Where Were We?

Groovy smoothies, gang. It’s finally time for me to get back into the swing of things. I know I haven’t posted much lately, but for good reason. I couldn’t. For the past few months, I couldn’t feel to post anything, if that makes sense. I did write, but all the stuff I wrote, I didn’t like and therefore, had no place out into the world. However, my trip back East taught me plenty of things and being back home added on to that epilogue-teaching-chapter of my life. Now with the start of a new chapter of my life, I have realized that I have a ton of work to do and need to get serious about my life and my life’s work. Well, just a scoch. I’m not a particularly serious person. So, on the road to success, I’ve got plenty of projects that need my attention and many stories to share on this blog. Thank you all who are still reading and giving my writing a chance. Have fun reading part 2 of my Pokemon adventure.

 Pokemon Generation Neo

Episode 1 part 2:

The Escape

Watching from the sidelines as Umbreon and Espeon were about to be tortured made me sick to my stomach. I was powerless. If only I had a Pokémon partner of my own to help them. “Start the procedure, Doctor Sargon!” A man from the balcony above called out. He wore a white suit with a black dress shirt and belt. His hair was spiky and blue and he had the most malevolent grin I have ever seen. Beside him was the girl I saw earlier. The one with the long, black hair. She stood out from everyone else because she was the only one wearing street clothes instead of a uniform. A woman wearing skinny jeans, sandals, and a red and white striped tank top didn’t scream out “Team Rocket” to me. Well, maybe the tank top did, now that I think about it.

The doctor seemed all too happy to turn on the machine. The platform grew yellow and electricity flew from the surface. I’m not an engineer, but I’m pretty sure a machine that spewed electricity wasn’t safe for anyone. The goon carrying my new friends threw them onto the frightening platform one after the other. At first, they tried to run off the stage, but the electric field around them kept them from moving, forcing them to fall to the floor. My heart started to race and my mind flooded with thoughts. I didn’t know what to do. How to save them. My head fell in defeat. “Human. Please…help us,” uttered Espeon. She was still fighting. Struggling to stand up. I felt her determination and my mind flashbacked to the moment I saw her eyes for the first time. Those white pupils and deep purple eyes showed her will. Her strong will to be free. Closing my eyes, I cleared my head of everything except for one thought. Saving Pokémon.

Surveying the room, I came up with a few strategies. My first plan was to get to the controls and shutdown the machine. There were less people on that side of the room, so there wouldn’t be much interference. Before I put my plans into motion, I took pictures of the moment with my Pokégear. “Hey! What are you doing over there?!” I looked back at one of the security guards talking into his earpiece. Probably alerting his pals.

“Snapcakes,” I sighed. Nothing was going my way. I had to act before it was too late. The guard was headed towards me, yelling out “intruder.” Will he shut up? He’s blowing my cover, I thought. I saw as many of the people in the experiment room were looking my way, some started running towards me as well. “Well, screw it. Here I go,” I said as I dashed into the room. Headed straight for the control panel.

“Capture that intruder!” screamed the doctor at the controls. The mad scientist’s glasses shook as he moved and his long, brown hair, which was tied up, whipped around the air. He knew exactly what I was trying to do. He stared me right in the eyes as his face darkened, glasses glared and his smirk turned into a sinister smile. That pissed me off so much I wanted to punch that guy right in his stupid face. Unfortunately, I had to take a raincheck on that because the doc and the control panel were guarded by over a dozen Team Rocket stooges. And I was more than halfway there. I had to switch to plan B. I pivoted to the left side of the room, going after the crystal on the front of the huge platform. Which also wasn’t possible because there were numerous Rattata, Arbok, and Zubat blocking my path along the platform to the other side of the room.

“Fine, then. Plan C it is,” I muttered to myself. As I slowed down, it felt like the entire world slowed down even more. Like I entered a plane of existence where everything was in slow motion. My adrenaline kept pumping and I could hear my heart beating through invisible headphones. Left, right, all paths were taken up except for one. I tripped as I veered left toward the stage. I knew what was coming. The field of electrical sparks bouncing across the stage. Too late to turn back.

