A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

By QBOak

Adventure / Drama

The Dawn Before The Storm

“Aurora sure sounds mean.” June sipped from a bottle of water.

“She’s strong, that’s for sure.” I shoved a soft, oatmeal raisin cookie into my mouth.

“It’s one thing to be strong,” June added as she lowered the bottle from her lips. “It’s another to just be a brutal Trainer. She sounds like she’s very hard on her Pokemon.”

“I’m not sure,” I said after swallowing my cookie. “I’ve never seen her train before. I’ve only encountered the results.”

“Four years...” June muttered. “That’s an incredible record.”

“Yeah. And it’s been about a year almost since we last battled.”

“You think she’s been beaten, yet?” June looked at me seriously.

I smiled, staring back. “I hope not. I want to be the one to take her down.”

June’s expression didn’t change. “Whether she’s been beaten or not, it’ll be a great accomplishment to finally beat her. I know you can do it, Gary.”

“Thanks, June. Both me and my Pokemon have grown a lot since the last time I was in Pewter City. She won’t be facing the same Trainer or Pokemon.”

June nodded. “But Gary, I hope you won’t be using Charizard or anything against her. You need to be smart about this. You can’t just win off of willpower. Based on what you told me about her, you really will need to have both strength and a good plan to overcome her.”

My eyes lowered as I thought of how Aurora’s Graveler defeated my Charmander in our first battle. Mankey beat it but lost to Kabutops, even though he had evolved. Primeape and Charmander were both beaten by Graveler in the second round. During the last fight, Hoothoot was taken out by Graveler, but Primeape beat it, losing to Kabutops in the end. I looked up at June. “We’ll be smart, and strong, in my next battle with her.”

June nodded, a worried look on her face.

June, me, and all of our Pokemon were sitting together in a clearing in the woods, eating breakfast.

June wasn’t too hungry and drank from her second bottle of water.

I was eating soft baked cookies, which June scolded me for when I took the box out.

Our Pokemon ate from their food bowls eagerly as I answered June’s inquiries about my upcoming Gym battle.

“Gary, who do you intend on using? If I may ask...”

I looked into June’s eyes and then gazed up at the sky before finally letting out a sigh. “To be honest, June, I have no idea.”

“Oh,” June said shortly.

“I’d like to use Charizard,” I said, looking at him.

Charizard looked up at me at the mention on his name and stared at me expectantly.

“Gary!” June cried angrily. “You have to stop that! You did this with Cleopatra! You can’t keep trying to create a win by building off of past feelings. It won’t get you through. Aurora is clearly too skilled for that!”

“I’m not!” I shot back, turning to June. “I mean...” I lowered my eyes. “I’m not sure what I’ll do.”

“Gary, you don’t have much time left, right? You are so worried about making it to the Pokemon League in time. Don’t waste time. Think smart and win fast. You’re only one Badge away!” June smiled kindly. “It’s been such an amazing journey with you. I’ve truly enjoyed our time. I’m really excited for the Pokemon League competition to start. I think you have the potential to win the entire thing. I truly believe in you.”

“Wow. Thank you, June.” I smiled shyly.

June smiled even wider and giggled, her eyes crinkling in delight.

“IVYSAUR!” Ivysaur shouted.

With a gasp, June and I tore our gaze away from each other.

A food bowl soared through the air and slammed into Electivire’s face!

“TIVIIIIRE!” Electivire stumbled back from the hit.

“Ivysaur!” I yelled at her. “What do you think you’re doing??”

Ivysaur growled and was covered in a gold aura. She charged at Electivire and attacked with Double-Edge.

“Vire!” Electivire leaped out of the way. He raised a fist and used Fire Punch.

“Saur!” Ivysaur cried as she leaped backwards, dodging the attack.

All of our other Pokemon had backed away, watching silently.

Primeape was hopping in place with excitement, screeching loudly, swinging constantly at the air, urging the battle on.

“You two, cut it out!” I ordered.

“Electivire, stop it!” June begged.

Ivysaur used Vine Whip and Electivire crouched down and leaped over the vines that tried to wrap around his legs.

Electivire’s horns sparked and a beam of lightning fired from them.

Ivysaur leaped to the side to avoid getting hit.

“Ivysaur, return!” I held out her Poke Ball.

Ivysaur jumped over the beam of red light.

“Ivysaur, stop it!” I tried to return her again.

She hopped over the beam again, refusing to return.

“Ivysaur!” I growled through gritted teeth.

