It had been 3 months since Ash had started his repairs on the busted computer terminal. While the process was slow going he was confident that he would finish fixing it soon.

Meanwhile the egg that he had found had to be close to hatching. Ash swore that he had seen it wriggle once inside the PEI but his mom wasn't so sure. He was dying of curiosity to know what was inside it.

Another thing that finally happened was that Prof. Oak had returned from his summit meeting with his fellow professors from different regions. Ash had to beg Prof. Oak to let him use his library since he had exhausted the supply of books his mom had lent him and the books he had found. Now he was looking for anything that could sate his curiosity for learning more about Pokemon. While he could've gone to the library, the books their only had generalized information that he already knew and he wanted to specifics now that he knew the generalized stuff.

So when Oak had agreed to let Ash use his library on the condition that he would make sure everything stayed in tip-top condition, Ash nearly bowled Oak over as he hugged him.

There was also the fact that his mother was nearly done going over all the stuff that she had stored in that deceptively small closet in her room. So his mother had finally started acting normal again and started taking care of herself better. Ash was still worried she would regress into that person who would be so absorbed into reading that she forgot to take care of herself. However he was sure that him always reminding her about it had probably engraved it into her mind. Now she had told him that she would soon start her work on a thesis that would get contribute to the advancement of Pokemon understanding and hopefully get her the title of Professor.

Now that he thought about it, Professor Ketchum had a nice ring in it to Ash's ears.

It was also depressing for for him last month when Gary and Red both declared each other as rivals so to speak when they became of age to travel by themselves. Leaf had told him how the adults who witnessed the scene were touched by how they were such good friends. However when Ash saw them, he wondered if the adults were crazy or not because no matter how he looked at it, he saw Gary glaring at Red while Red himself was just looking off in a different direction.

Though he did hear someone near the back say something like, "Ohh! it'll evolve into a hardcore bromance one day! Just look at them! Gary's staring at red so hard and Red is just playing hard to get!"

Of course that was followed by lots of people suddenly leaving the duo to their.. bromance..?

Leaf decided to stay behind to act as a mediator but he just wished her good luck and left himself.

...

Now Ash had found himself in Oak's library going over some books on Pokemon psychology and he was surprised by what he found. Apparently Pokemon personalities sometimes clashed with a trainers personality leading to disobedience. While disobedience was something he knew of, it was something that wasn't properly explained either.

It's said that a Pokemon nature determines their personality and vice versa. An example would be a Pokemon with Adamant nature would be more headstrong about fighting it's battles while a Pokemon with Calm nature would prefer to drag out the battle to find a weakness. That explained why he saw some of the battles he had seen on TV end so quick, or drag on for so long. It was because the trainers were letting their own Pokemon fight their own battles while they only gave commands when absolutely necessary.

It also provided an explanation to why he always saw the challengers lose against the Elite Four whenever they aired a battle. He saw a lot of the challengers continue ordering their Pokemon during the battle, while the Elite Four themselves only seemed to give commands when their Pokemon needed to defend themselves. He theorized that because the challengers Pokemon had to continue listening to their trainers command while going against their nature, it caused the attention span of the Pokemon to be split in multiple ways, creating a weak spot for the opposing Pokemon to take advantage of.

Placing down the book for a second, Ash jotted down on a piece of paper next to him, "Note: Make sure find out natures of Pokemon and find a fighting style that suits it so that commands given will not go against their nature."

While he wasn't sure whether his theory had any merit at all, he was sure it would be handy to know later down the road.

This was basically how Ash spent most of his days. Cooped up in Professor Oak's laboratory when he wanted to read up on stuff that involved Pokemon, In his room staring at the egg, or at his hideaway trying to figure out what he was doing wrong to the terminal or exploring the forest looking for things that caught his eye.

He rarely interacted with the kids his age who seemed content to play around acting like they were trainers. Call himself arrogant but he had no delusions of lowering himself down to their level when they finally started their Pokemon journeys. He would use every advantage he had to crush them, maybe then they would reflect on how different reality really was. To a child that was as young as Ash, such thoughts might seem rather dark, however Ash thought it was completely justified, Gary himself was the perfect example of this. He spent all his time chasing after Red, but at least Ash knew that wasn't all Gary did, he was after all Professor Oak's grandson and no matter how much he hated the title, he was bound to pick up stuff from being his grandson.

While Red, as far as Ash knew was someone who was quiet all the time. However Ash felt that Red would be the hardest obstacle to beat in his journey. He didn't know why he was thinking that way, but he just knew Red would be the one of the hardest trainers he would fight in the future. It was like something at the back of his head telling him, "He will be the final obstacle between your dream at the end of your journey".

