Chapter 2: Newborn Warrior
Two days had past since Ash and Misty had met Professor Rowan and Cyrus at Lake Verity. In that short time the tension between Ash and Misty had eased somewhat, though they were still not talking to each other very much. While Jubilife City was only a few hours away, the noonday sun hung in the sky. So Ash and Misty had decided to stop and break for lunch. After they had eaten, Misty began the cleanup while Ash got out the egg that he had received from Riley. As Ash polished the egg it suddenly began to glow with a bright white light.
“Hey Misty, I think the egg is about to hatch!” Ash called.
As Ash set the egg on the ground, Misty stopped what she was doing and went over to watch the egg with Ash and Pikachu. In moments there was a flash and the sound of an eggshell cracking. The light cleared and standing in place of the egg was a creature that resembled Lucario but was smaller and more child-like. It lacked the metal spikes that Lucario had, and the fur on its torso was black instead of cream-colored. The fur on the creature’s forepaws was blue instead of black, and on the backs of them were what looked like metal bumps.
“Oh how cute!” Misty commented.
“Let’s see what it is.” Ash said as he got out his Pokedex.
“Riolu, the Emanation Pokemon and the pre-evolved form of Lucario.” The Pokedex identified in its mechanical voice. “Riolu can read the emotions of others by seeing the shape of their Aura.”
“I wonder if this Riolu is related to Riley’s Lucario?” Misty theorized.
“Could be.” Ash agreed.
Pikachu suddenly went over to say hello to the newly hatched Riolu. After a few moments of talking to each other in their own language it seemed as though the two Pokemon were getting along quite well.
“Looks like they’ve hit it off.” Misty observed.
“Yeah.” Ash said before walking over to the two Pokemon. “Hey Riolu, want to come with us?” Riolu smiled and nodded at Ash. “Okay then, let’s go.”
In moments the four continued on the road to Jubilife. Ash they walked, Pikachu and Riolu continued to talk to each other, though it seems that Pikachu was doing most of the talking. Ash wondered if Pikachu was telling the little jackal Pokemon stories of his adventures with Ash.
“I think Pikachu likes having another baby Pokemon around.” Ash theorized.
“Yeah, I bet he misses Togepi.” Misty commented with a sort of sad smile. “It still seems like only yesterday when Togepi was still with us.”
“…You still miss Togepi too, don’t you?” Ash asked.
“I do, but the little guy really wanted to protect the other Togepi of the Mirage Kingdom after it evolved.” Misty said as she looked up at the sky. “So as long as Togetic is happy where he is I’m okay with it.”
There was a long silence between the two after that. They walked for a few more hours watching Pikachu and Riolu. Before long they had entered the modern and industrious city that was Jubilife. Towering around the four as they walked were skyscrapers and office buildings as far as the eye could see, and in the distance they could see the tall antenna of a local television station. As the group cam to an intersection of the city they heard a commotion of some sort. They looked down the street and saw a pale scrawny gentleman wearing glasses and a white lab coat being hassled by a young man and woman with almost identical styles of light-blue hair in a bowl-like shape.
Both of these individuals were wearing some type of space-age uniform. The uniforms were mostly white with black on the sides of the torso. The pants of the young man’s uniform were also black, while the sleeves were light grey. The pants of the young woman’s uniform on the other hand were light grey like her sleeves and the shirt of her uniform broke off into a sort of black miniskirt.
“Hand over the case!” the uniformed young man demanded, referring to the briefcase the man in the lab coat was holding.
“Please, I need to get the documents in this case to Professor Rowan!” The man in the lab coat begged.
“We don’t care what you need!” the young woman told him. “Now hand over the case or else thing will get ugly real fast!”
“Hey!” Ash called, getting the attention of the two. When the young man and woman turned, Ash and Misty could see that a gold symbol that looked like a letter G was on the chest of their uniforms. “Leave that guy alone!”
“Beat it punk. This doesn’t concern you!” the uniformed young man told him.
“No way!” Ash said defiantly. “Now who are you guys?”
