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I can't wait. Today's the day. I finally get to get a Pokemon! My parents have been telling me for years that I have to be ten to get a Pokemon, and now I'm ten. Of course, I could have gotten one on the day of my birthday, but Elm had run out of Pokemon. I had to wait a whole month for him to get the next batch in. My mother kept saying “All's well that ends well,” because I'm going to be getting one now, but she's never been on a Pokemon journey.
Pokemon weren't as common as some of the children's shows would want people to believe. If they were, it wouldn't be so special to get one. When you were travel on a route, it's actually rare to find one, and if you wanted to buy one from a Breeder, it usually cost at least fifteen thousand credits just for a Rattata! That's more than the car my older brother bought for college last year. Yeah, the car's a piece of junk, but that's not the point!
I couldn't wait. This was gonna be so sweet. I'd take my starter, and storm through Johto. The Pokemon in the Ilex Forest would be so scared of me they'd hide when they'd hear that I was just in the area—the Pokemon in the Ice Caves would melt with fear—I'd make Gym Leaders and Elites alike cry because of their humiliating defeats! I would be unstoppable!
I grinned as I hurried towards Elm's Lab. Today would be the day. I couldn't wait. I was running so fast that I barely saw someone coming around the corner from behind Elm's lab before I ran into him, sending both of us sprawling, and a Pokeball flying. “Watch where you're going, shrimp!” he yelled at me as he scrambled after the Pokeball. I had a better look at him now. He had shoulder-length red hair and a red leather jacket. He was at least a foot taller than me and obviously several years older. “I oughtta grind you you right here!” He grinned and held up his Pokeball. “Let yours out, Squirt. I'm gonna battle you.”
I picked myself up off the ground and dusted myself off. “I don't have one!” I retorted. “I was just about to get one from Elm when you ran into me!” I pointed at my belt for proof.
The boy shook his head. “No Pokemon,” he muttered, and returned the Pokeball to his belt. “Well, kid, they're out of Starter Pokemon.” he said gruffly, “ If you manage to get a Pokemon somehow, meet me at the Cherrygrove City Pokemon Center, and I'll wipe the floor with you.”
I grinned. “I look forward to seeing you cry.”
The older kid shook his head. “I'd like to see you try!” he called over his should as he ran for the route that would take him to Cherrygrove. I shook my head and headed for the Lab's front door.
Nobody was here. It was still early, so that made a little sense, but there still should have been someone around. “Hello?” i called called out, but nobody answered. This was weird. I looked around. All the scientific equipment, computers, and notebooks were right where they should be. Maybe everyone was in the Pokemon room---the room where Elm gave out Pokemon.
I headed towards the back of the lab, and noticed a light shining through the door, which was open slightly. I heard voices through the door, so I quickened my pace.
“This is awful!” I heard Elm saying as I got close to the cracked-open door. “Who would do such a thing?” I glanced around, and pushed open the door so I could see what was going on. The graying Pokemon Prof was standing in the middle of the Pokemon room, still in his Pikachu pajamas, looking around the room in shock.
It was a bit of a mess. Drawers were pulled out haphazardly, and Pokeballs could be seen in a few of them. One of the windows was broken, and pieces of glass were scattered over the floor underneath it “I don't know his name,” I heard someone say. It was an aide who was standing with Elm. He was probably about twenty, fresh from a Pokemon Journey, here to study with Johto's foremost Pokemon Researcher. I remembered him from previous visits to the lab. His name was Aide Jonathan, and was the most senior of all of Elm's aides. “But I saw him escaping out the window.” he pointed at the broken window. “He had red hair. That's all I saw.”
I knocked on the door jamb, and the two turned to face me. “I couldn't help but overhear. “What did that guy do?” I asked.
Elm smiled tiredly, and leaned against the counter behind him. “We had a break-in this morning, and he stole all of our Starter Pokemon.” He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes. “I know that you were planning on getting your Starter,” he yawned, and grimaced in apology. “But we're out, and there won't be any more for at least another month, or so the Pokemon Breeder we use tell us.”
