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  1. Typical Lungs fare - beautiful women, strong people and... Pokemon?
  2.  
  3. 1st person. Narrative should be somewhat consistent, but I'm not sure. I think anyone reading it will be capable of divining the breaks (which aren't specifically scenebased).
  4.  
  5. =======chapter1==========
  6.  
  7. "You haven't ever seen a champion before, have you?" she asked me. Her long blonde hair whipped to and for as if they possessed a life of its own. Her Milotic was curled around me, squeezing me just short of painfully, with the threat of instant ignoble death hanging on its jaw as boiling hot water bubbled within.
  8.  
  9. My Infernape was lying on the ground, hit in the chest by her Lucario's heavy paws and a sob was just about to tear its way out of my throat. But I couldn't breath well, so it just came out as a hacking wheeze.
  10.  
  11. I forced myself to speak despite the Milotic's scales rubbing against my throat and producing tiny, painful cuts. "Please, don't... don't kill him." I'm normally a proud kid, but this was too much. If it meant I could spend one more day with my Infernape...
  12.  
  13. Surprisingly, her Lucario got off of Infernape and turned him over to show me that he was still breathing. I nearly sobbed in relief.
  14.  
  15. "You aren't very much like the majority of those who join Teams..."
  16.  
  17. I shook my head. "No," I managed to croak. I was growing dizzy from the pain and the lack of air. In a careless wave, the Milotic loosened itself from around my throat and I fell against it, pulling in as much air as I could.
  18.  
  19. "Th- thank you."
  20.  
  21. I slowly stepped forward to inspect Infernape, hoping that the Lucario wouldn't overreact. It didn't, allowing me to kneel by Infernape's side and even to slowly feed it a potion. Infernape didnt drink all of it before it passed out in a restless sleep, so I sighed and offered the remaining serum to Lucario, who had been singed very slightly. It declined politely.
  22.  
  23. "Infernape's my only friend," I finally admitted, when I realized that the Champion wouldn't leave without sufficient explanation. "I've known him for a very long time. He evolved into a Monferno when I was thirteen, to save us from a Snorlax I'd woken by accident, and into an Infernape a year ago."
  24.  
  25. "When did you join Galactic?" Her tone was businesslike, but I knew she pitied me. I hated it.
  26.  
  27. "Several months ago. Infernape beat my admin's Toxicroak and she wrote me a paycheck just like that. I was too poor to pay the Trainer Card fee, because I never battle for money. Infernape doesn't like it much."
  28.  
  29. The Champion looked at me for a moment, then chuckled. The chuckle turned into full-blown laughter. Very soon, I'd forgotten the little cuts on my neck and how she had nearly killed Infernape with a stray command and I, too, was laughing at the absurdity of it all.
  30.  
  31. She stopped laughing after several moments and whatever the musical tinkle had removed from the scene came back twofold, forcing the gravity of the situation back to me.
  32.  
  33. "I think... I think I'm going to need to rehabilitate you," she decided.
  34.  
  35. I looked up sharply.
  36.  
  37. "You look sort of lonely. I assume that you've lived alone for a very long time..."
  38.  
  39. A blush rose on my cheeks. The Champion was beautiful and at least eight years older than me.
  40.  
  41. "So I don't think anyone would object to me setting you up in a gym trainer's position in Kanto."
  42.  
  43. I stared.
  44.  
  45. "Leader Blaine is a wonderful scientist and a hell of a straight shooter. Many ex-Rockets and ex-Magmas train under him. I think you'll be a welcome addition there."
  46.  
  47. I nodded helplessly, wondering what I'd gotten myself into.
  48.  
  49. "When you think you're ready, I recommend that you challenge the league. The vast majority of the Leaders and Elite Four members have quite a number of things to teach kids like you."
  50.  
  51. I continued to nod, but I've forgotten what she told me afterwards. I recall Infernape waking halfway through her speech and glaring at her Lucario, I recall her telling me that the job of the Champion was to ensure that trainer's needs were taken care of, but not much else.
  52.  
  53. =========
  54.  
  55. I woke the next morning feeling as though a large weight had been lifted from my chest, one that I didn't know existed.