“Hmm.” June was holding a Poke Ball in her hand, an angry look on her face. “Gary.” She turned to me.

“Yeah?” I asked.

“How about we have ourselves a Pokemon battle?” she asked, keeping the stern face.

My eyes widened. “What do you mean?”

June’s head cocked sideways and she looked at me with disappointment. “Are you serious, Gary?”

I shrugged. “I dunno...”

June squinted at me. “Our Pokemon are battling right now. We’re their Trainers. Let’s try and connect with them during this process and get a nice battle going!”

“But, why? I mean, this isn’t how I want to battle,” I argued. “They’re not even listening to us! They’re just fighting!”

“How can we become better Trainers if we don’t learn how to control our Pokemon?” June brought up impatiently. “This is just another way for us to better ourselves, if you ask me.”

Electivire’s hands were wrapped up by Ivysaur’s Vine Whip, struggling to break free as Ivysaur struggled to keep her grip. Electivire’s horns sparked again and electricity headed for Ivysaur.

Ivysaur cried out as she was hit.

Electivire lifted his arms into the air sharply, lifting Ivysaur, who still had Electivire’s hands wrapped, into the air.

Ivysaur cried out in shock.

Her vines released Electivire and he leaped into the air, pulled back his hand, and swung at Ivysaur with Fire Punch.

Ivysaur tumbled through the air, calling out painfully and slamming to the ground at the same time that Electivire landed. My Pokemon got up quickly, shaking her still bandaged head.

Primeape was doing flips in the air from the excitement of the battle, calling out loudly.

Electivire ran at Ivysaur and pulled his fist back again.

“SAUUUUUUR!” Ivysaur used Razor Leaf.

The leaves attacked Electivire and he was forced back and fell.

“Electivire, get up and use Thunder Wave to Paralyze Ivysaur!” June ran up behind her Pokemon, glaring at him, a fist raised in determination.

“Vire?” Electivire turned to June.

June smiled and nodded. “Let’s do it, Electivire! And this time, let’s do it together! Thunder Wave!”

“ElectiVIIIIIIRE!” Electivire roared and shocked June with an Electric move.

June wailed out and dropped, twitching, her hair sticking up.

Electivire kept his eyes on Ivysaur.

He still won’t listen to her, I thought. I turned to Ivysaur, who stood glaring at Electivire. I ran behind her and yelled, “Use your Sweet Scent!”

“Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy Ivy!” Ivysaur chanted, her bulb glowing a bright yellow. The yellow glow rose from her bulb and into the air, brightening the sky.

My body began to immediately itch and feel uncomfortable against a sudden heat. “Sunny Day?” I gasped.

“SAAAAUUUUR!” Ivysaur’s bulb glowed again and started firing Solar Beam at Electivire.

Electivire snarled sharply as he was hit. He was hit once again with another Solar Beam, tossed into the air and then crashing down.

Ivysaur fired a continuous barrage of Solar Beams at Electivire!

Electivire was hit a third time and thrown through the air. Another attack aimed at Electivire as he slammed down, but he got to his feet and leaped over it. From the air, another Solar Beam shot at him, but Electivire pulled back his fist and with a loud scream, used Fire Punch at the Solar Beam! An explosion tossed Electivire back and smoke blocked both Pokemon from view.

As it cleared, I spotted the two Pokemon, breathing heavily, glaring at each other.

Primeape was cheering excitedly, though for who, I had no idea. He cheered despite the sweltering heat.

“Electivire, use your Thunder attack!” June urged as she got shakily to her feet.

Electivire growled and ran forward, vanishing and reappearing in various spots as he neared Ivysaur.

“Ivysaur, watch out!” I called.

Ivysaur was hit the the Quick Attack, rolling on the ground.

“Ivysaur, get up and use Solar Beam again!”

Ivysaur got to her feet, growling at Electivire. She yelled her name repeatedly and fired multiple Solar Beams at Electivire!

Yes! She’s listening now! I cheered on the inside. I think...

Electivire ran and leaped and dodged the Solar Beam attacks.

Ivysaur kept up the attacks as Electivire kept dodging.

“Ivysaur, use Sweet Scent right now!”

Ivysaur continued to use Solar Beam, growling while focusing on Electivire’s movements, trying to hit him.

“Ivysaur, I said to use Sweet Scent! Now do it!” I ordered strongly, wiping sweat from my face.

Ivysaur continued to ignore me, firing at Electivire who continued to evade the hits.

