10th November 2012, 7:45 AM
Up From the Ashes (AU) PG-13
This is a fic that's been saved in bits and pieces on my hard drive for a while now. I thought now would be a good as time as any to finally publish it. This is an AU story.
Chapter one: The Hatching
The clouds were dark and gloomy in the land of New Kanto, a strong wind blew, its sound making a haunting echo in the stillness of the land. What was once a happy and prosperous land was now a desolate wilderness. Almost five hundred years had passed since the cataclysmic war destroyed most of the known world and wiped out almost every living being in existence. Small disputes between the major countries of the land over dwindling resources escalated into large scale conflict, and finally to world war. One by one, each nation went to war, bringing all of their technology, manpower, and Pokémon to the battlefield. Out of all of those, Pokémon were the deadliest weapons of all.
In the beginning, the war was fought with people and weapons. However this proved to be inadequate as each nation had large supplies of both, and plenty of nationalistic zeal to back them up. Soon after Pokémon were bought into the fray. This proved to be at once the best and the worst decision the Nations had ever made. Pokémon were far better suited than man for warfare and it showed. A single Rhyperior could topple a dozen tanks before being bought down by enemy fire, Staraptor made far better bombers than planes ever did, Gyarados could sink subs better than any underwater torpedo system. All in all, introducing Pokémon increased the amounts of casualties immensely. By now the annual Pokémon leagues in every region were no longer tests of skill in the art of Pokémon training, but recruitment grounds for the military. Top trainers and their Pokémon were immediately whisked off to the battlefields where they were forced to kill and be killed in ever increasing numbers. Many deserted, but there was no place to run. The world's supply of forests was almost all gone, mountains were stripped bare for their ores, and the oceans were so polluted in many industrialized areas not even Grimer could live in the water.
As the war continued to rage on, the world's resources eventually reached a breaking point. It started when the last drop of petroleum was drilled, then the last reserves of coal. At this point the world's taboo on the usage of Uranium was lifted from each country one by one to provide power to the billions of people living in them. By the time the ban on Nuclear power was lifted the food crisis had also reached a critical point. At this point food riots were commonplace and martial law was implemented. Soldiers were authorized to kill their own people on sight if any were found stealing or otherwise obtaining extra increasingly diminished rations. The people tried to rebel, but it was already too late. The inconvenient truth was that there was simply not enough of anything really left in the world, the never ending war between the nations had ground everybody down to nothing, and now at the breaking point the governments prepared for the worst. Large underground caches were made to house what few eggs each nation could salvage. A few of the best trainers and breeders were sealed down below along with a small food supply in the hopes that eventually things will get better. Then came that fateful day, no one knew who fired the first one, and no one knew who fired the last. All everyone knew was that the world as they knew it was obliterated, blown to Ashes in less than a day.
However things were not completely hopeless. The legendary Pokémon who had all sunk into a deep slumber during the war emerged from their hiding and helped cleanse the world from the horrors of the war. Suicune purified the irradiated and polluted water, Celebi and Shaymin planted the seeds that would grow into forests, Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza helped to regulate the weather so that the world may soon be restored to its former grandeur. However the one Pokemon that caused the most widespread change was Arceus. Watching from his perch from up on high, he saw the incredible amounts of destruction that humans and Pokémon managed to wreak on themselves and the environment. As such Arceus knew eventually the egg vaults will reopen; people will slowly craw out of the ground and attempt to rebuild lives for themselves in the wild. However such a catastrophe could not happen again. The second time, the legendary Pokémon would not be able to handle it. Even now the earth is falling apart at the seams, something drastic must be done.
