“You’wa jus’ a butt head!” Aly shouted.
“No, you awe! You’wa stupy an’... Ugy an’ jus’ a poop face!” another child retorted.
“You banananana nose!” Aly said angrily.
“You big… Stupy… stupy girw!” the boy uttered frantically.
“You diwty fiwty boy!” Aly stepped closer to the child.
I backed away in fear, watching, wishing the teacher would show up from wherever she was to stop the fighting. I hated the fighting. I just wanted to play with my blocks and continue building my tower...
“You’wa jus’ dumb! Dawnphan isn’ stwong! Is jus’ a big ugy eleeefant,” the boy stated.
“Dawnphan is gweat! Awl Pokemon awe weally cool!” Aly insisted.
“Magycawp isn’t!” the boy challenged. “And Glameows awe jus’ stupy!”
“WHAT?” Aly charged at the boy.
I covered my face and peeked through my fingers as she shoved the boy to the floor.
The entire class gasped.
“Take it back!” Aly’s face was red with anger. “Cat Pokemon awe da best!”
“I’m not gonna be buwwied by some icky girw!” The boy got up to face Aly.
“Stop tawking mean about Pokemon!” Aly cried, her voice getting more shrill and upset. Her eyes were filling with tears.
“Stupy stupy stupy!” the boy chanted. “Cat Pokemon awe stupy! Weak Pokemon awe stupy! Stupy Pokemon are STUPY!”
Aly fell to the ground suddenly and tears started flowing from her eyes. “Awl Pokemon awe coo’…” she said weakly, her voice breaking. Suddenly, she exploded in tears.
“Awy!” I cried out, my eyes filling with tears seeing her cry.
The boy laughed at Aly.
I ran past him and knelt down next to her. “Awy, is okay! Don’t cwy. Pwease?”
Aly looked at me, her face still running with tears.
I turned to the boy angrily. “That wasn’t nice!”
“Oooooo! Is Awy your giwfwiend?” A huge smile spread across his face.
“NO!” I shouted, my heart pounding hard in my chest, shocked by his claim.
“Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy!” the boy chanted, and soon, the entire class was saying it over and over again.
“I AM NAWT!” Anger was building in me.
“Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy!”
The chanting rang in my head. The more it continued, the angrier I could feel myself getting, my face burning from embarrassment uncontrollably.
“STAWP IT!” I screeched.
“Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy!”
I could hear Aly crying again behind me.
Tears started filling my eyes once more. I couldn’t take it anymore.
The boy laughed in my face. “Dhey’w gonna get maaaaawwiiiiied!”
The entire class laughed even more and kept chanting, “Awy an’ Gawy! Awy an’ Gawy!”
With a loud scream, I charged at the kid, grabbed his face in my hands, squeezed until he screamed out, and shoved him as hard as I could to the floor.
He landed hard on his back and grabbed his face.
The class went silent.
A few seconds later, he inhaled loudly and began to cry.
“What is going on here?!” The teacher had finally returned. “Gary?”
I turned to face her, shock on my face.
June approached us all. “Gary?”
I shook my head and looked up. “Huh?”
“Gary?” June asked me.
“Gary, what’s wrong?” She sat very close to me.
I looked around in confusion.
It was dark outside.
June and I were in the woods, sitting by a tree stump.
Charmeleon, Primeape, Hoothoot, Baltoy, Kingdra, and Weepinbell sat nearby, spread out, looking solemnly at the ground.
“I…” I started. My eyes lowered.
The last thing I recalled was that June had left to go be with her Pokemon in private, still uncomfortable with both them and letting me meet them right now.
I’d let my Pokemon out to eat and get some fresh air, but none of them finished their food, and they didn’t play or train with each other.
I didn’t really notice this at first, lost in thought. Thinking of Aly. The memory of us in preschool was fresh in my head. It had been the end of the day, everyone waiting for their parents to pick them up. The teacher showed up and I had gotten in trouble, especially with my mom and dad when they got there.
June wasn’t there, of course. She had just come back from her time with her Pokemon and disrupted my thoughts. “Gary…” she whispered. She reached in her bag and handed me a handkerchief.
I reached my hand up and wiped my face. With a sharp, grotesque, snot filled sniffle, I got to my feet and walked past her. Silently, I returned my Pokemon back to their Poke Balls and put their food bowls away, not caring that the bowls still contained food and I was pouring it all in my bag. I didn’t say a word as I walked away from June, finding the path a couple of minutes later.
