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Writer: Takeshi Shudo

A resident of Kanagawa prefecture. Despite being a terrible writer made his screenwriting
debut at the age of 19. Has done various work since. Eventually worked on anime, novels,
plays, etc. Notable works include “Warring States Demon GoShogun” and “Magical
Princess Minky Momo” among others. Further details may be divulged at a later
opportunity.

Illustrator: Sayuri Ichiishi


From Kanagawa prefecture. Character designer and lead animation director on anime
including “Pocket Monsters” and “Wedding Peach DX”. She's a water loving animator
whose hobbies include body boarding. Works for OLM, inc.

Translator: SaiyamanMS
Not from Kanagawa prefecture. Began watching the Pokémon anime when she was
around Ash's age and is now closer in age to Delia. Enjoys translation as a hobby and would
one day like to make a profession of it. Other translations she currently has publicly posted
include some “Ace Attorney” novels and the PSP game “The Reminiscences of Haruhi
Suzumiya”.
Contents

Chapter 1: Departure in Pajamas .......................................Page 10

Chapter 2: An Electrifying Meeting With Pikachu... .........Page 36

Chapter 3: Spearow on the Day of Departure …................Page 56

Chapter 4: Meowth Attack .................................................Page 78

Chapter 5: Getting Through the Forest... .........................Page 107

Chapter 6: Butterfree Soars! .............................................Page 130


Wow, so many words. Sorry. There's a few illustrations but this version of Pocket Monsters is not
a game or an anime, but a novel.

As such, there's also a somewhat lengthy prologue.


It was a certain night.
A faint light shone in the darkness.
Pon...
A faint sound rang through the air.
And so, a certain creature was brought into existence.
Meanwhile, in another location...
Pon...
Pon...
Pon...
More of the creatures spawned one after another.
The creatures shapes and appearance varied wildly.
Among the creatures were quite a few resembling other creatures we were already familiar with.
However, they were different to any other creatures that had ever been in this world.
Like how humans evolved from apes aeons ago, the creatures of this world had their own
ancestors.
But these creatures were different.
Suddenly, on that night...

Pon...
Pon...
Pon...
Nowadays, we have an encyclopedia to identify these creatures that suddenly appeared in this
world.
The people of the world soon came to identify these creatures as Pocket Monsters.

“Why? How? What brought the Pocket Monsters into our world? To explain this mystery is
tantamount to explaining the mystery of mankind's origins.”

An excerpt from “An Introduction to the Research of Portable Beasts” by Professor Samuel Oak
of the Celadon University Portable Beast Department...

<An Explanation for Parents and Guardians>


When it comes to Pokémon... A picture is worth a thousand words.
If you want to know about Pokémon, interacting with one directly will teach you much more
than reading a hundred theses. Which is to say, despite being an old adage, there's no shame in not
knowing what is a mystery to all.
To summarise, using words to explain Pocket Monsters to a person who has never seen one
before... would be incredibly difficult.
However, this book is a novel, not an encyclopedia, the appearance of Pokémon will be
described in the text.
These descriptions are taken from “real creatures other than Pokémon” defined by the 1997
edition of the world famous OED (Oxbridge English Dictionary).
For example,
“A turtle-like Pokémon”, would resemble a turtle...
Described as a type of reptile in the OED. ... The description is of an animal whose body is
covered by a hard shell on the front and back with a head, tail and pairs of arms and legs that can be
retracted inside the shell. ... This describes the shape... such a Pokémon would take.
“A frog-like Pokémon”, the OED describes a frog as...
An amphibian with few facial features. ... Their larvae are referred to as tadpoles, they live by the
waterside in places like rivers or swamps. They frequently make noise in early summer and
hibernate during winter. ... Which is the form... that kind of Pokémon would have.

So...
The OED is considered the world's standard for dictionary definitions.
If among the descriptions of turtles, frogs and other things in this novel, you come across an
animal you are not familiar with, feel free to look it up in the dictionary. No matter who the
publisher of your dictionary is, the definition of most common words won't vary much from the
OED, so please rest assured.

***

It's say about once a month?


I have this dream.
The universe lies before my eyes... Countless stars are spread around... Beyond all the thousands
of stars... a huge sun rises.
And then at that moment, there's a whoosh and I suddenly hear music echoing through my body.
The sound sounds like it's coming from an organ.
Like the ones you see in photos of foreign churches. The kind of organ that looks like a monster
made or iron pipes. It becomes increasingly intense.
That noise... my TV or radio cassette player couldn't replicate it. Though I hear it within my
dreams, its something impossible to capture on CD or tape. Yet the sound still exists.
It's electrifying, making the atmosphere tremble, stinging my cheeks a little, the ground and
chairs seem to vibrate.
But the problem here, or well, not really a problem... This melody is familiar, I hear it regularly,
it's the same music from the game Pokémon... But it really gets me pumped up. When I hear this
music... I get this feeling... Here it comes, finally, finally, it's beginning... let's go! ... like that.
Y'know what I mean?
Oops... In the soundless world of the written word, it's a little difficult to describe the music in
my dream.
Anyway, this awesome whooshing dignified music fills me as the large sun rises.
But the best part is yet to come.
The sun rises and something flies in.
Something... I can't describe it without sounding pretentious.
I've had this dream a countless number of times.
I'm not even sure how many at this point.
I'll just put it simply as possible.
Yes, it's a Pocket Monster. Pokémon for short...
It was a flame Pokémon spewing scorching fire, Charizard. A great flame burnt at the end of its
thick tail. It is the evolved form of the Lizard Pokémon, Charmander, despite that both Pokémon are
able to breathe fire, Charmander could be used as a cigarette lighter, while Charizard is on a
different level entirely.
Flying on its great wings like kiwhiing, the flames it spews are hot enough to melt boulders
larger than the bronze statue in the town plaza in an instant.
The Charizard, seemingly having been born from the sun mere moments ago, spews flames like
gawhoosh as it flies towards me.
I'm not afraid. It doesn't burn. This is a dream after all.
... On top of that, this Charizard... is my Charizard. When would I ever get a Charizard? It
doesn't matter. It's my dream...
My Charizard flies past above my head and I look behind myself to see it flying towards a blue
planet.
A blue planet in this universe, yeah, it's obviously the Earth we live on.
Charizard plunges into the atmosphere and flames envelop its whole body as it descends.
As it descends, it could land in Amerika, Engliss or even Parie1, but of course, it's going to land

1 The names of America (Amerika), England (Igirisu) and Paris (Pari) are written in kanji in the novel, as opposed to
katakana like they usually are in real life. As such, I modified the real life spellings of the locations to indicate that.
in Tohkyo City2... The capital city of the country I live in. Tohkyo Tower and the Harimaku
Exhibition Center are there, since this is my dream, Charizard flies where it's convenient for me.
Because it has descended upon Tohkyo City, Charizard doesn't rampage like a giant monster.
Instead it continues its descent towards the Shifuya district of Tohkyo City.
Its destination is beyond Shifuya's Park Road, the Yoyoki National Stadium3.
Most likely, it's heading for the opening ceremony of the Pokélympics, an international event
held once every four years.
The Tohkyo Dome is nice too, but a roofless arena where it can fly through the blue skies suits
Charizard better.
Every seat in the national stadium is filled, of course.
The audience see Charizard in the sky and begin to cheer.
“Charizard!”
“Charizard!!”
“Charizard!!!”
They call Charizard's name.
Charizard lands inside the stadium near the sacred flame's platform and folds its wings, the
competitors on the field of the opening ceremony bow their heads. Charizard looks at the flame's
platform and spews fire to light it.
The flame flares and soars... That's right, my Charizard is the final torch runner in the
Pokélympics.
Loud cheers beyond the capabilities of Dolby Digital ring out.
Balanced on their swirly tails, a band made of Seadra play a trumpet fanfare with their bugle-like
mouths.
The competitors oath begins.
And the one delivering the pledge with all their might, is obviously... me...
“The oath!”
I shout at the very top of my lungs. 92 phons.
“We Pokémon Trainers, in the spirit of the Pokémon League, swear to fight fair and square...”
I'm not sure if the spirit of the Pokémon League is even an actual thing or not, but this is a
dream, so just let it slide.
Being a dream, this next part I say after the spirit of the Pokémon League... is the most important
part.

2 Tohkyo City is written as トウキョシテイ as opposed to real life Tokyo which is 東京. Real life Tokyo has both its
vowels elongated, while only the first vowel in Tohkyo City is elongated, hence the altered spelling. (Also, why do
we even have a Tohkyo City if Saffron City is located where real life Tokyo should be?)
3 The places mentioned in Tohkyo City are based on real life Tokyo landmarks, including Tokyo Tower, Makuhari
Exhibition Center, Shibuya and Yoyogi National Stadium.
“... Pokélympics. Pokémon Trainer representative... Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town!”
Pallet Town... is my hometown.
Ash Ketchum... That's my name.
The moment I hear that name is the moment I wake up4.

***

What is a Pokémon Trainer?


The basic dictionary on Ash's computer defines it as the following.
“Trainers officially licensed by the Pokémon League to raise Pokémon for battle. There are
various rules and methods regarding becoming a Pokémon Trainer, but the usual method is to
capture wild Pokémon in Poké Balls and raise them into strong Pokémon. In recent years, trading
Pokémon between trainers has become commonplace.
To be considered successful as a professional Pokémon Trainer, you must compete in regional
tournaments, which to qualify for involves challenging regional Pokémon Gyms and gathering at
least 8 badges as proof of your victories.
To learn more about Pokémon training, it's more effective to go on a journey aiming to become a
Pokémon Trainer than to read reference books.
Experience is the best teacher... That is the secret to understanding Pokémon.”
Now, the definition of Pokémon is...
“Abbreviation of Pocket Monsters.”
And the definition of Pocket Monsters is...
“Portable Beasts... (Also, Miniature Portable Beasts) Creatures that can be captured in capsules
when their stamina is depleted. Often belonging to Pokémon Trainers. When raised to become
stronger can evolve into a different species of portable beast. Come in all shapes and sizes. Can be
raised in various methods. To learn more about them, it is more effective to become a Pokémon
Trainer than to read reference material. Experience is the best teacher. That is the secret to
understanding Pokémon.”
That's a basic dictionary for you... It's basic, but the definitions are somewhat vague. In order to
further understand Pokémon... Perhaps we should follow Ash on his quest to become a Pokémon
Trainer.

4 Thus far, Ash has used the personal pronoun "boku", as opposed to "ore" which he regularly uses in the show.
Chapter 1: Departure in Pajamas

I'm Ash, age 10.


I start off putting my Pokémon cap on my head.
I put a throwing glove on my right hand to protect my wrist.
Then I start throwing.
I don't have any Poké Balls though, so it's just shadow pitching.
Once I catch a Pokémon, I need a catchphrase to shout.
Okay, pose!
“Get!”
“Gotcha!”
“Got you!”
“You've been got!”
Ash came up with dozens of poses in front of his mirror.
He was trying to figure out his catchphrase for when he caught a Pokémon.
What pose and catchphrase suit me best?
There's so many lines to choose from.
But the most important part is that I decide on something really cool.
Ash was looking up the word capture on his computer's dictionary.
And chose “get” as the most commonly used word among Pokémon Trainers.
The dictionary gave the following definition for get.
“Get <Obsolete (Commonly used in the past) Etymology... get... English word> ... Capture,
obtain. Colloquialism for trapping. In the past was used when a man obtained a girl (make
something yours), girls also used in regards to obtaining a guy, by the end of the 20th century, its
meaning had shifted to only obtaining items, such as when buying them... Nowadays it is no longer
part of common vernacular. An exception to this is usage among Pocket Monster (Pokémon)
Trainers, where it remains in use in regards to the capture of Pokémon.
<Example 1... “Krabby get (Krabby is a species of river crab Pokémon.) another example is
“Magikarp get (Magikarp is a fish Pokémon predominantly made of bones and scales.) ... To obtain
a dull Pokémon to catch. On one hand... a waste of effort. Example 2... “I came close to getting
Mew (Mew is a legendary Pokémon whose existence is unconfirmed)” ... To obtain a Pokémon
whose existence is unconfirmed. On the other hand... unbelievable fortune. As such it is considered
a dangerous (high risk) operation. Something that involves considerable effort.>
***

Ash didn't really know about the older meanings of “get”.


But the use of “get” among those in the Pokémon business is common knowledge.
It was a word used among Pokémon Trainers to the same degree that people in show business
always say “Good morning” no matter what time of day it is.
Even among small children playing Pokémon with each other, you'll hear their voices saying “I'll
gecchu” or “Gocchu”.
Ash wasn't a little kid any more, but could he use the variant kids used while playing? He
pondered a moment... Then again, it'd be somewhat improper to speak with a lisp like that... Was his
conclusion. ... Perhaps it's better to use the word he's used to? ... Which would mean... In the end, he
settled on “get”.
However, even if he's used to using the word, using it in the real world is another thing.
It may be a word everyone uses, but he wanted his own unique cool pose when he said “get”.
So he had spent the past ten days thinking, maybe not, not cool enough, while researching poses.
Whenever he had the time, he was looking in the mirror.
And so it continued, right up to the night before his planned departure.

***

This country heavily resembles 20th century Japan5, but there are some differences.
Allow me to explain a few of those differences here.
For example, compulsory education ends in primary school at the age of ten.
Students are free to continue into middle school if they wish.
When children complete primary school at the age of ten, they are legally considered as adults.
In this facet, it more closely resembles the country England... Engliss6, than 20th century Japan.
This is the “All Primary School Graduates are Adults Law”. Or PGAL (Primary Graduates
Adulthood Law) for short.
Basically, as of the April following your tenth birthday... you are able to gain a Pokémon License
and are permitted to carry Poké Balls to capture Pokémon. However, due to a law for preserving
natural habitats, you are only permitted to have six balls at a time.
Of course, there's more to being a legal adult than the right to own Pokémon.

5 Japan (Nippon) is written in katakana instead of the regularly used kanji, this is uncommon, but not unheard of, so I
didn't bother changing the English spelling like in the prologue with America and England.
6 Speaking of England, its mention in this chapter is initially in katakana before the author "corrects" himself by using
kanji.
All adult rights are granted. Under 18s don't qualify as minors, not even 14 or 15 year olds. For
example, if you were to steal something from a convenience store, the consequences would be more
than just the shopkeeper getting mad at you, the police would arrest you. And no matter how much
your parents try to apologise, you are still culpable as an adult.
The most important point of this law is... after leaving primary school you make your own life
choices.
You can strive to achieve higher education or take over the family business.
Naturally, you're free to search for a job you like as well. If they were so inclined, an eleven year
old boy and girl are even free to marry without parental consent. You are considered an adult right
down to details like traffic violations. ... And you pay taxes like an adult too.
So, in regards to Ash's hometown, Pallet Town...
Pallet Town is a small town out in the boonies. Despite being legal adults, there's barely any job
openings for primary school graduates there.
Due to the lack of jobs, it is a town where most children decide to become Pokémon Trainers.
In fact, most of Ash's seniors had left Pallet Town to become Pokémon Trainers.
But unfortunately, no trainers from Pallet Town ever made it into the national daily top ten charts
in the newspapers or TV reports.
However, the popular children's magazine “Pokémon Comic” which boasts a readership of five
million as well as the adult oriented specialist magazine “Monthly Pokémon Trainer” and its rival
publication “Pokémon Pals (Commonly referred to as PokéPal)” always have a monthly Best
10,000 Trainers list.
Right near the bottom of that list, you may find some trainers from Pallet Town.
When this happens, the trainers is featured on the front page in the local paper Weekly Pallet
Town News with a huge photo and are considered a local hero... Everyone in town throws a huge
party. The only supermarket in town celebrates with a bargain sale. Outside their family home,
congratulatory telegrams and bouquets are lined up, like a wreath at the grand opening of a
pachinko parlour.
The following is an old story from over 100 years ago.
A man from the town named Pallet Oak ranked 931st in the national trainer rankings.
It was the first time anyone from the town had ever made it into the top 1000. Pallet Oak was
more than just a local hero, he was practically worshipped as a god. In their excitement, the
townspeople erected a bronze statue of him in the town square, and changed the name of the town
to Pallet Town.
Up until that point, it had been known as Purity Town7.
7 In the original Japanese, "Purity Town" is "Masshiro Town". Since Masara and Masshiro have a somewhat similar
sound and "masshiro" is Japanese for "pure white", I felt it appropriate for the English name to have some
Naturally, the new name of the town was decided by a local referendum.
On top of that, Pallet Oak was also elected as the town's mayor.
Since then the Oak family has been well revered in Pallet Town and has had successive
generations of mayors.
Incidentally, the famous Pokémon researcher Professor Samuel Oak is Pallet Oak's great great
grandson (the grandson of his grandson... grandson's grandson) and is the youngest of three brothers
in the Oak family... The eldest is the current mayor of Pallet Town... The second eldest runs the
Pallet Town post office.
Anyway, to become big in this town, your best bet is to become a Pokémon Trainer.
Children of Pallet Town dream of beating out Pallet Oak's ranking... That is to say 931st place,
and have the town renamed after themselves.

... That goes for me too... I'll change this town's name to Ash Town... And I'll be cooler than
anyone else...

***

Ash was still posing in front of the mirror.


“Get!”
“Gotcha!”
“Did I get it?”
... It wasn't going well.
“Am I interrupting a fashion show?”
A yawning voice spoke from behind.
“You should knock before coming in.”
Ash replied as he turned around.
Nok nok. The one who spoke up knocked on the already wide open door to Ash's room. It was
his mother Delia standing in the doorway in her pajamas.
“It's your mama in pajamas. What's the drama?8 Oh, I'm a poet and I didn't know it.”
Is this really the kind of thing a typical mother would say? ... Sometimes, Ash would stop and
wonder about that.
Besides, when she's not in her pajamas, she's usually wearing a miniskirt.

semblance to "Pallet" while keeping similar connotations.


8 The Japanese line was “Pajama no mama no mama da yo. Ojama?”, I attempted to maintain this rhyming in English
as best as possible.
***

Let's take a moment, even though we're already taking a while, and talk about Ash's mother.
What? You don't want to read about annoying parents in a Pokémon novel? You want to move on
with Ash's story already? ...
I get where you're coming from, but think of it this way, not all that long ago back when they
were your age, everyone's mother were once kids who loved anime and games just as much as you.
They weren't always annoying parents who always order you to study. So stop complaining and
deal with it. Besides, you may even learn something important about Ash while learning about his
mother.
In a lot of ways, Ash's mother may be similar to your own, but there may be some notable
differences as well.

***

Ash's mother's name is Delia.


Looking at Delia, who is still under 30, you wouldn't think she was Ash's mother.
In fact, if Ash were to introduce her to someone saying “This is my mother, who'll be turning 30
soon.” they'd probably stare blankly... and shake their head in disbelief.
Then they'd smile politely and think he was joking as they replied.
“Delia could only be in her early 20s.”
Anyway, Delia really didn't look any older than her early 20s.
While Ash would prefer her to become more like an ordinary older woman, if strangers were to
see them together they would likely think they were brother and sister.
While Ash wouldn't notice due to being with her all the time, most people would consider her
quite the beauty, in fact, when she was 17 she appeared on the on the front cover of the new year
bumper issue of “Pokémon Pals” alongside a flower Pokémon known as Bellsprout.
It was the biggest thing to happen in Pallet Town since Pallet Oak reached 931st on the trainer
charts.
It was approximately two years later that Ash was born, however she has never told him about
her appearance in that special edition of “Pokémon Pals” because “I was so immature back then,
yaaah~ ”
After her mother passed away, Delia took over the family business, the only restaurant in town
with an inn (hotel) on the second floor, Pallet House: Delia, which she ran all on her own.
Ash's father isn't around any more.
Ash's father was a Pokémon Trainer.
He left town right after Ash was born and never came back.
While we're on the topic, Delia's father... That is to say, Ash's grandfather, was also a Pokémon
Trainer, he also left home when Delia was young and never came back.
But that's enough about Delia for now, let's get back to Ash's story.

***

... That ain't good...


Ash was embarrassed to have his mother finding him practising his Pokémon get pose and
replied to her with a furrowed brow.
“So... Does my mama in pajamas have some important business with me?”
When communicating by computer or trying to put on airs, Ash refers to himself by the pronoun
"boku", but in general he always says "ore"9.
“Your mama in pajamas doesn't want any drama... little boy. What are you doing at this hour?”
“Don't call me little boy.”
Ash snapped back at her.
“Ooh. If you're not a little boy, then what are you?”
Their relationship was less like mother and child and more like a pair of friends.
“I'm becoming a Pokémon Trainer tomorrow, that means I'm an adult.”
Delia placed her hand to her forehead.
“Right, my mistake. Anyway, Mr. Adult... Do you know what time it is?”
Delia pointed at the alarm clock on Ash's desk.

***

Delia got that clock for Ash as a present on his tenth birthday.
It was shaped like a Voltorb, a ball-like Pokémon, a clock designed for travel, it opened into two
pieces to show the time inside.
When you set the time, it starts of going ririri... Then if you don't wake up biriri... Then
eventually kaboom! It would make a sound like an explosion, Pokémon themed goods are quite
popular.
They aren't expensive, but Pokémon goods are a perpetual best seller. So it makes them hard to

9 Ash uses “ore” in the line just before his use of personal pronouns is pointed out. His previous narration in the
prologue and earlier this chapter had consistently used “boku”. “Ore” is generally considered rougher and less polite
than “boku”.
obtain in a small place like Pallet Town where Ash lives, so in order to obtain that clock Delia left
her busy schedule for three days and went to the department store in the metropolis of Celadon City
and waited in line for five hours to buy it.
Naturally she also bought herself some nice clothes and shoes at great bargain prices while at the
department store, but that was only an afterthought.
For Delia, that Voltorb alarm clock held more significance than just a birthday present for her
son.
It was an expression of motherly love for Ash to take on his journey with his tenth birthday just
being a chance to give it to him.

***

“The time is...”


Ash opened the Voltorb alarm clock and checked the time.
“Wow, it's already 1 AM.”
Delia shrugged as she replied.
“That's right. 1 AM is a time for adults... But not a time for new ten year old adults to be awake.”
“But I'm leaving tomorrow.”
“Not tomorrow. 1 AM. It's already today.”
“... I can't sleep.”
Delia was fluffing Ash's pillow as she replied.
“I understand how you feel. Everyone in this town becomes a Pokémon Trainer when they turn
ten. Your dad, your grandpa... And even you...”
When mentioning his father and grandfather, she briefly treated Ash's pillow like a punching bag.
“Dad and grandpa, huh...”
Ash recalled something from when he was five years old.

***

It was the day he got his first computer.


He was staring at the latest model of PC while Delia spoke.
“Hey son, I'm talking to you... Your dad and grandpa are amazing Pokémon Trainers.”
Of course, Ash had always thought so.
“Hey, mom. I wanna know. What's dad like? ... What kind of person was grandpa?”
This was the answer Delia decided to give little Ash.
“Your dad and grandpa are surreal trainers who could defeat even Pallet Oak...”
“Surreal?”
It was a word he wasn't familiar with.
“Beyond reality... Super real.”
“So they're like super awesome.”
“I guess.”
But on the day he got his computer, the illusions he had about his father and grandfather were
shattered. And the following occurred...
Delia lowered her head as she spoke to little Ash.
“Sorry. I lied to you...”
Delia spoke to Ash whose jaw hung wide open.
“Lied...”
“Surreal trainers. Beyond reality, throwing logic to the curb, super real, surpassing reality... It's
all lies... I give up.”
Ash was the one giving up.
Delia asked the following.
“When you start using your computer, you're going to go online...”
“Yeah.”
Ash nodded.
“And of course, the internet has information regarding Pokémon, so you're going to try and learn
more about your dad and grandpa.”
“Yeah. That's right.”
“But, you won't find anything. Probably.”
“Why not?”
“Because I lied...”
“Eh...”
“It's not a lie that dad and grandpa did try to become Pokémon Trainers... That's the truth... It's
absolute fact that they left on a journey...”
“Yeah.”
“But... To say that they had any success as trainers...”
“Yeah.”
“It's a lie. Probably.”
“A lie?”
“Your dad and grandpa have never made it into the top 10,000 lists in any of the magazines.”
“Yeah, they haven't.”
“I know that's never bothered you, Ash... The top 10,000 is made up of people who compete in
the annual league tournaments. Only Pokémon Master class trainers make it to the big league...
There's plenty of great trainers whose names never make it on the list.”
“Yeah.”
“But, it might be a problem if you search for them on the internet.”
“Internet?”
“Yeah, but on the internet, you can easily obtain a list of all the officially registered Pokémon
Trainers in the world... If you're officially registered, your name is on the list... Even the names of
deceased trainers are listed, there's at least a billion names on the list.”
“There's a list? ... I never knew that.”
“There is. Anyway... With a computer, even with a billion names, it would be easy to search for
dad and grandpa on the list. That's why... before you try to search for them, I'd like to tell you... dad
and grandpa aren't on the list.”
“Why not?”
“Because, dad and grandpa aren't professionals yet. Or rather, they haven't made it to the point
they can be considered professionals.”
“Hmm.”
A long silence hung between Ash and Delia.
“What are they doing? Dad and grandpa.”
Delia shrugged.
“No idea. They left to become trainers, but their names still aren't on the list... I guess... they're
just failures.”
“Failures... huh.”
Ash repeated Delia's words.
Delia didn't like the gloomy mood.
Hence why she then spoke up.
“But you aren't a failure, Ash. So don't you worry about dad or grandpa... okay. Whether you
become a trainer or not is your own decision.”
Ash muttered quietly.
“How lame.”
“It is lame. Totally lame. Really lame.”
Delia smiled.
She was relieved that Ash wasn't too shocked by this revelation.
Ash's feelings were just as he'd said... “How lame” he thought.
Maybe if he'd known them it'd mean something, but he had only ever seen his dad and grandpa
in photos.
Neither of them really meant anything to five year old Ash.
Whether his father and grandfather were decent trainers or not made no difference in his feelings
about becoming a Pokémon Trainer.
However if he'd found out on the internet, or even when he was a little older, it may have come
as a shock.
Thinking about it later, having the pressure of his father and grandfather's failure on him was a
somewhat odd form of encouragement.
For example, there was this guy named Gary.
Gary Oak was the same age as Ash.
He was the grandson of the Pokémon researcher Professor Oak, who was the grandson of the
grandson of Pallet Oak whose statue stood in the town square.
He was a self centered jerk who looked down on others just because he was a member of the Oak
family, his lineage was all he had going for him, yet he was still full of himself.
Since his grandfather's brother was the mayor, he didn't go to the small primary school in town,
he deliberately enrolled into a school in the next town over. Every day he had a two hour round trip
out of Pallet Town.
... It must be tough having to live up to your ancestors.
That's what Ash thought sometimes in regards to Gary.
... On the other hand, with a father and grandfather who were complete failures... it's quite
possible that Gary thought that Ash... was quite pitiable himself.

***

“I'm not going to end up like dad or grandpa.”


Ash posed with his fist in the air before Delia.
“Well, you can't be sure...”
Delia regretted saying that and then tried to lighten the mood.
“Ah, you've got them beat in style though.”
“Huh? Style?”
“The whole getting thing.”
Delia then mimicked exaggerated versions of the poses Ash had been practising.
“Get, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah”
Ash rolled his eyes.
“You just don't get how cool I am.”
“What, you seriously think that was cool?” Delia asked.
“...” Ash had no retort for that.
“Of course. You're so stylish... But there's no point trying to come up with something before you
even catch any Pokémon.”
“It's none of your business, mom.”
“It is too.”
“How so?”
“I don't want people thinking I'm the mother of a totally uncool trainer.”
“You only pull the mom card when it's convenient.”
“Of course. I am your mother after all. Anyway, people who rely on stylish poses to determine
how cool they are have a long way to go. You won't understand the joy, the excitement of catching a
Pokémon, until you experience it for yourself... Anyway, the natural reaction you have when you
feel that sense of accomplishment will provide a natural style. That's the style that will suit you
best... You won't know it until you catch your own Pokémon... Besides, there's more important
things you should be deciding on.”
“Eh?”
Delia returned his pillow to the bed and pressed the TV button on the computer on his desk.
“There, you're always watching this, aren't you?”
A video of an introductory lecture about Pokémon started playing.
Having already seen it dozens of times he'd already memorised the whole thing start to finish.
Ash figured there was nothing new he could possibly learn from it at this point.
“I've had enough of this video.”
“Really? ... Maybe I'll learn something instead then.”
The video explained that after a week without bathing your hair would be filled with dandruff,
the kind of beard you'd grow after not shaving for ten days, how dirty your clothes would get after
being worn for a whole month, the video was presented by a man who had probably about 50 years
of experience in this world.
Other than Pallet Oak whose statue stood in town, the second most famous person was Professor
Samuel Oak.
“As you are aware, the National Pokémon Association are able to provide a single Pokémon to
primary school graduates hoping to become Pokémon Trainers. There are many Pokémon suitable
for beginners, however for Pokémon Trainers starting their career, I would personally recommend
one of the following three...”
“Oh my, even though Professor Oak says so... it that okay?”
Delia asked Ash.
“It's fine. I know all three of them.”
Ash then began to list them off.
“Bulbasaur... It's a Pokémon that kind of looks like a frog which has a bulb planted on its back
since birth... It's easy to raise, thus perfect for beginners...”
“I see.”
Delia nodded.
“Then there's Squirtle, which is like a turtle that squirts water from its mouth... It's a little tough
to handle at first, but it's better in the long term...”
“Right, right.”
“The last one is Charmander. It has a flame on its tail from the moment its born. It's a little
dinosaur-like Pokémon that walks on two legs... It's recommended for people who like a bit of a
challenge.”
“You know your stuff. So, have you decided... on your new sweetheart?”
“Eh?”
“I mean your first Pokémon.”
“Ah...”
Ash hadn't decided as of yet.
He was completely lost as to which one of the three would be his best choice.
“No use keeping it a secret, tell me~”
... He'd been practising his Pokémon get pose without even deciding what his first Pokémon
would be. How lame. Super lame...
He couldn't admit that to Delia.
“Not telling. It's a trade secret.”
“Right. It'd suck if some other kid got the Pokémon you wanted before you did.”
Delia casually turned up the volume on the video.
Professor Oak flipped images of each Pokémon as he described them.
“Due to the increase of Pokémon Trainer candidates in recent years, I have one of each of these
three Pokémon available for distribution at my laboratory. If you wish to obtain one of them, make
sure to arrive early on the appointed day. I'll be distributing them starting at dawn.”
“Did you hear what Professor Oak said?”
“Yeah, I know.”
“I'm not going to wake you in the morning.”
Delia always left home in the morning while it was still dark, before Ash woke up.
She had to go to the market in the next town over to buy ingredients for the restaurant.
“No need to worry. I've got this.”
Ash placed his Voltorb alarm clock by his bedside.
“I've got it set for first thing in the morning.”
“Then hurry up and go to sleep. Oh, don't forget to change into your pajamas.”
She pulled his pajamas from the hamper and handed them to Ash.
Ash nodded as he accepted them.
“I know.”
“Well, as long as you know...”
Delia looked around Ash's room.
It was unusually neat.
It was never this neat even after a spring cleaning.
... Ash was really leaving...
This room... Ash had slept here every night for the past ten years since he was a baby, but
tomorrow he would be gone.
It'd be quite a while until Ash would return to this room.
If he was anything like his father, he may never be back.
It was really starting to sink in.
But Delia hated teary farewells.
When it came to cuts, bruises or even a tiny splinter stuck in her finger, Delia would overreact
and cry like a baby, but ever since Ash's father left she never shed a single tear over a farewell
where anyone could see her.
“Get to sleep soon...”
Delia said that once more before she closed the door.

