I have always wanted to know what Max got up to when traveling with Pokemon so I decided to create my own story of his journey. This is all about Max's travels in the Hoenn region and his developments as a trainer. It tracks his growth from where we last see him in the animé to where I envisage him heading, both in terms of development and also travels.
Please do comment on what you think of it, the plot, characters, techniques and skills and anything else that you feel you want to comment on. It's always better to get a review than not get anything, as constructive criticism is very helpful in improving the story and future chapters, bearing in mind that my latest chapters are a product of such helpful reviews.
- 2010 Serebii Fanfic Awards:
- Best Human Supporting Character with Roxanne
Joint Third Place
- Best Character Development
- Bulbagarden Fic Of The Month - April 2012
Chapter 1: Decision, Decision, Demander
It was a warm and sunny morning in the heart of Petalburg City, as Max awoke to the calls of his neighbour’s Chatot repeating the news of the latest results from the Sinnoh Grand Festival.
“We have now finished the preliminary stages of this year’s Sinnoh Grand Festival. All contestants performed unique and inspiring acts, but the judges had to choose 60 finalists out of the 248 that entered this year. Who will come out on top and be crowned a Top Co-ordinator? I am honoured to announce these lucky finalists, they are as follows…”
‘Hnnn’, Max sighed sitting up and staring out the window into the forest of buildings known as Petalburg City while swinging his legs over the rim of the bed. His room seemed brighter this morning, today of all days. What a great day to get in touch with nature and Pokémon, a day to start his travels. He wandered over to the white coloured window, leaning against the wooden ledge that was a recurring theme in the house, something his Great Grandfather had thought of a century ago while he was Gym Leader in Petalburg. The hoard of Taillow were flying backwards and forwards, soaring through the wind with no difficulty and no need to flap their wings, only having to glide gracefully down the streets to reach their destinations.
“Honey, are you ready yet? You're going to miss Professor Birch,” called his Mum from the living room, where she was stocking Max's bag with enough PokeBalls to make his fist few captures and checking he had all the suitable items. “Max dear, you don’t seem to have packed an extra pair of clothes?” She called up to her child, zipping the bag closed and walking back into the kitchen to prepare a special breakfast for her little man, a nice send off before he came back ready for his first Gym Battle.
Just then back upstairs where Max was still intrigued with watching Pokémon in their habitat, the door burst open and Delcatty ran over to Max, jumping onto the ledge where she took full attention towards him. He hadn’t seemed to acknowledge her presence yet so she hit him with a Double-Slap directly in the face to break him from his trance.
“Delcatty! That really hurt,” Max growled, wincing at the pain streaking across his frowned face and turning his back to the beige coloured cat. “I’m in a real hurry so not now Delcatty. I need to get ready and sort out my clothes, but thanks for the wakeup call! We might have time for a game later.” With that remark Delcatty’s purple ears pricked on end; its bushy tail glowed brightly causing a blinding light, a blue beam formed in her mouth with a little charged energy. Max was hit with a full-blown ice-cold beam, a chill swept through the room even though the windows were shut. The cat Pokémon had used a move known as Assist, picking a particular attack from one of the Pokemon’s team mates. No one ever knew what move would be produced, but this time it was Glaceon’s Ice Beam and really caused Max to become angry, boiling over with rage.
“Nagh,” Delcatty sighed. May, Max’s sister, was a Pokémon Coordinator who was on her journeys in Johto. However she had decided to leave her Delcatty, and newly evolved Snorlax at home for training purposes with her Dad Norman, who ran the Petalburg Gym. Delcatty and Snorlax were both used in a few Gym battles from time to time under May's request, but mostly Delcatty had become the family Pokémon.
“Delcatty, you never know when to quit!” Max mumbled, attempting not to upset Delcatty again with any of his comments and causing more pain for himself, although at this point it wouldn’t have mattered, nothing was going to stop him from starting his journey; pain was just a slight hiccup.
Max took one last glance at the Taillow, stretching all of his limbs before slowly heading over to his wardrobe to begin to pick two outfits for his journey. Anything he forgot he could pick up in two weeks when he returned. The first was just an ordinary blue shirt with black trousers and a fluffy woollen jumper; his second choice was a green t-shirt with a Pokémon fleece and plain red shorts. The last t-shirt was the same as when he travelled with his sister, Ash and Brock. Since he had mostly been prepared, he had already packed the essentials in his bag the night before, so he wouldn’t be in a rush this morning. He rapidly pulled the last set of clothes on, grabbing the other items of clothing and racing downstairs, narrowly avoiding his Dad’s Slakoth that was lying on the landing, snoring his way closer to the edge like his nature predicted.
