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Seen August 8th, 2019
Posted July 31st, 2019
10 posts
118 Days
Keywords:
  • Adventure
  • Cheesy Names
  • Deaths of Pokémon and People can and will occur within the story
  • Dystopian Society at least during the beginning
  • Female Protagonist
  • First-Person Writing
  • Pokémon not native to the setting
  • Post-Apocalyptic
  • World-Building has more focus than Pokémon battles

Aiming to follow these points:
  • PG(13) rating story
  • Two to Four updates per month
  • Around 2000 words per chapter

Comments welcomed and appreciated.

Chapter One - City
Spoiler:

There is a secret I’ve yet to tell anyone I know. It wasn’t a huge secret which could throw my life into a mess; the worst thing that could happen was getting laughed at by the few people I’d consider 'friends'. If anyone else would’ve heard it, they would probably think I was a hippie freak or something. I don’t think anyone would be blunt enough to state it out loud even if that were the case, but it still made me hesitate to voice my secret. My... desire.

I sighed while leaning on the wire mesh fence encasing the rooftop. Like the hundreds of identical skyscrapers around this particular one I was standing on, the fence was sturdy enough for a truck to ram into it with full power and still show no sign of damage. Not that anyone actually rammed a truck into the fence located 160 floors above ground; I just knew its strength from the advertisements.

It was roughly six o’clock, the time when the sun began to set. I almost always found myself standing here at this hour, staring into the distance until the sun bled its orange hue into the indigo of the night. And as always, I imagined what the setting sun would look like beyond the thick, ever-present carpet of cloud that hung over the City.

If not for the aforementioned and irritating grey cloud, I probably would have given zero attention to the world just like any other person living in the City. If not for it, I wouldn’t have to come up here - one of the only places where I could actually see what the sun looked like as it stealthily sank beyond the desolate horizon, beyond the grey mountains and the wall surrounding the City.

I’ve always wondered what sunlight feels like. Not the ambient heat that warms up the day, but actual rays which apparently stung. Historical texts can only teach you so far. Well, I guess that’s what makes learning so fun - imagining all these things that supposedly happened all the time in the past. Things like snow. And rain. And tornadoes and floods. In the City, there’s none of those. Always the same temperature, always just enough light to brighten up the world during the day.

I stared into the distance until the day was over. Indigo conquered the orange and yellow, only to be replaced by artificial white of the City’s lights coming on one by one. And with that, I slowly pulled myself off from the fence and headed down the building.

I took the stairs down. No one used stairs these days with how many floors people had to travel, so it allowed me to traverse down without needing to greet other residents and put up a fake smile if I come across them. Thankfully, I lived in one of the higher floors which made the trip not that bad.

“I’m home.”

I spoke out of habit as I entered the unit that was my home. The bio scanners automatically unlocked the door when I was in the scanner’s proximity, and the lights came on as I entered the living room.

As expected, there was no one home. I lived with Kana, my parents’ friend and colleague, but she generally arrived home very late due to her work. She often apologised to me about how she couldn’t be home sooner, and about how it was impossible to bring her work home to finish it due to confidentiality. It was to be expected from a researcher at Government Laboratories, so I’ve never held it against her. How could I, when she looked so happy going to her workplace everyday despite being sleep-deprived half the time? Her position also gave me privileges that my friends were often envious of, too. It’s not like my library of literature and games were going to pay for themselves.

And so, like any other night, I prepared and ate dinner by myself. I’m not sure if I’d consider myself to be lonely; I had plenty of friends, and Kana generally manages to spend a whole day with me at least twice a month. But at nights like this, there’s this sense of… stillness that sometimes bothers me. A sensation which felt like I was the only person in the world.

It was some time after I had finished dinner and cleaned up when there was an unexpected sound. I looked up from the holographic novel I was reading, recognising the noise as a delivery alert. Mail? at a time like this?

“Receive mail.”

I spoke out loud, and a different holographic window appeared in front of me. It wasn’t a mail, but a parcel. What’s more, it didn’t come through the Transporter like usual. Instead, it was apparently delivered physically.

I got up from where I was because if it’s not sent through a Transporter, I had to retrieve it manually. The act irritated me a bit since I was finally getting comfortable in the posture I was in, but at the same time it made me apprehensive at the sudden turn of events. As I did so, I wondered when was the last time I had to open our unit’s letterbox.

