Very special thanks goes to Cornova for allowing me to use his Poké Wars universe.
ADR stands for "After Dampener Removal" so "3 ADR" means three years after the dampener removal.
For those who do not understand the concept of the dampeners, it is recommended that you read Cornova's Poké Wars: The Subsistence.
Hearthome City – Sinnoh (3 ADR)
The skies overhead were a steely grey, threatening rain. Watery sunlight filtered through the barrier of clouds.
Below was Hearthome City, the largest city in all of Sinnoh and its commercial center. Or what was left of it.
Jagged steel and concrete ruins replaced the beautiful condominiums and shops that were the pride of Hearthome City. Scorch marks and gaping holes decorated the façade of the few buildings that remained standing. Two enormous craters were all that remained of the city's gym and contest hall – the city's destroyer made sure to completely obliterate any trace of pokémon-kind's oppression.
The wind whistled through the barren streets, sending papers and other garbage blowing. Craters pocked the sidewalks and streets. Rattata scurried through the streets, looking for food. Starly flitted through the grey skies in search of food or shelter.
Enormous gouges – long since cooled – melted in the streets and carved on the buildings gave the identity of the destroyer: the Emperor of Storm Clouds himself, Raikou.
Upon receiving the order from Ho-Oh, he had appeared in front of the cathedral-like Foreign Building and made his proclamation to all of humanity. Those foolish enough to flock to the sight of one of the Legendary Beasts appearing were the first to die when Raikou initiated his attack.
Golden tendrils of electric death raced through the streets like ravenous Arbok, melting chasms in the streets and vaporizing anything they touched – be it human or pokémon. Massive lightning bolts arced from the storm clouds on Raikou's back and rained down on the hapless city like artillery fire, reducing many of its famed buildings to twisted heaps of slag and dross.
Those who survived the lightning bombardment or attempted to flee were killed when the wild pokémon swarmed the city like a conquering army.
That was over two years ago. Raikou had long since left to ravage other cities but wild pokémon still roamed the city, killing any humans they saw.
But they had not totally succeeded.
A lock of pink hair peered out of a ravaged grocery store. The hair belonged to a young woman in her mid twenties at most. She was one of the last survivors of Hearthome City. Looking around to make sure she was alone, she sprinted from the store with a sack slung over her back. Her heart raced as she sprinted to the Foreign Building – now a sanctuary for the survivors.
When she entered the building, she was greeted by the sight of a small fire burning in the middle of the floor and several figures hunched around it. The pews contained various supplies that the survivors had scavenged.
The woman placed her sack on one of the pews and sat next to the fire, letting the warmth slowly permeate her body. She let out a sigh as she began to reflect on her thoughts.
It has been three long years since pokémon have become lethal but I still don't know why. And those three years seemed to eclipse the seven years I had spent as a pokémon coordinator.
I try to remember the happier times, like watching my Chimchar frolic in the grass. But every time I try, that memory gets replaced with the scene of his death. Over and over, I see his head get sliced off and roll to my feet. Over and over. Now, I don't even bother.
Around me are my fellow survivors, a trainer from the gym, a fellow coordinator and Sinnoh Champion Cynthia. Hah, like that title means anything now. What's there to be the champion of?
I glanced down at myself. I found it hard to believe that the coordinator who dressed in elegant silks would find herself wearing a set of tattered jeans and t-shirt along with a holster containing a .45 caliber semi-auto pistol. Ugh, I hated that thing but since I had no Pokémon to defend me, it's not like I have a choice. My eye caught a strap going across Cynthia's chest. Yes, she too carried a firearm. I shook my head, even though I had seen her with a gun for nearly two solid years – hell, I've seen her use it too; I still found it hard to believe that woman with a gun sitting next to me was the same Cynthia I had met in Pastoria City four years ago.
I hated the gun I was carrying and I could tell that Cynthia hated her weapon as well. But there were times when her Garchomp could not protect her and she had to rely on her weapon to defend herself. Despite my hatred for firearms, I was grateful for the times the pistol saved my life. Just hearing the crack of gunfire made me sick as I knew that a pokémon's brains were now splattered all over the ground and I did that. But in those cases, wild instinct controlled my body, guided my hand and pulled the trigger. I sighed. In these times, it was kill or be killed. None of us were proud of the things we did, but we had no choice.
I picked up a battered pocket mirror from a pew next to me. That mirror was one of the only luxuries I allowed myself – a far cry from the decadence I enjoyed years ago as a coordinator. As I looked at myself, I saw a stranger's face peering back at me. The dirt smudged face, dark circles under the eyes, the pink hair matted with dirt. I touched my face; that stranger in the mirror was me.
I glanced at Cynthia next to me; she sighed and looked down at her lap. This new Cynthia bore almost no resemblance to the attractive Sinnoh Champion of yesteryear. Aside from the gun and her disheveled appearance she had a different demeanor. She just seemed tougher, harder, colder.
I pulled out my ribbon case from my pocket. In sharp contrast to the squalid surroundings, the ribbons sparkled. I fought back tears as I looked at the ribbons. I had four – just one more and I could make it to the Grand Festival. But now, there never will be a Grand Festival – not as long as this war rages on. These ribbons are all I have left of my carefree past as a coordinator, when I could enjoy the surroundings without the worry of death.
I reverently closed the case and slid it back into my pocket. I was interrupted by two sets of footsteps.
I turned around and spotted Cynthia's Lucario holding two dead Bibarel. Both of them were headless – probably the result of an Aura Sphere. Next to him was another pokémon coordinator. The coordinator was carrying branches laden with berries.
The other survivors got up to help prepare lunch.
Just before I got up to assist I glanced at the pale sunlight filtering in through the shattered stained glass windows of the Foreign Building. I silently cursed Arceus for allowing this to happen.
What has humanity done to deserve such a cruel fate?