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.


23. The Decisions We Make

We should behave to our friends as we would wish our friends to behave to us. ~ Aristotle


"It was decided nearly fifty years ago to increase the amount of pokémon gyms within a country from eight to twenty. Although this caused much uproar, the eight badge rule for entering a championship still remained.

Though many people ask; why did it need to be changed?

The answer is quite obvious, if one stops to think about it. Pokémon trainers, by some strange twist in fate's plan, have control over beasts that can breathe fire and freeze whole bodies of water. A trainer could get eight badges easily with certain pokémon who know only a selection of one-hit-kill moves, more famously known as the likes of guillotine and sheer cold. By obtaining eight badges in such a way, it does not show that the trainer has managed to look after and actually train their pokémon well, but rather, they have won through luck every time.

Now with a limit of twenty badges, trainers can be evaluated better in their skills. Each gym leader has a different approach dependent on how many other badges their opponent has. Some will let their pokémon rampage, rather like a wild, angry pokémon would, and some will play with tricks, which most sinister feral pokémon would also do.

By increasing the amount of badges to twenty, trainers are exposed to a greater number of situations they are likely to experience in the wild, and thus should be able to cope with such situations, would they ever occur.

For every one who still doesn't believe in it; just look at the percentages. With the eight-badge rule, thirteen-point-nine percent of trainers died each year on their journeys. Now, with the twenty badge rule, it's dropped down to five-point-three percent.

Trainers everywhere may have complained once, but the figures speak volumes more. It might not be any safer for children to go out on their journeys, but now they're a lot more prepared for them, and a damn sight more likely to come back home alive.

And at the end of the day, that's all we ever really want our children to accomplish on these Rites of Passages."

- Bertha Shale, 25th Sinnoh League Champion, Sinnoh Elite Four Member 2990 – 3011. (March 18th, 3005)


When the world came back to me sometime later, I was greeted with the sounds of mechanical beeping and a large mask attached to my face.

I blinked wearily, wondering just what was going on for a good moment as my brain tried to adjust to everything that had happened. I only managed to realise I was in a hospital when a nurse came along to check on me, making a quick evaluation of my condition before she called in a doctor to double-check since I was awake.

Once that was all over and they decided that I didn't have a concussion or any broken ribs – just one huge bruise on my back – I managed to whisper a bleary, "What happened?"

The doctor – an easily forgettable man with receding black hair, some wrinkles and brown eyes - grunted no actual answer as he pressed two fingers to my neck and checked my pulse against his watch. Once he was happy with my heartbeat, he grunted again and looked at me. "The gym leader, Veronique checked you in."

The words made no sense to me for a moment. Why would there be a gym leader around? For that matter, what was a gym leader? I struggled to answer those questions as he continued speaking.

"Apparently you had a freak-out of some sort whilst in your battle," he told me, pulling a face at the implications of it all. "We couldn't run that many tests on you whilst you were out, though now you're awake, we can ask you a few questions." He looked at me a moment, clicked his tongue and then picked up a clipboard from the bedside table. "Is there any history of mental illness in your family?"

I squinted at him, wondering why he was asking me this. For all I knew, I was still in camp, and it was known that I had no family of my own. I wondered why he was asking me these questions, and slowly everything started to come back to me. I'd been attacked by some demonic version of my dead makuhita. It couldn't be true, yet some part of me told me it was deathly real.

I blinked at the doctor a moment, forgetting his question. "What... what happened to my pokémon?" I grunted.

He spared me a glance over his clipboard. "They were checked into the pokémon centre nearby just after you were admitted into this hospital. If you like, I can have one of the interns collect them for you."

I grunted with a nod. On some level, I didn't feel safe without them. No doubt they would have taken my weapons when I was unconscious, which left me completely defenceless, and cloaked only in a hospital gown. At least if I had my pokémon with me, I would have some form of weapon against anything or anyone that came after me.

"I'll send someone to collect them just after you answer a few questions that might help us discern what happened," he said, eyes glancing back down to his clipboard. "Now, is there any history of mental illness in your family?"

I looked at him a moment, and despite everything, couldn't help but grow a small smile. "I don't have a clue," I admitted, tapping the strange clip on the end of my finger against my leg. "They're all dead."

"I see," he whispered, and made a few notes on his papers. "Do you know anything about the history of your family?"

No doubt I was making his job harder. Instead of being able to narrow my causes down, I left him to try and cover every possible angle. Whilst I knew the cause of everything was the ghostly makuhita, I felt that I had to at least be honest with him. "They might have been ice specialists," I offered, though noted by the crease in his forehead that it wasn't as helpful as I first thought it would be.

After a few more questions with equally useless answers, the doctor finally left, promising to get an intern to collect my pokémon and return them to me – if they were ready – within the next hour or so.

Until then, I had nothing to do but wait.


It had been almost two hours by the time someone actually came to visit me again. In that time I'd realised I was in a large ward, with only thin blue curtains offering me some form of privacy from everyone else. Apparently I had been unconscious for two days, which should have meant that my pokémon were more than healed.


If not, I wondered just how badly they were injured in that battle.

Surprisingly though, my first visitor was Veronique herself, and she brought with her a tall blonde woman with hair that floated around her shoulders. She had a white top underneath a dark pink short jacket, and an equal coloured short skirt.

Though more importantly than that, she also brought back my pokémon.

I thanked her endlessly as she handed me back all of their poké balls, and placed them next to me on the bed, feeling so much more confident with them by my side.

