Chapter 13: Crisis at the University
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
I took my transceiver back from Diana. Indeed, the incoming call was coming from Prof. Augustine Sycamore, the regional director of Kalos. The board member Prof. Lawrence Sycamore has served on the University’s governing body for many years, particularly in the field of trainer relations. This Prof. Sycamore, however, is around my age, but was considered a prodigy when he went through the system. While most of his projects had revolved around the technology of the pokémon world, he became the Kalos director because of his reputation through his research on mega evolution.
The two professors are not actually related by blood, despite carrying on the same alias. There was never really a rule against having the same alias in the University of Pokémon Studies system, so long as they were in different fields or different locations, so as not to confuse them. For every article that professors write in the official PokéSci Journal, our first name and alias are given, along with which field we specialized in and what university we represented.
I, personally, am Prof. Shuichi Ginkgo, in the field of Trainer Relations, from the University of Pokémon Studies in Saffron City.
“Bonjour, Professeur Ginkgo!” said the professor in a Kalosian accent on the video screen. “Ooh la la, you look so wonderful in that kimono of yours. What’s the occasion?”
I attended one of Prof. Sycamore’s seminars recently on his additional findings on the mega ring. Apparently a mega evolution for certain pokémon can only happen when it has a bond with a trainer that holds a mega ring, while the pokémon also holds the appropriate stone, or so he had stated at his seminar. I found this concept very fascinating since it reminded me of the link a pokémon warrior has with his or her own pokémon when fighting alongside each other in battle.
As it happens, Prof. Sycamore has also been very interested in my research using the Pokémon Warlord Database, though I can’t seem to fathom why, since he hasn’t asked me any questions about it since we met. In any case, we exchanged information a while back and now he gives me these calls at least once a week.
“It’s nothing really, Prof. Sycamore,” I told him. “I’m just visiting the Celadon City gym today.”
“Oh, très magnifique!” he exclaimed. “It’s wonderful that you still have such good relations with them and the Pokémon League Trainers Association. Not many of the professors in Kalos are on such terms with them here. The professors of Kanto must be something else.”
“Enough with the flattery,” I said sharply. “What’s the problem this time?”
“Oh, c’est pas terrible, Prof. Ginkgo. My idol and your advisor, the Honorary Prof. Sycamore of the Board of Professors hasn’t contacted me in so long!” he exclaimed.
I guess this explains why he took the alias Prof. Sycamore. I knew he had some kind of high respect or fanatic interest in the board member.
“That’s great and all, but why are you coming to me for these problems?” I asked. “His assistant is our department chair at the University, Prof. Lotus. Haven’t you tried talking to her?”
“I’ve tried, but she hasn’t said a word either. I know you were one of his favorite students in the doctoral program, so I thought I’d come to you. I wanted to ask him about the gift that I sent him a while back. He was interested in the mega ring technology himself, so I went ahead and sent him one.”
Wait a minute, I was interested in the mega ring technology too, and this professor just sends one to my adviser? Well I guess that shouldn’t be too surprising. He is a member of the Board of Professors, after all.
“I’m sorry, Prof. Sycamore,” I said to him over the transceiver. “I haven’t seen him in a while either. I hope you can contact him soon.”
“Oh, merci, Professeur. I need to get back to some of my paperwork now. Adieu!”
The professor ended the call with that. I gave a heavy sigh. I know he’s well-respected in the Kalos region as their director, but sometimes conversing with him can be quite taxing on me. Meanwhile, all of the other girls had been staring patiently at me, wondering what was going on.
“Diana, please take this back to my office when we get home,” I said handing the transceiver to her. “And don’t take it without permission again.”
Diana took the device and obliged.
“So, the respected Prof. Sycamore can’t be reached at all,” said Erika. “Doesn’t that strike you as a surprise, Shu-chan?”
“It does, actually,” I said. “He may be a member of the Board of Professors, but he’s easily reachable, even to professors from the other side of the world. Why would he be ignoring calls right now?”
Just then, the sliding door opened yet again. This time it was Erika’s husband Jun along with Erika’s newborn son, Teuchi, held in his arms with one hand.
“I thought I’d find you here, Shuichi,” he said without a shred of awareness to what was going on.
Jun was wearing his casual business attire as usual: a long-sleeve shirt and tie and a pair of black slacks. Even though they have been married for close to ten years now, Jun still doesn’t quite understand the ethics that surrounds the Celadon City gym. I would normally say something about his incongruous behavior, but Erika allows it anyway, since they don’t see each other very often. Jun goes away on business trips very often, so he is rarely ever home with her.
“I just heard on the news and the Celadon City Police surveillance alert,” he said to me. “It seems that something just happened last night at the University in Saffron City.”
