The sky was overcast, the look and feel of a big storm was looming in the distance. However the atmosphere within one of the many classrooms of the Ranger Academy was quite the opposite. Supercharged and filled with chatter, the students were all out of their seats and conversing. One of the students, a girl with ruby red hair and pale green eyes, was one of the few who seemed to be making the most conversation.
"Isn't it strange that they're accepting a transfer this late in the school year," she commented, "I also hear that this new kid is from the Kanto region."
One of the other girls who was standing near the desk to the right just laughed and shook her head, "It's amazing how you pick up those pieces of information Judy," she then sat down in her seat while asking, "Do you know if they're a boy or a girl?"
Judy glanced up towards the ceiling in a thoughtful manner, as if trying to recall more specific details. She then shook her head, "It was mostly chatter, that's all I heard." Judy sighed, "I'll have to do better next time if I want to be a top operator."
"Don't worry about it Judy, that's why we're here right!" one of the boys piped in. They all laughed for a moment before falling silent when the side door slid open. The teacher walked in, she was alone and carrying the folder which held that days lessons. It wasn't hard for her to see that they were expecting someone else; this made her smile slightly before she reached her podium and set the folder down. Waiting a moment before brushing some stray hair behind her ear, she turned to the class and smiled.
"Well class, I'm sure you are all wondering about our new arrival."
It was at these words that the whole class took a deep breath. Their eyes moved towards the door when it opened again, this time a boy walked in. He was dressed in the Ranger Academy uniform already and seemed to have a very friendly look about him. He had short blonde hair that had a slight cowlick, and like the others who seemed to be studying him, his own emerald green eyes studied them right back. Time itself seemed to slow down until finally the boy smiled and spoke.
"I'm Jack Walker," he said, "But you can call me Jackie."
Just his words alone seemed to make the entire class breath a collective sigh of relief. When Jackie turned towards the teacher, he gave her a friendly smile as well. Returning the smile, the teacher gave a nod before looking out onto the class.
"Jackie here has traveled all the way from the Kanto region to join us," she placed a hand on his shoulder while continuing, "I know he'll be starting a little late, but I hope all of you will all join in making him as comfortable and as welcome as you can." she then motioned towards an empty desk at the front, "You may sit there, and do hurry, we have a busy day ahead of us."
Not saying a word, Jackie gave a nod while walking over and taking a seat. To his right was Judy who gave him a big smile, and to his left was another boy. He had rather messy looking navy blue hair and dark eyes, he had an extremely sunny disposition and once Jackie was situated he leaned over. He appeared ready to say something but had stopped before he had started, once a moment had passed he leaned back and shook his head. It seemed a little odd and Judy was going to comment on it, but the class had already started. That day they would be going over the various types of Pokémon there are in the world and more specifically in that region, as well as the type of work the Ranger Union does.
As predicted, a thunderstorm had broken out; wind and rain rattled the windows. The students inside were busy now having their lunch and chatting once more. There was a small group around Jackie's desk, Judy was at the very front and seemed to be the one asking the most questions. She was standing just to his left while brushing some hair out of her face.
"So Jackie, I bet you want to be a Pokémon Ranger right?"
Jackie, who had been in the middle of eating a sandwich when the question was asked, though he really only had to give a nod. Swallowing he then chuckled, "That's right, it's the least I can do after all." he sipped some water before glancing around the classroom, "I'm finally here..." a soft sigh slipped from his lips as a thoughtful smile formed. He wasn't given much time after that to dwell on his thoughts when the flood of questions started up again.
"Oh, oh, hey Jackie, why do you want to be a Pokémon Ranger?" one girl piped in, though was not given a ready answer when another question was asked.
"What about a girlfriend, do you have one?"
"Oh stop it Annie, don't ask such a stupid question."
Sitting silently and grinning, Jackie was rather amused by the questions. However, his attention had ventured over towards the right corner of the room. The blue haired boy was sitting by himself eating and apparently watching them. It was hard to place, but he didn't seem to be too bothered by his solitude. Normally, most people would have a look of longing when watching their peers while alone, but he didn't.
"Hey! Come on over!" Jackie waved his hand towards the other. The action, though, had caused the other boy to jolt and then give a hesitant wave before looking down at his desk. "Hm? What's wrong with him?"
"Oh, that's Zekke," Judy explained, "He's a transfer also; I believe he's from somewhere in Unova."
