Unwilling Service: Jimmy's Quest (alpha chapters)

BY : McKnight
Category: Pokemon > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 703
Disclaimer: I don't own Pokemon or any of the characters due to appear in this ficseries. No profit is intended by posting this.

Friday, March 1, 1996

While it did resemble Cherrygrove otherwise, Violet City was not nearly as colorful otherwise, as per its ancient roots.  Even the local PokeMart and PokeCenter's rooves were a dull shade of purple instead of respectively blue and red, and most of the houses were made of stone blocks with wooden plank rooves, all lacking paint.

The first person Jimmy would interact with was a man with large, spiky blue hair, wearing a matching-colored cloak and juggling an assortment of berries in front of the PokeCenter while chanting "Shard de berry, shard de berry!"

"Shard de berry?" Jimmy thought aloud.  "You mean..."

Into his backpack he reached, and out he drew a certain green artifact before walking up to the juggler.

"Hey, are you referring to one of these?" he asked.  The man quickly spun around a few times while collecting his berries, before looking at the shard.

"Yah, yah, I'll trade three berries for it!"

He took the piece, and then started juggling again, tossing three of his berries upwards for Jimmy to catch.  Mesprit caught them instead, the first in her paws, and one more in each of her tails.
"Thanks," Jimmy said to Mesprit.

"Yah, yah," said the juggler, not seeing the purple Pokemon.  "If you bring me more, I'll give you some berries, yah!"  He then continued to chant and juggle as Jimmy headed inside the PokeCenter.

-----

After getting his Pokemon healed up, the boy had a seat and examined the berries.  One of them was a blue strawberry with large green leaves; one was green, round, and had creases running down 90 degrees from one another; and the remaining one was green with traces of yellow, conical, and had a curly tip and a rounded base.

Come to think of it, it had been a while since he had given anything to his Pokemon.  Before he'd do so, though, out came his PokeDex, to say the following:

"Rawst berry.  May be used or held by a Pokemon to recover from a burn.  If the leaves grow longer and curlier than average, this Berry will have a somewhat-bitter taste.

"Lum berry.  May be used or held by a Pokemon to recover from various ailments.  This Berry's gradual process of storing nutrients beneficial to Pokémon health causes it to mature slowly.

"Aguav berry.  May be used or held by a Pokemon to recover energy during battle.  This Berry turns bitter toward the stem. The dainty flower it grows from doesn't absorb much sunlight."

"I guess I've got some experimenting to do," thought Jimmy aloud, before leaving.

"Come on out, everyone!" he said upon stepping outside.  From his pocket emerged the bright-red light that materialized back into his Pokemon.  "I've got stuff for all of you, but don't eat them just yet.  They're for battle, okay?"

His Pokemon all nodded, and he gave each of them a random berry from his bag, except for Totodile, who still had her second Oran berry from yesterday.

"Totodile," he said while kneeling down to her, before laying his remaining berries down.  "You're still holding a berry, aren't you.  Would you like a different one?"

The reptile strode over, and swapped her Oran berry out for a Cheri berry.

"Alright, that one's yours, then.  Don't eat it until you feel numb in battle, okay?"

-----

Violet City Gym was a large purple tower with a staircase spiraling upward along the outside.  Given his career goal, Jimmy was raring to take it on.  This specializing in Air-type Pokemon, and Totodile having learnt Water Gun just the previous day, this would be a simple matter of knocking them out of the air.  Right?

In practice, the first Junior Trainer they came up against sent out a Spearow that quickly dove in and pecked Totodile, hard, before she had the chance to launch a blob of water at it.  She barely got a scratch in before another two pecks killed her will to keep fighting.  Continuing the fight wasn't an option either; Jimmy knew that his Pokemon were even less experienced in combat than Totodile.
Running back to the PokeCenter, he contemplated where he could go to properly train his Pokemon for a rematch.  As he thought, he did recall that this place was home to some ancient landmark.

-----

Inside the pagoda known as Sprout Tower stood two large Bellsprout statues at the entrance, and a large, swaying beam of wood in the center.  Rattata tended to scurry about, and at night, the place was infested with purple, gaseous, fanged Pokemon known as Gastly.  Not that the monks minded; they were taught all their lives to deal with such inconveniences.

To make up for the loss back at the gym, Jimmy allowed Totodile to explore the tower on foot with him.  This wasn't training, or at least not as he had planned on, which he would decide after leaving, until he spoke to one of the monks inside.

