Chapter 1: Encounter At Lake Verity
In life when one journey ends another often begins, and a new journey had begun for young Pokemon Trainer, Ash Ketchum, and his female traveling companion, Misty. It had been one year since the incident in Ecruteak City when Ash had captured the Legendary Pokemon, Ho-Oh, and scared off Team Rocket. Since that time, Ash and Misty had traveled though the Hoenn Region, which had ended in Ash winning the Hoenn League competition. Though it was partly due to Ho-Oh’s help. With his journey in Hoenn over, Ash had decided to travel to the Sinnoh, and as usual Misty had tagged along.
Upon arriving in Sinnoh, the two had decided to follow the suggestion of Professor Oak and visit his old colleague, Professor Rowan. After doing a little asking around Ash and Misty had found out that Professor Rowan was doing research at a place called Lake Verity, so they had decided to head there. As Ash continued on his way to the lake, his faithful yellow electric rodent, Pikachu, once again riding on his shoulder, he suddenly stopped and turned around to see Misty walking behind him at a very slow pace. Misty’s appearance had changed somewhat since coming to Sinnoh. Her orange hair was no longer done in its original side ponytail and was worn down, and in addition to her usual outfit of a yellow shirt and denim shorts Misty wore a pink jacket.
“Would you hurry up Misty?” Ash called as he crossed his arms and tapped his right foot impatiently.
“I’ll go as fast as I want!” Misty snapped back and continued at her current slow pace.
“Fine, whatever.” Ash grumbled before turning on his heel and continuing on.
As Ash resumed his course to the lake he thought about how much he and Misty had been fighting since the trip though Hoenn. Ash wondered if it didn’t have something to do with the departure of Misty’s Togepi, who had evolved into a Togetic and stayed behind in the Hoenn Region to protect a small kingdom. But that had happened several months ago and it had seemed that Misty had gotten past that. Ash then wondered if Misty’s recent bad mood had something to do another person who had ended up traveling with them through Hoenn, a girl named May who had ended up becoming a Pokemon Coordinator. Though it had seemed like Misty and May had gotten along well, there were quite a few times when it had seemed as though the two girls were fighting about something, though about what, Ash could not figure out.
Ash’s train of thought was interrupted when he felt a sort of sensation that he could not describe. But what ever it was caused him to stop and look around. Misty quickly noticed and halted as well.
“Okay, first you tell me to hurry up, and then you suddenly stop!” Misty said in an irritated tone. “What the heck is going on?”
“I… feel something.” Ash explained, not once turning back to face Misty.
“Feel something?” Misty repeated with a raised eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
“It’s like something is nearby.” Ash told her. “But I’m not really sure what.”
Pikachu’s long pointed black-tipped ears suddenly perked up in response to some noise that Ash and Misty could not hear. The electric rodent hopped off of Ash’s shoulder and sat on the ground in expectation of something. Stepping out through a nearby bush on the side of the road was a creature that resembled a bipedal jackal. Much of the fur on its body was blue, but it also had black paws and there was a band of black fur around its eyes that made it look as if the creature was wearing a mask. The fur of the creature’s torso was cream-colored giving the impression of a shirt, and protruding from its chest and the backs of its forepaws were metal spikes.
Ash suddenly had a flashback to a vision he and Pikachu had had back in Ecruteak City when they confronted Giovanni, the leader of Team Rocket. Ho-Oh was apparently responsible for that vision, and it was of Ash in the future standing against an army of Team Rocket members led by a young man with long red hair. In that vision standing at Ash’s side was a Pokemon like the one that had just come from the bushes. As quickly as he could, Ash reached into his pocket and got out his new Pokedex to find out about this Pokemon.
“Lucario, the Aura Pokemon.” The Pokedex identified in its mechanical voice. “Lucario are able to sense the emotions of other living things by reading their Aura. A well-trained Lucario can detect the Aura of beings half a mile away.”
“So this is where you ran off to.” A voice suddenly said.
Ash and Misty looked and saw walking up next to Lucario a rather handsome and well-dressed man with black hair wearing a blue suit and black turtleneck shirt. Atop the man’s head was a blue fedora with a tattered brim, and around his neck was an odd gold necklace.
“Uh, hi there.” Ash greeted the stranger. “Is that your Pokemon?”
“Why yes it is.” The stranger confirmed. “I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Riley.”
“I’m Ash Ketchum.” Ash replied in introduction.
“And I’m Misty.” Misty spoke as she approached.
“It’s nice to meet you both.” Riley replied. “So I take it you two are headed to Lake Verity.”
“Yeah, we’re going there to meet Professor Rowan.” Ash explained. “Misty and I just came here to Sinnoh and we were told it’d be a good idea to see Professor Rowan when we got here.”
“I see, so you’re not from Sinnoh.” Riley quickly deduced.
“No, Misty and I are from Kanto.” Ash confirmed.
“Is that right…” Riley said as he examined Ash while stroking his chin. “Perhaps it’s not a coincidence that we’ve met Ash. I’d like to give you something.”
With that, Riley put down that blue bag that was slung over his arm. From the bag he pulled out a case containing a large blue egg. Atop the lid of the case was a Pokeball.
“Please take this egg.” Riley offered as he held out the case to Ash. “You could consider it as a welcoming present to Sinnoh if you like.”
“Wow, thanks.” Ash said with a look of surprise as he took the case. “But why give the egg to me?”
“I have a feeling that you’ll make a good partner to the Pokemon that hatches from that egg.” Riley answered.
