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Author Topic: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story  (Read 1297 times)

BlackDragonSlayer

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Re: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2019, 05:07:44 AM »

WOO! Happy birthday and welcome back! It's always great to have another writer around.
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And the moral of the story: Quit while you're a head.

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K-NiGhT

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Re: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2019, 06:42:43 AM »

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honestly dude, you're a good writer, hope you know that
Thanks man :) means a lot to hear that. The first 13 updates are from two years ago, and I like to think I've even improved a bit since then. We'll see how things shake out.
WOO! Happy birthday and welcome back! It's always great to have another writer around.
Good to be back! I'm probably gonna stick around this story telling board, mostly. I just wanted to share this story in another place.
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Got another one for y'all, three updates until we're caught up!

Update Eleven: Reconciliation
The trip back up north to Cerulean felt much quicker this time. I was mostly in a hurry to get as far away from Vermilion City as possible, but it also didn’t help that the team had been unnaturally quiet. Javelin was still shocked at the death of Gonz, which was understandable. She flew alongside the group at a distance, not making eye contact with any of us. The rest of us were starting to get used to this kind of thing happening, which didn’t give me any comfort, but this was her first time dealing with something like this. It couldn’t have been easy.

Caesar was still visibly upset that I didn’t tell him what was going on with Bepis, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell them about it. Bepis’ Poke Ball had been totally unresponsive to throwing, which I didn’t even think was possible. Since I refused to share Bepis’ incident with Caesar, he remained silent.

Raymundo was similarly silent, but he didn’t seem upset. Ever since he evolved, he continued to check himself out. I supposed suddenly becoming twice your normal size and bipedal would do that to a Pokemon, but there seemed to be something more to it. He seemed worried. I remembered what he had said about his clan back on Route 22. I wondered what it would mean for him if we ever went back.

I kept hoping that Gonz would pop up out of the ground, shout some ridiculous one-liner, and make everything okay, but as we came out of the Underground Tunnel and continued our trek through Cerulean City, it became increasingly apparent that good times would be far off.

***

We got back to Cerulean City, and I realized that I hadn’t caught anything up on Route 24. I had the team stay behind at the Pokemon Center while I walked up the Nugget Bridge, which probably wasn’t smart, but I needed some time to clear my head. I was also going to try to coax Bepis out of his Poke Ball while the rest of them were resting.

There was a small patch of grass near the other side of the bridge, which meant that some Pokemon weren’t far off. Before I went in, though, I stopped at the edge of the water surrounding the bridge and threw Bepis’ Poke Ball out. “Come on out, buddy,” I said as calmly as I could. The Poke Ball sank in the water and then bobbed back up after a few seconds, unopened.

I sighed. I hoped it wouldn’t be like this for very long. “The rest of them are gone,” I told him. “Please, I just want to talk to you.”

After a few more quiet seconds, the ball opened, and Bepis stretched his giant body across the small river. He looked at me with sad eyes, something that I thought would be impossible for a Gyarados to do. “What do you want?” he asked. From the tone of his voice, it sounded like he had been crying.

“I just wanted to see if you were doing okay,” I assured him. “I know the other day was hard on you. It was hard on me, too.

The giant water fish refused to make eye contact with me. “I didn’t mean to kill him,” he said softly.

“I know,” I confirmed. “It’s not like I’m mad at you or anything.”

He finally looked at me, tears welling up in his eyes. “You’re…not?”

“Of course not,” I said, holding my hand out. “You just weren’t really aware of your own strength. That was your first real fight after evolving, so the sudden increase in power would’ve thrown anyone off.

Bepis finally burst into tears and lunged at me. “I’m so sorry!” he blubbered. I brought my hand out to pet my dragon fish and let him cry it out for a few minutes.

After a little bit, we stepped back to look at each other. No matter how much Bepis had changed, he was still the same, lovable little guy I had met on Route 4. Sure, he was a little bigger now, and a lot scarier, but he couldn’t help that. “So, are you okay to join back up with the team?”

He took a moment to think, then looked at me. “I’m not sure yet,” he answered. “I don’t feel like I’d be able to explain myself to them if they asked.” It was a valid point. Caesar wouldn’t stop grilling me about it for some reason, and Arceus only knew what would happen if Bepis was actually out with them. The questioning would be non-stop.

I sighed. “I suppose you’re right. Do you want me to talk to the team for you?” I had kept it from them because it was Bepis’ story to tell, but if he didn’t want to be bothered by it I could step in and mediate.

“That’s up to you,” he said. “I’m just not sure what they’ll think of me if they found out.”

“Bepis, that’s ridiculous,” I said sternly. “We’re a family, like you said. We’ll always be there for each other.”

Bepis looked like he was about to cry again, but then his attention was taken by something else. “Hey, Marshal, look over there!” I followed his gaze to a nearby tree where a lone Abra was fast asleep. This was my first encounter on the Route, and I wasn’t about to let it go to waste! I took an empty Poke Ball out of my Bag and lined up the throw. It was a bit of a distance, but nothing that I couldn’t manage…or so I thought. I chucked the Ball with all my might, but it fell on the ground in front of the Abra with a thud. I was about to start yelling and cursing up a storm until I noticed the Abra’s tail flicking around in its sleep. It accidentally hit the button on the Poke Ball and was captured instantly. Bepis and I stared back at each other, not sure what to make of what had just happened.

