A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

For The Last Time

“Gary, your Pokemon are in full health,” Nurse Joy informed me cheerfully. “Your Primeape and Charmander made a full recovery and your other Pokemon are fed.”

“Thank you. Nurse Joy.” I gratefully took my Poke Balls. Broadening my smile at her soft lips curved into a delicate smile, her pink hair in its unique design, somehow adding to another level of attractiveness to the young lady, I turned from her and walked to the front doors, stepping outside into the fresh air.

It was a new day.

The plan was to get into training mode with my Pokemon. I needed to work hard and actually be prepared to be able to beat Aurora.

The doors to the Pokemon Center opened behind me and I turned to see a young kid stepping outside. His blonde hair was clearly well taken care of, wavy and soft looking. His eyes seemed to have a pleasant glow in the sunlight and that glow increased as he smiled at me. He wore an all blue attire of pants, shoes, and blazer over his black shirt. “Hey, there,” he greeted me casually. “My name is Onald. I’m getting ready for a Gym battle and I thought maybe a nice warm up could help.”

I smiled eagerly. “Well, I’m Gary, and I’ll give you a warm up, alright.”“Sounds good,” he nodded. “How about we battle right over here?” He pointed off to a wide clear spot, right by where the incident with the exploding Graveler happened only a couple of days ago. “And right in front of the Pokemon Center. This way, when you lose, you won’t have to go far for help.” His attitude didn’t offend me in the slightest. He came off maybe playful, or confident, but not necessarily arrogant.

“Do your worst, because after this, I’m getting my Boulder Badge in my rematch with Aurora,” I said with determination.

“Oh? You challenged her already? Is that why you were in the Pokemon Center?” he asked.

“Yeah. She got me pretty good, too,” I admitted. “But this time, I’ll have that Badge.”

“Well, after our match, you may need to reconsider doing some more training,” he said, picking a Poke Ball from his belt. He pressed the center and the tiny Poke Ball opened to normal size. “Let’s make it a full six-on-six Pokemon battle.”

I thought for a moment. “But, I only have five,” I responded.

He smiled at me. “Can’t handle one extra Pokemon?”

“Huh?” I was confused.

“Let’s make it a five-on-six battle, then,” he offered. “Or can you not handle one more itty bitty Pokemon?”

An anger was rising in me. Not so much from his taunting, but I just wasn’t sure if I could meet his challenge. He was confident, so he had to be good, but I couldn’t let that make me feel inferior. I needed to trust my team. Believe in them. We can do this, I told myself, inhaling. I grabbed a Poke Ball. Believe. “Let’s do it! Hoothoot, I choose you!” I called, tossing my Poke Ball.

Hoothoot came out and flapped its wings, gazing down at Onald.

The Trainer tossed his Poke Ball and out came something familiar to me.

I was absolutely certain I knew what that thing evolved into, and I pulled out my Pokedex to scan it.

Tyrogue. The Scuffle Pokemon. This determined Pokemon is not afraid of any challengers and will take on any opponents. However, because they have not mastered a particular type of fighting style, their skills are limited.

Right. Tyrogue, I nodded. It evolves into Hitmonchan, Hitmontop, or Hitmonlee depending on the way it is raised. Tyrogue is a Fighting type, so my Hoothoot, as a Flying type, has the advantage.

“Hoothoot, use Peck attack,” I began.

Hoothoot flew low and attacked Tyrogue with its beak repeatedly.

Tyrogue yelled and swung at Hoothoot, trying to swat it away like an oversized fly, but Hoothoot wasn’t bothered and continued to peck away at Tyrogue, causing it to start running away.

“Tyrogue, don’t run, Tackle attack!” Onald commanded.

Tyrogue tried to Tackle Hoothoot, but Hoothoot flew high into the air and dodged, then dive bombed back at Tyrogue for more pecking until Tyrogue was exhausted and finally hit the ground.

