Who's That Pokemon?
My Pokemon were with Nurse Joy and Chansey while I sat in the lobby of the Pokemon Center, dwelling on my battle with Robin. I felt so gloom, I didn’t even feel overjoyed seeing a Nurse Joy after so long. I simply handed her my Pokemon and took a seat.
Nurse Joy had happily greeted me, just barely remembering me from the last time I was here, mentioning she remembers my “girlfriend.”
I managed a smile and told her she was just a friend who was traveling with me for a short while. That smile I just mentioned was like a weight on my face, difficult to hold up, and it faded away sharply after I told the nurse it was nice to see her again.
She came by a little while later and sat next to me, surprising me and making my heart beat faster. “You shouldn’t be too upset,” she had told me. “You battled great. I was truly impressed by how the both of you battled. Telling him that he would’ve won was your only mistake. It disrespects your opponent, yourself, and your Pokemon.”
I had nodded quickly.
After a few more words of encouragement, she walked off to take care of my Pokemon.
I could see Robin’s Flourish defeating my Dugtrio after taking all those powerful hits. Kingdra finishing off Flourish with Brine attack before getting defeated herself, by Dots. Primeape knocking Dots out easily before having a faceoff with Mobster, both Pokemon ending up knocked out. Destiny taking out Hoothoot with Thunder before Charmeleon frightened her with Scary Face and ended the battle with Rock Smash. MJ taking out my Butterfree with the surprising Rock type Hidden Power after having been Paralyzed with Stun Spore. Charmeleon finishing things by blinding MJ and hitting it with Flamethrower.
Catherine continuing to refuse to battle me.
Catherine’s still a Squirtle, too, I thought. Is she being taken care of? Could Robin have been lying? Is she not obeying him at all and not getting any battle experience needed to evolve? Does she simply prefer to just remain a Squirtle? With a sigh, my eyes scanned around the Pokemon Center.
A few Trainers were huddled together, gazing at their individual Pokedexes.
“I saw that Pokemon the other day!” one boy exclaimed, showing his Pokedex to his friends.
“An Arceus?! Yeah, right!” a girl dismissed him.
“I did! It ran away and I didn’t get to pull out my Pokedex to scan it to show I’d at least seen it, but I saw it! Honest!”
“Yeah, an Arceus ran away from you,” another boy laughed.
“He probably just saw a Stantler,” the last boy chimed in.
They all laughed except the boy claiming he had seen Arceus. He was just glaring angrily at his friends.
Arceus. That was the Alpha Pokemon, said to have created the entire Pokemon world as we know it, born in a void of nothingness from an egg. Arceus is said to be the most powerful Pokemon in the world and is supposed to be able to resist any move type, being a combination of every type in existence.
I doubted that kid had truly seen an Arceus myself. There are some ancient texts and things that make note of a Pokemon like Arceus, but I doubted anyone’s seen Arceus these days. But who knows.
A few girls were standing against the wall, talking and giggling.
A row of phone booths were posted several feet away from them.
I stood up quickly and jogged over to one of them, taking a seat. With a deep breath, I picked up the receiver and dialed Prof. Oak’s number. Then I hung up. Several more deep breaths were taken in that moment. I had to call my mom first. I might as well. I’d been dying to call the Professor, but first, I wanted to deal with my mom and get that out of the way. The receiver returned to my palm again and my fingers dialed her number.
My mom’s face popped up on the screen after a couple of minutes. “Gary?” she asked in shock.
“Hi, mom,” I managed to smile.
“Gary! Where have you been??” she asked loudly, her voice beaming into my ear. “I heard you saw your grandma and auntie in Native Village! I heard you were almost killed! I heard the police were looking for you for that mass murder that occurred in Saffron City! What is going on???”
“Mom, I’m fine,” I told her. While I didn’t know she knew about any of that, I wasn’t surprised she did.
Grandma and Auntie obviously called her after I left.
The police naturally would call my mom, asking about me, suspecting me of killing an entire city’s worth of people. It was surely all over the news.
“The incident in Saffron was all a big misunderstanding. Everything’s been sorted out now,” I assured her.
“Yes, I heard they let you off. The police in Viridian City called me to let me know. What happened in Native Village?” she asked in a panic.
“It’s fine,” I explained. “There was a little trouble, yes, but it’s all okay now. Some criminals were harming Pokemon and they were arrested.”
“You were out there nearly getting killed for a freaking Pokemon, Gary?!” my mom shouted. “They’re just animals!!”“No, they aren’t!” I yelled back. “They’re my friends! My Pokemon are my friends and we risk our lives for each other! I’d do it for a human friend and I’d damn well do it for my Pokemon!”“WHO do you think you’re cursing at?” my mom barked sharply. “You never curse at your mother!”
