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Old 02-19-2012, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: The Trials of an Ex-Pokémon Fan

Chapter Two - Professor Juniper, Part I

Point of View: Farren

So, let's recap. I think I can safely assume that I have woken up in another boy's body (who happens to have the same name as I do) in the world of Pokémon, and that these are real life events. This is definitely not a dream. My mother has a Gothorita, my (supposedly) older sister wants to become a Pokémon trainer, and my father is some kind of cowboy. I live someplace called Nuvema Town, and apparently I have been wanting to be a Pokémon trainer for a very long time. Apparently my favorite color scheme is black and electric blue, which actually isn't half bad. According to my mother, I really want an Oshawott, and she wants me to hurry up so I can be at Professor Juniper's lab and get one. And right now, I am on an éPhone 4S (which is apparently the Pokémon version of the iPhone 4S), using the Lapras Voice Control system (equivalent to Siri) to find my way to this laboratory. And I still do not understand how any of this makes any sense.

And viola. Here I am.

It looked serene. It was a building about the size of a small mansion with an orange rooftop and countless windows, a complex yet simple modern design that pushed outwards and made the entrance the smallest part. It reminded me of some sort of park in one of the older Pokémon games that was a perfect mix of nature and manmade pathways and small buildings. Completely covering it from behind was a forest landscape that faded into large hills, dotted with greenhouses and small towers with satellite dishes gathering data from the atmosphere. I was walking along a sidewalk that made me feel like I was going through a one-house neighborhood, since it really was the only building in its remote area, isolated from the rest of the town. It was actually just a little more than a mile away from my house, which must have made it extremely convenient for most other of the town's inhabitants. It was small and homey, just like Pallet Town and New Bark Town from the older Pokémon games...

Who am I kidding? I used to like Pokémon. Now it just feels like I'm having some sort of epiphany, or relapse. Some part of me thought that when in Rome, you do as the Romans do. When in the world of Pokémon, you like Pokémon. This was only temporary, right? But I could feel my inner Pokémon nerd, repressed for nearly a decade, slowly creeping out like a butterfly from a cocoon. Who knows what could happen while I wait for the answer.

No one was leaving or entering through the front glass doors. I guess this was my cue to move on ahead.

I approached curiously, and just as I was about to look for a doorbell or some sort of intercom, the doors slid open automatically. I jumped back a little bit in fright. only to realize that I had overreacted. Automatic doors aren't scary.

Once I composed myself, I made my way through the doors, opening up into a lobby area. I looked around: it looked kind of like a waiting area one would sit in while they waited for their doctor's appointment. It was very basic, with pictures of more Pokémon I've never seen before surrounding me. After a few moments, I heard a woman's voice - and even a girl's voice - grow a little louder with each passing second. Genna?

As they turned the corner of a hallway, I knew at that instant that neither the woman nor the girl was Genna. First, I saw a very professional-looking lady, despite trying to match a white blouse and a green skirt with red sneakers, in a white lab coat and her brown hair in a simple updo. She was most likely Professor Juniper. Next to her was a girl about my age, in a white dress with an orange halter top and matching orange stockings, who seemed to flaunt upper class status with a green designer purse with the handle slung over her shoulder and a matching beret. Once they saw me, their expressions changed from smiling and effervescent to breathless and astonished. The girl, especially, started biting her lip as her face got especially red with the passing seconds.

"Farren!" the girl said, slowly hastening her way to me due to her rather restrictive clothing, locking me in an embrace once she reached me.

Oh crap. She better not be my girlfriend.

"We were so worried about you. Cheren got here first and chose Snivy. Right before he left, Genna chose Tepig, and they had a Pokémon battle. And I just got here a few minutes ago, and there was only one Pokémon left... I'm so sorry."

Was it just me, or have I heard about this kind of situation before? I don't know what an Oshawott is, so I have no problem passing off on one. But that was the last Pokémon left? What now?

"Well, that might not necessarily be the case," said Professor Juniper, putting her hands in her lab coat pockets nervously. "I mean, yes, shame on you for not coming earlier. I really wish you had, I was looking forward to you becoming a trainer, Farren. When Oshawott was the only Pokémon left, it was very difficult for Bianca to take it..." So the girl's name was Bianca.

