A golden yellow, almost orange, setting sun touched the horizon; it's waning rays staining the once cerulean sky a menagerie of reds, oranges, and lilacs. The once azure waves of the ocean were now dull reddish orange, the golden setting sun mirrored upon its rippling surface. The constant cacophony of gentle waves splashing against the hull of the cruise ship sailing across the vermillion water filled the air, punctuated with the cries of wingull flying overhead. Occasionally, a water pokémon would break the surface, bathe in the glow of the setting sun for but a minute, and then sink back beneath the vermillion waves. This was the scene to which Ash Ketchum stared out to in quiet contemplation of past experiences. Ash had finished his adventure within Sinnoh, and had parted ways with friends both new and old. He had surpassed many challenges and adversaries, yet one challenge always defeated him, no matter how close he got to surpassing it, the Pokémon league championships. Ash had never won a single one, be it Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and now his fourth failed attempt, Sinnoh. He had gotten to the quarterfinals, triumph had never been so close, but it all came crashing down in the end. He had fought Tobias, and no opponent had ever seemed so insurmountable. It took almost his entire team to defeat his Darkrai, and when it had been defeated, Ash thought he still had a chance. Unfortunately, Ash never imagined Tobias having a second legendary pokémon. It took the remainder of his team to defeat Tobias' Latios, and once again his hopes for championship were crushed. Ash let out a deep sigh, his mind trying to figure out what went wrong. He knew he could have done better in his team construction, but he didn't have enough knowledge on Tobias' team at the time to put something together. Ash's thoughts then came back to Tobias' legendaries.
'If I had a legendary, would I have won?' Ash thought to himself. This had been a question he had always asked himself when he lost a championship tournament. There had been plenty of opportunities to capture a legendary, including some of the more powerful ones, but Ash would never take them. He felt that if he captured a legendary, then he would never lose, and battling would lose its thrill.
'And I don't want to end up like Volkner.' Ash thought, remembering the attitude of the Sunyshore gym leader. Now though, Ash felt like a legendary was the only solution to attain victory in a championship tournament.
'Or maybe it's because I'm not taking things seriously.' That stray thought gave Ash pause, and the more he dwelled on it, the more he realized that it could be right. It didn't matter how little he knew of Tobias' team, if he had used his most powerful pokémon, he would have had a way better chance at winning. In all his previous battles, why didn't he do that? Why didn't he use his more powerful pokémon during the battle against Paul at lake Acuity? Why did he never use a more powerful pokémon when the situation called for it?
'Because that's what an experienced trainer would do.' Ash frowned slightly at that thought. Wasn't that the whole point? If it was what an experienced trainer would do, then why would he avoid doing it? It made no sense. After thinking on it some more, the answer came to him. He was starting fresh. Ever since Hoenn, he wanted to tackle a new region with only Pikachu by his side, so that it felt like he was starting his journey for the first time all over again. Yet the feeling never came. Sure there was that feeling of excitement at the prospect of tackling a new region with new species of pokémon, yet the feeling of beginning a journey for the very first time would never come. No matter what Ash did to get that indescribable feeling, nothing worked. He then realized he had been limiting himself more and more, just to experience the feeling.
'And look where that got me.' Ash thought bitterly to himself. 'Well no more. It's a fact, I can never experience the thrill of my first adventure ever again no matter how hard I try to replicate it. Professor Oak mentioned something about a new region earlier today on the phone. Well he can be sure I'm taking it on, and this time, we get serious. No more deliberate slip-ups. No more team limitations. This time, I'm going to bring my full power to the table.' Ash clenched his fist in a silent promise to do better in the new region, garnering a certain someone's attention.
"Pika?" asked the boy's Pikachu, who was nestled comfortably on Ash's shoulder. Ash smiled softly at his pokémon, the one who had been with him through thick and thin, and scratched the mouse affectionately behind the ear, eliciting a squeal of delight from the pokémon.