“I’m sorry, mom, honest!” I apologized, trying to calm down. “But you’re not listening to me!”
“You go off on your stupid journey to become a Pokemon Trainer, nearly get killed several times, and now you’re cursing at me?! I hate what you’ve become! You’re blinded! It’s bad enough that you left to be a Pokemon Trainer, but with all the dangers you’ve gotten yourself into, you still are traveling! What is wrong with you??”
I glared at her, but I didn’t have anything to say. I didn’t know how to respond to that.
“Where are you right now?” she asked after a long silence.
I took a slow, long, deep breath. “I’m in Celadon City. I’ve gotten four Badges and I’m on my way to Fuchsia City to get my fifth.”My mom only stared at me. “Have you seen Melissa?” she asked quietly.
My eyes lowered and I shook my head.
She let out a sigh.
An awkward silence fell over us.
My eyes returned back to my mom.
Her eyes were lowered. She raised up a hand and wiped her eyes before looking up at me. “Anything else?” she snapped.
I opened my mouth, but closed it again and shook my head.
“Bye,” she said coldly before the screen went black.
I let out a silent sigh and closed my eyes, glad I was in this little booth. I didn’t have to see the people I was sure were staring at me.
The kids weren’t chatting about Arceus.
The girls weren’t giggling.
There was complete silence in the Pokemon Center.
I took a few minutes to myself to add to the silence. To be absorbed in the peace. So I could think. Melissa. I never forgot about her. I thought about her daily, whenever I was able to just catch my breath in the middle of all the insanity that I was going through being a Pokemon Trainer. But talking to my mom about her brought her into my mind in a way that I didn’t like. Her being gone was sad for me, but I still believed she was out there somewhere, alive and well. Speaking to my mom about her slightly diminished that belief for some reason.
My mom’s pain was different than mine. She was less hopeful as time went on. Her attitude and choice of words spoke to me about the suffering she was going through without her children in her life. Without anyone there to talk to.
I need to call her more, I knew. I need to let her know I’m okay. Or maybe I can call Prof. Oak or somebody else and let them know I’m okay, and they can tell my mom for me. At the thought of Prof. Oak, I eagerly snatched the phone up and called him.
“I’m sorry, this line is currently busy. Please hold or try again later,” a mechanical female voice instructed me.
The image of something familiar appeared on the black screen and stared at me. It was a Pokemon. “Wooobb… Wooobb… Wooobb… Wooobb…” the Pokemon said repeatedly.
“Wobbuffet…” I muttered. “I think that’s what Kiwi called it.”
Kiwi and I had seen one on the way to Saffron City together when we climbed that mountain and encountered all those Psychic Pokemon.
I sat patiently, thinking about the Pokemon I myself had captured but had yet to find out the identity of. In that very second, an idea struck me of something I should’ve done ages ago. I opened my Pokedex and began to carefully scan through it to see if I could find the Pokemon I caught on that mountain. I couldn’t believe I never considered this earlier. I began with Bulbasaur, the first Pokemon listed in the Pokedex, and continued down.
I had just gotten halfway through the Kanto section of the Pokedex when the phone screen’s image was replaced with Prof. Oak’s face. “Prof. Oak!”
“Gary, my boy! Good to see you!” Prof. Oak said happily. “I was just on the phone with your mother.”“Oh…” I said slowly, my voice trailing off.
“You really have no excuse to be cursing at your mother, Gary,” Prof. Oak said sternly. “I understand you may have been upset, but you must respect your mother. She’s a good woman with an opinion that should be respected, even if not agreed with. As a Pokemon Professor, I don’t enjoy hearing her put down the species of Pokemon, either, but with so many different people living in this world, we must understand the differences not only on the outside, but on the inside. There is always a right and a wrong, but everyone’s opinion is right in their own minds and we must accept this and learn to live alongside one another knowing this, seeking common ground.”
“Okay. I’m sorry,” I spoke lowly, looking away from him.
“I was very worried after I’d heard about what happened with you in Saffron City,” Prof. Oak continued. “Your mother could barely explain it properly, but when I first got the call from Officer Jenny, I was absolutely shocked. Of course, none of us here believed you did it. It was nonsense! But it was surprising news nonetheless. What exactly happened out there?”
“Well…” I started. “It’s an awfully long story to be honest…” I told Prof. Oak everything that had happened, keeping my voice low, not wanting anyone else hearing it and spreading rumors or something.
When I finished, Prof. Oak’s eyes were larger than dinner plates. “Well…” Prof. Oak said after a while. “That’s… quite amazing…”
I nodded. “I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.”“So… you have your Marsh Badge, then,” Prof. Oak said slowly.
I nodded and pulled the Marsh Badge out of my case, holding it up for him to see.
