The sound of thunder kept me awake. The rain was flowing down the eves of my small apartment building in torrents and the brilliant flashes of lightning allowed me to see this periodically.
Come to think of it, I had not been able to stay asleep for the past few nights due to my mind racing. Every night, I would think, imagine, and drift off into another world. There were visions of perpetual scenes, perhaps half-dreams, into which I would allow myself to be absorbed into for hours. There were luscious green gardens overlooked by cathedral-like balconies supported by their opulently gilded marble flying buttresses, places I never had been to, whimsically dreamt up.
I indulged in such precious dreams. In doing so, I felt as if I was satisfying a creative side of me. The places felt real, and I questioned my own sanity for a moment. Were they real? I would never know. What was real? Why did I even wonder anymore? I had a life of my own to live now; there was no room for fantasizing.
The change of the weather allowed me to focus on something external in the world—nature's strength was truly beautiful to behold. Rashly, I pulled myself out of bed and whipped my legs from under the sheets onto an icy floor. I made haste to put my slippers on, which I had left in the kitchen of my small studio apartment. As I paced around in searching, the loud crackle of thunder was deafening. I trembled without volition. How I hated loud noises. Maybe my disdain derived from the unprecedented nature of such sounds. There is a lot to say about unpredictable events since they thrust us into a different world—a world where anything is possible at any time. Nevertheless, we were in dire need for rain in this region, so it was at least welcome in that regard.
Pouring a tall glass of water, I glanced over last week's paper. I felt disconnected, isolated even. I was on my own, with memories that were not my own. It all began two years ago. Taking the glass to my lips, I recollected upon the past trying my best not to relive it.
I pushed the newspaper aside and uncovered my diary from underneath; it was a small notebook, a durable collection of light parchment bound by a single worn russet leather strap. I flipped through the pages in awe. My handwriting had even changed. What was there that hadn't?
I looked at one of the earlier entries with a simple phrase written at the top in block like characters, "What had even happened before I lost my memories?"
I read the next paragraph silently to myself; hardly remember even writing this entry, "From what I can tell, I had been so busy with graduation before my sudden amnesia two years back; I felt as if no time had passed during my recovery. It was as if a part of my life had just up and disappeared. I'm never up to date on any of the current events. I just sort of exist now; I hope I can find a job now that my aunt left."
Luckily I did manage to find a job. And for a while, that's all that really mattered. I had a small place where I felt relatively safe. Intrigued, I kept reading, "I hardly had a chance to use my Pokemon knowledge even though I was well qualified. You see, I attended Kanto's University of Genealogical Studies. It was a three-year program in Saffron City. I finished it in half the time, starting at age seventeen." I thought about the oddity of having done all that schooling for naught. My diploma was somewhere in storage now. It didn't matter; I couldn't use it to do anything.
I flipped to a more recent entry four pages in. "Most of my work at the university took place in the form of internships. I worked on a few projects directed by the scientists and doctors. Funding for the university had run out during my second year. Something about the university's presidential leadership being uprooted due to the bankruptcy. Fortunate for many, a private philanthropist had made a generous donation to the university to keep it in operation. But consequently, many programs were cut and systematically replaced with alternatives involving the manipulation of Pokemon. The study of biological engineering in Pokemon became the focal point of a few internships offered to third year students."
I came across a clipping of myself shaking hands with a white haired man in a charcoal grey dress suit. His eyes were half closed. Faces sometimes looked familiar, but I could never quite make the jump to naming them. He may have been a doc or even a professor. It was taken at least a few years ago, back when I had shorter hair. I wore a skinny blood red tie and a narrow black suit in this picture. A small note on the side of it said "Dissertation Presentation". This was probably the height of my academic glory, clearly defining when I had peaked as a researcher.
I read the caption under the attached photograph, "I always considered myself a researcher. I don't know why, but for whatever reason the quest for knowledge seemed sufficient enough, especially now when I'm still in disarray. Personal philosophies aside, there is always categorization work to be done in this vast world. With the plethora of Pokemon inhabiting the planet, I wanted to understand more about them; plus, I had a natural affinity towards them thanks to the Academy's preparation. I knew that an airtight encyclopedia depicting them all was a distant dream, but I could at least find a way to learn things I could not from behind a desk wearing a lab-coat by journeying with Pokemon. Of course, all this was before I was attacked and lost nearly everything."
I should probably mention that I have been terrified of Pokemon ever since 'the incident' two years back. It's nothing I would like to reflect upon honestly. The gist of it is my amnesia took place after a Pokemon attack, causing me to forget nearly six months of my life leading up to and after the attack. I just had to gain enough courage to be around them again. You see, Pokemon are rather frightening creatures. Or rather, they frightened me. I lost faith in my own ability to be around them and feel safe, even after all those years studying them.
But back to where I stood now. I turned to one of the last blank pages and began to write. The docs said it would be therapeutic for my missing memories. It also helped take my mind off the dreams and anxiety. So I put the pen to paper and let the jet-black ink flow once more. "As you know, I moved to Pallet Town in order to relax and get out of the major cities. Unfortunately, this life isn't really going anywhere for me. I work—or rather worked—at a nearby coffee shop to pay for my rent, and to be honest it is about as unfulfilling as it is demeaning. For starters, the place's name is Prevoy's."
I thought about finding a clipping or something, a paycheck or receipt. I needed something to prove that this was all real. I panicked about losing my mind sometimes. Even the docs had warned me about relapses. I frantically flipped through the book, but then I felt myself freeze up. I had suddenly realized that I already put a picture of me in a Prevoy's uniform on a prior page of the journal; thank goodness. I found it, tucked in there with a paperclip. It was a small passport size identification and name card with a "P" watermark under my face. Wow, I looked unhappy in that shot. Must have been from when I first started. I laughed quietly; turning back to the page I had begun to write on, and continued to allow the black liquid to vigorously pour out of my pen in gentle curves.
"Yeah I know. Prevoy's. Stupid name right? I wish I could tell the owner that, but then he'd probably fire me since it's his last name. Not that he could at this point though. I'm done with the job. Gave my letter of resignation the moment my new license came in the mail. Boy, Prevoy's…what a total flop. You see, Mister Prevoy tried to open up a chain of these places all throughout Kanto, but it was a major failure. Overpriced beverages, confined lobbies, internal corruption, you name it! These places were doomed to go pear-shaped before the front doors even opened for the first time. All of them closed save this sorry one in Pallet. And the only reason this one is even still around is because Mister Alexander K. Prevoy himself lives here." I laughed aloud as I finished my sentence. The sonorous thunder continued to echo in the background.
