Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:
What do you do about the Whismur?
– Return to Viridian City and contact Professor Oak to arrange a real rescue operation.
First smart decision you’ve made all week.
You realise that you can’t deal with this problem yourself. You think about trying to somehow convince the Whismur to follow you back to Viridian City and lead them through the wilderness, but there are too many ways that could go wrong, even with your… Pokémon whisperer mojo or whatever you think you have. Same goes for trying to settle them peacefully within their new environment; you could be here for weeks. You could look for a Ranger, but there’s no guarantee you’d find one; you could head for the Pokémon League checkpoint, but honestly you aren’t even sure what you’d do with some puffed-up League bureaucrat. There’s really nothing for it but to turn around, get back to Viridian City by tomorrow night and contact the Professor; he’ll be able to pull strings with the Pokémon League and maybe some environmental organisations to make this a priority issue.
You decide not to camp out near the cave where the Whismur are hiding, to preserve your eardrums and sanity, but instead head as far as you can back eastwards before stopping for the night. You squeeze in some quick attack drills with all three of your Pokémon before retiring, which is your first opportunity to see your new Wurmple, Aura, in action. I dunno what you were expecting; she’s a Wurmple, so the best strategy she’s got is to wave her pointy end at the bad guys and pray for a crit. Got a pretty mean aim on her String Shot though. You figure you’ll just keep letting her stuff her face; she’s sure to evolve soon that way.
You make good time the next day, avoiding any unnecessary entanglements with wild Pokémon. You walk all day, and are back in Viridian City as the sun goes down. At the Pokémon Centre, you call Professor Oak on one of the public videophones. It’s late in the evening, but he’s still at the lab – of course he is. The guy’s a late-stage academic running a private research facility; the whole concept of “work-life balance” is a bit alien to him. You explain what you’ve been doing the last couple of days and give him the two-minute version of your report on Route 22, promising the full write-up within another day or two. The Professor seems impressed at the information you’ve managed to compile. He assures you that he’ll have someone on the ground to monitor the Bidoof situation regularly over the next six months or so, and will submit advisory briefs to the Viridian City Council, the Kanto Pokémon League and the Tohjo Ranger Lodge, drawing on your data. You share a lot of Professor Oak’s values, so it doesn’t take a lot of work to convince him of your view that the foreign Pokémon species should be given a chance to create and share their own habitat – provided there’s regular oversight and research into protections for the native species. He’s less sanguine about the Whismur. His lab assistants are… well, they’re not Ranger material, frankly, so he’ll have to call in favours from outside, and it could take as long as a week to arrange the operation. By then it’s possible that the situation will have deteriorated. Still, he is quick to tell you that you did the right thing by handing this on to him. Before hanging up, he says that he’s proud of you, and your stupid little face practically splits open from grinning so much.
Just on the off chance, you ask around the Pokémon Centre about the Viridian gym leader and learn that – to the chagrin of the other trainers staying here – he still isn’t back. Some of them are experienced, high-level trainers looking for their eighth badges, and are talking about crossing the mountains to Johto to pick up their final qualifying badges in Blackthorn City if the mysterious leader doesn’t show in the next few days. Unfortunately, you get the impression they aren’t interested in the company of a noob like you on a difficult and prolonged trek. At this point, it’s probably Pewter City or bust – which means tomorrow you go north. You get your Pokémon fed, claim a bunk in one of the Pokémon Centre’s dorms, and start studying a map of Viridian Forest before you drift off to sleep.
[Note: As I’m in New Zealand for Christmas, this blog is operating on GMT+13 for the next few weeks, and this poll will close on Monday evening, New Zealand time.]