AnythingGoes1

Today is the day! I am really excited. I have been waiting for this my whole life. Today 10-year-old trainers from Pallet Town get their first Pokémon. I get to start my journey. A big world of adventure awaits me. I wonder what I will get to see. Oceans, mountains, caves… and I wonder what different kinds of Pokémon I will get to see. I… can’t even fathom what is out there… Oh! I hear the door open. It’s Professor Oak! It’s time!

There are 3 Pokémon here! Haha! They are inside the Poké Balls. When I was young, I was a serious Pokémon trainer! In my old age, I have only 3 left, but you can have one! Choose!”

Oh boy! I have never been so excited in my life whole life. I can hardly wait!

“I’ll go with this one!”

“I’ll take this one, then! My Pokémon looks a lot stronger. Wait Red! Let’s check out our Pokémon! Come on, I’ll take you on!”

Huh?

“Squirtle, Go!”

What’s going on?

“You can do it, Charmander!”

What’s happening!? What noises am I hearing? Are they battling? Charmander! Squirtle! My friends! Why are you hurting each other? Stop it! You don’t need to do this to each other.

It’s quiet all of a sudden.

WHAT? Unbelievable! I picked the wrong Pokémon! Okay! I’ll make my Pokémon fight to toughen it up! Red! Gramps! Smell you later!”

I hear footsteps: one set slowly sauntering out the door, and another set following quickly behind.

“Come on out, little friend,” the old familiar friend says. I spring from the ball, waiting to see my trainer… but it’s just Professor Oak. I run to all sides of the room looking for the young trainer who is going to take me on their journey with them. “You get to stay here with me, little friend.”

“Bulba?”

 

The Bulbasaur Left Behind

 

But I was supposed to go on an adventure. I was supposed to grow and be a strong Pokémon. I wasn’t supposed to stay here! I’m stuck in this lab every day! I wonder where Charmander and Squirtle are… Have the seen many Pokémon? I wonder if they have been to any gyms. Have they evolved yet?

Oak releases me from my Poké Ball. “Time to go train, little friend.”
“… Bulba …. saur,” I say as I let out a sigh. Great… More training… What do I get to battle today? Rattata and Pidgey, just like every other day? Yeah, that’s what I thought… It was fun, at first, battling the Rattata and Pidgey in the area. The Pidgey were tricky to start out because they were always flying up where it was harder to get them. Now that I know Vine Whip, it’s too easy. At least I get to go out and train every day, even if it is the same Pokémon I battle each time.

After about a dozen battles, Oak said it was time to go back. He let me walk back to the lab. That was nice. “It’s so peaceful here. I like this quiet little town. Someday, when I don’t have so much research to do, I’ll have to bring you to Viridian Forest.” Yeah, that’ll be the day, I think to myself. “Viridian Forest really reminds me of where I grew up, in the Johto region.” But now you’re old and don’t want to travel out of your “peaceful” little hamlet, I think disdainfully.

I am disheartened when we arrive back in Pallet Town, and eventually the front door of the lab. “Oh,” Oak says with a bit of surprise, “there’s a message on the PC! Oh, a few messages from Red and Blue! Let’s see… Blue has beaten Brock, the Pewter City Gym leader… and he is sending me a Sandshrew he caught just outside of Mt. Moon. He thinks it might be especially strong since it put up a good fight against his Squirtle… and… Red found a Clefairy just as he was entering Mt. Moon! What luck! He ran back to the Poké Center right way just so he could show it to me. Isn’t that exciting!?”

“Bulba,” I say, angrily, as I knock some papers off of his desk with a Vine Whip. I’m getting pretty good at doing those.

 

—–

 

“It’s time for training today, little friend,” Oak says as he lets me out of my Poké Ball for the day. We start out on our usual route and I prepare to knock down Pidgeys and brush away Rattata. “Don’t worry about the Pokémon on this route today. We’re going somewhere else.” We walk down the path we usually spend battling. Oak is right: this place is nice and peaceful. It’s not so bad living in Pallet. We come to the end of the route, and Viridian City comes into focus. I’ve seen it before from a distance, but we have never came into the city.

We briefly stop at the Poké Center and the Mart and Oak makes some chitchat while he buys two coffees. I haven’t really seen coffee before and wanted to try it. “Bulba! Bulba!” I say demandingly while pawing at his trousers.

