Ascension

Chapter One: End

A young man, no older then twenty-five, looked up towards the sky and frowned; it was dark and dreary as usual, and he wasn't sure whether it was like that because of gradual pollution build-up, or something else entirely. Before leaving for work he would always look at the sky, hoping against hope that the sun would shine through the darkened skies…but alas, the sun was simply not bright enough.

I haven't seen the sun in five years now… Sam mused, as he began his daily walk around the park, at least, what was left of it…

He noted with some sadness that the park looked even more trashed then before. Various items of trash littered the ground, and despite the best efforts of Pallet City's street cleaners, there was bound to be even more trash the next day. It didn't really matter though, since the grass had long died out, the pseudo-solar street lamps not doing any good; they were simply not the same thing as real sunlight.

Of course, littering wasn't the main concern of Pallet City; they had to deal with a disturbing rise in crime, drug dealing, and illegal prostitution…among other things. They had to deal with constant trouble with neighboring cities, especially that of Pewter City and Cerulean City, who saw it fit to dump off their criminals near Pallet City. Not only that, but Kanto was being blamed by the Johto and Hoenn regions for blocking out the sun. If it weren't for the fact that it would be utterly pointless, Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn would've long been in a cold, bloody war.

Five years ago the skies had suddenly darkened for no apparent reason, and since then the sun hadn't been seen since. They had called this disastrous event "Night", and approximately ninety percent of the world had been enveloped in darkness, the remaining ten only touching a part of the vast ocean, where only minuscule islands were nestled. The world had to rely on pseudo-solar energy in order to grow produce, which was hard considering how much crime had raised during the aftermath of "Night".

The young man continued his walk, past the park and right into downtown, eventually coming upon his place of work: Silph Corporation, which had promised to help lead mankind into a bright, wonderful future, free of crime and pollution, although no one outside of the company knew how exactly they would go about doing such a thing.

He walked through the revolving doors, casually greeting both the two security cards and secretary with a smile, before hurrying towards the elevator.

Today's the big day…Sam thought with a mix of anxiety and exhilaration, as the elevator started its descent, to the underground lab that housed the true purpose for the founding of Silph Co., instead of the small offices and facilities which decorated the higher levels of the building.

His nervousness was replaced by a smug smile as soon as the elevator doors opened, which had revealed a woman whom he had gotten to know quite well over the course of five years. She had distinct violet hair that cascaded down to her shoulders, and her face was always bright and full of life. Ivy was her name, and needless to say she was quite the looker at the age of only twenty-three; despite her young age, however, he knew quite well that she was as intelligent, if not more so, then many of the other, significantly older researchers working on the project.

"Hello, Oak." she greeted him nonchalantly, her expression unreadable, "What's the password?"

"Beginning." he replied monotonously, knowing full well that she was just playing around with him. He wouldn't let her have all the fun.

It surely must've been the correct answer, since her blank expression had turned to that of a faint smile, as they both proceeded, hand-in-hand, towards the door that lay ahead of them, where their future, as well as the future of the world, was currently being held…

-

She tried to cover her ears with her pillow, but the sound somehow was becoming louder and louder…

How could anyone stand this? How does he manage to sleep with all that noise? ­she thought to herself, clenching her eyes shut in a desperate attempt to go back to sleep; it was way too early in the morning, and she needed her sleep after all that late night training that she and her boyfriend had done.

I can't take it anymore! she declared, as she started banging her fist on the wood above her, regretting the fact that she had actually suggested that she sleep on the bottom bunk of Ash's bed.

"What…what is it…?" mumbled a disoriented voice above her, "It's only 5 o'clock…it's too early to wake up, May…just give me five more minutes…"

Despite the fact that she thought her boyfriend's whining was cute, she needed sleep, and the only way for her to sleep was for him to be wide awake.

"I need sleep, Ash…your snoring is keeping me up…" she whispered irritably, not wanting to yell for fear of waking up Brock, who was sleeping in the guest room next door.

She saw his head poke out from above, a lopsided grin plastered on his face. "Sorry May, I was just having the greatest dream about you, and let me tell you, you were doing some pretty k-"

May smiled sweetly at him, before chucking another pillow into his face, causing him to fall off the top bunk in a heap of blankets and sheets (as well waking up an irate Pikachu in the process).

"You pervert..." she giggled, smiling innocently as Ash glared at her from under a pillow, before receiving a nasty Thundershock from his mouse-like pokémon.

-

The sun was shining (well, it felt like it), the Pidgey were singing (actually, they were still sleeping), and everything was right in the world (if you didn't count the abundance of carrots in the world, Team Rocket, and creepy bug pokémon)…at least for Misty Waterflower, the runt of the Waterflower sisters and the current Cerulean Gym Leader, much to her dismay.

"I can't wait to see Ash…it's been over a year since I've seen him and Brock…" she whispered happily, riding her bike in the direction of Pallet Town, with Togetic sitting in the basket mounted on the steering handles. Misty made sure that on her way to Pallet Town she was going to thank the Viridian Joy for fixing up her bike, since her best friend never really had the chance to save up money to buy her a new one.

"Toge-Togetic!" the misshaped egg squealed, as it waved its arms around in anticipation, having not seen Pikachu in a long time either.

She smiled down at her "happiness" pokémon, which she had raised from birth over two years ago. After Togepi had evolved into Togetic, the red-haired girl sometimes wondered how Pikachu would react to its 'nephew' suddenly towering over the electric-mouse.

