Presenting the sequel to the Jim trilogy, taking place within Generation 6, some years after the trilogy. Hope you enjoy!
*Note: the similarity in name to LightningTopaz's The Kalos Connection is pure coincidence. ^^; *
The Kalos Chronicles
Welcome to Kalos
“Now arriving in Lumiose City. Please watch your step as you exit the train. Thank you, and have a nice day.”
The sleek, bullet-shaped train pulled to a smooth stop at the station platform. The doors slid open, and a mass of people stepped out, flooding the platform. One girl in particular stood for a moment in front of the doors, as they slid behind her, and gazed about at the massive, ornate interior of the train station. She took in a deep breath and sighed.
“Kalos at last.”
The girl was, based on her appearance, around 14 or 15 years of age. She had a lightly-tanned complexion, not darker tan like a sun bather, yet not pale like a shut-in. Her brown hair was long and bushy, not very neat, but that only added to the charm of her cute, rosy-cheeked face. Her eyes were an equal shade of brown, protected by a pair of light-tinted glasses. Her vibrant green T-shirt did little to hide the form of her belly beneath it: not large, but noticeably round and plump. She also wore a pair of jeans rolled into cuffs just above her ankles and orange sneakers.
This girl’s name was Melanie.
As could be inferred from her arrival, she was not a native of the Kalos region. However, she had grown up hearing tales of its rich beauty, wealthy economy, and compelling history. Lumiose City, moreover, was its crown jewel, a city where the richest and most elite members of society dwelled or did business. It was the home of illustrious clothing boutiques, jewelry and Evolution Stone shops, haircutters, Pokemon groomers, and more. Its main attraction was the Prism Tower, an enormous marble-white structure towering over the rest of the city, illuminated beautifully in the evening. The city also happened to be the home of Kalos’ leading scientific mind, Professor Augustine Sycamore.
Melanie had been drawn to Kalos not just by its historical and recreational allure, but also by the prospect of seeing brand-new Pokemon. She had heard stories of Pokemon the likes of which no one beyond Kalos had ever seen before, and some which held a far greater secret. She felt it was her right as a Trainer to explore these mysteries and see for herself what the region had to offer to her.
And, at any rate, it got her away from her parents.
Now, it was not to be thought that Melanie disliked her parents. On the contrary, she loved them dearly. They raised her with all the care and attention a loving pair of parents should devote to their child. Truth be told, it did end up making her a little spoiled, hankering for the finest in life whenever she wanted it, but she was, to all intents and purposes, a sweet, clever girl, compassionate and wise beyond her years. However, suffice to say, recent events had caused a strain in their relationship, culminating in a...discrete departure on her part. Even before that day she had had her mind set on getting to the ‘Star of the World’: Kalos.
She was jerked out of her reverie in seeing a very prim woman walk past, walking a dog-like Pokemon beside her. It looked like a poodle, with a black muzzle and paws and very shaggy white fur. It looked proud and noble. Melanie wished she had a Pokedex; she could get started learning about the new Pokemon of Kalos.
And that was when it hit her.
If she asked him nicely, he might grace her with a Pokedex.
It was worth a shot, anyway.
With this resolve in mind, she started off toward the station entrance. A man in a station uniform bowed as she approached and said, in a crisp, French accent,
“Bonjour, madame. Bienvenue à Lumiose City, et profiter de votre temps.”
Melanie, not the least bit abashed, smiled and said,
“Merci. Certainement. Au revoir.”
As was previously stated, Melanie was a clever girl. She had been told that the dominant language in Kalos, beyond English, was French, and she had taken to learning it as a hobby. She knew it would serve her well, should she ever come to the region.
She stepped out of the station and looked down either side of the street. Each side was devoted to neat, straight rows of shops, office buildings, and skyscrapers. Straight on from where she stood, she could see the pinnacle of the Prism Tower. It was only mid-afternoon, and the sidewalks were packed with people milling about, going about their business. Lumiose was an epicenter of commercial business, after all, much like Celadon City in Kanto, or Goldenrod City in Johto, or even Castelia City in Unova.
To Melanie’s excitement, she could see even more Pokemon. There were little gray cats waddling about on their hind paws, their eyes round, purple, and unsettlingly unblinking. Also gamboling about were lion cubs, black and brown with red cowlicks of fur on their heads. Overhead, red and gray robin-like Pokemon flew past, twittering merrily. Little brown and white goats with very shaggy fur covering their bodies, resembling grass or moss, slept in the shade of buildings or capered about with boys and girls riding their backs, while larger, grander-looking goat Pokemon, like a grown-up version of them, walked briskly past, people riding atop their backs and gripping their horns like handlebars. She had to find Professor Sycamore now, but where was his lab?
A man in a violently red-orange suit, his hair the same color, and his eyes obscured by a large pair of sunglasses, was walking briskly toward Melanie from the right. She figured she might as well ask him for directions.
“Excuse me, sir,” she began, but the man simply walked past her without a word, as if he hadn’t even noticed her. “Well, there was no need to be rude about it,” she muttered.
“Excuse me, dear. Are you lost?”
Melanie jumped and turned around. A woman had come up to her when her back was turned. She had a kind face, neat brown hair with a single curl extending over her brow, and a bulky camera bag belted behind her hips.
