Death. War. Destruction. The world of the future lies in ruins. I got the chance to go back and stop it from ever happening, only to discover that I was the cause. This is how I destroyed the world.


3. Stolen Destiny

"Every man has his own destiny:the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him." ~ Henry Miller


For some time after my encounter with the mythical creature, my mind and body seemed to be detached from each other. There were sharp feelings of landing somewhere painful... then the feeling of grass underneath my skin... the sounds of someone's voice in the distance... and then nothing.

It continued for an unknown period of time until I found myself waking from the feeling of a natural sleep, a tired haze masking my eyes for the first few moments.

It was instantly clear I was somewhere else.

I was in a bed in a well-decorated house; within the room were the usual furnishings expected, as well as a large mirror across the far wall, two large bay windows on the opposite wall, overlooking a brilliant green meadow, and opposite me was the door into the room, which currently had someone attempting to enter.

I tensed, moving to defend myself, instead almost falling from the bed when I found fatigue overwhelming my body. I struggled uselessly for a moment before the door opened, and I took a sharp inhalation of breath, wondering just who could walk in.

I had feared a house-wife.

She was a non-descript woman, auburn hair that was cut into a bob around her slightly aged face. She wore a deep blue apron over a yellow-flowered light blue dress, and she had deep set green eyes that revealed nothing about herself.

If you saw her on the street, you'd forget her the moment you passed her.

She took a step into the room, glancing at the clock as she entered. "Midday, just like he said," she said whimsically. Her voice was harsher than I expected, it had traces of anger and sorrow lining its foundations. She shrugged and turned to me, offering a small smile. "Hello there." She took a step forwards, still keeping her smile plastered on her face. "My name is Jennifer Hale. I suppose..." She frowned, glancing out of the windows before she pulled out the desk chair and sat next to the bed. "I suppose you could call me your guardian angel for the next few days; I'll be looking out for you and helping you to adjust."

I blinked at her, unable to fathom a response better than a bewildered, "Huh?"

She laughed softly to herself, again glancing through the windows. "I heard all about what happened," she whispered, closing her eyes and clasping her hands together. "I was Celebi's contact here in what you would deem the past. That poor Alex..." She closed her eyes and turned her head, subtly wiping a tear from her eye. "Though Celebi has told me all about you instead. It seems that you're the next best choice – as offending as that might sound."

I nodded as I sat up, leaning heavily against the headboard behind me. The harsh cold of the metal bit against my bare back; making me flinch involuntarily as I pressed myself onto it. "How long have you been plotting this?" I asked. I was still trying to adjust myself to knowing I had somehow been transported into the past, and so I went for questions that hopefully wouldn't over-exert my brain.

She sighed heavily, turning her face to meet mine. "Celebi and I have been planning this for almost a year now," she answered, her face completely serious. "You see, last year I was an archaeologist – not one of the best, but I still had my credentials. On a dig to the west of Meteor Falls – in a place called the Starlit Woods – we found the remains of a strange green totem pole.

"One night, I decided to take a closer look at it," she continued, again looking out of the window. "When I did, there was this strange green aura, and Celebi appeared to me. He explained everything to me, and naturally I didn't believe him. However, then he showed me everything, and I found myself believing."

I did a double-take at her words. "He 'showed' you?"

"Yes." She nodded as if it were a commonly heard of event. "He took me through time so I could see for myself the horrors. After that, I quit my job, and we began to plan a way to somehow stop such a future from happening. Celebi monitored so many people, and Alex supposedly was one of the few people that could actually make a difference."

More and more I was starting to feel like I had no purpose here – like I had stolen the hopes and dreams of someone else. "So, I shouldn't be here at all."

She shook her head emphatically, resting her hand gently on my arm. "Of course not dear, if you were not of use, Celebi would not have chosen you."

'Of use', she said. Even in the supposed past, I was still just a tool.

"You should rest for now," she advised, removing her hand and standing up. "Trips through time do drain you of your energy." She smiled knowingly as she replaced the chair and glanced at the clock. "When you wake, I shall answer any questions you have to the best of my ability, as well as begin teaching you how to adapt to this life."

She left quickly after that, leaving me again in the room on my own. I had to wonder slightly; how could she so freely trust a stranger in her home? I could have been a rapist, or a murderer – though some could call me the latter – and she seemed to trust me completely? The question weighed heavily on my mind, though as soon as I closed my eyes, I found myself drifting easily into slumber.


