The next days were warm, something I was glad for. Kerra left all his Pokemon outside their balls, saying they needed the sunlight. I finally got to see the Pokemon he had, and looked them all up in my Pokemon guide. Apart from Parasect and all the Paras, he had a Weepinbell, Oddish, Ivysaur, Exeggutor, Tangela and Vileplume.
I left Paras out, figuring that since it was so small, it should grow as much as it could in the open air before it battled a lot.
We came to a creek, and decided to have a lunch break. It was a couple of days after leaving Lime.
"Exeggutor, egg bomb," said Kerra, surprisingly, "Vileplume, petal dance."
The two Pokemon executed their attacks, leaving a large egg and a collection of silver petals on the ground.
"Vulpix, ember," said Terri, and her Pokemon sent a burst of flames around the egg.
Kerra turned to wash the Vileplume's petals in the creek, while Terri and I tackled the egg. It tasted very strongly of something I couldn't uncover.
"Ugh," said Terri finally, "this is giving me a headache."
"Exegg," said Exeggutor, pretending to be offended, but some of its heads were laughing.
"You'll become immune eventually," said Kerra, patronisingly. He was doing something with the petals, but his back was to me. "The eggs of a psychic Pokemon have weird properties."
"What sort of 'weird properties'?" demanded Terri, "and how dare you give us this if you knew it was gonna make us sick?"
"Get used to it. I don't know what the properties are... I'm working on it."
"Understanding grass Pokemon," I mused. My Paras squeaked and scratched at my leg. It was hungry too.
Kerra turned around again, a bowl from his backpack holding some kind of pulp left over from the petals. He set it down and all the Paras ran towards it to eat eagerly.
"What about your other Pokemon?" I asked.
"They get their food from the sunlight and the soil."
I left my Clefairy inside its Pokeball - it always ate too much - but sent out Omanyte to swim in the creek. Terri followed suit with her Magikarp, and Kerra laughed.
"Great choice of Pokemon, Terri," he sputtered.
"For your information, mister, this Magikarp has great potential and will some day become a super great dragon, meaning I will be a REAL dragon master, and unstoppable!"
"Ehh, dragon Pokemon are overrated," he scoffed.
Terri predictably exploded. I turned away and watched Omanyte and Magikarp swimming as the two shouted at each other.
To my amazement, a Pokeball suddenly flew through the air and hit Omanyte. Omanyte disappeared in a red beam, and the ball splashed violently as if my Pokemon was struggling inside it.
In disbelief, I realised someone was trying to catch MY Pokemon. Maybe they didn't know it had a master. But I had to get it back quickly. Without any thought, I dove into the water and swam towards the Pokeball.
I was dimly aware that Terri and Kerra were on the shore, staring at me in disbelief. They hadn't seen it, just me diving in fully clothed for no apparent reason.
As I almost reached the Pokeball, a heavy figure suddenly swam into me, butting me hard in the stomach. I sunk back, trying to get my wind back, while trying not to drown.
"Magikarp, help her!" called Terri.
In some relief, I felt the fish under me, offering some support as I regained my breath. But whatever had tackled me - some turtle - had swam back to the other shore - WITH THE POKEBALL.
"Good job, Wartortle," I heard a voice say, and someone stepped into the clearing. A lady with short brown hair... and a red "R" on her jacket.
"Hey!" I shouted, "that was my Pokemon! Give it back!"
"I know it's your Pokemon," she smiled, "that's exactly why I took it."
She narrowed her eyes and began an arrogant speech.
"Prepare for trouble, and I'll be there on the double. To claim all Pokemon for our team, to be even more sinister than we seem. Team Rocket has secured another rare and valuable Pokemon. Hahahaha!"
I clambered out of the water and glared at her from across the creek.
"Don't you dare," I shouted, "don't you DARE steal MY Pokemon."
Terri, beside me, was equally furious. "Team Rocket! You are NOT going to get away with THIS."
She threw a Pokeball to the other side of the creek, and Charmander appeared.
"Wartortle," said the woman, "water gun."
Charmander hissed as its tail flame sputtered and fizzled, dying.
Terri looked like she would willingly swim over there and fight Wartortle herself.
Kerra watched everything through half closed eyes. He didn't seem too worried at all.
I threw out a Pokeball. Clefairy appeared and chirped happily, before running to the remains of Exeggutor's egg.
I groaned. "Now is not the time. That lady is trying to steal Omanyte."
Clefairy's eyes glittered and it whirled around. "Faaairy," it growled, and instantly looked well ready to fight. It liked Omanyte.
"Wartortle, skull bash!" Wartortle leapt into the water and swam towards us quickly.
