Chapter 2: Trouble on Route 901

Opal couldn't sleep that night, her excitement keeping her up. She agonized over her equipment and what outfits to pack (and wear when she met her father). Fall was nearing its end and the weather was changing rapidly to freezing cold. She decided on wearing a white long sleeve shirt under a red hooded jacket, white cargo shorts that went to her knees, and knee-length socks that were very warm.

Her mom's worries also kept her from sleeping and she would occasionally open her daughter's bedroom door to see if she was still there. Nevertheless, it is common for children to leave home for adventure and travel. A lot of parents viewed this as a rite of passage for their children and support them throughout their journey, even if they fail to achieve what they sought after. Ten has always been the preferred age for kids to leave home, but Opal had already started her journey back in Hoenn, she just didn't know it then.

She woke up in the middle of the day after finally being able to fall asleep. She looked at the clock on her nightstand. "Gak, it's already this late!" she yelled, jumping out of bed and hurrying to the bathroom. After taking a bath, she rushed to put on the clothes she chose. They found a store in town that sold a belt specifically made for people with pokemon. She slipped the belt through the rings in her pants and wrapped a new waist pouch as well. She had a bag, but this pouch was for items she would need in a hurry (and money). She was about to leave her bedroom when a sudden glimpse at her mirror showed how bad her hair looked. She grabbed a ribbon and scissors from her nightstand drawer and tied her brown her into two ponytails. "It'll have to do for now," she said, grimly looking at her reflected image.

Once she was ready, she practically jumped downstairs where her mom, Whispy, and Typhon (the cindaquil) waited. The entire surface of the dinner table was covered with various plates of food, enough to feed the entire neighborhood and still have more for seconds. It was obvious that her mother was more worried than she was. "Mom! I'm only going to be gone for two weeks."

"A lot can happen in two weeks, Opal," she said, fidgeting with a towel. "You can't stop me from worrying. My only daughter is leaving me all alone while she goes in search of adventure and who knows what else. Maybe she'll find a boyfriend and I won't be there to see her through." Opal blushed red and berated her over dramatic mother. "Since you're going to Jonansre, I have a package for Thomas from his old office. Can you take it with you?"

"Sure," she said, as she stuffed her stomach full of delicious food. A nervous tension was building in the house that was threatening to explode like an electrode and the uncomfortable silence that hung in the air made it worse. Opal sprang up from her seat, her stomach unable to take anymore food (which was not even a scratch to the amount of food produced). She was determined to leave and it would be better now rather than soon when she would have second thoughts. They spent a few minutes on the porch staring at the sun rise over Cliff Field. Opal's mom hesitated to give her the bag. She didn't want to see her daughter go. They remembered how the bag used to weigh so much because of the amount of stuff they packed into it and how they struggled to make it light.

Opal looked at her bike which was checked and fitted for extensive riding. It shone as though it was brand new even though it's gone through so much stress and work over the two years under Opal. She hugged her mom. "Oh get out, you're bringing tears to my eyes," her mom said, fighting back some sobs. She took in a deep breath and smiled in encouragement for her daughter.

"I'll be back before you know it," Opal smiled back, returning her two pokemon to their pokeballs. She got on her bike and started the painful trip to Route pedaled fast to get away before her heart would get homesick. An hour passed and she couldn't see the town anymore. Opal slowed down to a steady ride and, once her thoughts caught up to her, grew bored. Looking at her pokemon, she noticed Whispy was asleep while Typhon was very much awake. "Ok it's time we bonded, Typhon." She released the cindaquil from its case and slowed down so that it could walk comfortably beside her. "Here we are on the road, don't you feel excited having the wind sweep right pass you."

Typhon squeaked as a response. "Do you know why I decided to call you Typhon?" it cocked its head to the side. "It's because you're so squishy and small." Typhon got really embarrassed and ashamed. "Oh don't worry; I'm sure you'll grow to be much bigger than I am."

They continued riding along the side of the road for a few more minutes before Opal noticed something odd. "This road is usually really busy yet not a single car has passed us in either direction since we started." Opal looked down at Typhon. "Climb on the handles, maybe we'll find something up ahead." She helped the cindaquil climb on to the bike and popped the bike onto the smooth surface of the road. "Hang on!" she said as she pedaled with all her strength. It wasn't long until they were approaching the cause of the lack of traffic.

