I'll keep this brief here: Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Claiming I owned Pokemon would probably get me murdered. So I don't.
Chapter One: Beginnings
The baying cry of a Doduo carried on the wind, dancing with green leaves and dust floating across the rolling hills. Trees dotted the foothills, a sparse forest ripe with vegetation and Pokemon. Spearows and Pidgeys flew from branch to branch, seeking out worms buried deep in the soil. Occasionally a Fearow would make a sudden dive from the sky, snatching at a Rattata scuttling about in the grass. It was a lazy day, one only a mid-summer afternoon could produce.
Sitting in the grass of one of the hills, Ken absently stroked a Pokeball, watching the trees at the hill's base sway in the warm wind. It was mesmerizing, the rocking motion of the branches, the rattling of the leaves. It reminded him of a small hill he used to perch on back home, guarded by trees and backed by a large, shimmering lake, the waters calm and sparkling in the noonday sun. Slowly he let himself fall back, the grass brushing lightly against his face, and sighed. He missed home, often wondering what his father was doing, and whether his mother was getting along without him. He was only fifteen, and sometimes he wondered if he had set out too early. He had heard of kids starting their Pokemon quests as early as ten - he had recently met one not much older than that - but were they truly ready to be on their own? Then again, he pondered, that kid Red won the Indigo League Tournament. He was only, what, twelve?
Stretching tired muscles, Ken rolled over, pulling from his pocket his Pokedex and wallet. He opened the latter and began fingering the small, raindrop-shaped badge inside. His first Gym Badge, won from the Cerulean City Gym. It glinted in the sunlight, and for a moment a euphoria welled up inside him. He had long dreamed of collecting eight badges and competing in the Indigo League Tournament, of following his grandfather's footsteps in becoming a Pokemon master. And now he was one step, one badge closer to that goal. It wouldn't be long now before he reached Saffron City and the Marsh Badge.
Pushing himself to his feet, he stared out over the forest, looking south across the waves of grass and trees. His Pokemon needed to be ready for the challenge. He had heard of Sabrina's terrifying psychic attacks. More than a few people returning to his hometown from their own quests had been shut down by Sabrina's masterful Alakazam. Ken couldn't let that happen, not if he wanted to continue on to the other Gyms and the Tournament itself.
Pulling a strand of hair back from his eye, Ken pocketed his wallet and Pokedex and grabbed one of the Pokeballs from his belt. Gripping the ball tight, he clicked the button to expand it to full size and shoved it into the air before him. A sudden stream of light flickered out of the ball, quickly forming into the shape of a Poliwhirl.
The Poliwhirl - his Poliwhirl - let out a grunt as he turned to face Ken. His eyes scrunched into what Ken had long since learned to take as a smile. Ken returned the smile. They were close, he and his Poliwhirl. Ken had caught him early on in his adventure, when the Pokemon was only a small Poliwag. The bond they had formed since was indispensable.
"Alright, Poly," Ken began, using the Poliwhirl's nickname. "Saffron City is just through those hills, and we need to make sure we're ready. Are you with me?"
Poly threw a fist into the air and let out a cry. Dropping into a fighting stance, he focused his eyes forward, waiting for Ken's first command.
Balling his fists and bending his knees in a crude imitation of his Poliwhirl, Ken prepared himself mentally. Then he punched the air, swift and strong, letting out a loud "ha!"
Poly followed Ken's movements, and together they trained, working hard and fast. Sweat beaded at Ken's brow, and he could feel his joints groan at the work, but he forced himself to keep going. He had told himself at the beginning of his journey that he would never force his Pokemon to do anything that he himself couldn't do, and he wasn't about to back down from that now.
Changing stances, Ken thrust his finger forward and shouted the command, "Water Gun!" Poly leaped backward, a jet of water spewing from the circle on his chest. It splashed through the air, spraying the grass, and slammed into a nearby tree in a fantastic blast of water.
Ken gave his friend encouragement and praise as water gun after water gun created a garden of rainbows in the air. They came in quick, rapid succession, nearly faster than Ken could see. That was his plan to defeat Sabrina and her psychic Pokemon. Alakazam wouldn't be able to turn Poly's attacks against him if he couldn't see them to begin with. Speed and agility would win them the battle.
Ken was breathing hard by the time Poliwhirl began to slow down, sharing in his friend's exhaustion. The tree was stripped of bark, and both it and the surrounding grass completely soaked. Leaning back to stretch, Ken couldn't help the smile of satisfaction that crept onto his face. They were making good progress - at the rate they were going, Sabrina's badge would be his by the end of the week.
"Wow." Ken gave a start at the sudden noise and, turning on his heel, found a girl standing behind him, arms crossed under her breasts. She gave him a warm smile, but when she spoke, there was an edge of competition in her voice. "That's a strong Poliwhirl you've got there. Would you mind having a quick battle?"
Where did she come from? Ken asked, blinking in confusion. He hadn't heard her approach, and the sudden offer for a duel seemed, well, sudden. Ken glanced skywards and realized that the afternoon had all but passed while they trained. How long had she been watching them?
