Summary: Not all trainers become one because they want to. Sometimes it's because they're kicked out of the house.
I will begin with the obvious: I do not own pokemon.
Warnings: This piece of work will contain drugs, philosophy and moral disputes that may or may not go with one's belief's, religious references, genius (but psychotic) scientists with the belief that they are/can be god, cursing, violence, death and teen angst.
This is rated T, but I suggest that only 16 and up read this. You have been warned, so I don't want to receive any flames in the future when chapters become more intense. This is, however, just another overly used new trainer story, only with an original region and hopefully with a little something that will catch your attention out of the hundreds of original trainer stories. This is long, and I am creating this story to experiment with my writing and make it longer and more detailed, so do not expect instant things, such as arriving at the next city within the first or second chapter. I want to draw this out without dragging it, something I hope to be able to do with my original works.
So I hope you can all respect that and enjoy!
The world was moving too slow… it couldn't keep up with his aging body. It was growing and growing.
"Medic, over here!"
"Sir, he needs to be stabilized!"
His skin was growing old and wrinkled, weathered from age, but the people surrounding him were moving at what was deemed as a normal pace. He could remember moving at that pace, but only in his dream world.
"Get him on the stretcher… steady, steady… I said steady!"
"Sir, he's starting to seizure!"
"We need those anti-toxins. The idiot took Glotter Acid." The voice talking was laced with anger and disgust. There was nothing worse than trying to save a druggie because the damn kid shouldn't even be near the stuff.
"Injected." The voices paused for a moment. "It's working."
His skin had gotten beyond wrinkled and had slowly turned to dust, but as the dust cleared, smooth skin replaced it. He had been reborn! …oh, and now he was aging once more. How peculiar. The angry people that were moving in that normal pace that seemed so alien weren't making any sense. He knew they were speaking, but proper words didn't seem to be forming. It was all so jumbled.
"Get us a name," the doctor ordered as he stared down at his patient, looking incredibly worn out. Treating teenagers on drugs seemed to always drain him. It was always depressing when treating a seemingly dying or tripped out patient, but children always had an effect on the doctor.
"Shaun Tess," came the reply. There was a sigh as papers were ruffled. "This isn't his first offense either. Poor boy has been in two other times, one for Blue Shroomish and Ivysaur Spore."
"This boy sure likes the hallucination drugs," the doctor murmured. "And he's in here for Glotter Acid as well. No wonder why the anti-toxins had a fast reaction."
"He's one of the few that built up a tolerance with pokemon made drugs and he knows it," the younger doctor said with a hint of disgust as he took in the young man lying immobile on the bed, eyes open with a glazed look.
The boy had black, messy hair that was plastered about his head thanks to sweat. Hazel eyes were glazed over but seemed to be moving up and down. The boy was in ripped, dark gray pants with a leather and silver studded belt and a black, sleeveless black shirt that showed off many tattoos, but the doctor was sure that if the shirt were to be removed even more would be there. Hidden behind the messy hair were ears pierced all over. The left ear had an industrial bar piercing and three studs in the earlobe. The right had three studs on the lobe and two on the cartilage. The boy was an obvious punk, but that wasn't so surprising.
This was a poor neighborhood with a lot of kids living out their days on the street before going back to unwanted and unloved homes. Quite a few just straight out lived on the street without ever going home and thus joined one of the many gangs that plagued the town. Despite the fact that their town, Apala, was the designated area that all trainers of their region went to for the final badge, it was still a poor town.
His skin had stopped aging, but that had left him to think about the many lives he had lived. Despite the fact that the world where the normal moving people was nothing but a dream, he had still lived that life, and when he was done he had died and been reborn several times simply because when he woke up his mind moved too fast. However, it seemed like he had finally begun to slow down, and that world that he thought was a dream was becoming real…
Oh look, his hand was moving at the alien like pace!
