If I wanted to bore you I’d simply recount my goodbyes with my parents, Professor Alder, and everyone I’d ever known. If I wanted to bore you I could go over the details of turning in mine and Blake’s vouchers, pore over our poring over the dex skin and Trainer Card choices. But I’m a little more fun than that, so I’ll suffice it to say that in four days we were on the trail, sporting stylish satchels, awesomely outfitted dexes and shiny-shiny Trainer Cards (I had an aurora-space type print while Blake had a flames print) with Blake’s Ponyta walking beside us.
Four days after my surprise the first out-of-the-cliché thing happened on our trip.
We encountered a wild Pichu.
We were walking down the route, lush green woods on either side, laughing like ninnies – Blake had just told a really stupid, pointless, and hilarious fart joke – when I saw it.
It was just a little ball of yellow fuzz in a tree, watching the progress of the people with intelligent bronze eyes. Its diamond-shaped ears, the left of which bearing a slight nick, were lifted curiously, and its little nose twitched as well.
I stared at it for a few seconds, and it scampered into the leaves.
“And then,” Blake laughed, “I haven’t gotten to the best part because then…” he looked up at me in surprise. “Chris?” he asked. “What’s up with you? You look like a Shikijika in the headlights.”
“What?” I flinched, then whirled. Blake was eyeing me oddly, Ponyta helping him with this particular job.
“I said, you look like a Shikijika in the headlights,” Blake repeated. “What’s on your mind?”
“Oh, nothing. I just saw a – Blake, would you cut that out?”
Blake was lifting his gloved hands protectively over the side of his head, making my gaze and Ponyta’s turn on him. As I paid attention I began to see little black dots bouncing off his palms at high speed.
“It’s not my fault,” Blake said, moving his hands away as soon as the barrage stopped, “it’s - .”
The Pichu was back, clinging to the very tip of a branch with all fours. It bobbed madly in the breeze, its little pink tongue stuck out.
“Did that Pichu just give us a razz berry?” asked Blake. A sudden thought was taking hold in my brain. “Blake.”
“Let me borrow Ponyta for a second.”
“I said, let me borrow Ponyta for a second.”
At this point Ponyta strode up herself, looking a tad miffed at the concept of being ‘borrowed’. She tossed her beautiful, silky head and looked at the Pichu.
It spat a few seeds at her, nailing her in the center of her forehead with the same dots that had hit Blake.
Ponyta’s nostrils flared, little embers sputtering in the depths. She neighed furiously up at the Pichu – “Ta! Pony-ta!” – and the little yellow hairball snickered.
“Please?” I said. “I want to catch it.”
Blake looked at me like I had turned into a Snorlax. “I could just catch it.”
“But what would be the fun in that?” I demanded. “Come on
. If it’s possible, I want to catch my first Pokémon myself.”
Ponyta had strode up; she was nodding. It was plain to see that she wanted revenge. The Pichu was watching with great interest, laying on the branch on its stomach with its head held between its stublike little paws.
Blake sighed. “All right,” he said. “Just make sure you win.”
I nodded. “Roger dodger.”
The Pichu seemed to have understood the conversation; at any rate it jumped off its branch and stood ready on the ground, small vestiges of electricity crackling in its pink cheeks.
I scanned Ponyta and Pichu with my Dex really quick. Ponyta knew Ember, Growl, Stomp, Quick Attack, and Nitro Charge. Pichu knew Thunder Wave, Thundershock, Quick Attack, Nasty Plot, and Double Team – a good Pokémon, with plenty of moves I needed to watch out for.
“All right, Ponyta!” I called, trying to sound confident despite being in my first ever Pokémon battle. “Let’s start off well with Nitro Charge!”
Ponyta neighed and started dashing forward. As she ran, she gained speed, and her flames flared up until they were whipping around her like a forest on fire. Pichu tried to leap away, just barely dodging the blow itself. However, the little sooty mark on its paw told me Ponyta’s flames had singed it. And at any rate, the attack hadn’t been in vain. Ponyta was close up to Pichu now, and was looking faster, like Nitro Charge should’ve done.
“Good!” I called. “Now use Stomp!”
Ponyta lifted a slate-colored hoof, ready to strike. The foot began to glow white, and when she brought it down with all her might, it made a very good-looking crater on the grass.
The Pichu had disappeared.
Me and Ponyta both looked up, doubtlessly both feeling quite stupid, to see Pichu dashing forward with light trails streaming from all four paws. It had likely Quick Attacked away and then looped back. At any rate, it was coming at Ponyta, which I had a minor problem with.
