Under Construction

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon, a creation of one Satoshi Tajiri, and is produced domestically (in the United States) by Pokemon USA/The Pokemon Company, and internationally by Shogakukan, TV Tokyo, MediaNet and OLM. I personally own nothing and make nothing by writing this. Please do not flame.

(Chapter 4- Curiosities)

One late afternoon of learning from a master Pokémon nutritionist in the works blew by very quickly. Marina not only got help for her six Pokémon in hand but also her Pokémon back home in Johto. Working together for so long, Marina and Kelly didn't even notice the latter's folks coming through the door with a few bags of groceries in hand. Although much of dinner for the Marin family does not need much time to be heated or prepared, the trio made it a main objective to be together given the circumstances of the past month or two.

Marina, who to this point on this weekday evening, knew nothing about why the nuclear family went through this ritual, found it to be very welcoming especially after Kelly went about explaining why she was there in the shop beyond normal business hours. The young teen called the coordinator her friend, even though the two have formed more of a student and teacher relationship for nearly three hours. She found the gesture to be curious at face value; she's a small town girl who's found herself in the Hoenn region and its largest city due to a fight with her estranged boyfriend, yet she finds a family with small town values and character right in the midst of Lilycove.

All in all, she got a good feeling about the family as she sat down to enjoy a meal of what the matriarch called 'albino chili' made with a white cheese sauce called Mornay and not having any meat unlike most traditional chilies and instead using vegetables for added flavor. It was essentially a soup, but made for a fine meal and great conversation about Marina's journey and Kelly's background in an hour long dinner.

When it came time for her to go, Marina knew that the Pokémon center would put her up provided she could get there before the eleven o'clock deadline. Finishing up her drink and talking a container with some red velvet cake with her for dessert, she was in somewhat of a hurry considering that the center is a couple of miles away in this large metropolis.

The following morning, Kelly was back at work on a reduced day for her because of her graduate classes that evening. Next to her counter and by her books are several pages of notes from yesterday when she wrote down the instructions for what Marina would need to do in order to get the best out of her Pokémon for coordinating. She could only assume that Marina didn't want to miss curfew and forgot these pages while checking into the center.

Kelly didn't consider it a total loss in any sense because Marina said that she wanted to stay in each city for a few weeks and take in all sights and sounds while preparing for each of her contests.

As the shop continued its normal weekday hustle and bustle with about three-quarters of the stations filled with people conducting Pokéblock business while she skims through her graduate textbook on a passage concerning the genetic qualities of fruits and vegetables. Knowing from early childhood a rule of thumb not to combine the two food groups during meals, the passage is initially familiar. It loses some of its commonality, however, as it gets into the technical knowledge one would expect the holder of a future Masters of Science to comprehend.

About eight paying customers stop by her register during her study time which runs about ninety minutes. Walking up to her from the shop door, however, was her most frantic and worried customer from a night ago back again with a big smile. Once Kelly realizes who's come back around her way, she eagerly returns the expression while retrieving her notes from yesterday.

"Marina!" she says as she checks the pages to make sure that nothing gets left behind again. "Just a moment. I believe I have something that belongs to you. Uhh…yeah! It's all here for you, too!"

Passing the notes towards the older girl Marina takes them, and takes a bow saying, "Thank you so much for holding onto these, Kelly, and I also want to thank you for all your help yesterday. Not many people would've taken time out for so long just to help one amateur."

"Hey, think nothing of it," Kelly humbly admits. "That's just my philosophy when I go about life and to this point, it's guided me well. If there were someone on the road in need of assistance, then I feel the need to help however I can because I'd want them to do the same for me. If I can only do so much at that point, then I'll point them to where they need to go."

"Wow," Marina speaks, impressed with the younger girl's words. "The world could do with more people like you."

"I owe it all to my God, my family and my friends," she determines. "They are where I get my standards and I couldn't ask for better inspiration."

'All of that makes me feel better about this decision,' Marina concludes. "That's always good to see. Look, Kelly…I came back here not just to get the literature but because I also had to say how impressed I was at all your knowledge of Pokémon nutrition at such a young age. Not once did you ever have to ask your folks for help or go online or anything like that. You practically ran the shop yourself."

"Well, I'm not quite at that level right now," Kelly freely admits.

"But you're right there!" Marina replies. "Even when your folks came last night, you never asked them for added guidance."

"Honestly, from this point forward, I hope I don't have to go for them for advice." Weighing how far she wants to go down this path, she decides to take the honest route, admitting, "Marina, I'll level with you right now. I'm what people would call…a child prodigy, but I despise that term. It makes me seem like I'm some snobbish, stuck up little elitist; like I don't belong or I'm different." She sighs and then gets back on point. "Nevertheless, I graduated from college at age twelve and am in graduate school right now to become a researcher and also teach."