Whatever remaining snow on the ground was now frozen, the very little that existed at all remaining in patches in the grass that lined the path and in the treetops.
June followed, a few feet away. She didn’t say a word.
A metal trash can stood in the distance.
Aly… I thought, walking by it.
Aly stomped over to Isaac, ready to possibly hit him.
Isaac calmly watched as Aly got closer.
The member of Team Solace raised his gun behind Aly and shot her in the back.
The blood splattered on the floor.
Aly’s gasp rang in my ears, clear as day, as if I were right there, living through it again. She collapsed to the floor on her side.
Aly turned to me, fire in her eyes. “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’s words rang in my head.
Hot tears rolled down my cheeks.
“Hey,” I heard from behind me.
I kept walking.
“Gary, look at this!” June called out.
I wiped my eyes and waited a moment before turning to face her.
June stood by the trash can, staring at me. She looked inside.
I walked over to her, slowly, quietly.
A lot of garbage was piled high in the trash bag, a large, very soft looking teddy bear sitting on top.
I turned to June.
June turned to me and smiled.
I glared silently in return.
We hadn’t really talked since the tragedy in Lavender Town. She may have said some words to me, but I hadn’t spoken to her much.
It’d been perhaps a week since I’d said much more than a word to anybody. A lot of time was spent just sitting down in a grassy clearing or with my back against a tree, all alone, needing my own private time after everything that had occurred. This, of course, cut into my journey severely. A journey I had promised to fulfill. A journey that was meaning less and less to me with each passing minute of my life. I cleared my throat.
June’s eyes widened in surprise.
“You think I give two damns about this stupid freaking bear right now??!” My voice rising to a yell by the time the sentence finished.
There was a moment of silence.
“Nice to hear your voice again, Gary,” June said sincerely, smiling, cocking her head to the side.
I was ready to turn around and walk away from her when something dark swept by me, chills immediately running through my body. I inhaled sharply through my nose.
June gasped and backed away.
I couldn’t see what the entity was, but I heard a cry before the teddy bear started to glow black and then return to its normal color. I backed away, shocked.
“Gary,” June whispered. “I think we should get out of here now.”
I agreed with her, but I didn’t dare take my eyes off of that bear. Nodding, I backed up slowly.
June followed close next to me.
Slowly, we walked backwards down the path, not taking our eyes off the toy bear.
I gasped and June screamed as the bear began to glow black again and floated in the air!
“What’s going on?” June asked in a panic.
My eyes widened with fear as the bear began to morph, change, grow bigger, fatter, taller, and then skinnier, and then wider, transforming into something completely different! When the bear had finished shifting its original form, it was a completely different looking creature. It hovered in the air and floated closer to us, looking like some kind of a creepy doll, its mouth seeming to have some kind of a zipper across it!
“Oh, no!” June cried.
The creature blinked and stared at us angrily. With a loud, angry cry, it cupped its claws in front of it and formed a black ball of energy, sparking with what looked like black electricity.
“Is that… Shadow Ball?” I asked in horror.
“Gary RUN!” June grabbed my hand and yanked me out of the way as the object was thrown at us.
The dark ball hit the ground with a BANG! smoke billowing from the ground.
The monster let out another scream and flew at us, forming another ball between its claws.
“What is that?” I asked loudly, shocked, unable to move, interested in what this thing was, yet terrified of it at the same time.
“It’s a Banette!” June pulled me again, running.
I ran behind her, June not letting go of my wrist. “Banette? What’s a Banette??”
“That thing’s a Pokemon? So it is using Shadow Ball!”
“Yes, Gary! That’s Shuppet’s evolved form!” June said impatiently, pulling me hard, urging me to keep on running. “That must’ve been what cried out before entering the bear!”
“Entered the bear? What’re you talking about?” I was getting tired of being pulled and trying to look back at the Banette at the same time.
June was breathing heavily, trying to make me run faster, tired of me resisting her.
“BAAAAAANETTE!” Banette screamed and threw another Shadow Ball us.
“Come on!” I grabbed June’s wrist and pulled her to the side this time, June gasping at my pull as she just narrowly avoided the Shadow Ball.
June ran by my side, eager to keep up with me.
I let go of June and turned back to the Banette. “What do you-?”Banette was gone…
I stopped running. “Where’d it go?”