That startled me.
“What’s going on, Jun? Tell me.”
“Professor Sycamore and Prof. Fern have been killed.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I rushed to change my clothes and had Amy drive me to the university campus as quick as possible. When we arrived at the campus, we had to leave our car on the outskirts and walk.
Saffron City and Celadon City Police patrolled every corner of the campus, it seemed. It comes to no surprise, of course. Both professors that Jun had mentioned were both members of the seven-person Board of Professors. Professor Sycamore, as I had mentioned, is the member representing the field of Trainer Relations. Professor Fern is the Chief Executive of the Special Investigations Unit. To kill not only the two of them, but the SID Chief Executive specifically, was a crime with the utmost significance. I’m sure all of SID was working around the clock to solve this case, and almost every agent was working on it.
An officer had inspected the two of us to make sure we were not the suspected criminals. Amy flashed her badge of the Sinnoh Pokémon League Trainers Association as I flashed my badge for the University of Pokémon Studies. The officer looked up our names through a database of his own and cleared us both.
“Thank you, Prof. Ginkgo,” said the officer. “That database of yours has helped our forces a lot. Please proceed with caution.”
We walked over to the administration building on campus, where the SID office was located. I’m sure they had all the answers I needed there. As predicted, all of the agents were frantically working on their analysis, reviewing reports and photographs of evidence, wondering what had happened to the professors in question.
“Ah, Prof. Ginkgo, I’m glad you’re here,” said Prof. Ebon, the section chief and my advisor during my studies in undergrad. “Have a look here. We may have discovered something about this case that interests you specifically.”
Professor Ebon had me sit at his office terminal and showed me some of the evidence that SID had been analyzing all morning.
“Apparently the two board members, Prof. Sycamore and Prof. Fern were together for a casual talk at a local cafe late last night,” he continued. “As they were walking back to the university however, two others had encountered them and attacked them. This would be another common homicide, but look here, Prof. Ginkgo.”
I watched a small clip from a surveillance camera from another nearby office complex. The two professors were surrounded by the two suspects in question, both carrying what appeared to have been katana, a light, but fast two-handed sword.
The two suspects in question also appeared to have released their pokémon: a couple of Bibarels. Bibarel is a normal and water type pokémon that usually act more like engineers for their skills at building their own habitats. They are also native to the Sinnoh region.
The Bibarel attacked the two professors head-on, before the two of them could release their own pokémon. The persons in question then approached both injured gentlemen and stabbed them directly in the chest, making the killing blows. Something was very familiar about what had unfolded in this footage. Too familiar.
Amy and I glanced at each other and shook our heads. The Yamazaki Corporation are known for their training of water type pokémon like Bibarel. Many of their security detail carries the species with them. But Amy and I have already confirmed that the company is willing to cooperate with the University system on matters of them being warriors. They couldn’t be the ones behind the assassination of the two professors.
“The Yamazaki Corporation confirmed with us that they are not enemies of the University,” I said, revealing my thoughts. “However, they did have a recent trade agreement where they had received ceremonial lances in exchange for pokémon.”
“Shuichi, you don’t think that the cases are related, do you?” asked Amy.
“I can’t be too sure,” I said worriedly. “The shipment of pokémon were sent to Ransei, the land of warlords. It’s far from this region of course, so it may be irrelevant. However, the two trainers in this footage are undeniably pokémon warriors, and those Bibarel were definitely trained for combat, as the Yamazaki Corporation may have given them. I can’t rule out the possibility that somehow our recent case and this one are in fact related.”
“Don’t you think you’re over thinking things, Shuichi?” said Amy, concerned for me. “Those pokémon are in Ransei now. Why would they be here?”
“I ask myself the same thing. It seems illogical, but somehow I just have a feeling that those two events are connected. I just know it.”
“Professor Ginkgo, I think we’re done here,” said Prof. Ebon. “You’re getting way too stressed over your recent cases and work as a professor. Besides, you don’t work for SID anymore. I ask that you drop the case and go home for a while.”
“And what should I do then, Prof. Ebon?” I asked.
“Take a sabbatical. It’s the only way for you to handle this stress right now.”
“But Prof. Ebon, I can’t sit still as our very organization is like this. Two members of the board have been killed, one being the SID Chief Executive. If anything, this is the most crucial time for me to help you guys out.”
“I’m sorry, but I can’t let you do that,” said Prof. Ebon. “As your superior in the University and the section chief of Saffron City SID, I am relieving you of your duties as a pokémon professor until further notice.”
“But Prof. Ebon–”
“That’s an order!”
