RWOL is back with chapter 3 of The Ultimate Frontier Brain.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokémon and its related works.
Chapter 3: The Eighth Brain
Vermillion City: Kanto Battle Frontier HQ
Ash really had to wonder if Scott was seriously trying too hard to overcompensate for something. So far since he met the man and began his journey through the Kanto Battle Frontier, Ash was left in wonder at the engineering marvels that were the battle faculties. Kanto was known for its engineering feats since it didn't have legends of its own like Johto, Hoenn and the other regions.
The Kanto Battle Frontier HQ once again showed of the technological prowess of Kanto construction; being a few floors shorter than the Battle Tower, seemed to equal the Battle Tower's square footage, but was in the shape of a hexagon and not the normal square most buildings were.
The door was arched, with a miniature version of the Battle Frontier's insignia at the point of the arch. Walking in, Ash was impressed once again with the layout of the lobby. Striding over to the desk clerk, Ash told the young woman he had appointment with Scott, who confirmed it a few moments later when the clerk called her boss. One boring elevator ride, later, Ash and Scott had their meeting.
Kanto Battle Frontier HQ: Scott's Office
"Are you serious? You really want me to become a Frontier Brain?" Ash asked 'shocked', given that Anabel told him about the offer last night, so he had a bit of time to practice his acting skills.
Scott just laughed boisterously. "Why wouldn't I, Ash? You're one of the best battlers I've ever seen! Especially now that Charizard of yours is listening to you!"
Ash flinched slightly at the reminder of his very first Pokémon League Conference before nodding his head, accepting Scott's point.
"So, what exactly would being a Frontier Brain require?" Ash asked tentatively, wanting to know all the facts and remembering Anabel's words about Scott accommodating him.
Scott beamed at him, sensing an opening. "Surprisingly little, actually. Since you've beaten all of the current Brains you're going to be last in the rotation and, believe me, you'll have plenty of forewarning when someone manages to beat Brandon." Scott explained.
The fourteen year old looked contemplative, this actually wasn't sounding so bad. "So, how would I get back to Kanto if I'm out of the region?"
"Ash, really! Brandon has a flying pyramid! Getting back to Kanto would be the absolute least of your worries. I have a ship nearing completion that I planned on giving the winner of the Battle Frontier if he/she accepted my offer. Of course Anabel could always help you train an Abra; you could use a psychic-type…" Scott trailed off rubbing his chin, imagining Ash's completely unorthodox battle style incorporating an Alakazam.
Ash looked deep in thought for a few moments, ignoring Scott's silent contemplation of him. He glanced at Pikachu, riding his shoulder as always. Pikachu looked back at his trainer and gave a little grin and nod "Cha!"
"I'll do it." Ash suddenly said, completely interrupting Scott's ramblings about what type of Pokémon Ash should try to capture. Did he say a Gible? That evolved into the Pseudo-Legendary Garchomp! Oh hell yeah Ash was going to capture himself a Gible.
Scott broke into a huge grin and clapped his hands together. "That's fantastic! I can't wait to inform the others, this is going to be absolutely huge!"
Scott's enthusiasm was so contagious that Ash found himself grinning and bouncing on the balls of his feet a little bit, this was going to be awesome!
"So, what do I do first?"
His new boss immediately settled down and gave Ash a solemn look. "Now Ash, now we do one of the worst, most awful, most horrendous tasks required of us."
Ash groaned when realized what Scott was talking about.
Arceus damned paperwork. That was as bad as when Ash did his trainer registration forms which also included his official adult registration forms and his bank account forms for the Pallet Town Bank.
"Okay, Ash, we need to head to Pallet Town next." Scott told his newest soon-to-be employee.
"Why's that, Scott?"
Scott looked unusually solemn and pierced Ash with a serious look for once. "Ash even though laws state that you're an adult since becoming a trainer, I'd like to cover all bases by informing your mother. This way she won't be able to try to take any legal actions against me and organization." he explained.
Ash nodded in understanding. There were some parents still trying to get the Pokemon Trainer-Coordinator Adult Act to be reformed. The acted stated that all children wishing to become either a Pokemon trainer or coordinator would become a legal adult in the eyes of the law. It made since if a child could freely travel the world without adult supervision and deal with immensely powerful creatures of supernatural origin on a daily basis. The act also had a proviso that stated there was no limit on age; meaning that if a child wanted to wait a few years then they could still become a trainer.
"I understand Scott but don't worry about my mom. She's quite understanding and open-minded about things." Ash to the man who smiled.
"Well then let's go see what she'll about this then!" Scott said standing up and twirling car keys around his finger.
