“Okay, class, that’s it for today. Now remember that your homework on
quadratic equations is due next time. And don’t forget my office hours
tomorrow if you need any help.”
As her class filed out of the room, Lisa began erasing the board. With
her brown hair tied into a neat ponytail and wearing a charcoal-colored
business suit, she looked the part of a college instructor despite her
“Um… Doctor Northwood?” A young man with messy blond hair was standing next to his teacher, a sheet of paper in his hand.
“Nope, I’m not a doctor yet, Rudy. It’s still ‘Miss Northwood,’ okay?”
she answered, smiling at the student. “So, what was it you need help
“Number fifteen. I can’t quite seem to get the numbers to work out.”
“Let’s see… we have eight X squared plus thirty-eight X plus forty-two. Okay, and you’ve already tried to figure it out?”
“Yeah, but I keep getting stuck. Here’s what I’ve got so far.” Rudy handed Lisa his paper and she looked it over.
“Well, I’ve noticed you’ve put one and eight in front of X for all of
these. You might need to use another pair of factors. Can you think of
“Well, there’s two and four.”
“Okay, let’s try it again, except let’s put a four in front of this X
and a two in front of the other one. Now, we know that the other two
numbers in the solution must multiply to forty-two, correct?”
“Okay, let’s start off easy with the factors six and seven. Can you
arrange six and seven into this equation so these two numbers will add
up to thirty-eight X?”
“Let’s see… if we do it this way, six times four would be twenty-four
and seven times two would be fourteen. And fourteen plus twenty-four is
“Excellent! So we have four X plus seven, and two X plus six. Now just set both equal to zero, solve, and you’re done!”
“Thanks, Miss Northwood! Oh, and one more question. Are you gonna be at the RSA meeting tomorrow night?”
“Of course I am! You know we have to get planning for our big Halloween
party at this meeting! Oh, and there, you can just call me ‘Lisa,’
“Okay, thanks!” Rudy waved as he ran out of the classroom.
“I think he’s really starting to improve…
” Lisa thought to herself with a smile as she collected her materials and left the classroom.
Lisa made her way across a university campus to her residence hall,
taking in the fresh, cool air and light breeze of a sunny late October
afternoon. The falling leaves gave the campus a show of bright colors
as they were littering the entire landscape in a carpet of gold,
orange, and red. The university was very much alive with students and
professors milling about, chatting, and doing some last minute studying
while running to class. Colorful flyers were placed indiscriminately on
buildings, trees, and even the sidewalks, advertising various events
“Now to get ready for this evening!”
The girl had passed the cluster of academic buildings and was headed
toward the plaza where the residence halls stood. Entering Gibbons
Hall, a four-story building of natural red brick, she quickly made her
way up a flight of stairs and to her room.
Her room was decorated with photos taken during her Pokémon journey,
including ones with the friends she had made during the adventure as
well as ones of her Pokémon. Among the pictures were ones taken at
Melissa’s house during the Christmas dinner, ones at the Pokémon
League’s closing ceremonies with Kim and Lauren, and a few taken
on-board the ship with Sadie. There was also a picture of Lisa and
Lindsay with all six of the teen’s Pokémon, photographed in Melissa’s
backyard after a hard day of training.
Lisa had also furnished the room with a mini-refrigerator, small
recliner, and figurines of her favorite anime characters. Setting her
belongings down on the freshly vacuumed carpet, she turned to her
black-haired roommate, sophomore Nikki Vanders.
“Hey, Nikki, I’m back!”
“Oh, hey, Lisa. Have a good day?”
“Yeah, but I think I’m gonna hit the shower. I’m meeting with friends later.”
Checking her watch, Nikki yelled, “Oh, man! I’m gonna be late for
class! Sorry, but I have to split! Tomorrow, you’ll have to help me
with my calculus, okay?” The young lady grabbed her pink backpack and
sprinted out of the room.
“Sure thing!” Lisa smiled. She hadn’t known what to expect being a
graduate student roomed with an undergraduate, but she and Nikki had
hit it off right away. “Well, I really hope she isn’t late again…”
After checking for emails on her laptop, the teen opened the door to
their suite’s semi-private bathroom, shared only with the girls in the
room next door.
