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View Full Version : The Stoplek League Collection: A Trainer's View


Jack of Clovers
07-09-2004, 11:09 PM
This is a new league I have created from the ground up. The stories will eventually be a collection of sub-stories told from different points of view all about the Stoplek League. The first story will follow a Trainer as he takes the challenge of the league. It will look to the realistic style of training with the anime qualities we all love. Probably the largest (and most ambitious) Trainer fic, with at least 100 eps already planned out.

Follow the path of one Trainer, Jack Kalmer, as he takes on the largest goal possible. Gym battles and Pokemon training aren't the only thing he will need to master. He will have to work hard to make a name for himself and prove to all those that laughed at him, that he is the best Trainer. Battles, family, politics, Team Rocket, and much more. There's a lot to explore in the Stoplek League.

**If you have a comment, post it in the Fanfic Feedback or PM me a message. Do not post anything here, it will be deleted. I appreciate any and all comments. :D

Stoplek League Map (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v472/lil_leprachaun33/fanfic/StoplekMap1.png) (Subject to change at any time.)

~Summary Guide~
{Don't look at these if you haven't read to the last Episode in that summary. Please!}
Episodes 1-10 (http://www.pokemonelite2000.com/forum/showpost.php?p=108489&postcount=29)
Episodes 11-20 (http://www.pokemonelite2000.com/forum/showpost.php?p=808537&postcount=53)

Rating: PG to PG-13.

Latest 3 Releases:
Episode 24: And Then There Were Five (http://www.pokemonelite2000.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1387871&postcount=58) 7-18-07
Episode 25: A Night in Streamington (http://www.pokemonelite2000.com/forum/showpost.php?p=1442208&postcount=59) 7-27-07

Upcoming Release:
Episode 26: The Bet at Windy Plateau

Thanks, and enjoy what I hope is the Trainer Fanfic of a lifetime!

Jack of Clovers
07-10-2004, 06:29 AM
~*~
Episode 1
Leaving Home

The Stoplek League is not a normal league in the Pokemon world. It’s twice as large as some leagues and has almost three times as many gyms and badges. It’s one of the few most difficult leagues in the world: twenty total badges, two total championships, and only one chance to win it all. The Stoplek League is home to a variety of Pokemon but none unique to the area. Numerous Trainers all strive to one point, to beat the Grand Champion and obtain the rare Stoplek League Trophy, an honor of only which a small percentage of Trainers have managed to grab.
And so the quest begins...


Every kid growing up in a Pokemon world dreams of one day becoming a Pokemon Trainer. The thrill of going from city to city gaining badges and eventually working up to becoming a master. The journey is arduous but very rewarding. This is no different for Jack Kalmer, resident of Pine Valley. Today is the day marked on his calender when he will finally start his Pokemon journey at the age of seventeen. He just turned seventeen a couple weeks ago and with short brown hair and turquoise eyes, being about five feet ten inches tall, he looks young for his age but he is far more mature than any other seventeen year old. This journey means more to him than anything else and to earn the badges as reward will have great sentimental value of his achievements.

Jack runs downstairs still wearing his grey shorts and t-shirt he slept in. He finds his mom setting the table with scrambled eggs and bacon on two plates and two glasses of milk. She is at age forty with medium length brown hair, dark brown eyes and a thin body wrapped in a night gown. She always smiles every morning to start the day off with a good feeling. The table is set for two and minutes later they both sit on opposite sides of the table to eat their breakfast. Occasionally they would say some comments about some days ago but Jack can’t concentrate on the past; he is too concerned about his future.

See, the normal age for Trainers to start a journey is age thirteen. Jack would have been the first one of his friends to head off but his father wouldn’t let it be. His father started at the age of seventeen and so he wants his son to follow that experience. During those intermediate years, Jack has seen all his friends go on journey’s except for one, who is allergic to Pokemon. He has studied and memorized as many Pokemon names and types as he possibly could. The attacks were hard to remember because each Pokemon could use a different attack in a different way. And not once during this time would his father let Jack practice with his Pokemon; they were off limits. But now, with the day finally here, he feels he is ready to go out and show the world what he can do with the knowledge he has gained.

With the eggs almost eaten up, Jack's mom starts to talk about something important. "I guess," she starts," this will be the last time we eat breakfast together. It almost makes me cry thinking about it."

Jack listens to his mother while trying to swallow the last of his food so he can talk. "Mom, don’t cry. Today is the start of me being independent. It’s been my dream to go out on a Pokemon journey and I’ve waited four years for this day. I know you don’t want me to go, but it's not like I won't see you again. I will come back to spend time like we did before."

His mom hears this and her eyes start to water but no tears are shed. She knows that it is time for Jack to leave the nest even if she isn’t ready for it. She speaks to him with a sad voice, "You haven't even left yet and I already miss you so much. I hope you make this family proud and come back safely. Whether you come back a great trainer or not, you will always be a winner to me, no matter what happens." She gets up and goes to another room down the hall.

His mother hasn’t always understood the role of a Pokemon Trainer. To see her son go out and try this new experience, the only thing she can do is cheer him on. Regardless of her lack for understanding, she knows this journey is something important most people attempt. She will be behind Jack one hundred percent of the way and there to help at any time.

After breakfast, Jack switches clothes to the ones he will wear on his journey: medium tan shirt with sleeves almost to the elbows, tan cargo shorts from waist to below the knees, dark blue shoes that have lasted him two years, and a tan Newsboy cap. He also grabs his tan cargo style backpack and black rimmed sunglasses with polarized dark lenses. He heads downstairs and finally outside into the backyard.

Their white house with blue trim is not in the country but it's not in the town either which is why every time Jack comes outside, it’s always peaceful, so peaceful you can fall asleep within minutes and have clear thoughts without the interruptions.

It’s a simple backyard with no walls or fences with freedom only ten feet away. A nice lawn lay out back with small trimmed bushes around the edges. No trees on the house lot so they have umbrellas up to use for shade from the sun.

It's 9:30 in the morning and the sky is still lightly grey from the morning haze. Jack is still outside, lying down on a lawn chair. While he has been outside, he has been thinking about his journey ahead and how his life will change dramatically. Then the silence is broken when the back door starts to opens and his mom walks out. She sits in a chair next to Jack.

He looks over to his mom, "Hey Mom, are you all right now?"

She nods a couple times then brings her arms up to show Jack something. In her right hand, she holds a shopping bag and in her left hand she holds a smaller tan leather bag with the name Ed Kalmer on the side. Jack looks at the shopping bag, then to the small tan bag used to hold marbles with a questioning look on his face. But before he can speak, his mom starts to talk. "I have prepared some things for you to take." She opens the shopping bag and takes items out one by one. Most of the items are food for him but some objects are really helpful. There is a phone, some Pokemon healing potions, and six Pokeballs. Jack thanks his mother for the gift and she replies back, "It's the least I could do for my son."


Jack smiles at all the items he now has as he places them into his own backpack. Next, his eyes turn to look at the smaller bag. "What's in the little bag Mom?" he questions.

She opens the bag up and puts her hand in. When she takes her hand out, there are two Pokeballs in his mother’s left hand. The common Pokeball is red on top and white on the bottom with a button in the middle to shrink or expand the Pokeball. A Pokeball is by far the weirdest item a Trainer can own; able to catch Pokemon, transfer over computers and fade away at times. Nevertheless, they are the most helpful and useful item.

"These Pokeballs contain two Pokemon in them. They are your fathers Pokemon. Remember he said you could borrow them until you have caught your own Pokemon.“ She drops the Pokeballs into Jack's hands.

“I know, I know. He wants them back in two weeks.” Jack questions again, "What Pokemon are they?"

"Why don't you let them out to see!"

Jack gets up holding one ball in each hand. He has never thrown out a Pokeball before, not even an empty one, but he has practiced with a baseball. It’s not the same feeling but he gets the idea. His right arm pulls back, taking a step forward with his left, then he sidearm throws forward, one ball flies down to the backyard lawn and lands on the perfect soft green grass. The Pokeball opens and a red beam shoots out in a blur. The blur takes shape and changes colors to match the Pokemon being called. A small yellow mouse with a lightning shape tail and tan stripes stands in the short grass. "It's a Pikachu. Cool!" The unique Pokeball jumps back to the person whom threw it out but Jack isn’t ready and bobbles the Pokeball before grabbing hold of it. “Heh. Forgot about that reflex.” Excited as he is, he still has one more ball to throw out. He transfers the ball from left to right hand and side throws that one also. The ball hits the ground as another Pokemon comes out; a green animal with a flower bulb on its back. "Hey, it's a Bulbasaur!" This time, Jack catches the Pokeball with ease and the joy of having the chance to finally send out Pokemon hits him with great emotion. "What cool Pokemon to start with. Thanks Dad!"

His dad has been away for a week on some emergency tour in a neighboring league. His dad has always liked training Pokemon and he has many strong ones. These Pokemon just called out, however, are new to the family, just being caught about a month ago by his dad. Even at the age of forty-four, his father never let the Trainer spirit get too far away. Sadly, he is due to arrive around three days from now and cannot be here to wish Jack a good trip. This day was chosen by Jack months in advance but when his father went to the emergency, Jack wanted to wait for him to come back.

“No son, this is your day. Just remember everything I told you and you will start fine.” His father said this the day after Jack’s seventeenth birthday, when he was called to the emergency.

Jack of Clovers
07-10-2004, 06:29 AM
They quickly change scenery from the backyard to the front of the house, Jack looks down the path from his home. The day is moving fast and Jack doesn’t want to delay it any more. He hugs his mom for a good full minute and proceeds down the cement path. When he reaches the end, he turns around with his final words, "Tell Dad I wish he could have been here to see me. And I'll miss you a lot Mom. I'll become a great Pokemon Trainer. Trainer’s beware, Jack Kalmer is on the loose. See ya." Jack turns right and starts the walk down the dirt path.

His mom sniffles as small tears start to fall down her cheek as she yells out, "Bye my son, I am already proud of you very much!" As Jack leaves his mother's sight, she walks back inside to continue on with the day but in a down mood.

Jack finishes walking the dirt path heading into his home town, Pine Valley, to finally hit the pavement. Not once did he turn around for fear he may feel discouraged about leaving. With two Pokemon at his side, he feels confident already. A minute later Jack enters the main part of his small town. Pine Valley isn’t that well known in this league as it doesn’t have anything special about it. It’s an average small town with average happenings and Pine trees growing on every block, hence the town name. What really separates this town from all others is there is no Pokemon Center here. The mayor didn’t want that business in a small town.

First he needs to purchase a few more items his mother did not give him such as a map, a belt to hold his Pokeballs, a Badge box and a book called Pokemon Moves to help him with Pokemon he encounters. Along with those items and the items his mother gave him, in his backpack are a change of clothes (another tan t-shirt and basic tan shorts), a large tan towel to sleep on, some food and a copy of his dad’s journey path. He carries the copy because when Jack’s father started his journey, he went a certain path to achieve his high Trainer status. So, he hopes that Jack will follow along this same path.

He walks around town, going from one place to another, receiving some encouragement from people he knows. The comments only make him think about how much he will miss this small town more. He has lived his whole life here and suddenly one day he leaves. That’s how it happens with most Trainers, but most start at an earlier age and aren’t too attached to the town or city they are from. Jack is seventeen, he can almost start a new life here. Certainly when he finishes his journey, Pine Valley is the ideal place to come back and settle down.

After buying the items he needs, he chooses to exit Pine Valley and move to the next town and begin catching Pokemon for himself. But on the way out is a fast food restaurant. Jack decides to make a last stop here at the popular after school hangout, Meat in a Bun.

While he eats his burger he bought, someone walks up to his booth and stands at the end of the table from Jack. The young man is wearing a black rain hat and a brown coat. Jack looks up at him and asks, "Um, may I help you?"

The young man replies back, "What, you don't recognize your best friend anymore?" He begins to laugh and take off his hat and coat and continues to sit down. Jack is amazed that it is his best friend. His name is Michael Collins, whom has been his friend since second grade. His blond hair, brown eyes, shady glasses and overcoat and hat make him look like a cool guy... which he is. He started his journey about three years ago at the normal age of thirteen which would make him sixteen now. Jack has been jealous of the early leave of Michael’s for a long while and despised him for it. But this unexpected meeting shows Jack the friendship Michael still has with him is alive, even though they were separated by three years.

"Been a long time. So, what brings you back to Pine Valley?" Jack questions with a hint of resentment.

Michael puts his hat and coat down on the seat next to him then looks back up to talk. "Well, I just thought I'd come back to see if you have started yet and by the looks of it, you are. I can tell because of the hat you said you would only wear on your journey."

"Yep. I wear my hat you gave to me, and you wear that hat I gave to you. That was the agreement and I stuck with it.”

Jack has always liked the old fashioned hats and Michael wanted an authentic Shelly rain hat, the most respected modern hat company in the league. Michael found a Newsboy hat and bought it for Jack. He had to repay Michael and bought the expensive Shelly hat. The hat doesn’t look like it was meant for rain, more like a fishing hat. Either way, Jack mustered enough money to buy one.

Jack crumples his wrapper up. “You know, you almost missed me.”

"Good thing I found you. But it wasn’t just you I wanted to see, I also came back to take a two week vacation at my family's ranch. I sure miss being back home. Let me tell you something before you leave."

Jack finishes his meal and throws the trash away in the receptacle. They both get up and step outside opposite each other and Michael continues the conversation.

"Now the first week you’re going to miss home but don't let it get to you. It really hurt me and I fell behind in my training. Getting past that moment is hard."

"Your wrong my friend, I am not going to miss home like that. I’ve been wanting this journey for the longest time. There will be uneasiness, but that is expected." Jack starts walking away, leaving Michael behind. “I must get going, the world awaits my skills.”

Before Jack gets too far away, Michael yells out, "You will never be as great as me though. That, I am sure of."

Jack turns around and yells back, "I see you still end sentences with prepositions." Jack smiles, waves, then turns back around and turns the corner and five minutes later he is out of town, into the wildlife on his own journey for the first time.

“It was good to see Michael again. I know he is doing well. He may have three years up on me, but I will battle him and win. While he takes his little vacation, I will be catching up to him and we will see who is the best.” That is just one of his goals: to beat Michael in a battle. His major goal is to achieve every badge from every Gym and test his skills as a Trainer but he will really make up his journey as he progresses. He can easily change goals at any time during this journey, but he will still get all those precious badges every Trainer longs to own.

~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-10-2004, 06:30 AM
A long walk later, Jack decides to take a five minute rest under a tree. Of all the things he learned, he never thought that walking would much of a burden. Apparently, he forgot he would be carrying a pack of Trainer goods. But this is fine, it takes some time getting used to the feeling of walking around.

He sits against the tree, laying his pack next to him. Looking around there are trees and bushes but it doesn't look like a forest, more like a park. Not one person has been seen during his walk but that is fine; he doesn’t want to run into a Trainer yet until he has caught his first Pokemon. In this break, he takes his book out to memorize the moves of Bulbasaur and Pikachu.

While Jack is looking in the book, a Rattata sneakingly comes over to his pack from behind. Seeing that the inside is reachable, Rattata hops under the flap and jumps in to look for food.

Jack looks up from his book, then to his pack where the rustling noise is coming from. Jack jumps up and pulls a Pokeball from his belt. "Alright come out of my pack whatever Pokemon you are!" Jack watches as a Rattata jumps out, holding a cracker in its mouth and runs away into some bushes ahead. He puts the Pokeball away and sits back down again. “Rattata, eh? Guess I should be more careful about my belongings.” Wild Pokemon are ruthless, most only worry about their own survival and they must do what they can to achieve that.

A couple minutes later he picks up his pack and stands ready to go. Suddenly that same Rattata jumps out of the bushes it had run into, only this time beat up. Jack stops to see the Rattata run towards him. He looks at his belt and pulls off a Pokeball, pressing the button to enlarge it, but before he can look up the Rattata is at his feet holding on to his shoe. Jack looks up thinking some Pokemon is after this Rattata. “Did something attack you?”

“Rat...” it nods with fear

Maybe when it was eating the stolen cracker, it was surprised by another Pokemon. Whatever the case, Jack swore to help all Pokemon in need. Helping a Pokemon or Trainer in need is part of the Trainer’s Code, a list of guidelines from the Stoplek League officially stated that Trainers should follow. Among that list is to help Pokemon in desperate need of assistance. Jack believes in the codes and stands ready to watch what might come out of the bushes.

Rustling starts behind him and he quickly jumps around seeing a long purple Pokemon jump at him. Jack ducks down and turns back around to see what it was. He looks at the injured Rattata. "Is that the Pokemon that is attacking you?" The Rattata runs behind Jack with a slight nod as he checks it out. "Hmmm, an Ekans. They are of the poison ability. I mean type, poison type."
The Ekans stands tall and glares with its slender eyes at Jack then at Rattata.

"Oh no you don't Ekans. If you want to hurt this Rattata, you have to go through me first." Jack is now determined to defend Rattata at all cost. It might have been his cracker Rattata stole that caused this problem and Jack must fix it.

Pikachu comes out as the Pokeball flies perfectly back to Jack. Before he can say a command, the Ekans leans back then forward, sending a barrage of poisonous needles at Pikachu. Pikachu, not hearing any commands, jumps to the side which causes the attack to miss.

Jack watches, a little scared, but chokes up and yells an attack, "Pikachu use Thunder now!" His first attack.

Pikachu twists its ears as if to say ‘huh?’

“Oh,” Jack nervously smiles, “must not have learned that. Try, uh, Thundershock then.”
Pikachu responds to this command, glowing brightly as a ray of golden-yellow heads towards Ekans with tremendous speed. With no time to get away, Ekans is shocked and slightly falls to the ground hurt. This can be the opportunity to catch Ekans but no, Jack wants to run.

"Return Pikachu" Jack recalls Pikachu in that blinding red beam, shrinks the Pokeball and places it back on his belt. Not sure if more Ekans will appear, Jack picks up the hurt Rattata and runs.

Soon, they stop at a little stream. Jack puts Rattata down, sprays some super potion on it and feeds it some crackers after that. Rattata sighs from the potion spray but loves the crackers, feeling a lot better now.

“I wonder if all journey’s start this way.”

Rattata snaps up and jumps around, happy as can be. “Rattata rataa.”

The joy lessens as the ground begins to shake and a Pokemon jumps out from out of the ground. It's the Ekans again.

“An Ekans can dig holes?”

Jack jumps up thinking about this, seeing the Ekans and reaches to grab a Pokeball. Ekans takes the first shot. Poison darts barrel at the unprepared Jack and he is too slow to move out of the way. Rattata digs its feet into the ground and leaps at the human, knocking him to the side, narrowly avoiding the poison.

He stumbles on his feet and reflexes from the hit and gains control. “Whoa, thanks Rattata.” Jack moves to his belt ready to send out a Pokemon, instead Rattata jumps out to attack. "Rattata, what are you doing? You got hurt the last time." Jack looks at Rattata seeing it was in the same battle stance as Pikachu.

Rattata moves forward with a front attack but misses the slender snake. Then Rattata leaps into the air, avoiding one of Ekans poison attacks. Once it regains ground stability, Rattata moves again with a tackle to Ekans with the same results of missing.

“The Ekans is too fast and limber. You have to be faster and more accurate.” Jack opens his backpack to find his book and look up the attacks of Rattata. He will help it win this battle.

But while Jack is nose deep in the book, Ekans wraps Rattata in its body and proceeds to squeeze the stuffing out of it.

Jack gasps as he sees Rattata trapped. He quickly thinks and knows a good attack to use and he says it without confirming his book. "Try a Scratch attack."

For one thing, Rattata don’t really have claws to scratch with. For another, Rattata doesn’t learn it as an attack. But being squeezed by Ekans, the scratch attack won’t be very strong. On the plus side, the little claws moving around actually tickle Ekans’ slender body. Nonetheless, the attack works and Ekans lets go just enough for Rattata to jump out.

With the Rattata page of moves in front of his face, Jack calls out, "Alright, now use you Bite attack."
Quickly jumping to the tail of Ekans, large teeth sink in and clasp the tail in a sharp and painful bind. Ekans squirms around, bending and moving in all angles. Ekans jumps into the air and heads face down into the dirt to dig away. The Ekans digs away just as Rattata lets go.

"Rattata, jump off..." he stops his sentence to see Ekans gone and Rattata safely on the ground. “Heh, guess I need to be a little quicker.”

Rattata then runs to Jack with a smile on its face. "Rrraattata.”

They wait a couple minutes but no Ekans resurface. Jack feeds Rattata some more crackers. “You know, you’re pretty strong for a little guy. And it says in my book that you frequently take food from Trainers. I wonder if that is because you don’t get enough food from the wild.” He looks at Rattata oddly. “How would you like to come with me Rattata? I’m sure both of us could use the company and you would get to eat more."

Rattata nods and replies, "Rrraattata!"

“That’s great. Welcome to the team.”

Indeed, this is his first capture and one without struggle or a need to battle for weakening. Jack has never liked the idea of battling and capturing Pokemon because it forces them to obey the Trainer. He only wants Pokemon that want to come with him. What he doesn’t realize, the job of a Trainer is to catch Pokemon and train them regardless of likeness. A true Trainer can train any Pokemon caught at any time.

Now, with his first captured Pokemon on his belt, he has accomplished the hardest part to starting as a Trainer. This is something to be very proud about. With only a little bit to go, he heads off to the next town, with three Pokemon already in his lineup.

Let the adventure begin.

End Episode 1
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-17-2004, 05:39 AM
~*~
Episode 2
Flying Type Disadvantage

Jack continues to march down the dirt and grassy path where at the end would be the first town, Keadrill. He pops Rattata out for some walking company, whom runs from one side of the path to the other, smelling the different scents of the new surroundings. It seems like he will reach Keadrill without a problem. For this reason, Jack finds it very odd that in a world full of Pokemon and Trainers, he has only seen one Rattata and one Ekans so far. He knows Pokemon aren’t the easiest creature to find. But still, where are the other Trainers?

He ponders this some more then notices something in the short distance on the left side of the path. He flips up his sunglasses to make sure he is seeing what he thinks he is seeing. Moving closer, he realizes that it is a Pokemon lying on the ground. This Pokemon is small with two wings, three back feathers and a little fluff in the chest. It has a brown color on top and tan underneath with black around the eyes. Obviously it’s a bird Pokemon- the wings, sharp claws and beak are a dead give away. To be more exact, it’s a Pidgey and by the looks of it, hurt badly and unconscious. The noise of a small plane above distracts Jack as he watches the tail end momentarily vanish over the top of the trees.

Jack drops his sunglasses over his eyes. “This can’t be good.”

“Raaattata.”

Kneeling to the ground, Jack goes to pick up the bird but it flinches and opens its eyes to see oncoming trouble. The sudden act of a human frightens the poor little injured bird. A quick jump up, it limps backward holding its right wing low to the ground.

“Whoa, wait Pidgey. I’m here to help you.” Jack proceeds forward trying to pick Pidgey up but it struggles away.

“Piidddgey,” it mumbles out pathetically.

The Pidgey wouldn’t go nicely, and even when Jack gets a grip, the bird wildly flaps it’s arms, screaming in pain. The wild squirming almost causes Pidgey’s claws to shred his shirt. For safety reasons, Jack has to put Pidgey down and step back to watch it regain balance.

“Pidgey, please. I want to help.” Jack can see in its face the fear and pain it must be feeling. He looks around but no other person is in sight. The only other choice is to catch it. “Pidgey, you are wounded and need help from a Pokemon Center and I will get you there.”

Jack opens one of his side pockets on his pack where he keeps his empty Pokeballs, grabs one and side tosses it to Pidgey. Pidgey attempts to limp and flap away but it gets nowhere. The wing is far too injured to be used for flying, thus Pidgey can’t escape the dreaded capture. The Pokeball hits, bounces off Pidgey for a second and the red light surrounds it. Slowly, Pidgey turns to a red shape and the beam is sucked into the open Pokeball. The Pokeball hits the ground with an immediate ping sound to signifying the quick and easy capture of Pidgey.

“Interesting”, Jack says to himself about the painless capture but this is not a time to waste. He steps over and grabs the Pokeball home to Pidgey and shoves it in his shorts pocket. He recalls Rattata and places that Pokeball back on his belt. After that, Jack rushes like a mad man on fire.

~*~

Upon reaching Keadrill, Jack has no time to take in the wonder that is this town. He has more important issues at hand. All the buildings are a blur to him as he rushes from person to person, asking where he can locate the Pokemon Center. Getting the directions, he finds the Pokemon Center, a small building, maybe the size of two regular elementary classrooms.

All Pokemon Centers have wide windows at the entrance to let the light inside and make it a more friendly atmosphere. The exterior has an overhang above the entrance to protect from the rain. This matches the red tiled round roof and antennae sticking out of the middle and a flag hanging from it with the same Pokecenter logo on the overhang; a simple PC in white bold letters with a red background. This building is one story tall while a few in the league are double the size. Of course, some cities have different features, such as Rontoto Beach. That city has two double story Pokemon Centers because of all the Trainer activity. Not to mention, it’s the home to the Official Leader and Grand Champion of the Stoplek League.

Jack enters through the automatic plexiglass sliding doors to find there is a small line of two people at the head desk. He waits a couple minutes, holding the Pokeball containing Pidgey in his hands. He didn’t want to wait for this line but that would be rude to cut to the front. Maybe these people have injured Pokemon as well.

Behind the counter is a lovely female with curly pick hair covered by a nurse hat with a red hospital cross in the middle. The rest of her outfit is a simple white nurse apron over a pink short sleeved shirt. The apron has deep pockets in front to hold nurse utensils and uses a string to tie a bow in the back. These nurses are the residents of all league operated Pokemon Centers: Nurse Joy. Everyone of them look the same, with maybe one or two differences but not many can tell. But no matter, they are the best and well trained nurses in almost every league.

Nurse Joy looks at the next Trainer seeing that it’s a new face and smiles. “Ah, a young new face around town. How may...”

However, Jack has no time for greetings and speaks out, "Could you please take this Pidgey and give it a check up?" Jack slides the Pokeball across the counter with his hand.

Nurse Joy is a little shocked. "Well, I see you are familiar with Pokemon Centers."

Actually, this is Jack’s first time being in a Pokemon Center. Pine Valley hasn’t allowed a Pokemon Center because the city officials don’t want the Trainer attention in their small town. Jack thinks that’s a lame reason and he is quite sure it has something to do with politics.

Joy continues. “Yes, I would be glad to heal Pidgey for you. That’s what Pokemon Centers do.”

"But I think this Pidgey has a broken leg and a broken wing or something like that. It needs more attention than healing, don’t you think?"

Nurse Joy looks down at the Pokeball then to the new face and gasps. "Chansey, we have an emergency. Let's open up Emergency Room One!"

Chansey is a large round pink Pokemon with pink dread locks hanging off the side of her head. They also have a pouch in front to hold Pokemon Eggs they are watching over. Chansey stops her work around the corner and follows Nurse Joy to a room in the back.

A second Chansey follows out and smiles at Jack. “Chansey!” When the local Nurse Joy takes an emergency case, a backup Chansey takes the desk to help people with their needs.

“Hi there Chansey. I’d like these Pokemon checked out too.” Jack drops his other three Pokeballs on the counter for Chansey to heal. He turns back and looks around. In all his rush, he still has his sunglasses on, so he takes them off inside the building so he can better look around and experience the Pokemon Center. His father told him a lot about these places but Jack never imagined it would be so interesting.

Most Pokemon Centers have the same look but all of them have white walls and ceilings and marble red tile floors. As the Trainer enters, the desk and service counter are straight in front. Behind the desk are two doors, the right one is an office and the left one leads to the back where the healing and emergency rooms are located. On the wall next to that door is a red light. When it is on, it means Nurse Joy is in the emergency room.

To the left is a small open room with a few comfy beanbag chairs and benches lined around one of the two walls; the third wall is actually one of the large windows in front that people can see in and out of the Pokemon Center. This room is designated as the Waiting Room for Trainer’s to wait for their Pokemon to be examined or when they are meeting someone there. Along the inside wall are the phones and transport systems for Trainer use only. There are usually four to five phones at any given Pokemon Center and they are free to use for all Trainer’s at any time. They sit on counters nailed perpendicular to the wall and each are separated by a vertical dark green plastic sheet for privacy. The phones are dark green and have their own picture monitor but they aren’t necessary to use most of the time. These phones are ideal for any Trainer to maintain contact with their Pokemon Storage facility. Also, they are nice to use for a call home every once in a while.

To the right is the lounge with tables and chairs and booths, more for talking to other Trainers and grabbing a quick bite to eat. Pokemon Centers don’t have the best food but to a Trainer with low money, free food is their choice. Since the Pokemon Center curves at that part, there is only one wall. This wall has a post up board for flyers and anything interesting that might be happening in the specific town.

Jack looks at the only flyer posted up at this time. It is a white paper copy, with a few words and a fuzzy black and white picture. “Earn those badges and make a name for yourself!” The picture features the bust of a guy Jack has never seen. At the bottom it says “The Stoplek League challenges all Trainers.” Basically the cheap flyer is advertising the Stoplek League.

“Why do they need to advertise here when practically everyone that comes in is a Trainer?” Jack is baffled by the flyer but continues his walk around the Main Lobby.

Jack of Clovers
07-17-2004, 05:44 AM
If the flyers aren’t helpful, then the lounge is a great place to find other Trainers and learn information or make battle challenges. However, these battles usually take place directly outside in the street and the police don’t much like that.

Down the hall in the lounge heading back are the bathrooms and sleeping rooms for Trainers to stay the night, and it’s free. Usually all the sleeping rooms are not filled up because many people like the experience to sleep in the wild with the Pokemon. The rooms aren’t anything special either, only a bed and small dresser next to it. If a Trainer wanted royalty, they can choose to stay at a hotel. However, if the Pokemon Center is busy, a Trainer is allowed to spend two consecutive nights then they are kicked out to let others have a chance.

At the end of the hall are two rooms, one a bathroom and the other a laundry room. These two rooms are like luxary to a Trainer that's been out in the wild for a while.

Pokemon Centers are completely funded by the Stoplek League, which means they are the official healing centers of the league. Some residents of the league are upset that their tax money is spent on these Pokemon Centers but without the league system, most people would go bankrupt. Their main argument is the fact that a Pokemon Center doesn’t charge a Trainer for the time and use up taxpayer money.

Every Center has at least one Nurse Joy and one partner Chansey. They both have the same nurse experience but Nurse Joy has human experience and can multi-task. A nurse Chansey is only taught how to deal with helping around a Pokemon Center. This is good because the league doesn’t have to pay a Chansey money to work, so to speak. Plus this Trainer-Pokemon bond is cliched all the time and people think both Trainer and Pokemon are perfect for each other. The nurse is the boss and Chansey only does what it is told to do, there is no mutual relationship behind the workstation. But, when they are off work, that is a different story. Because Chansey has great healing abilities, one of the friendliest attitudes, and can manage machines, they have become the ideal Pokemon for a Trainer to see helping them in a Pokemon Center.

This particular building doesn’t seem very busy. Those two Trainers that were in line have left and no one is in the lounge or waiting room. Maybe at a certain time of day the Pokemon Center will be busy. But for now, Jack is alone.

“I hope Pidgey is ok.” Jack unhooks his pack and drops it down next to a bean bag in the waiting room and pulls out his book, Pokemon Moves. He flips through and glances at the Pokemon to help familiarize some more and waste time.

~*~

Jack is still in the waiting room as night draws in. At around five o’clock it is busy but he pays no attention to it; all he can think about is how Pidgey is feeling. Even though it isn’t his Pokemon, he still must wait to hear the diagnosis. He brings up his three Pokeballs with Pikachu, Bulbasaur and his first caught Rattata and envisions what they could mean to him. He must have dedication and understanding and most importantly, caring. If he cares this much about a wild Pokemon, he must care more for his own.

The red light for the ER turns off. The door open as Chansey walks out followed by Nurse Joy. Neither one has an expression on their face, just blank looks of concern. She spots Jack in the waiting room and approaches him calmly. She taps his shoulder. “Excuse me.”

Jack flinches from his concentration to see Nurse Joy above him. He is quick to respond, "Is Pidgey going to be all right?"

She smiles and points him to the door behind the desk. “Follow me.” She leads Jack to the door and around the corner. They walk down a long hallway of doors and white walls which reminds Jack of a human hospital; even the exact same rectangular lights above. On the right Jack spots a room marked 'Healing'; it must be where they take the Pokemon to be checked and healed properly. They turn right to another hall, only shorter in length. On each side are windows and the one on the right is where Pidgey lay. It’s a small room with Pidgey by itself, surrounded by electronics on all sides. Pidgey lay still in one of those see through plastic box containers for protection from the surroundings and proper ventilation of air. Its right wing and both feet are bandaged up in the traditional white gauze.

"Pidgey will be fine. It will have to stay off flying for a while though. The right wing bone is fractured and it’s not too well. What happened for it to be in this condition?" Joy looks a little annoyed thinking this Trainer might be the cause.

"Well, I found it limping in the forest before I got to town. Then I brought it here for you to heal." Jack looks at Pidgey. “I don’t know what happened either.”

Joy comments back. "It must be the Model Plane Club again.”

“Who?”

“The Model Plane Club. They always fly their planes in the air and chase any flying Pokemon they spot. They call it 'catching Pokemon' but I say they are ruining the Pokemon habitat and population. You hardly see any flying Pokemon near here, they all got smart and flew away. But this Pidgey, it looks like it was hurt sometime today.”

Jack recalls the sound of a plane leaving the scene. Annoyed, “People with planes hunting Pokemon, that can’t be legal.”

“Unfortunately, they get away with it. Every time is a new excuse so no one bothers to question them anymore. Someone should do something but everyone is too scared of them. I’ve seen my share of injured flying Pokemon here and it’s very depressing.” Nurse Joy goes sentimental. “Years back, I helped a Hoothoot for two weeks and finally let it back out. A day later that same Hoothoot came back, injured again. I can’t bare that pain so I release the injured Pokemon I receive as far away from here as I can go, hoping never to see that Pokemon injured in my Center again."

Jack stands there watching Pidgey and listening to Joy at the same time. He is angry that some people can be so insensitive to the Pokemon of these lands and wants to meet the Model Plane Club people. Although he doesn’t know the whole story, Jack knows he has to do something about it.

"Nurse joy, where do these people meet for their club?"

She looks down at Jack, "They meet at a house not far from here, on the southern end of Keadrill.”
“That’s where I found Pidgey. I must go talk to them.”

“Oh. But I don't suggest you go...."

"But I have to go.” Jack’s voice turns to ambition. “They have treated Pokemon wrong I will see that they stop. It's my duty to see that all Pokemon are treated with care, as stated in the Trainer’s Code. An innocent Pokemon being mistreated is the worst of all crimes against Pokemon. I may not know everything about Pokemon yet, but I do know what is wrong. Plus you should not have to go through the pain of another hurt Pokemon."

They both look back at Pidgey whom had awaken in the time he was talking, facing them and looking at the Trainer that cared so much. Pidgey realizes that if it weren’t for this Trainer, it could be a lot worse.

Jack backs off the glass window to think. "I would go now but I should probably rest and wait for better daylight. Tomorrow would be a better day to go." Jack turns to look at Joy, who is still looking at Pidgey move around. "Is it all right if I sleep here for the night?"

Joy looks at Jack and smiles, "Sure, you can stay. Pokemon Centers are meant for Trainers to spend the night. And while you stay here, my Chansey will periodically watch over your Pidgey during the night."

“My Pidgey?” Jack whispers to himself. It never crossed his mind that he actually caught this Pokemon and it was his. But I caught it unfairly, do I have the right to keep it? I don’t want to force Pidgey to be my Pokemon, that’s not fair.

Nurse Joy leads Jack around the Pokemon Center, through the lounge, down the short hallway and opens a room with her keys. He thanks her for all that she has done and she goes back to work. Jack steps in and closes the door, alone again.

The bed is half the size of the room and this is definitely not a Master Bedroom. He puts his stuff down by the bed, drops his hat on the small wooden dresser and throws his sunglasses and anything in his pockets in the hat. Then he changes into his back up clothes and lay on the bed. Staring at the blank ceiling, he thinks about tomorrow and what he might do as he fades...fades...fades... to sleep.

~*~

The next day arrives and Jack is moving down the not-very-busy street. Keadrill is only a size larger than Pine Valley with mostly houses and small stores but one section in the northern part is loaded with the business market; taller buildings and corporate bigwigs run the show there. But Jack’s path doesn’t lead that way; his aim is south of town to the Model Plane Club. Nurse Joy warned him about visiting the club but Jack wouldn’t listen. Such treatment of Pokemon must be challenged.

Jack of Clovers
07-17-2004, 05:52 AM
The house is a normal country style house with white trimmings and large round columns in front. On the top is a Fearow statue, perched with its wings tucked in, staring out at the world. He knocks on the door, hearing an echo inside, and a guy answers.

Jack asks, “Hi there. Can I talk to the club leader?”

The guy looks up and down at the person at the door. Hesitantly, “Yea, he’s out back flying some new planes.”

“Thanks.”

Without permission, Jack walks around the house to the backyard to find a level field for landing planes. There are four people total and another one controlling a Pidgeot model plane soaring above. Jack notices that is the same tail plane he saw yesterday in the sky.

Three of the guys turn to look at the new figure. The guy that greeted Jack marches from the back door and heads out there to talk to the group. One of them motions to the other guy to land the plane and he does. Then all five of them walk closer to Jack, not in a threatening way but it is definitely a walk of power. As they arrive closer to the kid they talk to each other.

"So, what do we have here?" one of them questions.

Then another one talks, "Why did you send him out here? We don’t recruit kids."

The greeter answers. “He asked to speak to the leader.”

Then a slightly bald and thin man wearing a green Hawaiian type shirt with yellow palm trees walks up to Jack and looks at him. "Hey kid," he begins," I am Bernie, Model Plane Club Manager. What are you doing here? You must not be wanting to join because you have to be twenty-five years old. Therefore, the only reason you are here is to tell us something."

Jack looks nervously about. "My name is Jack and I recently started my journey. You have badly damaged a Pidgey on my way to this town and I am upset that you did this. I came here to ask you guys to stop harming the flying Pokemon of this area. It’s damaging to the environment." Jack stares back with his cool sunglasses to show he is serious.

Bernie chuckles back. "One Pidgey gets hurt and you come to me.” He chuckles again. “Now let’s see. Oh, I remember yesterday. That Pidgey was so weak, it only took one hit to take it down. I felt so sorry for it, I couldn’t catch the poor little thing.”

“What? You are supposed to battle a Pokemon with Pokemon to catch them. That’s the honorable thing to do as a Trainer. You don’t attack them with harmful tools like a plane. Think of the Trainer’s Code.”

The bald man strike back defensively. “Listen kid, you can have your fantasy of how training works but in the real world, anything goes.”

“So you won’t stop?”

“For you, sure I will,” Bernie says sarcastically. “But only if you do one thing for me."

Jack looks at him thinking this must be a trap. "What do I have to do?"

"You have to have a Pokemon battle with me and if, and I mean if I lose, then we will stop. But wait, you’re only a little kid that just started. How can you possibly beat an experienced Trainer like me?" The other members start laughing, mocking Jack.

Jack keeps his cool attitude, blocking his anger from being exposed. Every since he let his anger loose in school one time because someone made fun of him not going on his journey, he tries to keep a calm and cool attitude toward everyone. Fire burns in his eyes.
"I accept your challenge!"

Bernie stops laughing,"You do huh? Your loss. One Pokemon each."

This battle is way over Jack’s head. Not only is it his first battle with another Trainer, but it is with someone probably a lot better. Not the smartest decision but something has to be done and there isn’t much Jack can do to stop them.

The man claps his hands in the air above him and the statue perched on top of his house moves. The large wings of Fearow flap over to the ground next to Bernie, creating gusts as it lands.

Jack takes a Pokeball off from his belt, expands it then throws the ball to the grass; Pikachu materializes from blurry red to the yellow shape and pointy tail.

"Lets get this over with, we still have to practice with my new plane." The man laughs as he orders his Fearow to zoom past Jack and his Pikachu.

“I know electricity is good against flying types. Hopefully that will give me an advantage.”

Fearow kicks up air as it takes to the sky and soars by him and Pikachu. Jack blocks his face from the force of wind created as Fearow soars over them again, this time from the back side. Fearow turns and remains in the air holding position above ground.

"Alright Pikachu, this battle is important. Give that Fearow the best Thundershock you have."

Bernie practically collapses to the floor... “Thundershock? You must be kidding kid.”

Pikachu closes his eyes, sparking up with yellow electric waves around his body and fires a small electric beam toward Fearow. The bolt zips through the air and hits Fearow, electrocuting its body. But Fearow is so strong that it only feels a light jolt from the shock and shakes the energy away.

"Fearow, show him your powerful Whirlwind."

The four men quickly run back to the house to evade the strong winds to come. Fearow flaps its wings back and forth at a rapid pace, creating a very powerful wind. Pikachu and Jack try to stand, facing the wind and covering their face but the wind is too powerful. Jack lowers himself to the ground to avoid being thrown back while the lighter Pikachu is blown into the air and smacks into a tree at the edge of the yard. Before Pikachu could get up, Fearow lands close, just in reach to attack.

"Finish it off Fearow!"

The large bird brings its head back then forward, sending multiple thrusts with its long beak at Pikachu.

Jack gets up watching Pikachu pummeled by attack, “Aw, Pikachu.”

The Fearow stops and flaps back to Bernie’s side to let Pikachu remain on the ground, heavily damaged.

“You’ve been defeated kid, now get out of here.”

Jack crouches to Pikachu. “You’ll be fine, just need rest.” He recalls Pikachu in defeat and faces the members of the club. “I may have lost but the message has been sent. The town wants you to stop and I came to try. Someday, you will get what’s yours.”

This can only get a boasting response back. "Hey kid, don't come back around here again. It's not worth losing all the time. Hahahaha...."

With that finished, Jack runs away, back to the Pokemon Center, hearing laughter as he leaves and feeling rage build as he fails the wild flying Pokemon.

~*~

He sits at a booth in the lounge room at the Pokecenter as Nurse Joy walks up to him. She puts his Pokeball on the table, "Your Pikachu is all better now. And if you want, you can go see your Pidgey."
Jack thanks her and heads for Pidgey in the back. He walks past the window and goes to the room where Pidgey is still being held, only this time out of the plastic cage. He smiles as he hears the cheerful "Piidgey" sound it makes.

“I’m glad you’re ok now.”

Nurse Joy joins Jack by his side, "Pidgey shouldn’t battle for about a week, it still needs to heal correctly but I just don't have all the time to watch over it. In about an hour this Center will receive a few injured wild Pokemon and we need the room.”

“I understand. I can take care of that Pidgey. No, wait... my Pidgey.”

Nurse Joy smiles. “It’s a good thing Pokemon heal faster than people do. You take care now."

Jack and Nurse Joy separate to do their own business. Jack decides that now is a good time to call home and report his status. He heads back out to the main lobby then to the waiting room where the phones sit. Jack sits himself at the counter and selects the dark red phone. He quickly dials home with the screen off.

"Hello?”

“Hey Mom.”

“Oh, hi Jack! How are you doing?"

"I'm fine. I already caught two Pokemon. A Rattata and a Pidgey."

She pauses for a moment, "Is that good?"

Jack nods, even though his mom can’t see. “I guess. One of them I saved from an Ekans and the other I rescued because it was injured badly.”

“Oh my. Are you ok?”

“Yes, I’m fine Mom. This journey is great so far.”

“That’s wonderful Jack. I’m glad you’re having fun.”

“Thanks Mom. I’m just calling to let you know I’m ok.”

“You’re very thoughtful to do so.”

“That’s all Mom. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Bye Jack.”

He smiles and hangs up.

Nurse Joy surprises him from behind with a Pokeball. The Pokemon Center is so empty that she doesn’t have anything to do but help Jack. “Pidgey is back in her Pokeball. Remember, off activity for a week for proper strength.”

“Got it.” Jack thanks her for all her help, again.

Pidgey are the most common bird Pokemon in the whole world. Every Trainer catches one of them and it’s been tradition to do so. For a Trainer not to catch a Pidgey is one of the most embarrassing moments to happen to a Trainer. Although, most people find Pidgey not very exciting, thus, they let them go after a while.

Jack quickly grabs the last minute cheap breakfast food at the Pokemon Center for him and his Pokemon and jolts out the door. With his Pokemon all healed, a new addition to the team, and clean clothes on his back, Jack is having the time of his life, with the exception of losing his first battle.

“I will be back, and with a stronger team, The Model Plane Club will understand I will not go down easily.” With determination on his side and courage in his eyes, he leaves the slow town of Keadrill and continues on his journey.

End Episode 2
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-23-2004, 11:12 PM
~*~
Episode 3
Trainer’s Code

After his loss with Bernie, the Model Plane Club Manager, Jack has ditched the town of Keadrill and is moving to Blue Falls City. But first, some quality time with his Pokemon. Bulbasaur, Pikachu, Rattata and Pidgey are all called out.

“Good afternoon guys.” They each of his Pokemon call out their signature sound. “Today we are going to have fun so we can get to know each other.” Jack kneels down to pick up the injured Pidgey. “You need to be careful though. Nurse Joy said for you to be off activity for one week.”
“Pidgggg.”

*TRIP* *SMACK*

A girl, not looking where she is running, trips over here dress and smacks into the back of Jack. Jack falls and catches himself to the ground, holding Pidgey up so she doesn’t get squished under his body.

“OW!”

The girl, sitting on the ground from the run-in, looks at the person she hit. “Oh, I’m so sorry.”
Jack rubs his side. “Sure. I was looking forward to being knocked to the ground.” He smiles from his sarcasm but she fails to find it funny. “What’s the hurry?”

She wears a mixture of red colors on her slender-to-wide dress which almost hits the ground. Her long red hair drapes over her shoulder from the fall and her large blue eyes blink saying they’re sorry. The face is much younger than Jack’s but the dress suggests otherwise.

“No time to chat, I’m being chased.” She stands and grabs Jack by the arm to lift him up.
Standing up, Jack looks in the direction she ran from. “A person? Pokemon?”

She didn’t answer the question, but instead points to the moving bushes with fear shaking in her body.
Jack recalls Pidgey to her Pokeball and his other three Pokemon take to the front in defensive positions.

The figure moves closer from the shadows of the trees to show itself to be.... a tall green mantis like Pokemon with sharp claws as hands and judgmental eyes. Its eyes are enraged and it quickly takes a swipe at the red dress girl.

“Aiii!” She screams, jumping behind Jack.

This is a Pokemon Jack has seen before in his studies. “It’s a ...”

“...Scyther.” She finishes.

“Yes, that’s it. Something you don’t see every day.”

Scyther has no time for the talking Trainer before him and swipes down, splitting up Pikachu, and Bulbasaur, knocking Rattata hard to the side. Jack and the girl step back.

According to the Trainer’s Code, it is the honorable thing to help any Pokemon or Trainer alike if needed. Jack has promised to follow this as best he can.

“It looks strong. Pikachu, use Thundershock.”

The sparks light up and the mini bolt fires only to miss a quickly fading Scyther. Scyther raises its scythe arm and slashes only once at Pikachu to put it down.

“One swipe? Wow...” Jack recalls Pikachu. “Bulbasaur, Vine Whip to stop it from moving.”

Two green vines move out and grab a hold of one of Scythers’ legs. Scyther looks back with its eyes and moves its free foot and body in a circular fashion. The spinning body wraps the vines around the caught legs. Bulbasaur tries to hold onto the ground but the spinning is too strong and around he goes, being spun by Scyther. With the spin of gravity taking play, dizzy Bulbasaur can’t hold on any more and lets go, flying backward rolling on the ground.

“Bulba...” @.@

“Oh man, it’s tough.” Bulbasaur is recalled.

Before Jack can call anything for his Rattata to use, Scyther leaps to the last standing Pokemon with a double slash attack. Good thing Rattata is small and harder to hit. The double slashing attacks miss and Rattata dashes next to a tree panting. That first hit took a lot out of him but Rattata isn’t likely to give up. Rattata stares up at the tall green Pokemon with eyes of readiness. Scyther quickly steps left, swinging its right scythe toward Rattata. *SHING* The scythe punctures into and through the thick tree inches above the ducking rat. Rattata squints his eyes and opens them to see everything is fine. Scyther pulls from the tree, kicking it and using the other scythe to slash at it but the right scythe is stuck deep in the tree.

The red dress girl tugs on Jack’s shirt. “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

“You don’t just leave something this rare and not catch it. On the other hand, even with one scythe stuck, it would still beat me..” Jack sighs wishing his Pokemon were stronger.

The two of them vacate north and leave Scyther stuck in the tree. Jack would like to help it but who knows if the Pokemon would be stable or not after it’s freed. He wants to help Pokemon in need but this is one exception he will have to make.

After getting far enough away, the two stop and rest from the exhausting action.

“I think we’re safe now. That Scyther won’t be chasing you anymore.” He takes a deep breath to rest.

“Maybe, but I need to go that way to get to Keadrill.” She looks back where they just were, then to the guy in the hat. “Hi, I’m Madeline Summerset.”

“Name’s Jack. Do you need help getting there?” Not the direction Jack was hoping to go but helping another Trainer out is an honorable thing to do as a Trainer.

“No, I can handle it.”

Jack wonders. “Didn’t look like it back there.”

Madeline stares at Jack. “You think I can’t handle Pokemon just because I’m a new to this?”

“Hey, don’t bite my head off. So, when did you start?”

“About a week ago.”

Jack smiles. “I only started yesterday. What a coincidence running into another beginning Trainer.”

She curiously looks at Jack. “But, you’re much older than I am. Why are you starting so late?”

“It’s a long story but it deals with my father. And I’m only seventeen. Not that old.”

Madeline takes a seat on a small rock. “I know what you mean. My parents didn’t think I would be responsible until fifteen. Now, here I am, being chased by Scyther and losing my Pokemon.”

“You lost your Pokemon?”

“Yea. When Scyther surprised me I dropped my purse with all my belongings.”

Jack can see the sadness in her face. “I will help you find it.

Madeline brightens up. “Really? I guess it was good to run into you after all. Thanks.”

Finishing their short rest and small talk, the two split up to meet back at this spot later. The forest is confusing so she can’t remember where she dropped her purse but she knows it must be in the area. There are not many hiding places here either, only in bushes or up a tree. Relatively, the purse shouldn’t be too hard to find.

~*~

But, losing track of time, Jack sees the sky turning shades other than blue and figures to head back. He returns to find Madeline there, waiting for the past hour. Nothing.

She saddens. “Someone must have took it. I’ve lost everything. Maybe my parents were right about me being irresponsible.” She pouts on her little rock.

“It will show up, I’m sure. Besides, it’s getting dark soon so we should worry about setting up camp.”

“Hello.” A different female voice speaks from behind. She is much older than the two of them with long brown slick hair and grey eyes covered by a pair of regular glasses. She wears a nice peach collared shirt and blue jeans. She slowly walks from Jack’s side to the two Trainers and notices the red dress quickly because it stands out so much in a greenish forest, even with the darkening sky. “My search is over.” She brings up her arm to show a fuchsia purse. “I believe this is yours.”

Madeline perks up fast and quickly snatches her purse. “Oh thank you so much. But how did you know it’s mine?”

The lady moves around. “That was my Scyther that chased you. We were taking a walk and it saw the red dress and went for it. I couldn’t stop him and lost track of following you. I’ve been searching since then.”

Jack nudges in, “See, it turned up.”

“So, where’s my Scyther?”

Madeline looks at Jack whom turns to the lady. “Last we saw over there.” He points. “We can show you.”

Jack of Clovers
07-23-2004, 11:15 PM
Jack leads the way with the two females behind him. The trip lasts twenty minutes before the first sight of Scyther is had.

“Oh my.”

Scyther is still stuck in the tree, only this time, its other scythe is crisscrossed and stuck on the other side. There is no way any Pokemon or person could escape such entrapment. The tree has extensive scaring damage from the other scythe but something else must have kept it from breaking free. Scyther lay hanging from the tree by its own trapped scythes, collapsed in complete exhaustion.

The Scyther Trainer rushes over. “Scyther, baby, are you ok?”

“...Scy....”

“I think that’s enough exercise for today.” She pulls out a Pokeball and recalls Scyther.
Jack speaks, “Sorry it got stuck like that but it attacked my Pokemon and...”

“That’s quite alright. Thank you both very much but I must get back to Blue Falls City.”

“I’m going that way, I’ll tag along.” Jack speaks up again but remembers Madeline. “Oh, but Madeline. A new Trainer should never travel by night alone. My father always reminded me of that.”
“Keadrill is where I need to go, not Blue Falls. I was just there.”

Jack takes a second to think. “Ok. I’ll stay here with Madeline for the night.”

The Scyther Trainer nods, “I will stay too. It won’t hurt me to be out tonight. You can call me Trish.”

They each welcome each other to new friendship possibilities. Night is official and the ground is set. Jack puts out his large tan towel for his sleeping arrangements and notices Madeline. All she has is a small purse. No travel equipment, not much else. Trish brings out some long rods and a large sheet and places things together. In time, she erects a medium sized dark green tent, large enough for two people.

“You guys don’t mind if I turn in early, do you?” Trish questions with adequate response. She lay in her tent for the duration of the night.

Jack places his sunglasses and hat in his pack to let his hair have some breathing attention for a while. He calls Pidgey to come out so he can comfort her. He sits cross legged with Pidgey in his lap curled up, stroking the soft feather and massages the wing for healing. Pidgey coos and closes her eyes. Healing doesn’t only take time, it takes care.

“You know, there are some things you could use help with.”

Madeline blinks. “Oh.”

“In case of emergencies, you should carry a backpack of some sort. This way you wouldn’t have to sleep on the floor at night in the wild.”

“Yea, but I was kinda hoping to reach towns before it got dark. Got a little detoured today.”
“Still, a good Trainer will spend nights in the field. It gives them a sort of closeness with the Pokemon world. Feel what they feel.”

“Oh.”

“Second, a dress is hard to travel in. The clothing should be more comfortable rather than stylish. You need to be able to move in any situation.”

She laughs. “Like when I was running from the Scyther and tripped.”

“Yeah.” Jack switches to another topic. “Lastly, we have to battle. It’s the least you owe me for knocking me over.” He smiles friendly.

She starts to feel sorry for knocking him over. “Deal.”

Jack opens his pack to fish some food out. He waves the cookies to show Madeline, who comes over to the towel and sits down on it next to Jack.

“Another plus to having a backpack, it carries emergency food.” He smiles chomping down on the cookie.

She finishes her cookies and start a new conversation. “I saw you had a lot of Pokemon. How can you already have that many and only be one day in the journey?”

“Well, my father is loaning Pikachu and Bulbasaur until I catch my own. And I caught my other two with good timing.”

Still questioning, “You didn’t start from Professor Vine like I did? He said two other Trainers started from him the same time as me.”

“No, my father forbade me going to get my first Pokemon from him. Says he isn’t the best Professor in the League.”

“Oh....”

Jack realizes his words. “Not that you won’t do good, it’s just there are some tales of poor Pokemon being handed out. What was your Pokemon?”

“I’ll show you.” She opens the zipper purse and grabs a Pokeball. It opens to form a small orange Pokemon with definite fire abilities that light up the night. “I like fire types so I chose Magby.”

“Mag!”

Professor Vine of Styper City hands out starter Pokemon to new Trainers. His main three choices are Magby, Elekid and Smoochum. On rare occasions will he hand out something else.

“Good choice. But I think I would have chosen Smoochum. It looks like a cool Pokemon to have.”

“So what city do you come from? I live in Styper City.”

“Pine Valley. A little town with no Pokemon Center. Nice place.”

Madeline goes uneasy. “No Center? Then where will I stay when I get there?”

“Well,” Jack thinks of his hometown. “You could ask around. I’m sure some family will let you stay. Just mention my name, Jack Kalmer.”

