Monster Art Online (IC)
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January 23rd, 2013 (1:37 AM).
Lisbon, Capital of Randomness
Day 8, Woods near Cherrygrove
Pokémon. A strange word, but yet so full of mystery.
Is it pronounced Paw-keh-mon or is it more like Poo-key-mon? I really don’t know. I’ve been in this game for about one week and I’ve already discovered so many things about these creatures and the mechanics that rule this world, that if I were at the real world I would be named Vincenzo Castafiore, the Second Linaeus. Only the people, who are stuck here, with me, can enjoy the magnitude and the singularity of these little monsters. Yes, that’s the best way to describe them: virtual little monsters that live side by side with the human beings, either in the wild form or the tamed one. But why do I call them monsters, if they are so much like harmless living forms. The answer is: they are not
living forms, because each species of creatures can learn a set of moves – the technical word for each one of the abilities that a creature can perform – that are used to fight against other creatures. The players here are called trainers because of that; we train Pokémon in order to win the highest amount of battles we can, under one specific condition: we must never let our last Pokémon faint in a battle, or else we white out from this game and the virtual reality kills our counterpart in the real world… In other words, we are just simply stuck in this freakin’ world of Pokémon and every day I see more than one player white out. So far, I’ve counted forty two, but I guess that tomorrow they’ll be forty four, because the small group I am following, which consisted of ten trainers, is now reduced to only two (a young boy and a teenage girl) and they seem to have great difficulty in catching Pokémon and battling with the ones of their own. I could have joined the pack, back in New Bark, but I didn’t want to because of this obvious reason: they whited out because the group was too large to go unnoticed and, of course, I’m not the only opportunistic soul tracking them.
I’m not travelling alone, by the way. I have a Pokémon of my own (
), a species of creature that resembles a metallic egg, with two eyes, covered by green spikes all over his hull. The character that gave him to me, told me it was a male from the Ferroseed species, a kind of metallic plants that are best known for their irritability. I call him Schoener, after the botanist. He’s not very emotional, but from the look in his eyes I guess he liked the name. You can’t expect much from a metallic egg, half-mineral, half-plant, that tends to stick to every rock or other mineral thing in our way. Once in a while, Schoener throws away one of his spikes, to grow a new one back, and in the beginning I was used as a common target for him to practice with. I think he’s trying to learn how to use those things in battle and, even knowing that he’s just a virtual creature and has (apparently) no feelings about me, I tolerated those painful throws in order to help my Pokémon improve his accuracy. Like Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier”, I am “fighting on arrival, fighting for survival”.
Today is the 8th day I’m inside this game, trapped in my own mind, just like thousands of other humans that bought a copy of Monster Art Online. They say that we have to beat the game in order to get out of here, but the truth is that… I don’t want to. I don’t want to come back to the real world and face the loneliness of being roaming through Europe again, running from something I don’t know and heading for somewhere I don’t expect to exist: a home. I feel something that I’m re-learning to fell, after a long time: comfort. I am truly comfortable here in the land of Johto and more comfortable with Schoener by my side. I think he would protect me if anyone threatened us, and as so I trust him my life. Who else would I trust my life to, if it depends only on the performance of my Pokémon? I have no choice and Schoener knows it.
We’re almost arriving at the crowded city of Cherrygrove, where most of trainers are, because it can provide security and has everything we need at hand: Pokémon medicines, Pokémon techs, shelter and Pokémon hospitals (a.k.a PokéCenters). The two trainers I’m following mumble to each other that it’s best to spend here the night before proceeding to Violet City, where Falkner is. I’ve been taught by a guy on the road that this Falkner is a character we have to beat in order to progress on the game and unlock the roads that lead to the next city, where another Flakner-like character is and so on. Schoener is somewhat tired and I think it’s best for us to stop for a while and recharge our stamina. But we’ll do that here, on the woods near Cherrygrove, not in the city. I’ve seen some fruit-trees growing on side of the road, that we both could feed on, but I can’t tell if their eatable or poisonous. First, I need to check out what food the other trainers have and what kind of fruits are poisonous or not. Maybe some unwary trainers pass by us and I finally can get my first food supplies.
"Over the harsh nudity of truth - the diaphanous robe of fantasy"
The Relic, Eça de Queiroz
Joined Jan 2013
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