THE CHRONICLES OF FINALGAMER
Remember the Oath
"Those closest to him would be the very ones to fuel his sense of failure. And so it's necessary for us to go to him as he won't come to us."
Fox, The Animals of Farthing Wood
Departing from a small island to an even bigger area was admittedly a little startling to James upon awakening. Having spent much of his time within illusory passageways with no sense of time, to be inside what appeared to be a large room within some sort of abandoned facility. The place was deathly still. Not a sound of crumbling debris or sparked wire came from any direction despite the derelict area.
Generators with screwed tops stood amongst dust and deadened cables. The floor beneath him cracked and covered in various places. Computers shut down permanently all around him, never to entertain or educate others with flashing panels again. With little sense of his surroundings, he stood up and slowly made his way through a hallway.
The place itself was also rather drained of colour, where only dust and metal could give him varying shades of grey, not a single sight of red, green or yellow to be found. It unnerved him, with such cold deadened walls around him he imagined he was to be an experiment all over again. He partly reminisced of Silent Hill's hospital. Even that had some colour, albeit in rusted brown and bloody maroon. But then he saw something.
At the end of a ruined hallway, carelessly left amongst the wreckage, was a little ball. Hard like metal, half of it red and the other half white with a button in the middle. Curiously, the raptor picked it up in one hand and pressed it with his thumbclaw, opening to reveal nothing. The inside was dark grey and intricately designed in such a way to imply that it was a deceptively unusual piece of technology. Unsure of what its purpose was, he slowly put it into his satchel and walked back. He was glad for more space again without a wand and book.
"Hope I'm not trapped," he said to himself in confidence of loneliness. "I'm not sure if I can cut a way out through here without bringing it down on my head."
At the sound of his voice, there came a strange sound down one hallway he was about to check. He wasn't sure if he should be glad or not, but the sound of electricity fizzing away made him think there had to be something to help him get out. Without breaking his pace, he walked on towards another large room, larger than the one he had been in.
A giant coiled tube stood in the very middle, either as a power core or for containing experiments he imagined. Generators lined the walls with computers circling in small groups to themselves. Much to his surprise, he found very little trace of spiderwebs amongst them. But what caught his eye more was the strange sphere sparking electricity at the back of the room.
The ball resembled the one he had just picked up, but far larger, a head shorter than the raptor, rolling softly back and forth on the spot with sparks flying out of it randomly.
Maybe these are all some sort of weird hi-tech stuff, thought James.
As he approached closer however, the sparks began to subside and soon completely stop, placing the room in darkness other than the spotted rays of light from the holes in the roof. Then came another surprise to the newcomer.
The ball showed its eyes, opening from the red upper half of its shape.
"What? What's a trode? Can you talk?"
The ball faced him more head-on and did not seem to enjoy the intruder's presence, its eyes slanting venomously.
"Wh-what are you talking about?! What is this place!?"
As it repeated the same strange word, sparks began to fly even more powerfully than before from the sphere, as James started to panic. He was already nervous about electricity, but now he was rather frightened by this strange possibly living creature as it started to shoot lightning across the floor around it.
"H-hey watch it, I'm not gonna hur-"
The thing shot out a violent lightning strike straight towards FG, who barely managed to dodge but was close enough to feel the agonising sting of electricity shoot through his veins.
"N-N-NNNGAAAAH! Oh you wanna do this the hard way!? We'll do it the hard way!"
Deciding to avoid a close-encounter fight, he brought up his hands and blasted a powerful river of flames across the room towards the ball, which took the hit with some grunt of pain, burned across its whitened lower half.
The sphere suddenly began to spin furiously fast and dashed straight towards the raptor, who dodged once again. Avoiding contact with it for fear of getting shocked, he blasted another flamethrower attack straight at it in a wide swathe, burning across the nearby walls.
"TRY THIS, FUCKFACE!"
It shot another strike of lightning at James, who leaped away and shot out his flames once again, not wanting to break out any bigger guns upon his first landing in another world. It seemed to do enough to the creature as it started to tire out, but it still had a good amount of energy left. With one more furious roll, it spun out towards the raptor and slammed into the wall behind him. He avoided using water attacks just to be safe, striking down with a fiery blaze once more straight across its back.
