Prologue-Before

Rudolph smiled as he soundly defeated his rival's last Pokemon, making him the new Pokemon Champion. He basked in the glory of the moment as his rival stuttered out his losing speech, completely unheard. Rudolph saw with some smug satisfaction Professor Oak, as the man sauntered up and congratulated and berated as the man saw fit, then led him into the back room where his Pokemon team was recorded for all time, marking him the League Champion.

He closed his Game Boy with a snap and sighed. He sighed and stared longingly at the ceiling for a moment, running his fingers through his hair in one slow motion, enjoying the feel of his own fingers on his scalp. It had been at least a solid twenty minutes of game play to beat the Elite Four, and he'd restarted once on Lance. A minute or two of rest for his eyes and hands was due, he felt.

With a sigh, he flopped his hand back on his lap an snatched his Game Boy. Without looking at it, his hand flicked the power off, then on again. He raised the thing to eye level even as his head swung back down to level out again. He went through the opening menu, and chose "New Game," saying yes when the game asked if he was OK with erasing his old one.

As he started making his new character, in a methodical way that had been copied dozens of times before, he finally spoke. "Fuck I wish this game was real."

"YOUR WISH HAS BEEN GRANTED" replied a deep, unexpected, and in the circumstances bone-chillingly horrible voice. It sounded like the bass in a speaker given varied inflections, enough so to make a voice. It hurt his head to even hear it.

His head whipped around the room, and alighted on the room's other inhabitant. It looked just like one of the shadows on the wall, only with more substance. A shadow that light didn't seem to effect normally. Three sea-green eyes, arranged in a triangle over what he figured was its' face, stared out from the wall. The creature looked as thin as paper, but now it was getting bigger, spreading to the left and right. Then, he realized it wasn't growing steadily bigger, but instead dozens of other shadow things flowed around the room, their flashing triangle pattern of eyes covering the room in what looked now like a band of LED lights.

He got to his feet. The thing had multiplied in a matter of seconds, far quicker than he could have reacted to the thing. His game boy fell from his hands, and one of the shadow creatures that had begun to slide across the room caught it. He watched in horror as it drew the thing into the ground, and it disappeared through the floorboards with the creature carrying it. He barely had time to scream as hands suddenly shot up all around him, and the last thing he saw was black and those triangular eyes, in all shades of green and blue.

Chapter 1-Wake Up Time

He woke up slowly, blinking his eyes in the low, soft light of dawn. He groaned and twisted his head right and left, smacking his lips. His tongue felt like a dried out sponge peeling against the roof of his mouth. He buried his face into his pillows, and just left it therefor a moment, enjoying the soft darkness. He took the moment to collect his suddenly confused thoughts. Wasn't he just playing a game? Then...

He suddenly rolled onto his back and shot up into a sitting position, his eyes darting around nervously. The room was completely unfamiliar. A computer sat quietly on a desk against the far wall, and on the ground next to it sat a full pack, with a white hat sitting on top that reminded him of Gilligan's hat from the show. The room was devoid of any figures of any description, however. Slowly he got out of bed and looked around until he found a cup, half filled with water. He drank slowly until it was finished, then noticed his hands for the first time. He froze in sudden realization. He reached up to his head and felt long hair, and his eyes swept the room until he found a mirror.

Green stared back at him. That is to say, the main female character from his LeafGreen game, only in the flesh, stared back at him. Before he made the wish, he remembered calling him... herself Green.

"What in the hell is going on." Her voice had a flat tone to the words that belied any question. She could hear her new voice, much higher pitched and melodic, and it made her shudder a bit. She shut her eyes and groped for the desk chair, grabbing it for support as her breathing quickened.

"WE HAVE SUPPLIED YOU THE CRITERIA OF YOUR WISH" replied that now-familiar tone of voice that made her body break out in goosebumps, her ears throbbing painfully, making her whole head ache.

She opened her eyes and saw the thing on the opposite wall, glowing triangle eyes watching her. There was only one now, and it stood perfectly still, like an obelisk against the backdrop of the universe.

"What do you mean? What are you? Why did you just... grant that wish? And like that? Why THAT wish?! What kind of game are you playing at?!" She asked, her voice coming out less forcefully than she'd intended. She settled for scowling at the thing instead.

"A GAME IS THE GAME WE ARE PLAYING AT" It responded after giving her a moment to cool down. "AS FOR WE YOU NEED NOT CONCERN. YOU POSSESS THE WISH WITH CONVENIENCE. WE HAVE MADE ALTERATIONS IN ORDER TO EVEN ODDS. IF YOUR GOAL IS MET YOU MAY DISCUSS TERMS FURTHER." During its' speech, the thing wavered, like a visualizer on a sound program. The eyes never moved however, unmoving even as the form around it blurred and pulsed. Once it stopped, it snapped back into that uniform stillness, like a black wall painting.

She felt a bit overwhelmed. Alterations? What sort of alterations? What was that even supposed to mean? "You mean I have to become the Pokemon champion if I want to go back to looking like my old self again, right? Now, wait a second! I'm a dude! A guy, a man! I remember my cock very clearly! You can't do this! I just did this because I used the guy last time! Look, just make me the male character at least, I..."