I sighed. “All right, then. What about the other Pokemon? Could I have one of those?”
Professor Elm looked around his lab. “Other Pokemon?” he asked. “I don't have any other Pokemon. Well, I do, but those belong to other trainers.”
I frowned. “What about all those Pokeballs?” I asked, gesturing at the Pokeballs in the open drawers. “Couldn't I have one of those?” I asked.
Elm smiled faintly. “Young man, those are empty. I could give them to you, but you wouldn't catch anything. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to wait ANOTHER month for your starter, unless we catch whoever did this.”
I brightened. “You said that he had red hair?” I asked. Elm yawned and glanced at Aide Jonathan, who nodded. “Did he have a red leather jacket?” Elm straightened up, suddenly awake. “You know who did it?” he asked.
I nodded. “I think so,” I said. “If you give me a Pokemon, I can get the Starters back for you.”
Elm chuckled. “Young man, maybe I didn't make myself clear. I don't have ANY Pokemon I can give away. Pokemon seem to disappear from the lab faster than I can blink!” He shook his head sadly. “Besides,” he said quietly,
“Boss,” Jonathan put in, “There is that Pokemon that we got in yesterday that that trainer didn't want.”
Elm nodded, and turned to me. “I do have one Pokemon that you could have. It's still in my bedroom, so they didn't get it. I don't know if you want it or not, but-”
“I'll take it!” I exclaimed. “I don't care what it is. I've waited a month for it. I'll take it, whatever it is!”
Elm shrugged. “Jonathan,” he said, turning to his aide. “Will you go get it?” Elm turned to me as Jonathan walked out the door that I had just entered. “this doesn't mean that I'm going to let you go after the thief. This is a matter for the Global Police.” He looked at me intensely. “Do you have any idea where he could be?” he demanded.
I frowned. Did I really want to let the Global Police handle it? I mean, I wanted my Starter! I was getting this Pokemon, but I wanted one of the Starters, like I'd dreamed of since I was a little kid. Now that I had this chance to get a Pokemon, despite it probably not being that good...I could finally start out on my dream, AND get a Starter Pokemon, too. Although it wouldn't be MY starter. That would be hard to explain to people
I looked up at Elm. “I think he mentioned something about Cherrygrove?” I said. Jonathan returned just then with a Pokeball, which he handed to me. I thanked him, and he smiled back at me.
Elm heaved a sigh of relief, and he relaxed visibly. “Thank you. I don't mean to be rude, but you should probably get going. The Global Police are going to be here any second, and you'd probably get in the way of their investigation. Although if you could drop by the Global Police Station in Cherrygrove City to give your statement when you go on your journey, that'd be great.” he looked at me sternly. “No going after the thief.” he admonished. “Understood?” I nodded. “Good,” Elm said.
I turned around, grinning. I understood that he didn't want me going after the thief. That didn't mean that I necessarily agreed with him.
I hurried up to the Cherrygrove Pokemon Center, huffing and puffing. Hopefully I'd get here before the Global Police did. I'd be the one to nab this guy. I had run as hard as I could, and the early morning sun was at my back. Fortunately, I hadn't run into any Pokemon on my way here, so I wasn't slowed down at all.
No squad car yet, nor a motorcycle. Good. I was here first. I burst through the doors, and the inhabitants of the Pokemon Center looked up at me. It was only the local Nurse Joy and the kid, but they still looked up. Mr. Red Hair grinned and got to his feet. “I can see you managed to get a Pokemon,” he said, grinning. “looks like it's time for you to wipe the floor with me.” I looked at his belt. Three Pokeballs. He WAS the thief!
I grinned. “That's right, you're going down.”
The Nurse Joy rolled her eyes. “You know the drill, Larry.”
