Hello everyone. This is my satirical look at the XY games, in which I parody the scripted nature of the world and how that forces the main character to do things he doesn't want to do.
I hope you read it and enjoy it, and if you do, please tell me. If you don't... still tell me. I welcome all types of feedback.
Chapter One: Calem, the Chosen One
Let me tell you the story of my first morning in the Kalos region.
See, within this modest household that oversees the entrance of Vaniville Town, there exists a great menace. Its gaze, which is produced by two jet black orbs, had been set on me, the single occupant of the room, my head buried deep in a mess of plain bed sheets. This menace, I suspect, had been sent by its master to carry out a single task, one that it would carry out to its utmost ability with a silent swoop and precise sting of its weapon. Limbs spread in preparation, the rising sun behind it casting a menacing shadow across its victim, it struck with practised grace.
Doesn't that sound epic? It's a shame that reality doesn't imitate art.
Well, actually, it's not a shame at all. Being awoken by a Fletchling dive-bombing into your stomach at the crack of dawn is far from fun, as is the annoying tweeting that sounds like its enjoying your pain. It did hurt, and got me out of bed earlier by a good four hours, the bastard.
I guess introductions are in order. I'm Calem, and I've recently moved to this small town in the south of some remote region with my mother. My father... apparently doesn't exist, which makes me a biological miracle of sorts. Am I some sort of chosen one? Mum seems to think so. As a successful Rhyhorn Racer, it was expected that her son would inherit the same talent and one day have the same success. She just had to find a way to bring that latent talent out.
That sure is the dream; to ride on a giant rock and race against other people also riding giant rocks. It's sounds like so much fun that I'd gladly give up the rest of my education to train for it, and then move to a smaller house on a far off continent after I had retired because my winnings couldn't sustain my family for life without getting another job.
See, I've got it all planned out.
For now, though, the plan is to get to work on making a groove in our new sofa, because until I enrol into a new school, I've got nothing better to do. So, not bothering to change out of my pyjamas, I make my way down the stairs. Reaching the bottom, I immediately encounter my mother's beaming face.
“Morning, Calem!” she says. “You sure slept well. All rested up after the move?”
“No, because that stupid bird--”
“Calem!” she interjects. I stare at her. Is she going to scold me for insulting the family pet?
“You look like you've just rolled out of bed!”
“That's because I have.”
“Go have a look at yourself in the mirror and change out your pyjamas.”
“Why? It's not like I'm going to be doing anything constructive today, not that there's actually anything to do in this town, but still--”
“Go have a look at yourself in the mirror and change out your pyjamas.”
“You look like you've just rolled out of bed!”
“Go have a look at yourself--”
“Ugh, fine, I get it already.”
She isn't that persistent, usually.
The mirror in my room is unnecessarily large, tall enough to fully reflect two of me standing on top of each other. Staring back at me is, obviously, my reflection, looking anything but well-rested. Tired blue eyes, pale skin, messy, blond hair... my image could be best described as “awoken for a Fletchling's schadenfreude”. If I had any plans to go outside today, I could wear the shades and hat that came with the “adventurer's ensemble” Mum brought for me, but no such plans exist, so a simple shirt and jeans will do.
I make my way over the stairs again, but that bloody bird is in the way. He's just sitting there, staring at me. I try stepping over it, but it flies up at my face. I flail around in an attempt to swat it away, but it retaliates by pecking my face.
“What the hell do you want?”
Fletchling flies over to my wardrobe and perches on a coat-hanger. Hanging from it as a blue jacket, another part of the ensemble. Below it is the earlier mentioned hat and shades combo, while sitting next to that is a black bag. It's everything a young, prospective trainer needs for his journey, but nothing I have any intention of using because I don't want to be a Pokemon trainer.
Does that shock you?
But with the way Fletchling is acting...
“Mum wants me to wear the whole thing, doesn't she.”
Fletchling nods its little head and then flies back to the staircase, blocking my way once more. It stares at me again, clearly saying that it wasn't going to move until I give in. So with a resigned sigh, I complete the outfit.
I feel so stupid right now.
Seeing me, mum's expression turns pleased. She's big on always looking stylish, and is always happy when I wear the outfits she picks out for me.
“It's about time you got going!” she announces.
“Am I supposed to be somewhere today?”
“Why don't you step out and say hello to the neighbours?”
Mum returns to the kitchen, offering nothing more in the way of explanation. I'm sleep deprived and wearing a stupid hat, so I don't feel like going out and meeting new people today, but as I try to sit down on the sofa, mum is in front of me in a flash, and suddenly I find myself being pushed out of the front door.