"THE GAME HAS BEGUN." The thing cut in, and for the first time there was a menacing edge to the tone. It made the pain in his ears peak, making her groan. It seemed to realize that it had hurt her, because it went on in a tone that was now, paradoxically, more gentle on the ears than it had been, though it still stung a bit to listen. "GAMES IN MOTION ARE SACRED. THIS ONE WISHES LUCK TO PIECE." It faded into the wall after its' final word so quickly that she didn't even get another word in.

After staring at the wall for another 10 minutes, watching light go slowly up the wall and willing the thing to come back, nothing happened. Green was forced to accept that it wasn't coming back.

Slowly, she turned around and spotted an outfit laid out on the desk. Slowly she dressed herself, taking in her new body with distracted glances. She reached for the skirt, and froze. No, she wouldn't let them tell her what to do. She tossed the skirt in the wastebin, and walked to the closet. Inside, after some looking, she found a pair of dark red pants that she pulled on with some satisfaction. At least she wouldn't be forced to discover the world of exposing most of the lower half of your body just yet. There was also a long-sleeved button-down light green shirt that she threw on over the sleeveless undershirt and left unbuttoned. She felt too exposed, and wouldn't wear skirts unless her arm was twisted.

She grabbed the packed sack and looked at the result in the mirror. The result was... well, certainly more tomboyish than the original. She thought that she almost looked like a skateboarder now, especially with the hat. Pleased, Green left the room and didn't look back.

Walking past another door, this one shut firm, she went down a flight of stairs and into the first floor of the house, a quaint one-room affair, with living room and kitchen all sprawling together. A few doors either led outside or to a bathroom, she figured. Flopping her bag on the table, she opened it to see its' contents. Inside were two changes of clothes, a bedroll, some canned food, and a pouch which held some official looking pieces of plastic and some cash. In another pouch, there were slots for pokeballs, and other Pokemon items. She shut the bag and checked the clock. 7:36 glowed at her from a microwave. She listened hard at the base of the stairs, for telltale signs of someone moving in the house. While she wasn't positive, she would've bet nearly anything that she had a mother upstairs who was going to awaken soon.

A note on the refrigerator door caught her eye. In a small but neat handwriting, the note proclaimed "Honey, remember you need to be at Professor Oak's lab at 8:00 sharp. I made you a boxed lunch, it's in the fridge. -Mom." She looked at the note for a while, then opened the fridge and took out the lunch, tearing it open and eating it even as her stomach snarled in hunger. As she ate one of the rice balls packed in the lunch with gusto, she filled a cup with milk, which she used to wash down the meal.

Finally with a full stomach, Green/Rudolph sat down at the table to stop and think about the situation. It was clear that as much as this world seemed real, it was a game to someone else, and she was willing to bet that someone had money on her winning or losing. What did that mean to her then? That it would be pointless to try and complain, for one. If someone had money on her to win, someone else had money on her to lose. Stood to reason. No man who had money on a bet would stand for someone else who had money on the same bet to mess with the conditions. That left her with the Elite Four to beat, which didn't frighten her by themselves. What gave her pause was the line the creature had said about alterations. What alterations had been made? Stuff to make the journey harder?

Suddenly she wanted a drink. Something to calm her nerves, which suddenly felt tense as wires. She searched the cabinets around the room, and finally came up with an unopened bottle of wine, and a half-full bottle of some kind of brown cooking alcohol. Slowly she poured herself half a glass, and grimaced as she downed it in one go. She felt it burning a trail to the pit of her stomach, where it settled on top of the food like hot lead. She sighed and placed both bottles in her bag, where she wrapped them in clothes. She'd be damned if she was gonna do this sober.

Finally, as the clock hit 7:45, she decided it was time to leave. Standing up a bit unsteadily, she grabbed the bag and headed for the door.

Chapter 2-Time to Choose

Green walked up to Professor Oak's lab, stopping at a bench in front to plop down for a moment. Her head was spinning a bit, making her feel terrible. Drinking so much alcohol with the body of an 11-year-old was certainly a terrible idea in hindsight. With a sigh, she stood up and started for the doors again.

The doors opened at a touch, letting Green into the large and impressive lab. From every wall, computers and other large devices blinked and glowed. The aides found in the game were nowhere to be seen, and neither was anyone else for that matter. Green's eyes fell on a glass case sitting in the middle of the room, under which three pokeballs shined under a mirror-fine polish.

Green licked her lips and walked cautiously up to the case. Three labels gleamed in front of the pokeballs. Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander were clearly shown in black letters against bronze plates. She felt her hand raising up to lift the case...

"Hey loser, wait until grandpa gets here!" Came a barking voice from the door, making Green jump in surprise. She whirled around to see what was clearly Blue, or more accurately the rival from the games. He was grinning as he looked around the lab, running a hand through his spiked hair. "Where is gramps anyhow?" Blue looked Green up and down, apparently surprised by the choice of clothes. "Woah, what's with the change of clothes? Trying to man up?" He grinned at his own joke, and walked to stand on the other side of the case.

"I will bring you down for that." Green promised, her voice coming out in a whisper.

