Kody’s life as guardian of the forest continues, despite his shrunk stature. The arrival of two new pokemon might make his life a little easier. Meanwhile, Profefssor Kookynut and Speedy the Slowpoke attempt to run a flea market stall.
Bolt Out of the Blue 3
Kody awoke, sleeping on sturdy leaf that extended from the branch of a tree. He was still an inch tall, and still a raichu. It didn’t look like either of the two transformations were ever going to wear off if they hadn’t done so by this point. He had adapted to being a raichu rather easily, and he was getting used to being so small. But being the self-appointed guarding of wild pokemon was a lot harder when you could be flicked away. He had few tricks of his sleeve. He had taught Vulpix had to dig a pitfall trap so that if a trainer was being a butt pokemon could retreat and draw the trainer into the trap. Typically, by the time they got out they were far to angry and hungry to be in any shape to continue chasing after pokemon.
Of course, that ran the risk of accidentally dropping normal trainers or pokemon into a hole. Kody’s goal wasn’t to punish every single person who ever caught a pokemon. Most trainers treated their pokemon with love, as partners in their adventure. He was mainly concerned about the ones that treated pokemon as slaves and disposable tools. And the thing about a pit trap, it couldn’t really judge someone’s personality. It simply went of if anyone walked over it. And while Kody tried to keep them off the main roads, and only in the more secluded spots pokemon would retreat to wanting, to avoid trainers, it didn’t meant they didn’t catch the occasional wanderer who was just out for a hike. And it was really hard to help pull them out of the pit when you were an inch tall, or apologize and explain the situation when the only words you could say were ‘rai’ and chu.’
What he really needed… Were more pokemon on his side. Vulpix was trying. But she wasn’t a fighter. She could dig a trap but wouldn’t engage a trainer and their pokemon in battle. And Kody wasn’t really sure who else he could ask for help.
Kody plucked a separate leaf from the branch, and leaped off of it, using the leaf to glide down to the forest floor. There was no point worrying about what he couldn’t fix right now. It was best to just find Vulpix and start his rounds. As he land on the floor, he took a few steps then immediately walked into a pink leg.
“Poke.” The owner of said leg was standing perfectly still, staring off into space.
“Gah!” Kody jumped back. “Okay seriously, you’re like forty times my size now or something! How the heck do you keep managing to surprise me like this every single day? I mean, you’re like a giant pink mountain. I would think I’d notice you before I run into you.” Kody put a paw to his head. He knew there was no point in asking Slowpoke for an answer.
“Poke.” Was all that Kody got as a response. That was the problem with slowpokes. They didn’t do much. Honestly, it was kind of amazing Slowpoke hadn’t been caught by a trainer again. Then again, given that he managed to hold so incredibly still that often Kody didn’t even see him till he walked into him it was possible trainers just completely failed to notice him.
“Right… Um… You have a good day then.” Kody muttered. What was he even supposed to say to a slowpoke? He didn’t even know if the thing was registering that it was being spoken to. Or that Kody existed at all. Kody quickly worked his way around the slowpoke before disappearing among the grass looking for Vulpix.
“Poke…” Slowpoke waited for a few seconds after Kody was gone. Then suddenly stood up on his hind legs, ran over to a tree and slammed a paw into it. A slot on the tree opened up, revealing a game of Simon Says. He played several rounds on it before missing the last color on the eighth round. The game buzzed, and slow poke just banged it with a fist. Then the game played a congratulatory tone, and a hole opened up underneath the slowpoke.
He fell down through a tube, before landing before a giant computer monitor with a stern looking police offer on the other end.
“Ah, there you are Agent Speedy.” Commissioner Jenny spoke from the other side of the monitor. “So, what do you think of the new security system we’ve installed? We figure this way if one of your secret hatches are discovered no one could get in.”
“Poke.” Speedy rolled his eyes at Jenny.
“Is something wrong with it? I assure you that it’s state of the art technology that can keep anyone out. We spent our entire yearly budget on them.” Jenny continued.
“What?” A younger blue haired woman poked her head onto the screen. “I just picked up that toy in a garage sale for $5.”
“As I said, our entire yearly budget.” Commissioner Jenny restated. “For some reason, they’d rather throw money at ten-year-old children as lines of defense than our highly trained pokemon agents.”
“Poke…” Speedy looked around at the various gadgets hanging around in his secret base. How they acquired all those with a $5 yearly budget was a mystery.
“Those were built internally.” Commissioner Jenny noticed his look. “And the contractor was responsible for material cost.”
