Ash Ketchum, recently-turned fourteen year old Pokemon Master in training grinned as he looked towards the bright sunny ocean sky, he struggled to contain a shiver of excitement as a Staraptor flew over head, a Pokemon he'd just recently heard of by intense search in his Pokedex after a battle with his old Rival (and tentative friend, when he wasn't being an arrogant asshole) Gary.
That sure had been a surprising battle, seeing a Pokemon he'd never heard of before that came from a region he'd also never head about, the Sinnoh region.
He'd originally planned on using Pikachu against that Electivire of Gary's, he was totally blind-sided when his little Totodile burst onto the field instead, but, looking back on it now, it was to be expected, he could admit to himself now that he hadn't been paying much attention to his old Pokemon and that was why he currently had five Pokeballs strapped to his belt rather than the single one he planned out starting with, that being Pikachu's. What right did he have to catch new Pokemon if after he was done with them he was just going to abandon them at the Oak Ranch, catch more and then do it all over again?
Of course he'd have only had four Pokeballs if that mischievous Aipom of his didn't somehow sneak aboard the ship to the Sinnoh Region carrying her Pokeball. Although he privately wondered when he'd meet a coordinator to take her off his hands, she wasn't much for battling and was glued to the T.V whenever a contest was on.
But he digressed, he couldn't honestly leave behind Totodile after the battle the little guy put up to prove himself to Ash, even shocking the hell out of his trainer when Totodile pushed himself to evolve into Croconaw when he was losing and win with a powerful Hydro Pump attack. Ash just couldn't hurt his Pokemon's feelings like that after all the work he'd put in.
And that's how he ended up with Cyndaquil giving him the teary eyes and almost begging tone, Ash couldn't say no to that either.
So he'd planned on heading to Sinnoh with three Pokemon, opposed to when he went to Hoenn with just Pikachu, then he'd gotten a surprise call from the Pokemon Ranger station up on Mt. Silver, they had called to tell him that an old friend was looking for him and he should head up there as soon as possible.
Imagine his surprise and delight when he found out that the young Larvitar he'd hatched from an egg and reunited with it's mother had finally grown up enough to leave the nest so to speak and went to the Ranger Station all alone. Supposedly it took a while for Larvitar to get his point across until they came upon a picture of him from when he helped Ranger Jack protect Manaphy.
They were all too happy to help Larvitar get in contact with Ash. That's also how he found himself in his new outfit, black and red sneakers with black cargo jeans kept in place with a silver belt, a white wife beater on his torso with, get this, the official small red and yellow Pokemon Ranger jacket and red headbang around his head, the headband and a small amount of gel made his hair fall back in lazy, wavy blue-ish black spikes. He'd miss his old hat, both because it was sentimental and because it really did block the sun from getting in his eyes, but it just didn't match his new look.
They wanted to reward him for all his help with Legendary Pokemon problems, specifically the dealing with the baby Lugia back in his Johto journey, Groudon and Kyogre when Team Aqua had gotten ahold of them both, the battle between Dexoy's and Rayquaza, not to mention the rabid wild Deoxy's and of course his help with rescuing Manaphy.
He shook his head with an amused grin, he'd gotten a standing ovation from the Rangers at the station when he made it to pick up Larvitar, imagine what they'd have done for him if they ever found out about his adventures with Mew, Mewtwo, Lugia, Zapdos, Moltres, Articuno, Entei, Suicune, Celebi, Latias, Latios, Sir Aaron's partner Lucario and that fake but extremely powerful fake Groudon.
He sighed and shook his head fondly at all the great memories, he'd matured a lot since way back when he saw Ho-oh and that was why he currently had a large backpack that was more than twice as big as the old backpack he travelled with, there would be no Brock this time.
Of course he knew he couldn't just go off like that so he'd made sure to get some quick lessons in with Brock on the main dishes he'd made for them while travelling, easy to make and didn't take up much room, as well as the medicinal supplies Brock always carried and the most important thing, Brock's special Pokemon food for all types, written recipes and all.
Focusing on the backpack he could just make out the faint rhythmic breathing of something sleeping, Pikachu that is. The small electric mouse was quite happy with the backpack considering he kept his sleeping bag on the top inside it and Pikachu could just laze around and have a nice comfortable sleep whenever he wanted inside of the backpack because of it.
Ash breathed in deeply and gave a sigh of relief as he remembered his chat with Professor Oak before he left Pallet Town, he'd wanted to catch a good few Pokemon from Sinnoh and train them, but he couldn't do that with only one space left on his team, thankfully Professor Oak came to the rescue by informing him that, now he was an experienced trainer, he could increase the restriction of six Pokemon to thirteen.
Sadly though it seemed he would need to win a Grand Festival or League Championship before he could get the final increase to twenty.
Ash was broken from his thoughts as a loud voice echoed through the voice system on the large cruise ship.
"Attention all passengers we will be docking soon, please be ready to make port and we hope you enjoy your time in the Sinnoh Region." It blared, "I repeat, Attention all passengers we will be docking soon, please be ready to make port and we hope you enjoy your time in the Sinnoh Region."
Ash grinned as he stood up from the railing he was leaning on and stretched his arms, "Finally." He said, "A new region with new Pokemon, new Gym Battles and a whole new Pokemon League to conquer."
