I started posting this a while ago but I lost my way on it. I think I've found my way again so here it is again.
I really don't like the title of this story but I'm having issues coming up with an alternative so it'll have to do. This is going to be a very dark and nasty story at points so consider yourself warned.
There's a wee bit of language, occasional violence and potentially distressing scenes.
Let's rate it PG-13
A Promise of Darkness
The early morning sun sat just above the peaks surrounding the famous, yet humbly so, town of Pallet. All over town the dew that had settled overnight on the early spring blooms reflected the sunlight, making the town glimmer.
Professor Samuel Oak, renowned professor in the pokémon field, especially in the Kanto region, had been awake hours before the first Dodrio’s call and now waited patiently at the gate of his laboratory for the arrival of Pallet town’s new trainers. The four youths would be receiving their starting pokémon from him to begin their journey towards whatever goal they had set themselves. He gave a small smile as two of them came sprinting excitedly towards him.
“Good morning Jason, good morning Kate.” He greeted the two thirteen year olds cordially. “All set to start are you?”
“Absolutely Professor!” Jason nodded eagerly. “I can’t wait to get going!” Despite his age, Jason was a very solidly built youth, an image that was in sharp contrast to his ‘gentle as a kitten’ nature. Jason’s dark brown hair sat in a random mess atop his head. His friend Kate had her own jet black hair tied back in a neat ponytail.
“Are you two going to be traveling together?” Oak asked.
“For a while at least.” Kate said calmly, removing her sunglasses and fixing him with a stunning emerald gaze. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Oak nodded in approval. “Ah! Here come the other two.”
Two more young males were coming towards them, not sprinting as Jason and Kate had done but there was a definite eagerness in their pace.
“Bill, Andrew.” The professor nodded to the two new arrivals and smiled warmly. “Okay, now that we’re all here let’s head inside.”
He led them to a large room that was cobalt blue from floor to ceiling and whose walls where lined with sophisticated looking equipment. In the centre of the room sat a small podium, upon which sat four gleaming red and white pokéballs. The four trainers gathered around it excitedly.
Oak stood by a computer near the wall. “This computer will randomly put your names into an order; this order will determine who gets to choose first. The pokémon choices are Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Vulpix.” He pressed a key and the four names were displayed, Jason first then Bill, Kate and finally Andrew.
Jason eagerly grabbed a pokéball from the podium. “I’m taking Charmander!” He exclaimed.
Bill reached out and picked up Bulbasaur’s pokéball. “Grass type for me.” He said coolly.
Kate sat contemplating for a moment and finally decided on Squirtle; Andrew took the remaining pokéball containing Vulpix.
Tracey, Professor Oak’s assistant, came into the room with four packages and handed one to each of the new trainers.
“In those packages,” Oak explained, “are your pokédex and six pokéballs to get you started.” He walked into an adjacent room and the others followed. The massive room was lined with shelves, most of them filled with pokéballs. Behind him came the collective gasp of the four trainers.
“Here is where all of the pokémon are stored when the trainers from Pallet Town catch them. The pokémon are allowed to roam free at the back of this lab. Just the pokéballs are kept here. And here are your shelves.” He gestured to four empty ones, each shelf containing hundreds of empty pokéball cavities.
The look on Jason’s face betrayed his intimidation.
“I have to fill all of them?”
Oak chuckled. “You’ve got many years ahead of you to do that, I wouldn’t let it worry you.”
“Could we see Ash Ketchum and Gary Oak’s shelves?” Bill asked curiously, referring to the two young pokémon masters that were idolized by all of the Pallet trainers.
The professor gave a small smile and led them to another series of shelves. All four trainers gave out vocal, awe inspired comments as they saw shelf after shelf of pokéballs under both masters’ names.
“Unreal.” Oak heard Andrew mutter.
“What you see there is fourteen years of dedicated pokémon training. “If your goal is to become a pokémon master as well, you could very well achieve something similar.” He hustled them from the room. “Come now you need to get going before it gets too much later into the day.”
He and Tracey walked the group to the gate.
“Good luck to all of you.” He said smiling.
“Remember, if things aren’t going your way, don’t get disheartened.” Tracey added. “Even masters have their bad days.”
“Keep in touch.” Oak said seriously. “I want to hear regular reports from you all on your progress.”
The four trainers headed away from Pallet town waving to the Professor and Tracey.
“What do you think?” Tracey asked as the trainers turned a corner and out of sight.
The Professor didn’t respond. He stood staring at the spot where the trainers had disappeared from view, looking deep in thought. Tracey studied his mentor quietly for a moment. Over the years the professor’s hair had turned completely white and wrinkles had gathered at the corners of his eyes, though this was a sign of the troubled times more than his age.
“It looks like Ash and Gary were right again this year.” Tracey said trying to get a response from his mentor.
“So it seems.” The Professor replied. “Speaking of which, we should call Ash and tell him the news.”
“Shall I go attend to the pokémon?”
Oak turned to his assistant. “No, you’d better come with me, if there’s any news it’s better that we both hear it directly.”
Misty Ketchum, Ash Ketchum’s wife and the gym leader of Cerulean City answered the call. Her face broke into a wide smile when she saw the Professor and Tracey.
“Hello Misty.” Oak said genially. “How are things at the gym?”