After a speedy and bumpy ride from Vermillion to Pallet, Ash got out of Scott's Range Rover, basking in the feeling of being in his home town. Gently taking hold of his trophy (which surprisingly did not break despite Scott's maniac-like driving), Ash smiled as he thought over his battles that he won allowing him to hold this beautiful trophy.
"So Ash, this is where you grew up eh? It's a nice and quiet place with lots of hidden potential." Scott mused. "Having a Frontier facility here will help unlock that potential and put Pallet Town on the map!"
Ash looked around his childhood home, the idyllic setting putting a smile on his face, and silently agreed with Scott. He gave a discrete look at some new construction in the southeastern part of Pallet Town, a foundation being set-up for a very large building that only Ash knew about.
It's coming along quite nicely. Ash mused to himself before focusing on his current matters. Smiling, he ran up to the door and practically busted it down in his anticipation of telling his mother the good news.
"Mom! Hey Mom, you here?" Ash called out to his mother.
"In here honey!"
Ash turned to look into the kitchen where he saw his mother and Mimey washing up after their lunch. Delia Ketchum quickly wiped her hands on a dish cloth before rushing over to her son and pulling him into a rib cracking hug. "It's so good to see you again Ashy! How are you doing? How was the Battle Frontier?"
Ash blushed momentarily at the nickname before perking up with a huge smile on his face. Breaking free of the hug motioned to where he put the trophy, getting his mom to gasp at seeing such a magnificent trophy. She had seen trophies before but this one took the cake. She couldn't help the proud, beaming smile that came across her face.
"Oh, that's wonderful! I'm so proud of you!" Delia enthused, going in for another hug, crushing her son. Ash grunted, feeling his ribs groan in protest but endured it. "Oh what happened to your friends?" she asked as she released him and grasped the trophy.
"May and Max went back to Hoenn since they were only staying along for the Battle Frontier. Brock is spending time with his new girlfriend Pike Queen Lucy." Ash explained. Nodding, Delia took the trophy to place it among the others her son had.
"Nice place you got here, Ash, very homey, very quaint but not in a bad way, I like it. Might have to buy myself a vacation home here for when I need to get away from it all and settle down." Scott said breaking up the scene.
"Oh, Scott! Sorry, in all the excitement of seeing my Mom again I completely forgot what we were here to do." Ash laughed sheepishly.
"No worries, Ash! It's a great feeling coming home again after so long away. So, where's your mother so we can finalize these signatures?" Scott asked, holding up a thick folder of documents.
"Ash honey, who's your friend?" Delia asked, coming back from putting Ash's Frontier trophy near his display of accomplishments. She was going to have to get a bigger display cabinet if Ash brought home more trophies like that.
"Ah! Sorry, let me introduce myself Ma'am. My name is Scott, and I own the Battle Frontier that your amazingly talented son just finished demolishing." Scott introduced. Ash was blushing from the praise but couldn't help the stupidly proud grin that came over his face. He was amazing, wasn't he?
"Mom, Scott and I have something we need to talk to you about" Ash said, trying to sound serious but his silly grin and the bubbly excitement just under the surface was showing through easily.
"Well, come along then, we can talk it over in the dining room."
"So you want to hire my little Ashy to be one of your Frontier Brains?" Delia was slightly incredulous with a big heaping side order of awe. She had no idea her son was that talented; taking on Legendaries and winning? She was fit to burst with pride.
"Your son has one of the most unorthodox, unpredictable and effective battle styles I've ever seen, Mrs. Ketchum. He is, quite simply, the most talented individual to enter the Pokémon League in the last decade."
Ash looked at Scott slightly shocked. He had no idea that the man thought so highly of him. "Scott, I don't know what to say, I'm not that good, am I?"
Scott looked at Ash and his mother with a shockingly serious face. "Ash, do you have any idea how rare it is for a trainer as young as you are to consistently advance so far in the competition? You got top sixteen in your very first League ever; afterwards you again advanced far in the Silver conference, this time climbing all the way to Top 8. In Hoenn, a region that had many Pokémon that you'd never seen before in your life you advanced to the Top 8 again. You're the youngest trainer in the history of the Orange League to ever become Champion. You're the very first trainer to ever conquer the Kanto Battle Frontier." Scott continued, noticing Ash's shocked expression. "Did you think you were the first person to ever attempt it?"
"You did kind of make it sound that way." Ash admitted sheepishly.
"Ash, there have been fifty-six trainers before you; none of them have ever defeated Brandon, if they even got that far. You are astoundingly naturally gifted in the art of Pokémon Training and Battling. How much extra training did you put in before your various league competitions?"
"Well," Ash stopped momentarily, blushing in embarrassment. "I never actually specifically trained much for the League finals in any of my competitions." Ash continued, his blush worsening at how negligent that sounded to him in hindsight.
