I woke up in the morning and got some breakfast with Cheren and Bel before they went on ahead to Route 2. I went and bought some more pokeballs and a few items for Haiiro and went and trained in the early morning though my team seemed pretty powerful as is. The Routes in Isshu are separated by small tunnel like buildings, each with a help desk and a moving screen that displayed the temperature, weather and general conditions of the Route and upcoming city. Route 2 is another small route between Accumula Town and Striaton City though it’s overrun with trainers from the immediate area. I got out of the tunnel and before I could even scan the Route fully my x-transceiver started to ring. My mother had called me, telling me she had a “present” but before I could ask what it was she hung up. I was relieved for a moment before I heard her behind me, shocked of course I whirled around to see her face to face. She had followed me…and before I could even say anything she thrust a pair of new shoes at me. I’d never seen them before but she swore she had found them while she cleaned. I took them and thanked her before she ran off. I wasn’t a dummy and after she left I went off the trail a little and let out Fred, my Lillipup. He tore into them with a fierce determination that I’d honestly never seen before in a Pokémon. Moments later a pile of fuzz and scraps were all that was left, and as I sifted through it I found what I had feared. She’d bugged the shoes, a small chip blinked merrily and thoughts of crushing it in my hand flooded my mind before a devious thought took its place. I grinned, the first ounce of freedom tasting sweet like candy as I went wading into the tall grass. I found a Purrloin and after a brief battle I knocked it out and attached the chip to it. My mother could track a wild Pokémon for a while if she wanted. I went about catching a few other Pokémon, a Purrloin of my own that I named Mikey though the forest seemed fairly silent considering all the trainers around.
I battled a few of them as I made my way through the Route, they were fairly good for beginners though I think my edge was a bit unfair against them. Their Pokémon were obviously caught on Route 1 and Route 2 and while they put up a good show in the end my Haiiro was just a grade above them. This delighted him to no end let me tell you and as we moved through the Route he chirped and climbed over me in a frenzy. I tried to calm him down, knowing full well by now he was just going to tire himself out but it was no use. He had it in his little head that he wanted to expend his energy. Just as Striaton City came into view I saw Bel at the city entrance, clearly waiting for something. I slowed my approach, trying to rouse Haiiro from his inevitable slumber before walking up to her. She greeted me and asked if I wanted to have a picnic with her and her Oshawott and though I wasn’t in a hurry I wanted to get into the city and at least find a shower since I’d missed it in the morning rush to get back on the road. She was adamant about it like she was about anything that got into her head so I relented under the pressure. We talked for a while as the morning sun moved to the afternoon and the chill wind picked up. She’d made egg salad sandwiches and bought a few soda’s, she’d clearly been waiting all morning for me to come down the path since the soda’s were warm and the sandwiches were a little slimy. She was thankfully a good cook, and despite the lukewarm food it was a pleasant rest. Haiiro and her Oshawott played and tussled about the blanket she’d laid out making what I figure they thought were threatening noises at one another. Bel thought it was hysterical but I figured it wouldn’t last long before the two of them fell asleep. Our talking turned to Cheren, it seemed he had headed into the city after waiting for me to scout it out and hadn’t returned. Bel always blushed when speaking about him though at the time I really never thought about it. She blushed at everything at the slightest provocation. We finished our meal and collected our little warriors before walking back to the city entrance. I asked Bel if she wanted to test out the Pokémon she’d caught up to now and without even the slightest hesitation she agreed. I beat her without a scratch to my Haiiro though I think he got a few lucky shots out, I felt a little bad at Bel’s haplessness though she honestly had improved since the day before. She thanked me and made her way to the Pokémon center while I went about to investigate Striaton City.
The City was huge compared to Nuvema and honestly I felt a little small standing on the paved streets between the towering gray brick buildings with their dark blue roofs. It was a common understanding that a Trainer taking the League Challenge was allowed entry into homes if the owner was alright with it. The law was created so that traveling Trainers wouldn’t be left out in harsh weather; a few Trainers back in my mother’s time had died from exposure during the winter and had caused one heck of a stir for the League. I didn’t want to abuse the situation but I explored the inside of a few houses and had some nice chats with the residents. I was nervous at first doing so but the ones who answered the door were always quite polite and kind. I was given a towel and another lunch by a kindly elderly couple before I was rushed off to the shower. Their grandkids played with Haiiro and I think he quite liked it. The atmosphere was pleasant, nothing like home, only two days into my journey and I was enjoying not having to stay in that oppressive house. We chatted for a bit longer before I took my leave of the couple’s house though they told me if I was ever through the city I would always have a bed. The old woman even asked me to call her Grandma, it was a little weird but I still stay in contact with them to this day. They shoved food in my pockets and pack to bursting as I fled their honest and good natured hospitality, and as I finally got free from the grasp of the well intentioned couple I struck out back into the city. I wanted to challenge the gym right away so I could enjoy the city more but as I made my way up the stairs a man wearing dark sunglasses stopped me. He told me the Gym Leaders weren’t in and that I’d have to wait to challenge them. He advised me to go to the Trainer Academy to brush up on my A game in the mean time with a wide sneer. I’d have been insulted if the idea I needed to brush up on my “A Game” wasn’t so laughable or for the fact that he also said that the Gym Leaders taught classes there and I might be able to request a match from one of them if I found them. I grudgingly hiked the way there though I was a little miffed I’d been repulsed so swiftly.