“Well,” I shrugged, “it’s not my best work, but it’ll do.”

“Doesn’t Colin have one of those?” Bepis reminded me. “It’d be weird to just start copying his team.”

Bepis was right, but the chance at a Psychic-type Pokemon was so rare that I couldn’t just pass it up. “We’re keeping him,” I declared. “If we don’t find any other good teammates on the way to the next town, he’ll stay on the team.”

With that out of the way, I walked over and picked up the Abra’s Poke Ball while deciding on a name. “I think I’ll go with…Kai.”

I returned to Bepis, who was looking down at the ground. “So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to go back into my Poke Ball for a little bit.”

“I understand,” I said, smiling a bit. “I’ll talk to them before we get to the Rock Tunnel.” With a sigh, I took Bepis’ Poke Ball and returned him to it. With a new capture, and some alone time with my fish, I felt a little better and walked back to the Pokemon Center, hoping to get the team’s spirits back up.

***

Since the world was on an amazing run of messing with my plans, our path to the next town was a ridiculous detour. Due to the sleeping Snorlax east of Vermilion City, we had to go all the way back to Cerulean City and east on Route 9. That would take us to the Rock Tunnel, which sounded awful.

Route 9 itself wasn’t much to look at. According to the locals, there was an abandoned power plant to the southeast that had created a lot of industrial waste, causing mass erosion and killing most of the plant life. The Route had essentially become badlands, which was at the very least a change of scenery compared to the grassy fields and forests of previous areas. The harsher environment was pretty good for training, so the team put themselves together and got some battling done. It didn’t feel like we were making any progress. Raymundo was already plenty strong, Javelin didn’t really do much, and Caesar looked like his heart wasn’t in it.

Remembering what Bepis had said to me, I decided that waiting to tell them was only making morale worse. “Bring it in, guys,” I called out. The team slowly made their way back to me, almost dragging their feet. I sighed. “So, while you guys were getting some rest at the Pokemon Center, I went out and got us another teammate. He’s an Abra, so he’s asleep right now, but I’m hoping to introduce him to you later.” The team didn’t really seem to be paying attention, so I quickly moved on. “I also got to talk to Bepis for a bit.”

The mere mention of his name was enough to perk Caesar up. Javelin’s eyes widened, and Raymundo folded his arms. “Well?” Caesar asked. “Is he okay?”

“He’s doing better, yes,” I confirmed. “He told me to tell you what happened the other day.” So I explained to the team what had happened. How Bepis had accidentally killed Colin’s Raticate. I spared no detail, I laid it on thick. I had to know if their commitment to the team was absolute.

After I had finished my all-too-detailed explanation, the three of them just stared at me in disbelief. “Are you serious?” Caesar asked me, as if he couldn’t believe what he had heard.

“Unfortunately, I am,” I assured him. “That’s why we didn’t finish the tournament, remember? They closed off the top deck to clean up the mess.”

Javelin looked like she was going to be sick, but kept her composure the best she could. “And Bepis...did that by himself?”

I nodded solemnly. “He regrets it immensely. He wasn’t used to his new power.”

Raymundo nodded. “I know how he felt. When I was fighting that Raichu, I had to hold back so I didn’t kill it. Going straight into battle after evolving is just a recipe for disaster.”

Now that they had some perspective on the matter, I had to ask the all-important question. “Bepis wanted me to ask you guys if…you thought any less of him because of this.” The looks that I got from the three of them told me everything I needed to know. With a smile, I took his Poke Ball back out and threw it high into the air. For once, the response was immediate. In an instant, Bepis appeared, floating around in all of his majesty.

“I told them,” I told him.

He looked back at me, shocked, and then looked back at the rest of the team. The wind grew more intense for a moment as everyone stared each other down. Once it died down, though, Raymundo was the first to show his feelings. He clambered over to Bepis and wrapped his arms around him the best he could. It looked a little silly, but the gesture wasn’t lost on any of us. Bepis stopped floating and crashed to the ground, sobbing. Caesar, Javelin, and I piled on, leaving the whole team in a dogpile of emotions and tears. We had gained so much together, but had lost all the same. The five of us finally had a chance to mourn for Gonz, but in that moment, we had become closer than we had ever been before. I knew that with all my heart I would have to do whatever I could to keep these guys with me. If I managed to lose even one of them, I don’t think I could’ve continued.

***

After our little crying session, we decided to double down on training. The entire team was raring to go, and took off after each other with reckless abandon. Caesar and Javelin were having a tough time keeping up with Raymundo and Bepis, so after a while I had them sit out. Raymundo had managed to gain control of his evolved form relatively quickly, but Bepis was still struggling because the surge in power had been so great.

Bepis lunged at Ray, fangs open wide, but Ray managed to stop him by grabbing the sides of his mouth with his arms. The two of them skidded across the badlands and finally came to a stop after Ray managed to dig in his heels. The two of them had gotten much too strong for their surroundings, or so it seemed. Satisfied, I called them both back and had us continue on our way.