“Bulbasaur, what is getting into you!? You want the coffee? Here smell it first.” I take a whiff. It smells… rich and planty… kind of.

“Saur?”

“You want to actually try some? Well, give it a try… Be careful, it’s hot,” Oak warns.

I take a deep sip of the steamy liquid. It scorches my lips and tastes… terrible! I spit it out onto the ground. Why would anyone drink something so awful!?

“Heh, I told you it was hot. It’s an acquired taste,” he says. Whatever that taste is, I don’t want to acquire it. It makes me feel wilty.

We continue on our way to the forest. I see an old man, sitting on a bench, seemingly waiting for the Professor. Oak calls out, “Hey, Old Man! Have you had your coffee yet?”
The man replies, “Not yet, and you’re not so young yourself, Champ.”
“No one calls me that anymore but you, you know,” Oak says with a familiar tone, as he hands the man the second cup of coffee. “Any trainers come through recently?”

“Not since your grandson and that Red boy came through a few weeks ago. It’s been pretty quiet since then. I watched them battle. It was a good fight, but your grandson was bested. I can definitely tell some of your skills rubbed off on him. Oh! Let me tell you! So after I watched their battle, and I knew that they both had already caught some Pokémon, I still showed them both how to catch a Weedle!” They both chuckled. “I took extra long with your grandson, too. I missed the throw a few times. Boy, did he roll his eyes!”

“I can only imagine! That one never gets old,” Oak laughs.

“So, what brings you this way today? Any special research going on?” the Old Man asked.

“Not today. My little friend and I are going to do some special training in the forest,” Oak said.

“Ah, your little friend looks like he’s been training well!” the old man complimented.

“He’s doing a good job,” Oak said.

“Bulba,” I beamed proudly.

“But he still has a long way to go,” he had to add.

“… saur.”

“Well, we should get going while they day is still young,” Oak said gesturing to the north. “We will see you again soon.”

“Good luck training. See you soon, Sam,” he said with a wave.

We keep going a little way down the road when we finally arrive at the forest. Before we enter, Oak stops me. “Ok, little friend, we’re going to do things a little differently today,” he says as he clips a green band on my leg. “This is going to help make you stronger. Try running with it and get a feel for it.” This thing is heavy. It’s a lot harder to move around, but I can manage. “Ready? Things will be a little different here. There will be a lot of Bug Pokémon, which I think you can handle, but there will also be some Pidgey that are stronger than you’re used to. You can do it though.”

I am excited for the challenge! Finally something other than just Rattata and Pidgey to fight. He was right, though; there are LOTS of bug Pokémon. I was able to battle a bunch of Caterpie, some Weedle (their stings hurt, but not too bad), and some Metapod (so easy, but tiring). As we walk through the forest, I see a streak of yellow. I chase after it to see what it is. It’s a little yellow mouse. “That’s called a Pikachu. There aren’t many of them here and they aren’t too strong…” As he is saying this, I run up and knock it down with a tackle attack. As the Pikachu ran away, I felt kind of weird. I was moving even more slowly than I should with the Weight on. There was a bit of shock on the Professor’s face. “It looks like some of the Static discharge paralyzed you. We should start heading back.”

I continue walking, disregarding Oak’s advice, when I see the feathers of a Pidgey. Without hesitating, I nail it with a Vine Whip. But what emerged, though, was like a Pidgey… but not quite. “Bulba?” It was like… a big Pidgey. Two large wings, legs with pointy claws, and a razor sharp beak fluttered out and started attacking me. “Saur!”

“It’s a Pidgeotto, Pidgey’s evolved form.” I look back at Oak, scared, wanting to return to my Poke Ball. “You got into this mess. You can get out of it!” I try to avoid the attacks, but the Weight and the paralysis aren’t letting me move the way I want to. The Pidgeotto continued to peck at me and hit me with its wings. Each hit cutting my foliage harder than the last. I turn to face it and strike it with a Vine Whip, but the attack is too slow and it’s beak digs into me, again.

