There I sat. Waiting in the living room of Professor Oak's house. My Sandshrew put its hand on my shoulder. I nervously patted it on the head. We had finally decided to apply for a Pokémon license. We were tired of worrying  about being arrested for not having one. Now we were waiting for Professor Oak to come out of his lab and interview us.

            By the way, my name's Cap. This is the first chapter in my Pokémon Chronicles. I call it:

The Saga Begins

(cliche I know, but I couldn't think of anything else)

            The door to the lab opened and Professor Oak walked out. He had a cup of hot tea in one hand. He sat down in the couch across from the boy and the Sandshrew. "Let's see here," the Professor said, "I'm sorry, what was your name again?"

            "Cap," the boy answered.

            "Nice to meet you, Cap," Professor Oak said.

            "Likewise," Cap said, a slight tremor in his voice.

            "Relax, Cap," the Professor said. "I won't bite."

            "I will,"said Cap's Sandshrew, in a variation of its own name. Cap gave it a small slap to the back of the head.

            Professor Oak looked at them oddly for a second and shook his head like he was trying to wake up. He took a sip of his tea. "You're here to apply for a Pokémon license?"

            "Yeah," Cap said. "I've been kinda battling without one."

            "I'm afraid that's against the law," Professor Oak said. "Why did you wait until now to sign up to be a trainer?"

            "Because I never wanted to be one," Cap answered. "It's just whenever people see me with Sandshrew, they assume I'm a trainer and challenge me. I'd turn them down, but you're not allowed to do that. It's 'rude.' "

            "Why can't you battle with Sandshrew?" Professor Oak asked.

            Sandshrew was about to say something, but Cap quickly held its mouth shut. "I've had Sandshrew since I was three," Cap replied, "but as a pet. It must be at level zero. It always loses."

            Professor Oak raised an eyebrow. "Cap?"

            "Yeah?"

            "Can you understand Sandshrew?"

            "Of course. Can't you?"

            Professor Oak blinked. "No, I can't."

            "Oh, sorry," Cap said. "I've had Sandshrew for such a long time that I understand it perfectly. I don't even hear it say its name. I guess I tend to forget it doesn't speak English."

            Sandshrew finally managed to break free of Cap's grip. "While you sleep," it muttered.

            "What did it say?" Professor Oak asked.

            "It just threatened to kill me," Cap replied calmly. "So, can I have a license?"

            Just then, a Krabby walked into the room sideways, carrying a ringing phone. "Kii! Kiiii!" it said.

            "Thank you Krabby," Professor Oak said. "Excuse me a minute, Cap." He took the phone and put it on the table. Then he answered it. The image of a boy and a Pikachu appeared on the screen. The boy had black hair and an Official Pokémon Expo hat on his head.

            "Hey, Professor!" the kid said.

            "Pika!" said the little Pikachu.

            "Hello, Ash!" Professor Oak replied. "And hello Pikachu!"

            "Guess what!" Ash said. "I won my eighth badge!" Ash opened his coat and showed Professor Oak the eight badges clipped to it.

            "Congratulations, Ash!"

            The Krabby climbed in front of the phone's screen and made some happy sounds.

            "Hey, Krabby! Guess what else. We're on our way home! We should be there..." Ash drifted off when he noticed Cap and Sandshrew. "Hey! It's you!"

            "You've met Cap?" Professor Oak asked.

            "Yeah! His Sandshrew beat my Pidgeotto!"

            "Yeah," Sandshrew said. "And I'll do it again! You wanna piece of me?" Sandshrew started to head for the phone, but Cap held it back.

            "Cut that out!" Cap said. Sandshrew muttered something under its breath and sat down.

            Professor Oak looked at Cap and said "I thought you said Sandshrew always lost."

            "It won that one battle," Cap said. "And now it's gotta a big head."

            "Can't you humans take a joke?" Sandshrew asked.

            "Listen Ash," Professor Oak said, "I have to go. I'll see you when you get back to Pallet. Congratulations again."

            "Ok," Ash said. "Bye Professor! Bye Krabby!" With that, the screen went blank. Krabby got off the table and took the phone with it when it left the room.

            "Can I have a license?" Cap repeated once Krabby was gone.

            Professor scratched his head and took another sip of his tea. Finally he said "I don't see why not. We can do that now if you want."

            "That's what I'm here for," Cap replied.

