Author's Note: This is the beginning of my short Halloween themed fanfic that I will be releasing for the holidays. This does not mean that I have discontinued work on "Pokemon Adventures: AshGray Chapter." It just means that I want to simultaneously release some different work in the holiday spirit. I hope you enjoy it. Tell me what you think. Also, in case you are unfamiliar with my work, you should know I am not Japanese. I never read "Pokemon Special", I read "Pokemon Adventures." In the same way, Blue is the boy in my stories and Green is the girl. That is just what I am used to calling them. If you read a different version, then things may get confusing for you when these two enter the story. I apologize for that. :(
I do not own or have any rights to any part of the Pokemon franchise whatsoever.
"You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the reaper."
Life is a beginning. It starts every journey. It drives every adventure. It is the beginning to a string of many curious events that ultimately end in death. What happens after that? Well, no one is 100% sure. So, when not speculating on that particular mystery, humans can often be found focusing on the odd string of events in the middle that I mentioned earlier. What is the best way to spend your string? So many options, so little time. This was the exact same thing on Red's mind before he got the letter.
The young pokemon trainer was lying on his back over the covers of his bed on a chilly autumn afternoon. He was not sleeping. In fact, he was fully dressed and on the phone with one of his close friends, Yellow.
"I'm sorry Yellow, I just can't this time." He moaned over the phone, "I'm getting waaay too old for this!"
"Oh, come on, Red!" The girl begged, "It's just this one last time! Halloween only comes once a year!"
Red rolled his eyes, even though he knew the girl could not see him. He really liked Yellow. I mean, he REALLY liked Yellow, but he was 18 years old… and the Kanto champion no less. There had to be better things for him to do on Halloween night then to go Trick-or-Treating.
"Yellow, come on, don't you think it would be a little silly for people to see an 18 year-old like me going from house to house asking people for candy?"
"Not if you're with a sweet 16 year-old like me." Yellow shot back in a cheery voice.
"Come on!" she continued, "I'm getting too old to do this too, ya know? This will probably have to be my last year. I just want somebody to go with."
"Well, Gold, Silver, and Crys are in town." Red tried again, "Why don't you ask one of them?"
Yellow was not normally one to press an issue, but she was fighting for this one. "Because I know you aren't doing anything!" she huffed.
Red had no response to that.
"It's Halloween night, you've blocked off your schedule for Blue's party, I know for a fact you aren't doing anything between now and then, and you're telling me that you won't come Trick-or-Treating with me one last time just because you're too old?"
Red sweatdropped. Well, it wasn't just that. Sure, his age had a lot to do with it. His reputation was important to him, but around the time Red had turned 15, he developed a sort of chronic fear of being caught anywhere with Yellow… alone. She made his stomach do weird things, and he was twice as nervous around her as anybody else. Every year before this, he and Yellow had gone Trick-or-Treating with someone else (Blue, Green, Gold, Silver, Crys, etc.), but this year, Yellow wanted to go alone… There had to be a way out of this.
"Don't you understand, Red?" the girl asked, "I just want to spend some time with you is all."
That was it. Red had to find an excuse. A sickness, a fire, a pokemon battle, anything!
"Red?" came her voice again.
Then, as if an answer to Red's prayers, his bedroom window burst open with a huge gust of wind blowing through the room, even tossing him across the floor a bit.
"WOAH!" he cried in surprise.
"Red? Red?! Hello?!" Yellow shouted in frustration as she heard the chaos in the room. Little did she know that Red had actually thrown the phone when he fell to the floor. He could not hear a word she was saying from where he landed.
"Hey! What's the big idea?" the boy asked in astonishment, but as he looked up, he saw a wide-eyed noctowl staring at him from his windowsill.
"Hoo?" the pokemon chirped, as it tilted its head to the side, still staring maliciously at Red.
"Oh." Red chuckled a little bit, as he stood up from the floor and dusted off his jeans, "I'm sorry, little guy. You must be lost. You're all the way over in the Kanto region."
"Hoo." the flying type chirped again, this time making a stomping gesture with its left foot.
Red looked closer at the creature and noticed it had an envelope tied to it with a small rope.
"Oh!" Red muttered, "I'm sorry. Is that for me?"
The pokemon nodded and held its leg up toward the trainer.
"My bad." Red chuckled with a grin, as he reached out and began to untie the message. "I guess I was just too busy looking at your eyes."
"Hoo." The noctowl responded.
Red opened up the envelope and began to read the letter silently to himself.
