Episode 1: "A New Adventure Begins!"
Pallet Town: a little residential area of the Kanto region, full of open fields, dirt trails and simple houses. This is the location of Professor Oak's laboratory, main starting point for several young Pokémon Trainers, which come from the nearest cities in order to get a Pokémon of their choice to start their adventure: Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle. They also get a Pokédex, a sort of digital encyclopedia that gives information about all existing Pokémon, and some Poké Balls, round devices used by humans to catch and befriend Pokémon. Humans who catch, train, take care and use Pokémon for fighting are called Pokémon Trainers and most of them fight eight professional Trainers around the region, called Gym Leaders, and collect Badges to gain access to the League and hope to become Champions and maybe even the best Trainers in the world.
In this same town lives a young raven-haired Pokémon Trainer named Ash Ketchum, a veteran battler that has travelled all around the world together with his starter Pokémon and best friend Pikachu. They have recently returned from a journey around Sinnoh, after partaking to the regional League. The boy didn't win the tournament, but he managed to place himself in the Top 4, beating the previously undefeated Darkrai and tying with the fast and powerful Latios.
The two friends were packing Ash's backpack with clothes and underwear, in preparation for their next destination.
"Alright, Pikachu! We've finished!" exclaimed Ash, closing his knapsack.
"Pika pika!" replied the yellow mouse, giving him a thumbs-up.
"I can't really wait for that! We'll have a vacation with my mom! I can't even remember the last time I had one…"
"Yeah, you're right! We have been travelling all around the world to get Badges and to participate to the various regional Leagues. Too bad that we have lost the Lily of the Valley Conference…" said ruefully Ash, releasing a sigh.
"Pikapi…" muttered the Pokémon, placing a paw on his hand.
The Pokémon Trainer shook his head and smiled warmly at his partner. "Oh, never mind! We shouldn't think about that! We're going to vacation, after all!"
"Pikapika!" responded Pikachu, smiling back and jumping on his shoulder.
"Ash, are you ready? The Professor Oak is already here," announced Delia from downstairs.
"Yeah, mom! I'm ready!" said Ash back, before taking his backpack and descending the steps. He then approached his mother, who was standing at the door and was holding an orange, wheeled luggage. "Here I am. Let's go!"
Mrs. Ketchum scrutinized her son and rapidly readjusted the cap on his head.
"Ok, now is perfect! So how are your new clothes?" asked the woman, smiling at her son.
"Oh, they're very comfy! Thanks for them, mom!"
"Did you pick enough clothes and underwear for our vacation?"
Ash's head reddened in embarrassment. "Mom!"
"I was just wondering, that's all…"
"Yeah, I have packed everything. Don't worry about that."
"Pika pika!" added Pikachu, as to confirm what Ash said.
"Ok. Now let's go. The professor has been waiting for us for long enough," stated Delia, grabbing her luggage by the handle and trailing it behind her. Ash followed suit.
"Are you ready, guys?" asked the professor to the others. Ash looked at him curiously: he was wearing a light green T-shirt with some pineapples and Exeggutor printed on it, a pair of dark gray shades and an orange and purple cap.
"Excuse me professor, but… what are you wearing?" asked Ash in bewilderment. Pikachu tilted his head on his side, him too not used to the professor's casual look.
"Pretty, isn't it? It's just what I need to get in the mood for a vacation. It's been a long time since I've visited the Unova region."
"But professor… you aren't exactly going for a pleasure trip," said Delia.
"I know, I know. But between a conference and another I'll have a lot of free time, to relax or to visit the various cities. So what are we waiting for? Come on board!"
Ash and his mother placed the luggage and the knapsack in the trunk, before seating down on the various seats: Delia seated down in the front seat, while Ash and Pikachu went in the rear seats.
"Um… can we stop off at the lab, professor? I want to visit my Pokémon before going to the airport."
"But didn't you visit them yesterday, Ash?" enquired Delia, looking behind.
"Yeah, but… I'd like to see them once more. We're going to stay in Unova for a couple of weeks, so I won't be able to see them until then."
"Oh, and it seems that Pikachu want to see them too."
"Ok. Luckily we're early, so you have some time to bid them goodbye."
And with that Oak started the engine of the car and the vehicle sprinted forward, directed toward the lab.
Meanwhile in a secret building in Viridian City, a magenta-haired woman, a lavender-haired man and a Meowth were walking on a rather long corridor. The humans were wearing black uniforms with a red R printed on their shirts.
"I'm still feeling a bit weird with this black uniform…" mused the man, examining the shirt.
"You'd better get used to it, James. These will be the uniforms we will be wearing during our mission," replied the woman, still looking straight.
"I know that, Jessie. But after all this time, it's a quite radical change."
"Well, that's another reason why I never wear clothes," replied the cat-like Pokémon, glancing for a moment at the two humans.
"And besides, this is our great chance to show to our boss what we are capable to do. We'd better not mess up and our clothes are the last of our problems," added Jessie, looking at her human partner.
"I guess…" said James, nodding.
"Ok, chill out now! Here is the room," stated Jessie, motioning her hand toward a metallic door. Her partners looked at it and they all moved toward it and opened it.
When they entered inside the room, they saw a hologram of a rather mysterious man. Said man was accompanied by his Persian and a purple-haired woman. The man then started talking. "Good morning Jessie, James and Meowth."
"Good morning, boss," replied the trio, bowing at their leader.
"Tell me… what is Team Rocket's main goal?"
"Our main goal is to catch powerful Pokémon," said Jessie.
"Not only powerful, but also very rare," added James.
"And to use them to conquer the world," concluded Meowth.
"Very well. Our objective is to form an army of powerful Pokémon that will allow us to control the whole world. Observe…"
A map of an unknown region appeared on the screen, surprising the trio.
"What's that?" asked Jessie.
"That's the Unova region, the decisive step that will approach us to the completion of our plan. In other words, that's the region where I'll send you to, undercover. However, it's fundamental for you to get instructed first about the region before going there. My subordinate will lead you to the place where you'll receive the details and means to complete your mission."
After their leader said that, a teal-haired man with eyes of the same color approached the trio. He was wearing a completely white uniform, with a red R enclosed by a black pentagon and printed on the upper left of his shirt.
"It's a pleasure to meet you. You are Jessie, James and Meowth, right? My name is Archer and I'm one of the Team Rocket Executives from the Team Rocket's branch in Johto."
"It's an honor to meet you too, Archer," replied the trio, bowing at him.
"Archer…" the admin turned to his boss, ready to listen to him. "…you already know what to do."
"Yes, my lord," said Archer, before looking at the group. "Follow me."
With that said, the four Team Rocket members left the room and Giovanni turned off the screen. He then seated down on his seat and started petting his feline Pokémon, who purred in delight. The purple-haired woman started talking.
"Giovanni, we have received information of a mysterious organization that is operating in the Unova region."
"Once those three will arrive to the Unova region they will be able to give us more details. It's only a matter of time, Matori."
"Here we are," announced Oak to his guests, stopping the car in the front of his laboratory.
"Thank you, professor. I won't take long. Let's go, Pikachu!"
The Pokémon nodded and the duo descended from the car, before sprinting toward the backyard. The couple was passing through a part of the garden when they spotted Samuel Oak's assistant Tracey, who was very intent in portraying a couple of Pidgey roosting on a branch. The young Trainer approached the other to greet him.
