June 23, 2002

Max sat at the kitchen table and lifted the spoon to his mouth. As he swallowed the last of his cereal he poured himself another bowl of Clefa Puffs. Before he could finish his next bowl his dad came rushing in the room excited and waving his arms around. "We've done it!!"

"What have you done dad?" asked Max.

"We cloned a togepi!!!"

"You did?"

"Yes!! We thought it wasn't possible, all the evidence said… well I have to call Professor Oak!" He rushed over to a phone and dialed. "Hello Professor Oak this is Professor Elm I have an amazing discovery to talk to you about!"

Max took his bowl over to the sink rinsed it and then put it in the dish washer. He left the room and grabbed his brand new back pack. It was decorated with bubbles with a single pokeball on the back. He walked out to the fields of the pokemon. Miltank, taurous, and ponyta galloped about around the yard and Max noticed the grass pokemon happily dancing around the flowers. The sun was rising and the farm was just beginning to come to life. He made his way to the edge of the forest and entered it.

It was dark and the grass at his feet was wet. He continued to walk until he found himself at a large river. There was a log not too far away that went across the river and Max decided to use that to get to the other side. He was careful of his every step not sure how durable the log was.

When he made his way to the other side he jumped off lightly and landed on his feet. He continued through the woods and then heard a snapping twig.

He spun around to see an angry houndour.

"This isn't very good," he muttered. He started to run and the houndour followed. Within seconds the houndoor was almost caught up Max, who was after all only eight. A small pool of water came into view and remembering that houndour was a fire type Max jumped into the pool. Houndour stopped at the pool edge and snarled. It then began to pace around the pool. Max's little legs barely reached the bottom and he on his tip toes just to keep his head above water. A small poliwag pushed Max up above the water and then pushed him out of the pool smiling thinking it had just helped him. It hopped out of the water and then nuzzled against his leg.

The houndour ran at them and realizing the poliwag would be hurt Max grabbed it off the ground, casing houndours to hit him instead. The houndour did a one eighty and came at them again. The poliwag leaped out of Max's arms and sent a huge stream of water at houndour who was hit back into the pool and after yelping rather loudly it jumped out and ran away.

"Thanks so much!" exclaimed Max.

The poliwag jumped up happily.

Max laid down his bag and took out a note book. Before he could even open it the poliwag hopped over to his bag and jumped inside. There was a bright flash of light and when Max checked his bag Poliwag was gone and all that was in the bag was five pokeballs, paper and a pencil.

"Did I just…" He took out the pokeballs and one by one threw them. Out of one of them came the poliwag. It jumped into his arms and Max smiled. "I just a poliwag."

When he returned home that day his dad was waiting anxiously with a surprise visitor.

"Misty!" exclaimed Max.

The tall girl with orange hair sat up, "hey bud!"

They hugged and Max jumped back, "Guess what I got!?"

"What?"

Max spun around with a pokeball and sent it up into the air. Poliwag came out happily and landed on the kitchen floor spinning.

"Wow! You caught a pokemon and you're only eight!"

His dad stood up and gaped, "I'm quite impressed Max, good job!"

"Thanks!"

"Well Max," said Misty wondering out loud. "If it's okay with your dad, I could use an assistant, and I know you love water pokemon… I mean now that you have one of your own…"

Max's face lit up, "Can I dad!?"

His dad bit his lip, "Well… hmm… I think that would be… okay."

Max jumped up, "YA!"

"Well hold on, Misty I will need him back when's he's ten, that way he can officially get his license and all."

"No problem professor, and he'll be with me in my gym so having the pokemon under age won't be a problem."

His dad nodded, "Right…"

"I'm going to start packing!" exclaimed Max.

"Hold on," said his dad. "You will be gone for almost two years… I mean I'll visit occasionally, but otherwise you won't see me… are you sure you are okay with that?"

Max nodded, "I think so."

"Alright then."

Max rushed up stairs to pack. And Misty turned to his dad, resting her hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry Professor Elm, I promise to take great care of him."

February 26, 2003

Max watched as Misty deftly beat the challenger sending his magnemite flying. Max lifted a flag and brought it down. "Magnemite is unable to battle, the winner is the gym leader, Misty and her Starmie!"

The challenger looked down and walked away depressed.

"Hey!" Misty called after him.

He turned around and Misty shook his hand, "Don't' be discouraged, you did a great job!"

He smiled, "You too." With that he left the building.

"That was awesome Misty!"

"Thanks Max."

"Your starmie is so powerful!"