The tent zipper slides down and Trish pops her head out. “I couldn’t help but overhear.” She looks to Jack. “How does a starting Trainer like yourself know so much?”

Jack feels embarrassed for some reason. “While waiting to become a Trainer, I had to occupy some time with studying. You don’t take a test without doing the homework. Along with watching television, my father gave me helpful advice. He was a good teacher. Although it doesn’t nearly compare to what a journey can teach someone.”

Trish smiles. “You’re very smart, you know that. Maybe the minimum age for being a Trainer should be raised. I can see just in you that at a later age, the Trainer is smarter and well prepared.”

“Thanks, I guess,” he says blushing from the kind words.

“Madeline,” Trish begins. “You can sleep in the tent next to me for the night. There’s plenty of room.”

She pushes her red hair back. “This is by far the best day to meet new people.” She recalls Magby and drops the Pokeball back in her fuchsia purse

“Must be uncomfortable to sleep in a dress like that.” Jack mentions as he lay back on his towel to prepare for sleep and pats Pidgey one last time before recalling her.

“I know. Don’t look.”

Jack clasps his hands over his eyes and waits for a moment. Thinking that enough time has passed, Jack reveals his eyes to see the tent zipper closed and Madeline’s red dress draped over the top of the tent.

“Hmmm....”

It’s quiet time is now and the three get some nice shuteye for the night. No Pokemon step near the area. The nocturnal Pokemon are quiet during the night and everything is peaceful.

~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-23-2004, 11:18 PM
The next day arrives and Jack is the first one to be awake, however late. Both Madeline and Jack have slept in for the morning. The sun is almost at mid point rising.

Jack yawns, blinking his eyes and stretching from the sleep. He slowly presses himself upward to sit. His hair is not the neatest thing to look at, brown hair every which way on his head. The first thing he sees is Madeline wearing a small red tank top and tiny red shorts. Instead of inside the tent like last night, Madeline lay down on a green towel with her purse next to her.

“Huh? Wasn’t she in the tent last night?” He realizes the tent is also gone. “Uh...”
A short time later, Madeline blinks and stirs awake. She looks at the sky, a nice late morning blue. “Huh?” She shuffles her body up and gasps. “Where am I?” She sees Jack chomping down on a breakfast bar. “Did I miss something?”

“Probably. By the way, nice outfit.” Jack compliments as nice as he can.

Madeline scampers around, wearing her skimpy top and shorts to find her dress and momentarily cover her body. She blushes, heavily embarrassed. “I don’t understand. Where’s Trish?”

“Apparently, she has vacated early. Seems we slept in a bit.” Jack stands up with his four Pokeballs in hand. “I’ll go take a walk, you get yourself ready. I have some bars on my towel if you’re hungry.” He pats down his hair and flips his cap and shades on and takes a hike with his Pokemon.

The walk is short, quiet and uneventful. Rattata, Bulbasaur and Pikachu each have an easy walk. Pidgey tries to walk but the bandages around her legs aren’t helpful.

Half hour later, Jack is back to camp. Madeline, red dress on, sits on her new green towel with Jack’s book open.

“I see you were hungry, almost ate all my food.”

Madeline ignores that and responds. “Did you know that Scyther can be enraged when they see a lot of red?”

“Really?”

“Uh-huh. That’s what the book says.”

Jack looks over at the book. “It doesn’t say why. That’s a let down.”

Silence.

Madeline continues to scan the book and Jack prepares for the next task.

“Are you ready for that battle?” He throws the question out of nowhere.

She turns slightly and closes the book. Getting up, she walks to Jack and hands over his book. “About time.”

“Great.” The book is returned to his pack along with the unopened food. “How shall we do this?”

Madeline walks a distance away. “I only have two Pokemon.”

“Then two it is. Allow me.” Jack grabs, selects and throws: Pikachu to the field.

Madeline calmly opens her purse and pulls out her own Pokemon and sends it to the field. A small bird with ruffled feathers and a sharp beak pops out.

Jack is stunned stiff. “A Spearow, are you sure?”

“Why?”

“You do know about Pokemon types, right?”

“Yes. Spearow is a flying Pokemon and your Pikachu is electric. What else is there?”

Jack sighs horribly. “Pokemon types don’t only separate them by class. Some Pokemon types are better against others. For example,” he commands to Pikachu. “Use Thundershock.”

Spearow takes off from the ground to the air as a mini bolt of lightning flares by. Spearow dives right, then left, avoiding the shocks. But when flying around becomes tiresome, eventually a bolt will hit the bird.

“Spear, go and use Peck.” Madeline calls.

Spearow dodges another bolt, closing in the wings and aiming to dive bomb Pikachu.

“Now, Thundershock!”

The electric rodent shocks around and fires one bolt at the oncoming Spearow. Because it is moving too fast at a downward angel, Spearow can’t maneuver away and the electricity hits. Pikachu dodges last minute to avoid the crashing Spearow.

Madeline gasps. “Spear, you did a great job.” Spearow is recalled.

Jack feels relieved. “Good Pikachu.” Addressing to Madeline, “See, electric attacks work very well on flying Pokemon.”

“Oh.” She grabs her last Pokeball. Magby obviously comes out. “Use Flamethrower.”

Pikachu, even though worn out from using a lot of bolt attacks, manages to sidestep away from the line of hot orange fire. As the fire goes away, Pikachu is unaware of the rushing Magby lining up for a hit. *SMACK* Pikachu is launched into the air from the tackle, spinning and flipping.

“Quickly, Flamethrower again.”

“Get out of there.”

Magby holds its ground, opens its mouth, and fires the stream of flames. Pikachu is easily engulfed. Pikachu lands on his feet but doesn’t have the strength to stay up.

“Yea Magby!”

“Mag!”

“You tried Pikachu. Return.” Jack smiles watching his Pokemon be recalled. He selects his last Pokemon from his belt and Rattata shows up. Pidgey can’t battle and Bulbasaur would have a hard time against a fire type.

“It seems Magby will be hard with Flamethrower as the attack.” Jack ponders, waiting for her to make the first move.

“Flamethrower.”

Magby opens and blasts the fire out first, streaming past a barely dodging Rattata. Magby fires again and once more Rattata slips out of the way.

“Good moves. Get in with Quick Attack.”

Rattata dashes forward, moving his tiny legs as fast as they can move. Similar situation with Spearow diving Pikachu, only this time with Rattata. The difference is Magby isn’t ready for such a fast attack and takes the hit, falling back.

Jack smiles, thinking of a plan. “Rattata, rush straight in with Quick Attack.”

“Oh, Magby. Fight it with all the fire you can.”

Magby sucks in the air in front, closing its eyes for maximum strength. Then, it exhales the stream of fire.

“Quick, jump with Body Slam!”

Rattata leaps in the second the fire bowls under and spreads his body out for the slam. With Magby’s eyes still closed, Rattata has no problem hitting the mark. The fire stops and Magby is knocked to the ground with Rattata sprawled out over it.

“Mag...”

Jack nods to himself. “And Magby is out.”

But just as Jack says that, Magby pushes up from the ground and sprays fire balls in every which direction. Rattata flails backward, trying to dodge the fireballs but with not much success. Magby stops to see Rattata hunching to the ground, tired from the barrage of fire.

Madeline is shocked. “What was that?”

“Hmm, an Ember attack maybe.” Jack wonders. “Rattata, you put up a great fight.”

But the little rat isn’t ready to give up either and gets up on all four feet.

“Wow, such determination. But you are hurt too much.”

Rattata rushes forward anyway, determined to win the battle. In its weakness, how far can he really go?

“Magby, do that attack again.”

The fire balls spread out widely with little accuracy but some manage to hit Rattata as he rushes directly in, taking all the hits. One by one, Rattata stands the heat and approaches Magby and takes a hit at it in the stomach. Magby suddenly stops and gasps for air. The fire Pokemon stumbles around while Rattata turns about and dashes in with Quick Attack for a lasting impression. This time, Magby is knocked harder and can’t try to fight back.

Jack stands there dumbfounded. “Rattata is some battler.”

“Oh, I lost the battle.” Madeline hugs her Magby and recalls it. She walks over to Jack, whom is now sitting on his towel with Rattata by his side. “Thanks for the battle. I learned a lot.”

Fishing through his pack, Jack pulls out a Super Potion and sprays some on Rattata, whom squeals a bit. “Well, you could have done better. Don’t just use the same attack over and over, try some variety and combos.”

“You’re the first person to give me battle suggestions. Thanks.”

“No problem.”

Some time later, Jack finishes gathering all his belongings together. He wonders why Madeline is waiting for him to be ready. “You don’t have to wait for me or do you need something else?”
“Nope. Just wanted to make sure I said bye to my first journey friend.”

“Huh?” Jack thinks for a second. “Yea, I won’t forget this meeting either. You take care out there.” He wears his pack and is ready to go.

“Thanks for all the help. Maybe we’ll meet again.”

“If you’re lucky.” Jack smiles sarcastically and trails away.

Maybe they would meet at another time. Then again, the Stoplek League is large and the odds of encountering the same person is relatively small. Nonetheless, Jack moves on to Blue Falls City, for his journey has been delayed too long already.

End Episode 3
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-31-2004, 07:46 AM
~*~
Episode 4
For My Father

Two hours later, Jack is currently asleep on a hill, resting in the fall sun and small breeze. Even after sleeping in the morning, for some reason he is tired today. He lay on his back, head against his towel leaning against a small dirt mound. The season winds start to pick up a little, then a lot all at once. The gust blows down Jack's pack sitting next to him and knocks the clasp off, opening the top up. One of his empty Pokeballs falls out and lay in the grass. Jack slowly wakes up, annoyed at this sudden rush of wind. He turns over and sees his pack has fallen down and opened up. Then he looks over at his Pokeball in the grass. While the wind picks up, Jack jumps over to hold his pack but the Pokeball still lay on the ground. It begins to roll from the increasing wind and Jack dives to get it but to no avail. The Pokeball slopes down the hill and into the deep forest area below.

“Just great.” The good news is that it’s only an empty Pokeball but Jack is still going to retrieve it. He picks up his pack and walks down the little hill. At the bottom, he wades through the bushes where the Pokeball went through and searches around the green patches. Passing through more bushes, he comes before a bountiful Pokemon arena. There, dozens of tiny, green caterpillar Pokemon make their home by surrounding trees.

Jack quickly recognizes the Caterpie. “Wow, sure are a lot of them.”

All around, in trees and on the ground, Caterpie stare at the human in their area. And on the ground a little further in, the Pokeball lay alone on the ground in the middle of a bunch of Caterpie. This is his first time to witness a Pokemon group habitat in person since he started his journey. Never has he seen so many Pokemon at one time. This is rather quite astounding to him.

He slowly moves for the Pokeball, watching the Caterpie stare and give their dirty looks from their cute faces. It is apparent that the human isn’t welcome. “I always thought Caterpie were nice. Heh. Don’t worry, it’s ok, I’m only here to get my Pokeball.” He grabs it quick and shoves it in his pocket just as the Caterpie fire a sticky goo. Fortunately, Jack escapes in time before taking any hits.

Running a short distance away, Jack realizes he has become lost in the heavy forest. “Wow, what a rush! Now which way did I come in?” He looks up through the trees to find the sun in the middle of the sky. “Well, that doesn’t help me. I guess I’ll go this way.”

Having figured out a direction to go using complete guesswork, he continues his path to Blue Falls City. He only has a little more to go before reaching town but being lost and in a complicated forest doesn’t help his situation.

But, out of the shadows behind some bushes, something jumps up and quickly into a tree. Jack stops and watches to see what it is just as the Pokemon jumps down. It's a large brown shaded Pokemon with two large noticeable horns on top.

Jack thinks out loud to himself, "This Pokemon looks familiar. It’s on the tip of my tongue...” He quickly and quietly opens his pack for his book and flips through the pages. There, he encounters the picture of the Pokemon before him. “Pinsir. I knew that. So that’s the Pokemon Dad kept talking about catching. Here I am, just starting and already I’ve seen two highly rare Pokemon.”

He takes the time to think of the irony. His father has waited his whole life to catch a Pinsir and here Jack sees a Pinsir on his third day out.

“Maybe I should catch it and give it to Dad as a gift. He’s been waiting for it for so long. Besides, a Pokemon that strong probably won’t want to be with a new Trainer like me."

The Pinsir hides behind some bushes as Jack walks closer to get in range to battle it by surprise. He pulls one of his Pokeballs from his belt but a snapping sound from the right startles Pinsir. It looks around the area to find Jack staring back. Jack blinks for half a second and the large brown Pokemon runs.

“But I didn’t make that noise.” Jack stands motionless, looking around for the noisemaker. Pinsir has run to his left and out of sight and the noise came from his right.

From another bush, a little ways to the right of Jack, a kid with blue shining hair and a simple gray shirt and pant combo jumps up and rushes to Jack.

“If that Pinsir hadn’t seen you, I would have caught it by now.”

Jack sighs. “But you made the noise.”

“So,” the kid fires back. “You leave it alone. That Pinsir is mine.”

“We’ll see. It all depends upon who gets to it first.” Jack normally would let this go, but it’s a Pinsir, something his father has yet to own. He must get it and show his father what he can do at his early Trainer stage. It might be his only chance to ‘show up’ his own father.

The blue head smirks. “I agree. Battle me, now.”

“Huh?”

“Come on. Only the better Trainer should be able to catch it.”

Jack moves into battle position, grabbing a Pokeball. “Sounds fair.” The blue head is probably five years younger, so Jack thinks he has a good advantage.

Meanwhile, Pinsir runs further away and it will be much harder to find it now, especially with this upcoming battle delay.

“Go Cyndaquil. This should be easy.” A small, shy mole like Pokemon pops out with fire flaming down its back.

“Cynda!”

Easily figuring it to be a fire type, Bulbasaur is out of the question. Jack hasn’t had much luck in using Bulbasaur to battle and this is rather disappointing. “My turn. Rattata, come on out.” Rattata bounds out in attack stance, just like his earlier battle, and once again against another fire type.
The blue head laughs and comments, “A rat? You joke.”

“Nope.” Jack shakes his head. “He may be small, but I have found that my Rattata has a battling spirit. GO!!!”

Rattata jumps out and takes a dive at Cyndaquil, knocking it back. He quickly regains motion and dives again, only to miss this time.

“Speedy little rat. Cyndaquil, match your Tackle with it.”

Cyndaquil and Rattata both charge forward and collide their bodies. The fire Pokemon pushes forward and knocks Rattata away.

“Good, now Flamethrower.” Cyndaquil sucks in and blows out a heavy stream of fire.

Jack is impressed watching a more experienced fire Pokemon in action. “Jump.” Rattata digs in and leaps and the last moment, soaring in the air.

Cyndaquil stops and looks up as Rattata comes barreling down on it with a slam.

“Nice Body Slam attack.”

“Flame Wheel now!”

Cyndaquil’s body lights itself on fire, covering its entire body wild mild flame action. Still on top of Cyndaquil, Rattata burns and yelps form the heat and jumps away to safety.

“Haha. Now Quick Attack to finish it off.”

Rattata’s eyes glisten and he sidesteps to the right, dodging the quick leap from Cyndaquil.

Jack is highly ecstatic about his fighter Pokemon. “Nice move Rattata. From behind, Bite it.”

Rattata charges with his body in fast speed to take Cyndaquil by surprise from behind. The teeth chomp down on Cyndaquil’s back leg, causing it to yell out in pain. Cyndaquil scrambles about and eventually flings Rattata off. But a quick call from Jack and Rattata is back in the battle. Using even faster speed, this attack is known as Quick Attack. A small blade of light forms behind Rattata as it charges forward, faster than before. Cyndaquil is hit and knocked back, sliding on the grassy floor beneath.

“Nooooo, Cyndaquil!!....” It is true, Cyndaquil is out. The blue head recalls him back.

Jack smiles. “I have proven it. Great battle Rattata, let’s move.”

“Rattaaa.”

The winning Trainer Jack recalls Rattata and runs left in search of the Pinsir, leaving the blue head loser behind to think about his loss.

~*~

After a while of running around aimlessly in search of Pinsir, Jack stops to think. “This would be easier with more of a search party.” He selects his used Pokeballs and calls them out. Before him are Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Rattata. Pidgey can’t help because she won’t be able to keep up with her hurt wing. “A large brown Pokemon called Pinsir is around here somewhere. Let’s find it.” The three Pokemon and Jack wander around, keeping in close proximity of each other. They are in a heavy forest and don’t want to get lost.

The forest is quiet with not much action around. Fall foliage of browns and reds are in most of the leaves while the grass remains nicely green to give a certain color to the surroundings-- familiar, yet new.

*RUSTLE* *RUSTLE*

Rattata wanders over to where he hears a rustling noise. And just as quick and as simple as addition, Pinsir is found. Although, the look on its face is quiet disturbed.

“GRRRAAAA!!!!” it growls menacingly.

Immediately, Jack and his other Pokemon turn to the growl to find Pinsir standing over Rattata.

“That was quick.” Jack steps over, in command position. “Rattata, step back, it’s too big for your tiny body. Let Pikachu have this one.”

“Bulb...” Bulbasaur sighs, feeling left out.

“Rataa!” Rattata shouts while shaking his head defiantly.

Jack sighs. “Ok then. Go in for Tackle.”

Rattata starts to move in but is suddenly cut off by the blue head kid. “This is mine. I must have it. Cyndaquil, go!” Cyndaquil pops out before Pinsir, looking weak from the battle it previously had with Rattata. “Flamethrower.”

But Pinsir was already in its Fury Attack. But instead of going after Rattata, it punishes down on Cyndaquil. Cyndaquil takes the aggressive hits and because of the recent battle, faints on the spot.

“Noooo!!! I’ve failed.” Having lost his Pokemon, the blue head recalls and runs off in yet another defeat.

Jack mumbles to himself. “Trainer’s Code: First to battle a Pokemon has the first try at catching it. It’s the honorable way.” He focuses back into the battle. “Let’s start over. Tackle it.”

Jack of Clovers
07-31-2004, 07:47 AM
Rattata rushes forward and knocks his small body into the larger brown body of Pinsir. Pinsir rubs its stomach from the light hit and growls back, taking a stomp at Rattata and missing just to the left.
“It doesn’t appear to move fast. Quick Attack around it.”

At a faster pace, Rattata jumps around Pinsir, zooming and hitting the body and landing in a different spot to continue attacking from another angle. Pinsir is frustrated from this and starts wildly slashing its claws around. *SLASH* Rattata is hit back from the slash barrage and shakes, stunned from the hit.

“Regain focus. Move in...”

Pinsir slashes down hard again, pushing Rattata back, only this time to remain lying on the grassy land.

Jack nods. “You’ve done your best. Return.” He looks down at Pikachu by his side. “Pikachu, go. Thundershock.”

“Bulba...” -.-

Pikachu steps out to battle. The electricity charges up, a yellow aura surrounds Pikachu, and the mini bolt zips across and charges Pinsir with a mild shock.

“RAAA!!!” Pinsir presses forward, back arched down and plows forward like a bulldozer, straight into Pikachu, pushing and pushing until it crashes into a tree. Pinsir is mildly shaken up but steps back to inspect the damage. The tree trunk has a large hole in it and Pikachu is filling the hole with a dazed look.

This is very surprising to Jack. “That looked like a Take Down. This Pinsir is stronger than I first thought. But I can’t give up.” Jack reposition to the new location of the battle. “Pikachu, you still good to go?”

“Pika.” it responds, snapping up and ready to go again.

“We must keep our distance. Thundershock.”

Pikachu electrifies again and shocks Pinsir once more. This time, with more effect. Pinsir winces feeling electrical pulses around its body.

“Huh? It’s not moving. Maybe this is it.” Jack reaches for the Pokeball he recovered from the hill fall in his pocket and throws it out against Pinsir. The Pokeball hits and falls to the ground, not sucking in Pinsir. “Is it supposed to do that?” He hasn’t experienced the thrill of a battle capture, so he isn’t entirely sure. Although, he did catch Pidgey by throwing a Pokeball. This causes confusion to overcome Jack.

Shortly, the Pokeball lights up in response, letting out a Pokemon. The red energy fads to show a small green.... Caterpie?

“Oooooo.” it says.

Funny, he has all his Pokemon accounted for. “What?” Jack exclaims in confusion as the Pokeball returns to his hand. He is as shocked as ever. “No way. But... how...?” Thinking for a moment, he recalls the Caterpie he encountered. He is positive he did not battle to catch one of them. “Oh.” Then he remembers the fallen Pokeball and how angry the Caterpie were. “Is it possible that the Pokeball caught a Caterpie when it went down the hill? That would explain the String Shot at me.”

Pinsir snaps out of its paralyzed status and uses this time to surprise jump Pikachu by slashing its claws. Pikachu is caught off guard by the sudden move and knocked to Jack’s side. Pinsir snarls at the Trainer when it sees Caterpie down in front.

Jack snaps out his thinking state. “Ah, I forgot about the battle.” He bends down to pat Pikachu. “You need a rest.”

“Ooooo...!!!!!” Caterpie slinks around, running from the angry Pinsir as fast as the little suction legs can move.

Not sure how to handle this, Jack prepares Bulbasaur to battle. At this time, Caterpie is rushing at Jack and leaps up at him. Jack reacts, not by catching it like most people would, but by avoiding it and leaning right, causing Caterpie to miss. Pinsir follows the Caterpie chasing path, pushing Jack and Bulbasaur out of the way.

“Bulba...”

Caterpie continues running and blindly runs into a rock. Because of its cushioned skin, Caterpie recovers quickly and turns to find Pinsir directly over. Instinct nature takes affect and Caterpie opens and sprays out a white sticky goo. Because Pinsir is practically on top of Caterpie, it is easily covered in goo as it tries to struggle it off. But no matter how hard it tries, the goo stays.

“They really love that String Shot. Good job Caterpie.”

Caterpie smiles. Pinsir slams down to the ground, still struggling to break free from being gooified.
“It just might be strong enough to break it. Bulbasaur, put it to sleep.”

Bulbasaur jumps out, rolling his eyes, and leans forward. The bulb on his back opens up as a blue powder heads toward the fallen Pinsir full of String Shot. With nothing to do and not being able to escape yet, Pinsir falls victim to the powder and takes sleep momentarily. Jack takes out what he hopes is an empty Pokeball from his pack and throws it at Pinsir. This time, Pinsir is sucked in and no problems arise.

Jack watches anxiously as the Pokeball gives the final movement before becoming motionless. "Yes! Now I have a gift for my dad. Great job Bulbasaur and Caterpie." Addressing to Caterpie. “I hope you will find traveling with me a pleasure. Sorry to have caught you like that.” It coos and Jack recalls his two Pokemon.

With that achieved, Jack continues to walk to the next town. But with the day reaching an end quicker than expected and Jack still unsure if he is going the right way, he sets up camp for the night. No sense in walking in the dark when he can’t see anything. This will be his first time camping alone. He knows the risks of a single Trainer at night, having watched the news programs at night tell of stories. But there is nothing he can do; traveling in the dark while lost will only make it worse.
This night, he would have thought more Pokemon would be around but he heard nothing at all. It’s a very quiet forest. And all he has to lay on is his long towel and his pack for a pillow. Not the greatest of items to use but cheap and it’s effective.

~*~

With a new day and lots of searching, he finally reaches a new town in the morning. Blue Falls City is a shade of blue walls with pine trees taller than most of the buildings. A nice clear stream runs through the city for even more majestic beauty. It doesn’t seem too busy because the streets are wider and the spaces between buildings are larger. It’s a small town and nice to view at the same time. It just might be better than Jack’s hometown, Pine Valley. However, the city is known for some tourism but Jack doesn’t know the reason and he hopes to find out during his short stay here.
Jack arrives at the Pokecenter, heals his Pokemon, and calls home from the waiting room.

Jack begins, "Hey mom! I caught two more yesterday."

"That's great,” she says with a yawn. “Are you going to call every time something happens?”

“Heh, no. But this is special. I caught the Pokemon that Dad hasn’t been able to catch."

“Let me guess: Pinsir?”

“Right!”

In a cheery voice, “That’s something to be proud of. I knew you would be a great Trainer.”

“Ya. Is he home yet? I want to give it to him.”

His mom sniffles, "Yes, he came back early but he is at the hospital. He had a terrible accident with a Pokemon called Machop. Something about it using an attack on him. But don't worry, he will be ok. The doctor says he has a fractured leg."

Jack was hoping to personally tell his dad the great news. "Do you want me to come home?"

"No, we’re fine. Now what about this Pinsir?" His mom wanted to change the subject back to Jack.

"Oh, I caught it for Dad ‘cause he said he always wanted one. Can I send it through? I guess you can think of it as a ‘get well’ present."

The Kalmer house has always had the Transporter as far as Jack knows. His father uses it along with a Pokemon Box rather than a Professor or an official Pokemon Storage Facility. He doesn’t trust them to look after his Pokemon with care and respect. This being the fact, Jack would have to send his Pokemon home and his father would look after the Pokemon and probably inspect them. Jack didn’t like this idea but the tales his father tells about the leagues’ main Professor, Professor Vine, are no laughing matter.

She smiles, "If that is what you want, send it through. The Transporter is always ready." Jack puts the Pokeball in the transporter next to the phone. There is only one large button to press and then it disappears. His mom holds the Pokeball on the screen. "I'll give this to him as soon as possible."
"I hope he likes it. And I hope he gets better soon."
"But it's not that serious, only about a couple days in the hospital."

"Still, tell Dad that I wish he gets better." Jack prepares to hang up...

“Oh, wait, before you go, what was the other Pokemon you caught? Don’t leave me in suspense."

"It was a Caterpie. It was kind of an accident but I caught it nevertheless."

They each say their goodbyes and hang up. It is light outside already which means the day is going by fast.

A kid with spiked up blond hair walks up to Jack after overhearing the conversation. "So you got a Caterpie. Big deal. How long have you had it?"

Jack looks at the kid wondering what business is it for him to know. "About half a day. Why?"

The kid laughs,"By that time, my Caterpie evolved into Metapod then to Butterfree. You still have a Caterpie." The kid continues laughing while walking away out the door of the Pokecenter.

Not discouraged, Jack spends some resting time at the Pokemon Center and lets his Pokemon have some bites to eat. After that, he grabs some snacks and gathers his stuff to leave. Not worrying about what happened the past days, he exits peacefully, ready for the following days to come because the next town has a Gym and he has to be ready.

End Episode 4
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
08-07-2004, 07:58 AM
~*~
Episode 5
Waterfall Mystery

After leaving Blue Falls City, Jack finds himself walking to the next town, Styper City. There, his first Gym match will take place. But is he really ready for the battle?

The trees surround him as he walks the dirt path. Shortly, he sees a woman with long brown hair standing and looking around. Jack walks over to her. “Are you lost?”

“I was headed for the waterfall when I got mixed up in the forest.” She turns around to reveal her face; brown eyes with glasses. It’s Trish. “Oh, hi.”

“Fancy running into you again. I wondered where you left.”

“Sorry for that. I had business to attend to and needed to leave.”

“Ok. So what’s this waterfall you mentioned?”

“Yes. It’s how Blue Falls City gets its name. There is a gathering happening there and I don’t want to miss it.”

“Well, I just left the city and I’m heading to Styper.” Jack points in the north direction.

“Oh, thank you very much. Say, you should come too.” Trish runs off in a hurry, heading west.

Highly interested in something going on, and having never seen a waterfall in person before, Jack follows but not at the running pace. He isn’t that excited and doesn’t feel the need to arrive any time soon. Within ten minutes, Jack hears the sound of water splashing down and there before him is the waterfall.

The waterfall is a nice clear blue color, just like the name of the city and the river that flows through it. The waterfall stream is very narrow and not very rapid, giving it serene pleasure to a guests ears. The water lands in a large lake at the bottom which then turns to a stream and heads for Blue Falls City. The odd difference about this waterfall is that it pours out from the middle of a flat-topped mountain rather than the top. The mountain is roughly six stories tall, making the waterfall cave three stories. It looks like a regular cave entrance only with water trickling out of it.

"Wow!!" Jack expresses. He walks closer to the lake, noticing many other people here; mostly tourists, an ambulance crew, three police officers including Officer Jenny, and one television news crew. However, the reporter is very familiar, with long black hair cropping around her black eyes and a nice television face. She wears a typical buttoned down news style blue dress which stops above her knees. Jack walks close enough to listen to what she is saying.

"Many people say that Blue Falls Waterfall is a place of peace and relaxation; a place to learn just by listening to the water. Those same people say that this waterfall is a place to fear." She points to the top of the waterfall at the cave entrance. "That small cave entrance in which the water pours out is very mysterious. Many people say they have heard loud noises coming from it and a few have witnessed an unknown Pokemon splash out. The mystery of the Blue Falls Cave, as it is being named now, is off the scale. No one knows what is inside and it is difficult to determine. Two years ago, some thrill seeking explorers went into the waterfall cave for a first hand look around but were never seen in town again.” She then points to the top of the mountain over the waterfall. “With new technology, they are able to use certain electronic waves to travel through rock and determine the inside layers. We have been told there is a cave inside, very deep and possibly an underground lake.” Finally, she points at the left side of the lake. “Today, these two men, in which you see over there, will attempt to climb into and find out what, if anything, is inside.” She pauses. “And cut.” The camera goes off. "This story will finally be my jackpot in getting my own ‘Real Adventures’ show." The reporter notices the new watching Trainer, "So, what do you think of all this?" She looks back to her camera person whom is lowering the camera. "Hey, don't turn that off, keep taping. We may need it in editing."

"You’re the boss."

Jack looks at the reporter, stunned that she talked to him. "It is you! You’re Jennifer Alomna, the number one reporter in the league. I've always watched your fascinating weekly news reports. The ‘Muk Madness Mistake’ at Silent Hills was my favorite.”

Jennifer smiles. "A fan of mine. Thanks!" She pauses. "You look like a Pokemon Trainer, where are you coming from?”

“Pine Valley. Started a few days ago.”

“A small town, must be nice.” She moves over and opens a case to look through her camera equipment.
The two men dressed in bulky orange clothing then strap on special harnesses so the large crane on top of the six story flat mountain can pick them up and bring them to the cave.

"Do you know any information about this place other than what you already said?"

She looks up, "Let’s see. Ok. See the waterfall? It used to come out a lot more than that rate. This is one of the reasons the city has chosen to explore what’s inside the cave. I don’t know which one, but a large organization is paying for all of this, with the mayor’s approval, of course. And regularly, Pokemon swim up the stream to the lake because the water is so clear and clean it’s healthy for them. And because of the mystery around the cave, Blue Falls Waterfall has been declared a Pokemon Reserve and no Pokemon can be caught here. You can say that the falls is a place where Pokemon and Trainers can come safely together and not worry at all." She looks up at the two men hanging two feet from the cave. "Looks like the action is starting. Get that camera ready." Jennifer grabs a smaller camera and positions from another angle.

“What do you think is in there?” Jack questions once more.

“The radio waves can’t determine what could be inside but my guess is a Pokemon and hopefully it’s a rare one.” She switches on the camera.

Jack steps back to watch the action and not interrupt the camera work. A rare Pokemon? I’m glad I decided to stop by.

The two men hang closer to the cave. The first one grabs the cliff and squats down all the way to squeeze into the cave. The falling water splashes around as the second man enters. They each unhook their harnesses and disappear out of view. Minutes pass and the suspense rises drastically. No radio contact reaches the foreman waiting by the side of the lake. That’s when a rumbling noise is heard screaming from the cave and seconds later the two men appear at the entrance, scrambling to get away. Before they can grab the harness, water shoots out of the cave in a straight line and the men slip and fall into the lake. The water fires above Jack and the news crew and soaks the trees, leaving mist to fall on the spectators.

Comments shoot out from the crowd of onlookers.

"That's a twenty five foot drop!"

"Oh no!"

"Are they all right?"

"Get an ambulance."

"I fell asleep, what happened?"

The area begins to shake like an earthquake, maybe a 2.5, nothing too serious but an earthquake nonetheless. While everyone is basically panicking and confused about what is happening, Jack continues to stare at the cave as it starts to fall apart.

"Rrrooooaarrrr!!!!!"

Jennifer runs to her cameraman, putting down her own. "Don't stop taping for one second. Remember, this will finally get us our own show and you a raise!" She quickly tries to pack her news equipment to the van which is about ten feet away.

As the cave slowly falls apart, crumbling rocks into the lake below, Officer Jenny and the other two officers spread out to control the crowd. The flat land on top rips open and shreds the dirt to pieces. The land pushes up, causing the crane to knock over. The waterfall stops rushing water and after a few seconds of what seems like stopped time, suddenly the cave explodes. Large and small chunks of dirt and rock fly in every direction. Everyone ducks and manages to evade but the dust after that covers everything within the distance. A final boulder crashes down to the ground, hitting Officer Jenny’s squad car on the rear bumper

Jack coughs and shakes his body, taking off his hat to punch out the dust having collected on top of it then wiping his face clear. He cleans his sunglasses and looks at the large crater taken out of the small mountain. Yet, that isn’t even the best part.

Jack of Clovers
08-07-2004, 08:03 AM
Slowly floating down into the lake below is a Gyarados; however this Pokemon is much larger than a normal Gyarados. The body is blue and has all the qualities of a Gyarados but one noticeable difference is this Pokemon has a much larger rage factor. Only something so pissed off can do this much damage and destroy three stories of earth above.

"Ahhhhh!!! It’s a Gyarados!!!!" screams just about everyone.

The large Gyarados roars loudly once again and splashes hard into the lake, pushing almost all of the water and the two men out of it and flowing over the land, into the panicky people. Most of the people have run away and the ambulance crew quickly aids the two men.

“That’s huge.” Officer Jenny, with her blue hair and uniform, and the other officers surround the Gyarados from the land. “Gyarados, we mean you no harm.”

But the words of Officer Jenny cannot convince otherwise and a blast of white energy explodes from Gyarados’s mouth at the trees, knocking them down and temporarily blocking an escape route.

“GYRRRRRRRRA!”

The cameraman slowly backs away, still keeping the camera on but his heart wants to run. Jennifer has cleared all the equipment to the van just before the uncontrollable water rushes over the land.

Yet, Jack is still in the same spot, standing there shocked and scared so much he hasn’t been able to move. Even the water flowing through his shoes can’t get him to move.

Jennifer yells out, "Don't just stand there!" But Jack is still frozen. She builds courage and rushes over to get him. She grabs his shoulder...

...Jack shakes off his stunned face and finally realizes what he should do. He runs back to the tree line like the rest of the people. He watches Officer Jenny try to talk to the Gyarados to calm it down but it only continues to anger Gyarados into more frustration. Jack has heard many tales of a Gyarados’s rage and he isn’t ready to see it. He can easily run but that is the easy way out and something his father told him never to do. “I am a Trainer, Gyarados is a Pokemon. Therefore, I should battle to calm it down.” He takes out one of his Pokeballs and summons Pikachu.

Pikachu stares up at the large Gyarados, hunching back. “Pika?”

"Don't be afraid of it, you... it... it is still a water type. Thundershock."

However, Trish is already ahead of Jack with her Scyther out and ready to battle. She commands to Jack with leadership in her voice. “Jack, don’t be foolish. You may know a lot but you need to understand when to fight and when not to fight.” She has a point. The level difference is huge and the area is soaked with water; not a good combination because then everyone would feel the electricity.

She points to Gyarados and calls an attack which Jack couldn’t hear because of all the commotion. Scyther leaps up and slashes multiple times across the large water Pokemon. This only upsets it even more. Gyarados breathes in and exhales a massive green energy attack that covers and explodes at Scyther with large damage. Scyther flips and lands to the ground, one knee down and one scythe holding the rest of its body up. Scyther pants and stares at the strong Gyarados, ready for more.

“Focus on winning, Agility.”

Scyther breathes deep and leaps in, fading from one part to the next. Gyarados squints its eyes with rage. Its tail glows brightly and Gyarados swings it around. *SHLANG!* Even with Agility, Scyther is hit by the large glowing tail and knocked back hard. Scyther lay on the ground, wounded badly.

“Iron Tail? No way.” Trish recalls Scyther and prepares another Pokemon.

Jack steps back, encouraging Pikachu to follow. “I guess she is right, I probably wouldn’t stand much chance.”

But Gyarados has had enough games. It roars a final time and stands up as tall as it can to spin extremely fast. The speed, velocity and height causes a large wind tornado to appear. The tornado grows larger and larger and blows all the remaining people backwards and even one tree is taken out with roots still in tact. As the tornado disappears and everyone looks at the dried up lake, they discover that the large Gyarados has vanished. The water slowly trickles from the busted cave entrance to the empty lake again; however, it won’t be enough to fill the lake and keep a flowing river.

"Blue Falls Waterfall is not as beautiful as it once was a few minutes ago." Jennifer sheds a little emotion. Then Jack catches here eye, as he recalls Pikachu and walks away, "Leaving so soon?”

Jack stops and turns around. “No, I want to get a better view of inside. The crane had to get up to the top somehow.” He continues through the trees to find a way to the top.

A light bulb hits Jennifer. “Good idea.” She nudges her cameraman. “Get up, we’re going to the top.”

“May I change my pants first? They’re a little wet... and I don’t mean water.”

At the top, Jack passes the knocked over crane and nears the gap looking down into the cave. To be able to open up and bust three stories of land is quite the accomplishment for one Pokemon. Jack takes careful steps to get closer in and finally has the view into the cave. The land has split into a crevice to look through but not as much can be seen as Jack thought it would.

“Wow.”

Down below, numerous splashing Pokemon are spotted at a lake deep inside the cave. The orange blobs just splash the water without any order to it except the randomness of splashing. The cave itself is much larger from the inside; it had to have been large in order to carry a Gyarados on steroids.

“Magikarp.” The camera guy says with his zoom mode on. “Look at them all in there, barely enough water for them all. How can they live in there.”

Jennifer reminds her assistant. “We don’t know what the inside looked like before this happened. For all we know, we know nothing at all.” She grabs her microphone and starts to cry. “I love being a reporter. Now hurry and focus the camera on me.”

Officer Jenny quickly makes her way to the top with another officer next to her. “Ok, this area is off-limits. Everyone out.”

~*~

And just like that, three hours pass by. Jack could have left at any time but he thinks by staying around he might learn something about the cave. What are Magikarp doing in there? Why? His father would probably say ‘this has nothing to do with training’ but Jack wants to gain knowledge of Pokemon; that is how people become better Trainers.

Jack approaches Jennifer, whom had been giddy about all this excitement and documenting everything possible. The police have roped off the area for only select personnel to cross over. As a civilian, Jack isn’t qualified.
“What’s going on? No one will tell me anything.”

“I’m not getting much. They have called in a researcher to help with the examination. With such a find as this, it will take many days, maybe even weeks. The one interesting thing our camera was able to get was the inside of the cave. On one of the sides there looked like a smudge carving or something. We won’t know for a while.”

“I always thought Gyarados and Magikarp lived in the ocean like most of the water Pokemon.”

“Jack.” Trish shouts out from qualified personnel side, stepping next to Jennifer. “There is a lot we don’t know about Pokemon and the mysteries are plenty. I have been traveling for years and still learn new facts about Pokemon. We don’t know enough yet and that is why Trainers make the journey. They want to satisfy their interest with Pokemon.”

“Great. But how did you get over there?”

Trish sweatdrops. “When you are related to the officer in charge, you tend to get in most places. Plus I told them I can help in any way.”

Jack sighs. “That’s good for you guys. However I won’t be staying to see how this turns out. I need to continue moving. There isn’t anything I can do here.”

Jennifer smiles. “You can always catch me on TV. The station said they will run this as a special episode. Ratings will be huge. Action news sells big.”

“Cool. I’ll be sure not to miss it.”

Trish claps her hands once. “You are a great guy, Jack. Train hard and don’t give in. You still have a lot to learn first.”

“Thanks.”

"Good luck on your journey,” Jennifer wishes.

The three stop the conversation short and go their own ways. With that over for now, Jack walks away and heads for the Gym city once again.


However, even with only miles to go, darkness sets in. "Better not risk it. I think I'll camp here for tonight." He sets out his towel and prepares camp. With that out of the way, he lets all his Pokemon out for dinner and company. Since Jack doesn’t have any Poke-food, dinner is whatever his Pokemon can find in the surroundings. It’s cheap and the Pokemon don’t mind; except Rattata, whom still goes for the crackers.
After dinner, they all rest and keep each other company. Before they know it, Jack and his Pokemon all drift to sleep next to each other.

Pidgey, Rattata, Caterpie, Pikachu, Bulbasaur. These are my Pokemon. I will beat all opposition....

End Episode 5
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
08-14-2004, 08:25 PM
~*~
Episode 6
A Rocky Menace

It’s morning and Jack and his Pokemon are stretching out: legs then arms. After that they have a good run together. Pikachu is the fastest with Rattata then Bulbasaur after that. Caterpie’s little feet can’t keep up but he tries his best. Pidgey barely keeps up, her legs have healed enough for it to walk on her own. However, flight is still out of the question.

After the active morning, it is time to continue to Styper City. Jack can figure he only has a little bit to go until he is out of the forest. What he didn’t expect to see is a change in scenery. On his left the grass slowly fades to gravel and dirt and the further he looks, the more rocky it becomes. The scarce tree life and amount of dirt to his left signifies the change in terrain means different Pokemon. Everywhere else is forest except for the patch which leads somewhere. He looks over there wanting to check it out but decides not to.

“Maybe I should come back and check this place out. I want to challenge the Gym first.” Before he can turn his head back, a circular rock with bumpy arms bounces over to him, semi-floating along the way.

"Geodude geo geo dude!!"

Jack looks at the Pokemon puzzled. “A Geodude voluntarily comes to me?" He calmly opens his pack, not sure what to do, and grabs his book. “Ah, Geodude. Says you like to live near rocks so you can hide more easily.”

The Geodude starts bouncing back to the rocks, then turns and faces the Trainer. It waves its right arm and starts bouncing away again.

"Oh, so you want me to follow you. I seem to be running into many wild Pokemon in need of help."

Jack follows the Geodude up into the rocky landscape. The land bulges aren’t mountains, yet they aren’t hills either. In the distance, the land grows higher and higher, like real mountains and they have some trees covering most of them. In this area, there are no trees, just dirt and rock. However, they all look like they are part of the same mountain range, including the waterfall previously encountered and this must be the end of the range.

When they stop Jack finds himself at a small cave just large enough for him to fit through. Nearby, the cave looks like it connects into a tall hill of rock, sloping outward on the sides but horizontal at some parts like dirt pathways snaking its way to the top of the mountain.

"Do you want me to go in there?"

With no answer, the Geodude goes into the cave.

Jack shrugs, slipping off his sunglasses, and follows him in. “Hope I know what I’m doing.”

When Jack enters the cave, he does not get up because the entrance is only large enough for him to crawl through. At one point the ceiling opens up but then comes back down and he has to crawl again. Finally, the cave opens up to standing position. This part of the cave is a weird mixture of blues and greens shining off reflections of bright mineral deposits along the wall. Beautiful! But this isn’t the destination. Geodude leads Jack to another path, this one at an angular direction. Once again, he must crawl through this one and since the path goes upward, rocks easily scrape Jack as he tries to navigate this harder path.

“This better be worth it.”

After the path ends, he notices the cave open up again; however, the familiar colors he just saw are not present. This time the walls are brown and tan, like typical rock colors. He can stand again and stretches his back from the uncomfortable rock bumps. From this new spot, Jack can tell he was at one side of this large space. Geodude pulls the Trainer to the ground and moves over to a line of rocks on the cave platform they were on. Jack crawls over, not sure what to expect.

Geodude speaks softly and points over the rocks. “Geo.”

Jack creeps up behind the rocks and looks over. At this time, Jack realizes this part of the cave is not exactly level. He is actually elevated above the rest of the nearly level cave; not that high, maybe six feet from the bottom. The cave is circular with more cracks in the side probably leading somewhere else. When he looks around the bottom of the cave, he can’t believe the sight before him. He wants to scream but he can't. On the bottom of the cave are a bunch of other Geodudes, five to be exact, and they are all in a circle. And in the middle of them is a different Pokemon, fluffy orange in color and numerous tails.

“A Pokemon with six tails, it must be a Vulpix.” Jack whispers to himself.

The Vulpix is curled up, eyes closed and shaking noticeably to indicate how scared it is. The Geodude bounce up and down in a circle around the Vulpix. A couple times the Vulpix would try to move away by jumping but the stronger defense of the Geodudes would hit it back to the center of the circle. Now it just lay there, exhausted from trying.

Jack crouches down and whispers to the Geodude next to him. "You came all that way to show me a Vulpix in trouble?"

Geodude responds with a nod and a soft "Geo."

“I would love to help that Vulpix. Picking on Pokemon is not fair, especially when outnumbered.” He thinks to himself, "Grass attacks are good against rock types, so Bulbasaur’s Vine Whip will be my main use. That is, if this doesn’t work." Jack suddenly leaps up and slides down the cave wall and jumps to the ground. The helpful Geodude is surprised from this sudden action and follows Jack down and jumps in front of him. All the Geodude stop and look at the person that has infiltrated their cave.

"Geodude, stop hurting that Pokemon. Leave it be." Jack demands of the Geodude. He grabs a Pokeball and holds it ready to throw out.

“Geo.”

“Geo geo dud due dude Geodude.”

“DUDE!”

All the Geodude continue in their circle around the Vulpix except for one, which jumps out of the circle and charges at Jack. The helpful Geodude in front of him jumps at the charging Geodude, both using Tackle. The two collide and throw hands at each other. The charging Geodude overpowers the helpful one and lifts it up. The helpful Geodude is thrown and slams passed Jack’s side.

Jack throws out his Pokeball. "Go Bulbasaur! Help us out!" The ball opens and lets out Caterpie. "Oops. I forgot that I switched belt spots with Bulbasaur and Caterpie. Well, since you’re out, now's as good a time as ever to battle with you." Jack, having confidence in Caterpie, shouts commands. "Alright Caterpie, let's help save Vulpix."

“Ooo.”

“Caterpie, String Shot fast." With the charging Geodude not looking, Caterpie spits out sticky white goo at Geodude. The goo sticks and Geodude is stuck. The other four Geodudes stop and stare at the defeat of one of their own and they move to go after Caterpie, leaving the Vulpix alone on the ground.

Jack slowly maneuvers along the right side of the cave, to get around the battle and help Vulpix. On his way, he helps command his Pokemon. "Caterpie, String Shot is our best hope. Keep it up." Rocks are strong and using Tackle would do nothing but hurt Caterpie.

The four Geodudes charge at little Caterpie while Jack walks around them to get to Vulpix. One of the Geodudes bounce to the air, ready to come down on Caterpie.

“Now.”

Caterpie quickly fires the String Shot at a the jumping Geodude coming at it, dodging left to watch the Geodude blindly skid on the cave floor, unable to move. Two more come at Caterpie, this time one from each side. They each pick up a good size rock larger than twice their body and throw it. Caterpie fires fast at the right rock to catch it and spins half a turn to knock out the other rock in the air for them to crumble on contact.

“That’s some quick shooting. I didn’t think String Shot could be used like that!”

In this time, two more Geodude rush in. Caterpie, thinking he can do the same thing with the rocks, shoots at the left Geodude and attempts to collide them. Since Geodude can move in the air, this proves to fail and Caterpie is punched back where the right Geodude waits to hit it also. Bruised, Catperie still has energy to keep going.

Jack nears Vulpix. He loses track of the battle for a second then regains focus. “Try this, spin and String Shot.”

The little green bug spins around sending the goo wildly into the air in all direction around him. The goo blankets the two Geodude in waiting and traps them to the floor. Caterpie stops spinning and finishes the two Geodudes off by covering their whole bodies.

“Great work.” Jack gasps quickly, “Look out!”

The last Geodude falls right behind Caterpie, floating above the goo, and reaches its arms out and grabs a hold of him. Because Caterpie is facing outward, the String Shot can’t hit Geodude and the grip is too strong to try and struggle free. Geodude floats up into the air getting ready to finish him off. There is nothing Jack can say to help, only to hope for the best. Geodude declines in altitude and slams Caterpie across the cave to hit the cave wall.

Jack gets up, standing right over Vulpix. "Caterpie, you’ve done a great job." He holds the Pokeball out and Caterpie comes back. He prepares Bulbasaur to go out next.

But the helpful Geodude decides to make a come back and jumps up and tackles the last Geodude into the wall. The Geodude recovers and runs away into one of the cave cracks.

“Geo.”

After solving that problem, Jack’s next issue is to help the hurt Vulpix. He pulls out his already used Super Potion and finishes it off on Vulpix. He sits down with his legs crossed and picks up Vulpix in his arms.

“Wow, such soft fur.”

It’s eyes open wide and gaze at the Trainer. Vulpix blinks curiously and calmly closes its eyes back to rest.

Jack of Clovers
08-14-2004, 08:30 PM
It is at this time the cave rumbles and loosens the ground beneath. The same crack in the wall the last Geodude went in cracks around and starts breaking apart. Jack stands up with Vulpix in his arms ready to go. He starts to head the same way he came in but he can't climb up the wall to get back out while holding Vulpix at the same time.

The helpful Geodude goes to a different cave crack near the incline where Jack came down and waves for him to follow. As he runs to the new exit, a loud *BOOM* is heard from behind. Jack looks back for a second as a large boulder with more arms and legs has appeared. Not only did that cracking cave hole open up, but the whole side wall collapses to rubble.

Jack looks at his exit, seeing he would need to almost crawl again. “This sucks and now I’m being chased.” He turns back to see the larger Pokemon approaching but momentarily stuck in the goo still on the floor. “And Caterpie continues to help even after being recalled. This will buy some time.” He crouches down and hands Vulpix to the Geodude so he can crawl through easier. No sharp rocks this time and the path is level. It still takes effort and pain to get through, even while rushing to get out this time.

Light appears as he comes out of the cave but at a different area and much higher up than before. He seems to be at the horitontal path he saw when looking from where he first entered the cave. The trees are below the high drop down from the semi-mountain.

Jack reclaims Vulpix to his arms, coughing to clear the dust. “Thanks Geodude, you’ve been a great help.”

But Jack still isn’t out of this yet. As soon as he can move to escape, the side wall explodes and the Graveler comes out. The large chunks of rock spread out but hit no one.

Jack stands there holding the Vulpix. “You must be in charge. I’d be angry too if a Caterpie almost defeats your friends."

“Geo, geo dude dudu du geodu dude..” The helpful Geodude appears to be trying to reason with Graveler.

“GRAV!” The Graveler shouts and points to the cave and the helpful Geodude bounces inside, leaving Jack to face this on his own.

The Trainer goes on the offensive. “Why would you let those Geodude even harm this Vulpix? Have you no compassion?”

"Because it invaded their area. And I thought everyone around here knew this!" A girl about the same age and height stands behind him just about to throw out a Pokeball. She has green eyes and dark blue medium length parted hair with white clips on each side separating hair to come down before her ears. She wears a white t-shirt with flowers inscribed at the bottom, light blue denim flare pants and a heart pendent around her neck. Lastly, she has one of the light grey packs which straps over one shoulder and across the chest to hang the pack at the one side of the body.

"I guess I have to teach this Graveler a lesson, again. You’re mine." The Pokeball is thrown and a small, round Pokemon with a swirl and no arms forms. "Poliwag, Water Gun."

Poliwag spays a beam of water at the Graveler and hits right down the center. The Graveler looks strong enough to take the hit, even if water is very effective. However, the Graveler is pushed enough that it rolls back and tips over the side to slide down the rocky hill. It recovers at the bottom and looks back up, raising all four fists at the girl in anger, then tramples away.

"Oh, I guess I can’t catch it this time either."

Poliwag looks at her with an I'm sorry look.

She smiles.

Jack looks at her,"Uh....."

"Names’ Lyn Ravenwood. If you came to catch that Graveler, then you're in trouble." She stares hard at Jack, waiting for an answer.

"Before we get into this, maybe we should get to the ground floor." Jack requests. He has had enough adventure around these rocks.

~*~

They hit the bottom and find a nice stream to sit near in the forest. Jack takes to eating a candy bar while Vulpix still rests, now at his side laying in the grass.

“So what were you doing up there?” Jack begs to ask.

Lyn remarks. “I asked first.”

Jack rolls his eyes knowing she never even asked the question. “I followed a Geodude to help this Vulpix from other Geodudes beating up on it. Then I was chased and ran into you.” He swallows the last of his candy. “Now you.”

Lyn starts. "Yeah, those Geodude and Graveler are very protective of this area. Anyone and anything that comes over here is vulnerable to attack. However, the Geodude are naturally calm, it’s that Graveler that forces them to defend at all costs. I come here some days to help the Pokemon that were injured. On my side quest, I might even catch that Graveler and stop its reign.”

Jack responds, "Thanks for the help back there. I really appreciate it."

"No problem. As long as you weren't trying to catch that Graveler, you're ok with me." She pauses to think. "You have yourself a great Pokemon next to you."

Jack slowly pets Vulpix feeling proud to have run into it. "I know. They are always great pets among small children. But only if Vulpix wants to come with me will I keep it.”

"You aren't gonna catch it?" Lyn is heavily confused.

"Depends. If Vulpix wants to come with me, then I will. I don’t want to force Pokemon to be mine."

Lyn looks at him funny, "You're crazy."

The talking stops for a while then comes back when Lyn gets up. "I think I will be going back home. It was nice saving you." She starts running off. She waves goodbye while heading in the direction of Styper City.

"Yea, thanks again."

Half an hour later, Vulpix starts to wake up just as Jack stops petting it. "Nice to see you awake and feeling better," Jack says with a smile. Vulpix gets up and stretches after a long nap of rest. Jack also gets up and says, "Well Vulpix, it's time to get to the next town. You can come with me if...."

He is cut off by Vulpix rubbing against his leg, purring in the Vulpix way. Vulpix sits down and looks up at the Trainer and gives a sweet "Vulpix" sound.

Jack picks up the six-tailed fox and hugs it. "You’re such a friendly Pokemon. Makes me wonder why I never had a Pokemon pet as a child” He grabs a Pokeball he previously placed in his pocket, for just that right moment if Vulpix needed to be caught. “Welcome to the team.”

“Vul!” it calls out being pulled into the Pokeball.

~*~

Half way into the afternoon, Jack reaches Styper City. This is the first major city he has run into so far. The sounds, the sights, the cars and traffic and all the people. It’s one of those cities you have to spend months in to go around everywhere, and that doesn’t include the different people moving in and out.

His first instinct is to go to the Gym but he decides to have his Pokemon checked out at the nearest Pokemon Center. During this healing time, Jack’s looks through his pack to see he only has one Pokeball left. As the time comes, his Pokemon are returned to him and he leaves. He wanders the streets to find a Pokeball store. The streets are a busy place with people and traffic and Jack is quite uncomfortable walking around so much action, unlike his quiet home town of Pine Valley. He purchases six Pokeballs to make his total at seven. After that he wanders back to the Pokecenter to ask for directions to the Gym. Getting the answer from the registered Nurse Joy, he exits once again. First a stop for a quick bite to eat, then it’s off to the Styper City Gym, his first challenge of the Stoplek League.

End Episode 6
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
08-28-2004, 08:52 AM
~*~
Episode 7
The Gym Experience

Jack steps up to the location his League Map says is the Styper City Gym. He feels a bit nervous to be facing a gym so early in his journey. He knows winning is not on his side but that won’t stop him from trying. His father didn’t challenge the Styper Gym until later in his journey. But with clean clothes and refreshed Pokemon thanks to the Pokemon Center, Jack feels he is ready enough to take the challenge and find out what a gym is all about.

“So this is a Gym?”

The Styper Gym is a two story tall white mansion with wide columns in front of the main double doors. It looks like one of those fancy mansions a millionaire would own and reminds Jack of the smaller country house the Model Plane Club has. The shape of the mansion is a lot like the White House of the United States: wide yet smaller. Ivy plants grow at the base of the house for an old style effect people use as decoration.

A man with a dark beard and nicly cut hair wearing a suit stands in front and looks at the Trainer approach the entrance. "You here for a Gym match?"

