Disclaimers: Pokemon is owned by Sastoshi Taijiri. "J's Apprentice" is owned by Johan07. I do however, own Lester and his back-story.

Note: This story details the past of Lester Dawson, the OC that I submitted for inclusion in "J's Apprentice" as one of the Chosen Elites. Hope you all enjoy it.


"He who profits by a crime commits it." – Seneca


Viridian City, Kanto Region.

Viridian City. A small but vibrant city nestled just north of Pallet Town in the Kanto region. Due to its proximity to Pallet, many people from the town come here to do their daytime shopping, particularly since Pallet itself lacks the more developed infrastructure it possess. Speaking of which, at a clothing boutique in one of the city's shopping malls, we find a lady posing in a white sundress for her husband.

"Well, what do you think, darling?" asked a 24 year old woman with a well-sculpted figure.

"It looks great on you. I'd say you've gotten back into shape quite well since we had Lester those few months ago." replied her husband, a handsome 25 year old man who was currently juggling on his lap, a 6 month old baby boy with fine black hair.

Meanwhile, outside the shopping mall.

"R2, this is R1. We are currently in position. What's your status?" A tall, lanky man dressed in a black jumpsuit with a black cap held a communicator in hand, awaiting instructions from his fellow squad commander. What was most distinctive about this man's clothes was a red "R" in the centre of his shirt. Behind him, 10 similarly dressed men stood at the ready, each clutching a Pokeball.

"R1, this is R2 replying. We are currently in position at Section C. The bank appears to be heavily guarded but it's nothing we can't handle. We are awaiting further instructions from your end."

That was the reply the Team Rocket squad commander was anticipating. He signaled his men to get ready to storm the shopping mall.

Outside the bank next to the clothing boutique.

A big and burly security guard stood tall, with an Arcanine by his side, on the lookout for any suspicious activity or people who might threaten the security of the bank he worked for. Stored in its vaults were many valuables and Pokeballs, belonging to hundreds of clinets from across the Kanto region, some even from Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh. The bank had built up a reputation for being one of the most secure companies in the Pokemon world, and the guard was determined to uphold that reputation. No one would be breaking in on his watch.

BOOM!

Suddenly, a loud explosion was heard, setting off the alarms on the security system. The explosion had blown a large hole into the wall near the bank. A large flock of Golbat with some Crobat flew into the hole, with several Team Rocket grunts following their Pokemon. More grunts steamed in towards the bank from the neighboring stores. The guard tensed up. He knew what they were here for. Without any hesitation, he issued a command to his Pokemon.

"Arcanine, Flamethrower NOW!"

Inside the clothing boutique.

Surprised by the noise and commotion outside, and seeing many Team Rocket grunts swarm the mall through the display window, Lester's parents scrambled to hide somewhere in the store, carrying their baby in tow. However, their escape was cut off by three Houndoom who indiscriminately fired off Heat Wave attacks into the store, in a bid to eliminate any witnesses to the bank robbery. Owing to the large amount of clothes in the boutique, it began to burn very heavily. The shocked gasps of Lester's parents caught the attention of one of the Houndoom, who shot a Heat Wave directly at them. The last thing they saw was a hot, suffocating breath of thin fire racing towards them.

30 minutes later.

The fire department had just finished putting out any fires started by Team Rocket's Pokemon, and Officer Jenny was busy collecting eyewitness testimony from the security guard, who was still in shock at the sudden attack. Though he and his colleagues had managed to drive off the assailants, the police had a difficult time finding concrete proof that the bank was Team Rocket's target. Several nearby stores were badly torched and damaged, with at least 50 people killed in the infernos. Halfway through collecting the guard's statement, Jenny heard a faint cry coming from the remains of the boutique. A police officer sent into the shop to find the source of the noise emerged carrying the infant Lester in his arms. Lester was saved from being incinerated by the Heat Wave when his father had dropped him on the ground in shock at being attacked, sparing him from much of the fire and allowing him to breathe the oxygen which was concentrated on the ground, below the reach of the Houndoom's attack. The rest of his family unable to be contacted, Lester was sent to the Xanadu orphanage in his hometown of Pallet, the police only knowing his name from a birth certificate found among the charred remains of his parents.

8 years later.

The Xanadu orphanage. Located in Pallet Town, its main goal, apart from raising orphaned children, was to provide them with a short but informative education on the opportunities and challenges faced by a Pokemon Trainer, to prepare the children for that path upon their 10th birthday. To that end, it had a special policy. When a child reached was 8, he or she was allowed to adopt a Pokemon brought from the Viridian City Pokemon Centre, in addition to the starter Pokemon he or she would receive from Professor Oak on his or her 10th birthday. It was the orphanage's way of making up for the lack of family the children had, by providing them with another Pokemon to care for. The Pokemon up for adoption were typically abandoned, weak, or otherwise undesirable to many Trainers. The orphanage aimed to eliminate those perceptions in the children. Lester may not have gotten along with many of the children, but he learned well in his classes and thrived, becoming a model student and somewhat of a teacher's pet. Eventually, the day of the Pokemon adoptions arrived.

