The Plot Bunny Thread
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June 25th, 2010 (10:33 AM).
Your aquatic overlord
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Harassing Bill
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I'd like to send you a copy of a rough draft for the first chapter if that's alright. Please let me know. Thanks again.
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Sure. Fine by me.
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When I say quick and aggressive, I mean that the virus infects Pokemon on contact, and the beneficial side is almost instantly activated.
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In that case, it's not aggressive. An aggressive virus would be if the
effects kicked in right away unless you consider what it's doing to be beneficial (i.e., strengthen a Pokémon physically) to be an unintended side-effect of an attack on the victims' immune system.
Yeah, like I said above, it spreads on contact, and all Pokemon would be affected sooner or later.
Also keep in mind several things I said earlier. First off, it's doubtful that all trainers would rush out to get the virus applied to their Pokémon. Remember, it's primarily considered a
-- a disease. On top of that, in many canon continuities, amping up your Pokémon artificially isn't exactly taken lightly. (The anime, for example, encourages in numbers of episodes that it's pure training that gets Pokémon to be strong, not necessarily artificial boosters. Hence a lot of Ash's special training. Poké Special, if I recall correctly, is pretty similar in this regard -- or at least the people who go out to amp up their Pokémon's power artificially are the gullible ones, given how Blue comes into the story. While the games allow and encourage the PC to do it, people like Karen also imply that training isn't necessarily about having the most powerful Pokémon around.)
On top of that, not a lot of Pokémon are easily accessible. Legendaries like Ho-oh, for example, need to be summoned in order to make an appearance towards humans, and numbers of others (like the Lake Guardians) are sealed away in manners that make it extremely difficult to access them. It was only part of the game's plot that a single PC did.
Then, of course, you've got places like Mt. Silver, which is heavily restricted in terms of access in the first place. It'd be highly doubtful that the Pokémon League, who runs the guard post just before the route to that place, would allow trainers through if their Pokémon were on the equivalent of steroids.
Of course, this also brings up a couple of other good points I'd forgotten earlier:
1. Not everyone reacts to a disease the same way, and not every disease is a death sentence. For example, there have been people who had survived every flu epidemic in history. Given how many Pokémon there are in the world (i.e., how it's unlikely that they all got infected within the first year, given that this is limited to contact only), chances are, someone would have done more research into the disease before the fatalities kicked in or during the epidemic to develop medicines and vaccines to combat the illness.
1a. That and unless the milder form of Pokérus behaves completely differently and is genetically different to the concentrated form, you've already got a number of Pokémon who would be immune to it, just on the virtue of having had the virus already. (This goes especially for a fic that's using game canon.)
2. Not everyone reacts to a disease the same way. Sure, it sounds like a repeat point, but remember that everyone's immune system is different. This includes every immune system between non-humans, too. If Pokémon start dying
because of the disease, there will probably be a lot of investigation as to why, especially if the disease is pretty obvious by then (which it probably would be if you've got something that's perfectly healthy just keel over due to organ failure).
2a. As a side note, this is why I really don't think eight to ten years is viable for an incubation period. Diseases mutate extremely quickly. For example, the flu virus mutates as quickly as once a year, which is why you have to get a new vaccination annually. Bacteria is the same way; it's not unusual for antimicrobial-resistant strains to pop up just because you use hand sanitizer on a constant basis. (This sounds paranoid, but
it actually isn't
Actually, to help you understand how a virus might work, I'd recommend playing
. Granted, it assumes that the disease you're creating is a lot like the flu, but it should give you an idea of how quickly something like that might spread if only a small population has it in the first place.
Alternatively, if you can, try to find Stephen King's short story "The End of the Whole Mess" because it's essentially a lot like the story you're pitching, only with people, a shorter incubation period, and a pretty good reason for why something this dangerous would be released on nature.
3. Even beyond that, you'll probably have issues with the Pokémon League. Remember, it's like a sports league, so most likely, they'll put serious regulations into place because it'd be a lot like taking steroids (ones whose risks haven't been fully researched). It might actually be illegal to use the Pokérus enhancement, or they'd simply try to come up with major restrictions on its use. Whatever they do should be an issue you'll want to think about as well.
