Chapter 2: A Whole New Beginning

Carol awoke from her peaceful slumber to a hectic atmosphere. She looked at her alarm clock to realize that she was late! 9 o'clock? How could that be? She was supposed to be awake at 6, and arrive by 7! She scrambled out of bed, barely enough time to put on her blue slippers, and dashed out in her pink pajamas, outfitted with yellow smiling Pikachu's. Why wasn't she roused by her parents was the thought that remained in her mind as she ran towards Professor Oak's lab.

She arrived, trying desperately to get through the crowd of people all there to support Pallets newest trainers. As she wormed her way through, into the clearing of the entrance, she ran into Gary. They both collapsed onto the floor. "Ouch…watch it. Carol…" Said Gary. "Gary…so…what're you doing here?" "What do you think stupid? I just got my very first pokemon, and it's the best one there is. It helps when your grand father is in the business you know." And with that, he smirked arrogantly. "You mean you got your very first pokemon?" Carol said, disappointed by Gary's comments, hurt because she was once again defeated. Gary got up. "Yeah, I did. It's right here, in this pokeball." With that, he held out his hand, firmly grasped in his palm was his shinning red and white ball. Carol was crushed. "They've probably ran out of pokemon already. That's what happens when you're late. See you later, loser!"

Carol scowled, and ran into the building. The crowds were shouting Gary's name, and this spurred Carol to run even faster. As she ran up the stairs and into the hallway, she ran into Professor Oak. That was her second collision of the day. "Carol…" Professor Oak groaned, as he collected himself, and got up. "Nice to see you showed up…" "Yup! Sorry Professor…I know I'm a little late, but I'm ready for my first pokemon." "Are you sure you're ready for your first pokemon? You don't seem very responsible as a person if you couldn't wake up on time…and still in your pajamas?" "I know I'm late, and not properly dressed, but believe me-I'm ready for a pokemon." With that, she got up and sprouted the same energy as Ash did. "Just like your father in every way…down to timing I suppose…" The Professor said under his breath. "Well, I suppose you're ready for a pokemon then…come with me to the lab."

Carol followed excitedly, awaiting her first pokemon. "I've thought for a long time, and I've decided to choose a-" "Sorry Carol." Professor Oak said, as he opened up an empty pokeball. "Guess you were to late, and the last pokemon was taken. Probably by Gary, because I saved that one for him at his request." Carol, now emotionally shocked, said in an extinguished voice, "You mean I'm not going to get a pokemon?" With that, she looked down at her blue slippers, and felt like crying. "Well…we do have ONE pokemon, but there's a problem with this one…" Carol looked up. "Really? I'll take it! I'll fix any issue with it as long as I get a pokemon." Carol was filled with vigor again, at the prospect of receiving a pokemon. Professor Oak said, "Well, here it is." And with that, an adorable Vulpix came out. "Wow! It's so cute! I'm defiantly taking it." Carol picked up the Vulpix, and cradled it. The Vulpix, surprised at its newly found position, restrained, and broke loose. "Grr…" grumbled the Vulpix. "What's wrong with it?" "That's the problem. It doesn't like new trainers, and sometimes uses attacks on them for some reason." While Professor Oak said this, Carol was burned into cinders as the Vulpix let loose a torrent of fire at Carol. "Ow…there defiantly is a problem with this one." "Yup. Here's your new pokedex and ID, and your six pokeballs." He handed those items to Carol, and Carol stowed the items into her pockets.

She went outside, followed be an angry Vulpix, and a professor urging the Vulpix to follow its new trainer. The crowds were now chanting Carol's name. Her parents greeted her, and congratulated her. "Wow Carol! I thought for sure you wouldn't wake up when I woke you. You didn't even slap me today." Said her mother, dressed in her light blue t-shirt, and blue jeans. Carol blushed red in the face, and Ash said with his eyes closed from humor "See May? I told you she wouldn't wake up. See that expression? It means she was late, like me! This means that she got a pokemon other then the three basics right?" Carol now bowed her head, thoroughly embarrassed as her father guessed all these things to be true. Her mother said, "It's ok Carol, you still got a pokemon right?" "Yeah! I did get a pokemon. No harm done!" Carol said as the Vulpix snuggled with May. "Awwww, isn't it cute? Ash, look." May carried Vulpix in her arms, and showed Ash. "Yeah, it's adorable! Let me guess Carol, it used flame thrower on you didn't it?" Carol was simply shocked at the accuracy of her father's predictions.

