Tales of the Apocalypse
I originally posted this on FanFiction.net with the aim of getting some constructive advice, although not enough people have reviewed it. I apologize for the lack of skill in my writing, and how short the story is, but I hope the people reading it enjoy it.
The Introduction is written in First person view, although the rest of the Chapters will be in Third Person.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Pokemon. Stories tell us that long before my time we lived in peace with these creatures, instead of living in fear. Children use to be able to play outside, now they hide inside waiting for the terror to pass. The world I live in now is one of madness, with people doing everything they can to survive no matter who gets hurt.
Nothing from the old times is common knowledge anymore; everything from before the purge has been destroyed. Everyone has their own ideas on what happened to wipe out most of humanity, but no one knows the truth for certain. Some say that a great evil spread across the land sending the Pokemon insane, others say that humans poisoned the land and the Pokemon fought back to protect it.
All I know is that it happened, and that's all I need to know to survive.
Chapter 2: Times have changed
A lone man could be seen travelling down the road to town, his dark heavy cloak protecting him from the freezing downpour. The gravel crunched beneath his every footfall, only the sound of rain falling stopped anyone from hearing him approaching. The darkness of night hid his figure from prying eyes. Even though he was hidden from both sight and hearing the townspeople could still sense him, years of fear had made them almost animalistic. First it started off as a quiet whisper, but soon the townsfolk were rallying the troops. The gates were opened and soldiers came flooding out.
The cloaked figure stopped what he was doing and came to a complete halt. The soldiers had good reason to be scared. The men raised rifles, relics from the old days probably too damaged to function, but better safe than sorry.
"Put your hands up!" shouted one of the men, his deep gruff voice echoed like lightning, sounding like he was experienced in these matters.
The cloaked person slowly lifted up his hands, being careful to not startle anyone into accidentally firing their weapons. The leader performed a hand gesture and three of the men ran forward, two stood either side of the mysterious stranger. The third person slowly approached from the front, and reached out towards the stranger's hood.
The stranger kept still as his hood was grasped and torn backwards. The worried look of the soldiers quickly changed when they saw the stranger's face. The face was that of a teenager, barely seventeen years of age. Several of the soldiers started laughing, and the two flanking the teenager lowered their weapons. The laughter cut through the air and immediately the soldiers regretted their actions; the captain cursed and ordered everyone inside, the howls of distant Pokemon could be heard in the distance.
"Captain, should we bring him with us?" questioned one of the rookies, his voice was quaking with anxiety.
"Yes." He replied "At least until this commotion calms down."
The soldiers quickly ran in after their leader, and the stranger followed.
When everyone was inside the tension was considerably lowered, no longer did the thought of a sudden Pokemon attack haunt the men. The Captain breathed out a held in breath, although he was far from over investigating the new visitor.
"What's your name?" asked the Captain, a hint of urgency lined his words.
The stranger lifted up his head and his gaze met the Captain's, instead of answering his question the teenager removed his cloak. The stranger was wearing a pair of dark worn jeans which had seen their share of rips, on his top half he wore a plain shirt, its original colour long forgotten. His hair was a dark black, almost the color of the night sky. Although the most important piece of clothing was a belt wrapped around his middle, on this belt was three ping-pong sized balls, red and white in color.
"How about you tell me your name first?"
The Captain was in shock, not only had this child refused to answer, but he was also a Pokemon trainer, something which hadn't been seen in this land for decades. Poke-balls are a rarity to come across; a single one could sell for several hundred thousand Poké Dollars on the black market.
"My n-name? It's Captain Johnson if you must know." The Captain didn't like showing weakness in front of anybody, especially in front of his men, but if anyone could tame wild Pokemon then they should be feared.
The trainer began to chuckle; his presence was obviously having an effect on the Captain.
"Don't worry…, I won't hurt anyone, my friends are just for protection…" the stranger made a gesture towards his poke-balls."My name is Nicholas, but Nick is just fine."
The appearance of a trainer - even a child trainer - was having a bizarre effect on the soldiers, in one way they felt in danger due to Pokemon being around, but also they felt for the first time safe from the Pokemon outside of the town.
Nick could see that his very presence was disturbing the men, and from previous experience he knew he wouldn't be welcome in the town. For a couple of years now he had been travelling the land, searching far and wide for other Pokemon trainers. His search hadn't been very successful so far.
"I think you should go." The Captain had once again spoken, and this time he seemed to have mustered up some courage. Nick gave a quick nod and gathered up his cloak.
"I would like to perhaps buy something from the local Mart, if I am allowed" the trainer didn't need to ask or pay for anything, if he wanted to he could take it by force, but he liked to think he was helping the world not harming it.
