The Pokemonitor Recordings II
Chapter 2: The Contest
” Mamoru cheered.
He ran straight for the Pokeball that held his first Pokemon within its circular shape, picked it up, and dusted off the smudge of dirt. Mimi was already fiddling around in her purse for a Potion, a Berry, anything
to help her dear Peaches to recover from its current condition. Mamoru frowned at the sight of his frantic sister: she looked as if she was doing all she could to keep from having some sort of break-down. She had been on the brink of insanity for almost two months now. Winning those ribbons seemed to be the only thing that was keeping her from losing it.
“I’m sorry, Mimi,
” he muttered.
She burst into tears. There was nothing that could help Pachirisu. The little boy fidgeted with the Pokeball; he didn’t know what to do. Hugging her, apologizing to her, and even giving her a flower didn’t seem to work anymore. It was like she was broken to the point that she couldn’t be fixed. Each step he took towards his sister was filled with uncertainty, but he didn’t stop until he put his arms around his distressed sibling. He searched his brain for something to say, something that would comfort her. Nothing came. Not a single word. He couldn’t tell her it would be okay like he used to because the truth was he didn’t know. Everything seemed to be growing worse and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Frustration mingled with fear and appeared on Mamoru’s face in the form of tears. Soon, Mimi was holding her little brother in her arms as they both cried.
“What’s this? Is my beautiful Mimi crying again?
Both of them looked up. The man standing before them was a lot older, probably in his mid-thirties, and built rather pudgy the surplus of which was barely harnessed by the ever-stained blue shirt that was tucked in to his jeans. His stubble was growing again, but his crooked grin only added to his “charm”. The man sported a bucket hat over his brown hair, the figure himself accessorized only with his fishing pole and a toolbox that he used to carry his bait, tackle, and lunch in.
” Mimi sniffled. “What are you doing out here?
Whenever he laughed, it shook his whole body. Mamoru used to find this funny, but things had changed since eight months ago. The man set down his box and his fishing pole against the tree.
“I should be asking you two the same question. Why aren’t you home making a delicious dinner for your grandmother? I hear she really needs the nutrition.
Neither of them spoke. The man’s grin fell from his face. He wanted to tell them how awful he felt, but making them feel bad wouldn’t help at all. Mimi was such a beautiful young woman around the age of twenty-two. She had long, sienna-colored hair that flowed similar to the way water did and cascaded down her back. Her skin was smooth and fair, easily burned, but gorgeous with those thin, pale lips. The many dresses she wore only brought out her hazel eyes that changed for mysterious reasons. It was Kazuma’s secret will to see the beauty married to a man that deserved her. Though he did not know many men worthy of such a rare jewel, he did know of a young man that worked hard and was extremely fond of her. Kazuma could swear the young man was not just fond of her, but in love.
Mamoru was not far off from his sister, but it was obvious that they were not from the same father. Mamoru’s hair was a darker brown and his body wasn’t half as thin as his sister’s. In fact, he was what most people would call “stocky”: he wasn’t chubby, but he wasn’t slim, either. His eyes were a deep color of brown, much like chocolate, and often swirled with a shade similar to caramel. Contrasting his sister’s sweet, straight smile, Mamoru had a crooked grin that was caused by a mild case of overbite. He was always covered in dirt, too. The ten-year-old really did look just like him…
” Mimi began, but Kazuma shook his head.
“No need to explain, my sweet. Why are you--?
The question didn’t even need to be asked. The man’s brown eyes fell to the electric squirrel in her arms. It was all beat up and looked as if it just went through a rough battle. Kazuma didn’t hesitate to pull the Revive from his toolbox and feed it to the Pachirisu. He knew how much Peaches meant to Mimi.
” it squealed weakly.
“Thank you, Kazuma-san,
” the young woman smiled up at their friend.
“Your Pachrisu is quite a Pokemon, Mimi. I’ve been watching her in the Super Contests and I’d say you have a real chance at winning the Master Rank this year.
