Now that the mob presence had left Saffron City, I decided to explore a bit more. What should I find but that the Team Rocket members who were all over town were suddenly gone? This meant the gym was free! Well, thought I, it is about time for a new badge. After all, the wonderful thing about accessories is that they are easy to accumulate and allow me to change the same outfit (and I’ve been wearing the same one for a while now) into something absolutely fresh and new!
What I found was that Sabrina’s gym was less a gym and more a puzzle box. Teleporters! Now, I love the idea of teleporters, especially when I consider how it can be added to make that big entrance. The drawback, of course, is losing the silhouette ability that so many of us drag performers love to use to build a smidgen of anticipation for the main event. I view it as the slo-mo of the drag business. Regardless, the practicality of the teleporters was constantly entering rooms with channelers and psychics who confused my poor queens and kings.
One thing I noticed is that people must not find drag too horribly confusing, as whenever my troupe used a move that caused confusion, their foes would never hurt themselves. My little monstrous kings and queens, though? It may be their stuffing fell and tripped them, or a heel broke off, but suddenly they were smacking themselves in the face left and right, over and over. Perplexing, and I suspect the cosmic Pokégods of stacking the odds against me. I have no further proof of this, however.
After ridding myself of some more ghosts and spoon-bending Pokémon (literally), I finally found myself in the middle of the gym. Sabrina was certainly polite and pleasant, but I found that Daenerys just had no patience for her tricks, and burned her little army to little psychic cinders. Earning the Marshbadge, I could now theoretically smash rocks! Also control level 70 Pokémon, but seeing as my highest was Daenerys at level 40, I was not wholly concerned about that at the moment.
Following this, I figured it was time to head to Fuchsia City, now that I had a method for waking the Snorlaxes that were previously blocking my path. Hating to choose between which path to take, I decided I’d head down both and first headed to Vermilion City. Waking and then tackling the Snorlax here, I managed to actually capture him in an Ultra Ball I’d previously wrangled from someone or other. He was rather voluptuous and insisted on being called Aphrodite. Who was I to argue even if I thought a moniker from Sleeping Beauty might fit better?
Heading south from his point of origin, I managed to find a new fishing rod! Immediately giving it a flick of the wrist, I came face to face with a Horsea. She was a bit shy, but after she told me her preferred name, I wondered if she happened to be a reincarnation. Poor Artax.
However, as I kept along the path, I kept being faced with trainers who seemed to be using anything but water-type Pokémon. Ah well. Eventually I made my way back to Celadon City to take Route 16, which I would learn was also called Cycling Road. Apparently it was a hill? I was a bit nervous, in the case that any of my queens decided to wear gowns that day, or long eyelashes.
Before I took down — or woke up, I suppose — the Snorlax blocking this second path, I decided to take the northern route, where a bit of grass grew. Behold, I encountered a rather brash female Doduo. Not letting me quite introduce myself, she told me her name was Zaphod, and that she would be accompanying me by demand of her presidency. Nodding, I took her along as we went and talked to a woman who was so shocked to see visitors that she taught Zaphod how to fly. He mumbled something about preferring to hitchhike, but I figured we could use the flying ability.
It turns out that Cycling Road was full of bikers! Hardly a surprise, I know. However, I spent the entire time riding downhill at a breakneck speed and battling off Pokémon that seemed modeled after ‘90s concerns of pollution, martial artists, and then the odd flyer or dozen. Thankfully, while I brought along some of the more fresh acts, Ororo was there to serve as everybody’s drag mother and be that protective shield between them and any adversity that they couldn’t handle on their own.
Overall, it was a pleasurable little jaunt, though, and I found myself outside of Fuchsia City. The big draw seemed to be the Safari Zone, and as I walked around, it seemed they had a zoo of the Pokémon? I looked at my own Pokéballs dangling from my belt and started contemplating if my behavior was any better, as the idea of a zoo often makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. Sighing, I wondered if we will ever break free of exploiting each other, even if I thought I was giving my drag troupe a chance at exploring themselves, was I pigeonholing them into a lifestyle and closing off other roads to them?
While pondering such thoughts, I did come across another fishing brother, who gave me a weaker pole, and as I stepped out into his backyard, I saw a beautiful pond. Staring into it, I decided to do some fishing. Who should visit me but a male Seaking who declared he was known as Amphitrite. I suppose that I was operating on the assumption that I would accept all, and that they were free to go when they so chose. Perhaps some were obscure figures just seeking a bit of limelight?