2 Something happened
The crowd roared, but the woman could only gasp in shock. Smoke covered the battlefield, but she knew what had happened at its centre.
"Garchomp!" called Cynthia. "Garchomp, are you ok?"
As the smoke began to clear she could see her partner on the ground, clearly out cold. She fell to her knees in utter shock, looking at the man across the field as he recalled his Pokémon without a word. She had lost.
People were leaving the stadium discussing only one thing. Cynthia, the Pokémon Master had been beaten. And not just beaten, but thrashed. Totally and ruthlessly crushed. Her opponent had used only one Pokémon. A Pokémon of raw power, that had been the only one that he had used as he destroyed trainer after trainer on his way to challenge Cynthia.
Cynthia was crowned Pokémon master 3 years previously and looked set to dominate the Pokémon leadership for a decade. Nobody had ever suspected that she would be humbled in such a fashion. And the worst part of it all for her? She had absolutely no idea who her successor was.
The man stepped out of the door onto the street. He was tall, with black hair that wasn't long, but unruly. It was clear just by looking at him that he was not the kind of person to meet in a dark ally, with an imposing physique and the aura he seemed to exude. He wore black, boots, trousers and a shirt, with a jacket over the top. 6 Pokéballs were visible on a belt at his waist, and his face was covered by a hat which cast a slant hiding one of his eyes. In front of him was a ring of reporters and news crews, desperate for something from the new Pokémon Master. The man didn't say a word, he just strode through the middle, ignoring every question thrown at him.
"Sir, Sir, can you at least tell us your name!" called a desperate reporter, reaching for the figure as it passed him. As his hand touched the man's shoulder, those watching gasped in shock as the reporter was thrown backwards by an invisible force. He hit the street, and watched as the man kept walking without even breaking his stride. The reporters looked at each other in something close to awe. The new Master was not a man to anger it seemed.
The man reached a black vehicle with tinted windows and the door opened by itself. He got in and the vehicle moved off. He felt nothing. He ran back through his battle, highlighting errors and working on improving them. He felt satisfied with his success, nothing more and nothing less. He felt his victory was no less than he deserved. As his car reached a tall set of imposing black gates, the gates opened, and the car drove onto a ramp which took it up to a bridge. The car traveled along the bridge for nearly 4 miles, heading out to sea until it reached an island. It drove off the end of the bridge, and through the forest until it stopped at the entrance to a large house. The door opened and the man stepped out, going to the door of the house which opened by itself. He strode through the house, and out the back and for the first time that day a smile graced the features of Ash Ketchum as he looked over his Pokémon.
There was not as many as might be expected from the new Pokémon Master. In addition to the 6 at his waist which he released, there was only 8 others. As he released the 6 Pokémon he was carrying into the gardens he felt a head push against his hand and a soothing aroma come from his other side. Two of his Pokémon had come up to him, and he looked at each of them before turning and going back inside.
Meganium and Espeon looked at each other. A silent conversation passed between the two and they followed him into his house. They found Ash cooking food for the Pokémon so Espeon curled up on a chair where she could watch from, and Meganium leaned against a side. As Ash completed his task he walked out of the house with 15 bowls following him. Each bowl was a different colour according to the Pokémon whose food it contained. Each bowl set itself down near the Pokémon it was for, except for the 15th which set itself down in an area which was a short distance away from the rest of the Pokémon.
This area had a small sleeping bag as well as a bottle of ketchup. Espeon watching from her own food mewed at her master who looked round at her. Ash watched his Pokémon with a certain degree of satisfaction. Although he hadn't used to be able to cook, he was now more than capable and could cook food that rivalled the best in terms of nutritious value to his Pokémon. Ash knew that the Pokémon with him were all he had; they fought for him, and him alone. He had proved his loyalty to each of them more times than any of them cared to count, and they had responded in kind.
Once they had all finished eating they formed up in front of Ash. As soon as the last one reached him, Ash turned and started running. His Pokémon all kept up with few problems, as he had set off at a relatively slow pace. However, every minute the pace picked up until they were running faster than should have been possible for a human to sustain.