Her mother put Vulpix down, and gave her daughter a brown leather backpack, filled with Carol's items. "Here're your clothes, food rations, money, sleeping bag, cooking tools, towels, …" And May continued. Carol was embarrassed, but terribly joyous at the amount of care her mother had spent packing Carol's inventory. Her father said to Carol "Vulpix probably doesn't like being confined, and doesn't like new trainers. Give Vulpix some time ok? Pikachu certainly became my friend after some time. I should know; I've experienced everything you have today. Gary showed off his pokemon too right?" "Yeah dad, he did. Dad, could I ask you something?" "Sure Carol, anything." "Could you come with me? Along with mom?" Ash laughed, as his daughter fidgeted nervously. "Carol, the point of a pokemon adventure is for self discovery, and being reliant wouldn't help. You have to do this on your own. It's tough growing up." "But dad-" "Carol, you know deep in your heart you want to do this on your own. I wouldn't be a good father if I didn't let you do this on your own. You think I want my little girl off doing dangerous activities like myself? I have to let go sometime, like grandma did. I've got faith in you." He gave Carol a hug, and Carol hugged back. May hugged Carol afterwards, and said, "Have fun, and remember to call us once you get to the nearest town. We love you Carol." And May handed Carol the backpack, and Carol took it. Carol told Vulpix to follow her to her house, and Vulpix followed! Pikachu had talked to Vulpix while Carol talked to her parents.

At home, Carol took a shower, while Vulpix slept on her bed. After, Carol changed into her general dress, which consisted of a t-shirt imprinted with a pokeball, blue jeans, a black belt outfitted with six slots and an area for the pokedex, a poke watch, grasped on her left wrist, a silver necklace, white socks and blue sneakers. She put her pokeballs on the belt, along with the pokedex, wore her bag, and looked in the mirror. The extra confines of the bag certainly revealed more obviously Carol's beauty. "Presentable, I guess…" She thought, as Vulpix awoke. "Yawn…" The sun has risen, vertically, and the brilliant white rays had illuminated the room, and awoke Vulpix. Carol crammed her wallet with extra cash, which her parents had given her, and put it in her left pocket. Her keys followed in the right. She took all the candy and wrappers out, and placed them on her dresser. She told her pokemon to follow, which had now awakened, and surprisingly followed. "Whew…that was easy." Vulpix walked with Carol, grudgingly.

After much walking, Carol decided to retire for the night. She gathered wood for the fire, and asked Vulpix to light it. Vulpix, being stubborn, decided against doing so. "Come on Vulpix! You know we need a fire to stay warm in the night, and I'm too tired to find the lighter. It's beneficial to you if you light it too you know…" Vulpix silently turned her head, and lay down, away form Carol. "Please Vulpix? I'm hungry, and I know you are too. We can't cook anything without a fire you know." With that, Vulpix decided to light the fire. "Thank you Vulpix!" Vulpix simply snuggled around the fire, keeping warm. Carol cooked some preserved food, after gathering some water from the local stream. In the clear night of the forest, she saw the twinkling of the stars, and the yellow sphere, which was the moon. Wild Butterfree were flying overhead. In the reflection, she saw the image of the sky, rippled, and beautiful. Unknown to her, Vulpix had followed her stealthily, concerned about Carol's safety. Though this was not the main reason why it refused to enter the pokeball, Vulpix still cared about its inexperienced master. Carol returned to camp and made a dinner consisting of instant noodles, and some pokemon food for Vulpix, grated with some wild berries that Carol had gathered by the river. They both ate contently, and Carol removed her sleeping bag from the bottom of her bag, and slept happily. After Carol was fast asleep, Vulpix slept next to her. Already, the red pokemon had grown to like her trainer.

At morn, Carol made breakfast for the both of them, consisting of fish, which Carol had unwittingly caught when she was washing her utensils from the night previous. As she roasted the silvery fish over the fire, after being gutted, and prodded 2 wooded sticks through, and left it in the fire until they were golden and slightly brown. Vulpix awaited eagerly, unknown to Carol. After the aroma had permeated their nostrils to the point of unbearable irritation, she removed them from the fire, and added various spices and salts. Vulpix simply liked hers plain, after sampling some from Carol. The pokemon realized that Carol simply had the kindest heart it has ever known. This pokemon then found more respect for her new trainer, by leaps and bounds.

After everything had been cleaned and packed away, they continued to trek their way through Pallet's forest, to Viridian City. At noon, Carol spotted prey, to be her new pokemon. She whipped out her pokedex, and scanned the pokemon for information. "Bulbasaur: The tiny plant dinosaur pokemon. This pokemon is a common choice for beginning trainers. Easy to manage and powerful, it makes a worthy companion, or a fierce foe." Carol continued her scan. "This pokemon seems to have characteristics of both animal and plant, confusing pokemon researchers about the type of pokemon this should truly be. It has both elemental types of grass and poison. Specialty attack: vine-whip. Weakness, fire, poison, flying, dragon and ghost type pokemon." "Vulpix you hear that? You're strong against this pokemon. Come on! Lets battle it. Hey you! Bulbasaur! We challenge you to a battle!" The Bulbasaur accepted, and braced for combat. "Vulpix, flame-thrower!" Vulpix refused. "Vulpix, why?" Vulpix lay down, and slept. Carol pleaded with Vulpix to battle the Bulbasaur. "Please Vulpix? I really want to catch a pokemon! I know you don't want to listen to me because I'm so inexperienced, but I know you like me as a friend right? Please?" "Vulpix…" Vulpix responded. "Thank you!"