"Sorry to keep you waiting!" bellowed a cheerful and slightly elderly voice from the back doors, which were made of sliding glass. Professor Oak stepped into the lab, a sheepish grin on his face. "I had a problem with an Arcanine. She's going to give birth to pups soon and she doesn't want to eat all the time." He spread out his hands and smiled. "But welcome! I see we're almost ready to begin! To think that a new generation is leaving for their pokemon journey." He smiled wistfully and walked to his computer, where he began typing. "I'll be just a moment while we wait for Red."

"Red?" Green asked in a slight daze. This was completely unexpected news.

"Do we have to wait for that loser too?" Blue snorted, looking at the ceiling.

The doors burst open, and the male main character from the game ran in, eyes bright and keen. "I'm not too late, am I professor?! I woke up late but I ran here nonstop!" He exclaimed, bouncing on the heels. The sheer excitement and mad eagerness made Green want to screw the top of her own head off.

"Just in time!" Oak said with a smile. He got up and walked to the group, handing each in turn a red pokedex. "These are my patented pokedexes! They contain information about all the kinds of pokemon you'll run across, and capturing a pokemon will fill out more information on it in general. It's an invaluable tool for the individual aspiring to be a pokemon master!"

"Great! Thanks Professor Oak! I'm gonna fill it out and be a Pokemon MASTER!" Yelled Red, opening his pokedex and flipping through it with apparent insane glee.

Blue grabbed his pokedex, and opened it quietly as the thing chirped to life, and began explaining its' functions. Green, wanting to get the formalities over with, spoke up as she tucked the thing into her pocket. "So, I guess all we have left to do is choose, huh?"

The two boys looked immediately up. This was obviously the moment they had been waiting for too, and for the moment their pokedexes were stowed away.

Professor Oak smiled at Green. "Of course, I can see you're ready and raring to go! Well, then I shall explain the three choices. First is..."

Green's attention slid away as the Professor droned on about the three starters. She found it hard to concentrate long on anything at the moment, but she suspected that it had to do with the alcohol more than anything. Her tongue felt dry, and she suspected her eyes were red, but at least she was steady on her feet. With her luck she'd just collapse soon with the effort of staying up.

The Professor stopped, and Green nearly jumped as Blue spoke up suddenly. "What! That's completely unfair! I'm your grandson!"

Green blinked, and looked around suddenly, realizing she must have missed a key conversation point.

"It's common etiquette, Blue." The Professor said calmly, but with a warning tone in his voice that made Blue scowl and close his mouth.

"What's that?" Green asked, blinking at the Professor.

"Go on, the choice is your first, Green my dear." replied the Professor, smiling kindly again.

Green took a step up to the case, and suddenly felt anxious. This couldn't be a decision made lightly. Instinctively, she leaned to Bulbasaur, but made no move to grab its' pokeball even as the Professor lifted the glass case off. Bulbasaur was grass, and while grass was good against the first few gyms, she felt the type was inferior to water.

That brought her to Squirtle. Green actually began to reach for its' pokeball, but hesitated and pulled her hand back. A thought had just occurred to her. She turned to Charmander this time. Charmander had a huge disadvantage against the first two gyms, but after that it was good against pretty much all the rest, except the last Gym. Plus, if you're gonna own a pocket monster, why not make it a flying dragon.

"I'll take Charmander." Green said confidently, and grabbed it. She stepped back, admiring the smooth feel of the ball under her fingers.

"Me next!" Red cried as he bounded forward. Blue started to cry out in protest, but Red snatched up Bulbasaur before he could say anything coherent, leaving Blue to grab Squirtle as he scowled.

"Excellent!" said Professor Oak as he replaced the glass case. "Then if the three of you are ready to begin, I suppose I shouldn't keep you around here any longer. You're entering a fascinating world of adventure, kids." He turned to smile at them and Green, who remembered playing the games and never being moved by anything at all, felt a real pang of sadness in the man's expression. She could imagine Oak thinking of his own days of Pokemon adventuring.

There was a noise like a snap followed by a rushing noise. Red had let out his Bulbasaur. "Hey Bulbasaur! I'm Red! We're gonna be best buddies!"

Blue looked to Green, and grinned. "Listen. You may have suddenly toughened up or something, but I know you're still a wimp beneath those new clothes. I'll battle you later. I'm gonna save our battle for next time." And with that, Blue turned and pointed at Red. "Hey! I challenge you to a battle! It's what we've been talking about since we were kids, right?"

Red was scratching his Bulbasaur behind the ears, smiling, but looked up quick enough when a battle was mentioned. "Sure! Let's do this, Bulbasaur!" The two marched out the front door, leaving the lab in a blur of determination. Bulbasaur had to run to keep up.

Professor Oak laughed and looked to Green. "Well, I see you've gone for a change of clothes. You've been awfully quiet today, Green. You feeling alright?"

Green hadn't stopped glaring after Blue since he spoke. Only now did she look away, and towards Oak. The alcohol was still working on her body and mind, and she decided that eating and drinking before coming here wasn't a great idea. She didn't feel like vomiting, but she did feel like sitting down for a few minutes. "Fine, Professor. I'm gonna head out too. Good seeing you!"

