A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Open Wounds

“Gary, why are we here?” June asked, following behind me as I led her through the crowd of spectators, all sitting, awaiting the battle about to take place. “Who’s battling?”

I didn’t answer. I just scooted past the eager people to take the large spot in the bleachers to sit.

June sat next to me and stared out at the Water Field.

The field looked the same as when I had battled there yesterday. Several circular stone platforms floated in the enormous pool. Two large, metal rectangles that would raise in the air to hold the Trainers sat in the ground outside of the pool.

I had no battles for today, and June and I had left our Pokemon at the Pokemon Center so they could get some food and have a check up. Immediately after that, I took June by surprise by insisting that we head over to the Water Field, but I didn’t explain why.

“Gary, do you know who’s battling here?” June questioned. “You’re acting very strange. What’s going on?”

Ignoring June, I glued my eyes to the battlefield, waiting impatiently.

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, the next battle to take place on the Water Field is ready to go!” the announcer declared.

A Trainer stepped out from the far left of the stadium. He walked very proudly, his head high, smiling broadly. He wore a white polo shirt, light blue jeans, and white sneakers. His light blue cap on his head faced forward. He stepped onto the metal rectangle on the ground and was surrounded by barred gates from all four sides. The platform rose into the air and stopped after a few feet.

“We now welcome the Green Trainer, Sonny Rain, from Gold Town!” the referee said to loud applause.

A Trainer walked out from the far right of the field. Her light blue eyes stared straight ahead, focused. Her shiny black hair flew behind her in the light breeze. She stepped into her rectangle and the platform rose after surrounding her on all sides by gates.

“And the Red Trainer, Ashley Ein from Viridian City, has entered the field as well!” the announcer called out to the crowd’s loud approval.

My breathing got heavier as I spotted the Trainer I had first seen during the opening day ceremonies, carrying the torch containing the flame of Moltres up the stairs to light the central torch.

The Trainer who looked almost exactly like my sister, Melissa.

My vision got blurry as tears clouded my eyes. The same small lips, I thought sadly. The same light blue eyes. The exact same straight black hair. Ashley. And yet...

The referee raised a red and green flag, the red flag pointed at Ashley, and the green flag at Sonny. “Trainers! Let the battle begin!”

“Rhydon, I choose you!” Sonny threw what could have been a Safari Ball, though it was hard to confirm from way up here.

Rhydon roared loudly as it appeared, diving into the water. It disappeared under for a moment, but popped up a short while later.

“Golduck! Go!” Ashley sent out her choice Pokemon.

“Goooolduck!” Golduck stood on one of the floating, circular platforms.

I pulled out my Pokedex to scan the Golduck.

Golduck. The Duck Pokemon. While their pre evolved form, Psyduck, seem to display a lack of control over their Psychic powers, Golduck have mastered their Psychic abilities. They can communicate with humans and Pokemon through telepathy.

“Horn Drill, now!” Sonny pointed at Golduck.

Rhydon’s horn spun rapidly as it swam towards Golduck very quickly.

“Golduck, the horn!” Ashley said determinedly.

“Gol!” Golduck opened its beak, hitting Rhydon’s twirling horn with its Ice Beam.

Rhydon’s horn was hit, but kept on spinning, the Ice Beam doing nothing to interfere with the attack.

“Don’t give in, Golduck!” Ashley urged.

Golduck continued to use Ice Beam as the Rhydon got closer.

“And as this match begins, Golduck is using Ice Beam on Rhydon’s horn!” the announcer stated. “It’s not doing much to Rhydon at all as it powers forward to take out Golduck in one hit!”

Ashley continued watching as Rhydon neared Golduck, Golduck’s Ice Beam having no effect on Rhydon.

Rhydon leaped out of the water and flew at Golduck.

“DUUUUUCK!” Golduck wailed, continuing to force the Ice Beam at Rhydon’s horn.

Suddenly, Rhydon’s horn slowed down and then stopped spinning! Ice instantly coated the horn and it was no longer able to move!

Golduck closed its beak and seemed to smile, satisfied.

