“Picnic AM”A short story for CorvusAtrox, with as many memes tacked in as I could!
It was finally Monday! The worst weekday of all!
But today Maggie would claim her vengeance upon the world, for today would be Picnic Day. Maggie had made a quickie plan to get to the river a few hours out and spend the day there with her mons and do some personal research. As an extra, she had gotten a helpful letter from PEFE:
«Dear Maggie: Congratulations on surviving your 7th Totally Not Lethal Wilderness Assignment. As a token of appreciation, I’ve found the location of strange berries called Nulberries that can apparently cure any malady. Except for weird viral plagues. Figures. Anyway. You might find them at this random riverbank. Good luck!
«Cheers. — Silent.
«P.S.: I’ve encased an Algira for easier navi-gation.»
Maggie thought the berries would be Ideal™ for trying to help Volcamel with her sneezing issues, definitively, so she could hit two birds with one stone.
Speaking of sneezers tho, Maggie gasped in horror: her sneezer alarm had failed today of all days, and she had woken up at 8 AM! 1 AM later than intended!
Curse you, Monday. You win this one. For now.
Maggie quickly got to her stuff. She opened the accompanying Pokéball and out floated Algira, Silent’s Masquerain. She wandered about the room until she finally bumped on the door.
It seemed the Masquerain was already trying to get her to hit the road, so Maggie took the hint.
Maggie opened the closet to reveal a number of garment sets from Russian spy to Napoleonic officer to NFL quarterback. In the end she opted for something simple: a tunic, jogger boots and a Menagium hoodie. Truly fashionable!
After that and a quick breakfast out of the way, she picked a few Pokéballs from her team to go and started her one-day journey.
Maggie groaned as she checked her watch. “Almighty Sinnnoh look at the time!” It was already 9 AM, 1 AM later than intended! Maggie looked at her own shadow, growing longer and thinner.
Bidding for ideas on how to get to the riverbank fast, Maggie sent out her team.
Foudre just stepped out of Maggie’s own shadow and flopped under the sunlight. Bad cat, no help, 0/10— wait, Maggie thought that was spot-on cat behaviour! 8.8/10. Chelsea fluttered around Algira, they exchanged words and then they and ended floating over to a fork on the road, where they held still flashing [ yellow ]. Hopefully that meant the river was that way, Maggie thought. Memory was busy downloading more RAM and would be for a while, wilderness barely has 4G, so perhaps it was best to leave the Porygon at home.
Maggie turned to Slightly and knelled in front of him.
“I guess it’s you and me then?” she asked.
"Nope, just you ^_^" the Weavile snickered, waving a letter in an envelope before her.
“Wait what do you mean?”
“I got my very own Pokkén invite. Now if you excuse me.” The Weavile tossed his hat up Terry Bogard style then launched off into the skies in the general direction of Ferrum.
Magie was left there confused for a moment, then remembered she still had Slightly’s ball to fetch him back whenever was needded. Oh well, Chelsea will have to do.
“It’s you and me then?” Maggie asked her Dustox.
<Ahem,> Algira buzzed, floating besides Maggie.
The two bug types then flew circles arounf the girl.
<Hey! Listen! We are going to be your navi-gation fairies!> they cried in unison.
“…O-kay?” Maggie shuddered at the thought for the moment but hey, at least they would be helpful. “Lead the way! Time to flex this PEFE-grown globetrotter constitution!”
And so, the girl trotted ahead in the direction of the river, with the Sun to her left, following about the path that the two bug type mons danced ahead of her. A strong breeze coming from behind her and brushing the prairies, and while it was not that much comfortable to have her hair try to get ahead of her every time the wind decided to bat stronger, it was still a welcome small extra boost to her trotting speed.
Together with her navi-gation fairies Maggie hoped to make still a good time and enjoy the trip to the river. They picked some flowers on the go, scared some Zangooses, and tried to get close to some foxes in the hopes that the foxes would lead Maggie down magical paths to the river and save time, but without luck because the foxes, being magical, simply teleported away.
Maggie got a long ways on the road but she knew she still had a ways to go: the river was still not within sight. Her two navi-gation fairies decided to comment on it.
<Hey listen!> buzzed Algira. <Perhaps you could go faster!>
“Oh? How? I’m already trotting.”
<You can roll on the ground while yelling ‘A-yah!’> she light-beamed happily.
Maggie blinked. “…Wat.”
<Excuuuuuse me princess,> Chelsea intervened, with a hint of exasperation, <but that is so last season.> She turned to Maggie. <You are an adult, so you should pose menacingly and then start side-hopping fast.>
“…ooooor, I can sprint forwards normally?” Maggie asked.
<Rolling!> Algira buzzed.
<Side hopping!> Chelsea countered.
The two bugs started fluttering around each other angrily switching colors and loosening out some dander and scales. Maggie rolled her eyes, she really did not want to look like a madwoman while strolling across the prairie.
“Some help. Well, while you two solve that…” she said.
She quickly left the two navi-gation fairies behind to solve their scuffle and headed to the riverbank on her own.
It was 11:30 AM (1 AM later than planned!) when she finally heard the river. She walked down a narrow path to the shore and found a riverbank with a nice tree under which to set up her picnic stuff. There were some rocks and weeds around, nothing to worry about. She took a look down to the river and dedicated a minute to listen to the currents and to the few fishes that ventured springing out of the water, coursing back and forth.
