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The Kanto Collection - A Series of Short Stories

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Author Foreword:

The Kanto Collection will be a series of short stories based in the region of Kanto to expand upon lore elements and characters that are relatively unexplored in the original narrative. This mainly exists as a writing prompt - a means for me to improve my personal work. I can build upon a world that already exists instead of writing one from scratch, making it a far less daunting and time-consuming means of practice. There is less potential for error and inconsistent logic in a world where most of its foundational ideas are already established. Additionally, I'd like to use this as a method to explore some more mature themes in a world that's overly sanitised, often to its detriment. Though nothing too scandalous.

So, a question I imagine occurring is, why Kanto? My reasoning is relatively simple. Kanto is essentially the very framework of this franchise. Despite us having visited it five times (and counting) by the current year, the region often gives off this dull and underutilised vibe. Aesthetically, it has a lot to explore and many loose ends to potentially tie-up. I think this idea that Kanto is boring often comes from Game Freak not elaborating on and exploring its more intriguing ideas, characters, locations and mythos.

Each story will focus on a different aspect of the region, and many will be told from the perspective of different narrators, though it will be made clear within the subtext who the narrator of a particular story is.

In doing this, I will also be implementing plot elements that heavily link Kanto to Johto and even somewhat to Hoenn culturally. A personal problem of mine with this franchise is that each region is connected on a very surface level - and given that we're under the assumption that every region prior to generation 5 is set in Japan, this would be an unlikely occurrence in real life. Even in generation 2, where the two regions are united via the ability to travel between them, the connection still feels loose, as if they're two entirely different plains of existence that don't interact beyond a few instances. I would like to attempt to bridge this gap with my work.
Each short story will end in a brief footnote, explaining why I wrote this and what I wanted to explore about Kanto in that body of text.

Lastly, I shouldn't have to write this. Still, due to negative experiences of uploading fan-fiction to Tumblr back in the day, it's something I have to enforce from the get-go: This is my interpretation. I'm not trying to claim it as a canon chain of events. Much of it is based on existing lore, though much has also been altered to fit my personal narrative. Any changes to canon in any way, such as altering events, changing in characters, etc., is done for the purpose of storytelling. You do not have to suspend your own disbelief and go by my theory of events - that is ultimately up to the reader to decide.

I have uploaded this to several other sites where I have different usernames. Don't worry, I'm not plagiarising myself.



Story #1 - The Beast Awakens

(Trigger Warnings: Death, Reference to War, Mild Abuse of Pokemon)

Our journey begins in the land of Johto, a place enhanced by its extensive cultural integration with folklore. Ancients recounted tales, invoking images of a winged beast laying dormant beneath the region's seas for centuries, only to be awoken by one who possesses an artefact known as the Silver Wing. The Silver Wing is a medallion, shaped like its namesake, handed throughout generations to various scholars of the region's mythos, and is said to have, enveloped beneath its metal casing, the very life essence of the monster itself. The scholars were very aware not to rouse the creature, fearing the potential destruction it should cause. As told, this bird had brought devastation to the land and those upon it in the past millennia.

However, were the Wing to get into the hands of a particularly evil, or on the contrary, clueless person, would they seek out that power? As it turned out, the answer to the posed question was soon to be discovered, and the perpetrator would be the latter. Was it the former, nevertheless, this tale would not play out far too differently, for controlling the creature's power would be far beyond the capabilities of any ordinary human.

The fool in question, who dared seek the lair of the monster, was a teenaged boy. Eusine, as he was named, called home to a very significant cultural town in the region of Johto, Ecruteak, a village where those who lived grew up on tales of the past, and folklore played particular importance to their culture. Ecruteak was home to many a temple and shrine, one encasing the aforementioned Silver Wing. Despite being so accessible, those within the town did not desire the Wing, nor did many visitors pass through. The townsfolk and those within the region who knew the Wing's powers feared the creature it would wake. However, what set Eusine apart from those individuals was his wish to seek out the legends' beasts. This attitude was viewed as senseless by the people of Ecruteak, and no single man took Eusine's dreams as anything more than a young boy's highly ambitious and active imagination. Therefore the townsfolk did not perceive Eusine's adventurous nature as a forewarning. So, it would not be to particular surprise to anyone outside of this culture that he took it in his own liberties to steal the Wing from the shrine where it was kept, during one particularly dark and stormy night.

Despite the treacherous weather, the reckless and impatient lad did not see fit to wait another day or two to search for the creature, nor did he have any idea how to find it beyond what he had read in books. The boy knew the monster lived in the oceans beneath the deadly Whirl Islands, whose whirlpools could kill a man who had no beast, nor magic if it did so exist within humans, capable of crossing them. In spite of this knowledge, the dim-witted boy had no experience traversing the ocean either by boat or by beast, and couldn't well swim so much as a lap around a pool, for Eusine did not live near the sea and had no means to learn these things. This was indeed an impossible and undoubtedly life-threatening mission. However, the boy seemingly lacked a sense of caution. He began his journey towards the ocean beyond the city of Olivine, attaching the Wing to a chain around his neck for safe-keeping.

Eusine passed by miles of usually bustling farmland, the only sign of life being the cries of cattle startled by the storm. Every so often, Eusine would see creatures taking refuge from the rain beneath trees, or for smaller beings, leaves, but the lack of people was uncomfortably eerie. Many times Eusine feared being struck by lightning, as he was often the highest thing off of the ground for miles and even had a close call a couple of times. Covered from the elements by just a plastic raincoat and a pair of rubber boots, Eusine made it to Olivine, unscathed albeit rather muddy.

Olivine itself was disturbingly empty too, the workers and tourists hiding in the various seaside houses lining the coast. With that said, it made it far easier for Eusine to then do what he did next - borrow a rickety boat from the dock. Borrow was a loose word here, as not only was Eusine fairly sure the vessel would not make it back in one piece, but obviously there was no one about to ask permission from - in which he was confident they'd deny his use of it regardless.

