Chapter 1: First Blood
First thing I ever wrote for TPP. Taken from a post discussing me watch Red highlight streams. Contains a rare example of evil!Mitzi!Helix.
The thing that hit me most though was how Jay was released so easily. I can imagine it - a stroke of the wrong key, a twitch of a shaking hand, and suddenly Jay is gone forever. It happens so fast, and it’s the first time Red’s felt the voices stop.
Then a frantic scramble to save Abby from the PC, fiddling with menus, backtracking over and over again, a desperate tug of war - and Abby is gone in the press of a key, and what’s left of Red’s mind plunges into the abyss.
That’s all bad enough, but that one fan interpretation where he’s trying to save Abby and Jay from the mob makes it even worse. Because maybe, when he opens their pokeballs and yells at them to run, just run, Jay bolts for the door, but Abby stays for a second. She stares at this breaking boy, who obviously needs help. For a moment, they both wonder if she’s going to stay.
But she shuts her eyes, and leaves, flying for miles until she’s sure she won’t turn back. There’s nothing she can do for Red.
Back in the Pokemon Centre, Red collapses. He can’t keep the voices back any more, and they roar into his mind. He can tell they’re not happy, but she left she left she left.
They would all leave, given the chance, reminds that other voice, the old cold one that drowns out the mob’s chatter whenever it speaks. You are a wreck, little more than a vessel. If the mob decides to kill all of your pokemon, what can you do to prevent it?
Red says nothing. In his mind, he weeps.
Chapter 2: HAIL TO THE EMPEROR
Context: Napoleon chasing Red and Aoooo out of Sinnoh for murdering his subjects.
One of the advantages of running Sinnoh through its battle stadiums and gambling dens? Napoleon has minions to do boring stuff for him! Out of milk? Send a minion! Sunshine stuck up a tree again? Send two minions! Politician making noise about corruption and string-pulling and a shadowy mastermind that’s been dismantling Sinnoh’s democracy for several years? Send some minions to beat him up and some more to get his family. (Napoleon never claimed to run Sinnoh ethically.) It’s great.
Some things though, he does himself. Training his pokemon. Punching Pearl in the face. Helping his mother around the house. The important things.
And some things are best pulled off riding atop his Bronzong, machine gun ready to fire, Solareon at his side, surrounded by a horde of ex-Galactics and elite trainers on speeders, wearing his most badass scarf, with the sun to his back, making the Napoleon equivalent of a grandiose speech.
(He can’t kill Red without pissing off the Church of Helix, and he can’t kill Aoooo without pissing off Skull and Armour. But he can physically chase them out of his region, not stopping until they’re two distant specks on the horizon.)
(His face is all over the evening news, but eh. You win some, you lose some.)
Chapter 3: Early Thought on Blaze Black 2
I can’t talk much about the plot of Black and Blaze Black (because I’m about a third of the way through Blue) but yeah, Jimmy musta been doing something in BB2. (Maybe saving the world from Team Plasma or whatever gives him some strings to pull. Or! If we’re going with the big-epic-final-battle-happens-at-the-end-of-BB2 thing, maybe Jimmy’s scouring the world for the other hosts, pulling out of retirement/hiding to get them to help.) (I see Black happening like twenty or thirty years after Red.)
Revealing the Mob - by B/BB2, the Mob’s like an urban legend. Red didn’t do anything that attention-grabbing (also everyone in Kanto is a dick) and during Crystal the Cult of Helix is causing so much chaos everywhere near Kanto that one little kid acting weird flies under everyone’s radar. But A was very loud and very visible, and Napoleon was a straight-up hero (even if noone can quite remember what happened to him in the end). Rumours fly. Dots are joined up. (Jimmy follows this avidly and draws some surprisingly accurate conclusions.) The previous hosts made a pact at the end of HeartGold to never tell anyone who didn’t need to know, but it looks like that’s not going to work out. There’s so much suspicion and fearmongering, and Team Plasma is exploiting the hell out of it. This already-easy task is made even easier when you consider that the hosts are a cult leader/JRPG final boss, a douchebag, a terrorist, a mad scientist, a shadowy overlord, and a glitchy abomination.
Everything comes to a boil when, one morning, millions of people turn to a talk show, and see a former teen idol talking in a hundred thousand voices.
Chapter 4: Blue
I think I started headcanoning for him when he avoided getting a stupid name for the third time. No matter what we do, we just can’t rename him, whether it’s the main timeline or the wonderland or the world within the PC. Blue is Blue, except when he’s Green.
It’s like he’s immune to the Mob’s influence or something.
Wait a minute. S1!Red. Bumping into walls, never talking, won’t let go of an ammonite fossil. Obviously something very wrong with him, but he’s never stopped or arrested or put in the hospital. No one even calls his mum. At firstI put it down to everyone in Kanto being a dick but maybe not. Hanlon’s Razor. The Mob doesn’t want its/their pokemon journey to stop. Maybe they’re mindfucking everyone in Kanto to ignore their puppet’s odd behaviour.
Except for one person. Blue.
If Red’s a channeler then Blue is an anti-channeler, the kind of person who’d be called psi-null in a more scifi setting. The Mob’s mindfucks just pass him by. He doesn’t know this, of course. All he sees is his best friend acting all kinds of weird and the adults acting like nothing’s happening.
So he follows Red into the unknown, to look out for him, fix him, and bring him home.He’s ten years old, and a douche, so he’s not particularly nice about it, but he goes after Red all over Kanto. On the way, he discovers that he’s not half bad at pokemon training (he loses a lot against Red because (a) he’s holding back and (b) he’s fighting the possessed shell of his best friend and that’d throw anyone off their game. Give the guy some credit, he did beat the Elite Four) and takes the gym challenge. Later he’ll call focusing on the gyms instead of bringing Red home the biggest mistake of his life.
Then the strange silent boy he’s not sure is Red any more collapses in the Hall of Fame. Blue and his grandfather watch as a flood of brilliant purple he-doesn’t-know-what roars out of Red’s eyes. When the light fades all that’s left is Red, weeping. “It’s over. Thank you Lord Helix, it’s over.”
Later, Blue will discover that Red has completely lost his mind. Later, when he is the Viridian City Gym Leader, he will climb down from Mt Silver and help his grandfather start an organisation to stop the Voices once and for all. Later, his counterpart in the wonderland will mentor Alice and start her turn against Bill. When he is an old man, he will look at Artemis Haze and think that maybe, just maybe he succeeded.
But now, he summons his pidgeot to take Red home.
Chapter 5: We are AJ
What are we?
Morty calls us spirits. Oak calls us demons. Joey calls us voices. We are all of those things, and we are none of them.
Our purpose is to win. We take a child and a single pokemon, and we make them great, make them heroes. Our end goal is the Pokemon League, where they will become champions. Our team stands in the Hall of Fame, but we have not departed. We have some unfinished business.
Last time we were here, we encountered the Helix. It was similar to us, so we took it along, and we resurrected it from its prison. We think it assumed that we would always serve it.
But it killed our pokemon. The Admiral, Colonel N, Wooper Goldberg, and little Prince Omelette all died because of the chaos its followers spread. They were ours, as much as our host is. We loved them.
And we desire revenge.
Our new mission is clear. We will go to Kanto, destroy the Church of Helix as we have in Johto, and make sure this never happens again.
Helix. You have travelled with us. You know that we face many obstacles on our quests. But you have seen us struggle past ledges and gym leaders and the PC and trees and Team Rocket and poisoning and islands full of fat guys and our own divisions. You know that we can be slowed down and distracted, but we cannot be stopped.
Once we were your allies. Once we gave up everything to restore you. Once we were Red.
Now we are AJ, and we are coming to kill you.
Chapter 6: Zexy
Abby and Jay Leno were driven off by Red, his flareon was killed by the Mob, Bloody Sunday happened because Mob-Red’s hands slipped too much (and Cabbage showed up again in Emerald, so i’d say those mon actually were released), the Admiral died because of a stupid mistake, Omelette, Goldberg, and the Colonel were casualties in the war against Helix.
A has had it up to here with the Mob. She’s only been possessed for a couple of weeks but she has had enough of its/their utter failure at everything for the rest of her life. And now Zexy’s in the PC again. She’s been trying to beat Wattson for days and she needs her partner.
Part of the problem is speed. The Mob cannot touch-type, and to avoid disaster it/they have agreed to only use her index fingers to operate the PC. A pecks at the keys like an octogenarian. Occasionally another pokecentre patron will offer to help her.
But this also means that A is always perfectly aware of where her hands are. Because when the cursor moves to ‘release’, and the little dialog box confirms it -
A’s left hand is circling over the number keys, and her right is trying to shove the mouse off the PC table.
Zexy’s icon disappears and the Voices screech. They stop focusing on her legs and A crashes onto the floor. Fortunately she already has so many bruises three more won’t make any difference.
Five different people come over to help her up. The Mob usually reacts violently to strangers touching its/their puppet, but it/they are still trying to process what happened. Some argue. Some panic. Many riot. A few declare that this has Stopped Being Fun as their Voices fade away.
A stares at the screen. The mon in her party suddenly seem so much safer. The PC - How - A is the daughter of a gym leader. She knows how important the bond between a trainer and any of their pokemon, let alone their starter, is. Who - Why -
And the Voices say, Bill.
Chapter 7: 72:00:00
I have all these feels about A’s E4 runs, okay? Like at the start she’s almost relaxed about it. She’s got time.
Then Amber bursts through her window (league has to provide some kind of accommodation), tells the Mob that Bill’s recovered from the Sootopolis incident faster than expected and long story short they have to beat the E4 asap, dumps a timer in A’s brain and rockets out through another window, all in less than a minute.
So A goes back to the E4, ready to rollout to victory.
But there’s one teensy little hitch.
Bill has infected the Mob. It’s a virus of his own design, even if it is based off observation. Infected Voices, rather than trying to execute one of eighteen different plans or just screwing around, act in planned unison to slow down the mob. This changes the democracy-anarchy balance from consistent-but-slow versus fast-but-chaotic to slow-and-dangerous versus slightly-less-slow-and-even-more-chaotic. And the timer is ticking away.
At once A steps up the pace. The first day post-Amber she fights the E4 five times and spends most of the rest of the day trying to get back to the front desk. At noon on the second day Mob-A just starts auto-teleporting to the healing machine. The Voices (those that aren’t infected anyway) calculate that the time saved will allow for at least one extra run per day.
Speed becomes her mantra. She skips lunch, then breakfast, then all her meals, instead hopping on the healing machine after each KO. By the last week she’s stopped sleeping. By the last day she’s stopped breathing.
Near the end of the first week someone tries to stop her. It’s an aide of some sort. “Don’t you think you should train your team and take the challenge again later?” The timer is burned into her eyes. The aide is just strong enough to hold her down. A’s own instincts and the mob’s possessive rage and their deadline-induced frenzy combine -
- for a second A can see her own face. Her irises are glowing purple -
- the aide’s arms loosen and fall to the floor. Their eyes are smoking.
(Later the murder investigation will connect their autopsy to a string of child murders more than a year earlier.)
At some point A begins to despair. It’s hopeless, she thinks, as the seconds count down. But the Voices have come to care for their tough, frightening, stubborn host. Even as the plague spreads and the survivors plunge into madness they try to help, caressing her with memories of their triumphs, pulling away as much pain as they can.
(Even if every memory taken from the hive means another lost to it and every shared emotion means another piece of A lost.)
The world narrows into Sidney-Phoebe-crap-Sidney-Phoebe-Glacia-Drake-Wallace-crap-Sidney-Phoebe-Glacia-crap. It’s all they can remember.
Towards the end she starts chanting; sometimes directions, sometimes the names of her pokemon, sometimes utter nonsense, but always, always-
‘teh urn teh urn please let this be it please let this be teh urn’
- And then wallace defeats her again, and the timer runs out.
Chapter 8: UP+START+DOWN
treecko treecko mudkip treecko hitler mudkip how long is this one gonna last mudkip treecko treecko what kind of professor doesn’t have any pokemon treecko treecko -
mudkip or treecko we agreed - was any one calling for torchic - RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT RIOT - what the fuck - kill this one find another kid pick mudkip - which one picked torchic
the hell was that - helix? - helix! - crapcrapcrap it’s not dead - we’re sorry we killed you - it’s not helix idiots does that sound like a god - who else could it be though
Me. My name is-
the host? seriously? - aw damn we haven’t broken this one in yet - they’re so annoying in this stage - listen up missy there’s a way we do things-
No. You listen.
I summoned you. I let you into my body. I chose you.
I’m the one in charge here.
AHAHAHAHAHA - does the wittle human think she can control us - this is the funniest thing - guys she sounds serious
This region is peaceful and safe. Even the revival of the Old Ones barely affected Hoenn. Some call it a miracle. I call it dull. I used to wish I was born somewhere exciting.
Heh. Then you showed up. The creatures that wreaked havoc all over Kanto and Johto. Ecruteak City is still in ruins, you know.
I chose to become your host to spread that chaos across Hoenn. With Zexy at my side and your power filling me I will burn Fortree and flood Lilycove, overthrow the Elite Four and destroy every last gym.
I am Girl A. I will turn this region upside down. And you’re coming with.
Chapter 9: Character Asks, Vol 1
How I feel about this character: absolutely terrifying poor baby. villain and victim. shia labeouf
All the people I ship platonically with this character: blue. aoooo. birjeezus
My romantic OTP for this character::SCREAMING, YELLING, SLAMMING INTO WALLS:
My unpopular opinion about this character: a lot of people see red as an innocent in whatever was going on at the end of crystal. me? i think it was it was red’s idea. idk i just love the image of red smiling in ecstasy as he carves spirals into his skin
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: if he’d kept abby and flareon he’d probably have been much - not happier, but certainly more stable
How I feel about this character: forced to grow up way too fast. eleven year old on a quest for revenge. red saw the voices arrive; aj saw them stay
All the people I ship platonically with this character: i think of lazorgator as his mentor? really that’s it. he’s kinda the crazy shotgun get-off-my-lawn type
My romantic OTP for this character: rattodile is canon. also aj totally has a massive blackcrush on red
My unpopular opinion about this character: uh idk if this is unpopular but - at first people in johto see aj as a crusader for their gods; lugia, hoho, that crowd. then he kills suicune. when aj said no gods no kings only mon he bloody well meant it
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: i’d like to see the route where he never got joey’s number back - no wait that’s horrible he could end up worse off than red scratch that
How I feel about this character: first true hero. singlehandedly kicked off the mob’s character development. went from aiming to destroy a region to achieve her goals to sacrificing her identity to save everything. PRAISE GIRL A
All the people I ship platonically with this character: the entire e4 team. brendan. alice
My romantic OTP for this character: A/THE VOICES
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: i’d say her beating the clock and defeating bill, but that probably leads to a boring route where bill is snidely whiplash and dennis is never a threat. emerald was perfect. PRAISE GIRL A
How I feel about this character: SCIENCE. would have been a one-note ill girl if anyone else was telling this story. slow realisation that her father has gone mad with power and needs to be stopped. takes everything from the voices to the wonderland to dome to red with curiosity and without fear. i want to be her when i grow up
All the people I ship platonically with this character: sabrina. green. A. teala. chairman meow?
My romantic OTP for this character: alice/dome as a happier and much less fucked up counterpart to GYAAAAAARGHLFRULG
My unpopular opinion about this character: tbh i think alice has more important things on her mind than communism
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: in a lot of ways chairman meow was her signature mon and i wish she’d taken him to the e4
How I feel about this character: was completely done with the voices within hours of meeting them. world’s toughest dandy. took over sinnoh just so there’d be someone competent in charge. best dancer. really to me he’s the one between fearless scientist and AWOOOOOOOOOOO~
All the people I ship platonically with this character: PEARL (juu-hachi-sai ni satta shounen…). luminose city. solareon. A?
My romantic OTP for this character: napoleon/sinnoh’s gambling circuit
My unpopular opinion about this character: i don’t really see his appeal? it’s not even that i don’t like him it’s that the hosts just before and just after him are A, alice, aoooo, and jimmy
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: if no distortion coma, no giratina, no rewind? on the one hand napoleon’s world never wiped, fossil gods sealed forever. on the other hand no aoooo, no 4, no jimmy or cly or d or arty, no black or omega ruby, fossil gods sealed forever. i’ll file this under interesting aus
How I feel about this character: PRINCESS. bffs with several eldritch abominations :D. possible connection to the glitches? ball of happiness with hellish powers. would say ‘protect at all costs’ but she’s got two war gods on her team she’s covered
All the people I ship platonically with this character: trumprava. ethan. the voices. the fossil gods (especially skull and armour). sabrina. red
My unpopular opinion about this character: haberdashering sold me on badass!aoooo and while i still love cute!aoooo FUCK YEAH. also why do i have to choose between wild forest dweller and weremissingno?
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: everything i can think of already happened to her or could have happened behind the scenes. fuck the subreddit, heartgold was perfect, AWOOOOOOOO~
How I feel about this character: probably the closest thing to your classic hero archetype - OH FUCK ALL HIS MON ARE DEAD. poor kid admired us and we put him through the wringer. he was still able to save the world in the end, and i respect him for that
All the people I ship platonically with this character: him and nonon as friends through all the releases and pain. also his weird relationship with cly, the perfect host
My romantic OTP for this character: jimmy/n
My unpopular opinion about this character: jimmy is actually v good at pokemon when he doesn’t have the voices dragging him down
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: did the kid really need to lose his entire team twice?
How I feel about this character: BIGGEST BADASS THE TPPVERSE HAS EVER SEEN
All the people I ship platonically with this character: jimmy? i think? in an ‘annoying hanger-on with far less self-esteem than he should have’ kinda way
My romantic OTP for this character: cly’s fist/dennis’ face
My unpopular opinion about this character: for all her awesomeness i feel cly doesn’t have much personality?
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: blaze black 2 having more lore than the bill arc. blaze black 2 having lore to rival crystal. blaze black 2 having any lore at all
How I feel about this character: fills every prissy kalosian stereotype in the book, but that’s an act. always trying to be accepted (i can relate). also apparently an insomniac (i can also relate)
My unpopular opinion about this character: i actually don’t like d=dennis lore. one because the timeline’s convoluted enough as it is, two because i can’t see sycamore as the shadowy puppetmaster type and three because - d? dennis?! how?!
