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Brendan's Journey

A Momentous Change

It was a great day for Brendan Maple as he walked the streets of Goldenrod City in the Johto region. The sun was shining, and he was finally free of high school. While he wandered the streets he grew up on, the brown-haired eighteen year-old was lost in his thoughts, reflecting on his family and his life.

His father, Norman, had insisted that Brendan go through all of school, rather than stopping at ten as most students did to become trainers. That was the route that Norman had taken, and the results were unquestionable. The man was a fantastic Pokémon trainer, and he had to be to maintain his status as the Goldenrod Gym Leader, and currently one of the strongest gym leaders of the Johto region. Norman was also completely obsessed with Pokémon, and their training. When he was home, Norman almost always talked about the gym, especially when there were challengers. Although Norman wanted Brendan to take over the Goldenrod gym one day, he never tried to force Brendan down any particular path, aside from education. Currently, since Brendan had no real interest in becoming a Gym Leader, Norman had been watching the trainers who trained in his gym, and he already had one in particular chosen if Brendan never changed his mind. That trainer was, in Brendan’s opinion, an annoying girl who relied too heavily on one Pokémon and one strategy to win.

His mother, Caroline, was a very kind-hearted woman, but she could be strict when she needed to be. And that was something Brendan knew all too well from the days when he was a bit too rebellious for his own good. While she was not quite on Norman’s level, Caroline still loved Pokémon. She had never been much of a trainer when she was younger, but her Sylveon was a constant in the family’s apartment. That Sylveon had watched over Brendan throughout his life, even occasionally walking with him both to and from school.

When he was finished reminiscing about his family, Brendan started looking to the future. In about two weeks, he was scheduled to go to New Bark Town to get his first Pokémon so his journey could begin, and he already knew what Pokémon he was going to choose. He was planning on selecting Totodile, then developing his team as he went. He then planned to travel both the Johto and Kanto regions, and collect all of the gym badges from both regions and then, when that was over, he and his Pokémon would challenge the Elite Four and become Champion.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. Brendan was shaken from his stupor as his cell phone rang in his pocket. He pulled it out and saw that was Norman calling. “Strange,” he thought, “Dad never calls unless it’s about something important.” So he answered the call.

“Hey Dad, what’s going on?” Brendan said in a cheerful voice.

“Brendan, would you mind coming home? Your mother and I need to talk to you about something in person,” Norman said in a serious voice.

“Sure,” Brendan said, slightly concerned by his father’s tone of voice. “I’m by the department store, so I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Alright, I will see you when you get here,” Norman said as he hung up. Brendan did the same and began to make his way through the winding city. Luckily, he could navigate Goldenrod City in his sleep, so the walk was not a long one. Along the way, he saw a few people having Pokémon battles, and a few others outside beautiful restaurants.

Brendan got to the apartment and was about to open the door when he heard his mom and dad talking inside. He pressed his ear to the door and listened, hoping to get a hint about what was going on.

“So, what are you going to do about the gym?” Caroline said.

“Well, I suppose that it will need to go to Whitney, but this is honestly this would be a major step up for the family,” Norman said. “But still, I’m not sure how Brendan will react. He’s been so excited about finally starting his journey, and he already seemed to have planned everything out.”

“He’s a strong kid, he should be fine,” Caroline said with a sigh. “Besides, Hoenn is a tropical region, and the Pokémon there are pretty exotic compared to what we have in Johto.”

Brendan couldn’t wait any longer. He had figured out what was happening, but he needed to hear it from his parents. He opened the apartment door and entered, seeing both his parents sitting at the kitchen table, looking solemn. Before he got too far, however, Sylveon came running up to him, greeting Brendan.

“Hey Sylveon. I missed you too,” Brendan said, petting Sylveon’s back while scratching her under the chin, which earned a happy mewling from the Pokémon.

“Brendan,” Norman said. “Thanks for coming home so quickly.”

“No problem,” Brendan said, hiding his anger at the situation. “So, what is this all about?”

“Well, I got a call from the Pokémon League and they need a new gym leader in Petalburg City in the Hoenn region. They asked me to fill the position,” Norman said.

“And you said yes…” Brendan said, not too enthusiastically.

Norman sighed deeply. “You heard the last part of our conversation, didn’t you?” Brendan just nodded in response. ” I’m sorry that this had to happen right before you were supposed to leave for your journey.”

“It’s alright, I can start my journey in Hoenn,” Brendan said.

Norman sat quietly for a little bit. “Thanks for being okay with it. If it makes you feel any better, I already spoke with the local professor, Birch. He said he’d be more than happy to provide you with your first Pokémon. We are going to be leaving in about a week’s time. The Pokémon League in Hoenn will be in charge of the entire moving process.”

