I do not own Pokemon, nor am I affiliated with the Pokemon Company in any way. I only own my OCs.

Chapter 1

Power. The most influential force in human history.

It was something that could only be acquired through strength and fear, a weapon stronger than the mightiest Gyarados and scarier than a Gengar. One with enough power could drain seas, pulverise mountains, and push the limits of things long thought impossible. A presence so threatening that with enough of it, no one would even dare challenge you for fear of their own life.

It was because of this that Giovanni had called a meeting with his executives. If they knew what was good for them, they would have already made some progress on their own to feed to Team Rocket's power. In order to expand the presence of Team Rocket, work had to be done. Deals had to be made. People had to comply or be silenced.

It was all part of business after all.

A light knock came from his door. Giovanni glanced at his monitor to see his executives waiting outside for him. He tapped a button on the screen, causing the automatic door to slide open. Four individuals shuffled in, not meeting his eyes. His Persian, who had been sitting on his lap, leered at the newcomers and jumped from its position by its master.

The first to come in was Proton, a man with short teal hair wearing white gloves and boots paired with a black jumpsuit. He was often labeled as the scariest guy in Team Rocket, constantly ordering anyone below him around. Those who didn't do their jobs correctly or who disobeyed were punished swiftly and soundly. It was just his style. In his eyes, without discipline, nothing would get done.

Next was Petrel, a man with a constantly relaxed expression that mirrored his attitude. He had short purple hair on his head and chin, with an outfit mirroring Proton's (as he was too lazy to make his own). Unlike his teal-haired coworker, he was generally lax, mainly helping the other executives with their jobs and sharing the credit instead of doing his own. As a result, he was able to keep his position despite doing the bare minimum, and the other executives hated him for it.

Of course, Giovanni knew this. The fact that he was crafty enough to pull this off told him that Petrel was an asset, despite how careless he seemed to be.

Then came Archer. His hair was lighter than Proton's, but his outfit was completely white instead of black. He often made himself out to be the leader of everything, believing himself to be superior to everyone, including his own executives. Giovanni was the only exception, and he tried his hardest to make the only person above him in ranking notice him. Giovanni seldom gave him the satisfaction of gaining approval from himself, as this would only make him lazy and complacent.

Last was Ariana, a red haired woman wearing a white dress with a black diamond on the torso of her outfit. Rumors circulated around the Rocket Base that Ariana and Giovanni had a child. Of course, no one was able to prove it, as the last Rocket grunt who snuck into the boss's office was never seen again. Still, it was strange that Ariana was sometimes nowhere to be seen some nights...

"Take a seat." Giovanni spoke. The executives quietly sat down, still not meeting his gaze. "Now, I trust that all of you have made headway on establishing our presence across Kanto, correct?"

The four executives nodded without a word. The air was thick with tension. Giovanni was well aware that each of the executives despised each other. Anytime one of them did something that he was impressed by, the others would try their best to one up them. The only person who didn't engage in this behavior was Ariana, mainly because she was extremely good at reading Giovanni like a book, and so didn't need to fight for his approval.

Giovanni shifted his gaze toward Proton, the man suddenly stiffening. "Proton, why don't you tell us what you've done?" he asked.

Proton nodded his head. "My team and I have laid claim to what looks like an abandoned mining operation that was never finished in Mt. Moon." he explained. "I had my Rhyperior do some digging, and we struck gold immediately! There are tons of fossils that are just waiting to be dug up and sold. Assuming my pathetic grunts don't screw anything up, we've got a real moneymaker on our hands."

The Rocket leader nodded. "Good." he said, turning his gaze away from the man, who seemed to have let out a breath he was holding. "Archer, do you have anything to share as well?"

"Of course, sir." Archer replied. "Unlike my ill-bred coworker here, I have something that will actually help gain funding for Team Rocket."

Proton whipped around to face Archer. "Shut it you boot-licking piece of-!"

"Proton!" Giovanni snapped, slamming his fist on the table and startling the others sitting at the table. The executive slumped back into his seat, muttering something incoherent to himself. The Rocket leader looked back at Archer, who had a satisfied smirk on his face. "You were saying?"

"Right. There's been an influx of Ghost-type Pokémon gathering around Pokémon Tower, which I suspect is linked to the Misdreavus migration from earlier this year." Archer said. "If we can catch these Ghost-types, there's no doubt that they'll be extremely useful in our infiltration operations. Additionally, there are Cubone that live in Pokemon Tower and the surrounding area with their mothers. Cubone skulls sell for a hefty price on the black market, so no need to worry about financing any of this."

Giovanni gave a short nod to Archer before shifting his gaze toward Ariana. The red-haired woman smirked at him.

"Plans for our Rocket base in Celadon have been completed." she said before Giovanni could question her. "Opening day was a week ago, and we're getting plenty of revenue from all of the trafficked Pokémon we've been selling. I've been able to keep a closer eye on Erika as well. I don't think she'll been a thorn in our side for much longer."

Giovanni gave Ariana a small smirk before turning to the last member of the bunch, Petrel. The purple-haired man was staring off into space and itching his back, and only snapped out of his trance when Giovanni cleared his throat. "Petrel." Giovanni addressed him. "Have you made any progress in expanding our presence into the Sevii Islands like I asked.

