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Pink Parka Girl
20th July 2006, 12:14 AM
Where Even Kilroy Hasn’t Been
A fanfic by Pink Parka Girl
Copyright 2006

Author’s Notes: Or should it be authoress’ notes? I don’t know. Anyway........there are hundreds of "kid gets sucked into the Pokémon world" fics. They're overall rife with cliche and all bear a major one I've never seen anybody break (though that doesn't mean people haven't done it before) - it's always a modern kid who knows what Pokémon is. What I attempt to do here is reject the big cliche – and write about an adult, a seaman in Pearl Harbor that fateful day, who gets flung into the world of Pokémon. He's never heard of pokémon, or even video games. Not only is this new world filled with bizarre animals, but the technology outshines that of the 1941 of our Earth (though it's also 1941 in the Pokémon world). Can he adapt? Will he adapt? What awaits Lester?

All pains have been taken to insure things are historically accurate. The physical description of Captain Bennion, and the description of the attack on the West Virginia, are accurate to the best of my research, and smaller historical details are also authentic as far as I can verify them. If you spot something anachoristic, please let me know so I can get rid of it (I think the usage of the term “flying saucer” may be an anachorism - the term gained popularity in 1947, but I can't find any date reflecting when the term first appeared). If the writing style seems dated, that’s also on purpose. I was really trying to capture the feeling of those tales in the pulp magazines of the time, of their incredible sci-fi adventures of discovery. I hope I have succeeded in capturing a “dated sci-fi” feel so far, and I’ve taken great pain to not allow any modern slang to slip through into my writing. If you catch any, let me know so I can get rid of it.

About pokécapsules – the reason for that, rather than pokeballs, is the persistant rumor that in the 1970’s, Tajiri created the very first incarnation of what would later become Pocket Monsters – Capsule Monsters – in the form of a manga (which no one has any screenshots or copies of, apparently, so I can’t be sure it actually ever existed) that did very poorly. I see the capsules as a primitive form of pokéball, the first attempts to make an artificial apricorn, which is why I’m using them here.

Also, please don't complain about me putting real world locations in the Pokémon world. Like it or not, it's a canon fact that real countries exist in the Poké-verse along with the fictional regions. I like the idea of there being a parallel WWII in the Pokéverse as well - I apologize if it's not to your tastes, however. ^_^;

Now, on with the story!

I.

It would probably be best to start at the beginning.

It seems strange, to try to remember. Before the world went mad all around you, before you found yourself in far over your head, involved in happenings you cannot even fathom. To this day, I cannot explain fully what had happened that fateful day, and I’m not sure if what befell me was good or bad. My opinion has fluctuated on whether I had a definitive answer, but now...I cannot decide.

The day was in December. That much I can remember, although whether it was the Seventh, the same day the history I know says a very similar event occurred, I cannot say with any definitively. I’d been stationed off Pearl Harbor on the West Virginia, a large ship in a fleet of many vessels. Our commanding officer, Captain Mervyn Bennion, had stood on the deck early that morning, facing the the ship on the side of us, the Tennessee. Just behind us rested another ship, the Oklahoma; I gave the bow an offhand glance before turning to face my commander. He stood with his arms folded on the rail, his blue eyes slightly thoughtful. His face had been lined about his eyes and cheeks, with the slightest ghost of a mustache growing upon his upper lip and his slightly thinning hair swept back along the back of his head. He hadn’t seemed to notice my attention until I spoke.

“Captain Bennion? What is it?”

Bennion turned to face me, his eyes wearing the same heavy look as they had while he was peering into the sea. “The captain over on the Ward radioed me and the other ships. Japanese midget submarines, he said – five of them. The Ward took care of them, but I fear it’s just the beginning of a much larger attack. There’s long been rumors of a Japanese attack, Seaman Zobeck, and I fear those submarines were just the beginning. You and the others better man your stations.”

I nodded at my captain and returned to the radio room of the ship, to listen for any more reports. This was my station, my place. While I regretted having been asleep earlier, and thus missing the chance to hear the report about the midget subs with my own ears, I remember being ready to take down any other message that may be important for my captain. I heard the quick sound of bugle taps from out on the deck, and quick shouting to the other fellows to rouse out of bed and man their stations. Were the Japanese really planning a much larger strike than just five midget submarines? How would a barely awake bunch of ragtag fellows like ourselves defeat them?

As I remember thinking these questions to myself, I heard a sudden explosion, the force causing large waves that slammed the West Virginia and set her to wobbling fiercely back and forth. Curiosity got the better of me and I left the radio room; making my way carefully down the deck and towards the bow. The ship just before us, the Oklahoma, had been struck by torpedoes!

Backing quickly away from the bow, I let my eyes drift slightly over the rail, noticing three sleek shapes racing through the water, approaching the West Virginia.

“Torpedoes!” I had shouted, racing back to the radio room, frantically hitting buttons in an effort to reach the base on Pearl Harbor. Another explosion shook the very floor upon which I stood, and the radio equipment slid off their table, almost landing atop of me. I dropped the mouthpiece and slid to my stomach, trying to pull myself towards the door across the sharply slanting floor of the tipping ship. Shoving the door open with my shoulder, I slid out of the room and hesitantly stood upright, as the ship had somehow righted itself. Running to the deck, I instantly flung myself back upon the floor as bullets, fired from strafing zeroes, pelted down upon where I had been only a few moments before. Captain Bennion was shouting orders left and right, I remember, and I carefully slid my way towards him. Hearing a hiss, I looked up suddenly at the object swiftly making its way towards us.

“Bomb!”

Captain Bennion and I watched as the bomb slammed into the stern of the West Virginia, shrapnel flying everywhere, both from our ship and from the Tennessee, which had also been struck. Although I cannot describe it very well, I remember feeling then an intense pain, as if a hot poker had been driven through my stomach. Foggy with pain, I turned to my Captain, shocked to see that he, too, had been struck; ragged pieces of burning hot metal protruding from his abdomen. And yet he still stood!

“Captain...” I remember gasping, unable to build the strength to stand up, feeling my own blood run down my leg. “Captain...Bennion...sir...”

“Go, Zobeck!” the Captain ordered, his teeth gritted in a terrible grimace of pain. Flames were already consuming the back of the West Virginia; it would not be long before they engulfed the entire vessel.

“Get...get to the bridge, Zobeck. Someone will save you...I can’t leave the ship...have to help save her...save others...can’t let the Japs win...”

I remember forcing myself to stand up. I had to. My Captain had given me an order, and I couldn’t disobey if I had any means within my body to do otherwise. Stumbling and limping, I remember trying to make my way to the bridge, but I never made it.

The battleship was rapidly sinking; by now water was starting to slosh over the deck. If I was going to get off alive, I’d have to hurry. Ahead of me, I could see the bridge, devoid of any of the other fellows – they’d probably saved themselves already, or had gotten trapped deep in the belly of the ship. As the bridge extended out from the side of the ship, it would be easy to walk from the room out unto the dock that was so close, oh, so close. If only I could get through to the bridge and then unto the dock, I could get help.

I could...

I had to stop. Exhausted, I made my way to the rail and clung, trying to rest. The water rose over my ankles, I could not afford to pause for long. Not when the bridge was so close...

“I can’t...” I had gasped to myself, as I felt my limp hands suddenly losing their grip on the rails. “I.....”

Here I remember my body slipping into the water, sinking downwards faster than the ship. I do not know why I kept my eyes open in the stinging saltwater, but I did. I thought I saw a midget submarine, or a fish, or maybe a dolphin. The salt water ran in my wound and I remember the sting, the terrible sting.

I waited to die, to drown, to escape. I knew that there was no rescue for me.

Pink Parka Girl
20th July 2006, 12:15 AM
II.

It was then I saw the light.

At first, I assumed in my dying haze that it was the light that all men saw when they were led to the great beyond, the beckoning beam of brilliance that would summon a soul to an afterlife of joy or sorrow. The beam enveloped me, and I remember feeling as if I were no longer surrounded by water on all sides. My abdomen no longer ached, and, looking down, I remember noticing that shrapnel no longer protruded from it.

I must have died, I remember thinking. I must be ascending to heaven.

But did I want to die? I was barely twenty-one years old, and some of the other fellows who were on the ship were even younger. I had enlisted in the Navy as a seventeen year old, in 1937. I had hoped for glory, to return a hero, not as a body in a pine box - if my corpse could even be found down here in the ocean...

I don’t want to die! I have to get out of here. Maybe I can swim to the bridge!

I had to fight the light.

Tensing my body – or was it soul? – I forced myself through the pillar of light, slipping out of it into pitch darkness. What was this? It certainly wasn’t the ocean, the West Virginia, or anything I had known in my lifetime. Everything was empty and quiet.

Although there was no floor, I found I could walk easily enough across the nothing. It felt like a dream, and for the first time, I remember thinking that was all it could be. This was just a flash of my dying thoughts as I lay on the ocean floor, mind starved for oxygen. There wasn’t any light, any dark, any heaven. I was just dying, and, no matter what I thought, there was nothing I could do to prevent it. I couldn’t run from my fate.

I waited to die, as I wondered across the blackness, but my consciousness never seemed to shut off. I cannot remember how long I wandered for, though it certainly felt like hours, until I finally saw something sparkle in the distance. At that first glimpse of a something in the nothing, I remember my thoughts leaping. Maybe if I just reach the object and finish this crazy dream once and for all, I can finally die, alone on the bottom of the sea, as it seems my destiny must be...

The object started approaching me as well, and I saw that it was, strangely enough, a fairy. Why am I dreaming up a fairy, of all things? I liked to believe I was tough, a man’s man, and that I could certainly imagine something more worthwhile to see in my dying moments. But no matter how much I tried to imagine something else in its place, the fairy remained. It was a small green creature, with a pointed head, long, pale arms, and antennae over its eyes that swept back towards the tip of its head. Its gauzy wings flittered as it whizzed about my head, looking me over with vast curiosity in its wide blue eyes.

