Chapter 3: Cassidy Evans
Blegh. Life just wasn’t the same since we “went down”, obviously, and got our pokemon taken away from us. That Raticate was just getting to like me, about a week ago, and now this. You know, seriously, sometimes I wish someone would come and stuff a whole stale squished-up doughnut into Giovanni’s CD-Rom drive. Seriously.
Not like I wouldn’t want a stale doughnut up that ******* Wallace’s CD-Rom drive too. You think that was funny, huh? Screwing up my whole life of actually earning money, and Butch’s only job that didn’t fire him for being stupid? HUH? Jerk! You think God allows you to do that just because you’re a gym leader? HUH?
That was what I was thinking as I walked through the empty park near my apartment the day after we were booted. Butch said he was invited to a nightclub with some friends, but I didn’t believe him. You understand me, do you – would somebody that stupid actually have friends? Anyway, I didn’t feel too much like following someone with a low IQ to a nightclub – who knew what could happen if he got too hyped? Marijuana does some serious burn to your brain, I knew. And so I stayed back, and instead went to the park, ignoring the old people doing yoga on the benches.
I trudged unhappily to one of the few benches that didn’t have people doing yoga on it, and sank down. I thought of all years past, my career as a Pokemon stealer in the most prestigious, or should I say notorious, scam team in all the regions, my daily income despite the fact that I didn’t succeed in capturing any rare pokemon, and the EXCITEMENT and FUN…all gone to smoke due to the world-class douche, Wallace the blue-haired gym leader. Maybe life isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be, once you trip on the path and take a plunge to the worst. “You pick up the leaves and the magic is lost,” I sang halfheartedly. I picked up a leaf, and as if it was my already-flattened heart, ripped it sliver by sliver, and crumpled it in my shaking fist. Then I felt a poke on my head.
“Dude, what’s wrong with YOU?” a voice said.
It sounded suspiciously like Butch’s voice after taking five hits of marijuana, though higher in pitch. I decided not to give him what he wanted – attention, obviously – and sat there like nothing happened. “What’s with YOU, Rydel?” I asked finally.
“Rydel?” replied the voice. “Who’s Rydel?”
I rolled my eyes. “You, *******," I said.
“Me?” asked the voice. “Since when was I Rydel? You haven’t even looked at me.”
“You’re high, idiot,” I said. “Don’t make me say your name wrong again, John.”
“No, dude, I’m not John,” continued the voice. “Just turn around and you’ll see who I am.”
I slapped my head in frustration. “I’m not a dude. Look, Jack, if you really want to get attention, I suggest you return to the nightcl – ” I stopped as I turned around to face someone, or even better, something, that did not look like Jack or Butch or whatever. In fact, it looked more like a blob of shadow. With glowing eyes.
“Not a dude?” said the blob. “Dudette then. Hey dudette, do I look like your beloved Rydel now that you’re turned around?”
I stared. “Erm…” I studied harder. I couldn’t find any torso of any sort – only a head and a few billowy silhouettes of a neck.
“What, dudette, am I that good to look at?” the blob said. “Jeez, I never realized humans could actually get hot for pokemon, dudette.”
I squinted at the blob. “So you’re a pokemon,” I said slowly. “What kind…?” I blinked. No way. This pokemon wasn’t speaking in Pokemon – in other words, its name – or else I would know what kind of pokemon it actually was. “Come off it, Butch Rydel,” I said.
“NO, dudette,” the reply from the ghostly blob instantly shot back. “I’m NOT Butch, NOT Rydel, and I came here to feed on your feelings of envy, vengeance, malice, and other negative emotions.”
Weird, I thought. I do suddenly feel energetic and not so down anymore, arguing with this annoying blob. Which Pokemon feeds on negative emotions and speaks English? Suddenly a thought rose up in wisps of smoke from the deceitful spirit carved into me by Team Rocket – I could just take this blob, whatever it is, and get it to Giovanni – it spoke English, hello! – and then I could most likely get my job back. Butch? I’ll just say he helped buy the Pokeball. This was the chance, I thought. I fingered the spare pokeballs on my belt.
“What’re you trying to do, dudette?” the blob said immediately. “You’re not that in love with me, are you?”
I frowned. “Well, that’s one perfect scheme popped again.” I thought for another plan – this was too good of a chance to lose. “So what’s your species?” I asked.
The blob glanced at me suspiciously, then began. “Shuppet going on Banette. I’m still 28 levels away. Cool eh?”
“You don’t have a nickname?” I asked. Keep on this act and soon you’ll have it trusting you, I thought.