After they had covered 20 miles in this fashion, achieving it in an hour, a staggering feat for a normal human but normal for this team, they had returned to the house. The team then headed for an area away from the house which turned out to be a gym. Each went to their allotted place, and began a workout regime. It took another hour for Ash to leave the weights he was using and turn to his Pokémon. He stated only one word.
"Pairs." Ash then turned away again and went to a spot just outside his house where he began to meditate whilst the Pokémon immediately paired up and began to battle. Every so often he was call to one of his Pokémon, giving them advice on how to improve. Eventually, their training regimen was over, and his Pokémon returned to their areas to rest. Ash walked into his house and sat on a sofa, but heard padding behind him. Espeon had followed him in, and mewing softly she jumped up next to him, curling up. Relaxed as she looked, her mind was busy, reaching out to her master to talk to him, mewing softly at him when she felt his mind connect.
Espeon didn't think anything along the connection, and at first neither did Ash. Then he allowed his thoughts to flow. Espeon sat there, accepting them, and not commenting. She felt his satisfaction at his achievement but also his regrets. More than anything, they both knew that this day was incomplete without his first Pokémon, his starter. Pikachus absence weighed on Ash and by extension his team.
Even those who had never met the electric mouse had heard about him from those who had, and they all wished he had been there. However, none of them knew the truth about his absence. None except the Sun Pokémon curled up next to Ash. She had been the only one that Ash had confided in, in the aftermath of the event, before Ash began to turn truly cold. His compassion for his Pokémon never diminished, but towards the rest of the world he became cold.
To his friends... They didn't even know he was alive. He hadn't contacted any of them for 7 year; he hadn't wanted to. After his defeat in Sinnoh he had left to train. Alone. As time passed, some of his Pokémon rebelled against his new mentality; they missed their more care-free life, and their care-free master. And whilst he still cared for them, both him and his Pokémon knew that the life he was now leading was not for everybody. They parted without anger, more the departure of friends. They returned to the wild, although many visited at times. In Ash's view this was the perfect outcome if they didn't want to stay. However, that view changed when Pikachu left.
The Pokémon that wanted to leave had all done it very early in the training when they realised what their life was going to be like. It took 4 months for Pikachu to realize what he wanted, and he came to Ash. The rodent knew that he could be stronger than ever if he trained but he didn't want to watch Ash lose himself. So he left, and in the aftermath Ash confronted his Pokémon, telling them that this was their last chance to leave if they didn't want to train with him anymore.
There was an edge to his voice when speaking, and many of his Pokémon agreed that departure was their best option. Left with a mere 4 Pokémon, Ash spent the years rebuilding his team, and training them. He then returned to society and entered the World League, without giving his name. He had risen straight through the tournament and finally crushed Cynthia in the final. His victory granted him the rank of Pokémon Master, the title that he had long dreamed would be his. Finally it was.
The next day Ash returned to the stadium where he met with the Mr Goodshow. When asked what his name was, Ash merely stared. Having realised that if he persisted, little good was going to come of it, Mr Goodshow proposed a compromise, where Ash's name wouldn't be public, but it needed to be known by the organizer of the Pokémon League. Ash's response was to slide a red box over the table.
It opened and announced that it was the Pokédex of Ash Satoshi Ketchum. Ash then picked it up, took a folder which contained the information that he would need, and then strode out of the room, leaving a shocked Mr Goodshow to watch the door swing shut behind him.
At a later press announcement, it was announced that the new Pokémon Master "Did not wish to be named, and so would simply be called 'the Champion'. He would not conduct interviews, but would be available to battle for the traditional month after the change of Champion, which would begin immediately after his coronation which was set for 3 days time." Understandably the media was unimpressed at the lack of information, but accepted it as what to expect with the mysterious man at the front of the Pokémon League. This was a reaction mirrored across the world as people watched, but were disappointed with what they received.
"That's ridiculous! How can he give nothing at all to them!"