I found Cheren at the Trainer Academy but the Gym Leaders were nowhere in sight, though I really didn’t know what they looked like. The idea there was more than one was a little strange as well. Cheren wanted a battle as well and his Tepig was in top form, nearly beating Haiiro with some well timed strikes. I was a little worried my winning streak was at an end so swiftly though I pushed through all the same. Cheren shared some berries he’d found with me, saying that a Pokémon was permitted to eat them in battle and that they had curative properties, Cheren was always good with academic knowledge like that. I shared some food with him because I honestly had to lighten my load and let him go, still fairly disappointed that the Gym Leaders were nowhere to be seen. I kicked around the City for a while, even finding an abandoned location the locals called “The Dreamyard” though it was overgrown with thick vegetation I couldn’t push through. Some trainers had taken up squatting in the area in hopes to catch some rare Pokémon but I didn’t see any evidence that Pokémon were even in the area to begin with. I battled the few that were there and made small talk with a fairly nice young lady who offered me a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. She said that for the simple price of watching me battle, she’d give me a Pokémon just like that. I’d told her I’d already beaten all the trainers in the area, so she handed me a pokeball with some bubbles etched on the top in lapis lazuli. A Panpour was inside and before I could ask about it the chick was gone like smoke in the wind. It was a little disconcerting but I pushed it out of my mind and went back to the elderly couple’s house to sleep.
I spent the whole next day training on Route 2, not wanting to get rusty and to learn about the Pokémon I’d just caught. Before I noticed night was fast approaching and I figured I’d give the gym another shot before waiting till morning. I lucked out and as I stepped into the Gym that snide old man assaulted me with a bottle of water. Called me “Champ in the making” and told me I had a shot at making it to the big times. The guy was a sycophantic jerk for sure and I brushed past him. The gym had a strange theme; it was a restaurant and a Gym all in one. People were eating their meals and the waiting staff had poke balls attached to their aprons. A waitress informed me that the unique nature of the Gym allowed people to view battles while they enjoyed their meals and that the Gym Leaders were the top three chefs and servers of the restaurant. It seemed weird but I saw Cheren and Bel eating so I made to go join them. Before I could reach them though a waiter challenged me to a duel which I of course accepted to the cheers and hopeful looks of the patrons, until the battle was over and I won of course. The rest of the battles went more or less like that until a strange green haired man stepped in my way. He seemed most interested in my Haiiro and before I could say anything he whisked me to the very back of the restaurant, clearly the most posh area if the patrons were any indication. Two other people were there, a fiery headed young man and a dark blue haired boy, all dressed the same. The hair had to be a dye job; those colors were just a little too outrageous to be real. They introduced themselves as the Striaton City Gym Leaders Dent, Pod and Corn and before I could inquire what parent would be so unkind as to name their own child after a grain they sized me up and told me the rules. I’d only have to challenge one of them but it would be dependent on what starting Pokémon I’d received for my journey. My Haiiro was of course present and accounted for so it didn’t take them long to decide who I’d fight. It ended up that I’d be fighting Pod and as per the rules we decided on a two on two battle, each picking two of our Pokémon to go up against the other Trainer. I picked Haiiro and my Panpour Gojyo and the battle was set. He sent out a Lillipup and after a little stalling Haiiro executed a one hit K.O via a well placed Vine Whip. Pod sent out a monkey like Pokémon of his own, my Pokedex claiming it was called Pansear, clearly related to my Panpour. Not to be outdone I sent Gojyo out and just as the round before it was a wash, literally, for Pod. I received my Trio Badge and thanked the three of them before going and joining Cheren and Bel at their table. Dent, Pod and Corn joined us and we made small talk for a while before the restaurant/Gym closed for the night. Dent gave me a Technical Machine before I left but I didn’t have a whole lot of time to investigate it.
