From The Seed, To The League
“Well, congratulations, Gary!” Prof. Oak exclaimed with a big smile. “You’ve finally managed to get all eight Badges, and just in time. You only have until tomorrow to register. Now would be a good time to go to the Pokemon League Village at the Indigo Plateau and get yourself set up there. All participants can eat for free, and you’ll have your own room.”
“Right!” I nodded eagerly. “I can’t wait to win!”
“Just do your best, Gary. You’ll be facing some of the strongest Trainers out there. Their Pokemon will be no easy win.”
“I know, Professor. But, neither will mine. We’re definitely headed for a victory, no matter what the opponent will be!”
Prof. Oak nodded. “This inspires a poem.” His eyes closed.
Oh, no, I thought, my face dropping. What a buzzkill this is gonna be.
He raised one hand, pointing at the ceiling as he began. “Moltres; guided through skies with pride, defined through humble beauty.”
That one... almost made some sort of sense...
“OH! MY! GOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!!” June appeared in front of Prof. Oak from out of nowhere, smiling widely, a maniac’s gleam in her eyes. “A poem from Prof. Oak himself! Brand new!! Never heard before!!” She jumped up and down in place excitedly.
I sighed, closing my eyes and shaking my head.
June and I were in Prof. Oak’s mansion, talking with him about my win at the Viridian City Gym and where we’d be headed next.
Prof. Sketchit had greeted us, but suddenly said that he had something to take care of in another part of Prof. Oak’s mansion, upstairs.
I had a strong feeling he just wanted to get away from June, who was acting weird, just as she had been the last time she was here.
June greeted Prof. Sketchit by gripping his shoulders tightly and bouncing on the spot, excitedly asking him questions about Prof. Oak. When he had left, June was looking at an enormous bookshelf, pressing her right ear against the books, seeming to be listening for something. She slowly took steps, sliding against the bookshelf, keeping her ear on it. She then proceeded to lay flat on her stomach on the floor and rubbed her arms and legs on the ground, sliding along the floor.
She is so embarrassing, I had thought angrily as me and Prof. Oak watched her silently.
Now she was staring at Prof. Oak eagerly, about an inch away from their noses meeting.
Prof. Oak stared at her, backing away, his face red. “Thank you for enjoying it so much, June.” Prof. Oak forced an uncomfortable laugh.
“June, you’re making the Professor uncomfortable.” I grabbed her shoulders and pulled her back. “Sir, I thank you for your assistance. We’ll be heading over to the Indigo Plateau, now. Thank you.”
“Good luck, Gary,” Prof. Oak smiled warmly. “I’ll be sure to see you there. I always attend the Kanto Pokemon League competition. I’ll be cheering for you.”
“That’s great! Thanks, Prof. Oak! We’ll see you there.” I stepped in front of June and pushed her backwards.
She continued to smile admiringly at the Professor as she stumbled back. “Wait! Come with us, Prof. Oak!” June begged.
“Uummm...” Prof. Oak said, chuckling nervously.
“Pleeeeeeease!” June reached out for him.
I opened the front door and shoved her outside. “Thanks again,” I told the professor, and slammed the door shut.
“Aww,” June complained. She turned to me, frowning. “Why couldn’t he come with us?”
“We have to hurry up,” I said impatiently. “We don’t have time for this.”
The air was humid, but a lot cooler than it had been earlier today. The sun was beginning to set, but was still high enough in the sky to keep things lit as it beamed down on us, signs of darkness approaching in the distance.
June and I walked away from Prof. Oak’s enormous mansion and down the road, following the instructions Prof. Oak told us on how to reach the Indigo Plateau. We walked past a few houses, and the path before us gave us an option to continue forward, or take a turn to the right.
I stopped and looked down the path towards the right.
“What’s wrong, Gary?” June asked.
I didn’t reply for a moment, focusing on the road. “This is where we all lived,” I spoke softly.
I nodded. “Me, Robin, Kiwi, and Aly.”
June didn’t say anything.
“We all lived down this block.” I let out a sigh.
“Maybe we should see your mother,” June spoke slowly.
“No,” I said flatly.
