This is the story of a girl named Tracey. She used to be a human, but one day, she was magically transformed into a Vulpix! It's also the story of a shy Meowth named Ruby. Ruby had always wanted to be a great explorer, but he kept running away from the local Explorer's Guild
Until the day he met Tracey.
Chapter One: A Storm at Sea
It was a dark and stormy
well, sometime. The wind howled around the time tunnel Grovyle and Tracey, his human partner, were traversing. A lightning bolt illuminated the desperate smile on his reptilian face. If this plan works, we'll stop the planet's paralysis, he thought. No one will have to live in darkness any longer...
Just then, a particularly large BOOM of thunder sent Tracey flying almost out of his grip. "Whoaaaa!" she screamed. "Are
Are you OK?!" Grovyle shouted, his voice cracking slightly. "I am now," Tracey called over the storm's noise, getting a death grip on his hand. "Does Celebi know that storms can affect her Passage of Time?"
"Probably; I never asked," he quipped. "Relax. We're at least halfway there." Tracey seemed to be a bit calmer
then she tensed again. "Do you hear something?" she asked Grovyle.
Grovyle closed his eyes and concentrated. "Nothing besides the storm. Why?" Tracey shrugged. "I just got the feeling that
" She trailed off, glancing behind them. Her eyes widened. "Grovyle! There's some kind of living shadow right behind you!" she cried. Grovyle craned his neck to look. Sure enough, there was the shadow. A single blue eye gleamed evilly as its creepy hands formed a ball of energy
Then Tracey did something Grovyle never expected. She let go of his hand, screamed "GET DOWN!" and pushed him toward the bottom of the tunnel. He couldn't see anything, but her weight on his back told him that Tracey was using him as leverage. "What are you doing?!" he cried.
"Protecting you from that thing!" A blinding flash of light, and Tracey slid off him at an alarming rate. "Tracey!!" Grovyle shouted, frantically trying to slow her down with his hands. "Give me your hand! We have to save the future together!" He felt her soft, pink fingers reach for, and grab, his.
But they were slipping.
!" she cried. Her voice was getting fainter. Grovyle looked up and saw that Tracey herself was steadily fading through the tunnel walls. "Grovyle
please, stay safe," she whispered, red-brown eyes full of an unreadable emotion. "For the future
" With that, she was gone.
There was a silence of exactly one second. Then Grovyle screamed in anger/anguish, somehow cursing the heavens, Primal Dialga, Dusknoir, his Sableye, and most importantly that shadow. He'd have to wing it now, but he didn't care.
Outside the tunnel, Tracey landed with a thump on something soft, but itchy. "Urrrgh
" she moaned. Where
where am I? she thought in a panic. She opened her eyes just enough to see a small brown rock, the ocean, and sand. Oh, a beach
she thought as her weary eyes closed all by themselves.
*Wigglytuff's guild, sunset*
" Ruby said to himself as he walked back and forth in front of the torch-lit entrance to Wigglytuff's guild. He'd been trying to get in for a long time, but every time, he got scared and ran away.
"No! I refuse to be scared of this any longer!" he meowed forcefully, stopping directly in line with the entrance. This is it. I have to gather up my courage today, he thought equally so.
He took a deep breath, smoothed down his fur, and rubbed the shiny gold charm on his forehead for good luck. Then he took a step forward onto the grille in front of the guild's iron-barred gate.
"Pokémon detected! Pokémon detected!" a small voice said from below him. He jumped, mewling in fright. "Whose footprint? Whose footprint?" another, deeper voice inquired.
"The footprint is Meowth's! The footprint is Meowth's!" the first voice said. Ruby couldn't stand hearing those voices from below his feet any longer, and jumped off the grille as fast as he could. "Waah! That was too shocking!" he cried.