What was with her today?
Standing outside the house are two girls, one a good few inches shorter than the other. She's wearing a pink shirt and shorts and has has hair tied in pigtails. For some reason, she's quivering in what looks like barely contained excitement. The girl standing by her side appears to be around my height, and has light brown hair tied in a ponytail. With a calm smile on her face, she looks much more composed than her companion.
“Welcome to Vaniville Town!” she says. “My name is Serena. I'm your neighbour.”
“And I'm Shauna! Great to meet you!” the shorter one says in a voice so high-pitched it'd make a Whismur cry. “Guess what, we've got to come get you!”
That doesn't sound ominous at all.
“The esteemed Professor Sycamore lives here in the Kalos region. I was told he had a request for five kids, including us,” Serena explained. Learning that some man was looking for kids to do him a favour wasn't doing anything to ease this sense of foreboding I was getting. “But I'm a little surprised he knows who you are. You did just move to Vaniville Town, after all.”
I'm not as surprised as she is. Mum has been to a lot of social gatherings and has probably met this guy at one of them. I am concerned about what she may have told him about me, though. Scared and concerned.
“We'll wait for you in the next town over! And you know what? We're going to get a Pokemon!” The short one – Shauna – takes one of Serena's hands and dashes off, Serena looking mildly amused. They stop at the end of the pathway leading up to my house. Shauna waves at me. “C'mon! Hurry! Let's go!”
Seeing as the front door is shut and, apparently, locked, I have no other choice but to follow the hyperactive girl and her friend. I don't want to – I'm not as into Pokemon as most are - but between them and milling around a town so small you wonder why it's not just part of the other, slightly larger town that's tens minutes up the road, and where amongst its residents is a fat, bearded man who scares the local children, hanging around with two girls seems an infinitely better choice.
So why do I feel like I will regret this decision?
“Hey, Calem! This way! Over here!”
By some miracle, the volume of that girl's voice doesn't attract any attention from the resides of Aquacorde Town. She, along with Serena and two other boys, are sat around a table that seems to be a part of a café’s outdoor dining area. I say 'seems' because I can clearly see the café, yet there are no waiters, nobody else is sitting at any of the tables and there are no drinks, despite the sign clearly reading “OPEN”.
I begin walking over, and Shauna leaps from her chair and grabs me by the arm. She practically drags me to the table.
“We were just talking about you!” she tells me without an ounce of shame. She pulls me down into a chair. “C'mon, have a seat!”
“This is the meeting place, Calem,” Serena points out. Thanks for that, I hadn't noticed. “Here, let me introduce you. Everyone, this is Calem.”
“Wow... Shauna's description was spot on!” says a rather heavy-set guy in a black shirt. He's staring at me with something akin to wonder. The temptation to say something rude is great, but I'll suppress it and smile politely instead, because I'm such a nice guy.
“So, Calem, this is Tierno – he's got some serious dance moves – and,” I snort loudly, but she either ignores me or doesn't hear me, as she points to the other boy, considerably smaller than Tierno, “this is Trevor. He never misses a single question on his tests, but he's a little shy.”
I'm sure he's thankful to you for putting him on the spot, then.
“All right! Nice to meet'cha!” Tierno says. “You know, it'd feel like we're a closer crew if we call each other by nicknames. Can I call you C-Meister?”
His over-friendliness is creeping me out. And what kind of name is “C-Meister”? It's got more syllables than “Calem” for goodness sake!
“What? No way! He's Li'l C, for sure!” Shauna argues. There's nothing little about me, missy. “What do you think, Trevor?”
“What? You want me to give a nickname to someone I just met? You shouldn't put people on the spot like this, Shauna.” And yet despite knowing what it's like to be put on the spot, Trevor still thinks it over. It might have something do with the fact that there isn't a single intelligent thought passing through Shauna's and Tierno's minds right now, so it'd be pointless arguing any more. “Well... how about something low key? Maybe... something like Big C...”
“Why don't you decide what we should call you?” Serena, I've decided, is the most normal and sensible member of this “crew” for offering the most common sense answer to this debate over a name I don't even want. I get that they want to be nice and friendly to the new guy, but this VIP treatment is something I could do without.
“Just call me Calem. It's not like I'm the Chosen One or anything; you don't need to call me anything else.”
“You want us to call you the Chosen One?” Serena checks without any incredulity. Something wasn't right here.