Eventually, we reached the easternmost edge of Route 9, which was right on the edge of the ocean. The view was incredible. You could see nothing but water for miles. The five of us stopped to appreciate how far we had come before finally spotting the Pokemon Center a little way down the trail.

“Finally!” I shouted, getting sick of walking. “Let’s stop there for the night!” The team cheered, and I led them all into the Pokemon Center, where we got our first decent night’s rest in a long time.
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K-NiGhT

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Re: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story
« Reply #17 on: November 03, 2019, 06:23:14 AM »

another!

Update Twelve: Whirlwind Tour
I woke up early the next morning, which felt unusual. I had been so used to sleepless nights that I didn’t know what to do with myself now that I felt so rested. I slowly sat up at the edge of the bed and looked around. Caesar was the only one that was able to be out of his Poke Ball anymore, since the rest of the team was getting too big. It made me a little sad to think that the team would have to be cooped up in their Poke Balls more often, but it was a necessary evil.

I went ahead and checked out, and prepared for my expedition through the Rock Tunnel. I was told by some of the locals that the lanterns in the tunnel were mostly out, so visibility was extremely limited. Hopefully this wouldn’t turn into an all-day trip.

Once I checked out and headed outside, I called Raymundo and Javelin out to join Caesar and me. I would’ve let Bepis out, but he wouldn’t be able to fit into the cave entrance. Kai also apparently liked to spend his time awake while the rest of us were sleeping, so he was out of commission for the day.

“Okay, guys,” I said, starting a quick briefing before we went spelunking. “Visibility here is going to be extremely limited, so I’m going to need constant communication from each of you if we’re going to make our way through there.”

Caesar was quick to chime in. “Wouldn’t it make more sense to bring something that can light up the path instead of stumbling around in the dark?”

“Yeah, normally I’d agree,” I assured him, “but I don’t want to disturb any of the wild Pokemon in the caves. I don’t know how long we’re going to be stuck in there, and the last thing we need is for someone to get stuck in a bad situation.” My reasoning was apparently sound enough for Caesar, as he nodded and looked down at the ground. Seeing no further objections from the other two, I led the team into the pitch-black cave.

***

After about an hour of stumbling around through total darkness, I had finally come to the conclusion that maybe waiting for the roadblocks to clear wasn’t such a bad idea. I wasn’t able to gauge the team’s expressions in the silence and darkness, but I assumed they felt similarly.

The few dimly lit lanterns over the signposts were enough to let us know we were heading in the right direction, but the trip quickly turned for the worse when Raymundo accidentally stepped on a sleeping Geodude the wrong way, causing the Rock-type Pokemon to explode.

“Um…oops,” he said, sounding dopier than usual. The brief thought entered my mind that Raymundo was growing into his big, lumbering body a little too well. He had managed to survive a Selfdestruct, a feat that would’ve killed literally anyone else on the team, but we weren’t out of danger yet. Raymundo’s careless step had set off a chain reaction of exploding Geodudes and Graveler all around us.

“We’ve gotta move!” I shouted nervously, making a run for it. The team used the brief flashes of light from the explosions here and there to follow along. It all seemed to be going okay until Raymundo was hit by another explosion, causing him to fall over. He wasn’t dead, at least, but he was struggling to get back on his feet.

“Damn it,” he cursed to himself, trying to muster up the energy to stand. “I can’t get tripped up here!” It was a scary situation, but I stopped momentarily and noticed the attempt at a one-liner that Raymundo had uttered. Was he trying to emulate Gonz? I couldn’t help but wonder, but was stopped when a figure that I couldn’t make out rushed over to the Nidoking’s aid.

“Don’t worry!” it said, with a voice that sounded like it was trying too hard to sound deep and heroic. “You are safe! I will take you out of here!” The figure looked much smaller than Ray, but managed to pick him up and sling him over its shoulder with what appeared to be no issue. This was all very hard to distinguish, with the only source of light being nearby explosions, but before I knew it, I was following Ray’s unmoving body and the mysterious thing carrying him out of Rock Tunnel.

Before I knew it, we were out of there. Caesar, Javelin and I all collapsed to catch our breath as our savior set Ray down gently, which was when I finally
got a good look at him. Our hero that escorted us through the Rock Tunnel was a Machop.

“Thank you,” I wheezed, still winded from the stress. “We were almost done for back there.”

The Machop smirked and gave me a cheesy thumbs-up. “No problem!” he shouted, the bravado nearly unbearable. “As a professional hero, it’s my duty to help those in need!”

I smirked. He was quite the character! “What’s your name, hero?” I asked.

“I am known by many names,” he said. I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not, because that seemed like pretty awful branding for a self-proclaimed hero. “You, however, may call me Sylvester.”

“Well, Sylvester,” I said, standing back up and dusting myself off. “I appreciate your work!”

It was that moment that made him realize that I was able to hold a conversation with him, and he dropped character almost immediately. “Wait, you can hear me?” he asked, his voice suddenly way higher. He almost sounded like a child, which was funny to me.

