Thanks! I always like to know how my readers interpret my stories.
Thanks for the advice. I'll work on that for sure.
Believe it or not, I created this story because of all the frontier brain stories. I like them, but they never seem to get far enough; they end up abandoned, even when they are really good. As for shipping, it's a wildcard for sure; even I don't know what will happen (…well, maybe a little). As for the 7th brain thing, there will be an explanation for that. I don't like how stories want to jump into the action near the beginning of the story; that's why my story may seem a bit slow. I think it'll be worth it in the end, though.
Thanks! I'll do my best!
While I'm sure that would make a great story, I'm afraid that it doesn't align with the direction that I was thinking of. However, I appreciate you reading this and will always take into consideration suggestions that I feel would improve the story (reviewer or not).
~For the record, Ash is older than ten in this story, as many of you probably guessed. This applies to all of the other characters as well. How old are they exactly? I'll leave that up to the reader's interpretation for now.
Again, you've all been wonderful. I hope to hear more from my audience. Now let's get this show on the road!
"When is the new Frontier Brain going to be able to start battling?"
"What is the backstory on Ash Ketchum? Why do you believe he is qualified to be a Frontier Brain at such an age?"
"Scott, do you think that he will be able to uphold a battle facility at such a young age?"
"Will Mr. Ketchum have his own battle facility, or will he inherit the facility of the retired…"
Scott held up his right hand, silencing the noisy bunch. As much as he enjoyed the attention that his facility was getting, he rather disliked dealing with the ever-so-annoying reporters. Regardless, Scott knew that he had to press on for just a bit longer. After all, the big moment of this interview was approaching…
"Now, where was I?" Scott dryly asked the reporters. And even with Scott's trademark sunglasses on, each reporter could feel his cold gaze seeping through. They shuffled around in their seats nervously until Scott snapped his fingers in remembrance.
"Ah, now I remember. Now, in order to understand my new Frontier Brain's decisions, you have to understand his friends and family. This may seem off-topic, but I assure you that this is very relevant to what I will say later."
"Alright guys, good work! Next time, I'm sure you'll be victorious!"
Misty Waterflower had just finished a gym match against a local starting Pokémon trainer. Using surprising wit and impressive determination, the young girl had managed to beat Misty and earn the Cascade Badge. She impressed Misty, who could safely say was not easily amazed. The female challenger reminded Misty of herself when she had been traveling with Ash.
She looked over to her fallen team with pride. The girl had managed to take down Misty's newly captured Poliwag and Goldeen, but not before sustaining losing a Pokémon and leaving with a fairly injured one. Misty considered that a success for her two new Pokémon; despite the loss, her Pokémon battled marvelously and without fear or hesitation. The Poliwag was happy to have battled on Misty's behalf, but the Goldeen looked a bit crestfallen.
"Hey, don't worry about it," Misty said softly to Goldeen. The gym leader knew firsthand how devastating a loss, especially the first, could be. "This was your first battle and you did great. You can only get better from here, you know. We start training tomorrow and soon you'll be a powerful Seaking!"
Goldeen shook its head weakly in protest. Misty was surprised for a moment, but slowly grinned in understanding.
"I see. You just want to be a strong Goldeen, right?" she guessed, almost completely sure that she was correct. Goldeen nodded in agreement. It was uncommon for a Pokémon like Goldeen to become strong and not evolve, but it wasn't the first time that Misty was exposed to this situation.
"I'll admit that I've become good Pokémon trainer thanks to that immature kid from a few years ago. The experiences and lessons I've learned along the way have really helped define myself," she thought as she recalled her Poliwag and Goldeen. "These two are proof of it. They battle better than my Starmie did against Ash when he battled for the Cascade badge. I also learned how to inspire my water Pokémon, even after a tough loss. But even so…"
She glanced over the water field, letting out a tired sigh. The battlefield was swamped with water that splashed out of the pool, which in turn left an empty pool. In short, the gym was a mess which required cleaning, a task that unfortunately fell under Misty's jurisdiction.