***

Delia wiped the tears from her eyes and wiped them on her shoulder.
... Tears, huh... I'm still young, but I'm already the mother of a full fledged adult at my age... I've
had to put on a brave face as his mother... I can recall all the past ten years with Ash, ten years, ten
months and ten days... All of the hardships... The times it was too painful to go on... Motherhood
really was a struggle... But it was worth it.
This is how Delia felt the day her only son left home.

***

And now from here until the next ***, we're going to speak about Delia a bit more, this may be a
little long, so if you don't care about Ash's mother's feelings, feel free to skip ahead.
But if you persevere and keep reading here, you may be rewarded. It may tie in to what Ash does
from now on.
Do you know what your mother thinks while you're playing outside or you're playing video
games?
This is true. A lot of them are thinking “dammit”. And it's not because you're spending your time
playing instead of studying. It's because they want to play too, but can't.
When you spend your allowance on a video game they're thinking “lucky brat”. Because with the
money you spend they can no longer buy new shoes or clothes for themselves.
While they're making your dinner they're thinking “I don't wanna do this”. They would honestly
rather go out to a restaurant and have some fancy master chef make them a feast. And at a
restaurant, there's no need to clean up the table afterwards.
Every day your mother thinks “dammit”, “lucky brat” and “I don't wanna do this”, while doing
the jobs a mother has to do.
The jobs a mother has to do include raising you, making sure you attend school, it's hard work.
It may be interesting to observe your mother with her viewpoint in mind.
Anyway, in Delia's case...
Delia didn't consider motherhood to be a burden.
Of course, it was never easy... But still, she felt the need to say “Thanks baby” to Ash every once
in a while.
... Looking after a baby is somewhat comparable to looking after a pet Pokémon in terms of
effort... But Delia figured it was at least somewhat better than being all alone after her husband left
home.
At least a baby provides more thrill than a digital pet, if it dies you can't press reset. Maybe I said
too much there.
... He became rebellious for the first time around the age of three.
“Ah, Ash, you're plotting against me.”
She keenly sensed Ash's presence...
“Having such a rebellious son makes me the world's most unfortunate beauty... Sniff, sniff.
Waaah, waaaah.” and she began to cry.
Normally at her age, girls would be able to go out and have fun, not working as a single mother,
she really did feel somewhat unfortunate. She started off only pretending to cry, but while thinking
about her life situation, the tears soon became real.
Ash was taken aback by her crying and stopped his troublemaking. “Mama. What's wrong? Are
you okay?”
That was all he could do to comfort her.
When bullies picked on Ash in preschool and school, he'd get the teachers or the bully's father to
tell them off. Or well, if the bully's father wouldn't tell them off, he'd make sure the teacher did.
Anyway, Delia's restaurant was the only restaurant in Pallet Town.
For single men and men who'd been kicked out of the house after a marital dispute who were
looking for a meal, their only options in town were either Delia's restaurant or a bento from the only
convenience store in town.
Delia's cooking is so good that it was featured in the book “Unexplored Regions: The Best
Cooking in Small Towns”. However, if you got into an argument with Delia and were on her bad
side, her famous cooking would quickly become inedible. Also... With Delia being a beauty who
appeared on the cover of “Pokémon Pals”... none of the men in Pallet Town were good enough for
her.
“Children need a mother and a father! Especially a father! You can't underestimate the
importance of a father! A father can't just be working all the time! He has to spend time at home!”
Delia would complain to the fathers of the bullies.
The fathers would shut up and let her speak.
In exchange... if you can call it that... Delia would hear out their problems with their wives.
Up until Ash's tenth birthday, Delia received at least 100 proposals from men, but she turned all
of them down. There were a few rumours about her relationships with men, but none of them were
true.
In fact, she had never actually gotten divorced from Ash's absent father.
Because of this, the mothers in town never complained about their husbands going to Pallet
House: Delia after work. In fact, when their husbands arrived home late at night and said they'd
been at Pallet House: Delia, they'd consider it a relief. Speaking with Delia would inspire the fathers
of Pallet Town to do their best to look after their homes and children.
This would help improve the mood of the mothers of the town.
And with both their parents in a good mood, the children would be in a good mood too.
It's hard to say whether this kind of thing would have an effect in the world at large, but at the
very least, in a small school in Pallet Town, the bullying against Ash ended.
With him no longer being bullied, Ash loved to play around and cause mischief.
She told him off when he caused too much trouble, but Delia never forced him to focus on his
studies.
But sometimes she'd mutter.
“Your dad and grandpa are out there somewhere trying to become Pokémon Trainers... Must be
nice out there...”
It was only occasionally that she'd say this, but over ten years it added to quite a number of
times.
It was only natural that Ash would come to dream of being a Pokémon Trainer.
Delia's mutterings, were never in regards to having any concern for dad or grandpa.
Delia herself loved Pokémon and wished she could have become a trainer too.
If she didn't have to take over Pallet House as the only daughter of her family, Delia would have
ignored any opposition from her mother and left home to become a Pokémon Trainer when she was
ten, just like Ash.
When becoming a Pokémon Trainer, it's always better to start young.
But it's not too late to start as a teenager.
If there was anyone else who could take over Pallet House, Delia would have left it to them and
left town.
She hadn't given up yet.
However...
When she was 18... While Delia's mother was still alive.
There was a young man hoping to become a Pokémon Trainer who stayed at Pallet House and
she fell in love. The relationship escalated quickly and in practically the blink of the eye they were
married.
And then in another blink of the eye, the young man left town, never to return again.
And in yet another blink of the eye, her mother fell ill and passed away, leaving her with only
Pallet House and the newborn Ash.
If you were to ask her if she still loved that young man... Ash's father... her answer would be a
flat “no”.
After leaving a woman like Delia alone for over ten years, she wouldn't even get mad at him if
he returned, she'd simply ignore him outright.
Up until the day Ash left home on a journey to become a Pokémon Trainer, Delia had hung in
there all by herself.
It's only natural... Delia thought to herself.
Ash was her beloved child. She'd take care of him until the day he left. It was her responsibility.
Delia had decided to continue doing her best on her own... But in the morning, Ash would finally
be leaving.
She was sad to see Ash leave home, yet also somewhat excited.
... When the morning comes, I'll be free. I'm still in my twenties... It's a bit too late to become a
Pokémon Trainer, but there's lots of things I could do.
Delia briefly reconsidered the hundreds of proposals she'd rejected... Ahaha... I'd rather not...
Lalala.
Delia felt like a student about to start a summer vacation without any homework.
She then came to her senses.
Ash isn't leaving until the morning. She had to keep being his mother up until then.
Delia nodded to herself and said “yeah”.

***

Ash couldn't sleep.


He was wearing his pajamas. His light was off and he was tucked under the sheets of his bed.
He'd given up on coming up with a get pose.
However, he couldn't decide which of the three recommended Pokémon he should get at the
Pallet Town Oak Laboratory.
Bulbasaur...?
Squirtle...?
Charmander...?
He couldn't decide which one to choose.
How much time was left?
As Ash dozed off, he heard a distant sound... somewhere outside the window...
“Doh... Doh... Dododdooh”
It was a Dodrio letting out a trio of cries to declare it was the morning.
Dodrio is a triple bird Pokémon which is like a three headed ostrich.
Upon hearing the Dodrio's cry, Delia went out to go to the market.
It was still dark outside.
But today, the Dodrio's cry was like a lullaby for Ash.

***

Even in his dreams, Ash was indecisive.


“Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander... Who should I choose?”
But he had to settle on one eventually.
“Okay, Bulbasaur, I choose you!”
Ash threw a Poké Ball within his dream.
A Bulbasaur came out from the ball letting out a cry of “Saauur”. ... Or rather it should have.
What came out instead was a Squirtle saying “Squirtsquirt”.
“Huh? You're not Bulbasaur.”
But Ash then changed his mind.
“A Squirtle is fine too... Squirtle. I'm glad it was you. Squirtle, I choose you.”
But the moment he decided, Squirtle was enveloped in smoke and turned into a Charmander.
“Mander? Mander?” Its tail flame flickered unreliably as it seemed to ask... Am I not good
enough?
Ash replied almost on instinct.
“Charmander... I'm sorry. You're the one I really want.”
Then Bulbasaur leapt out.
“Saaauur?”
... That's not what you said before? It asked, pouting with the bulb on its back.
“No, it isn't, it's not. I want all of you.”
He says that, but “I want all three of you” is too selfish.
“Squirt...” “Mandeeer...” Saaaaur...”
All three of them turn their back on Ash and leave.
... Uugh, I'm back at square one again...
“Let's try this again... This time, Charmander! I choose you.”
He threw a Poké Ball again.
But the one who came out of it was Bulbasaur.
“Why is this happening? Bulbasaur... No, one more time, Squirtle...”
He threw the Poké Ball again.
For some reason, it was Charmander.
No matter how many times he tried, the three of them wouldn't come out the way he wanted.
“This time, this time, this time for sure!”
Ash kept throwing the Poké Balls in his dream.
In a half asleep daze, Ash had eventually grabbed the Voltorb clock.
“Thistimethistimethistime!”
Thinking he was throwing a Poké Ball, Ash threw the Voltorb clock.
After smashing into the wall, the clock would no longer go biriri or ririri.
The clock broke without making a sound.
However, having not noticed, Ash continued throwing Poké Balls in his dreams.

***

... Ding dong ding dong.


The bell in Pallet Town Square rang.
9 AM. Everyone in town was going to work.
Ash let out a big yawn.
... Ding dong ding dong... That sound... isn't the alarm clock!...
Ash sprung out of bed.
“The town square's bell!”
Ash threw the curtains to the window open.
Outside the window it was already morning... Oh no, Ash had been planning to leave around
sunrise, but it was already closer to noon.
“What! Why?”
The Voltorb clock was sitting next to the wall.
“Why didn't it go off?”
Ash picked up the clock and shook it.
“Please work... Please work... Please work...”
The Voltorb let out an out-of-order sound.
“Oh come on.”
Ash put the Voltorb clock into his pajama pocket and dashed out of the room.
“... Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur, I'll settle for any of you, so please wait!”
He came down the stairs to where the Pallet House: Delia restaurant was.
Having already gotten back from shopping in the next town over, Delia was tidying up before
opening the store.
“Oh, you're still here Ash.”
“I'm late. I'm late. I'm late!”
Without even taking any notice of Delia, Ash shot out the front door of the restaurant still
wearing his pajamas.
“Same as always... He's hopeless.”
Delia shrugged her shoulders.
He stayed up late and overslept...
Nothing ever changed, even on the day he was supposed to leave home.
“Dad... Grandpa... I suppose he really is your child.”
But she then smiled as she murmured to herself.
“But he's my kid too...”
Delia moved the vacuum cleaner all about the floor.
Well, cleaning is done for now.
“Alright! Time to face another bright day.”
Delia went to the kitchen and started preparing for today's lunch special.
Many people normally tend to only have something light for lunch like a bento or a sandwich.
But not Delia. Some people are totally out of it in the morning and don't get moving until the
afternoon. To power on without dozing off, you need to fill your stomach with some nourishment.
And not just with quantity, you need a good quality lunch packed with energy. Delia felt that out of
your three meals a day, lunch was the most important.
That's the truth.
She selected the finest ingredients and used them to make nourishing balanced meals, this is why
Delia's restaurant had such a great reputation in town.
Unfortunately, we don't have the time to explain Delia's special lunch menu in any detail. If you
wish to know more about her recipes, I would suggest enquiring with the people who set the menu
at the cafeteria or someone as a restaurant with a specialised lunch menu.
However something bothered Delia today, she put down the kitchen knife she was using to slice
the okra (a nutritious type of vegetable known for its stickiness).
Delia tasted a pinch of the okra, “Nice, this is good...” she said to herself, before going up the
stairs to Ash's room.
“Yeah, thought as much.”
Ash had left behind the luggage he was supposed to take on his journey.
She figured she should take the stuff he forgot over to him.
“... I suppose I should see him off properly.”
Delia returned to the kitchen and packed today's lunch special into a bento10.
The bento wasn't for Ash.
For the customers coming for today's lunch special, they would find the place closed while she
delivered her son's forgotten items... Closed at lunchtime... When they'd come during their lunch
break to have the lunch special... It would be almost too much to bear.

***

Professor Oak's Laboratory which Ash was headed for was located on the outskirts of Pallet
Town.
When he attended the primary school in the town square, he'd overcome the barriers to be at his
desk in time for his teacher to take attendance, but it seemed he wouldn't make it in time today.
Even running at full speed in his pajamas, it was impossible.
(To be continued in chapter 2)

10 A bento is a Japanese lunchbox.


Chapter 1 appendix

(... If you're in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to chapter 2. ... However, there may be some
important information written here that nobody has ever seen before.)

... Pokémon Related Reference Material 1...

Let me tell you of a Pokémon legend I know that few people are aware of...
Pocket Monsters... Or Pokémon for short.
Pokémon researchers have published many theories, but there's very little we actually know
about them.
Despite existing side by side, there is very little we know about the ecology (way of life) of
Pokémon species.
It's understandable though.
Throughout the thousands of years of human history, it was only relatively recently that we came
to fully understand the animals known as dogs and cats.
Until that point people thought that dogs and wolves were entirely unrelated creatures.
Nobody would believe that cats and lions were both varieties of feline.
As such with Pokémon... For example, Meowth is a Pokémon that resembles a cat, however we
as of yet have no idea what relationship it may share with actual cats.
Firstly, it is only recently that we have started calling these creatures Pocket Monsters (portable
beasts).
For a long time, humans divided creatures into to broad categories.
The first was edible animals like cows or pigs, animals like horses you could ride, dogs that
could act as guards or sometimes just cute animals that could be kept at pets... Basically, animals
that are useful to humans. You could consider them to be humanity's allies. The other category
includes insects that destroy crops and wolves that attack sheep, they could be considered
humanity's enemies...
Throughout human history, the quest for food and survival has been a constant war.
As such it was a long time before humans came to truly understand animals.
Is it an enemy? An ally? That was all that mattered.
As their way of life became easier, humans gained more curiosity about the world around them,
and began the study of creatures other than themselves... The study of animals other than humans
known as, this may be a difficult word, biology, is only a recent development in human history.
Anyway, proper research of Pokémon has only started within the past few centuries.
So when a portable beast (Pokémon) researcher known as Professor Oak from a country town
known as Pallet Town claimed that Pokémon are fundamentally different creatures from other
animals 30 years ago, a large portion of the scientific community took notice.
When did Pokémon first appear before humans? And have Pokémon existed longer than humans
have in this world?
The truth is not entirely clear.
It is said that the ancestors of Pokémon existed two million years ago.
However there is no clear evidence for this.
Two million years ago is the time that humanity is estimated to have been born.
That is to say that humans and Pokémon have existed for roughly the same period of time.
At the start of the 20th century, the discovery of Peking Man and Java Man put the origin of man
approximately half a million years ago.
But then the bones of Australopithecus were discovered in Africa.
These bones were about a million years old.
And so humanity was thought to be a million years old.
And now the discovery of the bones of a primitive man known as Ramapithecus have placed the
estimate at roughly two million years. As new excavations happen, new discoveries about the origin
of man may come to light in the following years. Some believe that humanity may even go back as
far as three million years.
It is indeed possible that humans have existed for more than two million years.
By examining the chemical properties of unearthed fossils, we can determine the era they lived
in.
However this method does not work with Pokémon.
This isn't common knowledge, but it's impossible to detect the chemical make up of a Pokémon's
body.
As such, when a Pokémon fossil is discovered on occasion, we are unable to determine the time
period it lived in, unlike other fossils.
This isn't the only difference between Pokémon and other creatures. The molecular geometry of
a Pokémon's body is also different to that of other creatures.
Basically, Pokémon are highly mysterious creatures.
In regards to the origins of Pokémon, researchers can only say one thing for certain.
That is...
Pokémon have existed since before humans discovered them.
Therefore it is possible that Pokémon existed when humanity originated.
With that said... Or that is to say... There's no way to prove it.
Although thinking about it, the same could be said about humanity's origins.
It is impossible to know if the two million year old human fossils considered themselves as
human when they were alive.
That is to say by the time humans realised what they were, they already existed.
These are common questions among humans. Who am I? Where am I? Do I belong here? The
answers to these questions... are probably within you already. We're here because we are.
In much the same way, Pokémon exist within this world because they do.
As such, if we were to discover why Pokémon exist in this world, it would likely be related to
why humanity exists in this world as well.
This is why other than professional researchers like Professor Oak, many people research
Pokémon as a hobby.

Now that the long introduction is out of the way... Let's get to the real issue.
What I know about Pokémon as a small town Pokémon researcher...
I have some rare information that may be of some interest to a Pokémon lover such as yourself.
In a certain rural area, a relatively unknown legend remains.
As people are aware, the universe was created by a great explosion known as the big bang...
Or so they say.
However, according to this legend, the big bang was not the beginning.
There was a god who created the world.
The world had up and down, but was shrouded in complete darkness. And so, light was created
so things could be seen. And because being bright all the time would make it hard to sleep, half the
day was shrouded in darkness. And so day and night came to be. And this is what God did on the
first day.
But though there was light during the day, if you were to look at the world around you it was
merely a soupy mess. To use a more complex word, it was chaos.
Well... it was a problem to leave things all jumbled like that, so on the second day... God took the
soupy mess and divided it into sea and sky.
But God felt it was a little desolate with nothing but sea and sky.
Nowadays, sets of paints and crayons come in at least twelve colours. Even a rainbow has seven
colours.
But the only colours in the sea and sky were blue.
It was quite desolate.
That's why on the third day... God created land on the sea. Having the land all be brown would
be boring, so he added greenery... On the land he put grass and trees. Woods ands forests. Basically,
he made vegetation.
Then on the fourth day... God looked at the sky... and felt it looked empty. So he made the sun to
be in the sky at day and the stars and moon to shine at night.
I wonder, did God feel like a child with their first set of colour pencils or crayons at this point?
... It's an understandable feeling.
But he looked upon the world and felt that there should be something that could move about. If
you paid close attention, the sea had waves and the wind rustled the tree leaves... But it was too
quiet. God wanted something more lively to move about.
Rather than scenery like a painting on a wall, he wanted something that would move
dynamically like an anime.
And so on the fifth day... He made birds to fly in the sky and fish to swim in the sea.
Now, what about insects like dragonflies and cicadas? Or shellfish, squids or octopuses? Do
dolphins and whales count as fish?
Eh? Uh... Since this is just a legend I heard... Don't ask me about those kinds of details...
Anyway, day five, God made animals in the sky and sea.
So, the sixth day... This time he made various animals on the land.
It was at this point God realised. He made all these great animals in the sky, sea and on land, but
maybe he made too many of them...
If these animals competed over the limited amount of space it'd be trouble.
And so, being a rather whimsical God, without consulting any of the other creatures, he made
one in his own image.
They were humans.
Even if the humans resembled him in appearance only, God figured it should be able to
communicate with the other animals.
So God told the humans.
“Go rule over the creatures of this world.”
Then he told the other creatures.
“Humans are your masters.”
Whether or not the other creatures objected or not is not recorded in the legend.
Since the legend has been passed down among humans, it'd be easy for them to cut any parts that
make them look bad.
Either way...
God probably didn't expect the humans to be creatures that would burden the other creatures or
fight wars amongst themselves.
Finally, the seventh day... Having finished creating the world, God took the day off.
We now call this day Sunday.
But this God sure loved making animals.
It was his day off, but he felt like scribbling a few new creatures into the world.
As for the creatures he made on his day off...
After making these creatures on a whim, God never told them to either “Rule over the humans”
or “Be ruled by the humans”...
These creatures are what we call Pocket Monsters.
Anyway, that's the legend. As I said before, it's a legend very few people actually know of.
It's quite possible that I, the one writing this, and you, the one reading it, are the only ones who
know of it.
In fact, as I send this correspondence, I have as of yet... been unable to verify the validity of the
legend.
As such, I would suggest not talking to other people about it openly and keeping it close to your
chest.

... A nameless Pokémon Researcher with absolutely no relation at all to Professor Oak...

An excerpt from an email sent to Bill Sonezaki


A Pokémon Analyst who participated in the 97th International Portable Beast Academic
Conference
Chapter 2: An Electrifying Meeting With Pikachu...

In order to talk about Ash's departure, you must first know more about Professor Oak. This may
get a bit long, but I'm going to tell you a little bit about Professor Oak.
You can skip to the next *** if you like, but if something from here comes up later and you find
yourself lost, then it's not my fault, so please bear with me.
Professor Oak was well known within the Pokémon scientific community.
In his book “An Introduction to the Research of Portable Beasts” he presented the claim that
“Pokémon are different to all other creatures on this planet.”, which gained Professor Oak a lot of
attention within the scientific community at the age of 20.
With the results of his studies widely accepted, he became an esteemed professor in the Celadon
University Portable Beast Department at the unprecedented age of 25.
However, for some reason he didn't publish any other notable studies and moved back to his
hometown Pallet Town in his 30s and started up a small Pokémon Laboratory.
There were many rumours about the reason for this ranging from having reached the limits of his
research or having his heart broken by an actress in a Pokémon movie that he had acted as a
supervisor for, along with many other explanations, however the true reason remains a mystery to
this day.
Just like Pokémon themselves, there are many mysteries regarding Pokémon researchers.
When you think about it, it's also a mystery how after all these years of aiming to become
Pokémon Trainers that the names of Ash's father and grandfather still don't appear on the official
registry of Pokémon Trainers. It is said that effort brings results... But no matter how pathetic
someone is as a trainer, you would think that after ten years their name would at least appear on the
official registry of trainers. Even if you can't afford the membership fee, there's registration for free
associate memberships as well.
... Anyway, there are many mysteries that are related to Pokémon.
In the 20 years since Professor Oak returned to Pallet Town, he's continued his own personal
Pokémon research.
So how does he still earn the same kind of money he did as a prestigious professor at Celadon
University when he's living like a hermit...? Twenty years ago he wrote a reference book for
prospective Pokémon Trainers called “Oak's Poké Reference”, it's a classic reference that anyone's
mother or father would instantly recognise the cover of, with “Useful charts and current surefire
methods to success with Pokémon” it has remained a constant best seller... Which is the most likely
explanation of his income.
Ash had seen Professor Oak late at night before coming to Pallet House: Delia for dinner.
It was always right before his bedtime, and it wasn't something he'd ever really discussed, but he
considered him to be a strange old man as despite having the option of Delia's famous cooking he
would simply order furikake ochazuke11 and instant curry, then quietly read a book in the corner of
the restaurant while eating his meal.
“What an oddball. He could get furikake and curry at the convenience store.”
The restaurant is busy at night. And Delia never seemed to take much notice of Professor Oak.
No matter what kind of person he was though, Professor Oak ran the only official Pokémon
Laboratory in town.
That is the Oak Pokémon Laboratory. There was nowhere else for trainers to get their first
Pokémon.

***

“Wait for me, Squirtle, Charmander, Bulbasaur!”


Ash continued to run, run, run and run towards the Oak Laboratory.
For some reason there was a large crowd gathered outside the Oak Laboratory.
The sound of bells and drums rang out.
Ash pushed his way through the crowd.
“Move, move, move it! I'm going to the lab!”
He thought he was finally through the waves of people when, wham! He had a head-on collision
with a boy coming out of the lab.
“Owowow”
Ash fell to the ground and grabbed his now red nose.
“I'm the one hurt here.”
Said the person he crashed into.
“Hm? Oh, you're Ash. Hey there, Mr. Ketchum. Are you alright?”
He offered his hand to help Ash up.
“Are you alright?”
He deliberately repeated the question in English.
He was a smug bastard.
Ash instinctively muttered his name.
“Gary...”
“That's Mr. Gary to you. Show some respect. So, Ashy-boy, are you here to see me off as well?”

11 Furikake is a type of seasoning put on rice. Ochazuke is rice with tea spilled on it, similar to how milk is put on
cereal.
Gary Oak.
He was related to Pallet Town's mayor and is Professor Oak's grandson. He's also the same age
as Ash. Gary was also leaving on his journey today.
However, his departure as a Pokémon Trainer was downright gaudy. For one thing, he was
wearing a frilly shirt with a tuxedo and a cattleya flower pinned to his breast. He looked like he was
a member of the royal family or something.
And lets not even get into what other people were wearing. But Ash was in his pajamas.
“See you off? Don't make me laugh.”
Ash replied.
Gary just nodded as if he'd only just grasped the situation.
“Eh? Oh, right, you're going on a Pokémon training journey as well.”
“Damn straight. I'm the same age as you.”
“But to turn up late on the day of departure means you're already...”
Gary pointed straight at Ash.
“Unfit to be considered one of my rivals.”
“Mr. Gary.”
Ash held back his bile as he addressed Gary politely.
“Yes? What is it, Ashy-boy?”
He was already a smug bastard, but his polite response was dripping with sarcasm.
Ash went ahead and asked the most important question.
“Have you already got your first Pokémon?”
“Of course. It's right inside this Poké Ball.”
Gary held his Poké Ball up on the tip of his finger so the crowd could see.
He then span the Poké Ball on his fingertip.
The crowd cheered wildly.
“Go, go, Gary. Good luck, good luck, Gary.”
There were even cheerleaders with pompoms and a brass band.
The cheer squad to see him off was huge.
Gary waved to him as he answered.
“Thank you. Friends, girlfriends. I am going to become a super first rate Trainer and make the
name Pallet Town known throughout the world.”
“Go, go, Gary. Good luck, good luck, Gary.”
The cheers of the cheerleaders intensified.
“I hate to interrupt you, but... Mr. Gary.”
Ash whispered to Gary.
“Yes?”
Gary gave a genuinely polite response.
“What Pokémon did you get, Gary?”
Gary cracked a smile.
“I have no reason to tell you. Because I'm the grandson of the famous Pokémon researcher
Professor Oak.”
He stood in front of the Oak Laboratory nameplate and posed with the V sign for the people who
came to see him off.
Several camera flashes went off. Probably a journalist for the Pallet Town News.
Gary turned towards the flashes and shouted.
“In the name of my grandfather, I will capture all of the world's Pokémon!”
The Poké Ball on Gary's fingertip spun and spun. Round and round.
... Hmph, he's practised quite a bit...
Ash was honestly mortified.
Gary had totally dissed him and was focused on the crowd that came to see him off.
“I thank everyone who has come to see me off. This is the moment that I, Gary Oak, depart to
become a Pokémon Trainer. The day I return is the day that this town named after my grandfather's
grandfather's grandfather, Pallet Oak, has its name changed to Gary Town.”
“Kyaah, he's so dreamy!”
The cheerleaders grew excited.
... Where exactly has this town been hiding girls like that?...
Ash stretched his neck out.
He had never seen them before.
They were middle school students from the next town over who worked part time for a campaign
girl company that Pallet Town's mayor, Gary's grandfather's older brother, always hired around
election time.
The mayor himself now had the mic.
“Now, my dear citizens of Pallet Town, in honour of his future exploits let us follow Gary of the
Oak family to the outskirts of town before we see him off.”
The brass band played emphatically.
Gary continued to wave as he hopped into a convertible with a chauffeur.
Still speaking into the mic, seemingly on purpose, the mayor spoke to Gary.
“Gary, you haven't forgotten anything? You have your bento?”
“Yep, my bento is right here, by the way, this car is a foreign model. It's a Jerman Vento12.”
12 Germany (Doitsu) was written in kanji instead of the standard katakana. I explained bento last chapter and a Vento is
apparently a model of car made by Volkswagen. They sound similar, hence the pun.
It was a set-up for a lame pun.
... How pathetic... Ash thought dejectedly.
But the crowd who had come to see him off laughed.
How exactly the cheerleaders and brass band managed laugh at Gary's overly forced joke is a
mystery.
“I'm glad you came. Thank you. Thanks for all your support.”
Poof!
Gary's car blasted gas from its exhaust all over Ash as it departed.
Ash coughed choking on the gas, by the time he caught his breath there was neither hide nor hair
of the crowd from before, Ash's only remaining companion was the wind.
Ash clenched his trembling fist...
“I won't lose.”
His hand loosened again.
“Gary... is my rival.”
And then a sighing voice spoke up behind Ash.
“Haah... Well, I'm sure Gary is capable of living up to expectations. But if he keeps that attitude
into adulthood, it could be trouble... He better watch out...”
Professor Oak stood there scratching at his hair full of dandruff.
Ash was flustered when he heard the Professor's voice.
“Professor Oak, wh-where's my Pokémon...?13”
“Huh? You're leaving on a Pokémon jour... Oh right, there were four people leaving today, but...
Whippersnapper. Gary may be going a little overboard with the tuxedo, but surely you aren't
planning to travel in your pajamas?”
... I don't need any pajama drama. And perhaps I could have snapped the whip a little to get here
sooner, but I'm no whippersnapper14... Wait... Oops, recycling mom's old jokes is only going to
make me even later.
“Anyway, about my Pokémon...”
“Oh right... This way.”
Professor Oak lead Ash into the Laboratory.

