A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Memoriam

Lavender Town: A Coexistence Of Existence Within Purple Separation

“What do you think that means?” I asked June, reading the sign silently.

June didn’t reply.

I turned to her as she stared quietly at Lavender Town from where we stood.

The town was fairly quiet, though people walked around in it. Mostly everyone in town was silent, while just a few seemed to be chatting with small smiles as they walked by. There were several houses lined up, a lively, beautiful garden in front of them. One huge building loomed over the city, reaching high into the sky.

“June?” I asked.

She ignored me and stepped into Lavender Town silently.

Confused, I followed her.

June looked around as she slowly strolled through town, a sad look coming over her face, her eyes seeming to be seeking something out in particular.

The area appeared nice, though perhaps dreary, and an odd chill ran up my spine like an insect. I leaped in the air and cried out, patting at my back. I looked around in a panic, but nobody was there. The creeping feeling was now gone.

June looked at me briefly, and then looked away and continued to walk.

A young couple stared at me like I was crazy and shook their heads, walking away.

I ran up to June. “June! What is your problem? Are you okay?”

June let out a sigh. “It’s just like I thought it would be,” she spoke.

“What?” I asked, not understanding her.

She stayed quiet for a moment. “I’ve never been here before, but I knew I’d arrive some day. Soon enough.”

“June, will you please just explain to me what’s going on?” I was getting impatient with her games, now. “I’m getting sick of these stupid riddles!”

June turned to me, a mournful look in her eyes. She appeared exhausted.

“June…?” I felt depressed just looking at her.

“Let’s find the Pokemon Center.” She led the way forward.

I followed, not saying a word. Worry and fear were now swimming in my blood.

June and I walked, me gazing at the houses, June looking straight ahead, focused. She didn’t say a word as she walked towards the Pokemon Center.

Inside I noticed that the Pokemon Center was completely empty except for a Nurse Joy and her Chansey.

“Welcome to the Lavender Town Pokemon Center,” Nurse Joy smiled. She seemed a little bit tired herself.

June and I approached her desk.

“Hi, Nurse Joy!” I exclaimed brightly.

“Here,” June said quickly, dropping her bag onto the counter and pulling out her ten Poke Balls. She picked up her bag, turned, and left.

“June?” I called loudly. Her mood roughly snapped me out of the daze I had been falling into while staring at Nurse Joy’s precious face. I turned back to Nurse Joy. “Uh, here Nurse Joy. And thank you!” I gave her my six Poke Balls and ran to catch up with June. “June!”

June turned to me as I finally reached her, wiping her eyes with her hand. “Gary, listen,” she said sternly. “I need to go somewhere for a couple of hours or so. If you don’t like it, then go on to Dark City and ditch me. Right now, I have something very important to take care of, so please, respect this of me if nothing else. It’d mean the world to me. There is the Kanto Radio Tower not far from here. You can go check it out if you’re willing to wait. Please, Gary. And thank you.” She pointed towards the large, towering building, and then turned and walked away towards some of the houses.

I stared in shock after June, my mouth open. What’s wrong with her? I wondered with genuine concern, my heart pounding. My desire was to follow her, but she seemed so desperate to be alone right now.

She was pleading with me with her tear filled eyes for this chance to go take care of something. But what? Was she in danger? Did she know somebody out here?

“June…” I whispered sadly, scared. I stared after June for the longest time, long after she had walked out of sight. Finally, with a sigh, I turned to the Kanto Radio Tower. I never listened to the radio too much in general, but when I did, it was rarely for music, but often times for Professor Oak’s Pokemon Talk with DJ Mary, a show that was pre recorded and broadcast many places in the world. My feet dragged unwillingly towards the tower, my head down, hands deep in my pockets.

It wasn’t as cold as it had been recently. The snow wasn’t on the ground here, but a little salt remained.

I came to a stop at the door of the radio tower of Kanto and noticed a sign.

Tour of the Kanto Radio Tower being given between the hours of:

12pm-2pm

4pm-6pm

9pm-10pm

Learn about the radio business and meet some of your favorite radio hosts.

I wonder why I don’t own a watch, I thought, pondering the current time. An idea struck me and I pulled out my Pokedex, opening it. No time on it, either. Weird... Seriously??

“GARY! What the crap are you doing here???” a voice shouted.

I gasped and spun around. “Aly??”

It was Aly! ALY! She was alive! I knew it all along, but I was so thrilled to see her in the flesh! She had gotten out of the Pokemon zoo in Fuchsia City just fine.

“ALY! I’m so happy to see you!” I wanted to hug her I was so glad she was okay, but I composed myself.

