Chapter 29: Gathering in Mistralton
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon
Rating: Young Adult
Vileplume and I boarded the helicopter with the Trainers Association representative. As soon as we sat down, we took off toward our destination.
“It’s good to see you again, Shuichi,” said the woman.
“It’s good to see you too, Amy,” I smiled.
“How long has it been?”
“After I decided to go back to school, you were on your way to train some more for the Pokémon League,” I said. “We haven’t seen each other since. You certainly have grown a lot after all this time.”
Amy smiled slyly.
“Thanks, Shuichi. And you certainly have grown a lot too, Shuichi; especially down there.”
Amy pointed at the growth in my pants. I turned my legs away from her, embarrassed, and covered myself up with my hands. Amy laughed. So did the pilot, for that matter.
“It’s alright, Shuichi, you’re a man after all,” she said.
“Well it’s still embarrassing for a woman to just point stuff like that out, you know?”
“Admit it; you’re just happy to see me.”
“Yeah, I guess I am.”
We sat in silence for a while on the helicopter ride. Something still bothered me as I traveled with this old friend of mine from the past.
“You’re still thinking about her, aren’t you?” said Amy, breaking our silence.
I sighed heavily.
“Of course I am,” I said. “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her, especially now. Now my former assistant has tried to replace her by calling herself ‘Prof. Sakura.’”
“Who exactly is this Prof. Sakura? I’ve seen her name come up a lot in my reports.”
“She used to be my assistant in the PhD program at the university in Saffron City. Her real name is Kanon Aizawa. Now she’s using one of my failed projects as a means to carry out whatever plans she has for all those trainers and their pokémon. By the way, Amy, how did you get involved in all of this? I thought your jurisdiction was in the Sinnoh region.”
“It’s true that I normally carry out investigations for the Pokémon League Trainers Association in Sinnoh, but Erika made quite a strong appeal to all the Elite Four executives in each region. She asked that you specifically would need to get assistance by our organization. I, of course, couldn’t turn away from a friend, so I decided to take you to our base of operations.”
“Where exactly are we going anyway?” I asked inquisitively.
“We’ll be landing in Mistralton City in Unova. There’s an air base there that’s safe enough for all flying vehicles to land. It’s also the closest city to our suspect’s secret base.”
“So I guess I’ll be going back to Twist Mountain, where this all began.”
“Not quite, Shuichi. We’ll be heading away from Twist Mountain when we land. We’ve already gathered some of Unova’s gym leaders and a group of members from all the Pokémon League Trainers Associations worldwide. Our only goal, though, is to support our secret weapon by getting him into the base and heading straight for the professor inside.”
“Secret weapon? Who or what is that?”
Amy stretched her arms and continued.
“Erika’s leaked me some information about a certain gym member of ours in Celadon City who’s been training to be a warrior. You will be responsible for delivering the coup de grace on Prof. Sakura. After all, only a pokémon warrior stands a chance in defeating another warrior.”
“Sounds like quite the challenge. But I guess this beats having to stay cooped up in an interrogation cell until this is all over.”
Amy glazed over me with a frown on her face. I probably shouldn’t have mentioned what had happened to me at the Professors Summit in Saffron City.
“Speaking of challenges, have you found someone to settle down with yet?” asked Amy affectionately.
“Oh please, not you too!” I said embarrassingly. “Too much has happened lately for me to think about those kinds of things.”
“It’s alright, Shuichi. You and I really are in the same boat.”
Amy frowned and looked out the helicopter window. I frowned too as I got a better look at her solemn face.
“What do you mean by that?” I asked.
Amy turned back slightly and looked down at her feet.
“My parents ask me the same thing too, you know. ‘When will you get married and have children?’ they would ask. I’ve always told them I’m busy, but that’s not always true. You see, Shuichi, just like you, there was someone else I loved. But I guess it was never meant to be.”
She didn’t have to say any more. I knew who he was. I knew him well, too.
Ever since Amy and I left Celadon City that day, he was there. We may have gone our separate ways, but we occasionally met up as our paths crossed again. He was the reason Amy wanted to become the strong pokémon trainer she is today. Her relationship with him and my relationship with Mei Jia were very different, and yet they were also the same.
When Mei Jia died, I lost my love and Amy lost her sister. When we found out Nathan died, Amy lost her love and I lost my best friend.
“It’s unfortunate, isn’t it?” I said as I wept with her.
Amy turned to me as she shed a tear.
“If we lived in another time and in another place, perhaps we would be together. But with our circumstances, we can’t. I really wish they were both still with us. Wouldn’t that be wonderful if they were?”
Amy rested her eyes and leaned on my shoulder as we continued on our way to Unova.
“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” she said softly. “That would be wonderful.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
We landed at the Mistralton City airport after a long ride from the Kanto region. Amy and I got off the helicopter and hurried to our base of operations, where some of the Unova gym leaders and members of the Trainers Association had already gathered.
As I approached the crowd of trainers and their pokémon, a teenager walked up to greet me. He had a somewhat disheveled look, much like Erika’s husband Jun when I had first met him. His fashion sense was a little more up-scale though, considering he at least wore a collared white shirt and what looked like two red ties.
“Greetings, you must be Prof. Ginkgo,” said the teenager. “Bianca tells me a lot about you.”
“Pleased to meet you,” I said, shaking his hand.
“My name’s Cheren. I may not look it, but I’m the Aspertia City gym leader.