“Tyrogue, no! Awww!” he growled and returned his beaten Pokemon to its Poke Ball. “Luck. Nothing more.” He grabbed his second Poke Ball and threw it towards me.

It opened and out came a Pokemon I was very familiar with. Eevee!

I used my Pokedex on this one, too.

Eevee. The Evolution Pokemon. This Pokemon adapts easily to its surroundings and because of this, it can evolve into one of a variety of many Pokemon depending on the situation.

“Eevee, use Leer now!” Onald told his Pokemon.

Eevee’s eyes glowed red as it cried out at Hoothoot.

Hoothoot seemed a bit dizzied by the attack as it became more susceptible to physical damage.

“Tackle it, now!” Onald continued.

Eevee charged quickly at Hoothoot with a strong face.

“Hypnosis, now!” I went.

Hoothoot snapped out of its daze and shot a ray from its eyes at Eevee.

Eevee stopped in its tracks and stood there, a sleepy look coming over its face. It wavered back and forth before falling to the ground and snoring cutely.

“Now, go give it the old Tackle!” I added.

Hoothoot flew at Eevee fast and sent the little fluff ball rolling along the ground, where it continued sleeping.

“Peck it, Hoothoot!”

Hoothoot landed on the ground next to Eevee and used Peck on its head nonstop.

“Eevee, get up!!” Onald was getting frantic as the little thing snoozed away, getting more and more hurt by the second, wounds and bruises appearing all over its body.

It wouldn’t take long now.

“One more Tackle!”

Hoothoot charged into Eevee, tossing the little doll back.

Eevee bounced on the ground several times before coming to a stop on its back. With a defeated sigh, its eyes opened wearily. “Eee...?” Its eyes closed.

Onald glared at me, returning his Eevee to its Poke Ball.

“I see I have to bring-” Onald was interrupted as he and I noticed that people had come from out of the Pokemon Center and around the area. They all were now standing around us, including Nurse Joy, watching our battle.

I smiled at Nurse Joy as my heart began to pound harder. Her smile back to me made me just about crumble. But not here. Not now.

Onald swiftly turned back to me with a sneer and grabbed a Poke Ball from his waist, tossing it. “The game ends here! I choose you, Sandslash!”

The Sandslash came out looking pretty fierce, its claws looking deadly.

This was just the training my team needed. “Hoothoot, return!” I grabbed a different Poke Ball. “I choose you, Charmander!”

Charmander came out, looking ready for anything.

I knew a Charmander, being a Fire type, was a risky choice for battling a Ground type like Sandslash, but we had to train. And train hard! I checked out Sandslash on the Pokedex before proceeding.

Sandslash. The Mouse Pokemon. Sandslash live in desert areas. They can keep themselves from catching a heatstroke by curling up into a ball. In this form, they can also kick up sand to escape a predator or attack.

“Sandslash, use Dig now!”

Sandslash went underground immediately, tearing through the hard ground with its claws as if the rocks and earth were made of paper.

“Charmander, hang on!” I exclaimed, unsure of what order I should give it. “Wait!”

“Sandslash, go!”

The ground began to tremble as Sandslash dug quickly to attack from underneath.

“Jump and Ember below you!” I shouted at the last second.

Charmander leaped into the air and aimed a stream of fire down at the ground underneath it just as Sandslash flew through it.

Sandslash was hit and fell right back down.

“Don’t let up, Charmander!”

Charmander kept in the air and let the flames burn at Sandslash, but it didn’t take much longer for gravity to kick in and Charmander was now falling, but still hitting Sandslash with the flames.

“Get out of there and Dig!” Onald insisted.

Sandslash dug underground again but Charmander’s flames followed it! The enemy Pokemon had nowhere to go. The flames that followed Sandslash underground seemed to set off a minor explosion that rocked the ground, and the Ground Mouse Pokemon came flying out from the dirt, burnt black. It hit the ground with a grunt, knocked out.

“WHAT??” Onald raged. “NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!” He recalled his Sandslash. “I can’t believe this!”

