Here we are once again! A lot of minor characters are introduced in this chapter, but all are needed! This chapter isn't as heavy as the previous ones, I guess its nicer and more Pokémon-y at the end. To the story:
Chapter four: The sunrise below.
Six young adults, barely nineteen years old, loitered in front of the craggy wall that made up 'The Lux Flux', a popular red light district club infamous for its constantly changing techno beats and alcoholic drinks that were dangerously charged with the electricity of the club's mascot, Luxray. The youths, three girls and three boys that were all dressed in risqué outfits, talked among themselves as clubbers came in and out of 'The Lux Flux', some disgusted and others intrigued at the six individuals that mingled in front of the club entrance.
"And-And then 'e tried not to pay me!" the smallest of them, an eighteen year old in tight, red leather, spoke frantically to a muscular boy dressed in a revealing football star costume "So Caterpie used string shot on em and I took es wallet and ran, and I think e's still tied up in his car!" The boy erupted in laughter at the story, causing the girl's face to puff up in anger.
Two other girls did each other's make up and fixed each other's Lopunny costumes while another boy, just as muscular as the last, commanded his two Machamps to escort a frail looking boy to a nearby store for snacks. The frail boy walked into the madness of the red light district crowds with the two large Pokémon as a flashy car pulled in front of his five peers causing them to turn their attention to it. The door slowly opened and a girl in a platinum miniskirt with long pink hair stepped out of the car with a Jynx following behind her. As the car sped off into the brash lights of the night, she dug into her cramped skirt pocket and fished out a large wad of cash.
"No worries for the next two months!" The girl smiled as she and her Jynx rushed over to the teens that began to cheer in relief.
Vence tried to manage through his blurred vision and get a good image of the boy that remained in the awkward pose under the moonlight. He decided to abandon his attempts and instead tried to turn his head to get a view of Rai, who could still be heard sobbing silently.
"Who the fuck are you?" The gang leader asked, stepping away from Vence and Rai's fallen bodies and slowly inching his way towards the boy with his Gang and Persians "You've made such a mistake inter-"
"Bet my Pokémon is better than yours.~" The boy smiled at the gangsters, abandoning his goofy pose and standing upright. He reached to his side and pulled out a Poké Ball, letting the men get a good view of his bloody hand as he did it. "The Pokémon I'm about to show you is stronger than a Rayquaza and Groudon that has been fused together with a Ho-Oh that-"
"Get him." the gang leader ordered, causing the four Persians the gang commanded to dash towards the boy with sharp claws jutting out of their paws. The boy took a few hop backs to make his distance from the creatures wider before throwing his Poké Ball into the air and flooding the street with red light. The Persians stopped in their tracks and tried to make out the Pokémon that had just been released into the darkness.
"Perssss" The classy cats hissed as the boy stepped back into the moon light with a small, green Pokémon skipping lightly by his side.
"Bell~" The Bellossom piped, performing a little curtsey in front of its trainers feet. The boy picked the Pokémon up and held it in his arms, awaiting movement from the gang.
The leader didn't laugh at the small size of the boy's Bellossom like he did with the Pokémon Rai had released earlier. Instead, he tugged one of the many piercings on his face until it began to bleed, a soothing technique he used. "Persians, kick this kid's-"
The Persians didn't wait for the gang leader to finish his sentence and continued their previous dash towards the boy. He took a moment to be impressed by the dedication of the gang's Pokémon before whispering to Bellossom and then throwing the Pokémon into the air with all his strength. The Persians stopped their charge once again to look at the flower Pokémon as it twirled through the night sky with the moon, large and full, shining down on it overhead. As Bellossom spun, it released a large amount of gleaming blue powder that drifted down to the Persians lightly and made their eyes heavy. As the classy cats dropped to the ground one by one, Bellossom fell from the sky and landed on the sleeping pile of cats with a soft thump.
