Cerulean City, 2012. The path towards restoration and harmony, distant from human spirits for so long, seems to linger in the clear air. The refined atmosphere had strengthened Jimmy, who sat reflectively on the renowned bridge. He was grimacing at the indignity and indecency of the tourists, but he was glad that they felt comfortable enough to travel through Kanto.
Jimmy strolled through the hostile grass, producing a strong repellent from his backpack. He momentarily pondered the other things in his backpack. The Pokemon League Organisation leaflet he had written. His lunch, a mutilated Krabby wedged between two pieces of vengeful bread. A map, provoking stalwart thoughts of adventure that he had learnt to dismiss.
Strolling through the disgusted Pokémon, he recalled the days of Misty. Promiscuous, fair Misty, always managing to astound her boyfriend with the renowned Pokémon master's fortress and the mysterious blue aura that pervades the city. She presented to her many boyfriends the gentle mystery of Cerulean Cave and the many Pokémon questions which the insane, anthropomorphic Pokémon researcher was trying to discover. Then she was subject to a mystery of her own: a fleeting, demoralising mystery.
Jimmy sighed. Is he walking into eternity along Cerulean Cape? Lost in his own thoughts, James refuses to forget the startled face of the voluble "Pokémon Badge man". He cannot eradicate images of the forlorn adventurers, their sorrow not because they cannot afford a bike, but because there is no longer need of a bike. "All boys leave home some day". Yes: all boys do leave home, Jimmy had watched TV like everyone else. But, to what? A shattered, factional Kanto, wandered by a mysterious radical group of assassins and a bunch of weirdos, maintained only by a small group of bureaucratic individualists?
In despair, James Theodore Candide wandered into Professor William Thorpe's house. Greeting him with a nod which revealed unwittingly his sorrow, he looked up from a look of resignation.
William examined Jimmy with his steely eyes. "I'm working on something. Don't tell those Better Worlds bastards. I've created a genome model which allows the effective merging of the DNA material of an Abra and a young embyro."
William, his face devoid of all ethical concerns, was met with a suspicious look by Jimmy. "Wouldn't that have major impact on psychic powers that we don't really understand? Couldn't you unleash something into the world, something dangerous?"
"Slow down, will you?" William's voice emerged agitated, belligerent. "Transformation, something I discovered and documented, never left this office. Who's to say fusion will? The jewels of evil are unlocked only when they are unearthed by the maligned themselves."
Unaware of the metaphor, Jimmy resigned from his stubborn tone and said, "How are you going to vote?"
"I'm not sure if any of them are right. The Pokémon League is a sacred organisation; you cannot taint it with the unexperienced." He sighed, and a silence intoxicated the air like the fumes of the local Oddish. "The Pokémon League was kept together by lineage. Never before have we had to decide it arbitrarily. I don't involve myself in political affairs, as you can see, but there still seems to be something sinister about this situation."
Frightened, in further despair, Jimmy issued a laconic goodbye and reluctantly walked back through the dazzling yet sinister town.
Last edited by Hicky; 03-16-2012 at 12:24 PM.
Danyon wandered the streets as well. He was blissfully unaware of most of the goings on however. The young man had a pair of earplugs in, attached to some archaic music player and his attention was focused raptly on a book of funerary rituals and procedures.
He had no pokemon sadly, he had never really gotten the chance. Once war broke out, there was too much to do to support the homefront to go out adventuring like the others who had come before him. His parents had owned pokemon of course, and his older sister had even started her journey. Alas, fate had intervened and his family was gone now. His parents were peacefully interred in the ground and the mystery of his sister's disappearance, though often on his thoughts, was long since unsolved.
There was a pokeball at his belt of course. He'd never forgive himself if the opportunity to acquire a beloved adventuring companion presented itself and he was unprepared to capitalize on the chance.
Thoughts of catching pokemon weren't on his mind however, only his bizzare studies of the afterlife, how we got there, and what happened to our bodies was the only thing he was currently considering. In fact his obsessions prevented him from noticing Jimmy until he collided with the boy.
"Oof! Hey, whoah! Sorry there, buddy," Danyon made apologies then stooped to recover his fallen tome.
"I'm Danyon by the way. How's tricks?"