Charmander proudly puffed out its chest and said its name.

Onald’s eyes were on my Charmander, now.

“So, do you give up or are we gonna finish this?” I asked.

Onald stared back to me. He chose a Poke Ball and stared at it for a while, and then he looked at me with fury. “Go get them, Metapod!”

Out came the Metapod, and my eyes widened in surprise. I had to struggle not to laugh, but my pursed lips couldn’t hide the smirk.

Some of the other people in the crowd openly laughed, though.

Onald turned to the crowd sharply. “How else am I going to train it? I have to raise it, right?”

Nurse Joy was the only one not laughing. That was expected. She was so sweet like that. Not to mention a nurse.

“Hey! We’re over here! You’re battling me, not Nurse Joy!”

My attention was snapped back to my opponent. “Huh?”

“Ooooooooo!!” was the response from the crowd, now.

I swallowed hard and squinted angrily at Onald, too embarrassed by the surrounding laughter to even look at Nurse Joy. Now I was mad.

One look at my red face and Charmander was now looking pissed at Onald, too.

“Charmander, make this quick with Ember!” I let out mercilessly.

Charmander inhaled deeply, puffing out its chest, before letting loose an overkill of flames onto the disadvantaged Metapod.

There was nothing that could be done. Metapod was toast.

Onald returned his Metapod before sending out another, more mysterious Pokemon. A Sunkern?

Unfamiliar with the unthreatening appearing, obvious Grass Pokemon, I used my Pokedex on it.

Sunkern. The Seed Pokemon. They like to remain motionless in trees and gain as many nutrients as they can as they prepare for evolution. They fall from trees unpredictably in the early mornings. Some people nurture these Pokemon in preparation for competitions for when they evolve.

Charmander turned to me.

I nodded.

The Fire type burned the Grass opponent with its flames and it fell over, unable to battle. It never stood a chance.

Onald wasn’t happy about this. “Now you’re just making fun of me!” he whined.

I didn’t know what to say, so I just waited for his final Pokemon. I couldn’t believe what his final option was. This must be a joke, I thought in disbelief.

Out of his Poke Ball came a flopping Magikarp. The king of the weak Pokemon.

I didn’t even wanna use my Pokedex but…

Magikarp. The Fish Pokemon. Highly regarded as the weakest of all Pokemon. It can jump very high on rare occasions when in the water. Other than that, this Pokemon is pretty useless.

Everyone laughed harder than ever, even as Onald looked ready to swing at them.

“Charmander, return,” I said.

Some people were confused by my decision, but I figured this was as good a time as any to raise my other Pokemon.

“Metapod, go!”

Metapod sat there, staring at Magikarp.

“Use Harden, Metapod!” I smiled.

Metapod’s skin flashed briefly as if it had been polished and its Defense was raised.

Onald stared at my Metapod in surprise. “STOP MAKING FUN OF ME!!”

“Harden again, Metapod!” I ignored him.

Metapod continued to raise its Defense again.

Onald’s shoulders slumped with a sigh. “Magikarp, use Splash…” he said meekly as his head dropped, giving in.

Everyone, including me, laughed as Magikarp continued flopping, doing absolutely nothing.

The only one not laughing but just watching, was Nurse Joy, in all her beauty.

I turned away quickly and told Metapod to Harden again, which it did.

Onald’s Magikarp continued to just Splash.

I assumed it didn’t know Tackle attack yet, a move it doesn’t learn until level fifteen, when it is close to evolving into its much deadly form, Gyarados.

“Alright, Tackle it, Metapod!” My patience was done. I figured both Magikarp and Metapod earned enough experience for today.

Metapod managed to force itself forward and hit Magikarp with a weak strike.

A Metapod using Tackle was sometimes a tricky feat, but it was possible.

The fish was knocked back from the hit and proceeded flopping around.

“Keep using Tackle, Metapod!”

“Magikarp, please try to Tackle back!” Onald pleaded.

But Metapod was the only one attacking.

