-A New Beginning?-
I have heard many, many times that when someone has a fear of something, it’s not really possible to explain why it scares them so. Normally it’s tied to some event the victim has long since forgotten or mentally repressed. Several times I’ve had to deal with people that have such fears. From the fear of bug Pokémon or bird Pokémon, to the fear of needles or doctors… more fears than I could possibly count. And to this day…I still don’t understand it.
“Never… fucking… again…” Kegan heaved from where he leaned against the airfield hanger. Other than the sickly green tint to his face Kegan looked about the same as always, for the most part. He had traded in his normal attire for a loose red t-shirt and a black hoodie. His jeans were still as torn up as always, but his military boots had been exchanged for an equally roughed up pair or hiking boots. It was somewhat odd to see him without his headphones on, but there was little doubt that he had them stashed away somewhere.
“Come on, it was just a 14 hour flight. It could have been worse.” I said, patting him on the back. He retched twice with no obvious effect before glaring at me. He knew as well as I did he couldn’t stand the idea of flying.
“How the… How the hell did you talk me into this?” he asked, not the first time that day… and probably not the last.
“Even I’m not sure about that. You just kind of took the offer to come… even though I know you hate Kalos.” I replied dryly. On a reflex my hand went to the pocket of my lab coat… before realizing I wasn’t wearing it. It had been so long since I had spent so long with it, it was somewhat disorienting. Instead my hand slid into the pocket of the light blue wind breaker that had replaced it.
“I… I only… hate being here…” he started before coughing again. He sounded surprisingly bad…
“Dude, just catch your breath, all right? I’ll go grab you something to drink.” I said, before turning away. I wasn’t going to wait for his response. After all, you don’t go to a different region just to argue with your traveling companions, do you? Still, looking at the clear blue skies and the strong smell of flowers on the wind was enough to make the flight worth it. As I wandered into the airport proper I couldn’t help but think about the events that had lead up to this trip.
Originally, I was going to make a short trip to thank the local Pokémon expert, Professor Sycamore . He had been a huge help over the last year and half. Of course… then the big news came down from up top. All Professors with less than ten years of field experience had to reapply for their position or lose the right to practice medicine or conduct any form of experimentation altogether. Of course, it wasn’t going to be easy to reapply either. This time around I needed to have first-hand experience with a Pokémon of every single typing and, at the minimum, have on hand a single Pokémon that could Mega Evolve along with the necessary materials to possibly trigger Mega Evolution. Considering how new the field of Mega Evolution was I had no clue where to begin… other than with the one person who knew the most about Mega Evolution, Professor Sycamore. That and I knew that the fairy typing was more or less brand new to many Pokémon that experienced a retyping a while back, so catching a Pokémon with naturally earned experience with the fairy typing was paramount. Of course, at the same time, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance to have another Pokémon journey! That was why neither Kegan nor I had brought a single one of our Pokémon with us… at least that’s what I had thought.
(“Damnit… Never thought I’d get in one of those voluntarily…”) a Pikachu yawned as he stretched. Looking about him, the airport baggage claim was relatively empty with only a few straggling families still nearby. None of them had seemed to notice the Pokémon break out of the Poke ball that had held him prisoner for all those hours, but that was probably for the best. With barley a look, he snapped up the open Poke ball at his feet and shot it into a waste bin with a single swing of his tail. A young boy looked up to him in awe as the backpack he was on passed by. (“Well, better go see what there is to see.”) Neku smiled as he pulled on his iconic baseball cap. Leaping off the baggage claim conveyor belt he headed off, only passing around the corner as his trainer entered the area. It only took a moment for Ken to find and grab his backpack, but by the looks of things Kegan’s had either been claimed by customs or hadn’t been taken off the plane.
“Now where would they keep a vending machine?” I muttered to myself as I glanced at the directory in the corner. But something else caught my eye. Turning towards to the windows that lined the room I saw my reflection gaze back at me. It was kind of strange to see myself… It seems like so long ago I could look at my reflection and laugh. And I did laugh. I looked ridiculous of course. I still had bedhead from sleeping on the plane, the shoes I had picked out for traveling looked like they had been dipped in paint of a formerly unknown shade of blue, and the necklace that bumped against the sun shaped picture on my t-shirt seemed to catch the light as I laughed. Brushing back my hair into something akin to presentable I caught the sight of my bracelet in the reflection… and smiled. But I couldn’t dwell on it. I could see Kegan grumbling on the tarmac as he finally made his way into the airport. It was always a better idea to keep his mood up to a point; else he’d just complain all day. As I headed off I turned the corner a bit on the fast side and ran into someone, knocking both of use to the ground.
