Heading back up into the warmer air of the outside world, James was guided by Mr. Fuji towards the central part of Lavender Town, where a humble-looking home sat by itself. Purple-roofed like most of the town was, the Lavender Volunteer Pokemon House seemed just like any other house, other than the sign outside.
"Why is it called a volunteer house?" asked James.
"Because," said Fuji, "it's a home for orphaned and abandoned pokemon. It's also my own home where I live to take care of them."
"Yep. Come in."
James turned nervous, rubbing his arm as faint memories started to weave back into his mind of his own days as a child. The interior was like a perfect little home, a living room in the centre with a kitchen area in the far left corner. A playpen was in the far right, where several pokemon were playing with each other including a portly yellow duck and a blue large-eared reptile of some sort. It didn't even feel like an orphanage, but, as Mr. Fuji had said, it was more like his own home. Soft blue walls and a butter-yellow floor, with shelves of magazines and a TV that was left on a cheerful cartoon.
As a few creatures milled about with each other, some of them running up towards Mr. Fuji with excitable chirrups and squeaks. The old man chuckled and petted them on their heads, scratching chins and ears in affection as James weaved his way through them before the caretaker pointed out one pokemon in the corner. James already recognised the creature by the brown body and skull-shaped head, as Mr. Fuji called out softly:
The creature perked up at the sound of his voice, looking up at him and murring curiously while dragging a small bone club.
"You have a visitor Cubone, someone who has a very special message for you."
The man stepped to one side to allow James to speak to him, the disguised raptor bending down as his green eyes within a human face smiled at the cubone.
"Hi there...my name's James. James Campbell."
"I've been looking for you. I have a message for you...from your mum."
He asks "how do you know her?!"
"We...knew each other in the past. Years ago. She told me to give something to you. I've been searching for you to give you this."
He offered the Soothe Bell to him, the creature gasping as a memory flooded back to him. The softest tinkling sound made his little paws shake with shock as he gingerly grabbed it.
"Go on...take it. It was your mother's right? It's yours now."
The cubone whimpered, sniffing it as a warm scent came to his mind. His eyes beneath the skull began to turn tearful, before suddenly hugging at James' neck. The skull brushed roughly against his shoulder as he put an arm around the cubone in turn and petted him, hearing a rising sob within his little voice that Kirie translated.
He says..."thank you. Thank you for finding me. I knew my mother was still out there, somewhere...waiting for me to go find her."
"Huh? .....yeah. She is. She's out there still."
Now he asks, "is it time for me to leave?"
"Wha-huh? What do you mean by that?"
Apparently, according to him, his mother once told him when he was very little, that if he was ever given her bell, he should follow whoever gave him it. It's one of the few things he can remember...before his mother disappeared without him knowing why.
"...I see. ...yes. It's time for you to leave, cubone."
"Yes. You can come with me...and we'll...we'll find your mother alright?"
The cubone hugged tightly once more, tears of joy coming to him even more as he raised his little club high above his head. With a determined spirit in his eyes, he proclaimed something in the same way a child would swear to defeat a dragon while wielding a toy sword, which Kirie translated as:
He has made an oath here and now. "From this day forth, my life begins here. I will find my mother, somewhere out there, and with her silver bell she will guide me back to her. No more will I live in this dreary miserable town, for a whole new world awaits me out there, with my new master. Can you give me a name, mister, so we can start this journey at last?"
James struggled to keep a straight face, both from remorse and from how adorable the little one looked before taking out one of his wooden sticks from his satchel, and knighting the cubone. The cubone understood and kneeled cutely with head laid low, as James tapped both shoulders before saying:
"From this day forth, you are my pokemon, in our quest to find what you are searching for...but what name do we give you?"
He briefly glanced all over the room desperate for inspiration, trying to figure out a good name. The cubone waited, giggling childishly at James' inability to think of a good name. A table was nearby, with several magazines laid out about various pokemon activities. One name rang out in his head as sounding quite good, especially for being a lesser-used name.
"I now dub thee...Isaac. Isaac the Cubone."
Enjoying the unusual name, the cubone popped up onto both feet before waiting to be taken, the raptor in disguise pulling out a pokeball and tapping it onto Isaac's head. The cubone went willingly, the ball rattling softly to a complete standstill before FG put him safely with the others. Mr. Fuji nodded, a smile creasing upon his lips before FG asked him:
"He doesn't know what happened to his mother...does he?"