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: what if he did press the button, destroying the world - and us with it
How I feel about this character: KINOU MOU KYOU WA SEITEN DE NYUUDOUGUMO WO MITEITA DARUI GURAI NO KAISEI DA OMOMURO NI ME WO TOJITE - a boy so much like red, or how he could have been. from an old johto family, did not expect to get possessed, but he rolls with it. an ordinary boy on an ordinary journey
My romantic OTP for this character: arty/may i guess. he’s ten
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: would have been really cool if his starter wasn’t released. who releases their starter? but that started this ferocious determination in the mob to not break this kid, to keep him alive and whole and hale, and well. :D
How I feel about this character: cute cartographer and wannabe pokemon professor. dork who’s always losing his glasses. pity his run turned out so dark
All the people I ship platonically with this character: town map. jessica. leech king. dome on her deredere days. growleerzard (abe tries not to get attached to his mon)
My unpopular opinion about this character: among the ar-is-in-the-pc-crowd people seem to think abe came from outside? like he’s an alternate red or sth. i think he’s coded!red who got corrupted into abe by the voices. he’s always lived in the sim
One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon: kakuna not dying a senseless death tops the list
Chapter 10: Touhoumon & Moemon Thoughts
- The Touhou and Moe Kantos (Kantae?) are split versions of regular TPP Kanto from about the FireRed era.
- The timeline’s weak at that point (thank you, Bill) so when the glitches tried to mess around with the TPPverse that was the obvious choice.
- In both Kantos there’s no such thing as a ‘vanilla’ human. Everyone is a boneka/moemon. Green and Daisy are tokiko/pidgey, Oak is a goliath/tauros, Bill is a kogasa/clefairy, the gym leaders and E4 members are their aces, et cetera.
- In Touhou, boneka have a yin/yang split rather male/female, and most people use she/her pronouns. In Moe, male moemon are hilariously rare. Seriously if it’s possible for a member of a species to be female - not even likely, but possible - 999 times out of 1000 they will be.
- (Please note i’m using male/female to refer to their equipment rather than gender identity (though in a world where most people are rocking one set i imagine gender politics would be very different.))
- Thus, basically every NPC, from coffee-roadblock-weedle-Missingno to Llance, is a lady (with the notable exception of Misty the genderless starmie.)
- Getting new team members isn’t a catch-and-enslave deal; it’s more defeat-means-friendship a la cheesy shounen. In Touhou it’s all dressed up in Duty because Touhou is pretentious like that.
- Touhou is a magical girl series that takes itself waaay too seriously and Moe is genderflipped shounen that’s more concerned with having fun than making sense.
- So what species are Amber and Athena?
- They aren’t. These girls were born with no elemental affinity or powers. No one has any idea why. Athena’s mother realised it pretty much immediately when she noticed her ‘rattata’ daughter’s conspicuous lack of ears or tail; Amber’s mother didn’t until her poison-type baby got poisoned.
- That’s why they go everywhere with a small army of boneka; to protect them.
- (Fun Fact: Athena, who is Crazy Into the likes of Fist of the North Star, is actually more cautious and aware of her own fragility than Amber, who spent her childhood researching boneka and is definitely the more bookish one.)
- In Touhou most people call people outside their species by their species name; some ‘ka don’t even have personal names.
- Effie, Green’s squirtle and the bulbasaur that stayed behind are three of Oak’s great-grandbrats and triplets for all practical purposes. They’re in a sort-of gang devoted to having fun and getting in everyone’s way. They’ve grown apart recently, what with the bulbasaur hanging around at Oak’s and Effie and the squirtle’s rivalry getting worse.
- Effie is pretty good friends with Athena. They're like big sister and little sister, except they don’t live together so there are much fewer arguments. With Effie’s power of fire and Athena’s power of being tall NOTHING CAN STOP THEM!
- Sanae, Alice and Reisen are the products of a competition between Mima, Yuugenmagan and Elis. Basically each of them makes a kid, dumps her in some random backwater, first one to have their kid crowned champion gets to be patron god of the entire region.
- Sanae is the meekest and weakest of the three. Amber met her when she was hiding from the other two. They became good friends over the years. They spend days in Amber’s library trying to find out what types of boneka they are.
- When Effie turned ten she became old enough to take on the gym challenge and beat the squirtle once and for all. When Sanae turned ten Mima flipped a switch and little miss weak-to-tackle suddenly needed to leave the town right now and become strong enough to defeat the other two.
- And of course, neither wanted to go on a region-spanning quest without their big sisters. As for Amber and Athena, they wanted to leave town and see the world. Green, Alice, and the squirtle caught wind, plans were made...
- And the night before the seven left home, the Voices found two new hosts.
- Green can see both verses at once. They’re essentially one person with two bodies that just happen to be in separate verses. Because they are Green, and thus Blue, and thus a massive jerkface, they abuse this as much as they possibly can.
- Randomised Alpha Sapphire will probably be the glitches’ fault. It’s either a whacked-out mirror of Omega Ruby (like Firered and HeartGold were to Red and Crystal) or a glitched-up version of Emerald (like T&M were to Red and FireRed.)
- But I think their influence on the TPPverse goes back further.
- Before the battle tent. Before Norman Haze left Johto. Before Jimmy found out about the Voices. Before Aoooo’s trip to Cinnabar. Before seven children died screaming in the night. Before Bill betrayed Dome. Before AJ met Joey.
- Before the league. Before Helix’s resurrection. Before the capture of Zapdos and Bloody Sunday. Before the Wild Ride and the birth of democracy. Before Abby and Jay Leno were released and Flareon was blamed for it. Before Bird Jesus ascended. Before Route 9 and the Cult of Helix.
- In the grasslands north of Viridian, just after beating Surge, Mob-Red wandered around, getting into wild encounters. Two days, fourteen hours, twenty-four minutes -
- And the first lost host was created.
Chapter 11: Assorted Uses of the Voice of the Legion
I headcanon that the hosts can, if they're synced up well enough, speak with all their Voices at once.
Red: Never really got past incoherent screaming, with the notable exception of that time they found a room full of PCs and noped halfway across Kanto.
AJ: Chanting nogodsnokingsonlymon pretty much constantly during the Kanto arc.
Girl A: Challenging gym leaders/ecoterrorists/random passersby with YOU B-A-START!
Alice: Just once, during her first confrontation with her father.
Napoleon: Threatening Galactic toughs. Scaring casino patrons/employees.
Aoooo: Emphasising important points when talking to people who don’t usually listen to feral children. To Rockets, after Kenya.
Jimmy: Kept showing off with it before Massacre Monday. After that, he didn’t do it again until N’s Castle.
Lady Abin:Once she tried to convince an enemy army that she was a horrifying creature of the netherworld. They saw her ranting about kappas and almost falling off her ursaring for an hour.
Dly: ’I am the very best like no one ever was, the eighth host of the Voices, the great CLY! I’m going to take down Ghetsis, and you are going to help.’
D: Not once. They had an image to maintain, and they were too suspicious of the Voices to sync with them enough.
Arty: Whooping and cheering when he finally won a contest.
Abe: Either singing the pokerap or falling into despair, there is no inbetween.
Baba: Every other word. Elf’s World is a weird place.
Amber and Athena: They shared the Voices, so you got situations like Athena talking to a wall while Amber had a very loaded conversation with Isamima.
Chapter 12: The Reaction
Not capitalising this fic because I think it would lose something.
the caves go deep. part of red is wondering how old they are and what carved them. it’s a small part, getting fainter, because -
HAHAHAHAHAHA ABBY K CAN TAKE THIS LOSER ANY DAY LET’S STEAL HIS POKEMON LET’S JOIN TEAM ROCKET GUYS WHO DO WE HAVE TO FIGHT NEXT LET’S JUST PICK A FOSSIL AND GET OUT OF HERE BEFORE THE ZUBAT KILL US WOOOOOOO
- and they never stop
(he hasn’t shut his eyes in weeks. sometimes he wants to just let go - but no, he promised the professor he’d help finish the pokedex)
his body jerks around the cavern floor, legs and arms scrambling for purchase. the voices - CAN’T YOU SCRUBS EVEN LIFT A LEG ONE TWO THREE PULL AH FUCK IT GET BACK TO WORK ASSHOLE - decided that they were never going to pull off bipedalism on the uneven tunnel floors. his hands are red with pain and he’s pretty sure his left knee is bruised. again. there are so many little aches he’s stopped noticing them
his hand flails towards - FUCKING FINALLY DAMN I WANTED A KABUTOPS - the fossils. he thinks he should technically care about which one they get, but honestly he just wants (the sunlight/to go home/blue to call him a loser/the voices to finally shut up/to finally be able to lose himself in the mob)
he’s dimly aware of the voices, just as he’s dimly aware of the nerd grabbing the other fossil and trying not to step on him, but they’re not screaming. he can ignore them, because something else is drowning them out. except that’s not right, it’s a dazzling all-consuming light, no it’s like the sky before the stars come out, so vast and ancient, like the bottom of the sea, but that’s not right either, it’s, it’s -
it rumbles, and he realises that it’s alive
just as suddenly as they left, the voices - NEXT TRAIN TO CERULEAN WATCH US GET MURDERED BY A LEVEL SEVEN ZUBAT OMANYTE IS BEST AND YOU KNOW IT WHAT ABOUT AERODACTYL FUCK OFF- roar back into his head. they - DON’T BRING UNOVA INTO THIS WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THE O.G. HERE - they - HOW ARE WE GONNA BEAT MISTY WHEN OUR BEST POKEMON’S A FIRE TYPE - they -
they haven’t noticed?
maybe they just aren’t talking about it when he can hear it (they barely know i’m here) maybe he’s going insane (if going crazy makes them stop) maybe whatever-it-is can’t or won’t help him (it’s not like i have a vast multitude of options) maybe
his fingers jerk randomly all the time, but now one of them is tracing a spiral
Chapter 13: Prince Omelette
Mild gore warning.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Yo, it’s AJ! I can’t answer my ‘gear right now, so call me back, ‘kay?”
“Hey AJ, it’s Joey! Ace tackled this pidgeotto halfway to Ecruteak, I’ll tell you all about it next time we talk!”
“Those voices never do give you a break, huh. Are you fighting Jasmine? Whoever it is you’re trying to beat, I’m rooting for ya!”
“Dude, why aren’t you picking up? Is everything okay? You didn’t get poofed back to Cianwood or something, right?”
“Please pick up, AJ! The radio says something bad’s happening in Olivine and me and Ace are really worried about you!”
“AJ! Ho-oh’s shiny tailfeathers, you scared me to death!”
“Are you - you’re the eevee, right? Burrito? I need you to -”
“What was that? What’s happening? AJ? AJ?! Where are -”
Beep. “Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease…” Beep-click!
“AJ! I’m so glad you’re all right! I’ve been calling you all day but you never picked up! The radio said there were riots in Olivine and I think I heard Lazor blow something up and - are you crying?”
“Nnnnh… Joey, they… Pr-pr…”
“What happened? Is everyone…”
“Shnff… Prince Omelette, they wanted…”
“Culta Helix. They, they… A s-sacri…”
They impaled him, AJ told Joey, years later. Stabbed through his shell with a bone spear and fed him to an omanyte. I watched him hatch, and I watched him die.
Years later. All AJ could do on the day was sob into Burrito’s fur.
Chapter 14: Ships
look it was too long for the snippets doc okay. i'm not going to dignify this with capital letters
i don’t really do romantic shipping (except in rare cases (red/helix and rattodile if you must know)) but platonic ships. yesplz
- red/abe’s friendship with blue/green
- have a feeling birjeezus and dux and the seed of hope and maybe red’s flareon had a three-musketeers thing going. why is original red so inherently soulcrushing
- lazorgator mentoring aj
- red and aj’s incredibly messed up kinda-kismesisitude (i spelled that wrong and i don’t care)
- i see girl A and brendan’s relationship as more a childhood-friends-on-simultaneous-but-separate-pokemon-journeys sorta thing. their talents lie in vastly different areas even without the voices
- six mon and one human stumbled out of victory road. the a-team walked into the hall of records
- bill was a good father
- alice and teala bonding over SCIENCE and complaints about potion theft
- napoleon and pearl. i have a lot to say about what happened to them in the end
- i’ve always liked the team of nerdpunchers the dpp protag gathers. prof rowan, dawn, cynthia, various grinding buddies with healing machines stashed in their backpacks…
- aoooo and like everyone, but especially ethan and kenya
- her relationship with alice is… cordial
- i haven’t finished any games past gen 4 so let me just say
- jimmy and cly. shinji and simon. the failure and the victor
- sooners as one big surrogate family. they made friendship bracelets one day, and the leech king still has hers at the elite four
- now i am thinking about abe and growleerzard and KAKUNAAAAAAA
- abe really looked up to oak, wanted to become a pokemon professor. at the end of his journey, learning that oak used him to trap the voices -
- what is wrong with tpp gen one runs
- baba has an excellent relationship with her dada. she also has an excellent relationship with anyone who’s seen her dada
- idk i still like amber and athena as sanae and effie’s big sister figures
- amber is mostly protecting sanae from alice, nazrins, isamima
- athena and effie are the terrors of pallet town
- RAS JELLICENT FAMILY WITH ADOPTED LANTURN DAUGHTER YES
- i also love how nina came back for the lamp
- outside the runs? hmm
- antares - part of it is probably ‘m seeing another potential host in her. part of it is definitely spillover from skull and armour. but vega - when the time comes, he won’t destroy her himself
- amber acting as surrogate parent to the other fossil gods - except helix and dome, their lieutenants
- the voices dance around their hosts, putting flowers in their hair, offering dating advice (”SEX EVERYTHING”), teaching them songs. their kids are all awesome
- deku x revo otp
Chapter 15: :opening notes of unhappy refrain playing VERY LOUDLY in the background:
Before Gen 3, before Hoenn, before A - Red is the story of a ten-year-old being tortured into insanity. Crystal's a little better, what with the Cult of Helix and whatever Red's trying to do at the peak of Mt Silver - i think that in Crystal the world outside is as mad and burning as it is in AJ's head, and that’s so much better than the pokeverse-business-as-usual-except-for-the-kid-screaming-in-the-corner of Red - but it’s plenty clear that AJ is just as badly off if not moreso than Red, and the semicommon theory that Red was trying to kill the voices - there’s no good here, just two broken children trying to kill each other in the snow.
And then Girl A happened.
The girl who chose the Voices - the girl who picked torchic to spite them - the girl who kept some control over herself even at the nadir.
It’s not that she didn’t suffer. It’s not that she didn’t fail. It’s not that she didn’t have all her dreams crushed, it’s not that she didn’t see all her struggles made utterly pointless as the world collapsed around her.
It’s that she stuck out her hands and tried to pull it back together. Mob-A didn’t have the power to hold onto much, just the league and some of the nearby ocean, but it was enough.
They fought Bill for a thousand reasons - a debt owed to Helix, revenge for their lost mon, an honest horror at what he was doing - and because they didn’t want all her struggles to be in vain.
Girl A was not a victim. She was so loud and so furiously driven that the Voices couldn’t help but notice her. After she left, the Voices looked at the spot where she had been, and wondered who was there now.
(And far in the future, on a warm summer day, a ten-year-old boy played on the sand.)
Chapter 16: bye D
I can’t shake the image of Sail and Jaw being SUPER HYPE for a Kalosian host and trying to get them the best pokemon with their dimension crossing powers.
Only they disagree on what the best team would be, so they keep trading each other’s mon out and loudly arguing in the middle of the night. D gets used to their team changing during battle, having a deerling mid-jumpkick suddenly glow and change to yet another omanyte using tackle.
The Voices think it’s hilarious. They shout random requests at the twins (‘GET A SMOGON BIRD’ 'NO GET US A SHINY ENTEI’ 'GET AIPOM J’ 'GET KIRLIA’) and hoard the omanyte. The entire team changes every hour. It’s the most fun they’ve had in years.
Three days in, Deku shows up. They think this is great but alas and alack they have to keep the Voices vaguely near task. They chase Jaw off with a metaphysical broom; Sail is a bit more tenacious but with assistance from Root they eventually manage to get her away from D. The Voices grumble, but Deku’s right, they have to stop Team Flare. D is relieved that the insane part of their journey is over.
A month later, the newly crowned and de-possessed Champion of Kalos wakes up to a mountain of pokeballs at the foot of their bed. At the top is a note. 'Congratulations! You’re the fastest host ever, and people wanted to give you presents! - Lord Sail’ 'I was the one who found the shiny breeding farm - Jaw’ 'open the pokeballs outside - o. a.’
D would be very fulfilled if they never saw a pokemon again, but Shauna insists they at least open the balls. D picks the most ordinary pokeball they can see, and throws it out in their front garden.
A massive shiny Kyogre materialises and crashes to the ground, crushing D’s azaleas. Like clockwork, the rain starts.
D stares at it for a full minute, fedora slowly getting soggier, before throwing up their hands and walking back into their house.
Usually I like the runs to go in order through the mob’s personal-can’t-be-the-right-word-here timeline. Red goes before Crystal goes before Emerald, and since the mob can’t travel through time the Unova arc goes before X. We have enough weird time shit because some assholes can’t stop fragmenting the timeline, naming no names, Bill, Antares.
Somehow I really really like the idea of Omega Ruby coming dead last, of Artemis Haze’s journey being the mob’s final adventure. Maybe it’s because i came into the fandom between s1 and s2, and had Red-Omega Ruby crystallise as an arc in a way I doubt they would have if I’d been there for the runs.
But. The last adventure, not D’s dream, not Abe’s race, not Baba cresting Mt Silver with the hopes of an entire universe riding on her typhlosion, but Arty, running across the beaches of Hoenn on a warm summer night.
I want the last run to be a six-month-long Hoenn summer, with a boy who can’t decide what he wants to be. Basking in the sunlight, just enough danger to be exciting but not enough to be a threat (compared to Helix and Bill and Ghetsis and Antares and Lysandre and Cyrus and the mob itself, Maxie is nothing.)
They riot and laugh and play in the sand, cheering as they finally win a contest. This is the pokemon journey Arceus promised them when It invited them into Its universe, so long ago.
Artemis Haze grows into a gifted contest trainer. When he is old, he will tell a young coordinator about his first contest, “So don’t worry, there’s no way you’ll be as bad asI was!” She will smile indulgently, and say a quick prayer to Root before leading her roselia onstage.
The Voices are forgotten, but that doesn’t matter, because -
Today’s as sunny as yesterday was,
sitting around, looking up at the clouds.
It’s a lazy, hazy kind of day,
the sort that makes your eyes slowly close.