Aly smiled brightly. “It’s really you!” Aly said cheerfully. “I’m so glad to see you’re alright! I recognized that coat!”

Aly was wearing a tight black coat and tight dark blue jeans, her matching dark blue boots reaching to her knees. Her hood covered a good portion of her face. “Are you here for the tour?” she asked eagerly.

“Actually, no,” I spoke hesitantly. “Well, I guess I am, sort of…”

“You’re so weird, Gary,” Aly squinted at me. “It’s such a simple question. Yes, or no?”

I sighed. “Well, June left to go see-”

JUNE???” Aly looked around frantically. “WHERE??? WHERE???? Oh my gosh you and her are back together again!!!”

I growled, wondering if it was worth it to correct her, or if it’d just be a better idea to strangle her. “She isn’t here, you moron,” I snapped. “She left to-”

“She left you again??? Wow, Gary, you sure can’t keep a good girl to save your life.” Aly shook her head. “What is wrong with you, anyway?”

My fists balled up tight as I glared at her, wishing her throat were in my hands as I squeezed them tightly.

“Don’t look at me like that,” Aly waved her hand nonchalantly at me. “Not my fault you suck at relationships. Well, come on. Let’s go see the Radio Tower tour! It’ll take your mind off your heartache. Maybe it’ll give you and June some time to cool off and we can find her afterwards! I can mediate your breakup and help you to not be such a jerk to her.” She smiled brightly.

Before I could yell and scream and rage at Aly, she grabbed my wrist and yanked me inside of the Radio Tower. We entered the building and I stared at the interior as Aly removed her hood.

The walls were white, the bottom where the floor and wall met was painted black all across. The flooring gleamed from a polishing. People stood around, talking loudly and excitedly, smiling and laughing. There was a huge front desk with three women sitting behind it, all of them wearing a small headset with a microphone at their lips extended from it.

The lady closest to me and Aly turned and smiled. “Welcome to Kanto’s Radio Tower,” she greeted us. “Are you two here for the tour?”

“Yes!” Aly shouted excitedly, bouncing in place.

“Yeah, I suppose…” I muttered, thinking about June.

“Great!” The lady handed us two big buttons with pins on the back.

I took one which had a Machop on it.

Aly’s had a Jynx. “Ew, a Jynx?” Aly complained.

“I’m sorry. How about this one?” The lady handed Aly another pin with a Jigglypuff on it that was holding a microphone.

It was obviously the world famous Pop music singing Jigglypuff whose voice is electronically altered slightly to prevent sleep from occurring to those who listen, as is common with Pokemon who use Sing.

“Now that’s much better! I love her songs! Adorable!” Aly yelled shrilly.

I backed up a few feet away from her, looking away as if I didn’t know her. Sometimes, she was so loud and unaware of herself.

Aly placed the Jynx pin back on the table and clipped the Jigglypuff badge on her coat.

I clipped my Machop badge on mine.

“The tour will begin in just a minute now.” The lady stood up, lifting a section of the front desk that raised up, and walked through, placing the portion back down. She walked to the front of the crowd and cleared her throat. “Welcome, everyone, to the Kanto Radio Tower!”

Everyone got quiet and paid attention to her.

“My name is Tiana and I am happy to see so many young faces here today,” she continued.

Most of the people in the group were indeed young, though quite a few people were clearly adults. They looked young, too, but much older than the rest of us.

I wondered how many people here were Pokemon Trainers.

“Today, we shall be exploring the Radio Tower, and I shall be giving you a history of the Radio Tower and some fun facts to go along with it,” Tiana announced. “We will also be meeting some of your favorite radio hosts here today!”

“Will Professor Oak be here?” a girl called out.

Tiana laughed. “Ooh, I’m sorry, honey, but Prof. Oak won’t be able to come in today,” Tiana apologized.

“Awwww.” The girl sounded very disappointed.

“But DJ Fig, DJ Tulip, DJ Sunflower, DJ Branch, and DJ Bergamot are all here today right now,” Tiana beamed at everyone.

The crowd chattered eagerly.

“DJ Sunflower is here, Gary!” Aly said excitedly, squeezing my arm.

“Yeah, whoopee.” I rolled my eyes.

Aly shoved me. “You butt,” she said, leering at me.

“Now, if you will all follow me, I shall begin the tour.” Tiana turned and led us near the back of the Radio Tower, towards an elevator that a security guard stood next to.

The guard smiled at us as he pressed the elevator button, Tiana leading us inside once the doors slid apart. She pressed the button for the third floor and the elevator hummed as it took us up.

