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Written Story Kanto Teen The Hippocratic Oath (Chapter 14 11/6/21; please see TW before reading)

What rulesets should I use for my accompanying SSWL run?

  • Naturelocke/Doc-locke combination

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Naturelocke only (Maybe with monotype rules)

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Doc-locke only (maybe with lorelocke rules)

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Naturelocke/Doc-locke/Lorelocke monstrosity

    Votes: 5 62.5%

  • Total voters
    8
Thread Description
The dramatic retelling of my Let's Go Pikachu playthrough with Doc-locke and Super Naturelocke rulesets.

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,308
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
The edges of his vision started to tunnel into darkness. Just when everything went black, he heard a strange, yet familiar voice say, At last. We get to speak. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?”
"Are you there, God? It's me, Comet."

welp nuzlockes over wrap up bois

Instinctively, he reached up for his necklace but found nothing. His hand went to his belt, where he felt two Poke Balls. He swallowed. It was happening again. Maybe this was his chance to change things-
Silly Comet, flashbacks are for reliving trauma, not alleviating it!

“I located the target,” he said, his teeth gritting with rage, “It’s a Pokemon I’ve never seen before- big and purple with a long tail and two protrusions on its head- I’m not sure if they’re horns or ears. It’s just scientists in there with it and they don’t look like trainers. I’m gonna go in there and save it.”
👀 Oh? The punishment is for disobeying orders, not being wantonly destructive. the way people look at him now you'd think otherwise
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
690
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #42
Howdy folks! I’m sorry to post yet again without an update, but I got roped into camping this weekend and so I won’t be able to post the next chapter of The Hippocratic Oath until I have my laptop back tomorrow. Replies will come tomorrow also. Stay tuned!
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
690
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #43
@RubyClaw - Wouldn't be a Kanto run without the appearance of Mewtwo!

@RisingMew - I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter! This segment was a little tough to write because it is just so important and brutal, but I am happy ultimately with the way it turned out :) Omg yes, Spikepelt's run was absolutely inspired by real-life circumstances with my own pets and of course my experience at the vet clinic. And I'm glad you like the further mysteries! There's definitely a lot more to be revealed about Comet's past, present, and future :)

@QuietGuardian - Yep, gotta have Mewtwo! And you have a great understanding of Comet's character; I kind of modeled him after the stereotypical cocky shonen protag and just decided to deconstruct the crap out of that lol. Also, thank you for bringing up the critique level!! No worries at all; you've always done a great job with constructive criticism in the past so I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

@ACottontail - Yep, Comet has seen better days. Nidoran poison is no fun. I'm glad you liked the little interactions between Comet, Bravewhisker, and Kestrelsight. I enjoy writing those little character building tidbits :)

@Moon - Ah, thank you so much! I'm glad to have you along for the ride!

@Bowser's Family Vacation - This is hilarious because I have a pretty literal "Hello, God? It's me, Comet" moment written in a future chapter. And uh heh you may want to wait until you read this next bit before you excuse Comet too much 🙃

Sorry again for the late update!! I am also going to be in West Virginia on 7/24, which is the next chapter date, so I am either going to post it early or the following day on 7/25 when I get back. Thank you all for your patience and support! :)

Chapter 7
When Comet opened his eyes, white was still all he could see. His stomach flipped. A small paw patted his back as he wretched violently. Swaying to one side, he felt his face touch cold tile again, but this time he recognized the pattern of the bathroom floor.

Comet’s vision started to tunnel again, and his heart raced with fear. “Don’t let me go back, BW. Please. I don’t want to see any more.”

But with each beat of his pounding heart, the darkness closed in further.

“Surrender…”





The entire lab was destroyed within minutes. Staring up with glassy eyes, the scientists lay strewn about the ground in unnatural positions. A dark energy swirled around Mewtwo’s hands and launched upward, blowing a three foot hole right through to the roof.

Recovering from his stunned silence, Comet cried out into his Xtransceiver. “Steel, it’s coming your way and it’s pissed!”

Steel’s Charizard materialized at the opening of the hole, and Mewtwo rushed up to meet him. Charizard tried to hit with a Flamethrower, but a shimmer of violet light encased the Pokemon and its fire. Holding Charizard still with the purple energy on one hand, Mewtwo gathered another ball of dark energy in the other. Although Charizard couldn’t move, Comet could see the struggle in his eyes. Mewtwo released the blast with a heavy forward thrust of its hand, and sent Charizard sailing off the roof. Steel gave a wordless shout, and Comet saw him fumbling for his Poke Ball.

Stomach lurching, Comet’s vision swam again. Colors faded, twisted, and spiraled until everything turned blue. Water slapped against his chest, and his hair had the unmistakable coarse dampness only seawater can cause.

He looked down at the sturdy blue scales beneath him. Waterfall. He was riding on Waterfall. His first ever Pokemon, the mighty Gyarados who got him through thick and thin.

Comet looked ahead at the floating violet figure hovering above the water on the horizon and the hair on the back of his neck stood up. He clung tightly to Waterfall’s scales, desperately trying to form new words on this horrible old memory. But try as he might, he couldn’t stop what was going to happen. His best friend was riding toward his death.

They reached the shoreline of Pallet Town, and Comet released Goldenflame again. Mewtwo was way too fast and had way too much of a lead for Comet to catch up on foot. “Goldenflame!” he shouted, “Run ahead and take the bastard down! I’ll catch up.”

His Arcanine growled, and said the phrase she always said when taking orders, “As my master commands, I will obey.”

She was so loyal, so trusting. Comet wanted to sob, but the foolish body he was trapped in recalled Waterfall and started running.

They ran through Pallet Town in little time, small as it was, and crossed the border into Viridian City. In a few moments, Comet watched as a jet of flame hit Mewtwo from below and sent it crashing down to the ground.

He couldn’t speak, so he tried to think it as loudly as he possibly could: I don’t want to see this. I don’t want to see this! He tried to close his eyes, but there was no reprieve. On he ran toward where Mewtwo and Goldenflame were fighting.

I don’t want to see this!

"You will watch!"


Radiating psychic energy, Mewtwo lifted one hand. Goldenflame lifted up from the ground, her paws scrambling helplessly in the air. Its hand thrust forward with a rushing gale of power.

Comet screamed- finally his body reacted with his mind. Goldenflame was launched backward at blinding speed. She crashed straight through the wall of a nearby house. Mewtwo followed it up with a blast of dark energy that hit the house right at its foundation. The sound was deafening, all snapping wood and bursting energy. Mewtwo threw another blast, and the house made a sickening groan and collapsed in on itself as dark matter erupted from within in a wicked explosion.

The ground shook, and it was enough to bring Comet to his knees. “Goldie?” he said, his voice coming out in a strangled croak. “Come here, Goldie Girl.” The rubble before him didn’t stir.

Another beam of energy streaked across Comet’s vision and struck the wall of another house. People were running in the streets now, screaming.

Thoughts ran through Comet’s head- old, stale thoughts from that day. I can do this. Everything will work out. Goldenflame will rise triumphantly from the ruins. We’ll have an epic struggle, some close calls, but in the end, Comet’s Fury and Waterfall will save the day. Just like before. Just like always.