You shouldn’t be here!

The words were not spoken, but rather, rang in my head in a peculiar manner. The fairy hovered before my face, the previously curious look replaced with one of surprise and stern unhappiness.

No, you shouldn’t be here, Lester Frank Zobeck. The spaces between the faceted dimensions of the Multiverse are no place for those who do not have the means to travel through space and time. A soul like yours should have gone to the afterlife your customs dictate, rather than here. Somehow, you have become lost. Did you do something stupid, human?

Why on earth was I dreaming such an involved, crazy thing in my last moments? Or was it really, fully true? Had leaving the light that would have drawn me to Heaven allowed me to somehow slip out into outer space? It didn’t make sense in the least, but it was all I had to go on...

I have no means in which to lead your soul to whatever afterlife you were destined to arrive. Our kind are not divine. We are magic, and live long lives, but still must breed, still must die, just like any other pokémon. The most I can do is return you to Earth, the Earth I know. I do not know if it is your Earth, human, but it is an Earth. It will not reject you.

I would understand very little of what the fairy said to me then, and understand it only marginally better currently. Of course, I thought at the time, there was only one Earth, and “pokémon” was just a fancy name for fairies, although I’d never heard it used before. The little sprite wrapped one small hand about my index finger, and pulled me forward.

I had never imagined a creature to have such a strong tug. The nothingness flew by, soon becoming a something – a rushing, whirling mass of clouds, with a vast landmass – was this what Earth looked like from far above in outer space? – spread out below. Faster and faster the clouds whizzed by, and I felt my essence grow heavier, the soul I had been while wondering throughout the space regaining a body, a form. Closer and closer we raced, and now I could see houses, and ships upon the ocean. A beach spread out below me, but I had hardly any time to admire it before I found myself in it, sprawled on the sand, waves breaking over my body.

I lifted my head groggily; the fairy was gone, and of everything that had happened – or had it? – there seemed to be no trace. I coughed suddenly, a rush of sea water flooding from my mouth and spilling down unto my blood stained uniform. The dream was over, and I must have washed ashore. I’d made it off the West Virginia, and with my life!

And yet I felt no pain from the shrapnel wounds I had endured; and, lifting up my shirt front, all that remained were very small scars. I traced a finger over them, my mind reeling. What I had imagined couldn’t have happened. Yet this beach wasn’t Pearl Harbor, and didn’t seem to be anywhere else on the whole Hawaii territory. The temperature was colder – closer to the December weather I remembered while back home in the States. It was impossible! There was absolutely no way I could have drifted that far, to a completely different beach, without dying from being underwater so long. Unless...

Unless there really had been a fairy, and I really had hurtled down from the sky and landed on this beach. Sitting up, brushing sand off my body, I tried to remember what it had said. “Your Earth? An Earth?” I repeated to myself, looking at the country around me. Had I crashlanded from space unto another planet? I’d long heard of Martians, of theories of the vast plant life of Venus. Had I landed upon an Earth-like planet? Is that what the fairy in the nothingness had meant?

I shuddered. I had no desire to meet a Martian! Clearly, there was intelligent life here – the houses and ships were evidence enough of that. Picturing a world of green men who would love nothing more than a human to eat, I carefully made my way along the sand until I found a massy outcropping of rocks around a tide pool. Quickly, I climbed in among them, gasping slightly from exertion. Was I really hidden well here? What if a Martian flew over in one of their flying saucers, and saw me, a planetary intruder, huddling?

I didn’t want to think about it.

Pink Parka Girl
20th July 2006, 12:16 AM
III.

I knelt down by the tide pool, dipping my hands in the water and splashing it unto my face and hair, washing the sand off. The water felt just like that I had known; a little trickled into my mouth, and it even tasted just like the salt water of Earth. Something moved in the tide pool, and I pulled back sharply with a gasp. Not only did I have the intelligent Martians to worry about, but there were killer beasts here, too?

The creature slipped to the surface of the tide pool and climbed out unto a rock, looking at me, but making no move to hurt me. The creature had a face somewhat like the turtles of Earth, with red eyes and plumes of something – fur, perhaps, arching from over its eyes and coming to a point past the dome of its head. Like a turtle, it had a shell – the carapace orange-red on the top, and a creamy tan along the belly. A long, plumy tail, which, like its tufts, also seemed to be furry, curled over its back and flicked once as the creature observed me.

Was it dangerous? It wasn’t very large, nor did it seem very threatening. Slowly, as not to startle it, I knelt down and picked up a long piece of driftwood that was nestled tightly between two rocks surrounding the tide pool. A lazy, slow moving creature like this Mars turtle appeared to be would be easy for me to kill – I knew I would need to eat, and I’d better take advantage of the opportunity provided by this helpless looking prey.

As I rose the piece of driftwood over my head, ready to bring it down to land with a thump on the head of the Mars turtle, another creature popped up out of the tide pool, scrambling up onto the said same rock and snapping its muzzle up under the Mars turtle’s neck. The new creature had slick orange fur, with a large, fluffy white ruff of fur about its neck and an unusual tail that split in two halfway down the length, resulting in two separate tail tips that it twitched fiercely as its forepaws, edged with blue fins, scrambled at the rock as the Mars turtle swung its head back sharply, trying to shake the new creature off.

No you don’t, I thought, watching the Mars otter attempting to kill and eat my turtle, who I had seen first. Go catch some speedy Mars fish I can’t get a hold of. The turtle is mine! Swinging the driftwood, I swept it down, hitting the otter on the head. It cried out, releasing its grip on the Mars turtle, which scuttled to the far side of the rock, bleeding slightly. Furious, the otter made another lunge for the turtle, and I beat it again, knocking the creature off the rock and back into the water where it, chittering, sunk back into the depths.

Heart racing, feeling the adrenaline rushing through my veins, I prepared the makeshift club for another swing, this time aimed at the turtle. It was staring at me, its mouth slightly open in the water, its red eyes angry and defiant; when it suddenly opened its mouth wider and spat water at me!

I couldn’t believe it as I stood there dripping, my stomach aching from the force of the blast that landed upon it, and the Mars turtle, looking none the worse for wear from either me or the Mars otter, curled up again on the rock, looking as impudent as I’ve ever seen a dumb beast be. How on earth had it done that? Where did the water come from? Did it have some organ in its body that, when it opened its mouth in water, would release a fierce jet of gas and send a stream of water towards predators that would hope to eat it? Or had it generated the very water itself, through a strange Martian organ, and spat it out from its very body? And with such force!

If even the slow, plodding turtles of this planet could protect themselves thusly, how would I ever manage to survive? I would surely starve here, and thus be no better off than I had before fleeing the light of Heaven. It seemed no matter what I did, God wanted to claim me, take me in His arms and carry me away from a life that has not yet been half lived to an afterlife that may not at all be pleasant. I needed to stay alive, to make things as perfect as I could; to insure Heaven rather than the burning pit it would be safer not to name.

But how could I manage? I remember thinking. How could I make it?

It was then the voice interrupted my monologue.

And it spoke English.

“How’d you do it, Mister? How’d you find my wortortle?”

My mind reeled. A Martian, an English speaking Martian, had discovered me! But how? Had they really been spying on us humans long enough to pick up our languages, our speaking mannerisms, and was addressing me in a way I could understand? Or was the thing probing my mind, looking through my memories, speaking only with my knowledge of the tongue through its manipulative, alien ways? Gripping the driftwood so tight I could feel my nails sinking slightly into it, I spun about, ready to wallop the Martian with as much energy as I had.

“A little girl!”

And a little girl was all it was. Her long brunette hair was pulled back, a few hanging bangs dangling before her green eyes, and wore the same fashion of dress I’d seen on little girls posed in British postcards, holding furry kittens with bright blue eyes. While I could not be sure at the time that it was not some sort of Martian trick of the eyes, I had to trust what I saw, if I was going to attempt to make any sense of my surroundings.

“Found what?” She stared at me oddly, her eyes, travelling up and down, taking in my blood flecked uniform, spattered with water from the strange turtle-beast.

“Silly soldier! Was thanking you for finding my wortortle. He’s my pokémon! I got him for my birthday, see? I was supposed to start my Journey yesterday, but I guess Spotty didn’t like me. He ran away and hid in some deep water. And now there he is! Thank you!” Scuttling down the boulders surrounding the tide pool, the girl, not caring about getting her dress wet, waded into the water and plucked the turtle-beast from off the rock. The beast, perhaps resigned by now after the battle with the otter-beast and the attack upon my person, slipped its head and limbs inside its shell.

It was then she did the most astonishing thing. A strange capsule was clipped to the belt about her waist, and, removing it, held it in front of the turtle-beast’s face. With a sharp declaration of “Spotty, return,” a small marking in the center of the capsule began to glow, and a beam of light extended from it, engulfing the turtle-beast. The creature vaporized into a mere shadow of itself, and then, an instant later, the light, taking the shadow with it, sank back into the capsule!

“It-it disappeared!” I stammered, hardly believing my eyes. What on earth was that capsule? I could not, and still cannot, find words with which I could describe its technology as relevant to my experience. It was too advanced, too foreign, like something one would read in Fantastic or Argosy. That couldn’t be a little girl after all; I had been foolish not to flee with my life while I still could. The device had to be some sort of soul-sucker, and, having taken my dinner, the disguised Martian would now take me, keep me in there, and then swallow the hideous capsule pill and digest us in a way more gruesome than anything I had ever read in the above mentioned pulps.

“Martian scum! I won’t let you trap me in there!” I shouted, swinging the driftwood club towards the Martian. With a scream no different from any other little girl’s, she backed away quickly, and the tip of the club buried itself in the sand with a disappointing thoomp. Panting hard, the figure stared defiantly at me, stomping one little Mary Jane on the embedded stick.

“You’re a crazy, silly soldier,” she said finally, her breathing by now back to normal and her eyes calm. “Martian? I’m not a Martian!”

