10 July 2998
I’ve never been one to keep a journal. I don’t even know why I’m writing any of this down right now. Chibi—yeah, that’s the Zapdos-Pikachu’s name—keeps staring at me though, and I desperately need something to take my mind off of everything going on right now.
Arceus, where do I even start?
My name is Jade. I’m fourteen years old and I don’t have a Pokémon training license. I should have had one years ago. I should have been out traveling the world. I shouldn’t have had to watch friend after friend leave Viridian, clinging to the hope of being able to join them one day, only to find out I’m so awful at all things Pokémon that I failed the exam. Twice. Who does that??
Not that any of that matters anymore though. I kind of wish I could go back to a month ago when that was the worst I had to deal with. Before the day I wandered the forests west of Viridian and found a Charmander half-dead from a raging fire caused by Team Rocket trying to catch Entei. That was where I met a trainer calling himself Stalker who told me that the Rockets were on the verge of a region-wide takeover, and had started catching Legendaries to make sure nothing stood in their way. I wanted to ignore it, pretend it didn’t exist, but it was literally happening right in front of us.
I was given an offer to join a group working against the Rockets. And then things started going downhill one after the other. The Rockets saw me watching them and captured me, hoping I could lead them to Stalker. I didn’t know anything, so they stuck me on a transport jet headed for Celadon. My Pidgey, Swift, saw them take me, and got help from the only person he could find--my friend Rudy who had just become a trainer. They ran into a trainer named Spencer who was trying to recover some stolen Pokémon, and then it was the three of us and our Pokémon versus the executive Tyson and his experimental hybrid Pokémon in the most awkward mid-flight duck-and-cover battle in a too-small arena filled with shipping crates.
I don’t think we would have gotten out of that if we hadn’t gotten help from experiment Number Nine—yeah, the same Zapdos-Pikachu watching me write all of this now. Back then he was a violent ball of pain and rage, but even if he wasn’t trying to help us, his violence was aimed at that Rockets, and that was good enough at the time. Until he decided to take down the jet and all of us along with it. Tyson got control of the plane enough to make a crash landing, but not before sending our coordinates to the other Rocket executives to make sure he’d have backup.
Spencer tried his hardest. He really did. Both in the battle and in keeping up our morale. But his Pokémon were no match for the executive that met us at the crash site. Her Pokémon were just too scary strong. And Rudy and I weren’t exactly helpful, no matter how much he wanted to be. I had a Charmander and a Pidgey and he had a Squirtle and a Houndour. Not exactly top-class.
And then Ajia found us. Ajia, who had left Viridian three years ago, who I’d only seen twice since then. Ajia, who had collected sixteen badges in that amount of time and trained her Pokémon to such a level that even her Pichu was intimidating. Ajia, who couldn’t tell me how she knew where to find us, and who it turns out has dealt with a lot of Rocket crap in that time period that she also can’t tell me about.
I’ll never forget how I felt when I watched her battling the executive. Cool and confident and a level of perfect synergy even in the midst of a huge melee against all the Rocket’s Pokémon at once. I have no doubt she’d have won if the Rockets hadn’t been able to heal their Pokémon indefinitely. After that we worked together with the Pikachu hybrid to find a way for us to all escape. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the battle. Or about how Entei was captured earlier that day and I hadn’t been able to do anything.
I wanted to become strong. I wanted to make a difference. And sitting around trying to pass the training exam was not the way to do it. I was leaving, license or no license.
That’s why I came to Vermilion City, to board the S.S. Anne with the rest of the potential rebels that Stalker had invited to oppose Team Rocket. And now I’ve just found out that there are Rockets here, on the ship, disguised as crew members and interrogating random kids to find out more about their leader, despite the fact that he didn’t tell us anything about himself.
I know Chibi wants me to do something about it. He and I only just now got on speaking terms with each other. He doesn’t understand—I wanted to join this team so I could train myself to be strong. But I haven’t gotten to do that yet, and we’re already facing another Rocket threat?
I know we’ll have to do something. I just don’t know if I’m ready.
The fic returns tomorrow. But it's been quite a while, so this was a quick recap to remind everyone what's going on. Technically it's missing the events of Chapter 7 (Jade fails) but I really wanted to go with the journal entry angle, which wouldn't work where 7 left off.