Rhydon landed on the platform Golduck was standing on, staring cross eyed at its horn in shock.

“Rhydon’s horn has just been frozen solid!” the announcer spoke in shock. “Golduck’s determination has won over Rhydon’s powerful move and has stopped the attack cold!”

“Future Sight!” Ashley told Golduck.

Golduck’s eyes glowed light blue as it raised a webbed hand next to the gem in the middle of its forehead, which started to glow. Golduck stood there quietly, patiently, and after a moment, its eyes stopped glowing and it lowered its hand, its gem no longer glowing.

“Now, Hydro Pump and end this!” Ashley ordered Golduck.

“Gol! DUUUUUCK!” Golduck shouted and opened its beak, releasing a huge blast of water at Rhydon.

Rhydon roared loudly as the attack hit, tossing it back off of the platform shared by Golduck and into the water, sinking fast. A short moment later, bubbles appeared at the top of the water. Rhydon surfacing, groaning weakly.

“Rhydon is unable to battle!” the referee announced, waving the red flag at Ashley. “Golduck is the winner!”

The crowd congratulated the winner.

I didn’t move or say a word, watching solemnly.

June didn’t make a sound, either.

“And Golduck wins by taking out the Ground and Rock type with a very powerful Water type move!” the announcer shouted. “Golduck didn’t take a lick of damage and is in prime form for more battling!”

Sonny angrily returned Rhydon and quickly grabbed a second Poke Ball. “Alright! Take this opponent out, Nidoking!”

The Poke Ball flew into the air and sent out a Nidoking, which roared strongly and landed on a platform in the water.

Nidoking. The Drill Pokemon and Nidorino’s evolved form. Nidoking displays strength through their large horn and powerful tail. A simple touch of this deadly Pokemon can result in a fatal poisoning.

“And now we have Nidoking as Sonny’s second Pokemon!” the announcer commented. “Let’s see if Sonny can pull through with Nidoking and even up the score!”

“Nidoking, attack it with Thunderbolt, now!” Sonny commanded.

Nidoking roared and his body began to spark as he charged electricity. The lightning shot from his body with a tremendous roar from Nidoking and shocked the Duck Pokemon.

Golduck cried out and fell to its knees, trembling in pain from the Super Effective attack.

“Once more, take it out with another hit!” Sonny said quickly.

“Golduck, dodge that!”

Golduck twitched on the ground, its body sparking with electricity, unable to dodge as Nidoking attacked with another Thunderbolt.

“She’s Paralyzed,” June spoke gently of Golduck as Golduck fell further down, holding herself up by her hands now, trembling in pain.

“Golduck isn’t able to move, Paralyzed from Nidoking’s Thunderbolt!” the announcer told everyone. “Golduck is still able to battle, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be lasting much longer!”

“Golduck, hang strong!” Ashley called out to her Pokemon.

“Another Thunderbolt! Take it out!” Sonny told Nidoking.

Nidoking yelled loudly and his body sparked once more.

“This looks like it’s it for Golduck!” the announcer mentioned.

“Golduck, get in the water!” Ashley begged.

Golduck sparked, helplessly stuck from her Paralysis, unable to move again.

From out of nowhere, a multicolored beam flew at Nidoking and struck him from behind. Nidoking roared in shock as a small explosion erupted from behind him, forcing him off of the platform and into the water!

“WHOA! And just in time, Future Sight arrives to save Golduck from a finishing blow, taking Nidoking by surprise and dealing incredible damage to him!” the announcer explained excitedly. “Is Nidoking going to be able to handle that?”

Nidoking popped up at the surface of the water and immediately started swimming for Golduck.

“HORN DRILL!” Sonny raged.

Nidoking leaped out of the water and aimed at Golduck, his horn spinning strongly.

“Dodge that, Golduck! Use Aqua Tail!”

Golduck got to her feet and leaped into the air, dodging Horn Drill. Her tail was surrounded by spiraling water and with a strong, graceful backflip, she slammed her tail at Nidoking’s back, forcing him down onto the platform with strong force.

