"Take care of Tropius for me, will ya?" said Sean. It was a speech he'd said dozens of times in the last couple of days, but he felt like repeating it.
"Sure," said Jeff, taking the PokéBall from the machine and fastening it on his belt. He approached the door, then stopped and looked back. Sean was lingering behind, looking solemn at the PokéBall he'd gotten in exchange.
"Do you think they mind?" the Hoenn boy said to Jeff solemnly. "I...never really thought about it, but you know what's going to happen to them, right?"
"And... Do they know what's going to happen to them?"
Jeff shook his head this time.
Sean started to shake. "Sh- Should I tell them?"
Jeff shook his head again. "It's better if they don't know."
"Yeah." Sean looked down at the ball, then put it away. "Hey, can I get back to you on Blaziken? I want..." He sighed. "I want one last day to say goodbye."
"Sure," said Jeff, turning to the door. He opened it, going to a Pokémon Center in Viridian City.
How Sean wished he could follow. Then maybe he could avoid fate. Sadly, the doors didn't let him leave his own universe. Other than these rooms at the Pokémon Center, for some reason.
Pounding briefly on the trading machine, he cried out, "What merciful Arceus would do this? Knowing I'm going to die... knowing that my entire world, my whole universe, is just gonna stop existing. Be replaced, even. It's bad enough time stopped forever, and now this! It's... it's not fair!" He kicked the machine and then leaned on it to cry again. "'s not fair...it's not fair... it isn't fair...not fair..."
After a minute of crying it out, he headed for the door, exiting to Oldale Town.
But the clerk running the room remained for a moment, her heart sinking. When she was sure Sean was out of earshot, she muttered to herself, "Nobody ever said Arceus was merciful."
She kicked the machine too.
Thirty-nine Staryu, eight or nine of which he'd caught himself. Nineteen Unown. Fifty Pidgey and forty-five Rattata, soon to be either fifty-one or forty-six depending on what Jeff sent him. Twenty-four Ralts, not counting the few dozen that had been released and the group's mother and two brothers that had been traded to Jeff. Three Magikrap. Two Horsea, Tentacool, Growlithe, Eevee, and Sentret. One Beedrill, Ledyba, Houndour, and several others that chose to stay.
And one Blaziken.
That was all Sean had now. He once had a much more impressive collection. Besides the ones that were staying, he used to have Flygon. Magneton. Vileplume. Metagross. Sharpedo. Absol. Snorunt. Sceptile. Heracross. Charmeleon. Marowak. He even had Latias and Rayquaza at one point! He was the regional Champion. Two-time Master-rank Contest winner. He'd saved the world from Team Aqua's misguided efforts. He had recorded over two-hundred and fifty species of Pokémon, in part because of his and Jeff's agreement to team up to finish the National PokéDex together.
But no, none of that would matter. First time stopped for everybody, and now the universe was going to be erased. And nobody could do a damn thing about it.
Sad and sullen, Sean stepped downstairs and left the building, heading south towards Littleroot Town. He didn't feel like running today. Not a bit.
"Oh. Hello there, Sean," said a voice. Sean turned and saw Professor Birch, out in the field as usual.
"Hey, Professor," Sean said glumly.
The professor's shoulders lowered. "Still upset about the end of the world?"
"How could I not be?" Sean suddenly shouted. "Everything here, everything, is about to be gone. I won't exist, May won't exist, nothing as it is now will be the same! And everyone that will be the same won't remember anything! And there's... nothing we can do about it..." Tears welled up in his eyes again.
Professor Birch put his hand on the boy's shoulder, but Sean shrugged it off. That didn't deter the professor, however. "Sean, I know things are bleak. Ever since time stopped, we've known things would be bad. But that's why I'm out here in the field today: so when the end finally comes, I'll be doing what I love best. And that's how it is for everyone. Contest Halls and Gyms and the Battle Tower and everywhere else are staying open right to the end of days. We're making the most of it."
