The Stoplek League is not a normal league in the Pokemon world. It’s twice as large as some leagues and has almost three times as many gyms and badges. It’s one of the few most difficult leagues in the world: twenty total badges, two total championships, and only one chance to win it all. The Stoplek League is home to a variety of Pokemon but none unique to the area. Numerous Trainers all strive to one point, to beat the Grand Champion and obtain the rare Stoplek League Trophy, an honor of only which a small percentage of Trainers have managed to grab.
And so the quest begins...
Every kid growing up in a Pokemon world dreams of one day becoming a Pokemon Trainer. The thrill of going from city to city gaining badges and eventually working up to becoming a master. The journey is arduous but very rewarding. This is no different for Jack Kalmer, resident of Pine Valley. Today is the day marked on his calender when he will finally start his Pokemon journey at the age of seventeen. He just turned seventeen a couple weeks ago and with short brown hair and turquoise eyes, being about five feet ten inches tall, he looks young for his age but he is far more mature than any other seventeen year old. This journey means more to him than anything else and to earn the badges as reward will have great sentimental value of his achievements.
Jack runs downstairs still wearing his grey shorts and t-shirt he slept in. He finds his mom setting the table with scrambled eggs and bacon on two plates and two glasses of milk. She is at age forty with medium length brown hair, dark brown eyes and a thin body wrapped in a night gown. She always smiles every morning to start the day off with a good feeling. The table is set for two and minutes later they both sit on opposite sides of the table to eat their breakfast. Occasionally they would say some comments about some days ago but Jack can’t concentrate on the past; he is too concerned about his future.
See, the normal age for Trainers to start a journey is age thirteen. Jack would have been the first one of his friends to head off but his father wouldn’t let it be. His father started at the age of seventeen and so he wants his son to follow that experience. During those intermediate years, Jack has seen all his friends go on journey’s except for one, who is allergic to Pokemon. He has studied and memorized as many Pokemon names and types as he possibly could. The attacks were hard to remember because each Pokemon could use a different attack in a different way. And not once during this time would his father let Jack practice with his Pokemon; they were off limits. But now, with the day finally here, he feels he is ready to go out and show the world what he can do with the knowledge he has gained.
With the eggs almost eaten up, Jack's mom starts to talk about something important. "I guess," she starts," this will be the last time we eat breakfast together. It almost makes me cry thinking about it."
Jack listens to his mother while trying to swallow the last of his food so he can talk. "Mom, don’t cry. Today is the start of me being independent. It’s been my dream to go out on a Pokemon journey and I’ve waited four years for this day. I know you don’t want me to go, but it's not like I won't see you again. I will come back to spend time like we did before."
His mom hears this and her eyes start to water but no tears are shed. She knows that it is time for Jack to leave the nest even if she isn’t ready for it. She speaks to him with a sad voice, "You haven't even left yet and I already miss you so much. I hope you make this family proud and come back safely. Whether you come back a great trainer or not, you will always be a winner to me, no matter what happens." She gets up and goes to another room down the hall.
His mother hasn’t always understood the role of a Pokemon Trainer. To see her son go out and try this new experience, the only thing she can do is cheer him on. Regardless of her lack for understanding, she knows this journey is something important most people attempt. She will be behind Jack one hundred percent of the way and there to help at any time.
After breakfast, Jack switches clothes to the ones he will wear on his journey: medium tan shirt with sleeves almost to the elbows, tan cargo shorts from waist to below the knees, dark blue shoes that have lasted him two years, and a tan Newsboy cap. He also grabs his tan cargo style backpack and black rimmed sunglasses with polarized dark lenses. He heads downstairs and finally outside into the backyard.
Their white house with blue trim is not in the country but it's not in the town either which is why every time Jack comes outside, it’s always peaceful, so peaceful you can fall asleep within minutes and have clear thoughts without the interruptions.
It’s a simple backyard with no walls or fences with freedom only ten feet away. A nice lawn lay out back with small trimmed bushes around the edges. No trees on the house lot so they have umbrellas up to use for shade from the sun.
It's 9:30 in the morning and the sky is still lightly grey from the morning haze. Jack is still outside, lying down on a lawn chair. While he has been outside, he has been thinking about his journey ahead and how his life will change dramatically. Then the silence is broken when the back door starts to opens and his mom walks out. She sits in a chair next to Jack.
He looks over to his mom, "Hey Mom, are you all right now?"
She nods a couple times then brings her arms up to show Jack something. In her right hand, she holds a shopping bag and in her left hand she holds a smaller tan leather bag with the name Ed Kalmer on the side. Jack looks at the shopping bag, then to the small tan bag used to hold marbles with a questioning look on his face. But before he can speak, his mom starts to talk. "I have prepared some things for you to take." She opens the shopping bag and takes items out one by one. Most of the items are food for him but some objects are really helpful. There is a phone, some Pokemon healing potions, and six Pokeballs. Jack thanks his mother for the gift and she replies back, "It's the least I could do for my son."
Jack smiles at all the items he now has as he places them into his own backpack. Next, his eyes turn to look at the smaller bag. "What's in the little bag Mom?" he questions.
She opens the bag up and puts her hand in. When she takes her hand out, there are two Pokeballs in his mother’s left hand. The common Pokeball is red on top and white on the bottom with a button in the middle to shrink or expand the Pokeball. A Pokeball is by far the weirdest item a Trainer can own; able to catch Pokemon, transfer over computers and fade away at times. Nevertheless, they are the most helpful and useful item.
"These Pokeballs contain two Pokemon in them. They are your fathers Pokemon. Remember he said you could borrow them until you have caught your own Pokemon.“ She drops the Pokeballs into Jack's hands.
“I know, I know. He wants them back in two weeks.” Jack questions again, "What Pokemon are they?"
"Why don't you let them out to see!"
Jack gets up holding one ball in each hand. He has never thrown out a Pokeball before, not even an empty one, but he has practiced with a baseball. It’s not the same feeling but he gets the idea. His right arm pulls back, taking a step forward with his left, then he sidearm throws forward, one ball flies down to the backyard lawn and lands on the perfect soft green grass. The Pokeball opens and a red beam shoots out in a blur. The blur takes shape and changes colors to match the Pokemon being called. A small yellow mouse with a lightning shape tail and tan stripes stands in the short grass. "It's a Pikachu. Cool!" The unique Pokeball jumps back to the person whom threw it out but Jack isn’t ready and bobbles the Pokeball before grabbing hold of it. “Heh. Forgot about that reflex.” Excited as he is, he still has one more ball to throw out. He transfers the ball from left to right hand and side throws that one also. The ball hits the ground as another Pokemon comes out; a green animal with a flower bulb on its back. "Hey, it's a Bulbasaur!" This time, Jack catches the Pokeball with ease and the joy of having the chance to finally send out Pokemon hits him with great emotion. "What cool Pokemon to start with. Thanks Dad!"
His dad has been away for a week on some emergency tour in a neighboring league. His dad has always liked training Pokemon and he has many strong ones. These Pokemon just called out, however, are new to the family, just being caught about a month ago by his dad. Even at the age of forty-four, his father never let the Trainer spirit get too far away. Sadly, he is due to arrive around three days from now and cannot be here to wish Jack a good trip. This day was chosen by Jack months in advance but when his father went to the emergency, Jack wanted to wait for him to come back.
“No son, this is your day. Just remember everything I told you and you will start fine.” His father said this the day after Jack’s seventeenth birthday, when he was called to the emergency.