"…I wish I could do more than just this. I love being a gym leader and all, but I'm never going to realize my dream of being the best water-type Pokémon trainer by staying here and battling newbies."
Misty grabbed a mop and started cleaning the surrounding area. In her boredom, her thoughts drifted to her sisters and how they were off being the models they always dreamed of being. While Misty disliked having this responsibility forced upon her, her sisters' modeling income helped to support the gym; the pay for being a gym leader was slightly better to that of a Pokémon Battling School Instructor.
In layman's terms…not very much.
She supposed that it could've been worse. While she was restricted in terms of travel, she had a steady source of income and a good place to live. Misty also loved her hometown; there were many places for her water-type Pokémon to train. In addition, her Pokémon enjoyed living here, and that was very important to Misty. She was grateful for her adventures with Ash, but she made and choice a long time ago to leave Ash to his adventures while she matured in life. Misty knew that it was the best decision.
She perked up as she heard the doors of the gym open. Unfortunately, the challenger would have to wait until Misty finished up cleaning. It wasn't the sound of footsteps echoed throughout the mini-stadium that Misty addressed her visitor.
"Welcome to the Cerulean Gym. My name is Misty Waterflower," she introduced with her back turned to her visitor. She let out a small grunt as she swept the mop over a particular wet splotch residing on the floor. "Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until…"
A low chuckle interrupted her monologue. "Well, that sounds very well-rehearsed. But, I'm afraid I didn't come here for a challenge, Ms. Waterflower."
Misty threw the mop down in frustration and let out a huff before turning to address her visitor properly. To her surprise, the owner of the Kanto Battle Frontier was standing before her. While Misty never met him in person, his image was plastered all around the region. He and his facility were highly regarded in general; he was something of a celebrity.
"Don't let his identity get to you," Misty told herself. "Just say hi and ask why he's here."
She walked towards him, trying to her best to look a little presentable. "Hello. You must be Sc-"
Misty slipped on a sneaky patch of water and fell on her behind. She was slightly stunned; she wasn't sure if it was from the fall or from the sheer embarrassment that she caused herself in front of this man. To make matters worse, Scott was trying his best to be professional about the situation, but he was failing miserably at holding back his laughter.
Despite this, he held out his hand and helped Misty up. He noted the bright red color that flushed her face; it amused him so.
"S-sorry about that," she apologized shakily. "Anyways, I believe that you are Scott of the Kanto Battle Frontier, correct?"
He nodded in affirmation. "The one and only. I don't suppose you want identification?"
"None is required. Your very existence provides all the proof," Misty said as she regained her composure. "Your face is all around Kanto."
"Well, I do love the attention that my facility gets. The more well-reputed my facility and I get…the better. Unfortunately, that means that I have to deal with the paparazzi," Scott explained. "I have an interview two days from today, and I'm definitely not looking forward to it."
Scott shuddered in horror as Misty looked at him with a curious expression. She was expecting Scott to be a little more…celebrity-ish? He just seemed like a fun-loving guy to her; at least, that what she's managed gather in the short time that they've been speaking.
"But anyways, I didn't come here to complain about my job," he said, assuming a more serious expression. "I'm here to offer you something."
Misty froze up as her heart-rate quickened. "Is he going to ask me to be a Frontier Brain? Does he think that I'm good enough to join his frontier? Should I accept if he does? …No, I shouldn't. But the pay is way better and I get to fight stronger trainers! But I also promised by sisters that I would stay here…"
"I want you to be the manager of my newest Battle Frontier Brain."
Scott noticed Misty's slightly disappointed expression, but he brushed it off after her expression was replaced by that of further confusion.
"Huh? Manager of what?" she asked as she was truly confused by what he meant.
"I want you to be almost like a secretary," Scott said. "You would be in charge of everything except battling challengers. Your responsibilities would include financial control, paperwork, setting up of appointments, and other things. You wouldn't have to worry about repairing the battlefield though since I already have someone for that. It looks like you wouldn't particularly enjoy the job anyways," he said with a sly smile. Misty could feel heat rising to her ears as she recalled the moment.
