BY INVITATION ONLY Pokemon: Shiretown Trainers! (IC)

Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
POKEMON:
Shiretown Trainers

The song of sunrise echoed through the hills and trees as the sun crested the horizon of Shiretown, a small village in the southwest corner of New Johto. Professor Shrub tossed her blankets across her room and with a delighted smile she threw open the curtains to bask in another beautiful day in a world where the magic and mystery of pokemon waited to be discovered. "Today is the day!" she looked at her calender, the current date was circled in red marker in a obsessive manner, "New trainers will embark on a great adventure, and I get to personally work with the man who changed everything we know about pokemon", her heart fluttered with excitement as she daydreamed. Shrub donned her horn rimmed glasses and her lab coat before rushing down the stairs to the kitchen and living space area.

"Good Morning Azumarill" she smiled at her pokemon companion, it had a little pink bow around it's left ear, "Azu-maaarill", the blue water pokemon waddled to the kitchen table and took a seat across from the professor. "Is Brent awake yet?", Shrub asked her friend as toast popped out from the toaster. Azumarill directed her gaze at the front door and mimicked walking with her arms going up and down, "Azu Azu", she responded calmly. "Ah I see, out for a walk?", Azumarill nodded, "Well I hope he had some breakfast because we have a big day ahead of us!", she took a bite of her toast, "You, Brent and I are going on a great adventure with some other brand new trainers in the Kanto region", she scanned the table for a moment, "Have you seen my phone?", Azumarill got up from her chair and opened the refrigerator, the pokemon grabbed the phone and placed it on the table in front of her trainer. "Silly me, I must have left it in there last night when I got a glass of milk... I would lose my head if it wasn't for your Azu", Shrub smiled at the pokemon, but Azumarill tilted her head to the side, confused by the turn of phrase.

Shrub unlocked her phone to reveal a wallpaper of a selfie with herself smiling and Brent play a game on his NINTENDO Switch, focused on the screen inattentive to the photo being taken. She opened the PokeGear messenger app and added her three interns to the message. First was Sprigg, originally from Kanto and currently living with her grandparents, bright young woman who could bring lots to the study of pokemon, seemed sheltered but that will soon change. Next was Clint, his mother Gloria was the Shiretown Gymleader, she disappeared a few years ago and the gym is currently boarded up, he lives with his father and is really enthusiastic about becoming a trainer. Lastly was Brent, he was orphaned at a young age and he had been living with Shrub ever since, he didn't seem very interested in pokemon or becoming a trainer but she was hoping to change that with the Pokedex challenge. The text message read:

<Good Morning Everyone! This is Professor Shrub in case you didn't have my number already. We will be meeting at 11am at the pokelab for a lunch icebreaker and then we will hop onto the S.S Wendy for our adventure in the Kanto region! I'm excited to work with each one of you and so are the pokemon I have chosen to be your first companions. Anyways, I'll be at the lab early if you want to stop by with any questions! See you all soon :) >

Smiling, Professor Shrub set her phone down and cleaned the table. She fixed her hair in the mirror by the door and put on her sandals, "Okay Azu, time to go to the lab!" she called to her friend. Azumarill looked at her perplexed, "What's wrong?", Shrub asked the pokemon. "Azu-marill", the pokemon let out a small sigh and tapped her friend's naked legs. It was then that the professor realized she was about to walk out of her home not wearing any pants, she laughed. "You're right, I should probably put on pants".

Azumarill giggled.
 
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foodforpigs

pigs for food
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Brent had woken up before sunrise. His back was against an end wall of a renovated mini-mall, to keep in sync with the Poke-culture. His headphones were in deep in his ears, and eyes darted over the screen of his game console as he crunched inputs. A long breath went out through his nose, then snapped off the console abruptly. Brent's head felt like it was being microwaved, swimming in his skull of what had melted. He hadn't eaten anything since last night, and last night he had only picked at and nibbled a morsel of the celebratory supper.

His mom assured that everything would turn out fine. He had been told a month in advance, and she'd leave brochures of locations to try and get him excited. She even teased him about perhaps finding a special someone on his journey. He crossed his arms and folded his legs, gripping against his black fleece long sleeves. The cold of early morning massaged his forehead, while the rest of his body was shielded by his clothes and pose. He wiped tears from his eyes and pushed himself up. He turned around and kicked the wall. He put a cold hand over his hot forehead.

Not everything had to be about pokemon. The mini-mall certainly wasn't that way, long ago. There used to be a movie/rental store, a dry cleaner, and a nice bakery. After the strip mall had been bought out, it was now the boring chain of PokeMart and PokeCenter, with human needs and interests being the mere backdrops to Pokemon. Still, Brent favored the old brick wall over the nearby wilderness. Wild pokemon rarely went near civilization.

His mom had offered her Pokemon as rentals, but Brent adamantly refused. He never told her about the bullies that would rough him up at this place, teasing him for not having Pokemon, taunting him to steal Pokemon at the lab to fight with. This was despite knowing Brent didn't care or know much about Pokemon despite being the Professor's lab assistant. Sometimes their small Pokemon would join in, clawing and biting his arms and legs, when he had worn t-shirts and shorts. Although the place was a source of pain for him, it was still his sacred spot. Not once did he give the bullies the satisfaction of a fight.

Professor Shrub saw him while on her walk to the lab with Azumarill and she called out his name, but he didn't respond.
"Brent?" Shrub repeated his name, calling for him.
"Here mom." said Brent.
"Did you get something to eat for breakfast?" said Shrub. "You don't look well."
"I'm fine mom."
"Are you sure? I can get you something at the Mart."
Meat filled buns from the Mart were garbage compared to the old bakery ones, but to allay suspicion that nothing was right about today and to get her to stop asking questions, he nodded his head.
 
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Freyalise

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The faint sound of clattering plates and pans stirred Sprigg awake from her restless sleep. Despite preferring to sleep on her back, she lay splayed out on her stomach, with an arm and leg limply hanging off the edge of the bed. The blanket, which was half on her body and half over the bed, slipped onto the floor as she rustled.

Brushing her hand against her cheek, she pulled herself out of bed and picked at the drool and a tendril of hair which had stuck to her face. She showered and dressed quickly, pulling her messy mop of hair back into a braid. As ringlets popped out of the twist, she let out a long, frustrated breath knowing by the end of the day, it would return to its natural poofy state.

"Sprigg," Grandma Ida called from downstairs.

"Be right there!" She wiped a few pieces of hair from her face and then raced down the stairs.

Grandpa Blaise was in his chair, rocking slowly while reading a book on the patio. The early morning sun shone through the glass, and as it trickled into the kitchen, dust particles glistened when hit just right by the light. Laid out on the table was an array of food: apple cinnamon oatmeal, an assortment of fruit, and garden veggie omelettes. As Sprigg took a seat, Ida set a plate of ribeye on the table. Grandpa liked his breakfast steak.

Just as she reached for an omelette, her phone buzzed. She grabbed it quickly, reading over the message and giggled. <As if I didn't already have your number :p> she teased, sending a response back.

"We're meeting at 11, gotta go!"

Ida put a hand on Sprigg's shoulder, pushing her back down. "Sprigg, it's only 9." It wasn't the time she was really concerned about. Part of her was sad, hesitant and worried to see Sprigg go away on such a long trip. Since the disappearance of her parents, they took great lengths in protecting her. It was their job as her new caretakers, not only sheltering her from the outside world, but emotionally harboring her too. For years now, Sprigg had asked them to give her some slack, to let her venture on her own. She had never been alone before or left to her own devices. She was becoming a young woman, and really, she should be able to have that freedom. Sometimes people needed to grow and experience the world for themselves, and this was the first step in making that happen. Luckily, Ida trusted Shrub. It made the decision easier, and she knew her granddaughter would be taken care of.

Sprigg gently removed her grandma's hand from her shoulder and stood back up. "I can't be late."

"It takes 20 minutes to walk to the pokelab," Blaise walked into the kitchen, setting his book on the table.

"I'll take a detour. Bye!" She grabbed a piece of fruit and stuffed it into her mouth as she ran out the door.

"Be safe!" "Have fun." "Don't talk to strangers," her grandparents called out through the crack of a kitchen window.

"Byyyyyyyye," Sprigg waved, looking back at the home she was leaving behind.

It was a small, quaint cottage nestled behind a hedge wall. A long path cut through the property, with magost berry trees scattered throughout. One of her favorite features about living here was the long path that lead into town and the walks up and down it. Isolated from the hubbub of town, it made her feel closer to nature, sometimes pretending she lived in the woods or up in the mountains.

She held her book loosely in her arms, jotting notes as she walked aimlessly through the town: how many gulls there were at the dock, the number of cracks in the sidewalk in front of the community center, what direction the wind blew the overgrown weeds and flowers at the rundown gym, and finally, the pokelab. Without looking away from the lab, she scribbled what she felt standing before it. Hopeful. Overjoyed. Excited. Overwhelmed. Eager and - reaching up, she gripped the locket in her hand. Determined.

'I'm coming for you.. Taking a deep breath, she took a confident step forward.