Within moments, I was at the dining room table with the parcel in hand. I sat down to observe it. It was the size of my hands, and was encased in metal. The sender wasn’t written anywhere, just the receiver. That made me frown a little, because I was pretty sure the only people who could send anonymous deliveries were those related to the government. If this was something addressed to Kana I could probably understand, but the parcel clearly had my name. Perhaps it was Kana who sent it? But then, why? With those thoughts in mind, I pressed my finger on the identification panel of the box.

Nothing happened.

I blinked, unsure what was going on. I slid my hand across it while being confused, but then I realised what I thought was the ID panel was actually an archaic latch. I admit it took me a few more seconds than I would have liked for it to get it open.

The metal casing soon came away with a satisfying click, and revealed its two contents. The first was a folded paper - paper, in this day and age. I was sure people nowadays wouldn’t even know what paper was just by looking at it. I sure wouldn’t have known were I not interested in history. Then another thought made me freeze for a second - was it legal to have paper? Trees, the original source of paper, were a protected resource...

I shook my head to clear away the thought, making a mental note to dispose of it later just in case. For now, I unfolded it as I saw that there were markings on the inner side. It was words; the handwriting was messy, as if the writer had scribbled it down in a hurry.

Vee, keep that safe with you.
DO NOT FOR ANY REASON SHOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO ANYONE, ok?
Ok.
Oh, I won’t be there tonight.
Come to the lab with that as soon as you wake up tomorrow, and show it to the guard if he hassles you.
MAKE SURE YOU COME STRAIGHT HERE.
I don’t care if you have something special on tomorrow, COME. STRAIGHT. HERE. Got it?
Sweet dreams~
Kana.


I wondered if this was her usual handwriting. It was hard to say since Kana was the type to use a virtual pad or voice input rather than a holopen. Regardless, I was able to see her handwriting - a fact that somehow made me happy. Happy that I got to know another part about her.

Kana and I had been living together ever since I could remember, and she was more like a mother to me. But at the same time, there was always the lingering darkness in my mind - Kana wasn’t my real mother, and so there was a distance between us unlike a normal daughter and mother. So knowing more about her, especially if it’s something about her which others wouldn’t know, made it feel like I could shorten that gap.

At the very least, this told me the sender really was Kana. While I didn’t know her handwriting, it was typical of her to say two contradicting things like “do not show what you have to anyone” and “show it to the guard” in a single message. Also, “Vee” was my pet name which only a select few used.

The second object in the parcel was red and spherical. Upon pulling it out, however, I noticed that only half the sphere was red. The other half was white, with a dark line running a full circle in between to break the red and white hemispheres. It would have been two perfect halves if not for the white button placed on one side of the dark line. It was a peculiar device which I had never seen before; perhaps its purpose was to hold something? No, it was too small for anything remotely useful to fit in. There was no way of knowing, and I wasn’t about to press the button even though the temptation was great. Who knew what disaster could happen by pressing it. Instead, I left the ball and the letter on the desk - I did mull over about what I should do with the paper letter, but since it was from Kana I figured it wasn’t illegal - and decided to sleep.


It's been a while since I last came here to the laboratory. A month ago, was it? When Kana designated me as a one-day assistant. I wasn’t able to enter the inner parts, so I was assigned to a different researcher back then much to her disdain.

The government-funded facilities really were immaculate, to say the least; floors were polished to the point where it felt like I was dirtying them just by walking on it. Holograms of famous and important scientists and researchers decorated the white-washed walls, frowning in concentration as they mixed chemicals in flasks or wrote down information on their portable devices.

Finding my way around wasn't too hard; clearly-labelled directions were all over the place, and I vaguely remembered where her lab was located. The hard part was-

"Hey you, kid,"

I heard a deep voice calling from somewhere. Looking around, I saw a man in what I recognised as a security uniform walking towards me. He was almost twice as tall as me, and most of his facial features were hidden behind facial hair. Yes, the hard part was to convince the security that I'm here for a reason and not to kick me out.

"This isn't a place open to the public. Leave."

He enforced.

“I’m here on Ka- I mean, Dr Hazama’s request.”

I said. There was a pause as he stared at me. I looked back at him, trying not to show my nervousness at the man. I wasn’t sure what emotion he was showing behind all that facial hair.

"There are procedures. This... doctor you mentioned should have met you at the entrance. Authorized personnel only beyond this point."

I bit my lip and broke the eye contact for a second, quickly looking around to check our surroundings. In doing so, I confirmed that there were no one else around to help or hinder us. I hadn't much choice... the letter Kana wrote was ambiguous, so I tried not to reveal it if I could, but...

