1 - Hatred
My knuckles stand out against the dark interior emanating from behind the glass. They become white, the strain of exertion putting pain through their joints, stretching the skin until it's tight against the bone. Still, the window won't budge. It doesn't look like it's locked; merely the corrosion and accumulated grime of decades practically welded its seams shut.
"Damn," I muttered under my breath. "So this is the "famous" Professor Elm's Lab? Looks more like an old Rattata nest to me." I rebounded upon the sill, putting every ounce of strength into it. My muscles burst and gave out, and still the window barely budged a millimeter.
"I'll just have to come back with a hammer," I muttered to myself. For now, it's time to beat it. I turned and began sprinting away before anyone caught me spying in through the edifice. To my utter shock and chagrin, I didn't think of who might be snooping behind me and ran head on into a solid object.
"Fuck! What the?!"
I was dropped to one knee, one hand rubbing my head and the other clutching my side. Before me another human being was sent toppling onto their butt from the impact.
"What are you staring at?" I growled.
She had to be the stupidest looking thing in existence. Her hat blossomed from her head like a toadstool, with two silly pigtails splitting out to either side. Overalls are the crude wardrobe choice of farmers and sewage workers, but she wore them all pretty-like, as if they were a fashion item. They were cut short, too, the rest of her legs covered in thigh-high socks that clashed with the rest of her tomboyish ensemble. What an ugly mish-mashed image she made of herself. And the most offensive feature of this woman? After recovering from the shock of the collision, she had the gall to smile in my face.
"Hi! Sorry for peeping, but I thought it was strange for someone to be hanging out back here, so I got incredibly curious! I'm Lyra, what's your name?"
"Screw this," I spat out, and pushed past the woman, somewhat clumsily, so that I ended up bumping into her again.
A few more minutes, and I was safely out into the outskirts of town.
She'd better not tattle to the police about me! I'm going right back there, tonight. There's no way I'm passing up on the special stock of pokemon Elm just had delivered. Now, where can I pinch a hammer? And a towel, so I don't cut myself on the glass…
That night everything was going smoothly. There were no guards, no security systems, no one around. A few swings of the hammer made a mockery of my afternoon's efforts, and a jagged mess of the window. I clambered inside. The Pokéballs were in plain view, attached to a custom PC system. Two of the three slots were left occupied. Apparently someone had gotten lucky and took the first. No matter. It looked like it would be child's play to grab the remaining two.
"GrrrrRRRRRRARGH!" Okay, not child's play. The pokeball wouldn't budge from its slot.
I banged on the PC.
"Let go damn it!"
They must be magnetically locked to the machine. Even using the hammer as a pry bar, the bitchy little things would not move a millimeter. I banged the machine some more with the hammerhead, accidentally awaking it from sleep mode. It bleeped at me in a robotic, artificially friendly tone.
"To remove Magnetic Lock and Register this Pokémon, please enter Trainer Identification."
"Come on!" I put my hand to my jacket pocket, expecting to grab my wallet. There was nothing there. My pocket was empty.
It must have fallen out in the collision earlier.
I backtracked out the window, wincing as, despite the towel, more sharp bits of glass scratched into my sides.
"Where is it? Where is it?"
Despite all my searching, there was no hint or clue anywhere in the vicinity of the collision. What could possibly have happened to the damn thing?
That ditz must have picked it up. Damn it! Damn it!
I can't remember being angrier in the past three years than I am now. Why does life have to shit on me most when I need things to just go right? Life, you suck!
I took a deep breath and calmed down. Even if it had my ID, the card itself was fake, a counterfeit. Even the name was a joke, taken from throwing darts at a periodic table of elements.
"So what if she calls me Silver?" I muttered. It's a cooler name than the insult that bastard put on my birth certificate.
Still, without the ID, how was I going to deal with the pokeballs? I mumbled it over while climbing back inside.
"Hey, PC?" I called out. "Are the pokeballs inside filled? Are the rare Pokémon actually inside of them?"