"It's good to see you're well again," Veronique said to me as she pulled up a chair and sat nearby. "Allow me to introduce you to a friend of mine – her name is Melissa." I smiled at her and shook her hand, feeling somewhat undressed and tried to pull the covers of my bed around me. "She's the gym leader of Lilycove City – they use ghost pokémon."

I blinked, nodded and then smiled at Melissa. "So you're ghost attuned then."

If they were surprised, they didn't show it. Instead Melissa smiled and swept her fringe from her face, focusing her blue eyes on me. "I'm impressed you know such a thing," she said, her voice holding wisdom and confidence. "Though explanations towards that are not why I am here." She crossed one leg over the other and placed her hands on her lap. "Veronique has explained to me the events that lead up to your... episode. It was actually quite a good thing I had a day off today, so I was able to use my pokémon to teleport me here, seeing as this seems to be such an extreme case. The lights flickered on and off, and she said you looked like you'd seen something no one else could. Does this sound familiar?"

I nodded, impressed that she knew that. "There's a bit more than that." I took a breath and explained everything that happened with the shedinja to them both, leaving out the fact I figured it was Aaron's pokémon hunting after me.

After it all, Veronique said nothing, merely sitting there with bright, wide eyes. Melissa on the other hand, seemed to be considering it all as she bit her bottom lip.

"It sounds like somehow you have managed to offend a shedinja," she theorised, cupping her chin with a thumb and her forefinger. "Shedinja are a strange pokémon that are born from the angry soul of a vengeful ghost. If the host body is destroyed, then the ghost is thrown back out of the physical plane once more. However, if there is another dead body for it to inhabit, it shall swap over to the new host, and take over that too.

"You see, the abilities of a shedinja that prevent it from harm from attacks are the innate abilities of the ghost inhabiting it," she explained. "If it inhabits a new host, the abilities are transferred to that. If, like you claim, it inhabits a makuhita, then now that shall share the properties of a fighting pokémon, as well as a ghost."

I stared at her, worry building within my throat already. "Then is there something I can do to stop it?"

Veronique was the one to answer me this time. "Not many things can destroy ghosts. At first, I thought you were faking it all because you were losing, to be honest. Though your sableye started acting strange whilst you were reacting to this ghost of yours, and it turned its attention completely away from the battle, instead trying to reach you, hissing all the while like something was upsetting it." She glanced sideways at Melissa and then smiled back at me. "After that I was worried. So I called Melissa to see if she could help identify what was going on." She began to play with her fingers sheepishly. "I felt bad that I hadn't stopped the battle earlier. You obviously weren't well, and I should have forced the battle to stop. I've never had someone that needed to be hospitalised within a battle before."

I smiled at her. "Thanks for the concern."

Melissa shifted in her seat slightly. "She had every right to be. If you have a shedinja hunting after you, then the only thing you can do is have another ghost destroy it. Ghosts are strange in that they only pass on if they decide to stop living, or if they are forcibly removed from the world by another ghost."

A little bit of hope flared in my chest. "Does that mean I can get Loki – my sableye – to get rid of it?"

She shook her head. "The only ghosts with the ability to do so permanently are dusknoir. Otherwise, they'll only be able to keep it away for a little while. The only thing I can advise is keeping out something to ward off ghosts as much as you can. Do you have any dark pokémon?"

I nodded. "I've got a sableye and a nuzleaf that's becoming a shiftry."

"That thing's strong," Veronique said with a scornful laugh. "It damn well broke out of its ball when everything kicked off with you, and I had to use one of my stronger pokémon to knock it out to recall it. It wouldn't let anyone near you, and it and your sableye were both growling at something we couldn't see."

"Which means there was definitely a ghost there," Melissa supplied. "The doctors aren't going to believe this is the cause, as despite everything that we see in the pokémon world, they still seem to believe that if they can't put a medical explanation down for something, it has to be psychological." She sighed and shook her head. "It's amazing that despite everything, they still can't accept something that there's no definite proof for. Even with people like myself and Phoebe supplying bountiful information."

I didn't know how Phoebe was, though made no comment towards it. Instead I nodded and thanked her for her help, and fished through my poké balls for Lacey's ball. I was thankful that I'd taken the time to label them after Mia had given me the idea when I was with her a few days prior. It wasn't anything original, simply my initials coupled with the first two letters of the pokémon's name.

I let her out of her ball, and noticed that she was instantly on guard, staring at both the women with me with a suspicious gaze. I reassured her as quickly as I could, and she accepted my assurances reluctantly, though I saw that she kept her guard up and her gaze trained on them both. On some level, it made me proud.

I saw Melissa stare at Lacey with deep concentration, and felt worry blossom within me once more. I began to panic, thinking she could see something about Lacey's past, and possibly be able to link me to everything I'd done.

Thankfully, it proved not to be the case when she looked away and shook her head. "I've never liked dark pokémon," she admitted with a thoughtful expression. "They're shielded from all forms of psychic intrusion, and they're resistant to even connections from the spirit plane. It's almost like trying to look at something whilst you have horrible eyesight; I can't see anything but a blur."

I felt some form of relief, though knew there was a chance she had some idea of what e and my pokémon were actually like.

"Well, I'm afraid that's all the help I can be here," Melissa said as she stood up. She smiled at me, shook my hand and then straightened out her skirt. "I wish you all the luck with your journey, and hope you survive this ghost long enough to battle me in my gym." She caught sight of the way my face fell and offered a small, reassuring glance. "I'm confident that you'll be able to do so. Keep either of your dark pokémon with you at all times, and you should find that it should not bother you. Although-" she herself pulled a face as she thought about something. "If the ghost has truly inhabited the body of your dead makuhita, it means that its natural ability will be transferred to it. Which means that you shall only be able to damage it with any ghostly attacks, or perhaps those from flying pokémon."