Once inside, she had no idea what to expect. She didn't know who the other trainers were or what they looked like, and she only briefly met Shrub. Looking around, she didn't see the purple permed professor anywhere. 'I thought Shrub would be here already,' her eyes glanced down at her pokegear. 10:06. 'Hmm, maybe I didn't take as long of a detour as I thought.' She took a seat at the table, turning the locket between her fingers as she waited.
 

Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
"Arcanine quick, use Fire Blast!" Clint commanded as he watched his fire type pokemon breathe a powerful flame attack at its opponent, the large pink pokemon with a curly tail known as Wigglytuff. "Now finish it off with Take Down!!", Clint pointed his finger with determination and Arcanine pounced on the Wigglytuff and hurled it outside the pokemon league ring.

The stadium speakers crackled with excitement and the crowd cheered, "The Shiretown Pokemon Master does it again! Clint wins! Flawless victory!", the crowd stormed the stage and lifted Clint in the air, they cheered and his name echoed all around, "Clint! Clint! Clint!", and then "Earth to Clint", huh?, Clint looked around to see where the voice was coming from. Instead of finding the source of the voice, he found himself locking eyes with a gorgeous woman with long crimson hair in an extravagant white dress that hugged her curves, she held a portrait photo of him and handed Clint a permanent marker. "No problem beautiful", Clint smiled, signing his name surrounded it with a heart, "How about you and I go celebrate over some drinks and burgers?", he blushed as he looked into her piercing brown eyes. The woman opened her mouth to respond, "MACHOOOKE!".

Clint snapped awake stunned and was confronted by his father's Machoke, the fighting type pokemon. The extremely buff pokemon was on Clint's bed directly over him and stared awkwardly only inches from the teenager's face. Clint's father, Cliff, howled with laughter in the corner of the room "Although I'm sure Machoke is flattered, I just don't think you're really his type", he wiped his eyes from tears of laughter, "Rise and shine Pokemon Master, it's almost lunch time... aren't you leaving on your pokemon adventure today?"

Flabbergasted, Clint fell from his bed and reached for his PokeGear on the side table beside his bed, "It's 10:30!!", his heart jumped from his chest and pounded with intensity when he read the Professor's text message. "I need to go right now Dad!", he ran to his closet and put on his clothes faster than a Jolteon's quick attack. Clint is going to start his pokemon adventure today and set out with Professor Shrub and two other trainers to the Kanto Region. I wonder which pokemon Professor Shrub will give me, I hope the other trainers are super cool, Clint thought to himself as he scanned his room for his backpack, "Have you seen my bag!?"

"I already packed it for you, it's by the front door", his dad replied. Clint raced down the stairs as fast as he could and slipped on his runners, he needed to hurry up if he wanted to make a good impression. "Wait son, hold your horses" his dad put his hand on Clint's shoulder, "We got something for you", he nodded to Machoke and the fighting type pokemon held out a gift-wrapped box. "Go ahead open it", Clint's dad encouraged, "MAAAACHOKE CHOKE", Machoke also encouraged. Clint opened the gift quickly, he lifted the lid of the box to reveal a brand new baseball cap, a jet black hat with the pokemon league 'L' in green on the front and a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses. Clint was overwhelmed, the gifts were perfect, he felt like he was going to cry but held back his tears. He looked to the family portrait next to the door, resting on the wall, in the picture he was 5 years old and behind him was his Mom and Dad with his Mom's pokemon gym in the background. Clint's mother Gloria was wearing her signature mirrored aviators, the same brand and style as the pair he had just received.

"If your mother was here, she would say she was proud that you're about to start on your pokemon adventure", Clint's dad said with a serious tone, "Machoke and I look forward to hearing about all the cool pokemon you find on your journey and we will be paying close attention for any news about our reigning champ", a pokemon popped out of a pokeball on his dad's belt, "Goldeen goldeen", Cliff's goldeen floundered around on the floor, his dad chuckled and scratched the back of his head, "Goldeen is excited too I guess". Clint smiled, "Thanks you guys, I won't let you down", he put on his new hat backwards and placed his new sunglasses on before putting on his backpack, his fishing rod poked out the opening in the back. "How do I look?" he posed with his hand on his hips and chest out as he stood by the door. "MA-choke!", Machoke gave an enthusiastic thumbs up and his father took a picture with his phone, "Like a winner", his Dad grinned, "Now get going, you don't want to be late".

"Right", Clint nodded his head and opened the door. He looked back to his father and the pokemon, gave a quick wave and jumped off the porch into a run straight to the pokelab. "Don't forget to call once in a while!", his Dad called out after Clint.

Bring her back home...

...please...

* * *

Meanwhile, Professor Shrub, along with Brent and Azumarill, opened the doors to the pokelab only to find Sprigg standing in the foyer. "Sprigg!", the professor exclaimed, "So sorry I wasn't here to greet you as soon as you walked in! Let me show you around! Follow me!", Shrub ran past Sprigg and opened the main door to the lab. There was an array of computers, microscopes, and other scientific tools and documents strewn all over the place. There was a Magikarp in a fish tank attached to a computer that displayed a graph of several columns, a table with a variety of feathers in ascending order of size, and last was a large tubular container with a strange purple gas with green tendrils... just to name a few.

"This is my lab! A place of wonder and mystery, much like the world of pokemon we are about to experience on our grand Pokedex Adventure!", Shrub danced with enthusiasm around the counters and tables, she pointed sporadically in directions and called out the purpose of several rooms attached to the lab; storage, pokemon training, a kitchen, and machines that healed injured pokemon, it was hard to keep track as the words ran out of her mouth faster than the ear could keep up.

Professor Shrub sipped from her coffee, allowing silence to grab hold of the room. Azumarill pulled on her lab coat,the pokemon patted it's tummy and made a gesture pointing at it's wrist indicating that it was time to eat. "Oh right...., Brent, this is Sprigg, Sprigg, Brent, Brent Sprigg- OK time for lunch and we can become more acquainted", She clapped her hands, "Sudowoodo has been working all morning to prepare the best lunch in Shiretown!"

As if on que, there was a burst of sound at the front door of the lab, panting, Clint tried to catch his breath.

"Oh goodie!", Professor Shrub exclaimed, "Everyone is here!"

"Hey everyone", Clint adjusted his clothes, still wearing his sunglasses, "I'm Clint", he scanned the room and smiled at the girl with wild firizzy sage green hair he had never seen her before, and a boy he knew from school named Brent, he had no idea Brent had any interest in becoming a trainer, but it made sense given who his mother was.

The group stepped out into the backyard of the lab and found a large wooden table with a red and white plaid picnic tablecloth. On the table was each of the young trainers favorite foods and a large pitcher of lemonade.

"WOODO WOODO", An excited sudowoodo wearing a chef hat and a wide grin pulled out a chair and indicated to Professor Shrub to take her seat in front of what appeared to be a giant banana split.

"Shall we?", Shrub sat and smiled.
 
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foodforpigs

pigs for food
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Brent had seen Sprigg around before, but hadn't talked to her. While mom was enthusiastically giving Sprigg the tour of the lab, Brent had tuned it out. She was excited about the adventure he was going on. Clint barging in made the total amount of real aspiring trainers in the room from one to two. Brent had talked to Clint a couple of times at school, but not often, certainly not after it was clear that Brent had no real interest in pokemon.

As the whole group went to the picnic table to their assigned dishes, Brent realized that he sat across from his mom, and not beside her. From this perspective, he could see others in plain view, Sprigg to her left and Clint to her right, each with content looks on their faces. Taking a photo from his point of view made sense - there was no one out of place. Nausea took over again, the mart bun from earlier churned in his stomach.

He lifted the metal lid from his tray to reveal his favorite soup, chicken noodle, just like mom had said, alongside a whole package of saltine crackers. However, he noticed that it wasn't from a can like usual. It was clearly made by scratch, with thick noodles, fresh chicken bits, and a beautiful yellow broth. Sudowoodo looked at Brent expectedly, as though anticipating his first taste above the others. Brent found that somewhat odd. He'd see Sudowoodo frequently since Brent had basic stable duties. They had maintained an aspect of cordiality between each other ever since Brent was a youngster, but seeing Sudowoodo like this made Brent realize that he hadn't fully realized the extent of their unspoken bond.

Slightly intimidated of leaving a bad impression on the rest of the group despite the nausea, he gingerly lifted the spoon and started to blow on it to cool it. He then sipped it before his mom would've offered to put in a couple of ice cubes. A tear ran down Brent's face as he could feel the warm soup flow down into his cold body.

"It's not good?" said Shrub. Sudowoodo also looked slightly distraught.
"No, no." said Brent, wiping the stray tear from his eye. "It's really good. My compliments to the chef." Brent cleared his throat. "I'm sorry. Will you excuse me?"
He promptly got up.
"Your soup will go cold."
He was already out of view back into the lab. Shrub sighed. "Sorry about that. He gets that way sometimes." She proceeded to carve a piece of banana and get some ice cream and chocolate sauce on it, and put it on her tongue to savor the taste. It wasn't that she didn't want to follow Brent inside, but she knew it would only make him feel worse about himself.
 
