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DAY 2 [Actual Date 2010/04/27]

     It was almost midday when Chikorita woke me the next day, pawing at my arm and ready for new adventures. It was a good feeling knowing that I was starting a day with a new friend and companion who would be by my side wherever my path might take me. Yes, I had already decided to head out on a Pokémon journey as I tried with an overly active mind to get to sleep the night before.

     I talked about my plans with my mother and spent the early afternoon saying goodbye to friends and the town itself, figuring it would probably be a while before I'd find my way back there again. Next thing we knew we were off once more, ready to retrace our previous days steps. Just outside of town we ran into my friend Lyra. She'd been pretty excited when she first saw me with Chikorita, and now she and her Marill were eager to teach me how to catch more Pokémon of my own. I watched carefully and very gratefully accepted her offering of several empty Pokéballs.

     The light of day certainly brightened our path but it was ground already covered and we set our sights on reaching unfamiliar territory as quickly as possible. It took a while but we finally made it up past Mr. Pokémon's house and into an area of the woods that seemed to be crawling with other rookie trainers looking to test their battling ability and freshly caught Pokémon. None of them proved to be too difficult for us and we gradually worked our way north where we came across a cave entrance. The sign nearby identified it as Dark Cave, as suitable name we soon learned upon stepping inside for just a few minutes.

     Professor Elm had suggested I head to Violet City and I was surprised to find we had reached it already just as the light was beginning to fade from the sky. It was a really cool looking place to explore. I took a look inside a famous location, the Sprout Tower. Chikorita started dancing happily around the central swaying pillar, which local legend says is the body of a 100 foot Bellsprout. There appeared to be trainers battling upstairs, but I'd had enough battling for the moment.

     Having yet to even attempt to catch a Pokémon, Chikorita and I set out to the west of Violet to explore the area. People seemed to be all riled up about some strange, wiggling tree nearby but we ignored the fuss and headed to the Ruins of Alph. This was a pretty cool looking location but there didn't seem to be any Pokémon to capture. While there I attempted to assist an archeologist who was trying to put together the pieces of an ancient picture. Suddenly everything clicked and I found myself falling through to the floor below, Chikorita landing on my back!

     We found ourselves in a strange chamber with weird writing covering the walls. As we searched for a way out we began to see some interesting Pokémon floating here and there, all similar but a little different. I sent Chikorita forth to weaken one and the Pokéball worked like magic. Suddenly I had a new Pokémon in my hand! It was a great feeling. We caught another just before leaving, and at that point one of the researchers approached with interest and informed me that these were Unown. He told me a little more about them before I continued on my way.

     Just east of the ruins and a bit south of Violet City we came across a very active field with wild Pokés a plenty. Hoppip, Ekans, Wooper, and many others were there to see and I caught a few before spotting a bright, puffy Mareep frolicking through the grass. I knew immediately that this was a Pokémon I wanted to put at the head of my team alongside Chikorita. Carefully we wore it out and when ready I threw the special Premier Ball I'd received when loading up at the Mart. An easy catch, and there she was, my new little Mareep!

     After heading back to rest at the Center I put Mareep at the head of the party and went back into the wild east of Violet to raise its battle experience. It was tough going at first. Nighttime had settled in and the Hoothoot seemed to be everywhere, annoying us with Hypnosis and sending us back to the Center repeatedly to heal. Things turned around quickly once Mareep learned Thundershock and it wasn't too long before it seemed to be battling as capably as Chikorita. I decided it was time to head back to that tower and see how we fared.

     The trainers in the tower seemed to have nothing but exceptionally weak Bellsprout in their possession. We whipped through the place with ease. Up at the top we were surprised to find none other than WIGGY, going on about strong and weak Pokémon again. What's with that guy?

     We seemed to have explored Violet and the surrounding area pretty thoroughly. All that remained is what had brought us there in the first place, the Gym. Two birdkeepers, Rod and Abe, wanted to check out my Pokémon before letting me try my luck against the leader. They had some nice birds, but Mareep swept them away. It was my first real experience with major type advantages at work. Even Falkner, the leader himself, was no match for Mareep. I made sure to get Chikorita in on things as well though so she wouldn't feel left out.

     Before we could leave the city I got another call from Professor Elm. He asked me to meet his assistant at the local Mart. There I received the mysterious egg I had already delivered to them. It turns out that the egg will only hatch if it's around other active Pokémon and it seems I'm the best person for the job!

     South of Violet with our first badge in hand and a new friend waiting to be born, we were feeling pretty good. Other than passing beneath the elevated rails of the magnet train things were pretty routine. Some more trainers were looking for battles as usual, and even some of the fishermen were raring to go. The route southward came to a sudden end at Union Cave. Unlike Dark Cave, this one appeared to be the only path open for proceeding. It was dark enough outside, I figured a cave would be too dark at night, even with the Flash TM I had acquired. Fortunately there was a Pokémon Center nearby where we decided to spend the night and tackle Union Cave first thing in the morning.

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