Prof. Oak squinted hard at it. “Interesting… Well, I guess you earned it, assuming what you told me was the truth… It’s quite a story. This is quite a difficult stone to swallow to be honest, Gary, but you’re not the type to tell a lie over something like this.”
“I’m still in shock over it, Professor. Believe me.”
“Well, it’s no wonder your mother worries so much about you, now is it? You make sure to keep in contact with her, you understand?“Yes, I definitely will,” I promised.
“Ah, and Gary! I almost forgot to mention! My work has been coming along excellently since you sent over that Baltoy of yours. Good catch!”
“Baltoy…?” I asked.
“Yes! Baltoy, Gary,” Prof. Oak repeated. “You caught it quite some time ago.”
I opened my Pokedex and searched it up. “That’s it!” I shouted in excitement. “That’s the Psychic Pokemon I caught on that mountain on my way to Saffron! So its name is Baltoy…”“You didn’t know this, Gary?” Prof. Oak asked. “Did you not scan it with your Pokedex?”
“Well… I didn’t get the chance to…” I said in a low voice, remembering that my Pokedex had gone missing, along with all of my Pokemon, for a short while.
“Ah, catch first, ask questions later, eh, Gary?” Prof. Oak asked. “My grandson had the exact same attitude when he was your age.” Prof. Oak laughed.
“Uh… yeah…” I mumbled.
“The difference is, he would’ve caught at least thirty or so Pokemon by the time he had five Badges,” Prof. Oak said sternly. “You only have seven. ”
I couldn’t feel any lower. “I… traded… for a Kingdra…” I said feebly.
“A Kingdra?” Prof. Oak’s eyes opened wider and he managed a smile. “Well, that’s a noteworthy capture! Who did you trade for it?”“My Beedrill… Look, it’s kind of a long story to be honest.” And one I didn’t feel like bringing up.
“Well, that’s certainly a good trade, Gary. You should be happy!”
“Yeah… I was eager to find out what Pokemon that was that I had caught,” I said, changing the subject. “So it’s a Baltoy! Interesting!”“Well, you could’ve just made a transfer through your Pokedex,” Prof. Oak informed me.
“Huh? A transfer?” I asked.
“Yes,” Prof. Oak nodded. “Show me your Pokedex.”I held up my Pokedex.
“You see that button there? Press it and it opens a menu that allows you to transfer a Pokemon over to you,” Prof. Oak explained. “If you already have six Pokemon with you, you’ll need to exchange it for one you already are carrying. If that Pokemon is currently outside in my lab, an alert will be sent to me and I’ll make sure to get that Pokemon to its Poke Ball for you if I’m around. If not, Tracey should be there to assist. If the Pokemon you’re trying to get out of my lab is already in its Poke Ball, the transfer will be automatic. If no one is around, after a few minutes, an alert will be sent to your Pokedex to let you know that the transfer couldn’t be completed.”“Wow! Wait… So all this time, I couldn’t found out what that Pokemon was?”
“Yes, quite easily,” Prof. Oak laughed.
I nearly fell out of my seat in utter disappointment of not knowing this. “Well, I want to make a transfer, Professor!”
“Then place the Poke Ball of the Pokemon you’d like to exchange in that slot by you, and I’ll go get your Baltoy.” He stood up and walked from the screen.
Smiling, I turned to my belt.
No Poke Balls!
I gasped in fright, staring at my empty belt before realizing Nurse Joy still had my Pokemon. With a relieved sigh, I ran to the front desk where Nurse Joy sat calmly.
She looked up and me and smiled. “Hello, Gary. How can I help you?” she asked.
“Are my Pokemon ready?” I asked urgently. “I need to make a transfer with Prof. Oak!”
“They should be. I’ll be right back.” Nurse Joy got to her feet and disappeared behind the door in the back.
I impatiently waited for her to come back, glancing back at the phone screen.
Prof. Oak hadn’t returned.
Nurse Joy appeared from behind the door a couple of minutes later, carrying a tray containing six Poke Balls. “They just finished eating,” Nurse Joy spoke warmly. “They’re all in fine health.”
“Thank you so much!” I snatch my Poke Balls from the tray and ran back to the phone. Who should leave me for a while? I wondered. Butterfree is an obvious choice, but I’m supposed to be working on getting closer to her. Kingdra could be a great Pokemon to help Prof. Oak with his research, but she still needs time to adjust to me. Trading her off again too soon could affect her badly. Charmeleon and Primeape aren’t going anywhere… Hoothoot… Hmm…
Prof. Oak returned. “So, do you know what you want to send over?” Prof. Oak asked, a Poke Ball in his hand.
I looked up sternly. “Yes.” I placed a Poke Ball in the hole on the booth as Prof. Oak placed Baltoy’s Poke Ball in its spot.