  56.  
  57. Within me, there was once the myth of being unbeatable, from the first time Monferno landed a punch at the speed of sound upon someone's Empoleon and knocked it out immediately, to the time Infernape conquered an older trainer's Venusaur with a single burst of flame.
  58.  
  59. The Champion had lured me into telling Infernape to charge somewhat blindly in what was popularly known as a Flare Blitz when she returned her Spiritomb and called out her Milotic. Infernape had got disoriented, and though he possessed a trump card - knowledge of Grass Knot, Milotic, too, was returned in favor of Lucario,who slammed him in the face with his heavy paws.
  60.  
  61. As my more battle oriented mind ran through the motions, I realized how risky it could have been. If I had ordered my own Close Combat before her, her Lucario would have suffered greatly. But somehow, she knew exactly what I was going to do. It was almost as if she could read my mind. I thought of the Spiritomb.
  62.  
  63. "If you're awake, you might as well run downstairs and see if Nurse Joy has any spare clothing that you can replace your ridiculous outfit with."
  64.  
  65. I nodded glumly. The Spiritomb trained its ghostly face on me and I shivered. I waited until I was out of the room before I thought of the Champion again.
  66.  
  67. The walls of a Pokemon center were always cheerfully decorated in a juxtaposition of murals depicting legendary Pokemon and a wallpaper of red and yellow that matched the tiles. I instinctively ducked my head in embarrassment as the Nurse trained her eyes on me. I had brought in Infernape to the Center many times and she had healed him with pursed lips and a disapproving glare. But she healed him all the same.
  68.  
  69. I walked up to the counter, the indecision showing in both the way I placed myself and my little steps. I steeled myself, thinking of the Champion in my room, but I almost lost my nerve again. I had flown in on the back of her Togekiss, contrite to a degree that I had never been, and I was now regaining some of my pride.
  70.  
  71. "Do you have... Spare clothing? I'm... I'm quitting the team."
  72.  
  73. "No."
  74.  
  75. I nodded. I didn't really expect otherwise - people held grudges for long, especially against people indirectly or directly related to the theft and death of their beloved pokemon.
  76.  
  77. I stepped back onto the escalators and walked back into the room that the Champion had kindly paid for, for the two of us. She was running a comb through light tangles in her hair. She didn't greet me, but I knew she realized that I had walked in, if not from the sound, then from the Spiritomb, now hovering over the beside table like a purple and green lamp.
  78.  
  79. "No clothing for you?"
  80.  
  81. I shook my head. She glanced at me and sighed.
  82.  
  83. "It'll be different in Kanto. They have a very long traditon of crime... It's almost glamorous to do illegal things there. Of course most criminals are somewhat petty nowadays, since a dear friend of mine cleaned up the Rockets. But they wouldn't know you were once a Galactic anyway."
  84.  
  85. "Yeah."
  86.  
  87. She smiled devastatingly. "Show some enthusiasm!"
  88.  
  89. "Yeah!" My tone ended up hovering between obnoxious and vaguely sarcastic, but I felt a twinge of self consciousness after she looked at me sternly and I promptly regretted my attitude.
  90.  
  91. "Well, I'll be going on vacation now. I suppose we'll both be heading to Canaclave. I advise you to withdraw any cash you might have - there are frequent errors with regional money transfers. You have the better part of an hour to get ready, or I'll just leave without you."
  92.  
  93. I couldn't resist. "Why an hour?"
  94.  
  95. She smiled, and now she looked absolutely devious. "Why, I have to write your recommendation letter."
  96.  
  97. ===========
  98.  
  99. While I had never been anywhere but cold Sinnoh, Pokemon battles on the various cruisers and liners that populated our world were a legend. Journeys on even the quickest ships took the better part of a day, but the Champion was not paying for that.
  100.  
  101. No, the tickets she had bought for me were for the smallest room on an old dump that would take me to Vermillion City in Kanto for the less than the cost of one of Silph Co's Ultra Balls in your nearest Pokemart.
  102.  