Sean nodded and wiped a tear from his eye, though that didn't stop a new one from appearing.
"Say, why don't you send out your Blaziken and go battle something."
"Blaziken. That Torchic I let you keep? He's your best Pokémon, right?"
Sean sniffled. "I guess." He took out the PokéBall, staring fondly at it. "He's the last one I have left, really. Everyone else I sent over to Jeff's universe, and even that world is gonna end soon."
Birch put on a sympathetic smile. "Then why not have some fun on your last day. You're a Pokémon Trainer. You're a Champion. You're the son of a Gym Leader. Battling is something you love. So instead of spending the last day sulking, why not spend it doing what you love."
Sean nodded solemnly and approached the grass. He didn't feel like battling, but Professor Birch was watching. Not intently, if he turned to watch Sean, Sean didn't want to look like he was ignoring the man's advise right in front of him. So Sean stepped into the grass and pushed forward a bit. No sign of a wild Pokémon. Well, he could say he tried. So he turned back towards the clearing.
A wild Zigzagoon appeared! The brown-and-beige dog thing which should not have blended into the green grass so well made its presence known just as Sean was at the edge of the grass, fur bristling and teeth clenched. It growled out at him, clearly angered that Sean dare cross its path.
Sean had to send out Blaziken. If he didn't the Zigzagoon would probably attack him. He'd been attacked before, when all his Pokémon were fainted and he had to run through the grass to get to a Pokémon Center. Trying to shoulder through various Pokémon charging at him, throwing things at him, shooting things at him, or making noise at him, was not fun and not an experience he liked to relive. That's why he carried so many Revives. Regardless, Sean had to fend off the Zigzagoon so it didn't try to attack him instead. Pokémon could take it; they're made of stronger stuff than humans, after all.
Blaziken, taking a combat-ready stance, stared down at his opponent. The Zigzagoon's ears tilted back for a moment, but it didn't back down. Neither made a move for at least a minute; Blaziken because he was awaiting Sean's orders and was generally not impressed by the low-level Zigzagoon, and Zigzagoon because while it knew Blaziken was strong, Blaziken wasn't doing anything, and it was watching and waiting for something to happen. Should it attack? Or retreat?
Hesitantly, Sean said, "Blaziken, um... Use Mirror Move." He didn't want to hurt the Zigzagoon too badly. Not in the mood he was in. A Mirror Move used to open instead of as retaliation would do nothing.
Blaziken nodded, then outstretched his arm. What appeared to be a six-sided pane of glass materialized in front of his palm, but then faded before anything could happen.
Seeing the action, Zigzagoon suddenly dashed to the side, avoiding nothing but one could never be too careful, then charged forward towards Blaziken.
"Mirror Move again," said Sean. Blaziken repeated the gesture with his hand, just a moment before Zigzagoon leapt into the air, colliding with the glass and pushing through to hit Blaziken directly.
When the Zigzagoon stepped back, she suddenly saw Blaziken charging right back at her, ducking down to collide with Zigzagoon with his shoulder. Zigzagoon rolled off to the side, landing at the base of a cluster of trees. The battle was over.
Sean had always wondered where the fainted wild Pokémon went when the battle was over. Perhaps other wild Pokémon brought them to safety for recovery? Sean didn't know, but he never saw piles of unconscious Pokémon in any route he'd just gone through, so there had to be something.
What an odd thing to wonder about when the end of the world is nigh. At least the Pokémon would sleep through the apocalypse.
Sean saw Professor Birch looking on, but the Professor turned away. Sean guessed he was trying to make it look like he wasn't watching. Agreeing with the idea of not being watched, Sean turned and headed for a more secluded part of the route, running just a bit.
Of course, it wasn't that secluded, since there was a random boy wandering nearby. Sean didn't particularly care, though.
Looking down at the tall grass, he tentatively stepped into it and stood there. Then another cautions step. And another. He could hear various Zigzagoon make their different barking noises around him.
The sounds of nature. How he wished he would still be around to miss this.
