A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

By QBOak

Adventure / Drama

Stage 1: Obedience. Stage 2: Intellect. Stage-Z: Insanity!

“Congratulations on your fifth Badge, Gary!” Prof. Oak smiled satisfactorily at my Badge I held up for him through the computer screen. “You’re not doing badly at all with your Badge collecting, I see. Aly called me not long ago and she too had five Badges! I think she may very well have six now, though.”

“I saw Aly!” I informed him. “She was trying to beat the Fuchsia Gym Leader for his Badge, but she didn’t win and eventually gave up to try another Gym.”

“Ah… that’s unfortunate,” Prof. Oak replied. “But I’m sure she’ll be just fine.”

“Yeah, I’m sure too.”

“However…” Prof. Oak spoke more seriously, his smile vanishing in place of a colder look. “Aly has been constantly sending me brand new Pokemon, unlike you. Robin has done well in increasing his collection as well. I haven’t gotten too many Pokemon from Kiwi lately, but even she has quite a number over you. What exactly are you doing out there?”

“Well… it’s a bit more difficult collecting Pokemon than I thought it’d be, I guess,” I muttered, my heart picking up speed as I lowered my eyes from the old man’s hard stare. “I’m honestly trying, Professor. I’m sorry. I own a Weepinbell now.”

“Yes, when you sent me Dugtrio and Butterfree back, I assumed you’d caught something new. However, you’re far behind your friends. I expect much more Pokemon to be captured from you, Gary.”

“I understand, Professor.” My head lowered in shame.

“Remember, Gary. This is not just about collecting Badges. Collecting Pokemon is just as important,” Prof. Oak added. “In fact, this reminds me of a poem of mine: Spinda. Teeters with comprehension. Each one with their own stagger.” A Pokemon poem from Prof. Oak.

I hadn’t heard one of those in quite a while. I also didn’t miss it. “Um… right… Well, anyway, I’ll be sure to capture more Pokemon!” I spoke confidently.

“Very good, Gary,” Prof. Oak nodded, smiling again. “How’s Charmeleon doing?”

“He’s great!”

“And have you spoken to your mother?” Prof. Oak said sternly.

“I called,” I said. “She didn’t pick up.”

“She may have gone out to the store or something. She doesn’t really go out much these days.”

Silence fell over us, neither of us knowing what to add to that, and the feeling of awkwardness grew heavier by the second.

Of course she doesn’t, I thought. Her husband has passed away and her kids are out on a reckless, dangerous, life endangering journey.

“Oh, I have to go!” Prof. Oak exclaimed suddenly. “Only ten minutes until my phone conference with Gary! I’m so excited to hear what he wants to discuss with me today. It’s apparently of high importance. I’m so proud of that grandson of mine. Take care! Oh, and also, Gary, please be careful out there. I don’t know if you’ve seen the news, but there are some terrible tragedies happening all over the world. A lot of crimes, murders, robberies, and other strange occurrences taking place. Keep an eye out and be safe. And call your mother. Goodbye.”

The screen went black before I could reply. I hung up the phone and turned around, viewing the inside of the Pokemon Center.

Trainers sat around the room, some staring at Poke Balls laid out before them on the table or in their laps.

One Trainer was showing off one of his Pokemon, a Nidoran♀, to a couple of girls who gazed at the Pokemon adoringly.

A couple of Trainers were sitting or standing by the windows, looking outside while talking to their Pokemon.

Having had breakfast and made sure my Pokemon were given one final checkup with Nurse Joy earlier, it was time for me to continue on my journey and get myself over to Dark City. I stood up and stretched, twisting my back to each side before walking up to the front desk and smiling at the lovely Nurse Joy, who smiled back at me. “Well, I have to be going now,” I said, melting into the gentle blue of her eyes. Also melting were my words, like ice cream in the sun, as they tumbled out from my mouth before I could even decide if they should be spoken or not. “I just wanted to say goodbye and I hope, maybe, we’ll see each other again.”

“Oh, that’s so sweet of you!” Nurse Joy smiled even brighter. “I hope we do, too.”

My heart started beating faster at her words, my eyes widening as an eager feeling came over me. “You know, maybe we can find some time today to get to know each other better,” I suggested as my ice cream words turned into a crashing waterfall of hope and foolishness. “Or, if you’re not busy, right now, even! We could have some breakfast at a nice restaurant instead of that dingy cafeteria downstairs with that subpar food. I’ll even pay! The nicest restaurant in Fuchsia. Wherever you’d like to eat at. Just pick.”

Nurse Joy’s smile faded just slightly. “I prefer my own cooking, actually,” she stated.

“Oh, and you cook?” I asked, my heart bouncing all over my insides as I bravely tried to continue to conversation, afraid because this wasn’t my strong suit. But the words just wouldn’t stop! “You sound like a truly amazing woman. Not only are you taking care of Pokemon, but you can also make a wonderful meal. If it isn’t too much trouble, perhaps we can have lunch or something at your place! I would of course do the dishes after such a delectable meal from you. Afterwards, maybe we could spend the rest of the afternoon getting to know more things about each other, if you were interested.” Did that all really just come out of me? I wondered quickly in horror and amazement.

“Well, if you think the cafeteria food is subpar, I can’t imagine that you’d think my food is ‘delectable’ since I am the cook of this Pokemon Center,” Nurse Joy said moodily, her smile fading even further and turning a lot more smug.

My mouth tightened and my eyes widened in shock.

“Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve work to do.” Nurse Joy sat down and haughtily opened a newspaper.

Embarrassed to the point of near death, I didn’t say another word and turned around sharply, quickly exiting the Pokemon Center, my eyes glued to the floor.

Even with the snow falling around me, I didn’t feel any happier. My feet moved quickly in their black winter boots, stomping through the white fluff. This is why I never talk to girls, I thought wearily. It always ends in disaster. Last time I try to smooth talk a girl ever again. My eyes were watering as I replayed the scene with Nurse Joy in my head. It was torturous to do to myself, but I just couldn’t stop it.

The food wasn’t even bad at the Pokemon Center. It was actually some of the best stuff I’d eaten in a while. I was only trying to be nice to her. Of course, I blew it.

What was I even thinking? I wondered. Did I really expect Nurse Joy to say yes or something? Did I really think she was just going to have me over for dinner? Then what? We get married and have a baby and I live the rest of my life alongside her, working as her assistant with Chansey? I shook my head. I was never going to forget this embarrassing moment as long as I lived.

I’ll also probably be alone for as long as I live, I wearily accepted, sighing. My breath came out in a white cloud that vanished quickly in front of my face. I’ll never find anybody special to be with. I’m too shy. I’m also just a total screw up of a person.

