Shifting Game: A Pokemon/Hunger Games Crossover
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- Please keep in mind that I'm also working on another fanfiction (Broken Promise), so updates will not be very frequent.
- It is recommended, but not required, that you read at least The Hunger Games (the first book in the trilogy) before reading this fanfic. It would really help you understand everything better.
- With that said, this fic doesn't become very Pokemon-like until Parts 2 and 3, so hold on to your hats.
- This is my first attempt at writing crossover fanfiction, so any advice is greatly appreciated.
- This fic is rated PG-13 because... well... it's the Hunger Games. It has violence and swearing in it.
- I am also posting this on Panem Online.
Table of Contents
Part 1: "The Volunteer"
- 1 (Part of this post)
Winterbreezesrule ; Missingno. Master ; knightfall ; Charizardfan900 ; PhantomDragon ; cooloolcool
PART 1: “The Volunteer”
As the forceful punch lands squarely on my stomach, all the wind is suddenly knocked out of me. I cry out in pain as I soar through the air and grunt as I hit the hard-packed ground with a jarring thud. Tears flowing uncontrollably out of my eyes, I hear something break. I think it’s my shoulder bone.
Baring my sharp teeth, I try to look threatening as I raise my right front leg and ready my two long, sharp right claws. I ignore the blood flowing out of my wound and staining the snow-white fur on my stomach and manage to slowly and shakily stand up. Before I could do anything, however, the Lucario brutally tackles me to the ground.
I’m really desperate now. The Lucario is forcefully pinning down my shoulders with her hands and confining my legs with her powerful knees. I see the pure hatred in her piercing eyes, and I try to fight back, but the pain in my shoulder, stomach, and everywhere else is too great. Having nothing left to do, I wail and cry, begging for mercy.
The Lucario just sneers. “Pathetic,” she spits, not loosening her hold. “Just what I’d expect from a wimpy Normal-type like you. I mean, you’re a Zangoose. I’m a Lucario. I could kill you instantly right now with a good Focus Blast attack.”
“If you have to kill me, do it quickly, okay?” I gasp, almost fainting from the pain.
“Too bad,” the Lucario growls, admiring the sharp spike on the back of her front paw. “You’re going to die slowly and painfully.”
As the spike makes its first cut at the bottom of my throat, I scream. My eyes fly open.
Christine is cradling me like a baby and Nathan is singing a soothing lullaby of some sort. It takes me a few seconds to realize that everything is all right. I’m still at home, and getting killed in the Arena of the Elements was just a nightmare. As my heartbeat and breathing slow down, I look around and take in my surroundings.
I’m on the relatively small bed Christine and I share in our room in our house in the Normal District of Koena. I look down and see human hands rather than Zangoose claws – which means, at this moment, I’m in my Human Forme, not my Pokémon Forme.
“Lila, you’re awake,” Christine murmurs. She hands me a cup of warm water and I slowly gulp it down. Like me, at this moment my nineteen-year-old sister is a human rather than a Furret, her Pokémon Forme.
Nathan, my seventeen-year-old brother, stops singing and runs his fingers through my long, reddish brown hair. “What’s the matter, little sis?” he asks quietly. “Factory nightmare again?”
I shudder as I recall the memory that often haunts my dreams: the memory of the devastating factory fire that killed my mother five years ago, when I was ten. I shake my head.
“Different nightmare,” I say softly. “I was in the 100th Battle of the Elements, and I was a Zangoose – I mean, I was in my Pokémon Forme. I was fighting this horrible, cold-hearted Lucario – I’m not sure whether she was a representative or an arena Pokémon – and she wanted me to die slowly and painfully. It was so horrible and scary – and today is choosing day – “
“Shh,” Nathan whispers gently. I suppose his gentleness comes from him being a Jigglypuff in his Pokémon Forme, but he rarely shows it – only during times like this. “Don’t worry, Lila. You’re not going to get chosen to compete in the Battle of the Elements. Remember, we’re like the third richest family in the district, so none of us have had to enter our names extra times into the choosing bowl to get relief supplies.”
