The same day, his mother finished taking care of the paper work and the release was official. She was visibly happy to see her healthy son standing back on his own feet, yet her expression became more depressed when she thought about the root cause of all this.
She blamed herself for her son's accident because their finances had only worsened and she had to work more and take on more part-time jobs, so much so that she had neglected her son's own troubles. If her husband was still alive ...
"Mum, what about Mr.Harrington? Did he say something about me missing work?", Arthur asked worriedly. He wasn't aware of the full extent of their financial situation, but he knew that it wasn't going to be good if he stopped working on the fields now. It wasn't much that he earned from harvesting the berries, but currently every Pokedollar would count,
"and how much did you have to pay for the hospital bills?" he asked additionally. He wasn't proud that he had burdened his family with worries and he even worsened their debts by getting injured and staying at the hospital for so long now.
His mum awoke from her troubling thoughts and reprimanded him:
"Arthur, there are more important things to consider now than our financial balances. You should take a rest and continue your recovery till your are back to full health. Mr.Harrington did make a call, and he expressed his full support for you. It would be fine to start your work again, when you think you are ready.
But I think you should stop with this now. It was my fault to begin with to even allow you going to work. You are still young Arthur! You should have continued studying at the Trainer Academy instead of plucking berries from the fields. Don't worry, I will handle the costs somehow, I-I promise I will get you back there so that you can become a fine Trainer!
And you don't have to worry about the hospital bill, I met a nice man, Mr.Stone, from a company that supports children in need. He took it upon himself to pay for the bills. When you are ready, we should definitely invite him for lunch or dinner so that we can properly show him our gratitude.
"Company?", Arthur asked suspiciously.
"D-d-Devon ... something with Devon I believe, I don't quite remember though. He gave me his contact number and wished you a good recovery.
Oh, there were also some policemen who wanted to question you, but the doctor and I rejected them of course. But they will probably come again in a week or so, what jerks! Can't they see that right now you are not in the condition to talk about that?! We are better to avoid this for now.
And then there was also a middle-aged man! Yes the man! His name was Oak I think. He was the one who found you in the forest and sent you to the hospital with his Pokemon!
I was happy to meet the person who rescued you and he told me he had something for you, so you should pay him a visit! You definitely have to go and show your gratitude to him, I could bake him a cake or some cookies. He gave me his address, but let's leave that for later. I asked aunty Latia to prepare your release banquet, and your favourite food!"
When Arthur heard about all these information, he had a shocked expression on his face! Devon? Oak? What is going on ?! So he asked again:
"Mum, are you sure he said Devon? Was it the Devon Corporation maybe? And how did that man who saved me look like, can you remember that?"
"Hmm, yes! The Devon Corporation! That was it! Do you know them? As for the other man, he had some blue shorts on and a white t-shirt. His face was ... a little old looking and his hair was orange coloured. And his left arm was missing, that looked strange a little. Why do you ask?"
"N-nothing haha, I had just wondered. The Devon Corporation is quite famous, right? They are mainly operating in Hoenn I thought."
"Really? I didn't know that. Have you read it on the Internet?"
"Yes, exactly!", Arthur sighed in relief. He didn't want to lie to his mother but he couldn't explain clearly where his knowledge had come from, but the moment he heard his mother speak about them, his mind trembled a little.
Devon Corporation, Oak, ... it felt like he had played a game somewhere where they played a role or something. But he couldn't quite remember what that game was called again. But Professor Oak, didn't he have gray hair? Did he dye them? A missing arm? And what about the Devon Corp., why where they here? The name 'Stone' also caused some faint memories to resurface but he couldn't form any logical pictures yet.
His mind was a little in shambles and different thoughts and feelings mixed and intermingled with each other, and all of this caused his brain to hurt even more. He had troubles putting them into clear structures, so he took a deep breath and just forgot about it. He could sort his thoughts later again.
He also wanted to dissuade his mother about putting his work back to rest, but she didn't seem to listen to him right now as if she had already made her decision. So he put that aside for now as well.
Becoming a Trainer ... he had already given up this dream of his some time ago. His family needed him, now more than ever, and he only hoped his younger brother could make this dream come true instead.
"Aunty Latia? Who is that?"
"Hmm, so you also forgot about her? Sigh, she is our neighbour and she has been taking care of the household and looked after you and your siblings while I was at work ever since ... since your father passed away. Don't worry, you will learn to love her again! Especially her cooking haha!", her mood changed when she mentioned his father but she quickly tried to cover it up again.
"Another person I can't remember about ...", he thought to himself dejectedly.
The family of three set off for their way home. Brandon was still in school, while Alicia didn't want to stay at the kindergarten that day.
The hospital Arthur stayed in was a little farther away from the city centre but closer to the Viridian Forest, where the accident took place.
Still the surroundings were more urban than rural looking. The roads were made from asphalt and the pedestrian area from a combination of cobblestone and concrete pavements.
They walked from the outer edge into the city centre and all kinds of houses came into his view. Old brick houses, colourful houses made of cement and big multiple story houses. The closer they got the more stores, commerce and people they met.
They took a walk instead of a taxi or the subway. Arthur could persuade his mother as he didn't want her to pay for an expensive trip back home.
He was interested in how Viridian City looked like, he had forgotten a lot in these ragards, and his mother only mentioned it to be quite big but when Arthur took in his wide surroundings it felt baffling for him. In his chaotic memories, when it came to Viridian City, he didn't find much except for a gym, a Pokemon Centre, a Pokemon Market and maybe a house or two but this ... this was a metropolis!