Ash's sudden voice startled the young artist and made him fall backwards to the floor, scattering papers and pencils everywhere. Ash mentally facepalmed and rushed to Tracey's side, gathering all the dropped material.
"Ash? What are you doing here? Why aren't you going to the airport?"
"Oh, I and Pikachu just wanted to pay a visit to our friends before going to the airport."
"Ah. Ok, then. All of them should be in the garden, if I'm not mistaken. Maybe you should ask Bulbasaur to help you gather them."
"Ok. Thanks, Tracey!"
And as if taking his cue from Tracey's suggestion, Bulbasaur walked near to them. However he was focused on the garden, trying to keep the order in the backyard. Torterra visibly lightened his job, but the little Grass-type still had a lot of work to do.
The little starter recognized the voice and immediately turned toward it. He then smiled broadly and ran toward his Trainer and his old "colleague".
"Bulba, bulbasaur!" shouted happily the green amphibian.
"Pika pika!" shouted back Pikachu, waving his paws excitedly. Both Pokémon started talking in their respective Pokéspeechs, very happy to see each other.
"Bulbasaur…" Ash started saying, obtaining the attention of his Pokémon. "Can you call the others, please? I want to say goodbye to our friends before going to the others. Can you help me?"
The Pokémon nodded and distanced himself from Ash and Pikachu. He then started gathering solar energy in his bulb and shot a bright beam of light toward the sky: a signal for the others. And in fact it didn't take long before all of Ash's Pokémon appeared to greet him.
Bayleef, Corpish and Gliscor immediately tackled Ash and started nuzzling and embracing him, while Totodile and Gible playfully chewed on his head. Ash laughed at this sign of affection and slowly tried to shake the Pokémon off his body. Meanwhile, Pikachu was greeting Donphan and the others were greeting both the Trainer and the electric mouse.
"Guys, I'm so happy to see you too," said Ash, slowly getting up from the floor. He looked all around him and restarted talking "Well, I only came here to see you again. As you already know I'm going to Unova together with my mom and the professor. I will be back in a couple of weeks."
Torkoal started crying uncontrollably, while the others simply accepted his decision.
"Bulbasaur, Torterra… take care of all of them, together with the professor. Ok?"
Both Pokémon nodded. The Trainer and his Pokémon shared one last hug and greeting, before Ash and Pikachu bid goodbye to Tracey and rejoined Mrs. Delia and Samuel Oak.
"Ok, I'm done. Let's go to the airport."
The professor nodded and started the engine. The group was directed toward the airport, unaware of the fact that a little guest had managed to sneak into the trunk of the car.
Archer, Jessie, James and Meowth were walking on a quite large corridor. They saw various grunts walking and rushing toward various places of the building, all of them intent in their jobs.
"Say, Archer… you're one of the highest-ranked Team Rocket members from Johto, correct?" asked James, all of a sudden.
"Yes, I am," responded calmly the admin.
"And how are things doing in Johto?" asked Jessie, quite interested in the matter.
"This… information is classified."
The others noticed a slight alteration in his tone. Did they hit a nerve? They were about to ask when three Team Rocket members approached them: two black-clad men with a giant red R on the chest and a woman with a white uniform, similar to Archer's one but with a long skirt instead of pants. One of the men had green hair and eyes and was wearing a black beret, while the other had purple hair and beard and black eyes. The woman had red hair and eyes and was guiding her companions toward the group.
"Jessie, James, Meowth… I present you my colleagues: Proton…"
The green-haired man raised his beret.
The purple-haired guy nodded.
"… and Ariana."
The red-haired woman crossed her arms, staring coldly at the trio.
The threesome simply bowed at the three executives.
"So… you're the Kanto trio that we hear so much about, right?" enquired Proton, readjusting his beret.
"The ones that supposedly have destroyed the organizations that have been operating in Hoenn and Sinnoh?" added Petrel, putting his hands on his hips.
"Yes, yes we are," answered Meowth immediately.
"You're also the same buffoons that have been chasing after a Pikachu for all this time and that have failed over and over again?" asked Ariana, almost venomously.
The mentioned threesome glared at her, but said nothing. They were in front of an Executive, after all.
"Ariana, Ariana… where is your respect and faith? Those were the old Jessie, James and Meowth. In front of you stand the new Jessie, James and Meowth," said the white-clad man, as if trying to release the tension.
"For now the only new thing is their wardrobe," whispered Petrel in Proton's ear. The bereted man nodded and snickered a little bit.
"Anyway, the vehicle that will take us to our destination is right ahead," said Archer to the Team Rocket trio, before looking at his companions. "With permission…"
The four went inside the room and closed the door behind them, while the executives stared at it for a while.
"I can't believe that lord Giovanni has assigned our mission to those clowns! After all we have done…" said the green-haired man, frowning at the others.
"Well, you have to admit that we didn't fare much better than them," replied the purple-haired man with a shrug.
"At least we didn't go after a single twerp for months."
"Yeah, but still a twerp owned all of us."
"Sad, but true."
"Relax guys. Those three will never be able to succeed in what's ahead to them. You'll see, when the time will come, lord Giovanni will contact us and will dismiss them. You'll see…"
The two men stared at the woman, incredulous looks in their faces. She usually wasn't that calm and collected. The red-haired looked at them and motioned them to follow her.
"Let's go. We have some chores to finish."
An airplane flew overhead the car, obtaining the attention of all the passengers. Pikachu kept following the plane with his gaze, until it disappeared in a pile of clouds.
"Alright, guys. We're almost there," announced Oak to his guests.
"Awesome! I can't wait to take the plane for Unova!" exclaimed Ash enthusiastically. Pikachu agreed in his Pikaspeech.
"Patience, my dear. We have to park and drop our baggage first," replied Mrs. Ketchum, amused by her son's enthusiasm.
The professor parked in the front of the departures terminal of the airport, to let the passengers get down and take their bags, when…
"Uh? Do you hear that sound?" asked the young Pokémon Trainer, looking around him. Pikachu perked his ears to determine the sound's origin.
"What sound?" asked Oak in bewilderment.
"Pika!" shouted Pikachu, jumping on the baggage.
"It's coming from the trunk!"
The humans carefully removed the luggage from the trunk and…
"Gi?" said the intruder.
"Gible?! What are you doing here?" asked Ash, surprise present in his eyes.
The Land Shark Pokémon stopped chomping some metal and his gaze met his Trainer's.
"Gi! Gible!" shouted the Pokémon happily, before jumping on his Trainer's head and starting chewing on it playfully.
"Hey, did you follow me?"
"It seems that he wanted to come with us to our vacation," said Delia, putting a hand on her cheek.
"Gi, gible!" replied the Ground-type with an affirmative tone.
"Well, I guess there isn't anything wrong in taking him with us," said the professor, taking his suitcases. "Now we'd better go or we'll lose our plane."
"Alright," said Ash, taking his backpack and holding Gible in his arms. Pikachu jumped on his shoulder as usual. "Let's go, then!"
On the plane…
"Whoa!" "Pikaa!" "Giii!"
Ash, Pikachu and Gible were looking outside the window of the plane, amazed by the huge amount of Water-types that were populating the ocean. The Trainer and his Pokémon looked at some rare storms of Wingull and Pelipper, that were soon replaced by flocks of swan-like Pokémon.