“No, I was just--”
“Okay! Chosen One suits you perfectly! I'm sure we're gonna be great friends, so I'll call you that, too!” Shauna turns to Tierno. “Hey! Can we see the Pokemon now? I want to meet my new partner soon!”
“Seriously, don't call me the Chosen One.”
“I know, right? It was such a cool feeling what Trevs and I met our Pokemon!” Tierno says, ignoring me. “Hope you feel the same we did!”
Tierno hauls a case up onto the table and opened it. Inside were three Pokeballs. He offers the case to me, looking expectant, beckoning me to be the first one to choose.
You know, if they're just going to ignore me, I may as well not be here.
“Thanks, but I'm not really into the whole Pokemon thing,” I tell them, and get up to leave. It's sounds like an excuse for leaving, but I'm really not fond of Pokemon. I don't mind them, but unlike many my age, I don't want to be overly involved with them beyond civil cohabitation. These people seem to have every intention of discussing Pokemon, and it makes no sense for me to be a part of that.
So for future reference, Professor Sycamore, try asking me first before trying to dump a Pokemon on me.
As I walk away, I'm hit by a sudden spell of dizziness. I reach out around me, searching for something stable to hold onto, and feel the cold, metallic surface of the table. I take a few deep breaths, then relax in my chair.
Wait, what chair?
I look down and, seeing the surface of the table stare back at me, realise that I was sitting down again, which is or isn't weird, considering that just moments ago, I was on two feet, walking away, and didn't feel myself sitting down. If had sat down, I would be sitting on the floor, so how...
“I know, right? It was such a cool feeling when Trevs and I met our Pokemon!”
Why was Tierno repeating himself? And why was he hauling that case up onto the table again? Hadn't he already done that?
“Didn't you hear me? I said I don't want a Pokemon.”
I study Tierno's reaction closely. Nothing. His face appears to be locked into a toothy smile, while of the rest is still, unmoving. I look at the others, and find them to be the same way. They're not even breathing!
“Whatever,” I say, and get up to leave again. I get a few stops away from the table, and that dizziness comes over me again. I'm back in my chair.
What on earth was--
“I know, right? It was such a cool feeling when Trevs and I met out Pokemon!”
The case is back in my face for a third time. This time, the three Pokeballs were glowing dimly. Tentatively, I pick one, and pluck it from the case. Tierno then suddenly shifts his position and presents the case to Serena. After a moment's deliberation, she picks her own Pokeball.
It should go without saying, but I'm very confused right about now. It sounds incredibly stupid, but I feel like I'm stuck in an infinite loop where I won't be able to leave unless I take the Pokeball, as if this was some sort of game. But that had to be impossible. Maybe I was feeling unwell or something.
Still, it wouldn't hurt to test my crazy theory. I mean, confirm without a doubt that I'm being stupid and that this theory is stupid. See, I'll just get up from the table, walk away, and--
Dizziness. Chair. Tierno holding the case in front of Shauna.
Let's try that again...
I take a deep, shuddering breath. Not being able to leave is annoying, and worrying, and very illogical, but the lack of reaction from the others to my constant getting up and leaving the table is very unsettling. Either they are very good actors and could keep a straight face all the time, or they are robots or something, which is silly. They're clearly human beings, and human beings have free will to do what they want. It's a fundamental fact, and this feeling of doubt will not shake my belief in that fact.
While I was getting my thoughts straight, Shauna had taken the last Pokeball, and Trevor had put his own case on the table.
“Uh, pardon me, but I have something for you from the professor as well. It's something that will help you understand Pokemon on a much deeper level.” He opens the case, and inside were, again, three objects. He hands one to each of us. “Um, so you see... the Pokedex I just gave you is--”
“Something that will help us understand Pokemon on a much deeper level?” Completely unnecessary sarcasm, but I'm keen to cling on to some sort of normalcy at the moment. It's the only way to prevent myself from going insane at the fact that I can't leave my chair.
These things aren't exactly comfortable.
“--a high-tech device that automatically records the Pokemon you encounter! The reason you get one is because the professor wants us to go on a journey with out Pokemon and complete the Pokedex. To put it another way, it's an important mission from the professor. I'm sure of it!”
No reaction. Again. No looks of annoyance or disapproval, no verbal reprimands, no laughs or snorts, nothing. They all just took it in their stride, as if they'd rehearsed this very scenario.
Let's try being more controversial...