"It's nothing buddy. Just promising myself I'll win the next league we take on for sure." Pikachu smiled and readjusted himself as Ash got up off the deck chair he had been sitting on while watching the sunset, and headed to his cabin. After performing his usual nightly rituals, Ash flopped down on his bed and fell asleep, dreaming of a new region and a new beginning.
"Attention all passengers, this is your captain speaking. The S.S Typhoon will be docking in Vermillion city in thirty minutes. Please take this time to gather all carry on luggage and any small pokémon you may have let loose." Ash was immediately roused from his slumber by the captain's announcement. Quickly changing out of his sleepwear, Ash repacked the luggage he had brought out and headed to the deck of the ship, Pikachu leaping onto his shoulder as he passed through the door. Once Ash had reached the deck he ran to the railed edge and gazed out to the port city of his home region.
"Feels great to be back doesn't it buddy?" Ash asked his starter pokémon, who gave a short "Pika" in response. Soon the boat pulled into Vermillion harbor, and the stairs were wheeled to the side of the boat. Ash swiftly returned to his room and grabbed his backpack, and headed off the boat. Once he was off, Ash looked around the harbor and found his mom and professor Oak waiting for him.
"Ash my boy," greeted the professor, "good to see you again. So sorry about your loss in Sinnoh, though given the circumstances it was quite understandable."
"Professor," Ash's mother, Delia, admonished, "you make it sound like you were expecting Ash to lose. Don't worry sweetie, your mother was rooting for you the whole time." Ash just smiled, and the group entered the professor's car and began the trip back home. As they rode back home, the group conversed about Ash's time in Sinnoh, how his pokémon were doing back at Oak's lab, and the current topic, the new region Ash would be going to.
"So professor, you said something about a new region yesterday on the phone." Ash remarked.
"Ah yes, the Unova region." Replied the professor. "The Unova region is much different than the other four regions due to its extreme isolation. Due to this isolation, the region has a pokémon ecology completely unique to itself. You can only find Pokémon from Unova in the region, and Pokémon from other regions are exceedingly rare. Even the waters of Unova have only their native water types in them, and the bird pokémon there apparently do not migrate." Ash widened his eyes at this. A region whose pokémon could only be found there and had little to no foreign pokémon? That sounded quite lucrative given the circumstances. Soon after continuing the conversation, Pallet town came into view, and soon after that they were pulling up into professor Oak's driveway. Ash immediately got out of the vehicle and headed around the back of the lab to the pokémon reserve behind it, intent on seeing all of his pokémon. Soon he found them all, and gathered them all up to talk to them. Once all were assembled and the usual greeting habits were out of the way, Ash began.
"First off, to all of you who fought with me at the Lily of the Valley Conference, thank you for your support. We may not have won, but we got close, and that was all thanks to you guys. Now, on to business. In one week I leave for a new region called Unova, and therefore I want you guys…" At this, all of Ash's pokémon that he attained before Sinnoh cringed. They knew what was coming.
"To get yourselves into fighting shape again." Ash finished, much to his pokémon's astonishment. They had thought Ash was going to leave his Sinnoh team at the reserve and begin fresh in the new region with only Pikachu by his side, so that had come as a total shock.
"I can see that came as a surprise to most of you, so allow me to explain myself." Said Ash as he gazed at the looks of shock he was getting. "As I was coming back home from Sinnoh, I came to a realization. I can never experience the thrill of starting my journey for the first time again, it just isn't possible. The reason we lost that league was not because of you guys, but because of me. I was doing all I could to try and get that feeling, but in the end I was only handicapping myself for something that would never happen. This caused all of you to stagnate to the point where you couldn't bring your all into those fights. Therefore, I'll be using all of you in Unova, be it for training my new pokémon, non-league competitions, or battles where I'll need your power. No more leaving you all behind, this time we do it right. We're going to take Unova by storm, team, and this time we'll be taking home the championship." All of Ash's pokémon cheered in agreement, and soon they were all getting to work rebuilding their lost strength. Ash smiled, Unova wouldn't know what had hit it.