Into the boat, the boy lept. "Steering a boat is fairly straightforward," he thought to himself. "It's surely all just about the direction of the wind." Needless to say, the wind and the sea carried him and his ship off into its great depths, and his neckpiece flew off deep into the ocean. Eusine panicked, having lost his only gateway to fulfilling his desires. Sure his death would swiftly follow, he clung to his boat for dear life, which was barely held together for the sea's violent waves had taken a toll on the old girl.

Suddenly, a great glow filled the ocean beneath him, and a turbulent jet of water spat out the beast he sought. A bird-like creature lacking typical avian features such as talons and a beak, with silver and blue feathers of fantastical beauty.

"Lugia." Eusine's now raspy exasperated voice spoke this creature's name.

Lugia, not pleased to be awoken after centuries (as frankly, no one would be, beast or otherwise), erupted in a violent rage. The bird hurled wind and sea in every direction, worsening the already powerful storm and washing the now unconscious Eusine to the shores of the nearby Cianwood island, where he would be later found by its townsfolk.

The beast fled the region to seek three more slumbering birds of the elements, which Lugia itself was responsible for creating according to legend. These birds remained in hibernation on islands distantly off of the coast of Kanto, the Seviis, awaiting the thunderous return of their master. The first bird, Articuno, possessed an affinity for ice, taking hostage in a frozen cavern. The second was the bird of lightning, Zapdos, who slumbered in a cave due to not finding a suitable environment for its rest. Moltres was the last of the trio, a flaming hot user of firepower, who called home to a volcano. Lugia's cries alone were enough to awaken and alert the triplets of his presence. Lugia led the birds towards Kanto itself through the rough night skies.

Meanwhile, back in Johto, on this very same night, another unusual occurrence transpired. The storm had caused a forest fire close to Eusine's humble home of Ecruteak, and a nearby temple had caught ablaze. With hours passed and the flames going unnoticed by the townsfolk, the tower burnt down to a mere one floor, and out of the building rose a bird of many colours. What was remarkable about this event, though, is that the reason for this phenomenon lay within the tower itself: a tomb that had until now contained the corpse of a bird, which was just seen, by the name of Ho-Oh. A phoenix. As one may be aware, according to legend, a phoenix is a creature of extraordinary nature that can be reborn from its burning to ashes. Ho-Oh is a special kind of phoenix, with not only the capacity to resurrect itself but those around it, whilst granting them powers beyond what they were capable of in their previous life. And so, three large cats escaped into the night in a frenzied panic, a reflection on land of the elemental birds created by the phoenix's rival, Lugia - a panther of ice, a tiger of thunder and a lion of flame. Who were the three large cats, you ask? Some say an abandoned trio, Vaporeon, Jolteon and Flareon, were taking shelter in the tower and happened to fall victim to the blaze. Though frankly, as no one saw, it is up to the imagination of those who hear this cautionary tale. It is said that the felines still traverse the region of Johto to this day, though no human has caught them. Ho-Oh, on the other hand, followed its rival Lugia to the Kanto region.

Upon the birds' historic arrival to dark skies above the region of Kanto, the fight amongst the five of them broke out instantaneously, awaking its citizens in a vast flurry of dazzling attacks and crashing noises. This conflict quickly escalated beneath the skies, into the land. The humans below panicked, many hiding in their basements or choosing to evacuate their houses completely as buildings collapsed in the confrontation. The birds battled on through the night, furthering the anxiety of the Kanto citizens before the bi-regional champion, Lance, announced an emergency gathering of the region's elites and academics to devise a plan to end the violence and destruction caused by the legendary beings.

In attendance at the meeting were the most influential people the region had to offer. Elite Four members, Gym Leaders, Silph Co. President, his assistant (a young Giovanni of later Team Rocket infamy) and the regional Professor, Oak. Most were on the side of quelling the birds to avoid further harm. However, the president of the Silph Company and his assistant, along with Gym Leader of Cinnabar, Blaine, offered up the idea of potentially harnessing the birds' powers for themselves. The teenaged Gym Leader Sabrina and elderly Elite Four Agatha suggested the destruction of the creatures, though of course, the rest called this out as unnecessarily cruel. Nevertheless, those in dissent from the crowd did not alter their outlook and left the meeting with the intent of creating a civilian army that aligned with their personal morals.

Professor Oak initially led the army whose intent was to calm the beasts and gathered up as many men as he could who abided by these values. Many had respect for these legendary beings and sided with him, though plenty of common folk who were personally affected by the birds' destruction did not. They wanted retribution for the harm done to their lives and joined Sabrina and Agatha, or the Silph Company, on their mission instead. The realisation that a civil war was about to break out, and friends would have to fight against each other for peace to be retained to Kanto, had just begun to hit.

A particularly feisty young Unovan immigrant, known synonymously as Surge for his affinity for all things electric, came to the side of Oak. Having prior military training, he knew he had the potential to lead Oak's army to victory. So Oak, one might say rather rashly, put his trust in this relatively unknown foreigner. An older man also offered help to Oak, a former friend of his, Fuji.

Fuji was previously a scientist who went to school alongside the professor, though he had long since abandoned his career. Instead, he now took shelter to many orphans - both Pokemon and children - due to his promise to become a better man. Like Eusine and the many scholars of Johto, Fuji had an interest in the mythical himself, a field of expertise not too prevalent in the region of Kanto. Whenever he could, Fuji would research past legends and how people lived in ancient times.
He had read about an ocarina with the ability to put the birds into a deep trance-like state and calm them when a particular tune was played. He continued on to tell Oak about how this instrument had quelled the beasts once before. It was said to lay in a tomb on the Sevii Islands, the archipelago where the elemental birds had rested for centuries.

