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Old September 16th, 2012 (9:45 AM). Edited September 16th, 2012 by PhanpyFan.
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PhanpyFan PhanpyFan is offline
Pokemon Chronicler
     
    Join Date: Aug 2012
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Sassy
    Posts: 7
    (This story is rated PG-13 for violence and mild adult themes)

    Hey everyone! This is my very first fan fic. I made it to accompany a Pokemon tabletop RPG as a backstory to one of my NPC main characters. If you would like to read the history of Kanto and how Obsidian came to be, I posted it as a spoiler in the Introduction (but it doesn't actually spoil anything).
    If you'd like to follow a different story in the same setting, you can check out the adventure log on my RPG's home page at http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/pokemon-obsidian-version

    Hope you enjoy it!

    Introduction
    Spoiler:


    It’s funny to think that at one point Pokémon and humans coexisted
    peacefully. The memory of such a time has all but faded through the course of
    history.

    Pokemon have had a long history of collaboration with human interests.
    Throughout most of history, the possession of Pokemon was an indication of high
    status and these domesticated monsters were used for military purposes.
    Approximately 500 years ago, a social transformation began. At the turn of the
    Industrial Age, new technologies were developed that allowed for the easy
    storage, transportation, and upkeep of Pokemon. As these technologies became
    available to the public, Pokemon began to be employed as bodyguards and
    mercenary units for private interests.

    However, it was Silph Co, military manufacturer of Pokemon
    technologies, which forever changed the relationship between Pokemon and people.
    It began with a simple idea: to make Pokemon training more accessible to the
    public. So they introduced a groundbreaking solution: Pokemon made Pokemon
    products. Pokemon were remarkably good at being trained for general labor. Their
    natural hard work ethic and low cost of living meant that they could hold longer
    hours and be compensated with only food and shelter. So for a time, the hobby of
    Pokemon training exploded into the mainstream. Now even those on a modest salary
    could afford Pokemon made Pokemon products and even some children were
    financially able to maintain a journey dedicated to their Pokemon. Soon, Silph
    Co. took its idea to its natural progression; they began training Pokemon for
    other enterprises, resulting in Pokemon staffed hospitials and Pokemon made
    automobiles, even Pokemon artisans. For a period of about 300 years, Pokemon
    became integral with every aspect of human society. Pokemon were raised as pets,
    business partners, and even friends. However, the most common use for Pokemon
    was Pokemon battling, a cultural retention of the aggressive, military image of
    Pokemon. However, unlike in previous times, Pokemon were no longer involved in
    feudal disputes and civil wars. The introduction of Pokemon into human society
    led Kanto to 150 years of peace and prosperity in a world where Pokemon provided
    sources for renewable energy, advanced medical skills, and cheap
    labor.

    It was the human-owned businesses that went first. Pokemon could
    work longer hours than humans with greater efficiency. Nobody wanted to buy
    human-made cloth anymore when they could buy a Silph product at half the price
    and twice the thread count. Even small shops that owned one or two Pokemon to
    assist them were soon overwhelmed by the high demand for the cheaper Silph made
    products. Silph Co. quickly had a monopoly on all Pokemon-related manufacturing
    and was quickly gaining dominance in other markets. Its business model
    constantly evolved; taking on all competitors. The Machoke that once took the
    industry far beyond its competitors became obsolete. Experimentation with
    Pokemon technology gave Silph researchers the ability to force Pokemon to
    evolve, meaning Machamp became the standard for competitive labor. p. Pokemon
    became more and more specialized to their tasks: Tyrogue had small fingers,
    useful for making complex mechanical machines with small parts. Ivysaur were
    ideal for their ability to manipulate and accelerate the growth of plants. Soon,
    Silph Co. controlled virtually all markets, as it alone had the resources to
    breed and train Pokemon for specific industrial purposes

    The world economy began to crumble under the weight of this new
    market. Pokemon worked for only food and shelter, so they had no capacity for
    paying taxes, despite being the primary workers of the Kanto and Johto regions.
    In Kanto and Johto, people flocked to Saffron and Goldenrod cities looking for
    work suitable for humans, leaving the outer cities to dwindle into small towns
    and in leaving some in ruins. Saffron and Goldenrod cities expanded from the
    center of their continents, reaching out and enveloping small towns as their
    suburbs and ghettos grew in population. As they enveloped neighboring towns,
    Saffron became known as Obsidian City and Goldenrod became known as Gainesboro
    City.

    It was at this point that the Johto government pulled the plug on
    Silph Co’s expansion. They saw the damage that the industry had on their economy
    and ordered them to hire human workers for certain types of labor and leave
    these human work markets alone. Through this policy, Johto was able to maintain
    the last of its large cities and some of its cultural heritage of Pokemon
    training, but as a result isolated itself from the world market, which it could
    no longer compete in as a result of this decision. Meanwhile, Obsidian City grew
    bigger and bigger until the only reputable jobs in all of Kanto could be found
    there. The wealth disparity skyrocketed. Society broke down into three basic
    classes: The upper class, the trade class, and the
    trade-less.