Petrel's expression changed from one of aloofness to one of realization, as though he had just forgotten something. "I... have not." he said, lowering his head. Giovanni's eyes narrowed and he rubbed his temple. Maybe letting him laze about wasn't a good decision after all. "Petrel, I'm disappointed. I expected you to-"

"You didn't let me finish, boss." Petrel spoke up, his smirk returning. Giovanni gritted his teeth at his insolence, and the other executives looked at him with mixtures of shock and fury. The purple-haired man remained blissfully ignorant or uncaring of their gazes. "I've been doing some extensive research on something that will help Team Rocket more than these three" he gestured to his fellow coworkers "could ever dream of."

Giovanni raised an eyebrow. "And that is...?"

Petrel rested his elbows on the table, meeting his superior's gaze. "Have you ever heard of Kanto's legendary birds?"

Pallet Town was one of the smallest settlements in the Kanto region. It was dwarfed by the larger cities in Indigo, and was a fair distance from the sea. Forest surrounded the area, and only a small number of people called the town their home, usually older folks who generally preferred the peace and quiet of the country.

However, while being short on people, it had a surplus of Pokemon of many different species and types, which were housed in the corral behind Professor Oak's Lab.

Our story begins at a white house with a cherry red roof, where both Delia and Ash Ketchum lived. Ash was a ten-year old boy with jet black hair and light skin. He had a stubborn personality and not many friends at school, but he had one goal in mind that he would chase for the rest of his life until he finally got a hold of it.

Ever since he was five years old, Ash had desperately wanted to be a Pokemon Trainer. It started when he saw his first match on TV, in which Lance was battling against the reigning champion at the time, Finn, and won. It ended up being a close battle between Finn's monstrous Tangrowth and Lance's powerful Dragonite. Eventually, after a hard-fought battle, the giant Grass-type was brought down, and Lance was crowned Champion.

The flashy moves, complicated techniques, and powerful Pokemon fascinated Ash to no end, and he spent every day thinking of his ideal journey.

At school he would daydream about the moment he would beat Lance's dragons and become Champion. At home he would constantly talk about Pokemon with his mother, unable to contain the youthful joy and curiosity he had about them. He couldn't see himself doing anything except becoming a Trainer when he got older. It was no surprise that he passed every test on Pokemon knowledge with flying colors. He was determined, often to a fault, and Gary had more than once called him a dork when they were younger.

"So Ash." his mother said as they ate dinner. "What starter Pokemon are you going to pick?"

"Definitely Squirtle!" he said after he swallowed his food. Delia had made him meatloaf, a rare dish in the Ketchum household. She wanted to celebrate the last day he'd be at home with her for a while, since tomorrow was the day he'd receive his first Pokemon and Trainer's license, making him a true blue Pokemon Trainer. Soon he'd be off, catching Pokemon, winning Gym badges, and changing as a person. It was a journey many kids longed to go through.

Unfortunately, because the world of battling was often cruel and competitive, many kids returned home after their first or second badge. For many, the pressure of raising, training, and fighting with Pokemon was often too much, especially since a lot of their time would be spent out in the wild, away from civilization, a step that not many kids were willing to take.

However, as a remedy to this problem, Professor Oak decided to start a small program exclusive to Pallet Town where lucky Trainers would be given a choice between three rare Pokemon as their first partner. To make sure no one was inexperienced, the Professor had set up a series of exams to test the knowledge of everyone in Ash's class. The students who scored in the top three would be able to obtain their Trainer's license at the early age of ten, whereas the rest of the class would have to wait until they were thirteen. Three years was harsh, but fair. And obviously, Ash got into the top three.

Since he aced the exam, he and two others would be the lucky candidates of receiving three powerful starter Pokemon.

First, there was Bulbasaur, a Grass/Poison type. These green reptilian Pokemon were peaceful and docile, and were only ever violent if they were fighting for friends or family. Surprisingly however, they were the least popular out of the three. The main reason was because although Venusaur could take hits and was a master of utilizing status moves like Sleep Powder and Stun Spore, it lacked power. Many kids at school had opted instead for the other two starters, since a lot of them liked the idea of power more than utility.

Then there was Charmander, a small fire-type that was capable of evolving into an offensive powerhouse. Charizards were monstrous draconic Pokemon, capable of incinerating anything in their path and could fly extremely fast if trained right. Charamander was the most popular out of three, simply because of how cool it looked when it evolved. There wasn't much that could sway a pre-teen away from choosing an awesome, fire-breathing dragon after all.

However, Ash didn't want either of these. While both Pokemon were powerful in their own right, he had decided to settle with the Water-type Squirtle. He had been planning on getting one from Professor Oak ever since he was seven years old. Ash had seen an especially powerful Blastoise on TV, and was intrigued. It had twin cannons that could punch through a sheet of steel as easily as paper, as well as a shell that could be used for both exceptional offense and defense. Having the fewest type weaknesses out of the three starters helped immensely as well.

Delia sniffed, trying to hold back tears. She was sad to see her only son go, but was also extremely proud of him for following his dream. Ash had asked his mother if she wanted him to stay and pursue a different career, but she had shut the idea down before it could manifest into a fear that his mother wouldn't be able to take care of herself. What kind of mother would she be if she stopped her son from achieving his lifelong dream?