The Gyarados emerged when Comet pressed the button on his Poke Ball. Waterfall’s eyes narrowed dangerously at Mewtwo. “Our foe?” he rumbled.

“Yes. We have to make this one count, buddy. Hit it with a Surf, just like we practiced!”

Waterfall surged forward, and water surrounded Mewtwo in an oval cocoon.

“Now bring it down!”

The water rushed down to the ground, dragging Mewtwo with it. Maintaining its cocoon shape, the Pokémon remained trapped.

“Okay, Waterfall, use Crunch!”

Rearing it’s serpentine head, the Gyarados opened his maw and charged toward his foe…

And stopped just short of the water, violet light surrounding him. Waterfall trembled, jaws gaping, struggling to close in. But the cocoon started to ripple, and Mewtwo’s hand emerged. Waterfall started to rise, higher and higher in the air. The hand flicked.

Waterfall soared through the air like a massive blue ribbon rippling in the wind. Then he started to fall…

Let me close my eyes.

"YOU WILL WATCH!"


….and crashed right through the roof of the Pokémon Center.

The water surrounding Mewtwo lost its shape and sloshed loosely into the ground. It stood up, violet fury blazing in its eyes, and lifted its hand again. Waterfall floated back up through the Center’s roof, his body hanging limply in an upside down ‘U’ shape. With another jerk of its hand, Mewtwo slammed him back to the ground. When Mewtwo raised its hand again, Waterfall came up dripping blood.

That was what finally made Comet snap. Screaming a wordless challenge, he rushed headlong at Mewtwo, one fist raised. Mewtwo turned to face him. The violet light surrounding Waterfall dropped, and he crashed again into the Pokemon Center, whose walls fell in along with him. Mewtwo pointed at Comet, and his vision clouded with magenta light as his feet left the ground. His scream of fury turned into a scream of pain. Psychic force ripped into his head, filling his skull like a dam had broken.

“You dare challenge me, human?”

The mounting pressure in Comet’s head slammed behind his eyes, and he thought for sure his brain would split in half. He could do nothing but scream. Mewtwo started to rise into the air, taking Comet with it so he could meet its eyes all the while.

“Foolish. So foolish.”

Comet had enough time to hazily note that Mewtwo’s voice was coming from its mouth this time instead of in his head, so it must be Mewtwo’s old words from this horrible memory. Blackness started to blend with the violet tones as the pain escalated. Comet’s head lolled for a moment, and the sight of how far he had to fall was enough to bring him back up to Mewtwo’s gaze. He didn’t know what was a worse sight.

“Was it worth it?”

It wasn’t a taunt, but a genuine question. But Comet’s eyes were too heavy to keep open, his throat too raw to form a word. Mewtwo’s hand started to clench, the pressure pressing further into Comet’s skull…

And that was when a flying, orange blur slammed right into Mewtwo and made all the pressure go away at once. The violet left, but the blackness remained and started to close in. Comet sighed in relief as he started to fall. The last thing he remembered seeing was Steel giving a command to his Charizard as he slammed his claws into Mewtwo’s chest even as violet light surrounded him.

The voice came again, this time from within Comet’s head.

“You will surrender to me, human. We will be one. You will surrender…”






Comet woke with a literal jolt. Bravewhisker stared down at him, ears flat against his head and eyes filled with concern.

Shuddering, Comet let out a groan. There was a lingering feeling of nausea left over, but most of his illness had been sorted out through his vomiting. The splitting headache, however, was new. Comet clutched his necklace so hard his knuckles turned white and the edges of the blue scale dug into the inside of his fingers. Each throb in his head reminded him of that psychic assault, those cold violet eyes, his Pokemon dying, people screaming…

No. He couldn’t think about that now.

“What happened?” Comet slurred, sitting up slowly. Every muscle in his body ached like he had just run a marathon with boulders tied to his arms and legs. He put his hands on the bed to steady himself. Somehow he must have gotten from the bathroom to his bedroom in his tormented sleep.

“Poison Point,” said Bravewhisker, “You grabbed Spikepelt’s barbs by accident.”

“Little shit…” Comet mumbled.

“If you’re cursing that must mean you’re feeling better.”

Comet abruptly realized that his headache had a soundtrack. A long, uninterrupted beep rang out in a mild wail.

“Shut that off,” Comet muttered, swaying to his feet, “I had the most horrific dream and I feel like sh-”

He stopped short, noticing the graveness on Bravewhisker’s face for the first time. All at once, he realized what that droning beep meant. The wall of monitor screens stared back at him. One of them had turned grey, and the heart monitor was a cruel, straight line.

It was Metapod.

Let the trauma conga line begin with the end of a nightmare and our first death!

Gameplay-wise, the Metapod situation played out pretty much exactly like it did in the story. Here's what his chart looked like:

Viridian Forest
5JnIQCW.png

Name:
Species:
Metapod
Sex:
male
Age:
Child
Nature:
Quirky (Brave)
Characteristic:
Takes plenty of siestas
Diagnosis:
Severe species specific; deformed chrysalis shape caused by being walked over while evolving
Prognosis:
After one day, there is a 20% chance of death that increases by 10% each day in the cocoon. While hatching, there is a 50% chance of needing assistance. Upon hatching, there is a 75% chance of defects if assistance was needed to hatch and 50% chance if not.
Limitations:

To be determined after evolving.
Treatment:

Evolve as soon as possible to minimize time in unnatural position. Provide aid if needed while evolving. Additional treatment may be needed after evolving.

So basically, I ran into the same problem as Comet. The Doc-locke rules require you to split up the game into 'Days' where you are allowed a certain amount of wild and trainer battles before the day ends. If I took the time to train and evolve Metapod, I wouldn't have been able to beat Brock and have enough money for Pidgey's insulin. Since Metapod only had a 20% chance of death the first night, I decided to take the risk. Unfortunately, the RNG wasn't on my side.
 

Bowser's Family Vacation

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
301
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
2,308
Nature
Rash
Pronouns
She/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Dragon
  2. Cool
Pokédex Entry
"Am I Mario's babysitter? Are you going to call me every time that guy blows his nose, or what?"
And uh heh you may want to wait until you read this next bit before you excuse Comet too much 🙃
👁 👄 👁

He looked down at the sturdy blue scales beneath him. Waterfall. He was riding on Waterfall. His first ever Pokemon, the mighty Gyarados who got him through thick and thin.
Blue scales, huh? So I was way off-base in terms of starter! 😯 Although this begs the question: Was Comet's first Pokemon a Magikarp or a Gyarados? (As in, in what form did he get Waterfall?) Either answer reveals a lot about his character. 👀

His Arcanine growled, and said the phrase she always said when taking orders, “As my master commands, I will obey.”

She was so loyal, so trusting. Comet wanted to sob, but the foolish body he was trapped in recalled Waterfall and started running.
This is what we call a https://www.doesthedogdie.com moment.

I don’t want to see this!

"You will watch!"
Mewtwo @ Comet:


“Was it worth it?”

