A Metaphysical Odyssey
Author's note: Hello fellow fic-men! It is my great pleasure to return to you as a writer here after a long year's absence. This story is a revival of Pokemon Central, a story that I originally posted here before I left the site. I wasn't satisfied with where it was going and pulled it. So, before I continue, I want to thank some of the members on the forum here, specifically, EonMaster One and Ysavvryl whose remarkable stories first inspired me to write my own fan fiction, and also to Shadow Lucario, whose undying support brought me back to give this another shot.
As for what follows, this is a trainer/journey fic that is about the bond between Pokemon and humans. It's a drama fic set in a universe of my own creation. It is not in any way, shape or form related to the anime/manga/game-verses or any other existing canon. However, this story will from time to time reference those canon. It'll include elements of romance, science fiction, comedy, surrealism, and whatever else falls into place. I'm not really setting out to do anything "different", instead I'm writing a story that subtly addresses the cliches of Pokemon journey fics, and from there, taking my own spin on the genre.
One last note before you read, the Prologue is an optional read. It isn't required for you to understand the story, however it does give some decent history on my world...and, for anyone who is interested, each chapter of this fic will be named after a song. If you can tell me who the song is by, I dunno, I'll give you a high five. Disregard this. The preceding mini-series has been discontinued for the time being.
Lastly, this story is rated PG-15 for language, some sexual content, violence/gore, and drug use/reference by the PFFRA (Pokemon Fan-Fic Rating Association)
Not every single chapter will include these elements, I'm just giving myself some room to breathe later on. The fic as a whole is probably closer to being strictly PG/PG-13, but there will be moments when I feel like I'd be stretching that rating too far, so it's PG-15 for safety's sake. I'll let you know in a note before a chapter if there will be anything a bit too graphic.
Read, Review, Enjoy
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re nearing the conclusion of the 2013 graduation ceremonies,” the Dean of the academy stood before a crowd of at least a thousand, all friends and family of the three hundred or so graduates seated behind him. The Dean continued, “It’s been a tradition here to end the ceremonies with a small tournament of our most promising graduates. It’s my pleasure to introduce the host of this year’s UA Graduation tournament, last year’s winner, Casey Pierce!”
As the Dean stepped away from the microphone, a young woman straightened her red-skirt and white polo as she walked steadily to the center of the stage. Before she addressed the audience she brushed her short black hair out of her eyes and a look of confidence appeared in her light-blue eyes, “I have to say, after a year abroad it feels great to be back home.”
The crowd roared with excitement, leaving Casey feeling a bit indisposed to continue, however she quickly collected herself, “Every year a panel of judges examines the graduating class to determine which departing students will participate in the tournament. The graduating classes here average between two hundred and three hundred students, however only the six brightest and most skilled are chosen. It can’t be an easy job, but knowing these six students from my time here, I can say with certainty the judges made the right choices. So, without further ado, the participants!”
The crowd bellowed once again and Casey proceeded to announce the participants for the tournament. Once the six names were read, Casey stepped off-stage and the Dean instructed the audience to move into the stadium-area while the participants changed out of their caps and gowns and prepared their Pokemon for battle.
“Knock, knock,” Casey announced as she pushed open the cracked door of the stadium locker room. Standing in the room was a teenaged boy and a small bear cub. The boy was wearing black jeans and a red t-shirt with the logo of the Opelucid gym emblazoned on the right side of its chest. The cub was mostly snow white, with the exception of the icy blue fur covering his head. It looked towards the door as it sniffed a large drop of snot up its tiny black nose. The boy only looked at her with a fairly stupid look on his face.
“Well, don’t just stand there with that stupid look on your face, Ahlberg! Say ‘Hi’, give me a hug, do something!” Casey aggravatingly exclaimed, and not a second later the boy rushed her with a hug.
“Yo,” he began to pull away and continued, “I’ve missed you.”
“I’ve missed you, too, Lucas,” she said sincerely, just before shouting in a cutesy tone, “and the little booger bear over there!”
“C’mon Case, you know he hates that,” Lucas replied as the tiny cub scowled at the girl.
“I bet you’ve missed your friend, as well.” Casey pulled a tiny red and white spherical capsule off of her belt and pressed the center button. As she did, it enlarged, opened and released a bright white light onto the floor. The light faded, and a green snake-like Pokemon with a yellow neck-line and leaves protruding from its back appeared.