I was getting warm and I removed my coat, folding it over my arm. Others were doing the same thing, taking off their coats or just unzipping them.

“The Kanto Radio Tower used to be known as Pokemon Tower,” Tiana said quickly. “It was a gravesite for Pokemon and gave a spooky and unwelcome aura to the town. The gravesite was later moved to a different, smaller area within Lavender Town, now known as the House Of Memories, and Pokemon Tower was made into the radio station we are in today.”

Wow, I thought, shivering. No wonder this town feels so odd.

Aly was staring at Tiana with fear in her eyes.

The doors opened and Tiana led us out of the elevator.

I gazed at the brown carpeted floor, the white walls, the several DJ booths, one of which was occupied by a man, and a second booth containing a woman, both smiling at us expectantly.

“This is DJ Bergamot and DJ Tulip,” Tiana introduced.

The man, being DJ Bergamot, waved when his name was mentioned.

DJ Tulip was the girl, who bowed slightly at her name being spoken.

I didn’t recognize nor care about either of them, but several girls screamed and jumped up and down excitedly, including one of the grown women.

Aly screeched louder than them all and grabbed my shoulder, jumping up and down.

A loud BAM! from downstairs silenced everybody. The smiles faded and we all looked at the floor.

The two DJs stepped out of their booths and walked towards us, looking below.

BOOM! Everyone gasped, some screaming, as we turned to see the doors to the Emergency Exit stairs burst open and several men and women dressed in all black, some in suits, some in other attire, run in carrying long guns.

The alarms blared intensely, mixed in with the screaming and yelling of the crowd, everyone running to the elevator in a panic.

The people pointed the guns at us. “SHUT UP!” one of them ordered.

Everyone got quiet and froze.

“Oh, my gosh!” Tiana cried. “Who are you people?”

One man, dressed in a hoodie, jeans, and boots, stomped towards Tiana, raising his gun towards her face. “One more word and you’ll need to be scrubbed off the walls,” he said coldly.

Tiana’s lips shut tight as tears filled her eyes.

Swallowing, my eyebrows narrowed at the group. Who are these people? I thought angrily. What do they want?

The doors to the stairs opened again, calmly this time, and a man wearing slacks, boots, and a large coat, stepped into the room. He looked up at the blaring alarms above in annoyance and walked past them, looking at the occupancy of the room. He raised a fist, clearing his throat loudly.

A couple of men turned swiftly and the room was filled with the noise of brief gunfire.

Everyone screamed and ducked, many covering their heads.

I was too petrified to move, the only one still standing as I watched in terror as the gunmen shot at the alarm, silencing it for good. My eyes went back to the new man who had walked in, and my eyes spread wide with recognition.

He raised his hands to his long hair and brushed it back, staring at us all as his group threatened everyone back up to their feet. His eyes stopped on me and he squinted for a while before slowly walking over, his boots treading heavily over the carpet. He stopped a few feet from me.

I came up only to his chest.

Slowly, he began to smile. His smile faded soon after and he shook his head, looking around at all of us before turning back to me. “We meet again, I see,” he sneered.

“Isaac,” I growled.

With a sharp click, a gun pointed swiftly at me, but Isaac waved it away. The man holding the gun pointed it away from me with another click.

Aly gasped and turned to me.

“Team Solace,” I said loudly. “You bunch of… of… sickos!

Isaac stared coldly at me. “It’s too bad you don’t see the glory behind what we’re doing here, young man. In due time, though. Everyone will see. And today, we reveal.”

“Reveal what?”My heart was pounding like crazy.

Isaac smiled and backed up a few feet.

“Who are these guys, Gary?” Aly cried.

The guns pointed at her, now.

“What don’t you understand about shutting the hell-?” a man in a business suit screamed, holding one of the guns at Aly.

Isaac raised a hand and waved it, and immediately the armed men pointed their weapons away from Aly. He then turned to Aly, and then looked to his group of henchmen behind him and smiled. “I think now is the time to reveal ourselves to this girl. And the rest of the world.” His men and women didn’t move as he walked past them. He took off his coat calmly and sat down in one of the DJ booths. He seemed to know what he was doing as he grabbed a pair of headphones and placed them on his head, covering his ears, and then pressed a few buttons.

The ON AIR light on the wall came on above his head, glowing red.

On air? I thought. What is Isaac trying to do?

