a limitless life span. Me and Tracey are certainly kept very busy here and I need all the help I can get in my old age.”

We walked through another door that led outside to an incredible open field! There was grass as far as the eyes could see. Pokemon of all kinds, from every region, in abundance, frolicking in the beautiful landscape! The sight was incredible!

I turned to see Aly, Kiwi, and Robin also amazed by this wonderous view. Even Bulbasaur seemed impressed.

Raticate were wrestling nearby.

A Typhlosion snuggled close to another Typhlosion, napping in the grass.

A bird I didn’t recognize soared smoothly, high against the sharp blue sky.

A huge pond full of Poliwhirl, Seaking, Azurill, and countless others were swimming and splashing.

How do Prof. Oak and Prof. Sketchit take care of these things all by themselves? I wondered.

“Ok, guys.” Prof. Oak distracted me from the beautiful scenery.

I turned to him, as did Robin, Kiwi, Aly, and Bulbasaur. “Now, watch and learn. Pidgey, Heat Wave!”

Pidgey cried out and flew high before turning around and flapping its wings, sending a gentle, though very uncomfortably warm wave around us.

I couldn’t believe it. A true Heat Wave from a Pidgey. I had no idea that was possible.

“This little guy learned the move from someone I know over in the Unova region,” Prof. Oak explained.

As Pidgey landed on Prof. Oak’s shoulder, Kiwi clapped her hands. “I love it! I’ll take it!” At once, Pidgey flew from Prof. Oak’s shoulder to Kiwi’s and nuzzled its head on her cheek. “Awww! Que cute!” Kiwi petted it and took the Poke Ball from Prof. Oak.

“So, now you four have your Pokemon. You guys have a journey to begin now, don’t you?”

I took a deep, nervous breath as my friends all cheered.

“Hey, let’s have a Pokemon battle to see who has the strongest Pokemon!” Robin said eagerly.

“Nah, I wanna spend more time with my Bulba-baby first.” Aly knelt down and cuddled her Bulbasaur to its visible delight.

“Me and Pidgey have some work to do. I just got it. I want to get closer with it and see how we can work better as a team,” Kiwi declined.

“What about you, Gary? You gonna chicken out, too?” Robin taunted.

“I would battle, but it’s a bit obvious me and Charmander have to work out a few things,” I said lowly. To be honest, I didn’t really want to battle anyway. Not yet. We might lose. I wanted our first battle to be good. With a bit of experience, trust, and hard work between us.

“Eh, you’re all cowards. You know I got the best of the four Pokemon today, HA HA HA!!” Butters said boastfully.

“Robin, nobody’s scared of you,”Kiwi denied. “Or your Squirtle!”

“Kiwi, you’d be the best one to battle,” Robin insisted. “Your Pidgey isn’t weak to Water and Squirtle isn’t weak to Flying Pokemon, either! It’d be perfect!”

“Soon, Robin. I promise,” Kiwi said with wink.

“Oh, fine, ha ha ha ha ha!” Robin laughed for some odd reason.

Prof. Oak turned to us. “Now, before we end this, one more thing.” He reached in his white lab coat and pulled out four items I dreamed about having since I was a little kid. “These are Pokedexes. They serve as your ID, and will give you information on all known species of Pokemon as well as offering you tips on becoming a better Pokemon Trainer. It records the number of Pokemon you both have captured and also how many you have seen.”

I took mine and opened it like a book, testing it out on Pidgey first. A revolving, 3D image of Pidgey appeared above the screen, written data on the screen itself. The virtual Pidgey was flapping its wings and doing little actions. The little box spoke out what was written about the Pokemon.

Pidgey. The Tiny Bird Pokemon. A peaceful Pokemon for the beginning Pokemon Trainer. Easy to raise and a dependable Pokemon for use in battle.

I waved it towards Bulbasaur, still close to Aly.

Bulbasaur. The Seed Pokemon. Its energy comes from the seed on its back placed there at birth. The seed grows with the Pokemon.

Robin sent out his Squirtle in curiosity.

Squirtle. The Tiny Turtle Pokemon. This Pokemon can receive great protection from its shell. A forceful fighter and great option of the Kanto Pokemon Starters.

I sent out Charmander as Robin recalled his Squirtle.

Charmander. The Lizard Pokemon. The fire on the tip of its tail is a declaration of its life energy. Pokemon Trainers must be wary to guard this flame.

I stared at Charmander’s flame. It looked fine to me.

Charmander was also looking at it.

I recalled Charmander. “Interesting.”