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Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
Clint joined everyone outside at the picnic table and took his seat to the right of Professor Shrub, the girl with wild sage green hair sat across from him while Brent sat at the other end of the table to his right. As Sudowoodo lifted the covers for Shrub and Brent's meals he felt his stomach turn, then shortly after it emitted a loud growl. Due to all the excitement of the morning at his house he had forgotten to get something to eat. Sudowoodo removed the cover in front of Clint to reveal a enormous burger the size of his head, there were tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, melted chedder cheese, and bacon surrounding a steaming beef patty with a toasted pretzel bun. The steam fogged his aviators as he drooled and he removed the sunglasses in order to appreciate the masterpiece further. The burger looked so good that Clint felt that it would be a crime to eat it, Although on the other hand... it would be a shame to not eat such an amazing burger, he thought for a brief second before grasping the burger with both hands and his desire took over. The young man opened his mouth wide and widened it more in order to wrap his mouth around a hearty bite. The bite had all the rich flavours collide with the tastebuds of his tongue, the beef patty was cooked phenomenally and revealed the unexpected spicy zing of jalapeno. Tears welled in Clint's eyes as he made eye contact with Sudowoodo, he nodded to the pokemon and took another bite. He found himself captured by the meal, unable to break away his focus. Clint had not noticed that Brent had excused himself from the table until what remained of his burger was the few strands of shredded lettuce and drips of ketchup that lingered on the plate.

Though the professor didn't seem worried about Brent excusing himself, Clint felt concern and took out his pokegear from his pocket and sent a text message to Brent after copying Brent's number from the group text from earlier. >Hey dude, hope you're feeling okay, I know we don't talk much but I look forward to travelling with you and Sprigg<, the text was short and concise, however it eased Clint's concern when he pressed send.

Clint looked up from his pokegear and waited until Professor Shrub was finished her spoonful of banana split before asking her a question, "Thank you for the lunch professor, your Sudowoodo is a very talented chef! Will we be meeting our pokemon companions soon?"

Professor Shrub drank some iced lemonade, she smiled, "You won't be meeting your pokemon until we reach the Kanto region, I understand your excitement though, I personally chose the 3 pokemon who will accompany you guys. One grass type, one fire type, and a water type from Johto... people in Kanto will be very jealous because these particular pokemon are rare even for Johto".

Uuurgh I can't stand this mystery, Clint thought to himself, I wonder what pokemon they will be!, he listed several pokemon in his mind that matched the types but he struggled to figure out which ones made the most sense.

Shrub looked to Sprigg, "Sprigg is actually originally from Kanto, how are you enjoying your meal my dear?", Shrug smiled genuinely and poured herself another glass of lemonade, "Sudo honey, could you check on Brent? Maybe his stomach is upset".

"Sudo Sudowoodo", Sudowoodo removed his chef hat and made an elaborate bow to the table before exiting into the lab. "Isn't he so gosh darn charming?", Professor Shrub said with pride.
 

foodforpigs

pigs for food
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Brent was in the first aid room of the laboratory, lying on an examination table with a small blanket over himself. After he had vomited out the mart bun and more, and flushed the toilet, he felt colder and emptier than before. It hadn't been a great start at all to the journey he was set upon. He heard a knock at the door, and as he got up, he saw Sudowoodo was there. Behind Sudowoodo near the entrance was the trolley that had been used to transport their dishes.

"Hi, Sudowoodo." said Brent, meekly. "Sorry about, you know, leaving early."
Sudowoodo walked in, placed the chef's hat on a hook, and hoisted himself on the table to sit beside Brent. He placed an arm on Brent's back and rubbed it. "Sudo." He didn't sound mad at all. They sat together in silence for about a minute.
"After all this time, we've really never talked to each other." said Brent.
Brent's stomach then rumbled.
"Sudo!" Sudowoodo exclaimed. He went back to the trolley and quickly set up another bowl of soup. Brent re-adjusted the blanket now draped over his shoulders as he gingerly held the tray on his knees. Brent smiled and after hungry spoonfuls of delicious noodles and broth, took the bowl to his lips and slurped down the rest. He then set aside the tray and wiped the tears from his eyes.
"Thanks pal."

His phone buzzed. Feeling better now than before, he was more receptive to the first message sent by Clint expressing his good wishes. He also saw the second message that caused his phone to buzz. He quickly replied with Clint's by texting < thx. stomach ache no worries >

< SS Wendy's docking in twenty minutes, so the rest of the party's leaving now. No matter what, I'll always love you. >
"That's our cue." said Brent.
The two promptly got off the examination table and Sudowoodo took out a hand to shake. Brent knelt down with arms wide. Sudowoodo, surprised, walked in, and got his first hug from Brent.
---

As Professor Shrub had predicated, the SS Wendy had arrived promptly at the twenty minute mark. The incident where Brent had abruptly left the table appeared to have been already glossed over. Brent, however, didn't initiate any small talk with either Clint or Sprigg, not sure what to say at all. They'd might be shocked to know he wasn't very knowledgeable about pokemon in the first place, and talking to them might make that extremely obvious. He did have his Switch on standby, but his mind was still spinning from the anxiety. When he saw the SS Wendy dock, he didn't expect it to be a cruise ship doing a layover. Promptly after docking, the ramp went down and the Captain was first to walk down it with military step and shiny black shoes expertly tied.

"Captain Horatio, at your service. Will those wishing to dock kindly move aside as to allow departures. Thank you, thank you."
Captain Horatio was tall and muscular, dressed in a military-style navy black uniform, with crisp white shirt and tie, and had rebellious, curvy, light red hair as he lifted his hat in a salute. Alongside him were two other crewmen setting up a simple rope fence as Horatio indicated with a baton a 'back' motion with eager passengers that would come onto the boat.
"Ah, Professor Shrub! How good to see you again."
"Likewise, Cap'n."
"And Youngster Brent! Well, not so youngster anymore."
"Hello, sir."
"I'm supposing these two are your new friends, Sprigg and Clint!" he exclaimed, shaking their hands enthusiastically.
"You memorized the passenger manifest." observed Professor Shrub coolly.
"You got me. Why not go on a private excursion with me after you drop them off?"
"You dog!" Professor Shrub chuckled, and hit him playfully on the chest. "I'm staying with Oak for research, silly."
---

Brent had stayed on deck to look at the calm, vast ocean that split the Pokemon regions cleanly. Their destination was in the Kanto region, a Pallet Town. There was talk that it had been the birthplace of the great Ash Ketchum. Even Brent had heard that name before - one of the greats. He then something pierce the water at a distance.

"Mom, look!" Brent exclaimed eagerly. It was only a silhouette. It looked like some sort of sea monster. It was blue, which was the same color as the ocean; the grey shell was slightly more visable in the distant light.
His mom looked over the rails too and looked genuinely surprised. "A Lapras! How wonderful!" She snapped a few pictures with her camera. "Too bad it's so far away. You keep your eyes open like that and you'll find lots of Pokemon."

The cruise helped much to clear Brent's mind. There were plenty of activities, and everyone on the boat was there to have a good time. There were a Pokemon out and about, but they too were just enjoying themselves.

The trip seemed to go by in a blink. Brent firmly shook Captain Horatio's hand as he disembarked from the ship. His mom and the others were already on land.
"Goodbye, Captain Horatio."
"See you around."
"One more thing." said Brent. "My mom would love to see a Lapras up close."
"Why are you --"
Brent smiled and ran down the ramp down to the mainland. They were all headed to the park where all three would finally receive their first pokemon. Sprigg would go first, followed by Clint, then Brent would get the last one. His mom assured Brent in private on the cruise ship that she was confident he would do well with any starting Pokemon.
 
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Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
When lunch concluded, Clint joined the others as they boarded the S.S Wendy and they were greeted by the red-haired beard of Captain Horatio, a grinning man filled with enthusiasm with a hint of salty air that lingered on his breath. The Captain peered into Clint's sunglasses, "You must be Gloria's son, I'd recognize those facial features on land and sea, take off those shades so I can get a good look at ya", Clint took off his sunglasses, "Ah, that's a good lad. You got the look of an ace trainer that's for sure. Ha! It took me forever to convince your mother to take off her sunglasses so her and I could be properly acquainted."

"Thank you Captain Horatio, nice to meet someone who knew my Mom", Clint hid his expression by putting his sunglasses back on, he wasn't ready to talk about his mother. "No problem", the captain could sense some tension and extended his hand and shook hands with Clint vigorously, "If you want to take a spin at the helm you know where to find me"
"Thanks I will", Clint looked to Professor Shrub who nodded her head in approval. Horatio also looked to Sprigg, "If you wish to come along the more the merrier!", he Captain exclaimed passionately.

