A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

By QBOak

Adventure / Drama

The Enigma Of Ninjas

“What are you doing here?” I asked Aly, happy to see her, yet surprised she was in front of me.

“I was on my way out of here, to be honest,” Aly answered.

“You’re leaving? What did you come here for in the first place, then?”

“Duh, to get a Badge,” Aly said in a sassy voice. “What are you, me, Kiwi, and Robin traveling for, Gary? To get the eight Badges and meet up at the Pokemon League so you can all lose to my awesome Pokemon. Gosh!”

I opened my mouth to retort her comment when something she said stuck in my mind.

Kiwi.

I’d completely forgotten all about her. Even when I called Prof. Oak about my Baltoy, I somehow didn’t bring up my friend to him. I’d forgotten about her in all the drama over my battle with Robin. How could I be so forgetful about one of my best friends?

My mouth closed as I stared at Aly silently, thinking of what to say to her.

“I came here to battle Ozne, but I lost,” Aly continued. “So, I’m done battling his Gym. I’m going to go and check out the zoo before I leave, though. And maybe I’ll see some of the other areas. There’s so much to see in Fuchsia. It’s so beautiful here!”

“You’re just giving up?” I asked in surprise. “What about having a rematch with Ozne? You should be practicing and getting ready for next time! Not taking a break.”

“No, Gary,” Aly said sharply. “We lost twice already, and the last time, we didn’t even get to knock out one Pokemon of his. We’ll try another Gym somewhere else. Training too hard is only going to hurt your Pokemon. Pokemon don’t like to be pushed too hard. That’s abuse.”

“I’m not talking about abusing your Pokemon, Aly,” I tried. “I only mean training. Pokemon love to battle. That’s how they grow. That’s how they get stronger. I understand taking a moment to recollect your strategy and giving your Pokemon a bit of time to relax, but you can’t just stop. You have to keep the momentum up and keep striving for more. You have to push yourself and your Pokemon to overcome challenges like these. You only lost two times! That’s not that bad... Didn’t we leave on this journey accepting difficulties like these? Knowing it wouldn’t be easy but promising to keep going?”

“You’re wrong, Gary,” Aly’s voice was rising, getting upset. “That’s abuse. Once your Pokemon get beaten, you need to just stop and find another way to go, or else you’re just abusing your Pokemon and being selfish. You’re only thinking of yourself by raising your Pokemon that way.”

I sighed, knowing this was going nowhere with my good friend.

One thing about Aly was how opinionated she was. There were times when she believed she was right no matter what and refused to consider that other people had different opinions to her own, and she would defend hers to the death. At times, she could take things too far, completing ignoring any given apologies or clarifications being offered and just continue to verbally attack blindly, and resolving an issue could take days. Debating with her almost always turned into an argument.

“Well, Aly, I think my Pokemon enjoy battling and wouldn’t like it if we just gave up and took a break,” I spoke hesitantly. “I think they would want to keep on trying and come back as soon as we were stronger and show off all the hard work we did in our training.”

“That’s a load of crap,” Aly dismissed quickly. “They don’t want that at all!”

“How do you know?” I was now losing my cool. “You’re not a Pokemon mind reader!”

“I know I’m right!” Aly shouted. “Your Pokemon deserve a break! You’ve been abusing them!”“Me and my Pokemon want to train hard!” I shouted back. “It’s what we all want to do! We’re not slackers!”“Oh, so now I’m a slacker?” Aly’s fists balled up.

“I didn’t say that! I was only saying we keep on going! We don’t just stop because things get hard!”“You called us slackers!” Aly screamed even louder.

“I just said I didn’t!” I screamed over her.

“Liar! Admit you just called us slackers and apologize!!” Aly’s voice went even louder.

“I will not admit to something I didn’t do!!!” I bellowed. “You can’t tell me what I meant!! Who do you think you are?!!”

ENOUGH!” a voice shrieked.

With a gasp, Aly and I turned to see Nurse Joy glaring at us a couple of feet away.

