“ALEXIS! YOU HAVE COMPANY!”
Another day, another adventure. I woke up with my blankets wrapped up around me like the cocoons that Grubbin can spin. I shook those off of me with a large yawn.
“Good morning, Smokey.”
I looked around the room and saw that Smokey was nowhere to be seen. He wasn’t at the foot of the bed like he has been the past few days.
I got dressed and headed downstairs to see my Mom at the kitchen stove cooking up some food. Lillie was sitting at the table, her bag by her side. Litten was curled up on Lillie’s lap. Lucky was standing around near my Mom’s feet.
“Hello, Alexis. I hope you don’t mind that I…uh… well the Professor…he…”
“You’re more than welcome to come into our house and eat our food.” My mom said with a smile. “Any friend of Alexis is like a daughter to me.”
Lillie seemed to flinch.
“Thanks,” she said quietly.
I thought about pursuing whatever was the matter with Lillie, but I figured that wasn’t a very good way to start the day.
“What’s for breakfast, Mom?”
“We’re having pancakes and fresh Alolan berries.”
“Sounds delicious!” I sat down at the table and gave Lillie a smile. She still seemed upset by something, but she gave me a small smile.
Mom sat down a plate with a large stack of pancakes and a bowl full of fresh berries. I immediately grabbed my fork and took a couple pancakes and put them on my plate. Then I spooned the cut up berries onto my plate and started to dig in.
“Slow down, Alexis. You have a guest.”
“It’s ok, I’m used to seeing Hau eat malasada,” Lillie said with a laugh. She took some pancakes and berries as well.
The pancakes were golden brown covered with dark brown syrup and some butter. They were warm and gooey and made with love. The berries were a nice mix of sweet and sour and they were a variety of colors. Lillie seemed to enjoy the breakfast and she also fed some to Nebbie in her bag and Smokey who was still sitting on her lap. My mom was also ate breakfast with us and fed some of the berries to Lucky underneath the table. It only took a few minutes till we all ate our fill of the food.
“That was great, Mom.”
“Well I’m glad you and Lillie both liked it,” my Mom said picking up the plates and dumping them into the kitchen sink.
“Yeah it was fantastic,” Lillie said.
Smokey jumped of Lillie’s lap and started to chase Lucky around the living room.
“So what are you two up to, today?” My mom asked.
“I don’t know,” I turned to Lillie. “Didn’t you say something about the Professor?”
“That’s right!” A light bulb seemed to go off in Lillie’s mind. “The Professor sent me to get you and bring you back to the lab. He has stuff for you if you are going to start on your Island Challenge.”
My mom gave me a look that I knew meant ‘Are you starting your Island Challenge?’ I tried to return her look and we ended up staring at each other for a few seconds in silence.
“Did I miss something?” Lillie asked breaking the awkwardness.
“It’s nothing,” I said. “It’s just that last night I was unsure whether or not I wanted to start on this island adventure. But I gave it a lot of thought and I decided that I’m going to do it.”
“That’s great,” Lillie said.
“I’m very proud of you, honey,” My mom added.
“Thanks,” I said. “Now about the Professor and the lab…”
“Right! We should probably be on our way!”
I collected my stuff and opened my Pokeéball and Litten went inside.
“Here Alexis,” My mom said as she handed me a plastic card. “Keep this with you. It’s a bank card. I put some money in an account for you so you can use it to buy supplies when you go into town.”
“Thanks Mom!” I gave her a hug and Lillie and I started out towards the Professor’s Lab.
“You have a nice mother, don’t you?” Lillie said more to herself than to me.
“Yeah she is pretty great,” I said. “Do you have a family?”
Lillie seemed to flinch again. “Yeah.”
I could sense something was wrong, “Uh… we don’t’ have to talk about it, if you don’t want to.”
“Thanks,” She said softly.
“Pew pew!” Lillie’s bag shook back and forth.
“Nebbie! Stay in there.”
“Nebbie doesn’t really like to stay out of sight,” I observed.
“Yeah but Nebbie has to say hidden,” Lillie said. “Don’t worry, Nebbie. We’re almost to the Professor’s lab and then you can come out.”
“Pew pew!” Lillie’s bag shook again
Lillie sighed, “Nebbie… I mean Cosmog is a rare Pokémon from far away. It seems to have a strange power. It used that power once to save me when I was in danger, just like it used its power on the bridge trying to save you. Some… other people want Cosmog for themselves, to use that power. That’s why the Professor and Kahuna Hala and other people I can trust are the only ones who know about Cosmog. That’s why I asked you to keep Nebbie a secret when I first met you.”
