[Vol. I] 31. Dream Come True
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Once inside the hospital room, Joe sat on his bed and Sabrina sat in a nearby chair while Looker stood before Joe. The detective reached into an inside pocket of his long coat, pulling out some images. He placed them on the small table and spread them so they could all be seen.

“Luckily everything is connected to the internet these days. A security camera on the outside of the Silph Company building caught this and uploaded it to the Cloud before the street was destroyed.”

Spread out on the little table were 4 printed pictures. These 4 images had one thing in common: Raikou. The beast was a little blurry as the camera quality wasn’t that good.

“I want you to keep this in mind.” Looker told Joe, tapping the leftmost image. To be specific he was tapping the back of Raikou’s neck, where its purple fur cape started. “We destroy this during a battle and we win.”

Once the detective pulled his finger away, Joe picked the picture up and squinted at it. It was extremely difficult to see, but just where Raikou’s purple cape started was what looked like a small silver box. Light escaped from Silph Company’s building and reflected off that little silver box, making it stand out. If it wasn’t artificial light from the skyscraper highlighting the metal cube, it would’ve been the natural light of the sun. When Raikou showed up it brought a Thunderstorm with it though, so natural lighting was quite dull.

“What is it..?” Joe unintentionally spoke aloud while thinking about an answer to that very question.

“We don’t know the specifics, but we think it’s what’s being used to control Raikou.”

Sabrina spoke up. “And why are you telling Joe this?”

“It’s not just Joe.” The detective turned to the woman, quickly swiping a picture off the table to hand to her. “Team Rocket has been deemed a threat to the region, perhaps even the entire world. It has been decided that we enlist the help of anyone capable in battle. That includes you, Gym Leader.”

Looker saying ‘anyone’ was accurate. The Elite Four, the Champion, all the Gym Leaders. People who once entered the Kanto League and placed in the top 4. If they could hold their own in battle, they were being asked to try and destroy this silver box on the back of Raikou’s neck if they ever encountered the Legendary. Destroy that object and the beast will regain control of itself, and the first thing it’ll probably do is seek revenge against Team Rocket. Not only would Team Rocket lose their strongest asset, but they’d also have to avoid the beast’s wrath.

“Wait, but why me?” Joe asked. “My team’s not as good as a Gym Leader’s best.”

“I don’t believe in coincidence.” The detective stated. “You’ve encountered Team Rocket a number of times over the past month. Whether you like it or not, you’re mixed up in all this. As you are now I hope you don’t run into them again, but I’m telling you this so if you do cross paths with them, you have a better chance at victory.”

“Well this’ll definitely help, thanks.” Joe said. Part of him didn’t want to encounter Raikou again. It was a powerful Pokemon that Joe’s team stood no chance against. But he quickly ignored that part of himself. Joe was training a team for exactly this reason. He wanted to help people, or Pokemon, if they were in a bad spot. Raikou being controlled by an evil organisation was the definition of being in a bad spot. Joe was going to help the beast if he could.

“And before I forget, this is for you.” Reaching into an inside pocket again, Looker pulled out something like a small passport and handed it directly to Joe. “Take it or leave it, it’s up to you.”

Just like a passport, it opened up to reveal a picture of Joe’s face, with his name. But when compared to a passport, there was a fairly big difference. Just under Joe’s name was a golden badge with a bold ‘DETECTIVE’ engraved across the middle of it. “What is this?”

“I hate to boast, but I’m one of the highest ranked detectives in the world. This job comes with many liberties, and one of those liberties is that I can hire people to work for me. Nugget Bridge, Lt. Surge’s power plant and now Saffron City. You’ve proven yourself to be a good person, who is fearless in the face of adversity. A useful ally. I would like to hire you, Joe, as a private detective who works for me.”

Joe had no idea how to respond. On one hand he wanted to accept. He’d always wanted to become a detective that helps others. Recently he’d been doing the helping, realising he didn’t need the detective label to do what he wanted.

Looker could see the uncertainty on Joe’s face, so tried to ease the man’s worries. “If you’re worried about your freedom, don’t be. I don’t often issue orders. You can still roam the region, or the world, at your own discretion. All I ask is that when you stumble across someone who requires aid, you help them.”

“This is the other reason I wanted to come with you, Joe.” Sabrina looked over from her nearby chair. “To help you find your parents. Becoming a detective would make that easier.”