"S- Sleeping Powder." The gang leader stuttered, aggravated at the cheap move this stranger used to take out his gang's Pokémon. He clutched the switch blade in his hand tighter before signaling for his men to move forward. As the group charged towards the boy, Bellossom let out another blast of sleep powder, this time smoky and violent instead of shimmer and elegant. The men crashed to the ground near their Pokémon, accidently stabbing themselves with their blades as they landed. The snores that erupted from them showed that they were too deep in their slumber to feel it.
"Great~ Thanks Bellossom." The boy smiled, returning it to its Poké Ball as it curtsied at the appreciation. After placing the Poké Ball next to another one on his belt, the boy went to each of the gang members and delivered several hard kick to each of their noses until they began to bleed heavily. "Stupid…asses…stealing…Pokémon." He said before taking their Poké Balls and returned their Persians. He didn't hesitate when he tossed the balls into a nearby dumpster.
"You shouldn't have done that." Vence mumbled as he struggled to his feet. He was beginning to gain his strength back, but the several shocks that his body received and kick to his side made it impossible for him to move further than a few steps. " Rai… Rai, are you."
"I'll live." Rai said in monotone. His face was turned to both of the boys. "Just give me a second…"
Vence, apprehensive about Rai's tone, but happy to see the boy had stopped bleeding, turned to their rescuer, who was now ruffling through the gangster's pockets and stuffing their possessions in his. "Thanks for helping us, but who-"
"Fran." The boy cut Vence off "And you shouldn't be thanking me. The herbal girl tipped us all off to what this gang has been doing to trainers."
"Us?" Rai asked, finally on his feet, but only slightly more mobile than Vence "Are there-"
"So what were you two doing in this part of the city? Everyone knows that it's only safe to be here if you're not a safe person."
Rai's faced pinked at Fran's comment. He was technically the one to lead Vence and himself to the area. "We're trying to get to the Pokémon Center. Could you help us out?"
"Well…" Fran shifted nervously in front of the guys "I doubt you two could make it to the center tonight. You're pretty far from it." He let out a cough and cleared his throat as if to get the information he had out better "I know a place that heals Pokémon and people though. If you two don't think it'll be too weird to trust a stranger and all.~"
Vence and Rai, upon looking at the battered conditions they both were in, figured they were in no position to refuse an act of Kindness.
"Um…" Vence responded awkwardly to the offer.
"Great! She'll like this." Fran exclaimed, heading over to the two boys and throwing their arms around his neck to help them balance. "You can't walk far, right? If we can make it just a few blocks up…"
The three boys began a slow, but steady, walk down the abandoned street with Fran guiding the way. As they walked further and further from the sleeping pile of men, several Zubats emerged from the abandoned house they slumbered in and began to hover around the gang.
"Zuuuuu" one shrieked to the others, indicating that fresh blood was near.
The trio made their way through several deserted streets before they began to see signs of the undying nightlife again. As they walked, Fran questioned them on how they got into their situation again, causing Vence and Rai to tell the story of the train battle and Vence's abandonment which, in turn, got several 'Holy crap, REALLY!?'s from Fran. As the boys continued their story, now to the point where Rai was getting his arm bitten off, Fran lead them to a street that was more crowded than the others. Vence squinted his eyes at the light pollution the neon lit clubs caused and looked up to see the sign in the distance that shined the brightest of them all; "The Lux Flux."
"Please tell me we aren't here for medical attention." Rai said weakly as he watched several Pokémon trainers dance out of the club with their Poké Balls dangerously stuffed into their mouths.
"Well, sorta." Fran replied. He pointed to a group of seven teenagers that were dressed in a variety of revealing costumes. "Those guys right there are your saviors for the day." He said with a smile before shouting a greeting to the teens as they began to approach.
"What do we have here, Fran?" A gruff, muscular boy with sleazy Machamp costume on asked as Fran, Rai and Vence stopped in front of the group. Fran was the only one of the three that didn't have a look of embarrassment on his face at the boy's costume- he was practically nude. "I thought you were taking the day off. These guys customers?"
