All eyes and lights were on them. Out of so many, only 2 remained.
Their eyes, determined and rugged, stared through each other’s, finding a lack of strength, a break in their morale; neither had one. They each had worked too long to get here; they weren’t going to let themselves down now.
The signal from the referee was given; they must choose their first champions to battle. Then the rest of the order was chosen, each one methodically after the other. The referee raises the next signal. “Trainers! Are you ready!”
His voice was amplified by a microphone on his shirt. Both trainers nod. They’re ready. And the world had a deafening silence, each side’s fans hushed, waiting for the next move.
The first trainer's tall, gaunt build is tense with excitement. He takes his first pokeball, tips his hat back, and launches it at the middle of the field. It bursts open, spewing out a stream of white energy, which begins to form. A horn and two huge ears appeared as its big pink body started to materialize. The stadium erupts into cheer the moment it roars. He has chosen-
“It’s a Nidorino!!!” The announcer exclaims on the intercom speaker.
He continues “This is a very popular pick for most of his matches. Its powerful body, surprisingly quick speed and deadly poison-tipped horn make it a fierce competitor for any trainer!” He smiled as his pokemon continued to roar, in an attempt to intimidate his opponent.
The other trainer took out his first pokemon and tossed it into the air. It hung there for a second, then burst open, as a huge amount of white energy splashed onto the stage. It morphed and folded in on itself numerous times before forming a pokemon, purple with a dastardly smile-
“He sent out a GENGAR!!” The audience erupted in cheers once again.
“This is another classic starter! Gengar, a ghost type, is one that will give ANY pokemon a run for its money, especially a poison type! This is going to be a fantastic battle!”
Nidorino dug at the ground, ready to charge. Gengar was giving mean looks. The two trainers reviewed their strategies. The crowd was tense, waiting for the battle to begin. The referee gave the signal.
“Let the battle begin!!”
But that’s not how the story will continue.
Who will win is not the question. Yet.
It’s the journey to get there, all of the blood, sweat, and tears, which truly shows a trainer their power inside...
Goldilocks planet (plural Goldilocks planets) (astronomy) A planet which orbits in the habitable zone around a star, where temperatures like those on Earth occur, allowing for the possible existence of liquid water and of life. There are two known in our local galaxy. One of them was deemed unsafe because it was radioactive...
It was over before it started. The crowd knew it, the trainers epecially knew it, and so did little Red. His slim hands looked like they were stuck to the glass, eyes staring straight at the TV with a tag on it screaming “SALE”. They were showing the Pokemon League Semi-finals, and the trainer stupidly called out his weepinbell and sent out a pidgeotto. The other one had a Kadabra.
Red yelled at the TV like any sports fanatic would:
“Hey stupid! A flying type isn’t as fast as a psychic type with stats THAT high! Stick to the wing attacks, not the gusts! They’re too weak! Don’t use physical attacks when his REFLECT is up!”
“Hey kid! Quiet, will you? I wanna watch this!”
There was another man there, equally as glued to the glass, with a fake Pokemon League Hat and a charizard on his shirt. Definitely a fanboy, Red scoffed to himself.
“Besides, where is your mother?”
“She’s inside, heckling down an electric fire pit. This is far more interesting.”
The man looked down at the boy. From the side, he looked thin, with matted black hair, a jutted nose and big cheekbones.
“Shouldn’t you be at school, kid?”
The boy looked up at him with his green eyes jutting back between the screen and the portly man next to him.
“Not yet, buddy. School doesn’t start for another half hour.” He spoke maturely for his age.
The man paused. “This is a rerun, isn’t it?” He didn’t seem that interested anymore. Something told him he saw it already.
The boy answered matter-of-factly, “Yeah, so what? I’ve never seen this battle before.”
The fan boy gave him a weird glance. The kid must be a beginner. He was just spewing out anything he could think of to make sense.
“Hit him with that again! No! Why did it hit itself with confusion?! WHY DOES ANY POKEMON DO THAT?!?”
“Hey, kid. What’s your name?”
He was taken aback. “Red? Why would your mom-”
“She didn’t call me that. I gave it to myself.”
“Why?” Was it his favorite color?
Red took a deep breath. He was used to being picked on for it, but this guy was a stranger.
“Because, Red is the highest color-coded level you could achieve in the pokemon league. It means you’re a master. I want to be Red, and calling myself that seemed like the best way to not forget.”
The fanboy turned away from the messed-up little black haired kid and headed further down the open-air mall. Celadon City was a small minded metropolis surrounding the huge walled area for a clear glass scaffolding overhead and enumerable kiosks and small offices. There were plans to build a huge vertical mall, but the building committee lost funding.
As expected, the trainer’s Kadabra made quick work of the pidgeotto and weepinbell. By the time his mother came out of the store with the pit in a box, the Kadabra was wiping the floor with a gloom.
“Red, let’s go. We just need one more thing before we can send you to school.”
“But MOM, the match! It’s almost over!”
“Red, let’s go NOW.” His mother was used to the snobby tone- she tended to ignore it to save energy.
