17 Developing - Part 1
Misty had been swimming when the call arrived. Lily had taken it, and then called for Misty. Answering the phone, Misty had been surprised to see Cynthia calling.
"What can I do for you?" the red-head enquired.
"Come to Indigo. I need somebody to help teach at a training camp I'm running."
When nothing else was forthcoming, Cynthia started speaking again. "Misty, I know that you were hoping for 'Champion' to train you, but he has made it clear that you aren't strong enough yet. However, this training camp will consist of some of the strongest trainers in Johto, and you could learn a lot from it. Furthermore, you are one of the strongest Water-Type trainers in the world, and they could use your experience."
Misty had been silent for a few moments. It was an honor to be asked, and it would make her a stronger trainer. Everything she wanted. There was only one answer she could really give. However, there were a few things she wanted as well.
"I'll do it, on a couple of conditions."
"Go ahead." Cynthia said her face suddenly slightly wary.
"Firstly, I want to be able to bring Gary."
"Gary Oak?" Cynthia asked, her voice betraying her interest.
"May I ask why?" Cynthia asked.
"Two reasons. He wants to get back involved in training Pokémon with him between research projects. The other is that he's my boyfriend. And don't worry, I'll vouch that he is still a good enough trainer" Misty's face was a picture of determination, something which Cynthia suspected it was on a regular basis. She knew about Misty's stubborn streak.
"Fair enough. Congratulations."
"Thanks. The other condition is that I want to be able to train with 'Champion' for at least one day."
"I can't guarantee that, he is currently out of communication. However, I'll see what I can do."
"I suppose that's good enough. When do you want us with you?"
"As soon as possible."
Now, two days later Misty was stepping into the accommodation block at Indigo. Beside her was Gary, dragging a pair of suitcases whilst Pikachu who was determined to come when he heard where they were going behind them, dragging another, smaller suitcase.
The couple was unsure how long Cynthia expected them to stay, so they had a fairly substantial amount of stuff with them. Looking around, both were impressed with the glamour of the building that they were staying in; whilst most trainers who came to Indigo were given standard accommodation, Misty had been allocated a room in the more exclusive building. Usually it was given over to Elites and Champions, but Cynthia had managed to get Misty and Gary a room.
Reaching the receptionist, Misty gave her name and was rewarded with a key to a room. Quickly finding it, they left their suitcases there, and went to the main administration building to find Cynthia. They were directed up to the eleventh floor by the receptionist. Reaching her office, they found her slightly stressed.
"Is everything alright Cynthia?" Gary asked from the office door, Misty stood next to him.
The blonde trainer turned to face them. "Just stressed, I was busy making sure all the trainers arrive and then a whole load more work appeared out of nowhere. Anyway" and she extended her hand to Misty and Gary. "Welcome to Indigo".
Misty and Gary shared a private grin. Cynthia looked every bit as stressed as they had when they had been organising the new recruits in Cerulean. After shaking hands, Cynthia gestured to the chairs in front of her desk, before walking around and seating herself behind it.
"Now, the camp." Cynthia started. "Tomorrow we will start training. I will be doing most of it, whilst Misty you will be running a session for the Water Pokémon. I should tell you that you aren't the only specialist here; I have managed to pick up specialists for Fire, Fighting, Rock, Steel and Grass Types. I'm working on getting specialists for the other types, but that won't happen before this camp. You may have heard of some of these trainers, they are certainly fairly well known."
Misty and Gary sat listening to Cynthia as she explained the arrangements. They certainly seemed thorough. She explained how the camp would last for two weeks, longer than originally planned, but given the effort that she had put into organising it Cynthia wanted it to be worth it.
"And you Gary, what will you be doing?" Cynthia finally asked.
"I can help train any time, I don't specialize. I also am able to bring the benefit of my research to my instruction, something I believe you do as well."
Cynthia looked at him, before acknowledging his statement with a wry smile. Before any of them could say anything else, there was a knock on the door. Suspecting who it was Cynthia called for the knocker to enter. The door burst open and a young women with blue hair waltzed into the room. She looked under twenty, had a Piplup on her shoulder and wore a pink skirt with a black shirt on top. A smile burst across her face as she took in Gary and Misty sat there.
"You two never told me you were going to be here!" Dawn burst out, managing to give Misty and Gary both a radiant smile and an angry look at the same time. Not waiting for either of them to answer, Dawn turned to Cynthia. "I've spoken to Wallace; he unfortunately won't be able to come and sends his apologies. I should be able to manage without him; I've had plenty of practice battling over the years."
"Thanks Dawn. I appreciate this." Cynthia managed to get out, before the exuberant women could say anything else.