Still, it would be pretty lonely around the house, especially without her husband. Ash had no siblings, and so she wouldn't have much company, besides the occasional visit from the Oak family or the Rattata that came every once in a while to try to chew up her garden.

After Ash finished wolfing down his dinner as though he'd been starved for days, Delia looked at him and pointed a finger to the direction of his room.

"Okay, Mr. Pokemon Master." she said. "It's time for bed. You'll need to get up bright and early if you want to make it to the lab on time."

"But Mom…" Ash whined. "I'm not tired! How can I fall asleep when I know my first day as a Trainer starts tomorrow!?"

"Well, you still have to try." she responded, giving him a look. "You don't want to pick your starter last, do you? What if Squirtle is already taken?"

Ash mumbled something to himself, but eventually conceded. He could probably get away with pretending to be asleep anyways. Besides, it's not like he'll be that late right? A few more minutes being awake wouldn't hurt. As Delia tucked him into bed and walked out the door, Ash snickered quietly to himself and reached under his bed, pulling out a book. It was one of his dad's old books, and had knowledge on nearly every Pokemon in the Kanto region.

He flipped to the page he was at last and started reading quietly to himself.

"Pikachu, also known as the Electric Mouse Pokemon. These small mammalian electric-types are known for their speed, and mainly use hit-and-run tactics in the wild to compensate for their frail structure. This Pokemon is the second stage of the Pichu line. It is not known what causes a Pichu to evolve into a Pikachu, although recordings suggest they only evolve during a dire situation in which an extra power boost is needed. A Pikachu can only evolve into Raichu from exposure to a Thunder Stone. However, since these stones are so rare, wild Raichu are almost never seen."

As he continued to read through the book, Ash noticed his eyelids getting heavier and heavier as time passed. Before he knew it, sleep had claimed his body, and Ash was out like a light, his mind filled with dreams of when he'd finally become a Pokemon Master.

"AND BLASTOISE TAKES DOWN DRAGONITE WITH AN ICE BEAM!" the announcer screamed into the microphone as Lance's Dragonite fell to its knees. "UNBELIEVABLE, FOLKS! ASH KETCHUM HAS BEEN CROWNED OUR NEW CHAMPION!"

Ash held his hands up in the air as he heard the crowds chanting his name. He'd finally done it. After countless trials and tribulations, he was finally a Pokemon Master. It almost felt too good to be true. Lance sighed in defeat, clearly aware that his time of being Champion was over. He walked over to the beaming boy and shook his hand firmly.

"Congratulations, Ash," he said, a small smile on his face. "I haven't had the pleasure of battling someone as strong as you in quite a long time. I can now confidently step down from my role as Champion knowing that someone like you is taking my place."

Ash's grin widened, before he heard stomping coming from his right and his Blastoise tackled him into a bone-crushing hug. "Blastoise, you did it!" he yelped, returning the hug. They stood there for a few moments, soaking up the glory, before they let go of each other. Before Ash could anything else however, his Blastoise gave him a look and spoke in a voice that sounded disturbingly similar to his mother's.

"Ash, you're late!"

...Wait, what?

"Ash!" he heard his mother's voice say. "It's almost nine! You have to be at the Professor's Lab in fifteen minutes!"

Fear and excitement slammed into Ash with the force of a Giga Impact, and without a second thought, he rushed out of his room before his mother could say another word, leaving her to chuckle at his antics. He practically leapt down the stairs and shoved his breakfast that his mother had so carefully laid out for him into his mouth like some kind of deranged beast. Ash then sprinted back up the stairs and ran into his room. He grabbed the first shirt and pair of pants he could see (luckily being the adventure outfit that his mother had laid out) and hastily put them on.

He grabbed his hat and fingerless gloves and slipped them over his hands. He inspected himself, adjusted his cap, flashed a smile at himself in the mirror. He sported a blue and white jacket, with a black undershirt, jeans and black sneakers, and green fingerless gloves as well as his signature cap. Stylish.

Ash ran down the stairs for the second time that day and grabbed his backpack that he packed the day before with food for him and his new Pokémon, water, a medkit, a sleeping bag, and potions. His mother was waiting by the door for him with a large smile on her face.

"Make sure to get to the lab on time!" she warned him, giving the boy a stern look. "I don't want you coming home in tears because you missed your chance to get your first Pokemon!"

Ash grinned, shaking his head. "Today is the most important day of my life!" he responded. "I wouldn't miss it for the world!"

His mother embraced him in a hug. "I'm so proud of you sweetie." she said, mustering all of her willpower to hold back tears. "You've worked so hard for this opportunity. Don't waste it."

She kissed him on the cheek. Ash smiled from her warm embrace. "I love you, Mom."

"Love you too, honey." she said, releasing him from the hug. "Call me when you get to Viridian City!"

Ash flashed her a thumbs-up, before running out the front gate and toward the direction of Professor's Lab. Using all of his youthful energy, he sprinted as fast as possible toward the direction of the lab, wind blowing on his face and going through his hair. It was early April, and so it was starting to get much warmer in Kanto. The sun was high in the sky, perfect weather for a journey. Despite Ash's frantic pace, he couldn't stop himself from smiling. Today was the day his legendary story would begin! It was all so exciting!