"We have movement," the doctor said, clearly pleased. In situations like this, the only thing they could do was allow the drug to run its course. Glotter Acid was a drug made by a Gloom's toxins that induced hallucinations. The only danger this drug posed was that the person who took the drug could hurt themselves because of the hallucination. The drug itself didn't cause any true problems and it wasn't addictive, but it was very illegal. "Pupils are dilating," the doctor said approvingly, staring intently at the boys face as he flashed a light from one eye to the other. "He should be coming to in an hour. I take it since this is his third time in the hospital the police are aware of his offenses?"
"The girl that found him called the police and then they called the hospital. The police station called to warn that they were sending an officer to make a formal arrest when he's been approved to leave.
The doctor sighed. "Very well. Alert me when the officer gets here. For now we can only make Mr. Tess comfortable until he is right of mind."
His hand tried to reach out to the man in front of him, but with a stern look his hand was placed beside his body. What was wrong with this being? He only wanted to study him, find what was real and understand why he was slowing down. Why had he stopped being reborn, and why was the world blinking black lights like when one is blinded by the flash of a camera?
The doctor by that name turned. He set down the papers he was going over and looked over the police officer. He had dark brown hair and brown eyes that held an exasperated glint. His tan colored face held a firm frown but he seemed unsurprised.
"You're here to pick up the boy?" Doctor Shawn asked with a frown of his own. "We have been unable to contact the boy's family, but I'm sure you've been told or are already aware."
"I'm aware," the officer said as he folded his arms. Each time the young Shaun Tess had been sent to the hospital or picked up off the streets for drugs or fighting, it was always the cops that went and got him, and it was usually him, Officer Taylor Chandler, that dealt with the boy. Every cop in this town had their own little band of miscreants that they usually had to deal with because the same kids kept getting in the same trouble, and Shaun just happened to be one of Taylor's kids.
"He's aware now," Doctor Shaw said with a sigh as he motioned for Taylor to follow. Glotter Acid only lasts for a few hours, and since according to him he took it at eleven in the morning and it's now four in the afternoon, Shaun was now in his right mind, which meant he was aware that he had been caught.
"Let me guess, he tried to escape," Taylor said dryly.
"We had to have the guard handcuff him to his bed," Doctor Shaw said, his eyes lowered.
"Don't go showing the boy any pity," Taylor said immediately, his voice gruff as he saw the look on the doctors face. "Shaun has been to rehab and juvenile hall. He's had many chances to stop."
"And the parents?"
"Father long gone and mother even more of a dope fiend than the son." Doctor Shaw sighed at the harsh tone. Cops had a very different opinion on how to treat teen drug addicts than doctors. "Hello again, Shaun."
The young man that Taylor had come to collect was sitting cross legged on the hospital bed, tugging irritably with his handcuffed hand. Black hair whipped around the teens face as his head snapped toward him, hazel eyes no longer glazed over. The much applied black eyeliner that was used in an attempt to hide his insomniac and drug induced dark circles was smeared about, but it only seemed to intensify the venomous glare.
"Officer," Shaun snarled, giving his chained wrist a harsh tug, not even wincing as the metal dug into his skin. "Here to drag me back to that rat hole I call a home after taking a nice trip to the station?"
"Not this time," Taylor answered, keeping a firm hold on Shaun's shoulder as his wrist was freed. Shaun was a big boy, broad shouldered and muscled thanks to the many fights he participated in, as well as pure luck in puberty, but Taylor was a trained officer and had proper training to manhandle uncooperative teens.
Shaun grunted as he walked to Taylor's car and shrugged the offending hand off, eyes wary on the gun the man's belt before getting in the car with an angry growl. He slammed the door shut and glared ahead of them as Taylor turned on the car.
"Really, Shaun," Taylor started receiving an annoyed scoff from the teen, "what were you thinking? You just got out of rehab a few weeks ago; do you really want to go back again?"
