Chapter 1: Recap
"Pokémon are by our side, always. I hope you will understand the meaning of those words."
That was the comment left by Prof. Rowan, who has returned to Sinnoh from the Kanto region.
"That concludes our special program, "Let's Ask Prof. Rowan!"" the unseen announcer says. "Brought to you by Jubilife TV on Nationwide Net! See you next week, same time, same channel!"
With that closing remark, the screen fades to black. I push myself to my feet and turn off the TV. There's no point in watching the commercials, which are still as annoying as ever. I snort. Funny, how I'm complaining about commercials with everything that's going on.
Everything had been normal a year ago. Things have gone downhill after that. A mysterious group called Cipher have changed all the Pokémon to shadows. It's not just in one town or forest, though. All of the Sinnoh region has been affected by Cipher. People are too scared to even go out of their homes in fear of getting hurt, or worse. Many have already been hurt or…killed…because of them. Almost everyone wants all of this to end. Nobody's brave enough to try. I'm going to try, though. No, I'm not brave. I seek revenge, and hatred is quite a powerful motivation. Nolan and I have been talking about it for the past month now, and we are ready. Well, as ready as we'll ever be.
"Today's the day," I mumble to myself as I gather anything that I'd need for the journey ahead. As I look through my closet, I shove my long blonde hair out of my face and deftly put it in a ponytail. I grab a few sets of clothes and shove them in my bag. I even have a thick winter coat among them. After all, I have heard that Snowpoint City could get quite cold, if I were to head there in the first place. Just making sure I'm prepared. As I finish, I look around my room, taking everything in for what might be my last time. I sling my bag over my shoulder and head for the stairs when Nolan charges up them.
"There you are!" He seems so excited, though what for I cannot fathom. "Hey, Galina! Did you just see the TV? Sure you did!" he adds before I can even mention that I had just been watching TV before he barged into my room. "Prof. Rowan's that really important guy who studies Pokémon, right?"
"Yeah…" I reply, trailing off. To be honest, I have no idea where this is leading. What does this have to do with stopping Cipher?
"That means he must have lots and lots of Pokémon," he continues.
"Just get to the point, Nolan!" I barely manage to keep my voice below a shout. Yes, I have a short patience span.
"So, if we ask him, I bet he'd give us some Pokémon!" Okay, now I think I understand. However, just before I can say anything, he rushed over to my desk. "Oh, hey! Is this a new PC?!"
"What does that have to do with anything?!"
He looks back at me, a confused expression on his face. "Uh…where was I?"
"You were talking about Professor Rowan-"
"Oh, right, right!" he interrupts. "We're going to go see Prof. Rowan and get some Pokémon. I'll be waiting outside. OK, Galina? If you're late, I'm fining you 10 million Poké!" Before I can say more, he runs back down the stairs. I shake my head, then proceed a lot more slowly down. When it came to Nolan, he wouldn't stay still long enough to hear anything.
I decide to change into a different set of clothes, as even though I like dressing as if I'm a Pokémon, it'd be kind of weird running around in my Jigglypuff PJs. I change quickly, not wanting to waste another moment. Creeping down the stairs, I hope my mother isn't awake yet. And, of course, she was. I've never had much in the way of luck, but I was hoping maybe I'd have some today. Don't get me wrong, though. I love my mother, but she doesn't want me to go. I can understand why. After all, anything could happen. I don't want to think about that, though. Besides, I can't let Nolan down. Not after all the time we've spent planning and preparing.
"Galina!" She heads over to me. "Nolan already left. I don't know what it was about, but he sure was in a hurry!" She heads back over to the cushion where she had probably been watching some contest rerun and sits back down. Good. She doesn't suspect a thing. I head for the door, but my mom calls back to me. "Oh, yes! Galina!" I turn back to face her, fearing she'll remember my plans. "Don't go into the tall grass. Wild Pokémon might attack you. It would be better if you had your own Pokémon to protect you, but you don't, so…" She seems to be thinking if she's missed something, but she ends with, "Well, take care, sweetie!" Turning back, I open the door and emerge into what is my hometown: Twinleaf Town. Rural in nature, there isn't many homes, but we all know each other. I stand in front of the doorway for a moment wondering where Nolan would have gone. Maybe his mother would know, I finally decide, heading over for his house. It isn't far away from my own, so it doesn't take too long to reach it. I go to open the door-Thud!! I stumble backwards, just managing to keep my balance. It's Nolan.
"What was that about?!" he yells.
"You just shoved the door in my face and almost knocked me over!" I snap. I'm usually not this bad-tempered, but it's not every day that you almost fall on your butt.
"Oh, hey Galina!" Nolan says, not mentioning anything about my outburst. He also doesn't mention my choice of outfit. By now he must be used to my unusual sense of 'fashion.' "Hey, I'm going to see Prof. Rowan! You should come, too! And quickly! Today we go save the world!" Thankfully he remembers what we were planning to do.
He starts to dash away, but he skids to a stop and comes back. "Oh, jeez! Forgot something!"
"Of course you did," I say to the now-closed door. Sighing, I head inside his house. His family doesn't mind that I come in uninvited. I tend to think of them as a second family.
"Oh, hi Galina," Nolan's mom says as I enter. "Did you come calling on Nolan?"
"Yeah," I reply.
"He was gone for a second, but then he came running right back home." I head for the stairs and hear her mumbling about not being able to keep still. Obviously she was talking about her son. I head up to his room.
"…I'd better take my bag and Journal, too…" He hasn't noticed my presence yet.
"Nolan?" I ask, not wanting him to be too startled that I'm in his room.
He turns towards me and half-jumps at the sound of my voice. "Oh, hey, Galina! I'll be waiting on the road! It's a 10 million Poké fine if you're late!" I quickly move as he rushes towards the entrance and he barrels down the stairs. I follow shortly afterwards. I know he is probably joking about fining me, but I don't want to keep him waiting too long. After a short goodbye, I head out of the house and up towards Route 201.