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Reasons to Fight


Am I more than you bargained for yet?
Disclaimer: Not mine is pokémon.
Rating: G
Author's Notes: Inspired by a moveset that was very popular back in the days of R/B/Y. Standard can-you-guess-the-pokémon fare. And this is a one-shot, btw.

Reasons to Fight

Sometimes I wonder what it will be like to forget how to forget.

For surely there will come a day when you call out that same command you always do, ask me to purge still more of my past from my mind, and I will be able to do nothing but turn to you with blank eyes, not understanding the meaning of the word "amnesia" and having long forgotten the notion of memory. It is fading more quickly, now; there are only months left, and days vanish with each battle we complete.

You tell me that amnesia is a powerful attack. Memories are only a distraction, you say. So cluttered with emotion are they, emotion that your opponents can turn against you with their guile. Power flows readiest to the empty mind, one not cluttered by extraneous thoughts and old wounds. Let go your past; what care have you for it anyway?

I think I must have cared, once. Who wouldn't be reluctant to part with memories of their childhood, of their family and their home? But such knowledge is long gone. It was the first to go, consumed by ambition, sacrificed in exchange for power. Now there is nothing worth remembering, only battling and winning and forgetting.

Now the farthest back I can think is to just last month—it was a sunny day, as it is always a sunny day in this land. Rain is a concept I can no longer understand, for it has not rained within the span of my memory. I hope that it storms again soon, so that I might be able to hold onto the image of it, if only for a brief time before that, too, is given up to the amnesia. Yes, rain—with thunder and lightning, the kind that they say peals and flashes and sounds as though it was mountains toppling. Perhaps then I could hold onto it a little longer, for who could forget something so spectacular?

But yes, it was sunny that day. Already the memory is fading, frayed around the edges. It will slide away soon, but still it is clear enough. Clear enough to see her, at least. She is young, by the standards of you humans, perhaps only five years old. How old am I, I wonder? And yes, she is young, and I see that familiar look on her face. Her eyes widen and she draws back slightly as we approach, digging her fingers into the short fur of her cyndaquil, which squeals slightly with the pain. You are looking the other way, do not see her. You tell me to wait here. You want to go into that store over there to buy something. That store no longer has a face, has already faded from my mind, but it does not matter. She is still there.

You leave, and I wonder, for I cannot remember you ever having left me alone like this. Whenever there are humans about, you are always with me. I do not understand why. You trust me, trust me to walk beside you though you know I could crush you easily with my powers. Other trainers let their pokémon walk beside them—why should you not? And yet they stare and they point, and they come running up to you, asking:

"Is that really--?"

"How did you--?"

"Is he safe--?"

Yes, safe, you tell them. And they want to speak to me, and you smile and say no, that I do not like to speak to humans other than you. This is true; they are annoying, the other humans, always staring with that fear-awe in their eyes, the kind that mingles closely with greed and jealousy, and I do not want to talk with them. But they talk to you, and they ask you how it can be that I am with you, just standing there. And you smile that secret smile and tell them that we are friends, that you trust me and know that I would never hurt you. You offer to let them shake my hand, and they eagerly accept. I shake their hand and defeat their pokémon and we move on to the next battle, the next amnesia.

Ah, but the girl! Yes, the girl on the bench with her cyndaquil. You were not there to stop me from talking to her. I was curious. It is a feeling I have rarely, curiosity, for what is the point of finding something out when you are doomed to forget it again in such a short time? But this was so different, with you gone.

I walked up to her, and she tightened her grip on her cyndaquil, but did not move to run away. She could not seem to believe my presence, acting as though it was utterly unnatural to see a pokémon walking down the street.

Hello, I said to her. Do not be afraid. I will not hurt you.

She smiled, then, and it was a smile like I have never seen, or one I cannot remember seeing. It was not like your smiles, the ones that are always sly and cunning, or proud and boastful. It was not like the smiles of the other trainers, eager and greedy and disbelieving. Hers was a smile of honesty, of pure gladness and happy disbelief.

"But why won't you?" she asked excitedly, almost as though longing for me to destroy her. "I thought that you hated us and wanted us to die. Why don't you kill him, that guy who pretends he is your trainer?"

He is my trainer, I said reproachfully. She looked puzzled, and I was equally so. He treats me well. I do not wish to kill him.

Of course I cannot remember how I met you. But surely you captured me from the wild, as all other pokémon are acquired. And why would I want to destroy the humans? They are the masters, who make us stronger. You were the one who taught me amnesia, taught me to unlock the power of my mind by denying the past in favor of the present.

And yet was it always this way? The scars on my wrists, old now and almost hidden by my thin fur—from manacles? But were you the one who came to rescue me, or to chain me? It does not matter now, though. You have always been good to me, so far as I can remember, and what point is there in fighting for something from a vanished past?

