Author's notes will be in my profile page, not in the main text. They'll be spoiler-free and hopefully on-point.
Disclaimer: Rated T for coarse language/graphic violence. I shored up my Y knowledge by watching Foxiify's let's play videos on Youtube (although I did complete the game myself). Obviously I don't own Pokemon/Touhou.
The disconnect between one's thoughts and one's actions was usually so disgusting, Satori found herself almost relieved at her companion's honesty. Calem wasn't afraid to express exactly how much he hated her.
"Here's your ID, I'm sure even you know what—"
"It identifies oneself as a trainer." Satori swiped the card out of Calem's hand. She took a look at it and saw her name, her picture, and a bunch of other information she didn't care about.
"And here's the—"
"Pokedex, which allows one to identify unknown pokemon."
"Would you let me finish my damn—"
"Sentences?" Satori smiled. "Maybe you shouldn't take so long to complete your thoughts."
Calem sighed and pulled out the last thing from his bag, a red-and-white pokeball. "Professor Sycamore asked me to—" Calem paused, waiting for Satori to interrupt him again. He rolled his eyes when she didn't. "He asked me to walk you through being a trainer, but you obviously don't need it."
"Sorry, did you have a speech planned?" Satori asked. Her reply only elicited another sigh out of Calem, who turned his gaze towards the sky.
Their conversations always went like this. Well, actually, most of Satori's conversations went like this. Consequently they never lasted long, but today Calem had an obligation to get across information to her. Orders from the good professor Sycamore.
He did have a speech planned, and Satori did learn valuable information from it. All the basic information one needs to know to be a proper pokemon trainer. She just happened to hear it before a word of it left Calem's mouth, which rendered the entire subsequent conversation redundant.
I wish you would just refuse the professor so I never have to see you again.
Satori snapped her fingers to catch Calem's attention. "Hey, do you even want me to come with you?" She asked.
"No. You should tell Sycamore 'no thank you' and go crawl back into that youkai house you live in."
Ah, that refreshing honesty again.
"Too bad," Satori said and grabbed the pokeball. "Who is this, then? I thought we got a choice of our starters."
"Shauna and I already chose ours, so you get what's left."
Satori looked down at the pokeball in her hand. What's left. She was fine with that, though. She prided herself on giving a home to the little birds and kittens of the world who had nowhere else to go. She pressed the button on the pokeball and tossed it onto the table. In a flash of light, a fox-like creature appeared munching on a twig. Its fur was red and yellow.
A Fennekin, Calem thought. "That's a—"
"Fennekin, yes." Satori said.
"Oh to hell with it." Calem grabbed his backpack. "I'll see you tomorrow morning, don't be late or we're leaving without you."
Calem stomped off towards his home, leaving Satori alone on the park bench. There were a few other people around and some kids playing on the playground, but they all kept their distance from her. She ignored it and focused on the Fennekin. It looked up at her.
I've never seen someone like that, what's that thing around her neck? Are you my new master?
Satori pet the little fox on the head. "Yes, and it's my Third Eye."
What? Fennekin raised its head to meet Satori's eyes. Did you just answer my question?
"I did." Satori smiled. She liked this part.
You can understand me?
"I can." Satori picked up the Fennekin and held it close to her chest. "Come on, let's go home."
Satori's home was a little two-story house in the small village of Vaniville. It was plain and simple, not something that would stand out from a casual glance. The only reason it had gained notoriety was from its residents.
When Satori arrived she found a couple of stray cats lurking at the gate. They followed her through as if it were a routine—which it was. She never turned away a guest, it was just a rare occasion guests were anything other than animals. She laid out bowls of milk for cats, had feeders hanging for birds, and kept her house warm for anyone looking for a place to stay the night.
But again, only animals took her up on that offer.
"Satori's back," Utsuho exclaimed as Satori walked through her front door. Utsuho then tackled her to the floor in a tight embrace. Fennekin had the presence of mind to leap out of Satori's arms before the impact and had gracefully landed on the carpet. "You were gone so long," Utsuho said.
"It was less than an hour, Okuu," Satori responded. Satori didn't make any move to push her off though, the hug felt nice. Utsuho eventually stood up of her own accord, brushing off her wings and smiling as she helped Satori up.
Only animals took Satori up on her kindness, and despite her almost-human appearance Utsuho was closer to a crow than she was to any human. A youkai, which most people decided was a synonym for 'monster.'
"Hey Satori," a voice said from across the room. Okuu's driving me crazy, Satori, she was pacing back and forth the entire time you were gone. I'm gunna die if you leave.
"Hello Orin," Satori said. The other youkai living in the house, Rin, was playing a game on the flatscreen. Surrounding her were numerous cats, all of which felt extremely jealous of one of their brethren. Satori noticed one lucky cat had claimed the spot next to the computer's exhaust fan. "You usually hate it when my pets touch your computer."
It's cool now, literally. I added three super powerful fans. Rin paused the game and stood up. Some of the cats instantly took over her seat on the couch. Seriously though, are you actually leaving?
Satori nodded and held up her trainer ID card that Calem had given her. "It's not in good taste to refuse a professor's invite. At the very least I need to go see him and hear him out."
Utsuho's wings drooped. But I don't want you to leave.
Satori gave Utsuho a pat on her head. "I'm sorry, but you'll be fine without me. And we can talk over the phone and on video. Ask Orin to show you how."
"Eheheh..." Rin scratched her ear. "I'm going to want to call you just as often as Okuu."
"Yeah, see," Utsuho exclaimed. "Orin doesn't want you to go either."
Satori sighed. If she was being honest with herself, she wasn't exactly looking forward to it. She liked her life, just living day by day and enjoying herself with her pets. It was fine, fun even. But there was an entire world out there, a world she had not seen in years. Decades. She was overcome with one of those feelings that this was the right choice.
After all, usually the right choice is the one that is the hardest to make.
"Tell you what," Satori said. "I'll cook your guys' favorite dinner tonight and we'll have a little party."
Rin and Utsuho cheered, leaving their dreary thoughts behind. Despite being so human-like, they were both animal youkai. Utsuho was a crow and Rin a cat, and their desires were easy to manage. They liked eating things, and Rin liked sleeping a whole lot. Almost as much as she liked laying on the couch all day doing nothing but playing video games. Utsuho on the other hand liked magnets, whatever that meant.
When night came, Satori cooked up an entire fish for Rin and a huge variety platter for Utsuho. She wasn't the best cook, but her pets weren't picky eaters. It was still better than anything anyone else would give them.