            "Alright," Professor Oak said. "I'll be right back." With that, he got up and left the room. He came back five minutes later with a pen and some forms. He sat back down and started to fill out the forms. "What's your last name, Cap?"

            "I don't think I have one."

            Professor Oak looked up at Cap for a second, then continued to fill out the forms. "How old are you?"

            "12."

            "When's your birthday?"

            "Today."

            "Happy birthday. What are your parents' names?"

            "I'm an orphan."

            "Where do you live?"

            "I'm a drifter."

            "Favorite Pokémon?"

            "Sandshrew!" Sandshrew exclaimed before Cap could say anything. That's exactly what everyone heard.

            Cap laughed. "What it said," Cap said when he was done laughing.

            Professor Oak chuckled. "Do you have any other career plans?"

            Cap thought for a minute. "Well," he said finally, "I always wanted to be a Pokémon breeder. Just like....Grandad." Cap took a deep breath.

            "Cap?" Professor Oak said. "Is something wrong?"

            "Pretty much my whole life," Cap muttered in reply. He wiped a tear from his eye, hoping Professor Oak didn't see it.

            He did. "Do you want to talk about it?" the professor asked kindly.

            "Sure," Cap said. "I guess I gotta talk to someone eventually. Just wait a minute." He pulled out a pokéball. Sandshrew got into the pokéball. Cap shrunk the pokéball and put it under the chair cushion. "It doesn't like to remember it any more than I do." He then took a deep breath and told his story:

            I never knew either of my parents. I was raised by my grandfather. He told me that Mom was always sick and she died when I was only a few months old. He never once mentioned Dad. Grandad himself was a great man. He was a Pokémon breeder, so taking care of me and all the creatures on the farm couldn't have been easy. But he did his best. I think he did a pretty good job.

            When I was three, Grandad gave me Sandshrew, the pick of its liter, he said. He'd always tell me the story of how I rolled the pokéball around like a regular ball because I didn't know what it was. After a hour, Sandshrew popped out of the ball, holding its head and walking around dizzily. It scared me half to death. We refused to go near each other for weeks. Grandad had to lock us in my room to get us to finally get within ten feet of each other. When he checked on us, we were both sleeping in the corner, Sandshrew curled up on my back like a cat.

            Life was good. Grandad always made enough money. We never had any problems with the law or anything like that. Things couldn't be more perfect. Until my eleventh birthday.

            I got off the bus from school and let Sandshrew out of its pokéball. We ran home as fast as we could. I couldn't wait to get home and open my present. Grandad promised me something really special. When we got to the farm, we were shocked. It was...it was destroyed. The barns and the house were in ashes. All the Pokémon were either gone, dead or dying.

            I ran into the house calling Grandad, tears running down from my eyes. I found him on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. I ran over to him and kneeled at his side. I kept saying that it was going to be okay. That I'd get help. Sandshrew was crying the same things.

            Grandad just looked at me. He managed to reach the package that was on the floor a few inches from him. He weakly handed it to me a gestured for me to open it. It was the jeans jacket I'm wearing now. I saw it in town a few days before. I wanted it so bad, but Grandad told me we couldn't afford it. I started to cry. Grandad looked at me and said "Happy birthday, son." Then he closed his eyes and died. Right in front of me. I just laid down on top of him and cried. I fell asleep like that.

            When I woke up the next morning, I noticed the symbol that was burned into what was     left of the wall. It was a dragon in flight. I stared at it for a few minutes. Then I took my present and put it on. I shook Sandshrew awake and gestured him to follow me. I took whatever supplies I could find and we left. We've been drifting ever since.

            Cap sighed as he finished. "And it's my birthday, so it really hurts today," he muttered sadly. He wiped tears from his eyes. "Thanks for listening."

            Professor Oak wiped away his own tears. "That's the saddest story I've ever heard," he said. He then picked up the forms and got up. "Follow me, and I'll get you your license," he said, trying to change the subject.. Cap got out of the chair, dug out the pokéball and let Sandshrew out. They followed professor into the main lab. Professor Oak was typing something into his computer. He took something out of it of one of the drives. "Here you are," he said. "Your pokédex and pokéballs." He handed Cap six red and white balls the size of marbles and a small, red, hand-held computer. "That pokédex is the most updated one yet. It even has an entry on that creature that was on the  rampage a few months ago."

            Cap took the items. He but the pokédex in a pocket on the inside of his jacket. He put the empty pokéballs in a pocket on the outside. "Thanks," he said. "So, I'm all set?"