“Sure can!” I confirmed. Suddenly, I realized that Sylvester was actually the only Pokemon I had encountered in Rock Tunnel that wasn’t currently recovering from exploding. This meant I could add him to the team! I quickly took out a Poke Ball and offered it to him. “As a matter of fact, I’m a fan of your heroics! What do you say to coming with us and becoming the best hero you can possibly be?”

Sylvester’s eyes lit up instantly at this prospect. “Are you kidding me?” he squealed. He quickly realized how he probably sounded compared to before and cleared his throat. “I mean, of course I’d love to help out a struggling citizen! I will accompany you and keep you safe from harm!” Trying his best to hide his clear excitement, Sylvester slapped the button on the Poke Ball with his palm and allowed himself to be captured. That brought our total numbers up to six: Caesar, Raymundo, Bepis, Javelin, Kai, and Sylvester. This was the first time ever that I had managed to keep a full team! It felt pretty good to have a big squad of Pokemon behind me.

Speaking of the rest of the team, I quickly turned to them and checked them for any injuries. Other than Ray, the others appeared to be alright. “You all should take a load off,” I suggested. “I’ll get you guys to the Pokemon Center from here.”

Caesar and Javelin nodded, so I returned them quickly. Raymundo just sighed and grunted. Clearly, this was something I’d have to talk with him about later, but I figured getting him healed up took priority. I stored him back in his Poke Ball and get going on the way to the next town.

***

The next town on the map was Lavender Town. One look at my surroundings told me that this was one place I didn’t want to stay in for very long. The gravesite of Pokemon, Pokemon Tower, loomed over the whole town, giving it a super creepy vibe. What little activity was in the town looked just as lifeless as the badlands of Route 9. People shuffled around with no clear purpose, as though they were zombies. “Screw this,” I muttered, immediately making a beeline to the west.

***

The checkpoint to Saffron City was still closed, so I had to use the east-west Underground Tunnel to go to Celadon City. I managed to avoid fights by hiding my team’s Poke Balls in my Bag and praying that nobody would recognize me as a Trainer. After a few hours of solid walking, I finally found myself standing on the eastern edge of Celadon City. The town was even larger than Vermilion City, with giant emerald skyscrapers lining the paved streets. I quickly spotted the Pokemon Center and gave the team and myself a much-needed rest.

***

A few hours later, I was awoken by the nurse, who told me that my team was good to go. She also made a point to tell me that I was not allowed to sleep in the lobby overnight. A quick glance outside let me know that it was now nighttime. The journey to Celadon was taxing on me, probably compounded by the fact that I was alone.

“Sorry about that,” I apologized to the nurse. “I’ll come up and book a room.”

“No need,” she told me. “I took care of it for you already!” She handed me my Trainer Card along with the team’s Poke Balls, which made me immediately wonder where she got it from.

“Thanks,” I said tentatively. I quickly counted my Poke Balls, but something was wrong. Every time I counted, I came up with seven. The nurse was starting to walk away, so I quickly got her attention. “Hey, excuse me, but there’s an extra Pokemon here that isn’t mine.”

The nurse rushed back to me, but when she saw the Poke Ball I was holding in front of her, she sighed. “Oh, yeah. That poor Pokemon was abandoned here by a Trainer a few days ago. I don’t remember their reasoning for leaving it here, but we’re obviously not a shelter. I was going to take it somewhere and have it released or something, but I must have accidentally gotten it mixed up with your team. Sorry about that!” She tried to grab the ball from me, but I pulled my arm back.

“What kind of Pokemon is it?” I asked, curious.

“An Eevee,” she answered.

I took a quick look at my Pokedex and was shocked to find that it was true. Why would anyone ever abandon an Eevee? Moreover, who would ever consider releasing one? Eevee was an incredibly rare species, and it felt like a shame to just let it slip through my fingers. “Well, if it’s abandoned, you don’t mind if I take it, do you?”

“It’s all the same to me,” the nurse said, a little too flippant for my taste. “However, you do have six Pokemon on your team already. Might be a tough choice for you.”

At some point, I had forgotten that official League teams were capped out at six members. I wasn’t sure who I’d bench for this Eevee, so I told the nurse a lie. “I’ll figure it out,” I said, giving a fake smile. “In the meantime, I’m going to meet my new teammate and go for a walk! Thanks for your help!” She gave me a weird look as I walked out of the Pokemon Center and back out to Route 7.

***

I waited until I didn’t see any other people to bring out everyone. Even Kai was out for the first time since being captured. His eyes were still closed, but he looked around at everyone. I wondered how he was able to see, but chalked it all up to Psychic-type shenanigans.

“Hey, everyone,” I greeted with a smile. “We have a new addition!” Wasting no time to hear reactions, I took out the Eevee’s Poke Ball and threw it out, releasing the little brown creature. He shook himself off, opened his eyes, and looked horrified.

“This isn’t my usual team,” he muttered, and turned around to face me. This really set him off. “Wh-who are you?” he asked.

“Hi there,” I said, trying to be as soothing as possible. “My name’s Marshal, and I’m going to be training you from now on!”

“Where’s Colin?”

That name alone nearly popped a blood vessel in my head. How could I have guessed that he had something to do with this? I never guessed he could’ve been so self-absorbed as to abandon an Eevee. “Colin’s…not coming back,” I said bluntly. “He abandoned you.”

