Author: mary c
I was on the ferry from one island to the next -- I couldn't name them, but they were to the far west of Cinnabar -- and sitting on the edge of the boat with my feet dangling off. My sandals were sitting on the deck next to me and I was fending off the sun's rays in a t-shirt and cargo shorts. They're so comfy and easy to wear.
I could see that we were coming up on the next island. I couldn't see anything on it just yet except for a line of swaying palm trees. I stood up and put on my sandals, preparing to drag my feet back to my room to pack for this excursion.
Before my parents took off for the North -- they're both biologists, you see, and they've heard rumors of a new species of Pokemon that thrives in extreme temperatures -- they sent me off on a cruise through different islands. They knew that I shared their love of adventure but didn't want to put me in any danger, so they sent me to explore different islands full of wild Pokemon -- go figure.
I turned the corner to go down the stairs to the hall where my cabin was when I ran smack into someone coming up.
"Sorry!" I half-yelled, regaining my balance only for a split second before we both went tumbling down the stairs.
Our pride and limbs both bruised, I stood up first and extended a hand to gravity's other victim.
"I'm sorry," I repeated.
She shoved my hand away and stood up herself. "Yeah, I can tell," she growled at me.
I didn't know what to say so I didn't say anything, and instead walked in the direction of my room.
"Hey! Kid! I think you owe me."
I turned to face her. Now she was standing hands akimbo glaring at me. She looked kind of pretty so I figured my next comment wouldn't hurt.
"What, dinner? No probl--"
"What? You owe me a battle. And if you lose, I get one of your Pokemon."
I thought this was completely silly, and there's no way I would lose. To a girl. That just fell down the stairs.
"And what about when I win?"
"Then I won't take one of your Pokemon." She seemed satisfied with those terms. "I'm looking to add to my collection."
"Um, ok," I said, startled at the words that had just come out of my mouth. Why did I agree to that? But at least it would be something to do, right? "Where?"
"At this next island, when we get off the boat. I'll meet you at the gate."
"See you then." I immediately opened the door and shut myself in my room. I hastily packed a backpack -- we would only be gone a day -- and took the stairs back up two at a time. When I reached the deck, I saw that we were about to dock. I didn't see the girl anywhere, and tried to remember what she looked like. Brown hair, blue eyes (maybe?), and she was wearing a -- t-shirt and cargo shorts! They're so comfy and easy to where, even if you're a girl. And they have so many pockets, you know?
I don't think she was carrying a purse, either. She probably had all of her stuff in those pockets. You can fit so much in there!
But she could have changed clothes, so I figured I would let her find me. Once the ferry was tied to the dock and I saw other people disembarking I headed that way.
My right foot had barely touched sand when I heard a "Hey! Kid!" and spotted the girl from before coming towards me.
"Hey," I said, trying to get out of the way of the other passengers.
"Where do you want to do this?" she asked in a pretty aggressive tone. I mentally took a step backward since it would have been rude to do so physically and tried to get a measure of this person but I just wasn't sure.
"I don't care; you pick. What's your name?"
"Mary. Mary C." She seemed to take a break from what would have been a barrage of questions possibly leading into insults. "What's yours?" she asked conversationally.
"Taylor. So where --"
"This way," she said and forcefully pulled me in the chosen direction by my backpack. The passengers were still crowded together by the boat. It looked as if the guide was going toward the mouth of the river, to follow it to the other side of the island, but Mary C. plunged ahead through the forest.
"Do you know where you're going?" I asked after about a minute of brisk walking. I was approaching "slightly alarmed" but still very far away from "panicked."
"Yes, of course," Mary C. said impatiently. "I've been here millions of times." She paused. "Maybe not a million, but at least five or six." Another pause. "My parents are botanists."
This looked to be the place for it. Once we got past the initial line of palm trees, every step inside the woods grew more and more similar to a genuine rain forest, populated with who-knew-what. I thought I heard shrieks of wild Doduos and roars of untamed Kangaskahns...but I could have been imagining things.
After fifteen minutes or so of walking, I had definitely passed "slightly alarmed."
"Where are we, Mary?"
"Hang on..." she disappeared through a wall of vines. I hesitated for a moment but followed.
I emerged in a clearing. It seemed to be an arena, but one that hadn't been used in years. The canopy was so thick that it was kind of dim there, even though it was midday and there were no clouds in the sky. There were traces of lines on the ground but moss and vines and greenery had made the place wild.
