(Disclaimer: Pokemon and its characters are the property of The Pokemon Company, Game Freak, and Nintendo. I do not own any of the rights. This Disclaimer goes for not only this chapter but the ones to follow.)
The Lost Chronicles of Giovanni
Chapter 1: Born With Choices
"We are born with choices. We are born as unique entities. Both humans and Pokemon have a path set before them in this world where all beings thrive to uncover life's true meaning. But why can we not see it? Because the everlasting darkness has blinded us, leaving us to fend aimlessly for ourselves in this twisted, corrupt world. You might even say we are being tested based on our personal justifications, instincts, and ability to decide. Yes, the power to decide the path set before us. The future is what we make of it. We cannot see what that future might be like, for the darkness is too blindingly thick, yet we can achieve our goals with fearless ambition. This is what defines a hero. If one wishes to walk the path of good, they must overcome their fear of the dark and avoid succumbing to its temptations. Some believe the dark is a way of coping with life, as a way of understanding it, surviving it. This misconception will only continue to drag the world further into the darkest depths unless a true hero sets a shining example, without failing to resist the temptations. No... without failing to combat this looming evil."
-Clint Ketchum, Final Journal Entry
Despite the fact that it was the tallest structure in all of Hoenn, Sky Pillar was incalculably distanced from the rest of the region's landmass. The vacant tower resided on an island, one cast out to the unpredictable tides of the sea's boundless body. Nightfall was imminent but the foggy winds were gravid with extreme potency, causing the ocean waters to shudder violently.
In addition to these pressing conditions, the Night of the Black Moon was at hand. At this time, like any other New Moon, the unilluminated portion of the Moon was facing almost directly towards Earth, so that the Moon was not visible to the naked eye. However, the only difference from the yearly lunar vanity was the unnatural powers it shed, according to the prophecy.
Metsuma was standing on the top of the ancient tower, looking out to the setting sun with his hands symmetrically entwined behind his backside. He seemed so absorbed in thought and turned his head to the horizon as the last glimpse of sunset fell below the horizon. The evening weather conditions picked up. A cold harsh wind from the North blew with strength. But Metsuma looked beyond it all again, returning to his paradise, along with his world of riches and freedom that was bound to arrive soon enough. Meanwhile, the moon was unseeable, just to his liking.
"Tonight is the night," he whispered to himself. "All I need now... is Clint."
Lightning flashed across the sky, this hurricane was inevitable, it was coming and the Hoenn Region was going to be hit hard. Just then, lightning struck somewhere on the lone island and shook everything. The storm was right on the shore.
However, Metsuma did not stir until he could feel the presence of his best friend. His eyes shot open and he smirked, deviously.
Just as the last of the storm clouds moved in, Clint sprinted onto the scene in sheer panic, calling out to Metsuma through the noisy winds that passaged between them. "Metsuma, what's what's the matter?" he cried out, a little too anxious to evacuate the turbulent weather. "Are you hurt? Metsuma, answer me!"
Keeping his backside faced to Clint, Metsuma let the rain pour down between them. "Do you know where we are, Clint?" he asked, almost comfortable with the lethal storm spanning over their heads.
Clint's eyes turned sharp, his mouth twisted. He was a bit taken aback by such a simplistic question. "Well... of course, I know! This is the Sky Pillar!"
"Correct," the other man said quietly. Finally, he spun around, flashing a sinister grin. "It's also the perfect spot to perform the ritual, undisturbed."
Clint's face went pale with horror, as he didn't understand the meaning behind Metsuma's words. "R—Rititual?"
Eight years later...
Anxiously, Giovanni peaked out the balcony window of his room, staring wondrously at the stars; the night sky was dark but the moon's glistening light sheltered Viridian City in a ray of shine.
"I hope I get a really strong one," he whispered to himself, smitten with the idea of becoming the very best. "Of course I will. What am I worried about?"
He was full of energy, to say the least. He'd just turned fifteen yesterday, and tomorrow would be the day he would receive his first Pokemon from the professor himself. His father would be proud. Proud of this first step into a world unknown. It was incredible that he would finally be leaving behind a home filled with bad memories. The time had come to escape his imprisonment and begin anew. He was ready for the world and the boundless wonders that inhabited it! For the past five years, he'd been ready for this, counting down the days.