It wasn’t a taunt, but a genuine question. But Comet’s eyes were too heavy to keep open, his throat too raw to form a word. Mewtwo’s hand started to clench, the pressure pressing further into Comet’s skull…
sammyclassicsonicfan actually has a happy ending which is why it sucks that comet is not, in fact, sammy

Alas, we never even knew Metapod's name! 😭
9c977814f026a9cbaa86df7cb0c33af6f0df8060-00_67jf.gif

Good night, sweet prince.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
2,087
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual lorewriter and worldbuilder. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
Whoa. Just... whoa.

So many feels. Poor Comet, poor Goldie, poor Waterfall, poor Metapod. Comet tries, but he's not Superman... and somewhere out there, Mewtwo remains, Mewtwo persists, and it WILL return, because the narrative law demands it.

I shudder to think of what the aftermath of this will be.
 

RisingMew

Currently yelling about Sw/Sh
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
348
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
116
Nature
Relaxed
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Dragon
Pokédex Entry
A calm and nocturnal creature with a fondness for reading.
Ah jeez this update man...I knew bad things were coming but this was gruesome.

I can't help but wonder why Mewtwo wanted Comet to relive this memory. Perhaps it was intended to wear him down and make him more likely to "submit"? In either case, I really like how you wrote Mewtwo; it doesn't seem to register its actions as being malicious. It is an entirely foreign creature that knows so much and yet so little about the world, and you did such a great job of showing this alienness. It will certainly make an interesting antagonist(?) for this story! I simultaneously can't wait for its next appearance and fear what might happen when it does show up again o.o

I really feel bad for Comet; it may have been his own fault that Mewtwo was unleashed, but he was literally a kid who was trying to do what he thought was the right thing. In the end, his stubbornness cost two of his lifelong partners their lives--I can't imagine the sort of burden that would be to bear. I haven't been punched this hard in the feels by a nuzlocke for some time, and this isn't even Comet's current team. That's a sign of good writing right there!

And to top it all off, Comet lost the first of his charges right after--talk about adding insult to injury! If I were in your place I probably would have risked the RNG too, but it still sucks that you had to hit that 1 in 5 chance :(
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker, Completionist and Rule Designer
🌱Featurer
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
2,214
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Psychic
Wow, just wow. That was simply brutal. I mean, Comet acted far from perfect under the circumstances but he certainty doesn't deserve all the hate he got, and really paid dearly as is for his mistakes. Still, perhaps he does have some soul searching to do after all. I do wonder what Mewtwo wants from him, as he is technically the one who saved him (even though he attacked him immediately after). Either way, that's a hard one to swallow. No easy answers here I guess.

Poor Metapod, you did what you could for him as sacrificing your Pidgey would have certainty been the wrong thing to do.
 

Moon

Johto League Champion
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
3995
Caught
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
629
Nature
Sassy
Pronouns
They, Them
Pokémon Type
  1. Ghost
  2. Ice
Pokédex Entry
Because they're the two rarest types, they're the rarest pokemon. Yes, that's logical. No, there aren't other Ghost/Ice types. Froslass doesn't exist.
mdoh
avgd,hvbdas
asdvlbjas,dbvla,jsdn
sadmjvb
aksjdv
thank you for coming to my ted talk about sadness
 

ACottontail

Johto League Champion
Pokédex No.
2364
Caught
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
580
Nature
Timid
I wonder why Mewtwo is forcing Comet to rewatch his most painful memories. It's one thing for Mewtwo to want to know how Comet found him, but with Mewtwo continuing to inflict so much pain on Comet, it looks like it learned nothing since escaping. Not even a sorry to the person who recused it, Mewtwo just forced Comet to relive the part where Mewtwo kills his pokemon. Mewtwo doesn't seem to really be chasing any of the scientists but taking it out on anything it can see, and actively seeking out people as it flew to Pallet town. I guess what the dex says about Mewtwo's savage heart is true here. Team rocket could have created it with a savage heart in order to make the ultimate pokemon weapon that would mercilessly attack without hesitation. It would be one thing if Mewtwo hates most humans due to it's mistreatment, but based on how Mewtwo treats Comet, the one who rescued them, I don't think Mewtwo has compassion for anyone, in the past or now. Still ouch, it's a shame you hit that one in five chance and Mettapod died. I wonder how much of a toll the mons who need daily medicine will take on Comet. The need to buy Kestrelsight's insulin already cost Mettatpod his life, and the costs are just going to keep continuing throughout the game, and put limit on how many you can afford to take care of.
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
Caught
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
690
Location
Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #50
Hey looks like I do have time to update from my phone while we’re on the road!
@Bowser's Family Vacation - I do indeed discuss how and why Comet got Waterfall as his starter in a future update :) And hey at least this time it was already a foregone conclusion that ‘the dog dies’ 😅 Comet’s overconfidence was probably inspired by heroes like Sammy where everything always turns out okay. And yep, Comet and I were too lazy to give poor Metapod a name.

@Trollkitten - Yep. Heaps of death, heaps of sad. And Mewtwo to contend with, as is the way of Kanto. It’s gonna be a wild angsty ride lol

@RisingMew - Hey you pretty much hit the nail on the head for why Mewtwo wanted to show Comet that nightmare. It was a really engaging scene to write so I’m glad it delivered the punch I wanted it to :) Thank you so much for that feedback!! And yeah I would not want to be in Comet’s shoes in any capacity. Plus now he has to deal with the cruel mistress that is the RNG.

@RubyClaw - no easy answers indeed. Comet’s intentions were overall good but he is surely paying for those consequences. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who would have made that choice with Metapod. When I rolled that number I was so mad but it would have been even worse to let Pidgey go without medication the whole time.

@Moon - Excellent Ted talk. I’m honored to have been able to attend 😂

@ACottontail - Yeahhhh Mewtwo is kind of a nightmare in my Kanto lol. I’m really excited to continue on with this so you guys can see what I have planned for Mewtwo; I think y’all are gonna like it. And yeah that 20% roll was such a killer. And you’re absolutely right, Doc-lockes get hard when you have a lot of sick Pokémon to buy medicine and take care of. This coming update is going to really dive into that aspect actually.


MASSIVE TRIGGER WARNING FOR THIS UPDATE

Okay so. I mentioned in the main post of this run that, given the nature of this ruleset/story, we are going to be covering some pretty difficult topics. And I said I would give a trigger warning for the more intense topics, so here is the first. There are going to be two new encounters in this update that have very serious real life conditions and I definitely need to give a proper warning in case any readers may have a sensitivity to these topics.

The trigger warning is going to consist of two spoiler tags. In the first spoiler tag, I am going to name the conditions of the two encounters. In a spoiler tag within that spoiler tag, I am going to give very spoilery details on what ends up happening with these two Pokémon in order to give readers as much information as possible to decide if this portion of the story is going to be triggering to them or not.

One Pokémon has class 4 heart failure and one Pokémon has stage II brain cancer. Most of the details of their treatment is going to happen more or less offscreen at a different clinic, since I of course can never hope to fully simulate such complicated illnesses through an RNG.