The Cerulean native thought about it for a moment. "Why me?" she asked. "I would think that someone like you would have connections to get you people perfect for this job."
Scott's smile widened; he knew that question was going to come sooner or later. "I'm asking you because my newest Frontier Brain requested you personally. And to be honest, I think that you would do very well at managing. It's not that much different from being a gym leader and you have plenty of experience doing that."
"Requested me personally? Just who is this person and how do they know me?"
"The person in question is none other than Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town," Scott announced with a certain amount of pride. "He is my newest Frontier Brain."
The news was a little surprising to Misty; she didn't expect that guy to ever settle down. She always pegged him as someone who loved adventure and traveling, not that anything was wrong with that.
"Maybe he changed like I did…"Misty thought. "Can Ash…be done with his journeys?"
"It's a funny story about how he nearly hunted you down. He would've done it too, but I was heading this direction anyways," Scott laughed as he remembered the scene.
"Scott, I'm really tired of this already," Ash complained as he signed his initials for the hundredth time. The stack of papers that required his consent never seemed to decrease in size and his fingers were aching. "Can't I just say 'yes' to all of these?"
Scott shook his head. "I'm afraid not. You need to sign each and every line that says 'sign here'. It's a matter of legality," he said, switching a completed paper with an unsigned one. "The paperwork only increases in amount after you actually start your duties as a Frontier Brain. You'll have to get used to this."
After thirty more signatures, Ash threw his head back and groaned. "Scott, I don't think I'm cut out for all this stuff. I just want to battle strong trainers," he complained, putting down the pencil. "Isn't there someone else who can do it? Like a secretary or something?"
Scott pondered Ash's questions. There was no rule saying he couldn't have someone like that, although it would undermine Ash's ability to be responsible. Scott wanted Ash to grow not only as a trainer but a person as well; Scott had plans for Ash which involved him making smart choices in the face of adversity. Despite this, Scott figured that allowing Ash to have a manager would be beneficial in the long run. Ash would have an example to follow so that when he did assume his full responsibilities, it wouldn't be new or overwhelming to him.
"I have a few people in mind that could do…well, just that," Scott said. "You'll still have to maintain some responsibilities outside of the battlefield, but the bulk of the work will be handled by your manager."
"YES! No more boring paperwork for me!" Ash shouted in triumph. He jumped out of his chair and did a little mini-dance of victory. Apparently, the young trainer had selective hearing; he completely missed the part about 'maintaining some responsibilities outside of the battlefield'.
"Shall I make a few calls, then?" Scott asked as he picked up his phone expectantly.
Ash was about to give the okay, but he hesitated.
"Actually, now that I think about it…" he mumbled. His eyebrows furrowed in thought while Scott patiently waited. Suddenly, a thought came to Ash. "Scott! If it's possible, can I make a suggestion for the position?"
"I have a friend over in Cerulean City. She is the gym leader and her name is Misty…Waterflower?" Ash said, trailing off into a question as he tried to recall Misty's last name. "Anyways, I think that she would be really good at this kind of stuff since she is a gym leader and all."
"If she's a gym leader, doesn't that mean that she won't be able to leave the Cerulean Gym?" Scott asked. "And I'm afraid that your new Frontier won't be able to be built in proximity to Cerulean City due to its construction policy."
"She has sisters who are all qualified as gym leaders," Ash explained. "They are out and about right now, but I'm sure that they'll come back if she's leaving. They are better gym leaders for the new trainers anyways, since they aren't as skilled as Misty is." He paused for a moment. "I'll even ask her myself. I'll head down there right now!"
Scott held up his hands, stopping Ash's rashness. "Easy there tiger. If she's really that important to you, I'll go down there and ask myself. I'm heading to the old Kanto Power Plant, so it's on my way there." Scott wrote down his phone number on a piece of paper and handed it to Ash. "Expect a call from me tomorrow. You should stay local until then."