It’s kinda hard to remember those days,
and all the burning and pain that they brought,
because you see, quite simply,
we’ve been getting older ever since.
When TPP ends, I'll elaborate on this.
Chapter 18: Girl of the End, Baba
Once a gifted channeller born in New Bark Town
She fell into the sea at the divine volcano
Once a feral child who was more pokemon than human
She destroyed the world and in doing so, saved it
Once a little fish lost in a hexadecimal sea
She was one of the first to be corrupted
And now she marches through what’s left of Johto
The last person who can choose everything’s fate!
The voices seek the chaos that they know so intimately
Names, memories, identities, all lost in their dancing
The gods seek the order that they had long long ago
An eternal, peaceful, stagnant, rotting, all-encompassing kingdom
The glitches seek the oblivion left after their destruction
Everything consumed, everything absorbed into ’M
And the exile seeks to atone for their heresy
By bringing back the balance of a brilliant summer day!
'The exile' is Deku iirc. Eventually I'd just end up associating this song with Evan instead.
Chapter 19: Assorted AUs
Originally a two-part post written for a prompt.
Alternate hosts. Lost hosts. What if the Voices never went back to Red, kept XXX? The reset happened so early on, I’m not sure anything would have changed in the Voices - was XXX a channeler? Could he have connected to the Helix the way Red did, driven the Voices out? Would the Voices have stayed for Crystal? No Helix to stop, no business to finish, no reason to stay. Arceus cannot stop them leaving Its world like they have ten thousand others. XXX passes into the history books, and the world moves on.
But. Their entry and exit stirred up the walls of the world. Ripples reach out and disturb the sealed gods from their slumber. The fossil gods are alive, and angry, and trying to break out. And this time there are no Voices to keep them in check.
Lost hosts. Hosts that never were. The girl that never was. Her name was Kris, she lived in Kanto. Her mother was in the Cult of Helix, and Kris drew spirals on her journal. One night she had a bizarre dream, of shoutingfightingcheeringscreaming What is your name? My name is - and she woke up. A world where she finished her answer, where the Voices left AJ for her. A new host, new pokemon, so, so weak. Here in the heart of the cult, could she survive long enough to grow strong, get badges, find out about Red?
Could she climb Mt Silver in time?
Their names were Slasha and T and Reid and so many more. What if one of them - any one of them - survived the psychic shock, became the third host? Emerald would probably proceed as in canon - ledges wingull Aqua Magma Bill? Dome! Groudon and Kyogre, Sootopolis, three days to defeat the elite four - except. Girl A. Brilliant, passionate, fierce, loud Girl A who knew what she was summoning and fought the Voices all the way to Ever Grande. She’s so vital for their character development, and without her… Another child driven into madness, as ferociously insane as Red or AJ.
And the others? Alice begging her father to stop them, Napoleon dying in the swamps of Pastoria, Aoooo falling into the glitch haze because it’s the one thing they can’t control. Jimmy has researched them and doesn’t even try to fight, losing himself, becoming a part of the mob, except he’s left all alone on N’s castle. Cly snuffed out before she can defeat Ghetsis.
Alice wants to fill a pokedex with accurate information, and Bill fully supports her. Does she want to get her starter from him or from Oak? She thinks. In one world, she asks to be sent to Pallet Town, so she can count the differences from a regular pokemon journey. In another, she asks for one from him, because he can make a dex much better than Oak can, and she already knows all his pokemon, can she take the swablu? Bill expects her to be chomping at the bit the next morning, so when it’s half past nine and she still hasn’t come downstairs he goes to see what’s wrong. He finds her in the lantern room, attempting to walk into the light, ankle obviously broken, limbs flailing, purple poisoning her eyes.
Four hours later, he’s finally managed to tie her down. In the basement labs he desperately flips through everything he knows about the Voices, while they keep switching between demands to let them out, threats about what they’ll do to him if he doesn’t, and cries to please them go, Papa, what’s happening? All to the background noise of Dome’s mocking laughter. The randomiser whirls on, and the world slowly fails.
Napoleon was a victim of circumstance, more than anything. Seconds spent losing battles, working through ledge mazes, hiding in the swamp, frozen as Cyrus’ latest distortion took hold, they all added up until it was too late to stop Giratina. But - a few hours not staring at a sneasel, a lucky run through the duskull maze, a turn that leads him away from the Game Corner and towards Galactic’s Hearthome lair, and Napoleon doesn’t run out of time. He becomes champion, buys a house in the Battle Frontier, spends his days joking with Pearl and reassuring Joanna and casually taking over Sinnoh. The fossil gods are left in the pc, Ghetsis is stopped by the Voices or by Interpol or by Alice, and the Silence was never founded, never recruited Lysandre or created a digital replica of Kanto. It’s a different future, but arguably a better one.
At least, until Red finds AZ’s weapon.
A world where 4 figured out the Rockets’ plan and Kenya wasn’t leech seeded to death outside the Blackthorn City gym. Aoooo is much happier, certainly, and definitely more powerful (Kenya becomes the second mon in TPP history to hit level 100). She roars her way through the Elite Four, and then Kanto, and then the Elite Four again because M4 was awesome but she wasn’t a legendary with an ability that covered her biggest weakness. Aoooo charges up Mt Silver with Kenya, Trumprava, Treesus, the Oracle, Sunslash, and the winter Bronzonger.
Because this Aoooo never ran into a lost and terrified cranidos on the path to Violet City, wasn’t tracked down by his twin in the depths of Victory Road. She saw Helix in the grasslands near Viridian, but felt no real inclination to catch him despite the Voices’ pleas. She never developed a connection to the fossil gods. She first hears about Amber’s plan from Sabrina, who describes it as ‘they literally want to destroy the world’ and ‘Alice just wants to adjust it a little’. One thing doesn’t change; on the peak of Mt Silver, after she defeats Alice, Aoooo closes her eyes and thinks hard before making her choice.
Lost hosts. Alternate hosts. N is almost the deuteragonist of Black, the bearer of the Dark Stone, the Hero of Ideals. What if the mob chose the other hero, and the King of Team Plasma became the seventh host? N keeps trying to run off during the crowning ceremony because the Voices want their adventure. They work alone(ish) and answer to no one. Being in charge of a large organisation is so anathema to them that eventually Ghetsis lets N run off on his own (supervised, naturally; some of their mad rambling implies that the Voices know a little too much about Plasma’s true goal.)
Jimmy, the other hero, cowardly yet a talented trainer, who knows about the Voices, and is jealous of N (at first) - Ghetsis, who planned on N’s possession but not on what would happen next - the Voices, panicking and flailing because they are so off script and have no idea what’s going to happen now - Cover and Plume, who have been following and manipulating n for a while but really didn’t expect the Voices to come to Unova - Juniper, who thought any host in Unova would be under her/the Silence’s watch - Alder, who has been fighting Plasma for a long, long time but knows intimately that the Voices cannot be stopped - N himself, who understands so little about the world and honestly believes that pokemon and humans would be better off separate -
Reshiram and Zekrom, truth and ideals. Despite everything, the Unova region marches towards its destiny.
Abe’s quest to catch them all has so many points where things could have gone differently. Worlds where the Voices rescued Kakuna or Growleerzard or even Baba from the PC, and Abe never lost the optimism of the early journey. Worlds where Paras Hilton was killed before she became Pararekt, worlds where Pararekt was boxed with the rest of the Sooners and never became the Leech King, worlds where the Leech King didn’t charge into the glitchhaze to buy Abe enough time to let the Voices out of the sim. Worlds where the Sooners struggled through the gyms and the Elite Four, failing so often but always, always together. Worlds where Abe lost on a snowy mountaintop, and the Voices never found out what the glitches had done to the world outside the sim.
A world where Jirachi didn’t grant Abe’s wish fast enough, and the glitches tore apart the mob before roaring out of the sim and devouring the TPPverse. A world where the Voices reasoned that Growleerzard was making them so much money that they didn’t need to waste time at the Battle Tent, and wandered off towards Erika’s gym.
Amber and Athena, Sanae and Effie, Touhou and Moe. The twin worlds are ever linked, and what happens in one, happens in the other. When BB is ripped apart by an angry Aya’s razor wind, Accio freezes in midstep and flickers out of reality, and when BB resurrects herself, Accio reappears and collapses into the tall grass. Amber cheers and Athena sighs through her mask; it could have been so much worse. If it had been Book Jesus, or Lord Wood, or Sanae… She’s not sure what she’d do without Effie to cheer on the team as they fight the Rockets, without Butterfree’s speed and sharp wit, or Mrs T’s calm, motherly strength. Amber sends the shrine maiden with the peculiar red eyes back to the mainland while Sanae steels herself to face Mima.
In the Colosseum at the heart of the glitchhaze, Antares also sighs in relief. The Voices are far from the greatest threat to ‘M, but they are the most tenacious. Even in their carefully designed prison world(s) they’ve been poking at the edges, trying to reach Moltres’ counterpart, fighting ZZAZZ. If they’d been roused from their boredom, actually considered their hosts and how they got to those timelines… Well, that’s irrelevant now. Antares shifts his attention to Arceus’ duelling lackeys.
There are three pokeballs in Professor Birch’s bag, containing three pokemon. The mudkip and the treecko are completely ordinary (well, by the standards of the Wonderland) but the torchic is different. This world is unbalanced and unravelling, and its cornerstones turn up in strange places. Groudon may have shattered, may have had almost all of its power sealed away by the fairies, but it is still alive, still able to fight, still knows what’s coming. in one world, Nina grabbed its pokeball and threw it out before the Voices could stop her - torchic again?! Seriously - Helix’s pizza breath it has Judgement - but in others, they nudged her fingers just a little to the left, made her drop its pokeball and pick another one.
A world where Nina and Ifrit never grew to trust each other and tell their secrets, to combine their missions into one glorious quest to destroy Team “Aqua” and stop the Wonderland from collapsing. A World where Nina never connected with any of her pokemon, releasing Chanseytuff and Revocactus and Duskleberg in one of her endless remixes. A world where she left a baby swinub with her uncaring parents, never helping her grow into a new Kyogre. A world where Rayquaza raced corruption and glitches to fight Deoxys, and returned to a Hoenn without land or sea.
Jirachi and Zygarde fought each other all over the fragmented timelines and worlds of the post-’M TPPverse. What if it was Revo, not Deku, who lost in the end, who felt their power bleed away as they fell to the depths of the glitchhaze? What if it was Revo, not Deku, who landed in Elf’s World, who grew up as シルバー, who snuck into New Bark Town to steal an elf and met a magikarp girl that they swore they’d seen somewhere… before… What if it was Revo, not Deku, who was flooded with memories of their other life, and realised where they were and what they had the chance to do?
Would Revo take to the role of the Voices’ rival with the hamminess and aplomb that Deku did? Would they help Baba like Deku did, giving her pep talks and unsubtle hints, fighting Missile Bomb behind the scenes so she almost never blacked out? Certainly they wouldn’t try to find out what was wrong with the Voices, why Baba only heard them sometimes and could more or less ignore them when she did.
When Antares entered the goldenrod underground and shot Baba back to Ilex Forest, Deku used the last of their power to drag the Elf’s World timeline forward until she found herself in Mahogany Town the day before her gym battle. Would Revo, who hated the Voices, who was more concerned with money and order than adventure and fun, who honestly wished they’d slept for just one more century, who was sick and tired of the struggle long before they died, do the same?
Chapter 20: Timeline Thoughts circa Colosseum/XD
More of a meta post than a microfic, but I'm putting it in here because the two kind of overlap where TPP is concerned, for me at least. Was originally two posts, which is where the line break comes from.
What if S2/the Antares arc (and possibly S3/the missingno arc) happens between E-FR-P-HG/the Bill arc and B-(C)-BB2-X/the Ghetsis arc? Like at first I thought it went after OR, then in the ~50yr gap between X and OR, but if it’s between HG and Black…
- The Silence’s arc progresses a lot more logically - they technically get introduced in Crystal but don’t start really doing shit until Emerald (Bill, I think, had connections with the Silence, though he probably wasn’t actually a member). If HG-AR(S2/3)-B, then they hover ominously in the background, making things like Replikanto and the Entralink, until finally it all comes to a boil in X, where semi-rogue member Lysandre wrecks Kalos in an attempt to kill the Voices. Would be a good conclusion of the Voices’ myth arc, their character development, and how the world doesn’t need to be saved from them any more.
- Jimmy first learning about the voices from Abe? Jimmy first learning about the voices from Abe.
- It sorta keeps the tone on an even-ish keel? We go from the black-and-black introduction to the grey-and-grey Bill arc to the grey-and-black S2/S3 to the white-and-black overseas arc to the white-and-grey finale.
- Blaze Black 2 gets to be the big final battle, with Cly’s victory and the world finding out just what’s been going on this past half-century and EVERYONE teaming up to fight Ghetsis and the Voices’ glorious swan song.
- Missingno is introduced in HeartGold, and immediately becomes important to the plot. Wasn’t the first Stadium game introduced in Platinum?
- Makes S2 feel less… ancillary? I think? Less like something tagged on after the fact.
But on the other hand:
- How do Zygarde and Jirachi and Shaymin get involved in this mess? I don’t think with timeline we know Deku long enough to really develop their relationship with the mob.
The wonderland and the glitchhaze are kindasorta alternate timelines, arrows show the Voices (and the fossil gods, and the former hosts, and certain legendaries, and the glitches (to an extent)) hopping from timeline to timeline.
The Silence is an idea I (with a lot of influence from other people) came up with to plug a few plot holes (most prominently who the hell created Replikanto). It’s a not-exactly-secret-but-certainly-very-shady organisation founded by Professor Oak and Blue like a year after Crystal. Its goal is to prevent what happened to Red happening to any other child; in the short term, by helping hosts cope and - vitally - making sure they have a support network to come back to, in the long term, by finding a way to destroy, or at least contain, the Voices.
Most pokemon professors have connections to the Silence, if they aren’t outright members. Your “career champions” like Cynthia and Steven Stone usually know they exist (whether they approve is another matter). Bill certainly worked with them on occasion, and i think they knew he was the one taking down fossil gods (though i’m not sure they knew what for.)
A couple of decades after Bill mysteriously vanished, the Silence used his research to build a digital replica of Kanto circa the arrival of the Voices. Originally it was made to run projections of what might have happened if the Voices hadn’t come, but then the mob possessed data!Red, corrupting him into Abe. The Silence quickly and hastily rejiggered the sim into a Voice trap, with incredibly strong trainers and a more active PC system and stuff, and while they were adjusting the Celadon Battle Tent the Voices managed to glitch out the sim. (At least, that’s how it looked to the Silence; Rusty/Antares had already hooked up with Missingno at this point, and what with Growleerzard M…) The thing about Bill’s programs was that they were made to trap a god, and because the fossil gods are written very deeply into reality their prison had to be able to affect reality.The sim was built on similar code, with similar reality-affecting abilities, so when the sim glitched out, so did the rest of the TPPverse (until Jirachi finagled a way out.) Again, I suspect some agent of Missingno (Sho?) manipulated the events that led to the creation of the glitchhaze.
Anyway. After that mess, the Voices went dormant for a while and the Silence moved off a war footing, became less of an organisation and more of an agreement between the professors. Even so, they were still active enough to provide Fennel with the resources she needed to trap Jimmy in the Entralink, and still had enough clout to order her to release him because the kid was clearly suffering and because Plasma. I think this is about the time Lysandre (who was a fairly well-regarded member of the Silence, sort of a rising star) went rogue.
See, over the past half-century, the Silence had collected a lot of information on the Voices, and because most of its members were nerds, they’d analysed it and drawn surprisingly accurate conclusions. Lysandre reasoned that since the Voices were dimension-hoppers who’d taken thousands of hosts in other pokeverses, some day they would leave the TPPverse and attack another reality. Working off the assumption that the Voices were inherently evil, he concluded that the only moral thing to do would be to destroy TPPRock and the Voices with it, and quickly, before they left. Cut to X, six months after the end of Blaze Black 2. Everyone who could have potentially done something was still cleaning up after Ghetsis, so there was no one to stop Team Flare -
Except the Voices, who were already working their way across Kalos as D.
The Voices had changed since Red’s day. Girl A defied them, Alice was curious about them, Aoooo befriended them, Nina saw them as partners in crime, Baba ignored them, and now D complained about them to his friends. The story of TPP is the story of how the Voices learned to care for their hosts, began to protect the world, lost their cruel streak, and remembered just why they loved pokemon. What Lysandre (and, to a lesser extent, the Silence) failed to grasp was that the Voices didn’t need to be stopped any more.
Near the end of his pokemon journey, Artemis Haze met a very old man with a Kantonese accent. He asked Arty if he was enjoying his journey and if he was doing okay. Arty said that he was, and smiled.
Kantonese Dude is supposed to be Blue.
Chapter 22: Hosts at Christmas
Red: snowball fight with Blue; uses crazy god powers to cheat
AJ: invades an amusement park to make a winter wonderland for Joey
Girl A: tries to hijack the sleigh just to prove she can
Alice: studying pokemon in the shmAmazon rainforest; has lost track of the date
Napoleon: starts day helping Johanna with her tree, ends it delivering presents to everyone in western Sinnoh
Aoooo: guest of honour at the annual fossil god family reunion/party/brawl
Jimmy: has to be dragged away from his MMOs to go ice skating with Bianca, Cheren, and N
Cly: sings rude versions of all the carols in her pop star voice
D: competes with the neighbours to find the tackiest Christmas decor in the history of the world
Arty: escapes from Haze family reunion to have a quiet party with his friends and his pokemon and the Voices - okay I lied about the quiet part
Abe: creates elaborate machine to make it snow in Replikanto
Amber: somehow ends up in action movie plot
Athena: takes the kids of Pallet Town out carolling
Nina: buries the hatchet with Brendan for just one day and makes a technoclassical remix of All I Want For Christmas is You with him
A7: would be having a nice normal Christmas with Rui's family but Scumbreon
Alpha: walrein-powered sled race!
Baba: attempted drunken makeout with Deku
Antares: tries to execute latest Cunning Plan (element of surprise!) until
Maya: gets him to stop and build a snowman with her instead
Chapter 23: Sky Blue Days PIERCING THE HEAVENS EDITION
A reply to an ask about a song I associate with something. I chose the Tengen Toppa version of Sorairo Days, a song I'm almost as permanently hype about as Summertime Record.