It only took one foot after leaping onto the stage to make me strongly regret my decision. Before my foot even connected to the physical surface of the platform, a few million volts of electricity ran up my leg and spread throughout my body. The shock paralyzed me for a second and I slowly began to fall backwards until I realized that the pain I was feeling was miniscule compared to the pain Umbreon and Espeon was feeling at the center. Compared to what their entire family had to endure for who knew how long.

Forcing my body to move forward, I could feel the jolts burn my skin. The rhythm of my heart picked up tempo and I continued to run across the platform. I wanted to scream in agony, but kept my mouth sealed. If I screamed, I would have been giving in to the pain and showed Espeon that I was too weak to keep my promise to her. However, I couldn’t keep running. I was starting to collapse. I looked at my friends and saw Umbreon glare at me. I couldn’t talk to him like I could with Espeon, but when our eyes locked, I felt like there were no need for words. Everything that needed to be said was obvious. Umbreon looked up at the ceiling and back towards me. I knew I didn’t have enough energy to escape, so I gave my body one more push towards the black fox.

While Umbreon struggled to pick himself up, I scooped him into my right arm and quickly twirled to my left and thrust him into the air. My body collapsed onto the stage, letting the electricity eat away at me. Exhausted, the tempo of my heart slowed and my eyesight blurred. The last thing image I witnessed was Umbreon pounding the stage with a glowing tail and broken bits of the platform flying into the air.

When I opened my eyes a moment later, everyone was in a panic. The platform I was on was shattered and on fire. The personnel were putting out the fire on the control panel while others were clearing out the rubble from the damaged wall next to the stage. They tried to salvage what was left of the damaged computers and other machinery. I stood up, Espeon beside me. “You alright?” She nodded. Suddenly, Umbreon came out of the smoke cloud in front of us with the crystal from the pedestal peeping from his mouth. However, it was different. The crystal glowed from red and purple to black and yellow. He placed the crystal in my hand. It felt…warm and pleasant. I could tell that it had a ton of power inside of it. As I stared at it, my mind went blank and all I wanted to do was look at the shifting colors.

“Snap out of it, human.” Espeon nudged my leg, breaking my concentration. “We need to leave right now.” I noticed her eyes weren’t blue as she spoke.

“Pull yourself together, idiot, before we get caught again.” That was a new voice. A male voice. Umbreon’s voice. Why was I able to hear him? His eyes didn’t change color either. I nodded to them. As we reached the entrance to the hallway, the woman with the black hair walked into our path. A Buneary creeped from behind her leg. Now that we were on the same ground, I realized how short she was. Her height almost made her serious look laughable. Almost.

“That crystal belongs to Team Rocket,” said the woman. I looked at the jewel in my hand and back at her.

“Yea, I don’t think so. Finders keepers and all that.” I was not letting them have that crystal no matter what.

“Foolish boy. So be it.” She spoke with such nonchalance.

 

“Buneary, use high jump kick,” the girl said, barely audible. The little brown bunny vanished from the area. Espeon and I looked around and couldn’t find it.

“From above!” Umbreon warned us. From wherever he was hiding. We looked up and caught the tiny hairball falling toward us with one leg extended. I had my hands on my knees to keep me standing and my eyes swirled. I knew I had to move, but my body wouldn’t act. Buneary’s attack would have landed on my face if Espeon hadn’t leaped in front of me to counter the move with her iron tail.

Unfortunately, she was also too weak to give it her all and the force of the kick was too much for her to handle. She was knocked back and flew towards me. I caught her in my arms and we both flew to the ground. Espeon was unconscious. Her eyes looked like poorly drawn spirals. My eyes felt as heavy as bricks. I failed. My body was battered and bruised and my head felt like it was being pounded by a Donphan.