I felt myself die a little on the inside. That effectively ruled out any of my pokémon. I knew Loki had a form of a ghostly attack with his continual shadow-attacks, though didn't have any sort of flyer that could assault it.

Veronique must have noticed the conflict on my face, for she leant forwards and went to place her hand on me. Lacey however, took it as a threat, and she hissed at her. I reassured my pokémon once more, realising that she considered Veronique a threat since we were battling her for a gym badge earlier. I realised I would have to explain to her the concept of gym battles when I could.

"You can train your sableye to use more ghostly attacks – your nuzleaf too," Melissa supplied as Veronique inched away from Lacey, wary of the threat the pokémon could pose.

"There's a few flyers nearby you can capture too," Veronique explained. "You can find wingull and mantine nearby the coast and along the sea, and further towards Mauville you can capture the likes of taillow and pidgey."

I nodded and filed the information away, thanking them once more. Both women bid me good luck and wished me well on my journey, and turned to leave. After a few steps, however, Veronique stopped in her tracks and turned back to me.

"Here," she said, and handed me a small slip of paper. "It's my number," she explained for me, obviously seeing how confused I look. "I want you to call me once you've dealt with this ghost problem of yours, if only to make me worry a little less." She smiled and looked at me, seeing something that I obviously couldn't. "You remind me of my little brother," she said, out of the blue. "He's in Kanto at the moment, though your stubbornness and general attitude of 'I'll sort everything out myself' really remind me of him. I want you to use that number to call when this whole thing is sorted, and then after that, we can have our rematch, if you still want one. Even if I'm just being like a crazy older sister, I'll still rest easier knowing that you're not decomposing in a ditch somewhere."

I couldn't help but laugh at that, even if it made her give me a weird look. I promised her that I would ring her when I'd dealt with the makuhita problem. She bid me goodbye once more, and I found myself left alone with Lacey.

She looked at me, uttered something and then turned to sniff at the air. I wondered just what she meant, until I caught sight of her staring around the ward, looking with great intrigue towards the I.V. drip attached to my arm, and the various drug charts around the room.

I quickly realised how bad an idea it was to let her out in a hospital full of poisons, and even worse, a place full of people that were on death's door. I pulled her close and made it clear to her that there were security cameras everywhere in the hospital, and there was no chance she'd be able to have her fun without anyone hearing. I knew that if she decided to play up, I could always press the ugly heat blister still welting on her chest. I'd been given a salve to place on it, though let Lacey herself put it on, figuring she was likely to kill me for getting too intrusive.

Yet despite that, she was my safest option to look after me. Xander wouldn't be able to defend me against the makuhita, and I didn't feel confident in letting Loki out within the hospital. No doubt he would cause mayhem and havoc, and probably end up giving a few people a heart attack.

I doubted that would go down well.

I knew that I needed to get out of the hospital as soon as I could. When the doctor finally came back round to check on me again, I asked him how soon I could check out of the hospital. He explained to me that really, I shouldn't leave for another day, since they still hadn't come out with a definite cause for what happened to me. Though he mentioned that I could check out if I felt well enough, to which I agreed to and convinced him to get someone to bring me my bag back again.

It amazed me entirely when I found Lacey's plants in there, as well as my weapons. I looked at her in shock, and saw the glint in her eye coupled with the malevolent smirk. Somehow she'd managed to sneak everything in there without anyone noticing, and hide them all from the doctors and nurses that would have checked my belongings when I was admitted.

In less than an hour, I had managed to leave the hospital. The doctor had once more tried to convince me not to leave and stay in for treatment, though I ignored it completely. If I was left alone in the hospital, I didn't want to take my chances with the makuhita stalking me. At least out in the wilds, I could run. Even if there was no one to rush me to hospital next time, I decided that it would be safer if other pokémon were around that would react towards it.

I decided that since I was near Mauville, I would go and visit Jennifer again. I figured it would take me only a fortnight at most to reach her house, and hoped that she was still around to talk to. I knew she said before I left that she wouldn't be around after about a month, though I still had high hopes regardless.

If nothing else, at least I would get out of Slateport for a good while.


It had been two days since I had left Slateport, and I had seen nothing of the strange makuhita stalking after me. I rested by the large stream in the route most nights, knowing that if something came after me, I could escape quickly into it.


It also meant I could let Xander out to swim alongside me whilst I let Lacey out. She was surprisingly calm the whole while that I let her out, and I'd hadn't seen her sneak off to try and murder something. The blister on her chest was going down quickly, though I did have to stop Loki or her a few times from bursting it. When she wasn't trying to pop the blister, she was making a lot more progress with her drills, and I knew that soon enough I would have to make good on my deal to try and teach her how to use a gun.

Meanwhile, I saw that she was doing well with her drills, and saw that she was advancing with her poisoning techniques. Xander was doing well with learning how to increase the amount of mist he could produce around himself, and Loki seemed to be able to dart into the shadows faster, and I was getting him to instinctively turn intangible when there was something growling or the like.

I also saw that like my other two pokémon, he was changing. He had grown a few inches, and seemed to have put on a little weight. But more than that, I noticed that he was darker than normal. The shadows seemed to converge around him, and I noticed that it seemed to seep around him like a black fog.

I didn't know whether it was normal growth, or whether it was because of me letting him become a little darker than most trainers would. But it meant that he was growing and he was getting stronger, so for me, it was good enough.

I watched him play in the stream with Xander and smiled to myself. Above us was the long stretch of road that only cyclists were allowed on, and I rejoiced silently at the coolness hiding in the shadows brought.