“Well thanks again Riley.” Ash said as he put the egg in his own pack. “I think Misty and I better get going though if we want to meet Professor Rowan. It was nice meeting you.”
“Good luck on your journey.” Riley replied. “Perhaps we will run into each other again.”
“I hope so too.” Ash said before he and Misty continued on. Riley and Lucario watched the two of them as they walked away. Lucario then growled something to Riley.
“You’re right Lucario, the Aura is strong with this one.” Riley said to the jackal Pokemon. “We should stay close to him, but first we have our own business at Lake Verity to take care of.”
* * *
A few minutes later, Ash and Misty finally arrived at the lake. It was a very pristine lake surrounded by trees. The clear shimmering water of the lake seemed to catch the light of the sun just right to create a very beautiful scene.
“It’s so pretty here.” Misty commented. “I think I’m going to go take a look around.”
“Okay, I’m gonna go find the professor.” Ash replied, and with that the two split up.
Ash walked along the edge of the lake with Pikachu once again riding on his shoulder. He stopped when he saw an older man with white hair and a mustache wearing a long brown coat. He was looking at the screen of a computer that was attached to a device that had a rod dipped into the lake. Ash quickly approached the man, failing to notice the stern expression on his face.
“Excuse me, are you Professor Rowan?” Ash asked.
“Wait until I’m finished!” the man barked, causing both Ash and Pikachu to flinch.
“Uh, sorry!” Ash quickly responded before standing and waiting quietly. A few moments passed and the gentleman finally turned away from the device to face Ash.
“There, sorry for yelling at you like that. I wanted to finish that scan.” The gentleman explained. “To answer your question young man, I am indeed Professor Rowan. And you are?”
“Oh, I’m Ash Ketchum.” Ash replied. “I’m a trainer from Pallet Town.”
“Ah, so you must know my old friend, Professor Oak.” Professor Rowan realized.
“That’s right.” Ash confirmed. “He said I should meet you when I got here to Sinnoh.”
“Professor Rowan.” A voice called, causing Ash and the professor to turn.
Approaching them was a man with spiked blue hair wearing a grey business suit. There was what seemed to be a cold emotionless expression on the man’s face.
“Ah, there you are Cyrus.” Professor Rowan said to the stranger. “I just finished another scan of the lake. I’m afraid the scan was inconclusive.”
“I see, well I’m sure it will take time to confirm if what we’re looking for is here.” Cyrus replied. He suddenly looked and noticed Ash. “It looks like we have company.”
“Yes, this young man is Ash Ketchum.” Professor Rowan introduced. “He’s a trainer visiting from Pallet Town.”
“Well, it looks like you’ve come a long way.” Cyrus said to Ash as a smile suddenly came to his face. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Thank you sir.” Ash said as he shook Cyrus’s hand.
“Cyrus is responsible for erecting many of the libraries and museums here in Sinnoh.” Professor Rowan explained.
“Wow, that sounds pretty cool.” Ash said sounding impressed.
“I’ve always believed that knowledge is an important tool.” Cyrus revealed. “So tell me Ash, what brings you to Sinnoh?”
“I’m training to become a Pokemon Master.” Ash said proudly.
“An ambitious quest, one that I wish you luck on.” Cyrus replied. “I too am on an ambitious quest, a quest for the greatest knowledge. At the moment the good professor here is helping me to find it.”
“So what do you plan to do with this knowledge if you find it?” Ash asked.
“If I am right about what I find, I will use that knowledge to create a new and better world for all of us.” Cyrus answered.
Meanwhile, Misty was walking along another part of the lake. She stopped for a moment to look out over the lake and take in the view. Suddenly a far distance out over the lake Misty saw a small ball of pinkish light rise out of the water. The light quickly formed into the shape of a small alien-looking creature with two long tails. Misty watched as the light suddenly zoomed away.
“What was that?” Misty asked herself.
“There you are Misty.” Ash’s voice suddenly said. Misty turned to see Ash walking towards her with Professor Rowan and Cyrus. “We’ve been looking for you.”
“I saw something out over the lake.” Misty revealed. “It was this light that flew away just before you got here.”
“Fascinating.” Cyrus commented. “What is your name young lady?”
“Oh, I’m Misty.” Misty replied.
“A pleasure to meet you. My name is Cyrus.” Cyrus greeted. “Now tell me, did this light you saw take a shape?”
“Yeah, I think it was a Pokemon.” Misty answered. “Though I don’t know what kind.”
“This might be the break we’ve been looking for Professor.” Cyrus theorized. “I must be off now, I have business to attend to. Please continue your research on the lake.”
“I will let both you and Cynthia know what I find.” Professor Rowan replied.
“Again, it was nice meeting you both.” Cyrus said to Ash and Misty. “I’m sure we will meet again.”
“Same here.” Ash agreed before Cyrus walked off.
“Now then young man, I assume you’re going to be taking on gyms of Sinnoh.” Professor Rowan said to Ash. “The first one is in Oreburgh City a few days away. But to get there you will have to go through Jubilife City first.”
“Then that’s where we’ll go.” Ash said with his usual enthusiasm.
“You’ll also be needing this.” Professor Rowan said as he handed Ash a small flat black box. Ash took the box and opened it to see it had eight different shaped indentations inside. “That is a case to hold all the badges you win. As it is in Kanto, you will need eight in order to enter the Sinnoh League. Good luck to you.”
“Thanks Professor.” Ash said gladly. “C’mon Misty, let’s get going!”
Misty nodded and Ash quickly headed off, with Misty walking behind at her own pace. Not too far away from behind a tree, Riley and Lucario were watching.