As such Arceus began his most important project of all since shaping the world with his arms. First he detached the 16 plates from his body, each of them began glowing with an ethereal light as they circled around the Alpha Pokémon. Runes began to appear on each as Arceus imbued them with magic, cauing each to glow with incandesant light. The plates then expanded out around Arceus in a radiant ring, eventually forming a large hexakaidecagon around the deity. Arceus stood up to his full stature and extended all of his arms, from inside his body thousands of Unown began pouring out, attaching themselves in complex chains around each and every single plate. From there, Arceus began to emit large quantities of light and energy that ran down each chain of Unown and into the plates, each plate then began to shine even more brightly, then began shooting down streams of energy towards the ground soaking the ruined ground with bolt after bolt of energy that permeated the entire planet. Then Arceus emitted a couple more blasts of light from his body and using a few of his arms, shaped out a 17th plate, the Alpha plate. The Alpha plate rose high above the rest and then Arceus raised his head and charged up a Judgment and aimed it straight for the Alpha Plate, the plate exploded in rainbow colors that diverged into 16 rays, each ray struck a plate and carried them off one by one into the far corners of the world where they will serve as support for the spell Arceus just cast upon the world. With that, Arceus decided to delegate one legendary Pokémon to guard each plate.
As the Pokémon moved into position some into guard position, others back to slumber, Arceus went over his plan. From this day forth whenever a Pokémon egg hatches, it will imprint on the closest human. This creates a bond between the two that will never break. If the bond is broken between human and hatched Pokémon, both will die. Arceus hoped that such an extreme plan would prevent Humans from using Pokémon as weapons and continue to foster an environment of love and caring, without it degenerating into a brutal world of war and desolation. With that Arceus floated back up into the sky, weakened and thoroughly drained, ready for an eternal slumber. A long time passed, while the earth would never be the same as it was before the war nature slowly rebounded, the people locked underground slowly emerged and tried to build a world from the ashes of the old. And thus we return to New Kanto.
Back in the olden days, Kanto was one on the most powerful nations in the world. It was a paragon of technology and progress, it had one of the highest GDPs in the world, and its citizens enjoyed some of the highest standards of living in the world. In the post apocalyptic new Kanto however, things were much more different. For one access to Pokémon was completely restricted. Only the elite members of Society were authorized for imprintation of a Pokémon. Any law breaker was executed on the spot. It was almost impossible for this to happen though as the egg process is carefully controlled down to the last detail. A week before a child of the elite turns 10, he/she is led to the capital city of Indigo and escorted to the egg office, where they undergo a series of aptitude tests and physical examinations. Once that's done, the child places their hand onto an aura stone, which records their aura. From then a keeper takes the stone down into the egg vaults and carefully picks out the eggs that respond to the child's aura and sends the eggs up. From there one egg is selected based on the previous evaluation. Finally a member of one of the 3 imperial families of New Kanto personally takes the egg to the home of the lucky child and presents him with the egg on his birthday, which is stimulated to hatch at an exact time.
From here we follow one such harbinger of good fortune. An 18 year old from the Diamond family, one of the 3 ruling families was headed off to a small neighborhood on the east side of Indigo in order to deliver an egg to a lucky 10 year old. His name was Lucas and he wore a long black coat and a beret on his head as well as a scarf around his neck and a pack on his back. He walked quickly and with a serious demeanor. Following him was his Pokémon that he himself received at the age of 10. A massive Pokémon named Torterra, it was as the name suggested a truly terrifying tortoise. It was huge and menacing with a gigantic tree growing out of its shell along with massive spikes growing all across the rest of its shell. Every time the turtle took a step, the ground shook slightly. Everyone stared in fear him and his massive Torterra, Lucas paid no heed and continued to walk with his Pokémon towards his destination.