The man bent over to pick up his toolbox, but something at the base of the tree in the bushes caught his eye. It was a strange object that he’d never seen before; the thing resembled a camera. Kazuma picked it up, groaning as he stood upright, and peered at it. “Vree vruu” it greeted.
“Huh, that’s weird.
“Wow, a camera!
” Mamoru stepped over his sister and ran to Kazuma.
“I don’t think it’s a camera, Mamoru. I’ve never seen anything like this before.
“Can I have it?
” he reached up for it.
“Mamoru, you don’t even know what it can do,
” Mimi stood up with Peaches cradled in her arms.
“I can find out! I bet it’s the new toy for Pokemon Trainers like a Poketch or something!
“It doesn’t look like anything a trainer would have, but…
” Kazuma shrugged and placed it in the hands of the little boy. “You can have it.
Mimi shifted her gaze from the excited Mamoru to Kazuma with a concerned frown. The man grinned and slung his fishing pole over his shoulder.
“Don’t worry, it’s harmless, Mimi. The boy needs a new toy now and then,
” he winked.
She could only nod. He spoiled Mamoru all the time as if he was his own son and a lot of times, he gave her gifts as well. Kazuma was such a kind man; she couldn’t understand why he didn’t have a family. The man’s elbow stretched near her, bringing her from her deep thought. His crooked grin was as inviting as his offer to escort her.
“Care to join me, Miss Sugita?
The young woman couldn’t help but giggle as she took his arm with her own. Kazuma loved to treat her like a lady and she thoroughly enjoyed it. In her free arm, Pachirisu remained cradled while it rested to regain strength and energy. The pair began to take the stroll to the man’s house nearby with young Mamoru following.
The bag dropped to the ground with a heavy “thud” in front of the desk. Kentaro wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand and lifted his gaze to Data’s huge screen. Live feed of the little boy’s face bobbing up and down as he walked took up an entire square; the rest of the computer was filling with data on the Pidgey that had stolen the device. A loud screech disturbed Kentaro’s attention. He and Satoko, who was just entering the room with her own bag, looked over to the filing cabinet that Ein was digging through. The only way he could reach it was by standing atop a pile of thick books.
“Isoda, what are you looking for?
” A tone of frustration resounded in Satoko’s voice. “We don’t have time to look through records.
“I’m not searching for records, Miyazaki. I’m trying to find a map.
“I have maps,
” Kentaro blinked. “We really don’t need—
“Do you have maps for the entire world, Okasa? Is every region, town, and road on those maps?
“You need maps! If Miyazaki is leading the expedition, you two will most certainly get lost. You need navigation and there isn’t a phone where you can reach me everywhere you go.
“How important is navigation, Ein?
” the scientist asked from the doorway to his tower.
“It is key, Willow-sensei, because although the tracking devices will tell me where they are, it won’t tell them.
“I see. Your visor is networked with Data, correct?
“Yes, it is,
” the prodigy shut the top drawer and started on the one below it.
“If you are tracking them using Data, your visor would be able to tell them where they are, wouldn’t it?
“Of course it would! This gadget can search through every piece of data that is stored within our network.
Satoko and Kentaro stared blankly at the scientist when he smiled slyly.
“Then it’s settled.
” Ein asked absent-mindedly.
“You’re going with them.
The boy didn’t pause. He nodded, muttering each letter to himself as he skipped through the files. His companions watched and waited, but it never reached him. He let out a brief “aha”, removed the entire folder, and raced to the desk. The boy was completely oblivious to everyone staring at him as he snatched the two, MP3-player-like items from the desk and handed them to Satoko and Kentaro.
“These are your tracking devices. I will be able to track you through Data.
” the scientist interrupted.
Instantly, the prodigy’s attention switched to his teacher. The man smiled down at his youngest apprentice.
“You’re going with them.
No reaction. A blank look crossed over the young one’s face as if to say ‘does not compute’. What was the professor talking about? “Go with them”? What did that mean? Professor Willow stepped towards the boy and kneeled, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“You’re going with them to find the Pokemonitor, Ein.