But before she knew it the next morning had arrived, and the time she had agreed to meet Calem was inching closer and closer. It was very early, the sun just barely peeking up over the horizon. She gathered everything she could think of that she would need, although she knew she would forget something or other.
Mornin. Rin pulled herself up from the couch. She had a bed and a room for herself, but more often than not she just fell asleep in the living room.
"Good morning," Satori said. "Sleep well?"
Not really. Nervous.
"You'll be fine." Satori took a glance at the clock. She would have to meet Calem in about half an hour. "I'll make us some breakfast, would you go wake Okuu?"
Sure. Rin trotted up the stairs, leaving Satori to fry some eggs and bacon. About the time that Satori served the first plate, Rin came back down the stairs with Utsuho behind her.
"Mmmm, that smells good~" Utsuho floated over to the table and Satori smiled as she placed a plate in front of her. She then served Rin before finally serving herself, and the three of them sat down at the table. Satori's other pets looked on with envy, but they had their own meals they would be getting later.
"You two will take care of this place while I'm away, right?" Satori asked.
"Omf coufrf!" Utsuho said with her mouth full. Of course.
Satori nodded, and picked at her food. She wasn't really hungry, but it would be good to get some food into her. Rin was of a similar mindset, although Utsuho was happily chowing down.
So what exactly are you going to do on your journey? Rin looked up at Satori, although she didn't say anything out loud. Communication was like this in her house, usually one-sided conversations. To an outside observer it would look like Satori was just talking to herself, but conversation really was happening.
The trick was that Satori was the only one who could hear thoughts, which made three-way conversations tricky. "I'm not sure what I'll do on my journey," Satori said. "Just follow Calem's directive, for however long that lasts."
"Maybe you'll run into Koishi," Utsuho exclaimed before taking another bite.
Satori smiled. "Maybe, but she's a hard one to find."
The conversation could have lasted hours. Satori was tempted to just keep sitting at the table, talking, letting her appointment time come and go and going on as usual. But, well, Satori had already made her decision.
"Alright, you two. It's time."
Rin and Utsuho were sad at the news, but they new it was coming. Both of them gave Satori a big hug before stepping back and waving Satori off.
We're going to call you every day, you know. Rin smiled.
Satori gave her two pets a smile and one last wave before leaving her house and heading towards the town square. She went straight to the gate and found Calem waiting, Shauna nowhere to be seen. When he saw Satori approaching, he gave her a halfhearted wave.
Great, I have to be alone with the freak. "Morning," Calem commented. "You ready to set out?"
"Not as ready as you. You look like you've been waiting your whole life for this moment." Satori glanced at his backpack, which has all manner of hooks and cords that secured his belongings and sleeping bag in easy to access places. He also had a smaller bag slung around his shoulder that Satori could see contained a number of pokeballs—despite the fact he only had one pokemon.
"Hmph." Calem snorted. So my parents prepared me. No need to be mean about it.
Satori rocked back and fourth on her feet. "Do you think your parents will respect you if you become the champion?" she asked.
Calem visibly sucked in his breath at that comment. This is why I don't like you, you just say things like that. He stayed silent though, and turned his head away from the companion he would be journeying with. Satori didn't push it further while she waited for Shauna to show up.
The silence was a bit awkward, but the early morning masked it. The entire town was so quiet, it felt a bit natural. That silence was interrupted as Shauna came barreling down the central street in her flamboyantly pink tee.
"Morning," she shouted. Calem kicked himself off the wall on at Shauna's arrival.
"Ready to go, Shauna?" he asked.
"Let's do it." And with that, the three of them—Calem, Shauna and Satori—began their pokemon journey across Kalos.
But the first leg of their journey would prove to be boring. The hour-long walk from Vaniville to Aquacorde showed that the three of them could not keep any sort of conversation going for more than a few minutes. Calem would start talking about his knowledge of Pokemon, but Shauna would get bored with all the details. And Satori wasn't exactly helpful in keeping conversations up.
"Hey, Satori." Shauna asked about mid-way into their walk. The typical conversation topics had all been exhausted by this point. Were they really going to spend a year traveling together? Satori looked over.
"Well, why, ummm. Why do you just let your Fennekin follow you around instead of being in its pokeball?"
Satori looked down, and saw Fennekin trotting beside her with its twig in its mouth. It took a moment before it realized it was being paid attention to, and turned up to the two girls staring down at it. What are you looking at, you two?
"Fennekin, you want to ride in your pokeball?" Satori asked simply out loud.
It's boring in there, and the weather's so nice today. Maybe if it was raining I'd prefer the ball. Satori looked up back towards Shauna, satisfied.
"She doesn't want to."
Shauna and Calem looked at her inquisitively. "D-Doesn't want to?" Shauna asked.
Satori just nodded. "Maybe you should ask yourselves why you're keeping your pokemon trapped on this beautiful day, instead of letting them out to play like Fennekin."
Hey, you stole that from me, master!
Calem and Shauna looked a bit guilty at this, and although they were reluctant to prove Satori right they summoned their own pokemon.
The three pokemon began to play with each other. Calem's Froakie would run around nimbly while Fennekin and Chester tried to keep up. The three trainers watched their pokemon play while they walked to Aquacorde, which passed the time much more comfortably. Aquacorde wasn't more than an hour away from Vaniville though, so the group decided to just pass through it on their way to Santalune. By the end of the day though they only made it a third of the way to the forest.
"Hey, I hear something." Shauna said in the late afternoon.
Calem stopped and listened for a moment before nodding in agreement. "That's the river," he said. "It veers to the right and comes right alongside the road. We can follow it tomorrow."
"And that?" Shauna asked pointing ahead. A small ways in the distance, tall grass could be seen about waist-high. It was a bright green, the grass clearly growing well and full of life.
Calem put his hands on his hips. "Kalos is covered in grass like that," he said. "That's generally where we'll encounter pokemon. Tomorrow I'll show you two how to capture one."
"A little proud of yourself, eh?" Satori asked. Calem's face went red.
The sun lowered slowly in the sky, and the trainers decided to make camp by the roadside. A few other travelers had pitched tents near them, also traveling north towards Santalune City. Apparently their plan was a common one—camp at the border of both fields of tall grass, camp in front of the forest, and then enter on the third morning.
The three trainers rested well, the sun waking them mid-morning. As Satori sat up from her bedroll, she saw Calem sitting on a log next to a fire. He had a frying pan in his hand and was cooking some eggs. Satori stood up and wandered over, plopping herself down on the grass.