It took a little while, but eventually, the sad show was over when Magikarp was no longer shown to be able to even flop.

I had won. “Great work, Metapod! Thanks for making it through!” I recalled it back and walked up to the Trainer with an extended hand.

He waved it away and walked off. Or at least he tried to.

Nurse Joy was blocking his way. “Now that’s not very sportsmanlike!” she said sternly. “Your Pokemon will never get any stronger or closer to you if you have that kind of attitude about losing. Now you go back and shake that Trainer’s hand.”

He looked back to me like he had just swallowed his own vomit, but walked over to me and shook my hand. “It’s like you two are married,” he muttered, taking his hand back quickly as he walked off.

“I heard that!” Nurse Joy grabbed him by the ear. “I think you and I should have a little talk about accepting losses and being respectful to your elders. This will help you be a better Trainer, friend, rival, and a better person.” She tugged him towards the Pokemon Center as he yelled out in pain.

I smiled widely and laughed to myself as a few others laughed out loud. Most of them congratulated me on my win and I thanked them as they all left. My eyes then focused on the direction to the Pewter City Gym. It was time. It was several minutes after that I stood in front of the stone door. My hard knocking created next to no sound.

However, a few seconds later, footsteps from inside were heard, and soon after, the door opened. Aurora looked down to me and smiled smugly. “Look who’s back. Guess we didn’t scare you off badly enough the first time.”

“Aurora, I challenge you to a Pokemon battle for your Boulder Badge!” I challenged.

“Yeah, yeah. Come on in, little boy,” she said nonchalantly.

I stepped inside.

The gym was already lit this time, however dimly.

Her referee was also there and ready, standing in the same spot he was in last time.

Aurora took her place and I took mine.

“The rematch between Pewter City Gym Leader, Aurora, and Gary from Pallet Town is about to begin,” the referee stated. “This again will be a two-on-two Pokemon battle. No time limit. Only the challenger is allowed to substitute Pokemon. The Trainer to knock out the other’s two Pokemon first will be the winner. Let the battle begin!”Aurora silently tossed her Poke Ball and sent out her Graveler.

“Primeape, let’s begin with you this time!”

His Poke Ball popped open in midair and came out raring for battle and looking like he was promising the win. He had white wrapping around his waist from Nurse Joy.

“Graveler, Roll Out. No games this time,” Aurora started.

Graveler rolled fast at Primeape. Primeape jumped over the attack, but Graveler was ready and slammed into Primeape from underneath, jumping right after him! Aurora’s Pokemon had knocked mine to the floor of the Gym and was now on top of him, still using Roll Out in place, running Primeape into the ground!

Primeape was stuck and had no way of getting out from under Graveler.

Periodically, Graveler would bounce off Primeape and slam back into him again, causing Primeape to scream out.

“Primeape!” I called.

“Finish it!” Aurora proceeded.

Graveler bounced off Primeape’s back again and spread his arms and legs, slamming down hard on Primeape with a powerful Rock Throw.

Primeape yelled out and remained still.

Graveler stood by Primeape with a pleased grin.

I felt so helpless. What could I do? “Primeape, return!” That’s what I tried for.

The referee shouted out first, “Primeape is unable to battle. Graveler is the winner!”

I stared in shock at him. I was too late. My best hope was gone. We did terrible. No. I did terrible. I was so overwhelmed by Graveler’s speed, I blanked. “I’m sorry, Primeape...” I said as I returned him. “That was totally my fault.”

“At least you know that,” Aurora scolded in a serious voice.

I looked at her, my body shaking, breathing hard.

She was right.

I didn’t have many options left, so I went with what I believed would be my best choice. “Charmander, I choose you!”

Charmander came out and saw Graveler. It immediately spit out a flame at Graveler, who brushed itself off where the flame hit it as if it were nothing.

“Your Charmander is poorly trained,” Aurora said with disapproval.

Charmander spit a tiny flame behind it in anger, glaring at Graveler.

“Charmander, cut it out!” I shouted.