Yeah, I understand Legendaries being important for controlling certain aspects of the world.
I'm not just talking about legendaries, either. When you wipe out multiple huge populations of anything, there's going to be some serious repercussions on the environment as a whole. For example, think about what would happen if
of the insects in the world suddenly disappeared. Very little would get pollinated, for one thing, which means massive amounts of plants would die off right there. Then, of course, they're a major part of the food chain, which means massive
species would die off. It would leave a huge impact on humans because a huge chunk of what
eat and take for granted are either pollinated by or fed by insects.
Pokémon's the same way, only even more so because the humans in that world not only acknowledge their dependence on them but also
go out of their way
to make it so that their ordinary lives intertwine with Pokémon in some fashion. Removing these supports would be a lot like finding a house on stilts and then taking a sledgehammer to its supports. Considering how many species there are in that world and how humans have always been at a point where they literally cannot function without Pokémon being some part of their lives, it's actually questionable as to whether humans would actually survive that kind of mass-extinction.
The scientist would have studied Pokerus for a while, saw its beneficial effects, and try to recreate it.
This is why I'm recommending that you find a way to read "The End of the Whole Mess" if you can -- because thorough testing
screwing around with things that occur in nature on a genetic level is
important. (Considering the way today's general microbiology works, yes, you could probably figure out how much of a risk mutation and fatalism could be in a virus.)
As for technology, given the overall lack of weapons the games seem to have, and how evil plots seem to revolve around Legendary Pokemon (Which everyone believes is dead) No one sees any real point in fighting with no overwhelming power to back up their group.
I know you admit later that a lack of weapons might be a plot hole, but I'd just like to say that the only reason why they don't have conventional weapons in the games is because Pokémon
the weapons. Put it this way: imagine Earth as it is today. Now, have every gun just abruptly disappear. Just because the guns are gone doesn't mean the wars in this world will magically end. It's just that the military will have to figure out a completely new way of fighting to maintain power.
Moreover, it should be noted that not every evil team's goal necessarily needs legendary Pokémon. Sure, you've got Teams Magma and Aqua, which hinge on the idea that Kyogre and Groudon will help them. However, Team Rocket's goal is simply to take over the world. It's just that legendary Pokémon would have been an easy way to get firepower to reach that. However, without legendary Pokémon, Team Rocket will still want to take over the world and maintain their power over people. So, what's the most logical thing to do? Come up with a way to stabilize their hold on society, and come up with this way
as quickly as possible
. Chances are, they'll be quick on the uptake when it comes to developing weapons. They might not be the same as real-world weapons (although if the anime and manga canon has anything to say about it, they've already
firearms and other advanced killing technology), but they'd do it if they wanted to keep going for their goal to be a major threat to, well, anyone.
Moreover, you've still got the Pokémon world's militaries to worry about. As Astinus pointed out about someone else's "everyone's in a war" idea, there's still wars being fought in the Pokémon world. (Lt. Surge should be evidence enough for this, as should his gym trainers.) No one ever said that Pokémon are the
weapons being used in combat, just that they make things
. Once Pokémon are gone, though, you'll still have those military-versus-whoever combats, and you'll still need some kind of weapon in order to avoid getting annihilated by whatever world power comes to threaten you. After all, unless the Pokémon world's people are somehow devoid of basic human instinct, this race has the tendency to get territorial and violent. In the history of mankind, there has been no group of people who have not seen some form of combat (hunting, tribal wars, whatever). So, of course, it's going to continue, and of course, humans will want to make sure their fraction of the species is more powerful than some other fraction of the species.
Or putting it in simpler terms, the human race in reality could have just decided there would be no real point advancing themselves when
just had clubs and bows and arrows. However, we had to advance because we're pissants who like fighting each other with ridiculous amounts of force.
So, yeah, even if you give them fifty years, someone will probably scramble to advance weapon technology upon seeing how this world might just descend into chaos due to the mass-extinction of Pokémon. Gotta keep order
, after all.
In short, yeah, keep thinking about it.
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