Disclaimer: At this point I'd like to remind you of all those lovely disclaimers gracing all of my other 'fics, all of which clearly state that I don't own pokémon. Simply pick your favorite style, insert it here, and voila! Instant legality without all of the fuss and bother of actual common sense.

Rating: PG for mild blood and violence.


So, you've finally found me.

That familiar startled expression spreads across your face. What's this? A rattata, but not a rattata like any you've seen on your no doubt extensive travels. This particular rattata is cowering ineffectually in the shadows, betrayed by the unusual golden-brown of its pelt. And that can only mean that it's something special, a shiny pokémon like you've always dreamt of having.

You fumble for a pokéball quickly, afraid that I might bolt and deny you this, your first chance to earn a shiny of your own. Your surprise fades quickly to greed, your dazzled eyes too wide to see my emaciation, my obvious inability to escape. You'll do everything in your power to catch me, the crowning glory of any fine badge collection or trophy case. Yes, that's it: a living trophy for you to display and impress your fellows with. If you're lucky, I'll be fairly good at battles, too, and you'll train me up until I evolve into a fierce raticate. When I appear in the ring, throwing off the last dazzles of energy from the pokéball, my brilliant orange coat will shine with a luster all its own, reflected in the envious eyes of your opponent.


I'm tired of running. I'm tired of the chase, of the sound of the labored breathing of whatever predator it happens to be this time following close behind, sure that they have me at last. Your feraligatr materializes on the grass before me, but I don't run. I'm tired of running.

It's rather ironic, isn't it? We shiny pokémon are the ultimate status symbol of your species, radically different and unquestionably exotic. We are the rarest of the rare, possessed only by the most lucky trainers. You can stand there all day, agonizing over how you can have your massive gator attack me without turning me into nothing more than a red smear on the grass, too little substance left for even a pokéball to scoop me up, and yet here I cower, as though I'm not even aware of my value to you.

I think you're missing the point.

Shiny pokémon aren't lucky; we're cursed. We're the freaks of nature, the ones that the other hatchlings stare at and back away from when we emerge from our eggs at last. It's we that are alienated as we grow up and driven out of the pack or clan or family as soon as we are able to even consider fending for ourselves. I suppose if a human was born with vibrant blue skin and green hair you'd feel inclined to be accepting, too.

Your gator charges forward and gives me a scratch, an old attack that it probably hasn't used in months as you moved on to bigger and better ways of tearing your opponents apart. It doesn't matter. I slump over, the oozing cuts left by your water-type's claws spilling red over my white stomach, red droplets soaking into my precious gold hide. Funny, I bleed like any other pitiful rattata, don't I? If anything, I'm even weaker than your average rodent, though I'm sure you're too wrapped up in your dreams of glory to notice.

There's a reason more pokémon aren't born shiny, you know. There's a good reason that our fellows abandon us. After all, we don't exactly blend in. Predators can spot us easily, our exotically colored fur showing up easily against the environment. Noctowl notice me and thank Mew for the day I was hatched, a nice, easy meal standing out like a sore thumb amongst the shadowy grass that my purple-coated friends disappear into. Humans get word that there's a shiny in the area and they come by the dozens, raiding every rattata territory in hopes of finding me, that golden prize at the end of the rainbow. Meanwhile, all those too ordinary for you are shoved aside by force if necessary. No, it's better that family and friends push me away from them, leave me to live or die on my own terms and not drag the rest of my siblings and elders down with me.

But now I'm tired of running. I can barely scrape out an existence here in the wild, always hungry and always scared, betrayed by my radiant coat. I'm willing to try anything, even if it means bending to your will and becoming just another conversation piece. I'm tired of running.

This is it, then. You throw your pokéball towards my shivering, battered, golden body, crossing your fingers fervently and thanking Mew for deciding to put this amazing pokémon in your path, imploring Her to let you make it yours. The trap opens before me, a brief flash of metal and circuitry visible to my eyes before I am shredded apart by the capture beam and drawn into its cold interior.

I've always hated being shiny. I'll never understand you humans. Why would you spend your days hunting for something reviled and expect it to earn you fame and fortune?