Charmander look to me apologetically, its tiny little claw on the back of its head.

“Graveler,” Aurora spoke.

Charmander turned quickly and watched Graveler leap in the air again and land on top of it like last time. Graveler rolled off of Charmander, who was practically a pancake.

“Charmander is unable to battle! Graveler is the winner and this match goes to Pewter City Gym Leader, Aurora!” the referee announced.

I returned my Charmander, though my grip on its Poke Ball was weak. The item could have easily fallen from my loose grip, but I had no strength in me to tighten my hold. I bowed respectfully to Aurora and turned on legs that felt like they were boneless, barely able to hold me up, as I walked to the front door.

“Little boy!” she called.

I stopped, stumbled, caught my balance, and stood still.

“There are plenty of other Gyms in the Kanto region,” she stated. “For the sake of your Pokemon, how about you try one of the other Gyms instead of this one?”

I didn’t say anything to her and exited.

The damage wasn’t too serious. After all, we didn’t have to fight Kabutops. But at the same time, we didn’t even reach Kabutops.

After my Pokemon had recovered from the damage that night, I went outside and had a talk with all of them.

There was a chilly though welcoming, refreshing breeze.

“Team, we need to do some training,” I stated. “All of you. Even though I think I know who I’m using and not using in this Gym battle, we all could use some work. It’s time to get down to business.”

Everyone nodded their heads sternly in agreement.

We trained hard that night.

Charmander battled Weedle.

Primeape battled Metapod.

Hoothoot battled Charmander.

Everybody got a turn with everybody. We trained hard, drank plenty of water, and ran laps.

I threw pebbles at Charmander to get it to move faster and learn how to dodge. The pebbles turned to rocks when Charmander got better at avoiding my throws.

After taking quite the beating from Hoothoot, Weedle got the hang of dodging Hoothoot’s oncoming Peck attacks.

Metapod took Peck attacks from Hoothoot, too, while using Harden to block damage, and I threw rocks and sticks and whatever else I could find to see just how much that Harden could reflect.

Hoothoot practiced with Weedle by dodging oncoming Poison Sting attacks and learning when to go in to attack, which was when Weedle had to dodge.

“Weedle, attack Hoothoot! Hit it! Poison Sting! Go, go, go!

Weedle flew at Hoothoot again, but Hoothoot dodged easily.

“String Shot!”

Weedle shot out its Bug strings from its mouth at Hoothoot, but Hoothoot got away. Weedle looked frustrated by this and sent out a nonstop barrage of strings to try to grab Hoothoot and slow it down.

Hoothoot avoided them over and over again.

Suddenly, Weedle’s strings seemed to not be aiming at all. It was just in the air, falling around Weedle itself in an odd coating. In moments, Weedle was covered completely in its white silk spray, glowing.

“Weedle?” My mouth fell open as my eyes widened and I stepped over to it.

My other Pokemon were no longer fighting but now were watching Weedle, as well.

The white glow faded from Weedle and I gasped, smiling. It was no longer my Weedle. It had evolved into a Kakuna!

“A Kakuna! Weedle, this is great!” I cheered. “Congratulations! You’ve evolved!”

Hoothoot and the others cheered our new friend’s evolution.

Watching my Pokemon proudly, my smile I was wearing faded as I was suddenly hit with a plan on how we could beat Aurora.

I stood before the Pewter City Gym door and took a deep breath. After exhaling, I raised my fist and knocked. As usual, my attempts to make noise were futile, but my effort was rewarded with footsteps from inside.

The door opened and Aurora looked down to me in great surprise. “Listen, little boy,” she started.

“Please,” I interrupted. “I can win! Let me prove it! I can defeat you and this is my time to prove it to you, Miss Aurora. Please, allow me another chance!”

She laughed at me. “‘Miss’ Aurora, huh? Since when are we referring to me as that? Okay, little boy. One more chance. But, after this, you have to go somewhere else. Do you understand?”