The platform rocked under Nidoking’s weight and the water rocked strongly, splashing about.

“Nidoking!” Sonny barked furiously, glaring as Nidoking remained still. “Get up! Get up!

Nidoking groaned and managed to push himself up by his arms.

“Aqua Jet!” Ashley pressed on.

Golduck’s body was coated in water and she flew at Nidoking, knocking him off of the platform and into the water.

Nidoking roared out before disappearing underwater, resurfacing a moment later.

“Nidoking is unable to battle! Golduck is the winner!” The referee waved the red flag at Ashley.

“And it’s another win for Golduck, who pulled through its Paralysis and dealt a continuous set of strong moves against Nidoking, finally taking him down!” the announcer boomed over the roars of the fans cheering. “Golduck is Paralyzed and looking worn out by now. How much more can this golden battler of a duck take?”

Sonny’s arms shook with anger as he returned Nidoking and grabbed his final Poke Ball. “Seaking, go!”

The enormous fish made a splash as it landed in the water, its horn pointed up at Golduck who was breathing hard, leaning forward with exhaustion.

Seaking. The Goldfish Pokemon. The evolved form of Goldeen. Seaking gain weight in the autumn as preparation to propose to a mate. Seaking are common sights in fresh water.

“Sonny’s last Pokemon is a Seaking!” the announcer said. “Seaking should be able to take out Golduck, considering how weakened it is, but will it be able to also beat Ashley’s last two Pokemon?”

“Poison Jab!” Sonny started.

Seaking leaped from the water and its horn glowed purple, aiming to finish off Golduck.

“Golduck, use Aqua Jet! Get into the air!” Ashley instructed.

“Duck!” Golduck’s body was surrounded by water and she shot into the air fast, dodging the Poison Jab attack by using her Aqua Jet.

Seaking landed on the platform Golduck had been on previously.

“Now, Ice Beam on the water!” Ashley continued.

Seaking’s horn returned to its normal white as the Pokemon leaped towards the water to get back in.

Golduck used Ice Beam and it hit the water, freezing it instantly.

Seaking slammed into the newly formed ice and cried out in surprised as it slid along it!

The Ice Beam attack spread out over the water, freezing it progressively.

“It looks like Golduck is freezing the entire pool, turning this Water Field into an Ice Field!” the announcer gasped. “Seaking is stuck on the ice and unable to get back into the water, helplessly sliding along!”

Seaking indeed was sliding on the ice, unable to control where it was going as the entire pool was now solidified.

“Wow!” June exclaimed. “This girl is really good! Her Golduck is really impressive.”

Golduck landed on the ice, sliding on the ice calmly, not panicking, a focused look on her face as she neared Seaking.

“Get ready, Golduck!” Ashley’s eyes narrowed in concentration, matching the look on her Golduck’s face.

Golduck bent her knees a little bit and she picked up speed as she slid.

Seaking was panicking, sliding around, its fins and gills waving about, its Trainer urging it to turn around and fight back.

“Do it! Zen Headbutt!

Duuuuuuuuck!” The top of Golduck’s head started to glow light blue as she leaned it towards Seaking.

“SEAKIIIIIING!” Sonny reached out for his Pokemon helplessly.

Golduck slammed into Seaking with her head.

Seaking called back to its Trainer, sliding along the ice at an incredible speed, and right out of the frozen pool, into the wall. It slid down to the ground and weakly moaned, “Kiiiing...”

“Seaking is unable to battle! This match goes to the red Trainer, Ashley and Golduck!”

The crowd’s sudden explosion of cheers made me jump and I covered my ears in surprise.

“AND THAT’S IT!!” the announcer let out. “ASHLEY HAS WON THE MATCH WITHOUT NEEDING TO SWITCH OUT GOLDUCK!!”

My arm was grabbed gently yet firmly and I turned to see June looking me in my eyes.

“Why did you take me here, Gary?” she asked, screaming over the cheers of the crowd.

I pulled my arm back sharply, out of her grip, and stood up, edging my way carefully out of the stands.