“I’m not a contractor I’m an intern.” Intern Jenny whined. “And I still don’t get why I had to pay for everything when you don’t even pay me.”
“These things will make more sense when you’re older.” Commissioner Jenny huffed. “Anyway, we’ve wasted enough time. Speedy, it would seem once again your nemesis Professor Kookynut is up to something nefarious. He was seen unloading several mysterious and sinister boxes at the local flea market. We don’t know what’s in those boxes, other than it must be something evil! So get out there, and put a stop to his scheme.”
“Slow!” Speedy saluted, ran to the wall, grabbed a jetpack and took off through a chute flying into the sky above the base.
“Say, how did you manage to build a functioning jetpack on an unpaid intern’s salary?” Commissioner Jenny asked.
“I may have borrowed a few parts…” Intern Jenny gave a sheepish grin. “Stuff that wasn’t needed around the base.”
“What would you borrow-“ Commissioner Jenny froze. “Wait are you the reason my cappuccino maker no longer works!? You stole parts from it?”
“Borrowed, and ma’am you don’t even like cappuccinos.” Intern Jenny pleaded. “It’s been sitting there collecting dust and I needed electronic parts from something.”
“I like having the option.” Commissioner Jenny retorted. “Replacing it is coming out of your pay.”
“Again, I don’t get paid.” Intern Jenny stated bluntly.
“And with that attitude you never will!” Commissioner Jenny snapped.
Back on the surface, Kody had finally found vulpix. She was digging a hole to plant a few berries in. Kody immediately ran up, leaped onto ankle, climbed up and made it up to the top of the head.
“Oh! Morning Kody!” Vulpix replied, more than familiar with the weight of the tiny raichu by this point.
“Anything to report?” Kody asked. “Are all the perimeter traps still active?”
“Well…” Vulpix thought for a moment. “The vine trap by the river… I mean in sector 4.” Vulpix corrected herself. Kody had divided up the territory that he ‘guarded’ into sections to make it easier to keep track of traps and know where there was trouble. “It went off on an ursaring who apparently sleepwalked into it. She was pretty grump when cut down, but didn’t cause any problems. But, that trap’s out of commission until we get another grass type who knows Vine Whip to help set it back up.”
“I see.” Kody rubbed his chin. There were grass types around. They were in a forest after all. But the amount of pokemon who had both the move and skill set to help made the traps was limited. Most of them were pretty young.
The current vine traps had been made by an ivysaur. Apparently, they had a trainer, but had gotten separated from them. After displaying a bit of amusement at Kody’s predicament, they had agreed to help keep patrol until they were reunited with their partner. As well as they had been the ones to suggest the vine traps. They were simple snares, just meant to grab someone by the leg and hang them upside down from a tree. But, Ivysaur had happily returned to their trainer the second they were reunited. And while Kody could think of a few pokemon in the forest who knew Vine Whip, none of them had the technical skill to construct a trap. He could try to walk them through it himself, but he wasn’t a grass type. He understood the concept of a snare, but not how to control vines striking out from your own body and weave them into knots.
Really, he needed more people to help with the patrol, rather they be grass types of something else. The trap didn’t have to be replaced with another vine snare, but if it was just him and Vulpix their options were pretty much limited to pitfalls. And it’d take Vulpix most of the day to dig one big enough to replace the vine trap.
“We really need to get more pokemon involved in this.” Kody spoke more to himself than vulpix. “I don’t suppose there’s a classified section for wild pokemon?”
“What’s a classified section? Vulpix asked with a head tilt.
“It was… Just an attempt at humor.” Kody shook his head. “But, where people post ‘Help Wanted’ ads to try to get new employees.” He paused. “Come to think of it, do pokemon have a written language?”
“You ask strange questions sometimes.” Vulpix was confused by the question.
“I’ve had a strange life.” Kody didn’t have the energy to try to explain that he was supposed to be human. Though, he didn’t really feel like he belonged as a human anymore. He had found far more purpose as a raichu than he had during his entire human life. But, he only had a couple of months experience of being a pokemon. Not actually having grown up as one meant that he didn’t have a lot of the base knowledge most wild pokemon would.
“Well, there’s Unknown Runes and Footpring Runes.” Vulpix replied. “But for the most part we don’t really need a written language since humans already made so many.”
“Huh.” Kody thought about that. “So pokemon can read human writing?”