My hand went down to my pocket where the object that Kana sent was located, feeling its smooth and cool metallic texture against my skin. Seeing my movement, the guard’s hand moved to his waist where I saw was a holster. He was probably getting into stance just in case I was pulling out a weapon or something. Kana once ranted about how unnecessary and disturbing it was to have people with taser-guns everywhere, even if they were security, so I was fully aware of what this man in front of me was capable of.

I could feel my heart pounding hard. I moved my arm slowly to prevent unnecessary hostility, but fast enough to get it out before he grew tired and decided to use his weapon on me. My mind was all the while praying that this would work.

The security didn’t show any other movement, waiting patiently but that made him look so confident. I bet he could pull out his weapon and taser me before I even realised he moved if he deemed I was a threat. And so I was glad he wasn’t hasty, and opened my hand out with the palm facing up, the red and white object sitting in clear view.

He breathed in sharply, eyes narrowing at the sight of the object. Then, his hand faltered, and I was surprised to see that his fingers were starting to tremble. His hand fell away from the holster, losing his stance, and… lowered his head into a small bow. Then he turned and left.

I was intrigued; just what was this object?
Seen August 8th, 2019
Posted July 31st, 2019
10 posts
118 Days
Updated the first post with a few more keywords as I saw fit. If anyone feels that I need to change the rating, or add more keywords for potential new readers (say, for warning purposes), I'd love to hear comments. Definitely not mandatory, because I love lurkers just as much as commenters.

Thank you for reading, or even visiting my thread/story.

Chapter Two - Pokémon
Spoiler:

“Vee!”

A shout travelled across the gigantic room I found myself in after a series of doors. At one point whilst walking along the immaculate hallway of the Government Laboratories, I was afraid that I’d be stopped again by a different security, or maybe an automated door requiring identification. It turned out, however, that I was able to safely meet up with Kana.

“Hell- oof.”

I proceeded to greet Kana, only to be tackled into an embrace. It was typical of her, I probably should’ve expected it. I gave her a light hug back, wishing for the return of my own personal space.

“Vee, give me the Pokéball.”

Kana suddenly whispered in my ear during the embrace. I tensed a little; if she was being secretive, there was usually a very good reason behind it. I had no idea what a 'Pokéball' was, but judging by the situation I figured it was the red and white object she sent me last night. I squirmed to get it out of my pocket while her grip was tightly on me.

She snatched the Pokéball from me and released the embrace in one fluid motion, looking at me with a cheeky grin. It was then that I spotted the security cameras on the wall in the distance - the cameras which Kana obscured with her body during that hug. Was she trying to make sure that the Pokéball wasn’t caught on the cameras? That made me tense; was she doing something illegal?

My eyes zoomed down to her hand, but... it wasn't there. I quickly scanned the floor, dreading that I accidentally dropped it; all that secrecy for nothing. I couldn't find anything rolling around, though. It was then a sharp ring went off suddenly, making me jump in fright; were we found out? Did we do something illegal after all?

The room we were in was a wide hallway. The floor, the walls and ceiling were completely white, and so were the twenty or so doors on either side. And accompanied by the ringing noise, all the doors hissed open simultaneously. The room was suddenly filled with hundreds of footsteps and a headache-inducing amount of chatter as people in crisp white lab coats, much like the one Kana is wearing, poured out of them; scientists and researchers.

“Ooh, break time! Nice timing. This should make things easier. Come, come!”

Kana exclaimed, and before I could act she took hold of my arm and dragged me to the nearest room that was being emptied. Me? I wasn’t able to cope with the sudden chain of events, still half in shock at thinking that we were caught doing something illegal. I’m not one to be stuck up about keeping the rules, but the City was quite relentless when it came to crimes. I’ve been growing up hearing so many vile stories about criminals and the punishment they were given. It affected me more than I would admit.

Once I recovered from the shock, I realised that we had entered one of the small labs. There were strange and perplexing devices everywhere. Kana went to work almost straight away as we entered, leaving me standing near the exit. She booted up one of the machines which was on standby and starting typing furiously on the virtual pad. Her eyes were fixed on the monitor, leaving me gaping and confused.

“Kana,”

I began as the door sealed automatically behind me.

“Shhhhhh, D. N. D.”

She hissed. Sighing, I just watched; perhaps this was a crucial point in whatever she was doing. At one point, however, she straightened an arm, and from under the sleeve popped out a small red and white ball, the size of an eye; the Pokéball. So that's where it was!