“Gary!!”

*

June hadn’t spoken a word for about an hour. She knew I knew what was on her mind, and she knew that if I was ready to talk about it, I would.

We walked through the Pokemon League Village where stands were selling food and souvenirs, lining the streets. Trainers and fans ran by June and I. Lively music blasted from speakers. Many balloons floated by in the air, some of Pokemon, and others of normal or abstract designs. It was a hot day, but not very humid, plus a slight breeze was blowing through, making things a lot more tolerable.

I spotted an empty bench and walked over to it, sitting down and sighing.

June didn’t sit next to me. Instead, she stood up and stared at me. Her gaze was sad, worried, concerned, and full of desire.

My gaze remained on her.

“It was that girl, wasn’t it?” June asked slowly.

“I looked her up in the database of all the Pokemon Trainers taking part in the competition,” I responded. “I found out about her battle today. She looks just like Melissa.”

June’s eyes widened in shock. “Really?”

“They could be sisters. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say they are sisters.”

June didn’t say anything. Her mouth just hung open as if she wanted to speak, but there were no words for her to use.

“She was the same girl who carried the flame of Moltres during the opening day ceremony,” I added.

June nodded. “I remembered.”

“I saw her there and I thought...”

“Gary...” June sat down next to me. She placed a hand gently on my shoulder, keeping her eyes on mine. “I’m sorry.”

I could feel my eyes starting to tear up, and I turned away. “I thought...” I swallowed.

June’s hand tightened on my shoulder. “It’s okay, Gary. I understand.”

I snapped back to June, anger and impatience taking over. “Oh, do you?” I snapped. “Do you really? You know what it’s like to be missing a sister? To have her completely disappear and lose contact with you and your mom? To have her be one of the strong forces splitting you and your mom apart? To think about her every single day? Every! Day!! I look for her daily, June! I think about her nonstop! She’s the driving force behind why I’m here right now! Why I’ve been out on this journey collecting Pokemon! To find her!! I expect to see her every single day! You know what it’s like to have been traveling for a year, expecting to find your most dearest, beloved family member, your sister, and instead, day after day, finding nothing?! And then, out of nowhere, some girl appears who looks just like your sister, but she isn’t! It’s like some kind of sick freaking joke! I am still expecting to find Melissa here, competing, June! And I’m not going to stop looking for her, damn it! You know about that, June? I don’t think you do!

June’s mouth had been hanging open as I flipped on her, but closed quickly once I finished, her lower lip trembling. She turned away, closing her eyes. “No. I don’t,” she whispered. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I only meant I sympathized with what you were telling me. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.” She quickly walked away.

I watched her walk off, still glaring at her. Taking a deep breath, looking down, I began to regret speaking to June like that. The pain inside of me had boiled over, and I reacted badly to her statement and misinterpreted it. I quickly got to my feet and ran past a small group of young teenagers who seemed to have been staring at me, looking away when I looked up.

June was wiping at her eyes as she quickly walked down the street.

I grabbed June by her left shoulder, causing her to gasp in shock.

She turned around and looked at me, her eyes filled with painful tears. “Gary, I’m sorry. I’ll leave you alone. I’ll just go back to our room. Or, I can just stay outside and you can be there alone. I didn’t mean to step out of line.”

“You didn’t, June,” I said, shaking my head. “I just overreacted. Don’t leave me, okay? Please. I’m okay. I just...”

June wiped at her eyes again and we stared at each other silently for a moment.

I managed a little chuckle, forcing a smile, looking down, holding in tears I could feel building up behind my eyes. “I really thought it was her. Imagine... For one brief second in time, after so long, I had actually found my sister.”

She silently wrapped her arms around me and hugged me warmly.

The hug was appreciated, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t complain. I didn’t hug her back. I didn’t say anything. I just leaned against her and allowed June to hold me.

“Is this okay, Gary?” June asked, her voice shaking with sadness. “Is it okay to hold you like this?”

“It’s fine.”

June squeezed me tighter, taking a shaking breath. “I’m glad, you know.” She released me and looked into my eyes. “I’m glad that I finally got to see her, Gary.”