With this new knowledge, Oak passed the expedition to find the ocarina onto three young and talented men - Bruno of the Elite Four, Gym Leader Koga, and lastly, Oak's own son, who at the time hailed as Vermillion City Gym Leader. Meanwhile, back on mainland Kanto, the civilian army, led by Surge, would take on their opponents and try to minimise damage caused by the soaring creatures. At this time, it had seemed like Silph and their followers had disappeared. Had they given up? Of course, this was a good thing for Surge's army, for they now only had one group of adversaries to overcome. That opposing group was led by the youngest Gym Leader Kanto had hired within its ranks and the longest-reigning Elite Four member in known history. Two very opposite people with very much the same goal.
Every ability thrown at the creatures was reflected, and yet the army led by them continued to hurl attacks mindlessly. Oak's squad tried with might to stop this conflict. Little did the people realise, the damage they were causing to themselves was far more significant than that done by the birds.

Sabrina, still a smug and self-aggrandising thirteen-year-old girl, thought herself capable of penetrating their barrier. However, her elder, Agatha began to have doubts and approached her former friend and rival Oak with a potential resolution. She proposed that if two of their men could beat her and Sabrina, with each person only using three Pokemon, they would command their army to stop the fighting at once. So Oak put his trust in Surge to fight Sabrina.

And so began Surge's battle against Sabrina. The psychic girl thought herself clever, starting with Mr Mime. Being her support Pokemon, he was her means to put up screens - barriers between her monsters and their opponents, reducing her entire party's damage received. However, Surge had a simple solution to this: an Electabuzz. This electrifying creature smashed down the walls Mr Mime had built.

"How? Why?" Cried out the young trainer, astonished by what had just happened. Though you see, it was all simple, for Surge's strange anthropomorphic bee-like creature had Brick Break, a move that breaks down any defensive fortifications. With a punch of thunder to the stomach, Mr Mime dropped to the ground in excruciating pain, unable to resume combat.

Frustrated, Sabrina returned her monster to its ball and sent out her spoon-bending powerhouse Alakazam, one of the strongest and most challenging to raise Pokemon the region had to offer. In response, Surge sent out his Electrode, a Pokeball-like mimic, which took a decent chunk of damage on the switch. The girl laughed at this switch, asking what a Pokeball would do to help him win this match. On the contrary, his solution to dealing with her Alakazam was simple. "Boom", the charming young soldier smiled and winked as his Pokemon combusted in a flash of gunpowder, downing both Pokemon on the field. Sabrina was taken aback. Did this man just kill his own Pokemon for the sake of a battle? But no, Surge said she could rest assured. Electrode has electromagnetic capabilities and would easily be able to repair itself.

Though blown away, quite literally, by this discovery, Sabrina was not yet ready to concede, still 1-2. Her last Pokemon was the psychic fox Espeon. Surge went for his Magneton. Upon attempting to attack Magneton, Sabrina found that no matter what she seemed to use, Psychic nor Signal Beam, could penetrate the body of this strange mechanical monster, who each time would return with massive damage through powerful metallic attacks until the lilac fox eventually fainted from exhaustion. Oak chimed in once the battle had concluded to help Sabrina come to terms with her confusion. Magneton was a Pokemon of a newly discovered type - Steel - with many resistances, including her speciality type, Psychic. The young girl sulked but moved to the side to let Agatha commence her fight.

Oak had offered himself up to fight ghost-type master. Though in an unexpected turn of events, she immediately conceded. She had expected Oak to want to take her down himself and was fully aware she could not beat him, so even trying felt like a waste of everyone's precious time during such catastrophe. Agatha had ordered her army to stop trying to attack the beasts and ask them to go home whilst the more knowledgeable members of the region figured a solution to the problem. Most listened to the old woman's pleas, though many continued to fight, to dire consequences for themselves.

Why was Agatha so scared of Oak, you ask? Well, Oak was, and likely still is, a true master of Pokemon. One who could use all the elements to a great degree of competency. Why is he not champion then? Why is that role taken by Lance? That's up for you to figure out. Why not go ask him yourself? I'm not sure his grandson must know too. But I digress.

And so at once, Oak's army had thought this was over. That now it was a matter of waiting for the arrival of the ocarina into the hands of Fuji.

That was before Blaine had finally shown his face, though the Silph Company was still nowhere to be seen. Blaine had brought with him a series of ever strange contraptions as a means to catch the beasts. Onlookers marvelled as he tried to swoop the birds up in large nets, grab them with a claw-like device on a drone, as well as various other remarkably unusual ways to attempt to score these creatures as his own. The crowd hollered at his many failed attempts whilst Oak recanted about how this man was once a genius with much potential in biological science. Over time, however, Blaine had been driven to madness, and now senility, by his megalomanic nature. Whilst he was definitely a competent trainer and not to be treaded lightly in that area, he was not the brilliant wizard-like mad scientist he thought himself, and therefore was not to be treated as much of a threat. Seeing all of his inventions fail, Blaine rode back through the land on his trusty steed Rapidash, eager to build something that actually functioned as intended this time.

Once again, peace was thought to have finally been brought and it was just a matter of waiting. Until The Silph Company finally had shown up in a large aircraft, splattered with their logo, with a strange metal box on its underbelly. The people crowded beneath were confused. Was Blaine not with them anymore? What was that whole charade about? Recklessly, the aircraft flew high above where the birds fought, and out of the odd metal case attached to the plane shot a beam or radar of sorts. The birds began to shriek and shudder in pain. Booing at the disgusting treatment of these creatures roared from the crowd.

Oak devised a plan. He whispered in the young Surge's ear and threw a ball containing a large fish. Or was it a dragon? Or maybe a serpent? This creature stunned the crowd, its blue scales reflecting in the light as it floated above them. The dragon put its head close to the ground, allowing for just Surge and Oak to climb on top before gliding into the atmosphere above. Looking as small as ants to Oak and Surge, the people on the ground cheered in amazement. The two men, now face-to-face with the plane, commanded their monsters to attack.

Oak screamed, "Gyarados, Hyper Beam", uncharacteristically loud for the old man, for he needed his dragon to hear amongst the commotion.

On the other hand, Surge threw his now revived ball-like creature, Electrode, at the box, where it exploded. The two attacks combined into a tremendous blast that destroyed the machine, and the birds dropped to the ground in agony. The Silph Company ship flew away before the men inside could be questioned, though the president later confessed this was Giovanni's plan all along. A plan to syphon the power from these beings. Despite The Silph Company receiving many accolades over the years for their work, I am not a personal believer in that story. The president is just as corrupt as any man with the money to create a monopoly would be. He's just better at hiding it than that old Rocket crook.

