Oh well, continuing with the story... I'm now much more closer to finish this stuff and I laaaaaaaike it how it's turning out!
Now, as for comments, thanks a lot Buoysel バクフーン and Giratunasaur Giratina of Never-Turn-Back. I'm quite glad that you and other readers have enjoyed this work.
As you know, バクフーン, I like cliff-hangers. I try not to abuse them, but here in this particular case I hadn't much of a choice, see. I tried to maintain Lileep's POV and clearly state it as a Pokémon POV by making a specific choice of senses and terms. However the story is reaching the point where senses and vocabulary will be less of an issue, as what matters from now on is Lileep's forming opinions. Let's see how can I treat this new angle of characterization.
Actually, the original idea was to steer that way from Lileep's (originally Shieldon's) birth. Give him to a GaryStueish trainer who would have to unlock the wonders of interspecies communication and work all the things about battles and commands from imitation. When I received Valentine's answer and she pointed out the key issue of cloning v/s revivification, I decided to lock on that subject more closely, detour the plot and work from there. As a result, Lileep is still assigned (sorta) to a Trainer, but the mechanics leading to it are to be handled differently. Specifically, this new chapter is to address the issue of Lileep learning what leads to a Pokémon allying themselves with a human.
I have taken note of the corrections but will wait a bit longer to implement because I want to get extra check on this chapter and kill two birds with one stone.
Now, for the continuing story...
In front of me I had one of the greatest Pokémon ever known.
I stayed quiet for some moments, not knowing what to do next. I guessed that it would be disrespectful to try and ask a question or do anything before Mew did. Meanwhile, he just kept swirling around in the water, close to me, releasing some bubbles and blinking every once in a while when He got closer to my body.
“They did it again, look at that...” He mumbled.
They? I staggered again-- I couldn't help it, what with the ominous voice. Mew seemed to perceive my discomfort and I felt deeply ashamed that I was making him uncomfortable, but before I could retract my mind to more innocuous thought like who “They” were or ask for forgiveness, the voice popped again in my mind.
“Relax, it is a form of communication we the Ancients have...” He darted towards me, very close to my body, moved one of his arms around a couple of times and stayed there, immobile. Then He added: “I hope it's not that disturbing?”
“No, it is not, of course,” I hurried to answer, “it's just I'm not exactly used to it, Great God.”
“Yes yes, that is to be expected,” He answered.
“What is what a God wants from me?” I humbly asked.
Mew retreated and floated higher in the water, and stated plainly as He looking down at me: “I said it already: Your questions.”
Questions? My questions? I stayed there looking passively (although I have the very distinct perception I was blinking my eyes and moving my tentacles like an idiot) thinking about what Mew had meant, until after a while it came to my mind that he was probably waiting me to plea for something.
“Not exactly plea,” he interjected with that ominous voice again, “just the questions for now, shall we?”
“I'm sorry, Great Mew, it's just that I... I don't understand...”
“The questions you asked the Gyarados, for example?” he indicated while retreating a bit.
Oh right. I of course had questions. It's just that, well, when you have a God in front of you the last thing you think about is your own problems I guess. I decided to begin with the first question that popped in my mind. Then again, I didn't know that it may have been better if I hadn't asked:
“Where are my parents?”
The God moved around while keeping his stare locked at me and his voice emanated again from nowhere: “You don't have parents”.
I... I don't have...? What...?
I felt something strange in my body. Nowhere in particular, but still, a strange weight oppressing me. I managed to push the next question beyond my mouth.
“But... my... others... where are the others?”
Mew moved around again, dancing in the water left and right, ans dully answered: “You are the only one; there are no others.”
The pressure grew, and I suddenly felt sick. It was as if something was suddenly strangling my thoughts, preventing them from forming. I had more difficulty even trying the next question.
“But... how...?” I mumbled, essentially not realizing what I was saying.
“You were not born, unlike others. You exist as a repetition of someone else.”
Me... a repetition? Was I not... real? Or something?
Mew seemed to feel my hesitation and, after looking at me for a moment, he moved frantically around for a moment and stopped right in front of me, so close to my body that I could have-- Arceus forbid me-- touched him if I wanted to.
“Not... not born...” I tried. I didn't know what I was saying any longer. “I remember... egg... my egg.” Words just seemed to pop out of my mouth, each one of them leading to a more sickening answer.
“You never had an egg.”
“I crawled... I... out... the human...”
“They are the ones who created you. You were growth out of their machines.”