"Now then, who can tell me what day today is?" asked the teacher.

Lester raised his hand.

"Yes, Lester?"

"Is today the day we get to select a Pokemon to be our friend and partner?"

"That's correct. And for being such a good student, I have decided that you get to pick first."

This elicited groans from the rest of the class. The teacher ignored them and opening the classroom door, allowing several Pokemon to walk, float or otherwise come in. Lester took notice of a rather frail and malnourished Nincada. Whoever picked the poor thing would be a source of constant ridicule, but Lester couldn't just stand there and watched. His heart went out to that poor Pokemon.

"Well, Lester, aren't you going to take your pick?"

"Yeah, I want that Nincada."

"How kind of you, that was the weakest Pokemon in the group. Nurse Joy even thought that he wasn't going to be adopted. He's yours. Nincada, come meet your new Trainer."

Lester walked up to Nincada and extended his hand towards the Pokemon. Hesitating slightly, the Pokemon walked up to Lester and began to stroke his hand with its forelegs, signifying his acceptance of Lester. Many children snickered at Lester for being a "loser" in choosing Nincada, but he ignored them and told his Pokemon to do the same, believing that they were capable of great things if they worked together. Everyone else soon chose their own Pokemon as well. The teacher decided to continue the class since that matter was settled.

"Alright then, class, remember that in a few days we will be visited by Professor Oak, who will be giving a presentation on the opportunities to be found from becoming a Pokemon Trainer."

Many cheers were heard from the class. Lester simply continued to stroke his new Nincada on the head.

A week later.

As planned, Professor Oak arrived at the orphanage and began his presentation. But high above the skies of Pallet in a massive airship, a sinister plan was about to unfold.

"Sir, we have confirmed the target's location." a slim man informed a certain silver haired woman with googles and a form-fitting black jumpsuit.

"Excellent. Now get ready to attack that orphanage. Our client is paying big money for that Dragonite."

"Yes sir!"

15 minutes later, in the orphanage's assembly hall.

"So you see kids. Here in the Kanto region, trainers can usually start with one of three Pokemon upon reaching their 10th birthday. They are the grass type Bulbasaur, the fire type Charmander, and Squirtle, which is a water type. When it is time for you to become Trainers, you have a choice of those three and I will remind you of that when you come to my lab." Professor Oak informed the group of assembled orphans, displaying a specimen of each of the three starter Pokemon.

Meanwhile, outside the orphanage.

A certain silver haired woman was currently waiting outside the door of the orphanage, with many henchmen right behind her, all waiting for her command.

"Alright then, when that foolish old geezer reveals his Dragonite, storm the orphanage and get ready to subdue the Professor. This mission will be over before we know it." the silver haired woman assured her henchmen.

"But what is he doesn't reveal his Dragonite?" inquired one of the henchmen.

"THEN WE STORM IN ANYWAY AND TAKE THE PROFESSOR HOSTAGE, IDIOT!" screamed the woman, who then sighed in exasperation. Sometimes her henchmen lacked the most basic of human traits, common sense.

"Y-Yes sir." stuttered the henchman, who was currently scared stiff.

Meanwhile, inside the orphanage.

"And now Professor Oak will be answering your questions. I trust that you have prepared some good, polite, and thoughtful questions for our guest here." the teacher informed the orphans.

One hand was raised.

"Yes, Kendall?"

"Professor Oak, what is your strongest Pokemon?"

Professor Oak frowned slightly.

"I do not regard any of my Pokemon as the strongest. It is important for Trainers to have a sense of equality when it comes to the strength of their Pokemon, as each one shines in its own regard and is capable of things others can only dream of. Therefore, it is important for every Trainer to treat each one of their Pokemon with love and respect. Even the most seemingly insignificant Pokemon can surprise us."

Lester raised his hand.

"Yes, Lester?"

"Professor Oak, can we see any of your Pokemon?"

Professor Oak smiled and released his Dragonite from one of his Pokeballs.

"Certainly, my boy, this is Dragonite, and he was one of my first Pokemon. I raised him from a Dratini…"

BOOM!

Professor Oak was rudely cut off as an explosion ripped through the orphanage, blowing the doors of their hinges. The heavy doors sailed through the air, one of them colliding with some of the children, instantly killing some and seriously wounding the others. They fell on the floor, pools of blood seeping across the floor and some merging together into a large crimson stream that flowed down the assembly hall. The other door was headed straight for Dragonite. Professor Oak wasted no time.

