My name is Bulbasaur.
I hatched in a small family of my kind living in a warm plain full of sunlight. Well, mostly my kind. When I was only a few levels old I was told my father is Ditto. He tricked my family into thinking he was a Venusaur, strong and proud, then left after he found out my mother, Ivysaur, was pregnant. A passing Diglett told us Ditto had done much the same with many other colonies of Pokemon; the latest case was with a wild Charmeleon. Ditto is mostly ashes now, I think.
My mother Ivysaur taught me about this world. She says humans call this region Kanto. Humans capture Pokemon in small cases known as Pokeballs, then use the Pokemon to battle each other. The humans that fight with Pokemon are know as Trainers. A beginning trainer gets to choose one of three Pokemon for their starter: Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur.
It's important, my mother told me, to never get captured in a Pokeball. She says we are a rare Pokemon and that Trainers would be eager to use us to fight. So far, I have only seen one human around our home. It made many marks on a piece of wood it held, but I don't think it spotted me. Hopefully it will never come back here.
I lay basking in the sun, relishing in the warmth seeping into the bulb on my back. I could feel the bulb growing stronger with the approaching summer. I turned my face towards the sun and slipped into a doze while the plants around me emanated happy glows in the peaceful heat. All was well.
I felt a subtle shift in the general emotions of the plants around me. They no longer had their lazy bliss about them, but rather a half-formed fear. I could sense their roots trembling, as though they could detect a stranger on the plain. I looked about my surroundings. I could see nothing wrong, yet the plants' continued shivering made me uneasy.
In the distance, back where my family's nests were, I heard a series of low growls coming from my brethren and then a faint musical noise that I'd never heard before. Through the sparse trees and dense brush, I saw a bright red light. Then a Nidorino's barks erupted from the light source and after a few moments silenced the few Ivysaur that rested there.
A loud voice reached my ears. "Come, Nidorino!" it yelled, "There is a Bulbasaur hiding here that we must catch for the new trainers!"
I couldn't understand the strange squeals it used to speak, but the Nidorino apparently understood well enough to reply with a confident roar.
Then I saw them. It was the same human as before, but this time equipped with several round balls which I could only guess to be Pokeballs. The Nidorino stood at the human's side, looking eager to fight. They saw me.
"There, Nidorino! Attack, but don't make it faint!" The voice pierced the air like a claw and frightened me. The Nidorino was running towards me, a look of savage hunger on its face. "Tackle!" It slammed into my side, knocking the breath out of me.
I had never learned to fight; the only attack I knew was a simple tackle that wouldn't have much of an effect on the larger Nidorino. I tried anyway, and rammed as hard and fast as I could into the Nidorino's side.
I howled with pain as the Nidorino jabbed its horn into my belly. I felt its poison coursing through me, weakening me. I fell to the ground.
The human's voice sounded faint in my ears; I couldn't discern anything from its garbled speech. I looked blearily at it. My vision was distorted and blurry, but the human appeared to procure a Pokeball. It threw the ball at me.
All was darkness. There was no light inside. I couldn't hear anything, until a loud 'ding' surrounded and overwhelmed my weakened senses. The ding sounded three times, and then I felt the walls around me solidify, and I knew there was no hope of escape.
The poison continued to weaken me until suddenly it seemed to seep out of my system. I heard a few notes of music, then a bright white light filled the Pokeball and vanished. No longer did I feel weak, but as though I was restored to my original and perhaps even a greater level of health. Restored as my senses were, the darkness around me became all the more evident, and I felt the first traces of fear. Where was my sun, my plant friends?
After a time, I realized I could hear bits of the noise outside. It seemed as though I had traveled to a colony of many more humans. I also realized I could sense the consciousnesses of other Pokemon around me, although I couldn't tell if they were in Pokeballs or not.
I felt a wave of coolness wash over me, and suddenly I was outside and cloaked in red light. The light faded after a moment, leaving me blinking inside of a large room. There were shelves with many strange things on them that could only be the inventions of humans. My mother Ivysaur had told me humans invent strange devices that seem to please them. How I missed her.
Standing near me and looking as confused as I felt were a Charmander and a Squirtle. We were all too frightened to move or talk. In front of us stood the human who had captured me accompanied by two younger humans. They all appeared to be male, although I had no way to tell for sure. One of the younger humans pointed at the Charmander. The tall human put it back in its Pokeball, and handed the Pokeball to the young human. The other young human laughed and pointed at the Squirtle, who was also put in its Pokeball and handed to the boy.
I cowered, fearful that I would be put back into the darkness and given to some young human. But the humans ignored me and began to walk away, until one of the younger humans shouted at the other. The two boys released their Pokemon and stood opposite each other in preparation for a fight. The older human sighed and watched them battle.
The Charmander attacked first, and the two Pokemon exchanged blows until the Squirtle fainted. Recapturing the Squirtle, its owner made an annoyed sound and strode out of the room. Looking pleased, the Charmander and its trainer grinned at each other until they too left the room. The tall human walked towards me.
I felt the darkness envelop me again.
Much time has passed now. The tall human lets me out twice a day and feeds me. Every so often, I meet another Squirtle and Charmander until they too are chosen by trainers. The tall human takes less and less interest of me every day. He catches another Bulbasaur every once in a while, and sometimes they are chosen by the young humans, but they never pick me. I think I am not fresh anymore; that is why they don't pick me. I feel my bulb growing weaker, for I don't get enough sunlight every day. My skin has lost its former shine. It's getting harder and harder to feel the emotions of the plants I do come into contact with. They shrink away from me as though I am infected.
I miss my home. I miss my family. I miss the sun. I want desperately to flee the darkness and never be put in that accursed Pokeball ever again. I don't know how much longer I can survive in this ever-present darkness. It weighs on me like a physical pain. I feel weaker, as though Nidorino's poison is coursing through me again.
Every so often a pink-haired human comes to look at me. She appears more concerned every visit. Today she is back, and I feel worse than ever. My limbs are stiff and heavy and I can barely summon the energy to eat the food in front of me. I tried to sense a flower's emotions and draw upon its happiness, but its emotions escaped me. The sun is obscured by a swath of clouds today.
The pink-haired human was talking with my tall captor; they looked grave. She walked towards me with a medical bag and pulled out a needle. She patted me on my weak and shriveled bulb and I felt the needle penetrate my lusterless skin.
Warmth, blessed warmth crept through my body. I felt my senses dim and a haze creep into my mind. I tried to reach for the flower again, but I couldn't sense it. I tried to open my eyes but couldn't see. My body wasn't responding. A panic flared within me, but it was quickly replaced by a sense of peace and warmth. My senses dimmed so much more; I couldn't feel anything. I slipped into a dark lull and felt my conscious leave the world. There was just blissful nothingness.
Nothing. Dark nothing. But the darkness was not unpleasant. I was at peace.