“Electivire, Ice Punch!” June spoke up.

The balls on the end of Electivire’s antennae sparked and Electivire’s body was covered in electricity. A powerful blast of electricity struck Ivysaur as Electivire was hit with a Solar Beam.

Both Pokemon roared out from the impact they took.

“Electivire! I didn’t tell you to use Thunder this time!” June wore a hurt look, sweating dripping to the ground from her tired face.

Ivysaur and Electivire shook their heads and then growled at each other.

“Ivysaur, listen to me!” I tried.

Ivysaur ran towards Electivire, her body glowing a bronze color, her body surrounded by a golden energy, as she ran at Electivire and used Take Down.

Electivire reached out and grabbed Ivysaur. He was forced back and struggled against Ivysaur, groaning as Ivysaur forced him back. Electivire’s eyes glowed red as they focused on my Pokemon.

Ivysaur glared back.

“Electivire’s using Leer attack,” I muttered. I knew that Leer would lower Ivysaur’s Defense.

Electivire suddenly gripped Ivysaur even tighter and tossed her into the air.

Ivysaur cried out in surprise.

Electivire leaped up right after her. His body was surrounded by a red aura and he pulled back a fist, swinging it forward, and hit Ivysaur in the stomach.

Ivysaur grunted hard and tumbled back, colliding hard with the ground and raising up dust. She croaked weakly on her back, her eyes closed.

“Ivysaur!” My breathing was hard against the intense humidity. I wasn’t sure what to do. I could return her, but this was a battle. Neither Pokemon were listening to their Trainers, but it seemed wrong to just return Ivysaur like this. I decided I had to encourage her. “Ivysaur, get up!”

Ivysaur’s eyes opened and she stared at me. She closed her eyes again, groaning.

“VIRE! Electivire!” Electivire barked at Ivysaur, looking at her eagerly.

Ivysaur’s eyes shot open. She looked at Electivire. Growling, she forced herself to her feet and shook her head. “Saur...”

“TiVIIIIIIRE!” Electivire hit Ivysaur with another Electric shock from his horns.

Ivysaur was forced down to a lower position as she held on, not giving up, and the intense heat suddenly faded, the sunlight fading, Sunny Day finally ending.

Cooler air swirled around my body, though it was still fairly hot outside.

Ivysaur likes to keep things fair, I told myself. Especially when the battle is with the right opponent. She knows Electivire is strong. She doesn’t want to use any moves like Stun Spore or Sweet Scent. She wants it to be a straight up battle of strength. Electivire must want it the same way. He won’t do Thunder Wave and just Paralyze Ivysaur. “Ivysaur, let’s show Electivire who’s the stronger Pokemon!” I said loudly. “Use your Vine Whip, now!”

Ivysaur didn’t budge.

“Electivire, this battle is already won!” June added. “Use Thunder Punch and show that Ivysaur what you’ve got!”

Electivire stayed still.

“Electivire, come on! Stop this disobedience already!”

Electivire ran forward, using Quick Attack again. He slammed his head into Ivysaur, tossing her back.

“Ivysaur, use Leech Seed, right now!” I said firmly. “Just do it! Listen to me and attack and we’ll win this!”

Ivysaur used Double-Edge and Electivire attacked back with Ice Punch, hitting her right in her bandaged forehead.

A stunned look was plastered on her face as she was quickly surrounded by ice and hit the ground, coming to a complete stop, Frozen.

“Ivysaur!” I couldn’t believe it! We can’t lose! My face hardened as I kept my eyes on my Pokemon.

Electivire smiled broadly and stomped towards Ivysaur.

“Ivysaur, come on!” I pleaded.

Electivire got closer to Ivysaur.

Ivysaur remained Frozen.

Electivire stopped in front of Ivysaur and sat down. He crossed his legs and closed his eyes. His body was outlined in a white glow.

“Meditate!” I recognized.

June stared at Electivire sadly, no longer giving him any more orders.

“Ivysaur, break free while you still can!” I called out to her.

Ivysaur didn’t move.

Electivire continued to Meditate.

He’s trying to end this in one more hit! I realized. We can’t lose this way. We can’t just sit around doing nothing! “Ivysaur, come on!!

Ivysaur was an icicle.

Electivire continued to use Meditate.

June glared at Electivire.

“Ivysaur, break free! Try to use Solar Beam or something to break out!”

Ivysaur remained still.

Electivire kept on using Meditate.

I tried to think of all of Ivysaur’s moves. There had to be something we could do.