“I mean yeah…” Vulpix couldn’t understand why this was surprising information. Kody himself obviously read things! “I mean after learning what they’re saying it’s pretty easy to learn what they’re writing means.” She gave a shrug. “I don’t know why humans don’t bother to learn any pokemon languages.”
“It will forever be a mystery.” Kody had a few theories on that part. Even as a pokemon he didn’t really understand how their language worked. While he understood the words vulpix said to him, and certainly communicated his own. None of the words had actually been spoken. Kody could only say ‘rai’ and ‘chu’ in different combinations of the two syllables. Vulpix meanwhile could only say ‘vul’ and ‘pix.’ Every pokemon seemed to be only capable of speaking the syllables that made up their species name instead of actual words. Yet, somehow despite that, he understood these noises as words with actual meaning now that he was a raichu. He didn’t know if pokemon had some supernatural form of communication that let them understand each other or what… But when the pokemon language wasn’t really a single language and was different for every single pokemon species it seemed impossible for humans to be able to actually learn to speak and understand it themselves.
Then again, maybe if they tried speaking different combinations of the sounds ‘hu’ and ‘man’ something might work. It was a ridiculous idea, but reality was pretty ridiculous to begin with. Not that he’d ever be able to experiment with this himself. Humanity was a thing of the past. And even given the option, he would not change himself back.
Though he wouldn’t mind going back to being a proper sized raichu.
“Forget about it.” Kody waved a paw dismissively. “Even if there was something like that, I don’t think there are any pokemon or humans who read the newspaper these days. Most things are done online.” He paused at that. “I miss the internet.”
“Kody… Were you a trainer’s pokemon previously?” Vulpix asked. “Is that why you have a name… And do the things you do? Did you run away?”
“Not exactly…” Kody did remember back to after his transformation, he had gotten into a rather vicious battle as several trainers had tried to capture him. The one whose pokemon he had fought… Based on the pokemon’s behavior he imagined they would have been less than an ideal partner. It was a good thing he managed to win that fight, and then get out of there while the rest of the humans were still confused about what had just happened. “But I’ve had some experiences. It’s not important. Let’s stay focused on getting a replacement trap set up for now.”
“Right!” Vulpix nodded and trotted in the direction of where the vine trap had been.
Meanwhile, in a nearby city, the local flea market was meeting today. It was an outdoor market, with several different stalls set up of different people peddling their wares. Professor Kookynut was among them. Wearing his usual lab gear with his favorite coat, he was pushing large boxes around in his stands trying to get them into place. They were larger than him, and quite heavy, and he was pushing with his entire back trying to get the box to slide up against the corner of the stall. He continued this for several minutes before he noticed he had a customer.
A short customer, wearing a large sunhat that covered most of their face, a large pair of sunglasses that covered the rest and a modest dress. They also had a pink tail sticking out from beneath the dress, but Professor Kookynut chose not to comment on this, assuming it would be rude.
“Oh! Sorry! My stand isn’t quite open yet!” Professor Kookynut responded. “As you can see! I’m still kind of in the process of setting things up! But don’t worry! I guarantee that I have deals to die for!”
“Poke.” The person in the dress stared up at Professor Kookynut.
“I’m… Not sure what you want, but really I just need a few minutes to get prepared. Then you’ll see. Everyone will see.” Professor Kookynut rubbed his hands together. “That I’ve got the best deals here in the entire market!”
“Slow?” The person in the dress asked.
“Okay, yes I’m a little slow at opening but these boxes are really heavy! You see my inventions are inside them and well I built a robot to help me carry them here but um… Well… He’s sort of having an existential crisis right now about his only purpose in life being to move boxes and um… Yeah… Not sure if you’ve ever seen a robot have an emotional breakdown but it’s… It’s not pretty.” Professor Kookynut rubbed the back of the head. “I’m going to be paying so much in therapy bills to help him get over this. And also replacing the wall he crashed through in his attempt to storm out of the house in a huff while shouting he had no father. Which put me in a weird spot cause I mean I know I made him but I didn’t really think I was supposed to be his father figure? You know, maybe my failure to be a stable parental figure in his life is what caused the breakdown.”
“Slow…” The dress-class person replied.
“Well yes, learning these things is a slow process.” Professor Kookynut replied. “But I mean no parent is perfect. I didn’t even know I was a parent until I got the first therapy bill. Anyway… Shoo! I need to set up my stand! Come back in like thirty minutes or something.”
“Poke…” The figure sighted. Then, they tossed aside the dress, sunglasses and hat, to reveal they were a slowpoke standing on two legs.