"Make any for me?"
"Make your own damn eggs."
Satori pouted, but dragged her bag over to get the tools required. Although the television shows Satori watched always glamorized trainers, the truth was that they actually had to carry a lot of gear. Being a pokemon trainer was mostly just camping and hiking, with short bursts of excitement when a battle would occur.
With a large crack, Satori broke her egg on the edge of her own frying pan and held it over the fire next to Calem's. The smell must have wafted over to Shauna, because she shot up from her slumber and turned her head towards the fire.
"That smells good," she said with a ravenous look in her eye.
Calem laughed and gestured with his pan. "You can have some of mine."
Satori rolled her eyes and finished making her breakfast. The others at their campsite seemed to have gotten up earlier than they had and were already heading on their way, but Satori and her group took the first morning of their journey slow. They ate breakfast in peace. Calem had cooked Shauna's egg for her, and Satori lowered her leftovers to the ground while Fennekin gobbled them up.
Finally, they pushed into the tall grass after packing their things. Fennekin didn't want to walk through the grass, so instead she rode on top of Satori's head. It was cute, and since she was small it didn't put much strain on Satori. The others didn't mimic her and kept their pokemon safely in their respective pokeballs.
They spotted the river half an hour after setting out. It appeared rather suddenly on their left, and the noise of the rushing water was a nice ambiance to their journey. Soon after the new addition to the landscape, a wild pokemon emerged from the grass.
Almost as if it were rehearsed, the three trainers whipped out their pokedexes and held it in front of the pokemon. The robotic voices of the three devices rang out. "Bunnelby, digging pokemon. It can use its ears as shovels to dig in the ground and burrow."
Satori was disheartened. "That's it?"
Calem shook his head. "If you capture it, the pokedex will interface with the pokeball to give more detailed statistics. The external scan can only reveal basic information." Calem pulled out a pokeball from his ball. "Observe," he shouted, and tossed the pokeball towards the wild Bunnelby. "Go, Froakie!"
The blue frog pokemon emerged and faced off with the Bunnelby. Satori watched as Calem shouted out the names of attacks and directed his pokemon in battle. It wasn't exactly all that impressive—the Froakie and Bunnelby looked like they were just roughhousing. After a few minutes when both pokemon looked exhausted, Calem tossed a different pokeball towards the Bunnelby. It bounced off its head, opened up and sucked the wild pokemon inside.
The pokeball dropped to the ground and rocked about slightly. Once, twice. And then there was a small clicking sound.
"Alright, nice." Calem said with a fist pump.
"That was so cool~" Shauna exclaimed. "The pokemon just went inside the pokeball. So that means it's our friend now?"
Calem chuckled. "Well that's up to how you treat it. Give your pokemon lots of love and they'll love you back."
"Love?" Satori said, and pointed towards the Froakie. "That doesn't look very loved to me. He looks like he's in quite a bit of pain."
You better not use that excuse not to have me battle, master. I want to flex my strength, thought the Fennekin atop Satori's head. It's usually fun. Getting injured is part of the territory.
"That's what potions are for, idiot." Calem said. He pulled a purple and white spray bottle out of his pack and knelt down next to his Froakie. Over all the injuries he sprayed the potion, and it seemed to rejuvenate the pokemon. Within minutes he was hopping around and Fennekin jumped off Satori's head to play with him.
Satori watched Calem pull a cord out of his pokedex and insert it into a slot on the pokeball. The pokedex lit up and some information appeared on the screen. The cord then retracted back into the inside of the pokedex and Calem put the Bunnelby pokeball in a special slot on his pack.
"And that's how you catch a pokemon," Calem announced proudly. "Here, I'll give each of you a pokeball of your own..."
The rest of the day's walk they decided to split up. They stayed within eyesight, but each had their own sort of designated area in case of an encounter. It wasn't until mid afternoon when Satori finally ran into something.
Zig zag zig zag, wheee~
Satori drifted her pace towards some rustling in the bushes. Pushing the grass out of the way, she saw a brown and black creature walking back and fourth. She pulled out her pokedex. "Zigzagoon, the tiny raccoon pokemon. It walks in a zig zag pattern as is generally non-threatening."
Hell yes, let me show you what I can do, master, said Fennekin. She hopped off of Satori's head, and tackled the zigzagoon who was just minding his own business. The two pokemon got in a bit of a kerfuffle, and Satori wasn't sure what to do or say. But Fennekin didn't seem to mind, instead going at the zigzagoon with repeated scratches. On the fourth scratch, the zigzagoon rolled over to the side and stopped moving.
"Is it dead?" Satori asked.
Naw, it just fainted. It takes way more than that to actually kill us, replied the Fennekin. Satori breathed a sigh of relief, and knelt down by the zigzagoon. She drew an empty pokeball from her bag that Calem had given her, and pushed it against the wild pokemon. But nothing seemed to be happening. I don't think it works if they're unconscious, master.
Satori stood up and walked away from the zigzagoon, continuing her march. Not soon after, the tall grass ended and the three trainers met up on the road. They walked beside the flowing river, and stopped for lunch on its banks.
"I didn't catch anything..." Shauna complained.
"Me neither," said Satori.
Both of the girls pouted a little bit, although Fennekin seemed quite proud of herself for felling the Zigzagoon. Satori rewarded her with a bite from her sandwich. After only fifteen minutes though, Calem stood up.
"We should get going. We got a late start so it'll be dark by the time we reach our next campsite."
The others agreed, and so the party was on their way. There was no more tall grass they would have to venture through today, so the afternoon went by in relative peace. They stopped at a similar campsite and met up with the people who they had camped with the night previous.
The next day went similar to the previous, with no one catching any new pokemon. It wasn't until the late afternoon when the border of the Santalune forest finally came into view. The trees were tall and dwarfed the children who had been feeling rather proud up until now.
"Ugg...we have to go through that?" Shauna asked.
I can handle it, said Fennekin. Satori glanced her eyes down to the fox-like pokemon who trotted beside her and smiled.
"Ah, there's Tierno and Trevor," said Calem. He waved towards two boys a short distance away. "They'll be—"
"Joining us on our journey, Sycamore's other students." Satori said.
Before Calem could rant, they met the two boys. Tierno was chubby with a tremendous smile across his face, while Trevor was small and was doing his best to be unnoticed. They introduced themselves, and after a few handshakes they turned towards the imposing forest they would be traveling through.
"I bet it's really spooky at night, right guys?" Tierno asked. Shauna visibly shivered.
