Chimera Saga: Forged Path
Chapter 01: Boredom
By: Izumi Ryu
Chimera Saga concept by: Theo 'Blitz' Leung
Disclaimer: Pokemon characters, creatures, and settings belong to Nintendo, Game Freak, and others involved with the creation and promotion of the franchise. This is a fanwork with no intent of monetary gain. Original characters introduced in this story belong to the authors of the Chimera Saga collaborative series, in which the characters do require permission for use in other works.
Restless didn't even begin to describe Daniel. As much as he wanted to calm down, the boredom of living in a small town always annoyed him. Sitting and staring at another sheet of easy homework didn't help either, easy for him anyway. He doesn't think of himself as a genius by any stretch, but there are times he wished even his homework was harder. Sitting outside did nothing to ease him despite the warm day, just enough of a breeze to make it comfortable. He wanted something to happen so badly that he was tempted to go looking for trouble, something that was never good with him.
"Hey, asshole!" a child's voice called out. "What's wrong? Too retarded to get your homework done?"
Daniel took a peek at where the voice came from. A small gathering of his classmates stood out on the road in front of the house, giggling and pointing at him. Craig, the one that called David out, slowly walked up to him, his friends following closely behind. This wasn't what Daniel had in mind, but he shrugged it off and looked down at his assignment. With a couple of strokes of his pen, the assignment was finished.
The giggling continued among the boys that arrived. "Oh, look. He's too stupid to know he's being insulted." The boy apparently leading the kids said aloud, intentionally making sure Daniel could hear him. Daniel continued to ignore them, as well as the sound of footsteps on concrete.
While the group followed their leader, two or three looked around as if watching out for anything. He started to pick up his papers to put them away, but a hand slammed down on top of them, pinning the pages to the table. "Why waste the teacher's ink on a failing mark?" the 'leader' asked, his hand slowly curling as he started to crumble the paper.
Daniel wasn't really quick to anger, but these kids were baiting him for something. What? He didn't know, but either way, he wasn't going to fall for it. It didn't look like anyone was going to help him either though, so it was up to him to take care of things.
He slammed both of his hands down on the table. While Craig didn't look phased, several of the others looked terrified. Some were slowly backing away, as if he would go after them first if they ran too fast. He pushed off on the table, slowly standing up out of the chair. Before he stood straight up, you could tell he was taller than anyone of those kids. He also had a minimal muscular build, barely enough to notice. Daniel hadn't done any weightlifting or anything. Despite how lanky he looked, that minor build was enough to make him appear intimidating. Several more kids backed away, some of them running. Daniel hunched over as he stared into the eyes of the child. A silent breeze seemed to pass that moment as the two stared each other down.
"What?" Craig asked as the last of his friends left. He seemed quite confident and cocky, not realizing his 'back up' had abandoned him. He stood arms crossed before Daniel as if there was nothing the much bigger boy could do to him.
Daniel silently nodded, pointing out that the kid was no longer with his small army. Craig slowly turned around, now finding his friends had abandoned him. Now paranoid and knowing he stood no chance against his classmate, he decided to take his friends' cue and leave, running off.
Daniel looked over the paper, seeing the minor crinkles, but nothing he couldn't fix or at least improve. He just laid the paper down on the table and ran his hand across it to flatten it out. He wasn't too concerned with it otherwise. He just stuffed the papers in his backpack, ready for the next day.
"Craig and his goon squad bothering you again?" someone spoke up. Daniel looked up at Ryna, a girl he had been friends with for awhile. Strands of her long brown hair got blown by the minimal breeze. Her crystal blue eyes showed concern despite the fact that nothing happened of what she just saw.
"They're nothing that I can't handle," Daniel told her, turning back to putting his items back in his pack.
"That's what I'm afraid of." Ryna sighed not sure what to do. "Those guys aren't worth it."
"I figured that much," Daniel told her. "But what else am I going to do? They're just getting bolder."
Ryna nodded. Craig never listened to anyone. She guessed it came from being the principal's brat. The problem was Daniel's usual response to that, one that gave people the wrong impression of him. It's that response she was afraid of.
"Think we can talk?" Ryna asked, after a short stint of silence.
Daniel looked up for a moment at Ryna, who looked uneasy about something. He didn't think much about it though. "Sure. Think we can walk around a bit?" Daniel asked, wanting so badly to burn off this pent up energy.
Ryna nodded as Daniel walked up to her. Ryna turned as he approached her, walking down to the street side by side with the young man. Daniel could notice a bit of her tension, but let her lead where they went, even if they were to just wander aimlessly. You could see the light changing to a more orange tint to the light over the town. Very few people were out, as there weren't many people in this town to begin with.