My eyes watered and I managed to give a genuine smile, nodding. “She really looks so much like her.”

“I know. She’s very beautiful.” June smiled. “I’ll bet she’s just as kind and loving and smart as you are.”

“Melissa is an amazing person. I wish to be as cool, and smart, and just...” I stopped, feeling a tear drip down my right eye. My mouth opened to finish the sentence, but there were no words I could use to describe my feelings for my sister. I closed my mouth and my eyes tightly, thinking about her.

Thinking of her flowing, shiny black hair. Her petite lips smiling at me. Her gentle, light blue eyes squinting slightly as she smiled at me. She lightly called out my name...

More tears flowed down both of my cheeks now as I remembered her so vividly. It seemed so unfair to remember her so clearly, and yet not have her right there in front of me. “You’ll meet her one day, June. We’ll meet her at the Indigo Plateau. She’s here. Competing. Somewhere. I know she is. She has to be...” I closed my eyes, the tears inside of me running down my cheeks nonstop.

June pulled me into a hug and didn’t let go, rubbing my back.

Melissa has to be here, I told myself. Please, Melissa. Your little brother has waited so long. Held out so much hope. Don’t let me down. I need you. Mom needs you. Please...

*

A boy in a laboratory reached out to grab one of three Poke Balls. Just before grabbing a Poke Ball, the screen went black.

“What do you do...?” a deep voice asked.

The blackness went away, revealing the same young boy throwing a Poke Ball with an angry face before the screen went black again.

“When you can only choose...?” the voice spoke out again.

A Darkrai appeared once the blackness left again. It charged forward, the blackness returning once more.

“One!” the voice said sharply.

The blackness went away to reveal the boy facing Darkrai, Darkrai charging at the boy as his thrown Poke Ball opened, a white beam sending out a Pokemon.

The white beam enlarged to cover the entire screen, and the words Starter Trek were shown in red and white letters. Underneath it, the words Into Darkrai were shown in dark, spooky font.

Starter Trek: Into Darkrai,” the man spoke from the commercial. “Coming soon to a theater near you.”

I stared at the enormous screen displayed before June and I.

We were walking through the Pokemon League Village, June buying little things like dolls and some food. I was just silently accompanying her. June had suggested it might be nice if we looked around the Pokemon League Village since there wasn’t too much else to do today, and I agreed, figuring it might help ease my mind a little bit. Now, we were staring at a huge screen, high in the air next to a tall building, showing commercials for movies and other things, including the occasional Pokemon battle taking place on one of the fields. There were several screens like this all throughout the village.

I watched a couple of the battles briefly, but I just couldn’t take my mind off of my many personal troubles.

The streets were even more crowded now than they had been earlier, happy, smiling faces pushing past each other to get to their desired locations. Some people had stopped to watch what was being shown on the screen.

June and I walked on, maneuvering around people.

“And taking place on the Grass Field, we have the Green Trainer, Marcel, coming all the way from the Johto region from New Bark Town!” an announcer called out.

The crowd screamed loudly from the screen.

I continued to walk with June, not caring about the battle.

“And from Pallet Town, we have the Red Trainer, Robin!” the announcer said to more applause and screams.

I gasped and stopped, turning around.

Robin’s smiling face was shown on the screen as he entered the Grass Field. He waved happily at the crowd and entered his platform, which surrounded him with barred gates and arose.

The referee was shown on the screen, holding the green flag towards Marcel and the red flag towards Robin. “BEGIN!”

“Hitmonlee! Go!” Marcel threw his Poke Ball.

“Hitmooooooonlee!” the Kicking Pokemon yelled, kicking his feet into the air wildly.

“MJ! GO!” Robin chose his Pokemon, throwing the ball.

“Jump! Jump!” Jumpluff cried out happily.

“And it’s Jumpluff and Hitmonlee, starting things off!” the announcer told everyone.

“Close Combat!” Marcel ordered.

Hitmonlee stayed in place, but one of his legs stretched out exceptionally long, reaching MJ with ease, and kicked at it.