He was especially happy that he would have no Team Rocket trouble this time around, it seemed Giovanni had fired them for failing nearly four years at attempting to catch a 'simple' Pikachu.
Dawn Berlitz, recently-turned fourteen year old Coordinator beginning her Coordinator journey looked on in awe as a blurry shape floated over the surface of Lake Verity, Piplup in her arms squeaked but she ignored it, content to watch the mystery Pokemon float above the lake surface, before the mist around it cleared and the shape disappeared.
"Lup, Piplup!" The small blue penguin in her arms chirped frantically in her arms.
Snapping from her awed gaze she raised an eyebrow and looked down at the Water type in her arms, noticing it was pointing her curiosity was peaked, "Okay what has you so spooke-" She began to say as she turned around, her eyes widened in fear though when she made the turn and she let out a loud scream of fear. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH."
Crawling along the tree tops and clicking angrily at them was a horde of Ariados at least a dozen strong, the Ariados she fought Piplup had sent packing with the little guy's Bide attack.
Trembling in fear, Piplup along with her, seeing as he was way too tired to fight, turned and began to run, but before she could even take a step one of the Ariados fired a String Shot straight at her feet and caught one of her pink boots, turning to look at what caught her, Dawn looked up in exceptional fright as every Ariados opened their mouths and began firing multiple bullets of a brown mud-like substance at her.
Both Piplup and her could only throw their arms up in an effort to lessen the damage, in their fear being unable to escape.
'I'm going to die already! I didn't even get to pick my first Pokemon! I'll never become a great Coordinator like Mom, I'll never meet great friends… I'll never fall in love and get married someday…' Dawn thought frantically at first, before time seemed to slow down and the attacks descended on both her and Piplup closer and closer as her thoughts went from frantic to pitying defeat.
She could see her death fast approaching… until a calm young male voice rang out over the clearing. "Cyndaquil, block those Sludge Bomb's with Flamethrower!"
When the attacks where only a few feet from them both, Dawn and Piplup looked up in awe as a large torrent of flames raged in front of them, blocking the Ariados' attacks and incinerating them into nothing.
Ash enjoyed the scenery as he walked along the road to Sandgem town, keeping an eye out for Pokemon as he walked, he'd seen a few Pokemon he'd only just recently heard of, like Burmy and a few Buneary but they weren't all that appealing choices to him.
He was startled as Pikachu, who was laying on his shoulder again, abruptly stood, "Pi Pikachu!" The little yellow mouse Pokemon cried, pointing eagerly towards the sky.
Looking up, Ash grinned as he caught sight of what Pikachu was pointing at, in the air above them a small grey and white bird-like Pokemon was leisurely flying, quickly he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his Pokedex – updated and upgraded by Professor Oak not too long ago – and aimed it towards the small bird-like Pokemon above, activating the Scan feature.
"Starly, the Starling Pokémon. Starly normally travels in a flock, but when alone, it is hard to notice. This Starly is Male and has the ability Keen Eye. Currently, this Starly knows the attacks Quick Attack, Whirlwind and Wing Attack."
"Perfect, a Flying Type is always a welcome Pokemon." Ash said as he turned his head to the shoulder Pikachu was standing on, "Okay Pikachu, hit it with a Thunderbolt." Ash ordered calmly.
Pikachu lifted his small fist and gave a nod in agreement before tensing his small paws and launching himself into the air, yellow electricity exploding from around his body and launching towards the airborne and unawares Starly. "Pika!" Pikachu shouted as he let the bolt loose.
Pikachu descended landing back on Ash's shoulder just as the large bolt of electricity reached Starly, the small bird Pokemon only having time to turn and blink in surprise before giving a loud cry of pain as the electricity washed over it.
Starly couldn't stand the attack and fell rapidly, crashing into the ground just a few feet from Ash and Pikachu, completely unconscious and unable to battle at all.
Ash sighed as he lifted an empty Pokeball from his silver belt and threw it at the comatose Flying and Normal type. Starly was sucked inside the Pokeball in a beam of red energy, before it shut and shook from side to side a few times, a red glow on the front. A few seconds at most before the Pokeball stopped completely, the red glow dying down and giving a soft 'ping'.
Walking over, he picked up the Pokeball, not bothering with his pose, for some weird reason the thought of doing it and getting caught doing it embarrassed him a great deal.
He looked at Pikachu on his shoulder with a soft smile, "It was to be expected I guess, it was only a few weeks ago that you beat Pyramid King Brandon's Regice, the strongest trainer in the battle frontier and a Legendary Pokemon, a dangerous combo and you've only gotten stronger since then." He said to his faithful companion.
Pikachu closed his eyes and flexed his small arm in a somewhat humorous attempt at showing his strength, Ash broke out into a small chuckle until he heard a loud female voice screaming through the forest. "!"
Startled, Ash narrowed his eyes and looked to Pikachu, "Let's go!" He ordered and took off running into the forest.
He didn't notice that purple haired teen that had stood a few feet behind him, an Elekid by his side, clenching his fist.
He'd planned on taunting the stranger with the Pikachu for catching such a weak Starly that was taken out in one hit, when he had heard what the Trainer had said to his Pikachu next, "Beat Brandon did you?" He growled before turning the to electric type by his side, "Elekid come!" He ordered sternly as he began walking down the road.