Love was a subject I sometimes found myself dwelling on. And one that I was often times better off staying away from. Even before becoming a Pokemon Trainer, as an even younger kid than I am now, it’d be accurate to say that I loved the idea of love itself, including marriage, and even starting a family. It always sounded like a wonderful premise, but something far out of reach for someone with my quiet, shy personality. This fact would lead to much more depressing thoughts of loneliness and spark all kinds of uncomfortable fears within me.

One thing that had helped keep my young mind off of such an adult topic were my friends, but I didn’t get to see them anymore now that I was a Pokemon Trainer. My new friends, my Pokemon, and my journey in general, kept my mind occupied. But that embarrassing situation with Nurse Joy did make me dwell momentarily on my current and future life outside of being a Pokemon Trainer.

Pokemon was great, but it wasn’t the only thing that defined life. Not for me, at least. I had other ambitions, too. I intended for this journey of mine to not only be a chance to capture and train a variety of special, powerful monsters, but to also travel! To see the whole world for what it is, and make friends with people I’d never have the chance to meet otherwise, growing up in little Pallet Town. It was a dream half motivated by the dream to rule over giant dragons and vicious beasts, and on the other half, the romantic ideal of meeting that special person who would change my entire life.

Lost in my thoughts as I walked, my eyes on the ground as my boots crunched through the snow, I didn’t see the tall, black steel fence... until I walked right into it. “Hey!” I exclaimed, looking up. My mouth dropped open as I saw the mansion!

The white building reached several stories high with thick lines of black wrapped around it from top to bottom, each strip several feet apart. Two turrets sat on either side of the top. The roof was coated in snow, making it look even more beautiful and unreal. The front lawn was enormous and had the tallest hedges I’d ever seen, sculpted to look like some kind of animals, or perhaps even Pokemon. The black fence went around the entire mansion.

“Wow, I wonder who lives here,” I murmured.

“That’d be me!” a cheerful voice said.

Nearly swallowing my tongue in fright, I leaped out of my skin and turned to see a young man smiling at me, leaning casually against the fence.

His wavy brown hair was blowing in the wind, a bit ruffled up, underneath several snowflakes. His dark brown eyes were warm and welcomed me. “Nice to meet you! My name’s Peter.” He walked up to me, his hand extended.

I approached him and shook his hand, nodding and returning his smile. “Hi. I’m Gary.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Gary,” Peter nodded. “I see you’re impressed with my mansion.” Peter smiled wider.

“Well, yeah, I mean… it’s a mansion!” I laughed.

Peter laughed. “True. It’s inherited from my family,” Peter explained. “You may have heard of my father, Bill, the Pokemon Researcher.”

“Bill’s your father?” I asked in shock.

“That’s right!” Peter winked.

Bill was a world famous Pokemon Researcher. He’s discovered incredible Pokemon and found out unbelievable things about already existing Pokemon. He also has been credited alongside Gary Oak for discovering some of the latest found data on Pokemon. Bill and Gary Oak used to work together extensively for quite a while. I had no idea his son was living in Fuchsia City.

“Wow! Incredible!” I marveled, my eyes scanning him over.

He was dressed well in what looked to be a brown velvet suit with a white shirt underneath. His shiny brown shoes gleamed as if they were sitting under the sun, evidently freshly polished. “Thank you. But to be honest, I need some help.”

“Really? With what?” I inquired curiously.

“Well, you see,” Peter began, his face collecting occasional flakes from the sky, one landing on his eyelashes. He brushed it off and continued to speak. “I am doing private research based on the experiments of Dr. Akihabara. He’s the inventor of the Pokemon Transfer System that allows us to send Pokemon from one place to another through their Poke Balls. Many ages ago, he invented the Pokemon, Porygon. It’s a virtual reality Pokemon, to put it in simple terms, and thrives online, but can be used in the real world as well. Porygon can also be upgraded to evolve into Porygon2 and Porygon-Z. I’m looking for powerful Pokemon Trainers to engage in battles with these three Pokemon in a Pokemon battle.”

“What?!” My mind felt completely blown from what I was hearing. I wanted to ask more questions, but I didn’t know what.

“I want it to be a Triple Battle,” Peter went on. “If you win, you get to capture one of the three Pokemon. The winner gets to capture one of the three Pokemon. This is a pretty rare opportunity for any Trainer! So, what do you say?”

My breath was snached away at this point, but as my mouth dropped open, I shouted, “YES!

Peter smiled as wide as a Gengar. “Excellent! Please, follow me!” He pulled out a tiny remote control from his pocket. There were two black buttons on it. He pressed one and the large fence slid open slowly with a loud creaking noise.

I flinched from the sudden sound.

“I’ve been meaning to get that fixed,” Peter muttered, shaking his head, an uncomfortable look on his face. He turned to me and a smile appeared. “I never have enough time to finish my own work! Little issues like these are easily forgotten.”

I nodded understandingly at him with a smile back.

Peter walked through and I followed. The researcher pressed the same button on the remote, and the fence closed just as noisily.

I couldn’t believe the lucky position I was in right now.

The hedge sculptures in his lawn were astounding. It wasn’t clear to me what all of them were supposed to be, but one seemed to resemble a Pikachu, and another reminded me of Marill. One looked like a ball with unclear features and could’ve been a Voltorb for all I knew.

Peter stopped in front of the mansion door, pulling out a keychain with what was at least a thousand keys on it. He grabbed one immediately and put it into the keyhole, opening the door and then gestured for me to go inside before him.

I slowly stepped inside and gazed in awe at the inside, freezing in place.

Chandeliers hung from the ceiling, the crystals gleaming and lighting the room beautifully, aided by the dazzlingly clean white walls and reflecting off of the almost mirror-like black floors. Enormous crystal sculptures lined the walls. Stairs on both sides of the room led both up and down. Doors were in abundance, leading who knows where.

“It’s a bit fancy for my tastes, but I shouldn’t complain,” Peter said in dismay.

“It’s… incredible!” I was completely taken aback.

“Well, all thanks goes to Bill. Our family was supposedly living a lot less complex before mom got pregnant. Bill’s desire for me to grow up having a comfortable life by any means got out of hand and became the purchasing of mansions and unnecessary accessories.” Peter sighed. “I’m continuing in his footsteps in my own right, research wise. I’m not yet as famous as he is, and that may not be such a bad thing. But the things I’m planning to do might just change that, ha ha.”

“Wow…” I was still mesmerized by the mansion I stood in, unable to say much else.

“Greetings, Master Peter,” a deep voice said. An older man was now standing before Peter and bowed in a nice, black butler suit.

I didn’t even see or hear him enter.

“Hey, Phillip,” Peter greeted him.

“I see you have a guest, Master Peter.” Phillip bowed to me.