Max ventured toward the smell of sweet pancakes emanating from the marble kitchen, grabbing his bag on the way. At the same time his Dad opened the back door leading into the kitchen from the greenhouse where his Sloth like Pokémon loved to hang out.
“Morning Dad!” Max glanced at his neatly dressed Father walking inside, placing the metal food bowls onto the smooth side and reaching for the specialised Pokémon food.
“Good to see you with a beaming smile. That doesn’t come often!” his Dad teased, causing Max to become slightly embarrassed which was normally the case whenever he spoke to his Father.
“How’s Snorlax Dad? Doing well I hope.” Snorlax and Max were old friends, knowing each other from a few years back when May caught it as a Munchlax.
“He’s fine, and is getting the hang of using Hyper Beam. He’ll be a tough Pokémon to beat now!”
“That’s good, but I can tell you me and my Pokémon will succeed in beating you and earning a badge!” Max couldn't stop smiling from excitement, he was so eager to receive his future partner.
“Max honey, have you decided what you’re going to pick? That is a tough choice so I would start to think about it!” Carolyn tossed the pancakes into the air elegantly, as if she was in her childhood again, competing in contests.
“Mum, its obvious: it’s going to be Mudkip, it has so much potential that I want to help unlock."
“You’ve already decided?” His Mum was amazed; it had taken her a whole three hours to decide that she wanted a Treecko while waiting around her local Pokémon centre with her Mother coaching her into a decision. “Well good luck dear, I know you’ll make a great trainer.”
Max grabbed his pancake from the plate, stuffing it straight into his mouth and swallowing instantly without chewing. The car was waiting for him; ready to see him off into the wide world where many adventures lay in wait to catch Max off guard, some with life changing experiences. He slumped into the front seat of the car and quickly opened his yellow bag to check that everything he needed was in there, finally the moment was approaching. Norman slid in to driver’s seat, starting the car and revving the engine, kicking a dust cloud behind him.
“Good luck, Max. Remember I always love you.” Carolyn waved from the porch, wiping away a few spots of tears as Delcatty and Snorlax also made their way to the front lawn to wave off a dear friend.
Max sat in the car. He stared out the window at the flock of Murkrow flying over the Gym, eyeing all the possible food, one day one of them could be part of his team, battling for him. How great could that be, owning different species of Pokémon. The car began to kick up dirt...and they were away, on the path to gaining a Pokémon. Max wearily lay back against the seat and wondered about the journey he and his Pokémon would face, who they would meet and what obstacles would befall them. If only he knew what was there to trip him up. The moments were getting tenser and tenser as they approached the exit of the City, leaving the hum ad buzz that came with it. Max was becoming closer to the start of his travels. Thoughts began to roll across his mind. Will Mudkip like me? Will he obey me? Will it even be a he?
“Max, you're just worrying, Son,” Norman calmly said, in hopes of soothing his agitated boy while zooming along the road past rustling bushes.
“Huh? What do you mean Dad?" His blank face starring into the eyes of his loving father, pleading for help without intentionally asking, only needing to show his emotions.
“I can tell by the look on your face that you’re worried, and you're wondering whether the Pokémon will like you. I thought about the exact same thing when I was your age and went to receive my first Pokémon, although I hadn’t decided what I would have. I worried about the same thing. In the end I got there to find the Pokémon had escaped and Professor Birch’s father gave me a Slakoth to go and retrieve the starters. It ended up with me bonding with Slakoth and claiming that as my starter, but you already know that story.” The lab became visible through the thick forest of trees; Max was inches away from the start of his new life. “Looks like we’re here Son, you ready?”
Max nodded and swung the car door open climbing out into the blinding light that unveiled him to Professor Birch and Professor Oak who stood in front of him.
“Huh? Professor Oak?” Max was astounded to see Professor Oak here, at Birch’s lab. “What are you doing here? I heard you were at a Professor conference meeting up with Gary in Sinnoh!"
