PROLOGUE - The Curious Blue Crystal!
``Cushy, I'm home!'' A tired office lady shut the door of her Nimbasa City apartment behind her, calling out to her Pokemon as she hung her jacket on a coatrack. Her name was Velour, and she worked in the city's Battle Subway.
``Ca-buuu!'' Her life-long pet cubchoo rounded the corner out of the kitchen into the entryway, running toward his master as fast as his stubby little legs could carry him. He waved his front paws in their air, and the snot dripping from his nose dragged across the crusted wood floor. Cushy was always dripping chilly mucous everywhere; there really wasn't anything his owner could do about it. Even among cubchoo, a species of Pokemon known for their perpetually dripping noses, Cushy's nose was unusually productive. The thicker the mucous, the healthier the cubchoo. Cushy's drippings were just about as thick as they could be, almost like molasses. He'd always been very well taken care and, despite his mature age, he'd never really experienced any major health problems.
Velour's tired face perked up a little when she saw her joy-filled childhood pet and companion run up to greet her. She had known Cushy ever since he was, well, a cub. Despite his diminutive height and unimpressive physical strength, he was quite a bit older than his appearance might suggest. Velour, now a 24 year-old woman, got Cushy as a Christmas gift when she was 5. One of her older cousins was a Pokemon breeder, and they had adopted a young cubchoo that a trainer had abandoned on Route 3, not far from the Daycare the cousin worked at. That same cubchoo was then gifted to Velour, and the two of them have been inseparable ever since. She never had any interest in battling with Cushy, which is why he never evolved. He was just a family pet. No, more like a family friend. Velour moved out of her parents' Castelia City apartment years ago, and took Cushy with her when she went to work at the subway station in Nimbasa. Today was the day she got off of work for a short holiday vacation.
``Oh my...What a day today was.'' Velour stretched her tired shoulders as she walked out of the apartment's entryway, closing the distance between her and her tiny friend. When Cushy reached her leg, he slammed against it with the full-force of his miniature body. An audible SPLAT signaled the meeting of Cushy's long trail of nose-goo with Velour's pant-leg. It was cold and sticky, but Velour didn't mind it much anymore. She had gotten used to this kind of thing long ago; she was just glad that Cushy was always so happy to see her. Velour kneeled down to pat him on the head. He hugged her calf tightly as she walked towards the kitchen to grab some food for the both of them. ``You'll never believe what happened at work today, Cushy.''
The cubchoo paused from nuzzling his soft, black nose into the fabric of his owner's trousers to look up at her. As Velour prepared a warming bowl of potato soup for herself and a dish of premium Pokemon feed for her bear, she told him about a strange man that showed up at the Battle Subway. He said that he was from a region far away called Alola, and that he was in Unova on a holiday trip. One of his Pokemon, an Abomasnow, ruined one of the Battle Subway cars with a powerful ice-type move none of the workers had ever seen before; the attack runined all the circuitry in the car, and froze the wheels to the track below it. They had to shut the whole place down early, and the mysterious Alolan trainer gave them a strange crystal to apologize for the trouble. Nobody else at work really wanted to accept it, so Velour took it for herself. By the time Velour finished her story, the both of them had finished eating.
Velour lifted her purse off the ground and placed it gently on the table. Out of it, she pulled a long gem. It was a deep blue color, and there was an ornate symbol that looked something like a water droplet in its center. The gem wasn't very large - the entire thing was only about the size of one of the cushions on Cushy's paws. The gleam of the room's light through the crystal was mesmerizing. Cushy couldn't keep his eyes off of it; the gem was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen. He had to have it. He started pawing and swiping at Velour's leg, whining for it.
``Hey, you wanna stop that?'' Velour softly pushed her palm against Cushy's soft forehead, making him flinch and stopping his adorably relentless but utterly harmless assault on the fabric of her work clothes. She loved him, but she didn't like to tolerate his spoiled behavior. Velour drew the line at whenever Cushy started throwing tantrums. She'd always accidentally spoil him, and that made him a little hard to deal with sometimes. ``Look, this isn't for you. I don't want you choking on it or anything!'' Velour tried talking Cushy down from his little fit, but he wasn't having it. He wanted that gem, bad. He wasn't sure why, but he could feel it calling out to him. He could practically feel the gem pulling him in closer. He just needed it. Cushy buried his snout in the living room furniture, getting it all wet and sticky in protest. He knew Velour hated it when he did that.
``Jeez! Will you stop that!! Fine, take it, just don't lose it, okay? I'm going into the travel agency tomorrow to get our vacation ready, so I don't want you to drop it between the couch-cushions or something while I'm gone'' Velour kneeled down to give Cushy the blue crystal, and he accepted it quickly. Cushy's mood turned around instantly; he was all smiles for the rest of the evening. He snuggled up with Velour that night for bed, head hanging off the side of the mattress so he didn't soak it through with his over-productive nasal glands.