I slammed my flaming orange fist into the Tyranitar with determined resolve.

"That's right, Flamey! You get 'im!" My trainer praised me from behind the arena, "That was a spectacular firepunch!"

"It's ok, Spike! I know you can do it! Use earthquake, now!" The other trainer called.

Bad move. I may be a fire type, but since my evolution I've gained flying type abilities as well. I leapt into the air and unfurled my wings as the Tyranitar stomped his foot harshly into to ground. The ground shook below, but I escaped unscathed. Taking advantage of the Tyranitar's momentary confusion, I dove at him and slammed into him at breakneck speed.

We crashed into the craggy arena floor, sending up a cloud of dust in our wake. When the dust cleared, it was obvious who had emerged triumphant in this match.

"Charizard is the winner! Victory goes to Trainer Shelly!" The flagger called from the arena's side.

Shelly ran into the arena and swung her arms around me, hugging me as tightly as she could. Prior to my evolution, when I won a match she would pick me up and swing me around in a circle in her arms to celebrate.

"Oh, Flamey, you were so wonderful! I knew you could do it!" She gushed over me.

I feigned indifference for only a moment, long enough to check and see if the Tyranitar was still unconscious. Upon seeing the other pokemon still lying stiffly on the ground I dropped the annoyed façade and lowered my head to rest on Shelly's, closing my eyes and reaching my small arms to carefully hug her back in happiness.

"Of course he could do it!" The other trainer obnoxiously called from his position kneeling beside his fallen Tyranitar, "He's not even a legitimate pokemon!"

I opened my eyes. Not…legitimate?

"Flamey is just as legitimate and real as your pokemon!" Shelly called back, breaking away from me to step threateningly toward the other trainer.

I reached back toward her sadly, wanting the comfort of the warm embrace in the place of the rude human's yelling.

"No he's not! The only way you could possibly get a Charizard is if Professor Oak gave you one, and you clearly told me you came from Twinleaf town! Professor Oak comes from Pallet Town!" The other trainer persisted.

"So what?"

"So you cheated!" The trainer accused, standing up and pointing directly at me, "That charizard is the product of an Action Replay!"

I stared in shock at the trainer. "W…what?" I grumbled in confusion, blinking.

"Even its call sounds wrong…did you mess with its sounds as well as its battle stats?" The trainer ranted on, "This match is clearly rigged. I demand a rematch—and I demand that you not use that hacked Charizard!"

My jaw dropped in horror at the words of the boy. Rigged match? Unfairly high stats? The boy was insane! I'm just as real as his Tyranitar, there on the floor! Sure, I'm good at battling, but that's a result of the time my trainer took to train me and make me what I am today.

A hacked, unbeatable pokemon?

That's not me!

So I don't remember climbing out of an egg, and I don't have parents…what about that mew-two fella I've heard so many rumors about? Wasn't he a recombinant DNA life form? He had no parents…he was created by humans…and same for the porygons, they aren't true pokemon either.

I'm a normal pokemon, like any other. I was found in the wild…she was the first thing, human or pokemon, I ever laid eyes on. All I remember is…nothing. Then everything, all at once. Like I randomly burst into existence, like the birth of a star in the middle of empty, inky darkness. One moment I wasn't there. The next, I was.

I, a level five charmander, caught just outside of Twinleaf Town where Shinx and Bidoof play. Is there something so wrong with that?

Shelly had a device with her when she caught me. Is that what the trainer speaks of? An…Action Replay? But I know my stats are normal…and my colors are too. I just appeared in a place that Charmanders aren't normally supposed to appear.

Does that really make me so bad?

The trainers in the stands glared down at me with intense hatred, condemning me for my very existence. Shelly glared back up at them, with as much hatred as they had for me in her eyes.

"How can you be so blind?" She raged at them, "Yes, I used an Action Replay to get Flamey. But just because he appeared in a patch of grass that he shouldn't have doesn't mean that I messed around with his attack and defense stats to make him unbeatable! He's unbeatable because I trained him well and believed in him no matter what happened! He's lost battles and won them fairly! The only difference is the way I found him!"

"He's an AR pokemon! No REAL trainer wants a hacked pokemon!" One trainer called from the stands.

Several of the other fans in the stadium roared in agreement.


An empty soda can rocketed from the stands and hit me in the back of the head. I grunted in protest, turning to glare at the area which the can came from. More items were being hurled into the arena.

The earthquake had done enough damage. Why did they have to pollute the arena? And why were they glaring down at me with such supreme hatred?

The pokemon in the stands didn't understand either. I could tell from the look in their eyes. To them, I was a pokemon, true and solid as they themselves were. I was no different from they, in any way. Even the shinies were far more different than I.

A shoe was thrown at my head. A cowboy boot and another soda can soon joined it.

"Stop throwing things at me!" I roared.

"Get your HACKED pokemon under control, you irresponsible, cheating trainer!" The Tyranitar's owner yelled at Shelly.

"LEAVE MY TRAINER ALONE!" I roared at him, charging him with my wings spread.

"Flamey, don't!" Shelly yelled, reaching out for me.

I skidded to a stop, growling fiercely at the boy. I would never disobey my trainer. Shelly loved me…she understood me.

"Because this pokemon rightfully should not exist, the judges have decided that this match is null and void. You must rematch with other pokemon and your Charizard is disqualified from battling completely." The flagger came back, holding a paper with writing on it from the Pokemon Master Cup challenge judges.

"What? You can't do that!" Shelly yelped at the flagger.

The flagger looked at her with a piteous expression. "I'm sorry, all decisions are final."

I'd heard enough.

I snapped my wings open fully and propelled myself high into the air.

"FLAMEY!" Shelly called to me from the arena below.

I looked down at her, tears in my coal black eyes. I raised my head and howled with grief.

Goodbye, Shelly. I will not allow you to destroy your future as a pokemon master by associating yourself with me. Perhaps we will meet again, in another lifetime…

I flew away from the scene, away from the trainer I loved and the only life I'd ever known.