Ash didn't know what to think about Leaf, while she said she wanted to be a Pokemon trainer, she didn't say it with much conviction. She had even admitted she said it because everyone else said it too. Did that mean that she wasn't sure what she wanted to be in the future? Or was it perhaps because she had another goal in mind?

Ash shook his head in attempt to get rid of such thoughts. He was already thinking too deep, their was no way Leaf could have a secondary objective to being a trainer, he was just over thinking things. Yes that was it, over thinking.

Looking at the clock, he noticed that it was getting late. Putting back the book back onto its shelf, he yelled out, "Bye Professor Oak!" before running out the door. Making sure it was locked on the way out.

Reaching his home, he started drooling the moment he entered the front door, his mom was making something heavenly, he could smell it.

...

Another 3 months passed in the blink of an eye and Ash felt jittery once again. Today would be the day he would be heading to Viridian City to take the Pokemon Trainee exam and he was feeling extremely nervous about it. Just last month, it was announced that the revision of the Pokemon Trainer charter was out. Along with it, the Trainee charter was released as well. Now instead of taking the exam at home, you went to the nearest league operated test facility and took the test there.

After you finished you would automatically receive your answer to whether you passed or not. If he passed, he would be certified as a Trainee and would be allowed to keep 3 Pokemon on him at anytime until his guardian deemed him fit to own a full team of 6, in which case he would be registered as a Pokemon Trainer instead of a Pokemon Trainee. he would also be given an access code to the Official League Website that contained information about trainers worldwide and information that Trainers posted on it to help newbies. While his access was restricted to a low level, it was still access to information that would help him.

Of course, he was allowed to catch more then 3 Pokemon, but they would automatically be transferred to the nearest storage until he was an official Trainer, so he had to be careful with what he caught as his first three Pokemon.

This year, the gift for passing the Trainee exam was a League-themed Messenger Bag tailor-made for Trainers going on journeys. They were durable, contained a list of all the essentials a trainer would need and could fit even more. This incentive was more then enough for Ash to do well in the exam.

Now though, Ash was feeling extremely nervous. Recently the egg that he had found had started wriggling more. This was a sure sign that it was hatching and today it wriggled the most he had ever seen it wriggle. This had Ash very nervous. The egg could hatch at anytime and today or all days he had an exam that would leave him away from home for at least half a day. Pacing in his room like any mentally-stressed person would do, Ash was contemplating whether he should go with staying home and caring for the egg or going to Viridian City and finishing the exam as fast as he could and rush back home?

The test-facility had specifically stated that nothing was allowed to be brought in. Anything that a test taker would need to take the test was provided for and he was pretty sure bringing in an Egg would not be the best idea.

Glancing at the egg one more time, he hoped that it didn't hatch today while he was away.

Maybe it was a trick of the light or the state of his mind but he swore the egg seemed to glow for a second. Blinking his eye's he rubbed them and saw nothing had changed.

Hearing his mother calling for him from downstairs he glanced one more time to the egg and ran out of his room and headed towards his mom. They would be walking there and it would take at least 2 hours. When Ash had asked, "What about the wild Pokemon?" his mother had just giggled and said, "They won't bother us so long as we don't bother them."

Blushing at not thinking of such a simple answer, Ash turned away and started walking. Only for his mom to call out and say, "It's the other way Ashie."

Quickly turning and walking in the right direction, Ash walked ahead of his mother with a face that could rival the color of a tomato while his mother just giggled along.

...

Entering Viridian City for the first time Ash was shocked by how busy the city looked. Compared to Pallet Town, this place had to be at least 5 times larger. People milled about doing whatever they did and he even caught glimpses of Pokemon when he passed by some alleys with his mother.

Soon enough, they found themselves closing in on a Pokemon Center. Looking at it in curiosity, Ash wondered why they were here. His answer was provided as soon as they turned entered. Inside was a bustling network of activity. He saw lots of people moving around inside and he saw that there were lots of kids his age as well. Though they all seemed to be reading from what he could see.

Looking towards his mom for an explanation. He heard her explain how all the kids here were people aspiring to be Trainees like he was so in a sense, they were all his rivals.

Hearing the explanation, Ash looked back towards all the people his age and thought, "All these people are here could be my rivals...". Internally smirking Ash looked forward to just how many of these people would actually make a name for themselves when they became a trainer.

30 minutes later and the clock struck 12. That was when a door to the right slammed open causing heads to turn towards the noise. There standing in the doorway was a man that was 6 feet tall, wearing a blue uniform with an emblemized P on the right side of it.