Pallet Town's houses were just close enough for you to realize it was a community, but far enough away for it to keep its rural appearance. Despite it's small size, it was a popular place for starting trainers because of Professor Oak's lab, virtually the only 'commercial' building in the whole town. Because it was considered an honor just to start their journey by meeting the professor, more trainers pass through here than the actual population of the town. The lab looked like, a large farmhouse with a windmill behind it, up high on a hill where it could be seen from any home in town. The high tech machines inside the building and the massive range was home to numerous pokemon for both safekeeping for trainers and the professor's research.
Ryna looked down as she walked for a moment. "I know you don't think much of pokemon training, but I'm going to do it. I've already passed all of the tests."
"Good for you," Daniel told her, showing her a grin.
Ryna looked up in surprise at Daniel, expecting a different reaction from him. "But I thought..."
"Ryna, I have nothing against pokemon training. I know you'll do well," Daniel interrupted.
"Why don't you do it then?" Ryna asked. "I'm sure you will do great, too."
Daniel scoffed. "And follow every other idiot that thinks they can do what Oak and Ketchum have? Besides, even if I wanted to, I wouldn't be allowed."
Ryna didn't argue that last point. Daniel's reputation preceded him big time. That didn't stop her from making her wish she could bring him along. Ryna looked up at Professor Oak's lab. She didn't know why she had walked in that direction, probably hoping that Daniel would change his mind and at least try.
As they approached the outer fence line, they noticed several boys huddled in a circle near the fence. Daniel immediately recognized Craig's buddies. No one else was around, even any of the pokemon that usually filled the professor's fields. Usually, bored kids did the dumbest things possible, and Daniel knew this wouldn't be any different. "Ryna...over there..." David jerked his head towards the group. Ryna turned to look at the scene and immediately wanted to take Daniel away.
Then they noticed Craig and one of the others. Tyler, Daniel thought the name was. Tyler just looked like he was along for the ride while Craig seemed like he was on a mission. The crowd parted a bit when the two approached, just enough for Daniel to notice the Geodude they were holding down. Geodudes weren't common here, but they're crawling all over the mountains. Their round, rocky hide made it durable to most kinds of damage. That didn't mean it didn't have its weaknesses.
Craig and Tyler lifted the buckets up and tipped them forward, soaking the rock-type with the water it contained. Ryna looked on and covered her mouth at what just happened. They all had learned that rock-types had a weakness to water. Looked like these boys were bored enough to test that theory. Ryna resisted the urge to walk up to the boys and slap each and every one of them.
Daniel clinched his fists.
The boys started to laugh, egging the Geodude on in their torment. It looked quite annoyed but didn't move to attack them, as if trying to avoid hurting them. Daniel started to storm forward. Ryna reached out to grab Daniel's shoulder, but Daniel just slipped past her grip. Daniel was too determined to stop. "Go get Oak," Daniel told her. Ryna stopped for a couple of seconds before turning around and running for the lab. Perhaps she could get to the professor before too much was done.
Daniel approached the group silently but with purpose, stepping between two of the boys. "Nice one," Daniel remarked, his voice filled with sarcasm.
"Isn't it?" one of the boys next to him continued laughing. The other one stopped, realizing who had just shown up out of nowhere.
Before the boys next to him realized what was happening, they doubled over in sharp pain, Daniel's elbows had embedded themselves into their stomachs. Both of his fists whipped up, making a crunching sound as they slammed into their faces, making the bone in their noses snap. Then, he lifted his hands back and chopped down on the back of their necks, they dropped suddenly onto the ground, no longer conscious.
The other boys turned to look at Daniel, surprise turning into anger. "You're going down, Freak Show!" Craig yelled out, storming towards Daniel.
"So that's what you're calling me now," Daniel remarked as Craig approached him. He didn't waste time with Craig, punching him square in the face, blood started pouring out of his nose. Craig backed away, covering his nose with his hands.
The remaining boys closed in on Daniel fast. The first one's fist flew past Daniel's face, missing by inches as he cocked his head to the side. Daniel then grabbed the boy's arm with one hand and struck it hard with the other. Whether Daniel heard the crack or not, he didn't react as he flipped the boy up by that same arm, slamming him back first into the ground. He immediately grabbed his arm and writhed on the ground
The others suffered a fate not much better than their friend. Another crack could've been heard after Daniel ducked under another punch and replied with a solid punch to the boy's chest. That boy stepped back, clutching at his chest and his now cracked ribs. Daniel didn't waste time on the next attacker, his fist striking the side of the head hard enough to knock him to the floor. He remained on the ground unconscious. Tyler, the last of the boys, stopped, not wanting to end up like his friends. He ran away, screaming as if death itself was chasing him.