"No. But it's best he does not know. As far as he knows, she was forced to leave for a long journey away, and he has been waiting for her since that very day. Waiting for her to come back to him...or to send him a message from afar."
"...god. Did you know about this? Or the bell?"
"I've lived here a long time my boy. I can put two and two together, especially when it concerns the Mother Marowak. The way I see it, this is just fate finally taking its course. Go. Let him live free...with you."
"Alright. I will. Thank you sir."
With a bow of respect, James left the Volunteer House before heading to somewhere discreet just south of town. He was glad to leave Lavender Town, and he could see why his newest member was eager too. Finding himself at Route 12, which consisted mainly of a long long bridge over a rockwalled section of the eastern sea, James hid himself in the forest beside the route, as he brought out Isaac for a pokedex examination.
"Cubone, the Lonely pokemon, number one-hundred-and-four. Possesses the ability "Lightning Rod". Because it never removes its skull helmet, no one has ever seen this Pokemon's real face."
"Wow that's cold. Alright then Isaac, time for the introduction to the team."
Bringing out all of his pokemon, Isaac was introduced to Red, Spike, Sarah and Kirie, all of whom greeted the small childish pokemon with eagerness. Kirie already liked him, whilst Sarah took an immediate fonder liking towards him and offered to let him ride across the waterways of the route on her back. Jubilant at the idea, he agreed and happily climbed on board of her shell back. Red was nervous about the water, and decided to just stay on land as the lapras swam in the calmer closed areas, smiling at her new friend.
Kirie quickly explained to them quietly to not mention anything about his mother, and that as far as he knew, they were searching for her. James nodded sternly at them and they understood without question. Red the charmeleon bonded quite quickly, explaining how eager he was to teach the little cubone some ways to be stronger and faster in the battles ahead. Spike was ambivalent, not disliking but not as eager to be friendly towards Isaac as the others.
The cubone was also surprisingly not afraid of James' true form. In fact he was rather excited that his new master was a brown scaled creature much like he was. After familiarising themselves with each other, James asked the million-dollar question that would begin their journey together.
"Well Isaac, time to get this going. You can be our guide for the rest of our journey, so which way you think we should go?"
"Mmmmmmmmm...cu! Cu, bone!"
"Straight down south? All the way?"
"Alrighty then, south we go! Let's go gang!"
Eagerly stepping out onto the bridge, the raptor now redisguised strided forth with Kirie above and Isaac beside him, the little cubone marching sternly ahead of him at only 1 foot tall. The sea air from the east was bracing, and the multitude of trainers that laid out before them made FG eager for a fight. The only problem was that Isaac was a little low-levelled in comparison to the rest of the team, being at only level 17 compared to Spike, Red and Sarah, who were now at levels 26, 27, and 30 respectively.
Kirie however offered a rather interesting tactic that James was not aware of before. Some trainers she said, would switch out pokemon in the middle of fights in order to share the experience of battle between them. For as long as a pokemon had been involved in a battle in some manner, they would grow stronger for it. With that idea in mind, James would switch between Isaac, Sarah and Spike. Red stayed out of action due to the abundance of water-based pokemon that opponents had along this particular path.
Whenever there were trainers who did not use water-types however, usually of the poison-type pokemon known as Nidorino or Nidorina which James recognised as long-eared lizard-like creatures, Isaac had his mettle tested. He had a lot of similar moves to his mother, perhaps due to the species' way despite being not as strong as her by far. Isaac could wield his Bone Club, as well as Headbutt as good as the rest with his tough skull-covered head. James advised him to use these more, rather than just Leer menacingly at the enemy.
Despite Isaac being rather proud of his damning Leer that could possibly make enemies back off a little, he followed his trainer without question and soon found himself slowly climbing up the ranks to stand better alongside the rest of FG's team. It was still rather surprising to the raptor on how easy it was in the end to toughen up one's pokemon through regular battles, something he wished had applied more to him in his own training days years ago.