“This is no place for such foolishness!” Nurse Joy spoke seriously, yet with an underlying calm that was somehow fitting for her. “You both should be ashamed of yourselves. If you can’t respect each other’s points of views on raising Pokemon, then you both should just continue on your journeys in your own way. Arguing in this manner is a disrespect to yourselves and to your Pokemon.”

Aly and I lowered our heads. “Sorry,” we muttered.

Nurse Joy kept a solid, yet somehow still very attractive, glare on us before turning away and taking her place behind the front desk.

Several people in the Pokemon Center were looking at us. Some people were covering their mouths, giggling. A few people looked away, shaking their heads.

I turned to Aly, and she looked to me. “Sorry,” I muttered.

“Sorry,” she repeated in a low voice.

An awkward silence fell upon us.

I stared down at my sneakers.

“So, how many Badges do you own?” Aly asked me, breaking the silence.

“Four,” I replied, looking up. “I’m here for my fifth. What about you?”

“I was going for my sixth Badge when I got here, but I’ll just go get it somewhere else, I guess.” She looked away from me towards the front door.

“Sixth?” I asked in shock.

Aly smiled as she turned to me. “Yep!”

“Congratulations!” I returned her smile. “But… you’re really just gonna give up with Ozne? You’re not coming back?”“No,” Aly said shortly, her smile fading.

“Okay, okay,” I said, raising my hands, not wanting to argue with her again.

“I was going to buy some more supplies before leaving here, but the PokeMart is out of Poke Balls and Potions and stuff,” Aly told me, her face growing solemn. “After that crazy incident in Saffron City, the Silph Co. being completely shut down for the time being, supplies in Kanto, and really, many parts of the world, have taken a dive. Everything is scarce. Silph Co. locations in other areas of the world are working harder than ever to make up the crash of the main headquarters in Saffron City.”I shivered thinking of Saffron City. “Wow…” I managed.

“I just got off the phone with Prof. Oak, too!” Aly beamed again.

“Oh, I spoke with him not too long ago myself.”

“He’s really proud of me for all of the Pokemon I’ve captured so far,” Aly said proudly. “I’ve captured over seventy Pokemon.”

Seventy??” I shouted. My mouth hung open.

Aly’s smile remained as she gave me a sly look. “I hear you don’t even own ten yet.”

I glared at her.

“I hear Robin has a lot, too,” Aly continued. “He’s caught about fifty by now. Kiwi has about thirty, but hasn’t sent anything to him too recently. I miss those guys. I haven’t seen Kiwi or Robin since we left on our journey! I’ve only seen you.” She stared me in the eyes, sneering visibly as if she wasn’t glad to see me. I was sure she was doing it on purpose.

“Kiwi?” I asked.

“Nope, not even Kiwi. My best friend…” Aly said sadly. She misunderstood what I was saying.

I wasn’t asking if she had seen Kiwi, but was a little startled that Aly and Prof. Oak had talked about her.

Aly didn’t seem to know anything about Kiwi quitting her journey. Prof. Oak surely would’ve told her by now, assuming Kiwi got home.

Maybe Kiwi changed her mind after all. Maybe she managed to get over her Pidgeotto and continued with her training.

I hoped that was what had happened. It had to have been what happened. It just had to have been. Otherwise, she would’ve gotten to Pallet Town by now.

“And what happened to your girlfriend?” Aly asked eagerly.I frowned at her. “Damn it, Aly! I just told you, June was not my girlfriend!”

“Did she dump you?” Aly pressed on.

“Aly!”

“Because there’s no way you dumped her,” Aly ignored me. “She was hot. Just... look at you! Are your Pokemon doing the fighting or you?? You look like worse crap than the last time we met! I mean, you look okay sometimes, I guess, but June was freaking hot like oh my gosh! So I know you wouldn’t just let that go. You got lucky by being with her. How did you screw that relationship up?”

ALY!” I roared.

This is a hospital!” Nurse Joy screeched from the front desk. “This is no place for your silly arguments! Take it outside!” Even angry, Nurse Joy was a gorgeous sight to behold.

But I didn’t like the fact that she was getting infuriated at me, my heart beating faster in fear as well as adoration of her beauty. “I’m sorry,” I apologized sincerely.

