Prologue

My name is Jessica Ketchum. But everyone calls me Jess. Oh and Ketchum? Yeah, Ash Ketchum. He's my brother. My famous brother... who means everything to me. And I miss him... a lot.

-

Today is a very important and life-altering day in my life.

I'm leaving the beautiful Kanto region for the isolated Almia region. I've finally discovered my real destiny: become a Pokemon Ranger.

So now I find myself packing up all of my personal belongings. I leave in just a mere few hours. I'm leaving home.

Before I found my "calling" in life, I was a Pokemon Trainer, like Ash. I did everything Ash did. I even beat the Elite Four. But, something didn't feel right about being a Trainer...

While Ash and his friends continued on to the Hoenn and the Johto region, I returned back home to Pallet Town with Mom.

To pass the time I got a job at Professor Oak's laboratory. That's where I met his grandson and Ash's rival, Gary Oak.

Gary began to work in the lab too when Ash was competing in the Orange Islands. At first he seemed to despise my brother, always bragging how much better he was... but then he changed. Somehow we grew closer. He became my best friend and he told me how he and Ash had been best friends when they were little. How they saw movies together and how when fishing they had found an empty Pokeball and they had torn it in half. They both still had their halves... Weird memories like that.

But then Gary went off to Johto and I was alone yet again. I did a little traveling around Kanto and I befriended several different Pokemon. I raised my Squirtle and Charmander into a Blastoise and a Charizard. I caught Mylotic... so many different Pokemon...

When Gary decided to become a Pokemon researcher I was so sure he'd come back to Pallet Town and we could work together. But, he went to an island called Sayda and he did his work there. He came back several times and sure enough, we were dating only weeks later...

But then another change: Gary moved to Sinnoh and I haven't heard from him at all. He has only sent me one letter and it told me all about being a Pokemon Ranger... funny huh...

"Jessica! You have a visitor," Mom called. I heaved my two large suitcase off my double bed and lugged them down the wooden stairs. At the base of the stairs was Mom and Professor Oak. His gray hair was combed nicely and his white lab coat had been freshly ironed.

"Professor Oak!" I greeted him. I dropped my luggage and ran forward to give him a hug. Professor Oak was like family to me.

Professor Oak chuckled lightly. "Hello Jess."

Mom led the way into the kitchen where the smell of a warm vegetable soup filled the room. Sure enough, a giant black pot of soup was sitting on the wooden table. Mr. Mime was cleaning up the kitchen. The three of us sat down and began to eat the soup.

"So I guess Gary couldn't come," I asked Professor Oak. Apparently, Gary had called Professor Oak and had promised to come to pay a visit.

Professor Oak laid down his spoon. "I'm sorry Jess," he said softly.

I sighed in frustration. "No, it's not your fault Professor Oak. I just wish that Gary would keep his promises."

Even though Gary was my boyfriend, he was also my best friend. And a best friend is always there for you... unless his name is Gary Oak.

-

We finished dinner and Mr. Mime cleared the table. Professor Oak stood and cleared his throat. Mom's blue eyes were filled with tears.

"I guess you better get going if you want to get there in time," Mom finally said. I nodded, tears forming my own blue eyes.

"Uncle Fred will be waiting for you in Cerulean," Mom began. "The ferry will then leave for Almia... Uncle Fred will be sure Mylotic gets back in one piece."

"Thanks Mom," I hugged her. I then turned to Professor Oak.

"Good luck finding a new lab assistant," I finally told him. I chuckled for a moment after I spoke. A smile broke across his face.

"Yes, I fear no one will be able to replace you, Jess."

I nodded again. "Try and keep it organized," I muttered. But, we both knew it would all be in a disarray by tomorrow, or the day after that if he was lucky. Professor Oak is definitely not an organized individual.

Now he chuckled. "Be safe, Jess."

"I will."

And then --before I knew it-- I was out the door and riding my Mylotic... I was heading off to my new life.