He continued running, holding onto his hat to keep it from falling off his head. He could see the large yellow building in the distance, and quickened his pace. He checked his watch, which had a Pikachu on it, its hands rotating to show the time. It was a present for his eighth birthday that he got from his mom, although he initially couldn't use it until his mom showed him how to read it in the first place.

8:52 AM. He had eight minutes. Ash steeled himself as his legs started to succumb to fatigue. He had time. He had to make it.

He ran up the hill that the lab sat on, a stone path connecting it to the rest of the town. As soon as he reached the top of the hill, he collapsed onto the ground, panting heavily from his run. He heard a snarky voice speak up, one that he recognized instantly.

"Looks like you finally made it, loser." Gary Oak said with a sneer. "Have you come to watch the competent Trainers get their starter Pokemon?"

Ash clenched his fists. Great. His good mood was now ruined. He got up and dusted himself off, before shooting the red-haired boy a glare. "Can it, Gary." he snapped. "When I get my Squirtle I'll kick you into next week!" Gary simply laughed.

"Hah! Fat chance, Ketchum!" he jeered, pointing a finger at Ash. "The only person who's walking outta here with a Squirtle is me!"

Anger welled up inside Ash's chest. As the two boys began to butt heads, the other two kids at the lab started to shy away from their fighting. Not many kids wanted to get in the middle of their fights at school, and it usually took a teacher to separate them whenever Ash and Gary got into a fight. Fortunately, it rarely got to the point of being physical, but tensions were always high whenever they were in close proximity to each other.

After a minute, Professor Oak walked out of the building, immediately turning his hand to the squabble the two boys were having. "Simmer down. Both of you." he said, mainly looking at Gary when he said that. Gary scowled, looking at Ash for a moment before turning his attention to the Professor. Ash shot one last glare at Gary and looked at the Professor as well. He respected Oak a lot, as he was once a legendary Pokemon Trainer. He had even been the Champion at one point, before giving up to pursue the path of Pokemon research. His contributions to the biology of Pokemon were recognized by the entire world as pure genius.

Recently, rumors had been circulating around school of an invention the Professor was working on that he would hand out to new Trainers. Ash wasn't sure what exactly that invention was, but he'd heard people saying that it was some sort of encyclopedia. Ash didn't even think Gary knew what it was, or else he would've started boasting about it at school.

"Alright, is everyone here?" Oak said. He looked between the four ten-year olds standing in front of his lab and nodded. "Good. All of you, come in."

The four kids closely followed Professor Oak, anxious to see the Pokemon that would become their first partners. Ash smiled as he walked through the lab, remembering the many times he had been here. Oak walked over to a table and reached under it, grabbing a silver briefcase and lifting it for everyone to see. He motioned for the children to come closer as he placed it on the floor, unlocking the latches to reveal three shiny PokeBalls. The four of them gasped and murmured as the briefcase opened. Ash's eyes brightened at the sight of the PokeBalls. The design of the capsules hadn't been changed in decades, simply because it had already been perfected.

All standard Pokeballs were red on top and white on the bottom, with a black line going down the middle and a white button in the center that released the Pokemon held inside. They were designed to easily fit on a belt or pocket, and comfortably surrounded the living being inside, fitting needs such as space and temperature. Pokemon were able to sense what was happening outside the PokeBall, and were able to break free from it if they were strong enough. Usually only wild Pokemon did this, but some trained Pokemon could break out of their PokeBall if they needed to help their Trainer in some way, or if they wanted to leave for some other reason.

Many versions of PokeBalls were made over the years, designed to be more effective or to be used in specific situations. While more expensive, these specialized capsules could mean the difference between a successful capture or a break out.

"Now children, it is important you choose your starter carefully." Oak explained, giving a stern look to each of them to make sure they were listening. "These Pokemon are powerful and will be your companions as long as you both shall live. In order for you to choose a Pokemon, they must choose you first. Only then will you be able to travel with them. Gary, you may go first."

Gary smirked, clearly expecting this, and looked over the three PokeBalls. Each had a symbol on them to show which Pokemon was held inside. A small red fire sticker for Charmander, a green leaf sticker for Bulbasaur, and a blue water droplet for Squirtle. After making a show over which starter to choose, much to the annoyance of Ash, Gary finally settled on Squirtle's PokeBall

Ash frowned. He had been planning on choosing Squirtle even before Gary had announced it to everyone in school. But of course, being the Professor's grandson, he just had to get first pick. Apparently he'd been receiving private training from his grandfather ever since he was six, and so he was the only kid in his class not to take Oak's exam, simply because his grandfather had already given him the knowledge he needed for his journey.

The boy buried his resentment and watched with envy laced in his eyes as Gary rotated the PokeBall in his hand, before clicking the white button on its center. A blue turtle Pokemon with a brown shell covering its body emerged from the ball, and it looked at Gary curiously. It had a cyan tail shaped like a spiral that reminded Ash of a wave.

"Hey there Squirtle." the red-haired boy said. "The name's Gary. Today's my first day as a Trainer, and I'm gonna go on a journey to become the strongest there is and crush anyone in my way! Soon everyone will know the name Gary Oak! With you by my side, nothing will stop us! Are you in?"

Squirtle thought about it for a moment, squinting at the boy. After a little while, it smirked and nodded as if to say, "Duh, of course I am!"