One particularly interesting battle was against a young couple, a man and a woman who challenged James to a double battle, of two-on-two pokemon rather than one-on-one. This was the perfect opportunity for Red and Isaac, the two standing to fight together against the couple's two Nidorans, smaller bunny-like forms of the long-eared lizard-styled Nidorino and Nidorina. Since the two Nidorans were merely poison-types, and James had quite a few antidotes at hand, there was little problem for the duration of the fight.
Even in the midst of battle, Red coordinated himself well with the cubone, the somewhat-older charmeleon taking a real shine to Isaac who excitably followed his lead. With vicious claws and striking bone club, they took their opponents out with barely a poisoned scratch upon them. Eventually, they had reached the end of Route 12, the bridge now behind them as it began to curve towards the west, heading back inland towards even further down the coast.
Three whole routes it would take for James to even reach the next city, and upon realising this, he decided to take his time, calmly ambling along with Isaac out in front. The road meandered alongside the ocean, allowing a wonderful sea breeze to come to their nostrils as the fresh salt air rejuvenated their spirits. Despite knowing the severity of his mission, the cheerful sunny route by the sea alongside a mischievous spirit and a childish pokemon, allowed him to take his time and lighten his mood.
Isaac eagerly talked with Kirie along the way when there were no trainers about to fight, the little cubone just constantly streaming babble about all the things he was eager to see. Not that he knew much about them, his knowledge of the world was restricted only to the TV, pictures in magazines and Mr. Fuji's own stories. James and Kirie both told him about their own adventures together in Kanto, as well as Red whenever they stopped to rest their feet. The afternoon was starting to drag on, and evening was catching up slowly behind their heels.
From Routes 13 to 15, birds were everywhere. Or rather, every pokemon trainer they encountered had birds. An absurd amount of bird keepers would greet James for battle, which made things problematic for Isaac. He had never really faced flying-types before, and as such his ground-based moves were ineffective against them. Red and Sarah were the protectors of the day however, to both burn and spray them back. Spike unfortunately was being used less and less, but James made sure to bring him out whenever a more regular enemy was faced.
Eventually, around eveningtime, they had finally reached the next area on the map, known as Fuchsia City. The city was nestled thick within the seaside forest, a large clearing filled with rather old-looking houses refurbished with more modern fittings. With trees all around and a beach opening towards the south, the city had a much closer affinity to the natural elements around it than any other place James had been to. The gym, which was the oldest-looking building in the area, used poison-types as its main affinity.
James was rather curious as to why, considering the city was incredibly clean, until Kirie explained of the city's history. The cubone Isaac waddled around closely, looking all around the strange small city until a breeze started to flow in, setting off his bell with a little tinkle. Each new street and cornerstone set off his imagination, squatting at the sides of buildings in preparation for an imaginary attack. James encouraged his fantasies by occasionally spooking him around corners and blocking his bone club without trouble, before Kirie mentioned:
Fuchsia City has had a long history of medicines and antidotes. The former gym leader, Koga, was a master of poisons, knowing how to wound or to heal pokemon.
"Damn...like some kinda assassin?"
Somewhat, he is well-versed in the art of Ninjutsu and as such learnt the many ways one can suffer the swiftest fall, or the most excruciating pain.
"Hahaha wow that sounds psycho-wait, ninjutsu?! As in...ninja?"
Correct. He is now of the Elite Four, and his daughter has taken over the gym to follow his footsteps.
"Huh...well uh, nice to see a family that works together I guess."
Isaac tugged at James' jeans excitably so, his silver bell tinkling excitably as he pointed towards a building north of them called "Pal Park". A large hut that lead into the even larger forest apparently beyond. The raptor in disguise smirked and shrugged, saying:
"Alright man, you're our guide, you wanna go to the park, let's go to the park!"
The cubone happily ran ahead, FG running behind to catch up with him as they entered the park entrance, finding themselves in a reception area. The place itself was rather grey and tidy, feeling more like an office than a park entrance as several visitors and rangers headed back and forth through the place. A small set of stairs lead to glass windows that revealed all of the park itself, which according to a map nearby, was split into five different areas.
What caught James' eye however was a rather familiar-looking face coming in from the park, wearing the green and beige clothes of the ranger's occupation. Scruffy brown hair and glasses, his face rather scuffled with dirt as well as his knees as one female ranger came up to him asking:
"Nnnngh...they REALLY don't like anyone going near them."