I felt tremendously sick. Everything around me started to move eerily, as if I was being forcefully extracted from reality, and felt the terrible urge to return the lunch I had had to the waters around me.
“Oh darn... the shock thing...” stated the voice from nowhere with a faint sign of doubt, or maybe remorse. “Looks like I was too blunt.”
I unwillingly raised my tentacles, not sure if I was actually willing them into motion, and I looked at the God, and I saw the God looking at me with what seemed to be a sense of guilt in his face. He was no longer dancing. He was staring at me almost from eye level, no more bubbles coming out of his face. Such a vision somehow helped me calm and regain composure. I don't know if I actually succeeded before Mew spoke again in my mind.
“You seem to have lost the peace of mind to ask questions... so, maybe it's better if I begin.”
I looked back at Mew, who was simply standing there, bubbles still coming out of his face. A certain feel of compassion and honesty that I managed to distinguish in his eyes prompted me to nod.
“All right then,” Mew said as he moved around to my side and carelessly toyed with his tail, “let's see...”
I waved my tentacles as Mew seemed to concentrate, until after a moment the bright emanated again from his body and the voice appeared in my mind, this time more plain and soft, yet at the same time filled with a sort of longing. He mumbled a couple of things, not talking to anyone in particular. Seeing a God worried for me somehow made me feel infinitely better, as if my heart relished itself in that my tribulations were probably – no, surely – nothing before his will.
And he proceeded to explain.
“You are as I said, a repetition of someone else. Your dreams are your life before this one, so to speak. In plain terms, you are a result of human action.
“You were once a Lileep with parents and siblings, and a race of others like you to follow. Your race, and countless others, filled the seas with life and every once in a while ventured into the lands above the sea, with, I have to say, not sane intentions.”
I waved my tentacles in annoyance, suddenly thinking about the dreams I had, but stilled myself when I remembered who was speaking to me.
“That was long ago... so long that after a blink of time your kind ceased to exist anymore... along with several others.
“Anyways, your existence and your kind's would have been erased from the memory of our Planet, if not because the white-hide wearing humans, whom we call 'scientists', unburied the history of our Planet's past. They thus acted to find a way to recover the life that had once populated this place, and in this self-appointed mission of them is that I and my kind came in.
“You see, since there were no longer Lileep around, the only way for your kind to exist was to be created again. Humans were taught the principles of life, and eventually invented a means of using the unburied records of the past to copy and recreate their information. It is these records that they called 'fossil', and the process of extracting the information from them to create new life they called 'cloning'.” He stopped for a moment and looked at me.
I made a swift motion to indicate that I was still paying attention, and Mew continued.
“When we Mew learnt what humans wanted to do, some of us were assigned specific landmasses to inventory each and every potential 'fossil' and the information in them that humans could recover,” Mew explained, stopping for a brief moment and looking at me, maybe to check that I had not fainted out of surprise when he said about the other Mew. “After that, we provided humans with the basic knowledge of life and guided their development so that they would choose the best available record to restore. I was assigned this landmass to archive, and I determined that your life had been the most plentiful for the records we had available.” Then he looked at me. “Hence, we guided them and they created you, what they call a 'clone'.”
“A Clone?” I asked, curious and frightened about such a word, that felt so unfamiliar and at the same time devoid of filial meaning. “But... that means I am not a real Lileep?”
“No, no!” Mew yelled mentally while shaking his head. “You are a Lileep just like all the others. The only difference being,” he explained as he darted sideways and leered at me, “that you simply have no parents.”
“No... no parents...” I repeated, again feeling sad. Mew probably saw my body slowly losing force, my tentacles dropping and hanging around my head, as he approached me furtively and watched intently for a moment, before manifesting his omnipresent voice again.
“Don't be sad. Being the first, no parents, that's your only difference. You have body, and what's more important: heart and soul.” he added, clenching his small paws and pushing one of them against his chest as his tail waved around behind him. “You exist,” he stated with a firm (mental) voice, as if trying to correct me in my view of myself, “and that is not to be denied.”
I simply nodded, and raised my head to notice Mew looking at me with eyes mid-closed, an expression of exasperation apparent in my face. I couldn't help but tremble.
“Repeat after me,” he said in my mind, “'I exist.'”
I didn't feel like playing games, but after a moment Mew darted closer and closer to me, making his exasperation way more patent. “I said repeat,” he mumbled with a threatening tone.
Needless to say, I felt the weight of the threat.
“I... I exist.”