"Oh, for sure," said Satori. "There's probably also lots of creepy crawly bug pokemon. And slimy, they're probably slimy too."
Wait, I don't want to go in there. Shauna held her arms defensively. "I, uh, maybe there's another way around..." she said softly.
Calem cut Satori a hard glance before turning to comfort Shauna. They weren't going to actually enter until the next day though, so it was decided to just make camp and enter tomorrow morning when it would be less frightening. The forest would take longer than a day to navigate though, so they weren't really escaping the night. Just putting it off.
When Satori awoke, the only other person up was Trevor. He tensed up a bit when he saw that she had awoken. Awah, now I have to converse with someone. Maybe if I'm lucky she'll go away. Satori decided to walk up and sit right next to him. He lowered his head. Dammit, what am I supposed to say. Uhh...the weather. Yeah, that'll work.
"M-Morning, Satori." Trevor said softly as to not wake the others. "Seems like we'll have good weather today."
"The weather, seriously?" Satori teased. "That's what you went with?"
Why did you have to go and say that. Trevor twisted his thumbs. "W-Well then...er..." Trevor never came up with anything else to say, and he and Satori sat in silence.
After a few minutes, Satori decided to start cooking her breakfast and woke Fennekin to help her start a fire. She wasn't strong enough yet to be able to cause embers, but the hot air she could blow out her ears would help.
Satori looked back up at Trevor when she realized he was pointing his pokedex at her. His face went red when he realized he was noticed.
"Want to know my three sizes?"
His face went even more red at Satori's comment. "S-Sorry. I just wanted to...the pokemon around your neck, I mean. It looks like an Unknown but..."
"Around my—oh, you mean this." Satori said, and stroked the thing that Trevor had mistaken for a pokemon. It was her Third Eye, not a pokemon by any means. It was part of who she was, similar to an arm or a leg. It was what let her see into the minds of others. "Not telling."
Trevor wasn't sure how to respond to that, and so he just turned his head. But the mind-reader easily scanned his thoughts. They were mostly confused and a fear of embarrassment. Satori ignored the boy from there on as others started to wake, and the morning got underway.
The morning went by a bit faster than they would have wanted, and before long it was time that they press into the forest. The Santalune Forest wasn't by any means the most dangerous or frightening place in Kalos, but for the children who had rarely ventured far from their hometown by themselves it was their first major obstacle.
So they mustered up all their courage and pressed inwards. The forest was large and would take nearly a week to travel all the way through. While it normally wouldn't take that long "as a bird flies," the forest had parts where the treeline was just too thick to easily navigate through. The established path actually winded back and fourth, drawing out the journey.
Of course, this sort of design had problems of its own.
"I think we're lost," said Calem.
"Way to go," Satori remarked. "I thought you were supposed to be good at this."
Satori and Calem bickered while Trevor shifted uncomfortably in the background. Please stop fighting, he thought. The path should just be ten minutes north of here. As soon as they stop fighting I'll bring it up...
"Well let's see you figure out what to do then, Miss Know-It-All." Calem said and pointed accusingly towards Satori. She crossed her arms and turned her head to the side.
"Easy, the path is just a ten-minute's walk to the north, " Satori said. She saw Trevor's expression flinch as she stole his moment, but kept her focus on Calem. "I would have thought someone as prepared and ready as you would at least know that much."
Calem snorted. "Don't bother gloating until you're actually proved right." But regardless the group decided to go north at Satori's suggestion. Their excursion through the forest hadn't been as bad as it looked from the outside, the forest was actually very pleasant. They had encountered about three or four bug pokemon a day, and Trevor caught a few of them. Satori had only one pokeball though that she had gotten from Calem and she didn't want to waste it. So her roster still only held the solitary Fennekin.
Fennekin had decided she did not want to experience the forest, so Satori withdrew her back into her pokeball. She was a bit confused at what she was hearing from the Pokeball, though. It was like the thoughts of Fennekin were muffled or being said underwater. Hard to make out unless she really paid attention.
After about ten minutes, the party did indeed come back across the paved road that was laid through the forest. It wasn't entirely continuous, hence the possibility of getting lost, but it helped to reorient travelers.
It wasn't all that effective though.
"We're lost again, aren't we?" Satori asked after reading Calem's thoughts. He was reluctant to bring it up, but he couldn't hide the truth from his mind-reading companion.
"This forest really is difficult to get through!" Shauna exclaimed.
Satori looked to Trevor again in a hope to steal some knowledge, but unfortunately she would not be lucky a second time. Uh oh, I sure hope someone has an idea, he thought as he turned his head in a circle trying to find a landmark. Satori sighed.
Come here, little bug...
The thought was faint and Satori could barely hear it, but that meant it had to be close. She tried to block out the thoughts of her companions and focus on the new, foreign consciousness.
I'm going to...nice photographs...
Satori couldn't locate people from their thoughts, but when she knew what to listen for she was able to hear the ruffling of the bushes in the distance. Satori wandered off towards the sound.
Calem had ignored her as he usually did, but Tierno and Trevor were not familiar enough with Satori to realize this was normal behavior. They followed her through the bushes and trees, and almost bumped into her when she stopped. In a clearing just ahead of them there was a woman hunched over, holding a large camera in her hands. She looked almost like a hunter stalking its prey.
"Ah, excuse us," Tierno said to announce his presence. The woman looked up, and gave them a wave.
"Oh, are you guys trainers?" She asked, eying the pokeballs and gear. All three of them nodded and the woman smiled at the response. "I'm Viola, the Santalune Gym Leader."
"Wow, really?" Tierno asked. "What are you doing out here?"
Viola held up her camera. "I'm trying to take some pictures of bug pokemon, but I'm having a bit of trouble today. None showed up at my usual spot." They always show up, why didn't they show up? Did something bad happen to them? Please let nothing have happened to them, oh god. Anything but that. Maybe...maybe some nice trainer captured them. Or...
"Do you want us to help you?" Satori asked. "Something really bad might have happened to them."
The string of worries flew through Viola's head again. "A-Ah, yeah, that would be a big help. Thanks, er..."
"I'm Satori." After her, the others announced their own names as well as Calem and Shauna, who had wandered over after realizing something was going on. The party decided to split into pairs and wander through the forest, looking for the cause of the missing bug pokemon. Satori was the odd one out to no one's surprise, and was forced to pair with Viola. They all agreed to meet back on the road within two hours.