After a long drawn out silence the Captain nodded. It seemed he was smart enough to avoid trouble; he pointed to one of his soldiers and gestured for him to escort Nick. The soldier hesitated for a brief second, but then headed towards the door. Seeing it to be the best available option Nick followed the young soldier, stopping only to put on his cloak.
Nick and the soldier had been walking for a while; the mart seemed to be in the middle of the town, a vast hub for traders who traversed the land. The town he was in now was one of the few remaining in the world, and this was perhaps the biggest. Destruction and death could even be seen here in one of the most densely populated towns. The whole thing disgusted him, even when at war with another species the humans found time to fight amongst themselves. A bitter stench clouded the air, the rain having little effect on dampening the smell. Nick listened to the sound of the raindrops splashing on the cobbled steps; he was reminded of better days, when he was ignorant of all the hate in the world. Although just because there were times of hate and evil, didn't mean there wasn't good, and Nick was aware of this. The trainer had his share of being helped by strangers and soon to be friends, those were the memories which helped him sleep at night.
"-holas Sir, you listening?" The young soldier had been talking to him, and yet Nick had still drifted off.
"I'm sorry..." Nick shook his head at his own impoliteness"What were you saying?"
The man had turned as white as a ghost, obviously he thought Nick to be dangerous. "I was just wondering, why you spared our lives out at the gates, you could have taken us out straight away with your Pokemon and saved you hassle."
This question surprised the Pokemon trainer; it wasn't something he thought he'd need to answer, although he should have guessed people would be thinking it.
"I'm afraid to tell you this…" a brief silence followed.
"Jason, Private Jason Clark"
"I'm afraid to tell you this Jason, but not all Pokemon trainers are bad, just like not all Pokemon are bad. Some Pokemon wish to live in peace with humans, but humans are so blinded by rage that they can't see this. Nowadays it's considered illegal to even possess a Poke-ball, just showing you how far the hatred for Pokemon has spiralled out of control.
"But Pokemon are the reason the world is like this.., it's their fault we live like animals"
Nick had heard this answer many times before, even though no one knew why the purge had started, everyone liked to blame it on the Pokemon even without a scrap of evidence.
"You don't know that, no one does." The Pokemon trainer replied, a look of determination on his face.
Private Clark turned a bright shade of red and turned away, obviously at a loss for words. After a minute of silence he once again spoke.
"How did you get your Pokemon?"
Nick gave a bright smile, fondly remembering the events leading up to his first Pokemon. "I wish I could tell you, but it seems we've reached the mart," both of them looked up towards the building they were next to, it stood around three meters tall, the blue paint now fading to the color of sky. Paint was slowly being stripped from the sides by the heavy impact of the rain hitting the roof.
"You can go now if you like, you can tell your Captain you escorted me safely to the mart and out of the city, I'm sure you'll all be glad to see me gone." Nick gave a sorrowful grimace but made sure not to look at Jason, he didn't want the soldier to see his weakness.
Before Nick could say goodbye the private had began running off - part of being a Pokemon trainer was being separated from other people and he had grown to accept that. Once again he turned towards the Poke-mart, taking a second to prepare himself and then slowly he opened the door, awaiting whatever what was inside.
Chapter 3: Poke-mart Paradise
An older woman stood behind a counter, dusting off a bottle. Her face was worn and scarred, deep wrinkles lined her once beautiful face. Times were hard, and only the strong survived past their youth.
Marts were no longer a place for Pokemon trainers to converge and buy items, now they were dingy stores which sold daily and rare items for expensive prices, sometimes - if Nick was lucky – items which could also be used on Pokemon.
The shop-owner was in deep thought when the door was opened; the bell rang out alerting her to the stranger's presence. She quickly stowed the bottle beneath the counter.
The person who walked in looked just below six foot, a large cloak was wrapped around him. His hood was pushed back revealing shoulder length hair matted with dirt and grime, perhaps thirty years ago the mart-owner would have been surprised about this, but nowadays this look was the norm. Tess knew all the locals of the town just by looking at them; and this person was definitely not someone she recognized.
The young trainer looked around the store, taking in the view. He noticed the place was covered in a thin layer of dust, and small cracks lined the walls. At one end of the shop was a counter, in front of that were a few chairs for customers. Behind the counter Nick could see bottles of alcohol and other drinks, this place was not just a normal mart. Although compared to a lot of the stores he'd seen this place was paradise.
Nick walked up to the counter and sat down. The stool was old and rickety, each movement made it sound like it was groaning in pain. Apart from the echoing sound there was no noise in the mart, finally the older women looked up and spoke"Why are you 'ere?"
Nick raised an eyebrow feigning puzzlement"I'm here to get some supplies."
Tess' eyes narrowed, she had been on this earth far longer than this child, and she wasn't going to be played."Don't be arrogant with me…, I know your type. You little shits think you rule the world just because you've seen some things, well let me tell you somethin'… you're not the only person who's been through a lot."
