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I originally wrote this story as an entry for the Pokécommunity Small Writing Contest, which gave three days for completion. I took my time and ended up starting without any idea where I was going, but the words flowed through my fingers and not soon after the first few paragraphs I had found a direction.
I spent the first two days just adding a paragraph here and there as a sort of draft, then worked back editing every once in awhile. On the third day I changed the entire second half, going so far as to swap one villain out for another and expanding various aspects previously unexplained. As it stands now, "Legends Always Die" represents an alternate continuity of my main fic, , so you can read on without spoiling the other. Hopefully you'll enjoy it. (I placed fifth out of 19 contestants)
"Legends Always Die"
Time is a beast, and life is its prey. The Big Bang was the first true deception. It slowly tiptoed outward, ebbing just a few more slight inches each millennia with the promise of 'This is it; no farther, promise.' Then, before Nothingness could realize what was happening, the fatal blow was delivered and chaotic stillness was replaced with the far more chaotic existence of a universe that moved.
In the millions of years since that first war of gods, matter and energy had formed and brought planets and stars crashing into the darkness. Unfortunately, they were fruitless seeds. The Big Bang had sown them throughout the void and promised life to satiate the hunger of its ally, Time. Yes, Time had devoured nothingness for a prey far more delectable: life.
But no life had yet sprung up.
What was to be done? Nothing. Nothing could be done. A story doesn't begin when forced; it must happen on its own, beginning when that single character shouts "Enough!" at the world and delivers it. The same was done now, with the beginning of life in a universe destitute of the tools required for it.
Finally, many, many years later, it happened. An infinity-to-one chance against occurred, sparking one chemical at another and that at another and that at yet another until it could not be stopped. The empty homes long ago built in preparation for life now had tenants. The planets had fostered children.
Here is one of those children now. A blue-faced boy with the name of Red. He lies stiffly on the ground, gasping for breath yet none would come. It was only moments more until Life took another snack.
His hands swung around, infantiley seeking out the red-and-white spheres scattered just out of reach. An easy task for even the youngest babes, but just following a battle leaving him weak, and oxygen so few his brain was seconds from ever sparking orders to its body, it was a burden no man but Atlas could bear on his shoulders.
He lay limp. Time had won out. There was nothing left but to pick at the flesh.
But is this the end? Of course not. It's not even the beginning. Do you see anyone shouting "Enough!" at the world? You don't? Then let's go back to when that happened and move on from there...
Another boy, this one named Blue and with cheeks blistering red, huddled against a rock. He attempted to cover his face from the pelting ice shards with his cape, but succeeded only in losing balance and falling to his hands. The snow instantly burned his palms in their intense coolness.
He knelt that way for a few moments, letting the snow chill his hands to the bone and the hail blizzard from above. He was almost entirely covered in snow now, but he let it.
Still he remained as he was, letting the snow and ice consume him like a tomb. The weight of it pushed onto his back, gravity demanding to win out against human disobedience. If only for a few moments longer, Blue would have gladly submitted. Instead he thrust upward and let the snow fall around him, leaving only loose powder on his cape.
He looked upward, nearly blinded in the pure whiteness. In what seemed like miles, but was only a few short yards, flew Articuno. The shimmering blue tail trailed behind it, revealing the otherwise invisible creature. In only a few short moments it disappeared from vision into the white noise around him.
The sentry gone, Blue continued. It was an arduous task climbing this mountain without help from a Pokémon. But he was used to it. He often pressed his body on and trained himself as hard as he trained his Pokémon. In any case, using a Pokémon in these conditions would seriously weaken them for what lay ahead, as well as put him at risk for being sighted. Instead, he applied his mind to body and warmed himself with sheer thought and determination. He'd have to do this part himself.
Nearly a half an hour later, after many brief stops and mental warmings, he arrived at the crown of the mountain. The cliff face would now be too vertical to climb, especially with snow pelting down on his head. He began to shuffle around the snow, moving sideways when he had to. Before long he saw the gentle flickering of light shining onto the snow. At once he began to creep much slower, slow enough that in layers of snow he was barely moving at all.
When Blue finally made it to the lip of the entrance, he didn't hesitate to enter. He'd already placed his hands to the mountain wall and felt no movement inside. He took his cape off, shaking it to remove the powder and clumps of ice, then wrapped it around him once again.
Time was against him. He wished he could move on immediately, but he'd pressed on much too hard in the snow and now had to take a few minutes to warm himself. Finding a crevice inside the cave wall, he fell into it and relaxed only slightly to allow himself to recover.
Why was he here? It was a journey that pushed him harder than before, had nearly killed his Pidgeot in pressing so fast in flight. And that was only a fraction of what was yet to come. So why was he here? Why did he risk it all, when he could have remained as gym leader and let the others take care of it? That he didn't know.
His grandfather, Professor Oak, had merely told him that Red was missing; Brock, Misty, and Erika had investigated, and come back with only a location and injuries that left them bed-ridden.
Blue was odd-man out. His position as gym leader was a hand-out, a consolation prize for being Champion all of one day. He knew that and it sickened him.
