Previous: Spirit of Mystery
Another day, another ratty alleyway. It was just a matter of getting up without making your head seem like it was going to cave in from the brick wall or two-by-four plank of wood that it was leaning on. The worst part about it was the sun beaming over the horizon straight into your eyes. Rhys and Duskull made it to Lavender town earlier that morning before the sun came up, but now it was 8 am, and he found himself needing a serious shower. Normally truck stops were his main source of showers, but he felt like actually renting a room in a motel today. Just as he was trying to get up from the ground, he noticed Duskull on the other side of the alley, her back toward Rhys, and her face toward the bricks.
Rhys: Duskull, what are you doing?
Duskull turned to him, and floated over to his side.
Rhys: Don't tell me you were actually sleeping. I didn't think you needed it. If you would've told me that, we would have stopped at the Pokemon Center. It wasn't a far walk.
He suddenly felt a shadow loom over both him and Duskull, and when he looked up, he saw that it was the girl from the night before. He made a more successful attempt to get to his feet, but he had to keep his hand on the wall behind him.
Rhys: Hi [He attempted to get feeling back into his right leg.]
Jena: [She didn't speak at first, she only looked at him in a very odd manner.] What were you doing here?
Jena: You do know that Pokemon Centers are free to trainers, right?
Rhys: I'm not an official trainer. I don't have a sponsor, and I don't have a pokedex.
Jena: Not all trainers have pokedexes, what's keeping you from becoming a trainer?
Rhys: I didn't exactly ask to become a pokemon trainer, I kinda just fell into it.
Rhys started to walk down the sidewalk of Lavender Town, it was just about as big and empty as he had been told. There were people, but definitely not many for its size. Then he saw it, the radio tower. Stories were fluctuating about that tower, apparently it was Pokemon Tower, where all of the graves were placed when Pokemon died, but then it was converted into a radio tower, all of the graves were moved to the House of Memories. From what Duskull told him, midnight was the time, midnight was when it started, and it lasted ten minutes.
Jena: Well, if you ask me nicely, I can show you where there is an official Expert that can get you a trainers card. [Walking behind him to the side.]
Rhys: Why do you want me to be a trainer, why do you care?
Jena: Well, you just so happened to give me back some money that I lost, and I need to repay you. You don't need to be sleeping in alleys, they're so nasty!
Rhys: Fine, fine, fine, fine, we'll go get a trainer badge or whatever it was.
Jena: Trainer cards are easy to get, you just need to get a pokemon and introduced to it by an official.
Rhys: Right. Well first I'm going to find a bathroom, I have no problem telling you I'm at emergency overload.
Jena: Oh my GOD, you are so horrible!
Rhys: Hey, I didn't ask you to find me in an alley and decide to bring me to some quack to get a card or badge or whatever you call it.
Jena: Alright, fine, lets just get this over with so you can go do whatever it is that you're doing in a town like this. Were you wanting to find Duskull a little friend? [She was surprised to find that Duskull was right beside her, in her blind spot, and she backed away from her.]
Rhys: I'm here to find out what is going on with the Radio tower. There seems to be some weird signals coming out of there. I've heard of three occasions where a woman heard the voice of her father who had been dead for ten years. Another guy said that he heard the devil playing the violin faster than the speed of sound. He pretty much drove himself crazy trying to play the violin like the devil.
Jena: Wait, are you seriously telling me that you are going to investigate something like that in a place that is known for its vast number of ghost sightings?
Rhys: Yep, thanks to Duskull, I think I'm starting to like this whole pokemon thing. Was never accustomed to it before, but now I'm starting to enjoy this whole thing.
Jena: That sounds so dangerous... I totally want in!
Rhys: Wait, what?
Jena: Are you kidding me? When does anyone ever get to say that they get to chase ghosts and-- where are you going?
He had turned and started walking to a fastfood place.
Rhys: Getting breakfast and using their bathroom.
Jena: Oh, well, I half expected you to pee on the side of the building.
Rhys: I was going to but I couldn't find a building I liked [Opened and closed the door.]
Jena: Ugh, why did I end up owing him a - GAH!
