"Hey, excuse me?"
A small, familiar voice echoed through Felix's unconscious mind, waking him from a deep sleep.
"Wha?" the groggy Meowth moaned, uncurling and stretching before heading to the door. Out in front of Chuchino's house was the Caterpie they had rescued the day before.
"Hi!" it chirped happily, "We were so glad to be back together that my mother and I forgot to give you a reward for helping out. We forgot to even introduce ourselves. My name's Papillion, and my mom is named Liberty. My mom sent me with these." It pushed three berries ahead of it, a Pecha Berry, a Rawst Berry, and an Oran Berry.
"Thanks, but you didn't have to." Felix replied, taking the berries. The Caterpie didn't listen, just sauntering away...if it could do that on those kind of legs.
"I also wanted to say that someday when I get older, I'm going to join your rescue team to truly pay you back!" Papillion called back over its...shoulder?
"What was that all about?" Chuchino asked groggily as he came out of the Team Base.
"It was that Caterpie. Papillion, from yesterday, giving us a reward for rescuing him." Felix explained, stifling a yawn. Chuchino nodded sleepily and headed over to the plain mailbox that was just outside the house. He pulled out some papers that had been stuffed inside.
"Hey look. They already sent us our Rescue Team stuff." Chuchino said, handing Felix an odd looking badge. It looked like a plastic Easter egg with wings. The top half was white, while the bottom was pink.
"Do we get to name our team?" Felix asked, examining the odd badge.
"Yeah, you got any ideas?" Chuchino asked.
"Why not Team Skeleton Key?" Felix replied.
"Skeleton Key?" Chuchino asked, incredulously. Felix nodded, pulling a small silver key off a red ribbon that Chuchino hadn't noticed around his neck.
"Oh, I see." Chuchino responded, "Can I have one?"
"We'll have to find another key, but I think I have enough ribbon to make you one." Felix said, leaning over Chuchino's shoulder to read the note, "So, we start at Normal Rank and have to complete missions to gain points and go up a rank. That should be fun!"
"Yeah, and now we've got a storage box at Kangaskhan Storage in town, as well as our own Bank Account." Chuchino explained, grabbing all the items they had found when rescuing Caterpie and packing them into a small messenger bag, "Let's go store this stuff. Then we can come back here and wait for some missions." Felix nodded, following Chuchino as they left for the village.
The village was much more lively than it had been the night before. Pokèmon were everywhere, talking to each other, shopping, visiting the bank, and visiting the storage building. Chuchino led Felix carefully through the crowds of pokèmon, being very cautious because there was a great number of pokèmon there that could easily kill the two by stepping on them. Felix found it slightly easier, with practice, to walk on his hind legs but remained mostly on all fours to avoid balance issues. Eventually they got through the crowd and stood before the large building that was labeled 'Kangaskhan Storage'.
"Why hello there, darlin's!" came a kind voice from above the two, "What can I do f'r y'all?" Felix wondered exactly how a Kangaskhan could get a southern accent, but Chuchino interrupted his thoughts.
"We're a new Rescue Team, Miss Conztanza." He said politely, "We need to store a few things. Our team name is 'Team Skeleton Key'."
"Ah, yes." Conztanza said, rustling around in a shelf under her front counter, "Here y'are! Just made it up f'r ya this mornin'. Welcome to the job, dears." She pulled out two small scraps of cloth and handed them to the two.
"What are these?" Felix asked, curiosity getting the better of him.
"They're Pecha Scarves, dear," the Kangaskhan explained, smiling kindly, "Ya wear 'em and they stop ya from gettin' poisoned. There's lotsa other scarves out there with dif'rent effects." Felix nodded in understanding, tying the scarf around his neck over his key collar. He then pinned his Rescue Team Badge onto the scarf as he saw Chuchino doing.
"Here you go ma'am." Chuchino said to Conztanza, handing her the Rawst and Pecha berries they had gotten from Caterpie. Shetook the berries and placed them into the Team Skeleton Key box they had been given.
"Thank you very much." Chuchino called as he led Felix over to another building. Before they could arrive, however, two lizard-like Pokèmon popped up in front of them, startling Felix and causing the unfortunate scratch-cat to jump almost twice his height into the air.
"Hey, guys." Chuchino said calmly, waving at the two Kecleon, for that is what they were.
"Why hello Chuchino..." the purple Kecleon said.
"...what a wonderful day, yes?" continued the green Kecleon.
"It sure is," Chuchino replied, smiling, "We just became a Rescue Team. Guys, this is Felix, he's new around here. Felix, these are the Kecleon Brothers. The purple one is Phyros, and the green one is Irving." The two Kecleon nodded amicably to Felix as they shook hands (...er...paws?) with the Meowth.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Felix." Phyros said, shaking Felix's right paw.