What she did next made me raise an eyebrow. She pressed the button on the center, which expanded the ball, quadrupling in size. I nearly disturbed her again to ask what exactly was a Pokéball, but I managed to remember her irritated voice hissing 'do not disturb' and stopped myself in time. If she stuffs up something because of me, I’d have to face the full brunt of her rapid-fire nagging.

Instead of asking, I just looked at what she was doing. She placed the Pokéball onto a pod next to a machine. Then, with a stroke of the keypad, she made a holographic screen materialise on the wall. The first thing I saw on the holoscreen was an image of something I’ve never seen before. It was mostly black and somehow reminded me of furniture. An archaic lamp, if I were to guess. It started off with a pointy hat-like top, while the middle bit was a transparent and round body, containing nothing. Below that was a black support with two elongated bits. If it were a living thing, I wouldn’t be surprised if those elongated bits were arms or legs.

To the side of that image were graphs which showed erratic values at first, but steadied down after a few seconds. There were bars with labels such as Defense, Attack and Speed, though for some reason the one marked Health had an unchanging bar with the letters FAINTED written over it. Other than the graphs, there was a wall of text which contained information which I didn't exactly understand.

“Those bastards.”

My attention shifted away from the monitor when I heard Kana snap at no one in particular. She then went on to curse under her breath, making me frown a little.

Then, our eyes met. And so, I looked straight at her as I tended to do when I had something to say to her. This time, it was to show that I was demanding answers. Her facial features relaxed at the sight, and she gave a small nod of understanding. She then took the ball out of the pod, pressing the button in the middle again to minimise it. The monitor on the wall faded out of existence in response.

“Where should I begin…”

She hmmed, looking at the minimised ball in her hand.

“Okay, well. Let’s start with this. You saw the image that was up on the screen right? Well. That's an example of a creature called Pocket Monster, or Pokémon for short.”

I turned back to where the monitor had been, recalling the image which I assumed was a piece of furniture.

“You might ask why they’re called Pocket Monsters. Well, the 'pocket' part is because they can be kept around in your pocket within these devices called Pokéballs.”

She spoke, then she approached me. She handed the Pokéball back to me.

“The Monster part is because of their mysterious powers. You see, there are still so many things we don’t know about them. And yet, over 80% of the total power and resources generated within the City today are made by, and from, Pokémon. That’s why the government’s keeping these creatures a secret from the public. They’re afraid - afraid of how much power an individual could have if they get their hands on a Pokémon.”

She paused a bit, then continued speaking.

“But really, they’re wonderful creatures. It doesn’t justify calling them monsters in my opinion. They’re harmless if unprovoked, despite the amount of power they have. And if you befriend them, they’re so loyal and endearing…”

Her voice trailed off a little, a smile on her face. She was looking into the distance, probably recalling a memory of some sort. And I couldn’t help but feel that there were more to Kana than I had thought. That there was a greater distance between us. There was an unexplainable sensation welling up inside me like a black cloud. Regardless of the emotions I was feeling, she continued explaining.

“But the government saw them as something… different. They saw them as an energy source. No, more than that - they saw them as military assets.”

“Military assets?”

I echoed.

“Yes. Ah, I know what you’re thinking - there hasn’t been a war in ages! Plus, something like ‘beyond the City walls, there’s nothing but desolate lands where nothing can grow’, right? Well, that’s just what the government’s been making the public believe. There are plenty of settlements outside the City. It’s just that these settlements are located far apart, and the pollution between them makes it very difficult to traverse. The City’s been fortified as well such that conflicts haven’t happened anywhere near for centuries. And you might ask why military is so important when there's been no contact between settlements for centuries. The reason is simple - overpopulation.

“The City has too many people. Even more so as newer and more effective medicine is developed, lowering death counts. We’re running out of places to stuff people in. And you know what? Building an acropolis costs a fortune, but invading other populated areas, throwing the excess human resources over there is incomparably cheap, especially if Pokémon are used. It’s a proven fact - the first invasion using Pokémon yielded unimaginable results. It was beyond what anyone had predicted."

Her eyes lingered on my hand, onto the ball which lay there harmlessly.

"Pokémon listens to whoever owns the Pokéball they’re associated with. I don’t know exactly how it works, but it works. There were zero casualties on our side… and there were no survivors in the targeted settlement. Everyone there was wiped out for us to relocate the newer members of the City. Men. Women. Children.”

It was a lot of things to process at once; I took my time thinking through what I had just heard. But then I recalled a question that I had since I received the parcel last night.