"Exactly! Ash, you have what it takes to be one of the best, if not the best Pokémon Trainer in the history of the world if you put more effort into it! Being a Frontier Brain will get both you and your Pokémon immense battle experience. You will, of course, have to face the occasional challenger, probably around fifty a year after you officially start your duties depending on the Brain rotation, but next to being a Gym leader, this will be the best learning experience you could wish for."
Delia was looking slightly shocked after Scott's passionate speech, she had known her baby boy was a good trainer, but her focus had always been on Pokémon research as a student of Professor Oak, never on battling.
Scott continued. "But Ash, you need to understand, this is a huge responsibility. You'll need to train your Pokémon harder than ever before. You'll need to support them, nurture them and help them grow to be the most powerful Pokémon that they can be."
Delia finally decided to speak up, placing a comforting hand over Ash's that was sitting limply on the table; she looked Scott in the face and asked a question that had actually been troubling her. "What about continuing his journey? If I know my Ash, and I do, he'll want to keep going, and keep competing in Pokémon League Conferences. In fact, Professor Oak was going to tell him about the new league in Sinnoh. Registration for its next scheduled League starts in a years' time since the most recent one just ended. Is Ash going to be able to compete in the leagues still?"
"That is not a problem Mrs. Ketchum." Scott said, laughing off the question. "Pyramid King Brandon, formerly the strongest of the Frontier Brains, has a battle facility with full flight capability. And I told Ash before coming here, there is a ship nearing completion that I planned on giving to the winner of the Battle Frontier if he/she agreed to join." He explained to the shocked mother. "Besides, I want Ash to keep competing. The Frontier and Leagues aren't officially connected in any way, and are only loosely associated due to my friendship with Director Goodshow. I want him to keep battling, keep competing and keep striving to be the absolute best trainer that he can be. I want him to be so unbeatable that trainers come from all over the nation to challenge Ash Ketchum, the Ultimate Frontier Brain."
Delia frowned slightly as something occurred to her. "This may sound a bit presumptuous, Scott, but what is Ash's pay scale going to be like?"
Ash jerked slightly, breaking out of his daydreams of him and his Pokémon getting better and better, becoming the best trainer in the world and winning leagues. He'd completely forgotten that he was going to be receiving a paycheck for this.
Scott gave a half sinister half gleeful grin; he always enjoyed this part of it. The shock and then utter disbelief that the new Brains always showed at their new salary was an endless source of amusement to him. Pulling out the top document from his folder, he gently slid it across to Delia for her inspection.
Ash looked over his mother's shoulder, trying to make heads or tails of what was in front of him. In this position, he was perfectly situated to catch his mother as she fainted dead away. Slightly panicked, he scanned the document looking for what had put her in this state before his eyes picked out a number. "Uh, Scott is this your phone number… or fax number?"
Scott couldn't stop laughing after that question. "No Ash! That's your new salary should you accept! The Battle Frontier is a worldwide organization with facilities in twenty-three different regions! Our battles are televised to over a hundred different nations all over the world and after your performances, I expect that we'll start getting even more challengers than ever before."
Ash was actually fairly close to hyperventilating. As he felt his mother stirring in his arms he straightened her out in her chair, allowing her to sit up before slumping back down in his own. "Why so many zeroes?"
Scott instantly got serious again, looking Ash straight in the eye and making sure he had his attention before continuing. "Ash, you and your Pokémon are going to be training like you never have before. You're going to be spending the next five years of your life becoming the best trainer you possibly can be before contract renewal comes up. That means giving your Pokémon the best possible medical care, the best possible diet and the best possible training that money can buy. I cannot stress this enough, Ash, if you sign that document, you will be required to become one of the best Pokémon trainers in the world. Are you ready for that?"
Ash gained an uncustomary serious expression before looking at his constant partner and companion of the last three-to-four years. Pikachu looked back at his trainer, his best friend and his brother in everything but species and got a blinding smile on his face "Pi!" getting an energetic nod of approval bolstered Ash's confidence and he looked back at Scott with a solemn face.
"Just one question."
"Anything Ash, anything at all."
"Will I have to wear an outfit like Tucker does?"
After Scott had calmed down and was breathing normally again, he met Ash's gaze and, still grinning replied; "No, you won't have to wear a fairy outfit. Honestly, I don't understand that man myself but he's a damn fine battler."
Ash only had one question left. "Do you have a pen?"
Kanto Battle Frontier HQ: Scott's Office
"Alright Ash, now that you're now my newest employee, it's time to pick out your battle facility and trainer class." Scott said as he retrieved a binder to place Ash's papers in. He also retrieved a lap top that he placed in front of Ash. "This Ash holds all the designs for future battle facilities for the Battle Frontiers. Your Trainer Class will be determined by the facility you choose." Scott explained to Ash. Taking the laptop, Ash scrolled through the numerous designs, trying to find one that he liked.
