I deeply breathed in the air of Almia's sky, fresh and clean as always. Professor Hastings had told me yesterday that I was going on a special mission. As a Rank 8 Ranger, I found it pretty odd. If it were that special, I'd think that the Professor would've sent a Rank 10 Ranger, like Solana, or Keith or someone else.
Sky's head brushed nervously against mine as she was released from the Styler.
" I told her. "I'm just as anxious as you are. I too don't know what to expect, really." My Pidgeot seemed a bit more comforted. Sky wasn't the most brave Pidgeot you'd find. From the scars she had you'd think she were more confident. She actually is a great battler, but real kind and softhearted when you spend time with her.
I wasn't sure yet about my Partner Pokémon that I'd take along. Sky would be great as a flyer, but there were many more Pokémon that could fly me from one place to another. Heck, I was already planning about everything, which Pokémon I'd take along, what I would pack, how I would reach my parents, how to keep in touch with my friends
I was deep in thoughts as I entered Almia's Ranger School, where Professor Hastings wanted to meet me. I hardly noticed how ms. April waved at me through the classroom window until I had passed it. I walked backwards and waved anyway. Ms. April smiled one of her warm smiles. I continued walking with a smile.
"Hey, Alex!" I heard a familiar yell from behind. As I turned around, I saw how Ben quickly entered the hallway and started to walk next to me. "You got called by Hastings too, didn't you?" I nodded as a respond. Sky seemed to be interested in Ben again, as she was poking him with her beak. The teen gave her a rub on her head back. I decided to put her back into my Styler, since I was planning to walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
"He said something about a special mission-"
"-and not to mention it out loud," I quickly added, looking around as we walked down the stairs.
"Like anyone will hear us here," Ben snickered. I smiled. I always got along with Ben. Always optimistic, though he was a showoff at times. Especially around Keith. Those two were the biggest showoffs I had ever seen in my life, both were also two of the kindest guys around.
"Chances aren't that small either," I bounced the ball back. "If someone else decides to go with the stairs instead of the elevator, we're in trouble if they find out
" I said quietly.
"Stop being such a goodie!" Ben teased. "You're sixteen!"
"Doesn't mean I can't keep myself out of trouble!" I retorted, raising my chin. Ben snickered. "What?!"
"No, nothing~" He grinned. I nudged him playfully. He nudged back, a tad too hard, making me bump against the railing. We laughed, until we heard someone shout: "No pushing on the staircase!!" Peeking up, I saw mr. Lamont standing at the very top of the stairs. Normally, he was a happy man, but he seemed worried for some reason. I nodded with a serious face and continued walking down the stairs. Ben and I remained silent when we entered the conference room. I smiled when I saw the Ranger Union's logo, printed on the floor in light blue markings. The orange and red walls were more than familiar to me, though that this time I walked into the room, I felt different. The missions I had before were more Quests for the citizens than actual missions. I have had a few missions, though they were closer to big Quests, so I was pretty nervous. Ben could tell and smiled at me. I smiled back. I looked at the monitors in front of me. A man with the typical white-lab coat was standing in front of them, staring at a map that was showing on the monitors. It depicted three big islands and three smaller ones. The man was no one else but Professor Hastings.
"Welcome, young Rangers," he said. "I've heard much about you." He turned around and faced us with a stern face. "I'm Professor Hastings, the Ranger Union's Chief of Technology, as you may know. I think you're familiar with my work. The device you two are wearing on your wrists is my work." He looked at the Red Fine Stylers we had. "Both of you kept them in good condition, I see
" He mused. I didn't say a word, nor did Ben. "No need to answer that." He said with the slightest trace of a smile. "I called you both because I have an extraordinary mission for you two."
?" I asked nervously. I had heard more than enough things about the Professor; hasty personality and inpatient as Arceus-may-know what.
I'm sure you have heard of this," from the start I knew the professor would be explaining while walking though the room. "There is an awful group of people who control Pokémon and take them from their homes. They're called
" Professor Hastings turned back to us. "Pokémon Pinchers." And started walking though the room again.
"Up until recently, the members worked independently, but now these Pokémon Pinchers are starting to become a unified outfit. The question is why
" I nodded. He turned back to us again.
"I want you two to head for the Oblivia region, investigate their plans, and, if necessarily-"
"Stop them," Ben finished with a nod. The Professor nodded.
"H-Hey! Wait a minute!!" I turned around. A very familiar man stood in the door opening, panting. He quickly ran over to the side of Professor Hastings.
"If you need an explanation about the Oblivia region, leave it to me!"