***

13 While speaking to the Professor, Ash uses the pronoun "boku" instead of "ore".
14 Whippersnapper and snapping the whip... In Japanese, Oak referred to Ash as "bouya" (Little boy, the same term
Delia used last chapter), to which Ash's retort was he may have dilly dallied (boyaboya) but was no little boy
(bouya). Pajama drama was "pajama" and "jama" just like with Delia last chapter as well.
“The Pokémon are in those capsules.”
Three capsules sat on a testing bench in the lab room Professor Oak lead him to.
“My Pokémon...”
Ash rushed over to the bench.
The capsules were translucent, you couldn't see inside them but there were labels on them to tell
you what was inside.
Ash swallowed as he stared closely at the labels on the three capsules.
Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander...
The labels showed the three from his dream.
Ash then spoke up to Professor Oak.
“I was indecisive up until now. But I've made my decision.”
“What is it?” Professor Oak asked in reply.
“Squirtle. I choose you as my Pokémon.”
“Well then, open it up.” Professor Oak said.
“Alright.”
Ash opened the capsule barely able to maintain his excitement.
“Huuh?”
It was empty.
“It was already taken by a kid who wasn't late.” Said the Professor.
“Ugh... My fault for being late.”
Ash regained his composure.
“In that case, Bulbasaur will be my Pokémon.”
He opened Bulbasaur's capsule. Empty.
“It's gone... Bulbasaur...”
“Don't be a sore loser15. Also taken by a kid who came on time.”
“I see... No, in that case... I'll choose you as my Pokémon instead Charmander.”
And the final capsule had no Charmander, it was also empty.
“No way.”
“Being moments late for the train or for Pokémon can change your life drastically. This is a
universal truth. I've already had three trainer wannabes today. There are three Pokémon I
recommend... Three minus three is zero, they're all gone... Please understand.”
Professor Oak nodded greatly.
“Don't you 'please understand' me, zero... Are you saying I have to leave home without a

15 "Don't be a sore loser.", Bulbasaur's Japanese name name "Fushigidane" can be read as either "mysterious seed" or
"how mysterious", when Ash commented on the Bulbasaur being gone, Oak replied "Fushigi wa nai", or "It's no
mystery". The term "sore loser" was chosen to similarly play on the "saur" in Bulbasaur.
Pokémon?”
“There's one more, but...”
Professor Oak brought out a capsule from a cabinet in the back of the lab.
“So you have got one. I'll take it.”
Professor Oak's expression was grim.
“This last Pokémon has some, let's say problems.”
“Problems... The fact I got here late... is a big enough problem.”
“Well, I feel these problems should really be resolved.”
Ash had decided on the capsule Professor Oak held.
“I choose this one.”
“Close, close, ending impending.” Professor Oak murmured.
“Eh?” Ash stretched his neck out. He had no idea what the Professor was saying.
“To close yourself off is to give in, but closing in to be closer to your goals is the path to
happiness, close is a word with multiple meanings. It's important to endure as you close in and get
as close as you can without bringing things to a close16... It's a universal truth. Please understand.”
Professor Oak seems to be the kind of person to throw incomprehensible logic at people and
expect them to understand.
Come to think of it, despite his regular visits to Delia's restaurant, Ash had never had a real
conversation with him.
But based on this conversation, he didn't feel like he'd have understood him anyway.
“So then, just endure it.” Professor Oak said.
What he said didn't explain anything, but Ash was willing to do anything to get his Pokémon.
“I'll endure anything.”
“I see.”
Professor Oak placed the capsule on the lab bench.
There was no label.
“What's inside?”
“Take a look and see.”
Ash touched the capsule and a glow emanated from it.
“Pika...”
That was the voice that spoke up.
If you were to put what it said in writing, then Pika is the only way to spell it.
“Peeka?” The capsule opened as Ash repeated what the voice said.

16 Oak's dialogue about "close" meaning both to end and to be near was originally about the word "koufuku", which
depending on the kanji used can mean either surrender (降伏) or happiness (幸福). There's some change in meaning,
but I tried to keep it as thematically similar as I could.
“Chuu...”
This time a Pokémon appeared from within the capsule.
It was short and stout.
Its colour was yellow.
If you looked closely, you could see some brown stripes on its back and the tips on its ears were
black, but in general you could still say its whole body was yellow.
It had short limbs and soft fur, making it looks somewhat like a plush toy.
It was just small enough for a small child to hold, the kind of thing you'd want to pick up and
hug.
“It's a Pokémon known as Pikachu. Can you endure having him?” Professor Oak asked.
“Woah... Endure... He's so cute. He's the best.”
“You think?”
“Totally. Nice to meet you, Pikachu.”
Ash picked Pikachu up with both hands.
“Pikah!”
... Don't touch me!...
Pikachu spoke with a clearly irritated expression on his face.
And then.
Pikachu discharged a strong electric current through Ash's body.
Right from his heart to his fingernails, rather than being numbing, the electricity felt like it was
going to tear his body into atoms.
“Th-th-th-th-this is...”
He was twitching to the point where he couldn't even move his body enough to put Pikachu back
down.
Professor Oak used a magnifying glass to examine some odd marks on Pikachu's cheeks.
“Looking at Pikachu's electricity pouches, he's got quite a bit of charge.”
Apparently you can determine a Pikachu's charge by examining its cheeks.
“Qu-qu-quite shocking.”
“Well, of course. Pikachu are commonly known as the electric mouse, this Pikachu in particular
is rather shy and not fond of humans, if you touch him the wrong way he'll respond like that.”
“You should have told me that first.”
Ash grumbled as he continued to twitch slightly, little sparks still leaping from his hair.
Professor Oak seems to be the type of person who not only doesn't think about others, but also
doesn't care about them.
“Yeah, probably should have.”
He opened the drawer of the lab bench once Ash recovered from his shocking experience.
He then produced two things that Ash had previously only seen in his dreams.
“Now, here are some parting gifts for your journey... Poké Balls to capture Pokémon and a
Pokédex.”
When you open the cover of the Pokédex you have an LCD screen inside, similar to a PDA. ...
It's roughly about the same size and thickness as the book you're currently reading17...
Just as Professor Oak was handing the Pokédex to Ash...
At that same moment, Pikachu sent another jolt through Ash's body.
“I see, this is quite electrifyiiiiiing.”
“I-i-it's quite a buuuuuzzzzz.”
Pikachu continued to shock the two of them for over two minutes.
Eventually...
While Ash's hair was simply letting off a few residual sparks, Professor Oak's was standing on
end and letting off smoke.
It seems the electricity had ignited his dandruff.
At this point, Professor Oak's head could potentially catch fire and leave him bald.
“Pikachuuuuu... I don't think it's good, ha ha ha... to waste your energy like that.”
Professor Oak said to Pikachu, his tongue tingling.
Hearing the Professor's words, Pikachu stopped his discharge.
“You expect me to take this thing?”
Ash, whose pajamas were now tattered, asked Professor Oak, whose white lab coat was burnt
black.
“He's the only one left. But as a species, Pikachu are generally gentle natured and get along well
with humans. I've raised several of them as pets, they are also good as a backup power source
during a blackout.”
“I'll take one of those instead.” Ash snapped back.
“You expect me to give away one of my beloved pets?” The Professor replied coldly.
“Oh... Right.” Ash shrugged.
“Anyway, this Pikachu is a bit different to most.”
Ash took a look at Pikachu's face, being careful not to be shocked.
“You're a twisted one... aren't you?”
Pikachu looked away in a huff.
“All Pokémon have their exceptions. Anyway, being a little different may make raising it all the

17 Seeing as readers of this translation don't have a physical copy of this book, the book's measurements are similar to
that of a 3DS XL. The book is approximately the same thickness as and a centimeter wider than the XL when it's
closed. Somewhat smaller than your typical manga volume.
more rewarding.”
Professor Oak spoke as if it wasn't his problem.
“Yeah, you're right.”
Ash looked at Pikachu.
If you looked closely, or well, if you looked at all, he was still cute.
Ash liked to look on the bright side.
“Just gotta think of him as my own special Pikachu.”
“No matter what you think, there's no other options.”
“Right!”
Ash pointed at Pikachu and declared.
“Pikachu, I choose you.”
Pikachu still refused to look at him.
“So, what about his name?” Professor Oak asked.
“Eh?”
“Pikachu is his species. You don't go calling all your human friends 'human', do you
whippersnapper?”
Ash already knew that. He's decided on names.
... Squirtle would be Squirty. If it was a Bulbasaur, then Sauron. A Charmander would have been
Mandarin. ... If his mother Delia knew these names, she would probably question his naming sense
and thwack him with a paper fan...
Anyway, Ash had never predicted the possibility that he'd end up with a Pikachu.
“Uh, a name... Got it! Pikky... Pikachon... Pikarin.”
Pikachu had merely been looking away until now, but at this point turned his back completely.
“I don't think he likes those names.” Professor Oak shrugged.
Ash continued calling out names as he thought of them.
“Pikao. Pikata. Pikazaemon. Pikanosuke. Pikabee...”
... Cut it out... Pikachu shot Ash a glare that seemed to say that.
The electricity pouches on his cheeks began to spark again.
“Maybe you should give up on naming him.” Professor Oak said nervously.
“Is the Pikachu angry?”
Pikachu nodded.
“Some Pokémon who aren't suited as pets resent the idea of humans arbitrarily deciding names
for them.” Stated Professor Oak.
“So that's the case with Pikachu?”
“Usually it would be fine. In fact, they quite like being given a name. Normal Pikachu are well
suited to life as pets.”
“So this Pikachu isn't normal...?”
“That's right.”
Ash then addressed Pikachu.
“So then, your name is Pikachu. You okay with that, Pikachu?”
... Whatever...
Seemed to be the sentiment Pikachu responded with, shrugging it's lack-of-shoulders.
Ash nodded in response.
“Right, Pikachu. From now on, you are Pikachu.”
“Oh, by the way.” Professor Oak spoke up nonchalantly.
“There's more?” Ash asked.
“That Pikachu hates small spaces.”
“Huh?” Ash didn't understand what the Professor was getting at.
“It refuses to go inside its Poké Ball. Since it refuses to go in the Poké Ball, you can't carry it in
your pocket.”
“...”
Ash was speechless.
... Pokémon is short for Pocket Monsters. They are called that because you keep them in your
pocket using Poké Balls. A Pokémon that won't go in your pocket. What does that make this
Pikachu?
Pikachu muttered to himself.
“Pikachu, pika, Pikachu...”
I'm just Pikachu... is what Pikachu seemed to be saying.

***

“Mom!”
Ash was surprised as he left the laboratory with Pikachu in tow.
“Since it's around lunch time, I thought I'd come see how you were doing.”
Delia was standing before the gate.
And it wasn't just her.
“Everyone else had some free time too, so they came to see you off... It's mostly our neighbours
and customers... You should be grateful to them...”
Delia's tone of voice was in Japanese mother mode rather than just casual mom.
The old folks who lived nearby and a number of regular customers were there with pots, pans
and wooden spoons from the restaurant. Some people even had headbands or flags with 'Certain
Victory' written on them.
So that Delia could deliver Ash's forgotten items, the restaurant had taken the day off.
And with the restaurant closed, the customers who received the special lunch menu bento figured
that as long as they were eating it outside they'd tag along with Delia.
Seeing as most of the neighbours and customers that came along were actually more interested in
eating with Delia than seeing Ash off, the atmosphere was rather laid back... Nothing like Gary's
brass band and cheerleaders.
“I can't believe you, always late to the end, making me worry to the end, well then, it's farewell
for now...”
Delia looked into to distance as she teared up a little. She had a lot of different feelings, but she
put on a brave face as a mother.
“I brought you your clothes and gear you left at home.”
Delia showed Ash his rucksack before pulling a cotton handkerchief from the pocket on her
mini-apron to blow her nose.
“Right up until the very, very end you're still causing me trouble... sniff sniffle”
Delia returned to mother mode.
The crowd of acquaintances were starting to get emotional as well.
They had somewhere along the way forgotten their desire to eat lunch with Delia.
It's sometimes difficult to distinguish between people who are fans of Delia's cooking and those
who are fans of Delia herself.
Delia got gradually more emotional.
She opened the rucksack as she cried.
“Here's your shoes and jeans. Some shirts and pants... I've got some instant meals in here as
emergency rations. Some rubber gloves for cooking, you don't want to damage your skin... Ah,
there's also some line so you can hang out your laundry.”
... What the heck is this?... Pikachu wondered stretching his neck out.
Ash's face was bright red as Delia kept speaking.
“Cut it out. This is too much, way too much... I'm not Gary, I don't need anything big like this
until I come back here as the ultimate Pokémon Trainer.”
“I suppose you're right.”
Delia was now smiling like nothing happened.
“But well, since everyone's already here... We might as well cheer you on with a bit of go, go,
go~”
She had now suddenly switched into teenage girl mode.
“... Huh?”
Delia's expression then went into ten year old girl mode.
She had noticed Pikachu.
“Aah, it's so cute. This little animal.”
Pikachu was somewhat offended by the description of little animal... What?...
“Chuupika...?” His attempt at a threat only came off as being cute.
Ash spoke to Delia.
“Ah... He's my Pokémon... His name is Pikachu.”
Pikachu snorted... “Piiiiiika.” And ignored them.
Ash did his best to show off.
“This Pikachu and I are going to get all the world's Pokémon.”
Delia innocently spoke up.
“Hmm, if he's a Pokémon, then why...”
“Eh?” Ash asked in return.
“Pokémon are usually kept inside those things... aren't they?”
She pointed at the Poké Ball Ash was holding.
The curiosity behind Delia's “... aren't they?” was spoken in ten year old trainer wannabe girl
mode.
“Ah... You're right... Ah... Yes... Pikachu. Get in the ball...”
Professor Oak did say he wouldn't go in, but he couldn't be sure unless he tried. Maybe... the
Professor was mistaken.
Ash brandished the Poké Ball.
He took a flashy pitching form, before lightly tossing the ball.
But a moment later, the Poké Ball was back in his hand.
“Eh...?”
Pikachu had smacked it back with his tail.
“He can do that?”
Ash softly tossed the ball again.
“Pi...”
Pikachu kicked the ball back.
“I guess he can.”
Ash tossed again.
“Ka...”
Pikachu headbutted it back.
“That too?”
Ash tosses the ball one more time.
“Chuu!”
Pikachu did an attack shoot with his arms.
The Poké Ball was aimed to nail Ash hard in the stomach.
“Guh...”
Ash barely managed to stop the ball with both hands.
“Not bad. Not bad.”
Delia applauded with a smile.
“You're playing catch... You're friends already. A pitcher and catcher are like a married couple...
Proof you're getting along...”
“Eh? ... That's right, Pikachu and I are best... friends.”
Ash timidly patted Pikachu on the head.
Pikachu glared up at Ash.
But he didn't shock him.
... Seems he might be warming up to me a little...
Ash breathed a sigh of relief.
Delia spoke earnestly.
“You're a perfect couple. ... But... Y'know. Tossing the ball back like that...”
Ash and Pikachu waited for Delia to finish her sentence.
Delia pointed at Pikachu.
“He's one really weird Pokémon.”
“... Weird Pokémon...”
Ash fell into despair.
“You shouldn't have said that...”
Pikachu's electricity pouches began to spark.
It was obvious that he had been offended.
“There's nothing I can do to stop him now.”
Ash looked to the sky.
“Chuu!”
Pikachu's sharp voice echoed and Ash's body once again felt that unbearably painful sensation.
It was Pikachu's electric shock.
Everyone who came to see him off were electrocuted... The flow of current continued.
“Indeed, a homemaker's wisdom.”
Professor Oak commented on the rubber gloves for cooking, having at some point come out of
the laboratory wearing a pair of rubber boots.
“Well, these rubber gloves Delia packed are certainly going to come in handy.”
“W-w-w-w-w-why's that?” Ash asked as he continued to be shocked.
“Electricity can't pass through rubber. Neither rubber gloves or rubber boots.” Professor Oak
replied.
“I seeeeeeeeeeee.” Ash understood.
Hmph... Pikachu shrugged and ended his discharge.
Apparently Professor Oak's immunity caused him to lose interest.
All the people who came to see Ash off collapsed simultaneously.
Everyone was worn out by the thundershock.
Delia spoke up, having reverted to mother mode after the shock.
“Ash, make sure you wear your pajamas when you sleep.”
“Huh...?”
“Even if they're like that.”
On top of being tattered, Ash's pajamas were now burnt black.
Pikachu laughed with a pipipi... Then cried “Pikachu!”
“... I did it!”
“... Gotcha!”
Pikachu's declaration probably meant something along those lines.
(To be continued in chapter 3)

Chapter 2 appendix

(... If you're in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to chapter 3. ... However, there may be some
important information written here that nobody has ever seen before.)

... Pokémon Related Reference Material 2...

In regards to a mystery I know of regarding Pokémon research...


The first person to publish research on Pokémon was a French author in the late 18th century,
Count Tajirin18. But if you look through the records of the 18th century when Count Tajirin lived,
it's not only when the earliest Pokémon research began. It is also the era of research starting on
many other creatures.
Until than point, research of animals, plants and legendary beings was all lumped in as things

18 In case you just don't get the reference, Count Tajirin is a reference to Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pokémon.
that weren't humans. The only notable research came from ancient Greece19 in the 4th Century BC
from a scholar known as Aristotle, who had catalogued approximately 500 varieties of animal, but
among them were none that appeared to be Pokémon.
Aristotle divided creatures into four broad categories, humans, animals with red blood, animals
without red blood and animals resembling plants.
Animals without red blood include insects, shellfish, octopuses and squids.
Animals resembling plants included starfish and sea cucumbers.
The largest category, animals with red blood, was further divided into two subcategories, animals
that give birth to their young and animals that lay eggs.
Animals that give birth to their young are what we would now refer to as mammals.
Animals that lay eggs included birds in the sky, creatures that slither on land (snakes, lizards,
frogs) and fish in the water.
Surprisingly, Aristotle actually classified whales as separate from fish.
He reasoned that as whales breathe air, they must have lungs, and came to the conclusion that
they give birth to their young.
However, Aristotle knew nothing of Pokémon.
After Aristotle, there was no further research in this vein until the 18th century.
It was a common opinion that among all the creatures on Earth, the greatest chosen by god were
humans, and there was no value in deeply examining other species.
It wasn't until the 18th century that opinions changed to think that for humanity to better
understand itself it should also understand other creatures.
In the latter half of the 18th century... A French scholar named Lamark was responsible for
spearheading the movement to learn more about animals and plants.
However there were some creatures they could not clearly document.
For example, they could not document anything definitive on legendary creatures like dragons or
mermaids.
Count Tajirin was among the people who studied such creatures.
At the time there were only 30 known species of Pokémon, for example... the flame Pokémon
Charizard bore a resemblance to the dragon... the bubble jet Pokémon Vaporeon bore a resemblance
to mermaids (I believe you are familiar with the tale The Little Mermaid, where it's stated that when
mermaids die they turn into foam. I imagine that may be where the term bubble jet Pokémon came
from.), it's only natural that something resembling the legendary dragons and mermaids existed.
However, there are mysteries.
Such as the origin of the term Pokémon.

19 The appendix of this chapter renders France and Greece in katakana as per regular usage, rather than kanji.
Pocket Monsters... Or Keitai Juu20 rendered in Japanese, where did this name come from?
According to the existing documents, it wasn't until the year 1925 that it was discovered that
Pokémon could be stored in small objects like Poké Balls or capsules, this groundbreaking
discovery was made entirely by accident by the Japanese Professor Westwood21. (While examining
the energy of the Pokémon species Primeape's rage, he accidentally weakened it with a drug
overdose, leading it to somehow get captured inside the case for the Professor's reading glasses,
forgetting its anger entirely and falling asleep peacefully. ... This is a well known event among
Pokémon researchers.)
So what were Pokémon called prior to Professor Westwood's discovery? Think about it. We call
them Pokémon because they can be stored in our pockets, before we knew this they wouldn't have
been called Pocket Monsters. However there is no name for Pocket Monsters other than Pocket
Monsters recorded in history.
It is unknown what name Count Tajirin referred to Pokémon by.
No matter what name they went by, Pokémon clearly existed.
But it bothers me that no name for them other than Pokémon remains.
This is only my supposition, but I believe that Pokémon had another name in the days of Count
Tajirin. Why was this name erased? And by whom?
As such, the name Pocket Monsters itself carries a certain amount of mystery.
Also, famous Pokémon researchers such as Professor Westwood and Professor Oak at some
point retired from doing public studies. In the 18th century Count Tajirin ceased publishing his
research after discovering 30 varieties of Pokémon.
Since then, this has become a trend among many prestigious Pokémon researchers around the
world.
Why is this? Why would they leave the field after gaining recognition for their studies?
Regardless of this, more people who love Pokémon get into the field of research each year.
There are also new Pokémon being discovered all the time, in Count Tajirin's era there were 30
known species and in Professor Westwood's era there were 80 known species, currently there are
officially 151... This number is likely to expand in the coming years. There could easily be new
species unveiled as soon as tomorrow.
In this era, other creatures have been heading towards extinction.
The only other newly discovered lifeforms have been new forms of bacteria and viruses.
Why is it that only Pokémon are increasing in number...? (Or to word it differently, newly
discovered?)

20 "Keitai Juu" has previously been rendered as "Portable Beast".


21 Professor Westwood V appeared in the 66th episode of the anime, The Evolution Solution, almost a full year after
this book was published.
It is a mystery. Pokémon are surrounded in mystery. Hence why humans are so fascinated by
them.

... A nameless Pokémon Researcher with absolutely no relation at all to Professor Oak...

An excerpt from an email sent to Bill Sonezaki


A Pokémon Analyst who participated in the 98th International Portable Beast Academic
Conference
Chapter 3: Spearow on the Day of Departure

Ash changed out of his pajamas and began his journey, carrying his rucksack.
However, things were rough right from the start.
The hill overlooking Pallet Town that would normally take thirty minutes to climb had taken Ash
two hours. The fact that the primary school's bell had just rung to signify the end of the school day
proved that.
The fact he could even still hear the school bell from the town square was indicative of the fact
he hadn't gotten very far. He was going so slow that if I compared his speed to a turtle, a Squirtle
would probably phone up to complain.
The reason for this was Pikachu's complete lack of cooperation.
Not only would he not enter a Poké Ball, but he also refused to follow Ash.
In order to force Pikachu, who refused to walk a single step, to come with him, Ash had no
option but to create a leash using his washing line.
He was wearing the rubber cooking gloves to protect himself from electric shocks and tugging
hard on the line, it was not a very dignified sight.
Stuck walking with a Pokémon who wouldn't listen to a word its master says.
At the top of the hill Ash took a breather and decided to attempt communicating with Pikachu
again.
“Um. Pikachu. Are you going to be like this the whole way?”
Pikachu turned away in a huff.
“Do you really hate me that much?”
Pikachu politely nodded twice, thrice.
“I like you.”
Pikachu pretended to ignore Ash and scratched at his face using his forearms.
“Anyway, you're the Pokémon I'm training now. Can you just open your mouth and let me know
the truth?”
Pikachu showed off his teeth.
“Uh... Are you going to bite me with those teeth?”
Ash took up a defensive pose as Pikachu shook his head and pointed at his teeth.
“Eh? Ah... You're showing you have teeth?”
Pikachu nodded.
“Ah, I said the truth. Not the tooth22. Don't you want to talk?”
Pikachu nodded with an expression that seemed to say ... Finally, the moron gets it...