Shaun scoffed. "Don't know why you're talking to me like that. S'not like I have a choice but to go back to juvie now." Shaun fixed the cop with a glare. "You told me that."
"Looks like you're at least aware enough to remember what's real," Taylor said dryly. Shaun's reaction was like a Meowth hissing at a Mightyena. Suffice to say Taylor was amused as he began to drive.
"Do you want to go back?" Taylor asked seriously. His response was silence. "You live in a rundown home and spend nearly every waking moment of your time under the bridge with the other deadbeats, Shaun. Are you just going to sit on your ass and accept a joint each time you get better just because you're bored?"
Shaun let out a loud burp.
"Dammit, Shaun!" Taylor yelled, slamming his fist on the steering wheel, turning to glare at the dark haired teen. "Do you even realize that if this continues you'll be sent to jail? You already have several offenses and there are others that are pushing to put you in jail despite the fact that you're underage." Taylor's glare intensified. "And if you don't start trying to help yourself, I'll have no problem with allowing it."
Shaun scoffed. He slumped in his seat and brought his knees up, feet resting on seat. "Whatever."
Taylor was silent for a moment. "So what did you see this time?"
Shaun grunted and glanced at the officer. "I sped up while everyone stayed at a normal speed." He grimaced in remembrance. "Kept dying and being reborn. I thought everything I had done in life was nothing but a lie."
Again Taylor was silent for a moment before he burst out laughing.
Shaun gave the man an absolutely livid glare. "Fuck you," he spat, looking away.
"Hearing about your hallucinations never gets old," Taylor chuckled as he pulled into the police station.
"You only want to hear about them because you wish you did it," Shaun sneered, getting out of the car in a huff and stuffing his hands in his pockets, the firm hand once again on his shoulder as he was led into the station.
"No, Shaun," Taylor said, tone full of grief and anger, "I don't."
"You never learn do you?" came the annoying screech of Shaun's mother.
He sneered, eyeing the woman that spawned him with disdain and a bit of surprise. What the hell was she doing here? She'd never picked him up from the station before. He had always had to deal with the charges and cops on his own, so it was very much a surprise that his mother was finally off her ass (and surprisingly not in a drug induced stupor) and was here yelling at him, acting all maternal.
What was this bullshit?
"Yea, like you do?"
The response was an attempted smack, but Shaun caught the thin wrist in his large hand, glare even fiercer than before. "I dare you to try that again," he growled. "Acting so high and mighty. Well, guess what, you're just as much of a druggie as I am, if not more."
"That's enough," Officer Taylor barked, stomping around in anger, another cop trailing behind him with a bundle of papers.
Shaun's mother paid the man no mind. "You think I'm the loser?" She gave a humorless laugh, face old and worn out. "Then I guess that makes you the son of a loser."
Shaun just stared before pushing the woman back in disgust. "You're pathetic."
"I said that's enough!" Taylor all but snarled as he pushed Shaun back and sat him down on a chair. He gave everyone warning glares. "I thank you for coming, Mrs. Tess," Taylor said, ignoring the snort. "As you know, Shaun has had four offenses for violence and now with this one, three offenses for drugs."
"Don't forget to count all the ones that he's not been caught for," Shaun's mother sighed as she began to fumble around her pockets for a cigarette.
"Mrs. Tess, you are not to light that while in here," Taylor said warningly.
Mrs. Tess sighed again. "Just get to the point. Is he going back to rehab?"
Taylor eyed the two critically. "Actually, we have several new options open for us," Taylor said seriously.
Mrs. Tess snorted this time. "Don't tell me he's going to jail. He's just seventeen." Taylor's face remained grim. Her voice became flustered. "He's just seventeen!"
"We heard you the first time," Shaun drawled, resting his cheek in his hand, fingers scratching at his side burns.
"Don't start with me," his mom snapped. "Look at you, still twitching from the after effects."