"To think I had earned my entire educational prowess and was unable to use any of it," I wrote, feeling my hand quiver. It made me angry. Irritated. My frustration had a rather open scope. It was outer directed disapproval with a reference to my own desire for success. Upon briefly reflecting, I realized that I was not just upset, but instead I was lacking satisfaction. I glared at the blank white apartment walls as if to focus my frustration elsewhere. "Studying Pokemon had so many career opportunities, but because of my apprehension in dealing with them, I've been nothing but restricted over the past two years."
Scratching my head, I pushed down harder on the pen and continued to write, my words flowing in elegant cursive. This was something I'd never done since I was a little boy. Heck, I think I forgot how to write in cursive and remembered after losing all my actual important memories. That's beside the point though. "But I had enough. I am just so sick of clocking in day after day at Prevoy's Coffeehouse. Greeting the same faces day in and day out. Making small talk with people I didn't care about. And man, did they always have something brainless to say to me along the lines of: 'What is that? Do you like wearing that? Where did you get it?' People don't understand that some scars just won't heal. At least look at my face and make me feel better. I wish I had enough courage to tell them, 'Gawk all you'd like to on your own time, don't be wasting mine though. If I want to talk to you about what happened to me, I'll initiate. Besides, there's always someone else waiting behind you in line, so why waste their time too?'" I wrote out, forcefully venting my inner frustrations.
"Brewing batches of ground coffee beans and making beverages to satisfy my customer's endless cravings for sugar and calories. It was boring. There was no spark in my life. I was missing out. Sure, it had been therapeutic to have a routine after the attack," I shuddered again in my teak chair thinking about it. Quickly I wrote down the process, "Pour the ground coffee into the filter. Push the filter in and add water. Take the correct sized cup from the stack. Pour the coffee, add the cream, flavored syrup, sugar, or milk. Wish the customer a nice day. It was a rhythmic routine to be sure. Straightforwardness was good in the early months following my amnesia. Even more so because I could not remember who I was for a couple of months and needed to perform simplistic tasks to maintain my sanity." I paused and looked at the growing paragraphs. Every word was true.
I started a new line a few inches down, "Now it is different. I am growing out of this sheltered lifestyle. I even feel somewhat driven by an invisible force. You see, I've had dreams about going on adventures with Pokemon whose names were all alien and strange to me. But it is all very exciting. For once I don't have blind fear like I used to immediately following the attack. And even better, whenever I dreamed, my best dreams always involved Pokemon. Odd don't you think?" I asked the paper rhetorically. "Especially coming from someone who had been nearly killed by them."
Finally, I decided to get to the meat of the matter. I let out a forced exhale making the only sound indoors, "About a month ago, I decided that I wanted to go on a Pokemon journey. I know, it sounds crazy but it might just work. I don't want to have to be afraid anymore. It's psychological flooding oneself free of fears."
"The best way to involve myself with Pokemon would be to play to my strengths—or ex-strengths rather. I was a researcher with a little clout right?" I thought again about the past and pressed onwards in my writing. "Such a quest would be to work on compiling more information on the Pokemon encyclopedia: the Pokédex. Due to the nature of this endeavor, I had to make some arrangements for my fieldwork. There had been no one better suited than the Kanto regional expert, a Mister Samuel Oak, whose laboratory was conveniently situated right here in Pallet. Everyone just calls him 'The Professor'. Like he's the only one, sheesh the man must have an ego the size of the moon." I chuckled realizing that today was the day I actually would go and meet "The Professor" in person. "I hope he won't ask for too many details involving my research."
It was about seven blocks away from my apartment building and fifteen away from Prevoy's where I worked. "I'm a little nervous to be honest. Not just about meeting a Pokemon either. You see, I felt like I'd grown to know everyone in this backwoods one-and-a-half-star town. Heck, they all know me thanks to my unambiguous little idiosyncrasy. But never have I once seen Professor Oak stop in Prevoy's Coffeehouse. 'The Professor' was so busy; he probably had an apprentice working as a coffee-boy."
"After a brief exchange of letters, Oak signed me up for an appointment with him in which I would obtain a guardian of sorts to protect me during my quest. The world out there is vast and dangerous, but the Department of Biological Conservation had taken great measures to create a safer environment for all citizens of the Kanto region. The DBC—" I turned to the newspaper and sure enough it had their little ornate gold symbol on it on the corner representing 'greener products'. I rolled my large emerald eyes, thinking 'greener for their pocketbooks'. "—they are a major faction of Silph Incorporated. In case I forgot to mention in an earlier entry, Silph's essentially the executive and legislative arms of Kanto's government, controlling many aspects of the world through sheer technological enforcement. The Silph corporation is so massive, that the DBC was usually just referred to as Silph itself."
I paused and took a short breath, flexing my wrist as I did so. "Although Silph only had direct control over Kanto through their legislative sectors, their reach of influence extended globally. Starting with the capture-devices, or Poké Balls, Silph Incorporated had successfully controlled many forms of technology following the Industrial Revolution which took place approximately thirty-five years ago."
"Since then, technology has grown exponentially. It was amazing really. To think that the last two generations did not even have computer systems. In fact, they were still figuring out how to generate electricity without using Pokemon. What a world that would have been like to live in!" I wrote, imagining how alien the past really was.
I liked to write about what I learned from history. History wasn't that difficult to remember, I took my history classes well before attending the university. For you see, my memory wasn't totally destroyed, just fragmented. Or as the docs like to say, "Fractured." I remember up until a specific point. Then it all goes dark. At least I'm back in the light now though.
I continued to recount my history lessons from nearly a decade ago reveling in the strangeness of the amnesiac temporal paradox. "While there were numerous advantages following the Industrial Revolution, it also inadvertently brought about a major conflict. It was the Great War, the largest international clash in recent history. I knew the Great War had happened before my birth. I'm only twenty years old and the war ended twenty-two years ago—lasting four years long."
I stopped, overwhelmed with déjà vu. Maybe I had written this before. I decided to go back in time and check. Flipping backwards, I came across a section of the book titled, "World History". Bingo! The text here was much more choppy and rigid. Not in style alone but also in physical form. Judging from the location of this page in my diary, it had to have been early on during my arduous recovery.