"They don't like anyone, the group here's always a li'l annoyed at everything. Shame ya didn't pick a Cyndaquil to help ya on that."
"Maybe I should get a charmander...I can't do anything against grass-types."
"Well you got time so why dontcha wash up a bit before your next shift?"
"Thanks Sharon, see ya later."
Passing into the main reception area, James stopped himself from staring too much in order to not look rude. But the ranger had noticed and started staring curiously in return.
"...heyyyyyy I know you!"
"Yeah you! Remember me?!"
"...nnnnn-kinda, you remind me of someone."
"Remember Vermillion City? Guy coming off the boat?"
"...OH, ohhhhhh yeah you! Wow you made it to Fuchsia City after all huh?"
"Yeah, thanks for the directions back there. I'm Middleton...JUNIOR Ranger Middleton."
"Heh, I'm James Campbell."
The two shook hands trying to decide whether this was awkward or not, before James asked:
"So uh, what IS this place exactly? I didn't know you were a ranger here."
"Well, actually I'm kinda not but...see, I just got moved from Johto over to here, the guy who owns the Safari Zone up there used to own this place, back when it used to be the original Safari Zone."
"Huh, really? Cool, so why did you get transferred?"
"Corporate stuff, I dunno, I just keep my head down and work. I just like taking care of pokemon, they're pretty easy once you start treating them like equals, even if they do live mostly in the wild."
"Is that even hard to do? I mean I treat mine like I would anyone else, what's the big deal?"
"For some people it is apparently...watcha wanna know by the way, I mean I DO work here so I can try to answer any questions you have about the park."
"Well...what happens here exactly?"
"The Pal Park is a preserve for pokemon of all known regions to come and live. It has five different areas catered to their different tastes, and we got all sorts from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, even Orre and the Sevii Islands! People can go into the park to mostly observe the pokemon naturally, but we do have the Daily Catching Show."
"It's this big event where you can go out and catch up to six pokemon that you find! Great way to get a good starter, or a friend for life."
"...hold on," asked FG, "this is like a nature reserve right?"
"...why would they let you CATCH them in here?"
"OH don't worry, it's all regulated to make sure there's no overcatching, it's all real well-maintained, and the pokemon here are treated with the absolute best care out there."
"Right...pretty weird but uh, okay then! So what do you do Middleton?"
"I keep an eye out for stuff, feeding mainly. I don't have any experience in healing any sick pokemon yet, that's someone else's job...so yeah, I uh, just feed 'em for now, check on things, do laps around the park to make sure."
"Well that's cool."
"Awww you got a cubone!"
The junior ranger bent down and waved at Isaac, who smiled and wagged his bone club at him proudly.
"What's your name li'l guy?!"
"Isaac," said James.
"Well you are as cuuuuuute as anythi-OW!"
The cubone accidentally clonked Middleton on the head in his excitement, making him pull back and wince while clutching his head.
"Shit, you okay?!"
"Hehe y-yeah yeah I'm fine, I'm fine! No harm done, shouldn't have gotten too close to that club."
"It's fine, I had worse this morning. Anything else I can do?!"
"Uhhh yeah, can me and Isaac and my haunter go into the park? My cubone here's real excited to check the place out."
"Sure! I'm certified to be a guide so I can show ya around! Just keep your pokemon close okay?"
Feeling more rejuvenated by eager visitors, Middleton took FG into the wide expanse of the park itself. The beginning area was an enormous field, resplendent with all sorts of creatures running back and forth upon the open plains. Not only were there the pokemon James had already seen, but even stranger creatures he would never see again. Flaming horses that charged across the plains, electrically-charged sheep that baa'd sweetly upon grazing, runty little mutts with hyena-like markings playfighting with each other.
Felines, insects, lizards, living plants, avians from sparrow to hawk-size. From firey canines to living puddles of purple slime, the world of pokemon was like the most bizarre island of experimental rejects he had ever seen. And James was absolutely enraptured by them. With such a fascinating mixture of aberrations living so naturally side by side, hunting, sleeping, mating, he could not help but feel the very life of this world come alive for him. The junior ranger answered any questions as best as he could, explaining each and every creature they came across.