Misty laughed, "It isn't just power that wins battles."

"I know, it's speed, strategy, and power combined."

"Not just those things."

"huh."

"The trainer and the pokemon he or she is using must be close emotionally. You don't always have time to say, 'dodge!' sometimes you have to count on your pokemon, and likewise sometimes it has to count on you to see things it can't. If a pokemon and its trainer aren't close then even strategy , speed, and power wont' be enough."

"Ah…"

"So how about we give that poliwag of yours some more training k?"

"Hey! His name is Bubbles remember!?"

"Oh yeah my bad! Let's do some training with Bubbles."

March 24. 2004

Max pulled his blue fingerless gloves on and adjusted his blue hat.

"I think you're wearing a little too much blue."

Max laughed at Misty's comment and then looked in the mirror. It was true he was wearing blue jeans, a blue t-shirt, blue fingerless gloves and a blue hat, but Max liked the color blue.

Misty went to his dresser and went through the drawers. "Here…" She handed him a black t-shirt, and black fingerless gloves. "This should help."

Max pulled his t-shirt off and put on the black one and likewise replaced his gloves.

"Right," said Misty, "We're almost to New Bark Town."

"Thanks."

She nodded. "And don't forget our visit here has to be short if we have to leave if we want to catch the noon ship that heads back to Kanto. I take it that's where you are going to start your journey?"

Max nodded, "Yeah." He glanced over at the clock and saw that it was quarter after ten.

The ship slowly halted and A small portion of the boats passengers got off.

All Max had was his blue bag, but Misty had felt the need to bring not only a bag of her own but two suitcases. They dragged there stuff over to the large building that was professor Elm's (his dads) house and they knocked. The door swung open and they Max's dad smiling broadly.

"Hey Misty, hey Maxers!!" He embraced Max tightly.

"I can't….. breath…."

"Right, sorry." He loosened his grip.

"I'm so excited, today is after all your tenth birthday!"

Max smiled, "Yes it is."

The group made their way inside and settled down in the living room.

"So I got you something," explained his father. He handed him large box that was wrapped in black wrapping paper. "Go ahead open it!"

Max tentatively opened the box and found inside a few objects. There was the latest version of the pokedex, a greatball, a map, and his personal favorite, a book on water pokemon.

"Thanks a lot dad."

"No problem! And here!" He handed Max a wallet. "There's some money in there for you."

"Awesome," he hugged his dad who hugged back gently.

"I also have something for you," said Misty. She set down one of her suitcases and opened it. Inside was a worn old wooden box that was rectangular. She hadned it to him. "It's my old fishing rod, the one I used when I traveled. There's a bunch of my world famous lure's in there too… speaking of which…" she reached into her bag and handed him to pokeballs. One was blue and the other was a greenish blue with what appeared to be a web on it. "That blue one is a lure ball. Espicially designed to caught pokemon that you're fishing for. And that other one is a net ball. That pokeball works well on all water pokemon and all… bug pokemon."

"Thank you Misty!"

Max hugged her tightly and she laughed. "Your starting to… cut off… circulation…"

Max released her and laughed, "Sorry."

"So before you go let's take some pictures!" exclaimed his dad.

Misty and Max stodd up and started posing randomly. Eventually Misty had her stayu use confusion and have the camera take pictures of all of them.

All too soon though the time had coem for Misty and Max to go.

"Don't forget," said Max's dad. "Professor Oak wants to see you, so when you guys land in Vermillion head to Pallet."

"Gotcha," said Max.

Misty and him boarded the boat.

"See you dad!"

"Bye Professor Elm!"

"See you two! Have fun!!"

Bubbles leaped from its pokeball and smield at Max.

"Hey Bubbles, what do you want to do?"

Bubbles' stomach moaned and Max laughed. He withdrew some pokechow from his bag and set it on the ground for Bubbles to munch on.

Suddenyl smoke filled the deck and there was a loud explosion. A woman with spiky black hair ran by followed by a man with short green hair.

"STOP!"

The two figures that had just ran by spun around. The smoke was blown away and at the other end of the boat was Misty with her starmie.

"Starmie use rapid spin again!"

"Golbat go!" called the man. "Supersonic!"

Starmie stopped its rapid spin and was knocked back.

"Bubbles use water gun!"

The two people not even realizing there was a young boy next to them had no time to dodge.

"Starmie snap out of consuion! Use psychic!"

Starmie shook itself out of its confused state and sent the two people and their golbat flying into the sky.

Misty walked up to Max, "You ok?"