“Oh, crap, are you all right?” I asked, as I sat up. Amazingly he had apparently recovered faster than I had been franticly grabbing papers.
“Crap, crap, crap! Clemont’s going to be so made if I lose any of these things!” he cried snapping up on paper after the next. I put apologizing to the side and helped him pick up the huge number of papers. I only caught a few glimpses, but I think they were diagrams for some strange contraption. As I handed him the last of the papers he ran off before I could say anything, shortly followed by a Pikachu I hadn’t seen with him before.
“Well… that was interesting.” I sighed. Guess everyone was in a hurry, even in other regions. It only took a few minutes to find some vending machines, after the run in. Prices were a bit high if you asked me, but either way they’d be cheaper at a vending machine than anywhere else in an airport… I think anyway. I occurred to me that Kegan might like something other than a bottle of water right before it occurred to me that the pocket where I kept my wallet was empty…
(“Man, these places get bigger and bigger in each region…”) Neku mumbled as he sneaked past another group of businessmen heading off for something probably business related. The growl in his stomach occupied Neku for the most part, and kept him from wondering what would happen when his Master found out he had snuck along. However the numerous smells that filled the corridor up ahead kept him moving… till he smelt something else. Turning around Neku wondered why he smelt his Master when he was nowhere to be seen. At least, he wondered until he caught a familiar laugh coming from a shadow that was only there for a moment. He didn’t like the looks of things but, ignoring his rumbling stomach, he gave chase.
“There you are man; I was looking all over for… What are you doing?” Kegan asked with genuine wonder. It wasn’t everyday he found his cousin scrabbling around on the floor of an airport after all.
“I’m looking for my wallet. I ran into someone earlier and now it’s missing!” I replied not abandoning my search.
“He probably stole it. Man, not even a day in either.” Kegan laughed.
“No, he couldn’t have. He was too busy with all these papers he dropped… and the Pikachu that followed him wasn’t holding anything.” I muttered, trying to convince myself.
“Wait, a Pikachu?”
“Yes, he had a Pikachu. Not that big a deal…”
“Like that one, over there?”
“No, not like that… one…” I stopped. That… that was Neku. What was he doing here in Kalos!? And why was he in such a hurry. Without thinking I jumped to my feet and ran after him.
“Wait, wha? Wait for me damn it!” Kegan yelled running after me. I didn’t stop running. I kept running, turn after turn, so long as I could see the familiar shape of my Pikachu. Soon enough, the dim lights of the airport gave way to the blinding light of day as we passed outside.
I knew soon enough that I couldn’t keep up the pace and soon enough I was leaning against the railing of a bridge, doing my best to keep my lungs inside my body. I could hear Kegan not far away in a similar state but neither of us cared to use any air on snarky comments. Looking up I couldn’t see hide or hair of Neku and knew there wasn’t any hope of following them now. I sat down, leaning my head against the railing and sighed. Looking up, the sky was blue, the shade was nice, and the breeze was blowing in a sweet scent. It was so peaceful…
“So, that’s it then?” Kegan asked, sitting down next to me.
“I guess so…” I replied without any thought.
“Well… that’s just great… First the flight, then my bag gets confiscated, and now this… Nice welcome they have here, huh?” he laughed. I couldn’t help but laugh as well. I wasn’t sure why I laughed, but I couldn’t help it.
“Great thing you’ve still got a sense of humor.” A new voice spoke up. Turning toward the new voice I couldn’t help but smile all the more.
“I assume these would be yours?” he said as he tossed my both my wallet and Neku. Neku stammered out something but I didn’t pay any attention.
“I didn’t expected to see you here of all places.” I said to the boy. He wasn’t very tall and was dressed mostly in black. Black boots, black pants, a strangely designed and very large black jacket over the only non-black article of clothing, a deep blue t-shirt. The sun glinted off the cross shaped pendent around his neck as his taunt features pulled together a smirk. He brushed aside his lengthy silver bangs, reveling one of his eyes, hidden behind their violet contact lens.
“You should be thankful I was, else this one would have gotten away with your money.” He said as a somewhat small Sableye climbed up onto his shoulder. The Sableye gave a huge fang filled grin and chuckled out an oddly amusing “Kekeke…”
“But yeah, I’m was in the area and I was asked a favor.” The boy shrugged.
“And what on earth was it you agreed to?” I asked.
“Why, to be the guide to you two while you’re here on your little Kalos Quest!” he laughed. This guy was Zypher Havoc, an old friend from my travels in Hoenn… and I had a feeling things would never be boring with him around.