“Hey Kana, why did you send this ball to me? You’re acting very strange about it, like as if you’re not supposed to have this with you or something. I mean, you’re a researcher here, right? This is your work.”

Kana nodded and opened her mouth to speak. That was as far as she got, because we both heard the hiss of a door opening behind me at that moment. I whipped my head back at the sound while Kana moved towards the door, placing herself between it and me. She also grabbed onto my arm that was holding the Pokéball and motioned it to signal that I should put it back into my pocket. I did as she wanted me to do.

From the door came a total of five men; four of them were in the Lab's security uniform. They stood by the door with weapons in hand, surrounding a man who was in a different attire. The man had blond, almost white hair with piercing blue eyes. His well-built body wasn't too hard to see under the white long-sleeved top he wore with a few buttons undone. His grey slacks were spotless, and his quality-leather shoes shone from the ceiling light. All in all, this man reeked of money and power. A creepy smile lit up his face as his eyes fell on me, and spoke.

“Well, well, well. We came to the right place at last,”

His voice had a hint of amusement, though something about it made my skin crawl.

“And what brings you here in the Labs, Aaron?”

Kana spat, stepping forward a little as if to try and distance him and me.

“Why, nothing more than a small matter of security, of course. I’m in charge of guarding this place, remember?”

He shrugged.

“One of my, ah, trusted men reported a civilian - a civilian! - in the government premises with a… shall we say, peculiar item in their possession…”

Aaron’s eyes rested on me, and as I shot a glance back, he licked his lips. I couldn’t help but look away in disgust at that, hoping against hope that he wasn’t thinking of anything vulgar with me in the center.

“Mr Belos, is this the girl you saw with the item that was reported missing last night?”

"Yes sir, she was wandering around the restricted area with a Pokéball."

Wait - that voice... I couldn't help but glance at the speaker. Yes, it was that security guard, the one whom I bumped into and shown the ball! My expression must’ve confirmed his words, as Aaron then huffed and nodded with exaggeration.

“Well, then. Kindly hand over the stolen Pokéball. I don’t want to force it out of a cute, innocent girl… although that’s not to say I won’t enjoy i-”

“I knew the overseers were senile when they appointed you as the head security."

Kana cut Aaron off.

"A sentient garbage bag would still be better than whatever you’re supposed to be. At least then we could have trash taken out more efficiently.”

Aaron's head snapped towards her, and in that instant I saw his facial expression change into something I could only describe as pure hatred, though instantly changing to a neutral expression in a fraction of a second. It was intimidating, to say the least, and I found myself backing away. Kana continued speaking, a wide smile on her face.

“Besides, did you really thought I’d let a noob hold onto something so important for long? And here I thought you were smarter than a single-celled organism. I apologise for overestimating your abilities, head security.”

With those words, she held up what I knew was a Pokéball in its minimised state. But the one she held onto earlier was with me, so I guessed the one she had was a decoy. Aaron eyed the ball suspiciously, but turned his attention to her.

“Kindly hand over the Pokéball. If this is the one that mysteriously disappeared last night, there will be… consequences.”

Aaron spoke. At the very least, that told me why Kana was so secretive about the particular Pokéball.

“Ha, and what, turn a blind eye to the sickos torturing them in the name of science? Hell no.”

“Be careful about what you say, or you might end up like your dead Pnevmas.”

He snapped. Wait. Did he just say…?

“What…? Pnevmas?”

I spoke out loud. Realising I did so, I placed a hand over my lips but it was too late. All eyes were on me. I spotted Kana looking at me with what I think was concern. And Aaron had a visible look of irritation as he stared at my outburst, but gradually his expression changed as if he realised something. His eyes stayed on my face for a second or so more before becoming wide.

“Of course, why didn’t I see it sooner? You have that godforsaken woman’s eyes. You’re their daughter - to think that accursed family blood was still alive.”

Aaron’s attention shifted again, now to me, and I was certain it wasn't because of the stolen Pokéball. Out of the corner of my eyes, I saw the security guards looking at each other out of confusion. Looks like they, too, were unsure what was going on now.

When my attention went back to Aaron, I noticed that he pulled out something from his pocket; a Pokéball.

“Metang!”

Aaron barked. The Pokéball in his hand split open, spilling red light in front of him. The red light rearranged itself then sparked out, leaving something blue, something floating and flat, with arms ending in wicked claws. It made a noise which reminded me of gears grinding jaggedly together, raising its arms as if it were giving a war cry. Whatever it was, it was more than enough to force my hands to cup over my ears.

