Chapter 8: Fishing at the Lake
May showed Mark how to attach a bait to the line. Then she cast it out on the water and a nearby Seaking hooked on. It tried of all its might to get itself free, and it was too strong for May to reel it in just yet. She sent out her Butterfree.
“Butterfree, Confusion!” Butterfree fired a blast of psychic energy at the Seaking and it became dizzy and weak. She reeled the Seaking in.
“That’s how you do it.” She released it off the line and dropped it back into the lake. It swam off, zigzagging a bit because of the confusion.
“Now you try,” she said and handed the Super rod to Mark. He attached a bait to the line and cast it at a Poliwhirl. He sent out Jolteon, but before he ordered Jolteon do do anything, May stopped him.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Mark,” she said. “If you use Thundershock, it will affect every pokémon in the lake.”
“Of course,” Mark said and recalled Jolteon. “I should have thought of that. Go, Charmeleon!”
“Charmeleon, do something good... hey! What’s that?” Mark saw a small, light blue thing. His heart started beating. It swam quickly across the lake, deep at the bottom. Mark got all excited, reeled in the line before Poliwhirl hooked on and cast it out. He waited a second and reeled it in shaking – but Mark saw at once he had missed. He had missed the Dratini.
He stared blankly at the Super rod in his hands. He could have caught a Dratini, evolving into Dragonair and then Dragonite. A Dragonite.
Mark suddenly looked at May. She was giggling.
“What’s so funny???” Mark asked furiously.
“Just that you look so awfully serious,” she said and giggled some more. Then she suddenly stopped, and pointed at something behind Mark. He turned around, and saw the Dratini stick its head curiously out of the water, just where he stood.
Mark bent down. He couldn’t believe it! The Dratini looked at him and wasn’t afraid. He took a pokéball, and dropped it just above the Dratini’s head. It dived down in fear, and the pokéball sank down after it. As the water was so clear, Mark could see the Dratini stop by the bottom, deep down, for a second, and then it swam forward, looking back at the pokéball. It rolled a little on, and the Dratini went behind a rock. The pokéball stopped. Dratini watched it for a second, and then came and touched the ball carefully. It popped open, and Dratini was absorbed into a red beam of light and disappeared into the ball.
Mark stared at the pokéball at the bottom. He had a Dratini. One of the strongest and rarest pokémon once it evolved. But the ball was in the water, how could he get it out? Charmeleon and Sandshrew were weak to Water. He couldn’t send them down to get it. It was too risky to send Jolteon, he could let off some electricity. And Gyarados had no legs and his mouth was to big to take a small pokéball. The rod? No, he was being stupid. Pokéballs don’t hook on rods. His Dratini was lost forever – except...
Mark suddenly dived into the lake in all his clothes. He went deeper and deeper, but the ball didn’t seem to come any closer. He had to breathe, but he couldn’t, he was halfway there... no, he wouldn’t drown... he wouldn’t...
“Mark! Wake up!”
He opened his eyes. He was at the bank of the Lake, and May stood over him and seemed not at all pleased.
“Finally!” she hissed. “Get up now, or I might throw you back in!”
Mark stood up. Now he saw why May was so angry; the two boys they had met on the way were there.
“Oooh, she was just this close to trying a kiss of life!” one of them said and held out his thumb and forefinger almost touching. The other one just laughed maniacly. Mark really wondered how two people could laugh this much at completely unfunny things, and what was more, he was feeling angry too.
“Go, Charmeleon! Burn those gits!”
His voice was not the only one that sounded. May had just ordered Pikachu to attack, and the combined force of their attacks scorched the boys black.
“Should Lapras Perish sing you now?” said May in a threatening voice. The boys walked dizzily away and one of them said something like “you’ll have to pay for our clothes...”.
“How stupid can two people possibly be?” May fussed as she recalled Pikachu. “How could Lapras know Perish song? Lapras doesn’t learn Perish song until level 29! And trainers who are still here are very unlikely to have pokémon over level 25! For short, Lapras is very unlikely to know Perish song!” But Mark wasn’t listening. He was thinking about how he could get his Dratini.
“How can I get it back? How?”
“Not by drowning yourself!” May snapped.
“Oh yes, what happened?” Mark asked. May was in a very bad mood and was seemingly unable to answer any question nicely.
“What else than that you just suddenly dived into the second-deepest water of Ouen, and I went after you so you wouldn’t kill yourself, and when I came up, the Ouen record-breakers in stupidity were watching!”
“Thanks for...” Mark began, but May interrupted.
“Yes, you better be thankful! There must be something wrong with me! Why did I do that, with them lurking around?”
“Okay, May, but how do I get my Dratini?”
“Try thinking, just this once. What are pokéballs made of?”
“Uh... steel... I guess...” said Mark, confused.
“Indeed. And what is the best way to get steel from distance?”
“Uh... hey, I know! Magnets!”
“Exactly. And then you can...”
“...use a Magnemite!”
“And where are you going to get a Magnemite, if I may ask?” said May. “However...”
“We could use Jolteon and Pikachu!” Mark found out.
“Just what I was thinking. Okay, now we have to wrap a wire around something made of steel, and then make Jolteon and Pikachu put some electricity on it...”
“Like the hook! The hook on the rod!”
“Yes! Well, I have a wire here somewhere,” May searched her bag and pulled out an enormus roll of wire “and it’s plastic-folded, so we won’t shock every pokémon in the Lake, and we’ll just need to put the ends of the wire at Pikachu’s cheeks and then we’ll have a magnet.” She unwrapped the roll, cut a long piece of wire and held one end touching Pikachu’s cheeks and wrapped the other one around the hook. Then she handed Mark the rod. “Be quick,” she said, “Pikachu can’t keep using Thundershock for very long. Pikachu, Thundershock!”
Pikachu released electricity through his cheeks and the hook became magnetic.
“Now it should work like a magnet,” said May.
“Okay!” said Mark, with a new glint of hope. He cast the line out and gave it all free. He just hoped the line was long enough. He saw the hook sink down, but it stopped. The line wasn’t long enough after all. He lowered the rod down until only the end of it was above the surface, then he lowered his hand down too, then he decided to make his pokémon help him.
“Go, Charmeleon! Go, Sandshrew!”
They emerged from their balls and said their names.
“Hold my legs so I can go a little down, but take me back up just after you’ve lowered me down as much as possible!”
They grabbed hold of Mark’s legs and he took a deep breath, then put his head underwater. Then he went a little lower, until he could see, when looking up, that his pokémon were just at the bank and couldn’t go farther. But the line had still not reached the ball. In his determination to get his Dratini, he let go off the rod, kicked his pokémon off his legs, and then dived down after it. He could see the hook reach the ball and stick to it. Then he caught hold of the rod again, and swam back up. He crawled up on the bank, and started to reel in the line.
“Just to warn you, Pikachu has given up and the hook will stop working like a magnet in a few seconds,” May said like she hadn’t noticed when Mark dived down. But now, he got an idea.
“Go, Gyarados! Dive down and go under the ball, then push it upwards on your head!”
“Gyaaaaaaaaro!” roared Gyarados and nodded as he dived down. But Mark could see that the ball was sinking down agagin. Gyarados went under it and pushed it up. When Gyarados reached the surface, however, the ball fell off his head, but Mark quickly dived into the lake again, caught hold of the pokéball and then swam to the bank. He looked at the pokéball, then at May.
“Look! I caught a Dratini! Yeah!” he said and smiled. He recalled his other pokémon and felt like he owned the world.