In the distance I could see the large metallic structure I knew was the entrance to a large power plant underneath Mauville itself. I could see large radio antennae and satellites stretching out of a large metallic hatch. Even with the large distance, I could see the far away forms of larger electrical pokémon, and found myself thankful that it was located on a separate island. Most of the pokémon I could see were large carnivores that could shock their prey into submission within a few moments. At least with such a distance between us, they wouldn't be able to come after me.

I watched as Lacey stared into the sea and felt slightly bad for her. I knew that she was miles stronger than any other member of my team, and she wouldn't grow as much by training against the weaker wild pokémon I set Xander and Loki on. The best thing was to train her against stronger trainers, though most wouldn't humour me for a battle once they saw I only had two badges. It meant I had to run her with tougher drills, and have her fight stronger wild pokémon – most of which would be able to kill any of us if she couldn't keep it's attention completely closed on her.

It seemed to satisfy her well enough, but I couldn't help but wonder if I should try and capture another strong pokémon to try and give her the best training I could.

Of course, that meant I'd have to capture a pokémon that could kill me quite easily, and then try and get it's obedience too. I doubted I'd be able to convince another pokémon I could kill it with only the poké ball alone too.

I looked back at the distance again, and noticed as something began flying closer to us. I was on guard instantly, and tried to figure out what the creature actually was. All I could tell was that it could fly, and that it was possibly some sort of a fly. I told my pokémon to be on guard, and noticed the buzzing sound when it was close enough.

I saw that it was a dark grey creature that was about ten inches in length. Four wings fluttered on its back, and I could see that on each side one wing was tipped red, and the other blue. Six legs clung to its segmented abdomen, and it stared at us all with only one large eye in the middle of its head. I could see small mandibles around its mouth, and small electrical sacks were obvious on its back and knees.

It was a magnemite; a strange pokémon that I knew had been artificially tampered with. When they were first discovered, they were all only electrical, and caused continual problems with crops, and later radio signals and the like. Eventually someone figured out that they could use magnemite to transmit radio signals, and people began to capture every one of them they could for scientists to tamper with. They began coating the creatures in a natural metallic armour found on the likes of aron and skarmory, and began to release them back into the wild afterwards. It meant that radio signals bounced off them and were amplified, instead of interefered with, though the metallic coatings they had also had the advantage to the species of increasing their electrical potency.

Eventually they adapted to their metallic coatings, and began breeding and passing on such traits. They were an example of how scientists could change the natural biology of pokémon, and the starting tests towards being able to give humans themselves additional qualities.

The pokémon buzzed at us all, flitting around the air around us. I stared at it a moment then decided to ignore it, figuring my pokémon would deal with it in a moment. Every time a pokémon came too close, they had chased it off before it could cause us any trouble.

This one was slightly different though. Every time one of my pokémon went to attack it to fend it off, it simply flew out of the way and then darted back in sight again, seemingly having fun all the while. It reminded me of when the little insects would get stuck in a room, and when you tried to swat it, it would fly away though return quickly afterwards.

The reactions between my pokémon were all different, even as it buzzed around them all. Xander realised quickly it wasn't going away, and decided to ignore it, probably hoping it would fly away when it was bored. Lacey just glared daggers at it, and would swipe at it every time it came too close. Though Loki would continue to chase the buzzing creature, skipping after it and attempting to swipe at it multiple times, even though it would occasionally zap him with little electric shocks.

I watched it with a small sense of curiosity, wondering why it wasn't actually attacking, or why there were no other pokémon taking advantage of its distraction to attack us. It made me realise that rather like Loki, the creature just liked attention.

I made a quick count of the poké balls I had in my pack. I cursed and realised I only had one left out of the five I first received. Two were currently in use with my two dark pokémon, and the other two were used on the dead wurmple and makuhita, and were now as dead as them. I needed a flyer, as per the advice of Melissa and Veronique. Though I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture something like a magnemite – I knew that they were able to resist almost every sort of attack thrown at them by any other pokémon.

I couldn't resist the opportunity to capture one.

I saw that by some strange turn of events, the magnemite's attention was completely trained on Loki. That in itself meant that I'd be able to get a few good attacks in.

"Xander," I whispered, refusing to move much, just in case I freaked it out. "Move out of the water, then blast it enough to knock it to the floor."

He croaked and pulled himself from the stream, his attention rapt on the bug. It flickered around Loki, darting ever closer towards him then flying back away when he tried to snatch it from the air itself. It continued once or twice just before it was blindsided by a stream of water. It buzzed angrily and dropped to the floor, its wings beating angrily.

"Get it," I said to Loki, aware I didn't want the creature to break free of the only ball I had left. "But keep it alive," I added.

He cackled happily, able to finally get the creature now that it was wet and grounded. However, it could still fight back, as he found out when it shot him with a jolt of electricity at close range. Loki shrieked and leapt backwards, though growled lowly afterwards, baring his claws and fangs threateningly. The magnemite scuttled forwards to attack, though Loki laughed and jumped over it, raking his claws down across its back. He spun in the air and kicked the pokémon at the bottom of its body, making it bounce across the grass, hissing pained noises.

The magnemite pulled itself up onto its feet, and I saw its wings beat faster and faster. I went to yell at Loki to jump back, though the creature took a breath, and suddenly a horrible screeching sound poured out of its body. I cried out and threw my hands over my ears, and noted dimly that Lacey and Loki did the same, whilst Xander dove back underneath the water.

I felt something wet and warm lick my palms, and noted with some horror that blood was leaking out of my ears. My head was spinning, with the whole world around me becoming nothing more than a swirling blur of colours and motion.