I can’t win this. I can’t do it! “BULBA-SAUR!” I yell out, and close my eyes, waiting for another attack to strike, making me faint. I wince as I feel something gently land on my head. That’s not what a beak feels like. I slowly open my eyes, as more specks gently land on my head and see the Pidgeotto sleeping inches in front of me. I DID IT! I WON! I beat the bird! YES! YES! YES! I feel the bulb on my back pulsating and glowing. I feel a change happening. I have never felt this before. I… feel a gentle hand on my back.

“Not yet, little friend. We have some more work to do before we can do that,” Oak claims. “I am very proud of you though. That was a fantastic use of Sleep Powder! Come here, little friend,” he says opening his arms, “let’s get home.” I reluctantly walk into Oak’s arms. I won, but why do I feel defeated? Why doesn’t he want me to evolve? These thoughts are swimming in my head as we walk back to Pallet.

 

—–

 

“Alright, little friend. Come out!” I get out of my ball at Oak’s request. I expect to see the lab which is where we usually begin our training. But instead, we are at a train station. Oak’s Grandson, Blue is in front of us.

“Is this the Bulbasaur that I could have picked up when I started? It’s still at its first stage!? How pathetic! My Wartortle is almost ready to evolve,” Blue states boastfully.

What a jerk. “Bulbasaur,” I say gruffly.

“Take it easy, little sprout,” Blue says condescendingly.

Little sprout!Bulbasaur!” I run up to him and bite his pants.

“Hey, Gramps! Get him off! He’s going to bite my leg off,” Blue yelled like a baby.

“Ho ho,” Oak chuckles. I’m not sure what he finds funny. “Calm down, little friend. Blue, it looks like Bulbasaur is challenging you to a battle.”

“Fine. I’ll put the little sprout in it’s place with my strongest Pokémon, Wartortle,” Blue said. We stepped outside of the station to have the battle. Before we start, Oak removes the green Weight from my leg. My old friend looks so strong, evolved, standing across from me. I am anxious to start the battle. I am sure Wartortle has see and fought way more Pokémon than I have. I stand, ready to attack, awaiting Oak’s command.

Blue takes the initiative and attacks first. “Wartortle, use Bite!” Wartortle rushes at me with its mouth open. Instinctively, I move out of the way as Wartortle runs past. Why did it just run past me without attacking? It stops, turns around. “Gah, you missed! Try it again! Bite!” Wartortle runs at me again, but I quickly jump past it before it could attack. It turns around again, mouth now agape in astonishment, instead of attack.

“Alright, little friend! Let’s show them what you can do. Start out with Tackle,” Oak directs. I run up to Wartortle, shoulder lowered. He seems to stand still and I run into him. He stumbles to the ground, and hesitates to get up. “Now use Poison Powder.” I shake the bulb on my back, expelling a glittering, purple and black haze, sending it toward Wartortle. He blinks as the miasma envelops him. Wartortle begins to cough and struggle.

“Wartortle, use Water Gun,” Blue demands of his partner. Attempting to shake off the Poison, my old friend blasts a stream of water at me. It hits me squarely in the side, but it seems to have little effect. It almost feels good. I re-establish my footing and ready myself for my next attack.

“Ok, now use Razor Leaf,” Oak says confidently. From beneath my bulb, I release two blade like leaves at Wartortle. I saw the shock and fear in its eyes as the attack was about to land.

“Wartortle, return,” Blue said with disgust. The Razor Leaf attack stuck solidly in a tree behind the battle area. “This battle is done. You only won because you had a type advantage.”

“You know, Blue, with an attitude like that, you’ll never be a great battler,” the Professor warned.

“Yeah, whatever you say, Gramps. I forgot to mention, you came a little late here. The town was on lockdown because Team Rocket was trying to steal something from the Silph Company. It’s a good thing I was here to take them on and run them out of town. I think Red might have been around and helped a little, too.”

“Well, it’s good of you to help out that way. I haven’t heard anything but bad news from Team Rocket,” Oak responds. “We’re in Saffron to take the Magnet Train to Goldenrod and record my radio show. I thought my little friend here would enjoy the train ride.”

“Whatever, Gramps. I gotta get going. I hear there is a gym in Fuschia City. Maybe Wartortle can evolve at that gym into the powerful Blastoise. Smell ya later!” Blue saunters off with the same swagger that was present that day he started his journey.