"Alright!" Gary said, pumping his fist. "You made the right choice! I'm much better than any of these nobodies. Especially him." Gary pointed at Ash, who just shot a glare at him. He withdrew Squirtle and walked to the back of the lab to let the others choose their Pokemon. Ash let out a sigh. He was really looking forward to getting that Squirtle, but Professor Oak probably had another one somewhere around here, right? He couldn't give up hope yet!

"Angelina, you're up next." Professor Oak said, motioning for a pretty blonde girl to come forward. She immediately grabbed Bulbasaur's PokeBall and pressed the release button. Immediately a short, green dino-like Pokemon appeared, with specks of dark-green scales all over its body. What caught Ash's eye however, was its bulb. It looked as though it was the size of a lampshade, taking up the majority of its back.

"Hi, Bulbasaur! Aren't you a cutie?" Angelina said cheerfully. Bulbasaur looked away bashfully, clearly not used to being called "cute", although didn't shy away when Angelina started rubbing his head. "I'm going on an exciting journey, and it would be a-maz-ing to have you be my side! We're gonna have so much fun! What do you say?"

Bulbasaur responded immediately, letting out a growl of approval. Angelina's smile widened as she started to scratch behind its ears, and Bulbasaur happily leaned into her touch. Getting pampered was definitely high on its list of joys in life. As the girl carried her happy Bulbasaur out of the lab, Professor Oak motioned for a boy with glasses and unkempt brown hair to step forward. Ash squinted at him. What was his name again? Noah? Nolan?

"Since Angelina and Gary already both got their starters, you'll be taking Charmander." Professor Oak said. "Will that be okay with you, Nate?"

Ah. There it is.

Nate nodded, a wide grin on his face. "For sure!" he replied. "I wanted Charmander from the start anyways." He took the last remaining PokeBall from the briefcase and pressed the button in the middle, and out came an orange lizard, accompanied by a flash of light. The Charmander had an intense look in its eyes, and studied Nate carefully, as though deciding whether he was worthy enough to bear the honor of becoming its partner. Its teeth and claws were quite sharp, and an intense flame burned on its tail. Nate knelt down and offered a small smile.

"You're a strong little guy, huh?" he asked. Charmander nodded and smirked, as though that was the most obvious thing in the world. Nate chuckled, before continuing. "How'd you like to go on a journey with me to get even stronger?" The Fire-type looked at Nate with mild interest, considering his offer. "With me by your side, you'll be the strongest Charizard in the world! Sound good?"

The Lizard Pokemon mulled over its choice for a few more seconds, before looking in Nate's eyes and slowly nodding, allowing itself a small smile. Nate's grin got wider and he stood up, pumping his fist in the air. "Yes!" he exclaimed. "You won't regret your choice, Charmander! I promise!"

With that, he withdrew Charmander and ran outside to join the others. Professor Oak watched him go, and Ash decided it was time to speak up. "So... Professor." Ash started, clearing his throat. "Everyone else already took their starters, and I was hoping to leave Pallet Town with a Squirtle. Do you have another one here that I can take?"

Professor Oak looked surprised. "Ah... well you see Ash... Gary had asked me for Squirtle as an early birthday present." he said, rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. Ash felt fear well up in his chest, knowing exactly where this was going. "Had I known you wanted Squirtle specifically, I would've saved him for you. I'm sorry, Ash. The next batch of available starter Pokemon doesn't arrive for a few months."

Ash was destroyed. Just a few minutes ago he had been excited to leave Pallet Town with a trusty Squirtle by his side, destined to conquer all. He had replayed the ideal journey at least a million times in his head. But all of that preparation became a waste as soon as Gary took that Squirtle from him. He sighed. "So do you have something else for me instead?" Ash inquired, doing his best to squash the sadness in his chest.

He was really hoping that the Professor had something, anything, for him to take. No matter what, he had to leave this lab with a Pokemon in his possession. He wouldn't hear the end of it from Gary if the red-haired boy found out he started his journey a few months late.

"As a matter of fact, I do!" Oak said. Ash immediately brightened, the Professor's statement drawing in his curiosity. The professor smiled. "You're a smart kid, Ash, it's easy to see. You got the highest score out of anyone on the exam I created! So I have someone special I want you to meet."

Jus then, a beeping sound came from the back of the lab, and Ash noticed a head poking out of the doorway in the back. Ash squinted, and saw that its head was red and blue, and looked almost duck-like. However, its most defining feature was the fact that the head was blocky, almost as if it was made inside of a computer. "Porygon, why don't you come out and say hello?" he asked, motioning for the bird to come forward.

The strange Pokemon cocked its head, before heading through the doorway. It was then the Ash saw the rest of its body, which seemed to be levitating off the ground and was just as blocky as the face. It had a blue, tail-like structure jutting out from its back, and had triangular foot-like appendages attached to its body that seemed to rock back and forth whenever it moved. Ash's eyes widened. He'd spent many hours watching Pokemon battles and pouring over textbooks, and he'd never seen anything that looked remotely close to the strange creature in front of him.

Professor Oak chuckled. "I see you're surprised." he said. "This is Porygon, the first Pokemon made entirely of code. I can guarantee you won't find anything like it in the Kanto region. I was tasked to study its behavior by a colleague of mine from Cinnabar Island. It intrigued me because, although many artificial Pokemon have been made prior to Porygon being created, none have the same computing brain that Porygon does."