When I awoke again, a dull amber glow was filling the room from the magnificent windows. The sun was setting, and it made me curious as to what this world looked like. Grumbling, I pulled myself out of bed and walked over to the windows, staring out into the landscape.


It was beautiful.

All my life, I'd only ever seen warzones, trenches, minefields, or places generally torn asunder by the ravages of war. This however, was another story. Green grass stretched on for miles, and in the distance I could see the slow fall of a grey substance that I guessed was ash. To the far right was the beginnings of a large mountain, and further to the north of my position was a large river, circling around and in the grassy meadows.

I turned around and noticed for the first time the small bundle of clothes set on the dresser. A simple white tee and black bottoms had been laid out for me, along with a little note explaining that Jennifer had left them out for me, and that when I woke, I could find her in the kitchen.

I dressed quickly, and couldn't help but wonder; where was the kitchen? She'd seemingly had everything already explained to her, and she didn't think of giving me such a small detail. It was eerily similar to my own present time; yet again someone knew more than they were letting on, and I was involved somehow, though left to trust them blindly.

With no other choice presented to me I opened the door and made my way downstairs. If she wasn't what she said she was; if she was plotting to kill me somehow, I could always fight my way out and escape, if need be. Although it would have been nice to get a fresh start in this past environment, some part of me doubted such a thing would actually happen.

Eventually I managed to find the kitchen, after following the soft sounds of Jennifer's humming. Everything about her house was large, open and beautiful. It made me wonder just how much money this woman had to her name, and how she actually managed to get such an amount, if that was the case.

"Finally awake I see," Jennifer said as I entered the room, my eyes glancing over every surface and corner for threats. Beside her was a small purple cat with a spiralled tail, staring out of the window alongside it's owner. I stopped briefly to consider the glameow; the creature had a least six pressure points that could disable it easily, and the spiralled tail was its strongest weapon, as well as its weakest point. The tail could pack a punch while curled up, yet if you stretched it out, it could cause the creature enough stress to distract it for a killing blow.

Yet this pokémon was completely unlike every other of its species I had seen before. I was used to extremely feral, dishevelled glameow that would hiss and attack on first sighting a human. This own quite happily sat alongside Jennifer and rubbed its face against her arm, making some sort of repetitive humming sound that I'd never heard before.

"Meet Whiskers, my house-cat," Jennifer said as she scratched the pokémon behind the ears. It made the strange sound again as it seemed to smile, and I watched the pokémon warily, anticipating a threat. It wasn't unheard of for the creatures to charm their prey before pouncing, catching them off guard completely.

"I'm afraid you're going to actually have to acquaint yourself with pokémon at one point dear." Jennifer let out a laugh as she saw me watch the creature warily. "You're going to need to blend in, and unfortunately there's no time to enrol you as a soldier. If you want to actually stop this future of yours, you're going to need to become a trainer."

I stared for a moment, words caught on my tongue. I was going to need to train these creatures? Put my trust in these feral beasts and hope they wouldn't turn on me? Pokémon could be used to kill, granted, but if I had to do any killing, I'd rather do it with a rifle in my hands, rather than a poké ball. I voiced these matters to Jennifer, and surprisingly, she only let out another small laugh, shaking her head at the same time.

"Hopefully, you won't need to kill anyone, merely stop them from walking the path which leads to damning everyone." My eyes widened at her words, and a whimsical smile appeared on her face. "Yes, you heard right. I'm not sure how many, but only a few people are behind what happens. It could be as few as two, as many as ten. And you, you're the one that needs to stop them."

I felt my breath catch in my throat, and I swallowed nervously. "But, why me?" I asked weakly, feeling nervous sweat begin to form on my head.

"Because dear," she said as she placed a hand softly on my shoulder. "Celebi chose you. You understand that sometimes a subtle approach can give a better result than violence can? That is the situation we're in." A sad smile crossed her face as I felt something cold placed in my hand. "You're going to have to learn to adapt, and the best way to do that is to train a pokémon and see the world. Use what you learn to help shape and change the future. I'll spend some time teaching you what I can, but ultimately it's going to be your experiences with these little guys that will help you achieve your destiny."

I felt the weight of her words as I stared down at the red and white sphere in my hand. I could change the future, make an effort and shape it differently, or do nothing and let it be the same. At least that was the idea she had told me.

Training these feral beasts would help me achieve my destiny, she said. The only problem was, it was never my destiny in the first place, I was just the closest available substitute.

And substitutes would never achieve the full potential of the first choice, as we would all eventually see.

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