10th April 2005, 09:29 PM #1
My Hoenn story with Ash: Dusk on Victory Road
Dusk on Victory Road
Ash Ketchum proudly ventured from his quaint birthplace of dusty Pallet Town, Kanto at the young age of ten, on a quest to catch and train Pokemon; his means for attaining fame. During the next four years, Ash would register to compete in three major pokemon leagues; Kanto’s Indigo Plateau, the Orange Islands League, and the Johto Silver Conference. Ash was recognized as one of the top sixteen trainers during his second eleventh year in Kanto, and during the following year won a golden champion trophy while traversing the Orange Islands. Ash won second place in a whirl islands competition, and then defeated his former rival, Gary, at the Silver Conference. This triumph earned Ash respect and a place among that years top eight Johto pokemon trainers, including Harrison, a trainer from Little Root Town who would overcome Ash in the second round championship.
The name of Ash Ketchum now carried recognition due to his numerous television appearances. But Ash refused to return to adulation for his minor pokemon deeds, and the boredom that characterized his hometown. Ash’s thoughts remained fixated on the adventures from pokemon training, and Ash still felt he needed to prove his worth.
After the tournament Ash encountered Harrison, and soon both were talking about their hometowns. Both descriptions were almost identical; a barely populated suburb connected by dirt roads and trees. The differences between the towns were superficial, such as Wingulls flying over Hoenn palm trees, as to Pidgeys resting underneath oaks.
Ash however, struggled when orientating using Harrison’s terms, partly because Ash had often daydreamed about returning home, perhaps marching victorious among admirers after conquering masters, and neglected geography. Therefore everything Harrison told Ash was new information to him, even the existence of the research island-continent named Hoenn.
Harrison endorsed traveling there, and Ash agreed that he would like to observe and conqueror Hoenn’s trainers. Deciding his earlier pokemon experiences using Kanto and Johto pokemon lent an advantage Ash, Ash decided his pokemon might confuse any identically aged native trainers. Yet Ash also desired Hoenn pokemon for use in future leagues, concluding that bringing all his trained Pokemon would simply deter him from catching new ones. Therefore Ash decided to take only his Pikachu along, but he intended to transfer his best pokemon to a Hoenn pokemon center, so that he could re-train them on the new continent, before the steadily approaching Hoenn P. League started.
Upon receiving adequate money from Ash’s mom, Delia, Ash chartered a boat from Kanto to Hoenn, whereupon he would link up with Brock, May, and Max. Ash registered for the league, and three months later, was camped beside his pikachu for the last night before reaching the League’s Pokemon Center.
One week before the competition, Ash Ketchum hopes for more remembrance than a one-time Champion Trainer. Even while still a child, Ash has dreamt of becoming the greatest Pokemon Master ever!
Ash Ketchum was now propped against a sapling, and sitting cross-legged in front of a small fire-pit Brock had been cooking rice cakes on. Max, May, and Ash had pitched camp 50 yards from an old maroon cobblestone road, alone in a League maintained campground. A spruce grove lent Ash a sapling to lean against, while May slumbered on the soil beside Ash’s Pikachu, each creature warmed by one’s own sleeping bag, and laying their heads on cushioned backpacks against the fire.
Brock towered expressionlessly above the campfire and kept his chin tilted up so his eyes would be shadowed while he told a frightened Max a tall-tale about how he and his onix had defeated a young girl’s gengar, thereby winning the match, only to be cursed by the trainer to always pursue hopeless loves. Because Brock had often told his six younger brothers in Pewter City about his gym matches, retelling his adventures to Max felt natural to him. Ash however, had heard the story before, and hardly listened. The night breeze was cool and Ash thought little about leaving the others before pushing himself to his feet, in preparation for an evening walk.
“Ash where are you going?” Brock had paused, because Ash had risen, and turned to face away toward the north. Ash didn’t really want to respond; images of victory, and successful ambitions burned in his retinas. “I just need to find a bathroom, I’ll be back shortly,” Ash said briefly. Ash then started traversing the mowed grasses between some large Oaks, and began to consider his plans.
Meanwhile Brock resumed narrating, now falling from reality, relating a fictional rematch, made seemingly real by the master storyteller’s enthusiasm. Max was riveted by Brock’s story and neither of them saw Pikachu awaken.
Brock’s deep voice and his lively acting had helped Pikachu into consciousness, whereupon it felt empty. It stood, and looked around, whereupon it smelled Ash’s scent. Bounding over the shrubs and through dim woods, it ambled into a large grassy moonlit clearing; enclosed by dark trees.