Isaac cleared his throat and leaned into the microphone. “Ladies and gentleman of all ages, I am now taking control of all radio stations, along with televisions and most popular electronic devices which receive media, within most of the regions,” Isaac started. “This isn’t a test, a drill, a joke, nor a warning. This is an introduction. An introduction to peace for all. My name is Isaac; the leader of Team Solace. This name may ring a bell to many of you who have been paying attention to the news lately, but for those unfamiliar, allow me to welcome you back to the world outside of the rock you were living under and inform you as to the new rules. I, Isaac... am your new God. I am your hero. Team Solace, as a group, are what you shall consider your guardian angels. This may sound strange to you right now, but rest assured, this has been a very, very long time coming. How are we your saviors, you ask? Quite simple, is my response. Pokemon are pure evil and we are here to destroy every last one of them!”

“What?!” Aly whispered in complete shock.

“Parents of children who are Pokemon Trainers, grant me your time for just a moment,” Isaac continued. “It is only you who can answer these questions I bring today. Do you miss your children? Do you worry when they don’t call you for weeks, months, on end? Don’t you feel alone? Neglected? Ignored? Knowing your child is alive out there but isn’t calling. Doesn’t it kill you inside? Well, you, are the lucky ones. To the parents of Pokemon Trainers who have died. To the parents of Pokemon Trainers who have died as mere children, I speak to you now! It is you who I reach out to! You who have suffered the worst! You who will be the first to support Team Solace’s cause. You who will EMPATHISE, and will be rewarded justly by me! No more tears need to be shed, mothers and fathers around the world. Sisters and brothers, family members, friends, all those who have died or lost someone close to them due to these wretched… monsters! To the poor youth who are either missing or very well dead! And for what?! For what I ask you?? To enslaves these vile beasts?? To battle one another’s Pokemon? To be recognized for forcing these vicious animals to attack one another to exhaustion? WHAT IS THE PURPOSE DAMN IT?!?!” Isaac was losing his temper badly, screaming into the microphone.

“Pokemon are our friends!” Aly screamed angrily, stepping forward.

“ALY!” I shouted, pulling her back. “Stop it!”

The guns pointed at me and Aly again.

“NO!” Aly squirmed out of my grasp.

My palms were sweaty and I was shaking with fear, so I lost my grip on her.

“Who the hell do you think you are? HUH???” Aly took a brave step forward, ignoring the guns completely that were in her face. “Pokemon aren’t evil! YOU’RE evil!”

“Aly, shut your freaking mouth you stupid idiot!” I begged, barking at her.

Aly had completely lost her mind and was gonna get seriously injured if she didn’t calm down. She couldn’t be so stupid as to let her big mouth get her into some serious trouble, could she? Even if she was right, she couldn’t be so determined as to try to argue angrily with a bunch of maniacs with guns, could she? It wasn’t worth it! Aly had to learn to shut up for once! Aly couldn’t keep trying to press her point of view on everyone, especially not in this kind of situation!

Aly turned to me, fire in her eyes. “Gary! Screw you, then! You damn coward! I’m not afraid of these bullies!”

“Aly, they have freaking guns!” I pleaded. “This isn’t worth it! Please! PLEASE ALY!!!!

“No, Gary,” Aly shook her head. “You have to stand for what you believe in. You can’t just cower away! How can we win if we let people like this step all over us?” Aly turned back to Isaac. “Pokemon help people every day! They make our lives easier and we do our best to work with them kindly, alongside them, to make their lives happier, too! It’s a give and take relationship! But people like you are destroying all of that hard work! How dare you people call yourselves solace anything! You guys are disgusting!

Isaac stared at Aly silently. “What is your name, child?” Isaac asked calmly.

“My name is Aly Say!” Aly said proudly and loudly. “I am not afraid of you or your stupid guns! You guys are totally cray cray!”

Isaac squinted at Aly for a second. “Aly. Brave Miss Aly.” Isaac shook his head. “How old are you?”

“I am ten years old!”

Isaac shook his head sadly, lowering his head. “It pains me to hear that,” Isaac replied. “So young. You, your friend over there, and so many others in this very room. There are adults here, but it pains me so much more to see… the children here…” Isaac was still speaking into the microphone, one fist clenched tight. “Do you have any idea how many Trainers your age die from Pokemon attacks? Not to mention the kids younger than you who aren’t even Trainers. Just innocent children getting attacked or kidnapped or injured by these things. They’re a nuisance to the world and need to be destroyed completely.”

“Pokemon are good!” Aly insisted, taking another step towards Isaac.

Isaac shook his head again. “So young, Miss Aly. So young. And so very stupid.

“Oh, yeah?” Aly yelled, losing it. “Why? Because you’re all old? I think you just sucked as a Trainer so you want to kill all Pokemon just because you couldn’t raise yours well!”

Isaac sneered at Aly. “You’ve a big mouth, young lady.” Isaac’s voice was getting scarier. Darker. “I don’t raise Pokemon. I hate Pokemon.”

