Starts off clean, but later chapters get naughty. :P And no, this is not a Harry Potter crossover!
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Chapter 3: The Start of a Quest
The start of a quest.
Sean whirled around, throwing a hand in front of his face against the blinding glare of a flashlight. "What are you doing trespassing?" Shouted the voice. "Go Growlithe!"
"Crap, I can't get into a fight with the first person I see." Thought Shawn, as the Growlithe appeared from the thrown poké ball.
"Wait! Stop! I don't have any pokémon!" He shouted.
"Growlithe use!"What? No pokémon?" Asked the hidden person, finally lowering their flashlight.
"No, I…haven't caught any yet."
"What are you doing out here with no pokémon to protect you? You have to cross some pretty wild territory to get here."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to trespass, I…uh, I heard there were ghost pokémon in this area, I wanted to catch one. I kinda got lost…" Shawn invented rapidly.
"Hmm, well, you are still on private property, I'm going to have to take you to see Mr. Backlot. He'll decide what to do with you." Said the security guard. "Keep your hands where I can see them please, and don't try anything stupid."
Shawn did as he was told, hoping he wouldn't have to fight his way out of this. The Growlithe bared its teeth at him and took up stride a few paces to his left as the guard escorted him through the trees. The thick foliage quickly gave way to a large open area with long grass and flowers. A three story mansion loomed at the other side, outlined by the moonlight. Had he been alone, Shawn might have taken the time to appreciate the peaceful scene. However, the guard marched him silently across the grounds to the back door of the mansion.
"Carson," said the guard at the door. "What have you found?"
"An intruder Ty," Shawn's captor replied. "Found him coming from the wild gardens."
"Did you take out his pokémon?"
"He claims he doesn't have any. I didn't have to battle him."
"No pokémon?" The second guard said, giving Shawn a funny look. "You are lucky to have made it out here unprotected. There's been some angry Ursaring in the area lately."
Shawn just shrugged sheepishly, not wanting to say anything more and put holes in his story.
"I'm taking him to see the boss. Do you know if he's still up?"
"He should be, I think he was in his office as of fifteen minutes ago."
"Great, I'll take him there then."
The second guard nodded, opening the door for them. Even the back entrance of the mansion was opulent. Shawn glanced around at the high ceilings and numerous paintings on the walls. Marble columns aligned the walls, with potted plants in between, and a plush red carpet that muffled all sound covered the floor. They took a sharp left, the Growlithe and the guard maintaining their escort positions down a wide hallway lined with doors. "Stop right here," the guard said, indicating a set of wooden double doors. "Now knock." Shawn did as he was told, rapping his knuckles against the solid wood.
"Come in," came a voice from inside.
The guard nodded at Shawn, indicating for him to open the door. The thick panels swung smoothly open to reveal a cozy looking area with a fireplace and sturdy desk. An old man with a kindly face was seated behind the desk, reclining in a leather chair. "Well, what have we here?"
"I caught this guy trespassing Sir, coming from the wild gardens. He claims to not know where he was, and that he doesn't have any pokémon with him."
Mr. Backlot raised an eyebrow, "No pokémon? Don't you know it's dangerous to walk in the wild areas alone? Especially at night?"
"I heard a rumour that I could catch a rare ghost pokémon," Shawn said. "I didn't know I had wandered on to your property."
"Well, I suppose at night you could miss the signs. But, whoever told you you could catch a ghost out here was playing a cruel joke on you son. There are some nocturnal pokémon around the marsh that are quite dangerous to someone without a pokémon to protect them. You aren't from around here are you?"
"Um, no, I'm from…Littleroot." Shawn said, grasping at the first town name he knew of that came to mind.
Mr. Backlot looked surprised. "Littleroot? All the way from Hoenn? And travelling by yourself on foot? Impressive, and a bit foolish. Well, that explains how you didn't know about the property lines I suppose. What is your name son?"
"Well Shawn, it seems to me that you could use a pokémon companion. If you are interested, you can put up here for the night, and in the morning, we'll see what we can find for you."
"Really? That would be great!" Shawn said, hardly able to believe his luck.
"On my property is a large garden and forest, where wild pokémon can come and go as they please. I usually allow trainers in during the day to catch pokémon coming through from the marsh. Tomorrow, I'll lend you a pokémon you can use to catch your own."
Elated by his rapid change in circumstance from intruder to guest, Shawn replied, "Thank you Mr. Backlot, that's very generous of you."
Mr. Backlot waved away his thanks, "My pleasure. I always love to help young people get started as trainers. I used to be quite the adventurer in my day. Well Carson, if you would show Shawn to his room then? I will see you in the morning," he said, standing up.
"Of course sir," the guard said, returning his Growlithe to its ball. Shawn followed the guard out of the room, returning the way they had come and proceeding to the opposite end of the hall. "Here," the guard said, stopping in front of one of the myriad doors. "This is your guest room. Breakfast will be in the dining room at 8. You can ask any of the staff that will be around how to get there."