"Oh, hold on. I meant to ask my grandson do something. Would you do me a favor, Green?" Oak said suddenly, thumping his forehead with his hand. "It's to the gym leader in Viridian City. Just a parcel from the Pokemon League that was accidentally sent here." He went up to his office with a distracted look on his face. "I've been so busy lately, my word."

Green nodded slowly and smiled distractedly as she thought to herself, dammit there's got to be a way can turn this down without being a dick. I've gotta beat the Elite Four if I wanna, not to put too fine a point on it, get my penis back after all.

She took the pokedex out of her pocket and flipped it open with a distracted flick. It powered on without prompting, and went immediately to the entry for Charmander. How the hell it knew she had grabbed its' pokeball, she'd never know. With a flick of the hand, merely out of boredom, she went to the last entry which she expected to be a blank 150. Instead, she was surprised to see a blank 493. That brought a whole new slew of problems to mind at once, and she was suddenly glad to see Professor Oak again.

"Here we are! I believe it's probably something about the gym being closed for some time. People have been complaining after all." Oak said as he handed a thread-bound parcel to Green, who took it while putting the pokedex away with the other hand.

"Um, Professor? There's only 150 pokemon around here, right?" Green asked bluntly, needing a straight answer on this.

Professor Oak smiled in a confused way. "Of course not. Not all 493 Pokemon are around here in Kanto. Not at all. But there are far more than 150 in this region. Especially with the recent trainers from Hoenn, Johto, Sinnoh, and the Sevii Islands coming in now that the Elite Four have reopened their doors."

Green nodded slowly as her brain moved quickly. Rudolph thought, alright, it's obvious that someone wanted me to hear that exposition. So, those shadow fucks want the ability to sucker punch me with any random damn pokemon in the entire series. Fine. I don't know everything about them all, but I know enough to make a good run for it. What she said was, "Oh. I'll drop it off for you. Thank you Professor."

"Well, here's a few pokeballs for helping me out. I'm much obliged!" Oak said with a smile as he held out two handfuls of the things, which he dropped into Green's open pouch.

"Sure. Well, take care Professor. I guess I'll see you after Blaine's gym." Green said with some weariness to her voice, then trudged out.

Oak furrowed his brow. "Well, she's certainly different."

Chapter 3-Starting the Journey

Green walked out of the lab, parcel still in hand. She stuffed it absentmindedly into her bag, reminding herself to open it when she was out of town. The gym leader of Viridian City was Giovanni, after all. The package couldn't contain anything good. She wondered vaguely if it was cheating to remember all the plot details, but then remembered she didn't care at all.

Rounding the path leading away from the lab, Green came upon an open clearing between the lab and the town proper. Bulbasaur and Squirtle were still fighting, though both looked the worse for wear. Even as he watched, however, Bulbasaur steadied himself on all fours, and sprang forward to hit Squirtle in the gut. Squirtle keeled over, causing Red to jump up and down in pure joy. "We did it, Bulbasaur!"

Blue was red in the face as he returned his Squirtle. He glared at Red, then turned the gaze on Green and smirked. His eyes remained hard though his disarming smile, however. "Well, thanks to you I didn't get the Pokemon I wanted. But don't you worry. I'm gonna become the pokemon champion, and leave you two in the dust. Smell the both of you later!" and with a flick of the hand, he was off, and didn't look back as he continued down the road through town.

Red looked to Green, smiling as he patted his weak Bulbasaur on the head. "Hey Green, how..."

"Look... no offense, but let's just stop this conversation here." Green cut in wearily. She wasn't in the mood.

"I was just gonna ask if you wanted to battle..." Red responded meekly, seeming surprised by the response.

"Um, sure. Look I need to get on the road so let's get this done quick" Green responded sharply, still feeling disoriented. Another drink after this would cure that. She pressed the button on the pokeball, releasing a flash of red light that quickly coalesced into a Charmander, only about two feet tall. It spread its' arms wide with a large grin on its' read reptilian face. "Charmander!" It said happily, looking up at Green.

Green felt the edge of her mouth twinge with the start of a smile. As much as this day had been weird, that made up for a lot of it right there.

Red took out a potion, and gave it to Bulbasaur as he stood up. "Alright, are you ready then?" He narrowed his eyes. "Are you ready for you first fight, Green? I won't take it easy on..."

"Charmander, use scratch." Green said, almost bored.

Charmander flashed its' claws, and swiped at Bulbasaur, who looked taken off guard.

Red looked shocked, but recovered. "Bulbasaur, use growl!" He yelled, and Bulbasaur shouted in Charmander's face, driving him back one worried step.

"Charmander, use scratch." Green said again, pulling out her Pokedex. Charmander scratched again, driving the plant Pokemon back again.

"Tackle, Bulbasaur!" Red shouted, and his normally unstoppably friendly face turned into a frown as he noticed Green not paying any attention. Bulbasaur charged, and hit Charmander, who yelped.

"Charmander, use scratch." Green said again, as she noticed that the pokedex here had a built in map. Neat.

"Bulbasaur, watch out for Charmander's..."

"Charmander, use scratch."

Bulbasaur fell back onto its' back bulb, and groaned wearily as Charmander swiped at the thing again with its' claws. Red scowled and returned the pokemon. "You can't just keep doing the same thing!" he yelled, his face turning red.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize the point was to lose." Green responded, patting a happy Charmander on the head.