The horn of the steamboat boomed across the ocean and the S.S Wendy left the dock of Shiretown, off on the start of their grand pokemon adventure. As the boat moved, Clint walked around the deck. On his walk Clint caught a glimpse of a Poliwhirl helping one of the members of the crew. He smiled at the pokemon and the Poliwhirl smirked and carried about its business, definitely accustomed to being around strangers. Clint had never seen a Poliwhirl and was amazed at it's strength, it aided the sailor in lifting a heavy crate and it reminded Clint of his father's Machoke back home. Captain Horatio snuck beside Clint casually, "Did you know that Poliwhirl and its evolved form Poliwrath can learn nearly every fighting type move? It is pretty amazing that a water type could be so versatile and be almost as strong as a Machoke.. that is unless you evolve the Poliwhirl into a Politoad instead, then the pokemon gets more complicated"

Clint looked to the side at the Captain and smiled genuinely, glad he shared that morsel of knowledge with him, "That's really cool! I think it is neat that pokemon can learn moves that aren't their type, makes me excited to train my pokemon to know unique moves to maybe give me an edge in a battle", Horatio stroked his beard, "Well if you ever need some tips on training water type pokemon, I'm your guy, used to be a trainer myself and I still battle from time to time", he paused, remember that he was needed at the helm, "Follow me to the helm and I'll show you how to surf the waves, and I'll answer some questions"

"Sure!", Clint adjusted his backpack on his shoulder and followed the Captain, "Maybe you can tell me some types of bait I can use to catch strong water types!", Clint's mind bombared with questions and he hoped he had enough time to ask them all. "It would be an honor", Horatio touched the brim of his hat and a glint of light caught a golden tooth near the edge of his smile.

---

The Shiretown trainers and Professor Shrub arrived in Palletown right on schedule and each bid farewell to the Captain in their own way. Clint exchanged pokegear phone numbers with the Captain and the Captain said he could answer more of his questions over the phone whenever he was docked.

Palletown was busy for a town, mostly due to its rise in popularity. There was a man at the dock selling Pikachu hats and pointed at the Ash Ketchum and Pikachu statue in the middle of town beside the Pokelab, he had snared a few tourists in sales-pitch and the Shiretown trainers slipped past him without incident. The streets were paved with fine sediment and was very clean, much cleaner than the ragged streets of Shiretown, not to say the streets weren't nice back home, but Clint noticed the small detail. In front of the statue, Professor Shrub chimed, "Instead of introducing you to your pokemon in a controlled environment... like a laboratory, my method involves introduction out in the wild!", she waved her arms around frantically, "So follow me gang! We will go to my favorite park in town. Mr Mime park!", she let out a huge smile and ran ahead. Clint jogged excitedly behind her, and looked back to see if the others followed.

Surprisingly, the park was relatively empty with only a few small children and parents lingering about, it seemed to Clint that the park was more obscure among the local kid population, although most kids his age who were uninterested in the outdoors or pokemon either played sports in arenas or stayed at home playing video games. The park was designed as a jungle gym with a large Mr. Mime head in the middle and its arms extending outward from the ground, a large slide extended from the mouth, mimicking a large pink tongue. There was also a small pokemon battle area painted in white on the grass nearby, "Isn't it wonderful?", Shrub exclaimed to the group.

Clint shrugged, it was unlike any park he had seen but he was more interested in the pokemon they were about to receive. Shrub led the group to a little grove like area off to the side with trees that made a crescent moon shape around them. Her back to the trees, the professor unclasped her briefcase and revealed 3 pokeballs, "Okay gang lets take a seat", she crossed her legs on the grass, and looked at each trainer intently, "I'm going to show each pokemon one at time and tell you it's type and name. I will then decide the order you get to pick", she winked at Brent subtlety but also not so subtle.

Finally, Clint was shaking with excitement.

Professor Shrub reached for a pokeball and with a red glow from the ball, it released a small, pale green Pokémon with a darker necklace of buds. It had a large head in proportion to the rest of its body with large red eyes that appeared to have no pupils. It had four short legs with a single nailed toe on each and a small tail. Its most distinguishing feature was the large leaf on the top of its head, longer than the rest of its body. "This is the Grass Type pokemon, Chikorita!"

"Chiko!", the Chikorita looked at the trainers and ran in a circle, excited to be out of the pokeball.

Chikorita image

"Next we have...", Shrub reached for another pokeball and released the second pokemon, a small, bipedal Pokémon with bluish fur on top of its body, and a milky color on the underside. Some features included the flames on its back, while its general body shape was shrew-like. Its eyes were often closed and it had a long, thin snout. It lacked claws on its forelimbs, but has a single claw on each hind foot. "The Fire Type pokemon, Cyndaquil!"

"Cynda-quil Cynda!", the Cyndaquil looked to the trainers and yawned, small flames appeared on it's back and subsided to give off a warm glow.

Cyndaquil image

"And third..", the professor pushed her glasses up on her nose with her index finger and released the third pokemon, a bipedal, blue crocodile with red spines on its back and tail. The spine on its back was larger with additional ridges and its head was large, with ridges above its eyes. There were two visible teeth on the tip of its upper jaw, and two rows of three teeth on each side of its lower jaw. On its chest was a yellow, somewhat V-shaped pattern that extended to its arms with a line bisecting the pattern. The pokemon had five sharp claws and three toes, Its eyes were red and surrounded by a dark blue or black pattern. "Totodile, the Water Type pokemon!"

"Dile Dile", the Totodile scanned the grassy area and bit down on a stray branch close by, breaking the branch with it's strong jaws.

Totodile image

All three of the pokemon played around happily in the grass with eachother, and Professor Shrub smiled. "I want Sprigg to be the first to choose", she looked at Sprigg knowing full well that Sprigg loved all pokemon equally and though it may be tough for the young woman to choose, after the decision Shrub felt that Sprigg would learn to be happy in her choice. "Next we will have Clint choose and last will be Brent, who will take the remainder pokemon. Though all these pokemon are different types, each of these pokemon have a large amount of potential! I captured each one personally."

"It's okay to take your time making your choice", Professor Shrub's pokegear buzzed and she stood up as she answered it, "Shrub here?, Oh yes, we are just in Mr. Mime park if you wanted to come by with the others in about 30 minutes, see you sooooon <3."
 
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Freyalise

Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week
Smiling briefly, Sprigg nodded towards Brent as the two followed Shrub into the lab. She wasn’t all that interested in the lab, to be honest. She wanted more to be down in the dirt, in the thick of the woods, and out in the wild experiencing pokemon than in some dingy isolated lab.

From behind, another trainer burst into the room. Her heart jumped from the sudden intrusion before giving a small wave.

As they stepped foot into the backyard for lunch, Sprigg felt like she could finally breathe again. She took a seat beside Shrub and adjusted herself in the chair, placing a hand over her stomach as it began to rumble. Looking around the table, her eyes laid on what was on everyone else's plate. Clint's burger looked juicy and delicious, topped with fresh ingredients that would give it a satiating crunch. Brent had a warm bowl of soup, the kind to make one want to cozy up on the couch with a blanket during a rainy day. She looked to Shrub, extending her neck to get a better look. "Is that…" she pointed her finger a few times, "a banana split," she pouted her lips. Abruptly sitting back in her chair, she wondered what awaited to be revealed beneath her silver cover. Rubbing her hands together, she lifted the cover and upon her plate...a cup of Brent's soup, a slider version of Clint's burger, and a half banana split. Sudo nudged Sprigg as he gestured to her meal. "It's...perfect!" Of course, she'd want to try everyone's meal. It was fitting she got a little bit of everything.

As the table ate their meals, Brent suddenly got up and excused himself. While she was concerned, her attention was quickly pulled away by Shrub's inquiry. "Oh.." she nodded her head and quickly covered her mouth. She didn't want to be rude as she talked with food in her mouth. "I'm enjoying it, quite. Thank you very much." She wiped her mouth with a napkin and then set it back on the table. "If the rest of our journey is as good as this lunch, I will be a happy girl," she beamed.

Before she knew it, it was time to proceed with their adventure.

Sprigg bore a big cheesy smile as they boarded the SS Wendy, saluting Captain Horatia as she walked passed him. "Ahoy Cap'n." Sprigg liked the idea of playing a pirate, though was far from it being they were on a steamboat.

Time seemed to pass quickly on the ship. The view of the ocean was beautiful and vast, the sound of the waves crashing into the ship was oddly calming and rhythmic. Sprigg spent most of her time watching the crew about the ship, studying how they tightened the ropes, scrubbed the wooden floors, and moved cargo and stores throughout the deck and down below.

She made her way to the side of the ship and looked over the edge, watching as the large paddlewheel turned in the water. Surprisingly, she wasn't nearly as seasick as she thought she would get.

From the corner of her eye, she noticed Captain Horatio and Clint making their way to the helm. Taking up the invitation from earlier, she joined them. As Horatio gestured to the wheel, Sprigg smirked. "Time to haul wind, savvy?" She looked to Clint and then took of running to try and beat him to the wheel.

-

Sprigg followed the group through town, trying not to get distracted by the bustle or differences from Shiretown. As Shrub talked about them meeting their pokemon soon, she grew excited but was followed immediately with disappointment when she learned they weren't going into the real wild. 'I suppose the park will do.'

She took a seat on the grass, cross legged and held her feet tightly in an attempt to keep herself still while Shrub talked and revealed the pokemon one-by-one.