I needed to be sick.

Finally it seemed that Lacey had suffered enough, for she raced up to the creature, picked it up and then slammed it down against the ground, once, twice and then a third time, until the sound stopped. It buzzed weakly, wings flickering with what seemed to be fatigued pain, and I saw small flecks of blood fly from its mouth every time it breathed.

I thanked Lacey, and supposed I should have just been thankful she didn't kill the creature as I tossed the poké ball at it. The light on it blinked once and it made a small clicking sound as soon as the pokémon was sucked in.

I smiled to myself as I snatched the ball from the floor and placed it onto my bandolier. I'd managed to capture another pokémon, and realised as I tried to wipe away the blood from my ears that it could be quite strong with enough training. Already I had begun to formulate plans for it, and figured that I would have to get myself some form of ear protection if I wanted to exploit its horrific screeching noises.

After thanking Loki and Xander as well, and letting them get back to spending some time relaxing, I whipped out my pokédex and scanned the magnemite's poké ball.

The information it provided told me it was almost a year and a half old, and then detailed that its species were all hermaphrodites – they all were both male and female. Supposedly they could swap between genders when they needed to breed.

I thought about it as I replaced the machine back into a pocket. As alien as pokémon once were to me, I had realised that they did make my life more interesting, and they were some strange sort of family to me. It felt strange to me to have I pokémon that I couldn't really refer to by gender terms. I knew there would be something that would define its gender – for one thing, those that were females first had larger magnet colours on their wings than the males. I decided that when I got a close enough view of it, I would identify its gender by that.

Though somehow I knew it would fit in perfectly with my madcap team.


It was a day later that I managed to reach a small village halfway between Slateport and Mauville. I figured I still had a good day or two to reach Jennifer's, though opted to rest for the night in the pokémon centre.


I hadn't let the magnemite out of the poké ball since I'd caught it, as I wasn't sure how badly it was injured, and just whether or not I could treat it myself. Thankfully though, when I handed over my pokémon to the nurse, she explained after a quick scan that it wasn't too grievously injured, and that it would only need an overnight stay in the centre.

With all my pokémon being treated, I found myself hovering around in the pokémon centre's waiting room for a while. It was the only place where other people were, and I felt that I could do with sitting down and listening into conversations for a bit, if only to find out what was going on in the world. I still hadn't found out any more about what the unknown man on the boat was talking about, nor had I heard anything further about Aaron's death.

Within five minutes sat in the room with trainers talking and the television on, I'd found out that they'd managed to recover fingerprints and shoeprints from the scenes of both Aaron's murder, as well as the Hoenn champion, and had managed to link the two together. It meant that now the news – and thus the public – knew that the police were hunting after one person responsible for the crimes.

I felt my stomach do a little flip and turned my attention away from it as quickly as it could. My whole mind was awash with mental scenarios of my capture, and how I would be imprisoned and unable to help anyone in the quest I'd found myself thrust into.

It seemed that my brain never truly was allowed to rest. If I wasn't panicking about someone finding out that I'd killed Aaron, I was playing out scenarios that they'd discovered that I'd caused the death of the champion in Dewford. If not that, then I was suffering the memories of the demons, and seeing them every time I shut my eyes. Then once in a while, I would be treated with the thought of how badly the world would screw up if I managed to fail.

I think it was a miracle itself that I managed to stay sane the whole while.

I let my mind clear for a little while and instead just listened to the aimless conversations in the centre. Some trainer had just captured a duskull, another said his zigzagoon had disappeared for a day, and returned as a fully grown linoone. One of two people were talking about their gym battles in Mauville or Slateport, and a few older trainers were talking about how well they did in the contests.

One thing I noticed though, was that everyone in the waiting room was talking to someone they obviously knew. I saw friends, best friends and couples among them all, and felt strangely alone amongst them all. I realised that I was probably one of the few trainers that actually managed to travel around on their own. I knew that so many trainers would eventually join up and travel in groups, and couldn't help but hope that I would get to experience that too.

Though I knew that the burden of my journey was mine to bear. I doubted that any other person would believe my tale, and doubted even more that people would want to help me. Perhaps even more so considering that I actually had no idea what it was I needed to do, and that I was only collecting badges in the hope that I would be able to use them to influence people.

I truly never believed that anyone would ever trust that my past was actually real.

Without my pokémon, I found that I pretty much stayed out in public areas, not talking to anyone. I felt safer around people, yet I didn't feel safe enough to talk to them. I still didn't want to talk to strangers, just through the fear that they were as warped and corrupted as the people I'd removed from the world. At least when they were strangers to me, it was only my imagination that made them horrible people.

I spent most of the night researching as much as I could on magnemite, as well as trying to remember everything I could about my past. I ended up going to bed without realising anything new, and resolved to capture myself a psychic whenever I first could.

Though I also found out it would be a long while until I would find a psychic I could actually capture. The pokédex told me that the closest psychic pokémon to me were spoink, and they were all the way near Lavaridge. I figured it would be a good three weeks, at least, until I would come anywhere near there. Otherwise I could go back through Rustboro and head up to Meteor Falls, which would probably take a week longer.

Either way, it looked like I wasn't going to capture one soon. I knew I could try and trade a pokémon for one, but doubted anyone would want any of my pokémon, and I didn't want to get rid of any of my pokémon. I figured I could probably buy one, but with less than a thousand poké to my name, I doubted I could even come anywhere near to affording anything even as common as exeggcute.