After a few minutes of walking and finding themselves sufficiently alone, Viola began to talk to her temporary exploration partner. "So Satori, you're a young trainer then? Have you caught any other pokemon yet?"
Satori shook her head. "Not yet. All I have is the Fennekin that Professor Sycamore gave me."
"Oh, you're one of Augustine's? Lucky you." I wish someone as handsome as Augustine was my professor, back in the day...
Satori chuckled at the stray thought that Viola didn't voice. Satori had not yet met the professor, but at least she had something to look forward to now.
They chatted a bit, which turned out to be a bit more pleasant than most of Satori's usual conversations. Viola's worry over the forest's bug pokemon was drowning out most of her other thoughts, so there wasn't anything else Satori could latch onto to cause the conversation to go sour. As a consequence, they only discussed shallow things and Satori found the conversation a bit dry.
It was about forty minutes later—while Viola was talking about the advantages of different apertures in the low light of the forest—that they heard the cry of a pokemon coming a short distance away. Viola perked up and told Satori it was coming from a grove nearby and the two rushed to see what was the matter. When they arrived, they found a small, grayish pokemon being attacked by a Pikachu.
Neither Satori nor Viola intervened at first. Fights between wild pokemon were common, after all, but something was strange about this. The Pikachu wasn't just attacking the bug pokemon, it was tormenting it. The bug had all but given up yet the Pikachu kept swiping at it with its claws. Satori read its thoughts, but all that she sensed was a sick sort of pleasure it derived from the bug's cries. The bug, on the other hand, was showing fear and pain.
"Ugh, that's horrible," Viola whispered. "That Pikachu is hurting that poor little Scatterbug." I don't want to photograph this...should I intervene? But it might not be my place to interrupt the forest's natural flow...but that Pikachu is just...
Satori had just about enough of Viola's roller coaster thoughts, and stepped out of the bushes dramatically wielding her pokeball. "Fennekin," she shouted and threw the ball into the grove. In a white light the Fennekin emerged and faced down the Pikachu and Scatterbug, who had given her their full attention.
Master, you want me to take down two at once? I'm good but I'm not that good, said Fennekin.
Help me~ The Scatterbug cried.
"Just the Pikachu."
The Pikachu turned his attention towards Fennekin and Satori. Get lost.
Fennekin charged forwards and tackled the Pikachu. This wasn't like some of the other playful and friendly encounters they had had. They were really trying to hurt each other. Their scratches drew blood and their tackles caused bruises.
"Fen, left!" Satori shouted. Fennekin rolled immediately as Pikachu's attack brushed by. The Pikachu was strong, but for the mind-reader its movements were predictable. He had a simple mindset with easy-to-read attacks. The only issue for Satori was making sure she told Fennekin in time.
No way you two are going to beat me. Pikachu dug his paws into the ground. I'm the strongest dammit.
The Pikachu charged once again, but it didn't have anything clever planned. Satori directed Fennekin again to dodge, and she side-swiped Pikachu as he missed yet again. The frustration was almost visible on his face, and very clear in his mind.
"Finish him," Satori exclaimed. Fennekin pounced and beat Pikachu's head into the ground before he could recover. The battle lasted only a few minutes, and it ended with Pikachu struggling to stand up. Fennekin waltzed proudly at her victory, although she did not get through it unscathed.
Satori hadn't noticed it earlier, but there was a repeated sound of a camera in the background. Satori turned back and saw Viola viciously snapping photos of her and her pokemon. Viola gave her a thumbs-up.
Turning her attention away from Viola, Satori knelt down next to the injured Pikachu. It was still conscious but only barely, and bloodied from the battle. It was tough—these injuries would have caused any other Pikachu to faint by now.
Satori spoke in a whisper so only the Pikachu and nearby Fennekin could hear. "Turns out you're not so strong after all, Pikachu..." she said. "Did you really think bullying little bugs was a feat to be proud of?"
Don't talk down to me...human...I'm the strongest thing in this forest. The Pikachu tried to make a token struggle, but couldn't lift itself off the ground.
"Eeehhhhh~?" Satori said with a grin. "The world stretches far beyond this forest. There's some pokemon that could crush you underfoot and not even notice. I've been a trainer for less than a week and I've already defeated you. Weakling."
The pikachu's thoughts were angry and uncontrolled. Satori waited for it to form a coherent thought she could respond to, but it never did and just seethed itself in anger.
Satori sighed, and brought out the empty pokeball from her pack. "Come with me and I'll let you grow strong. Or you can stay here and get eaten by the first hawk that flies by."
Bite me. You think I would subjugate myself to you?
Satori grasped the empty pokeball and shoved it into the Pikachu's face, hard. It winced from the pain.
A few seconds went by and the Pikachu stared into Satori's eyes with a hard look, the pokeball digging into its face. But then the expression on his face wavered. In a bright white light, the Pikachu was sucked into the pokeball and a "click" resounded across the grove.
Satori stood up, tossing the pokeball in her hand with a smile on her face. Viola came out of the bushes, clapping.
"That was very impressive," she exclaimed. "You and your Fennekin seem well bonded, even after such a short time. And you caught the Pikachu too." With a smile at her words Satori put the pokeball into her roster.
As she finished, she felt something rub against her leg. She looked down and saw the injured Scatterbug nuzzling against her. Thank you, it said.
Satori knelt down and patted it on the head. She pulled out her pokedex and scanned the Scatterbug. The hollow voice of the pokedex echoed throughout the grove: "Scatterbug, the scatterdust pokemon. It can thrive in any climate and is seen all around the world."
As Satori focused on the device in her hands, she failed to notice at first the other pokemon approaching her. However, their thoughts hit her rather abruptly and she staggered from so many voices. From the surrounding brush emerged over twenty different bug pokemon. She was confused at first, but their thoughts alleviated it.
She stopped the bully!
We're safe again!
The thoughts of pokemon were not always clear and in understandable language, but the emotions of the bugs surrounding Satori were of admiration and joy. She didn't stop them from coming closer, and she sat down on the ground cross-legged to interact with them.
While Satori spent the next few minutes playing with and petting all the bug pokemon of the forest, Viola spent her time taking photos of this event and asking Satori to strike poses. It made her blush a little bit, but she did her best.
Eventually the time came that they were supposed to meet the others, so Satori waved goodbye to the other bug pokemon and went on her way with Viola.
"I got some amazing shots, kid." Viola said. "You're something special, to be sure."