I read the first paragraph silently in my head, "There had been plenty of wars in the distant past, many of them much more brutal; but our knowledge of their belligerents and weaponry is indeed limited, since in fact, many of these wars were so archaic. We can only be certain of one thing; there was at least one war prior to the recent Great War. To this day, the vagueness and incongruity of such an ancient conflict remains. Why did it happen? No one really knows. Records don't exist. All anyone knows is that contemporary archeologists discovered numerous ruined settlements with technology greatly surpassing our own. Many of these effects, although powerful, are still not fully understood even by our best scientists. What were they used for? What was their purpose? I say leave it to the engineers and they'll figure it out if it leads us to an easier lifestyle so long as you give them enough time. I mean, it has worked in the past. Chances are, without discovering some of these relics, we'd still be in the stone age—technically speaking. We always had Pokemon to fall back on thankfully, but it is nice to be able to stand up on our own as an independent species. Thanks to various types of technology understood today have we have basked in the shade off a recent Industrial Revolution."
Flipping the page over, I started to read the next section. "Teachers in history classes often just have us memorize that there was one war in ancient history, and the only one that mattered. Entire civilizations were unconditionally destroyed by this early and mysterious global battle, dubbed the Terminal War. Despite possessing the most advanced technology, civilizations of that era were all but wiped out. This paradox seemed to resonate with many even now. The antiquity of the Terminal War actually postponed conflict; the apocalyptic aftermath echoed a dull warning to humanity to this day. It was not until the recent Industrial Revolution that a war took place on our planet since the Terminal War. I personally think us humans never had the resources to conduct a war without Pokemon until we generated our own form of weaponry. That all changed with the Industrial Revolution."
That all sounded right. I remembered it clearly, hearing these lectures from Mister McClaine back in boarding school. "The Great War began due to numerous economic reasons. Since Pokemon were no longer necessary for profitable human industry the policy of protecting them became vital to prevent over-capturing or possibly extinction—especially in part to the severe brutality involved in Pokemon battles. More so, to avert the possibility of another Great War, it became imperative for Silph to market its Pokemon products globally rather than form monopolies of power. According to historical evidence, there existed a great deal of power within Kanto's monopolistic and technological power. The change occurred when there was an Industrial Revolution originating here in Kanto. There was a radical and unprecedented shift from Pokemon labor to machinery. The invention of the steam engine, the railroads, and finally drilling for natural oil caused this modification in market control."
I nodded softly at the page as the rain continued to pour outside. Such devices were archaic, but everything ran off the rail system to this day. They were charming in their combined antiquity and functionality.
"In result, two main effects created in Kanto were scale economies and a radical increase in the size of potential markets via lower transportation costs. Pokemon were no longer necessary, mankind had devised a way to exist as its own species. Electricity, once thought to have been only obtainable through the means of using Electric Type Pokemon was now available for humanity to utilize unconditionally with the technology that came along with burning oil and coal in numerous power plants around the region. Being able to freely generate power, humanity's use of technology surged forth at an unprecedented rate." I felt like quite the historian reading my thorough writing about the past. Maybe I had missed my calling.
I was picking up the pace and reading quicker as the lessons came back to me in beautifully stitched together memories. The types of memories I possessed far too few of in recent years. "This surge in technological advancement gave clear advantages to larger firms such as Silph Incorporated. It was all too easy after the invention of the pokeball marketed under the Silph brand: Poké Ball. Silph had even taken over competitors in neighboring regions such as the Devon corporation in Hoenn and the Poketch Company for trainers in Sinnoh. Of course, they let the other companies keep their names. This made it appear as if there were competing firms in the Pokemon industry for instance, but the sad reality is that Silph owned more than anyone would care to admit. Their patents, allocations of resources, price control, and quantity control all generated enormous profits. Silph had a trust after all, an agreement where assets are controlled by one party on behalf of a second party."
Deep down, I disliked Silph, but that was because of personal reasons. They did make the world better although neither I— nor anyone else with half a brain—would say they were necessarily good, however they did do good out of necessity if that makes sense.
"The Kanto Government—a mere figurehead structure during the Industrial Revolution—endorsed Silph with legislation after legislation, seeing their radical successes made the government addicted to feeding Silph. Due to the innovations in weaponry and energy made by the colossal corporation, Silph was granted access to a plethora of market domination strategies. Kanto, being a newly industrialized nation wanted to protect its firms and businesses. At the time, alternative energy was being refined and through this process, Silph saw a method to secure permanent global market control through exploitation. It was a dark time for the world and the company, but not nearly as bad as the Darkened Ages that predated the Industrial Revolution."
While I would have hated to have been alive during a war, I would have hated it even more to have been born during that filthy time period before the first recorded Golden Age. Way back before the Industrial Revolution there was no rationality; people just killed one another like mindless frightened animals. They were worse than Pokemon.
I kept following along with my notes, "There was a great deal of dispute over resource control after Kanto became industrial. When a nation becomes industrialized, it becomes more reliant on proper business strategies and allocations of resources. However, Silph was also effectively the government of Kanto. Or at least, lobbying it up to the gills. This in turn, allowed for a potent and unrestricted form of power to exist."
"Of all the nations, the one that suffered the greatest loss from Kanto's new technological prowess was in fact the Orre region, in the distant continent southeast of the Kanto mainland. The Orre region is noticeably arid, being divided into a huge desert wasteland and a small, mountainous vegetation-rich region. Orre has very few settlements in it due to the dry unforgiving climate. However, the largest problem for Orre citizens is the rarity of wild Pokemon in this particular region." I should know this fact better than most. I had an aunt who lives in the Orre region with her husband. Her name's Bethany Hale. She's my late mother's sister. Although kind, I've been out of touch with her for a long time—almost a year. After my accident, she helped take care of me for the first few weeks when I returned from the hospital. I was grateful for her help. I was probably frustrating to contend with during the early phases of my recovery. She's a saint in my mind. How she lives in Orre's desert is beyond me, but it must have made her strong enough to help me.
I kept reading, "In Kanto, where the Industrial Revolution originated in, Silph Incorporated was able to shift the balance of technology so that Pokemon were no longer fully necessary. For instance, generating power became much easier with the introduction of steam power. No longer did nations need to rely on the somewhat unpredictable nature of Pokemon. This was incredible, however not without consequence."
"When Orre citizens attempted to continue trading with Kanto, via their main city of export, Gateon Port, Kanto's International Trade Commissioners made an unusual decision. Kanto saw this dependence as something they could exploit. For any person knows that Orre is rich in natural resources and poor in Pokemon. They needed the new Pokemon-free technologies more than any other nation. Thus, the Kanto-based company Silph placed very high tariffs upon their new Pokemon independent technologies. They claimed that this was protectionism from international competition, making the argument that their industry was in its infant stage still and needed a high return for it to be profitable."