"Hey, what are those?"
"Um… those should be Swanna, if I recall correctly. It seems that were almost there," said Professor Oak to the boy.
"Really? So those were Pokémon from Unova?"
"Exactly. In fact in Unova there are some exclusive Pokémon that can't be found in Kanto, in Johto, in Hoenn or in Sinnoh."
"Amazing! I really can't wait to arrive there!"
"Pika pika!" replied Pikachu, smiling at his human partner.
"Gible gi!" said Gible, glancing for a moment at the others two. Suddenly, a black shadow passed by the plane, surprising the Pokémon. "Gi?"
The Pokémon started looking frantically outside the window, obtaining puzzled looks from the others.
"Gible, is there something wrong?" asked Ash in concern.
The little dragon looked at his Trainer, then at the window, then again at his Trainer and shook his head.
"Did you see something outside the window?"
"Maybe it was only a Pokémon. Surely you'll find a lot of them in Unova," said Delia.
"Yeah! Who knows, maybe you'll see it again!" said Ash at his Pokémon.
Gible stared at his Trainer for a while before nodding.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have started our descent toward the International Airport of Unova. Please, return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts."
All the passengers in the plane immediately did as ordered and prepared themselves for the landing. After a while, the landmass could be seen from the window of the airplane and Oak said: "Look, Ash. That's the Unova region."
"Cool! I can't wait to land there!"
Some minutes later, the plane had landed on a pier of the airport and all the passengers got down of the plane.
"Ahahah! We've arrived, finally!" shouted Ash excitedly. Pikachu and Gible shouted too.
Everybody started to go toward the terminal of the airport to retrieve their baggage, when Pikachu suddenly stopped and looked around him curiously. There was something strange in the air.
Noticing the absence of his partner, Ash looked back and noticed his Pokémon looking toward the ocean. "Pikachu?"
The yellow mouse suddenly started running toward the end of the pier and began looking around him frantically.
"Pikachu, what's wrong?"
Gible too was confused by this strange behavior. He approached the other Pokémon and tapped his shoulder. "Gi, gible gi?"
Pikachu, startled by this sudden contact, released a thunderbolt at his aggressor, but Gible was completely unaffected due to his typing. The Electric-type looked shocked at his friend and immediately apologized.
"Hey, Pikachu? What's the matter?"
The yellow Pokémon looked at his best friend and pointed toward the sky. Ash looked up and noticed a strange circular black cloud, which was slowly growing in size and that was crackling with blue electricity.
The group stared at the cloud in amazement. This was something that they have never witnessed.
Suddenly, Pikachu's cheeks started crackling with electricity. The mouse was surprised by that and raised his tail to monitor his surroundings. He felt a lot of static electricity in the air and became more wary.
Ash was about to question what he was doing, when a blue thunderbolt struck Pikachu's tail, which acted like a lightning rod. Alarmed by that, the Electric-type released various thunderbolts all around him, temporarily dazing Ash and Gible with a flash of light. More blue thunderbolts started falling from the sky and the cloud moved just above the human and the two Pokémon.
When the light faded, Ash noticed that they all were in the center of a strange vortex and various bolts zipped here and there. He then looked up and saw a giant black Pokémon, who was firing various electric attacks in all directions.
In a nearby forest, a dark-skinned girl with long purple hair and an Axew were relaxing on a branch of a tree, when they noticed the strange black cloud.
"Uh? What's that?"
They both rapidly climbed up the tree to have a better visual and stared at the vortex in amazement.
"Something incredible is happening there. Axew, let's go!"
"Axew!" replied the little dragon, jumping inside her hair. She then grabbed a vine and started swinging it, directed toward the unusual phenomenon.
"Is that a new Pokémon?" wondered Ash, looking at the dragon-like Pokémon.
The group stared at it in amazement, until it released a loud roar, which resembled a thunderclap. Worried about his friends, Pikachu released a huge bolt of electricity toward the huge Pokémon, who retaliated by sending its own bolt. The thunderbolt released by the black creature easily overpowered Pikachu's one and struck the mouse with all its strength, making him cry in pain.
"Oh, no! Pikachu!"
Gible didn't lose any time. He jumped in the way of the lightning bolt and shielded Pikachu with his own body. His Ground-type properties managed to neutralize the effect of the electricity, but the attack was so strong that managed to hold him down, under its pressure. Gible then started glowing with an orange aura and a ball of energy formed in his mouth. He aimed the attack at the black creature and shot the sphere of light, which rapidly split in various orange comets.
The girl noticed that and immediately stopped on a branch.
"No way! Is that a Draco Meteor?" exclaimed the girl out loud. The Axew poked his head out of the mane and gaped. They both saw various luminous orange streaks flying toward the sky.
"Now we really have to reach that cloud!"
Before the meteors even got a chance to hit their target, the black Pokémon and the cloud suddenly vanished. Gible tilted his head to his side, bewildered by that sudden event.
The shark snapped out of his thoughts when he heard Ash's voice and turned toward him. The Trainer rushed toward Pikachu, who was lying on the floor, unconscious. He rapidly scooped his partner up in his arms and looked at him in concern.
"Pikachu, are you ok?"
The yellow mouse stirred in Ash's arms and slowly opened his eyes, a bit dazed.
"Oh, Pikachu! You're ok!"
"I was so worried!" said the human, hugging his best friend. He then turned toward Gible and smiled at him. "Thanks for your help, Gible! If it wasn't for you I don't know what would have happened to Pikachu."
"Pika pika!" said Pikachu, him too thanking the other Pokémon for coming to his aid.
"Gible gi!" replied the little shark, smiling and moving his arms happily.
The group jumped in surprise and turned toward the source. They saw Delia and Samuel running toward them.
"Ash, are you ok?" asked Delia in concern.
"Yes. Don't worry, mom. We're ok."
"Are you sure?" asked Oak, him too concerned.
"Of course. Everything is alright. Am I right, guys?"
Both Pokémon agreed with him, but then Pikachu's cheeks started crackling with blue electricity. The others were surprised by that, but Pikachu simply shook it off and jumped on Ash's shoulder, giving a reassuring smile to them. Gible too jumped toward Ash, but he landed on his head.
"Oh, well, everything is ok then. Surely that was a quite powerful storm," said Delia, relieved by the fact that his son and his Pokémon were fine.
"A very powerful storm indeed," added Oak.
"And that shadow…" said Ash, turning toward the point where the cloud formed.
"Uh? What shadow?"
"The shadow of some kind of Pokémon. It was at the center of the cloud."
"What? Do you mean that that shadow was the one that you saw on the plane, Gible?" asked Ash to his Pokémon. The Land Shark Pokémon thought about that for a moment, but he wasn't quite sure himself.
"I don't know, Ash. I only saw some clouds," said Oak.
"Same here," added Delia, putting a hand on her cheek.
"Really? That's strange…"
"Oh, Professor Oak!"
Everybody turned toward the mysterious voice. What they saw was a woman with light brown hair and cyan eyes, who was wearing a white lab coat with under a white shirt and green skirt. She was approaching the group and waving her hand.
"Ah, Professor Juniper!" answered Samuel, smiling at her.