“Yes, this is Gary. Gary, Phillip,” Peter introduced us.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Master Gary. Is there anything I can get you two? Food, perhaps?”

“You can escort Gary and I to the Pory Chamber,” Peter responded.

“Right away, Master Peter.” Phillip bowed again, and then turned and walked away from us.

“Come on!” Peter said excitedly.

I followed Peter, who followed Phillip, who stopped in front of a rectangular section of the wall that appeared cut out. A small, steel, rectangular box poked out from the middle of the wall next to the outlined section of the wall, a black button on the center. Phillip pressed it and I realized that the cut out area was an elevator as the doors slid open.

Phillip bowed and allowed me and Peter to enter first.

The inside of the elevator was nothing but shiny steel. On the right sat a small metal rectangle in the wall with buttons going from 30 down to B.

Phillip entered after us and pressed the button labeled 10.

The elevator smoothly ascended. The numbers on the wall lit up as the floor was reached, the light turning off once its floor was passed and another number lit up upon reaching its floor. At the tenth floor, the doors opened, and Phillip bowed again, letting me and Peter off first.

This floor was a balcony! The end of it was only several feet away from us, its curved, circular ending lined by wooden beams connected at the top. A chandelier hung from above, and one statue sat on either side of the end of the hallway, carved from possibly marble. There were no stairs here, but there were a few doors against the wall, as well as numerous hanging portraits.

Phillip led the way past a couple of these doors and stopped in front of one.

I wondered what all these doors in this mansion could possibly be hiding as Phillip opened this one.

Phillip held the door opened and bowed to encourage us to enter.

Peter gestured for me to enter first.

I hesitantly took a step in and gazed at a dimly lit room.

This contrasted the brightness of the rest of the mansion I had been inside so far. It was also a lot more messy. Papers were thrown all over the floor. A small steel table lay on its side. A large, transparent, glass capsule sat in the middle of the room. While the capsule didn’t appear to be damaged in any way, large shards of glass were littered on one side of it. The white walls had dark smudges and dents all over them. A large computer sat on a desk against the wall, shining the only light. The desk was covered in open bags of snacks and a couple of cups of liquid, as well as crumbs and dried stains.

The door closed behind me and I turned to see Peter walk past me, Phillip standing next to the door calmly.

Peter sat in a chair placed in front of the computer. Turning to me, he said, “Pardon the mess. Are you ready for this?”

I wasn’t sure what to say. This seemed so strange. It could easily just be a setup. I was feeling uncertain, now.

“Are you okay?” Peter asked. “Nervous?”

I didn’t say anything. My heart was pounding fast. I had a bad feeling. People often say to trust your instincts, but things like that were often contradictory and never made any sense in a lot of situations.

“If you’re not sure about this, you can always leave,” Peter said with a bit of disappointment in his voice. “I’d understand.”

I inhaled deeply and held my breath. After a while, I slowly exhaled. I could be missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity, I knew. Or, I could just get out of here now and avoid some kind of scam.

“Well?” Peter asked, sounding impatient now.

I swallowed hard. Peter’s impatience was making me feel forced to answer, which was making me uncomfortable, which was making it harder to think straight! With a sigh, and a bit of regret and worry in my heart, I said, “Let’s give it a shot.”

Peter smiled. “Great! Whenever you’re ready, you can step into the capsule!” Peter turned and began to type vigorously on the keyboard.

“The capsule…?” I asked uncertainly.

“That’s right,” Peter explained, not turning from the computer screen, continuing to type speedily. “This will transfer you to the virtual world to battle. This is a similar process to how Pokemon are transferred.”

The large capsule seemed to be attached to the ceiling as well as the floor.

I slowly stepped up to it.

Immediately, an opening appeared. Nothing was inside of it.

The more time passed, the less I felt like I could turn back and just get out of this situation. In fact, I knew that time had long passed. After taking several deep breaths, I stepped inside. When I turned around, the opening, my only exit, was already gone! There was only a couple of feet of space between me and the walls.

“Remember, this will be a Triple Battle,” Peter reminded me.

“A Triple Battle... Right.” I had never had a Triple Battle before, but I knew what it was.

“You will be battling using three Pokemon at the same time. Whatever you want versus Porygon, Porygon2, and Porygon-Z. Good luck!” He pressed one more button before sparks of electricity shot from above me.

I screamed and looked up as electricity, shot from a tube ejected from the ceiling, sparked all around me rapidly as I jumped around in a panic. My screams increased drastically as my feet started to quickly disappear! There was no pain during this, my remaining body parts merely tingling sharply. In seconds, the entire bottom half of my body was gone! Before I could fully comprehend this fact, everything went black. Just as fast as everything disappeared, I could see again. I now stood in a red room. The walls, floor, ceiling; all red. I immediately felt my legs being squeezed together by something. My body was in one piece again, but wrapped around my legs was a... snake! I shrieked at the top of my lungs and lost my balance in my panic, falling backwards.

Something was strange about this gigantic snake. Something wasn’t right about how it looked. Something was familiar about this purple serpent...

Not wanting to anger the snake and make it bite me or something, I tried to remain completely still and not stare it in its dark eyes.

Its hood was expanded, an intimidating design drawn out on it which could pass for some kind of face. There were two large red eyes outlined in black with yellow pupils, a black shape above them resembling furrowing eyebrows, and a sinister black smile beneath the eyes.

I groaned as its body continued tightening around my legs, hurting me. What do I do? I wondered. Where did this snake come from? Why did I ever agree to this? “Somebody please...” I shakily mumbled, afraid to speak too loud and somehow trigger this snake. My eyes were glued to the familiar pattern on its hood. Suddenly, it hit me, and I couldn’t help but yell out, “Arbok!”

This snake. This cobra! Its purple color and paralysing design on its hood. It looked exactly like the Pokemon, Arbok! It was as if the entire color scheme of an Arbok had been put on an actual snake! Before I could analyze this further, the enormous snake squeezed around my legs even tighter, making me cry out painfully, and then it opened its jaws wide and lunged at me swiftly!

Screaming, I felt my body getting sucked inside of the snake and I was falling inside of its body. A black, empty voice of nothing surrounded me as I fell through open space. I hit a solid, peach colored landing, feeling no pain despite the fall, and stood up. My entire body was intact. Nothing was missing or dirty or broken or pained in any way. “What in the world just happened...?” I questioned out loud, looking at where I was now.

Something small buzzed around my face.

“Ew.” I swatted at the thing and backed up a few feet, eyeing my new surroundings.

There was nothing in this wide space. There weren’t even walls. There only was the peach floor that expanded as far as my eyes could see, and darkness above and to the sides of me.