"Max, calm down"
"He's meant to be the face of the league, how can he"
"MAX, SHUT UP"
Gary Oak had had just about enough of Max's complaining. The younger trainer had been whining about the lack of information from 'The Champion', his new idol. Whilst he had received his training license some years previously, Max still idolised strong trainers, and anybody who could win any tournament with a single Pokémon, let alone the world championship was worth idolising. However, that didn't give the youngster an excuse to keep on complaining.
"Though I wouldn't mind being taught by him, how do you think he got his Pokémon so strong?"
Brock chuckled as Gary looked at the ceiling, begging for the younger trainer to just shut up. They were sat in Professor Oak's laboratory, watching the announcement of the new Master having all reunited there, like they had every year. Every year since the boy who joined them all together vanished. They met each year on the anniversary of the day that Pikachu reached Pallet Town, and was taken in by Delia Ketchum. Not a single one of Ash's other Pokémon ever returned, and Pallet Town's favourite son vanished off the radar. Now every year his friends all came and remembered him.
It was the second year that Tracey pointed out that the World League came around the same time, and they all met to watch it. Gary had joined on the third year and whilst Misty had complained that Gary had never been a friend of Ash's, Gary pointed out that he had known Ash for far longer than Misty, and had been the one who kept Pikachu in shape training with him whenever he was in Pallet. As the years went on, they kept on coming back, and they began to enjoy the time together. It was now the third year that Drew had accompanied May to the reunion, as he had since they had started dating. Dawn had remained single and was considered to be the best coordinator around.
May and Drew had competed for some years, but they had both slowly fallen away from Contests, and more into just raising Pokémon. Misty had until recently remained as the Cerulean Gym leader, but after becoming one of the most fearsome water Pokémon trainers around, she had preparing for a journey to qualify for the World League. Although she could have competed this year, she had wanted to train more, so had returned to the Gym, although not taking it back over. Brock had become a Pokémon Doctor and Tracey had become a researcher in his own right though he stayed as an assistant, sometimes aiding Professor Oak, sometimes aiding Gary.
Max was determined to be a trainer as strong as whoever his latest idol was, although whenever he was asked why he drove himself so hard he responded simply: "Ash did". Professor Oak enjoyed the reunion every year, since he got to see any new Pokémon that any of them had captured whilst Delia Ketchum was always saying how happy she was to look after Ash's family whilst she waited for him to come home.
The final two people at the re-union were the ex-members of Team Rocket, Jessie and James, along with Meowth. They had tried to capture Pikachu two weeks after he returned to Pallet, but instead of fighting them, Pikachu had simply ignored them. Even after leaving Ash, Pikachu's strength was staggering and he had utterly destroyed the Pokémon sent against him.
Since he didn't send them blasting off, they had asked what was wrong and, through Meowth, Pikachu explained that he felt his trainer was dead. Meowth had wanted to help a fellow Pokémon through such a loss, remembering when he was rejected by Meowzie, and Jessie and James agreed. They quit Team Rocket, and James began to train as a proper trainer whilst Jessie focused on fashion although she still travelled with James.
Pikachu had accompanied him for a year, and at the end of it they were accepted at the reunion. It was James who finally spoke up, in order to quieten Max before Gary acted on his contemplated murder.
"Professor Oak, who do you think it could be, to be so strong? I mean, how can somebody appear from nowhere that strong?"
Max instantly shut up and spun around to stare at the Professor, who glared at James.
"I honestly have no idea who it might be James, although I would be very interested in studying his Pokémon, I have never seen power which is even close to that"
"But Professor..." Max started,
"Max, for the love of Arceus, shut up!" Gary, Brock and Dawn shouted.
The youngster was stunned into silence. Until, 5 seconds later... "But he must of come from somewhere!"
James stood up. "Max, I know your excited, but honestly, we are all getting irritated with your talk about the Champion. Please can you take a break for a bit, perhaps do some training?"
Max was about to respond when he heard a call from Delia "Dinner's ready!"