The Pokémon with class 4 heart failure dies in surgery.
The Pokémon with stage II brain cancer survives and his scans come back clear. However, with the intention of visibility and respect for those who have been through this and had not been so lucky, I am planning on writing a scene where Comet is happily walking out of his appointment with this Pokémon after his scans show up clear, and he has to walk down a hallway in the oncology unit to get out. He sees inside the rooms where Pokémon are having a lot harder of a time and becomes solemn, realizing just how fortunate they were.

Chapter 8
They buried Metapod in a quiet corner of Viridian Forest.

Nobody said any words- there really weren’t any words to say. Metapod hadn’t been a member of the battling team, hadn’t been the most outgoing member of the clinic Pokemon either. No one knew him well enough to know what to say.

But Comet’s mind was far from quiet. Visions from his dream-from the past- pervaded his thoughts. Goldenflame. Waterfall. Maybe if he had taken the time to evolve Metapod…

Comet pushed those thoughts out of his head. What did it matter anyway? Pokemon die in the wild all the time- if Metapod hadn’t been found and taken to the clinic, he would have met the same fate. Hell, Metapod probably didn’t even have emotions. They certainly can’t fight. Even Butterfree aren’t that strong. So what difference could it possibly make?

Still, Comet was somber as he passed meds, and the Pokemon followed suit. Even Spikepelt cooperated for his eye drops without a fight. He waddled over to Comet when it was his turn, ears drooping and eyes averted. Comet squinted at him. He usually didn’t have trouble making out what Spikepelt was trying to tell him-Kestrelsight was the only one he really still couldn’t get a read on-but now it seemed like the little Nidoran was saying five different things at once. Was he feeling guilty for poisoning Comet? Sad about Metapod’s death? Angry that he has to follow his trainer’s commands?

For a moment, all Spikepelt’s signals- his body language, his eyes, his low mewling cries- almost turned into an apology. But then his eyes closed, his ears flattened, and he said clear as day, “It wasn’t my fault. It was an accident.”

The skin on the back of Comet’s neck prickled, though he couldn’t say why. “Don’t worry about it, buddy. I’m gonna order some heavy duty gloves so that doesn’t happen again.”

The Nidoran scuffed his feet in the dirt and padded away.

Bravewhisker, who had retreated to the isolation unit once he was sure Comet wasn’t going to keel over, was the last to receive his meds. Though Comet didn’t want to admit it, he just couldn’t deny that the Pikachu had worsened significantly overnight. Even walking caused his breathing to be labored now. Comet chewed on his bottom lip as he watched Bravewhisker swallow his antibiotic.

“Here,” said Comet, drawing more of the liquid into the syringe. “I’m upping your dose. That’s not against your DNR order, right? It’s ‘do not resuscitate’, not ‘keel over and die without a fight’. Even Oak said it was okay, remember?”

Bravewhisker stared at the syringe thoughtfully for a moment before swallowing that too. “I guess you’re right. I don’t know what you’d do with this place if I kicked the bucket.”

Comet gave a wry laugh. “You have a pretty laid-back attitude about all this.”

The Pikachu shrugged. “It happens to everyone someday. Plus, I’ve had a lot of time to make my peace with the idea.”

Before Comet could answer, there came a knock at the door. He scowled. “This better be…” Comet tried to come up with a list of people he would want to see at his doorstep. “...nobody,” he finished grumpily.

When he opened the front door to the clinic, a Nurse Joy stood waiting for him with a Spearow and an Abra in her arms. She wasn’t smiling- that immediately made Comet suspicious. But, unlike the Nurse Joy who showed him and Oak to the clinic yesterday-Arceus, has it really only been one day?, she wasn’t showing any signs of hostility. If anything, she seemed to be trying for a carefully neutral face.

“You’re the new clinician, right?” she asked.

“Unfortunately,” Comet grumbled.

The Joy blinked, her brow furrowing, before she continued in a tight voice. “I have two euthanasias for you.”

Comet’s jaw dropped. “Two whats?!

The Joy shifted her weight over to one hip. The Spearow tittered happily in her arms, fluttering his wings at the sudden movement. “I know you’re new, so if you’ve never done it before I can help you.”

“Now wait just a minute,” said Comet, “I’m not kicking anyone’s bucket until I figure out what the hell’s going on! They look perfectly healthy to me.”

Rapidly straying from her namesake, Nurse Joy’s eyes narrowed. “The Spearow has Stage II brain cancer and the Abra is in Class 4 heart failure.”

The Spearow looked from Comet to Joy with wide, dark eyes and cocked his head. Then he jumped down from her arms and started hopping curiously around the exam room. The Abra didn’t stir, sleeping soundly in her arms.

“So what?!” Comet sputtered. “We’re just going to off them without even trying?! That Spearow is young and spry- look at him!” The little bird flew up onto the exam table and stared down at his reflection in the shiny metal, giving it an experimental peck that resulted in a loud clang. Startled, the Spearow flapped away in a flurry of feathers and settled back on the Joy’s arm. “And the Abra is… well, he looks just like any other Abra I’ve ever seen.” The Spearow leaned over to his sleeping companion and nuzzled his cheek. The Abra stirred slightly, running one tiny paw over the little bird’s wing. “Oh come on, look at how adorable they are, and you want me to kill them?!”

The Joy let out a long, tired sigh. “Yep, you’re new alright. Now I’m going to tell you exactly how things work in this field so you don’t waste my time again.” She placed the Spearow and Abra on the exam table and folded up the corner of one sleeve, revealing a button. She pressed it, and her entire body started to shimmer and change.

For the second time that day, Comet found himself slack-jawed with disbelief. In front of him stood a middle aged, slightly stout woman with greying brown hair tied back in a ponytail. Her face was lined with the beginnings of wrinkles and she had dark bags under her eyes. She put her hands on her hips. “I guess you didn’t know about that, either. What, did you think we were all clones?” Even her voice had changed drastically. It was a lot deeper and louder, and a little raspy. It was a voice that was used to having authority.

Comet gulped. She was about a hundred times more intimidating now that she lost the pink hair. “Uh...I guess I hadn’t thought about it that much before.”

“Uh huh,” she said dryly. “So you know even less than I thought. Arceus, they’ll let anybody into healthcare these days…”

Comet decided it would be wise not to tell her just how right she was.

“That’s right,” she continued, “First, Santa Claus isn’t real. Second, our names are not all Joy. My name is Gale. And third, when a Pokemon is really sick, they get euthanized-and that’s all there is to it.”

Comet narrowed his eyes. The shock and intimidation had worn off. “Okay, Gale,” he said slowly. “I have news for you too.”

Her eyes widened, but it was more of a challenge than a gesture of surprise. “Do you now?”

“Yeah. First, I may be new, but I’m not an idiot. Second, you can tell me about things I haven’t learned yet without being an asshole about it. And third, why can’t we just treat the damn Pokemon like we do all the rest?”

Gale nodded slowly, dark eyes appraising. There was something different in the way she was looking at him now, though Comet couldn’t decide whether it was due to newfound respect or pure disgust. “And who do you think is going to pay for all that treatment?”

That gave Comet pause, and he struggled to keep confidence in his voice. “The trainer, obviously.”