“Oh?” Looker briefly turned to Sabrina and then focused on Joe again. “Do you have any information? I’m fairly busy counteracting Team Rocket, but when I have a moment I could look into it for you.”

Joe shook his head. He had no information about his parents. “I don’t know anything about them.”

“Hm, I see. It certainly makes things difficult if you have no place to start.” Looker placed a hand on his chin as he began thinking, but was quickly snapped out of it when his phone rang. Exiting the room to talk on the phone left Joe alone to think about becoming a detective for real. When he came back in Joe seemed to have thought things through.

“Looker, I’ll do it. I’d like to be a detective.” While he had no direct information about his parents, he was hoping Agatha might know something. That was the deciding factor. He was given a chance to figure out who his real family is, he wasn’t going to waste it.

“That’s great to hear. I have something to attend to so formalities will have to wait, but welcome to the force, Joe. For now I only ask that you help anyone that needs you. I’ll be in contact if I need you for something, so until then, goodbye.”

So with that Looker exited the room, closing the door behind him. Joe just sat there in silence for a few minutes with many thoughts rushing through his head. He’d conceded on finding his parents because he just saw no chance of meeting them, but now there was a chance. Who were they? What would he say to them? Do they even want to see him? He certainly had mixed feelings about this.

He snapped out his trance when Munchlax, who had quietly been sitting in the corner of the room eating, climbed onto the bed and pushed some bread into Joe’s mouth.

“Hm?” Joe quickly ate it. “Where did you get that? Don’t tell me you stole something from the cafeteria.”

“No, it just kept pulling food out of its fur.” Sabrina commented.

“Huh?” Joe made a quizzical sound before turning to Munchlax, only to see it reach a hand into itself and pull some berries out and shoved them all into its mouth. After using Munchlax as a pillow the other night, Joe knew first hand that it was surprisingly fluffy, but still, to store food in its fur was strange. “Well as long as there’s no hair on the food, whatever.”

But this was it. Joe had rehabilitation for a while longer, then he was free to do what he wanted again. Saffron would be behind him.

“Hey, Munchlax, we’re leaving the city in a week or two.”

Before Joe could carry on with what he wanted to say, the glutton dropped its bundle of cookies on the bed, keeping its mouth wide open from the shock of being told the human it was attached to was leaving. Munchlax started panicking, stood up and rushed at Joe. 

He put a hand on its head to stop the glutton. “Calm down first.” Joe then reached down into his bag that was under the table and pulled out a Pokeball. Pressing the button to enlargen it, he let it rest on his palm as he stretched out a hand towards Munchlax. “Do you want to come with us?”

Munchlax’s shock turned to happiness as it now smiled from ear to ear. Joe almost thought Munchlax would eat the ball, but of course it didn’t. It wasted no time in hitting the Pokeball with a paw and catching itself, adding a clueless glutton to Joe’s growing team of Pokemon.

A few weeks later Joe was finally released from hospital. His condition was good enough. He still had a limp and couldn’t walk as fast as he could before, and occasionally he got tired from leaning on his walking stick all the time, but other than that he was okay. Sabrina still had one last gym battle to finish before she was officially on holiday, so in the meantime Joe was just wandering around town with Absol.

Once more Joe found himself in a clothes shop. He felt like he’d been clothes shopping more since he started his adventure than he ever did living alone in Olivine. While he looked over all the shirts, one in particular caught his eye. He picked it out and showed Absol what it was.

“We can match now.” He said with a silly grin. Even he thought it was stupid to buy something to match his Pokemon, but since he ended up in hospital he felt closer to Absol than before. He’d treated the Disaster Pokemon to some high-end food it wanted as a thanks, so this shirt he’d picked out for himself was more of a joke than anything else.

The shirt he’d picked out was red like Absol’s shiny skin and had a yin-yang symbol printed on the front.

Absol seemed to scoff as its Trainer showed the shirt, but it was at least happy to know Joe cared enough to think about these things. 

He put the t-shirt back and they left the shop after Joe bought nothing, but once outside Joe stopped. He’d changed his mind. It was just meant to be a joke, but the more he thought about it the more he thought he’d like that shirt to mimic Absol’s look. So he went back inside and bought a new t-shirt.

There was still some time before Sabrina should meet him, so Joe had Rotom look for a job in a neighbouring settlement. He still had the catching job from Silph Co. but that was quite a passive job, and the new deadline was 2 months away. He had plenty of time to do other jobs.

After confirming there was a courier job in Celadon, Sabrina showed up and the pair headed West.