June ran right past me and stopped. “Gary, what’re you doing? We have to go!” June grabbed my wrist again and pulled me. “And stop resisting me! We have to get out of here!”
“But it’s gone now, June!” I told her, still running with her but looking around.
“Don’t be stupid, Gary,” June snapped. “It’s a Ghost Pokemon. Those things are really tricky and scary. We can’t stop now!”
I knew she was right and kept running, pulling my wrist from her grip. “June, did you say that Banette entered the bear?”
“Yes,” June answered.
“Huh?” I gasped. “But, why?”
“There’s only one rea-”
“BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!” Banette burst through the trees and grabbed hold of me, pulling me into the trees.
I screamed and heard June shriek. I began to try to fight against Banette, but it let go of me and charged right into my stomach. The wind was knocked out of me and I flew out of the trees into a screaming June.
We collapsed on the ground.
I rolled off of her and grabbed my aching stomach.
“Gary!” June grabbed my arm and tried to pull me up.
“Wait!” I groaned in pain.
“We can’t, Gary! Get up!” June urged.
I couldn’t move, hunched over. I wanted to run, but I just couldn’t, unable to even breathe properly.
“Gary, please! Please!” June was pulling me as I pulled back.
I tried to hobble over to her and follow, but I was moving too slowly. “Wait!” I said loudly. “We’ll battle it!” I grabbed Charmeleon’s Poke Ball.
“BAAAAAA!!!” Banette was soaring down at us, barely visible against the dark sky, its right hand extended towards us.
“Go!” I gasped, tossing my Poke Ball.
“Charmeleon!” Charmeleon roared.
“NEEEEEETTE!” Banette hovered and sent a Shadow Ball at Charmeleon.
“MEL!” Charmeleon swiftly dodged the attack, leaping into the air.
“Flamethrower!” I grunted.
“CHAAAAR!” Charmeleon blew fire at Banette, who disappeared from view and dodged the attack, reappearing in front of Charmeleon.
“Banette BAAAAA!” Banette’s claw became outlined in a dark aura and lunged at Charmeleon, knocking him down.
He got back up, growling.
“Try Fire Fang!” I ordered, energy returning back to me.
Charmeleon leaped into the air again, fangs on fire, and bit into Banette.
Banette growled angrily and then slapped Charmeleon in the face, knocking him off of it.
“Charmeleon, you’re doing great! Let’s do another Flamethrower!”
Charmeleon got up and opened his jaws, but Banette disappeared rapidly and reappeared, tackling Charmeleon before he could attack. My Pokemon tumbled along the ground before becoming still, weary from the hit.
“Charmeleon, come on!” I demanded.
Charmeleon opened his eyes and glared at Banette, pushing himself up.
“NETTE!” Banette sent a quick Shadow Ball at Charmeleon, catching him off guard as he struggled to get up.
“MEEEEEEL!” Charmeleon was tossed into the air a few feet and came down on his back, hard. “Char…” Charmeleon moaned.
“Charmeleon! Get up! Get up, now!”
Charmeleon struggled painfully to try to stand up, managing to get to one knee, pushing himself.
“Use your-” I began to order.
“WAIT!” June interrupted.
“Huh?” I gasped.
“Char?” Charmeleon turned to look at June.
June ran in front of Charmeleon and spread out her arms, protecting him. “Banette. Please! Stop!”
“June! Get out of the way!”
Banette’s claws began to spark with electricity. They reached out and fired two beams of lightning at June, who screamed before collapsing in a heap.
“JUNE!” I ran up to her, kneeling down, and placed my hand on her shoulder. “June, are you okay?”
June stirred. She nudged my hand off of her shoulder and pushed herself up onto her knees shakily, glaring up at Banette with her shocked, red hair stick up through the air. “Banette! We’re not your owners!”
June’s words had completely lost me. I wasn’t convinced she was even aware of what she had just said.
Banette glared down at June.
Tears flowed down June’s cheeks. “Please! Stop... I don’t know who did this to you, and I’m sorry it happened, but please, don’t attack us, Banette,” June pleaded.
Banette continued to leer at us.
“Gary, call back Charmeleon,” June said, exhaustion and sadness in her voice.
“Just do it!” June shouted impatiently.
I glared at her but returned my exhausted yet confused Charmeleon back to his Poke Ball. “June, what’s going on here?”
