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January 28th, 2012 (8:12 PM).
Pokemon: Internal Conflict
Main Character: Vernon if male/Margaret if female (Vernon used for narrative here for simplicity's sake)
Gligar, Nosepass, or male Kirlia
New Pokemon (so far):
Boilymph/Magmemone (Fire/Water type sea anemone... good luck spelling that right twice in a row because I couldn't... and I made it up lol)
Widdim/Argiopaque (Dark/Bug type argiope spider... look it up)
Glavarian (Fire/Ice type flatworm)
Hickoroke (Fire/Grass type tree, lower evolution idea pending)
Sundoom/Laventacle (Fire/Grass type sundew plant)
Zapling (Electric/Grass type plant sprout, higher evolution idea pending)
The mystery of the Abandoned Ship in Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald unfolds when a survivor, presumed dead, washes up on the shore of an island. On the verge of death from using its powers to protect Vernon from the storm is his faithful Pokemon (Kirlia, Nosepass, or Gligar). It crawls up onto the sand as the sun begins to rise and finds an object. Unbeknownst to it, this is an evolution item (a Dawn Stone for Kirlia, a Razor Claw for Gligar, or an ancient stone for Nosepass), and touching it causes the Pokemon to evolve into something alien to the Hoenn region (Gallade, Probopass, or Gliscor). With restored energy, the Pokemon drags its master’s body into the jungle to find food and water. In this dense greenery that is so thick as to avoid any sunlight, the Pokemon encounters a hot spring that has remarkable curative effects, and a dip in the waters revives its master to consciousness. Sad that a companion is gone, Vernon looks into the Pokemon’s eyes and realizes that it is the same faithful sea-traveling friend Vernon raised, but Vernon never has seen a Pokemon like this before. Suddenly, the pair discovers what has created this peculiar hot spring in the middle of a jungle: a cluster of mysterious Pokemon that look like sea anemones but are both Fire and Water types. These anemone Pokemon turned this once-normal spring into a habitat of their own, and the invasion of these strangers angers them. They emerge from the bottom of the spring with their tentacles flailing wildly. The water begins to heat to boiling, forcing Vernon to get out as quickly as possible, but the anemones grab him with their tentacles and threaten to pull him under. His Pokemon rushes to protect its master and pulls him free from the spring, but the trusty Pokemon is outnumbered by the powerful anemones and knocked out in battle.
The entire spring evaporates, and the heat causes a wildfire. Vernon’s Pokemon stumbles to its feet, awaiting a deathblow from its adversaries, but the final Flamethrower attack is deflected when a Light Screen mysteriously appears between them. A heavy rainstorm begins to fall, and from the clouds emerges the legendary Thundurus, the source of the Light Screen defense. The rain puts out the fire and refills the spring, and Thundurus hits the anemones with a Thunderbolt to force them to calm down. Vernon’s Pokemon is brave and stands its ground against Thundurus, but Thundurus does not attack. Suddenly, Vernon’s Pokemon drops its guard and shares a look with Thundurus as if they already know one another, but Vernon does not understand. Just before flying away, it points toward a clearing, beckoning Vernon and his Pokemon to travel in that direction. Vernon follows the path, and it leads to a solitary mansion on a hilltop. An elderly man stands at the gate of the mansion as if he had been expecting Vernon’s arrival, and he tells Vernon that Thundurus’ appearance could mean only that a newcomer to the island was disrupting the habitat. The old man invites Vernon in, introducing himself as Dr. Baobob, and explains that Vernon has landed on Galapokos Island, a remote little island far south of Hoenn near a region known as Cortaban. Vernon is frightened when a tiny black creature crawls from behind the old man’s back and sits on his shoulder. The old man laughs and tells Vernon not to be alarmed. He introduces his tiny companion as a Widdim, a Dark/Bug type spider Pokemon native to Galapokos and nowhere else, and he realizes that Vernon must not be used to seeing Pokemon from outside the Hoenn Region.