“Just to see how she is,” June tried. “That argument was a few days ago. She can’t still be mad. She must have calmed down. I’m sure she’s worried about you and is ready to talk.”
“You don’t know my mom. She holds onto grudges. This one won’t die out for some time.” I turned and walked down the path before us, away from where I had once lived, anger bubbling up inside of me as I thought of my mom.
June silently followed after me.
After a while, the houses were gone and we were walking down a path lined by trees.
I stopped and turned back towards Pallet Town. The houses were soon to be far behind and out of sight. Goodbye, Pallet Town, I thought, a heavy feeling in my chest. The next time I return here, I’ll be a Pokemon Champion. I took a deep breath, let it out slowly, and turned back, leaving Pallet Town with June by my side.
“You okay?” she asked.
“I’m excited.” Unable to hold back a smile, I turned to her. “The Pokemon League is right around the corner! We really made it!”
“Yeah!” June returned my smile. “I know you’re about to clean the competition.”
“Yeah.” The competition... Robin flashed in my head. Kiwi appeared in my mind. Aly popped up, clear as day in a memory, smiling. I closed my eyes and lowered my head. The competition...
“Gary?” June’s worried voice hit me.
I opened my eyes and turned to her. “Just thinking about what’s up ahead,” I told her quietly, and looked away.
The sun was beginning to get lower in the sky, no longer beaming on us, the sky getting slightly darker.
The path began to change, becoming a grassy, widespread plain. The trees ended and it was just the two of us in the middle of seemingly nowhere. A beautiful, peaceful, grassy nowhere.
I wonder what this will be like. What kind of rules will be implemented? Some battles are just three-on-three, while others are full six-on-six matches. There are field conditions, like an Ice Field or a Grass Field. It really tests the skills of the Trainer in every way. I knew all of this from watching Pokemon League competitions in school a few times. Seeing such amazing battles between Pokemon and Pokemon, the Trainers urging them on, inspired me so strongly to be in those shoes. It looked like the coolest thing ever. I knew it was something I just had to experience for myself. I certainly wasn’t prepared for all that came with it, though.
“Hey, y’all!” a rough voice called out, interrupting my thoughts.
“Huh?” I turned and quickly spotted an older kid. He wore black jeans and a black cap forwards. His even blacker hair reached down his back. His white sneakers and T-shirt stood out. He also wore a daring smile. “Are you two on your way to the Indigo Plateau to compete in the Pokemon League?” he asked in a serious tone, but still smiling.
“We’re both going there,” I answered. “I’ll be the one competing. Why?”
The boy held up his hand, containing a Great Ball. His smile broadened. “How about a quick battle before the competition even begins? You and me. Let’s see just how good we are!”
My eyes widened for a moment, and then my lips spread into a smile. “I accept!” I grabbed my own Poke Ball and increased its size. “My name’s Gary. It’s nice to meet you.”
“My name’s Kip. How’s a full six-on-six Pokemon battle sound to you?”
“Sounds just perfect.”
“Well, I guess I can referee, then,” June spoke up, and stepped off to the side. She raised one arm in the air. “This will be a full six-on-six Pokemon battle between Kip and Gary. No time limit. Whoever defeats all of the other Trainer’s Pokemon is the winner! The battle may begin!” Her hand swiftly came down.
“Okay, I choose Kingler!” Kip threw his Great Ball hard.
A humongous crab appeared from the sturdier type of Poke Ball, its enormous pincers snapping at the air with a sharp, powerful sound like hedge clippers.
Kingler. The Pincer Pokemon and Krabby’s evolved form. Their pincers can be used as a form of communication. Because their pincers are so heavy, they tire themselves out easily.
“Okay! Ivysaur, you’re up first!” I shouted, and threw her Poke Ball.
The Poke Ball soared through the air, spinning, and finally came down to the ground. It opened. Nothing came out.
My eyes widened. “What?” I said, my heart beating fast.
Kip and Kingler stared at the Poke Ball, shocked. The Trainer looked up at me, a confused look on his face. “An empty Poke Ball? Is this some kind of a joke?”
“Empty...?” I repeated. I looked down at the Poke Ball, waiting.
June was squinting at the Poke Ball.
I slowly walked over to it and picked it up.
The contents were completely empty!
