Margaret is on her way to work at the CDC, walking instead of flying today so she can drink her coffee without spilling it, when she sees the cryptid. She's a truly far-out one, no limbs to speak of, just a long snaky body with a mirror for a face. Margaret smiles at her and goes to walk on by, but the cryptid slithers right at her all of a sudden and--hits?--Margaret with the giant mirror. Except she doesn't experience getting whacked with a sheet of glass.
Renée gets downstairs and collects some of the scrambled egg Bella made and eats it quickly and heads off to work, hugging Bella goodbye.
"More words?" suggests Bella.
"Yes, please!" More words! So many words.
Bella doesn't have any books between approximately kindergarten level and YA (to judge by the covers and density of the latter), so she reads Margaret the rest of the kindergartener books and then moves on to the harder ones, slowly, pausing to explain things.
This will probably end up being several useful lessons in local society and culture and stuff, in addition to shoveling vocabulary into her brain as fast as she can come up with menmonics!
Pokémon continue to be culturally ubiquitous. Every single character has at least one; Bella pulls up pictures of the species when they come up. Bella is steering towards relatively realistic stories, so a common genre in the mix is someone setting out with their first mon, acquiring more, making friends, solving various problems, coming of age, etc.
Huh. Are they proportionately more useful than pets? Presumably the balls make them easier to care for, as does the societal expectation that you'll bring them everywhere. What do they do besides fight and lay edible eggs?
Some of them give milk - one YA protagonist grows up on a dairy farm - and they also pop up generating electricity, carrying heavy stuff, gardening, being vehicles, fighting fires, and doing service animal jobs. The fighting thing seems more useful than it would be if it were just recreational gladiatorial combat; if the books are anything to go by, wandering out of town will get you attacked by wild mon pretty much right away.
That does all sound super useful! "I should decide what job to get," Margaret remarks when one YA protagonist is contemplating the same question.
"Do you have a job at home?"
"Yes! I use lots of math and my magic to know when lots of people might get sick, and help the government make sure they don't. Oh, I didn't tell you what my magic is, did I? Every magical girl gets an extra power."
"An extra one? What's yours?"
"Future things. I can tell when something bad is going to happen and what kind of bad thing, and I can see where things are going to move sometimes, and sometimes I say true things I didn't know before I said them."
"If people ask I will tell them you're dragon/psychic."
"If I am a Pokémon those are the right types."
"You seem like probably not really a Pokémon, but you do go in a Pokéball and humans here don't, even psychic ones, so I'm not sure what's going on there."
"Maybe we can learn how to let all humans go in Pokéballs, maybe that will be useful."
"It'd... get complicated."
"Would people start thinking each other were Pokémon? I was thinking, someone gets hurt, put them in a Pokéball, get to doctor, no time for them so they can't get worse."
"That'd be nice, and maybe that'd be what happened, but it'd just be a little too convenient to get people out of the way, I think?"
"Oh. Yes. Maybe we should not try very hard to make it possible, then."
"And think about what to do if someone gets anywhere on it without help. But I think it will be pretty easy to pass you off as a legendary Pokémon. With clothes on for some reason. Some Pokémon have parts that look sort of clothes-y but not like that."
"The clothes are important to the magic; the more they look a certain kind of pretty the better my magic is. --It's strange that that still works here but it does."
"Why's it weird for it to work here?"