"Correct. However, without registering them with a Trainer ID, they will not be able to interact with the Universal PC System. Furthermore, such an act is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Pleas-" but I had heard enough, and brought the hammer head slamming into the side of the apparatus. Sparks flew, the screen devolved into static, and the pokeballs dropped loose. Instantly an alarm sounded out.
"The f… They're lazy enough to leave the windows unguarded, but they rig the machine with security?!" I panicked. There was no telling how fast police or a worker would respond. Even if they were rare, these Pokémon weren't going to have any battle experience. And like hell they'd obey me before I whipped them into submission. Fighting the cops was out of the question. I needed to get as far away as possible.
"Damn it!" I shouted for what seemed like the hundredth time today. In a moment of clarity I rushed back to the machine, swiped the first pokeball I saw, and sprinted back to the window, kicking over machinery, papers, computers, and anything else in my way.
That stupid woman, that stupid grade-school girl was the cause of all this. What a dork! A ditz! If I ever see her again, I'll make her pay!
…Or so I thought on that frenzied night.
One week later, in the woods outside Cherrygrove City:
"You were the one who took that rare Pokémon? Whatever, a bitch like you wouldn't know how to raise them to their full potential. I'll crush a weakling like you!" It felt good to vent. It would feel better to curb-stomp this pretender into the dust. Maybe I'll give her a punch myself if she dares to cry once I'm done with her Pokémon. I threw out my own pokeball, confident the week's worth of brow-beating would put my Pokémon on a different level compared to hers.
"You called me a bitch! That's really mean!"
She's not crying… yet. But she is pouting. Good. Anger. That's the first step to becoming stronger. Maybe she'll learn how to be tough, like me, in time. But she's a woman, so she'll never catch up.
"Cynda!" her Pokémon cried. It heard its trainer's distressed tone and leapt forward, as if it wanted to defend her. How pathetic. It'd better spend more time worrying about itself.
Judging by the red-hot bristles stickling out across its back, it looks like a Fire-type. Even better. I have a total type advantage. This is going to be cake-walk.
"Fire-types are weak. They have no consistency. They rage and then they burn out, showing nothing for all their huff and puff. Totodile, Water Gun!"
My Totodile cringed at the sound of my voice, and then obeyed, letting loose a gout of water. Without even being told, the Cyndaquil dodged left. Totodile fired again, and again Cyndaquil dodged left.
"Sweep the stream across its path! Don't let it dodge! It doesn't need to hit hard, just enough to knock the damn creature down! Then you can hit it full force!" My Pokémon tried criss-crossing the field of battle with a Water Gun. Little gouts of water shot into the air, creating a soft mist. Yet, when the vapor disappeared, Cyndaquil was nowhere to be seen.
"Did it annihilate the Pokémon?" I wondered, astounded. "No, it dodged by digging. Hey, Totodile! What are you doing? Don't loaf around or I'll beat you again!" The Pokémon shrank under the threat. It had better not cower like that for long, or else I'll do way worse than beat it. Let's see how the weakling handles getting tossed into the wilderness for a few days, then we'll see if it wished it had fought harder.
Ah good. It is afraid of me, like it should be. I'm the human. I'm the master. We're the fucked-up, arrogant bastards who rule this world. Pokémon are tools to be used by us. They should fear us. Fear will make them obey. Obedience will make them stronger. Strength will redeem their stupidity.
Yeah. There's nothing holy in this world. You want even a morsel of peace? You have to seize it with power. Humans, Pokémon, it doesn't matter. All that matters is the power to control your own destiny, even if it means taking power from others so they don't try to control you.
"Water gun into the hole! Flush it out!" I commanded.
"Toto!" It waddled over to the hole and sucked in a deep breath, preparing a major Water Gun.
"Cynda! Don't die!" the woman screeched. Is she stupid? Totodile will hurt Cyndaquil, brutalize it, but this won't possibly kill the Pokémon. They're tougher than that. Tougher than you, you stupid bitch.
"Toto dooo! SQSHHHHH!" A jet of water flew into the tunnel, blasting rows of geysers in a straight line where it broke the tunnel up.
"Where are you headed?"