The teen emerged from the bathroom wearing a pink nightgown. Before she
even had a chance to pick out a change of clothes, her cell phone rang.
“Hey, Lisa, it’s Mom. Dad’s out at a meeting, but I wanted to check in on you.”
“Well, Mom, I’ve kinda just finished a shower and I want to change,” Lisa said, a bit annoyed.
“Sorry, I won’t keep you long, then. So, how’s everything going? How are classes?”
“The ones I attend or the ones I teach?” the girl asked, laughing.
“Well, the classes I attend aren’t too hard, once you understand the professor’s accent. So far, nothing too tough.”
“Well, dear, knowing you, I don’t think you’d find any classes to be too terribly difficult.”
Giggling again, Lisa said, “Yeah, you’re right. Actually, the
teaching’s a bit harder since some of the students really don’t want to
learn, like they’re only in college to have fun. Can you imagine?”
“True, but you’ll always have those types of students. Now, Lisa, even
though you’re their teacher, I don’t want you going to parties or bars
with them,” Brooke warned her daughter. “Remember that you’re still
“Of course, Mom! What kind of girl do you think I am?”
“Well, Lisa, there’s someone else here who wants to talk. Well, I’ll
say good-bye and hand the phone over to her. Bye, Lisa! Take care,
“Okay, you too, Mom! Bye!”
“Lisa! Lisa! How are you doing?” Lindsay shouted into the phone.
“Whoa, there! Calm down, Linds! I’m doing fine. Gonna meet up with
friends here a bit later. Ow, I think your shouting gave me a
headache!” Lisa moaned, placing her free hand on her forehead.
“I did not! Anyway, did Mom tell you?”
“Tell me what?”
“In two weeks I’m headed to Sinnoh to begin Pokémon training! I’m gonna be a trainer just like you, Lisa!”
“Yeah, your birthday was a few weeks ago, wasn’t it? Well, I hope you got that gift I sent you in the mail!”
“Yep, I did! Thanks, sis! It should really help me out with my
training! Well, Mom told me you’re busy, so I’ll say bye to you now.
“Okay, Linds, bye! I’ll call this weekend!”
“You better not forget! Bye, Lisa!” Lindsay called out before she hung up.
Clicking her cell phone shut, Lisa returned to her room’s built-in
closet to pick out an outfit. She finally decided on what to wear – her
blue floral-print dress and green button-up blouse. The teenager now
had multiple sets of her favorite outfit, the newer ones with a purple
silk ribbon and bow around the waist of the dress. Grabbing a white hat
with purple ribbon trim and a pair of white pantyhose, she quickly got
dressed. Slipping on a pair of black strappy dress shoes, she grabbed a
yellow handbag off her bed and left the room, being sure to lock the
door. Waving to the young man at the front desk of the residence hall,
Lisa once again headed outside.
With a couple hours before the meeting, she headed for Founder’s Park,
a large grassy field on campus located on a hill overlooking Marquis
City. Besides being a popular place for students to sunbathe and play
Ultimate Frisbee, the park was also the only place on campus where
Pokémon could be released from their Pokéballs. Lisa paid the area a
visit daily to feed her Pokémon, and today was no different.
With all of her Pokémon out and on the grassy field, the girl began
filling dishes with Pokémon food and laid them out in front of each
team member. “There you go, guys. Enjoy!” Lisa took a seat on a nearby
bench, took out her iPod and a newspaper, and watched her Pokémon begin
Walrein immediately made his way over to where Metagross was examining its food. “Hey, you gonna eat all that?”
“Food scan indicates food quality is below minimum standards… Relinquishing food…”
“Um… is that a yes or a no?”
Persian sighed. “Metagross said you may eat its food.”
“Yay! Yummy!” Walrein shoved his face into the food dish and took a
huge bite. With a mouth full of food, he said, “Too bad Jolty’s been
eating more of his food lately.”
The feline shook her head. “So rude. And unattractive as well.”
Munching on his food, Jolteon replied, “Sorry, but ever since the end
of that big battling thing in that other country, Lisa hasn’t been
sending us to battle as often. I think it’s helping me retain my energy
so I actually feel like eating now.”