She was taken aback sightly upon learning they were to pick their pokemon themselves, and they weren't just assigned. Even more so, when she learned she had first pick. The pressure was on. 'Which one do I choose?!' Her eyes darted amongst the three pokemon as they wrestled and played in the grass. She could see herself working well with any of the options, and selfishly almost wanted to just choose all three. How was she to know which option would be best for her? 'My father did have a Chikorita..' she remembered seeing him as a young boy in Johto with his Chikorita in family photos, but he no longer had it by the time she was born.

Chikorita played with sun spots that danced across the grass. As the spots flickered with the wind blowing the branches around, she tried fervently to smack them with her leaf.

Reaching into her pocket, Sprigg took out the remainder of the magost berry she grabbed from home and stuck it out towards Chikorita.

Chikorita's attention shifted to the berry, mostly because of the warm pink color. She cautiously moved closer, sniffing it a few times before quickly snatching it up. She rolled into a ball on her back and held the fruit between her feet. "Chik chik," she chirped with excitement.

"I think she likes it.." Sprigg spoke quietly, waiting for Chikorita. She was still unsure if Chikorita accepted her, inching a bit closer and extended her hand once again.

Chikorita took notice and rolled back onto her feet. She grabbed the berry in her mouth and trotted over to Sprigg. The trot was more of a sideways gallop, tripping over her feet as they moved too quickly for her awkwardly sized body. She dropped the berry into Sprigg's open palm and began to eat from it.

With her other hand, Sprigg rest it upon Chikorita's head, slowly petting her down the length of her leaf. "I think Chikorita chose me," she looked up to the two boys and Shrub with a smile.
 
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Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
Every nerve ran sporadically through Clint's body as he waited for his chance to choose a pokemon companion after Sprigg. He watched Sprigg intently as she rummaged through her pockets for a berry and placed it in front of the grass pokemon called Chikorita. Clever idea, Clint nodded slightly in approval, impressed with Sprigg's method in getting Chikorita to trust her. When Chikorita dropped the berry into Sprigg's open palm and began to eat from it, Clint felt his eyes welling up and was grateful he was still wearing his sunglasses. He smiled at Sprigg when she looked to him and Brent, then came to the realization that it was now his moment to choose.

Clint's eyes darted between the other two pokemon. The fire type pokemon Cyndaquil yawned and curled into a ball, whereas the water type called Totodile continued to gnaw on a branch. The Totodile locked it's gaze with Clint and at that moment, the young man decided that the water type would be the one he would choose. He had no idea what Totodile would later evolve into, but one thing Clint knew for certain was that he liked the way the pokemon looked at him. He's got the look of a fighter, Clint thought to himself as he removed his sunglasses and placed them on the collar of his orange shirt. "I choose Totodile", he beamed with excitement, proud of his choice.

While maintaining eye contact with Totodile, Clint crawled to the pokemon and extended his right hand to it. "I wouldn't do tha-", before Professor Shrub could finish, the jaws of the water type pokemon snapped down on Clint's hand, very hard. At first there was silence among the trees and grass, the distant sounds of children playing at Mr Mime park echoed as the group sat; surprised at what had transpired. "Aaaaaagh!", Clint howled and shook his arm wildly and Totodile flailed happily attached to it's new trainer. "Totodile will bite nearly anything it sees, including its trainer. Your Totodile must really like you Clint!", Shrub was enthusiastic and tried to calm the situation, "I know it must be really painful, but you need to set Totodile down and show it that you're it's friend."

"Alright I'll give it a shot", Clint winced from the pain and set Totodile back on it's feet. The young man looked at Totodile and tried to hide his agony, Clint then placed his left hand on the pokemon's head and massaged it gently, "That was strong bite Totodile, but its time to release me now."

Totodile looked up at his new trainer and gently took his teeth from Clint's hand. "Dile Dile", the pokemon nuzzled his trainer's leg as Clint clenched his right hand. The bite had gone deep and blood leaked through two fang-size holes in the back of the hand and another two in the palm. Professor Shrub shuffled in her briefcase and took out a small first-aid kit with a Chansey on it, she then treated Clint's wound with an alcohol wipe, sprayed it with a healing salve, and wrapped his hand with a sterile linen wrap.
 

foodforpigs

pigs for food
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Cyndaquil, left alone with nobody to play with, let his legs give out so its belly was on the ground. Brent walked over it and crouched on the ground. Cyndaquil looked up briefly before putting its head back down.
"They tend to curl up in a ball when they're intimidated." commented Professor Shrub.
“What fool dares awaken me, the great Laharl?” Brent quoted. Only after did he remember Professor Shrub wouldn't get the reference from the Disgaea series; he was playing the latest one on his Switch prior to the journey he was about to undergo.
Cyndaquil turned its head to Brent. Brent said, "Cyndaquil?" It turned its head back. "Laharl?" It turned its head again.
"Looks like that's his name now." chirped Professor Shrub. Brent sighed. He hadn't meant to. "Go on." Shrub continued, pressing him lightly on the back.
"No." said Brent coldly, abruptly. His mom's hand lifted off his back. "He's tired. How do I put him in the ball?"
"Oh." Shrub fished out the pokeball and held it with Brent. Just press the sides at the same time..." The beam was out of the Pokeball before Shrub finished, and Laharl returned. "and the beam will do the rest."

"Putting your pokemon away already?"
Across the field there stood a man older than his thirties in dress pants, shirt and vest. He was followed closely by three young teenagers of his own.
"Professor Oak!" exlaimed Shrub.
"Please." said the man. He lifted his hand beside his head, palm up, shrugging as he did so. "My grandfather is Oak."
"Professor Gary, then." said Shrub.
"Laharl's tired." said Brent, answering the challenge from before. "That's why he's in the ball."
"I like your style." said Gary, looking back to the three trainers behind him. "I wish more trainers would nickname their pokemon, and be more attentive to their needs."
 

Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
The three teenagers emerged from the distance and stood beside Professor Gary. Two boys and another girl, each with a pokeball in their hands. "Well Palletown Trainers, these are your rivals from Shiretown", Prof. Gary waved his hand over at Sprigg, Clint and Brent, "They may not look like much, but looks can be deceiving sometimes", Gary chuckled, "You all need to stay ahead of these New Johto geeks if you guys want to win Shrub and my Pokemon Challenge."

Tyson, the tallest of the three trainers, flicked a toothpick from his mouth and brushed back his crimson hair to reveal brown amber colored eyes filled with bitterness. He scanned the trainers from Shiretown and judged each one internally, The girl looks like she lived in an insane asylum, and the one in the black sweater looks almost as pathetic as four-eyes over here, he turned his glance to Malik, the darker skinned nerd with round glasses that carried his precious research materials. Tyson rolled his eyes back at the other trainers and fixed his gaze on Clint, Nice shades, would be a shame to damage them in a pokemon battle...

"Hi Shiretown peeps! My name is Alice and these are my PokePartners Malik and Tyson!", a teenage girl in a red-pink dress waved excitedly and ran up to look at each trainer and their pokemon. "PokePartner makes it sound like we're your subordinates", Malik pushed up his glasses and light glinted from them as the sun crested high noon. "Yeah, it also makes us sound like we're all friends... which we ain't", Tyson spat and stepped forward, he shoved Clint with one hand against the shoulder, "How 'bout a pokemon battle Shades? My bulbasaur against your weird looking blue crocodile."

"That pokemon is Totodile, the water type with a powerful bite", Malik announced as Clint and Tyson stared each other down, "Piss off Malik, before I smash your laptop against your skull", Tyson threatened.

Clint pressed the sides of his pokeball and a beam shot from it, absorbing Totodile within the ball. "I accept your challenge", he didn't like the way Tyson pushed him or talked to the other teen, but he was itching to test out Totodile in a real match; his very first pokemon battle. "You really shouldn't shove people you want to battle though, you might get stung."

"Whatever", Tyson walked over to the pokemon battle location in Mr. Mime Park and stood on one end of the rectangle in the designated trainer spot. "Show me what you got Bulbasaur! Pulverise his pokemon", Tyson hurled his pokeball into the arena and with a flash of light emerged his Bulbasaur, the green colored dinosaur with a green plant like bulb on it's back, "Bulba", the grass pokemon had a determined look it's eyes.

With his bandaged right hand, Clint held Totodile's pokeball close to his mouth and whispered, "Alright pal, you got this, help me show this jerk what we're made of", Clint put his left hand on the left arm of his aviators, "Time to battle! Totodile, I choose you!", he threw the pokeball and Totodile jumped out and landed in the grass of the arena.

The two pokemon assumed battle stances and awaited the commands from their respective trainers. "Use Tackle Bulbasaur", Tyson pointed at Totodile and the pokemon lunged itself at its opponent. Like a deer in headlights, Totodile was struck by the attack and tumbled across the ground. Totodile got up quickly and though it was bruised, it rushed back to the arena. "Use your Leer attack Totodile!", Clint shouted. Totodile's eye's glowed dark red and struck fear into Bulbasaur, leaving it's defenses open for attack. "Now use Scratch", Clint commanded Totodile and the water pokemon ran at the enemy Bulbasaur, it's claws raised to strike.

