So, this was the eve of the Pokemon Gym Challenge, in the flesh. Er… in the brick? Glass? Concrete, lead pipes, asphalt- aw, heck with it. There were enough people- sorry, Pokemon fans- surrounding him, that the city might as well be made of skin and blood and muscle. Having spent the vast majority of his time out in the field, Oreo hadn’t seen this many people clustered into such a small space in- in maybe ever!
Not that Jubilife City was a “small space”, by any means! He’d visited before, usually with family, but never under the pretense of being a trainer. At the very least, he’d never been invited to attend a major event like this! Especially when Oreo was lucky to even be invited to birthday parties. Well, at least when he used to get invited to birthday parties.
But entering the Jubilife Stadium- navigating through the throngs of sweaty bodies until he was allowed into the bowels of the building- that, that was an experience. Blinding camera flashes and scrutinous gazes gave way to more and more roped-off walkways and queues, until he found himself in the stadium’s gates. It seemed like only the more hardcore fans had made it in.
Absently following the arrows and signs to the lobby, where he supposed most of the other trainers were headed, Oreo suddenly bumped into a strange, celery-scented individual with a top hat, and none too gently. The young man’s top hat flew from his head as he fell, and Oreo was quick to pick it up, offering it back to its owner. From the sheen and feel, it looked to be made of cascoon silk, a rather covetous material. “Hey! You’re not supposed to be in here,” the blonde trainer scowled, and it was then that Oreo noticed the blitzle imitating its master’s annoyance.
“Oh, I didn’t mean to shove you,” the researcher began, before the other abruptly snatched his hat back, preening over how it looked. Seeing the other trainer’s vintage three-piece suit, likely spun from the same material, Oreo noticed how underdressed he must appear in his usual cottonee sweater. “I was just looking for the lobby, you see.”
“The lobby?” the other trainer sneered back, clearly amused. “That’s only for the challengers. I think you’re confused, the staff elevator is back the way you came. After all, you don’t even have a pokemon with you.” The insult took a few moments to sink in, since he was still in a mostly good mood from the ambiance of the festival.
“What? Sure I do,” Oreo bristled, digging through his messenger bag for the familiar ball, before tossing it in the air, releasing his snubbull. “This is Floppy,” he nodded to the small canine, who was already beginning to make a puddle of slobber on the ground, much to the other’s chagrin. It was clear what he thought about such the uncouth and salivating fairy type.
“Right, well- Oh, good Arceus, what is it doing??” the hatted trainer demanded, tugging back the tails of his coat, already tattered by the snarling, growling, snubbull. He was making quite the ruckus, flailing and gnashing about like a thing possessed- and Floppy wasn’t all too gentle, either. Oreo cringed, before quickly recalling his partner pokemon in a beam of red light.
“I guess I should have warned you that Floppy’s sort of aggressive,” he admitted nonchalantly, hiding his smirk whilst shrugging at the not-quite-stranger’s furious expression. Even the blitzle looked like it was ready to fry him like a magikarp on a stick.
“Watch your back out there,” the fancy trainer warned, storming off, the small blitzle spitting a spark of electricity in the researcher’s general direction.
“Should’ve live-streamed that,” Oreo lamented, rolling Floppy’s pokeball in his hand before perking up to the sound of an announcement. Truthfully, he had no idea what to expect from the other trainers, or even just the spectators. This was hardly his area of expertise- he could dispatch large groups of rightfully dangerous wild pokemon, but people? Their ways eluded him more than slightly. But he could worry about that once the competition was underway- for now, he just had to follow the sound of the speakers, and they would take him to where he needed to go.