“Don’t worry Lillie, I can keep a secret,” I said. “I want to protect Nebbie just like you do.”
“Thanks Alexis, I’m glad I can trust you.” Lillie smiled a bit. “Oh look, we’re here.”
Here was apparently a building that looked like more of a beach house than a Professor’s Lab. It sat on the beach and had stilts underneath it to keep the water at bay. The whole place looked like it could use a bit of work on the exterior. The roof looked like it was missing shingles and had boards across some of the roof. The stairs and railings looked like they needed to be repainted.
“This is the Professor’s Lab?” I asked thinking Lillie might be joking.
“Yeah. I know it doesn’t look like much, but this is the Professor’s lab. It has its own charm.”
“Sure I guess.”
“OH YEAH ROCKRUFF! Let’s go! Give it everything you’ve got!”
I jumped back a little bit at the sound of the Professor yelling from within his lab.
“Come on, Alexis. We better break up this fight,” Lillie said.
We went up the stairs and opened the door to see the Professor and Rockruff fighting over one of Rockruff’s toys.
“Alola Alexis and Lillie!” The Professor exclaimed. “Rockruff and I were just working on some new Pokémon moves.”
“The Professor never stops researching moves. Not even inside the lab itself. That’s why there are holes in the roof and the Professor goes through so many coats.”
Professor Kukui just chuckled, “Rockruff’s moves were just so stylin’, and I was making good progress with my research. But now that you’re here I can move on to other things.”
“My I see your Pokédex for a second, Alexis?” Professor Kukui asked.
“Yeah sure,” I pulled my Pokédex out of my bag and handed it over to him.
He went over to his desk and searched through boxes of papers and notebooks, “So what do you think of the place?”
“Well…it’s very unique. Very different from Professor Oak’s lab in Pallet Town,” I said.
“Very true! Lillie doesn’t mind living here too much and I enjoy working here.”
Lillie flinched a little bit. She turned to me. “I’ve actually been, um, imposing on the professor here for the past three months. I’m not really much of an assistant, but it’s the least I can do to pay him back for letting me stay.”
“Nonsense! Lillie is a great assistant.” Professor Kukui emerged again holding my Pokédex in one hand and a Pokéball in the other.
“It finally arrived,” He said. “And now that I’ve made some modifications to the Pokédex, Rotom can now inhabit it.”
“I can tell you about Rotom,” Lillie said. “It is a peculiar Pokémon, with a body made up of something like electricity. It can take up residence in machines.”
Professor Kukui continued, “And to put that crazy skill of Rotom’s to work, they’ve created the next generation of Pokédexes. It’s only complete once a Rotom has gone into the Pokédex that’s specially developed for it. This Pokédex is a whole new way for Pokémon to communicate. Also keep in mind that there are only a few of these beauties out in the world.”
“So basically, don’t drop it on the ground?” I said.
Professor Kukui laughed, “Correct! Now if I power up your Pokedex –“
Professor Kukui turned on my Pokédex. He then proceeded to open the Pokéball and revealed a Pokémon I had never seen before. It was a reddish-orange creature that kind of resembled a water droplet shape. It floated in midair and had two arms that looked like lightning bolts. It body seemed to be made of electricity.
“This must be Rotom,” I said.
“Correct,” Professor Kukui said. “Rotom, say Hi to Alexis.”
“Right now Rotom can’t really communicate with you, but if when it takes up host in your Pokédex, it can use the Pokédex’s technology to talk to you,” Professor Kukui explained. “Rotom, why don’t you go inside the Pokédex.”
Rotom went into my Pokédex and it started to float in midair. Rotom’s face appeared on the screen.
“Bzzzt Hello Alexis. Nice to meet you,” The Rotomdex said.
“Wow that is so cool,” I said. “I don’t want to complain, but why am I so special? You said they were rare, right? So why am I the lucky beta tester?”
“Well you haven’t been in Alola very long. So I decided to give you this Special Rotomdex that will help you navigate around Alola. This is equipped with a map of Alola as well as the normal Pokedex functions. Don’t worry you’ll find out how it works as you use it.”
“Well thanks again, Professor,” I said.
Rotomdex deactivated and returned to my bag.
Hau entered Professor Kukui’s lab.