The Bulbasaur, annoyed at the lack of attention it received from Vulpix, struck. He used his leech-seed technique, and began to drain out Vulpix's strength. "Vulpix, ember, break free!" Vulpix complied, and broke free of the leech-seed. "Fire spin Vulpix; make sure it doesn't get away!" Vulpix once again done as it was bidden, and surrounded the bewildered Bulbasaur with swirls of fire, that was closing on him. After a few seconds, a groan from Bulbasaur told Carol that he was ready to be captured. "Pokeball, go!" A blinding flash of light escaped from the ball, and the ball clasped around Bulbasaur. After a few movements from the ball, the affirming "ping" told that Carol had captured it. "I got a Bulbasaur!" Vulpix looked at Carol, who was jumping up and down from her new capture. "Thanks so much Vulpix!" "Vulpix…"

They continued their journey through the forests of Pallet, and arrived at Viridian City. "Finally! I'm In Viridian City!" "Vulpix…" "Come on! Lets go to the pokemon center! You need a check up, and so does Bulbasaur." Vulpix walked next to Carol, but did neither agree nor disagree. Carol thought, "This is an improvement…she didn't make me beg this time…"

Upon arrival at the pokemon center, Nurse Joy greeted them. "Hello, haven't seen you here before. Are you a new trainer?" "Yeah…how did you know?" "You're carrying your Vulpix." "Oh…that obvious then huh?" "Are you by any chance Carol?" "Yeah! Now how did you know that?" "Your father called this center 5 times, within the last 2 days. He called the other centers too…" With that, Nurse Joy smiled at Carol, and told her to call her worried parents. After, Carol entrusted her pokemon to Nurse Joy, along with her obstinate Vulpix. She then called home.

"Ring, ring, ring! Ring, ring, ring! Phone call! Phone call! Ring, ring, ring! Ring, ring, ring! Phone call! Phone call!" The familiar ringing of the videophone echoed in the Ketchum residence. After the second ring, Ash picked up the receiver, and looked anxiously at the display. "YES! It's from the pokemon center! May, come quickly!" "Coming!" Responded May, as she ran towards the phone. Ash then answered the phone, after he heard Carol's nervous voice. She never used a call and collect call before so naturally…she was nervous. Her parents answered, relieving Carol of some nervousness. Unfortunately, Ash's face in such close range shocked Carol, and she inched a little away from the phone screen.

"CAROL!!! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? IT TOOK YOU-" "One day to get to a pokemon center?" "WHAT? One day? Really?" Ash said as his tone became softer with each word. "Yeah." Said May. "One day. I told you not to get worried, like how you called the pokemon center after she left…" "It only took me one day to get-oh." Said Ash. "Sorry Carol! I got worried about you…" "Yeah dad, I know…judging from your loud tone." She said under her breath. May said, "So Carol, how is Vulpix? Still giving you a hard time?" Carol blushed slightly. "Yeah…but it came to the pokemon center with me ok." Ash said, "So? All pokemon like pokemon centers, besides their trainers approval or not." Carol was shattered. "You mean Vulpix doesn't like me any better?" "Ash!" May said, flashing her angry blue eyes at her husband. Ash recoiled. "Umm…it's still an improvement right? Ha ha…" Ash said weakly. "What your father meant to say was that it'll take some time to get Vulpix to like you. It's only been a day…" "Yeah mom…I know…but dad's right. It only took him one day to get Pikachu to-" "They had a life threatening situation-don't you dare think of doing something so stupid!" May shouted. Half of the people in the pokemon center were staring at Carol at this point, listening to the constant shouting of her parents. Carol was very red in the cheeks at this point.

"Carol, give it some time, things like this take time. I'm certain Vulpix like's you better already!" Ash said, with Pikachu bobbling from his head. "Maybe…" "Carol, remember that we're very proud of you, even if Vulpix doesn't like you yet. You're still our little angel, and we don't care if your Vulpix obeys or disobeys you. Ok?" "Yes…" "Are you washing up and cleaning after each meal?" "Yes…" "Ok then. We love you." "Bye mom, bye dad, Pikachu." "Pikachu!" And with that, the call ended.