Gale shook her head. “Wrong. You think trainers have the time and money to be spending on chemotherapy and multiple cardiac medications? Surgeries?”

Comet ground his teeth. “That doesn’t mean we should just let them die.”

“Listen, kid. I don’t like it any more than you do. Everyone starts out like you- all bright eyed and bushy tailed, thinking they’re gonna save the world. Well, you can’t. The Spearow and the Abra? They would have died in the wild anyway. It just so happens that some unlucky kids caught them without realizing they were lemons. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but it’s the humane thing to do. It just costs too damn much to treat a Pokemon who’s never going to see the light of day outside someone’s PC box anyway.”

“Well if their trainers won’t pay for their treatment, I will. You can leave them here and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Gale shook her head, grimacing. “If I didn’t want to see you learn this the hard way so badly, I would think it was too irresponsible to let you do this to yourself. I’ll give you one last chance to come to your senses. We’re not miracle workers, and we can’t save everyone. I know you’re too young and new to have figured that out yet, but you can trust my experience. It just. Doesn’t. Work.”

Comet jerked his wrist in an exaggerated wave. “Bye!”

Nurse Gale rolled her eyes, threw up her hands, and said “Don’t say I didn’t warn you!” before storming out the door.

Staring at the Spearow and Abra cuddling on the exam table, Comet gave a long, deep sigh. Then his Xtransceiver started to ring, and the sigh slowly turned into a snarl. It was Professor Oak.

Exhaustion of both the physical and especially mental variety swept through him, and Comet sank to the floor before answering-being sure to approve voice only and not video- with a weak, “Hello?”

“Hello, Comet! It’s Oak. I just wanted to check in to see how everything is going at the clinic.”

Comet rubbed his temple with the heel of one hand. At this point, he was just too tired to lie and he was sure the professor would have found out eventually anyway somehow. “Metapod died last night. I didn’t get the chance to evolve him.”

“Ah,” said Oak sadly. “I’m sorry to hear that. But don’t blame yourself, Comet. I’m sure you did your best.”

Comet chewed on the inside of his lip and said nothing.

“Do you need any help monetarily?” the professor continued after a pause.

“Actually no,” said Comet with a smug half-smile. “I already made enough to get the new isolation unit installed.”

“Oh!” said Oak, plainly shocked. Comet reveled at the surprise in his voice. “Well, that’s wonderful! I must say, I didn’t think you would get that many donations around Viridian-at least, not enough for an extension like that.”

“Well…” said Comet, carefully considering how much he wanted to reveal. “I wasn’t having great luck near Viridian. So we decided to spread out a little and had much better luck in Pewter City. Nobody really recognized my face there.”

“What an excellent idea!” cried Oak, and Comet had to fight to suppress a smile. There was the enthusiastic professor he knew and missed. “By all means Comet, as long as you keep a low profile, go wherever you want! The clinic doors are actually quite handy for traveling clinicians. You can access your own clinic from any Pokemon Center by typing in your code, but when you come back out, you will end up back in whatever city you entered from. I’m delighted to hear you’ve been making such good use of that technology!”

“Sure…” said Comet. Despite everything, he couldn’t help but to start to feel guilty knowing how excited his old mentor was when in reality he was doing just about the farthest thing from keeping a low profile.

“Anyway, there’s another reason why I wanted to call you,” Oak continued. “If you feel it wouldn’t be too overwhelming for you, I have another potential patient. Nothing too complicated- it’s an Oddish who’s been having epileptic seizures. She’s probably just going to need medication and monitoring. But no need to fear, if you think you have your hands full with the cases you have I can send her somewhere else.”

“Uh…” Comet glanced back at the Spearow and Abra huddled on the exam table. “I think I can handle it.”

“Excellent! I will send her over to the clinic in a little while.”

“Okay. Also, how do you treat cancer?”

“...Cancer?! Wh-why would you need to know tha-”

“Oh and stage 4 heart failure.”

“Oh my!” cried Oak. “I hardly think you’ll need to worry about that, Comet. I would never send you anything so complex. In fact, cases like that are typically sent to the Saffron City Clinic- it’s the biggest and most advanced hospital in Kanto. Most clinics simply aren’t equipped to treat such complicated illnesses.”

Comet couldn’t help it. “Oh, what the fuck!” The Spearow looked up in surprise at his outburst. The Abra remained still as ever.

“Comet,” said the professor gravely, “don’t tell me you somehow ended up with such a patient?”

“Two of them, thanks to that snaggle toothed bitching hag of a Nurse Joy!”

“Settle down now,” said Oak. Comet was surprised to find his tone was soothing rather than scolding. “We’ll figure this out together. First, explain to me how these Pokemon ended up in your care.”

Somewhat placated by the professor’s calmness, Comet recounted his conversation with Gale.

Oak sighed. “Unfortunately, euthanasia is what commonly happens in these situations. I’m not saying it’s right!” he added quickly before Comet could interject. “But Gale is correct when she says most trainers don’t have the time or money to put so much care into a Pokemon who might die anyway and likely wouldn’t battle even if they lived. It’s very sad, but it’s the truth.”

Comet hung his head. Just when he thought this day couldn’t get more depressing…

“However,” said Oak, his voice taking a triumphant tone. “Just because this is the way things are doesn’t mean it’s the way things should stay! We should be striving to do better. I, for one, commend you for making the choice to treat these Pokemon and give them a chance at life.”

Comet’s jaw hung open. Oak was on his side? Then he thought about it and shook his head with a small, sad smile. Of course he was on his side. It was easy to forget with all the recent friction between them, but Professor Oak was a good man. All his research, his founding of the Kanto Bough, every action he took was for the benefit of people and Pokemon alike. And Comet wanted so, so badly to work for him again.

“So how long do I have to do this for? This clinician thing?”

“Erm, I believe until a suitable replacement is found for the Viridian City Clinic. Why do you ask?”

“When I’m done, are you going to put me back on the Kanto Bough?”

There was a long pause before the professor finally said, “I think that’s a conversation for another time. We need to focus on the problem at hand here. The fees at the Saffron City Clinic are going to be more expensive than anything you’ve seen so far, and I want to help-”

That was when Comet hung up.

“Hey, BW!” He called out. The Pikachu appeared in the doorway, and he seemed to be faring a little better since his second dose that morning. “Round up Spikepelt and Kestrelsight. We’re moving on to the next gym.”

Bravewhisker cocked his head. “Viridian or Cerulean?”

Comet blinked. That was a good question. Viridian was certainly easier to get to, and he supposed he would have to get to it eventually if he was going to keep going down this path. But… “We’re going to Cerulean,” Comet declared. “Blue would blow our cover in an instant. I’m gonna save him for last.”