“The odds are in your favor, Lila,” Christine says comfortingly. “I’ve survived seven years of choosings, and so will you.” She stands up and runs a comb through her shoulder-length dark blue hair. “Nathan, Lila, why don’t we hunt and gather in the woods? It’s only dawn, so Dad shouldn’t be up for a couple of hours. Plus, it would help us release our choosing day anxiety.”
“Good idea,” I say, nodding. “Let’s take a lot of food with us, so we can share it with the Normal District citizens who… aren’t as privileged as us.”
“Okay,” Nathan says. “Let’s get dressed and such. I’ll meet you two at the front door.”
About fifteen minutes later, I’m dressed in black shoes, white pants with red stripes running down their sides, and a white T-shirt adorned with a thick, jagged, diagonal red stripe. My hair is in two ponytails and what my brother calls “emo bangs”. Christine sports a brown-and-tan striped long-sleeved shirt and brown pants, which both contrast with her blue hair, which is now in two upturned ponytails. Nathan’s curly brown hair is still rather messy – he never bothers to comb his hair – and he wears his usual pink-and-white T-shirt and pants.
We all look like our Pokémon Formes – I look like a Zangoose, Christine looks like a Furret, and Nathan looks like a Jigglypuff. If we could, we would have worn other clothes, but the region of Koena has a law. It’s an incredibly stupid law, but it is still a law: Because every resident of Koena is a shapeshifter who can transform easily between Human and Pokémon Formes, each and every person is required to look like their Pokémon Formes in public. My brother, who was unfortunately born an Igglybuff, has always and will always despise this rule.
Nathan, who carries a bow and a quiver of arrows along with a sack of food and supplies, turns to Christine and I. “You guys ready?” he asks.
“Ready,” Christine and I respond simultaneously. Before any of us could open the front door, however, someone knocks on it from the outside. I open the door and smile. It’s Dana Berlitz, my best friend. As usual, being the richest girl in the district, she looks very stylish by Normal District standards. Her usual accessory, a beautiful pink flower clip, adorns her neatly combed wavy blond hair. She’s wearing a fuzzy, light brown jacket, a tan-colored skirt, and brown tights – a Buneary from head to toe. That is, if it weren’t for the fact that she slipped on some leftover winter ice a week ago and broke her right leg. Now, Dana is standing at my front door, her right arm leaning on a wooden crutch and her left hand carrying a small but filled sack.
“Hi, Lila. Hi, Christine,” Dana says cheerfully. She glances at Nathan and blushes. “Hey, Nathan.”
“Hey yourself,” Nathan says, blushing slightly as well as I roll my eyes in slight annoyance. Everyone knows that Dana has a crush on my older brother. This makes me somewhat uncomfortable, of course, but out of respect I don’t say anything as Dana speaks again.
“So, you guys are up early, too?” she asks.
Nathan nods. “Choosing day anxiety,” he murmurs, glancing at me.
“I had a nightmare,” I blurt out. “I woke Nathan and Christine up, so now we’re about to go into the town and forest to relax a little bit.” I glance at Dana’s leg, which is wrapped in a white cast. “Really, Dana, you could have just called us if you wanted to hang out. I feel kind of guilty for making you walk all the way from the Winners’ Square with that leg.”
“Nah, it’s okay,” Dana says. “I was up way before dawn and was so worried about choosing day that I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to kill some time by walking all the way here.” She smiles. “Really, I don’t know what I was worried about. I mean, my mom is a past Battle of the Elements winner, so we’re rich. I know there’s almost no chance that I’ll get chosen as District representative.”
“I wish I were as positive as you,” I sigh. “I’m always worrying or fretting over one thing or another. But you’re right. I shouldn’t worry about getting chosen either.”
“Shouldn’t we get going now?” Christine asks. “We need time later on to get ready for the choosing.”
“Right,” Nathan answers. He glances at Dana’s leg. “Dana, why don’t you come with me to the town and help me distribute the supplies to the poor people? I don’t think your leg would make it very far in the forest.” He hands his bow and arrows to my sister as she and I give our supply sacks to him. “Christine, you and Lila can go into the woods to hunt and gather.”