"Now grimers are WEIRD as hell, they basically came alive out of sludge and waste from factories. There was one theory that the first grimers were created by sludge being exposed by X-rays from the moon, but honestly, who knows?"
"Do those things EAT toxic waste or something?" asked James.
"Oh yeah you name it! Toxic waste, sludge, raw sewage, anything you throw away is all theirs. Fantastic actually for maintaining pollution levels and keeping them down, a lot of factories own groups of them just to keep their carbon footprints down."
"So...how do you feed them here?"
"The city gives us its trash every week to feed them. We have a VERY supportive schedule of every food type for pokemon, this park gets a lot of sponsors like Silph Co., Battle Frontier, et cetera. Tell you the truth...nobody likes to feed grimers. Kinda the booby trap duty here for newbies."
"Hah, so that makes you the slime feeder."
"...yeah. I'm just real glad they give me this."
Middleton brought out a small bottle of antibacterial spray for his hands, pocketing it before they headed into the forest area of the Pal Park which lied in the northwest. The forest was more or less a large passageway surrounded by trees which connected the field area to the mountains. As expected there were all manners of insects and avians amongst the leaves here. But amongst the large wasps, cheerful butterflies and living flower-shaped pokemon, there were also ghosts and psychic pokemon hiding deeper within the trees, to which James asked:
"Why are there ghosts and...those guys here too?"
"They love the solitude," said Middleton. "Psychics love forests for the peace that allows them to meditate, to grow and expand their minds when surrounded by nature. Ghosts just love this place because it's so easy to hide and spook people with."
Indeed we do, hmhmhmhm...
"But they only come out at night, it's really beautiful actually when they do."
"Whysat?" asked FG.
"Because they turn on their ghost lights and get all eerie, supernatural...like, will o' wisps floating between trees. It's so creepy yet...kinda pretty. You know the old legends say that if you follow a will o' wisp, you'll find your true destiny."
"Sometimes it is. But if they're really just ghost pokemon then...heh, who knows what they're thinking."
"Hehe, I like to think I-...hey, you hear that?"
James slowed down his steps behind the ranger, looking nervously around him. The sound of a swift rushing of leaves came from all around him. Middleton suddenly heard it too, his eyes twitching nervously before he turned around and clapped his hands together loudly, saying:
"HOKAY I think we better head home now, getting late."
"It'd be a GOOD idea to leave before it gets VERY late, riiiiiiight?"
The junior ranger's smile was painstakingly forced, a very slight nod of the head giving James the heads up to follow with him.
"...riiiight yeah uh, we should go Isaac."
"Yeah, you seen enough right? We can come back tomorrow if you want."
The cubone got rather stroppy and stomped his foot, looking around with fascination and wanting to stay longer.
"Aw come on, I'm tired Isaac, let's go."
"Look, don't worry, we can come back, it didn't cost much to get in or any-SHIT!"
Swiftly pulling Isaac behind him, James stepped out in front as a shadow rushed hard towards them to force them apart. Slicing through the small group, the shadow disappeared into the forest once more, as Middleton looked around in fearful panic.
"OH NO! I wasn't paying attention, I'm sorry!"
"Wh-what the hell was that?!" said FG.
"O-okay, look, we REALLY have to go, right now."
"Not until you tell me what the fuck that was!"
"No time to explain now, I-ARCEUS NO!"
The shadow rushed once more towards them, as the junior ranger pulled out something from his pockets and desperately tried to throw what looked like a small rock.
"S-STOP RIGHT THER-AAAH MY FACE!"
An explosion sparked in front of him, sending a hot cloud of smoke all over his body that poured out of the small ball he had dropped. Middleton fell back clutching his face, wincing from the slight burn as the shadow revealed itself in full. A giant green bug, somewhat like a praying mantis but with a head more akin to that of a dragon. With large-stumped feet of three small claws, its insectoid wings fluttered huge behind its 5-foot-tall body, wielding two deadly blade-like forearms that it scraped together.
"G-go away! I mean it, don't make me bring out my-AGH!"
In a show of strength, the creature slashed straight above the ranger's head, cutting just the tip of the hat off as well as scoring deeply into a tree nearby. Middleton huddled into a foetal position, trying to appear submissive to make the creature go away. It had a strange mark upon its head, resembling a lowercase t but with a Japanese-style flourish. While it was deciding what to do with the human intruder, his blade-like arms were suddenly smacked hard away with a clash of another object.