Pokémon learn moves naturally over the course of their growth, unlocking their hidden potential as they learn and grow, but sometime in the past some scientist decided that power needed to be harnessed. No one knows the process that first made the Technical and Hidden Machine’s but they’re a fairly integrated technology in the world today. Technical and Hidden Machines are small laser disks that attune themselves to the infrared scanning in Pokeballs, allowing Pokémon to learn moves while they’re in suspended animation. Due to this though, the League allows a single Pokémon to use only four moves during League matches, otherwise Pokémon would be using twenty or so moves and cause a good deal of destruction to the surrounding area. Hidden Machine’s were unique in that they were recognized by the League as any move helpful to a trainer and helped traverse dangerous terrain with ease. Rules were put in place to make such moves more difficult to attain, otherwise trainers would bypass most of their actual journey through their use. Badges, among other things, also allowed you to boot up and teach Pokémon the information on the Hidden Machine disks. The Trio Badge allowed me to teach and use the Cut Hidden Machine though I didn’t have it to teach. That would change swiftly, I soon found out.
I left Cheren and Bel to fend for themselves that night, planning on heading back to the nice old couple to take them up on their offer of a nice warm bed, but it seemed fate once again was going to tug me into a series of events that would have untold consequences down the road. A young girl in a lab coat was walking on the road opposite to me, a pink flower hair clip in her hair. One she spotted me and Haiiro she rushed towards me in a flurry. She introduced herself as Makomo, a lead scientist in Pokémon Dream Technology and something called the C-Gear, an device that would allow the owner to access a global network with the other regions of the world and trade Pokémon among other things. She asked for my assistance and took me to her home where I met her assistant Shōro and the device they claimed would send Pokémon to this “Dream World” though it just looked like a small bed to me. Makomo asked me to go to the Dream Yard and handed me the Hidden Machine for Cut, claiming the abandoned area was overrun with trees and vines that the Pokémon I had on me wouldn’t be able to get through without proper instruction. I booted it up and taught it to Mikey, figuring if anything else his claws could get through the underbrush. I made my way to the Dream Yard as asked and managed to bump into Bel as well. Seems she was asked to help out as well and between the two of us we managed to cut a small entrance into the dilapidated building. We investigated a bit though hour search turned up nothing initially until we heard a forlorn cry and the sounds of people talking. Bel wanted to look into it though images born from too many Yakuza films made me a little apprehensive. We spied on the commotion from a crack in one of the walls; two “Team Plasma” grunts were kicking and abusing a poor defenseless Pokémon. That seemed strange to me but before I could stop Bel she’d rushed out in defense of the thing and alerted the two thugs to our presence. It turns out that the Pokémon, Munna, was what we were looking for but also a Pokémon that Team Plasma wanted. The Dream Mist that it let out could sway people’s minds which they planned to use to convince Trainers to give up their Pokémon. It seemed even odder for a peaceful group, or so they claimed, to support thugs and motives such as this and as I watched the two beat up on the Munna I felt the anger in me rising. I swiftly dispatched Haiiro to take them out, their Pokémon no match for my tactics though it seems I acted a little too hastily as they vented their frustrations out on the Munna severely. I don’t really recall what happened after that, the world went white or a moment and it sounded like there was more talking but when my head cleared Makomo and Bel were standing over me looking quite pleased. Bel told me a Musharna had come to the rescue of its baby and made some illusion that made the two brutes run away. I had remembered an odd dream, thinking my Haiiro had evolved and when I finally felt it move against it me it seemed…larger. It peaked out from
Makomo seemed to have gotten what she wanted out of the experience and we went back to her place. She handed me my C-Gear and asked me to put one of my Pokemon asleep to help her in her research. I chose my Goyjo for it, putting him to sleep though by this point I was more than ready to join him. Makomo let me leave for the night, and I crashed at the old couples place. I woke in the morning to Makomo calling me on my x-transceiver, saying I needed to rush over fast. I got dressed and ran out the door, promising Grandma that I’d return after some errands and hoofed it to Makomo’s. It seemed in the night my Goyjo had found something in the Dream World and I had to get sent to some forest to pick it up. Turns out that Gojyo had made friends with a Poochyena in the Dream World and it had followed him home. I caught it and returned back to Makomo’s for her to study it. Afterwards I went out and trained some more at the Dream Yard, hoping to catch a Munna for the good Doctor since I figured she’d want to study it herself. I spent almost the rest of the day out in the Dream Yard, catching an Audino and Munna though oddly as I caught it, it evolved into a Musarna completely unprompted. To add to that, it to seemed quite reluctant to stay in its pokeball. I didn’t want to force it in so I just let it be as I continued to train. I ran into another trainer at the Dream Yard named Percy, we battled a few times and traded contact information before I decided to call it a day. He was looking for a Purrloin but said they seemed to have deserted the factory. I’d caught another Puurloin a few hours before so figured I’d trade it. He traded a Zorua for the Purrloin, saying that it was pretty rare but its mother didn’t want the baby anymore so he had to keep it away. The deal seemed to work out pretty well in the end, and I called it a night afterwards. I figured that I’d train more in the morning before making a move to the next Route, all in all I felt pretty good about my first Badge win and the events of the past few. I had strange dreams that whole night though I blame Cheery, the name I finally decided on for the Musharna.