"Finally I found you. I was worried about you when that sudden storm caught everybody off guard. I hope you are alright."
"We're fine, professor. Thanks for your concern," said Oak, before looking at Delia and Ash. "I present you Professor Aurea Juniper. And despite her young age, she's one of the most important researchers of the Unova region."
"It's a pleasure to meet you!"
"I'm Delia Ketchum. I'm pleased to meet you," said the woman, shaking the professor's hand.
"I'm Ash Ketchum and those are my Pokémon Pikachu and Gible," said the boy, him too shaking Juniper's hand. The mentioned Pokémon presented themselves in their Pokéspeechs.
"Ash Ketchum, Ash Ketchum… oh, yes! I think I remember. You're that Trainer that has faced two Legendaries at the Lily of the Valley Conference, am I right?"
"Yes, it's me."
"And if I recall right, you used your Gible against a Darkrai and your Pikachu against a Latios, right?"
"Exactly. I used those two against the Pokémon you have mentioned."
"Well, they look happy and very well trained. That means that you are a good Trainer."
"Anyway, shall we go to my lab?"
"Of course. Let us get our luggage first," replied Professor Oak, nodding. Ash and Delia nodded as well.
On the SUV…
The red car, driven by Aurea, was speeding on a quite linear dirt path, which passed through a luxuriant forest. Ash, his Pokémon, Delia and Oak were looking all around them, amazed by the incredible amount of exclusive Pokémon that resided in the forest. They saw various fawn-like Pokémon and creatures that resembled rodents with enormous eyes. By looking up, they saw various pigeon-like Pokémon, that were flying happily and chirping in joy.
"So, Ash… what do you think about the Pokémon around here? They're all new to you, right?" asked Aurea to the young Pokémon Trainer.
"Yes, they are. Wow, they are so awesome!"
"Pika pika!" agreed Pikachu, waving his paws while sitting on Ash's lap. In the meantime, Gible was sitting between Ash and his mom, enjoying the fresh air caressing his scales. He was greatly enjoying the vacation.
Suddenly, some blue sparks appeared in Pikachu's cheeks, obtaining puzzled looks from Ash, Delia and Gible.
"Hey, Pikachu! What's wrong?"
Pikachu shook off the blue static and gave a reassuring look to the others.
"That's strange. Pikachu was sparking before too," said Mrs. Ketchum.
"Yeah. Maybe it has something to do with that Pokémon's meeting…" wondered Ash.
"Pokémon's meeting?" asked the Unova professor, glancing behind before looking again at the road.
"Yes. I, Pikachu and Gible saw a sort of black dragon-like Pokémon in the sky. Probably it was an Electric-type, since it was shooting blue electric attacks."
"A black Pokémon…" muttered Juniper to herself, before gasping at her thoughts. "Could that be…?"
"What, Professor Juniper?" asked Oak, surprised by the woman's reaction.
"I suspect that you, Ash, may have met the Legendary Pokémon Zekrom."
"Zekrom?" asked Ash, intrigued by the news. Everybody showed a certain interest, especially Gible.
"Yes. Zekrom, the electric black dragon, is a sort of deity here in the Unova region. It has the ability to create black thunderclouds, that it uses to guard the people and Pokémon in the region, and it's said that its blue thunderbolts are the judgment that comes from the sky. Also, it's said that those thunderbolts are the pillars that support the sky."
Everybody listened intently to the professor's speech and nobody dared to interrupt her.
"In most legends, Zekrom is paired with Reshiram, the fire white dragon. It's said that Reshiram's tail has the power to control the atmosphere and to change the weather in the entire world."
"Wow, they're both quite powerful Pokémon!" exclaimed Delia, amazed by what she had heard.
"Yes, they are. In fact both are known for helping in the building of the Unova region."
"Whoa…" said Ash, impressed by that.
"Once we arrive to my lab I'll check on your Pikachu. We don't know what kind of effects those thunderbolts may have caused to your Pokémon."
"Anyway, here we are. This is Nuvema Town, my town. My lab is located here."
"Fantastic. I like this name." Pikachu and Gible agreed with their Trainer.
Some minutes later, the group has arrived at the lab. Pikachu was immediately put through some exams, much to his annoyance. He didn't like feeling all those suction cups all around his body, but he knew that it was for his own good. Ash and Gible were trying to cheer him up, while both professors were checking the monitor.
"What do you think, Professor Juniper?"
"According to the preliminary exams, there isn't anything odd or unusual. However, I'd like to check more accurately, just in case that there is something wrong."
"Did you hear that, Pikachu? Be a bit more patient and you'll see that everything will turn out alright," said Ash to his Pokémon, trying to transmit his positivity to the yellow mouse.
"Pikapi…" murmured Pikachu, looking down a bit disappointed and holding his ears low. Gible approached him and patted his shoulder, as if trying to encourage him.
Everybody turned to the new voice and saw one of Juniper's assistants entering the door.
"There is a new Trainer that is about to begin his journey."
"What? There is already another one?" replied Juniper, a bit surprised.
"A new Trainer?" asked Ash, looking at the professor.
"Just like me with Kanto, one of Juniper's main duties is to give to the beginner Trainers of the Unova region a starter Pokémon to begin their journeys," explained Oak to the young boy.
"Cool! Their first Pokémon?" replied Ash in excitement. "Can I come and meet the new Trainer, Juniper?"
"Of course, there is no problem with me," replied her, smiling at the boy.
"Fantastic! Hey Gible, do you want to come with me?"
The Ground-type looked at his Trainer for a while, before looking at Pikachu. The electric mouse gave him a reassuring smile and the little shark hopped of the table and ran toward Ash.
"Ok, let's go then."
In the waiting room, a boy with dirty blond hair and pale gray eyes was shooting some photos all around him. He was wearing an orange jacket with under it a dark gray shirt, light gray pants and grayish blue shoes. When he heard the noise of a cart he turned toward it.
"Good morning, Trip! Welcome!" greeted the professor, smiling at the boy. Ash, Gible and the assistant, who was carrying the cart, followed her.
"Good morning, Professor Aurea! Finally I feel I'm ready to begin my journey as a Pokémon Trainer," replied the beginner, smiling at her.
"I'm so happy for you. You have been waiting for that moment for a while. Welcome in the world of Pokémon!"
"Let me guess… you have been so excited that you couldn't even sleep a wink, am I right? Even I felt that way," said Ash, smiling at the new Trainer.
"Do I know you?" asked Trip, surprised by the raven-haired boy's easygoing behavior.
"Trip, I present you Ash Ketchum. He came all the way from Pallet Town, in the Kanto region," said Aurea to the blond boy.
"Nice to meet you, Trip!"
"So… you come from Pallet Town, in the Kanto region…" murmured Trip, before chuckling.
"Uh? What's so funny?"
"Oh, nothing. I was only thinking that… admittedly you come from the boonies," stated Trip, quite flatly.
"Oh, yeah? For your information this boonies-boy has travelled all around the world and has ranked in the Top 4 of the Sinnoh League," replied Ash, quite offended by the boy's attitude.
"Gi, gible gi!" replied Gible, confirming what Ash had said. It was then that Trip noticed the little dragon and looked at him in amazement.
"Um? What kind of Pokémon is that?"