"Snap out of it Bulbasaur!" Tyson screamed with frustration, but he was too late and his Bulbasaur was struck with Totodile's scratch attack and rolled back from the center of the battleground toward his trainer. Bulbasaur got up slowly and looked back at Tyson, "Don't look at me you wimp! Attack him!", Tyson snapped coldly, "Use VIne Whip!", Two vines sprouted from under Bulbasaur's bulb and began to whip Clint's Totodile with relentless strikes. Totodile cried out from the critical attack and crumbled to the ground as the whips struck his body all over.

Bulbasaur continued to use vine whip on Totodile while the water pokemon writhed in pain on the ground. Clint was nervous but he got an idea as he felt pain in his right hand, "Use Bite Totodile, Bite down hard on those vines!", Totodile snapped into focus and bit down hard on one of Bulbasaur's vines, "BULBAAAA!", Bulbasaur cried out in sheer pain and retracted one of it's vines but struggled to retract the other clutched in the jaws of Totodile. "Now, Let go!", Totodile let the vine out of it's mouth and like an elastic band it snapped back hard and hit Bulbasaur across the face.

Both pokemon were hurt badly, Totodile breathed heavy and struggled to stand. Tyson's Bulbasaur looked in pain as well, a red mark pulsated across it's face from the whiplash. Tyson was angry and it could be heard in his voice, "Come on Bulbasaur, use Take Down!", Bulbasaur struggled, but Clint saw that the pokemon was readying for the attack. Clint shouted, "Alright Totodile! Finish him off with a Headbutt!", Totodile took a deep breath, lowered it's head, and charged. Bulbasaur lunged into it's Take Down attack and both pokemon met in the middle of the sqaure. There was a loud CRACK when both pokemon crashed their heads together, knocking them both out of consciousness...

Tyson gripped his pokeball and the beam collected Bulbasaur, "What a weakling, couldn't even win a match against a water type", he grumbled and Clint walked over to him after he collected Totodile into his pokeball, "Good match, maybe we could have another when our pokemon are stronger", Clint extended his hand to Tyson, who grimaced and refused the offered hand. "Our next match I'll beat your pokemon to a pulp, I won't go easy on you Clint", Tyson put a new toothpick in his mouth and crossed his arms. "Good", Clint replied with confidence, "I won't be going easy on you either."
 
Last edited:

Freyalise

Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week
“Must really like you…?” Sprigg cocked her head to the side as she watched the interactions between Totodile and Clint. ‘If he bites his friends, I don’t even want to know what he does to his enemies..’ she began to rub her arm in the spot Clint got bit, glad she didn’t pick Totodile for herself.

Meanwhile, she found the interaction between Laharl and Brent to be cute and charming. Laharl reminded her if a cuddly, sleepy cat, and she just wanted to scoop him right up. She never thought of naming her own pokemon, but maybe with time, a name would suit Chikorita.

Sprigg listened closely when Shrub demonstrated how to use the pokeball to return pokemon. She took some time practicing on Chikorita, pressing the ball to release the beam. She watched as the beam consumed Chikorita, and then sucked her into the ball. She pressed it again and a bright light appeared in the grass. Chikorita materialized quickly before her eyes.

Her attention was stolen by the approaching party, the Professor and their rivals. ‘Not..Oak?’ With all the stories she heard about Kanto, she was naive in thinking it would be the original Professor Oak. Why was she to expect it to be a different professor, let alone Professor Oak’s grandson Gary.

She liked to think of herself as competitive, so when she learned they were to have rivals to go up against in this Poke Challenge, she writhed in excitement. With a smile, she looked over at her teammates, knowing full well they could handle it together.

The conversation was quickly taken over by the rude Tyson. Sprigg grimaced at the way he acted, bullying the other rival boy Malik and Clint. She rolled her eyes when they started to battle, feeling bad for their pokemon more than anything. ‘Ugh, boys,’ she sauntered over to Alice who had seemed to take a liking to the boys fumbling over each other.

“Wow, what a beautiful Charmander you have!” Sprigg crouched down, admiring the little flame on his tail.

“I know. Unlike that…” she wove her hand as she gestured towards it. “Green leaf head of yours.” She giggled. “And I wasn’t talking about your hair, though, there’s isn’t much of a difference, is there?”

“Huh,” Sprigg gasped as she took a step back. “You...you take that back. Chikorita is beautiful, every pokemon is in its own way.” She tucked her hair behind her ears and took a strong stance forward, clenching her fists.

Chikorita pursed her lips and with furrowed brows, whipped her leaf at Alice’a ankle. “Chik!” She puffed angrily.

Alice jumped back, with one foot held in the air as she screamed. “Aaaaaahhhh, get that thing away from me. It’s almost as bad as a bug pokemon!”

Charmander stepped between the two. “Char..” he extended his arms out to make space between the two of them.

Chikorita didn’t care whether or not it was an insult directed at herself, but she could tell Sprigg felt hurt by it.

Sprigg reached down and pet Chikorita on the head. “It’s okay, Chikorita.” She looked up at Alice, who stood a few inches taller than her. “I hope that we can put our differences aside. I noticed the breeding patch on your backpack. I’d love for us to learn from each other. I want to become a breeder, myself.” She said with a smile. “Though, my focus would primarily be on wild pokemon.”

“I doubt it.”

“I’m sorry?” Sprigg was taken aback.

“I’m sorry, I just think our styles are too different. To be honest, I don’t really care what your plans are. Have a great daaaaaay,” she held out the “a” in day, in a singsong sort of way. Alice turned away and stood next to Malik, not having anything else to say.

“Hm,” Sprigg collapsed to the grass, with legs crossed and her puzzled face resting in the palm of her hand. She couldn’t tell if Alice was a straight up narcissist or in complete and total oblivion. Either way, it wasn’t going to stop her from trying to make friends. Chikorita walked up and nuzzled into her lap, pushing her arms out of the way and causing Sprigg to practically fall forward. “Oh, come here you.” She embraced Chikorita in her arms and held her close.
 

foodforpigs

pigs for food
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Malik and Brent had stood beside each other while watching the pokemon fight between Clint and Tyson. Malik was muttering words under his breath. Brent could only hear snippets, but they were like echoes of the battle currently going on, except it was Malik giving different commands on each side. He also made small gestures with his hand, flipping it over and touching his chin. Once it was over, Malik turned to Brent.

"What did you think of the fight?" said Malik.

Brent hadn't expected the fight to be so vicious, but it conformed to what he had thought before. He had worried that if he had stolen pokemon from the lab to battle with, they'd surely return battered and bruised. The world made it seem like it was all for fun, but these were pit fights. He'd hate to send Laharl into battle now. Not just because Laharl didn't seem prepared to fight, but because Brent didn't know anything about strategy. All he could do, while Malik was running simulations in his head, was watch helplessly.

"Crude."
said Brent.
Malik shrugged. "Anything it takes to win. Would you have done something differently?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know?" said Malik incredulously. "Surely you have a few ideas, being the Professor's son?"
Brent said nothing.
"Oh, right, adopted son."
Brent glared at Malik, but again didn't say anything.
"It's a shame. All those years of her time wasted on you Brent." said Malik. "I wanted to be polite, but I should've known from that blank look on your face that you don't know anything about Pokemon."
"There's more to life than Pokemon."
"Not much more. Whole world's about pokemon! Have you been living under a rock? I bet you don't even know who she is." Malik pointed to Alice.
"No. Should I?"
"I can't believe this. That's Bill's daughter. Bill, inventor of the Pokemon PC? Oh man, if you're my competition for the challenge, this will be a cakewalk."

"Laharl and I will just have to learn."
"While you engage in child's play nicknaming and playing Disgaea, I'll continue playing chess and the Pokemon league at the master level."

As Alice went to stand besides Malik, Alice and Brent exchanged looks. Brent only got the tail end of their conversation, but Sprigg looked clearly distraught from their brief talk.
"I don't give a damn who your parents are. It doesn't give you the right to talk down to people." blurted Brent.
Alice rolled her eyes. "Shall we go?" said Alice, to Malik.
"Yes, let's."
"Pawn, e4." said Brent.
Malik smirked. The standard opening, to say that their rivalry had just begun. He walked away with Alice. Tyson appeared to have walked away already into the wilderness.

"Well, that's that." said Gary. "You know, if it wasn't for the rivalry I had with Ash to motivate him, wouldn't be where he is today. I'm telling you, having a rival is important."
"More important to have good friends." replied Professor Shrub.
"Yeah, don't know how long my three will last. They argued over the Charmander of all things - had to draw lots just to get them to shut up."
"Maybe." said Shrub. "Perhaps they'll learn to appreciate each other."
Gary lifted his hands, palms up.
 

Wytchfinder

Toad of Toad Hall
Original poster
The sun reflected on Clint’s mirrored aviators as he clutched Totodile’s pokeball in his bandaged hand. He joined up with Sprigg and Brent who stood near Professor Gary and Professor Shrub. “We should take Totodile to the pokemon lab and get him back in fighting shape!”, Gary grinned, “Also”, Gary took out a really old looking pokegear, “Sprigg and Clint, please take out your pokegears.”