“If you must know we’re Team Galactic.” The young woman said with a smug expression as she put her hand on her hip. “And if you knew what was good for you, you’d leave now.”
“Team Galactic? Is that anything like Team Rocket?” Ash asked.
“You mean that gang of crooks from Kanto?” the young woman laughed. “Please, we’re nothing like those losers. Our goal is to create a new and better world.”
“And just what kind of world are you guys after?” Misty demanded to know.
“Well… hmm… you know come to think of it I’ve never really thought about it before.” The young woman suddenly realized. “I mostly joined because I liked the uniform.”
“Yeah, same here.” The young man admitted. “I mean I don’t really care about the uniform, I just joined ‘cause I like this hairstyle.”
“Boy, what lame fashion sense.” Misty commented.
“Yeah, and that’s a pretty lame reason they have too.” Ash agreed.
“Look, it doesn’t matter why we joined Team Galactic!” the young man told them as he got back on topic. “We’re part of it, and our boss want whatever Professor Rowan’s assistant has in that case! So you better back off and let us do our job!”
“I don’t think so!” Ash declared.
“Looks like we’re going to have to teach them a lesson, aren’t we Curtis?” the young woman said to her uniformed comrade.
“Looks that way Debbie.” Curtis agreed as he pulled out a Pokeball. “Let’s get ‘em Wurmple!”
Emerging from the ball that Curtis threw was a large purple caterpillar with a white snout and underside. It lad large yellow eyes and a large yellow horn on its forehead. Immediately Riolu jumped in front of Ash to face Wurmple.
“You want to fight Riolu?” Ash asked. Riolu nodded and said a word in its own language, not once taking its eyes off its would-be opponent. “Okay then, let’s do it!”
“Don’t think this is gonna be an easy fight.” Debbie said as she threw out a Pokeball of her own. “Go Zubat!”
Emerging from Debbie’s thrown ball was a blue bat with purple wings. The bat did not have any eyes, or any apparent nose.
“Go Corsola!” Misty called as she threw out a Pokeball.
Emerging from Misty’s Pokeball was a round somewhat rock-like creature that was pink on its top half and white on its bottom. On its back were four branch-like horns that resembled coral. It also had two stubby arms and four stubby legs.
“It may be two-on-two, but this won’t end the way you think!” Curtis declared. “Wurmple, attack with…”
Before Curtis could finish his command, Riolu’s right paw began to glow with a white light. In the blink of an eye Riolu punched Wurmple in the snout.
“What the…? Bullet Punch?” Curtis exclaimed.
“Wow, I didn’t know Riolu knew that move.” Ash said looking a little amazed. “Okay Riolu, finish it with Quick Attack!”
Just as Wurmple recovered from Riolu’s last attack, Riolu suddenly vanished. In an instant Riolu reappeared and hit Wurmple with a roundhouse kick to the face. When it was over Wurmple was out cold.
“You’ll pay for that you punk!” Debbie declared. “Zubat, hit that little runt with Wing Attack!”
Zubat then flew at Riolu. As it did, the bat’s wings began to glow with a white light.
“Don’t forget about me!” Misty cut in. “Corsola, use Ancient Power on Zubat!”
A ball of white light formed in between Corsola’s horns. The coral Pokemon fired the ball at Zubat. The bat Pokemon was hit and fell to the ground out cold.
“We’re not done yet!” Curtis said as he and Debbie called back their Pokemon.
But before the two members of Team Galactic could make another move, a ball of blue light suddenly flew into the middle of the battlefield. Everyone stopped and turned to see Riley and Lucario standing nearby.
“I think you two better leave.” Riley suggested to Curtis and Debbie. “Lucario and I won’t go as easy on you as our young friends there just did.”
“Oh yeah?” Curtis dared as he took out another Pokeball and prepared to throw it.
“Curtis no!” Debbie said as she quickly grabbed her comrade’s arm. “That guy looks really tough, and those other two just took out our best Pokemon. We should cut our losses and leave.”
