Jason patted his pocket reassuringly. After fifteen years of waiting, and dozens of grueling tests both academic and physical, (not to mention psychological) he had finally done it.
He had finally gotten accepted into the Pokemon league.
Of course it was a huge accomplishment. Only a few dozen trainers got registered each year, and he had been lucky enough to get through on his first try! (You were assured a spot when you turned eighteen, but who wanted to wait for that?) All he had to do was register his card, and then he could head to the nearest Pokemon League Center (commonly referred to as a PLC) and receive his Starter Pokemon for his journey.
He was all checked out. Physically fit, intelligent enough to survive on his own, and psychologically stable. No doubt he would make friends on his journey - heck, maybe he could even join a group of already established trainers! He would be the best, and tomorrow was only the beginning...
“Hey. Kid. C’mere.”
There was a flash of metal, and Jason fell to the ground in a bloody heap. The man in the alley searched through his pockets and found Jason’s wallet, grabbing the cash and throwing whatever else was in there in the street.
The next day, Kent was having a marginally more difficult time feeling upbeat.
Simply put, his dad was in jail again, this time for a good long while.
He shook his head. He had a few hours to pack up before he’d be driven to his semi-regular foster home, and the idea wasn’t exciting him.
He loved the Jamesons, really, he did. Ms. Jameson was always kind to him, and David and Katy were two of his best friends in the world. But...He had been looking forward to spending time with his dad, and now...
If he just wouldn’t drink so much...
Kent was so lost in thought that he almost didn’t notice the wallet on the ground. He frowned and bent down, picking it up and looking through it. As he did, his eyes widened in disbelief.
It was a trainer registration card, and it was unclaimed.
Kent nearly choked. These things were impossible to get if you were under eighteen! Who didn’t even bother to enter their name on it before losing it? Kent turned the rest of the wallet inside out looking for an ID, but found none.
“Finders keepers,” Kent muttered, a grin spreading over his face, “losers weepers.”
Kent fumbled with the key, finally managing to throw open the door to his house. The place was a mess, as to be expected when its only inhabitants were a drunkard and a 12 year old, but Kent didn’t even pause to notice it. He flew to the house’s terminal, mind whirling at 100 miles-per-hour.
If this is unclaimed, then all I have to do is swipe it and enter my information. It’ll register me for the Pokemon League! I can get a Pokemon!
Calm. Calm. He had to think. Had to be careful.
Alright...I’m young, but the Pokemon League gives rare exceptions if they feel a trainer is especially gifted...I just have to say I tested somewhere big like...Goldenrod! Yes!
With trembling hands, Kent thumbed in the password and connected to the Pokemon League network. He scanned the card, and was greeted with a triumphant horn sound and the following message.
Welcome, UNREGISTERED TRAINER!
You Have Been Accepted By The Pokemon League To Compete In This Year’s Johto Tournament! Congratulations! To Register, Please Fill Out The Following Form.
Starter: (Will be added when received)
Emergency Contact Information:
Kent gulped, filling in what he would. When he reached Parent/Guardian Signature, he ran to his dad’s room and came back with a letter from Ms. Jameson, complete with her signature. He pressed piece of paper up against the screen, and then traced over it with the stylus. The computer flashed a green check, and Kent let out a sigh of relief.
For funds, he simply transferred 90% of his dad’s remaining money onto the card. The ******* wouldn’t need it, and maybe this would convince him to get a job when he finally got released. After he was done, the screen flashed green.
Thank You KENT NICHOLAS!
You Have Now Been Registered For The Johto Tournament! Please Report To The Nearest Pokemon League Center IN ONE HOUR For Your Pokedex And Starter!
Good Luck, And Say Cheese!
There was a flash, and a minute later, Kent was presented with his very own Trainer’s License, complete with a picture of him looking very confused. Kent stifled a giggle. He had beaten the system.
Kent finished stuffing an extra pair of clothes down into his seemingly unending backpack and glanced down at the Pokemon between his legs. “Oh hey Scout,” He said, picking up the Linoone. "I’m going on a trip."
Kent sighed. “Dad’s in jail again. They’re sending us back to the Jameson’s...or at least they’re trying to.
“I’m not going,” Kent said, putting Scout down and rubbing the top of his head. “I’m going to become a pokemon trainer!”
“Linoone? Linoone!” Scout said, baring his teeth.