Turning, the guard walked away down the hallway, leaving Shawn to push open the door. The room was simple enough, but still obviously a product of wealth. A large bed took up most of the room, and a conjoined bathroom had a full shower and bath. "Not bad," thought Shawn. "Beats camping on my first night here." Tossing his pack in a corner, he pulled out his "dex and the DVD, setting himself up on the bed. "Might as well check out what else is on here," he thought, booting it up.
He spent the next couple of hours scrolling through the accumulated data, which included all kinds of information from battling rules, to information on the various trainer items, pokémon types and weaknesses, to persons and places of interest. It seemed he would have a fair variety of pokémon to consider catching tomorrow. Mr. Backlot's property bordered the great marsh, along with the pokémon that normally roamed the route 212 area. Mr. Backlot was also apparently fond of holding special trainer events involving rare pokémon to catch. Reading further, Shawn looked into a detailed list of the Team Galactic leaders. "Hmm, it seems that Cyrus won't be an easy opponent in a pokémon battle. A Gyarados, a Honchcrow, a Houndoom, a Weavile and a Crobat, all quite powerful." He thought. "I'm going to have to do some intensive training" On that somewhat sombre note, he decided he had had enough research for the night. He snapped the device closed and lay back to get some sleep.
The next morning after breakfast, Shawn followed Mr. Backlot out to the rear of the mansion. In the daylight, Shawn could see just how large the property was. The open area he had crossed with the guard was really more of a pathway, lined with blooming flowers. The rest of the grounds up to the treeline was more like a field with exceptionally tall stalks of grass. "The wild pokémon love this area," said Mr. Backlot. "The flowers attract some, and a lot of them are just curious about an area like this so close to a human dwelling."
He reached into his coat pocket and removed a pokéball. "I'll lend you one of my pokémon so that you can catch one," he said, pressing the release on the ball. An Espeon appeared in spray of gentle violet light and stars, giving a soft musical cry. "Star, I want you to go with Shawn here to help him catch his first pokémon." The Espeon looked up at Shawn, then back at her trainer, giving a nod and an affirmative "Esp!"
"Great!" said Shawn. "Anything in particular I should be on the lookout for?"
Mr. Backlot shrugged, "You just need to explore a bit and find a pokémon you like. It's your first one, so you don't want to rush in and catch the first thing you see. We get a fair variety here, so take your time."
Shawn nodded, digging a few empty balls out of his bag and putting them in his pocket. "Who knows? Maybe I'll find more than one that I want to catch," he thought.
"If you're all set, then go ahead. Come by my office later and show me what you caught," said Mr. Backlot.
Shawn snapped a salute, eliciting a chuckle from the older man, then strode down the steps with Star on his heels. Pushing his way into the grass, he decided to search the areas closest to the house first, working his way towards the trees. The sounds of bird pokémon filled the air as he forged through the thick grass. It wasn't long before he startled a few Roselia and the odd Budew. Shawn ignored these, with the exception of one pissed of Cherubi that took exception to his presence, until it saw the Espeon and elected to scamper away on its stubby legs.
Thanks to his prior knowledge of the pokémon world, Shawn already had a good idea of what he was looking for in a pokémon team. He mildly regretted not being able to do the typical choosing of a pokémon that young trainers received, but he was optimistic that he…d find a suitable first team member here. A pair of Bidoof scampered by, carrying stalks of grass in their mouths. Suddenly, Star stepped in front of him, stopping and looking up with an excited, "Esp! Esp! Speon!" The cadence and dialect of her speech was a bit odd for him, but still translatable into the wizard tongue. Wait, listen to that! She had said. However, he couldn't risk her knowing that he could understand what she had said, so he played dumb. "What is it girl?"
"Espeon!" This way! she replied, bounding off through the grass.
Shawn followed the retreating tail of the little psychic type, now being able to discern the splashing that her more sensitive hearing had obviously picked up. She came to a stop at the edge of a small section of shorter grass, pointing with a paw, "Esp." Look.
Shawn stepped up beside her, separating the long stalks. In the small clearing, several Mudkips and Woopers splashed and played in a large puddle. "Great job Star! This is exactly what I'm looking for." He said, pulling out a pokéball. One of these would make a great start to his team. He pressed the button on the ball, giving it an arcing toss towards the closest Mudkip. "Woop woop!" Look! Trainer! One of the Woopers exclaimed, pointing at the flying sphere. The Mudfish pokémon turned as the ball opened above it, the beam of light snapping it inside.
The ball landed and was still, until the Wooper that had sounded the alarm slapped it with its tail, popping the Mudkip free. "Woop! Oop ooper!" What are you doing? It said to the Mudkip. "Kip! Mudkip!" No! something something. It replied, the translation not quite as clear to Shawn this time. "Star, can you use Psychic to keep the Wooper back? Just a little bit though, I don't want to hurt it." Shawn said. She nodded, the jewel on her forehead beginning to glow.