A week had passed by quickly, too quickly for Ash's taste, but for that entire week he had not wasted a second of Dialga's gift to man in getting all his pokémon back into top form. Earlier in the week he had gone into Viridian forest, and came back out with an old friend. Pidgeot had rejoined Ash's team, seeing as the flock it had been leading could now take care of itself, and was delighted to once again fight by it's master's side. Ash was all too happy to let his first flying type rejoin the team, and soon Pidgeot had reacquainted itself with old friends, and got along remarkably well with the newer faces. Now he was ready to leave for Unova. He wore a blue hoodie with a white undershirt, had a new, larger backpack to hold his things, and wore a new red hat with a white front, a blue pokeball design emblazoned on the white. His mom was hanging around him, constantly asking him if he remembered everything he would need to know if he was travelling on his own, or if he had forgotten to pack something. Finally, professor Oak pulled up in front of Ash's home and beckoned the two into his vehicle.
"Come on you two. Our flight leaves in an hour." He called, and the two wasted no time getting in. They reached the airport quickly and soon they were flying over Kanto and towards Unova. Ash had never travelled by plane before, so this was a novel experience for him, but soon he grew bored of seeing only the blue ocean beneath him.
"You look bored." Said a male voice from beside him. Startled, Ash whipped his head to face the voice, and saw that someone had been sitting in the seat beside him.
"When were you there?" Asked Ash, making the teen laugh.
"I was always here. You were just so busy looking out the window you never noticed." He replied, causing Ash to chuckle and rub the back of his head in embarrassment.
"Sorry about that, it's just that this is my first time flying in a plane, so I was a bit excited."
"Ah, don't worry about it, I was the same way on my first flight." The stranger replied, and then stuck out his hand. "The name's Tyson." Ash grasped the offered hand and shook it.
"Mine's Ash, nice to meet you Tyson." He replied.
"That's why you looked familiar. I saw your match in the Sinnoh quarterfinals, that was an amazing battle." Said Tyson.
"Yeah, but I still lost that one."
"Hey, don't go beating yourself up over that loss. The guy was using legendaries, powerful ones at that. What he was doing fighting in the regular league I have no idea, he should have been taking on the elite four and champion. Besides, even though you lost, you have bragging rights. Everyone he faced was beaten with just his Darkrai. You knocked it, and his Latios out. That has to count for something." Ash couldn't help but smile at that. It was true, Tobias always won with a clean sweep in every match, but Ash had taken out not just his Darkrai, but his Latios as well, something no one else in the entire league could do. Well, he was sure Paul might have been able to beat his Darkrai, but that was it.
"So I take it you're taking on the Unova league challenge." Said Tyson, snapping Ash out of his thoughts.
"Yeah, and I aim to win it." Ash replied. "What about you, are you taking on the Unova league?"
"Me? Nah, I'm going back home is all. I've been away from home for six years on a long-term training trip. I just finished my training in Sinnoh and I'm finally returning home." Soon, both Tyson and Ash were having an animated conversation on various subjects, from their favorite pokémon types, to the similarities and differences of their home regions. Hours passed in what felt like minutes, and soon the plane had begun its descent for landing. Ash and Tyson were broken from their conversation as soon as the plane landed on the water.
"Wow, time sure can fly. We're here." Said Tyson in mild amazement. Soon everyone had disembarked from the plane and was walking down the pier.
"Ah it feels good to be back in my home region again." Said Tyson as he walked down the pier to the shore.
"So this is Unova." Ash remarked as he looked around. He then heard a splash and turned around. At first there was nothing, then a pokémon that looked like a bigger version of Luvdisc leaped out of the water.
"Whoa what kind of pokémon is that?" Ash wondered aloud.
"That Ash, is an Alomomola." Replied Tyson, who had also been looking out over the sea.
"Alomomola? Is that an evolution of Luvdisc?" At that question Tyson chuckled.
"Nope, though I can see how you came to that conclusion. It does look like something a Luvdisc would evolve into. Alomomola is completely unrelated to Luvdisc. Unova has an isolated ecology of pokémon, meaning that none of our pokémon are evolutions of, or evolve into any of the pokémon from the other four regions."
