For as long as I live, I’ll never forget how this entire adventure began: the fight against Lance, Sabrina’s prophecy, and the summoning of the Silverbird. Or how we rose as Kanto fell... They say great things have humble beginnings, and in this case “they” would be right. For me, it all started when Green, Blue, and I were a week away from leaving on our journey.
Or, at least we should have been. In our small hometown of Pallet, we were always getting into trouble, just like any kid who couldn’t wait to turn ten would. Except we were worse. Much worse. And it was just our luck that we would get into something so dumb when we were so close to finally leaving Pallet forever. What did we do? Well, we sort of toppled the water tower. We weren’t even doing anything wrong, relatively. The three of us just wanted to get up somewhere high and see what lay beyond Pallet Town. We didn’t mean for the tower to fall.
But when it did, water gushed everywhere. Green landed (of course) on her feet, Blue fell onto his back, but I fell hard and broke my arm. Mom was so mad that she punished me by making me stay an extra year in town before I could go on my journey. And for an almost-ten-year-old, that’s practically a death sentence. And that’s how I ended up in my room the day after, wishing more than I ever had that I could take something back.
The fan was whirring quietly on the ceiling as I sat slumped in my desk chair, my arm hanging uselessly in its sling. Blue was sitting in a lounge chair and staring out the window, while Green paced back and forth on my bed, her feet bare as always, muttering furiously to herself all the while.
“It’s not fair that we have to wait another year. We’ve worked as hard as any kid to be able to leave, so we shouldn’t be kept in! We’ll sneak out, or create a diversion, or contact someone, or something! I’m going on my journey if my name isn’t Erin Annelisa Walters!”
“You do know that we don’t have to wait, right?” Blue paused his musings long enough to point out that while I was stuck in Pallet, they could leave at any time they wanted.
Green flopped down into a sitting position, her fists clenched in frustration. “No! We’ll go as a group or not at all.” Blue rolled his eyes.
“You know, maybe we could try being good...” I ventured. Both my friends stared at me as if I had just suggested that Furfrou grooming was cool. I shrugged noncommittally. “Just an idea.”
There was silence for several moments in which Blue picked up a controller and started a new game of Super Speed on my TV set. Green joined him shortly and they began duking it out over a pit of lava. Blue was playing as a male protagonist, with a lightning bolt jacket and spiky red hair. Green, as she always did, chose the female protagonist with striking blond hair. I watched them fight for a while, then sighed and got up.
“I’m gonna see if its lunch time yet,” I muttered, walking toward the stairway. Green jerked her head in response, too busy with the game to look up. So, hands in my pockets, I trudged downstairs.
“I know what’ll make your cheer up,” Green whispered to me as we headed back to my room after lunch that day.
“What?” I asked. I didn’t feel as if anything could cheer me up.
Green put a finger to her lips as an indicator that we should stay quiet, as my mom, still angry with me, was in earshot. When we were back in my room I turned to her as Blue closed the door behind us. “What is it?”
She seemed about ready to burst with excitement. “It’s a blue moon tonight!”
“That’s just a myth, you know,” Blue pointed out before I could respond, as he swept past us to reach their unfinished game.
Green made a pouting expression. “Oh, look at you, Mr. Grandson-of-a-Professor. I suppose you don’t know that the great Professor Oak saw it himself.”
“And you expect everything that came out of a ten-year-old’s mouth to be true? He could have just seen a mirage on the water, or a weird reflection in the moon.”
“Wait,” I interrupted their bout, “What’s this about a blue moon? What did Old Man Oak see?”
“Don’t listen to her,” Blue grunted before Green could respond. “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Green must not have heard him, as she was practically jumping up and down in excitement. “It’s true! Mrs. Abram told me about it.”
Mrs. Abram was Green’s foster mom. She was a lover of legends, so it would make sense that Green would believe every myth that came out of this small town. Blue, on the other hand, was the son of two successful scientists, though they had been out traveling for as long as I had known him. He lived with his older sister, who was a concrete thinker.
“Daisy says that the blue moon is caused by a reflection of the ocean on the moon,” he argued as his character slipped into the lava and died as his attention strayed from the controller.
“Then why does it happen on the same day every decade?” Green shot back.
“Guys!” I shouted, in attempt to end their feud. “What on earth is a blue moon?”
“Well, it happens once every ten years,” Green began as we settled down to talk, Blue joining with a grudging look on his face.
“I gathered that. Go on.”
