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The Adventures of a Pokémon Trainer: Boring Interlude

     Last time, John won his battle against the sinister Dr. Harold when Neptune 
evolved. Awarded with the Ancient Fire Emblem, John prepared to leave, when a 
scaly gray tentacle shot out and snatched the emblem. John was startled to 
find the tentacle originating in his own forehead. After awaking in a Pokémon 
Center near Celadon City, and relaying the tentacle story to his friends, 
they've decided to train a bit before pursuing Harold.

     "Alright, Spore, try psybeam," I told my Butterfree. Rage, a Mankey, 
would be susceptible to it.
"Rage, don't let it hit you. Try agility!" Lucy wasn't too worried. Spore 
was young, and its psybeams lacked the power or accuracy of an older 
     Spore collected psychic energy from throughout its body, preparing to 
make its final attack. Rage gazed up at the Butterfree. His eyes were wide, 
and he was trembling a bit. He could feel the psychic energy collecting above 
him. There was only one way to survive. He desperately leaped into the air, 
feet first. Focusing his energy, he slammed his kick into Spore's middle, and 
they both came tumbling down.
     I ran out and caught spore in my arms before he could reach the ground. 
Rage landed on his feet and immediately initiated a victory dance. I wasn't 
through yet.
     After recalling Spore to his ball, I brushed the tips of my fingers over 
the Pokéballs at my belt. Destiny would be the best choice, but I'd trained 
her a lot before getting to Cinnabar Island. I did have another flying type 
     "Go, Baby!" The Pokéball containing my baby Doduo opened, releasing my 
next combatant. Baby had only fought in one battle during the time I had him, 
but I'd been using the Dodrio Gary gave me to help teach him some powerful 
     Lucy looked concerned. She didn't want to see baby hurt, but after seeing 
the confident look on my face, she resisted the urge she had to tell me to 
call him back. If I had confidence in my Pokémon, she'd have confidence in my 
     "Okay, Rage, Focus Energy." Rage formed a pose, and appeared deep in 
concentration. She was letting me get the first hit in. She'd regret that.
"Baby, Fury Attack!" Both of Baby's heads turned toward the small 
pig-monkey. They glared as the long feet started moving. He practically flew 
to his target. Taking turns, each beak struck the Mankey. Speeding up, Rage 
found it harder and harder to defend. Hits started getting through, more and 
more often. Finally, Baby's left Head struck the last blow, knocking Rage 
back several feet.
     Lucy ground her teeth. "Rage, Mega Kick." She'd had enough of her prize 
fighter being humiliated by a chick. This move would finish the fight here 
and now.
     "Baby, Evasive #2!" As Rage flew at Baby, his foot reaching toward him, 
he jumped up high. Flying through the air, Rage could make no course 
correction. As Baby came down, Rage was passing though the space he had been 
in seconds before. Baby's foot landed on his opponent's face, pushing off, 
doing a flip, and twisting, to land facing where Rage would crash to the 
ground. The move had been something I cooked up with Baby when he couldn't 
take a hit, and needed to get a new one in as soon as possible.
     "Now, Baby, Drill Peck!" The larger of baby's head, the left, moved 
forward as the right moved back. The position changed as Baby took a step 
toward Rage. The position kept changing, faster and faster, until Baby 
reached his target and opened up on him. The speed of the attacks knocked out 
Rage. I won the match.
     "Good one," said Lucy, extending her hand to me. "The small size of that 
Doduo lured me off guard. How old is he, anyway?"
     I had to think a minute. "About six months."
     "Six months? That things a prodigy! How could it learn Drill Peck in six 
     I smiled and released Dodrio, who Gary had named Goose. The name fit, 
since he and I both used it to nurture our young bird Pokémon, and who hasn't 
heard of Mother Goose? "Goose helps me." She gave a happy call.
     "But I thought she didn't know any attacks?"
     "She doesn't," Goose looked down sorrowfully. "But, she knows how to 
encourage Baby to do what I tell him."
     "Hmm. Maybe I should get a mother Primeape."

     The area we had chosen to camp was perfect. It was a big clearing near 
Celadon City. There weren't many Pokémon Trainers around, but that was 
better. We didn't know when or if the Ancients would try to contact us. If it 
happened during a battle, the other trainer might be dragged into this, or 
even hurt. There weren't many wild Pokémon around either. The area was mostly 
inhabited by Tangelas, and they tended to stay away from us. The Tangelas did 
have a positive affect, though. They'd walk across the clearing, scooping up 
grass as they went, effectively mowing the lawn.
     Tony was drilling Swordsman, his Farfetch'd, in using his weapon. All his 
other Pokémon were out, Watt (Pikachu), Tunneler (Diglet), Mach (Fearow), and 
Smokey (Growlithe). Watt was trying to hit Tunneler with a thunder shock 
before he could duck underground, and Mach was putting out fires that Smokey 
had started, while avoiding flamethrower attacks. Lucy's team of fighting 
Pokémon was doing what they do best. Fighting. Dancer (Hitmonlee) was 
sparring with Rocky (Hitmonchan), using their Ditto Properties to mimic each 
other. Rage (Mankey) was just plain old battling with Subway (Diglet). As for 
my Pokémon, Destiny (Spearow) was mimicking Spore (Butterfree) and they both 
used powder-type moves while Neptune (Wartortle), Beedy (Oddish), and Baby 
(Doduo) tried to hit them. Goose (Dodrio) looked on, making sure Baby 
wouldn't be hurt.
    It was early in the afternoon, but I was already tired. We'd been 
training for weeks. Our Pokémon had gotten a lot stronger, maybe even strong 
enough to face Harold. No. Not strong enough. The way he talked about 
Charcanine, he must have many of them. If the one I faced really was a 
weakling, it would take an insanely powerful Blastoise to take down a fully 
developed one.
     I knew people who could give me answers. Oak, for instance. He knew we 
would be attacked after we left his house. He wanted to protect us, so he 
gave us our Ditto Pokémon. But if he was really trying to protect us, why not 
warn us outright?
     My father could give me answers. He was at Oak's when I arrived. Why? If 
Oak is an Ancient, couldn't my father be going there to talk about business? 
Maybe he could have this tentacle removed.
Since its first appearance, the tentacle hadn't resurfaced. I was worried 
that it would grow out of control, or take over my brain or something, but it 
hadn't. I was even beginning to doubt its existence. Maybe I was just seeing 
      The only way to know for sure was to find Harold. I'd do anything to find 
out what the hell was going on with my life.
     "How about we go into town for dinner. I'm sick of hot dogs." Lucy's 
suggestion turned my mind toward my hunger. I could go for a pizza…
     "Alright, lets get going, then," Tony said. It looked like we were all 
     We decided on eating on the roof of Celadon Department Store. It was a 
warm, muggy evening, so we had no problem just wearing t-shirts and shorts, 
even at the top of the store. The small, but elegant cafeteria was sparsely 
populated, since it was a bit too early for most people to eat. Besides, it 
was a Wednesday, not exactly the biggest night of the weak.
     After we were seated with our food, Tony asked me a question. "Say, John?"
     "Yah, Tony?"
     "Since you have that badge that Ash gave you, do you think they'd give 
any discounts?"
     A light bulb flicked on inside my head. "Of course! How could I be so 
     "What is it?"
     "They sell Pokémon stat boosters here! And I can get as many as I want!"

To be continued...