“How did someone as young as you get involved with all this?”
Cheren looked into my eyes without changing his facial expression.
“I was involved in saving the Unova region from disaster several times already, so naturally I would get involved here as well. Though to be honest, Team Plasma was much more of a problem.”
Lovely, my first meeting with a Unova gym leader, and it’s some cocky kid who is also an acquaintance of Prof. Juniper’s quirky assistant! Nonetheless I was impressed with his articulation and his calmness in the situation at hand. Amy introduced me to the other gym leaders who were present.
The slender model-looking girl was Elesa. She’s the gym leader in Nimbasa City and carries electric pokémon. She is the Trainers Association’s ace against our enemies, the enslaved pokémon. The knowledge from Prof. Juniper’s reports had extended to them, so they had to call in some expert in electric type pokémon if we had a chance at disarming the collars perfected by Aizawa.
The much larger, muscular man in the hat was Clay. He’s the gym leader in Driftveil City and specializes in ground pokémon. From what I understand, he’s quite the scientist himself as he traverses mountains and caves for researching ancient pokémon. He also happens to be one of Prof. Juniper’s lesser known colleagues. I say “lesser known” because I’ve never heard her mention Clay before.
The other woman in our group in a skinny blue jumpsuit is Skyla. She’s the local gym leader in Mistralton City. She told me right away that she was not directly involved in this case at all, but was willing to support us by providing our base of operations here. She owns this airport but uses it for cargo ships more than anything else. Allowing her airport to be used for people and pokémon is certainly more than enough for us, so I am very grateful to her.
Another man who appeared to be quite eccentric and wore mismatched clothes was Burgh, the Castelia City gym leader. Specializing in bug pokémon, he provided many of the trainers here with a Joltik for safe keeping. Joltiks are little bug pokémon that also have electric properties, and could be very useful in subduing enemy pokémon.
“Here, Professor, you should take one as well,” he said, handing me a pokéball containing a Joltik.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” I told him. “Where I’ll be going, there’s no need for that pokémon. Besides, I have a friend’s Emolga with me for such occasions. Please go ahead and pass on the Joltik to another trainer who will need it more.”
“Such cruel words, yet so eloquent, coming from such a wonderful man!” he exclaimed, holding my hand, with tears in his eyes. “Truly you are worthy of being the secret weapon of this operation, Prof. Ginkgo!”
My face turned bright red. What was this man’s deal? Luckily the officer among Unova’s Pokémon League Trainers Association interrupted to start our meeting.
The captain of our operation was Marshal. He specializes in fighting pokémon and is also a member of the Elite Four, the group that makes up the Executive Board of each Trainers Association regional chapter. While this matter has gotten five gym leaders and an executive member involved, along with about twenty-five other associates of Unova’s Trainers Association, this was considerably a small-scale operation. Any larger and all the Elite Four, as well as the Executive Director, would be involved.
“Listen carefully, everyone,” said Marshal, standing in front of the crowd gathered here. “In just a few more hours, we will be commencing our attack on Prof. Sakura’s base of operations in Unova. Our reports give us strong evidence that she will be there. Along with the professor, there are at least two hundred trainers garrisoned inside the base, each with enslaved pokémon. You may recognize some of these trainers as locals from Unova; and I urge you not to forget that they are still our friends. When you encounter such a trainer, you must apprehend them immediately, but do not kill them. The trainers found there are simply being used by our enemy and their pokémon are enslaved by this device here.”
Marshal raised a broken collar for all of us to see. The members of the Trainers Association studied the device attentively without a word.
“Burgh has provided those here without an electric pokémon with a Joltik,” he continued. “Use that pokémon to disable the device after you have weakened a pokémon. The electrical discharge should render the device useless and therefore normalizing the pokémon bound to the device.”
Our captain paced around to describe the rest of the details of our operation.
“We shall begin our operations by storming the base from both the surface and underground. The structure of the base is a tower that generates much electricity, perhaps to power the core of all these controlling devices, so an air raid is nearly impossible. Clay and Cheren will take charge in building a tunnel to safely have a few trainers infiltrate the base from below. Burgh will lead our left flank and Elesa our right flank as we attack from the surface. Skyla, we thank you for providing us with this space to prepare for this operation. You may go back to your normal routines after we leave.”
Skyla happily saluted Marshal, knowing she had other plans today. Without the cargo going to and coming from her airport, many businesses in Unova would be affected significantly. She’d already done more than what any of us could ask for.
“Lastly,” continued Marshal, “I would like to emphasize that this is a supporting operation. Members of the Professors in Pokémon Studies will also be participating in this operation to apprehend our real target, Prof. Sakura. As the Pokémon League Trainers Association, we have agreed to let them take care of the part of this operation that involves her. We have one such representative here in our midst, Prof. Ginkgo of Kanto.
Marshal pointed me out of the crowd as the other trainers got a good look at me. Amy and I both felt a little embarrassed, but remained focused.
“He knows our culprit better than anyone else here. According to Prof. Juniper, however, he was not supposed to be involved with this case by order of the Board of Professors. If he is caught by any of the professors, it is possible that both he and Prof. Juniper will lose their credentials as professors in the field. Having said that, he is also our operation’s secret weapon. We will support him to get into the base in order to apprehend Prof. Sakura before the other professors do. Are there any questions?”
With that, no other trainers spoke up.
“Very well then,” said Marshal. “Let Operation: Ginkgo Leaf begin!”