Indigo was a very large city in New Kanto, however compared to the old Kanto, it was nothing more than a small town. In the middle of the city, near the falls lies the Imperial Mansion, refurbished from what was left of the old battle tower. It was the tallest building this side of the Silver mountain range. The city itself was spread out in a haphazard way with the richest claiming the old buildings from before the war with the less well off citizens living in their own dwellings slightly off to the side of the main city. The houses were plain and gray, many with shingled roofs and the roads were paved with cobblestones. The smell of cooking and excrement filled the air as children played in the streets and women did household chores. Eventually Lucas and Torterra arrived at the east side of Indigo, a middle class neighborhood. The houses were simple brick boxes that provided an adequate, if austere standard of living. While the people that lived here must make do without running water or a central heating system, it was still miles better than living in a wasteland settlement. At least here the people could at least have a Pokémon for companionship and defense. Outside the capital walls and the few major cities that still housed people, none of that existed. The people eked out a living day by day from the environment in conditions that could only be described as foul. However as they lived under the control of Indigo and the Imperial Triumvirate, they still had to pay the taxes without much of the benefits that came with them. But enough about the wastes.
Lucas at last walked briskly to one of the doors, he checked a slip of paper with the address and knocked brusquely on the door twice. It was opened instantly by a woman that looked to be in her mid 30s with a wide look on her face. She was given a Sentret at the age of 10 and it sat on her shoulder clapping happily. Lucas stared at the woman, then stated "Bring the boy to me", revealing the small purple and white egg he had brought to the household. Then 2 people emerged from the backdoor, a man who Lucas recognized as a construction foreman with a Gurdurr, and a little boy with a cap. "Joey is it?" Lucas confirmed "Congratulations, I have here your egg, happy birthday". The entire family broke into cheers and tried to offer him some refreshments, he merely shrugged them off and placed the egg on a small table. Then took out a clipboard and watched carefully as Joey approached the egg. As Joey touched the egg, the egg began to glow with a white light as it started cracking. The egg shook and finally broke as a small Ratata hatched from it. As the Ratata took a look at Joey, a ball of light flowed from the rat and into the boy, causing Joey to yell in surprise. When the light faded, boy and Pokémon embraced, bonded for life. Lucas took some more notes on his clipboard, satisfied that the job was done, and headed out the door.
11th November 2012, 4:45 AM
Chapter 2-The delivery
“Alright Infernape, use CLOSE COMBAT!”
Infernape, a large flaming monkey with impressive white and gold fur quickly obliged the command from his bonded human, kicking and punching and otherwise brutally beating the massive red and black fire pig Pokémon known as Emboar. After a few seconds, Emboar collapsed to the ground, swirls on his eyes as his trainer jumped in exuberance.
“AHA Bianca! I won the battle, and now I’m gonna fine you!” The person screaming like a maniac was none other than Barry Pearl, the heir to Palmer Pearl, and next in line to rule in the Imperial Triumvirate of New Kanto. He was 18 years old and had a large head of Blonde hair, eager and active eyes, and a very severe case of hyperactivity. As it was he was jumping around shouting in triumph while his opponent, the Blonde haired Bianca White was close to tears at Barry’s callous treatment and threats of massive fines. Bianca and her family was a part of the Indigo aristocracy; however they were a fairly low ranking family and did not have much wealth to their name. At least nowhere near enough to be able to afford Barry’s extravagant fines, she was also caught because to disobey a direct order from a member of the 3 ruling families could result in heft punishment, even death. What she did not know, was that Barry was only joking, and he didn’t notice the effect he had until another girl ran up to him furiously and grabbed him by the ear holding him still.
The girl was part of the third family of the Triumvirate. Her name was Dawn Platinum. Like Barry, she was also 18. Dawn had blue hair and eyes and was wearing a rather short dress that left little to the imagination as well as a white beanie hat to protect her hair from the elements. She also had a very powerful grip. Barry struggled against her grip but she held still. “Apologize to Bianca NOW!”
“OW OW OW!, Alright! Alright!, Bianca I’m sorry! You don’t have to pay the fine, now Dawn please release me!”
Dawn did, dropping him to the ground with a thud. Bianca quickly fed Emboar some berries and scurried away, fearful of further confrontation with one of the most powerful men in the country. Dawn just sighed in exasperation, “ Barry can’t you go one day without randomly challenging people on the streets with your infernape? Don’t you see how scared they are to face you? They’re too afraid to say no and if you chose to fine them, they have no choice but to pay it!” Dawn’s bonded Pokémon Piplup jumped on her head, pointed a flipper warningly and said in a scolding tone “PIPLUUP!”