"That's a Gible, a Pokémon I caught in the Sinnoh region," answered Ash, a bit calmer. He then saw Trip extracting his camera and taking a photo of his Dragon-type.
"From the Sinnoh region, uh? Well, that doesn't change the fact that you're a simple countryman."
"Hey! What do you mean by that?" shouted Ash, his indignation igniting again.
"Come on, Trip. That's your first day as a Pokémon Trainer. You don't want to ruin it, I hope," said Juniper, trying to calm down the two boys. She then turned toward the cart and resumed talking. "Now, you can choose your partner between one of those three different types. Observe."
She took a Poké Ball and threw it in the air. An orange and dark brown little pig with a coiled tail appeared in front of them, smiling happily at the humans.
"That's a Tepig, a Fire-type Pokémon."
"Cool! So you're a Tepig? You seem quite the fiery type," exclaimed Ash, excited to see such a cool Pokémon. The Tepig distanced itself from the humans and shot little flames from its nostrils. Gible gave it a curious look.
"And now the next one…" shouted Juniper, throwing a second ball. From it exited a blue otter with a big white head and stubby arms and dark blue ears, feet and tail. It was holding a yellow shell on its belly and smiled at the humans. "And this is Oshawott, a Water-type."
"Aww, but do you know that you're really cute?"
The Oshawott blushed at the comment, while Gible tilted his head. It didn't seem a bad guy.
The professor grabbed the last Poké Ball and threw it in the air. "And the last one is…" From the red and white sphere popped out a green snake with a cream underside. It has a big leaf on the tip of its tail and yellow markings along its eyes and its back and two yellow and curved structures on its shoulders. It smiled prideful at the humans. "…Snivy, a Grass-type."
"Wow, you seem very confident!" exclaimed Ash. Gible was staring at the snake for an unknown reason.
When all the starters were out, Tepig rushed to the side of the others two.
"Whoa, how can I choose only one? I'd like to train all of them! What a tough choice!" remarked Ash, looking at the Pokémon.
"Yeah. Too bad that it's me that has to choose, remember?" asked Trip to the other.
"I know, I know! Don't worry! I'm only saying that if I was you I would have a hard time choosing," concluded Ash, crossing his arms. Gible went near him and scrutinized the starters. Snivy was mostly indifferent toward the Dragon-type, while Tepig and Oshawott looked at him. Oshawott was a bit unnerved by Gible's almost empty gaze.
Trip then decided to take out his camera and shot a photo of the group. Ash looked at him curiously, wondering why he did so. After Trip put away his device, he looked at Aurea and said: "Ok, I decided. I'll train Snivy."
Snivy gave a confident look, while Tepig frowned and Oshawott fell on the floor, visibly disappointed.
"Very well," said the professor, taking a rectangular device and handing it out to Trip. "Here's you very personal Pokédex, Trip."
"Thanks, Professor Aurea!" thanked the Trainer, before pointing it at Snivy.
"Snivy, the Grass Snake Pokémon. Cool, calm, and collected, Snivy uses photosynthesis to collect energy with the leaf on its tail," said the mechanical voice of the encyclopedia.
"Wow, cool!" exclaimed Ash, attracted by the pictures and design of the new machine. Trip mainly ignored him, much to his chagrin, and pointed the machine at Gible.
"Gible, the Land Shark Pokémon. It attacks using its huge mouth. While its attacks are powerful, it hurts itself out of clumsiness, too."
"Interesting. So it's both a Dragon-type and a Ground-type Pokémon…" muttered Trip to himself.
"Gible is quite cool, isn't it?" asked Ash to the blond boy.
"Yeah, it doesn't seem bad," admitted the Unova Trainer, before putting away the Pokédex.
Juniper approached him with a square container in one hand, which included five Poké Balls, and a single Poké Ball on her other hand.
"Those are Poké Balls. With those you can carry up to six Pokémon. And this is Snivy's Poké Ball. Take care of him," said the always smiling professor, handing over the items.
"Thanks, professor," responded the boy, taking the round objects. He then pointed Snivy's Poké Ball toward him. "Very well, Snivy. With that we'll begin our journey," said him, before recalling the snake.
"I wish you good luck in your journey, Trip."
"Huff… wait! Wait for meee!"
Everybody jumped in surprise and immediately turned toward the new voice. They saw a young girl with brown wavy hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a white beret with a pink Poké Ball and extremity, a black sleeveless jacket with under it a white shirt, a pair of black wristbands, very short jeans and black and pink shoes. Around her chest held a pink shoulder bag. She was running very fast and breathing very heavily, before abruptly stopping, just before colliding with the other people in the room, and placing her hands on her knees.
Ash and the others sweatdropped at her performance and kept staring at her, wondering who she was.
"Um… can I help you?" asked Juniper.
"Uh… y-yeah… I… huff… j-just wait, I have to… huff, get my breath back!" replied the lady between her 'pant' and 'puff'. When she managed to recover from her run, she looked at the professor. "Hi, my name is Hilda and I'm here because I want to start my journey as a Pokémon Trainer."
"You too?" asked Ash in bewilderment.
The girl looked at him. "Yes, why? Don't tell me you two have just received your first Pokémon!"
"Well, to be exact… he did receive his first one. I have been travelling for a long time already. In fact, that Gible is a Pokémon I have caught in the Sinnoh region," responded Ash, motioning at the little shark. Gible waved his arms happily and jumped on Ash's head.
Hilda's eyes widened in excitement and she went near the Pokémon. "Aw, you're so cute!" said the brunette while patting the Ground-type, who enjoyed her caress. She then looked at the other beginner Trainer. "And what did you choose… um…"
"Trip. My name's Trip and I have picked up a Snivy."
"Really? That's so cool!"
"Oh, by the way… I'm Ash and I come from Pallet Town, in the Kanto region. Nice to meet you, Hilda," said the Kanto Pokémon Trainer.
The girl smiled at him. "Well, nice to meet you too, Ash!" She then approached the professor and asked: "It's that ok, professor? Can I have a Pokémon to start my journey?"
"Of course, I'm here for that. I hope you don't mind, but those Tepig and Oshawott are the last Pokémon I have today. If you want a Snivy you have to wait until tomorrow."
"Oh, don't worry. I already know what I want."
"Very well. What is your choice, then?"
The lady looked at both the starters. Oshawott was trying to appear as cute as possible, trying to get the girl's attention, while Tepig simply sat down and waited patiently for the response.
"I choose…" said the girl, moving her hand over the Fire-type. "…you, Tepig!"
The little fire pig was overjoyed by the news and jumped on the girl's arms, while the poor water otter facefaulted and twitched on his spot, disappointed for the fact that he has been rejected once more. Ash neared him and patted his head.
"Don't worry, you'll surely find a Trainer who will accept you as his partner. Don't lose hope, Oshawott!" said happily the boy, in an attempt to cheer up the Water-type. Oshawott looked at him and smiled in response, feeling a bit better.
"Here is Tepig's Poké Ball. Treat him nicely, ok?" said the professor, handing the round item to the girl.
"I will. Thanks, professor… um…"
"… Juniper, but call me Professor Aurea."
"Ok, thank you, Professor Aurea."
"Now, if you can wait for a while, I'll go and take you some Poké Balls and a Pokédex so that you can start your journey."
"Ok, no problem. I'm not in a hurry."