22 In Japanese, Ash asked Pikachu to speak (hanashi) with him, Pikachu interpreted this as no teeth (ha nashi).
“I don't feel like having this turn into a comedy skit. So how about you act like an actual
Pokémon and get inside the Poké Ball? Like it says in the Pokédex.”
Ash got the Pokédex he received from Professor Oak from his pocket.
On top of the Pokédex, there was a sensor similar to that on a TV remote control's switch.
When pointed at a Pokémon, it would display a description of the Pokémon in question on the
screen.
It was an essential item given to all trainer candidates getting their first Pokémon from an official
laboratory.
Ash pointed the Pokédex at Pikachu and read from it.
“Pikachu, a species of Pokémon that commonly live in forests and eat berries, they have a kind
disposition, are highly intelligent, are highly charming...”
Ash deliberately emphasised the words like kind and charming.
Pikachu... simply nodded as if all this was completely obvious.
“All this here is describing your species...”
Ash stopped partway as he reached the passage he wanted to discuss with Pikachu.
“Ah, look at this, it's written right here... A Pokémon that gets along well with its owners. ... See?
This is typical Pokémon behaviour, so you should act accordingly.”
Pikachu pressed a button on top of the Pokédex.
The screen changed. It was a proverb in the encyclopedia's appendix.
“Hm?”
Ash read it.
“Every rule has its exceptions. This is the one rule that governs all rules.”
Pikachu pointed at himself.
“So there's always going to be at least one Pikachu who isn't going to listen to what its owner
says.”
Ash muttered. ... That's right! Pikachu puffed his chest out having gotten his point across.
Ash came to the realisation that any further discussion wasn't going to go anywhere.
“Fine. We should get along as best we can then. Let's end this nonsense.”
Ash untied the line around Pikachu's neck, removed his rubber gloves and offered his hand for a
handshake.
... Too little too late... seemed to be Pikachu's reaction based on the sulky 'Hmph!' he made.
“If a handshake won't do, how about this?”
Ash offered his index finger.
He recalled a movie his mother Delia had on video, which had left her in tears.
It was a story involving an alien and a boy who gained a connection by pressing their index
fingers together. In Ash's childish view it was just a dumb story to make girls cry, but he was willing
to try anything to get along with Pikachu at this point.
However Pikachu, obviously unfamiliar with old movies, just turned away in a huff...
“Yeah, that was a dumb idea... It's not going to work like with the alien.”
Pikachu shrugged his shoulders as if to say he was stating the obvious.
Suddenly, at that moment.
Pikachu's eyes immediately locked onto a point in the long grass.
He completely ignored Ash's presence to stare intently at that spot.
“Hm? Is something there?”
Peering over as Pikachu parted the grass, he spotted the tiny bird Pokémon Pidgey, which was
moving about pecking at the ground.
It was likely looking for something to eat.
The tiny bird Pokémon was a common species that Ash had often seen around all year.
Even so, he went ahead and pointed the Pokédex's sensor at it.
The description on the display was as follows...
“Pidgey... Tiny bird Pokémon that flies... Among Pokémon that fly, it is the most gentle and easy
to catch. One of the best Pokémon for a beginner trainer to test their abilities on...”
“In that case... Alright, Pikachu. Let's catch it!”
In order to catch a Pokémon, you must first have your own Pokémon weaken it in battle before
capturing it in a Poké Ball.
That's the basics of how to catch a Pokémon.
However, upon realising that his opponent was a Pidgey, Pikachu instead decided to lie down
and relax.
“Pikachu, what are you doing?”
Pikachu, irritatedly, pressed a button on Ash's Pokédex.
It relayed another proverb.
“A wise Pikachu does not waste its electricity... This means that strong prefer to not pick
meaningless battles with the weak... This proverb is also known for being used by power companies
during energy conservation campaigns.”
Pikachu... nodded in agreement to this.
“So you're not gonna fight?”
Pikachu feigned ignorance.
“Why not?”
As if to say... shut up..., Pikachu climbed a nearby tree and spread himself out.
“Understood. I see now. That's how it is. Alright. If that's how you're gonna be, I'll catch it
myself. Becoming a Pokémon Trainer is my dream. Right, I'll become the ultimate Pokémon
Master... Yeah. I'll declare it now to all the world's Pokémon. I've decided. I'm going to become the
greatest Pokémon Master.”
Ash was now shouting less at Pikachu and more at himself.
“If I couldn't even catch a single Pidgey all on my own, then I might as well... Yeah!”
Ash nodded to himself and dropped his bag by the base of the tree.
He turned around his prized Pokémon cap, which he had won from Pokémon Comic... and
gripped a Poké Ball in his hand.
“This is my ceremonial first pitch.”
He held it up high. Lifted his leg high in the air.
“Pidgey, you're mine now... Poké Ball. Go!”
The Poké Ball was set free from his fingers.
It was a straight shootball, he was confident in his control.
In school baseball games, his pitches were so controlled that they were always dead center
leading to nine consecutive hits and a changeover.
“My straight never misses!”
It was perfect. His aim was dead on.
“Got...”
Ash started to say “Gotcha”.
However... the Poké Ball hit Pidgey, let off something resembling smoke and fell to the ground.
Pidgey didn't even seem surprised by the attempted capture.
“Poh”, it simply yawned.
“Why... didn't that work?”
The Pokédex displayed new info...
“Use Poké Balls after weakening... Poké Balls should be used on Pokémon when they are tired
or weakened. Using a Poké Ball against an unweakened Pokémon is largely ineffective.”
Ash muttered to himself as he went to collect the dropped Poké Ball.
“I'm aware of that, but...”
“Pipipipikachu.”
Up in the tree, Pikachu laughed uproariously, clutching at his stomach.
Ash ground his teeth.
“Damn Pikachu! ... Just you wait, wait and see, I will, I'll have the last laugh! ... Hm?”
Ash took notice of his bag at the base of the tree.
“Right. Let's pick at you...”
He wasn't calling to Pikachu. He'd had an idea.
Ash pulled his burnt pajamas from his bag.
He then snuck up to a Pidgey lying down in the grass.
“Stay riiiight there, don't be afraid.”
Kss... Ash's footsteps rustled the grass.
... What the?... Pidgey looked right at Ash.
“Ah... Hello.”
... Who?... “Pidgey?” ... Pidgey tweeted as it cocked its head.
“Now! Forgive me!”
He leapt upon the Pidgey with his outspread pajamas.
Pidgey was inside the pajamas.
“Alright! Pidgey! ... Got”
Ash was about to say “Gotcha” once more.
With a sound like an electric fan, the pajamas began to inflate.
“Ah... What... What's happening?”
As confirmed with the Pokédex at a later time... It was Pidgey's special move, gust.
The pajamas stood up fluttering, shooting a fierce dust cloud from the armholes.
This was a special move known as sand attack.
The buttons flew off the pajama top and it exploded like a popped balloon.
Pidgey continued its fierce sand attack... which was more like a sandstorm.
Ash was covered by the sand.
“Pidgey. Pidgey.”
Pidgey laughed mockingly at the sand covered Ash from up in a tree.
He was used to seeing a Pidgey come out of a clock to announce the time, but...
“I guess a real Pidgey isn't like the one in a Pidgey Clock.”
Without even looking to the Pokédex, Ash recalled a certain proverb.
... A Pidgey in the hand is worth two in the bush...
This whole day had been nothing but one disaster after another, and it seemed like it would end
on a sour note.
But Ash didn't have time to complain.
Something terrible had happened to his bag left at the base of the tree.
At some point, a small Pokémon had snuck up and started eating at it.
Ash shooed it off in a fluster.
However, the bag was already in tatters.
“Oh, come on.”
Pikachu, looking down from up in the tree, simply gave an indifferent shrug.
“What was that...?”
Ash pointed the Pokédex at the small Pokémon, still peeking out from within the tall grass.
“A wild Rattata. A forest mouse Pokémon... It likes tough nuts and cheese...”
“Hold it, this isn't a forest. It's an open field.” Ash objected to the Pokédex's explanation.
“It occasionally comes into fields to steal food from stupid travellers.”
“St... Stupid, me?”
... That's right... Pikachu nodded to agree with that statement.
Pidgey also mocked him, poking its head out of the long grass to laugh, pippipippi, sounding like
a clock.
It seemed this Pidgey would be staying out of his hands and in the bush.
“Uuurgh... I'll get you for that!”
Losing his cool, Ash picked up a small rock and hurled it at Pidgey.
But he missed.
Not even Ash's control of his aim is always perfect.
Ash was really fired up now.
“You won't get away with this!”
He stormed after it into the long grass.
Pidgey mockingly just flew away.
“Tch... How did it come to this... Hm?”
Beyond the long grass, he caught sight of another Pidgey facing away from him.
It hadn't noticed Ash.
“Alright! I'll get it this time.”
Ash threw a small rock.
Konk! The noise echoed out as the rock, right on target this time, got it right in the head.
“Oh yeah! Take that!”
A large lump swelled on the Pidgey's head.
However, the Pidgey turned around and... something wasn't right. That is to say, this Pidgey was
not actually a Pidgey.
It had mean eyes, a sharp beak... And its cry...
“Gwagyah!”
“Gwagyah... Wait, what.”
Ash pointed the Pokédex at it.
The Pokédex displayed the Pokémon's information.
“Spearow... Also a tiny bird Pokémon, but unlike Pidgey has violent tendencies. It will
commonly attack both humans and other Pokémon...”
“It attacks humans? Ah...”
Spearow had already taken flight and was swooping at him.
“Hieh...”
Ash covered his head and ran back under the tree where Pikachu was.
The Spearow grazed Ash's sleeve as it swooped. But it hadn't given up on him yet.
Here it comes! Spearow was heading straight for Ash this time.
However, it suddenly changed the trajectory of its swoop.
It had set its sights on Pikachu up in the tree.
Spearow had switched targets and was after Pikachu.
“Eh?” “Pika?” Ash and Pikachu were both surprised by this turn of events.
Pikachu instinctively dodged, narrowly avoiding Spearow's attack.
Spearow turned in the air and came for Pikachu once more.
Pikachu signalled a nope pose with his forelegs. ... Chill, I'm not after a fight... He tried to
explain as he dodged.
But Spearow was persistent and kept swooping at him over and over.
Ash looked to the Pokédex.
“I was the one who threw the rock at Spearow. Why is it targeting Pikachu?”
He pointed the Pokédex's sensor at Spearow and the display explained...
“Wild Pokémon have a tendency to show more hostility towards human trained Pokémon than
they do to humans themselves.”
“No way... Well then...”
Ash called out to the Spearow.
“Back off! Pikachu has nothing to do with this. I threw the rock at you.”
However, at this point Spearow had no interest in paying him any attention.
It was focused only on attacking Pikachu.
Spearow's beak grazed Pikachu's shoulder.
Pikachu lost his footing in the tree.
Spearow's beak closed in on the falling Pikachu.
Pikachu was moments away from impalement.
... He was all out of options now.
Pikachu rotated mid-air as he fell to defend himself.
The only way to defend himself mid-air would be to fight.
Spearow instinctively faltered.
“Pikachuu!”
Lightning flashed.
One blow.
Spearow fell back into the grass.
“Alright...”
Ash rushed over to Pikachu who had hit the ground.
But Pikachu just shook his head.
He glared at the spot where the Spearow fell.
Suddenly, the Spearow resurfaced, its face burnt black.
It pointed its wing at Ash and Pikachu.
“Gwagyah.”
It gave a high pitched cry. In Spearow's language, it probably meant something like “Get them!”
After the signal cry, the grass shook and they rose up.
That is, a whole host of Spearow.
Their numbers were... almost uncountable. There were a lot of them.
Just the sound of their wings flapping were louder than a biker gang revving their engines at the
beach on the weekend.
If we were to stick to just comparing it to other flying things, it would probably also be louder
than a fleet of helicopters.
Ash's jaw dropped... However, when he finally found his voice he asked Pikachu a question.
“Run away?”
“Pikachu...” Pikachu barely squeaked out his reply.
There's no real need to translate Pikachu's answer here.
This was the first time Ash and Pikachu ever agreed on anything from the moment they met.
Ash and Pikachu began to slowly back away, not letting their eyes off the mass of Spearow.
They then nodded in unison as they turned tail and ran.
As if on cue, the Spearow began to give chase.
Their target was, of course, Pikachu.
Pikachu and Ash ran and ran.
As they ran, it seemed like they were passing a lot of other Pokémon.
But Ash had no time to pull out the Pokédex and point it at them saying...
“Ah... That's...”
Which was natural given their current situation.
Running, running. And running some more while running.
While the host of Spearow was large to begin with, friends called more friends, continually
increasing their ranks.
At this point, rather than a large group, it felt more like half the sky itself was chasing them.
Fleeing, fleeing. And fleeing some more while fleeing.
“Hang in there! Pikachu. I promise, I'll save you!”
The fleeing Ash declared this as he had overtaken Pikachu.
“Pikachu...”
... Whatever... Pikachu then shot ahead of Ash.
“Ah, I just said I'd save you! Owowow.”
Ash's head was pecked at by the leaders of the Spearow pack.
However the Spearow's attacks were more focused on Pikachu than Ash.
The pecks and wing beatings were giving Pikachu some nasty injuries.
Pikachu could barely even keep standing.
Even so, Ash and Pikachu ran. And ran. And continued to run while running.
Fleeing, fleeing and fleeing some more... But as they fled... a cliff stood up ahead... a waterfall
flowing from it.
Ash and Pikachu had been cornered on the edge of the cliff.
Hesitation, consideration and thought... Time was short as the Spearow closed in on them.
“Well. Here goes.”
Ash held Pikachu close as he leapt towards the waterfall.
Ash and Pikachu fell down the waterfall.
Past the waterfall there was a plunge basin, beyond the plunge basin was a fierce current which
was highly disorientating.
All Ash could do was continue holding onto Pikachu so they wouldn't get separated.
Even grasping for straws, there were no straws to grasp at, so he simply held tight to the tiny
Pikachu.
The harsh current gradually weakened and they were spewed out into a lake, Ash then felt
himself burbling down deeper under the water.
... Wha... I'm drowning... Not good...
Ash strained to look around underwater...
He caught a sudden glimpse of large unknown fangs.
He couldn't identify the Pokémon properly through the murky waters, but it seemed pretty clear
that it considered Ash and Pikachu as nothing but food.
Ash struggled to swim to the surface to avoid certain death.
However, he only had one free arm since he was still holding Pikachu.
It didn't feel like he was getting any closer to the surface.
The dark abyss beyond the fangs was rising behind him... Or rather, it was something's mouth.
That something was still after Ash and Pikachu.
“Hieh...!”
Ash struggled furiously.
He caught something with his fingertips.
It was like a shining thread.
As long as it was something to grab on to, he'd even accept a spider Pokémon's thread.
Grab it, grab it. As long as there's something to hold on to, go for it.
Ash wrapped the thread around his hand and held on tight.

***

A lone girl sat by the lake with a fishing rod.


She was about the same age as Ash.
The girl was at this lake, Nameless Lake, to try and catch a mysterious Pokémon rumoured to
live in it.
Almost any lake would have legends of mysterious Pokémon living within. A few famous
instances would include Nessie of Loch Ness, Kussie of Lake Kutcharo23 or Tunoyssie of Lake
Tunoy24. In this lake, there was Namelessie.
It was impossible to say whether or not such a Pokémon really existed, it's possible someone
mistook some other Pokémon for it, however discovering the truth for yourself is half the fun.
On her journey, the girl had heard about a lake being nearby and had been camping there for
three days with her fishing rod. So far, she hadn't managed to catch anything notable. But still, if
you don't put down a line you definitely won't catch anything, the legend of the mysterious
Pokémon maintained an air or romance to it. Fishing was a romantic adventure to the girl.
All she had caught today were small fry Pokémon like Magikarp... It was almost sunset and she
was about to start preparing to leave.
The float on the girl's fishing rod began to bob up and down.
“Hm? It's come. It's here. This is a big one...”
As she pulled on the line, she would soon learn just how big this catch was.
“Maybe it's really Namelessie... Oof.”
The girl chuckled to herself as she timed reeling it in just right.
Fishing is all about timing. If timed just right, then even a ten year old girl can reel in a whopper.

23 Lake Kutcharo is a lake in northern Hokkaido. Its Sinnoh equivalent in Diamond & Pearl is Lake Acuity. Oddly
enough, Kussie is actually supposed to live in Lake Kussharo in eastern Hokkaido, equivalent to Lake Valor in
Sinnoh.
24 Lake Tunoy was Lake Biwa in Japanese. Lake Biwa is Japan's largest freshwater lake. It is equivalent to Johto's
Lake of Rage. The lake monster described was Biwahoussie, who not an actual lake monster as far as I can tell and
is a silly pun on Biwa Houshi, who are lute playing monks. In an attempt to provide a similar pun of “Too Noisy”, I
changed the name of the lake for the sake of the pun.
Besides, this was a girl who had made it into the top four of a local boy's and girl's Pokémon
fishing contest for three consecutive years. She was more than capable of reeling in even Pokémon
heavier than her own body weight.
“Now!”
The girl had chosen the timing to land it.
She let out a fierce yell. And some surprisingly superhuman strength to go along with it.
And with a splash of water, Ash was fished up.
“What. A human, huh... That's even worse than small fry.”
Having been caught up in the dream of catching a mysterious Pokémon, the girl seemed quite
uninterested in the mystery of why she had caught a human.
Even so, she soon took notice of the Pikachu that Ash was holding.
“Oh? That's a Pokémon...”
Having been pecked at by the Spearow, Pikachu was covered in wounds.
“What nasty injuries... Are you okay?”
However, Ash had also been thoroughly pecked by the Spearow.
He mistook the girl's concern as being for him.
Ash thanked the girl.
“Thanks, you saved me, I'm...”
“Not you.”
The girl suddenly slapped Ash across the cheek25.
“What's wrong with you?”
“That's my line. Why is your Pokémon in this condition? The poor thing...”
The girl glared as Ash while gently rubbing Pikachu's head.
“You think that's my fault? ... Look, I'm in pretty bad shape here too...”
The back of his jacket had been torn to shreds by the Spearow's attacks.
“Don't argue with me, it needs medical treatment asap. It's not far from here...”
The girl pulled a map from her pocket and laid it out.
“There's medical treatment available at the Center in Viridian City...”
“There's a hospital?”
“Not for you. A Pokémon hospital.”
“Ah... I see... So... Which way to Viridian City?”
“That way.”
The girl pointed at a straight path through the forest.
The time had come. From beyond the lake, that horrible noise rang out.
25 Not really a note on my translation, but the girl slapping Ash actually happened in the Japanese version of the anime.
It was cut from the English dub by 4Kids.
The noise of the Spearow's flapping wings. The sunset in the west was covered by the giant flock
of Spearow like a cloud. Their numbers were so great that the air itself trembled, ripples formed on
the water's surface in the lake.
The bubbling waves gradually closed in.
“Hey? You see that?”
Ash asked the girl.
“Yeah, I see it.”
She nodded.
“Sure are a lot of them.”
“Should we run?”
“It's not my problem.”
“Well, it's mine. They've got a grudge against me.”
“In that case, you better start running.”
“Yeah. I should do that.”
Ash noticed a bicycle next to the girl.
Ash placed Pikachu into the bike's basket and rode off on it.
“I'm borrowing this!”
“Ah... That's my bike...”
“I'll give it back someday.”
He left those words behind as he began pedalling. And off he shot. Full speed down the path
ahead.
“My bike... How am I going to get back without it... Ugh, wait up!”
The girl chased after Ash.
But there was no way she could keep up with a bike.
The mass of Spearow passed over the girl's head.
“No way.”
The girl was blown off her feet by the sheer force of the wind generated by their flapping wings.
The host of Spearow paid the girl no mind as they pursued the bike.
Their only interest was in Pikachu and Ash.
But with such a huge flock, it seemed likely that the girl's bike would become collateral damage.
The girl turned pale as she imagined her bike being destroyed.
“Hold it, wait a sec.”
The girl called out to the Spearow fading in the distance.
“Hey, my bike is innocent in all this! You better not damage it!”
The girl became increasingly annoyed.
... Seriously, that asshole... How could he let such a cute Pokémon end up like that. Then he
steals my bike without asking... Next time I see him, he'll pay... Ugh, seriously, I have the worst
luck with men... I won't forgive him...
Let me remind you, this girl who has terrible luck with men is still only ten years old.

***

On the forest path, Ash and Pikachu were still speeding along on the bike.
“Hang in there! We're almost at Viridian City!”
In the basket, Pikachu was struggling to breathe as he looked at Ash.
The damage Pikachu had taken from the Spearow was even worse than it first seemed, he could
barely even move a muscle.
Lightning flashed past the mountains in the distance.
Drip drop, drops of water rolled down Ash's cheek. It was raining. The sound of thunder rang
out.
But, louder still was the sound of the Spearow's flapping wings. Normally, tiny bird Pokémon
wouldn't be flying in the rain. However, the Spearow were so caught up on chasing Pikachu and
Ash, that it seemed as if they hadn't notice the rain at all.
The rain soon became a fierce downpour.
Even so, the Spearow wouldn't call of their attack.
As if becoming one with the rain, the Spearow began swooping and attacking.
The road had turned to mud, the bike's handles had become slippery and difficult to grasp.
With dark clouds and the Spearow surrounding them, the sky seemed pitch dark.
With large drops of rain striking, the road ahead was barely visible. With the roar of thunder, the
Spearow's attack became even fiercer.
The wheels slipped. He lost balance. And fell.
Ash and Pikachu were thrown from the bike as they collapsed.
“How did it come to this!?”
Why had things turned out this way?
Ash smashed his fist in a muddy puddle.
He was half angry and half sad.
And it wasn't just due to falling off the bike.
The broken alarm clock. Running late. That jerk Gary. Not having any choice for my Pokémon.
Pikachu refusing to get in the Poké Ball. The Pidgey mocking me. Rattata. Being pecked at by the
Spearow, almost drowning underwater, almost being eaten by some crazy monster Pokémon,
getting slapped in the face by some random girl and now, finally, I'm lying in a puddle of mud.
Why was it today had to be a day like this?
Do you have any idea how much I looked forward to this day?
The day I left home as a Pokémon Trainer... The day I'd dreamt of.
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
Ash continued to punch the mud over and over.
At that moment, a bolt of lightning flashed.
He saw Pikachu lying on the ground before him.
“Eh...? Pikachu?”
Pikachu's body was half submerged in muddy water, he could barely breathe.
Ash picked Pikachu up in his arms.
“Pikachu! What's happening?”
“Pikachu...” He spoke in a soft voice, almost a sigh.
“It can't end like this!”
Looking up above, the Spearow were waiting for the signal to launch an all out attack.
An Spearow with a burnt head cried out. It was the Spearow that had originally been shocked by
Pikachu. It seemed it was leading the attack.
The entire flock of Spearow moved to attack.
Having all those beaks plunged in to peck them at once, Ash and Pikachu would be goners for
sure.
Ash wondered what he could do, before making his decision.
Ash pulled out a Poké Ball and showed it to Pikachu.
“Pikachu... Get inside.”
Pikachu stared at Ash.
“You should go inside.” Ash stated plainly.
Pikachu looked back and forth between Ash and the Poké Ball.
“I know... you hate going... inside there. But if you go in, then at least you'll survive. So, go
inside, I'll take things from here.”
Ash placed the Poké Ball down in front of Pikachu.
Then he turned to shout at the mass of Spearow...
“Hey you, do you know who I am? I'm Ash from Pallet Town, the man who'll become the
world's greatest Pokémon Master! I'll never lose to the likes of you. I'll get every last one of you.”
Ash stood up and spread his arms.
The Spearow stopped their charge midair as if to ask, what is this idiot thinking...
“You understand? Don't you dare lay a hand on Pikachu. I'm your opponent.”
Pikachu stared intently at Ash's back.
Ash spoke to Pikachu behind him without turning around, glaring at the Spearow.
“Pikachu. Get in. Are you inside... the Poké Ball? I hope you're in there.”
Pikachu looked back and forth between the Poké Ball and Ash's back.
“Spearow. You've only been hawking me with a sparrow spearhead26, but what's scarier than a
hawk? It's me! Speary. Bring it.”
Ash waved his hand provocatively.
... Why you!... The Spearow lost their temper.
Pikachu was astounded by Ash, he'd thought him nothing but a huge idiot. ... But now, he was
actually starting to feel something for Ash.
Pikachu made one last glance at the Poké Ball.
He then made a faint smile.
Pikachu knew what he had to do.
Ash spread both arms and shouted.
“Come on! You squawking sparrows.”
The Spearow leader signalled to charge with its wing.
The Spearow dived straight for Ash.
Ash closed his eyes and whispered.
“Gotcha...”
It was that moment.
“Pikachu!”
Pikachu mustered all of his strength, climbed up Ash's back, onto his shoulder and above his
head... jumping towards the swooping mass of Spearow.
That same Pikachu was then struck by lightning.
The combination of Pikachu's electric shock and the thunderbolt's shock blasted away the
pouring rain.
The Spearow were blown away.
Once the lightning and electric attack faded... The only ones left standing were Ash with his arms
spread and Pikachu on top of his hat, also with his arms spread. However their bodies were battered
and broken...
“Got 'em?” Ash whispered, asking no one in specific.
“Pikachu...” Pikachu nodded.
Ash and Pikachu maintained their posture, their bodies completely stiff, as they collapsed onto

26 In Japanese, Ash told the Spearow that they're "merely a big brother sparrow". The word used for merely in this
instance was "taka", which can also mean hawk. Big brother sparrow in Japanese is "suzume no oniichan", a pun on
Spearow's Japanese name, Onisuzume.
their backs.

***

Water dripped drop by drop from the leaves of the trees... glistening in the evening twilight.
The rain had stopped.
The unconscious Ash was finally coming to his senses.
The fallen bike had been warped out of shape by the electrical discharge earlier.
Pikachu had collapsed beside him. Ash picked Pikachu up in his arms.
“Pikachu!”
Pikachu opened his eyes slightly.
“I... yeah?”
... I'll be myself, I'll be Ash, Pikachu'll be Pikachu, from here on it's me and Pikachu... yeah?
There was a lot he wanted to say, but the only two words he managed to say were “I... yeah.”
Pikachu simply gave a single small nod.
It was at this moment. Ash and Pikachu saw it.
It was flying into the sunset.
It flew majestically on its great wings.
Backlit by the bright red sunset, they could only see a silhouette.
It sprinkled small particles of light upon Ash and Pikachu.
“What... is that?”
Ash pointed the Pokédex at it.
The Pokédex's explanation was blunt.
“Unidentified. It is definitely a Pokémon, however there are many Pokémon in the world yet to
be identified.”
“An unidentified Pokémon...”
However Ash soon came back to his senses. He held Pikachu close to himself.
“We need to treat your injuries right away. Hang in there. Just hang on until we reach Viridian
City.”
Ash hurried down the road to Viridian City.
(To be continued in chapter 4)

Chapter 3 appendix
(... If you're in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to chapter 4. ... However, there may be some
important information written here that nobody has ever seen before.)

... Pokémon Related Warning 1...


Portable Beast Behavioural Study – Condotara Laurence, Safari University Amazon Branch
Professor

... Interaction with Pokémon...


Until now, there has been a lot of media depicting Pokémon, including anime, films and novels.
However, it can be said that none of these have ever depicted the truth of Pokémon. The Pokémon
depicted in these works are merely a human interpretation of Pokémon.
To use a fancy word, they are anthropomorphised Pokémon.
And so, this may sound harsh, but Pokémon are viewed in a way that is convenient for humans.
Pokémon are often seen with various expressions... Joyful, crying, angry, etc. However, this is
just how human perceive it, but from their personal perspective... Or rather, since they're Pokémon,
not people, Pokélly would perhaps be a better word than personally? (Audience, polite laughter) ...
But I digress, the point being that we can't ask them directly about their feelings.
To start with, there are Pokémon with pleasant temperaments who appear to comprehend human
speech, but we can't be truly sure they actually understand, as we can't ask them personally...
Pokélly.
Unfortunately, our research has not yet reached the point where we can decipher a Pokémon's
speech. Also, it's not sure whether Pokémon communicate amongst themselves through speech, or
by some other form of conveying information.
And so taking the recent Pokémon boom into account, this is something that Pokémon
researchers, Pokémon trainers, Pokémon pet owners and anyone else involved with Pokémon
should reconsider their thoughts on the matter.
The truth is we know nothing about the thoughts, feelings or actions of the Pokémon we
associate ourselves with.
It's like the tale of The Ant and the Grasshopper. I'm sure many of you are familiar with this
ancient tale. It's the tale of a hard working ant and a fun loving grasshopper who spent all its days
singing. However, it's humans who decided that the ant was a hard worker. The ant itself may not
personally consider itself to be working. By that same token, the insect known as the grasshopper
may not be singing for the fun of it. It may not even consider its cries to be a song. It's humans who
think of it as some kind of karaoke fan who refuses to let go of the mic.
The animals known as dogs, are often said to be highly loyal to humans. The animals known as
cats, are often said to be moody. Now wait a minute. These are all merely based on human
perception.
Perhaps from the dog's perspective, humans are a loyal animal that brings them food.
Speaking of dogs, long ago, there was the legend of the faithful dog Hachiko27.
The dog Hachi went to the station every day to meet up with his master.
The man passed away, but even so, he continued to wait, and wait, and wait outside that station
for his master to return, right until the day he died.
And so, people thought.
Hachiko waited for his master right until he died.
What an incredibly loyal dog.
The tale moved many pet owners to tears.
As a result, they had a bronze statue of the dog erected in front of the station.
But, are we really sure that Hachiko was waiting for his master?
It may merely be the interpretation of humans that the dog was there waiting for his master.
It's possible the reason Hachiko came to the station was because of a delicious food vendor or the
presence of a cute female dog.
It may even be that as a dog, he may have had some special dog reason that can only be
understood using a dog's logic.
Anyway, since humans can't talk to dogs, there's no way to clearly define his reasons.
I may be raining on your parade by ruining such a nice story, but the point I'm trying to make is
that making assumptions about an animal's actions based on human logic can be dangerous.
Dogs coexisted with humans since ancient times. That is an indisputable fact. However, with that
said, determining whether they really were friends to humanity or loyal servants to humanity is less
than certain.
Even humans who can communicate through words resort to betraying each other. They can lie.
As such, even in conversation you can have as little understanding of your partner's thoughts as you
do a dog's.
Most likely, the reason that dogs have associated themselves with humans since ancient times is
simply due to some special dog logic reason... It's a good way to think.
I may seem to be repeating myself, but I'll say it again anyway.
When interacting with other creatures, we cannot make any assumptions about them based on
our own human standards.
Currently, among Pokémon trainers and pet owners of exotic Pokémon, there have been various

27 Hachiko the dog really existed, his owner Hidesaburo Ueno was a lecturer at Tokyo University who passed away
during a lecture in 1925 after a cerebral hemorrhage. Hachiko waited for him at Shibuya station for over 9 years,
passing away in 1935.
incidents resulting from “doing things with your Pokémon”.
Examples of such violations of common sense include, being electrocuted when attempting to
bathe together with a moody Pikachu. Or being pecked at by your Pidgey when you take it out for
some chicken kebabs. (Audience, forced laughter)
You may be laughing, but these are quite common incidents that occur.
The owners then get mad saying “I just wanted my Pikachu to be clean. But as soon as I was
naked it betrayed me.” or “I just wanted to give Pidgey something tasty, but it didn't understand.”
And so, in a rage the Pokémon are abandoned. As a result, there are countries where the increasing
number of stray Pokémon is becoming an issue. While in reality, the owner was the one at fault.
Putting aside such nonsense, there are also instances where vicious Pokémon have injured or
even killed their owners. Though they are often unwilling to admit it due to embarrassment,
according to unpublished records, 86% of Pokémon Trainers have sustained injuries caused by their
own Pokémon.
Many of these incidents occur due to the human arrogance of thinking “It's my Pokémon, so it
should do whatever I tell it.”
These mistakes often arise as a result of the preconceived notions they have from depictions of
Pokémon in anime, films and novels.
The most dangerous mistake is attempting to capture a Pokémon that moves in large hordes of
allies.
Pokémon are not creatures that exist simply for human convenience.
Pokémon are Pokémon. They have various ways of life in this world.
Wild Pokémon in particular are especially unpredictable.
People need to wake up from the sense of security they feel catching or domesticating wild
Pokémon, and heed this warning from the Portable Beast Academic Conference.

... Excerpt from a special lecture at the 99th International Portable Beast Academic Conference

Note #1) Professor Condotara Laurence's speech decrying the Pokémon boom is a minority
opinion and is largely disregarded. Most of the academics at the conference were excited about the
research of a recently newly discovered Pokémon.

... Pokémon Analyst who watched the 99th International Portable Beast Academic Conference on
satellite TV
Excerpt from a reflective memo by Bill Sonezaki
Note #2) The novel “Pocket Monsters” may be considered as a work that views Pokémon in a
way convenient to humans. That is, this book you're reading.
However, I will not retaliate to Professor Laurence's accusations. This novel is not written by
Pokémon or for Pokémon, it is written by a human for humans.
It's only natural that I have to write in a way that humans will understand.

... Excerpt from an unpublished message from the author of “Pocket Monsters” to Professor
Condotara Laurence
Chapter 4: Meowth Attack

By the time Ash reached Viridian City, the sun had set behind the mountains and it was getting
dark.
With Highway Route 228 passing through it, Viridian City was a reasonably large city.
Ash's Pallet Town had gone over 100 years without any notable crimes. As such, they had no
police officers or police station, instead of police, all they had were a private organisation of fire
fighters calling themselves the “Flame Guard” patrolling every night.
However, Viridian City naturally had police stations, it even had a police box29 on the town's
outskirts.
Tonight the police box's night shift was being handled by the female officer Assistant Inspector
Jenny. Despite being an Assistant Inspector, she was still young enough to be Ash's older sister.
Considering that ten year old Ash's mother was only in her twenties, a woman in her twenties could
probably be Ash's aunt.
As such, this big sister-like female police officer could only be about 19 at the oldest.
On that topic, while I specified that she's a female officer, there's probably no need to specify her
gender.
In this country, most important fields of work like the police are dominated by women, any men
who had jobs with any connection to the police were usually either thieves or private eyes.
Most men tended to try and become Pokémon trainers.
However, the harsh truth is that not everyone can be a Pokémon trainer, more people fail than
succeed. Some men realise this early enough and are able to make a change of career, but others
chase their dreams until the bitter end and become unable to integrate into society. Having become
an adult with no skills other than the ability to throw a Poké Ball makes them effectively useless.
Having failed to chase their dreams, they lose their confidence. They were nothing but talk.
Unreliable. They always dreamed of getting rich quick. If people like this were allowed to be
police, bankers or doctors, cities would be filled with thieves and hospitals would create casualties
rather than cure them.
As such, most important, serious jobs in this country were handled by women.
In general, if you were to refer to Assistant Inspector Jenny, the woman on duty tonight wouldn't
be the first person to come to mind. Ever since the times of their ancestor Heiji Jenny and his
daughter Zenigata Jenny30 as thief takers (the old equivalent of police officers), the Jenny family
28 Highway Route 2 is likely a reference to Route 2 from the video games, but it uses a different word (国道二番線)
than the games (2番道路).
29 Japanese police boxes are like miniature police stations, not the TARDIS.
30 The names Heiji Jenny and Zenigata Jenny are references to Heiji Zenigata, a fictional detective from the Edo
period created by novelist Kodou Nomura in 1937.
have worked as police within this country, as of now, one out of every three police officers in the
country had the name Jenny.
The remaining two thirds were either women who had changed their surname after marriage, or
their daughters or other relatives.
... Of course, not everyone changes their name after marriage, either way, the Jenny family were
well known as police officers.
To sum up, in this country... the name Jenny and the police... are practically synonymous.
The name of the officer here in Viridian City was also Jenny... Specifically, Momoko Jenny... In
kanji, Momoko's name was written as Hundredth Child. Incidentally, in neighbouring towns there
was Ichiko, Niko, Senko31, etc., number themed names were common, in fact in Pewter City just
down Highway Route 2 lived Momoko's cousin, Yaoko, whose name is written as Eight Hundredth
Child. As all sharing the name Jenny could be confusing, it had become tradition among the Jenny
clan to be named by number, but many of those who had been stuck with those names didn't
appreciate it.
After all a little girl named Misokko, written as Thirtieth Child, wouldn't appreciate her name
much.
In respect of the feelings of these girls, this novel will, whenever possible, refer to them only as
Jenny.
As such, while it may seem confusing having the police named Jenny in each new city we visit,
we don't want to piss off a police officer, it could potentially be quite scary.