  103. I had all of my money (just enough for one of those aforementioned Ultra Balls) in my ratty little wallet and the Champion's letter in my back pocket when I stepped on the S.S. Scizor (We Cut Through Water For Your Needs!). The amenities in my room amounted to a little stand where I could put my single Pokeball and a bed which my feet hung around four inches off the end - just enough so that I could get no comfort at all. I would have to rely on the slow acting technologies within my Pokeball to heal Infernape if he got into a scrape.
  104.  
  105. Of course, while I was calmly reading a brochure about the beaches of Cinnibar Island, an upstart kid who had just started his journey barged into my room (the door didn't lock - I was that lucky) and challenged me to a battle.
  106.  
  107. "Sorry, I'm not accepting battles."
  108.  
  109. He stared at me incredulously. "But everyone has to battle! We on a ship!"
  110.  
  111. I frowned at his terrible attempts at logic production. "No. I'm not going to battle you."
  112.  
  113. In response, he threw one of his three Pokeballs onto the two feet of space which separated my bed from the nightstand. It bounced once and a timid little Shinx popped out in a flash of little that I was so accustomed to that I didn't even blink.
  114.  
  115. "Ray, let's show him what we've-"
  116.  
  117. In his enthusiasm, he had knocked my Pokeball to the ground and Infernape burst out of his nearly permanent home, looking as disgruntled as I sounded.
  118.  
  119. "Infernape, please punch the Shinx out of the room." The boy's eyes widened as Infernape didn't even bother, picking up the Shinx and lobbing it out like a dodgeball rather quickly. It returned without prompting into my Pokeball as I shifted rather uncomfortably. I was quite used to the bagginess of jeans and a tshirt after wearing the skintight Galactic uniform for such a long time.
  120.  
  121. "I'm not done yet," the boy shouted with completely unnecessary drama. He reached for another Pokeball on his belt, but I pushed myself out of bed, pushed him out of the room and pushed the door shut firmly.
  122.  
  123. He seemed to get the message, as I heard him stomp away. I sighed and dimmed the lights just enough so that I could read without straining my eyes and draped myself over the little square of "bed" again, returning to the brochure with a combination of boredom and the determination to make something of my journey.
  124.  
  125. I read another flap with nearly no interest in the legend of the Pokemon Mansion before yet another person walked in. He was bald, though he did have a large, floppy hat on. Strapped around his waist was an amount of Pokeballs that clearly exceeded that of international regulation. I closed my eyes immediately.
  126.  
  127. "If you're going to pretend to sleep, at least put that down first."
  128.  
  129. I cracked open my eyelids. "I count fifteen Pokeballs. If you don't leave now, I'm going to report you to the authorities." I sniggered a bit at the irony.
  130.  
  131. "Nah!" he said quickly. "I'm just selling Pokemon!"
  132.  
  133. I stared at him. "What are you selling?" I asked despite myself.
  134.  
  135. He rubbed his hands together in glee as he began his sales pitch. "Well, it's only one of the most powerful Pokemon in the sea. With its powerful and quick tackles, while refusing to misunderstand the concept of fun with its playful splashes-"
  136.  
  137. "Are you trying to sell me a Magikarp, dude?" I glared.
  138.  
  139. He deflated instantly. "Yeah."
  140.  
  141. I smiled. "I'll take one of them. For eighty pokebucks."
  142.  
  143. It was his turn to glare. "Excuse me, with all due respect, I can sell them for several thousand-"
  144.  
  145. I folded my arms and he deflated again. "Alright. Two hundred and I'll throw in a Cheri Berry."
  146.  
  147. I counted out two hundred pokebucks and handed it over to him. In response, he grabbed a random Magikarp from his belt and placed it onto my bed haphazardly, as well as one of the abnormally large Cheri berries which he took from a pouch. He left te berry on my desk and with a quick mumble that sounded like an appropriately chastised "thank you for doing business with me", he left my room.
  148.  
  149. I released my newly acquired Pokemon from the ball and stared as the red-orange fish bounced around inside of my room before returning it.
  150.  
  151. I smiled.
  152.  
  153. ============
  154.  
  155. I wasn't sure how I was going to train Magikarp. I supposed the best way to do it would be to fight a slew of weak trainers and wild Pokemon and switch him out after he took a good look of the battlefield. I had heard that they were quick learners.