With a shriek it began to submit at last, rolling around the floor weakly, eyes clearly showing exhaustion as it rolled back towards James.
"Yeah, that's right, you give up yet freak?!"
"Oh what you gonna do now huh!? Come on, show me what you got!"
He asked for it. The ball stared straight at him and slowly began to glow a soft red all over, gently pulsating like a landing helipad light. James did not like it, the way it beeped at him like a warning. The beeping turned faster with the light, and there was only one thing that FG knew would do something like that.
Without hesitation, he ran for cover in a cubicle to one side in an alcove off from the main room, covering his eyes as he was shielded from the following explosion. A tremendous blast shook the very foundations of the facility, crumbling more debris around the room, within a cloud of dust. The deafening boom sent shivers throughout the raptor's body as the dust flew everywhere. More rocks and metal clanged upon the floor with a great cacophony.
When James opened his eyes and looked back to the room once more, the giant ball was gone. A little relieved at it disappearing, he also saw that it had conveniently made an exit for him, the outside shining through a concave blast hole through the steel wall. He quickly ran towards the hole and out into the sunlight, the grass upon his feet a relief to him.
He found himself in a valley, surrounded by rocky cliffs with a medium-sized river spreading out all the way around to the back of the facility, which he now realised was an abandoned power plant. Seeing no other way out but the river passage that flowed between two cliffs, he hopped over the steel fence and cautiously dipped his feet in, before he swam against the current.
The river wasn't particularly strong, as he pushed through the waves and took his time through the more rocky areas. He had never really been much of a swimmer, until Koopin had encouraged him to do so more often. He was glad that it had paid off, his own natural strength helping him against the current.
Pushing himself through the water, he could barely make out the other fish around him, red carp and white goldfish flapping past him without a care as he swam harder through the river. Soon he found himself at a bend, and diverted his way left around towards what he could make out as some wider land, a pathway stretching out towards a mountain. Breaching out of the water after making sure no one was around, the raptor stepped forth onto new land just before he reached a rocky causeway, that blocked the end of the curved river.
The occasional sound of creatures from all around him indicated that this place was at the very least a healthy land. To the south were the mountains, as well as a small building of some sort with a red roof upon it. Beyond that was a large radio tower of some sort shining its light upon the sky. Another mountain laid to the west straight in front of him, rising above what appeared to be a small valley as he pondered on where he should go. The valley for now made a good place to rest and hide for a while until he got his bearings.
"I don't wanna check out a settlement just yet," said FG, "not until I know what kind of people live here. Maybe I can get a better view from that way."
As he made his way towards the dominating mount to the west, he passed through the valley leading up towards it. It curved back and forth with small steps built within rocky steppes for ease of access. He had never really been in the mountains very often, apart from the one arduous mountain climb with Sir Glenn. But his mind was distracted from reminiscing about his former master by a strange voice coming to him.
I have been waiting for you.
A voice came to him in the midst of a small field of grass. Were it just a voice upon the breeze, he would have simply looked around and imagined it was just that. But not this voice. He knew this voice well, tingling along the back of his spine, reaching his ears from inside his own mind somehow. He cautiously fingered the rings of his scissors' handles.
"Wh-who's there?! S-someone there?!"
You could say that. It's difficult to say what exactly I am.
"Well how about you show yourself first? Then I'll tell ya."
A strange aura began to weave from all around him, dark and purple. At first he feared that Scissoraptor had awakened once again, but he was still in total control of his body. A strange concentration of energy began to float up around to his head, the voice now more focused yet still inside his head.
Do you remember me now?
"Uhm...do you like, know me or something?"
Why yes...do you not remember me at all? And here I thought I had left an impression on you. Perhaps THIS will help your memory somewhat...
It nodded eagerly and began to morph itself, creating a spectral illusion, revealing something that crawled back out from the deepest recesses of James' memories. A horrifying pale shadow, long black hair draped over a white kimono, human hands bound by rope. James felt his heart stop and he struggled to fight back the fear when realising the trickery. Yet he did not feel any malice come from it this time as the ghost quickly turned back into its pale sphere of indigo.
"Th-tha-OH GOD! W-wait! ...that...H-himuro Mansion? Wait...wait, now I remember, you helped me back there!"
Hmhmhm, indeed...be glad you did not encounter the real thing.
