*****DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokemon nor any of the characters created by the official pokemon company. I am only borrowing them for my story. I only own the original characters created by me******** Now on with the story.

"So what do you think it's going to be like?" Said a boy with enthusiasm.

"I don't know, but I hear that everyone who gets accepted are the best of the best." Said another boy, taller than the first and had glasses.

"Didn't you do any research about the academy beforehand? You do know that the entrance exam isn't going to be easy right?" The girl next to them said.

"So I hear, but I think I'll manage. I'm amazing after all!" The first boy said.

*Sigh* and *Facepalm* "That might be your undoing if you're too carefree about it." Said the second boy with glasses.

"Don't worry, it'll be a breeze. Basically all I have to do is last 5 minutes in a battle against one of the examiners and i'll be in!" The first boy said with confidence.

"Ha! You think it's that easy? You do know that there is a written portion as well as the battle right?" The girl said.

The first boy gave a deadpanned look.

"Hmm….What happened to all your spirit earlier?" Said the second boy.

"Did you know there was a written portion?" The first boy inquired to the second boy.

"Yeah I did. I hope you studied." Replied the second boy.

"Well….All I have to do is get more than 50% of the questions right, no problem!" The first boy said with renewed confidence.

The girl next to them face-palmed and said, "Hopeless…..By the way, the cut-off is 80%, score anything less than that on the written portion and you'll have to retake the exam again next year."

The first boy gave another deadpanned look.

***More indistinct chattering***

By the rail on the left side of the front of the large silver ship stood Zayne, a 16-year old boy with a two block black hair cut, the front of his hair was just short above his eyes and swept slightly to the right. He stood at 6' 0" tall and had a slender yet defined build. His muscles weren't overly bulged, but they were just the right proportions where he didn't look lanky, and one can tell that he definitely did not neglect the gym.

He had rare ruby red eyes and wore black skinny jeans, a red ruby belt with a black outline bordering it and 3 black pouches hanging on the left side of the belt. On the right side of his belt hung 6 pokeballs. He had a white t-shirt and a medium-long black bomber jacket left un-zipped with the sleeves rolled up just before his elbows. He donned a black single-strap backpack slung over his right shoulder with red zippers. His shoes were black and red with a pokeball symbol on the side and wore a black wrist band on his left hand that had 3 small ruby's embedded on the left, bottom, and right side of the band with the top holding a keystone in it. He also wore a black necklace with a silver key hanging at the end.

The waves of the ocean crashed against the side of the large ship with a *Thwump!* and a *Splash!* a whole school of magikarp could be seen swimming just below the surface of the water. *Ring...ring...ring…* The ocean sure is pretty today Zayne thought to himself as he felt the gentle ocean breeze tickle his hair. *Ring...ring...ring* The ringing of a cellular device broke Zayne's relaxed and pensive state. A third cycle of ringing began when Zayne pulled out his cellphone to answer the call not bothering to look at the caller ID. *Ring...ring...click* "Hello?" Said Zayne with no added emotion behind the first words he spoke.

"Hey Zayne did you get on the ferry ok?" Zayne leaned against one of the rails of the ferry looking over the ocean.

"Yea…" Zayne said with little enthusiasm, he recognized the voice on the other end of the line immediately.

"Hmmm...Something wrong? You sound like you're tired? Did you not get enough sleep last night?" Said the person on the other line.

"Mmm...I'm fine, but do I have to attend this academy? I can learn things from you just as much as going to this academy, maybe even more" Zayne grunted.

"Hahaha! You've got plenty exposure traveling the world by scavenging old and weird rocks with me already, this'll be a good change of pace. Besides, it's important that you spend time with others your own age also. Make some friends and memories!"

Zayne gave one long and deep sigh, then said, "Alright, I'll give it my best shot...probably…"

The man on the other end gave a small sincere smile, but with a slight worrying expression as well, though of course Zayne couldn't see it he could tell from the sound of the man's voice over the phone that he was starting to feel unsure if the choice to enroll Zayne in this academy would create a rift between them, then he said "That's all I can ask for, try it out and if you end up really not liking it there, we can sort it out when I'm back. Hey, I gotta go, I'm gonna be in a pretty remote area with little to no signal for a few months so I won't be able to check-in with you for awhile, you gonna be alright?"

Zayne gave a small smile and said softly at first, but then confidently, "Yea...and hey, thanks for everything you've done for me so far, I won't let you down!" Zayne hoped his words would dispel any worries the man might have had as Zayne owed him a lot and didn't want to cause him to worry.

The man on the other end of the phone was taken aback for a second. Then said, "You don't have to thank me Zayne. You're like a son to me. I'll be cheering for you." Zayne could hear talking on the other end of the phone but couldn't make out what was being said. Before Zayne could say anything else the other person spoke, "Hey, I have to go now...And Zayne...I know you'll do great there!" *Click*

Zayne who was staring blankly at the open ocean took a pause and looked down at his phone. *Dad-Call Ended* He gave another long sigh and put his phone away in his pocket, then stared up at the sky.

I wonder if I look like an old man with the amount of sighs i'm letting out today Zayne thought. Nah, people would probably think I look sad and depressed, not old. That's not any better actually...Zayne's thoughts shifted from his self monologue to the world around him.

The sky, Zayne thought, it was really blue today, no clouds to obstruct the view. A family of Wingull and Pelipper flew overhead casting a few shadows on the ferry. He turned his head and his eyes followed one of the moving shadows as it was cast on the ferry until it passed a couple of teenagers talking about 10 feet from where he stood. The same two boys and girl he overheard earlier.

The first boy looked about 5' 9" and had messy blonde hair and green eyes. The second boy had an undercut style blue hair with the front reaching the front of his eyes and he also had blue eyes and wore glasses. He looked to be just as tall as Zayne while the girl had brown hair with a bun on top yet her hair still long enough to flow down a little past her shoulders. She also had green eyes and looked to be about 5' 5". Zayne recalled the trio's discussion he overheard earlier about the exam that they were all going to take the minute they reached Argos Island where Atlas Academy was built.

An academy dedicated to training and producing the best of the best. This academy tests true skill, ability, and knowledge and the only way you get accepted is by proving that you have what it takes. Many of world's best pokemon Scientists, Gym Leaders, Breeders, Trainers, Rangers, Teachers, etc. graduated from this academy. It may sound like a prestigious school but rest assured you can't get in by flaunting your wallet around. At least that was what Zayne had heard from his Dad.

Zayne mentally berated himself for staring at the trio longer than necessary as his eyes made contact with theirs briefly before he turned his head, except they were already walking his way.