Death. War. Destruction. The world of the future lies in ruins. I got the chance to go back and stop it from ever happening, only to discover that I was the cause. This is how I destroyed the world.


6. Journeys' Annoyances

Never miss a good chance to shut up ~ Will Rogers

"The people you meet on your journey will fall into two categories; they'll annoy you and be the best friends you could ever make, or they'll be a perfect companion until your back meets their knife."

- Steven Stone, 52nd Hoenn League Runner Up. (November 25th, 3019)


The first few days taught me so much about my journey that I would have overlooked otherwise. Like the ways to tell when a Pidgey was fully cooked, what signs to look out for in various nests, and the plants that could actually be used in food.

The latter two were something that were learnt the hard way. Firstly I'd managed to set Xander down in a stream which turned out to be full of Carvanha, and secondly when I'd used a herb Xander had been eating for our food, foolishly overlooking the fact that he was a creature born of water with a symbiotic relationship with a lea. The after effects of the food definitely taught me a lesson.

More and more, I found myself staring at the book Jennifer had given me on the morning I left. It was obvious to book was fairly outdated; there were many techniques Pokémon could learn that hadn't been detailed within its pages, but it was still exceedingly useful. I found that after an hour, I had almost worn out the pages detailing Lotad and its evolutionary family. Little after a day, I'd worn through most of the small details about other creatures, and added my own notes to the book. It made me consider getting a newer book and annotating it, considering the lack of information the book possessed.

For example, it was extremely unfortunate it didn't tell me much about getting Xander to use any of his elemental attacks. I knew that he was a grass and water Pokémon, and thus had access to at least those sort of attacks. It meant I was the one left to teach him to use them.

Getting him to use them, however, was proving harder than making him understand his name.

Once I'd been travelling for a week, I figured it would be easier to try to encourage him by example. I tried flinging leaves at him, even splashing him with water. All it got me was a disinterested look, followed by a small croak. I'd tried commanding him to use Water Gun... what he produced was nothing more than a glorified globule of spit.

I gave up for a short while after that.

It was far too hot in this time of Hoenn; even though I was travelling along near a long winding river, a brilliant long road built above that only allowed bicycles to traverse across. And here I was, sat within knee-high grass, wilting under the weather. Xander croaked and waddled over to me, squatting down on my lap. His slimy little body was strangely cooling, and made me feel a little bit less boiled in my own skin.

I contemplated for a brief time getting a new Pokémon. One that would listen to me instantly, making this journey a little bit easier. The more I thought on it, the more I realised; every wild Pokémon was just that; wild. The feral creatures needed to be tamed and trained, and to fit in with the trainers of this time, I would have train them well.

So maybe I'd just stick with Xander for the time being.

My thoughts also brought me to my biggest concern; what was I to do to ensure the future I lived in from not happening? Being a trainer was all well and good, but what exactly could I do to use that to my advantage? It had bothered me a lot the first week I journeyed, and it grew on me as the days passed. I was used to being given orders and following them through, not making up my own plans ad lib. Everything was truly a new experience in a foreign world.

My musings were cut off as I heard feral growling approaching us both. I leapt to my feet and admittedly forgot about Xander, letting him fall freely to the ground. My eyes flickered over the grass and my immediate surroundings, searching for the source of the sound. Immediately I found the source; a small green canine with yellow markings lining its cheeks and back. Its mouth was twisted into a snarl, small sharp fangs bared at me and Xander both.

I spared a glance at Xander, who was staring at the feral Electrike with his normal blank gaze. I swore, knowing that the Electrike's weak spots could only truly be exploited with ranged attacks. The electricity covering its body was likely to electrocute or paralyze me if I attempted to hit it myself.

It snarled and charged static about its body, making me take a step back in apprehension. I wasn't going to fall prey to a knee-high electric canine, especially not on the first day of my journey.

"Xander," I growled at my Pokémon. "I don't care whether you're placid or not. This thing is threatening us, and unless you want to become its next meal, I suggest you start to fight back."

The creature snarled as it approached us both, fur coming alive with static. I prepared myself to kick the beast as far as I could just moments before a blast of water knocked the creature from its feet.

I thought back briefly to the beginning trainers of my time. I had rarely spent time watching them, but I knew they had to encourage and point out every advancement their Pokémon made. "Good job!" I called out to Xander, watching him waddle closer to the snarling beast. "Water Gun it again!"

Before Xander could retaliate the beast had leapt at him, snarling, biting and clawing his way through my Pokémon. I watched in silent horrified fascination as they fought, biting, clawing and barging into each other. Fur, flesh, blood and leaf flew everywhere around them both, coupling with the sounds of their feral cries.

Xander backed away, growling as blood trickled in a serpentine trail down his head. The Electrike leapt again, teeth bared for the kill. Xander ducked down and jumped to the side clumsily, regaining his footing instantly. I had to admit a level of respect for the little fighter, he was a lot smarter and more capable than I had thought.

"Keep it up Xander!"

Xander and the Electrike paced a large circle around each other. In a split second water blasted from Xander's mouth, knocking the Electrike's feet from under it. As the Electrike cried out and fell to the ground, Xander rushed forwards, body not moving and legs moving so fast in the creepiest movement I'd even seen. He barrelled into the Electrike at full pelt, knocking it clean into some nearby bushes.

It snarled weakly at us this time before it turned around and limped away, leaving Xander victorious. I laughed and swept Xander up in my arms, laughing as I threw him into the air and caught him. I caught sight of the multiple scratches and bruises covering his body now, and the wide grin he was wearing in place of his normal dull expression. I had to stop to think... did Pokémon consider such fights fun? The Electrike had obviously been looking for a meal, and here Xander was enjoying beating it into submission.