This was the wrong move. Immediately, the Eevee started to cry. Sensing this, Javelin sprang into action, snatching up the poor child and swaddling it with her wings. “There, there,” she soothed. While she did that, though, she also stared daggers into my soul.

“You don’t wanna be with that guy, anyway,” Caesar said, trying to diffuse the situation. “He’s not very nice to his Pokemon.” This didn’t actually help.

While that was going on, I turned to everyone else. “I kind of want to keep him around, but we’re full here. I also want to keep Kai and Sylvester on the team to train them up, so that narrows us down a bit. I know this might be a bit of a tough choice, but-”

“I’ll go.”

I whipped around to find that the source of that sentence was Raymundo. He looked me dead in the eyes with a cold expression, while mine was that of shock.

“Are you serious?” I asked. “There’s no way I’m-”

“I’m leaving, and you can’t stop me.” The conviction in his voice was astounding.

“Why?” I asked. “Where is this coming from?”

“I have some stuff to figure out,” he said. No matter what I tried, I felt like I wasn’t going to get anything else out of him.

I looked at the team, but mostly at Caesar and Bepis, who had been around the longest. They seemed just as confused as I was, but Raymundo’s heart was clearly set. “Alright,” I said tentatively. “If you’re totally certain that you want to leave the team for now, I won’t stop you.”

Without another word, Raymundo turned away from us and started walking away. Not satisfied with that, I cupped my hands around my mouth and shouted to him. “Just know that no matter what, we’re still your family now! You can talk to us about anything, remember?”

I literally saw the tear drop fall from Raymundo’s face as he gave us a thumbs-up with his back turned to us. Before I knew it, he disappeared into the brisk night, leaving the rest of us very confused.
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K-NiGhT

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Re: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2019, 06:13:09 AM »

Ok, this is the last update from when I was writing this 2 years ago. Expect things to slow way down from here.

Update Thirteen: Serenity
A few days had passed since Raymundo had left, but I was still reeling. It wasn’t just me, though. Everyone on the team, even the newcomers, felt like something very important was missing from the family. Raymundo was the best of us, and though I knew he had been going through a lot at the time, I still couldn’t see his reasoning for leaving us so suddenly.

Though it still stung, I had to do my best to carry on with everyone that was left. Since that day, I had been training the team pretty consistently, and the results were very apparent. Darwin had quickly earned his place on the team, being just as strong as a few of the veterans on the squad despite his small stature, but the real success stories were Kai and Sylvester, who had shot up in level and power considerably in the past few days.

Kai’s progress was easily tracked back to one specific event: the opening of the gates to Saffron City. They had managed to open them back up the day after Raymundo left, so the team and I wasted no time in going and seeing the sights. While we were wandering, a strange man noticed my Abra and quickly threw me a Technical Machine. He said it would make Kai much easier to train, and I quickly realized why. The TM was for the move Psychic, a move that Kai wouldn’t normally have learned until much later in his development.

Needless to say, he effortlessly honed this move until completely mastering it. In doing so, he quickly evolved into his next form, Kadabra. This was great, since it meant he’d be able to stay awake for more than six hours a day. He had gotten quite a bit taller, and had found a spoon somewhere that he was carrying around. It was all very exciting.

On the other hand, Sylvester’s growth had taken a lot more work, but was still just as impressive. He hadn’t received any special TM’s, so all we had to work with was the moves he naturally had. He had gotten caught up with the rest of the squad, so I finally felt ready to challenge the Celadon City Gym.

On the way back to town, I strategized with the team. “Ok, everyone, this Gym apparently uses Grass-types. Therefore, Javelin is going to take point here. Since most Grass-types also share a Poison-typing, Kai’s going to be on cleanup duty. The rest of you can take a rest for awhile if you want. I know it’s been a rough couple of days.”

***

The Gym was closed.

I had been preparing for several days, and the second I rolled up to the Gym, the doors were locked! The local Gym guide was standing outside, so I decided to go over and give him a piece of my mind. “Hey, man, I had an appointment to fight Erika today!”

The nerdy-looking guy pushed up his glasses and looked me over, as if attempting to confirm my identity. “Sorry, kiddo,” he said flatly. “Erika’s been asked to help the local police investigate some Team Rocket activity here in town. Why don’t you reschedule tomorrow?”

I could feel the steam rising off the top of my head as I walked away. This was ridiculous. Those Team Rocket thugs managed to constantly get in my way somehow.

***

A little while later, I was in the courtyard in front of the Department store letting the team stretch out and run around when Darwin slowly walked up to me. “Um…Mr. Marshal?” he said, a hint of nervousness in his voice still.

“It’s just Marshal, kiddo,” I said calmly. He had been calling me that since his first day on the team, and I hoped that I’d eventually break him of that habit. “What’s wrong?”

He looked down at the ground, unsure if he even wanted to ask what he was about to ask. “When are you planning to make me evolve?”

I had totally forgotten about this. Evolution for an Eevee was a pretty important event, but some Trainers were never really able to consider the feelings of the Pokemon and when they wanted to evolve into, let alone what they wanted to evolve into. “Well, when are you thinking you’re ready? What do you want to evolve into, anyway? I’ll let you pick.”