“Yeah, Gary,” Aly chimed in. “What’s your problem?”

My teeth tightened as I returned stern eyes on Aly. “Let’s go outside.”

“Sure!” Aly agreed with a big, smug smile.

We walked outside into the cold, windy weather.

Aly inhaled deeply and exhaled, her eyes rising to the sky. “I hope it snows soon. I love the snow. Remember how we used to play in the snow?”

I nodded, feeling my anger fade as I reflected on our past before we became Pokemon Trainers and enjoyed simpler things in life, like snow. “Yeah, that was really fun. I loved it. You, Robin, me, Kiwi. We had a lot of fun growing up together, huh?”“Hmm,” Aly nodded, her eyes still above us. “Funny, isn’t it?”

“What?”

“So much has changed,” Aly said softly. “Things like playing in the snow. Hanging out together. Playing video games at each other’s houses. Waking up in a nice, warm, comfortable bed. Raiding the refrigerator late at night. Having our parents take care of us.” Aly turned thoughtful eyes onto me, and I could spot the sadness mixed in. “We don’t have any of that anymore. It’s like… we’re adults now. Taking care of our kids.” She unclipped a Poke Ball from her belt and stared down at it, and a small smirk crossed her lips. There was a more cheerful light in her eyes as she looked back to me. “We made this choice for ourselves, didn’t we? We chose this life. We could’ve just stayed in school and chosen different lives and had some more time to be… kids. But instead, we chose to become Pokemon Trainers and take on these responsibilities. Things will never be the same again.” She giggled a little.

Her words were deep and I couldn’t reply to them. There wasn’t anything to say. I thought about everything she had told me as I looked away from her, staring at the sky.

“Gary,” Aly said seriously.

I looked down, her tone demanding my attention, her intense eyes bringing my heart up to a faster pace. “Yeah…?” I was caught up in the seriousness of this moment. The intensity of this conversation.

“Why’d your girlfriend leave you?”

Moment killer.

“She was NOT MY GIRLFRIEND!

“Why are you yelling?” Aly asked, cocking her head.

I was about to explode. Aly was driving me nuts!

“Hey, let’s go to the zoo together?” Aly suggested. “That should take your mind off your troubles. You’re so wound up over getting dumped, you’re yelling at me and stuff. Come on!” She turned away and started to walk off.

“I’m not going,” I said moodily. “I’m going to wait for my Pokemon to heal up and then challenge Ozne and win his Badge.”

“Well, good luck with that one, Gary,” Aly said without much enthusiasm. “I’m off to the zoo to see the rare Pokemon.”

“Of all people on Earth, it just had to be you,” a voiced soaked in a southern accent said from behind me. Aly and I turned to see a girl standing not far away, her arms crossed, her long brown hair twisted and wrapped around her head, across her neck, ending below her shoulders. A Butterfree sat perched on her left shoulder. “Figures you would be the one screaming and making all sorts of noise, as usual,” she said like a true snob. “Just like in Viridian Forest. Always making noise and screaming about something.”

“Hi…” I said, unsure of what to say to her, remembering her well from Viridian Forest when she saved my life from the Beedrill swarm, and our brief encounter in Celadon City after I won my Badge. I still never got her name.

“Who’s she?” Aly whispered.

The girl looked at Aly, then back at me. “I see you’ve got a new girlfriend.”

“Huh??” Aly said loudly.

“To be honest, I thought the big mouthed red head was cuter.” The girl kept her eyes on Aly. “But this one has her charms, too. Perhaps she’s a lot less of a loud hot head then the last girl you were with. The things she said to me in Celadon truly hurt my feelings.” The girl then laughed loudly as if she’s said something funny.

“I’m not his girlfriend!!” Aly fumed. “You think I’d be with somebody like him?!

“What’s that supposed to mean…?” I muttered, shooting her a sideways look, although I kind of felt the same way.

“No matter,” the girl shrugged. “I have things to do. Goodbye.” She started to walk past me and Aly.

“Yeah, get out here,” Aly said sharply. “Rude.”