"Sure," Ken stuttered out, nodding. As he backed up to give the Pokemon room to fight, he examined his opponent. A perky face, black ponytail dangling from behind her head, she looked as unassuming as a Pokemon trainer possibly could. And that body... Ken shook his head, forcing his mind to stay on task. If he let his concentration wander like that, he wouldn't last long.
The girl fell into a battle stance, as though she was the one about to fight Poly, and whipped out a Pokeball from her waistband. "Jolteon, let's do this!" There was a flash of red energy, and a large, dog-like shape formed on the grass between the two trainers. It quickly coalesced into the signature yellow, spiked fur and large ears that Jolteon sported, and it stretched its front legs forward in a massive yawn.
Crap. An electric type.
Biting his lip, Ken steadied himself. "No worry, Poly. You've got this in the bag," he said, surprised at how much confidence his voice carried. Sending a water-type in to fight an electric-type was a long shot, but if they could win this then they would prove they had a chance against Sabrina. And Surge, when the time came. Perhaps Poly's fighting-type attributes would-
"Jolteon! Thunder Bolt!" The flash that followed was so fast that Ken hardly had time to blink. The strike kicked up dust as it struck the ground, instantly obscuring the battle field.
"Around, Poly! Two guns and a punch!" Ken shouted, spotting Poly charging forward through the dust. So the thunder bolt had missed - that was excellent. As he watched Poly begin to double around the Jolteon, legs working hard, Ken twitched his eyes to his opponent. The girl looked slightly confused. That was good. He and Poly had worked on a series of commands that couldn't be instantly recognized by their opponent trainer. Making your attack obvious before you used it was a sure way to lose.
Two powerful water guns blasted their way across the grass toward Jolteon as Poly closed in. The water Pokemon continued to sidestep as he approached, dodging a stray bolt of electricity. The Jolteon was fast enough to dodge the water guns, but only barely. The struggle on the dog-like Pokemon's was apparent.
Poly suddenly switched directions, finding himself positioned perfectly beside the Jolteon. His white-gloved fist came up...
Jolteon let out a ear-splitting growl that sent everyone else in the field staggering. Poly stepped back, his fist faltering. "Tackle!" Jolteon turned and slammed into Poly before he could recover, the two of them rolling across the grass.
"Shake it off, Poly!" Ken shouted encouragingly. "Come back with a storm!" The girl opposite him hunched down at the command, obviously preparing for a devastating move. Ken had to smile.
Poly flipped back onto his feet and, with a uproarious "Poly!" let out a stream of bubbles. They quickly surrounded the two dueling Pokemon, once again obscuring the field. "Hit her hard, Poly!" The sound of Poly's glove colliding with the Jolteon reached him a second later.
"Thunder shock, Jolteon!" the girl shouted. A second later lightning flashed through the bubbles, popping some and redirecting into the ground. More bubbles quickly appeared to replace those that had been destroyed by the lightning as Poly continued to churn out more.
"Another gun!" Ken shouted, the smile still on his face. It looked like he had this one in the bag. There was a sudden splash and whimper from within the bubbles.
Ken couldn't help but glance back at his opponent, and was happy to see a slight tinge of worry in her expression. "Thunder bolt!" she shouted, the noise causing a few Pidgey to take flight from the nearby trees. There was a flash, and another loud whimper. And then all went still.
Ken waited anxiously as the bubbles began to fade. The last whimper sounded like a finishing blow. He knew his Poly, and that hadn't sounded like him. He wasn't down for the count. He couldn't be...
The bubbles finished dispersing to show a slightly exhausted Poliwhirl standing over a downed Jolteon. Ken let out an instinctive whoop, leaping into the air fist first. They had won. They would beat Sabrina for sure!
"Jolteon!" the girl ran out to her Pokemon, but Ken could already see from where he stood that the Jolteon wasn't hurt badly. With a sad whimper the Jolteon pushed itself to its feet, turning shamed eyes on its trainer. Ken began to stride over to show his commiserations.
Poly greeted him happily, and Ken patted the water Pokemon on the head affectionately. "You did me proud, Poly," he said with a smile before turning to the girl and the Jolteon. The girl was running her hands over her Pokemon, making sure it wasn't hurt in any way. "Good fight," Ken said simply.
The girl looked up as Ken stuck his hand out. She shook it, a small smile forming on her face. "Alice. Alice Gardner," she replied. "Very good. Your Poliwhirl is as well trained as I thought."
"Your Jolteon wasn't bad either," Ken said. "It was a hard fought battle."
"Thanks." Alice rose to her feet and stretched, her Jolteon nuzzling her leg beside her. It seemed to have made a very quick recovery. "That was a good strategy, soaking Jolteon so her own lightning would hurt her instead of your Pokemon. It's a good thing lightning doesn't leave any lasting effects on my poor baby." She leaned down and scratched the Jolteon behind the ears. "And the slightly coded commands. Very well done."