The cute little pup’s eyes glistened when he heard that he’d have a say in the matter. “Well, I’ve always wanted to be a Jolteon. And…I think I’m ready!”

My expression felt similar to Darwin’s when I heard his decision. “Well, that’s perfect!” I said, almost becoming giddy. “I’ve always wanted a Jolteon, anyway!” Hearing this made Darwin so happy that he leapt into my arms, and I spun him around like we were dancing. “They sell Thunder Stones at the Celadon Department Store, so let’s go right away!” I quickly called the whole team back and nearly sprinted into the giant Department Store, heading straight for the fourth floor.

***

Not even 30 minutes later, we were back on the outskirts of town. The whole team was in attendance to see Darwin’s evolution. I could hardly contain myself. Growing up, I always loved listening to the Professor talk about Pokemon, and Jolteon was always my favorite. The fact that I didn’t even have to try to convince Darwin was even better! If he didn’t want to be a Jolteon, I would’ve felt horrible.

“All right, let’s see it!” Caesar insisted. “Time for Darwin to evolve!”

I carefully took the Thunder Stone out of my Bag and set it on the ground, not wanting to spoil the moment by having Darwin make contact with it before he was ready. Caesar, Bepis, Javelin, Sylvester, Kai, and myself all stood in a circle around Darwin, the anticipation becoming nearly unbearable. It must have looked like some sort of freaky ritual if anyone else walking nearby had seen us, but we didn’t care.

Darwin shook himself up and walked over to the glowing green stone, stepping on it gingerly with his paw. The transformation came almost immediately. The all-too-familiar flash of light heralded evolution, and before we knew it a spiky yellow Jolteon stood before us, looking himself over curiously. He didn’t say anything, which kind of worried me a bit.

“Well, Darwin,” I said gingerly, “how do you feel?”

Darwin looked up at me curiously, then sparks began to fly from his body. “I feel great! I feel like I could run a mile right now and never stop just keep running and running and running-” Before he even finished his own sentence he took off, disappearing from the circle we had formed around him before most of us even had a chance to blink. He was a little yellow blur streaking around the trees of the forest we were in. None of us could track him until Kai used his Psychic move to stop him, but showed that he was able to control his power by not harming the newly evolved creature.

“Merely a side effect of the sudden increase in power, I’m sure,” he said calmly. “It will pass with time.”

“Hey!” Darwin shouted, kicking and flailing about in the air. “Put me down! I wanna run and run and run and run and run-”

“Well, hopefully he’ll calm down,” Caesar said, a little nervous about the hyperactive monstrosity that we had created.

“He’s just excited,” I assured everyone. “Why don’t we let him run around a bit?”

Kai sighed and lowered his spoon, letting Darwin float gently down to the ground. As soon as the Kadabra’s Psychic hold was released, the Jolteon shot off like a bullet, whooping and hollering his way around the forest. We all tried to follow along, but couldn’t quite keep up. He was like a bolt of lightning streaking across the ground, impossibly fast yet incredibly strong.

I couldn’t help but laugh, but felt silly at the same time. I had been pushing these guys pretty hard lately, all for the sake of reaching the goal as soon as possible, but it really was little moments like this that could bring the whole team together. I just wished that Raymundo was here to see it. “All right, everyone,” I announced. “We’re camping out here tonight!”

The whole team cheered, except for Caesar, who looked a bit concerned. “Are you sure you don’t want to just…go back to the Pokemon Center?”

“Nah, it’s fine!” I assured him, winking. “It’s not every day we get such a rare opportunity, anyway! This forest is close enough to town, but far enough out of the way that people won’t bother us. We just have to make a suitable campsite.”

***

A few hours later, I would hardly call whatever we had made a suitable campsite, but I didn’t really mind. I was just happy to get a little more time to relax. The crisp autumn air felt perfect as I laid on the ground, and for the first time since starting the journey, I felt at peace as I watched the stars.

The whole team was off enjoying their time, too. Kai was off meditating nearby, likely honing his Psychic energy. Sylvester was honing energy of his own by doing lots of push-ups. Darwin was still running around burning off all that energy. I couldn’t believe that he had barely even stopped to eat before going back to his sprinting! Bepis had found a nearby lake and was enjoying some time in the water, while Javelin perched herself on a nearby tree to watch. Even though Bepis was much stronger than her now, she still felt compelled to look after him, which I thought was cute.

Caesar, meanwhile, didn’t seem to have much going on, so he trudged over to me and laid on his belly. “Hey,” he said flatly.

“What’s up, buddy?” I asked. “Couldn’t find any fun camping activities?”

“Star gazing sounded kind of fun right about now,” he replied. The two of us looked up at the sky in silence for a while before he spoke up again. “Hey, have you ever figured out how you’re able to talk to us?”

I thought about it for a moment. I had really taken this gift for granted, but it really seemed to be totally unique. “I still have no idea. Maybe I’ll never know, but I think it’s been such a blessing to get to know you all as well as I can.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Caesar sighed. “You’re able to take our feelings and wishes into consideration where others can’t. No other trainer would have let Raymundo walk away like he did.”