"No, no." Fran said with a smile "Just the lucky guys that got to be the city's victims tonight. I need someone to open the Underground Path for us."
The boy gave an experienced 'oh' before a large breasted girl in a Lopunny costume, that appeared too small for her, pushed the muscular boy aside and cupped Vence's face, making him blush feverishly.
"Oh my gooooooood! Nooooo, you poor boys!" She switched her point of concern to Rai and threw her arms around his head, completely taking him from Fran's neck. "This city can be so cruel, don't we know it! You're all safe now. Don't worry!"
"Who…are…you?" Rai asked as he struggled to escape the suffocation of the girl's gifted bosom. "We….need…"
"Put him down, Bethany." Vence, Rai and the rest of the group turned their attention to a girl sitting on a box nearby. She had her eyes closed as her Jynx put a coat of eye shadow on her that was just as pink as her hair. "Fran…I'll take you once Jynx finishes my make-up… she, er, won't let me get up…" Said Pokémon turned and blew the boy a kiss before turning back to her trainer and unsheathing fresh lipstick from its tube. Fran nodded and helped Vence and Rai balance themselves against the club wall.
As Vence began an awkward talk with the group of teenagers, he started to suffer from a severe case of culture shock. He tried not to jump to an assumption as to why the teens, who he discovered were all Pokémon trainers, were out so late dressed in such salacious garb, but couldn't ignore what they were doing when Henry, the muscular boy dressed as a football player, was called into a car by a group of creepy businessmen that flashed a pile of money.
"Hope this doesn't change whatever image you had of us before." The Machoke impersonator, Guam, said to Vence, causing him to begin a garbled sentenced about how he doesn't mind what they're doing. This got a laugh out of the other Lopunny girl, Lea. The two shorter members of the group, a small girl named Pep and frail looking boy named Manni, tried their best to entertain a troubled looking Rai before leaving the group for another store run for snacks. After ten minutes passed, the pink haired girl was finally released from the box she sat at by Jynx. After a forced round of applause by her peers, who knew better than to critique Jynx's 'beautification processes' , the girl dragged Fran and the now mobile Vence and Rai from the group.
"The actual entrance that we use is a few streets away." She said, as she expertly guided the three boys through the red light district's streets, gathering a collection of cat calls along the way. "It's covered with posters, so it's impossible to tell that it's a door, right Fran?"
Fran whistled nonchalantly at the comment. It wasn't the first time he needed help finding the entrance to the underground path.
"What exactly is the Underground Path?" Vence asked the girl as Rai listened intently.
She scratched her head, trying to find a way to explain the place "Well you could say it's a shopping district since the majority of things there are stores, but… it's larger than your average shopping district. It's kind of like a second Goldenrod city… a city under the city. Not to mention it's a home too. One to people like, well, me."
"And what exactly is a person like you?" Rai asked in a serious tone, causing Vence to look at him awkwardly.
"You were there.~" Fran smiled to the boy, despite his slight hostility.
The girl nodded as she made the boys stop at an abandoned wall and gave Rai a weary smile "Prostitutes, Gigolos, Tramps, and Whores. There are hundreds of names for us, but…" she knocked on the abandoned wall before ripping several tattered posters off of it, revealing a cool, steel, black door. "we're trainers first." She dug her nails into the side of the door before opening it with a loud creak before stepping to the side so Vence and Rai could get a good view of the dark passage "Welcome to the Underground."
The pink haired girl left the boy's without telling them her name and when Vence and Rai asked for it from Fran, the boy just shrugged and proceeded down the dark steps that lead to the Underground Path. There was minimum light underground and the only thing that kept Vence from becoming lost in the surroundings he couldn't see was the small streams of pink that clubs leaked through holes in abandoned stores and the gleam they gave off of Fran's piercings.
"You really give off a new trainer vibe." Rai whispered to him after he stopped Vence from walking into an old woman that passed the trio "You didn't notice the nine people we passed, heh." Vence gave him a light hit on the back before regretting it. His bones still ached.