"What is -- ?"
"Ok. Are you ready?"
This was too weird a situation for me. Who was this? What were we doing? But the excitement of battle was aroused within me. My Pokemon hadn't stretched their limbs in a good while, and this would be healthy for them, and I could taste victory already.
"Three on three, okay?"
"Er...okay." This only struck me as slightly odd.
Mary C. tossed a Pokeball in the air. She didn't throw it into the arena though, so I took the chance.
I hurled the Pokeball and watched with satisfaction as my Snorlax materialized. He was always effective in confusing my opponent. I watched Mary C.'s face for her reaction but she seemed hard to read.
She didn't change Pokemon though; she instead cried,
I think Snorlax was as confused as I was -- Oddish? -- but I wasted no time.
"Snorlax! Body Slam!"
It was another satisfying sight to behold, my Snorlax Body Slamming Mary C.'s tiny Oddish.
"Oddish! Petal Dance!"
This was an increasingly confusing Pokemon battle. I thought the move would be ineffective against my huge Snorlax, but he seemed a little perturbed.
"Snorlax, Hyper Beam that plant!"
I knew it would take him a second, but while he was powering up it seemed the Oddish was doing more damage to itself.
I was right. Snorlax opened his mouth wide as the energy formed and then a bright orange beam of heat and light shot from it at Mary C.'s Oddish. It flew at least twenty feet into the air and was completely knocked out.
Mary C. returned Oddish to the Pokeball. She didn't seem fazed at all. I congratulated Snorlax on a job well done and returned him to his Pokeball as well.
"Ninetales, you're up!" she yelled, hurling her Ninetales into the arena. I only had water Pokemon left, but I was feeling pretty good about it this round. I didn't want to defeat her too easily again, so I went with a less obvious choice.
I was thinking my Kingler looked pretty menacing, what with his huge claws and tough armor and everything. He snapped a couple of times. This was going to be a piece of cake.
"Kingler, Vice Grip!"
I was feeling cocky. I just wanted to have fun with this for a second. I didn't doubt at all that I would lose.
"Ninetales! Quick Attack!"
Quick Attack? Seriously? I even laughed out loud. But the laughter soon died as I watched her Ninetales move in a blur toward my Kingler, who at what seemed the slightest touch was launched to the edge of the arena.
"Now, Dig!" she yelled. In a fluid motion, taking no time to recover, the Ninetales burrowed underground.
"Kingler...when it comes back up, Surf it!" I tried to sound totally positive about it.
Kingler scuttled back and forth, but I could tell he was nervous. The seconds seemed to drag on, and then --
Ninetales erupted from the earth like a volcano. Kingler stood no chance.
"Good job, buddy," I mumbled as he returned to his Pokeball.
I was pondering who to pull out next when I heard the horn of the ferry. My eyes widened.
"Mary! We're going to miss the boat!"
She looked slightly alarmed. "This isn't over, Taylor!"
"What? We have to go!" I grabbed her arm and took off at a run toward the boat, but it wasn't until she took the lead that I realized I was going in the wrong direction.
We sprinted through the forest, the light growing brighter and brighter, thorns and branches tearing at our limbs and clothes, but we emerged on the beach too late. The ferry was already offshore.
"Come on!" Mary C. said. "Go, Starmie!"
"Lapras! Now!" I said.
I assumed Starmie was her only water Pokemon. Lapras was just my most comfortable.
We were going to be fine. We would catch up to the boat in no time, and board, and be cleaning up in our cabins in five minutes.
"Starmie! Tri Attack!"
"What?!?!?! Are you kidding?" But it was too late. Luckily, the move was a freezing one, and Lapras wasn't really affected.
"Just go faster, Lapras," I muttered. Battle on the high seas! This was ridiculous.
"You can't evade us," Mary C. yelled from somewhere behind me.
"Fine!" I growled. "Lapras! Solar Beam! Now!"
Lapras was my most powerful Pokemon. Starmie stood no chance.
When I saw the defeated Starmie sinking, I urged Lapras to turn around to fetch Mary C. and her defeated Pokemon.
"Well, I've won," I said, once we were safely back on board.
"You have indeed," she said, grinning.
"What's my prize, then?"
"Well, I suppose we'll be having dinner after all."