The famous Blue was Professor Oak’s grandson, and was part of the original Kanto Bough along with Red and Green. Although Red and Green had left Kanto not too long after retiring from the Bough and their positions in the league, Blue had chosen to remain as Viridian City gym leader, and it didn’t look like he was going anywhere anytime soon. Comet was certain that Blue knew about his little arrangement as clinician and would blow the whistle on him if he ever found out about his gym challenge. But if Comet saved him for last, how could anyone want to stop him if he already had all eight badges and was ready to challenge the…

Comet shook his head with a laugh. What was he thinking? He looked over at the doorway at his team, who had just arrived at Bravewhisker’s summons. A shivering, traumatized Pidgey with a broken wing with those ridiculous goggles strapped to her head. A squinty-eyed, petulant baby Nidoran who barely listened to a word he said. And an old, dying, wheezy Pikachu who blames Comet for his trainer’s death. He stood off to the side, careful to stay as far away as possible from Spikepelt so he didn’t spread his illness, and stared at Comet expectantly.

If by some miracle of Arceus this team makes it to the League, Comet thought to himself, they would shut down the whole operation out of sheer embarrassment.

Battling Team:
Bravewhisker- Modest Pikachu with respiratory illness
Kestrelsight- Quiet Pidgey with a broken wing, PTSD, and low vision
Spikepelt- Sassy Nidoran with a scratched eye

Clinic Mons
Pidgey-Lonely female with diabetes
Spearow- Careful male with cancer
Abra- Rash male with heart failure

And the dead:
Metapod-quirky male with deformed chrysalis
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
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Jun 30, 2019
Messages
2,087
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Gatto Region
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She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual lorewriter and worldbuilder. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
Let me just say, I am very happy that Comet is willing to do what it takes to give these Pokemon a chance of life. (And somewhat wishing that I hadn't read the spoiler as to how it turns out...)
 

QuietGuardian

Johto League Champion
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
33
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Jun 10, 2019
Messages
1,446
Nature
Careful
Pronouns
he/him
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  1. Dark
  2. Ground
Boy, Comet would make a perfect protagonist for Pokémon White, wouldn't he? All ideals, even if he's blinded to the truth. I'm much less optimistic about the Spearow and Abra's chances than he is (and I didn't read the spoilers, so I don't know how they end up). Hope that doesn't sound too uncaring, but I definitely found myself siding with Gale's experienced perspective—though hey, if there's a good way to challenge the status quo and change things for the better, I could get behind it.

I'm also curious about how you've set up Mewtwo's connection to this—that is, what exactly is its link with Comet? Why did it send him that flashback? Is it just hanging out in Cerulean Cave and using a telepathic link, or is there something else? I don't expect these questions will be answered anytime soon, but that doesn't mean they're going away!
 

RisingMew

Currently yelling about Sw/Sh
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Team Alpha
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348
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Jul 2, 2019
Messages
116
Nature
Relaxed
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  1. Fire
  2. Dragon
Pokédex Entry
A calm and nocturnal creature with a fondness for reading.
Ah, this is certainly a weighty update. That conundrum between (TW) euthanizing an animal with a devastating condition and attempting to save it is one I've seen whilst shadowing at vet clinics and experienced firsthand with my own family pets. Both the Spearow and the Abra seem like they could have a good quality of life if they were to win their battles, which adds even more complexity to the matter. I didn't read the Trigger Warnings, so I don't know what eventually becomes of these two, but I'm proud of Comet for at least giving them a chance. His position on the topic is definitely one that comes from inexperience moreso than a true understanding of the nuance involved, but it's also a good thing that he doesn't share Gale's black-and-white outlook.

I'm quite concerned about Bravewhisker's condition as well--the next few updates could prove to be very dour indeed if things continue to worsen for him!
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker, Completionist and Rule Designer
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Team Omega
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22
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2,214
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Nature
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  1. Fire
  2. Psychic
Oh I love the Nurse Joy thing being a lovely presentable illusion, great explanation for their abundance.

Hmm as always you can't help feeling Comet wants to do the right thing and his heart is in the right place. He is trying to save everyone, fight against the injustice of lack of funds for life saving treatments (and I foolishly thought Pokecenters were free along with basic healthcare) and continue the gym challenge to get the money he needs (among other more selfish reasons). But lying to Professor Oak about the league challenge is such a bad idea... Why Comet, why? Stop being so god damn proud and ambitious, and let others help.
 

ACottontail

Johto League Champion
Pokédex No.
2364
Caught
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
580
Nature
Timid
Aaa Comet feels guilt of letting his old teammates die, so letting the mettapod, someone else under his care, die really hurts. And then he tries to dehumanize it to make it hurt less. I wonder if as the death count rises that he'll become more desensitized to them to them. I like how Comet stands to Gale. It may seem like a fool's task, especially with how Comet can barely afford insulin. But if they make it out of their treatments alive, I can feel that they are going to be great members of Comet's team. Seeing Gale think that her only reasonable option is to euthanize that Spearow that was being so lively hurts. I wonder if Comet will ever come across a patient that is in such a terrible condition that he'll have no real chose but to euthanize them. With the Oddish, Spearow and Abra Comet got in this update, the number of pokemon that need constant medicine/surgeries are steadily increasing. For a while I forgot that there were two pidgeys, making Kestrelsight and the dead Mettapod the only ones who don't need you to buy constant treatments if I remember correctly. I love seeing how Oak was so concerned about Comet during their phone conversation. Oak may be mad at Comet for what he done, but at the end of the day he still cares about Comet, and the conversation showed that very well.
 

Spectacles

Rule Maker
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
139
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Jun 24, 2019
Messages
690
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Pennsylvania
Nature
Jolly
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she/her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
Pokédex Entry
It hides deep inside caves where no light ever reaches it and remains virtually motionless there. ~Pokemon Crystal, entry #52
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #56
First of all, I want to say a big thank you to @Bowser's Family Vacation and @RisingMew for the promos in the Hidden Gem event! :) Your support is greatly appreciated!

@Trollkitten - Yeah, Comet definitely isn't one to give up on a cute critter. And I struggled with how much I wanted to include with a spoiler, but since it is such a sensitive real-life topic I felt it would be irresponsible not to include as much information as possible.

@QuietGuardian - Sounds like a great idea for a Doc-locke sequel in Unova! And nah it doesn't sound uncaring at all; all Gale's points were totally valid. Even if from Comet's POV she comes off as cruel. I like hearing your thoughts on Mewtwo, and I'm very pumped to reveal what I have planned for that plotline in the future :)

@RisingMew - I knew you would have a very sound understanding of this problem with your veterinary experience. I've certainly seen the same conflicts first hand as well, and it was definitely my inspiration for including these topics in my story. I really did enjoy Comet and Gale's conflicting perspectives here and I am happy to report that this is not the last we'll see of Nurse Gale.

@RubyClaw - I had a feeling you would enjoy the Joy disguise part; I know you like explanations for the mysteries of the Pokemon world :) And yep, in my version of this world, healthcare is sadly not free. And you pretty much hit Comet's hot mess of a personality right on the head- he wants to do good but goes about it in all the wrong ways because of his big thick head.

@ACottontail - Yep, Comet is doing a lot of mental gymnastics in order to avoid guilt about poor Metapod. And Comet's costs are rapidly rising with every new addition, and all of your concerns are very valid. Too bad Comet does not fully grasp those concerns lol. I'm glad you enjoyed the conversation with Comet and Professor Oak; I'm really having a good time writing their interactions.

