What's Next?

With Harris's testimony, all conspirators in the murder of Emperor Alph were arrested, including Oliver the chief of chamber, Ariel the harem overseer, two butlers, a treasury overseer, and two royal scribes. Tilly was also detained, though her mind was rendered almost useless by the rapid expansion and subsequent reduction of power within her cells. Denyen led the royal guard in defense of Jomon as they crowned him Emperor Alph IV.

"What's going to happen?" Claire asked the Professor.

"That's up to Jomon and his people now. They write their futures."

Disappointed, she said, "Well, yeah. But you already know how things are going to turn out from those decisions. So come on. Spill it."

He just grinned. "Inspired by the sight of your roserade, Jomon will take his countrymen north toward the region of Sinnoh. A small gathering of ambassadors from both regions leads to a spectacular merging of the two cultures. Jomon's reign will be long and benevolent, and it will end with Johto becoming a republic, very soon to become a part of a greater nation. New species of pokémon will begin to migrate through the regions. The region will prosper because of what you've done."

"It took both of us," she corrected him. "And Jomon. He really earned his kingdom the way he handled those rhydons. Belle is never going to believe me when I get home and tell her about all this."

The Professor paused for a moment as they looked out at ancient Violet City for the last time. "Is that what's next for Claire? One adventure and it's back to studying ancient civilizations through the items that survive the ages?"

"Is that supposed to be some sort of offer?"

"There's a lot more out there. All of time and space available at your whim. It doesn't all have to be a history lesson. You can take your dream vacation on the beaches of Pokémon Island. You can hone your battling skills in the very first Pokémon League tournament. Or if history really is what turns you on, we can go all the way back to watch the beginning of the universe. Whatever you can imagine, the TARDIS can take us there." He stroked the door frame of his blue box. "So what do you say?"

Claire thought about it for a moment. She'd always been engrossed in her work to the point nothing else mattered. She wanted to make a name by knowing everything that happened in the past. But here was a man—a brilliant, ridiculous, nutty, time-traveling, mad man—who was offering her the opportunity to go wherever she wanted to and actually witness the past.

But not just the past. The future was also available. So much she didn't know about yet: merging societies, brand new pokémon, the legacy of her home culture…

"You said Jomon's people meet the people of Sinnoh and join cultures."

"Yeah."

"Can we swing by Belle's house quickly so she doesn't worry about me?"

"I can get you back at the exact moment we left. She'll never know you were gone."

Claire smiled at the possibilities. "Will we encounter any legendary pokémon?"

The Professor smiled and offered her his hand. "I guarantee it."