Prologue: A Storm at Sea
"Wh-whoa! Are- Are you OK?!"
"Let go! We need to go back!"
"We can't, we have to keep going! We're almost th-"
"No, we left her behind! We have to get her!"
"There's nothing we can do. She stayed behind to make sure we could make it. We have to keep going. Just a little more and we'll- whoa, look out!"
"What are you do- oof!"
"Kamon! Are you alright?!"
"No, stay with me! You've gotta-"
As quickly as I was hit, my mind started to slip away. So too did my partner's hold on me as we finally made our escape from that terrible place. So many years, so many hardships, so many sacrifices, all would have been worth nothing if he couldn't make this last journey.
Of the two of us, he would be able to survive in this new world. He would be welcomed there. The same certainly couldn't be said for me. Throughout history, my kind had caused too many hardships for his, and we have been responsible for too many disasters on a worldwide scale. It only made sense that our societies were not meant to comingle, at least until the scales could be more properly balanced.
It was only fitting that he be the one to finish our work. He was always the stronger of the two of us, after all. Sure, my abilities may have helped us reach our destination. But I knew that once we were able to reach there, I would only be a hindrance, would only draw unwanted attention. And knowing his loyalty, there's no way he would have allowed me, or any of us, to stay behind and face the consequences for our actions alone.
But without me to worry about, he will be able to see this through to the end. He will keep going until our mission is completed. He will not stop until he frees us all from this nightmare.
Still, it would have been nice if I could have continued with him. The two of us have been through hell and back countless times. We've saved each other, we've struggled together, and against all odds we've survived for many years in that never-ending nightmare. I was even there when he met her, even if he wouldn't admit how he felt (or perhaps he never realized it? Despite being the most observant Pokémon I've known, there was always a slight, endearing naivety to him).
Unfortunately, my role ended after helping bring him to this new world. On the bright side, it seemed that I would be able to see this world with my own eyes. I was hoping I would be able to see the sun, but at least I could be sure that the darkness I had arrived to would only be temporary. And feeling the rain pour and the waves wash over me (apparently, I had arrived onto some sort of beach) was something I never would have thought to have experienced.
Maybe, if I was lucky, I would be able to hold on just a little longer to see this storm end and witness the sunrise. But the realist in me knew that such a miracle would not be likely. If my injuries wouldn't take me out first, I was sure the waves would carry me out to sea where I would be certain to meet my end. It seemed the former would be the case as I slowly felt myself drifting off to rest.
"Hey, what happened? Are you OK?!"
Chapter 1: My Personal Treasure
"Hey, what happened? Are you OK?!"
"…" I awoke to the feeling of someone nudging me.
"You should really get up... this, um, isn't the best place to take a nap."
"Whu-" Annoyed, I slapped their hand away as I slowly began to come to. I opened my eyes, only to immediately shut them from the sudden brightness. Slowly, I sat up, rubbing my eyes as they adjusted to this strange, intense light.
"You're alright! Phew, you had me really worried there."
As I slowly started to regain my vision, I took a minute to gaze at my surroundings. Looking down, I noticed that I had apparently fallen asleep on some sort of beach. I guess that would explain why my entire body felt wet. But what didn't make any sense was where this strange light was coming from. I shifted my gaze to the blue sky around me, following the light until I cast my sight onto a bright orb-looking object.
"Agh…" I grumbled, quickly shutting my eyes as I realized that orb was the cause of the brightness that I had awoken to.
"Haha, you must have really been out of it. I'm sure you should know that looking at the sun isn't really good for your eyes."
The sun? Wait, that was the sun? I had to stop myself from looking back into the sky, knowing I would only temporarily blind myself again, but I couldn't shake the excitement I felt at that realization. Apparently, my shock was obvious, as the strange Pokémon that had awoken me had a look that I could only take as uncertainty.
"Um… are you OK? No offense, but you're kind of weird. Sorry, but this obviously can't be the first time you've seen the sun before." Not sure how to answer, I simply shook my head. Smiling, he offered me a hand, which I took to pick myself up from the sand.
Dusting myself off, I took a moment to get a look at him. He was some sort of small primate with orange fur surrounding his face, belly, hands and feet, which were a light yellow. His head was accentuated with his hair that was in a swirl. In one of hands, he was carrying a small stone. I wasn't sure, but I thought I saw a small flame behind his back for a moment, but judging by his calm demeanor, I guessed it had something to do with his species. Other than that last detail, what stood out the most were his large eyes and friendly smile he held as he patiently allowed me to get my bearings.
"So, now that you're up and OK, do you mind telling me what happened?"
"Not sure. I honestly have no idea where I am or how I got here. I just kind of woke up…"
As I spoke, I noticed that his friendly expression morphed into a look of confusion.