“Right,” Christine says, nodding as I shoot a mildly annoyed glance at Nathan. My sister nudges me lightly on the shoulder to remind me to keep quiet. “Just remember, the choosing is at two o’clock in the afternoon.”
“See you all there,” Dana murmurs. “And may the odds be ever in your favor.”
I trudge through the beautiful deciduous forest, my right hand wrapped around a sack half filled with edible plants and the occasional Oran or Sitrus Berry. The dew on the morning grass has made my shoes slightly damp, and a warm spring breeze ruffles my hair. All around me, snow is melting, birds are chirping, and new leaves are growing on the trees. In Koena, hunting and gathering are technically against the law, but the Normal District Officers have unusually lax regulations, so I know Christine and I are completely safe. The whole scene has a bright, positive air to it, and I should be happy.
But I’m not. Because today is choosing day.
I sigh as I take out an edible leaf from my sack and chew on it, its tangy juice flooding my mouth. As Dana said, there’s no need to be worried. But if that’s the case, why am I worried?
The pained cry of a game bird brings me back to my senses, and I shudder. Somewhere else in the woods, my sister has just brought down the food source with either an arrow or a few good Fury Swipes – I can’t tell whether she’s a human or a Furret right now. Either way, I feel uneasy. I turn away from the sound and decide to explore a little by walking down an unfamiliar path.
For some reason, this dirt path is relatively well-worn. As I continue to walk along the path, I spot a small fawn in the bushes next to me. I smile and toss a small fruit to the toddling animal, who eagerly gobbles it up and begins to follow me. Pretty soon, as I toss bits of food to other animals, I am followed by a posse containing the fawn, its mother, a rabbit, a skunk, several squirrels, and several birds.
I laugh. For some reason, all the animals in this forest seem to know that I am a friendly, kind-hearted Zangoose girl who loves all animals and would never hurt them in a million years – which is true. Nathan, Christine, Dana, and I are all quite compassionate – despite the fact that we are some of the few Normal District residents who can afford plenty of food and supplies, we always share at least two-thirds of our resources with those who aren’t as lucky as us. But I’m the one who takes the compassion to another level – I always show compassion to all living things, not just humans in the Normal District.
Perhaps this is why I can’t hunt, while Nathan, Christine, and our father are all highly skilled with a bow and arrow as well as their special Pokémon attacks. Even though I know that learning to hunt will help feed not only my family but many other families in the Normal District, I simply can’t bear the thought of killing something, watching its blood flow, and standing by as it dies a painful death. If it weren’t for the fact that we give most of our food to the poor, I would have become a vegetarian.
As I walk along and the vegetation gets thinner and thinner, so does my posse of forest animals. I quickly gather some more edible plants, knowing that the animals ate a lot of my supplies, before the forest suddenly stops and a meadow filled with short grasses and wildflowers stretches before me. Upon seeing this sight, the doe and fawn, the last animals following me, slip back into the forest. I wave goodbye to them as they disappear into the foliage.
The meadow that stretches before me seems inviting with its beautiful flowers, and I decide to explore it because this region of the Normal District seems new to me. As I walk on, however, I get an increasing sense of déjŕ vu.
I don’t know why, but I think I’ve been here before, I think, looking around. I mean, that thicket of trees over there – for some reason, I recognize it. I just don’t remember when I saw it.
Feeling slightly puzzled, I almost decide to turn back when I spot the electrical fence forming an unbroken line several yards in front of me. That’s when everything comes back to me, and I almost gasp out loud.
This is the border between the Normal and Poison Districts. The place where I met Zane and saved his life.
I had just turned thirteen years old. I was on a hunting trip with Nathan and, as usual, was gathering edible plants. It was still winter, and fluffy white snow covered the ground and the trees, so I hadn’t had much luck in finding surviving plants. However, I had packed with me several crackers and pieces of bread, which I could share with starving forest animals or eat for myself if I got really hungry.