Red looked more upset. "We learned that variety in battle is the way to not be unpredictable and..."

"Look. I'm glad. Very good. Well, I'll see you later. I got a... fire." Green slowly backed up down the path away from Red. She could care less about Red. It was Blue she was more worried about, even though he had lost his first battle. He had the Pokemon strong to Charmander, after all. It seemed logical that he'd be the real threat.

For a moment, Green considered stopping back by the house she came from, but seeing as she didn't wanna meet her new mom and she wasn't sure where the house even was, she contented herself with taking the bottle out of her pouch, which she drank from heavily.

"Charmander?" asked Charmander as it walked alongside her, looking up at the bottle.

Green lowered the bottle and looked down. "It's not for Pokemon, that's for sure." She said warningly, then smiled. "Just something to take the edge off... I learned a lot in one day after all."

Charmander seemed to accept the news. "Charmander."

Green stopped and sat down, looking Charmander in the eyes. "Look little man. I'm gonna rap with you for a sec." Charmander looked back, apparently keen to learn. "Me and you are going to beat the Pokemon League. We're gonna get other friends to help us out, but it's pretty much me and you. I'm counting on you. Cool?"

Green wasn't sure how smart pokemon were supposed to be, but it seemed to understand it was being asked something big. "Charmander!" It said, eyes bright.

"Good, let's rock. And I may be going crazy, speaking to animals. But I don't know if you count as animal." Green said as they continued down the path that lead out of town, and past a sign that pointed directly away from town that read, "Viridian City and Indigo Plateau."

The grass, a calm few inches in town, was starting to get taller, and for the first time she could understand how pokemon could hide anywhere in the real world. Though there was a path that ensured Green couldn't get lost on the way to Viridian, but she couldn't see well even around the next bend here. It was much different than the games and the convenient overhead view.

A rustle from the bushes brought a sudden stillness to the clearing. The first wild battle. Green's pulse quickened as she whirled around. A Rattatta came out of the woods, looking around curiously as its' nose twitched.

"Oh, fuck Rattatta! Charmander, scratch!" Green said, upset that the first pokemon had been such a letdown.

Charmander leapt at its name, claws shooting out to hit the thing with two long scratches. The Rattatta put up a brief fight, but was knocked out by Charmander fairly quickly. Green nodded in satisfaction.

The next hour was similarly depressing for Green. Every time there was a rustle in the brush, there would be a moment of glee, quickly snuffed by another Rattatta. On the bright side, Charmander was dealing with them more efficiently, though it was looking tired. Already Green could see the top of a large building in what must be Viridian. She must not be that far away now.

Green sat down and pulled out a can of peaches, popping the top with a satisfied sigh. "Well, we'll get some lunch and them go out looking for some more pokemon. Hopefully no more rats, eh?"

Charmander plopped itself down and looked imploringly up at Green, who frowned. "Hmm. You must be hungry. Is there such thing as pokemon food?" She asked as she put the can of peaches down and dug through the bag's food pouch. Sure enough, there was one large can with a bunch of brown balls. Though they looked completely unappetizing to Green, Charmander seemed to like the idea and dug right into one with apparent gusto.

Green smiled and reached down for her peaches. They were missing. She blinked and looked around, confused. The can was nowhere to be seen. Green narrowed her eyes, and opened a second can of peaches, which she sat slowly down to her left. She picked up another brown ball and tossed it to Charmander, who caught it neatly out of the air and began eating. Just as the ball had left her hands, something had darted from the brush behind her and snagged the other can. It was something dark green, with a flash of yellow.

Green searched through her bag, and took out a can of what turned out to be oranges this time. She popped it open and quickly downed half the oranges, then reached back into her bag and filled the rest of the can with alcohol. With a finger, she stirred the stuff together so the alcohol didn't float awkwardly at the top, then set the can down again. She reached into the can of brown balls and tossed one more to Charmander, noticing again the vanishing can. She smiled.

Green opened one last can, this one of canned straw berries, and repeated the alcohol trick. She waited a few minutes for the first can to take effect, sipping vaguely at the can in her hand. Green placed this one down a little closer to her main field of vision and waited, not even bothering to feed Charmander. After a few hesitant moments, the thing made a dash for the can. this time, however, it wasn't nearly as swift. It stumbled on the way back, nearly tripping over its' two feet as it gripped the can with two front arms. Green stood up and stretched. "Charmander? I think we're about to catch our first pokemon."

Charmander followed Green as she strolled into the woods. There was a sound like something eating something sloppily but happily, and after coming across a few empty cans, Green walked around a tree to find a Munchlax, face buried in the can of strawberries. It seemed like it had far more trouble with this one than the last one, as red splatters went all down its' front. It smelled of alcohol even from here. It stood up, apparently intent to bolt, but it collapsed instead, letting out a low "Muuuunch...." as it fell face down.

Green looked to Charmander, then to it, feeling like she had somehow cheated. "Um, Charmander, just make sure it's down."

Charmander walked slowly up to the thing, and poked it with a toe a few times. It looked up to Green. "Char?"