Vernon claims to have been a member of the S.S. Cactus kitchen crew, where he mostly peeled potatoes with the help of his faithful Pokemon. One night, the ship was rocked when a massive storm rose up in the blink of an eye, but the sounds of thunder outside did not sound like thunder at all. They sounded like some massive creatures locked in battle. The kitchen was the first area to start taking on water, so Vernon took his Pokemon above to the main deck. Clouds swirled around the ship, and Vernon could see three giant figures with glowing eyes. In the darkness and the rain, Vernon could not make them out, but one thing was for sure: they were angry and took no notice of the ship in between them. The three creatures attacked one another with fierce energy attacks, and a stray Hyper Beam hit the ship. Vernon and his Pokemon were hurled into the air and out to sea, and everything went dark.
Dr. Baobob wonders if those three Pokemon could have been the legendary Hoenn beasts Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza, because they have caused problems in Hoenn more than once over the years. He expresses sorrow for Vernon’s experience and offers his assistance to help Vernon get his bearings. Dr. Baobob explains to Vernon that his companion has evolved into a Gallade/Gliscor/Probopass, a type of Pokemon evolution that is impossible in Hoenn but was discovered in the Sinnoh Region. Dr. Baobob hails from Sinnoh, and his research into Pokemon of opposing types such as these led him to discover that many of the elements that control these evolutions, like the Dawn Stone and Razor Claw, originated from Cortaban. In this region, several Pokemon grow with types that defy the conventions of known scientific research, yielding strange results. He tells Vernon that the Pokemon he encountered in the jungle must have been Magmemone, a Fire/Water type.
Vernon wants to find a way to get home, but Dr. Baobob explains that no ships visit Galapokos more than twice a year to bring Dr. Baobob supplies. Dr. Baobob is a reclusive man, but he is not unwilling to help Vernon find a way to the mainland of Cortaban. Going to his desk, Dr. Baobob pulls out a dusty old box. Opening it, he reveals a set of Pokeballs, telling Vernon to be prepared for more Pokemon he likely never has seen. Tossing one into the air, Dr. Baobob releases his trusted Aerodactyl from a long slumber. A second Pokeball is thrown to release a Vespiquen, and the remaining three balls open automatically to release a trio of Combees that buzz around her. Dr. Baobob gives Vernon a backpack with some supplies including an empty bottle, a Potion, a PokeDex, and five empty Pokeballs, telling Vernon that these were the doctor’s traveling equipment when he was a young trainer and researcher. Dr. Baobob never thought they would come to use again, so he is happy to give them to Vernon. Dr. Baobob tells Vernon that it might be wise to capture some Pokemon on Galapokos to aid in the journey back to shore. He tells Vernon to use the Pokeballs wisely because there are several Pokemon that can be found only on Galapokos, but some of their abilities may be more useful than others. He recommends that Vernon try to capture a Boilymph, an amoeba-looking little Pokemon and the unevolved form of Magmemone, but Vernon will encounter a number of other Pokemon in the jungle that he might want to capture. After the discussion, Dr. Baobob insists that Vernon stay the night and wait to set off in the morning because strong Pokemon lurk in the jungle after dark. In the night, Vernon tosses and turns as he has nightmares about the shipwreck.