Clint held out his pokegear and received a text containing a secure link to download the custom pokedex app and he opened it. A graphic of an Umbreon running appeared on the screen of his pokegear and it loaded remarkably fast. “That is the pokedex each of you will be using, it is the most update pokedex to date and I would appreciate if you didn’t lose your pokegears with the app installed, it will keep track of how many pokemon you encounter in the wild and if you catch the same pokemon it will be available for further data collection”, Gary smirked, “So, thank you in advance, I look forward to see what you three are capable of and the radical pokemon you will encounter.”

“Brent, I know you don’t own a pokegear so you will be using this one”, Gary held up the ancient looking pokegear, “This one was my first pokegear and I modded it to be as strong and in some ways it is more efficient than modern models”, he handed it to Brent.

“Follow me to the lab”, Gary turned and waved for the others to follow. Back in Palletown, along the northeast corner in the townsquare, the pokemon lab was a great adaptation of modern and retro architecture. Slabs of grey stone with orange, red, and yellow lines painted diagonally across the center on each side. Inside were chrome tables with several scientists working at their stations on various equipment. Totodile, still inside the pokeball, was placed on a healing tray and the automated machine buzzed and whirred while the pokeball glowed.

---

Now that Totodile is ready, I will take you guys just outside Palletown and demonstrate how to catch a pokemon. I know you three would probably rather get going on your adventure already!... BUT”, Shrub lifted a finger in the air, “I am an expert pokemon catcher, maybe I can show you my special technique”, she smiled and winked at Sprigg. Shrub moved to place a hand on Brent’s back, she patted it gently. “Be back in a while Professor, you can slack off for now but when I get back we better be ready to begin our research!

“I’ll start a fresh pot of coffee”, Gary lifted a pink mug and steam rolled through the air as he took a sip.

---

The party left Palletown and found a dense grassy area along Route 1, the dirt road and hilly terrain that led straight through to Viridian City. Professor Shrub hunkered down and used her hand to gesture to the trainers to lower themselves in the tall grass, then they began to walk slowly. Clint was excited, he had just had his first pokemon battle and soon he was going to learn how to CATCH A FREAKIN POKEMON, Clint removed his hat to wipe the sweat from his forehead with his forearm.

Shrub held her hand out and the ruffling through the grass subsided, everyone was quiet. The earth rumbled with a gentle purr and the soft voice of the wild pokemon became more prominent, “Diglett Dig, Diglet Dig, Dig Diglett Dig.” Clint held out his pokegear and activated the pokedex app, he turned the volume low on his pokegear as to not disturb the wild DIglett, “Diglett, the ground pokemon, If a Diglett digs through a field, it leaves the soil perfectly tilled and ideal for planting crops”, he looked at the picture of the pokemon and compared it to the wild one. This Diglett looked bigger than average, “Not everyday you see a Diglett outside a cave, this one must have lots of guts!”, Shrub whispered excitedly, “Now watch as I use a status effect to weaken it’s guard”, she lifted a pokeball from her lab coat pocket and released Azumarill, “Azumarill, Tackle that Diglett over there and give it a Sweet Kiss

Azumarill nodded and ran out of the tall grass and hurled herself at the unsuspecting Diglett, she spiraled directly at the Diglett’s nose and landed a perfect kiss smack dab in the middle. The Diglett was confused and spun around in place, unable to comprehend the super effective kiss attack. “Now pay close attention”, Shrub held a pokeball in her hand, “I hold the pokeball with a firm grip, my middle three fingers across the top, I focus my aim on the target and I stretch my arm back before I make the throw, I add a little spin with my fingers as I throw…” she launched the pokeball from her hand with her fingers spinning the ball as it flew toward the confused Diglett, there a a loud BONK as the pokeball collided with the Diglett and the pokemon was absorbed into the pokeball by red light. “And now we wait”, Shrub lifted her hands to her face and blew a kiss at the struggling pokemon in the ball, the pokeball jiggled back and forth on the ground and eventually the red light that lingered on the center circle of the ball disappeared and the ball stopped moving. “Gotcha”, Professor Shrub smiled and walked over to the clearing, picked up the pokeball and called Azumarill back into her own ball. “So, Any questions gang? You will each develop your own style to catching pokemon, not only the way you throw the pokeball but also in the moves you use. I prefer sweet kiss because it doesn’t injure the pokemon too much and it gets a crippling status effect.

So are there different pokeballs too? Like ones we can use that improve our chances?”, Clint asked as he stood up, the sun flashed over his mirrored aviators. Like a bullet, a dark figure burst from the trees and flew across Clint’s face. It darted deeper into the trees before anyone could see what pokemon it was,but Clint was pretty certain only a flying type could move that fast through the air. The sun was bright, and Clint squinted in the direction the pokemon travelled, Jerk took my sunglasses, he muttered to himself.

Clint jumped into a run,“Thanks for the lesson!”, he looked back for a moment as he ran and called out, “Brent and Sprigg, I’ll meet you both at the pokemon center in Viridian City!”, he ducked under a branch as he passed under the forest canopy. Time to catch a thief.
 

Freyalise

Posting Speed
A Few Posts a Week
Sprigg sat outside the pokelab while the others went in to heal Totodile. The weather was beautiful, the sun shining, and she wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity to soak up some rays. Chikorita lay across her lap, splaying out her leaf, seemingly taking in the sun too. As the others came out of the lab, she stood up and brushed the dirt off her pants, following behind Shrub and the boys as they made their way down Route 1.

Sprigg was daydreaming when the group suddenly hunkered down in the grass. After a delayed reaction, she dropped down too, frantically looking around as she tried figuring out what was going on. Up ahead, that’s when she noticed a little brown pokemon hidden behind the tall blades of grass. She looked over at Clint as she overheard what his pokedex was saying, and took out hers too. “It chews on plant roots underground. Farmers whose vegetables are vulnerable find it can be quite a pest.” Sprigg scrunched her nose and tried to stifle her laughter. She imagined the kind of chaos diglett would cause back at her grandparents garden. ‘Such a cute little nose.’

She watched closely as Shrub demonstrated how to weaken and catch a pokemon. Studying every move, every command, the flick of the wrist. She held her breath as they waited for the pokeball to stop moving and jumped into the air when she succeeded. “Yaaaay!”

As they regrouped and Shrub continued talking, a swift blur flew past and stole Clint’s glasses.

“Uh,” Shrub lifted a finger but Clint was gone before she could say anything. “Well,” she smiled and turned to Sprigg and Brent. “I have these travel vouchers, which can be traded in and redeemed for any transport of your choice. Bike, scooter, skates. And, if you choose not to use any of those, you can simply stick to what your mother gave you.” Sprigg cocked her head to the side. Shrub looked down and then back up at their faces. “YOUR FEET!” She beamed.

Sprigg grabbed the voucher, as well as Clint’s. “I’ll hold onto it for him,” she smiled sweetly and then looked to Brent. “Well, I guess I’ll meet you up in Viridian City. I’m excited to hear about what you and Clint get yourselves into! Stay out of trouble!” She shouted as she ran off, waving behind her.

Sprigg spent her time studying the local foliage. Collecting berries, jotting notes about leaf formations, and scribbling quick sketches into her notebook. Chikorita was walking around, smelling an assortment of flowers when she suddenly became startled by a Weedle in the distance munching on some grass. She chirped softly draw Sprigg’s attention.

Sprigg never saw this pokemon before. It was peculiar in appearance, similar to a larva, yellow and reddish-brown bodied. It had little feet and a button of a nose, with a stinger on its head and barbs on its tail. She slowly took out her pokedex. “Weedle, a bug type pokemon. It is often found in forests and grasslands. Its bright-colored body is intended to warn off its enemies and it has a sharp venomous stinger on its head.”

She looked down at Chikorita, with a shrug. “Well, shall we try? Chikorita, use grass whistle.” Chikorita cooed and whipped her leaf as calming, lulling melodic waves wafted towards Weedle. The move nearly missed. “We need to work on your aim, Chikorita.”

The Weedle lifted its head, its eyes looked a little droopy but then it continued munching on the blades. “It seemed to have little effect…” Sprigg whispered as she leaned into Chikorita. “Weedle is resistant to grass type pokemon.” Sprigg mumbled, “You couldn’t have said that earlier?” She groaned.

A large shadow passed above. Sprigg thought it was a cloud at first, but seeing the way Weedle cowered in fear made her believe otherwise. She shielded her eyes from the sun as she looked up and spotted a figure flying above them. Her pokedex chimed in. “Pidgeotto is full of vitality. It constantly flies around its large territory in search of prey.” She had seen plenty of Pidgey, but it wasn’t often she’d see a Pidgeotto, at least not when she was in town. “We need to help him!” Sprigg looked at the ground around her and grabbed a few sticks and stones. “Get out of here, leave him alone!” She yelled as she chucked the objects into the air. She wasn’t aiming for the pokemon in any way, she didn’t want to hurt it. Just scare it is all. Eventually, Sprigg proved to be too much of an annoyance and the Pidgeotto flew elsewhere to search for its meal.

“Whew, good job Chikorita.”