"Perfect. I'll come back soon," and with that the professor and the assistant left the room.
"I still can't believe it… I have my very own Pokémon. I'm so happy!" exclaimed the girl, raising the Pokémon in the air. The little fire pig waged its tail happily.
"Congratulations, Hilda. That seems a quite strong Pokémon," said Ash, trying to start a conversation.
"I know, right? Tepigs are so cute. And their evolutions are very strong. I think we'll be a great couple together. Right, Tepig?"
"Tetepig!" answered the pig, smiling at her.
"And tell me, do you already know what you want to do?"
"Yes. I'm going to participate to the Unova League."
"The Unova League? So you're going to fight in the various Gyms, am I right?"
"Um… not exactly. I'm going to gather Emblems from the Emblem Masters."
"Emblems? Emblem Masters? I've never heard of them before!"
"You haven't?" said Hilda, surprised by that. "Well, maybe they are still unknown in the Kanto region. Anyway, gathering Emblems is almost like gathering Badges. The only difference is that in every Emblem Facility you have to face a different type of challenge, that goes beyond the more classical fight."
"Wow. Sounds interesting."
"Yep. Gathering Emblems may be a bit difficult, but I truly believe that I can succeed and become a Pokémon Champion."
Ash thought for a moment, considering the idea of travelling all around Unova and getting Badges to participate to that League.
"What about you, Tr-" started Hilda, before noticing that Trip was going away. "Hey, where is he going, without even biding goodbye?"
Ash looked at the blond boy and ran after him. "Hey, Trip! Wait!"
The girl and the Oshawott followed the Trainer with their gazes, puzzled by his strange behavior.
The raven-haired boy looked outside the lab and saw Trip walking on the dirt path. He rapidly approached him. "Hey, Trip!"
"I just wanted to ask you something: are you going to participate to the Gyms or similar?"
"Of course. Pokémon Trainers fight in the various Gyms and try to win eight Badges, so that they can enter in the Unova League."
"Really? So it's just like in Kanto."
"Say Ash… is your Gible strong?"
"Yes, he is. Why do you ask?"
"It's that… Gibles are quite rare here in Unova and I'd like to fight one."
"Well, it's ok for me. Let's go!"
"Gible gi!" said the land shark, pumping his little fist.
Both Trainers went on a little arena, just outside the lab, and positioned themselves on the opposite sides of the field. Gible stood in front of Ash, ready to fight.
"Ok, Snivy! I choose you!" shouted Trip, throwing the Poké Ball. The grass snake popped out of his Poké Ball and stared at his opponent.
"Alright, Gible! Let's show them what you're capable to do!" said Ash, clenching his fist and looking at his Pokémon.
The Pokémon looked momentarily at Ash and raised his arm. "Gible!"
The boys and the Pokémon whirled toward the voice and saw Hilda running toward them, with Tepig following her closely.
"Hey, are you going to have a battle?"
"Yes, my Gible against his Snivy."
"Amazing! Can I watch the fight, please? It's the first time I see a battle for real."
"Well, I don't really mind. What about you, Trip?"
"I don't mind either. You can stay."
"Awesome! Thank you!" chirped the girl happily.
"Ok, let's fight!" said Ash, his enthusiasm overflowing.
Gible went in a fighting stance, when something or someone pounced on him and made him fall on the floor.
Gible looked at his aggressor and found out that it was Oshawott who leapt on him. The water otter looked at Ash and started waving his arms frantically.
"What? Do you want to fight with me, Oshawott?"
"Osha! Oshawott!" responded the Water-type, smiling broadly at the Pokémon Trainer.
Ash crossed his arms and looked at his opponent. "It's ok for you, Trip? You don't mind if I use Oshawott for this battle?"
Trip thought about that for a moment, before shrugging. "I guess. At least Snivy will gain some experience."
"Ok! Then you'll be my partner during this battle! Let's show him how strong you are!"
"Oshawott!" replied the otter, tapping his scalchop and looking at Ash with determination. He then faced his opponent and started staring at the grass snake. Gible in the meantime went beside Ash.
"Ok, Snivy! Let's start! Use Tackle!" shouted the blond Pokémon Trainer.
The Grass-type sprang in action and ran toward his opponent at great speed.
"Osha!" said the otter, jumping out of the way of the attack.
"Great, now use…"Ash paused for a moment. Admittedly, he didn't know Oshawott's moves. "Err… and what can you use, Oshawott?"
Oshawott facefaulted comically, while Hilda and Tepig sweatdropped. Trip shook his head in amusement.
"What? You decide to use a Pokémon without even knowing his moves? What kind of Trainer are you?"
Hilda felt the urge to intervene. "Come on, give him a break! He probably has never met an Oshawott before!" lectured the girl, putting her hands on her hips. Then, she approached the Pokémon Trainer from Kanto. "Ash, let's use my newly acquired Pokédex. With that you can check Oshawott's moves."
"Oh, thank you Hilda! You really are a lifesaver!"
The brunette smiled at him and pointed her Pokédex at Oshawott.
"Oshawott, the Sea Otter Pokémon. Oshawott attacks and defends using the scalchop that can be removed from its stomach.
Oshawott's current moves: Tackle, Water Gun, Razor Shell"
"Razor Shell?" wondered Ash.
"It's a move typical of the Oshawott's line. Have you ever heard of it before?" asked Hilda to the raven-haired boy.
"Um… no. That's the first time I hear of it."
"Gosh, you surely don't know a lot of things, Ash," remarked Hilda, shaking her head.
"I wonder how you managed to get to the Top 4 if you don't even know the basics," mocked Trip, raising an eyebrow at the other boy.
"Let's look at the good side. At least he learnt something new!" said Hilda to the blond boy, trying to improve the mood. "Why don't you show your attack to Ash, Oshawott?"
"Osha!" replied the otter. He grabbed his scalchop, which started glowing brightly, and a blue blade made of watery energy came out of it.
"Wow, so that's a Razor Shell? It's so awesome!" exclaimed Ash, amazed by the attack. Oshawott scratched his head and put his shell back on his stomach.
"Ok, now that you know Oshawott's moves, can we restart the battle?" asked Trip, a bit impatiently.
"Of course, now I'm ready!"
"Ok. Snivy, use Tackle!"
The Grass-type ran toward the Water-type at great speed.
"Oshawott, use Tackle too!"
The otter ran toward the snake and both collided against each other, resulting in both the Pokémon being blown away by their own attacks.
"Now, Oshawott use Water Gun!"
The white and blue Pokémon spat a stream of water at the snake.
The Pokémon rapidly touched the ground and did a somersault to get out of the way of the jet.
"Wow, Snivy is really agile…" commented Ash.
"Now use Vine Whip!" ordered Trip.
Two little vines protruded from the snake's neck and were shot at the Water-type.
"Oshawott, defend yourself with Razor Shell!"
The Pokémon obeyed by creating a water blade and put it in front of him, successfully blocking the opponent's move.
"Now go with Tackle, Oshawott!"
Oshawott rushed toward his opponent with his head low, ready to strike.
"Snivy, use Vine Whip once more!"
The grass snake flung his vines at the opponent.
The otter jumped in the air, but a vine managed to connect with him and sent the Pokémon toward the ground with a loud smack.
