CHAPTER 1.5 - Mysterious Pokemon at Liberty Garden?
``Cushy...Cushy! Come on, wake up!'' Cushy could feel the touch of a familiar hand on the top of his head, rustling his fur slightly. They were whispering in his ear. But he was so comfortable...Did he really have to wake up now? Where was he, anyway? The pint-sized cubchoo slowly peeled his eyelids open. His eyes might as well have been shut and held tight with Velcro - He did not want to get up, and the bright light above him was hurting his eyes. He curled himself up tightly into a ball, turning his head to the darker but still warm surface underneath him.
``Oh, wake up, Cushy! We've got to get off the boat!'' The familiar voice wasn't whispering anymore. Boat? What were they...Oh! The boat! Cushy's eyes shot open. He was lying in Velour's lap. They were both on a ferry they'd taken from Castelia City, headed for Liberty Garden. Their trip to Liberty Garden was one of the stops they planned on making during their vacation in Castelia City. Despite being a Castelia native, Velour had never had to opportunity to visit Liberty Garden before she moved out to Nimbasa; the island was always under construction. Apparently, government contract workers had been restoring the historical lighthouse, and delays and red tape sent the expected work time way over what anybody had initially planned for. It had only recently been reopened to the public. Cubchoo was super excited to be there, too. Velour told him all about how it's become somewhat of a sanctuary for wild Pokemon, and that there was a mythical Pokemon somewhere on the island that protected all of them. Finally, a chance to meet and play with other Pokemon that didn't involve Cushy having to climb out of the apartment and sneak around the city while Velour was away. He could just hang around, totally worry free, making new friends. He pushed himself up from Velour's thighs, which had been covered in a thin plastic coat. This kept her skirt dry from all of the snot hanging off Cushy's button nose.
``Ohh~~ Finally decide to wake up, huh?'' Velour smiled and scratched Cushy behind his big, round ears. He wagged his spiky, rustled, stubby tail and stood on the tips of his pays to push his head a little further into Velour's fingers. She knew the exact spot on his head he liked being scratched the most, and he couldn't get enough. The symbol on his chest started to glow dimly. It seemed to do this whenever he was happy, and he started dripping more snot from his nose.
``Buuuu~,'' Cushy cooed, cold gunk slipping out of his nose and all over the floor of the boat.
``Aw, Christ! I'm sorry, so sorry!'' Velour took her fingers out of Cushy's fur, moving them under his pits instead. The lifted him up quickly and rushed for the docks of Liberty Island. Her pet made enough of a mess in her apartment - she didn't need another mess to clean up on a tour boat. Not today. She wasn't a maid or a janitor. She was on vacation. ``Hold it in, Cushy! Please just wait until we get outside!''
Cushy felt a little bad. There wasn't really anything he could do about it. He'd always made big messes, but this weird symbol on his chest seemed only to make things worse. Worse for Velour. She had systems in place to take care of his usual drippings, but now that he'd become more productive than normal he was constantly stress-testing those old systems. Stress-testing, and completely ruining them. He'd grown quite self-conscious of his new ability since his encounter with Krookodile. Velour was very confused and upset when she found him unconscious in the bath tub, and she had to live off bottled water for the couple of days they had left in Nimbasa before they left for vacation. The city said they'd have all of the strange, white, pungent liquid out of the water supply by the time they got back, but Cushy was still a bother to everyone. He had some incredible power, but no power over it. Velour noticed the sad, sorry look on Cushy's face when she let him down outside of the boat. He was on the verge of tears.
``Oh...I'm sorry, Cushy. I know you can't help it. God, I feel like shit...'' Velour was about to cry, too. She opened her arms, welcoming the emotional cubchoo in for a hug. He accepted, of course. It was a long and comforting hug; Velour's apologetic embrace mended his wounds for a time. They could go on with their exploration of Liberty Garden...maybe after a little more hugging. In all, Velour kept crouched down to the floor, surrounding Cushy's tiny frame for maybe half a minute. Some other passengers stared at them as they disembarked, but the two of them didn't pay their onlookers much mind. ``C-C'mon...Why don't you go and play with some of the other Pokemon? I'm gonna get something out of the vending machine and talk to some of the other people around here. Do you wanna meet up here on the docks in...I don't know...15 minutes so we can look in the lighthouse together?''