Pikachu’s dilated eyes peered across the expanse, and identified Ash, even by the quarter moon’s. But the creature didn’t immediately follow.
Far away, Ash quietly observed the stars of the late night sky; appreciating the still surroundings. He realized that in two more days there would be little rest, and private planes would choke these perfect skies. Again, Ash felt the predomination of a mysterious trepidation, made more acute by the observation of those beautiful, ancient stars so full of hope. Staring up he felt disquieted that all his future dreams at hand, and this time within closer actualization than ever before. Indeed, everything was ready now; his mindset, his pokemon, and a strong background of experiences. And slowly lapsing into daydream, Ash began to consider an unknown thought; whether he held worthy dreams to fulfill besides seizing the final golden trophy.
Ash knew that he should turn a blind eye to these doubts which held the potential to profuse indecision and thereby defeat in the league, but he couldn’t help but reason of their ultimate significance, in the epilogue, and the days following what Ash promised himself was an inevitable victory.
Ash’s experiences had made him nearly accustomed to feeling alone before crowd pressure, and judge scrutiny. His greatest strategic worries before a new battle were always of the unexpected; new pokemon, unique moves, or some dangerous strategy from a foreign trainer. There were also irrational fears, one of which was the possibility of fainting while hovering over the trainer box. Similarly, a critical pokemon could embarrass him by collapsing before a battle. Ash wanted a victory to be free from such shame. The anxiety weighted on his shoulders, and thoughts about the future battles in a foreign land overwhelmed him.
In an effort to restore his confidence, Ash relived his past battles, fought both against friends and strangers. The league battles always started with Ash physically separated from his Pokemon, and standing in the greenroom, a few feet from the stadium entrance. Ash would await his cue while trying to suppress his latest worries. Suddenly speakers would boom Ash’s name, and from that moment on, Ash would try to forget about the crowds and simply step into the stadium’s limelight. Watched by a hundred thousand eyes, Ash would peer through the noon glare, and find his position.
Everything was organized; even the weather could expected to be sunny, because of location, and the League’s refusal to hold championships during bad weather. But there would always be some variations, and focus was necessary for exploitations. Ash always tried to sum up his opponent before pick his opening strategy-all possibilities been thought through the night before.
Now ready, Ash would watch, as the field was chosen and his cue given. In a single throw Ash’s destiny was beared upon the field, and his dreams flew in the arc; planned, although unforeseeable.
Finally a judge would conclude the contest with a single hand gesture, and the audiences’ applauses would deafen Ash in either victory or defeat. Suddenly realizations would come that Ash had passed his crisis. He would now be ceremoniously ushered from the stadium to talk with his friends and prepare for the next challenges.
All of these remembered feeling were secret; silently understood by trainers, but impossibly incomprehensible for non-trainers, who sometimes had trouble appreciating the extent to which, hope drove the world. Achieving a little comfort remembering this enduring brotherhood; regardless of ultimate results, Ash resumed exploring the camp’s perimeter. Moving slower than during yesterday’s rambles, Ash intended to relax his tired muscles, and appreciate his surroundings. The walks had became steadily easier since he’d first set out, and tomorrow the four travelers would have a room inside the pokemon center for respite.
Listening to the soundless night, Ash suddenly heard soft feet treading the spongy grass, and turned around in time to watch his Pikachu scamper toward him. Ash stilled his movements, and Pikachu upped his gait, using its speed to move up to Ash’s sleeve by a single leap, thereby grabbing the front of Ash’s shirt, and then by some fast movements, crawl into a more comfortable perch over Ash’s left shoulder. Clawing Ash’s protruding ball cap, the critter twisted it backwards, and playfully spoke its name. Ash felt no animosity at the interruption toward the welcome familiar, and quietly resumed his strides, sometimes asking his Pikachu if it wanted a ride to, and a view of any tree, or mound. Thereby they continued beyond the clearing around tree groves and grassy plains with little regard to their direction.
Perhaps ten minutes from the clearing, Ash and Pikachu found a wide cobblestone road, of an ancient sort now, that wound between bushes and under beautiful progressing open gates made from a Mahoney wood. These arches were shaped like the mathematical pie symbol, and continued along at distances of perhaps 200 feet, presumably leading the final stretch into Ever Grande Island’s pokemon league. Beside the arches were vast flower fields extending beside the arches, and even occasional fountains; consisting of either metal or cut stone, and ornamented with various pokemon. Ash, becoming conscious of the time, had been considering turning back to advert worry, but had persisted through a thin grove of artificially planted bamboo shoots, following the sound of those lapping waters. Even at night, and with no lighting or apparent watchers, these gardens remained, a sight momentarily beheld by just Ash and his pikachu, seemingly maintained for them alone.