“Shuppet is the Pokemon we heard when we were staring at the bear,” June told me, not taking her eyes off of Banette. “Shuppet evolve through leveling up. But Shuppet can also evolve into Banette by possession of a doll. A doll that’s been tossed by a child. A neglected doll. Shuppet will possess one and seek revenge against the child who tossed it away.””WHAT?” I pulled out my Pokedex to check out what it had to say about this.
Shuppet. The Puppet Pokemon. Shuppet love to be around humans, feeding off of negative energy.
Banette. The Marionette Pokemon and the evolved form of Shuppet. When a Shuppet possesses a doll thrown away by a child, it harbors a grudge and seeks revenge against the child, ultimately evolving into a Banette.
I couldn’t believe it. Staring at Banette in shock, I swallowed hard. “S-s-s-so, it’s been attacking us, thinking we’re the previous owners?” I muttered.
“I’m not sure,” June answered. “Banette may just be angry and is just attacking angrily at anything and anyone.”
“BANETTE BANETTE BANETTE!” Banette suddenly charged at June and swung its claws at her!
June screamed and curled up as Banette kicked and punched, clawed and bit at June’s body!
“HEY!” I tackled Banette but flew right through it, crashing to the hard ground. I got back up, rage building in me as I heard June crying and screaming underneath Banette’s attacks. I grabbed a Poke Ball, ready to battle this thing and beat it once and for all.
“A neglected doll...” June’s words rung in my ear.
It harbors a grudge…
The words from my Pokedex rang clear in my mind.
“Banette…” I whispered to myself, and then put the Poke Ball back on my hip.
June kept on screaming as I stared at Banette for a moment longer, finally walking over to it and kneeling down as it jumped up and down on June’s back.
“Banette!” I waited for the angry marionette.
Banette turned to me and stopped jumping, watching me angrily, suspiciously.
“Banette,” I repeated. “Don’t be mad at your previous owner.”June managed to look up at me, her face covered in tears, her mouth hanging open in shock, her eyes wide.
Banette eyes squinted in distrust.
“I don’t know who your previous owner was, Banette,” I told it. “I only know that you can’t be mad at that kid forever. Maybe they just grew up. Maybe they grew tired of you. But you can’t harbor hurt feelings for the world over this. All people aren’t bad. Your owner had no idea how hurt you would be when tossing you out.”Banette may have never known the teddy bear’s previous owner, but somehow, when Shuppet took over the bear and evolved into Banette, it must have felt the previous owner’s love for the bear. Maybe it could somehow pick up the fun times the previous owner and the bear shared. Banette had taken it upon itself to find vengeance for the bear who was unable to do so itself, being an inanimate object.
I spoke to Banette as if it were the bear itself. As if it had known the previous owner, because, in a sense, it did now.
Banette stood on top of June, June still whimpering, listening, watching me intently.
“Banette, there are many bad people in this world. But there are many good people in this world, too,” I continued. I sat down on the ground and stared deep into Banette’s eyes. I took a long, deep, shaky breath. “I had a good friend who I loved with all of my heart. Her name was Aly. She was a great, incredible, wonderful, beautiful person. She and I encountered some bad people who had weapons. Aly wasn’t afraid, though. She faced them and told them that what they were doing was wrong.”
“Oh, Gary,” June whispered, tears flowing faster down her face, sniffling.
“Those bad people felt Pokemon weren’t good,” I explained. “They disregarded them as creatures without feelings or reason. They didn’t care about Pokemon at all. Pokemon; creatures who are good. Creatures who are similar to people in so many ways. These bad people felt that Pokemon were all evil. Aly knew they were wrong and stood up to them, telling them that humans and Pokemon should be together, helping one another, loving each other, being of aid to each other. She argued that Pokemon weren’t evil and were creatures that deserve to live like any human does. She died for her beliefs.””Baaa…?” Banette’s zipped mouth turned down in sadness, its eyes wide. Suspicion was gone from its face as it listened to me.
“Aly was killed by those people, but she won’t ever be forgotten. I’ll keep her memory alive. And you can, too, Banette. By living how Aly died believing. You’re better than this, Banette. Just because your owner was bad, doesn’t mean you have to be. And it doesn’t mean everyone else is bad, either.””Baaaa… Baaaanette Baaaa!” Banette cried, wiping its eyes.
June was crying underneath Banette quietly, her eyes closed.