"Oh no need to worry, I'm happy to. I'm always happy to put trainers in their places, its great fun. We're between contest seasons anyway, so taking a couple of weeks is no trouble."
Cynthia looked at her computer screen before suddenly standing up. "I'm sorry to cut this short, but I have to go and see 'Champion'. I'll come back when I'm done; my meetings with him tend to be short." She stood and strode to the door. "Oh, by the way Dawn. You might want to congratulate the two of your friends." Smiling to herself, Cynthia stepped out.
Gary and Misty looked at each other, whilst Dawn seemed to grow in front of them. Silently cursing Cynthia, Misty sheepishly looked up at Dawn.
"So Misty" the bluenette said, the tone of her voice intimidating the usually unflappable red-head. "Why might I want to congratulate you?"
"Oh just Gary and I are going out" Misty said, trying to brush it off as something minor. The high-pitched squeal from Dawn told her it wasn't going to work.
"When? Where? Why didn't you tell me?"
Gary held up his hands in surrender. "Dawn, if you just calm down we'll tell you, promise. We're not going to run away."
Dawn took a deep breath, before stealing Cynthia's seat across from Misty and Gary. Leaning forwards on her elbows, she waited expectantly for the story to begin.
"It was the night of the Gym inspection." Misty started. "Gary had been helping us with the whole thing, using his name to try to attract a few more trainees to the Gym. He worked harder than I think he has ever worked in his life." At this point she grinned at her boyfriend who had grunted is disagreement. "Admit it Gary, you hardly used to work that hard."
"Yeah, but I did some work Red" Gary muttered back.
"Anyway, after we passed, Gary asked if I wanted to go out to celebrate. I thought at first that he meant everybody involved, but it turned out that he really wanted to go out with just me. It was a great first date, though I'm still not sure if he could afford the restaurant we went to."
"Trust me Red, I can" Gary grinned. "You're just not used to having money. Anyway, after she finally realised that I had been trying to get her to realize that I liked her for some time, I asked her if she would go out with me, and she said yes."
"And to answer your over question" Misty butted in, before Dawn could start speaking. "We haven't told you because we haven't spoken to you in the last week. We were telling people when we spoke to them, instead of calling people up and telling them."
Dawn looked at the two of them, before bursting into a huge smile. "Congratulations to both of you. Can I be the bridesmaid?"
Gary and Misty just looked at each other and laughed.
Ash Ketchum exited the elevator in the Pokémon League headquarters, striding towards his office. Under the building, there was a large group of police officers being coordinated by a dozen Officer Jenny's, arresting the five hundred and ninety two Team Rocket members he had taken in his raid on their base.
At his waist, Ash still had the Pokéball's containing some of his team whilst the rest of his Pokémon were watching the Rockets, making sure that there were no more problems at the very end. As he reached his office, Ash sat behind the desk, finally letting tiredness reach over him. The raid on the training base had been nearly a week previously, the rest of the time being made up negotiating Kanto without anybody seeing.
He had not slept for the duration, and his Pokémon had snatched what rest they could. As a group they were utterly exhausted, and he was only waiting for the final Rockets to be taken into custody so he could go home and rest. As he waited he turned to his computer, looking over the events of the last week. He noted that Indigo had a lot more trainers in residence than usual, as they were all there for a training camp of Cynthias.
Ash brought up the list of trainers she had invited and scanned it quickly. He smiled to himself as he saw Sam and Mellanie on there. Closing the list, he looked up as Cynthia entered the room, taking the seat opposite him.
"Welcome back 'Champion'. I assume from the staggering number of Rockets downstairs that your mission was a total success?" Cynthia asked.
"Yes" Came the blunt reply.
"You are aware that we don't actually have enough cells for all of them? Indigo was never quite anticipated to be a prison."
"I know. They will be distributed to prisons across regions. There is a major prison for each region; there is more than enough space."
"I suppose. But even they aren't limitless; you can't arrest every Rocket you see."
"I won't have to. Now I know the location of their headquarters, I will lead a team to capture the Rockets there. The majority of Rockets can be integrated back into society; only the leadership will have to be held permanently."
As Cynthia's back straightened in surprise, she reflected that it seemed to happen every time she came here. Whenever she felt the need to visit her successor, he managed to surprise her. She supposed she should be accustomed to it by now, but he always seemed to be several steps ahead.
"Where is it?" she asked, unable to keep the interest out of her voice.
"Goldenrod City. Before you ask, you will not be needed for this operation."
"So you're going in once again? Without back-up?"