Maggie sent Foudre out and the two of them spent a few minutes setting everything up: the blanket, some food for the mons, a notebook and a pencil to try some drawings, a local map of the area to try and find the berries later, a bottle of water, and biscuits.
“I think I’m all set up here,” Maggie told Foudre pointing to the neatly organized picnic. “You can go look around if you want. Oh and lemme know if you find berries?”
Foudre stretched. <I guess. Sure you don’t want fish?>
“I’m okay without fish.”
Foudre pranced away chasing a few butterflies of the normal kind, not the Algira and Chelsea kind.
After all that, all was left to do for Maggie was to just lie back on the blanket and enjoy the day until hunger strikes. This particular Monday wouldn’t claim her, not with the power of Pokémon by her side!
The sky was clear save for a few random clouds, and Maggie breathed in and out a few times to enjoy the nice breeze from the riverbank. It was soft, not very warm, and carried the distinctive scent of mossy rocks. Maggie blinked; the river was not too fast around here, so perhaps there had to be a small quarry or a dam somewhere close upstream?
“I’ll make a mental note to add that to notes later, I’m too lazy now,” she procrastinated like an expert writer.
It would be a good adventure for after lunch. But now was now. She quickly shifted on the blanket and reached for her bag.
She sent out some of her mons, the ones who had made the trip with her. Shale and Sweetie wandered about, enjoying the grass, but otherwise remained close. Yuuya started fiddling with the various small eating utensils on the blanket for fun, repeatedly asking Maggie what did she want those for if she could eat using her hands. It was definitively better than the little critter trying to eat the lunch a full hour before lunch, so Maggie just let the Swoobat be.
It was like what, 1 PM when Foudre climbed up on Maggie’s lap and meowed for attention.
“Oh? Do you want something, Foudre?” she asked while getting up.
<I’m hungry,> the cat explained. <Can I go hunt down something?>
“Hmmmmm how about no,” Maggie answered.
<What? Not even fish?> Foudre asked, flattening her ears. <But Trainer, I crave violence!>
Maggie chuckled and patted the cat on the head. “Don’t tell them that! It would not be welcome around anyway, I guess.”
Foudre bat her tail in exasperation. Maggie had an idea, she started checking her pack for some canned food, and Foudre tilted her head in response.
“How about you get one (1) fish, but after that you come here and I’ll give you some canned food.”
<Bo-ring.> The cat pawed about lazily. <But I guess I’ll take it.>
“Good kitteh. Plus, I have to feed the others as well.”
Foudre went off to the river to fill her quota. Meantime Maggie set up some food: a dis pear for Yuuya (the best way of trying to get the Swoobat to finally let go of Maggie’s fork) and pellets for Shale and Sweetie and Slightly.
After a moment of pondering while her mons gathered and noticing that Slightly was not around, Maggie remembered that Slightly had gone on his own journey.
“I’m slightly disappointed he just left,” she announced. All of her mons either didn’t notice the pun or decided to ignore it. She pouted. “Hey, I’m trying here! And I’m sure he’ll be back, the Weavile spot in Pokkén is already taken.”
Maggie sat down on the blanket again and took a look at her mons plus thinking of the absentee ones.
She tapped Shale on the head. “How about we go for those berries later?”
<That would be nice. I want to see what’s around upstream!>
Maggie nodded and they all returned to leisurey activities, sans Foudre who could be heard down at the river arguing with a random fish on why fish going upstream had right-of-way.
What mattered was that it was a nice sunny day, not very warm, not very dry, and they would all have their fun.
Well, most of them. Volcamel would have to wait until Maggie could find the berries for that happy ending, but in the meantime there was safety at home. Slightly was in for quite some disappointment, but Maggie did not hold it against him; anyone with a sane mind would ditch their today activities for a spot in Smash, Pokkén or J-Team vs Capcom if they got the chance! Algira and Chelsea were probably still arguing somewhere, pointing at random objects and changing colors.
She heard some chittering and noticed that Yuuya had finally let go of the fork and had grabbed a small insect that was passing about instead. The Swoobat playfully fluttered about with the small insect while the other mons had their food.
All in all, it was only 2 PM and the day was going mostly as Maggie intended. Maggie relaxed and patted Yuuya carefully.
Yuuya floated about. <I’m pretty~>
“You are charming,” Maggie answered. She added a laugh. “But you are also squishable.”
Yuuya held inquisitively in the air for a moment. <…I smell a catch-22?> the Swoobat asked.
“It does mean you are huggable,” Maggie added.
In the end, Yuuya seemed to nod. <Hmmm okay I can live with that!>
The Swoobat returned to his bug-observation activities after that, heading up the tree to watch some bees and ants. Maggie returned to the comfort of the blanket and rested while taking some notes about the landscape.
In her mind, the day was coming up pretty good despite the slightly rough beginning.
After a post-lunch nap, she and her team could go on the hunt for berries and then they’d walk back home partying all the while. With any luck, they’d find Chelsea and Algira still arguing on the way back.
All would be good. Monday would be defeated, and she and her team would remember this day as a nice day with no sadness incidents.
Not one. Whatsoever.
Far away, at the gates of the Creatures Inc. offices, a sole Weavile clung at the fences, adamantly shaking the bars and crying as he tried to get into the place, the guards from the Pokkén division staring disapprovingly.
Slightly cried more. <Let me in! Let me iiiiiiin!>