“Well done!” Mew shrieked, now in a happy tone as he moved away, swirling in the water and toying around with a sudden smile in his face. I didn't know exactly how to feel: either Mew's temper was quite volatile or it was me who was too afflicted with apathy. Either way, I was cut short off further musings when Mew approached me again and continued his explanation.
“See, being a clone is much like being a sibling. Or something like that. No... see... it's more like you and you being the sibling...” he said, in a fading voice, his mind presence weakening as if he was getting distracted. After a while, he turned back and made eye contact with me, our communication strengthening again. “You know what? Forget it. It's fairly complicated... What matters is that you have turned out well: healthy, smart, and every bit the Lileep you once were. Which is why I sent you the Guide.”
I then remembered. The stone with small leaves and marks I had received, it had been sent by Mew then?
“What is it?” I asked. “I saw much information about humans there, but... how...?”
“That is Uxie's Guide.” Mew answered nonchalantly. “She's smart, granted, but arrogant. She won't let anyone make use of the darn document, which is why trained Pokémon have to teach the wild ones the little nitpicks humans have. I mean, what's the sense of collecting that much information about humans if those who actually deal with them won't get the chance to read it?” With that said Mew looked at me and seemed to perceive the next questions forming in my mind. “Oh, Uxie is the Pokémon who encompasses Knowledge. She's good at that stuff. I had to... uhm... borrow the Guide for you.” he added steering his sight away from me for a moment. “Was it good?”
“Yes,” I answered. “It was quite useful.”
“Great, because I have to return it.” Mew said. With that, he swam easily to the spot below us where the rock Guide was leaning against the sea floor and touched it with his paw. Then the object started vibrating (which I could feel despite the distance), emitting a faint red glow, and after a moment it faded away. It was no longer there.
Mew returned quickly to my side and started dancing around with his eyes closed. After what seemed to be a moment of mentally recalling something, he asked in a somewhat joking tone: “What were we talking about?”
I cocked my head and stated: “Human creations, Great God... and to forget about clones.”
Mew clapped with his small hands and laughed for a while. I did not fully understand, but he seemed to be amused that he would talk to me. “See?” he said. “You're smart. Not to be taken by surprise. Unlike that poor Omanyte...”
Mew looked at me and stretched his arms, legs and also his tail, for the first time showing me the full extent of his figure. “As I told you,” he explained, “there are several of us, and several records, one or two per landmass.
“Two landmasses have already been successful in archiving three fossils and recovering three different creatures from the ancient times, with two of them capable of evolving. That amounts to five in total. So you are the sixth one.”
“Sixth? Not... not the first one, then.”
“The first new one of your kind, you are. And the first in the sixth series of clones to be recreated. See, you are not alone, in a way.”
I lowered my head and tentacles, feeling a bit more confused than ever. Being the first, being the sixth. I pondered for a moment all the information that I was being passed on, and when I repeated to myself that humans had intended to retrieve information from the past, a realization made me shudder. My body shaked for a moment when I put a couple of things together and understood, to my horror, that I had been essentially explained that I was one of, at least, six entire species that had existed no more.
And I was still sure that humans were not intended to be here, either... but if they wouldn't be, and thus neither would have I...
Why were we brought back...?
Mew, as usual as ever, seemed to perceive my musings, and, probably after reading my mind, frowned and projected a particular thought in my mind.
“Maybe too smart, you turned out.”
I raised my head and decided to ask, somehow not afraid any longer. “What happened to us? The six, I mean?”
“Your lives ended. Your roles to nature had been...” I saw Mew's semblance momentarily shifting to a repentant one, “completed, long ago.”
“And now that your kind has been cloned, you can earn again a purpose.”
I remained silent for quite a while, unable to stop thinking, while Mew simply remained there incessantly looking at me.
I'm sure I spent several minutes doing mindwork, so I was not surprised when I looked back at Mew and he seemed to be a bit exasperated again. While I was thinking about the whole Clone matter, I had forgot that Mew had ordered me to forget about the entire darn matter!
But, that was quite hard to do. There were still so many questions, and I hadn't even scratched the surface of my worrying were new mirages lured me with promises of more interesting information.
So it maybe was a correct yet stupid idea that it formed in my mind and I was forced to let out in the form of a question, when I couldn't simply ignore its lure any longer.
“Great God...” I asked.
“Yes?” Mew inquired.
“You are very ancient as well, and you have a purpose...” I trailed.
“Yes...” Mew answered, apparently making an effort to prevent himself of divagating any further. “We take care and play with stuff, always.”
