Chapter 1: The Boy Who Did Not Like Pokemon
There once was a boy who lived in Palette Town who did not like Pokemon. The entire world as he knew it was centered around Pokemon, in his entire life he had never seen a store or book that wasn't focused entirely on Pokemon. No one ever talked about anything else, all activities in life had to be in some way related to Pokemon. Technology, art, and it seemed even humans existed solely for the purpose of interacting with Pokemon. To suggest that there was anything else in the world was not only unacceptable, it appeared to be false.
This boy was not vocal about his dislike of Pokemon. Although he had never been specifically told that not liking or caring about Pokemon was wrong, this was only because the thought never seemed to have crossed anyone's mind. He was sure that if he were to reveal his true feelings, he would be branded a social outcast. At the time, however, he had no idea just how deep the consequences of revealing his dislike were. Of course, at the start of our story, he didn't even have a name. With Pokemon being the center of everything, children were not given names until they were old enough to train them. The custom in Palette Town was to give children their first Pokemon, along with their name, on their 10th birthday. As our story begins, the boy who dislikes Pokemon is waking up on the morning of his 10th birthday.
"Please enter your name."
The boy opens his eyes and sees before him a sea of endless white with a black menu and text in front of him. The boy can choose from the names "Red", "Ash", "Mike", and "Ash" again. Much smaller and lower on the menu is a custom option. The boy picks it. The menu pauses, as if considering his choice, and then brings up a new menu with the letters of the alphabet on it. The boy enters his name:
At last having a name, Sato awakes. Despite his newfound individuality, he has been dreading this day. Today he must leave home and embark on a quest to become a Pokemon Master, whatever exactly that was. Being a vague title, Sato had never been told exactly how long it would take, but the fact that there were adults wandering Kanto, battling Pokemon, who didn't seem to be any better than the children who had just started, was not encouraging. Despite his school being little more than a propaganda course on the wonders of Pokemon, Sato still far preferred it to actually having to travel with one, doing nothing for years except collecting and battling.
But Sato had no choice, and so he got up and packed all his belongings into a deceptively large backpack, got dressed, and ate his last meal in his house. Sato had lived alone since he was 8, which may seem unusual, but considering that 10 year olds were sent on quests that prevented them from even having a home, let alone a guardian, living alone at 8 was not such a big deal. Sato took a last look at his house, and set off to see Professor Oak. Professor Oak was so absentminded and neglectful of most things that it had been rumored he had been unable to consistently remember the name of his grandson, who had lived with him. However, he was knowledgeable in the field of Pokemon, and was therefore greatly respected in his community.
Sato proceeded to Oak's house. Oak had been handing out Pokemon for quite a while, his grandson having left home decades ago. On the way to Oak's house, there was a patch of grass. The grass was only a couple feet tall, but Sato had seen Pokemon far bigger than any human inexplicably emerge out of it. Sato knew that he was never to touch the grass, it was the only way to remain safe. Sato walked along the path avoiding the grass, much to the annoyance of the particularly large Beedrill that was floating above the grass, careful not to cross over the line between it and the normal road. As Sato was walking along, he heard a loud siren getting closer. An ambulance was rushing down the road, clearly hurrying a poisoned Pokemon to the hospital, as shown by the bright periodic flashes that filled everything within a 100 foot radius every couple seconds. The ambulance was headed straight towards Sato, who knew all too well the priorities given to human and Pokemon.
Having no choice, Sato dived into the tall grass to avoid being run over by the ambulance. Sato was in serious trouble, out of nowhere a wild Weedle appeared. A two foot long centipede with a stinger on its head the size of Sato's hand, with no trained Pokemon to activate the universal honor code among Pokemon to not focus on humans until all their fellow Pokemon were fainted, Sato was in serious trouble. Just as the Weedle was about to attack, someone grabbed Sato and pulled him out of the grass.
"That was a close one! You shouldn't go into tall grass without a Pokemon, it's dangerous!" the person said. Sato recognized him as Professor Oak. "I've been waiting for you Sato, it's time for you to get your first Pokemon and begin on your journey to become a Pokemon Master." Oak continued, as Sato wondered how he had learned the name Sato had picked less than an hour ago. Sato followed Oak to his Pokemon research lab. They walked past the various assistants and discarded pokeballs with Pokemon still inside them, the forever unopened third of the trio of starters Professor Oak gave out whenever a pair of children turned 10. As always, Sato was one of two children who turned 10 on the same day. His rival was already waiting in the lab.
"Okay Gary, it's time for you two to select your very first Pokemon out of the three starters I have available." Professor Oak said as they arrived at the table containing the pokeballs. Sato's rival had always been much more enthusiastic about Pokemon than Sato had been, as shown by his selection of a traditional name on his 10th birthday.
"You can choose first, Sato" the professor said. Sato hesitated.
"Is it okay if I go second?" Sato asked, instinctively delaying his ownership of a Pokemon, if only by a few seconds. Everyone in the lab looked surprised, as if not only Sato's request, but the fact that he had spoken at all was a major shock. There were a few moments of shocked silence before Professor Oak spoke.
"But why? Surely you're anxious to begin your lifelong dream of being a Pokemon trainer, and even if your rival is almost certain to pick a Pokemon your starter is weak against, getting the first choice is still preferable."
"I… don't think I'm ready yet. Would it be okay if I waited, maybe another year or two?" Sato said, unable to suppress his desire to stall as much as possible. The people in the lab looked as if they had just made a wild shiny Pokemon faint. This was impossible!
"Sato, you're not thinking straight. Just select your Pokemon, the excitement must be clouding your judgement." Professor Oak said with a hint of desperation.
"I…I… I don't want to be a Pokemon trainer!" Sato said before he could stop himself. He couldn't help it, his secret was pouring out, he couldn't take ownership of a Pokemon. "I've never wanted to be one, I… don't like Pokemon!" he shouted.
There was shocked silence. For a moment, Sato felt relieved. He had gotten his secret off his chest, and he was sure the hardest part was over, that now that his true feelings were known there would be some other path he could take in life, and that the reaction of the others couldn't be nearly as bad as he imagined. He could not have been more wrong.
A blaring siren broke the silence. Despite not hearing or seeing any door open, a team of heavily armored police officers appeared in the lab, surrounding Sato.
"I'm captain Joseph Jameson of the United Pokemon Society. For the crime of verbally disparaging Pokemon I'm placing you under arrest."