Professor Elm smiled and said, "Well then, let's meet your first Pokémon." He took Cyndaquil's Pokéball off of the display case. He turned to Leon, who had stepped out of his way, and pressed a button in the center of the ball. The Pokéball opened, and a white beam of light shot from it. It landed on the ground in front of Leon, and it soon began to take shape. A small, mouse-like Pokémon appeared from the light in front of the little boy. It looked around and sneezed. As it did, a flock of flames came to life on its back, and they continued to dance in their fiery form.
"Cinda!" it said in a high pitched voice.
Leon couldn't help but smile. "Hey, little guy. I'm Leon, and I'm your new Pokémon trainer." A slight shudder of excitement drove through Leon's body, overwhelmed by the fact that he now had his very own Pokémon.
Cyndaquil looked at Leon, and smiled. "Quil!" it said, then yawned.
Elm smiled at Cyndaquil's innocent actions. "Cute," he said, then handed Leon Cyndaquil's Pokéball. "He's all yours, Leon."
Leon took the Pokéball into his hand, and thought, Awesome! My very own Pokémon! "So, I just press this button..." Leon pressed the button that Elm had pressed earlier, but this time, a red beam of light shot from the Pokéball and hit Cyndaquil. The red beam consumed the fiery mouse, and contracted back into the Pokéball with Cyndaquil in it. "Cool," he said in amusement.
Professor Elm fumbled through some papers on a nearby desk while Leon admired his Pokéball. After sorting through the papers, Elm turned around, with five more Pokéballs and a small, computer-like device. "Here are five more Pokéballs, giving you a total of six, and your Pokédex." Elm handed Leon the items.
"My Pokédex?" he asked, confused.
"Yes. Like I said earlier, there are many Pokémon in this world. A Pokédex is a digital encyclopedia that allows you to catalog and record Pokémon data. Some models of the Pokédex automatically give you all the information about a Pokémon when it sees it. Some only give you the information of a Pokémon when you successfully capture it. Unfortunately, I only have the model that gives you the data of a Pokémon when you catch it.” Elm made a nervous laugh, expecting Leon to get annoyed by the fact that he’d have to catch Pokémon to obtain their data.
“Cool,” he said, to Elm’s surprise.
“You mean you’re not mad?” Elm asked.
“Why would I be?” Leon replied. “What’s the fun in just getting data if I don’t have a Pokémon to show for it?” he said, thinking of all the Pokémon in Johto waiting to be caught.
Elm smiled. “It’s good to see that you’re enthusiastic about catching Pokémon. You know why I gave you five more Pokéballs, and no more, right?”
Leon thought for a moment. “...No.”
“You can only carry up to six Pokémon with you at a time. If you catch a Pokémon and you already have six with you, the Pokémon you caught will be transferred to a PC, or a Personal Computer. These PCs have a Pokémon Storage System, where you can store and move Pokémon that you’ve caught,” Elm explained.
“Oh,” Leon said simply.
“Anyway, I’ve held you up for far too long. It’s time you went on with your journey. I have high hopes for you and Cyndaquil. Oh, by the way, would you like to give Cyndaquil a nickname?” Elm asked.
Leon pondered for a bit, and said, “Sure! I think I’ll name you... Cynders!” He admired Cyndaquil’s new name. “With a ‘Y’,” he added.
“Okay then. Leon, and Cynders, I wish you the best of luck on your journey,” Elm said, smiling.
“Thanks, Professor Elm!” Leon had begun walking to the door, when Elm remembered something.
“Oh, one more thing!” he called out.
“Yeah?” Leon asked.
“I’d like you to walk with your Pokémon. Just the first one in your team, though.” Elm said.
“Why?” Leon asked.
“Well, I’ve been studying how walking alongside your Pokémon affects it, and I’ve come a conclusion that walking with a Pokémon can help strengthen your bond with it. Trust between trainer and Pokémon is a key ingredient to training.” Elm said.
“Oh, well, in that case, come on out, Cynders!” Leon reached for Cyndaquil’s Pokéball, and pressed the center button. Like before, a white beam shot out from the Pokéball, and Cyndaquil materialized in front of Leon.
“Cynda!” it said again.
“Hey, Cynders. I heard that walking is a good trust exercise, so let’s walk!” Leon said merrily.
