SHADOW OF THE IMPALER-PROLOGUE

SHADOW OF THE IMPALER-PROLOGUE

By Red Star

NOTE: I do not own Pokemon and I thank Dragoness for allowing me to mess with her story a bit.

In my mind, I do not owe any sort of explanation to the masses of Breathers that are legion on this world. My motivations I will keep between myself and my God. So the question of why I intervened in the matter concerning Ash Ketchum and that scheming tramp Anya Polosev shall go unanswered…for now, should I wish it. But now, let me tell you of the odd events that fell upon the Ketchum family…

Consider Pallet Town, a rather small burg that lies in a valley of the Indigo Region. In the 19th Century, a young artist stumbled upon this magnificent valley and was immediately enchanted by it. All the colors he saw matched those upon his paint pallet, and he gave it's name to his discovery. He moved his family in and soon, poets, artists, philosophers, writers, and other people of the creative sort descended upon this beautiful land, seeking rest and inspiration. Because of the area's isolation and the free spirits of those who called it home, the denizens of this town have developed a happy collective personality. They attach themselves personally to hobbies and sometimes become completely absorbed in it. An example would be the dear Delia Ketchum and her blue ribbon winning garden, or young Ash Ketchum and his champion team of Pokemon. They also gain an inherent sense of humor; although to make it an excellent joke takes practice for these people. As often occurs in small towns like this, everybody knows each other and they will ally themselves with their choice of hero, as evidenced by the greeting given to young Ash when he emerged from Professor Oak's laboratory.

Consider the Pallet Breakfast & Bed Inn, a charming establishment about three stories tall, and a full staff of maids and bellhops. This lovely Victorian inn had an unusual guest a few months after Ash Ketchum returned to his home…

"I have a reservation," said the somewhat shadowy man who stood before the clerk at the front desk. The clerk looked up with an automatic smile that he had to struggle to keep on as he made eye contact with the man before him. The stranger's eyes were deep blue, and had an unusual aura about him. The man's face was long and pale, rather handsome, and had a beaky nose. In his black-gloved right hand he held a long black walking stick with a golden carved snarling wolf's head on top and a gold tip. The man wore a long black coat and carried a briefcase in his left hand. Behind him was a black leather trunk. "Yes sir, your name?" The fellow looked down at the plastic waving Squirtle that sat on the clerk's desk. "Jonathan Graves." The clerk typed the name in and said, "Yes sir, we have it right here. Room 312. You're pretty lucky." The man's eyes glanced back up at the clerk. "And why is that?" "Your room has a great view!" Graves looked at him with a somewhat bored expression before giving a small, quick smile and turning to his trunk. "Oh, we'll get that sir!!" The clerk rang his bell and a bellhop appeared. "Brian, bring Mr. Graves' trunk to room 312, please."

The bellhop chattered away with the silent visitor who sometimes mumbled a word or two in reply but otherwise limited his part of the conversation to nods. The room was comfortable. A complimentary bowl of fruit sat at a table beside the window that looked out over a vast grassy area. Graves approached the glass and looked out at it. The bellhop was about to finish taking the trunk off of his hand truck when the visitor spoke.

"Tell me," said the man. Brian approached Graves from behind, waiting for the question.

The walking stick went up and pointed out at the magnificent landscape. "Who owns that land?" "Oh, that's Professor Oak's Pokemon Ranch. There's a trail that goes through it if you care to walk around it, sir." Graves was just silent as he regarded the land. "I see. Is he not the friend of Ash Ketchum?" "Yes sir. He's like the grandfather Ash never had. I'd say father but…" "But what?" "Mr. Ketchum showed up a few months ago. They bought a huge plot and set up a Pokemon Gym." Graves nodded. "Thank you, Brian," The guest drew a few dollars from his coat and handed them to the bellhop. Brian thanked him and was about to leave when…"And Brian?" The bellhop turned around. "Inform the manager that I wish to be left in peace. When a sign is on the doorknob, I expect it's rule to be enforced. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mr. Graves."

Graves waited until the bellhop's footsteps had vanished down the hall to start removing his coat and gloves. As soon as the black gloves were off, he flexed his thin, pale hands as the fingernails grew longer and sharper. He sat in a chair facing the Oak ranch and placed his fingers together. He could see the movement of a fleet of Tauros on the pasture. "Your record is impressive, Little Ash," Graves muttered to himself, "But this is my world you are walking into." He could see a large mansion at the end of the ranch. Only one light remained burning.

"God preserve us both, young friend," he whispered.