"Yes, yes I am.” Jack says nervously.

He brings a headset up and places it around his ear, with a microphone leading to his mouth. “You have a challenger. Shall I tell him to wait...” He cups his ear to listen to a response then motions to the challenger. “Go in. Follow the signs.”

Jack steps through the door, letting it close behind him. In a short distance walk, he hits a four-way intersection loaded with arched white ceilings and buttresses framing them. He looks left then right and finally straight: three ways to go. Which does he take? He finds a sign on the left wall which has instructions.

Answer correctly and face the Gym leader. Answer wrongly and wait until another day. Choose one of the three hallways for your answer.

Question: Who is said to be the legendary ice bird Pokemon?

After reading the question, he looks at each hallway entrance and at the top are each of the answers.

{Left: Moltres} {Straight: Zapdos} {Right: Articuno}

Growing up in a Pokemon life, it’s hard for someone not to have heard of at least one of the great legendary Pokemon on the planet. The stories and tales told to children are forever embedded into their minds. For Jack, he knew some of the decade old stories and a few of the recent ones. The legendary stories have changed in that time; once a time when everyone believed they were Pokemon Gods, now people just want to catch them, especially those evil organizations. Pokemon Legends are what learning about the Pokemon past is all about.

Jack has memorized the names of the legendaries in the Stoplek area, but he draws a blank at the moment. "This shouldn’t be hard, I know this one." He logically tries to eliminate one of them. “Zap, sounds electric. I believe Moltres is the world wide symbol of League flames. Therefore, it’s Articuno.” Jack walks through the right hallway and comes to a bend turning left. He reaches the end of the hall to find another guy in a suit guarding the next door.

"You got the answer correct," the man says. He pushes the door open. "Please step through this door and wait."

Jack steps through, listening to the guy talk on his headset before the door shuts. The room is huge, ballroom size, probably able to fit two tennis courts length wise. Along the same wall as Jack, there are two other doors evenly spaced out further down. To Jack’s right is a black grand piano polished with a nice sheen. Looking up about twenty feet, the ceiling is flat with spotlights in each corner and one in each middle part of the four walls bringing the total to eight spotlights. In the center of the ceiling is a large chandelier, obviously made out of diamonds and glass. It hangs directly over a painted field of white lines where a battle would take place. This must be where he will battle the leader.

One of the spotlights shines down to the opposite side at a door as it opens into the ballroom. A guy in a lavender robe and slippers made of soft velvet walks in calmly. His gel smothered blond hair is nicely trimmed to give him that sense of high society. He places his hands in his front robe pockets and stops in the battle box on his side.

Then a spotlight hits Jack, blinding him for a second, and he realizes he should walk over to the battle area but he stops because he was told by the guy to wait.

The lavender man speaks, "Congratulations on passing the test. Although an incorrect answer still lets you battle, I like to know where my opponents stand in knowledge." He smiles.

That’s weird. Jack thinks to himself.

"However, this was an inopportune time for me to battle. I was momentarily to feast for dinner and shut the gym for the evening but you arrived just at the right time. And according to Gym rules, ‘Accept any challenge when the Gym is open unless for reason’. Dinner is not reason enough and so I accept this battle.”

Jack asks, "So, you’re the gym leader?" Dumb question.

"Yes. I am Louie Ordane, Gym Potentate to the Styper City Gym.”

“Potentate?”

“It means leader. May I ask who my opponent is?”

Building up confidence, “I come to battle for my first badge. My name is Jack Kalmer”

Louie smiles, “First badge, eh? Good. And I assume you’ve shown registration at the front door, so let’s get started.”

“Huh?” Jack is confused.

The leader sighs knowing where this is leading. “You know, when you register for the Stoplek League, you receive a card that allows you to officially challenge Gyms. You do have the card, right?”

Jack clicks a lightbulb over his head and cringes. “Oh, I completely forgot about that. I was supposed to do that when I reached Keadrill at the Pokemon Center.” His father reminded him over and over to register the first chance he got because it was very important.

Louie looks down to the ground with his arms folded. “That’s the second time this week my front guard let someone in without registration.” He sighs again, looking back up. “Understand, a gym battle is not official unless you register with the league.”

The embarrassment, the pain and the agony. “Sorry for wasting your time then, I’ll come back later.” Jack starts edging his way toward the door he came in.

“No, wait.” Louie grabs a walkie-talkie from his robe pocket. “Group C to the battle floor, on the spot. Regulars too.”

Shortly, three figures in black suits walk through the same door Louie entered in; two males and one female. The female takes a shortcut across the field to the piano and comfortably sits at the bench. One of the males stops at the middle side of the field holding two flags: one green and one red. The other male drops two Pokeballs into Louie’s hands and stands off to the side.

“You came here to partake in a challenge and it will be met. These aren’t my gym Pokemon but they will provide you battle entertainment. Shall we? I can assist you along the way since this would be your first experience.”

“This is not a gym battle?”

“Correct.”

“I guess so. No harm in learning. I’m game." Jack moves to his box area for battle.

“Good. Firstly, when you address any Gym, you state your full name and hometown. This is so we document the battle into our log for official league records.”

“Ok. I’m Jack Kalmer from Pine Valley.”

“And don’t worry, this battle isn’t going to be logged.”

The referee speaks, "Jack Kalmer, from Pine Valley, challenges Louie, the potentate of the Styper City Gym. This is an unofficial battle. Two Pokemon each. Begin."

Jack of Clovers
08-28-2004, 08:55 AM
The female pianist plays soft music from the piano as background.

Jack’s nerves climb higher, feeling the pressure even though this isn’t going to be official for a badge. Though, with the piano playing, he feels slightly more calm. He slowly grabs one of his five Pokeballs, too nervous to even grip it correctly.

“As an official rule of all Gyms, the Gym Leader must send out the first Pokemon.” Louie drops one Pokeball in his front pocket and quickly throws out the other one for his first Pokemon. The Pokeball opens and out comes a Pokemon as blue as the water with antennas protruding from each side of the head. It has no arms, a fat tail, and a large smile for its small body.

Jack can't identify the Pokemon before him and doesn’t even think it’s located in his book, which he has flipped through a number of times. “It looks like a water Pokemon because it is blue and most blue Pokemon are water based.” He switches Pokeballs and sends out his yellow rodent Pikachu.

Louie looks at Jack with his jaw dropping hard. "Intriguing. Do you know this Pokemon I have sent?"

Jack shakes his head side-to-side.

“This is a Wooper and it is a water type like you guess. However, this Pokemon is full of surprises." Louie smiles.

Unsure what to say, Jack goes into the battle. "Alright Pikachu, give it your Thundershock."

Pikachu lights up shortly, aims and fires a medium shock at the standing Wooper. The antenna on each side of its head absorb the electricity into the body and Wooper is unaffected.

Jack is curious, "Wow."

Louie stands laughing, "Wooper are resistant to electricity. Those antenna draw electricity in the body and out through the floor. This will be my victory. Wooper, Water gun."

Wooper sucks in then blows out a stream of water at Pikachu. Pikachu jumps to the side but another stream barrels his way. Pikachu jumps to the side once more but Wooper anticipates it and a third stream is shot before Pikachu can be ready and hits dead on target.

"Good, now Slam it."

Wooper rushes forward at the direction of Pikachu, whom is wet and recovering from the attack. Wooper twirls around to whip the tail forward but Pikachu reacts in enough time to dodge to the side.

"Nice move Pikachu. Let's show him how to win. Quick attack."

Wooper twirls to a stop from its miss to see Pikachu sprint at it. Pikachu hits hard and Wooper is sent flying back.

"Again Pikachu. You can do it."

Pikachu sprints once again just as Wooper stands back up.

“Water Gun NOW!” Louie sternly calls.

The little blue water Pokemon has hardly any time to aim and just fires straight ahead. The fast moving Pikachu ducks down below the water line, inches away, and dashes in for the stomach. *SMACK* Wooper immediately stops the water attack and keels over to the ground having the air knocked out. Wooper coughs and wheezes, quickly gasping for the air it lost so suddenly.

“Wooper can no longer battle.” The ref waves the green flag to show Jack has won this round.

Louie returns Wooper. "Careless me. I didn’t think you would have enough skill with a speedy Pikachu yet. You blind-sided me." He grabs the second Pokeball and sends it to the field. "But how will you fair against this one?" He smiles as a yellow body, green leaf Pokemon with a large mouth in front comes out. "Your Pikachu may be fast but how can it compare to match the speed of this Weepinbell?"

It’s true that Pikachu are known for their speed and electric ability. But a Weepinbell being faster is pretty rare..

Jack takes charge, "Time to find out. Pikachu, give it a Th . . . . ."

Louie combines words to speak faster, "Sludgebombnow!"

" . . . undershock." Jack is too slow in the commands.

Weepinbell jumps in the air and spits out a large round sludge ball at Pikachu. The electric rodent lights up for his attack but the sludge ball hits the ground in front and explodes in a messy glob of sludge, causing Pikachu to wildly releases the Thundershock. Bolts hit and fly in every direction but they hit nothing but the floor and walls.

Jack looks worried, "Pikachu, are you ok?"

Pikachu gives a weak sound, "Piiikaa . . " Pikachu’s body turns dark in color from the sludge and his eyes are slightly slimmed. The only thing Pikachu can do is try to wipe off the sludge covering his body but it doesn’t work. “Aaaa....” and Pikachu falls down.

“Pikachu can no longer battle.” The red flag goes up for Louie’s win this time.

“Great job out there.” Jack recalls Pikachu, talking to himself. “I haven’t had experience with Vulpix yet but I need a Pokemon to be able to counter the sludge.” He selects and reveals the new Pokemon he caught earlier today. Vulpix nudges and rubs Jack’s legs as a sign of happiness. “Ok, ok.” He pets her. “But it’s time to battle now.”

“Vul?” Vulpix looks at Jack with interest.

Jack worries slightly. “You know, battle? Use your abilities against another Pokemon to become the winner.”

Vulpix looks around to see a Weepinbell across the field. “BELL!” Vulpix understands now and slowly steps out, seemingly uninterested.

“Man, that was close.” Jack is relieved Vulpix knows how to battle.

"Nice choice young man. But it looks like it won’t pay off if your Vulpix isn’t prepared. As a gym where fire types are my enemy, I know how to counteract them." Louie points out his finger at Vulpix. "Sludge Bomb barrage."

Weepinbell jumps up again and spits out repeated sludge ball after sludge ball at Vulpix. Not only is Louie fast with commands, but his Pokemon are fast with reaction time.

“Counter with Ember.” Jack crosses his fingers hoping Vulpix has learned it.

And it pays. Vulpix opens her mouth and lets out a fury of wildly inaccurate fire balls to counter the sludge balls. Every sludge ball is hit and each light up in fire and... *EXPLODE* Each one explodes in the air being touched by the fire, causing little fiery sludge balls to fall to the ground. Weepinbell panics and dodges one fireball after the other.

Jack stands proud, "Alright. Now, Vulpix, don’t be afraid of the fire and go with Quick Attack."

Success again. Vulpix leaps forward, getting singed by a falling fireball a couple times but no harm is done. The fireballs end and Weepinbell finishes dodging just as Vulpix charges up and tackles into it with moderate speed. Weepinbell is knocked back ten yards but it quickly recovers.

Louie takes charge of the match. “Go physical now. Shut it off.”

Weepinbell bounces forward to go at Vulpix in close range. Without a command from Jack, Vulpix protects itself and spouts her Ember attack. The fireballs spread out and Weepinbell dodges them all.

“Hold on Vulpix, stop.” But the frightened Vulpix continues randomly shooting. “Look out.”

Weepinbell has gotten so close that it charges directly at Vulpix and connects. Literally! Weepinbell lodges itself over Vulpix’s face to stop the fire attacks from coming out. Jack gasps in horror.

Jack of Clovers
08-28-2004, 08:59 AM
Louie laughs. “The easiest way to stop something is go for the source. Hang on for your life.”

Vulpix wiggles and waves her head back and forth in all directions to get the suction Weepinbell off her head. But it is no use. Panic starts and Vulpix wildly steps backward, thinking that might help somehow.

Jack watches Vulpix blindly backing around in little circles. He can hear the loud whining coming from inside. “Vulpix, calm down. Calm down.”

But Jack can see his voice isn’t working. Vulpix’s ears are blocked from receiving sound due to them being covered by Weepinbell’s mouth. And the screeching from inside isn’t helping.

“This can’t go on, Vulpix will suffocate.”

“You can call the match at any time. A Trainer knows when to back down and admit defeat to help his Pokemon.”

Vulpix snaps quickly in one direction, letting Weepinbell slip off slightly to reveal her ears. Vulpix continues squirming.

Jack whispers to himself, “Fire needs oxygen but Vulpix is trapped. However plants produce oxygen and Weepinbell is a grass type. So this should work.” He calls out to his Pokemon. “Vulpix, use Ember.”

Vulpix stops moving, now only shaking her head wildly around. The voice gets through but nothing happens yet. As the shaking continues, Weepinbell loses grip more.

Louie is quick to notice. “Ok, next plan. Sludge attack.”

“You need to use Ember and fast.”

The orange fox Pokemon stops scrambling her head around and pauses on the field. Neither Jack nor Louie can determine what is happening inside and both watch anxiously for the outcome. For a moment nothing happens but then Weepinbell’s eye’s and mouth enlarge. And just like a cork being popped from a wine bottle, the pressure builds up and launches Weepinbell across the ballroom, way over Louie’s head. A stream of fire pushes from Vulpix which is not quite like the Ember attack Jack had expected. Weepinbell knocks the wall and falls to the ground, gaining a toasty mouth with a bad aftertaste.

Jack smiles, “I guess you know Flamethrower too.”

The ref runs over to call the match. “Weepinbell is...”

At this time, Jack rushes out to his Pokemon in concern. “Vulpix!” Vulpix has collapsed to the ground. Her face is covered with the burn and sludge marks, the result of whatever happened inside Weepinbell’s mouth.

The ref looks at the field and back at Weepinbell. Miraculously, Weepinbell has forced itself to get up and focus once more. “Vulpix is out of the match, Louie wins the battle.”

The pianist finishes to a climactic ending and the music stops. She closes the board and walks away, as does the ref. The Trainer and the Gym Leader return their well wounded Pokemon.

Louie approaches Jack to the center of the field. "Since you sent Pikachu against Wooper, I thought you didn’t understand about Pokemon. But you really turned around the match and surprised me. You beat a disadvantage and almost cleaned my Weepinbell. I have learned not to take battles so lightly against new Trainers anymore. You have no idea the effect this battle has on me." Louie steps up to Jack, holds out his hand with a copper colored badge in it; round with an S on it with two lines slanting down through it like a dollar sign. It looks like a coin. "It's the Rich Badge. You really taught me a thing or two and I reward that greatly."

Jack backtracks, “Wait, you said this was unofficial.”

“When a rookie Trainer teaches the experienced Gym leader a lesson, you tend to reward them. In this city, where rookie Trainers start, I mostly help them. But you showed me even the newest Trainer has the possibility to win.”

“But I didn’t even win and they weren’t your official Pokemon.” Jack is confused. “I’d rather defeat you under official conditions.”

Louie smiles. “I respect your morals but mine is final. Take the badge.”

Jack pushes the badge away. “I will battle you again some day to earn your badge like a Trainer."

Louie pockets his badge with great concern. "Most Trainers in your position, I make this same offer; they accept. But you, you’re different. Though you aren’t familiar with battles, you know something about honor. That’s acceptable.”

Jack feels great. “Thanks.”

“So, until the time you come back, let me help you some more. Why didn’t you know about Wooper? It is rather common."

"I guess my book doesn’t have all of the Pokemon in it."

“Book? Show me.”

Jack maneuvers his pack and pulls out the Pokemon Moves book and allows Louie to view it.

“There’s the problem, this is Volume One in a series. There are three more Volumes to own. I don’t suggest the books though, they are for homes not traveling. Instead, go see Professor Vine tomorrow and he can help you.” He hands the book back.

Vine, the dreaded Pokemon Professor.

“I was planning to see him during my stay here.”

“Great.” He pauses as one of his helpers steps up. They whisper and chat and nod. "Sorry, something has come up. Ask Nurse Joy to help you find Professor Vine’s lab. That’s all I can do for you. If you need any advice, stop by any time."

“Will do.”

Before Louie walks away, “Oh, and nice hat.”

Jack thanks him for the help and the helper leads him away to an exit. He never wants to earn a badge unless he battles for it. To get a badge like that might have warped his mind a bit to think the gyms might not be that hard after all. But he still wants to try as hard as he can to defeat all the leaders and get that shiny badge for his collection. And he will do it officially.

But he would have to examine his battle skills. Vulpix’s inexperience in battle showed weakness. The talk with Professor Vine will surely be helpful.

~*~

At the Pokemon Center, he wants to ask Nurse Joy about Professor Vine but she is busy with an emergency of some sort, so Jack would wait until tomorrow morning. Chansey hands back his Pokemon after healing them. With all the excitement, Jack skips dinner and goes straight to bed in his room at the Pokemon Center. He thinks about the great experience he had today and how proud he is of his Pokemon. However, this day is over and Jack must move forward and think ahead. Goodnight!

End Episode 7
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
09-11-2004, 09:04 AM
~*~
Episode 8
New Friends and Enemies

Styper City is wide awake in the early hours of morning. Traffic is already making its way through the city. The streets are crowded by cars and people as they make their way to work at that nine to five job.
In contrast, Trainers work twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. They must attend to their Pokemon at any and all times. The job of a Trainer is hard work which is one of the reason not everyone can be a successful Trainer. Even during vacations, the Trainer’s Pokemon are never too far away.

Because of the early hour, Nurse Joy hasn’t woken up yet. Jack tries asking some people on the street where Professor Vine’s lab is but none of them knew where it was. So instead, Jack takes the moment to get in some training and ask Nurse Joy later.

Skipping through the city, Jack arrives outside in a field and proceeds to work with Pidgey. It has been five days since the accident with the Model Place Club and Pidgey has yet to be airborne. The Keadrill Nurse Joy said to wait about a week for the wing to properly heal up and the time is drawing closer. For a bird Pokemon, flying is life and to go without it for so long is devastating. Pidgey has had the courage to listen to Jack’s advice to wait until the time is right. It takes a lot of strength to deny the pleasure of flight. And after some stretching and removing the bandages over the right wing, they start.

“Pidgey, you have waited patiently for this moment and for that I am proud. It is time to see if you’re ready. Take off.”

Pidgey nods, expanding her wings. The clear level field provides key take off ground as Pidgey glides into the air. The wings slowly flap to reach an altitude of about eight feet.

“Yes, I knew you could do it.” Jack feels the moment. “Stay up as long as you want, just don’t strain yourself. We don’t want to injure the wing again.”

Pidgey coos proudly, turning in long circles trying not to move the wing too fast. The descending starts and Pidgey glides to the ground for landing.

Jack claps with excitement. “Great. I estimate a minute up there. Next time it will be longer and higher and faster.”

The moment of flight is purpose for a bird and Pidgey feels rejuvenated once again. The feeling, the wind beneath the wings as she floats through the air. Pure bliss.

Next on his agenda is to work with Vulpix. The embarrassing moment yesterday has shown Jack he needs to help Vulpix understand battling other Pokemon and work on attacks.

“Vulpix.” She rubs her face against Jack’s legs to show appreciation.

“Yes Vulpix, I know, I know. You’re so nice and cuddly.” Jack twitches. “Wow, I’ve never said cuddly before. Heh. But Vulpix, you can be friendly, I understand, but when it’s time to battle, I need you to be ready to go.”

“Vul?”

“When I call you out, you can nuzzle me, but there are times I need you to battle. I am a Trainer and we battle against other Trainers to become better. So I need you to be on the same page as me.”

“Vul...?”

Jack sighs. “This might take some time.” He quickly looks around and finds a stick on the ground. He picks it up and throws it straight to the sky. “Fire your Flamethrower.” He watches the stick in the sky, moving, falling... falling. *THUD* The stick hits the grass softly without an attack attempted at it. “Ok, forget the whole ‘same page’ idea, we aren’t even reading the same book. This isn’t good.”
Vulpix lay spread out on the grass, licking one of her six tails. Vulpix looks up for a second to see Jack frowning in disbelief.

The disappointed Trainer bends down, takes his dark sunglasses off, and looks Vulpix into the eyes. “Vulpix, you need to pay attention. This is important to me.” Vulpix blinks happily trying to get Jack to smile. “Come on, you battled yesterday.” He steps upward again and thinks.

Vulpix locks onto Jack’s face, upset to see her human friend frown.

“I got it.” He grabs each of his Pokeballs off his belt and calls each of them out. Bulbasaur, Pikachu, Rattata, and Pidgey. “Ok guys, we need to help Vulpix to be confident in battles.” Looking around, “Bulbasuar, Vine Whip that tree.”

Bulbasaur turns to where Jack is pointing and extends his vines to slap the trunk with a mild scar.

Rattata proceeds next with a Tackle attack into the same tree.

Pikachu finishes with an electric zap.

Pidgey coos for encouragement.

“See how they use their attacks when I call for it. You need to do that too. Vulpix, let’s try again.” Using the same stick, Jack tosses it upward. “Flamethrower.”

Vulpix cocks her head sideways and watches the stick twirl up, stop for a brief moment, then proceed downward. Soon, a line of fire sizzles and the stick is burnt to dust.
Jack kneels down and pets Vulpix on the head. “That’s improving.”

“Vulpix!” she cheers.

~*~

Vulpix’s battle training was harsh but some good came out of it. Vulpix understood more and Jack felt much closer to her and the rest of his Pokemon. He would like to keep Training but he is eager to get back and talk to Professor Vine.

Upon arrival back to the Pokemon Center, Nurse Joy is up and helping the early morning Trainers. When she is available from her work for a moment, Jack asks his questions, takes the information needed and heads out for the lab.

The walk though the city bothers him because there are so many cars. Back home in Pine Valley, the traffic wasn’t even one-sixth it is here. Either way, he enjoys the experience of the city. Adults going to work and children going to school pass every direction. This city is full of livelihood.

“This must be it.”

At the address handed to him by Nurse Joy, there lay a building. White, eight stories tall and very cube-like with little windows evenly spaced at each level. It looks like a business rather than a lab, probably with an office behind every window.

Jack is surprised to see a doorbell for the lab and rings it, getting the traditional ‘ding-dong’ sound. The door opens to show an older man in a white lab coat. "Ah, a young Trainer perhaps.”

“Yes. I’m looking for Professor Vine.

“Sorry, he isn't here at this time of the morning. Try the Styper Mall two blocks from here down this street. He is there every morning in a little store called Pokemon Aide."

Jack thanks the old man, probably an assistant, and marches to the mall. He hasn’t been to a city mall before, only shopping centers in Pine Valley. The difference between the two is the amount of people and the luxury.

Styper Mall is rather large; two levels high and about one forth of a mile long. The mall isn’t that full of people as it still morning and the regular mall teens are probably in school. The neon lights glow and reflect off the shiny white tiled floor to advertise their store and draw in the customers. Every other store is either for clothing, toys or fast food. Because owning a mall store is expensive, prices in the mall are elevated and they continue to profit from the amount of customers they receive.

Mall Map Picture (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v472/lil_leprachaun33/drawings/stypermallpic.jpg)

Jack looks at the mall map after just entering through glass double doors. The mall picture is just one long street of stores, double stacked and enclosed in a nice building. In fairness, it’s just like a shopping center only fancier. He finds the “You Are Here” arrow to see he has entered at the middle of the wide mall. The store he wants is on the second floor, just above him. Such convenience.

He walks further into the mall, marveling at the lights. On the opposite side is another entrance. Between the two entrances is a large fountain the size of five bath tubs; it’s not Pokemon related but a nice intricate design. He walks to the left of the penny filled fountain to the stairs leading straight up to the second floor.

Pokemon Aide. The walls are simple white in the store, as is most of the layout. There are three aisles ten yards deep and perpendicular to the entrance. Separating the aisles and along the walls are shelves which are stocked with white pill type bottles of various kinds. On the left after the entrance, is the counter and behind the register is a guy.

"Welcome to Pokemon Aide. May I help you little guy?" the man asks. He has a tall physique with purple hair with a wave coming out the front. He wears a grey collared shirt and crisp grey jeans. No glasses like most professors, maybe he has contacts.

"Yes, I'm looking for Professor Vine. Is he here?"

The man leans closer to show Jack his name tag on his grey shirt which says Vine in blue print. "Your search is over. Welcome to my store. So, who might you be?"

"My name is Jack and I came to met you."

Jack of Clovers
09-11-2004, 09:09 AM
"Jack Kalmer? From Pine Valley?" He nods. "I spoke to your mother about two weeks ago. She said you’d be starting soon and here you are. You know you would have gotten your first Pokemon from me but your father insisted that I stay away. Such people. They are all like that, stubborn, don’t even try to get to know me. Plants take time to grow in new soil. Patients, those are a type of plant, and that is what people need. You like that analogy?"

“Yes, I guess...”

Vine interrupts, “All they have to do is study a Trainer I help to see the results. There is nothing wrong with my methods, they must know. When will be the right age for me to have experience? When? They won’t even give me a chance.”

This is not at all how Jack expected the Professor to act. Resentment towards the public, unprofessional comments and ignoring a new Trainer looking for help just so he can rant on about his problems. Maybe Jack’s father was correct in saying Professor Vine isn’t the guy to go to.

~*~

And now for some Professor Vine history. Herman Vine is his full name. At age ten, he started out on his journey as a Trainer but failed to be successful. Yet he still loved Pokemon so much, so he fell back to studying about the Pokemon and skipped grades ahead at school. At age nineteen, he set a record to become the youngest graduate from college to earn a degree in Pokemon Herbals and was quickly hired as an assistant by the resident Professor of the Stoplek League, Professor Della Bloom, a nice older lady with much experience and poise. Within two years, Vine promoted his way through the ranks to become the top assistant because of his ground breaking research in Pokemon Healing. A year later, Professor Bloom ran into a problem with her research and went mad trying to solve it. She and her mysterious research disappeared, never to be seen by the public again. Thus, Vine was promoted from his top assistant position to gain another record, this time as the youngest Professor of the Stoplek League at the age of twenty-two. His herbal studies didn’t prepare him for the new promotion and he lacked the skills to hold the professor job together but he was determined. Because of his age and inexperience with being a Professor, the public denounced him as unqualified but no one could compete against Vine’s intelligence in herbals. Years pass until he is at the current age of thirty-one. The decade as Professor of the Stoplek League has gained him all the knowledge to do his job but the public still doesn’t trust him. Vine’s research is phenomenal but the public pays hardly any attention any more and only a few Trainers bother to buy his herbal research.

~*~

Vine trails off, staring into the ceiling and comes back down to earth. “Oh, sorry for that. Now, what can I do for you?”

“A couple things. First, I need to register for the Stoplek League and become an official participant.”

“That I can do.” He steps through a back door, shuffles around and pops back out with a paper in hand. “Fill this out.”

It’s a simple form asking about Name, Birthday, Address, Age, etc... and a final question: Why do you want to become a Trainer? Jack’s answer: To gain the league badges and prove my skills as a Trainer.

Vine takes a look at the form, particularly the last question. “Interesting. And what day did you start?”

“Um, five days ago.”

He brings up a digital camera. “Ok. Smile. *FLASH* Perfect, I’ll be back.” He moves to the back room again, this time for a while.

Jack shakes the flash out of his eyes and watches the people walking outside the store. Ten minutes pass, and no one has yet to enter; only people looking through the window. It’s as if they know to avoid the store.

“Ok, all logged in,” Vine starts as he comes back in. He holds out a slender red electronic device and sets it on the counter with an adapter next to it. “This is a Pokedex, it is personalized for you and shows you are registered to the league.”

Pokedex Picture (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v472/lil_leprachaun33/drawings/stoplekPokedex.jpg)

Jack grabs the Pokedex, the half white, half red top has a Pokeball logo and the slender sides have holes for wire adaptors, which Vine places on the counter for Jack to also take. Jack flips it up, opening just like a Gameboy Advance SP. It has a light grey background with the screen on the top half and various sized buttons on the bottom. This is not the first time he’s seen a Pokedex; his father owns one similar to this design. However, Jack has never been allowed to touch it because his father didn’t want Jack to mess with the settings.

“Thanks.”

“Let me tell you about it. A Pokedex holds information about Pokemon in our resident league. It can be used as a learning tool for new Trainers when encountering Pokemon. Just point the top at a Pokemon, it will scan it and bring up the information. You can also do it manually when learning on your own. Think of it as an entire encyclopedia in one handheld pocket device. Another benefit is that you can update it at any Pokemon Center by downloading new information or special programs. Right now, you have the updated version which includes a screen pen like you would use on a palm pilot. So you can use the screen or the buttons to maneuver the Pokedex. I’ll let you download any more programs you feel you need. However, there is a limit to the amount of storage a single Pokedex can hold. Storage isn’t a problem because no one uses it all.”

This is exactly what Jack wants- his very own Pokedex. “That was my next topic. I encountered a Wooper and couldn’t identify it. Louie told me it was a common Pokemon.” Jack drops the Pokedex in his pocket, goes to his pack, puts the wire adapter in the side pouch and pulls out his book and drops it on the counter. “He suggested I see you about replacing this book. Since I have my very own Pokedex now, I don’t think I need it anymore.”

Vine curiously looks at the book Pokemon Moves and chuckles. He opens the register and slaps down ten dollars into Jack’s hand. “I will gladly take the book off your hands.” He closes the register and bends down to search under the counter. “That book is very common among stores to sell to new Trainer’s.” He pops back up and drops two large books on the counter. “Here’s why. The other two volumes are much heavier and contain far more information. The books are out of date a couple years. I highly recommend a Pokedex instead because it is always up to date with the downloads.”

“Thanks.” Jack closes up his pack. “Actually, there is one more thing. Can I have a tour of your lab?”

“Can’t do at the moment. I’m here all morning. If you’re staying at the Pokemon Center, I will call you when I’m ready. By that time your Trainer ID card will also be ready.”

“Ok. This will give me some time to look at my new Pokedex. Thanks very much and I’ll see you later.” Jack exits the store.

Vine follows and shouts after him, “If anyone mentions me, tell them I’m a great Professor.” The mall people stare at him as if he’s crazy. “Go about your lives citizens but stop by Pokemon Aide if you have the time. The best Pokemon herbals you’ve ever seen.” He slunks back into his store to mope for his loss. The only reason his store hasn’t gone bankrupt is because it is funded by the League.

Moving back to Jack, he nears the large fountain on the first floor and notices a male and a female couple have arrived and are dancing in front of it. They wear luxurious colorful India style clothing, wildly moving as the limbs flail around. Jack watches for a little bit because the dancing is quite good. Other mall people are also intrigued and stand to watch, occasional tossing down some coins. Individually, the dancing is horrible but somehow the two dancing together flow nicely.

“Ready?”

“Hit the button.”

Jack of Clovers
09-11-2004, 09:14 AM
Just then, small explosions erupt at the left, destroying the stairs causing anyone using it to fall to sure pain. Next, an explosion hits the right side where the other stairs leading up to the opposite side of the second floor are also blown down. Debris and smoke block off the two sides so that only the middle section is unharmed. Directly after that, the two entrances on either side are locked down so no escape is possible. Left, right, and the exits are all blocked, leaving Jack and a dozen mall people trapped between this horrible mess.

A customer pulls on the exit doors. “The doors, they are locked.”

The female dancer shouts out, “This is a hold up. Hand over all your Pokemon and valuables and no one will get hurt.”

An old man sitting on a bench comments. “Why, why listen to you?”

The male dancer fires back, “Shut it old man. We are in control from now on.” He pulls out a small black ball the size of a marble and chucks it to the ground. Dark smoke fills the area surrounding the fountain. Everyone coughs and panics trying to find their way around the smoke. As the smoke clears, the old man is on the ground out cold.

The two dancers have switched clothes during this time. Now they wear black clothes with red and purple stripes in certain places. The big give away to who they are is the large red letter R on their shirts. They are a young pair, about middle twenties. The female has medium styled dark green hair while the male has short dark red hair. They both stand on the cement part surrounding the fountain water.

The female holds a nice watch in her hand. “Thanks for your time old man. Now the rest better cooperate or face the same as him. Team Rocket owns you all.” She laughs with evil in the air.
People shroud in fear from the Team Rocket henchmen. The league has its share of gangs but Team Rocket is known practically world wide. This organization doesn’t mess around.

By now, the other mall people on the other side of the fallen debris watch with horror, most running away while the rest help those they were hurt from the blasts. The police have easily been summoned to the rescue.

Jack builds enough courage to lash out, something he wouldn’t normally do. "I will never give ou my Pokemon."

"What was that? Someone talking back to Team Rocket?" The male says looking to the kid with the tan hat.

Jack continues his boldness. "I've heard about you on the news. You treat Pokemon wrong and steal them from hard working Trainers. I’ve waited my whole life to get to this point and to have it taken away is not going to happen. As a Trainer, I must defend my position and not let the likes of you ruin it for me or any other Trainer out there." He prepares to battle hard. Team Rocket is most likely stronger than him, but he can’t go down without trying.

“Shouldn’t you be in school. Mommy would be upset to see you ditching class.”

Jack breathes in and out slowly to remain calm and show he isn’t afraid. His confident attitude takes over. “School’s over for me but it looks like you could still learn a few more lessons.”
“He’s good with the comebacks.” the female recognizes.

The male directs his finger at the kid with the funny looking hat. "The twenties are over and the future will win. And since Team Rocket is the future, you are going down. You’ve made a big mistake here."

“I’m sorry, but your fallacy isn’t going to work against me.” Jack quickly drops his Pokeball to the floor to reveal Bulbasaur.

Commotion from the second floor springs up and before anything can happen between Jack and Team Rocket, dozens of Pokeballs fall down to the first floor and a variety of Pokemon pop out to join Jack’s Bulbasaur, surrounding the Team Rocket duo.

The male nervously retracts his finger and squints back. “What now Ashley?”

“First, don’t mention my name to the public, ROY. Secondly...” She grabs a bag from the ground and takes out a smoke ball. The smoke clouds over the fountain and the two members rush away from the horde of Pokemon. Ashley holds another black ball, this time the size of a softball, and throws it at the south glass door exit. *FWOOM* The glass double doors shred to pieces from the explosion and the two flee for freedom.

Jack sighs, backing against the wall and sliding down it to sit and rest. He stood up to Team Rocket and won. Of all the things not to do in life, this is one of them at the top of the list. Bulbasaur sits in comfort next to his Trainer. “What have I done?” The moment of regret sets in.
But he won’t go unnoticed for what he has done here. Two people took special interest in Jack’s action: Professor Vine watched from above and took quite notice to the Trainer. And Lyn watched in awe at Jack’s bravery.

~*~

Twenty minutes later the police have everything under control and the mall is closed for at least the day. Jack is checked by the paramedics and cleared to leave. Shortly after, Jack is swamped by reporters as he nears the border where the police line blocks the public. He blocks his face from the cameras and tries to hind under his hat and sunglasses.

“Is it true you stand up to Team Rocket all the time?”

“If it weren’t for your influence to the second floor to fight back, what would you have done?”

“Give us your name. We need a name.”

A voice yells out from behind the reporters. "Hey, remember me?"

Jack hears the familiar voice and looks over the annoying heads of reporters to see the familiar face. It’s that same blue haired girl he met at the rocky landscape. "Nice to see you again. Lyn Ravensomething, right?”

“It’s Ravenwood.”

“Close enough. At least you’re over there and not being tormented by reporters.”

The police interrupt the reporters questions. “Leave this young man alone. Back off. If anything, he has to answer our questions first.” The reporters sigh, moving back.

The nice blue haired Officer Jenny pushes Jack away from the reporters and starts her questions. “Now, tell me everything that happened.”

Jack sighs, ready to leave. “For one thing, I don’t like all this attention.”

Lyn laughs on the inside watching his expressions. Feeling sorry, she calls to him, “You want to get out of here?”

“I wish I could.”

She struggles around the reporters and past the police. “Follow me.” She grabs Jack by the arm and the two flee the crowd to the mall parking lot, away from the press and police.

“Wait, I have questions for you...” Officer Jenny tries to run after them but gets slowed by the crowd of reporters.

They dodge under the police tape, around the parked cars and through the crowd of people watching. Eventually, they come to a parking spot with a parked black moped. A moped is smaller than a motorcycle but larger than a scooter and some can hold two people. Fortunately, this one can hold two.

Lyn hops on, placing her helmet on and starts the moped. “Get on back.”

“Uh,” Jack looks around. “No helmet for me?”

“Do you want to go or not?”

Jack nods, taking his newsboy hat off and placing it into his pack. He slips on his sunglasses and sits uncomfortably on the back and grabs Lyn’s shoulders

Lyn grabs Jack’s hands and throws them around her waist. “Hold like this or you will fall off. Falling hurts without a helmet.”

The moped moves forward, weaving through the slender openings of the crowds to escape the mall parking lot. They take to the busy streets, cutting through lanes of traffic with the small moped going twenty to thirty miles per hour. The only question is: where are they going?

End Episode 8
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
09-25-2004, 07:46 AM
~*~
Episode 9
One More for the Road

After getting away from the mall, and passing through the traffic, the moped charges down a residential street and stops at a one story house of nice art deco in pastel tans and oranges. It’s a very bright house indeed.

Lyn parks the moped right at the front door to the house and hops off after Jack does. “Quite an adventure this morning. If it wasn't for you standing up to Team Rocket, those people wouldn't have gotten the courage to fight back. I guess you could say, you were a hero."

Jack doesn't know what to think. He didn’t think his actions would go so far but it only takes one person to fight back to change the course of the future. "Well, normally I wouldn’t say anything but I had to do something. I didn’t start training just for them to take my Pokemon." Spoken like a true hero.

"Would you like to come in for a quick bite to eat?” Lyn asks. “You deserve something for your actions.”

“I don’t know. Last thing I need is my name over the news for Team Rocket to know and the longer I stay, the more chance the media has to find me. Leaving is in my best interest."

"They won’t find you here. But maybe you’re right, it was a stupid question. I guess you should go on your journey and forget about this city and what you did back there. I understand."
How can Jack ignore that? He accepts the offer.

Inside Lyn's house is a very typical single story: Living room just after entering, kitchen after that and two rooms on the right side along with the bathroom. The walls are not much different from the outside, as is the furniture; all colors you would see in a desert sunset. She sets out some various fruits on a large plate and places it on the living room coffee table. They each take a few bites and start a conversation.

“Thanks for helping me back there. I’m not looking to be in the spotlight. I’m lucky you recognized me.”

“Hard not to when you have a hat like that.” She laughs quietly. “And it was no problem. I would have thought you would have been more proud for saving the mall. But you seemed discouraged and afraid. Your voice and face led me to helping you get away. It was the least I could do, after all.”
“Thanks.” Jack steers the conversation to a different subject. "So, why aren't you on a journey? You do have Pokemon. I thought everyone old enough and with a Pokemon would be out on a journey."

"Oh, if you must know...” she stops eating to tell her story. “It's a long story. I have always thought Pokemon would be cool to play with and a Trainer journey would be fun to try. However, my parents didn't support me on my choice. They said 'Ladies don't become Pokemon Trainers. Ladies settle down and not go on adventures.' That just made me want to disobey them but at a young age there was nothing I could do. Six months before I would turn thirteen, my parents died when they were knocked unconscious in a car accident." She pauses to take a breathing break, thinking of the memories, then continues. "I was very sad to see them gone after they had been there all my life. I was on my own at that time and I could then go on my journey without restriction. The only other person I had was my Aunt, who took custody. Thankfully, she allowed me to go on my journey. Poliwag was given to me by Professor Vine as my first Pokemon and I was set to start.”

Jack finds that odd. “Poliwag? But I thought Professor Vine hands out Pokemon like Smoochum, Elekid and Magby.”

“Yes he does but I asked for a Poliwag and that’s what I got. He didn’t mind the request at all. Anyway, two days after I started, my Aunt was terribly sick and couldn't walk much because it affected parts of her brain. She couldn't pay someone to watch her everyday because it was so expensive and she didn’t trust them, so I volunteered to help. I was the only living relative she had and she reminded me so much of my mom.”

Pause.

“Three years since that time and now she is much better and she can walk around and do most things herself. My dream of going on a journey died when I stayed here."

"Oh, so you go to the rocky area to keep in shape."

"Don't interrupt. I'm not finished yet." She continues. "I never did any training with Poliwag up until two weeks ago. School, taking care of my aunt, and the stock market took up my time.”

“Stocks?”

“Yea. She is a stock broker and needs me to run the errands she can’t. It is our only way to get money.”

“Ok. I’ll stop interrupting now.”

“Thanks. Now where was I? Oh right. Now that she has almost recovered one-hundred percent, I am able to go out and have fun. I tried to start training again but I just kept getting beat all the time by other Trainers, even the ones that just started. Three years and Poliwag has had hardly any action as intense as a battle. The only way I think I can beat a Trainer is to get more Pokemon. So, the last two weeks I've been going to the mountains and trying to catch something Poliwag could beat. Geodudes were too hard to find because they could hide easily. I found that one Graveler almost every time I went up there and knew something that big is worth catching. The Graveler started making a game out of it and I kept losing, like it was taunting me."

“And you go up there to help injured Pokemon, I think that’s what you told me.”

Lyn sighs from the interruption. “I try to but they all run away or refuse help. I haven’t had much success with Pokemon yet.”

Jack brings up one of the statistics he’s knows best. "Well, not everyone is great at Pokemon training. Did you know that one out of every five new Trainers quit after the first month? And only one Trainer out of ten are successful after four months. Some people just weren't meant to become Trainers."

Lyn looks disturbed. "Are you saying that I am not good enough to become a Trainer? Maybe I am but that doesn’t mean I’ve quit. I’m delayed, that is all..."

A voice is heard from behind one of the right side rooms. "Lyn, took you long to get home. What happened?"

"I know Aunt Clarice. There was an incident at the mall. I’ll have to get my Pokeball etched another day."

The door opens and out walks a middle aged woman with dark frilly hair wearing a light colored night gown. "What was that? I didn’t here you.” She sees someone else in her house. “Oh... I see you brought a guest over."

"Yep. His name is... is... Wait a minute. I didn't catch your name."

Jack feels embarrassed. "Oh, sorry. My name's Jack Kalmer and I come from Pine Valley."

The Aunt smugly looks at Jack. "You look like a Trainer. Just passing through I guess. Really no point in hearing stories from either of us. You'll probably never see us again. Just take our food and run. That's how they all are."

"Aunt Clarice! Be nice."

"I guess I can be nice. He is the first guest that you've brought home since you’ve been here. It's about time you got a friend even if it's only for an hour or two.” She gazes at Jack. “You must have done something to be brought to our home like this." She walks back into her room and closes the door.

"Don't mind my Aunt. She is kinda sour to Trainers. But I guess it is true." She pauses to think about it. "You will be going soon and you may never see us again. Of all the Trainers I’ve met in the past weeks, this will be my most memorable. And I won’t forget what you did at the mall."

“Thanks for the compliment.” Jack feels weird about being the only person she’s ever invited into the house for company. At the same time, he feels honored to be the only person invited, like he’s at a hangout where only the cool people are invited to.

“So what’s your story?”

“Mine? Well, unlike you, there isn’t much story. I lived in Pine Valley my whole life and only left it a few times. The thought of being a Trainer was my goal because I knew I would be a great Trainer. I am fascinated by the battles and the challenge to get badges. But, I didn’t even get a chance to start at thirteen like you did. My father wanted me to follow along the same age he did because it would better prepare me for the journey. He started at seventeen, and so did I. The only thing I could do was prepare for the day I would start and that happened five days. Not to brag or anything, but being a Trainer for these five days, out on my own, it’s the best experience I’ve ever had.”

“You’re right, that was short.” Lyn swallows her fruit. “But I remember something you said the day I first met you which stayed in my head. You wouldn’t catch Vulpix unless it wanted to go with you. Why is that?”

“Heh. That’s my own idea. I don’t want to force Pokemon to join me, I’d rather let them join only if they want to. That’s how I have caught all my Pokemon so far.”

“That’s an unusual method.”

“All Trainer’s have different styles. Mine is just a little more unusual.”

“Yeah, very odd too.”

...It becomes silent....

Jack of Clovers
09-25-2004, 07:53 AM
The voice from behind the closed door calls, "Lyn, could you come in here?"

“Ok,” she calls back. “This might be a while, I’m sure she wants to really talk to me. So if you want to turn on the TV, go ahead.” Lyn gets up and goes into Aunt Clarice's room and closes the door.

"You know he is going to leave soon. He is a Trainer. Probably acts nice to us just to get free food and shelter from the people who have real jobs. What could he have done for you to bring him home?"

"I met him yesterday and defended him from that Graveler I kept trying to catch. Then this morning, Team Rocket had a plan to steal Pokemon at the mall and he bravely stood up to them and saved lots of peoples’ Pokemon from being taken. After what he did at the mall, he seemed like he deserved some hospitality before he leaves."

“Trainer’s can’t be trusted. They only think about themself.”

“He is different, I can tell...”

They continue talking as Jack stops listening from the other side. They are talking about me. Maybe I should leave. He flips on the television and tries to find a news station.

“...earlier this morning, and as you can see behind me, the cleanup is still going on. The attack was not aimed at any person, but rather for valuables and Pokemon that anyone had on them. Bombs lit the path of destruction and dozens are injured. Luckily, no one was badly hurt. It is unknown at the time which Team Rocket members were involved and further investigation is ongoing. But the real question everybody has on their mind is... what happened to that hero? As I mentioned earlier, he is a male teen and wears a unique old style hat. Witnesses claim his actions started the attack back at Team Rocket. Unfortunately, he has disappeared from the public as you are seeing here.”

The video shows Lyn grabbing Jack and running off, the camera person running after and trying to follow. Luckily, the camera didn’t see them get away on the moped. A close up of Jack and Lyn’s face are set next to each other.

“Whoever this male and female team are is a mystery. Will we ever find out? I say yes, but only time will tell.”

“Wow, we’re a team,” Lyn remarks.

Jack flinches, being scared by her reappearance. “But look, they got my picture all over the news. This isn’t what I want.”

Team Rocket’s LIST quickly comes to his mind. He has been thinking about this since he was still inside the mall. The LIST hasn’t been proven but it’s a name the media and League Police are calling it. Every person or Pokemon that has gotten in Team Rocket way is put on The LIST and they aren’t taken off until revenge is achieved. The higher up on The LIST, the more revenge is taken. Again, this hasn’t been proven and one can only imagine if a list does indeed exist and how serious the revenge can be. The thought of being on The LIST is one thing, but his punishment freaks him out and it’s something no body looks to receive. And what about Lyn, does this mean she is involved too?

Lyn asks Jack to wait out in front of the house for a while. He steps out and sits on the steps in front of the moped wondering what this is all about.

Have I done something to offend her aunt? I probably should leave but that would be rude. But what if someone recognizes me sitting here? Jack opens his pack and grabs his hat and sunglasses to hide his face from recognition. He then realizes the hat might stand out so he puts it back in his pack. It is a quiet neighborhood so there is doubt anyone will even notice him there.

Half an hour later Lyn comes out with a light grey single-strap-over-the-chest bag and a black helmet matching the one on the moped. Her hair is different from before. Instead of blue, it looks more navy blue. She has bangs in the front, hair separated by a hair clip coming down in front of her ears, then her medium hair freely hangs over the back. The face has some slight freckles that weren’t noticed before. The outfit changed slightly; only a new top, off grey color and yellow bands at the end of her short sleeves. Her light blue pants are the same, with wave lines at the bottom. White shoes finish off the set.

Lyn smiles, eyes wide and with great feeling. "We had a long talk and she decided it was time for me to go out on my own.”

"Really? Just like that?”

“Yep.”

“That's good news. I thought I had done something wrong."

Aunt Clarice smiles smugly. “I’ve seen Lyn depressed staying at home helping take care of me for all these years. I knew and she knew she was ready but today sparked my decision. She deserves some fun for all these years taking care of me.”

"She said I should go with you because you seem like a nice Trainer and trusting. Plus I can learn tips on how to train better.”

Clarice continues to smile. “What you did at the mall was very brave for a new Trainer. I can respect that.”

Lyn puts on her helmet. “Yep. She doesn't think I should start out alone even though I’m sixteen and have been taking care of myself for nearly three years. What do you think?"

Jack stares dumbfounded although they can’t tell trying to look through the dark sunglasses. Trainers usually go solo on their journeys and have more success than if they travel with a friend. “I don’t know what kind of tips I can share since I’m new too. I don’t know... I guess it’s fine.”

She jumps up once in a cheer. "Thank you very much.” She faces her Aunt and hugs. “You won’t regret letting me go.”

“I know. You will do just fine. Take care of her, she’s my only niece.” Aunt Clarice un-hugs, waves quick and heads back inside.

Lyn tosses the second helmet to Jack. “Ready? This will be our transportation until we get to Plylie City. It’s a pain to walk there, I have tried, so we will ride."

Jack is still shocked at this sudden interest to tag along. “But, your school? And friends?”
“Don’t worry, I was being home schooled and I didn’t have much time for friends. Now quit complaining, I can’t wait to get started. Hop on. You get a helmet this time.”

He finds it odd that she would drop her life here so easily just to go out on a journey. “I’d rather walk like a traditional Trainer but that’s all I’ve been doing for five days. I guess it is time for a break.“ Also, the moped would get him faster out of the city than if he walked and time is against him. “And how did you know I’m going to Plylie City?”

Lyn sits down on the drivers seat and starts the soft engine. "You said you’re from Pine Valley, which is south from here. The only way you can be going is north."

Jack straps the helmet over his hat, sits down and holds Lyn around the waist. "That’s a fair deduction. But what about the Graveler you wanted to catch?"

She saddens, "Not anymore. I watched right before my eyes, another Trainer with a powerful Scyther dominate my capture. This all happened last night and even though I lost it, I marveled at her training ability and congratulated her."

Jack clicks in his mind that the Trainer must have been Trish, whom he met with the strong Scyther a couple days ago. "That's so sad. All that work for those weeks for nothing. Well, you did get in training.”

“I didn’t leave empty handed. I managed to catch a different Pokemon instead.” She winks to Jack. “But it’s a surprise.”

Jack laughs. "You can’t keep it a secret for too long."

Lyn laughs back as she moves the moped around, down the pathway, the driveway, the walkway and finally to the street. Destination ---> Plylie City.

~*~

Jack of Clovers
09-25-2004, 07:57 AM
“Hey, Lyn, over here.”

They have been driving the streets of Styper City for a few minutes when they hear a shout coming from somewhere. Lyn looks to the left to see a familiar person standing in front of Professor Vine’s laboratory. She makes a u-turn around the street to pull up to the lab, shutting the engine off.

“Hey Professor Vine.”

“Who’s the passenger?” Vine looks carefully past the face at the pack he is wearing. “Oh, it’s Jack. Almost didn’t recognize you without that nice hat.”

With slight reddening in his face, “Everyone seems to like my hat for some reason.”

Vine nods, “People are interested in things they don’t see everyday, like your hat or Lyn’s moped. But let’s not talk about fashion and transportation. I was very impressed at the mall, great work. So, have you come for that tour now? I have all the time since the mall has closed down.”

“Thanks but no. I’m trying to avoid the media since the mall incident and I’m moving on. Please don’t tell them anything about me. I don’t want to be on Team Rocket’s LIST.”

Lyn gasps. “I forgot about The LIST. Now I understand why the rush to leave.”
Vine nods, understanding. “No problem. Since you’re not taking the tour, I would like to ask some things of you. I’m sure your father told you a Trainer can hold up to six Pokemon at a time. So after six, where are you sending them to stay?”

“They are going home.”

"You do know it would be much better if they stayed with me, someone trained to look after Pokemon. But of course, it's always the Trainer’s choice."

Jack is confused though. "I don’t see how you can support Pokemon in that lab. It’s so small.”

Vine turns to see his box business lab and chuckles. “No, no, those Pokemon are at a large ranch in Taht Vista northeast of here. There are acres of fields over there for the Pokemon to enjoy and my research team takes care of them and I visit often to keep in check. This building is my Research and Development Lab for some studies and my herbal research. It’s also where new Trainer’s come to get their first Pokemon.”

He disappoints the good Professor. “Sorry but they will go home. We have already arranged for it. Not to mention, my father wouldn’t be too happy...."

Vine interrupts, "Ok, no need for the details. Your reasons are your own. Call my number for any questions that you want answered." He hands Jack his card with address and phone number written on the front.

Lyn speaks her turn. “Professor Vine, I won’t be able to take the Pokemon Moisturizer anymore. I’m starting my journey again.”

“That’s wonderful! Good for you Lyn. In that case I have something for you, both of you actually. Wait here for a second, I’ll be right back.” Vine runs to his lab leaving Jack paranoid, looking around for the reporters. Momentarily, he comes back holding a few items in his hands. First, some small bottles. “Here Lyn, it’s the Water Pokemon Moisturizer. Jack, here, take this Fur Fluffer Formula. It helps Pokemon with fur have a natural sheen and clean feel. Just read the directions on the bottle. I hope you’ll be able to use it.”

Jack nods with delight. His Pikachu and Vulpix would be able to take the formula.

“That’s not all.” Vine holds two Pokeballs in his right hand. “I know your father doesn’t want me to help you but I will anyway.”

“You’re giving me a Pokemon?”

Vine nods. “I gave out Magby a while ago and I just received Elekid and Smoochum. You may pick one.”

“I can get the Smoochum I would have chosen?” Jack can’t believe this opportunity has arisen. Of all his luck just starting his journey he has been easily getting Pokemon left and right. Oh the choices. Why me? Do I take this chance at getting my Smoochum? Jack puzzles and toys around with the choices in his head to reach a decision. “The offer is great, I really appreciate it. But... you should save those Pokemon for a new Trainer that doesn’t already have six Pokemon.”

“Really.” He looks at Jack with interest. “You’re a good man, I can see that easily. That’s a good trait to be looking out for others.” He pockets the two Pokeballs of starter Pokemon, waiting for that fateful day when a Trainer would come by and select them. “One more thing.” He slickly slides a card from his pocket to his hand and points it to Jack. “Here’s your Trainer ID card. It shows you are officially licenced by the league to challenge the gyms. The Pokedex also has that feature but the card is easier to show.”

Jack looks at the card. The picture Vine took of him is plastered in the left corner with his information at the right. It’s covered with lamination to protect it from being ruined. “Cool.” He places the ID card and Lab card in his wallet.

Lyn also comments. “Thanks Professor Vine. You do great work as always.”

“If only I could get everyone else to say that. Anyway, you two have fun out there. The two of you together can only lead to good times ahead. Call me if you need anything, I’ll be glad to help.”

“Anytime.”

Lyn restarts the engine and pulls the moped out to the street again and they continue their journey to Plylie City, where Jack’s first gym badge awaits. With the media searching high and low for the hero Trainer in Styper City, he can’t stay to re-challenge Louie at the gym. He would have to come back another time when he is ready and the media hype has died down.

End Episode 9
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-10-2004, 08:10 PM
~*~
Episode 10
The Long Road Ahead

They have made it out of Styper City, away from Team Rocket mishaps and reporters edging for a story. The moped slips down a long trail of dirt and grass. There is a road that would be safer but this path is a shortcut and more fun to drive. Miles have passed and no words exchanged. The only sound is the motor of the moped: nyehnnyehenynehehnyeh... nyehn... nyehn.... nyehn......ny. And that’s when the moped unexpectedly slows down and the engine putters to a stop. The moped is set in park and the keys are taken out.
Jack steps off and begins, "I guess that means we are out of gas."

Lyn is next off the moped. "Yeah, sorry. I thought it was full enough to get to Plylie City. So, what now?”
“I guess we either go back or keep going.”

Lyn looks around. “I have an idea. Wait here. I’ve traveled this path a number of times. Let me see where we are.” She turns and heads down the path to look for familiar marks.

