By Maia's Pen
Authors Note: I wrote this story in 2007. In winter of 2019 I returned to it. I still love this story and I needed to make changes and corrections. The story deserved it. There are no edits that alter the main storyline. However, I cleaned up structure and added a several sections (even a new character) which develop the plot considerably. It is my hope to elevate your reader-enjoyment. If you read this story years ago, please consider giving it another read now. It was a good read before, but I daresay it's much better right now. Out of everything I've ever written, I love Saving Shard the most. :) Please take a moment to review. I will respond to all signed comments. :) Please visit my website: egoshipper dot com for story art.
Disclaimer: I do not own Pokemon or any of its characters.
Dedication: Midnight-mist-87, should this story ever find your eyes, please know it is all for you, my friend. I miss you.
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There was no suicide note. But then again, a note wasn't necessary. It was obvious that Gary Oak's death was not accidental.
Before plunging twenty meters into a rock-infested river, Gary . . . did something. Something that proved he intended to die. The young man removed his six Pokeballs from his belt. He then stacked them beneath a tree at the cliff's edge. He stacked his Pokeballs neatly and with thought, arranging them in the order by which he had acquired each monster.
Had Gary accidentally tumbled to his doom, the balls would have tumbled with him. The Pokemon would have either perished or released themselves and saved him . . . neither a risk that Gary was willing to take. His actions spoke volumes beyond what a note ever could.
There were several theories about what happened to Gary after he jumped. The most popular: his body was immediately shred by the jagged rocks and his remains washed away by the current. Another likely theory: he died upon impact with the water and his body devoured by the Croconaw population. A Croconaw would not eat a living human, but a dead one was an entirely different matter. Some speculated that — even had Gary miraculously survived the fall –- he would most undoubtedly have drowned. The river was violent, deep and flushed out into the South Sea.
The police discovered Gary's left boot twelve kilometers downstream from the Pokeballs. Several kilometers further were the remains of his knapsack. Police and tracking Pokemon scoured the river for five days. Professor Samuel Oak hired a private investigation team to search for six weeks after that.
The tragic story blazed through the media, making every national headline. The promising young researcher, grandson to the world renowned Professor Oak, was gone.
Everyone knew that there was zero chance of survival, and everyone was sure to tell the old professor this. It was not right to give him hope. But the professor could not believe that his grandson was dead. He could not believe that Gary would have ended his own life. He refused to hold a funeral or a memorial service. He wanted closure. He needed it.
Finally, after a full year had passed, a funeral was held in Pallet Town. It was held on the date which would have been Gary's Sweet Sixteenth birthday. Hundreds of people and Pokemon attended to show their respects.
The cloud of love which had blinded the grandfather gave way to the realistic reasoning of the scientist: Gary could not have survived that fall. It had been a year. Gary was truly dead and by his own doing. Professor Oak finally accepted the fact that his beloved grandson was never coming home.
Just a teenager and dead.
It was a catastrophic loss.
No one, not even Professor Oak, had suspected how depressed Gary was. No one saw his suicide coming.
Gary Oak had the world at his feet, and yet, he chose death.
They buried a picture of Gary in a small coffin . . . it was all that they could do.
They never found his body.