"If you don't mind," Taylor interrupted coldly, staring at Shaun intently before lowering his voice to a gentle level. "Jail won't be an option now or in the future if you take a different road," he said carefully.
Both Shaun and his mother scoffed. They were both thinking of his failures from rehab.
Taylor ignored it. "It's a challenge that can change your life," he continued, "but it's something that has yet to have a single failure."
Shaun frowned. "Shock therapy?"
"Now is not the time for sarcasm, Shaun," Taylor said, tone hard. He glared at the teen for good measure, unsurprised the boy wasn't intimidated. "It's still considered an experiment because less than twenty children have partaken in it, but not a single one of them went back to drugs or the underworld." Taylor sighed. "Tell me, Shaun, what do you think of pokemon training?"
Shaun blinked, completely thrown back before he rolled his head back and let out a bark of laughter. "You expect me to be some geeky pokemon trainer?" he sneered.
"It's either that or back to juvie and then prison," Taylor said firmly. "I can assure you it's a perfectly accountable treatment. Or at least that's what the scientists and psychologists say, and that is exactly why I am offering it to you. Pokemon have a huge impact on humans, and becoming a trainer loads a massive amount of responsibility onto yourself. You will learn to care about the important things in life. Hell, drugs won't even be a stray thought."
Shaun's lip upturned in amusement. "And what makes you think all the others before me didn't go back to doing drugs? What make this such a successful thing?"
Taylor gave a thin smile. "I was just getting to that."
"Then get to it."
Again another warning glare was given, but again it was ignored. "You would be forced to travel around our region and defeat every gym leader." He chuckled at Shaun's scowl. Traveling around their whole region, the Lenore Region, would be no easy feat. "At each town or city you will be forced to check with the local police station where I assure you they will have been notified about your predicament. You will be questioned with psychic pokemon, so yes, Shaun, they will know if you lied."
Shaun leaned back, arms folded. "And what if I run?"
"You will have tracker on you," was the answer.
Shaun scowled. "And if I do end up doing something?"
Taylor sighed. "What is with your need for drugs? The drugs you take have no addictive influences in them, it's all on you." Shaun gave no answer. "If you must know, Shaun, if you are caught to have been doing illegal drugs, you go straight to prison to serve your time. There are no second chances in this. You get one chance and that's it, and that is precisely why it has such a high success rate."
Shaun could see why. Kids forced to travel and train these beasts wouldn't have time to do drugs, not if they had to beat all the gyms in order to free, especially if there was a time limit. And also, who the hell wanted to go to jail?
"Its not just druggies, ain't it?" Shaun asked with a sneer. "Its any kid under eighteen with something on their record." He gave a humorless laugh. "I remember hearing about something like that."
"If you were more aware of the law you would be sure that it is indeed true," Taylor said with a sigh, obviously not agreeing with this strange experiment.
It was all to see if kids with a bad record could be rehabilitated. It was stupid, trusting kids with issues to take care of a living creature and even stupider of them to be able to survive in the wild of Lenore without any motivation. It was an experiment that, if proved to be doing its work, and helping kids get over their issues; it could spread to other regions. Just another thing the government was too cheap to deal with.
"I don't know anything about pokemon," Shaun said in a bored manner.
"Bullshit," Taylor said bluntly. "Everybody knows what the hell a pokemon is. They may not know every single one the damn critters and their attacks, but they know some attacks and they most certainly recognize enough to be educated. And I don't want to hear anymore crap coming from you. Every school has a class dedicated to teaching you the names of pokemon and their attacks, even if you never work with pokemon."
The man was right. Not a single soul on this planet didn't at least know a little something about pocket monsters.
"So what are you going to do, Shaun?" Taylor prodded gently. "You have the chance to get out of this town, get a life, get away from the drugs –"
"Don't," Shaun growled, rubbing his eyes and spreading the eyeliner even more. "Don't play with me. I don't have a choice in this." His expression turned exasperated. "It's either be some retarded trainer or go to prison in a year when I turn eighteen. Yea, there's a real choice in that."