A short while later she returns. “There is a Pokemon Shelter less than a mile east of here. We can get help there.”

“Really?”

“Yep. Let’s go.”

They put the helmets on the moped and Lyn walks it on the path, leading the way. They pass a gnarled tree with a sign that reads Pokemon Shelter. Taking a right, they head down another path moving east.
“I still can’t believe you dropped everything just like that in order to come with me.”

She responds. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for three years. My bag has been under my bed, packed and ready to go at any time I wanted to leave. I’m thankful you came around when you did and I thank you for what you did at the mall this morning.”

“I’m just not used to being surprised like that. Shocked me, that’s all.”

“You’ll find that I can surprise many people. It tends to happen.”

Jack sneakily change topics. “How many Pokemon do you have again?”

“Only two.”

“I see. And what are they again?” Jack hints, trying to figure out the second Pokemon.

She jokes back. “Nice try there.”

He is a little upset. “Come on, I don’t like suspense. It’s not like we don’t have the time right now. You can learn my Pokemon too.”

She takes a moment to think about the offer. “Fine. We can battle.” She sets the moped at the side and grabs a Pokeball from her front pocket.

“Battle? This one of your surprises?”

“You just reminded me of a great quote from the creator of the league, Mr. Stoplek. ‘The best way for two Trainers to get to know each other is with a battle.’ What do you say?”

“Great quote. He also said ‘Travel with other Trainers and through the hardships you will gain future friendships’. But a battle is a great idea. It won’t hurt to get in some training. And I will get to see how you battle." Jack stands ready.

“And I get to see your style and Pokemon as well.”

"If you don’t mind, I’ll go first.” Jack selects and Vulpix is out. He needs to see how much his training actually helped.

“So you kept Vulpix after all.” Lyn throws one of her two Pokeballs out. "I choose Geodude." The round rock Geodude comes out excited, more than a usual Geodude would put effort into.

“That couldn’t be the same Geodude I met in the caves, could it? Nah.”

Vulpix backs away from Geodude toward Jack.

Lyn replies, "Instead of Graveler, I settled for a Geodude. Once Graveler was caught, the other wild Geodude didn’t try to hide as much which I found interesting.”

“That’s a nice catch.” Jack looks down at Vulpix. "Are you ready Vulpix?”

Vulpix shakes her head and quivers in fear, hiding her tails between her body.

Jack sighs but realizes this situation is different. Vulpix appears to not want to battle; she looks quite frightened. “This isn’t a misunderstanding this time. You’re scared to battle.”

Vulpix replies with a short yip.

"Well, if you don't want to battle, then you don't have to. But some day you will have to face this fear. And once you do, then you can beat any Geodude that we come across." Jack recalls Vulpix disappointingly and picks another Pokeball. “So frustrating.”

Lyn is confused. “What’s that about.”

“Remember that Vulpix was attacked by a group of Geodude inside the cave. Maybe it traumatized her.”

“Oh.”

“Let’s start over, heh. So I choose Caterpie this time." The little green Caterpie comes out. "Do the same thing to this Geodude as you did to the ones at the cave. String Shot!"

"Geodude, get away." Lyn commands.

But Geodudes aren't know for their speed, not to mention Jack’s Caterpie has great aim. Geodude manages to roll away but the second shot hits and from there Geodude is stuck. The goo eventually swallows and traps Geodude. Quick-shot Caterpie hits his mark.

"So quick to end." Lyn recalls and grabs her second Pokeball but stops before sending it out.

On the battle grounds, Caterpie shoots String Shot into the air and covers himself. Caterpie glows and changes shape as the white strings harden and turn green colored. Within the minute, Caterpie has evolved into the next stage. Metapod.

Jack exclaims, "Wow!” He has heard so much about evolution but he never imagined it would be so outstanding to witness. “That’s was... amazing. Metapod!” Jack jumps with a fist in the air, cheering for himself.

Lyn smiles, "Congratulations! But I am still going to win." She throws out her last Pokeball. "I choose Poliwag."

Poliwag lazily gazes at the blank stare of Metapod. Metapod would be weak at this time until the shell hardens enough in a few minutes. This gives Poliwag the advantage.

“Poliwag looks tired, good thing it’s getting some exercise now.”

“She had a rough time last night. I hope she’s not too tired. Poliwag, hit it with a Double Slap attack."

“I hope Metapod can still use String Shot. Metapod, String Shot!”

Unable to respond so fast in the newly evolved body, the String Shot fires out from Metapod’s tip. His shell makes mobility harder to achieve and this causes the attack to miss way off target. Poliwag easily jumps over and counters with Double Slap, smacking Metapod upside the head numerous times. There is nothing Metapod can do and when the slapping stops, Metapod is knocked over but not out of the battle.

Jack nods, “Great effort but that’s enough. I don’t want to strain you so much after evolving. You need to rest so you can be strong for your next stage."

“Meta.”

Here comes his third Pokemon to the field: Bulbasaur. "Let's get this match over with. Bulbasaur, Sleep Powder.”

Bulbasaur leans his bulb forward and blue powder pours out and covers the field.

Lyn gasps but doesn’t panic, "Oh, I know. Water Gun that powder away."

Poliwag jumps up, sucks in the air and sprays a water stream at the powder, collecting it in the water and hitting Bulbasaur at the end of the path. Bulbasaur slips backwards, swallowing some of the sleepy water. Feeling drugged up, Bulbasaur feels the effects of Sleep Powder like a huge downer drug.

Jack is quite impressed, "Nice using my own attack against me."

"I saw it once on TV. Now Poliwag, finish it off with Double Slap!" A couple wacks back and forth and Bulbasaur faints or falls asleep. Either way, Bulbasaur is out.

"Bulbasaur return." Jack nods cooly in accepting defeat. “Great match. We both need some improving.”

Lyn laughs, “What, giving up already? You have six Pokemon, keep them coming.”

“Really? But the battle is over.”

She doesn’t say anything but looks at Jack very convincingly.

“Well, if you say so.” Out goes his next Pokemon. "I would have thrown him out before but I thought I would give you a chance. I never expected my own attack to be used against me." Pikachu takes the stage for a type advantage battle.

"Thanks for the sympathy but you should never go easy in a battle. We both need to try our best in order to improve.” She starts the battle. “Poliwag, Water Gun."

Jack commands back, "Agility."

Poliwag spays forward and misses the blurred Pikachu. Pikachu comes back into focus and waits for the command.

"Now for Thundershock."

Pikachu sparks up his body, sending small jolts around and finally zaps a quick little lightning bolt at Poliwag.

“Defense Curl.”

Poliwag can’t get away so she brings in her tail and curls into a ball to take less damage. Poliwag feels the shock flowing through her body and is forced out of the ball screaming in pain.

“Poli...” Poliwag staggers about then falls to the ground. It's over and the two Pokemon are recalled.

"That was a good match. Your Poliwag was very good."

Lyn blushes, "Yeah? It must have been all those times failing to catch Graveler that got her so strong. But how come Pikachu can learn an advanced move like Agility?"

“It’s my father’s Pokemon he let me borrow. Same with Bulbasaur. They are both at higher levels than my own Pokemon that I caught.”

“Speaking of which, when do I get to see the rest of your Pokemon? You have two more to show me.”

Jack mocks sarcastically, acting like Lyn. “Oh, they’re a secret and you will see them when the time is right.”

Lyn rolls her green eyes with a quirky smile and goes back to pushing the moped.

~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-10-2004, 08:11 PM
They arrive at the Pokemon Shelter, a small one story wooden cabin like someone would expect to see. Though, this cabin has a garage and a car parked on the side. A road can be seen on the other side which must lead to the highway that connects Plylie to Styper. There is one gas pump near the street for cars to fill up their tanks. Over the door, there is a sign that says Welcome Trainers.

Lyn sets her moped at the side of the cabin and heads for the door. “Aren’t you coming in?”

“Go ahead, I want to look around first.”

She shrugs and enters. The inside is the size of two large bedrooms together. The furniture is mostly wood and the cushions are dyed brown colors to match the wood. It’s modeled like a Pokemon Center, chairs at the entrance and a desk on the opposite side where Nurse Joy would be. Though, there is no waiting room, only a small lounge area off to the side. In the main area there are items for sale: candy, drinks and other foods normally at a gas station. This particular shelter is like a store and a Pokecenter combined. The difference is they must pay a price for any service.

At this Pokemon Shelter, there is no Nurse Joy, but two men. One large man with huge muscles and a fat head and a slender man with a squished face. The large man wears a silver grey long sleeve shirt with crossbars over the heart. He has a yellow crew cut hair and squinty eyes. He looks like he was in the military. The slender man also wears a grey shirt and pants but no bars. He has spiked out darker yellow hair and a crooked smirk widely across his face. The large man is behind the desk while the slender man is sitting in the waiting area, laying across three chairs.

“Look Lloyd, a customer.”

The large man grumbles. “I can see that.

Lyn looks around unsettled. “Where is Mrs. Evens?”

Lloyd raises an eyebrow. “Mrs. Evens you say? She is in town. We are in charge in the meantime.”

“Ya, so pay up, dear, or get out.” The slender man jokes.
Lyn feels weird about this. “But she never leaves the shelter. And when she does the cabin is locked up.”

“Look. She’s out right now. She will be back later, understand? What do you need so we can help you?”

This doesn’t seem right to her. “My moped ran out of gas and I need to fill up so I can drive to Plylie.”

“Gas huh? That’s three dollars a gallon. Pay up front before we give it to ya’” Lloyd speaks.

“What?” Lyn is outraged. “That’s twice as much as it should be. That’s a rip off.”

The slender man speaks. “Oh fuss up, supply and demand. You need it that bad, you must pay the price.”

Lyn storms outside feeling betrayed by the shelter. “This isn’t right. There must be something wrong.”

Jack happens to be walking back and sees Lyn upset. “What’s going on?”

“Mrs. Evens runs the Pokemon Shelter but she isn’t here. Instead there are these other two guys I’ve never seen before. Something isn’t right. I have been coming here for three years and not once has anyone else been in charge of the shelter. I was here a couple days ago and if she was hiring help she would have told me. I don’t understand.”

“Could they be thieves?” Jack throws in the possibility. He has no idea what is going on, all he can do is offer his help.

“Maybe. Whatever they are doing, they shouldn’t be here. They tried charging me double the price for the gas we need.”

Jack clutches his fist. If Lyn is correct about them not supposed to be in there, then Jack must take action. “Don’t worry, everything will be fixed.”

The door opens and the two men step out. The slender man speaks first. “Oh good, you haven’t left yet. Didn’t mean to scare ya’ like that. We didn’t mean any harm.”

Jack points his finger at the men. “Who are you and what have you done here?”

“What’s this all about?”

The slender guy comments to Lloyd. “Hey, he’s the one from the TV.”

Jack steps forward, “I don’t know anything about this area but Lyn tells me you two are strangers here. That being the case, I must ask you to leave at once.”

“What? You’re asking us to leave? You have no say in our lives. We run this shelter, it’s ours. Now beat it. For disrespecting my family, you’re no longer welcome here.”

“No.” Lyn shouts at the top of her lungs. This causes everyone to turn in shock and look at her. “I come here at least once a week and I have never seen you two. What have you done with Mrs. Evens?”

Lloyd grumbles, “I told you, she went to town.”

The slender guy is still thinking what Jack had said., “Did he say she is Lyn?”
Jack moves again with frustration clouding his mind. “That’s it, I challenge you to a battle.” He selects the Pokeball containing Pikachu and gets him ready.

“Lloyd, he challenged you. Mistake-o-rama.”

“Shut up Sid, this is serious. He wants to battle, fine. He will lose. Any one of my eight Pokemon can defeat his whole team. He doesn’t seem as strong as he looks. Maybe this will teach him to listen to me.”

“Eight? But....Trainers are only allowed to have six Pokemon at one time.”

Lloyd signs. “This kid is annoying me. Look, not everyone follows the rules. This is real life not some stupid video game with limitations. If people didn’t break rules then there would be no need for a police force and millions of jobs would be lost, myself included. Secondly, I am not a Trainer so those worthless codes don’t apply. Blah blah this, follow that. They aren’t worthy rules to follow. Still wanna battle?”

“Don’t diss the codes.” Jack switches Pokeballs for Rattata and sends him out. If Lloyd has tough Pokemon, Jack needs to start out strong and Rattata has the potential to catch Lloyd off guard.

“A wimpy little mouse, this should be embarrassing.” Sid leans against the cabin to watch.

A large Machamp stomps the floor as Lloyd’s Pokemon of choice. Machamp’s muscles are as huge as Lloyd’s. “Get ready to eat your words.”

Machamp and Lloyd glare hard at Rattata and Jack. If an experienced Trainer was watching this battle, they could easily predict that Jack would lose.

“Hmmm...” Jack takes out his Pokedex to use it for the first time. It loads quick and the screen flashes ready. He points the top at the Pokemon. The male computerized voice speaks for the first time.

Machamp: The Superpower Pokemon- This fully evolved Pokemon quickly swings its four arms to rock its opponent with ceaseless punches and chops from all angles. Any Pokemon caught in its grip will nearly suffocate if not retreated. This Pokemon is the final evolution for Machop and Machoke.

The images on the screen load up in Windows(c) format. There is a window for the Pokemon picture, a window for quick stats on the right and further information below for more research. Jack closes the Pokedex and pockets it.

Sid kicks back and laughs. “Even has to look up your Pokemon. To think, he’s the one that saved the mall.”

Jack loses concentration. “What was that you said?”

“Boys!!!” a call shouts from the side. There, an older lady with white fluffy hair and large shades slowly walks to the scene. “Didn’t I tell you not to battle around the shelter?”

“I know Mom, but he started it.” Lloyd reduces his age to a mere childlike attitude. The presence of a Mom can do that sometime.

Jack scratches his head. “Mom?”

“Mrs. Evens, you’re alright.” Lyn welcomes the old lady with a heart warming smile. “We thought you were kidnaped or something.”

Jack shrugs, even more confused than before. “We did? I think I need to sit down.” A headache ensues.

Jack of Clovers
10-10-2004, 08:11 PM
The situation dies down and all Pokemon are recalled to their respective Pokeballs. Mrs. Evens explains she went into town and left her two sons in charge to watch the Shelter. They all relocate inside the cabin and sit in the waiting area.

“Yes, these are my sons, Sid and Lloyd. They unexpectedly dropped by yesterday. Sorry to have caused you trouble Lyn.”

“He’s the one that started it.”

Jack raises his head from the table, where he was resting his headache. “They were the ones being rude, not me.”

“Nu-uh.”

“Ya-huhn.”

Mrs. Evens stops the childish games. “Boys, out now.”

“Aww...” The two sons leave the lounge and watch the store section.

Lyn starts again. “I’m glad you weren’t hurt or anything. I thought they had done something to you.”

“Nope. Only went to town for some quick grocery shopping. So what brings you here today?”

“My moped ran out of gas and I came to buy some. Your sons tried ripping me off.”

“They did, did they?”

Sid pops his head in, “We were only playing. We came out to apologize but he started to fight with us.”

Mrs. Evens steps over to Sid and wacks the him over the head. “The customer is our friend. Be nice.”

“Mom...sorry...” Sid disappears again.

“I guess these two haven’t grown up yet. Sid, fill up her moped.”

“Yes Mom.” he says sarcastically.

“I’ll go help.” Lyn steps out.

Then Mrs. Evens takes a look at Jack. “So, you are the one from the mall. Both your pictures were all over the news this morning. Quite a fiasco.”

Jack sighs, dropping his head to the table.. “Aw.. still pictures on the news.”

This time, Lloyd steps in. “Not anymore. Professor Vine made an announcement earlier. Hold on.” A short while later, Lloyd comes back with a tape in hand and places it in the TV across the room.

“I tape everything Team Rocket related for my collection.”

After skipping through the tape, finally it stops at the part Jack needs to hear. On the screen is Professor Vine speaking to the public.

“Thank you. I am deeply disturbed with the events that happened this morning. However, I want to address something personal. Now, we have all heard rumors about the mall and I am going to make it clear. Yes, I do know who the Trainer is. He has also requested that he remain unknown to the public and asks that the media stops pressing the story. That also stands for his so called female ‘accomplice’. The media needs to respect their privacy. This is a difficult time and we must leave them alone. Respect my wishes as well and stop covering this incident. We’ve had enough and we’d like to get back to our lives. Thank you again. And for you aspiring Trainers out there, stop by my lab and I will gladly help you in this wonderful world of Pokemon. My doors are always open.”

The camera cuts from Vine to stop his rants about his job. At this time, Lloyd stops the tape.

Lloyd finishes the story. “The media have stopped the coverage at the mall. The incident is being left to the police to handle. There has been nothing on the TV or radio since then.”

Jack sighs with relief. “Good. It’s over.”

Lyn steps back in. “The moped is ready to go.”

But Jack doesn’t feel like going now, especially with a headache. “Let’s stay for a while. I need some time to think.”

Everyone separates to do their own thing. Lyn goes with Mrs. Evens to talk about her new journey. Sid and Lloyd continue to watch television. While Jack thinks about all the events that has happened. The Model Plane Club. The Gyarados at Blue Falls Waterfall. The fake Styper Gym Battle. Team Rocket at the mall. He’s met so many people, friends and enemies alike. To think, it hasn’t even been a full week since he started.

A good hour and a half later, Jack is finished with his thinking, resting and relaxing. Lyn was in the room now and she sits up looking at Jack.

“Ok, I’m ready.” He brings out a Pokeball.

“We’re going?”

“No, not that. My last Pokemon.” He calls out Pidgey. “This one is special.”

Thus, he explains the trouble with Pidgey. But he doesn’t stop there. He continues with his whole journey so far. From Rattata to Pinsir to Vulpix, he explains his catches. Then he explains the issues like the Model Plane and the waterfall. If he is to travel with someone, even if it’s for a little bit, he should tell her what’s been happening so far.

“Wow, a lot has happened. I wonder what is next for you.”

“I can only hope it’s nothing bad.” Jack stands up and stretches. “Ok, now we can go.”

Lyn pays for the gas and some food. Mrs. Evens wishes her the best of luck.

“Hey Jack.” Lloyd greets. “Remember, the world doesn’t play according to the Trainer’s Code. Watch out.”

“I’ll try to remember that. Thanks.”

Jack and Lyn say their goodbyes and get back on the moped. Helmets on, full gas tank, good spirits. The media has stopped their coverage of the mall. Jack is off the hook for now and in time the public will forget what happened because another tragedy will take its place.

It is a little past middle afternoon when they leave the Pokemon Shelter. The sky is still blue with little clouds; the weather hasn’t changed since Jack first left. Hopefully, Lyn can drive the moped the rest of the way to Plylie City without another stop. They have seen enough action for one day and they need to save their energy for the long road ahead.

End Episode 10
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-30-2004, 09:02 PM
~*~
Summary
Episodes 1-10

These Episodes contain information about the league, backgrounds for important characters, and the way Jack gained his Pokemon team. There are a lot of firsts here: first loss, win, Gym Battle, time in a Pokemon Center, Pokemon capture, etc.


About the League
This is the Stoplek League. There are 15 Gyms and 5 Master Gyms. Winning 8 badges allows you to challenge the League Leader. Winning 12 badges allows entry into the Stoplek Tournament, where if you win or show potential as a great Trainer, you will be allowed to fight the Master Gyms. Defeating all 20 Gyms allows you to challenge the League Grand Master for a shot at earning the title League Defender, the most prestigious title and honor a Trainer can earn in the Stoplek League.
The league is named after Mr. Charles Penny Stoplek, the wealthiest man at the time, whom started and funded the original gym system. While some leagues leave the minimum age to be a Trainer at 10, Mr. Stoplek thought age 13 was a more responsible choice.

About the Hero
*Jack. Age 17. 5'10". Short brown hair. Turquoise eyes.
His dad would not let him start at age 13. He studied for many years as much as he could about Pokemon, while still going to school. Most of his studies came from watching weekly television battles. His dad taught him what he could, when he wasn’t away on a trip. Mostly, he was upset at the lack of progress from Jack.
Goals-- Jack doesn't want to battle and catch Pokemon. He only wants to keep those that want to travel with him. He feels forcing Pokemon to battle for him is wrong. As far as the League is concerned, his mission is to collect all the badges and prove to those that laughed at him that he will be a great Trainer.

Ep.1
It was mid-fall when Jack’s chosen date arrived. His dad was away on an emergency trip, but left two Pokemon for him to start with: Bulbasaur and Pikachu. They were to be returned in two weeks.
He left his crying mom at home and entered the main town of Pine Valley. There he ran into an old friend, Michael. Best friends in school, Michael left at age 13 for his Trainer journey, now he is 16. Jack made a promise to be a better Trainer than Michae. It is also him that gave Jack the Newsboy Hat.
Outside Pine Valley, he met a hungry Rattata, being picked on by an Ekans. Jack saved it and befriends the little rat to join his team.

Ep.2
In Keadrill, Jack was outraged at a local Model Plane Club. It’s manager, Bernie, attacked flying Pokemon with his Model Planes to drive them out of the area. Jack rescued an injured Pidgey, beat up from one of the planes. Jack went back the next day to challenge them, but he lost horribly, even with Pikachu against Bernie’s Fearow. At the Pokecenter, Nurse Joy told Jack Pidgey has to heal, meaning no activity like battles. He didn’t like the idea of catching Pidgey like this, but he must help her heal. The Model Plane Club hasn’t seen the last of him.

Ep.3
On his way to the next city, he ran into a powerful Scyther, an experienced Trainer named Trish, and a new Trainer named Madeline. The three camped for the night, sharing ideas. Mostly Jack helped Madeline to be a more prepared Trainer. The next day Jack and Madeline battle. Jack’s first win.

Ep.4/[u]
Still on his way, he found a Pinsir, a rare Pokemon his dad has always wanted but never found. Jack struggled against another Trainer wanting to catch it also, and beat him. Jack managed to catch Pinsir with the help of Bulbasaur and an unexpected Caterpie, which he caught accidentally. O.o He arrived at Blue Falls City and sent Pinsir home to give to his dad as a present. Jack learned his dad was in an accident and won’t be home for a few more days. A kid at the Pokecenter mocked Jack for not having evolved Caterpie yet.

[u]Ep.5
Jack continued onward, running into Trish, whom told him to follow her. They arrived at Blue Falls Waterfall. A reporter, Jennifer Alomna, is there catching history in the making. She shared with Jack the possibilities of a rare, or even a legendary Pokemon being inside. This particular waterfall falls out of the middle of the mountain, from a cave. And no one knows what’s inside the cave, until today. Things heated up when an extremely huge Gyarados exploded from the cave. When the Gyarados disappeared, the research started. Inside the cave were Magikarp and possible cave markings. Jack didn’t stay too long, as the research would take many months to complete.

Ep.6
Today, a wild Geodude stopped Jack and asked for help. Jack followed the rocky Pokemon into a cave deep into the mountains. Inside, a Vulpix was being picked on by a pack of Geodude. Jack and Caterpie battle hard to save Vulpix. Once he did, a boss Graveler showed up and chased them. Outside the cave, on a path high above sea-level, Graveler made its move. Another Trainer happened to be there, using Poliwag to Water Gun it away. Jack thanked the girl, whose name is Lyn Ravenwood. He then let Vulpix decide if she wants to join him or not. Vulpix joined.

Ep.7
He arrived at his first Gym in Styper City. Louie, a well mannered man, accepted the challenge, unfortunately, Jack forgot to officially register with the Stoplek League. Instead of a Gym battle, Louie used secondary Pokemon for a practice match. Jack learned how a Gym match works, but doesn’t do well in battle, making a number of mistakes. He lost. Louie told Jack to visit Professor Vine to register.

Ep.8
The next day, he met with Professor Vine at the Styper Mall. Vine is the official Professor of the league, even though most of the public disagree. He registered Jack and handed him a Pokedex. As Jack left, a Team Rocket duo, Roy and Ashley, attacked the mall. Jack was the only one to talk back, which encouraged others to fight. Team Rocket escaped. Jack was attacked by the media feeding frenzy for being a hero. Thankfully, Lyn was there to rescue him and they get away via her moped.

Ep.9
At her house, Lyn shared her sad past. Her parents didn’t want her to become a Trainer, unfortunately, they died. And when Lyn received her first Pokemon, her Aunt fell ill, forcing Lyn to take care of her from then until now. As luck would have it, her aunt was feeling almost completely better. Her aunt allowed Lyn to travel with Jack, even though she didn’t trust most Trainers. The first thing Jack wanted to do was get out of town and away from the media. Lyn provided her moped as transportation.

Ep.10
The moped ran out of gas. The two had a fun battle, to get to know each other and their Pokemon. Jack’s Caterpie evolved into Metapod. They found a Pokemon Shelter where trouble ensued with suspicious employees. Lyn thought they were crooks and Jack challenged them to a battle. When Mrs. Evans, the owner, returned, she said they employees were her mischievous sons. They rest, fill up the moped, and learn the media has stopped hounding for the “kid in the hat”. Relieved, Jack and Lyn continued north to the next major city.

Pokemon
Pikachu- Given by his dad for a while.
Bulbasaur- Given by his dad for a while.
Rattata- Determined battler.
Pidgey- Not completely healed yet but can fly a little.
Caterpie/Metapod- Quick and accurate String Shot. Adjusting to new body.
Vulpix- Has a fear of Geodude. Slow battler.

~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-30-2004, 09:24 PM
~*~
Episode 11
Finishing What They Started

Nothing much has happened since they left the Pokemon Shelter. In fact, nothing has happened. They have not seen any wild Pokemon or Trainers. Maybe the noise of the moped is scaring off the Pokemon. But then again, neither Jack nor Lyn want to stop unless they have to. So much has happened today and all they want is to get to Plylie City.

Then . . .

"Stop!" Jack screams over the low moped motor.

Lyn slows the moped to a screeching stop. "What is it?"

"I saw something over there." He points behind some bushes and jumps off the moped, beginning to walk over to it. "It might be a Pokemon and I haven’t seen any wild Pokemon in a while."

They both get past the bushes and see the backs of two people sitting on a log. They wear dark shirts and each have different colored hair; the male has dark red while the female has dark green. They look oddly familiar from the backside.

“Even if the mall plan backfired, we still pawned these Pokemon from that Trainer.” The guy holds up a small bag.

Jack and Lyn both gasp to themselves. "It's the two from Team Rocket!"

Even though they are being as quiet as possible, the gasps are heard in the quiet winds. The male Team Rocket member turns around. At first he doesn’t see anything, but he looks closer and...

"Ashley, look! It's the kid from the mall. The one that stood up to us."

Ashley turns to look also. "You're right Roy. R-O-Y. Roy. Stop saying my name, ROY! Ok, ROY?" She stampedes to her feet.

“Alright, alright. Sorry, it slipped again. Didn’t mean to.” Roy drops the bag and moves to a defensive position. He addresses the kid in the Newsboy hat. “So you’re back. Didn’t get enough from the mall?”
"If he’s come for a rematch, then let's give him one he won’t soon forget." They both throw out Pokeballs. Ashley sends out a larger Rattata with big fangs while Roy sends a flying yellow bug with pointy hands. "And when we win, they will give us their Pokemon." They both laugh hysterically.

Jack responds, "Hey! Whoa! Guys, I’m not looking for a fight.”

“But they are.” Lyn comments.

“Fine. No sense in trying to talk out of this. It’s time to finish what they started at the mall.” He selects and sends Vulpix to the field. "But two against one is not fair."

"Kid, you should know Team Rocket only plays by our rules." They laugh some more.

Jack leans over to Lyn and whispers, "Would you mind a little support?"

Lyn gives an 'Okay' nod and sends out Geodude.

Roy smiles, "This looks like a two vs two battle, eh kids!"

Lyn smiles back, "We’ll see about that."

Jack suddenly takes action. "Vulpix go!! Get that Beedrill."

Ashley reacts, “Cut off Vulpix, Tackle it Raticate.”

“Not so fast.” Lyn commands. “Grab it and toss it away.”

Vulpix looks around, realizing the situation, and leaps forward. Geodude moves over and intercepts Raticate from the side, grabbing its back. Geodude spins quick and tosses Raticate away from the action, far right.
“You do know the attack is called Seismic Toss.” Jack speaks.

Lyn responds, “I know what it is. You don’t always have to use conventional attacks in a battle to get the same effect.”

“And to think, you said you weren’t a strong battler.” Jack jokes.

Lyn is annoyed. “Uh, there is a battle going on. Hint, hint. If you can see, I’ve separated them. So you take Beedrill, I’ve got Raticate.”

“Right.” Jack moves back to concentrating on the battle. He doesn’t know why he chose Vulpix, maybe this battle will help her battling spirit.

Geodude vs Raticate

Ashley boasts. “You aren’t going to win, girly. Your looks won’t win this battle.”

Lyn responds with confidence. “I know my types and your Raticate is weaker.”

“Watch and learn. Quick Attack.”

“Evade it.”

Raticate leaps around the grass, figuring where to attack from. Geodude watches and tries to anticipate the attack but Raticate is way too fast for him. Geodude is hit hard and knocked down.

“What!?!! A normal attack shouldn’t do that.”

"Now, get in close with Hyper Fang attack."

Lyn is even more surprised at her daring strategy. Using an attack like that on a rock Pokemon is just not done. Unless... Raticate is a high level. She becomes scared and recedes to defense. "Harden fast Geodude!"

The fang hits Geodude hard but doesn't effect him as much as it would have. Once more, Raticate jumps forward with another Hyper Fang as Geodude hardens again. Geodude’s defense weakens and Hyper Fang grows stronger.

“This is easy. Again!”

I’m going to lose. Hyper Fang is too strong. A lightbulb flashes in her mind. But it has a weakness. “Geodude, smack its teeth.”

Raticate’s shining teeth prepare to hit for a final time. Geodude uncurls his body and makes a fist with his rocky right hand. The fist connects with Raticate’s face, shattering the front teeth to pieces. Raticate falls back, crying and complaining as loud as it possibly can. Its head is tingling with the feeling of broken teeth, now a near void in its mouth. Raticate squirms on the grass, pain... pain... PAIN!

Ashley jumps in complete shock. “Ahh!! Such a cheap shot. My baby!”

"Nice punch Geodude. Now for Seismic Toss." While Raticate stumbles about, Geodude grabs it, hovers quickly upward and throws it down. Raticate lands with a moan and a groan as the pain tingles with extreme intensity.

Beedril vs Vulpix

Roy begins with an insult. “Why don’t you take off that stupid hat and sunglasses? Quit hiding behind them.”

Jack isn’t annoyed too much by the comment. Instead, he fires back. “At least I’m not the one that wears an ugly black uniform with a big red R in the middle just to prove I belong somewhere. But let’s not talk about fashion.”

“You’ve got spirited comebacks and I admire that about people. But we must continue.”

Vulpix and Beedrill have been sitting during the talk but now they get back up and ready to battle again.

“Poison Sting attack.”

“Counter with Ember.”

The bee fires a number of poison barbs from its tail stinger. Vulpix is delayed and coughs out Ember late. The poison barbs overtake the small fire and Vulpix is struck sharply.

“No challenge. Poison Sting again.”

Jack is worried. “Vulpix, come on. Get fired up. Ember, faster. Let’s go.”

Vulpix manages more Ember out and meets the barbs halfway. But the barbs are winning the battle.

“It should be pushed back, I should be winning against Poison Sting,” Jack comments to himself. “Vulpix, reposition and use Ember.”

Vulpix stops the fire and moves, taking some poison barbs in the back. Vulpix moves under Beedrill as it flies above trying to follow Vulpix with the attack. The mini fire balls are sprayed up.

“No, Agility.”

The ember fireballs pelt Beedrill but not enough to take it down. Agility helps it get away but Beedrill’s strength lessens. Vulpix isn’t too healthy at the moment either.

Jack looks at a rock next to his foot. I could easily throw this at Beedrill to distract it. No, no. It’s not the honorable thing to do. I can’t win a battle like that. I can’t cheat the Trainer’s Code even fighting against Team Rocket. “Ember again.”

The fire balls soar in the air, evaporating from the wind that picks up. Roy takes this time to call for Agility and Fury Attack. Beedrill fades left, then right, then above. The fire balls miss every time and Beedrill moves closer.

Jack waits for the right time. “Vulpix, stop. Turn left with Quick Attack.”

Vulpix is delayed from the order, unsure about the change. Beedrill dashes left and swoops to Vulpix. Having just enough time, Vulpix leaps up and over Beedrill, avoiding the attacking stingers from harming her.

It’s not what Jack wanted but it gives him another idea. “Turn and use Ember.”

Vulpix does a 360 turn and fires into the sky at the passing Beedrill. This time, the fire balls have more effect but it still isn’t enough.

Roy is getting annoyed. “Agility, go around them and try again.”

Beedrill turns and soars directly at Vulpix’s attack. Moving, swerving, dodging the tiny fire balls; all of them. Beedrill gets in close enough...

“Direct Poison Sting.”

“Flamethrower.”

The Poison Sting fires first, again Vulpix is delayed from switching to another attack. But it doesn’t seem to matter when the large fire funnel forms and singes the poison barbs to nothing. The fire stream continues from Vulpix’s mouth and engulfs Beedrill to a crispy bronze.

"Finish off that Beedrill with another Flamethrower." Jack commands with dignity.

Beedrill feels like time has stopped, it doesn’t even move or flap its wings and remains stationary in the air. It is then engulfed by more flames and falls down.

Roy and Ashley recall their Pokemon. “My Raticate. My beautiful Raticate. What good are you for battling without your teeth?”

“You let her beat you?”

“You didn’t do any better yourself.”

“I’m the one that beat the other Trainer to get his Pokemon. Beedrill was tired.”

“Doesn’t matter. Next round is ours.” Ashley grabs to her back for another Pokeball.

Roy coughs, holding a bag. “Another time, perhaps. We don’t need to risk losing our bounty for the day.”

“Yes.” She turns to the two teens, ready for more. “You have won this time only because we have our reward. Be warned, you better hope you never see us again.”

A smoke ball is thrown. After the dark smoke clears, the two Team Rocket members are gone.

Jack recalls Vulpix and steps forward. “Come on, they’re getting away.”

“Huh? Be serious Jack.”

“I am. Didn’t you hear what the guy said. They stole another Trainers Pokemon. They were also responsible for the mall incident and putting my face on the news. I can’t let them get away.” Frustrated, Jack drops his pack and runs off. Lyn doesn’t want to follow. She’s had enough dealing with wanted criminals.

~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-30-2004, 09:26 PM
“That kid is following us. Who does he think he is, James Bond?”

“Sometimes I think you talk to much. Just run.”

Jack shouts from a distance, still unseen. “You guys won’t get away.”

“He’s right on our tail.”

Ashley stops and yells back at the Trainer in pursuit. “Shut up. Back off if you know what’s good for ya’.”

Roy clutches his fists. “Why don’t we just deal with him already? I think he’s alone this time.”

“Alright. Get ready.”

Jack stumbles upon the two Team Rocket members, standing there. In the middle of them with a dark glare in its eyes is a small pink Pokemon and it is obviously a rare Clefairy.

“You shouldn’t have followed. That is your mistake.”

“I can’t let you get away. You need to take responsibility for what you did at the mall. People were hurt. I was singled out as the hero. You gave me the attention I don’t need. You can’t be free.”

Roy laughs and understands how to deal with him. “And if you catch us, that would make you even more of a hero. You don’t want that to happen again, do you? If you’re looking to hide under the radar, don’t do anything.”

Jack struggles with his words. Roy is right, he would again be surrounded by the media if he catches these two. “I can’t believe it. I have to let you go. All this effort for something I don’t want.” He also doesn’t want to be put higher on Team Rocket’s LIST.

Ashley whispers to Roy, “I wonder why he doesn’t like attention?”

“Probably why he wears the hat and sunglasses. So he can hide. Underneath his attitude is probably a scared little kid.”

Ashley calls to Jack, “You may let us go but we can’t let you leave in peace. Sorry, Team Rocket policy.”
Clefairy starts dancing and waving its fingers. Jack prepares but it is too late. Clefairy is done and an attack happens.

The scenery of green trees and shrubs fade from floral colors and turn pitch black. The colors reform back to green trees and green grass. However, the scenery has changed. All in a matter of half a second, Jack has been teleported somewhere else.

“Whoa, that was weird, yet cool.”

He is in the forest, probably the same one he was just in. But where and how far away from civilization is he: that’s a mystery.

“North... no, that’s north. Or maybe that is...”

As time passes, Jack becomes frustrated trying to figure out which way to go. His last choice is to send Pidgey to look from above.

“Ok Pidgey. I need you to find a path or a moped or Lyn or something that stands out so I know where I am.”

“Pidg.”

Pidgey slowly takes flight, conserving the wing energy. To Jack’s surprise, Pidgey remains in flight for a good five minutes until finally coming back with news.

Jack puts his arm out so Pidgey can land on it. “Find anything?”

“Pidgey!” she nods. Her uninjured wing points in a direction.

“Great job. And your flying has improved wonderfully. You’ll be ready to battle in no time.” He opens his hand with a treat. Pidgey is satisfied and recalled. Jack doesn’t know what he will find going this way but it’s better than doing nothing.

Twenty minutes later... “Ok, now I know where I am.”

He has hit the dirt path and there is a sign. Pokemon Shelter: 2 Miles South

“Thank you Pidgey. Thank you very much.” He starts in the opposite direction of the sign and the long trek begins.

~*~

Two hours pass until Jack finally reaches the spot where they originally stopped. But Lyn isn’t here. “Oh man, this bites.” He doesn’t know how much longer until Plylie City and he doesn’t have the energy to walk the rest of the way there before night. If it wasn’t for Lyn and her moped, who knows how long Jack might have taken to walk to Plylie.

“I’ll bet she left me here. I know I wouldn’t wait two hours for someone I barely know to come back.” Jack sighs and lays on the ground to rest. “And I don’t even have my stuff. I knew I shouldn’t have left it behind.”

~*~

Another hour passes. Jack is hungry but there is nothing he can do right now. He doesn’t regret his actions because it was the right thing to do. His Pokemon are out so he can spend some quality time with them and to keep him company until he is ready to leave.

*BEEPBEEP*

The faint noise of a horn is heard. Closer it comes until finally the vehicle appears. It’s Lyn and her moped.
Jack is lying back with his Pokemon napping by his side.

Lyn hovers over the calm teen. “I finally found you.”

“Hey Lyn.”

“You know, you had a lot of nerve chasing them like you did. I waited five minutes thinking you’d be back but you never came. I’ve been searching all over, checking every place two or three times. I was worried half the time and the other half I was afraid you might be in trouble.”

“I’m fine.” Jack calmly explains what happened to him and how he was teleported away.

“Oh.” Lyn understands and smiles. “You get in a lot of trouble. I need to watch out for you.”

“Though, you are right. I shouldn’t have run off like that, especially without you. It’s just that... Team Rocket gets on my nerves and I couldn’t do nothing. Yet, that’s what I had to do in the end. Nothing. I feel weak letting them go like that.” Jack is frustrated. The two Team Rocket members are free, most likely to thieve from another Trainer.

“Don’t worry about that. We have other objectives to reach. Let’s get up. We don’t have long until it gets dark and I can’t drive during the night.”

“Tired.” Jack yawns. “All the chasing and the walking has worn me out. Let’s stay here for the night.”
Lyn returns his pack and they both arrange sleeping quarters. The one thing Lyn doesn’t have is a blanket like Jack does, so he lets her share his towel so they can each lay on one half. They were so close to Plylie City but Jack is too tired to ride on the moped. Or maybe he has a lot on his mind.

Before it’s time to sleep, Jack pulls his Pokedex out to see what kind of features it has.

Not only does the Pokedex hold information on Pokemon but it lists Jack’s statistics. There is a program for listing the Pokemon he has and the details for them like gender, where it was caught and what moves it has learned. There is a section for Holding, Storage and Released. His six Pokemon are under the Holding section but the Pinsir he caught is under Released.

Holding
{1}Pikachu: Male-- Thundershock, Quick Attack, Agility, Growl <<<Home>>>
{2}Bulbasaur: Male-- Tackle, Growl, Vine Whip, Sleep Powder <<<Home>>>
{3}Rattata: Male-- Tackle, Growl, Quick Attack, Bite, Body Slam <<<Pine Valley/Keadrill path>>>
{4}Pidgey: Female-- ?? <<<Pine Valley/Keadrill path>>>
{5}Metapod: Male-- Tackle, String Shot, Harden <<<Keadrill/Blue Falls path>>>
{7}Vulpix: Female-- Ember, Quick Attack, Flamethrower <<<Blue Falls/Styper path>>>
Storage
(none)
Released
{6}Pinsir: Male??-- ?? <<<Keadrill/Blue Falls path>>>

After adding his Pokemon and their details, he moves to another program. This one holds statistics: Number of Pokemon scanned and number caught. So far, only one Pokemon has been scanned. On the side is an edit button and in an hour he finds the Pokemon he has already seen and adds them to the list.

Seen: 25. Caught: 7. Own: 6. Evolved: 1.

He didn’t personally catch Bulbasaur or Pikachu but he owns them and that’s good enough.

“You know, I have a Pokedex too.” Lyn mentions as she helps Geodude stretch. “It doesn’t have the touch screen pen like yours. Other than that, it’s exactly the same.”

“Cool.”

“But I don’t carry mine. I got used to memorizing the information and didn’t need it anymore.”

Information. Jack thanks Lyn for the idea and starts checking out his Pokemon to see what the Pokedex says about each of them.

Pikachu: the Mouse Pokemon- This Pokemon has electricity-storing pouches on its cheeks. These appear to become electrically charged during the night while PIKACHU sleeps. This Pokemon evolves from Pichu and into Raichu from a Thunder Stone.
Bulbasaur: the Seed Pokemon- It can go for days without eating a single morsel. The bulb on its back stores energy from the sun which it uses for nourishment. This Pokemon is the lowest evolution to Ivysaur and Venusaur.
Rattata: the Rat Pokemon- This Pokemon’s impressive vitality allows it to live anywhere. It scurries about quickly, appearing jittery and unable to remain still. This Pokemon evolves into Raticate.
Pidgey: the Tiny Bird Pokemon- This Pokemon has an extremely sharp sense of direction. It is capable of unerringly returning home to its nest, however far it may be removed from its familiar surroundings. This Pokemon is the lowest evolution to Pidgeotto and Pidgeot.
Metapod: the Cocoon Pokemon- The shell covering this Pokemon’s body is as hard as an iron slab. It does not move very much. It stays still because it is preparing its soft innards for evolution inside the hard shell. This Pokemon evolves from Caterpie and into Butterfree.
Vulpix: the Fox Pokemon- As its body grows larger, its six warm tails become more beautiful, with a more luxurious coat of fur. This Pokemon is known for its pet nature rather than battles. This Pokemon evolves into Ninetales from a Fire Stone.

He feels he knows a bit more about his Pokemon just by reading the information provided. He only read the quick info and not the extra reading below because there is just so much to learn about one Pokemon he doesn’t have time right now. Besides, his eyes are getting heavy and he is ready for bed. Maybe tomorrow morning he will continue reading.

“Be warned, you better hope you never see us again.” The words echo back and forth in Jack’s head as he trails to sleep.

End Episode 11
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
11-06-2004, 09:36 PM
~*~
Episode 12
Anger Issues

Everything is packed, Jack has finished a little run and training with his Pokemon and Lyn has prepared the moped. The early morning dew felt uncomfortable to lay on when they awoke but that is all part of being a Trainer. First thing they will do in Plylie is to buy a towel for Lyn to sleep on.

“Lyn,” Jack starts. “Do you mind if I take a spin with the moped?”

She looks at him and takes a thinking moment.

“I’d like to drive it at least once. I have my license if that helps.”

“I guess.”

Jack smiles, getting a chance to drive something he would never have driven before. “The only thing is I don’t know the way there.”

“Just follow the path. If we need to go another way, I’ll let you know.”

Helmets on, Jack pops to the drivers seat and Lyn behind him. But Jack’s pack is bulky that she can barely sit on the back. Jack has the idea to switch bags so he would wear her over-the-chest bag and she would wear his cargo bag. This made it a lot easier for her to grab around Jack’s waist and thus he can drive. He starts the moped, jumps the acceleration and stops short. Once he gets used to the method, he smoothly drives the rest of the way.

A marker on the side indicates they have a mile and a half left to go. Jack hears a noise over the soft moped sound and stops. Without the engine on, the noise turns into a ring and it’s coming from his pack on Lyn’s back.

"Your pack appears to be ringing." Lyn suggests as she gets off.

Jack is next off and opens his pack and looks in. A phone is there. "I completely forgot I had a cell phone." It is still ringing so Jack answers it, "Hello?"

"Hi Jack! This is your mother calling. How are you doing?”

“I’m fine. I completely forgot I had the phone you gave me.”

“Don’t forget about it when you have an emergency.”

“I won’t.”

“So where are you right now?"

"I'm on my way to Plylie City."

"Could you please hurry, your father would like to talk to you. And it's very important that you don’t dawdle."

"What is it Mom? Is there something wrong?"

"I don’t know, he won’t tell me."

“Can’t he tell me now?”

“No, it has to be at a video phone. He wants you at the Pokemon Center.”

"Ok. I'll do the best I can to be there as soon as possible."

"Alright. Have fun! Bye."

"Bye Mom." Jack hangs up. "I wonder what that was all about."

Lyn looks lost, "What was it?"

"I don't know. All I know is I to hurry to Plylie and call home." He puts the phone back in his pack and jumps back on the moped. But he doesn’t start the engine.

Instead, a spiky haired blond kid comes from behind a tree and walks over like he owns the place. He seems familiar.

The kid speaks in a mocking tone of voice, "Do you have a Butterfree yet?" He laughs. "’Cause if you don't, that’s plain sad." The kid jumps at them and pulls a Pokeball out. "I challenge you to a Pokemon match."

“Have we met?” Jack questions.

“Not officially. I saw you back at the Blue Falls City Pokemon Center when you had just caught Caterpie and hadn’t evolved it yet. My name is Trevor. And who do I have the pleasure in defeating in a horrible loss?”

Jack knows this kid. He is the same kid that made fun of him and his Caterpie. It didn’t bother him at that time but since he is seeing him for a second time, defiance comes to mind. “Name’s Jack and I can’t allow such ignorance to beat me.” He remembers the phone call just seconds ago. Jack shakes his head, "As much as I would love to battle, I have to get to Plylie City. It might be an emergency. Maybe later we can battle.” Jack will plan to battle Trevor later.

The kid begins making fun of Jack, "That's right, run away from me. You know I am a better Trainer because I got a Butterfree faster than you. You still probably have a Caterpie. You’re the slowest Trainer that I have ever met. Pathetic. You shouldn’t be allowed to walk the same path as other Trainers." The kid gives a short laugh.

Not only is Jack’s style of training being laughed at, it’s coming from someone half his size and he is probably the minimum age to be a Trainer. It also breaks some guidelines from the Trainer’s Code which should be followed by all Trainers. Jack is heavily disturbed. Roy from Team Rocket mocked him and Jack mocked back, no anger was involved. But to have another Trainer tell him that he is pathetic, that boils his brain. "Alright, fine. I accept this battle. You should never make fun of someone’s training ability." He jumps off the moped, takes off his helmet, grabs his hat from his pack and gets in battle position. "Prepare to lost."
The kid still laughs, "Yeah right. The battle will be three on three." The kid sends out a Beedrill. "Can you handle this? Or maybe you should give up before I put you in pain." More mocking.

Jack is plain ticked at the kid. He can’t believe another Trainer can be so rude and disrespectful; Team Rocket, yes, but not from a Trainer. Vulpix pops on out.

"Oooo... didn’t expect you to have that Pokemon. I'll even let you go first."

"You shouldn’t be so cocky. I’ve beaten a Beedrill before and I will do it again. Ember attack."

But the kids Beedrill is fast and moves out of sight before Vulpix even prepares an attack.

“Your Vulpix has horrible response time. Beedrill, move in.”

The mini fire balls of ember burst out but Beedrill moves around to the backside and quickly attacks, pointing its sharp needles out. The needles swipe back and forth numerous times until Vulpix’s legs collapse down and the bee backs off.

The kid continues to mock. "Weak, very weak. Down from the first attack. Your Vulpix sucks."

*Flashback*

Four years ago. It’s two months before summer vacation and he has been thirteen, the legal age to qualify as an official Trainer, for almost ten months. Two of his school mates even left during the school year. Nobody expected Jack to go because all the kids know about his father forcing him to wait until he is seventeen. His other classmates have been turning age during that school year and with summer coming in season, almost everyone has gotten a Pokemon and did some sort of training, ready to go out when summer hits. But not Jack.
On this particular day, Jack is at his middle school looking from the hill above. He leans forward over the metal pole system designed to block kids from slipping down the hill during recess. To his left are stairs to the bottom which lead to basketball courts and the soccer field further away. The school kids play their games during recess but Jack almost never plays anymore. He leans on the railing, watching them have fun while he thinks about the journey he should be having during summer.

Most of Jack’s school peers know not to talk directly to him about his Trainer problem but one kid decides to break that boundary.

One of the soccer players leans on the railing with Jack. He is Paul, an obnoxious kid in his class and Jack doesn’t talk to him. Paul’s family has been living here for about three months so Paul doesn’t know much about the town or it’s people.

“I just heard that you’re the one not going on a journey when summer comes. That’s a bummer what your Dad does to you like that.”

Jack tries to ignore him. “Please, just leave me alone.”

Paul chuckles and stabs back. “With that attitude, I’m surprised you will ever go at all. And I’m surprised you still want to go. Everyone says you won’t amount to anything if you wait so long. But look at you. You won’t last out there anyway. You will never become a real Pokemon Trainer.”

“I know what people say, I’m not deaf.” Jack tenses up. “Just go.”

But Paul continues. “You haven’t even held a Pokeball or been to a live Pokemon battle yet. I’m going in two months when I turn thirteen and I already have a Pokemon. You have nothing, no experience, never been to a Pokemon Center, nothing!. Your dad won’t even let you do anything regarding Pokemon except watch television and read books.”

Jack had only told Michael about that stuff. He can’t believe he is being betrayed by his best friend. He clutches his fist firmly, but instead of releasing, he walks away.

“This is a Pokemon world and you want to be a Pokemon Trainer. Ha. You’re not fit to be a couch potato. Pathetic dude. Plain sad.”

That was the last straw. Jack’s eyes grow small as he turns back to Paul and quickly rushes him, slamming Paul’s back to the metal poles. Jack moves down and grabs Paul’s legs, lifts up, and flips him over the top pole. Paul rolls wildly down the hill, grass shreds through the air. The school mates from the basketball courts surround to see if he’s okay.

*End Flashback*

Jack of Clovers
11-06-2004, 09:39 PM
Since then, he has held pain to anyone that said he would be an awful Trainer. He hated his friends when they went on their journeys and he stopped talking with classmates. The feeling from school memories comes back and he is ready to go over and pummel this kid. His fists are in tense formation.

Jack recalls Vulpix. They are not right. I will not be a worthless Trainer. This fast Beedrill is annoying. The only Pokemon that can counter a fast flying type is another fast flying type. Pidgey is my only hope to beat this kid. This will be Pidgey’s first battle with Jack and most likely a mistake. Pidgey isn’t strong enough for a full on battle and it was only yesterday that Pidgey could calmly fly for five minutes. Trevor’s obnoxious attitude is causing him to not think clear enough. He doesn’t even know what moves Pidgey can do. "Pidgey, you MUST battle for my honor.”

“Pi!” Pidgey coos, ready to try.

Trevor almost falls to the ground. “Pidgey? That’s the weak Trainers Pokemon.”

He doesn’t respond but everyone can tell it annoyed him. His anger would be evident to the blind. “Start off with Sand Attack." Pidgey flutters as hard as she can causing sand to fly everywhere, causing Beedrill to lose sight.

“Go up.”

Beedrill clears from the dust cloud to view it from above.

“Go Pidgey, Quick Attack.”

From the dust, Pidgey leaps off the ground and jolts upward. Because Pidgey have great vision, she can aim straight for Beedrill and hit it in the gut even from inside the dust cloud.

"Amateur move. Pidgey won’t get any more hits. Beedrill Poison Sting."

"Gust it away." Now Jack isn’t thinking at all. Using Pidgey was the first mistake. Having her use her injured wing for an attack is his second.

Beedrill fires the poison barbs at Pidgey. The small bird is quick to flap and wind blows back, knocking the barbs away, causing Beedrill to duck and try to avoid them. The wind continues and pushes Beedrill forcefully.

“While it’s weak, Quick Attack.”

Pidgey glides through the air and knocks into Beedrill dead center. The force knocks Beedrill down and Pidgey twirls to the bottom, fluttering her healing wing.

“Yes! Take that. Great shot Pidgey.” Jack is proud, even though he can’t see how much pain Pidgey is in right now.

"You got lucky but it look like Pidgey won’t last." He sends out Butterfree to the field. "Now you will see the power of a fully evolved Pokemon. Tackle should be enough."

"Pidgey, get up and Gust it away."

Pidgey snaps a look back at Jack, as if saying huh? Butterfree soars down and knocks into Pidgey’s side, directly into the injured wing. Pidgey screams in pain and falls flat.

Jack snaps and realizes his mistake of putting Pidgey to battle "Pidgey.... I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to push you so hard. I forgot..." He recalls Pidgey with a tingling feeling. Not only is he losing to the kid, he is losing to himself. Jack's mind has been clouded by the words of his opponent, blocking his thoughts for the battle----- and he finally realizes it is effecting him.

He inhales and exhales air with his head down. I’m better than this. This kid can’t win. I can’t lose my mind. Time to concentrate now. Metapod may be the key here. "I’m calling Metapod out."

"Very well. Butterfree, return." Butterfree is recalled and Trevor replaces it with a fluffy purple bug with large eyes. Venonat.

Jack moves back into his mood and shoots an insult at Trevor. “What? Metapod too much to handle?”

“No. My Butterfree doesn’t deserve to gaze upon your barely evolved Pokemon. I’m surprised Caterpie even evolved. You should recall it anyway because this will be too easy.”

Jack was trying to get his Metapod to fight Butterfree to show he is not weak but now he has to fight Venonat. This upsets him a little bit. “Metapod is not weak. You should never rush an evolution for your own gain.”

Trevor laughs uncontrollably. "I'm gonna laugh to death." He controls himself and commands, "Use your Psybeam for a one hit knock out."

Venonat jumps up and shoots a colorful rainbow beam of psychic energy from its eyes. It hits full force on the motionless Metapod.

“Ha, your weak Metapod is gone.”

But Metapod remains upward and blinks. “Not according to me. The longer a Metapod stays a Metapod, the stronger it’d shell hardens. Every day since it evolved it hardens to make it’s softer body stronger inside. Your attack didn’t do much except bother him. It’s my turn.” Jack smiles releasing some of his frustration through knowledge. He begins to focus once again. "Now, String Shot."

Metapod shoots the sticky line at Venonat and nails around the feet. Venonat is shocked and tries to get away. It slowly gets up but not fast enough to escape more String Shot coming its way. Venonat is stuck. Metapod and Jack had practiced aiming this morning and now it pays off.

"Let's win this. Tackle it." Metapod’s hardened body jumps at Venonat and knocks it back with good force. The combo hits and Venonat lay on its back out cold.

The kid is shocked. But instead of congratulating him, Trevor mocks. “Don’t you know not to send a Metapod into battle? It harms the evolving Butterfree inside. You may have a strong Metapod but your Butterfree will be weaker than a Magikarp.”

“That’s it.” Without thinking, Jack loses control. “You’ve made fun of my Pokemon long enough. I’ve done nothing to you to deserve this. Pokemon Trainers help each other, not ridicule. I’m doing what I can and that’s all anyone can expect of someone else.”

“You’re just jealous to admit defeat from a kid.” Trevor recalls wrapped Venonat and sends Butterfree back out. “Beat it with Psybeam.”

“Harden.”