***

Jenny clocked in for the night shift on the time recorder and started her first job of the night.
The announcement chime rang as she picked up the mic.
“Citizens of Viridian City, it's almost dinner time... Thank you for your hard work today. As of
late, there have been a noticeable number of pickpockets, purse snatchers and Pokémon kidnappers.
Please be on the lookout.”
A speaker on the roof of the police box allowed Jenny's voice to be heard through the town.
“Hm? Well speak of the devil...”
She could see Ash running outside the police box's window.
Jenny grabbed Ash by the scruff of the neck as he passed by the front of the police box.
“Hold it... I'm not letting any suspicious characters past here.”
“I'm not suspicious. I need to get my Pokémon to the hospital...”
31 As specified in the text itself, Momoko and Yaoko mean Hundredth Child and Eight Hundredth Child respectively.
The numbers alluded to by the other names are one for Ichiko, two for Niko and one thousand for Senko.
Ash looked down at the Pikachu held against his chest.
Jenny's face changed to a sad expression as if it was her own Pokémon that was injured.
“What horrible injuries... The poor thing... Quickly, your identification... I don't need a passport,
I guess it's kinda like a passtown though... Just show me some ID.”
“Identification? Well, I...”
He didn't recall getting any from anybody.
In other towns, to do stuff like borrow rental videos you needed some kind of identification.
However, in Pallet Town where Ash had lived, everyone in town knew each other so there was no
need for ID.
It was possible to get identification documentation from the mayor of Pallet Town, but with the
commotion caused by Pikachu's electrical shocks at the Oak Laboratory it had totally slipped his
mind, besides, the mayor was busy anyway giving Gary his big send off.
Without any ID, he'd just have to try and explain.
“I'm Ash, I came from Pallet Town.”
“A little boy from Pallet Town, you're the fourth one today.”
“Fourth... So Gary and the others have already...”
They were ahead of him. Although it'd be obvious if you think about it. Normally... Without the
Spearow he wouldn't have taken such a roundabout way. ... Jenny spoke to Ash, who was biting his
lip.
“You're carrying a Pokémon you would keep normally keep in a Poké Ball, a heavily injured
Pokémon, I might add. You have no ID either, making it really easy to suspect you as a Pokémon
thief.”
On a notice board was a wanted poster of two Pokémon thieves.
The poster had little detail as they had hats pulled down to cover their faces.
“I don't have any ID... Pikachu and I were attacked by a bunch of Spearow...”
Jenny shook her head in pity.
“Aw man... This may sound naïve, but my experience tells me you're not a bad kid. But without
proof... I have to take responsibility. I'd like to let you through, but I can't.”
“Come on, me and Pikachu, we're injured.”
That same Pikachu pointed one of his trembling forelegs at one of Ash's bulging pockets.
He softly cried out.
“Pikachu... Pika.”
Jenny picked up on Pikachu's signal.
“Hm? That bulge in your pocket there...”
“Eh? ... Ah... This...”
Ash put his hand into the pocket and pulled out the Pokédex.
“Hm, hm. And this is?”
Jenny asked Ash with a huge smile on her face.
“Eh... Professor Oak gave me...” Ash answered.
“Pallet Town, right?” Jenny confirmed.
“Yeah.”
Jenny pointed with her finger.
“A Pokédex. This is decisive proof.”
Jenny took Ash's Pokédex and flipped to the end.
“Take a look at the last page... This is your identification.”
She showed Ash.
The Pokédex displayed a photo of Ash's face, below was a message written in pen by Professor
Oak along with his signature. Ash read it.
“This Pokédex belongs to Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town. Aiming to be a future Pokémon trainer...
If this Pokédex is stolen or lost, it will not be replaced... Pallet Town. Professor Oak”
“Wow. I had no idea I had identification on the last page. Anyway, I'm kinda in a hurry...”
“Well, we better hurry up then.”
Along with Jenny's voice outside the police box,
Brbrbrbrm... The sound of a 750cc motorbike engine rang out.
In mere moments, Jenny was now revving the engine of a police motorbike with a sidecar.
“Your Pokémon's wounds need treatment at the Pokémon Center. Hurry and get in! I'll take you.”
“Yeah!”
Ash leapt into the sidecar.
Jenny placed the sirens and lights on just above Ash.
“Time to blast off. Turbo mode...”
Whoosh! The white bike's muffler spewed flames and black smoke as it sped off to the inner part
of Viridian City.

***

“What the hell... was that...”


A girl stood in front of the police box, choking on the black smoke left behind by the muffler.
It was the girl who had been fishing at the lake. Dragging her battered bike with her.
While following after Ash, she found her beloved bike in it's broken twisted state.
She had come to the police box to make a report, and just as she was about to call out for Jenny,
she found herself breathing the bike's exhaust fumes.
And to add insult to injury, the one getting a ride on the bike was none other than that thieving
boy32.
“Uuuugh, you'll pay!”
The girl hoisted her bike onto her shoulders. She was really strong while fishing, but apparently
even stronger when angry...
“Wait uuup!”
She ran chasing the police motorbike, carrying her bike on her shoulders.

***

Bobobobobobo...
The sun had completely set, the only illumination left was that of the street lights and the police
box... A strange noise approached the police box left unattended by Jenny.
It was a hot air balloon... A giant balloon that flies through the air using the hot air pumped by an
engine.
Two figures were visible on the hot air balloon as it stopped right above the police box.
One of them lowered a fishing line and fished the wanted poster off the notice board.
“So, this is our wanted poster...” whispered a woman looking at the poster.
“You can't even see our faces. These are terrible photos.”
The one complaining about the photos was a man.
These two are members of the infamous Pokémon stealing organisation, Team Rocket, they were
the ones in charge of rural areas.
“You can't expect police out in the boonies to recognise our beauty.”
The woman's name was Jessie... A piece of trivia. Prior to becoming a Pokémon thief, she had
experience as an art thief. The artworks she stole, if featured on any treasure appraisal program on
TV anywhere in the world, would be valued ridiculously low, but she only ever cared about their
beauty.
“Truly unforgivable.”
The man's name was James. Despite his name meaning small second son, he was actually quite
tall and an only child33. As a child he was a quiet boy who allowed himself to fade into the
background, but for a thief he was overly concerned by the quality of his photo.

32 What can I say about the words "thieving boy"? Surprisingly, something more than nothing! When Misty was left
behind at the police box, Ash was referred to as "doroboy", a portmanteau of "dorobou", meaning thief, and "boy". I
couldn't come up with a suitable English portmanteau to match it. (Boyglar? Robboy?)
33 James obviously doesn't mean "small second son" (apparently, it means "supplanter"), but his Japanese name,
Kojirou, does.
“It's unacceptable. This is a crime against beauty.” Jessie clenched her fist.
“We'll show the people of Viridian City exactly what we're capable of.”
James smiled, looking at his own face in a hand mirror.
Shining in the darkness behind them... looking up, down and spinning around was a Pokémon...
a golden coin34 on his forehead. ... He was a Pokémon called Meowth.
“I don't mind a show of force, but our goal is to obtain rare Pokémon... don't you forget that,
nyaa35.”
This Meowth could speak the human language. Not all Meowth can speak like humans. Just as
Ash's Pikachu is unique among Pikachu in his dislike of Poké Balls, Meowth was unique among
Meowth in his ability to talk like a human.
No, in fact going by Portable Beast studies, Pikachu's case may be unlikely, but Meowth's one
was practically unheard of.
Meowth had experienced hardship he had spoken of to no other person, to no other Pokémon
even, perhaps I'll talk more about this on some other occasion...
On top of Meowth's linguistic prowess... He would like to change the saying “coins for a cat” to
“coins for a Meowth”. He also wanted to change its meaning.
“Coins for a cat” has essentially the same meaning as “pearls before swine”, as giving coins to a
cat would be pointless. Pearls wouldn't please a swine. Cats and swine would be happier with just
some leftover fish. The only ones who would appreciate the value of coins, pearls and diamonds are
humans. ... There are times when giving these things to a human woman may also ultimately be
pointless, but at least she'll enjoy them. Basically, “coins for a cat” means to give something to
someone who doesn't appreciate its value. As such, it's a saying that looks down on other life forms.
Meowth would like to change the meaning of “coins for a cat”, “coins for a Meowth”, to exactly
what it says, a descriptor for becoming rich. As such, it's a saying he'll often repeat holding up one
paw like a beckoning cat36.
And tonight also, Meowth quoted his signature phrase with a devilish grin.
“Coins for a cat! Coins for a Meowth!”
“Yeah, whatever.”
Jessie and James responded to Meowth's quotation, as they took the torn and scrunched up
wanted poster and tossed it off into the night sky.

***

34 The coin on Meowth's head is specifically a koban. Koban were gold coins used during the Edo period.
35 Meowth makes a lot of cat noises. The dub of the anime seemed to make a token effort of having Meowth say
"meow" a lot early on, before simply dropping it.
36 The beckoning cat, or maneki neko, is a common Japanese lucky charm. A figure of a cat, often made with
porcelain, beckoning with one paw. They are often put at the entrance of a business.
As the police bike sped through the city, the Pokémon Center came into view up ahead.
“I see it!” Jenny gave a thumbs up.
“The Pokémon Center... So that's a Pokémon hospital...”
Ash whispered with his mouth agape, it was an incredible building.
“This is an emergency... No complaining... Here we go!”
Jenny shouted this as they climbed the Pokémon Center's front stairs, still riding the motorbike.
They shot right in the entrance and suddenly braked right at the reception desk in the hall.
The woman at reception leapt over the counter and went to stand in front of the bike.
She was a young woman older than Ash wearing a white robe. She appeared to be a doctor.
She spoke to Jenny in a calm voice.
“Welcome to the ER... I'm Joy from the emergency ward... Explain the situation.”
Jenny saluted as she relayed the information.
“We've brought a heavily injured Pokémon.”
The woman named Joy took a glance at the Pikachu in Ash's arms,
“I see the Pokémon's species is a Pikachu.”
With that said, without even giving Ash a moment to reply, she grabbed a mic from the counter.
“This is Joy at reception... It's urgent... Bring me a stretcher for electric type Pokémon!”
“Chansey”
That was the cry heard as a reply.
In the blink of an eye, Pokémon wearing nurse caps shot out with a stretcher for the patient.
The Pokémon had something resembling an egg carried on their belly, and their body was pink
all over. The Pokémon are called Chansey, they have a kind disposition, making them well suited
for nursing.
Joy spoke softly to the Pikachu in Ash's arms.
“No need to worry...This won't hurt... 1, 2, 3... Now.”
In the blink of an eye, Pikachu was moved from Ash's arms onto the stretcher.
“To the emergency ward! Quickly!”
“Chansey”
The Chansey took Pikachu's stretcher past reception and into the emergency ward.
They got all this done while Ash was still left flustered.
“Time to begin treatment!”
Snap! Joy put on some rubber gloves before heading to the emergency ward.
In a panic Ash followed her and asked.
“Um... I...”
“You, what?”
Jenny replied in Ash's stead.
“He's the Pokémon's owner, a prospective Pokémon trainer.”
“What should I...”
“Reflect on your actions.”
Joy replied bluntly.
“If you want to become a fully fledged Pokémon trainer... Don't let your Pokémon fight until it's
in that state...”
Ash was unable to respond.
Joy continued harshly.
“The only thing you can do right now, is stay in the waiting room and pray your Pokémon
survives...”
“That's... the only thing I can do...?”
“I'll take care of the treatment.”
Jenny spoke up, saluting Joy once more.
“I'll leave it in your capable hands. I'll take my leave now and get back to protecting the city.”
“Keep up the good work.”
Joy thanked Jenny lightly.
“Just doing my job... Ah, crap. Speaking of work, I left the door open at the police box before I
left.”
“Always remember to close up.”
“This ain't good!”
Jenny hopped on her police motorbike and shot off.
“I'll be closing the door for the treatment room too.” Joy said as she entered the treatment room.
“Ah... Pikachu...”
Kshn.
The emergency ward's automatic door closed in Ash's face.
The lamp indicating treatment was in progress lit up.

***

Pidgey, Pidgey, Pidgey...


I had been over two hours... The Pidgey clock on the wall rang for 10:00 PM.
Ash sat patiently in the waiting room.
The treatment in progress lamp was still lit.
“Ah, phones...”
Ash noticed there were TV phones next to the reception.
“Phone call, huh...”
Ash picked up the receiver and pushed the buttons.
Delia's number, his mother in Pallet Town.
“Hi, hi.”
On the TV phone's screen a face painted completely white appeared.
It was like a jiangshi zombie37 from a Chinese horror film.
In shock, Ash pointed at the face on the screen and shouted.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Take a look.”
The face on the phone peeled off the mask.
Beneath the white layer, Delia's face appeared.
“Ah... Mom. Cut the dumb jokes.”
“It's not a joke. It's a face mask. Girls use them once a week to take care of their skin. Girls with
an oily complexion should use them once every three days. Yeah.”
Delia nodded to agree with herself as she spoke.
“You can do whatever you like, but maybe you shouldn't answer the phone with it on.”
“A once in a lifetime mistake... I'm glad you're the only one who saw it... Hm, oh yeah, you're
my son Ash, aren't you?”
It seems like she only just realised that the one on the other end of the phone was Ash.
“Yes, I am your son Ash.”
Ash nodded with a sigh.
“Ah... No way. Ash! If it isn't my son. Where are you?”
She seemed to have regained the demeanour of a parent concerned for their child.
“Viridian City's Pokémon Center.”
Ash mumbled his answer.
“Oh wow, you're already in Viridian City? Amazing. It took your dad four days to reach Viridian
City. And you did it in only a single day. Gathering every bit of useful travelling equipment seems
to have paid off.”
“Every bit of useful travelling equipment...”
Every bit was perhaps an overstatement, but it's true that Delia prepared everything she possibly
could for Ash's journey.

37 • Jiangshi are a type of Chinese reanimated corpse. I used the term "jiangshi zombie" earlier to make it clearer what
it was, however a jiangshi is not quite the same as a typical western zombie. Good examples include Hsien-Ko from
Darkstalkers and Lee Pyron from Shaman King.
But that backpack with all those feelings stuffed inside had been torn apart. The Voltorb alarm
clock he got for his birthday didn't work any more either.
Unaware of any of this, Delia was quite cheerful.
“At this rate, you'll become a much greater Pokémon trainer than either dad or grandpa. Do your
best.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Ash didn't want to cause Delia any concern right now.
“One yeah will do fine.” Delia advised him.
“Yeah.” He simply replied obediently.
“Brush your teeth twice a day.” She followed up.
“Yeah.”
“And wear your pajamas when you go to bed.” Delia's eyes teared up as she spoke.
“Yeah.”
“Good, now we don't want to rack up the phone bill... So let's end this. Ash... Goodnight... 'kay.”
To avoid letting her son see her tears, Delia hung up the phone.
Beep... The sound of the hung up phone line echoed in Ash's ear.
“Ah... Goodnight...”
Ash hung up the receiver and walked slowly back to the waiting room seats where he sat.
Ash got the toothbrush from his battered bag and whispered.
“Brush my teeth... My mouth isn't a chimney.”
The toothbrush was in such a state that it looked more like a chimney sweeper's brush.
Ash sighed once more, adding to the dozens of other sighs he'd made today, and went back to
staring at the wall of the waiting room.
There were several framed reliefs (embossed carvings) hanging there.
Their designs looked like something done by a caveman or Picasso.
“Legendary Pokémon” was written underneath the frames.
“Ah... That's” Ash spoke up without thinking.
Among the images, was one that he thought resembled the unidentified Pokémon he saw flying
into the sunset.
Then something happened.
The phone he used earlier started ringing.
Nobody was at reception.
“No one's gonna answer?”
Ash picked up the receiver.
The TV phone's vision displayed the back of a man in a white lab coat.
Instant ramen in a beaker was being boiled on the flame of an alcohol lamp.
The man stirred the ramen with a spork like those you got with school lunches long ago, before
turning around.
“Buh...”
It was Professor Oak.
“Ash. It's me, who do you think? Professor Oak.”
“I can see you.”
“I just got a call from your mother, Delia, a few minutes ago. Beautiful woman. A real stunner.”
It seems that right after she finished her call with Ash, Delia called Professor Oak.
It's safe to assume she made the call without her face mask on.
“I can't comment on that. Tell her that yourself.” Ash replied huffily.
“Well then, if I tell her...” Oak keenly murmured to himself.
“Why are you calling me?” Ash asked.
“Oh, that's right. Ash, I hear you've made it to Viridian City. Is that true?”
“Professor. Where did you just call?” Ash asked once more.
“Viridian City. Oh, right. If you answered the phone there, it means you're in Viridian City...”
“I'm at Viridian City's Pokémon Center... My Pikachu was badly injured...”
“I see.” Professor Oak let out a deep sigh.
“It's rough... But it's a trial everyone must face...”
“So, the Pokémon of the other three who left Pallet Town are also...”
“Nope.” Professor Oak shook his head easily.
“The other three had very little damage caused to their Pokémon and have already left town.
After all, those kids have Charmander, Squirtle and Bulbasaur. They were my personal
recommendations. They won't go down easy.”
“I like Pikachu!” Ash shouted angrily.
“Hm. Pikachu may shine when polished. Things may pikap38... Anyway, for all four of you from
Pallet Town to have made it as far as the Viridian City Pokémon Center in one day...”
Professor Oak gripped his spork, truly impressed.
“One small step for a Pokémon Master, one giant leap for Ash. I'll help you out. I'll cheer you on,
even a poor marksman will hit a target with enough shots.”
“A poor marksman?” Ash didn't understand what he was saying.
But Professor Oak wasn't a man who cared much for others.
“Every Pokémon trainer leaving Pallet Town should be celebrated. Hooray! Hooray! Ash... Now
then,”
Ending his cheer there, Professor Oak suddenly became serious.
38 "Pika" is a Japanese onomatopoeia for "shining", so Oak was making a pun about Pikachu "pika"-ing when
polished. To maintain the pun, I made a comment about how things will "pick up" when Pikachu is polished.
“How many have you caught with your Poké Balls?”
“Not even one.” Ash could only answer truthfully.
“Not one...” Professor Oak's expression darkened as he looked down.
“... I regret cheering for you now.”
“But, I saw some thing resembling that thing.” Ash pointed at the relief on the wall.
“Hm? Something resembling that?”
From the other end of the TV phone, Professor Oak shrugged as he looked at the relief.
“Nobody has ever seen that legendary Pokémon. You're a hundred years, a thousand years away
from seeing that.”
“Sure looked like it.”
“Sure it did. Ah, it's boiling over... The ramen will spoil...”
Professor Oak's attention drifted to his ramen.
He slurped on the ramen noodles.
“Hot hot hot... Ash, I await hearing your progress. Or not. Goodbye. If the phone doesn't ring, I
won't answer.”
“Ah...” before Ash could get in another word, the call was cut off.
“Aah! There you are!”
It wasn't the phone, but the girl shouting behind him.
“Eh?”
He turned to find a girl holding the remnants of a bike above her head standing there, wheezing
completely out of breath.
“I knew you'd be here.”
“What's with that bike?”
“I found it while chasing after you. Bike, you say? You dare to still call this thing a bike?”
The girl continued speaking holding the bike above her.
“You seriously just called this a bike. It looks more like a half eaten overcooked fish... Nothing
left but a charred skeleton. In fact, if you left a fish in this state, its ghost would come back to haunt
you. ... Woah... Kyah!”
The girl, trembling with rage, fell over backwards under the weight of the bike.
“You okay?”
Ash rushed over without even thinking, but she brushed off his hand.
“Don't touch me. Anyway. My bike. You're not getting off the hook with me...”
“I'll do anything. Reimburse you, whatever. But now isn't the time for that.”
“You destroyed my bike, I don't care whether it's the right time or not!”
“My Pikachu... My Pikachu is...”
“Eh...?”
The girl noticed the emergency ward's red lamp Ash was looking at.
“... Is it that bad?”
“Probably, I think so... I, what should I do now...?”
“I see...”
Then it happened. The red lamp went out and the door to the treatment room opened.
Chansey came out with the stretcher carrying Pikachu.
“Pikachu! Are you okay?”
Pikachu was coiled up in a ball and unconscious.
However there was something resembling an ECG attached to his tail and head with a flashing
lamp.
He appeared to be breathing.
Joy spoke as she removed her mask and rubber gloves.
“He's out of the woods. It's not often that the medical staff at a Pokémon Center are unable to
save a patient Pokémon... Right?”
“Chansey.”
Chansey the nurse Pokémon chirped cheerfully.
“Pokémon Centers are amazing.” The girl smiled.
“Thank you, doctor.” Ash was deeply moved, unable to say anything else.
Joy smiled at Ash for the first time.
“Now we just have to wait for him to recover fully in the ICU. Please, follow me.”
Ash spoke to the girl.
“Sorry. Things are kinda... I will make amends for your bike one day.”
“You're still worrying about that now?”
“Eh?” Ash was surprised by the girl's response. She'd spoken of nothing but her bike so far and
suddenly she was ignoring it.
“Go with your Pokémon. Hurry up already.”
“Ah, right.”
Ash nodded.
“Bike, what bike? What the heck is he thinking? Kids these days... I swear.”
The girl spoke to Joy.
... Aren't you just a kid too?... Joy smiled.
Just as Ash was accompanying Pikachu's stretcher out, it happened. Despite all the other... just
as... that happened since Ash arrived at the Pokémon Center, this is the real deal. This time, an
alarm bell rang throughout the waiting room.
Jenny's voice was heard through the speakers.
“Warning. Warning. Viridian City is under the threat of an unknown incursion. It is feared to be a
gang of Pokémon kidnappers. If you own Pokémon or are friends with any Pokémon, please remain
cautious.”

***

Bobobobo... The sound of a hot air balloon was audible.


Team Rocket's hot air balloon was already positioned directly about the Center.
“Fufufu, their alarm is already too late.” Jessie snickered cooly.
“We'll never be caught, even with all arms the law can't touch us.” James said. This wasn't
intended to be a lame pun about alarms and all arms39. He was a serious man.
“They've got to be kidding about just calling us mere kidnappers40... We're part of the one and
only Team Rocket.”
Jessie noticed the similarity of the words kidding and kidnappers.
“We'll show them... just how terrifying we are.” James hadn't picked up on it at all.
“Nyattack! (Attack!)” Meowth shouted. Meowth considered himself as the leader.
“We don't need a kitty cat to tell us that! ... Whoosh.”
Jessie and James leapt from the hot air balloon with shoulder jets.
“Nice comeback... If this goes well, our boss will be really pleased, and I'll curl up with him
under the kotatsu41, surrounded with coins, nya.” Meowth grinned widely as he dreamt of being
curled up on the kotatsu.
“Charge!”
Jessie and James threw a pair of Poké Balls mid air.
The Poké Balls shattered the Center's skylight and fell down into the hall.
The very next moment, a snake-like Pokémon emerged from Jessie's Poké Ball.
It was an Ekans.
And from James's Poké Ball came Koffing. A Pokémon somewhat like a round rock, with smoke
spurting out from pimple-like craters on its surface.
Suddenly the Pokémon Center's waiting room was completely filled with Koffing's smoke.
“What the!? What is this!?”
Ash shouted.

39 In Japanese this pun was about the word "keihou", which with different kanji can mean either "warning" or
"criminal law".
40 In Japanese James said that being called a gang of kidnappers wasn't pleasant, kidnap in Japanese is "yuukai",
pleasant is "yukai".
41 A kotatsu is a heated table with a blanket.
“No matter whatever questions you ask, the answer you'll receive is the world's pity.” The pair
responded with this line.
“To protect the world from devastation.” Jessie said.
“To unite all peoples within our nation.” was James's line.
“To denounce the evils of truth and love.” Jessie boasted slightly.
“To extend our reach to the stars above.” James spoke gently.
“Jessie.” She introduced herself.
“James.” James followed up...
“Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light...” Jessie struck a pose. It's difficult to describe the
pose. And since the pose is ad-libbed, meaning that it's different each time, there's no point in
explaining anyway.
“Surrender now or prepare to fight.” James took his own pose. It also seems to be ad-libbed.
And... Just as you thought it was over... Meowth finally appears.
“That's right.”
And having finished up with his catchphrase, he took the pose of a beckoning cat.

... Uh, so what was that? You may want to ask, but that would be quite rude. The lines and poses
upon their arrival, after so much practice, they wanted to bravely show off in front of viewers like
us.
But Ash didn't care about humouring them.
He went ahead and said what didn't need to be said.
“So, uh, what the hell was that about?”
“Seems this twerp boy doesn't get it.” Jessie brushed off Ash's comment, shrugging her
shoulders.
“Nobody would understand that without an explanation.” Ash stated the obvious.
As such, James opted to give a serious reply.
“We're after the Pokémon...”
“You're not getting my Pikachu.”
Ash stood protectively in front of Pikachu's stretcher.
“Hm... Pikachu? ...” Jessie ridiculed him with a laugh.
“We're not interested in some run of the mill electric rat like a Pikachu.”
“What we're after, are rare Pokémon, far superior to that thing.” James clarified, adding to
Jessie's response.
“Hold it, we don't have any Pokémon like that at this Center.” Joy said.
Jessie, knowing that Joy was roughly the same age as her, spoke as if chatting with a friend.
“Non non non. Are you sure? This place is filled with injured Pokémon. If we take all of them,
there may be some wheat among the chaff.”
“Even a poor marksman will hit a target with enough shots.” James said with a serious
expression.
That was their motto... The words they lived by. Simply put, a phrase that briefly summarises
their approach to life.
“I've heard that somewhere before...” Ash recalled Professor Oak saying the same thing on the
phone earlier.
“A poor marksman... What does that mean?” Ash asked Team Rocket.
“You know they'll miss, but with enough bullets, one may hit eventually. There's the occasional
fluke in the world. You can't win the lottery unless you buy a ticket. If there's nothing to lose, you
might as well give it a shot.” James politely explained, reading from a dictionary.
“It's really the best approach for anything. Whether you're stealing Pokémon, or searching for a
boyfriend or getting married.” Jessie said earnestly, while nodding to herself for some reason.
“So, I'm a poor marksman... I've got nothing to lose.” Ash's shoulders slumped.
It had been thirty minutes since his phone call with Professor Oak, and its meaning finally
stabbed him.
“That kinda pisses me off.” He clenched his fist.
“What trifling matters.” Jessie said.
“Doesn't bother me.” James nodded.
Jessie and James pulled out gas masks.
“Me-ow too!”
Meowth said, also pulling out a mask.
“It's time for Koffing to shine, gas 'em!”James pointed at Koffing.
“Koffing!” Koffing cried in its somewhat dopey voice as it spurted poison gasses.
However the gas filled the area, leaving no gaps.
“Not good! Run!” Joy shouted.
“You won't escape, after them Ekans, extra turbo throttle!” Jessie commanded Ekans.
“Shekans!” it cried neither Ekans or extra, but Ekans wriggled around the waiting room and
reception.
Both medical equipment and PCs began to spark and be destroyed.

