-Chapter 1 ~ New Bark Town
It was morning in the small town of New Bark. Birds chirped gleefully in the trees outside, and the morning sun was filtered through a pair of thin curtains, bathing a bedroom in a soft white light. Tekka grunted with discomfort and drew the the thick duvet over his eyes, unintentionally exposing his feet to the cold air. Tekka groaned again, cursing his luck for being stuck in this uncomfortable bed, in this tiny, chilly house in an empty, backwoods town when he could have been at home. He could have been back on the eastern island of Sinnoh, in his old city, in his old house, in his old bed, none of which were too small. He missed his friends, he missed the snow, he missed the fireplace that had kept him warm all night and day. There was really only one good thing about this town...
A louder chirping noise caught his attention, and he felt a soft object land on his chest. Forcing his heavy eyes to open, he peeled back the duvet and peered over the top. His Kirlia was sitting on top of him, chirping impatiently and trying to lure him out of bed.
"I know, Aniel, I know." Tekka said, pulling the duvet back over his eyes. "I know you want to go exploring, but I already told you; I can't take you anywhere until I get a license for this region."
Aniel understood and gave in with little protest. She crawled over the duvet and nestled herself next to Tekka's head, taking advantage of the warm pocket of air that his body heat had created under the covers.
Tekka sighed and resigned himself to giving up on sleep. He knew she meant well, and he didn't have the heart to berate her for it, but having her pressing against the side of his head was even more distracting than having the light shine in his eyes.
"Okay, okay." Tekka said throwing the duvet aside and sitting upright. "Maybe it'll be here by now, if not we can at least go downstairs and eat something."
Aniel chirped excitedly and and latched onto his arm, eager to make a start to the day even if they couldn't explore outside the town.
"Hey..." Tekka glanced to the side and raised an eyebrow at Aniel, "Can I at least change my clothes before you get too comfortable there?"
Aniel puffed out her cheeks and gave him a sour look. Tekka laughed quietly and patted her gently on the head, and in kind she hopped off released his arm and lay back down on the bed, nestling once again in the still warm duvet.
Tekka stood up and stretched his body out to its full height, standing on the balls of his toes and reaching for the ceiling. He could see a light blinking from the corner of his eye, and turned to look at the computer idling on his desk, below a rhythmically ticking clock. Tekka strode over to the computer and sat on the chair before it. Tekka pushed the power button on the base unit and let the machine hum into life as he pulled on the clothes he had set out the night before.
Tekka brushed down the red fleece sweater as the Pokenix loading screen on his monitor gave way to his desktop and the electronic mail waiting for him in his inbox. It was from Lyra, the girl living next door to him in this town. She was a nice girl, he thought, and certainly a lot more interesting than most of the people around here. She had sent the mail to remind him that she had convinced the professor to give them both one of the new species of Pokemon he had discovered.
"I don't really want another Pokemon." Tekka sighed, "I can't control the one I've got." He grinned and looked over at Aniel, who pulled the duvet down from around her eyes and glared at him.
Tekka laughed and waved her off. "I'm kidding, I'm kidding." He picked up a white sphere with a thin red band running across its middle, tossed it into the air and caught it on the tip of his index finger, spinning it in place and watching Aniel as she stared at him from across the room.
"But when was the last time you ever went back in here, hmm?" Tekka asked her and glanced at the spinning ball. "Not since I picked you up from the Palpark in Sinnoh, I'm sure. And before that, not since we met for the first time right? Most trainers wouldn't tolerate it." Tekka wagged the finger of his free hand at her.
Aniel looked a little sad, and pulled the duvet in tighter around herself as if to try and protect herself from the ball. Tekka bounced it up from his finger into the air and caught it firmly in the palm of his hand, putting it away in the pocket of his fleece. "But you know, I love having you out here with me." He smiled and waved at her as she hid shyly behind the soft covers. "I wouldn't have it any other way."
Aniel darted off the bed and bounded up to Tekka, jumping into his lap and sending him falling backwards off the chair with a crash. She chirped happily and nuzzled her head against his chest, while Tekka groaned from the impact.
"Well..." Tekka said, pulling himself off the floor, with Aniel still attached firmly to him and singing happily to herself. "Let's go, shall we?" Tekka said, picking up a deck of cards from his desk as he passed by it, putting them in his pocket next to the Premier Ball.
Aniel released her grip on Tekka's chest and followed him out of the room, across the landing, and down the stairs to the living area. Tekka's mother was there as usual, sitting at the table and reading the mail.
