"GET OUT! OUT AND STAY OUT, CHEATER!"
Simon let out a yelp as he found himself face first in grass, groaning as he rubbed his sore rear. As he stood up, he narrowly avoided a case striking him in the head.
"Cheater? It's not cheating! If you had more than just one game, then maybe I wouldn't have solved its algorithm for avoiding your dumb Voltorb so fast!" Simon shouted, crouching down to heft up his heavy case.
Dumb game corner owner, how could he expect everyone to lose? Voltorb Flip was a joke of a game at best. But noooo, it was his fault for figuring out patterns.
"Just take your unwarranted earnings and go!"
Then, the automatic door slid shut, leaving Simon to grumble in annoyance.
"A cheater… Me? Knowledge is no cheat…" he huffs, giving the building a little kick and shaking his head as he looked over the case. The digital display it had across the top read "50,000" in bold, green lights.
Simon let out a soft sigh. It had been a good while since he separated from Theodore. And he had been in there ever since. Maybe it was a good idea to just back out…
With that thought in mind, Simon smoothed down his shirt and marched over to the neighboring building, smiling inwardly when it opened up. At least they weren't as likely to be hostile to a winner here.
The inside of the building was rather nice. Orange carpet floor with red zigzags accenting it, blue striped walls, and a potted plant at the side of the service desk. Simple, but effective. The only weird thing was the two holes in the wall behind the desk… it was completely pitch black. He couldn't even make out the slightest shape inside.
"Uh… hello?" Simon called as he set his case on the counter, moving over to the right side of the counter.
"Welcome to Celadon's Prize Corner. We'll exchange your coins here for fabulous prizes~" came a voice from the dark. Simon couldn't tell if it was male or female. A hologram screen came up in front of him, displaying the three options it had.
Mr. Mime? No way. Eevee? Probably, and-
"That one." Simon said, instinctively raising a hand to press the third option. The screen responded with a beep and, with a corresponding one sounding from his case, the screen fizzled away just as fast as it had shown up. From the darkness, a shrunken pokeball slowly rolled its way forward, bumping against Simon's case before it came to a stop.
"Come again~" the voice crooned once more before leaving Simon on his lonesome, only accompanied by the upbeat music playing overhead. Simon opted to just scoop up the pokeball and stuffing the case in his bag, making his way on out of the game corner, a shiver running down his spine.
For once, he didn't want to know something. Especially if it was related to whoever, or possibly whatever, was behind that counter.
As soon as he was outside, Simon tossed up the new pokeball, watching it pop open with light. The pokemon inside was a Porygon through and through. And yet, when Simon laid eyes on it, his jaw went slack. What he had expected to be pink was actually blue. And the parts he thought to be blue were now a grayish white color. It even sparkled slightly upon escaping the pokeball.
Simon stared it down in surprise. The Porygon just, well, stared back at him, making quiet beeping noises as it floated in the air, now starting to circle Simon. When the munk pulled out his pokedex, the pokemon let out another series of beeps, focusing in on the device and bumping into it.
"Hey, hey, stop that! I'm trying to-" Simon huffed, moving the dex away. When the Porygon persisted, though, Simon sighed. "Alright… I guess letting you see won't hurt." He mumbled, holding the dex out to the pokemon.
When he did, however, Porygon bumped the dex with its nose, making a few more beeping sounds before a few weak bolts of electricity jumped from its body, striking the dex and sinking inside of it in a flash.
"Don't! You'll break it!" Simon growled as he tucked the dex in his pocket. "Of all pokemon I've run into, you're the only one that tries to destroy this thing! Honestly, maybe I should've just-"
"Installation complete. I was not trying to destroy it, I'd never!"
Simon blinked, glancing around, then down to his pocket. That was the pokedex's voice… "Uh… Excuse me?" He asked as he pulled it back out.
"This one is a newer model than the others, seemed to have a better speech program, so I decided to… welcome myself to it." Porygon spoke. "Pleased to meet you, Master."
"I… You can just call me… I'm sorry, I'm just shocked this is happening. I know Porygon are synthetic and all but…" Simon just shook his head. "Look, I was kind of planning on staying just long enough to watch my little brother. But now... We can pass the time by training." Simon said as he tucked the dex away in his pocket.
"If you say so, though I recommend a change in your team. You have three pokemon ready to evolve."
Simon shook his head then. "I'll think about it later. Let's just get to training for today." Simon said as he opened up his pokedex, scrolling over to the messenger and typing in it.
"Answer back when you're about to battle Erika. I'll be there." It said.
Right as Simon was about to close it out, Porygon let out a low set of beeps. "Interesting pictures…" it commented. "I didn't expect my owner to be into these sorts of things. Would you like me to start a search for-"
"THAT'S ENOUGH, LET'S GO!" Simon blurted out, returning Porygon to its pokeball as he stormed off towards Celadon's eastern terminal.
"Alright Clefairy, finish it off with Double Slap!" Simon commanded.