“Chik.” Chikorita shook her head, not sure she helped in any way.

Sprigg turned around, expecting the Weedle to have scurried off but to her surprise, he slowly peeked out from behind the blades of grass. He looked directly at Chikorita and lifted his head, sniffing the air. “Weedle has an extremely acute sense of smell. It is capable of distinguishing its favorite kinds of leaves.” He came closer and nuzzled against Chikorita’s leaf.

Sprigg looked to Chikorita. “Seems Weedle likes your leaf, Chikorita.” She gripped the pokeball in her hand and thought otherwise about throwing it. Instead, she took a step forward and extended her arm, touching the ball to Weedle’s head. The pokeball quickly absorbed the willing Weedle. The ball didn’t even rock back and forth.

---​

Upon entering Viridian City, Sprigg sought out the nearest information board. As her eyes skimmed the shops and places of interest, her eyes landed on the Bike Shop. “Aha.” She tapped the shop on the map with her finger and then headed towards the direction of the Bike Shop.

Her eyes caught the glimpse of a flashy sign with the words “Ms. Honey’s Bugpalooza.” “Maaaaybe we’ll take a detour.” She looked down at Chikorita with a raised brow. She approached the table and behind it stood a brightly dressed woman with glasses and pink hair.

“Hello, my name is..”

“Ms. Honey.” Sprigg casually pointed to the sign.

“Correct! Keen eye, though I prefer Breeder Honey,” she winked.

“I don’t know much about bugs, but I actually just caught a Weedle and..”

“Wll let me see it. Come on,” she patted the table. “Right here on the table.”

Sprigg took out the pokeball and pressed the button, beaming Weedle out onto the table. “He seemed to really be attracted to Chikorita’s leaf here,” she gestured to Chik.

“Well, that makes perfect sense to me. A sweet aroma gently wafts from the leaf on its head, creating a cozy and friendly atmosphere. I can bet that’s what it was. Now, let’s see here. Hmmmm, ahhh. Yesss.” Honey spent time walking around the Weedle and examining every aspect of it. “Your Weedle here seems to be of a gentle nature. Very good catch,” she smirked, curious. “Listen,” she relaxed and leaned against the table. “I’m actually trying to breed and rebuild certain bug type populations. In addition to that, I’m trying to educate the general public on bug types. We’re interested in certain natures that make them easier to handle and connect with. You see, most people are scared and treat them poorly. But if we can show that there’s nothing to fear about bugs, and present them in a more positive light, then perhaps we can reconstruct the way people think. And I’m thinking maybe you can help me with that?”

Sprigg excitedly shook her head, unable to come up with the words.

Honey ducked under the table and surfaced with a few items. “Here. A set of binoculars and a net.”

“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you so much. I won’t let you down, I promise! I’ve always wanted to become a Pokemon Breeder.” She paused. “Oh, um, I’ve also collected these,” Sprigg reached into her bag and took out the berries she collected.

“These are razz and kelpsy berries. I can blend them into a pokeblock, if you’d like?” Honey didn’t wait for an answer. “These should help lure wild pokemon, as well as make a pokemon friendlier and easier to catch.”

“Miss -er, Breeder Honey, I don’t like the idea of purposefully hurting my pokemon or other pokemon. Is there anything I can do to avoid fighting or partaking in trainer battles..”

“Dear, not all pokemon need to battle. While it isn’t completely avoidable, there are certainly many many options. I suggest you visit the Pokemon Daycare in Saffron City. There might be smaller daycares or nurseries you come across on your adventures, but the Saffron Daycare is certainly a marvelous wonder for any Breeder in training.” She handed Sprigg the pokeblocks. “There is also the Pokemon Fan Club where their focuses are less on battles and more about appreciating pokemon and really forming strong emotional connections. It’s more than just raising the toughest, strongest pokemon. Actually, a lot of fans partake in Pokemon Contests. I have a sneaking suspicion you might enjoy that quite a bit. A trainer with such natural talent as yourself, could really go a long way.”

Sprigg liked this idea. It gave her a platform to inform and teach people about the importance of pokemon. Not only those owned by trainers, but those in the wild too. A group of children suddenly swarmed the table and began flooding Honey with questions. Sprigg bowed, mouthed the words “thank you,” and then slowly snuck out of there. She beamed Chikorita into her pokeball and then patted the two pokeballs in her bag.

---​

Sprigg picked out a bike from the Bike Shop with baskets on the front and back and then wheeled it to the Pokecenter.
 
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foodforpigs

pigs for food
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fantasy, scifi, horror, magical, drama
He put the voucher in his back pocket.
"There's a lot of options listed." said Shrub. "You know what you want?"
"Since when do you care about what I want?!" snapped Brent. He could feel the feelings he bottled out inside gush out in the form of heat. Shrub stepped forward.
"Don't." said Brent. "I'll call you when I'm in Viridian. Good bye."

He ran off in the same direction as Sprigg. Shrub's thoughtless comment about using what his mother gave him really torqued him off too. His birth parents abandoned him. Shrub was supposed to be his mother. He really did disappoint her. Malik was right. Right out the gate, the two people he was with, the more knowledgable ones, had left him. They were nice, but even they would be forced to admit he would only slow their progress. The whole show about making reasonable progress had quickly disintegrated.

Only after he had cleared the sight of buildings behind him did he stop to take a breather. He sat on a rock and only then did he look at its contents. There was the pokegear that Professor Gary had lent to him. Pretty much useless, for now. There was also more inside than Brent had realized. It turned out that Shrub had packed a lot in it, including home made trial mix bars, water, two potions, and some pokeballs. Now he felt rotten for storming off like he did. His mom cared about him, and could at least know what he needed, even if she didn't always know what she wanted.

A small purplish rat came out from the grass sniffing about. It had long coat of hair, frizzled at the ends. Brent stood up slowly as to not make a sound. The rat looked at Brent. Brent lowered his hand on his pokebelt like a gunslinger. It didn't matter what this pokemon was. It was an obligation to catch at least one pokemon before making it to Veridian. It was just a rat, after all. How hard could it be? If he couldn't do this, it would only cement his place as last place in the race.

"Laharl, I choose you!" shouted Brent. Laharl came out of the ball from the beam of light, but before it did, the rat was already running away. Brent and Laharl stood dumbfounded. "After it!" said Brent.

They gave chase to the rat through the tall grass, and their surroundings were a blur. Brent couldn't think straight. This rat had insulted him. He threw a ball at the rat futilely, but it wasn't anywhere close to where he botched his throw. Laharl was lagging behind as Brent scooped up the ball, but they kept on sprinting for a minute or so. Brent finally turned his head back and stopped for Laharl to catch up with him. The rat was out of sight the second Brent turned his head. They were both catching their breath.

"Looks like we're both out of shape." Brent sucked some more breaths. He crouched to Laharl and patted its head. What was he thinking? He should've let it go. Now he was looking around for the original path he was on.
"Hey, you ok?" It was a boy, blonde hair underneath a backwards cap, light blue t-shirt, shorts, and sneakers - a youngster.
Brent stood up and gulped the remaining breath, as to not appear weak, and raised his hand. "I'm alright. Could you point me to the main path to Veridian?"
"Yeah, sure, but why are you out here?"
"A rat. I wanted to catch it."
"Rattata?" said the youngster.
"Maybe." Brent didn't think about using the Pokedex to find out.
"I got one!" His face beamed. "Wanna see?"
Now Brent felt more embarassed, but he nodded his head. Out of the pokeball appeared a similar looking rat, but it was leaner, and its hair was much shorter.
"It was larger, with longer hair and its tail didn't have hair."
"Ah!" said the youngster. "Haven't seen that one in days! How is it?"
"Clearly fine. Outran both of us." pointing to himself and Laharl. "You know it?"
"Yeah, sure. I've tried to catch it, but now that I have Bitey, there's no need."
"This," said Brent, "is Laharl, the Cyndaquil. I am Brent."
"Joey, pleased to meet ya. You're a trainer?"
"No - not really."
The youngster looked down, trying to process the answer, before smiling widely again. "I can show you a good place to find Rattatas for you to catch if you like."
"That's okay." Brent replied sullenly.
"You're really strung up about the special one, ain't ya? It's really smart."
"It ran before I said 'choose'; hid immediately when I turned to check up on Laharl." Brent commented.
"It's an expert on trainers."
"Of course..." Brent whispered.
"I gotta get going. Mom and Pop will worry if I'm not home before sunset. Want to exchange numbers?"
Brent nodded, waiting to hear it.
"Your PokeGear." reminded Joey.
Embarrassed again, Brent took out the PokeGear. Joey eyed it curiously, presumably because it looked old, but typed in his number and got Brent's from the main directory. He gave Brent simple instructions to get back on the path to Veridian.
"Call if you need help. Pop has an ATV to drive you all the way to Veridian if need be."
"I'll be fine." Brent assured.
"Take the rest of Bitey's food, too." said Joey, placing a tied plastic bag filled with cubes of cheese in Brent's hand. Before Brent could reply, Joey and Bitey were running towards where there house was. Joey had seen right through Brent, knowing that he hadn't given up on the Rattata.
 
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