Now that the birds lay in a greatly weakened state, it bided time for the eventual return of the three men with the ocarina. And upon their triumphant return, two of the three men for sure in their hands had the mythical wind instrument.

However, they brought saddening news. The third of then men had slipped and fallen into the ocean during this perilous quest - this man being Oak's own son. This was a lot for the elderly professor to process. He decided to hand this mission from here on out to Surge and Fuji, whilst he headed back home to truly consider the weight of this situation, now that his only son was dead and his infant grandson and young granddaughter had no father.

Fuji played the ocarina. The soothing melody had an odd familiarity, though the people were sure they hadn't heard it before. The bird's wounds began to heal, and all 5 of them flew off into varying directions upon hearing its song. Having no home to return to, the phoenix Ho-Oh instead took shelter in Ecruteak's Bell Tower, not too far from its place of origin. Seabird Lugia flew to a more secure spot, which guaranteed only the most prepared adventurers would ever seek it out this time - the caves beneath the Whirl Islands. As for the three elemental birds, they chose to make Kanto their new home. Articuno, the bird of ice, took to Kanto's frozen caverns, the Seafoam Islands. The hazardous mountain path of Victory Road became the new home of Moltres, ensuring only the strongest of trainers could ever possibly come into contact with it.

However, like back on the Seviis, there was no electric cave in which Zapdos could call home, and so it took rest in the regions Power Plant, to the evident dismay of those who worked there. Conflict arose again about whether or not the bird should be forced to move, captured or defeated.

Blaine made his triumphant return in the heat of the commotion, now holding an invention, the Master Ball. He claimed it could catch any and all Pokemon; land, sea or sky. Many in the crowd asked if such a thing could exist, but Surge took the ball from him. Not standing a chance to fight back against this young combat-trained foreigner, he eased his grip. The blonde-haired soldier threw the ball at a simple Pikachu outside the Plant, who'd called the fields around this place home due to the amount of electrical energy it radiated. It seemed the ball worked, as the Pikachu was caught instantly. Blaine predictably was furious, to which Surge told the crowd:

"The Power Plant must be abandoned, and continued war over this creature only maintains pointless suffering. Humans can rebuild, but lives cannot be replaced - neither the lives of humans nor of these mythical creatures."

Or perhaps that is a paraphrase on my part, for I do not believe the man is capable of speaking so eloquently.

So the Power Plant was left undisturbed by people until it began to fall to ruin, and the three birds slept. You say the Power Plant has returned to its original state? Well, there's a young teenage boy. A student of Oak's, it must be added. The strongest trainer to ever exist, some say! He is to thank for that.

After this, Kanto remained at peace. Surge was accoladed for his valiant efforts in the war and his strife for Kanto's harmony. He was promoted to Kanto's lieutenant and given the title of Vermillion Gym Leader, previously belonging to Oak's now perished son. The Pikachu he caught within that first Master Ball is still with him to this day, having evolved into his most crucial partner, Raichu.

Blaine's Master Ball idea was stolen and patented by the notorious Silph Company and is currently in circulation to this date, though few are said to actually exist. As it turns out, Blaine and Silph had a disagreement over how to harness the birds power - Silph envisioning it as impossible to simple capture them, whereas Blaine remained determined to do so.

Many others spoken of in this tale have since matured, grown up, moved on, though nothing of particular note.

As for me, how did I end up with the Silver Wing? As a close friend of Mr Fuji, I can tell you this: it had apparently washed up on the docks of Vermillion city shortly after Lugia's arrival to the region. I absolutely don't believe this was a coincidence, for Vermillion is not a trivial distance from where Lugia arose. I was entrusted with this medallion's safety by Fuji and Lt. Surge, as no one would suspect I had it. Just a random senile man in Pewter City. Or so they believed. But as it seems, given you are questioning me about it, news must've gotten out somehow.

And how do I know all of this? Well, of course, I was there along with the rest of the crowd, cheering on Oak's cause. And how do I know what happened to Eusine? That man tells everyone his escapades, though with only a sliver of the truth. You have the Rainbow Wing, you say? Then who knows, maybe their combined forces have the means to capture and tame the beasts of Johto, but I wouldn't push my luck if I were you.

So young Gold, after hearing this more than a decade old tale, along with my advice, do you still wish to pursue the power of the Silver Wing?


Author's Notes:

So, I want to start off by saying this story has a lot of "telling instead of showing" elements that I'm not a fan of, but I wasn't sure how to implement them within subtext that would be understood by the reader. I would really appreciate any constructive criticism with this. It's definitely something I want to work on with future writing of mine. This will also probably be the longest of the short stories, as this delves more into the length of an entire chapter in a book and had many ideas to explore in a pretty compact amount of time.

With that said, the ideas portrayed in this story are pretty simple: an exploration of the war introduced in the characterisation of Lt. Surge and the mythos of the legendary birds and beasts.

I am personally of the (maybe somewhat controversial) opinion that themes such as war are just a reality and aren't something that needs to be hidden from children's eyes. And in fact, many famous pieces of children's fiction address it directly - such as The Chronicles of Narnia series. So Game Freak's choice to hint at things like this via Surge only to not actually build upon it reads as odd to me.

Moreover, this was to build upon Eusine's character as thrill-seeking yet incompetent. I plan to build upon Eusine more in this series, despite primarily being a Johto character, because it puts an intermingling link between the two regions. Though, honestly, I just love this character and think he's severely underutilised as a potential rival for Gold with character growth.

Anyway, I'm going to try to update every week. We'll see if I can actually stick to that. See ya for now.
 