"Oh, Tekka!" His mother exclaimed looking up from her reading, "You're finally awake."
Tekka grit his teeth and bore through her sarcastic, chipper tone. "Yeah, I'm awake."
"And good morning to you too, Annie. Thank you for waking my good for nothing son again this morning." Tekka's mother said, bending slightly to greet Aniel, who beamed proudly back at her.
"Yeah. Good morning to you too, mum." Tekka glanced off to the side, still determined not to give into her teasing.
"Oh by the way, your license was approved." She continued, pulling a slim envelope from the pile on the table and waving it at him. "With your trainer card as well. So you two can finally get out of my hair and go wherever you want."
Tekka's expression cracked and his gaze snapped to his mother. "Not that I wanted to be here." He reminded her. "Since I already had friends, a license, and a life that didn't involve you back in Snowpoint." Tekka lurched forward and snatched the envelope from her hand. "And don't open my mail!"
"Oh my..." Tekka's mother feigned embarrassment, and coiled away from him, "You're becoming so forceful just like your father when he was your age." She fluttered her eyes and pressed one of her knuckles between her lips.
Tekka's mouth hung open wide, and he stood in brief stunned silence at this woman's audaciousness. "A-Annie, we're leaving!" Tekka pulled out his trainer card and tossed the envelope back on the counter. Tekka stormed to the front door and flung it open, expecting to see the same golden hues that had woken him up in the early afternoon, but was instead greeted my a rapidly approaching azure blob.
Tekka didn't even have time to react, let alone identify the blue mouse as it hurtled toward him and leapt at his face. "D-" Was all the sound Tekka had time to make before the Marill collided with his face and knocked him off his feet, sending him once again crashing backwards to the ground.
Aniel side stepped out of the way as her trainer came down, and sighed with jealousy as the roly poly creature squeaked with delight and latched on to Tekka's face. Tekka squirmed and screamed in protest, while trying to pull the Marill off his face.
"Dolly!" A girl exclaimed and came running up to the door after the Marill. "Let him go!"
The Marill complied and released Tekka from its death grip, bouncing back up into the girl's waiting arms.
"S-Sorry, Tekka!" The girl laughed nervously. "Dolly, just, really likes you."
Tekka's left eye twitched as he lay on the ground, his face contorted in frustration, but he tried to keep his voice as low and calm as possible. "Lyra... Keep your Marill under control."
Lyra giggled and hugged the Marill tight in her arms, and it responded in kind by squeaking pleasantly. Dolly wriggled free of Lyra's grip and bounced down to the ground, peering in through the doorway and greeting Tekka's Kirlia with a few enthusiastic squeaks.
Lyra reached down to Tekka and offered him a hand, helping him back to his feet. She smiled at him with her eyes lightly closed and a light rose coloured blush sneaking onto her energetic features. Her medium length brunette hair was tied at each side into a pair of short pigtails, the rest of her hair hidden beneath a puffy and extravagant white hat. She was fifteen, one year younger than Tekka, and blossoming into a beautiful young lady.
"The professor's waiting for us!" Lyra exclaimed, completely forgetting to ask Tekka if he was alright. "I can't wait to see the new species, it's exciting don't you think?" She chirped eagerly.
"Thrilling." Tekka rubbed the sore spot on the back of his head, and Aniel began to pat the back of his black jeans to remove the dust from the hard wooden floor.
"Oh, you're no fun." Lyra pouted, and Dolly mimicked her actions, turning her nose up at Tekka. "Come on! Before he decides to give them to someone else!" Lyra continued unabated by Tekka's apparent lack of interest.
"Alright already." Tekka gave in walked out the door with Aniel hanging close behind him.
"Good morning, Mrs Ijuin!" Lyra called through the door, "Sorry, but I'll be borrowing him for a while."
"Oh my," Tekka's mother feigned blushing once again, "Have fun you two."
Tekka didn't even need to look to see the expression she was making, his left eye twitched again and he stalked off to the western end of the town, and the wildlife research lab that waited not too far off in the distance.
Lyra laughed at closed the door behind her, folding her arms behind her back and following after Tekka and Aniel with a spring in her step.
The interior of lab was pleasant, bright and clean. The sunlight flooded the room unhindered, and the small number of staff that worked busily with the various creatures they were assigned to, seemed to genuinely enjoy their work.