Ash sprinted through the forest canopy as fast as he could in the direction he heard the scream, it only took a few moments when he saw a clearing up ahead, a rather pretty girl with blue hair and a white hat on her head was laying on the grass a stream of thread that he just knew from experience was from a String Shot attack attached to one of her boots, she was wearing a black vest with a white undershirt, a very, Ash noted, short pink skirt, knee length black socks and a pair of Pink boots. Beside her, also cowering in fear just like her, was a small blue Penguin-like Pokemon.
As he got closer to the clearing, he noticed at least a dozen Ariados on top of the tree's around her opening their mouth and firing a barrage of attacks.
Quickly, Ash grabbed a Pokeball from his silver belt and leapt into action as he released the Pokemon inside, "Cyndaquil, block those Sludge Bomb's with Flamethrower." He ordered as he ran behind the Pokemon that appeared in front of him.
Cyndaquil was a small bipedal Pokémon with bluish fur on top of its body, and a milky colour on the underside. Although called the Fire Mouse Pokémon, Cyndaquil seemed to be a composite of features from the echidna, seen in the flames erupting from its back, and the shrew, seen in the general shaping of its body. Its eyes were closed and It had four red-colored spots on its back from which its flames erupted. It lacked claws on its forelimbs, but had a single claw on each hind foot.
Cyndaquil gave a nod as he opened his mouth and gave a loud cry of, "Cynda!" as a large torrent of flames erupted and sped through to the clearing, blocking the Sludge Bombs before they could reach the pretty blue haired girl, incinerating them into nothing.
With that Ash with Pikachu on his shoulder and Cyndaquil just a little bit in front of him, burst into the clearing and skidding to a halt in front of the girl who was lowering her hands from her face in wonder, her small blue penguin-like Pokemon follow after.
Ash didn't see the girl's awed face as he started ordering his Pokemon around, his mind quickly accessing the threat level of the enemy and how to beat them.
Ash growled as he faced the attacking Ariados, all of whom were clicking even angrier than before at him now, "Ari ari dos dos!" They clicked threateningly.
He turned and looked over his shoulder at the girl as he waited for the angry Spider Pokemon to make their move, "Don't worry, I'll protect you." He told her reassuringly with a small smile on his face before turning back to face his opponents.
Dawn, holding Piplup to her chest tightly, for some weird reason couldn't help the red hue that spread across her cheeks at his tone and easy going smile. So she did the only thing she could, nod dumbly and keep her mouth shut, hardly noticing the Pikachu on the slightly older looking boy's shoulder.
The Ariados finally attacked in their anger, their eyes blackening over as they launched small black energy beams from their eyes.
Dawn's eyes widened as she looked at all the beams twenty-four in total racing towards the standing still Cyndaquil, "Watch out!" She screamed desperately, closing her eyes.
Ash grinned, "Cyndaquil repel them with Flame Wheel."
Cyndaquil obeyed and jumped a foot or two into the air before tucking himself into a ball and spinning as a large wheel of fire surrounded his body, he hit the ground, not losing a hint of his spin as the Fire Pokemon held himself in place.
Dawn opened her eyes when she heard the command, and couldn't help the awed look that appeared in her eyes as she saw the black beams of energy dissolve on contact as they hit the large wheel of fire that was Cyndaquil, coming nowhere close to penetrating the protective fire.
Cyndaquil stopped spinning, landing on his feet and letting the Flame Wheel dissipate as he awaited his trainers next order, which didn't take long at all.
"Now Cyndaquil, hit them all with Flamethrower and send them packing!" He commanded next.
Cyndaquil opened his mouth again and launched another torrent of blazing flames straight towards the first Ariados who couldn't dodge in it's position in the tree, crying out in pain as the Flamethrower washed over it, before Cyndaquil turned his head and began to manoeuvre his powerful Flamethrower over each and every Ariados that gave loud cries of pain when the flames washed over them.
When the flames finally dissipated, all the Ariados were covered in burn and singe marks. They clicked angrily before turning and began running in the opposite direction over the trees in fear as Cyndaquil flared the fire on his back.
Grin still in place, Ash knelt down beside Cyndaquil and patted him on the head as he lifted the Pokeball from his silver belt "Great job Cyndaquil, take a nice long rest." He said soothingly as he returned the small Fire Type Pokemon to his Pokeball in a beam of red energy.
Standing up as he attached Cyndaquil's Pokeball back to his belt, Ash turned to the girl who he noted was staring at him with a little bit of awe, and just took a few moments to bask in it. It was a little immature, but playing the dashing hero was something he'd looked forward to when he had fantasized about his Pokemon journey back in Pallet before he'd gotten Pikachu.
He stared right back at her for a few moments before letting an easy smile slip onto his face as he reached down and offered his arm, "Here, let me help you." He said.
After he pulled the girl to her feet, she finally snapped from her daze. "Thank you for your help, we would have been goners if you didn't show up." she said, "I'm Dawn Berlitz by the way." She introduced herself.
Ash took that as his cue. "Ah, it was no biggie, I'm Ash Ketchum." He responded before looking around the clearing. "So, if you don't mind me asking, just why were those Ariados attacking you?" He asked curiously.