Ash waved at Porygon, who regarded Ash and warbled in response.

"Porygon would be a great Pokémon for you, Ash." the Professor continued. "Porygon's been cooped up in my lab for months, and needs to see the world. The six months in which it's been alive have been spent mostly indoors. Allowing it to come with you on a journey will give it the exposure it needs and will allow me to collect data on how it performs in high pressure situations like battles. Of course, I'm not forcing you to-"

"I'll take it." Ash said, his smile growing. This was so exciting! While he was disappointed that he couldn't get a Squirtle, he wasn't exactly complaining about getting a new, rarely-seen Pokemon either. Of course, Porygon actually had to agree to come with him. It was their choice after all.

Ash looked into Porygon's eyes, and the Normal-type stared right back. "Hi... Porygon." Ash said, albeit a little nervously. While he doubted Porygon sensed his nervousness, its eyes seemed as though they were staring into his very soul. It was a little unnerving. Ash gulped, before continuing.

"I'm going on a journey to become the best Pokemon Trainer in the world." Ash said, some of his confidence returning. "I want you to be by my side. I promise to do everything I can to make you happy and strong. We'll meet many people and Pokemon and work together as a team! So whaddya say?"

Porygon continued to look at him for what felt like ages. Ash kept maintaining eye contact, searching for any emotion in its eyes. Finally it nodded, and Ash let out a sigh of relief and grinned widely. Professor Oak gave Ash a short nod. "Good job Ash." he said to the raven-haired boy. "I'm confident both of you will be good friends after you're given a little bit of time."

"I just have one question, Professor." Ash piped up. "Porygon seems like a cool Pokemon and all, but how come I've never heard of it?"

"Well, the creator of Porygon is quite a... reclusive man. He's only created less than a hundred individuals." Professor Oak explained. "From what I heard, he isn't planning to give this Pokemon to anyone besides a few research firms and facilities for now. You see, Porygon possesses the unique ability to travel through cyberspace. It's the only Pokemon that's able to actually do this."

Ash raised an eyebrow. "You mean like... computers and stuff?"

"Exactly." Professor Oak said with a nod. "Specifically, it's able to seek out any viruses or bugs that are affecting a system and eliminate them. Its inventor hopes to someday mass produce them for cybersecurity purposes and usage in battles, but wants to make sure the species is stable and doesn't have any major flaws before doing so. Which is why I volunteered to conduct research on it. And what better way to do so than have it accompany a Trainer on their journey?"

The boy nodded. He supposed that made sense. Being part of some sort of experiment wasn't exactly his idea of an epic journey, but he couldn't argue against the pursuit of knowledge. Professor Oak placed a PokeBall in his hand, which had a circular white sticker on it. "This is Porygon's PokeBall." he said. "I'll be out in a minute to give you kids a proper goodbye. For now, why don't you and Porygon go outside for a moment and get to know each other?"

Ash nodded and walked out of the lab, Porygon lazily floating behind him. As he walked outside, he took in a breath of fresh air and sighed. He was finally a Pokemon Trainer. Sure, he didn't have a Squirtle, but Porygon was still an interesting first Pokemon to have. "I guess I'll just have to see what the future holds for me." Ash thought out loud.

He looked to his left and saw Nate and Angelina talking amiably. Angelina was still holding her Bulbasaur in her arms, whereas Nate's Charmander had taken to sleeping by his feet. They noticed Ash and offered him a friendly wave, before their eyes were drawn to the strange duck-like Pokemon levitating by his side. They continued to stare for a few moments, before continuing their conversation.

Ash finally found a spot to sit down and motioned for Porygon to sit next to him. "This is my hometown, Porygon." he said. "And over there" he pointed to the white and red house that he lived in "is where my mom and I live. You'd love her cooking." Ash paused for a moment and looked at his new partner. "Wait... do you even eat?"

Porygon shook its head. "Huh." Ash muttered, a little put off at the wordless response. Well, at least that would cut down significantly on the amount of Pokemon food he would have to buy. He'd already packed some in advance, thinking he would get a Squirtle. But since he now had a partner that didn't eat, he supposed he could just give it to whichever Pokemon he caught next. It was weird having a literal robot as a starter, but Ash knew it could work. It didn't seem to have much of a personality like other Pokemon. Even the most advanced technology couldn't replicate thoughts and emotions.

"Hey, Ashy-boy!" a voice said from behind.

Ash rolled his eyes and groaned out loud. "What do you want, Gary?" he grumbled, shooting the red-haired boy a glare. Gary paused, took one look at Porygon, and burst out laughing. The raven-haired boy rolled his eyes, but could feel his temper starting to rise. His Squirtle started to laugh along with him, and Ash clenched his fists.

"Gramps couldn't even give you an actual starter!?" Gary guffawed. "Oh, that is rich!"

"Shut up, Gary." Ash seethed. "Battle me. Then I'll make you eat your words."

Gary crossed his arms and smirked. "Alright then." he said. "This'll be easy! Squirtle, let's show these chumps how real Trainers do it!"