We all then followed Prof. Oak and Prof. Sketchit. As we stepped outside of his mansion and took the curving trail to the front gate, we all heard the applause from the crowd waiting outside.

“My Kiwi!” Mrs. Tot hugged her daughter tightly and kissed cheeks. “I’m so proud of you already. I know you’ll do great.”

“Thanks, mom,” Kiwi said, obviously embarrassed but smiling as she hugged her mom back.

“So where are your Pokemon, you guys?” Mr. Butters asked us all. “I’m interested to know what you four chose.”

Robin eagerly sent out his Squirtle first.

Squirtle happily looked up at the crowd.

Everyone cried out with excitement.

I went next, sending out my Charmander.

It stared at the crowd and smiled in a way it didn’t for me.

Everyone applauded the little guy.

Aly knelt down to her Bulbasaur who was hiding behind her legs. “Go ahead. Say hi, sweetie.” Bulbasaur took cautious steps forward and stood next to the others, looking at everyone.

“Awww, isn’t it the cutest one?” someone in the crowd uttered and everyone else agreed or cooed over it.

After things got quiet, Mr. Butters asked Kiwi, “So what did you get, Kiwi?”

Kiwi stared at her Poke Ball for a moment and then threw it into the air.

Out came Pidgey.

There were a few mutters and then, slowly, some obviously forced applause that built into more convincing support.

“That’s… great… But shouldn’t that be one of the things you catch once you begin your journey or something?” Mr. Butters asked innocently.

Kiwi glared at him. “Heat wave, now!” She pointed at Robin’s dad.

Pidgey cried out angrily and flapped its wings, sending out a Heat Wave at Mr. Butters which, once ended, left Mr. Butters in tarnished clothing, looking like Tarzan.

Mr. Butters stared in shock. “Pidgey sure have changed since my days as a Trainer…”

Everyone laughed at Mr. Butters shock.

Mrs. Tot hugged Kiwi again. “I am so proud of you, mija.”

“Thanks, mom,” Kiwi said, her voice muffled against her mother’s chest.

I noticed my mom in the crowd and immediately walked up to her. “Mom. I…”

She hugged me tight. “I love you too, Gary. I’m gonna miss you, baby.”

It didn’t take long before my shirt was feeling a bit wet. I hugged my mom. “Mom. I love you,” I said. I could feel myself starting to cry, but instead, I shook my head and pulled away from her, staring into her eyes with determination. “I’ll become the greatest Pokemon Master. With my Charmander. And we’ll catch them all. All one thousand, mom. I promise.”

“A thousand? Aren’t there only…?” Mr. Butters started.

“How do you know??” I shot at him sharply.

“I’ll just stay quiet from now on…” Mr. Butters replied, lowering his head.

Ms. Say couldn’t get over how cute Bulbasaur was and hugged her daughter tightly, and Mr. and Mrs. Butters hugged Robin and gave him encouraging words.

The four of us waved goodbye to our friends, family, and supporters, and after a couple of minutes, we were alone together, staring at Route 1.

“We can’t just follow each other forever, you know,” Robin said.

“Yeah. Robin is right for a change,” Kiwi agreed. “We need to branch off. Find our own way. Become Pokemon Masters in our own right.”

“I’m going this way,” Robin said, pointing towards a faint path on Route 1 that looked a bit dangerous and dark, despite the bright sunlight outside.

“Well, me and Pidgey will go straight ahead and take this detour to the right,” Kiwi pointed ahead.

“Me and my baby will also go ahead but detour to the left,” Aly responded.

“I guess me and my buddy Charmander will be going straight through, then,” I decided.

“Buddy, HA! With friends like that, who needs enemies!” Robin laughed. He waved at us. “Good luck, you guys. I hope you’ll at least get Badge number two!” He laughed some more as he headed on his way.

“Good luck on even reaching the next town! You might give up if you run into a Rattata!” Kiwi screamed after him. She looked to me and Aly. “Good luck, you guys! I know we’ll all meet at the Pokemon League in the coming months and be the finalists. But I’m winning!” She smiled and ran ahead.

“Gary, you took care, you hear?” Aly smiled, and as she walked off, began conversing with her Bulbasaur.

I stared after them all.

I briefly remembered my encounter with that weird entity earlier today. I had forgotten to tell Prof. Oak about it.

I shook my head, my fists tightening at my sides.

I could feel my eyebrows furrow with determination.

I’ll catch, and train, them all, I promised myself. Including that weird Pokemon I saw earlier. Whatever it was.

I’ll find it again. And more. Or die trying.

Dangerous words that I didn’t fully understand so early in my journey.

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