Ponyta leaped to the left right as Pichu was bearing down, her hoof-flames leaving trails like sparklers. Pichu seemed to be helpless, going right past her…
But then it suddenly dug its paws into the ground and threw its whole body, Quick Attack energy and all, to the left. It smashed back-first into Ponyta’s flank. I gaped.
“Wow!” Blake cried. “That was an awesome trick!”
Ponyta half skidded, half staggered, to the left, looking dazed. Pichu seized its chance and jumped onto Ponyta’s back, just annoyingly out of the flames’ reach. It was grinning like a maniac, its cheeks really crackling now.
“Ponyta!” I cried, not knowing what to do. “Um, um… throw it against a tree!”
Ponyta nodded, seeming far more coherent now. She galloped toward a tree and dashed her left side against it with all her might. Pichu, however, was too smart for that. It leaped off before anything could happen to it and watched Ponyta smash herself into bark.
I gritted my teeth, wincing as Ponyta cried out, “Ponyyyy!” I wished there was something I could do to help her, to ease her pain, or at least suffer it with her. I felt awful making her go to all that just for me.
Pichu was coming back in for another attack as Ponyta flopped around, barely standing. The mouse Pokémon’s paws had gained light trails again, and I knew Ponyta couldn’t stand another hit – and the attack was going to knock her into a tree!
“Ponyta!” I called. “Use Ember! You have to stop it!”
Ponyta turned blearily, facing the oncoming Pichu fearfully. Her mouth opened slightly, the glow of flame forming. Little miniature fireballs shot out of her mouth like paintball pellets from a machine gun. The fire hit Pichu with dead-on accuracy, slowing it severely within seconds. There was a slight pause, when Ponyta was on the last dregs of the attack and Pichu wasn’t even moving, just flailing its paws. Then, suddenly, the Pichu’s energy seemed to break and it flew backward, skidding on the dirt path. It lay on its face where it halted, smoke and dust curling from the short yellow coat.
I swallowed nervously, pulling a Pokéball from the pocket in my bag. I pushed the button in the center, expanding it to fill my palm. I glanced at the red-and-white sphere, fingering the smooth plastic, then tossed it at the fallen Pokémon.
It tapped against the big head, bounced neatly into the air, and snapped open. A red beam of light erupted from the sphere and engulfed the Pichu, dematerializing it and then swallowing it into the ball, which snapped shut once the beam had receded. The Pokéball fell to the ground, landing with a puff of dust on the path.
I held my breath, watching the multicolored orb expectantly. Ponyta ambled over and nudged it with curiosity. The Pokéball shifted slightly backwards but stayed shut.
“Come on,” I heard Blake mutter; I could tell he was as excited as I was.
Suddenly the thing wobbled violently to the right, causing Ponyta to scamper to the away indignantly.
I took a breath, the tension seeming to throttle me.
The Pokéball halfheartedly took a spill to the back, then suddenly bounced a good three inches into the air.
I stared, unable to believe it was staying closed.
I stared dumbly at the Pokéball for a few seconds, till Blake suddenly whooped wildly. “Chris! Chris, you… Ya caught it!!”
I stared for another instant, then grinned, rushing towards the Pokéball and picking it up. It felt almost alive now, housing energy, a live, conscious being that would now and hopefully forever be my companion, my friend, my partner. My first Pokémon.
“Congrats, Chris!” Blake was beaming, ruffling Ponyta’s head proudly, “and great battling on your part, Ponyta!”
I nodded in fervent agreement. “Yeah, Ponyta, thanks!” said I. “I couldn’t have done it without your help.”
“Pony, Ponyta,” said Ponyta, smiling rather smugly.
“You know what this means, right Blake?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“We get to have a battle once we get Pichu fixed up!”
Blake laughed. “It won’t be a fair match, though,” he pointed out. “We already know who’ll win, ‘cos she already did.”
I shook my head and waggled my finger. “Nuh-uh, not necessarily. After all, Pichu might do better with someone giving commands.”
Suddenly the Pokéball in my hand vibrated a bit. It snapped open, the beam shooting out. Pichu materialized on the path, standing there calmly, barely even singed. It cocked its head and looked up at me.
“Hi, Pichu!” I smiled warmly at it, bending down. “Are you okay with me being your new Trainer?”
“Pi…” it considered, looking at my shoulder. Suddenly it hopped up; I was surprised at the relative lightness of it. I managed to straighten without it falling off – hopefully that was good.
“Pi! Pichu, Pi’chu, pi pi-chu!” out of the corner of my eye, I saw it grin, and I smiled too. Now my Pokémon journey had really begun!
Well, that's it for today! This writer is going to bed! ;)