“Serv!” The Pokemon stretched, and once it noticed its friend, the two began to chase each other around the locker room.
Besides the sounds of the Pokemon playing, the room fell quiet for a moment as Lucas put on his black leather belt with a Pokeball attached to it.
“So, how was Sinnoh?” Lucas broke the silence.
“It was really amazing. I didn’t make it far in the League, though.”
“Yeah, I saw your match on TV. You didn’t really stand a chance going up against that Darkrai.”
“I know, right? It was bad enough just being on television, and once I saw that damn Darkrai come out of that guy’s Pokeball...I don’t know. I just knew it was the end.” the tone in Casey’s voice became a bit melancholy as the image of the Dark type Legendary appeared in her mind.
“Where are they sending you?” Casey quickly changed the subject
“Ughh...Johto,” Lucas replied unenthusiastically, and perhaps, even a tad bit in disgust.
“You aren’t even excited?” Casey asked a bit confused
“Of course I am, but I was hoping to go to Hoenn.”
“Why didn’t you get Auggie to pull some strings?”
“He did. He wants me in Johto,” Lucas said very sternly.
“One of my dad’s old friends has a daughter who is about to begin travelling. Apparently, she isn’t much of a trainer, so they asked me to escort her out of town,” Lucas explained.
“Did he ask you before he set it up?”
“Of course he did,” Lucas replied with a bit of irritation.
“Then why the hell are you complaining? You really can be a whiner, sometimes.”
“Whatever,” Lucas responded calmly, “I have to get out there. Avey, it’s clobberin’ time!” The small bear cub was rounding the corner and as he heard his name, he rushed to his friend and cheered.
“Wait,” Casey stopped, “let’s toke before you go out. It’ll help,” she said as he pulled what looked like a hand-rolled cigarette from the pocket on her shirt. The two Pokemon looked at their trainers confusedly as if to ask, “What is ‘toke’?”
“You’re holding here?!” Lucas snatched it from her and clenched it in his fist, only to conceal it. “Are you dense, Case, what if someone sees you with this?”
“What are they gonna do, arrest me?” She was clearly being sarcastic, and quickly pried the joint from Lucas’s hand, “I needed it to make that damn speech. I’m out on my anxiety prescription so I brought some fine-grade Sinnoh Mary J,” she replied very cutely as she pulled a lighter from the same pocket as the joint, lit it, and took a drag. “Here; smoke up.” She smiled and handed the joint to Lucas. He accepted it and took a slightly prolonged hit.
“Been awhile, huh?” Casey laughed.
Lucas laughed and replied, “Yep. Time to get out there. Let’s go, Avey.”
“Cuuubb!” the tiny cub cheered and followed Lucas out of the locker room.
As Lucas headed out the double doors at the end of the hall, he shouted, “See ya out there, Case!”
The crowd exploded with excitement as Avey dodged the embers of its opponent, a small orange pig with large, brown rabbit-like ears.
“Tepig, try’da hit it with Ember, again!” Tepig’s trainer, another graduate who stood at about six feet and had jet-black hair, commanded. The tiny pig launched a barrage of tiny embers at Avey, who managed to dodge most of the attack.
“Use Fury Swipes, Avey!” Lucas shouted.
The cub charged its opponent, baring it’s claws just as it began to slash at Tepig’s face. Taken aback, Tepig shrugged off the damage and launched itself into Avey’s midsection, sending him stumbling to Lucas’s feet. Both Pokemon quickly picked themselves back up as they awaited their orders.
“Icy Wind, now!” Lucas took control of the match while Avey followed his command and sniffed a glob of sticky snot up his nose as he inhaled and let loose a powdery gust of wind towards Tepig.
“Counter it with another Ember attack!” Tepig let out a loud snort as it launched another Ember attack, stopping Avey’s offense dead in its tracks and resulting in a direct hit. More susceptible to the fire being an Ice type, Avey looked finished.
“Hang in there, Avey!” Lucas called out to his friend as he struggled to stand up.
In the audience, Casey sat with Lucas’s kid sister, Natalie, who watched with an expression of worry as Avey struggled, and then with relief as he stood.
“Alright, let’s wrap this up.” Lucas called to Avey who began bracing himself for Tepig’s next attack. Avey’s expression became a lot more intense and focused as he stared down his opponent across the field.
“Well, if you’re that ready to lose; Tackle now, Tepig!” Tepig’s trainer shouted.