  156.  
  157. This would mean that I could take another convenient boat to Cinnabar - I would have to wait until my soon-to-be Gyarados learned Surf. Some one mentioned that they were going to Kanto just to complete a challenge in which they could procure the expensive Hidden Machine over the dining table.
  158.  
  159. Then, a battle had broke out between an older man with a Weavile and a young girl with a Scizor. Of course, the Weavile lost handily, but the majority of the audience stared on in awe.
  160.  
  161. The most important thing was that my spirit for battle had been aroused. I needed to defeat someone or learn from a loss. I need to continue my partnership with Infernape...
  162.  
  163. I jumped out of bed and opened the door to see the spectacularly setting sun's rays wash over the deck. I released both Infernape and Magikarp from their Pokeballs, then looked over the newly acquired fish.
  164.  
  165. On the bright side, Infernape was entirely unfazed by his new teammate. On the less lustrous list, Magikarp didn't seem as though it possessed the ability to recognize me as its trainer.
  166.  
  167. "Listen."
  168.  
  169. To its credit, it actually managed to look at me every time I spoke to it. I sighed loudly and stared over the side of the ship as it became progressively darker on the ship. There was some demonstration battle going on in the dining hall and I wanted to wait until it was over before I made my appearance and battled the people who wanted to immediately after watching.
  170.  
  171. As the waves splashed against the side of the ship, I decided that it was probably worth it to watch the end of the battle and I began to walk leisurely towards the dining hall.
  172.  
  173. "I've never seen anything like that before!" some idiot shouted really loudly as I approached the entrance to the overflowing dining hall.
  174.  
  175. I stared over the crowd. Someone's Magneton had just managed to paralyze a Gardevoir. The psychic pokemon's long dress fluttered as the oversized refrigerator ornament prepared a bolt of electricity sufficient to fry a newborn Milktank to death and launched it at the Gardevoir, who promptly keeled over.
  176.  
  177. "I win again!" declared a bespectacled boy. "Any more challengers?" he called over the crowd. I hated him already. His face was splotchy and his hair was unkempt. He was dressed expensively and his Pokemon, a Swampert, the Magneton and a Skarmory, looked entirely miserable.
  178.  
  179. "No one can beat me?" he taunted.
  180.  
  181. I knew I would regret it, but I raised my hand anyway. "I challenge you to a Pokemon battle," I shouted over the rapidly rising wall of sound the crowd was producing. I was awarded with a weak cheer.
  182.  
  183. "An Infernape and a Magikarp?" He sneered as the crowd parted. There were several boos that accompanied his remark.
  184.  
  185. "My Magikarp is just going to watch." I felt no shame in admitting that Magikarp wasn't very useful at the moment, though he seemed to find it a lot more funny that it should have been.
  186.  
  187. "He thinks he can take on my prize Pokemon with just an Infernape. Well," he barked as he looked at me," you've got another thing coming!"
  188.  
  189. In response, Infernape walked forwards slowly.
  190.  
  191. "Go Magneton! Use Discharge!" he shouted.
  192.  
  193. Without any prompting, Infernape dove forwards suddenly and slammed his fist with amazing aggression into the Magneton, denting it so hard that it reminded me of scrap metal.
  194.  
  195. I wasn't too concerned. Magnetons lived for a very long time, and physical deformities were healed relatively quickly.
  196.  
  197. The crowd had hushed now. This was the reaction everyone was expecting from Infernape, but to see the speed of the performance was another thing entirely.
  198.  
  199. The boy grunted, a sound that seemed rather out of character for the mental image I had painted of him.
  200.  
  201. "Go Skarmo-"
  202.  
  203. The bird of steel had barely left its Pokeball when a series of bursts of flames came forth from his body. "Flare Blitz, I think." I was never too sure, but I did receive huge satisfaction when several drops of metal sprayed everywhere. The Skarmory instantly returned to his Pokeball.
  204.  
  205. His face was white with anger now. "I'm not done yet! There's still Swampert!"
  206.  
  207. Infernape nodded. He knew what to do...
  208.  