Dawn gave a deep sigh before she responded, "Well I just started out today as a Trainer and was hoping to get my first Pokemon, but at the lab this Piplup here and one of the other Starters, a Chimchar, ran off and I decided to try and help find them. I found Piplup and helped him escape a web the Ariados had gotten him stuck in so they attacked us, but I really thought Piplup had beat them back earlier by returning their attacks with Bide." She explained.
Ash nodded his head a few times during her explanation, waiting for her to finish, "So that means you're heading back to Professor Rowan's lab over in Sandgem town then?" Ash asked
Dawn nodded letting him know he'd gotten the nail right on the head, "Great, then we can head their together, I have to go sign up for the Sinnoh League." Ash continued before turning to the small yellow mouse Pokemon on his shoulder, "Ain't that right Pikachu?" He asked with a small chuckle in his voice.
"Pi Pikapi!" The small electric rodent replied happily as he rubbed his cheek against Ash's own.
Dawn smiled softly at the interaction "That's great!" She replied as they began walking out of the clearing.
"So you're a Pokemon Trainer then, not a Coordinator?" She asked after a few moments.
Ash turned his head to her a they walked, "Well I was primarily a Trainer to start with, I competed in the Indigo Plateau and the Silver Conference over in Kanto and Johto before I set my sights on Hoenn and then heard about contests." Ash told her, "I was travelling with this girl who knew next to nothing about Pokemon, but got really into Contests, so I helped he train for them as we travelled around Hoenn with a few other friends as I earned Gym Badges to compete in the Ever Grande Conference. So, while I consider myself a Trainer I have won a few contests." He concluded.
Dawn listened with rapt attention as he talked, "Wow, how have you done so far?" She asked.
Ash scratched his head, "Well, I've done okay I guess. I've been a Trainer for four years. I came in the top sixteen at the Indigo Plateau, top eight in both the Silver Conference and the Ever Grande Conference, I defeated the reigning champ at the Orange League and gained entry into their Hall of Fame and just recently I became the first ever Trainer to defeat the Kanto Battle Frontier." He explained with a large smile on his face, obviously proud of his accomplishments.
Dawn's eyes sparkled, "Woah that's so awesome! You must be a really tough Trainer!" She praised earnestly.
Ash scratched the back of his head sheepishly, "Well I get by, although I've seen how Regional Champions like Cynthia and Lance battle, and I'm a little reluctant to admit it but in raw power I only have one Pokemon that even comes close to matching their Dragonite and Garchomp."
"Wow really? But why are you reluctant to admit that? Having a Pokemon that could possibly go toe to toe with a champions Pokemon is amazing isn't it?" Dawn asked confusedly.
Ash sighed as he looked towards the sky. "My dream is to become a Pokemon Master, I've been working on it for four years now and I still can't defeat a trainer of their level, sure I'm certain I could defeat a few of their Pokemon but in the end? I'd lose, no contest." Ash explained. "I still have a long way to go to defeat one of them." He continued somewhat sadly, before perking up and turning towards her, "So what about you?" He asked.
Dawn, who'd been listening again in slight awe as Ash explained his chances at beating a Champion perked up at his question and smiled brightly, "My dream is to become an accomplished and experienced Coordinator like my Mom!" She told him excitedly.
Ash grinned despite himself, an answer to his problem, but he'd take care of that later. He looked Dawn in the eyes after a few seconds grin still in place, "Coordinator huh? How about we travel together then?" He asked abruptly, "I've seen and competed in my fair share of Contests and I don't mean to brag but I know my way around the battlefield; I could show you the ropes, so to speak." He continued right after.
Dawn squealed excitedly, "Really, you mean it?" She asked with a brilliant smile, "Are you sure I won't just slow you down?"
Ash shook his head, "No way, I'd be happy to have you as a travelling companion, going new places and meeting new Pokemon is always better when you have friends to share it with." Ash replied honestly and reassuringly.
Dawn grinned excitedly as she jumped at Ash, hugging his arm right to her chest, "Then I accept!" She proclaimed happily.
Ash laughed and let her continue holding his arm, he didn't know why but he enjoyed the way she held possessively onto his arm. "So have you decided on what Pokemon you want to start with?" He asked, changing the subject.
Dawn either didn't notice she was holding his arm tightly or was content to do it as she smiled at him, "No way buster, of course I've picked but I'm not letting you know until I make the choice back at the lab!" She responded jokingly.
Pikachu and Piplup, having relocated themselves to the ground and were walking beside their trainers, both noticed they'd been forgotten and looked at each other, matching sly grins forming.
When they finally reached Professor Rowan's lab in Sandgem Town, Ash stood back leaning against the wall, Pikachu back inside his large backpack asleep as he watched Dawn talk with the old man.
"Hmm, there's been stories of a Legendary Pokemon living in Lake Verity for a long time now." Professor Rowan explained after Dawn told him about what she saw back at the lake. "That might have been the Pokemon you saw."
"Wow, you think so?" Dawn asked reverently, "Awesome." She whispered.
Professor Rowan smiled down at her, "You had quite the day, perhaps not as expected but your journey has begun, so now it's time to give you your Pokeballs and Pokedex." He told her.
The dark green haired assistant held out a tray that contained five Pokeballs and a pink Pokedex, "Here you are."
