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Old July 30th, 2011 (11:21 AM). Edited October 2nd, 2011 by Cutlerine.
Cutlerine
Gone. May or may not return.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Misspelled Cyrpt
Age: 21
Gender:
Nature: Impish
I'm not entirely sure if this qualifies as fanfiction, but it does fall into a fandom and it is fiction, so I'm going to post it here. It's not really a narrative, but it is sort of interesting, and possibly funny. It might even have a little story to tell, if you care to look. I'm not even certain how to rate it, but I'll have a stab at it and say PG-13 at a guess. (You know, because of my habit of suddenly putting something really dark and/or violent in these things, without warning and for no real reason.)

This is not to say I'm being distracted from The Thinking Man's Guide to Destroying the World; that will continue to have regular updates, while this will be more sporadic.


Coriolanus Rowland's Guide to Pokémon Husbandry


Introduction


Pokémon: our collective imagination has always been obsessed with them. Trainers catch them, scientists study them; they're at work in the military, in cities, police forces, kitchens. In short, they're everywhere.

So the question remains: why don't you have one?

Perhaps you have heard that they are too big or too messy, too much hard work or two dangerous. Perhaps you think they're worryingly smart and might mess with your mind. I can tell you that that simply isn't true – or at least, not for all species. There are dangerous ones, sure – I'm can't recommend a Krookodile for your apartment – but there are definitely species out there to suit every person, every pocket and every need. Looking to improve home security? Just pick yourself up an Arcanine. Feeling lonely? Cubone will cry with you, all night long. Need a new family pet? Look no further than Linoone.

Of course, that's not to restrict Pokémon ownership to the home. If you're looking to break into the competetive battling scene, there's a Pokémon for you. If your inner-city police force is stretched to its limits, there's a Pokémon for you. If you desperately need to boost profits at your farm – yes, that's right, there's a Pokémon for you. And I'm just the man to help you: there isn't a beast out there that Coriolanus Rowland hasn't poked with a stick at least once. I've been a Trainer, a huntsman, a circus performer, a cop, a crook, a dirty cop and a Trainer again, and that's just the start of it; I might not be a Professor, and I might not be named after a tree, but I know my stuff, and if you're reading this then you're already three steps ahead of the game. (And if you buy it, you'll be four steps ahead.)

So here it is: the collected wisdom of fifty-four years walking the earth with Pokémon. I have included sections for the homeowner, the wannabe Trainer, security and military work, farmers, zoos – everyone who could ever need a Pokémon need only look beyond this introduction to find the one they require. All you need to do is read on.

*

Chapter One: Pokémon for Beginners


So, you've decided to get yourself a Pokémon. Congratulations. But then you start looking through the catalogue, and you see there are more to choose from than you thought. You look a little further, and then you realise there are almost 650 different ones. How, one might ask, are you going to choose one species out of all of those?

A typical reaction is to pick one that will show the neighbours up, or impress your friends. That's why you hear about people having hands cut off by Empoleon, or getting sick from Ariados poison. As I write this, I can see in the newspaper that a man in Croydon has been eaten by his own pet Luxray. Their problem is that they didn't read this book, and so didn't learn that if you reach right away for the big beasts, you're heading for tragedy more surely than Ridley Buxley, the man who so famously challenged a Machamp to a wrestling match in 1991.

The trick is starting small. You have to learn your limits, and work out ways of dealing with Pokémon. Remember, they're more than regular animals. To all intents and purposes, they have super powers, and if you can bear that in mind at all times, you'll be on the right track. A little animal with super powers is much less dangerous than a big one, and why I've suggested these four as a good starting point for anyone who wants to get into the Pokémon-keeping business: Eevee, Rattata, Ledian and Emolga.

Starting off with any of these Pokémon will be excellent preparation for later, greater things. Those with experience with Eevee might easily move on to the more challenging Zorua or even – provided you get the licence – Ninetales; if you succeed with Rattata, you'll know how to stop Aron or Bibarel from gnawing your house into nonexistence. Ledian is a gateway into the challenging world of giant predatory insects, paving the way for such icons as Heracross and Scyther; Emolga, combining as it does the erratic danger of an Electric-type with the need for fresh air and space common to Flying-types, serves well as an introduction to further keeping in either of those areas.

So, without further ado, here is the very first entry in what will doubtless become one of your most invaluable books.

