After loudly declaring my intent to reclaim my title as the Pokemon League Champion, I continued east back to New Bark Town to hand over some Pokemon egg that I would probably never see again to Professor Elm. I avoided tall grass the entire way and returned to the laboratory without incident. When I arrived there, however, I was surprised to find a police officer conducting an investigation regarding a missing Pokemon.
Apparently the rude individual whom I had the pleasure of thrashing earlier had acquired his Chikorita by stealing it from the local professor. Perhaps I would have realized this sooner if I had actually looked at the other Pokemon at Elm's lab. I proudly declared to the officer that I encountered this ne'er-do-well earlier and knew his true identity.
"I see! So Buttock was his name."
"Yes, Buttock from Pallet Town in Kanto. He lives in the house on the right. He was very specific about that."
"Excellent. We shall work to apprehend this thief immediately."
"Godspeed, officer. And thank you for your service."
After impeding the law in the most personally-convenient way possible, I handed off the Pokemon egg that, again, I'm sure I'll never see in the future and explained to Professor Elm that I now wished to keep Lockjaw as my comrade in a quest for personal redemption. He consented, of course, probably because I didn't actually tell him that and instead just left while he was still talking to himself.
I left New Bark Town behind, hopefully never to come back, but unfortunately encountered the sickeningly cheerful duo of Lyra and her Marill on the outskirts of town.
"There you are!" she exclaimed with the kind of jubilation normally exclusive to Disneyland employees.
"Here I am," I nodded with the kind of jubilation normally exclusive to Walmart employees.
"Jack! You can catch wild Pokemon with Poke Balls."
"I live in this world, Lyra. I am aware."
"Do I have to?"
My inquiry was answered with a nonverbal "yes" as she grabbed me by the hand and dragged me into the tall grass with her. She then walked forward a bit, jumped around with her Marill, and then turned back to me.
"Just like that!"
"I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm sure that it was done adequately."
"Huh? Was I too fast?"
"No, just the opposite," I said as I rolled my eyes.
"I'll try again. Come this way!"
She dragged me further into the grass and forced me to watch her and her Marill catching a Rattata while she explained every step in excruciating detail. She concluded her forced tutorial by giving me five Poke Balls. It wasn't even worth it to me.
After Lyra finally left, I turned to Lockjaw and said, beaming, "Well, Lockjaw, are you ready to meet our next friend?"
He responded by biting my arm, a gag that was quickly getting old for me. Anyway, it took four whole Poke Balls, but we finally added the next Pokemon to the team.
I wasted no time training in Kluya by employing the admittedly tedious tactic of sending out Kluya and then immediately switching to the stronger Lockjaw to mop up the opponent. This strategy carried us through Route 29 and back to Cherrygrove City, where I had to stock up on Poke Balls again because a certain stubborn Hoothoot almost cleaned me out of them. But no matter. I retraced my steps back to Route 29 and took a quick trip through the north gate to Route 46 where I captured a Geodude, whom I named Newcraig. It wasn't out of spite or anything. It was mutual. Really.
With my new team in tow, I headed back to Cherrygrove City with a feeling that I hadn't experienced in two years: hope...mixed with worry.
To be continued...
Read the rest of ActionJ4ck's Jacklocke challenges here.