“A slowpoke?” Professor Kookynut tilted his head. “What is a slowpoke doing at a flea market? Are you antiquing? Is this like a thing about slowpokes being behind the times?”
“Poke.” The slowpoke rolled his eyes before reaching behind his back, grabbing a fedora and slapping it onto his head.
“SPEEDY THE SLOWPOKE!?” Professor Kookynut let out a gasp. “That was you in the dress? I gotta admit I didn’t think you had what it took to pull that look off. But, you have proven me wrong.” Professor Kookynut paused. “What are you doing here anyway?” He paused again. “Was I right about antiquing?”
“Poke?” Speedy gave Professoy Kookynut a deadpan look, then walked up to the box and slapped a paw against it. The box fell open, revealing a strange machine with a large antennae attached to it. “Slow.” He narrowed his eyes and looked at Professor Kookynut.
“What? The Pokemonizer?” Professor Kookynut asked. “Oh! Ohhhhhhh! I get it! You think I’m up to something. Well, as you can see this is an old invention, and I don’t use the same -izer for an evil plan twice.”
“Poke?” Speedy just narrowed his eyes.
“What? Really! I’m telling the truth! I mean, I’m not even up to anything evil today! I’m just trying to sell a few things to raise a bit of extra money. The mayor signed in a law putting a new tax on ‘Evil Science’ and I basically blew most of my savings on that space station, you know, the one with the orbital cannon. That you blew up. So, I don’t really have the money to pay… And look, no one is going to throw me in jail for trying to take over the world, but if I can’t pay my taxes, for that they’ll lock me up and throw away the key.”
“Slow?” Speedy looked at the other boxes around the stand.
“Yes, all of them are my old -izers.” Profesosr Kookynut confirmed. “As I said I don’t repeat an evil scheme with the same one, so no point keeping them around. I’m sure they have some kind of non evil-science application people can use them for.” He thought for a moment. “Hey, do you think I could get a tax break if I could prove the people who buy them aren’t using them for evil science?”
“Slowpoke.” Speedy responded.
“You’re right, I’m not nearly rich enough to get a tax break.” Professor Kookynuy sagged his shoulders. “Anyway, I’d love to like, do battle with you and swear vengeance and stuff after I lose. But I kind of really need to focus on selling these today. Do you have like… A paper or something I need to sign to confirm I wasn’t up to anything evil today?”
“Slow.” Speedy turned and started to walk away.
“Guess not…” Professor Kookynut scratched his chin. “Wait! Speedy! Since you’re here… Rather than go back to whatever your job entails aside from harassing me, I don’t suppose you could help me get the stand set up? I mean it’d be a big favor to me where I’d owe you! Annnnnnd, if I sell these things they’re no longer in my hands. So, I’m sure you can convince your boss it was all for the greater good. Come on pleaaaaaaaaaaase.”
“Poke…” Speedy thought for a moment then nodded.
“Great! Now! I’m gonna get the new one out here! Could you… Like, take this extension cord and find some place to plug the Pokemonizer in?” Professoy Kookynut held out a long orange cord. “I feel like people are going to want to see a demonstration before they buy.”
“Slow.” Speedy narrowed his eyes.
“What? I’m not going to shoot it at anyone whose unwilling! If people want to test it that’s their business!” Professor Kookynut insisted. “I mean, who are you to judge if someone decides they want to be a pokemon instead of a human?”
“Poke.” Speedy shrugged at that, not having a counterargument, so took the cord and went looking for a place to plug it in. It didn’t take long to find a wall that was part of an administrative building that had an outlet on the external wall. By the time Speedy got back there were already a couple of people who had showed up at Professor Kookynut’s machine and checking it out.
“What do you think it is?” One of them, was a young adult woman with brown hair, a green tattoo on one arm and a blue on the other, wearing a simple skirt and blouse combo.
“I don’t know…” The other was a wolf-dog hybrid person with gray and blue fur who was slightly younger, possibly college aged. He wore shorts and a hoodie as he examined the machine. “You’d think there’d be like a sign or something explaining what it does… Or someone running the booth.”
“Poke!” Speedy ran up as quickly as he could, knowing what the machine was capable of and hoping to prevent any accidents.
“Is that a slowpoke?” The girl asked. “Never seen one walk upright before.”
“Maybe he’s like a store mascot?” The wolfdog suggested.
“Poke.” Speedy shook his head. Then he quickly jumped atop the machine and moved the antenna of it so that it was pointing upward, away from anyone in the actual shop.
