I don't own Pokemon although I wouldn't mind owning a mew . . .

Chapter 1: Background

A now nineteen year old Ash Ketchum sighed as he gazed into the open waters around the cruise ship he was on. The destination: Hoenn, Littleroot town to be exact. He was now the greatest Pokemon Master ever, after going back and winning every tournament he'd ever lost in, receiving a Master Badge from each and every one of them; something no body had ever done before. Ash had made one fatal flaw not long after he was named the best pokemon master ever. The old leader of the Pokemon League had told Ash that he was considering resigning, saying he had too much gray hair for a job like that. Ash had immediately accepted, thinking it would be great. Bad move. Ash now knew why that man had as much gray hair as he did; it was hard to get a moment of piece with the job. Ash almost felt as though he'd been tricked, but there were always the fun parts, like the fact that trainers now had to get through him to get a Master Badge. At least Gary and he had given up their little rivalry after Ash had been named the best. He'd even admitted, however grudgingly, that he'd have no chance against Ash in a battle now.

This time, Ash was going back to Hoenn with his best pokemon, not just pikachu. He was here for some serious training after finding out that there would be a month before anything important concerning him would happen. He now had some time to get away from things and maybe even be lucky enough to meet some old friends, namely May. He'd met her six years ago when he'd had a little 'Pika-problem'. It was also the day he'd met Prof. Birch (That would make Ash thirteen and May ten when they'd met).

He had never seen Misty since he'd left for Hoenn. Ironically though, he missed May more, even though it had been longer since he'd last seen Misty. He didn't know why, but he felt as though if he had a decision between the two, May would be the one he'd choose. The question now was why? Was it a brotherly affection for the younger girl, or was it something more?

He decided to put those thoughts aside as he continued staring at the open seas. 'It doesn't matter. The odds that I happen to find May while wandering mindlessly through the woods are pretty small.'

Too bad it was something much like the LOTTO. The odds are extremely small of winning, but someone has to win.

Two hours later, Ash disembarked the ship with pikachu at his side, heading toward Prof. Birch's lab in Littleroot town. From there on, he would try to find a rather secluded town where he could train his pokemon to be even more powerful. The challengers were getting tougher and tougher, especially Team Rocket. Jesse and James, as they couldn't wait to tell him, before another of their incredibly weak battles, that they had been promoted to executives due to the fact that they had known Ash since he began and their boss could pick out the important information about him from the rest of their meaningless babble. Luckily, Hoenn was one of the best places to train since most trainers circulated around Kanto and Johto. Even the Orange Islands would be nice for training if there wasn't so much water to travel over. It was too slow!

Ash began his walk up to the lab where he was supposed to pick up a special pokemon navigator, or pokenav. Whatever it was, it sounded cool so it probably would prove useful. He had seen a pokenav before, namely from Max (I think I got that right. It's in the ADVANCE series on TV), May's brother, but this was a special pokenav so, it was probably upgraded with things he couldn't even imagine.

Along with becoming leader of the Pokemon League, he also got many different types of gizmo's and gadgetry. They included things such as an updated pokedex with the records on all trainers and their current positions according to visits to pokemon centers and anything else that might require the use of a pokemon register system, it didn't tell the exact location but most trainers visited pokemon centers enough that you could get a good idea where they were at a given time, a pokegear (Gold and Silver), a portable pokeball transporting unit, and a special laptop with wireless abilities that could access the Pokemon League's database on nearly everything he could think of. Ash had, basically, everything on everyone and anything, all in the backpack on his back. However, he rarely used the database, complaining that it took the fun out of a battle, especially if you knew a trainer's fighting patterns and their Pokemon's attacks.

Within minutes, he was back at Professor Birch's pokemon lab. He still couldn't get over how different this place was from professor Oak's. Oh well, who was he to compare a scientist's lab?

"Hello, Ash! Good to see you again!" Professor Birch said from the door of his lab.

"Good to see you to. I'm here to pick up the pokenav." Ash told him.

"I see. One minute please, oh, feel free to come in." Professor Birch told him before disappearing into the lab.