There was only one response I could make, and I did so in as deadpan a way as I could. “Where am I, then? Venus?” I could have gone on to list all the planets, if only to buy me a few more seconds time to create a plan. I had to escape alive. I couldn’t not do so...

“Silly. It’s Earth, same as always! Were you hurt?”

“Earth?” I thought back to the strange fairy’s words about “other Earths”, and felt my mind reeling yet again. “But this isn’t at all like Earth. Earth otters don’t have more than one tail tip, or fins on their arms. Earth turtles are green and don’t spit out water!”

The girl look absolutely baffled. “Otter? It sounds like you’re talking about a buoysel. And that’s not called a turtle, silly, that’s Spotty, my wortortle! Everyone knows what a wortortle is. And silly soldier, what was so scary about my pokécapsule? I think you hit your head. There’s blood on you!”

I had no choice but to give in. I couldn’t make any sense of anything, now that I felt I had become sure that there were no Martians to fear, and I was instead dealing with a strange, fantastical dimension that taunted me with its similarities to the world I knew and yet laughed in my face as I met startling surprises at every turn. As the fairy had said, I was beginning to understand that it was Earth, and yet it was not. The fauna had taken a radically different and wondrous evolutionary turn, and the fantastical devices would easily rival those of the masters of spectulaive fiction. In many ways, it seemed an improvement of where I had once been; and yet I could not dispel the homesickness, the ache, the dislike of this strange place. The girl’s hand clinging to mine was warm and alive, and yet it felt like ice.

“What’s your name, silly soldier? Where’s your uniform from? Doesn't look like ours. Doesn’t look like the Japs. They’re not our friends. They never liked us here in Kanto, you now? Say the land rightfully belongs to them, when the soldiers from the mother country, Great Britain, you know, silly, took control a long time ago, like over fifty years, that’s a whole lot! So-“

Was she ever a little chatterbox! “My name’s Lester...I’m an American Navy seaman, not a soldier, and we’re not on anybody’s side. Our country is neutral.” Hardly listening to myself speak, it wasn’t until I finished when I realized what exactly I had been saying. While I had never heard of a Kanto territory being a country under the rule of the British Empire, the existence of a unique new country was less startling than hearing the lass discussing Japan and Britain. Politics as I know them seem to be intact. It was one strand of reality I could cling to in an attempt to ground myself.......

“Lester! That’s funny. I’m Elizabeth. My pokécapsule sure did surprise you. We all used to use apricorns to keep pokémon in; but people are trying to make artificial apricorns. Real ones are round, of course, but the scientists can’t make round artificial apricorns. Maybe they will someday. They’ll probably work better than pokécapsules. And when you said a buoysel was called an otter. Silly! Good thing we’re almost at the Center. It’s really for pokémon, but the big hospital for people’s too far to walk today. Thanks again for finding Spotty! You’re nice, Lester. Maybe I’ll see you again?”

And without so much as a goodbye, the little lass released me and skipped off down the road, clutching the strange device I now knew was a pokécapsule proudly in her hand.

The Center had a sleek, streamlined appearance to it, all aluminum and stucco in an impressive futuristic architectural display. I rested a hand on the door, wondering if I should even enter. What choice did I have? I knew nothing about the Earth around me, its creatures, seemingly called “pokémon,” or its inventions. I was lost, a sitting duck, and as helpless as I would have been if there really were Martians here. If I was going to be a functioning member of the society; to learn and grow and live a life that would assure a happy afterlife when my time truly arrives, then I would have to force myself to adapt, to forget the past. I had to.

To survive.

Arcanine Royale
20th July 2006, 1:58 AM
Hm, Pink Parka Girl, this is pretty interesting.

I've never really seen much historical fiction, at least not a WWII sort of thing. Hm.

So, pokecapsules instead of pokeballs? Interesting. ]

Well, chapters are a little on the short side, but I've definitely read actual books with two-three page chapters as well. And the quality is good. I really like it so far.

So, how often will you post chapters?

Anyway, good luck.

Flaming Lip
20th July 2006, 6:36 AM
equipment slid off their table

I'm not so sure if thats a typo or not, but I think 'the' makes more sense.

I gotta say, this is really well executed. You put new life in the cliché "sucked in pokéworld" idea, and managed to pull it off very well. Great job! =^.^=

The chapters are a bit short, thats true, but its okay, more length might help though! You're pacing is fairly good, except in the end of the most recent chapter, where he magically goes from a beach, to a pokécenter.

Description is fine, not to much, not to little, though I would like a better idea of what Lester looks like; but maybe you're just waiting for the opurtunity, considering how awkward describing the main charecter from 1st person perspective.

You manage to cram a lot personality in dialouge. Elizebeth is a very alive charecter, and the little nuance of her speech (the repetition of 'silly!') is spot on!

Anyway, despite a few bugs, this is really a quality fic! =^.^= Great job! (oh, and, the fact that it had to do with history sold me, I'm obesessed! :P)

Do you think you could PM me when the next chapter is up? It makes it easier for me to keep track and review a soon as possible.

Pink Parka Girl
20th July 2006, 3:53 PM
That is indeed a typo >.> It's one I even knew about as well, but forgot to change ^_^;

Thanks to all of you for your feedback, and I'm glad you like it so far (all two of you)! While as a first person narrator, I won't have Lester stop and describe himself, I'll try to drop a few hints as to his appearance in the next chapter.

Originally, this was all one chapter. I decided to break it up into smaller parts to post here, however, because when it comes to writing, I can be a bit slow, and I'd rather put up smaller chunks one at a time than one giant chapter who knows how far ahead in the future ^_^; As for the sudden shift from the beach to the pokemon center, there used to be a scene divider there, but it seems like the site ate it :(

And Flaming Lip, I'd be glad to PM you when I update :) It makes me feel special to have a fan who likes the story that much! ^__^

Diddy
20th July 2006, 4:23 PM
This is a pretty good idea, I like the idea of how its in the past.

Pearl Harbor was a pretty good movie as well, the war scenes anyway. The title is cool, because I really doubt kilroy has been there. Damn you Kilroy.

Well anyway, I'll keep reading to see where it goes.

Pink Parka Girl
15th September 2006, 3:49 PM
I beleive the war was with germany not britian

>.> The girl was talking about a totally fictional event - made up for the story - that happened fifty years before World War II, involving Britian and Kanto.

Trust me, I know who WWII was against. The British were part of the Allies.

(Also, I apologize for the lack of updates...I'm painfully slow at writing, I am...)

Arcanine Royale
16th September 2006, 2:21 AM
It's okay, Pink Parka Girl, take your time. Quality over quantity!

And dude man, don't post in threads older than 30 days. It's just annoying.

you
19th September 2006, 7:46 PM
Wow this is a really interesting concept, it kept me interested the whole way through. It totally fits in with your writing style and is a nice twist on an over used idea. I cant wait to see what the future hold for Lester.

Praxiteles
18th March 2007, 12:55 PM
Not bad, not bad...

I had noticed that you were rather talented with plots and ideas and the like, so you could see how this caught my interest. I'm always interested when someone decides to pull off a clichč decently, because it shows how they aren't bad ideas, simply overused ones, and they can be done very well with the right originality.

I especially liked how you almost overturned the sucked-into-Pokčmon-world idea by taking someone from the past, who has absolutely no idea what hit him. Lester's first impressions of Pokčmon life were certainly amusing. Mars turtles...

Although I did notice one flaw, here:


As I rose the piece of driftwood over my head, ready to bring it down to land with a thump on the head of the Mars turtle, another creature popped up out of the tide pool, scrambling up onto the said same rock and snapping its muzzle up under the Mars turtle’s neck. The new creature had slick orange fur, with a large, fluffy white ruff of fur about its neck and an unusual tail that split in two halfway down the length, resulting in two separate tail tips that it twitched fiercely as its forepaws, edged with blue fins, scrambled at the rock as the Mars turtle swung its head back sharply, trying to shake the new creature off.

For one, I believe you meant raised, instead of rose. And for the other, that sentence is a mess, but easily repairable if you just divide it into sentences, both to spare readers the overload of information and to fix the deformed sentences bolded at the end.

You probably understand what I'm talking about, even though I lost a part of my articulateness today, for some reason.

Take your time on the next chapter! I know how slow writing can get. I'm interested in where this goes.

Pyroken Serafoculus

Pink Parka Girl
6th April 2007, 7:01 AM
Thank you to all my very patient reviewers! :)

Yeah, this is going to seem like a chapter about absolutely nothing - and in some ways, it is - but it serves a purpose ^^ There will be actual drastic plot progression in Chapter 5, however, so just bear with this "teaser of a chapter," you could call it, for now :) (Maybe after you read this, you can go review Lost and Found. That would make me very happy. ;) )

An Important Note for my Readers: A few words used in this chapter may be consitered offensive to modern sensitivities. If you are afraid such things may offend, read forward at your own risk. Also, this chapter ends with the start of a violent attack perpetuated by the main character, Lester, upon a pokemon, which will be described in much more detail at the start of Chapter Five. This also has the potential to be disturbing to some readers, so once again, I encourage you to proceed with caution.

IV

The tinkle of bells sounded over my head as I shoved the door open with my shoulder, a gentle chime that was refreshingly familiar to me in the midst of all this madness. The building’s interior, however, was not.

Cheery greenish-yellow tile, not arranged in any sort of pattern, shone softly in the glint of long, tube-shaped light bulbs that flickered erratically every few minutes. Two massive machines, covered in dials and lights and reels turning endless streams of tape, sat hunched against the far walls, with two much smaller machines, looking almost like some infernal mating of a television and a telephone, flanking them on either side of a long counter. Upon the counter sat something that looked like a radio, but certainly the smallest and thinnest one I’d ever seen, and nothing like I had dealt with working in the West Virginia’s radio room or even down at Woolworth’s. Approaching the desk, I touched the device hesitantly; it certainly felt like Bakelite, but was utterly foreign otherwise.

“Don’t just fondle the radio, sir. Switch it on?”