"Hi Murph," I greeted him with a smile. Murph waved back absently, focused on Professor Hastings.
"Murph!" The man said, slightly agitated."I will take care of the explanation, thank you very much!"
"Please, Professor Hastings!" Murph pleaded, pulling his hands closer to his face, imitating a begging puppy. "Don't take away any of my few remaining responsibilities!" The professor grunted and gave Murph lead of the conversation, clearly reluctantly.
Well then," Murph said, a little happier. "Let me give you a brief explanation of the Oblivia region." He pointed at the map that still stood on the monitors. "In a sense, it's a place the rest of the world has forgotten about. It's a carefree and peaceful paradise!"
"You may be right that it's a peaceful paradise," the Professor interrupted him. "That is, however, exactly what these Pinchers may be after. The area is so peaceful that we have only one Area Ranger stationed there."
"This is Oblivia's motto," Murph continued his story. "'Oblivia, Islands of Ancient Ruins and Legends'. Sounds like an adventure, doesn't it?!"
"Indeed," the professor said. "Recently, many archeology buffs have been visiting these islands. If I ever have the time, I would definitely like to visit, but
" He paused. "Now listen, you two," he continued. "It may be peaceful, but don't let your guard down." Ben and I nodded simultaneously.
"Now is the second part of my explanation of the Oblivia region," Murph said. "There are nine parts in all, so make yourselves comfortable, okay?"
"That's enough, Murph!" the Professor interrupted him again. "If you're that desperate for work, I'll think of something for you to do. At any rate, this Mission is urgent."
"If you're going to give me a job, please give me something fun, okay?" Murph whined.
"That's just something you'll need to look forward to," Professor Hastings said, turning to Ben and I. "Our discussion has gone slightly off track, my young Rangers. Depart tomorrow for the Oblivia region, you will be needing the sleep. Cooperate with Pokémon and foil the Pokémon Pincher's plans. Defend nature and peace for everyone."
"Yes sir!" Ben and I said, again simultaneously, saluting. Ben already ran to the exit, when the Professor stopped him at the last second.
"Almost forgot!" He said loudly. "You two will be receiving new uniforms. They will be lying in your dormitory. Be sure to wear them, as it includes a new type of Styler you will be needing on your Mission." I nodded and sprinted out of the door, wanting to go and leave for Oblivia.
"Looking good, Alex!!" Ben exclaimed as he saw me walk out of my dorm the next day. I never was the fastest changer, but I intended to improve it.
"You too!" I said. Ben had the exact same uniform as I had, except for the fact that the blue on his white t-shirt reached more up, and his shorts were longer. For the rest, we had the same blue and red goggles, the same multi-color shoes and the same yellow scarf.
who's going to be your Partner Pokémon?" He asked. I smiled. It almost had taken away all my sleep yesterday evening, since most of my Pokémon would've been a good choice. I made a list with which of my Pokémon would be most helpful in the situations I thought I would be getting myself into and finally had chosen.
"Yeah, I chose one
" I said mysteriously.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Ben questioned.
"Well, what about releasing them both as soon as we've arrived on Oblivia?" I suggested.
What would the point be?" He said. "I mean, my Partner Pokémon is the one I'll have to be flying on to Oblivia-"
"Or you'll just capture a Staraptor and fly on it to Oblivia," I smiled. Ben frowned.
"Sometimes I wonder about you, Alex
" He said, nudging me like the other day. I grinned and nudged him back. It soon became a good old tag game, Ben chasing me around the Ranger School. The citizens looked at us as we continued our game until we sat down, panting.
We should go, actually," I said.
"Jeez, really?" Ben chuckled. He let out a Staraptor from his brand-new Capture Styler and petted it over its head gently.
"Staar! Staraptor!" It cried playfully, flying a few rounds in the air.
"I'll go and find a wild one
" I said, getting up from the ground.
"Well, now I know that your Partner isn't a flying type!" Ben exclaimed, getting up as well. I smiled, running off to see any kind of flying-type Pokémon that could fly me over to Oblivia. I finally found one, a Staraptor as well.
"Capture ON!!" I yelled, releasing the Capture Disc from the Styler. The disc flew over to the Pokémon as I started drawing loops around it. I had to get used a little to the new design, but managed to capture it perfectly fine. "Capture complete!" I said satisfied as the Staraptor flew over to me.
"Staraptor, will you help me fly to a place?" I asked it.
"Staar!" It replied happily. I took that as a yes and climbed on it, resting my hands just below its wings. Ben was already flying circles with his Partner Pokémon.
"Are you finally ready?!" He yelled from above. I nodded, and flew towards him.