Webs Of Silk Chapter 1: Stop, Thief!
(A/N: No drawing today. Have this storylocke instead.)“Now, Silk, listen to me,” said Professor Elm, in a slightly harsher tone. Silk recognised the tone to be a serious one, and decided he’d better listen carefully. “This world is a very dangerous one, and whilst I’m sure you’re very excited to explore it and claim gym badges, you have to know something. Pokemon are living creatures, much like yourself. Likewise, they have their limits, too, and when those limits are breeched… They can get seriously hurt, or worse. Please, please be careful. Now, I’m going to give you an errand, as a test, to see if you’re ready to handle a journey. I have a friend, Mr Pokemon, as he’s most commonly referred to, who claims to have made an important discovery. He says that he’s found a highly unusual egg, and I’d like to study it. “Basically, I’d like you to collect the egg for me and bring it back to the lab before sunset today. If you can successfully do that, I’ll approve you for a Trainer’s license, and endorse you for the gym challenge. Also, Oak is there, and he’s got something else for you, too. Good luck, and be safe. I really don’t want to have to hire another assistant…” Silk took this as a joke. He hoped it was a joke, anyway. Sure, Silk knew the world could be dangerous, he’d heard rumours and murmurs on the street that the notorious crime syndicate, Team Rocket, were planning a comeback, but they had so far been fruitless. Surely the trip to Mr Pokemon’s house and back wasn’t that dangerous, was it? He decided that he’d take the extra time to train Skipper as he went along. As he was about to step out of the lab, Elm yelled out to him.“Hey, wait, I think you should take this with you, too,” he said, and handed a small electronic device to him. Silk’s eyes widened. Elm’s really giving me something as expensive as a Pokegear? He’d never owned anything as refined as a Pokegear in his life! Even better off people in Azalea couldn’t afford one easily, and they were never given to kids. Too irresponsible, apparently. Bugsy had one, of course, but they were a gym leader; it only made sense for them to have their own Pokegear. Most folks preferred mobile or even landline phones because they were cheaper. But the Pokegear had far more functionality, as well as durability, over a typical phone. And Elm was giving him one? For free? “I’ve already registered my number in that in case you need to call. If you run into trouble, don’t hesitate to contact me. Or the police, if you’re that desperate.” “I promise! I’ll be very careful!” Silk yelled out behind him as he raced through Route 29 in a desperate attempt to seem competent.As he reached Cherrygrove City, he went immediately to the Pokemart to buy Pokeballs, only to be informed that they were currently out of stock and that they were expecting a restock later that day. Silk left the mart disappointed; he would not be able to secure some new teammates for Skipper. She didn’t seem to mind, though. She simply crawled up his sleeve and perched on his hat, chirping happily again. He made the trek up Route 30 a little slower, he had plenty of daylight left, after all. He would occasionally pluck Skipper from his hat and allow her to fight opponents for more experience. After a while of this, she began to glow, and her form changed. Silk couldn’t believe it. She was evolving right before his eyes, so quickly, too. He knew that Bug types were easy to raise and evolved quickly, but he had not been expecting her to evolve on the same day he received her.She curled into a ball, and spun a web of thick, white silk over herself. This silk formed spines around her, and her eyes changed from their bright yellow to a deep crimson. She then stopped evolving entirely and slowly shuffled her way to Silk’s feet. She tried in vain to crawl her way back onto Silk’s back, but without her little legs, she found she was unable to. She gave a deeper, more frustrated growl, and Silk picked her up and unceremoniously dumped the cocoon on his head. She gave a more satisfied chirp, back in her rightful place. Silk had to laugh at her. “You know, Skipper, you’re not going to be able to perch on my head forever. When you evolve again, you’ll most certainly be too big to sit on my head.” She gave another indignant chirp, almost as though it were a sassy remark, then she remained silent. Silk realised why. They had arrived at Mr Pokemon’s house.He knocked loudly; Skipper’s evolution giving him newfound confidence. There had been no dilemmas on the way to the place, Silk doubted there would be any on the way back, either. A deep, rich voice answered right away. Mr Pokemon. “Come on in. I’m assuming you’re Elm’s errand boy today, aren’t you?” Silk entered the modest home and came face to face with the eccentric Mr Pokemon, and… No it wasn’t… This couldn’t be happening. The real Professor Oak, sitting at Mr Pokemon’s kitchen table, looking up from his cup of tea and giving Silk an easy smile. Bugsy would be so jealous. If there was ever someone Bugsy looked up to in the field of Pokemon research, it was Professor Oak. They had often gushed about Oak’s Pokedex revolutionising the way Pokemon biologists like Bugsy did their research. And because Bugsy looked up to Oak, so did Silk. And here he was, in the same kitchen as him.“And how have you been, young man,” questioned Oak as Silk sat down to a plate of sandwiches that Mr Pokemon had offered him. He hadn’t realised how hungry he was until he’d been offered them. Skipper was munching Oran berries beside him; he wasn’t sure how she ate with all that silk covering her mouth, but Oran berries were her favourite, apparently, and they seemed to be vanishing underneath her, so she must have been doing something right. “I’ve been having a great day so far! I just got Skipper today, after all, I’ve never owned a Pokemon before, but now I have Skipper, and she evolved just before I got here. She’s awesome and I love her.” Oak chuckled at that. He seemed like the whimsical type. “Well, Silk, I actually have something for such a Pokemon enthusiast as yourself. I entrusted one of these to my grandson and his friend a few years back, but neither of them completed theirs. And whilst I know you only have an interest in Bug types, you’d still be able to get location data for species you encounter, plus more detailed information specifically on Bug types.” He held out a red, digital device with a few buttons and a wide screen. It took Silk a moment to recognise it.