You sneak up on the location of the caterpie. It doesn’t notice how close you have gotten. You think to yourself, ‘sorry, little guy.’ It looks so cute but you have to do this. “Pika-CHUUUUUU!” The Thundershock surprised the caterpie making it a critical hit. After the charge fades, the caterpie collapses to the ground dead, occasionally twitching.
You’ve never killed anything before and feel bad. But this is the forest and you might as well learn to live in it. “Hey, Ava!” You yell into the canopy.
Fluttering echoes off the trees and soon, Ava appears above. “Oh, so you did get something for me.” She comes down to the ground and hops towards the dead caterpie.
You place your paw on the kill, “you can have it after you answer my questions.”
She laughs, “okay, okay. I pegged you as a softy, but it looks like I was wrong. You might just survive out here. Shoot.”
“Do you know which way Thunder Mountain is?”
“Thunder Mountain? Never heard of it.”
“Big mountain with a thunderstorm at the top. It’s where I can find a Thunder Stone.”
“Hmmm, sorry, I don’t really know. I’m not up on my pikachu mythology. There are some mountains to the west. But you would have to cross the river for that.”
“Is there any way to cross the river?”
“Yeah, fly!” She mocks you. You growl and she responds back, “ha, sorry, I’m kidding, chill out. The only way is to keep heading south. Eventually, if you keep following the river south, you’ll get to a swamp. There’s a rough human path with some footbridges but it’s still dangerous as hell. You think the forest is bad, wait till you meet some of the Pokemon living there. But that’s the only way unless you make a water friend to swim you across. There’s also a cliff up ahead. You’ll have to get down that too, then you’ll be in the southern forest and that place makes the central forest look like a paradise. I don’t know what else I can tell you. Any other questions?”
“I guess not.” You take your paw off the caterpie.
“Thank you for dinner. My chicks and mate will be fed well tonight.” The thought makes you a little happy and eases your guilt over killing the caterpie. She peeps, “Hey, you’re not so bad, so let me give you one last piece of advice; stay here tonight. If you travel much further south, you’ll be in his territory.”
“A noctowl, big mother fucker and loves eating rodents. Can you blame him though?” She shrugs her wings. “Anyways, he hunts at dusk and night. If you get caught out during that time, he will dine on pika tonight. Your electricity won’t matter if he puts you to sleep first. I don’t know how, but he has a way of sapping the energy out of his victims. I would hate to see a yellow owl pellet on the ground tomorrow morning after you helped me today. Just stay put, it’s safe here, trust me.”
She chirps, “see! Quid pro quo, that’s the way of the forest. Keep that in mind. Good luck out there, pikachu.”
She hops on the green worm and flies away. You can tell the pidgey is having trouble flying with such a heavy load but manages. The forest is now quiet once more. You head to the creek and drink. The pidgey warned you of the noctowl and you don’t see any reason to keep forging forward tonight. It’s early evening and you could get a few more miles of travel today but if the pidgey is right, you should hold up here. You look around the area and see a tree with a crook just big enough to sleep inside. You climb up the tree and look; it’s a small space that looks like it hasn’t been occupied in quite some time. Some dry straw and twigs line the floor. It would be a perfect place to sleep for the night. This will be your temporary home.
You spend the next few hours around the area, relaxing and practicing your battle stance. Once the sun starts to set, you climb into the crook and curl up into a ball. You had a few close calls today, but all in all, it turned out okay. Maybe you are cut out for Thunder Mountain. You yawn and quickly fall asleep.
You wake up the next morning a little late but it’s still early enough to get a good bit of traveling today. You climb out of the tree and head down. You stretch out the morning cramps and grab a bite to eat from the oran bush. You clean up in the creek and prepare to set out. So many tribe members told you, you wouldn’t even last a night out here but you did and you still feel at full power. Thunder Mountain doesn’t seem so far away now. You strike off south, reinvigorated in your quest.
After thirty minutes of travel, you hear peeping from a nearby tree. “Hey! That’s the pikachu!” It’s Ava’s voice. Up in a tree is Ava and another pidgey in a nest with three plump pidgey hatchlings.
Ava and the other pidgey flutter down to you, landing on a fallen log. The other pidgey says in a boyish voice, “so, you're the pikachu that killed the caterpie last night?”
“Well thank you. He was a juicy one too. Made for good eating.”
Ava butts in, “this is my mate, Flappy. And those are my chicks above. We don’t name them until they know how to fly.” She leans in and whispers, “just in case they don’t make it.”
You respond, “I guess thank you for the advice. I got a good night’s sleep back at the creek.”
Ava peeps, “I’m glad you listened! That noctowl is not something to mess with.”
Flappy joins in, “Hey, what’s your name, by the way? I would like to know to whom I owe dinner.”
“It was nice meeting you, Lulu. Ava and I better get hunting for the day. That caterpie won’t keep our hungry chicks full for long. Good luck finding a Thunder Stone.”
Ava chirps, “goodbye, Lulu!”
“Goodbye and good luck raising your chicks,” you tell them. You leave them and head down the path.
As you leave, Flappy tells his mate, “I’m going to head north with the others. We are going to scavenge around a human campsite we saw a few days ago. Hopefully, the girl leaves some Poke-food out. She laid out some for us that one night, nice girl.”
Ava says, “okay, sweetie. I’ll forage around here. But be careful of Dawn. She seems off ever since her mate disappeared. I feel like she’s been stalking you.”
“You’re just being paranoid. Dawn is the least of my worries. You should be careful of vulpix; you know how they get this time of year...”
Their voices fade into the distance. You travel for an hour with no interactions until water drops on your nose. You look up to see a rain cloud moving in from the north. Low rolls of thunder shake the trees. It’s about to rain hard but it doesn’t look like it will last long. Your journey will have to take a break until the rain passes. You find a healthy bush and sit under a big leaf. The rain starts to come down in waves.