In three hours, Ash had gone through at least 150 designs before he finally came upon one that caught his attention. The design's name was the Battle Fortress: a large military-like fortress in the shape of a pentagon, with three large multi-type battle arenas, a section called the Battle Club with a large gymnasium and a swimming pool where trainers can train their Pokémon on various equipment such as running machines with obstacles, dumbbells and a swimming pool with waves; a section called the Battle Institute, a large, fully stocked and operational Pokémon Center with its own pharmacy, a decent sized department store that sells nearly everything a trainer/coordinator needs, and a restaurant.
"This one," Ash said showing the file to Scott. Scott looked over the design, surprised that Ash would choose that one, but shrugged. If that was the one Ash wanted, then he would get it.
"Alright," Scott said book marking the page. He'll have to contact his land developers to see how much the land near and in Pallet Town were worth. Once that was done and he had the lands, he'll contact his contractors to start construction. "The Battle Fortress now your battle facility and will be located in Pallet Town. Your trainer rank will be the… Fortress Lord!" Scott said in grandiose flair getting Ash to sweatdrop. "Now let's give your fellow Frontier Brains a surprise!"
"Huh?" Ash asked curiously.
Battle Frontier HQ; a few hours later
Scott smiled a mile wide smile as his Frontier Brains filtered into his office wondering what their eccentric owner wanted now. Boy would they be surprised at his announcement. As Noland, Greta, Tucker, Lucy, Spencer, Brandon and Anabel sat around chatting and trying to figure out what Scott was playing at this time. Though among them, Anabel was especially worried; wringing her hands every now and then as she hoped to the Alpha Pokémon itself that Ash accepted Scott's offer.
"Well then let's get this party started." Scott announced getting the brains to focus on him. "The reason I called this meeting is to reveal that we now have a new Frontier Brain to join us." Scott said get looks of shock and curiosity. Anabel released a sigh and almost sagged in relief that Ash accepted the offer to become a Frontier Brain. Now they would be able to be together. "This trainer is now the true final challenge of the Kanto Battle Frontier; the one a challenger must defeat to become the Battle Frontier Champion." Scott said at the goggled eyes Brains (except Anabel). "This means as of now the Kanto Battle Frontier is complete and I'll look for new brains for the other Battle Frontiers." He revealed.
"Well don't keep us in the dark Scott, tell us who this powerful trainer is! I want to battle him to see if he's really as powerful as you claim." Greta said getting pumped up. She lived for these types of challenges and if this mystery trainer was as powerful as he was hyped up to being, then the battle would be glorious.
"I'll let him introduce himself; I'm sure you'll be surprised." Scott said smiling like a loon as he pointed to the door. The doors of Scott's office opened dramatically to reveal a figure with his head bowed down with a red and black cap covering it. The figure's clothes consisted of a blue short-sleeve hoodie, green and dark blue gloves, blue jeans, and black/white Nike shoes. A Pikachu was perched on the figure's shoulder smiling away as his owner raised his head revealing a mile wide smile on his face. Before the stunned Frontier Brains stood Ash Ketchum, the first person to defeat the Battle Frontier since its opening.
"Sup guys, surprised?" Ash said cocksurely to his fellow brains. Anabel started clapping which roused the others to start clapping as well. Ash merely blinked a bit before shrugging his shoulders and entering the room as the doors closed behind him. He strode forward and took a seat next to Anabel, getting the lilac haired girl to blush madly since she was insanely happy Ash is now a Frontier Brain.
"Now we have to begin Ash's initiation into our brotherhood." Scott began getting Ash's attention.
"I have to go through an initiation?" Ash asked the Battle Frontier creator.
"Yes you have to go through an initiation. By accepting to join the Battle Frontier, you are effectively stepping over to the other side. No longer will you be the challenger trying to get the prize, you will be the challenge that challengers will need to overcome to get your symbol. From now on you'll experience what it is like to be a Gym Leader, Elite Four member or League Champion." Scott explained. "For your initiation, you will spend the next six months to a year under one of your fellow Brains of your choosing to gain a better understanding of what being a Frontier Brain really is. So who is going to be your mentor for the next six months?" Scott asked putting Ash on the spot as being a brain meant being able to react under dire situations.
Ash was able to hide the smirk that wanted to creep up on his face. He already knew who he wanted to be his 'teacher', but to be fair to his future fellow Frontier Brains; he had to put on the act that he was thinking which one he wanted to train under.
