This is the first in a three-part fan fiction series. I hope that you will read, comment and enjoy this fanfiction.
Twilight has fallen on a world in which humans and Pokemon are now bitter enemies. Only five Pokemon trainers remain to try and rekindle the fire of a dead world. This is their story.
Ashes of Johto (Sacred Fire #1)
Eben Village, Not Far from Ecruteak City
It was dark, too damned dark. Kim Saitou had always been a little afraid of the big, bad black, even if she would never admit it to anybody but herself. Machinery hummed all around her, only adding ambience to the menacing black instead of relieving it, every footfall a thud that rang in her ears. Behind her walked eight men wearing heavy armor, each of them toting a high-powered rifle. It was dark, but they could see everything.
“I’ve got something,” one of the men whispered, a village fellow named Stephen. He adjusted his night vision goggled and panned his head slowly about the sterile looking control center. “Yeah, that’s them alright. I count forty, maybe fifty Magnemites. They’re draining the power again.”
“God damnit, I knew it,” Kim sighed and disabled the safety on her rifle. “Safeties off and rifles up. On the count of three, we fire three volleys into that swarm. Then we pick them off when they scatter. Watch for machinery. You know the drill.”
There were murmurs of acknowledgement, followed by eight nearly simultaneously clicks as the militiamen prepared to fire.
“Three… Two… One… Okay, go!”
Kim pulled her trigger, and the oppressive darkness was cut by three successive muzzles flashes and tracer flares. The flashes illuminated the buzzing Magnemites, several of which exploded spectacularly as they were dinged by the whizzing projectiles. The rest scattered and surrounded the party, buzzing and crackling as they powered up to attack.
“Lights, Stephen! Now!” Kim shouted, and was momentarily dazzled as Stephen hit the emergency restart, bringing the Ecruteak Power Plant back to life. She felt her hair stand up as one of the Magnemites surged over her head, hissing and buzzing as it spat electricity at the party. Stephen turned and knocked it out of the air with a well-timed burst of gunfire, causing it to burst in a shower of sparks and hit the ground with a tin thunk.
“Everybody okay? Anybody hurt?” Kim yelled over the din, and she said a private thanks as she was greeted with lively cursing rather than screams. The Magnemite cloud came on strong, but they hadn’t reckoned with Eben’s band of seasoned exterminators. One by one, they shuddered and dropped to the ground as they were neutered by well-aimed tracers.
The Magnemites were almost all gone when Kim felt her rifle begin to shudder in her hands, then jam. She shrieked involuntarily as a passing Magnemite shocked her neck, then found herself ogling her rifle as it slid across the floor and vanished into the next room. Seven more rifles narrowly missed bashing her across the head as they followed Kim’s weapon into the shadows.
Then the world started to dissolve, fragmented, and finally burst into shards of glass that drove themselves deep into Kim’s brain. She was dimly aware that the rest of the party was writhing on the floor next to her, their hands clapped to their ears as they tried to drown out the terrible, metallic shriek that threatened to burst their eardrums. Through the haze of pain, Kim saw a shiny, cycloptic bulk hovering above them, its terrible squeal distorting the air around it, their rifles held captive by two quivering magnets.
It started to descend, that one eye narrowed. The metallic shriek dimmed a bit, and that was all that Kim needed. Before she knew it, she was out the door and into the next corridor.
Running… Running… Running…
Three candles stood burning on a bedside table, the only illumination for a house that, like the rest of its neighbors in Eben Village, was completely powerless. They were the villagers only refuge from the dark and the prowling Pokemon in the forest around them. Without the candles, or the power plant, Eben was a tomb.
The candles lit softly on the face of a man who lay sleeping nearby. His hair was tussled ebony, a patchy black beard sprouting haphazardly on a somewhat boyish face. Four Pokeballs lay on the table, three were the standard red and one was a pitch black. His jacket and hat hung over a simple oaken chair.
The man opened his eyes slowly, then jerked awake with a start as he realized that he wasn’t alone. Rubbing his eyes, he groped about for his Pokemon as he grunted, “Who’re you, whaddaya want?”
His watery eyes started to focus, and he realized that he was looking on a haggard old man with a snow-white beard and watery eyes, hardly a threat. Nevertheless, his pulse began to quicken again as he realized that the oldster was holding his Pokeballs, “Where am I?”
“This is Eben Village, and I am Elder Saitou,” Saitou grunted. “You have been asleep for nearly twelve hours, James. We were beginning to worry.”
“How do you know my name?” James asked warily.
“We found your trainer card in your personal belongings,” Saitou gestured distractedly to James’s pack, which lay in a heap on the floor. “As for yourself, we found you laying near the edge of the village. I assume that you made the acquaintance of our local Gengars.”
“Yes, I believe I did,” James rubbed his head, blearily recalling the laughter, the moving shadows and the blinking red eyes. He had tried to fend them off, but there had been too many.