“Because you suck at raising them,” Aly instigated. “You need time to raise your Pokemon to be strong and get used to you. Some Pokemon have different attitudes and need to be treated with respect before they’ll respect you. Some Pokemon evolve and change their personalities. It’s very tough, but it’s a great learning experience and it’s a beautiful connection for Trainer and Pokemon and it helps us all to grow and mature in this world of ours, together.”

“Your words make me pity you for your ignorance, but it isn’t your fault,” Isaac spat. “You’ve been brainwashed. Poor, foolish girl. We’ve demonstrated through various attacks how Pokemon are dangerous, but you still are stuck in your ways.”

“You killed innocent Pokemon and humans!” I blurted out, aiding Aly. “That doesn’t show how Pokemon are bad! Only how crazy you guys are!” I was getting really mad now, listening to Isaac talk, and I stepped up, my legs quaking. My coat fell from my arm, but I ignored it.

Aly turned to me, surprised, and then turned back to Isaac. “Wait! YOU are the reason for those news stories?”

Isaac’s chest puffed out. “Those are the dangers Pokemon cause to us all,” Isaac said solemnly.

YOU DID THEM!!!” Aly bellowed. “How stupid can you be??? YOU… OH MY GOSH!!! I can’t even describe how much of a punch in your ugly freaking face you deserve!!!” Aly stormed over to Isaac with balled fists.

The man sat there calmly, watching her.

“ALY, STOP!” I demanded frantically.

BOOM!

The blood splattered the floor.

Aly gasped loudly.

My heart leaped into my throat, blocking my breathing.

The tour group starting screaming frantically.

Aly collapsed on her side.

ALY!” I screamed in a voice so loud, so unlike my own, I honestly thought somebody else may have spoken. I ran to Aly and knelt down next to her, laying her on her back.

Aly gasped desperately for air, her eyes straight up to the ceiling as she coughed up blood all over herself.

“ALY! NO!” I gripped her shoulders. Aly blurred in my vision and I frantically blinked the tears from my eyes. “Aly!” Her name came out weakly from my throat that time.

Aly’s eyes gleamed with tears as she looked back at me, shivering and coughing up blood everywhere, splattering my shirt.

People around me were still screaming, several people crying.

“ALY!” Tears dripped onto her coat rapidly. My head fell down onto her and I cried loudly, gripping the carpet at her sides. I lifted my head and stared at her as she stared back helplessly, still choking and coughing, harder than before.

“Gary,” she managed. Her hand shot up and grabbed my arm. She squeezed me hard as she began to shake even harder, blood splattering everywhere.

It was the most painful, horrible thing I’d ever had to witness in my life.

Aly’s grip tightened as her eyes rolled up in her head.

I grabbed Aly’s hand and squeezed it tight. “Aly, please, no!” Endless flows of water were ejecting from my eyes.

Aly gave one hard shake and went still, her mouth wide, her eyes still open.

I forced myself to swallow hard. “Aly,” I whispered, my chest tightening. “Aly…” I shook her shoulder.

She didn’t budge.

Suddenly, I was yanked off of Aly. I gasped, but kept my eyes on Aly. I felt helpless. Completely weak. Powerless.

The person gripping me dug their fingers into my shoulders harshly, but I didn’t even flinch. I was completely stunned. Paralyzed. I knew it had to be somebody from Team Solace gripping me.

Isaac cleared his throat. “Anyone who opposes Team Solace will be countered,” Isaac said heartlessly, staring down at Aly. He turned away and looked back at the microphone. “You all have heard what occurred here, and any doubters now know we are completely serious. We’ve initiated minor steps to prove ourselves, our plans, and our goals, are genuine and real. To further emphasize this, nearly every Pokemon Gym, where Trainers compete to obtain Gym Badges, are wired to a bomb set to blow on my command at this very moment. Gym Leaders, Pokemon Trainers, and the like, are nothing but our enemies and are standing in our way. Join Team Solace and be rewarded in ways beyond what you can imagine. Save our planet. Save our children!” Isaac slammed his fist to the table when saying “children.” He stood up and turned to Aly, and then looked up at me. Isaac turned and walked towards the stairs, closing the doors behind him.

It was me, the tour group, and Team Solace.

The ON AIR light was still on.

“Release your Pokemon!” a woman from Team Solace commanded.

Everyone turned to each other.

Aly, I thought, my head swimming, feeling faint, reliving the moment she was shot. Aly…

“Release your Pokemon!” the woman screamed again.

“W-w-what are you going to do with them…?” a girl asked.

BANG!