"It's almost unnatural how comfortable those pokemon felt around you. Most trainers don't reach that level of familiarity with their pokemon for months. If I didn't know better I would have guessed you lived in this forest. No wonder Augustine took an interest in you."
Satori didn't know how to respond to that. It didn't take too long for them to make it back to the pathway, where they found Calem and Trevor waiting. Shauna and Tierno apparently had not arrived. Before they had a chance to say they hadn't found anything, Satori told the story of how she—in no uncertain terms—saved the forest. Tierno was suitably impressed, although Calem didn't take the arrogance in how she delivered it well.
About the time that Shauna and Trevor came back, in which Satori had the chance to brag again, Viola told the group of young trainers she was heading back to Santalune and she'll catch up with them there. She was gone before anyone could ask her to accompany them.
All in all it took them a solid week to traverse the entire forest. The party was relieved when it thinned and they emerged into bright, full sunlight and a road cutting through the plains far off into the distance. On their left was a brilliantly blue, shining lake. But their relief was short lived when Satori caught a glimpse of a sign reading Route Three. They weren't even in Santalune city.
"Oh, yeah..." Trevor said quietly. "S-Santalune isn't actually for another four days or so..."
A round of sighs spread through the party, and they decided to just camp by the lakeside and tackle this next route starting in the morning. When they woke up, Tierno and Trevor decided they wanted to run on ahead, and said they'd meet up later. Neither Satori nor the others stopped them, the three of them liked a bit of a slower pace than Tierno and Trevor.
So Satori, Calem and Shauna leisurely walked along the lake. The route was easy to traverse and the lake provided a relaxing atmosphere. On the third day, the party passed by someone standing on the side of the road with his arms on his hips. As they got close, he looked over. "You!" he shouted, and pointed towards Calem. "I challenge you to a pokemon battle!"
"Very well, I accept." Calem said energetically. The exchange was so quick, Satori didn't even realize what was happening at first. Shauna had to drag her by the arm to the side of the road to give Calem and the trainer some room. The two girls whispered while the boys started their match.
"Shauna, why did Calem agree so readily...?"
Shauna didn't look at Satori, instead focusing on the match. "Don't you know anything? When two trainers lock eyes, it—"
"That's dumb. You have to battle if you meet someone else's eyes?" Satori said, and focused on Calem. He sent out his Froakie against the trainer's Pidgy. The Froakie was fast—really fast. Satori didn't realize it before, but now that she had seen a few encounters of her own she could make the comparison. The battle was quick, and Calem won. The other trainer looked a bit dejected and handed over a sum of money Satori couldn't make out.
"Congratulations," Shauna exclaimed and went to go hug Calem. He laughed in response, and the gang continued on their way. They had encountered one other trainer who was looking to fight, which Shauna was the target of. She lost. Before long, they made their way to near the end of the route, traveled down the long staircase down the cliff and finally reached their destination: Santalune City.
The city was bigger than Aquacorde and had plenty of people walking the streets and visiting shops. Satori, Calem and Shauna started walking through the town, but Satori quickly stopped them after reading Shauna and Calem's conflicting thoughts on what they wanted to do.
"Let's split up. We're going to be spending awhile here, right?"
The others nodded. "Let's all meet up again at the Pokemon Center in the evening. Trainers can get their pokemon healed there for free, and they also provide free lodge. It's not exactly high class though."
With that decided, they split up and wandered the town. Satori walked beside her Fennekin. She estimated they would spend at least a couple of weeks here since they would need time to train and prepare themselves for the Santalune Gym. Just because they had already met Viola didn't mean they were prepared to take her on in battle.
Satori eventually stopped at a cafe and talked with her Fennekin while drinking a cup of afternoon coffee.
You look tired, Fennekin commented.
"I spent two weeks side-by-side with those two." Satori said. "I need a break."
They don't seem to like you very much, master.
"They don't." Satori stirred the coffee in her mug with a small spoon. Fennekin shuffled closer and rested her head against Satori's arm.
It's okay, I like you, she said. Satori felt a bit better, and decided to head over to the Pokemon Center after finishing her drink. She didn't see Calem or Shauna when she arrived, so she just headed on in without them. The lady behind the counter welcomed her as she walked through the automatic doors.
"Hi, I'd like a room please. I'm a trainer," said Satori.
"Excellent, we have plenty available. If you'll just show me your ID..."
Satori took out the trainer card that she had received from Professor Sycamore. Everything seemed to check out with the nurse, because she handed it back after typing a few things into her keyboard. "Enjoy your stay," she said, handing Satori a card key and a map to her room. It was apparently in a separate complex nearby.
On her way out, Satori bumped into Calem and Shauna who were mid-conversation. They mostly ignored each other, Satori gesturing with her hand holding the room key. With that, she left them behind in the pokemon center while they got their own rooms.
The room was nice, but small. Satori set her bag down on the twin bed and sat beside it. Fennekin immediately curled up on one of the pillows and went to sleep. Satori decided to take a long shower before joining her, wiping off the grime that accumulated after two weeks of travel.
Satori spent her first few days in Santalune visiting the shops and services it provided. There was a nice-looking boutique that specialized in hats, but it wasn't in her budget to buy any. It was at this point she realized she would have to challenge some trainers if she wanted to accumulate cash, and it might also be good practice for when she eventually challenged Viola.
Thus she found herself back in Route Three in a small outlet away from the main road. Satori had confidence in Fennekin, but she hadn't summoned Pikachu since its capture. She couldn't put it off any longer though, and would have to train with it if she stood any chance against another actual trainer.
Satori pulled the ball out of her roster and tossed it in the air. The pokeball split open and Pikachu emerged. It stretched its limbs a bit before looking up at Satori. About time, were you just going to leave me in there forever, human?
"What, is it not fun in those things?"
Maybe you should go in one and see how fun it is.
"Well, you can stay out if you earn it. Let's see how well you can obey orders."
The Pikachu raised its nose at Satori's words. Why should I do as you say, human? Maybe you should be the one listening to me. I bet I could beat you in a match easy, one thunderbolt and—
Pikachu didn't get the chance to complete his thought before Satori brought her foot down onto its side, pinning its small body to the dirt. She used the full force of her weight and the Pikachu squirmed in pain underneath her shoe.
Arg, stop it, what do you think you're doing? The Pikachu screamed in his mind. In response, Satori only applied more pressure. The Pikachu struggled to free itself and a few sparks came from his cheeks. He looked up at the girl oppressing him, but his eyes instead locked with the thing around her chest. The Third Eye.
His sparks cut off.