“Well, he seems to know something about what it is…” The girl spoke. “Some kind of weird radio or something?”
“You think he’s adjusting the antennae to get better reception?” The wolfdog asked. “Should… Should we help?”
“I mean it’ll probably be fine if we do.” The girl reached out a hand to grab the antennae.
“POKE!” Speedy quickly grabbed her hand before she could touch it “Slow!”
“Okay… Apparently he doesn’t want us to touch it.” The girl replied.
“Maybe it’s delicate…” The wolfdog replied. “Anyway… I’m probably gonna go look at other stands.”
“I might wait around and see if the owner shuts up.” The girl thought out loud. “I’m really curious what this is.” She folded her arms. “On the other hand I could come back later.” The two started to walk away from the stand, then suddenly both of them tripped over the orange cord running across the ground.
As they landed on the ground, the machine was pulled forward, its antennae swerving to the side and slamming downward onto the top of it, hitting the on switch. Then, before anyone could realize what was happening. A blast of energy was released, hitting both the woman and the wolfdog who had just tripped. A few seconds later, a white fluffy alola vulpix crawled out of the wolfdog’s clothing while a purple noibat, with blue markings on one wing and green on the other climbed out of the girl’s.
“Poke.” Speedy facepalmed.
“Is that an alola vulpix?” A random voice in the market shouted.
“And a noibat?” Another asked. “Those are both really rare in this region. Think they have a trainer?” Apparently, no one had witnessed the transformation, but everyone noticed the sudden appearance of the two pokemon.
“There’s also a slowpoke.” Another voice said. “But I guess they don’t do much.”
“POKE!” Speedy objected. Then, remembering the situation he quickly opened up a console on the Pokemizer looking for a reversal function. It was too late though, several people had appeared with pokeballs in hand. The alola vulpix and noibat exchanged glances, seeing the people coming in and then took off running through the markets before Speedy could get a chance to change them back to normal. “Slow.” Speedy groaned.
“Eh what’s all the commotion?” Professor Kookynut came out form behind the stand. “Did someone just fire off the Pokemonizer? Were they interested in buying? I don’t see anyone around though… Speedy, did you give them my business card?”
“Poke!?” Speedy gestured wildly at the pokemonizer and then in the direction the two freshly transformed pokemon had disappeared into, trying to convey what had happened.
“Oh, did I forget to give you cards? That’s on me.” Professor Kookynut spoke. “Sorry, this whole straight business thing is really throwing me off. I think I left my cards in the car. Let me go grab them.” With that the scientist took off.
“Slow.” Speedy slapped a paw to his face. That was two more pokemon he had on his conscious that he’d need to look into and make sure they got out okay. But, the crowd was starting to build around the market and it was hard for him to tell what direction they had gone in. The best he could hope for now as just to minimize anymore damage that Professor Kookynut’s inventions might do.
“There… All done.” Vulpix climbed out of a large pit she had just finished digging. Kody was clinging to the top of a blade of grass to be able to survey the work.
“Good. We just need to cover it.” Kody nodded. “Let me signal the pidgeys.” With that remark, he shot a single tiny bolt of electricity straight up into the air. A moment later a flock of pidgeys appeared, carrying sticks, leaves, and similar material as they began to canvas the whole and cover it up. In less than a minute they had the entire thing hidden. “If only we had as big a team for digging the holes as we did for hiding them.”
“Still, with that all traps are in place again.” Vulpix gave a heavy sigh. “I’m exhausted. And hungry.”
“You’ve more than earned a break. Let’s go find some berries.” Kody dropped from his leaf, ran over to Vulpix’s body and climbed up onto her head.
“Are maintaining these traps really necessary?” Vulpix asked. “I mean we’ve gotten a few people by accident by this point.”
“I admit it’s not the most ideal solution to our problem.” Kody admitted. “But I’m not really in the best shape for fighting trainers and their pokemon one on one. I can be tricky and sneaky outside a fight, catch them off guard. But direct fights are still super risky. Plus, without you to help me it kind of takes me forever to get from one side of the forest to the other.”
“I guess…” Vulpix sighed. “Just seems like a lot of work.”