The girl laughed as she walked past Aly.

“Who are you?” I called out to her.

She waved her hand nonchalantly at me.

“I challenge you to a Pokemon battle!” I blurted out before I could reconsider it.

The girl stopped.

“If I win, will you tell me who you are?” I asked. “A name? How many Badges you have? Why you own a Butterfree when you don’t like bugs? Something?

“Wait, what?” Aly asked in confusion. “You don’t like Bug Pokemon, but you own a Butterfree?”

The girl turned around and faced me, glaring, before turning to Aly. “I despise Bug type Pokemon. They are the most weakest of the types and are utterly useless.”

“How can you say that when your Butterfree is right there?” Aly gasped.

Butterfree stared calmly ahead, not seeming to be hurt by its Trainer’s words.

“Listen, you. Butt out!” the girl barked. “Bug Pokemon are weak. The end. The entire species is a waste and a disgrace to the Pokemon world.”

“They are not!” Aly took a step towards the girl. “Every Pokemon has a right to exist and are useful in their own ways! Bug Pokemon like Butterfree collect pollen from flowers. Heracross break into tree trunks for tree sap to eat, and when they’re done, they allow weaker Bugs who can’t break into the trunks of trees to eat the remains! Pokemon like Kricketot and Kricketune can compose some of the most inspiring and moving melodies using their bodies. When Volbeat and-”

“Listen here, now,” the girl interrupted. “You don’t need to tell me all this nonsense. We have bees and butterflies and other nasty bugs to take care of the Earth. As a Pokemon species, Bug types are the bottom of the trash heap. Period.”

“You should love all Pokemon!” Aly moved another step towards the girl, her fists balling.

You should go mind your own business,” the girl rolled her eyes.

All Pokemon deserve the right to be loved and appreciated!” Aly’s fists were shaking in anger. “No one can call themselves a Pokemon Trainer without loving each and every Pokemon out there!”

The girl laughed. “You sure are an opinionated one, aren’t you?”

I felt conflicted as I listened to the girls argue, feeling that I was right in the middle of their points. I didn’t love every single Pokemon the same, hating and fearing Bug types strongly, even though I was working on my phobia, and there was plenty of non Bug type Pokemon I didn’t like very much, too. I certainly didn’t consider myself any less of a Pokemon Trainer than anybody else just because I have my own preferences. At the same time, I did have respect for the species of Pokemon, overall, of course, and the way the Butterfree girl was speaking about Bug types was going quite far, especially when one of her Bug type Pokemon was right there, listening.

“I am not!” Aly’s voice cracked. “You cannot be a Pokemon Trainer and hate other Pokemon! You must love all Pokemon equally!”

The Butterfree girl sighed and shook her head. “There’s no getting through to people like you. I know your type.”“WHAT??” Aly was only a few feet away from the Butterfree girl and seemed to be ready to swing fists at her.

The Butterfree girl turned to me but didn’t speak.

I stared back, suddenly remembering my request. “A Pokemon battle!”

“Battling you wouldn’t do me any good,” the Butterfree girl said, shaking her head.

“What, are you afraid?” I taunted her.

“You think that’s gonna work on me?” she said with a blank stare. “I’m offended you think I’m so easily manipulated.”

“Come on. One battle. You and me,” I repeated. “One-on-one. Your Butterfree versus…” I looked down to my belt. My Poke Balls were gone! I gasped. In the next instant, I slapped my forehead. My Pokemon were still with Nurse Joy! “I left them in the Pokemon Center to heal! Just give me a moment, okay?”

She squinted at me in disbelief, her mouth opening as if to say something.

“Sorry!” I ran into the Pokemon Center and to the front desk. “Nurse Joy, are my Pokemon ready?”

Nurse Joy stared at me thoughtfully. “Well… I believe they should be healed by now, but I’m not sure they’re finished eating, yet.”

“I only need one! It’s for a battle. Please! I mean, if they’re not ready, that’s fine. But if at least one is, that’s all I need!”

“Allow me to check on them.” She got up with a smile and walked through the back door.