Three large trucks, torn apart by some powerful monster, lay aflame on the street. Several emergency personnel were tending to the flames while others organized themselves into a search party. Opal couldn't help but gape at the extent of the damage. She got off her bike and took to walking. As she drew near, one of the police officers ran towards her to stop her. "I'm sorry miss, but you're going to have to turn back and find another way to get to Jonansre."

"What happened here?" Opal asked trying to see if she can possibly help them with anything. She noticed a symbol on the trucks of a hammer and spade in front of a red star.

"These trucks were headed to Nem's Lighthouse with some pokemon to clear up a mess that happened in the mountain pass on Route 924," the officer said. He looked over his shoulder at the others doing their jobs and saw several groups disappear into the forests around the road to look for the missing pokemon. He returned his attention to Opal. "This area is not safe, you should go back and wait at your house until the road is clear and the pokemon have been caught."

"But I can't go back after all of the progress we've made," Opal pouted.

"Well I can't let you through; it's a complete mess for a little girl in a bike to ride through." Opal can tell the officer was losing his patience. He probably has had to tell other people the same thing and he doesn't want to get into another argument.

Opal glowered at the guard before turning her bike around and riding away from the scene. After a couple of minutes, she stopped and looked back to see if the officer was still there. She was glad to see he wasn't and turned to Typhon with a crafty smile spread across her face. "We're going to take a short detour around the wreck. What do you say?" she winked at cindaquil who responded with a string of hurried retorts. "Geez, don't be such a worrywart. I'll be careful so we don't meet whatever did that."

Despite cindaquil's protests, Opal plunged down the side of the rode and into the tall grass that covered almost every inch of the area. At times it got too thick for her to keep riding the bike and she had to force it through. She was unknowingly moving farther away from the road and towards a dense forest. When she realized that she had just gotten lost, it was already too late in the day for her to turn back. "Sheesh, who knew that traveling was this hard? And where are all of the wild pokemon? We should've met some of those here too."

She checked her watch for the time. "It's getting late and cold. We should pitch camp soon. If only there was a clearing in all of this grass." They searched for what felt like hours until Opal spotted a large rock jutting out of the grass. "Hey, I'll get on top of that and find one nearby." She swiftly climbed up the large rock and skimmed through the grass and trees for a patch of dirt. She found one not too far away from where she stood. "Typhon! I found a place to-"

The rock shuddered and Opal fell on to the grass with a thud, landing on her left arm. The rock moved as though it was trying to stand. It stretched its arms and bellowed a roar that echoed across the entire forest. Opal saw the same sign on the monster's arm as she did on the side of the trucks. It looked at her and she recognized it as a rhydon. "You must be one of the pokemon that's gone missing," she gawked. Opal got to her feet just as the rhydon mega punched the ground she was just on. "That was close. Alright, come on Typhon." Opal browsed the grass for the tiny weasel/mouse pokemon and found it scurrying away from the beast. "Dammit," Opal cursed as she chased after it. Rhydon was running after them now and it was catching up quick with each second that passed. Finding a trail that cut through the grass, she wished she still had the bike to take her away from the awful monster behind her. Cursing her luck, Opal caught up to Typhon and picked him up. "Use smokescreen!" she yelled. They exploded into a cloud of smoke.

Muffling her coughs, she escaped from the cloud with Typhon in her arms, but the effect of the cloud hurt her eyes and she couldn't' see where was running to. She tripped on a root and tumbled down a large hill, landing on her leg at the bottom. Typhon was thrown out of her arms during the fall and landed a couple of feet away from her. The pain was excruciating and she tried to get closer to Typhon, but her strength was rapidly leaving her. Then she heard the enraged rhydon's roar and it was getting nearer to where they landed. "It hasn't even been a day and this is how I end? With no hope of rescue," she laughed. As consciousness slipped from her grasp, her eyes became heavy.

As her vision left her, something darted from out of the grass, a blue liquid dripping from its tail. Then, a shadow loomed over her and she can feel a cool hand press itself on her forehead and wrist. Then, everything went black.