            "Yes," Professor Oak replied. "The pokédex also acts as your license. Would you like one of the three starter Pokémon?"

            "No thanks," Cap replied. "Charmander would be impossible for a beginner like me to handle. Squirtle may also be hard to control and Sandshrew is hydrophobic. Bulbasaur, well, I guess there's nothing wrong with Bulbasaur, but still, no thanks."

            "Where'd you hear all that?"Professor Oak asked.

            "Grandad was a breeder, so I learned quite a bit about Pokémon. Go ahead. Ask me a question."

            "Alright," Professor Oak said. He scratched his head. "What's the fastest land Pokémon?"

            "Rapidash."

            "What are the three Eevee evolutions?"

            "Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. There's also rumors of a Leafeon and Eeveeon."

            "Right," Professor Oak said. "And those rumors may be true. We just haven't found an Eevee to test the stones on."

            "Cool," Cap said. "Well good luck and thanks for everything. I'll call you sometime to let you know how me and Sandshrew are doing. Bye!" Cap started to leave.

            "Cap, wait," Professor Oak said. "Do you have money for supplies?"

            "Well, no, but..."

            "Here," Professor Oak said he handed Cap a roll of money. "Take this. Buy some supplies. There should be enough to last you a while. If you spend it wisely. Consider it a birthday present."

            "Thanks," Cap said, putting the money into his jeans pocket. He went into the living room with Sandshrew at his side. He was about to leave the house, when the Professor Oak called him again.

            "Is this yours?" the good doctor asked, holding up an old notebook.

            "Oh, hell yeah!" Cap said he ran over and took the notebook. "Can't believe I almost forgot this!"

            "What's in it? If you don't mind me asking."

            "I like to write sometimes. Stories and poems and stuff. Drifting can be pretty boring, so I managed to hunt down enough change to buy a notebook and a pen. That way I could write down all the ideas running lose in my head. I think they're pretty good, but no one else has ever read them." He looked at Professor Oak and smiled. "Could you take a look?"

            "Of course," he said. He took the notebook, sat down in the chair and started to read. Cap watched him like a hawk. After Professor Oak finished the first story, he looked up at Cap. "I don't have time to read the whole thing, but the first one is very nice."

            "Thanks a lot," Cap said, a huge grin on his face. He took the notebook back from Professor Oak.

            "You know, Cap," Professor Oak said. "There are a lot of books out there about the journeys of Pokémon trainers, but I don't think any of them are autobiographies. You should consider writing a book about your adventures as a trainer."

            "You think I'm good enough?"

            "Yes, but I don't know what the publishers will think. You should at least try."

            "I will. Thanks a lot Professor." Cap signaled to Sandshrew and finally made it out the door.

            Cap ran into the store excitedly. Sandshrew rushed to keep up. "What's with you?" it called after him.

            "We got money!" Cap exclaimed. "We can actually buy stuff!" He grabbed a basket and started to put supplies and items in it.

            "Oh, yeah," Sandshrew said. It then started to dart around the store, putting very expensive items in the basket.

            Cap grabbed Sandshrew by the neck as it darted by. "We have money," he said flatly, "but we're not millionaires."

            "Party-pooper," Sandshrew muttered. Cap dropped it.

            When they we're done shopping, Cap brought all the items to the register. Among them were potions, Pokémon and human food, Pokémon treats, a map, a compass, a backpack, a composition notebook and a fancy pen. The clerk, a young woman in her early twenties with short black hair, rung up the price. "Anything else?"

            "No thank...." Cap started to say, but drifted off when he saw it. It was in a display behind the clerk. It was a hat. An orange baseball hat. On the front of it was a pokéball with a Pokémon Expo symbol on top of the ball. "I'll take that hat," he said.

            "Here you are," the clerk said, handing Cap the hat. She told him the price and Cap gave her the roll of money from Professor Oak. She handed him about half of it back plus lots of coins and smaller bills in change.

            Cap put the hat on. "How do I look?" he asked Sandshrew.

            "Like you're trying to imitate that Ash kid," it replied.

            "Aw, who asked you?"

            "You did!"

            "Oh, yeah?" Cap pulled out Sandshrew's pokéball. "Sandshrew, return!" he said.

            "Uh-oh," Sandshrew said. It tried to run, but the red beam fired and pulled it into the pokéball. The pokéball shook a few times in protest, but soon became still. Cap smiled smugly and clasped the pokéball to his belt.

