Beryl Town

Time: Early Afternoon
Weather: Clear


It was a bright, beautiful day. The weather was clear skies, only an occasional cloud in sight. It was warm, but not hot out. The streets of Beryl Town were decorated with beautiful flowers, bright banners and packed to the brim with people. Many of the visitors had reclused themselves to the grassy hills that surrounded the stage that stood at the center of the town as they waited for the festival to begin.

The stage stood behind the Institute and was greatly overwhelmed by the size of the crowd it had. It was a small stage; put together last minute and not with the best of resources to do so. But it got the job done. Even if everyone couldn’t see the people on the stage, they could certainly hear them. The staff at the Institute were able to snag a good sound system prior to the event.

Security personnel stood as a thick barrier between the stage and the audience surrounding it. Misbehavior wasn’t expected to occur, but it was better to be safe than sorry. A tall, pink haired man made his way to the stage and stood in the center of it, standing close to the microphone. He wore black shirts and pants with a white coat, but more noticeably, had a large baby carrier that hung over his chest, but instead of a baby, a large pink and white Pokemon egg in a sealed glass container sat.

“Hello. Welcome, everyone.” Noah said calmly, with a faint smile. He detached the microphone from its stand, as it was far too awkward to lean forward speaking into it with the egg carrier. “Welcome back to our returning faces, and another welcome to our new faces. And to those of you who travelled cross seas to be here, I say, welcome…to Starre!”

A wave of applause erupted over the audience. While majority of the audience were Starre citizens themselves, many of the people standing amongst the crowd were travelers from afar - Beryl Town’s New Beginning’s Festival being a well-known starting tourist destination for trainers, coordinators, and travelers alike. It served as a helpful way to assist these groups, but also aid the Institute’s objectives as well.

“For those of you that don’t know, my name is Noah Magnolia. I am Head Professor here at The Starre Region Institute. Some of you from the Academy may remember my face from a lecture I gave. Noah said with a brief wave. While he never did too many lectures (and most were against his will), he imagined that some would remember his face from them. If they weren’t busy sleeping through the lecture itself.

“Here at the Institute, we study Pokemon. We have a variety of experts with a wide range of focuses of interest on the subject. As for myself, I-I…” He suddenly stopped, frozen stiff as a spare hand clamped over one of the Pokeballs on his belt. He tried to continue to speak but struggled. “I-I…just hold on…wait-!”

But what was coming could not wait. A sudden flash of light erupted from the red and white ball, and a Hisuian Zorua popped out onto the stage. White and red fur glistened under the bright sun as the creature oriented itself. The crowd became audibly excited at the sight of him, most notably the voices of children could be heard as they expressed their surprise and interest. The Hisuian Zorua, named Kit, calmly gazed at the crowd, but did not seem particularly impressed and began to wander the stage. Noah sighed and shook his head, but continued his speech.

“As for myself, I study how Pokemon and people interact. Pokemon and people have been living together for ages, and their history is long and complex. Just like people, Pokemon have a great impact on the world we live in…for better, or for worse.” He said, glaring at the white and red creature that was satisfied with its inspection of the area and promptly sat by its trainer’s feet.

“The Institute has obtained a variety of species of Pokemon over the years. Some only stay for a little while, but some have stuck around for quite time. And during that time, it is often that our Poke-friends leave us little gifts.” The professor said, gesturing to the egg that he was carrying. “However, how these gifts come about is a secret, I’m afraid.”

A jest, but a necessary one. Years ago, Noah made the mistake of telling the truth of how the Pokemon eggs came about and got in trouble. There were children present, and Starre sensibilities prohibited speaking about…such things! The young professor found it annoying, tiresome, and childish, but was forced to oblige.

“The tradition of handing out Pokemon eggs on this day is over hundreds of years old and it is one of Beryl Town’s most well-known.” He stated to the audience, pressing a button on the controller in his right hand as he pointed it to the large screen behind him. A picture of one of the Institute egg booths, like the ones that were currently in the town, appeared on the screen. “Today, we’ll be giving out free Pokemon eggs - one per person until we run out. First come, first serve.”