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Jimmy looked up, interrupted. 'Embalming a Mudkip' were the ominous words printed on a book that a peculiar teenager in front of Jimmy seemed to be reading.
The solemn reminder of death chilled him, affecting his gait and suddenly bringing forth undesirable thoughts. Mortality and the boundaries one has to cross were topics that upset Jimmy. Repulsed by grave images of his dead father, his expressionless face having forgotten all the hopes and expectations that he had, he had not been able to spend more than five minutes in the murky air of Lavender Town. Jimmy's heart was shook by the realities of this world: he became startled at the fear of his own soul floating out of his body as unknown planes are entered.
Thinking became painful. He painfully uttered, "Hmm, I've never seen you around. Perhaps you're here for the cave? That, that must be it. People come in droves to stare into the mouth of that useless cave, and this is the season when people come. I knew someone who came all the way from Pewter, a clever archeologist as well."
Jimmy did not mention the strange books he was reading, nor his bizarre music player. He remembered his grandmother had one, and suddenly recalled her world-weary hand as it had tapped him on the shoulder that fateful day. He shuddered, the memory jolting back at him. "Jimmy, I have chronic kidney disease. I waited until the meal was over to tell both you and Eva. But don't worry about me, don't you worry about me. I'll be just fine, just swell." Her words vibrated in the empty air, finally dissipating in the endless desert of his memory.
"Cave?" Oh yeah... no. Really I'm not entirely sure why I'm out here. My folks died off during the war, and well... there doesn't seem to be much point in a lot of things now."
The young man ran a hand through his pale hair, embarassed.
"Sorry again about jostling ya. Hey, maybe you can help me out. Like I said, I've really just been wandering as of late, looking for a purpose. You know anything about that LRO I've been hearing tell about? Maybe I can get in with them, do some good in the world."
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Jimmy's strategy realised all along, he told of the cave. "Some weird Pokémon has been in there for centuries. It's locked away in there - it's power being unleashed on the world would cause disastrous effects. People on Cinnibar Island did some experiments and it was intended as a force of good or something like that. People rarely go in the cave and come out alive, there's some sort of toxic aura surrounding it so people don't even get that near." He sighed, bemused once again by mortality and stricken by the pedantic nature of his tone, and carried on. "The LRO has an office in Cerulean, that's effectively why I'm here. It's the old gym, used to be the gym of someone named Misty before the... war. There are loads of activists who live there."
He looked properly at the strange fellow. He had a strange malice in his perplexed grin that upset Jimmy. His gaze seemed to be an arrow fired right into the heart of his soul: he shivered. He then resolved to continue. "Currently, we're deciding on a new gym leader. There's supposed to be some kind of expedition soon to find an experienced trainer who we can install, but the world's dangerous and to be honest you'd have to be a fool to just wander around Kanto nowadays. We have three guys up for election but none of them are even predominantly water-typed trainers, I think it's an effort by the leadership team to try and show off the fact that we're making progress. Anyway, elections aside, the final choice has to be decided by the Council, and people are pretty adamant that the Council aren't going to let any of the current nominees be Gym Leader. I wish communication was easier. In fact, I wish things were just normal again."
Jimmy had revealed far too much to the curious stranger, and he looked up in horror at the fact that his menacing countenance might be that of someone who would misuse information like that.
Danyon shrugged, oblivious to any unease he was causing Jimmy.
"Well, first off, it's sad but true; nothing's gonna be 'normal' again for a while. It's up to all of us to make the world better. Second, this new League thing offers all kinds of possibilities. Sure it's traditional for Cerulean to have a water gym, and the ambience is definitely there, but who says it has to be that way now?"
He returned the funerary book back to his backpack as he continued.
"We can do things in all kinds of new ways. More to the point however, this Council is havin' trouble deciding on something? Why not have some sort of...test, or competition? Let's say they decide it HAS to be a water Gym. Why not use a battery of tests."
Danyon paused again, took a bottle of water from his pack, took a sip, and then continued.