I jerked my hand away in surprise. A young lady, a real BYT, stood on the other side of the counter, regarding me shyly. Her outfit seemed reminiscent of that of a Red Cross nurse - the slight, box-like hat, the sweeping apron – but no Red Cross nurse I ever knew would have done such a ridiculous thing as to dye her hair pink!

“You are…um…” I began nervously, my fingers tapping the counter. “You’re some sort of vet, right?”

“Pokémon Nurse,” the girl replied briskly, resting her elbows close to my anxious hands. “Either you are a very neglectful Trainer, or someone who takes perfect care of their pokémon, to have never dealt with a Joy before.”

I felt utterly baffled. “Joy? I thought you said you were a nurse!” My confusion must have shown all over my face, for the young woman – perhaps named Joy? – shook her head and gave a heavy sigh.

“’Joy’ carried over from the Japanese who used to own this land – it was a title for a female nurse. We’ve been “Nurse Joys” to accommodate both the English and Japanese speakers, so everyone knows who we are, for years. Well, everyone except you, apparently.” She gave me another studious look as she picked the radio up herself, pulled some type of antenna out from behind it, and then switched on the device. A voice I was surprised to realize I recognized blared out of it, with a crooning, Spanish lilt.

Maria Elena
You're the answer to a prayer
Maria Elena
Can't you see how much I care?
To me your voice is like the echo of a sigh
And when you're near my heart can't speak above a sigh…

“Jimmy Dorsey,” both Joy and I breathed in the same breath, hers with an almost romantic tone, mine more incredulous. I had expected to hear some completely foreign song, something as strange as the animals – if I could call the “pokémon” beasts such – that lived on this topsy-turvy Earth. The bizarre juxtaposition – the small, slim radio with the familiar, ordinary song that emanated from within it – made me feel even more ill at ease, and I sighed.

“Song takes it all out of you, doesn’t it?” Joy said gently, strands of her tacky, dyed-pink hair hanging in loose curls against her face as she closely examined mine. “I’d just love to get all togged to the bricks for Jimmy, you know?”

“I can’t say I do know,” I replied, folding my arms on the counter and resting my head upon them. “I don’t know much of anything anymore.”

Joy knelt slightly to look me in the eye, pushing her hat farther up on her head as she did so. “You’re not one for small talk, are you?” She shifted, picking up a pad of paper and a pen. “So. What exactly did you come here for?”

I attempted to smooth down my wrinkled uniform. “I guess what I need, Miss Joy, is a place to bed down and think things over for a night.” The young nurse gave a slight nod, as if indicating she wanted to hear more. “I have no idea where I am. I have no money – only the clothes on my back. Please, kind Miss...I don't want to have to sleep outside. Not with all those...pokémon...lurking around every corner.”

Joy sucked the nub of her pen, an unladylike gesture if I had ever seen one. “A man in uniform so cowardly?” she asked teasingly, taking the pen out of her mouth – much to my relief – and dipping it in an inkpot. “Sure, you can spend a night here – if only because you're cute. Just let me see your pokémon first. If you're that afraid of getting attacked, than your partners must not be in very good condition.”

“I...” I stammered. “Well, you see...the reason I didn't know about your title is because I've never even been in one of these Centers before. And the reason I've never been in a Center is because I've never had...a pokémon.” It was, basically, the truth; explaining anything further probably would have been a shock to that poor young thing's system.

The idea of never having a pokémon, however, looked like it surprised her enough. “All of our boys in uniform have a pokémon. Why, the Government gives you one the moment you're drafted. You must have received one. What did you do to it?” Her somewhat playful air dissolved as she spoke, and was soon replaced with a withering glance that made me shuffle in spite of myself.

“I am a member of the American militia.” Untying the standard issue neckerchief from about my neck, I unfolded the strip of cloth to reveal the US NAVY insignia on the tag. “We don't have a draft. Your country's troops might be forced into owning one of these pokémon creatures, but mine is not.” I took a deep breath, hoping this explanation, also technically true, would be accepted by the young woman. As long as I stayed in her favor, I had hope to stay the night.

Joy, her fountain pen now filled, put nub to paper, looking at me. “What are you doing in Kanto? Are they deporting some of you over here to deal with the Japs? I heard on the radio earlier that a bunch of Japs laid waste to some American ships in the Hawaiian Territory. Maybe you're here for revenge?”

By now I was, in part, used to the amazing similarities in locations and events between my own world – the real Earth! - and this place, this cruel parody. But hearing mention of that terrible attack, the raid that had taken the lives of my commanding officer and an untold number of my shipmates, and had also led to the mess I was now in, brought a massive wave of emotion to the forefront of my mind, and it was only with the utmost of self control was I able to keep myself from weeping.

Maria Elena
Say that we will never part
Maria Elena
Take me to your heart…

A love like mine is great enough for two
To share this love is really all I ask of you...

As Jimmy's crooning faded into instrumental riff, Joy relaxed, and the friendly look returned to her face. “I am sorry,” she said softly, looking deeply into my eyes. “You didn't know about the attack, did you? Go ahead and stay – the overnight room is around the corner. Apologies for the accusations, good sir...and the flirting.”

Leaning heavily against the counter, I pulled myself into a standing position, struggling to keep my knees from buckling. “It didn't bother me that much, duchess,” I choked out in as gentle a tone as I could muster under the circumstances, remembering I should always try and be polite to a lady. “Things have just been...very rough for me. Now do you understand why I asked to stay here for a night?”

“I do,” replied Joy. “But there is one thing I want to ask of you.”

I was willing to agree to anything, if it would only get me into the room quicker. “What?”

Joy knelt behind the counter, and soon resurfaced with a pokécapsule in hand. While the one owned by the young girl who had led me here had been red and white in color, this one was instead wholly white, with a red band around the center. “If you want to stay, you have to take this with you. Trust me. You'll need it.”

“Fine.” Joy tossed the capsule to me, and, after catching it, I carried it down the hall, where my night's lodgings awaited me.

:=:=:=:=:=

I lay on the simple cot that awaited me within the small room, so exhausted I had not even bothered to take off my uniform. What a day it's been, I reflected, casting an eyeball about my current lodgings. The room, like the cot, was sparse, with the only furnishings being a small bedside table, upon which sat an empty box of Cheerioats, a modest vanity, and another of the strange telephone/television hybrids I had seen out in the main hall of the Center.

But what am I going to do about this? The pokécapsule Joy had saddled me with rested against my hip where it had settled due to the shifting of my body upon the mattress, and I picked it up with trepidation. Although not quite the Martian horror-pill I had earlier supposed it to be, it was still a very disconcerting item for me to behold. The small capsule fit neatly in my hand, radiating a soft warmth, and with a heaviness I would not have expected from such a slight object. I remembered how the girl had dissolved and contained the turtle-beast within one of these very devices, and shivered.

“Damn it all,” I said softly to myself, tossing the pokécapsule lightly in the air. As afraid as I was of this new technology, I would have to force myself to become familiar with it. “This is my home now,” I repeated, chanting it almost like a mantra. “It's my home. Everything here is to be gotten used to, not to be feared. I can do it...” Remembering how the girl had pushed a button on the capsule to open it up, I felt around the object until I could feel a slight give under my thumb. This is it...

As I depressed the button, the capsule sprang open on a hinge, and a brilliant white flare almost blinded me The capsule's warmth quickly concentrated into a single point that almost burned my hand, which faded away almost as swiftly as the heat radiated outwards, a vague outline of some sort of creature forming before my scarred vision.

Oh, oh, why hadn't that girl thought fit to mention this capsule actually had a pokémon in it?

Remembering how the turtle-beast had attacked me, I pulled myself off the cot as quickly as I could, desperately trying to get away from the monster I had unleashed. “Don't come near me!” I stammered, blinking rapidly to try and restore my vision to normal. Feeling blindly along the wall, my fingers bumped up against the vanity's mirror, and I pulled at it with all the force I could muster. With a splintering crack, the mirror separated from the rest of the vanity, the force causing me to fall backwards into a corner. Clutching the mirror as if it were my last attachment to the mortal coil, I cowered behind it, my heart pounding rapidly.

If only Captain Bennion could see me now, I thought ruefully. All the boys would think me a coward. Even Doris would laugh, and he was just the mess hall Negro!

Even if the boys lingered only in my memories, acting like such a chickenheart was, admittedly, rather unbecoming of a Navy seaman; something better left to the likes of Doris. Steeling my nerves, ready to look terror in the face, I carefully lowered the mirror to get my first clear view of the monster.

A small animal sat upon the cot, pricking its huge red ears forwards and back as it watched me warily. Its face was wide and expressive, with a slight muzzle and striking markings in its fur – a pale red patch on each cheek, accentuated with a cross shape in the same pale cream color as much of its coat. It was very small - a good half of its height had to be taken up by its ears – and looked even less dangerous than the turtle-beast in the tide pool had.

But like said turtle-beast, the harmlessness of its appearance didn't mean it wasn't dangerous; I could not afford to take any chances. Picking up the mirror once more, I carefully approached the little creature, which, upon noticing my movements, carefully shuffled backwards, fluffing up the fur along its spine and lowering its ears suspiciously. I had to be the one who attacked first, if I was going to keep the upper hand in this situation...

Carefully, ever so carefully, I lifted the vanity mirror as high as I could, tensing my muscles as I watched the rodentlike creature on the bed, which stayed in the same position it had held before. Before it could have a chance to do anything else, I swung the heavy mirror down onto the beast with as much force as one man's vortex of emotion could muster.