“Alola Hau,” Lillie said. “I didn’t know you were stopping by the Professor’s lab today.”
“Yeah I forgot to mention it to you this morning, but I invited Hau to stop by,” The Professor explained. “There are some important things you all need to know about the island challenge before you set off on your adventure together. The island challenge is your chance to become the strongest trainer around – the Island Challenge Champion. It’s a great adventure for you and your Pokémon to go on together.”
Lillie continued to explain, “There are four main islands that make up Alola, and a kahuna for each one of them. If you wish to be recognized by the kahunas as worthy, it said that you must clear seven different trails.”
Alexis, I want you and Litten to get out there and give it a shot. I think you must have a talent for drawing out your Pokémon’s strengths. I believe both you and Hau would be good contenders to become the Island Challenge Champion.
“But Professor! Doesn’t Alexis need an island challenge amulet like my grandfather gave me?” Hau lifted up an amulet he had hanging on a belt loop. It kind of look like an amulet with different triangles of colors imbedded in it.
“Well I was just getting around to that, Hau,” Professor Kukui said. He picked a similar amulet off his desk and handed it me. “Here you go, Alexis. This is an island challenge amulet like Hau has. Everybody on the island challenge gets one of these amulets.”
I grabbed the amulet and hung it on my bag.
“Now before you go exploring the island, I’d suggest you stop by the Trainer School and learn some more basics. It’s a long road to becoming the island challenge champion, and the trainer’s school is the first step.”
“Thanks for the advice, Professor,” Hau said. “I’m going to go to the Trainer school! Race you guys!”
Hau smile and ran out the door as fast as he could.
“Wait Hau!” Professor Kukui yelled. “That boy is full of energy. Unfornately I was going to tell him that the Trainer School is closed today. You guys will have to go tomorrow.”
“Maybe we should catch up with Hau,” Lillie said.
“Yeah that’s a good idea,” I said.
“Alexis, you might want to go catch some new Pokémon to add to your team. I know our adventure to catch a Pikipek yesterday did not go well, but I know you’ll have more luck catching other Pokemon. And Lillie, why don’t you stay with Alexis. She could use some help getting around still, plus you might learn something from her.”
“Yeah… that’s a good idea,” Lillie said.
“And make sure you take Cosmog with you.”
I looked around and saw Nebbie and Rockruff playing in the corner. I didn’t even see Nebbie get out of the bag. Maybe this was what Lillie had to deal with all the time.
“Come on Nebbie! Time to get back in the bag.” Lillie said opening her gym bag.
We left Professor Kukui’s lab and headed towards Route 1. It just seemed crazy to me that I had the privilege to try out this Rotomdex. It really seemed like I was getting special treatment from Professor Kukui. Maybe he also saw something in me like Kahuna Hala does. Professor Kukui did say I had a knack for bringing out the potential in Pokémon. But how could he tell? I’ve only been in a few Pokémon battles.
“Alexis, is there something wrong?” Lillie asked.
I looked over at her and then shook my head, “Nothing, Lillie. I guess I just have a lot on my mind.”
“Yeah…I get that.”
As we neared Route 1 we heard a scream.
“What was that?” Lillie asked.
“I’m not sure, let’s go!”
Lillie and I ran and found a group of Alolan Rattatas circling a tree. Up in the tree was a
Pichu holding on a branch. The three Rattatas kept head-butting the tree and the tree shook back and forth. The Pichu was crying out as it tried to hold on to the tree.
“That Pichu, it’s in trouble! You’ve got to help it, Alexis.”
“Right,” I said. I pulled out my Pokeball and tossed it into the air. “GO Smokey!”
With a red flash of light, Smokey the Litten stood before me.
“Litten?” It stared at me and then assessed the situation at hand.
“Smokey, we need to help out that Pichu that’s being attacked by Rattatas.”
Litten nodded and then jumped into action. Two of the Rattatas turned and saw us.
“Rattata Ratt Ratt”
“Smokey, use ember!”
The two Rattatas charged forward. Smokey took up his stance and let out a fireball. It soared towards one of the Rattatas and made direct contact knocking it back. The other one continued to charge at Litten. It jumped at Litten and used opened its mouth and bit down on LItten’s tail.
“LITTEN!” Litten began running in circles trying to shake it off its tail.
In the background the third Rattata continued to shake the tree and Pichu was barely hanging on.
“Smokey use scratch on the Rattata that has your tail!”
Smokey turned and use its claws scratching the Rattata across the face. It let go stumbling back.