"What do you have against pokemon?" Taylor prodded.
"I got nothin' against pokemon," Shaun spat. "Just sick of hearing about how great trainer's are and how they work so damn hard." The teen was beginning to look like he was fighting the urge to spit.
"They do, Shaun," Taylor said, voice no longer gentle. "And so will you, if not harder. So what will it be, Shaun? You at least don't have to fight against withdrawals, so what's one year of hard work that can get you free?"
"Free?" Shaun repeated neutrally. "Like, free from you assholes?"
"Free from everything," Taylor said irresolutely.
Shaun snorted. "So sure this'll work." He sighed, eyes looking to the ceiling. Just beat the gyms, get off the cops list, and make some money through battling and getting out of this shitty town? Sounded like a dream come true.
Too bad Shaun didn't believe any of his dreams could come true.
"Sick," Shaun mused. "You send kids out on these little test journeys and deal with withdrawals out in the wild?"
"What do you take us for, barbarians?" Taylor asked gruffly.
Shaun sighed, knowing that while he could push this mans buttons, and even he wasn't fool enough to believe that anyone would be foolish enough to send a teen out into the wilderness while going through withdrawals. It was an incredibly painful thing to go through. There was no way in hell a kid could survive out there while going through so much pain for days, months…
They would obviously make sure all the symptoms were gone; make sure the kid was in his or her proper state of mind. It was messed up, because that's exactly when any druggie would be racing back for their next fix. How can you beat obsession like that? Being in the wild, away from civilization, away from drugs, won't get rid of the need and want.
"What the hell is she here for?" he asked, shrugging at his mother.
"Parent signature," Taylor said, looking extremely pleased. He nodded to the man who held the bundle of papers in his hand. "Rules and regulations, as well as what we expect from you if you are to do this. We have the right to stop you at any time if we feel you are cheating, both with doing drugs, doing something to your given pokemon or buying illegal badges."
Shaun narrowed his eyes as the cop continued on and on about rules and regulations, quickly becoming annoyed. He wanted to get the hell out of here and just sleep. "I'm being given a pokemon?" he asked snidely. "Who, from you?" he directed at Taylor.
"No, from the Professor in Shirk Town," Taylor answered calmly. "Along with any others that happen to be there, but don't worry, I'll be there to escort you there and make sure everything goes by smoothly. The Professor, despite her many concerns and protestations, has cooperated several times with this event."
Shaun slumped and looked away, thinking deeply. Go on some screwed up journey or go to juvenile hall and then prison… Fuck. "When does this training thing start?"
"As soon as we fill out the paper work and have them approved will we know the date and time."
"So, what? You just gonna keep me locked up until we get the call?" Shaun asked, signing his name with the pen given to him. He all but tossed the papers back at the frazzled man who in turn gave it to his mother. She was only too happy to sign, eager to get him out.
"Don't be absurd, Shaun," Taylor said exasperatedly.
"So once this is done I'm free to go?" Shaun drawled, fisting a hand in his hair as he looked up at the man.
"Again, Shaun, don't be absurd, you still have to pay the drug charges."
Shaun could hear his mother curse him, but he paid her no mind. These people were out of their minds if they truly expected him to accomplish this. Pokemon training… it was not something he had ever thought about doing except when he was maybe eight, but laws only permitted sixteen year olds and up going on their journey, so suffice to say as he got older he just didn't care. Besides, Shirk Town was a boat ride away, and when one lives in a poor neighborhood like him, you've only got enough money to get by for a few days or drugs.
"Shaun," Taylor said carefully, leaning down next to Shaun, looking at the teen intently. "This may be your only chance, and I am literally begging you, don't screw this up."
Shaun looked away with a snarl. "Whatever."
"Hopefully that attitude of yours will change as well." With a grim nod from Officer Taylor, the papers began to get processed.