The tiny pig began to charge Avey, who stood firmly in his position. Tepig bound into the air, blasting Avey with a hard tackle. Avey stumbled back, and then without a second to lose, Lucas shouted a command, “Strike back with Bide,” and Avey, clenching his fist, thrust it into Tepig’s snout, sending it careening toward the center of the battlefield.
“Finish him off with a Brine attack!” Lucas issued his final order as Avey began collecting the moisture in the air. The water formed into a ball a tad smaller than Avey’s head, and once he collected all he could, he launched a series of sharp needle-like bullets at Tepig.
When it was clear it was finished, the referee stepped forward and held up the green flag in his left hand.
“Tepig is unable to battle. The match goes to Lucas and his Cubchoo!” announced the ref.
The crowd roared with approval as Lucas returned Avey to his Pokeball. He looked to the front row where he saw his sister shouting at him. She was barely audible amongst the hundreds of screaming attendees. Lucas walked towards his sister when he thought he heard a horn, or siren of some sort, in the distance. He started again towards his sister and could make out the words, “wake” and “train”.
“Wake--before--the train!” Natalie continued shouting but little of it was getting to Lucas.
“I can’t hear you! What about a train?” The noise of the horn grew louder and with it brought a rumble. The ground began to steadily shake...
“Wake up, Lucas! We’re going to miss THE TRAIN!” Natalie yelled as she leaned over the banister.
“Wha--,” and before Lucas could ask “What train?” the rumble became a yawp, and a loud crash came from the southern end of the arena as a freighter came roaring through the stands. Lucas looked on, horrified, as the engine, staind in the blood of the dozens it swept through, roared on a vertical path adjacent from where he was standing.
As the curtains left of Lucas’s bed were opened, a burst of light washed across the dimly-lit room. He looked at the digital clock on the nightstand to his right; it was almost noon. The pleasant aroma of eggs and bacon resonated from the kitchen into the guest room. When he turned over, his sister stood over him with a gleaming look of agitation.
“Afternoon. Get ready now, or we’ll miss our train home.”
Later that afternoon, Lucas, Natalie and Casey were on a train departing Aspertia City, Casey’s hometown and the location of the Unova Academy. Their destination was Lucas and Natalie’s home in Opelucid City,where their guardian, Augustus, was waiting for them.
“Is there such a thing as reverse déjŕ vu?” Lucas, feeling his question to be a bit silly, asked a bit hesitantly.
“What is THAT?” Casey replied trying not to laugh.
“Y’know, like, instead of dreaming of something that happens later, you dream of something that already happened, sort of.” Lucas explained.
“I’ve never heard of that. Why do you wanna know?” Casey asked.
“I dreamt of the UA Graduation tournament last night, except I actually won, and then...” Lucas paused, finding it difficult to continue.
“And then...” Casey said, trying to get Lucas to continue.
“It’s nothing. Forget I said anything.” he poked at the emblem on his shirt as he spoke.
“Lucas, you really shouldn’t beat yourself up about losing to Henry and Tepig. They had the type advanta-” Casey spoke, but was interrupted by Lucas.
“You mean the same way you stopped beating yourself up about losing in the Sinnoh League?” Lucas asked spitefully. Casey was visibly upset.
“That’s different,” she said quietly, “I’m going to check on Nat. She’s been in the bathroom for a while.”
Casey left her seat and walked down the hall towards the bathroom, where she assumed Natalie was. She approached a door with a woman's restroom sign and knocked.
“Nattie, you in there?” Casey asked as she leaned on the door.
“Nat?” Casey was about to look for Natalie elsewhere when she heard a voice...
“Yeah, I’m in here,” Natalie responded very timidly. She cracked the door, “I’m...I’m hemorrhaging.”
Casey looked at her confusedly before having an awkward moment of realization, “Oh...OH!” She slipped into the bathroom and locked the door.
Back in the boxcar, Lucas was watching out the window as the train passed by Mistralton City. He watched as herds of Bouffalant grazed in the nearby fields, and as he sat and thought, he thought of what he said to Casey and began to feel like an asshole.
“Man. I really can be an asshole, sometimes.” he thought to himself as the train continued towards Opelucid.
At about quarter ‘till 8, the three travellers had finally arrived in Opelucid. The walk from the station to their house wasn’t long; it only took about fifteen minutes. By 10 o’clock, Nattie was settled in bed and Lucas and Casey were talking to Augustus in the kitchen.