He relaxed, allowing a small bead of sweat to roll down the back of his head. "Whew
" he breathed. Then he realized what had happened, and grew a little sad. "
I guess I can't work up the courage to go in after all
" he meowed sadly. I told myself today was the day, but
Ruby took a very small step forward and placed an intricately carved piece of stone on the edge of the grille. "I thought holding on to my personal treasure would inspire me
" he whispered. Then he took it back, and sighed longingly. "I just can't do it. I'm such a coward
This is too discouraging. I'm off to the beach!" And with that, Ruby the Meowth walked south, away from the guild.
Unnoticed, a Zubat and Koffing flew and floated, respectively, out from behind a bush to where he had just been. "Hey, Zubat," the Koffing said in its gravelly voice. "Did you get a load of that?!" "I certainly did, Koffing," the Zubat replied.
"That little wimp had
something good, right?" Koffing asked. "Well, he had something, that's for sure," Zubat said, a grin spreading across its face. "It looked like some kind of treasure."
"Do we go get it?" "We do." With a nod to each other, the two Poison-types hurried off to the beach.
Ruby watched the Krabby blowing bubbles across the sunset. When the weather was good, they came out at sunset to blow bubbles. The fading light sparkled off of them and the ocean in the most beautiful way. "This is where I always go when I'm feeling sorry for myself," he mused aloud. "It's such a pretty sight
" He trailed off, allowing himself to look in all directions. Even if he lived to be 100, he'd never get tired of seeing this sight. It always managed to cheer him up.
That was when he noticed a Vulpix lying exhausted on the beach. Huh? There's someone else here! he thought, scampering over to its side. "What happened?! Are you OK?!" he asked in a rush.
The Vulpix opened its eyes, shook the sand out of its fur, and stood up. "Good, you're awake!" Ruby said with a smile. "What a relief!"
where am I? the Vulpix (who was actually Tracey, though she didn't know that) thought, still fuzzy from being out for so long. "You weren't moving at all. I was really scared!" the Meowth in front of her said. "Do you remember how you got here?"
no, sorry," she replied. OK, I was unconscious
but what happened? The Meowth smiled. "It's OK. Anyhow, I'm Ruby. Glad to meet you! And who are you? I haven't seen you around here before."
My name's Tracey," she said. "But
how can we understand each other? I'm a human!" Ruby jumped backwards in shock. "W-what?!" he cried, fur rising in agitation. "You look like a totally normal Vulpix to me!"
?" Tracey asked, just as surprised as Ruby. She spun around, and to her dismay/joy, she caught sight of a curly red tail. Putting a hand to her face, she discovered that it was actually a paw, and she had a muzzle. At that point, Tracey panicked.
"Oh my God, I really have turned into a Vulpix!" she screeched, causing Ruby to clap his paws over his ears. "But
how did this happen? I don't remember anything." Except for my name and having been human, of course, she amended silently.
Ruby folded his arms across his chest and gave Tracey a look. "You're
kind of weird
" he said carefully. "Are you trying to trick me?"
"No, not at all!" Tracey replied hurriedly. "I really don't know how I turned into a Vulpix, and I really did turn into one from being a human!"
"All right," Ruby said. "Well, you don't seem like a bad Pokémon, at least. Sorry I doubted you," he said, blushing a little. "Lots of them have been turning up lately. Things are getting really lawless
Just then, Ruby got shoved from behind by a Zubat. "Ouch!" he screamed, flying headlong into Tracey's muzzle and shoving her backward (which, for some reason, was not entirely unpleasant for Tracey). Tracey noticed a really cool-looking piece of rock fall from Ruby's person, and so did the encroaching Zubat and Koffing.
"Well, I do beg your pardon," the Koffing said sarcastically. Ruby jumped up from the ground and whirled to face the duo. "Hey! Why'd you do that?!" he hissed angrily. He also put up his front paws like he was going to punch something.
"Heh-heh-heh! Can't figure it out?" the Zubat taunted. "We wanted to mess with you! Can't face up to us, can you?!" Ruby jumped a little. "Wh-what?!" he meowed.