            "I think you look fine," the clerk said.

            "Thanks..." Cap said as he looked at her name tag, "...Janet. Thank you, Janet."

            "You're welcome. Have a nice day."

            Cap waved as he went outside. When he was outside, he opened the pokéball and let Sandshrew out. Sandshrew emerged, scowling at Cap. "I hate you," it said.

            "Yeah, well," Cap said, "visualize the eyeball."

            "Visualize my claws in your throat," Sandshrew retorted. They then laughed. Cap put all his newly purchased items into his newly purchased backpack and put it on. He and Sandshrew then started in the direction of Viridian City.

            Soon, they entered Viridian Forest. They came upon a small bird sleeping on a tree stump. It was white with a yellow beak. It was about the size of a Pidgey. "What is it?" Cap asked Sandshrew.

            The ground mouse shrugged. "Why don't you use that pokédex thing?" it suggested.

            "Oh, yeah," Cap said. He took out the pokédex and pointed it at the small bird.

            "Harmony," it beeped, "the dove Pokémon. It has no known attacks and is the only Pokémon discovered that can evolve at will."

            Cap looked back at the Harmony. It was breathing heavily. "It looks sick," he said. "I'll catch it and take it to a Pokémon center." He took out a pokéball and dropped it on top of Harmony.

            Before the pokéball could touch it, Harmony woke up. It bolted to its feet and deflected the ball back at Cap with its wing. It started to chirp angrily.

            "What's it saying?" Cap asked Sandshrew.

            "Basically," Sandshrew said, "it's saying 'Stupid human! Why'd you wake me up? Now I have to evolve and kill you!' "

            "That's it? Sounds like it's saying a lot more."

            "Well, I had to clean it up. A lot."

            Just then, Harmony started to glow.

            "Huh?" Cap said. He looked at his pokédex.

            "Harmony like to be left alone," it informed him. "Any disturbance of its peace will result in it evolving and brutally attacking the person or Pokémon who disturbed it."

            "Uh-oh," Cap and Sandshrew said in unison.

            Harmony stopped glowing. It was now the size of a Pidgeotto. It had blood red eyes and a very sharp beak and talons. Its feathers were many different colors. Its face was white with a black outline around it. Its body feathers were mostly blue except for the tips of its wings, which were blood red. It gave an ear-shattering shriek and flew into the air.

            "What the heck is that?!" Cap cried.

            "War Jay," the pokédex answered, "the raptor Pokémon. It will stalk the person or Pokémon who disturbed it until it has had its revenge. Victims of War Jay have been often confined to wheel chairs."

            "Oh crap!" Cap shouted as War Jay dived at him. He barely managed to leap aside. "RUN AWAY!" he yelled. He then ran into the forest.

            "Don't need to tell me twice!" Sandshrew exclaimed running after Cap. War Jay flew after them, its wings cutting through tree branches in its way like they were paper.

            In the forest, Cap made a sharp turn and quickly climbed into a tree, Sandshrew right behind him. War Jay did not see them make the turn and kept flying straight. "What do we do?" Cap whispered.

            "I don't know," Sandshrew whispered back. It peered through the leaves to see if War Jay was coming.

            "Maybe we should battle it," Cap whispered.

            "Yeah," Sandshrew said in agreement, "but we don't have any Poké..." Sandshrew stood up straight, eyes wide. It turned around to face Cap. "Oh no," it whispered, waving its little hands in front of it. "No way. No how."

            "You got any better ideas?" Cap demanded.

            "Yeah," Sandshrew shot back. "We run back to that store and call the national guard!"

            "We'd never make it," Cap replied. "Come on, you beat that Pidgeotto."

            "Pidgeotto don't cripple people!" Sandshrew pointed out.

            Just then, they heard an angry screech. Cap and Sandshrew peaked through the branches. War Jay was heading right for them. Fast.

            "See ya!" Sandshrew exclaimed as it leaped out of the tree. Cap jumped down after it. They both landed safely and ran. War Jay didn't slow down in time and flew through the tree.

            Cap and Sandshrew continued to run. They soon came to a river, which ended with a very long waterfall. War Jay was still behind them and catching up.

            Then Cap tripped. "Agh!" he exclaimed as he landed hard on the ground.

            "CAP!" Sandshrew yelled, concerned. It turned around ran toward its owner. "You okay?" it asked, putting its hand on his shoulder.

            "Yeah," Cap replied weakly. "Just give me a second to get up..."