“We are trying to keep an entire forest of pokemon safe.” Kody pointed out. “And many of them aren’t capable of helping like you are.” He flashed a bit of a grin. “Unlike me, you’ve grown a lot since we first met.” Having a sense of humor made it easier to deal with his small stature. But, he was also being honest. Vulpix had been the first pokemon he rescued after fleeing to the forest when he was first transformed into a raichu. Arriving just in time to save her from being captured by an overly cruel trainer was what had inspired him to become the forest’s guardian. A job that was a lot harder now that he was only an inch tall. He relied on Vulpix for a lot of help with running things now. And though she was still not one for a fight, she had gotten very good at helping him build traps, and keeping track of what was going on in the forest. It would not be inaccurate to say that Kody’s job would have been impossible without her, and he was proud that the seemingly helpless vulpix he met had grown to be so capable in just a few months.
“I guess that makes sense.” Vulpix was just tired, they didn’t actually have a problem. “Still would be nicer if we had someone else to help dig some of these. Or if Ivysaur had stuck around.”
“Yeah, I miss him too.” Kody nodded. “But, he had a trainer that was good to him. It would have been wrong to try to force him to stay. Most humans are good people. It’s just a shame the bad ones manage to be so loud that it can be easy to think they’re the majority.”
“I guess so.” Vulpix considered. “Do you think you’ll ever get a trainer?”
“I’ve thought about it.” Kody gave an honest reply. “Taking on the Pokemon League honestly does seem like it could be fun.” While his first time fighting had been a desperate struggle for his safety, he couldn’t deny there had been a certain rush to it. With the right trainer, he could see himself greatly enjoying life as a domesticated pokemon. But, he had decided that he belonged here. Plus, it was doubtful that now that he was so tiny any trainer would want to use him as part of a team. “Anyway, you’ve been working for hours, let’s get you a real treat. I think some Sitrus berries just came in and-“
There was a loud crashing noise as the pit trap they just finished gave way and something fell in.
“Owwwwwww.” A male voice came out.
“What happened to the ground?” A female voice.
At least those were the meanings that Kody understood. The actual words spoken had been ‘vul vulpix vul’ and ‘noi noibat.’ The trap had just gotten pokemon, not humans. But all the pokemon in the forest by now should have known about the traps. Still, you got outsiders who wondered in like ursaring. Still, Kody had his back turned on the trap for five seconds! Poor Vulpix, all her hard work already overdone.
“Let’s see the damage.” He muttered to her. Vulpix nodded sadly and moved to the edge of the pit and looked down allowing Kody to see down as well.
There was another vulpix. But unlike the vulpix Kody knew, this one had completely white fur, was noticeably fluffier, and male. Then the other one was a noibat.
“Seriously why is there a hole in the center of thee forest?” The noibat asked.
“For a security perimeter.” Kody shouted down into the hole. “How did something that can fly fall into a pitfall?”
“I can fly?” The noibat seemed taken aback. Then she paused as she looked at her wings. “You know in the hurry to get away I hadn’t really looked over what happened to myself.” She flapped the wings, taking off and getting out of the pit trap before landing on the ground next to Vulpix.
“What about me?” The white vulpix asked.
“Give me a minute…” Kody sighed. These two weren’t from the forest. But he didn’t know if they were wild pokemon who had wondered in yet, or a trainer’s pokemon on the hunt. Or possibly pokemon who had escaped their trainers. Some caution needed to be exercised. But, he couldn’t just leave the other vulpix in a pit if they weren’t actively causing problems. Kody found the remains of the vine snare that had been used in the previous trap. “You, noibat, hang onto one end of this.” With that Kody pushed the other end of the vine into the pit. “And you, vulpix, bite onto this and hold on. Going to have your noibat friend drag you out.”
“I have a name.” The noitbat replied. “It’s Aria.”
“So… You’re a trainer’s pokemon then?” Kody asked, waiting to see how she would react to this. Hopefully, they were just wondering around, and not actively looking for a fight.
“What? No! I’m a human!” Aria responded. “Or I guess, was a human.” She looked at her wings. “Guess that’s not quite the case anymore.”
“Excuse me, but I’d really like it if I could not be in the hole now” The vulpix shouted.
“Right, right.” Kody replied. “Go ahead and start pulling, to get your friend out.”
“Uh huh, sure.” Aria responded. “Though he’s not really a friend. I have no idea who he is.” She grabbed the vine with her feet and flapped her wings pulling on it as hard as she could. It took about a minute, but eventually she pulled the white vulpix up out of the pit.
“Well, pit is still in one piece. So we just have to cover it again.” Vulpix replied happily.
“And why is there a pit?” The white vulpix asked. “Think I nearly broke a leg.”
“To keep out unwanted guests.” Kody replied, but his brain was suddenly hitting the rewind button at something Aria had said. “Wait, you’re a human?”
