“Attention passengers, we have arrived in Coumarine City,” announced the crackling voice over the ship-wide PA. “This is our final stop before returning to Castelia City. All ashore that’s going ashore.”
“That’s us!” Liza hopped off of the bed. “Oh my Arceus, I’m so excited!”
“Osha!” The female Oshawott on the bed jumped up and raised one paw in the air.
“Glad you agree, Chelle.” Liza walked over to the desk in the corner of the room. She grabbed her berry-colored short-sleeved half-vest by the hood and threw it over her gray ¾ sleeve shirt. She slung one strap of her backpack over her shoulder and took the pokéball off of the desk.
Chelle grimaced as her trainer pointed the ball towards her.
“Sorry, but there’s a lot of people on this boat; it’s going to be pretty hectic getting out of here. I just don’t want you to get hurt.”
Chelle rolled her eyes and her frown slid into a lop-sided pout. “Wott osha…” Her tone was of begrudging acceptance as the red laser drew her in.
“Don’t worry,” Liza looked through the transparent red top of the pokéball, “I’ll let you out as soon as the crowd thins a bit.” She clipped the pokéball onto the backpack strap. She did a twirl, looking around the room one last time to make sure she was leaving nothing behind. She put her right foot down to stop herself in a wide stance facing the door. Her translucent skirt continued the twirl and flowed side to side as settled over her denim capris. She put her hands on her hips and gave a resolute nod before stepping out of the cabin.
It surprised Liza how few people she had to dodge around as she ran down the ship’s corridors towards the exit. Hum, thought there were more people than this. Chelle will be upset that I put her away for nothing.
She emerged from the ship at the top of the exit ramp. Her breathing deepened as her awe-filled eyes swept over the throng of people exiting the ship and across the sparkling blue sea and rolling green hills. A tram drove by on a track, winding through those hills and Liza swayed as she followed its path. “This is it…. Kalos!” She weaved between the people, ducking and bobbing past them to keep up her pace. As the group hit solid ground, they spread out as more space became available, allowing Liza more maneuverability as she darted around the obstacles.
“OOF!” Her excited dash was cut short as she collided with the soft form of another person. She fell backwards from the impact, but her victim seemed to have managed to stay upright. Liza rubbed and shook her head at the same time, despite the fact that it was mainly her backside that hurt. “Aww, man, I’m sorry, I-”
“Crap cracracra crap!” The frantic stuttering caused Liza to look up and see the back of the person she had hit running away towards the edge of the pier waving her arms around. Liza followed the trail of the young woman’s flails and saw a small slip of paper fluttering away on the salty sea breeze.
“Oh no!” Liza recognized the paper as a boat ticket. She scrambled to her feet and gave chase as well. However, by the time she joined in, the ticket had already soared over the ocean and out of their reach. “Chelle! Quick! Follow that ticket!” She grabbed the pokéball and threw it towards the water.
“Osha!” Chelle picked up on the urgency and took up a diving pose into the water.
“Look,” Liza turned to the ticket’s owner who stood beside her on the edge of the pier, “I…I’m really sorry about this! I should have looked where I was going. I…if Chelle can’t get it back, I’ll get you another one.” She doubted she could make good on that promise, though. Her mother had bought her the ticket to get her to Kalos in the first place, and Lia had very little money of her own.
The young woman let out a deep sigh. “I guess that wasn’t the right choice…”
“Huh?” Liza tilted her head in confusion.
“I’m sorry,” the woman turned to Liza with a smile that surprised the rookie trainer, “where are my manners. My name is Melenie.”
“Uh, wha!? Manners? I’m the one with no manners! I just slammed into you and made you lose your ticket!”
Melenie let out a slight chuckle. “Well, it seems you don’t have manners after all because you didn’t return the introduction.”
“Oh! Ah um, I’m Liza! But…um… aren’t you mad?”
“Not really.” Melenie turned and looked out over the ocean and to the sky. “Like I said, it wasn’t the right choice… no, I can’t get out that easily.”
“Um… Well, it’s none of my business, but…”
“No, don’t worry. I was just thinking if I should leave Kalos or stick around here. I finally made a decision, but… well, like I said, it was clearly wrong.”