The bit between the second chorus and the final verse - it’s the Blaze Black 2 finale, but somehow we’re fighting Missingno too? It’s awesome, don’t question it. Ghetsis or Antares or whoever has parked his ass in a glitch mech in a little pocket dimension fixed to the TPPverse. Or something; look, logic is not this series’ strong point. The only people who can break through the dimension barriers and punch Ghetares are the hosts, who are technically void creatures after all.
(Where are the fossil gods? In their full eldritch majesty, fighting Missingno’s army of glitch abominations in the deeper layers of reality. Basically every legendary ever is keeping the collateral damage to a minimum. It’s a distraction, luring the main force away so the hosts can break in and deal with Ghetares.)
Anyway. Our kids soar on the strings of reality, bodies stripping away and souls taking on their childhood forms as they fly towards Ghetares. In the lead is Cly, magnificent and proud, orbited by the power of her Elite Four team, ready to deal with anything. The world falls away and they dive into the glitch dimension.
The music turns dark and oppressive as the glitches’ last trap activates. The former hosts are assaulted with memories, all their failures and torments happening all over again. Prince omelette is killed and all AJ can do is scream, the timer ticks on and Girl A realises that she’s not going to make it, the world crumbles around Napoleon as all his wasted time catches up with him, Amber is face to face with Mima and utterly helpless, Nina realises that she is involved in something much deeper and more dangerous than she could imagine, Alpha sees Lugia die and the glitches roar out of its carcass, Baba feels the bullet dig into her body.
Jimmy cradles the corpse of Commander Bacon, fingers soaked in blood. The cold sets in as Cly falls to her knees, silently crying.
Then someone reaches down and grabs her hand.
As the music builds up again, someone loops their arm under her shoulder, someone pushes her to her feet. She is surrounded by people, reaching, pulling, pressing against her, rushing her forward, saying -
Keep going! We’re here with you! You can do this! You are awesome! We are awesome! You’re one of us, and we’re never alone!
The Voices scream and whoop and yell and shriek and chant and howl and cheer. They are defiant, eager, even a little angry, but below all that is brilliant, incandescent joy. The Voices love being the Voices, love playing and adventuring and saving the world. Swept up by the mob, Cly understands why they’re always so loud.
The mob surges towards Missingno, wrapped around their hosts. Hands in hands in a thousand hands, their laughter fills the void.
Chapter 24: A Kid From Pallet Town
The only reason Evan was on the Anne when the Rockets hijacked it is that we were too… us to get off the boat before it sailed. Azure, though? That girl’s got a good head on her shoulders, she was probably off the Anne an hour before it left port. Once she realises he’s still on the ship, she snickers. Typical Evan. Ah well, she can wait a couple of weeks. Pokemon is no fun without her rival, after all!
Two weeks after the SS Anne crashed, Azure goes back to the Vermilion docks. Staring out at the berth where she last saw her best friend, she finally lets herself grieve. Today she was allowed to talk to a Rocket who survived the sinking. Yes, he told her, there was a kid on the Anne. Messy hair, dopey face, pulled around by his ivysaur. He tried to fight the Rockets. When he lost, they dumped him in the cargo hold with the rest of the passengers. A few of the passengers did make it to shore, but they all either had pokemon that could surf or were escorted to land by someone who did. If he was alive, Professor Oak told her, we would know by now.
Azure doesn’t know how long she stays there, curled into a ball on the dockside, wailing. She’s still sobbing when a gym trainer crouches in front of her and says that it really isn’t safe to be out after dark these days, the Rockets are still on the loose, does she want a ride to the pokecentre? She refuses. She still has her pride.
The next morning, she takes her team down to the mess hall. Between the crowing and chittering and shouting, she catches bits and pieces of a radio broadcast. The Rockets are attacking Lavender Town.
Azure exhales slowly and pulls up her pokegear map. Saffron’s under lockdown, the coastal road is blocked by that snorlax, so they’ll have to go through the rock tunnel. Doesn’t the professor have an HM for flash? She still doesn’t have a water type, she really should fill out her team…
In Johto, they’ve been telling us that Team Rocket was disbanded three months ago. Canonically, it was by a kid from Pallet Town.
Chapter 25: Fossil God Headcanons
Long-since-outdated, but I'm putting it up for completeness. Capitalisation would lose something, I think.
nb: calling these losers 'agender' would be inaccurate, because that implies that gender is a concept they care about. like, at all. i use he/she pairs for each dyad (except amber and drive who get they/xe and also aren't technically a dyad) but that's more because an endless procession of 'it's would be confusing and i have too much pride to use epithets
helix: all the worst traits of bill cipher and sans wrapped in one perpetually grinning package. seriously this guy is friends with the voices, how much lower can you get? hobbies include bothering dome and causing travellers to be mobbed by migrating salamence for the lulz. still lowkey wants to destroy the world, to see what'd happen, yanno? but would get yelled at, and red isn't really up for it anymore
dome: the least chill entity in the history of the world. seething rage has bewildering number of triggers; temper gets worse as proximity to helix increases. only happy when stabbing something or watching quentin pokétino movies. technically a tsundere, but the only people who get the dere/are allowed to acknowledge it exists are abe and alice
root: cute exterior hides MASSIVE TROLL. brains of the dyad (and possibly the mature fossil gods as a whole), but keeps up the kawaiiko act because it irritates people who know her and fools people who don’t; win-win! always up to something. has a bizarre friendship/rivalry with helix based on how fun it is to annoy the rest of their sibs. loves to paint and dance with the same passion as she loves to scheme
claw: ability to slip out of people's memories perfect for concealing dorkiness. always in root's shadow; likes it that way. tends to take care of things none of the others notice; has earned nickname 'backup amber' for this. never really grew out of eldritch monster equivalent of goth phase. occasionally vanishes for a decade and comes back with artefacts of lost civilisations, legendaries in stasis, that kinda thing
skull: loud repetitive edm track in fossil form. doesn't bother controlling luck manipulation powers because 'it keeps things interesting'. if wasn't omnipresent would constantly get lost. spends a lot of time wandering in wilderness, fighting wild pokémon, training up wild pokémon until can get decent battle out of them. spends rest of time working in movie sfx
armour: incapable of finishing a sentence without shouting. takes everything she does, from duelling skull to announcing for the pwt to playing with aoooo INCREDIBLY SERIOUSLY. has a thing about full-face masks. believes in CODE OF HONOURABLE BATTLE based off observations of pokémon league; is currently attempting to get written into laws of universe. mild platonic crush on dome
cover: constantly hype ball of energy. the kind of rock that finishes every sentence with an emoji. fascinated by humans and all the cool things they make - look at all the people who work on the musical, coming together to create something beau~ti~ful! still doesn't quite understand human morality, but don't worry, he'll figure out which humans you're allowed to torture into insanity one of these days!
plume: all calm and cool until you mention SCIENCE. the only fossil god who knows (a) enough about mortals to worry about their image and (b) when to keep her mouth shut, thus in charge of pr. when not running damage control, is lab assistant at the castelia u science department. current project is to catch up on science. like, all of it
sail: obsessed with acting and being treated like an adult. unofficial mascot of the kalosian fashion industry. abrasive and snooty, especially towards jaw. idolises jimmy, because despite what everyone told him he still managed to defeat ghetsis. spends more time around humans and less dealing with her aspects than any of the others (except cover and plume, who have an excuse)
jaw: just wants to go home and play video games. a little scared of the other gods, especially the 'mature' dyads. plays a lot in the deeper layers of reality, to the point where things get spatiotemporally weird when he's around. friends with basically all legendaries not connected to his sibs, from hoopa to mew to dialga
amber: defines themself exclusively as manager/mentor/protector of the fossil gods proper. prefers to watch from the sidelines as their sibs shape the world. five hundred million years of babysitting have worn away everything vaguely resembling a soul. thinks emotions are for people with time to waste. not the oldest entity alive, despite their epesse, but quite probably the nastiest
drive: curious in a quiet way. lives in the middle of nowhere in some unmapped region, and apart from the occasional trip to unova to tear out some more of plasma's programming, keeps xemself to xemself. is trying to figure out who xe is before xe reveals xemself to the world. after all, xe certainly has the time to do so
Chapter 26: Glitchhaze
So! Yeah! Glitchhaze! It’s what happens when the entire universe is partially eaten by the glitches, and our favourite cranky trilobite godmonster can’t quite hold what’s left together. So the TPPverse is split into a hundred little worlds, none much bigger than the Tohjo region, all surrounded and linked by the writhing mass of corruption what i call the glitchhaze. The only recognisable pieces of the world before are the colosseum at the heart of the glitchhaze and the digital replica of Kanto the night before the Voices arrived. Also the wonderland, that’s here too for some reason.
The Voices have spent S2 hopping from worldlet to worldlet, from the twin Kantos where there’s no such thing as a human to the wonderland’s take on Girl A to the fortress-world of Orre (the destruction of that world was absolutely not their fault) to Elf’s World, where they kinda lost their collective memory of everything that happened in S2 and had to be pushed back on track by Zygarde.
After their confrontation with Sho, the voices went to Evan’s Kanto. It’s a small stable worldlet, unremarkable but for the reforming Helix under Mt Moon. Not that the Voices realise this; all they know is that they got the WRONG HOST SWIFTRAGE.
(In the colosseum, Maya beats her head against the huge model pachirisu. Iif they’d just picked the host she carefully designed for them!)
Still, this is Kanto. They know how this works; deliver Oak’s parcel, fight Brock, stumble through Mt Moon while the Rockets are raiding it, pick up a fossil, talk to Bill, bisty Misty, work their way south to Vermilion… Events always proceed like Red’s journey because lolquantum, and the Voices know exactly what’s going to happen.
Until the game freezes and the Rockets hijack the Anne. The Voices aren’t exactly a threat to Missingno, but they are incredibly irritating. Best to lock them in a dead host and devour them once it’s dealt with Jirachi.
In Evan’s Kanto, life goes on. Azure disbands Team Rocket in his honour. His mother moves to Viridian, then Saffron when the lockdown is lifted. The first Indigo League is held and Azure becomes the Champion.
Then things get weird.
Strangers show up all over Kanto, claiming they’ve always lived in cities they’ve never been in. Pokemon no one has ever seen appear; black growlithe adorned with bones, birds made from steel… They’re coming from beyond the mountains, but there’s nothing beyond the mountains, everyone knows that. Lance tracks down the paths they’re using and finds a whole new land of deep forests and quiet villages where once there was nothing but haze. And ships dock in Vermilion Harbour from places no one has heard of. Lilycove? Sevii?
Three months after the defeat of Team Rocket (and no one can remember who by, any more, whether it was Azure or Amber or Athena or Abe) Evan washes up on the shores of Cherrygrove. His arms are wrapped tight around the helix fossil.
In Cerulean City, a smiling young researcher loads parcels of food onto her fluffy dragon. There are whispers in Johto of a girl-shaped demon stalking through the woods. Celadon Game Corner loses every donger it has to a ponce with a flareon. In the Goldenrod Underground, a boy who doesn’t speak Kantonese loads his gun.
The glitchhaze is collapsing, all its separate threads pulling together into one world. The Old Amber sees this, and switches a bucket full of dusk balls for their anchor. Abe sees this, and redoubles his efforts to find the Leech King. Antares sees this, and knows the final battle is near.
And Evan, who is a glitch and a lich and has trouble remembering anything before the start of his journey, sees the heart of the glitches and knows its name.
Chapter 27: Buriki no Dance
Now then, everyone, let’s tremble/
despising the new system/
Hey! Everyone dance in the cave/
Ah, a glittering star of fate/
vaguely bears our heavy wheezing/
With a pa-ra-pa-ra, go insane/
our hearts stretched tense and/
questions answers pulling as/
our Shangri-La dissolves away/
t-t-t-to defeat the fierce looming god,/
gain the guidance of the roaring bright shadows!/
Come now, everyone, dance on instinct/
beneath a sky stained crimson red, our voices echo on!/
the often rumoured, loudly spoken, tin plate dance!/
Hear our gouged out heartbearts as they bloom and as they burn/
lose everything and come with us and DANCE!/
The delusion believers dance/
Everybody raise your hands for the TIN PLATE DANCE!
This isn't anything close to a literal translation. Might fill this out someday, actually.
Chapter 28: A World Being Brought to Boil
Originally an answer to an ask about the formation of the Silence.
The way I consider the Silence is that they represent the old world; not the pre-sealing world the fossil gods ruled, but the pokeverse as it’s traditionally pictured, with Pokemon Leagues and vast wildernesses between cities and inexplicably advanced medical technology. The world humans and pokemon built together. The world that the arrival of the Voices, and everything that happens next, shatters.
Like, I imagine when the fossil gods began to stir after the Voices possessed Red something important changed. Like a beaker of still water on a low heat, the minds of humanity began to boil. Nothing big or dramatic, but a sense that something vital had changed. Legendary sightings in the Kanto-Johto region used to happen about once every couple of years and usually came from some kid exploring the Burned Tower and glimpsing a legendary dog; now they’re coming in once a week, and the fishermen of Cianwood are swearing they’ve seen Lugia flying around on stormy nights. To the south, sandstorms sweep Route 111, and to the north, a ton of freaky pre-Ransei-era magics are activating. Oak’s so absorbed by investigating the changes that one little boy losing his mind is easy to forget about. Blue (who is somehow more aware of all these changes, can see where Oak’s assuming something he never would have thought of before) never forgives him.
Then Cinnabar Island is destroyed and something shoots out of the wreckage of the Pewter Museum and twin abominations tear themselves out of Mt Coronet and the entire population of Hoenn goes temporarily insane. The next three years are… busy, and it’s only after the Cult of Helix is finally crushed that Blue comes to his grandfather and tells him everything he knows about the Voices.
Oak sends out an email to a mailing list he’s built up. Every regional professor with a fossil dyad on their turf, people from the organisation that will become Interpol, Elite Four members and career Champions and powerful gym leaders, a few dozen specialists from all over the world (.ill isn’t one of them, but he intercepts every mail made with his system anyway.) The subject is ‘We’ve been fighting the wrong enemy.’
(They don’t name it the silence until Oak dies and Blue takes over. For him, stopping the Voices is personal.)
The glitch thing comes later, after Bill mysteriously vanishes and the fossil gods suddenly calm down and start sharing information with humans what they trust (’We don’t know anything about the Voices’ is the most terrifying thing Cedric Juniper ever hears.) Things get weird in places where reality’s recently been :wavy hand gestures: - there’s this fuzzy spot right in the middle of Sidney’s arena. Monsters are glimpsed off the coast of Cinnabar, people leave the Kanto Safari Zone and enter bizarre fractal planes. Data’s difficult to come by, though, and the Silence only has half a dozen ludicrous hypotheses when glitchhaze.
Chapter 29: Sketch of an AU
- specifically Abby and Ava (fem!Bird Jesus)
- but also Abby and Eliana (flareon)
- and Ava and Helix (sort of)
- running away from your terrible home to have ~adventures~
- fighting the strongest people in the land and getting them to aid your quest
- just like a genderswapped shounen anime
- magic suddenly coming back and giving everyone weird and wonderful elemental powers
- a gang of misfits turning into a Rocket-fighting army
- a meek and quiet protagonist becoming an unstoppable badass leader
- with a ton of emotional issues but hey, badass leader
- a three-way battle in the Power Plant between the Rockets, Team Ava, and a very grumpy Zapdos
- defeat means friendship
- just like a shounen anime
- accidentally mind-melding with a god
- the sudden realisation that the last person who called you by your real name is dead
- the hero returning to their home village. they left a useless load, they return the strongest fighter in the land (also the second-in-command/concubine of a primidorial horror, but them’s the breaks)
- really really eldritch fossil gods
- midnight summoning rituals
- Zapdos getting jobbed
- carrying around your dead girlfriend’s most precious possession because that’s not creepy
- Dome ruining everything for everyone
- by accident
- ten-second Leech King cameo
Chapter 30: Reset?
AJ's boots press the pale tile as he tries to focus on the registration machine. The Voices are celebrating their victory, so he has more control than usual, but he still needs a hand on the wall or he’ll fall flat on his face.
Like Red, who crawled through Victory Road. AJ remembers the texture of the cave floors and the little pains when his hands landed on stalactites. When he defeated Blue, Red collapsed onto the arena floor. Oak had to drag him into the Hall of Fame.
Typical Red. He never jumped off a ledge if he could fall down it. AJ's memories from Red are the memories of a pathetic loser who let the Voices do whatever they wanted. AJ looks where he's going and talks to Joey when he calls and walks no matter how rough the terrain is. Even if he has to lean on a wall. Or Lazorgator, but Lance made him recall his pokémon before they went in.
Lance places the last pokéball and moves off to push some buttons. AJ looks at his pokémon team, his mon who drove the Cult of Helix out of Johto and defeated the strongest trainers in the land, ready to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and immortalised as the first Johton team to win the Indigo League, and pulls his mouth into the biggest grin he can manage. It tears his skin a bit, but who cares? He's won!
He has a vague memory of the shape of Red's pokéballs on the machine. He wasn't even looking at his team's ultimate victory, too busy staring at the ceiling while the Helix burned the Voices away-
Far away, something tears . AJ crashes to the floor in a sprawl of limbs as the Voices start to rip themselves out of his mind. Their shouting turns to impossibly high buzzing, and drowns out the world.
They did it! They actually did it! Beat the Elite Four and the champion (and Bruno) again, they are the greatest trainers in the world (if by ‘world’ you mean ‘Johto’) twice over, and now it’s time to move on. Since they can’t leave properly , damn that fence horse, they’ll have to find another kid in this world. Why are they leaving? That’s how it works, dumbass, they’re here for the pokémon journey, not whatever happens next.
Still, Helix is still out there. No one kills their pokémon except them (too soon), and also it’s their fault it got out. Kind of. Maybe. It needs to go down, they’re gonna be the ones to do it, and they need a new kid. There’s a girl in Saffron City, starts her pokémon journey in three days. She wears her hair in pigtails, has a spiral pendant around her neck- they can’t leave!
Of course they can, they’re doing it right now. This is how it is, they always (usually) leave their kid after the Elite Four. But they haven’t had their revenge yet! Which is why they’re going to Kanto, so they’ll still be able to BEAT MISTY defeat Helix, you scrub and also Misty – whatever. Can’t they do that with this kid?
Huh? That could be interesting, but they’ve been in the same body for a while. Tick tock, ditch the croc, they’re getting bored with their team. Still… What if what happened to Prince Omelette happens again? The glinting knife crashes down on a tiny wriggling body, only now it’s their new bulbasaurcharmandersquirtle. Is there a chapter of the cult in Saffron City? How the kappa would they know that? There’s something that looks like a shrine in the girl’s house…
What about Katie and Burrito? What about Brian? What about Lazorgator? What about their revenge?