“Everything’s fine here at the moment I guess. All the gym leaders have been pulled out of operations for now to give us time to focus on our gym duties.”
Oak nodded. “I heard about that. It’s been disturbingly quiet in most of the Kanto area lately.”
Misty’s face darkened slightly. “Yeah, it’s making me nervous to be perfectly honest. I’m concerned that something really big is about to happen.” Her face darkened further and a cold fury burned in her eyes. “Ash is as busy as hell, and the lack of action is only making his workload larger, not smaller. We’ve barely seen each other at all in the last two months.”
Oak nodded solemnly. “It must be very hard on you.”
Misty sighed. “That’s life I suppose. It’d be nice if I could see some sort of end in sight but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon. Hang on, I think I hear Ash coming.” She turned her attention off screen for a moment. “Ash honey, Professor Oak’s on the phone. Here he comes Professor; I hope I’ll see you both soon.”
“Goodbye Misty.” Oak replied. Misty rose from the chair and was replaced by Ash who was grinning broadly but couldn’t hide the tiredness in his eyes. His untidy black hair had not changed from his youth nor had his clothing really. He still frequented a tight black t-shirt but had replaced the blue jacket with white sleeves with a collared black open vest bordered with red; his open fingered gloves too were now black with red wrists.
“How are you Professor, Tracey?” He said jovially. “I assume you’re calling to inform me about the new trainers?”
Oak nodded. “I am indeed.”
The professor sighed. “We rigged the system so that Jason would get first choice and, as you and Gary both predicted, he chose Charmander.”
Ash clapped his hands together. “Excellent. What were the excitement levels like?”
“Jason was definitely the most enthusiastic.” Tracey said. “He was a bit daunted by all the empty slots on his pokéball storage shelf but when we showed the trainers yours and Gary’s shelves, the determination in his eyes was unmistakable.”
Ash nodded. “He’s a real potential just like Gary and I said. What were the other pairings?”
“Bill went second and chose Bulbasaur, then Kate took Squirtle leaving Andrew with Vulpix.”
Ash tapped a finger against his lips. “Hmm I picked Bill taking Squirtle but those pairings are pretty good anyway.” He pulled out a piece of paper and wrote the pairings down. “I’ll pass this info on to Gary when I see him.”
“Speaking of Gary…” Oak trailed off hopefully, wanting any information on his grandson.
Ash sighed. “I wish I could tell you something Professor, anything, but I can’t, his location and current mission is maximum security information. All I can say is that he should be back by the end of the month. I’m sorry I can’t say more…”
Oak nodded. “I understand. Any theories on the inactivity?”
Ash scowled. “Several. All of them aren’t very nice. Team Rocket hasn’t been this quiet in years, not since they started going all out with these massive operations. It’s really disconcerting and the team is in overdrive trying to figure out what the hell is going on.”
“What about Carrada?”
Ash’s scowl darkened. “That slimy bastard gave us the slip again; our agents lost him near Vermillion City, he always seems to be one step ahead of us. Still, I suppose that’s why he’s a high ranking Rocket agent. How’s everything there?”
“Everything’s fine here, yours and Gary’s pokémon are better than any security system I could come up with; anything unwanted wouldn’t be able to get ten meters into the property by air, land, water or even underground.”
Ash nodded. “Good. And the underground refuge shelters?”
“I check the entrances everyday to make sure they aren’t obstructed.” Tracey said. “The pokémon are keeping a constant vigil on them too.”
“Excellent, let me know at once if anything changes. I’ll only be here for another day or so but if you contact Misty she can get any messages to me pretty quickly.”
“Where are you off to this time?” Tracey inquired.
Ash ran a hand over his face. “I’ve got a few top secret affairs to take care of and then depending on how events play out I might be in Viridian City. With the next championships only three months away I’ve got to help organize security for that plus Giovanni, the Viridian Gym leader is holding some special conference or dinner or something along those lines next week for pokémon trainers who have got their minimum eight badges and are waiting for the championships to begin.”
“Sounds like he’s almost inviting Team Rocket to crash the party.” Tracey said.
“Yeah well everyone’s trying their best to keep things as normal as possible even with the high probability of Rocket interference.” He looked to his right to something off screen. “Look, you guys’ll have to excuse me, as I said I’ve only got about two more days here with Misty and even with that I’m having to juggle time around work so I’m trying to make the most of it.”
Oak smiled. “Go ahead Ash, thanks for the info.”
“Take care of yourselves.” Ash hung up and Tracey watched as Professor Oak stared at the blank screen, again deep in thought.
“It’s amazing.” Tracey said to break the silence. “We’re almost in a full on war with Team Rocket but young trainers are still willing to go out and venture through the world on pokémon journeys.”
“It’s like Ash said.” Oak replied still staring blankly. “Everyone’s trying to keep things as normal as possible in a time of turmoil.” He was silent for a moment. “It is dangerous for the young trainers to be out there though; perhaps we should send the new Pallet trainers a strong pokémon to accompany them. I’m sure Ash and Gary wouldn’t mind donating a few of their pokémon to the cause.”
Tracey sighed. “If only we could go back to how it was even seven years ago. I’d feel a whole lot better about sending inexperienced trainers out on their own.”
Oak nodded. “Indeed. However these times will provide the trainers with some extremely difficult challenges and will definitely show us who the future pokémon masters will be.”
The writing's not brilliant I know.