“W-what?”

“A Metang. Stand back, Vee!”

Kana replied. She then lifted her hand which held the decoy Pokéball, as if to throw it.

“I know full well that the stolen Pokémon is in no condition to fight, and there’s no way you could’ve revived it in time.”

Aaron spoke calmly, albeit with a lower tone of voice than before. It was almost like a growl. Kana smiled faintly at his misconception.

“Yes, I haven’t manage to heal it yet. The closest healing station is in the other lab. But that doesn’t matter!”

She threw the ball in her hand to the wall. It split open, spilling a red glow which sparked into thin air, leaving behind a creature resembling three grey balls with eyes on each, with bits and pieces stuck together. I heard Aaron gasp at the sight, and before anyone had the chance to move, Metang suddenly crashed into Kana's Pokémon, also crashing into the wall behind it with tremendous force boosted by the acceleration it picked up in that short period of time. The wall was smashed to pieces, filling the entire room with opaque clouds instantly. I couldn't see anything, and the room was filled with the sound of coughing everywhere, including from myself.

Then I felt a hand grabbing onto me, making me back away, only to find that it was Kana. She grinned, and dragged me out of the room once more, not giving me a chance to recover or get back up on my feet.

“Nice Magnet Pull, Magneton! Now Discharge, and don’t stop ‘till you drop!”

She shouted as we ran. The hallway outside the lab was empty, which was probably a good thing because in the corner where the two Pokémon were earlier suddenly came alive with huge streams of electricity. The bolts went wild, hitting the walls, electrical equipment and doors. Some came zapping so close to us that I could've reached out and touched one. Kana was enjoying this, whooping and laughing as we ran. Me? I was in a mixture of shock and disbelief while being dragged across the room.
Seen August 8th, 2019
Posted July 31st, 2019
10 posts
118 Days
Chapter Three - Answers

Spoiler:

Finally, finally she stopped! I picked myself up, dazed and disoriented. There was a door in front of us, which suggested that this was where Kana planned to get out from. The problem was that the door was sealed like every other door, and as much as she tried, she couldn't get the door to work.

“Tsk, Mag must’ve zapped the system to this door too… Time for Plan B!”

She shouted to no one in particular, grabbed my hand, and dashed to another direction. I kind of wished I was unconscious rather than facing the brunt of being treated like a bag or something, but at least I felt more awake than before. The only thing I could do was try to match Kana’s running so that I didn’t trip over. Despite the fact that I’m usually one of the most athletic person in my class back at school, Kana was on a league of her own.

After a few flights of stairs down and more running, we came across a rusting steel door. It had the words 'Emergency Exit' on it, and a doorknob. I honestly didn’t think there would be a time I’d see a real relic of the past. Ah, but then I recalled the paper Kana used to send a letter to me.

While I was trying to catch my breath from all the running, Kana twisted the doorknob to get it open. She started making weird sounds as she used all her strength, but it wouldn't budge. She tried a few more times, and failed. At this point I was wondering if it was so ancient that it got stuck, and dreaded the fact that we may had to run again.

“...Oh, I forgot. You have to push it forward to open, not slide it to the side.”

Kana suddenly commented, pushing the door forward and opening it with ease. I was astonished; pushing forward? How would you know that there weren't anyone on the other side, waiting to crash into the door when you open it?

In any case, I wasn't sure what I was expecting on the other side of the ancient door but this wasn't it, especially in a government facility. What greeted us was something I’d seen in images during history classes. Brownish-grey and uneven walls and floors, a typical trait of dirt and rocks. Closer inspection confirmed my suspicion, and for a moment I forgot the urgency and my aching legs as I stared in awe at the rocky walls and dirt floor. If not for the familiar ceiling lights, it would've been like I've time-travelled.

Kana’s footsteps on pebbles brought me back from my awe. She was walking to the only pathway that stretched out on the other side of the exit we just walked through. The walls were rocky as far as I could see, and I guessed this was a tunnel.

We walked at a quick pace, but I was content as long as she wasn’t dragging me. I wanted to ask where we were going now, but I saw that she was lost in thought, the previous joy shown whilst running seemingly vanished. And so I just followed her for now, knowing that she would eventually talk to me once she was done with whatever she was thinking.

For a while, the only sound I could hear were our footsteps. The scenery was the same rocky walls as we progressed, but soon I realised the lights were gradually thinning away. Eventually, there were no more ceiling lights. It was getting hard to see, and while I was confident I could walk in the dark from how flat and straight this tunnel was, it was getting harder to see where Kana was going.