June kept her eyes focused on Electivire.

Electivire kept on Meditating.

Ivysaur started to twitch in her ice block.

“Ivysaur?” My eyes widened.

June looked over at Ivysaur, shock on her face.

Electivire continued with Meditate.

Ivysaur’s body was now coated in a golden aura!

I gasped.

June stared on in awe.

Electivire’s eyes opened and he stood up. He raised a large fist which burst into an extremely large, dangerous looking flame. Standing right next to my Frozen Pokemon, he pulled his fist back and swung at Ivysaur.

The block of ice exploded loudly before Electivire could connect with it and I covered my ears, inhaling sharply.

June uttered sharply.

“SAAAAAAAAUUUUUUURRRRRR!!!!” Ivysaur had broken free of the ice and used Double-Edge as Electivire hit her with Fire Punch.

Electivire was thrown back hard, slamming into June who shrieked.

June hit the ground, Electivire laying on the ground near her.

Ivysaur flew past me, bouncing hard on the ground before coming to a complete stop.

“IVYSAUR!” I ran to her and knelt down, my hand resting on her bulb gently.

Ivysaur didn’t budge.

I looked over at June and Electivire.

June had her hand on Electivire’s back, rubbing him gently.

Electivire didn’t move.

June looked over at me and Ivysaur.

Primeape stared quietly, looking back and forth repeatedly from Ivysaur to Electivire.

“Tivire...”

“Ivysaur...”

Ivysaur’s eyes opened and she looked at Electivire.

Electivire opened his eyes and he looked at Ivysaur.

Both Pokemon got to their feet and slowly edged away from their Trainers, getting closer to each other, one slow step at a time. They stopped several feet from each other.

June had a look of fear on her face.

I stared at both Pokemon in amazement.

Both of them looked shaky, barely able to continue on, but neither Pokemon looked ready to give up.

I looked at June.

June kept her eyes on our Pokemon.

“SAUR!” Ivysaur used Vine Whip.

“ELECTIVIRE!” He hit Ivysaur with Thunder. Electivire was smacked in the shoulders with Vine Whip.

Both Pokemon moaned from the impact they took.

When the Thunder ended.

When Vine Whip returned back to Ivysaur’s bulb.

Both Pokemon continued to growl, glaring at each other.

“This is enough!” June looked ready to cry. The look on her face was a sign that this was enough.

It made me want this to stop so she wouldn’t look so sad. “I agree!” I said solemnly.

“Electivire, return!”

“Ivysaur, enough! Come back!”

“VIRE!”

“SAUR!”

Electivire used Thunder on Ivysaur.

Ivysaur used Razor Leaf on Electivire.

Both Pokemon dodged the attacks, leaping into the air. They both also avoided the red beams that would have returned them to their Poke Balls. They both landed, not taking their eyes off of each other.

June’s eyes widened as she gasped. “They attacked each other!” June said shakily. “They attacked... so they would dodge and not be returned! Gary, they’re not going to stop battling!”

“They have to stop!” I insisted. “They have to stop, because we, as their Trainers, ordered them to! Ivysaur, I said to return!!” I tried to get Ivysaur back in her Poke Ball.

Electivire used Thunder on Ivysaur again.

Ivysaur dodged both the attack and the red beam from her Poke Ball meant to return her.

I growled angrily, gripping my Poke Ball hard.

Electivire used Quick Attack and Ivysaur intercepted with Double-Edge. Both Pokemon were forced back. Groaning sorely, they both struggled to their feet, neither giving in, refusing to go down.

I couldn’t bare to watch this any longer. I wanted Ivysaur back in her Poke Ball! Forget about the pride the two Pokemon were clinging to. This was too much for a Pokemon Trainer to bare watching his Pokemon go through.

June watched on, her eyes watering.

I bared my teeth, unsure of what to do.

Electivire and Ivysaur never lost eye contact.

There was a sudden rustling of grass that snatched my attention.

June turned at the same time.

We gasped in shock, gaping, stunned.

The figure stepped out from the trees and stepped in the middle of our Pokemon!

Ivysaur and Electivire looked up at the young boy in surprise.

“Return your Pokemon!” the kid ordered, looking directly at me.

I couldn’t move at first, but finally, I shook my head and held out Ivysaur’s Poke Ball. “Return!”

“Come back!” June joined in.

Both of our Pokemon were returned.

Primeape growled angrily, clearly upset by the interruption.

