Pokémon Journeys - Pt. XIV - Eastward

Started by tenebrae, Jan 30, 2023, 04:40 am

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preface: ShowHide

I started writing this one after Ch13 but got busy so I stopped. The chapter was mostly finished by the end of October, but I felt there was something missing and didn't want to rush it. So I kept it in the back of my mind for a few months, and eventually finished it in an afternoon. It still felt a bit rushed so I never published it, but as the days went by, I couldn't figure out exactly how to add anything to the story without it seeming redundant. In the mean time I started writing the next chapter (Ch15) and while that's coming along quite well now, I still couldn't figure out how to add to this chapter, so here it is, mostly the same as it was finished roughly two weeks ago!

I also notice these recent chapters have been a bit shorter too. I hope that doesn't indicate a dip in quality...

Link to the beginning

I woke to the feeling of Amber shaking me. I heard the front door close and immediately sat upright. Had someone broken in? Was Team Rocket back?
"I'm back," called out a jolly voice from the other room. The man walked into the room I was in and waved.
"Everything went smoothly. You'll be able to withdraw Diglett from a PC. Unfortunately I don't have one, and you probably want to avoid the Pokémon Centre here. There should be one at the entrance to Rock Tunnel. I heard it was being built out that way a few years ago after many Trainers were stranded around the area, though I haven't been out that way for a long time myself."
I stood up and followed the man back to the main room where my bike was.
"Good luck on your adventure, and I hope you and Diglett will have a good adventure together."
"Thank you, and I hope your house is fixed soon!"
With that, I stepped through the tarpaulin and out of the house, once again taking the same path I had taken just a few days ago.
Amber crawled up onto the back of my bike and sat down. I decided this was probably a good idea and got onto the bike too. It took a moment to get my balance right as Amber's weight on the back was something I had to adjust to. Each time he shuffled slightly, I could feel the bike threatening to fall over. However, soon we were zooming down the path that would eventually connect to Route 9. The cool night air chilled me to the bone and Amber, seemingly sensing slight discomfort from me, held his tail close to me. While not much, the slight warmth it gave off was much appreciated.


The giant tree towered in front of us, casting a great shadow over the area. The full moon could not be seen through the tangle of branches. I pulled out Pierce's Poké Ball and pressed it to the tree. It quickly shrank, leaving a small sapling behind. Just beyond where the tree was, I saw a signpost, but the sign lay on the ground, probably knocked off by the tree's numerous regrowings.

I wheeled my bike past the sapling but didn't bother looking back to see the tree erupt into existence again. I was far too tired and just wanted to get to the Pokémon Centre. I hopped back on the bike and began my way down this new path. After a short while, the path became much more gravelly and I was worried for any rocks that threatened to puncture my tyres. Nonetheless, I had to press on at the current speed if I wanted any chance of a decent rest tonight. Either side of me was towering cliff faces interspersed with an occasional ledge dug into the rock. As I followed some bends in the path, I had to turn on the bike's lamp. The cliff next to me was blocking all the moonlight and I couldn't ride in the pitch black. As I pedalled on, I was able to confirm my original thought; I did not encounter a single person on this route.
The lamp illuminated a few small patches of grass but I ignored them. I recalled last time I walked into tall grass at night I was almost attacked by a Pokémon. Even though that Pokémon was now a trusted member of my team, I didn't want to run the risk of not being so lucky with my next encounter.

The sound of tricking water reached my ears and eventually drowned out the sound of gravel crunching under the tyres. I slowed down my pace a bit. It wouldn't be funny if I rode into a creek or river, especially with Amber. Soon after, the crunching gravel turned into a soft grass, but it was quite short and didn't impact my ability to cycle over it. The cliffs also gave way to a large open grassy plain. In the distance, illuminated by my bike's lamp, was a large area of tall grass, and just beyond, barely visible over the top of the grass, was a fence. There was also a fence to my right, casting a soft shadow in the moonlight. The sound of running water was much louder here, and on the other side of the fence was a stream of water. Shadows were moving about under the surface and I couldn't be sure if that was due to the turbulence of the flow or because there was wild Pokémon swimming below. Under the moonlight it looked mildly eerie. I decided I would investigate when the sun was out and I had rested.