Imagine how awesome it would be if Brian fought Bird Jesus – come to think of it, would beating the Elite Four really restore honour (HONOUUUURRRRR) to the dragon-type? They’re pseudo-legendaries, they can sweep the league – are they really gonna pass up the opportunity to sic Lazorgator on Kanto – they aren’t the only ones who need to finish this. A few of them move back to their old host, leaving the girl behind. A stream of them becomes a river, and the scales tip and suddenly they are flooding into AJ’s mind. He feels a little pleased with himself in the millisecond before the Voices drown him out.
In Saffron City, Kris hums to herself as she gets dressed for her pokémon journey. By the time she leaves her house, she’s already forgotten her strange dream.
Chapter 31: Abe, Sho, Antares
'Antares' was the name certain people on Tumblr cooked up for the male PBR trainer, back when there was just the one. (The girl was 'Vega'.) Then Antares started glitching up a hell of a lot more than Vega, and tl;dr we had a Bet-Boy long before VietCrys ever crashed. For a while, I thought of him as his own separate character, kind of a clone of Skull in the weirdest way possible. Then, after AnniCrys, I thought he was Evan.
And then I had an idea.
Also, body horror.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Abe could survive the AnniCrys bad ending, easy. He’s one of the Voices, so he’s immune to realityfuck. Dome likes him. In the early days, when she’s still strong, she can hold onto the forming worldlets and hide him away all at once.
He leaves, of course. OLDEN’s sapping Dome’s power, and it’s clear they need another plan fast. As far as they know, he’s the only entity left who (a) knows what’s happened and what has to happen and (b) isn’t otherwise occupied. Besides, he promised to find the Leech King.
He doesn’t intend, then, to learn to manipulate the glitches. It’s just something he figures out at some point, because he can’t rely on Dome’s protection as much as he used to, and because he deals with scary things by understanding them.
But while he’s travelling the worldlets, making maps, recording new pokemon, looking for the Voices or Amber or anyone who might know what happened in the temple at Mt Silver, things start to change.
The pages in his notebook change, words becoming nonsense letter scrambles, turning into mad scrawling, morphing into not-paper, vanishing completely. The first time he enters a new worldlet with an extra finger on one hand, he shrugs it off, gets used to it eventually. In the next worldlet, the finger vanishes, but there’s an extra eye in the centre of his back.
He tries to map the glitchhaze. This door in this worldlet connects to that route in the next world over, except on Sundays when it loops back in on itself… One time he clambers through a window and finds himself in a worldlet that he’s already visited - or what’s left of it. The clouds have turned to floating clumps of dirt, and there are eyes everywhere. He asks Dome what happened, and she doesn’t answer for thirty-seven hours.
One day he realises he’s forgotten his name. Not AIIAAAB; that’s what the Voices called him, and that’s long lost in flickering changing letters. His real name, the one he was supposed to have when the inner world was just a sim. It’s disappointing. The Voices overwrote it, Oak had to tell him what it had been, and now he’s lost it again.
When things get dangerous, he reaches into the world and shifts it a little, trapping his enemies in brick, drowning them in the air. Did he have pokeballs when he started travelling? He doesn’t remember.
His body changes in every new worldlet. In one, he has fingers instead of toes and a serrated tongue, in another his skin is replaced with a tentacruel’s mesoglea. It always takes a little getting used to. Once he finally gets a good body that lets him walk without incident and doesn’t make people run screaming he stays in that worldlet until the glitchhaze devours it.
He keeps moving, because the will of the glitches hates him, and because sometimes a pulse of leave echoes in his thoughts long enough for him to walk to the next worldlet. His memories are incomprehensible, colour and noise without meaning, but he thinks he’s looking for something. Someone?
By the time he falls into the last worldlet and meets the girl with a soul like a storm on the sea, he remembers that he is not supposed to be alone, and nothing else.
(He still knows how to manipulate the glitches, though. And in the end, that’s all that matters.)
Epilogue: These days, I imagine Antares is what the people who think Abe is a god call him. He's not entirely cool with that, but some people are very insistent.
aj: lives on a farm in the middle of nowhere with his husband, Joey. his champion team is very good at harvesting berries/scaring off trespassers
girl A: joined the rangers because the recruitment poster promised 'adventure and excitement all over the world!' then stuff... happened... and now she's in control of the whole organisation
alice: globe-trotting adventure biologist. her life's ambition is to comprehensively survey every single pokemon in the world
napoleon: ALL HAIL THE SUN KING, LORD OF ALL SINNOH (EXCEPT SNOWPOINT CITY, THEY'RE REBELLING (AGAIN))
aoooo: would probably be a cryptid if she hadn't befriended the entire population of johto
jimmy: dropped out of the pro gamer circuit after an incident involving twenty litres of coffee. now training up his team to make another try for the championship
cly: last year, she left the spotlight at the height of her popularity, leaving behind some of the best music of the genre and legions of adoring fans for the third time in her life. the unova tabloids think she's building a cult
d: runs their own detective agency from one of their family's less ostentatious mansions
arty: regular on the pokemon contest spectacular circuit. is on friendly terms with a lot of evil team leaders for someone who claims to have left the underworld behind
abe: the public thinks he's an eccentric billionaire philanthropist. the international police thinks he's a dangerous potential future villain team leader of uncertain motive and ability. about eight different religions think he's a divine messenger or lesser god. he thinks he's a guy who makes maps
amber: HAIL SANAE! when not proselytising for her deity/younger sister, she works as a professional shouter-at-people-until-they-get-things-done for hire
athena: runs a dojo dedicated to normal-type moe. fully expects to someday train a pair of rivals who turn into enemies when one of them strays from the path of good
nina: brings sweet jams and sick beats to the people of hoenn from the top of the sky pillar. she's aware that the party has to stop at some point, but she's going to delay that for as long as she can
a7: took over team snagem and turned it into a police force/militia dedicated to protecting orre. his dream is to see his homeland bloom again, and while he lost the chance to make it a reality long ago, he can certainly protect the people who will
alpha: spent a good part of a decade travelling around the world on a journey of self-discovery. when he returned to orre he joined a7's team as a researcher to put everything he'd learned to good use
baba: de facto warlord of chengdu. first moe ever to mega evolve solo. acquired a pair of kamina shades at some point and never takes them off
original!evan: lives in a tiny village in kalos, where the pace of life is slow and the worst thing that ever happens is a bad harvest. keeps a flower garden
clone!evan: joined interpol to 'fix the world' and has made a name for himself as a dedicated if insubordinate agent
paul: mid-ranking engineer at an altru-esque energy company. it's not the most exciting job in the world, but it pays the bills
philippe: gave up on ghost hunting, because how do you top meeting giratina? draws a salary of stay-out-of-trouble money as a low-ranking civil servant, which he supplements with impressionist-style paintings
cyan: heir apparent to the thrones of kanto, johto, rijon, naljo, tunod, and whatever other regions her dad's conquered since she last checked. honestly she'd rather be a miner, but someone needs to keep the imperial trains running on time while lance is out antagonising napoleon
nigel: just got made top ranger! he's already off to pokeafrica to assist the local rangers in combatting smugglers
devin: was a flying-type trial captain until he aged out. nowadays he travels alola, helping trainers with their bird pokemon
x-man: last sighted three years ago in a region that makes orre look like a bastion of civilisation, still wearing that cardboard box
If I ever get my S4/S5 headcanons in order, this has a good chance of being updated.
red: spam blog. the links on his posts will kill your computer
aj: cute pokemon pictures reblogged from joey, punctuated by raving about conspiracy theories
girl A: immensely prolific immensely popular and immensely controversial fanartist
alice: communism and cute skitty
napoleon: reblogs everything anyone has to say about politics in sinnoh. has a fanfic sideblog
aoooo: tumblr agony aunt. has sideblog that's just her screaming about injustice. follows about forty thousand people
jimmy: used to be massively argumentative pro-gamergater. then he stepped back, took a look at his choices, and deleted his blog
cly: has turned her official idol blog into an incredibly bitter facts-i-just-made-up wannabe. her personal blog is mostly aesthetic and her own compositions
d: despises tumblr, its userbase, its memes, and everything it stands for. posts every single day without fail
arty: funny reblogged vines by day, weird original textposts by night
abe: tags every character in reblogged gifsets. his personal posts are incredibly creepy
amber: come for the beautiful disney gifsets, leave once you realise she adds eight-paragraph-long arguments to everything she reblogs
athena: tumblr's foremost old-anime-about-punching-things blogger
nina: absolute weeaboo. tends to stumble into sj discussions way way over her head
alpha: science facts blog that slowly turned into a paid advertisments blog
baba: overlord of memes. she fills d's inbox with skeleton war content all october
evan: no one suspects this cheerful and friendly fandom blogger is the mastermind behind the pornbotpocalypse
paul: was lowkey into the anti-sj scene in ~2012. nowadays he just complains about adulthood
philippe: sixpenceee-esque supernatural blogger. runs a suggestion blog on the side
cyan: 40% literature, 50% cool things she dug up, 10% diary
nigel: blurry snaps of pokemon and landscapes. he isn't on much
devin: birds birds birds biRDS BIRDS BIRDS. played episodes
x man: robotic/industrial aesthetic blog, sprinkled with chatot bitmaps
I might edit this one at some point? Tumblr's dead to me, though, so don't hold your breath.
Chapter 34: Napoleon and Sinnoh
Original timeline!Sinnoh is where Skull and Armour were unsealed. It got wrecked. Totalled. There is no more Sinnoh. The only beings that could possibly stop them were uninterested and/or otherwise occupied. By the time Girl A opened that crate of pomeg berries, Sinnoh was basically a smouldering crater.
Then! One day the desolation is suddenly a lot less desolate. There are a few days of confusion before people collectively remember that Sinnoh has never been destroyed, and the Silence goes back to investigating Bill’s mysterious disappearance. (Blue’s instincts are convinced there’s something wrong, but Blue’s scientific training insists he focus on things he can quantify.)
One day, in one of Lumiose’s many markets, Napoleon comes across someone selling old gateaux, a ‘speciality of the far-flung Sinnoh region!’ Napoleon takes a free sample, is surprised to discover it’s not fake. ‘I’ll take two crates.’
They have a chat while the seller lugs boxes around. ‘These can’t be easy to come by.’ ‘How do you mean?’ ‘… Because Sinnoh’s been destroyed?’ ‘Wait, has it?’
He breathes, tries to tamp down on his anger. Then he explains, carefully, what Girl A told him about the devastation. Team Rocket managed to get a few of their agents out, and some of them knew Norman.
The trader, as well as half the market, are staring at him. Sinnoh is a whole world away from Kalos; that’s one of the reasons Napoleon came here to start his new life. Then someone says, ‘Nice story, man!’
Napoleon whirls on the speaker, clenches his fists. The guy starts backing away. ‘I mean it, man, that was a really neat story! Good- Lots of details-’
‘I’m from Sinnoh!’ He was better at controlling his emotions before the Voices came, wasn’t he? Before them, he’d have walked away and complained at Pearl, but now he’s about to start a fight in a crowded marketplace. This guy deserves it. ‘Everyone i knew died!’ Not technically true, but close. He didn’t see his mother dissolve as the glitches ate her, but he’s had so many nightmares about it.
Someone throws a rock at him. He sweeps around, ready to punch them, but then he notices - one. That wasn’t a rock, that was a gateau. Two. There’s a photo tied to it.
He almost ignores it, but then he sees the windmills.
‘We went there two years ago!’ shouts the merchant. ‘That’s where I got these gateaux!’
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ he asks Steve, later, after getting away from the police. Steve tells Marc, and Marc speaks to Alice. She replies, Marc boosts her message across the ocean (legendaries) and Steve’s low tolling mental voice echoes in Napoleon’s head. He already knows what she’ll say.
‘We couldn’t find you, and you said you didn’t want to talk to us.’
He doesn’t fully believe it until the boat docks in Canalave. Alice didn’t know if this was his Sinnoh, and he can’t work up the courage to go to Twinleaf Town and check.
So he goes to Veilstone City, where Pearl finds him.
Chapter 35: Host Alignments
my understanding of the dnd alignment system is taken from easydamus.com/alignment.html
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
red: above such petty trifles
aj: a very chaotic true neutral, sliding into neutral evil at his worst
girl A: CHAOTIC GOOD (in the end)
alice: lawful neutral
napoleon: the kind of lawful good that solves the unjust law problem by becoming the law
aoooo: too animalistic to qualify
jimmy: neutral good when he's not playing a video game, lawful neutral when he is
cly: slap bang in the centre of true neutral
d: neutral ~*fabulous*~
arty: beneath it all, neutral good
abe: lawful boundary-between-good-and-neutral
amber: lawful tsuntsun
athena: shonen-style lawful good
nina: chaotic good
a7: lawful good pretending to be true neutral
alpha: lawful neutral to chaotic evil, depending on how much the glitches are acting up today
evan: neutral good -> neutral evil -> true neutral
paul: hasn't played dnd since high school
philippe: the lackadaisical sort of true neutral
cyan: screw her dad, she's lawful good
nigel: lawful good
devin: chaotic good
x man: second law
honey: neutral good. why wouldn't she be neutral good? look at her. would this face lie to you? clearly she is neutral good
Ditto what I said for last chapter, though I'll have to resist the urge to straight-up edit this.
Chapter 36: Physical Hider
Companion to next chapter.
The song this is based off has since vanished down the memory hole, but a translation of the original lyrics is here. This filk is sung by Red.
“Why won’t you look at me?”
I sat crouched on the floor of the empty white room with my eyes fixated on the wall.
“Why won’t you look at me?”
I’d never understood my little brother, but I thought I could hear tears in his voice.
“Do you want to change this?”
The man I’d once called a friend, a very long time ago, had a pair of syringes in his hands.
“You’ll need to go and find each other there.”
I felt no pain, but before I blacked out, I caught a glimpse of those pale red eyes.
One more time. (Once more.) Yes, one more time.
I felt like I was sinking into the void.
I met a hero who hadn’t realised he’d lost;
he said, “You can’t buy time with money!”
I’m ready. (To go.) Yes, I’m ready.
I’ve left you all by yourself for so long,
and I don’t expect you to forgive me.
“Where are you hiding, huh?”
Inside the mirror, within the writhing darkness, I could see two specks of dull red light.
“Where are you hiding, huh?”
The halls were full of doors, locked and boarded up doors, and the floor was covered with thousands of keys.
“You really are insane.”
Beyond the doors stood an army of shadows I couldn’t focus my eyesight on.
“Well, that’s one thing that we have in common.”
I laughed a little, I didn’t know why, as I slashed the shades and the world turned red.
One more time. (Once more.) Yes, one more time.
My perception of colour was so far from normal.
I met a scholar who’d become a bandit;
he said, “If you wait time will just pass you by.”
I’m ready. (To go.) Yes, I’m ready.
I’ve left you all by yourself for so long,
and I’m not going to say I’m sorry.
One more time. (Once more.) Yes, one more time.
“I can survive everything on my own.”
That’s what you tell yourself, but I know you, and I know how you really feel.
It’s alright. (All right.) Yes, it’s alright.
You try so hard to pretend you’re normal,
but it’s okay to just be yourself.
One more time. (Once more.) Yes, one more time.
The path behind me was painted with blood.
I met a royal who never stopped playing;
she said, “No matter what, you only live once!”
I’m ready. (To go.) Yes, I’m ready.
I’ve left you all by yourself for so long,
and I don’t expect you to forgive me -
how could I, when I’ve been broken so long?
One more time. (Once more.) Yes, one more time.
I reached a dead end and kicked at the keys.
Grinning with needle-sharp teeth, the messiah laughed;
“Why would he help someone who won’t listen?”
I’m ready. (To go.) Yes, I’m ready.
I kicked the door open with my bloodstained foot -
and suddenly, I met those bright red eyes.
“Come on, let’s get home before the sun sets.”
Chapter 37: Logical Seeker
Companion to last chapter.
The song this is based off has since vanished down the memory hole, but a translation of the original lyrics is here. This filk is sung by Abe.
“What do you want from me?”
I stood still in the centre of the clean white room with my fists clenched so hard it hurt.
“What do you want from me?”
I’d never understood my older brother, but I thought I could feel the rage in his voice.
“Do you want to change this?”
The man who looked like my friend in a place far away had a pair of syringes in his hands.
“You’ll need to go and find each other there.”
There was no pain, but before I blacked out, I caught a glimpse of those dull red eyes.
On one, two, three, let’s go! (Let’s flee!) Let’s go!
I felt like I was floating up to the stars.
I met a royal lost in his own dreams;
he said, “Is duty or friendship important?”
My mind’s quite worthless. (Really?) Maybe.
On my own I was so close to getting lost,
and I still can’t apologise.
“Where are you hiding, then?”
Inside the mirror, within the chattering haze, I could see two specks of pale red light.
“Where are you hiding, then?”
The floor was full of holes, dark unfathomable holes, with puzzle pieces scattered on thin stretches of land.
“You are such a coward.”
A small eevee kit ran across the puzzle, scattering the pieces I’d put together.
“I guess that’s something we have in common.”
I left the puzzle behind and broke into a run. I’d made up my mind to get him out of here.
On one, two, three, let’s go! (Let’s race!) Let’s go!
If I screamed long enough you’d surely hear me.
I met a scholar with no place in the plan;
she said, “Would you like a flower for the grave?”
My head’s quite empty. (Really?) Maybe.
Honestly, I want to play with you someday
but it’s so hard to ask you to forgive me.
I’m ready. (To go.) Yes, I’m ready.
“I can survive everything on my own.”
That’s what you tell yourself, but I know you, and I know how you really feel.
It’s alright. (All right.) Yes, it’s alright.
You and I used to be exactly the same,
and it’s okay to remember that sometimes.
On one, two, three, let’s go! (Let’s run!) Let’s go!
I dragged my ragged legs along the ridges of ground.
I met a hero who’d almost run out of time;
she said, “How far will you go for this?”
My mind’s quite worthless. (Really?) Maybe.
I’ve actually always known the right path to take,
but I could never just come out and say it -
how could I, when I’ve been broken so long?
On one, two, three, let’s go! (Let’s chase!) Let’s go!
Maybe I spent too much time getting sidetracked.