Max nodded, "Yeah I'm fine. Were those members of Team Rocket?"

"No, just common theives. Trust me, Team Rocket is much more organized… and they usually show off. You'll know when it's them. "Right."

The ship started to stop and a cool female voice came over the intercom. "All passengers we are makign our first stop, if your destination is the Seafoam Islands then please head to gate exit A. Thank you."

Several people made their past Max and Misty and left the ship.

Misty glanced down at her watch. "About two more hours till Vermillion."

"Kay."

It was indeed about two hours until the boat stopped at the Vermillion harbor. "All passengers, we are making our second stop, if your destination is Vermillion City then please head to gate exit A. Thank you."

Max and Misty gathered there belongings and headed to gate exit A. There were very few people leaving the boat but even fewer pople walkign about the town.

"This place is so quiet… and dull…" commented Max.

"Vermillion can be like that. Some days it's packed full of people and others it's a complete wasteland. Let's head to the pokemon center okay?"

"Right."

The two made their way to the pokemon center. It was large and rather open with several tables linging the edge of the front lobby.

"Max come with me I'm going to show you how to get a room here."

Misty walked up to the front counter where a Nurse Joy was smilng. "Hello there how can I help you?"

"Could we get a room please?"

"Of course, let me see your trainer ID please."

Misty showed her, her pokedex and the nurse Joy handed her a card.

"Room fifty seven."

"Thanks." Misty went down a hall. "Okay, so after Nurse Joy gives you the room key, you go to your room and simply swipe it-" she swiped the card by a key pad next to the door and it swung open.

The room was fairly large and it had two sets of bunk beds and a desk in the corner.

"Every room at the pokemon center that you can stay in looks like this. So sharing a room with a few friends is never a problem. Back in the front lobby there are also those green phones which I know you have already used before so… that basically covers everything related to the pokemon center. Well beside the healing your pokemon part which we should probably do."

They returned to the main lobby and went up to Nurse Joy.

"Hello again,"said Misty. "My friend and I would like to heal our pokemon."

"Of course!"

Misty handed her six pokeballs first. The Nurse Joy set them in a machine and a few seconds later handed them back. "There you are!"

Misty pketed the pokeballs. "See Max, pokemon centeres have come very far technologically, it used to be whenever a pokemon needed to be healed you had to keep it here over night. Now the only time yo uhave to do that is if your pokemon is severely hurt. Go ahead and give her your pokeball."

Max handed Nurse Joy his pokeball containing Bubbles and a few seconds later it was handed back.

"Thank you, " said Nurse Joy. "Please come again!"

Misty hurriedly headed back to the room and to the desk in the corner. "This p.c. isn't like the ones you play games on, it contains all the information on the pokemon you've caught and you can check anytime. In addition you can store and withdraw pokemon using its storage system. You know about Bill's storage system right?"

Max nodded, "Yeah, you have to remember I grew up with Professor Elm as my dad, I know how to use most of this technology."

"Right," said Misty, "Sorry."

"No it's fine, I've never used one at a pokemon center so it's nice to see how it's done."

Misty nodded and then smiled, "I bet you haven't ever used this before though. She pointed to the goggles hooked up to the computer. "Using those you can battle with friends even when they are hundreds of miles away with your pokemon or battle trainers that don't exist virtually! Of course your pokemon doesn't get any experience but it's a neat way to practice moves and such."

"Wow…" muttered Max. "You're right I've never used that before."

"It's pretty unique. So what are your plans?" asked Misty.

"For traveling?"

Misty nodded.

"Well," said Max. "I am heading to Pallet Town first. Then from there I'll head to Pewter City, probably going through Viridian to get there. From there who knows. Maybe I'll cut through Mount Moon and head for Cerulean City."

"Hmm… sounds like you have plans. Are you going to go for all eight badges? Or are you going to compete in contests?"

"I don't know, really I'm just trying to be the best water pokemon trainer. Maybe I'll get some badges, partake in a contest or two, whatever works."

"That's a good plan."

"Thanks. Umm… where can we get food?"

Misty laughed. "Back in the front lobby. Follow me."

Max followed Misty back to the lobby and she went up to desk near the one by Nurse Joy. There was a small woman behind the counter standing on a stool; even with the stool though she was only able to just peak her head over the counter.

"Hi," said Misty, "could we get some food?"

The woman smiled, "Of course dears. What would you like?"

Max stroked his chin, "What's cheap?"

Misty and the woman laughed.

"At the pokemon center everything is free. They are founded by the government."

"OH….. in that case I would like the biggest steak you have!"