“You know what Aly told those evil people, Banette?” I asked it.
“Nette. Nette.” Banette shook its head.
“She said, ‘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?’ We have to fight for what we believe in, and we have to make sure we’re fighting for the right thing.” I stared into Banette’s watering eyes and smiled.
Banette finally walked off of June’s back and sat on the ground, crying loudly like a little baby.
June sat up and stared sympathetically at Banette, rubbing her back.
I smiled down at the Pokemon.
Banette rubbed its eyes and looked up at me, and then to June. “Nette. Banette,” it said to June.
“It’s okay, sweetie,” June smiled.
Banette turned to me, a mournful look on its face.
“What should we do, Gary?” June asked.
I kept my eyes on Banette. “I’m not sure. How about we walk for a while and try to give ourselves some time to just… think?” Taking a deep breath, I got to my feet.
June stared at me before standing up herself.
Banette floated into the air and hovered.
The three of us then walked in silence, dwelling on what occurred.
“HEEEEEEEELLP!!!!” Aly shrieked at the top of her lungs.
Kiwi, Robin, and I turned in a panic, gasping. “ALY!” we screamed, running to her, stopping short several feet.
An enormous snake Pokemon had Aly in its grasp, Aly crying.
“Oh, no!” Kiwi cried. A look of determination came over her face as she took the first step closer to Aly, joined immediately by me and Robin. Kiwi crept closer.
“Kiwi, be careful,” Robin warned.
Kiwi moved slowly as the enormous snake, Seviper, warily eyed her, its tongue slithering out at her. With rapid speed, Seviper let go of Aly and in less than a second, had Kiwi in its grasp, hissing at me and Robin as it towered over us. Its body wrapped up as high as to cover her mouth.
“AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!” With a loud screech, Aly leaped on top of Seviper from behind and sank her teeth into its neck!
“SSSEEEEEEEEVIPERRRRR!” Seviper hissed out in pain and released Kiwi.
Robin and I ran to Kiwi and helped her up.
Kiwi seemed to be in a shocked daze but turned around to see Aly gripping Seviper with her hands and teeth.
Seviper flung Aly off and slithered away, out of my backyard, through the gate, and into the neighbor’s yard next door.
“We have to tell my mommy and daddy!” I said urgently. “So they can warn the neighbors!”
Robin and Aly nodded.
“Are you okay, Kiwi? Aly?” I asked.
Aly nodded, looking petrified and shaken.
Kiwi nodded and smiled. “What a thrill! It touched me!” she said excitedly.
We all stared at her like she was crazy before running into my house to tell my parents.
“Hey, look!” June’s voice broke my thoughts.
I looked up and saw that a town lay before us, soon after realizing that a smile was on my face. I hadn’t smiled in so long. It felt strange. I pulled out my Town Map. “This seems to be Innocence Town. This isn’t far off from Dark City.”
Banette was looking around curiously.
We walked through, staring at the houses that lined the block. There were only about three houses on every block, and I could already see the beginning of yet another forest from where we were. We’d be out of here in no time. As we crossed the street, I could see that down the block to my left and right were even more houses leading a long way into town. Perhaps the town was bigger than I had thought.
“Quiet, huh?” June commented.
“Yeah, duh,” I muttered.
June looked over at me and then quickly turned away when I stared back. She seemed to smile a little bit as she gazed around.
I turned away and focused on the forest up ahead.
A door from a house we walked past, opened.
June, Banette, and I turned to see a little girl run out. “It’s him, mommy! It’s him!” the girl screamed out.
Someone yelled from inside the house as the girl ran up to us.
She wore a flowing white nightgown, her long red hair reaching down her back. Her blue eyes seemed to shimmer as she looked up innocently at me. She couldn’t have been older than seven, if that.
A growl made me and June turn around.
Banette was glaring at the girl. “BAAAAAA!!! BANETTE BANETTE BANEEEEEETTE!!!!”
June and I were suddenly lifted into the air and flung in opposite directions!
I cried out painfully with June as we landed.
Banette’s claws crackled with electricity once again.
“BANETTE, STOP!” June begged desperately.
“Banette, what are you doing?” I called out.
June and I ran to block the girl, our arms outstretched.
The electricity disappeared from Banette’s claws.
“Have you lost it, Banette?” I barked at the Pokemon. “What is wrong with you?”
“Banette, this is her, isn’t she?” June asked softly, a strong, determined look on her face.