Factory Head Noland has awesome Pokémon, like that Venusaur and that Rhyhorn. He's even friends with an Articuno, the legendary Freeze Pokémon. However, he works with a lot of machines and inventions, I'm not sure if I can handle that. Besides, I already know how to take care of many Pokémon all at once now, courtesy of Brock's wisdom.'Ash thought as he glanced at Noland.
Arena Tycoon Greta is definitely energetic, almost hyper even. We both share the same passion for Pokémon battles and training. She also owns an excellent dojo for training Pokémon for different battles with that roulette wheel. But she also plays pretty rough, whether it's Pokémon battling or martial arts fighting. I don't know if I can handle her in any situation besides a battle. Oish…
Dome Ace Tucker has the media and the loud, obnoxious crowds of people swarming over him every day. Plus, he's an annoying show-off. I like the attention every now and then, but he literally lives on it. That makes him a definite no!
Pike Queen Lucy… I just can't seem to get a read on her. She looks like she's many things: nice, impatient, serious, quiet… It gives me a weird feeling to be around her, I just don't know what to expect from her. Maybe it's because she can be unpredictable when you least expect it. It's usually the quiet types. She even looked like she returned Brock's affections when he made his crazy advances on her. Then there was her 'kidnapping' him, and I don't really want to imagine what they did last night, considering Brock looked like he went through a meat grinder several times, and was mumbling about whips, chains, sour cream, and a branding iron this morning before I left to meet Scott. It would definitely be a big challenge studying under her, but I already know who I want.
Palace Maven Spencer is really kind. He knows a lot about Pokémon and their ties with nature and stuff. But, he is often known for rambling on and on. I like nature and all, but I want to be awake in order to enjoy it.
Pyramid King Brandon is awesome! He's a strong Trainer and enthusiastic adventurer but he is pretty strict. The fact he chewed me out for getting possessed by that dark spirit when it wasn't even my fault proves that. I think I should not pair up with Brandon, just as a safety precaution.
Then Ash glanced at Anabel, giving her a subtle wink, the Salon Maiden giving a subtle smile in return. "Scott the one I choose to be my mentor is Anabel." Ash said getting some groans from the others while Anabel was deliriously happy that the boy she was crushing on chose her to be his mentor. She fought the urge to scream, jump up and do a happy dance. She settled for giving Ash a loving gaze for choosing her.
"Well Ash has chosen and his decision is final. Anabel, help Ash understand the rigors of being a Frontier Brain. And Ash, your facility will be built in five-to-seven months." Scott said as he clapped and left while the others gave Ash congratulatory handshakes. Soon only Ash and Anabel were left in Scott's office. Ash turned to speak to Anabel when she suddenly flung herself at him, catching him off guard with her hug.
"You don't know how happy you made me when you chose me as your mentor, thank you." Anabel said looking Ash in his brownish-black eyes. Ash smiled sheepishly while scratching the back of his head.
"Well we are trying to explore our feelings for each other, so when Scott said I'd get to choose my mentor…" Ash trailed seeing Anabel get it.
"Still thank you Ash." Anabel said leaning up a bit to kiss him on the cheek. Ash blushed a bit but smiled as he held Anabel in a hug.
"So what does this 'apprenticeship' entails?" Ash asked as he broke the hug. "Scott told me there isn't much to being a Frontier Brain but I think he wanted me to know more from my teacher."
"You're right." Anabel told him gesturing him to follow her. Leaving Scott's office, Anabel explained to her beloved about the rigors of being a Frontier Brain. "We are, to a degree, similar to Gym Leaders since we control and maintain the battle facilities. We oversee every facet of the facilities; ranging from various supplies, building maintenance and upgrades, helping out trainer and coordinators, things like that." Anabel explained to Ash who nodded. "Put time is mainly split between the paperwork (getting a grimace from Ash) for the facility and training. Every six months, Scott will have an inspection on the facility and grade you on how well you're doing your job; you know A, B, C, D, F." she said shrugging. "He'll go over the facility, see if there are any problems, if there is need for an upgrade, etc. Truthfully no one has ever gotten a grade of B." Anabel stated getting a whistle from Ash. "Since we have some time, I won't start teaching you until tomorrow, so what do you want to do?"
"We'll head to Pallet Town so you can meet my mom." Ash said getting Anabel to nod. "After that I'll meet with Professor Oak, check up on my pokémon and tell them about this new journey." Ash said as the just now left the Battle Frontier HQ.
"You wanna Fly of Teleport?" Anabel asked.
Pallet Town; Ketchum Residence
"Ah so you're the lovely lady that has smitten my son." Delia said as she looked over Anabel. She seemed a bit tomboyish in Delia's eyes, like Misty but Anabel didn't dress 'slutty' as Misty does. A skimpy midriff baring tank top, short-shorts with red suspenders wasn't an outfit Delia liked to see on a young woman, especially one who is friends with her son. Delia looked over Anabel's appearance with a critical eye, already grading the young girl.