Screams and horrified cries filled the room.

I snapped out of my daze for a moment and turned to see blood hitting the floor and the feet of some girl sticking out as she lay flat on her back. The girl was out of my view, people from the tour group blocking her, but I didn’t need to see her. I didn’t want to.

The people in the tour group turned to stare, some covering their mouths and looking over, the others closing their eyes, turning away, pain on their faces.

Another woman from Team Solace walked up to the girl and knelt down, standing up seconds later. She held six Poke Balls in her hand and threw one down.

The Poke Ball opened and a Pokemon I had to think for a second about to recall its name, appeared.

Cascoon.

Right after remembering its name…

The gun rose.

I shut my eyes at the last second.

BANG!

BANG! BANG!

Terrified screams, louder than ever, filled my ears.

Air was an effort to take in at this point. I was gasping hard just to stay alive. My eyes opened and tried to avoid the sight of the shot at Pokemon, but I could still see blood splattered all the way across the room!

“Release your Pokemon, and this time, without the questions,” the woman told us.

The group with me all stared around at each other fearfully.

For just a second, I spotted Cascoon’s body, covered in blood, and turned my head away sharply.

The members of Team Solace raised their guns threateningly at us.

“Fine!” someone spoke up. It was one of the adults from the tour group. “If you want our Pokemon, you can have them!” The man glared at the group and raised his Poke Ball into the air to throw it.

BANG!

The man flew back and slammed into the wall, collapsing to the floor.

His Poke Ball bounced and remained motionless.

Noooooooo!!!” a woman wailed, running over to the man.

I turned away quickly. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Now, hand us your Poke Balls, without trying to be smart guys and attempting to send out your Pokemon to attack,” the woman ordered impatiently.

The Gyms, I thought. The Gyms are in danger. Aly. Aly! My brain was racing rapidly. If this guy wasn’t holding me, I would’ve hit the floor by now. I was feeling so faint.

Members of Team Solace walked around, collecting Poke Balls from the tour group.

The DJs claimed to not have any, and after being patted down, it was confirmed that they were telling the truth.

The man holding me finally turned me around. “Your Pokemon!” he leered at me.

I hesitated for a moment at the man in the suit, and then reached for my Poke Balls, trying to think of a way out of this without getting my Pokemon killed.

“ISAAC! THIS IS THE POLICE!” I heard a voice shout from a megaphone outside. It was undeniable that it was Officer Jenny. “YOU AND YOUR GOONS, COME OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP! WE HAVE THE PLACE SURROUNDED! THERE IS NO ESCAPE! RELEASE YOUR HOSTAGES!”

“YAAAAAA!” I heard a pair of screams and turned to see DJ Bergamot and DJ Tulip run forward, tackling a pair of the surprised gunmen who had turned to the window.

The other gunmen turned their guns onto the DJs.

With a shout, I kicked the guy in front of me between his legs.

He screamed in pain and his gun went off wildly, firing everywhere.

I ducked and screamed, running away from him.

Guns were going off like mad.

People were running frantically, yelling war cries as they tackled the group of thugs while others hid in booths.

Several of the thugs were shooting their guns without even aiming.

One member let out a wail as he was shot in the chest by accident.

A woman screamed as a bullet hit her in the arm before she fell over.

“ISAAC!!! WE’RE COMING IN THERE RIGHT NOW!!!” Officer Jenny roared.

BOOOM! Some kind of raucous from downstairs.

I ran to the stairs and slammed the door shut behind me.

PING! PING! PING! Bullets dented the door just as I closed it.

I gasped and backed up in fear, staring at the door in shock. Voices from upstairs grabbed my attention. I looked up the stairs and crept slowly, then stopped.

Where’s the police? I wondered. I should just stay here. I’m safe. They’re on their way right this second!

And yet, they weren’t here for some reason, yet. Did something go wrong? Were some of Team Solace’s crew downstairs, waiting for the police?

There was more noise from upstairs. Definitely people talking.

Isaac? I wondered.

Aly.

Aly…

My eyes filled with tears and I covered my face, falling to my knees, and I sobbed silently, scared. ALY! I screamed in my head. I could still hear the sound of the bullet as she was shot. I could see the blood splatter onto the floor. I could hear her gasp clear as day as she felt the bullet enter her. My hands smeared at the tears on my cheeks and I angrily looked up the stairs. Isaac, I growled in my head. It was like a switch flipped. There was no other option. I ran up the steel, blue painted stairs as quickly and quietly as I could. Once I reached the landing, I grabbed the door and slowly opened it.

Ccrrreeeeeaaaakk…

The door flung open and slammed into my face.