As they continued their way through the path, Vence noticed a small glow that flickered slightly in the distance. The orange glow grew brighter with every walk the boys took and they soon found the light spilling across their bodies and bathing the entire area in its glow, only to flicker out of existence seconds later and start up again. When the boys became so close to the light that Vence had to shield his eyes from its intensity, it died out and started up again, small and orange. Vence could make out the light's source now.
In front of a small shop, lying on a small bed of flower pots that was arrange on each side of its door, a Volbeat and Illumise slept soundly together, lightly moving the petals of the plants with each exhale. Every so often the two Pokémon would touch, causing the small glow that emitted from both of their bodies to become brighter and erupt into a blast of light that ended when their sleeping forms shifted away from each other.
"We're here." Fran spoke quietly to the boys, partly trying not to wake the firefly Pokémon and partly not wanting to end the fascination they had with them. "Sorry it took so long. If you'll just wait here…"
Fran stepped closer to the shop, which was plainly titled 'The Herbal Shop', and went up its stairs. He fumbled with the keys in his pocket before disappearing inside, allowing Vence and Rai to continue viewing the spectacle before them. After minutes of silent watching, Fran stepped out of the shop with a small, ten year old girl by his side. Her face was hidden in the darkness, but when Volbeat and Illumise unintentionally touched again, Vence could make out her milky complexion, light brown hair and hazel eyes that hung heavy from a disturbed sleep.
"This is Madeline." Fran told Vence and Rai as he pointed to the little girl. She gave a small yawn before bowing slightly to the boys in her night gown. "She runs the store and has a lot of room to spare. She can heal your Pokémon and bandage you up no problem."
Vence and Rai nodded silently, unable to express their gratitude because of the calm aura that the girl emitted. She took no offense to their speechlessness and signaled for the boys to come into the store. As Rai made his way inside, Vence found the ability to speak once more.
"Th- There was an old woman back there…" he said to the girl, unsure why he felt she should know.
Fran slapped himself in the head for forgetting to tell her "It was Mrs. Gloratine." He told the small girl, who nodded in response.
"Volbeat… Illumise…" The sound of her voice caused the pokemon to spring awake and produce a steady, orange glow. "Mrs. Gloratine is lost again. Can you guide her and anyone else who is home?"
"Beat!" the Pokémon exclaimed.
"Mise!" The other piped.
The two firefly Pokémon flew off in different directions, both leaving a streak of orange light that lit the walls clearly in their wake. At that, Fran stepped inside the shop with Madeline. Vence only went inside when he was sure their light streaks wouldn't fade.
Inside the Herbal Shop, the neon lights from the street below seeped through the roof, allowing the four kids to easily navigate their was pass the herb shelves and berry trees that occupied most of the furniture space. As they proceeded into the back of the store, Fran took several of the herbs off the shelves.
"Can you take their Pokémon to the healing machine, Fran?" Madeline asked the pierced boy once they were all seated at the store's back room lounge table.
"Sure." He replied "I was just about to heal Bellossom and head to bed."
"No you aren't." the girl said, frowning at the statement "Your hand is crusty. You've been bleeding. I'm not dumb. Hurry up back."
Fran recoiled at the comment and hurried out of the room with Rai's Poké Balls. While he deciphered the healing machine's instructions, Madeline shoved an herb into Vence's mouth.
"Chew." She instructed. "Fran said you said you were shocked. This'll make you feel better."
Vence did as instructed and cringed at the bitter taste the herb held within. "It'll get sweet in a second." She smiled at the two as she poured a powder from a glass case into a cup of water. She sprinkled the water over Rai's bite mark and the boy instantly sighed in relief. After patching Rai's arm up and getting Vence a glass of juice for the herb that got more bitter, Madeline lead the boys upstairs, pass several doors and to a guest room.
"The beds aren't great, but they should do. There's a stand right there for your bags and, uhm…" Madeline stared at the two boys "good night." She closed the door and the boys heard her step lightly down the steps.