*


Eevee


Eevee (Mutivulpes johnsonii) is perhaps one of the best known Pokémon pets, and why shouldn't it be? Fluffy, easily house-trained and blessed with a tremendous capacity to enjoy being hugged, it is one of the great icons of Pokémon keeping. Furthermore, it is unlikely to evolve spontaneously – always a bonus – and thanks to its supremely adaptable nature, can easily cope with most situations.

Superficially, it resembles a fox, a group of canids to which it is related – but it shares with the domestic dog its loyalty and love of play. Eevee are among the most playful of Pokémon, ever-ready to spend an hour or two romping around in a meadow, or splashing in a river. Children love it, and Eevee loves them back: most specimens have an exuberant nature and will lick and climb over humans as much as humans pet or play with them.

What, then, makes Eevee different from a dog? Firstly, it has some potential for use in Pokémon battling; if yours is a family that wants to produce Trainers, an Eevee in the household can also function as a practice Pokémon for children and adults alike. Secondly, it has a very specific diet, covered in more detail elsewhere in this entry. Finally, and most importantly, it has an unusual habit of seeking out any source of radiation and going to sleep on it.

This third habit is the one to watch out for: since Eevee in the wild can only reach maturity with the radiation emitted from so-called evolutionary stones, they have developed the ability to detect abnormal radiation, and a subsequent attraction to it. This is very useful if you live in an area frequently bombarded by Solrock's gamma rays, or near a poorly-insulated nuclear reactor, as you can simply position yourself in places your Eevee doesn't like going to, but otherwise it's something of a nuisance. More than one Eevee has managed to microwave itself to death in the past; countless others have wandered free of their homes, following the elusive scent of radioactivity, and been run over. If you want your Eevee to truly prosper, keep the television and the microwave firmly out of reach (perhaps atop blocks of ice; Eevee find this difficult to climb), and keep a tight leash on it when outside the house.

Diet: Eevee is, despite appearances, wholly insectivorous, which can often present the unwary buyer with a problem. The usual solution is mealworms and crickets (or Caterpie, if you have the funds), but a few specimens can be weaned onto dog food.

Housing: In the home, like a dog – but make sure to keep all televisions, microwaves and the like out of Eevee's reach.

Size: Generally not more than nine inches at the shoulder, though some specimens have been recorded at up to a foot.

Lifespan: Without evolving, Eevee can only live for five to seven years – just long enough, if you time the acquisition right, to last a child through their formative years.

Evolution: Not recommended. The 'Eeveelutions' are all rather larger and more brutal than Eevee, in much the same way as a wolf is larger and more brutal than a dog. If you really must, though, the process requires evolutionary stones, which can be acquired cheaply through certain criminal organisations.

Breeding: Easily bred; Eevee are as playful with each other as with humans, and if a male is introduced to the female while she is in season, there is every chance that she will come away pregnant. Eevee, as mammals so often do, give birth to live young; the gestation period is around sixty days, and after that a litter of four to six pups will be born. It is best not to remove them from the mother until they are three weeks old, because otherwise the mother is often afflicted with a terrible fit of depression, and commits suicide at the first opportunity.

Acquisition: Eevee are cheap, and freely available from the usual chain of Pokémon Marts, though the prime specimens come from the Kanto-based EeveeWorld store. You can pick up extremely cheap ones in the markets in the Sevii Islands, though on at least one occasion the animals they were selling turned out to be foxes or even bear cubs.

*

Rattata


Known for centuries as the only pest more invasive than the brown rat, Rattata (Rattus rattatus) has recently come into fashion as a pet. Tame forms are available in a variety of colours, from the humdrum purple to the rare and exciting brown, and are well-suited to the beginner.

Contrary to popular belief, Rattata are very clean animals, and spend at least a quarter of their waking hours grooming themselves. In some specimens, this can lead to a form of obsessive-compulsive cleaning disorder, in which case they will most likely groom themselves until they bleed; the usual answer to this problem is to kill them, since they don't live long and are easily replaced.

Like regular rats, Rattata must gnaw to keep their continually-growing teeth in check; unlike regular rats, Rattata are Pokémon, and so can gnaw through glass, plate iron and people with slightly disturbing ease. The solution is simple: keep your Rattata in a Barrier-infused cage. These are available at most Pokémon Marts and combine the utility of a cage with the strength of a Mr. Mime's Barrier – and, most importantly, can contain a Rattata.

Some Rattata like to be played with and petted; most, however, don't, though they will tolerate being picked up unless they are particularly antisocial. However, it is no misfortune to come across such a misanthropic specimen, since they are cheap enough to replace on a whim. Once in a while, you will hear a story about a Rattata that enjoys being put in a larger version of a hamster ball, but do not be tempted into purchasing one for yourself – chances are that your Rattata regards anything beyond food, gnawing and procreation as entirely irrelevant, an attitude it shares with more than a few members of the human species.