"Yeah, he doesn't talk much," one of the boys said, "He's a total creeper, always sitting by himself and grinning like an idiot."
Judy gave the boy a stern look before turning back towards Jackie, "Don't listen to him, Zekke is really nice, he's just not very sociable."
"Hmm..." Jackie looked over at Zekke and caught him staring again. As if by instinct, he waved again and like before, his action was more or less ignored.
"Listen Jackie, after lunch I can give you a tour of the school. Ms. Brooke told me you'll probably need one." Judy explained, "I'll show you were the dorms are and the library and the teachers lounge."
"Hm? Oh, yes that sounds great, thanks." Jackie nodded, though paused a moment, "What was your name again?" now that he thought about it, he wasn't sure if she had told him. It was a little embarrassing, but he was new after all.
"My name's Judy, I plan on becoming a top operator." she introduced with a confidant smirk, after which, Judy sat down at her desk to wait for Jackie to finish. In the meantime, Zekke had finished his and was in the middle of throwing his trash out. As he walked by he glanced over at the others. There was an unusual yet unreadable look on his face, not a word was said and he just left the room.
Lunch finished a few minutes later and all the students were free to go about their own business. Jackie left the classroom with Judy and was making his way down the long hallway that lead deeper into the school. The two of them were silent until they reached a large staircase, one set of stairs lead up to the second floor while the other lead down into the basement.
"Alright Jackie, incase you don't already know, the stairs leading to the second floor is where the common room and student dorms are. The girls' dorm is on the right and the boys on the left." Judy looked at Jackie, "The dorm mother's name is Lily, and she's been here for ever but is really nice. She's in charge of cleaning and making sure everything dorm related runs smoothly."
"I think I spoke with her earlier today," Jackie pondered, "What about those stairs?" he then pointed to the ones that lead downstairs.
"Those lead to the basement, students aren't allowed down there unless accompanied by a teacher."
Jackie gave a nod, he made sure to commit this information to memory before the two of them started walking towards the right hand door. Judy was the first to reach it and as such was the one to open it. Inside there were two rows of larger desks, a rather old but large sofa and a handful of chairs ranging from rolling, folding, and easy. There were only three other people in the room at the moment, Ms. Brooke being one of them, an older gentleman with a very friendly looking face and handlebar mustache, and then a taller gentleman with short grey and white hair. He wasn't exactly an older man so it was rather unusual to see him with white and grey hair. What stuck out about him was his very unprofessional appearance. He looked as if he had just thrown on whatever was lying around and didn't bother shaving.
"Ah, Judy, I see you've brought our newest addition." the elder man noted when he spotted the two at the door, "Come in, come in, let me get a look at him."
Judy grinned and nodded; she then grabbed Jackie's hand and led him over to the older gentleman. "This is Mr. Carnegie, he's the principle here." she explained.
Mr. Carnegie gave a nod and a smile, "I hear you came a very long way just to be here," he noted, "I'm pleased to welcome you to the Ranger Academy...um..."
"Jack...Jack Walker." Jackie filled in quickly, "You can call me Jackie though, most people do."
"Jackie, what a fun name," Mr. Carnegie chuckled, "Well, I trust Judy is giving you the grand tour. It's just a shame it's storming so badly out, there is so much more to see."
"Yes I am Mr. Carnegie!" Judy beamed, "Oh, and this guy over here is Mr. Jill."
"Gulle..." the sloppy male corrected with a very flat and monotone voice, "It's Mr. Gulle...I teach the class next to Ms. Brooke." he didn't sound exceptionally thrilled with his words, or the concept of teaching.
"Ah, it's nice to meet all of you." Jackie nodded.
"Right, well, we better continue on with the tour! I still have to show Jackie the library." Without waiting for the teachers to respond, Judy was already dragging Jackie out of the teachers lounge. "You'll have to excuse Mr. Jill, he's sort of...laid back...I guess."
"Oh, no it's fine." Jackie mused, the school was turning out to be more colorful than he had expected. But that wasn't a bad thing, he was actually quite enjoying himself.
"Alright, well...this is the library." Judy smiled, she pulled open a slightly larger door. Inside, the room was much larger than the teachers lounge. There were books lining the walls all the way to the back. Some shelves were shorter so is not to block the large windows, which were currently blackened by the storm outside. There were other shelves with books as well as tables and chairs set up for students who wanted to sit and study.