"This day has been hell." Rai groaned, throwing himself onto one of the beds "My sister won't believe this…" He turned to Vence, who had flopped onto one of the guest beds as well. "Do you think its okay to sleep here so easily?"
"I guess…" Vence muttered "She seemed nice enou-"
"UGHHHH!" Fran voice came loudly from the back area lounge "You used the herb that would sting on purpose!"
"Stop being a baby." Vence and Rai heard Madeline reply "Now come back over here and hand me your hand."
When Vence awoke from his sleep, he wasn't sure if it was night or day. He could see the outlines of a window frame, admittedly, but the Underground Path (which felt more like an underground neighborhood) was still significantly dark outside.
"Must be hard living under here." He thought, before checking to see if Rai was asleep. He got his answer when he heard the light breathing of his peer. After vainly trying to get back to sleep, he got up and put back on his clothing. "Guess I'll see who else is up. Maybe they know the time…"
He silently made his way back downstairs and to the front of the shop, where he accidently knocked over a thin berry tree.
"Crap" He thought, as he picked the tree back up. "Hope no one heard…" He slowly opened the door and was greeted by the warm glow of Volbeat and Illumise, both sleeping soundly on the flower bed once again.
"Can't sleep?" Madeline's voice came from the darkness, causing Vence to look around in a futile attempt to find her. Volbeat and Illumise touched once more in their sleep and the front of the store was bathed in light, revealing the little girl sitting on first shop step, still in her night gown.
"Err, sort of." Vence said, walking awkwardly down the steps and stood besides her "I was just sort of wondering, you know, what time it is actually here?"
Madeline smiled at Vence "Your body's sleeping clock is good." She pointed to the roof that made up the Underground Station "The sun's about to come up."
"Huh?" Vence asked, looking up at the dark ceiling where Volbeat and Illumise's fading glow couldn't reach. "How can the sun come out here? "
The little girl hopped up and put her hand in Vence's causing him to blush. It felt like he was holding his own little sister's hand again before she left home with her partner Pokémon.
"Follow me." The little girl said, walking with experience through the darkness that was the Underground Station. Vence followed her blindly for what felt like several blocks before she stopped in a section of the Underground Path that was significantly darker than the other areas.
"Hush. Look." Madeline took Vence's hand that held hers and pointed upwards as a small, barely noticeable string of light slowly made its way from the Underground Path's ceiling to the floor in front of them. It shimmered brightly in the dark, offering just enough light for Vence and Madeline to see each other's faces.
"This…" Vence began, but was silenced by Madeline's finger to his lips. She looked up once more and he followed suit. Another string of light dropped down front the ceiling landing on Vence's shirt and then another on Madeline's cheek. Vence gasped as hundreds of light strands began to make their way to the Underground Path, each one lighting a small area that Vence never knew existed in the darkness: The playful design of a bargain shop sign, a sleeping Meowth curled on top of a pile of manga magazines, two Pokémaniacs sleeping back to back and other small, beautiful scenes that made up the underground. The light pillars began to grow wider and fused together, bathing every single area in the Underground Path with a light that Volbeat and Illumise couldn't be compared to. The morning had come to the Underground Path.
"This…is great." Vence said, happy as a child at the beautiful day that rose from the horrible night before. He grinned broadly at the little girl before turning at the sound of familiar voices. His smile faded as he saw the slow bodies of Henry, Guam, Bethany, Lea, Manni, Pep and the pink haired girl make their way to the direction of the Herbal Shop, each one in a wrinkled outfit as outrageous as the other. Vence turned towards Madeline, who noticed the smile fade from his face.
"Hey, Madeline…" He began "Do the seven of them really sell their bodies?" His eyes were begging the girl to say no, but she nodded her head instead.
"I hope you don't think bad of them or Fran." Madeline told the downcast Vence "Or pity them all. I did once, and I can't forgive myself for it." Vence raised his head at the statement before she continued "Before my mommy died, she had let them live with us. They were all still…selling themselves…but my mommy convinced them to stop and help at the shop instead. They were only fifteen and I barely knew what up was."