"I've got all kinds of ideas. First, the big one; a Tournament, have anyone who wants a shot at being Gym leader participate in a big tournament. Make the requirements be that they have to use water pokemon only, or at least the majority of their pokemon be water typed. Then... have them come up with a proposal for a redesigned Gym. Ensure that they can think big, and have a real good concept of what impression they want to give trainers seeking their badge. Third, I don't know what... but some other test to see if the applicants have whatever qualities they're looking for in a gym leader."
Another big slug of water.
"Oh yeah, you never mentioned a name?"
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Jimmy disregarded his response for a while, contemplating the nominees. Segeline DuPont... Harry Shears... Gary Whitefield... no. The Pokémon League, if it is to be regarded, deserves an elevatory position in the Pokémon universe. He listened to his question: poor, naive child, does he not know what Kanto is like? As the dust settles, and the world regains its natural order, it need not be interrupted by humble fancies like tournaments.
Jimmy was startled, however, by the young man's intelligence contrasted with his shambolic sense of dress that provoked extreme feelings of nausea. Never having encountered activists so fanciful and with so much apparent potential, secret enclosed cabinets were unlocked: the debris was cleared. He was struck rapidly by insane notions, and turned towards the Don Quixote figure with renewed joie de vivre. He walked with him to Cerulean Café, and suddenly became aroused by peculiar, idealistic fantasies. "I like your ideas. The PLO's system of organisation is disgraceful, really. You and I should go to the rumoured camps across Kanto, where Water trainers of peculiar ability lurk. There are rumours of a fisherman, talented like nobody has ever seen. Rumours, even, of divine healers in lighthouses, of mystic sea princes with peculiar knowledge. I haven't moved from this godforsaken town in years and it's destroying me, I'm haunted by stupid reflections. Really, I love your ideas about a tournament, about tests... the current climate makes it inapplicable." He stared at him with even more vigour. "I can see it in your eyes. You're young, you haven't experienced much. You want to travel around this godforsaken warzone. Well, so do I. If you like my offer, I'll meet you tomorrow morning and we'll find a much-need Water gym leader, talk to them about our ideas... the problem is, these people are idealistic but they don't travel."
OOC: This was a thinly-veiled attempt to create some action.
"Hey, sounds like a plan," Danyon favored Jimmy with a lopsided grin, then turned to head toward the nearest library, "I'll meet you in the morning then, friend!" With that he headed off to do some research, find a place to rest and get ready for an actual adventure.
"This Council will elect the Gym Leaders of course, but as for an Elite Four and a League Champion, the answer is obvious!" Councilman Greenberg shouted over the murmuring of the rest of the PLO. They had been in debate for hours. Of course setting up a gym here was first priority and hiring...or electing the right person was tantamount. The League Champion was a different matter and everyone had an opinion. Greenberg, like most of the others, favored waiting for the return of the 'Savior' who had ended the war. This person would obviously be most qualified to lead the Pokemon League and serve as it's greatest champion.
"What you're thinking is preposterous!" Balk Freeroven shouted back. He was wearing a decent if out of fashion purple suit at the moment and managed to stand out among the council.
"Preposterous how? As a man with your..background, you should -" Greenberg began to counter before Balk cut him off.
"There IS no Savior. I've said it before. Greedy men, lustful for power found a way to get it. That's how they were able to take the Three under their control. They used them for their own purposes and then wiped each other out in a battle for dominance. There's no Great Savior..."
Greenberg puffed himself up, indignant. Doctor Caius, one of Greenberg's cohorts retorted for him.
"I find it incredulous that you persist in shooting down the story of the Savior. You are now a leading authority of pokemon and your knowledge is based primarily in...folklore, children's stories, and the teachings of that blasphemous cult! You of all people should be hanging on to this Savior theory with all your might. It could even vindicate some of your more outlandish theories!"
Balk pulled at his collar. This was going nowhere, just as all the meetings he had been in since he joined up with the PLO had gone.
"Look, it's nonsense. But I'm letting the matter drop. I don't believe I can be of any more help to this Organization and I feel, I shall have to go my own way. Still, contact me if there is anything I can do to help the League make it's return, or if your Mysterious Savior should arrive in a chariot of flying Rapidash."
With that, Balk Freeroven stormed out of the meeting of the Pokemon League Restoration Organization.