***

Being pursued by Koffing's poison gasses, Ash and the others fled into the hospital wards. I say
wards, but the wards are for Pokémon. Pokémon that are sick are left inside their Poké Balls to
sleep. As such, the patient rooms looked more like the ball storage at a bowling alley, with shelves
lined up with Poké Balls.
Joy closed the ward's door and locked it.
“This door is airtight to prevent any airborne pathogens getting through. We'll be safe from the
poison gas here.”
Although it was too soon to truly say they were safe.
Bash! There was a sound like the light bulbs exploding and they were left in pitch black
darkness.
“Wah, a blackout. I hate the dark.”
The girl, who until now had seemed fearless, let out a helpless cry for the first time.
“They've cut the power. But no need to worry. We've got our own backup generator...”
The patient room's lights immediately returned.
“Hey...”
The girl let out a joyful cheer.
“Wow... So many Pikachu.”
Within the patient room there were a number of Pikachu wearing electricians helmets spinning,
spinning and spinning on a rotating disc.
The sparks flying from the disc went into the electrical lines sending power back to the lights.
At the same time the lights returned, the computer screen on the wall lit up, and the computer's
voice spoke “Emergency evacuation procedure commencing.”
“We're going to transfer the sick Pokémon's Poké Balls while we can...”
“Transfer them where?” Ash asked.
“They're being transmitted to the Pewter City Pokémon Center.”
As she spoke, Joy started tossing Poké Balls from the shelves into an escape hatch resembling a
garbage chute.
“Everybody, help!”
“Chansey!” Chansey carried the Poké Balls. Ash and the girl tossed them into the escape hatch.
Joy shouted into the computer's mic.
“This is the Viridian City Pokémon Center, we're in a state of emergency... We're transferring our
Pokémon's Poké Balls to the Pewter City Pokémon Center.”
The line connected to Pewter City and a voice came from the Pokémon Center. It was a woman's
voice on the other end.
“This is the Pewter City Pokémon Center... Roger that. Ready to receive Poké Balls.”
The screen on the wall displayed a map. It displayed a line from Viridian City to Pewter City
indicating the progress of the Poké Ball transfer.
“A little more... Just a little more...”
“Lo... Look!” The girl pointed at the door.
Gas was starting to leak through.
The next moment the wall broke.
Ekans had smashed through the wall.
The Pikachu on the generator were sent flying.
The Poké Balls still on the shelves fell to the ground.
A few of them rolled out of the room and into the hallway.
“Save them!” Joy couldn't take her hands from the computer.
“I'll do it!”
Ash leapt after the Poké Balls.
“Hand 'em over, twerp boy.” Jessie stood in his way.
“Let a brat have a ball and it becomes an all out brawl42.” James spouted nonsense with a straight
face.
Behind the pair of them were Ekans and Koffing. And behind them Meowth was laughing
nyahaha.
The girl shouted.
“Hurry, throw them! Throw the Poké Balls and fight.”
“Eh... Ah... Go! Poké Ball.”
Ash threw the Poké Ball he was holding.
It's the Pokémon Center's Poké Ball. There's no way of knowing what's in there.
Besides, he had no options other than throwing it.
The Poké Ball was engulfed in light. That's the sign of the Pokémon coming out.
But the one who came out was the tiny bird Pokémon, Pidgey.
If it had to be a tiny bird Pokémon, it could have at least been an Spearow... Ash thought, not
even recalling the way they tore him apart during the day.
But the solid fact is, it was a Pidgey that appeared.
“It's a bit early for the Pidgey clock to be chiming midnight. We're not ready to leave the ball
yet.” Jessie said.
“Eh? What's that?” James turned his neck to ask Jessie.
“What did you mean by that line?”
“You don't know? The strike of midnight, Cinderella.”
“Ah, I'm a man, so I didn't get the reference.” James scratched his head.
42 In Japanese, this line was a pun involving "jari" (twerp/brat) and "tama" (ball) becoming "tamajari" (gravel). There
was no way to make that work in English, so by combining the words "brat" and "ball" together I got "brawl".
“If we keep wasting time like this James, it really will become midnight.”
Jessie commanded Ekans.
“Go! Ekans.”
In the face of the snake-like Ekans, Pidgey opted to flee.
“Tch! Next one! Go! Poké Ball!”
Ash threw another Poké Ball that had rolled off.
Nothing but light came from the Poké Ball.
“Huh?” Ash craned his neck.
“There's some empty ones mixed in there too...” Joy was at her wits end.
“Don't go throwing empty ones! Moron!” The girl reprimanded Ash.
“Oh come on... Right. Next, go! Poké Ball!”
This Poké Ball contained the mouse Pokémon that had torn through his backpack in the field,
Rattata.
“Fufufu... That Pokémon is Small Fry with a capital S.” said James.
Against the snake-like Ekans's glare, Rattata did as Pidgey did... and fled.
The girl shouted at Ash in irritation.
“Ugh, geez! Moron! I'll buy some time. You get Pikachu out of here.”
The girl puffed out her chest as she spoke.
“I'm the world's greatest beauty. The name's Misty.”
Jessie and James were momentarily stunned as they stared at the girl named Misty.
“World's greatest beauty?” Jessie pulled out a magnifying glass and looked intently.
“Her name's Misty...” James pulled out a notebook and wrote into his diary. He wasn't going to
ask for her number. He was just acting seriously.
“Nahahaha” Jessie burst out laughing.
“So her name's Misty. Who's a beauty? Where's a beauty? Why a beauty? Misty or cloudy, I can't
tell the difference.”
The girl named Misty had her face turn red with rage.
“I'll show you. With the power of my steady.”
Misty pulled out her own Poké Ball.
“My steady?” Ash murmured.
“It's a lover during your school years that you can officially tell your parents and friends about.”
James confirmed the definition in the dictionary.
“Steady? The little twerp girl is ten years away from being ready for that.” Jessie said.
“Today's the day you throw away your steady, you better go away or be ready43.”
43 In Japanese Jessie said Misty would "throw away" (sute) her "steady" (sutedi) and that it was "throw away day"
(sute day).
“Ugh, I'm not throwing away my Poké Balls. I'm just throwing them. Go! My steady.”
Misty threw her own Poké Ball.
Out of the light emerged...
“What!?” Jessie and James stared at the Pokémon their mouths agape.
The one that emerged from the Poké Ball was the goldfish Pokémon, Goldeen.
Despite being called a goldfish, it had a rather colourful body which was flopping on the floor.
“Goldeen, Goldeen, Goldeen.”
It cried in a voluptuous voice and winked at Jessie and James, before immediately being returned
to its Poké Ball.
“What just happened?” Jessie asked James.
“That was most truly, the smallest fry among small fry.” James whispered.
Misty spoke proudly.
“That was just an example. After all, a goldfish Pokémon can't fight in a place like this with no
water.”
“I see.” Ash nodded with admiration.
“You're still here? Stop hanging around and escape!” Misty shouted at Ash.
“Oh yeah!”
Ash pushed the stretcher carrying Pikachu out into the hallway and ran. And ran. And ran while
running.
The instinct to pursue something that's fleeing is the same for both humans and Pokémon.
“I've gotta escape.”
“You won't get away!”
Ekans swooped upon the stretcher.
Both Ash and the stretcher were knocked over.
They were back in the waiting room from earlier.
Right next to where Ash had fallen was the broken bike.
Ekans and Koffing were in hot pursuit.
And the Pikachu upon the stretcher opened his eyes slightly.
“Pika... Pika... Pika.”
Pikachu cried out as if calling for someone.
Then the Pikachu from the backup generator in the patient room appeared the waiting room one
by one.
“Pikachu!”
The Pikachu on the stretcher called out sharply.
The backup generator Pikachu all let out a simultaneous discharge.
“No way.”
“Preposterous!”
Jessie and James were frazzled and burnt black.
Koffing was leaking gas.
Ekans was burnt black and erect.
Exhausted by their discharge, all the Pikachu were also collapsed.
“Geez, they're all useless... Seems it's my turn, nya... Mice are my favourite, nya.”
Meowth's fangs shone as he exposed his claws, gradually closing in on Ash and Pikachu.
“Pika... Pika... Pika...”
The Pikachu on the stretcher was trying to bring something to attention.
“Pika... Pika?” Ash asked.
Of course, he had no way of understanding Pikachu's words.
But for the time being, Ash seemed to have the right idea.
“Pika... Pika?” Ash asked one more time.
Pikachu nodded.
“More Pika...? More Pika?” Ash confirmed a second time.
Pikachu nodded a second time.
... Of course, he wants more electicity.
“Lots of Pikapikapika?” Ash asked.
Pikachu nodded a third time.
The collapsed bike entered Ash's field of view.
“Right... Here goes nyathing!”
He stood the bike up to get on it and began turning the pedals.
“Wha'cha doing nya? That bike ain't going anywhere nya. Nyahaha.”
Meowth laughed.
“Don't underestimate Pikachu just because he's a mouse. Pikachu and I are about to show our
true power.”
The bike's pedals turned.
The wheel span.
It created friction with the lamp's generator.
The bike's lamp lit up.
“Ahnyaa?...” Meowth squinted as the lamp shone in his eyes.
Pikachu leapt from the stretcher to on top of the bike and placed his tail on the friction generator.
“Nyat the heck!?”
Meowth was attacked with a massive electrical shock discharge.
The other Pikachu let out electric shocks like a chain reaction.
The Pokémon Center was engulfed in sparks, it shone in the night sky like a building shaped
firework.
Jessie and James were still numb. Their jaws were quivering to the point they couldn't even
speak.
Ekans was stiff like a pole. And finally, the gas leaking from Koffing ignited.
“Koffoom”
A huge explosion... The roof was blown clean off the Pokémon Center.
Along with the roof, Meowth, Jessie and James were launched like fireworks and tenaciously
clung to their hot air balloon in the skies above.
Ekans and Koffing also avoided separation.
“Whew! I prefer being an explosive firework to that numbing electricity.”
Jessie spoke as a sore loser.
“It's like fwee kaboom! Kagiya! Tamaya!” James shouted desperately. “Kagiya” and “Tamaya”
are cheers that were often heard at firework displays in the old days.
Meowth shouted.
“I'm nyot Tama. Nyam Meowth nya... (I'm Meowth.)”
Tama was a common name for cats in the old days.
“Escape nyaa” He called to escape.
However Jenny had already arrived at the Pokémon Center on her police motorbike.
“You won't escape.”
She put her foot on the accelerator.
“Don't underestimate Viridian City's motorcycle cops!”
The motorcycle ran up one of the crumbled walls of the Pokémon Center and with its momentum
slammed right into the hot air balloon.
“Nailed it!”
Jenny gave a V sign from the safely landed police bike.
The hot air balloon popped like a balloon and shot to the other end of the night sky.
“This suuuuuucks!” Jessie and James's screams faded like a rocket blasting off.

***

The next morning... In the ruins of the Pokémon Center, Joy called the Pewter City Pokémon
Center over the TV phone.
The doctor from Pewter City spoke from the other end of the line.
“We've safely obtained all the Pokémon from Viridian City.”
“Thank you, until our center is restored, I'd appreciate you taking care of Viridian City's
transferred Pokémon.”
“Oh wow...”
Jenny on her motorcycle whispered, poking her head in to peek at the TV screen.
“So she's the doctor in Pewter City?”
The doctor seen on the screen at Pewter City's Pokémon Center had both the same name and face
as Joy.
“She's my older sister. Which means her name is also Joy. Most of the doctors in this country are
from the Joy family.”
Joy smiled.
“Although I'd have to say I'm the prettiest.”
“I never knew that. ... So it's the same with doctors.”
Jenny smiled brightly.
“Most of the cops in this country are from the Jenny family. But I'm the cutest.”
“So we're the same.” Joy said.
“We're the same.” Jenny replied.
“I can hear you.” Pewter City's Joy glared at them.
Viridian City's Joy hastily changed the subject.
“Oh, sis. A hard working boy, girl and Pikachu... set out early this morning towards Pewter City.
But they're going to have to pass through Viridian Forest first.”
Viridian Forest is a forest often considered a perilous path for beginners aiming to become
Pokémon Trainers.
“No need to worry... I'm sure those kids can handle Viridian Forest...”
“Yeah. Of course.”
Joy spoke to the Joy on the other end of the phone.
“Sis, give those kids my regards when they arrive in Pewter City.”

***

Ash's mother Delia knew nothing of the huge incident in Viridian City.
However, she was still awake when morning came.
Ever since she received Ash's phone call from Viridian City, she found herself unable to sleep.
Delia took a photo album from the bookcase and looked through the pages.
There were photos of Ash as a newborn.
And ones of when Ash first began crawling.
Each photo brought back at least thirty memories of Delia and Ash's time together.
Which meant once she started going through all twenty albums of their memories together she
couldn't stop herself.
By the time she'd even realised it was already morning.
... Oh no... I need to prepare for today's lunchtime special...
But, no matter what, Delia was unable to avert her eyes until she reached the final page, leading
to her opening the shop half an hour late.
Delia had a reputation for being a highly dependable woman.
Yesterday's lunch and today's late opening were the first slips she had ever made in running the
shop.
... Work is work... I can't let myself slip just because my son left on a journey!
Despite her reprimanding herself, nobody in Pallet Town would say a word against Delia.
She was a single mother under thirty who had just had her only child she spent years raising
leave home.
The day after and the following days, Delia never lost a single customer, she only gained more.

***

Now let's get back to the story of Ash's group.


Viridian Forest... is dark at night and also dark during the day.
Within the deep darkness...
“Kyaaah!”
A girl's scream echoed out.
It was Misty's voice.
It was the first scream the strong willed Misty had let out.
(To be continued in chapter 5)

Chapter 4 appendix

(... If you're in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to chapter 5. ... However, there may be some
important information written here that nobody has ever seen before.)

... Regarding Poké Ball Pokémon Transfer Systems...


An excerpt from unpublished documents from the International Communication Bureau to the
Japanese Communication Branch

It goes without saying that modern communication systems have their roots in the postal service.
However, we have no intention of discussing the origins of post offices in Parie, Franse in the year
1653 or the origin of postage stamps in Engliss in the year 1839. Or how an English man named
Cooke patented the telegram in 1843. Or even how the famous Graham Bell patented the telephone
in 1876 (despite not actually inventing it himself), or how Italia's Marconi made wireless
transmission feasible in 1894, we have no intention of mentioning any of these things.
What we am trying to impress is that to communicate with people far away, we continue to use
old methods such as post, phones and radio as we did in days gone by.
With the development of communication technologies such as fax, mobile phones, PC
messengers, TV phones, what is transferred through them are not actual physical objects. With the
power of the internet, you can see the face of someone on the other side of the world while you talk
to them, but you're not actually talking face to face. You are merely seeing an image transmitted by
electrical signals and hearing an electronic synthesis of a voice.
To truly speak face to face, you must either go to them or have them come to you.
However, that takes time. No matter what method of transportation you use, you cannot travel
the distance instantaneously.
The physical mass of a human cannot be transmitted. This has long been the dream of scientists
to achieve. The ability to teleport humans via transmissions. Converting humans into electrical
impulses and transferring them to another location, in other words a transmittable human.
However, scientists continued to devote their lives to such research, but were unable to transmit
even small physical objects like a pencil, let alone living beings.
Eventually, the feeling that the conversion of physical matter into electrical transmissions was
impossible began spreading among researchers. This was called the Untransmittable Matter Theory.
However, an incredible discovery was made during the current century.
It was the result of a three year old's childish mischief.
As you are aware, it is illegal for children to possess Poké Balls without special permission.
However, this child wanted a Poké Ball more than anything.
The child secretly took one of their father's Poké Balls and placed it in of the copy machine in
their house. The child thought they could copy it and create a duplicate Poké Ball.
It's the kind of logic a child would have. But the important detail here is that the Poké Ball wasn't
empty, it had a Pokémon inside. Additionally, the copy machine had a fax function. Or rather, it was
a fax machine with a copy function.
The child got confused between the copy button and the auto-fax button.
The auto-fax button was set to the father's office.
Meanwhile... The fax machine at the father's office experienced a paper jam. When they opened
the machine up to determine the cause, they found a Poké Ball that no-one had put in there.
Basically, the Poké Ball had been transmitted from home to the office.
Why did the Poké Ball end up inside the fax machine?
However, the Pokémon who should have been inside the Poké Ball was nowhere to be found.
When the father got home, he enquired with his sobbing child about the Poké Ball that had vanished
from the copy machine.
The scientific community went into an uproar when it learned of the incident.
The Poké Ball was just an ordinary Poké Ball used for catching and transporting Pokémon.
The Poké Ball itself had no special features to allow it to be transferred by fax.
Which meant it had to be the power of the Pokémon inside.
The thought was that it had some kind of ability to convert its own body along with the Poké
Ball into electrical transmissions.
The result of the investigation concluded that it was a feature common to all Pokémon.
In a complicated phrase this is the Portable Beast Transmission Ability. (Abbreviated at Portran
Ability... Also known as Pokécom.)
When Pokémon are dormant inside a small item like a Poké Ball, they can demonstrate the
ability to convert themselves and their container into electrical signals.
However, it is unknown whether this ability is used consciously or not by the Pokémon.
And so, scientists piled up their research.
In the early experiments, even when the Poké Ball was successfully transferred, the Pokémon
inside would repeatedly go missing.
Due to the knowledge that fax transmissions over phone lines or ordinary PC transmissions are
not of a high enough quality to avoid accidents, it is now illegal to transfer Pokémon via those
connections.
As of now, improvements to the materials used to develop Poké Balls have led to Poké Balls that
allow easier transmission of Pokémon.
However, without a Pokémon inside, transmitting a Poké Ball is impossible.
In fact, if a Pokémon were inside you could transmit even a wallet or a pencil case. (This is
illegal due to a high chance of accidents. When transmitting Pokémon, please use only official
standard transmittable Poké Balls.)
However, and while we may be repeating ourselves, even with the latest Poké Ball technology,
without a Pokémon inside, it cannot be transmitted.
Which means that in this world, out of all physical objects both animate and inanimate, only
Pokémon can be electronically transmitted. Why is it limited to only Pokémon? This is one of the
great mysteries that hold the hearts of both scientists and amateur researchers alike.
Additionally, when it comes to current transmission lines, the most suitable for transmitting
Pokémon are the Pokémon Center's exclusive computer network and the Pokémon Satellite
Transmitter, but for everyday usage, we recommend the International Communication Bureau's own
high capacity Pokénet. There are some fanatics who use unofficial transmission networks as well as
a few people who will use a cheap internet connection, but this is not recommended as the safety of
the Pokémon is not guaranteed.
To boil down to the main point behind this long story so far, we believe that the pricing of
Pokémon transmission should be revised.
Since the worldwide Pokémon boom, the number of users who transmit Pokémon has increased
dramatically.
The Pokémon that are transmitted are living creatures. To develop the necessary defences to
ensure the safety of the Pokémon and prevent hackers from committing theft... Or rather,
kidnapping, as they are living creatures... we would like to propose a 30% price increase to the cost
of transmitting Pokémon.

〇〇〇〇/〇... (For confidentiality, the date and name of the sender are removed.)
Japanese Communication Branch... Review Committee

Note #1) Proposals are often made before meetings or briefings to get an idea of your partner's
opinions. It's considered as preparation or preliminary ground work.
In this instance... If along with the yearly increase on sales tax, the price was jacked up even
further, citizens and Pokémon would be angry? It seems this proposal was rejected on those
grounds.

... “Classified Document from Pokémon Crime Division Transmission Sector”


An excerpt from former Police Superintendent General Zenigata Jenny the 893rd
Chapter 5: Getting Through the Forest...

Viridian Forest... Shrouded in darkness even at noon...


“Kyaaah!”
Misty was crouched down and pointing towards a bush.
“What?”
The echoes of Misty's shrill scream surprised Ash and Pikachu, drawing their attention to the
bush.
There was no sign of anything threatening there.
“Is there something there?”
“Can't you see it?”
He looked down below Misty's trembling finger.
“Eh?”
Looking closely, the grass beneath the bush was moving slightly.
Even if something was there, it didn't seem worthy of making Misty to collapse and freak out
like that.
“What is it?”
Ash peered into the grass.
Pyok!
A small Pokémon with a round head poked its neck out. Its head was the same shade of green as
the grass, making it difficult to make out until now, its body was about 30 centimetres long, it didn't
move very fast and you'd find them anywhere if you were attentive, the forest's worm Pokémon...
Caterpie.
Even though Ash is only a beginner Pokémon trainer, it was a Pokémon so weak it wasn't really
worth catching.
“Oh hey. Just a Caterpie. A cute little bug Pokémon.”
Misty shook her head while trembling.
“Even if it's a Pokémon, bugs are gross. Bugs bug me44. I hate bugs. Do something about it.
You're a boy after all.”
“Right. Fine by me. I'm gonna catch it.”
Typically, catching a Pokémon involved battling it with one of your own Pokémon to weaken it,
before getting it in a Poké Ball.
“Pikachu?”

44 "Bugs bug me", a sentence in English playing off the meaning of bug as "insect" and "irritate" which is an ideal for
translating the similar Japanese pun "mushi wa mushi" (虫は無視), meaning "I ignore bugs".
Ash tentatively called upon Pikachu, however he simply looked away to as if to say “I make my
own decisions” like he always did.
It had seemed like they were getting along better after yesterday, but it still seemed he didn't care
to help Ash unless the mood hit him.
... I see. Well, if he's like that... I'll handle this without any help... I'll show them I can catch a
Caterpie all on my own...
Ash grasped an empty Poké Ball in his hand.
When they left the Pokémon Center, he had sneakily taken five empty Poké Balls with him.
“Let's go. Caterpie.”
Ash brandished the Poké Ball and threw it with all his strength.
The moment the ball hit the Caterpie... A bright light erupted from the ball and encapsulated
Caterpie's body.
The next moment, while Caterpie's body was still bathed in light, it was sucked inside the Poké
Ball.
And so, in the spot where Caterpie once stood, only a Poké Ball was rolling on the ground,
rattling as it shook.
If the capture were to fail, a flash of light would re-emerge from the ball, with Caterpie leaping
out.
Ash kept a close eye on the status of the Poké Ball.
How long did it last for... In reality it was only a matter of seconds, but to Ash it felt like hours...
The Poké Ball stopped moving.
“Gotcha... I did get it, right?”
He asked Misty.
“It's obvious just looking at it.”
“So I really got it.”
He asked Pikachu.
Pikachu nodded.
Ash's body began to tremble. He couldn't stop himself.
... His first capture... The grand first step of Trainer Ash.
“Caterpie! Gotcha!”
Ash picked up the Poké Ball and posed holding it high above his head.
“Gotcha!” “Gotcha!” “Gotcha!”
The words came from his mouth naturally. The pose also suited him perfectly.
It was a feeling of pure achievement, his true emotions showed themselves in their own style.
The style that suits me best... It's just as mom said.
“Gotcha! I did it!”
While he could have just left it at that, he continued with a dance of joy.
“You did it! Mr. Ketchum. You're so cool! Mr. Ketchum. Caterpie may be small, but for Ash
Ketchum of Pallet Elementary, this is the first step on the path to greatness!”
He continued by standing to attention and singing the school anthem.
Even though at school he always ended up humming and had never actually sung the whole song
properly.
“I swear... You're such a moron.”
Misty muttered in exasperation.
“Who are you calling a moron?”
Ash thrust the Poké Ball right in front of Misty's nose.
“Kyah! What the hell are you doing!?” Misty's hair stood on end.
“Take a look. Inside this Poké Ball is the first Pokémon I've ever caught.”
Misty averted her gaze and backed away slightly.
“Don't get too close to me... Even inside a Poké Ball, bugs bug me...”
“Bugs may bug you, but they don't bug me at all. Pikachu spends all his time outside. Caterpie
can stay outside too.”
“Hold it... Don't you dare.”
Misty took a deep breath, ready to scream.
“Come on out, Caterpie.”
Caterpie emerged from the Poké Ball, full of vigour.
“Kyaa kyaa kyaaaaaaah!” Misty screamed with the full capacity her lungs could manage.
Ash spoke to Caterpie, acting as if he hadn't heard the scream.
“C'mon, climb up on my shoulder!”
Caterpie looked back and forth between Ash and Misty.
And then it stared at Misty who was frozen in place, her body trembling.
In any case, it turns out this Caterpie is male, and has subsequently taken more of a liking to the
female Misty.
Caterpie ignored Ash and Pikachu completely, heading straight for Misty as fast as a worm
Pokémon could possibly go.
Creep... Creep...
Misty's expression contorted similarly to Munch's The Scream.
“Hiiieeeee...eh, shoo, stop, go away.”
“It's not that bad, is it?”
“I don't care, it's a bug and I hate bugs!”
“Look at him. If you take a close look he's kinda cute.”
“I don't want to look at it, it's not cute and I don't want to see it.”
It wasn't clear whether or not Caterpie had much understanding of human speech, but he could at
least tell whether he was liked or hated.
Caterpie quit his creeping and look downcast.
“Aww, Caterpie. You hurt his feelings.”
Pikachu nodded in agreement, understanding how Caterpie felt.
“Ah...” Even Misty felt some slight pity for Caterpie...
“You see, Misty's just a jerk.”
Misty's attitude hardened after Ash's words.
“I've never wanted you to like me anyway. Anyway, carrots, peppers and bugs, everyone's picky
about something or other.”
“You shouldn't be so picky about things, your mom should have taught you that.”
“My mom? I'm not reliant on my mother the way you are... Mommy, mommy... Only a total
mommy's boy would rely entirely on what his mom says. I'm a girl who knows what she likes, as
well as what she hates... This woman doesn't need a little kid spouting immature nonsense at her.”
Misty was the kind of person who would return any insult threefold, the type of girl Ash was
terrible at dealing with. The type who would probably be just like Ash's mom when she grew up.
... I really shouldn't have brought up the subject of her mom...
Ash was already regretting this. He had never once in his life won an argument against a girl.
Ash had a default response to this kind of situation.
“Hmph, just do what you like.”
“I'll do just as I like then.”
Ash picked Caterpie up.
“You're my Pokémon and I like you. I really like you. You're waaay cuter than Misty.”
“Hmph, a Caterpie cuter than me? I'd ask you not besmirch my cuteness by comparing it to a
mere insect... Anyway, I won't let you bug me any further.”
“Caterpie, now that she's buggered off and is ignoring us, climb up on my shoulder.”
Ash placed Caterpie on his shoulder.
“Do what you like! I don't care at all anymore.”
“Then why are you still following us?”
He shouldn't have pushed the subject.
“My bike! You can't play dumb and escape that easily.”
“My bike, my bike, that's all you ever talk about. Can't you just trust me on it?”
“As if I can trust a guy who says a bug is cuter than me? Besides, if you hadn't destroyed my
bike, I'd be out of this creepy forest already. This topic is becoming a vicious cycle...”
“A vicious bicycle45... Kidding.”
Unable to win with a real retort, Ash resorted to bad puns, which angered Misty.
“I can't believe you! Making stupid puns at a time like this... You've got no integrity. I'm going to
report you to the police.”
“Do what you like!”
“I'm doing just as I like!”
“When I get out of this forest, I'll be hanging around the next town. I'm not gonna run or hide.”
With Caterpie still on his shoulder, Ash began to walk off leading Pikachu by the hand.
Misty followed several meters behind them.
Ash turned around and shouted.
“Why are you following us?”
“This path just happens to be the shortest way for me to get home, and also to the next town's
police station.”
“Do what you like!”
He had no other response.
“I'm doing just as I like!”
Misty also had no other retort.
Besides, this forest was way too gloomy for a girl to be travelling on her own.

***

Moonlight filtered through the branches of the forest's trees.


They had to set up camp in the forest for the night.
Ash and Misty had gotten into their sleeping bags on opposite sides of a stump.
Thinking about it, Ash hadn't had any downtime since leaving Pallet Town, he'd been constantly
occupied until now.
The same went for Misty. From the moment Ash took her bike, she'd been chasing after him. On
top of that, any time she got into an argument with Ash it dragged on for ages. The bug hating Misty
knew that Ash's freshly caught Caterpie was somewhere close by, but she was so tired she couldn't
keep here eyelids open.
They were both asleep within moments.
However, Pikachu was more exhausted than anyone.

45 Misty originally told Ash that he should feel responsible for her bike (自転車の責任、感じてんの... Jitensha no
sekinin, kanjitenno...) and Ash responded with the made up word "kanjitensha" (かんじてんしゃ), a portmanteau
of feel (kanjite) and bike (jitensha).
He knew he would rest easily inside his Poké Ball.
But it was Pikachu himself who was determined not to enter the ball.
He would never enter the ball from now on. He had an odd disposition for a Pokémon being
raised by a human, but he'd been this way since he was born.
But life outside a Poké Ball isn't always easy for a Pokémon.
Wild cat and mouse Pokémon including Pikachu are mostly nocturnal. Conditions for finding
food are more favourable at night. Cats and mice that run around fields and mountains in broad
daylight are mostly restricted to fiction like anime, films and TV.
Typically, cats and mice sleep in the day and move about at night. By the way, humans are
creatures that do things during daylight. As such, Pokémon that are kept by humans naturally adjust
to being awake during the day.
You'll notice this with Pokémon that live in the zoo, but Pokémon who have adjusted to daylight
hours sleep shrewdly at night. This is because within the habitat of their cage or a Poké Ball, they
can rest without having to fear being attacked by predators. However, for those Pokémon who aren't
in a Poké Ball, the night is naturally a dangerous time.
After all, the night is their active period.
Pikachu are a Pokémon that is nocturnal by instinct. As such, the night brought anxiety. As long
as he stayed out of the Poké Ball, Pikachu had trouble sleeping at night. On the fairly safe grounds
of Professor Oak's laboratory, he'd slept in the day. But since travelling out on this adventure, he'd
had no time to sleep. While he was being treated at the Pokémon Center he had been put under with
anaesthesia, but that was a sleep to relieve his pain... Not a restful sleep. Refusing to enter his Poké
Ball at night... was actually pretty tough.
However, instinct is instinct... and when night fell Pikachu's senses sharpened, the moment he
felt an unusual presence his body began moving.
Ksh!
The bushes shook slightly.
Something was watching from the bushes.
Pikachu took a defensive stance.
However, he breathed out with a “Chuu...” and relaxed.
There was something familiar about whatever was in the bushes.
Gsh!
The thing in the bushes moved quickly.
The moonlight revealed a yellow Pokémon identical to Pikachu.
There's nothing strange about it looking like Pikachu. After all, the Pokémon was a wild Pikachu.
Additionally, the wild Pikachu had an alluring scent unfamiliar to Pikachu.
It was a female wild Pikachu.
With the exception of the Pikachu raised at the Oak Laboratory and the various Pikachu kept for
the Pokémon Center's backup generator, he had never seen another Pikachu. In fact, his upbringing
had kept him separated from most other Pokémon. Starter Pokémon given to aspiring Pokémon
trainers are typically kept separate from other people and Pokémon as much as possible to avoid
any major influences to make it easier for them to become used to their brand new owners.
Amidst the chaos of Team Rocket's raid, he didn't have time to pal around with any of his fellow
Pikachu. And even if he had, they were also tamed Pokémon. It was a great surprise to see a real
wild Pikachu now.
“Pikachu.” Pikachu called out to say... Wait... to stop the wild Pikachu from leaving.
The wild Pikachu stopped and turned around.
... Are you really a Pikachu?...
Pikachu asked.
The wild Pikachu didn't reply.
Pikachu wasn't sure if she even understood his words.
But the wild Pikachu stayed there, looking at him.
Pikachu was pleased.
... I don't have any bad intentions...
Pikachu rushed up to the wild Pikachu.
The sweet scent of the wild Pikachu was breathtaking.
Without really thinking why, Pikachu timidly held out one of his front paws.
When humans introduce themselves to one another, they often do so with something called a
handshake.
The wild Pikachu glanced at Pikachu's paw.
The next moment, chomp! She bit Pikachu's paw.
Then her hair stood on end intimidatingly.
... Don't touch me... she seemed to be saying.
Pikachu stood paralysed, unable to counter attack or even say pika.
... Why...
Chuu! An aggressive growl came from another bush.
Another wild Pikachu appeared from the bushes.
It had lived a life running around fields and forests, its fur was worn out and its withered body
was covered in scars.
To a human, Ash's Pikachu would be more attractive, cooler and cuter looking.
However...
A wild female Pikachu is different.
The female Pikachu ran over to the withered Pikachu and nuzzled him.
The withered Pikachu cried sharply.
... Domesticated Pokémon... hate... go away...
The female Pikachu also cried.
... Hate... scary... go away...
Pikachu didn't really understand the words of the wild Pokémon.
It was akin to a human listening to someone speak in a foreign language.
But he managed to get the gist of it.
Wild Pikachu and domesticated Pikachu are different... is what they meant.
They hate domesticated Pikachu... is what they meant. They're afraid... is what they meant. And
also, that he should leave this forest... is what they wanted to say...
The male and female wild Pikachu rubbed their cheeks together, yet they maintained a cautious
posture as they backed away slowly from Pikachu who was still frozen in place.
Then once they reached what they judged as a safe distance, they turned their backs and vanished
off into the bushes.
Eventually, from far away in the bushes, the two Pikachu let out song like cries as they frolicked.
The remaining Pikachu stood isolated.
Pikachu looked up at the night sky, and whispered quietly at the moon peeking through the tree
branches.
“Pika.”
The moon didn't answer.
Even so, Pikachu looked up at the moon.
Eventually he heard a creeping sound beside him.
By his side was the Caterpie Ash had caught.
Under normal circumstances, Pikachu would have noticed Caterpie's approach sooner.
But he hadn't noticed at all.
Pikachu was simply that out of it.
The shock of the wild Pikachu's behaviour had thrown him that much.
“Catercatercater.”
Caterpie had said something to Pikachu.
“Pika?”
Pikachu replied.
Neither of them were able to fully understand what the other was saying.
But Pikachu felt that it was easier to understand what the caught Caterpie was saying than the
wild Pikachu.
“Catercatercater.”
Caterpie was doing his best to articulate himself.
“Pikapikapika.”
Pikachu also did his best to give a reply.
The two Pokémon were both bound to the unreliable seeming youth Ash as their trainer.
And it was just the two of them for now... If things were to go well, Pikachu and Caterpie would
be relying on each other from now on.
Even if they couldn't understand each others words, they were both saying the same thing.
... Well partner... We catter chu our best...
He was curious about life in the wild... But he'll have to settle for this.
Pikachu and Caterpie stared at the moon together.
Then it occurred. They saw the silhouette of a Pokémon flutter past the moon, leaving a silver
trail in its wake.
It was a butterfly like Pokémon known as Butterfree.
Butterfree was a species of butterfly Pokémon that evolved from the worm Pokémon Caterpie.
“Catercatercatercater!”
Caterpie cried in excitement. He was incredibly pleased.
Pikachu had no idea that Butterfree was the form Caterpie took after evolution.
But he could tell that seeing the Butterfree had put Caterpie in high spirits.
Pikachu also became happy for no real reason as he replied to Caterpie.
“Pikapikapika.”
“Catercatercatercater!”
“Pikapikapika.”
Caterpie and Pikachu continued their conversation late into the night.
The topic of their conversation wasn't really clear to either of the Pokémon, Pikachu or Caterpie.
But there was one thing they both understood.
The pair of them were friends. As long as that much was clear, even if they had no idea what the
other was saying, their conversation was enjoyable.
Whether with humans or Pokémon, conversation is perhaps something anyone can enjoy.
Even when none of the words make any sense, it's possible to enjoy yourself.