-----
A few quick historical notes for my readers who like to learn:
-Click here (http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e57/PinkParkaGirl/1941videophone.png) to see a 1941 Pokemon Center Videophone. :)
-The Nurse Joy in this chapter is supposed to be a "bobbysoxer" - a slightly ditzy but passionate young woman with an obsession for crooners. Many bobbysoxers were crazy about Frank Sinatra, though this Joy has more a thing for Jimmy Dorsey. ;)
-Jimmy Dorsey, himself, was a Spanish crooner. Maria Elana was a popular song which hit the charts in late 1941.
-The black man referred to by Lester as Doris was Doris Miller, mess steward of the West Virginia. Ironically, despite Lester's stereotypical opinion of him as a coward, it was Doris who carried Captain Bennion to a sheltered place after he was mortally wounded and then took command of a machine gun, despite having no training.
-"Cheerioats" is not me trying to dodge copyrights - the cereal we know today as "Cheerios" was indeed known as Cheerioats in 1941. It did not gain the name Cheerios until 1945.

Flaming Lip
6th April 2007, 10:23 PM
Cheery greenish-yellow tile, not arranged in any sort of pattern, shone softly in the glint of long, tube-shaped light bulbs that flickered erratically every few minutes.

I think the word tile should be plural.

Anyway, with such a long space between the last chapters, I was kind of confused by this at first. I'm sort of suprised that you have *mostly* the same World War II going on in this world. Hopefully it'll all come together soon.

That was really terrible what Lester did to the Plusle. ;; Then again, I think Plusle's look like cheese with that red wax on them. They make hungry. I still wouldn't hit them with a mirror.

There are so many directions this story looks like it can go right now. I can't wait to see what the consequences of what he did are. :)

Pink Parka Girl
6th April 2007, 11:33 PM
I think "tile" can be used in a singular sense when referring to flooring, but I wasn't sure on that. ^^; I'll have to check my dictionary and make an edit if required. Thanks for bringing it to my attention, though! :)

As for Lester's new cheesy, waxy room mate, how well she takes the mirror-beating will be revealed in due time ;) And for where I'm taking the plot - you'll just have to wait and see :P I have Spring Break next week, so I'll actually have a lot of free time to do the things I want to do (writing, namely!), rather than the stuff my college professors want me to do :P So you , and my other readers, could be seeing the plot really begin to get underway sooner rather than later :)

Praxiteles
7th April 2007, 11:22 AM
Good turn, good turn. Giving Lester a Pokčmon already is bound to make for some awkward, and thus, fun, moments. Although I wasn't quite thinking in the terms of a mirror being used as a sledgehammer against a Plusle (by the way, Lester really is a chickenheart if a small electric rodent can get a reaction like that), fun nonetheless.

I'm interested by the fusion of Pokčmon culture with 19th century America. It makes for a very intriguing and realistic developement, and fits well with Lester's point of view. You certainly haven't spared a chance to milk the setting for all its worth. I like the level of research yoou did into the lifestyle of that era.

Well, as you said, not quite as much happened here as seems to be the standard of your chapters, so this review is correspondingly smaller. Good work.

Pyroken Serafoculus

PS: I'd like to be notified of a new chapter, too, if you don't mind.

Pink Parka Girl
7th April 2007, 3:40 PM
Hehe, Lester + Plusle = awkwardness to the max ;) The reason for saddling Lester with that particular Pokemon is actually not because I like it. XD Believe it or not, I was a bit impassive about Plusle in general (cute, but not a favorite) until I started planning and plotting this story along. Lester needed a small, cute "NU-class" Pokemon who looked completly unthreatening. But as I worked on the story plot web and doing drawings of some of the objects to be found around the place (I wonder if I should post those? I did put up the videophone...), I grew to really like the Plusle's character, and as a result, it moved swiftly up my favorites list. ^^'

Research, I can say with certainty, is one of the most fun parts of tackling this whole project, and who ever says fanfics can't be educational can go get mauled by rabid Sneasels. :P Basically, not only do I hope my readers gain some tidbits of information, but I've been learning a lot, too. I knew jack about the 40's lifestyle or even Pearl Harbor itself when I started writing, and I've gained such a bigger appreciation for history and our evoving culture throughout doing it ^^

Anyway, thanks for your insights and kind comments! I couldn't get by without my reviewers :)

Tyranipole
13th April 2007, 4:48 PM
Meticulous WW2 research + realistic reaction to "Mars" creatures = success!!! I, being the local WW2 nerd in my school, can say you've done a fantastic job! Lester's reaction were exactly what I'ld expect of a sailor high on Flash Gordon. If you could, PM with the updates, as I expect great things of this blend of my two favourite things. However, all airplanes, tanks, weapons, etc. are proper nouns (in the first chapter, you failed to capitalize "zeroes". Should be spelled "Zeros"). I'ld like to see what Plusle does to Lester for smacking him with a mirror, and how Nurse Joy will react to see the mirror broken. :P
Tyranipole ;248;

Pink Parka Girl
23rd July 2007, 4:24 AM
When I said Chapter 5 would have major plot progression?

Well, I lied. It's another chapter about nothing (if Lester having a nervous breakdown counts as nothing). XD But it's more stage setting for Chapter 6, where I promise to heaven above the main thread of the plot will start to show itself. It was supposed to show itself in this chapter, but it was already running too long, and I'd figure I'd break the original Chapter 5 idea into two chapters. Bear with me, now. ^^ Also, if you like my work, put in a good word for me at the Fanfic Awards ^^'

V.

I opened my eyes cautiously.

Hairline cracks along the mirror radiated from a point of impact, the concentric rings marking that crucial area coated in crimson. I had made contact with the little monster, that much was certain. But had I done enough to keep myself safe?

Lowering the mirror carefully to allow myself a closer look at the animal, I braced for the strike of its potential retaliation – a retaliation that I soon realized, with much relief, would not be forthcoming. A shard of glass from the mirror, dislodged by the force of impact, had cut into the thing's side, leaving a deep, ragged wound, oozing blood, just above the haunch. The leg connected to said haunch, which had apparently borne the majority of the impact force, hung limp and twisted, obviously broken. Its face lay pressed against one of its forepaws, eyes closed and muzzle agape, tongue hanging loosely over its needle-like teeth. I brought my hand just above the monster's throat, my extended index finger trembling from trepidation. Was it still alive? To insure my level of safety, I had to be sure. With a final steeling of nerves and digit, I felt its throat.

A pulse throbbed beneath my finger, an obvious sign the beast was, indeed, still among the living. My touch caused not a twitch from the prone creature, indicating it was clearly unconscious, and I let my hand travel further down its body, taking in the experience of feeling a totally alien being. The pokémon's fur was surprisingly warm and pleasant to the touch; about the length of a short-hair cat's, with a texture somewhere between rabbit and squirrel - I could easily imagine a coat of the stuff fetching quite a price at Sears Roebuck. Under my palm, its chest rose and fell raggedly with its heavy breaths, its skin stretched taunt over its ribs as its body struggled from blood loss.

I picked it up by the nape, holding it above the ruined mirror, watching more blood drip and pool unto the shattered surface below. What was I going to do about the beast – and the mess? The blood-spattered cot could be flipped upside-down, the sheets stripped and stuffed in the small space underneath the telephone/television, and the mirror to the vanity perhaps in between the cot and the bed frame – it would be felt, of course, the moment anyone lay down on it, but I hoped to be long gone before evidence of my vandalism was noticed. The pokémon, however, threw a twist in the proceedings. It was potential food – something I had no money or means to acquire in my circumstances - but I hadn't the slightest idea if it were safe to eat, or how long the flesh would even keep if I were to finish what the mirror started at the moment. I supposed I could ask Joy, but -

Joy! She was the real fly in the ointment. To damn near kill an animal in the immediate proximity of a passionate veterinarian – I knew what those bobby-soxers were like. I had to leave, and quickly. What she wouldn't do to me if she found out what I'd done!

I hastily gathered up the sheets from the cot, twisting them into a tight ball, and threw them to the floor. I felt a little foolish for stopping to hide the mess when I wanted to leave the Center at that very moment, but I kept enough of my Navy training in mind to know it was always a good idea to try and cover one's tracks. The missing mirror and sheets would surely be noticed the moment one lit up the room, but it was better they suspected I stole them, or wasted time looking for where they vanished to, than to see the blood everywhere and possibly go chasing after me before I had a chance to get very far.

Returning to my task, I stood the mattress up on its side and lay the mirror on the bed frame, first stuffing the little beast into the Cheerioats box from the table – thankfully, it fit snugly. I repositioned the cot, blood side down, and gathered up the damp linens. Clutching them to my chest, I eyed the little gap I had contemplated earlier. Would this mess even fit?

I shook my head. They had to fit – and if they didn't, I'd make them, I thought as made my way to the telephone/television. But once I found myself facing the device, against every ounce of my common sense, I stopped.

I had never seen a television in real life, though I remember reading about them going on sale, in limited quantities, to the public earlier in the year. The televisor screen was about the size of my head, though the frame it was set in was massive – as tall as I, and about twice my width. The whole frame was made of Bakelite, like the radio in the hall, in a mottled maroon color. The telephone looked like any other ordinary telephone I had known – though why it was bundled with the television eluded me, since such an arrangement had not been part of the televisions available back home.

Looking at the telephone, I was hit with a sudden inspiration, thoughts of escaping dashed from my mind. Although this Earth was not my own, I had seen enough evidence of astonishing technology to entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, these phones could handle a call to my own Earth. It couldn't hurt to try – could it?

Picking the mouthpiece up off its cradle, I knelt down slightly to press my ear against the speaker. With an apprehension and excitement pounding through my being, I put my finger in the 0 hole and turned.

A small red light flashed on the telephone, and in the front of the television a panel slid back, revealing the lens of a large camera. The televisor flicked on of its own accord, revealing the black and white image of a switchboard operator, wearing a trim uniform and a slightly peaked cap.

“Operator Jenny here, sir! Whom should I connect you to?”

I almost dropped the mouthpiece in surprise. As the woman on the televisor's lips moved, I heard her voice coming out loud and clear on the telephone's speaker. The camera trained on me must be transmitting my image to the operator as I telephoned, and a camera on her end was sending her image back to me. Video telephoning! If that was possible, reaching my friends back home had to be.