Kent smiled sadly. “C’mon, Scout. You know the rules. I can’t bring pre-owned Pokemon in, it’s unfair. If you really wanted to, they could de-level you, but is that what you want? You’d have to devolve.”
“I’ll miss you buddy,” Kent said, doing his best to put on a cocky grin. “You just go and head over to the Jamesons’ K? I’ll drop by when I have the time.”
An hour later, a very nervous Kent stepped through the front door of Cherrygrove town’s PLC.
The place wasn’t exactly a bustle of activity, but was significantly more crowded than normal. It was filled mostly with returning trainers who had been too lazy to renew their license until the very last day, or old trainers who had long since retired, but insisted on being here to support the newest generation.
Kent gulped slightly as he stepped up to the counter, noticing that everyone turned to look at him as he did so. The attendant behind the desk looked at him quizzically, but her expression quickly shifted to genuine amazement when she scanned his card, and was met with a small beep of approval.
“Well well well. They just keep gettin’ younger, don’t they?” One of the men said, looking at Kent with pride. He stood and began clapping, and pretty soon everyone else was as well.
Kent felt a little bit of guilt. He quickly squashed it.
The attendant beamed at him and slid a small red pokedex across the counter towards him. Kent opened it, and inserted the card into the appropriate spot.
I Am The Pokedex Model 6.5! I Will Be Your Dictionary And Guide As You Adventure Into The World Of The Pokemon League!
Would You Like To Submit A Password?
Kent quickly thumbed the cursor to no and hit the enter button. He did not want to have to deal with a password every time he whipped the damn thing out. The Pokedex ran through a brief tutorial, showing him how to record (and receive money for) official League matches, or even bet on ones he was currently viewing. It also taught him how to access the internet, cancel his trainer’s license in case it was ever stolen, and access the world map.
“Pokedexes really have evolved since I was a child,” the attendant said, leading him into a back room. “Can you imagine? They used to only tell you what pokemon you were currently facing!”
Kent grinned. “That’s like a phone that only calls people.”
“I know!” The attendant said, laughing. “Isn’t it ridiculous?”
She pressed her thumb to a small pad outside a door, which slid open with an eerie slowness. “This is always my favorite part,” she explained as they waited for it to open completely. “It’s so dramatic. And the look on a trainer’s face when they receive their first pokemon - priceless.” She led Kent down a short corridor, and when they rounded a corner, Kent saw...well, Kent definitely saw something.
The room was completely empty except for a large computer screen on the far wall, with a wide array of controls and brightly colored buttons (ooh, buttons!) set out in front. Directly above the enormous keyboard was a small ledge with a circle shaped indent.
“Uh....” Kent said, scratching the back of his neck.
“This is where you’ll receive your Pokemon,” the attendant said.
“Don’t I just pick from like, totodile, or chikorita, or cyndaquill?”
“Well, it used to be like that,” the attendant admitted. “Before the Reform. But the League decided that gave some trainers an unfair advantage. So now, we just link up with the closest Professor...” She said, hitting a few buttons, “And we give you a random Pokemon. You ready?” She turned to him and pointed at a large green button. “Step right up and get your Pokemon!”
He walked towards the button. With a deep breath, he pressed it.
A flash of white light came from the ceiling and began to coalesce on the small indent...
Biting his lip, Kent grabbed the Pokeball that had suddenly appeared before him.
“C’mon kid, what is it?”
“Yeah! Open it!”
“Okay! Okay!” Kent said, nodding. He gave the pokeball one last look, and threw it high into the air. There was a white flash, and a Pokemon coalesced in front of him.
A small brown Pokemon stood a few feet in front of Kent, its back turned to him. It was standing on its hind legs, but its build suggested it could drop down to four if it was necessary. There were small blue fins on its...arms, Kent supposed, and a yellow thing that reminded Kent of a floaty circled its neck.
“It’s a Buizel!” Someone shouted.
“No way!” Another one said. “I heard they only live in Sinnoh!”
“Don’t be an idiot Robby,” a girl said. “They’re in all the regions now. You can thank the Pokemon Immigration Bill.”
“Hey Buizel,” Kent said, raising his hand in an awkward hello. The otter pokemon dropped down to four legs and approached him cautiously. “Uh, well, I’m your trainer now...” Kent said, “So I guess I need to name you...”
“Call it Hydro!”
“You know what? These people are unoriginal. I’m just gonna walk over here,” Kent said, scooping the Buizel up and walking around the other side of the PLC. Thankfully, nobody followed him.