"I can understand that about the land, but how is it that Unova has only it's native water types in its oceans? Wouldn't other sea dwelling pokémon be able to come here?"
"Very rarely they do, but those are only the ones who can cross the Unovan Barrier Current. It's a large water current that surrounds Unova, and is very, very cold. It makes Unova's oceans colder than the other region's, causing the sea dwelling pokémon here to find the foreign oceans unpleasantly warm, and foreign pokémon find our waters uncomfortably cold. So through temperature, the current has kept Unova isolated from foreign water types." Ash was wide eyed from the information, but then he noticed it was getting darker out. Looking up, Ash saw that dark clouds were gathering at a swift rate.
"Um Tyson, is it normal for random storms to appear in Unova?"
"Around the ocean yes, but they don't last long and are not very severe." At that moment, a deafening crack of thunder sounded. Tyson and Ash both looked up quickly, and what they saw shocked them. The clouds above had become a dense black, and were slowly swirling.
"Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that a hurricane?" Ash asked fearfully.
"Normally I'd agree with you, but there is a key component missing that would make this storm natural, there's no wind" Tyson replied, and sure enough, the water was still completely calm. Then he felt it. It was like the air had been supercharged with electricity.
"Oh no. Pikachu?" Ash asked and looked on his shoulder, but no mouse sat on it. Looking around frantically, Ash finally found his electric pokémon, who was standing farther down the pier. Sparks and short jolts of electricity were coming of his body, and Ash realized what was happening.
"Oh no, not again."
"Again? What do you mean again?" Asked Tyson in confusion.
"Every time I go to a new region, something always happens that causes Pikachu to overload with electricity. I get him fixed up every time, but afterwards it's like he's been reset to the strength he had when I first got him." Pikachu could feel the electricity invading him, and desperately fought it. He would not let this happen again, not when Ash needed all his strength. Despite his efforts though, the electricity was still filling him, slowly but surely reaching the critical point. Then Pikachu hit on a plan. It was crazy, it was dangerous, but it would work. With a loud cry, Pikachu let loose every ounce of electricity it had, and kept the super powered Thunder attack fuelled with the electricity invading it. The plan was to use the electricity to destroy the storm, but Pikachu had no idea something was within the swirling clouds. The massive thunderbolt ripped into the clouds, and smashed into the pokémon hidden within them. Despite the power the pokémon held, even it was being damaged severely by the electricity hitting it. Ash was amazed at the power Pikachu started outputting, then shocked when the electricity struck something big and black hiding within the clouds.
"Tyson, what is that?"
"That, Ash," Replied Tyson, his voice filled with amazement, "is Zekrom." Finally, Pikachu could keep up the electricity no more, and with a pained cry, released the electricity. Zekrom glared down at the pokémon that dared attack it, and let loose a furious roar. Down on the ground, Ash could see Zekrom glaring down furiously at Pikachu, then it let loose a roar full of rage. Then he heard something akin to the sound of a spinning turbine. Zekrom's tail, which was shaped like a large cone, suddenly glowed blue, and released powerful currents of electricity. The blue bolts of lightning engulfed Zekrom in a crackling ball of blue, and hurtled down towards the pier.
"Damn!" Tyson swore. "That's Fusion bolt! Ash quick, grab Pikachu and run!" Ash wasted no time, and swiftly grabbed Pikachu. However, he wasn't fast enough. The Fusion bolt impacted the pier right behind the fleeing trainer, destroying the pier and exploding into a massive surge of electricity. The shockwave of the explosion sent both Tyson and Ash flying into the turbulent water, and the electricity would soon make short work of Ash. Acting quickly to save his trainer's life, Pikachu quickly absorbed the onrush of electricity, but due to being in the water, Pikachu short-circuited. Shrieking in pain, Pikachu fell unconscious.
"Pikachu!" Ash called in worry upon hearing his partner's agonized cry. Suddenly, Zekrom blasted out of the water with a roar, and fixed it's blazing red eyes on Ash. Said trainer knew he was in trouble. Pikachu was out, and he had no pokémon that could fight in a water environment and stand up to Zekrom. Tyson however, acted fast.