“Jump!” MJ cheered as it closed its eyes and it began to moonwalk out of the way of the flurry of kicks that Hitmonlee was throwing at it!Almost instantly, the crowd in the stadium began to laugh hysterically.

The people watching the battle from the screen had began to laugh and point, causing more people who were running by to stop and watch and laugh!

“Hey! That Jumpluff is dancing!” a woman exclaimed.

“Look at that thing, honey!” another woman cried out.

“That is so adorable!” another woman gushed.

“HA! Look at that, there!” a man laughed hard.

“Gary, look!” June raised a hand to her mouth, giggling, pointing at the screen.

“That’s his Jumpluff,” I told her. “I’ve battled it before. It’s pretty impressive.”

“That is so cute!” June clasped her hands together.

“It looks as if Jumpluff is actually dodging Hitmonlee’s flurry of attacks with some impressive dance moves!” the announcer chuckled. “That is one way of avoiding damage, and keeping the crowd entertained at the same time! Judging from the reaction from the audience, I’d say that little Jumpluff is going home with quite the number of groupies after this battle is over!”

Suddenly, the screen glitched, getting fuzzy and gray, returning back to normal again.

“What was that?” I asked quietly, focusing on the screen.

“MJ! Time to attack back!” Robin said, smiling brightly. “U-”

The screen glitched again and then went completely gray and fuzzy, a loud static filling the air.

“HEY!” I shouted angrily, taking a couple of steps forward.

The people around me were muttering and shaking their heads, complaining.

The screen suddenly went back to a normal, clear view, but it wasn’t displaying the battle anymore. It showed a young man who looked no older than twenty. He was wearing a gray suit and his short, brown hair was slicked back with grease. He was sitting behind a counter. His background was absolutely nothing but white. He stared out at us with a serious glare. “Hello. My name is Porty Onzee with a breaking news report. The planet we all reside on, Earth, is currently under attack.”

A video appeared next to Porty on the upper left hand side of the screen. In the video, people were running in panic as what appeared to be meteors were falling from the sky, exploding on impact with the ground, buildings and trees in the background on fire. The video spread wider and covered the entire screen.

“All over the world, a calamity of attacks are occurring on our beloved planet,” Porty’s voice was heard.

The video displayed other countries and cities now, floods sweeping people by, another scene showing lava flowing through a town, burning and instantly destroying houses in fiery explosions, and another scene displaying hail half the size of cars smashing into a town, the clip cutting back to Porty just as a huge block of ice nearly landed on a woman carrying a baby as she screamed in terror.

Porty’s face remained just as serious. “The Government has instructed an immediate evacuation.”

A woman’s panicked scream grabbed my attention.

Like a chain reaction, another woman screamed, followed by a man, followed by several more people. Everyone started to run away, shoving each other, trying to get away.

I was grabbed and pushed roughly out of the way, causing me to stumble over other people and things on the ground and I finally fell down.

Somebody tripped right over me and a man’s voice screamed as he fell.

I was grabbed suddenly and pulled to my feet.

“Gary!” I heard June cry out. She had been the one to pull me up.

“June!”

Tons of constant new screams made June and I turn to see that one group of people that had run away towards the right of us, had stopped!

A separate group of people, running towards June and I, from the right side, had stopped running as well!

The two groups were facing each other, frozen in place by something, a tiny line of space between them.

To the left of June and I, people were trying to run away from where we stood, while others were trying to run towards us. Collectively, all the groups were essentially stopping everyone from getting anywhere, though there were tons of people still shoving and crying, confused, panicked, terrified!

I heard a strange, familiar cry from the right of me.

June instantly gasped upon hearing this noise and shoved her way past me, through the crowd.

“June! Where are you going?” I called. I stood on my tiptoes and tried to see what was standing in between the two groups of people to my right. I could just make out an enormous box in the middle of the two groups. It looked like... a refrigerator? No. Well, yes, actually. Only... it looked almost as if it had jagged, gray arms jutting from its sides, a horn on its head, and two circles near the top where the freezer was located. “What is that...?” As I asked that question, it was then that I noticed just how quiet it had gotten. Porty... I thought, and turned to the huge screen. I gasped in fright.