The girl walked so close to my face that all I could make out were her legs. She knelt down and shook her head. “That was the most pathetic battle I have ever seen,” she complained, “not even worth being called a battle.” She plucked the stone from my hand and stood back up. “Take these losers to the cells,” she ordered a few grunts as she walked away. I wanted to reach out to stop her from leaving or call out to her, but my body wouldn’t let me. The exhaustion washed over me and I drifted into darkness.

“Maze…Maze, wake up. Maze!”

            “Espeon?” I said as my eyes slowly opened to a space surrounded by metal bars. I felt the cold and rough surface of a wall on my back. My body still ached like I spent a few hours lifting and then had the dumbest idea to go on a hike. My clothes were torn and singed. Espeon laid beside me with concern on her face. Her fur was sullied with grime and burn marks. She turned her head to a figure standing on the other side of the bars.

“The idiot’s finally awake,” said the short woman with a serious attitude problem. Really, what was her deal?

“I wouldn’t say ‘idiot,’ more like ‘concerned citizen’,” I replied.

“You’re a complete dumbass. Thinking that you can just walk in here and stop a Team Rocket operation by yourself? You don’t even have any Pokémon. You’re not even a trainer. You’re more than just a dumbass. You’re pathetic and weak, too.” The woman scoffed at me like I was a waste of her time. My head fell down in shame. Ouch. That was harsh, but she wasn’t wrong. I was a dumbass. Always have been, my friends can verify that. As for being pathetic and weak. Couldn’t deny it. I’m not particularly good at anything and not as smart as most of my friends, but I am capable, so I’m not all that pathetic.

“Wow, you profiled me pretty well,” I laughed. Staring her right in the eyes I told her, “Sure, I may be weak and pathetic…and an idiot and I won’t officially be a trainer until tomorrow, however, I make up for those things by learning, obtaining new skills, and making friends I can rely on wherever I go. Isn’t that right, Espeon?” I winked at my battered friend. I knew Umbreon was around here somewhere just waiting for his moment to free us. Actually, I didn’t. I had no idea where that asshat went, but I knew he’d have to come back for us at some point.

“Pokémon as friends?” She gave a soft chuckle. “Don’t make me laugh.” I think I just did, I thought. “Pokémon are nothing but tools. A means to an end to resolve human conflict. They’re nothing but slaves to humankind and just like how humans don’t give a damn about Pokémon, they don’t give a damn about us.” She folded her arms and gave an unyielding stare just waiting for me to challenge her beliefs.

“How could you say that? Aren’t you a trainer? Do you not care about your own Pokémon? It’s because of them that this world is a more peaceful place and that more people are free of pain and suffering.” I was distraught. I couldn’t wrap my head around how she could say such things. Her Buneary peeked from behind her leg. Its face full of disappointment. The little furball confirmed its trainer’s feelings on Pokémon relations. And by the way that lady had talked to and treated her Pokémon, their relationship was purely master and subordinate, nothing more.

“What do you know of pain?” Her eyebrows furrowed, her mouth clenched, and her fiery eyes stared me down. “You don’t even know what real life is like! How cruel and heartless it can be! You’ve been protected in this quiet and cushy town all your life and never had to face the terrors outside your little bubble. I know pain. I’ve lived with it my whole life! Pain and suffering is all there is in this world and it will continue to prosper whether Pokémon exist or not!” And with that said, she walked away.

“Wait.” I said softly with a bit of anger in my voice. “Who are you?”

She stopped and said, “like that’s any of your business,” and walked out the room. Buneary remained in front of the cage, staring at me. I smiled at it so it wouldn’t worry. “Buneary, let’s go!” The trainer shouted from the hallway. The scruffy rabbit jumped up out of sight. It dropped a card on the floor in front of the cell as it ran off. I had the look of someone who heard a joke they didn’t understand. Espeon had the same look. We couldn’t explain why, but our captor just gave us the I.D. card we needed to escape. Surprisingly, the card had the angry trainer’s photo on it. Apparently, her name was Breanna Gushiken and was twenty-two years old. We shrugged it off. Espeon used Psychic to surround the card in a blue energy and lift it off the ground. It floated to the card slot on the cage door and inserted itself, unlocking the door. Using the card, I unlocked all the other cells, freeing the entire Eevee family. They all kept their distance from me, except for Espeon. She tried to reassure them that I could be trusted, but she only calmed them down slightly. They weren’t as tense around me, but they still watched me with fear as they followed me through the facility. We snuck through each corridor to try and reach the upper floor. Suddenly, I felt a presence coming from around the corner.