He wasn't even accepted as gym leader. There was much more to being a gym leader than handing out badges, yet he didn't know what that was. The Old Guard, the seven that had come before him and the eight in Johto, kept something from him. Blue quivered as the cold melted from his frame. And from anger.
His grandfather may not have known what secret the gym leaders held, but he did know far more than he told his grandson. After his Pokédex errand and being casually tossed to the side, discarded like a parent discards the child of their spouse's affair, he'd grown used to being left out. Despite it, Blue thrived. He'd become a strong trainer with Pokémon hardened by environment and battle. He was odd-man out, yes, but he'd become better because of it.
He stood up, the cold pushed from his bones and his face returned to its pale color. He peeked from the crevice then emerged, entering further into the stone corridor. Why was he here? To prove he was worth something. From deep in his heart and mind, he bellowed 'Enough!'. And the world would know that soon enough.
* * *
Blue leaned from the mouth of the cave, letting his eyes wander over the valley below. A vast jungle filled the innards of the mountain. In the center of it all lay crumbling ruins built centuries ago in by a people long-gone.
Guyana, thought Blue.
It seemed like days since his Pidgeot had first touched down in a clearing of the wild South American jungle. He had trekked quickly and silently through the mass of living plant, first bombarded with humid heat then as the miles went by dropping temperature. By the time he reached the base of the mountain he was surrounded by falling snow... Gentle and breathless at first, then deadly as his journey took him up and up. Articuno had done its job well.
His eyes followed the pyramidal structure skyward until they fell on a creature perched at the very top. Its yellow wings shook lazily, fighting off atrophy and sending out webbed sparks. Zapdos, the thunder-bird.
Blue didn't question its presence. Professor Oak had prepared him with what he might encounter. And now, far off ahead of him, rested Zapdos. Its job was obvious: creating an electrical field to prevent Articuno's frost from spilling its destruction into the valley below. Someone was protecting the jungle itself. But who and why?
He had no time to figure it out. Instead he turned and ventured back into the tunnel, creeping down an alternate corridor and entering the depths of the mountain still further.
The tunnel was nearly pitch-black. Only Blue's adjusted eyes and a guiding hand kept him from getting completely lost. He wished he could use his Arcanine's flame, but that would be far too risky. His own presence was risk enough.
He continued on, walking further and further down into the mountain. The declining grade would have been barely perceptible to most, but Blue felt the subtle steepness and knew it wouldn't be long before he was in the bowels of the mountain base.
An hour later he began to feel gentle vibrations in the walls. Thirty minutes more, voices in the air. Until now Blue's descent downward had been slow and careful, but at the indication of a coming confrontation he started to go still slower.
Finally, a ball of light flickered around the next bend. Pressing himself to the wall, Blue advanced. The light grew brighter as he drew nearer to the opening it emitted from. So did the voices.
"...many things you don't yet know, and never will." The voice was that of a man, strong and charismatic. He'd never heard it before, but knew he would never forget it after this day.
"You have come far," he continued, "and discovered much on your quest to fill your Pokémon encyclopedia... But the real truth, the reason behind it all will escape you and that old man that put you up to it."
Then, "I'll figure it out. I'm here, aren't I? I'm closer than anyone has been in thousands of years..." That voice! Blue jerked. It was Red's, right there in the next room talking to some unknown person.
What was he to do? This close to the person he had come to save, yet who knew how far from actually doing it? He could not risk making any sudden moves. Everything had to be planned. Everything had to be accounted for. If he and Red were to make it out alive, he would have to be ready for anything.
He took a deep breath and pressed himself against the rock wall, gently placing his fingertips to the stone. He closed his eyes and began breathing slowly, distantly from his nostrils. At last he pulled away. Five figures, two human and three Pokémon. The three Pokémon were Psychics, if the subtle vibrations they emitted into the ground beneath them was telling correct.
Blue sighed. Once he was in there, there was no going out. Not even with Teleportation. The Psychics would instantly feel the attempt and quash it before it was completed, possibly killing him in the process. He had to have a plan. He began working through possible scenarios, considering some and dropping many others. Then he placed the Pokémon into the fold to see how they would play out. What did Red have? he asked. He thought over Red's usual team, looking for anything that could aid him when it was necessary. None stood out until he his eyes jerked open in realization. Espeon, he whispered.
I only have one shot at this. He slowly let his hand fall downward then pulled one of the Pokéballs from his belt. He held it close to himself, the image of Alakazam inside staring back. Closing his eyes, he placed the sphere to his forehead and began to think clearly and specifically. In response the Pokéball began to scan him, digitizing those thoughts and communicating them directly to the Pokémon within. Blue pulled away and looked at the Alakazam, which nodded in assent.
This was a feature given solely to gym leaders. The ability to plan out strategies non-verbally, to communicate every step before even releasing the Pokémon was something that gave any trainer an immediate advantage. And now, if he were to let Alakazam out and communicate the strategy in the open, it would surely be found out immediately by the Psychics in the next room. Blue was at once grateful for his position. It may be the key factor in winning.