Porty... was looking right at me from the screen! His eyes widened from the screen as he noticed I was looking at him!

“HEY!” I screamed, my heart beating hard in fear.

June suddenly screamed from several feet away from me.

I didn’t dare take my eyes off of Porty.

The man looked around nervously, glancing at me every few seconds. He cleared his throat and looked forward, ignoring me. “Uh...” he said. “In other news, gas prices are at an all time high.”

“ROTOM!” I heard June shriek angrily.

I couldn’t help but turn around.

Something flew into the air from between the two groups of people, everyone watching.

“Rotom?” My mouth hung wide.

The strange refrigerator was now looking like a plain, white refrigerator again!

Rotom became visible as it let out a cry and floated towards the screen where Porty was looking out from.

Porty turned to Rotom and smiled a very crazed smile. He opened his mouth wide. Wider. Inhumanly wide...

“What the...?” I murmured.

A loud shriek came out from Porty, causing everybody, including me, to scream loudly and cover our ears.

I fell to the ground, several other people falling around me. “WHAT THE HELL?!?!” I couldn’t believe what was going on. I got to my feet and looked up at the screen.

The screen went gray and fuzzy and a white hole appeared in the middle of it. A second later, something flew out from the hole and the hole closed back up.

PORYGON-FREAKING-Z!!!!!!!” I bellowed and shoved my way through the crowd.

Rotom and Porygon-Z spun in circles around each other, facing each other, letting out a delighted cry.

Police sirens rang out close by.

I bared my teeth hard and glared up at Porygon-Z and Rotom, taking the deepest breath possible. “HEEEEEEY!!!!

Both Pokemon ignored me, spinning in their happy dance above me.

“SINCE WHEN DO YOU ACT LIKE THIS, ROTOM??!!” June exploded, stopping my heart in fright. Her face was pure rage as she looked up at our Pokemon. She turned to me. “GARY! This is all your fault!!”

Mine?!” I gasped.

“My Rotom never acts like this! Your Porygon-Z is a bad influence on my baby!”

“This is all due to your Pokemon?” an angry voice snarled from behind me.

I turned to see a crowd of angry faces looking at me and June. “Wait! This was just an accident!” I tried to explain, scared now. I turned to June, who was now scowling at me. “June??”

“This is your fault, Gary!!

“And Robin wins the match!!” the announcer declared from the screen.

The last words I heard before a tall, muscular man angrily grabbed me by my shirt and lifted me a couple of feet into the air.

Wait!” I pleaded desperately as he raised a balled fist.

*

“I think what everybody needs is a good night’s sleep,” June smiled. “It’s four in the morning, and you have a battle at twelve on the dot today on the Rock Field.”

I angrily walked past June and climbed silently into bed, my back to her.

“Gary, you can’t stay mad at me.” June sounded hurt by my cold attitude towards her. “Your Pokemon caused an enormous panic. I’m sorry I got so mad at you, but you must understand how I was feeling at the time! I didn’t turn on you.”

I ignored her.

An Officer Jenny had saved me from a possibly very serious injury I was sure to receive from the man who had grabbed me.

Several other Officer Jennys had broken into the crowd, saving me from quite a lot of angry people.

A few fights had broken out as I was arrested and put into a cop car.

A Nurse Joy who had been caring for my Porygon-Z and June’s Rotom had apologetically retrieved the two Pokemon as I watched from the vehicle.

I was taken to a precinct where my belongings were taken from me by the police, and then I was held in a cell with two young, intimidating kids who refused to allow me to sleep on the bench in the cell, telling me I had to sleep on the filthy floor, where I laid, scared, for several hours before finally being questioned by the officers.

After explaining my story and the surveillance cameras being viewed, verifying my story somewhat, I was released very late that night.

June had been sitting on a bench outside of the precinct, waiting the entire time for me, a sad, pleading look on her face when she saw me.