"Sur-skit! Sur-skit!" squealed another pokémon, which was situated on the girl's well-worn league hat, which she had received from Ash's mother, who had given him new clothes to wear when he went to Hoenn; Delia apparently thought that Misty would appreciate having a piece of Ash to have, since she wouldn't be able to see him for at least a year.

"I know Surskit," she answered cheerfully, as she rode into Viridian City, "I didn't forget the plan. It's going to be great to see the look on his face when he sees us, but it'll be even better when you soak him wet with your Hydro Pump!"

"Surskit!" chirped the bug-water pokémon, which had been a birthday/Christmas "gift" from Ash to Misty. At first she had been revolted by it, since she had an intense hatred for all bug types, but she quickly warmed up to it, since it was part water, her favorite element (not to mention cute, but she would never tell Ash that).

The other reason she kept it was that it symbolized that Ash hadn't forgotten about her birthday (December 14th to be precise), but more importantly, it meant that he hadn't forgotten about her. All of those reasons were why Surskit always seemed to occupy space (along with Ash's old hat) on Misty's red-haired head.

Her eyes lit up, and she could almost feel rays of sunshine pouring down on her, despite the fact that it was only 5:30 am.

Today is going to be the best day ever! I never thought I'd be saying this, but I can't wait to see you, Ash Ketchum! she thought to herself, as she rode as fast as she could, hoping to get to Pallet Town before sunrise…

-

Gary Oak, grandson of the famous Professor Oak, allowed himself a small smile as he drank some coffee from his favorite mug. It had been over a year since he had decided to retire from journeying and instead, follow in the footsteps of his grandfather.

It hadn't been an easy transition at first, since he had been so used to traveling alone. He was used to training his well-loved pokémon in anticipation for his next big battle, or perhaps discovering another pokémon that he had never seen with his own eyes before.

Presently his daily routine consisted of watching his pokémon roam freely on the grounds of his grandfather's lab; and instead of finding rare pokémon, he (with help from his newfound friend Tracey) was learning about them in books.

He was a hands-on person, not the type that would sit down all day and…read. However, his grandfather had said that the first steps to becoming a real pokémon researcher was to learn as much as you can, before you go off to do field research. Despite the fact that Gary had been doing plenty of research on his journey, he wanted to make his grandfather proud, and show that he had grown up considerably.

"I wonder what dusty book I'll have to read today…the book from yesterday didn't even have any words in it, just a bunch of old sketches made by gramps years ago…" he mused, as he took another sip from his mug.

While he watched various pokémon beginning to wake up (which included Ash's unusually large herd of Tauros) through a kitchen window, a sudden, unrelated thought flashed in his head.

I wonder…if she found what she was looking for. I wasn't able to find her…but still…wherever she is now…I hope she's found happiness.

He sighed wistfully as he dumped what remained of his coffee into the sink, and then proceeded to go upstairs to wake Tracey, since they were supposed to get some updates from Ash's Bulbasaur on how things were going on in the ranch.

-

"Caterpie?" "Daddy?" chirped the small bug pokémon, as it crawled over to its father, who was perched on a branch, its large, compound eyes gazing towards the sea. Her father would often do this whenever her mom was away collecting honey, although she never knew why he did.

"Butterfree, Butter-Free? Free Butterfree?" "Hello, my adorable little Caterpie. What would you be doing up here?" he asked, urging her to come closer.

"Cater-caterpie?" "Why do you look sad, daddy? Are you watching something sad?" she asked tentatively, noticing how her usually happy-go-lucky dad looked more reserved today.

The large Butterfree held his youngest daughter in his (relatively short) arms, allowing her to view the expansive, lush green forest before them.

"Butterfree, Free Butterfree." "I'm just thinking about my trainer, that's all. I have this feeling that trouble is in his future, although I'm not exactly sure why I feel this..."

"Caterpie, cater?" "You mean that Ash, that great trainer who trained you so well that you have the record for a Caterpie-Metapod-Butterfree evolution?"

The large bug pokémon laughed a little, wondering when he had said the word "great". If he remembered correctly, Ash had sent him to have his first battle against a Pidgeotto, even though he clearly was a bug pokémon. Then there was the time when he was a Metapod, and he had to face off against another Metapod…which was pretty funny, if it weren't for the fact that entirety of the match was based on who could use Harden the best.

"Butterfree-free-free-butter." "Yes, that Ash. I was only with him for a short time, but I was his first captured pokémon, so I guess that means I have a special bond with him, kind of like his bond with Pikachu. Over the years I've sensed times when he was in grave trouble, like-"

"Caterpie! Caterpie?" "You mean when the world almost ended, because of the Legendary Birds?" she cut in, remembering the incident, despite the fact that she was only a week old when it happened. It had been the most frightening experience in her life up to this point, especially since her father and mother almost left to help, just in case Ash hadn't been able to save the day.

Butterfree nodded slowly, he too remembering the event. Many pokémon had felt the disturbance when the balance had been broken, and many of them had rushed to the scene, in case they were needed. He and his wife almost went, but were stopped by the fact that they had to watch over their two sons and recently born daughter.

"Caterpie Caterpie…?" "Do you think that Ash will save the day again, in case more trouble comes along? Just like how he always beats Team Rocket?"

Butterfree held his daughter close, unsure of what to say, since he had no idea this time. He could only hope that things would turn out okay in the end…

"Butterfree Butterfree..." "Yes…I'm sure he'll save the day once again, so don't you worry…nothing bad is going to happen. Things will be the same as they've always been…just like how you and I always watch the sunrise…"

Caterpie chirped happily as her father held her closer, both of them feeling relieved as they saw rays of sunshine peek through the mountains…

To be continued