– Chapter One –
Ash Ketchum’s Point of View
Standing at the edge of Vermillion City, I let the breeze play with my hair.
It had been ages ago that I had last felt anything even close to comfort, an being within walking distance of a city was one of them. I looked at the sparkling lights of Vermillion, and memories rushed into my brain, reminding me of the fun times I spent as a teenager. But those times were long gone. I now knew the true meaning of life, and I wasn’t going to take it for granted. Ever since Master Apocalypse explained to me my most recent job, I knew that I had to carry it out, no matter what the cost.
Slung over my shoulder was a small brown rucksack. It wasn’t very big, no larger tha a normal school bag. But it was special in one way that no school bag would permit. Inside it, was my trusty partner, who willingly got inside the rucksack to keep me company while I went on this mission. Yes, my Pikachu was curled up in a small ball inside the bag, in an extremely uncomfortable position.
Be patient. We are almost there.
Pikachu and I had developed a telepathic connection between each other, to such an extent that our minds were connected as one, and we could sense each other’s feelings. Because of this, by simply thinking, we could tell each other private things that would normally only be told in the absence of people. It was a very useful thing to have, especially when we were fighting.
Easier said than done,
he replied, squirming around.
I smiled, and walked down southward, towards Vermillion. I had been walking for almost a week on end, from Saffron City, headquarters of the League of Shadows. The League of Shadows was created by someone, who goes by the name of Lord Apocalypse, determined on making the world a better place. He believes in having one all-powerful-leader take control of the world, and stop wars and other such atrocities from happening. However, many people believe differently, and think that Master Apocalypse wishes ill.
I recently joined the League of Shadows, and was promoted to master Apocalypse’s right hand man after a successful mission that had previously failed three times. After that, I was given control over a sector of the League of Shadow’s armed forces to aid me in any missions, but I rather to them myself. I find it more challenging.
As I closed in on Vermillion City, I lowered my head, and allowed my hair to fall in front of my golden-brown eyes, giving myself an artificial stoop. Master Apocalypse had recommended that I grew a beard for this mission, because people would recognise me, had I not. Also, I was a wanted man amongst the police, for no fault of my own. I knew that if I was captured, Master Apocalypse had no chance of completing his mission.
Where are we?
Just outside Vermillion,
Moving slowly, I walked towards the guards, who protected Vermillion City from the outside. The two of them were armed with two longs spears, which they lowered as I neared, blocking off my path . Master Apocalypse had warned me about these guards. They needed passports before allowing anyone in. Apparently, they only began this practice once the League of Shadows came into the open.
I slipped my hand into the pocket of my thick brown travelling cloak, and pulled out a Vermillion City inhabitant passport. Master Apocalypse had created a false passport for this mission, with a picture that looked like my current self. The guards eyed me warily, and nodded, heaving the spears upward so that I could pass.
Phase one complete,
I said to Pikachu.
The guards opened the heavy metal door, and one of them said, “You’ve come in jus’ a’ the righ’ time. Ga’es close in a cou’le of minu’es.”
I gave both of them a warm smile, and walked through the gate, as the guards closed them behind me. There was a heavy bang
from behind me, which signalled that I was in Vermillion now, and that I would have no legal way of getting out. But then again, who said what I was doing was legal?
* * *
Vermillion City was a city that went to sleep very early, and woke up just as early. By seven o’clock, even the teenagers were heading home, to have a nice family dinner, and then off to bed. Life like this was almost unheard of to me, but I knew that it was the best place to conduct the mission because of this characteristic. Especially since I had a room in the Pokèmon Centre.
The Pokèmon Centre was open twenty-four-seven and didn’t have any cut off times for people to go in and out. This was very helpful, because I could spend as much time as I wanted on the mission, and the Pokèmon Centre would not suspect a thing. Of course, I needed it to be as dark as it could get, so as to not be sighted by any late sleepers, because if I blew my cover, then it was good-bye to the League of Shadows.
At eight o’clock, I left the Pokèmon Centre, telling the nurse that I would be out training an Eevee to evolve it into an Umbreon. She bought the story, and let me out. Explaining to her that my Eevee wasn’t very well trained, and that it would take a while for Eevee to evolve. She gave me one of those typical Nurse Joy understanding looks, and told me to give it my best.
The cool Vermillion night calmed dow my pounding heart as I headed south, towards the shoreline. I had been looking forward to this mission for a long time, mainly because I would get to be near the sea, something which always calmed me when I became worried or stressed out by anything around me.
Vermillion truly was a peaceful and tranquil city, especially, seeing as it was neighbours with the dreaded Saffron City. Even though the League of Shadows operates there, that city has always kept me afraid and fearful of theft and even worse criminal acts. I had had previous incidents that included that city, and t made me even more scared remembering those things…
But I was on a mission, and no stupid city was going to stop me. I hoped.
The gates to the Vermillion harbour were kept open all the time, because Vermillion was a trading city, and sometimes, ships came late at night, or early in the morning, so the gates could not be closed if traders came along. It was ideal for me, as the mission relied solely on the sea near Vermillion. If I could not access the sea, then the entire mission was a failure fortunately, master Apocalypse made me go through several stories to use if I was caught. I needed one of them now.
“Halt! Who goes there?”
The voice was gruff, and definitely belonged to a male, unless it was a very masculine female. The firm hand caught me on my shoulder, and my instincts wanted me to attack this person, but logic and the mission held me back. I had more important things to worry apart from respect. For instance, if Pikachu made any move inside the backpack, I was a goner. I turned around to face the person who had gotten hold of me.
“Yes?” I asked, taking in the details of the person. He was tall, taller than me, with an unshaven beard, and a muscle encrusted forearm. His nails were far from clean, but then again, neither was any other part of his body. No doubt he was a guard, because an appearance like this would surely intimidate most people. Most people…
“Who are you, and what are you doing here? It’s past hours,” grunted the guard.
“I’m Samuel Redwood. See, I have a Charizard, that is quite powerful, however, it has a terrible weakness to water types. I know that Vermillion City harbour is best known for its Krabbies and Shellders. I thought it would be a good start for Charizard to get better by battling these weak water Pokèmon, and getting used to them, before taking on stringer ones. Besides, I believe that the Nurse Joy told me that the gates to the harbour are open twenty-four-seven. What happened to that?” I asked, jerking my shoulder from his grip, and turning to face him.
“You don’t seem like a normal trainer. Why the hell are you wearing a fricking cloak?”
I sighed, and smiled, shaking my head slowly and deliberately. “It’s called a travel-cloak, it helps to keep your clothes clean while travelling long distances, and keeps you warm, as well.”
The guard grunted, and nodded, letting me pass. I walked quickly, trying hard to not seem like I was in a hurry. Truth be told, I had already used up half and hour, ad I didn’t have much time before the sun rose again. Pikachu climbed onto my shoulder once we were out of sight of the guard, placing his small yellow paws on my shoulder.
“It is time,” I whispered to him, reaching into the depths of my travelling cloak.