Disclaimer: I have a confession to make: I don't own pokémon. Yes, I know. Shocker. The cat's out of the bag now, I suppose.

Rating: PG for mild blood and violence.


So, you've finally found me.

That familiar annoyed expression spreads across your face. What's this? Just another stupid rattata barring your path, getting between you and that wonderful place just over that next hill.

You reach for a pokéball resignedly, hoping that I might lose heart and leave off defending my territory for now, that I might dart back amongst the tall blades of grass and let you through unimpeded. Your annoyance slides quickly into boredom, and you don't even watch as you flick the pokéball to the grass, mind already wandering off to some other, more interesting pursuit. No doubt your pokémon can beat the living daylights out of me without any sort of order from you.


I'm not really "just another rattata" defending its territory against your offending presence. That's just a mirage. Your feraligatr materializes on the grass before me, but I don't flinch. I'm glad to be a rattata, a nothing that you can overlook without worry or remorse. But that's just a mirage.

We common pokémon hold so little value in your mind that you forget about us the instant you register that we're nothing special, just a bewhiskered face poking out of the grass and chattering angrily at you. We're weak and annoying and stupid, worthless.

I think you're missing the point.

I'm not really just another dirt-common rattata. That's just a mirage. I may not appear different to you, but I'm far removed from your average rodent. I hold the key to many of this world's great mysteries, I and an incredible few throughout this world. I'm far more rare than you could ever guess. With my help, you could unlock vast riches, explore places that you've never even heard of, much less dreamt of going.

Your gator charges forward and swings at me with its claws, aiming to knock me out with a single mighty slash. I leap nimbly over its huge, bulky arm and sink my fangs into its rough hide. It probably notices the attack about as much as it notices getting hit on the head by a falling leaf, so calloused from battle that its skin is thick beyond reason.

Funny, most of the other rattata that you see around here don't do that, do they? Perhaps if you took a minute to look a minute beyond that furry purple mirage you'd realize that I'm valuable, perhaps even more valuable than this thickheaded brute you've been ordering to pulverize my cousins whenever we pop up and get in your way. I'm certain that your greed would be enough to bring you to capture me, of all pokémon, me the rodent that inhabits every spare scrap of ground we can get our tiny paws on.

Your gator succeeds in shaking me off, dealing me a hefty blow that sends me sailing away into the grass, landing heavily and unable to rise. The pokéballs remain in your pack. You didn't even consider whipping one out and adding me to your collection, focused much more on some rarer breed, undeniably powerful and likely to bring you glory in battle. Meanwhile, the pokémon that can bring you far more glory and fame lies in the grass quietly, flashing a chipped incisor at you in a smug grin despite the blood that creates a sticky patch on its head.

This is it, then. You recall your monster and set off through the grass again, hoping that it will be quite a while before another of my kind springs up to bother you. As the world fades oddly around the edges, my mind slipping slowly into unconsciousness, I see things more clearly than you can ever see it. The hidden places of the world are open to me, and I spend a brief moment imagining them, the tropical paradises unspoiled by the likes of you and cloaked in an eternal mirage, just like me.

I've always loved being a mirage. It seems so much more right to me that humans ignore me as utterly as they do. After all, it seems only fitting that that final one that does decide to capture me, that actually succeeds in making me theirs, does it not because they realize the power that I could give them, but because they think that I am just another rattata, and that is exactly what they are looking for.

If you're completely lost by this, mirage pokémon are ones who have a hidden attribute that allows you to visit Mirage Island. In the game the "correct" value is randomly reassigned each day, but in the fanfiction above it is assumed to be static, mainly because that's the way I thought things were when I wrote it.