As Dawn reached into the tray and took her Pokedex, Rowan continued his small lecture, "You see this Pokedex will provide with information about the various Pokemon you are sure to encounter." He lectured before reaching into the tray and picking up one of the shrunken Pokeballs, expanding it and allowing the empty Pokeball to open and show her the insides of it, "And these are your Pokeballs, very useful items for carrying your Pokemon around in." He continued.
With that he and his assistants turned towards the table that had all three Sinnoh Region starters standing atop it, "And now it is time for you to chose your Pokemon, and these are the three that are available to the first time trainers in the Sinnoh region." He said, "The Fire Type Chimchar." He continued as he looked at the Pokemon; it was a small orange chimp like Pokemon with a yellow underbelly and a small fire burning on its rear end. "The Water Type Piplup." He introduced next who was a small blue penguin like Pokemon, "And finally the Grass type Turtwig." Turtwig was a small four legged green Pokemon with a brown shell on it's back and a leaf sprouting from it's head. Professor Rowan turned his head and looked down at Dawn, "So have you decided which one you will choose?" He asked.
Dawn smiled up at him, "Yes sir I have, Piplup!"
Piplup pressed his small arms to his hips proudly. "Piplup!"
The Chimchar over in the corner of the room, who has been dancing in anticipation, face vaulted straight into the table.
"Good, then here is Piplup's Pokeball." Professor Rowan said as he lifted his hand and handed her the Pokeball in it.
Dawn took the Pokeball delicately and stepped forward towards the table to stand in front of Piplup. "Piplup, me and you have already been through a lot, we're really a team." She told the small blue Water Type Pokemon.
"Lup!" Piplup responded as he lifted his small blue arm in agreement.
"Okay let's go!" Dawn said as she lifted the Pokeball and returned Piplup in a beam of red energy.
Dawn was about to speak again when Professor Rowan beat her to it as he turned towards Ash, who was still leaning against the wall. "Now, I may be mistaken Mr. Ketchum but that jacket looks an aweful lot like the official Pokemon Ranger jackets."
Ash opened his eyes, but kept leaning against the wall nonetheless, "It is." He responded.
Proffessor Rowan nodded, "And why are you wearing it, might I ask?" He asked curiously.
Ash kicked up off the wall now, "I'm an honorary member of the elite Pokemon Ranger squad." He responded evenly, "I obviously couldn't become a full time member because I'm a Pokemon Trainer."
"Excuse me." Dawn cut in, "But what exactly is a Pokemon Ranger?" She asked curiously.
The female assistant of Professor Rowan with short red hair chimed in, "A Pokemon Ranger's job is to protect Pokemon all over the world from poachers, calm them down in the case of wild Pokemon becoming enraged, and much much more." She explained to Dawn.
"Wow, that's so cool." Dawn breathed.
"But how did you become a Pokemon Ranger in the first place? For one you're much younger than is usually allowed." Professor Rowan asked next.
Ash gave a sheepish laugh and scratched the back of his neck, "Well…" He spoke a little nervously, "I've been involved in saving and calming quite a few Legendary Pokemon."
Professor Rowan blinked, that was all the reaction he gave that noted he was quite shocked. "Indeed? What Legendaries might I ask?"
Ash scratched the back of his head anxiously, "Well, let's put it this way, the only Sinnoh native Legendary I've dealt with has been a Manapy, and outside of Sinnoh? Let's just say the only one I've not been up close and personal with has been Raikou." Ash explained.
"Oh wow! How many is that?" Dawn asked her eyes starry.
"That would be at least twenty Legendary Pokemon." Professor Rowan answered distantly.
'21 Actually.' Ash corrected mentally, but decided to keep his knowledge about Mew-Two to himself. Arceus knows the Pokemon deserved some peace to himself.
"Really? You've seen at least twenty Legendary Pokemon, how lucky!" Dawn gushed.
Ash saw the question in Professor Rowan's eyes and already knew what he was going to ask so decided to answer it now, "Yes, but even though I've seen that many Legendaries doesn't mean the Rangers would have accepted me, the only reason they accepted me is because I've defeated two Legendary Pokemon in one on one battle with my Pokemon." Ash responded to the unasked question. He paused as he realized something. "Actually, now that I think about it, those two were official battles, so they should be recorded and posted on my Trainer information page, if you feel like checking it out that is." He revealed.
He was about to continue when everybody in the room, Chimchar and Turtwig included, disappeared so fast they left dust clouds behind as they appeared at a computer at the other end of the lab, Chimchar and Turtwig leaning over Professor Rowan's shoulders as his assistant brought up Ash's official trainer page.
"…I guess seeing Legendary Pokemon in battle is something to be excited about?" Ash said to himself, a sweatdrop sliding down the back of his head, he didn't really understand why they were excited, but then again, almost every time he'd come into contact with a Legendary Pokemon he mostly always almost died, so he may be just the slightest bit biased.
He walked over just in time to see Charizard stop Articuno's Steel Wing attack with his bare hands, earning gasps of surprise from the audience, from there Charizard locked Articuno into a hold and spun into a backwards dive and performed his signature Siesmic Toss, when the smoke cleared, Charizard was shown standing tall and proud despite his various injuries and Articuno was down and out.
"Such an incredibly Charizard, going toe to toe with a Legendary Pokemon such as Articuno and coming out on top is no small feat." Proffessor Rowan complimented as he scrolled down the list of videos in his official trainer page before settling on the icon with Regice and clicking on it.