“And you, I mean... do you have a clone, too?”
Upon those words, Mew reacted quite strangely. He stood there floating in the water for a brief moment, looking at me with wide open eyes. Then, all of a sudden, his body twisted releasing bubbles in all directions as he closed his eyes and wildly waved his tail around – he started to laugh uncontrollably! Not only his body, the mind-voice as well, a playful laugh that resonated in my head and I couldn't evade. It was joyful, uncalled, burly, sincere... all in one. Mew was just there in front of me giggling, twisting and laughing at me or at what I said, I guess.
I felt deeply ashamed and made no further motion than crawl slightly away and lower my head and tentacles as I supposed I had to wait for my punishment or something.
After some time of laughing, the Ancient seemed to calm himself down. Mew's eyes opened again and he looked at me for a while, a smile still apparent in his face. He seemed to notice my shame and lowered himself to my level again as he playfully swirled his tail to one side.
“Sorry, it's just...” he said, still laughing a bit in my head, “you say so funny things.” He made a motion with the tip of his tail to wash away some tears that had formed on his face and that were quickly diluted by the water, and then he swam closer to me and made a gesture for me to look up at him.
“Sorry--” I said, but I was quickly interrupted.
“That was fun. Clones, a Mew?” he said as if it was the most unnatural thing in the world. “Humans look for my siblings the entire time,” he stated as he gave me a somewhat burly look, “but it's more fun for us than for them.”
“I-- I understand,” I replied faintly, while I gave some thought to the whole clones matter. I felt more surprised than sadder now, which I figured out it was good; I mean, Gods were supposed to help us, right? I wondered if Mew was like this with everyone or just me. After all, Gods were supposed to be serious creatures of power manifested. Not... not to have a childlike behaviour when talking to their subjects...
“Don't worry, though, it's only you,” Mew continued as if He had read my thoughts. “Oh and before I forget. Don't get sad and used to loneliness: there will be more of you once humans get used to the procedure.”
“They create us, then?” I asked, a bit more surprised. Then I remembered the whole “no egg” thing. “That... is so weird. Can-- I mean... would you, Great God, explain it to me?”
“Well, it's a bit my fault that the concept is not clear enough,” Mew stated as he started dancing aimlessly around me, forcing me to turn my head left and right to follow him every once in a while. “It's more than creation. I think it's... well... no, imitation does not quite put it well.”
I stretched my neck while I analysed the concept. “Re-creation?” I asked. “Like, taking something that's already created and creating it again?”
Mew stopped suddenly and looked at me with his big eyes for a moment before nodding and projecting a happy thought in my mind. “That's it! That's the description I was looking for! See? I told you you were smart.” He moved a bit closer to me and then leaned to my left, pointing with one of his small hands to the hollow tube near our position. “It's one of the special abilities of humans,” Mew explained as he took a quick look around, “to learn how things work by interacting with them, and then to unite their common intelligence to imitate those processes.”
“Imitate?” I inquired while leaned my head slightly. I perceived that kind of ability had to be useful, but I had never seen a human doing something that could be understood as imitation. The white-hide wearing ones would take notes and use devices, whereas blue-spiked essentially seemed to specialize in giving out orders.
I contemplated the words of Mew a bit longer as he seemed distracted looking around. Floating there, looking all over my place and making faint whirls with his tail, Mew seemed so simple of a creature, so small and feeble, and I got the distinct impression that he seemed lonely and repentant, despite everything I had heard from him indicating he had essentially done this... or everything.
After a moment, Mew seemed to perceive my impression of him. He looked at me with frightening eyes and for a moment I felt the instinctive call to defend myself from him, or at least to try and bow to the ground crying, but his short stature and fixated look held me in place. Then he smiled, and the frightening stare was gone, suddenly replaced with a jovial and inviting one.
“Well, it's obvious I'm making you too nervous with all the God thing...” he said out of a sudden. “So I'll try something, maybe a form you are more comfortable with?”
With those words, Mew lowered himself and touched the floor of the chamber with his tail, which made a strange sound and seemed to get stuck in the ground. Then his body was surrounded by a powerful glow, a light comparable to that of the sun, and I could feel in my tentacles the same suctioning force that I had felt when He first arrived. I shielded my eyes for a while until the glow was somewhat dimmed and I could clearly observe that Mew's shape had turned completely, divinely white while his body seemed to pulsate and somehow radiate a sense of familiarity... with me.