He returned the ball to his belt. Slowly, he moved forward and entered the next room and his inevitable fate. He had a choice to make soon enough. He only hoped he would make the right one.
The chamber was larger than he expected, which felt only still larger with the few people within. He looked around and saw the five figures he'd sensed before. Two Kadabra at opposite walls, one Mr. Mime at the center. Red stood off to his right, and before both of them sat a man.
His eyes fell on that man. He sat upon a ruined stone chair in the far center of the room. Elaborate hieroglyphs decorated the aged piece, sending Blue a feeling of timelessness. The man, however, was very much a mortal being. His dome was covered in short black hair, and he wore a black suit with only a single emblem of a leaf decorating the breast. The same emblem he as gym leader gave out after battles.
"What's this?" the man spoke "Another child come to fight me?" Blue instantly knew the man as his predecessor, the gym leader of Viridian City and leader of Team Rocket.
"Hardly." Blue responded, then, to Red, "What's the deal with Giovanni?"
"Basically, he wants to rule the world."
Giovanni chuckled. "Power? That's how you view it? What a simplistic view of a 9,000-year plan..."
"I did say 'basically'," quipped Red.
Giovanni stood up, walking forward a few feet then holding his arm out as if to prevent the seat he had just been sitting on. "Do you know what this is? The meaning behind it?" He lowered his arm, a sly smile on his lips. "This is the throne of creation, the cradle of all life in this world. Here once sat that ancient Pokémon, the source of all legends and truth, Mew.
"And from Mew I brought forth Mewtwo... No, you cannot simplify a 9,000 year plan into a mere gamble of power."
"Then how would you put it, Giovanni?" snapped Red.
Again, a smile curled Giovanni's lips as he sunk back into the stone chair with eyes closed.
"Time makes men of us all, you know... The entirety of human civilization started 9,000 years ago as naked men in the mud. Now look at us... Masters of a world that would otherwise condemn us to death by Pokémon."
He opened his eyes, shining an aura of charisma and dedication on the two trainers before him. "We have bided for so long, used time for our own, and now we are ready for the next step... Time makes men of us all, but for some... A select few, it makes gods."
Gods... Blue couldn't help but feel the sincerity in Giovanni's voice and feel the power that came with the ideas he expressed. Yes, man had come a long way from being hunted by Pokémon to now hunting Pokémon and battling them. In a way, we had become something more, something special. Maybe there was some truth to the former gym leader's words?
Red's voice interrupted his thoughts, shaking him back to the battle at-hand "I think that's our cue... We need to stop him for everyone's good."
At that Blue and Red dropped their hands to their belts, pulling one ball after another and releasing the Pokémon held within. Before long Blue was fortified by his Rhydon, Arcanine, Exeggutor, and Alakazam. Red had his Snorlax, Venusaur, Charizard, and Blastoise. Espeon sat casually at the back.
They started with Rhydon, Venusaur, and Charizard. All three charged at once, skillfully using their intense speed to drive close to Giovanni before releasing intense elemental blows. It was all they could hope to do, to overwhelm the psychic so that it couldn't react in time for each. At least one attack might hit and weaken it, giving them some place to start.
Fire, Grass, and Ground. Each arrived at a different angle. Then disappeared. The Pokémon themselves lay fainted against the stony wall. The Mr. Mime stood in front of Giovanni, while the two Kadabra remained at their posts with spoons raised.
The man gave an annoyed sigh. "You really thought you would engage me in a Pokémon battle? That saddens me, really... These Psychic Pokémon are not my expertise, but they were lent to me by someone trustworthy and will obey any command. Nothing you try will work."
Blue and Red stood dumbfounded. Their first strike had failed and the Pokémon carrying it gone. Not a single attack had met its mark.
Blue reacted immediately.
"Exeggutor, attack!" he shrieked. The stout tree obeyed, stumbling forth at a speed none would believe. Palm leaves fell from its brow, drifting several inches before being launched with the force of a discus to
cut into the Mr. Mime.
Again, the attack failed. The leaves disappeared moments before impact. All that remained was a cracked egg against the floor, its yolk oozing slowly down the shell. The blue aura of a psychic field still vibrated around it, as if protecting the innards.
"What are you doing!" yelled Red. "You just saw what it can do. Now you're wasting another Pokémon? Stop and think! We need to use our brains to get out of this." Blue glared at him.
"I don't see your Pokémon faring any better.""Because I'm not so stupid as to use them when we haven't figured something out yet."
"Red, Blue, listen," interrupted Giovanni. The Mr. Mime lowered its hands, standing idly while its master continued.
Take the daemons from my mind and throw them upon the walls of tragedy
let the blood burn the words created by the forgiven ones
because as i lay in these bonds i know that i will never see...
for they have blinded me.
Looks like someone's been up to shenanigans with your story :/ I saw this pasted in random places online like :
I don't calculate stat values, I don't breed my way to perfection, and I don't care about natures. I catch my Pokemon the way they are, and treat them like individuals instead of brainless drones.