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Route 29: mods ([personal profile] these_balls) wrote in [community profile] route_292013-02-09 05:00 am
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Operation: Lovebug

DAY 08/02. 18:22.

"Here's the next set of printouts from Professor Elm, Bugsy!" the young trainer-turned-errand-boy chirped, his face barely visible from behind the stack of books and file folders in his arms. "And those books you wanted, too. Where should I put 'em all?"

"Just over there, please," Bugsy directed, not looking up from the sheaf of papers he was currently perusing. His Scyther, hovering nearby, obligingly made room as the young trainer walked over and gratefully set down the stack, adding one more pile to the other assorted books and printouts that already littered the desk — some likewise borrowed, but many pulled from Bugsy's own collection of research.

Gosh, the young trainer marveled to himself. They sure weren't kidding when they called Gym Leader Bugsy the "Walking Bug Pokemon Encyclopedia"!

"No, this isn't good at all," Bugsy murmured to himself, skimming through the papers at a more rapid pace. "These numbers are down...significantly down from the last two, three, four years..." He reached for one of the books at his elbow and flipped the cover open, running a finger along the page until he found what he was looking for.

Shuffle, flip, turn. The checking and cross-referencing carried on in methodical rhythm for a few minutes, while the young trainer waited awkwardly and wondered if he was dismissed, or if his gym leader was going to need him for something else. He flashed a quick, uncertain glance toward Bugsy's Scyther, but the stoic green expression that gazed back afforded him no answers.

Finally, deciding to be daring, he awkwardly cleared his throat and remarked, "Um, was there anything else you—"

At the interruption, Bugsy looked up, his concentration momentarily broken. A moment later, he shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose with a sigh. "I'm sorry, Josh. I didn't mean to keep you waiting."

"It's okay," the young trainer answered quickly. "What are all these papers for? Do the professors need your help on something again?"

Bugsy nodded, reaching for one of the folders on his desk and flipping it open. He half-turned in his chair and held it out, letting the young trainer see the pictures paper-clipped to the cover — a pair of bugs he recognized as Illumise and Volbeat — and the graph on the first page, which made little sense to him but was comprised of blue bars and a bold red line that started near the top left and jutted down and to the right in an angry, jagged descent.

He may not have understood what it all meant like Bugsy did, but he had a feeling that whatever the red line was, it couldn't be good.

"The professors have been asking for my expertise in confirming some activity they've been recording in the regional bug populations," Bugsy explained, picking up his favorite Metapod-green pen and tapping it thoughtfully against his chin as he spoke. "Or I guess you could say a lack of activity; the number of Illumise and Volbeat they're reporting this year are the lowest they've been in ages. Dangerously low, even. Another year or two like this one and they may not be sustainable."

The young trainer pondered that a minute, then jolted as something occurred to him. Eager to show off his Pokéknowledge in front of his Gym Leader, he replied, "And that's really bad, because their mating season is just starting, right?"

Bugsy nodded. "Right. So it's critical that we find some way to make sure that this year's mating season in particular goes as smoothly as possible. The only question is how."

A minute or two passed in silence, during which the young trainer wished desperately that he could somehow come up with a brilliant solution to the problem to further impress Bugsy, but nothing was coming. And it appeared Bugsy was out of ideas, too, because finally he sighed and stood up from his desk, reaching over to switch off the dim yellow lamp that had been illuminating his work.

The room went dark as Bugsy switched the light off — but then a moment later it came right back on, illuminating both the room and the new, sudden grin that had just appeared on his face.

"That's it!" he said triumphantly, flicking the light on and off another few times — just like the light on the posterior of a Volbeat and an Illumise, the young trainer realized. "Come on, Josh. Grab that top folder there; we've got a phone call to make to the professors."

"We do?" the young trainer asked eagerly, doing as he was told and following Bugsy out of the room.

The "Walking Bug Pokemon Encyclopedia" nodded with satisfaction. "We're going to have a blackout."

So, Route, here’s a little Valentine’s event for you!

Starting tonight (Friday, February 8th), there will be announcements made in TV and radio reporting a decreasing number of Volbeat and Illumise in both the Kanto and Johto regions. In an attempt to help boost the population of these bug-types, Bugsy and the professors have proposed a voluntary blackout to ensure their mating this year goes as smoothly as possible. The blackout should be effective since the Pokémon in question are nocturnal and the glowing lights on their bodies are a substantial part of their mating ritual. Can't have the light pollution from all these cities cramping their style! Leading up to Valentine’s Day, there will be further reminders in all kinds of media, including fliers set up around the Centers and ads anywhere you can see and hear them.

Naturally, the peak of their mating season just happens to coincide with Valentine's Day, so the voluntary blackout will likewise be taking place on February 14th, and will last for twelve hours – from sunset to sunrise. Though it is voluntary, people are strongly advised to participate, and the Centers, Marts and most larger business and hotel chains in all the cities and towns will be turning out their lights to help out the Pokémon.

Note that this will only affect the lights, of course! This is not a full-on power outage, so your plumbing, water, heat, and other utilities are completely safe.

So take the opportunity to curl up with friends, family or just someone you like! Light some candles, play board games, or go outside to watch the patterns drawn in the sky by the Volbeat as part of their courtship dance to woo the Illumise.

But wait, there’s more!

As a bonus, there will be plenty of Volbeat and Illumise around for capture … just about anywhere! The swarm will last from February 14th until February 17th, during which time you will stumble over both Pokémon fairly easily. Just don’t catch too many of them – we’re trying to make them increase in number, after all!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, comment below!

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