All dressed, Natalie waited downstairs for the professor along with Gulfstream. The loud ticking noise of the clock was making her even uncharacteristically impatient, and Natalie began tapping her foot to the tempo of the sound. Where is she? Professor Pine said that we were going to be doing important things today.
Finally, the professor casually walked into the room, smiling at the two girls. “Are you both ready? Once we leave, we’re not going to be coming back for a while,” she warned, grabbing the keyring hanging on the wall.
“Yup, I'm ready,” Gulfstream answered, excited, while Natalie gave Professor Pine a nod.
“Good. Come on, we have quite a bit to do.”
Natalie made sure her messenger bag was closed before following Gulfstream and the professor out the door. Hopefully everything I need is in here, or else I’ll be letting the professor down.
Gulfstream seemed to be waiting for Natalie. “Hey, Natalie. Do you happen to know what we’re going to be doing today?”
Natalie shook her head. “Nope. All she told me was that we were going to do something important today.”
“Oh, okay,” Gulfstream replied, looking slightly dejected at this news. “The professor wouldn’t tell me, either.”
Right at that moment, Professor Pine turned around, and said, “Girls? Come on, we need to hurry, or else we won’t be able to get everything done.” She continued her stride forward.
The pair ran after the professor, and Natalie was surprised. The professor? In a rush? Now I’m even more curious to learn what we’re doing.
The group strolled around Piato Town in silence, leaving Natalie free to enjoy the view. Piato Town wasn’t the most modern area in Prismia, but it was surely one of the prettiest, especially in the blooming springtime atmosphere. Adjusting her purple headscarf, Natalie enjoyed the sight of the warm colored tulips and the rising sun.
Suddenly, the group came to a halt, stopping in front of a small, cozy-looking house. Natalie recognized this place: it was the residence of Time, a boy who was slightly older than her. If she remembered right, he didn’t have any Pokémon yet. Could it be…?
“Here’s our first spot,” Professor Pine announced, bringing down both of her arms into her lab coat pocket.. “Natalie, please knock on the door.”
Natalie nodded, but instead of knocking on the door, she pressed the doorbell. It was a more convenient way to do it, and Natalie knew that the professor wouldn't care about her doing the exact action anyway.
As the group waited for someone to answer the door, Gulfstream asked, “Who lives here?”
“Time,” Professor Pine answered, tapping her foot.
Right at that moment, the door opened, and a black-haired boy wearing a navy-colored jacket stood in the doorway. His eyes lit up upon seeing who it was. “Oh, Professor Pine and Natalie! Hello!”
“Hi, Time,” Natalie greeted quietly.
“Who is that with you?” Time asked, “I don’t recognize her.”
“I’m Gulfstream!” Gulfstream piped up, “And it’s nice to meet you!”
“It’s good to meet you too.”
Professor Pine cleared her throat, causing Natalie and the others to look at her. “Time, are your parents home?” she asked.
Time shook his head. “No, why?”
“I wanted to tell them something,” the emerald-eyed professor sighed, “but it's fine.” She took out a yellow notepad from her lab coat pocket along with a pen, and scribbled something on it. “Put this note some place where they’ll find it, and come with me.”
“O-okay,” Time replied, his eyes skimming over the letter. He then went inside, and Professor Pine stashed her pen and paper in her pocket.
What does that letter say? Natalie curiously wondered, tilting her head slightly.
As soon as Time came back, the professor told the group, “Come on now, let’s go.”
“Where are we going next, Professor?” Gulfstream inquired as Professor Pine began to escort the group somewhere else.
Natalie almost had to jog to keep up with the professor’s long strides, curious about the answer as well.
“We’re going to have to pick up Lector, too, so we’re going there next.”
Both Gulfstream and Time piped up at once, confused. Pine, however, and continued moving forward without saying anything.
Natalie turned to Gulfstream. “Lector is a girl who lives in Piato Town as well,” she explained.
“Okay, but then why was Time so surprised?” Gulfstream asked, her voice the same, soft volume that Natalie was using.
Natalie glanced at Time, who seemed to be paying attention to their conversation. She shrugged. “Ask him, because I don’t know.”