It made me think that Pokémon were infinitely more feral then I had ever believed. That they seemed to enjoy causing other Pokémon pain made me consider; did they attack people in my time for equal enjoyment? I knew that they evolved and grew by experience in battles... it just never occurred to me that they would take such pleasure in it.

I placed Xander on the floor, rummaging in my bag for something to help ease over his wounds. I stopped as I gripped the handle of a small bottle in my bag. I pulled it out, staring at the label. It was supposedly a potion, meant to be able to heal most wounds. I called Xander back over and squirted him with the solution, holding him still as he winced as it stung his open wounds. With morbid awe I watched as the cuts and bites heal over before my eyes like a surgeon had sewed them up in record speed. A few looked slightly paler than before, and I assumed that they were going to become small scars.

Xander croaked in appreciation before he decided to settle down in my lap, lazing again in the sunlight. I assumed he needed to be placed in some water soon, given his water typing. In the mean time though, he seemed perfectly content to soak up the sunlight. I supposed that since he was a grass type, he could produce food by photosynthesis.

For the second time in quick succession, I found my thoughts cut short. This time, however, it was due to a heavy thump on the ground, like something heavy had just landed nearby. I jumped and went to glare at the threat...

...only to find it was a foot taller than me.

I stared up at the creature's bug-like body, noticing the sun shining off the green scales coating its body. Its wings had a brilliant red lining, and equally red goggles covering its eyes. Three antennae sprouted from its head, and its tail ended in three prongs that were small versions of its wings. Beneath them were two barbaric looking stingers that were nearly transparent in colour.

From its back descended a person wearing a black trench coat – of all things – in this weather. A dark navy scarf hung from his neck, tied loosely halfway down his chest, and a slim-fit white tee imprinted with a haunting skull glowering in the eeriest way I'd ever seen. He wore black jeans and steel caps, and had light brown hair with bright red tips, whilst black framed glasses made his greyish eyes look strangely small.

"Shit, did I scare ya?" he asked with an obvious laugh on his lips. He walked towards me, patting the Flygon on its shoulder as he passed it. I narrowed my gaze at him, watching him approach warily. "Sorry if I did, we just had to touch down quickly. For whatever reason there's a flock of Skarmory flying nearby, and I really do not want to have mid-air battles." He laughed once more, squinting down at Xander. "Wow, you've got a Lotad? Damn, lucky you. Always wanted one of them; Ludicolo always make me laugh when they start dancing."

I stared at him in level confusion. I truly began to wonder if people were normally like this, or if this guy was just as strange as he seemed. Admittedly, I didn't have much to compare to – I hadn't seen anyone in my whole week outdoors. Surely people didn't get their Pokémon to scare the living daylights out of people and then talk to them like nothing's happened?

"I can't see Xander ever being an energetic Ludicolo," I found myself telling the stranger. I didn't really know where I was going with the conversation, but admittedly the human company was nice, even if the guy was annoying me slightly already.

"Apparently they do become energetic," he told me with conviction. "I know a few people that have trained them up, and it's supposedly what happens in the end." He pulled off his glasses and cleaned them briefly, scowling as he held them up to appraise his work. "Flying really does a number on your clothes, you know? So many little tiny bugs end up squished against you." He pulled a face before he squatted before me, smiling a broad smile. "I'm Adryan. Call me Ayd if ya like," he said as he shoved a hand in front of me. "The Flygon back there's Irenui. Don't let her size scare ya, she's nice as anything."

I introduced myself and Xander as I shook his hand, noting the multiple scars covering Irenui's body. I gathered that Xander would one day end up covered in a similar amount of battle trophies, and most likely me myself. I pushed the thought away as I remembered he mentioned knowing people who had raised Lotad, and I asked him if he knew how to teach Lotad abilities.

"I might know, if the price is right," he said with a wide grin. I stared in seriousness as he laughed at his own joke. "Just kidding dude. Urm," he stumbled as he rubbed the back of his head. "It all depends on the typing and the Pokémon themselves. You can usually help a water Pokémon by using a water pistol, or even just splashing it. Grass types can be taught by like spitting watermelon seeds at them, or the like. Use your common sense, or read a few books, they'll help you out." He laughed as Irenui flapped her wings and floated up alongside her trainer. "Can't tell ya how mad it was trying to teach madam here to use ground attacks. Between the continual mud throwing and everything else, I think we came home coated in more mud than a Koffing has poison! And don't even get me started on teaching the dragon moves!"

His voice was slowly becoming louder and louder, to the point where I was sure people in the nearby towns could hear him. He seemed to take and treat everything as a big joke, and seemed to love trying to push people's buttons. He was fast becoming annoying.

"Anyway, you know where Altering Cave is?" he asked me abruptly. "I want to go there and check it out. Apparently there's loads of Pokémon there not native to Hoenn."

I nodded. "It's on Route a hundred and three nearby."

"Cool, cheers dude." He smiled toothily, standing up and patting his Flygon on the shoulder. "Maybe I'll catch you around huh? Unless of course I end up getting eaten by some gruesome feral Pokémon!"

I rolled my eyes. "We can but hope." Xander croaked his agreement, training his forever-blank gaze on Adryan.

Instead he laughed and shook his head in amusement. "Knew I'd manage to get a sense of humour out of ya! Victory for me!" He snorted in amusement and climbed aboard the dragon, saluting me before they left. "Catch you around soldier boy!" he called before Irenui took flight, flying low to avoid the Skarmory flock.

I couldn't help but roll my eyes as he left. Even in the brief ten minutes I spoke to him, I found most of the time I spent wanting him to leave. He was annoying, loud and furthermore, he was extremely annoying. I couldn't help but hope I'd never end up spending another five minutes with him again.

Of course fate would twist that round completely on me.

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