Where did Cyndaquil dig to? My eyes traced the line of geysers as they meandered across the field. The path narrowed. My eyes narrowed, then went wide. The geysers were headed straight towards me.
"WOAAAGH!" I tried jumping, in vain. The ground under me fell away. One foot sunk two feet underground, getting buried in the heavy, damp earth. Cyndaquil popped out. I had to hold up my arms to avoid getting scratched in the face.
"Egh!" I wanted to try to bat the pest away, but was too slow. It launched itself off my forearm and towards Totodile. My useless Pokémon wavered, and then began running away.
"Totodile! You get back here and finish that pest off or else!" The implied threat worked. Totodile turned and let loose several Water Guns. None could hit the nimbly-dodging Cyndaquil. It dashed into close range and unleashed an Ember. The attack was not very effective damage-wise, but was good enough to disorient the Water-type.
"It's right there! Get it!" I screamed.
"Cyndaquil! Finish it!" the girl yelped in excitement. Cyndaquil let loose a Fury Swipe. It slashed into Totodile's belly, pranced aside while dodging another Water Gun, and repeated the pattern. Totodile was at a loss, completely unable to keep up. Even as the ground around it turned into a miniature bog, Cyndaquil still managed to outmaneuver the Water Guns at point blank range and deliver additional Fury Swipes.
HOW WAS THIS POSSIBLE?!
"Oh cool! Quick Attack and Fury Swipes together! You're smart Cynda! Keep going!" the girl urged her Pokémon onward.
It didn't take long. I could only watch in helpless rage as my Pokémon succumbed to the barrage of strikes from the unhittable opponent.
As Totodile lay defeated, I groused to myself.
She's staring at me. She's got that look in her eyes. The same look they all gave me. Not fear. Of course not. I was pathetic. I couldn't win. Not hate either. I could understand hatred. Being hated came hand-in-hand with being powerful.
No, she was pitying me. Looking down on me. Making me feel like a fucking kid.
"You bitch! Don't think this was anything but a fluke. You just happen to have a fucking genetically strong Pokémon. We'll see who gets who once I've had a chance to train!"
"How old are you?" the girl said. I sneered at her in reply. She continued. "You don't look any older than me. Kids like us shouldn't use that kind of nasty language."
"Sorry. I look forward to battling you again… I just hope you can find some way of getting stronger without threatening your Pokémon."
"Worry about your own training. You'll need it," I said to her, in the most threatening, vile voice I could imitate.
Who does she think is? This woman is just like the rest of her accursed gender. Just like the rest of her accursed, bloody species. Just like the rest of this accursed, fetid universe. A sore spot, a blind, pathetic, weakling that refuses to acknowledge the way of things.
If she won't see her decrepit place in this accursed universe, she won't ever be able to change it. No one ever will. I'll have to show her. I'll become strong, the strongest trainer that ever lived. Better than Lance. Better than Professor Oak ever was. Better than the legendary Wash, Liya, Abram, Cynthia, Alder, and Monica. Even that god-trainer Loft. They'll be making myths about me, not him! Even better than the undefeated king of battling himself, the great Steven Stone. When I'm done NO ONE will fail to recognize and respect me. Then I can change things.
And I'll start with this ugly, embarrassing example of the human race right before me. I swear it. Soon…
That was back then. I had no idea. No clue. Over the course of the year, travelling all over Johto, trying to get stronger, to find stronger Pokémon, to beat them into obedience, to put them through hellish training so that they could become stronger, putting myself through hellish study to learn every aspect about the Pokémon world… I could never beat her. Six battles later, and she had bested me at every turn.
I insulted her. I put her down. I threw all my rage and wrath at her. It only made her pity me more. It only made her Cyndaquil, and then Quilava, and then Typhlosion, stronger, more determined to take me down. I couldn't figure it out. I couldn't see what was wrong with myself.
I feel so incredibly stupid, looking back on it. All the rage I spent blaming everyone but the person who deserved it, and all the hatred I directed towards the universe when I could not admit that the thing I hated the most was myself and my own life.