Dr. Baobob joins Vernon on his journey back to shore, bringing Aerodactyl, Vespiquen and the Combees in his own fighting party. They encounter fierce double battles along the way, making Dr. Baobob’s help essential, and his Aerodactyl’s ability to use Fly gives them the opportunity to return to the mansion to heal if their Pokemon are badly injured. Vernon also finds some Potion and healing items along the way, and he and Dr. Baobob soon pass by the Magmemone hot spring. Dr. Baobob tells Vernon that it might be wise to take some hot spring water along with him due to its remarkable curative properties. Vernon takes out the empty bottle and fills it up with Magmemone hot spring water, storing it in the Key Items pouch. Upon reaching shore, Vespiquen and the Combees reveal their reason for coming along, and they go to work building a raft from tree limbs and dense beeswax. Vernon, Gallade/Gliscor/Nosepass, and their new companions bid farewell to Dr. Baobob and his Pokemon, thanking them for their help. Rain begins to fall again, and Thundurus emerges from the clouds, joined by his brother Tornadus. They point out to the sea and use their wind powers to give the raft good sailing speed. Gallade/Gliscor/Probopass shares another look with Thundurus as if they know something Vernon does not, and Dr. Baobob tells Vernon that Thundurus just might be partly responsible for making sure that Vernon and his Pokemon made it to shore alive. The doctor says that Thundurus and Tornadus are known to keep watch over the seas in this area from time to time, and they guard the peace of the habitat around Galapokos Island as a private sanctuary outside of their home in the Unova Region. Vernon looks at his Pokemon, and it nods to indicate that Dr. Baobob is correct. Vernon thanks Thundurus and Tornadus for saving both his life and the life of his best friend, and the raft sails on its way.
Vernon travels north, encountering a number of sea Pokemon along the way, some unfamiliar and some familiar (such as Relicanth and Chinchou), and Dr. Baobob’s Aerodactyl swoops in to take Vernon back to Galapokos if all of Vernon’s Pokemon faint in battle. Arriving at the port city of Cortaban, a place called Spanport Town, the raft is all but destroyed from the Pokemon encounters, and Vernon is unable to use it to travel back to Galapokos. Vernon feels a sense of unwelcome when he walks through Spanport. Almost no one is on the streets, and those who are refuse to speak to him. One is very rude to him and calls him an outsider, and all of the doors in town are locked except for one: the Pokemon Center. Suddenly, in the distance, Vernon sees someone who looks like a fellow crewmember of the S.S. Cactus, a deck swab named Collins. The man who looks like Collins runs behind some houses and disappears, and Vernon decides to forget about him for now and heal his Pokemon. He enters the Pokemon Center to discover that it is full of injured Pokemon and humans alike. The Nurse Joy at the counter tells Vernon that his timing could not be better because the sun is about to set, and no one should be outside on Cortaban at night due to the recent increase in angry nocturnal Pokemon prowling the streets. In good health from time spent in the Magmemone hot spring, Vernon offers to help in any way he can, and Nurse Joy is happy to hear it. Nurse Joy says that she wishes she had some Magmemone hot spring water, and she explains that its curative properties come from the mineral-rich slime that sloughs off of Magmemone’s skin into the water as its body temperature rises. It can be collected only at night because Magmemone sleeps by day and does not shed its skin while absorbing sunlight, but no one has been able to collect any in Spanport. Vernon surprises her with the bottle of spring water, and she is overjoyed to take it.
One of the injured people she treats is the Spanport Town’s mayor, and he thanks Vernon for his assistance, apologizing for any cold reception Vernon might have gotten after arriving in Cortaban. The mayor tells Vernon that he fears some human involvement in the recent dangerous Pokemon activity, and rumors spreading among the people of Cortaban have created a lack of trust for outsiders. The mayor, however, fears that the people responsible are not outsiders at all but rather some descendants of an ancient religious cult called the Order of Exorschism. He tells Vernon that he knows nothing about the cult, but his words do not seem truthful. The mayor does not give Vernon the opportunity to question his honesty and abruptly leaves. When the mayor is gone, Nurse Joy tells Vernon that Exorschism was a mythical Pokemon whose powers were too violent to exist in this world. Her grandmother used to tell her stories about a group of people who wanted to harness the power of Exorschism to take over the world, but the Pokemon’s Dark and Psychic type powers pushed and pulled at one another within its body like great magnets, threatening to tear apart everything around it. Nurse Joy is sorry to say that her grandmother has long since passed away, and this is all she knows of the legends of Exorschism. An elderly man sitting in the corner of the center walks up to Vernon, limping on a cane. He is the owner of Spanport Town’s PokeMart. He tells Vernon that the mayor knows more than he is willing to admit because he wants to avoid any more panic among the people of Cortaban, but the old man believes that there is some truth to a revival of the Order of Exorschism. The old man recommends that Vernon travel through the Cortaban Region to seek out more information from the Elite Four, but finding them will not be easy. Some years ago, they disbanded and shut down Cortaban’s Pokemon League, going into seclusion. The only way to find them is to challenge the eight gym leaders of Cortaban, but the gym leaders will not battle any outsiders without a cost. Vernon’s journey will begin as he travels east on Route 655, but the old man urges Vernon to stop by his PokeMart before leaving town for some supplies and Pokeballs. He also urges Vernon the stay the night in the PokeMart’s spare room because it is too late in the evening for anyone to be outside. In the night, Vernon tosses and turns with more nightmares of the shipwreck. He sees Collins swabbing the deck near the captain’s office as he passes by on the way to the kitchen, but when he turns back to say hello, Collins has vanished. Vernon goes to the kitchen, figuring that Collins needed more cleaning supplies. When Vernon wakes up from his dream, he wonders about the fact that Collins was right next to the captain’s office before he disappeared and a short time before the ship was wrecked. Collins is the only member of the crew Vernon has seen—or thinks he has seen—since the wreck. What could he be doing here in Cortaban?