  209. Swampert is usually among the worst matchups for Infernape. It hits with the force of a volcanic lahar, a driving force of mud coming down from volcanic slopes. It sponges powerful physical attacks with pure, unmoving strength of earth and scoffs at anyone pitiful enough to attempt to burn it up.
  210.  
  211. I had used the two most common moves among powerful Infernapes - the almighty Flare Blitz and the unstoppable Close Combat. It was almost guaranteed that someone who only carried a Magikarp otherwise would utilize Mach Punch to deal with the fragile and speedy Pokemon who dominated Sinnoh.
  212.  
  213. But there was a much less publicized move that only the Champion had ever predicted, from just the look of arrogance in my eyes.
  214.  
  215. Grass Knot.
  216.  
  217. Pokemon generally carried one type of move to deal with the opposition - physical hits that were close up and personal, which tested the defensive strength of Pokemon everywhere, or special hits from afar which were almost magical in nature.
  218.  
  219. Most species of Pokemon were capable of powerful attacks of either category, but Infernape was an evolutionary phenomenon. By the very nature of his species, he was easily capable of both physical and special attacks.
  220.  
  221. And he was deliriously quick.
  222.  
  223. The Swampert never stood a chance. The huge green bolt of energy hit it and drained his lifeforce with sheer vengeance.
  224.  
  225. He was not Champion material, clearly.
  226.  
  227. Infernape punched the down Swampert in the face lightly for good measure and gained his Brady black eyes on the trainer, who stared at the proceedings, completely stunned. Within the space of less than a minute, I had defeated him.
  228.  
  229. I understood why people wanted to do this for a living. I reached out a hand and took a fair sum of money from him to Infernape's disapproving pursed lips.
  230.  
  231. "Talk is cheap," I said, partially advisory and completely gloating.
  232.  
  233. The boy's nostrils flared, but he couldn't do anything about it. His Pokemon had fainted from their exertions easily, after all.
  234.  
  235. I scanned the crowd through the eyes of a winner and looked upon the boy who had barged into my room earlier. He turned away when I trained my gaze on him steadily.
  236.  
  237. I walked back through the doors of the dining hall and onto the deck of the ship. I slowly made my way to the edge of the ship and let the salty sea air push against my still-warm face. Infernape stood next to me, basking in the high of victory even as he pretended to be more upset with me than he was. He was cradling the Magikarp in his arms. Magikarp was surprisingly docile.
  238.  
  239. "That was an amazing battle." Someone had sidled up next to me without my notice. I looked over at Infernape first. He was at ease, so I assumed that had seen her.
  240.  
  241. I turned slowly, possibly dramatically, to the girl. "I battle often."
  242.  
  243. "I could see!" she exclaimed in a high-pitched voice that bordered on irritating. "He really seemed to know what he was doing!"
  244.  
  245. I nodded noncommittally.
  246.  
  247. "Do you mind if we had a talk?"
  248.  
  249. "No."
  250.  
  251. Her lips turned up and her eyes sparkled almost mischievously.
  252.  
  253. "No, no I don't."
  254.  
  255. "Are you sure about that?"
  256.  
  257. "Yes, quite sure."
  258.  
  259. "Okay, so let's talk!"
  260.  
  261. There was a long pause as Infernape growled comfortingly.
  262.  
  263. "Where'd you learn to battle like that?"
  264.  
  265. I shook my head. "I didn't do anything special. Infernape just knew all the right moves to beat his Pokemon with."
  266.  
  267. She nodded. I don't think she understood.
  268.  
  269. Now I was slightly frustrated. "Okay, what's your team?"
  270.  
  271. "A Nidoran and an Emolga! They're both so cute!" She smiled.
  272.  
  273. Despite myself, I perked up. While I would certainly never steal a Pokemon again, I still had an appreciation for rare ones, especially from other regions.
  274.  
  275. I didn't have the heart to tell her that she didn't have much of a career in Pokemon battles with what she had, though. "I'm sure they'll be very powerful Pokemon one day."
  276.  
  277. She nodded excitably and began to babble about training techniques, the large majority of them being urban legends. I debunked the false ones.
  278.  
  279. When she finally left, a long time later, I decided that I felt much better about myself.
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