Another step. Then another. Then he turned around and stepped through again. And turned around, then turned.
And nearly fell over as another Zigzagoon crossed his path.
Blaziken was sent out to meet the striped creature, and the two stared each other down.
"Blaziken, use... Mirror Move."
Again, Blaziken materialized another glass pane from nowhere. Zigzagoon charged at him, only this time, instead of getting hurt, Blaziken stepped to the side.
Naturally, the barrier didn't work.
Zigzagoon chose to growl loudly at Blaziken. It was amazing how, despite being six times taller and over thirty times stronger, Blaziken actually took a step back at that.
Sean rolled his eyes. "Use Slash."
This Blaziken could do. He leapt towards Zigzagoon and struck out with his claw-tipped hands. There were no wounds, but Zigzagoon still collapsed in a heap of unconsciousness.
Sean started walking in a circle at this point, running into yet another Zigzagoon. This time, Sean decided to open with Slash, ending the battle before Zigzagoon could do anything.
The next was a Wurmple. Sean this time commanded a Blaze Kick, prompting Blaziken to ignite his foot on fire and then sweep it low across the ground, kicking the oversized caterpillar in the side.
Sean started to run in his circle now. Wild Pokémon didn't like it when someone ran through their territory, opting to confront the intruder. Another Wurmple chose to do this, only to meet another Blaze Kick. And yet another Wurmple, meeting the same fate.
Sean left the patch of grass he'd been visiting and ran towards the first one, back into plain sight of Professor Birch. Sean ran in a confusing pattern, suddenly turning around or darting sideways.
This time, a Poochyena appeared. Sean stared at the little thing, something odd stirring in his mind. A memory of a battle, one that took place a long time ago. He closed his eyes and was back to that place. Blaziken was just a Torchic then. Everything was new. Hopes were high. And he didn't know it yet, but that would be the start of a friendship greater than any other. Sean called the attack, and his Pokémon charged forward, striking the foe with his claws.
When Sean opened his eyes, Blaziken was standing over the Poochyena, claws extended. The outcome had been the same.
Sean smiled, which would've surprised him if he wasn't lost in memory. It had been so long, and yet here he was, on Route 101, using his first Pokémon to battle and defeat a Poochyena. Just like old times.
A clapping noise rang out, and Sean turned to see Professor Birch being the source. "Not bad," said the professor. "You and your Blaziken sure have come a long way, haven't you?"
"I was just thinking that," said Sean, stepping out of the grass to meet the professor.
"Hahah. I'll bet." He paused for a moment. "So? What did I tell you?"
"Alright. You were right. Battling did help me get it off my mind."
"You see? I told you it would work."
"Okay. So where are you off to now?"
"I... I figure I should say goodbye to May and Mom, and then go visit Dad."
Birch nodded. "I understand. Go say your goodbyes. Oh, and keep Blaziken out. He'll appreciate it."
"Sure thing." And Sean sent out Blaziken, who took a battle ready stance but relaxed when he saw there was no danger.
Sean turned to go but was stopped. "Hey, how about I check your PokéDex one last time?"
Without much of a word, Sean nodded and handed the man his PokéDex.
"Hmm... Still at 198 seen and 191 owned, locally. I thought you were after an Altaria when time stopped."
"I was, but I...kinda got distracted. I looked for one up at Sky Pillar but couldn't find one."
"Mm hmm. And nationally... 268 seen, 261 owned. Not too shabby if you ask me." He noticed Sean looking a bit disappointed. "I know you wanted to finish the PokéDex, but look at how far you've gotten. This is something to be proud of."
"Proud, yeah. And nobody will know."
"How about we fix that? Take a picture and give it to that Jeff fellow you kept trading with."
Sean perked up at the idea. "Yeah, that'll work. I can get a photocopy of my Trainer Card for him to hang onto." He sighed. "At least somebody will remember."
Blaziken put his hand on his Trainer's shoulder. Sean looked up at the Pokémon, who nodded back. "Right. You'll always remember, won't you?"