Music played from somewhere, causing me to turn around, noticing the flat screen TV hanging from the ceiling. I hadn’t even seen it until now.

Others in the Pokemon Center had turned to watch, too.

The news station that was on had the words: BREAKING NEWS in red, running across the front of a black screen before showing a female newscaster sitting behind a large desk, the words shrinking down below her, running repeatedly across the screen. Her dark blue eyes looked worried and a piece of her blonde hair stuck to her deep red lipstick. A square picture opened in the upper left hand corner of the screen, showing a mountain with smoke rising from the top of it.

“Good afternoon, this is Maria with PokeStation8 News. The Veilstone City Fire Department arrived on the scene of an explosion at Mt. Coronet just a few moments ago,” the lady spoke with a strong Spanish accent, gently pushing aside her hair from her face. “Little is known about the explosion, but apparently it’s rocked many neighboring cities and set fire to nearby routes, forests, and houses. So far, we have received word that Solaceon Town, Celestic Town, and Veilstone City have all felt the shake from the explosion and these areas have received significant damage. Some homes within these areas are on fire, caused by the intensity in heat from this initial explosion. We’re going to go to Michael who is in Celestic Town now. Michael?”The small picture of the mountain enlarged and took over the screen, the scene changing to a city where a very short young man stood with a microphone in his hand. “Thank you, Maria,” the man said. “The legendary area within the Sinnoh region, Mt. Coronet, is completely not what those who have been there previously, will remember. An incredible explosive of unknown origins occurred and has cut the mountain down to size and many areas are on fire. Some suspect it may have been exploding Graveler who home this area, but some scientists suspect this is no work of any Pokemon but are clueless as to exactly what caused it, who did so, or why.”

“Oh, my…” a familiar voice said gently. It was Nurse Joy, standing right next to me, staring at the screen. “How terrible.”

“Officials are looking into it as we speak, but from a distance,” the man continued, “it is unsafe to enter Mt. Coronet at this point in time. No human or Pokemon can enter. Officials are certain that anyone inside already is almost certain to be dead or badly injured. They are preparing a way to safely investigate as soon as possible.”

The screen went black. “I can’t watch this,” Nurse Joy said, placing a remote control on the desk, hugging herself, her eyes closed. She looked helpless and adorable like that.

I wished more than anything to reach out and hug her, to comfort my poor Nurse Joy.

Nurse Joy relaxed her arms and held out a Poke Ball to me. “Only this Pokemon was ready to go. It’s your Primeape. As soon as I mentioned a battle, he got very excited and started screeching and making a fuss.”

I smiled and took the Poke Ball from her. Good old Primeape. Always ready to battle. “Thank you!” Pushing aside the terrible information from the news out of my mind, I took off out of the Pokemon Center. This battle was important to me. If I won, the Butterfree girl might just give me a bit more respect and even tell me a little about herself.

Aly and the Butterfree girl were glaring silently at each other. They both turned to me, their angry scowls not fading from their faces.

“Took you long enough,” the Butterfree girl snapped. “Now let’s get this over with.”

“Fine. And I’m going with my Primeape!” I threw his Poke Ball.

Primeape screeched eagerly upon his release, hopping up and down.

Primeape. The Pig Monkey Pokemon and the evolved form of Mankey. When Primeape becomes enraged, its muscles grow and it becomes a dangerous threat to virtually any Pokemon. However, it becomes less intelligent while in its rage.

I turned to Aly as she put away her Pokedex after scanning my Primeape.

“Nincada, I choose you,” the Butterfree girl said, throwing a Poke Ball.

“Nincada!” a disgusting looking Pokemon declared.

“Ugh!” I shuddered and shook my head while a feeling of disappointment flashed throughout my body at the puny, disgusting opponent. “What is that?”The Butterfree girl laughed. “Still afraid of Bug Pokemon? Pathetic!”

“Figures it’s a Bug type...”

Nincada. The Trainee Pokemon. Nincada often live in caves since they do not like the sunlight, but they do come outside on rare occasions. They use their whisker like antennae to feel around its surroundings.

