"You senile old bat, what were you thinking?!" Zanas's voice boomed into the video phone at the Pokémon Center. After arguing for a good half hour with the sibling of Zanas's childhood companion, the two took their respective partners and returned to Viridian. May complained the entire way about how the town was boring and there were only the three buildings worth noting, one of which was a gym that was closed, to Zanas's dismay. Otherwise this was just a town engulfed in the middle of the woods and tall grass, much like the two's home town.
"It's good to hear from you to you Zanas." Professor oak said with a dull tone.
"How could you let May just take the last of your 'rare' Pokémon? Me and Gary had to weight eight Arceus damn years past our initial travel date, but May, who is barley fifteen mind you, can just be given a free ride, and with me no less?!"
The professor squeezed his fingers between his eyes, in addition to taking a deep breath. "I know Zanas and I deserve all the hateful venom spit words you can scream at me, but there are two things you need to keep in mind." The professor leaned to his right, adjusting his vision so he could see just past Zanas's shoulder, pointing behind him as he continued to speak. "The first of which is that you need to remember your in a public facility and that when you scream over the phone everyone can hear you."
The boy turned around to see the entire occupancy of the center, from visitors to nurses and Pokémon alike, staring at him with annoyed expressions. Zanas gave a weak smile and mouthed sorry as he waved to the crowd, slowly turning back toward the video screen broadcasting Oak's smug grin in full HD "And the second thing?" The boy snapped.
"You and Gary are the only kids May has ever had contact with. You two are her entire life besides Pallet town."
"What? Come on that's not true."
"Name one friend that girl has brought over besides the ones you occasionally met when your mother and I took you to Viridian, or at least one person her age she kept in touch with.
Zanas pondered through all the names or faces of the few kids he and Gary made friends with, and sure enough the professor was right. May didn't have any friends to call her own. She was always to shy and spoiled. "It's not like we were never coming back." Zanas pointed out, as if defending his case to a court judge.
"We all know this Zanas but the fact is it's already been close to four days and I can only keep her entertained for less than five minutes before she complains she bored."
"Ya, I've noticed that recently" Zanas looked back to May, who was too preoccupied with all the Pokémon to notice anything else around her. She had altered her appearance from her completely white dress to a pink skirt that stretched down to her ankles, and her top was now a white tank top that covered up to her collar bone and was neatly tucked within her skirt. Her hair was kept in to one long ponytail held together by pink hair bands. -What is up with the girls obsession with pink?-
"I know it's not fair to just drop her on your lap like this" Oak continued. "Gary is already making his way to Cerulean city and I don't want to make him back track. Well…not again."
Zanas perked up at the Professors comment, but the old timer waved it off instantly. "May doesn't want to take the league challenge, she just wants to see the world and meet people, so you don't have to worry about her always trying to compete with you."
-As if she'd stand a chance- Zanas mentally remarked.
"Just…let her tag along until you run into Gary again. I'll get in touch with him about this when you leave for Petalburg."
Zanas groaned again, weighing if he should tell the old man to deal with his own grandkids for a change instead of playing the "Poor me I'm old" card. Both men could hear May giggling in the back as she played with Ivy, her Bulbasaur, and the other Pokémon, treating them like new born Poocheyana's, making silly noises and petting them. He smiled, remembering how distant she used to be when near Pokémon. –Not so shy now are you squirt? - Zanas turned his focus back on oak and nodded. "Fine but in that case I want you to do me a favor as well.
The professor laughed, "Even when you were a child you forced me into verbal contracts. Alright, what do you need?"
"Just…tell mom I'm ok and that she doesn't have to worry."
The professor gave a nod of approval, "Will do." As the old man turned the screen to the phone off, Zanas suddenly registered a sentence he had missed earlier. "Wait!" But the only answer was the dial tone. "Damnit." Zanas whispered. "Cerulean city…he's already going that far?"
"How long is she going to talk like that?" Duke asked with his eyes clenched shut in blind irritation.