“So,” Kent said, sitting cross legged on the ground in front of his pokemon, “Uh, what’s up?”
Buizel however, was not paying attention and was instead sniffing the air thoughtfully. He trotted around Kent and began nosing at the top of his pack.
“What?” Kent asked. “What do you want?” He took the pack off his back and opened it. As soon as he did, Buizel practically dived in, forcing Kent to grab his hind legs. Kent supposed it would’ve been funny if Buizel didn’t face the real danger of falling in.
“Sometimes, I hate hammer-space packs. But they’re so cool...”
A few seconds later, Buizel emerged with a snickers bar.
“Hey! That’s my snickers! Kent shouted, grabbing the candy bar from the small pokemon. Buizel narrowed its eyes and made a lunge, managing to get its paws around the snickers. “C’mon, let go! Mine! MIIIIINE!” Kent shouted, finally yanking the snickers away with a particularly forceful tug. Buizel pouted and turned its nose up, turning away in a very angry manner.
“So you like snickers huh?” Kent asked, slowly chewing on his newly won prize. “Fine. I dub thee...SNICKERS!”
Kent nodded and stood, dropping the last half of the snickers bar in Snickers’ lap. The Buizel looked up at him like he had just descended from the sky accompanied by an angelic chorus, and scarfed it down.
“And we’re off!” Kent shouted eagerly, turning to the road out of town. “To journey beyond!”
“Keeeeent, where do you think you’re going?” Came a voice from behind him. Kent looked back to see the attendant smiling at him warmly. “You can’t leave yet silly! You still need a companion!”
“A what?” Kent asked, looking back at the PLC attendant as Snickers began attempting to crawl up his leg.
“Well, kiddo, you’re underage. I know you thought you could sneak off, but you need another trainer to help you through the League.”
Kent’s mouth fell open in disbelief. “But I took tests! I passed! I’m qualified to go out on my own!”
“No, you’re qualified to be given a Pokemon and participate in the League,” the attendant corrected, walking up to him and ruffling his hair in the way adults thought was adorable. “But younger trainers travelling alone tend to attract attention from...some shadier people.”
“Oh...” Kent said, nodding his head. “You mean people who want to...steal my pokemon?”
“Oh they’ll steal a lot more than that,” the attendant said, leading Kent back inside.
A half an hour and at least 6 shared snickers bars later, Kent had two companions. They had dashed into the PLC completely out of breath and babbling about a trainer with an absolutely enormous magikarp that absolutely would not leave them alone before registering, and seemed to be more than happy to let Kent tag along.
“So you two are my companions,” Kent said as two older trainers followed him out of the PLC.
“Uh huh,” the girl said, nodding enthusiastically. She was tall for a girl, with tan skin and dark black hair that was gathered into a loose ponytail. She wore a worn white baseball cap along with a dark blue jacket and blue jeans. “I’m Cecilia, call me Cece, and this is Seth. This is our second year participating in the League.”
“So you’re Kent right?” Seth said in a friendly, easy tone. His brown hair was cropped short, and he had glasses that he was constantly adjusting. He wore a hooded brown sweatshirt with a ring on the front that reminded Kent of an Usuring.
“Kent, yeah” Kent said. “Kent Nicholas. How old are you guys?”
“I’m sixteen,” Cece said. “Seth is already seventeen. We’re both on our second years - last year we conquered Hoenn!”
“If by ‘conquering’ you mean losing miserably in the first round of the tournament,” Seth said with a grin, “then yeah, we’re pretty much royalty over there.”
Kent laughed. “So where first?”
“Well, that’s really up to you,” Cece said. “Seth and I both have balanced teams, so it really doesn’t matter where we head first. But you only have a Buizel...”
“Snickers,” Kent corrected absently, hand resting on the pokeball on his belt.
“Right. Snickers. Anyway, he’s a water type, so you’ll want to go up against Victor in Olivine first. He’s ground type, so Snickers will have the advantage.”
“I heard Olivine is awesome,” Kent said. “I’ve never been anywhere bigger than Cherrygrove.”
“It’s great,” Cece said eagerly. “I remember when I went there on vacation. We even got to see Victor fight. He was a lot of fun.”
“Alright,” Seth said, striking a heroic pose and pointing off into the distance. “To Olivine!”
Kent pumped his fist in the air. “Let’s get this show on the road!”