Nincada. The Trainee Pokemon. Nincada use their claws to carve open tree roots and absorb moisture and nutrients. This Pokemon gets around depending on its antennae since it is nearly blind.

I turned to see Aly had her Pokedex out and was scanning Nincada with me. “Another Bug Pokemon…” I pointed out. “But… I wanted to battle Butterfree…”

“What are you doing with another Bug type?” Aly cried out. “You don’t make any sense! And you’re hurting your Pokemon by letting it in the sun! Gary’s Pokedex clearly said they don’t like the sun!”

“Toxic,” the Butterfree girl said swiftly.

Nincada leaped into the air with a loud cry and shot a long stream of purple liquid at Primeape.

Primeape cried out angrily and hit the ground. A purple color flushed his face and he looked disoriented.

“Oh, no! It’s been Badly Poisoned! Gary!! How could you let this happen??” Aly complained.

“Primeape, get up!” I urged him. “Use Screech attack!”

Primeape got up shakily, closed his eyes, and let out a deafening, sharp Screech.

Aly screamed against the sound as we all covered our ears.

Nincada laid low to the ground, eyes closed in pain, shouting out.

The Butterfree girl winced while covering her ears.

Her Butterfree whined, its wings flapping rapidly.

I hadn’t noticed Screech ended when it did. My ears were still ringing and I could still hear the sound.

I only knew it had ended when the Butterfree girl uncovered her ears and yelled, “Hone Claws!”

Nincada swiped its claws repeatedly against each other, glaring at Primeape.

“Hone Claws, huh?” I said, pulling out my Pokedex.

This move boosts the accuracy and Attack of the user.

“Primeape, use Cross Chop!” I ordered.

Primeape seemed hurt, grunting, bent over. He stood up straight and crossed his arms in front of him. They glowed white and he charged at Nincada.

“Mud Slap,” the Butterfree girl said with determination.

Nincada dug up dirt and flung it at Primeape’s face.

Primeape screamed in surprise and his arms stopped glowing white. He stopped running and wiped at his eyes.

“Hone Claws,” the Butterfree girl repeated.

Nincada swiped its claws together again.

“Primeape! Use Cross Chop!” I called out urgently.

Primeape, eyes closed, ran forward, his arms crossed in front of him, glowing white, before stopping and falling to his knees in pain from the Poison.

“Primeape!” I called frantically.

“Keep using Hone Claws!” the Butterfree girl demanded.

Nincada didn’t stop swiping its claws together, its eyes on Primeape.

“Primeape, please! You have to relax! Just focus!”

Primeape stood up slowly, gasping for breath.

“Now, try using Seismic Toss!”

“PRIIIIIIIIME!” Primeape screamed with a burst of energy, charging at Nincada as Nincada continued swiping its claws.

“Now, use Dig!” the Butterfree girl yelled.

Nincada quickly dug underground, swiping away at the dirt and disappearing in an instant.

Primeape just barely missed grabbing Nincada. “Prime? Ape?” Primeape looked around in confusion.

“Primeape, watch out!” I warned.

The ground shook for a moment. Before Primeape could turn around, Nincada burst from the ground, directly underneath Primeape.

“PRIIIIIIME!” Primeape tumbled through the air, wailing out until he landed hard on his back.

“Nincada!” Nincada raised its claws in the air.

“Primeape…?” I spoke weakly.

“AAAAAAPE!!!” Primeape rolled over and slammed one fist into the ground, his body giving one hard final twitch, and he collapsed again. The Poison had added its extra infliction. Primeape was beaten.

“NINCADA!” Nincada screamed out in victory before a bright flash of white light came over it.

Aly and I stared in shock at what was happening.

Butterfree and its Trainer calmly watched on.

The white flash started to morph and change. It floated high into the air and kept shifting. Nincada was evolving! The light flashed brightly and sprinkled off of the Pokemon, revealing what was apparently, sickeningly, the newly evolved Bug type Pokemon. The thing gave me the creeps all over my body as it cried out weirdly and zipped with blindly speed through the air. It was bad enough when it was just on the ground, but with wings, it became a billion times worse.