“You know how the southernmost tip of Pallet extends into the ocean like a claw? It’s said that, once every ten years, Mew comes to visit there on the blue moon! The place is blocked off, so we’d have to take a boat, but wouldn’t it be cool to see it?”
“That sounds like a legend,” I responded skeptically. Blue grinned, while Green pouted.
“Well, yeah,” she continued, exasperated. “But that’s the fun of it! It’s something mythical, mysterious, unknown, and the only way to find out is to go see it ourselves! Are you really going to sit around for the next whole year and do nothing? This town’s LOADED with history! We can get our start here!”
Blue flinched at the volume of her voice. “Ears,” he reminded her bitterly. Green elbowed him playfully in response, to which he blushed slightly and rolled his eyes.
“So what do you think?” she asked me. “Should we go for it?”
My heart had started to beat faster at the thought of exploring, but there was one thing holding me back. “It sounds fun, but if we get into any more trouble Mom will stop me from ever leaving home! She already thinks you guys are a bad influence, and I can’t stay here forever!”
And with that, the mischievous glitter that I’d grown to love and fear came to Green’s eyes. “Simple,” she explained, a trace of a smile on the edge of her lips. “We don’t get caught.”
In my mind, I knew what would be the smart thing to do. To stay home. To stay out of trouble. To do things the “right way” for once. The cape must have been blocked off for a reason. But the tug of adventure was stronger than that. We had done way more over the years than we had gotten in trouble for. It was risky, but the wait simply wasn’t worth it.
“Alright,” I said. “I’m in.”
We spent the rest of the day planning our latest midnight adventure. I took out from under my bed the books and maps of places in Kanto that we had borrowed from the library (and may or may not have ever returned). We never went on a big sneak-out like this without a plan. Since Green had the best ears, she listened for the sound of my mom coming up the stairs while she drew out the plans. When my mom came up to bring us dinner we quickly shoved the papers under my bed and pretended to be playing video games. I asked if Green and Blue could spend the night, and I figure it was around then that she began to get suspicious. We didn’t know it, but this would be one of the biggest adventures we went on back then, and it would be the very beginning of the biggest conspiracy the world had ever known.
At midnight we used the rope-ladder we had built and subsequently hid to climb out of my bedroom window. From there we picked our way through town and toward the southern docks. Just as there always were, several small rowing boats were set out for public use. Fishing, I guess. We untied one and set out for the cape, following the shoreline to where the land curved around in a small peninsula. The Kanto Police had used logs to block the way onto the cape by land, so the only way onto it was to go around by water. Blue and I rowed while Green sat at the front of the boat and yelled at us over the wind.
Finally Blue got sick of her talking and grumbled, “Why don’t you wait until we get there?”
Green responded without looking at him. “Shut up, Hunter.”
Blue scowled at her, and I couldn’t help but grin. He hated being called his real name. We weren’t anything like your usual group of friends; we teased each other a lot and argued more than we agreed. But I trusted Blue and Green to have my back more than anyone.
We docked our boat when we reached the tip of the peninsula and began to look around. Through the trees the giant blue moon beat down on our backs, and the wind rushing in from the ocean warned of a possible gale sometime soon. We fell into the usual formation that we always had when we were exploring unfamiliar land: Green in front, scouting around, me a little behind and Blue trudging in back, observing in his own way. Every once in a while one of us would notice something and would dart off to investigate. Green would give a far-fetched explanation to what it was, and Blue would contradict her with a scientific explanation, which they would argue over until either I pointed out how silly the discussion was or we spotted something else. I loved doing this: being out in the unknown and discovering new things. And the fact that we were about to see Mew, called the Mother of All Pokémon, made this night exploration even more awesome.
Eventually the trees thinned out and we came to a giant clearing which the moon seemed to beat down upon, soaking the sparse grass in the silver rays. If Mew was going to appear, this would be the place. My arm was sore from being shaken in its sling as we were walking, but I tried my best to ignore it. The three of us crouched behind a sticky-smelling buckleberry bush. Blue turned to face Green and me, a rare glitter of excitement in his eyes.
“What should we do now?” he asked. I was all for charging into the clearing and shouting for Mew to come out, simply for the need of action.
Green didn’t even look up from the clearing. “We’ll wait.”
So we waited. I have no idea how much time passed, but the moon shined on above us, with not a cloud to cover it. At one point I yawned loudly and Green jabbed me in the ribs so hard it hurt. After that I kept my eyes on the clearing as well.