"That's yours, isn't it?" Zubat asked, gesturing to the rock on the ground. "NO! That's
!" Ruby cried out, pure terror in his eyes.
Zubat grinned evilly. "Sorry, kiddo. We'll take that!" And with that, Zubat swooped in and picked up the rock. "Aaah!" Ruby screamed.
"Whoa-ho-ho! Not gonna make a move to get that back?" the Koffing taunted. "What's the matter? Too scared? I didn't expect that you'd be such a big coward!" Ruby's claws snapped out in warning, but since they were rather small, it ruined the impression. Koffing turned to Zubat. "Come on. Let's get out of here!" it said. The two Poison-types ran away to the west, but not before Zubat got in a "See you around, chicken!" as a parting shot.
" Ruby moaned quietly. "Wh-what should I do?" Tracey tilted her head in confusiong. "That rock is my personal treasure. It means everything to me," he explained sadly. "If I lose that
" Tears began forming in his eyes, but he shook them off with a vengeance.
"No! There's no time to waste!" he said boldly. "Hey, I know we just met, but can I get you to help me?" he suddenly asked Tracey.
"Yes, you certainly can," Tracey grinned. "As long as I'm here, I figure I may as well do some good." "R-really?!" Ruby mewed, honest joy radiating from him. "T-thank you! Let's go quickly!"
"Yeah!" Tracey cheered. Without further ado, the twosome raced into Beach Cave.
Beach Cave was dark and full of water. Conveniently, Tracey knew Faint Attack, and often used it on an opponent right after weakening its Defense with Tail Whip. This, of course, was making up for the fact that her Ember and simply running into the opponent weren't very effective.
Ruby, by contrast, knew no special moves and relied mostly on his Scratch and simply hitting whoever he was fighting with his paw. These techniques worked fine for the Shellos (and to a lesser extent Shellder), but not so much for the Corsola and Kabuto.
"So, how big do you think this cave is?" Tracey asked as she handily defeated a Shellder on B3F. "Not very, I hope," Ruby replied. "We're only level six, you know." Tracey smiled at him. "I do."
By that point, they'd grown a level each (and Ruby had learned Bite), found a total of 130 Poké, and were carrying an Oran Berry. Suddenly, Tracey stopped moving and stuck her nose in the air, sniffing. Then she made a face. "It smells funny down here!" she complained.
"Probably mold or something," Ruby said coolly. "Maybe
it could be Koffing! Come on!" she called, racing ahead of Ruby just fast enough to let him follow her.
Eventually, after a few scrapes, one near-defeat experience for Ruby, and finding a Blast Seed, the two of them made it to Beach Cave Pit. The Pit was
different, to say the least. There was a lot more water than there had been up above, and some green plants too. Naturally, Zubat and Koffing were waiting for them, backs turned.
Hey!" Ruby yelled. Tracey cringed. He sounded so unprofessional! But it worked; Zubat and Koffing turned to face them.
"Well, well, if it isn't our old friend, the big chicken," Koffing said sardonically. Ruby cringed, then took a brave step forward.
Give me back what you stole from me!" he shouted in a rush. "That's my personal treasure!" Tracey cringed again. The idiot was giving them a good reason not to give the rock back!
treasure, you say?" Zubat asked. "So that thing really is valuable, huh?" An evil grin spread across his face. Koffing nodded. "It could be worth a lot more than we thought. We should try selling it. Who knows? It might fetch a good price," he said, punctuating the last sentence with a sneer in Ruby's direction. "All the more reason not to give it back!"
"Whaaaaat?!" Ruby meowed in surprise. "Of course they're not going to give it back, you sillyhead," Tracey whispered in his ear. "You just told them how valuable it is!" "Oh
oooops," Ruby whispered back, comprehension dawning.
"If you want it back that badly
Come and get it! Heh-heh-heh!" Zubat challenged. And so began Tracey and Ruby's first "boss fight."