Of course, this was not true; Silph Co. was price gouging an exploitable market. Everything was twenty-twenty in hindsight.
"Orre citizens began to rally behind the concept that they were being taken advantage of by a corrupt power. And there was truth to their claims. Silph's global control over technology and the political spectrum allowed for unmatched abuse. Soon after, there were acts of terror. Stephanie Harqulin, the prime minister of Kanto at the time, and her family were assassinated by the extremists calling for an end to an unfair exploiting of the free market. Silph responded by demanding military control in order to amalgamate their new combat technology."
"Stunned by this action of unprecedented aggression, Kanto's military was immediately signed over to Silph's directors, who promised an abrupt conclusion to this conflict. The newly transformed Kanto New Republic Army (KNRA) mobilized and the majority of the nation's cities were put under martial law." I sighed. How terribly awful it must have been to have your rights stripped away from you in wartime. To relinquish your sovereignty completely. Through essentially becoming the reigning government, Silph could not possibly become any more involved with the Great War. Their Research and Development, perhaps the same branch that my father worked for, became set on developing weaponry. Typically, battles were fought and won by Pokemon, but what about people? Perhaps, they could have power too.
I turned the page and found the section titled, "Tech Rediscoveries".
"There were prototype weapons developed during the Great War, some of which still existed to this day. They were brutal in their ability to place additional power into the hands of human beings. Prior to the Great War, people relied on their Pokemon to protect them. The Great War changed all of this however. The first firearms were developed. Drawing from preliminary simplistic designs, found in ruins of the Terminal War, the firearms rapidly evolved to answer the increasing rarity of Pokemon as human settlements expanded. Technology never seemed to stop advancing. It grew with us. I believed it was our power, much like how certain Pokemon had certain abilities, humans had ingenuity. Or at least we were smart enough to dig up schematics from prior civilizations. Semantics though. We had steam power at the dawn of the Great War, and now twenty-two years later we have computers capable of solving the most advanced algorithms and sending people into outer space."
I gazed down at a tiny picture I had cut out and glued into the book of an ancient rust covered flintlock pistol. What an amazing discovery it must have been for the men on the excavation team that found this particular specimen! "Originally, the synthesized 'firearms' used a crude form of gunpowder to eject bullets at quite a powerful force. However, often times they would misfire and reloading was a deadly chore in combat or when defending oneself. Despite such drawbacks, to this day, firearms utilizing gunpowder have been tried and true. Often in the hands of a skilled marksman, reloading was not even an issue. They aren't issued to many people, usually just the police and wealthy paranoid citizens."
Yeah, I had thought about buying a gun at one point for protection against Pokemon. Thankfully, it was just a phase. A weird one at that.
"However, weapon technology did not cease with gunpowder-using firearms. Silph, always keen to solve problems with its massive Research and Development Branch, invented the first of the RAIL-firearms a few years ago. RAIL stands for Rail Aligning Ion Launcher. Essentially, this weapon known for its long hissing barrels—caused by the cooling vents and outward shifting metal plating—would fire an electrical current through two internal parallel metal rails and release a charged ion in a brilliantly precise trajectory."
Again, my eyes gazed at a clip-out of a magazine, this time detailing the first of the RAIL class weapons. Its twin silver metal beams fused gracefully together at the base. If Silph did one thing right besides the invention of the Poké Ball, it was making weapons look attractive. And this variant was so much more than just looks.
"With the projectile looking like a laser beam, but packing the punch of in excess of eighteen hundred Newtons per millimeter, the RAIL's potent particle beam was dubbed the Portable Ion Cannon. There were even different molecular compounds devised to change the effect of the beam and its color. Additionally, the RAIL weapon class had cell batteries accompanying the clips, which varied in size. Typically, a smaller magnum would have less carrying capacity but was much more transportable. Rifles of course held the greatest power, and were held in high regard due to their value in combat. Their projectiles were accurate and able to pierce all but the most reinforced composite armor and Pokemon hides."
I wondered what it would take to punch through state of the art Rhydon hide. Probably some serious force. The good thing about RAIL guns is they dealt incredible damage over a tiny area. Maybe that was why they were originally invented. RAIL designs were based off ancient artifacts, from a distant past lost to the pages of history. Uncovering these blueprints for firearms shifted the balance of power greatly. No longer were humans weak and frail compared to their Pokemon counterparts. This was revolutionary, but in actuality, it was more of a rediscovery than a revolution. Still, at least now you did not have to be a trainer to protect yourself. Although to even have a RAIL weapon, you need to be either really well connected or the president's son.
Alas, humanity's dependence on Pokemon still remained to a certain degree. The majority of nature was forged by the wild creatures, their power over the elements had nearly unlimited potential. Additionally, humans presided over Pokemon by being superior strategists. They were not all that different, people and Pokemon. Both yearned for competition. The thrill of a battle and the rush of a confrontation were a part of their genetic encoding, a primal urge hungering to be satisfied.
Now what was I getting at? Oh yes, the corporate super giant Silph Incorporated! I turned to a section titled by the same name. It had a small photograph of my father in his youth in the corner of the worn page. "Most of the civilized world was still shaped by Silph Incorporated. They created everything from Poké Balls to airships. Way back when, there were a lot of company mergers in Kanto and Silph was the end result. It also helped that their blossoming as a corporation occurred at the start of humanity's first recorded Golden Age. With no Anti-Trust laws, they flourished and dominated."
"Silph had supreme market power, the corporate juggernaut was able to completely eliminate any product off the shelves should it not pass their stringent standards. Of course, bootlegging and black markets existed but only for a very brief amount of time. After the Silph Corporation was given military power to prosecute perpetrators via the Kanto International Police Force, the quantity of such transgressors diminished all too quickly. Present-day Silph was effectively the government, military, and scientists all rolled into one large corporation powerhouse. The dominating faction had an incredibly potent domination over technological services."
I looked back at that picture of my father. Triangle face, dark hair, gruff features, and a hawk nose. Always in a suit too. At least that's how I remember him. He was a man I hardly knew even without amnesia. Used to work for an offshore branch of Silph, far to the south. To be honest, I'm not even sure if he still does. Ever since I was sent to The Pokemon Academy—a prestigious boarding school—I really have had no reason to contact him. Since I'm twenty now, I reckon that I haven't spoken to him in roughly thirteen years. I'm self-sufficient and smart, a winning combination. I don't know if he even tried to reach out to me after my accident. He had to have known, but after all those years away from him, it seemed improbable that he cared anymore.
