The setting Johto sun… It was something beautiful, that's what all travelers thought. It made Goldenrod City even more golden than it already was. The buildings were cast aglow, and people marveled at the day's end. You could hear most residents of Goldenrod City running back home, coming home to their family and friends. It was the city that did sleep when it was supposed to. Crime was very low, even considering Goldenrod's mass amount of people. But the young population was often insecure, and made others suffer. That was the side of Goldenrod not many adults and people in general, paid attention to.

The young Trainers exploring the city to challenge Whitney, the Gym Leader, came to the Pokémon Center to rest for the next day. Some were winners that day, others lost their challenge. Other, however, were lost themselves in the huge city. Goldenrod was constantly praised for the sheer amount of people and Pokémon inhabiting it. It held a department store, which boasted a large selection to even rival that of Kanto's Celadon City. Trainers also would spend hours looking for the rather poorly located Bicycle Shop, looking for a faster mean of transportation. The Global Terminal near the coast was something that most Trainers would look forward visiting as well, to communicate with all Trainers anywhere. The Magnet Train ran across Goldenrod, and went towards the east to Kanto's Saffron City, connecting our region to theirs. The largest cities between the two regions connected by one Magnet Train was a very interesting accomplishment, considering that one had to go by boat around the whole coastline of both Johto and Kanto to reach here and forth.

My favorite part was National Park, though. Mars and I would take a walk around the large and extravagant fountain the middle of copious amounts of grass around. Of course, this was my favorite pastime. But this wasn't just mine; it was almost everyone that was around my age. So of course, I was challenged to a lot of battles. And they weren't too pretty… The point being, being wimpy makes you easy prey.

"Looks like Sebastian lost eleven battles today? I don't even feel like I'm getting a gain here, I'm heading home. His Tyrogue is getting weaker, right? It's not that my Snubull is getting stronger, of course." The older boy, the leader of the group of boys who ambushed Mars and me, began to walk away. And typically the rest of the boys began to follow. Until one of them noticed me giving Mars two Potions, restoring him back to full health. I gave the command right away. It was their blind spot that I needed to take advantage of. I wasn't going to let them get away with this again.

"Mars… use Tackle!" I commanded him. Mars charged quickly and hit the boy's Sentret, who didn't put up a good fight before, and needed the help of the leader's Snubull to take care of him. It fell backwards, looking worse than it did a good ten minutes ago when the assault began.

The other boys quickly noticed the counterattack, and sent out the same Pokémon that took out Mars previously. Mars was barely good at one-on-one combat, but ganged up like this… A Caterpie wriggled up a Tackle, knocking Mars off balance. A Nidoran used Poison Sting, which hurt, judging from Mars' expression. The same Sentret then began a fury of Scratch. A Snubull soon came back for a Take Down, knocking Mars far into the tall grass. His Trainer, the leader of the pack went up to me. I glared at him, and he did the same. We were even in the hateful stares department.

Or at least until he punched me in the face, knocking me back. He soon gave the permission for the rest of the goons to do the same. Just like last time. I was being humiliated again. Kicks and punches were both evenly distributed. And no one would come to help me. Except for the last person I wanted to see right now. This was history repeating itself, like fate. The punches and kicks were lessening down, and I was hearing the other boys shouting commands. I hazily looked over near the fountain, and saw what was going on. Not that I needed any more reminders.

"Jiggly, please use Hyper Voice!" A girl, older than me, commanded her soft looking pink Pokémon. It easily knocked back all the Pokémon in the opposing side with strong shockwaves of its loud vocals, and looked like even a few of the boys were slightly deafened.

It was expected from my sister, but it didn't make me feel any better. The opposite, actually. The boys began to run away with their knocked out Pokémon, leaving me behind. She looked at me with a concerned expression.

"Are you alright?" She asked me. It was that concern that bugged me the most.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm just peachy." I spat. I was getting up, look for Mars, then walk home. I wasn't going to take some of my sister's kind words of advice today. Maybe some other day, sure. But I had steam to blow now. I guess she understood my mood, and went home by herself before I even went into the grass looking for my fallen partner.

He looked pretty banged up. Would probably take a half hour at the center, at least. I wondered if I'd be able to train a little more. I took out his relatively new Pokéball and returned him. I walked the length of Route 34, through a good part of Goldenrod, before stopping at my destination, the Pokémon Center to heal Mars. I was off the healing time too. I looked at the clock in the room. It was almost nine, a full hour after I arrived. My family would be having dinner right about now, and my sister would be telling them why I would be late to join them. Pretty embarrassing, but it couldn't be helped. They were playing a crime show on the television. The serial killer a.k.a. monster of the week was an arsonist that had OCD with the number three. I liked these shows. It gave me the hope that all bad people can be chased down and stopped. Made me feel like I would get strong and do the same thing too. If only Mars and I were a little stronger, right? Right as the next show began, Nurse Joy called out.

"The Trainer with the Tyrogue, he's all better now!" After retrieving my Pokéball from her and giving her my gratitude, I sent out Mars immediately. He looked angry. I figured at me, but he wasn't ignoring me, like he would when he was upset with somebody. I knew he wasn't mature physically or psychologically, but still. This was different than usual pouting. Then I noticed that he was staring hatefully at his small body. Now this was worse, in all honesty. It's one thing that you feel depressed yourself over self-esteem, but I guess I drew the line that night when it started affecting Mars, too. He must have thought his scrawny body was the issue with his strength. It was disheartening seeing him hate himself.

"Look Mars…" I began. I was going to try and give a cheesy motivational speech on how we would better next time, even though I knew it wasn't the case.

But then I thought of something as I looked over the television again for lessening the increasingly tense moment. The weather was on, reporting that tomorrow was going to be sunny and even hotter than today. Today was Friday. And then the date clicked in my head. I was amazed I didn't think of this before. This meant tomorrow was the perfect opportunity to go do my daily stroll at National Park. And not just any stroll. Catch a Pokémon to help train with Mars. And beat the bullies. And even beat Whitney the Gym Leader. Heck, I could beat the whole world if I got a strong Pokémon. Simple logic, I thought. Mars still looked down, but I put my hand on his shoulder.

"We're entering the Bug Catching Contest tomorrow, Mars! And we'll get you a training buddy. We'll all become the strongest, beat Whitney, and then all those boys and their Pokémon that are always mean to us, okay?" I grinned. He looked confused, but I think my enthusiasm got to him. Which was an understatement, since I was feeling phenomenal.

"Ty!" He said, putting his fist up in the air. I was happier that he got into the mood.

This was perfect.


I woke up the next morning, ate breakfast, and avoided both my parents and my sister. I didn't want to disappoint them by letting them see me after my beating yesterday. That said, I felt some bruising in my legs and chest as I made my way out of the apartment building, but I kept walking through Goldenrod with Mars at my side. They would be starting soon, and I still needed to register. And I would need a lot of time to find the best Pokémon there.

No Caterpie. No Weedle. None of those weak Bugs that even Mars can singlehandedly beat. I wanted a strong, prize worthy Bug that would help me win battles, and let Mars train hard. Like a Pinsir. Or a maybe even a Scyther would be great. I shuddered in anticipation in winning the first place prize for catching one. This was it. Everything would get better for me and Mars today.

This was my first of many master plans I had in mind, but of course, the first one to fail.