Sharing the pit’s weight, they continued down the massive alleyway that crossed the entire complex, fragrant flowers and small fountains gracing the center pieces along the way.
“After we get the groceries, can I see the new cards?”
“If we have time, Sato-”
She gave an exacerbated sigh. “Right. If we have time, Red. You still have to change into school uniform.”
He had to oblige. He needed good grades to make it to the Pokemon Academy. They teach kids to be trainers there. That’s what he wanted to be, ever since he saw the magnificent “Trevor Owens vs. Lance”. It’s regarded as one of the greatest battles for a reason. He always wanted the card of Lance’s Dragonite. Maybe he’d finally get it.
Then he heard a noise. It was faint, but it was there. Like a small pitching sound. He turned to his mom, who seemed oblivious to it.
Was he going crazy? Was he finally what all those kids thought of him?
The noise got louder, then fainter. They must have been passing it. He put down his load and rushed to the noise.
“Red? Red! Where are you going?!”
He had to find it. Something was wrong. He had been in this place too many times to hallucinate.
The pitch grew as he got closer.
What was he looking for? A bomb? A key or something? He didn’t know what to expect.
Then it got even louder. People nearby were looking around now. He wasn’t alone. There wasn’t any time for breaths of relief now. He had to keep looking.
Then it got even higher as he found where it was.
It was... in a trash can. A dinky, ugly trash can in the middle of the plaza. The pitch grew to almost unbearable decibels. He looked inside amongst the terrible din.
It was a pokeball, vibrating violently and blasting out white light from the cracks. Something was trying to get out.
But he reached in. The pitch would’ve damaged any older person’s hearing if they were that close.
Then the light burst out so hard that it broke the ball in two. The beam of light morphed into something terrifying. It was a massive snake, with ocean blue scales and fins, huge white teeth and a defeaning roar. And it was PISSED.
The crowd erupted into screams of sheer terror as the beast roared menacingly. All Red could do was stare at its sheer size. He had never seen a pokemon this big before and never this close. He was too small to be noticed as the massive sea monster took in its surroundings.
Then he saw his Mother burst through the thrings and grab him by the shirt, lurching him away from the Monster.
“LET’S GET OUT OF HERE! KEEP RUNNING!”
Amidst the screams and the forceful tugging on his sleeve.He turned back towards the beast. Its angry eyes seemed somewhat calmer now, as most of the ruckus was moving away from it. The the Police came.
“ALL UNITS, ENGAGE PROTOCOL 11! IMMOBILIZE THE POKEMON NOW! SET A PERIMETER!”
He heard pokeballs crack behind him, as different roars and battle cries filled the huge plaza as it became a massive battlefield.
“Vaporeon, ICE BEAM!”
The two farthest away from them moved forward with their attacks, lightning flashing behind them.
Red and his Mother were some of the last on their way out, while a Venusaur and Chancey attacked from the other side.
Meanwhile, they had shut the doors remotely, unable to let the rest out. All the rest of the shoppers could do was hide behind a barricade. Only Red peeked out to see what was happening. He never saw a battle this close.
But the Gyarados was too powerful, and their attacks weren’t doing the damage they expected. The thundershock rolled off, it broke out of the ice beam, dodged the Venasaur’s solar beam and deflected Chancy’s hyper beam. Then it got mad and let loose.
A massive ball of white and green energy flowed from his belly to its mouth. The policemen didn’t know whether to command them to brace for impact or dodge it.
Red had seen enough battles to know what that was. And as he ducked, he knew what damage it could do.
The Gyarados let loose one of its most powerful attacks on the whole plaza. The dragon rage sliced through the stores and ground like they were made of sand. It swung up and shattered the glass and knocked out Chancy and its trainer, the one nearest the people. As it recharged, Red peeked it out and saw the damage. The dodging took a toll on all of the pokemon there, while the plaza was almost completely destroyed.
A gyarados like that must be a high enough level, so direct attacks won’t do any good. The only way was for them to make it slower in status. He looked around the area for something other than a policeman’s pokemon to use as a weapon. Then he saw a pokemon store across the way.
“Mom, I have an idea.”
“Red, I have another one. We stay here.”
“But Mom, we have to-”
“No. I forbid you from doing anything to help. They can take care of themselves.”
Meanwhile the Gyarados froze the Magnaton and knocked out Venusaur.
As he watched the others losing, Red got an idea. He turned to the rest of the crowd, crouched behind the long and narrow barricade. He knew policemen had no other Pokemon, and they were seriously outgunned. But what about the strangers behind him?
“Does anyone here have a-”
Mom tugged his sleeve down to where she crouched.
“Red! Stop interfering!”
He shook her grip off and asked again-
“Does anyone here have any Pokemon? Raise your hand, then.”
Some raised their hands, but refused to come out and battle.
“Not battle, to weaken. I- We need to just weaken it to stop it. Who’s with me?”
Then one of the men got a surge of bravery or something, because he immediately stood up, and with a “he’s right! Let’s go!” He reached into his pocket and pulled out an expanding pokeball.