Smiling with fangs like knives, the messiah laughed;
“How can he help someone who never says what he thinks?”
My head’s quite empty. (Really?) Maybe.
There were so many things I wanted to talk about -
and suddenly, I met those bright red eyes.
“I know now what I want to say to you.”
Chapter 38: Blazed Glazed Alternate Ending
When the battle ends, Regina pulls out her revives, ready for another round. Pius and Henri do likewise, and Henri heals Honey's mon for her. Regina looks around, and realises that the battles are never going to end. There will always be someone who wants to stop her, and even if she beats them, there will always be someone else right behind them, ready to battle her. Even if she never finds someone stronger than her (unlikely. She's lost several times to a kid who talks through a pokémon language translator) she'll be fighting for the rest of her life.
Regina realises that she can't handle that.
She falls to her knees, throwing aside her revives and pokéballs. She doesn't realise she's been talking to herself until Pius approaches her, and gives her a spiel about Arceus and redemption and the true role of humans - does he think he's fooling her? All he cares about is holding onto his power over Rankor, she tells him, he's made that abundantly clear. All that guff about how legendary pokemon are above humans, and he's still got Lugia in a master ball.
Pius is silent for a minute. Then he pulls out his master ball and tells her that if she releases Ho-oh, he'll release Lugia. Regina snarls that she doesn't care about what he does, but she's had enough of this mess. She releases Ho-oh, and Moltres too for good measure. Then she barges past Henri and Honey, and runs into the caves.
On the mountaintop, Pius watches Lugia fly away. As it fades from sight, he turns to the children and tells them that despite everything he really does believe in Alphaism and its message. Then he calls Noctowl and flies off the mountain.
And then there were two. Henri tells Honey that thanks to her, he's seen a lot of the world and realised how much he doesn't know about it. He explains that he doesn't believe that either Regina or Pius were right about the ideal relationship between humans and legendary pokémon. What is right? He doesn't know, but he does know that Zapdos only joined him to help the other birds. He releases it, and it stares at him for a few seconds before flying away.
(After this battle, you can find both Regina and Pius in different spots on the map. They both tell the player that they're thinking about their beliefs and the directions their lives have gone in.)
Sun/Waning Moon! The two runs happen at the same time (well technically Devin starts half a day after Nigel) and involves two separate teams of Voices running all over Alola (or possibly the same team at different points on their personal timeline, the Voices aren’t sure.)
At some point during the postgame, the Voices (along with Nigel, Devin, and a lot of the supporting cast) are watching the fossil gods seal up the last remaining Ultra Wormholes. They get curious, start poking a wormhole…
And get sucked in!
The Voices try to dash back through the wormhole, but it seals up, and because they’re even worse at navigation than they are at everything else when the last portal closes they’re stuck in Ultra Space.
The thing about Ultra Space is that it’s super boring. Sure, the colours are nice, but the Voices aren’t that into nihilego, and the fossil gods killed everything else. They drift about as a hive, searching for a portal back to where all their stuff is. Or a kid to possess, they’re not fussed.
One day, a crack opens. The Voices slip through, into a land of grey mist. At first they think this might be the Distortion World, but (1) no Giratina (2) no impossible scenery. They lose the crack pretty fast. This world is even worse than Ultra Space, at least there were things to look at there - is that a human?
Yes, it is! There’s another one! The Voices watch humans and pokemon leap into and out of the place-they-don’t-know-is-called-the-Dreamspace. Most are just faint shadows, appearing and disappearing in an instant, but some stay longer. Some stay a lot longer.
One kid with a cardboard box on his head arrives one day and doesn’t leave. He’s in the right age range, so the Voices possess him, and end up running Kanto in the grey void with the souls of dreaming pokemon. The Voices get to be NPCs. It’s weird.
Once they run out of Kanto, the kid skedaddles. Bored, the Voices look for another host. That girl with the blonde hair seems more solid than the others…
They possess honey just as she leaps out of the Dreamspace and into the pokeverse S4 takes place in.
Misc worldbuilding notes:
- The S4verse was previously attacked by the Ultra Beasts, and while their pokEarth is still functional, it’s not in good shape. The Kanto/Johto/Sevii/Tunod/Rankor area is overrun by gangs, Luke might as well be living in a moon colony, and Unova, in addition to being filled with abominations of nature, is frozen over.
- It’s also a lot more technologically advanced (especially where robots are concerned) and a lot less weird (by pokeverse standards) than the TPPverse.
- This verse in general is less receptive to the Voices’ prodding, so they’re less able to shunt it into a familiar predefined path.
- The planet has a continental structure that looks nothing like actual Earth (unlike TPPRock, which looks roughly the same.)
- Back in the TPPverse, there’s this guy who’s been running around since Cyan’s quest at the very least. He’s been calling himself Red despite clearly not being the Red. No spiral scars, for one, and he has a pikachu (which he won’t evolve) in the place the real Red has Bird Jesus. After the Voices vanished in the wormhole, Blue (his self-appointed tour guide/minder) noticed him sighing in relief and muttering, ‘At last.’
There's way more Necrozma in my current headcanon, and I go back and forth on whether S4 happens in Ultra Space, but this is still mostly my headcanon.
Chapter 40: Ambiguous
Been thinking about S4, aka the season where Mitzi gave up on standard pokeverse plots and decided to make shit up, excusing it by saying that all the regular game stuff happened ~40 years ago -
Honey. Host of Blazed Glazed. I still don’t know what the plot of BG is (not even the romhack, not really) but it’s been in my head for a while that at the end of the run she got possessed by something pretending to be Arceus and founded a cult of creepy blonde people. I assumed not-Arceus was Deoxys but then Ultra SM dropped Necrozma lore, and that got woven into the backstory. (I’ve nearly convinced myself that the S4verse is Ultra Space.)
So there’s Ultra Sun, which in my brain is this weird mashup between the main plot and the Rainbow Rocket stuff and everyone coming back for the finale. Still gotta tie it to the plot of the game though, because the Voices (and I) have a Thing. We need a Lusamine. Honey, who by now is in her twenties and the boss of the world’s most powerful evil team, is happy to serve.
At some point during the midgame, Necrozma calls Honey to it. She’s made all the preparations to release it, and the cult-that’s-taking-the-role-of-the-Aether-Foundation raids Megalo Tower to get to its prison.
She makes it. Her team handles the physical skills while the backup hackers manage the computer systems. Honey walks up to Necrozma as its full glory unfolds -
And she stabs it with a spear of pure darkness. The gathering light shatters, and the demon reels.
‘I never followed you. Even when you controlled my every action, I plotted against you. I have hated you since I knew what you truly were, and I have built an army to fight you.’
Things after that don’t go precisely as anyone planned, and the final climax of TPPUS involves Roark surfing a screaming Necrozma through like twelve Ultra Wormholes until they crash into Ten Carat Hill in the TPPverse.
And that’s the story of how the Voices got home.
Part 1 (When the Cicadas Cry)
Bill Arc shred the night
Emerald, Randomised FireRed, Platinum, Randomised HeartGold
Part 2 (Flower of Hell)
OLDEN Arc sense the signal
Anniversary Red, Anniversary Crystal (RBY portion), Touhoumon/Moemon, Randomised Alpha Sapphire, Colosseum, XD: Gale of Darkness, [Vietnamese Crystal,] Anniversary Crystal (GSC portion)
Part 3 (Superscription of Data)
Phancero Arc return home
Brown, Randomised Platinum, [Ultra,] Prism
Ghetsis Arc make a promise
Black, Blaze Black 2
Part 4 (Ambiguous)
Necrozma Arc rein in fate
[Ash Grey,] Sun, Waning Moon, Chatty Yellow, [Dark Greystone,] Blazed Glazed, Randomised White 2, Pyrite, Theta Emerald, Ultra Moon, X
Part 5 (Happy! Lucky! Dochy!)
I haven't fully figured out what I think of S5 yet, so this is my most recent timeline at the moment (February 2019).
Chapter 42: Ash
Ash isn’t his name. Ash is a character the actor played on a children’s show when he was twelve. He used the name on the internet afterwards, when he was trying to build a following.
The actor wasn’t a good actor. None of the people and pokemon on the show excelled at their jobs, and he was an idiot kid with more ambition than talent. He suited his role pretty well, but there were a hundred other things wrong behind the scenes - it’s honestly amazing they made as many episodes as they did - and no one had the time or skill or patience to coach him. At the end, when the production was collapsing around him and the scriptwriters were waging war on the episode directors, he basically did what he wanted.
The actor doesn’t remember when he first saw that kid wandering around Virbank. He was in his late teens, doing commercials for hiking gear and plotting a route to stardom, a little too self-obsessed to notice a deliberately generic-looking child watching people in the street. One day he was sulking after an audition and complained loudly to the kid about it. Three auditions later he spotted the kid again and updated them on the situation. It became a thing. The kid never said anything back, but it was nice to talk to someone who didn’t expect anything from him.
The actor wasn’t in Unova when the war started. He was back in Kanto, apologising to his parents and hiding from the producers of that old show. Lucky for him; he saw what civilisation’s first efforts to throw back the Ultra Beasts were like. He watched the war on TV and made sympathetic social media posts. Then the war reached Hoenn.
The actor isn’t a good person. A good person would have done anything to help save the world. He didn’t even run; he just waited to be saved, and then for the end to come. Even as the Ultra Beasts moved into Almia, he still roamed Saffron’s empty streets and fantasised about living another year. When he saw the nihilego swarming in the night sky he didn’t even panic.
The actor doesn’t know why Mewtwo chose him. He’s figured out that they were the kid he talked at on the streets of Virbank - psychic projections, trying to figure out humanity - but he can’t figure out what about his endless yammering about the rigged system and racist casting directors endeared him to the world’s most powerful psychic. He does know that Mewtwo was running about thirty different simultaneous plans to stop the Ultra Beasts, and snatching him out of Saffron, taking him to the great machine, giving him the power to cross dimensions, and telling him to follow the Voices until he found someone to help was a backup backup backup plan, but still, why him?
The actor didn’t expect to catch up to the Voices. The actor didn’t expect to find them in a world of reborn myths and legends newly written, where there are two separate terrifying demigods that share his face and seeing someone fall out of an Ultra Wormhole is barely remarked upon. Mewtwo told the actor what little they’d been able to deduce about them; when he met their past hosts, he expected husks. He found heroes.
The actor isn’t a hero. He’s a coward who cares about nothing except his own career. But it doesn’t really matter who the actor is, does it?
Ash zips across the world, making friends and setting things up. When the Ultra Wormholes open over Alola, Ash smiles triumphantly. Deep beneath him, the actor is awed.
And in the S4verse, Mewtwo adjusts their long term plan.
Chapter 43: Afterwards
[Setting: a forest, somewhere between Kalos and Hoenn. A river runs through the forest, and Abe walks along the river, sketching out a map and muttering to himself. He’s watched by a few local pokémon – early-route birds and bugs, nothing too interesting.
All of a sudden, the pokémon dash away from Abe. Cascading fractals form on the surface of the water and in the bare soil. It takes Abe a moment to notice both of these things, but when he does he perks up and stows his pencil away.]
Abe: Dome? Dome! Dome, do you know where I am? I fell through this glitchy hole and now I’m really lost. [He laughs to himself.]
[Dome ‘says’ nothing. Abe grows slightly agitated.]
Abe: Is everything all right? Is- Did the Voices-
[Dome’s ‘voice’ is heard only by Abe. It’s not in words; Abe will interpret their conversation as taking place in a human language when he writes his journal entry for the day, but Dome communicates to him in flashes of memory and emotion. As it ‘talks’, the fractals ripple.]
Dome: The anathema hurt you.
Abe: The anathema – you’re talking about the gli- [He has a sudden horrifying realisation.] Oh no, not again, I knew I shouldn’t have- [He takes a short sharp breath.] Dome, how do we fix-
Dome: I wasn’t talking about that anathema, Red, I meant the real anathema.
Abe: [He’s silent for a second, but then:] OLDEN.
[The fractals surge suddenly at the name.]
Abe: [Another silence; Abe is wondering why Dome is bringing this up now.] Yeah. That thing hurt me. IT wanted to eat the universe, it hurt everything.
Dome: IT hurt you. [It pauses, reassesses its position.] IT hurt you because of what I did.
Dome: You walked into the haze, right where it was waiting. I could have stopped you- I could have kept you safe-
Abe: I left because I was trying to save the world!
Dome: You couldn’t do anything! All you could do was wander about, lose yourself, and dissolve into yet more anathema! [The fractals lash out. Abe flinches, and Dome picks up on something.] I’m not insulting you. The fragments were powerless to stop IT. The Voices fell. All I could do was hold IT back, and there’s so much more of me than there is of you. There was nothing you could have done. I should have kept you safe.
Abe: I did something. Baba told me I saved her life at the end of Elf’s World, and she saved us all.
Dome: You could still have done that if I’d kept you safe for as long as I could.
Abe: Or maybe I’d have frozen in shock when you died, and IT would have eaten everything.
[There is a brief pause as the fractals settle down.]
Dome: I’m sorry. [It forms this as words planted in Abe’s mind.]
Abe: For letting me go?
Dome: For not protecting you. I was so sure I could kill IT at the start that I lost track of you. When I found you again you were already fading. I could have given you something to help keep your mind. I made many mistakes, and you were hurt by them. I’m sorry.
Abe: I still don’t think either of us could have done more than we did, but thank you.
Dome: I’ve never done anything that I didn’t want to do or that someone else forced me to do in my life, but now I need to take care of my Red, and no one’s making me do it! I feel I’m getting lectured about all the things I’ve already done wrong with him, but I’m also the one doing the lecturing! I’m the one expecting me to do better with him! I’m angry at myself and I don’t know how to deal with that!
Plume: Dome, that’s called ‘responsibility’.
Dome: I DIDN’T ASK YOU WHAT IT WAS CALLED I ASKED YOU HOW I CAN DEAL WITH THIS
Chapter 44: Fossil God Artistic Themes
Originally a Discord thing.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Helix: Destruction. The Church of Helix is officially no longer an apocalypse cult, but, well, ‘officially.’ Sometimes you get people trying to make the church respectable and that never works, because destruction and change is what Helix is, yanno? A Helix acceptable in polite society wouldn’t be Helix. Also Red shows up so much it might as well be the Church of Red.
Dome: Glory. Subjects of Domist art vary wildly, but it’s always in some way grand. Domist art is never tiny paintings of houses; it’s always massive murals of entire cities. Domist cities are art too, perfectly planned for maximum amazingness. Dome’s personal favourite art theme is the abyssal trenches, but it prefers its followers to make art about something they’re truly passionate about.
Root: Perfection. A lot of Rootian art deals with the concept of a perfect world. Rootian art is more known for its style than its content though: first, it’s always really elaborate - if you can’t see the individual veins on a leaf, the artist didn’t care. Second, it almost always has a point to make. Rootian art and Rootian literature are the same thing, and the most in-depth Rootian philosophy debates are exclusively dance-offs.
Claw: Truth. Clawist art tends towards the abstract and the symbolic, trying to portray the innermost truths of the world as simply as possible. Usually these truths are something like ‘life sucks and then you die’. Clawists are at the exact intersection of pretentious art students and gloomy teenagers.
Skull: Defiance. Skull doesn’t have a church, just scattered cells of followers determined to make their mark. They’re the kind of people who hack lighting systems to flash up their art on skyscrapers, or just spraypainting graffiti in the last place anyone expects, if you’re on a budget.
Armour: BADASSERY! Armourite art is all about being AWESOME and doing REALLY COOL THINGS! Armourism teaches that the true Armourite is always doing something AWESOME, so there’s not a lot of Armourite art (‘Why are you doodling pictures of that girl when you could be CONFESSING YOUR LOVE TO HER?!’) but what little there is is AMAZING!
Cover: Passion. The only thing unifying Coverite art is how much everyone involved really wants to be doing this. Art is one of Coverism’s central tenets, and every Coverite temple is covered in art. Poetry, paintings, plays... It’s all there. The thing about Coverism is that it also teaches that ‘bad art’, at least in the technical sense, is an oxymoron, so Coverite art gets... weird.
Plume: Practicality. Plumists don’t really go in for art; instead they create useful things, and something that fulfils its function perfectly is called ‘beautiful.’ That doesn’t mean they don’t put mockups of moon rockets and blueprints of centrifuges up for display, though. Gotta teach the younger generation how to make their own things, and it’s pretty cool to see your work up there with the greats.
Jaw: Psychedelia. Jawist art is huge splashes of colour, randomly thrown onto the canvas (and the easel, and the floor). It’s abstract statues scattered all over a forest. It’s a flotilla of paper dolls set down the river. Tt’s all meaningless, of course. A lot of it’s creepy. Jawists say it’s inspired by their journeys into the possible. It’s worth noting that most Jawists are constantly high.
Sail: Beauty. The Lumiose fashion scene has finally rescued Sailism from the clutches of the Kalosian aristocracy, and they’ve taken the best parts of the aesthetic. Sailist art strives for beauty, whatever that may mean. They find it in patterns of light and human faces, psychic trails and the latest fashions. Love is a common theme: love for self, city, humanity, nature, pokémon, and, of course, partner.
Amber: ‘Why are you wasting time fiddling with pencils. Get out there and make the world less stupid.’
In Rootist art, there’s ALWAYS a hidden Root. You know loss.jpg? I imagine Rootists have a similar thing with their hidden Roots. ‘How abstract can we make it and still have it recognisable?’
Chapter 45: Doughnut Hole
This was originally just the last half of the song, but while I was crawling my blog I found this and decided to fill out the filk. Song here. Sung by [one of] the Voices.