“Er, sort of,” said Melanie. “I just arrived in Lumiose City, you see, and I wanted to pay a visit to Professor Sycamore. The thing is, I don’t know where he lives.”
“Professor Sycamore’s Lab? That’s easy! Follow me, and I’ll show you the way.”
“Oh, thanks! That’s very kind of you.”
“It’s the least I can do for someone new to the city.”
The woman led Melanie down the sidewalk, shifting through the sea of ongoers as they did so. The man in the flashy suit was now in an alleyway, sitting at a table outside what looked like a cafe. It was colored a flaming red.
“Do you know who that man is, ma’am?” asked Melanie, pointing him out.
“Hmm?” asked the woman. “Oh, not a clue. He’s not the only one like that. I’ve seen men and women dressed exactly like that from time to time, skulking around alleys or that cafe. I’m not sure what their deal is, but I don’t like the look of them.”
“Not very open to conversation, I’ll say that much,” said Melanie.
She didn’t want to think about it, but she had the unsettling feeling that the stranger was following her movements. That, however, could probably have just been the effect of his sunglasses, since she couldn’t see his eyes.
About 10 minutes later, the woman came to a stop outside a very ornate building, more like a mansion than a laboratory. It was made of cream-colored brick, with many latticed windows, and a set of stairs leading up to its front door, flagged by a pair of pillars bearing Poke Balls.
“This is it!” said the woman. “Sycamore Labs! Pretty nice, isn’t it?”
“It’s incredible!” said Melanie, feeling her jaw fall open.
“And the man himself is no less incredible,” said the woman.
Melanie turned to her and shook her hand.
“Thanks very much for directing me here. I’d probably never have found it on my own.”
“Anytime, honey. If you’re ever in need of a guide, just head to Lumiose Press and ask for Alexa. That’s me. Good luck!”
With a merry wave, Alexa continued off down the sidewalk. Melanie, for her part, stood staring at the immense, grand building that the great professor of Kalos called his home. If he lived in such an austere abode, what would that say about his personality? Would he be too stuck-up to want to help her? Or would he simply be too busy? She couldn’t know unless she tried.
So, swallowing hard, she walked up the steps and knocked on the door.
After a moment or two, the door opened, revealing two people standing behind it. They appeared to be of Melanie’s age, yet more mature in their expressions and demeanors. One was a boy with sleek blond hair, dressed in a white jacket and pants, and the other was a girl with bushy purple hair, dressed in a similar jacket, but with a short skirt instead. On the breasts of their jackets were gleaming nametags. The boy’s read ‘Dexio’, while the girl’s read ‘Sina’.
“May we help you?” asked Dexio.
“I’d like to speak with Professor Sycamore,” said Melanie. “Is he in?”
“He is,” said Sina. “Please follow us.”
They stepped aside so Melanie could step in. The inside was just as pleasing to the eye as the outside. She had walked into a blue-walled lobby, complete with a receptionist’s desk in the corner. Potted plants and white sofas decorated the room, while several framed portraits lined the walls. An elevator stood at the back.
“Just take the elevator to the third floor,” said Sina. “It’ll take you straight to his office.”
“Thank you,” said Melanie, smiling gratefully.
“Of course,” said Dexio, and he and Sina smiled in return.
Melanie stepped into the elevator, a rather narrow model more resembling a phone booth on a wire, since it had no outer shaft to contain it. She pressed the button for the third floor, the doors slid shut, and she felt herself rise upwards. Her heart was beating quickly in her chest at what she was approaching. She was about to meet face-to-face with the great Professor Sycamore…
With a ding, the elevator pulled to a stop, and the doors opened. Melanie stepped out into another blue chamber, lined with more portraits and photos. This time, however, there were also bookshelves and a pair of work desks with computers atop them. A woman in a lab coat was standing by the books, and she looked up as Melanie stepped forward.
“May I help you?” she asked.
“I’m here to speak to Professor Sycamore,” said Melanie.
“Was that the elevator, Carol?” came a man’s voice from the opposite side of the wall to Melanie’s right. It sounded light and carefree.
“Yes, Professor,” said Carol. “Someone is here to see you.”
“Send them in, then. I’ve got time to spare.”
“Just through that door,” said Carol, pointing to a gap in the walls.
“Thanks,” said Melanie, and she stepped through the indicated door.
There, she found a phonograph, more photographs and portraits, and an ornate mahogany desk. And there, behind the desk, was a man who could be none other than Professor Sycamore himself.
He was, based on his appearance, somewhere in his 30s. He had a mild, pleasant, handsome face, with wavy black hair, a purple jacket, and black pants beneath his lab coat. He had the look of a schoolteacher that no one could help but like: amiable and intelligent at the same time.
He stood up as Melanie entered, striding over and extending his hand to shake hers.
“Welcome!” he said. “You wished to have a chat with me?”
“Yes, sir,” said Melanie, shaking his hand. “I have much that I want to ask and discuss with you.”
“Well, that’s simply magnifique, my dear,” he said. “Professor Augustine Sycamore at your service. And who may you be?”
“My name is Melanie. Melanie Stevens.”