“So a supposedly famous and successful professor wants a group of kids to travel around and find hundreds of different Pokemon to complete his Pokedex, which could take who-knows how long. He offers no payment, no means of getting about the region and the single perk of one Pokemon, yet apparently this is an important mission. I'm sorry, but he's going to have to find some other schmuk for this job because there's no way I'm leaving my house and jeopardising my future on some guy's whim.”
“Oh lighten up, Trevs! You're way too serious sometimes.”
You cannot be serious.
“Um, Chosen One, please take this with you, too.”
I sigh deeply, pinching the bridge of my nose, thinking that I should have taken my chances with the bearded old man who scares children. “What is it?”
“It's a letter from the professor. He said you should give it to your mum.” Tierno hands me the letter. He then pumps his fist in celebration. “All right! We're done with our errand for the professor. I guess Trevs and I will go look for Pokemon!” He gets up off his chair and starts waddling – sorry, running off, calling out “Let's go, Trevs!” as he goes.
“In Kalos, kids are chosen to carry a Pokedex and go on an adventure. But you need to give that letter your mum before you go,” Trevor says to me before running to catch up with his much larger friend.
Knowing my mum, she'll be all too happy to get me travelling. “Oh, it all started for me when I was a simple Pokemon trainer!” is one of her favourite stories that she tells to try and get me inspired, but I've got no intention of going on an adventure. I'm just going to go home and pretend this strange episode didn't happen, so I'm not going to give her the letter. Simple.
With new Pokeball in hand, I get up and walk away without a word to the two remaining occupants of the table. To my relief, there is no dizziness, and I'm able to go further than I did before.
“Calem, wait!” Shauna calls after me. “You're going to my opponent in my Pokemon battling début!”
I ignore her, and continue walking. I feel that if I battle with the Pokemon, I'll be stepping into dangerous territory and won't be able to turn back.
I growl. “Why?”
I've no idea what's going and who's causing this, but whoever it is, they really want me to become a Pokemon trainer. This time it seems I have to battle Shauna if I want to go home.
“I'm back,” I call into the living room.
Mum doesn't respond, transfixed by something on the television. I leave her be and go upstairs into my bedroom. Once there, I chuck the Pokeball with my new “partner” inside onto the bed, then throw my hat in a random direction with hopes that Fletchling will use it as a toilet. I shed my jacket and begin hanging it up inside the wardrobe until I hear the tell-tale “click” of a Pokeball opening. I frown at Fennekin, who was now sitting on my bed.
He better not leave any fur on it.
“You shouldn't come out the Pokeball on your own.”
“If you knew what it was like inside one of those things, you'd want to come out, too.”
I pause for a moment, and realise who I was talking to.
“Yes, really,” Fennekin said.
“You can talk.”
“Pokemon can't talk.”
“Ordinarily, no, they can't. But I can.”
“I am the messenger of the Magnificent One.”
“The Magnificent One.”
A Pokemon is talking. A Pokemon is talking and is telling me he's been sent by some guy called “The Magnificent One”. So many questions are flooding my mind right now that I can barely think straight, but one thought is standing out: he better not say I'm some kind of chosen one.
“Yes, and he's sent me to inform you that you've have been chosen--” I slam my head against the wardrobe door, “--to save the world.”
“Save the world from what? Stupid names?” I quip with my forehead still resting on the wardrobe.
“No, nothing like that. Just the criminal organisation hell-bent on destroying all life and creating a new world.”
I raise my head, and stare at the fire-type. “Come again?”
“The criminal organisation that wants to destroy all life and create a new world,” Fennekin repeats, sounding as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. “The Magnificent One thinks you are the most capable of stopping them, and he has altered the conditions of this world so that this will be possible.”
The strange events of the day immediately came to mind; mum being unusually pushy, the loops that forced me to choose a Pokemon and have a battle, the robotic, scripted way the “crew” acted... everything makes sense now.
Wait. No it doesn't.
“Okay, putting aside the issue of who this 'magnificent one' and how he's 'altered the conditions of this world', why me? And more importantly, what makes him think I'm going to go fight a criminal organisation for him?”
“I can't say why he chose you,” Fennekin said, “but you really have no other choice. This is now a scripted world, where everything you do is pre-determined. Even if you resist, something will happen that will force you to follow the script. No matter what you say or what you do, you'll be ignored. You could go on a mass killing spree, molest some poor girl or even jump over a ledge and it wouldn't make any difference; if it's not in the script, it won't happen.”
“So the only way to return things back to normal...”
“Yes, Calem. You must follow the script to the very end, and save this world.”