Currently he was standing on a square with a Goldeen fountain in the middle, spewing a stream of water in the air which then fell back into a white tiled basin. Around the square were skyscrapers, big panels on the walls and buildings, streets full of restaurants and small shops. The shop's names often came in combination with Pokemon like Snorunt's Ice Cream Shop, Blubella's Garden or Voltobal Electronics.
People flooding the streets, every time the traffic lights went green. What made the scene even more astonishing was the large amounts of Pokemon accompanying the people to and fro the streets.
At the hospital the number of free Pokemon was quite moderate, probably to keep patients at rest. But the scene before his eyes resembled a jungle filled with all kinds of Pokemon yet moving around in a regular order.
"Pokemon ... they really exist, do they ...", an unkown feeling of excitement rose in his heart and started spreading into the rest of his body. Was it happiness? Anticipation or anxiety? He couldn't quite make out that sensation, instead, he just enjoyed the view of the bustling city playing out right in front of his eyes.
"M-mum,", he gulped down,
"had there always been s-so many Pokemon in Viridian City?"
He wasn't scared nor excited, but the sheer number just overwhelmed him a little.
"Yes, have you missed it? It looks really beautiful, huh, Pokemon and Humans living in harmony together.
"No, no, what I meant is, aren't there a little too many Pokemon on the streets? Isn't it dangerous? What if something goes wrong or ..."
"Well, the police are here, and usually the owners can keep control of their Pokemon.
The restrictions for movement of Pokemon also aren't really that strict, but I would guess that insurance companies will demand much more in return in case of accidents or damage caused by one's Pokemon. But right now, it's fine as it is!"
Arthur needed some time to digest her comment. Several questions floated through his mind and he asked her:
"So why don't they just keep their Pokemon in their Pokeballs? I mean, sure it is more fun having them around, but keeping them inside for a while wouldn't hurt and might avoid damage as well, right?"
It somehow felt more natural to him to always keep his Pokemon in their Pokeballs. As long, as they couldn't get out, they wouldn't be a cause for problems. Having so many Pokemon and people congregated in one dense place smelled like a ticking time bomb for him.
"Hahaha, soo cruel Arthur, I didn't know you had such thoughts, haha", she laughed.
"Bad Arty!", giggled Alicia at his side.
Arthur was confused and made a quizzical expression. He wondered if he had said something wrong.
"Well, let me ask you this, if you were a Pokemon, would you always want to stay inside your Pokeball? Which living creature would want to live or be stuck all day long in a Pokeball? I imagine it must be quite boring inside, and I wouldn't bear it longer than 10 minutes, haha."
"Hmmm.", Arthur answered. Her response ... made sense. It really did make sense. He couldn't imagine himself to be caged in a small space for a long time. He didn't have claustrophobia but it still felt very wrong to him, stealing someone's freedom.
It was just ... he thought it was normal for Pokemon to stay in their Pokeballs, like it was normal for the rain to fall down and the sun to rise in the east. Just something that was how it was. He didn't try to put himself into the position and place of the actual Pokemon.
In general he didn't really consider their feelings at all when he thought about them. He thought they were cute creatures and cool to have someday but did he consider them equal? Did Pokemon have thoughts and feelings as well? He didn't know.
"You shouldn't worry too much though Arthur. It's good and fine as long as you consider their well being as well.
If a person has a good relationship with their Pokemon, they do accept staying in their Pokeballs. Just always keep in mind to treat them with respect! The law doesn't forbid them moving outside as long as people and property don't get hurt or damaged.
At some places and facilities Pokemon activity is prohibited or is strongly regulated. It depends on the situation. We citizens can't keep more than three Pokemon at the same time in possession and outside as well, according to law. This regulation already limits the chaos by a lot I think.
And most people don't necessarily have more than two Pokemon actually. To avoid health issues and such, but please don't ask me in detail about this haha.
Other countries handle it differently I think. I heard that in China people in general can't keep more than two and also aren't allowed to have them outside their Pokeballs in most public areas, what a pity! What a strict government!
On the other side of the spectrum ... hmmm ... we have America! There the people actually are allowed to keep as much as six Pokemon at the same time, just like the Pokemon Trainers and government officials.
Of course, some Pokemon are banned from public places because of the problems they bring with them.
Fire type Pokemon in general are a kind that shop keepers are highly guarded against because of the many accidents they can and do cause ... damned!", his mother cursed suddenly and quickly looked down to Arthur worrying she could have upset him somehow.
Arthur on the other hand didn't show any reactions and returned her gaze quizzically.
"You, you don't ...", at first her eyes widened slightly and astonishment filled her face. Then instead of finishing her sentence she became emotional for a second and heaved a deep sigh of relieve,
"At least, at least some good things came out from your little trip."
"Hmm?", Arthur didn't know what she was talking about.
"Forget it, where was I? Ah, yes, ever since the Great War ended ... It was a warning for many countries around the globe at that time. This conflict significantly shaped the way governmental facilities regulate the freedom of Pokemon nowadays."
Arthur was stunned by his mum's vivid narration of events. It made sense that specific Pokemon just weren't suitable to be kept around with.
But the Great War? Which one was she talking about? World War I or II? He would have to find out more later.
"So, less talking about gloomy stuff now. Here we are, how do you like it, do you remember our house?"
Scheduled chapter for the week ;) please enjoy,
please note that the depictions of the world and pokemon in this chapter come from his loving mother, a normal citizen ... :)
and sharp readers may have noticed something at the end ... :)
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