“These gardens are amazing! We’ll have to bring Brock and the others here tomorrow, they truly must cost a fortune for the league donors to maintain.” Pikachu murmured its agreement with Ash’s words, and although beginning to want to return to camp, sensing Ash’s longing to linger, kept silent, as to let Ash naturally clear his qualms by easy time. It had used a similar technique the nights before battles beside moon reflecting lakes on Mount Silver, at the beaches by lapping waves before a hundred island completions, and even while talking in the trees the day before Ash left Pallet Town, this time for Hoenn. The level of understanding between Ash and his pokemon was strongest with Pikachu, and always made the two the most dependable combination possible in an unexpected situation.
As Ash’s longest trained pokemon, Pikachu could have been ranked at level 89 on that night, with level 100 being the highest ability achievable by an individual pokemon, just as a black belt is believed to posses the greatest degree of skill possible for him in his art. But neither of the two could have realized this, since pokemon were rarely rated on this level scale accurately, and Ash hadn’t rated his pikachu since it was, perhaps level 12 when he first started in Kanto. No one could have guessed that young Ash was entering the Hoenn competition with the highest leveled pokemon still surviving outside of myth. Not that a single pokemon is ever enough to win at the league, but the mostly unknown Ash Ketchum was actually supported by pokemon far stronger than he or they realized.
Ash still felt doubts that he’d need to remove before joining the pressure inside the league, and he desperately tried to find some external affirmation of his past achievements, and of his purpose, considerably questionable now that his official rival had quit. Looking around, Ash sighted the nearest fountain and walked toward it. Over the mounds embedded with flowers, Ash followed smooth stones along a grassy lawn. Approaching the fountain he wondered why admiring the Charizard ornament should be so necessary before entering the league. Sure, the white marble Charizard stuck a fearsome pose, with its wings whittled realistically by the sculptor so as to extend veins toward the viewer. But Ash thought he found something more personal within the statue, a sort of familiarity with not only the pokemon, but seemingly his master trainer too, and the person who had decreed the statue be built. The piece made him feel acquainted, as though meeting someone a friend had told him about years ago.
Actually Pikachu thought the think just intimidating, but didn’t recognize the glory or the essence the maker had tried to carve into its fierce dragon eyes. Jumping off of Ash’s shoulder, Pikachu pounced upon the thing’s nose, and then bounded onto its head, where it reclined comfortably. Water tumbled from the pedestal at the Charizard’s feet, a pleasant sound for the Pikachu while it admired nature’s more appealing art, a dark garden filled with yellow, pink and blue flowers of different shapes.
Ash mistook this mere disinterest as a greater apathetic toward the values of the artist. “I think this statue is impressive, and the model must have been very inspiring. Hey look, there’s a plaque at the base. It reads: this statue commemorates Sam Oak’s Lucnight, the elegant champion pokemon from the Evergrande competition of 1988.” Donated by Steven Stone, 2004.
Upon finishing the bronze plaque Ash skimmed over a glass protected paper outside the fountain. Accordingly the pokemon was the first pokemon of the trainer, then a charmander. It grew up under his supervision and demonstrated innovative attacks that never missed. Although the Hoenn league was smaller then, and Sam later lost his title and thereafter retired, many knowledgeable old-timers still name Sam as the intelligent, decisive trainer of his time. Afterwards Sam’s techniques were emulated and his league contributions would be lost to the younger crowd. However, in Evergrande all first-place trainers are commemorated, and, according to the guide, perhaps no pokemon or trainer better deserved tranquil peace and recognition.
Sam Oak’s enduring advice to trainers: “…battle with maturity, confidence, and appreciation for your pokemon and yourself. Our determination with understanding of the other’s intentions orchestrated our victories.”
Because of Ash’s fast skimming he hardly registered the name initially, and indeed may not have ever realized his relation to the trainer, except for a small picture at the bottom of the page. It was a picture of the award ceremony; Ash didn’t recognize the silver or bronze trophy winners. But the foremost golden trophy carrier was a brown haired, black-eyed teenager, resembling Ash, with a few extra years. Unlike the other winners, he was plainly dressed. Ash recognized him as his friend Sammy Oak instantly.
