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| A Fresh Start
| Collected in
|| Vol. 1
| Chapter number
A Fresh Start is the first chapter in the Darkrai Mission Story: Pokémon Ranger Batonnage - the Comic manga.
Three years ago, in Ranger School, a new class called Class 27 is beginning their first year. Kincaid is making a speech when a large explosion echoes through the room. A girl named Kate apologises for causing it after blowing up her Styler in an attempt to discover how it works. In a fit of rage, Kincaid suspends her on her first day, much to her disappointment.
Three years later, Kate, now a soon-to-be Top Ranger, along with her partner Pachirisu is welcomed by Barlow and Crawford into the Vientown Base. Kate explains she built up a hatred towards Kincaid after that day and this led to him constantly following her, almost preventing her from graduating. Barlow laughs and welcomes her, explaining she is the second Top Ranger to be based in Vientown. When Kate asks about the second, Barlow is surprised she doesn't know him as they were both in Class 27 together. He asks Crawford about the whereabouts of the second Top Ranger, Kellyn, and they assimilate he must still be at home. Kate chips in that he must be really late for work, but Crawford explains nobody is really bothered as Kellyn tends to do as he pleases. Just then, a boy runs up to them with two copies of the Almia Times. Kate questions this, although Barlow explains that they don't actually ever get to read the newspapers because Kellyn always takes them first. He asks Kate to take the papers to Kellyn, claiming it to be her first mission. Crawford teases this will be the best way for her to get to know Kellyn. Barlow also warns her not to get the papers ripped or dirty for her own sake. A little crept out, Kate sets off, commenting that this 'Kellyn' sounds a little weird. But she remembers he's also a Top Ranger and may be super cool. As she thinks of the Top Rangers' Vatonage Styler, she voices her dream to 'investigate' the Styler. This prompts her to 'fix' her own Styler with a screwdriver, being stopped just in time by her Pachirisu.
Finally, Kate locates Kellyn's house and, finding it's unlocked, goes inside. She finds and is shocked by an enormous library of newspapers and ranger-related items. She wonders whether Kellyn must be obsessed or something and why he keeps all this stuff. Pachirisu smells something and heads over to the window. Kate also does and is shocked to discover that the forest in on fire. Heading outside to investigate, she finds a ranger with a Pachirisu standing on a rocky outcrop. Seeing the Vatonage Styler on his wrist, Kate realises he must he the second Top Ranger they were talking about: Kellyn. She yells up at him to try and help by capturing some fleeing Buizel to put out the fire, startling the male ranger with her sudden arrival. He smiles and tells her that on August 8th three years ago, on page 3 of Issue 1016 of the Almia Times, there was an article about an area ranger called Seb in the same situation. He used the move Rain Dance to clear away the fire, becoming the first ranger to use an area technique, and he did it using a Blastoise. As said Pokémon walks by, Kellyn captures it. As Kate marvels at the Vatonage Styler, Kellyn explains it can freely move through water and air and follows exactly where his fingers point. Kellyn orders the captured Blastoise to use Rain Dance, putting out the forest fire. As Kate is amazed by the skills of a real Top Ranger, Barlow calls her and asks whether she's met Kellyn yet. When she agrees, Barlow asks her if she's seen his collection yet. He explains that Kellyn collects ranger-related things as a hobby. However, he doesn't just collect them but uses him in his work. For example, he has in his possession a copy of every Almia Times ever produced and has learnt them all off by heart, shocking Kate. Therefore, Kellyn knows what each ranger and their Pokémon did where and when. He sums it up by explaining that it is that database which is the true weapon of the genius ranger: Kellyn. As Kate hangs up, Kellyn walks over to her and she comments he has an amazing collection. Immediately Kellyn becomes excited and asks her whether she's seen it and if it's brilliant. Kate has barely enough time to reply before Kellyn drags her back to the house to explain it all to her.
As an over-excited Kellyn proceeds to explain his collection to her, Kate finds herself mind-boggled by both ranger and collection. As Kellyn shows her a jar containing Styler pieces that he collected from the fire he mentioned before, he frowns as he notices they're a bit dirty. Kate, who has finally had enough, takes the opportunity to swipe Kellyn's Battonage Styler and begins investigating it, majorly annoying Kellyn. After getting her to finish, Kellyn comments Kate looks like a ranger and, for the first time, asks who she is. She tells him her name and that she has just started working at the Vientown Ranger Base. She also explains she was in the same class as him at Ranger School. Kellyn though says he can't remember a lot of Ranger School as he kept getting suspended, just like Kate who comments that a lot of them got suspended on a regular basis. Kellyn then notices the Almia Times copies Kate brought and realises they are dirty and torn. Furious, he turns on Kate and, complaining her hands are dirty, drags her over to a sink and forces her to wash them. She apologises and remembers Barlow warning her about Kellyn's temper if she damaged either copy of the newspaper, realising she should have paid attention to that. Kellyn tells her, still furious, that he doesn't even touch them his bare hands but uses gloves and will swap them at the store later. However he gets over his rage when he sees the front page, showing Altru Tower, and notices something.