Still, sometimes I miss my family. I have a picture of the three of us that I always keep in my charcoal black wallet. A memento of sorts. I sometimes flip the leather case open and look at the faded picture when I'm feeling down. It's preserved in reinforced plastic since the edges have begun tearing with time.
There's a tall and slender radiating brunette, with bright blue eyes is next to a dark haired man with an angular face and a narrow grin. They are holding a young boy with a carefree smile and a bright pair of emerald eyes in between them. I laughed to myself. I don't even need to look at it anymore, the image is so well engraved in my mind. All of us were smiling our best that day, blissfully unaware that this was the last picture of us together. Even my father wore a closed mouth smile.
I felt a bit of pain in my chest. Almost like heartburn.
My mother died in a fire when I was younger, although I could not have possibly remembered it. I was only five at the time.
After that, nothing was ever the same. My father buried himself in his work and sent me off to become a man of my own as soon as I was seven. That meant boarding school. At least he paid for it. There was a time when I was younger where I thought that I would have preferred it if he spent time with me instead. However, now I realize the foolishness of such a wish. When she died, that was it. It was the end of a family. There's not too much else to say. Other than that sad bit, my background is rather generic but memorable up until my eighteenth year.
I researched Pokemon for a while and attended Kanto's University in Saffron City until my student visa expired, graduating at the impressive age of eighteen. Since then, I have been through a lot, although most of it remains a mystery.
I brushed my thick and somewhat shaggy amber hair back with my left hand as I took another sip of water. Yes, my past wasn't the most ideal, but at least I felt confident enough to interact with Pokemon again. There was a time where I would not even go near any Pokemon out of fear. The negativity derived from realizing that my entire study revolved around Pokemon caused me to become depressed. How could I expect to ever use my talents? I wasn't strong, I didn't have the greatest stamina, and I was certainly not willing to compensate for my lack of such traits by pretending to desire them. I remember bullying I endured from my peers. I never gave up. Never quit. I always came back mentally stronger and more outwitting. That was my strength. But the way I had learned to invoke such a skill was through Pokemon research. For the past two years, I thought I would never research another Pokemon again. Now, things were different. Much different. I couldn't really explain the feeling in words. It was a steady drive to interact with these creatures—Pokemon—despite the awful experience I had in the past. It was something still a very much a part of me. Call it masochistic, call it self-indulgence, I wanted it.
I sighed, the glass was empty and my chest hurt. Feeling my sternum, I felt that odd sharp protrusion. For a moment, I forgot entirely about it—I was in a horrific accident two years ago. I do not remember anything about it, only the medical report. I was in a branch of the Kanto National Bank, quite possibly making a deposit to pay back the interest on my student loans, and then I saw a great deal of commotion across the street in the Sanctum.
I flipped four pages ahead from where I was last reading from in the book. Sure enough, I found the entry titled "The Pokemon Sanctum" with a picture taken after the incident. So the building was dilapidated. "The Pokemon Sanctum used to have religious affiliations, but prior to the robbery it was treated as more of a museum than anything else. The entire event is rather odd in hindsight, because the Pokemon Sanctum was an ancient religious temple." I never understood religion. It wasn't only my rational mind either. In this day and age, not that many people believed in religion. Especially after the Great Purges lead by religious zealots. But that's another topic entirely.
"The entire situation was atypical insofar as the event had taken place in one of the most fortified and well-defended cities in the entire world: Saffron, the capital of Kanto. After the Great War, the capital was under constant vigilant surveillance. Until the Sanctum Robbery Saffron had the lowest crime rates and was voted the 'Safest City in the World' title twenty years in a row uncontested by Pokemon Annual. Of course, this had everything to do with the fact that Silph—the Corporate super giant—'s Headquarters was based in the city? In all likelihood. Their ability to command the military was not just granted by their production of Grade-A combat technology, but also legislation which gave the monopoly the same authority as a combat general."
I got up from my seat and walked over to my tiny closet of a bathroom. I took a very abridged shower, careful to clean off well for the day ahead of me. Putting on a fresh pair of dark navy denim jeans and a solid bright grey-collared shirt after my brief shower, I walked back to the bathroom in order to dry my hair. I forgot; I had already put the hairdryer into storage. Guess I would have to let it dry naturally. I had my mother's hair I think. Actually, I'm not all too sure about that. I never had messy or unclean hair, even when I neglected to take care of it. It always adhered to the same form; its thick mass was often unregulated, but subtly orderly despite its shaggy chaos. The way it had an organic matte form made taking care of it easy—great for a guy. My hair had grown in amber with a few shades of natural highlights. That's why I let my hair get to the optimal length of approximately three inches. Once it was this long, the many different shades became apparent. I thought it looked interesting more than anything else. My hair bangs sometimes covered my brilliant emerald eyes, but a swift flick of the head always locked it back into its place.
My meeting with Oak was in twenty-five minutes and the rain had stopped, leaving a fresh and invigorating scent in the air. I walked to his laboratory, not all too far away and sat in the front foyer since the Professor was running late according to his secretary. I stood in the brightly lit corridor waiting for the Professor. My gaze traveled to the portraits of various Pokemon hanging on the blue walls. Some of them were familiar, and others were completely alien. As I continued to observe the Pokemon diagrams and schematics, I recollected. I too had once studied Pokemon, but never before in their natural habitats, always under the computer monitors. Many of Professor Oak's photographs contained Pokemon in their natural environments. It was interesting to say the very least, and it made me feel unusually happy.
"Ah, you must be Christian." A man's voice, deep and sophisticated, startled me. I didn't jump, but my voice did sure did.
"Ah, ha. Yeah, in the flesh! Nice to meet you, Professor," I said with a smile while shaking his elderly hand. Our skin tones contrasted as we shook hands. His hand was pale, wrinkled, and rather coarse. My own skin was a soft beige cream colored. Oak wasn't taller than me, but then again I was pretty tall. I think I'm about six feet high. At least that's what I told people. I was probably a fair bit shorter than that to be perfectly honest.
The Professor gazed speculatively at my chest, and paused for a moment. I had been careful today by wearing a collared shirt. The way the sharp narrow projection stuck out between the second and third top buttons made it look like an unconcealed and oversized amulet. At least the lab's fluorescents did not make it sparkle as much as direct sunlight.
"Judging from our conversations, you seem more than capable of aiding me in categorizing Pokemon. There are still many mysteries in the world to be unraveled. Many of them can only be dealt with hands-on or in the field. In my youth, I once was like you, eager to spread my wings and soar off into adventure. Humph, those days are over though. Like I said, you seem capable, but I must warn you that it is a vicious world out there, and more unkind than it may appear. The task you have set out to do is a long and challenging one, you'll need more than your average dose of adventure spirit," said the professor issuing a short grunt afterwards.