Chapter 9
“Sold! You’ve got yourself a deal!”

Bravewhisker stared at his trainer with a look of abject horror. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Comet took the Poke Ball from the greasy salesman’s hand, who was baring his crooked yellow teeth in a smile over a lit cigarette. “A pleasure doing business with you.”

With a giddy dance of joy, Comet flounced past an annoyed Spikepelt and a startled Kestrelsight over to the opposite corner of the Mt. Moon Pokemon Center lobby, where a small pool had been installed for water Pokemon.

“Wait!” cried Bravewhisker, “Maybe it’s not too late; if you give it back now maybe you can still get your money back. Are you even listening to me?! Don’t tell me you really meant to spend real money on a-”

As Comet’s focus faded from Bravewhisker’s speech and shifted onto his newest purchase, the Pikachu’s words turned into a flurry of angry “Pika Pi-kah!”s and “Pi Pika-chu!”s. But Comet barely noticed. He pressed the button on the center of the Poke Ball, aiming it at the pool, and out came a Magikarp. A quiet gasp escaped him, and he clutched his necklace without even thinking about it.

The Magikarp was a female, and a lot older than Waterfall was-maybe even older than Bravewhisker. But that didn’t stop the feeling of sheer joy that bloomed within him. It was like he was starting over again. Just like the old days.

Waterfall was Professor Oak’s first attempt at a ‘lesson’ for Comet. When all the other students were picking up their lively Bulbasaurs, Charmanders, and Squirtles, Comet had been handed a flailing, flopping Magikarp. He still remembered the laughter on everyone’s faces- and the sneer on Steel’s. It was really Oak’s attempt to teach him...humility, or something? But Comet knew better. He knew his Magikarp would one day evolve into Gyarados and kick all the other starters’ asses.

“You. Are. Amazing.” he whispered to the little fish.

In contrast to Waterfall’s fierce gaze, this Magikarp’s eyes were calm and searching. “You look upon me as if you already know who I am, young one.” Her voice was quiet, but strong.

“I had a friend like you once before,” he said in the same hushed tone, twirling his finger in the water next to her.

The Magikarp obliged his gesture, brushing her scales gently against his finger. “This friend must have been very important to you if you would adorn yourself with their scale. I am honored to have been purchased by such a loyal trainer.”

Comet inhaled sharply. Trainer. She actually wanted him as her trainer. “Well, you’re the first so far,” he said, a slight tremble in his voice. Sure, Bravewhisker and the others had been fighting for him, but they didn’t belong to him. Hell, Bravewhisker and Spikepelt didn’t even like him, and who knows what Kestrelsight thought. It was so refreshing to finally have a Pokemon who wanted to be a true partner to him. If she wasn’t a fish, Comet would be hugging her right now.

Suddenly, his eyes were drawn to a series of strange dots on the Magikarp’s left fin. There were four of them, perfectly round and an angry red. They looked to be in varying stages of healing, so some must have been older than the others. The thin flesh around the marks was red and inflamed. “What happened there?” he asked.

The Magikarp’s expression became guarded and she looked pointedly at the greasy-haired salesman. He stood counting Comet’s money eagerly as smoke trailed out from the cigarette in his mouth.

“Oh. Guess I have to kick some ass,” Comet growled and started to march toward the salesman.

Bravewhisker tugged on his ears, his voice finally coming back into focus. “Now what’s happening?”

“What’s happening is I’m gonna punch Greasy here in the teeth,” said Comet loudly. The salesman looked up from his money with a grimace.

“Is there a problem?”

“Yeah. There is,” said Comet, stepping over Spikepelt, who was now excitedly skipping around Comet’s feet and chanting “Kickin’ ass! Kickin’ ass!” to spur on the drama.

“No refunds,” said Greasy gruffly, stuffing the money in his pocket.

“I don’t want a refund,” said Comet, “What I want to know is why there’s disgusting burn marks on that Pokemon’s fin.”

Greasy shrugged. “Sometimes she needed a little encouragement to look lively in front of potential customers. It’s not my fault she’s old and lazy.”

“Uh huh. How much encouragement is it gonna take for you to stop being a sleazy bastard?” said Comet as he drew back a fist.

But before he could swing, something warm and fuzzy engulfed his hand. Bravewhisker glared at him, now at eye level since he was wrapped around his fist. “You cannot start a fight in this Pokemon Center right now,” he hissed.

“Okay this is now at least the fourth time I’ve tried to deck somebody and been stopped and I’m getting tired of it. BW, you know he deserves it!”

“That may be true, but you have to think about what you’re doing! If you assault this guy, he’s going to call the police, and then what will happen?”

“What’ll happen is he’ll have a broken face and I’ll show the police what he did to that Magikarp.” Comet’s voice retained its bravado, but his muscles slackened some and he lowered his raised fist. Bravewhisker moved to perch on his arm instead, maintaining eye contact. Greasy’s face had changed from indignant to bewildered as he watched the conversation unfold.

“And the police will think you were justified in beating the tar out of this man like a deranged vigilante rather than taking it to the appropriate authorities in the first place?”

“Probably not,” said Comet through clenched teeth.

“What’s the problem here?” the salesman asked incredulously. “Why don’t you just quit talking to yourself, take the fish, and clear out of he-youch!!”

There came a sound like a series of darts sticking to a board. “Bullshit!” came Spikepelt’s voice from behind the salesman’s stand.

“The hell?! Your little rat bit me or something!” said Greasy before promptly slumping to the ground with a groan.

Spikepelt, you little shit!” said Comet with completely undisguised delight.

“Oh dear Arceus,” said Bravewhisker, his ears falling flat against his head and eyes wide.

Spikepelt tottered out from behind the stand, looking smug. Greasy fell over on his side and moaned.

Comet laughed. “Oh, lighten up, BW. He’ll be fine. He’s just gonna puke a couple times and maybe have some traumatizing hallucinations from his checkered past like I did.”

“That doesn’t change the fact that your Pokemon attacked him! We have to get out of here before he comes to and has the Jennys chasing us,” said Bravewhisker, pushing against Comet’s ankles to herd him out the door.

Comet looked back at his Magikarp as he walked out. “Don’t worry, you’re coming too...Phoenixfall.”

“I will do my best to live up to my name,” she said in that quiet, serene voice before she was swept back into Comet’s Poke Ball.

Comet and the team rushed out of the Pokemon Center. Thankfully, the rest of the patrons of the center-including the on-duty Joy- had given them their space since the arguing had started, and when the salesmen fell they had all either genuinely not noticed or pretended not to. So, no one followed them out.

“Okay, B, what do we do? Do you think the police would track us to Cerulean?”

“I don’t know,” the Pikachu snapped, “I haven’t needed to run from the law before. I have half a mind to turn you in myself and escape this madness...”

Comet decided it would be best not to mention that he was indeed well versed in dodging Jennys during his delinquent years. “Well, if the asshole gets medical help right there at the center, he could be up and raging any minute now. I was originally going to take the long path around to Cerulean, but now I’m thinking it would be best to cut right through. Harder to follow us, and we’ll get to the city a lot faster.”