Ash stepped forward and was about to tell Porygon to do the same, but then he realized that he didn't know a thing about his starter, including the moves it knew. He turned to Porygon, who had been watching his exchange with Gary silently. "Hey, this is our first battle." he said to it. "I don't know your moves, so mind doing this on your own? I don't think I'll be much help to you."

Porygon nodded and floated in front of Ash, analyzing its opponent. Gary slashed his hand, calling out the first command. "Start this off with Tackle!" he ordered. Squirtle clumsily rushed forward and tucked in its head, bracing for impact. However, Porygon simply swerved around the attack easily, and let loose a strong electric charge aimed towards Squirtle who immediately cried out in pain as he was zapped.

"What?!" Gary exclaimed. His surprise was short-lived however, as he ordered another command. "Alright then, Water Gun!"

The Tiny Turtle Pokemon sprayed a steady stream of water toward Porygon. The Normal-type closed its eyes and was pushed back a few feet from the attack, before recovering and shooting yet another electric shock toward Squirtle.

"Withdraw!" Gary called. Squirtle frantically pulled itself inside its shell, protecting it from the electric attack. However, as soon as it pulled out its head and limbs, and it was slammed backwards by a Tackle from Porygon, causing it to stumble back. Gary stepped back, clearly not expecting his first battle to be so difficult.

"Water Gun!" he commanded. "Then jump and use Tail Whip!"

Squirtle sprayed a stream of water to momentarily distract Porygon, and jumped into the air, readying its tail to try and smack the Normal-type. However, Porygon saw through this and ducked under Squirtle's tail and slammed its head into the tiny turtle's shell. The Water-type went flying and landed on its back, flailing its limbs around frantically as it tried to pull itself back up.

Gary's eyes widened, as well as Ash. Porygon had put Squirtle into a position where it was practically useless, as the reptile struggled to flip itself over. It flailed around frantically as Porygon charged up a final Thunderbolt to seal the deal.

The result was obvious. Squirtle wailed in pain, and once the attack was finished was out cold. Gary look dumbfounded as he recalled Squirtle back into its ball, but then snapped out of his stupor.

"Hah!" he exclaimed, pointing his finger at Ash. "I was just going easy on you! You think someone without a proper starter would actually win against me!? Mark my words Ketchum, next time we battle you're gettin' crushed!"

Ash huffed. Even in defeat, the Professor's grandson still had an ego bigger than a Snorlax. "Now that was a splendid battle!" a new voice said. "Even without a Trainer, Porygon was able to take control of that battle skillfully!" Ash looked to his right, where Professor Oak was walking towards him and Gary. Nate and Angelina were trailing behind him, and regarded Porygon with curiosity.

"Anyways, I came to give you two a final parting gift before you leave for your journeys." Oak explained. He reached into his pocket and placed two red devices in Ash and Gary's hands, as well as in the hands of Nate and Angelina. Ash pressed the button on the side, causing the screen to shine with life.

"That is a Pokedex." the Professor explained, getting everyone's attention. "It's a digital encyclopedia, capable of scanning a Pokemon and providing information about the species, as well as other useful tidbits of information. One day I hope to obtain the first complete record of every Pokemon known to man, not just in Kanto, but the entire world!

"However, I'm long past my prime. Which is why I'm tasking you four in helping me with this project while you're on your journeys. You don't have to dedicate yourselves to it of course, you're only children after all. Have fun on your journeys. Explore the world and conquer challenges. With Pokemon by your side, nothing is impossible. Why don't you try it out on your starter Pokemon? Flick the switch on the right to scan them."

Ash grinned. No doubt this would surely come in handy. He didn't know much about Porygon, and so anything to help him connect with his starter was crucial. He turned the switch using his index finger and thumb, and the Pokedex suddenly made a beeping sound. A green light was projected from the device, scanning Porygon's body, who didn't seem the slightest bit bothered. A voice rang out from the device as it started to recite information on the screen.

"Porygon. The Virtual Pokémon." it said in a monotone voice. "While it does not eat, drink, or breathe, this Pokémon is still able to function normally. It is one of the few Pokémon able to change types at will, thanks to cutting-edge technology. It is also the only Pokémon capable of maneuvering through cyberspace, and is copy-protected, so no duplicates are able to be made."

"This Porygon is genderless and knows the moves Tackle, Conversion, Ice Beam, Signal Beam, and Thunderbolt. Its ability is Analytic, which allows it to analyze an opponent within seconds and change its battle plan accordingly."

Ash blinked and reread the words on the screen. Change types? Porygon could change its type?

Professor Oak seemed to notice Ash's confusion and spoke up. "Ah, I forgot to mention something to you Ash." he said. "Porygon is also able to change its own typing, depending on the circumstances, thanks to its unique move, Conversion. It's able to change its own typing at will, and its the only Pokemon to actually be able to do so without the use of alternate forms. It's an interesting and widely unheard of ability. I know you can use it well."

Ash nodded. "Thanks, Professor Oak." he said. Changing types, huh? He could work with that...

"Alright, enough with this already!" Gary exclaimed. "I'm heading to Viridian City! I'm not waiting another second to start training with Squirtle and start thrashing everyone! Smell ya later!" With that, the red-haired boy ran off into the distance, leaving the four of them standing there.