“Yes. And, thank you,” I agreed, bowing gratefully.

In under a minute, me, Aurora, and the referee were in our usual places at the battlefield.

“This is the rematch between the Pewter City Pokemon Gym Leader, Aurora, and Gary from Pallet Town. This will be a two-on-two Pokemon battle. No time limit. The first Trainer to defeat the other Trainer’s Pokemon will be declared the winner. Let the battle… BEGIN!”

“I choose you! Hoothoot!” I hurled its Poke Ball through the air.

Hoothoot came out in fighting mode.

Aurora sent out her Graveler without a word, her Pokemon growling as it landed on the floor of the Gym.

“End this with a flying Roll Out,” Aurora ordered impatiently.

“Flying…?” I managed. I shook my head hard. “HOOTHOOT! THE PLAN! DO IT!”

Graveler rolled across the ground and started spinning in a small circle.

This confused me instantly. I had no idea what it was doing.

Hoothoot was confused, too, watching Graveler, and it didn’t do our plan we had worked on last night.

I watched as Graveler spun in a circle faster and faster, over and over. But, why?

“Hoothoot, try our plan, anyway! Use Hypnosis attack!” I instructed.

Hoothoot tried to use Hypnosis, but Graveler’s spinning made it impossible to aim and the hypnotic waves that did hit Graveler just bounced right off.

“Do it!” Aurora’s sharp voice made my heart stop.

Graveler, like a jet, flew off the ground at a speed I never saw any Pokemon ever move, and slammed directly into Hoothoot.

Hoothoot flew across the Gym and slammed into the wall far behind me, leaving a small dent.

“Hoothoot is unable to battle, Graveler is the winner!” the referee ruled.

“Hoothoot!” I ran to my Pokemon, not believing what I had just seen. “Everything’s gonna be okay.” I struggled to fight back tears as I returned it to its Poke Ball. One risky plan had failed entirely, in no time at all. I walked back to my place at the battlefield and stared at Aurora. “Before you say anything, because I know you have something to say, Aurora, I have to say, this match is NOT OVER!”

Aurora laughed at me. “Little boy, you’re easily distracted. You let my Graveler continue to spin, building not only momentum, but strength. The longer a Roll Out attack lasts in battle, the more powerful it becomes when it hits. You allowed Graveler to pick up speed as it spun faster and faster, and you were kind enough to let the power of the move increase by standing there foolishly. You’re far too fresh at battle. You have no experience. There is no hope of such a child as you defeating me.”

Her words stung me. I felt humiliated and ridiculed. I couldn’t let her get away with that. I couldn’t. “Primeape, give it your all!” I tossed his Poke Ball.

Primeape came out, excited and looking for a fight.

“Go,” Aurora said simply.

“Karate Chop!” I decided.

Graveler flew at Primeape who met the boulder with his Karate Chop attack, and Graveler was thrown back!

“Don’t let up! Low Kick!”

Primeape moved as fast as he could and swept Graveler off its feet.

Graveler slammed into the ground.

“Karate Chop, now!”

Primeape relentlessly let loose a series of Karate Chop attacks at Graveler.

“Graveler, Earthquake! Knock that thing off its feet!” Aurora demanded.

Graveler immediately curled into a ball and rolled away as fast as it could from Primeape’s onslaught of attacks. Once it was clear away, it leaped into the air and tried to land on the ground to cause an Earthquake.

“Primeape, catch it before it lands!” I tried.

But Graveler was somehow too fast. It landed way before Primeape could reach it and slammed hard onto the Gym floor, rattling everybody.

I was thrown off my feet and so was Primeape.

Aurora and the referee stumbled a bit, but seemed okay, otherwise.

Primeape then let out a loud noise.

I covered my ears, as did everyone else, including Graveler.

This deafening cry reminded me of when Mankey was evolving, but it wasn’t the same. Something else was going on.

I pulled out my Pokedex to see if it knew what this was.

Screech attack. This move lowers the opponent’s Defense by a great amount.