I cried out and hit the wall. Before I could open my eyes, I was grabbed by the arms and lifted up and dragged. My eyes opened and I shook my throbbing head.

Two men in suits were dragging me through a room with light blue walls and a wooden floor. There were only two booths in this room which was significantly smaller than the one I had been in on the previous floor.

They dragged me into one booth.

Isaac was sitting in it already, talking into the microphone, his headphones on, the ON AIR button on over his head, glowing red. “Officer Jenny, might I welcome one of the hostages now,” Isaac said, already in the middle of a conversation it seemed, staring at me. “Say hello, my friend.”

I didn’t say anything, unsure if I should or not.

One of the men twisted my arm back until I screamed for mercy, and then he stopped, gripping my pained arm tight, which made me cry out again.

“As you can see, there are no negotiations here,” Isaac told the officer. He looked up at the men holding me and nodded.

One of the men let go of my arm, and the other guy grabbed the released arm, gripping both arms tight as I moaned weakly.

“Officer Jenny, and people of the world listening now, this is officially a hostage situation in the sense that our dear friend, um… Gary, was it?” Isaac looked at me.

I glared at him silently. The man holding me twisted my right arm up behind me and I screamed. “YES! YES! I’M GARY!”

“Gary will be making the calls here,” Isaac stated. “If Gary stays in this building, not only will I not blow up the Pokemon Gyms, but I shall also let the others in this building go free. If Gary chooses to leave, I will let him go, but everyone in this building, including me and my associates, will be killed.”

The man who let go of my arm earlier stepped forward into my view, tossing an… Electrode between his hands back and forth!

“Electrode!” Electrode said, glaring at me nastily.

“If Gary chooses to go, the death will be by means of explosion from this Electrode, right in the middle of the building, destroying this floor, resulting in collapsing the floors above, destroying the ones beneath. There will be no escape for any of us. If Gary opts to stay, everyone, but him, will live. What do you say, Gary? And, I don’t think you have much time to decide, either.” Isaac pointed at Electrode, which was still being tossed by the man.

They’re crazy! I thought frantically, swallowing hard. They’re freaking crazy! What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?? I can’t let them get away!! But I can’t let them kill innocent people over this!!

“Gary! Can you hear me?” I heard Officer Jenny’s voice from inside the building, sounding like she was speaking through a speaker!

“Yes!” I called desperately.

“Don’t listen to him! Do you understand me?” she said kindly, sweetly. “They will not get away with this! Nobody is going to die! Are you okay?”

“Yes! I’m alright!” I yelled shakily.

“Is anybody dead?”

“This is not the time to be discussing thiiiis,” Isaac chuckled.

“Electrode!” Electrode cried out, reminding us all it was still there.

“Officer Jenny…” I said meekly. “Help...”

“Hurry up, Gary,” Isaac said calmly, leaning back in his chair as if nothing were going on.

“ELECTRODE!”

I gasped as Electrode screamed at me, sparking.

The man laughed and kept tossing it back and forth.

My throat was dry as sand. My heart was pumping with all its might.

Aly, I thought. Aly. Not Aly… I closed my eyes and inhaled as deeply as I possibly could in that moment. “AAAAAAAAAAAALLLYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!” I collapsed to my knees, exhausted, hung by my arms as the man behind me held onto me.

“GARY! Are you okay?” Officer Jenny screamed.

I didn’t reply. I didn’t care anymore. Aly… I thought. I’m so sorry… I’m… So sorry… I should’ve done more… It honestly should’ve just been me…

Aly and I playing the video game of Pokemon, or watching TV, or lazing around bored all day.

Aly, Robin, Kiwi, and I.

Robin and I playing basketball while Kiwi and Aly cheered us on.

The four of us wrestling, tossing each other onto beds or pillows positioned on the floor.

If one of us was sick, we’d hang around whoever it was and do what we could to help them feel better, even if we ended up sick, too. Even if our parents suggested against it, we insisted on being together.

Nothing could keep us apart.

My thoughts were interrupted by what sounded like a helicopter.

I lifted my head, and the man holding me let go. I fell to the floor on my face hard and pushed myself up right away.

Isaac and the other two men ran towards the window.

The man with Electrode tossed it out the window, ahead of Isaac, smashing the glass.

Electrode exploded, blowing out the rest of the glass as a helicopter neared the radio station.

“GARY! What’s going on up there?” Officer Jenny shouted urgently.

Team Solace’s helicopter, the top half silver, the bottom half black, a white S on the front, neared the building.

Isaac and his two cohorts leaped from the window as the helicopter door opened, landing inside easily.