"You're weak." Satori looked down at the Pikachu as she dragged its trauma to the forefront of its mind. The Pikachu's struggles didn't last very long, and it went limp from Satori's mental assault. The fundamental fear of this Pikachu—of being weak—was so easy to exploit.
Satori's ability was the manipulation of trauma. She could read the past traumas of others and either suppress it or make it so pervasive it was crippling.
Satori had not held back against the poor mouse pokemon.
She lifted her foot from its back and let it lay on the ground for a moment. There was a red imprint of her shoe in its fur, but it would fade away within the hour. There was no way she could compare physically to any pokemon, but this Pikachu's simplistic mind was easy enough for her to invade. No matter how strong the body, it is useless without a sane mind in control.
W...w...what did you...do to me...human, Pikachu said after regaining some of its senses. Satori stood over it and let her shadow fall over the Pikachu.
"I am your master," Satori said. "You will refer to me as such."
...a...alright, master. The Pikachu said. At his words, Satori smiled and knelt down, bringing the Pikachu into her arms.
"Good boy," she said petting his head. "And to answer your question, not human."
"I'm not human." Satori grabbed Pikachu's cheek and stretched it a bit.
She then pressed onwards into the tall grass looking for a wild encounter. The Pikachu had its pride wounded, and it was crucial that Satori let him blow off steam against something he could win against as soon as possible. It would solidify the status quo she was trying to form with the Pikachu.
Fennekin trotted behind. Wow, master, you're scary, she said.
Satori glanced back at Fennekin and grinned. "Only when I have to be." She looked back to the Pikachu, and rubbed its head again. Satori could tell from his thoughts he enjoyed it, although he would never admit it. "A pack can't have two alphas."
Luckily, it wasn't more than forty minutes before Satori and her two pokemon came across a wild Fletchling. Satori scanned it quickly with the pokedex, and then tossed the Pikachu out of her arms. "Show me just how strong you are, Pikachu!" She shouted. The Pikachu was eager to blow off some steam, and sent a thunder shock at the tiny bird pokemon.
The Fletchling couldn't dodge the attack, but was still in fighting condition. It responded by trying to tackle the Pikachu from the air. Satori yelled for the Pikachu to dodge left and swipe it as it passed by. She was pleased when he obeyed her command and the Fletchling went down for good. It was a quick battle, but from his thoughts Satori could tell it alleviated some of his stress.
"Good job," Satori said with a smile.
Over the next couple of days, Satori properly trained her Pikachu. It was still hesitant to obey her commands at first, but by the end of the week he mostly came around. They faced off against a couple of trainers on the route and Satori picked up some extra cash from her victories.
Ha, I'm sure I could solo that loser gym leader Viola, said the Pikachu as he sat atop Satori's head. He was still a prideful jerk and a bully, after all. But now he was Satori's bully. And that was good enough for her.
And so two weeks after her entrance to Santalune City, Satori found herself standing outside the large doors of the Santalune City Gym. The stones were a golden brown with a jade green roof. For a bug pokemon gym, it was surprisingly intimidating. Satori had not run into Viola once around town, and she wasn't quite sure she was ready. But there was no rule that said you couldn't challenge a gym leader twice.
Apparently the schedule of challengers is public information, because her entire group had shown up to watch. Satori had not spent a lot of time with any of them since they all entered Santalune, but in a few days they would be heading out so it was about time they organized. With luck they would all defeat Viola and get their very first badges. Today would be Satori and Shauna, tomorrow would be Calem and the others.
With a deep breath, Satori stepped inside.
The interior was different than she expected. It was a simple, small room with white tiles and gray drywall. There were two large pillars near the entrance carved with hundreds of names, and standing beside one of them was a portly man. He gave a quick wave and gestured towards the center of the room. Satori looked to where he was pointing and saw a hole in the floor. There was a rope tied off and it was clear she was supposed to climb down.
Satori sighed, wrapped her hands around the rope and descended into the belly of the gym. It wasn't that difficult to climb down, and when she climbed down the whole distance she let go and turned her head to get a look at her surroundings. She was in a massive cavern lit by some kind of artificial lighting that Satori couldn't locate. On the floor was an intricate spider-web pattern that caused Satori to go dizzy if she looked at it for too long.
Calem and the others dropped down shortly after Satori, and looked around in a similar sense of wonderment. Spectators were apparently allowed by Viola, although Satori knew not all gyms would give that luxury.
The only other figure in the room was Viola herself standing next to the wall. Behind her was a makeshift tent next to numerous camera and photography equipment. Satori made her way over to the Gym Leader, who was radiating with confidence.
"Welcome to the Santalune City Gym," Viola said commandingly. "I am the leader, Viola. Are you prepared to challenge me?"
Satori narrowed her gaze. "I am."
"Excellent. But don't think I'll go easy on you just because of our adventures in the forest, little Satori." Viola gave a cute wink. "My lens is always focused on victory!"
With an exaggerated stretch, Viola threw out her first pokemon as Satori did the same. After a quick flash of light, Satori's Pikachu faced down a blue and yellow pokemon with long legs. Satori had her pokedex at the ready and scanned Viola's Surskit, the pond skater pokemon. Satori was relieved that she decided to throw out Pikachu first—she had type advantage.
"Pikachu, use thundershock." Satori ordered. The Pikachu still had a defiant attitude, but Satori had no reason to think it would disobey her. Before the Pikachu could unleash its attack, however, the Surskit shot towards the Pikachu and rammed into it. The Pikachu was unamused he was hit first, but quickly recovered and fired a thunder shock from his cheeks.
The surge of electricity raced towards the Surskit in a fearsome arc, but in less than a second the attack had concluded. The Surskit was injured, but not out. Satori looked out across the stage at Viola—she was smiling. Her eyes were dead serious, but she had a smile on her face. I would hardly expect anything different, she thought. Surskit is no match for a Pikachu, especially that one. Looks like Satori really did spend time training it...amazing...
Satori didn't have time to blush at the unvoiced praise she wasn't supposed to have heard, instead focusing on the battle. Satori told Pikachu to repeat the strategy again, although its exact execution was different. But with a second thunder shock, the Surskit had fainted and Viola recalled it. It had been fairly one-sided, but that's the nature of the game sometimes. A water pokemon has no chance against an electric one.
Viola placed the exhausted pokeball back in her bag, and pulled out a second one. In another exaggerated toss, a majestic butterfly-like pokemon emerged with glimmering purple scales. Satori found herself caught off guard at the sight of it. But it wasn't its elegance that stunned her, it was its thoughts.