"So there you have it," Scott finished up.
Misty snorted in response. "Tch. That guy needs to use his brain more, I swear…"
Scott looked puzzled. "Is there something wrong, Ms. Waterflower?"
"Unfortunately, there is. While my sisters are qualified gym leaders, they hate being gym leaders. They would much rather prefer the limelight than the responsibilities tagged along with being a gym leader," Misty explained to Scott. "Plus, I don't think they'll be back to even visit anytime soon. Their 'work' keeps them traveling and they could be anywhere right now. I'm sorry, but I'll have to decline your offer."
"I see," he said, nodding in understanding. "Well, it's a shame that you can't join us. I can already tell that you would be perfect for the job."
"How would you know?"
Scott's eyes twinkled mischievously. "I always make sure to research these things. My connections have informed me that this gym is very well run, which I can deduce from my own observations."
"Well, of course!" Misty exclaimed, puffing out her chest with a bit of pride. "It's a personal goal for me to make sure that my gym is the best in all of Kanto."
"Now I can see why you wanted her for this, Ash," Scott thought as Misty continued boasting about the gym. "Sorry Misty, but you are going to be a part of my facility soon, whether you like it or now. I'll personally make sure of that."
While Misty was still talking enthusiastically about the latest gym arrangements, Scott suddenly interrupted her. "Sorry, but I must take my leave know," he said as he fished something out of his pocket. He drew out a small white card and handed to Misty, who took it with a raised eyebrow. "This is my card. If anything changes, give me a call. The position won't be open forever, so I hope you'll apply soon."
Before he left, he turned to Misty one last time. "Oh…and Ash says 'I'll see you soon, Mist'."
"I'll admit something to you all. I have a bit of a mischievous side," Scott said, chuckling a bit.
The reporters stared at him with a deadpan expression; they all could've guessed that in the small time that they were in the same room with the guy. Nonetheless, the reporters jotted it down in case the news stations could use it to their advantage later. Scott looked over them, confident that what he had to say next would get them riled up with excitement.
"After I passed through Cerulean City and was on my way to the power plant, I-"
A reporter suddenly stood up. "Scott, why did you head to old Kanto Power Plant? What business did you have there?"
The other reporters jumped on the same idea and rode the question that the first started.
"Does the power plant have anything to do the Ash Ketchum?"
"Why are you going to that abandoned place?"
Scott held up his hands once more to silence the noisy reporters. "That's none of your concern, I'm afraid," he said, much to the reporters dislike. "But I'll make sure to make it up to you all, I promise."
The reporters hated losing a potential scoop, but they were in no position to argue with the man. So they sat down and shut up as Scott continued to talk.
"As you may all recall, I told Misty I already had someone to clean up around the facility. Truth be told, I didn't have anyone to do that at the moment. I was just going to hire a regular janitor. However, I received a call from someone offering to take the job. As to who that person is…well, it's her name is Vera and she is another one of Ash's good friends," he explained, catching the reporters' short-spanning attention. Two good female friends of a male Frontier Brain living more or less under the same roof was the perfect recipe for a good story.
"I actually received a call from her while I was on my way to the Kanto Power Plant. It was quite the surprise, but I think that it worked out for the better," Scott said with suspicious glint in his eyes. "After all, the more friends…the merrier."
"Who is this?"
It was uncommon for Scott to receive a call from an unknown number, especially one from an area code outside of the Kanto region. On any other day, he would have probably ignored it but for some reason, he felt like he would've lost something important if the call wasn't answered.
"Umm…my name is Vera," the voice said; it sounded feminine to Scott's ears. "And I-"
"I'm sorry, but I think you have the wrong number," Scott interrupted dryly. He had to get off the phone with this person before they discovered who he was. "Good day, Vera."
"Wait! Don't hang up!" the voice yelled out.
Scott just stopped short of pushing the END button; he reluctantly pushed the phone back up to his ear. "Yes, what is it?"