Anabel has lavender-purple hair with lilac eyes. She wore a white, gold trimmed dress shirt and lilac, calf-length dress pants, white calf-length dress socks and black dress shoes. Delia could easily see that Anabel bound her breasts, which meant she was either self-conscious about them or she was a bit too large for her liking and wanted to look smaller.
"Yes Mrs. Ketchum I am. I'm Salon Maiden Anabel, the Frontier Brain overseeing the Battle Tower of the Kanto Battle Frontier." Anabel introduced extending her hand. Delia took it in a firm handshake. Delia gestured for them to take a seat as she left and came back with some deli sandwiches and lemonade. The trio talked for an hour; mainly about Ash and Anabel's relationship; the dos and don'ts, how to compromise on problems, to listen to each, etc.
"The most important advice I can give you is to take your time." Delia said sagely. "There is no reason to rush things and possibly ruin the relationship." She imparted her wisdom to the two. "Now are you going to visit Samuel and tell him about your new position Ash?"
"Yeah. We were going to see him after this." Ash said polishing off the last sandwich. Thanking his mother with hug, Ash and Anabel left for the Oak Ranch.
"That is very interesting Ash." Professor Samuel Oak said stroking his chin. He never really imagined that Ash would settle down this early, but since he could still compete in leagues due to the loose affiliations between the Frontiers and Leagues.
"I was wondering if you could give me some advice Professor Oak." Ash asked the professor.
"But of course Ash. That's why I'm here." Oak said kindly. "There are only three things I can truly advise you on. 1) you should rotate your pokémon more so they can gain more battle experience. You have a lot of high-level pokémon but you don't really use them. 2) You should put far more effort in training. While you do train, it is not nor serious enough. If you truly do some serious training, you'll most likely win the next league you compete in. Besides most pokémon types actually like hardcore training regimes. I advise that you take maybe a few months to focus exclusively on training your pokémon. 3) You should take your more experienced pokémon with you whenever you go to a new region. I don't know why you don't do this but you've been crippling yourself because you're not using your more experienced pokémon." Oak told Ash who flinched.
Talking with Scott about his potential had caused him to realize he never really trained for his leagues. He trained, but it wasn't enough to actually win. Sure he got to the Top 16 in Kanto and then Top 8 in both Johto and Hoenn, but if he had actually and truly trained he could have most likely won. He resolved to be a better trainer after the loss he suffered in the Indigo League, and while he did get a bit better, he wasn't at the level he was truly meant to be at. But now with this new journey as a Frontier Brain, he will take his training seriously and be the trainer he's meant to be.
But now, he felt like he had been slapped. He never really thought about using his more experienced pokémon; that he could have won Johto and Hoenn if he rotated his more experienced pokémon. How did his pokémon feel when he just captured them, trained them a bit and just left them here when he left for a new region? He felt like kicking himself. He was inconsiderate to them; they didn't want to be cooped up here. They too wanted travel, see the world, train to face strong opponents and he didn't do that. He left them here on the Oak Ranch and went off until that region's league was over, came back with his new pokémon and started the cycle over again.
These thoughts brought forth a new question; "Why didn't he bring his more experienced pokémon with him?"
The answer came just as quickly as the question; he wanted to start over fresh in each region. He wanted to feel that feeling he felt the first day of becoming a trainer. Yet when he thought about it, he didn't feel it again. Sure there was the excitement of going to a new region and catching new pokémon, it just wasn't the same.
Maybe because it can only be felt once. Ash thought feeling depressed. "Thanks for the advice Professor. I'll be seeing my pokémon now." Ash said stiffly as he left. Anabel looked at her boyfriend in worry, having sensed his emotional turmoil over the advice. Following behind him, Anabel tried to figure out to help Ash since she is his teacher in the ways of the Frontier Brain.
"Ash, you can tell me anything. Remember your mom's advice about listening to each other." Anabel said almost pleading.
Ash sighed before sitting a nearby bench. "I'm an idiot. Agreeing to become a Frontier Brain has shown me some ugly truths about me." He began. "I've been negligent in my training and to my more experienced pokémon. If I had trained them more, actually pushed my pokémon to their limits, then maybe I would have won the Kanto, Johto and Hoenn leagues. Yeah I won the Orange League, but it's a minor league." He said sighing wanting to kick himself. "When it comes to my pokémon, I just leave them here while I'm off to a new region. If I had rotated them while in Johto and Hoenn, I would have most likely won the leagues there, but I didn't all because of wanting to feel the feeling I felt the first day of finally being a trainer." Ash huffed taking off his cap and ran a hand through his hair.