I had to give in at this point. No use in trying to argue with him anymore. Still, I just knew that there was more to this situation that these SID agents were overlooking. I got up from Prof. Ebon’s desk and walked over to Amy. She was frowning in dismay. Was she disappointed in me? Or something else?
Amy and I were walking out of the office when another SID agent ran passed us to speak with Prof. Ebon.
“Sir, we have new evidence involving the deaths of Prof. Sycamore and Chief Fern,” he said.
Amy and I stopped to eavesdrop on them. Professor Ebon glared at us and rubbed his shaven head, as if he himself was too stressed to yell at us. Still, he let the agent speak.
“It appears that the two persons in question were after Prof. Sycamore for his mega ring. He had obtained one from the other Prof. Sycamore in Kalos just a day before it happened. It’s unfortunate at best, but Prof. Fern was murdered only to leave no witnesses.”
Professor Ebon felt uneasy hearing those words. Still, this confirms why Prof. Augustine Sycamore was concerned why the board member hadn’t contacted him, and verifies that he did in fact receive the mega ring from him. Of course now, it appears that he no longer has it.
“Why would the perpetrators want to take Prof. Sycamore’s mega ring in cold blood?” asked Prof. Ebon.
“We’re looking into that as we speak, but thanks to some SID agents at the University in Lumiose City, we have been able to track down where that mega ring has been taken.”
“So where is it now?”
Another frantic agent ran toward Prof. Ebon. “We just found Prof. Sycamore’s mega ring,” she said. “It was last tracked on a plane heading out of Vermillion City before our the trackers had lost its signal, leaving Kanto’s airspace.”
“Do we know where it’s headed?”
“Affirmative. The plane is bound for a small island off the coast of the region of Ransei.”
Amy and I looked at each other inquisitively. So the Yamazaki Corporation and the murders of Professors Sycamore and Fern were related after all. I was not very pleased in knowing that I was right. Amy and I nodded simultaneously and then I turned back to Prof. Ebon while she made a call on her transceiver.
“Professor Ebon, we don’t have any authority to pursue them in Ransei, not to mention it’s very dangerous there for most of our agents. What shall we do now?”
Professor Ebon looked me in the eyes and decided to give in, rubbing his eyes and forehead from the stress.
“Professor Ginkgo, that Pokémon Warlord Database has already identified some trusted warlords on that list, am I right?” he inquired. “We’ll go ahead and contact one of them.”
“Don’t bother,” I said bravely, knowing that what I was about to say may cost me my position as a pokémon professor. “I volunteer to go to Ransei. I will go to Ransei and resolve the deaths of Professors Fern and Sycamore.”
“Professor Ginkgo, you can’t just–”
“You suggested that I go on sabbatical, right Prof. Ebon? In that time, I can do whatever I wish, so long as I continue to conduct research, isn’t that correct? As a professor in the field of trainer relations and the creator of the Pokémon Warlord Database, I shall extend my research in Ransei. And while I’m there, I will see to it that Prof. Fern and Sycamore are given justice. Please accept my request.”
Professor Ebon sighed, pondering his options whether or not he would let me go. When he finally made a decision, he crossed his arms.
“Very well, Prof. Ginkgo. You may go to Ransei. Be prepared to receive your punishment when you return.”
I bowed to thank him and affirm his offer.
“Oh, and Prof. Ginkgo,” he continued, “please come back alive.”
“I will, Prof. Ebon.”
I turned back to Amy, who just got off of her phone call. I wonder what that was all about.
“I just gave the orders to release Yusaburo Yamazaki,” she said, volunteering information.
“Why would you do that?” I asked confusedly. “You’ve never done something like that before.”
“Taking someone into custody means my case is over,” she said. “With Yamazaki out of his detention and my reports incomplete, my case still goes on.”
But why would she do such a thing? Yusaburo Yamazaki even admitted he was guilty of his crimes.
“I won’t let you go to Ransei on your own,” she said. “I’m going with you.”
I stepped out of the SID office and into the hallway. I placed both my hands on her shoulders and had her face me.
“It’s too dangerous out there, Amy. You heard what Shuko said, it’s a land of pokémon warriors!”
Amy’s eyes were filled with tears.
“Why Shuichi?” she shouted. “Why won’t you let me help you? You think I want you to just go on your own and get yourself killed in an unfamiliar place, just so you can fix your organization’s problems? How do you think that makes me feel, Shuichi? What about my feelings?”
Amy continued to cry. I let my arms down and wrapped them around her back in the tightest embrace I could possibly give her. I love Amy, and I want to be with her, as much as I can. But I can’t stand the thought of losing her, too.
But now I get it. She can’t stand the thought of losing me either.