Duskull: Duskuuuulllll [Floated up from behind her.]
Jena: GET AWAY FROM MEEEEE!!!
The sun was high into the sky now, and the city still seemed to have that grayish tint to it that made both of them very uneasy. Strangely enough, the Pokemon official did not have her own facilities, he was using the Pokecenter to work from, contrary to many others. Even the center was looking down on times. The paint job on the gigantic pokeball on the outside of it looked pale, and sign was missing the accent mark on the "e" as it had fallen off sometime before.
Nurse Joy: Hello! Welcome to our pokemon center, we'll heal your pokemon to perfect health!
Strangely enough, Duskull seemed content with fading in and out of reality as she waited at the front desk, causing Nurse Joy to get distracted by it. Rhys waved the Duskull away as if she wasn't important.
Rhys: Hi, I'm here for an official membership to some pokemon club or some--
Jena: [Shoved him aside, making him fall.] What my friend here is trying to say is that he would like to become an official pokemon trainer!
Nurse Joy: Oh! Delightful, Dr. Willow is down the other side of the center, past the ER. Um, sir, could you get your Duskull away from the recovering pokemon?
He looked over to see his Duskull appearing in front of a bed-ridden Raichu who kept flailing its arms and screaming "RAAAAIIII!!!" as it saw Duskull until she disappeared. Then the Duskull appeared on the other side of the bed.
Rhys: Come on, Duskull, stop playing grim reaper!
Duskull: Duuuuskull... [Floated back to Rhys as they walked to the back of the Pokemon Center.]
The lights in the corridor were very, very dim, giving the hallway a very dubious look, and the ER room looked very clean, almost too clean. Still, that didn't stop it from having that dark, orange shade of eerie. What was with this place? He thought, it seemed like no matter where he went in it, everything that that dark, gloomy feel that made his stomach churn the wrong ways. He wanted to just solve the problem and get gone, actually, why did he want to solve the problem? What was the problem to him? Nothing, really. Some dead people talking to others and making scared, big deal. That's when Rhys started to think about what the Duskull said, and the more he thought about it, he couldn't remember much of it at all. He could remember she said something, because she spoke in a woman's voice, but he couldn't remember all of it, in fact, not much of it at all, like a very lucid dream that was soon disappearing from memory after you wake up.
They got to the office that was marked Dr. Willow, and he saw an older woman behind the desk who was busy at her computer, and seemed genuinely surprised that someone actually came. Rhys guessed she had to be in her forties.
Willow: Oh, hello! Please, come in. I'm almost done.
Her office was probably one of the strangest places Jena had ever seen. There were strange medical posters of Pokemon, one of them was of a Cubone, and how it related to the shape of its mother's skull that it wore over its head. The next was of a Lapras, asking if it was an offspring of Neptune himself. There was a series of pokemon eggshells, and papers strown all over.
Rhys: Hi, I'm Rhys, I wanted to become a Pokemon trainer?
Willow: Oh, how wonderful, you know we don't get many people in this town wanting to be trainers anymore. Not since all of the nonsense started happening. It's nice to see a young man showing such interest, and with such a cute Pokemon. You don't see many Duskull around these parts. [She waved at the Duskull, who sat there levitating, and not seeming to care.]
Jena: Yes, and I will be right back. [She walked out of the room.]
Willow: So, where are you from? [Filling out a piece of paper.]
Rhys: Saffron City.
Willow: Oh, close, alright, and how did you catch Duskull?
Rhys: She was haunting a house close to me, and ended up following me around. I didn't really ask her to.
Willow: Oh, how interesting.
Rhys: I suppose.
Willow: Well, normally you would have to wait for a beginners day, but there have been so few young souls come here for beginners day that I'm sure no one would care if I just juggle the books a bit. You do, however need to take the PAT before I can finish your initial sign up.
Willow: Pokemon Academics Test, it's standard for all trainers. [She held up a test booklet and handed it to Rhys, who took it along with a pencil, frowning.]
Jena: [Walked back in with little bags of chips and cookies.] I brought snacks! So have you taken the test yet?
Rhys scowled toward her as she entered, and she got into a defensive position.
Jena: Ummm... hi?