“I never should have followed that guy.” I shook my head and turned around in a circle, unsure of where to go or what to do. “WHOA!” I stopped turning at the sight of a giant insect right in front of me!It looked to be a fly, only it dwarfed me, standing at least two or three feet over me, its wings fluttering in a sickening, loud buzz that make my skin crawl and my head want to self destruct. The nasty, impossible, creature raised one of its... hands?? Yes! This thing had six limbs, each ending in a human hand! They were all white hands except for one, which was closer to my complexion. This hand closed into a fist before opening again. The... “fly” then ascended into the air. Before I could even scream and try to run, the darker hand smacked me and sent me flying backwards.

My back slammed into something solid, but it wasn’t a bad landing, either. In fact, it felt pretty comfortable. But what is it...? I wondered as more fear pumped hard into my heart. Nothing was making any sense in this place I was in, consistently terrible things occurring so far.

“Alright. You ready?” I heard a loud voice call from behind me.

I turned to see that I was sitting in some kind of brown, strong material, like a hammock.

Behind this large thing that had captured me was a giant man wearing a backwards, blue cap. And I mean giant! He had to be like fifty feet considering he was holding the brown thing I was in, in his huge hand. He also wore something more that made me realize with terror that I was not in a hammock...

“Let ’er rip, Sam!” another voice called from further away.

I turned to the voice and shook my head hard, squinting in disbelief. “NOOOOOOOOO!! WAAAAIIT!”

The guy holding onto me was in a baseball uniform. I wasn’t in a hammock, but was caught in his baseball mitt!!

The person he was speaking to was actually a baby! A giant baby compared to my height, as she was easily taller than me, but a baby for sure by looks. It was a girl, from her voice, in nothing but diapers, a baseball helmet, and carrying a baseball bat far larger than her, but holding it professionally, ready to swing. And I had a feeling I knew what she would be aiming for.

The pitcher dropped me out of his mitt and into his huge hand. “Send this one home, baby! Eye on the ball!” He tightened his hand into a fist, blinding me and squeezing my entire body hard, and I felt his hand move to toss me to the baby.

Sending me home sounds like a great idea, but not like- I started.

I was forced out of his hand at rocket speed!

“-THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS!!” I ended. My eyes filled with tears instantly, both from the air getting in my eyes from being tossed at such a fast speed, and just crying in general from this horrifying experience.

The baby kept her eyes on me, pulling back her bat as I got closer. She swung!

I screeched as loud as possible.

She missed!

I shot past her and started to descend. YES! Oh my goodness YES! I cheered in my head. Now RUUUUUUN!! I was just about to crash land on what was now a grassy field when a small hole completely randomly opened up, the perfect size for me to fall through. And I did. I let out a long, loud curse as I slipped right into it.

A sudden roar surrounded me and I was spinning in a wide circle, unable to breathe! It felt like I was underwater, only I was completely dry. I held my breath as best as I could as my body started to ascend, still spinning widely as if I were in a tornado, and I was ejected out of the hole and landed on a metallic floor, still softly, the roar fading away. On my hands and knees, I gasped for air, able to breathe again, and I thought briefly on how similar that roar sounded like a toilet flushing.

There wasn’t much time to think on this as out of nowhere, a short, blue car drove up and stopped right in front of me, causing me to squeeze my eyes, fearing I’d be hit. When I opened my eyes, the car was still there. Loud, funky music started blaring from the vehicle, and it suddenly hopped up on its back wheels and started spinning in place. I stared in complete amazement and bewilderment, scrambling backwards at the same time, as the car began, in some strange way, to dance! It jumped, spun, and maneuvered its back wheels it stood on like feet, its front wheels swiveling strangely as well, undeniably dancing to the beat of the song playing!

I opted to back up several more feet, knowing nothing was safe in this world I was trapped in and knowing to take no chances.

The car suddenly vanished right in front of me, as if it had never even been there, everything now silent.

“Welcome,” a voice said from the darkness, quickly interrupting the silence.

A bright light flashed and blinded me.

Trying hard to see, I squinted and blinked several times, waiting for my eyes to adjust.

The floor beneath me was still metal, but I was in an actual room this time, with a white ceiling that held the bright light bulb that was shining its blinding light down on me, and white walls. It was empty. Except… The wall behind me held a large, rectangular window in the middle of it, the dark room on the other side filled with people.

The men and women there were dressed as scientists, staring at me, most wearing glasses, a notepad in their hand, writing down rapidly without looking away from me.

I stared at them all, fear streaming throughout my entire body. None of them looked familiar to me.

Suddenly, the women scientists dropped their notepads and pens, pulled the back of their hair which all were tied up in a bun, and let their hair down.

The male scientists dropped their notepads and pens and those who wore glasses tossed them to the floor, turning to stare at the women.

The women immediately tore off their lab coats, revealing them all to be in matching black miniskirts and startling sexy, very tight, shapely tops that, while covering their skin to some degree, revealed enough of their top endowments to leave me short of breath and surely a deep red in the face. They grabbed the men and tore their lab coats off, too, revealing them to be in nothing but boxer shorts, the upper half of their bodies being musclebound and sweaty.

My eyes bulged in mass confusion as the men and women scientists began to kiss each other intensely. The men wrapped their bulging arms around the women’s bare waists and bent them back slightly, fondling their bottoms or legs as the women’s hands wouldn’t stop sweeping over the men’s dripping wet torsos and down their backs.

As they kissed each other hard, their faces suddenly melted into each other. Their bodies became one, and the new person, some being women, others being men, turned to the opposite gender and began to kiss and grope again! The two new couples kissed until their faces, and soon, entire bodies, melted into each other again, forming a new person who would turn to the opposite gender and repeat the process. The pattern continued until the last two people in the room were kissing and melted into each other.

Before they became one person, they exploded in a loud BAAAM! covering the mirror in blood, blinding me to the inside of the room beyond.

“HAAAAAA!” With a loud CRAAAAAAAASHHH!! something flew out through the bloodstained glass, making me fall back, my heart feeling like it had just been penetrated by a bullet. The beautiful pink haired woman that appeared placed her hands together in front of her and bowed in her martial arts uniform.

“Nurse Joy??” I couldn’t believe my eyes!

Her hair was still in its big rings behind her head, and she still wore a nurse’s cap, but the rest of her outfit was like a karate uniform.

She stood up and lowered her hands, concern coming over her face. “You look like you’ve been through a lot, Gary.” She walked towards me. “Allow me to have a look at you.”

“Um... I dunno...” I got to my feet and stumbled back a bit, something I’d never normally do to a Nurse Joy in my world. But in this psycho place, I felt a little more nervous about everything.

“Please, I’m here to help you,” Joy insisted, getting closer.