Brendan just nodded. “Alright. If you don’t mind, I am going to go for a walk for a while,” he said.

“Alright, take all the time you need, just stay out of trouble,” Caroline said.

Brendan nodded with a slight smile to reassure his mother, although he was trying to hold back his anger and frustration at this whole situation. His plans for his journey were gone, and there was no way for him to make his plan for Hoenn so quickly.

“Well, I guess I’ll just have to wing it on my journey,” he said in a depressed tone. “I guess…this is a good opportunity for a fresh start. Who knows, I could make some amazing friends and raise strong Pokémon that most people in Johto haven’t seen before.” Just as he said that, Brendan looked up and saw that he was walking past a Kantoan Eagle outlet store. It was supposed to have really good clothes for Pokémon trainers, so Brendan decided to check it out. He decided he’d need a new look to go along with the new region he was moving to.

“Hey, how can I help you?” the clerk, whose name tag said Lana, asked.

“I’m going for a new outfit for my journey, but I will be going to the Hoenn region. So, not the typical gear for Johto,” Brendan said.

“Hmm…we have a few sets,” Lana said. “Considering you’re going to Hoenn, I think we have the perfect one for you, and in your size. I’ll go get all of the pieces.” A few minutes later, Brendan was in the dressing room, and he had to admit that the stylist really picked out the perfect outfit for him. The top was a mostly red short-sleeve shirt with two black stripes on the front, and a black collar and shoulders. The pants came down to about mid-calf, and looked like black bike shorts with grey pockets and leg cuffs. He was also wearing a green backpack that slung over his right shoulder and connected at his left hip. The shoes were on point as well; they were all white with green soles and strap. There was, however, one thing that Brendan thought was missing. He needed a hat. When he came out of the dressing room, he had all of the clothes folded neatly.

“Alright, this outfit is almost perfect. I just need a hat to go with it,” he said.

“Sounds good, I’ll take these to the register while you look,” Lana said.

“Thanks Lana,” Brendan said as he went over to the hat rack. He was browsing for a while before he noticed the one that went with his outfit perfectly. It was a white beanie with a black band at the bottom. That band had an orange, half-Pokéball design at the front. This was the hat for him.

“I think that this should be everything,” Brendan said as he approached the check-out desk.

“I like your choice,” Lana said as she scanned the hat and totaled the transaction. “Your total is five-hundred PokéDollars.” Brendan paid and was soon on his way. As he left, he thought to himself, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to have a change of scenery. Besides, half the fun of being on a journey is the unpredictability.

The next week, Norman left for the Hoenn region. He had to go in person to close on the new house, and he needed to get settled at his gym. In the apartment, there were Machoke and Alakazam placing the Maple family’s belongings into a box then teleporting them to the moving van outside their building. Brendan was doing his best to stay out of their way, but he wasn’t doing such a good job of that. So, he decided to wait in the lounge for the crew to finish, Sylveon curled up on his lap, sound asleep.

“Hey, Brendan,” Caroline said as she came up from the lobby, sounding tired. She was holding a pizza from Growlithe’s Pizzeria. “I got us some dinner. And the movers are done with everything. Let’s go eat.”

“Thanks Mom,” Brendan said with a slight smile as he went into the apartment, Sylveon close on his heels, and the apartment was almost completely empty now, and the mover’s Pokémon were just teleporting to the truck with the last box. Since Brendan and Caroline had no kitchen table to eat at, they simply stood at the counter.

“By the way, I’ve been wondering something,” Caroline said.

“What?” Brendan asked as he finished his slice of pepperoni pizza.

“What did you buy when you went for that walk last week?” she asked. “I remember that you had a bag from Kantoan Eagle when you came home, but I haven’t seen you in any new clothes.”

Brendan chuckled. “It’s the outfit I’ll be wearing on my journey.”

“Well now I need to see it,” Caroline teased. “I can’t let my son go out looking too foolish.”

“I know I don’t have the best fashion sense sometimes, but this time the stylist sorted it out,” Brendan said in an almost joking tone.

“Well that’s a relief,” she said. “Still, you should really let me see it sometime soon.”

“Alright, how about when we get to…what’s the town we’re moving to again?” Brendan asked, still unfamiliar with the town he’d need to get used to.

“Littleroot Town,” Caroline said with a bit of an eye roll. “I think this is the third time I’ve told you.”

“Sorry, but you know I can be forgetful about these things,” he said back with a laugh.