Anabel placed her hands on Ash's cheeks, getting him to look at her. "This is called growing up and maturing Ash." She smiled at him. "Having your faults pointed out is not meant to make you feel bad, but help you grow and learn from them." She explained. "Now that you know where and how you're doing wrong, you can take the needed steps to make the needed corrections to be a better person and trainer." She elaborated. Ash nodded, realizing she was right. This would help him in not making the same mistakes again and truly improve.
"Thanks Anabel." Ash said pecking her on the lips getting a beaming smile from the Salon Maiden. "Now let's see my pokémon!"
"Wow you have a lot of pokémon here Ash!" Anabel said in wonder as she looked around the massive acres of land that made up the Oak Ranch that held most of Ash pokémon. 'Yeah! It's gonna be challenge to train this many pokemon!' she thought as she looked over the dozen+ pokemon.
There were his: Tarous, Venusaur, Blastoise, Pidgeot, Fearow, Kinglar, Snorlax, Nidoqueen, Nidoking, Graveler, Muk, Onix, Slowking, Lapras, Houndour, Bayleaf, Quilava, Totodile, Aipom, Kabutops, Omastar, a Rhyperior that was once a Rhyhorn, Primeape, a shiny Scizor, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Donphan, a shiny Noctowl, Heracross, Blaziken, Secptile, Marshtomp, Nosepass, Swellow, Slaking (a gift from Norman), Hariyama and Breloom (gifts from Anthony as they were Primeape's training buddies), Hitmontop, Stantler, Sandslash, Magneton, Venomoth, Gyarados, Poliwrath, Ampharos, Parasect, Drowzee, Kangaskhan, Gligar, Gengar, Ninetails, Piloswine, Kingdra, Quagsire, Electabuz, Magmar, Sharpedo, Aggron, Torkoal, Glalie, Castform, Dragonite, Tyranitar and Salamence.
"I know. Most of them are from trades." Ash revealed getting Anabel to give him a look that screamed 'WTF?' He explained about the competition with a 'Swap-Meet', where trades could be made. He dominated the 'tournament' and was approached by several trainers who wanted to trade for his 'awesome Tarous' as they called him. He didn't want to trade this Tarous but remembered he had twenty-nine more he never used. He then explained that when he went to the Safari Zone to catch some pokémon, he ended up catching a herd of 30 Tarous because for some reason, no matter where he went, there were always a herd of Tarous in the way of his intended targets and caught the Tarous instead.
Since he used only one which is also the herd leader, he decided to trade the other 29 since he didn't really use or need them. He might as well trade to someone who would use them.
So he traded his 29 Tarous and got: a Rhyhorn who is now a Rhyperior, Nidoqueen, Onix, Houndour, Hitmontop, Slowking, Gengar, Sandslash, Ninetails, Piloswine, Ampharos, Parasect, Drowzee, Quagsire, Electabuz, Kangaskhan, Magmar, Vaporean, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, Magneton, Venomoth, Dewgong which he traded for a Gyarados, Jumpluff and a Furret which were traded for the Magmar and Electabuzz, Poliwrath, Stantler, Kingdra, Dragonair that is now a Dragonite and a Pupitar that is now a Tyranitar. He traded Vaporean to Misty for a shiny Scyther she caught which is now the Scizor. He caught Nidoking and Graveler a few weeks before heading to Hoenn when the two were causing problems near the ranch and got his Bulbasaur involved and the battle had forced him to evolve into Ivysaur.
"Wow." That was all Anabel could say after the explanation. She couldn't imagine catching a herd of thirty Tarous even by accident only to trade 29 in a 'Swap-Meet' to get some useful pokémon.
Ash gave whistle, getting his pokémon to come over to him. "Alright guys I have some important news." Ash began with a serious expression on his face. "First I want to introduce to you my girlfriend Anabel." He said introducing the Salon Maiden to his pokémon. Anabel smiled and waved to her beloved's pokémon. Flareon went up to the lilac beauty, rubbing against her leg. Anabel smiled, picking up the Fire-type, holding it in her arms and petting it. Flareon purred as Anabel stroked his fur.
"He likes it." Ash smiled at her and revealing that Flareon is male. Anabel cooed a bit at the purring Fire-type. Not to be left out, Espeon raced up to Ash and into his arms so she too could be petted. Chuckling, Ash held Espeon and petted her before getting serious again.
"I am embarking on a new path. I'm sure that those who were with me have told you about the Battle Frontier." He asked getting nods. "Good. Well I have accepted the creator's offer to become a Frontier Brain. This path will be completely different from any other as we'll be the challenge that our challengers will need to overcome. As such, will be training like we never have. This path will push us to our limits and beyond." Ash explained to his pokémon. "Unlike the last times, I will be using all of you; we will unleash all of our full potential. Thus I will rotate you guys regularly to give you all a chance to gain battle experience." He said getting some cheers from his pokémon. Finally they would no longer be cooped up on the Oak Ranch and finally get some challenges to test themselves. They scattered, doing what they do normally, quite excited about this new path they were about to embark on.