Gulfstream repeated her question to Time.
“Oh, well, I didn’t expect Lector to be part of this, too. Not after the Incident,” he replied, trying to push his bangs out of his right eye.
Natalie blinked. “The Incident? How is that relevant?”
At the same time, Gulfstream asked, “What is this ‘incident’ you guys are talking about?”
“The Incident? To be honest, I don’t know much of the details. But around three years ago, Lector lost her memory due to some really bad injury she got during battle or fight of some sort.”
“What!?” Gulfstream yelled, her eyes wide. Professor Pine turned around, and gave Gulfstream a look before returning to face forward.
Time nodded solemnly. “We call that event the Incident, and it’s relevant because today’s the day I’m getting a Pokémon, according to the note that the professor wrote. If Lector’s coming with us, then it means that she’s getting one, too.”
Natalie frowned. “I still don’t get how that relates.”
“Lector lost her memory due to a Pokémon battle or something like that, right? So, it’s a little surprising that she’s getting Pokémon so soon after it. That’s all.”
The three of them walked ahead in an awkward silence, barely realizing that Professor Pine was far ahead of them.
As bad as it is to lose your memory, at least Lector’s recovering just fine, Natalie thought, looking down. Maybe getting a Pokémon might actually help her.
Suddenly, Gulfstream let out a yelp. “Hey!”
Everyone stopped, even the professor. “What’s the matter, Gulfstream?” Professor Pine asked, looking concerned.
Gulfstream had fallen on the ground, and looked rather annoyed. “She pushed me,” she explained, pointing at a teenager dressed in blues and purples.
“Excuse me? You were in my way,” the girl retorted, putting her hands on her hip.
“That’s not true!” Gulfstream snapped, “You were-”
The professor cut Gulfstream off. “It doesn’t matter now, so stop fighting, Gulfstream. And you, miss- I haven’t seen you around town before. What’s your name?”
“Nova,” she responded, “although I don’t know why you care.” Nova glared at the group, making Natalie feel slightly uncomfortable. What’s her problem?
“Alright, that’s quite enough about that. Sorry for bothering you, Nova,” Professor Pine apologized, “and go do whatever you were going to do.”
Nova didn’t respond. Instead, she simply walked away, giving the professor one last look as she left.
“Well then, let’s go. Hopefully, we won’t be held up this time,” Pine said, turning to Natalie, Gulfstream, and Time.
“Okay!” Gulfstream began to skip, following the professor. Time and Natalie jogged after them, not wanting to fall behind.
Soon, they arrived in front of another house, in another neighborhood. Without wasting any time, Professor Pine knocked on the door, asking, “Is Lector home?”
The door swung open almost immediately, and Natalie could see a lady older than the professor standing at the door. She had small, sparkling ice blue eyes, and was smiling. “Marie! Good to see you! Is today the day? By the way, Lector’s should be coming,” the woman informed.
Professor Pine gave a smile, and replied, “Nice to see you too, Bella. Yes, today’s the day; Lector’s getting her first Pokemon.”
At that moment, a brown-haired girl roughly 11 years old arrived by the door. Pushing up her round, cyan glasses, she greeted the group.
“Hi! Are you Lector?” Gulfstream asked, waving.
“Yup! What’s your name?”
Natalie glanced at the professor, who had sighed. I’m guessing Pine isn’t too happy about us constantly introducing Gulfstream to everyone in town, she thought.
Suddenly, she felt a shiver down her spine, along with the feeling that someone was watching them. Is… someone there? Natalie observed the others, but none of them seemed to have noticed anything. I’ll ask them later, when we’re travelling to the next destination.
“We can be friends, right?” Lector inquired, looking anxious for an answer.
Gulfstream nodded, and was about to open her mouth to reply. However, Professor Pine spoke before she could.
“Okay, Bella, we’ll be going. The rest of you, follow me.”
Once more, the professor suddenly began moving, leaving the others to hurry up after her once giving their own goodbyes to Bella, Lector’s mother. In the rush, Natalie forgot to ask the others about the chills she experienced.
“Hey, professor! Wait up!”