James stood between it and the ranger, wielding a large branch of 4 feet long. Kirie floated nearby, the illusion covering both him and the branch, which to anyone else, was simply that.
"Leave him alone," growled the disguised raptor.
The creature growled in turn, an old grizzled voice rising from its carapaced thorax. Seeing an opponent now before its wrinkled eyes, it readied its blades for battle.
"You wanna attack us, you have to get through me."
"N-no," said Middleton, "don't-"
"Quiet. You wanna fight, or you wanna let us leave?"
The scyther made the throat-slit motion across his neck, the blade inches away before he charged straight for James. His weapon clashed hard against both bladed arms, resisting powerfully before James shoved the beast away with a forceful shove and a huge slash downwards. The insect flapped away, before charging once again with absurd speed, striking straight through his guard with its Quick Attack and forcing FG to fall back. He kept his balance solid by stepping back and to his right, away from the ranger.
With his sturdy branch still before him, he rushed forwards from the insect's left and tried to strike down, but it dodged swiftly so before spinning straight into James with outstretched wings. The wings were razor sharp, and the raptor in disguise was not going to take his chances as he quickly dodged right once again to skirt round the creature. Just as it left its spinning charge to stand upon solid ground, it was struck upon the back with a hard crack of the intruder's weapon, like the flat of a blade on the back of its head.
"GO!" roared James. "GET HELP!"
Middleton stumbled off while still clutching his face, the giant insect too focused on its new opponent to even care about the fleeing ranger. In retaliation for the strike, it swiftly turned and striked FG hard across the face, using the flat of its scythe-shaped arms to smack him across the cheek. Two False Swipes left him slightly dazed and cut, but the third he countered back with his branch as he made sure nobody could see him now. Both of them were now locked in combat, scytheblades crossed upon sturdy branch.
"You...messed with the wrong human pal."
"Or maybe...the wrong creature. Kirie, we're clear, nobody can see us now!"
The ghost nodded and floated away from James, bracing herself for an attack which in turn broke apart her illusion. The red-haired human with fierce green eyes soon unveiled before the creature, who looked at him in surprise. Pale human flesh melted away like fog to reveal a brown-scaled raptor, eyes still the same, as his branch shifted into a rusted steel blade. Were this creature more aware of what it was, it would have recognised it to be a giant pair of scissors.
The brief moment of surprise was interjected by a dark sphere suddenly hurling towards him through the air, slamming down on its head as it shrieked and fell back. Kirie flexed her claws above FG, slowly gathering up another ounce of darkness to curl into a Shadow Ball. The insect was not amused.
"What the hell you saying now?!" asked FG.
He calls you a coward for not fighting him alone, demanding a fight like a real warrior.
"Look who's talking, that ranger wasn't even armed fuckface!"
The beast rushed forwards with blades sprung out, as Kirie charged up an orb of darkness to blast straight for the insect warrior, who dodged it swiftly before clashing hard with the revealed raptor. He kept his guard strong, roaring as he slammed forwards and forced both blades back, opening his scissors to clamp both scythe-arms togethers with a snap. The creature struggled to pull back, its natural blade-like toughness not harmed at all by the scissors before FG shoved it backwards with a charging headbutt.
Knocking the enemy back, the raptor readied for another assault, as did the green blade-armed insect until something knocked sturdily against its leg. Looking down, it saw a cubone trying to smack away hard with its little bone club, whacking back and forth to no avail. James got worried and called out:
"Isaac, get away!"
"Cu-cu-CU! CU! CU!"
The creature did not care, shoving the cubone away harmlessly before charging forwards with another spinning Wing Attack as James dodged to one side. But the insect had learned, swishing its swings with one tremendous dodge to slam into FG straight on, scarring his face as he roared and struck back with several fireball blasts before stumbling back. In his moment of weakness, he was defenceless despite hitting the creature with a few fireshots dead-on. But before the foe could start its Pursuit on him, it was stopped by Isaac.
