Chapter 18: Shupster
Have to say, that was a really good battle we had just then. I’m referring to, of course, the battle between me and Egbert Briney’s Peekablob. Well, dude sure asked for it, that selfish bastard, welching on our damn agreement even after we paid him another 50 cents. You don’t want affiliations with Rockets? Well, too bad, you’ve already made one. You need time to care for your Peekablob? Let’s see how much time you’ll need now since he’s just been possessed by one of my Shadow Balls. I pounded that damn Wingull to the ground black and blue with a flippin’ broken wing even though I have no physical attacks to speak of. But hey, can’t expect anything out of fishermen, can you?
A reluctant Egbert pulled his boat up on a soft, white, sandy beach. A sign stuck in the ground next to a kiddie play area said “Route 109”. We got off and thanked Egbert, rolling our eyes all the way. “Well… good luck on your trip,” said Egbert sullenly, and threw one last dirty look at me before he took off back into the sea in his boat. I just gave him one of my hot-chick winks.
We carried on walking, the two humans’ shoes squishing in the spongy sand. I swiped a bag of soft fine sand from a little girl when she wasn’t looking – I’ve heard that it boosts ground attacks. Not that I know any ground attacks, but the others might learn one sometime. Suddenly Butch tapped Cassidy on the shoulder and pointed to a large shop a few feet ahead. “Seashore House,” he said excitedly. “Might have some things worth stealing?”
“We’re done with stealing,” declared Cassidy. “We want something, we get it fair and square.” I looked away in pretended innocence. Entering the Seashore House, I finished off the kids who challenged us with the help of Emo Taillow, Grandiloquent Grovyle and Retarded Ralts. As the latter defeated the last kid with a Confusion, she ran crying to the owner of the shop.
“DYADDAYYY!!!” she bawled. “That mean green thing killed my Pokemon!!!”
The dad looked at us, comforted her daughter for a bit, and came over, clapping his hands in obvious relief. “Thanks, guys. Those kids and their Pokemon’ve been bugging me out these days. The noise is unbearable. I’ve opened up this activity for trainers in hopes of getting ‘em knocked out soon, but so far you guys are the first. Here, have some soda as a reward,” he said, handing us a six pack.
We spent three minutes expressing our unlimited gratitude at his kindness, and we headed down the route each with a soda in hand (no mistake, I made it hover). In our high spirits and improved battle ethics we made it through a horde of trainers and then we were in Slateport City, a vast, busy, pleasantly noisy metropolis complete with skyscrapers, malls and impenetrable glass doors. Something seemed amiss amidst all this modernness, however, and with a quick tour around the place I recognized it.
“This place ain’t got a gym,” I mused. “What’s up with that?”
“Strange,” said Butch. “C’mon, let’s get out of here then. We be moving on to the next gym.”
“No gym, no money,” quipped Cassidy. “Race you two to the end.”
We tossed our empty soda cans on the floor and sprinted full-speed until the edge of the city and a beginning of a new route was in sight. Three men in light blue and black uniforms were standing in front of and completely blocking the open gate to it. “FIRST,” I yelled back at the two as I reached the men at the gate, who were sharing a beer. Five empty cans littered the ground around them. “Oi, mind letting us through?” I said to the guy closest to me without looking at him. “We know you’re probably doing traffic control but y’know, we’re more important than you – ”
Suddenly I stopped and stared One Republic-style. “You!”
The Aqua grunt’s face filled with disbelief. “YOU! Holy – dhyurrrrr!!! DRRRRR,” he wailed mutely as he frantically poked the grunt beside him. “IT’S DURRRRRRRM, THAT’S DRRM, Jake! Jake!”
Jake, the tallest and oldest of the three with uncut, slick brown hair, looked back nonchalantly. “Huh? Who? Gimme a drink,” he drawled, indolently grabbing for the beer can.
“Jake, not now,” pleaded the grunt, passing him the can anyhow. “It’s THURMM,” he repeated urgently. He pointed at Butch and Cassidy behind me. “Rockets? Remember? Destroyed me in the forest? Took all the goods and all my stuff? Ripped off my – GAUGH, IS THIS REMINDING YOU AT ALL!?” He broke down bawling as Jake took a swig out of the can.
“Well, Timmy, if they’re as good as you say they are,” droned Jake half-drunkenly, “I’d know better than to pick a fight.” He staggered and motioned, his arm slack, past the door.
“But Jake,” said the third Aqua member, a skinny, red-haired kid, “Boss told us not to let anyone go past until we get the goods.”