Clearing his throat he shouted, "All test takers get over here. We'll get you seated in 10 minutes and then you can start! Those who finish will automatically get their grade as soon as their done! The passing grade is a minimum is a C! For those who fail, too bad. Get out and try again next year. For those who pass, Congratulations and get out anyway. Now don't think for a second that you're the only ones taking this test! There are millions of others who are taking the same test in other facilities! So don't think that you're anything special if you think these are the only people aspiring for the rank of Trainee! Now move it!"

Immediately afterwards a lot of noise was generated as people walked towards the open doors. Some walking confidently, some walking like they were about to fall over. Some received encouragement from their parents, while some lost their nerve from the intimidating way the person spoke. Ash himself received a word of encouragement from his mother before he too walked towards the open doors.

Once inside he found himself in an auditorium. Ash guessed that its to be expected from a Pokemon Center, such things were needed when meetings between trainers happened and they would need a large room for conversation. However, it seemed that the League had brought a ton of computer terminals and set them up inside the auditorium. Every 3 seats or so there was a computer terminal he guessed that they would be taking the test on that.

Sure enough he heard another person wearing the same shirt as the other exam proctor inside yelling to sit in front of a terminal and to stay quiet.

10 minutes later everyone was seated while those who weren't lucky to get a seat were ushered out and told that they would have to wait for the next session. This confused Ash since he didn't know there was a next session.

The guy that had originally called for the aspiring trainees to enter stood at the front of the auditorium and seemed to glare at everyone. Sweeping the room with his gaze one more time he cleared his throat and shouted. "Good! Now that everyone is seated I'll be explaining how this is going to be done. Because the League has decided to change how go, instead of the old send a test home and wait for it come back approach, the League has decided to test you right here right now. This is mostly because despite there being trainees who became trainers, they still ended up as casualties during their journeys. So the League has revised it so that only those who know what they're doing will be given the rank trainee." Here he paused before continuing "Now, I know some of you have always wondered why there is a trainee system when its just a degraded version of a trainer. The answer is simple, its to prepare future trainers for there possible futures. Some of you no doubt aspire to be trainers while others might want to be researchers or even rangers, this system was created as a means for people to learn as much as they can about their possible futures. For those trainers who think being trainers is a game, they're wrong, to be a trainer is to reach an understanding between Pokemon and keep the peace between the people and Pokemon. For those who didn't understand a word I said, then too bad, obviously you aren't taking this seriously For those who did understand, be prepared for the responsibilities your actions will bring. Now may the test begin!"

Immediately after saying that, the terminal in front of Ash lit up from its dormant state and asked for the name of the test taker. Ash inputted his name, but his mind was going over different things. Namely the speech the proctor just gave. On one level Ash understood what that man had been trying to say. He saw everyone here as people who aspired to be serious trainers, but he also saw some people here that was only doing this for fun. He basically called out those who were doing this for fun would be the first to fail as soon as they became trainers. While the speech was good in his opinion. He didn't see why it had to be said right before the test. Was he testing their resolve by trying to shake their confidence? Or was it simply something he always did? Shaking his head Ash concentrated on his test.

The beginning was simple enough. It merely asked questions like, what was a Pokemon?, Name all the different types of Pokemon, name a famous Professor, etc. However as the test went on, the question increased with difficulty. Some asking, What kind of specific care was required for a certain type of Pokemon, How to properly care for a Unhatched Egg, What signs to look for when a Pokemon was sick,etc.

If Ash hadn't read so many different books less then half a year ago, he was sure that he wouldn't have been able to answer most of these questions except maybe the beginning part.

One hour and a half later, Ash was finished with the test. At the end there was a survey that was optional. Deciding to answer it. he saw it was a near exact replica of the previous test. It basically asked what his dreams were and why he had them as dreams. Looking at it, just typed, "I want to be the best" for the dream and for the reason he put, "Because I can". Smirking at this, he pressed submit. 10 seconds later an A- was shown on his screen before the indent below the screen released a piece of paper. Picking it up, he saw that it was his test score and official documentation that he passed. Shrugging, he looked around and saw that quite a few people had already finished and were heading to the door with papers in hand while those who didn't continued to answer the questions.

Getting up, Ash headed towards the back of the auditorium. Once he reached the back doors, he walked up to a free table and handed his paper to a proctor. The guy took one look at his score, looked up at his face before raising an eyebrow. He then shrugged before getting up and telling Ash to wait here while he went to register him as a trainee and to get his reward.

Ash just walked off to the side of the door and waited. While waiting he observed the people that were also waiting close by. They too looked like they were waiting since they were close to a few empty tables.