A look of anger quickly flashed across the trainer's face, he quickly stood up and looked eye to eye at the mart-owner."You shouldn't be so quick to judge."
She was about to come back with a retort when she caught sight of something on his person, three little poke-balls were clasped on to his belt. Tess' eyes widened slightly in shock, the person she had been just shouting at was a Pokémon trainer, she would have to be more cautious.
Nick noticed the sudden change in Tess' behaviour, and he cursed silently to himself."Look I'm not going t-"
"It's my fault," she interrupted"You're the only trainer I've ever met, I didn't realize."
This whole thing sickened him, this women – his elder – was afraid of him, he had been quick to anger and now he was ashamed of his behaviour, lack of interaction with others had left its mark. Nick stood backwards from the counter trying to diffuse the situation, he didn't have much time.
"I am sorry, all I wanted to do was buy some Iron and maybe some medical supplies or two, I didn't mean to scare you," He tried his best to speak in a calm and controlled voice, not wanting to cause trouble, he'd arrived at the mart for a reason and he couldn't leave until he got what he came for.
Tess slowly shook her head, she was getting too old for danger and excitement, the reason she had opened up this mart was to settle down and live her life. Long before opening this place she had her fair share of trouble, and she certainly didn't want any of that here.
"Calm yourself down lad, I'm not gonna go off crying for the border guards." Tess spoke softly, as if she didn't want to be heard. "We get a lot of shady visitors in this city, this place attracts all kind of scum." She took a moment to clear her throat."No offence of course."
Nick looked straight at Tess; even though she had just insulted him he could see she didn't feel guilty, and that look is what made him make his mind up.
"I know... and you know that you meant what you just said, let's just get this done with. I'm sick and tired of being treated like dirt, just please give me the supplies and then I'll give you the money."
The mart-keeper stared directly back into the trainer's eyes, he was right of course, no-one respected trainers and for good reason. Trainer's allied themselves with Pokémon - enemies of humans, and for betraying their own kind they deserved everything they got.
Tess was the first to break eye contact; although he was just a teenager she could see he was carrying a great burden, that was something she could relate to. Without a word Tess grabbed a bottle of Iron from behind the counter, quickly followed by the medicine bottle she had been cleaning earlier.
The young trainer observed the merchandise which had been placed in front of him; it all seemed to be of satisfactory quality. Nick reached into one of his pockets and pulled out all of the money inside, he placed it on the counter for her to see. The trainer watched as Tess began counting the money, it seemed to be enough but he knew these poke-mart owners could be trouble.
"You're a couple of dollars short." The mart owner had just finished counting the money; it was obvious she believed he should pay more than necessary. Even though she seemed weary of the Trainer's presence, she didn't seem to be too bothered about over-charging him.
Nick gave her a disgusted look,"you got to be kidding me, even by the most luxurious of mart prices that money is enough."
"That may be true, but you're forgetting one thing."
"And what's that?"Nick was getting aggravated at this point.
"You're a trainer."
"And?" he jabbed back with venom in his voice.
Tess made a rather unattractive snort "I'm not stupid kid, I know what your gonna use that Iron for, and you look perfectly fine so you must need those medical supplies for somebody else... something else"
The trainer turned away from Tess, trying not to lose his cool."Look, I know you don't care about Pokémon or other people, but I do. If you sell me this medicine you'll be saving a life."
Something about this person unnerved her; he wasn't like other people in this world, it seemed like he had something he cared for, even if it was a Pokémon"I'll tell you what kid, I sell you this and you do me a favour, okay?"
"Anything." he replied, unable to keep the desperation from his voice.
Tess grabbed all the cash from a top of the counter, nearly twice of what the items were worth, although Nick didn't even flinch as all the money he had was being taken. Carefully the mart owner scrunched up the Poke-dollars, making sure not to tear any of the precious money.
"I'll give you these items if you promise never to come to this mart again. Scratch that, I'll give you these if you leave this town now and never look back."
Relief flooded Nick's face, out of all the possibilities he could have thought up this was the least damaging. With great enthusiasm the trainer grabbed the items from the desk"Thanks... and don't worry, I'll never step forward in this ****-hole ever again."
Tess couldn't help but grin as the teenager placed the items into his cloak; it seemed as if she had just given him the world. The teenager had just begun to leave the mart when Tess spoke up"Your friend…I hope he gets better."
Nick stopped as she said this, his hand hovering over the handle. He had never expected for her to say something like that, it had taken him entirely by surprise. Maybe there was hope for the human race yet.
The mart owner continued to watch as he turned the handle meaning to leave, but just before he left the shop he muttered three words.
"So do I."
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