This isn't really a story...basically a collection of oneshots from the perspectives of the people and Pokemon living in this New Era alternate reality. I put a lot of thought into this story though, and I hope you enjoy it.
It was a grey, cloudy morning over Pallet Town. One barely noticed the rising sun. Kent woke up to the clanging of the town's bell. Like any child, he would have loved to ignore it and fall back asleep. But this was too important a day to do that. Slowly Kent rose up and got himself dressed.
Walking down the stairs of the small house for two, Kent saw that his mom had woken up early and made him the best breakfast she could. She was waiting for him at the table, her dusty quarry clothes on. She smiled warmly. "Good morning, sweetheart."
"Morning, mom." Kent sat down and ate his pancakes. They were dry - their small oven they had could only do so much – but Kent said nothing. For all he knew, this could be one of the last meals he had with Mom.
"I got your report all ready." Kent's mother displayed a small checklist attached to a loop of string. Kent's school marks in Agriculture, Engineering, History, Service and Medicine. Kent's marks weren't very high…he was an average student. But not too bad, which was cause for hope.
Now though, that part of his education was over. He had turned 10 a few months ago, and a messenger Delibird gave the family the notice. Today was the day. Soon a transport would arrive to take him to the old Pokemon Lab, where his future would be determined.
They both ate breakfast in silence. Kent's mother was optimistic, but Kent was very worried. What if the ministers heard about that…thing? What if Adan was right and his next stop would be the…mines?
The transport would be a few minutes, so Kent turned on the TV. Something had to break the uncomfortable silence.
A Pikachu in rich, regal robes was signing a document with a quill pen. A Meowth in a simpler but stylish suit was standing beside him as a witness. A narrator explained. "And here is the king's faithful aide, Lord Kachu, notarizing the document alongside his trusted friend and fellow advisor, Baron Kat. The treaty ended the horrific war, and ushered in a new era, full of hope for the future. Regarding the future peace, Lord Kachu had this to say. 'There have been many sacrifices made. Some have affected the king and I more than anyone suspects. But now we can look forward to peace and recovery, for the children of Pokemon and humans alike. Things have changed forever, there is no escap-'"
Kent shut the TV off. He had seen this newsreel before.
The boy paced the floor of his house repeatedly. It was true what they said…the waiting was the hardest part. His mother watched, concerned as well. Lord Kachu's words rang in her head. "Things have changed forever." They had…she could remember when a time like this meant something entirely different to a child in Pallet town…
Finally, Kent voiced what was on his mind. "Mom, will they send me to the mines?"
Mom was shocked by the idea. "No! Of course not! What made you think that?"
"W-well, on our last history test last month, I said it was Lord Achoo and Adan laughed and told me I was mocking the rulers and they would send me overseas to the mines…"
His mother stopped him and looked him in the eye. "Listen, sweetie. They do not send anyone to the mines for that. No. You are not going to the mines. You are a good, smart kid. They only send criminals to the mines."
"I'm sure. You'll go somewhere better than the quarry. I know it."
A noise on the driveway alerted them to the fact a transport had arrived. Kent and his mother looked out. A grey bus with the words 'Recruiting Lab' on the side was waiting. It was for Kent.
In a way, they were glad the transport had arrived now, and not after the bus to the quarry took Kent's mother. Now she could see Kent off. She gave him a hug for good luck just outside their small home.
Kent took a deep breath and walked aboard the transport. The driver, a burly Machamp, closed the door and drove off.
Not all the children were as scared as Kent was. Some chattered excitedly. A few boasted they would work in some of the Minister's mansions. Most hoped they would go into their favourite vocation. Some were praying they could stay close to home, and others were eager to go overseas and see more. Adan saw Kent and smirked. Kent avoided the conversations and looked out the windows.
The passed by a thoroughly ruined Pokeball warehouse, long ago destroyed in the Pokemon revolution. Wretched men and women crawled through the wreckage, hoping desperately to find a ball that would make them masters again. Police Arcanine, Vigoroth and Skarmory chased them off repeatedly, but they always returned, clawing like rats at a dead past.
The Pokemon Centre, on the other hand, had been expanded and fixed up to the point where it looked like a shrine. The Pokeball symbol had been removed, of course. The building itself had been elevated. It had once been little more than a hospital, but now it served as custom apartments for Pokemon. Kent had gone in once on a Service assignment…even the smallest apartment was better than his home. In front of the building was a large statue. It depicted King Mewtwo, a powerful figure in armour and cape, holding his hand up in triumph. Beside him were Lord Kachu and Baron Kat, in similar poses.
The town's former Pokemon Lab had remained more or less untouched, a simple, large building. It had often be petitioned that the place and labs around the world be demolished, but Lord Kachu had held a referendum that declared the places be preserved, out of respect for the past era. It was a slim majority that voted them preserved.
The children were ushered into the building by the driver, and went into a large room with a few windows, a handful of motivational posters to relax the children, and nothing else. The children were arranged in rows, facing inwards and standing straight. Kent made sure his report was around his neck and in full view. It was.
The Machamp counted them, smiled upon seeing no-one missing, and clapped twice as a signal.