System Error

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- I didn't write a lot about the first little part due to my arm being pinned at the time. But heh, Eusine setting off disaster.
- Legendary cats? Bleg.
- Huh but wasn't Sabrina a recent Gym Leader given text in RBY of thumping the Fighting Dojo very recently? Why is she one before Giovanni who is not even being in Team Rocket at the time?
- And Lance is a Champion of both regions now? This timeline makes no sense
- And Oak's son as the Vermillion Gym Leader? Quite evasive on specifics though.
- Real talk Unova = America is my second least favorite thing after Arceus Judeo-Christian God. That'd be like calling everyone a New Yorker.
- I never liked that Steel was newly discovered. Did like no one notice the attacks doing less damage on Magneton, ever? That's a huge stretch.
- Shoutouts to beta Oak at least
- Wow the Master Ball waste and so casually
- Makes one wonder who the real evil is: Silph or Team Rocket?

So this is an interesting concept, and I do have to say, as much as it might make others freak out for not being "proper" style of writing, I rather like the style you have going on here. It has a very old time writing style feel to it in a way. Like a fable of some kind. It kind of gives me a vague J.M. Barrie feel in certain ways. And given that it is literally being recounted by someone to someone else - the twist being it's some guy telling it to the Gold protagonist, the narration style fits. Plot is a bit funky and all over the place at times, but, I'm assuming this is an anomaly of this one.

Will be back next week for more.
 
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- Huh but wasn't Sabrina a recent Gym Leader given text in RBY of thumping the Fighting Dojo very recently? Why is she one before Giovanni who is not even being in Team Rocket at the time?
Yeah, so this, I altered the timeline for a bit. She still does thump the Fighting Dojo as you put it, but it occurs much earlier on in my version of events. Sort of like, this reckless egotistical young girl comes in with a type-trumping set of Pokemon to take over, realising afterwards she wasn't sufficiently skilled, just abusing type advantages, leading to a level of character growth. You'll see.

- And Lance is a Champion of both regions now? This timeline makes no sense
So, this is an unusual gripe with the story and one I can't agree with, given this is also the case in the games. It's very much implied within the text that Lance was the previous champion in Red and Blue only to, last minute, have been beaten and have that role taken over by Oak's Grandson, only to regain his role in the Generation 2 games. The fable being told within this story is set when Oak's Grandson was an infant, so far before he ever became champion. Not only this, but the two regions share one league within the context of the games at least - The Indigo Plateau. Meaning if someone is a champion of one region, they would be a champion of both regions.

- And Oak's son as the Vermillion Gym Leader? Quite evasive on specifics though.
Yeah, this was more an after-thought to link the events together. Though given he doesn't exist as a character as a character beyond him having to exist (unless everything we know is a sham and Oak is Blue and Daisy's father, lol) I recognised he was basically a blank slate, meaning I could project whatever I needed to onto him. Admittedly lazy, but I was left in a position where I wasn't sure how else I would frame this.

- Real talk Unova = America is my second least favorite thing after Arceus Judeo-Christian God. That'd be like calling everyone a New Yorker.
Yeah, I don't really like this either, but given that the existence of real world 'America' within Pokemon has been retconned (with Surge now being the Lightning Lieutenant as of Let's Go), there's no real known term for what would be an 'American' in universe: a person who is from the country where Unova is located. Within the confines of this universe, I'm not sure how else that could've been approached other than just saying screw it and calling him American regardless, which is actually what I did in the original writing before I went through and edited it! I figured that people would be more upset over me referencing real world America than they would Unova, so I changed it, lol.

With regards to Arceus, I don't like the 'mon as a lore element either honestly, because of his reference throughout all the regions. Religion varies based on culture, so the entire world believing in one particular iteration of God as the one true creator of the universe is a huuuuge stretch. It would require a level of cultural homogeny that doesn't exist from game to game, nevermind within an entire universe. Like, are we really meant to believe Johto, filled with architecture based on Shinto Shrines and Buddhist temples worships a singular God? This narrative framing of Arceus as the one and only God is why its so often transcribed directly into Judeo-Christian beliefs though.

- I never liked that Steel was newly discovered. Did like no one notice the attacks doing less damage on Magneton, ever? That's a huge stretch.
Yeah it's silly, and I think there was a better way to write that than using the games' logic directly. Oh well. You live and learn.

Plot is a bit funky and all over the place at times, but, I'm assuming this is an anomaly of this one.
I 100% agree with this, and I like the elements I brought here but not necessarily how I put them together in a lot of ways. I wrote the section with Eusine and then realised "I want to keep this story within 4k characters" and then kind of rushed through the rest. The pacing is all over the place for that reason, and the passage of time is completely intangible. Does this happen over a day or over a whole week? It's totally unclear. I guess part of the lack of flow could be explained away by the fact that it's narrated by someone I was trying to portray as a somewhat unreliable and biased, but to the extent where it's prevalent within the story, there's no excuse.

I was speaking to my SO about this exact thing and he echoed a similar feeling, to which I said "I've been working on this for probably 8-10 hours. At this point, I'm getting frustrated, I don't care, and I'm going to put it out in the state it's in, because writing a fan fiction is meant to be fun. It's not worth a rewrite (in short story form at least) as there's just far too many details to fit in such a short character count, and I don't think I'll ever get it right."

With this said, this is mainly a comfortable means to improve my own writing, and so long as I recognise these mistakes and work on them, I think that's fine. I didn't want to invest too much time and energy into something I'm doing for fun over doing actual work. I may come back to this first story and fix the things I dislike when I feel I've sufficiently improved enough, but it really did get to a point where I just wanted it to be done with.

Will be back next week for more.
Great! Thanks for reading and thanks for your constructive criticism. Much appreciated.
 