“What do you think about that, by the way?” I asked. “I haven’t been able to get it out of my head the past few days.”

Caesar was quiet for a while, but finally managed to speak. “I…knew it was coming. While you were off catching Kai, Jav and I got to talk to him for a bit. He was really still trying to come to terms with evolving. He felt like he was obligated to go explain to his clan back on Route 22. I think the Rock Tunnel thing was enough to push him away.”

“I wish he could’ve just told me. We could’ve gone back as a team.” It sounded selfish, even at the time, but maybe it was meant to be. Raymundo had been on the team longer than everyone except Caesar. We had only been together for a few weeks now, but I felt that we had at least gotten to a certain level of trust and respect with each other.

“He knew you were going to try that,” Caesar said. “He told us he didn’t want to burden us all with his problems. This is a journey he’s going to have to make on his own.”

I sighed. “I’m sure he’ll come back once he figures out whatever he needs to do. For now, let’s enjoy the time we have here, eh?”

“Of course, Marshal.”

I fell asleep under the stars that night, feeling at peace.
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K-NiGhT

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Re: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2019, 08:30:13 AM »

Update Fourteen: Investigation
Even though I had fallen asleep outside the night before, I felt nice and refreshed when I woke up. The sun was just starting to rise, and I got up slowly. I tried to put my hand on the ground to brace myself, but was shocked to touch fur instead. To my right, I saw Darwin cuddled up next to me. A quick look around told me that the entire team had huddled around me at some point during the night. Even Kai was close by! I smiled and gingerly stepped around all of them to go watch the sunrise.

I found a clearing on a hill nearby that let me get a perfect view of the sun popping up over the mountains in the distance. It was a truly beautiful sight, and definitely refreshing. It made me feel like even though I had been making all kinds of mistakes, it wasn’t the end. The sun still rises every day.

After having a nice moment to myself, I walked back to the team, who were all still dead asleep. After a quick moment of reflection, I decided to have a little fun. I took a deep breath and screamed my best possible war cry. The whole team jolted awake in a panic, ready for battle. Caesar looked around, confused that there was nothing around that posed a threat. The whole team looked at me in bewilderment.

I just laughed. “Good morning, everyone! Hope you had a good night’s sleep! We have a big day ahead of us, so let’s get going!”

Javelin didn’t seem to appreciate the sudden wake-up call, and her eyes were shut again almost immediately. Darwin, on the opposite side of the coin, was up bounding around with all of his ridiculous energy. The others just stood there like zombies, still processing.

After a little bit of time to get everyone bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we headed back into town. If I got to the Gym early enough this time, perhaps the leader would actually be present and willing to battle me after my appointment was so rudely cancelled. I recalled the team to their Poke Balls as we reached the gates of Celadon and quickly made my way to the Gym.

***

I recognized the Gym Leader, Erika, from the numerous pictures and advertisements for the Pokemon League. Her jet-black hair and brightly colored kimono contrasted themselves perfectly as the morning sun gave her a certain glow. She looked as if she was just leaving the Gym, so I quickly ran up to catch her.

“Hey!” I said, trying to get her attention. “Do you have a minute to take a challenge?” It was probably a little forward, but I really wanted to get done and out of this town as soon as I could.

She seemed distracted, but finally Erika turned to face me. “Sorry,” she said plainly, “you’ll have to make an appointment if you want to challenge me.”

Word from the locals had informed me that Erika could be a bit of a space case, and I was inclined to believe them. “I did make an appointment,” I pointed out. “I showed up yesterday at my scheduled time and you weren’t there.”

She looked puzzled for a moment, then closed her eyes and smiled. “Ah, you must be the Marshal I heard about from Misty and Brock. Sorry I missed your appointment yesterday. I ended up getting volunteered to help the police with an investigation, but we didn’t find anything of value. I was on my way back to take your challenge, but got sidetracked when I found some lovely flowers that I had never seen before.”

I sighed. It seemed rumors were true sometimes, after all. I couldn’t really be upset with her, but I still wanted to get the Gym battle done. “Can we just get it done now, then? You kinda owe me, after all.”

Erika’s smile faded quickly. “I’m sorry, but I’m helping out with the Team Rocket investigation again today. Could you wait for a little while?” She seemed to be lost in thought, but her face quickly lit up again. “Actually, your reputation with the other Gym Leaders has been pretty solid. Do you think you can maybe help me out?”

As much as I just wanted to take my challenge and leave, I couldn’t deny that maybe helping out a Gym Leader would be a good move for my future endeavors. “What do you need?” I asked.

“The Celadon police force hasn’t been very helpful in my efforts,” she admitted. “I think there’s something going on at the Game Corner downtown, but they can’t just waltz in there without a warrant. I may be a Gym Leader, but there’s only so much I can do on my own. If you and I both went in and tried to find something on our own, we could bring the evidence to the police.”

Though she was a bit of an airhead, I had to admit that Erika had come up with a very solid plan. “That seems reasonable to me,” I agreed. “You can count on me!”

“Great!” she grinned. “I’d love to give you your challenge afterwards, even if it’s past the Gym’s hours! You’d really be doing the city of Celadon a service!”