At his order, the fairy pokemon leapt forward with a little battle cry, her target being an already weakened Raticate. With just three good smacks, the large rat was knocked backwards, shaking its head before scampering off into the tall grass.
"Excellent battle! Scans show that Clefairy's reached level 22 and is currently able to learn Wake-Up Slap." Porygon said, beeping quietly as it floated by Simon's side.
Simon let out a little sigh. It was nice to actually have someone to talk with…. "That's good, I'm on it." He spoke as he opened up his dex, looking over Clefairy's moveset, choosing to delete Growl. "And the levels of the others are?" He asked, tucking the dex back in his pocket.
"Scanning… scanning…" Porygon beeped. "Clefairy, level 22, evolution via moon stone available. Nidorina, level 24, evolution via moon stone available. Sandshrew, level 22, evolution available. Aerodactyl, level 21, evolution not applicable. Porygon, level 25, evolution not applicable. Bulbasaur, level 26, evolution available." It listed off. The last one caught Simon's attention the most.
"That far along? Without even trying?" Simon fished Bulbasaur's pokeball from his bag, looking right at it. "I wonder why…" he mumbled.
He was hoping to have had that happen before now. No surprise his starter was strongest, but to not evolve…?
Simon shook himself from his thoughts. "Right, right. Thanks. I'll take care of that." He says as he tucks the pokeball back into its place. "Alright… Let's get this done." With that, Simon dusted himself off and left the grassy part of the route.
How long had he been training, exactly? The sun was certainly higher in the sky when he left the game corner. Now it almost looked like evening!
"Okay Clefairy, come on over. You'll be the first." Simon instructed, getting on his knee as he slipped off his bag, rummaging through it until he found what he was looking for. The first of his two moon stones. He took a moment to look all over the stone's gray surface, watching it gleam slightly in the evening light before he held it over Clefairy's head.
The little pixie tilted her head some as she looked over it, but when she realized what the item was, she was quick to leap up for it. "Fair!" She cooed out, grasping the stone in both hands. Right as she did, her body was consumed by a bright white light, growing brighter to the point where Simon had to cover up his eyes and look away.
When he was able to look again, Simon couldn't help but smile when he saw his new pokemon. Clefable, testing out her wings, flapped them around as she floated off the ground with a gleeful trill. "Fable!" she cheered, staying off the ground for another three seconds or so before landing, doing a little dance while waving her fingers. When Simon noticed the white glow they had, however…
"Whoa, whoa, wait! None of that." He says, quickly grabbing her hands. "Let's save that for later, okay? We don't want a-" Simon paused, hearing his pokedex beeping.
"Message from Theodore," Porygon said, its eyes going completely white as it spoke. "Just finished the last trainer, Erika is up next."
Simon gasped, eyes going wide. "We'll finish later! Clefable, Porygon, return!" Simon quickly fished out their pokeballs, bringing them both back in before he took out a Great Ball and threw it up in the air.
From within came his fossil pokemon, an Aerodactyl he got. He purposely didn't reveal it to either of his brothers, especially Alvin. The large fossil pokemon screeched as it flapped its wings, soaring around in circles.
"Aerodactyl, no time to admire yourself! I need you to take me to the Celadon Gym, now! I'll guide!" Simon said.
As he did, Aerodactyl nodded and soared on down, feet extended as he grabbed Simon by the shoulders, yanking him up in the sky. Simon yelped and had to hug his bag up against his chest beforehand. "Not like thiiiiis!" He cried out as Aerodactyl began flying west.
Well… Aerodactyl was more eager to fly elsewhere. If Simon hadn't returned the beast to its ball when he did, he would probably be halfway to Vermillion by now. Luckily, Simon was close enough to the ground so that the landing didn't hurt, but it did leave him sore on the rear... again.
Simon groaned as he trudged into the gym, rubbing himself to try and soothe the pain.
The inside of the gym was immaculate… The only words to describe it was the biggest, most complex garden he had ever laid eyes on. Simon knew Erika was a grass type leader, but this? This was a touch too much.
Grass, flowery arches, trees of all sorts, flowering bushes; a few of which bore berries, the whole package. The natural scent that filled the place kind of lulled Simon…
But, he snapped out of it when he heard his name being called.
"Simon! Hey Simon, look! I'm gonna win!" Theodore cheered, waving over at his brother with a smile on his face.
"Heh… Good luck, Theodore!" Simon called as he made his way towards the sidelines. Theodore had made it through all the trainers…? The thought shocked him, really. But, the scene was playing out in front of him.
Theodore on one end of the grassy green field, and Erika on the other. She looked so serene in that long sleeved brown kimono of hers… She sort of almost looked like she was asleep where she stood. Simon found a spot in the grass, settling himself down right there.
Across the way, one of the gym's trainers ran up, a blue and red flag in each hand. "The 3 on 3 battle between Celadon's Gym Leader Erika and the challenger shall now begin!" She proclaimed, holding up the two flags.
Simon couldn't help but notice Theodore waver a little. It made him bite his lip.