"Arceus kill me." Sasha whimpered, her expressions matching the Charmander's. May pet and stroked Ivy as she continued to talk down to the Pokémon treating them as if they were as dense as humans think Magikarp are? "You three are so cute! Yes you are. Yes you are!"
"….I can't take much more of this…Sasha, can you impale me with those enormous chompers of yours?" Duke teased.
"If I have to suffer this madness then there's no way I'm going to show you mercy."
Runt was shaking again, only this time in frustration. The flying type was painting heavily as his eyes began to go wide, jumping from one end of the room to the next as he desperately tried to find a way out."I can't take this…I'm goona…gonna…"
"So what did I miss?" Zanas asked, as he walked over to the group after tearing away from the phone call. His Pokémon ran and clung on to him for dear life, all screaming in unison "Don't you ever leave us with that girl again!"
"What are they so excited about?" May asked curiously. The three Pokémon glared at her, moving to their trainers shoulders, except Duke who moved to his head, and hid behind the boy's frame. Zanas smiled weakly, knowing the feeling all too well at times. May "hmped" at the three's reactions. "I was just trying to be nice."
"Ha ha. They know, just…their not used to being babied."
"Well that's too bad, because Ivy here loves when I spoiler her, don't you baby?" The Bulbasaur stayed silent, rubbing her head lovingly into her owners hand and face as May nuzzled her Pokémon and continued her onslaught of baby talk. Zanas and the trio all eyed the two's affection with sickened expressions. –This…is awkward-
"So what did gramps have to say?" Is he mad?"
Zanas sat next to the girl, his Pokémon climbing to the other side of his body to keep their distance from the girl. "No…in fact we worked out a deal."
Zanas pat May's head and smiled. "That if you don't behave yourself I'm allowed to feed you to the next wild Pokémon we see."
Ivy snapped to attention and glared at Zanas, her vines at the ready to protect her trainer. "Now now Ivy he's just kidding." May said, motioning her Bulbasaur to sit down. "What did he really say?"
Zanas chuckled, "I'm supposed to look after you until we get to Cerulean City and you get to keep your friend there."
May's face grew brighter and brighter in delight as she jumped with glee at this news, squeezing Ivy to her chest, the once happy creature now gasping for air in the child's grasp. "Did you hear the Ivy, you get to stay. We get to stay!" May had hoped around in circles a handful of times before she looked at Zanas and his rag tag group, eyeing her in a similar fashion the crowd had done to Zanas earlier.
May let go of Ivy and coughed, bowing her head for in gratitude. Thank you. I promise I won't be a nuisance."
"Awww." Zanas smiled, patting the young girls head. "Of course you will you little ball of chaos."
"Bite me fedora boy."
"O it's not me you have to worry about biting."
May tilted her head slightly. "What is that suppose to mean?"
Zanas remained quiet, walking away from the girl and the center. May asked again, her voice now slightly hostile. "Zanas what does that mean? Zanas?!"
3 hours later
The Viridian forest was, to no surprise, a maze of thigh high grass and country home sized trees, each housing more than enough bug Pokémon to start an army. While inside the forest, the group quickly realized that this wasn't going to be a quick straight shoot to the exit. The man made path in this immense, almost jungle like location, was full of unnecessary twists and turns that either led them into a dead end or into the face of a new challenger and every single trainer in this forest was unhealthily obsessed with the bug type Pokémon that called this mess of a place home and that consisted of only four different kinds of creatures. These creatures were two types of segmented worms and both of their cocoon evolutions, all of which could do nothing but sting or spray the trio team with string.
The brown colored and needle horned worms were called Weedles. Their stingers contained poisons that could slowly eat away and damage anyone who would be foolish enough not to carry an antidote or two, though otherwise these cute pink nosed creatures were harmless. The second of these elongated bugs was Caterpie, and the first Bug Pokémon Zanas had encountered. Its segments were covered in a bright green tint with spots of darker green along its back and instead of a stinger; this creature had a pink horn that extended in two different directions on its head, left and right.