"We have all sorts of books here," Judy said, "It's a great place to come and study too, though most students study in their rooms or in the common room."
"I see..." Jackie started to say, only to stop when another boy stepped out from what he assumed was the stacks. "Hm?"
"Oh!" Judy perked up, "Myles! Myles over here!" she practically bounced out of her shoes waving. The boy at the end seemed to halt instantly before looking up. Despite his somewhat wild appearance, what with yellow and blue hair...a bright flashy grin split across his face.
"Hey Judy~! There's my main girl, who's the newbie?" he rushed over at near breakneck speed, only to stop right in front of Jackie. Myles, as he was now called, stood at least a foot and a half taller than Jackie and was busy staring down at him.
"This is Jackie, he just transferred here from Kanto." Judy introduced, "Jackie, this is Myles, he's going to graduate this year."
"That's right, and I'm going to miss you my dear Judy! But don't fret, it will only be for a short time, fore you will become a beautiful operator and I...I shall be the Ranger you so lovingly order around~" Myles and taken Judy's hand and was already down on one knee, "Judy~ by all means, give me a little preview, command me for I am your loyal dog~!"
Judy just rolled her eyes and gave Myles a shove, "Oh stop it, I don't have time to play with you. I have to finish giving Jackie a tour of the school."
"Hm..." Myles glanced over at Jackie, who in turn gave him a slightly hesitant grin, "Very well! I will treat your words like a mission! I will stay out of your way for now dear Judy; HOWEVER!" he pointed at Jackie, "I will be keeping an eye on you newbie, you do anything to jeopardize her chances of becoming an operator I will end you quickly and painfully!"
The smile Jackie had been wearing had vanished rather quickly at those words. Myles, who noticed this right away just busted out laughing and gave him a sharp slap on the back.
"There's a good lad! No worries, I won't actually kill you...but no really...don't you go dragging her into troublesome situations. She's a hard worker and I would hate to see some newbie ruin things for her."
"Heh, she seems to do most of the dragging here." Jackie smiled again, though it was more nervous and forced than previous ones.
Myles just smirked and gave a slightly less forceful pat before waving and being on his way. Once he was out of sight, Jackie heaved a heavy sigh which earned him a chuckle from Judy.
"Don't let him bother you, Myle's is a good guy, he's just a little outlandish." she tried assuring him, "Come on, I'll show you the dorms now, we can finish the tour tomorrow though when the rain has stopped."
The two of them left the library and started back towards the large staircase. Taking the stairs upwards, they reached the common room where most of the students were now hanging out. Some of them had walked over and started talking with Judy, Jackie hung back and watched though took notice to the boy from before. Zekke was sitting alone on one of the large comfy easy chairs nearest the window. He was staring out at the storm intently and would jolt now and then when a flash of lightening would light up the sky or a particularly loud clap of thunder would strike.
Seeing that Judy was a little distracted at the moment, he took this opportunity to walk over and stand next to the chair. At first Zekke didn't seem to notice him, Jackie was prepared to break the ice when the other boy looked up and gave him a smile.
"Hey, I'm Jackie." Jackie introduced right away, the boy just gave a hearty nod before looking back out the window, "Hmmm, so why did you transfer to this school?"
Zekke was silent but seemed to be contemplating the question, when he didn't give any sort of response, Jackie sighed.
"Alright, so...your name is Zekke right? What sort of Pokémon do you like?"
Once again, Zekke looked thoughtful but didn't answer. He did, however, look back up at Jackie with a slightly less cheery expression. When he looked away, he sighed and just shook his head.
"You don't...like Pokémon?" Jackie inquired; it seemed rather odd that someone who didn't like Pokémon had enrolled at the Ranger Academy.
When Zekke looked back up at him, Jackie froze, the boy slowly got to his feet. He was about an inch or two shorter than Jackie but there was something about the look in his dark eyes that made Jackie feel smaller. It seemed to last far longer than it really did, when Zekke finally smiled, the tension in the air seemed to dissipate instantly.
Not a word was said, Zekke just reached into his pocket and pulled out a small flash light. With a click, he turned it on and moments later there was a particularly loud crash of thunder that seemed to rattle the whole building before a large bolt of lightening split the sky. Seconds after that the lights flickered as the power failed and the whole school was left in darkness.