"Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god."
Rostand, J. 1938.
Let me explain some things to you.
This is how the world ends, in the blink of an eye.
I destroyed them. I killed them all...but it wasn't my fault!
You know, I have never really been a big fan of the human race. They are unorganised, primitive, illogical. But in spite of their many faults, they didn't deserve what they got. They didn't deserve the genocide I caused.
It was him. The one they called Giovanni Ketchum. I have monitored him, like I monitor all of you, everyday for your strange little lives. I let him succeed; I let him rise to power.
I know, I know, it isn't very nice of me to let the evil little men of your world to corrupt their way to the top, to trample over the weak and the lame and forge empires for themselves. But I never let it get too out of control; my puppets usually ride in and save the day from the evil empires...eventually.
But Giovanni was different. He did something nobody has ever done.
He tricked me.
He altered everything I work so hard to keep going, every man, every woman, every Pokémon, the only way they keep living their easy going, pain free lives is because I let them. Every breathe they take is because I tell them to breathe in; I tell them to breathe out. It's just so simple for them...
They're born, they live, and they die. How easy they have it...
Me? I have to do everything! The sun rise...the creek in the floorboards when you try to sleep...the random thought you have one moment and never remember. That's me. I do it all.
I never complain, I don't ask for gratitude, I don't need gratitude from useless little beings under my command. Well, "useless" may be a little harsh but still...they didn't deserve what they got.
I was meditating, here, in the Hall of Origin, when suddenly Giovanni Ketchum blinks into existence right in front of me.
I didn't even see it coming; I don't even know how he did it! I didn't give him time to explain.
In my shock, I felt my control slip. My puppet strings attached to everything in this universe collapsed. Just for a second.
I lost control. I killed him then and there.
In one second, my puppet strings were broken. I was caught off guard. I didn't know what I was doing!
In my millisecond of confusion I didn't just kill Giovanni. I killed them all. I wiped out every human in existence in one moment of sheer panic.
I killed a race of seven billion people with a single thought...
Giovanni got want he wanted. He'll go down in history. He defeated a god. He destroyed the world.
And it is I who shall wear his medal.
His medal...my shame...
There can be no hero this time. No white knight, no saviour. There is nothing now. This is the end of the world as we know it.
I don't deserve to die, I deserve to live with what I've done. With the pain of knowing I killed billions of people.
I am alone, nothing to control, nobody to watch over. I shall spend every second of infinite time reliving the moment I killed seven billion people.
This is kind of an interesting piece that reaches into the mind of Arceus. I'm assuming it's Arceus, since it's the god of the Pokemon world. But this shows how powerful a god can be, and what it can do wrong if its powers aren't kept in control.
I do wonder just how Giovanni managed to slip through unseen by Arceus. How could one man shock a god enough to make it lose control of its powers enough to kill all seven billion human inhabitants? "Gods walking among humans" is one of my favorite things to see in literature, and all the examples I can think of (off the top of my head) have the gods acting normal, except they know what's going to go on. If Arceus is controlling, or watching, humans closely enough to know about the random thoughts that pass through someone's minds or to control every instance of humans breathing or to make an exact floorboard creak at the right time, how could Arceus miss Giovanni that much?
Maybe I'm just missing something, because Arceus does say that it let Giovanni rise to power, but then the story goes on to say that Arceus was tricked and that's why Giovanni won, not because Arceus allowed him to.
Also, did Arceus kill only all the humans and everything else is fine? Or is everything wiped from existence? Arceus only focuses on humans, but what about Pokemon? Or earth itself? If only humans are destroyed and all the Pokemon are fine, Arceus isn't completely doomed and could just start recreating things. But that would lose the ending of sheer guilt that you have, so...
This is still an interesting story (it might even be an explanation for the world of Mystery Dungeon, if only Pokemon are left among the living). Would like to see Arceus's thoughts explored a little deeper, and show how Giovanni tricked an all-knowing god.
I also like the brief brush-over on Giovanni's name. Interesting, and I wonder if that has any connections with the Giovanni in your other fic.
Thank you very much for such an in depth review, I greatly appreciate it
This was my first attempt at a one-shot but I think I will be doing more to this story at some time, like filling in how Giovanni tricked a god and how Arceus missed it, especially considering you as well as others have picked apart some plot holes which I must fill in! I hate plot holes lol
It is just the humans that perished, Pokemon and everything else live on, and I don't think Arceus would lose all his guilt despite everything else living on, he still destroyed humanity forever, I would imagine that is a pretty big burden to carry.
I am not a Mystery Dungeon fan myself and I had never thought of it that way but that is a pretty interesting way of looking at it, very interesting
I'm assuming since Arceus isn't omniscient that he (she? it?) can't just (metaphorically) snap his fingers and will everything back into existence. I like having the not-quite all powerful god fail. Especially with the way your portray Arceus. Everything hinges on him, painting him more like Atlas and less like YHWH.
If you ever do expand on it will we find out how come other aspects of reality remain?
Loved the concept, by the way. I've never really seen anything with a god acting as a slave, almost. Really unique.