The Munchlax reached up and grabbed Charmander's tail, just above the flame, and swung the whole pokemon around with a sudden and unexpected strength that drove the lizard into a tree. It got up, swaying slowly back and forth as it measured Charmander up with bloodshot eyes.

Charmander got to its' feet, eyes blazing with fury. "Char..." It snarled, spreading its' arms wide in a battle stance.

"Use scratch on it, Charmander!" Green yelled, realizing that this battle may just be starting. Charmander ran forward with claws flashing, but when it swiped Munchlax lurched drunkenly out of the way, making Charmander whiff with a large haymaker that set it off balance. The Munchlax shot out an arm, smacking Charmander and sending it rolling. In that movement, Green saw how this thing must have taken the food. It was slow, but in that burst of action it had moved quicker than its' bulk seemed to indicate. This thing must be used to running away from trainers (though the alcohol had given it beer muscles.) Charmander struggled to its' feet even as Munchlax began to laugh, apparently immensely pleased by the new sparring buddy.

"Charmander, use..." Green began, then noticed the look in the little guy's eyes. They flashed red for a moment, and Charmander opened his mouth to the laughing Munchlax. A spray of fire roared out, covering the thing completely. Whether spurred on by the alcohol fumes or by the anger of the charmander, Green didn't know, but she suspected it wasn't a normal ember attack.

Munchlax stumbled and fell back again, moaning to itself. Green's pokeball caught it as it hit the ground, and as the red light on the pokeball dimmed, it struggled no more.

Green walked over and picked up the pokeball, smiling as she put it into her bag. Well, this was amazing news! It looked like there were indeed alterations to the world, and not all of them disadvantageous. "Hey, buddy, looks like we did it!"

Green turned to Charmander, who was groaning. Now that the battle was over, the bruises were really taking their toll on Charmander. He took a step towards Green, trying to look tough, but she could already see how it limped from where it had been smacked against the tree. Green smiled and walked up to it, patting it on the head and scratching it behind the ears. "Good job there. I'm gonna return you for now. Thanks buddy."

Charmander looked pleased and a bit relieved as the red light engulfed it, leaving Green alone again. She turned to Viridian City again, and was walking down the road in silence when she suddenly realized that she hadn't ever opened new the package meant for Giovanni. Settling down against a tree, Green took out the bottle of cooking alcohol, and the parcel. Taking a swig, Green put the bottle aside and opened the package with one hand, the strings falling away to reveal cloth wrapping that fell away with only a little bit of fiddling. Inside was a slim brown paper envelope, an object so normal it made Green frown. Twisting the metal tabs on the envelope with a flick of the wrist, Green poured out its' contents. Five wads of crisp bills flopped onto the ground. Green took one hesitantly. He couldn't be sure, still not knowing what the money was really like here, but he was sure enough to know that it was an illegal amount of money. He slid one of the bills from one of the wads almost absentmindedly, and replaced all the wads even as she stuffed the single bill in her pocket.

"Well. That's interesting." Green murmured as she slowly and mechanically put the parcel back the way she found it.

Chapter 4-Viridian City is Boring

Green walked through the doors of the Viridian City pokemon center, the pink light of dusk giving way to the bright lights of the building that seemed part hotel lobby, part hospital. Large circular cushioned couches dotted the floor, and three young people were lounging on them, two sleeping and the third flipping through a pokedex. She walked up to the counter, where a smiling pink-haired Nurse Joy was smiling at her.

"Welcome to the Pokemon Center! May I take your Pokemon please?" Joy asked, offering a tray with six indents to Green.

Green placed her two balls in the tray, and Nurse Joy nodded. "It'll be just a few minutes. Please feel free to take a seat. I'll be sure to get you."

Green wandered over to a seat and plopped down, sighing at the feel of something soft for a few minutes. She simply sat there, listening to the sounds of the Pokemon Center as she rested her eyes.

There was a groan as someone sat down next to her. Green opened her eyes and looked up expectantly, but rather than Nurse Joy there was the other girl who had been viewing her pokedex with intent. She was smiling nervously, and looked like one of those people who would keep talking well after one became uninterested in the subject. She had green hair pulled back into a ponytail, dark brown skin and thin silver glasses. "Hello there. My name is Marta! I've never seen you here before. Are you a Pokemon trainer?"

Green sighed. "Yeah. I just started this morning." Everyone in this world was so bubbly. It was gonna give her a cavity sometime soon. She hoped that with a curt response, she's forestall any more questioning.

"I thought so! I'm here from the Cinnabar Islands on my way to Pewter City. I just started being a trainer not long ago myself. Isn't it exciting out there? I was hoping to stop and get the badge here, but it looks like the leader's been gone for a while." Marta said, seemingly spurred on more by the reply than by the tone of voice.

"Yeah." replied Green, wondering if faking like she had to take a shit would slow this girl down, or if she'd just follow along and talk from the next stall. Marta was about to speak again, so Green cut in swiftly with a question to change the subject. "So! What was your starter, anyhow?" Green grinned after she said it, in a way she meant to look interested, but it came out looking strained and forced.

"Chikorita." She replied promptly and proudly. "Professor Elm had some extra that they bred."