“Kana? I can’t see you anymore, it’s too dark.”

I spoke up. The sound of her footsteps stopped. I could hear her shuffling a little, then something illuminated from where she was standing. It looked like a floating yellow ball of light with a propeller on the bottom; a Fly Lamp! Lamps which lasts a long time and conveniently hands-free. They move if you get close thanks to the sensors. With that, she continued walking, but not as quickly as before. I glanced her way and saw that her facial expression wasn’t locked into the thoughtful one from earlier, so I risked a conversation.

“Are we nearly there? Where are we going anyway?”

“Not yet. This tunnel leads to the outskirts of the City. Hopefully we’ll be able to find help and stop the massacre the government’s planning to carry out.”

Massacre. It was such a strong word, but I think I was beginning to understand where Kana’s coming from. Those two... Pokémon back at the labs were more than enough to trash the place. Imagine if there were more... Thinking of the incident up there, however, brought me to my questions. Perhaps it was the right time to ask.

“So you had a Pokémon all along. And from what that guy said… did you steal the one you sent me? And why did he change like that when he realised who my parents were? ...What happened to them?”

Kana let out a soft laughter, though I was certain I heard a hint of nervousness in her voice. I wondered if it was because I finally asked about my parents for the first time in my seventeen years of staying with her.

“Yeah, all researchers who’re eligible gets a Pokémon, ones named Magnemite to be exact. It’s for safety measures and security.”

She started speaking while walking.

“The one I had is a kind of Pokémon called Magneton. See, once certain conditions are met, Pokémon are capable of shifting form. This process is called evolution. It happens extremely fast, and not much is known about it. Anyway, Magnemites are mechanical, which meant the higher-ups can install cameras and other nifty devices in them. That way, they’re able to monitor all the researchers to see if they’re doing anything funny. Not everyone in the lab knows about these 'extra features', but I’ve been working there for so long that I know how to get past their little spying~”

She blurted out a small satisfied chuckle.

“Well, as for the other questions… Let me start with this. So the government knew about the existence of Pokémon for a while, but they hadn’t known what they were capable of from the start. From lab reports, it seems these creatures suddenly emerged from the desolate areas without warning. No one really knew what they were around the time when I became a researcher. So back then, my main job at G. Labs was to research Pokémon - their living conditions and such to see if they can somehow help with the overpopulation problem. What we found were loyal and loving creatures, capable of providing almost limitless resources, but deadly at the same time. Soon, the government caught on the fact that military usage might actually be possible. And so our research started shifting to focus more on their offensive capabilities. And like I said before, this was a huge success.

“Now, some of the researchers were opposed to this idea. After all, Pokémon were living, breathing creatures just like us, and these military experiments were starting to become more inhumane by day. And these researchers eventually formed a group to rebel against the weaponisation of Pokémon. Your parents and I were also involved in this group.”

My parents, whom I only knew by name. Fey and Van Pnevma. I heard that they were Kana's senior since school.

“The rebellion took a lot of time and patience for everything to get ready. Some time in between the preparation, though, you were born. But by then, your parents were too deeply involved and couldn’t back out. That was when I offered to take care of you for them. You were just so adorable that I couldn’t resist. Anyway, everything was planned perfectly… but something went wrong. I’m not sure what, since I played a minor role so that no matter what happens, I would be able to go back and care for you. But whatever happened, the rebellion failed and we never saw most of them ever again. There were no records or bodies to tell what had happened. They just… disappeared.

“And around that time, Aaron appeared as the head security. He’s a… weird guy to put it lightly. During the first few weeks, he was all grumpy and ordered everyone about, definitely screwing up his first impression. He became more composed as time went, and noticeably richer too, but still quite bothersome. And one irritating fact about him was that he somehow knew about the rebellion and people involved in it, like your parents. He’d throw some of the names about, seeing who reacts and such. I don’t really know how he found out about my connection with your parents, but from some point on he started using your parents’ name to rile me up. That stupid nobody dared to mock them, dammit.”

Kana fumed, muttering curses under her breath again. I placed a hand on her shoulder and lightly gave her a pat. That seemed to calm her down enough to continue speaking.

“Other than that, all I know about him is that he has a Metang, which is quite unique. I have no idea why he’s so obsessed with the rebellion members or your parents.

“Now, as for that Pokémon I sent you,”

Her voice seemed to have gone a bit lighter; perhaps because she was done talking about my parents. Maybe she thought it'll affect me somehow if she talked about them. I don’t have any memories of them to affect me, so it didn't matter much.