“Quil!” Cynders raised his arms in excitement, and began walking alongside Leon as he exited Elm’s lab.
“Good Luck!” Elm called out. He sighed, “There goes another one. I hope he does great things in this world.”
“Okay, Cynders, what should we do now?” Leon asked his Pokémon.
Cynders replied, “Cynda... quil?”
“Yeah, I guess we shouldn’t do that,” Leon said, pretending to understand what Cynders was saying. “Oh, I almost forgot! I have to get my Pokégear from my mom! I was so excited to get my first Pokémon, I didn’t think to get my Pokégear. C’mon, Cynders, let’s go back to my house."
“Cynda!” Cyndaquil followed Leon back to his house.
Leon called out, “Mom, I’m home!”
“Oh, hi, Honey.” Leon’s mom was watching TV, relaxing on a sofa.
“Mom, I finally got my first Pokémon! Look!” Leon presented his new Cyndaquil to his mother.
His mother looked at Cynders, and said, “Oh my, it’s very cute. Is it a boy or a girl?”
Leon bent down on one knee to pet Cyndaquil. “He’s a boy. His name is Cynders, with a ‘Y’. Hey, mom, didn’t my Pokégear come today?” he asked.
“Ah, that’s right.” Leon’s mother went into another room, and came out shortly after with a small package. “Here. I already took off the adhesive, so it should be easy to open it.”
Leon took the package and opened it up. He began searching through packing peanuts, and eventually found a small, phone-like device wrapped in plastic. Leon ripped the plastic off and studied the design of the device. “My own Pokégear. Let’s see, where’s the instruction manual?”
Leon’s mom smiled, and looked at Cynders. “Are you hungry?” she asked.
“Cynda!” Cynders said, putting his arms on his belly.
Leon’s mom made a small giggle, and said, “I’ll take that as a yes.” She went to the kitchen and began searching through the cupboards for something that Cynders could eat.
Meanwhile, Leon was skimming through the Pokégear’s instruction manual. “Let’s see... call function... map card... radio... settings...” Leon opened the Pokégear and began fidgeting with its functions. “Hey, where’s the map and radio?” Leon looked back at the manual. “Blah blah blah... I can only use the other two functions when I get a card for them? Where do I get cards?” Leon’s mom came back with a bowl of Pokémon food and set it on the ground for Cynders to eat. As Cynders ran to the food and started eating, Leon’s mother sat back down on the couch.
“Well, I’m pretty sure you can get a radio card from Goldenrod City’s Radio Tower.” Leon’s mom said, putting a finger to her chin, thinking. “As for the map card, I’m not sure where you can find one of those. Sorry, Honey.”
“Eh, that’s okay.” Leon took off his backpack and put the Pokégear’s instructions manual in one of its many pockets. He then took the Pokégear, registered his mom’s number (which he already knew by memory), and clipped it onto his belt.
“What are you planning to do now?” Leon’s mom asked.
Leon thought for a moment, and said, “Eh... I’m not sure yet.”
“Here’s an idea. How about you travel Johto, and collect Gym badges? That way, when you reach the Indigo Plateau, you’ll be eligible to be participate. The Indigo Plateau is basically a place where tough trainers from all around come to test their strength,” His mom suggested.
“...That sounds great! Where are the gyms?” Leon asked, getting excited.
“There are various Pokémon Gyms scattered around Johto. If memory serves, the closest one is in Violet City. Oh, but you’ll need this.” Leon’s mother went back into the room where his Pokégear had been, and came back with a case that had a Pokéball symbol on it. “Here, it’s a Badge case.” She handed it to Leon. “Whenever you beat a Gym Leader, they’ll reward you with a Gym Badge. Those Badges let other trainers know that Gym Leaders have recognized your strength. Once you have eight Gym Badges, you can enter the Indigo Plateau,” Leon’s mom explained.
“Thanks, mom.” Leon placed the case in his backpack, and zipped it up. “Hey, Cynders, you ready to go yet?” Leon asked. He turned to Cynders, who had finished stuffing himself, and smiled. “You must’ve been really hungry, huh?”
“Cynda...” His Pokémon said sluggishly.
Leon laughed, and began to head out the door, Cynders following behind. “Oh, Honey, aren’t you forgetting something?” Leon’s mom said.