“…Fine!” Curtis agreed grudgingly. “But you’ll pay for this!”
With that, Curtis and Debbie ran off. Meanwhile Riolu excitedly ran up to its fully evolved counter part.
“Hey Riley.” Ash greeted, still a little surprised to see the man that had given him Riolu’s egg again.
“Looks like we meet again.” Riley greeted back. He then turned to Professor Rowan’s assistant. “What is it you have in that case that Team Galactic would want?”
“Just some water records of Lake Varity that the professor wanted to examine.” The assistant answered. “I have no idea why those goons would want them.”
“I see. Well you should get those records to the professor as soon as possible.” Riley suggested.
“I will. Thanks for your help.” The assistant replied before darting off.
“So Riley, what’re you doing here in Jubilife?” Ash asked.
“Believe it or not, I was here trying to find out what those two people from Team Galactic were up to.” Riley explained. “I’ve been on their trail for awhile now.”
“So are you some sort of policeman?” Misty asked.
“Actually, I’m an Aura Guardian.” Riley revealed. “And I’ve taken it upon myself to stop whatever plan that Team Galactic has.”
“What’s an Aura Guardian?” Ash asked.
“All living things produce an energy that is called Aura.” Riley explained. “And there are those out there who can see Aura and manipulate it if needed. Pokemon like Riolu and Lucario come by this ability naturally. But there are some humans who also have this ability; they’re called Aura Guardians. In the past Aura Guardians used their power to help people and Pokemon, and if necessary fight injustice.”
“And you’re one of these Aura Guardians?” Ash asked.
“If you can’t take my word for it, see for yourself.” Riley replied as he held up his hand. Suddenly in the palm of his hand formed a ball of blue light. Ash and Misty looked at the phenomenon in amazement. “Over the years the Aura Guardians have more or less faded out of existence. I am one of the few humans today who can see and manipulate Aura. And so are you Ash.”
“Me?” Ash said with a look of disbelief. “What makes you think I have this power?”
“Lucario and I both sensed it when we met you.” Riley explained as the ball of light in his hand faded. “It’s one of the reasons why I gave you Riolu’s egg. You have great potential to become an Aura Guardian.”
“But I’ve never been able to do anything like you just showed us.” Ash said, still not believing what Riley was saying.
“Whether you know it or not you have the power.” Riley replied. “And I would like to train you to use that power.”
“Look, even if you’re right and I do have this weird power, my dream is to become a Pokemon Master.” Ash pointed out.
“I see… but what if I were to tell you to tell you that being a Pokemon Master and an Aura Guardian weren’t the separate things they appear to be?” Riley suggested.
“What do you mean?” Ash asked.
“I’ve always thought that a Pokemon Master was one who could understand the Pokemon that they raise. Training as an Aura Guardian would allow one to read their Pokemon’s emotions through their Aura and understand them better.” Riley explained. “At the very least the training could help you raise Riolu.”
“I dunno…” Ash said with a look of hesitation.
“Ash, what would it hurt to try?” Misty pointed out. “I mean I’d be lying if I fully believed that you had this power Riley thinks you have, but it’d be interesting to find out if you really did. And if you really are good at something it’s be a shame not to see just how good.”
“The choice is yours of course.” Riley pointed out. “I’ll respect whatever decision you make.”
Ash looked at Riley for a moment, then back at Misty. Then he looked to Pikachu and Riolu. The two Pokemon had encouraging looks on their faces.
“…Okay, I’ll do it.” Ash finally agreed.
“Very well, we’ll start your training tomorrow.” Riley told him. “For now we might as well get back on the road. I assume you’re headed for Oreburgh City.”
“Yeah, and it’ll be nice to have you come with.” Ash told him.
“Then let’s go.” Riley suggested, and with that the six went on.
“Hey Riley, it’s nice that you’re training Ash, but weren’t you going after Team Galactic?” Misty pointed out.
“I have a feeling that’s we’ll be running into Team Galactic again on this journey.” Riley told her.