Chapter 2: “You’re Still a Kid, Kid”
Fan fiction inspired by Pokemon
Rating: Young Adult
Professor Juniper met with me the next day to discuss what had happened to me when I had met Emolga. We sat in the courtyard of a hotel in Driftveil City, where I had spent the night before. I watched paying attention somewhat, as Vileplume and Emolga were chasing each other playfully.
“So you believe that this trainer was trying to control the Emolga with that collar around its neck?” asked my superior.
“To be precise, the trainer was trying to abuse his power against Emolga’s will,” I replied. “Pokémon and people work together because they trust one another. Without the trust, the pokémon could possibility use its own abilities against its trainer.”
“And what makes you think that?”
“Fourteen years ago when I attended a Pokémon League tournament in Kanto, the champion was killed by his own pokémon just a week after he had won the title. From what I understand, he did not love or trust his pokémon enough to convince his Machoke to trust him. I decided from that day on that I would live my life to inspire other trainers to care for their pokémon, as I had done for my Vileplume.”
“And what makes you the authority on caring for pokémon anyway, kid?”
“Hey, I’m not that much younger than you, Prof. Juniper!”
“Compared to the number of publications and reputation in the field of Pokémon Studies, you will need decades more experience. So you’re still a kid, kid. Besides, just because your methods for caring for your Vileplume works for you doesn’t mean that it works the same way for other people. Both humans and pokémon have a variety of personalities. The best trainers and their pokémon work only because they are compatible with each other and by sharing experiences together that allow them to find out.”
“You’ve been reading my articles, haven’t you?” I said, forcing a smile.
“I may have skimmed it, but even a youngster who’s not even a trainer yet could figure that out!”
I glanced away from Prof. Juniper for a moment. Her sarcastic tones irked me.
“You know, you could at least be a little more respectful to future professors in the field.”
“Why exactly are you a professor, kid?”
I glanced at her in confusion. That’s not a question I’m normally asked; though it’s not surprising coming from a well-respected pokémon professor.
“Most of us who are professors become them because we have a relentless fascination with pokémon that puzzles us from our first contact with the creatures to the day we die,” she continued. “But Prof. Ginkgo, you seem to have got it all figured out from an early age, or so it seems.”
“I don’t think I know everything about pokémon. I just know from my experience what works and what doesn’t.”
“Kid, with your attitude toward pokémon, you would be better off as a trainer and competed in all those Pokémon League tournaments. You say you want to inspire trainers to love their pokémon? That sounds like the ambition of a trainer, not a professor. Professors do not hold on to arrogance as one of their values. You shouldn’t either.”
“Okay, so I’m arrogant. What then are pokémon professors supposed to be then?”
Professor Juniper paused as she gazed out toward Emolga and Vileplume.
“It’s simple, really. We are mentors. We are heroes to the heroes we inspire. Isn’t that the joy we get from sending off a trainer on his or her first journey?”
I shrugged. I was so wrapped up in my studies that I never once thought of taking in potential trainers as students. Professor Juniper chuckled and continued.
“Of course, there is an alternative. We could be villains, too!”
I was shocked by her comment. She said it so plainly and without hesitation.
“What do you mean by that, Professor?”
“Well, not all pokémon professors do their research for the good of trainers and their pokémon. Some of them exploit trainers and pokémon alike for the sake of study, even if they intend nothing from it.”
“But I want to help them. I would like to see harmony between humans and pokémon more than anything.”
“Is that really all you want, Prof. Ginkgo?”
I nodded. Professor Juniper sighed as she turned away from me again.
“Sometimes I wonder, kid. That’s all. After all, you said it yourself in one of your presentations as a PhD candidate in the field that you have given up on humanity.”
My heart skipped a beat.
“I don’t remember saying such a thing,” I denied. “How would you know?”
“PhD student Shuichi Oda from Celadon City, Kanto. You presented your thesis on ‘The Psychological Compatibility of Pokémon and Their Trainers.’ Your main argument was that trainers and pokémon worked together solely because of their trust in each other and that no one method could achieve this level of compatibility; but the most important measurement was, indeed, for their love for each other, much like the compatibility between two humans. Your argument was, in my opinion, very childish; and if it were up to me, I would’ve never allowed you to pass and become a pokémon professor. However, your handling of the Q&A session was phenomenal, even among other members of that panel. Your charisma and authority on your subject told that panel, your advisers, and your rival candidates that you were something special. But one detail continued to stick in my mind from your presentation as I continued to read the article.
“Because of a single incident with a certain Pokémon League champion and his allegedly accidental death, you concluded that you had given up on humanity. You believed that all humans seemed to think that pokémon are just tools for their enjoyment; and yet you would somehow inspire these same trainers to trust their pokémon as friends, possibly even family members, just as you had connected with your Vileplume. Hearing that, I would have definitely vetoed your candidacy immediately and requested that you would no longer study pokémon again; but alas, I was not there to do it.”
I briskly stood up from my seat.
“I asked you to come here so that I may know some information about this situation,” I said angrily. “But if you’re here just to lecture me, then I have no reason to stay. I may hate people, but believe me when I say this: I will never do anything to harm trainers or pokémon. Good day, Prof. Juniper. I will escort you out of this place.”
Professor Juniper sighed and looked away from me.
“There’s no need for that, kid. This isn’t Celadon City where the girls are expected to walk with ‘chivalrous’ men. It can’t be helped if you don’t want to listen to me anyway. The truth is I know nothing of the Emolga, its trainer, or the collar around its neck. I wish you the best, Prof. Ginkgo.”
She stood up from her seat, turned away from me and made her way toward the exit. I was still angry and frustrated at her, and yet she stopped, her back turned, and spoke an earshot away from me.
“I hope someday you will learn to trust humanity again, Professor,” she said. “After all, humanity hasn’t given up on you.”