"Is something the matter?" I asked, hoping to figure out what was wrong.
A few seconds passed, and then he answered, "Um… I have no idea what you're saying. Are you not from around here? I'm not sure what language that is you're speaking."
"What? I'm clearly speaking the same language as you. Are you playing some kind of prank on me?"
His expression remained the same, or perhaps he was frowning even more. "Yeah, still don't understand a word." The strange Pokémon looked around, seemingly in thought of how to proceed. "But it seems like you can understand what I'm saying? At least, the way you're reacting to what I'm saying makes me think so. Can you understand me?"
"Ye-" I stopped, realizing he wouldn't understand me. Instead, I simply nodded.
"OK, that's good. So, you can understand me, but for whatever reason, can't speak my language. Can you at least tell me your name? My name's Sonchar."
I was about to answer, only to realize I wasn't sure. Actually, now that I had a moment to think, I realized that I couldn't remember anything. Where was I? Who was I? What happened that caused me to wake up in this strange place with no memory of who I was? Sonchar seemed to notice my panic and grabbed hold of one of my shoulders to try to steady me.
"Easy there, take it easy. Take a deep breath, alright?"
I did as he said, slowly taking in some air and then exhaling.
"Good, good." He released his grip, and backed up a few steps to give me some space. "Sorry if I startled you, but… you do have a name, right?" he asked, giving a concerned expression that made me think he was unsure if he should ask.
"Um…" Inhaling another breath, I took a moment to think. I have a name, I'm sure of it. After a moment, something came to my head, and I answered, "Kamon."
"Kamon? Your name's Kamon?"
I nodded a bit more enthusiastically. At least he could understand my name if nothing else. That brought me a little relief, even though my communication was still limited to answering yes or no questions and visual gestures.
"Nice to meet you, Kamon." His friendly demeanor returned, and I couldn't help but feel a little reassured. "Well, even if I can't understand you, you don't seem like a mean Pokémon."
"Actually, now that I think about it, you're a Riolu aren't you? We really don't see many of you around here, which probably explains the language barrier? Strange, I'd figure you'd at least be able to speak a little, since you seem to understand me well enough. But it's pretty awesome to meet one of you in person!"
That little relief I felt was gone and panic took over completely. Now that I thought about it, Sonchar was clearly a rather small Pokémon, but we were nearly eye level with each other, with maybe me being just a tad taller. That certainly wasn't right, I should be towering over him! Looking at myself, I finally noticed that my arms were covered in a blue fur, my hands were canine-like paws, and there was a strange, silver bump over the back of my wrist.
"Huh? I didn't offend you, did I? I'm sorry! I shouldn't have been so forward about that! I didn't mean anything by it!"
I ran over to the water from the ocean (or was it a lake? Gah, where the hell was I?) to hopefully get a better look at myself. Hanging from the side of my head were two black appendages that at first glance I assumed were ears. However, looking at the top of my head, I saw two pointy spikes that could also have been ears, or perhaps they were horns? Getting a look at my face, I saw that my nose and mouth were now a small muzzle. My eyes had a bright iris that I couldn't quite make out from the reflection, but they appeared to be surrounded by what looked to be a dark mask. Unsure if that was an actual part of me or some sort of a disguise, I placed one of my hand- or rather, paws over it, only to confirm that it was indeed part of my face.
Deep breaths. That was all I could do to stop myself from completely breaking down in front of Sonchar. In through the nose (or should I be calling it a snout? Ugh…), out through the mouth. OK, maybe this wouldn't be too awful. Whatever a Riolu was, it was clearly part of the canine class. Fortunately, they happened to be bipedal (unless I was a special case in that regard), so it wouldn't be too difficult to adjust to moving. The tail would definitely take some getting used to, along with my new feet that made me feel like I was constantly standing on my tippy toes. I suppose I should have also been freaking out about the fact that I was technically naked, but with the fur covering me, and of course everything else already on my mind, that concern was overshadowed.
Hearing squishy footsteps, I tried to compose myself before turning around to see Sonchar shifting uncomfortably where he stood.
"Hey, um, I realize you're going through… something right now, and I want to help you. But the water is getting a little uncomfortable here for me. Do you think we could move over to a dry spot on the beach?"
Recalling the flame I saw earlier, I felt stupid for not realizing that he obviously was a fire type. I opened my mouth to apologize, only to stop as I knew he wouldn't understand. Instead, I gave what I hoped was an apologetic expression and quickly walked to the part of the beach beyond the waves' reach. He smiled and followed with quick but delicate steps, probably to avoid having any of the water splash on to him.
"That's much better," Sonchar said as he shook the water from his feet. "Sorry. As much as I love coming to the beach, I can't really go into the water for very long. Usually, I can maybe soak my feet for a minute before it starts to make me shiver."