Barry just snorted “Yada yada yada, I told you already I have to train my Infernape! I still can’t even come close to beating Lucas and his Torterra and I have an advantage over him! At least you and your Piplup managed to tie with him, and besides don’t you have a meeting you had to go to with your mom Deedee?”
This naturally elicited an angry reaction from the Bluenette. “ I don’t care if you need to prove your worth against Lucas, but you are not going to participate in anymore streetfighting! Besides he doesn’t feel the need to beat up innocent civilians like you to train his Pokémon, he goes out into the wild on egg delivery trips every week, fighting Bandits and beasts and even wild Pokémon out there! There’s no way simply beating up on the few Pokémon here and there in the capital will ever carry you as far! Besides we all know you’re too chicken to go on a real delivery trip outside the city boundaries. And last but not least, I bribed Salvia to go to the meeting in my place, she loves all this political nonsense our parents seem to be involved in everyday.
Barry stopped in amazement. “Dawn, how long have you been doing this?”
“About a year now give or take”
“You mean all this time I’ve been forced to sit in these meetings for hours and hours in a hot stuffy room listening to people talk about stuff that makes me tear my hair out while you were outside having fun?”
“Pretty much yeah, but it didn’t go to waste you know. I’ve been spending a lot of time down at Lila’s hair salon and I’ve been learning so much about hair care and styling, and it’s just so amazing! I’ve even given Piplup his own makeovers!” Piplup’s face suddenly contorted in a mask of horror as he heard the word makeover and quickly jumped down from his perch upon the top of Dawn’s head.
Piplup was unique in many ways among all the Pokémon currently in the world. For one he was well past the point of evolution, and two he was 17 years old instead of 8 like the bonded Pokémon of a normal 18 year old. As for the first, 8 years ago Dawn was hiking in the woods and was ambushed by a swarm of Ariados. However Piplup managed to save the day by using bide and then retaliating with twice the force, sending them all flying and starting the evolutionary process. To make a long story short, Piplup remembered all of the good times he had with Dawn, and stopped in the name of love. She soon got an everstone and permanently put an end of any thoughts of evolution. The second difference was far more interesting. While most eggs are hatched by using an Aura and Aptitude test(AA) to determine a recipient, then they are put through a process of induced hatching that forcefully imprints them to the carefully chosen recipient. That is how almost everybody in the country received their pokemon. Johanna however as the matriarch of the Platinum family had many special privileges, one of them is the opportunity to tour the egg vaults. With that, she took her two one year old twin daughters Dawn and Salvia to the vaults in order to expose them to the eggs, while Salvia passed through with no problems. When Dawn was introduced to the eggs, one of them actually moved itself to her and hatched all by itself, the Piplup immediately imprinted himself onto her as a baby and the two of them grew up together as best friends, sharing a bond few if any could match.
While Piplup pretended to fake his own death at the thought of another makeover, Barry continued with his diatribe of Dawn’s irresponsibility, “But you’re the older one! You are the one that has to take over Johanna’s spot in the Triumvirate! Salvia can’t do it, and I should report you for skipping out on these important meetings!”
Dawn looked nonchalant as she kept walking on, Barry following at maximum speed. “I don’t care really, they can’t do anything to me, Mom will get mad but so what? It’s not my fault they pulled me out first and Salvia second. She deserved it, I don’t want to act as a political leader. I want to travel the world, feel the wind in my hair everyday, be free from the social obligations, and most of all I want to freedom to be able to work in Lila’s salon as a hairdresser for a living.”
“Put those thoughts out of your head this instant young lady! You are going to rule alongside me and Lucas eventually and you’ll like it! Oh by the way where are we going?”
Infernape, who had been diligently following the two along suddenly facefaulted.