"Wow." Dawn breathed as she turned to face him, "Is that the Pokemon you were talking about earlier?" she asked.
Ash nodded, "Yeah, Charizard is without a doubt my most powerful Pokemon and he's no doubt even stronger now."
Dawn was about to ask something else, but she was cut off by Ash's voice on the computer.
"Pikachu, Iron Tail!"
Followed by the obvious cry of pain from Regice.
Turning back, Dawn watched in awe as Pikachu barraged Regice with attack after attack, only to be frozen and Regice to use rest and heal and Pikachu to break free and start the barrage of attacks all over again.
The battle continued for a full ten minutes easily, before Pikachu finally perseverance and defeated Regice with an extremely powerful Volt Tackle.
Dawn breathed out in awe again, "Ash I had no idea that little Pikachu you had on your shoulder was so powerful!"
Ash smirked confidently, "Pikachu was my first ever Pokemon, we pride ourselves in his power." He responded.
"Might I cut in with a question?" The female assistant asked.
Ash nodded to her, "If your Pikachu is strong enough to defeat a Legendary Pokemon, wouldn't it make much more sense to use a Thunder Stone and evolve it into a Raichu, wouldn't it be much more powerful then?" She asked.
"I don't force my Pokemon to evolve if they don't want to, if they do, great but if they're happy as they are who am I to force them?" Ash responded seriously. "So far Pikachu has preferred being a Pikachu, so that's how he'll stay."
Professor Rowan who had been quiet up until then with a contemplative look on his face deicded to cut in, "Interesting, you have given me a lot to think about Mr. Ketchum, now shouldn't you two be heading out now?" He asked.
Ash nodded, "Yeah." He turned towards Dawn, "Ready to go?" He asked.
Dawn smiled and nodded, "Yup!" She responded, giving him a thumbs up.
He and Dawn began walking towards the door, when Professor Rowan walked up behind them, "Just remember Dawn that if you need help, feel free to give me a call." He told them as they walked through the doors to the lab that slid open automatically, that's when they caught sight of a purple haired boy wearing a black and purple tracksuit glaring at Ash heatedly, "Yes, who are you?" Professor Rowan asked gruffly.
"The names Paul, and from the looks of things you're Professor Rowan." The now named Paul answered as he walked up and stood right in front of them, "I'm waiting for him." He said nodding his head at Ash.
"For me?" Ash asked questioningly.
"I heard you defeated Pyramid King Brandon, wanna battle?" Paul questioned.
Ash grinned, "A battle? Sure I'm game." He responded excitedly.
Professor Rowan spoke up now, "Then off to my back garden." He proclaimed.
Ash and Paul now stood on opposite sides of the grassy field, Pikachu hanging from Ash's shoulder now curiously.
"Wow, I've never seen a real Pokemon Battle before." Dawn said excitedly.
Ash grinned, "Well you're seeing one now so hold onto your hat." He told her.
"Hn." Paul grunted before turning his attention to Ash, "This will be a three on three Pokemon battle with no substitutes, the first to win two out of three wins, got it?" Paul asked rudely.
Ash grinned as he took a Pokeball from his belt, "I got it, then I'll start off with Croconaw." Ash responded as he released his Pokemon from the Pokeball.
Croconaw appeared just in front of Ash, dancing in place, Croconaw are medium-sized, bipedal crocodilian Pokémon, mostly blue in coloration with yellow accentuations and black eye markings. Croconaw had three clusters of red spikes on it's body, one with three prongs on its head like a crest, one with two prongs on its back, and one diamond-shaped spike on its tail. Croconaw had a set of pronounced, yellow jaws. Although. It possessed an asymmetrical, yellow-colored pattern on it's chest that somewhat resembled a spotted animal skin.
Paul grunted as he released his own Pokemon from it's Pokeball, "Elekid, stand by for battle." He ordered as his own Pokemon appeared in front of him.
Paul took the first move almost instantly. "Elekid, Thunderbolt now!" He ordered sternly.
Elekid spun it's arms fast before launching a large bolt of electricity at Croconaw.
"Catch it with both hands and then use Iron Tail." Ash commanded quickly.
"What?" Paul asked gapingly before his eyes widened as Croconaw caught the Thunderbolt with both arms and watched in stupefied awe as Croconaw's tail glowed white and electricity ran through it straight into the ground.
Ash seeing Paul's stupefied look answered the question he was going to ask. "I learned that back in the Hoenn Region." He told him before looking to Croconaw, "Now use Water Gun!"
From Croconaw's mouth a massive torrent of water shot out, a spiral of water spinning around the torrent showing the clear power of the attack.
Paul's eyes widened, "Elekid, Protect now!" He ordered.
Elekid nodded and held it's arms out in front of it as a thin green dome appeared around it, just as the Water Gun crashed into it. Elekid ground it's teeth as it struggled to hold up the Protect but finally it outlasted the attack.
They had no reprieve though as Croconaw came rushing in, "Now Croconaw, Ice Punch!" Ash ordered.
Paul gritted his teeth, "Elekid counter with Thunder Punch!" He commanded.
Elekid wasted no time and threw a punch covered in electricity straight towards Croconaw who had reached it now, one fist glowing deep icy blue.