“Ivysaur?” I gasped. I looked around, half expecting to see my Ivysaur sitting around somewhere.
But she wasn’t anywhere.
June and I exchanged the same stunned glance.
“Is something wrong, here? Do you not have six Pokemon?”
“My Ivysaur!” I cried out in a panic, glancing around again. I ran around in a circle. “Wait.” I grabbed my Poke Balls and threw them all to the ground.
Charizard roared, flapping his wings and breathing fire into the air.
Primeape leaped in the air repeatedly, crying out happily.
Porygon-Z let out a happy cheer as it tumbled in the air slowly.
Kingdra looked up at me and warmly greeted me.
Butterfree circled the air.
“Wha-wha-what?” My body was trembling now.
Porygon-Z let out a shrill cry and I looked up at it. It was facing Kip.
Kip was staring joyously in awe at all of my Pokemon I had. “You have a wild collection of Pokemon, man!” His eyes froze on Porygon-Z. “How in the world did you-YAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!” Kip screamed as Porygon-Z suddenly started to spark and shocked him!
“HEY!” I barked angrily. “RETURN!”
Porygon-Z was returned and Kip was on the ground, his body sparking as he twitched painfully.
I returned my other Pokemon back and held Ivysaur’s Poke Ball. “I’m sorry about that, Kip! I’ve gotta go find my Ivysaur!” I took off, back where June and I came from.
“Gary!” June called as she ran after me. “Wait for me!”
Where is my Ivysaur? I wondered frantically. Where did she go? Why isn’t she in her Poke Ball? I ran through the field, looking around desperately.
It was a short while later before we were back on the path lined by trees.
I slowed down and looked on either side of me. She could be in the trees or something, I considered. I looked back and forth between the trees next to me before finally grabbing three Poke Balls. “Butterfree, Primeape, Charizard! Go!”
Upon being released, the three Pokemon stared at me.
“Ivysaur is missing!” I spoke seriously. “Charizard and Primeape, go in that direction through the trees and look carefully. Butterfree, come with me through here.”
Charizard and Primeape grunted. Primeape disappeared into the trees and Charizard flew into the sky, looking down from above.
I turned to June. “Stay out here! Keep watch!”
June nodded. She dropped her bag and dug through it, pulling out a Poke Ball. “Galvantula, I choose you!”
“Galvantula!” the enormous spider hissed, appearing just inches away from me.
I backed up several feet, uncomfortable eyes on the Bug.
June walked over to her and pet her head. “She has incredible eyesight. Nothing will get past her.” June smiled.
Keeping a wary eye on Galvantula, I nodded. “Come on, Butterfree!” We shot into the trees. The sky was darkening now, weak beams of sunlight streaming down around me. “IVYSAAAAUUURRRR!!” I shouted as loudly as possible. “IVYSAAAAURR!! WHERE ARE YOOOOOU??!!”
“FREEEEEE! FREEEEEEE!” Butterfree screeched out, flying behind me.
“IVYSAAAAAURR!!” What is going on here? I wondered angrily. Why? Why now? Of all times, why now?! “IVYSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUURRRRRR!!!”
I ran, low on energy.
I ran, out of breath.
I ran, angrily screaming at the top of my lungs.
I ran, no matter what, desperate to find my Ivysaur. Finally, unable to run any further, my legs gave out and I collapsed to my knees, gasping for air. “Ivysaur...” I croaked, my throat sore. “Ivysaur...” Tears soon filled up my eyes. “Ivysaur, what happened to you...?” I closed my eyes, remembering my Ivysaur.
“Awww, how sweet! Look at those eyes!” Aly cried out when she first laid eyes on Bulbasaur in Prof. Oak’s lab. “I wanna spend more time with my Bulba-baby.” Aly cuddled her Bulbasaur.
“Charmeleon!” My Charmeleon greeted Aly’s new Ivysaur when June and I had run into them in Celadon City. He looked at Ivysaur and walked over, extending his claw in friendship, smiling.
A vine came from the side of her bulb and whipped Charmeleon’s claw.
“Your Ivysaur,” June said, staring intently at Ivysaur. “She doesn’t obey you. And hasn’t since she evolved.”