The kid smiled at me. “That battle wasn’t going to produce any true winner. It was just a brutal battle of strength between two hard headed Pokemon.”

I swallowed hard at him.

June blinked several times, not seeming to believe who stood before us.

“Lucky I was in the area, huh? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” Robin laughed loudly.

“ROBIN!” Despite how serious things had been for a while, I couldn’t help but smile broadly.

“HA!” June ran to Robin, wrapping him in a hug from behind.

Robin was still facing me. His eyes widened and he struggled in June’s grip to face her. “JUNE!” He hugged her back. “How have you been, my dearest June?”

“Robin! You wonderful, wonderful sweetheart, you!” June laughed, hugging him harder.

“June! My love! My darling! I’m so glad to have found you again!” Robin let out. “To lay my eyes upon such beauty as yours once again. And hopefully, for the rest of my life!”

“Huh?!” June’s eyes bulged in shock. She tried to back away, but Robin held onto her.

“Don’t leave me again, my precious, beloved white dove of mine!” Robin mused. “Stay by my side from this day forth! Allow me to show you a love unknown and unmatched. Allow me the chance to give you my heart if you’ll so accept it. June, my world. June, my universe. June, my sky, stars, moon, sun, and reason to be happy! My better half. My completed circumference. My utmost desire. The pure snow that covers the ground giving hope to a pure, clear tomorrow. June, the sunlight that distinguishes summer from the other seasons and delivers a welcome cheer from people around the globe. June, the cool breeze from a spring season that allows lovers to traverse in the parks, holding hands and snuggling their faces close to show signs of affection, offering the warmth of love. My June, the rest from a summer’s heat in the autumn that allows the children to play in the fallen leaves and create memories, forevermore enjoying that which defines life for-OOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!! STOPSTOP!!! I GET IT!!! STOP!!!”

I tugged Robin by his ear away from June as he screamed out. “She gets it, Robin.” I finally let go of him.

Robin scowled at me, rubbing his ear. He wore a short sleeved, black T-shirt and dark blue jeans. His white sneakers looked brand new.

“It’s good to see you again, Robin!” I winked with a nod.

“Yeah,” Robin muttered, scowling at me, still rubbing his ear. He finally smiled. “How’ve you been, Gary?”

“Alright,” I said happily. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, I’ve been continuing my training,” Robin told me. “Isn’t it like... a month or so to the Pokemon League? It’s almost time! I decided to train a little bit more closer to home.”

“Have you earned any more Badges?”

Robin shook his head. “Nah. I still have nine. I’m really just raring to get to the Pokemon League competition. Me and my Pokemon are gonna be a real challenge. I hope you’re ready.”

I lowered my head. “Almost,” I muttered. “Just one more Badge away. I’m headed for Pewter City to challenge Aurora.”

Robin grunted. “Hmph. I actually just came from there. I lost twice.”

I gasped. “Really?”

Robin closed his eyes and nodded. “I’m far from being a Pokemon Champion. I have quite the way to go. I was swept by her pretty badly.”

My heart beat in my chest hard. Robin was swept by Aurora. Did I stand a chance?

“If that’s who your final Gym battle is going to be against, I wish you the best of luck, Gary,” Robin said sternly.

I didn’t reply. I just stared at him in disbelief, my mouth hanging open.

Robin stared back solemnly.

I came back down to Earth and shook my head. “I’m going to win, Robin,” I told him firmly. “You’re welcome to come and watch.”

Robin shook his head. “No, thank you. I have training to do. I may challenge her again later, but right now, there are more important matters at hand.”

I nodded, but didn’t speak. A thought suddenly hit me. “I saw Kiwi.”

Robin’s eyes popped and he took in a noisy, deep breath.

“She’s okay,” I told him quickly. “She’s okay.”

June made a movement behind Robin, but I didn’t focus on her. I kept my eyes on Robin.

Robin smiled, tears filling his eyes. “She’s okay?” he asked.

I nodded. “She’s fine. She’ll be at the Pokemon League. She had seven Badges the last time we spoke. I know she’ll be at the Pokemon League. I can’t wait to battle her. And I know you can’t wait, either. And neither of you will stop me from winning the entire competition.” I smiled challengingly.

Robin smiled back with determination. “Yeah. We’ll battle our hardest and be the top three in the entire competition. You, me, and Kiwi. I’ll be the winner!”

“We’ll see, Robin!” I responded welcomingly.

We stared at each other for while, neither of us blinking.

I relaxed after a while and straightened up, my smile fading.