I pushed the thought out of my head as I set off into the early morning, keen on making good time. I walked for about a mile, and figured I was far enough away from the centre before I released all of my pokémon, bar the magnemite. I explained to them quickly to keep calm and subdue the magnemite – making it clear to both Lacey and Loki not to kill it.

"Ready guys?" I asked them, and smiled when they all nodded. I clutched the magnemite's poké ball and released the creature, watching as the white light poured into the familiar insect shape of the pokémon.

It buzzed when it noticed its surroundings, and its one eye narrowed on me. The buzzing noise increased, and I clamped my hands over my ears, remembering what happened last time. However, this time it shocked me, and I yelped as electricity flooded through me, making it feel like I'd just received a large static shock.

I dimly heard my pokémon attack the creature, and figured out that the magnemite was faster than all of the pokémon I had. I groaned and realised that it was most likely going to be a lot of effort to try and train the pokémon, let alone get it to stop attacking randomly.

It buzzed again, and I saw that Xander had soaked it, and again it was on the floor, attempting to fly once more. I crouched before it and made sure to keep my distance, just in case it tried to shock me once more. Though I still had the problem of what to actually say to the pokémon and make it understand what I was talking about.

"Urm, hi," I said to it, and fell backwards onto my backside as it shot more electricity at me. I yelped and backed away, though motioned for my pokémon to stay back. I saw its wings stop beating a moment, and caught a long enough glance to see how far down the red and blue stretched.

It solved one problem at least. The magnemite was female.

"Stop attacking me!" I yelled at it, and watched as it scuttled backwards slightly. "Look," I sighed, and pulled a hand across my face. "I'm your trainer. I can help you become strong, as long as you listen to the commands I give you."

She buzzed once more and then more electricity shot out of her body and into the ground before me. I groaned and recalled her back into her poké ball, deciding that I'd try again later with her.

"I guess I'm never going to be as lucky as I was with you," I lamented, speaking to Xander. "Or if I do get a pokémon that obeys me quickly, it's probably going to be killed quickly."

I sighed and moved onwards, keeping my pokémon out as we travelled forwards. They didn't seem to object, and Loki would gleefully dash into the undergrowth occasionally, trying to rip apart and consume some poor bug or the like. After a few failed attempts, Lacey was the one to roll her eyes and follow after him, and they returned after ten minutes, trails of sickly green liquids covering their teeth and dripping from their mouths.

At least my pokémon were getting along – even if Lacey was teaching Loki more efficient ways to kill things.

When we eventually settled to run drills for a short time again, I knew I had to release the magnemite and get it to join in with the training. Yet again after I released her, her eye narrowed on me, and she flitted around me, buzzing something I couldn't understand all the while. Eventually she settled on my head – which may have freaked me out a little bit – something which Loki found incredibly amusing. He cackled at the sight of me walking around with an electrical insect on my head, and I saw both Lacey and Xander try and hide their laughs from me.

"Yeah, yeah, laugh it up," I groaned, and wished that I had some ear plugs or the like to stop the creature's incessant buzzing from atop my head. Every time I tried to remove it from my head, I heard the buzzes increase in volume, and felt tiny static shocks fly from its legs and chest. For whatever reason, it decided that my head was a perfect perch for it, and it would happily try and shock any sort of insect or bird that flew too close to us.

I sighed and gave up trying to pry it from my head. I couldn't use Xander to blast it off, if only because then I would be soaked too, which wouldn't end well if the magnemite discharged in fright or attack. Every time Lacey or Loki came close to getting her off, she would start to build up electricity again, and I had to get them to stop, if only through fearing that my skull was about to light up like a lamp.

It was about ten minutes before I even remembered I had the creature's poké ball attached to my bandolier. I cursed my own stupidity and plucked it free, recalling the pokémon before it could try and shock me. Instantly my hair seemed to flatten, and I didn't want to look how ridiculous it looked. I had the feeling it most likely made me look like I'd stuck my finger in a plug socket, which I guessed was the most normal assumption people would go for.

I released her again, and this time kept jumping out of the way every time she came close enough to land on my head. I saw something like amusement in her eye, and then she began to randomly discharge weak bolts of electricity as she flittered after me. Thankfully it stopped when Xander soaked her once more, and she fell to the ground, wings too wet to keep her airborne.

I thanked him and crouched down to the creature, stretching my hand out towards her experimentally. "You really need to start listening a bit," I said, not knowing whether or not she could understand me. I saw her scuttle towards me slightly, and I scratched the top of her head with two fingers. "If you want to play, that's all well and good, but you still need to train too."

She looked up at me, blinked with her one eye and then decided to shock my fingers with a little static shock. I winced and drew my hand back, and realised that I probably wasn't going about it the best way I could. I realised that I would have to begin to train it like I did Xander and Loki. I was lucky with Lacey that she could understand me from the get-go, so all I needed to do was explain everything to her, and she knew what I meant.

It meant that the whole time I ran drills with them, I let the magnemite flitter around again, or just sit on my head, and started pointing out everything she did right. After two hours, I'd managed to get her to understand what I meant when I told her to shock something, though most of the time she still wouldn't respond straight away.

Regardless, with her not trying to fry us anytime soon, I decided to keep her out with the rest of my team, if only to let her get adjusted. I saw that when she detached herself from me to eat some food, Lacey said something to her which she didn't seem to agree with. Instantly she shocked the nuzleaf, and I saw that Loki burst into laughter, applauding all the while. I saw Lacey's eyes darken and had to throw myself at her, telling her that she wasn't allowed to kill the magnemite. The whole time the creature was flitting around behind me, no doubt tormenting Lacey further. Eventually Lacey let out a guttural hiss, turned away and stalked off into the wilds for about an hour.