They were talking about how hard the test was and now that they were actually trainees, they would have a head start over some of the people who didn't know they could have an official Pokemon before they became a trainer. Though a trainer with brown hair in a light blue shirt did catch his eye when he said, "It isn't really a head-start if we don't already have Pokemon. Also since the revision of the required age to be a Pokemon Trainer was now 12 instead of 10, more people would resort to the trainee system. So it wasn't much of a head start. It was just a matter of seeing who was serious about being a Pokemon Trainer and who was doing it for fun."

Ash was impressed by the guy's logic. He also caught his name when he introduced himself to the group he had just interrupted. Apparently his name was Ritchie who was aspiring to be a Pokemon Master. Ash made a mental note to keep an eye on the guy's development. He wasn't sure why but he was sure Ritchie would be someone that would be on par with himself when they had a Pokemon battle.

Soon enough, a few proctors came back and handed out messenger bags with a motif of a pokeball to the waiting exam takers along with their score papers. Once they got that, they all left, Ritchie among them. Ash continued to wait and soon enough the proctor he handed his score sheet to also came back. Thanking him for his help, Ash walked out with his bag in both hands and the score sheet stored safely inside it.

Once he got back into the normal part of the Pokemon Center, he saw his mom chatting with a few other people. Slowly walking up to her, he waited for her to finish up her conversation before tugging on her sleeve.

When she towards who was tugging her sleeve, she saw Ash holding a messenger bag with a smile on his face. Immediately squealing at the fact that her boy had passed, she hugged him. While the people who she had been talking to congratulated Ash on passing as well.

Watching his mom bid her chat partners good bye, they headed out of the Pokemon Center. Getting out of the place, Ash noticed how chilly it was. It was getting close to the end of the year after all. The duo ended up stopping at a nearby restaurant to have a late lunch since it was almost 3 PM and they hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast which was at least 8 hours ago. Though Delia could have gone out to eat, she was too worried with her boys exam and ended up chatting with other worried mothers.

Once they were done, they trekked the 2 hour journey back to Pallet Town.

...

By the time they reached home, it was almost 5 PM, they had walked much faster then intended and gotten back to Pallet Town 15 minutes ahead of schedule. As soon as Ash entered his home, he raced up the stairs to store his bag in a safe place and to check on the egg.

When he entered his room, he was greeted to the sight of the egg wriggling around in the PEI. Ash immediately dropped everything he was holding and dashed to the egg. Quickly bringing it out of the PEI to hold, it continued to wriggle in his grasp. Soon enough cracks formed at the apex of the egg and started spreading downwards.

Less than a minute later, the egg imploded on itself and it turned into a glowing white blob that quickly started taking shape into a small humanoid creature. When the light had finished glowing and the newborn Pokemon came into view. Ash gasped as he had never seen something like this before.

It had a white body the size of a baby and on its head was a mass of green that had two red horns jutting out of it. It seemed to shake its head before looking up at the person holding it.

It let out a "Raaaaalts" before trying to hug Ash.

Ash had frozen as soon as it was done hatching because his brain couldn't compute just what kind of Pokemon he was holding. When he heard it call out, "Raaaaalts", his brain entered panic mode and he did the only thing he could do.

He yelled out, "Moooooom!"


AN: Huh the chapters are getting progressively smaller. I wonder if this is a sign that I'm losing motivation to continue writing thing.

Anyway, this chapter is basically me finally deciding to utilize time skips instead of writing day to day, week to week activities. Now another thing, some people, no names, have asked if i actually have an outline for my stories. My answer is no, I just write what comes to mind and from their I try and shape it to fit my story, because to me writing a story with a pre-planned outline is pointless. You go over the thing, then think, ugh this looks like crap and change it anyway and make the thing pointless. Of course I might think the same while just typing it up as I go, so to some people, an outline might do them a lot of good but for me, they're useless.

About this story, I also hear how some of this is moving along slowly, Yea its moving slowly, but I noticed how in the anime, so much stuff is introduced only to be glossed over, so I want to go more in-depth so to speak, their was so much potential in some of the filler episodes that I felt was explained but then forgotten. Though I think that Ash's journey will start in maybe 2-3 chapters or so. 5 tops. It depends on my mood and what type of ideas I have.

And yea, the egg finally hatched. This was a hard ass choice for me since their were so many types of Pokemon that could've come out of the egg, but I wanted to stay away from Legendaries, so I decided to go with one of my favorite Pokemon, Ralts.

Some of the scenes were hard to write out since I don't think I captured the emotion right, but oh well. Also changing this from OP! Ash to OvertimeStrogn!Ash.

Not beta'd.

Laters.