“Well, the conference isn’t happening right this instance. So I wanted to come and visit an upcoming Trainer. Conferences can always wait, but visiting you can't, as I presume I will find it difficult to visit you again in the future.”
“Well Max, let’s show you to the Pokémon, come inside so you can choose your starter,” stated Professor Birch.
Max nodded, and everyone followed Professor Birch inside the laboratory to where six PokeBalls sat on the table with their outsides shining with a pristine sparkle. Max looked at them with beady eyes, wondering with deep thought which one contained Mudkip and his future partner, someone he could be proud of! The excitement suddenly phased over him, as he realised that instead of the normal three starter balls that lay there, there were instead six with three mysterious Pokémon awaiting his presence.
“Why are there six PokeBalls Professor?”
“Ah, a simple reason really. As well as the Hoenn Pokémon you also have the choice of three special Pokémon that I brought along with me from Kanto who have been excited to meet you all day long. I decided to do this because you gave me help when you were visiting my lab in Kanto, looking after the new starters for another Trainer. So I thought I owed it to you.” Professor Oak said while walking over to the PokeBalls and opening them up one by one with the Pokémon appearing in the most majestic sparkling light that was rarely seen.
First appeared the quiet and shy orange bird Pokémon Torchic that was ruffling its small feathers to give it a more natural look, 'Torr' it cried, becoming excited and charging around the room knocking into Max’s legs before waddling round the room trying to hold back tears of pain. Secondly the elegant grass Pokémon Treeko was sent out, perching up on its wonderful spotless tail and giving Max a very childish wink, acting rather cheeky for its own good. Next appeared the sweet water-Pokémon Mudkip, who seemed more perfect than first conceived by Max. It sprayed him with a weak jet of water and Max gave a little chuckle before wiping his face dry.
“Wow Professor!” Max couldn’t believe it, in a few more minutes he’d be walking out of the lab with his brand new friend Mudkip, only after viewing the mysterious Pokémon that were rare to this region.
“Now Max, here come the Kanto Pokémon, a commodity to have in a region such as Hoenn,” Professor Oak stated as he opened three more PokeBalls. Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander appeared at once, as if they were a synchronized team performing in a Pokémon Contest, each having been pruned and cleaned showing of their most glorious attributes.
“They’re all so cute... but I’ve already decided what Pokémon it will be, I choose you…” He concentrated his attention solely on Mudkip who was paying the upmost care toward him, already showing a high bond between the two. Max was about to continue with his sentence when a little knock originated from the windowsill in the far corner of the laboratory which only Mudkip could hear. All his attention was lost and had now wandered over there to investigate leaving Max slightly hurt.
“Mudkip, wait,” the young trainer cried, waltzing after the little water type who had managed to securely leap onto the white coated wood. He was so caught up in this moment that he completely missed noticing the small Charmander who had playfully chased after him. Not seeing the fire type, Max unknowingly trod upon the fiery tail causing a hot yelp to spur out of the orange lizard’s mouth. Max took the full brutal force…
“Ah, that’s really hot,” he shouted reeling back over to the table, “Sorry about that little buddy, are you okay,” the little voice of Charmander squealed an excited response at the prospect of being noticed. There was a silence, Max stared into the eyes of the little Charmander understanding that this Pokémon seemed eager and raring to travel with someone just like Max, and would probably prove to be a great Pokémon addition to his team.
“Max, looks like fate has collided with you,” Professor Birch noted, bending down to pick up the little dancing ball of fire that seemed completely unmoved by the slight pain sent coursing through its body.
“Do you want to travel with me?” Max softly inquired, giving a little stroke of the burning red tail. Charmander nodded in excitement and utter glee from the realisation of gaining this success, “Okay, then. Looks like Charmander has chosen me. My starter Pokémon shall be Charmander then!”
The two of them looked at one another, gazing into each other’s eyes. A solemn look broke the moment by papering itself across Max’s face, before he turned to look at Mudkip who had returned from its little excavation and was happily enjoying playing with the other Pokémon after wandering back into the centre. Charmander, however, had taken full interest in him, so maybe it was meant to be... A small chuckle began to break the barrier of his lips; Max knew that this would be the start of a great friendship and that Charmander would be his loyal friend, even if that hadn’t been his original plan.
This is the start of Max's Hoenn Journey!