I rode out into the middle of the plain and looked around. I could see where the cliffs I had just been between ended and the southern cliff extended into the grassy plain more than the northern part. Just beyond this part of the cliff I could see a faint light glowing. I guessed the Pokémon Centre was probably around there. Even further south, I could see another large cliff rising into the sky. Rising just beyond was the silhouette of two thin towers. Between them was a strange yellow aura that cast faint shadows of the rock face onto the plains below, and faintly illuminated the two towers. I headed in this direction, only because it was likely where the Pokémon Centre was. I reached the light that was shining from around the edge of the cliff and saw a bright red neon Poké Ball lighting up the area. It was almost blinding against the darkness, but it was a suitable beacon if a Trainer got lost in the area. The air here felt staticky, as if there was a great electrical disturbance nearby. There was no Pokémon I knew of that could generate such power, and with the Pokémon Centre being so bright, I could only surmise that there was some leaking of electricity from the Pokémon helping to power it, if that is how the Pokémon Centres get their power.

I got off my bike and parked it at one of the racks sitting beside the building. I accidentally rubbed my hand against the metal rack and felt a sharp shock. Instinctively I pulled back, and Amber seemed to sense some sort of threat and growled, but I just waved at him that it was fine. I wasn't harmed, but I at least could confirm there was indeed a lot of static electricity in the air. We walked into the Pokémon Centre and it couldn't have been more different to the others I had been to.

The ceiling was extremely high. This was to accomodate the second floor that rose above the counter where Trainers handed their Pokémon over to be healed. I could see some large glass panels up there but the rest of the area was obscured by the railing. A staircase ran against the right wall giving access to this upstairs area. Just before this staircase, also against the right wall, was another counter with many shelves behind it. It looked like a small store. On the opposite side of the building was a door, which I assumed led towards to rooms Trainers would stay in overnight. I was quickly able to confirm this as I checked into a room with Nurse Joy. She smiled joyfully as she passed me my keycard. I walked over to the doorway where the rooms were, passing by an array of PCs by the wall next to the entrance. The whole interior was far more spacious than any of the Pokémon Centres I had been to so far.

As I walked into my room, a wave of exhaustion washed over me, and Amber sprinted to the bed and jumped onto it, falling asleep almost instantly. I smiled at this, and carefully hopped into bed too, careful not to disturb Amber's slumber. It also did not take long for me to also fall asleep.


I pressed the button on the front of the PC and it sprang to life. I heard a fan softy whirling and after a short moment, the screen displayed a login prompt. I input my Trainer ID and pressed "next" after which the PC asked me to scan my Pokédex. I held it up to the screen and both devices beeped. The login screen faded away and was replaced with a new menu. I glanced over at the guide stuck to the wall above the PC and I pressed the button that said "Lavender's PC" and then glanced back to make sure I was going through the menus correctly. I next pressed "Withdraw Pokémon" and was greeted with a green square box with a small brown blob in the top left corner. To the left of the box was a string of six circles each inhabited by their own little blob. Each blob was actually a pixelated icon of one of my Pokémon.

Following the instructions, I pressed my finger onto the icon of Diglett and dragged it over to where my party was displayed. I hesitated for a moment before releasing it over the icon of Swift. A bird would not fare well in the cramped space of a cave, and judging by the name of the tunnel, I was expecting many rock type Pokémon which would be a problem for Swift. A prompt appeared asking me to place Swift's Poké Ball into the little device sitting in front of the screen. I grabbed his Poké Ball and placed it in the round hollow of the device. Shortly after I let go, a lid closed over the ball and there was a quiet whirring sound. After a few moments, the lid rose and the Poké Ball was revealed, but it was different now. The bottom was black and the top was yellow, with two brown ridges running over the top. I picked up the Poké Ball and turned it around in my hands. It felt exactly like all my other ones; it just looked different. I knew there were different types of Poké Balls as I had seen them in Poké Marts, but it was still surprising seeing one up close. Maybe I would buy one next time I stocked up.
Before I logged off, I decided to send a message to mum and Professor Blackthorn.

