The sapphire seas of Melemele Island swam into view as the cruise ship sailed in. On the pier, hula dancers in Hawaiian garb greeted and graced the disembarking travellers with swaying grass skirts, twanging ukuleles and bright flower leis. Dartmouth and Jollimore stepped out into the cerulean skies, azure ocean, golden sands and tawny sun.
“Alola!” Jollimore swung his lei excitedly around his neck.
“Isn’t it Aloha?” Dartmouth sardonically tried to correct him.
“No, here it’s Alola. Which is the name of the region, funnily enough.”
Jollimore felt something lightly grasp behind him. “Oh, what’s this?” He whipped around to try to find the mysterious entity.
Dartmouth peeked behind to find a small, cottony, somewhat floral Pokémon, called Comfey, attached to Jollimore’s lei.
“Oh. That must be one of the Pokémon from here. Never seen it before.”
“Maybe we can ask the Professor what it is when we meet him?” Jollimore lit up.
Speak of the devil, the Professor was standing right at the end of the pier, waving to the two teachers about to turn Pokémon Trainers.
“Oh, he’s already here!”
“Well, go say Alola or whatever,” said Dartmouth, who didn’t seem quite as enthusiastic as Jollimore was.
Jollimore approached the Professor. “Alola, Professor Kukui,” he and Dartmouth both greeted him, shaking hands.
“Alola is how we say hello in this region, yeah? Fun fact – it’s also the name of the region itself.”
“I know, he told me that like five seconds ago.” Dartmouth scowled slightly at Jollimore.
The Professor was amazed. “Whoa, Jollimore man, you already know Alola. You must’ve done loads of planning for your vacation, huh? Well, we’d better get you two ready for your adventures.”
“Yay! We’re gonna have our own Pokémon!” Jollimore clapped, but Dartmouth didn’t share his zeal.
“C’mon, my lab isn’t too far from here. Just a few steps across the beach and you’re there.”
“Well, this doesn’t look much like a laboratory to me…” Dartmouth squinted at the wooden shack and aquaria filled with marine Pokémon from around the world.
“Maybe it’s an Alolan thing – scientists here are a bit more ‘in tune’ with nature,” remarked Jollimore.
The two teachers drew close to the flickering lights from the Professor’s computer, where he tapped away on the keyboard.
“So I’m gonna sign you both up for the Alola League.” He pulled up the official website of the League and started entering the teachers’ details.
“The island challenge…?” Dartmouth skimmed the screen.
“Yeah, the island challenge is our rite of passage to becoming Pokémon League Champions in Alola,” Jollimore whispered.
“How old are you both?” the Professor asked, still typing.
“I’m 26 and he’s 28,” replied Jollimore, indicating Dartmouth.
The Professor recorded a few more small details on the database, and pressed a button. His printer whirred into action and began ejecting out the teachers’ Trainer Passports, each with blank pages for stamps and the photos which had been taken earlier.
“Okay, these are your Trainer Passports. They’ll record all your achievements on your way to the Alola League.” He handed the teachers their Passports, and they flipped through the pages.
“So I guess we’re Pokémon Trainers now, eh?” Jollimore grinned.
“Ya got it, cousin.”
“Cousin…?” Dartmouth tilted his head to the side, but he didn’t have time to answer as Jollimore dragged him outside onto the beach, overflowing with excitement.
“Next town is just up the hill. You’ll get your first Pokémon there. Welcome to the Alola region!” the Professor announced.
“C’mon, Dartmouth, let’s go get our Pokémon!” Jollimore called out as he rushed up the lush grassy cliffside hill, and Dartmouth only sighed angrily, trailing behind him.