The cubone ran straight for the enemy, shrieking with a childish battle cry as his bone clashed against blades before him. The two stared at each other briefly, locked in combat before the insect smacked the bone away and kicked Isaac to one side. He did however create enough of a distraction to have Kirie ready herself for another attack, swishing straight in front of the green-carapaced beast and staring straight into its eyes.
THAT is far enough, Scyther.
Her eyes flashed deviously as she cackled into his mind with a demonic grin. A third eye slowly tore itself open from above her other two, bleeding a heavy red and purple into her enemy's gaze. The red ooze shot out and striked into the insect's head, who shrieked and fell back as a painful echo reverberated into its mind. All it could see now was red and purple, bleeding over its own eyes as its mind was suddenly assaulted by vile vehement strikes of agony, riveting through its aged body and making it feel every single ounce of it.
Unable to fight back against such ghastly illusions that dared to crack apart its very sanity, the creature left with a shrieking proclamation, flapping its wings hard before flying away. Kirie smirked to herself, clasping her hands together.
A little Night Shade always does the trick, hm hm hm...are you alright James?
"Nnngh...yeah I'm good, didn't expect that little sidestep from him. Thanks for getting rid of him...Isaac?! You alright?!"
The cubone got up, weak but not worse for wear despite having been kicked quite strongly to one side as he clasped his little bruised chest. James chuckled at his little beat-up friend, petting his skull.
"That was real brave of you to keep him off my back Isaac. Thanks."
The little pokemon smiled beneath his skull with a bone club held high proudly. Soon the sounds of footsteps came rushing from nearby, as Kirie quickly brought back the human disguise over FG, his scissors fading away as being invisible upon his back. The junior ranger Middleton had returned with a female senior ranger behind him, clutching his face slightly to cover a few burns.
"Wh-what happened?!" he asked.
"That thing ran off after my haunter here showed him a thing or two. Was a pretty tough battle but uh, don't worry."
"Y-you what?! How...um..."
"Never mind that," said the female senior ranger. "Are you alright sir?"
"Yeah I'm good," said FG, "that thing was pretty freaky though, nearly damn cut me, what the hell was that?"
"That was a Scyther. A bug-flying type pokemon, very deadly and quite territorial. The one you faced however was...rather special."
"We call him Shin. He's an old scyther who settled down here from the Johto Safari Zone. Ever since he arrived, he's become very aggressive in trying to find his own territory. Normally most pokemon don't mind a new place but he did, despite having arrived of his own will by flying. And he refuses to go back which is very strange indeed. He's spent several years here and we think that his old age is making him very VERY stubborn to accept new things. As a result, he's incredibly violent and attacks anyone who comes near."
"I also want to apologise for you having to fend for yourself."
"Your guide should have been more careful. Middleton, what the hell were you thinking?!"
"I-i'm sorry!" stammered the junior, "I tried to stop him, I-"
"You know not to leave visitors alone in the park!"
"I couldn't fight back, I went to get help, -"
"Couldn't fight BACK? You HAVE pokemon on you dammit, you could have TRIED to!"
"But I-he-Shin was too fast, I-i didn't have time to-I...I...."
James felt at this point he had to step in to try and clear the air as the ranger hung his head low with hands clasped over his face.
"It wasn't his fault miss."
"He tried to stop that thing with some kind of smokeball, but it went off in his face and he couldn't see a damn thing, totally vulnerable. I had to do something, good thing there was a branch nearby I could use to make the uh, scyther, fight me instead of him."
"Really?" said the senior. "It just went off?"
"Yeah, he tried to go for his pokemon too but he couldn't see anything. Would have been useless trying to instruct them if he was blinded, now would he?"
"...you're right. Middleton, you did the best you could. Let's get back and check your burns, and maybe do some training on using smokeballs okay?"
"O-okay," said Middleton. "...s-sorry James."
"Don't worry man," said FG, "wasn't your fault, I don't blame you. Let's all head back for now huh? I think I had a good enough time in this park today."
The three of them headed back to the park entrance, the junior ranger still rather upset over how he acted as his shoulders drooped shamefully. He was off the hook, but he still felt he let his visitor down, despite James' reassurance. Regardless, the raptor left a good review in the park's guestbook as he went to check out more of the city itself. Needing to unwind a little after the park encounter, he decided to check out the beach on Route 19, south of Fuchsia City.