Green nodded, and only half listened as Marta started talking excitedly about the day she had gotten to choose her starter. Nurse Joy came in the middle of the story, creating only a minor pause as Green got her pokemon back.

"So then I was sent up here to Viridian City. I'm just glad I got here before dark!" Marta continued in her bubbly tone of voice. "What kind of pokemon do you have?"

"A Munchlax and a Charmander so far." Green replied, opening Charmander's pokeball even as she spoke. Charmander looked pleased to see Green, and she scratched him on the top of his head even as curled on the couch, his flaming tail swishing absentmindedly in the air. She had been looking over Marta's features carefully, and judged the age as at least older than her body. "So, listen. Do you know where to get a corkscrew?"

Marta blinked, her face surprised. "What's that? What for?"

"Sparking grape juice." Green shot back, face blank.

"Um, I suppose I could get one. Just a minute." Marta got up and walked over towards the desk, leaving Green behind with Charmander.

"Ok, this is not gonna work. I need to find a fake id or something..." Green muttered as Marta strolled back up, and handed her a corkscrew with a smile.

"There was actually one on the concessions table!" Marta said, smiling.

Green looked at her blankly, then over her shoulder at the table laden with two large jugs, one clearly for coffee, as well as snacks and a selection of plates, cups and silverware. It was like a continental breakfast table from a Holiday Inn. "Wow. Things are... really easy in this world, huh?"

"What do you mean?" Marta asked, brows creasing.

Green screwed in the corkscrew and pulled at the bottle with all her might, releasing the cork with a pop. "Nothing. So, you want a drink?"

Munchlax's pokeball suddenly popped open, and the little pokemon was suddenly standing next to Charmander. It didn't still reek of alcohol, but there was a certain sharp smell to the air around it. It grinned and held out both its' arms.

"What does he want?" asked Marta, who was completely bewildered.

"Um... he loves sparking cider." Green said, pushing the small but surprisingly heavy thing away from her bottle of wine. She finally fumbled into her bag and produced an empty can, into which she quickly poured a fair cup of wine. Munchlax took it gratefully and sat down on the couch, sipping the cup with every sign of enjoyment. Green began to wonder if she had maybe created a monster.

Marta giggled at Munchlax. "Well, if he recommends it so much, of course I'll take some!" she got up, and fetched a pair of glasses from the table.

Green frowned at Marta's back. "Of course this never fucking happens when I'm a guy. Some dumb slut practically tossing her panties at me." Green took a sip from the bottle, and considered. "Alright, she thinks I'm 11 and a girl and doesn't think this is alcohol.... but still."

Marta came back, smiling and passing over two ceramic mugs. Green poured a fair measure into each cup, and the two drank deeply, not a word passing between them. Marta's eyes looked intrigued as she lowered her cup.

"I think this may be bad. It's supposed to be sparkling, right?"

"Tastes fine to me." Green said, not wanting to start that topic.

After the first glass, Marta let her Chikorita out, who played with Charmander as Munchlax apparently took a power nap. After the second, Marta got back into the swing of small talk. She began talking about herself a whole lot, during which time Green sat quietly and pretended to listen as she mentally built team after team of pokemon in her mind.

After the third glass, and near the bottom of the bottle however, Marta finally said something that caught Green's attention.

"Scho. So, I'm not JUST here to get my badge in Pewter Schity you know." Marta slurred suddenly, giving Green a conspiratorial wink. "I'm shupossed to do something here too." She smiled and winked again, or tried to, but used both eyes.

"Really?" Green responded, feigning some interest because it sounded like it could be relevant.

"Gotta go catch an eshcaped pokemon. He's caushing trouble here." Marta said, nodding.

"Why... why not tell me about it? Maybe I can help." Green said as steadily as she could manage.

"Professor Elm had shomeone bring our pokemon as eggsh." Marta said, grinning. "But one hatched here in Viridian Schityand got out. It'sh living in the lake now."

Green's eyes darted outside. There was only the barest hint of light outside now. She began to wonder if it was worth going outside now and trying to find the lake even now.

"So. I think I'm gonna go to the store real quick..." Green began, eyes already darting to the exit, when she was grabbed suddenly by Marta and pulled into an unexpected embrace.

"No, no! Don't go just yet!" Marta said in an oddly childish tone of voice. Green guessed she was easily 16 or so compared to her 11, but it was obvious that right now she was bizarrely the dominant one here. Marta was like a giant drunk child holding her mother.

Green wanted to pull away for a moment, until Marta shifted position, and Green's head ended up buried in Marta's cleavage. She hesitated for a moment, and then realized she wasn't possibly gonna get hit, and buried her face lovingly into Marta's beasts. Green hadn't really paid attention to the girl's bustline, but it wasn't bad at all. B cup, maybe C. Marta began to snore softly, and Green pulled away from her just enough to look down her shirt. From here, Green could make them out in detail. She sighed and got back into position, nuzzling her head deeply back in place.

Before she could really consider it further, she found herself drifting off to sleep. All in all, it wasn't a terrible end to a first day.