From another room, a Grovyle, Monferno and Croconaw walked into the room, scanning the children quickly. A few of the boys and girls gulped nervously. A Graveler and an Electabuzz followed them in, wiping their mouths of the food they had just finished while waiting. All were wearing robes of different colors, with a badge that signified them as Ministers. The color of their robes decreed what they were minister of. Green was agriculture, red was excavation, blue was shipping, brown was architecture, and yellow was engineering. Kent noticed that the red-and-white cloak of medicine and the white robe of service were missing, but didn't say anything. It was impolite for humans to speak first in the presence of the ministers.
The Machamp greeted them all with a bow. "Honorable ministers. Welcome. Everyone is ready, as requested. Now…"
He had a speech, but Grovyle, the minister of agriculture, stopped him. "Save it, please."
Electabuzz the minister of engineering agreed. "Think we all want this to be over quick huh?" Almost everyone present nodded. A girl nearly spoke, but saw Monferno watching her and buttoned her lip. The minister of excavation was in charge of the mines…the last thing anyone wanted was to make him angry.
The ministers walked around the room, closely surveying each and every one of the children. A child shivered in fright when Monferno took her report in his paw. Adan looked over at Kent and sneered. Kent bit his lip in fright.
Another lad gulped when Croconaw looked him over. The minister of shipping didn't just decide who would work at the docks and on the ferries and barges – he decided who would be sent to lands overseas. Croconaw looked closely at the report before moving to another prospect.
Machamp looked around, puzzled. "Where are the ministers of medicine and service?"
Graveler, who was the minister of architecture (he had sent Kent's mother to the quarry to collect building materials long ago) shrugged. "They said they wanted some fresh air and walked outside half an hour ago…"
Suddenly, a crazed man with a scraggly beard barged into the room, screaming at the ministers. "Your rule ends here! I have two of your ministers and now I will have you all!" He raised a black-and-yellow orb in his hand…
The ministers were upon him in a second. The man never stood a chance- a thunderwave from Electabuzz and stun spores from Grovyle brought the man down, the Ultra Ball rolling from his hands. Graveler made sure it was empty before crushing it in his hand. Machamp held the man's arms to his sides as Grovyle took a belt with orbs attached from the screaming man.
"You freaks! YOU are the servants, not us! We were never meant to cower under you! I swear by all that's holy, this regime will end and when it does, we will crush you all like the insects you are, you ba-" The Machamp silenced him with one of his hands. "There are children present."
None of the children had moved. They had been warned long ago and many times about how any uprising against the Pokemon would turn out. Now they saw it firsthand.
The minister of agriculture took two of the ultra balls from the belt and tapped a button on both. Two beams of light came out, forming a Chansey and a Gardevoir, both bewildered and scared.
"Ministers of medicine and service, are you all right?"
The Gardevoir, longtime minister of service, nodded. "He ambushed us, we never saw those things coming." She described as she helped the minister of medicine to her feet.
Relieved, Grovyle handed the balls and belt to Graveler to be destroyed. The ministers all scowled at the struggling man. Monferno and Croconaw approached him glaring. Then the minister of excavation placed a red circle marker on the man's chest, with the minister of shipping adding a blue arrow marker. Those markers signified him for the mines overseas.
"Get him out of our sight." Monferno snarled. Machamp carried away the struggling man.
Grovyle turned to Gardevoir and sighed. "Least one every year."
"I'm just glad it wasn't one of the children this time."
Remembering the children, the ministers got back to surveying the children in the room.
Eventually, decisions were made for each future. Boys and girls were given markers designating their future work. A girl with a white marker was relived she was going into service, likely a maid to one of the barons or ministers. Hopefully not Monferno. Adan sighed resigningly at the brown marker signifying him for architectural work…either working at the quarry or building houses. A brother and sister smiled when they saw each other's green markers – they would be farmers together. Another lad cried quietly on seeing the blue arrow and red-and-white marker…work as a doctor in another country. He vowed to ask how to send the money to his parents.
Kent had shut his eyes in terror when he saw Monferno walk his way, and feared the worst when he felt a marker placed on his chest. He wouldn't open his eyes until he felt a thump on his shoulder.
"Be a man now." The minister of agriculture's voice chided him. Kent slowly opened his eyes to look at his marker.
It was yellow.
Kent whooped with relief. Engineering…probably factory work for him. And no blue arrow…he would stay near home. Kent smiled for the first time since that morning.
Like everyone else, Kent would go into a specialty school for a few years, learning the ins and outs of his job and finding what position he'd be best in. Then, barring any unforeseen changes, he would work there for years until he could retire. During that time, he would be accountable to the minister of Engineering, not to mention Lord Kachu and the King.
The children were led back out to the transport, to return home and discuss their futures with their parents. The ministers started to leave as well, but the minister of agriculture lingered behind. The minister of service returned and asked him why.
Grovyle motioned to the former Pokemon lab in general. "Years ago, when I was a Treecko, I was in this building, waiting to see what human child would pick me and decide my future."
Gardevoir smiled slightly. "Things have certainly changed, haven't they?"
"Yes, they sure have."