Ash looked up, showing Cynthia the darkness under his trademark hat. Whilst she couldn't see it, she felt the power of the gaze which was directed at her.
"You've seen my results" the Pokémon Master stated. "Do you think I need help?"
Before Cynthia could answer, Ash stood up.
"The last of the Rockets has been dealt with. I will be taking my Pokémon to rest" he said as he stepped towards the door.
"When are you planning the next attack?" Cynthia asked him.
"In a few days. I haven't slept for a week, my Pokémon have had a few hours each in that time. We need to recover before we strike once again. Enjoy your training camp Cynthia."
"Will you be able to help out with that? Just a day spent training with you would be worthwhile, I've never seen Pokémon looking as healthy as yours do downstairs." Cynthia called after him down the corridor. At the end of it, he turned and tilted his hat back, allowing Cynthia to see his eyes once again; the darkness in one and the dancing colour in the other.
"I will join you on Thursday."
And with that, he was gone.
"I'm not sure this is such a good idea Mel."
"Why Sam? We are good enough trainers to be here; otherwise we wouldn't have been invited."
"That guy we saw as we came in. Don't you know who he was?"
Mellanies look of confusion was enough to answer for her.
"His name is Aaron, the Silver Conference Champion from last year." Sam explained. "I didn't even know he was still training in Johto. That is the kind of standard that are here, we just don't compare."
Mellanie couldn't stop the look of surprise from sweeping across her features. She had heard of Aaron, but she hadn't recognised him. The two friends were sat in their room in the luxury accommodation at Indigo Plateau. The quality of the room, easily up at five-star hotel standard showed them how important this training camp was.
Hearing that the Johto league Champion was in attendance, she realised that she might be out of her depth, despite her confidence. Seeing the uncertainty on her face, Sam continued.
"And think about where we are. We are at Indigo Plateau." Sam put as much emphasis on the last two words as possible. "You know, home of the Pokémon Master. What if he chooses to spend a day with us? Think we can even register on his scale?"
That got Mellanies attention. 'Champion' had a fearsome reputation, he had taken one of the best Water Pokémon trainers apart in her element and utterly thrashed Cynthia when he took her title. If they had to go up against him, they would be destroyed without him even trying.
However, as soon as she had heard about the camp, Mellanie had decided to do her absolute best. She had guessed that there would be some top trainers there, but she had promised herself that she wouldn't be cowed by them. As a result, she was determined to make sure that Sam didn't embarrass them.
"Look, just do our best?" Mellanie asked him. "If you go into the training assuming you're the worst, you will be. Be positive and we'll see how we do. I suspect we'll be the youngest, so nobody will expect great things from us." She jumped off her bed, and bounded over to Sam who was sat on his own, before hugging the fretting boy. "We'll be fine. Just don't push our Pokémon too hard. And the Pokémon Master? We've met him, which is more than I suspect most of the other trainers can say. Do our best right?"
Sam nod was clearly reluctant, but accepted the reminder of the promise that they two of them had frequently made when they were younger. As Mellanie climbed off his bed once again, he got up and strolled to the window, looking out of it. Directly opposite his room was the main stadium, somewhere he was hoping to fight at some point. Looking down the street he saw a massive Pokémon Centre which was clearly placed to service the stadium, as it was next to it, and attached. Looking the other way, he saw a large building which was the administration block for the Pokémon League.
As he watched, he saw three people leave the main exit. One was a red-headed trainer, dressed in the blue that she had become famous for. She wore royal blue trousers, and a similarly coloured shirt. Next to her was a man dressed in a pair of dark jeans and a loose white shirt. He had wavy brown hair, and had his arm round Misty as they walked. Just behind them, came a woman with blue hair, dressed in a pink skirt and a black top. Sam recognised the two women, but he wasn't certain about the man. Thinking quickly, he called Mellanie over to the window.
"Mel, who's that guy down there? I sort of recognize him, but I'm not sure." Sam asked.
"Which guy?" came the reply as his childhood friend joined him at the window.
"The one with Misty Waterflower and Dawn Hikari, the two women down there." Sam said, pointing towards them.
"Oh Gary Oak?" Mellanie answered, blushing slightly.
"Thanks Mellanie" Sam said with a grin. "You don't still have a crush on him do you?"
Mellanie turned bright pink. Stuttering out a retort which Sam didn't believe for one second, she left the window and went back to her bed. Sam, still chuckling to himself, went back to his bed.
"Wonder why they are here" he said to the air.
"Who?" Mellanie answered, not really listening.
"Gary, Misty, Dawn. They are all famous, Dawns the strongest coordinator around, whilst Misty is supposedly the best Water-type trainer in the world. She could help you with Totodile, make him stronger."