“We are going to the vaults, where you will help me get started on my assignment”
“Oh cool, what kind of assignment?”
“I have been approved to deliver two eggs for hatching to a set of twins in New Viridian!, I need you to go down and grab the eggs for me while I ready the carriage for transport!”
“Oh alright….wait. You’re going down there alone? Shouldn’t you need a guard or something, how about Kenny the servant boy?”
“Barry, I’m 18 years old and I am more than ready to ride a simple carriage down a simple road to Viridian city, Lucas makes trips regularly to Cape Cerulean all the time, why do you care so much?”
“Care? Of course I care! To be honest you’re the best friend I have and I don’t want to lose you to the bandits!”
“ I can take care of myself Barry, No need to worry!”
“YOU KNOW VERY WELL THAT’S WHEN I WORRY THE MOST!”
“I’ll just get the eggs myself”
“At least take Infernape with you then!”
“I’ll be fine Barry!”
With that Dawn ran down into the vault, quickly grabbed her quarry and settled into her carriage. It was a fairly fancy one, made of strong and durable wood with many intricate carvings along the sides. It was pulled by a tamed stantler from the wild. Waving goodbye to Barry, Dawn and Piplup settled into the Carriage with the two eggs and began her Trip down to Viridian city for her first ever out of town delivery.
13th November 2012, 4:47 AM
While I am trying to get another chapter done for Stewie’s Journey I might as well publish this in the meantime.
Chapter 3-The meeting
Dawn hummed a soft tune as she drove her carriage through the treacherous mountainous bush that separated the capital of Indigo from the small mining town of New Viridian. While the world's supply of coal was non existent, the metal ore dug up by the Viridian miners was every bit as important now as was during the time of the war. Dawn quickly scanned the address of the twins John and Jane Doe located in the heart of Viridian city. Then she started concentrating on driving the carriage in earnest as the ground was cracked and rugged, with sharp stoned protruding everywhere. Some dating back to stone edge attacks from before the war. As such the trail was very narrow and was filled with weeds that seemed to grow in long strands, just waiting to trip up unwary travelers. Piplup managed to use ice beam to freeze the weeds which Stantler was able to trample over. All the while Dawn kept a constant vigilance for enemies.
There were of course the bandits, who try to steal eggs and pokemon off Travelers in order to bolster their strength in an attempt to take over New Kanto for themselves. Their base lies far to the east around the Haunted Tower. While they mostly prey on refugees and solo travelers, preferring not to dare striking at a government carriage. Lucas reported from his last journey to Cape Cerulean that things are changing. That the bandits are getting more and more fierce, even attacking merchant caravans and large groups of travelers. Though they were still too afraid of confronting Lucas and his Torterra as he still managed to drop off his quarry unscathed. As the day went on, Dawn continued to follow an old map of New Kanto that leads from Indigo to New Viridian. The path was long and deadly and Dawn had already had to clear away several corpses from the road, but the excitement of finally being able to escape the capital for even a little while would be amazing. Of course it wasn't without her risks, Johanna currently believed that "Dawn" was with her, learning the tricks of the trade of being the next member of the Triumvirate while "Salvia" was taking up an apprenticeship with the egg runners. Things could all blow apart if anybody found out of the deception, but thankfully Barry was blackmailed into keeping his mouth shut. At least temporarily so he could continue his streetfighting without incurring the wrath of his father.
Something was clearly wrong however as the trees were growing larger and larger, the roots more and more gnarled, and the sounds of insects both animal and pokemon could be heard. Dawn quickly scanned the map with a sense of desperation, quickly realized that she had been reading the map upside down this whole time. As a result she had wandered into the tangled overgrowth that used to be route one instead of the relative safe zone that was the juncture of the main road with New Viridian. Things were getting bad really quickly. Already Dawn could hear heavy buzzing the in forest. It could be normal bees or insects or it could be incredibly deadly pokemon like Beedrill, which swarms their victims and inject them with poison before stabbing them to death with their deadly twineedles. Or Ariados with their webs and poison bombs. The worst though would be running into a wild scolipede. Dawn didn't think she would be able to make it out with the eggs intact if a wild scolipede came out alive. In fact as the rustling and buzzing grew closer Dawn began to contemplate the horrifying possiblity of a wild Heracross. If one of those attacked, not only could she lose her quarry, but also her life. Suddenly Barry's offer sounded all too good.
