Chapter Thirteen: Show a Little Kindness
Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Day, Eterna Forest (Ms. Swanson twisted her ankle, I needed to repay her hospitality!)
"Excuse me, miss. May I ask a favor of you?" the woman asked politely. She couldn't have been younger than about thirty-two. Most of her green hair hung in a thick braid over her right shoulder, and the rest framed her face in a leaf-like style. Her light green sweater accented both her eyes and her Renaissance-era (also earth-toned) dress very well. "I'd like to get through the forest, but I've heard that Team Galactic is active around here. Will you go through with me?"
"Of course," I smiled. "Don't worry, ma'am, Team Galactic won't know what hit them!" "Call me Cheryl, please. Ma'am makes me feel old," she demurred.
As I had never been to Eterna Forest before, I wanted to explore as much of the area as possible. In one small glade, I found an Antidote, and in another, a strange moss-covered rock. THUD! Down I went.
OK, not really, I just wanted to reference that Anansi story. What I did do was pick up a seed that had landed on it somehow. The two of us walked right a couple of steps
"HEY! You touched theoof, you're heavymossy rock, didn't you!?" A Buneary bounced into our path, dragging a Cascoon with her. "That rock is sacred to the Pokémon of Eterna Forest! Any outsider who touches it, we fight!" It's such a shame the rules won't let you capture Pokémon when another trainer's with you, I thought. Buneary might not be well-respected, but they're adorable and very useful. Jennifer leaped off my shoulder into battle. "Chansey, let's go!" Cheryl called, throwing a Poké Ball.
"Hello, darlings~" the round pink Pokémon hummed. I did a double takethe Chansey family is primarily defensive Pokémon, with high HP and Special Defense. Only having one of them meant you were either a Nurse Joy, very brave, or a little bit slow. "Oh
Aren't you a little weak to be fighting these?" she asked Jennifer.
"Don't worry, I'll be fine!" she squeaked. To prove her point, she introduced Cascoon to her Quick Attack.
Buneary's eyes glowed faintly white, and she stared intently at our Pokémon. "OK, neither of them are ghosts," she declared. The faint glow of Foresight faded. Chansey threw an egg at her, which Buneary caught and ate. "Yummy!"
Cheryl's jaw hit the dirt, and I tried to stifle a giggle. It wasn't every day a Pokémon ate a Chansey's Egg Bomb without severe aftereffects. "Jennifer, Water Gun on Cascoon."
"Chansey, Egg Bomb Buneary again. Aim for the tips of the ears," Cheryl said. Those particular targets were a little too high up for Buneary's arms to reach, so the egg exploded all over them. "No fair! Food shouldn't explode!" Buneary yelled. She curled up into a ball, tightening every muscle.
Cheryl got a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Miss
" "Allison," I supplied, realizing I'd never told her my name.
"Allison, I have an idea. Jennifer can flip the Buneary over using Quick Attack, and I'll have Chansey use Egg Bomb immediately after," she explained. "Sound good?"
I nodded. "Jennifer, use Quick Attack to flip over Buneary, then get out of the way!" Our plan went off without a hitchChansey even got a critical hit. "
" Buneary moaned, eyes faintly glowing again. "That's what I get for teaming up with a Cascoon."
"Chansey, if you would?" Cheryl asked pleasantly. The kind Pokémon didn't look too happy to throw a bomb at an innocent Buneary, but a command was a command. The rest of the battle was Jennifer nearly drowning the Cascoon, with a little ovo-explosive help from Chansey.
"Jennifer seems a little tired," Cheryl observed. "Chansey, let her nibble your egg." Chansey took the egg from her pouch and held it out with stubby arms. I placed the seed in the grass patch.
"Here. One little bite, and you'll feel great," she hummed. Jennifer sniffed it, and carefully bit into the top of the egg. Her entire face lit up. "I'm glad you're healthy, darling!"
I soon learned why so many people had gotten lost in herethere were multiple pathways, some blocked off by short, thick bushes. Cheryl and her Chansey quickly proved that whether it was a wild Pokémon or a trainer's, they could fight just as well as anyone else. The contrast made Chansey look almost bipolar.