“Now use ember!”
Litten created a fireball and shot it out at the Rattata hitting it directly and it landed close to the first Rattata.
With one final headbutt the tree shook and Pichu fell out of it falling onto the ground in a loud thump. The third Rattata seemed to be pretty happy with itself and then decided to lash out at Pichu.
“Alexis, Pichu is major trouble!” Lillie yelled out from behind me.
“Let’s go Smokey!”
Litten nodded and started towards the Pichu, but the two other Rattatas got back up and stood guard.
“Smokey, you need to try to get through. Use a barrage of embers.”
Smokey nodded and planted its feet shooting several, small fireball towards the Rattatas. The Rattatas dodged most of them and took only minimal damage. They must have decided that dealing with fire wasn’t worth the effort, they looked at each other and decided to run off away from us and the Pichu.
“Now’s our chance,” I said. “We need to get to Pichu.”
In the background I saw the third Rattata and Pichu in the midst of their fight. Pichu was completely defenseless as the Rattata used its speed to get around Pichu and attack from behind. The Pichu was confused and unable to attack back.
“Pichu!” I called out to it. “You need to fight back. Use Thundershock!”
The Pichu looked up at me and in that moment, the Rattata used Quick Attack and hit it with the full force of its body. The Pichu rolled backwards and hit the trunk of the tree.
“Oh no!” Lillie said.
“Pichu! Trust me. Use Thundershock!”
Pichu steadied itself a little bit and little bits of electricity began to build up around its cheeks. The Rattata came back for another attack this time opening its mouth and preparing for a Bite attack.
Pichu unleashed lightning from its body in a flash of light and heat. The electricity was unleashed in all directions striking me, Smokey, the tree, and most importantly, the Rattata. It got a mouthful of electricity and it was knocked back. It’s fur in all directions and smoke coming from the ends of its whiskers. It decided it had enough and scurried away. The electricity that struck me passed harmlessly into the ground although I did feel a tingly feeling all over my body. Smokey looked a little fried as well with its fur sticking up all over the place.
Smokey was tired from all the fighting and the electric shock was almost too much for it.
“You did a good job, Smokey. Return to your Pokéball.”
I opened up the Pokéball and Smokey disappeared in a flash of red light.
“You did it, Alexis! You saved Pichu!” Lillie ran up to me and almost tackled me with happiness.
“Yeah I guess I did,” I said. “Where did Pichu go?”
I looked around and Pichu was nowhere to be found.
“There!” Lillie pointed up towards the tree.
Pichu was back to hiding in the tree. It was scared and shaking as it held on to the tree trunk
“Awh it’s scared,” Lillie said.
“Pichu, its ok,” I said. “We’re not here to hurt you. We just wanted to help you.”
“Pi Pi?” The Pichu popped its head out a little bit.
“If you wanted, you could come on a journey with us. We could help you perfect that Thundershock attack. Plus I would like to be your friend,” I said. “Or you could stay up there. It’s up to you.”
Pichu looked at both Lillie and me and then back at the tree trunk. It stood there for a second and then jumped off the tree towards me. I ran forward and grabbed the Pichu out of the air.
“So you’re going to come with us?” I asked.
“Pi Pi” Pichu shook its head yes.
“That’s fantastic,” Lillie said.
“Yeah it is,” I said. “Now we need a name for you.”
“I have an idea. That Thundershock attack kind of reminded me of watching lightning strikes during a thunderstorm. So what about Storm?” Lillie suggested.
“What do you think, Pichu? Do you like the name Storm?” I asked.
“PI PI!” Pichu shook its head yes again.
“Great, for now one your name is Storm and your my Pichu!” I said tossing the Pichu up in air a little bit and catching it.
Lillie and I laughed.
“We better get you in a Pokéball and then we can take you to get fixed up from that battle,” I said. I opened up my bag and retrieved a spare Pokéball. I opened it and Pichu disappeared inside.
“Wow Alexis, that was amazing. Not only did you help rescue a Pokémon today. You convinced it to join your team. You made a new friend and expanded your Pokémon team. Super cool,” Lillie said.
“Yeah it is,” I smiled. Maybe this is what Professor Kukui and Kahuna Hala saw in me.
“Now let’s get to the Pokémon Center so you can heal your Pokémon. There’s one on the outskirts of Hau’oli City not too far from your house,” Lillie said.
I nodded my head and Lille and I started heading towards the Pokémon center.