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Author's Note:​

So two things I've learnt from last week before I begin this addition:

  1. Write in double paragraph spacing from the get-go. I had initially written the story in single spacing as I forgot most forums required double due to lack of paragraph indentation. I then had to fix the spacing and change where some paragraphs began and ended, to iron out some clunkiness. All of this combined into quite a few spacing errors. So from now on, lesson learnt. I shall remember to double press enter after every paragraph!
  2. Checking for errors in your own work is hard. I'd read the fic through 3 times and thought it was without grammatical errors, only to find mistakes on my fourth read. At that point, it was 1am, and I could frankly not be bothered fixing it. With that in mind, I will have to either compulsively read my entries on repeat before submitting or find a third party willing to help with spelling/grammar checking.
  3. I'm renaming "Trigger Warnings" to "Content Warnings", as I feel it's the more appropriate term.
  4. I'm probably not going to read critiques during the week when I write chapters or respond directly to them at all if I get them because it heightens my anxiety. I'm insecure about my writing right now, and I need to build confidence by just writing and uploading. I'll take into account any constructive criticism after the fact, however.

So with these issues out of the way, let the story commence.



Story #2 - The Cycle of Life & Death​


(Content Warning: Pokemon Abuse & Heavy Themes of Death)

Welcome, young Gold! It's great to finally meet you. I mean, I suppose this is our second encounter, as I saw you in the Hall of Fame, but this will be our first time speaking!

I've heard so much about you from Elm, the various gym leaders you've encountered through your journey and the League! How's your adventure coming along? How many badges have you obtained? How about Pokemon caught - need me to check your Pokedex? Would you like some tea?

Oh... You want to know about my youth? That's not something I've been asked about in quite some time, you know... Agatha? Fuji? Blaine? Where did you hear about all this, my boy?

Are you sure you'd rather hear about that than the countless amount of research I've done? Did you know that Feraligatr of yours-- Well, if you do so insist...



Agatha, Fuji and I have known each other for as long as I can recall. The three of us were friends, back in our humble beginnings. A unique culture surrounded the very concept of mortality in our home of Lavender Town. Death was something embraced and often celebrated amongst its people. To the townsfolk, death was seen as a mere stage of life itself, an inevitability. Not something that should be desired or sought, but a natural occurrence not to be feared. Weary spirits roamed the town as if just regular folk, though aimless and aloof.

I was not one in much favour of these traditions. My view always stood that whilst death was inevitable, it shouldn't be treated with such frivolity. It was the ending of one's days on this plane of existence. The ghosts that wandered the streets were nothing but reflections of their past selves - not an inkling of thought crossed these spectre's minds, nor did they have a heart to love with. They could hardly be called a state of being. Just a collection of restless spirits who had not found contentment in life, now forgotten and alone in death.

Of course, over the years, word of our traditions got around. Lavender has become somewhat of a tourist attraction nowadays, with many people visiting only for its hauntings. Therefore, much of the cultural significance of the apparitions has been since pushed aside. It was the more financially stable option for its residents to play into the hype. Moving on...

Agatha, hmm... Upon our initial venture into the world of the Gym Challenge, far different from the one of today, she was an avid user of Poison-types. With her trusty Arbok and Golbat in hand, the girl smashed through many of her opponents before eventually hitting a roadblock on the final gym, calling quits to her journey. My friend didn't see herself as a competent enough trainer at the time to bother advancing her way through the challenge, returning to Lavender Town to further study and train.

Personally, I continued on with the journey, overcoming the Elite Four much like you, Gold. However, in the same vein as you, I, too, denied the role of champion. Whilst you did so to continue your adventure, to explore Kanto, and then, maybe eventually, return to that position once you'd felt you'd matured and seen enough of the world, my reasoning wasn't one of growth or maturity. Science was my personal passion, and Pokemon battling was but a hobby to me. A hobby, so it seemed, I excelled at, but a hobby nonetheless. I sought knowledge within the realms of Pokemon biology, something which to this day has granted me many opportunities and great success. Being League champion was not something I could balance on top of my personal goals. To this day, I do not regret the decision made, though I often wonder what path my life would've followed if I had chosen to become champion.

You know, the Indigo Plateau's office had emailed me every year for the last 5 decades me asking to visit, and I'd always deny if it was without good reason. Every time I went, they'd attempt to coerce me into taking the role of the champion! Luckily, that burden has since been taken off my back, with the League favouring to disturb my two proteges, my grandson Blue and my neighbour's child Red, who are far more talented than I ever was. I'm sure you'll meet them one day on your travels! However, I've considerably digressed from the topic at hand.

Back in Lavender Town, Agatha began to embrace the spiritual culture, which I lamented. Studying into adulthood the ways of the channeler - a communicator, one who could bend the will of the spirits and embrace their potential - she seized the attention of many onlookers, including the Pokemon League. Her ability to use the power of perished monsters - whose souls took the form of what is known as Ghost Pokemon - was to a level the League had never seen before. She was persuaded to finally finish the Gym Challenge so the League would promote her to one of their Elite Four members.

And so Agatha and I went our separate ways. She invested herself in the knowledge of death, whilst I, of life. Though, I do think the woman took that Elite Four job with myself in mind, knowing I couldn't reign as champion due to my own work.

Our third friend, Fuji, sat somewhere in between, with no love for life nor death. He was under the false pretence that death was not certain, that the rules of the universe could be bent at the will of someone with a strong enough theory. To Fuji, life and death were just a part of the game he saw as the universe itself. Just a concept to be played with. Much like me, he studied the field of biology to put his ideas to the test.

During our studies at Cinnabar's prestigious university, the two of us met a young Blaine. He and Fuji had many overlapping ideas and morals, and so the two of them hit it off quickly. Personally, I wasn't convinced. The guy seemed like an utter narcissist, with a clear disregard for anyone but himself. Highly intelligent and maniacal, he didn't seem like the sort of person worth messing around with, though I felt inclined to be there as Fuji's childhood friend.

Once whilst researching, I'd noticed a glimmer in Fuji's eyes. Upon looking down at the page he'd found, I was met with a mythical creature, one that was not even known to actually exist. A feline-like beast folklore had christened 'Mew', named after its soft cries, stared me in the face through its paper frame. This Pokemon had the supposed ability to use any of the various powers belonging to the vast array of monsters inhabiting this Earth.

I shrugged it off, and for many years, had forgotten about this interaction. It felt like nothing of note, and it was only later when I connected the dots that I was ashamed of myself for not saying anything to the ambitious man sooner.