Augustus was a towering, burly hulk of a man; he was more than six and a half feet tall and had a very grisly look about him. He never shaved and his brown hair was always a bit mussed up.
“How’ve things at the gym been, lately?” Lucas directed his question towards Augustus
“Things have been slow. It seems like there are less and less trainers coming through these days,” Augustus replied, “Are you going to be ready to leave tomorrow? You know we can have your flight rescheduled without a problem.”
“No, we’re ready.” Lucas looked to Avey, who was sitting on the floor eating berries, as if to get some sort of confirmation from him. He nodded, sniffed a big, liquid booger up his snout, and went back to stuffing his face.
“If you say so,” Augustus then directed a question to Casey, “What are your plans?”
“Oh, actually, I’m thinking I’ll hang around here for a while,” she replied
“So, you’ll be heading back to Aspertia, then?” Augustus had assumed.
“No, I mean, here in Opelucid. In fact, I was wondering if I could have Lucas’s room while he’s in Johto...” she paused and waited for a response
“I have no objections, but why exactly do you want to stay here?” Augustus asked.
“For Natalie. She’s nearly thirteen and she’s entering a stage in her life where she’ll need a constant female presence.”
“Since when do you know so much about child rearing?” Lucas laughed a bit as he pictured Casey being motherly.
“Shut up, you ***,” she snidely retorted and turned her attention back to Augustus, “There is only so much you can do for her.”
“Well, I can’t argue with you there,” Augustus laughed and then shifted to a more serious tone, “But, if you’re going to stay here, you’ll have to pull your own weight. Playing big sister for Nattie won’t cut it.”
“Okay, so, what, do house chores? I think I can handle that,” Casey assured him.
“Nah, Nattie does that stuff. And, she even kind of likes it. It’s weird,” he replied rather confusedly and, then once again, became a bit more serious, “I want you to work at the gym with me. I could really use a trainer with your skill, show my trainees a thing or two, yeah?”
“Um, sure, I guess that’s fair,” she agreed.
“Well, now that that’s settled, I think it’s time I go to bed. I have some errands to run before I leave tomorrow and I want to train with Avey before we head to the station,” said Lucas.
“I’m pretty exhausted myself,” Casey said, “‘Night, Augustus.”
“Night, kids,” Augustus replied.
The two teenagers left the kitchen and went up the stairs to Lucas’s room. Augustus stayed in the kitchen a little longer, thinking to himself when suddenly, something occurred to him.
“Wait. They both went upstairs...we don’t have a guest room...,” he thought to himself, thinking it was rather suspicious, “Hah, crazy kids,” he laughed it off and then turned in for the night.
The next night, Lucas and Avey stood outside the train station, holding his ticket for the night train to Mistralton City. Casey, Servine, Natalie and Augustus were there to see him off.
“Be safe out there, kiddo. Your parents would be so proud of you,” Augustus said
“I know.” Lucas smiled.
Natalie hugged her brother. “Call us as soon as you get to New Bark Town.”
“I will,” Lucas replied and gave his attention to Casey, “Well, don’t just stand there with that sad look on your face, Case! Walk with Avey and me to the train.”
Casey smiled, and as she walked into the station with Lucas, she grabbed his hand. The two ‘friends’ walked slowly across the platform as they approached the train. The porter, who was standing on the platform, kept yelling “All aboard, the night train departs for Mistralton in seven minutes” and repeated himself every time a minute was up.
“Look, Case, I know I’ve been an ass since you got back, It’s just that --” and before he could finish his thought, Casey threw her arms around his neck and kissed him.
“You don’t have to say it. I know exactly how you felt then, when I left.” she began to pull away, and reached into her pocket, “There’s something I wanted to give you. A special Pokeball I picked up while I was in Sinnoh.” She placed the ball, which was entirely cherry red with a grey horizontal stripe, in his hands. “Oh, and uhm, there’s a little something inside of that you’ll want to dispose of before you get on your plane,” she whispered.
The two laughed and shared one more kiss while Avey and Servine said their goodbyes. Casey stood watching as Lucas boarded the train. The train was relatively empty, and Lucas took a seat with windows on the platform-side. Casey and Lucas shared one last moment as the train departed.
“Until we meet again, Ahlberg,” she began to cry as the train proceeded to move out of her sight.