“How true,” Weezing said. “I like this new routine we’ve settled into
after Lisa started going to this big school. Training two or three
times a week keeps us in shape without wiping us out. And we only have
to fight the occasional battle, too! It’s very relaxing.”
“I know,” Flygon added, flapping her wings. “But I think Lisa might be
going a bit too easy on us. I mean, I kinda miss the excitement of
battle. Some of the other trainers who go to school here have given us
a challenge when Lisa’s battled them, but sometimes I wish we’d do it
“Current training and battling regimen is sufficient to retain battling
strength and proficiency,” Metagross said in its monotone, mechanical
“Sorry, Flygon, but I concur with the other three. I am perfectly fine
with relaxing and only training enough to retain my battling prowess.”
“Fine, fine, gang up on me! At least I still have Walrein on my side!” Flygon shouted.
The hefty blue Pokémon looked up from his food dish. “Um, wha?”
“I think you misunderstand us,” Persian said. “It’s simply the fact
that the rest of us are perfectly content with our current regimen. We
likely wouldn’t object to more battling if the situation arose, but
right now we are enjoying this opportunity to relax, just as we are
“Yeah, I understand. And taking a break isn’t a bad thing, either…
while we had all those battles one right after each other in that big
stadium place, it was really hectic. I know Lisa wanted to get in as
much practice as she could, but I could tell that even she was starting
to get tired after all the training.”
After finishing the last of her food, the Poison-type added, “I don’t
think Lisa wanted to push us as hard as she did. She kept telling us,
‘I’m sorry for training you so hard!’ just about every night during
those big battle tournaments. She might have felt the need to since
everyone else was doing the same, but in her heart, I don’t think she
enjoyed pushing us that hard.”
Jolteon looked up from his dish. “I’m glad that’s over for awhile.
Battling’s cool and all, but sometimes a Pokémon just wants to get a
chance to chill out and relax.”
Persian, meanwhile, was looking at her trainer. “Is it just me, or does
Lisa seem especially excited today? That girl can hardly stay still.”
“Maybe she’s gonna eat up a lotta food tonight!” suggested the bulky Ice-type.
“Oh, please…” the feline Pokémon sighed.
“Actually, he might have a point,” Weezing pointed out. “While she
probably isn’t going to shove her face into her food, she might have a
special dinner tonight.”
Jolteon perked up, his ears wiggling. “Really? Think she might have a date?”
“Perhaps,” Persian said. “But she might also be meeting with old
friends. Remember all those trainers she met with throughout her
journey? I haven’t seen any of them in awhile, and Lisa may be eager to
see them once again. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was going
on a ‘girl’s night out’ with some of those girls she really seemed to
become good friends with.”
“Yeah, that could be a possibility, too,” replied Flygon. “Or it could
be something related to school. Wow, we could be guessing what it is
all night! She really hasn’t said anything at all about it to us.”
“Well, wherever it is, I hope she eats lotsa food! And maybe she’ll save some for me, too!”
“Please,” Persian scoffed. “You of all Pokémon don’t need to eat any more than you currently do.”
“Hey! I look good fat!” Walrein argued. “And you’re one to talk! You can’t even fly on the back of Flygon, you’re so fat!”
“Listen,” the feline hissed. “I am resisting the urge to use a Thunderbolt on you right now, if only because we’re teammates.”
“Jeez, sorry! Okay, okay, I’mma back off now, ‘kay?”
The winged dragon heaved a sigh. “I really wish you wouldn’t drag me into these arguments. I’m an innocent party!”
“I apologize,” said Persian. “Why he continues to make a mockery of my weight, I will likely never understand.”
Metagross droned, “My mass is the greatest out of all of us…”
“Yes,” Jolteon replied, “but you aren’t making fun of Persian’s weight.”
The cat stretched out her carefully groomed body. “Back to the subject
at hand, I would like to meet up with some of Lisa’s old friends from
her training days. Especially the girls that she would talk with – the
black haired one that was on that huge boat, the other black-haired
girl who was always with that blond-haired friend… For the life of me,
I cannot remember their names at the present time.”
“Me neither,” Weezing said. “But I hope Lisa finds the time to let us
meet with them again. I do like the friends she’s introduced us to
since coming to this school, but I kinda miss her old friends, too.”