"Hydreigon, to the battlefront!" He called, and threw a pokeball. Letting out a beam of light, the pokémon that materialized was unlike anything Ash had ever seen. It had carbon black fur, blue skin, and a magenta underbelly. Magenta had flaps of skin that looked like petals surrounded its head. It had six thin wings, which it used to keep itself aloft. To Ash's amazement, the pokémon had two more heads on its arms instead of claws.
"Hydreigon, use Ice beam!" Tyson commanded, and Hydreigon let loose with a beam of freezing energy, striking Zekrom for serious damage. Roaring in defiance, Zekrom unleashed a torrent of green flames with a Dragonbreath attack.
"Hydreigon, dodge and use Draco meteor!" As ordered, Hydreigon flew out of the way of the incoming attack, then charged the ultimate dragon move. Firing a massive sphere of energy into the sky, the attack exploded into dozens of smaller orbs that impacted the area at high speeds. Zekrom was bombarded by quite a few of the meteors, and was obscured in smoke. Giving one last roar, Zekrom flew back into the clouds, and with a sonic boom, blasted across the sky, his tail leaving a trail of electricity in its wake. Ash and Tyson watched it fly off into the distance, then Tyson took action.
"Alright Hydreigon, get us to shore." Hydreigon swiftly grabbed Ash and Tyson, and brought the two to shore, where they were confronted by Ash's mother and professor Oak.
"My baby!" Cried Delia as she wrapped her son in a hug. "Are you alright sweetie?"
"I'm fine mom, but Pikachu here is in really bad shape." Ash replied.
"Then why are we standing around for?" Asked Oak, "We need to get to professor Juniper's lab immediately." Nodding in agreement, the group got into the professor's rented vehicle, and drove off for Juniper's lab. Ash was tense the whole way, his face set in a grim visage as he kept his eyes on the road to the lab, silently willing the trip to take less time. In ten minutes they made it to the lab. Ash leaped out of the car and dashed into the lab, Tyson and the rest of the group following soon after.
"Hello, professor Juniper, you here?" Ash called, and was met with a response.
"Hello, welcome to the Nuvema pokémon lab." Replied the professor as she rounded the corner. Then she noticed the state of Ash's Pikachu. "Oh my, what happened?" Ash made a brief recount of his encounter with Zekrom, and Juniper led him to the healing room.
"You were very lucky. Zekrom's Fusion bolt could've seriously injured you." Soon, Pikachu was hooked up to a healing machine, and one of the professor's assistants was running diagnostics.
"Hmm, it appears your Pikachu damaged its electrical system with an accelerated intake of electricity, along with a moderate short circuit."
"Will Pikachu be alright?" Ash asked with worry, and the assistant nodded.
"The damage isn't too severe, but he won't be able to use his electric attacks while he's healing. After he's completely healed he'll be as good as new." Ash was visibly relieved that Pikachu wasn't in any serious danger.
"However, for the duration of his recovery, Pikachu should not battle." Interjected Juniper. "If he battles, Pikachu could worsen the damage and may be permanently unable to use electric attacks." Ash became crestfallen at this. He wanted Pikachu to be fighting at his side at the start of his new journey, but now because of that encounter with Zekrom, Pikachu would be stuck in reserve while he recovered.
"How long will Pikachu need for recovering?" Ash asked.
"Most likely a month, maybe a bit less." Replied Juniper. Ash visibly slumped at that. A whole month without his best friend by his side.
"I'm going out for a walk. I need to clear my head." With that Ash headed out of the lab and into the surrounding woods, not knowing that he would soon meet a very special someone in them.
And done. I'm back everybody, just don't expect swift updates. I hope you all liked this chapter. I had the idea of this fic in my head for years and now I'm finally getting around to publishing it. Again, updates on my stories will be limited as I am currently focusing on searching for a new house/apartment. So what did you all think? Like it, love it, hate it? R&R please, and keep in mind that all flames shall be shredded and thrown in a taco. (Burp)