I was exploring the forest, accompanied by several wild animals as usual, when I stumbled upon a fairly large meadow. At that time, it was covered with snow, but it looked beautiful nevertheless. Best of all, several patches of hardy grasses were poking through the white cover.
Maybe they’re wintergrass, I thought excitedly, and decided to walk into the meadow to determine whether or not the grasses were the edible plants that could sustain Normal District families for an entire winter. To my delight, they were blue-green, which signified that the grasses were indeed wintergrass. I proceeded to wander farther and farther into the meadow to fill up my sack with the edible plants. Of course, I took care to leave plenty for the animals.
Eventually, however, I came to a long, unbroken fence that stretched as far as the eye could see in both directions. Tough wires stretched between the sturdy posts, each wire covered with large, painful-looking barbs. Hanging on the fence was a large, clear sign with big red letters:
NORMAL DISTRICT BORDER
POISON DISTRICT AHEAD
WARNING: CONTACT WITH THE FENCE WILL LEAD TO POSSIBLY FATAL ELECTRIC SHOCK
Abiding by the sign, I turned back the way I came when all of a sudden I tripped over a snowdrift and fell flat on my face. The snow was freezing cold but thankfully soft. I brushed the snow off my face, turned towards the snowdrift, and scowled. Then I gasped, for that snowdrift wasn’t a snowdrift at all. My tripping over the object had brushed some snow off of it. Deciding to investigate, I walked over to the long, thin object and brushed off the rest of the snow using my hands. As more of the object revealed itself, I realize that it was not an inanimate object but a large black snake with purple-and-gold markings, sharp red fangs, and a red, knife-like tail.
I don’t know how it happened, but immediately I instinctively transformed into my Pokémon Forme. My Zangoose fur stood on end, and hatred inexplicably coursed through my veins. Raising my front claws, I almost slashed them brutally across the snake-like creature’s throat when I remembered who I was. I was Lila Winter, friend to all living things.
Stop, Lila, stop! I ordered myself, taking a few deep breaths. As soon as I was calm enough, I transformed back into my Human Forme.
I knew that the cold, still creature I had tripped over was a Seviper. I don’t know why, but something in my blood recognized the Pokémon, despite the fact that I’d never seen it before. Also, my Zangoose self had identified the Seviper as an enemy.
Seviper is not an enemy, and I have to help, I thought firmly to myself as I knelt down next to the unmoving Poison-type Pokémon, examining it. My mind raced, but I managed to deduce that the Seviper was a male shapeshifter from the Poison District – after all, pure Pokémon never existed in Koena outside the Arena of the Elements. I pressed my ear against his chest, listening for a heartbeat, and breathed a sigh of relief when I heard it. It was weak, but it was there.
I took a deep breath, not knowing what to do. I didn’t know how the Seviper had gotten here, but I knew that if he didn’t warm up soon, he would die. I knew I couldn’t take him back into town though – a non-Normal-type in the Normal District is enough to cause suspicion.
I’ll just have to care for him myself, then, I thought as I half-carried, half-dragged the unconscious Seviper to a nearby thicket of trees. If I can just wake him up and ask him to turn into his Human Forme, I can take him into town for proper medical treatment.
Laying the Poison-type Pokémon onto a patch of wintergrass under direct sunlight, I began to slowly but surely warm him up. Knowing that massages weren’t good for frostbitten skin, I removed my jacket and wrapped it around the Seviper’s body. The blast of cold air that greeted me was less than welcoming, but I gritted my teeth and endured it. Right now, the freezing Seviper’s health was more important than mine.
What next? I thought. That’s when I spotted the Aspear Berry hanging on a nearby bush. Thank Arceus! I thought, relieved, as I plucked the yellow-and-blue berry off the bush and placed it into the Seviper’s mouth.
Please work, I pleaded as I laid my ear against to Seviper’s chest and listened. To my relief, the heartbeat was getting faster, and I jumped back with surprise as the Seviper got up with a jolt. Clearly awake, he began to glow with a red light as he transformed into his Human Forme.