After I exited the Pokémon Centre, I set off back towards the wilder grassy area of the plains I saw the previous night. It was time to get to know the newest member of my team.


As I walked along the grassy plain, I saw someone riding a bicycle in my direction. They had a large ream of papers rustling in the front basket and another equally large ream tied up on the back tray. It looked like they were fighting the wind as they passed by me. They briefly swerved to avoid me, and one of the papers flew into the air before fluttering down and landing face down on the grass in front of me. I knelt down to pick it up but upon turning it over, I felt my insides begin to churn. It was a wanted poster and my image was centre and the focus. It seemed Cyan had failed to clear me and now the posters were spreading. I had to leave this area as soon as possible before people began to recognise me. I abandoned my idea of training and bonding in the grass by the river and carefully retraced my steps back to the Pokémon Centre. It seemed like a stroke of luck the person atop the bicycle had not recognised me, perhaps because they were moving with such speed. Luckily for me there was no one between the tall grass and the Pokémon Centre.

When I returned to the Pokémon Centre, the person with the posters was nowhere to be seen, but I did have to take down a poster that was stuck against the exterior wall. I stuffed it into my bag without a second thought and ran back into the building and down the corridor to my room to grab my belongings.
"Going so soon?" Nurse Joy called out from the counter as she saw me running past.
"Yeah!" I shouted back and kept running, tossing my keycard to her from across the foyer. I would only stop briefly at the shop counter to grab some supplies.
"...and you have your Flash?" the clerk asked me as he passed some potions and a Great Ball over the counter.
"My Flash?" I asked, slightly puzzled.
"Your light source. Rock Tunnel as black as a Jynx and I've lost count of how many trainers have needed rescuing."
"Ah, I have a good light." I motioned towards Amber who snorted, small puffs of smoke escaping his nostrils.
"Good good," the clerk said. "But just as an extra, here." He rummaged begins the counter and produced a long slender rope, passing it across the counter to me.
As I picked it up, he spoke again, "This is an Escape Rope. It's a super durable braid made from the silk of Metapod and Kakuna. Their ability to harden their cocoon, made from the silk they produced as a Weedle or Caterpie, is what makes this rope so strong. No conventional tool is capable of cutting even a single thread, and it should be impervious to all but the strongest attacks from a Pokémon."
I pulled on a part of the rope taut but it was clearly stronger than a normal rope.
"At the entrance to Rock Tunnel is a pole you can tie one end of this rope to. If for whatever reason you get lost, just retrace your steps using the rope."
"Thank you," I replied, putting the rope into my bag with my other purchases.
"Good luck, and stay safe out there!" The clerk waved goodbye and I left the counter and walked out of the Pokémon Centre.
Outside, I grabbed my bike and with my bag in the front and Amber on the back, rode the short distance to the entrance to Rock Tunnel.


The cavern opening loomed before me. The actual opening itself was quite small, and even in the late afternoon sun, I could clearly see the whole interior. The rocky walls rose up on all sides creating a dome of grey stone. I could see a tall pole near the centre, stretching all the way to the ceiling, which I guessed was where I should tie my rope to. Next to this was a hole with a ladder that descended into the darkness of the cave proper. I couldn't see the bottom as I looked down.
"Well, we'll have to go on foot here," I said to Amber, and began to fold up the bike according to the instructions. Before long, it was attached to my bag, only the wheels letting it be known what it was. I then tied the Escape Rope around the pole, pulling it tight. When I was sure it wouldn't budge, I stood up and turned to Amber.
"Down we go," and together we descended the ladder into the depths of Rock Tunnel.