“Actually, yeah,” the Shuppet said. “I’m Shupster, though I don’t feel like changing to Banster after 28 levels, because Banster sounds like a Global Moderator in those online forums.”
I couldn’t help but grin at that. This Shupster was pretty funny, I decided. And it’s not every day that you see a pokemon that speaks English and understands computer stuff. Well, I’ll take the chance. “So. You have an MSN account?”
“No,” Shupster said, as if talking to an extra-low IQ Butch. “Since when do you see Pokemon with MSN accounts?” It thought for a while. “Ohhhh, I get it,” it finally said. “You’re so hot for me that you’re actually asking for a quick way to contact me.”
I rolled my eyes again. “Please come off that whole stupid idea of me being in love with you. I ask everyone their MSN when I first get to know them.”
“But I’m a pokemon!” said Shupster.
“Yes, you are,” I said cooly. Now’s the moment, I thought, as I pulled out a spare pokeball from my pocket. “Gotta catch’em all!” I yelled, and with a swipe of my hand, swung the ball through the air. Shupster, not expecting the attack, was absorbed into the red and white ball with a geniuinely shocked look frozen on its face. Roll one. Roll two. Roll three. “YES!!” I yelled, as the old yoga people stared at me. “How you like that, huh?” I shouted to the pokeball. “OWNED, SHUPSTER!” I practically screamed in an old man’s face. “OWNED!!”
Back at my apartment, I strolled through the front lobby to see Butch, green hair spiked up with gel, reading a brightly colored pamphlet. Probably just some porn thing from the nightclub, I thought. SOO not more important than my news.
“BUTCH! We’re going back to Team Rocket!” I exclaimed.
“Aw, ****, you’re part of Team Rocket? I should’ve known,” came the drawling voice of Shupster from the pokeball. “Team Rocket exerts quite cleverness and even more fairness.”
“Shut up, Shupster,” I snapped. “BUTCH!” I continued. “Guess why there’s a voice coming from the pokeball?”
“You stuffed a human in there?” said Butch without much interest, still keeping his eyes to the pamphlet.
“Lay off the Playboy, dude,” I spat at him. “I’ll forget the suspense – I got, and CAUGHT, a pokemon that speaks English and goes to online forums!”
The night guard sitting behind the table in the lobby sighed. “When people are desperate they believe anything.”
“So,” I continued breathlessly, “if we turn in that pokemon to Giovanni we get our asses back in Team Rocket!”
Butch still was glued to the pamphlet. “You know what?” he said. “I don’t wanna go back there. I’m sick and tired of being pushed around by…” he hesitated, “GIOVANNI.” My eyes opened wide. “Take a look at this pamphlet – no, it’s not a Playboy.”
I snatched the pamphlet from him. The first thing I noticed was the number 10,000. I blinked and saw that there was a dollar sign next to it, and even further to the left, the word “WIN”. Then I looked it on the whole. It went like:
NEW! POKEMON DOUBLE LEAGUE – Win $10,000!
"Hey, for all you couples who just have to fight along with your partner? Well, we have a new OFFICIAL league for you – it’s THE DOUBLE LEAGUE!
Paired trainers can be same gender or different gender. You only need one set of 8 badges between the two. If you are a cheater, are good at 1 on 1 battles, and just pick some random guy from the streets to be your partner, go ahead, but you will both have to fight together in the tournament. The final winners will each receive $10,000 as a cash prize PLUS a medal AND a Manaphy! Open pamphlet for more…
“Manaphy my ***,” I said. “I won’t be tricked again. But that $10,000… sounds very good. Very, very good. That’s a year’s pay at Team Rocket, dude.”
“Yep,” said Butch. “In fact, I’m planning to get my starter pokemon tomorrow morning. You wanna come and get one with me?”
“Hmm. You sure? This trainer stuff might make us stuck up like Ass Ketchup.”
“Don’t worry. We’ve got that team spirit inside us. We won’t be like him,” said Butch. “What pokemon are you getting? I heard they have really cute pokemon for your starters!”
I thought. “You know… I might not need one, actually.”
“Whaddya mean? You don’t want to do it? Cmon!” said Butch.
“No,” I said. I shook my pokeball and grinned. “Shupster, would you mind helping me in my quest to get ten thousand dollars from the double league?”
“No,” said Shupster. “Phrase it another way and I might.”
“Okay. Shupster,” I asked in a fake, sugary voice, “would you mind helping me in my quest to become, as Ketchup says, ‘the best pokemon master in the world’?”
There was silence. Then Shupster’s disbelieving voice: “I can’t believe a Rocket member actually said that. Okay, I’m in.”