If you are reading this, then my noctowl has successfully managed to deliver my invitation to you. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Hatalom Halal. I am an old traveler and knowledge seeker who has been around the world many times over. I very recently returned home to rest for a while, and it would appear as though you made quite a name for Kanto while I was gone. I have heard tales of you defeating Team Rocket, fighting the Elite Four, and capturing legendary pokemon. I must say I am quite impressed. As a matter of fact, I have a problem of my own that I would appreciate your help with if you have the time. I would come to you personally with the issue, but I'm afraid that the issue itself will not allow me to. It is really one of those things that you know no one will believe until they see it themselves. Anyway, if you could be so kind, I request your presence at my home either tonight or sometime soon. My noctowl will lead you here. What I have to show you is not for the faint of heart.
-I appreciate the consideration,
"Well, that's… odd…" Red spoke aloud.
He looked up at the noctowl.
"So, this is from your master, huh?"
"Hoo." Noctowl nodded.
Red narrowed his eyes. "This isn't another one of Green's Halloween pranks?"
"Hoo." It responded again.
Red looked across the room at the phone that had been thrown to the floor earlier. Well, it was usually against the young champion's policy to follow up on letters from people he didn't know, but this provided him with the opportunity he had been hoping for. He smiled and strode to the knocked over phone, picking it up and putting it to his ear.
"RED?!" Yellow shouted.
"Woah! Easy, Yellow!" Red finally responded, "I'm here. I'm right here!"
"What just happened?" Yellow asked, "I was on the phone with you one moment, then the next I heard things falling and breaking and screaming! Are you okay?"
"It's alright, Yellow." Red assured, "I'm fine. It was just a noctowl. Somebody sent a noctowl to my house to deliver a message. My window was closed, so it helped itself in with a gust attack."
Yellow sighed in relief. "So, you're okay?" she asked softly.
"Yes, I'm okay." Red said again.
"…Well, what did the letter say?"
Red held the note up in his hand again. He owed this guy. Big time. "It's a request for me to help someone with a problem."
"Oh… What problem?"
"I don't know."
"Well, who needs your help?"
"I don't know."
"…Well, is there anything you do know?"
Red paused for a moment again, re-reading over the note. "Yeah! His name is Hatalom Halal!"
"Who is that?"
"I don't know."
Yellow sighed again. "So, I guess you're going to go find this Hata…mol… Halel guy instead of going Trick-or-Treating with me, huh?"
Dang! She read him like a book! "Well, the letter sounds pretty urgent." Red lied, "It would be rude of me to just not respond."
Yellow smiled from the other side of the phone. She understood. "Fine. Well, you do what ya gotta do."
"I will!" Red cheered confidently.
"But just remember, you're missing out on the pikachu costume I got you!"
Red sweatdropped. "Riiight... Well, I'm gonna get to this guy's place early so that I can still make it to Blue's party tonight, okay?"
"Alright, don't miss out on that too!" Yellow teased.
"I won't!" Red promised.
"Talk to ya later!"
And with that, he was off. Sure, Red had mostly answered the letter to avoid having to Trick-or-Treat with Yellow all night (his stomach still wasn't forgiving him for it), but he was also kind of curious about the whole thing. How often do you get a letter like that, anyway?
He followed the noctowl through Pallet Town and into the woods. They wandered around a thick forest path for over twenty minutes before Red started thinking they might be lost. The messenger pokemon still seemed to be on a set path, though, never even looking back to make sure Red was following.
"Chuuu…" moaned Pika from inside a pokeball at Red's waist.
The trainer looked down at the orb to make sure his pokemon was okay.
Pika seemed to be curled up in a fetal position against the back of his pokeball. It apparently felt something.
Just a few seconds later, Snor started making some loud grunting noises. Saur followed shortly afterward, and before Red knew it, he was walking through the forest with six different moaning pokemon at his belt. Noctowl was the only one who kept quiet as it led the way, and Red followed its example, continuing on without a word. He did not back down.
Then all at once, the pokemon stopped whining and noctowl stopped flying, as Red came upon an old rundown shack with a tin roof in the middle of a small clearing.
Noctowl flew up to a nearby tree, landing delicately on a dead branch, and its large eyes fell back on Red again. "Hoo." It cried.
Red nodded and looked forward to the shack. It wanted him to go in. As Red approached the door, he became less and less sure about the situation. He had seen psychics, ghosts, and aliens before, but nothing had ever caused his pokemon to act the way they just had. Why were they crying? Why had they just stopped? Why were they so quiet now? If one had been in the woods that day and had looked at Red's pokemon as he approached the house, they would have noticed that each creature had curled up into a ball of some sort and pushed up against the back of their orb, the hairs on their body sticking up everywhere.
