"So you're telling me that in over a decade of studying these ruins, nobody has ever managed to figure out this sliding tile puzzle?"
"It's been two decades, actually," the attendant cheerily responded. By the time she finished her statement, though, I had already finished.
She gasped. "You solved the ancient puzzle of the Ruins of Alph!"
"If it's so ancient then why is the hint in modern English?"
"You must be some sort of archaeological genius!"
"I suppose intelligence is relative, sure."
My lightly-veiled insults were cut short by the sudden collapse of the floor beneath my feet. I hit my head hard on the way down and when I finally came to, Lockjaw was tussling with a floating alphabet soup.
I don't know what they were but I sure as heck didn't want them. I ordered my Pokemon to take them down one-by-one but they just kept coming. We continued to fight this way until we were at the brink of exhaustion. Convinced that this was the end of the line for us, I withdrew Lockjaw and braced for the inevitable. But it did not come. They ceased their advance and instead began mingling themselves up in the air, eventually falling into a series of lines. Though they were obviously Pokemon, their resemblance to the alphabet was uncanny and the word was clear.
Over and over again, the word "lose" was spelled out before me until I was surrounded by a wall of it. My eyes darted back and forth, desperately seeking a way out of the swarm but to no avail. Just as I became re-convinced of my impending demise, the PokeGear at my waste began ringing. I looked down at my waist and then back up to my attackers, but was shocked to find that the ruins were empty again. Slowly, I brought the PokeGear up to my ear and answered, nervously, "Hello?"
"I'm checking out Rattata's moves and devising some strategies."
"Stop calling me, Joey!"
I hung up the phone and anxiously made my way back to the entrance of the ruins, grumbling about ominously blatant foreshadowing the entire way.
Before heading southward to Azalea Town, I decided it would be best to stop at the store and pick up some more Pokeballs. There I was approached by a familiar-looking man in a lab coat.
"Long time no see, Jack. I've been waiting for you," said Professor Elm's lab aide.
"Here? Why wouldn't you wait at the Pokemon Center? It seems like the more likely place for a trainer to go."
"This is from Professor Elm," he continued as he procured from his bag the Pokemon egg that I retrieved from Mr. Pokemon earlier. "The thing is...we would like you to take care of an Egg!"
"Sure!" I exclaimed before realizing that I couldn't eat it.
"After you left, Professor Elm received a phone call. I have no idea what they were talking about."
"This is a riveting story," I said as I held the held the football-sized egg in my arms.
"But, after a while, Professor Elm suddenly cried out, 'I can't think of anyone more suited than Jack!'"
"For babysitting an egg?"
"Then he insisted that I hand this Egg to you. That's how I came here to deliver the Egg to you."
"Why are you capitalizing 'egg' in your sentences?"
"Please take care of it!" he said as he dashed out of the store.
I looked the egg up and down and concluded once again that no, I unfortunately could not eat this. Dissatisfied with my acquisition, I too exited the Pokemart but then encountered an oddly clad woman standing out in the street. She glided towards me with the grace of a dancer and doted over the egg in my arms.
"Me oh my...That Egg must be..."
"Why does everybody in this country capitalize 'egg'?"
"I see...So it was handed from Mr. Pokemon to Professor Elm, then from Professor Elm to you. Now I get it...That Egg truly is an important Egg. Please do take good care of it for me. Is that understood? I am counting on you."
And with those parting words she continued on her way. I examined the egg once more, again concluded that I can't eat it, and then departed Violet City for Azalea Town, muttering the whole while about too much foreshadowing in one episode.
To be continued...
Read the rest of ActionJ4ck's Jacklocke challenges here.