You think that was the name of a hit song. Something like that, anyway.
Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:
What will you do as you head north?
– Train with your Pokémon.
You decide to set a relaxed pace and train with your three Pokémon as you move. You have Scallion punch berries off tree branches and toss rocks around with his Vine Whips, get Nancy to do progressively faster and harder Quick Attacks, and tell Aura to try to restrain you with her String Shot. That last one… turns out to work better than you anticipated, and you spend the next fifteen minutes trying to pull gluey threads of silk off your limbs and face with hands that are, themselves, covered in gluey threads of silk. You get some of it in your hair. It is awful. Kid, this kind of $#!t is why Larry was such a lost cause (rest in peace, man). Once you get all the webby gunk off you, Aura immediately – unprompted – starts spewing more silk everywhere. You open your mouth to tell her to stop, but realise that she’s no longer aiming at you; in fact, most of the silk is winding around her own body. You watch, fascinated, as she spends a full minute wrapping herself in tight swathes of silk. There is a sudden flash of light, and your Wurmple is gone, replaced by a silky-skinned white Pokémon the size and approximate shape of a football, with sleepy-looking red eyes beneath shaggy lashes. She blinks once and makes a satisfying low-pitched humming noise.
Aura has evolved into Silcoon!
Height: 57 cm
Weight: 9.5 kg
Moves: Tackle, String Shot, Poison Sting, Harden
Ability: Shed Skin
Special Skills: None/Unknown?
She’s, uh… she’s not going to move on her own for a while, is she?
Resigning yourself to at least a few days in the company of a much lazier and less interactive Pokémon, you pick up Aura, cradling her cocoon gently in your arms, and move on.
The results of your training with your other two Pokémon are not quite so spectacular, but they are certainly rewarding. Nancy masters the trick of timing electrical discharges to synch with her physical attacks, giving her a much heftier offensive punch; Scallion, on the other hand, has had some kind of insight into the plant products his bulb can produce, and can now scatter toxic pollen on command.
Moves: Tackle, Leech Seed, Vine Whip, Poison Powder
Nancy, the Negator
Moves: Thunder Wave, Quick Attack, Helping Hand, Spark
You’re still somewhat preoccupied with the events of the past few days on route 22, and it quickly becomes clear to you that your Pokémon are as well – particularly Scallion, who chose you as a partner because of your commitment to studying nature and promoting harmony. The way you see it, it’s impossible for any environmental policy, however enlightened, to help every species, because some Pokémon are natural enemies – but you still need to find and serve a greater balance, where they all at least have a fair shake. At the same time, as a trainer you have to value individuals and look to them as potential partners, which means taking them away from the Growlithe-eat-Growlithe life of the wild, maybe for only a little while, maybe forever – just like you’ve taken Aura away from a life at the bottom of the food chain. Sometimes, though, you’re faced with a problem that a novice trainer and three Pokémon just can’t solve, like that business with the Whismur. Was there an easy, straightforward way to integrate them into the ecosystem as a viable community that wouldn’t have produced the noisy disruptions you observed over the last few days? I mean… like, clearly the answer is no, but you keep being nagged by the possibility that someone like Professor Oak would have found a quick solution, even if it was only a temporary one. Scallion, of course, is a captive-bred Pokémon League starter, and is only vaguely familiar with how wild Pokémon live, so the two of you are learning together here. You feel like your instincts here are similar to his: you have a duty to study, understand, be dispassionate, and uphold balance, but you also have a duty to be kind and help Pokémon in need. Maybe resolving that tension will start to feel easier as your powers grow.
Y’know, or maybe you’ll give away all your food to a bunch of adorable baby Pichu or something and then starve to death in Viridian Forest. I could go either way at this point.
Speaking of which, by the end of the day you’re pretty much at the edge of Viridian Forest. There’s an official rest stop where the road ends. It’s no Pokémon Centre; there is no coffee in sight (should’ve stopped for a cup on the way out of town…) and there are no guest beds, so you’ll be laying out your sleeping bag on a wooden floor, but at least it’s four walls and a roof. You can even grab some extra tins of food for the road. Traversing Viridian Forest isn’t an obviously stupid thing for a new trainer to do – not like trying to cross the Tohjo Mountains, anyway – but for trainers from Pallet Town and Viridian City it’s often the first real test of their ability, and for anyone but a seasoned Ranger it’s invariably a multi-day affair. Better rest up!