As Red knocked on the old wooden door, he kept his left hand in his pocket, firmly grasping his pokegear, just in case.
"Please come in." cracked an old, fragile voice from the inside.
Red was shocked for a moment. Well, that was anticlimactic. There was just another person in the house after all. He was relieved just to hear a human voice.
Red opened the door and let himself into the old home. The first room was a kitchen, well prepared and cleaned, as though it had not been used in years. The voice was not in there, though. So, Red simply walked out into the hallway and over to the next room.
This entire room was basically a giant bookshelf. Each wall was filled with books of every kind, and in the middle of the room there sat only two chairs. One was empty, and an old man in a robe filled the other. He had long silver hair, a well-shaved face, and a crooked nose. Right now, he was reading a book.
The man peaked up at Red, and a smile ran over his face.
"Ah, yes! Red, Red! I am so glad to have you here!" he cheered, as he stood from his chair and walked over to greet the boy.
Red shook hands with the man. "Hatalom Halal?" he asked.
"Yes, yes." The man nodded, "But, please, there is no need for formalities. Use only my first name, Hatalom."
Red chuckled a little bit. "Right. Hatalom. I'm not sure if that makes it any better."
"Yes, well, you know, it is unfortunate that the first name must always come with the last name." the man contemplated, "I like my first name much better in truth."
"Sure." Red said with a grin, still a little put off by this whole situation, "So… umm… you mentioned a problem?"
"Yes, yes." The man nodded again, "Well, good to know you are willing to get right on it." He shuffled over to the nearest bookshelf and pulled out a large red book. "Tell me, Red, have you ever met a psychic?"
"Yes." Red answered, as Hatalom said the same thing at the exact same time.
"Yes, I am a psychic too." Hatalom continued, as he flipped through his book. "As a matter of fact, I am a well-trained sorcerer."
"Seriously?" Red said eagerly. This was getting cool.
"Indeed." The old man responded, "In fact, as far as I know, I am the best in the world."
Red was astounded. This old man? The best sorcerer in the world? "Go on." He offered.
"But even more so, I am a knowledge seeker." Hatalom continued, "I have traveled the world for years now perfecting my psychic abilities, my magic, and my various forms of witchcraft with only the hope of gaining more knowledge."
"Where do I fit in?" asked Red.
"You see," the sorcerer answered, "I have recently been wondering about my goals." He looked up from the book for a moment, "As a youth, I had wanted to gain all the knowledge in the world. I wanted to literally learn everything."
"Is that possible?" asked Red, eyebrows raised.
The man shrugged. "If I had enough time."
Red snapped his fingers. "You're getting old!"
"Exactly!" Hatalom admitted, before flipping back through his book. "I still seek to gain all knowledge, but I am getting too old. I fear I will die before I can find my answers." He stopped at one page. "So, I came up with this."
Red leaned over the sorcerer's shoulder to see a handwritten title on the page: Eternal Life Spell.
"Great! And on Halloween night too! Completely in the spirit!" Red cheered, "So, how can I help you with it?"
The man skimmed his eyes over the spell once, and then, he looked straight at Red. "Well, to cut right to the chase, I need your soul to be corrupted by eternal darkness."
"What?!" Red cried, putting his right hand on a pokeball, "I-I don't even know what that means, but I know it's bad!"
Hatalom let a few laughs out. "No, no. You don't understand. Let me explain. I just need your soul to be consumed by evil."
"That's not any better!" Red shouted, "You didn't tell me you were an evil sorcerer!"
"Oh, for Pete's sake." The man sighed, "What is it about evil that scares people so much?"
"Because it… it… it's evil!" Red reasoned.
"Oh, will you listen to yourself? That doesn't even make any sense!"
"I bet you aren't even really going to use that eternal life to gain knowledge!" Red accused.
"What? Of course I will." Hatalom shot back.
"…Does it involve taking over the world?" Red asked.
"Probably." The sorcerer nodded, "If I'm going to gain all the knowledge in the world, it would certainly help to have people cooperating with me."
Red was startled at how straightforward this guy was. He had barely been here for five minutes, and the man had already mentioned that he was pure evil, he wanted Red to be evil, and he wanted to take over the world.
"That is evil!" Red cried, "Using powers like that for your own personal gain is selfish and evil!"
"Oh, so what?" the man shot back, "What is so bad about doing evil? People always go on and on about how terrible it is, but really what difference does it make? If you are going to live in a world as harsh as ours, there is nothing wrong with fending for only yourself. That's all evil really is."
