This is a work of fanfiction by Butterfree/Dragonfree/antialiasis and is not to be reposted without permission. This story is in no way official or endorsed by Nintendo, GAME FREAK, Creatures Inc., or The Pokémon Company.

Last Defense

I had always been taught that trainers were... good. Humans who would befriend Pokémon and help them become stronger. I learned about the Agreement, fascinated. I would get all excited if I heard of a human somewhere nearby, hoping that perhaps I would get caught.

And naturally, I was delighted when you found me and threw a Pokéball at me. I let myself become absorbed into the ball and fall into a comfortable slumber. I couldn’t wait for you to guide me through a battle. For a while, I waited eagerly. Then you finally sent me out. I saw my opponent – a Pikachu.

“Hi!” I greeted him happily, and he responded with a nervous smile.

“Stop being so friendly and Tackle it,” you interrupted.

I should have realized then that you didn’t quite match my image of trainers, if nothing more. But I didn’t. Perhaps I was just naive.

I looked apologetically at the yellow rodent before charging and ramming into him with full force. The Pikachu immediately retaliated by powering up electricity in his vibrant red cheeks and sending a bright bolt of lightning directly towards me. I was too slow to dodge, and as the electricity surged through my veins. I screamed in pain, feeling my body stiffen. Horrified and unable to move, I collapsed onto the ground, waiting for you to pick me up and give me some kind of medicine, like I knew trainers did.

But you didn’t. Your face formed into a frown; there was nothing to be seen in your eyes but hardness. You kicked my side hard in anger and I rolled a few metres away from you, my numb body not really registering the pain, but my soul permanently damaged.

Even if I had not been paralyzed, I would have been stiff with fright and confusion. I didn’t understand it. Had I done something horribly wrong; had I failed you? My young mind wouldn’t even consider the possibility that you didn’t have a good reason to hurt me. If you punished me, I had to have done something. That was my childish reasoning.

“Stupid thing,” you muttered as you took out the Pokéball again. I couldn’t stop thinking about it as I fell into a slumber again: What had I done wrong?

And I made a determined, yet so very simple-minded decision: I would please you, whatever the cost.

-------

A long time passed. Probably a year or two. I didn’t keep track of it. Every day was the same: you would send me out of the Pokéball, and I would block all sound from my ears but your voice, obeying its every command without hesitation. I sought to please you, but you were somehow never happy. And I, the fool I was, just tried harder and more robotically. I gradually got obsessive about pleasing you, so that no thought would occur to me, in battle or not, except Have I done right? Will Master be satisfied with me?

I slowly got used to your threats, kicks and other physical abuse. It stopped being anything else than your way of saying that you were unhappy with me. I stopped feeling angry or scared when you did it, and those feelings instead turned to a horrible, depressing feeling of failure – about the only emotion I could feel anymore.

But as one grows older, one matures, and with some luck, one can even mature enough to break free from the shackles of slavery.

-------

I barely even noticed the Pokémon I was attacking. It was some kind of a female cat Pokémon; that was all I registered. I just did your will, which had grown into a subconscious reaction rather than intentional obedience.

I defeated her, my only thought being that I would not receive any kicks from you this time. The cat’s trainer, a pretty, blond-haired human girl, picked up her Pokémon with concern and stroked her battered fur gently. “You’ll be all right,” she said softly.

Those words seemed to bury themselves deep into my mind, even after you recalled me back into my Pokéball. Instead of thinking about your satisfaction and making feeble attempts to be pleased with myself, I heard it echo inside my head, again and again. You’ll be all right…

Thankfully I had enough Pokéball time to think it over and realize what this meant. It meant one thing above all: not all Pokémon were treated like me. Some of them received love and care from their trainers. Some Pokémon were treated like in the stories I had heard of trainers when I was young.

I guess I became envious as soon as this occurred to me. I envied the Pokémon the human girl had loved so much. I tried to convince myself that they were an exception. I didn’t want to believe that after all this time, I was not merely experiencing what all trained Pokémon experienced, but abuse that most Pokémon would only face in their nightmares. But the thought struck me nevertheless. I decided to watch more trainers.

And I saw it. I took part in many more battles, noticing the trainers we battled better than I had ever done before. I was horrified to discover that all the trainers we faced were visibly very concerned about the welfare of their Pokémon. How come I had not noticed this at the start, when I first came with you? How could I not see the worry in their eyes as their Pokémon stood up with difficulty, how could I not see how they would recall their Pokémon in a bad situation in order for them not to get hurt too much?

Perhaps it was just my young age at the time. But now I felt betrayed. And I started feeling anger towards you. I hated you, and hated you more every time I saw another trainer who really cared for his Pokémon. And I guess you noticed too that I battled with gradually less enthusiasm than before, because fighting for somebody one hates is difficult. And then you started hurting me again, for the first time in a long while.

I guess that was when my hate towards you consumed me, and I melted into a white glow. I had heard rumours that my species could evolve through sheer love for our trainers, but I guess any very powerful emotion, including hate, would have made me grow to an adult.

I felt power stream through my body. You looked so shocked, yet delighted, like you had been waiting for this to happen ever since you caught me.

“Esssspi,” I hissed in a defensive position as the ruby on my forehead glinted.

“Eevee! You evolved!” you said, in a completely difference voice from how you used to address me.

“Espeon,” I meowed, still watching you carefully.

“Finally! Now I’m going to cream the League with you,” you said, smiling in what was probably supposed to be a friendly manner, but was full of greed and insensitivity to my eyes. I didn’t want you to gain control of me again. I was already feeling the bond I had tamed myself to create between us.

No. Then it would be better if you were dead.

I focused my power into the gem on my forehead. I saw you clutching your head and screaming. As your voice was silenced by unconsciousness and you dropped down to the ground, I knew it was over. You would never hurt me again.

I heard something and turned around. Another human approached; a male with dark hair, just like you. But despite how I had watched trainers be so much more caring than you, my subconscious mind did not want to confide in a human again.

The other human screamed, staring at your limp body and then at me. He came nearer, holding a Pokéball and looking terrified. He picked up something, held it to his ear and started asking for help. I assumed this was something humans used to communicate, and he clearly asked for more of them to come. Horrified, I collected my energy into my gem again and watched him scream for a second before he went limp.

I shivered at the thought of what I had done. You had hurt me, yes, but he had never done anything to me, and I had attacked both of you. The idea of me hurting somebody after being hurt so much had seemed absurd until I started feeling this fear. It was like I had attacked out of instinct rather than intent.

I just stood there on the snow-covered ground, shivering. I don’t know how much of it was the cold and how much was the mental part.

I’m not sure how long I sat there, staring downwards, but the next time I looked up, I found myself surrounded by an army of humans, all looking alike and pointing big black things of some sort at me.

I had no means of escape. I collected all my power into my ruby again.

“Essspiion!”

Page last modified July 14 2017 at 16:44 GMT