The next morning, Vernon asks the old man if any other outsiders have been seen in town or if he might have heard of a ship called the S.S. Cactus. The old man admits that the name does sound familiar, but he has not heard it spoken in many years. He tells Vernon that Spanport is a shipping town, and outsiders seldom visit the island unless they are members of a large ship crew; however, no large ships have visited the island through the port for some time. Spanport is the only hospitable docking location for any ships in the region due to jagged reefs, but he claims that it is not impossible that other visitors have come to the island through other means. The old man gives Vernon his shop card, telling him to show it to anyone who is unwilling to speak to Vernon. Now, Vernon should be able to ask a few of the people of Spanport if they know anything about the Cactus or Collins before he heads of to find the first Cortaban gym. A sign along Route 655 points him in the direction of Demiglace City.
This is as far as I have gotten so far, and the main character's adventure hasn't truly begun yet. I just came up with the name Exorschism on the fly, and somehow it truly fits the direction the story will take. Notice the natural progression the route numbers eventually will make? Add 11 and you get the location of a major plot point on the map. The story draws on some inspiration from some of my favorite old science fiction and horror movies and will have a few of those spooky elements to it as more secrets unfold. Some readers may get a sort of "Island of Dr. Moreau" vibe early on, but to be honest I had some completely different "mad scientist on a desert island" movies in mind when I thought of it, namely "From Hell It Came" and "The Horrors of Spider Island," while my idea for the Cult of Exorschism was inspired by a Spanish horror movie series known as “The Blind Dead” (though this is intended to be a story all ages can enjoy… so don’t expect any horse-riding zombies with their eyes gouged out). Quite a few old sci-fi/horror movies used these settings, so I thought I would give them a little nod. There is a little foreshadowing in the story about the mystery of the S.S. Cactus, and there are many other secrets to be revealed as the story progresses. All in all, I hope this was an enjoyable introduction to spur the imagination of any readers, and I will see where I can take the idea in the near future as more subplots, characters, and Pokemon encounters come to mind. Is Dr. Baobob the kindly old scientist he appears to be? Who are the "outsiders" responsible for the aggressive Pokemon endangering the townspeople in this remote region? What sort of people and Pokemon live in the Cortaban Region? What was the fate of the other crewmembers of the S.S. Cactus? Why is the main character plagued with nightmares that tell him something more than an accidental involvement with Kyogre, Groudon, and Rayquaza was responsible for the shipwreck? Why do the eight gym leaders of Cortaban seem reluctant to battle? Why have the mysterious Cortaban Elite Four disbanded and shut down the Cortaban Pokemon League? What role might the legendary beasts of Hoenn and the cloud brothers of Unova play in all of this, and what connection could they have to the only Dark/Psychic type Pokemon in existence, the creature that Cortaban cult legends refer to as Exorschism? The mysteries and their shocking revelations will continue.
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