Mike Darch

Hank Riker: From the Ashes. Chapter 2 – The Professor

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February 27, 1996 – 9:04

Professor Sam Oak. He had lived in this town as long as I could remember and in that time he hadn’t changed one bit. He was a tall man in his late 50’s, he always seemed to wear a worn but clean labcoat and he carried an air of authority about him. In Kanto most folk built their professional lives around Pokemon and Oak was no exception. He had devoted most of his life to studying Pokemon and rebuilding our Pokeknowledge from the cataclysmic events leading to the end of the last resource war 40 years ago. He chuckled,

“I’m only a mean old bastard when I haven’t had my morning coffee, If you come to the lab I can get one of the interns to boil us up some and get you up to speed on the job”.

I smile, “yeah sounds good. What’s this job about then anyway?”

“I will tell you back at the lab, this morning air is refreshing but its starting to seep into these old joints” he said clasping his hands together and rubbing them for warmth.

I liked Oak. He spoke with a warm confidence that put you at ease.

5

The walk to the lab only took a couple of minutes as we weaved our way around the few houses randomly shotgunned into the forest clearing that housed Pallet Town. The houses were mostly small log cabins, made from simple resources found within the local region. The people who lived here were hardy folk, there were no shops or civic buildings. Just hard-working people trying to live it out away from all the noise of the cities.

Well all of them except for me of course. Sure I help mom with all sorts of tasks but really the only thing I really spent my time doing was perfecting the art of making moonshine. Sweet, sweet moonshine. I called it Jiggly’s lullaby for obvious reasons.

6

The closest thing to any official building was Oak’s lab. It was a neat building made from honest to Arceus bricks and mortar with a roof covered with solar panels and windmills. Oak shared my hatred for the government and was seriously off the grid.  The lab, besides fueling Oaks science, occasionally used its resources to craft some of the more difficult to obtain items for the towns people. We’re talking glass, wiring, tools, all sorts of stuff that someone miles from civilisation might need. It stood solitary at the edge of town and once there we didn’t hesitate to get inside.

The neat exterior, however gave no clue as to the mess concealed inside. ‘Clusterfuck of technology’ is how I would describe it. Filled to the brim with supercomputers, books, beakers, microscopes and a lot of other science stuff that I can’t identify. His interns and aides greet us as we come in and the coffee is distributed as promised. Tastes like Muk, harsh and strong. Oh yeah, this combined with breakfast has me fast returning to a normal functioning member of society.

“I’ve got something to show you” Oak said gesturing me between some book cases into a quiet, dark nook of the lab. As we walk through we are met by a unsually clear table, on it are 3 Pokemon balls placed in a very particular fashion.

My stomach drops,

I have seen this arrangement before. It was over a decade ago in this very building, a thousand memories hit me and swirl round my head. Most of them bad.

“The hells this?” I murmur.

“Oh you don’t know bro?” A male voice emanates from the other side of the table, the room’s dim light obscuring a tall figure. “We’re about to make history”.

“Ahh you’re here already! Good, Goooood” Oak wanders over and flicks a switch that slowly opens the blinds allowing light to slowly filter in. “I was worried you might sleep in!” Oak jokes as he walks over to the table.

As light fills the room I see who the figure is, its none other than Professor Oaks grandson. Dwayne Oak.

He steps up to the table, not breaking eye contact with me the entire time.

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world, gramps! Today I choose a Pokemon that will make me a Pokemon champion”

4

 

(END CHAPTER 2)

((Hank Riker Trivia, IMO Dwayne is the least heroic name there is out there, sorry to all Dwaynes out there!)

 

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