But the girl was continuing already, put off for a moment by my response but too excited to be silent for long.

"Is it true that you are the strongest ever?"

Yes, I told her. I am the strongest, and looking to become stronger.

"Then could you make a storm for me?"

A storm? I asked. Already the concept of storm is alien to me; I know the word, but do not know the thing that goes with it. Why would I create a storm?

"Yes, a storm like they tell about in the stories," she replied, eyes shining. "A storm that covered the whole world in darkness and made even the great Kyogre stir in his sleep."

All the while her cyndaquil was watching me, and I did not like the look in its eyes.

I did not know that I could do such a thing, I said to her. Tell me, what else do they say about me in stories? What else is it that I've done?

But she could only gape, and then at last ask, "But don't you know who you are? Don't you remember?"

And no, I did not. Do not. But you came running, then, the shopping bag swinging from your arm. You grabbed me and tugged me away, yelling at the girl to shut up and not speak to me. He is upset by talking to humans, you say to her. Go away.

It is a strange memory, and I do not know why it troubles me so much that I sometimes sit up at night and recall it while you sleep, as I am doing now. You ask me to guard you, and I am honored that you put your life into my hands. Even if it is so tiring, what else can I do but stay awake and watch over you? It is part of my training.

Perhaps it was what she said last. Don't you know who you are? Don't you remember? Such strange questions, as though one's identity is made by one's past. But who cares for the past? Surely I am greater than I have ever been. How could my past make me a different creature? What memories did she expect me to have that would change me, what motives drawn from them?

Yes, the memory is troublesome. But soon it will be gone. Soon they will all be gone. And then, when I at last forget how to perform amnesia, my slate will be clean. I will no longer remember forgetting, no longer remember the humans who know more about me than I do. I will be the perfect battle machine, my powers at last fully realized: my past traded at last for a glorious, victorious future. For there will be none who will be able to beat me.

And then they will no longer be able to look at me that way. The pokémon, I mean. They will know that I am the strongest ever, able to snuff their lives out on a whim.

They will not be able to look at me the way the girl's cyndaquil did, with pity in their eyes.
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This sounds oddly like something Mewtwo would say in a CBS interview. I like the fact that you're trying that approach; it paid off rather well.

Saffire Persian

Feline of Light and Shadow
  • Age 36
  • Utah
  • Seen Nov 7, 2011
I would too guess that the Pokémon is Mewtwo, judging from the various hints - from the dialogue especially, that you give us. And from your style of writing, the only Pokémon who ever talk to humans are Psychics and Ghosts, so yeah.

I did like this one-shot, and I especially like the style you presented it in - both "I" and the "You" POV seemed to be simultaneously going on, if you know what I mean.

The whole amnesia line is very well done - I like the idea of memories slowly fading away after each use of the move, it lends a creative aspect to an otherwise hardly used move in fiction. Despite the fact his memory is fading away, he still has a very distinct personality - and very "Mewtwoish" by the whole "I will be more powerful than anyone" lines scattered throughout the piece.

I didn't spot any mistakes or anything as I read, though there was one line I felt to be oddly worded:

I am upset by talking to humans, you say to her. Go away.

I think I knew what you were trying to get at with the line, but the "I am upset" sounds like you are referring to the Trainer, not to Mewtwo like I believe you are. I think it would be better said along the lines of: "He gets upset when he talks to humans," or something.

Overall, a very nice one-shot. My favorite is still Broken Metronome though.


Am I more than you bargained for yet?
Yay reviews!

Crystal Walrein

You think so? I think it seems a little introspective to go over well as an interview, IMO, but I'm interested that you saw it that way. I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for reviewing.

Saffire Persian

And you are correct (oops, guess I just spoiled all those people who read reviews before reading the actual 'fic...). I tried not to make it hard to guess, since who it is is sorta important to the idea of the 'fic.

Yes, I have to admit being rather fond of this POV. It's not one I know the technical name for, but I like to work with it for my one-shots. I'm glad you liked it.

As goes for the sentence, thanks for pointing that out. That one had bugged me a great deal, but I thought that it was necessary to leave it in that form for it to have continuity with the style the trainer's speech was presented in before. Reading back over it, however, I realized I was wrong and that it really should be "He is upset by talking to humans." Thanks again for pointing that out; it's been duly corrected.

Oh, you liked "Broken Metronome?" That was a fun one to write, I'm glad you appreciated it, and this one-shot, too. Thanks for reviewing. And truly, reviewing "The Ties that Bind" is at the top of my list right now. I apologize greatly for the delay in reviewing it. I'm going away on vacation starting Tuesday and won't be back until Sunday, but I ought to have the review out by next Tuesday at the latest.