The helicopter began to back away from the building and ascend.

ALY!!

“NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!” I ran to the window, watching as the helicopter ascended quickly and began to fly away. I looked down to see people several feet away from the Radio Tower, but surrounding it.

Police, bystanders, all looked up in horror as the helicopter flew off, several officers calling for backup.

*

Members of Team Solace, who were on the first floor, waiting for the police to bust in, were arrested. They were planted there just to hold off the cops and make sure that Isaac got away.

People were taken to the hospital.

People were dead.

Families were called.

Tears were shed.

After a couple of hours of police questioning me about what had happened at the Radio Tower, and going through all the required check ups they forced me to have, but refusing all extra, optional medical attention, I now sat in the Pokemon Center quietly, alone. I felt perfectly fine. Physically.

Mentally, I was better off committing suicide than taking the pain swirling through my head.

Aly… Her name was all that was on my mind. “Aly…” I whispered. “My best friend. I… I love you, Aly. We argued constantly, but I loved you, and you loved me. We were… friends… And we always will be, Aly. Forever. You, me, Kiwi, and Robin. Nothing can destroy that love. Nothing can destroy our eternal friendship.” I said those words out loud, but they weren’t enough. They were empty and only for my ears. I cried as loud and hard as I could, my head in my hands, my hands in my lap.

I cried.

Cried.

Cried….

Nothing but memories flooded my head as I thought of Aly and the times we had together. The fun our little group had...

I’d met Aly in preschool, and Kiwi and Robin in Kindergarten, and since then, the four of us were the best of friends.

I met Kiwi when I was playing by myself, too shy to play with the other kids. She walked right over to me and greeted me with such excitement, I couldn’t help but laugh.

Robin was always the cool, funny kid. I wanted to hang with him just because he seemed so confident and easy to like, and luckily, he liked me as well, and we became fast friends.

Aly…

Aly was always the crazy one, being playfully tough to everybody, but sweet and kind at the same time. She loved to play games, tease people, and play fight. She wasn’t really a tomboy, but she loved to play rough at times and even back then, had a slight, wisecracking mouth.

Aly…

I don’t know how long I cried, thinking about Aly. Thinking about when we got our first Pokemon from Prof. Oak. Thinking about when Bulbasaur and Aly first met. Her Bulba-Baby. Thinking about when Ivysaur wasn’t listening to Aly and Aly was so upset. Aly’s Salamence she had obtained somehow... How much she loved her Persian...

Aly…

I cried continuously until the tears stopped flowing, but I kept on crying dry tears, loudly, distraught.

*

I opened my eyes, drool on the side of my face, my jeans leg slightly wet. I wiped my face, realizing I’d fallen asleep. My eyes felt funny, and I knew why. All the crying I had done. I’d cried myself to sleep. I turned around briefly and stopped, seeing June looking at me from the other side of the Pokemon Center.

We stared at each other quietly.

June licked her lips and slowly stood up, her face breaking instantly as she walked over to me. Her eyes were red. She’d been crying. She sat down next to me.

I grabbed her in a hug and cried immediately against her chest, heaving.

June wrapped me in a hug. The tightest hug.

I could hear her crying, too.

*

June and I stayed in Lavender Town for a very short time.

In fact, just as the sky had turned black, night time arriving, June and I had left Lavender Town.

Aly’s mother was on her way, I knew. I just… couldn’t handle that. I simply, couldn’t.

Before leaving, I heard on the news that every Gym was currently being inspected. The Gyms in Celadon City, Auburn City, and Heliotrope Town were found to have a bomb hidden in the building and they were disarmed safely. Several other Gyms in the Kanto region, and several in some of the other regions, had been inspected already and were said to be safe for use, the rest shut down until further notice.

June and I didn’t speak a word as we walked, side by side, on the path out of Lavender Town.

We walked together, on our way to Dark City.

There was no way I could stop now, I knew. No way I could dash Aly’s memory, our love, our bond, our friendship, so easily. So disrespectfully. I’d keep our friendship alive forever, by not giving up.

By continuing to move forward.

By finding strength during this time of weakness and utter despair and depression.

There was no way Team Solace was just going to get away with this. I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I’d get revenge for Aly, and I’d fulfill our quest.

Aly’s death would not be in vain.

I’d be next in line to die in order to keep her memory and spirit alive.

I’d always keep Aly with me in my heart and mind. She’d always be with me, forever, never to be forgotten.

I will stop Team Solace, somehow.

I will become a Pokemon Master.

No matter what.

I promise.

I can do it because Aly will be there with me to keep pushing me forward.

I will do it.

In loving memory of.

Aly.

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