“What? I don’t think I am,” Leon said.
“Unless you want Cynders to starve, I suggest you take some money with you. Here, take some money.” Leon’s mom pulled out a sizable amount of money, and handed it to her son. “Spend it wisely, because I don’t have money growing in my wallet, and I know how you can get with money,” she said sternly.
“Oh... right. Thanks, mom.” Leon ran out the door, Cynders keeping up with ease.
“Be careful!” Leon’s mom called out. She sighed, “I knew this day would come. Stay safe, Leon. I don’t want you getting hurt...”
“So, did you like my house?” Leon asked Cynders.
“Cynda!” his Pokémon replied.
“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.” Leon walked out of New Bark Town, now venturing into the fields he watched as a kid. “Now, I know there are Pokémon in grass, so we need to be careful, ‘kay, Cynders?” Leon said cautiously.
“Quil!” Cynders replied. A patch of grass rustled nearby.
“What was that?” Leon asked.
“Tret?” a voice replied.
Leon stopped. “...That wasn’t you, was it Cynders?”
“Sen... tret?” the same voice answered. Leon turned around, to see Cynders staring at another Pokémon. A small, furry Pokémon with stubby limbs stared at Leon.
“I know this one!” Leon said. “You’re a Sentret, right?” he asked, recognizing this Pokémon from all the times it appeared in the grass while he watched as a kid.
“Tret!” Sentret replied.
“Okay then. Cynders, let’s catch our first Pokémon!” Leon said, confidence brewing inside him.
“Quil,” Cynders replied.
“Cynders, use... uh... hold on.” Leon searched through his backpack, and found what he was looking for: the Pokédex. “Uh, let’s see... Cyndaquil... you know Tackle and Growl. Okay then, Cynders, use Growl!”
“Quil!” Cynders followed Leon’s command. “Quill... Quil!” he said, in an intimidating manner.
“T-tret!” Sentret shook a little, then shook its head. “Sentret!” Sentret ran towards Cynders, its paw beginning to glow. When it got close, it lunged at Cynders, and scratched him.
“Quil!” Cynders yelled in pain.
“Cynders, are you okay?” Leon asked with concern.
Cynders was clutching his face, but quickly shook it off. “Quil!”
Leon smiled. “Okay, enough messing around. Cynders, use Tackle!”
“Quil!” Cynders charged at Sentret.
“Tret!” Sentret moved, dodging the attack.
“Ugh,” Leon said, annoyed. “Cynders, again!”
“Quil!” Cynders repeated his actions. This time, Sentret was too slow, and didn’t react fast enough to dodge. Cynders tackled Sentret, knocking it over.
“Tret!” Sentret said, a slight sound of pain escaping its mouth. Sentret got back up, dusting itself off. “Tret!” Sentret charged at Cynders, preparing to scratch again.
“Once more.” Leon said. “Cynders, Tackle!”
“Quil!” Cynders turned around, and lunged again at Sentret. Sentret stopped, and began bracing itself for Cynders’ attack. Cynders hit Sentret with all his might. Sentret tried to take the hit, but fell to the ground again.
“T-tret...” Sentret stayed on the this time.
“Okay, now you’re weak enough! Go, Pokéball!” Leon took one of the Pokéballs Elm gave him earlier, now minimized for storage convenience. He pressed its center button, expanding the ball, and threw it at Sentret. The ball hit the furry Pokémon. It opened up, and took in Sentret. The ball fell onto the ground, shook a couple of times, and stopped, making a “ding” sound. Leon walked to the ball. Picking it up, he admired it. “Awesome, my first capture.” He checked his Pokédex, which was recording Sentret’s data.
The Pokédex beeped, signifying that it had successfully recorded and catalogued Sentret, and in an electronic voice, read, “Sentret, the Scout Pokémon. A very cautious Pokémon, it raises itself up using its tail to get a better view of its surroundings.”
“Cool. Look, Cynders, we got one.” Leon showed Cynders the Pokéball, and smiled.
Cynders smiled back, and said, “Quil!”
“Well, C’mon, Cynders. Let’s hope we can get more on our way to Violet City, wherever that is!” Leon said cheerfully.
“Quil!” Cynders followed his trainer through the grass patches, already thinking that he’d have an awesome journey with Leon.
Little did he know, awesome didn't even begin to describe it.