If metronome was some sort of electric attack, then it would definitely be good against water Pokemon.
Clefairy closed its eyes, concentrated, and then, to my amazement, a copy of it appeared. Wartortle slammed into the copy, and the real Clefairy was unhurt, although it seemed a little tired from its efforts.
"That didn't look like Metronome," I said, surprised. "Try again, Clefairy!"
This time, Clefairy glowed all over, a brilliant blue.
Wartortle charged at Clefairy, bit its tail hard, and sent my Pokemon squealing in pain. But it kept glowing...
Suddenly, it flapped its tiny wings strongly, and, in a sphere of bright light, clashed against Wartortle.
The turtle Pokemon choked and tumbled back into the water.
"Sky attack," muttered Kerra, "I at least recognise that."
The Rocket scowled. "Lucky break. But, I don't play by the rules. This Pokemon is now MINE! Hahahah! Your Clefairy is weak, and I have five more Pokemon."
Kerra laughed. "You're full of yourself. Vileplume, stun spore!"
He pulled me and Terri back, and Vileplume shot a terrific burst of spores which covered the Rocket liberally. She choked and slowly sank to her knees.
"Charizard," she got out, "I choose -"
Kerra intercepted her as his Exeggutor shot an egg, and with great aim, hit her right in the head. She fell face forward.
"Good, Kerra," said Terri, with a malicious grin, "now let me finish her off. I'm sure even Charmander is up to this."
I stared at her. "You wouldn't do that, she's unconscious anyway!"
"Exactly. She can't fight back."
"But... that's not fair!"
"Rockets do not play by the rules."
"All I want is Omanyte back. You don't have to act horribly yourself."
"Aurora, if you're going to be nice, you won't get anywhere."
"I don't care. She's a person too."
"Weepinbell," said Kerra, ignoring us, "use vine whip to get Omanyte's Pokeball back. Ivysaur, help it."
Weepinbell extended two long vines, picked the Rocket up and shook her, sending a dozen Pokeballs in different directions. Then it, and Ivysaur, both used their vines to pick up all the balls and brought them back.
"Let's have fun," said Terri, eyes glittering darkly. I was nervous of her. She opened all the Pokeballs.
A lot of Pokemon I did not recognise appeared, but I could pick out the bird I had been warned of by Gary - I really did need to learn what it was called - and an Exeggutor. Omanyte did appear also, so I recalled it into my own Pokeball. Clefairy picked up the Rocket's Pokeball for Omanyte and shattered it using some metronome attack.
Terri ran towards a blue serpentine creature, and touched it reverently.
"Oh," she whispered, "it's a Dragonair."
I understood, then. Kerra was focusing his attention on the Rocket's Exeggutor and something that looked like an overgrown Ivysaur.
I just held Clefairy and watched them.
"Hey, while I remember," I said, "what is that bird with the crest?"
"It's called a Fearow."
The Pokemon who were not being fussed over by my friends were just standing around, looking a little bewildered. One of them, a horrible looking black dinosaur, suddenly caught sight of its master lying unconscious.
"Rhydoooon," it howled, stamping a foot. All the other Pokemon immediately snapped to attention, and looked in the direction it was looking.
I took charge before Terri or Kerra could say something to make them all mad.
"Guys," I said, "I'm sorry we knocked out your master, but I had to get back a Pokemon she stole from me. Now, if she stole YOU, or if she's a horrible trainer, you can leave, or you can stay with her, whatever you like."
"Aurora," snapped Terri, "Rockets don't deserve to have ANY Pokemon."
"It's their choice. Do you want to be a Pokemon thief too?"
"But she stole them in the first place!"
"Terri, you're scaring me."
She was about to snap back, when she realised I meant it. She was acting... quite ruthless. She shook her head quickly as if fighting something, and her eyes sparkled again.
The Pokemon responded to me. Some went back into their Pokeballs, some ran into the forest. Terri sighed as the Dragonair chose to stay with its master.
One Pokemon, a small, slightly dazed looking one, sat alone and stared between its fallen master - she still had not risen? - and the forest. It sniffled, obviously confused. I knelt down in front of it, feeling sorry for it.
"What are you going to do?" I asked softly, "the choice is yours."
It lifted its small arms to me, and I patted it on the head - or whatever it was. Then it moved forward and hugged my leg.
"Cubooone," it said pitifully.
"What? You want to come with me?"
It nodded eagerly, and jumped awkwardly onto my shoulder.
We set off quickly after that, returning the lady's remaining Pokeballs. I felt weird about taking her Pokemon, and letting some of the others go. Slightly guilty and unsettled. I couldn't tell what the others were thinking.
The afternoon sun was low in the sky and I was getting tired from walking all day.