***

“Kyaaah!”
The next morning began with a scream from Misty.
“Woah, what's up, buttercup46?”
Ash leapt to his feet.
“Don't call me buttercup, my name's Misty, get the bug off!”
“You're the one who won't bugger off47.”
“Don't you bugger off without your stupid bug!”
With the misunderstanding of meaning between them, Ash came to understand once he looked
over at Misty.
Caterpie had snuggled into Misty's sleeping bag and was sleeping right next to her face. But
Caterpie was the only one sleeping, Misty was paralysed in fear of the Caterpie lying in front of her
eyes. Only her mouth could move.
“Why is Caterpie sleeping with me? Bloody molester, pervert Pokémon.”
Even if she asked why, it's doubtful that even Caterpie would have a real answer.
Perhaps having enjoyed his conversation with Pikachu, he got somewhat carried away before
finally going to sleep, and he may have decided that snuggling up with the more delicate Misty was
preferable to Ash.
However, if it had been the adorable to girls Pikachu who had done this, she'd think nothing of
it... it was a reaction borne of fear.
Misty's barbed insults pierced like arrows.
Being hit with words from “hate” to “gross” was something he was getting used to, but being
called a “molester” or “pervert Pokémon” was just crossing the line.
Even if he didn't know the meaning of the words, their intonation stabbed at him.
“Pokémon should act like Pokémon and sleep in their Poké Balls!”
The strength behind her words made even Pikachu lower his head in shame.
Caterpie slowly crawled out from Misty's sleeping bag.
He went over to the Poké Ball sitting next to Ash's bag, head still hung in shame as he went
inside.
Ash knocked on the Poké Ball in a panic.
“Caterpie, are you okay?”
No response came from the Poké Ball.
Ash lost his temper at Misty.
“You went too far. You really hurt his feelings. What if he never comes back out of there again?”

46 "What's up, buttercup?" in Japanese Ash says "Nanda nanda nanda, danna" (なんだなんだなんだ、だんな),
"Nanda" meaning "What?" and "Danna" being something like "sir", "boss" or a way for a wife to address her
husband. Danna (だんな) is nanda (なんだ) written backwards, to try and go for something similar I went with
rhyming "what's up" with "buttercup".
47 Once again playing on "bug" and "ignore". There's a lot of that in this chapter.
“Eh?”
Misty agreed that she maybe went a little far. But...
“Apologise to Caterpie! Say sorry to him!”
Having Ash shout at her without even giving her a moment set her off again.
“Even if I were to apologise to Caterpie, I still wouldn't forgive you. It's your lack of discipline
that lead to this in the first place. Trainers are responsible for the actions of their Pokémon.”
“Ugh...”
Ash faltered. He'd never win against Misty with words.
Ash whispered to the Poké Ball.
“Caterpie, we'll get one over on her someday.”
But there was no response from the Poké Ball.
Nothing could be heard even if he tried shaking it.
“Not good... I hope he hasn't lost his self confidence.”
Then it happened.
Plop... Something fell on Ash's head.
“Huh?”
“Eeew, it's poop... Stay away from me.”
Misty raised a scream.
It was bird Pokémon poop.
Above the trees was a bird Pokémon with a fairly relieved expression on its face.
“Uuugh. At the worst possible moment... What the hell is that thing!?”
Ash pointed the Pokédex at the bird Pokémon.
“The bird Pokémon, Pidgeotto... The evolved form of the tiny bird Pokémon Pidgey... It is much
more aggressive than Pidgey, but not as violent as Spearow, they are highly recommended Pokémon
for beginners... It is typically around one meter in size... However their size may vary...”
“One meter, huh.”
Ash craned his neck. It looked too small to be a meter in size. He wasn't even convinced that its
wingspan would reach a whole meter.
“Maybe is hasn't been raised well... Oh well, if it's perfect for beginners, then I'm not just gonna
let it pass me by.”
Ash pulled an empty Poké Ball from his bag.
“I'll get it.”
“Idiot, even if it isn't the finest specimen, it's a Pidgeotto. The basis behind catching any
Pokémon is to weaken it with your own Pokémon first.”
Misty spoke with arrogance.
“I know that.”
“The only reason you managed to catch Caterpie is because that Caterpie of yours was weak.
Just so you know.”
This was simply Misty's own way of trying to give Ash some friendly advice.
... She's badmouthing my Caterpie again...
Ash put his poop covered face up close to Misty's and spoke.
“Just watch me!”
“I don't want to watch! Not with that on your face.”
Misty shoved Ash away with both hands.
Ash really lost his cool and turned away.
“Alright, Misty, I'll make you gasp in awe. I'll get that Pidgeotto using my Caterpie.”
Ash tightly gripped the Poké Ball containing Caterpie and threw it.
“Go! Caterpie!”
“Aah.”
“Pii!”
He heard Misty's scream and Pikachu's cry. Misty's voice was different to her familiar scream
though. Rather than a cry of fear, it was more of a panic in the face of danger. Pikachu's cry
indicated concern.
Ash puffed his chest out proudly.
“See, you're gasping already.”
Pashing! Misty slapped him with her open palm.
“Ah... Was I the one gasping in awe?”
“This isn't the time for your nonsense? There's no way a bug Pokémon is going to win a fight
with a bird Pokémon that eats bugs.”
Ash gulped.
He looked over to where Caterpie's Poké Ball went.
Beyond the Poké Ball lying there, Caterpie was fleeing the pursuing Pidgeotto.
Against Pidgeotto's swooping attacks and sudden climbs, Caterpie was completely helpless.
He could only run and hide along the ground's surface.
“Hurry and call it back! Your Caterpie!”
Misty shouted.
“Yeah, good idea.”
Coming to his senses, Ash rushed for Caterpie's Poké Ball.
“Return! Caterpie!”
But Pidgeotto's swooping attack was swift.
“Protect yourself! Caterpie!”
Moments before becoming a snack within Pidgeotto's beak, Caterpie curled himself up like a
necklace.
Then he returned to his ball barely avoiding the beak.
“Pikachu!”
Pikachu shouted as if he had been waiting for this moment.
“Pikachu, you wanna fight?”
Ash asked.
He didn't need to though.
This was the opponent who had tormented Caterpie.
Pikachu glared at the Pidgeotto.
The electrical pouches in his cheeks swelled and his tail stood on end.
Lightning ran through the forest.
“Amazing.” Ash murmured.
“That's done it.” Misty let out something resembling a sigh.
It was the electric shock that had caused the huge explosion at the Pokémon Center the night
before last.
Pikachu's electrical energy had restored itself last night, despite the fact he spent most of the
night awake talking to Caterpie.
Pidgeotto was bathed in lightning and collapsed unconscious.
“Pika pika.”
Pikachu pointed a finger at Pidgeotto as if to say to get it now.
“Y-yeah... Now's the time.”
Ash threw a Poké Ball, somewhat flustered.
Pidgeotto's body was sucked into the Poké Ball and eventually the ball stopped moving.
The joy Ash felt yesterday returned.
“Pidgeotto. Gotcha.”
He struck a pose and smiled broadly.
“I did it. My second capture.”
“And there's something else you're getting seconds of today.” Misty said.
“Eh?”
Pashing, Misty slapped him.
“Ow! You hit me again.”
“Yes, I hit you. And I'll keep on hitting you. Are you even taking this whole Pokémon Trainer
thing seriously at all?”
“Of course I am.”
“Then you should learn the basics. Pokémon type compatibility is important. Using a bug
Pokémon against a bird Pokémon... that's just downright stupid. You need to look at things from
your Pokémon's perspective... Right, Pikachu?”
With Misty's sudden question, Pikachu's only response was to nod. Ash had no words to reply.
Misty continued overbearingly.
“Just liking Pokémon doesn't make you qualified to become a trainer. This isn't a game that kids
should be playing.”
That's when it happened.
“Indeed. It isn't a game.” A woman's kind voice said.
“It's serious business after all.” A handsome man's voice came from somewhere.
Kaboom. Kaboom. Rainbow coloured smoke bombs went off.
“What the?” Ash said.
“What's going on?” Asked Misty.
A pair of silhouettes could be seen through the smoke.
“No matter whatever questions you ask, the answer you'll receive is the world's pity.”
The pair spoke in perfect sync.
“To protect the world from devastation.” Jessie said.
“To unite all peoples within our nation.” James said.
“To denounce the evils of truth and love.” Jessie was in top form.
“To extend our reach to the stars above. ” James added.
“Jessie.” Jessie winked as she introduced herself.
“James.” James said as he smelt the rose in his hand.
“Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light...” Jessie struck a pose.
“Surrender now or prepare to fight.” James took his own pose.
Right at the end Meowth made his appearance.
“That's right.”
“You guys again, what now?” Ash asked.
“No matter whatever questions you ask” Jessie responded.
“the answer you'll receive is the world's pity.” James finished.
“Stop right there, nya!” Meowth scratched Jessie and James's faces.
“Are you planning to do our entrance scene all over again, nya?”
“Oh, right, we're wasting time.”
“If this were a novel, we'd be wasting pages.”
“The author is cutting corners, nya.”
“On that topic...” Jessie said.
I'm not sure how this qualifies as the same topic, but Jessie continued on.
“We have no business with you twerpy lovebirds.”
“Our business is with that Pikachu.”
James pointed at Pikachu as he spoke.
Ash stepped in between them as if to protect Pikachu from James's finger.
“If you want a Pikachu, there's plenty of other Pikachu you could be going after.”
“But what we want is, quite specifically, that Pikachu.” It was Jessie's turn to point at Pikachu
this time.
“Didn't your mother ever tell you it's rude to point at people?” Ash said.
“Mother? Mama? Mummy, I wish I could've...” Jessie suddenly murmured.
“Parents are never supportive when you need them.” James cried.
“I don't even remember a single word my parents ever told me, nya.” Meowth stated matter of
factly.
“We don't need to hear about your parental issues.” Misty shouted.
“Let's get back to the point!” Misty's angry outburst brought everyone back to their senses.
“Allow us to explain, Mr. Holmes.” Jessie said.
“My name's Ash.” Ash muttered.
“Allow us to explain, Mr. Poirot48.” James said.
“This isn't going anywhere!” Misty looked as if she was about to explode, her hair standing on
end.
“Sorry, sorry.” Jessie apologised.
“Enough with apologies. Get to the point, nya.” An irritated Meowth pointed his sharpened claws
as Jessie and James.
“I'll cut straight to the chase then.” James began speaking.
“We, Team Rocket, seek out rare Pokémon specimens. And that Pikachu of yours may just fit the
bill.”
And this time, Meowth also pointed at Pikachu alongside the other two.
“My Pikachu is a rare Pokémon?” Ash asked.
“No ordinary Pikachu could trigger an explosion like that one the other day. Therefore it can be
deduced that it is not ordinary. Elementary, my dear...”
Jessie was planning to call him my dear Watson, but the shining sharp claws of the Meowth next
to her told her to drop it.
“Ah, is this the part where Holmes explains things to Watson?” James clearly didn't know when
48 In the original Japanese the references to Holmes and Poirot were references to the fictional detectives Kogorou
Akechi (created by Ranpo Edogawa) and Kousuke Kindaichi (created by Seishi Yokomizu)
to drop these things...
“Cut it out, nya.” Meowth's claws slashed his face.
“Anyway, give us the Pikachu and we'll leave you be.” James said as he applied pressure to his
face.
“You think I'll just hand him over?” Ash checked on Pikachu's condition.
Pikachu was still tired from the large discharge from earlier.
“We didn't think so, but I figured we'd ask to offer the world's pity.” James said.
“There's no more pity now that we've asked though.” Jessie pulled out a Poké Ball.
“Jessie and James, travelling the path of Pokémon together...” James also pulled out a Poké Ball.
“This is obviously now a Pokémon battle, nya.” Meowth pulled out a folding fan with a picture
of a coin on it and began waving it.
Jessie and James's Poké Balls burst, and the Pokémon Koffing and Ekans leapt out. The same
ones who had been used at the Pokémon Center.
“Two against one is unfair.” Ash shouted.
“The word unfair doesn't exist in the villainous dictionary of truth and love.” Jessie smirked.
“Then your dictionary is no good.” It's impossible to say how serious Ash's statement was.
“No good suits us fine... We're villains.” James replied completely seriously.
“Cut the crap, you should use two Pokémon as well Ash.” Misty said with irritation.
“But the rules of Pokémon say you can only use one.” Ash replied to Misty's exasperation.
“Are you stupid? Seriously? You think the rules apply to people like them? At this rate, both
Pikachu and Caterpie are going to be stolen from you.”
“How about we just take care of our opponent and finish this while they're still arguing?” Jessie
whispered to James.
“Let's finish this.” James nodded.
“Sludge attack!” James shouted, and Koffing suddenly spat sludge at Pikachu.
The stickiness in his eyes blinded him.
“The battle hasn't even started yet, how could you...” Ash's protests fell upon deaf ears.
Both exhausted and blinded, Pikachu was in no state to battle.
“I told you so.” Misty said, beginning to get really irritated.
At this point she was tempted to try sending out her own Pokémon instead... But in the middle of
a waterless forest, Misty wouldn't be able to expect much from the water Pokémon she was
carrying.
Ash picked up Pikachu and handed him to Misty.
“Look after Pikachu. I'll handle this with my other two.”
Despite his words, his freshly caught Pidgeotto and Caterpie had just fought.
But he had nothing else he could rely on.
“Pidgeotto. I'm counting on you. I choose you!”
Ash threw the Poké Ball.
The Pidgeotto he had just caught leapt from the Poké Ball.
After being caught in a Poké Ball, Pokémon typically became allies of their new master. And
Pidgeotto was no exception.
“Pidgeotto!”
With a sharp cry, Pidgeotto boldly charged Ekans and Koffing.
It continually swooped and climbed, attacking Ekans and Koffing with its beak, but it was still
facing two opponents. If it focused on one opponent, the other would come around behind it. It
wasn't some kind of super Pidgeotto that could overcome the disadvantage of two against one.
The situation was wearing it down and leaving it on the defensive.
“Two against one is unfair no matter how you look at it!”
Ash instinctively rushed towards Jessie and James.
“Children are no match for an adult.” Jessie spoke with pity.
“We'd rather not pick on little kids.” James stated, as he held back the flailing Ash with a single
hand against his head.
No matter how hard Ash swung his arms, he couldn't reach James.
“Fight me! C'mon, fight.” Ash could do naught but shout.
“We told you you're no match for us...!” James flicked Ash in the forehead with his finger.
Misty's slaps were enough to knock Ash over. James's forehead flick sent him rolling like a ball.
“Come now, just hand over Pikachu. We're clearly winning the Pokémon battle.” Jessie smiled.
Pikachu squirmed in Misty's arms as if to say “Let me fight!”
Although it was clear Pikachu had no chance of winning in his blinded state.
That only left Caterpie...
However, Ash had caught Caterpie without even having a Pokémon battle... Against Pidgeotto,
all Caterpie could do was run, there was no chance he could win this fight. Sending a Pokémon into
a fight you know they'll lose is just being cruel, isn't it?
But Caterpie was all he had left.
Ash whispered to Caterpie's Poké Ball.
“You've all I've got left. You're our only hope.”
Ash threw the ball carrying his prayers.
“Go! Caterpie!”
Caterpie leapt out from inside the Poké Ball.
“Whanya? That insect ain't got a chance of winning nya.” Meowth laughed.
“Bugs can bugger off...” Jessie spoke the same line Misty did earlier.
“Seeing that larva makes me break out in laughter49.” James broke into a huge laugh.
Ash and Misty felt frustrated. Even Pikachu probably felt the same.
“Pidgeooo~n.” There's no way a Caterpie that'd normally be a snack could win... Pidgeotto cried
sorrowfully.
But Caterpie was the most frustrated of all.
Even so, Caterpie faced Ekans and Koffing without showing his fear.
“Wow... What a reckless little worm.” Jessie was surprised.
“This is ridiculous.” James muttered.
“What a guy.” Meowth shrugged.
They had to admire Caterpie's courage.
However, they'd still show no mercy.
Caterpie took a stance and began to spew something.
Shhhhhhhh...
It was a white thread.
Caterpie spat his thread at Koffing and Ekans at full force.
“Koff?”
“Shekans?”
What is this? They had no time to even ponder that question.
In an instant, Koffing and Ekans were unable to move, wrapped up and rolling around like balls
of thread.
“Nyo way... It's Meowth's turn now.”
Meowth stood in front of Caterpie.
Although it wasn't long until he was a ball of thread too.
Upon seeing the three balls of thread known as Koffing, Ekans and Meowth, Jessie and James
looked to each other.
“Maybe we should just let him off easy this time.” Jessie said to James.
“Right, it's not nice to pick on kids. Oh look, we've got three hacky sacks50 here.” James pointed
to the three balls.
“That sure takes me back. How about we play some hacky sack then?” Jessie suggested to
James.
“Let's do that. Yes, let's do that.”
Jessie and James picked up the three balls, then ran off. In other words, you could say they fled.

49 In Japanese, James said that insect (虫けら mushikera) made him cackle (けらけら kerakera).
50 In Japanese James referred to the string wrapped Pokémon as "otedama", which is a totally different game to hacky
sack, but the otedama themselves are seemingly pretty similar to a hacky sack.
“But, it has to be said... This suuuuuucks!”
The pair's voices echoed through the forest.
Ash rushed over to Caterpie who had stopped spewing his thread.
“You're amazing. Not even Misty can keep hating on you after that. ... Right?”
“I guess...”
Ash drew specific attention to Misty.
Her hatred of bugs wasn't so easily overcome. Even so, she had to acknowledge Caterpie's
efforts.
And at least some of the credit belonged to Ash, the Pokémon trainer who'd been able to bring
Caterpie to this point. ... As much as she hated to admit it...
Having noticed Misty's feelings, Caterpie's eyes shone with a smile.
The sludge in his eyes having been wiped away by Ash, Pikachu's eyes shone too.
“Pidgeo~” Pidgeotto cried from the treetops as if to say “Not bad, I guess.”
But these good vibes didn't last for long.
Shhhhhh...
The sound of thread.
Having briefly stopped, Caterpie began to spit his thread again.
“Caterpie, it's okay stop now.”
No matter how many times Ash told him, the thread didn't stop.
The thread had rapidly enveloped Caterpie.
“What's going on? Caterpie.”
Ash pointed the Pokédex at Caterpie.
“The worm Pokémon, Caterpie, envelops itself in thread when it is beginning its evolution.”
The Pokédex provided this answer.
“The start of evolution...”
The thread wrapped around Caterpie's body became green and hardened.
Then, in the blink of an eye, there was a different Pokémon with a green shell there.
The Pokédex explained.
“Metapod... The cocoon Pokémon. The evolved form of Caterpie. Out of all known Pokémon
species, it has the most rapid evolution. It does not move much until its next evolution. Despite its
hard exterior, its innards are soft, so it cannot withstand powerful attacks and should be handled
with caution.”
He was unable to move or even speak. It was hard to say whether in handling him with care
whether he should go back into the Poké Ball or not.
Ash whispered.
“Right, you'll evolve again soon if I take care of you. Metapod... I'm looking forward to it.”
Ash hugged the immobile Metapod.
Metapod's eyes were the only part of him still recognisable as Caterpie.
Ash walked carrying Metapod on his shoulder.
Looking upon Ash's back, a thought passed through Misty's mind.
... This guy really does love Pokémon... Ash may really have what it takes after all...
However, a strange sound drove those thoughts away.
The sound of something winged. But it wasn't the wings of a bird.
They were rapidly beating wings. It sounded almost like a high speed motor...
Ash and Misty then caught a glimpse of them passing by.
The Pokédex suddenly issued a warning.
“Beware the poison bee Pokémon, Beedrill... It stings with the poison barb on its tail. Its front
legs have another two barbs. They often attack in groups and are highly dangerous.”
“Beedrill? Highly dangerous? Alright, I'm gonna catch one.”
Ash was in high spirits.
…! I guess he really is just a frivolous idiot... Misty hung her head.
“Anyway, I hate being in this creepy forest! Let's just get out of here!”
Misty increased her pace as if to drag Ash along with her.
However, the Viridian Forest only gets deeper from here.
(To be continued in chapter 6)

Chapter 5 appendix

(... If you're in a hurry, feel free to skip ahead to chapter 6. ... However, there may be some
important information written here that nobody has ever seen before.)

<Secret lecture... Regarding Pokémon evolution...>


Head of the Shinkar Darwin51 Theory of Evolution Supportive Committee
Professor Mendel Wallace

Note #1) The Theory of Evolution Supportive Committee is a group of scholars who believe in
Darwin's theory of evolution.

51 The word evolution in Japanese is shinka, Darwin is obviously referring to the real life Charles Darwin.
According to Darwin's theory of evolution, Pokémon are creatures that should not exist.
However, as Pokémon do exist, this poses a problem to scholars who believe in Darwin's
evolutionary theory.
Various theories denying the existence of Pokémon have been brought up, but are largely ignored
and considered insane ramblings among modern society.
When things are shown to exist they are widely accepted as fact, but in the world of scholars,
this isn't always the case. There are certain extremists among Darwinists who claim that to protect
the theory of evolution... Pokémon must be exterminated.

Mr. Mendel Wallace: “The word evolution is to be used for the eternally continuing evolution of
creatures upon this earth for over 2 million years, not a word for Pokémon transformations.”
(Members of Audience) “Yeah, that's right!”
Mr. Mendel Wallace: “For example, the evolution of Caterpie into Metapod is like the
transformation of a caterpillar into a cocoon before becoming a butterfly, the proper term for this
process among animals is metamorphosis.”
(Members of Audience) “No objections!”
Mr. Mendel Wallace: “When an egg hatches into a tadpole that eventually becomes a frog,
people don't call that evolution. However, what is known as evolution among Pokémon isn't always
a simple metamorphosis.”
(Members of Audience) “Yeah, that's right!”
Mr. Mendel Wallace: There is too much that is unknown about what is known as Pokémon
evolution. For example, the evolved form of Pikachu, Raichu, it is uncertain whether it retains
memories of its time as a Pikachu. By that same token, it's impossible to ask whether a frog retains
memories of its time at a tadpole... Put simply, you cannot know a frog's thoughts unless you can
ask a frog, just as you cannot know a Raichu's thoughts without being able to ask a Raichu.”
(Members of Audience) “No objections!”
Mr. Mendel Wallace: “Now the maintained resemblance between Pikachu and Raichu is one
thing, but despite living in the same ocean habitat, you'd be hard pressed to say that the fish
Pokémon Magikarp in any way resembles its evolved form, the atrocious Pokémon Gyarados.
Additionally, it would also be difficult to say that a tadpole in any way resembles a frog... At least
that much can be said. Other than Pokémon, at least to the best of my knowledge, no creature
retains memories of previous evolutionary forms.
(Members of Audience) “Yeah, that's right!”
Mr. Mendel Wallace: “Is it even right for us to acknowledge such mysterious creatures as living
beings? We of the Shinkar Darwin Theory of Evolution Supportive Committee feel that neither the
word evolution or the word metamorphosis should be used in relation to Pokémon.”
(All Present) “No objections!”
Mr. Mendel Wallace: “No, I would go as far as to say that the mere existence of Pokémon in this
world, defying all logic in the theory of evolution, causes problems for our views. ... I say that
Pokémon evolution should be referred to by a different name. ... Evolution is not a word to be used
for these creatures who ought not exist.”
(All Present) “Yeeaaah!”
An excerpt from a taped recording of a Shinkar Darwin Theory of Evolution Supportive
Committee secret rally

Note #2) The general public care little for how the scientific community refer to Pokémon
evolution. But it is clear that the phenomenon actually exists... it was simply a case where the word
evolution made the concept easy to comprehend and eventually came into everyday usage. Research
into the possible connection between evolution as defined in the theory of evolution and the
Pokémon phenomenon known as evolution is ongoing.
An excerpt from the memos of Pokémon Analyst Bill Sonezaki
Chapter 6: Butterfree Soars

“Kyaaah!”
Misty's scream echoed through the forest.
Since entering the Viridian Forest, each chapter has to begin with Misty screaming.
It's only natural. The forest is a bug Pokémon paradise, meaning that for the bug hating Misty, it
was like a training ground for her ability to scream. This scream was no different to the others.
After seeing the poison bee Pokémon Beedrill pass by earlier, now another bug Pokémon had
crawled up near her feet. It had a similar form to the worm Pokémon Caterpie, but it had a horn-like
stinger on its head. Checking the Pokédex... its name was Weedle, the hairy bug Pokémon. The
sting on its head contains poison... it explained. Hairy caterpillars among both regular bugs and
Pokémon are often poisonous, so it's best to take caution...
“Whether they're poisonous or not, bugs are gross! Ash, do something.”
“Leave it to me. I'm the man aiming to be the greatest Pokémon Trainer in the world. I won't let
any Pokémon I find escape me!”
Ash puffed his chest. Having gotten onto a roll catching things, he was getting a little carried
away.
Ash pulled out an empty Poké Ball and waved it, but...
“Whoops, before catching a Pokémon, I should weaken it first... Against a hairy bug Pokémon
like Weedle, a bird Pokémon would be best. That's basic type compatibility.”
He repeated back Misty's second hand advice.
“In that case, Pidgeotto, I choose you.”
Ash pulled out Pidgeotto's Poké Ball.
Then it happened.
“That Weedle is mine.”
A voice behind Ash spoke as another Poké Ball flew past.
“Eh?”
Weedle was sucked into the Poké Ball.
“Weedle's... capture rights... I had the right.”
When Ash turned around, there was a boy with a bug catching net on his back.
“No way, that was, I was going to catch that Weedle... You had no right.”
Ash voiced his displeasure.
The boy shook his head.
“You're mistaken. I was after that Weedle before you were.”
“You were after it?”
“My Pokémon had already significantly weakened that Weedle in battle. Only a fiend would
steal it from me at this point.”
“I'm not stealing anything.”
“Then get out of here. This forest is my turf.”
“You can't claim exclusive rights on catching Pokémon somewhere.” Ash muttered.
“Hold it right there. I can't let that comment slide.” Misty butted in.
“I hate bugs. As such, I don't even want to catch any bug Pokémon. Don't think I even want to
catch anything here, kid.”
Since he was shorter than her, Misty looked down upon him as a child.
Misty peered at the boy's face as she spoke.
“By the looks of you, I suppose you're a Pokémon Trainer.”
“Eh, uh, I'm not sure I'm strong enough to be called a real trainer.”
The boy's face turned red after having a girl stare at him.
“I see you actually have some humility, unlike some people.” Misty nodded haughtily.
“However, while I'm still aspiring to be a trainer, here in Viridian Forest, they call me the Bug
Catcher.” The boy puffed his chest slightly.
“I guess you must be well known to have a nickname like that?” Misty asked.
“I guess you could say a few people have heard of me.”
The Bug Catcher puffed his chest greatly.
“I love bug Pokémon. Using the bug Pokémon of this forest, I'm going to become the world's
greatest trainer.”
“Number one, with bug Pokémon?”
Misty was aghast.
“Different strokes for different folks.” Misty let out a sigh and turned back to the Bug Catcher.
“Anyway, you can't claim a specific area as your personal turf when catching wild Pokémon?
Pokémon Trainers have equal rights and chance wherever they are. Claiming turf is just unsightly.
Only a complete jerk would say that.”
Misty's way of speaking became harsh. The Bug Catcher bit his lip as he hung his head. The Bug
Catcher then muttered.
“Maybe I shouldn't have told you this was my turf then. I've just been kinda pissed off today.”
Seeing the Bug Catcher's disappointment, Ash spoke up flustered.
“No, I'm the one at fault here, I shouldn't have gone after a Pokémon you already had your eye
on. I won't catch any more bug Pokémon in this forest.”
Ash offered a handshake in reconciliation.
“No need to hold back on my account. So, where are you headed?”
The Bug Catcher asked as he accepted the handshake.
“The next town after the forest... I came from Pallet Town.”
“Pallet Town!” The Bug Catcher's grip suddenly tightened.
“Eh? Ah, tightening our friendship then.” Ash also tightened his grip.
“Don't mock me.” The Bug Catcher shook off the handshake.
“Over yesterday and the day before, I've battled three Pokémon Trainers.”
“Three of them...” Ash had a bad feeling about this.
“The three of them all came from Pallet Town...”
... The ones who left Pallet Town before me... His feeling solidified. Gary and the others had
already passed through here.
“So, those three...” Ash asked.
“They battled me. They were tough. They laughed at me after defeating my Pokémon.”
The Bug Catcher pulled out a Poké Ball.
“I may have lost three times. But I won't lose to a fourth person from Pallet Town.”
Ash was shocked. The three who had left Pallet Town on the same day as him had well overtaken
him, additionally, they had all beaten this Bug Catcher.
... I ain't gonna lose... But, this guy has already been steamrolled by the other three, it'd be kinda
mean to crush him like that. Besides...
“Pinsir! You're up!” The Bug Catcher shouted as he tossed his Poké Ball.
The stag beetle Pokémon Pinsir emerged from the Poké Ball.
“Wow... It's a Pinsir.” Ash sighed.
Boys have always liked stag beetles since the old days. And on top of that, the stag beetle
Pokémon Pinsir, despite being a stag beetle, is 1.5 meters tall. A full scale model of one would look
amazing in your room. There was no need to even check the Pokédex for info on Pinsir. He already
knew everything about them. He'd never seen a real one before though. In real life, they weren't
very common, they were the ultimate dream Pokémon for most boys. Ash spoke without thinking.
“I want it...”
“What the heck are you on about?”
... Misty, who had no appreciation for stag beetles, rained on his parade. Doing so with such
precise timing was something only a girl who truly loves water Pokémon could do52.
“No matter how much you want it, you can't take someone else's Pokémon.”
“I know that.” Ash muttered with disappointment.
That was a rule of Pokémon battles. Trading Pokémon was allowed with consent from both
parties.