Red Hair nodded and got up off the couch he had been sitting on and moved forward onto a section of linoleum. He turned to Joy. “Turn on the Force Field.” He must have seen my puzzled expression, because he grinned at me. “The Nurse Joys got tired of people battling in their Pokemon Centers, so they installed Force Fields to keep the battles contained, and prevent any Acid or Fire from getting on anything.” I could hear a buzzing start, and I assumed that was the Force Field. “By the way, in case you're wondering, a few attacks don't work here. Earthquake, Fissure, stuff like that. And they keep Grimer around to clean up the Acid.”
I nodded, and he pulled a Pokeball from his belt. “Not that it matters, but I'll let you be the challenger. That means that I send out my--”
I sighed impatiently. “I KNOW that I get to go first,” I said impatiently. “Just send it out.”
He grinned and threw his Pokeball, and a Cyndaquil appeared. I grinned. Surely Elm had given me something strong enough to defeat it. I pulled my hand back behind my head, and threw my own Pokeball. “Pokemon, go!” I shouted.
I watched breathlessly as the Pokeball opened, the red beam appeared, and coalesced into a Weedle. I took a step forward and opened my mouth, ready to order an attack.
I look another look down at my Pokemon, and it was true. It WAS a Weedle.
Red Hair shook his head. “I'm not fighting you, kid,” he said, shaking his head. “That's just sad. One Ember and that thing'll be down for the count. It's not worth our time.” He turned to Nurse Joy and drew his hand along his throat. Nurse Joy smiled, and the humming stopped.
He turned back to me. “Once you get a more powerful Pokemon, I'd be more than happy to battle you, but this is just ridiculous.” I sighed, and looked down at Weedle. I heard the doors swish open off to my right.How in the world could this have happened? I returned Weedle, and looked back up at Red Hair. “I mean-” he began, but was cut off by an Officer Jenny tackling him to the ground.
“You're under arrest for Pokemon theft,” she informed him, planting one knee firmly on his spine as she reached back and grabbed her handcuffs. She slapped them onto his wrists as she continued. “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
I sighed. Looks like I wasn't going to get the credit for this after all.
Elm gave me a stern lecture on the role of the Global Police when he showed up, thankfully not in his pajamas anymore, and took me to the Global Police Station where he, Aide Jonathan, and I gave our statements. And so did Nurse Jenny. Now, for some reason, the Officer Jennies wanted us all together in the same room to talk.
Why couldn't they just arrest Mr. Red and let it go at that?
I shook my head as they brought the criminal in, and sat him down. I heard Aide Jonathan and Elm breathe in sharply. I looked over at Professor Elm. “What's the big deal?” I demanded.
Elm shook his head, and opened his mouth to talk, when Mr. Convict said. “You really don't recognize me, kid?” I turned to him and shook my head. He shook his head. “And here I thought that you were talking big because of my family.” he sat down where Officer Jenny indicated. For some reason he wasn't wearing handcuffs. What in the world?
“That's Larry Oak,” Elm murmured to me from the side of his mouth. “Professor Gary Oak of Kanto's Grandson.” I stared at the Oak. What in the world was he doing stealing Pokemon? He could have bought the entire lab if he had wanted to. Looking at the Officer Jennies, it seemed as if they were having a hard time swallowing this as well. I glanced over at Aide Jonathan. He was staring straight at Larry. I looked at Larry. He was grinning at Jonathan. What in the world?
Officer Jenny smiled at us. “Don't worry,” she said, gesturing to an Officer Jake standing near the door. “He's got a tazer. It'll hit Larry with more than ten thousand volts if he tries to run.”
One of the Offcier Jennies sat down and cleared her throat. Instantly, all attention was on her. “thank you all for coming,” she said. “After going over all the facts, I think we've figured out what's going on. Larry has requested that we hold our trial here, and all of you,” she gestured at an Officer Jake that was by the door and us. “to be the jury as well as witnesses. I'll be presiding as judge. That all right with you guys?”
I swallowed. I'd never served on a jury. I glanced over at Elm, who was nodding. So was Jonathan, but a great deal more vigorously than Elm. I reluctantly agreed, and Officer Jenny swore each of us in.