“Do you feel that, Maze?” It was like Espeon and I were on the same wavelength.

“Yea, I do.” I stopped for a moment. “Wait. How do you know my name? I never told you what it was.” She just smiled at me. Her eyes turned blue.

“I do not know, however, it is nice to refer to you as something other than, ‘human’.”

“This day keeps getting weirder and weirder. Even for me.” The figure that made my vibes act up got closer. I felt like my lungs were building up pressure. As Umbreon approached us, I let out a huge sigh. “Finally. Where have you been?” He completely dismissed me and spoke to Espeon instead. “You irk me,” I told him. He looked up at me and nodded his head down the hall he just came through. He led all of us to a bright, white room full of crystals on their respective pedestals. They all had the same oval shape, but each one held a different color. Some, were fiery red, others were leaf green, or ice blue. Some were just broken into pieces with no life in them at all. These had to be the results of the experiments, but what they were for, I had no idea.

“Maze, look!” called Espeon. She had found the purple and black crystal from earlier inside a glass case. Even through the glass I could feel a connection to it. Unlike the other crystals, that one glowed more prominently and it drew me towards it. Umbreon and Espeon also felt the call as we stared into the glass.

“Hey! You shouldn’t be in here!” One of the flunkies found us. He spooked the Pokémon so much that Leafeon grew sharp leaves from its body and flung them in a barrage at the guard, sending him flying out of the room. Another flunky peeked into the room.

“Code red! The prisoner and the test subjects have escaped. I repeat, the- Aaaghhh!” His message was interrupted as Glaceon hurled chunks of ice at him. Both of the terrorists were knocked unconscious in the hall.

“We gotta go now!” I shouted. Red lights flashed everywhere and a loud alarm siren came on. If we didn’t leave right then we were goners. Crack! I turned to find that Umbreon had broken open the case the glowing crystal was in. “Seriously!?” He shrugged at me is if to say, “What? I wanted it.” I just shook my head. “Whatever, let’s just go.” It took longer than expected to get to the ground floor because of all the Team Rocket goons that tried to get in our way. They didn’t consider the fact that Espeon’s siblings would attack them without hesitation. Shadow balls, pink gusts of wind, streams of fire and water, and many more attacks made the narrow hallways into dangerous battlegrounds. On the upper floor, many of the scientists were already evacuating with as much paper work, computer hard drives, and lab experiment tools that they could carry. A row of guards with their Zubats and Rattata were waiting in the huge lobby. The room was still full of rubble and had a huge hole in the wall. We turned to face the front entrance, but more men and women and their Pokémon ran up to block our escape. Umbreon handed me the crystal, knowing we’d have to fight our way out. He crouched lower to the ground, ready to pounce. As soon as I touched the jewel, I felt my whole body vibrate. It was like I drank five energy drinks. My body was rejuvenated and on high alert. Umbreon, Espeon and I faced the opponents in the lobby while their siblings prepared to take on the blockade behind us.

“I’m ready when you are, Maze,” Espeon said.

“I will fight with you,” Umbreon growled. As I repositioned my beanie and rolled up my jacket sleeves, I announced calmly and with confidence,

“Alright, gang. Let’s give them hell.”

“Espeon dodge and use psychic! Umbreon stand your ground, then use payback!” Espeon sidestepped from a barrage of yellow orbs and hit Zubat with a mental blast, dropping it to the ground. confuse ray? Seriously? I hate that move. Not far away, Umbreon took the brunt of a Rattata’s tackle. As he stood their absorbing the hit, a purple aura surrounded his body. He dashed straight for the Rattata and hit it right on its side. The purple rat laid unconscious a few feet from where it was hit.