"But why did they start?" Vence asked, fearing the answer.
Madeline gave him a sad look. "Because that was all they could do to live after leaving home when they were ten. Some of them, like Manni, were forced to go on a Pokémon journey because the people in the town he lived in pressured his parents into it, even though he was sick. The others got their heads full of hopes, but found out that they weren't as good as they thought they would be when they left home. A lot of them kept getting robbed. Julia did a couple of times before she came crawling into the city with no clothes, or at least that's what Fran told me."
"Ju-Julia?" Vence stuttered
Madeline gave a questioning look "You know, with the pink hair." Vence nodded before the girl continued her story. "When my mommy died they tried to keep her shop open because they were older, but couldn't find work because they had reputations already. Then the bills crowded up and some men were about to take the store away. But Julia didn't want them to, so she sold herself and got money to keep us open. And then the rest started to again." Madeline sniffed a little "I felt bad because I didn't like that they did it before my mommy took them in, but I was happy that I wouldn't be homeless because they were doing it."
Vence wanted to step back from the teary girl, but couldn't.
"The sad truth… The sad truth is that a lot of kids go on journeys and their parents think they are having great adventures when they're really struggling, but too ashamed to say it. And when they find a way to live, even if its not a very good way, they take it. They never call home again and their parents just think 'Wow, I bet my son or daughter is having a great adventure right now.' because they see a Pokémon tournament on T.V…. But… those eight didn't stop training their Pokémon…" Madeline looked up and squinted at the light that shone down from the ceiling "So I think that one day they'll all get up and go start collecting badges, like my mommy always wanted."
Vence tried not to grab the girl into a tight hug and start bawling when she began to smile. Madeline giggled at the lack of speech from the boy.
"I think that Fran didn't want you to end up with a bad experience, so he brought you here." She added "The others too, probably wanted you and Rai to have a nice place to sleep and set off on your quest again today."
"I'm not on much of a quest." Vence said, finally regaining his voice. "I don't even have a Pokémon." Madeline's eyes widened at the statement, causing Vence to step away awkwardly.
"Do you want one?" she said simply.
Madeline pounded on the door of an Underground Path shop with so much force that Vence was taken aback. When she received no indication that someone was on their way to let her and Vence in she began to pound some more, causing Vence to look around nervously at the stares several of the path's denizens were giving the two.
"WHO THE HELL IS UP TES EARLY!" A voice shouted from the inside, setting off a group of Pokémon cries "ZEH BARBER SHOP ES NOT OPEN TODAY! TAKE UR POKEMON AND LEAVE!"
Madeline frowned at the response to her knocks. "Umm…Chang…It's-"the shop door flew open at the voice and a tall, lanky man with long black hair and almond shaped eyes spread his arm wide in front of Madeline. His face was stubbled and begged for a morning shave.
"MADELINE! 'ave you finally come to live with me and Zhong?" The man scooped the little girl up and gave her a big hug, despite looking like he was unable to lift anything as heavy as a human. When he set the girl down she pointed feebly to Vence, who just waived a shaking hand towards the man."Oh, who es tes?"
"This is Vence, a Pokémonless trainer." She told the older man, who raised his eyebrows curiously. "I was wondering if one of the ones that you took in might-"The man lifted his hand to silence the girl and signaled for the two to follow him into the shop.
"Are you sure about this?" Vence asked the girl when the man went inside the house.
She gave Vence a warm smile. "Positive."
Vence and Madeline followed Chang through a shop that appeared too clean to be run by any human. Several revolving chairs sprung from the shop's floor, each with a different colored cushion on it and a label on how much weight could fit on it. The walls of the shop featured several pictures of the Chang and a younger man with short hair, who Vence assumed was Zhong from their similar facial features, posing with a variety of happy Pokémon and their trainers with layers of cut hair by their feet.