“The egg symbolizes new beginnings. Potential. Possibility.” He continued, gazing at the audience. “And what better way to start off the League season than with that? Even if you don’t plan to take on the League, Pokemon Contests, or go travelling the region at all; you can still start off this season with a new face, a new friend, and with many memories to come for both of you.”

Just then, Noah could feel movement by his feet. Looking down he could see Kit alert and gazing at something across and at the end of the stage. Suddenly, the Pokemon began to bark like crazy swiftly makes his way to that direction. Before the young professor could call after him, the crowd suddenly burst into excitement, catching Noah off guard. Turning his attention back to Kit, he could finally see what all the noise was about.

It was him.

“Well, now. What do we have here? The Starry Prince himself! What a surprise.” Noah said, visibly surprised. He watched as the tall mask figure came closer to him, with Kit in-toe, wagging his tail fervently. “I suppose you’re here to check out the future competition, yes? I imagine we have a lot of trainers here eager to take you on…”

The Prince nodded. He never spoke, not in public at least. If anyone ever heard his voice, it was in private with no recordings of it.

Standing head-to-head at the same height, The Starry Prince was in his usual attire, mask included. It was always difficult to tell his mood due to the mask, but his body posture remained formal and dignified. Kit remained ever by the Prince’s feet, pacing back and forth between their legs in excitement. Noah waited for the audience to die down a bit before speaking.

“Tell me, Prince; any of these fine trainers seem promising?” Noah asked, gesturing towards the audience. The audience got riled up once more, and Noah could hear a few individuals offering to take the Prince on there and then. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the time for that.

Reaching into his pocket, the Starry Prince pulled out a stack of small cards and began to shuffle through them. While the man did not speak, he still communicated. Often through printed out answers on a pack of small cards. Pulling one out, he handed it to the professor.

“Hm…says here…” Noah murmured, scanning the card. “He says ‘yes.’ Well, now. Isn’t that good news?”

Noah smiled to the audience as he heard the audience get riled up once more, this time more fervently than the last. The voices were louder this time, and some of them more others.

“Get ready, Prince! This year its going to be me who wears that crown!” One cried out, a young man near the front row.

“No, it’s gonna be me who beats him! I’m going to be the Starre Champion!” Cried out another, only a few rows behind him. The crowd erupted into more cheers at the prospect of a battle.

“Such enthusiasm! But perhaps we should save it for the Pokemon battles, yeah?” Noah remarked, a little uneasy at the sudden rise in excitement. He didn’t want the crowd to get too rowdy. Feeling and hearing the audience die down a little more, the professor continued to speak. “Well, now, Prince. Do you have anything else to say to these lovely people? Words of encouragement, perhaps?”

The masked man took only a few seconds this time to find the card he was looking for and promptly handed it to the pink-haired professor.

“It says here, ‘Reach for the stars!’” Noah read in an excited voice. Beside him, the Prince struck a dynamic and dramatic pose; one hand pointing to the heavens and to the very stars themselves. The audience cheered loudly once more. Noah handed the cards back to the Prince and watched him turn around and leave for the very exit he came in with. Kit tried to follow after the Prince, but Noah promptly made a quick snapping of his fingers to signal to the Pokemon to stay. Although it could not be heard over the audience’s cheering, Kit whined and whimpered his way back to trainer’s feet, disappointed.

“There he goes. Never sticks around long, does he? Such a strange one…” Noah murmured, his eyes transfixed at the direction the Prince had left in. Suddenly, a shocked looked was etched onto his face. “Oh, almost forgot. While The Institute has hosted the New Beginnings Festival many times before, we would not have been able to host an event of this size and caliber without the help from our friends at Morpheus. Everyone, please give a round of applause for Miss Cassandra Stern, their CEO!”

While nowhere near as excited as they were for the Prince, the audience gave a healthy attention and clapped for the Morpheus CEO and they all watched as she walked up and onto the stage, towards the professor.