Zubat was surprisingly easy to take care ofjust their Blast Seed and Tracey's Ember. Koffing was harder, if only because he poisoned both of them in quick succession. He seemed to be about their level, and a few Scratches, one Faint Attack, and two final socks in the eyes (one sock per eye) finished him off.
The two Poison-types collapsed on the Pit floor. "Owowow
" Koffing moaned. Zubat appeared to have difficulty moving his wing. "We
got roughed up
How'd we get beaten by wimps like them
?" Koffing asked himself as he floated off the floor. You're one to talk, Tracey thought bitterly. Zubat finally got up off the floor. "Here! Take your "treasure" back, then!" he screeched, flinging the rock at Ruby's feet.
"Don't think you're so awesome. That victory was a fluke!" Koffing said desperately. "Yeah, you remember that!" Zubat added. The two baddies ran out of the cave without another word. Ruby lovingly picked up his rock and rubbed some dirt off it.
"Well, that was weird," Tracey said. Ruby nodded. "It was, but at least we won! And I got my Relic Fragment back!" he added, eyes sparkling with joy. "All because of your help, Tracey! Thank you so much!!" Tracey had to admit, he looked cute when he smiled, and she couldn't help smiling in return.
Back on the beach
"Here's what they stole," Ruby said, placing his rock between them. "I call this a Relic Fragment. Like I said, it's my precious treasure. Y'see, I've always liked legends and tales from the past. They're so exciting! Don't you feel the same? Hidden troves full of treasure and strange relics
" He went on in this vein for quite some time, and Tracey tuned him out slightly. She had to admit, his enthusiasm was contagious, and she was beginning to want to go explore those hidden troves herself.
"Well, anyway, that's what I've always dreamed of," he finished. Whew, Tracey thought. "And one day, I happened to come across my Relic Fragment. I know it looks like junk, but take a closer look at it."
She did. And if she'd ever seen an amazingly detailed swirling pattern like this one, it was in her human memories, which were now lost. "There's gotta be some significance to the pattern," Ruby enthused. "This Relic Fragment must be the key to legendary places! To areas where precious treasure abounds!
At least, that's the feeling I get," he said in a quieter voice. "That's why I want to join an exploration team. This Fragment must fit into something, and I want to find out what!"
"Had any luck?" Tracey asked good-naturedly. "No
wait, that's wrong. See, earlier today, I tried joining the local team as an apprentice
but I got scared and ran away," he said in a small voice. "What are you going to do, Tracey? You lost your memories
and you somehow turned into a Vulpix
Do you have anywhere to go and stay after this?"
Tracey was ashamed to say it, but she did not. Ruby must have picked up on this, because he took a deep breath and rubbed the gold charm on his forehead. "
if you don't, can I ask you a big favor?" "What?" Tracey answered.
"Would you be willing to form an exploration team with me?" Ruby asked. "I'm convinced I can form an effective team with you, Tracey. So
will you? Please?" Tracey panicked again. I'm being recruited completely out of the blue to something I know nothing about! she thought in a rush. But
I helped him out before. Surely it wouldn't hurt to do so again. Maybe I'll even figure out who I am if I keep working with Ruby.
"OK, Ruby," Tracey responded. "I'll form a team with you." "Really?!" Ruby mewed, that same joy radiating from him. "You'll really form a team with me?! THANK YOU!!!!!" he meowed happily as he pounced on Tracey. "We're going to be a GREAT team, I just know it!! Let's make this work!" he cheered.
"Get off me, Ruby!" Tracey yipped. He was squishing her tails into the sand and her face against his stomach. "Oh, sorry!" Ruby mewed, blushing as he jumped off her and turned to face the ocean. "First, we should sign up as apprentices at Wigglytuff's guild. That's where we need to train to become a first-rate exploration team. I'm sure it'll be very tough
but let's give it our best, Tracey!" he said, thrusting his right paw into the air. Tracey did the same.
Selected Quote From Chapter 2:
"What do you MEAN, you're not SURE?!"