“Was a human.” Aria explained as she landed. “Not the first time I’ve lost my humanity like this. Honestly, not sure if I even still count as one. If I spend more than 50% of my time as another species do I still count as human?”
“Uh, I have no idea but… Does that mean he’s human too?” Kody looked to the white vulpix.
“No, I’m a wolfdog.” The vulpix explained.
“You look like a white vulpix to me.” Vulpix responded.
“Don’t worry about it Vulpix.” Kody explained. “You go grab your berries. I can handle these two on my own. I don’t think they’re dangerous.”
“Alright… You sure?” Vulpix asked.
“It’ll be fine.” Kody assured her. “I’ll catch up later. You earned your break.”
“Alright, but signal if you need help.” Vulpix replied before running off.
“So, white vulpix. You got a name?” Kody asked.
“It’s Shasta.” The vulpix replied and squinted at the raichu. “And why are you so tiny?”
“I’d kind of like to know the reason for that myself.” Kody mused. “One day I was a human, there was a blue light, and then I was a raichu. Then, another day, a second blue light and I was this tiny.”
“Huh… The machine that did this to us made a blue blast of energy.” Aria looked thoughtful. “Wonder if it’s the same? If so guess we’re lucky that we didn’t wind up tiny too.”
“You’re taking this remarkably well.” Shasta noted.
“I’m kind of used to it by now.” Aria shrugged. “After the initial shock wears off, I adapt pretty quickly.”
“I mean… Okay I sort of maybe have had a lot of things like this happen to… But still…” Shasta growled. “Anyway, why did you drop us into a pit!?”
“Because I’m the guardian of this forest.” Kody explained. “I protect pokemon who don’t want to be caught from trainers. And ensure particularly cruel trainers don’t encounter any pokemon at all. But, my duties are noticeably more difficult than they used to be, so I’ve set to establishing traps around the perimeter. All the local pokemon know to avoid it. And humans should stick to the main path so shouldn’t come near. Usually, only humans looking for trouble fall into them.”
“You’re a little short to be a guardian.” Aria snickered. “Then again, I’m guessing you weren’t always that small.”
“I feel like that’s obvious by now.” Kody sighed. “I was human and normal sized at one point. Though, I don’t’ really see myself as human anymore. Anyway, as I said, I’m the guardian of the forest. As long as you don’t intend any trouble you’re welcome to stay here… And I’ll give you a heads up on the traps so you don’t fall into another pit… Or step into a snare.”
“So… Trainers can’t get to us here?” Shasta asked.
“Not if I have anything to say about it.” Kody puffed out his chest.
“Then, probably not a bad place to stay until we figure out if this is going to wear off and what we want to do.” Aria turned to Shasta. “By the way… We never really introduced ourselves back at the market. Were just kind of both looking at the same product then all this happened. I’m Aria. You said you were Shasta?”
“Yeah. And I heard your name.” Shasta nodded.
“Alright, here’s the deal there’s plenty of food. But some of the pokemon here are skittish after having some really bad experiences.” Kody explained. “You should probably keep the fact you weren’t always pokemon to yourselves for now. But… This could be my lucky day.”
“And that is because?” Aria asked.
“As pointed out multiple times, protecting the forest on my own is rather hard in my current state.” Kody replied. “So I rely on Vulpix a lot to help keep things running. You two know what trainers can be like. And know what bad trainers are like. I’ll be blunt. I could use a few sidekicks to help keep the place safe for everyone.”
“Sidekicks?” Aria asked. “Surely, I’m worthy of at least being called a partner.”
“Signing on just like that huh?” Shasta looked to Aria. But then he considered. “I guess… If we’re going to hide out here to avoid getting captured ourselves, it’s only fair to contribute.”
“Great.” Kody grinned. “I think I can get you trained into shape in no time.”
Meanwhile back at the flea market.
“I can’t believe this!” Professor Kookynut sat at a counter in his stand while Speedy sat atop it. “Like actual miracles of science and not even one buyer!”
“Slow.” Speedy shrugged.
“Well, I didn’t want to have to do this, but desperate times call for desperate measures.” Professor Kookynut reached into his labcoat and pulled out a giant red remote with an antenna attached to it. “BEHOLD! The What-A-Bargainizer!”
“Poke?” Speedy gave him a suspicious glare.
“What? It’s not an evil gadget.” Professor Kookynut explained. “All it does is zap someone, overwrite their free will and make them determined to buy the next item they see for sell. That’s not evil. That’s just marketing. Like, people do it on TV all the time.”