“Return!” The goons said simultaneously. The Pokémon were absorbed by red beams and went back into their Pokéballs.

“You’ll pay for this, punk!” Proclaimed one of the terrorists.

“You’re going down next time!” Chimed in one of the others as they all ran away. Finally, the path to both exits were clear. We caused such a mess that the entire facility was falling down around us. Flames were engulfing everything from the ground to the crumbling ceiling and explosions were consistent. It looked too dangerous to escape through the lobby with even more risk to get caught in the blaze and stopped by even more people, so we ran towards the entrance.

“Use shadow ball!” I heard a woman’s voice shout from behind. The already fragile ceiling crumbled down in front of the doors to the outside. Umbreon, Espeon, and I stopped before the debris crushed us while the other Pokémon were lucky enough to get out just in time. I turned toward our pursuer. She was a bit shaken up. Clothes were a little singed and had a few cuts on her arms and legs, but she was well enough to want to fight some more.

“This woman sure is persistent,” Umbreon said.

            “I like her admiration, but she is really starting to annoy me,” Espeon said with a sigh. Their voices were in my head, but neither of them were using the move, psychic. I looked at the crystal in my jacket pocket. It was glowing brighter than before. As if I turned it “on” somehow.

I think she just really hates me, I thought. That time the two could hear me.

“I doubt that’s the only reason,” Espeon reassured.

“I believe it.” Said Umbreon.

“I hate you so much, kid.” Bre heaved as she stopped at the end of the hall.

            What I say?

“You have got to be kidding me.” Espeon looked at me.

“You have thwarted Team Rocket’s plans plenty for one lifetime! Because of you, our research is set back by months! Now, I’ll be taking back that stone and neither you nor your little friends will leave this place alive!” That chick was angry for sure, but she still showed little expression in her face. As if it was normal for her.

“Let’s take her out,” Umbreon said.

“Nope. Espeon and I got this. Isn’t that right?” I looked down at her with a smile on my face. She smiled back.

“This time, we’re gonna win.” Umbreon saw the fire in our eyes and sat patiently beside me.

“You actually think you two can beat me? You’re both so weak. You had no chance against me before, do you actually think you’ll defeat me now? You’re not even a trainer.” Bre spoke with confidence. She overestimated me and Espeon and that’s what we were gonna exploit in order to win. I knew Espeon knew exactly what I was thinking and was on board with my plan. “Fine then. Buneary, destroy them. Use high jump kick.” Buneary was a blur the next instant. I laughed.

“You think we’d be defeated so easily by the same trick as before?! Give us some credit! Espeon, iron tail!” Espeon nodded and jumped into the air. Her tail turned from purple fur to a shiny metallic skin. She swung her tail and made contact with the sole of Buneary’s foot. The impact caused the air around them to waver, causing the flames to flutter. For a second, it looked like Espeon was being pushed back by Buneary, but she put more force into her tail and pushed her opponent back to the other side of the hallway. Bre furrowed her brow, displeased.

“Go! Use quick attack!” she ordered. Her partner moved so fast that it was hard to keep track as it bounced side to side, moving closer.

“Let’s move, Espeon.” She immediately sprang toward the yellow and brown ball of fluff. She was even faster than I imagined. She moved so fast, she left split second after images behind. Buneary stopped in fear when Espeon appeared right in front of it. The bunny was head-butted right in the gut and was sent flying towards her baffled master.

“Get up, you weakling! Get up and fight, right now!” Her injured and tired Buneary struggled to its feet. “How is this possible? A novice like you?”

“Who told you I was a novice? I know I didn’t,” I laughed. “My parents have been teaching me how to battle since I was a kid. I train with their Pokémon all the time. That and the fact that Espeon is just a kick ass partner.” Espeon glanced back at me with a smile. Bre’s face did not look as cheerful. Her eyes burst into flames themselves. “You may have beaten us last time, but we’re fighting at full strength this time around. And you underestimating us doesn’t help you either.” I protected the back of my head as an explosion went off right behind me. I didn’t realize it until then, but the pathway behind Bre was almost completely engulfed in flames and blocked by debris. “Look! We don’t have any more time to waste! All of us are going to die here!” The girl lowered her head.