I took a couple of steps back further, but they were very, very, veeeery slow steps, her hypnotizing, pulling blue eyes pleading with me to stay with her.

“I know why you’re here. I want to make sure you’re alright after everything you’ve been through.” She was just a couple of feet away from me.

I managed one more step away. “But...”

“I want to assure you that everything is under control and that you’re in safe hands.” She placed her hands on my shoulders. “Especially because they’re mine.” She smiled lovingly.

That did it for me.

Joy basically made a purchase on me, in full, with that last scene.

“Okay,” I smiled back at her, relaxing.

“Great!” Joy nodded, closing her eyes cheerfully. “So, let’s take a look at your heart pressure first.” Like lightning, Joy raised her hand from my right shoulder.

I didn’t really notice the giant needle that she was suddenly holding in it. My eyes glanced over at it and looked away, but did a double take once I realized what it was.

The needle alone was at least a foot long!

“Hey! What the f-AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” I bellowed.

Joy stabbed me right in the chest with the needle, and my heart was on fire instantly.

My legs gave out and I collapsed to my knees. “What’s going on??” I screamed at Joy.

Her needle was now gone. She clasped her hands in front of her again and bowed. “Now, I test your arms,” she spoke in a quick accent that could have passed as an offensive stereotype of a Chinese person. She stood up took a martial arts stance, let out a blatantly stereotypical Asian martial arts cry, and brought down one hand sharply against my right shoulder.

I couldn’t move away, unable to even feel my legs as she hit me. It felt as if my arm had exploded, but something almost as bad happened instead. My entire arm simply dropped! The entire appendage just came off of the rest of my body and landed on the floor next to me. I grabbed at my bleeding wound as I let out an inhuman, desperate wail of pain. I couldn’t believe what had just happened! My eyes just had to be playing tricks on me right now! My breathing was coming out in short, sharp, loud gasps, and my eyes closed tightly. I was going to pass out at any second. I was going to pass out in Hell. “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM MEEEEE?!?!” I coughed hard, my throat sore and my body dying, my mind unable to handle anymore of anything.

A loud, electronic squeal answered me.

Moaning in exhaustion, I looked up to Joy, but she was gone! In her place stood a Porygon! I stared at the Virtual Pokemon in silence as it floated in front of me while I still gripped my shoulder. It took me a while of being silent to realize that I was actually able to even be silent. And what that meant. The pain was gone! “Huh?” I gasped, realizing this fact. I turned to see I was grabbing my arm! It was there again! There was no pain to be felt! I let out a thrilled cry, happy that I was okay, but completely desperate to get out of this place. This whole thing was the worst choice I’d ever made in my life, and I just wanted to be anywhere else but in this... whatever it was!

The mirror with the weird people dressed as scientists was gone. Even the bright light from above wasn’t there. Me and Porygon were in a large white room with no visible exit.

“Let me out of here!!” I barked at Porygon.

Porygon replied with a loud, electronic squeal.

Another creature materialized before me, next to Porygon. I recognized it as Porygon2. It made a more high pitched noise than its partner and flew around the room rapidly, seemingly excited.

A third creature appeared. This was Porygon-Z. It made a much more erratic, heavy mechanical noise and floated around me, getting very close to my face, forcing me to back up. It kept up with me, remaining in my face.

“Hey! Come on!” I complained, continuing to back up until I hit a wall.

Once that happened, Porygon-Z instantly backed up, keeping its bizarre, swirly eyes on me. It did a little shiver in the air and then started tumbling in place in random directions.

“Porygon, Porygon2, and Porygon-Z…” I muttered, pulling out my Pokedex.

Porygon. The Virtual Pokemon. This is a manmade species of Pokemon. This rare Pokemon is found in labs on rare occasions, journeying through computer databases. There have been extremely rare, but noted occasions, of spotting this Pokemon in the wild.

Porygon2. The Virtual Pokemon. The evolved form of Porygon. This Pokemon has programmed behavior, but has been noted to act on its own will after a certain period of time learning.

Porygon-Z. The Virtual Pokemon and Porygon2’s evolved form. Porygon-Z typically can live anywhere but are often found on computer databases, freely exploring. It sometimes exhibits peculiar behavior.

I put away my Pokedex and let out a sigh. “I don’t know what’s been going on here, but something tells me the only way out of this place is by fulfilling my promise to battle you three,” I told them. “It’s a Triple Battle we’re having, right?”

The three Pokemon let out their strange cries and backed away from me.

A white, square outline appeared on the floor. A battlefield had just been set for us.

The three Pokemon stared at me patiently, floating just over the ground.

I honestly didn’t want to battle anymore after the unexplainable things I had just went through, but this was a major opportunity for me to capture an extremely rare Pokemon. “Hmmm…” I stared at my Poke Balls. “Okay… I choose Charmeleon, Hoothoot and Primeape! GO!” I threw their Poke Balls and they all let out eager cries.

Charmeleon sniffed the air, along with Primeape.

Hoothoot turned his head around, staring at the plain white room in confusion.

“Hoothoot, Charmeleon, Primeape, we’re in a virtual world right now,” I explained to them. “To be honest, I don’t know exactly what that means, but it isn’t our usual environment. We’re gonna battle those three Pokemon and then we can leave, so give it your best, okay?”

My three Pokemon turned to me and nodded.

Porygon2 suddenly startled to crackle with electricity. With a loud cry, Porygon2 let loose a bolt of lighting at Charmeleon.

Charmeleon was zapped and fell to his knees. “Meeeeel...” he growled as he got back up, turning to Porygon2.

A Triple Battle, I thought to myself. This will be new. We have to truly work as a team to survive this.

“Hoothoot, attack that one with Extrasensory!”

Hoothoot flew at Porygon2, his eyes glowing gold, attacking with the rainbow beam from his beak.

Porygon-Z flew forward. Its body became coated in a blue sphere, blocking Hoothoot’s attack.

“Hey!” I shouted angrily, taking out my Pokedex to check the move Porygon-Z used.

Protect. This move blocks nearly any attack.

“Get out of here…” I whispered, stunned.

Porygon-Z began twitching rapidly and a dark, sparking ball appeared in front of it. The ball shot forward at Hoothoot, who dodged it swiftly, hooting loudly.

I scanned that move Porygon-Z used.

Zap Cannon. An extremely powerful Electric type attack that causes Paralysis.

“Hoothoot, use Hypnosis!”

Porygon used Tackle and slammed right into Primeape, who raged out.

Porygon-Z tackled Charmeleon, dodging Hypnosis.

Porygon2 started sparking again, aiming another Thunderbolt at Hoothoot.

Hoothoot leaped into the air and flapped his wings rapidly, dodging the Electric move fast.

Charmeleon and Primeape stood up from the hits they took, yelling and jumping up and down.