“Poke.” Speedy crossed his arms.
“What?” Professor Kookynut asked. “Why is it ok for TV commercials to lie and manipulate people, but zapping them in person is wrong? It’s the same end result! And I never misrepresent what I’m doing.”
“Poke.” Speedy just stared at Professor Kookynut.
“Well, that’s enough judgement out of you.” Professor Kookynut huffed. “Who died you and made you in charge of deciding what is and isn’t predatory marketing. I don’t need your approval! I just gotta pick someone who looks like they can afford it and give them a zap…” Profesosr Kookynut started to look through the crowd.
“SLOW!” Speedy jumped into the air, punching Professor Kookynut in the side of the face knocking him down and causing him to drop the What-A-Dealinizer.
“Ow what was that for!?” Professor Kookynut rubbed the spot where he had been hit.
“Poke!” Speedy slammed his tail down on the What-A-Dealinizer, smashing it in two.
“Awww and now you broke that! I thought you were supposed to be helping with the stall not ruining everything!” Professor Kookynut shouted.
“Poke!” Speedy responded, before strapping a jetpack on and flying off.
“Well you know what! Curse you Speedy the Slowpoke. I can run a flea market stall by myself.” Professor Kookynut picked himself up and brushed himself off. “Or… At the very least hit the self-destruct button on these and report their loss as a tax right-off. I knew there was a reason I didn’t remove the self-destruct button when I rebuilt them! Aha! That’ll show Speedy who knows good business sense.” Professor Kookynut pulled out another remote and pressed a large red buttons. Several beeping sounds erupted from all around him. “Huh… In hindsight perhaps I should have gotten far away from here before pressing that button…”
Back in the forest.
“Let’s get down to business!
“To defeat! Trainers!
“You come to be wild
“Can’t take amateurs.”
“You’re the saddest two I ever met
“But you can bet before we’re through
“Somehow I’ll make a mon out of you!”
“Tranquil as a grass type.
“But fire type within
“Once you learn your move set
“You are sure to win.”
“You’re a spineless, pale, pathetic two.
“And you haven’t got a clue.
“Somehow I’ll make a mon out of you.”
“I’m never gonna get this ice breath.”
“These new wings are killing me.”
“Boy, I really wish I took a course in gym.”
“This chu’s got ‘em scared to death.”
“Hope he doesn’t outright leave me.”
“If I turn water to ice how do I swim!?”
“BE A MON!
“You must be swift as the graceful suicine
“Be a mon!
“With all the force of the great Raikou
“Be a mon
“With all the strength of the raged Entei
“Mysterious as the elusive mon called Mewwwwwwwwwww!”
“Time is racing towards us!
“Till trainers arrive.
“Heed my every order!
“And we’ll all survive!”
“You’re unsuited for, the heat of fights
“But can’t leave, go home, so push through.
“That’s how I’ll make a mon out of you.”
“You must be swift as the graceful suicine
“Be a mon!
“With all the force of the great Raikou
“Be a mon
“With all the strength of the raged Entei
“Mysterious as the elusive mon called Mewwwwwwwwwww!”
“You must be swift as the graceful suicine
“Be a mon!
“With all the force of the great Raikou
“Be a mon
“With all the strength of the raged Entei
“Mysterious as the elusive mon called Mewwwwwwwwwww!”
“Alright, then, so any questions?” Kody asked. “I feel like you should have a pretty good idea of what we need to do to defend the forest now.”
“What are you talking about?” Aria asked. “All you did was sing a song, have us and Vulpix chime in a few times, and then decided we were ready.”
“Yeah, you didn’t actually teach us anything.” Shasta pointed out.
“I kind of thought the lessons were obvious in the song.” Kody explained. “I mean, it’s not like I can personally battle you to train you so I was hoping for a sort of montage deal. I mean obviously we can’t have time skips in real life, but if you visualize, I figure it’ll help you realize…”
“I’m not really following these either.” Vulpix chimed in.
“Fine.” Kody sighed. “You two can figure out how to fight training with each other later. I guess for now I’ll start with teaching you how to build basic traps. Gather around, make sure you can see me.” He plucked a blade of grass longer than his own body. “I’m gonna start by teaching you different knots. And yes, I know neither of you have hands. Which is the reason you’re gonna have to practice learning to do stuff like this so you can learn how to get by without hands.”
Kody began his demonstration and lecture, and so the training of the next two guardians of the forest began.