“It’s a Pokémon called Lampent. One of the more mysterious ones known as Ghost-type. Some weeks ago, they brought in a batch of these Ghost-types to experiment with their ability to pass through solid objects. They probably wanted these Pokémon to enter other settlements unnoticed and wreak havoc over there.”

I recalled back to the image I saw on the monitor. To think they were capable of going through walls.

“So the experiments went underway, and the Pokémon had little choice but to follow the orders they were given. That Lampent you have, however, was a shy one. It would disappear from sight when it was taken out of the Pokéball, and tested a lot of the other researchers’ patience when it refused to cooperate as much as others. In the end, many of the other researchers resorted to violence to carry out the experiments.”

Kana paused once more.

“I just couldn’t stand it anymore, and that was when I thought of freeing it. I mean, if it weren’t shackled by a Pokéball, it could escape and go wherever it wanted. So I stole it, put it in a parcel delivery since Transporters can be tracked by the government much easier, and with a written letter so that the holographic text monitors couldn't scan the writing. And then I planned to heal it up on the healing stations and let it loose in the wild, but, well… Looks like we’ll have to go out in the wild together, sorry about that Vee.”

“It’s… not okay, but I can see what you did wasn’t exactly wrong.”

I spoke.

“Huh, you’re not as devastated as I thought. And here I was, all ready to snuggle up to you in case you threw a tantrum to go back~”

I recognised the tone of voice as her usual antics and ignored her. Truth be told, if I were thrown out of the City by myself, I would be throwing more than just a tantrum. But I had Kana, and I wasn’t naive enough to think that my life would be the same if I went back now; no doubt that Aaron guy would try to hunt me down, or at least make my life as miserable as he can make it.

Besides, it would be a lie to say that I wasn’t starting to get my hopes up. There was one thing that I desired which was impossible back in the City, and that was feeling the sun on my own skin. Hearing that there were other settlements outside the City made me think that maybe, just maybe, there was a place out there were there weren’t any clouds that covered the sky.

Well, that just about answered all the questions I could think of right now... though, this tunnel was ridiculously long. We had been walking the whole time! I looked back at the way we came, and realised that something wasn’t right.

“Kana, look behind us - light.”

I pointed at the tiny speck of light; it was noticeably growing, indicating that it was coming towards us.

“What, we’re already found? That’s just delightful.”

With that, she started running again, with me following close behind.

“How much longer do we have to go?!”

“A bit more! Curse this needlessly large population of a city and its faraway exits!”

She shouted frantically as we ran, dropping curses here and there. I dared to look back to see how much we’ve distanced from our pursuer, and nearly fell over; the light was closer than before, meaning that whoever or whatever they were, they were much, much faster. I knew we couldn’t run forever, and even if we made it out of the tunnel, who was to say that there weren't any other trackers?

The thought of becoming wanted fugitives for the rest of my life made me falter. That was when I lost my balance; there were no loose pebbles or ditches or anything. I regretted being distracted by my thoughts, but then I realised that the ground was actually moving... no, shaking. I could feel the tremors from the ground, making me lose trip. My vision was shaking too, but I was able to see that Kana was on the floor not that far away, much like me.

“W-what’s happening?!”

I shouted, but my voice was muffled by the noise all around us.

the_fast_reader

Overanalyzing Pokemon for 20 years

Female
Italy
Seen 6 Days Ago
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
542 posts
90 Days
Just caught up to the latest chapter, this is an incredibly unique concept and I'm loving the story so far!
I especially love all the little details of Vee reacting to "ancient things" like writing on paper and doorknobs. The surprised thought about how doors work made me chuckle, it really is a wonder that we don't continually hit people by opening doors.

I can't wait for her reaction to going outside, I expect her to have quite the culture shock! And maybe "body shock" too? If in the City temperature is kept controlled maybe she isn't used to really hot or cold temperatures, or to sweating by standing in the sun all day.

There seems to be quite a conspiracy in place to keep common people confined in the City so I'm curious about these human settlements outside...

On the Pokemon side of things, I like how you described them in the eyes of someone who has never seen them before, it's always fun to play "who's that Pokemon?" by reading descriptions,and I love how you incorporated abilities into the story by having the Metang be pulled against Magneton. Speaking of Magneton, did he stay behind? I suppose it will come after Kana after helping them escape.

Looking forward to the next chapter of this unconventional Pokemon journey.
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