“Well, you are safe among friends, James. You are welcome to stay here as long as you need. I’m afraid that travelers are a rare sight these days. But first, we would very much like you to explain these,” Saitou held up James’s Pokeballs. “I’m afraid that these are far rarer than the passing traveler these days. In fact, I thought that there were no more trainers in this region, not since all of the Pokemon went wild some years ago.”
“There are a few of us, but just a few,” James said carefully. “The Pokemon listen to us when they won’t listen to anybody else.”
“That is a remarkable gift,” Saitou nodded as he handed James his Pokeballs. “But I’m sorry to say that very few people in this village will trust a Pokemon trainer. Eben used to be home to a champion trainer, but he left this area a very long time ago. I doubt if I will see him again in my lifetime. In any case, now that you are awake, would you mind coming with me? Many of my colleagues would very much like to speak with you.”
“Give me a hot meal and a second to get dressed, and you have a deal.”
Saitou smiled and nodded, “I will be waiting outside, young friend.”
* * *
When James was finished dressing, he followed Saitou from the small house where he had been sleeping to a somewhat larger, two-story house that was nestled in a grove of trees nearby. Candles glowed in every window, and sometimes James caught glimpse of round faces peering out at him from the safety of the houses before vanishing again.
They stepped together onto the wooden porch of the old rambler, and Saitou rapped briskly on the door. It opened as if by its own accord, its well-oiled hinges generating hardly a whisper compared to its creaky, wooden brother. When James stepped inside, he found himself facing a circle of stern looking old men and one disheveled looking woman sitting about the rambler’s well-furnished living room. Saitou guided James to a chair, then quickly fetched him a cup of coffee as the rest of the elders settled in. The woman stared at him fixedly.
“Welcome to Eben Village,” one of the elders said in a voice barely louder than a whisper. “I am Elder Fujiwara. What is your name, boy?”
“My name is James Chambers, and I’m a Pokemon trainer,” James said edgily, self-consciously removing his hat as he did. That woman was starting to make him nervous. He wasn’t the only one who was edgy either. The current of the room seemed to shift with the words Pokemon trainer.
“There aren’t any more Pokemon trainers,” said the woman from her armchair. Saitou tried to pass her a cup of milk, but she pushed it away. “Pokeballs are useless, we should know. Pokemon only attack now, they are our enemies.”
“And your name is?”
“Kim Saitou,” Kim narrowed her eyes. “Don’t get smart with me, kid. You’re either a liar, a traitor to the human race, or both.”
“Please excuse my daughter,” Elder Saitou said apologetically. “She had a rather nasty run-in with what we believe to be a Jibacoil last night. In fact, that’s partly why we asked you to address the council. We were wondering if you had any fire or fighting Pokemon that could assist us.”
“Is it alright if we saw your Pokemon?” One of the elders piped up eagerly. “I trained Pokemon as a youth, but it’s been many years since I’ve seen one in captivity.”
James looked around and saw that the other elders were nodding eagerly. He felt something slide into place in his mind, and it occurred to him that these elders weren’t afraid of him at all. They were actually excited to meet him. He stood slowly and plucked the four Pokeballs from his belt.
“Everybody… Come on out!”
The candles were overwhelmed by the particle flashes from the Pokeballs as James’s Pokemon appeared before the startled spectators. First an Umbreon, its gold rings flashing in the night as it curled itself around James’s legs. Then a fully-grown Pidgeot, which tucked its wings painfully about its sides. A Scyther followed with a high-pitched cry. Then, finally, a Cyndaquil, which quickly hopped up to James’s shoulder.
“These are my friends,” James said awkwardly, aware of the eyes that had fallen on him, particularly the burning blues that belonged to Kim Saitou. “I’m sure they would thank you for your hospitality.”
“You have a fire-type,” Elder Fujiwara said breathlessly, his eyes wide. “Truly, our prayers have been answered.”
“I’m afraid that we’re going to have to ask for your help, trainer,” Kim said reluctantly. “We have an exterminator squad to clean out the power plant when the Magnemites become a serious drain, but our rifles are completely useless against that Jibacoil.”
“Have you tried flamethrowers?” James asked sincerely as he fed a few scraps from his pocket to the Cyndaquil perched on his shoulder. “The commando units in Saffron City use them to keep the Kanto Power Planet clear.”
“We’re a small village, and we only have what we can afford from the government, which isn’t much,” Kim said pointedly. “And even if we could afford flamethrowers, that Jibacoil’s magnet pull renders most metallic weapons useless.”
“I see,” James recalled all of his Pokemon save his Cyndaquil and regarded the elders seriously. “My Pidgeot has injured its wing, and I was looking for a village that would offer me medical assistance and a place to sleep for the night. Will you help me?”
“Yes, of course we will, Mr. Chambers,” Elder Fujiwara said gravely. “In fact, I believe we already have.”
“Then your problem,” James nodded to his Cyndaquil, which squeaked. “Is now our problem.”
NEXT: The Power Plant