“Leave Kalos!? Why would you want to do that?! Kalos is only the most awesome, trendy, and happening region in all of…well, everywhere!”
Melenie giggled. “Yea, I guess it is but… Well, I dunno, I guess when you’re born here and have journeyed across the region you just want something different, ya know?”
“Yea. I’m from Undella Town in Unova. My family loves to travel, so before I even started my pokémon journey we’d been to most of the region. My mom told me if I waited two years to start my journey she’d get me something special. So, she bought me a ticket to Kalos.”
“Wait, so you’re a newbie?”
Liza hunched her shoulders. Melenie had mentioned traveling the region; she was probably a veteran. “Y…yea. Chelle’s my only pokémon.”
“Wow, that’s awesome. So, what are you planning to do on your journey?”
“Oh, um, well, I really just want to see the region, but I also want to get stronger, so I’ll probably challenge the gyms. That’s a normal thing to do, right?”
“Of course. Actually, there’s a gym in this town…. Oh, but, wait, Ramos uses grass-types, and if Chelle is your only pokémon, you’re going to have some trouble. Besides, you’ll want to travel a bit, go down some routes, catch some new pokémon, you know. Well, Lumiose City is a straight-shot down Route 13, and from there Santalune City is right across one more route. Santalune has the gym most people challenge first. Bug-types, and you’re sure to come across a bird or something along the way. Pokémon diversity has been increasing in recent years too, so you could find something really good.”
“Oh, wow. Thanks for the information. You seem to know this region pretty well.”
“Well, Santalune is my hometown, so I would hope I know the way back. But thanks for the compliment. I have done a fair amount of studying pokémon; you might say I’m almost a professor, haha…”
“Well, thanks for the adv-”
“Wott! Oshawott!” She was interrupted by the disgruntled complains of her pokémon.
“Oh, Chelle, you’re back. Any luck?”
Chelle folded her arms and shook her head.
“Oh… I’m sorry…”
“Don’t worry about it. Hey, you know what, you can make it up to me by letting me tag along with you.”
“Yea. I could help you out, give you some pointers. I was actually planning on starting fresh on another pokémon journey; which is why I wanted to leave, since I’ve already beaten all the gym leaders. But now I can just help you out, which will keep things interesting.”
“You…you don’t mind? Don’t you want to go see the world?”
“No, I’ve given up on that. Besides, there’s some things around here I could probably take care of; things I should do before I try to leave the region. In no particular order, of course; I’m sure we’ll come across them along the way.”
“Um, O.K. then! So, Route 13?”
“Yeah, we need to take the tram to the southern part of the city, which is also at a higher elevation.”
“Oh, I saw that tram going over those hills.”
“Yep, that’s the one.”
“All right, let’s go, Chelle!”
“Wott!” Chelle leapt up out of the water, spraying water droplets all around as she twirled upwards. The midmorning sun reflected off the droplets, creating a dazzling display.
“Heh, little show-off,” Melenie said with a smirk. “Does she know Aqua Jet?”
“Um… no, I don’t think so.”
Melenie nodded. “Well, that was pretty close to the motions of the move, since it’s a twisting swirl of water. Maybe we can work on it.”
“You can teach her Aqua Jet? That’d be awesome!”
“Well, I can try. Normally Oshawott don’t learn it until after they would normally evolve, but theoretically a pokémon is born with the potential to use every move it will ever be able to and only learns to use that power over time. This theory is the rough basis for Technical Machines, which mechanically unlock the potential for certain moves, some of which they would never learn naturally.”
“Wow, you weren’t kidding about you knowing a lot.”
“Oh, sorry, was I rambling again? Sorry, it’s a bad habit of mine.”
“No no, I think it’s great. That’s some amazing stuff…even if I didn’t completely understand it. I mean, you could get a good job for a professor or something; you know, a job doing research!”
“Um, yea.” Melenie’s brow furrowed with uncertainty. “But, anyway, let’s get going!”
“Right! Oh man! My journey is finally beginning! I’m so excited!”