Then before my eyes it started to happen. It was a quick process, but somehow my mind managed to sense it in its majestic dominion of time as a process with distinct stages flowing together and filling every part of every second. I watched the glow and felt the power radiating across the from from where Mew was now anchored to the floor. The body of the God was acquiring a very liquid look in itself and after that it started glowing power-white again. Then the shape itself started to change: the tail becoming thicker, and the head somehow melting into the torso and the legs and arms stretching and loosely moving around. Then the body began glowing even more brightly and I was forced to turn away as I sensed the sucking force fading and being slowly replaced by the same life-pulse I had felt when Mew first arrived.
I had to wait for a while to turn back to Mew and when I did I was almost as impressed as when He had first spoken to me. Before me a very familiar shape was emanating a fading but still very powerful glow, its roots firmly anchoring it to the floor, its neck a bit stiffened and gracefully holding the head, now a lot more bulkier and surrounded by long and flexible tentacles. All in all, a body just as mine.
Except that it was a lot larger and apparently much stronger. Once the glow had faded completely I could distinguish many more features: the body was mainly of a green colouration only a bit lighter than that of seaweed and right at the top of the neck it was marked with four beautiful looking pale yellow rings. Two prominent marks of the same colouration stood proudly on the head, right over the eyes which were now more secluded thanks to the smaller and slightly more elongated form of the mouth. Eight tentacles sprouted from the base of the neck and moved up and down gracefully in the water.
When I managed to overcome the shocking I blinked, and upon confirming that I was, in fact, seeing what I was seeing, I thought I was to spiral into these kinds of surprises nonstop. In front of me was standing with majestic and serene brand none other than an Elder. I knew it was still Mew the God somehow, but I could do nothing more than stare, stiff my trunk in respect and look at him as one of the Elders.
He looked down at me, and suddenly said, not with the voice of the mind that resonated in my head, but now with a real voice, one of his own, “Now you feel more comfortable, yes?”
I tried to talk but soon I figured nothing more than nonsense was escaping my mouth. He stared sternly at me for a while, and after that he lowered his head and looked at me up down, while waving the front tentacles in a gesture that I interpreted as a call to order. Some moments after I managed to calm myself down, and he resumed his speech.
“I've programmed the humans so that they'll call this form 'Cradily'. That shall be your name once you become like this, what you call an Elder.”
“Cra- Cradily?” I asked out of surprise. More about the fact that he said 'programmed the humans' than about the name, but surprise nonetheless.
“Well, I had initially thought of something like 'Marlilŭosil' or 'ユレイドル', but 'Cradily' sounds firmer and meaner, right?”
I nodded and watched as the Elder-- Mew-- no, wait, Cradily, that is, crawled closer to me. Once we were at tentacles' length he stopped and turned around so that the two of us would be facing about the same direction.
We remained silent for a moment as Mew-- or Cradily waved his tentacles around, tried sipping some water, and took turns stretching and bending his trunk, apparently enjoying himself in a new shape. He seemed to spend a time trying to move his tentacles and swinging his head up and down, seeming to analyze the new perspective against the hollow tube below us. After a while he turned his head towards me again and looked at me for a moment.
“Much better now,” the Elder suddenly said. “I have to say, I had never tried a fossil form.”
I was still perplexed, but managed to let out a murmur of a “yes”, which caused Mew to look at me more closely and assume a firm stature. Upon seeing the Elder image look down at me, I instinctively bowed and saluted him with words that I didn't know I knew.
“Hail to the dominant flowers of the seas, my liege--”
I stopped suddenly, reminding myself that I was before a God, not an Elder, who despite being such a powerful figure would so greatly pale in comparison. I looked up to Mew's new form and received an inviting smirk of sorts.
“Yes, about that,” he said with a very serious voice: “We need to talk about your Goddess.”
I simply nodded.
“Your species story is a sad one,” Cradily said as he looked at me with an air of authority.
“Sad one? What... what does that mean? We fought wars--”
“Your Goddess' war was ended long ago,” he rudely interrupted me.
“Ended...” I repeated the word, trying to figure if the wording and the tone meant what I thought they did. “Like, by force?”
“It had to be done”, was the answer I received.
Feeling a bit depressed, I next asked “Who won?”. I knew that me-- the other me, hadn't made it to the very end. Essentially none of my people had. It then occurred to me that everything I had experienced so far was a result of the war. “The land-dwellers did, right? That's why everything is for them?”
He glanced at me and awaited for a moment before answering: “We crushed both sides.”