Robin took a deep breath and let it out, still smiling.

“Robin...”

“Gary?” he asked, his smiling disappearing.

“Robin...” I started. “How’s... Catherine?”

He didn’t reply, only staring at me coldly. After a bit, he nodded. “Catherine is doing well,” he spoke softly. “You’ll see her at the Pokemon League.”

I smiled and then nodded. “Yeah. You bet. I knew you wouldn’t really get rid of her.”

Robin closed his eyes and nodded, smirking. “You also think you know everything.” He chuckled.

I laughed a little, maybe even slightly uncomfortably.

Robin opened his eyes and stared into mine, his smile gone now. “You know a lot, Gary. You’re a pretty smart guy. I didn’t get rid of Catherine. And I’m sorry for how I treated you the last time.”

“No, Robin,” I waved off, shaking my head. “It’s okay, man.” I extended my hand and smiled. “We’re still friends, and always will be. If anything, Pokemon will only keep us even closer, not separate us.”

Robin smiled and gripped my hand tight.

We squeezed as hard as we could, our eyes locked. Our grip finally released, but our eyes didn’t move.

“Well, I should be going. You better make it all the way, Gary. I expect you, or Kiwi, to be my final battle. I expect you both to make it far. We can’t battle early on. We have to make it far, and then battle at the end. Two of us three. For Aly.”

My eyes widened at the mention of her name. I smiled to try and override my watering eyes and blinked hard. “For Aly, we’ll be the winners of this competition. No matter what.”

Robin smiled and nodded. His eyes began to tear up. He quickly turned away. “Good luck, Gary.” He ran away from me and into the woods.

Porygon-Z let out a loud shriek and soared after Robin. With a louder wail, it shivered in the air, sparking with electricity.

“PORYGON-Z!” I screamed desperately.

Porygon-Z hit Robin with Thunder attack!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!” Robin bellowed. Once the attack ended, his temporarily hovering body finally fell.

I ran to Robin and knelt down beside his sparking body.

“W-w-w-what did I-I d-d-d-d-d-dooo?” he asked, shivering.

I turned to Porygon-Z angrily. “Bad, Porygon-Z!”

To my surprise, Porygon-Z didn’t show any remorse or start to cry. It just continued to stare at Robin.

“Return!” I returned the Pokemon to its Poke Ball.

June was staring in shock at Robin.

“Hey, you okay?” I asked him.

Robin shook his head, still sparking, and got to his feet. He chuckled. “Was that your Pokemon?”

I nodded. “Robin, I’m so sorry!” I apologized. “It’s really kind of hard to control. Please, forgive me!”

Robin laughed in a pained tone. “It’s cool, Gary. I’m just impressed that you even own one of those things! That’s a really rare catch!”

“Yeah, I know,” I laughed lightly.

Robin shook his head, closing his eyes. He opened them and looked at me gently. “Gary, you make sure you’re ready when we battle again at the Pokemon League.” Without another word, he ran away from me, disappearing into the trees. The sound of his footsteps was still clear, but after a minute, it was silent.

We all stared after him, nonetheless.

I let out a breath of air and smiled, grabbing everyone’s attention, tears dripping from my eyes. My gaze rose to the sky and I repeatedly inhaled the surrounding fresh air deeply.

Robin, Kiwi, and I will be competing, and we’ll all make the top three. For Aly. There’s no doubt of that. Nothing will stop us.

I wiped my eyes and then looked down.

June was staring at me sadly.

Our Pokemon were watching June and I silently.

Charizard grunted quietly.

Primeape stared into my eyes.

Hoothoot didn’t move, looking at me.

Butterfree hovered in the air, flapping her wings, eyes on me.

“Return!” I returned my Pokemon to their Poke Balls.

Once June returned her Pokemon and we cleaned up the area that we ate breakfast in, we left and found our way back on the path.

It was less than an hour later before I was running, June close behind me.

I could see Pewter City right before me.

It was less than ten minutes before we were in Pewter City, still running.

It was less than five minutes after that before we left our Pokemon in the Pokemon Center.

It was less than five more minutes later before June and I stood in front of the Pewter City Gym, both of us glaring at it in determination, awaiting the challenge I would face as soon as my Pokemon were fully healed.

PEWTER CITY GYM

I stared at the words engraved on the door, knowing I’d be back soon enough with my Pokemon.

Knowing that this time, the Boulder Badge was mine.

My right eye began to twitch as it always did when I was really nervous about anything.

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