"Indeed, it is a pleasure as my brother says." Irving added, shaking Felix's left paw.
"It's, uh, nice to meet you guys too." Felix responded, feeling a bit overwhelmed as his paws went numb from the overenthusiastic Kecleon brothers. Luckily, Chuchino rescued his partner from having his arms shaken off.
"Excuse us, boys, we've got to go open a bank account, if you don't mind." And with a cheery wave, eagerly returned by the Kecleon brothers, Chuchino led Felix off towards another building, this one with a sign that read 'Felicity Bank'.
"Hello boys," came a smooth voice from behind the desk, "What can I do for you today?" Felix looked up to find a very sleek Persian eyeing them with interest.
"Hi Felicity!" Chuchino greeted her, then gestured to Felix, "This is Felix. He's new here." Felix blushed as the pretty Persian looked him up and down.
"Well, well." She purred, smiling, "Named for luck as well, I see. Welcome to town Felix. It's nice to meet you."
"Y-yeah, thanks, F-felicity. N-nice to meet you t-too." Felix managed to stammer, the blush in his furry cheeks rising. She was really pretty...
"Anyway, Felicity, we'd like to open an account for our Rescue Team."
"Oh, you finally made one!" Felicity replied, her face lighting up, "Good for you! You've been talking about making a Rescue Team since you were just a little Pichu!"
"Yeah, lucky me that Felix here just happened to agree." Chuchino chuckled and Felicity joined in musically, pulling a small drawer out of one of the rather large vaults behind her.
"All right, then. Here's your vault drawer. How much would you like to deposit?" Felicity asked. Chuchino pulled a few of the odd-looking coins that he and Felix had found in Tiny Woods, which is what Chuchino had said the place where Papillion fell was called, and put them in. Felicity did a quick count and nodded, placing the drawer back into the vault and locking it.
"How much was that?" Felix asked, curious as to how the currency of the pokèmon world worked.
"That was about 95 Pokè." Felicity replied. Chuchino thanked Felicity and the two pokèmon rescuers headed back for their base. Once there, Chuchino gave Felix a sly smile.
"What?" Felix asked nervously, not liking the smile on his friend's face.
"You like Felicity."
"What!? No I don't! I mean, she's pretty and all, but she's a pokèmon!"
"Well, so are you, now!"
"But I might not be forever! Besides, it still feels weird!"
"Well, I guess it's all right. Plus she's already got a boyfriend."
"Don't sound so disappointed. Yeah, she's dating a Delcatty named Cal." Chuchino responded teasingly, "Besides, you're around my age or something, right? I'm only 14."
"I think..." Felix replied, thinking as hard as he could, "I think I'm 12." Chuchino gave him an odd look.
"What do you mean 'I think'?" the Pikachu asked, looking almost concerned.
"I can't really remember much about being human." Felix replied, "I remember that I was human, that my name is Felix, and that I'm 12 years old. But I can't remember any family, any friends, anything about my actual life."
"That's horrible..." Chuchino began, but the conversation was cut short by a loud flapping of wings. The two looked at each other and raced outside just in time to see a Pelipper fly away from their mailbox.
"Does he usually come more than once a day?" Felix asked Chuchino. The electric mouse shook his head in wonder, then rushed to the mailbox and threw it open, fishing around frantically inside to grab the new delivery. Retracting his paw, he opened the envelope and began to read what it said.
"BZZBZZBZZZZT. Please help me. BZZBZZ. My Magnemite friends are stuck together. BZZ. But there are only two. Not enough for a Magneton. BZZ. They are stuck in Thunderwave Cave. BZZBZZ. Please help. BZZBZZBZZZZT." Chuchino read. Felix gave him a questioning look, but Chuchino just shrugged and handed the letter to the cat. Sure enough, it was all there, word-for-word and BZZ-for-BZZ.
"What kind of pokèmon writes this way?" Felix asked, giving the note a disbelieving glance.
"Magnemites usually. Magnetons would have written in plural pronouns and possessives." Chuchino explained. Felix thought about it for a second and then realized that this made sense somehow, considering the robotic nature and electric type of Magnemites. Then he wondered exactly how a Magnemite or a Magneton would write, considering they had no hands. He gave up on that train of thought when it became too weird.
"So...what do we do now?" Felix asked.
"We accept, of course!" Chuchino said, determination shining from his eyes as he grabbed the team's item bag and Felix's paw, dragging the unfortunate scratch-cat off towards Thunderwave Cave.