He launched out his butterfree, to Red’s dissapointment. Then others joined in. There was a diglett, Fearow, electrode, another butterfree, persian and scyther. A weird mix, but it will do.
“Guys!” Red called out to them.
“Just distract him while you inflict status weakeners. Use your Butterfree’s sleep and poison powders, Fearow’s sand attacks, and the rest of you just keep its attention.
They nodded in unison and began their unified attack. Gyarados got over whelmed almost immediately; it didn’t know which one to attack. Fearow got sand in its eyes while the Butterfree dived around it spreading blankets of powder. Electrode, Scyther and Persian attacked it from behind, joining the weak Vaporeon in overwhelming it even more.
Red got the attention of one of the other men watching the melee.
“There’s a PokeMart on the other side. You’ll find a pokeball there to catch it!”
“Right,” The man replied as he bolted to the other side, dodging the rubble that got in the way.
Red watched with anticipation as he went in and began racing back with a whole carton of them.
At first he thought he was being an idiot, but with a Pokemon that powerful, why take the chance?
Then he tripped on the rubble, scattering Pokeballs across the floor. In a frightened panic, Red leaped out to catch some that fell. In that same momentum, he called out to one of the trainers, in a blue shirt.
“Hey, BLUE SHIRT!!”
The man looked back to whoever called him.
Red raised his hand back, holding a fresh new pokeball.
“Catch it with this!” He launced it as fast as he could towards him...and missed.
I have to work on that.
“Hurry!” Blue Shirt replied.
Red tried again, launching another one in a low arc into the other man’s hands. He then launched it at the disoriented sea monster, touching it and setting off a chemical reaction only discovered within the past century.
A Pokemon has white, solid energy, and red energy, maleable and shapeless like water. Only when its red energy is exposed is when it can fit into a pokeball.
Red saw as the monster’s red form was exposed and pulled into the tiny, multi-colored ball.
Then the whole crowd heard the satisfying clunk of the ball. It was all over.
It took a while for the dust to settle, and for everyone to realize that the coast was clear. The source of the chaos was now safely encased in a ball of re-enhanced steel, comprised of the most delicate wiring inside and the toughest berry-wood outside.
The trainers rushed back to the people behind the bariccades while the policemen called for medics and a messenger from the pokemon center. As sirens wailed outside, the sealers were opened and the previously- trapped crowd was welcomed with applause and expressions of relief.
Red and his Mom were some of the last ones out of the plaza, which was immedately closed for repairs until further notice. Then the policemen that were coming out with them began to applaud for the two.
Then an interviewer raced over, her abra in tow.
“Tell us what it feels like to be a hero.”
They weren’t asking a policeman. They were asking Red.
He just stood there, clinging to his Mother like a child. “M-me?”
One of the policemen moved next to him, his Vaporeon rubbing against his leg.
“Your quick thinking saved us all. You’re a hero!”
“I- I- Well I...” He turned back to the camera. He never imagined himself a hero. A Master, maybe. But not a hero.
“He won’t be answering any comments today,” his mother interrupted. “This boy has to go to school.”
“School? Send that kid to the Academy already!” Someone called out.
Yet they still went on their way back home, carrying nothing with them but an experience they will never forget. It wouldn’t be long before Red was in his red and white uniform with a bag of lunch, a bag full of books and a kiss on the forehead.
He was in the middle of a learning the science of Gemini, the planet’s name, before he was called out to the headmaster’s office.
Everyone had known about his encounter with the Gyarados, but no one thought it would get him in trouble. At least that’s what he thought he was in since that was the reason most kids were called there. He rushed down the hallway, passing murals of pokemon and messages of inspiration.
The light shimmering from the stained glass above his desk welcomed him before the Headmaster did.
“Ah, here he is. The hero! The boy of the hour!”
“Seems to be longer than an hour sir. I’ve been getting those praises all morning.“- At least that’s what he wanted to say.
He noticed another person in the room. He looked like a new teacher, with a fresh head of hair hair and shimmering eyes.
“Well, ‘Red’ Tajiri, this is Professor Samuel Oak. He is the Headmaster of the Pokemon Academy. Or at least he oversees it.”
The man got up to shake the boy’s hand.
“How do you do, young...Red. Is that what they call you?”
As shy as he was, he couldn’t help but feel some pride. “Yep that’s what they call me, Professor.”
Professor Oak gave a look of admiration. He could feel that this boy was special while they all took seats around the main table in the room. He assumed it was because red was the color symbol of a pokemon master. They could challenge any trainer and gain respect from any pokemon in their possession.
“How very interesting.”
The Headmaster interrupted Professor Oak’s fascination with the proposal that seemed to take forever to get to.
“Professor Oak wants you to start training at his Academy in Pallet Town. After seeing your ability to manage a whole pack of pokemon, let alone a whole group of people, he felt it would only be fit to see you train to utilize those delicate gifts. He will be willing to open up space for you. What do you say?”
Red looked up at the older men and for the second time that day, he was speechless.