    As we approach the conditions of the present day, the trade class in
    Kanto is all but obsolete. There are so few specialty markets left. The small,
    family owned business struggle to do anything they can to pay their high cost of
    living and hold back the steady creep of the slums into the foreclosing suburbs.
    Nobody knows much about Pokemon anymore, except for those with specialized
    educations. Only the upper class has the means to study them and afford the
    purebred specimens.

    Years of propaganda has led the public to believe that wild Pokemon
    are violent and dangerous and that only Specially Bred Pokemon could be
    compatible with human society. Wild Pokemon were pushed further and further out
    of their home territories and engaged in frustrated, sometimes violent
    reclaiming of their old territories. This and public opinion shifting away from
    protecting wild Pokemon, led to the building of the Great Retaining Wall to
    protect Obsidian City from wild Pokemon attacks.

    The hierarchy of society grows more and more rigid. The upper class
    and what was left of the Kanto government protected the lower classes from wild
    Pokemon and the lower classes kept in their place out of fear of both the
    corrupt trainers that protected them and of the wild Pokemon that they were
    protected against.



    Chapter 1: Awakening


    “Little one, let me tell you a story of a world that
    once was; a world of mystery and adventure. You see, the world wasn’t always as
    it is now. There was a time when Pokémon were treated as companions and partners
    by people. When Pokémon battled, they did it out of love and respect for their
    trainers. In those days, almost anyone could own a Pokeball and catch their very
    own Pokémon. Our great city used to be only the size of the Estate District and
    around it stretched miles upon miles of grass and trees where Pokémon roamed.
    And not the dangerous, wild kind like we have today. Intelligent creatures,
    capable of working together to do all kinds of amazing things.”

    “When I grow up I want to go beyond the wall and get my very own Pokémon!”

    Emmy knew better. The thought of her growing up to be one of those
    brutish adolescent trainers horrified her mother, but she knew that she would
    only use her Pokémon for good like the old trainers.

    “Don’t talk like that, Emmy! Pokémon aren’t like they once were.
    They are violent and dangerous creatures and nothing but violence can come of
    them. Stay clear of Pokémon and Pokémon trainers, you hear?”

    Aya’s stern expression softened as she watched her
    daughter squirm with the anticipation of her next question. Emmy took this as
    her cue to ignore her mother’s warnings.

    “What did people used to do with their Pokémon, mama?”

    “Before there was one great city, there were many cities
    scattered throughout Kanto. People used to go from city to city competing with
    their Pokémon to try to be the best trainer they could be.”

    “So they were like the trade-less?”

    “Oh no. Back then your worth was not determined by the quality of
    your job, but by the strength of your heart. The very best trainers would become
    Pokémon Masters, who were great symbols of honor and freed-”

    “Tell me about how they kept the bad Pokémon trainers
    away!”

    She’d heard it a million times, but it was the only
    reason she reallywanted to hear this
    story. She never wanted to listen to any others.

    “The Pokémon Masters
    would swoop down with their dragon Pokémon and challenge the bad trainers to a
    battle. When they won, they would banish them until they could learn to use
    their Pokémon for good.”

    This part of the story always seemed half hearted from
    onerous repetitiveness, but it was always Emmy’s favorite part. Emmy imagined
    great trainers wearing capes and wielding swords on the backs of gigantic dragon
    Pokémon, their mighty presence causing the bad trainers to tremble before them
    and swearing to be good.

    While her daughter drifted off into her imagination, Aya
    gazed out the tiny, dirty window with a glazed look in her eyes. She sat there
    for a moment, contemplating the steady beating of rain against the glass. The
    fluorescent street lights on her pale skin made her look like one of the
    beautiful stone statues sold by the old man at the end of the street, always
    with such sad expressions on their faces.

    “Are there any dragon Pokémon left, mama?”

    “Nobody knows, but some say…” She trailed off. Her expression
    suddenly ashen. “Get under the bed.”

    “Wha-“

    “NOW”

    At this, there was a booming knock on the door. Aya
    snatched the gas lamp off the bedside table and dashed out of the room. It
    happened so quickly that Aya was left scrambling in the darkness to get
    untangled from the covers. She finally worked her way under the little bed as
    the door slammed open downstairs. A flash of lightning ripped across the sky,
    shaking the house in a mighty clap of thunder.

    *****

    Emmy is prodded awake by the uncomfortable, but all too
    familiar feeling of cold rain drops prickling her weary skin. Thunder rolls in
    the distance, reminding her that an alley was a poor place to settle for the
    night. She lies there for a moment, watching her breath curl into wisps in the
    bitter cold air. Phanpy isn’t going to like this. He hates the water. As she
    rolls over to wake him, she suddenly sits bolt upright. Phanpy is gone! How
    could she sleep so carelessly? What if he’s been captured? Would they send him
    back to his owner or would one of the Sweepers get him first?