"Catch it with your other hand and continue Ice Punch!" Ash shouted from the other side of the field.
Croconaw caught the Thunder Punch with his unused hand, giving a small cry of pain as he absorbed the attack, but continued nonetheless and followed up, punching elekid in the side of the face with the hand that was powered up with the Ice Punch.
Paul seemed to have no luck, because almost instantly, Elekid froze over in a block of ice. Paul gnashed his teeth in anger, "Break out of there now with Thunderbolt!" He shouted angrily.
Inside the block of ice Elekid let loose a powerful torrent of electricity, breaking most of the ice around it.
Unluckily, Ash gave them no chance to recover, "Hydro Pump now!" He ordered.
From Croconaw's mouth blasted a literal cannon of water zooming towards the immobile Elekid. Elekid only had time to widen it's eyes as it desperately tugged at the ice encasing it's feet before the powerful Water Attack crashed straight into it's face and catapulted it straight across the field, where it came to a stop after rolling for a few moments, swirls in it's eyes and unable to continue. The Hydro Pump being so powerful it destroyed the Ice that was around Elekid on impact.
"Nicely done Croconaw!" Ash cheered as he returned the now dancing again Pokemon to his Pokeball and switched it for another on his silver belt.
Paul glared at the Pokeball in his hand as he returned his Elekid, "That's all you've got?" He asked it angrily, grunting in anger he switched it with another Pokeball.
Standing next to Proffessor Rowan Dawn, with stars in her eyes said, "Wow, I had no idea moves could be used like that and Croconaw was so powerful it won despite the type disadvantage." Dawn gushed giddily. Growing up in a small town made one appreciate the more interesting things in life.
Professor Rowan answered her in his gruff voice, "Yes, using a Steel Type move like Iron Tail to channel the Thunderbolt directly into the ground was genius."
Paul sent out his Pokemon first this time "Chimchar, stand by for battle and you better not fail me or else!" Paul ordered cruelly.
Ash grinned as he took out his Pokedex and Scanned the Pokemon, "Wow, that's one of the Sinnoh Starters right?" He asked.
Paul just grunted and didn't deem him an answer.
He didn't need to, as Dex's voice was already telling Ash all he needed to know. "Chimchar, the Monkey Pokémon. Chimchar easily climbs the sheerest of walls and lives on mountain tops. When it sleeps, it's flames go out; a phenomenon that has been known to scare rookie Trainers, as a Fire Type's flame going out usually signifies death."
Ash looked at Chimchar in excitement, "I've gotta get me one of those." He said as he let out his newest Pokemon, "Starly, time for us to get acquainted. Starly appeared, flapping his wings gently in the air, briefly turning to give Ash a salute with his wing before turning back to facing Chimchar.
Paul glared angrily at Ash now, "I saw you catch that Pokemon just this morning, are you insulting me by using such a weak Pokemon to battle me?" He grit out.
Ash glared back now, "Any Pokemon can be strong, it just depends on how you use them."
"Whatever, your loss." Paul ground out angrily, "Chimchar, Flame Wheel now!"
Chimchar jumped and rolled into a large flaming wheel before shooting off at Starly like a rocket.
"Starly ascend!" Ash commanded.
Starly flew up quickly, narrowly dodging the powerful fire attack, "Now send it back to Paul with Whirlwhind!" Ash ordered.
Starly flapped his wings powerfully, just as the Flame wheel dissipated from around Chimchar, generating a powerful wind and sending Chimchar crashing back along the ground to beside Paul.
"Flamethrower now!" Paul demanded.
Chimchar opened it's small mouth and let a large torrent of flames fly straight at Starly.
Ash wasn't about to let the opportunity side though, "Starly spin straight underneath it using Quick Attack and then follow in with Wing Attack on Chimchar!" He instructed.
A White line blurred from behind Starly, as he span right out of the direction of the powerful Flamethrower and shot towards Chimchar before the attack had even ended with glowing white wings, Chimchar didn't get the time to dodge before Starly slashed painfully against it's face with one of it's wings, sending the small Chimp Pokemon tumbling to the ground.
Paul grunted angrily at the fights turn of events, he was so sure Chimchar was going to dominate the battle, "Chimchar, Dig now!" He demanded angrily.
Chimchar jumped to it's feet, a few bruises on it's body from Starly's Wing Attack but nothing major. Chimchar leapt to it's feet and prepared to dive straight into the ground and create a hole, but Ash had other plans.
"Starly, get to it quickly with Quick Attack and use your beak to grab one of it's arms then fly straight up." Ash shouted to his newest Pokemon.
Starly blurred forward, a line of light shooting from behind him as he moved so quickly, before Chimchar could fully finish it's dive into the ground, Starly had used his beak and grabbed Chimchar's arm and begun quickly fly straight up, slower than usual because of Chimchar's weight.
Paul almost shouted in anger, but calmed himself somewhat, "Get yourself free with your other hand use Fury Swipes!" He shouted up testily.
Chimchar began to slash at Starly's face with it's other hand but Starly held on through the pain as he reached the apex height of his flight and Ash took his cue, "Now throw it towards the ground and use Whirlwind!"
Chimchar yelped as Starly swung around and threw it straight down with his beak, before Starly began flapping his wings again, generating another strong wind that pushed straight into Chimchar, more than doubling it's speed towards the ground.