Overall, Rattata are rather dull creatures – but they do, it must be noted, make good partners for bank robbers, who often find their ability to gnaw their way into safes rather useful. I can personally attest to the fact that it does simplify proceedings considerably.

Diet: Rattata have rather catholic tastes in food, and will happily eat anything put in front of them, whether animal, vegetable or mineral. However, not everything they devour will be good for them; use common sense and give them nuts, insects and fruit. Perhaps a biscuit or live baby bird would be a good treat.

Housing: As I have stated above, a Barrier-reinforced cage is imperative. These come in various grades, from G to A; A-grade cages are designed to asborb Hyper Beams, and so are capable of withstanding a direct hit from a tank cannon. For Rattata, you need only an F-grade.

Size: You will often see them advertised as a foot long, but in actuality you would be hard-pressed to find a Rattata measuring more than seven inches.

Lifespan: Mercifully short; your pet will perish after a year or two, clearing the way for something more productive, useful and loveable. If, for some reason, you really cannot bear the thought of life without your rat, you might wish to consider evolution or breeding.

Evolution: Some battling experience is necessary, but not much. The sort of friendly match one might have against one's neighbour should suffice, and then your small, pugnacious rat dwill become a large, vicious one. I cannot recommend Raticate as a pet for anyone, but like anything that is in supremely bad taste, it has a small hard core of adoring followers.

Breeding: The problem is not getting them to breed, but getting them to stop; all you need to do is set up a pair and leave them to it.

Acquisition: If you are on a budget, leaving a trap in your local park will probably net you one or two; otherwise, I would recommend a specialist breeder for the full variety of Rattata types. The best Rattata come from the pedigree breeders in France, but I sincerely doubt that you can even bring yourself to care about them.

*


Ledian


With Ledian (Coelocephalus rufus) we come to the first evolved Pokémon of this book, and one of the more challenging Pokémon in this section. You might well wonder if you are up to the task, but I assure you that you are: Ledian are the red-headed stepchild of the Bug Pokémon world, lacking the primal savagery made typical of their type by such famous Pokémon as Pinsir and Drapion.

Ledian resembles nothing so much as an overgrown ladybird, but they are only distantly related: ladybirds are highly carnivorous and a respectable garden predator, but Ledian get their food from photosynthesis. This is highly unusual, even for a Pokémon, and is the reason why Ledian is in a whole taxonomic kingdom of its own, excepting its pre-evolution, Ledyba. Not only does it photosynthesise, but it only does so in response to starlight; the circular marks on its back are the photosynthetic organs, and these swell in response to the number of stars visible.

It used to be that Ledian were the preserve of country folk, who live in areas where the night sky is not affected by light pollution, but science has, as in so many areas, provided us with a way around the problems posed by this unusual method of self-nutrition. Lamps that mimic starlight are now available from all Pokémon Marts and several of the big-name supermarkets. All one need do is leave one's Ledian to sleep underneath one.

Ledian themselves are mostly nocturnal, but can be trained to sleep through the night and become active during the day. For Bugs, they are reasonably intelligent, and can be taught a few tricks; with their four arms, most of them can manage three-ball juggling, and they are quite good at precision-flying competitions – though if competitive flight is your game, then you may wish to consider a Golbat or even an Aerodactyl, the latter of which is covered elsewhere in this book.

It should be noted that Ledian do need a great deal of exercise to be truly happy, so unless you are prepared to take it flying every few days or live in a manor, it probably is not the Pokémon for you.

Perhaps because of its unique and inefficient feeding method, Ledian is prone to many diseases, not least membranous scabies and pneumonia. It is recommended that you make regular appointments with a qualified Poké-veterinarian, in order to nip any potential illnesses in the bud.

Diet: Like poets, lovers and the melodramatically-inclined, Ledian can live on starlight alone.

Housing: Ledian can be kept inside and house-trained, though if it becomes too excited, it will most likely defecate on anything and everything it can find. However, they are best left outdoors, where they can fly to their hearts' content; just beware of foxes, hawks, Pidgeot, Swellow, dogs, cats, Golbat, Fearow, owls and badgers, all of which will make short work of your beloved pet.

Size: At four feet tall, Ledian are approaching the sort of size the layman associates with a Pokémon; unfortunately, its size does nothing to deter predators.