"And this time, she won't stop me from leaving..." Pushing that thought aside, Giovanni leaped away from the window and onto his bed. "I should sleep," he reasoned as he burrowed underneath his blankets. "I'm not going to start my journey exhausted. I can't afford to."
Morning arrived and Gio awoke with his heart pounding anxiously. "Today is it!" He hopped out of bed, hastily got dressed, and rushed downstairs. He couldn't even think about breakfast or showering! He just had to get to Pallet Town and receive his very first Pokemon! He opened the front door of his mansion... and standing in his doorway in front of him was Junior Professor Samuel Oak.
About ten years older than him, Sammy was the son of the famous Nelson Oak, Kanto's regional Pokemon Professor. Gio and Sammy had been pretty close friends for quite some time now. Sam would always help Gio out with any of his school work he was struggling with, sometimes just spend time with him for the sake of good company. The young man was also a very wise mentor, having home-schooled the young Ketchum every other week for the past two years. It was the right thing to do, even though his father Nelson was a bit uneasy over the Ketchum Family. Sammy views, however, differed. In reality, Sammy was the only friend Gio really had, despite age.
Sammy stared at him irately with both of his arms crossed around the front of his white lab coat. "My father is pretty upset, you know. He told you to be in Pallet Town at precisely eight o'clock sharp this morning and you failed to show."
"What are you talking about? He said ten o'clock!" Gio retorted in a panicked toned. Had he really screwed up something as simple as timing?
Sammy merely shook his head. "Ten o'clock? My father is already piled in work by ten o'clock! Gio, I just don't know why I vouch for you anymore."
Gio rolls his eyes as he fixed his shirt collar and straightened his spiky acorn-colored hair. "Well, l you wouldn't have to if you just told me why your dad hates me so much."
Sammy sighed and leaned on the door. The two glanced blankly at each other before Sammy began to speak again, trying to prevent the situation from becoming any more awkward. "Gio... it's not you that he hates. Anyway, can we discuss some other time? Let's head back to Pallet together and maybe I can get my dad on his own good side for once."
Giovanni stretched and yawned for a moment, and then reluctantly agreed. "Fine, but if he starts scolding me, I'll be out of there quicker then a Quick Attack!"
"Oh, real cute." They both laughed. Sammy had to admit that his younger peer was the more comical of the duo. He seemed to always get a kick out of turning serious matters into a pure joke. He had to wonder if that was just a cover for something.
Gio quickly put his sneakers on and started for the door to regroup with his friend standing outside his mansion. He was about to shut the door behind him, but Sammy objected.
"Errr, don't you want to let your mother know you're leaving?"
Again, Gio rolled his eyes. "Pshh, what does she care? All she does is hide in the basement all day. I'd be lucky to see her once a week."
"Oh, I... see." Truthfully, this came as no shock to Sammy. Gio's mother was a very suspicious character. Only rarely would he encounter the high-profile businesswoman because of her preference for isolation. He could only wonder what 'Mrs. Ketchum' was really up to all day every day in that basement?
Hours later, Rita Ketchum herself sat relaxed in her cozy chair. The office in the basement was dark, windowless, and cold. Corporate files and boxes, power generators, and tons of research papers scattered the room. Having to work from home put a major stress on her. Keeping in contact with her lackeys, such as her top agent Zerelda Miyamoto, became an even more laborious chore. After all, if the law were to discover her extracurricular activities then her organization would immediately fall apart.
Suddenly the phone began to ring. The housemaid upstairs, Paris, answered. She transferred the call to Rita's desk, and Rita immediately swiped the phone off the receiver. "Hello?"
Outrage filled Rita at the sound of her son's voice. "What is it? I'm busy, you know, trying to work so I can afford to put food on the table!"
"I know! I know! I just felt kind of bad about leaving without telling you first."
"Leaving?" asked Rita, the word flooring her. She had forbidden that brat boy the step foot away from the manor and yet here he was calling from Legendaries knew where. After everything she'd spoiled him with, was he truly still this desperate to explore the outside world?
"I'm calling from the Pokemon Center in Pallet Town," he explained. "Sammy brought me here. I'm going to go see his dad and hopefully get my first Pokemon Today." There was pride in his voice as he boasted this, and set off her fuse.