That was when I noticed on my Pokedex that Primeape also knew a few other moves I wasn’t aware of. I had no idea the Pokedex could find out all the moves my Pokemon knew. I saw Primeape’s level, how its Stats looked, and other information! But this was no time to be amazed.

Primeape stopped screeching.

“Primeape, finish it with Karate Chop!”

Primeape flew forward and caught Graveler off guard.

Graveler slammed to the ground with tremendous force and rocked the Gym again.

“Graveler is unable to battle,” the referee determined. “Primeape is the winner!”

Aurora recalled her Graveler. She stared at the Poke Ball containing Graveler for a few seconds and let out her breath in one quick, clearly disappointed breath, and then reached for her next Poke Ball. Without a word, she sent out her Kabutops.

Primeape saw Kabutops and went into hysterics, jumping and screaming at it.

Kabutops just stared back silently.

“Primeape, Screech attack!” I covered my ears.

Primeape used his Screech attack, and the referee and Aurora covered their ears in pain.

Even with my ears covered, they still were ringing.

Kabutops didn’t flinch.

“Karate Chop!” I called to Primeape.

Primeape charged at Kabutops to take it down with Karate Chop.

Kabutops was hit and knocked down!

I wasn’t even given a second to celebrate before Kabutops got up and glared at Primeape.

“Our turn,” Aurora said coldly.

At those words, Kabutops moved like lightning and sliced at Primeape.

Primeape screamed out and actually cowered, trying to protect itself.

More blood than the last time splashed the Gym floor.

Not only was Kabutops’ scythe covered in it, but parts of its body, as well.

There was silence in the Gym, now.

The bandages wrapped around Primeape’s middle hit the floor, sliced and covered in blood. Primeape slowly hit the floor, landing on his side, croaking out weakly. The entire front of his body was covered in blood.

“PRIMEAPE!” I was sure the referee had called that the match was won to Aurora, but I didn’t hear it. I just ran in the middle of the battlefield and knelt down to Primeape. “Primeape! Are you okay? Primeape!”

Primeape’s body gave a little jump, but nothing else.

“Goodbye, little boy,” Aurora said darkly. “Take that thing to Nurse Joy. And don’t come around here anymore.”

“PRIMEAPE!” I ignored Aurora. “Please! Say something! Anything!”“You idiot!” Aurora stomped towards me. “Take it to a Pokemon Center! NOW!”

I returned Primeape to his Poke Ball and ran to the Gym door. Once I reached it, I stopped and turned back. “Aurora! This isn’t over! I promise I’ll be back! One day, I will be back again! And I will defeat you and win your Badge!! I PROMISE!” I ran out the building.

I sat in my familiar place I seemed to be these days.

The Pokemon Center.

Nurse Joy said the damage wasn’t as bad as she’d seen many other cases, and comforted me by informing me that she, and the other Nurse Joys, are trained for such emergencies. She reassured me that Primeape was going to be just fine, despite how bad I thought he looked.

I was probably the most depressed Trainer in the lobby. I was also banned from the Pewter City Gym. For now.

But Primeape was going to be okay.

And so was Hoothoot.

We all were going to be okay.

I stepped outside of the Pokemon Center, feeling too cooped up and crowded inside, and in need of some air. All three battles kept replaying in my mind. I needed to think about something else. Just for a minute. My shoulders shifted to slide my backpack off of me and I decided to find my Town Map, if my mom had packed one, which I was sure she had. Yes! Indeed, she did. My mom… I thought about calling her, just to let her know how I was doing and that I had made it to Pewter City safely. My mom and Prof. Oak. Later. I’m in no mood to explain how terrible things are going for me right now. I don’t need them worrying about me. Then again, if I don’t call, they will worry anyway. Later, I insisted with myself. Later. I stared at the Town Map, spotting my location at Pewter City.

Nearby was Mount Moon, which led to Cerulean City. There was also a detour through Route 3 that led away from Mount Moon and instead would take me to Obsidian City. The route to Obsidian seemed faster than a long detour through Mount Moon just to get to Cerulean City.