The course was now coming to an end, and my final project was my magnum opus - the Pokedex. Creating the first-ever Pokedex took plenty of work, as I had to gather by hand as much research as I could on the various creatures attainable in the land of Kanto. Then, I had to program this information into a device able to read the attributes of any given monster in a precise enough way that it could identify them. This invention has since been used by countless young trainers under my, and various other researchers, wings. Though likely the most important object I've ever built, it was later in life when I started to research outside the realms of Kanto that I found my dex was insufficient - though that's a story for another time.

Fuji and Blaine worked together on their highly ambitious thesis - the possibility that a fossilised Pokemon could be reincarnated. Of course, the test subjects of this theory were simple lifeforms, two ancient shellfish. To the surprise of many, there was a method to this madness. Their idea actually worked, granting the creatures a new existence. This discovery was considered a scientific breakthrough and was to bring a new understanding of life and death. The two graduated from the school with flying colours and were immediately hired by Cinnabar Labs, owned by the long-established Silph Company, and given grants to further their research.

The whole situation didn't sit right with me, so I warned them that this path was dangerous and would lead to grave and harmful discoveries.

"Shellfish may be one thing," my perhaps too morally upstanding self told them, "but a creature with any more sentience than that may lead to a far more hostile interaction."

The two men laughed it off, assuming the statement to be out of jealousy rather than a forewarning. Though, why would I be jealous of some musty prehistoric sea creatures? Little did they know, I'd just invented a Pokemon Trainer's number one companion.

The men felt their need to replicate their initial experiment for a while to show their legitimacy to the people of Kanto, offering anyone who provided them with a fossil, a newly reborn Pokemon. What the men chose to do with their newfound fame, fortune and glory following this, was to return to the textbook featuring the legendary Mew. They planned an expedition in which I asked to come along as a third-party observer. Hopefully, a way to record information about the elusive Mew - if it did so exist - to add to my Pokedex.

This proposed plan took us on a hectic journey by boat to a place known synonymously as the Faraway Island, a short distance from the region of Hoenn. The sailor spoke of how the land of Hoenn was far different from the shores of Kanto, with its own native flora and fauna. Though none of that was said to inhabit this island we were about to uncover. Very few had actually been to this island, for it was difficult to sail through its treacherous waters. Only the most experienced seamen dare make the expedition. However, even amongst them, there was a fear of what lay on the island. Recounts of interactions with the creature itself were often terrifying, and many spoke of other mythical beings living there, though all of this was a legend. The burden of truth, in my opinion, was on the people making these claims, and they didn't seem to provide any. So, of course, tagging along with whatever mad scheme Fuji and Blaine had, this expedition was for me an inciteful delve into the feared unknown, to hopefully uncover it as mere folk tales, with the possible chance of meeting a rare beast.

Upon reaching the island, we crept, quiet as the night, onto the seemingly deserted shore. However, a sudden whisper of the words "look, over there" led to our observation of Mew in the grassland. Fascinated by just being in the presence of this creature, I made notes and sketches of the pinkish feline. The Pokemon was playful and mischievous, blowing bubbles out of its hands only to pop them and making pebbles dance along the night sky with its psychic energy.

It seemed the animal hadn't noticed us all the while it play. That was until Fuji sent out a blue bat with a gaping mouth - a monster he'd borrowed from our friend Agatha, and commanded it cast Mean Look on Mew. Golbat snarled nastily, a fierce gaze in its eyes. The creature in its aim was clearly startled. Its eyes widened, no longer able to flee, for it had frozen in fear. Blaine haphazardly plucked some hair from the stunned cat, who did not even flinch, and chucked it into a small plastic bag. It seemed they'd gotten everything they needed. Once Fuji returned his friend's Golbat to its ball, the mythical feline flew into the skies above, disappearing in a glimmer of light. Since Mew had taken its leave, it seemed it was time to take ours. The island appeared not so threatening after all, but the thought of Mew still lingered deeply in my mind.

Upon return to Cinnabar, Fuji and Blaine began to work on what would be their ultimate project, or so I found out. A recreation - a clone - of the mythical beast we saw. If the capacity to clone the one-of-a-kind monster did so exist, this would be groundbreaking. Though the idea of casually seeing every trainer alongside a creature capable of donning many different powers was a frightening image.

I parted ways with Fuji and Blaine to work on my own endeavours. Building my own laboratory, the one you're sitting in right this very moment, I vowed to only ever work and do research for the betterment of myself and the people around me. Their scheme seemed cruel and pointless to me. How did harnassing such a creature help anyone?

And so, for many years, whilst I developed my own portfolio of work, the two young scholars worked on this project, writing journals of their new discoveries, until finally, a foetus grew within a test tube that sampled the DNA found in the hair strand. Their plan had seemed to have worked. Though, as this cluster of cells continued to incubate, it began to develop some strange anomalies that differentiated it significantly from its 'twin'. Its appearance was the most obvious sign, gaining a far more humanoid look than the creature it was meant to mirror, having long limbs and man-like fingers rather than paws. Readings showed the elemental variety of its powers was far more limited than Mew's too, but its capability to use the abilities it did have far excelled its predecessor. If one was to say Mew was a jack of all trades but master of none, then this creature, on the other hand, had mastered all its possible skills.

Mewtwo, as it was dubbed, grew far more rapidly than the men had initially predicted, and within the span of months, reached beyond the size of the average adult human. They could tell this creature was capable of human thought far surpassing that of an infant, like it was meant to be, having the intelligence roughly of a fully grown man. Yet the men continued to let the beast's inner morals build, based on its limited human interaction. They would frequently not feed or nurture the monster, encased within an evermore claustrophobic tank of fluid. It pains me to even try to conceive the level of pain this being must've suffered through. Why the two men left this creature to rot in a tiny tube for so long is not beyond me, however. I genuinely believe it was out of raw malice and cruelty with Blaine. He is a man who would not like the idea of a sentient monster with the potential to outsmart him surviving. Fuji, however, was just going along with the methods of his closest friend. Given the person he grew to be, I refuse to believe him so dark-hearted as to genuinely want this distress to continue.

