Asleep in his hammock in the supply room, Jack was unaware that the ship had pulled into port until a crewman woke him up while searching for more rope to lengthen the anchor. With a yawn, he got out of the easily assembled bed and looked out a nearby window for a view of the settlement turned refugee camp. Three months....it's been three months since the attack... he thought with a solemn look on his face. As a survivor of the assault on Nimbasa, The young man knew he was lucky that his Tranquil used Whirlwind to blow him out of harm's way, but didn't feel like it was the case. His entire life's work and home were destroyed by the gray dragon, and even with the escape provided by his final Pokemon, Jack would've been at the bottom of a lake right now had it not been for the ship's captain and crew.
Jack took one look back at the hammock, his only personal space on the ship, and stared at the dried bloodstains that served as physical evidence of the head wounds he sustained while unconscious. While unsure of the exact details of his rescue and recovery, he recalled bits and pieces, such as his refusal to lay down and rest as requested by an on-board medic and a sharp throbbing pain in the back of his head that lasted almost a week. In his tattered cloths, Jack walked out of the supply room and walked out onto the deck of the ship.
His temporary home was filled with others like himself, refugees from Unova who were either fleeing to new regions and Trainers from Unova looking to regroup and continue the effort to retake the region from Team Plasma. The ship itself spent most of the three months traveling to the other regions to drop off civilians and resupply for the upcoming battles ahead. While Jack himself was free to leave at any ship port desired, he refused and chose to stay in the hopes of fighting back against the evil that took his homeland.
The captain allowed Jack to work as a ship's hand while on-board to earn some cash, and also informed him of a Professor Pine who was looking for young Trainers so form a small group to try to put an end to the tyranny of Plasma. After a chat session with the Professor over the video phone, Jack signed up for the group after being promised a Pokemon to begin building a new team.
And now finally, after waiting and biding his time doing remedial work to pass the days, Jack's time on vessel is over. Before leaving the ship, he spoke to the captain one last time to receive his pay and bid farewell to the man. He learned that they're heading back to Unova with the supplies they've acquired and will continue to attack Team Plasma. While Jack wished to go, he knew that without Pokemon of his own, he wouldn't be of much use or stand a chance in a fight against an army of crazed Trainers.
Off the ship and now into the settlement, Jack's mind started to list off the supplies he would need before leaving. Looking down at his tattered shirt and muddy jeans, he decided that buying new cloths now for the journey ahead would be best before meeting with Pine as a show of respect for her. Finding a small tailor/apparel store, Jack picked out a small assortment of cloths that were a mix between cheap and comfortable. Most of his money had to be spent on necessities such as non-perishable foods, medical supplies for both him and Pokemon, as well as equipment for living on the road.
After asking the shop owner where Pine's lab was located and being told it was the large building in the center of the town, Jack took a short walk to the establishment. He surveyed the area and noted the random placement of many small living quarters, and it was easy to tell which buildings were apart of the original layout of the settlement and which were hastily built cots for Unova refugees.
As he entered the lab, which seemed out of place to the rest of Rootdry from the structure's overall design to the large expensive equipment found within, Jack passed two kids who looked about the same age were making their ways for the exit. Both of whom seemed to be spotting grins of varying degrees and had Pokemon with them. Inside the main lab, Jack spotted a woman in a lab coat walking to her desk to close a drawer.
"Professor Pine?" he asked loudly to announce his presence while walking towards her. She gave a nod of confirmation, to which Jack replied with "I'm Jack Forest. We spoke on the video phone a few weeks ago. I'm here to take part in the 'special assignment' you were recruiting for. This is the right place is it not?
The Professor nodded a second time and answered his quarry. "Yes, that is correct. As I'm sure you're well aware of, Team Plasma has taken over Unova with the powers of a mutated Kyurem and a Genosect. To try to put an end to it all, I'm sending a group of trainers to build up the strongest teams they can muster and take Unova back. I've spoken to many of the refugees who lived in Nimbasa before coming here, and they all spoke highly of your abilities and your heroic attempt to defend the city. Now, come and choose a Pokemon." As she spoke, the professor gestured for Jack to approach her and opened up the drawer that she was originally closing when he entered. Instead, he saw a multitude of Pokeballs.
While he looked at the Pokeballs and seeing many Starter pokemon, he briefly thought about her words. "I'm no hero..." he thought to himself. "...if I were, all of my Pokemon wouldn't still be alive." He took out the Pokeball containing Charmander slowly as if unsure about his choice. "What if I fail again, and this little one pays the price like all the others I trained?" asked the now teary eyed Jack. "Many of the Pokemon I lost were trained for many years, and still they lost. How can I possibly create a stronger team quickly enough to stop Ghetsis before he takes over everything? The other trainers you've recruited would need to be experts with masterfully trained Pokemon to make up for my shortcomings." Jack stated. As much as he hated to admit it, he was not anywhere close to being strong enough to be a 'hero' to anyone.
Pine took a deep breath before continuing the conversation. "Unfortunately, I couldn't get any experienced trainers into the region, so I've recruited many youths to begin training Pokemon for the first time ever. You may have seen a couple of them on your way in."
Jack's eyes widened at this startling revelation. "You mean to tell me you're sending me out with a bunch of starting trainers to take out two of the strongest Pokemon in captivity as well as an army of fanatical psychopaths!?" he exclaimed in disbelief. Shyly, Pine nodded her head. This was responded to by Jack becoming slightly angered and saying, "That's suicide! These kids will get themselves killed. Plasma isn't pulling any punches. Why aren't the Elite Four and Gym Leaders from the other regions being called in? This plan is almost guaranteed to fail!"
Professor Pine started to become a little agitated herself at Jack's outburst, but kept her composure while trying to settle down the young man. "Many of the other regions have been lending their support, but they also have problems with their own. Besides, I recall Team Plasma being dismantled more than once by upstarting Trainers. The reason you're on the list of trainers to take part in this is because you have the most experience both with Pokemon and with traveling off road. You can be their mentor for outdoor survival. If you're not up to the task, please return that Charmander and be off on your merry way."
Jack took a deep breath. He knew the plan was crazy, but he also knew the new trainers would need assistance. Likewise, he wanted Plasma to pay, and it was his duty as both a trainer and a Unovan to stop them in their tracks. "No..." he said with some resolve while releasing Charmander from it's Pokeball. "...I'm game. I want to be there when Plasma crumbles and help cause it. I'm going to need a team of trainers and Pokemon to do it....If I'm going to train up, I might as well help the others do likewise if we have the same goal. Thank you Professor Pine, I'll try to find the others."
After saying goodbye to Pine and thanking her for the Charmander, he left the lab in search of the two he had seen leaving the lab earlier. The search was a fairly short endeavor as they seemed to be battling a wild Houndoom who had found his way into town. Charmander's tail began to burn a bit brighter as it watched two Pokemon he was raised with were sent into the fray. Telling that his new partner wanted to take part in the fight, Jack spoke to him. "No, stand down. We need to let them handle this on their own. It will be good practice for the two kids. We'll be back up only if they get in over their heads." The flaming lizard had a look of worry, but complied with the command and it's tail flame lessened in intensity.