Here we go again. The pokemon's thoughts were dull and tired. Ugh. It confused Satori greatly, from the outside the pokemon looked wonderful and happy, but its thoughts were more akin to an empty room devoid of emotion. The conflict caused Satori to hesitate.
"Vivillion, use infestation," Viola shouted from across the battlefield. The Vivillion did as it was commanded without delay and shook its entire body. From it emerged thousands of tiny fleas, all drawing towards the Pikachu. It tried to escape, but there were too many and they were too fast.
"Ah, Pikachu," Satori exclaimed. "T-Try to shake it off..."
The Pikachu became distracted by the fleas on its back, and it looked like it was in pain. There were too many things going on at once for Satori to be able to handle it. The Vivillion's thoughts, Viola's thoughts, the battle, she just couldn't keep track of everything. The Vivillion raced towards the Pikachu and tackled it from the air repeatedly. Before long the Pikachu fainted, and Satori reluctantly called him back.
Satori only had one other pokemon, Fennekin, so she couldn't delay the battle to gather her thoughts for very long between summons. But in the short interim she focused on the landscape of thoughts radiating from Viola and her pokemon. It was strange, too strange. The Vivillion seemed disgusted, bored and tired of its master. But from Viola there was a subtle sadness. Satori didn't have time to read into it too much, but she gleamed a single name from the leader's mind.
After her short rest of only a few seconds, she pulled out the pokeball of Fennekin and tossed it into the fray. Save the best for last, said the Fennekin proudly. Pikachu would have been angered if he had heard it.
Satori told Fennekin to run around the stage. Viola's next move would be predictable, but Satori wanted to buy a few seconds while the Vivillion tried to track its target. Before Viola had a chance to order the infestation, Satori yelled out.
"Hey Viola, who was Vivi?"
Viola froze. How does she know about that, she thought. Satori was glad to see her tactic worked. She didn't even have to tell her Fennekin what to do next, it took advantage of the opening and tackled the Vivillion to the ground. Satori meanwhile focused on Viola's thoughts and gleamed all sorts of terrible, sad information.
"This Vivillion hates you, you know," Satori said with a gesture towards the battle. Viola stared at her while her serious composure cracked, but Satori didn't let up. "Not surprising, I guess, it's just a replacement, isn't it?"
The Vivillion and Fennekin were tackling each other across the stage. With no direction from their masters, they didn't dare to use any complex maneuvers.
"H-How do you know that?" Viola said. "Who told you about Vivi?"
Satori simply shrugged in response. "It's a sad thing, isn't it? When a pokemon dies. That sort of event can break a person. But this is a bit cruel, don't you think? Replacing your lost pokemon with a carbon copy."
When Satori had trained her Pikachu, she had used her Third Eye to drag its worst fears to the surface of its mind. It was a mental attack. But what she was doing to Viola was more subtle than that, she was simply using words. Viola drew the painful memories out all on her own.
Satori sifted through the memories Viola had as they rose to the surface. She grew up with the lovely Vivillion, Vivi. They laughed, they cried, they challenged the elite four together, they went on grand adventures. And then suddenly and painfully, Vivi was ripped away from her. Satori didn't get the chance to find out how it died, Viola suppressed the thought, but the damage was done.
"Don't let it happen again," Satori yelled. "Fennekin, light it on fire!"
Fennekin, at its master's orders, caused small flames to erupt from her body. They traveled like bullets towards the Vivillion, and before Viola could order it to dodge they struck, igniting the Vivillion's wings on fire.
"Ah, no, wait—!" Viola shouted. The Vivillion flapped into the air and spun around quickly, extinguishing the flames on its body. Pokemon were tough, after all. But from that attack and the previous ones Fennekin gave it, it was severely damaged and the exhaustion could be seen in its wing flaps. "No, just, come back..." Viola held out the pokeball and withdrew the Vivillion.
Satori had only seen two pokeballs on Viola, so that meant Satori won. However, instead of being congratulated, she simply watched as Viola dropped to her knees.
"V...Vivi...why..." She uttered softly, and tears came from her eyes. Satori just watched her. Anyone foolish enough to face off against someone like Satori would be forced to confront their worst fears, the things they hide deep inside themselves. She felt no regret, it was simply who she was.
Viola dragged herself up and retreated back to her tent in silence. It was only at this point that Satori remembered she was being watched by Calem and the others, and judging by the looks on their faces they were angry. Shocked and angry at the battle.
Oh my god, she made the leader cry, thought Shauna.
Satori refocused her attention on Viola, who had grabbed a small wooden box from the tent and came back towards Satori. Without making eye contact, Viola shoved the small box into Satori's arms. "Just take this and go," Viola said in barely more than a whisper. She then retreated again past her tent, and up the staircase leading to the surface.
The trainers were left in the wide hall of the gym completely alone. After a minute, Calem stormed over to Satori and got right into her face.
"This is why everyone hates you," he shouted. "There was no reason to do that to her. What were you thinking?"
Satori was at a loss for words. "I, uh...I was just—"
"JUST WHAT?" Calem shouted again. Satori held the wooden box defensively against her chest. "Just trying to make someone else cry? Trying to torture someone else? Putting aside how you even found out about her pokemon's death, that's the sort of thing you don't throw in her face to win a match." Calem's arms shook and Satori was a bit afraid he would strike her. But instead he turned away and stomped off towards Viola. The others in the group shyly followed behind him until it was just Satori alone in the gym.
Fennekin trotted up next to her and sat on its hindquarters. Satori glanced down at it.
"Do you want to yell at me too?" She asked.
Fennekin shook her tiny head. You're scary, master, you're really scary. But I think you have a good heart somewhere in there. Fennekin brushed itself up against her leg. This journey we're on is about more than becoming strong, it's about growing. It's about finding ourselves. And I want to do that with you, master.
Satori knelt down and rubbed Fennekin's head. "How are you so smart?" She asked. Her little pokemon raised its snout in pride.
I spent a lot of time wandering about Sycamore's lab. I overheard things. But enough about that, open up your prize and let's see what you got.
Satori placed the box on the ground gently, and opened the lid. It was padded with a green foam and contained two items. The first was a small, beetle shaped ornament. The Bug Badge. The second was a small little SD card with the phrase "TM83" printed on it. Satori didn't quite know what it was, but placed it and the badge back in the box, which she then placed in her pack.
With a smile at defeating her first gym leader, Satori left the wide halls of the gym back to the Poke Center for a much-needed rest.