"Wait!" Professor Oak exclaimed. "Before you go-and he's gone." The old man sighed as he watched his grandson sprint towards Route 1. "He's too much like his father. Always rushing straight into things with no regard for his or anyone else's safety."

He suddenly realized he was talking to himself and turned to the three remaining kids that were still there, looking at him strangely.

"Anyways, what I was going to say was that I'd recommend you guys to stick together as a group. There have been reports of a huge Spearow flock taking up residence in Route 1. Apparently they were outed from their territory by an aggressive Fearow. The League sent someone to take care of it, but they won't arrive for a few days. So for now, I'd suggest that you three stay close. You know what they say, cheerful company shortens the miles!"

The three tweens looked at each other, and Nate offered Ash a smile. "Ash, right?" he asked, and the boy nodded. "Nice to meet'cha! Angelina and I were planning on traveling with each other anyways, and we'd be happy to invite you!"

Angelina nodded. "For sure!" she added. Then she leaned over and whispered in Ash's ear so the Professor couldn't hear. "To be honest, I don't like Gary either. He's always so loud." Ash chuckled. It was nice to know someone else was on his side.

"Well, since you three have gotten your starters, I suppose you should start heading for Viridian City." Professor Oak said. "Good luck you three. Stay safe."

The three of them nodded, and hurried off to the entrance of Route 1, giving their goodbyes to Professor Oak before they left. However, before they could take their first steps into the wilderness, a voice stopped them in their tracks. "ASH! Where do you think you're going, young man?"

Ash whipped around to see his mother running full speed toward him. "Mom!?" he exclaimed. "What are you-mmphrf!" He was cut off when Delia wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a bone-crushing hug. She finally let go and Ash gasped for air, before continuing. "I thought I was going to call you in Viridian City!"

"I know, sweetie. But I couldn't wait until then! I had to say one last goodbye!" she said, planting a kiss on his forehead. "Did you get your Squirtle from the Professor?"

Ash paused at the question and frowned. "Actually, I got something else." he said. His mother raised an eyebrow, and Ash hastened to explain. "Gary took the Squirtle, so I got another Pokemon from Professor Oak."

He pressed the release button on Porygon's PokeBall, allowing the Virtual Pokemon to come out. The Normal-type warbled at its release and scanned its surroundings. "Porygon, this is my mom." he said. "Mom, this is Porygon."

The Normal-type cocked its head, analyzing the woman, before deeming her satisfactory and moving its eyes away from her. His mother stared at the creature for a few seconds before she gave Ash a smile. "Well, I'm not sure what it is, but I think that the both of you will become good friends in no time!" she said.

"I sure hope so." Ash said, rubbing the back of his head. He couldn't imagine himself becoming best friends with a robot right off the bat, but then again, Professor Oak wouldn't have given Porygon to him if he didn't think that he'd been able to bond with the Normal-type. Robotic or not, it was still a Pokemon, and the bond between both was an integral part of becoming a successful Trainer.

"Yo Ash!" The boy turned his head to see Nate jumping up and down, waving his hands in the air about a hundred feet away. "Are you coming or what!?"

Ash turned back to his mom and gave her a sheepish smile. "I should probably go..." he muttered. "You sure you'll be okay without me?"

His mother just nodded her head and smiled, her eyes showing understanding. "All kids leave home someday." she told him. "Just promise me you'll have fun."

"I will, Mom." Ash said, hugging her one last time before running off to join Nate and Angelina.

"And remember, Ash!" Delia called out from behind him. "Eat your vegetables, brush your teeth twice a day, and always remember to change your-!"

"DON'T FINISH THAT SENTENCE MOM!" Ash yelled back to her, eyes wide. He did not want Nate and Angelina teasing him about changing his underwear for the rest of his journey. He'd probably die of embarrassment. His mother chuckled and waved to him. It seemed she just couldn't resist teasing him a little.

Ash then caught up to Nate and Angelina, who stood by the entrance to Route 1. Ash could barely see the top of Professor Oak's lab from here. A small, worn-out wooden sign stood by them, words carved into it saying, "You are now leaving Pallet Town."

"You guys ready?" he asked both of his new traveling companions. Nate gave him a thumbs-up and smiled, and Angelina nodded.

"Yup! Ready as I'll ever be!" Nate declared.

And with that, the three of them took their first steps into a journey that would change their lives, unaware of whether it would be for the better or for the worse.

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for reading the first chapter of "Battler"! If you're coming in from my other fic, "An Adventure Can't Be Planned", welcome back! If you're new, welcome to my fic! I decided to rewrite this story, because there are TONS of things I want to fix and new ideas I want to add in! However, many elements of my old story will be brought over to this new one, including the Pokemon!

This first chapter was mainly changed to add more detail to the characters and the world building. The next chapters will include some bigger changes though, so stay tuned!

Now Porygon's a strange starter choice isn't it? I hope you guys like it! Porygon got done dirty by the Pokemon Company when the episode featuring it put many people's health in danger (although technically it's Pikachu's fault). This lovable robot bird has always been one of my favorite Pokemon, and I've seen virtually no fics have one, aside from side characters. So I'm making a story with one as Ash's starter Pokemon!

Anyways... I'm assuming you guys saw the trailer for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet right? Let's hope the grass starter doesn't become bipedal...

Welp, hope to see you guys in the next chapter!