Jolteon said, “Then again, I think it’d be cool if Lisa met a nice guy and they started going out…”
“Hey, I’m a nice guy!” Walrein interrupted.
“I think he means a nice human guy.”
“Oh. Um, okay, I guess?”
“Anyway,” the Electric-type continued, “I’ve seen her eyeing some of
the guys when we come here to eat our food. Her face turns all red and…
I think she’s just a little shy about talking to them. I think if
someone gave her a little more confidence, I’m sure she’d be able to
find a nice one if she would just talk to them.”
“True,” Persian replied. “Maybe I could give her some training in that regard…”
“How ya gon’ do dat?” asked Walrein. “I don’t ‘member you pickin’ up a lotta guys, y’know?”
The cat Pokémon sighed and turned to Metagross as yellow sparks began
to crackle on the surface of her fur. “Permission to zap him?”
“Permission granted,” replied the massive chrome Pokémon.
“That’s all I needed to hear,” she responded as she unleashed a vivid
Thunderbolt at the massive Ice-type. His pained howls were enough to
get Lisa to look up from her newspaper.
The girl smiled and called out, “Having fun training, you two?”
“Owowowowowow! It hurts! It hurts!”
“Have we learned our lesson? Will we stop making fun of me?”
“Yeah, I guess…” the singed Walrein muttered.
“No, not, ‘Yeah, I guess.’ Say, ‘Yes, ma’am.’ Or do you want another taste of electricity?”
“Thank you. That is all I needed to hear. Now, I trust you will not renege on that vow.”
Walrein turned toward Weezing. “I can’t understand the big words she’s usin’…”
The Poison-type answered, “She means don’t break your promise. Don’t make fun of her from now on.”
“Well, gee, dat’s no fun… But I guess it’s better than gettin’ zapped…”
Persian stretched out her lean body and yawned. “Honestly, some Pokémon
are so rude. It will be a miracle if you ever get a nice girl. And for
the record, I don’t need to be chasing after men. I am my own Pokémon.
Strong and independent.” Changing her tone, she turned her attention
toward Lisa. “But I can’t help but wonder if Lisa isn’t the same way.
Maybe she isn’t looking for a partner right now.”
Jolteon lifted one paw to scratch his chin. “She is watching some of the men, though.”
“Interesting,” Persian replied as she licked her paws clean. “Well, I guess she’s getting to be that age.”
“Wow,” Flygon said, “you’re starting to sound like her mother. I’m
almost expecting to hear something like, ‘It’ll be tough to let my
little girl go!’ afterwards!”
“I realized that as well. I really can’t explain it, though. There’s
something within me – perhaps motherly instinct – that makes me want to
protect that girl. She used to get so depressed after losing a battle,
and I always felt it was my duty to help comfort her in those
situations. I know she’s gotten stronger and more confident, but I
still do believe she depends on us as much as we depend on her.”
“Yeah, I understand that,” said Jolteon. “She’s always turned to us when she’s needed support.”
Weezing added, “Lisa’s got a good heart. She really does.” The other Pokémon nodded in agreement.
“Ya, she’s a real softie,” drawled Walrein.
“Analysis indicates that our trainer shows high levels of concern for
our well-being,” droned Metagross as it took a few lumbering steps
toward the rest of the group.
“Don’t worry, Lisa. As long as you’re there for us, we’ll always be
there for you,” said Persian as she caught a glimpse of her trainer
standing up. “Hold on, I think she’s getting ready to leave.”
“Okay guys, I think I’m ready to head out! Let’s go!” the teen called out.
The other Pokémon nodded as all of them headed over to where Lisa was
standing. She was holding onto two of her Pokéballs, ready to recall
them and head out.
“As much as I like it out here, I will be relieved to return to the
clean confines of my chamber, where I may indulge in my softly padded
bed,” said Persian as she followed her partners.
Lisa began the hike to the student parking lot. “Man… maybe wearing
these heels was a bad idea…” she muttered to no one in particular as
her feet began aching. “I’ll be glad when I get to my car…”
Fourtix University’s Marquis City branch was perhaps the only section
of the entire town not saturated with Mercury Grand Marquis
automobiles. So, in a parking lot of mostly sporty compact cars and
SUV’s, Lisa’s car, a beige 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon, stood out.