"…My name is actually May. May Maple, to be exact," she truthfully introduced, sighing in relief that she got the right number. "I assume that this is Scott? I could never forget a voice like yours."
"May? Now that's a name that brings back some memories," he thought, reminiscing the days when Ash was just a challenger of his Battle Frontier. "I can't say that I'm not surprised to hear from her of all people."
"It's nice hearing from you after all these years," he said, his previously dry tone melting into an informally warm one. "What do I owe the pleasure of a surprise phone call from the 'Princess of Hoenn'?"
"Hasn't anyone ever told you that flattery will get you nowhere?" May laughed, nonetheless enjoying the compliment Scott gave to her.
Granted, it was Dawn who first said that to her, but it held extra emphasis since it was the famous Scott that said it. She eventually adopted that term after she achieved Top 4 in the Kanto Grand Festival. That was how, more or less, her stage name came to be.
"Maybe, but I tend to go against conventional advice," Scott replied with a chuckle. "But seriously, I didn't even know that you had my number."
"You aren't the only one with connections, you know," she said knowingly, answering Scott's unasked question.
"I should've figured," Scott said while grinning. "I assume there is reason that you called me?" He paused for a brief moment. "And now that I think about it, why did call yourself 'Vera'?"
"Oh…that," May sheepishly said. "Well, due to my fame, I can't have people knowing whose number this is in case I call someone I didn't mean to by accident. Since I had never called you before, I figured that I should play it safe until I could confirm your identity."
An uncomfortable silence held in the air for a bit as May thought about her next words carefully. She didn't want to come off as needy or desperate.
"Scott, there is something I would like to ask of you," she said, trying coming off as formal as possible. "I am aware that you not only are building a new battle facility, but also have enlisted a new Frontier Brain for your Battle Frontier. I was wondering…if you had any positions open…?"
"May, what exactly are you asking?" Scott asked, though he had a pretty good idea of what she was asking about.
"Alright, here it goes!" she thought confidently.
May let out the deep breath that she had been holding in. "Scott!" she shouted loudly, startling him in the process. "I would like to work for you in this new battle facility!"
"Now Scott, hear me out on this," May began hastily. "I can do pretty much anything and…wait, did you say 'sure'?"
"I sure did. I think you would be a welcome addition to our little family. Plus, the fame of having a top coordinator residing at the Kanto Battle Frontier wouldn't hurt our popularity," Scott said. "Unfortunately, the only job that I can think of you doing is janitorial duty. You would be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the facility by making sure everything is proper. Would you be up to that?"
"I think I can handle that."
Now it was Scott's turn to ask a question that had been on his mind. "If I may ask, why do you want to work at the new battle facility? Surely a top coordinator such as you can earn more money through winning contests."
"The money I got from getting Top 4 at the Kanto Grand Festival is somewhat substantial, but it isn't consistent and I'm pretty much screwed if I lose," May explained to him. "Besides, it's not about the money. I want to work for you because I believe that it could help me further my ability as a Pokémon Coordinator."
Scott couldn't help but laugh a little since May's reason for working under him nearly paralleled Ash's reason for becoming a Frontier Brain. But then again, he always thought that May was a lot like Ash…or was it the other way around?
"I've wanted to become a Top Coordinator almost all of my life. It's very important to me," she continued, hoping that Scott would understand. "I know that only really strong trainers challenge your Battle Frontier. I might be able to benefit by watching your Frontier Brain duke it out with these trainers. I might get new ideas for combinations that will help me woo the judges. I'll even train with the Frontier Brain in my spare time to get stronger! Heck, I'll even-"
"Okay, I think I get the picture," Scott laughed, cutting May off. He would've listening longer, but he was nearing the power plant as they spoke. "Anyways, you're hired. Where are you now?"
"I'm in Saffron City right now and getting some lunch," she replied.
"I'll need you to be in Viridian City in 2 days."
May's expression shifted to surprise once she heard that. She drank a bit of the water given by her waiter to calm her nerves, but still was still a little shaken.