“And Boss told us not to spend emergency money on alcohol,” laughed Jake. “Anyways – ”
“We’re supposed to tell them to go to that ship museum thing and – ”
“Shut up, y’don’t know nothin,” spat Jake. “Anyways – ”
“IF YOU LET THEM GO,” bawled Timmy hysterically, “I’LL TELL BOSS YOU’RE DRINKING AGAIN AND YOU TRIED TO LET SOMEONE ENTER ROUTE 110 AND HE’LL CUT YOUR PAY AND HE’LL DEMOTE YOU AND – ” he took an exaggerated breath, “ – you’ll be stuck your whole life cleaning the Sharpedo feces taaahahahahanks……! HUUUUUP!”
That seemed to sober up Jake, at least a little. He blinked and passed the can to the red-haired boy. Butch and Cassidy crossed their arms and glared at him impatiently. “Mind if I do a test run?” he inquired lazily.
“A test run?” I frowned. I didn’t like that term…
“Y’know,” said Jake. “Like… if you three totally like…” He swung his limp hands in an exploding motion. “DESTROY my one Pokemon I got here, I’d let you through, ay? No tattling to the boss about what I’m doin’?” He shrugged. “Maybe after giving me the goods…”
“They don’t HAVE it, stupid,” wailed Timmy. “Probably sold’em all, thieving b – ” His insult was cut short by Jake’s hand.
“Alriiiiiight. You guys seem ready. Go, Swalot,” said Jake, flinging a white Premier Ball in the air. A huge, round, purple Muk-like Pokemon burst out, and the only difference was that with its beady eyes and whiskers it looked much more mentally challenged. “SWAAAALOT,” it blubbered loudly, almost stupidly.
“Level 18, eh? Go, Ralts,” ordered Cassidy, slamming shut the PokeDex. “Confusion!” The little white thing, somewhat different without its dedication to escape, delivered a mindbending psychic wave which struck the Swalot square in the beady eyes.
“Kickin’,” I encouraged Ralts.
“No thanks’ta you,” she replied.
“Yeeeeowch,” remarked Jake, stumbling slightly as he pointed a finger at Ralts. “Swalot, use Sludge.” Swalot shook mightily and with a trembling roar expelled a gigantic glob of purple gooey substance, whatever it was, which flew at an almost unbelievable speed straight at Ralts’s head. Ralts, who must’ve been practicing her escape tactics, dodged it swiftly, and the scene ended in a poor little Shuppet with gooey whatever-it-was splashed all over his handsome face. Ralts skillfully issued another two consecutive Confusions, hopelessly dazing both Swalot and Jake. She received medium-magnitude damage from a sharp Pound and another Sludge attack by Swalot’s thick, sticky mass, but in the end, the Angel of Success took a **** on our heads and we watched the Swalot slump in a faint and his owner slump in his intoxication, indifferently.
“Well, Rockets,” Jake laughed, finishing his beer. “I ain’t mad at losing. Go ahead. It’s all yours. Just… give me the goods if ya got’em. Hahahahahaha. Isn’t it funny how this kid’s so afraid of you?” He swung his head towards Timmy and fixed his eyes on him. “And Timmy, you’d better keep quiet. Ol’ Jake needs some fun once in a while, aight? One word from you and I’ll shove your head down the feces tank you mentioned.” He reeled away from his spot, leaving the gate open. Timmy and the red-haired boy looked at each other worriedly but said nothing.
“Gee, thanks!” said Butch, and crossed over to the other side.
“Call me,” said Cassidy as she winked at Jake, entered something into her PokeNav and crossed over to the other side.
I turned my attention to Ralts, who suddenly looked like she was evolving. And indeed she was. The small, green helmet, in a flash of light, turned into two bright green pigtails, the horns split into two, and the white body split up into a skirt – the green interior turned leaner, longer, and much more feminine. The eyes grew larger and resembled my own.
“Ya dig?” she grinned.
“I’ll have to get used to it, Miss Retarded,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“Kirlia? What a nice name,” smiled Cassidy. “Anyways, guys, let’s go.” She retrieved Kookoo Kirlia and I followed suit to the other side. “Seeya, Aquas,” we yelled simultaneously, and off we went down Route 110.
“Hey,” I said happily to the two, “did you know that what the Aquas planned for us was actually to go into the Ship Museum and by my wild guess, fight tons of Aqua members and at the end hand over the Devon goods, which they’re looking for and we don’t HAVE, of course, to the guy that’s being held hostage there?”
“Haha, I heard the Museum part as well,” said Cassidy. “Definitely sounds like what they might do. Dramatic and all that.”
“We all gotta thank Jake for selecting his fun-time so precisely!” exclaimed Butch. An uproar of agreement followed from me and the rest, even the Pokeballed ones.
“Uh, hi, Boss,” stammered Jake.