At one point I thought I saw a quick flash of movement on the forest edge opposite us, but when I pointed it out to the others they said they hadn’t seen it. We went back to waiting, but as I watched the spot where I saw something move, I became certain that someone was there. I had no proof, just had a feeling I couldn’t explain: somebody else was here to see Mew, and it couldn’t be for anything good.
When something finally happened, it happened slowly. A pink sphere appeared in the center of the clearing, and very gradually began to dissolve. A pink creature emerged, the picture of simplicity. I watched it, mesmerized, as it bounced and floated playfully and gazed around with its innocent blue eyes. After a second, its gaze landed on me, and then Green, then Blue.
Suddenly images flashed through my mind. I saw a flash of golden hair, a man with fire in his eyes laughing, and a volcano rising from the ground, a giant silver bird roaring above it while piercing screams filled my ears. It stopped as quickly as it had started, leaving me wondering if my mind had imagined it. Green and Blue, though, both looked puzzled, I remember. Seeing through my own eyes again, I noticed that Mew had ceased looking at me. Its gaze had wandered to the spot across the clearing where I could have sworn I saw the bushes rustle. There was silence for many moments, until....
A split second before it happened I felt a flash of fear that wasn’t mine. An object—a black cube—was whipped out of the shadows. For a reason I never understood, Mew either chose not to or was unable to run. The cube opened up before it hit its target, engulfed it, and fell to the ground, a sort of unnatural electricity crackling across it. The three of us watched in horror as the Wondrous Creature trapped inside the cage screeched. Then its eyes drooped, and it collapsed, apparently asleep.
There came a rustling noise from the edge of the clearing, and after a moment two adults stepped out. Once they entered the moonlight I knew immediately who they were. I had a dream of becoming Champion, you see, and in preparation for that I had studied up on all the important trainers in Kanto. I knew that the young lady with steely glasses and an icy gaze was Lorelei, and the short, ancient woman beside her was called Agatha. They were both members of Kanto’s Elite Four.
I should take a second to explain something. It’s important to everything that happened beyond here. At this point in time, the Kanto champion was a man named Lance. He was strong, intelligent, and a little strange; he never showed up at gatherings of strong trainers or participated in demonstrations. I remember watching him take on the League as a kid and admiring him. But right after he became Kanto’s strongest trainer, he left. He fired every member of the previous Elite Four and battle board except for Agatha, and traveled abroad to other regions to find trainers perfect for his Elite membership.
I know that this was really strange. Most new champions build an Elite Four from trainers of their region, but upon his rise to the throne, Lance had searched long and hard for other trainers who shared his views. Then after that, neither he nor his Elite trainers were seen very much. You sometimes found them in libraries, cracking open books or at ruins investigating for something. But almost never in public. Most people didn’t even like the trainers he had chosen: they were all cold-hearted and stuck to themselves.
Of the two, the Lorelei seemed to be in charge. She strode over to the cube, her heels making distinct impressions in the dew-laden grass. Over steel-rimmed glasses she eyed the creature sleeping in the cube. Agatha hobbled up beside her as she reached for it. “Is the poor thing okay?” the ancient woman croaked.
Lorelei observed the Mew with saddened eyes. “Yes,” she replied. “It’s too bad that this is the only bargain Giovanni will take.” She tore her gaze from the cage she was holding and turned to look directly at us. “It seems as if we have company.”
“Do we?” Agatha chuckled as she turned to look our direction as well. “Come out, come out, then, little kiddies.”
Beside me, Blue tensed while Green grated her teeth together. It still surprises me today that observing this didn’t fill me with anger, but with curiosity. The three of us stayed where we were, not even daring to breathe. After a moment Lorelei shrugged as if she had been mistaken, and turned her back to leave.
“Wait,” Agatha whispered, just loud enough for us to hear. Lorelei stopped and turned back, impatient.
“Just watch and learn, my dear.” As she said that, the ancient battler retrieved a PokeBall from where they sat in their notches on her gnarled cane. A Haunter appeared from it, a creepy grin plastered on it ghost-like features.
“Will o’ Wisp,” Agatha whispered.
You can guess what happened next. Instantly the forest was filled with the smell of smoke. The branches burned, lighting those beside it until the all we could see were bright orange flames.
To my dismay, Green let out a screech and launched herself through the fire and into the clearing. Blue and I had no choice but to follow. Upon escaping the burning vegetation I saw what I had been hoping hadn’t happened. Green had attacked the Elite members herself.