Bulba…

“Don’t mind him. He is young and still has some growing to do. Are you ready for the train ride, little friend?” he asks. I’m sure glad Blue didn’t pick me as his Pokémon.

“Saur!?” What is a train? Do I fight it to train to get better? But he said something about a train ride… Do I have to ride it to get better and evolve? A loud whistle blows and Oak starts walking away. I run to catch up with him as he approaches a large gray metal box which was next to several other gray metal boxes. A set of doors slid open on the gray box and Oak walks in. I’m suspicious. I don’t know what to do.

“Come on, little friend,” the Professor says as he waves for me to join him. I quickly run across the gap between the floor and the gray box. Shortly after I do this, the doors close. There are chairs in this big gray box. Oak goes to sit in some of these and stops. “Over here. You take the window seat.” I climb up on the seats and sit by the window. We wait a few minutes. I’m bored… What are we doing- OH MY ARCEUS!

Without warning, we are suddenly jolted forward. The scenery in the station disappears and is replaced with an amazing outdoor vista, first a cityscape then turning into a mountainous landscape in moments. Everything is going by so fast! I want to pause and take in everything I see and yet desire to fast-forward to see what is next all at the same time. I see several Pokémon I have never seen before. I see a heard of Pokémon with antlers, some rock snakes, some horses on fire, and many more that I can’t even describe! And then, darkness followed by a station much like the one we departed from. As abruptly as the ride started, it ended. The doors that we had entered from open once again allowing us to leave.

Now, where is that train thing he was talking about?

 

We walked around the town for a little while. “We’re going to the radio station. I have a program that I record with the other host, Mary. I need you to wait just a little while, and then we will do our training for the day. We enter a large building with a big metal point at the top and climb several flights of stairs. He opens the door and we are almost instantly greeted by a lady with curly orange hair.

“Hello, Professor! How are you today?” she asks.

“Ah! Mary! I am doing well, thanks,” he responds.

“And who is this cutie?” I blush.

“That’s my little friend, Bulbasaur. He’s been with me for a while now. He is very strong,” Oak tells her.

“Well, he looks strong. Are you ready to begin recording?” Mary asks.

“Yes, let’s get started. Now, little friend, I need you to wait here for a little bit while we record. You are welcome to walk around on this floor, but you need to stay quiet. We will train after this.” Oak gives me these directions just before he goes in.

“Saur,” I say in agreement. I watch as he goes into the booth and begins recording. I find a chair to sit on. This is a bit boring. I take a rest on the chair, and before I know it, Oak is tapping my leg, waking me from my sleep.

“Good idea getting some rest. You’ll need it for what’s to come,” he says. We leave the radio tower and head south. We come up to a forest. We stop as Oak puts the green Weight on me. We walk in. It’s surprisingly dark it here. I was sunning my leaves in the bright daylight a moment ago, but it seems to have turned to night instantly.

“This is it, little friend. This is the area where I grew up. I used to explore this whole forest, looking for all different kinds of Pokémon. This is home,” he says as we begin to plod across the paths familiar to him but foreign to me. This forest is a lot like the Viridian Forest by home. There are a lot of bugs in this forest, just like at home. This forest has a new bug that seems like a plant, too. Oak says it’s called a Paras. Something seems off about this Pokémon, though. It randomly walks off in obscure direction and seems to make moves it doesn’t to want to make. They are easy enough to fight though. I’ve seen tougher Pokémon before. There are also some Pokémon that he said were Oddish. I like them. They are plant Pokémon like me. I let Oak know I don’t want to fight them.

We train in the forest for a few more hours. It was a great place to train; it was cooler than the open roads because of the shade of the trees. It was a nice change of scenery. We walk back to the station and get aboard the train. It turns out the big gray boxes were the train. Oak lets me sit by the window again and I get to see the same scene I did before but much calmer. The setting sun casts everything in a more soothing light. The Pokémon that were running around the mountains and fields this morning are now settling down for the night. I snuggle in by Oak and rest for the remainder of the train ride.