“The Mew Corps.”
I blinked a couple of times and the Cradily figure crawled around me until he positioned himself a hit lower and to the right of me, closer to the hollow tube. In the meanwhile I tried to surmise who the Mew Corps were.
Mew Corps, sounded like something important. It had to be a group of Mew. And a “Corp”... Corp...
“MJV KORPUS...” I murmured as I stared at Cradily's back.
For an answer he turned back at me and nodded. “As I told you, we Mew guard stuff. When we do well, we are allowed to play.”
“The Guide... Uxie wrote it for your group?”
“No... it was for the use of the Time-Organizer. We were handed a copy because The One said we had to correct something.”
The One. The sole tone and stature of the name revealed to me that Mew was talking about the very... beginning of everything. Mew were sent to repair things then... what if... maybe the ending of our species was a mistake?
“Mew-- Cradily, Sir,” I asked carefully, still not being too sure how to refer to this brought-down form, “you... you repair our deaths?”
Cradily gazed away and responded with a low voice. “Something like that, yes.”
Now more things were making sense. My dreams of war were once a life, and if that life had ended with the war, countless others would have had to.
“It was when your Keeper and the land-dwellers' were bringing too much trouble,” Mew explained as he returned his gaze to me. “Under their command, creatures were dying by the thousands, so we were sent to act.” he continued, looking over me as he did, the helmet-like structure of the head now preventing me from seeing his now Elder eyes. After a moment, he continued: “We used our powers to isolate the seas and the land so that you wouldn't attack each other.”
“So there could no longer be a war?”
“More like so that they would have to fight themselves. Unfortunately, the Keepers didn't took this too well.
“They saw that our interference would signify both their ends so they summoned a huge calamity to finish each other before we did. Both of them survived the resulting disaster and fled, however. They eventually found another remote continent, where they summoned the native sea and land creatures and resumed their fight.”
“They would... just fight? What happened to us, the soldiers?”
“We made sure you were left behind. But for that other continent we weren't fast enough...”
“But if it was not us,” I asked, “that means even more creatures died?”
“Not too many. The local God of Wind took them both down, but because of the enormous power their struggle released, the three had to be eventually sealed. By that time however, your race and many, many others were already extinct.”
“Extinct...” I repeated the new word, which I hadn't picked in the dictionary Mew had handed me.
“Disappeared from life.” Mew explained.
“But... but we were so happy with the Keeper of the Seas!” I intervened, confused an angered by the understanding that the work of my entire species was for nothing, that we were eventually abandoned. “We-- we fought and thrived, we... we had food, we...”
I didn't know why was I feeling this way, only that I was. It was like whatever we had intended to do was doomed from the beginning.
The Elder Mew looked back at me and blinked a couple of times. Then he stretched his tentacles and leaned towards me, surprising me enough that I recoiled. After that small gesture, I simply bowed, feeling a bit humiliated by the very act of existing, a bit frustrated for feeling simply like a remainder of a war.
“Yes, too much was lost in these wars,” Mew said sternly looking at me, “but one day The One decided that our paradise had to be, let's say, rebuilt.”
I was taken by surprise by the mention of The One. I picked something in the last sentence that had made Mew feel uneasy. I looked up to him to see that he was evading my stare a bit, although after a moment he summoned his presence and tacitly commanded me to keep listening.
“It was too much danger to let the Gods in control again, and it was more danger to have our creatures to mercilessly attack each other, so The One made a proposition no one could refuse.
“It was decreed that we, as creations of Nature, were still responsible for keeping her in good shape and return her goodwill. But to ensure that we would do better than putting our own desires over the favours of Nature, those favours had to be carried by a third party.”
“A third party?” I asked not exactly understanding what was Mew heading to.
“Yes. Humans.” Cradily said.
I diverted my sight for a moment to the hollow tube and thought of the blue-spoked human before Cradily spoke again and my attention was returned to him.
“The One brought humans to our world, and decreed that humans would be the ones responsible for taking care of our Paradise.” Mew then pointed at me and at himself with his tentacles. “And that we were to help by submitting to their judgement.”
I started connecting the dots. “We were left to their command.”
“Yes...” Mew answered. “Humans were given their special ability so that they could understand our purpose and judge us themselves by attempting to imitate our abilities. With this, they would teach us how to perfect our own abilities so that in their eyes we would serve them better, when it's actually the natural order who benefits from all.”
“The techniques... the fighting...”I ventured. “By training with humans... they help preserve nature, then.”