Unfortunately the buzzing was not a normal insect, it was not the sound of a Beedrill, or Ariados, Or Scolipede, or worst of all Heracross. It was an explosive dart fired by a bandit which embedded itself into the carriage. Dawn heard the tell tale beep of an explosive and quickly grabbed Piplup and the eggs then jumped out just before the carriage went up into flames. As Dawn tried to regain her balance Piplup quickly pulled her down right as a crossbow bolt sailed through the air where her head was just a moment ago, burying itself into a tree. To make things worse, it was an incendiary bolt, meaning the tree quickly caught on fire. Piplup hit the tree with a hydro pump, quelling the flames. At this moment, 2 men dressed in all black jumped out from the bush, one was carrying a large hatchet, the other a shotgun. Dawn recognized them instantly as bandits. People who steal pokemon in an effort to overthrow Indigo and turn New Kanto into a pit of savagery and despair. The first Bandit ran towards Dawn swinging the hatchet wildly, Piplup quickly jumped up and froze the ground with ice beam, only to quicky start spinning in a vortex of ice to block the shotgun shot that came from behind the duo.
Ducking down, Dawn quickly crawled underneath a prickly bush as gunshots rang overhead, trying desperately to get away with her life. Piplup managed to gore the first bandit through the head with drill peck before dashing over to Dawn, who was breathing rapidly as the other Bandit fired gunshots off indiscriminately. Unfortunately for the two of them, the shotgun had been augmented with an increased magazine, giving almost a dozen shots per load. Getting frustrated, the bandit emptied out his shotgun and slotted in some new rounds, cursing profusely as he went along. Then he just grabbed the shotgun and started firing buckshot everywhere into the forest. Dawn was confused as to why the bandit would do such a thing until suddenly things were all too clear. The Buckshot had been spiked with phosphorus and a massive conflagration was forming. Wasting no time, Dawn quickly tried to run away, coming to rest at a river. Only to have the loaded shotgun pointed at her face.
It was a trap all along.
Immediately the Bandit whipped out a pistol and began firing at close range, trying to kill Dawn so he could steal her eggs. Piplup quickly got up and sent an ice beam flying towards the Bandit in a stream of dazzling cold energy that forced him to double back. Then he yelled "NOW!" Then two more Bandits emeegred from the dense brushland, one carrying a rifle and the other holding the explosive dartgun. Piplup quickly jumped atop his owners head and started spinning while using ice beam, surrounding the two in a cocoon of ice, which managed to stop the gunfire, if only for a minute. Already Dawn could see the phosphorus igniting and the darts beeping rapidly. She ducked down as the cage exploded in a flurry of ice and fire.
The bandits surrounded her leering viciously as they started setting fire to a large circle of the forest, trapping Dawn within the pillar of flame. The shotgun Bandit walked calmly over and said in a hoarse and vile voice," Hand over the eggs and we will kill you now, if you resist we will kill you and take your eggs...after we've all had some fun with you", he completed the gesture by thrusting with his hips and breathing out a foul stench that smelled of rotten meat and alchohol. Dawn was paralyzed, she had nowhere left to run, the forest was ablaze and she was going to die. But she also couldn't afford to let any pokemon fall into the hands of the bandits, the results could be catastrophic. Then suddenly everyone could hear a loud annoyed buzzing coming from the trees, everybody froze. Then a huge section of the brush exploded as a massive and very hostile Heracross burst out visibly outraged at the burning of his home. Without missing a beat Heracross reared his massive horn and smashed it into the dartgun Bandit, cleaving him in two and spraying copious amounts of blood and gore everywhere. The other two quickly dropped Dawn as they rushed over to avenge their fallen comrade. They took out their guns and fired upon the massive beetle, but it simply hardened its shell and the bullets just bounced right off. Then it grabbed the Rifle from the bandit's hand and broke it in midfire. Shocked at the sudden destruction of his weapon, the Bandit tried to flee only for Heracross to surround itself a in veil of dark energy and slammed into the man using the power of pursuit. Dawn could hear his bones snap and tear as the Bandit crumpled in a bloody heap on the ground. She took the time to have Piplup hydro pump a section of the firewall and escape while the final bandit was distracted.