“It doesn’t matter, Team Rocket will never be defeated. My life is of no consequence. At least I’ll be free of the pain once and for all.” I couldn’t believe what she was blabbing on about. As if she’s been waiting to die all this time. Well, I wasn’t ready to die and I wasn’t going to let her die either.

“Screw you!” She looked up at me. “You’re not dying here and neither are the rest of us! Not before I live out my dreams, dammit!” I was motivated. Nothing was going to stand in my way now. “And what about this!?” I asked as I held up the stone. You’re just gonna give up on it?! Just like that?!” Another explosion went off right behind Bre.

“Of course not. The organization will take that from your corpse later.” Snapcakes, that’s just messed up, I thought.

“Really now? Well, they can’t do that if there is no stone to get, can they?” I dropped the stone on the ground and smashed it with my foot. That dumbfounded look on the woman’s face gave me pleasure, however, it didn’t last long for I became dumbfounded myself. The power within the stone burst out and spread through the air like an aurora borealis that shifted in colors matching Umbreon and Espeon. We stood in awe. After a moment, the enigmatic energy found new homes by forcing itself inside of Umbreon, Espeon, and myself. The force of the event made us kneel on the ground. I was groggy for a moment, but started to regain my awareness. I couldn’t feel Umbreon or Espeon’s presence in my head anymore, nor could I hear their voices. My body felt heavier and sorer than a moment ago.

“You idiot! Without the power from the stone you’ll never win! And now the organization has nothing to further its research!” Glasses regained her vivacity. “I’m fed up with your stupidity. I’ll end you here and now! Buneary, finish this with shadow ball!” Buneary was hesitant. It looked deeply upset. “Now!” Buneary focused and made a sphere of black energy. It let the ball fly once it locked on to me. Not two seconds later an explosion erupted right beside the pair and was about to swallow them both. Espeon jumped into the path of the black orb. I didn’t want her to get hurt anymore, I couldn’t let her. I also had to save Bre and her Buneary. The rage of everyone dying at that moment and failing to keep my promise to save Umbreon and Espeon built up inside of me. I was not going to fail!

“Espeon! Use icy wind!” Without hesitation, she spewed a gust of chilled air from her mouth. It was so powerful that the move knocked the shadow ball backwards and exploded in front of the already oncoming explosion. The shadow ball combined with the might of the chilly wind contained the blast in a smaller radius. The duo got knocked unconscious by the aftershock. Unfortunately, the cold air didn’t reach past the hallway. The flames were too close for comfort and gave off a boiling heat that made my body start to melt and caused my blurry vision to increase as I walked towards the hole in the wall. Espeon did her best to move any troublesome rubble in our path, so that I wouldn’t trip and drop Bre. She was asleep in my arms with my jacket covering her to keep her from being burnt or suffocate from the smoke. Umbreon trudged behind me with Buneary lying on his back. Each step was harder to make as my energy dropped. When we get out of here, I am gonna drink so much water. And eat. I am starving. Bre shifted in my arms, removing my jacket from her face. As her eyes slowly opened, she asked me,

“Why?”

“You’re gonna have to be specific,” I told her. I knew exactly what she meant. She struggled to speak due to her exhaustion.

“Why…are you saving…me? You have…no reason to.”

“I have no reason to let you die either.” I looked at her and gave the best smile I could. “And you were in my way when I tried to get out, so it was easier to just bring you along.”

“I…hate you.” She said weakly. Oh, so that she can say, but not a simple “thank you” or something?

            As we finally stepped through the hole to the outside world I told her, “You know, you don’t have to die to get rid of the pain. You should live and figure out how to eradicate the suffering in your life. Buneary has been trying to help you for a while. How about letting her?” When I looked down, Bre’s eyes were closed. After setting the pair in the grass far from the destroyed facility, Umbreon, Espeon and I headed towards New Bark Town guided by the light of the beautiful full moon. I’m not sure, if Bre heard me or not, though, it didn’t matter. I knew she’d figure it out sooner or later. At least, that’s what I hoped. What made her so heartless and reserved in the first place? Who knew?