Ash and Anabel walked about the ranch discussing the former's training.
"The first thing I need to know as your mentor is your battle style, which seems to be using stat increasing moves as well as pokémon with a great speed stat and being able to hit high-impact moves. Yet you seem to have some super-heavy weight pokémon in Snorlax, Golem, NidoKing and Queen, Onix, Rhyperior and Aggron." Anabel said as she looked over Ash's pokémon. "They are deceptively fast for their size, and have immense power behind their attacks. So you have some heavy-hitters in them." She stated. "Another thing you need to do is keep or your pokémon's move sets diverse and well-balanced." she said getting Ash's attention. "You seemed to have some moves that increase their attack, special attack stat and speed stat, but you need some for defense and special defense. Also add some moves that do both." She suggested getting nod from Ash. "Also lets not add anymore pokemon for now. As I said earlier, it's going to be challenge to train this many pokemon. So let's focus them and then add some new pokemon later, much later." she added and Ash nodded.
The two continued to talk about the various things Ash would need to do for this path. They made lists of the pokemon Ash should get later on, a list of the moves Ash should teach his pokemon and make sure their move set is well balanced also. Ash made the suggestion of Anabel getting a few types besides Psychic as a way to throw off her opponents. Citing they would only have a strategy for taking down her Psychic-types, but if she uses a Bug-, Ghost- or even a Dark-type then their strategy is out the window. Anabel thought it over and agreed since would be a valuable lesson; always come prepared for the unexpected.
Seeing the time due to the dusk, the two Brains left for the Ketchum residence, having a hearty dinner before leaving for Anabel's place but not before Delia gave them a parting gift.
"Ash, Anabel I have something for you two." She said handing them a large cardboard box. "Being young and all, there are times where your youth will get the better of you..."
"Uh... where are going with this mom?" Ash asked wondering about the chill up and down his spine.
"Oh honey you need more patience." Delia gently chided her son. "Getting to the point, that box contains Sex-Ed material."
"WHAT?!" Ash and Anabel shouted in tandem, their faces blushing bright red.
"You are young and in love and there will be times that your love will get the better of you and... well I'm not ready to be a grandmother just yet." she said as the two got redder. "As such I'm giving you two these Sex-Ed materials so in case your love does get the better of you, you can use proper protection." she explained getting hesitant/understanding nods. "Also there are in-depth videos in there that will explain how to properly have sex and explains everything else associated it; vanilla sex, oral sex, anal sex, how to properly give your partner an orgasm, sexual positions, S&M, BDSM, fetishes, etc." she explained seriously only to see that Ash and Anabel were gone. Anabel had teleported them out while Delia lost herself in her rant.
Delia just smiled, believe the two had left to learn as much as they could from the information she gave them.
And cut! Chapter 3 of UFB is out. Ash accepts Scott's offer, completes the Kanto Battle Frontier, learns more about himself as a trainer and person, and gets some advice from his mom.
I want to make Ash's progress maturity wise be gradually, not just instantly. I never understood why no one pulled Ash to the side, explained that his current path isn't working, pointing out his faults while giving him the advice needed to make the corrections. Brock, Samuel Oak, hell even his own mother should have said something but they didn't. It is because of this that makes the basis of the many 'Ash is betrayed genre' of stories.
As for the change in his pokemon, I got the inspiration from author Sprinter1988's Tricks of the Trade Rewritten. The plot is that in the Johto Series episode "Tricks of the Trade" three trainers offer to trade their Pokémon for Ash's Tauros (he's offered a Rhyhorn, an Onix and a Nidoqueen). Ash declines, but what if he remembered that he has twenty-nine other Tauros that he never uses. After reading this and watching the episode in question, I had to concur with the author, Ash screwed himself over on that by saying no. So in this one, Ash did make the trade but still messed up with them by not rotating them out and taking them with him when he went to Hoenn. So I thank Sprinter1988 for this as I used the list in the story but changed a few of the pokemon in it to fit Ash's style.
I am also going to continue with the patterns set up in the anime that were abruptly cut. In Kanto and Johto, Ash caught all three starter pokemon. In Hoenn, I thought he was going to do the same but he didn't. It was the same for Sinnoh but the pattern was started again Unova where he caught its three starter pokemon. I don't know about Kalos. So in here, Ash caught the three Hoenn starters, he will capture the Sinnoh starters, Unova starters and Kalos starters.
Well read and review. Flames will be ignored.