She almost made it.
The final bandit realized his target was escaping and immediately started running after Dawn and Piplup, when he saw that they had broken free he quickly fired off several rounds in his shotgun. The slight pause was enough for him to be gored through the chest by Heracross and then torn into pieces and eaten by the Voracious insect. Unfortunately for Dawn, one of the buckshot pellets hit right in her left leg, and another in her right shoulder. She felt an intense pain and collapsed with stars in her eyes. The last thing she remembered before blanking out to the moon and the stars of the night was something heavy slipping from her grasp.
A FEW HOURS EARLIER
A tall, tanned and dark haired boy finally finished his job. Climbing down from atop the barn, he admired his handiwork at reshingling Oak's barn. His name was Ash and he was also 18. Ash was an honest and caring if somewhat lacking in the intelligence department. Ash spent his days working as a laborer on Oak's farm in quite possibly the smallest and most reclusive settlement in all of New Kanto. Pallet Town. The town was completely surrounded to the north by dense and sharp brush, making any efforts to go north inaccessible except via the river, but the river was so treacherous and fast flowing no one dared to brave climbing the rapids that fell at the edge of town which provided the town's water supply. To the south was the ocean which few dared to brave the journey here due to a mysterious island in the south. It glowed an eerie green in the dark and anyone who came close to it lost their hair, then their lives as such no one dared approach Pallet. Pallet town was a tiny settlement not even known by the capital, believing the entire area was overrun by the forest. It was here that Ash was born and lived his entire life.
When Ash was just a baby his father attempted to climb the rapids to the north but failed. His mother never got over the death of her adventuring husband and was slowly consumed by insanity. Ash was left alone and orphaned in the world. For a while his neighbors took care of him, but Ash hated accepting charity. As soon as possible he was doing odd jobs around the town and helping whereever he can. Eventually he joined up with two other orphaned boys Drew, after his parents died of sickness and Paul, whose brother was killed during a pokemon attack, leaving him with no other family in the world. The three of them along with Oak's grandson Gary, pooled together their funds and time and built a small but sturdy house up by Oak's farm. There was no running water or electricity of any kind and no luxuires to speak of, but the boys held their heads up and continued doing what they did.
Ash double checked the shingles one last time which had been broken when a pidgey smashed into the roof and satisfied collected some food from the storehouse and began heading home. All the while keeping a sharp eye out for animals or worse pokemon. The town was still recovering from an attack of beedrill last month and the memory of an Ursaring attack five years ago that killed Reggie among many others still lingered on. Ash walked through the small collection of huts and hovels that collectively made up Pallet town on his way to his house. The small town was green and lush and would have made a good postcard if it weren't for the desperate poverty and isolation that their citizens were trapped in day in and day out. Due to the rocky soil of the area crops did not grow well (but then again they didn't grow well anywhere) and hunger years were more common and feast years. He passed by several neighbors also going home after a long day of work and gave a hand to those who needed it. At sunset Ash finally arrived at home sweet home, a small two story wood and stone building that was the handiwork of the four friends over almost a year.
"I'm home!" cried Ash.
"Cool, you got the food?" asked Gary who had come out from the house. ' Paul and Drew are sparring in the yard for the annual harvest celebration"
"Heh, I'm going to win it this year! Just you wait and see Gary!"