Lyra didn't stop to greet anybody in the lab, but proceeded straight past the two rows of eight enormous glass cabinets, stuffed to the brim with books, disks, and papers, and wandered into the rear of the building where a skinny middle aged man was busily fawning over large, impressive looking microscope, totally oblivious to anything going on around.
"Professor Elm!" Lyra greeted the man happily, but got no response. "Hey, Professor." Lyra said, leaning in to project her voice a little further.
The man didn't respond, instead he continued to fiddle with the microscope, muttering to himself and twisting the dials on the machine.
"HEY! PRO-FESS-OR!" Lyra shouted, causing the man to jump sharply and hit his head against the microscope.
The man turned and adjusted the glasses on his face to get a good look at the two teenagers that had wandered into his workspace.
"Oh! Hi, you two!" Professor Elm said, as if he'd totally forgotten he'd invited them. "I was waiting for you but I-"
Tekka rolled his eyes as the professor continued to babble about his research and his findings, and blew a stray stand of his messy blonde hair out of his face.
"I'm so thankful to you two for doing this little task for me. It's the least I can do to thank you, to let you adopt these Pokemon now that we've finished researching them." Professor Elm.
"What task?" Tekka asked, raising an eyebrow. "Nobody said anything about a ta-!"
Lyra stood on Tekka's foot to keep him quiet, and laughed to cover up Tekka's pained grunt. "Of course, Professor. We're happy to help in any way we can!"
"Great! Well, go ahead and pick any one you like." Professor Elm handed each of them a Pokeball and gestured to a small pen near the window, where three Pokemon were resting quietly.
Lyra giggled gleefully and picked up the green Pokemon that was resting in the sunlight. It looked at her curiously at first but seemed to smile approvingly at her. "You're a chikorita right? Heehee, I've been looking forward to meeting you."
Tekka and Aniel peered into the pen where the remaining two Pokemon were stirring as a result of Lyra's eager exclamations. The reptilian Totodile and the fire breathing baby ferret Cyndaquil, warily watched the two newcomers who were examining them. The flame on Cyndaquil's back jumped a little higher and Tekka grinned at it and reached in carefully to touch it. "I'll be taking you I th-"
The Cyndaquil opened its mouth and bit into Tekka's hand. Tekka yelped and drew it back with the Cyndaquil still attached. Aniel shrieked and grabbed the flaming mammal, trying to pull it away from her trainer's hand, eventually prying it loose and letting it drop to the ground. The Cyndaquil squeaked in mischievous delight and skittered off across the floor.
"You git!" Enraged, Tekka grabbed hold of the normal Pokeball and chased after the Cyndaquil as it hopped around the room. "You're going down!"
Tekka hurled the Pokeball at the Cyndaquil, now hiding beneath one of the glass cabinets separating Elm's workspace from the rest of the lab. The Cyndaquil had nowhere else to run and was caught by the ball which dragged him inside in a red beam of light, capturing him without a problem. Tekka reached under the cabinet and retrieved the ball, holding it above his head and victory, still shaking his throbbing fingers. Aniel cheered and clapped for Tekka, mostly thankful that he wasn't hurt by the little creature which had acted so viciously.
"Wahahaha~!" Lyra laughed while playing with her new Chikorita, oblivious to what Tekka was doing with the Cyndaquil. "She smells like lemons, so that's what I'll call you, Little Lemon." She tickled the Chikorita, Lemon, gleefully.
Tekka looked at the Pokeball and and frowned. "Well... This guy is evil. So I guess that's your name now too, isn't it?" The ball shook as if the creature now inside it was protesting the choice of name, but Tekka wasn't about to cut it any slack. "Get used to it, Evil."
Professor Elm laughed. "That's great. Thanks you two, I'm glad they'll be going to good homes. Lyra you remember where Mr. Pokemon's house is right? If the two of you can take your new Pokemon north of Cherrygrove city to collect the package he has for me, I'd appreciate the help."
"No problem, Professor!" Lyra said, opening the Pokeball in one hand and allowing Lemon to be taken inside.
"I didn't agree to thi-" Tekka didn't get to finish his sentence as he was dragged toward the exit by Lyra and Dolly.
"We're going, Professor! We'll be back soon!"
"Thanks, you two!" Professor Elm waved as they left. "Ah... It's good to be young."
The journey from New Bark Town to the residence of "Mr. Pokemon", north of Cherrygrove City, had been relatively trouble free, and they were now returning to New Bark once again. The sight of Pidgeys bobbing their heads in the trees of the forested route gave way to the pleasant sea air of the small coastal town. Tekka had released Evil from his Pokeball, and was still on Route 30 chasing Caterpie through the tall grass.