Butterfree zaps the rainbow beam to Metapod and the attack has a larger effect than from Venonat. Metapod glistens from the color but the attack is too much.

He speaks sarcastically, “I could defeat all your Pokemon with Butterfree, blindfolded. Not only is your Metapod unevolved, your Vulpix is slow and you fight with injured Pokemon. You are the worst battler I’ve come across and when I first saw you, I knew you would lose. Give up training already, you’re not fit to continue to the big leagues.”

Jack’s mind does circles while it scream in mental pain. He calls another Pokemon to the field. The electric rodent Pikachu pops out. “This guy has insulted our method of training. He has insulted your ability, my ability, and the ability of my other Pokemon. He does not deserve the pleasure in beating me. He called us pathetic. Show him that we aren’t. Thundershock his Butterfree.”

“Pika!!” Pikachu is angry too. Pokemon hate being called pathetic.

“Whoa! You’re insane man.” Trevor pulls his Pokeball up and recalls Butterfree.

Pikachu’s body glows a bright golden yellow; the electricity builds up and surges around his body. A bolt, larger than before, jolts out and strikes the spot where Butterfree was once flying in. The air grows electric and mild static can be felt by the humans.

“You need to control your temper. I’m getting out of here.” With that said, Trevor runs away.
Jack’s heart slows to normal as he calms down. He walks out to Pikachu and Metapod still out of their Pokeballs.

“That was great Pikachu. That looked like a Thunderbolt. I’m impressed.”

“Pika!” Pikachu is still upset from the other Trainer but lightens up when praised by his Trainer.

“You too Metapod. Great work out there.”

Then Metapod begins to glow and a slit opens on the back. A winged Pokemon perches on the green shell, wings expanded. Metapod has just evolved into Butterfree.

Jack exclaims, "Wow!! You evolved.” He couldn’t be more proud. “I'm glad you chose not to evolve earlier. You showed that kid what we can do."

“Free...” Butterfree flaps and takes to the sky for the first time.

And all during the battle, Lyn says and does nothing. Absolutely nothing. What could she do? She doesn’t know Jack that well to calm him down. Besides, she didn’t think he even remembered she was behind him. What shocked her was his temper during the battle. She would be upset being called worthless but not enough to throw a fit. Perhaps she will ask him about this battle later when he has calmed down.

What Jack doesn’t realize is the kid was helping him subconsciously. If Jack looks at what Trevor said as advice instead of mocking, he could learn a lot from the battle. Instead, he feels anger toward Trevor. He is more determined to become a better Trainer and prove everyone wrong..

Back on the moped, they zoom off, still nothing said between the two of them regarding the battle. Hopefully there will be no more interruptions.

During the drive to Plylie City, Jack anticipates what his father would talk to him about. What could Dad want to talk about? Maybe he wants to thank me for the Pinsir present. Or, maybe he wants his Pokemon back. No, that couldn't be it, my time isn't up yet. I hope it’s nothing bad. Maybe he has some advice for Training. All I know is to get to the city fast with no more bothersome delays. The closer he gets to Plylie City, the more he fears what his father will say.

End Episode 12
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-02-2005, 09:37 PM
~*~
Episode 13
Just the Facts

They have reached Plylie City safely and with no more interruptions. Plylie is a big city, much like Styper is. The traffic is like New York City but with a lot less taxi’s. Tall buildings about thirty stories tall surround the center of the city while homes and business circumnavigate around them. Its spectacular and beautiful in this way; intricate street design and landscape mixing late architecture and modern technology into one idea. It reminds him of Styper City.

Jack parks the moped in front of the Plylie Pokecenter. This place is different. There are a lot more people than there were in Styper; the lines are long, the lounge is full, and everyone is talking to someone else. They make it to the front of the line where Nurse Joy stands behind the counter.

“Hi Nurse Joy.”

“Welcome back Lyn.”

“Busy day?” Lyn smiles as she places her two Pokeballs down in the Pokeball dish.

“You have no idea. A lot of new faces around lately.”

Jack drops his Pokeballs in a separate dish. “I hope it’s not too busy to get these Pokemon checked on.”

“He’s with me.”

“Friend of Lyn’s, no trouble at all.” Nurse Joy backs off and hands the dishes to Chansey while whispering something. Chansey nods and takes them to the back room. Jack and Lyn step out of the line.

“Oh, I forgot to ask how long it will be.”

“Shouldn’t take too long. This Nurse Joy and I have three years of history and she always helps me first.”

“Wow, that’s cool.” Jack looks away and sees the phones. He immediately heads over to one of the dark green phones in the waiting room and sits before it. “Now to call home.”

Lyn taps his shoulder and he turns around. "I think I will go somewhere. I'll be back later."

“Okay.”

She waves and exits the Pokecenter. The moped can be barely heard zooming away.
Jack dials home and waits for an answer. He doesn't know what to expect.

“Hello? Is this Jack?"

"What? How’d you know it was me?"

“I’ve been answering the phone like that all morning. Hold on, I’ll go get your father.”

His father’s rusty voice is heard. “Son, turn on the video link. I want to get a good look at ya.”
Jack presses the button on the screen and his father pops up. He is a tall man with the face of a forty-four year old. His physique is more built than Jack’s but he gets more and more tired each day. He is wearing a dirty grey t-shirt meaning he was probably outside this morning.

He goes straight to questions. “How is your training going?"

Jack wants to address something else first. "It looks like you’re feeling better after being in the hospital. I’m glad you’re alright."

His dad retaliates, "Son, don't change the subject. Your training has nothing to do with me feeling better. You concentrate on your journey and not how your mother or I are doing. You hear me?"

"Yes."
That’s his Dad, a little rough on him. His father is very serious when it comes to Jack, especially in regards to Pokemon Training.

“How is your training going?”

Jack thinks about all that has happened this week. “I had a rough start but now I’m getting the hang of things. It is harder than I thought it would be but it’s exactly what I hoped for.”

“Good. Just remember what I taught you and you should do fine. Now, I am going to ask a series of questions and you wil answer them truthfully. Here we go." He wipes his face with his shirt. "How many Pokemon do you have?"

"I have six with me."

"Let me rephrase that. How many Pokemon many have you caught and what are they?"

Jack has to be careful about this conversation. His father still doesn’t know about Jack’s philosophy of not forcefully catching Pokemon. "You know about Bulbasaur and Pikachu already and I caught five after that. There’s Rattata, Caterpie, which is now a Butterfree, Pidgey, and Vulpix. One I gave to you as a Get Well present. Do you like Pinsir?"

"I’ll address that later. Next, how many Gyms have you been to, how many tries did it take at each, and how many badges do you have and which ones?"

“Well, I've been to Styper Gym. I forgot to get registered before I challenged so we had a fake battle. But something came up and I couldn’t re-challenge so I don’t have that badge yet. That's it so far. Remember, it’s only been a week. And as soon as this talk is over I will challenge the Gym Leader here."

“And which city is this?”

“Plylie City.”

"Thanks for your cooperation, unlike your mother who wouldn't tell me much." Here comes the big speech that will hurt Jacks feelings like most other speeches in the past. "Son, you seriously need some sense smacked into you. When I reached Plylie City, I had twenty different types of Pokemon. You only have five. And how many days has it been? A week? By the sixth day I had the Plylie badge. You don’t have any. Don’t worry about going back for the Styper badge yet, you won’t stand a chance against it with what you have.” He sighs. “If you don't get your act together, I will lose my faith in you and give up trying to make you a better Trainer. I want you to be a great Trainer so we can train together. Father and Son. If you start out slow, my dream won’t happen for us and you won’t be a great Trainer. Ever!" He sees Jack looking down, almost shameful of himself. "The truth hurts, doesn't it? Well, I hope you learned something today. You need to wake up and work for this."

Jack feels low, "Yes Dad. I will try to do better."

"There is no try. You either will do better or come home. I believe in you Son, but right now I am beginning to doubt how great you could be. If you continue to be a slow Trainer, you will have no more support from me." He steps away from the screen then sits back down, now holding a Pokeball. "I know it's early, son, but I am going to have to take back my Pokemon."

“What?” Jack tries to argue back but he will lose, "But Dad, I need them when I challenge the Gym Leader. You can't."

"I can and will. If you don't send them back to me, I will drag you back home by the ear and you will never be a Trainer for as long as I live.”

Jack sniffles. This is one of those times when Jack is knocked down and not helped back up. He puts the Pokeballs in the Transporter next to the phone, one at a time. Bye Pikachu. Bye Bulbasaur. Now Jack only has four Pokemon.

"I will have to see how well you trained them, or how bad." His father puts his Pokeball in their home transporter and sends it to Jack.

Jack is shocked to see this happen. "Are you sending me another one of your Pokemon?"

He begins to act nicer. "That Pokeball contains the Pinsir you tried to give me. It is yours, not mine. You caught it, you train it. It’s yours. You're going to need all the help you can get for this Gym battle. I do appreciate the thought."

"Thanks Dad."

The tone shifts back to disappointment. "Your mother did tell me your philosophy about catching Pokemon. You won't catch any wild Pokemon and force it too obey you?”

Jack freezes, like he was caught for a crime. “Uh...”

“You want Pokemon that want to be trained by humans? Do you know how many of those Pokemon are out there? The ones that want a Trainer are normally weak Pokemon. Go out and catch Pokemon, like a real Trainer. Don't wait around all day for a Pokemon to come to you. Go to the Pokemon. I know you can do it if you just listen to my advice. If you don't, then you will fail."

Jack wants to end this talk, he doesn’t know how much more he can take. "Is that all for now, Dad?"

"Yes, for now. Good luck son. I hope to hear from you later. I don’t want to have to call you to talk, you call me." Click! The screen turns off and the phone is down.

“Phew!” What a talk! Jack has a lot to think about now. This talk may change the way he does his training. And now, he is without his two high level Pokemon: Bulbasaur and Pikachu. He does have a new Pinsir with him. “Why didn’t he want to keep Pinsir? He’s been through so much to try to catch one.”

~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-02-2005, 09:41 PM
Lyn walks into the Pokecenter and sees Jack eating jell-o alone in the lounge. Lyn grabs some food from the lunch menu and sits across from Jack. Her Pokeballs lay on the dish and she grabs them.

From out of nowhere, "I sold the moped."

Jack looks at her with a surprised face. “You did?”

"I was driving around the city when I saw how much gas prices are. I don’t think we can afford to pay for gas every time. It would be a waste of money, especially since we don’t have any income. Plus it is better to walk. And safer too. Walking has a classic Trainer value to it."

"You're right. Well, at least I got to drive the moped once. And we have some more money for our journey.”

Lyn wants to split the money between them but Jack suggests it was her moped and she should keep all the money. But how much money do they really have? Together they have quite a bit of money to last them for maybe a few months. Lyn now holds the most money.

“So, what are we doing later?” Lyn asks.

“Well, I’m not sure about challenging the Gym anymore but I still want to go by and check it out. Oh, that’s right, I haven’t told you what happened.” Jack explains about giving back Bulbasaur and Pikachu and getting Pinsir in return. “That’s why I can’t challenge the Gym today.”

“Oh. You’re lucky to have seen a Pinsir so quickly. Those are rare, aren’t they?”

“Yes. I was quite surprised. I should be happier to have one but I don’t really feel it.” Jack is disturbed. Pinsir might not even like him.

Lyn jumps to another topic. “Before we go to the Gym, I want to show you a store. Have you heard of Pokeball Etching?”

“No. But I looked at your Pokeballs when Nurse Joy brought ours over and I think I know what you’re going to say.”

“Pokeball Etching etches in names or pictures so you can tell one Pokeball from the other.” She takes out her Poliwag’s Pokeball. On the bottom half of the Pokeball is a small etch of Poliwag in gold outline and Lyn’s small name below it. “It’s like a tatoo for a Pokeball. They do requests too. I just love it.”

“I haven’t heard much about this but it is interesting.”

Lyn nods. “It’s relatively new, more like a quick fad. If you mix up your Pokeballs, can you figure which one is which? With the etching on it, it’s easier to know Poliwag from Geodude. See, that’s what I was doing at the Styper Mall for my new Geodude, that is, well, before Team Rocket showed up and... you know what happened.”

“Sounds like a fun way to kill time. I’m in.”

~*~

One hour and thirty minutes later, all Jack’s and Lyn’s Pokeballs are etched. It took a lot quicker than Jack thought but the price was higher. Ten bucks per Pokeball costing them a total of $70 dollars. It was well worth the experience.

Lyn has a picture of Geodude posing and her name under it. Jack was creative with his etching. For Pinsir and Butterfree, he had their pictures etched large on the white portion of the Pokeball while Rattata, Pidgey and Vulpix have small pictures, all in silver outline. On the red side, the bottom, Jack has his initials JK medium etched in black with a renaissance style.

Now, if a Pokemon happens to evolve, then the etched picture is no good. Pokeball Etching will re-etch the Pokeball but with a five dollar fee to erase the last etching. This is how they make a majority of their money-- through re-etches and busted Pokeballs.

~*~

The Plylie Gym is a miniature stadium, grey concrete bricks and brown flags stick out of the top. There are flyers and different programs posted around the building, it must be used for more than battles.

A sign at the Gym entrance reads:

*Attention Pokemon Trainers*
Gym is closed today due to a lecture at the Auditorium.
All Trainers are welcome to come and listen.
The lecture will talk about the Stoplek League and answer any questions you have.

It was 4:00. The next scheduled time was 7:30. Jack asks Lyn if she wants to go and she does. Another sign showed that the auditorium was in the back. They would have to go later.

For the next three hours, Jack and Lyn sit in the park next to the gym, eating fast food they had purchased. Their Pokemon are out too, eating as well. Rattata chows down on his food quick, Butterfree savors her berry mix, Vulpix and Pidgey slowly eat. Pinsir, however, doesn’t eat the food provided. He also secludes himself away from his ‘Trainer’.

“Come on Pinsir, you need to eat to have strength.”

Pinsir shrugs and looks away.

Jack steps over and grabs the paper plate of food. “Fine. Rattata won’t mind having seconds.”

“Rat!”

“GRRRRR!” Pinsir growls, grabbing the plate then eating the food.

After the food feast, Jack address his Pokemon. “Bulbasaur and Pikachu had to go back earlier today but that doesn’t mean we aren’t strong. Rattata, Vulpix, Pidgey and Butterfree, please welcome Pinsir to our team.”

“GRRR!” Pinsir growls back.

Lyn pats Poliwag and whisper to Jack, “It sure looks strong and angry. Gaining trust will be hard.”

Jack sparks an idea and talks louder. “Pinsir, strong? Nah, I don’t think so. Look at his arms. I bet he can’t even tear out that tree over there.”

“Grrr...?” Pinsir stares down Jack, whom is staring back with a confident smile. “GRAAAA!!”

Pinsir stands up and rushes the tree, slamming its body sideways. The tree uproots and falls over, throwing dirt and leaves into the air and a thud sound behind that.

Jack jumps up, knocking Vulpix away from his side. “Yes! That’s what I’m talking about. One hit and the tree never knew what was coming. That was awesome.”

Pinsir folds his arms in and sighs.

A man comes running around from the gym building. “What the...?”

Jack panics, “Oh. Heh.” He recalls Pinsir. “It’s the darndest thing. The tree just fell over because of the wind.”

No breeze flows. The man looks curiously and walks away, probably to get someone in charge.

“I think we should go.” Lyn recommends.

Jack seconds that idea.

~*~

They go to the Auditorium in back and find two empty seats in the last row. There are about 100 seats facing the large performing theater in front. Up above are a few balconies and curtains. The auditorium color is mostly brown except for the black silk curtains. Only a few other people are here this early.... but as 7:00 comes around, the number doubles until there are close to forty people here.

Promptly at 7:30, according to the clock next to the stage, the lights dim and a man walks across the stage to the podium in the middle. He is wearing a nice dark brown suit, black tie and business dark shoes. The face is relatively young but the suits shows his real age to be somewhere in the late thirties. His dark brown hair is nicely parted to the left as he looks into the audience.

The dull voice begins. "Good evening Pokemon Trainers, new and old. Welcome school mates and League Council members. You will now hear a lecture about the Stoplek League that will last two hours long.”

Jack yawns. “Man, this will be a long two hours.”

The suit guy looks around and sees boredom. His regular voice talks “You know, you’re right. This lecture needs to be more casual.” He kicks off his shoes, takes off his brown suit in one rip and tosses the wig away. “There, that’s better. Pokemon Training is meant to be fun and that’s what we’re here to do. My name is Stodd and welcome to my evening lecture.”

Stodd pushes the podium off the stage and puts out a backyard yellow folding lounge chair. A large screen comes down in the middle for video projections. Stodd is now wearing a brown t-shirt with a boxing glove punching across the front, dark red shorts that almost look like boxers, white socks nearly up to his knee and sandals on his feet. His brown hair is now wild and unformed. A stage hand places a table down with a lemonade and a microphone. Stodd lays down in the lounge chair and is ready to go.

“That’s better. Much more comfortable. That’s the first thing about being a Trainer, do what is natural. But we’ll get to that later.” He takes a sip. “Ooo, just right. Ahem. So, congratulations on making it to my lecture. You all have come here to learn about the Stoplek league. Good for you. I have this lecture twice a month, every other week and I love to see new faces." He looks around the audience before starting up again. The screen lights up and words appear. "I would like to introduce myself more formally. I am Stodd, one of the Chairmen to the League. I also help handle any problems regarding another Gym and any paperwork with League battle records. My most famous job is aiding Professor Vine and helping all new Trainers find their way by giving them directional support. But seeing how most of you are Trainers looking for badges, you will come to know me as the Plylie City Gym Leader. Most of you may face me some day and I always look forward to it."

Small talk goes through the crowd. Jack knows some things that his dad told him. Hopefully this meeting will make it more clear.

Jack of Clovers
01-02-2005, 09:45 PM
Stodd continues, "Now let's begin. No, wait a minute. If you’re taking notes, don’t bother. I will hand out a pamphlet of the lecture as you leave. It covers everything I say and anything on the overhead.” He points to the screen which displays the jobs he just mentioned. “Now, let’s get to the basic history. The league you are participating in is called the Stoplek League. It is called this because of Mr. Charles Stoplek, the wealthiest person back in 1869. He created the league and certified all the Gyms. At that time, there were only fifteen Gyms made. In 1983, the League Council passed that five Master Gyms be created because Trainers that beat the league were getting stronger. They didn’t want those strong Trainers to leave for other leagues so the Master Gyms started and they have been our most successful Gyms since the start of the league. Confused yet? Don’t worry, it will all make sense, I promise." He coves his heart and raises his hand signifying the promise. "I know there are a lot of badges and Gyms but let me break it down for you. Winning at least eight badges allows you battle the Stoplek Official Leader in Lancashire. Many Trainers get there and maybe one forth of the Trainers in this room will beat the leader. However, they throw a SOL Tournament every year and only the winner can face the Official Leader. You will have to defeat other Trainers first in feisty competition." He sips some lemonade and talks some more.

"Now, if you get twelve badges out of the fifteen, you qualify to battle in the Master Gyms to the north. The Master Gyms consist of five Gyms that are tough and hard to beat. Many brave trainers go there but realize that those Gyms are much harder. But you have to beat the Stoplek Official first to try for those Gyms." Another pause for a drink. "Mmm, good lemons today. Ok, now for the biggie. If you get all the badges, that means fifteen from the regular Gyms and five from the Master Gyms, that's a total of twenty badges. That means you get to face the Stoplek Grand Champion. He has rarely been beaten and is one of the top Trainers in the world. The last match he had was a year ago and his winning streak is unchallengeable in the league. That just shows you how hard the competition is. If you happen to beat him, then you gain the title as Stoplek League Defender, a well respected title around the world. However, not many Trainers choose the Master Gym path. Most Trainers like to go for the traditional eight badges then move to another league. Some of you may decide to get twelve and try The Master Gyms. And maybe one person in this auditorium will get all the badges and challenge the Grand Champion. Whatever you choose, have fun and try you best. Good luck to all your journeys." People clap. That was a great lecture. "Hey, it’s not over. But if you want, take a five minute rest.”

Stodd’s lemonade is refilled and the five minutes are up.

“All rested, now for the next half. The Trainer’s Code. These codes are enforced by the Stoplek League for all Trainers to follow. They are a set of laws every Trainer should follow in any league. So far, we are the only league to have these set of laws in a written form. Breaking any of these codes can result in serious consequences. There are twelve of them and here they are in no particular order.

*quotes mean Stodd is talking*

1- No Trainer may carry more than 6 Pokemon with him/her at one time. To do so is penalty by law.
“This is very important. Every league follows this rule but I think we are the only ones to hand out fines to Trainers for breaking this code.”
2- A Trainer helps other Trainers and Pokemon when necessary.
“It’s the polite and respectful thing to do.”
3- A Trainer does not use Pokemon for evil or criminal intentions.
“Here is the opposite of what we are trying to do as Trainers. Team Rocket is the most popular in this league but there are smaller groups.”
4- Pokemon will not be cruelly abused or punished.
“Pokemon have rights, just like people. If caught, you will be fined and that Pokemon might be taken away.”
5- Counterfeit badges and/or Stoplek League endorsed products is strictly forbidden.
“This is self explanatory.”
6- Catching a Pokemon is by battling it to weaken and using a Pokeball. Using any other method is not allowed.
“That means electric cages, weapons like knives or guns, and especially bombs. That goes back to Code 4 about Pokemon having rights.”
7- Old Trainers should share their knowledge to new Trainers and Pokemon Professors.
We don’t know everythng about Pokemon and learn something new every day.
8- Pokemon Centers are for Pokemon and league material. No soliciting.
“It’s a respect issue.”
9- In a battle, a Trainer must battle one-on-one. Using more Pokemon than the opponent has is illegal.
“Basically, if the battle is 3vs3, don’t use a forth Pokemon. This has come to apply to Team Rocket and many members have been taken in for 1-3 days for breaking this rule.”
10- All Stoplek League rules, all city rules will be followed, and all Gym rules will be followed.
11- To be a participant, a Trainer must be at least 13. Once registered they may battle for badges and league certified tournaments. All Pokemon Centers are free to Trainer’s.
“This just basically says what you can do as an official Trainer. What most aspiring Trainers forget to do is register and it’s so easy.”
12- Any site designated where Pokemon are protected are not to be caught for any reason.
“Poachers are a problem to many preserves. Respect this code to it’s fullest. If you accidentally catch a protected Pokemon, release it immediately.

The screen turns off, pulls up and out of sight.

“That concludes our lecture. Any questions?” Slowly, a hand shoots up. "You in the front."

A young girl stands up, "How did you get a name like Stodd?" Funny question but Jack is curious too.

Stodd smiles, "If you must know. My parents didn’t want a traditional name but my Dad liked Todd. Throw an ‘S’ in the front and that’s my name. It’s really a funny story if you put some thought to it. Now, next question."

Jack raises his hand. “What is the best Pokemon type?”

“Ah, good question. While it can be argued for months, most will agree that the Psychic types are the strongest Pokemon because of their amazing mental ability and power. However, they are the hardest to control and many minds have suffered trying to control their Pokemon. For a Psychic Pokemon to be its strongest, they bond with their Trainer with a psychic link. If the Trainer can’t handle the stress, the Pokemon suffers during battle. My personal favorite are the Fighting type. Winning using physical strength is quite impressive against special attacks. Next question.”

“How did you become a Gym Leader?”

Stodd thinks for a moment. “Ah yes. I was a Trainer starting like you guys. I got twelve badges and beat the Stoplek Official Leader. While trying to beat the Master Gyms, I met one of the League Officials and we talked. A Gym opening was offered to me, so I took it. And here I am today, one of the most powerful League Officials. Next.”

“What advice do you have for Trainers?”

“Never give up. I’ve seen people repeatedly coming back to my Gym and fail time and time again. But they never give in and keep going. That’s a dedicated Trainer. The slowest Trainer is usually the one that ends up surprising everyone.”

The questions drag on and Jack fades out from the last few. When it is over Jack and Lyn grab the pamphlets and leave to go for a walk around the city. The lecture took about forty-five minutes and it turned quite dark out. The lecture was nothing to laugh at; both Jack and Lyn learned quite a lot. Lyn learned a lot more but it was Jack who was surprised how much his dad never told him.

Back at the Pokemon Center, Lyn’s closeness with Nurse Joy has kept a room available for them to sleep in. However, when Lyn goes to the waiting room to get Jack, she sees he has fallen asleep on the couch.

Lyn laughs. "Why would he want to sleep on a couch and not a bed?" She grabs his pack, pulls out the tan towel and covers him. Then she goes to the room.

It's 9:00. Lyn has nothing to do since Jack fell asleep, so she decides to go to bed too.

End Episode 13
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-15-2005, 02:40 AM
~*~
Episode 14
Trust Takes Time

Dawn of a new day. It’s just after six in the morning and Jack is already up. Having read the pamphlet given to him from the lecture yesterday, one part caught his attention that wasn’t covered in the lecture:

“As a new Trainer, you need to train every day. Battles and Gyms are not your goal yet, you must work with your Pokemon and gain their trust. Battles are a good way to learn what training techniques you need to work on. Go out and work with your Pokemon on your own. You can’t play a soccer game without practice first.”

Jack has done very little Training, and especially not every day. Today, he plans to spend as much time to Training as he can. And with Bulbasaur and Pikachu back to Dad, he needs to work harder. This Gym battle would be his first official battle and he doesn’t know how ready his Pokemon are.

He stretches from sleeping on the couch. Then he finds Lyn’s room, grabs his pack and heads out of the Pokecenter.

After breakfast in the city for him and his Pokemon, he arrives to the open trees south of Plylie. It is past 8:30 and he is well awake, ready for training.

“Ok everyone, come on out.” And like that, Rattata, Butterfree, Pidgey, Vulpix and Pinsir show up. “Ok guys, we have a Gym coming up. I thought I would be ready, but I’m not. Today we are training. Let’s do a warm up jog first.”

Jogging is a great way to stay in shape and keep moving. This is only a warm up and later they will run longer. Little by little, running will make them faster with their feet or in the flyers case, their wings. The weather is perfect too, calm and clear with clouds covering the sky.

He puts his hat in his pack and leaves the pack under a tree next to some bushes. All he brings with him are his sunglasses and two bottles of water, one in each hand.

They begin the jog after finishing some basic stretches. Vulpix next to him; Butterfree above with Pidgey a little behind him; Rattata on the left side; Pinsir a few feet behind, not too sure about Jack yet.

Jog. Jog. Jog. Jog.

“Come on Pinsir,” Jack says as he looks behind. “Catch up with the group. This is a team jog. I know you can’t be tired yet.”

Jog. Jog. Jog. Break.

“Ok, good warm up.” Jack and all his Pokemon stop. He opens one of two bottles of water, “Drink up.” Minutes later, Jack drops the empty bottle at the side. Now it’s time to stretch again.

Pokemon stretching is different because they aren’t a human shape; Pinsir is close. But Jack figures a way for all of them to stretch and be ready.

Now, the actually training starts. First up is a method his dad showed him.

Jack walks over to a tree with big leaves and picks one off the ground. “This training method is called Leaf Contact. A leaf is paper thin and moves easily in the air. Like your opponent, you won’t know which way it goes.” He drops the leaf and it twirls all over until it hits the ground. “This helps with coordinating your attack, improving your aim, and strengthening your ability to move with the target. Pinsir, since you’re too big I need you in the tree to cut the leaves off for us.”

“Grrr.”

“Don’t worry, we’ll get you later. Right now I need your help.”

Pinsir rushes the tree, nearly topples it as he climbs up, and waits for his orders as he sighs.

“Cut a leaf down.”

Pinsir cut a leaf and it twirls down. Jack tries to catch it with his hand and just does before it’s too late. “One at a time you will get a turn to hit the leaf. Let’s go.”

One by one the leaves fall and they each get their chance.

The first few rounds are using Tackle to hit it dead on. Rattata was the expert, hitting every single one. Butterfree kept missing because he hadn’t grown to his new body. Pidgey and Vulpix were adequate.

The next rounds are for special moves. Rattata switched to Quick Attack, continuing the perfect score. Butterfree was superb with String Shot, missing only once. Vulpix’s Flamethrower was way off course and almost hit Pinsir one time. Pidgey improved with Quick Attack, compared to the last rounds.

Jack switches back to regular head on attacks then back to special moves. Rattata was by far the most accurate, losing power and missing a few toward the end of the exercise. Everyone else needs some improvement.

It is Pinsir’s turn. Jack climbs the tree and Pinsir stands below. His orders are to punch the leaf as many times before it hit the ground.

The leaf falls. Pinsir stares it down and watches it hit the grass.

“Come on Pinsir, try again.”

The next leaf falls. This time, Pinsir stares at Jack with defiance.

Jack sighs. “Too much trouble to hit a falling leaf? You can do it.”

Another leaf is down. Enraged by what Jack sarcastically said, he punches wildly at the falling leaf, only to hit the edge once out of fifteen swipes.

“Good. Now we’re moving.”

Pinsir eyes the next leaf and swipes at it again, this time hitting with 50 percent accuracy.

“Better. This time let’s try for aiming just once.”

Pinsir sighs, closely watching the leaf fall. He swipes slowly as if giving up.

“That can’t be your best.” Jack jumps down from the tree. “I can do better than that. Pidgey, fly up there and hit a leaf down.”

Pidgey swoops up and knocks a leaf down. Jack concentrates, pulling his right arm back in a fist and aims forward, hitting the leaf dead center.

“Got it. Now, you’re not going to let me upstage you, huh? Let’s go again.” Jack smiles and climbs back up the tree.

Annoyed, as soon as the leaf falls Pinsir punches forward and lands his fist into the tree’s trunk. Jack is shaken and nearly falls off but saves himself. Pinsir pulls away and the leaf is shredded against the tree.

In order to get Pinsir on his side, Jack must show his own strength as a Trainer and a friend. He has to get Pinsir to like him. “You call that a punch? My Mom makes stronger Fruit Punch than that. You can’t even knock me out of the tree.”

Pinsir stares with a smirk at Jack and slams the tree with a right, then a left. Before long, Jack jumps off and lands on the grass with his stomach. His Pokemon gasp.

“GRRR!” Pinsir shouts in victory.

Jack could have held on longer but that won’t help Pinsir. He sits up with a smile. “I’m alright. There’s nothing better than falling out of a tree.” He laughs it off to show how fun it was.

Pinsir can only look at him with intrigue.

“You’re strong Pinsir, I know that. But you can be stronger.” Jack steps up to the tree. “Watch me.” He pulls his right fist back behind his body and throws it forward and stop inches from the tree. “See that. You need to punch from behind, not the front. Use your body for strength and the punch will be stronger. Try it.”
The large bug Pokemon shrugs and takes the challenge. He stretches back and slams the tree hard. The tree is indented and tilts about twenty degrees.

All Jack can do is smile.

~*~

After a short break, the training continues with another long run.

Run. Run. Run. Run...

“Pidgey pidggg...”

Jack turns around to see Pidgey slowly glide to the dirt ground. Everyone stops. “Oh, your wing is still a little weak but I’m glad to see you made it this far.” It’s been thirty minutes on their long run and Pidgey did great. Jack smiles patting Pidgey on the head and puts her in her Pokeball to rest. Now looking to his other Pokemon, “Ok, let’s stop here and train some more.”

This time, they all play Simon Says. This is a great technique to teach orders and listening for commands. Butterfree has a hard time because of his body shape, but he did well enough. Jack fools all of them a number of times, especially Vulpix. They all improve throughout the lesson, getting better at listening. However, Pinsir takes the award for last place, as he doesn’t even try to participate.

Jack decides to try another tactic. “Pinsir, you think you’re too strong for us, huh? Don’t need to listen to me and battle, is that right? Think you can handle any situation? Then I challenge you to a game of Arm Wrestling.”

“Sirrrr?” Pinsir doesn’t seem to understand.

“Oh, it’s quite easy. Lay on the ground, arm up,” Jack and Pinsir face each other. “Then try to push the other persons hand down without lifting your elbow.”

“Rrrr...” Pinsir sighs disinterested.

Rattata, Vulpix and Butterfree stand near the side to watch.

Jack grabs Pinsir’s hand. “Ready, go.” He forces Pinsir’s hand down. “Too easy. I knew it.”

Pinsir snorts and stares at the human.

Jack moves back to position to start again. “Second round. Go.” Jack is about to win when Pinsir struggles to fight back. “Oh, trying now. But you’re too late.”

Pinsir’s hand is much stronger and shocks Jack. Jack puts more muscle into it from his shoulder and forces Pinsir back a little but Jack is too late as he is pinned.

“GAAA!”

Jack smiles. “If you use your shoulder more, you will win easier. Just like the punching, use your body for strength. Last round. Go.”

The two fight this time, staying in the middle.

“Use your shoulder muscle.... to reinforce your arm. You can win.”

Pinsir struggles to look at Jack and takes the advice. Jack’s hand is pinned hard to the ground.

Pinsir jumps up with his fist in the air. “GAAAA!”

Jack backs off, rubbing his hand. He isn’t about to congratulate him. “You call that winning. Think of this like a Pokemon battle. You only get one shot. I told you the rules but you didn’t listen and lost the first round. In a Pokemon battle, there is no second round. But if you listen to me and work with me instead of against, then you will never lose.”

The large bug Pokemon looks down at his Trainer and scuffs at him.

~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-15-2005, 02:45 AM
Jog. Jog. Jog. Jog.

The group is jogging back to his pack for lunch and a long nap. They arrive back at the spot and everyone drops, panting. “PHEW! That’s.... a... hard.... run...” Then he notices that his pack is missing where he left it under the tree. “Where’s....my pack?” Looking around the tree and bushes, he can’t find it anywhere. He turns and looks at his tired Pokemon. They need food and water but his pack is missing. He had it hidden so well too. “Wait... where’s Pinsir?” Jack looks around and finally spots him on a tree, sucking the sap for nutrition.

“Ha ha. Look at me in this silly hat. Oh, a Pokedex. That’ll score some money.”

The voice comes from down ten yards away, around a bush. Jack steps over and takes a look, only to see a teen girl wearing his hat. She is wearing a dark green shirt and khaki black pants. To his luck, she has his pack; unfortunately, she seems to be looking through his stuff. She also has a Pokemon next to her but Jack can’t recognize it from his angle. Closer, the Pokemon turns out to be a blue animal about medium height with a small horn on the front.

“Hey, get away from my stuff.” Jack shouts protectively.

The teen jumps back surprised. She then looks at the older teen staring at her. “Finders keepers.” She grabs the bag and holds it tight.

“Look, that’s my bag you have there. I need it back. My Pokemon and I need water.”

She looks at him. “You lie. You’re a thief. No one leaves their stuff alone.”

“I was out training my Pokemon, jogging with them. I can’t take it with me.” Jack sighs, seeing his reasoning is going no where. ”Why are you taking my stuff out anyway? Wait... you’re stealing it. That’s why you won’t listen to me.”

“It’s my bag now.”

Jack steps closer to grab his bag but her blue Pokemon steps up and snaps at Jack.

“Good Nidorina.” She pets her Pokemon. “Keep him away.”

“Nida.” she grunts.

Jack sighs in grief. “But it’s my stuff. I shouldn’t have to battle for it.”

He can’t use his Pokedex on the Nidorina, Vulpix is tired, Butterfree is tired, Rattata is tired, Pidgey is injured, and Pinsir is.... Pinsir is.... wait, where did Pinsir go! Through all the commotion, Pinsir disappeared.

“Ah come on now. I don’t need this.” Jack collapses on the ground. “Why me?” Now the real question: What is more important to Jack? His backpack with all his belongings, including food and water, or finding Pinsir?

The girl shouts out, “What’s going on? If you’re going to battle me, hurry up. I don’t have all day.”

“PINSIR!” Jack shouts out but no reply.

Little does he know, Pinsir is still in the same tree just a little bit higher and hidden behind the leaves. Pinsir watches his Trainer worry in a crazy panic. Pinsir didn’t want to be caught by a human. Freedom is his choice. As he sucks the trees life, he is gaining energy so he can run away from the red beam of the Pokeball.
Jack tries one more time, “LOOK PINSIR! I CAUGHT YOU FAIRLY. SO WHAT I’M NOT A STRONG TRAINER, I WILL BE BUT I NEED YOUR HELP. IF NOT FOR ME, THEN COME BACK FOR YOUR FELLOW POKEMON. THEY NEED WATER.” If she didn’t have a Pokemon, Jack could easily get his things back but he has to battle his way through the Nidorina.

Still, Pinsir is reluctant to go back. He just watches the soon-to-be battle.
If I go to look for him, she will leave and I may not even find Pinsir. If I stay, I will lose and still may not see Pinsir again. This is a lose-lose situation. Jack’s Pokemon get up, looking ready to battle for him but only Rattata has enough strength to go forward. Vulpix and Butterfree are too dehydrated.

“Ok, Rattata... go ahead.” Rattata springs out ready to go. “You may be tired but we must try.”

The girl has Nidorina out in front. “Shouldn’t be too hard. Go, Take Down.” Nidorina charges forward and nails tired Rattata directly. “Come on, try harder. Again!” *WACK* Another hit to Rattata.
Jack keeps trying. “Don’t think about being tired. Get in there with Bite.”

Rattata leaps forward and chomps down hard on Nidorina’s ear. Shaking back and forth, Rattata holds on for dear life. Finally, Rattata weakens his grip and lets go and is thrown across the grass. Rattata lands and springs back with Quick Attack. Nidorina backpedals from the hit.

Rattata slowly huffs and puffs from all the exercise. Just too tired to continue.

“Ha. Nidorina will beat you.” And a last tackle effort is smacked into Rattata. Over and out. “Right, I win. The bag is mine and I don’t think I need this water bottle...” She smirks as she is about to take the top off and pour it out.

Quickly, Jack thinks about all the things he lost and kneels to the dirt, sitting on his legs. Rattata lay down in front. “Vulpix, you have some energy. Please....”

A shadowed figure jumps from a tree and lands before the teen girl with a loud thump to the ground.

“Aaeeiii.... What is this?”

Jack looks up to see the what happened. “Pinsir?”

“GRRRAAAA!!” the large bug growls.

The girl steps back as Nidorina jumps forward to attack. Pinsir grabs her and swings ninety degrees to toss Nidorina away. Nidorina gets up and attacks back, moving swiftly through the grass, Nidorina attempts Take Down. Sidestepping, Pinsir is hit on the leg. Nidorina slides to a stop and turns around only to get beat down by a slashing attack. While it recovers from that attack, Pinsir tosses her away again. Nidorina turns again for Take Down but isn’t prepared when Pinsir uses his own Take Down.

“No, not Take Down, punch it.”

But Pinsir doesn’t agree and continues forward. Nidorina is slammed back but in the hit, Pinsir takes a scrape in the stomach from Nidorina’s horn. Lucky for him, the blue Pokemon is knocked out.

“Ooo...” The girl stands afraid of Pinsir, dropping the pack. Pinsir grabs the hat off her head and takes the water bottle out of her hand. Pinsir snarls. “Ahh!” She screams and runs away after recalling Nidorina.

Jack sits on the ground with Rattata, Butterfree and Vulpix around him. He watches Pinsir grab his pack and bring it over to him, setting it down in front.

“Thank you Pinsir for coming back.” He grabs one of the three remaining water bottles from his pack. “Water for everyone.” Pidgey is let out of her Pokeball and they all drink and feast for lunch.

*SLURP* *CHOMP*

Jack lay next to Pinsir after everyone had their fill. He is still somewhat isolating himself from the group but Jack keeps pushing him closer. “Thanks for coming back. I can see you’re shy but don’t worry, you will fit in. And you battled awesome out there. Such strength, there is nothing you won’t be able to do. And with my knowledge of battling opponents, we make a strong team. But you have to listen to me. Had you punched it instead of using Take Down, you would have avoided taking the horn in the gut.” He pats Pinsir on the head and stands up. “Ok guys, let’s take a nice two hour rest. Then we’ll do some training before night and head back to town.”

~*~

Dusk hit and the day is over. “Great job you guys. We have made great improvements for our Gym challenge. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Pinsir looks at Jack with concern. He had the chance to run but something made him come back. Maybe it was the water, or maybe the fact that Jack would lose everything. Whatever the case, the trust between them has become a little stronger.

Jack takes a nice walk back to Plylie and straight to the Pokecenter. There, Lyn and her rocky Pokemon Geodude are playing checkers together.

“I’m back.” Jack says politely and smiles as he watches the game.

“Where’d you go?”

“Some training, that’s all.”

Well, time flies by as Jack and Lyn play checkers against each other. For now, Jack’s mind is off training and the Pokemon Gym. But when the time comes, he will be in serious though about the battle and ready to do his best.

~*~

The next two days are full of Training, nearly the same as the first. Lyn also goes out but mostly she stays around the city, going from one place to another gathering information.

For Jack, each time they train together, his Pokemon get a little better and a little stronger. There is more trust between them, even in Pinsir although not that much has grown since the first training day. Even in one battle Jack has with Rattata and Vulpix, the bond is strong but the battle was tough. He still needs to work hard but he feels he is up to a new challenge. A gym.

I have faith in my team. Vulpix, Rattata, Pidgey, Pinsir and Butterfree. We can do it. He thinks these thoughts as he looks at the Plylie City Gym; his next opportunity for a badge. But for now, a good nights rest.

End Episode 14
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-30-2005, 09:12 PM
~*~
Episode 15
Closer to the Goal

It's 9:00. The Gym has just opened and Jack and Lyn are on their way to it. Jack has a lot to think about. He has been training non-stop for the past three days and working with his Pokemon every step of the way. He feels he is ready to challenge the Gym but he is unsure if he will walk away with the badge.

When they arrive, they see a line of six people waiting to get in the small dome-like stadium. Jack wants to make sure and taps the last guy in line. The guy turns around.

"Is this the line to get into the Gym?"

"Yup, this is it. This is my third time. It's really hard." This guy is probably thirty years old; either he must not be too good or the Gym leader must be very tough. "I will tell you one thing. He makes you do a test. Only those that pass may face him." The guy puts his fist in the air. "Today I hope to pass."

Lyn looks at Jack with an unsure face.

The line is invited inside the building to a small waiting room with comfy couches and magazines to read. One by one, the room gets smaller as challengers are called to the next room. The first two are only inside for ten minutes each, meaning they must have failed the test. The third Trainer must have passed the test because he was in their for half an hour. But when he came out, he didn’t win.

Another full hour goes by, giving time for Stodd to recharge his Gym Pokemon. Now the guy in front of Jack steps in. He is next. Minutes later the guy walks out with his head down.

Jack whispers to Lyn, "He must not have passed. Stodd must be hard." He looks at the other three people in the room.

“Good luck,” one of them wishes.

Jack is then waved in by the gym’s assistant. Jack and Lyn begin to walk in but the assistant stops them.
“Only one challenger at a time." He points to Lyn. "You will have to wait for your turn."

Lyn reasons back, "I'm not battling. I just want to watch."

The assistant responds, "Ok. But you need to wait here. Stodd only allows one person inside at a time.”

Jack wonders what Lyn is up to but he won’t worry about it now. “It’s all up to me. Here goes.” He steps through the door and eventually finds the battle field ahead. Outside, the Gym looks small; the inside is fairly large and empty. It’s just like a stadium, only smaller than normal stadiums, with concrete seats around the battle field and even a second floor for an audience. There is a four sided electronic scoreboard hanging from the middle of the ceiling, much like you would see at a hockey game.

Stodd is sitting across the yellow painted field in his white lounge chair, that same fighting glove tan t-shirt and white shorts with thick blue stripes. His brown hair is a little more uniform but still uneven.

“Welcome to my Gym young challenger. I am Stodd, the caretaker and leader of this facility. Are you ready for a fun battle?”

Jack nods. "That’s why I’m here."

The referee appears next to Jack. “Identification please.”

“Oh yea.” He grabs his wallet and finds his Trainer Card.

The ref nods. “He’s clear. State your name and origin to the leader.”

“Jack Kalmer and I’m from Pine Valley.”

Stodd looks the challenger over. “That hat... it’s familiar. Hey, I remember you. You were at my lecture a couple days back. You asked me a question. Oh, I know it. Yes... strongest Pokemon types. Hope my answer helped you.”

“It did.”

“Good. If it didn’t, then you wouldn’t be ready for this battle. But, that hat... I remember it from somewhere else recently. Then again, maybe not. I guess it doesn’t matter, you’re here for a battle. But before that, you must pass a test. Everyone takes the test, it’s my way of eliminating Trainers so I don’t waste my time. There are so many new Trainers in this city and I can’t battle all of them every day. You understand.”

A red and white target comes down from the tall stadium ceiling. The target sways side to side at a moderate pace.

"You have three tries to hit it. Choose any Pokemon you would like but you must hit it from where you stand."

“Ok.” Who does Jack have that can hit the target? Pidgey, Pinsir and Rattata don’t have a chance. Vulpix? Hmm. Vulpix works just fine. Jack selects and Vulpix is out. Coincidentally, his training the previous days with the falling leaves proves to his advantage. Although, Vulpix isn’t the best at aiming and this distance is much farther, so his chances aren’t too great. "Vulpix, you have three tries to hit that target up in the ceiling. Remember our practice with the falling leaves. You must aim carefully. Use your Flamethrower when you’re ready.”

Vulpix looks way up at the moving target, moves back and forth, following the motion. She fires a line of orange and misses completely.

"Concentrate Vulpix. I know you can do it."

Vulpix aims and hits where the target used to be.

“Come on. You need to aim in front of the target when it moves, not behind. This isn’t working.” He grabs another Pokeball of his belt. “Is it alright if I switch?”

“Switch?” Stodd questions. “Sure, you still have one shot left. I would advise against it though. It would be better to keep your Vulpix out since it’s had two practice shots already.”

“That’s alright, she tried her best.” Vulpix is swapped out for Butterfree. “Ok, see that target up there? From here, use your String Shot and hit it hard. One shot, life or death, you or him. Let’s go.”

“Freeeeee!!”

Stodd jumps from his lounge chair. “Whoa! Using a Butterfree’s String Shot? This is a first.”

Butterfree catches sight and aims fast and fires without even thinking. The long string shot flies through the air and clings to one side of the target.

“Alright. Great shot Butterfree.” He pats him on the head.

Stodd stands at the battle square ready to go, clapping. "Impressive. I’ve never seen that before. Even in the first shot. I might need to watch out."

“Thanks.”

The referee appears at the side of the field. "Challenger Jack is battling Plylie City Gym Leader Stodd. This is a two on two match. No time limit. Begin."

Jack thinks, Two on two. Who should I send out?

Stodd is ready. “Let’s see if you can bring that aiming skill to the battlefield. Tyrogue, you’re up first.”
A medium sized purple and brown colored Pokemon appears with a ready-to-fight look in its eyes.
Jack pops out the Pokedex for some information.

Tyrogue- the Scuffle Pokemon - This Pokemon is always bursting with energy. Even though it is small, it can't be ignored because it will slug any handy target without warning. Tyrouge evolves into Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, or Hitmontop depending how it is raised as a fighter.

I had a feeling this was a fighting gym. Since Tyrogue can only do physical moves, I can use a flying type to attack from the air. Shouldn’t be too hard.

“I’ll keep Butterfree out. Ready to battle?”

“Free.” He nods.

Butterfree moves out to the battle floor.

The ref waves the flag and the match starts.

Jack of Clovers
01-30-2005, 09:23 PM
“Move in Tyrogue. Karate Chop.”

“Fly up.”

Tyrogue points its right arm forward and rushes Butterfree, only to miss as the flyer moves up in altitude.

“That’s how it will be then. A challenge.” Stodd smiles. “High Jump Kick.”

Tyrogue closes its eyes, lowers to the ground, and springs up high in the air. It twirls its foot around and lands in across Butterfree’s side. Butterfree moves back from the hit.

“Butterfree, don’t let Tyrogue have time to hit you. Move away from it.”

“Jump at it again.”

Butterfree learns from his mistake and flies higher in the air and avoids the kick. Tyrogue jumps but the kick is no where near Butterfree.

“Tyrogue, calm down.” Stodd laughs then comments to Jack. “Looks like you’re in charge of this battle now.”
Jack mumbles to himself. “Tyrogue’s legs must be tired from jumping.” He commands, “Ok, use Sleep Powder.”

Butterfree shakes and flaps his wings as he flies over the field. But, Tyrogue is faster than Butterfree can fly and escapes the blue powder by running ahead of it.

“Not tired yet. Gotta slow you down. String Shot.”

Stodd concentrates. “Tyrogue, focus on the shot and avoid it.”

Butterfree fires the white sticky string and it parades to the grounded Pokemon. The shot is right on target but Tyrogue collapses and tumbles out of the way like a ball. The string shot sticks to the ground.

“Now, cut the string and pull it in.”

Tyrogue leaps over and chops the String shot connecting the ground to Butterfree. Then, Tyrogue grabs onto the end and pulls Butterfree.

Jack cheers. “Tug of war? Butterfree, don’t give in. You’re stronger than it.”

The two Pokemon play tug of war and Butterfree is winning. Tyrogue’s feet slip across the floor as it is being pulled.

“This is our breakthrough,” Stodd comments. “Focus your energy and pull it in.”

The energy calms down and concentrates to Tyrogue’s arms and legs. The fighting Pokemon gets a grip on the floor and tugs Butterfree.

“Use your wings to lift Tyrogue into the air.” Jack pleads.

“Yeah, reel ‘em in!”

The arms become stronger and the tiny tugs turn into one large pull. Butterfree propels downward at Tyrogue and can’t escape because he’s being pulled in too fast. Freeing its left arm from pulling, Tyrogue is set for Karate Chop.

*BOMPHHH*

Butterfree is clobbered hard but the impact has caused more than expected. The two Pokemon are surrounded by a purplish-red cloud of dust. As the dust settles, Tyrogue limps backward with a face in terrible pain. Butterfree backpedals in flight, seemingly not too harmed.

“How rough.” Stodd comments, shocked.

Jack is confused. “What happened?”

“I believe I know. If certain nerves on Pokemon are hit in the right spot with the right speed and angle, the nerve will react. It’s a lot like hitting your funny bone. The impact must have somehow triggered Butterfree to release Poison Powder. It’s a very rare feat to have happen and usually it makes the situation worse for the user Pokemon. But in your case, you came out fine.”

“Wow, that’s pretty lucky.”

“Cough...” Tyrogue musters as it tries to look around.

“Stay strong Tyrogue. Don’t think about it. You’re fine.”

Jack commands, “Butterfree, Tackle it.”

Butterfree moves across the field and slams into the poisoned Tyrogue. Tyrogue lay on the ground, breathing hard. With some strength, it manages to get back up.

“Ty...”

Stodd shakes his head. “No, that’s enough. You put up a good fight. You need to rest so you can feel better later.” Tyrogue is recalled.

The ref announces the rule. “The Gym leader has recalled his Pokemon, forfeiting him. He only has one Pokemon left.”

Jack can’t believe he won the first round. “Great moves Butterfree. You’re awesome.”

“Free!”

“Ready Jack? Let’s have some more fun.” His Pokeball opens and a mighty Primeape shows up, flexing his arms.

Primeape- the Pig Monkey Pokemon -It becomes wildly furious if it even senses someone looking at it. It chases anyone that meets its glare for miles until it becomes tired. When giving up a chase, Primeape will remain angry at it for hours until it is angered by something else. Primeape evolves from Mankey.

The ref waves the flag down and begins the match.

“Same thing Butterfree, fly up.” Jack

“Grab it Primeape.”

Primeape dashes over and leaps up to grab Butterfree but misses the feet as the flyer evades.

Stodd laughs. “So we’re going to do this again.”

“Use Sleep Powder.”

Just like Tyrogue, Butterfree circles the field with blue powder, trying to put Primeape to sleep. And just like before, Primeape easily avoids the powder.

“You really think my faster Pokemon will fall victim so quickly. You are mistaken.”

Jack changes strategies. “Stop, use String Shot now.”

“Prepare for it.”

The powder stops and Butterfree aims fast at the moving Primeape. The white string is out and heading straight for his target. Primeape turns around and snatches the string shot in mid flight with its glove.

“No way.” Jack is shocked.

“Take it down.”

“No, let it go.”

Primeape swings over his shoulder, spinning, and twirls Butterfree in a circle through the air, hanging by the String Shot. With Butterfree nearly dizzy, Primeape pulls the line and slams Butterfree to the ground.

“Body Slam.”

Primeape dashes over and slams on top of Butterfree’s back, immobilizing it from escape. Even if he could escape, Butterfree is out.

“Butterfree can no longer battle, Primeape wins the round. The challenger has one Pokemon left.”

Jack points his Pokeball out and recalls Butterfree. “Good battling, just not strong enough yet.”

Stodd recognizes a good tactic. “If you’re good enough, you can get away with doing the same attacks over and over and win. But in a battle with a more experienced Trainer, never repeat your strategy. Each Pokemon is different and requires a different strategy when battling it.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” And now he has to decide what Pokemon to send against Primeape.
Pidgey can fly but I don’t know how long she can last with her almost healing wing, especially something that strong. I know Rattata won’t give up easily but he’s so small... Errr. It would be helpful if I still had Pikachu. But noooo, Dad had to take him back. Wait a minute..... what was it he said when I talked to him and I got Pinsir....

“You're going to need all the help you can get for this Gym battle.”

Did he give me a hint? Maybe that’s why he sent Pinsir to me. He thinks my Pokemon are too weak to fight a Gym. Well, I’ll show him... another time. Pinsir is my strongest hope here. But do I really trust that Pinsir will battle. It’s worth a shot.

“Ok, here’s Pinsir."

Pinsir pops out of his Pokeball and grumbles at the surroundings.

Stodd stands ready. “Looks like a physical battle. You’re in my domain now.”

Jack shouts, “Get ready Pinsir. This is your battle.”

All Pinsir can do is look around the stadium and wonder what all this is. He’s never been in a building before. Then he notices the Primeape on the opposite side of the field.

Jack of Clovers
01-30-2005, 09:27 PM
The ref waves the flag and the match starts.

"Primeape, show 'em your Leer attack."

"Pinsir, looks away."

Pinsir doesn’t listen and stares back, growling. “Sirrr.”

“Priiime...”

Jack stomps the ground. “Pinsir, listen to me and look away now!”

Pinsir glances around and scuffs at Jack.

Stodd looks at the behavior with interest. "Alright, attack with Fury Swipes."

“Turn around... look out.”

Primeape rushes forward and slashes it’s punching fists down at Pinsir. Pinsir is caught off guard and is knocked back having taken a lot of hits.

“Come on Pinsir, grab it with Seismic Toss.”

“Graaaaa!” Pinsir changes head forward, blinding rushing Primeape.

“I said Seismic Toss, not Take Down.”

Having missed, Pinsir turns and rushes the field trying to take down Primeape. But the pig monkey easily evades the blind rushing every time. The battle grows repetitive after six rushed Take Downs.

“This is embarrassing.” Stodd sighs.

Jack sighs, feeling lonely. “No, you have to listen to me. Stop.”

But Pinsir continues to run the field.

“I was expecting more of a battle. You need to learn control. Primeape, take it down with Low Kick.”

Primeape holds his ground. Pinsir starts rushing again, head down and horns forward. This time, Primeape rushes at Pinsir, only to slide on the ground with one leg extended and tripping Pinsir’s movement. Pinsir flips into the air over Primeape and lands on his back.

“Now, grab its horns and throw it.”

Primeape quickly sets up and grabs Pinsir’s large grey horns. With a turn and a grunt, Pinsir is thrown across the field and lands in front of Jack.

“Grrr.....”

“You’ll have to try better than that if you want to win.” Stodd laughs encouragingly.

Jack kneels down to his fallen Pokemon. “Pinsir, listen to me. I know you want to do things your way but this is a Trainer battle. Trainer’s have skills on strategy that most Pokemon don’t understand. This is our first battle together and you can still win. But we have to work as a team; you have to listen to me. If we lose, you never have to listen to me again.”

“Grrr..”

“Now get up. We have a battle to win.”