That was all in the past. Zanas's squad of Pokémon and his tag along made their way out of the second entrance hall to the forest and toward the entrance to Petalburg, the location of Zanas's first gym battle.
"Yes!" Zanas screamed, stretching out the word for as long as one breath could last him. Duke ran up next to his Partner, pumping both fists in the air alongside the boy. "We made it!"
Sasha and Runt took their time to catch up, The Rattata strolling along in her usual confident fashion while Runt played with the strong breeze that had picked up since the afternoon. He was attempting to stay air borne by riding the wind only flapping when he needed to move forward. "That was defiantly an interesting walk.
Sasha chuckled at this, nodding. "Yes…interesting…that's the word. Especially the way you took down that 'horrible slimy creature' earlier."
If the avian creature's face could flush, it would have then. "It didn't mean to I swear! It just snuck up on meeeeeEEE!" Runt flopped head first into the ground as the wind picked up again. The Pidgey was too occupied with presenting his case to pay attention to adjusting his form. Sasha halted when she saw the bird drop. "Are you ok?"
Runt laughed as he picked his body of the ground. "I think I'll stick to the ground for a while. It's too much work to fly."
"If you say so." Sasha laughed.
Zanas sat next to the route sign, pointing where Petal burg was located, as if it wasn't obvious already, and waiting for the others to catch up. Sasha and Runt were there within a few of the Pidgey's hops, but May and her Bulbasaur were still far behind. "Come on Slowpoke."
May shuffled slowly out of the hall, shaking similarly to Runt's nervous habit, as she muttered to herself. Her body still held hints of string that the Caterpies had shot at them, too terrified and possibly traumatized to wipe them off like her fedora wearing friend. When May reached the sign, she slowly, very slowly, read the words and numbers aloud, as if she needed to be one hundred percent sure that she was free of that horrible forest. She looked to Zanas with a weak smile, and tears in her eyes, her voice a whisper so quiet one would think she was hiding from someone. "No more forests?"
Zanas nodded a mischievous grin on his face. May nodded and held herself tighter, shaking more and more until she broke. She screamed at the top of her lungs, slapping away any and all traces of Bug on her, her words slurring together cursing Arceus for making such horrible creatures. The squad all began laughing as the girl reached the middle of her rant, rolling on the ground, gasping for breath only to hiccup and laugh again. "This….isn't…funny," May screamed as she started kicking and stomping on the man who forced her to go that terrible route. Zanas begged for mercy, still laughing his head off only now his gasps for air turned into grunts as the little girl kicked him harder and harder.
"Enough…enough." Zanas jumped to his feet, walking away from the girl, his cackling now a small chuckle. "I'm sorry…but that…I knew that was going to…bug you."
After taking a well deserved break at another Pokémon Center, the group took their time to look around the town and enjoy their new surroundings. They were all relived to be out of the forest after so many hours of trudging, but May was the most jubilated to be away from anything having to do with Viridian City, including the forest. The group looked at the sites, seeing that Petalburg was not all that different from the town before as it consisted of one Pokémon Center, one PokeMart and a few houses for the citizens who lived there. The town also had its own gym just up the hill next to the Center and PokeMart. It was similar in outside design with its simple white walls, PokeBall symbol above the sliding doors and a brown tiled roof. The only noticeable difference between this gym and the other was that Petalburg's was open. Other than that, there stood a museum just behind the gym, filling up space amongst the trees and forest surrounding it.
"This place isn't all that different from Viridian is it?" May pointed out. "There is a little more life here but that's about it."
Sasha adjusted on Zanas's shoulder, curling up comfortably while Duke rested in the indentation of the boy's hat and Runt kept still on his left shoulder. "More life?" Sasha questioned, the girls words. "Besides a few farmers and a gym that's actually open theirs about s much life here as there are tumble weeds."