I rubbed my arms and moved my head around, showing my discomfort at the new creature.

The Butterfree girl looked at me with a nasty look on her face and grabbed a Poke Ball from her belt, enlarging it.

But this wasn’t just a Poke Ball in her hand. It was a stronger variety of one. An Ultra Ball! The success rate of capturing a Pokemon in one of these was far greater than a mere Poke Ball. There were plenty of Poke Balls like this with varying capture rates depending on different situations. Regular Poke Balls are the most common and cheapest to obtain, but getting the other rarer kinds usually paid off.

“Shedinja, go!” She then threw the Ultra Ball right at me! It opened and something terrible was sent out at me.

“AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!” I took off running several feet before looking behind me, and I came to a stop, my heart still in a panic.

The creature that was sent out, in some strange way resembling the evolved form of Nincada that was still zipping around near its Trainer, was floating in midair, not chasing after me at all. Not even budging a muscle.

There was laughter, but it wasn’t from the Butterfree girl.

That was when I noticed that a crowd of people had gathered around us. When did they get here? I wondered. I don’t remember them being here. Were they around during our battle? Was I too caught up in the match to even notice them?

One after another, the crowd began to point and laugh at me, finding it hilarious I was so terrified of the Pokemon.

I was so embarrassed and furious as I turned to them all with a threatening look none of them cared about. I could feel my eyes watering up, but I held them in, distracting myself as I pulled out my Pokedex and scanned the Pokemon.

Shedinja. The Shed Pokemon. This is an evolved form of Nincada. Shedinja appear to be the shed skin leftover from Nincada after it has evolved into Ninjask, and mysteriously will appear in the empty Poke Ball of its Trainer, yet a brand new and separate Pokemon in its own right. Little else is known about this peculiar Pokemon.

I turned my Pokedex to the other Pokemon who was also hovering above the ground, but was a lot more active than Shedinja, zipping around with blindly speed through the air.

Ninjask. The Ninja Pokemon and an evolved form of Nincada. Ninjask is one of the fastest Pokemon. A poorly trained Ninjask will disobey its Trainer and cry continuously, causing severe headaches.

I put away my Pokedex as Aly pulled out hers.

Shedinja. The Shed Pokemon. An evolved form of Nincada. The discarded skin of a freshly shed and evolved Nincada, Shedinja has a hole in its back between its wings where Nincada broke free from. It is said that if anyone stares into this hole, their soul will be taken.

Ninjask. The Ninja Pokemon and an evolved form of Nincada. It loves to feed on tree sap. It is so fast, it is said to be able to avoid just about any attack.

I stared at the two Bugs for a moment, remembering what my Pokedex had told me about Shedinja, a shiver taking over my entire body. “Th... th... th-th-the Shedinja...?” I finally spoke up. “It just... appeared...?” I wasn’t even sure what I was asking. The data I just heard on Shedinja made no sense to me.

The Butterfree girl smiled. “You’re a dimmer light than a lighter in Alaska. Once Nincada evolves into Ninjask, Shedinja just appears in its Trainer’s empty Poke Ball, so long as the Trainer has five or less Pokemon with them at the time. It’s its own, new Pokemon, in that respect. I guess you weren’t a complete waste of time after all. You evolved my Pokemon.” With a sly smile, she winked at me and waved her hand towards me. “Show him your appreciation.” She then laughed hysterically as Ninjask and Shedinja immediately flew towards me.

“Sheeeeeeedinja!” Shedinja moved in a straight line towards me, hovering, floating spookily like a ghost, not moving its body.

“Ninjask!” Ninjask was quite the opposite, flying around like mad through the air, impossible to keep track of as it zoomed for me.

They flew around me, buzzing, bumping into me. Touching me!