Aniel watched the flaming rodent tentatively as it scurried around in search of a new victim. She wasn't sure what to make of her master's new pet. It was unsettling having someone else join their group, after all the two of them had been alone and traveled together throughout Hoenn and then Sinnoh for seven years, and in that time Tekka had never once felt the need to have another companion. Aniel shook her head though, telling herself that she didn't need to worry, no matter what happened she knew they would always be together.
"Uwaah!" Lyra exclaimed lifting an oddly shaped egg into the air. "I've never seen a Pokemon egg in person before. What do you think's inside it?"
Tekka ground his teeth together and muttered to himself, still irritated by the pair of old men they had just left behind on Route 30. "Who does he think he is? Asking me if I'm a boy or a girl. Like you can't tell just by looking at me. Idiot."
Lyra lowered the egg, and clutched it to her chest, skewing one corner of her mouth and looking at Tekka with disappointment.
Both Tekka and Lyra looked up to see the form of a red haired young boy running toward them, and responding to the cry they had heard, barred his path, and he came skidding to a halt in front of them, smirking, with his perfectly tidy, long red hair barely moving from the effort.
"...Oh it's you two. You got Pokemon at the lab too, right?" The boy asked. "What a waste. They're too good for wimps like you... Now out of my way!"
The red haired boy dropped a Pokeball, and the last remaining Pokemon belonging to Professor Elm, emerged from it and hissed at Tekka and Lyra. Lyra clutched the egg protectively and frowned at the boy.
"D-Dolly!" Lyra cried out, and the round blue mouse charged toward the reptile, ready to tackle it to the ground.
The totodile dodged to the side with impressive agility, swatted Dolly off the road, hissing again as she went rolling into the trees.
"Oh no!" Lyra cried again, chasing her poor Marill as it rolled off into the trees, leaving Tekka and the red haired boy standing face to face.
"Don't tell me that's all the two of you can do?" He asked rhetorically, flipping his hair arrogantly to the side. "You really are wimps?"
Aniel appeared at Tekka's side in an instant. The familiar snapping sound and flash of light indicative of her teleportation ability was enough to put the Totodile on edge, and it lowered its head and bared its fangs looking for an opportunity to strike.
Aniel put her slender palms together and began to focus a ball of psychic energy to hurl at the upstart beast, but Tekka put his arm out and prevented her from advancing forward.
"Don't, Annie. You're too strong for it, and we can't hurt the Professor's Totodile." Tekka warned her.
Aniel grudgingly let the energy dissipate, and withdrew herself to watch from the safety of Tekka's shadow.
"Alright, Evil." Tekka smiled and snapped his fingers, pointing at the red haired boy and his stolen Pokemon. "Let's see what you can do."
The little flaming creature bound up to Tekka's side, and squared off against its reptilian opponent. The flame on its back bursting intensely as it prepared itself for a battle. Earlier in the day the two of them had shared a pen peacefully, but now it seemed they were more than eager to face off against one another.
Evil wasted no time in launching an attack, throwing its entire body at the Totodile, sending it sprawling and rolling in the dirt.
"Hmph!" The red haired boy's expression suddenly became irritated. "Not bad for a weakling, I guess."
The Totodile regained its composure and lunged back at Evil, swiping with its claws, but Evil turned to its side and let the attack pass harmlessly through the flames searing on his back. The totodile's arm smoked, and seemed a little singed but the damage was negligible. And Evil followed up with another full body tackle, sending the slower Totodile sprawling again, until it came to land at its master's feet.
The red-haired boy grit his teeth and leered at Tekka, dragging the Totodile back inside the Pokeball. "Are you happy that you won?" He asked. "Don't get too comfortable, because I'm going to be the world's greatest Trainer. One way or another!"
And with that the red-haired boy ran at full speed, barging past Tekka and Aniel and fleeing toward Cherrygrove City. As he passed by, Tekka dipped his hand into the boy's pocket, and pulled out the card that was inside it. The red haired boy continued to run, unaware that he had just been pickpocketed.
"Waah, Dolly, are you okay?"Lyra asked, balancing the egg and her dazed Marill between both hands.
Tekka looked at Lyra and chuckled to himself, then flipped the card over in his hand and read the details. It was a trainer ID for the neighbouring Kanto region, the boy's picture and name were featured prominently on the left side.
"Silver, was it?" Tekka mused watching the boy disappear into the distance. "That was actually pretty fun."