            Sandshrew looked at War Jay. It was getting dangerously close. "Cap," it said, "you don't have a second."

            "Then run."

            "WHAT?!"

            "That thing's after me. Get away while you can."

            Sandshrew stared into Cap's eyes. It saw concern and fear. "No," it stated simply.

            "What?" Cap asked.

            Sandshrew closed its eyes. "A year ago today," Sandshrew said, "I lost all my family and the kindest human I've ever met. I won't lose you. Not today." A tear ran down its face and fell to the ground. "Now," it said, opening its eyes, "I highly suggest you tell me what attack to use on that overgrown chicken."

            Cap stared at Sandshrew. Then he closed his eyes and whispered "Thank you."

            "No problem," Sandshrew replied, putting its hand on Cap's shoulder.

            Cap opened his eyes. He had a look of determination on his face. "Slash attack!" he exclaimed.

            Sandshrew nodded. When War Jay was one foot away from Cap, Sandshrew leaped at it and raked its little claws across War Jay's face. War Jay shrieked in more annoyance than pain. It shot back into the air. It lashed out one of its wings. A blade of white energy shot out from the wing and hit Sandshrew, cutting into its armored skin.

            Sandshrew was sent rolling. When it came to a stop, Sandshrew weakly climbed to its feet. "That all you got?!" it demanded bravely. War Jay responded by diving at the ground mouse, talons beared and ready to rip it in two. "Me and my big mouth," Sandshrew muttered.

            "Sandshrew!" Cap called, climbing to his feet. "Underground tackle!"

            Sandshrew gave a small smile and disappeared under the soil. War Jay screeched in panic as it tried to turn around. Too late. It crashed into the ground in mid-turn, shattering its left wing. It then rolled off the cliff.

            Sandshrew came out from under the ground and looked over the edge. "It can't fly!" it called.

            "Oh no!" Cap yelled. He ran over to the cliff and saw War Jay trying its hardest to get airborne. "Pokéball, go!" Cap exclaimed throwing one of his pokéballs after War Jay. It hit the raptor Pokémon. War Jay became energy and was sucked in. The pokéball closed and the light went out right away. The ball landed and bounced with only a few scratches.

            "We did it," Cap whispered. A huge grin spread across his face and he started to jump around. "WE DID IT!" he screamed. "WE CAUGHT WAR JAY! YAY!" He turned to Sandshrew. "Thank you, Sandshrew," he said. "Thank you."

            "Yeah, sure," Sandshrew gasped. "Happy birthday." Then it fainted.

            "Uh-oh," Cap said. He took out Sandshrew's pokéball and called it back. Then he went to find away down the cliff to retrieve War Jay.

            "Here you are," Nurse Joy said, handing Cap both of his pokéballs. "Your Pokémon are now fighting fit. We hope to see you again."

            "Thanks," Cap said. He took the pokéballs and walked outside the Pokémon center. He let Sandshrew out. "How you doing, buddy?" he asked when his best friend emerged.

            "Great!" Sandshrew replied. "You recovered from that fall?"

            "My arm's a little sore, but it'll be fine." Cap then took out his pokédex. "What does War Jay do when it's had its revenge?" he asked it.

            "After War Jay has had revenge, it goes back into the forest and lives in peace until disturbed again," it answered.

            "Cap?" Sandshrew asked. "What are you doing?"

            Cap didn't answer. He put his pokédex back in his pocket and looked at War Jay's pokéball. "Now listen," he said. "I know you can hear me. I'm going to release you."

            "WHAT?!" Sandshrew yelled. "Are you nuts?!"

            Cap ignored it. "If you try to kill me again, I'll call you back and have Sandshrew bury the pokéball really deep. I didn't mean to disturb you. I'm sorry. I also saved your life. You owe me, but I'm going to let you go." With that, he opened the pokéball.

            War Jay materialized in the air with a bright flash. It shrieked again and dived at Cap.

            "Ah!" Cap exclaimed. He held out the pokéball and was about to call to War Jay back, when the raptor landed gently on his arm. It gave a small, chirp-like screech. "Y-you wanna stay with me? Be my Pokémon?"

            War Jay nodded.

            Cap smiled. "Cool," he said. "Thanks." War Jay flew off his arm. Cap signaled for both his Pokémon to follow. "Let's head back to the forest," he said. He walked off into the sunset, Sandshrew walking at his side and War Jay flying above him.

To be continued...