"If they are still around..." the girl muttered.
"Sam lay back on his bed. "Don't worry; I'm sure that this will benefit both of us. And who knows, you might be able to finally beat Quilava with Totodile again."
The following morning, the two of them headed downstairs to breakfast. They were greeted with an impressive array of the most powerful trainers in Johto. Sitting slightly apart from the rest of the trainers, they ate a quick breakfast and then went to a large training room set underneath Indigo Stadium. The room had a large platform raised at one end with a microphone, but it looked slightly out-of-place, like it wasn't usually there.
Before long all the trainers were in the room, chatting away with each other. Sam and Mellanie felt overwhelmed, and saw some of the trainers looking at them in surprise that trainers of their age had made it. Before anybody came to ask them, who they were, a door leading onto the platform opened and a tall blonde woman stepped out.
Behind her came a group of people who lined up behind her. The tall women stepped up to the microphone and cleared her throat. Silence fell across the assembled trainers quickly, and they all turned to look up at Cynthia.
"Welcome" the ex- Pokémon Master started. "This is the first of hopefully many training camps that I will be running here at Indigo. You are all trainers who are currently based in Johto, and deemed sufficiently strong to train here. Behind me are some people you might recognise. They will be helping run the camp. However, before we get to business I need to inform you of the facilities here. You are in the training area given to the Pokémon Master under Indigo Stadium. The current Master, 'Champion' has given them to us to use for our training. Therefore, you can expect everything to be of the highest quality. Now, to the training. For the first week, you will be able to train where you please in this training area. Behind me are a series of specialists. Misty, who specialises in water-types, John in fire-types, Katy in fighting-types, George in rock-types, Lili in grass-types and Aaron in steel Pokémon. I know that this is an incomplete coverage of all types, but each of these trainers understand far more than just their own type. Their specialty is in knowing the strengths and weaknesses of all types of Pokémon and using their own type to defeat them. In addition, there is Dawn Hikari, who I expect you will all recognise as she has won Grand Festivals in all regions multiple times. She will be able to advice in the art of making your Pokémon fight in the more attractive manner used in contests. This may seem unnecessary to you, but trust me, it can also make your Pokémon stronger. Coupled with that, Dawn is a sufficiently powerful trainer to be able to beat a large proportion of you. And the final person up here is Gary Oak, the researcher. He will be working alongside me in general training. Any questions so far?"
As Cynthia stopped talking, silence hung over the room. She could see the minds of trainers working hard as they thought about how they would spend the first week, either working to improve their mastery of all types, or in training in an individual type with a specialist. Casting her gaze along the trainers she saw the two youngsters, a short way away from the rest.
Guessing that this was the two youngsters that Olive had sent she marked them down for watching. Cynthia was also happy to be able to put faces to the two names. She had been shocked when 'Champion' had suggested that she keep an eye on Sam Fernandez and Mellanie Rigger, and now a month on was pleased to see them in person. Judging the time to be right, and noting the absence of any questions, Cynthia started to speak once again.
"The second week will place more emphasis on each of you working together, alongside the specialists. Now, there are maps of the training complex, although it is very simple. There is a field for every type, as well as four combination fields that encompass multiple types that can be set before training. Each of the specialists will be working in their field, whilst Dawn, Gary and I will be using some of the combination fields. If you wish to simply use the facilities without any help that is your prerogative but..."
Cynthia broke off as a door behind her opened once again. The shock on the faces of the trainers in front of her was enough to make her turn around.
Stepping through the door was 'Champion'. Dressed in black, trousers, a shirt, jacket, fingerless gloves and his customary hat, he strode onto the platform next to Cynthia. As all attention was settled onto him, he started to speak, his voice ringing out across the silent room.
"It is known that I do not like media attention. Do not bring any to myself or this camp. I will be observing whilst my Pokémon recover from recent exertions. Do not disrupt the Pokémon League whilst you are here. Respect the Pokémon, who work with you, they are what give you your strength"
He then strode back out the door he had come through, it swinging shut behind him. Cynthia watched a small smile on her face. She knew that in a short speech he had made more impact on the watching trainers than she could with an hour long speech. Turning back to the waiting trainers, she started to talk once again.
"As I was saying, should you desire to train alone, that is up to you, the facilities remain open to you. And as the Pokémon Master made clear, he does not want any media attention focused on this; it will disrupt both your training and his activities. As a final note, whilst he will be watching, if anybody impresses him, you might find yourself invited to a training session with him. That is all I have to say, other than enjoy the two weeks and good luck"