“Ivysaur, use Sleep Powder!” Aly ordered during our first battle.
Ivysaur stood there, growling at Charmeleon, daring him to attack first.
“Charmeleon! Let’s try this one out!” I yelled. “Flamethrower!!!”
Ivysaur used Vine Whip! The vines flew out and wrapped themselves around Charmeleon’s jaws, preventing him from attacking!
“Ivysaur, use Sweet Scent, now!” Aly ordered during our second battle, in Fuchsia City.
“Iiiiiiivysaur!” Ivysaur charged forward with great speed and obvious power, using Take Down on Weepinbell.
“She’s still not listening to her,” I muttered.
“Ivysaur! Use Sleep Powder!”
“Ivy Ivy SAAAAUR!” A blue powder came out of Ivysaur’s bulb and began to fall upon Weepinbell.
“Tracey and I both agree that you would be the perfect person to take care of Ivysaur! Gary, I am asking you to take care of Aly’s Ivysaur!” Prof. Oak spoke very loud and clear, almost angrily, at me.
Porygon-Z made a short noise and, hovering in the air, turned itself upside down and circled around Ivysaur’s body, spinning, during their first time meeting in Dark City.
“SAUR! Ivysaur!” Ivysaur shouted angrily and used Razor Leaf on Porygon-Z.
Porygon-Z dodged left and right, spinning in all different kinds of directions, avoiding the attack easily.
Ivysaur looked at my hand I had extended in peace and friendship. Vines shot out from her bulb and whacked my shoulders, throwing me back harshly.
“Are you mad that I’m... giving everyone credit for our win?” I had asked Ivysaur after defeating Gym Leader Cleopatra.
“SAUR!” Ivysaur nodded.
“Are you expecting credit for that entire battle?!”
“SAUR!” Ivysaur had repeated.
Me and my Pokemon had all gasped in shock.
“Vysaur! Saur!” Ivysaur yelled and used Vine Whip to force me back, slamming into my shoulders, causing me to stumble off of a cliff before I was saved by Gale and her Altaria.
During my battle with Tera, after attempting to give Ivysaur an order, she instead shouted as she faced me and Vine Whipped me!
I wiped my running eyes, thinking of everything I had been through with her, feeling frustrated, hurt, confused. She always ended up doing things her way, I remembered. No matter what, she always had to end it how she wanted to end it. She occasionally would listen, but never seemed satisfied with my direction. Perhaps it’s just me...
Butterfree’s wings gently flapped in the air as she hovered above me.
It was getting pretty dark by now.
I stood up and looked around, exhausted. I don’t have time for this! Where is my Ivysaur?? Why isn’t she in her damn Poke Ball?! I continued to look around for a little bit longer, but eventually, the weight from the mixed feelings of anger, exasperation, and a lack of patience weighed me down. I turned to Butterfree.
Butterfree, close to me, stared back.
“Thank you for your help, Butterfree. Return!” I returned her to her Poke Ball and immediately took off in the opposite direction, back to the path I had left. “JUNE! CHARIZAAARD! PRIMEAAAAAAPE!!” I ran as fast as I could through the dark.
I heard someone screaming out from far away.
A Galvantula lowered itself from a white string sparking with electricity.
I backed away from it. “Galvantula?!”
“Gary!” June burst from the trees.
“Are you okay? Where’s Ivysaur?” June looked down at my feet.
“We have to head back to Prof. Oak’s,” I said with determination.
“APEAPEAPE!” Primeape suddenly screamed, appearing from the treetops, and took me down.
“Prime-!” I started.
A huge roar snatched my attention and I saw Charizard dive down from above and land near me.
“Charizard!” I said happily. “I’m glad you guys are back! Thank you both for helping. For now, return!” I returned them both to their Poke Balls and turned to June, getting to my feet.
She was staring at me with concern. “Gary, why are we going back to Prof. Oak?”
“Because I can’t find Aly’s Ivysaur,” I answered solemnly.
I slowly took a sip of tea.
June held her cup of tea by the handle, but it was still sitting on the table, on a coaster.
Prof. Oak drank from his cup, finishing it.
“Would you like some more, Professor?” Prof. Sketchit asked, standing up.
Prof. Oak simply waved his hand, his eyes closed, his face stone cold.