“NOOOOOOO!!! STOP!!! PLEASE STOP IT!!! GET AWAY!!!!” I fell to my knees and swatted at them, screaming loudly, begging, crying helplessly against them. The buzzing noise was driving me crazy. I hated that sound so badly. The fact these nasty things were touching me was enough to make me vomit and rip my skin off!!! “PLEEEEEASE!!!” My voice was as loud as I could make it go. I didn’t even sound like me anymore. This was literally torture for me. “STOP THEEEM!!! PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE!!!! I’LL DO ANYTHING!!! JUST GET THEM OFF OF MEEEEEEEE!!!!” I curled up into a ball as the Bugs continued buzzing and pushing against me, crying on the floor, wishing death upon myself as I realized this wasn’t going to end.

One of the Bug Pokemon touched my shoulder and gripped it tight.

LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!” I lost it and swung my arm out as hard as I could.

“OUCH!” a human voice shouted angrily.

I looked up quickly to see Aly.

She glared at me, holding her hand. “What the hell did you do that for?!”

My eyes puffy and red from crying, I stared at her in shock, sniffling.

The crowd of people were also staring at me silently.

There was no more laughter.

The Butterfree girl wasn’t laughing anymore, either. She looked down upon me like I was a meal she had taken one bite out of and was disgusted with entirely.

The Ninjask and Shedinja were gone, but I could still hear their horrid buzzing and my skin still crawled as if they were on me this very second. How long had they been gone? I wondered. I was drowning in embarrassment. I’d been laying there, curled up and crying in front of everyone, and those nasty things weren’t even on me?

My Primeape was still face down, breathing heavily.

I silently retreated him to his Poke Ball.

“You’re a mess,” the Butterfree girl said, shaking her head. “I’m outta here.” She turned and walked away, the crowd parting for her.

Quickly afterwards, the crowd left, too, shaking their heads, snickering and muttering.

I turned to Aly. “I’m sorry…” I muttered. “I didn’t mean to hit you, Aly.”

Aly nodded and reached out and hugged me.

I didn’t hug her back. I didn’t feel like breathing, let alone even moving for a hug, after what had just happened.

Aly let go of me, shaking her head. “That girl is totally cray cray. Who is she?”I stared back silently for a minute. Sighing, I placed my hands on the ground and pushed myself to my feet with a loud groan. My hands ran over the bumps on my arms, still feeling the gross touch of those two Bug Pokemon, the infernal buzzing noise still in my ears. I walked past Aly, into the Pokemon Center.

Aly followed me silently as I walked up to Nurse Joy and silently handed her my Primeape’s Poke Ball. “You’ll need to take care of him again, please,” I said quietly, turning away, not looking her in the face. I noticed the TV was on again, and I sat down in a chair.

Aly sat next to me and didn’t speak.

“A fifth explosion has occurred inside of Mt. Coronet,” Maria, the newscaster, was saying. “Officials have no idea if any more explosives will continue to go off, but they are saying that this seems to be a purposeful act of terrorism being committed, though they are not yet one hundred percent sure. As we reported earlier, over in the Hoenn Region, Route 124 between Mossdeep City and Lilycove City, Route 126, Route 127, Route 128, which is west of Ever Grande City, Route 129, Route 130, and Route 131, south of the Sky Pillar, east of Pacifidlog Town, are still inaccessible due to a strange electric current traveling throughout the water in these specific areas. The cause of this sudden electric current is unknown, but it has been confirmed that multitudes of Pokemon as well as several people have died due to this. Officials see no connection between the events in Sinnoh and Hoenn, but are still investigating.”

Utterly shocked by this latest news, I let out an odd groan as a sickening feeling swept over me and settled in my stomach, my head spinning. My eyes closed and I swallowed hard, a sharp, sour taste going down my throat that I hoped wasn’t vomit, and I lowered my head into my lap as my arms wrapped around my middle.

“Oh, my gosh…” Aly gasped over the news.

People in the Pokemon Center were muttering to each other. Nobody, myself included, had any idea what was going on.

This very moment in time was one of the most terrifying moments in my life. I wasn’t sure what to think, how to react, or how to handle it.

Nobody else did, either.

Even though almost everyone was saying what they thought was happening.

Even though almost everyone was reacting differently to the news.

Even though almost everyone was saying how this should be handled.

Nobody truly knew.

This wasn’t the beginning.

And it was far from the end.

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