Ash quickly closed the door as he could hear the word bustling about that Ash Ketchum was in town. 'Can't a guy get a moment of peace?!' Ash thought angrily as he sat down in one of the chairs by the door before someone spotted him and he'd be trapped in the lab for what could be weeks, which he didn't have, he only had a month.

A few moments later, professor Birch came back out carrying a black box about the size of a hand. He walked up to Ash and opened the box, revealing a silver and black pokenav. "Here you go, Ash! As like most of the other things I hear you've got, this pokenav is an updated version of the old one. However, since there haven't been any new developments in technology beyond hologram screens, the only upgrades this one has that other ones don't are body color and an expansion card slot that can be used to add on to it if anything new is made. It can also hook up to your computer to download information, past that, nothing is new."

"Sound's good!" Ash said eagerly as he took the pokenav. "Erm, professor, how do you turn it on?"

Birch sweat dropped as he showed Ash a small switch on the side of it. "And here's the instruction Manuel, I suggest you read it so nothing happens, Ash."

Ash looked into the box and saw, indeed, that there was a small booklet. 'Joy. More instruction books. I'm a Pokemon Master, not a computer nerd.'

An hour later, spent mostly talking about Kanto, Johto and other places while debating over which one was toughest to beat, Ash exited the lab and quickly made his way into the forest so as not to be noticed. He should probably stop by May's house to see if she's there. . . too bad that would mean seeing her again and that was something he'd rather avoid. He tended to feel, awkward, around her. He'd become quite witty with his experiences with annoying interviewers, but he felt as though he was cornered when talking to her. It was embarrassing. . .

Ash opted against it, using the excuse that it would mean going back into the town and being seen more. His conscience seemed satisfied for the moment, but made the silent promise that in no way was the mental 'argument' over.

With his conscience cleared, Ash and Pikachu began their walk through the forest toward Oldale Town. His first stop would be at the Pokemon center where he'd sleep for the night, then it was on with his little 'quest'.

Ash walked through the forest, most pokemon seemed to be able to sense him and steered clear of him, while some of the most daring came out and faced him. Each he tried to run away from as many as possible and those he couldn't, he fainted with one hit.

His current Line-up consisted of: Pikachu, Blaziken, Espeon, Pidgeot (it returned to Ash after he'd returned to Pallet town), Lantern, and Charizard. It could handle just about anything, and took him a while to create, especially Espeon, since it was a natural evolution, not a stone- based one. In addition to this incredible line up, he also had 221 different types still at Oak's lab.

Ash took out his Pokegear and turned on the radio, tuning it into professor Oak's usual talk-show. It seemed pretty useless considering what he had in his backpack, but it was still entertaining. After that, he'd just listen to some music until he got to Oldale town. It was then that he noticed an odd wiggling on his shoulder. Pikachu was actually dancing to the tune of the commercials during break in the talk-show! That was a rare moment to put it lightly!

Ash had purposely taken the long way to the city using the Hoenn map in the pokenav, that is, after he'd found out what buttons did what. He wanted to get as much exercise as possible and he was running ahead schedule, so he did the natural thing anybody would do, he sat down to take a nap. 'It's funny how fast I can get around now. Last time I walked that path, May had been complaining nearly the entire way about how fast I was walking. I'm actually beginning to miss the whining. Misty would probably hit me on the head with a mallet or something. . .'

Ash started thinking of his current 'profession'. Gary was now officially his assistant in almost all matters. It was Gary that did Ash's scheduling since Ash was usually too tired or busy to do it. He'd proven to be a very valuable ally to the young master. It also helped since Gary got paid enough to practically buy out the entire Orange archipelago! 'A bit of bribery never hurt anyone.' Ash thought, remembering all the zeros in the number he'd offered Gary.

His mind now back on thoughts of May and catching more Pokemon, Ash fell asleep.

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AN: Okay, that's my first chapter. Sorry but I'm not a big Misty/Ash fan. The only problem with Misty is that she's a bit too annoying and bossy. If you don't like it, tough! Nothing against Misty/Ash fics, of course.

-Ligar Zero X

PS: Sorry if it's a bit 'jumpy' from one point to another, but I wanted to get a lot of facts covered in very little space. Namely, like the title says, it's a background of what has happened. If things go well, the next chapter should be out soon.