``Caaaa~bu.'' He nodded his head. That sounded like a good idea. He could see a couple of interesting-looking Pokemon over in the distance, Pokemon he'd never seen before: a blue, round, soft thing with a crown floating in the water over by one edge of the island, and a yellow flower. They were talking to each other. Maybe they'd want to talk? To be friends. He walked over to them, feeling a little bit nervous. As he got closer, he could hear a little of their conversation.
``Hey, do you think we'll see him today?,'' the blue Pokemon asked his green and yellow friend.
``Didn't he say last night that he was going to Entree Forest for the night? He normally comes back in the morning, so he could come back any moment now. The suns already straight overhead.'' The yellow Pokemon turned his head up directly towards the sun, eyes seemingly shut tight.
``Hmm?'' The blue one in the water noticed Cushy coming closer. ``Looks like another Pokemon here to visit the island. I don't think I've ever seen him before...''
``New Pokemon?'' The yellow flower looked away from the sun, turning around to address their guest. ``Aah!! Jeez, kid! Don't sneak up on people like that!'' The Pokemon jumped up off the ground, surprised at how close an ice-type had managed to get without them noticing.
``Don't be such a drama queen, Sunflora...''
``Sh-shut up, Frillish...''
``What are you two talking about? Who's `he'?,'' asked Cushy, looking at the blue frillish floating in the ocean.
``Don't you think you should tell us who you are first, kid?,'' Sunflora said, as she stared untrustingly at him.
``I'm not a kid! I've got a beard, right here!'' Cushy raised his chin up towards the sky and pointed to it with his right paw. ``See? Just like a beartic has!'' He wasn't lying, but his icicle beard wasn't anywhere near as grand as a beartic's would be. It covered the bottom of his jaw, but it was only about half-an-inch long, and instead of sharp spikes of ice he only had a couple of short, dull bumps. ``I've got a spiky tail, too!'' He turned around, waving his butt as the two of them. Cushy was very insecure about the fact he still hasn't evolved. He didn't dwell on it often, but when another Pokemon brought it up...
``Sure, whatever, k-I mean, friend.'' Frillish made an effort to be friendlier than Sunflora. ``So? What's your name?''
``C-Cushy...'' Cushy's prideful, raised chin fell down immediately as he shifted his eyes to his feet.
``HA HA HA! CUSHY?!'' Sunflora burst out in laughter. Yeah, sure, that's an adult name!
``Hey, do you really need to be that much of a jerk?'' Frillish stared angrily at Sunflora. The mean-spirited grass-type tried stifling his laugh, snickering to himself as he stared at Cushy. ``So, did you want anything from us, Cushy?''
Cushy's initial plan was to ask if they wanted to hang out or show him around the island, but he didn't really want to hang around that sunflora. He'd just look around himself. Maybe he'd find another Pokemon as he walked around the island - one that made a better first impression.
``N-not really...I'm just walking around...''
``Are you sure? Forget about Sunflora, there's a really nice Pokemon who's usually in the basement of the lighthouse. There's a tunnel over by that hill you can use to get inside. Why don't you go see if he's inside?''
``Couldn't I just get into the basement from the main entrance? My trainer and I were going to go in later.''
``No, no. You can't get in that way. The stairs down to the basement have been sealed off for a long time. Humans aren't allowed to go in there, unless the Pokemon who lives inside wants them to.''
Cushy didn't really understand what was going on, but he decided to check out the basement anyway. He wasn't going to stand around and let Sunflora keep laughing at him. Frillish was nicer, but he already felt super embarrassed. The duo's directions were pretty easy to follow, and Cushy made his way into the basement. At the end of a long and secretive but well-kept tunnel, was a bright light. Cautiously, he made his way inside