 

—–

 

There is a knock at the door. I jump up from my seat next to Oak’s desk,but slow down, remembering I’m a little sore. We had spent the earlier part of the day training. There is a little known route just south of Pallet town. I knew there was water to the south of town but I didn’t know there was a route with Pokémon on it. There were some scrumped up balls of vines Pokémon called Tangela, more Pidgeotto (which aren’t a problem for me anymore), and some big Rattata. I think he called them Raticake or something like that.

After we trained in the grass for a while, we rode on Oak’s Gyarados even further south! It was scary. I thought the water dragon would bite me, but he was really a kind monster. From his back, I was able to battle some Tentacool, Horsea, and Staryu. The Staryu were more difficult than the others. They attacked with Swift attacks I couldn’t dodge, as much as I tried (even though it was hard to dodge while riding Gyarados) and they had Confusion attacks that made me feel like there were twisty vines inside my head. But I was able to fend them off.

We came upon an island. We went ashore and took a rest at the Pokémon Center. Once I was ready to go again, the Professor brought me into an old dilapidated mansion. He said we were there to research a Pokémon called Ditto. We walked all around the old building. There were a few Pokémon that came to investigate what we were doing, but I was able to fend them off. Everything seemed fine, until I saw another Bulbasaur. Another one of me! This was the last thing I expected to see here! As I took a step toward it, it took a step toward me. It seems to mimic every move I took. As cautiously as I approached it, it approached me. Oak nearly surprised me when he said this is what we were looking for and tapped the other Bulbasaur on the back. Suddenly, the deep beautiful shades of green dissipated into pink. The pink Bulbasaur seemed to gradually melt and lose form until it was just a pink blob. Oak said this was Ditto, the Pokémon we came to research.

As he was taking notes, we were approached by an older gentleman. He greeted the Professor and they chatted about how the research was going. Oak asked the gentleman if he knew anything about another pink Pokémon, but I wasn’t sure what they were talking about. Oak eventually introduced me to the gentleman who turned out to the be gym leader on the island, Blaine. He challenged me to a battle with his Growlithe. I had never fought a Fire Pokémon before. It attacked using a move Blaine called Ember. It stung me and singed my petals, like I’ve been out in the hot sun for too long. Despite the discomfort I felt, I was able to defeat his Growlithe. Blaine complimented how I battled.

The person at the door knocks again, a little less patiently. I open the door with my vine and find an old lady, small in stature, holding a cane, standing at the door. She looks mad. “It took you long enough. Oak! Where are you?” she said, barging past me. I don’t even know why I had to open the door if that is how she chose to enter. “Oh, there you are, Oak: your nose stuck in a book, again.”

“Oh, hello, Agatha. I wish you would have told me you were coming. Would you like some tea?” Oak asked politely.

“Bah! You know I don’t drink that!” she said disdainfully.

“So, what brings you this far down from your high perch on the Indigo Plateau, Agatha?” Oak asks.

She looks even angrier than she did before, if that was possible. “I hate to admit it, but I am here to ask you a favor. I want you to come try out for the Elite 4.”

“Now, you know that I left competitive battling behind me a long time ago,” he reminds her.

“Yes, I know you’ve said that. But I need your help. I think the other members of the Elite 4 are looking to replace me. If I can get you in there, I will have an ally to help me maintain my spot. Anyone would be better than that blockhead Bruno. I know you have the skill to do it,” she pleaded.

“I wish I could help you Agatha, but I am making great progress with my research. I have two youngsters out in the region gathering research for me. I really wish I could help you, but that’s not what I do anymore,” he assured her.

“Oh, yeah. What do you call this?” she asks as she pokes me with her cane.

“This is my little friend,” he says bending down to pat my back.

Little friends don’t usually wear Power Weights,” she says referencing the green band on my ankle. I don’t even notice it anymore. “I also have a little friend I am auditioning to be part of my team. Would you like to see how your little friend fairs against mine?”

“Well, that’s up to him,” he says nodding at me.

“Bulbabaur!” I exclaim. I am ready for anything.