“Something like that, yes.”
“But... they don't know this, right?”
Cradily looked at me for a moment and nodded. He said nothing else for a moment. After a while, he gazed at the hollow tube for an instant and continued his story.
“Since humans retain final judgement and responsibility, Pokémon no longer have to fight to the death for foolish favours. The concept of humans training Pokémon was implanted in them, and with the invisible guidance of the Corps they started developing the technology necessary to play with these rules.”
“Technology?” I asked, unsure about the meaning of this new word.
“The name of their special ability,” Mew explained. “is what augments their understanding of events when they try to imitate them.”
What I was hearing was simply incredible. Humans were assigned to recover the Paradise, the old times. To recover me... I, a “clone”, was then the result of their actions and their learning of how to protect Nature. However...
A particular question unraveled in my mind when I considered what Electabuzz had said about the humans, how they had “named” Trainer because of what he had done for his country.
“Does that mean we are winning?”
Mew, now Cradily, looked at me with surprise. His tentacles waved a little and he focused on me for a couple of moments before inquiring in a doubtful voice: “Winning...?”
“I mean... winning. Paradise.” I explained myself.
This time Cradily stiffened his trunk shook his head. I did not know exactly how to interpret that, and was about to open my mouth and ask for more explaining, but Cradily suddenly moved away with a slow and threatening motion, crawling away some distance towards the hollow tube.
“Mew... I mean... Great God...” I asked as I crawled after Mew for a moment. “What did the other Gods said about this Pact?”
Mew stopped, looked back at me, cocked his head and waited for me to reach him again.
“It suits us well,” he explained. “They get their domains protected and their subordinates living a happy life. And they better don't complain. After all, they still retain the right to intervene if humans fail.”
We both remained silent for a moment. I had the distinct impression that I was not to reveal this to anyone else. I also had the impression that I was very close to solve the last important question that I had remaining. The one that had, in a certain form, triggered all of this.
“Cradily, Sir,” I inquired, now completely sure of my deference towards the majestic creature in front of me, “do normal Pokémon know about this story?”
Cradily looked back at me and then up to the surface of the water, very far from us, for a moment before lowering his sight to meet mine and replying: “They know only the second half. They will teach their offspring to follow this and we will all abide until humans fail.”
“The second half...” I repeated, and then I employed the expressions Electabuzz and Vigoroth had used to describe the relationship between humans and Pokémon to me: “Control for glory.”
Cradily leaned forwards and replied: “Order for power.”
I stared at him and, after a moment, offered a new combination: “Purpose for nature.”
Cradily remained static for a moment, then leaned back, his eyes still locked at me. And then I heard again the voice in my mind.
“Yes, a bit too smart.”
It took me long to realize that the water was now clearer, that the sun was about to make its appearance.
Cradily and I had continued talking for quite a while, now about far less interesting stuff. He also explained to me some things I had to know about my body and my senses, and what kinds of food I could and couldn't accept from humans.
He also explained to me the basics of the training Pokémon undergo with a human. There were three key elements: language, respect, and battle. Respect was the most important since it was the one that originated the deal, but battle was the one that was determinant in the continuing and effectiveness of the training. So long as a Trainer respected their Pokémon and the Pokémon would fare well in battle for him, they were allowed to continue the deal.
I made a couple of requests to get the Guide for some extra time, but Cradily was very expressive in detailing that if the Guide was not returned to some lake under a cave then he would “have his face meet the grass”, whatever that was meant to mean.
However, time was almost over. Cradily noticed that the water was illuminated enough that he could see the trees above the surface and approached me. I had the distinct impression that he wanted to be gone before the scientists would come around, and, when thinking about that, I realized all of a sudden that for the whole duration of the night no human, no Pokémon, had disturbed our chat.
As if knowing what I was thinking, Cradily smirked at me.
“Now, it's time for me to depart,” he claimed.
“I will be around, sometimes,” he explained while meeting his tentacles with mine, “as long as you decide my work has been worthy.”
I frowned. “What do you mean?”
“You now know a larger part of the truth. And my entire purpose here is to make sure you can have a purpose as well. That said,” he added while deviating his sight and pointing to the general direction of the buildings the scientists used, “I placed you under care of this human because I have great plans for him... and for you.”
A greater purpose than being the most powerful and revered human figure in a country? Sounded interesting, I had to admit it. I nodded, with the vague understanding that Mew had intended for me to submit to the Pact.