She was afraid that her meticulously maintained Chevy Caprice Classic
might be damaged in a parking lot mishap on campus, so she had left it
in the care of her parents and purchased the wagon.
Settling into the car’s plush cloth seats, Lisa put on her seat belt
and turned over the Buick’s V-8 engine. “Ugh… I swear these parking
lots discriminate against owners of big cars…” the teen scoffed as she
carefully backed her vintage wood-trimmed station wagon out of her
parking spot. She craned her neck forward and used the stand-up Buick
hood ornament at the end of the car’s long hood to gauge where the
front end was as she carefully maneuvered the vehicle out of the
Finally out of the maze of campus roads, Lisa was on the way to her
meeting. She passed by the popular bar, TJ McTipsy’s, which was
advertising “Disco Dancing Sensation Miror B. and the Miror-ettes.” She
also drove past the Quality Inn that had served as the base of
operations during the Thrash crackdown. Her destination was the
Applebee’s restaurant next door to the hotel. Parking her station wagon
among a row of large Mercury sedans, she excitedly stepped out of her
Buick and sprinted into the restaurant, only to crash headlong into
someone. Both of them fell down in a heap on the floor.
“Owww… Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” Lisa shrieked, covering her mouth with her hands as her eyes widened.
“Hah… We really have to stop meeting like this, Lisa.”
“Huh?” Lisa uttered, tilting her head in confusion. The other person
she had run into was a black-haired girl a few years younger than she
was. She was wearing a light green floral-print dress with a blue
ribbon around the waist. And like Lisa, she was wearing white
pantyhose. Next to her were two identical white hats.
“Sadie? Is that you?” Lisa asked.
“Yup, it’s me, all right! Come on, I’ll help you get off the floor.” Sadie extended her right hand.
“Thanks,” the older girl said as she grabbed her friend’s hand. “So, you were able to make it after all, I see.”
“Yep! I was able to use some of my Contest winnings to come out here
for a few days. Anyway, this isn’t the best place to talk. You said
some of your other friends were here waiting for us?” Sadie asked as
she picked one of the hats off of the floor.
“Yeah, we just need to find their table,” Lisa answered as she grabbed the other hat.
After a minute of searching the restaurant, Lisa pointed to a table
where two girls were seated. One of them had blond hair and a lavender
dress, while the other had black hair and was wearing a red top, pink
skirt, and black leggings.
As Lisa and Sadie approached the other two girls, the blond-haired one
turned around in her seat and called out, “Lisa! There you are! Kim and
I were wondering when you’d show up!”
“Oh, hey, Alexis! Hey, Kim! I’d like you both to meet Sadie Catherwood!
Sadie, I’d like to introduce you to Alexis Howard and Kim Harris!”
“Nice to meet the two of you!” Sadie said as she sat down at the table.
“Same here. Lisa’s told us a lot about you,” said Kim. “How you met on
a cruise ship, how you’re into Contests, and how you’re helping Lindsay
get a start with her own training.”
“Well, not quite yet. She called me the other day and she said that
it’ll be a couple weeks before she can make the trip to Sinnoh. But
I’ve talked with my mom, and she agreed to let Lindsay stay at our
place while she gets ready to begin her journey. My good friend Rena
also agreed to help out.”
“Hey, that’s great!” Alexis said. “You know, I wish my friend Shannon
could be here too, but she had some business to take care of. Her hair
looks a lot like yours, Sadie!”
As Sadie’s face turned red, Lisa asked, “Really? What kind of business?”
“I don’t know. Lorelei was really hush-hush about it. Something about
odd happenings in Orre, though. Hope it’s not anything related to
“I hope not, either,” Lisa said as she let out a sigh. “Professor Amy
and Ein are still working on their study of Thrash’s old Shadow Pokémon
device. Progress kinda got halted for the wedding.”
“What wedding?” Alexis asked.
“Didn’t you hear?” exclaimed Kim. “This past July, Amy and Ein got married!”
“Well!” Alexis snapped as she stood up, hands on her hips, “Of course I didn’t know! I wasn’t invited!”