“Connect me to Peter Zobeck, San Francisco, California,” I gasped out. “Here's the number.”

As I gave her the information, I anxiously watched the operator at work, moving the switches at a pace that would have made any gunner envious. Peter, my elder brother, was a trustworthy, level headed fellow, always willing to listen to me no matter my problem, whether it be lack of success with women while on shore leave or wondering if it was okay to worry about dying as I lay in my bunk at night. If there were anyone who were willing to listen to my current arrangement – and believe what I was saying – it would be Peter.

“Ah, yes, here we are,” said Jenny after a moment. “Peter Zobeck. Your phone should start ringing in a moment.”

It had worked! It had actually worked! Any minute now, and I'd be talking to my brother – and seeing his face again! Clutching the mouthpiece so tightly it was a wonder it didn't shatter right then and there, I waited in trepidation.

The image on the televisor of the operating room faded out, and the ringing of a phone blasted through the speakers at the same moment. One ring...two...three....

“Hello?” It was Peter's voice. As he spoke, the televisor image cleared, and I could see his face, which shifted from sanguine to flabbergasted in a matter of seconds. “Lester......Lester? Is that you, Lester?”

“Peter! It is me, Peter, it is!” Laughing and crying with delight, almost in the same breath, I must have looked quite a sight to my brother on the other end.

The other end......as I thought this, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Video telephoning didn't exist where I came from. If Peter were talking to me from one of these machines – which he must be, if I were seeing him and he had obviously seen me – than that could only mean one of two things. That Peter had somehow been transported to this infernal world also, or....

That this wasn't really my brother.

“Oh Lester, we thought you were dead! That's what the Navy said. Said you dropped dead this morning while you were manning your radio. Awfully mysterious, they said. You were in the peak of health, and you just keeled over. And then the Japs started bombing, and I guess...” The delight in Peter's eyes at seeing me among the living was certainly real enough, but it brought me not comfort, but only an overbearing horror that must have shown on my face. Misunderstanding, Peter continued. “Guess you must have just fainted, and those Navy docs had too much else on their mind to make sure, eh? You look like you don't believe they could call you dead. Oh come now, Lester, don't panic like that. Where are you at? Are you still in Hawaii?”

I could feel my hands trembling like aspen leaves, and it was all I could do to keep my grip on the mouthpiece. “You...”

Whatever I wanted to say, I had no words for. I sank down unto my knees, out of range of the camera, and huddled against the television's case. This wasn't Peter. This was some sort of copy of Peter, much like the Jimmy Dorsey I had heard crooning on Joy's radio wasn't the Jimmy I had heard crooning on mine back home. It wasn't just celebrities that were the same between this world and mine, but even the ordinary people – my family, and even....

And even, apparently, myself.

Based on what Peter was saying, there must have been a me here before I came here. The me of this world must have dropped dead when the I from outside was introduced, me unable to inhabit the same sphere of existence as I at the same time. I imagined an infinite variety of mes, scattered along an infinite variety of Earths, and felt as small as a snowflake, which I had nothing in common with anymore. At least each one of them was unique.

“Oh, Lester,” said Peter gently, although, without keeping my ear to the speaker, it was hard to make out his words. “Did your officers tell you yet? Roosevelt's decided it's time for America to stop being neutral. The strike at Pearl Harbor can't be taken lying down. America's going to enter the war, Lester. I'll be fighting, too. Any boy that can will be.”

“That can't be!” With a furious kick, I set into the television/telephone, splintering the Bakelite like glass. The picture on the televisor faded out with a sputter, Peter's shocked face contracting into a pinprick of nothingness. The noise must have stirred the beast in the Cheerioats box out of its stupor, for it immediately set up a terrible din.

“Plaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” The earsplitting animal wail was the final straw on my shattered psyche. Not caring about Joy, not caring about anything, I clutched the bloodied sheets to my chest like they were a teddy bear and sobbed.

--------

“How could you, you wicked man? How could you?”

I cowered like a chickenheart, refusing to look up. I had heard her come in much earlier and take the Cheerioats box away, but I had not had the energy or ambition to make good my escape. All I had wanted to do – and indeed, all I still wanted to do – was curl up and cry.

“You're not just a wicked man, but a madman, too. Just look at that vanity and that Videophone! And that poor plusle. I give you a pokémon, and what do you do? You beat the poor thing!”

I ignored her.

“You miserable person. You look at me when I talk to you.” She grabbed my chin in her hand and forced my face upwards. “Look at yourself. Your face is covered in blood. Do you have any shame at all?”

“Leave me alone.” Any chance I had at hoping for pity or leniency from her concerning my situation had been dashed the moment I hit that damned pokémon with the mirror. I knew to that foolish young thing, the animal's well being was more important. Besides, I told myself in what I must admit was denial, I didn't need some soxer's help.

“No. You have no shame. I felt sorry for you. I tried to help you. I even thought you were cute. And this is what you do.” The little animal, eyes glittering curiously, peered out at me from where it sat in Joy's arms. Its broken leg had been set in a splint, the gash on its left side stitched up. If it recognized myself as the one who assaulted it, it showed no sign of such, and instead, reached out towards me with a forepaw, making an odd chattering sound in its throat.

“I was just defending myself,” I muttered softly.

“You fool,” hissed Joy, watching the pokémon's movements. “Don't you know anything about pokémon at all? In wartime, no one wants a pokémon not known for being able to hold its own in battle. They don't want one that'll light up like a blooming Christmas tree, either. What I was giving you was obviously an abandoned pokémon no one else would take.”

“And why does that make me a fool?” Once again, a passionate feeling – in this case, belittlement and anger - had overridden my common sense. I'd already had to go through far too much that terrible day, and the last thing I wanted was to be verbally berated by some girl. It wasn't my fault I didn't know a single damn thing about pokémon.

“Because, you madman, the programming in a pokécapsule is reset whenever the pokémon's ownership trades hands. Because Bernedette had no owner when I gave you her capsule, she now she sees you as her Trainer. Because she sees you as her Trainer, she wouldn't have attacked you for the world. And yet you beat her.”

“I didn't know!” Taking the pokécapsule out of my pocket, I held it in front of my chest in the same way I had seen the little girl, Elizabeth, do. By saying the name of the animal and then the word “return,” she had activated its unfathomable principle of pokémon storage. Could I do the same? I neither liked nor wanted the miserable little beast, but I knew that getting it away from Joy would be an easy way to turn the tables on the situation.

“Bernedette,” I said, assuming that was the name of the creature. “Return!” Instantly, the animal in Joy's arms glowed and shimmered, being consumed by a red haze before it vanished into the container. The capsule shuddered once, then clicked shut. “An 'ignorant fool' couldn't have done that, could they now, duchess?” Leering with a certain sense of satisfaction born of passionate feelings, I shoved past Joy and into the lobby, ignoring her indigent screams to get back here right now and drop that capsule I'm calling the police. I didn't need her. I didn't need anybody, I decided, as I headed into the darkness outside. Nobody was real here, nobody but myself. And I was all I could rely on.

And yet as soon as I found a quiet place to hide – an upended box in a dark, lonely alleyway that at least would protect me from the elements – I sobbed anew.

Praxiteles
23rd July 2007, 2:34 PM
Oh, my. Lester really isn't fitting in, is he? It seems that xenophobia and the fear of transition are making him look like a savage in this universe.

I was somewhat shocked when the extents of Lester's Mirror Attack were revealed. I was under the belief that Pokčmon of any skill level are leagues above humans in strength, though it's understandable that an abandoned (and thus, likely, less developed) Plusle would have less stamina than most. The description, however, was pleasantly gruesome, and that hanging tongue looked somewhat comic to me. Oh, god, I'm sadistic.

Lester's transition into this world, I might say, is handled more skillfully than usual. How bewilderment turns into fear multiplied by popular culture, and then shock and loss, leading down int a spiral of savagery, anger, and finally, weariness. I wonder how he'll finally move on with life in this universe... the next chapter shall be highly interesting.

Oh, yes, a typographical error:


“Bernedette,” I said, assuming that was the name of the creature. “Return!” Instantly, the animal in Joy's arms glowed and shimmered, being consumed by a red haze before it vanished into the container. The capsule shuddered once, then clicked shut. “An 'ignorant fool' couldn't have done that, could they now, duchess?” Leering with a certain sense of satisfaction born of passionate feelings, I shoved past Joy and into the lobby, ignoring her indigent screams to get back here right now and drop that capsule I'm calling the police. I didn't need her. I didn't need anybody, I decided, as I headed into the darkness outside. Nobody was real here, nobody but myself. And I was all I could rely on.

Indigent means poor or impoverished, which doeesn't seem to fit here (or does it?). Perhaps you were going for indignant.

Pink Parka Girl
24th July 2007, 6:59 PM
Good catch on the typo there. ^^

Thank you so much for your feedback, as always. :) Once again, I didn't get a single review from the fanfiction.net folks (and haven't since Chapter One), and knowing I do have readers after all is a great feeling ^^

It is so fun to get into the psyche of characters, I think, even if it's been keeping me from getting to the point of the plot all this time XD But what will befall Lester in the future? Hehe...

Arcanine Royale
25th July 2007, 4:07 PM
This a great fic... and I am still in love with the rare gem of a plot. Anyways, good work. I like the way the parallel worlds work (I have a similar thing in my fic) and such, and Lester certainly is a character. Its interesting though, that the Japanese don't control Kanto, which corresponds to what would present day be Tokyo and surrounding land. Where do the Japanese live, then, if not in Kanto? And I'd imagine everyone would be scared because if they are still on Honshu, they could probably invade Kanto whenever they wanted...

Pink Parka Girl
25th July 2007, 4:36 PM
This a great fic... or at least I still am in love with the rare gem of a plot.