Brendan loved these moments with his family, even if his father was gone for the moment. His mother always made even the worst of nights into good nights. The conversation was light, but enjoyable before it got interrupted by Sylveon stealing a slice of pizza from the box. Both Caroline and Brendan started laughing. It was a good night for their last in Goldenrod City.

The next day was the big move. There was, unfortunately, a slight problem. When Norman left for Hoenn, he needed to take the family car with him, leaving Brendan and Caroline with only one option. They both had to ride in the moving van. This wouldn’t normally have been a problem, except the cab of the van had two seatbelts, and only enough room for a small Pokémon along with the people. So, Brendan did what had to be done.

“Honey, are you sure you will be okay riding in the back with our stuff?” Caroline said, a bit worried for Brendan’s safety.

“Mom, I’ll be fine,” Brendan said. He was currently in his new outfit for his journey, which fit him perfectly and was made of light materials designed for hot weather. “I’ll just find a comfortable position and sleep the whole way there.”

Caroline sighed. She knew Brendan would be fine, but it would be a very uncomfortable ride for the boy. Despite knowing that, she knew she wouldn’t be able to convince him otherwise. “Alright, please be careful not to break anything, you included,” she said.

“I’ll be careful Mom, don’t worry,” Brendan said as he opened the hatch to the moving van’s trailer. “Just leave the vent between the cab and the trailer open so I can get some fresh air in here.

“Of course,” she said. “By the way, that outfit looks very good on you. It should be perfect for your new home.”

“Thanks Mom. Now, you and Sylveon should really get into the cab so we can get going,” he said with a smile as he climbed into the surprisingly spacious moving van.

“Alright. Once you hear the van start, please close the hatch,” she said.

“Of course,” Brendan said. With that, Caroline and Sylveon both went to the front of the van and entered. Brendan just sighed to himself and closed the back hatch, moving closer to the vent up front, opening it on his side. He didn’t mind being in here alone, since it gave him time to think and mentally prepare for the new region. What would it be like? Would he make friends there? What kind of Pokémon lived there? There were so many questions that he wanted answered, but he knew that he would have to wait. So, he found a few stacks of strong and stable boxes and laid down on them. Just as he did that, the van roared to life and began to move. There was no turning back now. Brendan was no longer a Johto resident. Now, he belonged to the Hoenn region.

It was almost twelve hours later when Caroline called back to Brendan that they were within five minutes of Littleroot Town, and their new home. So, Brendan stood up and walked around a bit to get his legs moving again, and then waited for the truck to stop. Sure enough, five minutes later, the truck came to a stop, and he heard the doors to the cab opening and closing. Unfortunately, he needed to wait to get out since he could not open the back hatch from the inside. Brendan then noticed most of the items that came from his bedroom vanished, presumably teleported to where they were supposed to go. Shortly after those items vanished, the back hatch opened, blinding Brendan with the glaring sunlight as his eyes adjusted. When he could properly see again, Brendan leapt out of the van and took in his surroundings.

“Hey Brendan, we finally made it,” Caroline said. “When you’re ready, why don’t you come inside and see our new house.”

“I’ll be there in a second,” Brendan said.

The new town was small, something completely new to Brendan. There were about twenty buildings around, most of which were houses, and one that looked like a school. The other building looked like a Pokémon laboratory, which Brendan assumed belonged to Professor Birch.

The climate was incredible. It was barely under 80 degrees Fahrenheit, partly cloudy, with a slight breeze. There were palm trees as well as other tropical fauna throughout the town, and toward what Brendan assumed was the first route out of the town.

As he was taking in the scenery, Brendan saw some movement outside the house next door. When he looked over, he lost his breath momentarily. He had just laid eyes on possibly the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was about his age, with brown hair that framed her face with two, long bangs that forked to both sides. The rest of her hair was tied back with a red bow with two white stripes, one for each loop. She had on a red tank-top over a black blouse. She had on white short shorts (and I mean short) over a pair of what looked like biker shorts. Around her waist was a yellow and green fanny pack, with a belt. Her shoes were yellow, with black stripes and orange soles.

Across the way, the girl, May Birch, was having a similar reaction to Brendan. She knew that Norman’s family was supposed to be moving in today, and she’d heard that his son was about her age. She just never imagined he’d be so handsome. May, much like Brendan, had waited until completing high school before becoming a Pokémon trainer due to the urging of her father, the professor. She was about to go introduce herself when Brendan waved to her. May smiled and simply waved back to her, but before she could go to introduce herself, the woman that May assumed to be this boy’s mother came out, spoke a few short words to Brendan, and they went inside. May just remained stunned. Now, she was determined to meet that boy and learn more about him. In the meantime, however, she still had to go help her father with his research, so she walked to the Pokémon laboratory, ready for some work.