52 The equivalent Japanese idiom for "rained on his parade" is literally "throw water on". (水を差す)
You were also allowed to buy Pokémon from a Pokémon shop. But a Pokémon battle was simply
a Pokémon battle. Winning a Pokémon battle did not entitle you to the loser's Pokémon. If you try
to take your opponent's Pokémon... either by catching or stealing it, your Pokémon Trainer's license
would be permanently revoked.
People like Team Rocket who work to steal rare Pokémon, although I'd hesitate to define that as
actual work, are the kinds of people who have given up on becoming Pokémon Trainers.
“No matter how strong I am or how much I want his Pinsir, I've no intention of becoming a
thief.”
Ash said with disappointment.
“You're ridiculous. Don't go talking like you've already won.”
Misty shrugged her shoulders.
“Man, having a Pinsir would be so cool...”
Ash still didn't know when to give in.
“You're turning into the green eyed monster. It's his Pokémon. And when he beats you in a battle,
those green eyes will begin weeping green tears53.”
Misty said as her patience ran out. When challenged to a battle by a passing Pokémon Trainer, it
is proper manners to accept immediately. Fiddling about and stalling were the tactics of a coward.
She hadn't noticed that by poking her nose in she was delaying the battle.
“Don't let him provoke you into anything stupid!”
Misty told Ash in a scolding tone.
“I know! The stag beetle Pokémon is just another bug type Pokémon. Birds beat bugs, type
compatibility is important in Pokémon battles. I know already, Misty.”
Ash repeated back what Misty had told him earlier as he got out his Poké Ball.
“Bird Pokémon, Pidgeotto! I choose you!”
Ash threw the Poké Ball.
“Pidgeo~!”
Pidgeotto came from the Poké Ball full of vigour.
However upon looking at Pinsir, it flew up into the trees and perched unmoving on a branch
looking down.
“Huh? What's wrong Pidgeotto?”
“I see...” Misty nodded.
“What do you see...?”
“No matter how much of an advantage a bird Pokémon has over a bug Pokémon, Pinsir is just

53 So the line about the green eyed monster having green tears was originally a pun on urayamashii (羨ましい
jealousy) and urameshii (恨めしい regret) where Misty told Ash that his jealously will turn into regret when he
begins crying. Unable to come up with similar wordplay, I decided to play on a metaphor instead.
too big of an opponent. You have to take the opponent's size into account... Only a fool thinks of
nothing but type compatibility. You need to take these kinds of things into account.”
... You're the one who kept talking about the importance of compatibility, yet you've suddenly
changed your tune...
Ash was frustrated, but he had no time to waste on anger.
“Pidgeotto. Return!”
Ash shouted as he recalled Pidgeotto to its Poké Ball.
“Pikachu... You're up!”
There was no response from Pikachu.
Come to think of it, despite all the commotion from when Misty screamed until now, he hadn't
heard a thing from Pikachu.
“Where are you, Pikachu?”
He looked behind...
“You're kidding me...”
Pikachu was sound asleep on top of a tree stump.
It seemed that after pulling an all nighter he gave in to sleepiness.
“Come on, wake up.”
Ash poked at Pikachu using his pinky.
The tip of his finger suddenly felt numb.
“What the?”
Looking closely, Pikachu's body was glowing slightly.
It seems he generates an electric field while sleeping as a defence measure against any attempts
to mess with him.
If he were to be woken by force, the half asleep Pikachu may be liable to unleash an electric
shock upon both friend and foe.
To touch or not to touch, Ash half bluffed his way out of the situation.
“I guess he's tired. Pikachu. I won't push you too hard for now. Letting you get rest is the action
of a great trainer.”
“What are you mumbling about?” The Bug Catcher cut him off.
“The other three from Pallet Town weren't total windbags.”
The other three from Pallet Town were the thing that bothered Ash most.
“Now you've said it, you're going down.”
Ash glared at the Bug Catcher.
However all he had left was the Metapod he was carrying on his back.
All Metapod had going for himself was immobility and a hard shell. He had no moves that could
be considered attacks.
Despite her words fanning the flames of the battle, Misty also realised the truth of the situation.
... This is bad, huh? ... Ash may be the one going down here...
Feeling a little responsible, she whispered into Ash's ear.
“Do you need me to lend you one of my Pokémon?”
“No I don't!”
Ash shouted.
“Ah, okay! In that case, no Pokémon or unsolicited comments from now.”
Misty turned away in a huff.
Ash placed Metapod down from his back.
“Metapod! From here on, this is your fight!”
“Metapod? Seriously...”
The Bug Catcher cocked his head. He was an expert on bug Pokémon. He was well aware that
Metapod had no battle ability. However, he didn't know that Ash only had three Pokémon to choose
from. On top of that, he'd already had three consecutive losses to Pallet Town's prospective trainers.
In those battles, he had also used his pride and joy, Pinsir. And still lost. It wouldn't be good for
Pinsir if it kept on losing. It'd lose its self confidence.
“Return, Pinsir!”
The Bug Catcher recalled Pinsir to its Poké Ball and regarded Metapod with caution.
Metapod is immobile. But immobility is only one of its features.
... He must be planning something? ...
Ash had nothing planned. He just had no other Pokémon.
However the Bug Catcher thought things through. He'd obviously chosen it as his best option to
avoid losing. But the opponent can't move... so it can't exactly win either. Metapod's signature
ability was hardening itself. If it hardened itself, then Pinsir's powerful pair of horns may be
ineffective. As far as the Bug Catcher was concerned, Metapod would only amount to being a
practice dummy for testing the power of Pinsir's horns. But it wouldn't be much use if the practice
dummy broke. Just like how a boxer wouldn't be able to practice if they tore their punching bag.
... But why did he choose Metapod? ... Not even I, known as the Bug Catcher, would use a
Metapod in battle. ... Just what is he thinking?...
Reaching the conclusion of his line of thought, the Bug Catcher pulled out a Poké Ball.
... I've just got to watch my opponent's move. Alright!...
“I'll also go with Metapod!”
A Metapod appeared from the Bug Catcher's Poké Ball. And appear was all it did of course. It
made no noise, it didn't move, it just sat there. It didn't even have a staring contest with Ash's
Metapod. Its droopy eyes simply blinked once an hour. ... That's right, both Ash's and the Bug
Catcher's Metapod knew they only blinked once an hour and just sat there. The ones staring each
other down were Ash and the Bug Catcher. The Metapod had blinked for a third time. Yet still they
sat there. Ash and the Bug Catcher were still staring each other down. The tension between them
could be cut with a knife.
“Stiffening is Metapod's signature ability. Why are you two so stiff? You're such kids...”
Despite these words, Ash and the Bug Catcher stubbornly held their ground.
The fed up Misty had eaten her lunch, washed her lunch box in a nearby stream and finished
reading a Horror Queen novel popular with girls that she had secretly stolen from her sister's
bookcase. ... Yes, Misty has some older sisters, but let's save the details on that for another time...
Anyway, she was halfway through her second novel when she looked up and saw the two Metapod
still sitting there.
“Pikachuu...?” ... Is something happening?...
By the time Pikachu woke up feeling fully refreshed, the Metapod were blinking for the seventh
time.
The sun was beginning to set.
... Seems we'll be camping again tonight... I shouldn't put up with this...
Misty sighed as she looked at Pikachu's face.
Basically, Misty was sick and tired of the battle instigated between these two.
Even with no end in sight, she wasn't cruel enough to just leave on her own.
... Besides, I've no idea what kind of bugs will come out after dark, I really don't want to be left
alone in this forest...
However, something came out even before it got dark.
That was...
The same sound they had heard this morning.
The sound like a high speed motor...
On top of that, the sound coming from above was much louder than before.
... Hold it, I've got a bad feeling...
Pikachu also raised his tail, taking a cautious posture.
Misty looked up above her nervously to find the sky beyond the trees was pitch black...
No, a great mass of something black was blocking out the view.
It was the poison bee Pokémon, Beedrill.
The poison bee Pokémon hunts at dusk. Their prey were other bug Pokémon. And of course, any
obstacle is considered a threat. Their poison stings do not discriminate between human and
Pokémon.
Misty didn't even have time to let out a scream.
Through the storming noise of the Beedrill's wings, a faint warning could be heard.
If you were to look in the direction of the warning... you would see Ash glaring at the Bug
Catcher.
The warning came from the Pokédex poking halfway out of Ash's pocket.
Misty ran out between the two.
Misty was boiling with rage. All Pokémon Trainers owned a Pokédex.
“Morons, both of you... Come to your senses already!”
It's worth noting that Misty also has a Pokédex. But she keeps it turned off to preserve the battery
life. Despite not really having room to speak, Misty spoke up anyway.
However her words didn't reach the ears of Ash or the Bug Catcher.
“Hey, hello?”
Taking a closer look, their eyes were closed. They had fallen asleep standing.
Misty's anger erupted.
“GOOD MORNING!”
She suddenly knocked them flying.
In this situation, the first to wake up has the advantage. The Bug Catcher wasn't the first to wake,
but Ash is a well renowned sleepyhead. Additionally, the Bug Catcher is an expert on bugs. The
moment he heard the sound of the Beedrill's wings he grasped the situation, knowing exactly what
the Beedrill were after.
“Metapod, return!”
The Bug Catcher recalled his Metapod to its Poké Ball and shouted to Ash and the others.
“Everyone, run!”
“Hurry up and run already!”
“Eh?”
The loud noise and Misty's shrill cries finally brought Ash to his senses and noticed the mass of
Beedrill making a nose dive.
It was as if there were spears raining from the sky.
The whole sky seemed to be nothing but stingers.
All Ash could do was run after the Bug Catcher and Misty.
Pikachu had already decided that running was his only option.
Having just woken up, Pikachu saw no reason to launch a counter attack on a danger that could
be avoided.
He had no grudge against the Beedrill. The Beedrill were merely after their latest meal.
And so, the Beedrill swarmed around the Metapod left behind by Ash.
The Beedrill don't take any more than they require. They had no interest in pursuing Ash and the
others who had leapt into a nearby stream.
Their shining poison stings exist as a defence mechanism to protect themselves.

***

“Ah! My Metapod. Where's my Metapod!?”


Ash suddenly shouted, not even wiping the water dripping from his hat out of his face.
The water in the stream woke Ash up fully, causing him to remember Metapod.
“You didn't recall it to its Poké Ball?” The Bug Catcher asked Ash, more dumbfounded than
exasperated.
“I don't really want to confine my Pokémon to their Poké Balls... Besides, Metapod's hard, but he
could easily be damaged... If he got cracked open inside the Poké Ball...”
“You fool! There's nowhere safer than the inside of a Poké Ball.”
He had no counterargument.
When under attack from the Spearow, he had told Pikachu to enter his Poké Ball for his safety.
Ash of all people couldn't deny that.
“Metapod never said anything about it.”
More an excuse than an argument.
“That's because Metapod can't speak. But it can hear its master's voice. It'll listen even if it can't
answer. That's what a Metapod does.”
The Bug Catcher felt frustration as if he himself had failed.
“I misjudged you.” The Bug Catcher said to Ash. His eyes teared up. When it came to bug
Pokémon, he cared no matter whose they were.
“When I heard you were from Pallet Town, I thought you'd have to be pretty amazing... But you
can't even protect your own bug Pokémon... Dammit!”
He punched a tree trunk.
Ash couldn't say a word.
... He's right. I didn't know a thing about my own Metapod. The reason I kept him out wasn't to
make sure he didn't get cracked...
Ash couldn't really blame Misty for it.
... It was because Misty hates bugs that I kept him out to rub in her face... I hate to say it, but... I
can't blame anyone else for this... It was my fault...
“I'm... a worthless idiot.”
He whispered sitting on the bank of the stream.
He wasn't sure whether the drops of wetness on his face was water from the stream or his tears.
Misty had no desire to see Ash in such a disheartened state.
The average girl may have watched in silence or given a few words of encouragement, but Misty
was different.
“Can we get Metapod back?”
“Eh...?”
Ash lifted his head.
“I wasn't asking you, Ash. You know nothing about bug Pokémon. And neither do I.”
Misty looked to the Bug Catcher.
“So is there a way to get it back? You're the bug expert.”
“Me?”
“Please. Is there a way for us to get it back?”
“Y... Yeah.”
When a girl asks... please... the Bug Catcher is a boy who simply can't say no...
“Metapod should still be alive. It has a hard shell. I doubt their poison stings could penetrate it.
The Beedrill aren't going to do anything to it immediately. They've probably taken Metapod back to
be stored in their hive.”
“Then we can get it back. Now we just need to spend our time coming up with a plan to get past
them.”
“We may not have much time. Metapod will evolve soon. It'll be soft the moment after shedding
its hard shell. It'll have no weapons or techniques. A Beedrill could sting it at that moment. The
Beedrill will be waiting for that moment too.”
Ash suddenly grabbed the Bug Catcher by his collar.
“Where is it? Where's their hive?”
“It's probably...”
The Bug Catcher pulled out a map. It was a map of the forest.
“Under the largest tree in the forest. Nobody is brave enough to go there though.”
“I'll go!”
Ash snatched the map and ran down the path ahead of him.
Misty was dumbfounded as she watched Ash take off, before speaking to the Bug Catcher.
“Geez, he's so careless... Will he get there with just that map?”
“Probably.”
The Bug Catcher replied readily.
“The largest tree is at the end of this path. By the forest's exit.”
“Hold it, the exit is difficult to approach?”
That seemed odd. People should normally flock to the exit.
As before, the Bug Catcher replied readily.
“It's easy to enter, but difficult to leave. This forest has another name, the forest with no exit.”
“I see, I didn't know that... Wait, what?”
Misty felt a shiver down her spine.
Whether or not he understood the conversation between Misty and the Bug Catcher, Pikachu had
a look of concern on his face as he silently chased after Ash.

***

Twilight was approaching.


Even in the forest, it was abundantly clear when you had spotted the largest tree.
Ash quietly assessed the situation from behind a rock.
There was no sign of the Beedrill. They may have been out searching for more prey. However in
their place were something else hanging from the branches. Their numbers were uncountable.
Ash pointed the Pokédex at them.
... The cocoon Pokémon, Kakuna. It is the chrysalis form of the Hairy Bug Pokémon Weedle
during the transition of its evolution into Beedrill. They are largely immobile...
Metapod was also a cocoon Pokémon. But unlike the green Metapod, their colour was yellow.
They looked more like cocoons for a cicada or larva than a poison bee.
It was quite a different shape than Metapod.
... My Metapod... Where is he...
Ash's eyes searched between the innumerable Kakuna.
His eyes eventually settled on one spot.
Among the yellow Kakuna, a green Metapod hung from a thread.
The thread likely belonged to Kakuna's previous form, the Hairy Bug Pokémon, Weedle.
Metapod was looking at the sky with its constantly drowsy eyes resigned to his fate. It was quite
clear he was to be a meal for the Kakuna once they evolved into Beedrill.
Ash whispered.
“Metapod, I found you. I'm here to save you.”
Then it happened.
“We found you, boy!”
“We'll get you this time.”
It was the pair from Team Rocket.
Ash turned around to see Jessie, James and lastly Meowth in front of him.
“Couldn't you have chosen a better time for this?”
“No matter whatever questions you ask” Jessie gave her opening line.
“I'm not listening... So please shut up.”
However, Team Rocket ignored this complaint and kept going anyway.
“the answer you'll receive is the world's pity.” James continued.
“Please be quiet, the Beedrill will come back.”
But no matter what, Team Rocket wouldn't stop.
Because I don't want to write out the whole thing again, let's just skip it... After going all the way
from “To protect the world from devastation.” to Meowth's line “That's right.” Jessie spoke up.
“It gets kind of old using the same lines every time.”
“Keeping that in mind, we've managed to scheme a little something.”
James pulled out a remote control.
When a villain pulls out a remote control at a time like this, you'll typically expect it to launch
something.
“What the hell are you doing?” Ash panicked.
“We like to make a flashy entrance.” Jessie smiled.
“Team Rocket's grand entrance fireworks, one hundred of Japan's finest!” James pressed the
switch.
Fireworks exploded all around them.
Not that many people are actually going to be able to count a whole hundred fireworks going off.
However, Team Rocket really didn't skimp out on a single one. There truly was no less than a
hundred fireworks there. And not a single one of them was a dud.
Every single Kakuna fell from the tree.
Little dots began to appear in the evening sky.
It was too early for stars to be out, it was the poison stings of the Beedrill.
The Beedrill that had been scattered throughout the forest swarmed in burning with rage.
“Wait a minute. What is that?” Jessie said.
“Two bees or not two bees54...” James spoke nonsense.
“Nyowowow.” Meowth screamed as the Beedrill stung him.
The two people and one cat screamed.
“This suuuuuucks!”
Ash didn't see Team Rocket again for a little while after this.

54 "Two bees or not two bees..." was originally "Hachi no Musashi wa..." (ハチのムサシは...... "The bee's Jessie...")
which is a reference to the 1972 song "Hachi no Musashi wa Shinda no sa" (ハチのムサシは死んだのさ), which
nobody would possibly get. (I wouldn't have gotten it without Google.) So I replaced it with a completely different
joke.
Not that they didn't want to show themselves. But having been stung all over by the poison bee
Pokémon, Beedrill, their swollen faces and bodies were not something they were willing to display.
After all, they had always presented themselves as the beautiful Team Rocket, Jessie, James and
Meowth.
While Team Rocket fell victim to the Beedrill, Ash picked Metapod up from the base of the tree.
Run. Run. The forest's exit is up ahead. He glanced to the side and saw Pikachu running.
“Pikachu, you came for us?”
“Pika...”
“Eh?”
Seemingly not the case, as Pikachu ran right past him.
He was followed in hot pursuit by the Bug Catcher and Misty.
They were being pursued by a swarm of Beedrill.
Ash was too slow carrying Metapod.
“Give me a break...”
Right behind Ash... the swarm of Spear were there.
The sound of the stingers tearing through the air buzzed on.
He wouldn't escape unless he abandoned Metapod.
It'd be a lie to say that the thought hadn't crossed his mind briefly.
But Ash couldn't do that.
Ash shouted as he threw off any thoughts of abandonment.
“I'll never abandon you again. I want to be together, to travel together! I caught you! I promise
you, Metapod! I'll never leave you behind again!”
Even if the Beedrill were to sting him and drag him to their hive. He wouldn't abandon Metapod
until his dying breath.
That's when it happened. Something changed within Ash's arms.
Metapod's shell began to crack.
He was evolving.
The hard shell was gone.
This was Metapod's most vulnerable moment... at least according to the Bug Catcher.
... I can't let the Beedrill get him... a single sting could...
Ash held Metapod close as he ran.
... Hang in there, Metapod... I'll hang in there too...
The sound of the Beedrill's wings behind them became greater.
... The forest's exit is right there... Come on, Ash... Metapod...
Ash muttered to himself as he ran.
Though it's an exit, it's the forest's exit. It obviously doesn't have a door. There was nothing
keeping the flying Beedrill from leaving as well. But Ash was only focused on the exit for now.
... A little more... Just a little more!...
Then it happened.
The weight in his arms lifted.
“Eh?”
Metapod's weight had vanished.
Ash looked in front of himself.
Metapod was not there.
In his place, a butterfly Pokémon, Butterfree, with his wings spread out.
The evolution was complete. From Caterpie to Metapod... and then to Butterfree... Butterfree
now leapt from Ash's arms.
It was the same moment that Ash tumbled out of the forest's exit.
Butterfree flapped his wings, hovering in the path of the swarm of Beedrill.
His wings flapped gently like a butterfly. However, that gentle flapping formed a surprisingly
strong gust of wind.
A few steps beyond the forest's exit, the Bug Catcher caught notice of this wind.
He turned and shouted.
“A Butterfree... And the finest specimen I've ever seen!”
Misty also turned around.
“Butterfree?”
Not being particularly knowledgeable about Butterfree, Misty couldn't comment on the quality of
the specimen. But she could tell it was pretty.
“It's beautiful!”
Misty's eyes shone. She may hate bugs, but butterflies were apparently a different story.
Additionally, Butterfree's wings glittered in the twilight.
Pikachu was also enraptured by the sight. He had watched a Butterfree in the moonlight with
Caterpie just last night, and now Caterpie himself had become one.
“Hey you! The special move!”
The Bug Catcher shouted at Ash.
“Special move?” Ash mumbled.
“Butterfree's special move!”
The Bug Catcher shouted in frustration.
Butterfree's special move... Come to think of it... He'd heard of it... What was it again?
Even Misty knew of Butterfree's special move.
It was a well known move.
Misty, the Bug Catcher and Ash shouted simultaneously.
“Sleep powder!”
In response to the three voices, Butterfree scattered silver powder around from his wings.
The Beedrill fell. And fell. They fell asleep under the influence of the silver powder.
Eventually the sun set and the whole forest was silent as if it slept.
This may be a superfluous point to bring up, now as the Beedrill slept it was impossible to tell
whether the heavily stung members of Team Rocket were still alive or not. It may be that we never
hear from Team Rocket ever again.

***

“You really helped us out back there.”


Ash spoke to the Bug Catcher as he scratched his head awkwardly.
“Not at all... It was all your own effort...”
The Bug Catcher shook his head.
“Eh?” Ash asked taken aback.
“A Pokémon will only listen to its master's orders. That sleep powder of Butterfree's was your
doing. It's quite hard for a newly evolved Butterfree to pull off that move so flawlessly.”
“Is that so?” Ash asked bashfully.
“It's clear how well you cared for your Butterfree as a Metapod... Quite clear indeed. It wouldn't
have been able to follow your orders so smoothly otherwise.”
Ash's embarrassment was building heavily. So he tried to deflect it.
“There's plenty of Pokémon who won't listen to their trainers as well...”
Ash looked at Pikachu as he said this.
Pikachu noticed he was being talked about and turned away in a huff.
“Anyway, this has been a good experience.”
The Bug Catcher extended a hand.
“Eh?”
“The handshake I shook off earlier.”
“Ah.”
The two of them firmly shook hands.
“I'm going to train in this forest a little longer. I may find some bug Pokémon even more
amazing than yours.” The Bug Catcher smiled at Ash.
“You sure love bugs.” Ash replied.
“That's why they call me the Bug Catcher.” The Bug Catcher stated matter of factly.
“Yeah... You're right... It suits you.” Ash laughed.
He was glad that he was able to befriend the first aspiring Trainer he met after leaving Pallet
Town.
They said their goodbyes, and Ash felt rather satisfied as they watched the Bug Catcher head
back into the forest.
“Hold it, Ash.”
... Oh yeah, there's another Pokémon Trainer here...
“Don't get carried away.”
Misty spoke pushily with her arms folded.
“What?” Ash responded curtly.
“What about Butterfree? Just gonna let him flutter free55?”
Butterfree had just been flying about until now.
“Oh, right.”
Ash pulled out an empty Poké Ball.
He'd wanted to pick out an especially nice Poké Ball for Butterfree, but really they were all the
same.
“Butterfree, return!”
Butterfree leapt into the Poké Ball as if he'd been waiting for it.
“This is good... And slightly belated, but I got Butterfree... Kidding... Heh.”
Ash nodded to himself.
“Geez, you're hopeless...”
Though she was badmouthing him... Misty thought to herself.
... This kid... He really does... love Pokémon...
Things weren't so bad.
“Pikachu.”
Pikachu mixed a sigh with his cry.
Things weren't too bad at all.

***

Beyond the forest, a new city awaited.


Its name was Pewter City... A city with a Pokémon Gym.

55 In Japanese Misty that if Ash left him to flutter about he'd fly away describing the fluttering with the Japanese
onomatopoeia "batabata" and "furifuri".
***

Pallet Town... Ash's mother, Delia, was closing up shop at 11:00 PM.
Her son who had left on a trip to become a Pokémon Trainer had been a hot topic among her
customers.
“Ash is doing his best out there, huh?”
One customer had said.
“Your son also left to become a Pokémon Trainer, didn't he?”
Delia replied.
“Yeah, he left the same day as your boy.”
This customer also had a ten year old son.
“My grandson is out there too.”
Professor Oak muttered in the corner.
He was referring to Gary.
Delia spoke brightly.
“Anyway, four kids left Pallet Town on a journey that day. I'm glad for them.”
“I ain't.”
A middle aged man at the end of the table spoke up, he was eating the onion soup Delia held
pride in.
“Our kid ain't on a journey.”
Everyone in the shop looked at the man.
“Our kid is a runaway. No idea why but he just didn't want to stay in the house.”
On the same day as Ash, three other boys also left Pallet Town.
Each of those children with their own reasons.
Clap!
Delia clapped her hands together.
“Anyway, we should be happy for the kids on their journeys! Everyone, cheers! It's all on the
house tonight!”
Normally, you'd expect to bring out the booze at this point, but Delia was different. She didn't
want her customers going home drunk and getting into fights with their wives. And so what she
served to her customers before they left was cocoa au lait... Chocolate mixed with milk.
When the customers left, Delia cleaned out their cups, locked the shop, went upstairs to her
bedroom, changed into her pajamas and noticed the blinking light on the answering machine by her
bedside.
Delia pressed the button.
Ash's voice played.
“Mom... I made it through Viridian Forest. Next is Pewter City... Mom, I'm sure you're busy, so
I'll leave it at that. I'll contact you again later when I've got time.”
... Call any time you're free... And if I'm free, I'll be sure to answer...
Delia was pleased.
She was able to sleep peacefully tonight.
... So, Pewter City...
Delia whispered.
Delia's husband... That's Ash's father, and Delia's father, that's Ash's grandpa, had never made
any contact.
“All I wanted... was to be contacted...”
Delia whispered.

***

The kinds of children who become Pokémon Trainers are highly varied.
And the reasons for which they become Pokémon Trainers are also varied.
The story from here on is about the meetings and partings of these children and their encounters
with the mysterious lifeforms known as Pokémon.
To be continued in Pocket Monsters: The Animation Vol. 2
***

Note #1) Here I provide a fairly pointless afterword.


As this work is a novel, there are a number of ways in which it is different to the anime.
However, the anguished catch phrase of Team Rocket “This suuuuuucks!56” wasn't actually
planned, but rather an off the cuff ad lib in the studio by actors Megumi Hayashibara, Shinichirou
Miki and Inuko Inuyama when Team Rocket made their woeful exit.
And so with Team Rocket, despite my reluctance, I've included this line in the novel in order to
be true to their characters.
I wish Team Rocket all the best in the future, I feel sorry for them and offer them my gratitude.
... The Author

56 The Japanese equivalent of “This suuuuuucks!” is 「やなかんじー」 (Yana kanjiii), literally meaning "Bad
feeling", the English dub of the anime typically translates this line as "Looks like Team Rocket is blasting off
again!".

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