“Whoa!” Ash exclaimed, shocked that his mystery acquaintance he had met through a Serebi had went on to win first in the Ever Grande League finals. Immediately he called his Pikachu over to share the find. They stood their admiring the almost subtle pleasure on the expressionless face. Suddenly Ash had a new rival; he would surpass this man, alive or dead as he may be. Not only would he win this tournament, he would also show style and professional efficiency as he could, and prove he was no amateur.
Ash envisioned a bright day, with confetti falling, trumpets flaring, and his inner-worth displayed as he received a golden trophy from the League President. “We’re gonna win right? Better than Sam won alright?”
His pikachu replied in its language, “Fine, we’ll win the world once. But only once, and afterward we’ll be done battling, and it will be time to stop, and move on. No pride can safely sustain a man’s determination over the later years. Whether you accept retirement or not will be your choice. But after a final win, I intend to stop battling, and rest someplace for a while. Its not necessary to prove yourself indefinitely to the world.”
Ash pondered Pikachu’s attitude, which was changing from his of perpetual glory. He realized that ultimately his pikachu spoke the truth; eventually he would have to one day stop, be the needs age, financial, or other factors. However, until the day Ash either couldn’t set forth again, or simply lost the interest like Gary, Ash was determined to keep trying.
Ash replied he would accept that, if given forewarning, and pikachu stick with him through at least Evergrande, fighting with all its courage and determination until the end. Then, they could rest in Pallet for a while, after they had their own statue here. Was that deal acceptable? In response the pikachu hopped onto the ground and fired a harmless spark of electricity at the fountain, causing the water, and the statue to cracker and said ‘pi,’ in an affirmative tone. Pleased, he bent his hand down, to cemment this with a handshake.
Pikachu slapped its tail against his palm, and zapped him with the force of a handbuzzer. While Ash jumped backwards, Pikachu laughed innocently, and ran quickly back towards camp. Ash’s response was to pull out Pikachu’s empty pokeball, and threaten it, which was ineffectual against a creature who regarded the entire talk as finished, and desired a race. Sighing, and at first resigned to this, Ash hesitated considering staying, but hearing a couple of Noctowls howling in the distance, Ash’s impatience took over and he took chase. His Pikachu beat him back to camp first where, only Brock was left awake, waiting with luke-warm tea.
Ash made it back, and told Brock that he had just scouted ahead for the next day. Despite Brock’s telling of his story earlier, he was still eager to retell it, and Ash only managed to relate a few of the details of the garden they’d left through Brock’s desire to storytell himself. Pikachu at first listened to Ash’s fruitless effort with amusement, and then slowly dozed off. Ash himself eventually gave up and suggested they talk in the morning, and Brock, horrified by Ash’s pokegear, which read the time to be in the 23rd hour, agreed to listen tommorrow. But as Ash was drifting off Brock started to tell his story anyhow, a background lullabye for Ash’s dreams. More patient and focused after the walk, Ash drifted off soundly, his last conscious thoughts were, ‘I wonder what happns to champions after they retire.’
AIM me at Charizardspal.
Dedicated to Timmothy Jakes, a fast original thinker who could have made a swell pokemon master had his life been elsewhere.
Thanks for reading!
This is my first online posted story. Please Let me know what you guys think!
Notable days this was worked on:
New Years Day, Saturday 11:30 PM, 2005.
1/2/05, at 7 PM.
1/25/05 8:52 PM
1/30/05 3:53 AM After a Concert
4/10/05 4:44 PM
Last edited by kevinlinks; 14th April 2005 at 11:12 PM.
Pokemon and Humans must learn to co-exist. Having taken Prof Oak's advice to be the absolute pinacle of meaning in pokemon, I have wrote a fanfic: Dusk on Victory Road, by charizardpal. Its at bulbagardens, or you can google it.
16th April 2005, 12:32 PM #2
Hey I really like your story. Nice detail, I like description of the fountain with the charizard, oh and the bond between Ash and Pikachu is nicely portrayed. I don't think I could see Ash pondering things quite so maturely though... altho he does have his moments.
“These gardens are amazing! We’ll have to bring Brock and the others here tomorrow, they truly must cost a fortune for the league donors to maintain.”
My one problem, just if you wanted to stay with Ash's character like, I don't think I've ever heard him speak quite so... properly. Would he use the word "truly"?
There's a couple of spelling mistakes, but nothing big, considering there's quite a lot of text it's easy to miss/add the odd letter here and there.
Anywho, great job, very nice story!
16th April 2005, 08:56 PM #3
Your descriptions of people, places, and Pokémon are very good. I enjoyed the final scene with Ash and Pikachu giving him a little shock; perfectly in-character for both.