"I've struggled to come here. To come back to…this. As you know, I was injured during the Sanctum Robbery. I…haven't been able to face Pokemon ever since. Even though they are what I once studied. It is a debilitating thing really," I briefly reflected upon the prospect of working at that stupid coffee house chain for the rest of my life before continuing, "But I need this. I need to be with Pokemon again. I just…have hope. A wish if you will. I…I even dream about it sometimes."
"You…still have a dream to raise Pokemon?"
"I—yeah," I answered. It was the truth, "What else could my dreams have meant?"
"A dream is a genuine wish, young man."
It wasn't the answer I was expecting. "Professor?" I asked warily.
"Every night I think about the creatures. Last night I'm sure I was soaring on the back of a Pidgeot over spectacular distant lands," I said recalling the feeling of wind blowing through my thick hair. Come to think of it, doing nothing made the dreams more vivid, I remember when they were only in black and white. That was nearly three paychecks ago.
Oak stared at my face his solemn eyes showed he was feeling commiseration, "Come with me, I have a Pokemon for you, Mister Fay…era" having difficulty pronouncing my last name, I decided to help him out.
"Feyera. With a silent second 'E'. I guess it looks like Fay-er-a, but it's pronounced 'FI-rah'," I emphasized my last name with a tight expression. I disliked it when people mispronounced it, but what could I do? I might as well be "FAY-RA", that's what everyone called me. I did force a smile however, I was trying to be polite to him, and was pleased to see a slightly amused expression repaid on Oak's face. "Do you know how many people think I'm related to that actress from Unova, 'Victina Fey'?"
"Hoh, afraid I don't even know who that is, my boy. My, I must be getting old! " The Professor laughed half-heartedly as he waved his arms up in the air to dramatize his statement. "Ha! Come along then, Mister Feyera."
I did so with as much poise as I could muster. Walking with the veteran professor through the lab gave me a sense of confidence; I knew that I could help, or at the very least fill a few pages of the Pokédex for him. And I'd be getting an opportunity to see why Pokemon were becoming such a big part of my subconscious. Really, it was the best of both worlds. We had gone over some of the details in prior communications, and he was leaving it up to me to choose the scope of my project. In essence, I could decide the range of species I would study. Learn about many Pokemon, or hone in on a few species; the choice was mine. It was up to me, I was going to be studying Pokemon once more and I was filled with excitement. I thought I would be afraid of this moment, especially after my encounter with vicious Pokemon that wiped my mind during the Sanctum Robbery. But my anxiety was drowned out by a sincere desire to be partnered with Pokemon. A feeling I could not fully comprehend, yet was sublimely influenced by.
When Oak brought me to his desk, he glided his hand over a keyboard and tapped a sequence of keys. The white board mounted on the desk illuminated with light and projected a series of holographic creatures. They were on the display table. I raised my left arm and scratched the back of my head. My hair had dried at this point and it was slightly stiff despite my neglect to use any hair gel.
My attention was pulled back to the computer-generated three-dimensional figures in front of me. "Out of these three, you can pick only one, choose wisely however," the Professor dryly stated, "They are contained in Poké Balls, these are just holographic previews of their biological anatomy."
I felt a peculiar connection as I ran my outstretched arm through the projected light emerging from the Professor's high-tech desk. As I passed my palm through the rays of light, the warm energy enriched my experience. This feeling of déjà vu was overwhelming. I never used Pokemon before, especially not as a trainer. I knew about the creatures however, their behavior and physiology. I had studied them. Intensely. Shame I had difficulty remembering what I did after graduating. The last piece of information I had on my activities was a dissertation on Psychic Pokemon titled, "Concerning the Paranormal".
Little time passed before I settled on the fire lizard, after telling Oak, he handed me a red and white capture device. "My very first Pokemon!" I told myself, fighting the butterflies. I couldn't run away now. I'd come to close to overcoming this fear. I clicked the stasis switch with a nervous finger.
Shaking, the orb split in two and released an orange reptilian-like creature known as Charmander or biological species Ignis Caudata.
I gasped. Not out of fear. The Pokemon was, I dare say, rather charming despite its razor sharp claws, glistening fangs, and fire-producing tail. He looked scary at first, but his chubby features did downplay his predatory features. The Professor assured me that these creatures in his possession were fully domesticated, raised in the Sanctuary he founded.
I continued to stare at the small creature. I needed a protector, a Pokemon to guard me on my journey and it seemed to me that this was my best option. I chose a Pokemon with Fire typing since personally I've never been a fan of darkness. I smiled as I looked at my new Pokemon intensely. The fear was gone. Or at least being repelled. I began to feel comfortable. It wasn't that bad. The Pokemon wasn't going to hurt me. I never thought it'd be this easy. I was no longer afraid because here I was flooding myself with genuine interaction.
It bent its small head up, wrinkling his chubby neck as he did so. I flinched ever so slightly as the Pokemon gazed at my figure with his bright blue eyes. Seeing me flinch, the Charmander also recoiled somewhat, probably unsure of what I was even doing. I could only imagine the creature's apprehension, it could rival my own. Here he was being given away to someone who'd lost all their marbles. But I had to do this. This was a way to overcome my fears. I relished the moment and slowly lowered the Poké Ball, trying not to look as timid as I actually was the entire time. I forced a smile.
"You should give him a name," Oak said in response to my positive reaction. At least I hadn't freaked out like I thought I would.
Puzzled, I continued to stare at the young salamander Pokemon, racking my brain for a fitting name. What could I possibly call him? Definitely something starting with a B. That just felt right to me. I wanted to give him a name to reflect that. Maybe Bryce? No, he was a friend from boarding school. Bryant, nah that was too weird. Ah, yes! I had it, "Brucie," I said, "looks like he's energetic and competent as well."
"Very good," Oak replied, stiffening his posture. "Take good care of Brucie, don't let him perish. Keep him safe for as long as you can. He's your protector, but you are also his protector. Pokemon and their trainers work as a team. You used to do research projects so I'm sure you are fully aware of the importance of cooperation. 'There is no 'I' in 'team'', keep that little phrase in mind on your journey. Now, if you don't mind I need to go and attend to other business, I'm a busy man as you know. Good luck, Feyera."
"Of course, take care Professor!" I doubt that Oak even heard those last few words. His hearing was diminishing in his old age.
I never felt such a wave of excitement; I had my own Pokemon as my partner now and could actually explore the wilderness outside of Pallet town. I had not stepped more than two feet outside of the lab before I heard a stern and elegant voice stop me, "Where are you heading young man?"