"You must have an important destiny ahead of you," said the sage, not failing to notice Mesprit by his side.  "As such, I believe a test of your strength may be in order."

"Awesome!" said Jimmy.  "Just what I need!"

"Very well, then." The sage held his hand out, holding a PokeBall upward.  "Bellsprout, go."
The lid flipped open, and out came the familiar plant Pokemon.

"Not exactly surprised to see that here," said Jimmy, drawing out another Pokemon of his own.  "It's a Grass-type, so I choose... Pidgey!"  He threw the ball forward, and out came a certain bird Pokemon holding the Lum berry from that juggler.  "Tackle it!"

"Vine Whip!" commanded the sage.

The bird thrust itself at her plant and knocked it off-balance while it prepared to kick it.  Another tackle upon it made the sage realize that it couldn't stand a chance.

"Bellsprout, return." He drew the Pokemon back into its ball, before sending out... another Bellsprout.

"Using the same Pokemon, huh?" said Jimmy.  "In that case, I guess we could spice things up a bit.  Pidgey, return!  Totodile, all yours!  Use Water Gun!"

"Vine Whip!" called the sage.

Before the Bellsprout could move in, Totodile opened up with a shot of water, making the it flinch but not sending it off balance.  The plant managed to move in and land one of its roots against the reptile.

"Scratch!" called Jimmy.  

The Water-type took a swipe at her opponent.  Before either Trainer had time to recall their Pokemon, another Vine Whip and two more Scratches played out in quick succession before Bellsprout fainted, although Totodile also looked worse for wear.

"Bellsprout, return," called the sage, before sending out one more.

"Totodile, come back!" Jimmy drew his own Pokemon into her ball, before drawing out another Pokemon.  "Let's match!"

He threw the ball, and out came his own Bellsprout from yesterday, holding a Persim berry.
"Vine Whip!" both Trainers commanded.  A slugfest ensued between both Pokemon, and Jimmy's landed a particularly hard hit upon the other at one point.  It was not long before his emerged the winner.

A moment went by, which Jimmy took to apply a potion to his Bellsprout and Totodile, before the sage spoke.

"I fought hard, but I am too weak.  Even so, do not underestimate the others."

"Don't worry, I won't."

"Very good.  Now, go."

The next floor up, another sage greeted him with yet another Bellsprout.

"Your turn, Ledyba!" Jimmy called.  Out came the ladybug Pokemon from yesterday, holding an Oran berry.  "Tackle!"

The ladybug charged forwards, and landed true, suffering negligible damage from his opponent's Vine Whip.  Three more, and another sprout would take its place before Totodile took his.  This time, the water Pokemon was quick enough to squirt her opponent twice before finding herself in close quarters.  Down this sprout went, and once again, Jimmy would end the match with his own Bellsprout against this last one.

After a slapfest where his proved the stronger, Jimmy took out another Potion to apply to Bellsprout and Totodile.  Unfortunately, it was the last one he had, and what he didn't use on Bellsprout only partially healed Totodile.

"Here ya go," he said to the reptile, offering her his other remaining Oran berry, and drawing her back inside once she finished.  

He didn't know how many more sages awaited him, but he did recognize this as some sort of endurance test.  Taking a break to buy more potions was out of the question, and he hoped not to have to resort to that energy powder he had gotten in Noisy Forest.  Caterpie and Weedle were obviously not going to fight here; those two were already too ill-equipped to fight one-on-one battles in their current stages, and also small enough to be eaten by such an insectivorous Pokemon as Bellsprout.

And so, up he went to fight the next sage.  This battle was pretty one-sided; Ledyba only had to land three Tackles on the first Bellsprout, suffering minimal damage from its Vine Whip, before it was recalled.  Upon the second one, he managed to produce a series of supersonic waves to disorient it, leaving it open to attack without any chance to strike, and the third was just a repeat of that.
Things heated up in the next battle.  This sage used only one Bellsprout, but it proved a worthy challenge against Pidgey, knocking it out of the air for each Tackle she landed.  Jimmy had to recall the bird after three of those, but the plant, too, looked like it could only take one more hit for the count.  Having at least proved himself competent, he was allowed to proceed up the next floor, but not before feeding Pidgey that Aguav Berry from the juggler, which she didn't like.