Eventually, the mutated monster broke free of its glass confines and destroyed its place of birth, along with murdering the numerous scientists who worked to facilitate its imprisonment and mistreatment. It left alive only its initial creators, Blaine and Fuji, so it could question the two men, asking them philosophical questions about its existence. Though, they could not answer, for the monstrous brute was a mere experiment to them.

The two men fled the island once the creature started to show signs it would attack again, though they watched back from a distance as it flew off somewhere, searching for a genuine purpose. An all-too-conscious human-like being had been brought to this Earth against its will for a purely human endeavour. This beast did not wish to exist, for it lacked a reason to.

I considered why Mewtwo (living deep within Cerulean Cave to this day, where it considers itself king of the creatures who live there) had a level of intelligence and understanding far beyond its brethren. And my theory was that the DNA samples must've been contaminated, due to the little care for Mew's approval in the hair extraction, amongst the lack of scientific procedure used in handling them. Therefore, it is to be believed, the creature that these two men spawned was part-human and maybe contained more DNA than just that! A chimaera of sorts, an abomination. The first of its kind and an extremely unethical feat. This set of events unquestionably brought forth the subjects of ethics and consent to the scientific community when working with sentient creations.

For a while, I considered myself slightly at fault for what had partaken. After all, I was a member of the very expedition that found Mew. Though that feeling was something I'd eventually learnt to shrug off - regardless of whether or not I was there, Fuji and Blaine would've followed the same chain of events that led to Mewtwo's conception.

All that was left of their lab was a ruined building and a set of documentation stating what led to this occurrence. With this evidence apparent, Fuji hoped that future, eager scientists would stumble upon these journals and not make the same mistake the two of them did, and from that day forth, made the decision to never play God again.

Instead, he moved back to Lavender Town, into his childhood house, and the home became a shelter for lost or abandoned children and Pokemon. Still intrigued by the mythical, he researched a series of wind instruments mentioned throughout folklore with varying soothing effects on the creatures, utilising ancient methods to find and ultimately recreate such items. Fuji's own way of helping a community he felt he owe much to after causing such chaos.

One day, many years following the events on Cinnabar, Fuji made a return to the Faraway Islands to leave a wooden sign to all who dare trespass:

"September, 6th day

A few days have passed since the anniversary of my most tragic mistake. If any human sets foot here again, let it be a kindhearted person. With that hope, I depart.

Fuji"

As heartwarming as this growth is, Blaine did not follow suit. All that mattered to him was the pursuit of science - no matter the harm it may cause to those involved. With that said, however, he had learnt better than to mess with creatures beyond his own intelligence, building a new research lab to focus on the continued restoration of fossilised Pokemon. Though, once again, that only worked for so long before a new commotion stirred... Resulting in the destruction of the island in its entirety a couple of years back. You want to know about that too? Haven't I said darn well enough about that old fool already, my boy?

Um, my apologies. I'll continue.

Life went on, and time healed the damages caused by these tragic events. A few years following the Mewtwo incident, I reconnected with Agatha, with whom I had a long and passionate relationship, though that came to pass as we grew apart. Much like everything else, it was bound to end eventually.

Years turned into decades, and new generations sprung up around us, whilst previous ones passed away. Agatha's career was additionally one of the things that ceased to be. Having reigned for most of her life in the Elite Four, last year, she figured it was about time to throw in the towel and pass the torch onto Gym Leader Koga, whom she much admired for his use of Poison-types. Though she could rest assured, having retired a glorious master of the spirits, a huge inspiration for the likes of Ecruteak's current Gym Leader, Morty.

We're all old folk now, and the idea that nothing is forever is holding especially true nowadays, though I won't continue to bore you with my depressive ramblings.



So Gold, did that answer all your questions? Oh dear, my tea has gone cold from all that talking. I'm going to make another pot, do you want some?



Author's Notes:​


So this was a tricky one. Again, a story told from the perspective of a narrator to Gold, but I wanted this one to be a bit more rambly and conversational, and I worry that it may be read poorly.

Overall, I think this one is better than my first story, and it fit very neatly within my word count this time. There are far fewer plot elements, so I didn't feel like I was scrambling to mention everything in a short space of time, leading to the pacing being all over the place. But hey. I could be wrong about that.

I don't really feel I have much to say about this - Fuji knowing Blaine is established through the Fame Checker in Generation 3, and him being the creator of Mewtwo is recognised in lore via the Japanese sign left on Faraway Island. According to her comments before her Elite Four battle, Agatha had some kind of friendship with Oak, too. I combined these elements into a narrative, so with much more of a solid framework to build from, I felt less like I was pulling ideas out of nowhere.

Anyway, see you guys next week.
 

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Okay, now that I have some time and motivation, let's read the next one of these.

- Hm, the mystery of the mystery speaker intensifies. I thought it might be Mary, but I can't see her calling someone My Boy.
- Ohh, talking about Agatha. I guess this is more mangling of the timeline, because Oak did speak to Gold there and at Mr. Pokemon's.
- Neat explaining Agatha's non-ghosts.
- Yes, looking like it's Oak in a mangled timeline. And confirmed a couple paragraphs after
- Interesting implication of why the Pokedex is so limited and only gradually expands in each game in how the entries have to be programmed in
- Wow this egomaniac, calling his devices trainers' number one companions. Instead of, you know, their Pokemon.
- Quite a different way of getting Mew's hairs than what was written in the diaries
- Hey, calling it God instead of Arceus! Props there. Always annoys me whenever writers do that.
- Shoutouts to the message on the island. Which Fuji apparently didn't write in permanent marker.
- Man, glossing over the relationship with Agatha, as if it was off hand. Kind of makes you wonder if they broke apart because Oak was so apathetic and indeed, wanted to fiddle with his Pokedex.

Certainly a more solid story than the previous, have to agree with you there. We now conclusively know the identify of the narrator telling all these stories. Interesting seeing Oak in a different sort of light in this regard. And an expansion and own take of canon events. Liked this one, keep it up.
 
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