I turned to the source of the voice. It was a rather gorgeous looking professor. She was adorned in a lab coat, and yet her natural beauty shone forth. One could not miss her long thick red hair. Besides this, I noticed that her frameless glasses concealed a silvery blue set of eyes. She was definitely in her mid-twenties—a few years older than me. Her tall figure accentuated her slender frame. I felt my face flush, but played it off as if I had been startled.
"Oh! Sorry, you gave me a start! I'm Mister Feyera, and I am on a Pokemon journey to aid the Professor in categorizing pages for his Pokédex. I just finished filling out my identification and Professor Oak gave me a Pokemon to protect me," I said grasping the Poké Ball containing my Charmander.
Rotating her wrist, she smoothly continued, "Ah a researcher turned into a trainer, intriguing. My name is Lorelei Carese, and you must be Mister Christian Feyera."
"You can call me Chris if you want to."
"That's so dreadfully informal," she joked lightheartedly, her chest rising with laughter. "The Professor talks about you more than you'd think. He shared with me one of your dissertations a while back. 'Concerning the Paranormal' wasn't it?"
I blushed. My past life's reputation always seemed to precede me in the scientific circles. "Yes, Miss Carese—"
"—Lorelei is fine," she said with a sunny smile.
"Mmm 'Concerning the Paranormal'—That was a report on amplifying Pokemon powers. There was a side project involving splicing natural Pokemon abilities and traits. It was a collaborated effort. Ended in failure though. I got credit for theory more than anything else. Heck I was only an intern at the University's internship. Apparently there were fewer limits present in Psychic Pokemon, especially considering the potency of their mental mind frames."
"That sounds like quite the challenge. Intriguing that you study the least understood of all the types," she said placing her left hand on her hip.
"Studied," I said correcting the tense she used. I was no longer researching after all. That had ended after the Sanctum incident. Now I was just trying to become more accustomed to Pokemon before I could even think about possibly working in a laboratory with them again. "Yes, Psychic Pokemon were my field of expertise during my research days. They tend to be the most similar to people in the way they can be observed and understood based upon their psychological state," I said to her, averting her direct stare. "People possessing psyonics in particular."
"Hmm…Pokemon and people, they're different, but there must be similarities." She nodded. "Fascinating. Although I am curious, where did you obtain your results from?" Lorelei questioned.
"I lived at the Pokemon Academy boarding school before moving to Saffron City. There, I attended the Pokemon University for a year and some change. Got involved in the theoretical work. I graduated early, going straight into research, and found myself working for a privately owned branch of the University's graduate program. I think it was called Evercrest or something silly. Whatever. It's all in the past."
"Did it have a bad dental plan or something?" she said with a laugh.
"I don't—can't remember it." My tone grew serious. "My life changed when I was eighteen. Do you recall the Sanctum Robbery two years back?"
"I do. I'm a member of the Pokemon League, I was dispatched immediately to resolve the situation. We knew they were Rockets. But they were collaborating with another organization. Unfortunately, the trail ran cold after that."
"So you were there?"
"Partially. But between you and me, we still haven't ascertained much information. They stole a myriad of ancient artifacts, all of relatively low value. Yet, it escaladed so fast into a devastating ordeal. Why such cruel violence? I just don't understand."
"If only the Elite Four had arrived in time to stop them…" I said, somehow believing my fate would have been made different.
"My father still is trying to track down the criminals who destroyed the Sanctum," she solemnly said, pushing her frameless glasses up further along her narrow nose.
"Yes, he's a Kanto High Justice. But go on with your story."
"Right…Not that I remember any of this but this, but I had apparently gotten too close to the turmoil and was consequently taken hostage by the Rockets during the robbery. Amnesia is a strange thing," I said to her gentle face. "You're told everything and have to take it all on faith."
She nodded, clearly intrigued by my rendition of the story. Although it wasn't really my version; it was what I had been told after the events transpired and I lost my memory.
"According to witnesses, I was just a bystander following their instructions to stay out of trouble. Something went terribly wrong however. Their robbery went south when a man defied their demands and decided to try to be a hero. This unnamed opposition tried to take down the organized syndicate invading Saffron City with his loyal Pokemon. That's when everyone found out the robbers stealing from the Sanctum were professionals. Their business was not petty robbery. They had Electrode; they came to fulfill a contract, and were prepared for resistance. Rockets, in all of their sick brutality. To clear out any opposition, they ordered their Pokemon to destroy themselves in a violent attack."
Lorelei looked down. "A lot of people died."
"It wasn't like in the movies, the criminals actually prevailed," I said grimacing. "Everything happened so fast. And then I got hit by close by debris."
"You are lucky to be alive, Mister Feyera," Lorelei responded as her glance shot straight through her frameless glasses and into my own pair of eyes. "The Sanctum was destroyed from that explosion."
Swallowing hard, I kept talking, "Yeah I know. There was a huge explosion. Twenty-four killed outright, seven died from injuries, and I was among the eleven known survivors. And that's only the number of bodies actually found. Who knows how many were instantly vaporized?"
"Don't think about it," she recommended.
"I'm unable to not think about it, it changed my life; I want to know, I want closure. And yet I can't remember any of it! I was told everything."
"You were?" she asked looking me over. "Just…told?"
"I woke up with satchel and debris penetrating through my sternum bone. Most of it was removed except for a thin crimson crescent shaped fragment, which had securely embedded itself too vertically deep into the marrow to take out." I pointed to the obvious piece on my chest. It wasn't too large either, maybe four and a half inches top to bottom and protruding only about three outwards at the height of the arc. Sometimes it makes clothing look funny, so usually I just allow it to stick out by cutting a small incision in the upper center of my shirts.
"That? You're still scarred?"
"Ah yes, I had thought about getting it removed. The problem is that it is certainly anchored in, attached even," I said with a sigh. "In two years' time, the bone grew around and into it, just as much as it had dug into the bone. Point is, there's no pulling it out. So I thought about getting it chopped off instead down to its base. That would at least prevent it from being snagged on something."
"And you couldn't?" she asked endearingly. "The good physicians out there weren't able to do anything to help you? I hear surgery is quite painless with sedatives."
"No they weren't. Told me it would be far too dangerous to saw off given the close proximity to my internal organs. It's a metal alloy, and stubbornly strong. Electrode are tough blighters. What's worse is I have my heart and blood vessels all right there."
"So an incision is not possible, nor is filing?" she asked as her glasses reflected some sunrays into my eyes.