Lifespan: The most long-lived of the Pokémon outlined in this first chapter, a Ledian can easily reach twelve years of age, and often fourteen.

Evolution: Unless you have a very large amount of private land, never purchase an unevolved Ledyba. One might think that it would be easier to take care of than its adult form – it does not require such intensive exercise – but Ledyba is extremely gregarious, and will pine away and die if kept in groups of less than one hundred. The financial cost of feeding this number of Pokémon is more than enough to drive most owners to bankruptcy (though they do make agreeable background scenery in safari parks).

Breeding: Best left to the specialist breeders, but fairly easy to accomplish: Ledian, like a great many Bug Pokémon, are brought into the mood with rain; you can simulate this with a steam room or sauna. If all goes well, a foot-long egg sac will result, and this will hatch into approximately two hundred Ledyba. You will also find that both parent Ledian have died, their corpses going to provide their new-hatched children with a head start in the world.

Acquisition: Ledian are not the easiest of Pokémon to get hold of. Strict environmental laws in their native Johto means that only three can be removed from Ilex Forest each year, though there are a couple of specialist breeders in Azalea; otherwise, try the Spanish markets, where the other, orange species of Ledian is to be found.

*

Emolga


Noted throughout Northern Europe for being the only member of the gliding squirrel to be capable of powered flight, Emolga (Flavamys fulguratus) is the place to start if you are desirous of getting into the Electric- or Flying-type fields. Most people naturally gravitate towards Pikachu as a starting Electric-type, but I have lost count of the times they have electrocuted their owners to death; they are slow-witted, distrustful and quick to anger, and I caution the wary keeper to stay away from them. Regrettably, they are also extremely cute, and so continue to be a major cause of death and injury throughout the civilised world.

Emolga, on the other hand, is a genuine delight: easily tamed, happy to ride around on a head or a shoulder, and fed without difficulty. It displays remarkable affection for its owners, and delights in games of chase or catch-as-catch-can; care must be taken when it is your turn to catch Emolga, for squeezing it too hard may well kill it. Far better to let it do the chasing.

Unlike any other flying squirrel, Emolga, possessing the power to generate electrical energy from its cheeks, electrifies the muscles of its arms hundreds of times a second while in the air; the resulting rapid flexing of the wing membranes means that it can do more than glide: it can achieve true flight. It is not the most elegant flier, or by any means the strongest – but this, far from being a drawback, is perfect for someone learning to live with Flying-types. An adult human in good health can catch a flying Emolga quite easily with the aid of a long-handled net – an achievement that is far harder to replicate with a Pidgeotto, or even a simple Spearow.

Even if you are not considering further exploration in the fascinating fields of Electric and Flying Pokémon, I thoroughly recommend Emolga. It can remember those faces it sees most often, and will naturally gravitate towards them, wanting nothing more than to be petted. Here we reach the best part: stroking your Emolga will send it into a deep trance of delight, in which it will shiver, purr, cheep and occasionally emit a burst of lightning. (It is wise to wear insulating gloves when planning an extended stroking session.)

As a child, I myself had an Emolga, which was for reasons unknown named Charles; in fact, had it not been for Charles, I doubt I would ever have chosen to dedicate my life to Pokémon, or met my wife. But this is not a book about me, it is about Pokémon, and so I shall return to Emolga.

Diet: The generation of such vast quantities of internal eletricity as Emolga creates requires a vast amount of energy, and so Emolga needs food in large quantities. Insects – crickets and Sewaddle – are the basic blocks of its diet, but it also likes fruit and eggs; a lizard or snake might prove a welcome treat.

Housing: A flat tray with food and water, about six feet from the floor, serves your Emolga as a base in the home; otherwise, it is easily housetrained, and can have the run of the house. You may wish to have the doorways in your house widened, and invest in doorstops to place throughout the building, to minimise crashes. Inside, Emolga rarely flies fast enough to cause significant injury when it hits a wall, but it does struggle to get back in the air again unless it can find a hatstand or something similar to climb up.

Size: At fourteen to sixteen inches in length, Emolga are right at the upper limit for size in terms of flying creatures that can be kept indoors.

Lifespan: Between eight and ten years, though one was recorded at twelve.

Evolution: Emolga do not evolve.

Breeding: Not difficult, but once Emolga has rejected a mate it will never consider them again. Try a variety of partners for best results.

Acquisition: Emolga are fairly common throughout Northern Europe and its near neighbour, Unova, and can be purchased relatively inexpensively from Pokémon Marts throughout the continent.
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For information about A Grand Day Out, a bizarre short story in video game form, click here.
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