I can’t forget, this is a Triple Battle, I thought. This is about more than just one Pokemon. It’s about us all. “Charmeleon! Flamethrower Porygon2! Hoothoot, Zen Headbutt Porygon-Z! Primeape, Cross Chop Porygon!”

“Chaaaaaarmeleon!!” Charmeleon fired a bright stream of flames at Porygon2, who cried out loudly when it was hit.

“Hooooot!” Hoothoot called out, flying at Porygon-Z with a glowing, blue head, knocking the Virtual Pokemon over.

“APE APE APE APE APEAPEAPEAPEAPE!!!!!” Primeape screeched, charging at Porygon with glowing, white hands in front of him, hitting Porygon.

Porygon cried out loud, screeching a sound similar to an old computer connecting to the internet, a sound I’d heard in History class a couple of years ago.

“Primeape, Karate Chop!”

Primeape raised a fist and brought it down on Porygon.

Porygon screeched and remained still on the ground. Porygon was beaten!

“Alright!” I cheered. “One down, two to go!”

A loud sound grabbed my attention as Porygon2’s eyes glowed red. I gasped and backed up as a light blue rectangle appeared, surrounding the entire battle field. The rectangle faded away.

“What’s that?” I asked out loud.

Trick Room. This move makes the slower Pokemon in battle, the faster Pokemon.

I wasn’t sure how to react to that. I’d never heard of such a move. “Okay...” My eyes were on Porygon2 and Porygon-Z as I tried to remain calm in this new setting. “Okay! Charmeleon, Flamethrower Porygon-Z! Hoothoot! Zen Headbutt Porygon2! Primeape! Cross Chop Porygon2!”

Charmeleon opened his jaws to use Flamethrower, aiming at Porygon-Z, but Porygon2 moved like lightning and slammed into Charmeleon with Tackle. Charmeleon was taken by surprise by the sudden speed of Porygon2 and hit the floor before jumping back to his feet. This only lasted for less than a second as Porygon-Z charged up a Zap Cannon and hit Charmeleon from behind.

“MEEEEEEL!” Charmeleon was tossed into the air from the energy of the attack. He landed on the ground and didn’t move, twitching and sparking. My Pokemon was Paralyzed.

Porygon2 faced Primeape and, with its increased Speed, easily dodged the Cross Chop.

Hoothoot flew at Porygon2 with Zen Headbutt and caught it as it avoided Primeape.

Porygon2 let out a strange whine that got deeper and lowered in volume as it took Zen Headbutt, sliding on its side on the floor before shaking off the hit and facing Hoothoot. It then made a higher, stronger noise, to which Porygon-Z seemed to respond. Porygon2 then spun rapidly in place, glowing blue.

“Hoothoot! Use Hypnosis!” I shouted, unsure of what our opponents were trying to do right now.

Porygon-Z stayed still and watched me.

“Primeape, cover Charmeleon while he gets up!” I ordered.

Before Primeape could leap to Charmeleon’s aid, dark clouds suddenly appeared over the room, lightning flashing and thunder booming lightly. From the clouds, a light rain started, slowly at first, but it quickly picked up and the entire room was being rained on.

“Prime?” Primeape looked up.

Porygon-Z spun in place, lightning from the clouds crackling around it. It let out a couple of BEEP! BEEP! cries before launching a bolt of lightning into the clouds, and three large bolts immediately came back down, but at Hoothoot, Charmeleon, and Primeape.

All of my Pokemon cried out as the Thunder attack struck.

“NOOOOO!” Porygon2 must have done Rain Dance, I realized. That makes Electric moves difficult to dodge, and they are stronger under the rain!

Primeape shook his head and screeched eagerly, ready for more.

Hoothoot dropped straight down, next to Charmeleon.

“Hoothoot, Charmeleon, please get up!” I pleaded.

Hoothoot hooted and hopped onto his foot, wavering before falling over again, but he got back up.

Charmeleon stayed on the ground. “Charrr…” Charmeleon managed to say before his eyes closed.

“HEY! NO! CHARMELEON!” I was completely shocked by who survived compared to who didn’t.

I gasped as, right in front of my eyes, Charmeleon’s body gave a brief, light flash, and then vanished! “CHARMELEON! Where’d you go? Where’s my Charmeleon??

Porygon-Z let out a cry and began to spin in place again, sparking for another Thunder attack to end the match.

“ECHOED VOICE!” I screamed out in desperation, fearful for my remaining Pokemon, panicking over my Charmeleon.

Porygon-Z was too fast now, and it used Thunder again.

“Primeape, get into Rage!”

Too late.

HOOOOOOT!!!

“PRIIIIIIIIIME!”

Both Pokemon took the Thunder attack once again, and both Pokemon slumped over each other to the floor.

Seeing that, even I felt defeated. If I felt that way, surely my Pokemon were beaten, too. Now what? I wondered. Will I lose Hoothoot and Primeape, too? Peter never mentioned I’d be losing Pokemon! I started to feel the anger boil in me. This was a setup after all.

My Charmeleon… I thought, tears burning in my eyes. “MY CHARMELEOOOOOOOON!!” I roared.

Hoothoot stirred on the floor. He turned to me, shook his head, and hopped up on his one foot.

“Hoothoot?” I said in shock.

“Prime…” a faint noise came from Primeape. He pushed himself up slowly, and then leaped from the floor at Porygon2 and swung a fist at it.

Porygon2 was floored hard, but it got back up, glaring at Primeape. It then charged at Primeape again, using Tackle.

“Rage again! GO ALL OUT!” I urged Primeape.

Porygon-Z charged at Primeape, too.

Primeape took both Tackle attacks, unable to avoid them, then used the damage to increase his Rage attack’s power and swung powerful blows at Porygon2 and Porygon-Z!

This can work, I thought. “Primeape! WE CAN DO IT!”

Primeape slugged Porygon-Z out of his way and then whipped around to Porygon2, who let out a low buzz that sounded like a warning before it let out a sharp whine and flew straight for Primeape. “AAAAAPE!” Primeape leaped after Porygon2 and they collided with each other.

Porygon2 hit the floor.

Primeape collapsed as well, his arm on top of Porygon2.

Both Pokemon seemed down.

Primeape flashed with a slight white glow and then disappeared from the field.

Porygon and Porygon2 were both still on the field, defeated.

“WAIT A MINUTE!” I ran onto the field. “PRIMEAPE! DAMN IT, THIS WASN’T A PART OF THE DEAL! GIVE ME BACK MY CHARMELEON AND PRIMEAPE!!” I was screaming at the ceiling now, demanding the return of my Pokemon.

Porygon-Z stared at me silently.

I stared back at it angrily, tears running down my face. “Come on…” I pleaded to it. “Give me back my Pokemon!”

