The last chapter of our story ended abruptly before I had a chance to mention two other elements. The first being that the richest stalker in the Poke-world – Bug Catcher – decided to pay me for the humiliation of decimating his Pokemon… again. The second is that I decided that it was time to add a new member to my burgeoning fighting family. This presented itself in the form of Spearow, a small flightless bird that runs very fast. The running very fast feature doesn’t really help since if he’s not fighting, then he’s squashed into a Pokeball, but its finally a capture that didn’t result in the Pokedex flat out lying about its reluctance/inability to fight.
Grinding continues to get Spearow (because of its flightless capacity, I choose to call it “Dodo”) to a respectable level but I also keep moving as grinding is becoming a chore. The encounters happen thickly and quickly enough that Dodo is up three levels before I give up the scenic forest for the underground caverns nearby Mount Moon. The dark catacombs of rock and, thus, rock based Pokemon make for a pleasant change of scenery that is quickly broken as Bug Catcher has apparently been given more money to throw at me*.
“There’s a lot of suspicious guys in here.” He says without a trace of irony.
My response is to open up the Dodo Pokeball and my wallet.
Bugcatcher’s opening gambit is the Weedle, he of the poison spike and the poisoning. But if we can set aside, for a moment, the poison spike, I feel its worth mentioning at this point that Bug Catcher has just sent a grub against a bird.
Result: My wallet’s a little fuller. So is Dodo.
With my cash and Bug Catcher’s manhood, I feel quite a bit more confident and that confidence is put to use as I spy a pretty young lass, all alone in the dark, dark caverns. A gentleman would never have such a precious thing waiting alone in the cold and so I go over:
Me: “Hey baby, what’s a pretty young flower like you doing this far underground?”
Her: “I’m waiting for someone!”
Me: “And he’s just arrived.”
Her: “Then let’s fight!”
…Maybe all dates in this world are Pokemon battles, I dunno…
She throws her first and ONLY Pokeball into battle. One Pokemon? Oh you poor doomed child. Hmm, Clefairy eh? Haven’t come across this one before:
“Clefairy sings a song.”
“Dodo is now asleep”
“Clefairy pounds Dodo like he charges by the minute.”
“Dodo sleeps through it all. No attack for you, sucka!”
Ack! Not good. Really not good! Scooping up Dodo, I go to my recently evolved Whatever! and let loose some Nidorima action.
“Clefairy sings a song…”
Oh for fuck’s sake! Surely I’ve got something that can wake him up. A quick search through my supplies reveals that I bought some Red-Pokemon, a high-octane energy drink that gives your Pokemon wings. Advertising aside it does the job in spades.
“Whatever! is now awake”
“Clefairy sings a song”
“Whatever! is buzzing on taurine, caffeine and jin-seng and wouldn’t fall asleep if you hit him with a truck!”
Fun fact: Double Kick is super-effective on Clefairy as well.
So once again I don’t get the date, but then winning a Poke-Battle and not having to spring for dinner and a movie means that it’s not a completely wasted encounter.
The time is ticking down on my lunch hour (sob, oh the humanity!) and I’m getting ready to save when, and I swear to God, a bunch of pixels coalesces into a humanoid figure who hurtles down the rocky path at me. Introducing… A member from Team Rocket!
Team Rocket Member: “I’m a member of Team Rocket, a gangster syndicate of Pokemon!”
Me: “Uh huh. And what’s your deal?”
Team Rocket Member: “We steal other people’s Pokemon!”
Team Rocket Member: “That’s it, foo!”
Me: “…Not exactly from South-Central are ya?”
Team Rocket Member: “Don’t fuck with me, man! I’m a dangerous mo-fo!” (Okay, might be beating the eubonics horse a bit here)
Me: That’s rather brave of you. How do you know I’m not Five-O?
Team Rocket Member: “Um… Top of the world, Ma!” and unleashes his Pokemon.
Me: “I was just ask… Oh fuck it.”
And for the first time, I find myself with a pretty decent fight on my hands. Team Rocket must hone their skills in the seediest dens of scum and villainy, at least as seedy as it gets in this Pokemon world. Well, whatever it is, its effective enough for his Sandshrew to take Dodo with two hits. Dodo is down for the count and I suddenly become familiar with the bitter taste of defeat. Well, a bitter entrée of defeat, more a palette-cleanser of disappointment, a sorbet of failure. Fortunately I have three Pokemon left and I know Sandshrew’s weakness. Whatever! unleashes his Feet of Fury and Sandshrew is outta here faster than Fred Phelps at a Rocky Horror Screening and Costume Party. Rattata is the next opponent who obviously didn’t have a chance to see just how quick his Sandshrew ally was dealt with. Not to worry, he gets a double-kick education and graduates in Beatdown 101. The Team Rocket Gangsta demonstrates a small amount of intelligence not often found in the criminal underworld and brings out Zubat, a flying bat with a mouth like a lamprey. I’m pretty sure I could keep staying with Whatever! but those little batty bastards have been harassing me from the moment I walked into this cave and I’ve got an experiment I want to try.
Me: Taserbait! Go AC/DC on his ass!
Taserbait unleashes Thunderstruck (Okay Thundershock but this is cooler) and, like all the Pidgeys who have fallen victim to the yellow Shockmonkey, the attack proves to be super-effective. Fortunately Team Rocket Gangsta’s are only packing Pokemon instead of, well, actual weapons. They also carry a lot of cash. Too bad they have as much sense as they do firearms as Team Rocket Member decides to hold out on me.
Team Rocket Member: “Make me, foo!”
Me: “It won’t be me, I’m afraid. See my little yellow associate over there? Well he’s the one you get to deal with when you don’t pay me my money. I’m told its like having crocodile clips on your nipples that are hooked up to a car battery. Only these clips chew…”
…and I walk away with about $330.00. As it turns out, crime pays huge, provided you’re the last criminal left.
*Seriously, is there an inheritance that I’m taking from him or is he in deep with the mob?