Ken nodded in thanks. "So where are you headed?" he asked. Trainers often wandered uncivilized parts of Kanto looking for wild Pokemon, but to run into one was usually fairly rare.
"I was on my way to Saffron City," Alice replied, nodding to the horizon.
"Going to challenge Sabrina?" Ken smiled. "You have a good shot at getting her badge, I think."
Alice laughed, whole and deep, her ponytail bobbing merrily. "No, no," she said amongst chortles. "There's a Pokemon breeding competition in a couple days. I'm taking my Jolteon to enter."
"So you're a Pokemon breeder?"
Alice nodded. "I've always loved raising Pokemon. Battling keeps then strong and healthy," she replied, answering Ken's next question. He hadn't met many Breeders who went looking for a fight. "How about you?" she asked curiously.
"I'm aiming for my next gym badge," Ken said, pulling out his wallet. He showed Alice his Cascade Badge.
"Oh, wow," Alice mumbled as she leaned in for a closer look. "That's so neat. Was it hard to get?"
Ken shook his head. "Poly here did a pretty good job, and my Oddish held her own too."
Alice straightened, looking impressed. "Well, I think you've got a good shot at that gym badge in Saffron," she complimented. "Do you mind if I travel with you?"
Ken smiled, and said simply, "The company would be nice." And they set out for Saffron City, heads held high in the late afternoon sun. Ken would later wish that he had known what he was getting into, but for now his spirits were high and his optimism flowing.
Mewtwo floated lithely above the top of a large pine, staring down on the two trainers in the field below. A breeze blew across him, carrying warm air from the south and shaking the tree slightly beneath him, but he ignored it. His focus was completely on the young boy. A small smile lit the boy's face as he talked with the girl, and his hand absently patted the Poliwhirl at his side. To Mewtwo, the boy looked no different from any other new trainer - young and ambitious. He was good, he had to admit, but nothing special.
"So, this is the boy?" Mewtwo said in a low rumble, ensuring his voice didn't travel far. He had inverted the light surrounding both him and his companion, obscuring them from sight, but that wouldn't contain noise if they were careless. The last thing they wanted was for the two trainers to notice them.
"Yes." The voice echoed directly in his mind, reverberating. Ho-Oh was perched on the pine next to Mewtwo, comfortable in his footing. How the spindly branches held the Legendary Pokemon's weight, Mewtwo could only guess at. He too was watching the kids below, an unreadable look on his avian face.
"And the girl?"
Ho-Oh let out a short sigh that came out as a hoot. It revealed how tired he was. Nothing usually phased the Pokemon, but after the other day, he seemed stretched too thin.
"She was not part of it, that I can remember," Ho-Oh replied, almost hesitantly. Another sign of how much this was wearing on him. Ho-Oh was a lot of things, but never hesitant.
Mewtwo nodded. "What do you intend to do?"
Silence, then, "I do not know."
Mewtwo glanced at his companion from the corner of his eye. Hesitant and indecisive. Mewtwo had been given the full details of the vision Ho-Oh had seen three days prior, and it surprised him little how shaken Ho-Oh appeared to be now. He had been worse when he had first approached Mew and himself with the news. Mewtwo had to admit, had he been the one to receive the vision, he wouldn't have known what to do at all.
From what Mewtwo understood, the vision had struck Ho-Oh in his sleep. Most of it seemed to be pocketed with holes, something Ho-Oh took as a very bad sign. What he remembered, however, was the young boy battling an "enigma". It still didn't make much sense to Mewtwo, but Ho-Oh seemed unnerved by it, and that was enough to grab Mewtwo's attention.
Ho-Oh stretched his wings, shifting his position on the tree. "Something should be done soon," Ho-Oh muttered, half to himself. "The boy was no older in the vision than he is now. It happens, and it happens soon."
What happens? All they could really derive from the vision was that whatever was to happen, it would threaten the very existence of their world. Mewtwo did not feel fear, but the thought made him stand on edge.
"Perhaps we should call on the others," Mewtwo suggested. There had not been a meeting of the Legendaries in over three thousand years, or so Mewtwo was told - he himself had only been around a few years. Mew had taken it upon herself to school Mewtwo on the Legendaries, since he was now considered a part of their elite group. Mewtwo appreciated the help, though he knew he would never truly fit anywhere. He was an enigma himself.
Ho-Oh seemed to be considering the idea. He watched the kids below as they began to make their way out of the field, disappearing into the treeline in the direction of Saffron. Mewtwo watched them go, feeling a touch of sympathy for them. They had no idea what truly lie before them.
"I think this would be a topic the others would be interested to hear," Ho-Oh finally concluded. "Ol' Entei won't be pleased, but then he's always been a cranky one." Ho-Oh chuckled softly. "Let us go then, my friend, to call a meeting of the Legendaries!"
A few notes: I'm not going to spell Pokemon with the dash above it due to laziness. Just in case anyone was bothered by it's disappearance (were you bothered? Hah.) And second: Thank you for reading, and reviewing if you do!