As Kelly expected since having to explain to people who wonder how she's doing in junior high school, the girl who never finished grammar school sees this older teen view her up and down in a wide-eyed manner. It's like she told her the true meaning as to why all of us are here and Marina just needs a moment to digest it all.

"You're a college graduate?"

"None of that makes me any better than you, Marina," she interjects having heard all the calls of amazement before and frankly having her fill of it all.

"But you're on the right track! I mean, you are a girl who at age…"


"At thirteen you've got it all together!" she declares.

Shaking her head, Kelly interrupts the girl, saying "No. I really don't, Marina. You give me too much credit. It's one thing to see me at my profession for two days; it's another to dig deep in my life and see the real Kelly. If you did you'd see that I have issues, problems, concerns, depression, loneliness...I feel it all and then some. That's why I say that the education is great to have, but it means nothing without application and education doesn't automatically make everything all right. Trust me; I know that all too well. Professionally, you're right, but personally…no."

"You are wise in a sense," Marina figures. "I think I was leaning more towards your professional life but, you're right. We all have problems, but to make such an impact at such a young age…it's a good thing and I really want to learn more about it. That's the other reason why I came back, Kelly. I see this different way of looking at something so fundamental and it's got me curious. I know nutrition is important for star athletes and I'm sure it has to be the same for Pokémon, too."

"It really is and I've seen how trainers can get that extra edge without putting their Pokémon in jeopardy," Kelly adds. "Our courses are fully accredited for anyone who wants to enter the Pokémon sciences and we pride ourselves on going beyond moves and abilities. That's great, but the fact is that food and nourishment is essential to life. If we can work on that aspect of a Pokémon's daily routine then everything else has to benefit! It's like putting high-grade fuel into a luxury sports car. The best fuel combined with proper maintenance will yield the best results."

"And you have courses that explain all of this?"

"Well…a great deal," she concedes. "The ones who know all to most of it are at the doctorate level, which I want to end up in, but we only go up to the graduate level. I'm about a year away from my master's myself and when I get the certification to teach at a university level, I'll go about earning my doctorate so we can start teaching those courses."

"During my time in Lilycove, I want to find out some more about this."

"It's gonna take a lot of commitment, Marina," Kelly says in all honesty while she checks out a young male trainer's order. Speaking to the trainer she hands him the change and asks him to make it a great day. Turning back to Marina "I mean, you came here for coordinating and to take part in our contests and that's great, but…the fact is that courses here run anywhere from six weeks to six months depending on what you want to know and your skill level."

Kelly did not sound like she was trying to discourage Marina from doing this; only saying that it would take up a lot of her time and effort especially while she's entering contests throughout the Hoenn region. If it meant strengthening the relationship between Marina and her Pokémon, however, it was likely worth the sacrifice and the time to understand her Pokémon at this level and earn the fulfillment that came with time spent not just training but growing on her new journey.

That settled the decision for her. "I wanted to take some time and see the sights. I think if I manage my time correctly I can take these courses and learn even more on this journey. I could even be top coordinator again."

"You were a top coordinator?"

"Yeah, in the Johto region."

"So you've already got quite a hand in coordinating. I don't see how you can't get used to monitoring nutrition for your Pokémon. Just pick a course—anything that might tickle your fancy—and you'll be set."


"Yeah," Kelly answers. "It'd be great to have you around. Just stay focused and you can reach whatever goal you set forth for yourself. Follow that credo and you'll get whatever you want or need. My advice to you, though," she adds while getting some literature from a compartment near the register, "don't make any rash decisions about this, though. This is a list of the courses we have, their dates during the spring and summer months, where you can take them and a ton of other information so you're not blindly entering into something you may not be ready for. Take a day or two and let it marinade, come back—in fact, you might want to come back after the contest. That's three days from now; more than enough time for you to find out whatever you want to know about berries and other foods, too."

It was win-win for Marina. She could not envision any problem with this plan. Her education in this vast world would continue and she could further cement her proclaimed position as 'Pokémon Idol' in the grand stage of coordinating.

As she looked closer at the schedule, bidding Kelly farewell until they met again, she also sees classes that meet on a weekly basis and use some element of the internet, but none of them are completely online. Admittedly, this would make the enrichment process a lot easier but she has no choice but to work with what she's got.

It's gotten her this far, so what reason would there be to stop now?

Curiosity will just have to have its way.

A/N: Look for an update on my profile page soon. I have some explaining to do, I know, but another update to stories is much sooner to come. As far as this story, I would like to have another chapter before mid-August, but I have some other plans, so just stay tuned.

Until then, this is Rave!