It's All in a Name
by Gerikes
Part 1

A slow afternoon breeze revealed Antonio’s face through the high grass. His slight movement to duck into the cover altered the Ekans movement to a slow cautious glide. The eyes of the snake didn’t help in its search for its invisible stalker. Using it’s tongue to try to pinpoint its enemy, it could discover nothing. The Ekans, as wary as it was, was no match for Antonio.

Antonio had stalked it downwind the whole time. It was very large for its kind, and Antonio wondered if it would stay trapped in the ball lacking any fatigue. As slowly as possible, he pulled the one pokéball he had off his belt.

Standing up, Antonio was ready to try his first attempt at catching a pokémon. Quickly, he threw the ball at the ekans, who, knowing full well that this was sure to come, was still surprised. Due to its shock of inexperience, it was hit by the pokéball. Feeling his body go a little limp, he struggled to not get drawn in. Looking down, he realized that the color of his body was slowly turning from a blue coat to a shining red. He had no chance, he was being pulled in.

Inside the pokéball, he saw a world of darkness. He seemed to be his original size, even though he was in such a small area. Then he realized that he didn’t have much time. Swinging his tail in every direction, he desperately tried to find the escape. He pounced at what seemed like a shadow, but it was too hard to tell in the dark. Not caring about the effects, he smashed the round shadow head first, biting with his teeth and hitting with his head in quick intervals.

Soon, the darkness revealed a small light. The light grew bigger, until finally, the snake had the red glow around him again. A numbing feeling once again crept over his body, and the red glow changed its normal course to pull him back out. A blinded light soon covered his view. It subsided, revealing the surroundings of the forest. Noting his opportunity, it quickly crawled away.

The branches of the trees swayed in the breeze, the grass following their more powerful relatives rhythmic movements. The forest once again grew still. Birds started again to sing their innocent songs. Antonio stood in a daze, watching how quick the transformation between a feuding animal and a slow moving forest could be achieved. Finally, he snapped out of it.

"There’s no way I can catch one without any help." He said to no one.

Without any luck, he decided to call it a day. A full moon was starting to rise. He stared up at it, cuddling with his sleeping bag. He began to think about the theories he heard from his father when he was younger, about how pokémon came from the moon. Soon, he drifted into thinking of his father.

Why had he killed himself? Were the rumors true? Was their a "Giovanni’s Secret" which only he knew. Was Antonio on the path to finding out what it was, if anything at all? Antonio had all questions, but no answers.

His thought were interrupted by a rattling in the bushes at his feet. Quickly, he pounced into action. Holding the pokéball in one hand, he was prepared to make another attempt.

The bushes rattled some more, and then it appeared. It was an average sized Sandshrew, but something was wrong with it. It ran on all fours, stumbling all the way. It seemed as if it was limping. Running as fast as it could, it stumbled, then fell.

Recognizing his opportunity, Antonio threw the pokéball. The Sandshrew didn’t even try to move, because it didn’t know it was coming. The pokéball hit, opening to draw in the Sandshrew. In it’s last feeble attempt, it swiped at the pokéball with it’s claw. But, it was no match versus fatigue. The red laser covered his body and pulled him in, covering his eyes with a red blinding light.

The Sandshrew, wasted from his efforts not to get drawn in, had no chance of escaping. When his eyes opened, the darkness inside the pokéball showed him no chance of escaping. He collapsed into a heap on the floor. A defiant chime rang from inside.

Antonio looked as the light on the pokéball turned white, signifying that he had caught his first pokémon. He ran up to the ball, and lifted it high into the air, resting on his open palm. The smile he made from his achievement soon turned into a look of confusion.

"Hey, I was going to catch that!" An unfamiliar voice called out. Antonio quickly looked around only to see a girl with her Pidgy overhead. Antonio realized now why the Sandshrew was so weak; another trainer had weakened it. Greed filled his mind, as he dashed into the woods.

"Hey, come back here!" The girl called out, chasing after him. After a short chase, Antonio realized something. He was running away with a pokémon someone else was sure to capture. He was stealing. Completely shocked by what he was doing, he stopped. I would be just like my father.

The girl caught up to him. "Hey, I want my pokémon back." She managed to spit out. Antonio reluctantly turned around. From where he was, the moon made better light for him to see. And what he saw was nothing less than amazing.

Her blue eyes sparkled in the moons glow, her slender figure seemed perfect, and blond hair any women would die for. Unknowingly, he let the Sandshrew out of the ball. He couldn’t stop staring at her. She was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen.

Realizing that he was staring, he tried to snap out of it. "Um, sorry for taking your pokémon. I didn’t know it was yours." A smile crossed her face.

"It’s ok, I can understand. All your stuff is back at your site. Someone might take your pokémon." She said, noticing his empty belt. Antonio had completely forgot about his site.

"Well, I don’t have any pokémon there." He responded.

She looked at him strangely. This was the first time she’d ever met a boy without pokéballs on his belt.

"But, you have all your pokéballs there, right?" She wondered. Antonio replied as if he didn’t care.

"No, this is the only one." He held up his pokéball he used to catch the Sandshrew. Then she realized it. He didn’t have any pokémon. She felt sorry for the kid. Raised in a semi-rich family, she was the only one of her family who cared for those less fortunate then herself.

"So, you don’t have any pokémon? Why didn’t you get one when you started?" Antonio couldn’t answer. He would have to tell her who he was if he said the answer. He quickly made up a response.

"Um, my local professor ran out of them, so he gave me this pokéball." He was actually delighted by the fact that she bought it.

"Well, you can have the Sandshrew, I don’t really need it." Antonio was about to ask her if it was ok, but he smile, in combination with her eyes, showed a sweet caring feeling towards him. He held out his pokéball, drawing in the Sandshrew, still tired, who sat on the ground.

The two began to talk that night about their lives. Antonio tried hard to not say things completely false, their was some of his life he could talk about. Soon, he decided that they should get some sleep. They didn’t have to ask to see if they wanted to journey together, they had already become friends. The next few days, they would take a point in their life where they would find out how well good friends trust each other.

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