"S-So soon? I mean, I can make the travel, but…" she trailed off, not wanting to finish the sentence
Scott sensed her hesitation and gave her a little push. "But what?"
"Umm…nothing," May sighed, her voice heavy with disappointment. "I'll give you a call when I get there. Should I buy anything or prepare for my job?"
"I don't think that will be necessary," Scott informed. "Just come as the Pokémon Coordinator that you are. I'm sure Ash will be pleased once he recognizes you and will be thrilled to know that you've joined the Kanto Battle Frontier."
"Wait, what? What does my job have to do with Ash?" May asked, slightly confused by Scott's words.
Scott, on the other hand, was confused by May's words. It took him a few seconds until he realized that May didn't know who the Frontier Brain was yet.
"Allow me to clarify, then," Scott said. "Ash is my newest Frontier Brain. You'll be working with him, if not a bit under him."
May was pleasantly surprised! She would be working with her old traveling friend, and she was certainly excited with the prospect. Ash was a great trainer and a wonderful friend; she missed him very much when she traveled around Kanto.
…although she wasn't too excited to be cleaning up after his messes.
Regardless, May couldn't be much happier. "Scott, you just made my day!"
"And I'm sure I'll make Ash's once I tell him that you are on the team," Scott added on. He loved telling people good news and their reactions associated with said good news.
"Ah…actually, I kind of want to do that myself."
"Oh? Is there any particular reason?" Scott asked. He didn't mind if May told him herself, but he at least wanted to know the reason as to why.
"I just want to surprise him," May explained, giggling at the prospect of a surprising Ash. "Just tell anybody who asks that I'm Vera, the newest cleanliness manager at the newest battle facility!"
"I'll make sure to honor your wishes, Ms. Vera," he promised to the coordinator. "I'll be seeing you shortly."
"Likewise! I'll catch ya later!" May said as she hung up her phone.
The Pokémon Coordinator squirmed in her chair in excitement. She could hardly wait to start her duties as a member of Ash's battle facility. The work itself wasn't all that appealing, but the prospect of being with Ash again somewhat compensated for it. She would go shopping for some clothes that she could surprise Ash with and…
With a heavy sigh, she just remembered that if she were to get to Viridian, she would have to leave today. That means…
"Oooh…almost no time for shopping…"
The reporters were writing all of this down furiously. Of course, Scott made sure to omit Vera's actual name while he was doing his retelling. As they continued writing, Scott checked his watch. At last, it was finally time for the big moment of this interview to happen.
"And now, I thank you for your time everyone. I hope that you've all enjoyed this interview," Scott announced to everyone, much to their confusion. Was the interview over already?
Scott was stepping off the podium when all of the reporters started to protest. Scott didn't even answer any of the important questions! What about Ash? What about the battle facility? They were in frenzy until, for the third time, Scott held up his hand for silence.
Scott pointed towards the door. "Now if you'll direct your attention towards the entrance, you'll find the answers to your questions."
After Scott spoke, two people entered the room. One was a native from Cerulean City and the other was the owner of the newest battle facility.
"I now introduce you to three members of the new battle facility! They are Primary Manager Misty Waterflower from Cerulean City, Upkeep Manager Vera, and Frontier Brain Ash Ketchum!"
The room erupted in volume! Questions were tossed left and right at the trio as they approached the podium. Ash stood in the center with Misty to his right and Vera to his left. As they began to answer their questions, Scott took this opportunity to exit the room with discretion, leaving the capable trio to their own devices. After all, he was beyond tired of dealing with these reporters.
"Good luck, guys. You are going to need it with this noisy bunch," he said as he made his hasty retreat.
So there you go. This is the last backstory chapter, so hurray! However, there might be a bit in the next chapter (depends). It was fun writing this, but I'm really excited for the next chapter. I hope you guys share my excitement! Review if you please! Or not! Do what you will ^_^
Anyways, I'll see you again soon enough. Peace!