"Oh, no! Oshawott!" shouted Ash in concern. The Water-type slowly got up from the floor. The attack has done a lot of supereffective damage.
"Oshawott, use Water Gun!"
The mammal shot a stream of water at the opponent.
The reptilian eluded the attack effortlessly. Oshawott fumed.
"Now use Leaf Tornado!"
"Leaf Tornado?" asked Ash quizzically. Hilda and Tepig looked quite worried.
The green Pokémon started spinning on his head and a twister of leaves and wind formed around his tail. Ash's and Oshawott's eyes widened at the sight of the attack. The Snivy then swung his tail. Before Ash even had a chance to command a move, Oshawott was caught in the tornado and started spinning inside it.
Snivy then smacked the tail on the ground, making the otter crash against the floor quite severely.
"Oshawott, are you ok?"
The otter struggled to stand up, but he managed to get on his feet. However, he was panting heavily.
"Let's finish this battle! Snivy, Tackle!"
"Oshawott, Razor Shell!"
The otter attempted to slash the snake with his scalchop, but the reptilian was faster than him and the impact caused by the move sent Oshawott flying against a tree. The attack was too much for him to endure and as such fell on the floor, with his eyes turned into swirls.
"Oshawott is unable to battle. The winners are Snivy and Trip!" declared Hilda.
"Nice job, Snivy! We did a good job despite being our first time battling together. I'm glad I have chosen you!" said Trip, recalling his Pokémon. He then looked at Ash. "You may have arrived to the Top 4 in Sinnoh, but if you don't know the basics you won't go far," said Trip, before starting to walk away.
"Hey, that's all what you have to say, Trip?" shouted Hilda at the blond boy.
"Yes, that's all. You'd better restart from the basics, countryman."
"Well, we'll see what will happen the next time we'll face each other!" said Ash, challenging his opponent. Trip simply chuckled, before going away. When he left, Ash, Hilda, Gible and Tepig rushed toward Oshawott. Then, Ash picked him up.
"Hey, Oshawott! Are you ok?" asked the Trainer, quite worried. The otter stirred in his arms and rapidly looked all around him.
"They're gone, Oshawott. We have lost the battle."
The Water-type looked quite disappointed.
"Hey, don't feel bad about that. You did great!"
"Yeah, Ash is right! You fared quite well, despite having a disadvantage. So cheer up, Oshawott!" added Hilda, smiling at the little Pokémon. Tepig and Gible agreed with their Trainers.
The otter felt relieved by their encouragement and smiled at the others in gratitude. He then jumped toward the other Pokémon and played a bit with them. The humans chuckled in amusement.
Soon after, an assistant approached the group and cleared his throat. "Ash, Professor Juniper is looking for you. There are some news about your Pikachu."
"Really? I'll come immediately!" responded Ash.
"Yeah, I'll come too!" added Hilda, even if she didn't know what a Pikachu was.
"Alright, follow me."
In the examination room…
"Professor Juniper, I brought you Ash and Hilda," announced the assistant.
"Oh, welcome Ash. And welcome to you too, Hilda," greeted the professor, smiling at them.
"Pikapi!" added Pikachu, happy to see his Trainer.
"Ah, Pikachu," said Ash, approaching his best friend. Gible too approached him and jumped on the table to stay face to face with him.
Hilda came near to the yellow mouse, obtaining a puzzled look from him. "So that's a Pikachu…" murmured her, before taking out her Pokédex.
"Pikachu, the Mouse Pokémon, and the evolved form of Pichu. Pikachu's tail is sometimes struck by lightning as it raises it to check its surroundings."
"And that's exactly what happened earlier to my Pikachu. He has been struck by some powerful thunderbolts during a thunderstorm," explained Ash to the other Trainer.
"Oh, yeah! I remember seeing a strange black thunderous cloud while I was coming here," admitted Hilda.
"And that's why I called you, Ash," started Aurea, looking at the Trainer with a serious gaze. "We have found out that your Pikachu has suffered an electric overload, probably because he has absorbed too much energy."
"Electric overload?" asked Ash, quite confused.
"Yes. Basically he can't use any electric attack because his body can't metabolize all the accumulated energy," ended Professor Oak, him too having a quite severe look.
"What, really? So he can't use Thunderbolt or Volt Tackle anymore?" asked Ash in concern.
"Don't worry, that's not a definitive thing. He should be able to slowly release all the excessive energy. However, we have no idea how much time he will need to recover from his condition."
"I see…" said Ash, looking at his partner. Pikachu gave him a sad look.
Suddenly, all electronic devices started malfunctioning and the screen started flickering madly, until it became static.
"What's happening?" asked Hilda, a bit scared by this sudden turn of events. Tepig clung onto her leg. Pikachu's cheeks and tail started sparking noisily and a circular black cloud started forming over the lab.
Hilda ran toward the window and looked outside. She saw several blue thunderbolts falling from the sky. "What's going on?"
"Zekrom…" muttered Aurea, looking outside the window.
"Zekrom? The Legendary Dragon?" asked the brunette, turning toward the others.
"Yes. The thundercloud… the blue lightning… the black shadow seen by Ash… there is no doubt that it's Zekrom."
"I can't believe it! Zekrom…is here?"
All of a sudden, a lightning hit the lightning rod of the lab, causing a black-out in the building and channeling all its energy on Pikachu, who started sparking even more violently and cried in pain. "Pikaaah!"
"Pikachu!" shouted Ash in concern. Gible too was worried about his friend.
"We have to restore the system, immediately!" ordered Juniper to her assistant, who nodded and rushed to activate the emergency system. Oshawott poked his head inside the room and was shocked by the scenario: he saw a strange yellow Pokémon which was sparking with yellow electricity, the strange shark-like Pokémon who was beside him and trying to calm him down, the boy who called him cute that wanted to help the yellow Pokémon but couldn't come near due to the electricity, the professor and other two adults humans that were staring at the yellow Pokémon too, and the lady with her Tepig who were near the window, them quite scared about the situation.
Without warning, Pikachu shrieked even more and released electricity all around him. The Ground-type was startled by this sudden outburst and fell on the floor, luckily almost painlessly. Oshawott hid behind the door, while Tepig stood beside his Trainer. All the people in the room simply looked at the event. They had no idea what to do, since the electric overload had put out of order all the machinery.
Soon after, Pikachu collapsed on the table, exhausted by the intense discharge and suffering but still releasing electricity.
"No, Pikachu!" exclaimed Ash, while rushing toward him and picking him up, as if to try to calm him down. However by doing so the electricity discharged on him, making him shout in pain. Immediately, Gible placed himself between Ash and Pikachu, isolating most of the electricity. Just like before, the cloud suddenly disappeared and Ash collapsed on the floor, with Gible on his chest.
"Ash!" shouted Delia in worry, nudging her son ad trying to make him regain consciousness. The Land Shark Pokémon looked at his Trainer and started nudging him too. In the meantime, Pikachu was lying on the floor, panting and sparking with some little sparks.
The system restored after that and the professors looked at the screen.
"Hey, we're online again," said Juniper, looking at the monitor.
Ash slowly regained consciousness and immediately sat down, shaking off all the dizziness. Hilda, Tepig and Oshawott approached him.
"Ash, are you ok?" asked the girl in concern.