Zanas pet Sasha's head, staying off the Rat's irritation. "Calm down. Like you said we still have the gym to contend with and this will probably be worthy of your skills."
Sasha raised her head up proudly. "My standards are very high fedora boy. Keep that in mind."
"Why does everyone act like the fedora is a bad thing."
May turned to face Zanas, keeping her back towhatever was infront of her as she snickered. "Cause it's a dopy hat for a dopy boy."
Sasha laughed as her trainer groaned. "I'm starting to like this girl." Zanas had only toldMay about his talent towards pokemon and since before the grinding in the forest May seemed to jump into any conversation Zanas had with his partners as if knowing exactly what they were saying.
"If that's the case, we can trade and I can fight the first gym leader with Ivy while you get put into dresses."Sasha kept quiet, dredding that Zanas may be seriose. When she ,looked over to May, the girls eyes had grown wide with anticipation, likely plotting Sasha irst uncomfortable get up.
"What is the first gym like exactly?" Runt asked, his head twisting and tilting in curiosity. "I mean what Pokémon can we expect to face here?"
Without a word, Zanas pulled out the red device, the PokeDex, to show his answer rather than tell. The device liked like a hand held note book, bright apple red with a blue camera lens in the upright corner. Zanas clicked the middle of the tablet to reveal a swing outdoor which opened to a small screen, built in speaker system and an array of buttons of yellow and black hugh. Zanas clicked the black buttons then one yellow to retrieve a map of Petalburg and a side bar of text showing information about the city. The screen the flashed into the gym insignia and revealed a dark skinned man with spiky, almost Sandslash styled hair, with shut or tightly squinting eyes. The man wore a plan shirt and what seemed to be a green vest over the white top, accompanied by a pair of dark brown jeans and black tennis shoes, flat at the soul of the shoe with black on the upper design and white on the lower.
As Zanas read through the text, duke cralwed down and sniffed the device, pressing one of the yellow buttons. The blue camera began flashing as a robotic and somehow nerdy voice came from the speaker systems. Runt jumped and hid behind Zanas, while Duke and Sasha stayed where they were, Sasha looking bored and Duke looking intrigued. "Brock. The holder of the Boulder badge and generally seen as a trainers first challenge within the league. Brock uses rock type Pokémon such as Geodude and Onyx, though his arsenal can consist of far more variety and strength given the challenge." The PokeDex showed a picture of both the creatures it had named on its screen. Geodude looked like a rigid rock with a human like face and two arms, but that was all. No torso or neck or legs, just a head and arms. The entire body was likely no bigger than Duke or the others. The Onyx however appeared to be a large almost monstrous snake made of boulders at each segment of its body. The face looked reptilian in nature but had no teeth, just a beak like mouth and a horn pointed away from its face, scaling a few feet higher than its large head.
"We have to fight that thing?" Runt shuddered.
Sasha laughed at her team mates frightful manner "Oh come now Runt it's just an over grown python…made of boulders."
Duke looked up to Zanas, his stare not as naive and cutesy as when they first started this journey, but more mature and tactical much like his trainer. "We have a disadvantage against something like this, don't we?"
Zanas and the other two looked between eachother, surprised at the logic Duke was putting into this fight and fearful that what the fire breather said was true.
Something wrong?" May asked, walking over to the four reading the dex. May leaned in, Zanas's three parters crawling away from the girl, though she didn't notice this time. "O
I see…you nervous about the battle?"
Zanas nodded, "We have a bit of a disadvantage with this guys rock types. Also I don't know how strong each one of these guys are individually."
"Wait…you havn;t checked?"
Zanas's trio looked between the two conversing humans, lost in what the topic of the matter was. "I'm still trying to figure this thing out. That old man didn't give me a manual for this piece of junk."
May nodded in agreement. "Ya I had trouble getting mine to work to. It's not very clear how to work these things."
"Wait he gave you….you stole that too didn't you."