Officer Jenny cleared her throat and began. “At approximately eight O'clock this morning, Larry Fenton Oak was seen leaving the New Bark Town Elm Pokemon Laboratory, allegedly through the window.”
“Allegedly?” Jonathan shot to his feet. “I saw him go through it!” he shouted. I glanced at Gary, who was grinning at Jonathan. I don't know why, but it reminded me of a Sharpedo eying its next meal.
Officer Jenny got to her feet and extended her hand towards Jonathan. “Please, sit down. I'm only stating things that we can all agree on.”
Jonathan blushed, and sat down. “Sorry,” he mumbled.
Officer Jenny smiled slyly at him, and then gestured at me. “He ran into our young friend, here, who informed him, in response to a challenge, that he would reside at the Cherrygrove Pokemon Center. He also contended that Elm was out of Starter Pokemon.”
Officer Jenny looked down at the sheet in front of her. “In our investigation of the laboratory, we discovered that not just the Starter Pokemon, but a large number of other Pokemon were missing, and were not logged out as being given to Pokemon trainers on their journey.”
I looked at Professor Elm. “I've been getting lazy lately with my record keeping,” he said sheepishly.
Officer Jenny smiled tightly. “In addition, there was indeed a broken window, through which Larry allegedly escaped.” I felt Jonathan stir beside me. He looked as if he just wanted this over with, and Larry in jail. I couldn't really blame him. Officer Jenny looked straight at Jonathan. “However, this begs the question, how could Larry have gotten into the lab?”
Elm's brow furrowed, and Jonathan shifted, clearly uncomfortable. “He must have gotten in through the window.” Larry grinned wider.
Officer Jenny nodded. “So it's your sworn testimony that he came in and out through the window?” she asked. Jonathan nodded vigorously, his jaw set. She grinned. “Great. Then we just have to go through the rest, of which there isn't a lot. He came to the Cherrygrove Pokemon Center exactly on time with what an average trip from New Bark to Cherrygrove takes with one battle of average beginner length thrown in. Larry stayed at the Pokemon Center for approximately an hour, after which our overzealous little friend here came in and confronted him. Shortly after that, one of our Jennies arrived and arrested him. This last part is from the testimony of our junior officer here,” she grinned at me. “Nurse Joy, and security tapes from the Pokemon Center. Anyone have any contentions with the facts laid out so far?” Everyone shook their heads. Jenny turned to Larry. “All right, Defense, the ball is in your court now.”
Larry got to his feet, grinning. “I left Kanto to get away from my family legacy. While there's stilla bit of it around here, it's a lot easier to get away from people here too. I got in on the Suicuine Express late last night, and traveled to Cherrygrove, getting there around midnight. Nurse Joy set me up with a room, and I slept there overnight. The next day, I set out as soon as I woke up for New Bark Town, accompanying a man I'd met the day before who had promised me a Starter. He took me in through the lab's back door, and sold me a Cyndaquil, telling me that it was the last one that he had.”
Elm sat up in his seat, his face pale. “Someone...” he paused, trying to collect himself. “someone SOLD you a Pokemon?” he demanded weakly. “But it's not our policy—we never—I never—WHO?” Elm demanded, suddenly on his feet, his feet red with rage. “WHO sold you the Cyndaquil?” he shouted.
“Calm down,” Aide Jonathan said, rising to his feet as well. “He's obviously lying to cover his tracks.”
Elm stood there, literally quivering with rage. “I have made it policy that my lab is to always give away its Pokemon, and NEVER sell them. How DARE you besmirch the good name of my lab!”
Besmirch? Where did he learn that one?
Officer Jenny got to her feet. “Both of you,” she said warningly. “Sit down, now, or I'll hold you in contempt of court.” Jonathan sat down immediately, but Elm remained standing for several seconds, glaring at Larry.
“Now, Larry,” Officer Jenny said smoothly, “Why don't you tell us who it was that sold you that Pokemon.” Larry didn't say anything, but simply turned and looked at Aide Jonathan.