“Grrrraaaa!” Pinsir growls as he prepares to continue.

“I hope your pep talk did some use.”

"It will. Ready Pinsir?”

“Srrr.”

“Good. Attack with Take Down.”

Stodd completely falls down. “It didn’t work before, you still think it has a chance? Avoid it.”

Pinsir nods down and rushes. The obvious outcome is that Primeape will evade the attack, just like before. The only difference is Jack is now in command.

“Pinsir, keep going, look up and Slash left.”

A quick change of attack, Pinsir rotates his charge and stands up. Primeape has evaded to the left and isn’t prepared for a sudden attack. Pinsir slashes his claws down and nails Primeape on the right heel.

“Yes. We hit it.”

“Good. Fury Swipes.”

Primeape dashes forward. Pinsir lowers down to attack back with his horns.

“No, defend. Block them.”

“Gr?” Remembering to listen to Jack, Pinsir puts up his arms to block the punching gloves. Each punch, Pinsir manages to block with his hand or forearm.

He can’t block forever. What should I do to get out of this?

Stodd takes his action. “Mega Kick.”

“Prime!” After punching with his left, Primeape sweeps his right foot down at Pinsir. Instead of tripping like intended, Pinsir holds his ground. “Ape!!!” It’s the same foot that was hurt by the slash attack.

“Pefect. Grab its leg. Use Seismic Toss.”

Pinsir grabs a hold of Primeape’s slashing left paw with his left, grabbing the right foot with his right claws, and in one motion before any counter could be made, Pinsir twirls around twice, lifts Primeape up and slams it down directly at his feet. Primeape growls as it leaps back up, hurt in two places: stomach and right foot.

“Back on your feet. Get in there with Fury Swipes.”

“Get ready to block.”

Primeape rushes forward ready to attack, Pinsir is ready to block.

“Now, side kick.”

Primeape twirls to the side and launches a kick to Pinsir’s stomach.

*BLOCKED*

“Ah,” Stodd snipes. “Jump to get out of it.”

Primeape jumps over his own foot, twisting Pinsir’s arm to let go. Primeape lands but has his back turned.

"Grab it before it get away,” Jack yells.

Taking a few steps forward, Pinsir grabs for recovering Primeape. Primeape turns around just in time to be held in a long lasting hug. Arms are locked in but the legs are free to kick, but they aren’t strong enough break free.

Stodd fights back. “Focus your energy. Concentrate to break free.

"Good. Now stare it down."

Pinsir and Primeape have a staring contest which lasts for close to four minutes. All the while, Pinsir continues to crush the Pokemon in his grip.

“Gra!!”

“Priiii!”

After five minutes of staring, Primeape’s eyes turn fire red as pure anger rushes through his veins. Having concentrated enough, Primeape breaks free from the loosened grasp.

“PRIMEAPE!!!!”

“Oh no. Primeape, hold in your anger. Don’t do this.”

But Stodd’s Pokemon is gone. Rage has set in. Primeape stampedes the ground and yells in furious voices.

Jack smiles. “Now rush it with Take Down.”

But Pinsir has another idea. Instead, he stares at Primeape, growling fiercely. Primeape takes notice and is further enraged.

“No, not that. Listen to me.”

Stodd brings over his lounge chair and sits down. “Well, nothing more I can do but watch.”

Primeape jumps up with eyes ablaze and lands before the giant bug. Wildly waving its arms and slashing, Pinsir is knocked back by the rush of intense energy and strength. Primeape takes his right arm back, twirls it in circles and punches forward. Pinsir blocks the arm with his claws but the left one strikes at his stomach. Reacting, Primeape quickly uses the right again and knocks Pinsir on the left side.

“Aaooaooo.” Pinsir twirls around.

“It’s strength has increased a lot. But defense has to be weaker.” Jack thinks for a moment. “Yes, toss it away. We need some room.”

The glaring Primeape sinks in a few more punches with his fury fists. Then, Pinsir grabs the left arm and brings in the body, only to toss it backward.

Jack points forward, as if celebrating already. “Go at it and use Take Down.”

Pinsir rubs his stomach to relieve the pain then reacts to the command. The big bug bounces to Primeape, slashes his pincer horns and knocks the fighter away. Primeape skids to a stop. It’s too exhausted to try to get up.

Flags down. "Primeape is unable to battle. The challenger wins the battle."

Jack runs out to hug Pinsir. "You were great. Thanks for the great battle. See what happens when you listen to me. We won’t lose."

Pinsir remains silent at Jack, but there is a hidden smile which fades quickly.

Stodd walks across the battle floor. "Well, that was a battle.”

“Thanks.”

“I train so hard, day and night, for ten years, to keep Primeape’s Rage from coming out. Rage is a Pokemon’s worst friend. Unfortunately, most Primeape personalities are based on rage. I’m sure your Pokedex said something like that. I don’t know what your Pinsir did to bring it out but I must learn from this so it doesn’t happen again. That is why you have to have control. If you don’t, you will lose the battle.

Jack looks over at Pinsir. “Yes, I see.”

“You have a lot to learn, Jack. If you don’t mind my asking, how old are you?”

“I’m seventeen. I started about two weeks ago.”

“Two weeks?” Stodd laughs. “No wonder you couldn’t control Pinsir. You need to practice more training. I am surprised you managed to turn control on Pinsir in such a short time.”

“It’s a long story.” Jack sighs.

Stodd smiles. “Two weeks is not a story. Anyway, I want you to stop by tomorrow, around 1:00. I’ll help you out with your Pokemon and we can discuss the battle.”

Jack is happy at first but becomes unsure. “Thanks. But I’d rather learn on my own for now. It’s the best way to learn.”

The Gym Leader laughs out loud. “And that is why you will be coming tomorrow.”

“I will?”

“That and if you want your badge, you’ll come. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to take my lunch and get ready for the other challengers today. Until tomorrow, Jack.” Stodd turns and walks away.

Jack recalls Pinsir and smiles as he looks up at the scoreboard: the Challenger square is lit up with WINNER flashing under it. He has done it: his first Gym win.

End Episode 15
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
06-09-2005, 07:59 AM
~*~
Episode 16
A New Direction

The waiting room door opens and Jack steps through. He sees Lyn and smiles greatly.

“How’d you do?” she asks as she moves to greet him.

His smile remains and he’s quick to reply. “I won.”

The other Trainers stare at Jack, watching his every move like they idolize him. For a few minutes they congratulate him and ask questions about how he won. Jack doesn’t say much but he tells the other challengers to be ready.

“Come on Lyn, let’s get out of here. We need to talk.”

It is a little after lunch time when they arrive at the Pokecenter. It’s quite busy but there are still a few tables left in the lounge and it’s the perfect time for lunch. But knowing more about Lyn is more important that his winning battle and eating. But first, he finishes telling her about the battle.

“Wow, that was great. I wish I could have seen it.” Lyn takes a bite of the Pokecenter sandwich.

“Yea, but after all that he didn’t give me the badge.”

“Why?”

“He wants me to come tomorrow and talk about things. I don’t get it. I beat him so shouldn’t I have the badge?”

Lyn shrugs. “I don’t know all the rules but that would make sense.”

“I’ll have to ask him about that tomorrow. But first, I have a question for you. When we first met, you said you wanted to go out and become a Trainer. But so far I’m not exactly sure what your goal is. You haven’t been training and at the Gym you said you weren’t going for badges. So what are you doing?”

Lyn sighs. "Oh... I guess I should tell you why I want to go on a journey. Don’t laugh.”

“Okay...”

“I want to become a Pokemon Nurse.” She pauses for reaction.

Jack nods. “That’s cool. Please, go on.”

“Thanks.” She smiles with relief and her eyes shine like bright stars. “When I was eight years old, I met Nurse Joy for the first time and ever since then, I’ve always wanted to become a Pokemon Nurse and help injured Pokemon. I spent a full year hanging around the Styper City Pokecenter, watching and sometimes even helping Nurse Joy and all the sick Pokemon. All that interaction sparked my interest in Pokemon so much I wanted to be just like Nurse Joy. But in order to be a nurse, I need to have Pokemon experience so I thought a Trainer journey around the league would be fun. I could have easily gone to a nursing school and study but I want the experience of being with living Pokemon. But as you know, my parents were highly against anything about Pokemon and then I couldn’t go out because of my Aunt’s injury. While staying with her, when I wasn’t helping with the stock market, I would read articles in the paper about taking care of Pokemon. And with Poliwag by my side, I got to practice many techniques. But there are only so many techniques I can use on Poliwag. I needed different Pokemon to practice on and that’s when I started trying to catch Graveler. That’s why I’m not a strong battler and I don’t need to train to get badges. I only want to learn as much about taking care of Pokemon as I can.

“Wow. That’s cool.”

“I was thinking that after a year or so of experience, I will take the required classes needed in order to become a Pokemon Nurse.” Lyn closes her eyes. "This is my dream and while it may be hard, I will do it."

Jack smiles back. "Good for you. I think you would make a great nurse and give Nurse Joy a run for her money."

“Really? You’re not just saying that?”

“Why would I? Everyone should follow their dream and if anything gets in the way, try harder to beat it.
Lyn blushes, "Thanks. But, I’m not that good yet."

“Don’t worry about that. We all need to take it one day at a time.”

Lyn shows a little smile and leans over the table. “What about you, mister big shot? What’s your dream?”

Jack laughs heartily. "I think you can figure that out. I want all the badges. That is what I set out to do. I also want to prove to everyone that I am a worthy Trainer."

“So you’re going for the Stoplek Trophy. That’s a tough goal.”

“That...” He pauses to think about it. “I haven’t thought too much about that. The only thing I want right now are the badges.”

“What a waste to get that far and not try for the trophy. Isn’t that what all Trainers want?”

“Maybe. If I win the trophy, that would be proof enough how strong I am, right? Twenty badges is a long ways away. I’ll see how I feel about the trophy when I get there.”

~*~

At night, Jack calls home.

“Hello? Kalmer residence.”

He pauses and stares dumbfounded at the phone. “What? Since when do we answer ‘Kalmer residence’? Is this some kind of joke?”

“No. Who is this?”

“It’s Jack. Jack Kalmer. Who are you?”

A shriek can be heard. “Ooohh, Jack. Heeyyyyy. It’s me, Madeline Summerset. We met in the forest last week.”

“Madeline? But... what are you... what’s going on...?”

“Your mom is letting me stay at your house while I’m in Pine Valley. It’s so comfy to lie on a nice bed, unlike those Pokecenter beds.”

“Bed? Wait. We don’t have any spare beds. Does that mean... my bed....?” Jack sighs.
“Your mom said it was okay. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Uh...” Jack feels embarrassed. “I guess so. So how’s it going?”

“I love it here. You mom is so nice and your dad is so smart. He’s been helping me learn about Pokemon. And I changed my clothes like you said. You’re right, it’s a lot easier to travel than wearing a dress.”

“Speaking of my dad, may I speak to him?”

“Nope. Only your mom is home. Want to talk to her?”

“No, that’s ok. Just tell him I defeated the Plylie Gym Leader and the badge is mine.”

“Wow, you have a badge! I don’t have any but I will with your dad’s help. Oh, oh. I just caught my sixth Pokemon. Isn’t that cool? How many do you have now? I bet it’s a lot.”

“Actually, I have less. I’m down to five Pokemon. Remember I told you two of my Pokemon were my dads. I gave them back already.”

“Oh. Don’t worry, you’ll get more, I know it.”

Jack smiles. “Thanks. It was nice talking to you again. I have to get to bed for my busy day tomorrow.”

“Ok Jack. C’ya later.”

“Bye.”

The phone clicks.

Lyn smiles. She had been standing in the back the whole time.
Jack releases a big breath of relief. “Phew. I guess I’m glad he wasn’t home. If he sees that you are with me, he won’t be too kind.”

She raises an eyebrow. “What does that mean?”

“Let’s just say he’s against traveling in groups. Goodnight.” Jack trails off to their room at the Pokecenter.

~*~
The next day arrives and the afternoon is well underway as lunch time passes. Jack and Lyn stand before the Plylie Gym door. A sign reads the gym is closed but a message states that appointments are to go around to the other side. It’s 1:00 exactly when they arrive at the backside. At the left is the auditorium where they heard Stodd’s lesson a few days ago. To the right is a caged grassy field about half a mile wide and long. A guy is at the gate entrance holding a clipboard.

“Name?”

“Jack Kalmer. I’m here for an appointment.”

“Ok, step on in.” However, the guy stops Lyn. “Name?”

“Lyn Ravenwood.”

“You’re not on the list.”

“I’m with Jack.”

“I’m sorry, only one Trainer may enter at a time.”

She pleads. “Please. I’m not a Trainer. I won’t cause any harm.”

“Well...” the guy scratches his head. “Alright.”

Jack asks a question first. “What is this area anyway?”

“He used to use it for training but thieves would break in and steal equipment. Now, Stodd uses it to talk to Trainers that have challenged him from the previous week. Today is his day off and he loves to hang out in the peaceful surroundings. Though, he likes it better when it rains.”
The gate creaks closed. Knee-high grass tickles the pair as they wade through it. In the center of the half-mile square-enclosed cage is Stodd. An umbrella sticks in the ground shading him as he lay back in his white lawn chair and sipping some strong lemonade from a small white plastic table to his right. Also on the table is a stack of manilla folders. Opposite Stodd are four regular white deck chairs. As for the grass in the center, it’s cut about ankle height in a circular fashion, enclosing the lawn furniture.

Stodd removes his sunglasses from his resting face. He still has messy dark brown hair, still wearing that tan shirt with a punching glove. Oh, and let’s not forget the shorts which look like boxers and the lazy sandals over his feet.

“Ah, if it isn’t the famous Styper Mall Hero and his Moped Sidekick. Welcome to my field.”

Jack of Clovers
06-09-2005, 08:00 AM
Jack freaks out. “What... what did you say?”

Stodd laughs. “Nothing to fear. It’s my business to know everything that happens in the league. I knew I had seen that hat and face before and it took me a while to find it. I’m proud about what they say you did.”

“Let’s not talk about that. I’m trying to forget.” Jack shudders at the thought of Team Rocket coming back for revenge.

He laughs again. “A little touchy, eh? Don’t worry, our little secret. Now what’s your friends name?”

“This is...”

“My name is Lyn Ravenwood.”

“And what does Miss Lyn Ravenwood do for fun?”

Lyn is surprised to get the attention. “Me? I am training to become a Pokemon Nurse.”

“A Pokemon Nurse, you say? That’s a path I don’t see many people take. The Joy family will be hard competition. I wish you lots of luck.”

“Thanks.”

“And I welcome both of you here today. As you know, I am Stodd your gracious Gym Leader and lemonade host. Please, take a glass and sit.”

Jack and Lyn take a glass and sit in the middle two chairs across from the leader.

Stodd smiles and holds a small pin in his hand. It’s square in shape and looks like a top view of a boxing arena.

“So Jack, how are you doing?”

“I’m fine. A little nervous.”

“Why is that? Oh, right, you have no idea what you’re doing here. That’s okay, I don’t know either. I just wanted to invite someone for company today. You don’t mind hanging out with me, do you?”

“I guess.... but what about my badge?”

Stodd closes the badge in his fist. “Oh, right, this little Novelty Badge.” Stodd chuckles louder. “Interesting you would say MY badge. Technically, I still have it.”

“But I won the battle.”

“And what makes you think you deserve this badge?” He places his sunglasses back over his eyes.
Jack sighs. “I just said why. Because I beat you in a battle. That should be enough.”

“Does it? Think about what a Gym is. A Trainer has to prove himself to the leader to win the badge. Take for example a Trainer I had one time. He came in with super-powered Pokemon and demolished me in a battle but I didn’t give him the badge. Why? Because he lacked respect for Pokemon, the Stoplek League and furthermore, me. He complained to the League Council but was forced to agree to my terms. Remember, winning the battle doesn’t mean you will win the war. It took that guy four months to learn respect, thus proving to me he could win the badge and a lot more... my respect.”

“That makes sense, I guess. So how do I get the badge?”

Stodd continues laughing. “You waste no time getting to the point. Let’s chat first. How do you think you did in the battle?”

“I think I did great, except for Pinsir disobeying a couple times.”

Stodd lay back. “I beg to differ. You got lucky and skill was not involved. You made a lot of mistakes and that’s why you are here, so I can help you.

“What could possibly be wrong?” Jack crosses his arms with a smug look.

“Hear me out, okay. Then you can respond. First lets start with this.” He grabs one of the folders from the table and opens it. “Jack Kalmer. Age 17. Pine Valley. Height 5'10". Brown Hair. Blue eyes.”

“What’s that?”

“Your Trainer profile. I took the liberty of printing it out. It lists every important aspect of a Trainers history. When you register for the league, the profile starts and is constantly updated when you catch Pokemon, battle Gyms, participate in tournaments, and other areas. After I have a battle, at night I like to read the profiles of the Trainers. That way if I ask them to show up today, I can help them.” He takes a sip of his lemonade. “Let’s start with your first mistake. You’ve only been a Trainer for two weeks and that is not a lot of time. Now, a new Trainer that only knows basic rules should be learning and training with his Pokemon for two months before thinking of challenging a Gym, and that doesn’t mean he will win. I’m guessing you’ve had time to study before officially starting. I would give someone like you less than one month of learning before Gyms. But for you, you I still suggest two months.”

“What?” Jack isn’t too happy with that. “I’m ready right now.”

“Ready? You can’t possibly say that and mean it. It says here you challenged Louie at the Styper Gym in your first week.”

Jack interrupts. “But he said the battle wasn’t official.”

“It’s not an official Gym battle. Every battle inside a Gym must be documented for league liabilities. Anyway, back to what I was saying. There was no way you could win. You challenged Louie when you weren’t ready. If that isn’t enough, it says you caught Vulpix that morning. I’m sure you never even used it before you went into the battle. Listen to me. You’re main problem is you’re moving way too fast and expect too much from your Pokemon. Anyone can know how to battle in every style and they can have the greatest strategies but it doesn’t help them if they don’t have the correct Pokemon. And I will tell you right now, you have to work more with your Pokemon to get your desired effects.”

Jack stands up. “Trainers have to move at their own speed. My dad caught twenty Pokemon before reaching Plylie and defeated your Gym on his sixth day. If he can move that fast, it’s possible that I can too, with as much success, if not more.”

Stodd laughs shortly. “That’s impossible. No Trainer can get a badge within a week and have all those Pokemon. Only Pokemon Prodigies can do that. And I do believe your dad wasn’t one of them.”

“He was one of the best Trainers of his time and defeated the Stoplek Grand Champion at age twenty-seven. So don’t deny how great he is.”

“Calm down. Let’s take a look.” Stodd grabs another folder. “Here he is: Ed Kalmer. Started at age seventeen just like you. Must be a family tradition or something. Hmmm... this is interesting.” He flips a page. “Hmmm...it says his first badge was won at Mulmonty Gym and that was a month after starting from Pine Valley. He didn’t reach Plylie City until..... his third month. And even then, it took him two tries to win the badge. I wasn’t the Gym Leader during that time so I don’t know anything about the battle.”

“No,” Jack backs down, “that can’t be true. He clearly told me that he defeated Plylie Gym on his sixth day.”

Stodd disagrees. “According to the printout....... on that day... he had just caught his seventh Pokemon.”

“He told me he had twenty by that time.... he lied to me....” He looks at the ground, feeling ill at the moment. “He told me a story about him beating Plylie Gym so fast that all the other Trainers in town practically worshiped him. Why... why would he lie to me? He would never do that.”
“Sometimes,” Lyn starts. “parents want what’s best for their child and encourage them anyway they can in order to get them prepared. Maybe he was trying to psyche you up so you can be your best.”

“By lying?” He frowns. “My dad told me how fast he went through the league and he wanted me to be that fast too. But some reason he thought I was weaker than him and he thought I couldn’t do it. My friends and classmates all laughed at me. And even on this journey, other Trainers are laughing. That only makes me want to beat all of them even more. I wanted so much to get my first badge on the fifth day, before my dad did. If I could do that, it would show him my potential as a Trainer. And I might have done it too if it weren’t for Team Rocket at the mall. I couldn’t get the badge. The only way to prove to him I can still do this was to get your badge as soon as possible.” He gets an idea. “Say, how long did it take him to get the Stoplek Trophy?”

Stodd looks at the second to last page. “Badge number seventeen, Eternal City Gym. He never got to the Trophy.”

Jack of Clovers
06-09-2005, 08:05 AM
*SHATTER*

Jack’s dreams, hopes, and everything he had regarding his father have been shattered. “What else has he lied about?” He grabs his pack and pulls out the copy of his fathers journey. “This must be a lie too. Mulmonty? That’s south of Pine Valley.” And Jack went North. “All those things he said.... wanting me to become the best.....”

Jack blanks out for some time. Stodd and Lyn are too afraid to say anything at the time, waiting for Jack to make the first move. The wind stirs the grass and the clouds push through the sky. Nature is peaceful in this time of crisis.

“That must be why he said he lost the Stoplek Trophy. And wouldn’t let me see his Pokedex. And wouldn’t let me watch him training. I looked up to his wisdom and everything he taught me. Sure I didn’t listen sometimes and made it difficult for him, but I still worked hard. But was it all for lies?”

“Jack.” Stodd asks. “Jack. Look up. Don’t worry about all that. You’re a Trainer out here. You’ve read books.”

“Yea...”

“You’ve watched television.”

“Yea...”

“You’ve looked on the Internet.”

“Yea... well, no. We didn’t have the Internet. Besides, my dad wouldn’t want me using it because of all the junk.”

Stodd nearly falls out of the lawn chair. “There are some quality Pokemon forums out there where Trainers can learn from each other.”

The newsboy wearing kid slowly makes his way to stand. He looks down at the copy of his fathers journey. All watch and wait to see what Jack does..... and then he smiles. His eyes grow wide as if he’s seen something for the first time. He crushes the paper copy as small as he can.
“I’ve been so blind. I should worry about my own journey rather than beating my dad. I am on my own. I don’t need him anymore.” His mood raises as he selects Vulpix to come out. “Incinerate it.” He tosses out his crumpled paper only to see it fall into the grass. Vulpix missed. Jack sweatdrops. “Still need more practice aiming”

Stodd stands up and pats Jack on the back. “Good for you. I’ve seen too many Trainers fail because their family pressures them too much. Follow your own dream, your own path, your own goals.”

“Feels like the weights have been lifted off my shoulders. What now?”

“That’s for you to decide. I suggest you take your time with your Pokemon. Take breaks every once in a while. Kids like you need to go to the movies every now and then.” He puts his thumb up. “Remember my motto: Being a Pokemon Trainer is nothing unless you have fun.”

“Thanks Stodd.”

Stodd grabs Jack’s hand to shake it and drops a small object in it. It’s the Novelty Badge. “Your dedication exceeds far more than other Trainers and I know it will grant you success. You still need a lot of work with Vulpix’s aim, Butterfree’s weakness, and Pinsir’s defiance. I haven’t seen your other Pokemon in battle but you will figure out how to help them too.”

Jack is speechless. “Really? My first badge.”

Stodd smiles. “Here, take your Trainer profile too. Look it over.”

He recieves his manilla folder. “Can I see my dad’s profile?”

“Trainer’s aren’t even allowed to see their own, let alone someone elses. Be lucky I let you have yours. If you want to find out about your dad, ask him yourself. You will need to confront him sooner or later.” Stodd sits back down on the lawn chair. “I think that will be enough chatting for today, you probably need more time to reflect on what you just learned. The one suggestion I have for you is to teach your Pokemon a wider range off attacks. Your Butterfree is fairly weak. I suggest teaching it Confusion.”

Jack feels like crying tears of joy. “Thank you for everything. I’ll get started right away.” He starts running to the exit with enthusiasm.

“Weren’t you listening?” Lyn chases after him. “Come on Jack, let’s get back to the Pokecenter first. Take your time, remember.”

Stodd laughs to himself. “I sense a lot of great things from him. Maybe I should have reminded him he did beat his dad to a badge.”

With Jack moving in a new direction, his journey has become more personal. The rest of the day is spent at the movies and enjoying some leisure time, forgetting about training for the day. But after all that happens, today is almost over and tomorrow will be a fresh start.

End Episode 16
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
06-18-2005, 08:44 PM
~*~
Episode 17
Evolution in Destination

It’s been a couple days since they left Plylie City. Before he reaches the next Gym, Jack’s goal is to teach his Pokemon everything about battles and how they work. He also hopes to improve his Pokemon one at a time and strengthen them individually. Hopefully he is successful and it will give him an added edge when battling.

Up ahead the path splits in two, with a picnic table on the side. One path goes east to Rowest Town and one goes west to Streamington. But which way does he go?

Lyn calmly suggests, “How about we sit down and have some lunch.”

The two sit on the weather beaten wood picnic table. Some fruit is prepared with bottled water. Lyn lets Poliwag out to have some air and eat.

Two days ago, back at Plylie City:

It’s night time and the Pokecenter is closed. Everyone is asleep except for Nurse Joy whom is making last minute checks. The phone rings as Lyn dials home.

“Hello?”

“Hi Aunt Clarice. It’s Lyn. Sorry to call so late.”

“Lyn. Oh, it’s good to hear your voice at any hour. How are you sweety?”

“I’m doing fine. Traveling around is more fun than I imagined and I’m learning a lot from the places I visit and the people I meet.”

“That’s good. I’m glad to hear you’re doing fine.

“So which way...” Lyn starts asking before being interrupted.

“Hey, you two. Can you help me?” An older girl runs over to the table, slightly panting. Her orange ponytail hair sticks high above then hangs below her shoulders. She wears large round copper earrings, a long sleeve blue and orange shirt and dusty brown pants.

“Uh, what do you need?”

“I need to evolve my Marill. Are any of you Trainers?”

“I am. Name’s Jack.”

“Hi Jack, my name is Monique. Let’s battle.” She starts walking away.

“Um, don’t mind me over here,” Lyn softly speaks, feeling left out.

The two square off at the crossway with Lyn and Poliwag watching from the table.

“How are we doing this?”

Monique selects and throws a Pokeball out. “Just one Pokemon.” A small round blue Pokemon pops out. Marill.

“Okay. Here we go.” Jack selects and Butterfree phases to the field. “It’s your turn today. Are we ready to battle Butterfree?”

“Freeeee!”

“Then let’s start. Use Sleep Powder.”

“Circle around with Rollout.”

Butterfree soars upward and flaps his symmetrical wings to produce blue powder at the blue water Pokemon. However, Marill rushes forward and curls into a ball and proceeds to roll around the grass. This rolling movement prevents the powder from working on Marill while at the same time powering Marill’s strength.

“Pretty good. But we need to stop it. String Shot.”

Butterfree follows the rolling blue ball, aims carefully, and fires the sticky white line, hitting directly. But the string can’t hold on and breaks because of the rotation effect. Butterfree tries again but misses. Once more shot and it hits again but still can’t hold onto Marill.

“Great job Marill. Wait for him to make the move.”

Jack worries. “The only other option I have is a frontal attack. We have to tackle it out of rollout.”

Butterfree bolts downward and heads straight for rolling Marill.

“Quick Marill, spring free and use Iron Tail.”

Marill uncurls its round body and uses its feet to spring up in a wonderful one-step movement. As Marill rotates over Butterfree’s body, it grabs its glowing tail and uses the stretchy membrane to extend the tail and attack Butterfree from behind. Dazed from the attack, Butterfree nearly crashes into the grass but narrowly avoids by swooping upward.

“Excellent Marill. Cool it off with Water Gun.”

Marill turns and fires a strong line of rushing water at Butterfree.

Jack calls, “Go around it and String Shot back.”

With rushing water coming too fast, String Shot fires into the water. The water easily pushes the string away and Butterfree is knocked by the surge.

“Quickly, fire Bubblebeam.”

Marill opens its mouth wide and fires a concentrated stream of bubble energy. Butterfree feels the sting as they pop on impact, one right after the other.

“It’s time Butterfree. Let’s try Confusion.”

“Frreeeee!!!” He focuses hard to resist the stinging bubbles while trying to perform an attack at the same time, even one never fully used before. The antennae create a light blue aura as mind energy forms. But it fizzles out as exhaustion hits, causing Butterfree to faint for lack of energy.

“Yes. Maybe this will be enough to evolve you.”

“Maarrrr!” it shouts.

Jack pats Butterfree, hugs him, and recalls. “Good battle Butterfree. It looks like you almost had Confusion.”

Monique is disappointed. “Why won’t you evolve? We’ve had enough battles. I’ve trained you since the beginning. Evolve!” Her knees fall to the ground and she starts crying. “It’s not fair. This is too much...”

“Marill Maaar.” Marill sniffs. It turns and runs into the trees.

Monique stops crying for a second. “Not again. I can’t take this anymore.” Instead of chasing after Marill, she walks over to the picnic table and sits down opposite Lyn.

“So how is Jack?” Aunt Clarice asks.

“I was right, he is a very tough battler, highly motivated, and very strong willed. I think it stems from his dad’s pressure to become the best.”

“Some pressure is good. The finest stones in the world, like diamonds, are formed under pressure.”

“But I think he’s been over pressured. He makes decisions too quick before thinking about other factors.”

“Uh...” Jack drops his jaw. “You did notice Marill ran away, right?”

She waves limply, sighing. “She’ll be back. She’s only upset when I’m upset so she runs off to cry.”

“This isn’t the first time?” Lyn wonders.
Jack stands at the side of the table between Lyn and Monique. “If that were my Pokemon, I’d go after it without thinking.”

Lyn adds. “Aren’t you concerned?”

“Poli?” Poliwag adds.

“No!” She shouts. “I’m not worried. Marill always comes back. She has these tantrums every once in a while.”

Lyn is outraged. “And this doesn’t concern you? Don’t you care about your Pokemon?”

“Of course I do...”

“Then go after her.”

“No. I let her have her tantrum then she comes back.”

Jack rolls his eyes. “And while you stay here moping, Marill is gone. You have to go get her. It’s your duty as a Trainer to take responsibility for your Pokemon.”

“She’ll be... fine.”

Jack starts laughing. “I would be willing to go as far as needed for my Pokemon and a couple of them know it. You aren’t even going to risk trying to find your Pokemon. This is ridiculous.” He proceeds to walk to the trees where Marill slipped through.

“And where you going?” Lyn asks.

“Fishing. I’ll be back.” He steps through the bushes.

“What about his personality?”

“He’s a nice guy but not too social. We don’t spend a lot of time together. And the time we do spend together, we don’t talk very much. Sometimes, I don’t even know if he enjoys my company.”

“It will probably take some time for you two to get used to each other traveling together. He is a Trainer after all and he probably only has training on his mind.

“Yea, that make sense. But he tends to do things on his own without talking to me first. Like today, I woke up and he wasn’t at the Pokecenter. It wasn’t until night that he returned.

Aunt Clarice thinks for a second, “He needs to communicate a little more.”

“Yeah. At least he’s getting better.”

“Here Marill. Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

It takes only a minute of walking for Jack to find Marill. There, between some bushes, the water Pokemon sits and weeps. It’s definitely very upset.

“Marill,” it sniffs, twitching it’s ears as Jack walks over.

“Hey there. Let’s go back to Monique.

“MAAARR!” Marill cries and jumps through the bush to run.

Jack grabs a Pokeball, “Go Pinsir. Stop Marill from running away.”

Pinsir phases out and steps in front of Marill. The tiny Pokemon freezes, eyes widen, and it stops crying. It attempts to move to the side but Pinsir moves his arm down and slashes Marill across the front.

“Ahhh!” Jack screams. “Pinsir, we’re not here to attack it. Return.”

Marill collapses and starts crying again.

Jack takes a knee. “Come back Marill. There’s no need to be upset. Monique really misses you.

Marill momentarily stops crying again and looks up.

“Come on.” Jack smiles.

“Now, he is a trusting Trainer, right?” Before Lyn left, Aunt Clarice felt Jack had a quality about him that could be trusted but she wasn’t entirely sure. Remember, Aunt Clarice doesn’t trust Trainers.

“Yes, I trust him. I told him about becoming a Pokemon Nurse. I never planned on telling him but he figured out I wasn’t going for badges and he asked me what I am really doing.

“That’s good to tell him. It shows trust.”

“And he says I should go for it. I expected him to laugh like the others.”

Aunt Clarice is proud. “Very good to hear. I knew he was a good person.”

Jack of Clovers
06-18-2005, 08:44 PM
For a few minutes nothing is said between Monique and Lyn. Monique lay her head on the table while Lyn thinks what to say.”

“Why do you want her to evolve?”

The orange haired girl looks up. “Huh?”

“Why do you want her to evolve so much?” Lyn wonders with a confused face.

She dries her eyes. “Only one reason: Azumarill. I love Azumarill. The way it walks, the way it talks, everything. There’s nothing I want more. Ever since I caught Marill I’ve been trying to evolve it.”

“How long ago was that?”

“Two weeks. We’ve been battling day and night together and training harder than my other Pokemon. But every battle we have she doesn’t evolve. I was certain she would today because she was glowing last night.”

Lyn remembers something she came across. “Evolution doesn’t only involve battles. It takes commitment and dedication and trust between Trainer and Pokemon.”

“I guess...”

“But when you won and Marill didn’t evolve, you got upset. Marill doesn’t have tantrums, she is upset that you’re upset. I think she is trying as hard as she can but you’re acting like it’s not good enough. You need to show love and encouragement.”

“Poli!” Poliwag adds strongly.

She looks at the determined Poliwag. “I never thought of that before. But battles help the most.”
“Not necessarily. When Jack had his Metapod, he battled with it and lost. But after the battle, Metapod evolved into Butterfree. The battle was hard but I think Metapod evolved because of Jack’s determination to show his opponent Metapod isn’t weak. And he proved it in the battle, even though he lost.

“Wow.”

Lyn smiles. “You’re trying too hard to evolve her. It will come when it does, okay? As a Pokemon Nurse in training, I know evolution is not always easy. There are more factors at play than people realize. You might not realize it, but I’ve had Poliwag for three years. People have told me to evolve it but I wait until the day Poliwag wants to.”

“Poli!” ^.^

“Until then, I keep taking care of her and treating her as best I can.”

“How is Poliwag doing?”

“She’s great. Now that I’m on a journey, she seems stronger than before. We only had one battle and that was with Jack. I was lucky to beat him. Other than that, Poliwag is still a great friend to spend time with.”

“Sounds like Poliwag is having as much fun as you are. That’s good to hear.”

Monique turns around on the bench and looks down, sobbing. “I’ve done so much for Marill. I’ve tried everything I can in order to evolve her. Countless battles, special potions, and even black market attempts, but none of them worked. I’m nearly bankrupt because I’ve been trying to evolve her. I have done all that I can.”

“Not everything. You still have one more thing to do.”

“That’s right. I have to go get her back. I have to show her that I care.” She looks up and screams, “I’m coming Marill!”

“Maarrr.”

Marill and Jack had been standing at the side since the end of their discussion. Marill heard everything.

“Marill? You’re back.” She quickly gets up and rushes over to hug her water Pokemon. “I missed you so much. I’m so glad you came back.”

“Marrilllll!” Marill cries.

Monique starts crying again. “Marill! I love you. Please don’t run away again.”

“Maaarrr...!”

“Thanks Jack for retrieving her. And thanks for all your advice. What’s your name?”

“Lyn.”

“Thanks Lyn.”

“No problem.” Lyn digs through her bag and pulls out one of her two Water Pokemon Moisturizers. “Here, take this. I think it might help you and Marill become closer.”

“Really? I’ve never tried this product.”

“It’s from the official Stoplek League Professor, Proffesor Vine.”

“Oh...”

Lyn sighs. “It does work, I’ve been using it on Poliwag and she loves it.”

“Poliwag!”

Jack snaps his fingers. “That’s right. I have one of those potions too.”

Suddenly, the little blue Pokemon starts glowing brightly as tears fall from Monique’s cheek. However, the light fades away and Marill still stands.

Monique sheds tears of joy. “That was so closer.”

“Maybe you could use another battle,” Jack suggests.

“That’s okay.” Monique looks at Lyn. “I think I’ll take it a little easier.”

Lyn smiles.

But Jack still wants to battle. “You can use other Pokemon.”

“Very well.” Monique laughs.

~*~

After a good battle, Monique takes her leave. Then Jack and Lyn and their Pokemon sit down for a long lunch. Once everyone is full, bags and Pokeballs are packed and one decision still remains: two roads and one path to choose.

“I only hope you’re having fun out there.”

“Well, not really fun....” Lyn pauses. “All Jack does is battling and training and he’s always doing something, rarely taking breaks for other things, like talking to me or taking care of his Pokemon. And he does everything on his own, leaving me at the Pokecenter. I don’t know what it is, but there is something wrong that he isn’t telling me.”

“If you ask him directly about it, he might get scared. Let him tell you on his own. Get on his good side.”

“I know, but I wonder about him sometimes... I mean, we’ve only been in Plylie City for six days and he wants to leave tomorrow. I think we need to take our time and explore our surroundings. I don’t know if I can keep up with him and be able to learn all I want about taking care of Pokemon.”

“If he’s as determined a Trainer as you say, he knows what he is doing. Now that you’ve told him about becoming a nurse, tell him you want to travel slower and hang out more. I’m sure he will listen.”

“I guess but I don’t think he’ll listen. He wants to get those badges as fast as he can. I don’t want to hold him back.”

Aunt Clarice speaks calmly. “As much as I don’t want you to think about this, you must decide.... if you want to stay with him. I would hate for you to suffer in your journey so that he profits in his. But if he’s a trusting Trainer like you say, he will do what is right for both of you but you need to tell him first. I’m sure you will make the right choice and I will support you.”

Lyn sighs deeply. “I know. When we left, I thought about leaving when we got to the crossroads ahead between Rowest and Streamington. But I didn’t expect to be there so soon. I can either go with him or choose the other path. I probably have a couple days to think this over before we reach it.”

“So which way do you want to go?”

Lyn shakes her head. “It doesn’t matter.”

“You have no opinion?”

“What are you leaning towards?”

“Well, something about Rowest Town seems familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. I think I want to go there first. It’s killing me not knowing what it is.”

“Okay. Then you’re going to Rowest Town.”

“That’s the plan.” Jack stands up. “Ready?”

“I guess I’ll be heading to Streamington instead.”

“Huh? You want to go to Streamington? I thought you said Rowest.”

“I agreed that you should go to Rowest Town. I want to go to Streamington.”

“Wait...” Jack catches on. “Does this mean what I think it means?”

Lyn crosses her legs and fiddles with her hands. "I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I’ve been trying to find the best way to tell you. I think it's time we separate. I don’t feel I’m learning as much as I can traveling with you. I will learn more if I go alone. Thanks for your company, but it's time for me to leave."

“You sure?”

“Yes. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve been a great influence and I won’t forget being with you. But this is something I have to do.”

Jack walks back to the table, "It is me, isn’t it?”

She nods. “You move to fast. I need to stay in towns more and learn from other Trainers. Besides, you hardly spend time with me unless we’re moving to a new city.”

“Oh.” Jack feels bad. “Sorry ‘bout that. That’ll be the first thing I fix when we get to Streamington.”

“No. We do have to separate. It’s time. Go to Rowest Town, please.”

“Well, you should have talked to me sooner. Or maybe a little fore warning.” He still feels bad, “I guess this is goodbye."

"But not forever."

"Of course.” He cheers up. “Call me when you become a nurse. I'll come visit you for treatment on my Pokemon.”

"Definitely.”

Jack extends his hand to shake but Lyn doesn't. Instead, she stands up and gives him a nice hug. Jack hugs back.

"Thanks for giving me the second chance to achieve my dream."

They un-hug and Lyn steps away, toward the Streamington path.

Jack watches. “You’re going to be a nurse. There’s no doubt about that.”
“And you will be a successful Trainer. Take care Jack.”

“You too Lyn.”

It's so hard to say goodbye. They stand staring at each other for a minute, neither one wanting to be the first to turn their back. But it is Lyn that first turns after a wave and a big smile. Jack smiles and calmly turns down the Rowest Town path.

“It’s for the better.”

End Episode 17
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-01-2005, 10:35 AM
~*~
Episode 18
Magnificent Courage

Jack has been traveling solo ever since Lyn separated yesterday. Without Lyn at his side, he has felt lonely and misplaced. He never realized how quiet the natural land sounds and how bored he is. Lyn was someone he could talk to and she could talk back. Though he never did a lot of talking but when they did, he felt complete. He misses her company. And that’s why he has called out Vulpix to walk with him.

“How are you today?”

“Vul!”

“That’s good.” Jack reaches into his tan cargo pack and brings out the Fur Fluffer Formula. “I forgot I had this. Let’s see how it works.” He reads the directions and applies the spray to Vulpix’s fur. It’s all natural so Jack can use his hand and rub it in without worrying about chemicals. After the massage, he pats her on the head. “It says not to lick your fur or get it wet for three hours. Think you can do that?”

“Vulpix vul.”

The rest of the directions indicate to apply once a month. Each bottle is worth twelve months supply. After four years of use, the Pokemon will be used to the potion and create new cells to act like the potion. Which brings a question to mind: how much does one bottle cost? It must be expensive because it is researched by the Professor of the Stoplek League, Professor Vine. Not to forget, his unpopularity with the public majority causes low demand, thus, his prices must be high to compensate for profit loss.

Anyway, Jack and Vulpix continue hiking the dirt path to Rowest Town. The scene changes from numerous green trees to rugged terrain and small rock formations. They are about ten miles south of the Korneri Mountain Range, so he isn’t too shocked at the new terrain. However, it does make traveling harder because there are boulders in the way and the ground isn’t level all the time.

The Pokemon in this part of the forest are more numerous and much louder than before. Pidgey coo and fly from one tree to the other. A Sandshrew is seen scratching a tree for grubs. A shy Bellsprout quickly runs away, forcing other Bellsprout to follow.

“There’s a lot of activity here. I wonder how many Trainers visit this part of the forest.”
“Vul...” she comments.

That’s when Jack wanders across a small Geodude, napping under a small bush with black flowers starting to wilt. Vulpix turns and notices the rocky Pokemon and jumps backward, hiding behind Jack’s feet.

He starts laughing. “It’s asleep. It can’t hurt you.”

“....” Vulpix remains speechless.

*SIGH* “Come on, let’s go closer. It’s okay.”

“...”

Jack steps forward only one step and Geodude’s eyes open up. It quickly acts aggressive to see a human disturb its sleep. Geodude lunges at Jack, purposely missing to show a warning to the Trainer.

“Whoa Geodude! I didn’t mean anything.”

“Vuuuuuu...” Vulpix turns and runs down the path.

Jack sweatdrops. “You’ve got to be kidding. Vulpix....”

Geodude rests on the ground, watching the Trainer and Pokemon run away. “Geo?”

A shadowed figure, watching from a good distance, takes note. “Interesting.”

~*~

Jack catches up to Vulpix and both of them take a short rest under a large oak tree. He takes his hat off and brushes his hand through his brown hair. Very frustrating.

“Vulpix, look at me. I know you have a hard time with Geodude but the only way to solve the problem is to face it. You will need to fight back one of these days. You need to have courage in your abilities. I know you can do it.”

She looks down, “Vul.....”

He frowns, “If Lyn was here, I could have her Geodude come out and.... yes, that would have helped. Maybe if I have another of my Pokemon confront a Geodude, Vulpix might try to have more courage. Or I can catch one.”

The wind eerily blows past his body.

“Excuse me.” A figure steps out from behind a tree and stops ten feet from Jack. The guy wears a black as night cape covering his entire body, only showing his dark shoes underneath it. His black hair is gelled down and slicked back over his face. A long nose protrudes and a goatee sharply sticks out from his chin. His eyes are covered by the darkest of small shades which hold tightly to his face. The figure’s grin is like he is about to do something disturbing.

Vulpix acts defensive and growls.

“Yes?” Jack asks, also defensive.

“I need to make sure my facts are correct before I continue. Your name is Jack Kalmer?”

“Yea...”

“From Pine Valley?”

“Yea. What does....”

“And how old are you?”

“Seventeen. But who are you? Are you a reporter?”

The guy snickers as his arms poke through the opening at the front of the cape. He writes some information down on a pad of paper, compares his notes, then returns his arms inside his cape.

“I’m the last person you want to meet.”

He opens his cape from inside, flinging it over his back, bringing out his right arm forward with a large shooting gadget in hand. Jack stands up not sure whether to run or see what happens. But the figure presses the trigger and within a second, a curved metal bar fires at Jack’s left leg and traps it against the oak tree trunk.

“Hold still and this won’t take long.”

“ARGRGGG! What was that for?” Jack quickly realizes he has to get away. He tries to squeeze his foot through the metal bar but it won’t budge. It is very tight around his ankle and dug deep into the tree.

*THWANG* Another shot is fired, this time at stomach level. His left wrist is pinned with another bar of metal. Because his arm was twisted, having it trapped the way it is, his arm is in a lot of pain.

“Crying only strengthens the pain you feel.”

One more shot connects with Jack’s loose right arm which is up by his head. This shot is strong enough that his head knocks back into the tree causing his hat to fall to the ground. He is trapped and pinned to the tree with no chance of getting away. Only his right leg is free but that won’t help him escape.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!” The awkward pain of metal pressing his skin against hard tree bark is intense. The more he struggles, the more it hurts.

“Vulpix!” The little fox growls and prepares to defend her Trainer.

The figure laughs. “That was easier than my other victims.”

“Who are you and what did I do to you?” Jack screams.

The mysterious figure laughs shortly but soon acts serious. “This is my job. I hunt Trainers for whomever will pay me. You may know my current employers as Team Rocket, but more specifically, two members whom you’ve run into recently. They have asked me to provide a little distraction. Don’t worry, when they finish their other task, they’ll be joining us soon. I could finish the job myself but they wanted to be here and deal with you for themselves.”

Roy and Ashley, he thinks, I’ll never get away from them.

He takes out the pad of paper again and writes something else down. “Jack Kalmer: CAPTURED.”

Jack grunts, “Just who are you?”

“Why do you need to know? Are you going to tell the police? It won’t matter, I always get away. But I will humor you. Call me Magnificent Marco. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I only have one thing left to do.”

Vulpix growls as hard as she can.

Marco snickers. “There’s nothing your scared Vulpix can do against me. Especially since I just caught my secret weapon.” He reveals a Pokeball from his cape and releases it in an elegant toss.
A small, familiar rock Pokemon fades from the light. “Geodude.”

Vulpix takes one step back with worry on her face.

This is bad, very bad. Jack can’t reach his Pokeballs and he can’t even move without being hurt by the pinching metal. His only hope is to rely on Vulpix.

“Today is the day. You have to stand up to your fear. You have to fight back.” Jack encourages but isn’t sure it will help too much.

“That’s right Vulpix. This is your worst nightmare.” Marco laughs shortly. “Geodude, rush at Vulpix and try to grab it.”

“Geo.”

Geodude bounds forward, arms out, ready to grab the orange fox. Vulpix’s eyes expand and she leaps backward and stands next to Jack.

“No, fight back. Please Vulpix, you’re my only hope.”

Vulpix looks up at her determined Trainer than glances at a very menacingly vicious Geodude. Again, she runs back and hides around the tree. Geodude proceeds to follow Vulpix around the tree in a circular chase. Around and around, back and forth. Vulpix cries in the air and whimpers as Geodude almost grabs a hold.

“Hah hah hah hah hah hah. This is too funny.”

Jack cries on the inside but stays firm outside. “Vulpix, run away, into the forest. Go!”

Without thinking, Vulpix turns from the oak tree and dashes with Quick Attack to get away for the moment. The leaves rustle as she scampers through bushes and other foliage.

Magnificent Marco grasps his hand in a fist. “Make this harder for me. Grrrrrr. Come Geodude, we must retrieve Vulpix.”

Geodude bounds in the direction Vulpix headed. “Geodude geo geo.”

“I will be back, so don’t go anywhere.” Marco flips his cape and almost vanishes into thin air as he gives chase.

Jack of Clovers
07-01-2005, 10:36 AM
Jack sighs, not in relief but in disgruntlement. He calms down and closes his eyes to rest, easing the pain from his body. He looks at his wrists and foot trapped by the metal: it’s too tight to squeeze under. There’s nothing he can do but hope someone wanders along the path and discovers him here.

He decides to pass the time by trying to get his fallen hat back on his head. With his free right foot, he can hook the hat on his shoe. With a quick jerk, he tries to fling it up to his left hand at his waist. Missed. Missed. Success. He catches the hat and only has one more toss to go. This time he will need to toss it from his waist to his right hand next to his head. He misses the first shot and the hat falls back to the ground, where he will need to start over.

However, he notices that when he continues trying to flick his hat from his left hand up to his right, his stomach and mid section make a quick trust forward then back hitting the tree. He can’t directly see if he is hitting his Pokeballs but there is a distinct sound of metal; although, it could be the metal bars making the noise. Either way, Jack has indirectly come up with a plan to knock a Pokeball off his belt. It doesn’t matter which one he knocks out, as long as his Pokemon can open Pinsir’s Pokeball.

He trusts forward and back. The ridged bark scratches his back as he hits the tree a little harder than anticipated. But no luck with the belt. He tries again and again. With each hit, he imagines why he is doing this, why he is suffering, why he would take this much pain for his Pokemon. He won’t let this stop him and if he can beat it, then he will be much stronger and gain the respect he deserves. Each thrust is a stab at Team Rocket and how they have messed with his journey. Each stab is at his dad for the lies and betrayal. Each stab puts his determination closer to obtaining his goal. Each stab...

*PING* A Pokeballs unclips from his belt. *THUNK* It lay on the ground next to his overturned newsboy hat. He reaches his free foot over and rolls the Pokeball until the round button in the middle is visible. All he has to do is press the button and....

...the red beam pops open and a large shape appears. There’s only one large Pokemon Jack has, and that is Pinsir.

“GARRRR!” Pinsir growls.

Jack sheds a tear. “I’ve never been so proud to see my Pokemon before me.”

Pinsir stares at Jack and looks around for danger. Then he looks back at his Trainer. “GAAHAHAHA...”

He frowns. “Yes, hahaha. Very funny. WE DON”T HAVE TIME FOR THIS. Vulpix is being chased by a thief who is working for Team Rocket.”

Pinsir shrugs lazily.

“This isn’t the time to disregard what I’m saying. We have a fight coming up and I’m sure you’re ready to win big.”

“GRRRRRAAAAAAA!” Pinsir psyches up and slashes one of the metal bars holding Jack’s hand.

~*~

Vulpix has no idea how long she has been running or how far she has gone. She only knows that if she stops, Geodude will get her. The only thing against her is how much stamina she has, which is depleting quickly. Anxiety and being unaware of where she is going, Vulpix is losing the ability to keep going. It is only until she runs into a dead end against a cliff where she finally stops. But she only stops to panic, not sure where to go or what to do from here.

The cliff base is rocky with plenty of large boulders to hide under. There are no trees under the cliff and that’s probably because any boulders that fall will trample them. The sun above is positioned so that the cliff base is covered in shade. This would make a nice temporary hiding place.

Vulpix runs over to one of the boulders that has space behind it and hunches down to get under. But a small moving light brown boulder turns around: it has eyes. GEODUDE. A Geodude was already there and now disturbed. *SMACK* Vulpix is knocked out from behind the boulder with an angry Geodude waving its fist. The fire fox panics and proceeds to find another boulder to claim her hiding spot only to realize a resting Geodude is there too. Vulpix freaks and backs off. Is this whole area filled with Geodude? She decides it’s unsafe and attempts to bail the area.

“There you are.” Magnificent Marco and his Geodude step up, blocking Vulpix in the cliff base. “There’s no way out now unless you can fly.”

“Vul...” she mutters fearfully.

Marco spots the other Geodude. “Geodude, call your friends over to help. Tell them Vulpix is trying to run from her Trainer, me.” He pulls a Pokeball from inside his cape and calls out a medium sized orange and black furred dog. “Growlithe, you’re my backup.”

“Grow.”

His Geodude calls out to the other Geodude. “Geo geo. Dude geodude. Dude geo geo. Geodude.”

The two disturbed Geodude nod back. Three more Geodude appear from their hiding spots in the nooks of the cliff. They all surround Vulpix and increase their closure of the circle.

A Flashback occurs in Vulpix’s mind. This is the exact same thing that happened when she was inside the cave. The Geodude’s surprise attacked from all sides and wouldn’t stop attacking. She hunches to the ground and curls her six tails toward her body. The images from the cave pound her every time she imagines a Geodude hitting her fur. One after the other, the pain grows with each hit. She’s afraid, too afraid to fight back. Fear is rising. Her only instinct is to cry out in pain but she’s too afraid to open her mouth.

“Vulpix, I’m coming. Where are you?” A shout can be heard from the far distance. Jack has been following the trail of tracks in the dirt, hoping it leads to Vulpix.

Marco raises an eyebrow behind his skintight shades. “Impossible.”

“VULPIX!” he calls again, louder.

Vulpix’s uneasiness builds up and becomes uncontrollable. She is ready to scream....

“Grab Vulpix now, quickly.” Marco orders.

Time seems to slow down in this moment as all the Geodude ease in and bound at the fiery fox for a dogpile.

Jack, who is riding on Pinsir’s back, rushes into the scene. “Vulpix. No. Not again.” Seeing this brings back memories when he discovered Vulpix in the cave. He can’t bare to see it happen again. “You can do it Vulpix!”

Hearing Jack’s voice over the commotion, Vulpix feels a needed energy to fulfill her banishment of fear. She stands on her four legs, opens her mouth, and calls out...

“VUUUUULLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL ...” she screams in the deepest echo, having help from the cliff walls.

The group of Geodude drop from the air, covering their rocky ears and cringe from the high-pitched roar. Marco’s Geodude turns to a red beam of energy and fires back to his Pokeball. Growlithe hunches to the ground and stares back at Vulpix, trying to overcome the loud bellow but because of the close proximity, it affects Growlithe but not in the return-to-Pokeball kind of way. Likewise, Pinsir is slightly affected and kneels down but he doesn’t return to his Pokeball. Jack slips off Pinsir’s back and slightly covers his ears too. The rest of the Geodude turn and run away to hide in the cliff rocks.

“Vulpix...” she huffs, and puffs, using a lot of energy and to roar that strongly.

Marco takes a knee and slowly shakes his head from the ringing. “How could you escape? It’s not possible.”

“Nothing’s impossible. Especially when nothing will stop my dream. Come on Pinsir, let’s show him.”

Marco quickly rushes up, holding a Pokeball in hand with his faithful Growlithe by his side, recovering from the roar. “I should have finished you off when I had the chance.”

“Too bad, so sad.” He takes a commanding lead. “Pinsir, knock Growlithe away with your horns.”

“Marco screams, “Defend yourself with Fire Wall.”

Growlithe turns around, hearing a ringing sound still in its ears. The fire dog couldn’t hear the command and doesn’t know this is a battle. So when Pinsir rushes up, swings his horns left, then slams them right at Growlithe, the lack of defensive strength creates a stronger hit of damage, sending Growlithe flying away unprepared.

Jack points out, “Take Down for the win.”

Pinsir focuses his rush to where Growlithe landed and doesn’t even wait for it to properly stand back up. *SMACK* Growlithe is down, out, and finished.

Magnificent Marco recalls Growlithe and screams. “Not... finished... yet...”

“I’d say it’s over.”

Jack had already started rushing over while Pinsir was battling. Marco reaches inside for another Pokeball but Jack arrives in his face and lands a punch across his body. His cape opens up as he falls backward, dropping his shooting device and a couple Pokeballs. Pinsir moves over to Marco and presses him against the rocky wall.

Jack picks up the gun at aims it at Marco. “Let’s see how you like it.”
*TWANG*

~*~

Jack, Vulpix and Pinsir stop after a short walk away from the intense action. He is highly impressed with Vulpix’s improvement today.

“See Vulpix. I knew you had it in you. With your new Roar attack, you don’t have to be afraid of anything. Unless it’s a Pokemon like Pinsir and doesn’t have an intimidating effect.”