Daniel sighed, walking up to the Geodude. "You okay?" Daniel asked. The rock-type looked weak with all the water covering it and only groaned in response.
"Daniel!" Ryna called as she ran forward, catching up. Daniel looked around for Craig, who had disappeared amidst the struggle, probably to go whine to his parents over what happened.
"Daniel! What are you doing? Did you get into another fight?" an older man asked harshly. Daniel froze in dread at the sound of his voice, but quickly recovered.
Daniel simply replied, "Hello, Professor." It didn't take much for him to recognize Professor Oak's voice.
"Don't patronize me, Daniel. Look at what you did!" the gray haired man continued to berate him, his hands remaining in his lab coat's pockets.
Ryna was about to say something before Daniel cut in. "Let the doctors worry about those bozos." Daniel picked up the rock pokemon, not phased at all by the professor's tone. Daniel had been in so many fights that he was used to the routine. The Geodude clinged onto Daniel as if he was the only safe thing in the vicinity. "This guy, on the other hand, needs your help."
Professor Oak looked at it, widening his eyes at the condition it was in. "Craig and his goons decided to dump buckets of water on this Geodude." Ryna stepped up. "If Daniel didn't step in, he could be a lot worse."
The old man shook his head. "Come with me. We'll talk in the lab," the older man told him. "That doesn't get you in the clear either."
Daniel shrugged, not surprised he was being held under such heavy scrutiny. He followed the professor in the tense silence. Ryna kept pace with him, wanting to do more to defend Daniel. Daniel never planned to defend himself. He'd just explain what happened and accept his punishment as usual.
Daniel and Ryna waited silently in Oak's study, tension thick in the silent room. Daniel paced, his feet barely making a tapping sound on the tile floor as he waited for Oak to come in from looking over the Geodude. Ryna looked on, sitting in one of the two couches in the room. A couple of walls were covered by bookshelves, filled with various books, one of those shelves actually built in to a computer desk. The computer itself was the only sound as the fan went off, idling with a screensaver masking the professor's work.
"Daniel, sit down. I know this isn't fair to you, but..." Ryna finally broke the silence.
"What's 'fair' doesn't matter," Daniel told her. "I'm gonna get punished. I'd just rather it happen already."
Professor Oak walked in on cue, glancing at Daniel. Ryna sat up straighter while Daniel simply turned towards the old man. "The Geodude is fine now," the Professor told him. "He'll be fully rested by tomorrow."
Daniel and Ryna looked relieved. "So what is it now?" Daniel asked, expecting to here the bad news along with this.
"To be fair, if it were up to me, I wouldn't do a thing," the professor told him. Ryna seemed to relax and Daniel looked a little surprised. "But it's not."
"I figured as much," Daniel told him, the surprise quickly fading.
"You've been expelled from school," the professor told him.
"What?" Ryna practically shouted quickly standing up from the couch. Daniel hadn't been phased, as if he knew it was coming sooner or later.
"I was talking to the principal while I was looking after the Geodude, explaining everything to her. The principal wanted the incident dealt with quickly, and because this was a repeat offense with Daniel, she had every right to react the way she did," the old man continued, studying Daniel and his lack of a reaction towards his revelation.
"And what about why Daniel did it?" Ryna asked.
"That didn't matter. She didn't want to hear anything else," Oak told her with a shrug.
Well, I did beat up her brat, Daniel thought to himself. "At least, I lasted longer than most people thought," Daniel sighed.
"Your future just got ruined and that's all you can say?" the Professor asked.
"What future?" Daniel asked harshly. "I had no clue what I was going to do. Even if I tried to start training pokemon, it's not like I would be allowed. As far as I'm concerned, I had no future to begin with."
Ryna looked at Daniel with surprise after his small outburst, catching a small glimpse of her best friend's hidden frustrations. The Professor wiped his forehead at this. "Did you really want to be a pokemon trainer?" the Professor asked, wondering about just what kind of person Daniel would be if he started out on such a prospect.
"I'm not sure," Daniel said, looking even more tense. "I don't know what I want. I just want to be pushed until I can find what I want. I don't care if I become as popular as your grandson or absolutely no one knows about it."
The professor studied the boy for a few moments, as if plotting something. "You two should go home, but Daniel, I want you to come here first thing in the morning."
David looked confused for a moment. "What for?"
"I just need some help," the Professor told him, which was half of the truth. He did need help, but he wanted to study the young man more. "Work's piling up with the next group of trainers about to start their journeys."
Daniel nodded, not really looking for it, but it's not like he had anything else to do. He dreaded the thought of staying at home now. His mother probably already heard about his expulsion, and she wouldn't be anywhere near as lenient as the old man.