“Obsidian City it is,” I said out loud. Nodding, I took a deep breath and headed back to the Pokemon Center.

There were a few phones against the wall, all of them empty, and I sat down in one of them to call my mother. The cold receiver against my ear, I waited patiently, my heart thumping in my chest with excitement. I think.

My mom answered soon enough. She was on the big screen, looking back at me in surprise. “Gary?” she said in surprise.

“Hey, mom,” I replied.

“Where have you been?” she asked. “Prof. Oak and I have been worried about you! You don’t call or anything! How was your trip through Viridian Forest? I know how much you hate Bugs!”

“I’m okay, mom. I even captured some of the Bug Pokemon there.”“You did?” she responded in surprise.

“Yup! I promised you I’d catch them all, right?”She smiled proudly at me. “Yes, you did.”

“Look at what I caught so far, mom!” I was so impatient and eager to show my mom my new friends and sent out everyone besides Hoothoot and Primeape, who were still in treatment. “Say hi to my mom, everyone!”

Everyone called out to her joyfully.

She smiled back at them, not truly interested. She never did care too much for Pokemon. If not for my dad, I may never have had any Pokemon around me when growing up. My mom didn’t even allow my dad to buy me a Pokemon to play with. He had wanted to get me and my sister a Growlithe as kids.

“Is that… that Pokemon you got from Prof. Oak?” my mom asked suddenly, staring at my Charmander.

“Yeah, mom…” I started.

Charmander smiled shyly at the floor. “Char...”

“What are you doing with that thing?” my mom screamed.

“Mom, let me explain! It was a big misunderstanding!” And this was my night for a while. There was no getting through to my mom, no matter what. It became a huge argument with me trying to defend my Charmander, or at least explain what happened. But she wouldn’t hear a word from me. It was just a huge, embarrassing commotion in the Pokemon Center. I was desperate for the call to end so I could talk to someone of more reason. Prof. Oak. He would listen and understand, I was sure. But, for now, it was me versus my mom. This is exactly why I didn’t want to call her. Something always goes wrong…

It was an hour of arguing before I finally had hung up the phone on my mom and contacted Prof. Oak.

As expected, he understood what had happened with me and Charmander and said he would try to explain it to my mom.

I told him not to bother, but he said he would, anyway. Afterwards, I told him of my troubles at the Pewter Gym.

“Ah, Aurora,” Prof. Oak nodded. “She is married to the previous Gym Leader of that city, and when she was put in charge, not everyone was sure she could handle it. The previous Gym Leader was very much liked, but she showed everyone by raising an incredible set of Pokemon and being just about unbeatable.”

“Oh, wow…” was all I could utter. “Well, next, I’m going to go to Obsidian City for a try at that Gym.”“Obsidian City…” Prof. Oak thought. “Ah, yes. That city has some very peculiar Pokemon roaming around there. You should find some great captures to add to your pretty impressive collection so far. That is where the Ghost type Gym Leader, Shane, can be found.”

“Ghost type Pokemon…” I muttered.

“Be careful there, Gary,” Prof. Oak warned. “Ghost Pokemon like to play jokes. Sometimes deadly ones. You best watch your back. Your Hoothoot should know Foresight and can get rid of any tricks those Ghost Pokemon may play on you, like apparitions and other illusions for your eyes and mind. You keep Hoothoot nearby and you’ll be just fine.”

“Thanks, Prof. Oak. Well, I’m going to let you get back to your work. Take care and thanks for the talk! And say hi to Prof. Sketchit for me.” “I will. You take care, Gary.” His face disappeared from the screen as he hung up.

I put the receiver back and stood up and stretched.

Obsidian City.

Ghost type Pokemon.

My first Badge.

I’ll be back, Aurora, I promised myself. Someday.

And when I come back, I will leave your Gym one last time. With the Boulder Badge in my hand.

I promise.

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