And of course she stood no chance. For how incredibly tough she was, she was no match for these adults. Lorelei was tightly gripping the back of her shirt with one hand, the cube in the other, while Green struggled to get free. Both Agatha and that Haunter were eyeing her hungrily with the flames lapping at the wood behind them.
Before I could even react, Blue flung himself at Lorelei, screeching something about not to let the Haunter lick her. Lorelei and Agatha, now dealing with two berserk nine-year-olds, had their attention elsewhere. So, with my good arm, I snuck up behind the Ice trainer and grabbed the cube. Lorelei started and released Green, who launched herself in fury at Agatha. Blue grabbed her to stop her from getting closer to the Haunter, fearful of its paralyzing saliva. As Lorelei swung at me to take back the cage, I dodged, using my smaller size to my advantage. Out of impulse more than anything, I grabbed a rock with my right hand, the broken one, and smashed the lock to the cage in one swift but painful motion. The cube broke open. Mew shook its head, blinked twice, and flew upward toward the giant blue moon. Lorelei made a grab for it as it did, but the sleepy creature had gotten a head start, and all she ended up with a handful of fur and whiskers. Then Mew disappeared under the moon.
The world seemed to slow for a moment. Then it burst into reality as Blue grabbed good my arm and began to run out of the clearing, Green following, when I felt someone yanking on my shirt. And this time Lorelei, one hand still clutching the fur of Mew, would not let go.
The next part went by so fast it hardly seemed real. As I battled a splintering pain in my arm that slowly numbed me, I was subject to a brutal tug of war, in which the adult side had the upper hand. But then a screech sounded as Green stomped heavily on Lorelei’s foot, and the grip on my shirt loosened just enough for Blue to pry me loose, and then I was being half-dragged through the wildfire, until we clearing faded behind us. The Elite members did not give chase.
Finally we reached the edge of the forest and erupted onto cool earth. Blue and Green were trying to explain what had happened to the firefighters as I regained full consciousness.
As the three of us lay, breathless and coughing, on the ground, the last person I wanted to see came up to me in a fury to scare Versus. My mom subjected me to a lecture that I only half took in, going on about how much of a troublemaker I was, how I didn’t deserve to ever go on a journey, and how I could have been killed doing something so stupid.
She had just gotten to the part about how scared she had been when a tall figure began pushing its way through the crowd to reach us. Blue’s eyes opened wide in fright. The figure, a man, politely excused my mother with much authority and stood looking down at the three of us, particularly his grandson.
It was Old Man Oak.
He stared down at us, his gaze unreadable, as the Kanto fire squad hosed down the forest around us. It was torture enough for me to endure that gaze, while Blue was quivering beside me. I had only seen Prof. Richard Oak on TV, and the same was true for Blue.
Finally the old man seemed to come to a conclusion. He gave instructions to the firefighter nearest to him. “Get these three checked up at a hospital, then straight to my lab.” That was all he said before he swept off, lab coat swishing behind him. We stared at each other, wondering just how much more trouble we were about to be in.
The giant wooden doors of the Oak Family Lab were more intimidating than they had ever been as we walked through them. They creaked shut and slammed behind us, leaving the three of us in the dark. Hands in his pockets and staring at the floor, Blue led Green and me to his grandfather’s private study. Inside the room there were papers cluttered everywhere, and more books than I had read in my life filled the shelves. A long table with three chairs had been set out, though Prof. Oak was nowhere to be seen. With nothing else to do but wait, we sat down. Blue stared at the desk, Green twiddled her thumbs, and I stared at the ceiling. The light bulb needed replacing.
After what felt like forever, the door opened suddenly and Oak walked in, tall and intimidating. We had been jittery enough beforehand, but now I was practically shaking.
The ancient man didn’t bother to look at us before he swept over to a filing cabinet, unlocked the middle drawer, and shifted around in it for a few minutes. He let out a gruff “a-ha” and lifted a small box onto his working desk. He then turned to face us.
“...You said you saw Mew, correct?”
We all stared at him, stunned, for a moment. He sure was scatterbrained, even back then.
“Yes, sir,” Blue answered finally.
He nodded, thought for a second, then picked up the box and set it down in front of us.
“You can tell me the details later. I have a job for you three....”
And that’s how it started. Two years later, we met a girl with golden hair, and the fight against Lance began.