Before the next fight begin, Jimmy spied some sort of blue capsule on the floor, and wondered if it could help him in some way.  Drawing out his Pokedex revealed the following:

"X Defend.  Temporarily raises a Pokemon's endurance."

"Alright!  I could totally use something like that!  Ledyba, come out!"

Out came that Pokemon, and the boy removed the rubber cap before feeding its contents to him.
Another sage, another lone Bellsprout.  This one recovered rather quickly from Ledyba's Supersonic, and the rest of the fight consisted of the bug's Tackle and the plant's Vine Whip.  By the time it was recalled, it had already taken such a toll on him to warrant eating the Oran berry he was holding, which Jimmy then replaced with his Rawst berry.

Out Ledyba remained from his PokeBall, so as to continue making use of that X Defend.  This allowed him to suffer minimal damage while fighting yet another Bellsprout, but the next Pokemon,  to Jimmy's surprise, was a Hoothoot.  The bug tried Supersonic, but to no avail.  The owl just answered with a hypnotic wave that put him to sleep, followed by a hard, sharp peck.  He did wake up to that, but only in time to wind up back inside his ball.

The only Pokemon he had left in good enough shape to fight, ironically, was Totodile, the one he made a point of not pitting against any more Bellsprout.  But then, this Pokemon would just put her to sleep too.  At least Pidgey still had that Lum Berry with which to wake back up with, but was barely half in shape to fight otherwise.  And there was no way he was gonna pit his other Pokemon against an Air/Psychic type, two types that had the combined advantage over Grass, Bug, and Poison types.

"Hey," he said to the still-contained Pokemon.  "What we're up against can put Pokemon to sleep.  Try to stay awake for this, okay?"

Apparently, the gator nodded.

"Good.  Now..." he then pitched the ball, and, "Go!"  Forth it went, revealing his starter Pokemon.
Able to resist Hoothoot's Hypnosis, she started off with a shot of water.  The owl then charged at the reptile, and a slugfest ensued between its beak and her claws.  Hoothoot was soon recalled, but Totodile was not in ideal condition for another fight either.

"The elder awaits you," said this second-to-last sage.  "Proceed."

Up the last flight of stairs Jimmy went, before releasing all four of his combatants.

"Okay, guys," he said.  "We're about to fight the last one, but first, you're gonna need this."  He drew out the Energy Powder.  "I hate to give you something like this, but it's all I have left to heal you with.  You all ready?"

His Pokemon all nodded, and he began to distribute the foul substance to them.  They could not help but cringe as they struggled to ingest it, but then the boy overheard the elder speaking to someone.

"You are indeed skilled as a trainer," he said to a familiar-looking boy. "But you should treat your Pokemon better. The way you battle is far too harsh. Pokemon are not tools of war."

The boy, Jonathan, turned around and confronted Jimmy.
"You again!" said Jimmy.

"Some elder," said Jonathan.  "'Be nice to Pokemon', blah blah blah.  Honestly, what's it matter how I treat them, so long as they listen to me and kick ass?"

"That Pokemon isn't even yours, and don't think you're getting away this time!"

"Wanna bet?"  The punk drew out and pitched a Pokeball.  "Go, Gastly!"

One of the aforementioned ghost Pokemon materialized before Jimmy and his Pokemon: A dual-fanged, sharp-eyed black orb emanating a purple gas of some sort.  Jimmy didn't bother to analyze it; doing so would only give Jonathan a free turn, which he knew he'd take, especially considering their last encounter.

"Gastly, Hypnosis!"

The ghost Pokemon unleashed the same attack as that sage's Hoothoot, which Totodile was not prepared to resist this time.  Without command, Ledyba returned the attack with golden, spinning star-shaped projectile, which did a real number on his opponent and took Jimmy aback.  Gastly in turn retaliated with another wave of hypnosis, putting the bug to sleep.  Pidgey took her own turn next, and tried to tackle Gastly, only to fly right through it.

"Lick that bug!" commanded Jonathan.

Totodile woke up as the ghost floated over to Ledyba, too late to prevent any contact it would make with its tongue to paralyze the bug, but still able to knock it out with Water Gun.  Any caring and sensible Trainer would have already called it back following Ledyba's Swift; an outright knockout was not something Jimmy considered much of a bonus.

"We're just getting started," said Jonathan, withdrawing Gastly and drawing out another Pokemon.  "Go, Chikorita!"