"Dragonite, use Hyper Beam to destroy that door."

Dragonite complied, sending a bright orange stream of energy towards the massive wooden door. The attack hit its target, causing large splinters to fly in every direction across the room. For the most part, any damage the door could have caused was averted. Henchmen began to march into the assembly hall. The orphanage's staff knew they had to jump into action. They hastily evacuated some of the orphans, Professor Oak, and his Dragonite, but in the confusion the terrified starter Pokemon were forgotten.

The henchmen, noticing their target escaping, began to give chase. But before they could, sinkholes appeared under their feet, causing some of them to trip and fall. The henchmen behind those unfortunate to fall also tripped up on their comrades, landing in a large heap on the floor. Lester smirked. His plan was working.

"Nincada, keep using Dig to trip those strange men up!"

Perhaps he spoke too loudly, but Lester's words attracted the attention of the henchmen, who were fuming that a small 8 year old boy was responsible for their embarrassing and compromising positions.

"That brat, I'm going to KILL him!" roared one of the men, getting up to chase Lester.

Lester ran with his Nincada towards the starter Pokemon, forgotten in the chaos, and knelt down in front of them, gathering them in his arms. He gave them a quick pep talk.

"Listen, I know we just met and all, but I'm sure you understand that we are being attacked by those men. I don't know who they are or what they want. But I'm pretty sure they aren't here to play. I need your help if we are to save everyone. What do you say?" asked Lester, holding out his hand to the three small Pokemon. They eyed each other for a brief moment, before rubbing Lester's hand in approval.

Lester smiled, knowing he could now depend on those Pokemon. By this time, Professor Oak had been evacuated, and the henchmen had gotten back up on their feet. The silver haired woman stalked into the orphanage, observing the death and destruction caused by the explosion. She was very surprised to see no sign of Professor Oak or his Dragonite.

"Well, where is the target?" she demanded in an irritated snarl, laced with the makings of a full-blown anger attack. She grabbed a henchman by the front of his shirt and glared straight into his eyes.

"T-They es-scaped, sir. W-We couldn't c-catch u-up to them because t-that boy tripped us up with his Nincada's Dig, s-sir." stuttered the frightened henchman. The silver haired woman furrowed her brow and released her henchman, turning her attention to Lester.

"So you are the pest who prevented my men from achieving their mission. Well, we won't be leaving empty-handed. Those starter Pokemon you have there would fetch quite a bit on the black market."

Lester tensed up. He may not have been completely aware of what the woman said, but he was sure that they wanted to steal the Pokemon he had. And he wasn't about to let that happen.

"You can't have these Pokemon! They're my friends! And I won't let you take them away from me!" The four Pokemon surrounding Lester roared their agreement at his words. Suddenly, a thought came to the silver haired woman. That boy seemed to form a good bond with those Pokemon he scarcely knew, and managed to rally them together quite well. Surely such interpersonal skill was a sign of great talent. If she had the boy on her side, he would make an ideal henchman or maybe she could train him as an apprentice. That might just work. Now persuading him to join her would be a waste of time, seeing as he was determined to oppose her. The only way to go now was to kidnap him. She issued her instructions to her henchmen.

"Get those Pokemon and subdue the boy. But don't kill him. I have plans for him." Her henchmen were puzzled by her instructions, but they were taught not to question her.

"Yes sir!" The henchmen released a large amount of Golbat and Graveler, ready to give Lester the fight of his life. Lester narrowed his left eye, knowing that getting out of this mess wasn't going to be easy. He made the first move.

"Nincada, use Fury Swipes. Squirtle, Bubble. Bulbasaur, Leech Seed. And Charmander, use Ember!" Fortunately, Lester had been paying attention in class and knew what moves the starter Pokemon were expected to know at that stage in their lives. The Pokemon hastily obeyed, all attacking in a fury, but their attacks were quickly nullified by a barrage of Air Cutters from the Golbat. Secretly, in the confusion, one of the henchmen snuck up behind Lester with an aluminum baseball bat. He swung the bat silently and brought it down hard on Lester's head. Lester suddenly felt his vision start spinning and his eyes had the urge to close. Before he knew it, everything went blank.


Author's Notes: And that is the first part of Lester's back-story. This is my first multi-chaptered story and my third story overall. I hope I did well on it. My thanks go out to Johan07, who so skillfully crafted "J's Apprentice" and allowed so many of us to submit our own original characters, letting us become a part of the tale as well. Our suspense has been held quite well with that story. I must also thank Johan07 for so kindly allowing me to write this story and having the patience to beta-read and approve it as well. I just hope Lester's speech to the starter Pokemon didn't come across as being too cliché. Reviews and constructive criticism are welcome. Flames will be deleted.