Bianca let go of me and stepped back a tad awkwardly, blushing a little. "Uh, yeah. I knew you wanted Oshawott, but I need a Pokémon, too..." Okay, perhaps not my girlfriend - thank God - but she definitely had feelings for me. This was a tad disconcerting.

The Professor continued. "But I knew I was going to have to disappoint someone this year. Three Pokémon, four eligible trainers in Nuvema Town. So I did place an order for any Eggs or newly hatched Pokémon to be sent over here."

I tried to look as if I were taking interest. "Oh? Uh, what options do I have?"

Professor Juniper shrugged. "That, I don't know. I can check the registry if you want, but it's very unlikely right now. I sent it out a week ago, which is my fault. Such requests aren't always fulfilled in a preferred amount of time due to the fact that its not a demand, and needs and local wants are always met before intraregional or interregional wants. When a town does not have a regional Professor - like Nuvema Town has me, for example - When a town does not have a regional Professor - like Nuvema Town has me, for example - the Pokémon Centers of these individual towns and cities hand out any donations they get."

"Can we check it?" I asked, curious.

She smirked briefly, making an about-face and motioning with a forward hand gesture for me to follow. "As you wish. Follow me."

"I'm coming too!" Bianca yelped, trying to catch up as she barely lifted her dress and hustled in our direction.

After a minute or two of going through a couple of hallways and up an elevator, we had finally made it to what felt like a main lab area meshed into an office and a balcony that overlooked the land behind the property. The area itself was somewhat homey and yet still very scientific with unorganized desktops and models of Pokémon placed in random places. An organized mess, as one might call it.

As Bianca slowed down, she started looking around inquisitively, looking at every detail of the room with great interest.

I looked at the Professor, who was ambling over to the computer. She was messing around for a couple of minutes as I too looked around. Not much else to say though: after all, some people look at there surroundings and overanalyze everything they see. They start playing with, for example, the Pokémon they see on posters on the walls of the room. But then, when someone moves unexpectedly or needs you, your daydreams end right then and there, as if impossible ideals that make way to unyielding truths.

"Found one!" exclaimed Professor Juniper, beaming up at and motioning for me to come towards her. "The donation is coming from Castelia City! Remarkable. It's a Pokémon I've never heard of before. It's called Zorua, and is actually part of the Unova Pokédex. I wonder if my father's heard of this Pokémon before?"

"What's a Zorua?" Bianca asked, her daydream coming to a close as she was making her way towards the computer.

Once I had laid eyes on the computer screen, I instantly recognized this Zorua. I had seen advertisements for some new movie with this particular Pokémon. It was a small fox-like Pokémon with purple fur and red accents on its head, eyelids and pointed feet, and had a darker purple mane around its neck.

I cocked my head in wonder for a while. "Zorua?"

"It's a Dark-type Pokémon!" Professor Juniper continued, with Bianca and I hovering on each side of her. "Fascinating. It can change its appearance at will, and is said to have the ability to create minor illusions! Apparently some girl turned it in as a lost Pokémon, but since there was no traceable connection to a Poké Ball, it was taken under the care of Lost Pokémon Rescue Foundation. It apparently had taken the form of a boy and started walking around stealing wallets and food from around Castelia. It doesn't say how they figured out it was really a Zorua, but it looks interesting."

I backed up as Professor Juniper turned around and looked at me. "Well?"

"What?" I asked. "Why are you staring like that?"

"Do you want the Pokémon?" Bianca asked, sticking her tongue out at me. "Silly! We're staring at you for our health. Why do you think?"

I looked closer at the screen. Still, none of this was making any sense, and here I was about to commit to a Pokémon, and probably a Pokémon journey. What was I thinking? Was there any sane rationale I could pull off right now? What could I say? What could I do? This is the real deal, as real as real gets. I was in the Pokémon world. What harm was there in pressing on? Nothing I could think of. What harm was there in stopping and asking about my problem? Perhaps everything. What if you were to stop and ask, "Hey, I'm not from this world, I'm from a world where there is no Pokémon, can you help me?" Same concept as asking for help getting pack to the world of Pokémon if you were to walk around New York City, methinks. I guess there was no harm in pressing on...

"I like the Pokémon?"

"Who wouldn't?" The Professor giggled. "It's very rare from what I can see. I'll reserve it. Why don't you two wait in the waiting room while I get this order finalized?"
The Professor of Pokémon Elite 2000.
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