“Oops…” Lisa chuckled nervously, rubbing the back of her head. “That…
may have been my fault. You see, I… kinda told them that you and
Shannon would be on assignment, so they didn’t send you an invitation.
Sorry about that…”
“Nah, it’s okay,” a calmer Alexis said as she took her seat again. “Anyway, what have you been up to lately?”
“Whew, it’s been busy!” Lisa started. “I thought juggling four classes,
a teaching assistantship, and being a club advisor would keep me busy,
but then I come to find out that Amy and Ein moved their research to
the campus here. So they’ve been asking me to come in and help them out
with the number-crunching aspect of their research. It’s almost on a
daily basis now!”
“Well, hopefully they won’t call tonight…”
“Hello, my name is Howie, and I’ll be your server tonight. Are you
ladies ready to order?” asked a young redheaded man now standing at the
“Yeah, I guess so…”
After taking the orders, Howie left the four friends to continue their conversation.
“So, Sadie,” Kim began, “Lisa’s told me that you’re a real hotshot when it comes to Contests. How’d you do over in Kanto?”
Sadie’s face turned red. “Well, I wouldn’t call myself a ‘hotshot’… But
to answer your question, I was oh so close to winning the Grand
Festival! If only my opponent hadn’t dodged that last attack, I
would’ve had her!”
“Well, congratulations for making it that far! I sure wish we made it
that far in the big worldwide tournament! Lisa was the only one from
our region to make it past the first round!” Kim said.
“Yeah, and I didn’t do much better… my second round opponent creamed me
good!” added Lisa. “On the other hand, the girl who beat me did end up
finishing second, so I guess that might count for something…” Lisa let
out a strained laugh.
“Don’t worry too much about that,” said Sadie. “You were great to even make it that far. So, Lisa, how are your Pokémon doing?”
“You know, I really think they’re enjoying the slower pace of college
life – well, at least it’s slower for them! They seem to have more
energy, especially Jolteon – he’s now gotten to the point where he can
actually stay awake for an entire meal.”
“So, you’re holding off on training?” asked Alexis.
“Not really, just cutting back a little.” Lisa took a sip of the
lemonade that had been delivered to the table. “We usually get to train
about two or three times a week, and we battle with other students
about once a week or so. I’ve even battled against my RA a couple
times, but I’ve never been able to beat her! Turns out she was a pretty
successful trainer before deciding on college.”
“Compared with my Pokémon, yours have it easy,” Kim said, letting out a
sigh. “I don’t know if it’s because I’m a returning trainer, or because
I’m the defending champion, but the Gym Leaders are definitely harder
this time around. I just got creamed by Melissa’s power team, and I’m
having to really train my team hard just to keep up with hers. I’m sure
they’d like a little break, too! But I miss not having you participate
in the League, Lisa!”
“I know, I know,” replied Lisa, waving one hand in front of her. “But I just didn’t feel that it was the right thing for me.”
“Anyways,” Sadie chimed in, “I’m kinda in the same boat as Lisa. I’m
not really sure where I want to go next after Kanto, so I’m letting my
Pokémon get some rest in the meantime. We’re still practicing Contest
combinations, but things have really calmed down recently.”
Lisa winked. “But in a couple weeks, things might get a bit more exciting ‘round your neck of the woods…”
“Huh? Oh, that’s right! That’s when Lindsay comes out to get her start
with training Pokémon! How could I forget that!” Sadie’s face began to
After a few moments of silence, Alexis spoke up. “As for me and my
Pokémon, it’s actually bursts of really intense battles with calm
stretches of light training in between. Sometimes weeks or even months
will go by without being dispatched on missions. Before she was sent
out on her latest mission, Shannon hadn’t been called into action since
late August – nearly two months. And my last one was late last month,
when Archie, Shelly and I were called in to stop some rogue Team Magma
members from stirring up trouble.”
“Oh, hey, Lexy, that reminds me,” Lisa said. “I’ve been thinking about
joining up with you guys in the League’s Enforcement Division. I’ve
been talking it over with Lorelei and she says I can begin training
after final exams this semester.” With this, Kim and Sadie looked up at
Lisa, both with surprised looks on their faces. Alexis, however, simply
cracked a smile.
“Wait, you’re not surprised, Lexy?”