"Zhong es still snoozing upstairs, Madeline" Chang told the girl as they entered the shop's kitchen. "I'm sure 'e won't protest to me handing over a Pokémon to someone suggested by yoo, though. " He opened a large door that flooded the kitchen with the morning's light. "Welcome, Vence to our little paradise!"
Vence, who had been covering his eyes from the sudden flow of light into the kitchen, gave a sharp gasp when he saw what appeared to be a backyard behind the brother's Barber Shop. Several Pokémon lay around a garden happily enjoying the morning sunshine, while others playful hopped into a miniature pond that seemed to host several Horsea, Goldeen and Surskit. Vence almost fainted as a large Rapidash casually strolled by.
"H- how could something like this exist back here." Vence asked, taking a step into the garden.
Chang scratched the back of his head nervously "Well it 'es not easy on e barber's salary, I'll tell yoo that! Some of our customers leave a large tip when tay plan on permanently leaving their Pokémon with us, probably from ze guilt. So my brother and I just keep em with us until interested trainers come 'n pick some up." As he spoke, a Murkrow flew onto his shoulder from a nearby tree. He scratched the underside of its beak fondly. "Of course we make sure te trainers are trustworthy; zeh Pokémon deserve it after being abandoned, especially in zeh Underground Path."
Several Snubbull began to gnaw at Chang's feet when he stepped deeper into the Garden. Vence and Madeline followed suite and were suddenly bombarded by various Pokémon from every end.
"See someone that yoo like?" Chang asked Vence as the boy released himself from under a group of Grimer "Take e stroll, get accustomed to zeh place. No rush."
Vence took the suggestion partly to get away from the sludge Pokémon, who turned their attention to Madeline. It didn't take him long to get acquainted with the garden, however. Although it was a large size, far larger than anyone would expect to encounter behind a shop, let alone one underground, it was still relatively small when the many Pokémon that roamed it were added to the equation.
"So many abandoned." Vence thought "I'd hate to be like them…wait…" As Vence tried to find the error in his last thought, a small, black Pokémon hovered below him, curious at the creature with the dumb expression. The Pokémon circled around Vence unnoticed before slamming itself against his head, causing the boy to topple to grass.
"What the hell!" Vence moaned as he rubbed his bruised head. The cause of his fall floated in front of his face and caused the boy to let out an indignant squeal. The creature was creepy; it had one flat eye with black appendages sticking out of it and forming a 'V'. When Chang and Madeline rushed over to Vence, the man let out a large laugh.
"W-What's so funny?" Vence asked, trying not to turn pink in the face.
Chang wiped a tear from his eye and pointed to the Pokémon that continued to ram itself into Vence's head. When he continued to give the two a confused look, Madeline held up a peace sign with her right hand and traced it with her left index finger.
"I don't…" Vence began as he grabbed the Pokémon, by one its appendage and examined it closely. It took several minutes for him to realize the joke. The creature was shaped like a V. Vence name began with a V. Vence tossed the pair an annoyed look "It- It's not that funny!" he said lamely.
"That it is, friend." A slow voice came behind the group. They turned to see a groggy looking Zhong walking towards them with a cup of coffee in one hand and bag of Poké Balls in the other. Behind him Fran hovered slowly, eyes closed, with an angry looking Rai. Zhong lazily nodded towards the two boys"These two were pounding on our door, Chang. Surprised you didn't hear them. I just got done having a nice chat with them."
Fran pointed a lazy finger at Rai "This guy was worried you ditched him with strangers." He yawned, causing Rai to punch the back of his head.
"I thought we were being attacked again!" Rai fumed "I'm cynical after everything that happened yesterday!"
"So you keep saying" Zhong mumbled, taking another sip of his coffee. He tossed a sleepy look Vence's way "That's an Unown by the way, doubt you've seen one from the expression you're giving it. They're not keen on our little dimension any how."
Vence shoved the Pokémon away only to have it try to slam back into his head "Could you sort of, call it off or something?" He asked, only to receive a chuckle from both brothers.
