This is a pretty safe fanfic, but there may be a bit of violence later on, and some characters may well become more than friends, so I rated it PG-13 just to be safe. This is mostly Original, with cameos from canon characters later on. I welcome constructive criticism, comments and questions, whether they are posted here, PMed, or left on my user profile. Without further ado, here we go!
Episode One: Where to start?
Hey all! I’m Kenji Sasaki, and this is the story of how I became the great Pokémon Trainer that I am today.
Many pairs of feet drummed the bricks of Prosperity Square that fateful day in Mizu City. I had spent almost the whole morning here, sitting on the rim of the famous Fountain of Prosperity, and I was getting annoyed. As I sat with my laptop, waiting for him to arrive, I contemplated my surroundings for about the fiftieth time that morning.
The Fountain of Prosperity itself stood in the centre of Prosperity Square, a bustling marketplace all year round. The square was pedestrians-only, except on special occasions, like the annual Parade Day, where multicoloured floats entered one side of the square, orbited slowly around the fountain, and exited on the other side, amid many cheers and much celebration; Parade Day was the biggest non-traditional festival in Mizu City.
The Fountain of Prosperity was a work of magnificent architecture in its own right; it was a beautiful structure, with sweeping curves, like the ocean, being the dominant motif. Around the base was carved a sleeping stone Milotic, incredibly lifelike, almost seeming as if it would awaken at any moment. Ironically, however, the Fountain of Prosperity was one of the least prosperous things in the city at the moment; there was a water shortage, the worst drought in living memory, so the city’s board of governors had elected to put the fountain out of order indefinitely.
Ironic, really, I thought, considering that Mizu was a port city. But the governors had come up with some feeble excuse involving salt water versus fresh water, and pipes damaging Water Pokémon habitats, et cetera ad nauseum.
I was distracted by the arrival of my contact, a slim, bookish man with heavy glasses, bleach-blond hair that stuck out at odd angles, and a white lab coat with what looked like coffee spilled down the front. All this, combined with the confused, slightly vacant expression on his face, was gaining him many funny looks from passers-by. I snapped shut my laptop, slid it into my bag, and walked over to him.
“Good morning,” I said politely. “Dr Jonah, I presume?”
“Oh, hello,” he said, blinking owlishly. “Yes, that’s me. I take it you have not been waiting long?” I laughed hollowly.
“Well, Doctor,” I said, “The Professor said you would be here ‘this morning’. Only after he had left did I realise he had not specified when exactly you intended to be here. I therefore had no option but to arrive here at eight’ o’clock this morning. Trust me, Doctor, the last three and a half hours of my life were most enjoyable indeed,” I said this last through gritted teeth, trying to hide my frustration.”
“Oh? Well, that’s all right then!” he said happily, bouncing on the balls of his feet. “Let’s be off, then! Don’t want to keep the Professor waiting, eh?” I rolled my eyes at the sky and followed him and his coffee stain to the other side of Mizu City.
Fifteen minutes’ walk later, we came to the lab, an unassuming red-brick building on the outskirts of the city. I entered cautiously; several bird Pokémon were flapping around the rafters, squawking and twittering loudly.
“Ah, here’s the man himself!” boomed a jovial voice. I turned to look. The speaker was a short, squat, balding man with a neatly clipped white beard, fighting his way through a cloud of Starly and Pidgey to get to us. “Blasted birds!” he muttered under his breath as he reached us. “Well, m’boy, here y’are. I do hope you’re familiar with the, er, uh...” he appeared to be having trouble finding the right word.
“Procedure, Professor?” I suggested quietly.
“By Tom, Dick’n Harry! You’re right, m’boy!” Professor Kauri, no matter how absent or playful he may seem, was a respected Pokémon researcher of worldwide renown, often described as being in the league of such famous names as Oak, Ivy, Elm, Birch, and Rowan, among others. He was also a good friend of my mother’s, and he had kindly agreed to start me off as a Pokémon Trainer.
“And yes, Professor, I am quite familiar with the procedure.” I was. Here in the Hakaito region, people could become Trainers only after my thirteenth birthday. I had heard that, in other parts of the world, you could become a Trainer aged ten, but that was prosperous. Kids that young weren’t even allowed to own Pokémon here, let alone battle with them. Aspiring Trainers here had to pass a knowledge, skills and personality test, to prove that they were responsible enough to own Pokémon.
I won’t go into all the details of the test, but it took nearly an hour of being grilled by Professor Kauri to finish. There were questions on topics such as habitats of common Pokémon, types of PokéBalls, descriptions of commonly used moves, and other such boring stuff. Finally, Professor Kauri declared that I had an excellent knowledge of Pokémon, and he would have no qualms in signing my Trainer’s license.
“Now, m’boy!” Why did he always have to call me that? “It’s time for you to choose a Pokémon to begin your adventure with!” I said nothing. I didn’t need to. Kauri pulled out a tray with several PokéBalls on it, and began describing the first one, something called a Squirtle, but I stopped him, passing my hand slowly over the tray, closing my eyes as I did so. I passed over several PokéBalls silently, but one in particular caused me to pause. I clamped my hand down on it firmly. Yes, it felt...right.
“I’ll take this one,” I told the Professor, my eyes still closed.
“A wise choice, m’boy, albeit an unusual way of choosing it,” said the Professor’s voice from my left elbow.
“Hm,” I smiled, preferring not to comment. I simply thanked the Professor, received the standard equipment (Bag, PokéBalls, PokéDex, PokéNav, TM Case, Berry Bag, Town Map etc), listened patiently to his lecture on being a responsible Trainer, and took my leave. I decided that I was going to drop by home, touch base with my mum, and then leave in the morning on my great adventure. I was getting excited in spite of myself!
My mum, Sasuke, was very much overwhelmed by the whole affair. She was very impressed by my new Pokémon, (“It’s so cute!”) but seemed to be trying not to cry. On the contrary, my little brother, Tomasu, was pleased to see me go!
The next morning, I gave my mum my PokéNav number, told her not to cry, told Tomasu to be good, and hit the road without further ado. It was a very emotional farewell on my mum’s part, and even I felt a strange sensation in my gut as I headed off. I wasn’t sure when I would see them in person again, but I knew it would not be for a long time indeed. Once I was out of sight of home, I paused and looked back, my gut churning. This was the place where I had grown up, where I had learned everything I knew. So many happy memories; at that moment, I vowed to treasure those happy memories forever.
I pulled out my Town Map, and scanned it through blurred eyes. It even had the Gyms marked on it, six in total, scattered throughout the Hakaito region. There was one here in Mizu Town, I already knew, but I was nowhere strong enough for a Gym challenge yet. I decided to hit the east road, and come back to Mizu Gym later. Slipping on my favourite sunglasses, I walked off, into the sunrise.
End of Episode One
Episode Two coming soon!