“Well, it looks like we will see whose little friend is better trained. Come out, Misdreavus.” She calls out her Pokémon. It floats around the lab, about as high as Oak’s shoulders. It looks menacing. I certainly hadn’t battled any Ghost Pokémon, but I have heard about them. I think Red might have sent one to Oak’s lab. It seems to fade in and out of existence like a beating heart. “Let’s begin. Use Thunderbolt.” More quickly than I could react, a bolt of electricity shoots out from the ethereal Pokémon. It strikes me hard. I feel a jolt. I try to move to prepare for my attack, but I am immobile. I’m Paralyzed. “Next, use Shadow Ball.” A hole appears in front of Misdreavus that is darker than the inside of a cave at the peak of midnight (we had to do some late night research in Mt. Moon once). As quickly as the ball formed, it blasts away from its originator. I try to dodge it, but am unable to escape. The darkness fills my mind as it consumes the space I occupy. I’m scared. What if I lose? What if I’m not good enough? Will Oak put me back in the Poké Ball, back on the shelf? I don’t deserve to fight with him. I wasn’t good enough for Red or Blue. Why would he want me?

“It’s okay, little friend. You can do this.” His voice pulls me out of the darkness. I’m his little friend. We’re a team and we can do anything together. “Plant a Leech Seed.” I expel a seed from the top of my Bulba and it lands on my opponent. I already feel more at ease knowing I will be getting some health back.

“No matter, this match won’t last much longer. Use Psychic, Misdreavus.” The attack hits me. It feels like the Confusion attack the Staryu’s used, but now the tangled vines feel like they’re strangling me. I won’t be able to take another one of those.

“Let’s try to even this up a little,” Oak says. “Sleep Powder.” I build up a little pressure in my bulb and spew the sleep inducing powder around the room. It squarely hits Misdreavus, making it sleep instantly. It starts to float lower than usual. “You know what to do now!” I do! I start barraging the Ghost Pokémon with Razor Leaf attacks. The attacks land again and again, hitting three, four, five times in a row. With no signs of waking, I send one more pair of deadly leaves at Misdreavus, making fall to the floor. I won! “Ah, ha! Great job, little friend!” I did it! I beat this Pokémon. It was a challenge, but we overcame it together! I feel amazing! I feel like growing.

Before I know it, the bulb on my back expands, blossoming into a budding flower. I evolved! Oh, no… I evolved. Oak didn’t want me to evolve. What am I going to do? Is he going to be mad at me. “Ivy!?”

“Sand-bagging again, I see,” Agatha says casually. “I can’t say I’m surprised. That’s quite the not-so-little friend you have there.”

“Yeah, he does a good job. Don’t worry, little friend. It was about time for you to evolve, anyway,” he said with a smile.

“Well, one thing is for sure, you still have it in you. Let me know if you reconsider applying for the Elite 4. You’d be the best,” Agatha says as she makes her way out the door.

 

—–

 

I was amazed at how comfortable my evolved body felt. I was bigger but it was natural. I suppose all those battles using the Power Weight acclimated me to the addition heft I would gain when evolving. After a few weeks of training though, Oak put the Power Weight back on one of my legs, and also added orange and yellow items around my body, as well. He called them the Power Belt and the Power Band. I can only assume these will help me as I evolve again.

We spent the next few months training. We traveled to various areas in Kanto, fighting a much wider variety of Pokémon than I was used to. I love going to Johto. Those are the best training sessions. Oak introduced me to some of his other friends and let me train against them. I had some good sparring matches against Gyarados, Oak’s Exeggutor, his Arcanine (a Pokémon he originally got from Blaine), and wildly strong Tauros. We battled and trained and we all grew to be great friends. These 5… friends (Oak and the rest of the team) are more than friends. They’re my family.

We got to travel to the Pokémon League when Blue had won it. His Blastoise and other team members conquered the Elite 4 (including Agatha) and were Champions. But by the time we arrived, Red had usurped Blue and was the new Champion. It seems that Blue didn’t learn from the battle we had back in Saffron city. It seems as though this loss was quite humbling for him. Maybe he will turn out to be a good trainer one of these days

I was batting against Tauros on the field south of Pallet one day, and I felt that same urge I had a few times before. My body was telling me it was ready to evolve. I resisted, at first. But then Oak walked over to me and said, “It’s okay, little friend. It’s time. I need you at your strongest for what I see coming next.” With my friend’s approval, I let the flower on my back grow as much as it could, allowing it to soak in the sunlight. A bright red spotted flower blossomed from my back. I turned into a Venusaur. Again, my body had changed greatly, but I was ready for it. The extra items I used while training as an Ivysaur helped me adjust to my new form. Oak really does know how to train a Pokémon right.