“Not really. Lorelei’s been mentioning it to us for quite a while now.
She’s tried to hide it, but Shan and I can both tell she’s really
excited about having you on board. So, I guess it’s official now?”
“Yup!” answered Lisa. “Lorelei and I have talked with the school
administration and the math department head, and just this week we’ve
worked out a plan where I can participate in missions and training and
make up any work I miss.”
Sadie giggled. “Don’t worry, Lisa. With your brains, making up missed classes should be no problem at all!”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Lisa replied, rubbing the back of her
head. “The only problem is, it might affect my teaching. We’re still
trying to hammer out those details, but they might have me supervise
the tutoring center instead of teaching. I don’t really mind, but I do
enjoy the teaching.”
“Well, remember,” Alexis said, “the League’s got a lot of agents and
they’re pretty flexible. If you can’t go on an assignment, they’ll be
happy to find someone to fill in for you.”
Kim began rubbing her chin. “Hmmm… I’ve always wondered what secret agent trainers do.”
“Well,” Alexis started, “without spilling our secrets, I’ll just say
that they have a bunch of James Bond style gadgets. But on the missions
Shan and I’ve been on, we’ve relied on our Pokémon more than the
technology. But I guess it depends on the tactics that the foes use.
Right now, since we’re new, we’re sent in along with a senior agent.
Usually it’s Lorelei, but sometimes it’ll be with two of her close
partners, Giovanni and Eldes.”
“Ah,” said Lisa. “So I see that those two are still involved in the program.”
“Yep, and their past involvement in crime is actually working for our
benefit. They have insider knowledge about how many of these
organizations work, so we can crack their defenses. And Lorelei says
she’s got ‘em on a short leash so they don’t return to a life of crime.”
“Wow, all of this sounds very interesting!” exclaimed Kim. “You know,
after this year in the Pokémon League, I might sign on with you guys!”
“Go ahead! We’re always looking for some new talent!” Alexis turned her eyes toward Sadie.
“Whoa, whoa, sorry, but count me out!” the young coordinator shouted,
holding up her left hand. “My Pokémon are trained and conditioned for
Contests, not this sort of hardcore battling against criminals!”
“Yeah, I guess you have a point there. Those battles can get pretty
intense, and your Pokémon really need to be conditioned for that type
Lisa added, “I was a bit hesitant myself about whether my team would be
up to the task, but Lorelei told me she has a lot of faith in our
abilities. And I’ve noticed that Flygon in particular seems to be
restless, like she’s really looking for more action. Could be just me,
but maybe my Pokémon are looking forward to getting back in the game.
Oh, looks like our food’s here! There’s a juicy double burger with my
name on it!”
“Here we are, girls, the ‘Presidential Suite!’ Enjoy!” Inside the local
Quality Inn, Lisa opened the door to the hotel’s best room – a spacious
suite that caused Lisa’s friends to stare in stunned surprise. On
either side of the room was a king bed facing a large-screen plasma TV
and DVD player. Desks were placed next to each bed, and a table flanked
by four black leather easy chairs was in the center of the room. A
third television set was located directly in back of the table. Along
the back wall was a mini-kitchen with refrigerator and microwave, along
with another desk set up with a computer.
“Wow, Lisa! Are you sure you can afford this?” Sadie asked.
Smiling, the college student replied, “Relax. My parents’ company
bought this hotel in February and completely renovated it. My dad was
able to pull a few strings to get this room free for us! After all,
it’s not every day that I can host three of my best friends! One
problem, though – I will have to leave at seven in the morning for a
class, and because of a late meeting, I won’t be back till the evening.
Sorry I’m such a bad host!”
“Nah, don’t worry about it,” said Kim. “We understand that you still have college stuff to attend to. We’ll be fine.”
“Just in case, I asked Melissa to show you around town tomorrow. She’s
supposed to call the room to arrange a meeting. But I promise, after
tomorrow, I’ll be around more. Friday, I’m free after noon, and I’ve
got nothing else planned for the weekend so I’ll be able to hang out
with you then. Thanks for putting up with me!” Lisa’s face began to
turn red. “Anyway, let’s see if there’s anything good on TV.”