“Thank you.” She said politely, holding a cordless microphone in her hand. Standing firm and tall, she was dressed neither too formal nor too casual. She wore a light grey suit jacket and skirt to match, with a black shirt underneath the suit jacket and black heels. Her hair was well combed and kept. There was an air of professionalism about her.

“Miss Stern, do you have anything you wish to say?” Noah inquired, turning to his honorary guest speaker. He could feel Kit digging at his legs, wanting up. But now was not the time. The little one would have to wait.

“Yes, I do.” She said, stepping forward she turned her attention to the audience. “Hello. It is nice to see so many hopeful and eager faces today. At Morpheus, we believe in the power of dreams. Not just literal dreams, but the everyday dreams as well. Hopes, aspirations, longings, desires…all of these are what shapes the world.”

“The world can be a cruel, unforgiving place.” She continued, her expression darkening slightly. “But it is dreams that keep us grounded, give us something to move towards to. Without them, we have nothing. With that in mind, it is my intention to foster these dreams. Specifically, your dreams.”

There was a slight murmur amongst the crowd. The audience watched curiously as Noah handed the Morpheus CEO the small remote that he had held on to this whole time. With it in her hand, she turned to the large screen behind them and clicked the remote, a picture of purple-themed booth with the lettering and logo “MORPHEUS” on the header.

“All around town are these Morpheus booths. Inside these booths, you will find our Starry Dream Bundles. Given out by our staff, these bundles will contain the items to help you achieve your dreams. They contain Poke Balls, Potions, Items, and the like.” She said, pausing for a moment. “Finally, we will transfer 5,000G to your account. These are available to all who desire them.”

“Oh, my. How generous. That is quite the gift. Especially to so many people.” Noah remarked, genuinely surprised at the woman’s generosity. Part of him doubted that she could truly give so much to so many people.

“It is not a gift.” Cassandra stated, not blinking.

“Oh?”

“It is an investment.” She clarified, heavy emphasis on her words. She turned to the audience. “I am investing in all of you. Investing in your willpower and determination to see your dreams come true; to cultivate a new world, a better world with those dreams. A brighter future for us all.”

“I see. Well, on behalf of everyone here, I must say, thank you. Hopefully, there will be one left for me as well.” He jested, smiling softly. He did not need the money.

“Oh? Professor, are you planning on taking on the League as well? Or perhaps, take a trip around Starre like the rest of the trainers here?” Cassandra inquired curiously, mild surprise in her voice.

“Actually, I am. Oh, that’s right. I forgot to mention. This year, I will also be journeying around Starre this League season. As your fellow adventurer, please treat me well.” He said, making a slight bow towards the audience. It was not normally in his style to tell the whole world his habits, but given he was already here and the topic came up…why not?

The audience was quiet for a moment until a loud “WHAT?!” broke from the audience. Thousands of heads turned to see the source of the noise from one frazzled dark haired and positively irate woman staring straight at Noah. It was Isabella, one of his fellow researchers who worked for the Institute. And the one who got to inherit all of his duties when leaves.

‘Ah, I forgot to tell her.’ He realized.

“Whoops…” Noah murmured, watching as the woman made her way rapidly towards him amongst the crowd. He could hear her shouting all sorts of obscenities but tried not to pay attention to them. Gingerly, he turned back to the audience. “Anyway, thank you again Miss Stern for your generosity and thank you to everyone who came here today. The food is free and for everyone; please, help yourselves. But remember to make an orderly line and wait for your turn to be served. Enjoy the event and have yourself an eggxcellent day!”

A loud, audible groan bellowed from the audience, causing Noah to flash a bright smile. Carefully and awkwardly, he bent over to pick up Kit from the ground. He looked around cautiously as he tried to find an escape route to avoid his impending doom. Determining his exit, he turned to the audience one last time.

“To new beginnings!"

~~




Edit: Got so excited to post I forgot to tag people. RIP.

@c3p-0h
@Yankee
@GubGar
@Enzayne