"If it shook too much due to some operation trying to saw it down, the vibrations might cause a rupture in one of my pulmonary arteries or whatever else is behind the sternum bone." How I hated not being capable of recollecting my advanced anatomy facts taken from late schooling!
She nodded, content to hear an explanation for the oddity on my body. She raised her glasses again with her pointer finger, higher on her slender nose, as she looked at it.
"It looks strange, unlike anything I've ever seen. A battle-scar. Tell everyone it's shiny and red like one of the suicide Electrode's upper halves." I made a sour face, "Is that true? I have no idea, like I said, I had mild amnesia from the explosion and don't recall the events leading up to it. I doubt the police reports lie, so I'll go with their story. Maybe one day I'll recall the events but it seems unlikely without intensive therapy. And hey, breathing didn't hurt as much as it used to at least. Considering, the circumstances, like you said, I am just lucky to be alive."
"True, it was terrible indeed. I can't believe they resorted to using Electrode. Life is more valuable than material goods," she sighed.
"He died honorably at least; I was too frightened to do anything. Then I was permanently scarred by their Pokemon," I was feeling rather upset about the entire chain of events, and even more upset by the fact that I could not actually remember them. I was only told what happened. It was incredibly frustrating. It was like waking up months older and in a battered and unfamiliar body. "Serves me right." I grumbled. I felt guilty that I had probably been too cowardly to do anything; I hardly stood up to anyone for anything. I knew the feeling of guilt was from the blameworthy memory loss.
"But, you look okay, though," she said as she continued to study me.
"Appearances are sometimes deceiving," I thought about the shard embedded in my chest once more. "It took me a while to overcome my fear of going out after that. Only recently did I decide to actually interact with Pokemon again. If you had asked me immediately after the incident I would have told you that I wanted nothing to do with Pokemon, ever."
"And yet here you are," she laughed. Her eyes tried to avoid the reflective shrapnel as it gleamed in the sunlight.
"It was unfortunate, but that's life I suppose. I'm stronger now," I spoke with clarity.
"Seems like you are well on your way Mister Feyera, be sure to remember just what it means to be a trainer. You have a great deal of responsibility now. Battles can be merciless. You are not only responsible for your own life, but also the lives of your partners," Lorelei said. "It is a dangerous but rewarding challenge."
"Do you mind me asking why you are here?" I questioned.
"Ah, haha. Curious aren't you? Well, the League needs me to conduct a trial which will require an expert's signature and resources," she said. Her pretty face seemed proud of her position.
"The Pokemon League needs you here in the backwards town of Pallet?" I asked, completely stunned.
"Yes top secret business and all of that jargon!" she chuckled and moved her slender hand to cover her open smile, "In fact, it's much less interesting than I am making it out to be," winking at me she went on, "Mister Feyera, maybe one day I'll see you again and we can talk some more. Tell you what, get that Pokemon of yours trained and we can have a little contest of wits together, you and me."
"I'm a Pokemon trainer, and one of the best! Run your little errands for Oak and you'll eventually need to clear through the Pokemon Gyms. Why don't you earn some League Badge while you're at it? That would make me proud to see."
"P—Proud?" I asked unsure of what would make her proud of me. I really wasn't anyone special. At least not anymore.
"Yes, you've been through a lot; it's a challenge that'll help you take your mind off things. I'll be waiting for you at the end of that road though." She lifted a heavy lidded eye, "Should you make it that far."
"But it isn't easy," she said with a faint smile. "In any event, why don't you take the Gym Challenge? There is a small Pokemon Gym to the north of here in Viridian City, on the way to Pewter. It will give you more control over your Pokemon. I'm sure you would like it."
"I guess I could," I said. I hoped the Pokemon Professor would be okay with me doing that. Come to think of it, hadn't his grandson done something like that years ago?
"Sure you can! Make it a hobby, no big deal. Do it for me," she said winking. "I love seeing young trainers take the challenge. I'm sure you'll do great!"
I felt myself flush. Was she coming onto me? "T—thanks miss."
"Hey don't mention it, it was nice to meet you before you became famous, again!" she said. "It isn't every day I come across a Pokemon researcher. Or ex-researcher for that matter!"
"Thank you, I can say the pleasure has been all mine. Glad you enjoyed our conversation as much as I did," I tried not to make it as awkward as it sounded.
"I'm glad I got to speak with you in person before your departure, Mister Feyera," Lorelei said as her busty hair blew in the wind of the beautiful day. "Hopefully I gave you some confidence in yourself."
Boy could I use confidence. She turned around and began to walk off—and oddly enough, I could almost sense the rosy smile on her lips. The cool scent of her coconut cream perfume was unmistakable.
Excitedly, I went back to my apartment to pay my last occupancy bill to my landlord. Slipping the cash-filled envelope containing most of my recent paycheck from the coffeehouse job at Prevoy's, I felt a surge of relief. I had moved all my research materials and texts into storage for the time being, so the room was vacant except for a few bare necessities. Most of them were written in another language. Memory loss is a terrible thing. I still recall some basics such as the scientific names for discovered Pokemon species. But other things that I learned while interning are completely foreign. When packing up last week, I remember picking up a book on advanced polypeptide bonds and practical ways to manipulate such components at the molecular level. To say that I was stumped would be putting it mildly. I hadn't the foggiest if half the words on page one were even written in English. I laughed and threw the text into a cardboard box and kept on packing without giving it a second thought.
True I was naturally intelligent. I only lost my memory after all, not my brain. However, I didn't want to have to go back to school and relearn everything that I had forgotten. Instead of doing that, I saw this as a golden opportunity to face my fear of Pokemon now that I was ready. It had taken me long enough, but here I stood on the threshold of a Pokemon journey to call my own. I picked up my backpack, full of supplies I would need for the quest and bolted the apartment door shut. I walked outside again, eager to begin my adventure.
It was time to head off north towards Viridian City. Still, my heart was aflutter from Lorelei's flirtatious body, and my chest was hurting more than usual. I found the bright sunlight invigorating as I walked north towards the edge of town. Some of the sunlight reflected into my eyes, obscuring my vision slightly. Must have been the shrapnel.
Ignoring this minor peculiarity, I stared off into the distant mountain range to the north, I felt ready to depart from Pallet Town and begin my quest. Despite all of my fears, I felt desire. Desire was allowing me to overcome such fear. The emotional desire to be able to interact with Pokemon once more annexed my positive experiences and multiplied them ceaselessly. I was not overwhelmed by this flood of optimism. Instead, I was hopeful. I wanted to feel this way forever.