Have I gotten worse? *looks at fic* Any recommendations for what I can do to improve? ^^'

As for Japan not having control of Kanto/Johto/Sinnoh, I had to come up with an explanation for all the white people there XD And trust me...what you said does come into play in later chapters...it is something I haven't touched on much so far because Lester is still focusing more on himself and his immediate surroundings than the greater scheme, but just you wait ;)

Arcanine Royale
25th July 2007, 5:11 PM
Have I gotten worse? *looks at fic* Any recommendations for what I can do to improve? ^^'

As for Japan not having control of Kanto/Johto/Sinnoh, I had to come up with an explanation for all the white people there XD And trust me...what you said does come into play in later chapters...it is something I haven't touched on much so far because Lester is still focusing more on himself and his immediate surroundings than the greater scheme, but just you wait ;)

I don't mean anything of the sort... Um... yeah... you're still a great writer. As for things to improve... other than trying to post a bit more than every half year (not to say that rushing is a good thing), I dunno. I'm no literary critic, so... But yeah. Maybe moving the plot along sooner or later, and posting more.

HommeDor
21st October 2007, 10:40 PM
ooooh i just read chapter one, it is just like the pearl harbour movie i watched (name forgotten). it is really reallly good.
on one hand though, it doesnt seem "armyish" enough, it doesnt seem like that is an army....
it was also really depresseing (war, ofcourse ;) ) but just saying, that point was brought across nicely :D
i am wondering... why use guns when you can use pokémon... after all this is the pokémon-human world right?

Pink Parka Girl
22nd October 2007, 1:39 AM
ooooh i just read chapter one, it is just like the pearl harbour movie i watched (name forgotten). it is really reallly good.
on one hand though, it doesnt seem "armyish" enough, it doesnt seem like that is an army....

That's cause this isn't the Army, this is the Navy. XD Unless that isn't what you meant, and I'm just a moron. ^^'


i am wondering... why use guns when you can use pokémon... after all this is the pokémon-human world right?

Actually, no, but that's my fault, really *blush* The story starts in our own world, not the Pokémon world, and that's why you don't see any pokémon during the attack. However, pokémon do come into play a little later in the story :) I guess I was just "assuming" people would be able to pick up on the fact that the action in Chapter One was set in our own, mundane world, but I should have been a little more aware that not everyone would get it. Sorry! ^^'

HommeDor
30th October 2007, 2:32 AM
i just read chapter two. now i see what you mean!!! i cant wait to see whats going to happen to him! but i must because i have a biology test tomorrow :p
brilliant as usual, the emotion is so real!!! lovely!!!!

ah navy, sorry my vocabulary is still growing :D
so celebi found him???

Pink Parka Girl
13th March 2008, 5:47 PM
OH MY GOD PLOT. Finally, there's some plot. Yay! And a cliffhanger, too!

And yes, I know Plusle can't learn the attack Bite, or Thunder Fang for that matter. But even if they can't make use of the specific attacks called Bite or Thunder Fang, pretty much any pokemon with jaws could be taught to bite, and to make use of their natural element as they do so. So deal with it. :P

----

VI.

I needed someone.

No amount of posturing and acting tough, of pretending and lying to myself, could hide this basic truth. Never had I felt more alone as I did then, cowering in the cardboard box with my hands, clasping my neckerchief, over my eyes. I needed a kindly ear to listen to my story, a kindly hand to help me up, a kindly eye to show me the way home. But none of these comforts could be provided by the shams of people that lived on this sham of an Earth; I would have to face them alone.

Alone......

I huddled into an even tighter ball, pulling my filthy hat further down over my ears as I felt rain start to leak into my cardboard shelter. I knew, deep down inside – even though it stung my pride to admit so with my conscious mind - that I truly was a chickenhearted little coward. My joining the Navy as a young lad of seventeen had been an attempt to convince myself of otherwise - that I could put myself in harm's way for the good of the country, look death in the face, and come back bearing the respected title of Service Veteran, seen as a brave hero for the rest of my days and never having to again acknowledge how skittish I truly was. I had convinced myself that America was going to stay uninvolved with the conflict heating up in far off areas of the globe, and that I wouldn't have to deal with anything more than squabbles and fisticuffs, if even those, to gain my place as a hero to society. But as the political landscape had grown ever more turgid, the idea that I might have to look death in the face – and possibly not survive the encounter – had felt like a shot of ice water in my veins. Confining only in Peter, I had cloistered myself within my little radio room, worrying every day I'd have to face war – real war.

And when there was war, I had run, worrying only about myself, thoughts of my mates in danger never halting my stride. It was true that my officer had told me to do my best to get off the ship while he performed his noble duties – but I didn't have to listen. I could have defied him, could have been brave, could have helped others, could have gone down with the ship feeling as if I had no need to fear the light at the end of the tunnel, confident in my own last sacrificial moments. But because all I had ever done was run away from what scared me...

My current predicament was a direct result of my own cowardice. That much, I certainly knew. But that same cowardice was holding me back, keeping me in a choking stranglehold of fear, unable to do anything to better my situation. Every time I felt I would be brave in order to allow myself to adapt to this backwards world, my terror would rise, like a lurching, hideous sea monster, right back up to the surface to look me square in the eye. If I truly was going to survive, I had to conquer it; banish it once and for all.

Picking up the pokécapsule, I turned it over once, twice, and again, letting its weight shift across my cupped palms. If I was going to face my own fear, I could start with the terrible beast my own impulsiveness had gotten me stuck with in the first place. It might not be too bad, after all; Joy had said that it thought I was its master and would, therefore, obey my every word. A vicious beast that did anything you told it to do...with such a creature behind my back, what would I have to be afraid of? I'd laugh in the face of terror!

Feeling cautiously optimistic, I pushed the button on the capsule, squeezing my eyes shut to keep the light from blinding me this time. Joy, unlike myself, knew something about pokémon. If she said it would listen to my commands, that meant it would listen...right?

When I felt it was safe, I cracked my peepers open carefully, peering down at the tiny terror. It crouched in between my feet; its long ears folded back along its skull and its muzzle pressed fretfully between its forepaws. If anything, it looked even less intimidating than I had remembered – but if I knew one thing about this mad world, it was that appearances were deceiving. And even if they weren't, I thought with a sigh, I had to make do with what I had on hand.

“Okay...well...Bernedette.” At the sound of its name, the animal lifted its head slightly, pricking its ears and giving me an anticipatory look. What sort of things could this beast, this monstrous bunny as imagined by Lovecraft, actually do? I recalled the pair of fancy rabbits – Sammie and Susie, after Uncle Wiggily's little friends in the funny papers - of my own boyhood; supposedly tame creatures with soft white fur and gleaming pink eyes, and a nasty habit of biting on my fingers whenever I had foolishly tried sticking them through the wire in hope of stroking their ears. Could this savage creature, perhaps, make similar use of its teeth?

“Well, then. I hope whoever used to own you actually taught you something useful. Bite!”

At the sound of the command, the little animal pulled itself up unto its paws, putting little weight upon its injured extremity. Tensing its body, it propelled itself forwards and landed upon my chest; digging its tiny claws into the fabric of my uniform. Well, whatever this is, it certainly isn't a -

“****!” The bit of colorful Navy language escaped from my throat like a racehorse straining at the bit as a vicious, terrible pain, equivalent to touching a wet cattle fence, tore through my shoulder and raced up and down the length of my body. What on earth was this? Did the bite of every pokémon feel like this? It was excruciating; even more so than the shrapnel that had injured me on the West Virginia had been. Damn it all! Damn, damn! I've got to get this monster off me!

I threw myself unto the wet tarmac, hoping to crush the miserable little beast in between my body and the surface of the street, or to, perhaps, smother it in a puddle. Chattering, it released my shoulder and struggled to squirm out from underneath me, its small forepaws bicycling uselessly in the air in its instinctive efforts to find some kind of purchase. What a fiasco this has turned out to be! What good was a vicious monster that attacked me? I couldn't be brave with such a creature. But I couldn't prove myself as a chickenheart...a chickenheart wouldn't have the strength to find their way home.......

“What's going on here?”

I looked up warily, dirty rainwater streaming from my hair and down my cheeks. A girl of about my age stood a few paces away, peering down at the pathetic spectacle that I must have been with a disapproving stare. Her blond hair was cut in a rather fashionable style, curled slightly over her shoulders and framing her delicate face in an alluring manner. Clad in a well-cut, if cheap looking, pink blouse and a rather plain skirt, she looked as if she'd been out cutting the rug at a dance hall – even if I did have to wonder with whom, given her fellow had likely been drafted and had much more than the jitterbug on his mind. “Oh, do you ever look a fright. And such language!”

I blushed slightly. She'd heard that? “Sorry, duchess. But if some mad...pokémon...bit you, would you be able to control your mouth?”

“Is that what this is about?” The girl knelt slightly, taking a hold of one of the demon rabbit's flailing paws and pulling it gently into her arms. “What were you doing to make it want to attack you? Poor thing, it's terrified...and look at its foot!”

Was this going to be Joy all over again? “All I did was command it to attack! But it attacked me!”

The girl shook her head, almost in a patronizing manner. “And they like to say girls are poor Trainers.” She stroked the vicious brute's head, causing the creature to make a soft, contented sound in its throat and close its eyes, letting its ears droop in a relaxed state. “You can't command a pokémon to attack when there isn't anything for it to attack. It might end up attacking you rather than fear punishment for disobeying.” She offered me her free hand and I took it sheepishly, trying to hide my feelings of embarrassment at getting chastised yet again by some silly young thing as I allowed her to help me up to my feet. “At least I hope you've taught your plusle to recognize the sounds of an incoming air raid if you're going to wander the streets at night. What are you doing out here, anyway?”

“Air raids?” I couldn't hide the panic in my voice, as memories of the strafing Zeroes soaring overhead as my ship was bombarded filled my head. War......war........real war.......