"Guys, how about we think about calling it a day," I suggested. The other two paused behind me, with odd looks on their faces.
"Shh," hissed Terri, craning her neck forwards.
"Can you hear something?" added Kerra.
By and by, I heard it too.
"Paras paras," clicked my Pokemon, sounding agitated.
We walked cautiously, but quickly, through the forest to the source. As we continued, it got louder; seemed to be a sort of frenzied squawking, or flapping, or both.
Then we reached it, the sound nearly deafening us, but at least we could see what was happening.
A terrific flurry of wings and beaks and feathers. Some sort of wild Pokemon fight.
"Looks like some sort of wild Pokemon fight," observed Kerra.
"Let's help out," I said.
"This girl is suicidal," said Terri conversationally to Kerra. "And has such a lovely quality of butting into the business of others."
"You flatter her," grinned Kerra.
She might have had a point though, it wasn't our business. We just watched, until things calmed down enough to make out exactly what was going on. When I say calmed down, I do not mean they by any means ground to a halt, just that more flying Pokemon were put out of action.
I could see now that there were two distinct species. One seemed to be a type of duck, but not a Golduck like the ones on Pallet's ponds. The other was kind of a cross between a hawk and a sparrow.
"What are -"
"The duck is called Farfetch'd, and the other one is called Spearow."
The Spearow were winning, and attacking quite viciously. One Farfetch'd was thrown right out of the clearing, and landed in the dirt near us. Terri bent down to have a look, and her expression saddened.
"I think it's dead."
"Why? Why are they being so vicious?"
"Must be a territorial dispute," said Kerra, but couldn't offer any more than that.
"How are they winning by so much?"
"Parasecto," hissed Kerra's Parasect, gesturing with a claw, to a Fearow.
"Must be their leader."
We kept watching, and I became increasingly tense. The Farfetch'd were getting slaughtered, and I realised they were a rare Pokemon.
There was one Farfetch'd that was doing a lot of damage and fighting hard. I guessed it was the leader of the losing side.
Finally, this Farfetch'd was the only one left, against a handful of Spearow and the Fearow. It squawked in defiance and waved a leek, thwapping the Fearow's head back and forth. Fearow got fed up with this, snatched the leek in its beak, and ate it.
"Fetch'd far far," growled Farfetch'd, but before it could retaliate, a pair of Spearows tackled it and sent it flying.
It crashed into Kerra, who barely managed to catch it.
"Farfetch'd," it sighed painfully, but flapped its wings, wanting to keep fighting.
"Wait a sec, bird," said Kerra, "try this."
He fumbled in his backpack and took out a strange glittering object. A light blue disc. I leaned over his shoulder and made out the letters "H" and "M" scratched into it.
"What is that?"
"Stop asking so many questions," he said impatiently, and held the disc to Farfetch'd. Both glowed briefly.
"And you said you didn't like Pokemon," teased Terri. She helped out by squirting one of her potions over the duck Pokemon.
"I don't," he covered, "that's why I want Farfetch'd to beat up those Pokemon there."
"Sure. And you just happened to have one of the rarest, most sought after items a Pokemon trainer could?"
"Does it matter. Anyway, it's a good thing those Spearow haven't seen us yet."
The Farfetch'd shook its head gratefully and flapped its wings. It fluttered down and took the leek of one of its fainted friends. Farfetch'd had looked awkward in flight when I saw them before, but now it flew strongly and soared above all the other bird Pokemon.
It dive bombed each Spearow in turn, swinging its leek wildly and basically being a menace. Finally, it tackled the Fearow, and pecked at it madly. The larger bird slapped its wings but could not hit the Farfetch'd, who was in a rage.
"Far far!" it cawed triumphantly, as Fearow finally fell. It glided around, above its friends and enemies, before finally perching on a branch. Its triumphant expression faded.
"Farfetch'd," it sighed.
It bowed its head and sat like that for a long time. We turned to leave, but it intercepted us, landing on Kerra's head.
"Far far fetch'd," it told him, looking down into his face.
"Nuh uh," objected Kerra, "weak Pokemon aren't my style."
"Far," it protested, pecking him. I laughed.
"Aurora, however, is a master of crappy Pokemon."
"Faaaaairy!" snapped Clefairy, instantly double slapping him.
"Parasecto," scowled Parasect, realising its child was being insulted.
"Ehehh, didn't mean it guys," sweatdropped Kerra, backing away and trying to pry Clefairy off him.
"Well, ignore the jerk, Farfetch'd. If you want to come with me, I'd be happy to have you along."
It cocked its head thoughtfully.
Neither of them were acquired in conditions I felt happy about, but two new Pokemon in one day was pretty good.