Here it was, the Pokemon that Jimmy meant the first time to take back from this guy.  Ledyba woke up, but Gastly's saliva rendered him numb and barely able to fight.

"Keep 'em busy!" said Jimmy, while applying a Paralyze Heal to Ledyba.

"Razor Leaf the croc!" commanded Jonathan while Chikorita got a faceful of water.  The sauropod flung a leaf from its head that spun like a shuriken at its target, leaving a deep gash on her.  Pidgey took her own turn to tackle it, buying Jimmy time to notice Totodile's condition after treating Ledyba and withdraw her while the bug used another Swift.

"Ram that guy!" shouted Jonathan.  Ledyba shielded Jimmy as Chikorita charged at him, taking the full impact of its attacks.

"Gotcha!" said Jimmy, binding the stolen Pokemon in his arms, only for Jonathan to suck it back into its ball.

"You're good, but still not good enough," said Jonathan, walking over to Jimmy as he got up, before kicking him in the chest and back onto the floor.  "You want that Pokemon back so badly?  Come back when you really know how to play!"  He then jumped out a window.

For the next few minutes, Jimmy struggled to recuperate, but did muster up the strength to thank Ledyba for defending him.

Upon getting up, he spotted a Potion on the floor, which he then used to heal Totodile's wound, before confronting the elder.

"Though you did not fight exactly fairly against that other Trainer, I do commend your bond between your Pokemon," said the elder.

"There wasn't room for a fair fight," said Jimmy.  "He stole one of those Pokemon, and knocked me down with it last time I tried to get it back."

"If what you say is true, then I shall challenge you to a proper duel myself.  Defeat me, and only then, will you receive a holy trinket of ours."

"Ready when you are!"

"Very well, then.  Go, Bellsprout!"

"Go!  Pidgey!"

"Bellsprout, Growth!"

The plant Pokemon stretched out and doubled in size.

"Pidgey, Tackle!" commanded Jimmy.

"Vine Whip!" commanded the elder.

The bird charged at Bellsprout, landed a strike, and was met in turn with one of its roots.  This blow was twice as hard as those inflicted by the other sages' Bellsprout.  Another round of the same moves, and Bellsprout still stood while Pidgey faltered.

"Pidgey, return!" said Jimmy, drawing his Pokemon inside her ball.

"Bellsprout, return," said the elder, following suit, before sending out another Bellsprout.

"Ledyba, your turn!"  commanded Jimmy, sending his bug Pokemon forward.  "Use Swift!"
The ladybug shot a star-shaped projectile at the plant, managing to flip it backwards.

"Use growth!" commanded the elder.  Like the one before it, it doubled its size.

"Supersonic!" commanded Jimmy.  

The bug emanated a high-pitched noise and dazed the plant momentarily, following this up with a tackle.  The sprout regained focus, and flung one of its roots at him, but he retaliated with another tackle that made it falter.  With due haste, the elder recalled his Pokemon, and sent out one last Pokemon, a Hoothoot.  Jimmy, in turn, withdrew Ledyba, and took out one last Pokemon of his own.

"We're up against another Hoothoot," he said to the still-contained Pokemon.  "Remember, don't let it put you to sleep, okay?"  He let his Pokemon respond from within the ball, and then revealed it to his opponent as Totodile.

"Confusion!" commanded the elder.  Hoothoot's eyes lit up, and Totodile felt an odd sensation in her brain.

"Water Gun!" commanded Jimmy.  In her confusion, Totodile instead glared at Hoothoot, as if to intimidate it.

"Tackle!"  Hoothoot charged at Totodile, who retaliated with a swipe.  The owl pecked the reptile, and Jimmy recalled her, knowing she wasn't going to win.

"Bellsprout, return," commanded the elder, withdrawing his own Pokemon, before walking up to Jimmy.  "You may have lost this battle, but such is only inevitable.  Such is precisely why Mesprit accompanies you for when it truly matters.  What matters most is not how many battles you win, but how well you raise your Pokemon.  Unlike my previous opponent, you did not push your Pokemon beyond their limits in battle.  Such is how a proper relationship between Trainer and Pokemon works.  Now, tell me your name."

"Jimmy," replied the boy.

"Jimmy, then... Well fought.  In honor of our battle, please take this."
The elder handed the Trainer a small cloth packet, and continued.

"In this sack is a holy substance of ours.  May the power of light aid you on your journey."



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