"No can do!" Chang grinned "Yoo came 'ere looking for e Pokémon and it looks like yoo found one!"
"A fitting one at that." Zhong added, noticing the creature's shape. "Talk about coincidence. I can't even remember who left it here." Zhong shoved his coffee into Rai's hands before digging through the bag of Poké Balls. After a moment he pulled a scratched one out of the bag and tossed it to Vence, who was still on the ground. "It's yours. Return it anytime you like."
"Haha." Vence muttered, returning the Pokémon to its ball to stop his migraine once and for all.
"Perfect!" Chang said clapping his hands together. "Now we can get to matters of more importance! Vence…Rai…your hair…"
"So what will you do now?" Rai asked Vence as they rested on the guest beds of the Herbal Shop. He happily tugged at his new hair amazed at the prowess that the haircut brothers possessed. The siblings refused to let Rai and Vence leave their store when Vence received his Pokémon, believing that as new trainers they should look his best when he set off on their journeys. The brothers forced them to the stools and cut away until they felt Rai didn't look like a cheap Volkner imitator and Vence's hair got significantly shorter. Fran was relieved that his hair was mostly shaven off.
"I guess I have to start… start journeying" Vence said, gazing at the Poké Ball on his lap. "I don't want to impose on these guys any longer."
"If you're worried about imposing, don't. Madeline would love some wholesome company around here." Then boys turned to see Fran standing at the guest room doorway. He had a large piece of paper rolled in his hand and waved it eagerly "If you're going to start journeying, I have the perfect plan of attack right here~."
"What are you talking about?" Rai asked as the boy walked into the room and unfolded the paper against one of its walls. When Fran finished pinning the paper to the wall, he stepped aside to show the two boys an old, tattered map of the Johto region. There were several locations marked on the map in different colors with Fran's scribbles on it. "What is that?"
"This." Fran placed a finger on one of the map's blue circles "Is the location of the nearest Pokémon contest happening in the next month and this…" he traced a green triangle on the map "Is the location of one of the most amazing gym leaders you'll ever meet.~"
Vence hopped off of the bed and got closer to the map, positive something was wrong with the markings "I never heard of a gym leader being there." He mumbled, looking at the other triangles that signified other gyms foreign to him.
"Me either" Rai added, checking the location on his Pokétch. "Looks like there is though…"
Fran put his hand over the blond boy's Pokétch "Forget what the map says and trust me~. There are other gyms out there besides the eight that annoying ten year olds happy with badges boast about."
Vence and Rai both gave Fran a look of uncertainty. He sighed and removed his hand from the Pokétch.
"Listen…" Fran said slouching on one of the beds "I have some things I want to accomplish myself that I can't in this city. If you want as many ribbons as you can get, Rai, and he needs eight badges so he can be welcomed back home, what could it hurt to help each other out?"
Vence and Rai looked at each other briefly. They were both unsure if they were going to end up travelling with the other after they left the underground before Fran's suggestion.
"So whattaya say boys? Wanna travel together?"
A/N: And there you have it! The stories trio is suggested: Vence, the abandoned Pokémon trainer, Rai, the cool/tough coordinator and Fran, teen prostitute with certain ambitions revealed in the next chapter!
Like I said before, I have many gym leaders I'm tossing around in my head, but would love it if people suggested to submit! If you're interested, please fill out the form below in a review :D!
Gym leader name:
Gym leader age:
Gym leader's appearance:
Gym leader's personality:
Gym leader title (ex: Brocks title is known as "The Rock-Solid Pokémon Trainer!")
Type of Pokémon used (Water, fire, cute, yellow- its up to you!):
Pokémon used (no more than 4 please~ Include level and gender):
Gym design (How the gym looks. The Cerulean city gym is like a mini aquarium):
Badge name and design:
I'm sorry that I won't be able to use all the leaders that get submitted (if there is a lot) for the sake of keeping the set plot, but I'd be happy to use any leaders I'm not able to use as coordinators in contests and trainers that Vence battle. Until next time, C-ya!