Jonathan looked at him, then at us. “He's lying again!” His gaze flicked behind me to Professor Elm, and he got noticeably worried. “Elm, the kid is LYING. Have I ever done anything against you?”
“Yes.” Larry said flatly. “You've been selling all his other Pokemon too.”
Jonathan looked over at Larry, then back to Elm. He swallowed, wild-eyed. Paniced, even. “He's lying!” Jonathan protested. “He's lying!”
“We have the credit statements to back up Larry's story, and the fact that Jonathan's been selling your other Pokemon, too.” Officer Jenny said smoothly. “That's why you've got a lot of Pokemon missing, not because you've been misplacing them. Oh, and by the way, as I'm sure you know, there wasn't any glass inside your lab underneath the window. It was broken from the inside.”
I heard a crash from behind me, and I whirled to see Elm on his feet, redder than I had ever thought possible. “JONATHAN!” he roared. He took a step towards his aide, but stopped, his eyes flicking towards the Officer Jake by the door. I glanced at him to see that he had taken a step forward.
“With your permission,” Officer Jenny said, smiling. “I'd like to declare Larry innocent, and lock up your...” she raised an eyebrow. “Former aide under charges of Pokemon theft and illegal sale of Pokemon.”
Elm must have nodded, because Officer Jenny nodded towards Jake, who moved towards Jonathan. Jonathan leaped over the table, ran past Officer Jake, and out the door.
I have to say, Officer Jake has a REALLY fast quick-draw on that tazer. He must have gotten it out and shot it at Jonathan in under a second flat. Officer Jenny hurried over to Officer Jake and Jonathan, with Elm hot on her tail.
Larry walked over to me, and grinned. “Thanks, kid.” he said. “Not sure if I could have gotten all this straightened out this quickly if it hadn't been for you.”
I frowned. “But you had three Pokeballs!” I protested.
Larry grinned. “Yeah. One's Cyndaquil, who you saw. The second is the Sentret I caught when I wasc oming back to Cherrygrove. The third is an Eevee Gramps sent me when he heard I got a starter.” He grinned at me. “Speaking of him,” he said, looking over at the grown-ups. “I've gotta give him a call and straighten this thing out with him. He's gonna be spitting nails.” I followed his gaze and saw that they'd turned the tazer off and handcuffed Jonathan. He looked back down at me. “Thanks again kid. And the offer still stands.”
I frowned. “What offer?” I asked.
He grinned. “Get a halfway decent Pokemon, and I'll battle you. Just remember that if you bring a water or fighting type, I'm gonna be catching counters to those first thing.” He grinned at me and rumpled my hair. “Smell ya later, kid.”
There was a big ceremony the next day, and everyone that mattered in Johto and beyond were there. Elm was up first, and he wouldn't stop praising me. Even after I told him to stop. Repeatedly. He said that if I ever wanted a job after my journey, a spot as aide in his lab had just opened up. Still no Starter. Lazy bum.
Then came the Johto League Champion, Claire. I can't imagine her being a gym leader. She's so freaking old! She pinned a medal on my chest, and proclaimed that she was proud to have someone like me in the Johto League.
Officer Jenny gave this big speech about how brave I was, going after Larry with just a Weedle like that. Maybe I should have corrected her, but I didn't feel like telling her or anyone else that I didn't know what it was. Then came the best part of the ceremony. She said that due to my actions in the recent events, I was being given an honorary membership into the Global Police as a Junior Officer! But here's the icing on the cake. She let me have my pick of fire types for my REAL starter. Since I'm gonna be a Junior Officer and all.
My first reaction was to choose Cyndaquil, but then that would be kind of like copying Larry. And I've gotta wrap his behind with his Sentret's tail and use 'em both to mop the floor!
After a few minutes of huddling over a Pokedex, my choice was obvious. Since I can't get a Pokemon that has a type advantage over Larry, I can out-cool him. And when I realized that, the choice was obvious.
Vulpix and I are gonna clean his clock!
It's like my mom always says. “All's well that ends well.”