***

The Celadon Game Corner was not really a place for most 13-year-olds, but I still managed to make my way into the building without being removed from the premises. Most of the patrons were too engrossed in their video slot machines to pay me any mind. It was pretty disturbing to watch the small crowd of adults mindlessly putting coins into slots, hoping they would somehow change their fates and strike gold.

As I walked past, one figure turned to look at me. He was wearing a familiar outfit, and right away I knew that he was the man I had spoken to at the Gym the day before when my appointment with Erika was cancelled. “Hey, aren’t you a bit young to be hanging around here?” he asked.

I froze. In that moment, I wasn’t able to come up with a good answer. If I was caught in a place like this by a League Official, that could only spell trouble for my career as a Trainer. As I stammered around the question, Erika popped up behind me and rested a hand on my shoulder.

“He’s with me, Clyde,” she said. There was a sternness in her voice that I was definitely positive hadn’t been there before. “More to the point, though, where are you supposed to be right now?”

Clyde’s face turned beet red immediately. He certainly seemed like he wasn’t expecting Erika to show up. “Miss Erika! I-uh, that is to say, um…”

“Clyde.” Erika quickly removed her hand from my shoulder and stepped in front of me. “Where should you be right now?”

“The...Gym?”

“The Gym, Clyde. Now, if you will kindly leave me to my business and return to the Gym, I won’t fire you on the spot.”

In a flash, the Gym official was gone, and Erika turned back to me with a smile. For someone so laid back, she certainly was capable of being intimidating when she needed to be. “You good to keep going?” she asked, the tone of her voice softening immediately. “You can hang back if you’re scared.”

Looking back, I know exactly why she said what she did, but a younger Marshal couldn’t pick up on the subtleties of her tone, or the slight smirk that crept across her face. There are so many things I wish I could’ve said, but instead, a simple huff and an “I’m not scared!” escaped my lips. I strode toward the back of the casino with a confident stride.

Around the back wall was a dimly lit hallway that didn’t seem to lead anywhere. It was also completely empty, save for one lone person standing in front of a poster hanging on the wall. I quickly got my story straight, and approached.

“Excuse me, sir,” I said, feigning politeness. “I’m looking for the bathroom, can I find it back here?”

The man, obscured by the dim light, seemed shocked that I had made it back to his station. “What’s a brat like you doing here? Get out!”

He stepped closer, and all the color immediately drained from my face. The all black outfit he was wearing should have been my first clue towards danger, but the bright red letter “R” emblazoned on his chest signified that this man was a member of Team Rocket.

I reacted quickly, drawing Caesar’s Poke Ball and summoning the Ivysaur into the enclosed space. I hoped the flash of throwing out a Pokemon wouldn’t alert too many patrons of the Game Corner, but if anybody panicked, Erika could probably calm them down.

Before the Rocket Grunt had a chance to react to what was happening, Caesar let out a cloud of Sleep Powder right in his face. The poor sap was just barely able to reach for the Poke Ball at his belt before he staggered and collapsed in a heap on the floor, fast asleep. Unfortunately for me, however, the narrow walls of the hallway were not exactly optimal for the Sleep Powder to dilute quickly. I felt my eyes began to grow heavy, as the rest of my body began to relax. Just before I fell, though, a small pouch was shoved into my face. The sudden smell of pungent herbs and spices woke me back up in a flash. As I got my bearings again, Erika was looking at me.

“That was a good play, but poor awareness,” she observed. “Luckily, this home-grown herbal blend will help keep you awake and invigorated for what comes next.”

“Thanks,” I smiled. Whatever was in that bag, it worked like a charm. I felt great!

“Now, what was this guy guarding?” Erika wondered, making her way over to the poster on the wall. After a quick investigation, she noticed that it was not hung on the wall properly. She lifted the poster and discovered a big red button. Doing what any sensible human being would do, she pressed it immediately, and the wall at the end of the hallway began to slowly and quietly slide away, revealing a staircase leading underneath the Game Corner.

“There we go!” Erika whooped in a hushed whisper. “This must be the way to some sort of base. We can get the entire Celadon police force on this case in no time.”

“That’s great,” I agreed. “Does this mean we’re done here?”

“Well, I’ve got to get ahold of my police contact as soon as possible, so I can’t exactly stick around,” Erika admitted. “However, we don’t want to leave the scene like this in case this guy wakes up, or if some reinforcements come upstairs. This is the only real evidence we have of underground Rocket activity right now.”

I sighed a bit. As fun as this was, I really was just trying to get my Gym challenge done. “So what do you want me to do?”

“If you could head down there and quietly gather as much information on Team Rocket as you could, that would help a lot,” Erika instructed.

This sounded ridiculously dangerous, and by all rights Erika should have been doing this as the Gym Leader, but with the current situation, I couldn’t leave the investigation unmanned. “I’ll do it, but you owe me BIG time.”

“Of course,” Erika confirmed. She stuck her hand out in a show of good faith, and I took it in a handshake. “Good luck, Marshal.” The two of us turned away from each other and went our separate ways as I delved into the Team Rocket Hideout.
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mikey

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Re: Cracked: A Nuzlocke Story
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2019, 02:44:27 PM »

rambo time
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