"Ungh… don't worry, I'm ok!" responded the raven-haired Trainer, smiling at all of them.
"Gosh, you surely have scared all of us with that rash action!" commented Hilda, crossing her arms and frowning slightly.
"Sorry, guys! Hey, and Pikachu?"
Everybody looked at the yellow mouse, which slowly got up. He shook his head and… he felt fantastic. He tried to channel electricity in his cheeks and tail and guess what? He succeeded!
"Pika pika!" said the Pokémon happily.
"Pikachu! So that means that you're back to normal?"
"Awesome! Let's try and see if your electric attacks work again. Gible, would you like to be our target? Since you're a Ground-type you shouldn't have problems with the electric attacks."
The Pokémon nodded at him and rapidly stood in front of Ash, ready to receive the attacks.
"Ok, Pikachu! Use Thunderbolt on Gible!"
The yellow rodent gathered electricity in his cheeks and fired his attack at the shark. Just like Ash said, Gible was hit by the electricity but the attack did nothing.
"Good job, Pikachu! Now Volt Tackle!"
"Volt Tackle?" asked Hilda. She has heard Ash mentioning it, but she didn't know how the move was.
Pikachu nodded and ran toward Gible, his body coated by golden electricity. He then crashed against Gible, who struggled a little to block the attack. Again, the electricity did nothing, but the impact still hurt him a bit. However, Gible didn't complain. He endured the move without even blinking.
"Great job, Pikachu and Gible! You're back to normal, Pikachu! I'm so glad!"
"Pika!" said Pikachu, before jumping on his arms. Gible was happy too and waved his arms happily. They then proceeded with a group hug, laughing together about the good news.
Delia was amused by her son's behavior, while Hilda approached her. "Hey, is he always like that?"
"Yes, he is and he always has been. Ash deeply cares about his friends and is always willing to help as much as he can. I'm so proud of my son."
The girl looked at the boy with his Pokémon. It was obvious that they were great friends and she couldn't help but smile at the beautiful scene. She picked up her Tepig and hugged him, much to his delight.
After some last exams, Pikachu was dismissed. The professors exited from the lab and looked at the sky, which was tinged in orange and red.
"So do you think that it was Zekrom too, Professor Oak?"
"Surely we'll need to effectuate a more in-depth research," responded the older professor, quite interested in the matter.
After a while, Ash and Hilda exited too. Ash was carrying his Pikachu on his shoulder and his Gible on his head, while Hilda was carrying her Tepig in her arms. They later did as the professors and looked at the sunset.
"There are so many things that I have yet to discover about the Pokémon in Unova. I'm very curious about all the possible discoveries that I could make," stated Ash, smiling broadly at his Pokémon.
"Yeah, I guess that the Unova region may be something new to you, so it makes sense that you're so excited about that," replied the brunette, smiling at him.
"Say, Hilda… what are you going to do now?"
"Um… I think I'll go home. I wanna show my Tepig to my mom and tomorrow I'll begin my journey."
"That sounds like a good plan."
"Yeah…" said her, nodding. "What about you? What are you going to do?"
"I'll stay at the lab for the night, together with the others. And for tomorrow… well, I haven't decided yet."
"I see. Well, Ash… it was a pleasure to meet you," said the brunette, extending her hand.
"It was a pleasure for me too, Hilda," responded the boy, shaking her hand. Pikachu, Gible and Tepig greeted each other.
"Goodbye, Ash. Hopefully we'll meet each other again."
"Yeah, same here. Goodbye, Hilda."
And with that said, the beginner Trainer went toward the professors, bid goodbye to them and descended the stairs. She and Tepig bid goodbye one last time and they went away, toward the girl's house.
Later that night, Ash, Pikachu, Gible, Delia and Oak were dining in a room of the lab. Pikachu and Gible were eating Pokémon food, while the humans were eating some soup.
They all were quite silent for a while, until Ash spoke out. "I think that my next journey will be here."
"Uh?" Both the adults were surprised by his statement.
"Yes, I have finally decided. I want to know all the Pokémon in Unova, so that I can make a lot of new friends."
"Pika pika!" agreed Pikachu, raising his paw.
"Oh, I don't doubt that," said Delia, smiling at her son and obtaining a puzzled look from him. "Honestly, I was sure that you were going to say something like that. Nobody knows you better than me."
"And I'm betting that you're going to visit all the Gyms, right?" asked the professor to the young Pokémon Trainer.
"That's what I have planned to do. I want to meet and defeat all the Gym Leaders, obtain eight Badges and win the Unova League!" said Ash excitedly.
"Ok, then. I'll continue taking care of your Pokémon at my lab. You don't have to worry about that. By the way, do you want me to bring Gible back to the lab?"
Ash was left thinking about that. He looked at the Pokémon, who stopped eating and raised his head after hearing his name.
"What do you think about that, Gible? Do you want to come with me for this journey around Unova?"
The Pokémon thought about that for a moment, before shouting happily. "Gible gible!"
"Eheheh! I take that you like the idea. Ok, then: you, Pikachu and I will travel together to win eight Badges and win the Unova League!"
"Pikapika!" "Giblegi!" shouted the Pokémon happily and with determination.
"Good, so Pikachu and Gible will take care of you!" said Delia, smiling at the Pokémon.
"Call me whenever you can, Ash. I want to know everything about the Pokémon you'll meet in Unova. Do you promise me that?" said the professor to the boy.
"Of course, professor. You can count on me."
After dinner, Ash has withdrawn Gible's Poké Ball from the lab, greeted Tracey and his Pokémon and met up with Professor Aurea.
"Here you are, Ash: a Pokédex and four Poké Balls to begin your journey."
"Thank you, Professor Juniper!"
"The nearest gym is in Striaton City, so I suggest you to fight in that gym first."
"Good idea, I'll do like you said."
"Oh, and you may meet Trip while going there. I know that he's headed toward that city."
"Well, if I'll see him again I will win for sure. What do you think, Pikachu?"
"And who knows, if you're lucky enough you may even meet Hilda again. The nearest Emblem Facility is near the Wellspring Cave, so she will probably pass by Striaton while going there."
"Oh, thanks for the information, Professor Juniper."
The next morning, Ash was ready to set off for his journey. With Pikachu on his shoulder and Gible on his head, he was biding his last goodbyes to the adults.
"Did you take everything, Ash? Do you have enough tissues, spare clothes and underwear?"
"Oh, mom… I'm not a kid anymore," replied the boy, blushing a little bit.
"There is Pokémon Center on the other side of the forest. You can stop there if you need help," informed Aurea, smiling at the Pokémon Trainer.
"Perfect! See you soon, then! Goodbye!"
And with that Ash ran off, directed toward the city at the end of the forest.
"Have a nice journey, Ash! And be careful!" shouted Delia, waving her hand.
"Good luck, Ash! And enjoy your journey!" shouted Professor Oak. "That boy surely has a lot of determination," said the professor at the two women.
"Yes, he has. I'm sure that when he'll be a little man. Oh, my dear Ash!"
The humans looked at the distant boy, who was becoming a little dot on the horizon, unaware of the fact that someone else was looking at him.
Narrator: Ash has finally begun his journey around Unova, together with his Pokémon Pikachu and Gible. What kind of Pokémon and adventures will they face during their travel? Find out about that in the next episodes.