The ghost began floating around merrily at being recognised. With a gentle eerie giggle, it whooshed around the raptor, a cold tickling sensation being felt along his scales.
"H-h-hey cut that out, it's cold! Hhhahaha-hey come on!"
Hm hm hm hm...what's the matter? I love to leave an impression upon others.
"Okay okay enough, glad we know each other then."
The ghost stopped and floated itself before his face, continuing to always speak telepathically.
It is best however that you can see me as I fully am. Allow me to give you something, as a welcome gift into my home world.
Gently swirling something from what appeared to be a wisp-like hand, James was soon offered a red rectangular object. Taking it carefully, it appeared to be a machine of some sort, with a metal scope-like attachment to its antenna. The moment he held it in his hands, a small synchronous spark ran through him harmlessly, and began to unravel the illusion before him. The spectral being now swirled around him curiously, as a face with two clawed hands and a body composed of spiky furry-looking purple. Its eyes gazed all over the raptor before it was straight before his snout.
"W-wait...that's what you look like?"
Yes. You were unable to see me before due to not having the right equipment. That little machine in your hands is what allows you to see me.
"I see...so...where AM I anyway?"
I suppose now is as good as any to welcome you. Welcome...to the world of Pokemon.
"Aaaaand what the hell is a pokaymon?"
Pokemon are an unusual variety of species that exist upon these islands. You now stand currently upon the isle of Kanto, where humans and pokemon coexist alongside each other in peace and harmony...for the most part. The humans commit bonds and friendships amongst pokemon, from being faithful companions to hardened allies in battle.
"So...they're like wild animals tamed by humans?"
Somewhat yes. But pokemon are intelligent, they know that a human who is strong-hearted enough will lead them to a better life. The humans take pokemon very seriously, and as such treat them with utmost care as the very foundation of their society.
"What do you mean by the very foundation?"
Humans, while they live their lives in their own mortal existence, have also sculpted their lives around that of the pokemon. Entire industries and settlements have arised purely out of the existence of pokemon, whether they be medical, recreational, or militaristic.
"Huh...so they treat these animals really important huh? So...wait...Kanto? ...I was told to come here."
Indeed. I have waited for you for a long time, FinalGamer.
"Hah...wow, you're one of the few people who calls me that and doesn't wanna kill me. But...wait, why are you helping me here?"
We have fought alongside each other in battle. By the laws of my world, that makes you and I indebted to each other, for I am a pokemon also.
Why yes. That machine you have will explain more, but it is not activated yet. Firstly we must prepare you for passing through this world. As you may have already guessed, humans are the dominant species of this world, and as such you will not blend in very well. In fact...hmhmhm, they may even mistake YOU for a pokemon.
"Hah, right, thanks I'd rather not get captured again. I suppose you have some ideas for how I can blend in?"
That I do.
"Bu-wait...before we do anything I gotta ask. Why am I here? Why was I meant to come here?"
All will be revealed in time, let us not get ahead of ourselves for there will be many details to discuss. Suffice to say that I have been waiting for you for a long time, and as such I have many tasks for you to fulfil. But first, we must allow you to blend in...
The ghost slowly floated around FG's head in a circle, before suddenly swirling itself out around the raptor's entire body, surprising him as a veil of spectral smoke covered him.
"H-hey! What are you doing!?!?"
Surprised and flapping his arms to try and throw it off him, the smoke eventually consumed him entirely, coating him with a strangely thin air that felt unnatural to behold. The constant tingle along his skin unnerved him, as the smoke soon faded and he felt barely any different. He looked down upon himself, and still he was no different.
"Um...what did you do?"
Take a look for yourself. Why don't you come back to the river?
He nodded cautiously before allowing the ghost to take him back to the river, looking down at the water's reflection. What James saw in it horrified him. A red-haired human in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, white-skinned with green eyes mimicking his every moment like any mirror would. With his hands tenderly wiggling their five whole fingers, both he and the figure lurched back in fright.
"AAAGH! Wh-what did you-"
Shhhh there are humans nearby.
"Wh-what the FUCK did you do to me?!" whispered James harshly.
It is simply but an illusion. As a spirit of this world I am a master of trickery, and while I use it to both ward away foes and to tease the unsuspecting, it can also become a very valuable tool of deception. The way you look now within the water is how this world shall see you, but only for as long as I am with you. So as long as you stay by my side, you shall pass through without trouble.