“Gra.”

Jack laughs. “But we can’t rely on Roar all the time. You need to power your tactics and practice your abilities more. Today, you proved how strong you can be. Tomorrow, we will improve it.”

“Vulpix!” she smiles.

A major step was taken today, even though it won’t be the final one. Vulpix’s dramatic experience with Geodude has been subsided thanks to Magnificent Marco. And Jack has learned a lot about himself too. He learned that even in a situation where it’s obvious who will win, perseverance will provide help to the person who has the will and determination to be the victor.

End Episode 18
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-10-2006, 01:06 AM
~*~
Episode 19
Biding My Time

Rowest Town, the town embedded next to the mountains and thriving with trees. It’s a small town with only a few buildings that scale up to ten stories high. Mostly residential and family businesses keep the town alive. Before arriving to town, there are farms around the town. It doesn’t look like the best place for farming, since the land isn’t always level, and the mountains are so close. Perhaps there is something in the soil or a town tradition they follow.

Either way, Jack is ready and can’t wait to find out why he wants to visit Rowest Town. It’s on the tip of his tongue but he can’t quite remember. So he steps through the sliding glass doors of the Pokecenter, hands his Pokemon over to be healed, and asks Nurse Joy if there’s anything special here.

“Special? Maybe you mean our Pokemon battling facility. See the bulletin board over there.”

Jack walks to the right of the counter in the lounge where all the fliers are posted. The largest one talks about a contest to see how long a Trainer can battle.

“I think this is why I remember this town. It has to be.”

“Looking to battle at the Stamina Contest?” a Trainer interrupts.

Jack notices the other Trainer. “Of course I’m going to battle. A Trainer should participate in contests and tournaments wherever and whenever he can.”

“You think you’ll do well. It’s a lot harder than it seems. It tests you and your Pokemon strength and ability to work together. Very competitive! For an outsider like yourself, whose never seen it before, it’ll be a challenge the first time.”

“I think I can handle it well enough,” Jack smirks with confidence.

“Ha,” the Trainer laughs. “You seem like a cool guy. I only hope you battle as well as you are determined. Show up tomorrow morning, I’ll be there with some of my friends. We’ll show you a good time. Name’s D.J. You?”

“Jack.”

After walking around town, Jack returns to the Pokecenter. Darkness swallows the town faster because all the trees blocking light. Street lights blink on and the sky is clear with stars. For a moderately sized town, the air is clean, almost pure with no smog blocking the stars. It’s very nice to see for a first time.

He sits down on his bed at the Pokecenter and opens a small pamphlet he found containing rules about the Stamina Contest.

You are only allowed one Pokemon per attempt.
You may never recall your Pokemon to your Pokeball.
You are not allowed to leave the designated circle unless noted by an employee.
You are allowed to use only one healing item on your Pokemon. Healing moves may only be used during battle or when designated by an employee.
You are allowed 5-7 minute breaks between battles. You may eat but only what you bring with you into the circle. You get a half hour break every four hours to go inside and eat a meal or go to the bathroom.
Employees of Stamina Contest will occasionally battle opponent Trainers so that they may change the current rules. Battle rules can only be changed by employees defeating an opponent Trainer or if an opponent Trainer leaves the contest.
If you lose, you can’t face the same Trainer twice until that Trainer is defeated by someone else in which you may battle the new Trainer.
Keep going until you lose and see how long you can last. Failure to follow any of the rules listed above will result in immediate forfeit. No questions asked!

“I wonder who I should use. Pinsir is definitely my strongest and probably could last the longest. Pinsir will be excited to have a challenge like this. And we will win.”

~*~

“....”

Jack opens his eyes as if they were held down by bricks. He turns over, blurrily blinking to see the time on the clock.

“Oh no. I slept in. Argg.....”

Within minutes, he changes clothes, eats some breakfast, cleans up, and sets off to warm up with his Pokemon. It’s almost lunchtime and he had hoped to be at Stamina Contest earlier in the day. But after yesterday’s event with Magnificent Marco, maybe a good, long sleep is what he needed.

Now, a couple hours after lunch, Jack is warmed up and ready for Pinsir to clean house. Though, Rattata did show interest at the very mention of such a contest. Maybe Jack would use his other Pokemon later. But he wants to start off by impressing the D.J. and his friends with his skill.

Stamina Contest is in the southeast corner of Rowest Town, furthest away from the Pokecenter. The surroundings are clear with an occasional tree blocking the sun. The place is surrounded by a fence made of thick logs with small balloons of various colors tied to them. After walking through the gate, to the left is a log building called Rest Stop Cabin with all the modern conveniences of home: television, some comfy chairs, refrigerator, and even a console system. Connected to that building at the end is the Registration Window, where a challenger would sign up and wait in line to be next. On the right are grandstands facing inward. As Jack moves closer, there are grandstands on all sides, containing the battle field in the middle. The field is a standard dirt and rock field but no large boulders and no visible dust: only flat ground with an occasional small rock. The field is also at a lower level, using stairs at either side to get down. A difference he notices on the field is that there isn’t any painted white lines like a traditional battle field. There are only two medium sized circles on either side, which is probably for the Trainers to stand in. In the middle, at the far side, is the ref, carefully watching the match with both eyes.

The grandstands are 10 levels high and each hold half a dozen fans. On a good day, it looks like each one can hold 60 people. Some of the fans are obviously only here to watch battles while the others are here for the challenge. But Jack can’t sit down to watch, he steps right up to the bars that protects anyone from falling over the side into the field below, which is a good ten foot drop.

One of the battlers is D.J. He wears sunglasses on his blond head. He has a tan overshirt unbuttoned and one white undershirt for layering. His pants are dark green cargo style denim. The other battler is some guy wearing a grey shirt tucked into his dark pants and wearing a grey baseball cap with white initials SC on it. It looks like D.J. has a Charmander while the worker has a Meowth.

“Wow, you don’t see a Charmander much around here.” He pulls out his Pokedex.

Charmander: The Lizard Pokemon- The fire on its tail is always burning. The height and intensity of the flame determines Charamander’s health. This Pokemon evolves into Charmeleon and then Charizard.

“That would be cool to work here. You get paid to battle and see Pokemon from other places.”
“It’s more than that. Employees do a lot more than battle.” A female wearing the same outfit and hat steps up to the railing. “We aren’t just any Trainer, we’re tough. We go out there and battle, mostly for fun, but occasionally to change the rules.”

“Can’t you change the rules after the battle?”

“No, that’s not how the system works. Rules can only be changed when an Employee wins the battle or if the other Trainer quits. We’ve had the current rules for a couple days and today we’re going to try and change them.”

“What are the rules?” Jack questions.

She sighs. “Only lowest evolution Pokemon are allowed. If Jonny wins, the rules will change to height class. I think it will be four feet and up.”

“Do you think a Pinsir is tall enough?”

“I can’t answer all your questions. You can find out all the information at the Registration Window. If you’ll excuse me,” she grabs a broom and pan, “I need to sweep for people who can’t walk five steps to throw away their trash.”

Jack turns back to the battle. “I hope Jonny wins.”

Meowth slams backwards from a hit by Charmander. Charmander huffs and puffs and smiles.

“That’s the way. Flamethrower victory!” D.J. calls.

The fire line of flames spew out and engulf Meowth. Meowth twitches its crispy body and falls down, unable to continue.

The ref waves the flag. “D.J. wins. The rules remain the same.”

“Yes!” he cheers. “Good match Jonny. I won this time.”

Jonny recalls Meowth, “I’ll have you next time.”

Jack sighs. “Aww, he lost. Well, I better register and hope the rules change when it’s my turn.” He starts walking away when...

...D.J. notices the familiar hat. “Hey, it’s Jack. He finally showed up. Jack!!”

Jack turns, “Hey D.J. I’m going to register right now.”

“Don’t bother.” D.J. turns around to the grandstand behind him. “Hey Rick, you were next right?”

“Yea...”

“Let Jack ahead of you. He’s the guy I met yesterday. I want to show him how it’s done.”

Rick smiles. “Yea. Alright.”

D.J. turns to the ref. “Hey Ref, Rick said that kid over there can go in front of him. Is that okay?”

The ref nods. “I have a name you know.”

He ignores him. “Awesome. Come on down Jack, let’s battle.”

“You sure. I just got here.”

“No time like the present. I’ll show you how it’s done.”

Battle... but... the rules... I want to use Pinsir. Jack walks around, finds the stairs down, ends up on the battle field, and walks into the circle. “What are the rules again?”

“One Pokemon and it must be the lowest evolution form.”

“Oh.” Who do I have that qualifies? Vulpix, Pidgey and Rattata. Vulpix wouldn’t be good against a fire type like itself and Pidgey might not last as long as Rattata. Rattata did show interest. This is not the way I want to impress them. “Wait, don’t you get a break?”

D.J. sighs. “I don’t have to if I don’t want to. Hurry up and select already.”

“Fine. I’ll show you what I can do.” He grabs his Pokeball and throws it out to reveal a small, purple rat. “It seems like we always fight fire types.”

Rattata gnaws his teeth quickly.

The whole crowd falls down. -.-

Rick shouts from behind, “Hey, I thought you said he would be cool.”

“A Rattata? You have a lot to learn about how the Battle Stamina Contest works.”

“What did I do wrong?”

“Nothing. I thought you would have sent something stronger. A Rattata typically doesn’t have a lot of stamina.”

“That’s where you are wrong.”

“On the contrary. I’ve been battling here for two years and have only seen a Rattata win two battles one time. They don’t have the energy to last.”

“Allow me to upset you then. Go Rattata, Quick Attack.”

“Rushing in won’t help. Ember attack!”

Rattata moves it’s tiny legs forward as fast as he can. The little fireballs of ember spark from Charmander’s mouth and spread out, aiming at the fast rat. With Rattata’s experience in fighting fire types earlier in the journey, he’s adapted to evading and taking the heat. Rattata dashes left then right to avoid and moves in closer.

“It’s dodging too fast, defend with Metal Claw.”

Charmander’s tiny claws glow light gray as it puts them up in defense of its body. Rattata leaps over and connects to Charmander. However, Charmander blocks with its claws and knocks Rattata down. Then it quickly swipes down with Metal Claw and knocks Rattata away, rolling across the ground.

“Yes.”

“Isn’t that an advanced move?” Jack worries but he isn’t ready to give up. “Quick Attack has to work. Move away from the claws next time. Get in there again.”

Rattata gets back on his feet and rushes again, dashing side to side. But Charmander is ready still and slashes down with its glowing claws. *MISS* Rattata leaps away at the last second and stands behind Charmander.

“From behind, duck...”

“Char!” Charmander is hit in the back by Quick Attack and stumbles on its feet. It regains hold and turns to face Rattata.

“Good shot Rattata. Keep it up!”

D.J. smiles. “Use Smokescreen.”

A pillow of heavy dark smoke is released and surrounds Charmander and Rattata. Rattata coughs and squints his eyes as he tries to make his way around the smoke.

“Get out of there.”

“Nice work Charmander. Slash it.”

Noises can be heard from inside the smoke as the crowd awaits for a Pokemon to come out. That’s when Rattata is knocked out from the cloud and slides across the ground eventually stopping on Jack’s side of the field. Rattata manages to get back up but he doesn’t look like he can handle much more.

“I need another tactic or I’m going to lose.”

“RRRRRAAATTTATAAAAA!” Suddenly, through Rattata’s rage and ability to keep fighting, he starts to glow lightly. That can only mean one thing: he’s evolving. However, Rattata stops glowing and only stands there, in full defense position with locked joints and a fierce frozen look across the field.

Jack doesn’t know what to do. “What just happened?

Rick shouts, “I think he’s using Bide. Watch out!”

D.J. shouts back, “I know what it is, I’ve been battling longer than you have.” He addresses to Jack. “You never want to use Bide here, especially with the weak defense of a Rattata. You will faint before you get the chance to use the strength.”

Bide? Which attack was that? Jack grabs his Pokedex and flips to the Attack section.

Bide: The Pokemon who uses this special move remains in full defense for a short time, absorbing all damage taken. The Pokemon will be vulnerable to all attacks; however, its defense will raise slightly. When Bide is ready to be released, it will deal double the damage absorbed in its next attack. While it can be a very strong offensive attack, the Pokemon remains in stiff defense until Bide is over. If the Pokemon absorbs more damage than it can sustain, it will faint.

“Oh, that move. I didn’t know Rattata knew Bide. Maybe he just learned it.” He calls out to his Pokemon. “Okay Rattata, it’s up to your defense now. Show these guys how strong you are.”

Jack of Clovers
10-10-2006, 01:07 AM
“Use Flamethrower!”

Charmander inhales and exhales the firestream. It nails the unmoving Rattata, causing burns and scars to appear. Rattata remains strong in the face of fire and continues staring back. The heat becomes more intense as Charmander tries harder. Rattata fur blackens with ash but still he is unmoving. There is a definite zeal about Rattata and his ability to keep going.

“Come on Charmander! Beat it already.”

Charmander pushes pressure harder but suddenly stops to gasp for air. The fire lizard pants and pants, slightly sweating from the hard work. And Rattata still stands with a scratched, burnt, and charred body. In this time of opportunity, Rattata loosens his body and is released from Bide’s defensive structure.

“Rrrraaaaaa.”

Jack cheers. “Yes! Use Quick Attack to enhance your Body Slam.”

Rattata dashes over, much faster than any times before. The added boost of strength is just what Rattata needed to get back into the game. The darkened rat leaps into the air and pummels down at gasping Charmander. The ground below forms an indent like a crater, pressing Charmander into the dirt. Rattata steps back and slowly walks to his Trainer’s side, almost warn out.

“Charmander can no longer battle. D.J.’s reign is over, Jack wins.”

The crowd cheers with some moans at D.J.’s loss.

“I did it,” Jack says surprised. He approaches Rattata. “You okay? I know that battle took a lot out of you.”

“Rata,” he nods, heavily bruised and shaken.

D.J. steps out of the circle. “Sorry for what I said earlier. Your Rattata packs a mean punch. I didn’t think it would have the strength, especially after using Bide so late in the battle. You earned that win.”

“Thanks.”

According to the rules, Jack is allowed to take a break after a battle. He decides to take it, seeing how Rattata needs some time to rest. He also takes advantage of the ‘Use one healing item’ rule, spraying some of his Super Potion on Rattata. Rattata screams without noise but relaxes as the burning sensation dissipates. Bide absorbed a lot of damage so Rattata won’t be at half strength for the next battle. But his heart will still push him to win.

“We have to show these guys you can win a second battle. You are strong enough. I know you can do it.”

“Rattata..”

Time’s up.

Rick steps down from the grandstands to the circle on the field. He’s a round guy, a little smaller than Jack. He has a long-sleeve aqua jacket with hood and dark shorts. He also has sunglasses on his head darker blond hair.

“I guess you are cool like D.J. said you would be. But I don’t think you’ll get any further.”

“Go get ‘em Rick.” D.J. calls from the stands.

Rick’s small thick hand tosses out his Pokeball, revealing a blue-shell body, a small tail, and a bald head with big eyes.

“Squirtle squirt!”

Squirtle: the Tiny Turtle Pokemon- This Pokemon’s shell helps protect its body by recoiling inside it. It uses its powerful mouth to shoot water at its enemies. This Pokemon evolves into Wartotrle and then Blastoise.

“Good, it’s not another fire type.”

The ref waves the flag and the match begins.

“We can do this Rattata. Move in with Quick Attack.”

“Turn around,” Rick calls.

Rattata dashes forward, but not as fast as before. Although, it is still fast and strong enough. Squirtle simple turns his body so its shell is facing the rat. *THUMP* Rattata knocks his head into the shell and bounces back, dazed with a headache.

“Ah! Don’t attack the shell, Rattata. Go for the underbelly.”

Rattata shakes his head to get rid of the sting and focuses back to attacking. Squirtle’s back is still turned, making any attack from here a bad idea. Rattata moves to the side, ready to attack.... but Squirtle simply takes a step and turns his body with Rattata, keeping his shell pointed at him. Rattata continues a half circle around but doesn’t have the energy to go fast enough to out-turn Squirtle. He stops and pants. Squirtle turns his head and glances at Rick.

“Not yet Squirtle, wait a little more.”

Jack ponders to himself, “What an interesting strategy. Rattata’s not fast enough to get around or strong enough to do damage to the shell. Maybe Body Slam... no, wait... better idea. Rattata, charge in now.”

Rattata grabs the strength and runs at Squritle, whom is ready to block it again.

“Jump over.”

The blurred purple rat leaps up and over Squirtle’s head and lands in front of it.

“Quick Attack.”

“Ahhh... Withdraw.”

Directly after landing, Rattata turns his body and leaps into Squirtle’s chest for a direct hit. Squirtle falls back and withdraws into its body after the damage is taken. It rolls around and the legs, arms, and head pop back out.

“Great job Rattata. We can beat him.”

The whole crowd is surprised and begin cheering for Jack’s Rattata.

Rick smiles. “Wow, that was amazing Jack. But you can’t do it again.”

Squirtle stands back up with its shell pointed at Rattata again.

Jack doesn’t know whether or not to take the challenge and try it again. He doubts he will be successful again because Rick is ready. He decides to try something else.

“Don’t let it block us Rattata. Charge in again.” Once his Pokemon moves in, Jack calls out his next step. “Now bite the tail!”

“Water Gun the ground in front... whaaaa??!!?” Rick shouts, confused.

Squirtle sprays the ground with water, expecting Rattata to leap over and land there, slipping from the water. But Rattata does not jump over. Instead, the rat chomps down on the blue tail with his sharp teeth.

“SQUIRT!!!”

Squirtle turns quickly and flings Rattata off with Tail Whip. If Rattata was stronger, maybe he would have held on longer.

Rick complains, “No fair. You’re supposed to jump over and Rattata would have slipped in the water.”

Jack can’t help but laugh. “Someone recently told me not to try the same tactics unless I know I can be successful.”

“Squirtle, face your enemy. Let’s win this.”

The turtle Pokemon stops rubbing its tail and faces Rattata across the field. Rattata stares back, heavily panting with legs wobbling.

“Water Gun.”

“Dodge it.”

Squirtle sucks in air and exhales a medium stream of water pressure. Rattata is too tired to move and takes the hit, pushing him back a few feet.

Jack realizes the situation. He can’t win. Rattata doesn’t have the strength to defeat two Pokemon. Especially one with a good defensive shell. He watches Rattata’s legs shakily bring his body to stand, barely. He can’t take one more hit. I have to stop this.

“You’ve put up a good fight Rattata but you can’t take anymore.” Jack brings up his Pokeball. “Return...”

The beam shoots out but Rattata jumps to a new position.

“Rattaaata!”

“What are you doing? You’re too tired to battle and I don’t want you more injured than you already are. Return....”

Rattata manages to dodge the beam again.

“Rattata. I know I said we have to prove how strong you are, but I have to keep you safe first.”

Rattata slowly turns around, with sharp eyes, and shouts at Jack. “RAAAATTATAA!!”

“Fine...” Jack sits down. “You have to learn for yourself.”

“Okay...” Rick mutters.

Rattata glows lightly again. Maybe he’s evolving this time. The light is brighter but Rattata remains in position, defensive position to be exact. Rattata is using Bide again.

Jack sighs.

Rick is unsure what to say. “You could return Rattata now.”

“You’re right, I could...” But Jack doesn’t.

Rick points, “Then I will attack. Rapid Spin.”

Squirtle jogs forward, leaps shortly and withdraws into the shell as it spins like a flying saucer. The unmoving rat is hit multiple strikes and knocked back. Everyone knew it was over but surprisingly, Rattata manages to remain in defense.

Jack lifts up his sunglasses in shock. “He’s still up.”

“Let’s try something else. Body Slam.”

This time Squirtle moves back and runs in, leaps higher up, flips his shell over and slams Rattata into the rocky ground below. A sharp shrill can be heard and stops when Squirtle is back on its feet. Rattata flops to the ground with a weakened body. It’s over.

“Phew.” Rick sighs. “That was tougher than I thought it would be.”

Jack stands and recalls Rattata without a word. He then steps out of the circle and shakes Rick’s hand. “Good battle.”

“You too. The next time we battle, I know you’re Rattata will beat me.”

“I can guarantee that.”

Minutes later, Jack is sitting on a sofa in the Rest Stop Cabin eating a snack from the vending machine. He’s deep in thought... *POP*

“Hey Jack,” D.J. falls back on the sofa. “It’s tougher than you thought, huh?”

Jack’s blank face starts laughing. “Haha. Nope, that was fun. But I did learn a lot about Rattata. I wonder what I can learn about my other Pokemon if I use them?”

“That means you’ll be staying for a while?”

Jack nods. “Yep. I won’t be leaving Taht Vista until I am stronger.”

~*~

For the rest of the day, Jack sits in the stands and watches battle after battle. By observing these battles, he can see how to use his Pokemon in battle and better prepare for tomorrow. At night, D.J. invites Jack to stay with him instead of the Pokemon Center. Dinner is being prepared and after a short introduction of D.J.’s family, Jack excuses himself to the guest room.

“Rata.”

Jack sits on the floor of the guest room tossing the Pokeball back and forth in his hands. “How are you feeling Rattata?”

“Rata!” he snarls back.

“Oh, you’re still mad. But don’t blame me, I tried to help. You can’t battle until you have nothing left. There is a thing such as exerting yourself so much that you faint and never recover. You know, dying.”

“Rarrraratatatta ataararrraratttta raattata ar rat rattatatata,” he says with strength in his voice.

“I know you want to show your strength, and you are strong, but...” Jack comes to realize what D.J. said earlier, “there’s only so much your body size can do. We have to be careful not to overdo it in battle.”

“Rattata!” he sternly yips, turning his back.

“Hopefully you will learn.” Jack unsurely says, recalling Rattata. Dinner is ready.

End Episode 19
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-23-2006, 06:18 PM
~*~
Episode 20
Trials of Friendship

The night grows old, the dinner was delicious, and everyone is satisfied with how the day ended. Tomorrow, Jack can’t wait to battle at the Stamina Contest.

*RING RING*

Jack motions to his pack and pulls out his ringing cell phone. Who would be calling this late? As soon as he turns it on, he can hear someone weeping from the other end.

"H-hello?"

"*SNIFF* Jack? It's me, Lyn. I don’t mean to call so late but...”

“Huh? What is it?”

“...you, you remember Roy and Ashley... from Team Rocket, right?”

“Yes...”

“They’re gone.... they stole my Pokemon." He can hear the crying. "I should have never gone on my own. It was too early. I’m not strong enough..." More crying and sniffling can be heard.

"Lyn. Shhhh. Calm down. The police will get them back, I'm sure of it. Why I bet you will see your Pokemon in two hours or less." Jack tries to cheer her up. "How are you calling me? I didn't think you had a cell phone."

"I'm at the police station giving a description to Officer Jenny. They told me the chance of finding my Pokemon back safetly was minimal. *SNIFF*..." She pauses as another voice talks to her. "Oh, alright.... Jack, I have to go. Other people need to make calls."

“Wait, before you go, tell me what happened.”

“.... I was outside the city this afternoon, walking around.... *SNIFF* I was jumped... and I lost them.... I tried to chase... but, but I couldn’t.... it was hopeless... the forest was too big... Jack... they said they were coming for you and....” she says as a moment of silence breaks.

“Lyn... be strong and I know your Pokemon will be found. Have faith in your Pokemon too, and they will find there way back.”

“Thanks Jack. I won’t give up yet. But what about you?”

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine. You worry about your Pokemon first.”

“Right.” A muffling sound is heard. “Oops, I have to go, there are people waiting. I’ll try again tomorrow. Bye.”

“Okay, bye.”

Jack takes a moment to breath, laying back in bed. He yawns, “Poor Lyn. After everything she’s been through to go on a journey and become a nurse, this happens.” His voice grows deeper and angry. “And she had nothing to do with Team Rocket. If I was there, I could have done something... This is my fault.”

After an hour in bed, he awakens in a stir. Immediately he changes clothes and prepares his stuff to leave. He looks around to see all the lights are out except for a crack of light behind one door. He knocks and enters.

D.J. looks over from his desk. “Oh, hey Jack. I thought you were asleep.”

“I was. My friends’ Pokemon were stolen,” he says quietly so as not to wake anyone up. “I have to help her.”

“Meh... now? You know what time it is, right?”

“I don’t care. For every second I wait, the less chance I have to find Team Rocket. Thanks for letting me stay but I have to go.”

D.J. rests his head in his palm, “It’s midnight, can’t it wait until tomorrow. It’s not safe to travel at night.”

“You don’t understand my situation. Take Care.”

Jack waves goodbye, closes the door, and exits the house. It’s a crisp and clear night, not a cloud in sight, yet no stars are visible. Midnight is not a good time to be walking around in shorts and a t-shirt. A single breeze and Jack shivers as if being touched by ice. The atmosphere itself is very peaceful with a nice blend of shadows from the street lamps.

A nice walk later, following the road out of town, he turns north and enters the natural environment. No lights and nearly everything is covered by shade. At least the faded moon allows some light to break through the crowded trees. Even still, it is nearly impossible to figure out where he’s headed. He’s more likely to get lost.

“First thing I do is to buy warmer clothes and a flashlight.”

So far the path has been eventless and clear of obstacles. But as he peers further into the forest, it becomes darker further down.

“I won’t be able to see much, or even find the spot where Marco tried to catch me. But I can’t stop. Lyn is counting on me.” He hears a weird noise in the distance, causing a chill over his body. “Maybe I need some company.”

Pinsir is called out, not only as company, but for a guide. And hopefully to build more trust between them.

“Graaa...” he shortly screams, looking around at the night surrounding. A big smile lights his face.

“Oh, happy are we. I guess being cold is better than being hot, especially for a bug Pokemon.” Jack laughs.

“Srrrr,” he growls.

Jack explains the dilemma as they walk. Pinsir didn’t seem that interested except the fact that he might get to battle against Team Rocket.

“So you don’t care about me. You don’t care about Lyn losing her Pokemon. What do you care about?”

Pinsir grunts as they walk up an incline.

Discomforted, Jack tries to explain. “People and Pokemon need each other to live. We can’t do everything by ourselves. You need a friend as much as I do. In the Pokemon training world, we have to trust each other. I know you didn’t ask for a Trainer. I didn’t ask to wait four years extra years to start. I didn’t ask for a demanding father. I didn’t ask for a lot of things but they happened to me anyway and I had to deal with them. I made the best of the situation and grew stronger, more prepared for what life may throw at me. You also have to think ‘it could be worse’. I don’t like thinking about it, but there are some abusive Trainers out there. I’d say you’re pretty lucky to be with me, as easy-going as I am.”

“Grir.”

As the two step over the top of the incline, Jack’s feet start sliding forward, but he catches himself by leaning back for balance. However, Pinsir’s top-heavy body causes him to slip forward and slide down the wet grass. Jack bends down to reach, and not fall himself, but his arm isn’t long or quick enough.

“Graaaa.....”

Jack shouts, “Hang on Pinsir, I’m coming.” He scrunches down and digs his fingers into the ground. Slowly, he slides down the much steeper side of the hill, grabbing the earth so he doesn’t go too fast into the unknown darkness. After a long couple minutes, the ground quickly smooths level but it only lasts a few feet. After that is a rift in the ground, darkened by the lack of light.

“Pinsir! Are you down there?”

“Graaaa!” echoes through the rift.

“Hold on, I’ll get you out. First I need to know where exactly you are. If only I had some light down there. It’s too bad you don’t learn any electric moves.” Jack looks around for a long stick or vine or something, when he gets an idea from what he just said. He carefully walks to the dark edge, “Pinsir, use your Focus Energy.”

It becomes calm as Jack watches the rift, looking back and forth for any hint of light. There, to his left, a faint glow and outline of a big Pokemon appears. Pinsir’s claws are dug into the wall of earth keeping his body from falling into the darkness below.

“Aha, there you are.” He repositions above Pinsir. “I don’t think I can reach down that far.”

Soon, a light shines as Pidgey is called out from her Pokeball

“Hey Pidgey, I need you to fly into the rift under Pinsir and push him up.” Jack leans over the side. “Pinsir, when Pidgey lifts up, I need you to climb the wall. Once you’re close enough I can bring you up.”

“Pidgey!”

“Graaaa,” he complains.

Jack leans into the wet grass-dirt floor, staining his shorts. Pidgey flies under the lightly glowing brute, flapping her wings as hard as she can to push Pinsir up. Slowly, Pinsir raises and his outstretched arms loosen up. His right claw comes out and digs back in higher up the side. And then the left.

“I know you can do this Pidgey.”

“Ggeyyy Piii......”

Pinsir is almost near the top. A claw comes down and grabs earth just before the top, but it’s loose and Pinsir loses grip, causing Pidgey to lose lifting pressure. Pinsir is falling back.... as Jack lends his right hand out, grabbing the loose claw, which digs into his hand nearly causing him to bleed. Jack’s left arm is extended back digging into the dirt holding himself from being pulled in.

“Don’t... give... up. Team effort... guys.”

Jack scoots himself away from the rift, using all his energy to bring Pinsir back up, while Pidgey screams trying to push Pinsir’s large body. Pinsir lets his other claw free of the wall, being fully supported by Jack and Pidgey, and makes a last effort grab for the top.

“Phew!” Jack gasps, panting as he lay outstretched on the floor next to his Pokemon. “Great effort guys.”

“Gra!” Pinsir gasps.

“Pidg!” Pidgey gasps as well.

“That.... was awesome.” He smiles.

After wrapping his injured hand with left over guaze, Jack and Pinsir continue there walk. While resting, Jack found it funny when Pinsir kept pointing to his Pokeball, making the whole ordeal as simple as recalling him from the rift.

“Where’s the fun in that?” Jack laughs.

“Gra,” he rolls his eyes.

~*~

“This looks like the spot where I left Marco in the wall, but it’s so dark I can’t tell. What do you think Pinsir?”

Pinsir shrugs.

The cliff rocks are barren and the shadows cover nearly everything under it. “If Marco isn’t here, then that means Team Rocket already got to him first. They couldn’t have gotten too far. Let’s go.” As excited as ever, Jack and Pinsir run through the trees, frantically looking around for any sign of movement.

“Ah...!” Jack stops in his tracks. He is caught in a trap in the middle of the air. A web. “What is this doing here?”

“Gaahahaha...” Pinsir proceeds to chuckle.

“Haha.. Very funny. Cut me loose.”

The nearly invisible web is cut and Jack is free to move. Although, removing the excess webbing is proving harder.

But a few yards away, a creature leaps from the tree toward the human.

“Give me a hand here...” Pinsir knocks Jack down in a menacing hit, causing him to lose his hat and hit his injured hand. “Ga... that hurt. What was that for....” He then notices Pinsir hit something against a tree.

The shadows step back for a moment, lighting the area. A small Spinarak reveals itself with eyes black as death itself, its mouth foaming with silk, and its legs standing ready to leap. Pinsir readies his own claws and beady eyes, growling back in strong defense.

Jack stands with a head rush, nursing his hand from the pain. “Whoa, surprise attack.”

Spinarak leaps with its fangs ready to grab. Pinsir quickly responds with a forward slash, but missing as Spinarak saves itself by using String Shot on a tree to pull away. Soon after, Spinarak connects string shot on Pinsir and ties it to the tree.

“Wow,” Jack marvels, pulling out his Pokedex. “That little guy can move.”

Spinarak: the Stringspit Pokemon- This Pokemon is commonly found at night in trees. It spins a web using fine, but durable, thread. It then waits patiently for prey to be trapped so it may attack unsuspectedly. This Pokemon evolves into Ariados.

Pinsir yells and easily slashes the sticky string with his claws. But by this time, Spinarak has already leapt at him and lands on his face, quickly firing more string. Struggling, Pinsir wildly waves his own claws at his face, missing and scaring himself.

“Shake it off.”

Enraged, Pinsir blindly rushes around and unexpectedly slams headfirst into a tree. Spinarak screams as it is pressed into the rough bark. Pinsir falls back and continues to scratch at his face until the webbing is clear.

“Oh, nicely done Pinsir. This little guy is pretty strong. Let’s see if we can get it to join us.” In a bold move, he is going to try and catch this Pokemon rather than it freely joining him.

“SPINARAK!” the spider shrieks. Soon, half a dozen other Spinaraks and a few Ariados awaken and surround the area.

Jack’s stomach grumbles. “Wow, look at them all.” Pinsir steps next to him and point on his back. “Huh? You want me to climb on?” Pinsir nods.

He jump on as Pinsir runs, grabbing Jack’s hat on his way. The area is pelted with String Shot as Pinsir evades to safety. Every now and then he would need to slash at any other webs that might be in the way.

The Trainer laughs. “Who would have thought you cared more about my safety than battling all those Pokemon.”

The Bug Pokemon grunts, but can’t help to smile watching Jack laugh like that.

“Let’s take a break to eat and rest.”

~*~

Jack of Clovers
10-23-2006, 06:18 PM
“Nyaa..aa..ah...” Jack yawns and stretches his eyes. Light filters in, blurring everything around. “Oh man, it’s daylight. I must have fallen asleep.” He slips on his sun glasses, returning his eyes to normal. There, he sees Pinsir sitting next to him, silent as ever. He must have been up all night watching the area..

“Thanks for standing guard Pinsir, I appreciate it.”

“Zzzzzz.”

Jack sweatdrops. “You never cease to amuse me.” Pinsir is recalled.

A faint aroma stifles the air and Jack can’t resist the temptation of food. Not having eaten anything since dinner, along with all the exercise last night, he cooked up quite an appetite. He follows his nose around the brush and trees until discovering a suburban parked in the forest. Most would think a car parked in the forest to be odd, but all he can think about is the smell.

Mmmmm, bacon and eggs.

“I wonder if they wouldn’t mind a little company.”

Before Jack can make his presence known, two people appear from behind the suburban. As quick as he can, he ducks behind a bush hoping not to be spotted. The very people whom he was searching for, were parked no more than 20 yards from where he slept last night.

“Breakfast is served.” Roy says preparing two plates.

Ashley brushes her medium dark green hair, trying to get all the knots out. “It’s about time.”

Jack remains silent and still. There’s been no voice that sounds like Marco, so maybe they haven’t found him yet. After five minutes of remaining still, an interesting conversation starts.

“What’s the plan today?”

Ashley swallows, “First we need to find that Magnificent Marco guy. The idiot hasn’t answered his phone yet.”

“It might be the trees or even the nearby mountains causing a bad signal,” Roy suggests. “Or maybe his battery died.”

“Maybe. But,” she ponders, “I have a bad feeling about Marco. His methods are unreliable in this new age of Pokemon thievery. We should have taken Jack and he taken Lyn.”

Roy jabs back, “Are you kidding? Stop doubting everything. Marco is one of the best in his field and won’t fail. And with such short notice, we were very lucky he was available. Don’t worry, the plan was perfect.”

“Was?”

“Huh?”

“You just said was, as in past tense. You’re doubting it too.”

Roy sighs, “Lighten up sis. You’re always worrying about the details. Everything will be fine.”

“I hope so. Because if it isn’t, you’re going to explain all this to the boss. Including the mishap at the mall.”

“Fine.” He finishes his the last scraps. “So how do we find Marco?”

“If there was trouble and we couldn’t contact each other, the plan was to meet in a specific area in the back of the forest. We can’t drive there since the ground becomes mountainous. I’d say it’s a two hour walk from here. I’ll leave Clefairy here to guard the car while we’re goine.”

“Perfect. And by noon time, we’ll have Jack’s Pokemon to complete the set. This is why you don’t mess with Team Rocket,” Roy cheers.

“If you thought the look on her face was priceless, I can’t wait to see Jacks’.” Ashley says in a very revengeful manner. But something catches her eye...

“What is it Ashley? Something...”

“Shhh,” she whispers. “I saw something move over there.” She grabs her Pokeball as she walks toward the bush.

Uh-oh. She’s coming over here, I know it. Think. Think of something.

Ashley nears the bush when a soaring Butterfree jumps out and flies overhead, nearly scaring her to death. Back at the car, Roy can be heard laughing his head off.

“Freaking Butterfree’s. By far the weakest third evolution in history.”

“Free?” Butterfree retorts flying around.

Roy immediately stops laughing. “Take that back. You know as well as I do that that is untrue.”

“Here we go again.”

While they argue, Butterfree takes the opportunity and grabs the Pokeball from Ashley’s hand. Quickly, he soars up and flies in the opposite direction, away from Jack.

“See how smart they are.” Roy continues.

Ashley mutters under her breath as the two of them chase after Butterfree.

With the coast clear, Jack makes his move. The suburban is unlocked but highly unorganized inside. There are a mess of gadgets, food, maps, and other equipment. Even some buckets of paint. Trying to find Lyn’s Pokemon might be harder than it looks.

“I don’t want to know what this is I’m touching.”

Under a pile of magazines and newspapers in the back, there is a hidden compartment. He pops the release and hits the jackpot, so to speak. Inside lay a number of random Pokeballs and rare Pokemon related items. Lucky for Jack, Lyn’s Pokeballs had custom Pokeball etching and were easily found.

“But what about the other Pokeballs? I can’t leave them like this.”

“So...we meet again, Jack Kalmer.” Roy speaks as he walks closer. “What do you think you’re doing here? You don’t want to be the hero again, that’s for sure. It’ll be less painful if you simply give us what we want. Then you and I can go our separate ways and never bother each other again.
“And I’m supposed to believe that, from Team Rocket.” He sends out Rattata and Vulpix.

“Anxious to battle, are we? Good news for you is my Pokemon are in the car. There is no reason to fight. Bad news is,” he holds out a small device, closing all the doors and locking them, “now you can’t rescue the other Pokemon we worked so hard to steal. I will let you leave peacefully, for now, but expect to see us again soon.”

“ENOUGH!” Jack shouts in defiance. “I didn’t travel all this way to hear you talk. I came to help a friend, for which I’d do anything.” He looks at the two Pokeballs in hand. “I may have her Pokemon but that doesn’t mean it’s over between you and I. I’ve done nothing against you since that day in the mall, only what any regular Trainer would do to protect him and his Pokemon. And for that, you choose to chase me, not for my super rare Pokemon, which I don’t have, nor for any of my strong Pokemon, but you chase me for spite. SPITE! What I don’t understand, is that there’s nothing to get from stealing from the average Trainer except the fact that you hurt our spirits and see the look of failure on our faces. These Pokemon mean so much more to us than anything else in the world, while they mean absolutely nothing to you. Do you really think your spite is more powerful than our will as a Trainer? It isn’t. And this is where we draw the line.”

“Someone has issues. Get over yourself.”

“Rattata, go get the keys from him.” Rattata lay on the ground, absolutely refusing his order. “Come on, help me out here.” The purple rat shook his head. He quietly returns Rattata to his Pokeball.

Roy runs to the car, “Why would we want those Pokemon anyway. Haha.”

“Vulpix, stop him. Use Quick Attack.”

Vulpix dashes forward and slams into Roy’s chest, knocking the wind out and forcing the keys to drop.

“Holy crap! It’s Jack.” Ashely says as she stumbles back. “That idiot Marco, I thought you said he could do the job.” She holds out her Pokeball, retrieved from Butterfree. “Doesn’t matter, we will still win.” Clefairy is called out.

“Where’s Butterfree?” Jack worries.

“Who cares about that weak thing. You have more important issues at hand. Clefairy, use Sing.”

“Use Flamethrower before...”

Clefairy opens up and hums a beautiful sound. The vibrations reach Vulpix’s large ears and rattle inside. Vulpix coughs out a weak stream of flamethrower, which directly hits Clefairy. However, she has become rapidly tired.

“Snap out of it, use Ember.”

“Teleport and use Double Slap.”

The fiery ember balls slowly shoot out, but Clefairy teleports away, directly behind Vulpix. An onslaught of rough Double Slaps ensue, causing Vulpix to lose concentration and tire out.

“Sing again.”

Clefairy jumps on Vulpix’s back and sings into her ears. With close proximation, Vulpix falls fast asleep.

“Return, go Pinsir.”

Pinsir is called out, but no usual “Grawr” is heard. Pinsir is still asleep.

Roy comments as he walks to the car, “We were afraid to battle him... why?”

“He’ll wake up if I hit him.” Jack whispers to himself. He runs over to slap Pinsir over the head...

“Teleport.”

Within a second, Jack is transported 10 feet back, slapping the air in front of him. “Uhg.”

“Oh,” Ashley emphasizes. “A present for me. You shouldn’t have Clefairy. A whole belt of Pokeballs, how’d you know.”

“Clefairy fairy!”

Jack realizes he’s been made a fool and on top of that, his belt was taken while he was teleported. “That’s not fair.”

Roy returns next to Ashley, holding his Pokeballs. “And we’re growing impatient.” Ashley recalls Pinsir. Jack is out of options.

“Let me guess,” Roy starts. “Poor Lyn calls and you try to stop us and get her Pokemon back. Oh how noble. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t end happily. Well, for you that is.”

“You have no idea how much pain you put me through. My Raticate is being fitted for braces! I’m the laughing stalk of Team Rocket.”

Jack notices a flutter in the background. It’s Butterfree, making his way back. He needs to stall for time.

“So, that’s why you went after Lyn first and not me? To get even for what she did to Raticate...”

“Well....” Roy says.

“Yes. She deserved to feel as much pain and suffering as I did. It is too bad I didn’t bust her teeth out too.”

“It wasn’t necessary to go after her. Only Jack was the threat. But she insisted and we dare not split up between the two of you. And...

“Roy, Shut Up! You’re exposing information again.”

“It’s not like he’s going to tell anyone after this.”

“Oh,” Jack smiles, “I’m afraid I will. Butterfree, use Stun Spore on them.” Jack takes shelter.

Butterfree flies in from behind with a surprise attack. The yellowish powder rains down on the two humans and Pokemon. They cough, trying to get it out of their lungs, but to not avail. Roy and Ashley are down, shaking from an almost immediate affect. However, Clefairy is a little tougher.

“C.l..eeff...y... Si...nngg....”

“Nice work Butterfree. Try Confusion.”

Clefairy tries and tries but can’t muster the same beautiful rhythm as before. It sounds like a skipping record. Butterfree is given enough time to concentrate and performs a blast of blue energy, knocking Clefairy down.

“Yes, you did it. Not a strong Confusion, but it worked.

“Free!”

Jack walks over the battlefield, picking up everything that belongs to him and Lyn. With his belt back on and Lyn’s Pokeballs safely in his pocket, he grabs the keys from Roy.

“No...ooo..oo.”

“I’m sure the paralysis will wear off. And if it doesn’t, then you can expect the police to pick you up soon. For myself, Lyn, and every other Trainer out there, we hope we don’t see you ever again.”

He hops in the suburban, starts it up, and drives off. Once he hits the street, he uses a red spray can found in the back to mark a tree with an arrow pointing in reverse. He then looks at one of the maps and finds the best direction to Streamington.

“Th..hii...isss...sssuc..cks.” Roy mumbles.
“Nooo... wooor...ssse...thhhaan...thhat...oth...er...tiime? ” Ashely grumbles.
“D....don’tt...even...mmmmen...ment...ion...it.”
“Faaai......aairy... ry.. Cle...”

End Episode 20
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-03-2007, 10:18 PM
~*~
Summary
Episodes 11-20

These Episodes revealed more information about Jack and Lyn. This was also where Jack started to really training his Pokemon. From Gym battle, to Team Rocket, and finally to the Battle Stamina Contest, the challenge of being a Trainer begins to show.

Ep.11
They ran into Roy and Ashley of Team Rocket and have a battle in the woods. Team Rocket was luckily bested and chose to run away rather than keep fighting. Jack chased them. When he found them, he realized he didn’t want to be the hero again, like at the mall, and decided to let them go. Team Rocket wouldn’t make it easy and attacked back, using Clefairy to Teleport Jack away. Eventually, Jack re-met with an unhappy Lyn. She didn’t like him suddenly abandoning her like that.

Ep.12
Jack received a phone call from home to get to the nearest Pokemon Center. Before that, the same kid that made fun of his Caterpie back in Episode4, challenged him to a battle. The kid, Trevor, used trash talk to weaken Jack’s concentration, causing him to make foolish mistakes. We also learned Jack can have a horrible temper when provoked, and even see a flashback of his first anger fit. Jack lost the battle but gained a Butterfree.

Ep.13
At the Plylie City Pokemon Center, Jack talked to his dad over the phone. He was very upset with Jack’s slow progress, stating he caught 20 different Pokemon by his sixth day. It has been a week so far. His dad took back Pikachu and Bulbasaur, and returned Pinsir to Jack. To pass the time, Lyn showed Jack Pokeball Etching, a place that etches designs into Pokeballs. Later that night, they went to a lecture for new Trainers. Stodd, the Plylie City Gym Leader, was the lecturer. They learned more about the league and the Trainer’s Code.

Ep.14
Before challenging the Gym, Jack had to train his Pokemon, especially Pinsir. However, Pinsir was stubborn and wouldn’t listen to him or participate much in training. After training, another Trainer tried to take his backpack. His Pokemon were too tired to battle strongly and Pinsir disappeared. Thinking he failed, Pinsir returned to help and saved the day. Jack was glad Pinsir came back and impressed with his strength. Unknown to Jack, Pinsir only did it to get the water bottles back for Jack’s tired Pokemon.

Ep.15
Plylie City Gym Battle. Jack against Stodd. No audience allowed, so Lyn had to wait elsewhere. First, a test to hit a bull’s-eye, which Butterfree hit easily. The battle was 2 vs 2, Butterfree against Tyrogue first. Tyrogue dodged all poweders but couldn’t jump high enough to hit Butterfree. Eventually, the two collided, and the fighter Pokemon sucked in Poison Powder and was severely weakened. Stodd recalled Tyrogue and was down to his last, Primeape. Butterfree was taken out in one punch. Then it was Pinsir’s turn. The two were evenly matched with strength, but Pinsir still had to learn to listen to Jack. However, luck was on his side, when Primeape entered rage and wouldn’t listen to Stodd. Jack had won. But Stodd didn’t give him the badge, telling Jack to come the next day, so they can talk about the battle.

Ep.16
Next day, Lyn confessed she wanted to become a Pokemon Nurse, wanting to explore the world before taking classes. Later, the two entered Stodd’s training field. With the help of Jack’s Trainer file, Stodd is able to tell him what he needed help with. His main message was ‘to slow down and have fun’. Jack defends his method by saying his dad was a great trainer. Stodd opened Ed Kalmer’s file and revealed the truth. His dad never beat the league, only winning 17 badges. Other lies were revealed and Jack’s trust was shattered. Everything his dad said was a lie. But Jack continued onward, even more ready to prove to his dad how great a Trainer he can be. Stodd hands over the Novelty Badge.

Ep.17
Jack and Lyn left Plylie City and continued north. They met Monique. Jack battled and lost. Monique yelled and cried because Marill didn’t evolve yet, causing Marill to run away. Lyn comforted Monique about raising Pokemon and waiting for them to evolve when they are ready. She understood and wanted Marill to come back. Meanwhile, Jack went out and convinced Marill to return. Trainer and Pokemon reunited, becoming closer. She thanked them and headed out. The path ahead split east and west, Streamington or Rowest Town. Lyn decided to leave Jack and go to Streamington, saying he moved too fast and was hindering her own learning. He tried reasoning but understood. They hugged and went their separate ways. Jack headed for Rowest Town.

Ep.18
But on the way, Jack met an interesting character: Magnificent Marco. Marco surprised him by shooting metal bars, pinning him to a tree. Luckily, Vulpix was out but Marco scared her away with Geodude. Marco chased after Vulpix into the forest. Jack wiggled and knocked a Pokeball off his belt: it was Pinsir. Once free, Jack searched for Vulpix. Meanwhile, Vulpix had been running and ended up at a dead end, below a large cliff. Marco caught up and uses the wild Geodude nearby to catch her. With all the fear bottled up, Vulpix learned Roar to scare away the Pokemon. Jack found them and used Pinsir to defeat Marco, then used the gun to pin him to the cliff. Afterward, Jack was proud Vulpix learned a new attack, especially one that could help her lose her fear of Geodude.

Ep.19
He arrived at Rowest Town. At the Pokemon Center, he met D.J, whom told him about the Stamina Contest. This was a type of battling but not by normal standards. Different rules were in place all the time. The basic idea is a Trainer battles until his Pokemon faint. Jack trained a little and was ready to show of his Pinsir the next day. As it happened, his first challenge was against D.J. and the rules were1v1, lowest evolution form Pokemon. Jack couldn’t use Pinsir, so he chose Rattata instead. It was Rattata against Charmander. The strong-willed Rattata put up a great fight, and learned Bide in order to win. D.J had never seen a high stamina Rattata before. The next opponent was Rick, a friend of D.J.’s. He had Squirtle. Rattata tried but was too tired. Jack wanted to recall Rattata but he disobeyed. Rattata disobeyed the orders too and used Bide. But was defeated. Rattata was really upset with Jack.

Ep.20
Lyn called late at night, saying her Pokemon were stolen by Team Rocket, Roy and Ashley. Jack decided to leave that minute and head to Streamington and get her Pokemon back. Him and Pinsir travel the midnight light, protecting one another, and earning trust. At morning, he happened to come across Team Rocket in the forest, having breakfast. What luck! He caught them off-guard and won all the stolen Pokemon from them. He escaped using their stolen SUV and continued to Streaminton, to surprise Lyn.

His Current Pokemon
Rattata -Male- Tackle, Growl, Quick Attack, Bite, Body Slam, Bide
Pidgey -Female- Tackle, Quick Attack, Gust, Sand Attack
Butterfree -Male- Tackle, String Shot, Harden, Sleep Powder, Poison Powder, Stun Spore, Confusion (sort of)
Vulpix -Female- Ember, Flamethrower, Quick Attack, Tail Whip, Roar
Pinsir -Male- Body Slam, Vicegrip, Bind, Focus Energy, Seismic Toss, Slash, Take Down

~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-22-2007, 02:49 AM
~*~
Episode 21
Partnership

Before long, he makes it to Streamington. The road he was on took him straight there, give or take a couple swerves around large hills. However, finding the Pokecenter wasn’t an easy task and he had ask someone. Once there, he asked Nurse Joy if she had seen someone named Lyn.

“Oh, yes. But I haven’t seen her for a while and I don’t know where she went. Nice girl too. She was ready to help me around...”

Jack wasn’t in the mood for talking. If Lyn’s not at the Pokecenter, then where else... Where do you go when your Pokemon are stolen? Ah, the Police Station. He thanks Joy, asks for directions, and drives off.

It’s only a three block drive to the station, where he parks in the rear parking. Stepping through the door, there were only a few people in the waiting area. Beyond the receptionist, beyond the glass windowed wall, many officers and staff members were busily walking around or talking into a headset. Looks like a busy day. There, at one of the desks, he saw her sitting with her back turned.

“Excuse me,” Jack asks of the receptionist, “but may I go back there? My friend is there and I came...”

The receptionist turns, “Which one?” Jack points to the girl with blue hair. “Oh, her. She came in last night crying puddles. We had to call the janitor to clean it up. She’s calmed down over night and currently waiting for an update. Sure, go on ahead.”

He thanks her and steps through the thin door separating the door areas. After a row of desks, he stands behind her wondering how to do this. He’s a bit nervous about how she might react. But here goes...

“Ahem...” he coughs.”

She turns her head, looking up. Her eyes widen as much as possible, either in surprise or she’s holding back tears. “Jack! But... what are you doing here?”

Jack nearly falls to the ground, “That’s your first reaction? ‘What am I doing here?’ Thanks Lyn, now I feel special.”

“I’m sorry Jack, I didn’t mean to...”Lyn starts apologizing when she sees what he’s holding in his hands. He is presenting two Pokeballs to her, her Pokeballs. “Jack...” She hesitates to grab them, instead, she wipes her eyes. “Jack... you didn’t...”

“Now what kind of friend wouldn’t do this for another friend.”

Lyn leaps out of the chair and grabs Jack with a huge friendly hug, almost causing Jack to drop her Pokeballs. After a minute, she moves back, tears rolling down her cheeks. She grabs her Pokeballs and hugs them hard, never wanting to let go.

“Jack.... Thank you!”

“All in a days work,” he says, trying to sound cool like the movies. It’s too bad he doesn’t have a video camera. He’d like to tape this moment and send it to Team Rocket. Look at her face now, those aren’t tears of sadness, they’re tears of joy.

Emotions set aside, Jack reveals any information about Team Rocket he can, summarizing from the mall up to this morning. He tells the police about the marked tree to find Ashley and Roy and that Magnificent Marco might still be stuck in the cliff wall. But he doubts any of them are still there. Team Rocket is resourceful at making escapes. He also hands over the suburban and hopes the Pokeballs go back to their proper Trainers.

The police want to give Jack a reward for his daring rescue, but he refuses stating he didn’t do it for any reward. But they are persistent and insist that if he ever needs a favor, they will gladly help. That’s all he needs to hear.

Unfortunately, this turn of events has put a cramp in Jack’s plan. Even with a Gym in Streamington, he wanted to go back and fight at the Battle Stamina Contest in Rowest Town. He could easily go back but... the fear of Team Rocket out there, waiting for him to do just that, haunts him. He knows he can beat them but he’d rather not take that chance so soon.

Lyn feels the same way. She’d rather be in a city you can get lost in, than a small town where almost everyone knows everyone else. She’s also not ready to leave the city yet, even if it’s to walk a few miles in the wild. Team Rocket could jump out at any moment and.... she’d rather not think about it. But there is Jack, her protector, even though he is a bit afraid too, even though he won’t admit it. She can see it in his eyes.

There is also the issue about the Jack-Lyn partnership. Lyn was very prominent that she needed to separate from him for her own good. Even thought Jack didn’t like the idea, he respected her wishes. And now they were together again, but for how long?

They both talk it over a late lunch, early dinner. Lyn is heavily thankful for Jack helping, but she is still afraid they might come back. Jack knows they will be back, moreso for him but he knows they will attack Lyn only because it frustrates him. So he makes an offer to Lyn:

“If you and I stick together, Team Rocket won’t stand a chance. We’re better as a group than individuals.”

“Right,” she cheers.

“We can’t let Team Rocket stop us from achieving our dreams.”

~*~

After a couple days staying at a small hotel, paid for by the police, Jack and Lyn are given the news by one of the officers.

“We followed the path into the forest like you marked, but found nothing. As we broadened the search, one of our men spotted a suspicious group of three. Unfortunately, they managed to evade us. We’ve been tracking them ever since and the trail leads south, toward Plylie City. We’re hoping to ambush them before they make it into the city. It’s all thanks to you.”

Jack nods, “As long as they are far away from here, we can get back to our regular lives.”


“Ahhhh. Doesn’t it feel wonderful today?”

“Everything is better when Team Rocket isn’t around,” Lyn adds.

The two step over some rocks as they make their way into the wild. Jack hasn’t done any physical training in two days and he is itching to start again. He grabs his Pokeballs one by one and calls them out. Rattata, Pidgey, Vulpix, Butterfree, and Pinsir.

“Good morning everyone.”

“Vul!”

“Piiiige”

“Free!”

“Graaahahaha...”

Rattata is the only one not excited. Jack kneels down to comfort him but Rattata jumps away and growls.

“What happened to Rattata?” Lyn questions. She calls our her own Pokemon: Poliwag and Geodude.

“When I was battling at the Stamina Contest, I wanted to recall him because he was too injured. But he refused and wanted to keep battling, so I let him. I think that’s why he’s mad at me.”

Lyn looks at Rattata. “I’m sure Jack did it because he cares for your safety. Winning isn’t everything if you become too injured to do it again. He was trying to help...”

“I already tried to explain,” Jack interrupts. “He won’t listen to reason. I’m hoping it will go away over time.”

But Lyn knows it has to be much more than this. With her basic understanding of Pokemon behavior, she can pinpoint the exact problem given enough time.

"Halt. You have stepped into my training area." A kid with a bug catching net shouts out. “I don’t like people around here.”

“Whoa, take it easy. It’s not like there are any signs posted.” The kid points to his left, where there is prominently a sign posted. “Oh.”