I was resting in the lab while Oak was doing his research. I no longer fit on the chairs and tables that I used to sit on while he was working. Suddenly, the door swings open and a boy rushes in. It’s Red. “Professor Oak! I did it,” he exclaimed. “I completed the Pokédex!”

“Well, let me see that.” Red handed the device to the Professor. “Wow! That’s amazing Red! This will help greatly with me research!”

“I’m glad I could help! It was a great journey and now I’m a Pokémon Master,” Red said proudly.

“You did a great job. I am proud that you were able to become Champion and catch all of the Pokémon we know of. Those are truly astounding accomplishments,” Oak said praisingly. “But I have one more challenge, if you’re up for it.”

“Of course! Anything!” Red said eagerly.

“Have a battle with me,” Oak challenged.

“Are you sure? I mean, I am the Champion,” Red replied eagerly.

“Show me what you can do.” The battle was on. I watch the first few battles from the sideline. Red does have some excellent Pokemon. The battle rages back and forth. It seems as though as soon one Pokémon becomes victorious, it falls to its next opponent. My family members are battling well against the current Champ. Oak’s Pokémon are also quite exceptional. This is truly the pinnacle of battling. Red sends out his final Pokémon, Charizard, against Exeggutor. With one quick Fire Blast, Exeggutor falls and returns to Oak’s Poké Ball. All 4 of my friends fought valiantly.

It was my turn. In the same place where this journey started… In the same place where Charizard, a Charmander at the time, faced off against Blue’s Squirtle, I get to battle against the Champion. Charizards enormous wings appear to be extremely sharp on the ends. This becomes more apparent when Red orders, “Wing Attack.” With those two simple words, the large fire breather effortlessly glides across the room, striking me with its wing. This blow sends me back into the wall behind me.

“It’s okay, little friend. Stand up and attack with Toxic.” With Oaks encouragement, I rise to my feet and send a putrid aura around Charizard. It coughs and labors to move.

“Charizard, attack with Fire Blast!” The room is enveloped with flames. I move in order to get as far away from the fire as I can, but my leaves still get scorched.

“Venusaur, Sleep Powder!” I shake my leaves as I have done many times before to expel my slumber dust. It hits Charizard squarely. He falls asleep, standing. “Alright, now finish it with a Solar Beam.” I ready my attack. I gather as much power from the sun as I can. As I am doing this, Red rummages through his bag and pulls out a flute. He plays a song on it and Charizard awakes!

“Charizard, it’s stuck preparing Solar Beam. Use Fire Blast!” But, Solar Beam isn’t ready. I see the flames welling up in its mouth. I’ll have to attack not fully charged. As I see the flames loose from Charizard’s mouth, I unleash my attack, as well.

“Venusaur!”

The attacks meet each other mid-air. They fight for supremacy for a few moments. The attacks almost seem to pass right through each other, landing on the intended Pokémon. But the Solar Beam was stronger. The beam fueled by the sun hit Charizard directly in the torso. Charizard falls. I stumble a bit. The Fire Blast, while weakened, still hit me pretty hard. I’m barely hanging on. I did it! No, we did it. My family. All 6 of us, together, defeated the Champion.

Red hung his head. He was defeated. “…” Without saying word, he walked out of the lab. We followed him out and watched as he walked north and continued his journey, wherever that would lead him. We watched him for a while, until he was out of sight and we went to the shore to enjoyed the receding sun.

“I’m proud of you, little friend,” Oak said lovingly. “I knew you were disappointed when you weren’t picked by Red or Blue on the first day of their journies. But you weren’t meant for that. That’s why I took special care of you. And I am so glad you were able to stay with me” He’s right, like he usually is. I was disappointed, at the time. I had hopes and dreams of adventuring throughout the land and having epic battles… but I that is what I did. With Oak, I was able to do all the things I had aspired to do from the beginning. I met awesome Pokémon and gifted trainers. Maybe it wasn’t what I expected but it’s what I really needed. And now, what I thought I was supposed to be, I have left behind me.  As we watch the waves lap against the shore, I snuggle up next to Oak, just like I did when I was a small Bulbasaur. His little friend.