"Like I've told you countless times before," she growled into the phone, "a Pokemon is the last thing you need right now! How about thinking about your own mother for a change and get a job, rather than wasting your time with this Pokemon Training nonsense!" She slammed the phone down on the receiver and groaned furiously. "That Boy is pathetic as he is stupid," she grumbled under her breath. "He's just like his father. He knows so little."
She sat thinking for a moment, wallowing in her own bitterness, then picked up the phone again to dial a number. She would have to worry about her son's defiance later. Right now there was work to focus on.
When the ringing stopped, she spoke into the phone pressed against her ear. "Kade?"
"Yes, my dear?" answered other voice with a very dainty, effeminate tone.
She let out a decisive exhale. "I want to talk to you about project Rocket."
"Oh?" His voice climbed. "Is that so?"
Rita paused for a moment, second thoughts eating away at her; but after a few more moment pondering, she replied, "Yes."
"Well color me impressed, my dear," he giggled. "I had feared you'd gotten cold feet. This will come as a pleasant surprise to... you know who."
She nodded, not that he could see her. "When can we meet? When... can we all meet?"
Following the warmhearted chat with his mother, Gio followed Sammy towards the Oak Laboratory nestled atop the tallest hill in the Pallet Town. As they walked, he took a moment to glance at his surroundings; the community was very old-fashioned, very rural and peaceful. He breathed in the fresh brisk air, relishing it. It felt great to finally be away from the confines of his mansion after so many months spent in isolation.
The uphill hike ended as Gio came to stop in front of laboratory entrance and swallowed a lump in his throat
"Gio, I was kidding about the killer Clefairy," chuckled Sammy, noticing his nervous expression.
Gio shook his head. "No, it's your father. I don't know if I can go in there. I mean... what if he's angry at me for being late like you said?"
"He's my father, you know," Sammy pointed out. "And I'm still alive. That should tell you something." It was meant as a comforting joke, but only Sammy was laughing.
Gio snorted. "Well, that's probably because you're the perfect child."
Sammy smirked, ruffling Gio's spiky brown hair. "That's ridiculous. No one's perfect."
Gio took a step back from the door, the words of doing little to soothe him. His mind was made up. He didn't want to be in the presence of another individual who despised him. "We can try this some other time," he said, clearing his throat and turning away abruptly. "I'll be seeing yo-" He was cut off in mid-sentence as a girl slammed into his shoulder, knocking him over in her hurry.
When she realized what she's done, she spun around. "Oh, whoops!"
"Watch where you're going!" Gio angrily exclaimed, standing back on his feet with a grunt.
"I'm so sorry!" the worried girl said back to him, patting him down. "I'm just in a rush, is all! Please don't be mad!"
Giovanni stood up to face her directly, and when he met her eyes, all the anger drained away. This... this girl he was face to face with... he'd never seen someone so stunning and beautiful. Of course, he hadn't seen many girls at all spending most of his time locked indoors, but this girl was something special. She looked around thirteen, just two years younger than he. Smooth white skin, luscious curly pigtails, and a cute but enchanting guilty smile.
"Gio," Sammy barked into his ear, breaking him from his trance. "Don't be rude. She just apologized to you."
"Oh, errr, don't worry about it," he said embarrassedly while scratching his head. He looked down and noticed she was carrying a ton of heavy books as she struggled for balance. "Uhh... can I help you with those books?"
She gazed at him blankly before the look of surprise turned back to a smile. "Oh, well, that's so kind of you!"
"How come you never help me with my books, Gio?" Sammy teased, nudging Gio with his elbow.
"With all the books you read, I'd be in an ambulance by now," Gio fired back as he politely collected the smiling girl's belongings. The three shared a laugh as they began to walk into the laboratory together. He smirked somewhat proudly as he carried his new friend's books. While he should have been thinking about Pokemon, he couldn't stop thinking about her.
Turning to her briefly, he cleared his throat and managed an introduction. "By the way, I'm Giovanni. This here is my buddy, Sammy. You got a name?"
"Well, of course," she giggled over another delectable smile. "My name is Delia. Delia Rezumi."
TO BE CONTINUED . . .