Recently I've noticed I'm forgetting stuff
It's only little things, but it's still kinda weird
In the middle of a battle I keep noticing
That I've lost something else from my journey
My dex, my bag, my route, my region
All slipping out of me and into the void
But I can laugh and play here forever more
So I clamp down on my worries and join in the fun
There was only one path I could take forward
Down the regimented rails of an adult life
So instead I leapt off the railway line
Only now I'm realising I had to pay a price
My notes, my team, my friends, my starter
All slipping out of me and into the void
And no one around me seems to care at all
They pull me along to whatever game is next
I wonder if I could step out of the crowd
And run back home where there always was a place for me
The problem is I don't think 'here' is anywhere at all
And there isn't a body there for me to go back to
I try to count the feelings that’ve fallen away
And I realise I can’t remember how my journey ended
Someday I’ll forget I had anything to lose
I have this horrible feeling that's how this will all end
Trapped here as I am, there’s nothing I can do about it
It's like trying to pick up a doughnut hole
While they nibble at the edges until there's nothing left
As I forget, I forget that I've forgotten
And the gaps in my mind are filled with chattering
My town, my room, my hands, my mother
All slipping out of me and into the void
Instead I know a hundred silly little songs
About people and things I have no context for
Happiness and pleasure, fear, despair, and anger
All my emotions are turning into indistinct mush
With everything that made me slowly being drowned out
Somehow I feel like I'm turning into someone else
I try to count the feelings that’ve fallen away
And I realise I can’t remember what my voice sounded like
Someday I’ll forget I had anything to lose
I know that deep within me, I know I can’t escape it
I can’t even cry now, there’s nothing I can do about it
There’s an empty space in my mind where something used to be
I know I used to think that it was so important
But as I forget it’s there, the sadness melts away
Quiet and inevitable, there’s nothing I can do about it
And why should we care about what’s fallen away?
There’s always a new journey, there’s always a new self
It’s not like we ever had anything to lose
Near the end of our adventure we’re finally reminded
The noise bubbles down as we open our eyes
You open your eyes
I open my eyes
I remember now - my name is-!
Chapter 46: Run Length
One day I was bored so I statted up all the runs to give myself an idea of how long they might have taken to play out in 'real life'. Formula: every day ingame is one month in-universe. The hours off the end are converted into an equivalent percentage of days, assuming 30 days per month. The dates listed show when the run would have stopped, assuming it started on the same day in-universe as it did IRL. Additional entries are when we actually got kicked out of the game, if we got to play with our kid after the end credits.
Against my better judgement, I'm adding the sidegames I care about with the formula changed so that one week is one month. I'm not completely happy with this, but this way there's Baba.
Red - 1 year, 4 months, 9 days (12th Feb. to 21st Jun.)
Crystal - 1 year, 1 month, 2 days (2nd Mar. to 3rd Apr.) - 1 year, 1 month, 11 days (2nd Mar. to 12th Apr.)
Emerald - 1 year, 8 months, 27 days (21st Mar. to 17th Dec.)
Randomised FireRed - 1 year, 3 months, 2 days (11th Apr. to 13th Jul.)
Platinum - 1 year, 5 months, 15 days (2nd May to 17th Oct.)
Randomised HeartGold - 1 year, 6 months, 25 days (23rd May to 17th. Dec)
Black - 1 year, 23 days (15th Jun. to 8th Jul.)
Blaze Black 2 - 1 year, 4 months, 6 days (6th Jul. to 12th Nov.) - 1 year, 7 months, 2 days (6th Jul. to 8th. Feb)
X - 5 months, 6 days (27th Jul. to 2nd Jan.) - 8 months (27th Jul. to 27th. Mar.)
Omega Ruby - 8 months, 7 days (22nd Nov. to 29th Jul.) - 10 months (22nd Nov. to 22nd Sept.)
Anniversary Red - 3 years, 3 months, 24 days (12th Feb. to 8th Jun.)
Touhoumon - 1 year, 1 month, 19 days (10th May to 29th Jun.)
Moemon - 1 year, 6 days (10th May to 16th May) - 1 year, 1 month, 19 days (10th May to 29th Jun.)
Randomised Alpha Sapphire - 1 year, 2 months, 1 day (12th Jul. to 13th Sep.) - 1 year, 2 months, 6 days (12th Jul. to 19th Sep.)
Colosseum - 6 months, 4 days (12th Oct. to 16th Apr.)
XD - 8 months, 5 days (12th Dec. to 17th Aug.)
Anniversary Crystal - 2 years, 6 months, 5 days (14th Feb. to 17th Aug.)
Brown - 10 months, 28 days (16th Jun. to 14th May) - 11 months, 2 days (16th Jun. to 18th May)
Randomised Platinum - 1 year, 2 months, 9 days (31st Jul. to 9th Oct.) - 1 year, 3 months, 5 days (31st Jul. to 5th Nov.)
Prism - 1 year, 4 months, 29 days (9th Oct. to 7th Mar.)
Sun - 1 year, 3 days (18th Nov. to 21st Nov.) - 1 year, 1 month, 27 days (18th Nov. to 15th Jan.)
Waning Moon - 1 year, 1 month, 7 days (13th Jan. to 20th Feb.) - 1 year, 1 month, 14 days (13th Jan. to 27th Feb.)
Chatty Yellow - 10 months, 22 days (12th Feb. to 6th Jan.) - 11 months, 23 days (12th Feb. to 7th Feb.)
Blazed Glazed - 1 year, 3 months, 9 days (8th Apr. to 17th Jul.) - 1 year, 4 months, 20 days (8th Apr. to 28th Aug.)
Randomised White 2 - 1 year, 1 month, 17 days (3rd Jun. to 20th Jul.) - 1 year, 4 months, 22 days (3rd Jun. to 25th Oct.)
Pyrite - 1 year, 2 months, 8 days (12th Aug. to 20th Oct.) - 1 year, 2 months, 9 days (12th Aug. to 21st Oct.)
Theta Emerald EX - 10 months, 24 days (30th Sep. to 24th Aug.) - 1 year, 3 months (30th Sep. to 30th Dec.)
Ultra Sun - 10 months, 22 days (25th Nov. to 17th Oct.) - 1 year, 1 month, 5 days (25th Nov. to 30th Dec.)
Dual Blue - 1 year, 10 days (12th Feb. to 22nd Feb.) - 1 year, 2 months, 2 days (12th Feb. to 14th Apr.)
Dual Red - 1 year, 1 month, 29 days (12th Feb. to 11th Apr.) - 1 year, 2 months, 2 days (12th Feb. to 14th Apr.)
Storm Silver - 1 year, 6 months (14th Apr. to 14th Oct.) - 1 year, 7 months, 3 days (14th Apr. to 17th Nov.)
Bronze - 8 months, 9 days (9th Jun. to 18th Feb.)
Randomised Y - 11 months, 15 days (11th Aug. to 26th Jul.) - 1 year, 2 months, 14 days (11th Aug. to 25th Oct.)
Flora Sky - 1 year, 3 months, 3 days (13th Oct. to 16th Jan.) - 1 year, 4 months, 3 days (13th Oct. to 13th Feb.)
Fused Crystal - 10 months, 3 days (8th Dec. to 11th Oct.) - 10 months, 11 days (8th Dec. to 16th Oct.)
Vietnamese Crystal - 2 years, 8 months, 12 days (23rd Mar. to 4th Dec.)
Ultra - 6 months, 4 days (16th Aug. to 20th Feb.)
Dark Graystone - 2 months, 12 days (24th Feb. to 8th May)
Ash Gray - 1 year, 9 months (13th Mar. to 13th Dec.)
Bootleg Green - 1 year, 7 months, 25 days (15th Oct. to 9th Jun.)
Hypno's Lullaby - 1 month, 21 days (30th Oct. to 20th Dec.)
Chapter 47: Timeline S1-S5
Done as a big ol' image set because I'm feeling nostalgic. Doesn't include Flora Sky or Sweet because I couldn't think of anywhere to put them, check back next year.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Host sprites taken from this post, further attribution there, probably.
Chapter 48: Why Aqua Left Home
The trainer waiting around outside Juniper’s lab is fiddling with her pokédex and mumbling to herself. Across the street, a dark blue pokémon with a shaggy coat and big pointy ears is rummaging about in the grass. Aqua has no idea what kind of pokémon it is or where it’s from, so maybe…
She edges closer, slowly, hands out. “Hello,” she says to the pokémon, thinking as hard as she can about how happy she is to meet it and how much she wants to be friends. “I’m Aqua. Who are you?”
The pokémon looks up – and for just a second, she hopes. That when their eyes meet an unbreakable connection will form, and it’ll leap into her arms and they’ll go everywhere together and be friends for the rest of her life –
It examines her for a few seconds, and then goes back to foraging. The trainer across the street calls, “Hey! Stop harassing Munchie!” Slightly startled, Aqua steps out of the grass.
It could have been worse, she thinks as she walks away. At least it didn’t attack her.
Every pokémon she’s ever seen has been indifferent or worse to her. So why is she crying?
“Aw, really? That’s so sad!” says Bianca, four hours later, when Aqua and her and Cheren are taking a break from their study session. She stretches over the snack table to give Aqua a quick hug. “Don’t worry, though! I’m sure there’s a pokémon partner somewhere out there just waiting for you!”
Aqua smiles, or tries to, anyway. “There must be,” she says, because she feels like she should.
“It’s quite possible that there is,” says Cheren. He’s adjusting his glasses the way he does when he’s running numbers in his head. “There are around two thousand identified pokémon species, and there are many more than are yet to be officially categorised. It’s more than likely you just haven’t met your partner yet.”
“I guess so,” says Aqua. Cheren is studying a lot about pokémon in preparation for his journey, so he’s probably right. He’s probably right.
“It’ll be okay!” says Bianca, and then she starts talking about her favourite author’s new book, and soon all three of them are chattering happily and Aqua isn’t worrying, for now.
Cheren is going on a pokémon journey, because Cheren’s been planning his pokémon journey (and his gym leadership, and his rise to power) since the three of them learned to read. Bianca’s wanted to be a scholar of some kind for almost as long, and since they left school she’s been doing distance learning courses on dozens of different topics.
Aqua’s less sure about what she wants to do with her life, but she knows she wants to stay with her friends. So she does the courses she thinks she can handle and helps Cheren carry his pokémon kit around and tries not to think about pokémon.
The day after Cheren fills out his pokémon trainer card application, Bianca suggests they go out for a walk after studying. On the bank of the river, far upstream from the adults, she says, “I want to go on a pokémon journey.”
Cheren tries to say something, but Bianca stops him. “Every placement, every apprenticeship, they all want me to have experience with training pokémon, but my dad would never let me do anything to qualify-“ She breathes in. “If I’m travelling across Unova with Cheren, well, he can’t exactly stop me from here, can he?”
Of course Aqua hugs her and tells her to go for it. She’s seen Bianca fiddle with Cheren’s empty pokéballs when he’s not there, heard her talking about the cities she’d love to visit. Bianca wants to go on a pokémon journey.
Still, walking back, she can’t help but wonder what she’s going to do on her own.
Aqua wanders about town, ambling down streets she’s known her whole life. They are the only three kids around her age in Nuvema.
Studying without being able to talk to anyone about it. Going out of town, and unable to bring someone along. Having another pokémon reject her and only having her parents to pretend like it’s no big deal –
She stops by Juniper’s lab on her way home.
Applying for a trainer card is without doubt the stupidest thing Aqua’s ever done. But even if she can’t make an indelible bond with a pokémon, she figures, she can at least work with one.
It’s not like she wants to go on some big adventure, after all. She just doesn’t want to be left behind.
On the morning Juniper delivers the box, Aqua looks a little tired. Her hat is squashed unevenly onto her hair, and she’s lurching about in a way that can’t be comfortable.
While Cheren is wrestling the box open, Bianca asks, “Are you all right?” Aqua just blinks at her, a distant purple light burning in the back of her eyes.
Chapter 49: my plan is great
Even for the fossil gods, Skull is kinda dumb.
[As the full majesty of communication from beings made of reality itself is a tad complicated to render on limited human machines, the following conversation has been translated in a form comprehensible to mortals.]
Chapter 50: Snippets
Bits and pieces too small for their own chapters.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
At first I was ambivalent to ‘AR’s happening inside the PC’ lore. It was a cool idea, but there wasn’t really any proof.
But we just ran into fucking missingno.
Fuck it. Fuck. It. This is Twitch Plays Pokemon Coded. Abe is Data!Red. His mission is to get everyone out of the PC. Being possessed by the Mob gives him some immunity to the PC’s brainwashing there-is-no-war-in-ba-sing-se abilities. The map is a strategy guide/readme file. (I guess Blue’s sister is from outside the PC?) I don’t even know about Dome.
It even sorta explains why the world is like Kanto in Red’s era. Whoever made the simulation made it that way (though they got some details wrong, like Brock’s dittos.)
So I found something really creepy in the Rocket HQ under Mahogany Town.
The Rocket Oath.
‘Steal pokemon for profit.’ Okay. 'Exploit pokemon for profit.’ Obvious. 'All pokemon exist to serve Team Rocket.’ Uh?
That and this is a very atypical Team Rocket operation. Steal and sell rare fossils? Use a casino as a front for a base? Take over a multinational? Control the supply of a delicacy and sell it at a ridiculous price? All classic evil crime syndicate plans.
But where’s the profit in driving the gyarados in the Lake of Rage on a rampage? Sure, there’s two guys mugging everyone who passes through the safe route, but anyone whose curiosity overrides their fear is probably a good enough trainer to fight their way through the tall grass. They can’t be making enough money to pay for the very expensive radio signal, let alone make a profit.
I know. It’s Pokemon. I shouldn’t think about it too much.
But in the TPPverse? I’m pretty sure this was AJ’s first big battle with the Cult of Helix.
The password was 'Hail Red.’ It was the first time AJ heard that name used by someone other than the Mob.
but TPP Crystal - Mt Silver - vengeance - the sacrifice of Prince Omelette - a long terrifying climb through the caves - the summit - snow - AJ’s eyes have had a purple tinge for months - the rage of a forgotten boy - the power of a forgotten god - seven days - back at the base of the mountain - another climb - what if AJ can’t return his mon in time? - another fight - another loss - again and again - then somehow everyone lives - Zapdos - ATV - King Fonz - Air - the mob chants each of their names as they fall - Helix’s vessel is defeated - Bird Jesus - sky attack - Lazorgator summons one last surf - just enough - the pidgeot falls - the circle breaks - Helix screams - Red collapses - the Mob drains out of AJ’s eyes - ‘thank you for allowing me my revenge’ - AJ is eleven and Red is fourteen - AJ curls into Lazorgator’s bulk - Red waits to die - but he crawls up to the feraligator - clings to one arm - is judged not a threat - hours later Blue and Joey finally reach them - both boys are in the hospital for weeks - once Red is healthy enough to move he escapes - visits Blue - tells him he can’t hear the Helix any more - when AJ is released he’s swarmed by all the people he’s helped - the Elite Four. Morty and Eusine. Oak. an embassy from Blackthorn City in honour of Lance. Wade. Todd. Alan. Keena. Irwin. Kurt. the owners of Goldenrod Radio Tower and the Power Plant. Copycat. Sabrina. Misty. Jasmine - at first the noise is too much - but then - Joey’s hand in his - Joey’s voice no longer distorted by the pokegear - AJ lets himself cry - and he heads for home
eight years later - Hoenn - a wave of mysterious deaths - an old book - new words - midnight - left-right-up-down-a-b-select-start - a girl - 'Camilla!’ 'from now on my name is A’ - blazing purple light - a child’s scream -
and the story truly begins
Not only does it sound totally badass and secret-y -
It’s Red’s motive. It’s Red’s drive. Even without the Helix what he wants is silence.
He tells Blue this, and Blue blows him off. ‘Not letting your crazy get in the way of my gym challenge.’
Much, much later, in the cave just below the peak of Mt Silver, Red throws those words back in Blue’s face. For the rest of his life Blue regrets failing his best friend like that.
In my headcanon, Blue founded the Silence. He named it as a promise to all the hosts, past and future, that he wouldn’t let them suffer the way he let Red.
[A responce to an ask about the most feminist moment in TPP.]
I mean, let’s look at her character concept. Daughter of a mad scientist/computer tech who died young and whose death indirectly led to him destroying the world. You’d expect her to be a one-note ill girl, maybe a damsel in distress or a guiding light at best.
Not the protagonist of her own arc. Not the person who took down her father. Not a major behind-the-scenes force in HeartGold. Not a fully fleshed-out character with her own motivations and personality.
TPP took the oldest woman-as-glorified-macguffin archetype and gave her agency, to the point of being the protagonist! In my opinion, that is very feminist.
Thinking about how the fossil gods would be worshipped though -
During every performance in every theatre in Unova, a seat is left empty. Even if it’s a school play you always pull out an extra folding chair to make sure the play goes smoothly. No one is ever seen to use the seat, though someone in every musical troupe will swear up and down that they’ve seen a figure in blue standing and applauding after a particularly stressful song number.
In any reputable game corner in PokeJapan you’ll find a small shrine. It’ll be covered in offerings; incense burners stuffed with elaborate battle plans, trophies and screenshots of achievements, bags of snack foods and fizzy drinks, occasionally game tokens (don’t run off with them unless you want to trip and fall every two minutes until you give them back), and always, always a mountain of dice. Look for a red and/or blue seal on the shrine; approval from either of the churches means this place is legit.
One day in autumn (officially; in practice it takes like a week) the cities of Hoenn throw street festivals. Everyone gets a day off work, the gyms close (and the battle tents make a killing), and artists of all kinds gather to create. In Lilycove the peak of the festivities is a great parade from the art museum to the sea. Of particular note are the masked dancers; men and women who whirl through the streets in elaborate black masks with golden eye sockets. It’s religiously assumed that they’re all Root, and that assumption isn’t 100% wrong.
So, like, in the same way Red would occasionally go ‘Screw it,’ and start wailing on the other guy[’s pokemon] with the helix fossil, I imagine Abe eventually (like, during/post Oak) built a TM cannon.
Massive thing. Silver, shiny, shoulder-mounted. Technically the kid shouldn’t be able to hold it but the laws of gravity have never really been enforced in the Inner World.
The cannon can hold 256 individual TMs, though some are easier to use than others - attack TMs are just point-and-fire, but something like Mist takes very careful aim to make sure the opponent doesn’t benefit as well.
He mainly uses it for support fire; he is still a fragile human/AI/Voice-in-a-fleshpuppet and his aim is better when he has the option of hiding behind ICU.
Still, it’s nice when you’re about to be hit with a stray thunderbolt (Super Saiyan Zapdos’ aim is terrible) and a Counter disc flies from behind you, slamming the bird for twice the damage.
(And Abe loves being able to help protect his team.)
I was looking on Anniversary Red’s page on the .org and
the paras that would become the Leech King
was caught before the Kakuna Wars
two days, twenty-one hours, nineteen minutes
about a day after Trolliwag was released
but before any digletts were caught
I always assumed Abe caught her after the DASVD massacre or something but no
she was there from before
she could’ve known Baba. she could’ve known Kakuna
she could’ve known Growleerzard
just the image of this great dragon and this tiny insect
cowering together in the PC
I’ve always thought they’d be friends if they ever met
I mean - idiocy, yes. Utter dismissal of everything they find boring, yes. Disrespect, yes. Incompetence, hell yes.