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OOC: I'm tired, I'll write my next piece tomorrow Qoorly baby
Danyon made his way back to the motel room. He'd take a shower catch a few z's before meeting up with Jimmy later. Without any trepidation, for why should he have any, the young man turned the key and opened the door.
Surprise was his first reaction. There was a large parcel on the bed, with a newspaper beside that. He cast the newspaper aside for a moment to study the parcel. It was bound in brown paper and there was a small note attached.
"From the belonging of Alfred Worthington Rouse," he read aloud, "That's odd." His grandfather had been Alfred Rouse, but he had never known much about him. How could someone have found him to deliver a package from a relative he had hardly known. It was definitely odd. Still, curiosity was an impelling force, and before he knew it, his hand was moving to tear off the wrapping.
Inside the wrapping was a weathered cardboard box. And within the box was a slim volume, bound in old leather, as well as a strange black iron lantern. It looked ancient. More importantly to Danyon, it looked familiar.
"Certain civilizations used lanterns like this in their cemeteries," he was musing aloud again, " they hung them along the pathways to guide spirits through the afterlife. Interesting."
Leaving the lantern for a moment he turned to the book. He flipped through it, skimming pages for over an hour. It was a book on funerary practices, but it had some strange notions that Danyon had never heard of. While the use of the lanterns as guides was nothing unusual for old cultures, this book seemed to imply that they could be used to trap a pokemon, usually one related to death. Rouse blinked. Could there be a pokemon trapped in the lantern? It wasn;t out of the question of course. Apricorns had been used long before pokeballs had been invented and there had been other methods of containment before that.
"Well, only one way to find out," he said. Reaching to open the little latch on the lantern. There was a bright flash and a shape materialized. It was small, shaped a bit like an oversized candle. It had eyes however, and the wick atop it burned with an ominous purple light.
"A Litwick?" Danyon asked. The creature turned to regard him with yellow eyes. It smiled impishly up at him.
"Well, I guess this is my lantern now, are you mine too?" he queried. He wasn't sure that pokemone could just be transferred like that. True, it's previous owner was long since dead, but still.
"Liiiit....." the little creature's voice was a hollow, echoing whisper, but it's nodding was at least a little reassuring. It hopped onto the nearby desk and sat there, radiating pale netherlight.
"Well, I guess that answers that," the young man said. Then he turned his attentions to the newspaper he had haphazardly thrown aside. It was from today and the cover story was...intruiging, on multiple levels.
A girl, blonde with some streaks of another color, he surmised (it was difficult to tell in black and white) was on the cover, standing beside a small pile of bodies, human and pokemon. The bodies were in various stages of decay and a powerful looking Tentacruel seemed to watch over the girl and the pile. She was good looking, that was his first thought. Then there were the bodies and the headline. 'Trainer defends Lavender Town from the walking Dead.'
He HAD to read the article now. Apparently over the course of the last few days, the dead had risen in Lavender and this girl, Laguna Azul, had been helping to fend them off. After she destroyed the initial wave of zombies, they had been showing up in reduced number. The whole town was in a panic, but apparently the girl and her pokemon were talented battlers and had rallied the town in keeping the undead menace to a minimum. Danyon continued to scan the article. No official word on why the dead were walking but general opinion is that experimentation on the Better World's new Super Revive had gone awry, run off had leaked from their labs and they were wholly responsible. Of course the Megacorp denied any claims and eagerly invited authorities to examine their laboratory for signs of malfeasance.
"I have got to tell Jimmy about THIS," he said. Then he turned to his(?) new Litwick, "I guess you need a name first though. Hrmm... I'm thinking Samhain."
The Litwick nodded eagerly. Danyon opened the lantern again and his new pokemon disappeared within again. Now the Lantern radiated the same purple light. Well at least he had a way to see at night now.
The young man shoved the newspaper and the book into his satchel and headed out to find James Candide.
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I am a rationalist. The walking dead are merely literary fantasies. Yes, this is true. Disregard the newspaper, it's probably a the press over-exaggerating. "Do they have nothing else to write about?", he mused. The mystery of Pokemon Balls was scientifically explained, a bit - how can Pokemon be stored in other capsules?
"Well, we certainly have an interesting adventure ahead of us. I think we should go to Cinnibar and talk to those in-the-know."