Chapter One: A Reason to Start Over New
Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Twinleaf Town
"Mom, I'm going over to Barry's now!" I called. I was wearing my nice black tights under my usual dress; Twinleaf Town gets COLD during the winter, especially after dark. "I'll be back before ten!"
Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name's Allison. I'm 16, my birthday is September 20, and I think I can safely say that I'm the biggest nerd in town; I even have braces! I was heading out after dark (8:37) because my extremely hyper and possibly brain-damaged best friend Barry was looking for me.
"Be careful out there! I know you have a way with Pokémon, but I don't want my only daughter taking chances!" Mom replied. By "way with Pokémon," she means I can talk to them as easily as I can to humans. No, I don't know why, either. Just be grateful I'm not some anti-social weirdo.
Anyway, it was about 8:40 by the time I got over to Barry's house. I didn't even have to knock; the blondie burst through the door and somehow clocked me with his bag and body-checked me at the same time.
Yep, Barry's that kind of teenager. "What was thatOh, hey, Allison! I'm going to the lake! You come too! And be quick, there's a 10 million Poké fine if you're late!" He said all of that very fast, then took off to Route 201. And Mom thought I'd have a problem? Shaking my dark-haired head, I followed him.
"So what are we gonna do tonight, Barry?" I asked once we got to Route 201. I would soon regret this; Barry's face lit up, and he took a huge breath
"OK, so you saw that news report on TV, right? The one about the red Gyarados search? I bet Lake Verity has something as cool as that, and we're going to go look for it! No, scratch that. We're gonna look for something even better than a red Gyarados! Like maybe a
I don't know, let's just find something!"
When we got there, though, the first two things we saw were Professor Rowan and his (very cute) assistant, Lucas. "Professor, there's nothing out of the ordinary on this side, either," the latter said.
Professor Rowan stroked his chin thoughtfully. "Hmm
I may have made a mistake. Something definitely seems different, but
" He shrugged. "It's enough that we've seen the lake. Back to Sandgem Town for us, Lucas." We stepped aside wordlessly to allow them to pass.
"I wonder what they were doing here
Hey, look! They left something in the grass!" Barry exclaimed. "Let's go check it out!" He plunged headlong into the thick grass.
"Barry! What if a wild Pokémon attacks you?" I cried, following him. Yes, the locals were really weak, but it was just one of those things.
"You worry too much, Allison," Barry laughed. "We're not gonna be in there long enough for anything to jump us!" That was when two very angry Starly came charging in towards us. "I take that back! Quick, grab a Poké Ball!" He forced Professor Rowan's briefcase open at those words. I grabbed the one at the forefront and tossed it at a Starly. An orange-and-red monkey with a flame on his butta Chimcharburst out. "Huh? You're not Professor Rowan
" he said to me.
"Minor issue. Chimchar, use Scratch!" Meanwhile, Barry was excitedly egging on a Piplup. Of course we both won our battles.
"Yeah! Your Chimchar was awesome!" Barry shouted. "My Piplup was better, though
Oh. Right. They're Professor Rowan's."
I paled. "Chimchar, the professor won't mind that we borrowed you and Piplup, right?" I asked.
Chimchar shrugged. "I'm just glad to be out of there. By the way, name's Charlie. Yeah, I know, unimaginaOh, hey, there's Lucas!" The adorable boy was half-running, half-speedwalking towards us. He stopped right in the middle of the grass patch.
"Oh, good, you two found the briefcase. He would've hit the ceiling if he knew I'd left it here," he sighed. Then he noticed the latch was open, and that we had two of the Pokémon. "Oh, no
Come with me right now!" He grabbed the briefcase, snapped it closed, and took off running, the other hand clamped firmly to his stylish red newsboy hat. We followed him as well, but at a walk. We weren't in a hurry, after all.
I know we have to return Chimchar and Piplup, but I want to spend more time with this little guy
I thought, pouting. It didn't take long before we found him and Professor Rowan again. "Lucas told me you used our Pokémon," he began in his famous blunt style. "Chimchar and Piplup?"
I nodded. "We got attacked by wild Starly, Professor. We didn't exactly have a choice."
Professor Rowan knelt to get a better look at the starters. "
" he murmured. He stood up, brushed some grass stains off his pants, and turned toward Sandgem Town. "I want you two to explain everything to your families, then come visit me in my lab." The two of them left.
"That was weird," Barry said. "Was he mad at us or what? And why didn't he ask for the Pokémon back? Anyway, we should go home now
Allison? Allison?" He facepalmedI was still staring vacantly in the direction Lucas had gone. "Come on, gal pal!"
"I can't believe that happened to you!" Mom cried once I'd finished my epic tale. "I'm just glad you're both unharmed. Oh, I know! Here, take these new Running Shoes!" My old, comfy pink boots were not exactly fit to be seen in public, so the new shoes were a welcome change.
"Thanks, Mom! I'm off again," I said. "I'll call you when I'm done at the lab, OK?" "OK, honey. I love you!" Route 201 wasn't anything special, but one guy did give me a free Potion.
When I got to Sandgem Town, Lucas was standing in front of the lab. He saw me, and his whole face lit up in a cordial smile. "Hey, Allison! We've been waiting for you." I blushedif it had been anyone other than him, I wouldn't have stopped running until I hit Snowpoint City. "The Professor's lab is over here, but I guess you know tha"
Barry burst out of the door, clocking me again. "Oops. Sorry, Allison! By the way, Rowan isn't scary at all. I get to keep Piplup, and that's the important part! See ya!"
Are you OK? And is he always like that?" Lucas asked. I nodded twice. "Wow. Anyway, let's head inside."
Professor Rowan was waiting at the back of the lab. "May I see the Chimchar again?" he asked. I sent him out, and the poor guy looked as nervous as I felt.
Chimchar seems happy with you," he said. "He's yours. Congratulations, you're now a Pokémon trainer." My heart skipped a few beats. "You
You seriously mean that?" Charlie and I asked. Lucas nodded. "Want to give him a nickname?"
"He already told me his name. It's Charlie," I said. Lucas and Professor Rowan blinked. That usually happens when people figure out my talent.
"Miss Peregrine. I've heard about your exceptional grades and track record from the school," Professor Rowan began. "Also, your friend said that you battled quite well at the lake, despite it being your first time. That's why I've given you Charlie in the first place. Would you like to do a Nuzlocke Challenge?" I gasped. A Nuzlocke Challenge is a popular kind of training journey where, among other things, Pokémon die when they get to zero health. Most of the time, people choose to take the challenge. To be offered the chance
"I'll do it," I said clearly. Charlie's jaw hit the floor. "Are you INSANE?" he screeched. "Don't you care about me at all, girl?" Oh, dear. I placed my hand squarely on his head, and he stopped flailing around wildly. "It's OK," I soothed. "Starters and legendaries don't die. Also, my name is Allison."
Lucas cleared his throat awkwardly. "I'll go get an extra Pokédex, the rules and your Nuzlocke badge, Allison. Just remember, this was your decision." He stepped into the lab's annex.
"In addition to the Gym challenge, I'd like you to learn what kinds of Pokémon live in Sinnoh," Professor Rowan added. "I'd do it myself if my trainer's license hadn't expired forty years ago."
I felt Lucas place the Seedot-shaped badge, an envelope, and a red Pokédex in my free hand. "The professor asked me to help, too. That makes us partners working toward the same goal!"