The four girls headed over to the table and rearranged the seats so
they could all see the television. Lisa grabbed the remote and fired up
“Gas prices in the Fourtix region have hit a three month high as a
result of increased travel on the region’s newly completed freeway
system. The average price of regular unleaded is now up to eighty-eight
cents a gallon…”
“Ugh…” scoffed Kim. “Gas prices are ridiculous these days…”
“Heck, this is nothing!” said Lisa. “Back in South Carolina, they’re
fast approaching three dollars a gallon! We have it good here!”
The other three girls didn’t reply but simply sat with wide eyes and stunned expressions. Meanwhile, the news continued.
“And now, we turn to Karen who’s outside the Vernon City courthouse right now. Karen?”
“Thanks, Dennis. Investment firm or Ponzi scheme? That’s the question
that a judge and jury are asking regarding the practices of Jackson,
Rogers, and Parrett as the company’s executives are being tried
following the firm’s collapse…”
“Ugh… Nothing but news!” Lisa groaned as she flipped through the channels.
“Blaine! Blaine! Blaine! Blaine! Blaine! Blaine! Professor Blaine the Science King!”
After the theme song ended, Blaine himself appeared on screen. “Thanks
for watching this episode of ‘Professor Blaine the Science King!’
Tomorrow’s episode will explore the technological breakthroughs
achieved with the creation of Porygon and its evolutions. Good night!”
“Aww, man!” Alexis sulked. “We missed an episode of Blaine!”
“Say, I’ve got an idea.” Lisa turned off the television and cracked a
smile. “Let’s say we have ourselves a little double battle out in the
“Excellent idea, Lisa!” Kim jumped up from her seat. “I’m in!”
Alexis smiled as well. “Sure. After all, we can’t have you going soft
if you want to be a Pokémon League Special Agent, college girl! We’ve
gotta keep you on your toes!”
“Just remember which one of us won the last time we battled,” teased Sadie.
“Okay, it’s settled, then!” With that, all four girls grabbed their
handbags and left their room. They made their way down the elevator and
out the hotel’s rear entrance, where a grassy lawn awaited them.
“We’ll split into two teams. Kim and I will take on Sadie and Alexis.
Everyone uses three Pokémon each. The first side to have all their
Pokémon faint loses the match. Okay?”
“Sounds fine to me!” Alexis called out.
“But first,” Lisa said as she took out her iPod and a pair of speakers, “we need some music to set the mood.”
“While you get that set up, I think I’ll call out Ninetales!” Alexis
announced as she threw her Pokéball. Emerging from the brilliant flash
of red light was a yellow fox-like creature with many long, flowing
tails. Sadie, which Pokémon are you gonna use?”
“Um, let me think… Ah, I think Lopunny will do just fine!” The young
coordinator pitched her sphere in a sweeping underhand motion,
summoning her tall, lanky brown rabbit Pokémon.
“Interesting choices for battle,” mused Kim as she rubbed her chin.
“But this Pokémon won me the Fourtix League last year and he’s not to
be underestimated! Nidoking, go!”
As the defending champion’s purple monster emerged with a roar and
began pointing his horn at his two opponents, Lisa had finally finished
setting up her iPod.
“Lisa! We need a partner here! You ready?”
“You bet I am! Okay, Persian, time for a workout!” As the beige cat
emerged, she began stretching out her lithe body, the red jewel on her
forehead glistening in the setting sun. The four Pokémon eyed each
other carefully as Lisa’s choice in music continued playing.
“You made me believe
that I can do almost anything
Stood right by me
through the tears, through everything
“I'll remember you,
and baby that's forever true
You're the one that I'll always miss
Never thought it would feel like this
I'll be there for you,
No matter what you're goin' through
In my heart you'll always be, forever baby
I'll remember you…”
“Interesting song choice,” said Kim. “So I guess this is your way of saying, ‘Friends Forever,’ Lisa?”
“Yup!” The teenage genius had a big smile on her face.
“Okay, ready to go all out?” asked Alexis.
“We’re all set over here!” Sadie called out.
“Okay, Lisa,” said Kim. “Let’s do our very best. Not only for this battle, but for whatever challenges we face in the future.”
Brushing some dirt off her dress, Lisa grinned. “Oh, don’t worry, I will! Count on it!”
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