"Chimchar!" Chimchar cried out in fear, but could do nothing as it crashed straight into the ground creating a small crater from the impact and kicking up a cloud of dust.
Everyone waited in baited breath for the smoke to clear and when they did, there was one smirk, one smile, one whoop of joy and one growl of anger.
Chimchar was laying in the small crater, unconscious and unable to continue.
Paul growled in anger as he returned Chimchar and glared contemptibly at the Pokeball as Ash called Starly down to his shoulder, "Way to go Starly, first battle ever and you won!" Ash cheered his small Pokemon, who puffed up in pride.
Ash chuckled at Starly before lifting the Pokeball and returning it in a beam of red energy, just a Dawn came running over and threw herself onto Ash's back, "Way to go! You won!" She cheered.
Ash was about to respond when they heard Paul speak up at the Pokeball in his hand, "That was beyond pathetic, you lost to a Pokemon he caught just this morning, I can let Elekid's loss slide because it battled against an experienced and powerful Croconaw, but you were defeated by a common Starly." He spat out angrily, "I have no need for weaklings in my team, get out!" He spoke coldly as he released Chimchar covered in injuries from it's Pokeball in a flash of blue light.
Ash growled angrily with Dawn still hanging onto his back, "What the hell'd you do that for?" He asked angrily.
Paul glared right back, "There are a million Chimchar as weak as that pathetic weakling, as soon as I see a stronger one, I'll just grab it." He answered tonelessly, before turning and walking away only pausing briefly to give a short, curt bow to Professor Rowan in thanks for the their use of the field.
Ash growled angrily as he watched Paul walk away, but his eyes softened as he took in the sight of the Chimchar, small beaten and… alone.
He crouched down beside it, unaware that Dawn stood right behind him after vacating his back, "You know that guy's just a dick." Ash commented, ignoring the slight giggle from Dawn behind him, "You can come with me if you want, unlike Paul I can spot a great Pokemon when I see one." He said softly as he lifted an empty Pokeball up.
Chimchar watched Paul walk out of sight sadly before turning to Ash, he looked between the Pokeball and Ash before sighing and accepting the fate by closing his eyes and touching the Pokeball, allowing himself to be sucked in, no fight at all as the Pokeball gave a soft 'ding'.
Dawn behind Ash smiled softly down at him admiringly, 'He's so nice to Pokemon.' She thought.
Ash smiled as he stood up and turned to Professor Rowan, "Thanks for the field sir, but I think it's time me and Dawn hit the road." He turned and began walking away, beckoning for Dawn to follow him.
Dawn smiled and thanked Professor Rowan before running up to catch up beside Ash, "So where are we headed?" She asked.
Ash smiled at her as he turned towards her, "Well, I heard there's a contest in Jubilife City, you can make your début there." He told her.
Dawn squealed happily, "Oh yeah!" She shouted as she fist pumped.
A few hours later, Ash and Dawn had made it to the forest area just outside of Sandgem town, where Dawn watched in surprise as Ash went about cooking dinner, setting up camp and feeding all the Pokemon, including Piplup.
Although there were two Pokeballs she hadn't seen the contents of.
They were just sitting down to bowls of stew beside a camp fire when Ash spoke up, "So Dawn it's your fourteenth birthday today right?" Ash asked.
"Mhhmm." Dawn responded through the stew in her mouth.
Ash grinned, "Great, then how about I give you a present?" Ash asked.
"Really?" Dawn asked to which Ash nodded, "That'd be great!" She responded excitedly.
"Well then." Ash started as he took a Pokeball from his belt and placed it in front of her, "Here, this Pokemon should do you well in Contests, I've already trained her up a bit myself so she should be plenty strong for a beginner like you, although she is quite a bit mischievous." Ash explained. "It's her dream to take part in Contests, so please take care of her."
Dawn breathed out in awe, for maybe the tenth time that day, something she knew she had to stop doing, but couldn't help it. Standing up she decided to check out the Pokemon inside, "Go Pokeball!" She shouted excitedly as she released the Pokemon.
"Aipom!" The Pokemon that appeared in front of her cried out before hugging her legs, it was a small purple monkey Pokemon, with a long tail that had a large hand on the end.
"She's so cute!" She squealed as she picked Aipom up, hugging the small normal type to her chest.
Ash grinned, "Yeah, and she's quite the powerhouse too, the attacks she knows are Focus Punch, Swift, Double Team and Scratch, I'm sure you'll be able to create some great performances with her on your side." Ash explained.
He was about to continue, but Dawn had already returned Aipom to her Pokeball and glomped Ash, burying her head into his shoulder. "Thank you thank you thank you thank you!" She mumbled into his shoulder gratefully.
Ash gave her an awkward hug, "Well, great to know you enjoy the present." He stated with a nervous chuckle.
Dawn pulled her face from his shoulder, not bothering to move from the hugging position because she quite liked it. "Are you kidding? I love it!" She shouted happily, before she and Ash burst out laughing.
And that's how Ash and Dawn's Sinnoh Journey began…
Anyway, shameless Pa-atreon plug. I've got one, go by the same username on there, easy to find and all that jazz. Support me if you want, it'd be swell, but don't feel pressured lads and ladies, I'll be uploading my stuff outside it regardless and not keeping it all behind a paywall or anything like that.