The Agent: Training Program
International Police File Folder # 405
Name: Jason Hart
Hometown: Castelia City, Unova
Classification: Trainee, Field Ops Program
The idea of becoming an agent for the International Police kind of came out of the blue. I didn’t grow up wanting to become a cop, and it wasn’t the family business. It really just happened on a whim, when my buddy Frank and I noticed a recruiting stall set up outside our school one day. Neither of us had given much thought to what we’d do in the future, and it was almost time to graduate. All it took was the recruiter’s smooth sales pitch, and we were on the hook. I thought we’d be a couple of badasses, rappelling off a building and firing off a machine gun with one hand, detonating a blast charge with the other, and breaking some guy’s neck with my legs as I swoop through a window. That’s probably what their recruiters were banking on when they go out and find kids to sign up for their program.
When we signed up, we got to pick from a list of specialties. To my surprise, a lot of them were bureaucratic pencil-pushing jobs, far from the adrenaline rush I expected. The only entry level program that struck me as being remotely exciting – as well as the only one promising field work - was the Handler Program, which was basically the International Police’s version of a Pokémon Trainer. The difference being that while a Pokémon Trainer raises Pokémon to battle for contest and sport, a Handler sees a Pokémon as just another tool in their arsenal. I had never set out on any grand adventures as a ten year old, and grew up in a house where nobody ever owned a Pokémon, so I had zero experience with the creatures. But unless I wanted to be stuck at a desk filing reports, I had to become a Handler.
The buddy I signed up with, Frank Pomello, knew a little bit about training Pokémon. He opted for the same program, and he tried to teach me what he knew in the days leading up to the training course. Either I was thick headed or Frank just had no knack for teaching, but I couldn’t get anything right. He knew a guy that owned dozens of Pidoves; I think he used them to deliver messages. He borrowed two, one for each of us, and we would fight them on the roof of our apartment building. Frank’s Pokémon would obediently follow every command, while mine would just ignore me. After trying to convince Frank that my Pidove was deaf, we traded. And suddenly, the bird that would not pay any attention to me snapped alertly to Frank’s words, striking with Quick Attacks and Roosting off the damage anytime my Pokémon managed to get a hit in.
“This is hopeless,” I said. “I’m giving these commands in the same exact pitch you are, but it doesn’t listen.”
“That’s the thing with Pokémon, Jay,” Frank replied. “They can tell if their owner is any good. I don’t know how they do it, but they can just tell. I hear Pokémon you didn’t catch yourself are especially judgmental, which might explain why your Pidove totally ignores you.”
“Let’s go again. I saw it turn its head to me last time I talked to it; I think we’re starting to get a vibe going.”
So there we were again, two identical Pidoves staring each other down with intent to kill, with two not-so-identical guys doing the same. I took the first move, yelling at my bird to stir up a Gust. I don’t know why, but I actually expected something this time around. I shouldn’t have, though, as all the Pokémon did was idly peck the ground, almost mockingly given the extreme context of my command.
“So much for the vibe, man,” said Frank.
“Go get him Pidove, Quick Attack!”
“Pidove, cooperation!” I barked, clapping my hands. “Detect, now!”
In response, my Pidove dodged the incoming attack with precision, a glimmer in its eye revealing that it had successfully Detected the move. I don’t know if I was finally getting through to it, or if it acted on its own to avoid getting hit. Either way, I actually had a shot at winning this battle.
“About time you got in the fighting spirit,” I said to Pidove. “Use Gust now!”
As my Pidove began flapping its wings to muster up some wind, I could see Frank’s Pokémon glowing an odd orange color. Just as my intrepid bird had finally prepared its Gust attack, it was hit head on by a glowing missile that was Frank’s Pidove. The force of its Sky Attack sent both birds over the edge of the roof.
“Damn it,” I muttered.
“You did better that time, it kind of listened to you.”
“Yeah thanks. We better get down to the street and find those Pidoves. Actually, you better, you borrowed them anyway. I’ve had enough for today.”