Brendan entered his bedroom, a bit frustrated that his mom stopped his chance of going to talk to the new neighbor, but he could wait for the next opportunity. Meanwhile, he had to admit that the mover’s Pokémon got the set up better than he could have hoped for. In addition to all of the old furniture and his computer, Norman had also bought Brendan a wall clock as a gift, and it was hanging on the wall across from his bed. After checking to make sure everything was in place, Brendan went downstairs, where he saw his mother in the living room, watching the new television. When she saw Brendan, she called him over with clear excitement.

” Brendan, come over here! There’s a news report about Petalburg Gym!” Caroline said. It took a moment for Brendan to remember that Petalburg Gym was where his father worked, so he came running. Unfortunately, just as he got in front of the television, the farewell was already being given. “I’m sorry Brendan, I didn’t realize it was almost over,” Caroline apologized.

“That’s okay. It will probably show up on PokéTube,” Brendan said as he checked his watch. It 10:00 pm. “Huh…it got late really fast. I think I’m going to bed, it’s been a long day,” he said.

“Yeah, I agree,” Caroline said with a yawn. “I will see you in the morning.”

“Good night Mom!” Brendan responded as he went back up to his room, got into his sleeping clothes, and went to sleep. Tomorrow, he planned to explore the town and hopefully introduce himself to the neighbor.

The next morning, around 8:00, Brendan was slowly waking up. He was on his back, and he felt a slight weight on the bed beside him. He smiled, assuming it was Sylveon, who loved to check on him at night, but she often fell asleep shortly after joining him, so he reached out to pet the Pokémon…only for his hand to touch a smaller, more humanoid head.

Well, good morning to you too! I was wondering when you would get up, said a completely foreign voice, which sounded like it came from a young girl. Brendan’s eyes snapped open, and in front of him was a white Pokémon that stood just above one foot, with green hair that looked like a bowl was on its head, with two red spikes coming from the front and back of its head. Its body looked like it was wearing a dress that was just a bit too long for it.

Brendan bolted upright in shock at seeing this unfamiliar Pokémon. What was it, and how did it get in the house? Hey, calm down said the voice again. Brendan looked around, wondering if there was another possible source for that voice, but soon realized that it was only him and this Pokémon. To answer your questions, I am a Ralts. I got in here by teleporting here.

“A Ralts?” Brendan said as he calmed down, realizing that this Pokémon must be psychic-type, and must be using telepathy to communicate with him. “I’m sorry for jumping like that, I just wasn’t expecting to see an unfamiliar Pokémon in my bedroom,” he said, rubbing the back of his neck.

It’s okay. If I had been you, I might’ve done the same thing, the Ralts giggled. I’m Gwen by the way. What’s your name?

“Brendan Maple,” Brendan said. “It’s…umm…nice to meet you. Honestly I have never seen a Ralts before.”

You live in Hoenn, but you’ve never seen a Ralts? How does that happen? Gwen said with another giggle.

“Well, I only just moved here yesterday. I’m really from Goldenrod City in the Johto region,” he said.

I guess that makes sense. You know, you’re a really nice human. Most would have thrown a Pokéball at me by now, she said with a smile.

“Well, I’m not a trainer yet. I was in school longer than most trainers,” he explained.

Oh. Well, do you have a dream? Gwen asked.

“I want to become the Champion of a League,” Brendan said.

That’s a really nice dream, but it aims pretty high. It’s a lot like my dream of becoming the strongest Gardevoir in history, Gwen said as she sat next to Brendan and put her hand on her chin, looking like she was frustrated. I just haven’t found any trainers who are strong enough to help me reach that dream.

Brendan smiled at Gwen. While he wasn’t sure what a Gardevoir was, he figured it was the final evolution for Ralts. “You know, since our dreams are so similar, maybe you and I could become a team,” he said, realizing he was taking a liking to the little Pokémon.

Gwen pondered this for a moment. I agree, under one condition.

“Name it,” Brendan said.

Once I have been captured, please don’t make me stay in a Pokéball.

Brendan chuckled. “You don’t like being confined?”

Gwen just giggled. No, I can’t stand being kept from moving around.

“I can work with that,” Brendan said, extending his hand in friendship. “Once I become an official trainer, you will be my first Pokémon.”

Gwen just smiled and shook Brendan’s hand. It’s a deal. You and I work together to become the greatest team in history.

Brendan just nodded and smiled. It seemed Hoenn was going to be much better than he expected. He had a beautiful neighbor, and he just gained a friendship with a new Pokémon whom shared his dream. If that was to be an indicator, then his journey would be amazing.

But then, only time would tell.

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Written by Jordan Moul

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