When she came back bloody and slightly beaten, I only hoped that she had picked a fight with a pokémon, rather than a trainer.

Regardless, I made sure to praise her for at least going off to kill a random wild pokémon, and hoped that she wouldn't have the urge to kill anything else anytime soon. Though even her murderous spirits weren't enough to dampen my mood, as I found myself strangely happy and content as we trekked towards Jennifer's, if only because my team of pokémon were coming together, and I would be able to see the woman who helped me with my journey again.

It took another day and a bit before I managed to reach Jennifer's house, and I found that even the sight of it alone brought a smile to my face. Nothing seemed to have changed with it, and I even saw that her pet glameow was still skulking around the outside, preying on random pokémon that lived within the garden.

I felt that her house was the perfect picture of what people wanted when they had a family, and couldn't help but imagine the shock on her face when she answered the door to see me there. I got to the door without disturbing Whiskers and rang the doorbell, waiting for someone to answer.

When it opened, I was surprised that it wasn't Jennifer that opened it. Instead it was a girl about my age, with brown hair pulled back and up into a pony tail. She had the same colour eyes as Jennifer, and was dressed in a loose fitting white top and tight blue jeans.

Though more than any of that, I noticed that her eyes were red and puffy. She'd been crying, and I found myself wondering just why that was, though I think a part of me knew, but refused to admit it to the rest of my brain.

"Hi," I said tentatively, my comfort zone thrown completely out the window. I felt like an intruder into something, and hoped that wasn't the case. "Is Jennifer around?" I asked, peering slightly behind the door to see into the house.

If it were possible, the girl looked sadder in an instant. "She's not," she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "She died."

It was like someone had punched me in the gut. Jennifer had died, before I had even got the chance to see her again? The last time I'd spoken to her was for a brief few minutes after I got out of the Petalburg Woods, and she sounded well enough. I just couldn't believe it.

I went to ask how, but my brain kicked into gear just before I asked the stupid question. Instead I found myself asking, "When?"

The girl sniffed. "About a week ago." She took a deep breath and gave me a small, tentative smile. "So who may I ask is enquiring?"

I told her my name, and saw a flair of recognition in her eyes. I was expecting a number of scenarios, but what I wasn't expecting was for her to punch me in the jaw. She put enough force behind it to knock me to the floor, and my whole face erupted with stinging pain.

"You bastard!" she shrieked at me, leaping at me and attempting to pummel me further. "You caused all of this! And then you come back after she's dead!" She continued trying to hit me, and I put all my effort into just trying to stop her blows. "Why are you back here? Couldn't you do the decent thing and disappear off the face of the world? You made my mother get a tumour! You... you killed her," she sobbed, and stopped her assault, climbing off me slowly. "You killed her," she repeated, burying her face in her hands.

"I didn't," I whispered as I pulled myself to my feet. My whole heart felt like it had been torn out, and every accusation the girl threw at me felt like something else was being ripped out. "It wasn't... I wasn't ever meant to be here in the first place!" I found myself telling her, regardless of her sobs. "Jennifer did everything she did even when I had no idea she existed! She died decades before I was even born!" I stopped and dropped my head. "It wasn't me who was meant to be here..."

The girl – I distantly remembered Jennifer telling me her daughter's name was Erica – sniffed and wiped a hand underneath her nose. "What do you mean it wasn't you who was meant to be here?"

She knew I was from the future, at least. I felt like I couldn't lie to her about anything more, especially since her mother had just died.

"I was never celebi's choice," I admitted, and saw the way her eyes widened. "Originally it was meant to be someone I knew, someone in my base camp called Alex." I stopped and scratched my cheek as I thought about it. In a way, it was all my own fault that I had ended up taking his place. "I saw him escaping and followed after him, alerting the other guards on the way. I followed him to a small clearing where a celebi appeared, and I heard him talking to it. When he mentioned that he could stop our future from ever happening, I froze. But the guards I called appeared moments later and killed him. After that, the celebi ended up taking me, as I was the next best thing.

"Celebi chose me because I was the next best tool for the job," I admitted through gritted teeth. The thought of being nothing more than a plaything for some higher creature still irked me, and it made me feel like I never had any purpose in life. "It chose me in that moment because I was the next best thing for the job. Do you know how that feels?" I asked her, forgetting for a moment that her mother had only recently died. "Alex was chosen because he was the best person for the job. I'm just here because I'm the best tool for it all!"

Erica looked up at me a moment, and our eyes met. I think she realised everything I was saying was the truth, and how much it actually hurt me, even if I had never admitted it before – even to myself. She dropped her gaze finally and whispered, "I'm sorry."

"Don't be," I said, and felt heavy and sad all at once again. "I'm sorry I went off like that. You've just lost your mother, I shouldn't have gone about screaming like everything in my life was so much worse."

"But still," she whispered, then sniffed and laughed morosely. "Do you want to come in for a drink or something?" she asked.

I nodded. "That'd be nice."

She smiled slightly and walked back into the house, holding the door open for me. Instantly I noticed that the entire house felt different from the last time I was there. When Jennifer was there, it felt so homely and welcoming. Without her... it just felt so empty and dead. It took everything in me to stop myself from shuddering at the feeling of it, and I simply pretended the goose bumps on my skin were from the cold.

Just in case it was a repeat of the makuhita, I asked Erica if she minded if I let a pokémon out. When she told me it was fine, I let out Lacey, and took some small comfort in her presence, and the fact that the house didn't feel any less dead. In my mind, it told me that at least it wasn't the undead makuhita stalking me.

