Prologue "It came suddenly, without warning. The Kanto region was the first to succumb to the sickness. At first it was a plague, sweeping through villages and wiping them bare. Luckily, this disease was easy to isolate and cure- or so we thought. We are weak, foolish people... we rely too much on the pokemon. Because of this, we have grown soft-" Phlegm and blood spotted his threadbare tunic as the old man coughed, each gasp for air unsteady with both anger and sickness. These coughs were becoming more frequent -and much longer in duration- the hooded guest noted over the past hour. Thunder crashed loudly, shaking the shutters that barely held the torrential storm at bay. He leaned on the door, if only to keep it from splintering against the wind. The old man was once a champion, a conqueror of the Elite Four. He hailed from Pallet Town, bringing home with him fame and fortune. But even the strongest could not combat the horrors upon them now. "...I only wish I had known sooner. Even my own pokemon have turned feral on me. This is not the work of nature, young one. This is magic. Dark, dark magic... worse than Team Rocket." The old man turned bloodshot eyes to the boy, peering at the shadows that hid the youth's face. "Tell me son... what's your name?" "I-I was named after you, sir. Many were-" a wild shriek echoed through the patter of rain, causing both men to go silent. "Was that...?" "Hnngh!" A strong thud on the door forced the younger boy forward, slamming into the table and knocking the wind out of him. The old man stood up weakly, steadying himself on his chair and peering grimly at the door as it shuddered from another blow. "My time is done here, young Ash. Go into my room and hide in the closet, now! Stay there, no matter what you hear. Go!" The boy clambered across the wood floor, panic-stricken. His footsteps seemed unbearably slow as wood began to splinter from the door. The old man wiped blood from his mouth, putting a shaking hand into his pocket. He waited. "SREEEE!" Lightning lit up the scene, casting a sickly yellow light on the massive raticate that appeared out of the debris of door. Its fur was soaked in water and mud, its red eyes glimmering with anger. It charged the old man, hissing angrily as it slipped on the wet floor, instead barreling into the opposite wall. The man shoved himself away from the beast, pulling out the one pokeball he couldn't bare to destroy. The raticate hissed, overgrown teeth chittering angrily as black ichor poured from its mouth. The disease didn't only effect humans... "Pikachu, I c-choose you..." the old man murmured as his vision began to blur. The pokeball in his hand opened, just as the man's world went black.