    “Phan-py!”

    A garbage can rustles from behind her. A small
    elephant-like creatures jumps out, prancing towards her with a half-rotten
    cabbage clutched in its prehensile nose. It lays the cabbage carefully on a
    sheet of scrap metal nearby, adding it to the small picnic that it had compiled
    while Emmy slept. Seeing her awake, it looks proudly up with its beady little
    eyes, flapping its floppy ears and picking up a burnt crust of bread to show
    off.

    Emmy contemplates yelling at him for worrying her, but
    he looks so pleased with himself that she would hate to spoil that happy little
    expression. Feelings like that are so rare these days. Her concerned expression
    softens.

    “Good job, buddy. I guess the alley paid off after all,
    huh?”

    “Phanpy!”

    It plops the burnt crust in her hand and begins to tear
    into the half head of cabbage. The pair eats their little feast silently as they
    listen to the thunder roll in the distance. A rather large rain drop hits Phanpy
    on the head and it gives a little shudder. Emmy does her best to wrap him in her
    jacket, barely large enough to fit her own scrawny arms in.

    “Let’s find a proper shelter for tonight, Phanpy. Maybe a nice
    abandoned house.”

    “Phaaan…”

    The little Pokémon’s face was drips with concern. There
    were many abandoned houses to choose from, for sure, but they were so often
    plagued with poisonous Weedle and Spinarak or disease ridden Rattatas. The last
    time they tried, Phanpy very nearly missed being hit by one of those toxic
    stingers.

    “It’s ok, Phanpy. We’ll
    manage. I don’t want you to sleep in the rain again.”

    Across the street, weeds envelop an abandoned store
    front. The faded sign has been vandalized beyond legibility and the top step
    groaned as Emmy put her weight on it. The door, hinges rusted all the way
    through, gives easily after one good shove, the musty smell of dust and rotting
    wood rushing out of the broken seal. It is an old family diner, similar to the
    one that her mother used to run many years ago. The foreclosure line had crept
    beyond this district several years ago, turning this entire area into a ghost
    town virtually overnight. It is clear that this place was not properly kept up
    years before it was actually abandoned.

    Outside, the rain starts to come down in sheets. Emmy
    attempts to put the half-broken door back in place as best she can and then the
    pair begins to sweep the house, checking for signs of people being there
    recently and any indication that poisonous things might be about. Emmy takes
    extra precaution to tread lightly on the floorboards, as Weedle like to chew
    them up in these old places. Aside from a few questionable droppings found in a
    cupboard, the house seems to check out. As they reach the small apartment on the
    second floor, the layout distinctly reminds Emmy of her old house. Two rooms,
    single window. The bed was even positioned right under the window, just like it
    was when her mother used to tell stories about the old trainers. How long ago
    was it… four years? Maybe five? She couldn’t remember. Time hardly seemed to
    matter anymore.

    In the closet, Emmy finds a set of dusty, but otherwise
    serviceable sheets and begins to make the bed. Through the dirty window, she
    sees an old man rummaging through the dumpster that they had just cleaned out.
    She watches him for awhile. Soaked and miserable, he searches fruitlessly
    through the dumpster, staving off the cold, hungry end that awaits him somewhere
    down the road. There are those who would blame Pokémon for his fate, monstrous
    brutes slavishly obeying the orders of their masters. Emmy could no longer
    imagine this to be so. Pokémon
    were simple creatures, hoping only to achieve a balance with their environment.
    It is humans that make them behave in such ways; that put them in an
    environment that they cannot survive in without doing harm to
    others.

    Emmy’s thoughts are interrupted by a nudge from behind
    her. She turns to see Phanpy reaching up with its long nose, eyes drooping with
    fatigue. Scooping him up, she sits on the bed with her back to the corner and he
    curls into a tight little ball like a large cat. Outside, the weary old man
    gives up his search and wanders down the street aimlessly until he disappears
    around the corner.

    “There were never any Pokémon Masters were there,
    Phanpy?”

    Phanpy’s nose gives an uncomprehending twitch, somewhere
    between listening and drifting off

    “No Pokémon Masters, no dragon Pokémon, no honor.”

    Rain continues to beat on the dirty little window pane
    and she gazes out of it as her mother once did once every night to tell her
    those encouraging little fibs about how wonderful Kanto used to be when she was
    younger. The little Pokémon on her lap stirs and begins to snore in an
    obnoxiously loud fashion sound for such a little thing.

    “Mama was wrong about all of them, but she was also was wrong
    about you. Maybe all the Pokémon out there beyond the wall are just as lost and
    scared as we are. Maybe all they need is someone to care about them; someone to
    teach them that they matter.”

    Emmy kept her silent vigil for as long as she could, but eventually she
    turned away from the window and settled down next to Phanpy. If she had stayed
    awake just a little longer, she might have seen a menacing group of young
    trainers turn the corner of the alley.
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