Chapter 2: Beat
The trip to Sandgem the next morning was pretty rough. I got ambushed by a Starly that NAILED poor turtwig in the face. Just as I was wishing I had a potion to use…I ran into a guy promoting the local pokemart by handing out free potions. …Honestly, I think it was fate. Turtwig really appreciated it.
We made it to Sandgem, where that assistant girl, Dawn, I think the man called her, was waiting. And just as we were about to go into the lab…
Ow. Tyson was there too, babbling about how weird the old man was before zooming off at top speed yet again. “He’s easily excited, isn’t he?” Dawn quipped. I grinned “Oh you have NO idea.”.
The professor was his usual intense and serious self, and he gave the Turtwig a very thorough examination before looking me square in the eye and saying “You’ve linked with him, haven’t you? No, wait, don’t bother. I can tell. The bond between you is very young, but quite strong. I have an idea.”
“No, I can’t take it. I-“. “That Turtwig likes you, boy. Take it. I know you will care for it. Selfish people who would abuse their pokemon don’t have the empathy needed to Link. I entrust you with it. You’ll give it a far better life than I can here at the lab”.
I hesitated. Then the Turtwig looked at me. And I knew I had to take it. It wanted to be with me. “Alright. I’ll take him with me. Thanks”. Dawn nodded.
Before I could ask what that was about, Professor Rowan sprung another request on me.
“I’d rather not risk it, Professor. I don’t want to put Turtwig in danger.”. the professor gave me one of those stern glares and said “I can stand here without speaking for hours. I’m a patient man.”. “…So am I, Professor.”
That lasted a good ten minutes.
Finally, he placed the pokedex in my hand and said “At least take it in case you change your mind. Besides there are plenty of pokemon that aren’t too far from Twinleaf. At least catalogue those for me.”. I sighed. “Alright alright, I’ll do it.”.
Dawn and I hung out for a short while in Sandgem. Apparently she’s also a pokedex holder, and she’s had her Piplup for a little while now. Eventually we parted ways, and I headed home.
To everyone’s surprise but mine, Tyson was gone. Off to take the Gym Challenge. “Let him go have his challenge” I thought. “When Chimchar winds up dead, he’ll be coming home crying.”
The next week passed quickly. Turtwig and I bonded fast. I had never been able to Link with a pokemon this easily before. He was pretty tough about everything, always wanting to push himself to this limits, and always wanting to pick fights with the pokemon of route 201, no matter how much I tried to stop him.
Finally, one night he cocked his head, a curious look on his face. <Master, you look kind of annoyed. What’s wrong?>. I sighed and shut off ‘Battle Watch’. “So many people just treat you guys like weapons. It’s not right. I wish I could…you know, do something about it.” <Then why don’t you?> “Because I’d need to change all the rules. I’d have to become the champion for that. I….Don’t want any pokemon to get hurt on my account.”. A sharp pang of pain on my hand made me look down, and was surprised to see what looked like anger all over Turtwig’s face. <By NOT trying, Pokemon are getting hurt on your account! If you want to do something, get up and do it!>
That stung. “No. I’m not putting you in danger. I’m not-” <Did you stop to think about what I want, Master? As long as that regret is eating you from inside, it hurts me too!>. I frowned. “You’re telling me you can read MY emotions?” <Yup>
That was a surprise to me. I hadn’t considered that a Link could go both ways. <If Master has the guts to fight, then so do I! Don’t coddle me, I’m not a plush toy!>. I sighed. “I’ll…Yeah, I’ll think about it”.
And I did. For three long days I thought hard about it. And eventually, I realized he was right. By not even trying, I was passively supporting the system, and hurting pokemon across the region. Not to mention if the Link really did go both ways…I was hurting Turtwig too. I prepared to leave the very next morning. I blew my life savings on a pack of Pokeballs, potions and antidotes, wanting to be prepared for anything. As I packed, Mom came in. “So, you’re finally doing it, huh?” “Yeah.” “I knew you’d take after your Father! Go and make us proud.”. I shook my head “We have different reasons. I’m not doing this for myself. I’m doing this for Turtwig and every other pokemon being abused by the system. We’re going to change it, Mom. You can bet on it.”.
The next morning, I said my farewells to everyone in town. Tyson’s mom asked me to deliver something to him, in case we crossed paths. And then, finally, Turtwig and I hit the road.
I looked down at him. “You know we can still turn back, right?” <Not a chance, Master.>. I smiled “It’s not Master. It’s Ark. And you need a proper name if we’re going to travel the world together.” <Got one in mind, Master?>. I grinned at him. “You’re a tough little guy, ready to beat anything in our way. So how does ‘Beat’ Sound to you?”. Beat made a weird noise that I guess was a laugh. <Sounds good to me!>
And so, Beat and I began our journey…
Beat the Turtwig Joins the team