The beginning of the second day could have been better. Green sat up slowly, smacking her lips as the light that had awoken her up streamed in through the windows surrounding the room. A blanket was covering her and Marta, who was still passed out underneath her, mouth slightly ajar. The bottle of wine was gone, as were the cups they had left behind. Munchlax, Charmander and Chikorita were all sleeping nearby. Everything was actually fine, except the headache. It was pounding. Green simply pressed the palms of her hands into her eyes and pressed until all she saw was the swirling colors behind her eyes. She stayed this way for a few minutes until the headache went away, then got up and walked to the concessions table slowly. There she got a couple glasses of water, and a likely looking fruit, and made her way back to her seat. There, she slowly drank one of the glasses of water as she pulled the fruit open, found it to be an orange, and ate it slowly.

Finally, her headache slowed, and the light wasn't so harsh anymore. "Water when you drink, gotta remember."

Green looked to the sleeping Marta, who had curled up on the couch. She looked pretty dead to the world. Green supposed she could wake Marta up, but maybe better to just deal with this now, come back and wake her up.

Green returned Munchlax to its' pokeball, and nudged Charmander, who uncurled and yawned. "Let's go. I got an idea." As they headed out of the Pokemon Center, Green grabbed a sandwich from a fresh basket and shoved it in her pocket.

Taking a right from the front door on a hunch, Green walked for a bit, passing a few houses before coming to the west end of Viridian City. A pond shone there in the morning light, water lapping gently against the shore. Green stepped up to the edge of the lake, look the sandwich from her pocket, and began slowly tearing chunks off and tossing them in the water.

Soon there were multiple chunks floating there, bobbing on the surface while slowly absorbing water.

"Be ready, buddy." Green said to Charmander under her breath.

Suddenly, something snapped one of the chunks up, and another. Something was snapping them all up from under the surface like Jaws, but Green was ready. "Charmander, ember on the water!"

Charmander let out a small but steady stream of fire. Directed right at the water like this, steam was already rising and water bubbling. Whatever it was didn't like it, and it suddenly shot above water, furious.

Charmander hadn't been expecting it, so the charging Totodile hit it straight on, thrashing with arms and legs, scratching Charmander in a rage. Charmander blew another stream of fire at Totodile that hit straight on, but it didn't seem to affect Totodile much, only make it angrier. It rushed forward and suddenly clamped its' powerful jaws down on Charmander's tail. Charmander screeched in pain, and ran in a panicked circle, scratching madly at his foe's head while the Totodile held on tight.

"Charmander, return!" Green yelled, snagging Charmander with the red beam. The Totodile seemed confused at the sudden loss of his target, but quickly shifted focus to Green, who threw her other ball. "Munchlax!"

Munchlax came out with a yawn, and a squint into the sudden intrusion of light. Its leisure was short lived, because Totodile hit it with a spray of water that knocked him over backwards.

"Munchlax, tackle!" Green yelled, getting eager now. Munchlax ran forward, but missed completely before turning around again. It really squinted into the light now, and it looked upset. Totodile scratched at Munchlax with its' claws, forcing it back a nervous step. "Munchlax! Tackle it and I'll get you a damn drink!"

Munchlax perked up, and when Totodile rushed in this time, Munchlax met it coming the other way. Totodile went careening back, and Green heaved a pokeball. It shook for a few moments, and finally stopped with a ping.

Green picked up Totodile's pokeball with a satisfied grin. Munchlax was already smiling up at Green, expecting his promised gift. "I'll give you something to drink when I get some more. Be patient." She returned the now scowling Munchlax, and clicked all three balls into place as she headed for the Pokemon Center.

"THINGS HAVE BEEN GOING ABOVE AVERAGE FOR YOU" said a voice that was completely unexpected in this place and time. The deep bass of that horribly familiar speech those shadow people used hurt the ears and deep into the brain.

Things went from colorful all around to grey. This had never happened before. One shadow man was there now, but his triangular eyes were of a deep, icy blue, so dark they seemed to fade into his body.

"Who... are you?" Green asked slowly, uncertainty creeping into his voice.

"I HAVE A STAKE IN THE GAME" The figure responded evenly. "YOU MUST KNOW THAT ODDS ARE IN YOUR FAVOR. FOR THE MOMENT."

"Really? That's good to..." Green hesitated and rethought the word choice. "Why only for the moment?"

"IT HAS BEEN DECIDED THAT ADDITIONAL OBSTACLES MUST BE ERECTED AND OTHERS CHANGED. YOU HAVE TOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE." The shadow man said in a voice like vibrating lead.

"Wha...what do you mean?" Green asked, but now she was backing away. The air behind her, though there was clearly nothing there, had turned solid. She cowered against the far wall as the shadow man exploded into wisps of shadow. Each tore into Green, going through skin and deep into nerves, and suddenly Green felt the horrible sensation of having memories dry up, get siphoned out like gas from a car. Suddenly, she felt the knowledge of the pokemon game mostly leave her. That is, she remembered all of the pokemon still, and was aware that it was a game, but suddenly the story, as simple as it was, had been scoured from her mind.

"THE FIELD HAS BEEN LEVELED. THE GAME MAY COMMENCE." the thing said, and suddenly the slivers of shadow pulled out, giving Green the sensation that something was unplugging from her central nervous system. And suddenly, as quickly as it had come, it was gone, leaving Green gasping on the ground.