"...ohhhhhh...Huh, that's awesome actually! And I uh...don't FEEL any different but uh...shit, where the hell's my tail?! And my scissors?!"
I simply make them invisible, I do not think anyone will be touching anywhere near those to worry.
"Right...well alright then ghost girl, I guess we might as well go somewhere right? You said you had stuff for me to do?"
That is correct.
"So uh...you already know my name but...what's yours?"
Hmmm...how strange...it had never occurred to me to use one.
"You mean you don't HAVE a name?"
It seems not...hmm, then I shall make one. You may call me Kirie.
"Kee-ree-eh? Wasn't that the name of the uh...THAT ghost from Himuro Mansion?"
Yes. Suffice to say that...a part of me empathises with her lingering sentiment.
"...welllll alright then, I hereby name you Kirie. So where do we go first?"
Firstly, you must travel to Pallet Town, where you shall meet a Professor Oak. Once there, he must activate and defragment your Pokedex, which is the item I have given you. It is not entirely trustworthy for now until he can fix it, and you must also obtain a Pokemon Trainer's License. Only he has the authority, usually, to grant this title unto you. This will give you much greater access around this world.
"Alright, so I gotta be a trainer...is this gonna take a lot of work?"
Not exactly. We may have to obtain other pokemon however if we wish to survive unscathed, for there are many areas where wild pokemon roam, all of which are dangerous to the untrained human. It is best that we gather a small team of various abilities, at least three more.
"Right...how do we catch them?"
I will explain that later, but for now I have a test for you.
That building over there.
She pointed towards the red-roofed building next to the mountain, sitting upon the riverbank.
That is a Pokemon Center, where trainers may rest and heal their pokemon for free during their travels.
"Hah, like a Toad House, awesome."
We need to obtain you a map of this isle in order to find our way. You will probably be asked about me and why you do not have a license. If they ask you about me, tell them that I was your grandmother's pokemon, and that she asked you before she passed away for you to become a Pokemon Trainer, using her pokemon as your starter. That is why you are travelling to Pallet Town. If anyone asks, you come from Lavender Town.
"Hah...interesting, glad I don't have to make it up myself for once. You really thought this all out huh?"
Even better, I have also obtained some of this world's money for you to purchase goods.
She brought out from her many darkened folds a walletful of shiny coins and dollar bills. Almost all of them were marked with the letter P scratched through with two lines.
Hmhmhm...I believe there are twelve-hundred Pokedollars in here, this shall suffice for now. You will obtain more either by selling items or by defeating other trainers in pokemon battles. Be warned however, that while your victory will allow you to obtain half of their money, your loss will allow them to obtain half of yours.
"Right right we'll get to that when we come to it."
James quickly pocketed the wallet into his satchel before heading down to the Pokemon Center. The interior was immaculately clean, resembling that of a clinic with white floors, white walls, red stripes horizontally across desk fronts and the lone stairway to the second floor. A few people sat on red plush couches at the side, the occasional potted plant sprucing the place up as well as a lone PC sitting in the far right corner of the room. The desk was managed by a smiling woman in nurse's clothing, with candy-pink hair beneath her cap.
"Welcome to the Pokemon Center," greeted the nurse, "how may I help you?!"
"Uh hi," began FG, I uh need a map of the island if you have a spare."
"Oookay one moment."
The nurse walked to a counter at the back, the raptor in disguise now looking further at the back of the medical centre. Strange trays full of those same red and white balls all lined up like chicken eggs in an incubator, whilst being handled cautiously by large pink egg-shaped creatures wearing adorable nursing caps. Eventually the human nurse came back with a folded map.
"Here you are sir."
"Where you from if I might ask?"
"Uhhh Lavender Town."
"Oh wow not very far...you only have the one Pokemon?"
"Yeah uh...why, that a problem?"
"Oh no of course not, I was just curious since...well, I'm surprised! Coming through the rock tunnel with just a Haunter, she must be a very strong individual! What level is she?"
"Uhhh level? She's uh-"
"Oh my! It's rare we get travellers with only one Pokemon, trainers even less so."