He assumed a gentler posture and continued. “If you accept Electabuzz's offer, you'll be in for a world of pain. No wonder this human is the Champion. But let me assure you, you will serve as a model for the next Lileep to come, and as an important support for the human to hold on.”
“Do I lose something if I refuse this Pact?” I asked.
“You? Only your purpose. But he will lose his, as well.”
I pondered the offer I had been given. Training under a human and belonging to him was not something I could completely grasp, despite the times I had been in light training sessions with Electabuzz and the others.
In the end, however, I had to admit that Mew here had taken too great a risk. He wanted me and the human to do something important. And I knew I could ask what it was, but I also knew that if I was to sign up for this, it would be not in my purpose to know.
“No wonder all the work I would have been done for nothing,” Cradily added as if to taunt me a little.
I raised my sight and after taking a breath, made a last question.
“How will I know if we are winning?”
Cradily frowned and seemed a bit surprised, but answered nonetheless: “If you pay attention enough, you will know.”
With those words, Cradily unanchored from the ground and floated slightly before being enveloped in a bright light. I felt again the life-sucking energy and closed my eyes, resisting the otherworldly pull until I felt the new pulse of life. And, when I opened my eyes again, Mew was in front of me.
“Will you give me fun, then?” He asked with the weird pop-inside-head voice.
“I'll see,” I answered bluntly.
Mew closed His eyes, muttered a voiceless “Perfect” and turned around, graciously floating down to the hollow tube. However, upon reaching it, he turned back and, raising one of his small hands, talked again in my mind.
“You know, you have much trouble with your Energy Ball!”
I cocked my head and thought about the move and how much difficult I found to charge the energy, before Mew's voice appeared again in my head.
“Remember how you felt when I suddenly appeared?”
“Yes,” I answered.
“Your energy is always around you and it knows how to move, sort of... Instead of trying to pull it together above your mouth, focus on the fact that it has to be propelled towards the opponent. She will do the rest.”
I smiled at the suggestion, but coming from a Mew I could do no less that taking it seriously.
“Come on, try it on me.”
Mew seemed to again read my mind, as he danced around and said in a provoking voice: “Come on, what's the worst that can happen?”
I took a breath, followed by another one, not believing what I was about to do. I stretched my tentacles and focused myself. Soon I felt the energy circulating around me, focusing close to my mouth. However, instead of keeping concentrated on my mouth, I took a look at Mew and decided that the energy should flow towards him instead. To my surprise, I felt my tentacles being drawn closer to my mouth as the energy formed itself into a ball without my intervention. I struggled with my tentacles a little and pushed gently with my head, causing the energy ball to be ejected towards Mew.
However, as the ball quickly approached him, I felt a sudden pull of energy towards his direction. I focused a bit further and I saw Mew effortlessly holding the energy ball in his tiny hand; then he offered me a burly smile... and threw the energy ball back at me. I had barely a time to react by closing my tentacles around my mouth and bracing myself for the impact, but I was surprised to feel a strange pressure emerging from my roots, and when I looked again, the energy ball was being dissipated by a faint yellow shadow in front of me.
I remained motionless until the green energy and the yellow shadow had fainted almost completely, at which point I again felt Mew's spectral voice piercing my head:
“Keep battling, and you'll learn to control that trick, eventually.”
I looked back at him. He made a gesture that looked like a bow, and then gently floated upwards. I could still hear him speaking.
“You know, playing is fun. And you were right: I hypnotized the humans and the Pokémon here so that they won't feel us. I also deactivated all of their devices, not that difficult to do because my grandparent invented the language they program their machines with.
“See, always remember this: humans are fun to play with. You know what? I'll give you a demonstration. Let's see if this time they can at least get a blurry picture of me.” Then he waved his tail at me. “Bye bye!”
With that, there was a sudden flash of light, and the next moment Mew was gone.
I waited for a moment.
Everything was silent.
Quite a while after that, I had thought Mew had already left.
Then, all of a sudden, I felt several small vibrations in the ground, coming from the human buildings. All of a sudden there was a sort of commotion. I took a look at the hollow tube, and saw several white-hide wearing humans, “scientists”, running around holding small devices with their hands and screaming like crazy. I smiled to myself, reminding that I still had to recover an entire night of sleep.
After crawling close to the surface of Vigoroth's island, where the sunlight was strongest, I decided to sleep there. And before I closed my eyes, I saw more of these scientists running around like crazy.
And to think they could have seen a Cradily...
To Be Continued...
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