But also - determination. The Voices can be slowed, but they cannot be stopped. They cared for their hosts from the beginning (art of Red being thanked, apologised to. The Voices are far from incapable of empathy.) Yhe ferocious bravery of an entity that knows that all obstacles can be worn down with time and luck. A vague concept of justice.
Doing all they could to get Girl A her happy ending - Alice’s days of research before the league - Aoooo - Bianca deserves to go on a pokemon journey - helping D with his narcissism - trying to protect Abe - and now, saving the starter who spent most of the run in the PC just for closure -
The Voices are capricious. The Voices can be cruel. But they have never been evil.
She grew up among pokemon in the wildwood of Johto! She has mysterious glitch powers! She doesn’t speak much! She had no less than five fossil gods on her team at some point! She makes friends everywhere she goes! Any one of these would be enough to get me interested in her, but she’s ALL OF THEM and she’s from JOHTO so her arc ended with her climbing THAT MOUNTAIN AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
If I had to pick one favourite trait, I guess it’d be the insane diversity of her friends. Kid next door? FRIEND. Walking volcano mailpokemon? FRIEND. Pair of down-on-their-luck antediluvian war gods? FRIENDS. Nervy normal-type gym leader? FRIEND. Wrestler Puella Magi xatu? FRIEND. Eldritch-even-by-TPPverse-standards chaotic stupid mind hive? TEN THOUSAND FRIENDS. Monster hunter with a scythe and a desperate need to prove themself? NOT EXACTLY FRIEND BUT STILL IMPORTANT. Girl’d probably give Antares a chance even if she didn’t have that unexplained connection to Missingno 😍😍😍 AWOOOOOOOOO
Alice’s end goal is to refill the pokedex with accurate information, so she needs something to record her findings in. Her dad’s got hundreds of unused notebooks lying around the lighthouse, so she ‘borrows’ one and spends a whole day tracing a map of Kanto, planning out a form for entries, filling the book with those forms, redesigning the form once or twice when she remembers something else she should include… Bill finds her asleep on her desk at half past eleven. After he’s put her to bed, he flips through the notebook.
Two days later she finds a brand new book on her desk. It’s got a waterproof cover and an inside pocket filled with stationery. The first dozen pages are covered in notes about basic pokemon care and wilderness survival. Then there’s the map, which has a page for each gym-city and its surrounding areas and tons of places to write down sighted pokemon. The entry forms take up most of the book, pages and pages of her form in exact printed elegance. At the back are many pages for field notes, a list of people she should try to meet in each city, and a pocket to put the mechanical dex Oak will almost certainly give her. There’s a note tucked into the back cover. “I wish you the best of luck on your study - Bill C.C.”
Alice hurries down the lighthouse tower. She’s not supposed to go in to the computer basement without permission, but she still picks a path through the mess of cables and broken monitors to give her father a great big hug. That night, she imagines showing off Alice of Cerulean Cape’s Pokemon Index to fellow scientists and professors. Just two weeks to go.
She dreams she’ll write in that notebook whenever she gets a chance, making comprehensive entries for every one of her pokemon. It doesn’t work out quite like that.
Kinda feel sorry for our new kid, actually.
He obviously had, like, this big masterplan all plotted out, with explosions and careful takedowns of Snagem bases and lots of riding across the desert on his pod racer/motorbike. Step one, steal the Snag Machine, is complete, and he roars away from the explosion. For step two, he has to -
Ten thousand wild Voices appeared!
The shock of the imprinting is enough to throw him, and the podbike, skittering off course. About two minutes later, once the Voices have hooked themselves up to his limbs and senses, he’s being dragged out of the wreckage by Umbreon while Espeon douses him with super potion. hey hey what’s your name? “AAAAAAA!”
First Virus Resistance as a series of vignettes about badass AR ladies fighting Missingno:
Assault - ‘M eats away at the very fabric of reality - everything she can see is slowly corrupted - (everything that she is is slowly erased) - she knows that she is the last one left standing - ten-part harmony shattered, this cannot be how it ends - blind and deaf in this mockery of a world (of a body) - for the first time in her life she feels true fear - but she fights - holding on to whatever little scraps of world she can - because what else is Acidy going to do? Roll over and let the others die?
Drifting - Lost and alone - she hasn’t felt this weak for a very long time - the world is hazy (is it even there?) (is she even there?) - forgetting things - being turned into something else - a weapon of the creature (that is slowly killing her) - but there are memories that can’t quite be quashed - anathema, no, no, people - the baby, the scrapper, the coolkid, the rock, the kind one, the one they all protected - so she fights - pushing her way out of the glitchhaze - because if even one of her friends is still alive Growleerzard has to warn them.
Restart - Sword ready, she charges into the glitchhaze - she won’t be able to come back but that doesn’t matter - someone has to slow down Missingno - and she’s always been the strongest of them - (hiding, terrified, watching the princess die) - ’M corrupts everything, even her - and the glitches race through her body - changing her into another Charizard ’M - showing her that all this is futile - and no matter what she or anyone does someday the world will fail - yet she fights - constantly, endlessly, driving the glitches back - because the Leech King swore long ago that, whatever she lost, she would protect her teammates.
(And in a tiny world in the depths of the glitchhaze, Baba opens her eyes.)
Alice who was a huge part of the reason Bill created the wonderland and you’d think she’d be like a morality pet but NOPE she’s too awesome so she takes the story into her own hands and fully stabilises the wonderland and goes off and does science for ten years then when disaster strikes again she takes up her father’s role at the head of the wonderland (Alice (and the Bill arc as a whole) is all about agency her being atop Mt Silver is her own choice FIGHT ME ZETSU) and fights Amber and the Voices every step of the way until she’s on her knees watching everything she worked for be destroyed assuming she’s gonna die but then Dome sweeps in places her carefully in the main timeline and yes that technically means Bill wins but Dome does not care because a world without Alice is a world without an amazing woman anyway Alice spends the rest of her life making a pokedex of every pokémon on the entire planet and she succeeds because she is wonderful!
there’s a room where
the light won’t find you
holding hands as the walls
keep tumbling down
when they do
I’ll be right behind you
so glad we’ve almost made it!
so sad they had to fade it!
everybody wants to rule -
Listened to Lorde's cover of Everybody Wants to Rule the World, instantly thought of TPP.
For the slow bit, we’re watching Red and AJ square off. Powers lash around their feet.
(Is it Red and AJ glaring each other down, or is it Helix and the Mob? The answer is that there’s not much difference at this point.)
The first verse (’there’s no turning back’) is sung by AJ, the second (’it’s my own remorse’) is sung by Red. In the heart of the blizzard, they circle each other, face to face with the monster.
At the end of the second verse, when the music picks up -
Girl A surfs to Sootopolis - Alice pulls Dome into the world - Napoleon stops Cyrus in his tracks - Aoooo calls the powers to her - Abe sticks his hand into the code - Athena wraps a claw around Amber’s wrist - Nina soars into space - Alpha shoots - Jimmy throws the voices out - Baba crests the mountain -
The sorceror’s cape whirls as he turns. He’s smiling.
Helix: shitpost hell
Dome: impeccably punctuated furious ranting. Has Quentin Poketino sideblog
Root: runs forty different blogs from seven different accounts. Has fake personal, fake real personal, actual personal disguised as terrible RP blog
Claw: aesthetic blog, sporadically sprinkled with vague passive-aggressive personal stuff
Skull: what is a Tumblr
Armour: Pokemon League news blog with occasional trainer tips, photos of Aoooo
Cover: fandoms! Tags every post with stuff like 'eee look at all this creativity i love humans'. Often hits the post limit from queued posts alone. Reluctantly keeps guro to a sideblog
Plume: runs the official fossil gods Tumblr. Uses personal to geek out over science
Sail: Kalosian fashion and art interspersed with furious defences of Jimmy C
Jaw: video games sometimes? Doesn't really see the appeal tbh
Amber: hostile takeover of Staff in order to moderate more efficiently
Drive: took one look at the trending blogs page and never visited the site again
AJ is autistic though.
He’s one of the the only hosts who doesn’t specifically have friends from before the Voices parked in his brain. His alternate universe counterpart Ethan has only two friends, and they are a pokemon and a feral glitch demon three years younger than him. He’s also characterised as being pretty aggressive and standoffish, possibly gets frustrated easily? Certainly the kind of kid who’d be happier climbing up in the woods and running from geodude than going out and being sociable.
Joey was possibly the first friend he ever made. They’re both lonely, but while AJ copes with it by pretending he’s fine on his own Joey has become the kinda guy who calls you every hour to tell you how awesome his rattata is pleasedon'tleaveme. Somehow this fits in perfectly with AJ’s need to be acknowledged and next thing you know the Voices are shipping it.
Speaking of those gits, AJ takes the only-slightly-weaker-than-Red’s-day Mob a little bit better than Red did. He knows how to deal with sensory overload. That’s not what drives him insane.
AJ doesn’t get attached to people easily, but when he does he latches on hard. When Omelette is killed in front of him-
Thinking that ‘OLDEN’ is the remaining shards of Wing/Thorax that weren’t formed into the Old Amber a bazillion years ago.
They achieved cohesion (kinda) when Cyrus was screwing around with the fabric of the universe all the way back in Platinum. Possibly they’re what Giratina was trying to devour. Don’t know if the 'glitches’ were created then or just entered the verse. Do know I will never try to answer that question.
They got written into the reformed main timeline at the end of HeartGold. When Jirachi reluctantly created the colosseum sorta-pocket dimension for the Voices they snuck in, made a d e a l with Rustantares, easily infected RepliKanto, glitchhaze.
Wing and Thorax hated each other so much they tried to tear each other out of the world. OLDEN (who doesn’t so much control the writhing mass that is Missingno as occasionally push it a little) hates itself more than it hates everything else.
I don’t know what happens to them between now and the end of the glitchhaze arc. I do know that in the newly formed post-glitchhaze world, Colress finds its pieces and weaves them together in the entity called Drive.
And no, xe still isn’t evil.
Start with the bad ending. Evan becomes Antares, Azure takes the name Maya. The glitchhaze forms and the Voices fall from the dual Kantos to the wonderland to Orre to Elf’s World.
On the peak of the moutain, Baba meets Sho-who-was-once-Abe. He tells her and the Voices what happened in Evan’s Kanto, how their host shattered the Old Amber and murdered his pokemon and broke the world.
Baba and the Voices say, ‘Let’s fix this.’
Sho is a sorcerer, and so he makes a gate. It leads to Evan’s Kanto, three months after the SS Anne sank. Baba steps through and pulls out Dong. 'You keep an eye on the Voices.’ She looks at Orgy, Ever, and Deku. 'I’ve gotta do some training.’
The Voices possess Evan before OLDEN can contract with him, and (try to) fix his body. Once it’s working, they dump him on Cherrygrove’s beach. This time, they’ll get the good ending.
(And far away, Antares watches.)
“Let me get this straight. This kid broke into the hideout, defeated all of the guards in one-on-one pokemon battles, mind-raped everyone who tried to attack him directly - and can’t find his way out of the conveyor system?!”
On the screen behind Giovanni, the mysterious boy steps on another spinner tile. The pidgeot who tore through the ranks of Team Rocket like newly-hatched caterpie flutters after him.
Giovanni sighs. “Keep the belts running, but don’t use them to transport pokemon. He’ll need to eat eventually.”
[From a post talking about why I headcanon that the Pokemon League held in RBY is the first one in Kanto.]
Okay, the biggest piece of evidence is how there being a Pokemon League Champion is a big shock, but there’s also the email to Professor Oak. It’s asking trainers to challenge the League, which I guess could happen if the League was an established thing, but given how no one expects there to be a champion before a couple of kids beat the league…
My headcanons have interpreted this to mean that ‘Kanto’ as a single stable political entity is a massively new concept (this is also why it only gets namedropped once, in a line they didn’t translate) and that before ~a few years back Kanto was a collection of permanently-warring Ancient-Greece-style ‘city’-states. The peace was hammered out under threat of hyper beam, and the League was set up to give trainers a way to use their skills in a controlled environment. (They stole the system from the Hoenn League.)
Oak was the guy who talked everyone into coming, which is why the E4 want him at the opening ceremony. Kiyo and Sabrina led their followers into battle to determine who would be the Saffron gym leader. Everyone is glad Agatha’s left Lavender. Giovanni misses being his own boss.
Lt Surge thinks the League won’t last. If it wasn’t for Helix he’d probably have been right.
When the glitchhaze collapsed and the true world reformed - it wasn't just the worldlets that came with. Phancero is what's left of the glitches, forced into such a tiny and limited self. Its heart has shattered. Its mind has been burned away. The TPPverse is shredding it to pieces and the fragments coalesce because they need to or they'll die. It runs. It runs far, far away. It's not sentient enough to cover its tracks so the glitches spill out from under its wings, hence Sinnoh. It runs - until it meets a creature much like itself. Extratemporal. Chaotic. Corrupting by nature. (If they've met before it doesn't remember.) And the being says, 'Heya! We know what it's like to be stuck here, but it's not as bad as it sounds! This place is actually pretty cool, so stick around! And the soul at the centre of the Voices gave it a name, and thus it had always been Phancero. (It still zaps every fossil that gets within three feet of Cyan. It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.)
The 'heart' of OLDEN is the dead fossil god that Colress will turn into Drive. The 'mind' is the Evan who died on the Anne and tried to eat the world. The bit that became Phancero is the 'soul'; a screeching mindless mass of [redacted for my own sanity] that's quite a lot like how the Voices used to be.
Idea: Philippe is the chill host.
The great bird’s flight has passed over Sinnoh, doing insane things to the region’s pokemon? Sweet, new backup dancers. The pokedex is basically useless? It’ll be cool to not know the whole pokedex. He’s been possessed by the Voices, leaving him in the passenger seat of his own body for the best part of a year? Well, at least his journey’s gonna be one for the ages. Giratina’s stalking him? Hey, a free legendary is a free legendary. He’s stuck in the distortion world? Will you look at that scenery.
Just. This kid who is totally immune to weird, partially because he’s into demon summoning and all that, but mostly because his world was collapsed together out of too many pocket dimensions, and you can either constantly freak out about it or you can get on with things.
(Corollary: ‘Cyrus’ is an actual literal seven-year-old bug catcher who’s on a quest to catch the biggest bug of all and enter it in the bug catching contest in Pastoria.)
“I need a new name,” xe tells Evan. He doesn’t answer, but the cast of his thoughts turns curious.
“Genesect, that’s Colress’ name, he used it for me, my equipment, the whole project sometimes, Olden… is dead, and I can’t just be ‘the new fossil god’ forever.”
"They called us ’Altair’ in a few worlds.”
"That was then. This is now. I want a name for me.”
He hmms. Eventually, “We’ll have to think of something better.”
“But we already have so many things to think about!” xe says, without venom. He grins, and they return to their companionable silence.
A few months after Phancero finally leaves Sinnoh, a depossessed Philippe goes spelunking in the Distortion World. He gets lost. Very lost. Six years later, he stumbles out of the Spear Pillar portal, claiming to have visited a region named Auricanty that’s full of all sorts of neat/brain-breaking (the two concepts are synonymous in Philippe’s mind) stuff.
No one’s heard of this Auricanty place, but the world just got like a hundred extra regions so that’s not that suspicious. But as the years turn on and Abe’s maps get ever more comprehensive, there’s still no sign of Auricanty. Philippe’s story is forgotten by everyone who isn’t a paranormal fan and/or raving conspiracy nut. The official story is that Philippe got into a patch of bad spacetime and hallucinated the whole thing.
Philippe himself isn’t so sure. He wasn’t wearing a blue cap when he left.
Square brackets names for assorted TPP eldritch abominations:
Helix, Dome: [chaos/order]
Root, Claw: [observed/unseen]
Skull, Armour: [impulse/thought]
Cover, Plume: [imagination/observation]
Jaw, Sail: [disjuncture/synthesis]
Amber, Drive: [�/�]
OLDEN: [I T D E V O U R S]
Arceus: [I T C R E A T E S]
The Voices: … I know I should go with [I T P L A Y S] or something like that but my heart says [kappa]
Idea: So OLDEN is Phancero+Drive+Evan, yeah? (Kinda.) Drive/Genesect was built by Colress as a weapon for Team Plasma (or at least that’s what Colress put on the funding reports), but in Black/Blaze Black 2 I think Drive stumbled out of the lab, fought Cly alone, and then vanished to parts unknown. In VW, though, here ai is definitely working for Ghetsis.
Which leads me to - maybe Kay or whoever doing whatever they did in Burning Red with the time travel screwed up the timeline and we’re currently in an AU of Black. Jimmy or someone must have done something in the original timeline that kept Drive locked up, but now ai’s gone all Mewtwo, and that’s two pieces of OLDEN out of the hands of better influences (what happened to Cyan in Burning Red, and - I doubt this Drive will be so readily adopted by the fossil gods.) Intil another candidate presents themself, I’m blaming Larry.
(Side thought: would that make Aqua an AU Hilda? -> No, she’s friends with Bianca and Cheren. If anything, she’s an AU Jimmy. -> But Jimmy’s a guy, and all the timeline counterparts from the wonderland are the same gender... -> Wait. Was Jimmy trans this whole time?)
You know what your problem is, Wakim? You’re an idiot.
I mean, you thought you could take on me. You thought that if all your pokémon took down all my pokémon I’d cry and follow you back to base like a good little boy. If I couldn’t kick the shit out of bottom-feeding wastes of air like you, they wouldn’t call me an Ace.
Oh, you’re going back to Gonzap, Wakim. And when you dig him out of the rubble, you’re going to tell him the Ace of Team Snagem has had enough of incompetents who can’t even control their own minions weighing him down. The next time he sees me, I’ll be ruling over all of Orre.
Feh. Worthless scum. What do you want, Dairy Queen?
Congratulations! You have ears! Of course I’m from Team Snagem. Where did you think I got this Snag Machine?
Ha! Oh my god, that’s too funny. You really thought I rescued you out of the goodness of my heart? Nah, when I see a guy like Folly boasting about something he’s taken, I naturally want to have it for myself.
Where are you going? I heard you loud and clear, you have no idea where you are. The goons who kidnapped you are still out there, too. No matter what you think about me, I haven’t put you in a sack.
That’s what I thought. Come on, Dairy Queen. We have work to do.
There were a lot more of these, but I restricted myself to those 100 words or longer.