Shawn tossed another ball, this time accompanied by the low level Psychic attack from Star. Once more, the ball snapped around the Mudkip, "Woop." the other pokémon said sadly, which Shawn translated simply as bye" The ball shook a couple times before lying still. Shawn stepped forward and picked it up, as Star released the little water pokémon from her psychic grip. Shawn crouched down in front of the Wooper, causing the little water type to look up, "Hey, I'm sorry for catching your friend, but he's going to help me do something really important."
The pokémon looked at him for a second, before nodding and giving a happy "Woop!" It went back to playing with the others. Shawn stood up, clipping the freshly caught Mudkip's ball to his belt. "Alright Star, let's see if there's anything else we can find!"
Several hours later, Shawn was walking down route 212, on his way towards Pastoria city. Further search of Mr. Backlot's gardens had been unsuccessful, but Mr. Backlot had been impressed with his catch, saying that Mudkip weren't seen on his property very often. The generous old man had then sent him off, giving the advice of challenging the Oreburgh Gym when he thought he was ready. Shawn didn't particularly want to take the pokémon league challenge, as it would detract from his overall goal. However, he did see the value in securing a gym badge or two in order to train his team.
Shawn didn't have any particular destination in mind just yet, although he wanted to eventually make his way to Veilstone to check out where the Team Galactic headquarters would be. "I definitely will have to look into a faster method of travel though," he thought. "At least a bike, but a flying pokémon would be better." With out the full use of his wizardly powers, Shawn couldn't use teleportation or any other methods of magical travel to cross great distances. In a pinch, he could tap his elementals, but those methods were hardly discreet, nor could they last him if he had to travel far. He doubted that the sight of a human bounding across the landscape like a kangaroo on steroids was commonplace in this world either.
Spotting a shaded clearing off the road, he veered off to have a break for lunch, as well as to finally greet his new pokémon. Setting his pack down and leaning against a tree, he pulled the ball from his belt and examined it for a moment. The device was small enough to fit comfortably in his hand, and could be further downsized for additional storage such as in the PC systems. He had read in the data files about just how this technology worked, but it still fascinated him how a creature could be compressed into genetic data and stored in stasis.
It essentially stored the pokémon in a pocket dimension, in a hibernation state. The technology was quite similar to how he and other wizards used dead space as their own personal storage units. The ball itself was just a "gate" into the pocket dimension. When a pokémon was caught in one, the ball assigned that pokémon's genetic data to its internal memory, so that no other pokémon could be caught with that ball. It also "tagged" the pokémon with the trainer's ID, so that other empty balls would read the tag and not close on another trainer's pokémon. Destroying the ball closed the pocket dimension and erased the ID tag from the pokémon. If something were to happen to the ball with a pokémon inside it, the pokémon would be ejected from the dimension as it closed, protecting it from harm.
Shawn pressed the release button, freeing the Mudkip in a burst of red light. Seeing only Shawn sitting against the tree, the Mudkip started bouncing up and down excitedly, giving a happy, "Kip! Kip!" A trainer! Finally, a trainer! It kept this up, repeating itself, until Shawn interrupted, saying, "Hello to you too. Can you understand what I'm saying?"
"Yes'the Mudkip replied, nodding emphatically, "Although you can't understand me…"
Shawn smiled at this, "Actually, I can," he replied, switching to the wizard speech.
The little water pokémon jumped in surprise, hearing what to him sounded like his own speech. "My trainer speaks pokémon?!"
"Not exactly. You see, I'm what's known as a wizard. One of the things I can do is communicate with all creatures by speaking a language they all understand, even if it's just a basic knowledge that they are unaware of. As long as I am talking directly to them, they can understand what I am saying even if they don't speak the same language. To them, it sounds like their own language, and speaking it lets me understand what they are saying as well."
The Mudkip started bouncing up and down again, "My trainer is so cool! I'm something lucky!" It started bouncing in a circle, repeating over and over, "Lucky, lucky, lucky lucky!"
Shawn smiled at the antics of the excited pokémon. Translating its speech was still a little tricky, but was easier when they were speaking directly to each other. "Well then," he said in English as the mudfish came to a stop. "I can't just call you Mudkip. Do you have a name you go by?"
The pokémon shook his head, "No, some pokémon do, but most of my kind don't until they evolve. Then they have a something something and pick a name."
"I see," replied Shawn. "So, are you a boy or a girl then?"
"I'm a boy, like you!" he replied cheerily.
"Alright then, how about I think of something and you tell me if you like it?" Shawn asked.
"Okay," he replied, laying down in the grass.
"Hmm," Shawn said, contemplating the small pokémon. "Mudkip…Mudkip. How about Marsh? No, scratch that. When you evolve, that will just sound stupid. Hmm, water and ground types….Maybe Breaker?"
The Mudkip shook its head, "No, I wanna human name!"
"Alright then…How about Marcus? No, scratch that one too. How about Marty?"
The Mudkip thought for a moment, then nodded. "I like it!"
"Alright then Marty, we'll eat lunch here, then we'll see about starting your training."