Bravewhisker sighed. “Well...I don’t like it, but I think it’s our best plan right now. Let’s go.”

They passed through the entrance to Mt. Moon’s main tunnel, Spikepelt skipping ahead excitedly. Bravewhisker was able to keep pace at Comet’s side in a slow, bipedal walk. They both moved carefully as the darkness started to envelop them and the terrain became more uneven.

It soon became apparent that Kestrelsight was having trouble keeping the pace. Without her wing, she could only hop along behind. Comet turned around when he heard a startled chirp, and found Kestrelsight upended on her good wing after tripping over a rock. She frantically struggled to right herself, bumping her head off a rock in the process. Comet winced, but she just shook her head and continued her futile attempts to stand up. He bent down to pick her up gently.

“Okay, klutzy,” he said, positioning her on his shoulder. “How’s this?”

The Pidgey dug her talons into his dark green duster- thankfully it was thick enough material that she didn’t pierce it completely. But as soon as Comet started walking again, she swayed sharply toward her immobilized wing. Her free wing straightened in an attempt to keep her balance, but it just wasn’t enough to keep her steady without her other wing.

Comet caught her like a football before she could fall off his shoulder. “Arceus, you really are a hot mess, aren’t you?” The little bird cooed quietly, looking up at Comet with her big, goggled eyes. He let out a brisk sigh. “I didn’t mean that. You’re perfect. The most coordinated bird I’ve ever seen, and not at all a medical disaster. And if anyone tells you otherwise, I’ll punch their lights out, you hear?”

“Oh, for the love of Mew, who are we punching now?!”

Nobody, BW, I’m just talking to Kessie,” said Comet, tucking the Pidgey in his elbow and on top of his forearm. “I can’t believe how hard she bonked her head just now. Didn’t bother her at all though; should have called her Ironskull.”

Bravewhisker looked up at him quizzically. “You know you can just put her in her Poke Ball, right?”

“What’s the fun in that?” said Comet, scratching the little bird on the back of her neck. Sure, it was a lot more convenient to keep your team in their balls. That’s what most people did, except maybe one teammate to stand guard for protection. But Comet had always liked keeping his Pokemon out whenever possible. Of course, it was a lot harder with Waterfall, especially once he evolved. But Goldenflame had been out almost all the time, especially when she was just a little Growlithe. It just felt nice to be surrounded by friends- even if present company wasn’t exactly fond of him. He would have Phoenixfall out with the rest if he could.

Suddenly, Spikepelt gave a surprised squeak from up ahead. Comet frowned. With how dark it had become in the cave, he couldn’t see where the Nidoran had gone. “Over here, Spikers, come back!” he called. Spikepelt’s footsteps answered, echoing off the tunnel’s walls and getting louder as he approached. But there was another set of footsteps coming behind him. “BW, give me a light.”

Sparks jumped from the Pikachu’s cheeks and he shook out his fur. A soft yellow glow radiated from him, lighting up the tunnel ahead.

Trailing behind Spikepelt...was the most beautiful woman Comet had ever seen.

Long, curly hair of a golden blonde cascaded down to the middle of her back, tied up in a high tail. She wore a dress of deep maroon that was somehow timeless and completely out of place all at once, with gold trim adorning the tight waist and plunging neckline. Comet’s eyes lingered for a long while on that area before he finally made it up to her face. Full lips shaped in a perfect Cupid’s bow turned up at the corners in a greeting smile. Framed by long lashes, her eyes were a dark, vibrant blue like Comet had never seen before.

“I’m sorry to interrupt your travels,” said the woman. Her voice was deep, rich, and surprisingly loud. Comet thought he would surely float right off the ground and meet her half way like a cartoon character. “But I’m trying to get to Cerulean City, and I don’t have my Pokemon with me. It’s just so dark, and I can’t find my way out. You look strong, so I thought maybe you could help me.”

Bravewhisker cleared his throat. “Pretty suspicious if you ask me. I say we direct her back the way we came and have her find some help at the Pokemon Center, right?” He looked up at Comet, and his tail and ears promptly drooped in exasperation. “Aaaand we have literal Luvdisc eyes. Arceus help us all.”

Bravewhisker needs a raise.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Artist
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
2,087
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
  1. Fairy
  2. Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Hyper asexual lorewriter and worldbuilder. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
There came a sound like a series of darts sticking to a board. “Bullshit!” came Spikepelt’s voice from behind the salesman’s stand.

“The hell?! Your little rat bit me or something!” said Greasy before promptly slumping to the ground with a groan.

Spikepelt, you little shit!” said Comet with completely undisguised delight.
Kek. This part had me chuckling out loud. "I don't get mad, I get even."
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker, Completionist and Rule Designer
🌱Featurer
Writer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
2,214
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Psychic
Comet's first pokemon since the incident, and one that shares Comet's vision, Phoenixfall would make a great addition to the team. No doubt one of Comet's more positive qualities is his ability to see the best in everyone, which is truly infections and spreads positivity all around him.

Oh Comet... Hard to blame a young man for falling into this obvious trap... Well, at least BW is always by your side to help you get out of these sticky situations.
 

RisingMew

Currently yelling about Sw/Sh
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
348
Caught
Jul 2, 2019
Messages
116
Nature
Relaxed
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
  1. Fire
  2. Dragon
Pokédex Entry
A calm and nocturnal creature with a fondness for reading.
Ohhh, I had totally forgotten that the sold Magikarp might be a thing in this run--and what a weighty inclusion for poor Comet! I really love your take on it + how Phoenixfall's circumstances lead to her Doc-locke diagnosis. In my own doc-lite run, any gift 'mon I got usually wound up with light diagnoses or no diagnosis at all, so it's neat to see how you're taking it :0

Comet's character really sings through in this chapter, from when he goes out of his way to purchase Phoenixfall to when he falls for the trap in the cave. At the start of the chapter, I was thinking that he might finally be getting a bit of a break, but then things just kept getting more and more chaotic as they went along. You were right in your comment--Bravewhisker does need a raise XD

I am very eager to see how all this trouble plays out next time! I have a sneaking suspicion that, even when Comet and co. do manage to escape their latest pitfall, a troop of Jennys will be waiting for them outside...
 

ACottontail

Johto League Champion
Pokédex No.
2364
Caught
Aug 20, 2020
Messages
580
Nature
Timid
I love how much Comet already loves Phoenixfall. Even if even Bravewhisker views Magikarp as weak, Comet sees the potential in her. She reminds him of Waterfall, a pokemon he loved. He's so happy to have a pokemon who wants to be his partner. Their interactions are so cute! I like how Comet gets so distracted by Phoenixfall that he stops paying attention to Bravewhisker and all he hears is Pikas. That guy selling Magikarp is such a jerk, and I dread to know if he has any other pokemon still in his care. I wonder how a burned fin will affect Phoenixfall? While Bravewhisker does have a point about not getting in trouble with the authorities, I cheered Spikepelt took it upon himself to deliver justice. That salesman is in a pokemon center so it's unlikely that he'll die from the poison. I like how Comet prefers to keep pokemon out of pokeballs if he can. So how much should I bet for that pretty lady working for team rocket?
 

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