“Huh? Who?” I asked, turning to June.
Suddenly, I was outlined in light blue and lifted into the air, held high over Banette. “Hey! Whoa!” I stared down at the Ghost in shock.
“Banette, please, stop!” June was being held over Banette by Psychic, too.
Banette raised its claws into the air and they sparked with a bright electric burst.
The sky started to rumble and spark with lightning almost instantly.
“It’s using Thunder!” June gasped. “He might kill her with that move! Banette please! Control your anger! Please Banette, PLEASE!”
“Banette!” I tried helplessly. “Remember what Aly said! Remember what she died for! Banette!!”
“Mr. Wuzzews?” the unaware looking little girl said, looking up at Banette.
“Banette…?” Banette stopped and dropped his arms, the electricity fading.
The thunder booming and the lightning flashing above me ended abruptly.
“YAAAAA!” I was suddenly dropped to the ground!
June screamed out as she collided with the ground, too.
“Mr. Wuzzews!” the girl proclaimed with joy, reaching her little arms high into the air at Banette.
“Oww…” I sat up, rubbing knees I had landed on. “Mr. what…?”
“Rebecca!” a woman was running out of the house, a man following close behind. The woman had a matching white nightgown like the child, running in furry pink slippers, her long red hair flowing behind her.
The man was tying his black robe and running in furry brown slippers, a blue and white striped nightcap on his head.
The woman scooped up the child and hugged her. “Rebecca, what has gotten into you?” she demanded frantically, fear in her voice.
“What’s going on here?” the man had an angry look on his face as he eyed me, June, and Banette.
“Mommy, Daddy, Mr. Wuzzews came back!” the girl said eagerly, squirming out of her mom’s grip and running over to Banette in her bare feet.
“Banette…” Banette lowered himself down and Rebecca grabbed his hands in hers.
“Mr. Wuzzews! You came back! You looked for me!” Tears were running down Rebecca’s happy face, and she wrapped her arms around Banette. “I’m so sorry I lost you, Mr. Wuzzews! I don’t know how, but I’m sorry and you came back!”
I turned to June in confusion, and to my surprise, she was smiling. “We found him in the trash can in the forest outside of this town,” June explained to Rebecca.
Rebecca gasped and turned to June. “Really?” She turned back to Banette, grabbing his hands tightly. “Mr. Wuzzews, I’m so sorry! I must’ve thrown you out by accident somehow! I wasn’t paying attention somehow! But I didn’t do it on purpose! It was an accident! I promise!” She shook her head hard, tears flying from her cheeks as they continued running down the sides of her face. “I looked for you for days! I didn’t mean to lose you!” She hugged Banette again.
Banette hugged her back, tears silently streaming down his face. “Banette…”
I was still confused by all of this and turned to June, hoping to find an answer.
June was still smiling down at Rebecca and Banette as if everything made complete sense.
“That’s not Mr.... Fuzzels,” the man whispered to the woman, confused.
“I know,” she whispered back, seeming just as confused.
Suddenly, Banette started to glow black, shifting and transforming, morphing in the girl’s arms! The glow faded and Banette looked like the teddy bear we saw in the trash can again!
The parents gasped in shock.
I gasped as well.
June watched calmly.
The teddy bear began to glow black and morph again in the girl’s arms, turning back into Banette!
June stood up and walked over to the parents. “You have a very gifted child,” she whispered with a huge smile.
“Banette will now live on in that doll as Mr. Fuzzels. He can change his form back and forth at will between Pokemon and doll,” June explained as we walked through the dark forest at such a late hour. “That girl has a wonderful gift to read Pokemon and see through to their hearts. She knew Banette was her doll the very moment she saw him. She understood immediately. Just, wonderful!”
June and I had left Innocence Town, bidding Rebecca, her parents, and Mr. Fuzzels, goodbye.
I was still confused about exactly what had occurred there, so June explained for me.
Banette was going to continue to live with Rebecca, which her parents didn’t seem too thrilled about. He promised to behave, although, for a Ghost Pokemon, who knew what that meant...
Though still confused, I reminded Banette about Aly and what she died for, her beliefs, and her inner goodness. I asked Banette to keep that close to him and to remember her.
Banette agreed happily.
Now, we were on our way to Dark City. There was a couple of feet of distance between us as we traveled quietly.
“Hey, wait a second!” June approached a tree.