The assistant professor sat back down, not touching his tea which sat on a coaster on the table.
Prof. Oak sat his cup on a coaster and looked at me sternly.
June and I had made it back to Prof. Oak’s Lab and explained everything to him.
Prof. Oak’s face went from surprise at seeing us, to a hard look that still had yet to fade.
Prof. Sketchit had made us tea and we all sat with a cup in the living room around a large wooden table.
June and I sat next to each other in a big, comfy, brown sofa.
Prof. Oak sat in a large, soft brown chair.
Prof. Sketchit sat in a simple wooden chair.
We hadn’t spoken until Prof. Sketchit had asked Prof. Oak if he wanted more tea.
“I don’t blame you, Gary,” Prof. Oak said finally. “To be honest, I think I had too high hopes for you.”
I lowered my head, hurt by his words, sad that I had let down Prof. Oak.
“Ivysaur is a very strong Pokemon,” Prof. Oak told us all. “That Ivysaur is very strong, but has a lot to learn about working with others. While I had hope you would be able to tame her like you did with Charmander, I did think that perhaps something like this might happen. I’m sorry that it did.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” I said sadly, forcing myself to look up at him.
Prof. Oak’s eyes closed and he shook his head slowly. Looking at me, he spoke, “It’s not your fault. I know you tried your best and loved Ivysaur dearly. Her feelings can only be assumed. Gary, I think it’s best you go on to the Indigo Plateau and register.”
“But, what about Ivysaur?” My eyes began to water.
Prof. Oak shook his head slowly, not taking his eyes off of me. “It’s best you choose a sixth Pokemon to take with you while you’re here.”
June and I walked along a dirt path, pebbles kicked across by our feet on a near constant. We had left Prof. Oak’s place a while ago, had passed the plains where we had met Kip, and were now on a path lined lightly by trees, headed for the Indigo Plateau. June and I didn’t speak the entire trip.
The trees were replaced by a view of the water to my right, a short, white, metal barrier lining it on the path. The night sky was reflecting in the widespread waters, mountains and trees beyond the view. Mainly a lot of grass and shrubs, with a few trees as well, stretched out on the other side of the path, to my left. The water was soon blocked from view as more trees and shrubs started to line my right once again, and the road started to take a slightly uphill direction.
June and I reached the top of the hill and stopped.
June gasped, clasping her hands together, also smiling. “Gary, look at it!”
An enormous stadium sat before us. The building was all white, two sets of stairs leading up the front and ending at the very top of the roofless structure. I could just barely make out two large screens inside of the stadium itself, on opposite ends. A Poke Ball sat on the front of the building above a set of windows. In front of the building sat a set of patches of grass and large shrubs.
“Ha! I can’t believe it! We’re here!” I ran past June.
June caught up with me quickly.
“We finally made it,” I said, gazing at the building happily, awed. Beaming, I looked to my companion, June.
She was already staring at me, a thrilled look on her face.
Excitement was flowing through me. I took a deep breath, but nothing could calm me down right now as I trembled even harder, moving faster. “Come on, June! I’ve gotta register!” I bolted forward, June giving chase behind me, laughing excitedly.
We ran alongside an enormous lake, what looked like a city right behind it. As we got around the lake, we entered the enormous location filled with happy people and Pokemon with their Trainers. We slowed down our run to a walk and took it all in.
Dance music was blasting from speakers somewhere, stands selling food and souvenirs everywhere. Some young kids were chatting with each other and laughing. A few people were by themselves, either looking at Poke Balls in their hands with worried looks, or staring with a serious face at one of their Pokemon that was looking back at them.
“Look at all the Trainers, Gary,” June pointed out. “They must all be so nervous. Picking the right Pokemon for these competitions is really important.”
“Picking the right Pokemon is always important for any battle.”
“I know,” June said, sounding irritated. “But this isn’t something you can just try again at. Once you lose, that’s it! You can’t compete here again until next year.”
I nodded. “Hey, look!” I pointed at a huge building resembling a Pokemon Center. “Let’s go.” I led the way inside.
The lobby was packed with people and Pokemon.
I spotted Nurse Joy right away, sitting behind the counter. My heart started to beat rapidly as I approached her.