“What was that all about?” Espeon asked. She wore a face of concern.

“It’s nothing,” I told her. “Just some crap I learned years ago.” We sat on a hill closer to town with a view of the burning Team Rocket hideout. The police had shown up with a bunch of firefighters and emergency medical personnel. As the firefighters and their water Pokémon tried to tame the fire, some policemen shuffled cuffed Team Rocket members into armed trucks. I heard shuffling grass from behind me. I watched as brown, pointy ears popped up from the grass. Eevee and its siblings had found us at last. Umbreon and Espeon basked in joy with their family. They jumped up and down, ran around, and petted each other’s faces. I smiled as I sat a few feet away. While they were having fun, I decided to slip away into the night. I walked all the way down the hill and was on my way to town when Espeon roared from behind me. Albeit, a weak roar, but a roar nonetheless. She ran up to me with everyone else close behind.

“Why are you leaving? I still haven’t thanked you for all that you have done for us.” Her glowing, blue eyes almost hid a looming tear. I knelt down.

“There’s no need to say anything. I was just passing through, that’s all. And you and your family are free now. You can head back home, you don’t need me anymore.” I wiped the tear from her scruffy, smoke covered face. She nestled her face against my palm.

“I don’t want to leave. Not yet. You’re the first human in so long that I have learned to trust and respect and I want to stay with you for a while.” My eyes widened. Umbreon sat beside his sister and nodded towards me as if to say, “me too.”

“You both want to travel with me?” They nodded. “But why?”

Because you said you wanted to live out your dreams, correct? Well, you helped us live out ours, so we’ll help you with yours.” Espeon smirked. With a huge smile, I hugged them both.

“I’d like nothing more than two have you around.” I looked at Umbreon and scoffed. “He can come too, I guess.” He just scoffed back. “What about all of you?” I asked the Eevee clan.

“They’re going back home, but they wanted to give you a gift to say thanks, first.” Espeon said. Eevee held a rectangular box in its mouth. I accepted it and opened the mystery box. I laughed when I saw the two colorful stones inside with a note that said, “To Professor Elm.” All of this for this stupid box. I will never do another favor for the doc, ever again.

The three of us said our goodbyes and trekked home as soon as Umbreon and Espeon’s family ran off into the woods. Returning to the place they call home.

Explaining what happened to my parents was difficult and not fun in the slightest. I kept out some things like the encounters with Bre and the fact that I almost died that night. Needless to say they were furious and worried and all those annoying parental feelings that kids just never want to deal with. They did take a liking to my new partners, which was great. They also gifted me with a new Pokégear to replace the one I lost in the fire. By two in the morning, the events of the last several hours had dissipated and life was back to normal. Umbreon, Espeon, and I were all cleaned up, fed, and were enjoying the peaceful sounds of the night out on the lawn. “Well, you two, it’s time we officially became partners,” I told them while holding two red and white Pokéballs in my hands. Looks of approval filled their grinning faces. They nudged the balls with their heads, letting themselves be absorbed inside them. I waited patiently as the balls shook in my hands. Shake one. The red light of the button turned on. Shake two. I was even closer to catching not one, but two Pokémon. Time seemed to slow down tremendously. Those few seconds seemed to have lasted a lifetime. Shake three. The red light turned off, the ball made a clicking sound, and it remained still. Uhh, did it work? I think it worked. Kinda anti-climactic, though. I was expecting tiny fireworks to pop out or some tiny virtual stars would come out. “I choose you,” I said and Umbreon and Espeon landed safely onto the ground in front of me.

“From this point on, we will protect each other, and always be with one another no matter what. Agreed?” Espeon vowed.

“You betcha,” I replied. Umbreon shrugged. As we gazed up at the moon, my face unconsciously smirked as I thought of all the amazing adventures we’d have in the near future.

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