I joined her and saw that a poster was stapled to the trunk.
A MISSING poster. A young boy with wavy black hair and an eager smile looked out at us.
“He’s been missing since last month,” June knew from reading the paper.
June shook her head. “So sad…”
After a moment, we continued on the path to Dark City.
“You okay?” June asked me.
I didn’t reply, keeping my hands deep in my coat pockets.
The wind was barely blowing tonight. It was cold outside, but not too bad for this time of year.
“Gary?” June asked, and when I didn’t reply, my eyes straight ahead on the path, she didn’t ask again.
“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?”
“It won’t be much longer now, ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Robin laughed excitedly, standing in the middle of my room.
“Yeah. In just a few more months, we’ll be choosing our Starter Pokemon from Prof. Oak!” Kiwi was laying on the floor by my bed.
“This is gonna be so exciting, oh my gosh!” Aly squealed, sitting in a chair by my computer.
I was on my back on my bed, staring up at the ceiling, smiling, but my thoughts were on my sister who wasn’t doing so well on her journey, and my dad who had passed away a couple of years ago on his. I was eager to begin my journey, but it reminded me of so much sadness that was going on.
“I really wanna raise a Charmander!” Aly said brightly. “They are so cute, and that little tail flame they have is just adorable! For some reason, it makes me laugh.” She beamed brightly.
“I’d like a Bulbasaur! It’s a Poison type Pokemon! Ha ha ha ha ha! It’s the best one of them all!” Robin’s fists balled up at his face, facing us, looking ready to burst with the energy building up inside of him.
“I’ve been reading up on the Kanto Starters,” I mentioned.
“You’re always reading something, Gary,” Kiwi rolled her eyes. “Especially about Pokemon.”
“Well, why not?” I shot back. “We’re about to become Pokemon Trainers, after all. I think Squirtle is the best option. Charmander evolves into a really dangerous Charizard, but that’s a Fire type, and Blastoise are supposed to be really powerful Pokemon, and they’re Water types, so they should be able to handle a Charizard. Then again, Bulbasaur and its evolved forms are Grass types, which beats Water. But Charizard, as a Fire type, can beat Grass. And then, to make matters worse, a type advantage doesn’t guarantee a match.”
“Gee, thanks Prof. Knowledge,” Aly said sarcastically. “You spend all that time reading and this is the brilliance you come up with?”
“I’m just saying,” I snapped. “It’s a tough decision! But I think in the end, I’m gonna go with Squirtle. It’s really cute, too!”
“I wanted Squirtle!” Kiwi argued.
I turned to her.
She stared back. “Hey…” she said thoughtfully. “There’s four of us going for three Pokemon…”
Everyone’s attention turned to Kiwi, realization dawning on us.
“How are we gonna distribute three Pokemon amongst the four of us?” Kiwi finished.
Everyone was quiet for a while.
“Maybe Prof. Oak will have two of each, so the final person can choose whatever they want!” I suggested.
“Or maybe he’ll have a new Pokemon other than the Kanto Starters!” Robin suggested. “Or another region Starter! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Why are you always laughing?” Aly asked, giving Robin a suspicious look. “Like, what is always so funny to you?”
“What’s wrong with laughing?” Robin asked with a huge smile. “I heard if you laugh a lot, you’ll live longer! Ha ha ha ha!”
“I don’t think that means laugh with every breath you take, you butt.”
Robin stuck his tongue out at her.
“Well, whatever happens, we have to make sure we all get at least eight Badges and all compete in the Kanto Pokemon League,” I said.
“Yeah, Gary!” Kiwi agreed. “We all have to make it so I can beat you all and say I defeated truly tough competitors. So make sure you’re all strong so my victory against you all is at the Pokemon League in front of millions.”
“Yeah, right,” Aly waved nonchalantly. “My team of Pokemon will be the best ones and you’ll all be kissing my butt as I stand on the podium as the winner and you guys will be applauding me humbly, tears in your eyes from my incredible victories during the tournament. You peasants.”
We all laughed.
“Whatever happens, we’ll do our best.” I reached out my hand. “One.”
Aly stood up and walked over. She placed her hand on top of mine. “Two.”
Kiwi placed her hand on top of Aly’s. “Three.”
Robin walked over and placed his hand on top of Kiwi’s. “Four.”
“KANTO!” we all cheered, throwing our hands in the air.