Jack and company are about to turn away when Rattata leaps forward and proceeds to growl at the kid.

“Ahh,,, stop that. Your Rattata is crazy.”

Jack sign and pulls out his Pokeball to return Rattata, but Lyn pushes his hand away. “What...”

“He looks ready to battle.” Lyn points, “See the way the feet are spread out, that’s a battle stance popular to many Pokemon.”

Jack’s mind flashes: he remembers Rattata in that stance when they first met, preparing to fight the Ekans. “Hey kid, you mind a battle?”

“Huh?” The kid dumbly says. “A battle? I guess so. Let’s make in three on three.” The kid grabs a Pokeball from his pant pocket and tosses it out. Spinarak.

"Alright Rattata. Are you ready to battle?" He asks, as the remainder of his team watches from behind.

Rattata doesn’t wait for an order and leaps forward with what looks like Quick Attack.

"Tear that Rattata apart with Night Shade."

A purple-ish beam covers Rattata, slowing his pace down. Rattata dashes right and regains his speed, knocking into Spinarak hard. The spider slides across the ground and quickly regains stance. By this time, Rattata is already speeding his way for another hit. *SMACK* Spinirak is hit square in the side again.

Jack watches, trying to figure out what is going on. He cheers nevertheless. “Good job Rattata.”
The kid panics, "Use String Shot.”

While Spinarak rises from the tackle, Rattata quickly moves in and sinks his fangs deep into one of Spinarak's leg. Spinarak limps around the grass, shooting sticky white goo everywhere but at Rattata. Rattata doesn't let go at all. Soon Spinarak stops moving around and simply winces from the pain of the bite.

“Rattata, let it go. You’re biting too much.” But Rattata refuses to listen. “Hey Kid, recall your Pokemon.”

The kid does so and Spinarak is back in the ball. “What’s up with your Pokemon?” He then sends out his next: Paras.

Lyn watches and wonders. “Jack, don’t say anything during battle.”

“Why?”

“Trust me.”

Jack shrugs and sits down.

"Your rat won’t beat me this time. Paras, Poison Powder."

Paras shakes its skinny body to produce purple spores, aiming them at the charging rat. Rattata ignores the powder, closes his eyes, and slams into Paras. With such a weak physical body, Paras is launched across the ground and collapses. Even still, with Poison Powder starting to effect, Rattata rushes in and jumps, legs widened, and lands heavy onto Paras’ back, causing any remaining purple dust to cloud the area. The purple cloud blocks any viewing, and only went Paras is tossed out does anyone know what’s going on. After dissipating, a visible Rattata coughs and weezes as he stands his ground. Paras is knocked out.

“Oh my gosh. What is going on here?” Jack is at a loss for words. Stunned, speechless, bedazzled can’t compare to what he’s feeling. He’s never seen Rattata so strong, yet mindless at the same time. “I can’t believe the risks he’s taking.”

“Jack...” Lyn says for comfort.

Jack of Clovers
01-22-2007, 02:50 AM
The kid is, likewise, shocked. “Shelder, you’re my last hope.” The little blue shelled Pokemon pops out.

Lyn laughs, “Ah, isn’t that cute how its tongue sticks out.”

Shellder: the Bivalve Pokemon- It’s shell can withstand any physical attack. However, when it is open, it is more vulnerable. This Pokemon evolves into Cloyster with the use of a Water Stone.

A water Pokemon won’t be very effective on land. But that shell is great defense. The only way for Rattata to win is to use Bide. But... Jack looks at Lyn, if she’s right, I have to let him battle on his own.

Rattata staggers back and forth. The poison has definitely infected his entire body, making this battle much harder for Rattata, especially his weakness to move and keep his eyes focused. But he will continue.

“Wait for it to attack, then we strike.”

“Sheeeeeeellllllddeeerrr.”

The little purple rat wobbles forward, trying to use Quick Attack but not moving in a straight line. Luckily, the attack hits but Shellder’s high defense deflects the fleshy body, nearly absorbing the contact damage. Rattata kicks back, shaking his head from the horrible recoil. Shellder slowly trudges forward and clamps down on Rattata’s body, screaming in sharp pain. It’s a good thing Shellder don’t have teeth or this would do more damage. Rattata kicks and screams and panics just enough so that Shellder loses hold. Rattata barely remains standing, struggling to breath and keep focus.

Jack stands up. “I can’t let this go on. Return...” But, like at Battle Stamina Contest, Rattata uses any strength left to avoid the red beam. Frustrated, “You can’t battle like this. You’re far too injured and poisoned. Physical attacks won’t even work. Please, think about your health.” Rattata turns away, in stance mode. He used Bide. Jack sighs.

“Tackle it Shellder.”

Before Shellder moves, Rattata collapses. The poison has taken control.

“Rattata!” Jack runs out. He’s still breathing. He picks Rattata up and brings him over to Lyn. “You can help him, right?”

She frantically looks in her bag. “I have some Antidotes I can use. It will help but we will need to get him to a Pokecenter soon enough.”

“After the battle.” Jack clutches his fist and faces the kid. “Rattata, if you can hear me, you did great today. Rest easy.” He looks back at his group and selects Butterfree. “This should be pretty easy.”

Pinsir sighs, hoping to be chosen.

“A flying Pokemon! Hehe...” the kid mumbles to himself.

“Use Poison Powder.”

“Withdraw.”

Butterfree hovers above the blue shell, releasing a fuchsia powder from his wings. It easily covers Shellder, but can’t break the shell. Not to mention, it has withdrawn itself for even more protection.

“We need to get that shell open. Try a Confusion attack.”

His antenna glow lightly, pushing a wave of energy at Shellder. The bivalve Pokemon is hit aside, yet does not open up.

“Try again”

But Butterfree has exerted a lot of energy to use Confusion. He has yet to perfect it and still requires a lot of concentration. But still, he tries again, lightly glowing his antenna...

“It’s weak, use Icy Wind.”

Shellder opens the hatch, sticking his tongue out as if giving everyone a raspberry, and quickly blows a chilly wind upward. Butterfree is struck before he can release another Confusion. A bit of frost begins to build up.

“Finish it off with Aurora Beam.”

Directly after the cold wind, a multi-colored beam shoots out and slams into Butterfree’s chest. Butterfree winces and slowly flaps to the ground, out of energy.

“Great try Butterfree.” Jack clasps the Pokeball back on his belt. He smiles at Pinsir, Vulpix and Pidgey. Pinsir smiles back. “Let’s go Pidgey, you’re turn.”

Lyn’s jaw drops. “What!!? Is Pidgey ready to fight?”

“I don’t know,” Jack pats Pidgey on the head. “But if I keep waiting and waiting, I will never find out. Pidgey can do it.”

“Pii.” Pidgey flies out.

Pinsir grumbles and throws a clump of grass at Jack, jokingly.

“Another flying Pokemon. This is my lucky day. Withdraw.”

“Dive in with Quick Attack.”

Pidgey soars up, still with bandages on its right wing. Then like an arrow, Pidgey nosedives down and swoops into Shellder, hitting it sideways and spinning. Pidgey climbs back up, ready to go again but stops to recover.

“Ouch. She hit one of the spikes on that charge. We need to get it open. Hmmmm.... oh... Pidgey, use Gust.”

The little bird drops altitude to get close enough. She then quickly flaps back and forth, creating a nice gust. Shellder slides in the grass and suddenly flips over from a rush of wind, continuing to slide back.

“It won’t work. Shellder is too strong to open up unless it does it on its own.” The kid starts celebrating. “Now, use Aurora Beam.”

Shelder opens up and.... panics. “Shell.... der. Shell..... der!” It starts rocking back and forth to get right side up again.

“Now’s our chance, Quick Attack.”

Pidgey bolts as fast as she can move. Shellder’s face is poked hard by the small beak, flipping its body around again and again. This causes it to revert to its normal side up.

“You can’t stay on defense all the time. You have to attack to win.”

“I know that,” the kid sticks his tongue out just like Shellder. “Use Aurora Beam.”

“Dodge it and attack from the back.”

The beam fires late and misses the quick dodging Pidgey. Pidgey circles around Shellder and arrives on its backside, moving in. Shellder hops up and turns its body 25 degrees. Then again, then again. But it can’t move fast enough to turn around and attack. Shellder is hit again.

“Arggg.. Use Withdraw.”

Shellder lands against a medium rock sticking out of the ground. Lucky it was withdrawn.

Jack sighs. “Fine. Force me to be more creative.” He thinks quick, looking at Pidgey. Flying. Flying. “Hey Pidgey, pick up Shellder and go up as high as you can.”

She nods, quickly grabbing Shellder by the mouth. The sea Pokemon is a lot heavier than she though, but she can do it. Jack is counting on her just like just counts on him.

“Ah, break loose. Hurry Shellder. Get out of there!”

Shellder tries and tries to force it’s mouth open, but Pidgey has a nice grasp around them. But while trying to fly higher, Pidgey loses some strength fighting Shellder. A gap opens, just enough for Shellder to stick its tongue out... *SNAP*

“SSSSSSssssssshhhhhhhhheeeeeelllllllllllllllllllll lllllllddddddddddddeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr r!!!!!!!!!!!!”

The pink tonuge turns blue as Pidgey forces Shellder’s mouth closed again. It is at this time, she stops ascending and remains hovering, waiting for Jack’s word.

“Now let go and use Gust.”

The kid responds, “Oh no.”

*RELEASE* Shellder starts to freefall, crying from biting its own tongue. Pidgey’s wings rapidly move back and forth, pushing wind down, propelling Shellder even faster. Faster. Faster! Until it slams into the ground, nearly cracking its shell on impact.

“Shelder! Noooo....” The kid starts crying as he holds Shellder. He points to Jack. “I never want to see you again. Waaaaa...” and he runs off.

Lyn breaths heavily, “Wow. That was intense.”

Jack sits back down. “All this because of one kid half my height. I think I need more practice.”

Pidgey rests her feet and stretches her wings out. In a burst of energy, she starts glowing brightly. Her wings expand, her body grows taller, and her energy increases. Pidgey has evolved into Pidgeotto.

“Wow, congrats!”

Jack’s eyes become watered, “I did it. *SNIFF* I raised Pidgey enough that she could evolve. How do you feel Pidgeotto?”

“Piidgi!” she coos, flexing her wings. The bandages have fallen off and she appears to have healed 100% by evolving.

For the next two hours, as they walk back to Streamington, Pidgeotto plows the sky. Making aerial maneuvers, dipping, rising, and hovering. She has never felt so relieved to be back in the air, feeling the wing flow through her feathers. It’s been a little more than two weeks since her injury, making this day ever more enjoying. And with this newfound strength, Pidgeotto is ready to battle hard for her Trainer.

They reach the Pokemon Center by dusk. Jack has Rattata checked out for any serious injuries. Nurse Joy says it isn’t that bad but she would like to keep Rattata over night. He has exerted too much energy and taken too much damage; something like this is hard to recover from quickly but his Rattata has a lot of endurance. By tomorrow afternoon, he’ll be ready to battle again, and hopefully not so hard.

End Episode 21
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
01-28-2007, 03:26 AM
~*~
Episode 22
This Isn’t the Ocean

It’s a new day in the city of Streamington. The Pidgey are flying, the Sentret are scavenging, and the Sandshrew are hiding. All is as it should be in the wild.

Rattata is still recovering at the Pokemon Center. Jack knows he’ll be better and take it easier during battles. But he isn’t going to worry about that now. Today, he needs to catch a sixth Pokemon for his team. He hasn’t had a new Pokemon since Pinsir back in Plylie City. Since then, he’s had no luck with Pokemon joining him voluntarily. Taking this into account, maybe his dad was correct.
You want Pokemon that want to be trained by humans? Do you know how many of those Pokemon are out there? The ones that want a Trainer are normally weak Pokemon. Go out and catch Pokemon, like a real Trainer. Don't wait around all day for a Pokemon to come to you. Go to the Pokemon. I know you can do it if you just listen to my advice. If you don't, then you will fail.
It is somewhat true. Both Rattata and Vulpix were the only Pokemon that wanted to join him and they aren’t helping him as well as he hoped. Rattata won’t listen and Vulpix isn’t brave enough for battles. On the other hand, Pinsir, Butterfree and Pidgey, now Pidgeotto, are doing wonderful. Pidgeotto and Butterfree listen and understand, while Pinsir is still understanding what it’s like to be with a Trainer. Jack laughs at himself because if he hadn’t caught those three Pokemon, he might only have Rattata and Vulpix up until now.

So here he is, trying to catch his next Pokemon.

“Look, a Pokemon” Lyn points to the small orange worm wiggling out of the bush ahead.

Jack jumps ready but loosens up. “It’s only a Weedle.”

“Weee?”

“Is it not a good Pokemon?”

“Well... its final evolution is Beedrill and I’ve already fought a few of them. They aren’t that strong. Listen...”

Beedrill- the Poison Bee Pokemon. It uses its three stingers to inflict poison in its enemy, slowing it down. Beedrill can be very dangerous when in a swarm. This Pokemon evolves from Weedle and Kakuna.

“I’m looking for something.... different.”

Lyn drops her pack and steps forward. “If you don’t want it, I will catch it. Look at those little eyes.”

“I guess. But you don’t need to battle,” he adds. “Throw a Pokeball at it and I’m sure you’ll catch it.”

“Really?” She looks at the orange worm, squeezing her Pokeball in hand, and throws. The ball sucks in Weedle and wobbles once.... and Weedle breaks out. “Well...” She looks over at Jack, who is stunned.

“I guess this one must be stronger.” He chuckles.

“WeeEEEDLL!!” it cries. Soon, a swarm of Beedrill fly out from nearby trees. Each Beedrill didn’t look particularly pleased at the two humans bothering one of its own.

“Wow, a Beedrill swarm. I can definitely see how running into one of these can be dangerous.”

Lyn pulls Jack back, “Not now. Let’s RUN!”

The pair run, not knowing where to go, but only to get away. The dozen Beedrill, poised to attack, slowly ease off the chase until they turn around and head back.

“That was close, let’s not do that again,” Lyn pants as she lays down.

They rest for a few minutes. It’s hard enough to run from fast flying Pokemon, they had to do it while wearing backpacks. Not only that, but Lyn lost her empty Pokeball back there. She didn’t mind. At least they were safe.

“All right, let’s go.

They only take a few steps when Lyn notices something misplaced in the forest. “Look over there.”
They both cautiously look and move closer, trying to get a better view. Jack is a little confused but Lyn knows what it is. But she never thought one of these would be out in the forest all alone, not near a nest, and not even protected by a parent. It’s a Pokemon egg. This one is colored gray with red and black streaks around it. It simply lay on the grass on its side, out in the open and barely resting on top of a downward slope.

“We have to get it before it falls down.”

“No, wait.” Lyn holds his arm. “The parents might be nearby. Let’s wait and see if they return.”

No parent in their right mind would leave an infant alone for too long. Eggs especially because they are easy targets for Pokemon like Pidgey and Ekans. But she didn’t want to go over there just yet. If the parents are there, they might attack ferociously to defend their egg. They’ve already dealt with one angry pack of Pokemon today.

Jack stands up. "We can wait here five minutes, an hour or maybe even two hours, it won't make a difference. No parent Pokemon would leave their egg on the ground, in an open area, resting over a hill." The wind picks up a little, causing the egg to slowly roll. “See, that’s why we can’t wait. Do you want to be responsible for when it falls over?” Jack rushes out as the winds picks up more strength. He drops his pack, sprinting, and slides. But he was too late. The egg has already been blown far enough that it rolls down the hill. The hill isn’t very steep, luckily clear of obstacles like rocks, and at the end of the fall is a river.. *SPLASH* The egg hits the water and bobs up and down as it floats away. He continues his pursuit by sliding down the hill. At the last point he slips and flips forward and rolls to the bottom. “Ow.”

“Jack, wait up!” Lyn shouts as she carefully climbs down.

“The egg’s floating downstream.” He points north. The river is moving at a slow pace so it won’t be too hard to keep up. As long as he can keep an eye on it, everything will be fine.

Lyn drops to the bottom, dragging Jack’s pack across the muddy ground as she follows the river. She sighs, seeing the same thing happen like before. Jack would run off by himself, leaving her behind as if she wasn’t needed.

As the minutes went by, she found herself a few feet away from Jack, whom was sitting down. Her first words, “You can’t keep leaving me behind all the time. We need to stick together, remember?”

“Look.”

They are at the bank of a large oval lake surrounded by tall trees and boulders. Reeds dug in below the water and pop out on top, moving side to side with the small winds. The river hits the lake with a small fall of a foot, causing the water to foam a little as it ripples inward. And there, bobbing up and down, the egg continues to move to the middle of the lake.

The two smile, knowing the egg was safe. At least for the moment. Within in a second, the egg bounces and sinks underwater. *GASP* Then it bobs back up but not alone. Next to the egg is a round blue Pokemon with two antennae and (+.+) eyes.

"Chou!!" it exclaims excitedly.

Chinchou- the Angler Pokemon. On the dark ocean floor, its only means of communication is its constantly flashing lights. This Pokemon uses its antennae to generate electricity. Chinchou evolves into Lanturn.

He slides the Pokedex back in his pocket. “But... this isn’t the ocean. You’re a long way from home little guy.”

"Chou . .?" it exclaims. It tosses the egg in the air and lets it land back to the water.

“Hey, stop that!. You’ll break it.”

“I don’t think it’s trying to hurt the egg. But let’s not take that chance.” Lyn throws her Pokeball out containing Poliwag. "Poliwag, fetch the Pokemon egg from Chinchou. And be careful"

“Poli!” Poliwag swims over and puts her tail over the egg. Chinchou shouts and pulls back with its antennae. It splashes causing Poliwag to release. Looking around, chinchou has submerged with the egg. Frustrated, Poliwag dives to chase it. That’s when Chinchou leaps up out of the water. Both antennae meet together and shoot a jolt of electricity at the water. Poliwag is toast and flops belly up in the water. Chinchou lands back and dives down, leaving the egg on top.

Lyn drops her jaw, returning Poliwag, while Jack is excited. “A water Pokemon..... with an electric attack.... what a combo....”

“I guess it’s up to you now. What’s your battle plan?”

"This." He sends out Butterfree.

“Freeeee.”

"Hey Butterfree. I need you to put Chinchou asleep for me when it surfaces again."

Chinchou surfaces again and Butterfree releases the blue powder. Chinchou stares at the sparkling powder as it falls around it. Coughing, it quickly dives to wash it away. It didn’t put the Pokemon to sleep, but it left the egg wide open on top.

"Now, grab the egg." Butterfree swoops down and grabs the egg. Shortly, Butterfree flaps back and lets it go into Jack's hands. "Great job."

Chinchou surfaces again and looks around for the egg. He sees it's with Jack and swims to the shore. "Chin chou chiou chi!!" Sparks fly at Butterfree, shocking him.

"Hey. What was that for? We’re only trying to protect this egg.”

The water Pokemon tries another jolt, missing as Butterfree was ready to dodge.

He then remembers his agenda: to catch a Pokemon. He points, “Chinchou, you're mine. Butterfree, powders won't work. Try Confusion."

Hearing a call for an attack, Chinchou stops electricity and dives in the water. The purple ray moves to the water and through it, causing that area to turn from aqua-green to dark purple. The confusion energy pushes Chinchou into the lake’s rocky bottom, causing it to be confused. It surfaces upside down, blowing bubbles into the water.

Butterfree hears the next command, a smart plan. He shoots the white sticky line of String Shot and easily connects. Next, he flies higher, pulling Chinchou, and releases, throwing it onto the bank. It rolls and comes to a stop with limp antennae.

“Finish it with Tackle!”

“Chin.....” Its eyes roll around as they refocus. It spots the blurred bug coming for it and sparks another electric shot, but misses. Butterfree slams into Chinchou, thus winning the battle.

Jack hands Lyn the red egg and grabs a Pokeball. “This is the first step.” The ball meets Chinchou and sucks it in. The ball wiggles, causing the atmosphere to be filled with suspense. And then.... it stops. He jumps up, celebrating, "Yes! I have a full team once again."

Lyn smiles, forgetting how mad at him she was earlier. “Congratulations on capturing a playful Pokemon.”

“Thanks. Wait... huh? Playful?”

“Yep.” She nods. “I think Chinchou was only playing with the egg. When we tried to take it, he was upset and fought back.” She knows this because a Pokemon Nurse has to learn Pokemon behavior and adapt to them in order to help.

Jack laughs, “You sure know your stuff. Maybe I should have Chinchou cheer Rattata up next time. Haha.” He walks over to his pack. “Thanks for bringing my..... uh. It’s muddy. Why?”

Lyn sticks out her tongue, sarcastically. “I’m not a bellhop.”

As the two walk back to Streamington, there is a question on everyone’s mind. What is to become of the egg?

End Episode 22
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
02-05-2007, 02:24 AM
~*~
Episode 23
The Hour of Egg Hatching

Let the battle for the egg.... begin! Jack and Lyn have been at the Pokecenter, sitting at a booth, with the egg on the table between them. They argue back and forth, forth and back, like immature children..

"I saved it. I am the one to keep it." Jack argues.

"But I found it, so it should be mine." Lyn argues back.

"If I didn't save it, no one would have it."

"So? If I had not suggested running from the Beedrill, I would not have found the egg that you saved."

"Well, if I didn't want to go training in the first place, we wouldn’t have run from the beedrill, and you wouldn’t have found it."

"Running from the Beedrill was MY idea. And besides, if I never called you when my Pokemon were stolen, you wouldn't be here."

“And you wouldn’t be here either.”

Nurse Joy steps up to the booth and swipes the egg. "That's enough arguing. You’re bothering the other Trainers. All this fuss over an egg and not one of you have the decency to let me examine it first. I'll take this until you can settle it like adults." She walks to the back room and disappears.

Jack is frustrated. He is the Pokemon Trainer, not her. Why should she need the Pokemon anyway? Lyn also didn’t understand Jack’s stubbornness. She begins to doubt that she should remain with him if he treats her like she isn’t there.

But she remembers his determination to become the best Trainer, especially against those that called him weak. Maybe, just maybe, she should let him have it so he can become stronger. But, will he forgive her for earlier? She walks over to him, asleep at a booth. “How does he manage to fall asleep here when we have a room.” She smiles slightly then lazily sits across from him. “I wonder what Nurse Joy is doing to our egg.”

~*~

Early next morning.

*YAAAWWWNN* Jack wipes his eyes and oddly stretches in the booth. Lyn lay on the opposite side, head down on the table. “Why is she sleeping out here when we have a room?” He shrugs, moving his hands through his hair and grabs some Pokemon Center breakfast. The smell of bacon, eggs, pancakes, syrup, and butter awaken Lyn from her sleep. “Morning.” He says quickly between bites, still a little annoyed.

Lyn’s bones seem to crack as she moves. “Ahhh.... how do you manage to sleep like that. Ow.”

The Center opens and a couple Trainers head out for their daily routine. Only a few Trainers come early to have their Pokemon checked on, nothing serious. After, Joy and Chansey walk over to the arguing pair, with a smile.

"Now I hope you two will behave today.”

“Yes Nurse Joy,” they say in unison. Lyn adds, “But we haven’t made a decision yet.”

Joy smiles with a solution, "Maybe if you talk about who can take care of the egg better instead of who found or saved it, that might help. I hope you decide soon. The tests I did on the egg last night show it to be quite far in its hatching process. I predict at least a day before it hatches. It’s also very healthy for being alone in the forest. If it helps the decision, I know what Pokemon it is. Do you want to know?

"No."

"Yes."

Jack grumbles, "Ok, fine. Give us a hint.”

"Very well. It's a dog Pokemon. It is also very rare to find this Pokemon still in their egg, especially alone. I hope that helps." Joy leaves them to talk.

Jack swells up, losing his appetite. "Eh, maybe it would be better off with you, Lyn."

“What’s wrong?”

“It happened when I was little. My dad bought me all sorts of dog Pokemon toys, plushies, posters, and other stuff. I assume you know the legends about the legendary dog Pokemon. Well, my dad thought they would be an inspiration to me, being loyal and brave. However, every night.... I remember those faces... the shadows.... ah... they were all staring at me.... I was too afraid to scream, so I cried every night...” He shakes nervously. “...eh... every time I imagine it.... fear builds inside me. I can’t imagine having a dog Pokemon on my team.”

“Oh, that’s horrible. But.... I don’t know. Joy is right. I’m sure I can take care of it better, but it would be better if you take it because you’re the Trainer and need more Pokemon than I do."

This is just great. Yesterday, they were arguing that they want to keep it. Now they are arguing that the other person should have it. Can't they just flip a coin or play Rock, Paper, Scissors? Or maybe battle over it.

“I guess, if I have to bite the bullet, I can take care of it.” Jack gulps and calls Joy to come back. "I’d hate to spoil the surprise, but what Pokemon is it exactly?"

The pink haired nurse smiles, "The Pokemon is . . . Houndour." She exits.

"Houndour, huh?”

Houndour- the Dark Pokemon- To corner prey, they check each other's location using barks that only they can understand. Houndour is often said to be the “Pokemon of Satan”. This Pokemon evolves into Houndoom.

He flinches slightly, "I don’t think Houndour was in my room. Maybe it’ll be okay."

“You’re still shaking.” Lyn points and laughs. "And don’t expect me to own something that looks like the devil." She pauses. She has been thinking about what Joy said about ‘who can take care of it better’.

The double doors fly open and Joy appears, "Jack, Lyn, come quick. The egg is shaking.

“What perfect timing.” Jack rolls his eyes. “I thought you said we had a day before it hatches.

“I did. Shaking doesn’t mean it will hatch, but just in case, we need you back here.”

Jack was about to ask ‘why’ when Lyn blurts, “That’s why. The first thing a newborn Pokemon sees becomes its parent. So we have to be there when it hatches.”

The pair follow Joy to the back, into a room with flashy testing equipment. The red/black egg sits on some soft sheets as a light shines from above. Lyn felt the warmth of the room and quickly understood. All the heat from the lights and machines were warming the egg, causing the Pokemon to grow a little faster.

Jack steps up, palms sweating, with a look of anxiety. “Wow. It’s really shaking. This is tense.”

Joy claps once, "I guess Jack is the parent. Lyn and I will remain at the side.” She turns on a camera to film this rare opportunity.

The minutes pass as the shaking continues. Jack is both excited to see an egg hatch, and unsure of what to do afterward. Does he pet it? Hug it? Introduce himself? Lyn, on the other hand, is about ready to explode. She’s been contemplating whether or not this is the right thing to do.

The egg cracks, slightly glowing...

"Wait!!” She rushes over and pushes Jack down. “I should have Houndour. Taking care of it will help me to become a nurse." The egg cracks open and a bright light emerges. The little Houndour pup appears on top of the egg shells, blinking. Lyn smiles, "How cute!"

“...” it tries to speak, looking around with its big eyes. It spots Lyn in front and jumps into her arms, licking her face.

“Ow... where did that come from?” Jack stands up, rubbing his arm.

Joy cleans the area and finishes the tests. Houndour is in perfect health despite hatching a little early. She then discusses how to take care of a newborn Pokemon. First, they have to determine what kind of food it likes because a newborn needs food right away. Second, they need attention all the time. Proper grooming and play will be enough. Third, they aren’t to have any battles or be taught any attacks. It is more important for baby Pokemon to explore the land and have a grasp at what goes on. And the final piece of advice, is to learn from this experience and enjoy it. Trainers have one chance to raise a Pokemon correctly from birth. If they do it wrong, it becomes harder to unteach them.

As a final gift, Nurse Joy hands Lyn a small book on raising Pokemon. It only has the basics and if she has any questions, the answer is probably in there. Lyn thanks the good pink haired nurse and hugs Houndour gleefully.

Joy leaves them. Five bowls of Pokefood sit on the table. Houndour tries each one, unsatisfied until the fifth one, which it really enjoyed. It’s a fire Pokemon blend with nutrients to help a fire Pokemon’s body remain the right temperature: a perfect food choice. After the short meal, Houndour yawns and falls asleep on her lap.

Jack stretches out at the booth. “You didn’t have to push me to the ground. I didn’t even think you wanted Houndour. Something about it looking devilish."

“Houndour will help me to learn how to take care of baby Pokemon. When I become a nurse at a Pokecenter, they have to raise Pokemon from eggs too. I’m going to do my best to raise Houndour properly. Devilish or not, a Nurse can’t discriminate when it comes to helping Pokemon."

Jack opens the book, curious as to what it says. "I hope you’re up to it. The first sentence in this book says 'New Pokemon can be very difficult to take care of if the trainer know nothing about the Pokemon.' I know nothing about it, do you?"

"Nope." She takes Jack's hand, "But we'll learn together."

He takes his hand back, embarrassed, and looks at the little sleeping pup. "Houndour is ok with me. It may be a dog type but I'm not afraid of it.”

“It just hatched, it can't hurt anybody. And how can you be afraid of this cute Pokemon?”

This new Pokemon has messed up Jack’s schedule. He had planned to do some training the rest of the day but Lyn requested that he stay and help take care of Houndour. They spend time out behind the center, in a little spot with trees and a small pool, surrounded by a fence. The area is used to help injured Pokemon walk around and recover. They both let all their Pokemon out to meet their new friends: Houndour and Chinchou. Then everyone did their own thing. Rattata sulks in the corner, Butterfree flies around to smell the flowers, Pinsir sleeps next to Jack, Vulpix watches Houndours’ every move, Chinchou jumps in the poll and swims around. Geodude and Poliwag both chase after Houndour, trying to keep it under control. Houndour surprisingly has a lot of energy, running around everywhere, smelling everything, bothering all the other Pokemon curiously. Lyn shouts a few times to control Houndour but it wasn’t helping. She sighs and sits next to Jack, whom laughs at all the excitement.

“We sure have a lot of good Pokemon. I can’t believe you only have six Pokemon so far. Well, almost seven if I hadn’t taken Houndour.”

“Being a Trainer isn’t about having the most Pokemon. It’s how you train them.”

“That’s true. I can’t imagine having more than thirty Pokemon. How do you choose which Pokemon to take and which to leave home? I’d be afraid that the Pokemon I don’t pick feel left out and would resent me. I wouldn’t want that.”

Jack nods. “Maybe if you switch your team every day.....”

“Every day what?

He pauses. He’d completely forgotten what would happen if he caught a seventh Pokemon. It would be sent home, to his fibbing father. He can’t do that. He can’t trust him any more. But, where would he store his extra Pokemon? Looking at Lyn’s confused face, he remembers.

“It’s nothing. Only something I have to do later.”

*SPLASH* Houndour’s curiosity drove him to test out the water. He quickly yelps and pants, splashing around with ferocity. Lyn hurries over and pulls him out of the water, being soaked in the process. Houndour shakes his fur and growls at the water. He has learned the first valuable lesson of being a fire Pokemon.

~*~
Jack breathes deeply before sitting in front of the green PC phone. His fingers tingle as he dials the number listed on a business card.

The ringing ends, “Hello. This better be important.”

"Hi Professor Vine. Sorry about calling so late. It’s Jack Kalmer. You remember....”

“Oh, Jack. How are you? How’s Lyn doing? Are you’re Pokemon healthy?”

“We’re fine. There were some hard times, but we dealt with them.”

“That’s nice to hear. So, what did you want to talk about?"

"It occurred to me earlier today that I almost had seven Pokemon, meaning I’d have to send one of them home. I recently learned something about my Dad, and I don’t trust having him hold my extra Pokemon. I was wondering, if you have room, can I send my Pokemon to you instead?" The question alone was difficult to say without thinking about how his Dad would react. Jack almost winced in pain.

The good Professor thinks, "Your father will not be proud of the decision you are making here, but I sense you already feel that. If I'm going to be in charge of your Pokemon, as a Professor and a friend, first tell me what has happened on your journey so far. I like to know how my Trainers are doing."

After a long half hour of discussion, Vine has his worries about Jack dealing with Team Rocket so many times, so soon. But he has confidence in him.

“Alright Jack, everything is set up. Your Trainer account has been moved from your house to my lab. I'll be glad to receive your Pokemon.

"Thanks very much." Jack begins to hang up when...

“Hey Professor Vine!.” Lyn shouts with a smile.

Vine plugs his ears, smiling back. The two of them share a short conversation, mostly talking about how her Pokemon were doing.

It was late now, the phone calls had to end. The Pokemon Center was ready for bed. Jack heads down the short hall into the second room, where Lyn was already preparing her bed. She places Houndour into the shoe box bed with a soft cloth bottom. The Nurse Guidebook suggested that newborn Pokemon should not go in a Pokeball right away. This allows them to explore and have a feel for the surroundings. Also, to not scare them.

"Now Houndour, you stay right there." Houndour curls up in the box-bed. Minutes pass and Houndour jumps out and leaps up on Lyn's bed, curling up near her head. She smiles, "I guess it's natural to sleep next to your parent after being born." She pets Houndour. Sleep comes fast for the three of them.

End Episode 23
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-19-2007, 06:07 AM
~*~
Episode 24
And Then There Were Five

The next couple days were mostly spent taking care of and having fun with Houndour. At least as far as Lyn was concerned. Jack, on the other hand, went out to train some of the time, while the rest was spent hanging out at the Pokecenter. While out training, he had his own mini adventures, but nothing too exciting. Lyn thought about going out too but she didn't want to risk Houndour running off or becoming scared of the surroundings. She wanted to wait a while until Houndour was used to being around her and listening to her commands.

Houndour is a great teaching tool for Lyn. With her knowledge of taking care of Pokemon, she has become the teacher, and Jack the student. He never paid too much attention to actually take care of his Pokemon, he mostly thought about battling.

"You know more about taking care of newborns because women have a natural care. It's all instinct." Jack states.

"I guess that’s right." Lyn smiled. "Guys don't have the ability to take care of babies as well as we do."

“Maybe, uh, you could help me with my Pokemon.”

“Sure Jack.” She smiled, rubbing Houndour’s tummy. “I’ll teach you about raising Pokemon, if you teach me to be a stronger battler.”

“Deal.”

That’s one important area Jack has yet to practice. Lyn has such a strong bond with her Pokemon. Already, Houndour shows signs of loyalty and trust. Poliwag has been with her for many years, and Geodude enjoys her company on lonely nights in the Pokemon Center. She can understand the behavior of Pokemon very quickly. For example, she understood that Chinchou was just playing with the egg, while Jack thought he was trying to hurt it.

And then there is Jack. He also loves his Pokemon very much, but he hasn't bonded very well with them. Battles and training are good but play time is required every now and then, that’s what Stodd told him. He has relaxed a little with Pinsir, joking around trying to earn his trust. But Jack doesn’t think about play time. He wants to battle and grow strong, to show those that didn’t think he could do, that he can.

Out of all the time spent in Streaminton, Jack forgot there was a Gym. He felt silly, almost embarrassed he forgot, but part of him doesn’t feel ready for the challenge. Nonetheless, he stops by the Gym to check it out.

The Gym was located in the northern part of the city, built sideways between two rising hills, surrounded by tall trees. It was three stories tall with a large cage-like dome covering the top. Over the door was a sign: Streamington Gym. On the right side was a poster with rules for a Bird Sanctuary. On the left side, rules for Trainers.

Welcome Trainers! Before you challenge the Gym Leader, you must have all the following requirements:
3 Pokemon that can fly or remain off the ground of their own will.
Trainer ID Card
Not afraid to lose.

He crosses his arms, staring at the poster. “Three Pokemon that can fly? Pidgeotto is one. Butterfree is two. But... I need a third.” Challenging the Gym was out of the question, at least until he catches another Pokemon.

He heads back to the Pokemon Center, collecting his pack from their room. He explains to Lyn his dilemma, but she can’t go with him today. After all the play, Houndour fell asleep on a lounge chair and she doesn’t want to wake him.

So, Jack heads out alone, again. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a flying Pokemon. As he searches the outskirts of the city, the afternoon becomes later and later. Not one flying Pokemon has appeared. He remembers seeing Pidgey and Spearow in the city, but out in the wild... nothing.

“Huh, what was that?” A startling noise comes closer. A few Rattata leaps out from under a bush, chasing each other. It’s been like this the whole time; he’s seen other Pokemon, but none that can fly. However, these wild rats may be helpful. He calls his own Rattata out. "Hey Rattata. Can you ask your friends over there where I can find some flying Pokemon.”

Rattata jumps out and sees the others just like him. His eyes widen and he cheerfully greets them. “Rat ttaa ta ratta rattata." The others speak back, starting a conversation. Jack watches from behind a tree, so as not to scare them away. A bell faintly chimes in the distance, which only the Pokemon can hear. The wild Rattata’s ears perk up and they run away. Jack’s Rattata follows them.

Maybe they were leading him to some flying Pokemon. Jack hopes so. He follows them a short distance but realizes that they’ve disappeared. A fence stands in front, with tall bushes blocking anyone from peeking inside. In the dirt in front of the bushes is a small hole with tiny foot prints leading in and out. The hole looked barely big enough for a rat to fit through.

"I didn’t think Rattata could dig holes. Why would mine follow them down there?”

A short lady comes from the left of the fence, "Because, those Rattata must have told yours where to find some food and fun. Come on, I’ll show you.”

He follows the lady around the corner to the small cottage in front. They quickly walk through the house and exit to the backyard. It was there, that Jack couldn’t believe his eyes. Within the fence was a playground like no other.

“Welcome to The Rattata Inspirational Pokemon Playground, or TRIPP as advertised.” She hands a business card to Jack.

There are six Rattata, inlcuding his own. The place is fenced in all around with a light net over the top to prevent any Pokemon from entering. There are different obstacles and play things around the backyard. A maze, a slide, a water slide, some jumping thing. The Rattata that were playing around sure looked like they were having fun.

“Your name wouldn’t happen to be Jack, is it?”

“Huh? How would you know that?” Jack looks at her.

She was short with long blond hair with silver strands. Had to be at least 35. She held out her left hand, as if trying to show something. She had a mark, not just any mark, but a unique burn mark. As a child, his mom and another girl burned each other to signify life friendship. He sees the connection.

“Melina?” She nods. “You used to have curly brown hair and wear different clothes. You look... different."

She smiles, "Thanks. You still look the same, just as I remember you ten years ago."

Ten years ago, Melina lived in Pine Valley. His Mom and Melina were childhood best friends and could always depend on each other. But, the rest of the community thought she was crazy because she made and wore clothes from a hundred years ago. She grew tired of the name calling and suddenly moved away. She never called nor wrote, no one knew where she went.

“I created a new image for myself up here. Bought this land with the last of my money, and started a daycare service. After a while, I grew to love the Rattata from the forest. They were so much easier to take care of than a temperamental Charizard. I’m the only daycare in the league that specializes in Rattata care.”

Jack watches but begins to wonder. “Uh, now which one is my Rattata?" All six Pokemon, having eaten the gourmet Pokefood, were playing a game of tag.

Melina looks at him hard, "Don't you know? Trainers should know which Pokemon is theirs without difficulty. Have you had it long?"

"He was the first one I caught, nearly a month ago." He squats. “My Rattata come here."

Only one of the Rattata turns his head, that must be him. Another Rattata’s tail hits him, making him ‘it’ in their game. Rattata runs off to tag someone else.

“He seems to like it here. I’ve never seen him so happy.”

“Rattata are fun Pokemon to raise. They are great scavengers and particularly love to have fun teasing Trainers out of food. When you get a whole group together, like this, they have more energy than most Pokemon I’ve seen." Melina finds a chair and rests, taking a sip of tea. She pays close attention to Jack’s Rattata. “What brings you out here?”

“I’m looking for a Pokemon that can fly so I can challenge the Streamington Gym. But... I haven’t had a lot of luck today.”

Melina laughs, “Oh, you won’t find too many birds over here. You have to go north, to Windy Plateau. It’s at least a days hike from the city. There you will find a variety of flying Pokemon that can fly.”

“Windy Plateau, eh? I guess after a good nights rest, I’ll have a new Pokemon by tomorrow night.”

“Oh, but Jack, you have to leave tonight. This way you arrive at the plateau by daytime. Night time at Windy Plateau can be very dangerous and there are some powerful Pokemon and Trainers there that scare anyone away. And you can’t go alone. You will need a guide, trust me.”

He didn’t know if she was telling the truth, or trying to scare him like she did when he was little. But he has to believe her, for his benefit. Windy Plateau sounds like an interesting place.

~*~

An hour passes. Rattata was having fun in the big hedge maze, trying to find the end. Eventually, he made it to the finish and was greeted by a group of cheering Rattata.

This was a good time for Jack to take part, and enjoy some fun with Rattata. But, he remains back, watching, thinking. He realized he never took any spare time to spend with his Pokemon, to play, and to really become close and be a friend. And every time he let them out to play, he hardly played with them, only watching from the side. As he thought deeper, he wondered if his Pokemon really enjoy him as a Trainer. He knew Pidgey and Vulpix liked his company. Pinsir was questionable but deep down he must like Jack by now. He’s not sure about Chinchou since he was recently caught. Do they really like him as a Trainer? Better yet, as a friend?

By now, most of the Rattata have gone back to the wild, leaving only one behind. It was getting late in the day.

“You look deep in thought.” Melina questions as she sits next to him.

Jack nods, barely acknowledging her.

Rattata slides across the grass. Then something grabs his attention. Their were two big apples tied to a rope hanging from a tree branch. Drooling at the thought of more food, he jumps and misses. He tries again, closer, but still inches away. Frustrated, he climbs the tree and jumps to the branch, gnawing on the rope. The rope breaks and down come the pair of apples. He quickly jumps down to claim his prize.

Melina is shocked, "You have a smart Rattata. But the whole point of that activity is to get the Rattata to practice jumping.

Jack folds his sunglasses and pockets them as the sky darkens orange. “Thanks for the time Melina. Rattata had a lot of fun out there.”

“Oh, and what about you? Did you have fun?” She waits for an answer but receives none. “It appears Rattata has been giving you a temper lately. Is there something you want to share?”

This was something that he didn’t want to do: show weakness as a Trainer. And here, she asks him to talk about it. The nerve. Jack looks up, cheerful. “What do you mean?”

*THONK* She hits him over the head with a teacup. “You know very well.”

“Ow!”

The remaining wild Rattata jumps into her arms. She pats it on the head, stroking it’s body. “How about you leave Rattata with me. Think of it as a temporary vacation. Maybe it’s what Rattata needs.”

“Nah, that’s okay. I’ll find a way.” He calls out, “Rattata, come here.” Rattata finishes picking his teeth with the apple stem, and runs over. Jack tries to pet him, only to be rejected. “So, uh, you had a lot of fun today. But we have to be leaving now.”

Rattata looks at his Trainer, then looks at the play area. His eyes brighten with ideas for tomorrow. Looking back to Jack, he sighs. “Rattata raaatta ttta.” He jumps back, making a firm stand in the middle of the yard.

This was heartbreaking. His first Pokemon he met and caught, doesn’t want to go with him anymore. He’d never thought he would lose a member of his team so early on his journey.

He remembered when Rattata was a scared Pokemon, looking for protection against an Ekans. He helped him, taught him to be stronger, to stand up for himself. Rattata fought Pokemon after Pokemon with determination and heart. But everything changed when he tried to stop him from battling at the Stamina Contest. The bond was broken. And now, here they are, about to say goodbye.

“Rattata,” Jack says, holding back tears and sniffling, “You are the hardest working Pokemon on my team. You gave every battle 100% and never gave up. But... “ he pauses, “but sometimes we have to lose too. Only then, can we learn to grow stronger.”

Rattata sits calmly, trying to stay tough, but his eyes water. He shakes it off.

Jack turns to Melina, holding out a Rattata’s Pokeball.. “Please, watch over him.” She nods and he takes off. She yells trying to tell him to wait, but it’s too late. Jack runs through the cabin, out the door, and back to Streamington. No formal goodbye, no hugs, no smiles. He ran to keep his emotions at bay.

End Episode 24
~*~*~

Jack of Clovers
07-28-2007, 04:24 AM
~*~
Episode 25
A Night in Streamington

Houndour ran about, around chairs, under tables, between peoples’ legs. He was really hyper right now. While Lyn rushes around, chasing him and trying to calm him down, the rest of the people at the Pokecenter couldn’t help but smile in entertainment.

“Houndour stop chewing the curtains. That isn’t food." Houndour jumps next to her and licked her hand. "Aw, it’s really hard to stay mad at you when you do cute stuff like this." She picks Houndour up and sits on a couch.

That’s when Jack walks in, hurrying through the lobby. He bumps into someone, spilling their drink.

"Oh, Jack, how did it go?”

He continues by, not answering, heading straight for their room. This was odd behavior, even for him. Lyn grabs Houndour and follows him. The door was locked.

"Jack.what’s wrong? Did something happen?" Nothing. She knocks on the door, but no response. Houndour leaps down, following her example and paws at the door. "Come on. Open the door."

Instantly, “Just go away. I want to be alone.”

Lyn doesn't know what to say. “Can you at least tell me...”

In an angrier voice, “Did you not here what I said? If you must know, I gave Rattata to someone else. There, happy? Now go away.”

Lyn could hear shuffling from behind the door. He blows his nose. She understands, it must be hard for him to cope with giving away a Pokemon. “Let's go Houndour. We’re going to take a walk around the city.”

“Ruuu!” the puppy Pokemon cheers excitedly.

As soon as they step outside, Houndour becomes even more excited: the different people, the bikes, the cars. The cars fascinated him and for some reason, he had the instinct to chase after it. But Lyn picks him up before he can run off.

"Stay by my side at all times. Don't go wondering off."

Houndour reluctantly obeys, for the moment. But eventually, his curiosity becomes too great to contain. They stopped at a small garden of lilacs. Lyn raises a flower and smells it. Houndour smells the air but finds more interested at the soft soil. He starts digging.

"No Houndour. Stop that." She grabs him away, brushing the dirt off. She pushes the dirt back. “You can’t do that to someone’s property. Ok?”

Houndour gives her the sad puppy face.

She smiles, “Oh. So cute. Let’s go the park. Maybe they have a playground with sand.”

By now, the orange and purple clouds have faded away, with the night sky hanging above. Tonight was dreary and a little hazy. There was a definite drop in temperature, signaling an early winter this year. Anyone still outside wore puffy warm looking clothes. It must be the elevation making the night colder.

There was noone left in the park when she arrived. The playground had sand, and lots of it. Lyn nods to Houndour, and they charge. First they ran around, then under. Houndour stopped, sniffed, scratched, dug, kept running, and repeated. Lyn sat in the sand, grabbing some, and throws it at Houndour. He growls playfully, trying to dig sand her way. She laughs feeling her pants being covered.

A group of 4 young teens walk down a path, toward the playground. They were laughing loudly, three of them were pushing each other away to see who would fall first. One remained quiet in back.

"Hey, look over there." One of them stops, suddenly pushed down.

"Haha. You lose."

All three of them see her. She was helping Houndour up the slide; moments later sliding down together.. They walk over.

“Hey there, haven’t seen you around here before. New in town?”

“Whatcha doin' this late in the day?"

Lyn sits at the bottom of the slide, looking at the situation, a bit frightened. Houndour jumps in front, growling “It's none of your business.”

The three of them pressure her: "Come on, you can tell us." "We can keep a secret." "You can trust us."

The fourth guy sneaks in from behind, pushing the others to the ground. “I swear, you guys are idiots.” The three guys stand up, taunting him. He kicks them and tells them to buzz off. “I’m sorry about them, they can be quite intimidating to others. They think it’s fun.”

Her nerves loosen, feeling safer. Houndour was still growling but not as loudly. “How can you call them friends? How do you think I feel, being a girl alone in a park at night.”

The guy leans on a metal bar, apologizing. He snaps his fingers. “I’ve seen you before, in the Pokemon Center. Are you a Trainer?”

“Sort of...” he stomach rumbles. She hasn’t eaten anything since lunch. “I should get going.”

"Would you like to have dinner? My treat.” The guy smiles.

She can’ remember when she last ate somewhere besides the Pokemon Center. Their food is okay, but sometimes bland and cheap. It’s hard to turn down a free meal. But she doesn’t even know who he is; can he be trusted?

“My name is Dax.”

“Lyn.”

They found a restaurant of high class. Everyone was wearing fancy clothes, collared shirts, even some suits and ties. This guy must be rich if he is paying. She almost feels spoiled not having to worry about paying. How much will she eat? Pokemon weren’t allowed inside the restaurant, unless in a Pokeball. So, Houndour had to stay in a separate room and behave the whole time. This was a test of obedience.

Dax has messy brown hair and brown eyes, giving him an irresistible look. He wore a high school varsity style jacket; brown with gold sleeves. The letter ‘D’ was embroidered on the front, meaning Dax. On his head were a pair of large round shades, blue lenses that darkened toward the bottom. He almost looks like the captain of a high school football team.

The meal itself was exquisite. Entrees, appetizers, side dishes, main meal, and finally desert. She had it all and she didn’t care about manners. At one point, she almost cried that the food tasted well prepared.

Dax, however, wasn’t interested in eating, but rather talking to her. The conversations was light, each telling a little about themselves. As it turns out, Dax is a reporter. He specializes in reviews, trying to find the buzz on up and coming new Trainers. He boldly asked Lyn if he could do a story on her.

She blushes as red as she ca from the compliment. “Oh, but I’m not a Trainer. I’m going to be a Pokemon Nurse.”

He pauses, thinking, then snaps his fingers. “Even better.” He spreads his hands in the air, as if reading the newspaper. “I can see it now: ‘Competition for Nurse Joy, Lyn has Entered the Game’. Someone trying to become a Nurse other than the Joy family, that would be a scoop.”

The blushing continues. “Thanks. But,” she changes the subject, “if you want a story, maybe my friend can help. He’s a new Trainer and he’s very strong too. I probably shouldn’t say this, but he beat Team Rocket a number of times already. Maybe you could interview him.”

He sits back, waving his hand in the air for the bill. He looks at it, a little shocked at the price, but only smiles. “I would be very interesting to meet your friend.” His voice emphasizing ‘very’ in a strong tone. Just as he brings out his wallet, he spies his three friends in the window. They wave. He gives a quick thumb’s up back.

Lyn stands, ready leave, barely seeing this action. “Huh?” She looks at the window across the room, watching three guys freeze, then frantically hide. “Aren’t those.... what’s going on?”

Panic hits him in the face. He leans back in the chair playing it cool. “Oh. I was just informing our waiter what a find job he did. I’m leaving an extra tip tonight."

"But, that's our waiter behind you."

"Ack.... well, looks like you caught me. I have a rare condition called Keplers Thumb’s Up Disease. I tend to give random thumbs during the day.”

She kicks his chair legs, causing him to lean further and fall back. “That’s not a good lie. What are you trying to pull?”

The whole restaurant was looking at them. Dax stands, patting his jacket down. “Look, I was only telling them that our date was going well. I didn’t mean to upset you.” His suave and debonair attitude tries to make up for his mistake.

"Date? You think this is a date?” She adds the pieces in her head. “I see your game. Your friends bother me, then you’re the sweet hero and take me to dinner. I admit, I fell for it, but no more.” She splashes her drink at him, walking away, grabbing Houndour on her way out.

Dax follows her to try and apologize... *SLAP* He receives a fresh hand print across his cheek. Houndour growls loudly, eyes squinting protectively.

"That's for tricking me to go out with you."

He rubs his newly red cheek, "But we had a good time. Didn’t we?”

She quickly turns around, hand in the air. “Don’t you dare follow me.” Lyn and Houndour run.

Dax turns to his friends, smacking them all on the head. "Thanks for blowing this one for me. I had her. The plan was working."

The waiter interrupts. "Sir, you need to pay the bill for that meal before you leave."

"Oh, certainly." Dax feels his empty pockets. He remembers leaving it on the table, but when he goes in to check, it’s gone. "She took my wallet. That *****."

"Great. Then you can clean the dishes for the rest of the night."
"That won’t be necessary. My friends can pay for me." But they’ve run off. "Bastards."

~*~

It was close to bedtime when she reaches the Pokemon Center. She was quite annoyed by those guys and wanted to sleep right away, to forget it happened. She twists the knob to their room: it’s open. Inside, all her stuff sits on the floor next to the bed. Houndour jumps on her bed, closing his eyes. However, Jack and all his belongings were gone. He wasn’t around the lobby or on the phone in the waiting room. Maybe Nurse Joy knows.

Joy grabs something under her desk. "The one with that paper boy hat, right? He left about an hour ago. Told me to give you this.”

It’s an envelope. She reads it in her room:

Lyn,

Nice night, isn't it? I have left for Windy Plateau. I will be coming back in a couple of days. I was told that Windy Plateau was very dangerous to go alone, so don’t try to find me. This is something I need to do myself. Stay around the Center to keep safe. See ya’ soon.
~Jack

Soon after finishing, an announcement blasts over the speakers. "Would Lyn Ravenwood please come to the front desk. You have an urgent phone call. Lyn Ravenwood to the front desk. Thank you."

She throws the letter down and goes to the front desk. Joy smiles, handing her the phone. "Hello?"

"Hi Lyn. This is Officer Jenny from Styper City. We caught two people hanging around the Styper Mall, acting suspicious. They match a description that you made some days ago to the Streamington Police. I am faxing a picture of them over to you. Tell me if they seem familiar."

She grabs the fax from Nurse Joy. It was the Team Rocket duo, Ashley and Roy. "Yes, that’s them."

Jenny replies, "You have been most helpful. These two will be held for a long time with high bail. Thanks for your cooperation. You can sleep easy tonight.”

This brings good news with a sigh of relief. Now she didn't have to worry about them showing up again and stealing her Pokemon. She was free.

Now she had to find Jack. Like she was going to stay here and miss out again. They were supposed to be a team and adventure together. But, it’s late. She won’t find him in the dark.

She prepares for bed, plops down, and falls to sleep.

~*~

Out in the forest. After midnight. Jack and his guide stop to set up camp for the night. They have gone as far as they can and need to rest for faster hiking tomorrow.

His name is Palo. According to Melina, he was the best in the guiding business with thirty years experience. He has a thin face, dark hair and small eyes. He wore a grassy green snow hat, a dark red scarf, a light green hooded cloth jacket, with rugged blue jeans and boots. He was of Spanish decent, giving him a tan colored body. His English was spoken well enough, but it still retained a Spanish accent. He was lucky he agreed to guide him because he was supposed to be retired. But at the mention of Melina, he quickly agreed. ‘Any friend of Melina, is a friend of mine.’

Before leaving, Jack changes clothes. Actually, Palo required him to. It was a cold night. His new attire: tan Newsboy hat, button down brown jacket, two gloves, slender dark gray pants, and his regular old shoes. He was a little uncomfortable at first, but warm.

The tent was up, a small campfire was going to warm them before bed, and food was prepared. All this was set up in under seven minutes. Palo was a pro.

"Hey, Palo. How long is the walk from here to Windy Plateau?" Jack sips the hot soup.

He sits up, "Well, amigo, anyone else might take half a day from here. But with me, I’d say three hours. We will be there well before lunch time."

“Do you think it will take long to capture a flying Pokemon?”

"Depends what you want. Some people have luck and leave the first hour. Some try to catch the rumors of hidden Pokemon. Others stay far too long and have to stay the night."

"Are the nights really as bad as I’ve been told?"

Palo turns off the last light, "Ai, mi amigo, night time can be horrible if you don’t know what to expect. Let me share a story. It happened five months ago. I was guiding a man who wanted to follow one of the rumors of a rare colored Pokemon. We searched all day and found no traces. Night was coming and I told him we need to go, but he refused. We stayed into the night, searching. I told him to stop and started pitching up camp. By the time I was finished, he wandered off. I called for him, but only heard my echoes in return. I stayed two more days, looking for him. It was hopeless and I faced facts. When I returned to the city, I was ridiculed and questioned. They blamed me. Soon after, I retired." He covers the fire with dirt, extinguishing the last light source. “He was the only person I ever lost. Whatever he found that night, must have swallowed him up.”

The story quieted the air. Windy Plateau was serious business.

End Episode 25
~*~*~