"Well I uh...I'm not technically a trainer, see, my grandma gave me her Haunter before she passed away and said "James my boy, I want you to get out there an' see the world beyond, I want you to become a Pokemon Trainer like I was!" So I did, but problem is I don't have a license even so that's why I need this map, to get to Pallet Town."
"Ohhhh I see!"
So far the lie had worked, his satisfaction mirrored within Kirie's smile before the nurse said:
"Well I do hope you get your license soon mister...?"
"Uh James, James Campbell."
"Right mister Campbell. Please come visit anytime you need us, goodbye!"
Heading out into the world of Pokemon, the Haunter guided James back through the rocky valley towards the west, explaining along the way how the world worked. She explained further on how one could catch Pokemon, by weakening them in battle and forcing them to submit within the strange white-and-red balls he had seen around the area. The one ball he had picked up at the power plant still remained in his satchel, as they arrived within a new area to explore which Kirie introduced.
This is Cerulean City. All cities within the islands are usually themed after a certain element, to reflect that of the city's Gym.
"Right, so you get a good idea who you're about to face."
Exactly. This city deals with water, but for now we cannot access these gyms without a license.
"Do we HAVE to go into these gyms?"
If one requests to demand a certain level of respect from one's pokemon, then yes. I will explain on that once you become a trainer, but for now we must pass through Mt. Moon and onwards to Pallet Town.
"Sheesh, how far do I have to walk, the whole island?"
Only a portion. It is not my fault that you arrived in such a faraway place.
"Hey, I can't predict where I'm gonna land, I ended up in SPACE once and almost died!"
Hahaha, ohhh dear...good thing you somehow survived then hmm?
"Sure it was."
Rolling his eyes, James passed through the small city with various onlookers. Various small houses framed by a lagoon-ridden mountain to the north, as well as a swimming pool converted into a gym were its main features. There also lied a rather nice bike shop, which made James snort with derision at even thinking of riding a non-motorised bike. Despite the rather cool soothing air of the city's northern location, James soon moved on and headed towards the mountain.
The mountain itself was a dominating monolith, piercing towards the stars themselves high above the bright noon sky. He had passed by several other trainers, from children to adults hiking through the mountain range, all of whom said that the only way to traverse through this place, was through the mountain itself. The outside was far too steep, as well as being too dangerous in itself to climb over without injury. As a result, James braved himself to enter the thankfully well-lit Mt. Moon.
The caverns of Mt. Moon, while not particularly complex thanks to Kirie's guidance, were filled with strange creatures that took an interest in their new intruders. The main antagonist was in the form of blue eyeless bats, who flapped about shrieking to themselves and constantly trying to divebomb at James in his passing. Occasionally he would find a living rock with lean arms and burly fists, or perhaps a small crab-like creature with mushrooms growing on its back.
Naturally James was bewildered by the strange variety of the pokemon that could exist in this place, and he had barely seen enough of them to even truly comprehend their scope of evolutionary traits. Kirie also stressed that James not kill any of the creatures he encountered, for the laws of the islands were incredibly severe upon those who would harm pokemon. Seeing that they were more or less just wild animals, he honoured her wishes and headed on whilst evading the various creatures.
"How much longer until we get to Pallet Town?" asked James.
We will travel through Pewter City, then through the Viridian Forest and through Viridian City. Once there, we shall be in Pallet Town within the evening.
"Great...god...one minute I'm freeing hundreds of prisoners and now I'm getting a license to train animals."
You lead a varied life James, many would envy you.
"To be honest, my younger self would envy me too. I mean...much as I hate doing this all again and being away from Koopin...I kinda missed this."
"Yeah...just, you travel for so long you kinda can't stop and want to keep walking, right?"
I understand perfectly.
Kirie nodded with a smile as she lead James out of the caves. Various dead-ends gave potential to be lost, but he was kept straight by the Haunter despite his occasional veering off the path by the odd shiny item. Kirie however allowed him to scavenge, finding it to be useful to have a few extra items on him that would not require buying. Strangely he found a few medicinal sprays, which Kirie explained were two potions, an antidote, and an ether to help cure wounded pokemon.
Once they were out of the mountain, they headed on through a small valley towards Pewter City. But while James had yet to truly comprehend the greatness of both the island and his task, his potential to comprehend this world's values would be tested by a small confrontation.