When Erica returned from the kitchen, she took note of Lacey and smiled slightly. "Mum told me you only set out on your journey about two and a bit months ago. That nuzleaf of yours looks a lot older." She handed me a cup of coffee, and gave me a small smile, explaining that she'd taken the liberty to Irish it up. "Either you caught her as a young nuzleaf and you have a leaf stone on you, or you've somehow managed to get the cooperation of an old one."

I smiled and took a small sip of the drink, marvelling at how well the coffee mixed together with whatever she'd placed in it. "The latter," I said, hoping I wouldn't have to explain much. "It took a while, but eventually I got her to listen and understand me."

Lacey shot me a look, clearly mutinous to everything I said. Thankfully though, Erica missed it and explained, "I caught a magmar a few years back that was becoming a magmortar. Can't say I had your quick luck though – it took me almost six months to get him to listen to me fully, and a little while longer to stop making explosions."

I shot a look a Lacey, trying to ensure that she kept quiet. She rolled her eyes at me, almost as if to point out that Erica couldn't understand her anyway. "I guess I was just lucky with Lacey," I said, not saying that it was mostly all bad luck. I doubted anyone would call the events that lead up to me getting her respect as good luck.

Erica nodded and seemed to want to say something. She kept starting and stopping a sentence until eventually she asked, "So how do you plan on saving the world then?"

Put like that, it sounded like she was being sarcastic or patronising. However, I knew she was trying her best to understand, as well as to make sure her mother's death wasn't in vain.

I sighed. "I don't know," I admitted, staring down at the cup I cradled in my hands. "I was never told what it was I needed to stop, change or do. The damned celebi took off after it dropped me here, and I haven't heard from it since. My only thoughts at the moment are to collect gym badges and try to look like a normal trainer, and hopefully along the way I'll find out something."

She nodded, though it was obvious she wasn't totally pleased with my answer. "So how many badges do you have then?"

"Two," I admitted, still staring at my cup. "I got Rustboro's and Dewford's, though the one in Slateport was too tough for me."

Erica nodded. "It usually is. It took me a good four tries to get the badge from there. Really the only people who do well in there are those that started off with a torchic or another fire type, or anyone that has a fighter or a ground-based pokémon. Everything else just tends to fail against the gym there." I lifted my gaze and saw her press a hand to her forehead and lean on the table. "So you have no idea how you're going to save everything?" she whispered.

"I wish I actually did," I confided in her. "But so far, I can't think of anything I need to do. Actually," I said, realising something. I saw her face look at me in interest, and I hoped what I had was enough. "I heard someone on the boat to Slateport before. These virus outbreaks that occurred in Oldale and Petalburg are linked – they're being masterminded by some company. I think they're trying to release a new drug or something, because the guy was getting pissed that people had actually died. But I can't figure out who's actually doing it, or what they're actually doing," I ended with a sour note.

She pulled a face and sighed. "Are these virus outbreaks anything you've heard of before?" I shook my head, and she bit her bottom lip. "What about the symptoms? Have you heard of them?"

Again I shook my head. "I haven't heard anything about the symptoms. Besides, if it was the virus that plagued my time, people would know about it. There'd be a media frenzy with people trying to explain it, and the whole world would know about it by now."

She sighed again. "You need a psychic," she informed me, telling me what I already knew. "I wish I could give you one, but I don't have any psychics."

"But, I thought that most trainers would capture psychic pokémon?" I found myself asking. Lacey grunted a sarcastic noise, and again I wondered if she had a trainer. Though I remembered her cache of victims beneath the hut, and guessed that she had seen a great many number of trainers without any sort of psychic pokémon.

"Not all of them," Erica said, unaware of my pokémon's sarcastic grunts. "Psychics happen to be among some of the hardest pokémon to train. Added to that, they're incredibly rare in the wild, and can outsmart most trainers quite easily. Usually a trainer has to hunt a good while to be lucky enough to capture one, or buy one from a pokémon breeder." She tapped her fingernails against the table in thought. "Though there are sometimes when some trainers have been attacked by psychics, for whatever reason. In those cases, the trainer often turns round and captures one of them – though of course you've got to be able to survive and get away from the others to train it."

I groaned and wilted onto the table. My only chances of capturing a psychic were buying one, hunting one down, or being hunted by them and somehow capturing one. I considered that maybe the celebi was some sort of sadistic bastard that wanted to watch me suffer as I tried to carry out its plans. If it truly wanted me to save the world, why couldn't it help me more directly?

Though if I wanted answers to that, I needed a psychic, or to find the bastard imp itself. I figured that the latter was about as likely as me waking up one day to find out the whole journey had been only a dream.

After that we talked some more, and the conversation kept dropping back to Jennifer. Erica would tell me all these stories she had about her mother, ranging from how she once saw her take on a wild manetric with Whiskers and defeat it easily, to humorous ones such as how she once tried cooking a pizza with the plastic still on it, and ended up setting fire to the entire kitchen.

I felt bad that I didn't have anything I could really share with her, but Erica seemed happy enough that she had someone to talk to about her mother. She burst into tears a few times whilst she talked about her, and I felt a lump in my own throat after a while, though I felt like I'd cried enough since the demons captured me. I still felt so hollow inside though, and every time I forgot and then realised again that Jennifer was dead, it was like someone had ripped out another piece of my insides.

I was too late to see her another time, and she died without me ever getting to see her again.

Distantly, I began to think about why it was me chosen to carry out the celebi's wishes, and why people seemed to have to die in order for my goal to succeed. I just wished then and there that she would be the only person that would have to die for me to complete that quest.

Though I think all my wishes were used up in getting to this world in the first place.

Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...