“Yes, air raids! You're really not a bright man, are you? Where were you when all the news reports about the Johto bombings were going around? Kanto's just as vulnerable to attack as they are!” As she spoke, she took a large, oddly-painted round nut from out of a pocket on her skirt, pushing a button upon its center that looked the same as that upon the pokécapsule Joy had given me. The nut popped open on a hinge, and, just like a pokécapsule, a creature swiftly materialized out from within it; an odd, violet furred cat – or was it a dog, or a fox? - that gave me a wary stare before following along at its master's heels. “Me, I carry Espeon for protection. Not only can she sense any incoming raids, she can project a force field about me if I can't get to a shelter in time. You do know where the shelters are, right? I'd sure hope so, if Plusle's your only pokémon.”

I had to shake my head. “I.....I'm new here.” It was certainly a true enough statement.

She squinted her eyes at me slightly as we passed underneath a streetlight, getting a good look at my attire. “You're even filthier than I thought. And that sure isn't the kind of uniform any of the NCT's military branches wear. You really have had a hard time, haven't you?” As she continued to speak, her tone became less mocking, taking on a much more sympathetic tone. “Are you one of the British soldiers stationed about here? Were you attacked? Maybe that's why you seem so disoriented. Your accent doesn't sound British, though...”

“American,” I said, trying to think of some type of cover story that this young thing would be inclined to believe. “My Navy base was attacked” - that was true enough - “but I'm tired, and feeling a bit crazy. After all, only a fool would order a...pokémon...to attack when there isn't a target, yes?” I forced a laugh, as if I knew what I was talking about. “I don't have any idea how to get back to my base, though. Is there any way I could, well.....spend the night with you? What's left of the night, that is,” I finished lamely, as a clock tower somewhere far off chimed midnight.

“I couldn't let a serviceman stay out on the street, could I? My home is open to you.” As she approached a small apartment complex, she held the brute in her arms out towards me, expecting me to take the miserable creature back. “I need my hands free so I can get inside, Mister......” She squinted at my uniform. “Mister Zobeck. And you know...it wouldn't kill you to give Plusle some love. She seems like she's starved for attention.”

I was hardly in a mood to be lectured, but I also wasn't in a mood to have this girl change her mind. “Fine.” Taking the plusle, I held it in what I hoped she would find a satisfactory manner as I watched her fumble for her keys and open the door, revealing a rather shabby little affair. Lit with a single bare bulb, the apartment hardly had room for the few pieces of furniture it held – a bed with worn, wrinkled sheets that looked as if they'd been in fashion ten years ago; a rickety bed stand, a cheap dresser, and a telephone that looked perfectly normal to me but must have been cheap and primitive by this world's standards. The nouveau wallpaper hung in curled strips along one wall, and the only thing that felt even remotely modern – a small, deco-styled figurine of whatever type of creature it was this BYT kept – was chipped and dusty. If this were all I had, I couldn't help reflecting, I'd jitterbug my nights away too to keep from thinking about it.

“I know it isn't much,” the girl said softly, giving me a shy, hesitant look, “but it's all I have. With my fiance off fighting, and my only source of income serving as a secretary down at the Roscoe firm....still, you are welcome to the bed. Espeon, you'll be comfortable on the floor with me, right?” Without complaint, her purple-furred beast curled up on the worn carpet, tucking its long, forked tail close to its body.

“You don't have to give me your bed, duchess.” I sank unto the floor, trying to ignore the soft chirps for attention the demon-rabbit in my arms was making in hopes of perhaps receiving some pats on the head. What did this say about me? This girl had nothing, and had no reason to care for me, and yet here she was – offering to give up what little she had to make me more comfortable. Were the people who lived on this sham earth truly shams themselves? Was I so misplaced, so cowardly that a woman could show more bravery in the face of hardship than I felt I ever could? What sort of fellow was I?

“I know I don't have to, Mister Zobeck,” she said gently, stroking her pokémon's short fur. “I want to. You may seem a little silly, and a little dense, but I can see how dirty and troubled you are underneath it all. This war's taking all our boys and subjecting them to a world of horror. The papers and everyone says it's all for a good cause – we really can't let the fascist states get away with it, can we? - but I've seen the newsreels, and I've seen the men themselves. War changes people.....and if kindness is what is needed to remind our boys they're still human, then I am all for it. After all, it's what I would wish for my Christopher.”

“Call me Lester, please.” What more could I say than that? If I had any additional words, I could not bring them to the forefront of my mind – my own problems and desire to find my way back home seeming as insignificant as a housefly compared to this woman's feelings.

“Lester, then.” She smiled slightly, resting her head against Espeon's. “Do sleep well, Lester. And in the morning, we can try to find your base.....” Closing her eyes, she said no more, and soon her breathing slowed as her mind drifted off into the realm of dreams.

Yet despite my own exhaustion, sleep managed to elude me as I lay upon the girl's bed, staring up at the ceiling as the plusle snoozed in a ball against my neck; as I was feeling too moody to bother throwing it to the floor. The worn asbestos tiles above me were riddled with cracks, and I couldn't help comparing them to my own soul as I reflected upon all that had happened. Was everything that was happening to me God's way of trying to teach me something about what bravery really was? Had I been allowed to flee the light because it wasn't meant to be my time? And if I was being taught a lesson, could I ever hope to learn it? I can't be brave! I thought furiously, clenching my fists from the vigor of my own emotion. How can I hope to be anything when I can't even control the only weapon I have? Why couldn't I have just died a coward? Why do I even have to go through this?

Damn you, world! Damn you all!

“Plaaaaaaa.......” Awakened, the miserable little monster sat upon the small of my neck, resting one forepaw hesitantly upon my chin as it peered into my eyes, its ears pricked attentively. Its look reminded me of a neighborhood dog from when I was growing up; a friendly little Rover who'd follow any boy he could find until that boy would stop to romp with him. “Starved for attention,” my mother would always say of that particular canine, and my hostess' words from earlier in the night concerning this particular beast had been exactly the same. It wouldn't kill you to give Plusle some love.

Why should I? I thought in response to the memory, closing my eyes so I didn't have to look at creature in question. It's hideous! If I must have one of these pokémon, all I want it to do is attack people for me. And Joy never said anything about the filthy creature having to like me in order to do that.

But what if this was part of the test? Could learning to trust these strange new creatures be part of what I need to find my courage? But I don't even like them...even if this is a test, why should I have to? What good would it do me in the end? Once I go home, I wouldn't ever have to deal with any silly pokémon ever again – least of all demonic rabbits!

“Plaplapla.......” The little animal chittered again, scratching at the worn collar about its neck with its good hind paw. I squinted, noticing suddenly that a folded square of paper had been tucked in between the collar and its neck. Perhaps it was some type of instruction manual? Thoughtful of Joy to include that, I pondered wryly, as I carefully pulled the paper out from behind the collar and unfolded it, squinting in the faint moonlight to make out the writing upon it.

HOMEFRONT COLLECTIVE COPY FOR REFERENCE. KEEP ON FILE

October 3, 1941

Miss Mary Ardale
Violet City, Johto

Dear Miss Ardale:

This is to advise you that your plusle, Bernedette, has been called into the Pokémon Corps of the Nippon Collective Territories' Armed Forces.

If you wish to enlist Bernedette, please advise by return mail and we will send a Premier Capsule express prepaid to your express agent. Place Bernedette in the capsule and return via your local Pokémon Center to the server of Pokémon for Defense at Viridian City, Kanto.

After a physical examination, and if she passes, Bernedette will be sent on to one of the largest training centers in Kanto where she will be well-trained by the finest Pokémon Trainers in Kanto, and she will probably be overseas within four to six months. It is understood if she should not pass her examination, she will be sent to the Homefront Collective prepaid. However, it is most likely she will pass, and she will be sent on to one of the finest pokémon training centers in the world.

When the war is over and you have had an opportunity to learn first-hand from the soldiers who have benefited by these trained war pokémon, you will realize what a splendid contribution you have made toward your country's welfare in time of war.

Sincerely,

POKEMON FOR DEFENSE INC.

P.S. Please notice the specifications. You will note that Shining Pokemon are not acceptable and will be donated to the Homefront Collective or euthanized.
(Plusle standards.)
Age - 14 months to 3 years
Color - Normal fur tones
Weight - 9# or over
Height - 8" at shoulder.

It's a form letter, I thought, my eyes aching from reading the typewritten missive in the dark. And if this was a copy belonging to the Homefront Collective - whatever that is – than it's obvious this pokémon failed its training or had something wrong with it. No wonder it was free for Joy to give it to me...though it's not as if I needed any further proof you were worthless, little monster. Sighing, I crumpled the letter into a ball and threw it into a corner, trying to shut it out of my mind. A worthless monster for a worthless man.

Fate, must you hate me?

:=:=:=:=

I am not certain when it was that night that I had managed to fall asleep, but it felt like no time at all before a rough tongue and an emphatic pair of paws against my cheeks roused me back into the land of the living.

“Plaaaa-ahhhh!”

“Get off me,” I grumbled, swatting the annoying little creature to the floor and rubbing my eyes wearily. The world outside the window still looked dark and still, and a check of my pocket watch confirmed that it was much too early for any but the most mad of men to be out and about. “Three in the morning? You woke me at three in the morning?” Grumbling, I let my head fall back to my pillow, hoping to resume my shut-eye. All I needed was some nice, long......

“Eeeeeee!” The shrill cry of my hostess' pokémon jolted me back into alertness, and I jumped out of the bed, scrambling for the drawstring to switch on the light bulb. If those pokémon were making such a racket....I remembered the words of the girl as we had walked along the street. Kanto's just as vulnerable to attack...I carry Espeon for protection....I hope you trained your plusle......

Oh, no, oh God, oh no....this could only mean one thing.

An air raid was coming!

Gardevoir Girl
15th March 2008, 2:09 PM
Wow!

I actually found this thread a while ago and read it, but it was too old to comment in so I decided to wait until the next chapter. It's interesting to see you straying off the old familiar path of people who know what Pokemon are being suddenly thrown into their world. Even more interesting is that their world is parallel to the real world. And, you've successfully made me feel sorry for poor Bernedette. I hope you can find enough inspiration to write more of this.

~GG~