“Wh-what? Wait. What?
His brain flickered back on and instantly processed the meaning of the phrase “go with them”. He shook his head and backed away.
“N-no, I can’t! Willow-sensei, you need me here!
“I think I can manage to type on a keyboard and click a mouse,
” the older man smiled.
“I-I can’t! There are a lot of things to be done! I can’t possibly—
“Ein, listen to me very carefully,
” Professor Willow’s smile faded. “You’re going with them. You have the feedback that plays on this monitor right there in front of your very eyes which means you can track the Pokemonitor and navigate your way through the world.
The prodigy froze. He couldn’t go, he just couldn’t. Satoko nor Kentaro understood why the boy was steeling himself as if preparing for something horrible. Professor Willow stood back up with a soft expression on his face.
“I’ll help you pack, Ein. Satoko, Kentaro: please check to make sure you’re both ready for this journey.
He led the youngest from the room and down the hall to the stairway that connected the second floor with the first. They did not stop until they reached Ein’s bedroom where the scientist closed the door behind the youngster.
“What is it that you’re afraid of, Ein?
“I’m not afraid of anything!
” he defended.
“You cannot live in front of that computer. You cannot live your entire life analyzing data on every Pokemon in the world.
Neither of them backed away from that locked gaze. An uncomfortable silence fell between the two. Alas, the adult knelt before the boy again.
“You are a child, Ein. A very gifted child with a mind like Data’s, but a child nonetheless. When I found you, you were capable of learning so much more and bored with the most basic things that they taught you. I have given you unlimited access to information and you have studied it, analyzed it, and memorized it. Now, I wish for you to learn something else. This is something that cannot be analyzed or studied. It isn’t in books, in a computer file, or even written on paper.
Ein could feel the tears brimming on the edges of his eyes, but he resisted them as much as he could. He was so afraid.
“What is it?
” he asked.
” was the professor’s reply. “You cannot live if you are sitting in front of a computer analyzing data. I want you to learn what bonds are, how to battle, what it really means to be ‘accomplished’. You can only learn these things through experience.
“I-I can’t go with them,
” he sobbed. “I just can’t!
“Yes, you can. They are your friends and that is the best way to travel. What is it that you’re so afraid of?
“The world is different from a map! I don’t have to run from a swarm of Beedrill or hide from an angry Scyther! It’s too big and I don’t know anything! What if the school finds me and locks me back up? What if I get separated from Miyazaki and Okasa?
Laughter was the answer he received. It was not what the child had expected from the scientist, but the man couldn’t help himself. Ein was taken aback and far too confused to get angry.
“You watch too many movies, Ein. The school won’t ‘lock you up’ because you were un-enrolled at my request and with the permission of your parents. As for getting separated,
” he dug around in his pocket and removed an item, holding it out to Ein, “I believe these should solve your problem.
The child stared in awe down at the items in the professor’s hand: three, unreleased versions of the Pokegear sat perfectly color-coded within his palm. There was a green one for Ein, a blue one for Kentaro, and a pink one for Satoko. The pink one was the professor’s idea for a joke. He was always taunting Satoko because she was not girly enough. Ein removed his Pokegear from the scientist’s hand and put it around his neck.
“You shouldn’t be so afraid, Ein. What you don’t know, you can learn. Your comrades, whom you should start calling by their first names, are not going to let anything happen to you. Wigglytuff will be staying with me, but I will be giving you three a choice in Pokemon. First, you must dress appropriately. That lab coat needs to go.
” Ein began.
” the older man interrupted as he stood up. “I want you dressed in different clothes, packed, and ready to go in the next fifteen minutes.
It was with great difficulty that Professor Willow gazed upon the boy and refused to hug him the way he had Satoko. If only he really could tell them all what he felt deep inside; it might help them know that they are not alone. Yet, the man walked around the young one and left the room. Ein stared after him, admired the Pokegear around his neck, and started to remove his lab coat.