"You… you're insane!" Red shouted.
"Really?" the man asked, "Then, tell me, aside from what happens to everybody else, what is the downfall of being 'evil?'"
"You can't win." Red answered, "Good always triumphs over evil."
Hatalom sighed. "Do you really believe that?"
"Oh, I more than believe it!" said Red, as he picked Poli's pokeball in his right hand and began to walk toward the sorcerer.
"HOLD IT!" the man cried, as he pushed one arm toward Red.
The pokemon trainer froze in his steps. He could not move. Something was holding him still.
Hatalom walked over to the frozen Red and snatched the pokeball from his hand.
"Pokemon?" he asked with a sly grin, "This is what you fight with, right?"
He waved his hand above Poli, and the pokeball disappeared entirely.
Red was both shocked and scared at this point, but he could not show it. He was still frozen.
The sorcerer waved his hand again and every pokeball around Red's waist disappeared.
"Of course I practice dark magic." The man sneered, "It is the only type powerful enough to help me learn the things I want to learn."
He tossed Red into the air with a flick of his finger.
"Aaaaahhhh!" the dex holder cried.
"If people had enough guts," he continued, "They might actually find out that you can do some pretty amazing things when not being held down by pointless semantics like 'light' and 'dark' or 'good' and 'evil!'"
Red began to fall back to the floor, but Hatalom caught him with another spell.
"There isn't any real problem with 'evil,'" he began again, "society and culture has simply taught you that evil is for some reason 'wrong' or 'dangerous,' both of which are relative words as well."
"I really should have gone Trick-or-Treating with Yellow." Red muttered.
"So, perhaps if you could open your eyes like I did, Red," the man was staring at him again, as he levitated in mid-air, "I could get that eternal life spell and get back to my studies. Who knows? You might be stronger for it too."
"Never." Red grunted.
Hatalom got up in his face now, "But you literally have no argument to stand on! I just explained to you that the semantics you use are meaningless! Evil does no harm to the person who is evil, only those around them, and evil, by definition, involves only fending for yourself, so what difference does it make?"
"I'm not here to play philosophy!" Red tried to explain, "Evil DOES NOT work! It will always end up getting you nowhere! Good is something that you feel in your heart, something that gives you strength, passion, and the ability to triumph all the time. Just like I said."
"Because you are triumphing so well right now?" the man teased, "Don't you realize that at the moment you are hopelessly at my mercy? I have taken your pokemon and frozen you in your tracks. I could kill you. In fact, with my knowledge of the dark realms, I could banish you to a lifeless, empty dimension to be tortured for all of eternity."
"Then why don't you just dip my soul in darkness or whatever and just get your eternal life spell?" Red asked.
Hatalom looked away from him and sighed. "The spell requires that I corrupt a young hero's soul with darkness, but he has to come willingly."
"Which is why you had me answer a letter to come here rather than simply taking me?" Red tried.
"Exactly." He answered, "But if you are not going to listen to reason, then perhaps I can simply torture you until you decide to join me."
"Wait!" Red cried, "I think I might have a better idea."
"I'm listening." The man responded.
"How about I take the next few hours to try to prove to you that good is superior to evil. If I succeed, you let me go. If I fail, I will willingly help you with your spell."
The man scratched his chin. "Hmm… a wager, eh? Okay, I'll play your little game. How does this work?"
"I have a lot of friends," Red explained, "a lot of good friends. We call ourselves the dex holders. If you can manage to defeat all of us with your evil, you will have proven your point. However, if even one of us can defeat you, I've proven my point."
Hatalom laughed. "This is so childish! With my otherworldly powers they will be crushed in seconds!"
"No, no, no." Red interrupted, "I think you've got the wrong idea. I'm testing their good against your evil not their strength against your magic."
"I don't understand." The sorcerer said.
"It's like a pokemon battle." Red explained, "You can summon some sort of evil monster or beast to go up against them, but you can't fight them yourself."
"Hmmm…" he stroked his chin again, "I like it! You've got a deal, Red. Let's see which power is truly dominant!"
Red fell from his mid-air position and landed next to Hatalom.
"How should we start?" Red asked.
The sorcerer waved his hand in the air. "We will start by seeing how your acquaintances, Black and White deal with my horrors!"
"Horrors?" Red asked.
"Well, it is Halloween, and you mentioned monsters," the man smiled, "I'm feeling festive!"
The two disappeared from the room in a flash of light to begin their bet. First stop, Unova.
Next Chapter Coming sometime around next week hopefully.