Gary just shook his head and took the bag of food from Ash and went to the kitchen. Gary worked in the fields alongside Drew and the two of them were often responsible for most of the housework and cleaning. Paul had the very dangerous job of being a guard as well as a part time hunter. It was only due to his skills in the wilderness and his skill with a bow that the household was ever able to have meat on the table, but it also involved risks. While shooting a deer was fine, hitting a sawsbuck could result in death from a solarbeam or horn leech attack. They were also far more durable and would not hesitate to kill any human they see. Not to mention insect attacks and poison from the many dangerous beings in the wilderness. But Paul was a good hunter, if a cold and aloof person so the little family could usually count on meat about once per week. Which is once per week more than most families got.
Ash set the table and went to the back just to see paul hand Drew a heaping slice of humble pie in the art of swordfighting. All he had to say was "pathetic". Ash just laughed and said "my turn!" Ash also lost, possibly even worse than Drew did, but it was fun and the three had a good time while Gary slaved away in the kitchen. The three of them sat down for dinner which was a plain and simple dish of rice ball donuts while Gary began teasing Ash about his date.
"So when's your girlfriend Misty coming over man? You've been dating her for a week now and we've barely even seen her!"
Ash snorted and replied "I don't bring Misty around here for good reasons, three of them actually, they are you, Drew and paul, I don't want her thinking I'm weird because of you guys"
Drew looked offended and flipped his hair in indignation while Paul just continued to eat.
"You know how sensitive she is and how she even got to Pallet in the first place, I don't want to make it any harder on her than she already has gone through!"
At this sudden outburst Paul finally looked up and asked, "How did she get here? You keep beating around the bush whenever anyone asked you, it's just one day you went out and suddenly she came out of nowhere. The people of Pallet think she's a ghost or demon or worse a pokemon in disguise!"
Drew and Gary both affirmed the statement.
Ash finally gave in. "Oh all right, but you have to keep this a secret. I found Misty washed up on the beach a coupe of months ago. She looked like she was blown away by a heavy storm because she was clinging to a piece of driftwood and was unconscious. She had been in the water for so long I thought she was dead but lucikly I managed to save her. She's originally from a faraway place in the world called Cape Cerulean and she was a part of a family of small traders who ferried supplies between there and POrt Vermilion. A freak storm hit her small boat and sent her packing all the way to the west where she landed on Pallet beach. To this day she still has no idea what is happening with her family or how they were going to be able to pay the ever increasing taxes Indigo levies on all sea traders without her support. Then with all the people calling her a demon or pokemon behind her back including you multiple times Gary, that's why I don't want you guys to see her. Besides..I'm thinking of popping the question!"
A chorus of congratulations soon followed from all 3 observers. Gary was very proud "So Ashy boy's fixing to get hitched! Guys we gotta start building a new house for the lovebirds!" The others groaned but agreed. While the 3 boys conferred on how to build a new house. Ash decided to slip out and meet his soon to be fiancée. The night was crisp and clear and the stars were shining brightly in the sky. So Ash decided to take the scenic route through to the secluded ramshackle hut where Misty lived. On the way Ash passed by the waterfall and was walking past when suddenly he heard a scream of agony from atop the Waterfall. He tried to ignore it, but the sound cut through the night like a knife through hot butter. Ash at heart could never leave something like this in danger so he with a boost of herculean strength grabbed on to a slippery rock drenched in water and began forcing his way up. However unlike everyone else, Ash somehow managed to maintain his grip as he kept forcing his way up, fueled by the cries of help coming from above the waterfall.
Something has changed within Ash as he desperately climbed up the waterfall. The water seemed to stop as he forced himself up on top of the falls and he ran into the tangled mass of thorns and trees that made up the forest. He followed the river and emerged into a small clearing to see a wounded Pikachu..and a massive Fearow Diving straight at him.