Porygon-Z didn’t say or do anything.

Charmeleon… I thought. Primeape… I fell to my knees. Was this how Kiwi felt? I pondered weakly. Was this her pain when she lost her Pidgeotto? I didn’t want to battle anymore. I didn’t care about winning or losing this fight. I had already lost if I wasn’t getting my Pokemon back. My head fell down to my open hands as I cried, letting my heart out under the rain that continued to pour.

“HOOOOOOT!” Hoothoot’s voice grabbed my attention.

I looked up and saw through my tear soaked eyes that I wasn’t in the middle of the battlefield. I was outside of it again and Hoothoot was desperately dodging Porygon-Z’s launched attack, which was in the form of a white triangle.

I didn’t know how I was outside of the field anymore, but I wasn’t that surprised. This world I was in was out of the ordinary. I grabbed my Pokedex once again.

Tri Attack. This Normal type attack can result in Paralysis, a Burn, or Freezing the opponent solid.

I have to battle, I urged myself. I can’t lose Hoothoot, too. Maybe, if I win, there’s a way I can get back Charmeleon and Primeape. “Hoothoot! Echoed Voice!” I ordered firmly, getting to my feet. I have to save all of us!

A small red orb formed on the top of Porygon-Z’s head, a light blue orb forming on the bottom right of its head, and a yellow orb forming on the bottom left. A white, transparent triangle took shape between the orbs, the points touching them. With a couple of hard shakes, Porygon-Z fired the triangle, which lost its transparency once freed from Porygon-Z and was now just solid white, at Hoothoot.

“Hoooot HOOOOOOT!” Hoothoot opened his beak as he dodged Tri Attack and blasted Porygon-Z with Echoed Voice.

Porygon-Z lost focus from the sudden blast of noise and whined out in frustration.

Hoothoot let out an exhausted cry and fell out of the air.

“Hoothoot! What are you doing?! We’re almost out of here! Hoothoot!! I’M NOT LOSING YOU, TOO!!!” I bared my teeth, my eyebrows furrowed. “NO WAY, HOOTHOOT! WAKE UP!! COME OOOOON!!

Hoothoot collapsed at the floor.

My entire body went weak and my shoulders slumped watching Hoothoot give out. My breathing got heavy. “No… No...!”

Hoothoot suddenly burst with a flash of light.

“Hoothoot, NO!” I took off for my Pokemon before it could be taken from me, but found myself taking only a couple of steps before coming to a stop, shielding my eyes.

The glow for Hoothoot wasn’t like the quick, light flash Charmeleon and Primeape got when they disappeared. This bright flash was lasting longer. Hoothoot was still there. Hoothoot’s silhouette through the light was changing form!

“No… way…” I said in amazement. “Hoothoot…”

Hoothoot grew taller, his wings stretching out bigger than ever before. When the light finally disappeared in a bright, beautiful flash, Hoothoot had finally evolved.

“Noctowl!” I burst out, scanning him.

Noctowl. The Owl Pokemon and Hoothoot’s evolved form. Skilled in hearing and seeing, when they turn their heads at 180 degree turns, it increases their intellect. Like its prior form, Hoothoot, it can turn its head a complete 360 degrees.

“Noctowl!” I said, tears now flowing. “You evolved!”

Noctowl hooted loudly and then flew high into the air. He reached the ceiling before dive bombing Porygon-Z.

Porygon-Z screeched loudly, bouncing on the floor and floating back up a bit.

“Fly attack! You know Fly attack!”

Porygon-Z faced Noctowl and used Tri Attack.

Noctowl flew and tried dodging the attack, but Porygon-Z just managed to hit him, its Speed still overwhelming in the Trick Room. My newly evolved Pokemon hit the floor, sparking with electricity. Noctowl was Paralyzed.

“Noctowl! No! Not now! Please!”

Noctowl struggled to move as Porygon-Z stared down at him.

“I won’t just give up! Let’s give it all we’ve got!” I encouraged Noctowl. “Extrasensory, now!” I feared the worst, knowing Porygon-Z would move first.

To my surprise, Noctowl moved extraordinarily fast and flew at Porygon-Z as it charged up to use a finishing Zap Cannon attack. Noctowl used Extrasensory on Porygon-Z, grabbing hold of it with his beam and tossing it down to the floor.

Porygon-Z’s Zap Cannon was interrupted and disappeared with a spark. The opposing Pokemon didn’t rise from the floor, instead twitching repeatedly!

“It’s a Flinch!” I pointed out.

Before I could give another order, Noctowl flew high into the air and started to glow white. It made a rapid U-turn and headed straight for Porygon-Z.

“Noctowl…?” I said, raising the Pokedex to see what Noctowl was doing.

Sky Attack. The most powerful move of the Flying variety.

“NOCTOWL!” I was upset he was just using moves on his own without me telling him to, but I was also surprised he had learned that move, too.

Noctowl charged at Porygon-Z, his eyebrow tufts glowing white, his body giving off a white aura, and landed the hit.

Porygon-Z bounced on the ground, past its friends Porygon and Porygon2, and slid to a stop. All three of the Porygon crew were defeated.

A couple more flashes of lightning lit up the room, and one last fading boom of thunder rumbled before the dark clouds on the ceiling went away, taking the rain away with it.

The blue rectangle of Trick Room flashed on, revealing itself around the battlefield before blinking a few times and then vanishing for good.

“I won…” I whispered in shock. “Noctowl! WE DID IT!” I actually smiled for a brief second. The smile faded fast when I thought of my lost Pokemon. What had I really won? My tear filled pair of eyes stayed on the Porygon trio. My breathing was getting hard again, and I could no longer stand. I felt dizzy, ready to collapse, so I sat down fast, desperate for air.

Noctowl flew into the air and landed next to me, spreading a wing open to cover me, attempting to give me comfort.

I felt no comfort whatsoever, and I wasn’t breathing any easier. Feeling like I was going to die, suffocating from having to live with being hit all at once by what I had made it through since being transferred into this crazy place, I wrapped my arms around my Noctowl and bawled against him, holding him for dear life.

Noctowl suddenly left my side.

“Whoa!” I fell forward, my support now gone.

My friend was nowhere in sight. My Pokemon had disappeared into the air...

There was only Porygon, Porygon2, and Porygon-Z…

“Noctowl…” I whispered. I cleared my throat. “Noctowl! NOCTOWL!” I leaped to my feet and spun in several circles. There was no way! We had won! Where was Noctowl?! I clutched at my heart as I kneeled down slowly, shocked and confused at the disappearance of my Noctowl. But was I really shocked? Was I really confused? This had all been a big lie from the beginning. A scheme to steal my Pokemon.