"And a little bit of money for necessities." May smiled and stuck her tongue out whilst winking as she hoped to be cute and insulting, succeeding in both.
"Zanas what are you to going on about?" Sasha demanded
"One second…I think I;ve got it"Again fiddling with the PokeDex, Zanas had the camera scan and reveal his partners' stats, revealing their level and strengths. A proud grin swept across his face as the boy read his Creatures progress to them. "Duke, from level five to level fourteen, Sasha Level six to level fourteen, and Runt level ten to level six to thirteen."
"And this all means what exactly?" The purple rodent asked.
"Brocks weakest Pokémon, the ones we are only allowed to face are level fourteen. Duke you know Metal claw now which is super effective, not to mention your ember attack which is strong enough to do medium damage to a rock or ground type." Duke puffed his chest out proudly and pounded one fist on his heart as if to salute.
"Sasha you know hyper fang which can do some decent damage to a rock type as long as we get some critical hits before any defense curls and unlike duke you won't have any type disadvantages against a rock type move." Zanas smirked as he saw Sasha pose as if for a photo. "Plus you can take a hit."
"But of course. I am the best of my kind."
The bird jumped to attention, afraid of what his trainer was going to say. "I know…my attacks aren't strong enough against them and unlike the others I can't take a hit."
"True true…but you can dodge. You're the fastest one on our team so we won't have any trouble getting you on the field if Sasha or Duke needs a break."
"Which I won't." Both Duke and Sasha commented, sharing a look of surprise with each other, then pride as they slapped their paws together.
"We're gonna play this one safe guys. We can't use healing items within a battle so if we need to switch out we switch. Runt I just need you to move and move fast." Zanas knelt down and pet his avian friend. "Got it?"
Runt nodded and cooed from the petting. When Zanas pulled his hand away the Pidgey looked calm, and for once energetic.
"We are gonna take this fight and beat this Brock so hard he won't know what hit him."
All three Pokémon nodded, smiling proudly. May smiled, thinking –I have no idea what's going on but im still excited.-
"So you think you're ready to take on a master like Brock?!" a high pitched yet masculine voice called behind the group. Zanas turned to see the voice belonged to a form fitting for the high pitch, a young Boy Scout looking child dawning a full green uniform with a baseball cap long socks hiking boots and vest covered in mock badges. "Let's just see how great you think you are."
"Who are you suppose to be?"
The boy grunted and three his first PokeBall, revealing a Geodude slightly smaller than the one shown on the PokeDex screen. "I'm Brock's trainee, and if you think you're going to fight the greatest rock Pokémon trainer in Kanto, think again. My job is to deal with chumps like you so Brocks precious time isn't wasted."
"Wasted?" Sasha commented. "He's a gym leader, what else does he do besides fight other trainers for sport?"
Zanas sighed as he brought up his hands in defeat. "Kid .listen I really don't want to fight with you, I'm in a hurry to get to Cerulean and I frankly don't have time for."
"Buddy watch out!" Duke cried, as the Geodude threw a noggin sized rock at the boy. Zanas bent backwards; slamming his head on the ground as his feet fell with him while duke broke the flying dabree with his metal claw. Zanas sat up rubbing his bumped head as the trio of Pokémon rushed to his side. "You little brat!"
The boy smirked as if he had proven his point. "Am I still a waste of time."
Sasha and duke growled at this bratty child, only to be held back by their owner. "Runt you're up."
"Me?" runt chirped, shaking again.
"You won't get a lought of experience in the real fight so I don't want you falling behind. Besides this kid, if you pardon the pun, is child's play?" Zanas glared at the boy as he spoke his insult, making the child flush either from the bad comedy or he was truly shamed by Zanas's words. "You jerk! When I'm done with you I'm gonna stomp on that stupid hat of yours still it's as flat as a pancake!"
Zanas jumped to his feet, determination in his eyes, tilting his fedora over his forehead as of habit. "Now you've just gone too far."