All I could do was nod in understanding. I certainly wouldn't want this Pokémon to hurt himself on account of my own freak-out.
"So, um…" he said, seemingly unsure if he should say what he wanted to. "I couldn't help but notice you began to, uh, panic after I mentioned that you're a Riolu. Was it… Was that news to you? Sorry, I know how that sounds… I'm not trying to come off as sarcastic or anything. But, well, was it?"
My eyes shifted to the ground below me, the silence affirming his concern.
"I see… Yeah, a lot of strange stuff has been going on lately, so I guess this isn't really too odd."
I looked back up at him, unsure as to what he was referring.
"You know, since the whole, what was it called… 'distortion' thing that's been happening in places everywhere, a lot of Pokémon have been losing their reasoning. And others have been taking advantage of chaos to cause trouble."
Huh. I couldn't explain what, but I was sure there was a recollection forming in my mind. It certainly had to do with some sort of distortion, but of what? Realizing that there was a vague trigger to my memory, I tried to focus on it in hopes that I could draw out more.
Before I could reach that memory, I was startled out of my thoughts to the sound of Sonchar gasping as he fell to the ground, the stone rolling out of his grasp. Behind him were two other Pokémon in the air above him. One was a small, blue and purple bat who had no eyes who kept himself in the air through many quick flaps of his wings. The other was what I could only guess was a purple, floating ball with many pores that exuded some sort of gas, which left a very strong and toxic smell.
Though they weren't the most imposing Pokémon in terms of stature, each of them held a menacing look as they smirked at the victim in front of them.
"Whoa ho, I do beg your pardon," the crater-ridden orb taunted. Judging by the size of these two, I guessed he was the one that took down Sonchar.
"Whuh…" Sonchar started as he picked himself up. "What was that for? What's the big idea?"
"Heh, what do you think, kid?" the other, who I identified was a Zubat, chimed in as he flew toward Sonchar, who immediately began to back-step. "We'll be taking this." In a flash, the bat lowered himself to the stone by two long tendrils from his bottom.
"Wh-what? That- that's my personal treasure! Please, give it back!" Sonchar whimpered as the two bullies mugged him.
"Oh ho, a treasure, you say?" the orb responded. "Here I thought it was just gonna be a little knick-knack. Maybe we can get a few Poké for this little thing, eh?"
"What?" Sonchar gasped, realizing his mistake in mentioning the object's value.
"What, not gonna make a move to get it back?" the Zubat attempted to goad him. How he seemed to be facing Sonchar's eyes without any of his own, I couldn't figure out. "There's even two of you there. Don't tell me you're too much of a coward to fight us back?"
Sonchar could only whimper in response.
"Heh, he's not even worth our time to beat up. Let's get out of here, Cross."
"Hoho, better hope we don't run into you again, kiddies. Take care." The Zubat and Cross fluttered away after claiming their prize. They headed toward a large cavern that I assumed was their base of operations.
"They took…" My attention turned back to Sonchar, who looked to be doing about as well as I was a few minutes ago. "They took my relic fragment… It's the only treasure I had…" I could see tears start to form in his eyes as he held his arms in his hands in an attempt to comfort himself.
Looking at the sight before me, all I could think of was "why didn't I do something?" This Pokémon noticed me lying unconscious and made sure I was alright, even staying around and trying to calm me down as I was in the midst of a panic attack. He even almost injured himself standing by me over the water as I could only look at my reflection in fear and self-pity, and probably wouldn't have left until I came with him. And what did I do as these two thugs knocked him down and stole his precious item?
"I- I'm sorry you have to see this…" he sniffed, embarrassed by how pitiful he felt. "I-I'll be fine, I just…"
"No, you have nothing to apologize for," I glared in disgust, at those thugs and myself. His expression morphed into one of shock as he caught my gaze. Shaking my head, I realized my expression must have scared him or made him think it was directed at him. Shifting to a more apologetic face, I grabbed him by one of his arms, ignoring his yelp as I pulled him with me toward the cave.
I messed up by not stepping up to protect him, but I was going to make sure I made up for that mistake. It was the least that I could do to repay the concern and kindness he showed without any expectation in return. It probably wasn't the best idea to bring him along, since it didn't seem as if he could fight very well on his own. But I didn't want to risk not being able to find him as soon as I completed my mission. As long as he stayed in the back away from the danger, he would be fine, I was sure of it. And I was damn sure that I was going to get back that item they took, whatever it was, and hurt those two scumbags in the process.
If you haven't guessed, the bold text represents whenever Kamon attempts to speak his human language. Kamon's name is taken from one of the names supplied in Pokémon Silver. One thing you'll realize about me is that I am terribly uncreative with names.