A tube positioned over the Poke Ball ejected a smaller tube which shot electricity onto the Poke Ball before the ball vanished in a bright white light. The electricity stopped firing out for a couple of seconds before it returned, a white ball of light appearing in the middle of the sparks. When the electricity faded again, the smaller tube returned back inside of the larger tube, and the white glow faded away, revealing a Poke Ball.
“Thank you, Gary,” Prof. Oak said, taking my Poke Ball I had just sent him in his hand. “Take care of your Pokemon. Yours is safe with me.”“Thanks again, Professor.” I was so thrilled, holding my new Pokemon in its Poke Ball. “I’ll see you soon!”“Bye for now!”
The screen went black.
I leaped up and ran outside. “Baltoy, come out!” I said loudly, throwing the Poke Ball.
“Baaaaltooooy!” Baltoy looked up at me and immediately began spinning and moving from side to side.
“Hello, Baltoy!” I said with a big smile, kneeling down to its level. “My name is Gary. I’m your Trainer. You may actually remember me from when we first met on that mountain! It’s nice to finally get to meet you after all this time!”
Baltoy stopped spinning and stared at me. “Baaaaaltoy!” It began to spin in circles around me.
I laughed and pulled out my Pokedex.
Baltoy. The Clay Doll Pokemon. Baltoy live their entire lives maneuvering on one foot, spinning around constantly while moving. When they sleep, they cleverly balance themselves on their foot. Baltoy have been known, on rare occasions, to spin on their head.
“So, Baltoy, would you like to meet the other members of my team?” I asked it.
“Baaaalll!” Baltoy said loudly, spinning faster around me.
“Come on out, everybody!” I threw out several Poke Balls.
Baltoy came to a stop in front of me, eyeing my other five Pokemon.
“CHHHAAAAARRR!!” Charmeleon said eagerly, blasting the air with fire.
“Hoot Hooooot,” Hoothoot said, standing on his foot, tilting his head at Baltoy.
“Dooooo Doo!” Kingdra stared up at me first, and then turned to the new Pokemon.
“Trio Trio Trio!” Dugtrio greeted Baltoy.
“Priiime ApeApeApe!” Primeape shouted, running up to Baltoy eagerly and sniffing it several times before jumping up and down, grunting eagerly.
“Baaaaalllltooooooooyyy!!” Baltoy shouted and began to spin rapidly in place. It circled Primeape, and then Dugtrio, followed by Hoothoot, and afterwards Kingdra, ending with Charmeleon. Then it circled them all at once, spinning widely around them in a huge circle. Baltoy finally stopped in front of me and faced the Pokemon. “Baltoy!”
I felt dizzy from all the spinning.
Charmeleon and Primeape were holding their heads from the spinning Baltoy did.
Kingdra was swaying back and forth from the dizziness.
Hoothoot hobbled sideways on his foot, seeming confused and dizzy.
Dugtrio looked dizzy as well, his three heads swaying a bit.
I shook off the dizzy spell and beamed at all my Pokemon. “Well, everybody, this is our new partner, Baltoy. Butterfree will be staying with Prof. Oak for a while, so we can make good friends with Baltoy and battle alongside each other.”Charmeleon, Primeape, Kingdra, Hoothoot, and Dugtrio all cheered loudly.
Baltoy leaped in the air and began to spin in place once it hit the ground.
“I guess Baltoy is happy to be joining our team, guys,” I laughed.
The others laughed too.
Baltoy kept spinning.
I pulled the straps on my backpack and gazed up into the morning sun.
Earlier, I’d decided to have dinner at a Chinese fast food restaurant. I took my food to go, hating to eat alone in any kind of public place. It just seemed pathetic to me. Bidding Nurse Joy a goodbye, unable to leave without taking one last glance at such a flawless definition of beauty and hear her angelic voice one last time, I reached Route 16, leaving Celadon City behind me.
I then had walked off the path and into the trees until I found a nice clearing and set my blanket out with my Chinese food on top of it.
As I ate, my Pokemon played together.
Kingdra was getting more comfortable with the others, playing with Hoothoot by spraying bubbles at him while he flew above them, popping them with his beak.
Primeape and Charmeleon were eagerly swinging punches at each other, dodging and landing the occasional hit.
Dugtrio was moving around in the dirt, seeming to be taking care of the trees and grass, picking trash off the ground and replanting flowers.
Baltoy happily spun around the entire scene, swerving around trees in the process.
And now, the next morning, I was looking up at the sun, standing alone on the dirt path, reflecting on last night with a smile.
Everything felt like it made sense again. Everything felt like it was in order and in place in my life. All loose ends seemed to finally be tied, and I felt ready to move on in my life.
It was time to head on to Fuchsia City and battle for another Badge.
How things have changed, I thought to myself.
I had no idea how severely things would be changing soon enough.