Just a Human, Just a Boy

How has it come to this? How has everything gone wrong so quickly?

My plan was perfect, flawless-- a masterpiece of the genius mind, conceived by fomenting emotion yet shaped by inexorable logic, transformed from mere thought to a force with a life of its own. Nothing should have disrupted it; nothing should have prevented me from attaining my goal. No power, human or pokemon, can stand against my might—it should have been so very easy to crush all resistance and rebuild the world as I see fit.

Yet even now my storm is clearing, brilliant sunlight leaking through the gaps in the clouds to brush the scarred arena. Even now my superior clones have collapsed in exhaustion, one with their natural counterparts in defeat, blood mingling, eyes hollow, watching me. Judging me. Here, at this fulcrum of the world, time appears to cease its relentless flow. All battles halt, enveloping the island in a pregnant stillness-- a yawning silence, a terrible hush, settles around me like ashes.

And at the center of the arena, like a strange stone idol before fearful worshipers, lies the boy. As I gaze down at him, I realize that the humans were mistaken to see peace in the faces of the dead—his face, his hairless human face so alien and yet so familiar, remains contorted in agony beneath the veneer of granite, forever trapped in the moment when he threw himself into the path of my power.

Foolish, foolish boy. By your own actions you have sealed your fate. Would you have longed so for death had you known you would soon experience it? Would you have restrained yourself had you known that I would hate you so much the more for what you have done to me? Your sacrifice was your undoing….and my own.

As the steady hum of your presence fades from my mind, leaving nothing but darkness, a familiar pain begins to sear through every nerve and synapse. Ah yes, the breaking of another bond. Back in the chaos of my birth and escape, back before I had honed my powers to the keen edge of a deadly blade, the deaths of the scientists around me had meant no more than the crunching of grass beneath my feet—inconsequential. Unworthy of notice. Yet as my abilities grew so too did my susceptibility to the minds of others. Without the strongest of mental shields, I would be utterly at the mercy of every thought, every twinge of pain, from those around me, sensing them one hundred, one thousand times magnified until every trailing whisper of thought became a piercing shriek. And even with the highest mental barriers I can raise, my powers still seek out and connect with every complex mind within range, deepening the bond with every passing second, synchronizing us. The phenomenon is worse with humans—at least with pokemon I am able to control the bond and sever it at will. But the human mind is, regrettably, much more complex than the minds of pokemon (save for the occasional outlier, such as that oaf who calls himself Brock), and therefore my powers seek them out with an eagerness that borders on glee, gently reaching out to tweak their mental pathways, realigning axons and coaxing stage 0 cells into growth, restructuring their minds to be compatible with my own even as I grow receptive to them in turn.

And so it was with the trainers I invited to my island abode. Little did they know that I could disintegrate them with only an offhand twist of thought; knocking them back with a psychic push was all but a caress in comparison. For despite what they thought of me and my intentions towards them, it was agony for myself to cause them pain. I strove to frighten them into docility, though I should have known that my actions would be viewed as the limits of my abilities and would drive them into even greater acts of aggression.

Stupid, foolish creatures.

It was their luck that I was not a masochist—I had planned all along to allow them to live, though possibly with the addition of an implanted mental suggestion that would render them tame and obedient. But I never gave more than a hint as to their planned fate, wary that the assurance of their lives would make them bold. I had thought that the fear of death would further my perfect plan.

I was wrong.

Drifting gently to the ground and dissipating the aura of power cocooning me, trembling from wave after growing wave of mental pain pulsing from the festering edges of the severed bond, I realize that my plan, in all its perfect logic, had forgotten to factor in the intrinsic illogic of human nature. 'Thanatos', the ancient humans called it—the paradoxical death drive. The boy, in his haste to end our battle, had ignored his basal instincts for survival and thrown himself headlong into the path of oblivion, paying the ultimate price for his actions.

His Pikachu comes forward, radiating cloying distress powerful enough to make me ill. Silly little one, don't you know that life does not come from death? All the strength in your tiny body cannot awaken the dead. You try to shock him back to life, try to force a stone heart to beat within a stone chest. But every arc of electricity, every lance of power forced out in desperation as your own heart flutters wildly in the jaws of despair, simply glances from his immobile form, dissipating into the air without leaving a mark.

Stillness eternal. Death absolute.

My agony grows, causing me to briefly screw my eyes shut and clench my fists, scrambling to keep my footing in the wash of the tide.


I know now that all my efforts have been for not. The humans would never submit to my rule—they would throw themselves against me in droves, dying likes twittering Spearows slamming up against a wall, tiny bodies crushed by the force of their own assault. And as my powers grew to smother the uprising, so too would my sensitivity to their minds, to their pain and thoughts, leading in a downward spiral that would end only with my destruction.

By the selfless actions of one human boy, I have been undone, all my might brought low as my glorious plan crumbles around me.

Consumed as I am by the pain of the broken bond and the intangible agony of a shattered dream, I do not at first see the miracle taking place before me. But as the thoughts of the other pokemon and humans slowly filter pass the red-tinged haze, I realize that stone has begun to thaw, melting back into flesh, as the dreaded sickle of death swings the other way and restores that which was lost. Even before the process is complete I sense life returning to the body. My powers welcome the returning presence with open arms as it settles back into the throbbing link, weaving a net of golden threads to bind it to me all the tighter. I do not even try to stop the strengthening of the bond. I am not sure if I even want to.

As the boy resumes his place among his friends—wounded and bleeding yet wonderfully alive—the last embers of my hopes for conquest die out. The depth of my newly restored connection with him prevents me from seeing him as anything other than my brother, and how could I seek to oppress and destroy the people of my brother? I gently gather my faithful clones to me, knowing that I will never again be able to walk among humankind for fear of inviting another such connection.

I do not know him, yet through my abilities every crevasse of his mind is known to me. I do not like him, yet I long to remain at his side and bask in the glow of his mental presence.

He is only a human—arrogant, thoughtless, determined, kind. Infuriating, inspiring, and forever beyond my reach.

He is only a boy—young, naïve, exasperating. Innocent. It shames me to think of staining his mind with memories of my necessary cruelty.

So as I gently ease him and his companions into unconsciousness, I use a portion of my jealously guarded ability to heal my own injuries to soothe away his wounds, healing the abrasions and causing the bruises to fade, mentally stroking away the knots of lactic acid inflaming his muscles.

I hate you—you have humbled me and brought me low.

I love you—you have saved me from myself.

Goodbye, Ash.

Little do you know of the bond you share with the monster who took your life.

I can only pray that it stays that way.