The trainers insisted on challenging both of us at the same time. While I didn't mindmore experience is always helpfulI was always somewhat nervous about both of the trainers deciding to attack my Pokémon. On top of all that, Chansey fainted in our very first Double Battle, against a bug catcher and a schoolgirl, so I had to fight their remaining Pokémon with no help. Tobias nearly died, and Ayumu covered for him quite well, despite getting into the red zone as well.
After I finally won, Cheryl's eyes glinted again. "Send out Charlie, he's evolving!" she cried. We watched in awe as my little fire monkey grew taller, with thicker arms, a genuine tail and more hand-like feet. The white light faded after a few dozen seconds, revealing orange fur, a blue face-mask, a ruff of white fur, and gold rings at the shoulders. "Congratulations!" the Pokédex beeped. "Charlie evolved into Monferno! He now has a Fighting subtype, and gets STAB from his new move, Mach Punch!" [a/n: pretend he got some experience when Chansey fainted and I switched him out at the right time, OK?]
Cheryl's smile matched my own. "Chansey, let's heal Allison's fighters now," she hummed. I helpfully sent out Tobias, Ayumu, and Jennifer. Chansey removed her egg, and Cheryl held out her hands with closed eyes.
There've always been trainers, Gym Leaders, or ordinary people with (rumored) special powers. Saffron City's Sabrina can see when people make decisions and control things with her mind. A whole family of trainers in Blackthorn City, Champion Lance especially, has instinctive connections to Dragon Pokémon. People say that a young girl in faraway Orre can see whether a Pokémon is evil.
Aside from my own, I'd never seen any of those in action until that day. Cheryl's hands glowed pearl pink, as did any part of my Pokémon she touched. When they stopped glowing, their wounds were completely healed. Coupled with a piece of Chansey's egg directly afterwards, they were as healthy as when they'd entered in mere minutes.
I'll be honest, I damn near genuflected. (Ha-ha, "damn near genuflected." Geddit?) "Allison, I'm not a goddess. Just a healer," Cheryl chided gently.
A brief moment of levity came when two trainers seriously thought they could take us down with level fifteen Abra. Both of them knew Hidden Power, but that didn't make it any less funny.
I found a Great Ball and a Potion in the middle of two separate grass clumps. After the second one, I learned exactly why the sign said "Where time stands still." Everything seemed to take more energy than usual, and I wasn't sure how much time had passed.
It all looked the same (except for the trainers), but I remember finding a slightly warped jar of Floaroma Honey at the very northern end of the forest. The path was clear of tall grass, and occasionally had small orange flowers. One thing stood outa white picket fence with three holes in it. Each hole was blocked by a short, thick bush. Beyond the bushes and fence, I could see grass just slightly tinged gray.
"The Amasanti home," Cheryl murmured. "You heard how it burned down, right?"
I noddedthe low-energy feeling had passed. "It's been a while, though. I just remember the son's Skuntank and someone's insult."
Cheryl didn't need any more prompting than that. "He was battling a real hotshot trainer from Hearthomeyou heard how they let trainers test themselves inside. Anyway, the other guy had a Scizor. He was boasting about how awesome Bug-Steel types were and called Tomas' Skuntank a smelly hairball. Skuntank retaliated with Flamethrower, but it missed.
"Oh, look! There's the exit! Thanks for your help, Allison." She pulled a small indigo bag on a leather cord out of her dress and placed it in my hand. "Here, for you to remember me by."
I opened it up and saw about a dozen and a half leaves and blossoms in several different shapes, colors, and sizes. Their various smells blended quite nicely. "Um
what are these, Cheryl?"
Cheryl chuckled at my confused expression. "It's a medicine bag. There's dill and mint in there for protection, clematis for clear thinking, rock rose to reduce panic, lemon and sweetpea for friendship, rosemary for remembrance, almond for money, aloe for luck, and impatiens forironicallypatience and empathy." Feeling very special, I put the bag around my neck.
"Goodbye!" Cheryl smiled, heading for the exit. "I hope I see you again!" "Me too, darling," Chansey hummed.
I followed her out, but she was long gone by the time the Eterna side of Route 205 greeted my eyes.