“You’re giving me a Pokedex? Me? Really?” he practically squealed. “Yes, as a matter of a fact, I am. Take good care of it, now, and be sure to collect as much data as you can.” He stood up abruptly. “Oh, but I’ve lost track of time! I’m sorry, I have to leave. I’m going to be late to DJ Mary and I’s Radio Show!” He then dashed out of the room, whipping on his lab coat and summoning a large orange canine with black, jagged stripes that rippled across its coat from the Pokeball he had hidden there. It shook its shaggy mane, and a few stray wisps of smoke curled from the blonde fur. “Archy, Teleport!” he said. Silk watched in confusion as the dog blinked twice, shook once more, and then both Oak and the Arcanine vanished without a trace, presumably to Goldenrod before the show started. Silk was flabbergasted. “I didn’t know Arcanine could learn Teleport!” Mr Pokemon winked at him. “It’s a long story, but to cut it short, a few years ago, an organisation known as Team Rocket created artificial TMs, or Technical Machines, and sold them on the black market. These TMs were only valid for one use, however, and now that Rocket has disbanded, most of them been discontinued. There are still some that Silph Co. have figured out how to reproduce, but some of the more obscure ones, like Teleport, have been lost forever. There are scientists in Unova who believe they are close to creating “infinite use TMs” based around HMs, or Hidden Machines, but they have so far been unsuccessful. I find it very interesting that Oak got his hands on one of those old, illegal TMs, though… And to answer your query, I didn’t know Arcanine could learn Teleport, either. But it’s apparently possible.” Mr Pokemon pondered his knowledge for a moment, before perking up. “Oh, I nearly forgot! The egg! I’d best send you off with it, before it gets too dark, and you’re forced to walk home in that danger. Here it is,” he stated, brandishing the egg as though it were the most valuable thing in the world. To him, it probably was. Silk took the egg and nestled it in between the pockets of his backpack, wrapped in several blankets to keep it safe. He then thanked Mr Pokemon for the sandwiches, placed Skipper on his head (had she gotten fatter?) and rushed his way down Route 30 again. He was halfway back to Cherrygrove when he was alerted to the sound of his Pokegear ringing.“Silk, you have to come back to the lab, quickly! Someone… Someone broke in and stole Totodile! It’s not safe out there! Please hurry!” Elm then hung up, and Silk’s blood ran cold. Could it have been that nasty boy who had pushed him over earlier? He ran faster, hurtling down the ledges of the Route, Skipper complaining quietly and spinning more silk to keep herself anchored to Silk’s hat. He put up a hand to steady her as he jumped down the last ledge, nearly losing his balance and falling in the dirt. He rushed through Cherrygrove, and that’s where he saw the redhead. He slowed himself down and casually approached him. No need to throw out accusations, after all. “So, uh, whatcha doing in Cherrygrove now, Ginger?” he asked, casually. The redhead glared at him. Perhaps addressing him as “Ginger” was a mistake, but then this was the boy who had rudely pushed him over earlier, so he had revoked his respect privileges.“Shut up and get out of my way, wimp,” he retorted, pushing Silk again. This time, he retained his footing. He chased after the redhead. “Ugh, what part of “leave me alone” do you not get? Do I have to fight you to get rid of you? Send you home crying to your momma?” he sneered. “If it means getting back Totodile, then so be it!” “How do you know I stole Totodile?” he said, his demeanour wavering a little. “Well, you seem really shady, you were hanging out outside Elm’s lab for God knows how long, you’re being really nasty, and I’m assuming that you’re trying to get as far away from New Bark as you possibly can. I’d be really surprised if I was wrong.” “Well, you’re right, but what are you going to do about it? I saw what Pokemon you got from Elm. A Wurmple just simply isn’t going to cut it.” He regained his composure, resuming his smugness. As an afterthought, he sent out the Totodile in question, confirming his guilt. “Actually, she’s a Silcoon, she’s not weak, and her name is Skipper!” “You mean that pile of shit on your head is a Pokemon? Don’t make me laugh.” Silk swarmed with anger. How dare he insult his Pokemon like that! He was just going to prove the redhead wrong. “Grr… You know what to do, Skipper! Tackle!” The pile of silk responded by leaping from Silk’s head and onto the poor Totodile’s head. That wasn’t going to be enough to stop the reptilian creature. “Totodile, Scratch!” The little blue croc responded to its temporary trainer’s commands, and scratched wildly at Skipper, but she was unfazed with her thick silken armour. “Poison Sting!” Silk tried, changing tactics. One of the spines that was attached to Skipper was suddenly thrown off, hitting the Totodile square in the chest. Judging by its slight purple blush, the poor thing was now poisoned. The redhead realised at that point that the battle was over, and reluctantly withdrew the Totodile, embarrassed at having been bested by a Silcoon. He took one last moment to glare at Silk before he dashed away, and in his haste, he dropped something. Silk picked it up, realising that it was the redhead’s Trainer Card. How someone like that had been allowed to own Pokemon, Silk didn’t know. He read the name carved upon it: Silver Francis. This must have been Ginger’s real name. Something about his surname seemed very familiar… Before he could ponder further, the trainer card was snatched out of his grip by Silver, who had apparently noticed its absence and had come back for it. Silver than punched him and ran away with the card, and the Totodile, and Silk could do nothing as the world around him spun and the bad guy got away. He slumped onto the wall of the nearest building and sat there until the world stopped spinning.