“Hello, and welcome to the Pokemon League Village!” Nurse Joy greeted me and June with a smile. “Are you two registering to compete in the Pokemon League?”
“Just me, Nurse Joy,” I said brightly, giving her my best smile.
“Oh, how wonderful!” Nurse Joy gushed.
“Not as wonderful as it is to be in your presence right now, Nurse Joy,” I added, my heart beating from thrill of my brave words and nervousness of the inevitable rejection.
“Oh, aren’t you sweet?” Nurse Joy blushed.
There was a sudden silence.
Nurse Joy stared at me patiently, almost expectantly.
I couldn’t think of anything more to say. My brain was struggling to stay afloat amongst the memories of all my other failed attempts at trying to woo a Nurse Joy. My heart started to beat even faster, now nervous and embarrassed at the awkwardness.
“Umm... So I guess I’ll need your Pokedex,” Nurse Joy said, staring at me lovingly.
Ask her out, ask her out, ask her out! Instead, I sighed, the confidence in me that I really had no idea where it ever came from, disappearing fast. No point in wasting my time, I replied to myself sadly. Why even bother? She’s an adult, for crying out loud. I’m ten years old. I smiled. “Here you are.” I handed her my Pokedex.
Nurse Joy turned around in her chair and placed my Pokedex in a slot in a computer. My picture showed up on the computer screen, alongside six Poke Balls.
I cringed at the image of myself.
My Pokedex slid out of the slot and Nurse Joy took it, turning around and handing me it back. “Now, if you’ll kindly show me your eight Gym Badges.”
I held out my Badge case and showed her my Badges.
Nurse Joy pulled out a small white machine shaped like a box and held it over each Badge. The machine hummed as it passed over the Badges, going silent once it was removed from them. “It’s just beyond this building. The Opening Day Ceremony will begin tomorrow morning at nine, sharp! Don’t be late!” She held something out to me.
“Thank you, Nurse Joy.” I took a white slip of plastic with a key chained to it from her. It read: 6/X. My name was on the bottom.
June and I waved goodbye to Nurse Joy and we turned to leave.
I gave her an extra couple of seconds of a glance before turning away, and her smile widened! I shook my head. Dream on, I convinced myself.
June and I found Building X pretty quickly. It was a short, wooden house that reached two stories high. We entered and found that the first floor was a short hallway with only two numbered doors, leading into what I was sure were rooms for the other competitors. June and I walked to the second floor, past three other numbered doors, and stopped at the end of the hallway in front of room 6.
I opened the door, unlocking it with my key, and walked inside.
The room was spacious enough for June and I. There were three very large bunk beds and four dressers. The bathroom was at the end of the room, the door wide open. A TV sat in the middle of the room, the flat screen hanging from the wall. A desktop computer sat on a desk in the corner, turned off, a brown, wooden chair sitting in front of the desk. By the desktop was a single, open window. A trash can sat on the floor a few feet from the computer.
I closed the door behind me and cut on the lights, blinking against the sudden brightness.
June squinted at me, smiling. “Not much longer now, huh?”
I nodded, rubbing at my eyes. “I guess not.”
I laid in bed that night, looking up at the ceiling, thinking as usual.
I was thinking about many things at once, as always.
Ivysaur was gone.
Beedrill was gone.
Aly was gone.
Kiwi was gone.
My mind swam with a flurry of memories, my body overtaken by a collision of emotions. Tears ran silently from my eyes, down the sides of my face, into my ears. I didn’t wipe them away. I just let them roll on as I continued to think.
June was sleeping peacefully in the bed she had chosen.
All the things I’ve been through, I thought, have led me to this very moment. The time has finally arrived. It’s time to take all I’ve been through and show it to the world.
Flashes of multiple times in my life, both before and during my Pokemon journey, began to pop up and vanish in my head.
I’ll do my very best, I promised. I have to.
For Beedrill. For all of my Pokemon who have gotten me this far and stuck by me.
For Prof. Oak. For June. For Robin. For Kiwi. For Aly.
I closed my eyes, my entire life playing out before me in my head, ending with me here.
In this bed.
A little less than twelve hours away from competing in the Pokemon League.