I stared at my belt, where my six Poke Balls sat. Did I still have my Kingdra, Weepinbell and Baltoy with me? Were they taken from me already, somehow? I was too terrified to send them out to find out and somehow end up losing them.

All the trouble I went through with Charmander to get him to obey me... Us separating on bad terms on Route 1, and Charmander returning to save my life against the Beedrill in Viridian Forest... Our battles lost against Aurora... Battling Shane got Charmander to evolve into Charmeleon to defeat Misdreavus for our first Badge...

I had met Mankey saving his life on Route 1, later capturing him and accepting him as my new Starter Pokemon when I had assumed Charmander had left me for good... Mankey evolved during our Gym battle with Aurora, but still lost to her overwhelming, brutally powerful Pokemon...

My Noctowl who, as a Hoothoot, gave me so much trouble to capture him... Hoothoot, who battled Aurora, Shane, helped me win against Vincent, battled Kadabra in Saffron City, and was just one of my most trusted friends and favorite, dependable Pokemon...

Everybody was gone now.

Despite the pain I felt, despite the tears running slowly but consistently from my eyes, I knew crying wasn’t enough. I knew something had to be done, but I didn’t know what, or how, and it made me cry even worse, whimpering helplessly every once in a while as I watched my tears splatter against the floor.

Porygon, Porygon2, and Porygon-Z still laid on the floor.

Why am I still here? I questioned. Because this was a trap. I’m stuck here forever. I’m left here to die. But what about these three? Are they just here to taunt me? I sniffled as I glared at their unconscious bodies. Were they just sleeping? Were they even real? I stood up, wiping my face. Staring at the three Pokemon furiously, I grabbed a Poke Ball from my pocket and pressed the button to enlarge it. “You damn things!” I raged. “They’re all gone! My Pokemon are ALL! GONE! IS THIS WHAT YOU WANTED?! TO TAKE THEM AWAY FROM ME?!” I threw a Poke Ball aggressively at Porygon-Z first, the farthest one of the pack.

Porygon-Z was sucked inside and the Poke Ball hit the floor, shaking repeatedly.

I watched as the Porygon-Z struggled inside for a while.

It kept struggling.

It continued to struggle.

Porygon-Z kept rocking the Poke Ball.

The Poke Ball didn’t cease moving.

I squinted curiously as the Poke Ball started bouncing a couple of times before shaking some more.

Ping!

The Poke Ball stopped moving, the red light remained on the Poke Ball.

Before I could move, Porygon, Porygon2, and the Poke Ball containing Porygon-Z disappeared in a short, light glow of white light!

I gasped and tried to back up, but was unable to move. I looked down and noticed my feet were gone! “Hey, what the-?!” I shouted before everything went black.

Peter stared at me, smiling. He clapped his hands. “Congratulations. I was waiting for you to capture one of them.”

“Huh?” I realized I was back in the room with Peter, in the big capsule. In the real world! I ran to the front of it and an opening appeared. Quickly, I leaped through it and cried out in excitement. I was back! “Peter!” I snarled in a rage, turning to him, ready to make some demands or shed some blood in here.

Until I saw them.

Charmeleon!

Primeape!

Hoothoot?

I ran to the three Pokemon of mine immediately.

They all came up to me.

“My Pokemon?” I cried like a small child, breaking down immediately in front of them as I wrapped them in the biggest hug possible, tears flowing down my cheeks.

They all hugged me back, crying happily.

“You must be confused,” Peter said. “Once your Pokemon were defeated, they were transferred out so I could heal them. The Porygon, Porygon2, and Porygon-Z remained there so you could capture one, as agreed upon. I guess I should have explained that more clearly. I was wondering if you were ever going to just capture one of the Porygon, or if I was going to have to just manually eject you out of the system after a while, there.” He chuckled lightly.

I released my Pokemon and stared at them happily, hearing Peter, but not caring much for anything he had to say. My Pokemon were alive! Everyone was okay! That was all that mattered. I stared at Hoothoot. “Hoothoot…?” I asked slowly.

“Hooooot!” Hoothoot said happily, flapping his wings.

“Gary, you were in the virtual world,” Peter explained. “The Porygon control that area. All those weird things you saw, like the scientists... um... kissing, and that dancing car, and the strange Nurse Joy taking off your arm, and even you feeling pain, were all under the control of the Porygon. They can make anything... ‘real’ in that world. I think Hoothoot evolving was also a part of that. Personally, I suspect Porygon-Z of having done most of, if not all, to be honest, of the weirdness you witnessed and experienced. That little guy can get pretty crazy. It’s a very sporadic Pokemon. It does some of the craziest things all the time. It’s a good Pokemon, just very weird and random. Porygon and Porygon2 are a lot more relaxed. I can’t understand why Porygon-Z evolved your Hoothoot and gave it those moves. Good luck raising it, ha.”

I pulled out my Pokedex.

Hoothoot was scanned in my Pokedex as a Pokemon I had captured, but not Noctowl.

Peter was right.

Hoothoot never really evolved, I guess. Hoothoot also didn’t know Fly or Sky Attack anymore.

We should work on learning those moves, I considered.

“Also, I commend you also on making Trick Room work in your favor,” Peter complimented. “After Porygon-Z used Tri Attack and Paralyzed Noctowl, Noctowl’s Speed decreased, making it the slower Pokemon. So Trick Room, which makes the slower opponent, faster, worked out and allowed Noctowl to move first and win! And that Flinch was just great timing!” Peter let out a loud laugh and crossed his arms.

I hadn’t done that on purpose, but I didn’t care to explain it to Peter. I just hugged my three Pokemon tighter than ever, crying openly.

Gratefully.

“Thanks again, Gary!” Peter said, waving to me.

“Thank you too, Peter!” I shouted, waving back, my boots crunching the ever piling snow beneath me.

Peter had offered to let me stay the week for all the trouble he had put me through, but I respectfully refused. I wanted out of that house immediately. I was on my way to Dark City. Goodbye, Fuchsia City, I thought, looking ahead of me. Prof. Oak will sure be happy to be researching a cool Pokemon like Porygon-Z. I’ll bet Aly, Kiwi and Rob haven’t sent him anything that cool. I smiled at that thought.

Pokemon Zoo

I saw the sign pointing towards the Pokemon Zoo and stopped. Aly went there, I remembered. I sure would love to show her my Badge I won from Ozne. I wonder if she’s still in Fuchsia. If she’s reconsidered challenging Ozne. Or is she on her way to another Gym by now.

I walked away from the Pokemon Zoo, just as uninterested in checking it out as I ever was.

Things could’ve been so much different had I decided to spend the day at the zoo instead.

Things would’ve been so much different had I decided to spend the day at the zoo instead.

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