I angrily stormed past June and she had been tailing me ever since, begging for my forgiveness.

We walked to the Pokemon Center we had left our Pokemon at all day and retrieved them.

Nurse Joy apologized profusely for Rotom and Porygon-Z getting away from her watch, but June and I didn’t blame Nurse Joy in the slightest, though she continued blaming herself until we left after a couple of hours of trying to calm her down, which never did work, telling Nurse Joy we held nothing against her whatsoever. She wouldn’t accept that the blame was anyone or anything else’s but her own.

When we got back to our room, I scolded Porygon-Z for its behavior, ignoring its mournful, loud cries and continued to yell furiously at it. I’d never been so angry at a Pokemon in my entire life, and I let Porygon-Z have it bad. I let it know that if anything like that ever happened again, I’d never let it out of its Poke Ball again. The threat was empty, since I’d never do anything like that, and obviously Porygon-Z knew how to get out of its Poke Ball on its own.

Nonetheless, Porygon-Z seemed to be very sorry and didn’t stop crying, beside itself on the floor.

I returned it while it was still crying, showing it that crying wasn’t going to make everything better and that I was still ticked at it.

June had told me that she had had a very strict discussion with her Rotom as well, but I didn’t care about what she had to say, still ignoring her.

Now, I was in bed, pissed off that June had turned against me back at the Pokemon League Village. I understood why she did it, but it still angered me. I was nearly beaten up by an enormous group of people, for an arguably good reason, and she was just going to let it happen. I don’t really know what I expected her to do. I wouldn’t want her to get hurt defending me, especially not for something that was kind of my fault. But her Rotom was partially responsible for posing as a refrigerator and scaring the crap out of people, too!

It was explained to June and I by an Officer Jenny before I was taken to the precinct that some people in a building nearby reported that when using a certain microwave, their food would disappear from inside of it when it was done cooking. This later turned into the microwave coming to life and chasing people around, shooting flames at them. A washing machine was reported by a group in a separate building as having come to life and attacked them during the day, ruining their clothes and flooding the building, not long before the “Porty” incident happened.

June apologized for the microwave, refrigerator, and washing machine attacks, stating that her Rotom was almost certainly the cause for them all, citing that Rotom can possess certain electronic equipment and bring them to life. All the while, she actually had the nerve to suggest that my Porygon-Z may have been a factor to her Rotom doing that, calling Porygon-Z a bad influence on her Rotom, a statement which may have led to me being the only one held in that precinct all night.

That infuriated me. I knew I’d forgive June eventually, but for now, and for as far off as I could see, I didn’t care to speak to her. I was too angry and too tired.

I missed Robin’s entire battle due to all of the commotion from Porygon-Z and Rotom, but at least I knew he was still in the competition and had won another round. Like I knew he would.

We’d both make it all the way to the end. That much was guaranteed. That much was promised.

How far will Melissa make it in the Pokemon League? I wondered. Not stupid Ashley. Melissa. Who I know is somewhere out there, competing this year. I’ll meet her, too. Me, Robin, and Melissa. We’ll all meet up at some point and have the greatest battle ever seen.

I knew my sister was competing somewhere out there in this Pokemon League. And she was doing great, too. She was raising strong Pokemon. She was perfectly fine. Nothing was wrong.

My eyes filled up with tears as I buried my face in my pillow as a voice from deep within me kept trying to speak to me.

A voice of reason.

A voice of common sense.

A voice communicating what I knew was reality.

A voice I refused to hear.

Because I knew it was wrong.

I knew that Melissa was just fine.

Despite all the evidence against it.

Nothing else in the world mattered to me as tears flowed into my pillow.

Not my battle tomorrow.

Not even the fact that I couldn’t find Melissa’s name in the database for the Pokemon Trainers taking part in this year’s competition earlier yesterday after looking up Ashley’s name.

Clearly that was some kind of stupid computer error.

The only thing that mattered was keeping the belief in my heart that nothing in the world was wrong.

That Melissa and I were another day closer to meeting again in the best Pokemon battle ever shown to the world.

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