I smiled, for the Aspear Berry had worked. When the glow stopped, a boy of about my age was standing in front of me. He was tall and very thin – no surprise there, for many residents of Koena were always undernourished. He had reddish brown eyes and long black hair that fell to his shoulders and curved up sharply. His black shirt and pants were tattered and worn, their purple-and-yellow markings barely visible. And when I saw his “emo bangs” and the desperate, defeated look in his eyes, my heart broke in two.
The boy sighed. “Why did you wake me up?” he asked hollowly.
Immediately, I knew what he meant. I shook my head firmly. “You can’t kill yourself, no matter what,” I growled. “No matter how cruel Plateau City is, no matter how dark or desperate your life may be, you can’t stop fighting. Ever.”
“How… how did you know?” the boy asked softly.
I took a step closer to him. “I felt really depressed once in my life, too,” I said gently. “I’m rather privileged, but most of the people around me weren’t. Even though my family shared most of our supplies with the poor, the Normal District still suffered. I couldn’t bear living in a world in which I would see their desperate faces every day… but then I remembered a song, a song that reminded me that there’s still hope.”
“Nothing can help,” the boy sighed, sitting down on a rock. “Plateau City thinks we Poison-types are the weakest and worst citizens of Koena when that’s not true. They treat us like dirt and give our district the worst industry – garbage processing. The Poison District is so filthy, with no beautiful meadows or woods anywhere. And… I’m an orphan.”
Upon hearing those words, I became so heartbroken that I tears began to flow out of my eyes. I tried to find the right words to comfort him, but I found that I couldn’t say anything at all. Finding no words to say, I instead comforted him by doing something that I usually only do in front of my family and close friends. They say that I have a beautiful, almost magical voice, but I’m usually too shy to show it to most people. But this boy was different.
I sat next to the boy, closed my eyes, and began to sing.
“Sometimes it's hard to know,
Which way you're supposed to go.
But deep inside, you know you're strong.
If you follow your heart, you can't be wrong.
Sometimes it's hard to see,
Just what's your destiny.
But when you find the path that's true,
You'll know that's the one for you…”
A few minutes later, as I sang the last note and opened my eyes, the boy was gone. I stood up and looked around to find him near the electric fence.
“Wait, where are you going?” I asked.
“Back home, to keep fighting and living my life,” he answered. He looked up at the fluffy white clouds in the sky. “You’re right. I can’t give up now. I have to hold on and keep going no matter what.” He walked over to me and took my hand in his. I felt my heartbeat quickening as I saw the new light in his now determined eyes. “Thanks for saving me. Your voice is… magical. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have had the determination to live.”
“You’re… you’re welcome,” I stammered, blushing. Suddenly, I realized what we were doing and pushed the Seviper boy away. We couldn’t do this. In Koena, moving out of your birth district was punishable by death. Any sort of affection between members of different districts was… well, worse. I said goodbye quickly and ran across the meadow towards the forest, trying to forget that all this had happened.
“Wait!” the boy called. “What’s your name?”
“Lila. Lila Winter,” I shouted, not looking back.
“I’m Zane Silva,” I heard the boy say as I ran into the woods, shaking my head and trying to completely forget what had just happened. I knew that even though I saved Zane’s life and he was so grateful and kind, he was from another district and would only lead me to trouble. I knew it would be best for the both of us if we never met again.
That was more than two years ago. Ever since my encounter with Zane, I have tried to completely forget about him. I’ve succeeded a little, but not quite. I’ve managed to forget about the place we met, but I haven’t forgotten the fiery determination in his unforgettable reddish brown eyes. And I don’t think I ever will. I still remember the effect my song had on him, how I had inspired him to carry on. You don’t easily forget a person whose life you’ve saved.
I don’t know how he’s fared since I saved him. Maybe he’s slightly richer, maybe he’s still poor. Maybe he even has a girlfriend. Whatever has happened, deep inside my heart, I know for sure that he’s alive. I don’t know why, but I know that Zane was serious when he said that he was going to continue living. And I was the one who gave him that determination.
Then I get a horrible thought: What if I have to face him in the Battle of the Elements? What if I have to watch him die in front of my eyes? Or worse yet… what if I have to kill him myself?
End of Chapter 1