And Blaziken nodded again.
"Alright. See you around, Professor," said Sean, turning to head home.
Sean returned to the Pokémon Center a few hours later, entering the trade center. Jeff was there, his usual hat set aside for now, sitting on the right side of the room instead of the left. The clerk was also there, her foot in a cast for some reason.
But what surprised Sean was who Jeff had with him.
Flygon. Sharpedo. Vileplume. Metagross. Magneton. All the ones Sean took to the Elite Four that first time. All except Blaziken.
Sean welled up with tears. His best Pokémon would stay a team, no matter who they were with. This Sean knew was what Jeff wanted to say.
They traded the Pokémon, placing Blaziken at the front of the party.
When it was done, Sean stepped to the side. "Can...Can I say goodbye one more time?"
"Sure," said Jeff, sending out Blaziken.
The boy and his former Pokémon looked at each other, Blaziken kneeling to meet Sean's eyes.
"You be careful, okay?" said Sean. "H-have fun. Be...strong. Alright? You-" He couldn't take it anymore and hugged the Pokémon. Blaziken readily hugged back. "I don't want it to end," said Sean between sobs. "I hate this, but there's nothing I can do." He pulled back from Blaziken and addressed Jeff. "You. Make sure you take care of him."
"You have my word," said Jeff.
Sean nodded, then removed a book from his backpack. "This photo album. Keep it. This and the Pokémon are the only things left of my universe. Make sure they stay safe."
"I got it," said Jeff.
Sean turned to the door. "The end is nigh, and we can't be in here when it happens." With a slow and hesitant step, as if his foot was full of lead, he approached the door. Then another lead-footed step.
"Hey," said Jeff.
Jeff pulled Sean's hat off and replaced it with his own.
"What's this for?"
"Just something for you to hang on to. Give it back when we meet again, okay?" Jeff put Sean's hat on his own head.
When they meet again... Sean knew Jeff was referring to when Jeff's own world ended. They would meet again...in death. But a promise was a promise. "Okay." He stretched his fist out in front of him, and Jeff met it with his own.
Sean repeated the gesture with Blaziken, before turning back to the door to his own world. The door that would soon close forever.
One final look back, and a wave, and Sean stepped outside.
And that was it. It was done.
Sean left the Pokémon Center again. Only this time, he saw the sign of the apocalypse. The sky was surrounded by fog, and pieces of trees and buildings were breaking into pink flakes that were fading into nothing. Sean followed the path back to Littleroot Town, seeing a small expanding crater in the ground. A tree was breaking apart from the ground up, leaving its limbs floating in the air. At home, he saw the corner of his house flaking away, showing part of his room.
He stepped into his house, only having to push the door open as the knob was gone. Inside was his mother, his father, May, and Professor Birch.
A couple of the people were missing body parts, the remains of their arms or legs flaking away and fading into nothingness. May was short an arm.
The pink flaking expanded, showing the foggy sky above. Sean's room was gone now. They could see Birch's lab in front of their house, full of holes.
"All my research..." lamented Birch.
The middle of a table started to flake apart.
"How are you doing, Sean?" said Sean's mother with worry. "You look a little tired."
Sean looked around with worry, then down at himself. His left foot was gone, and the pink effect was crawling up his leg, leaving nothing behind it.
"I...think you should rest a bit," she said.
Sean nodded, sitting down, closing his eyes. He didn't want to see what would happen next.
He felt someone give him a one-handed hug. A final embrace, before the end.
And then, nothing.
"Um, hi. Are you...Jeff? From Pallet Town? ID number 42167?"
"Well, um... I somehow have your hat. Sorry to use the Trading Center just for this, but..."
Jeff found himself being inspected by a narrowed-eyed squint. "But..."
"Okay, you look really familiar. Did we meet before? I moved from Goldenrod City in Johto, so maybe..."
"I've never been to Goldenrod."
"But... Hmm... Wait a minute. What do you think about this guy?" Jeff removed a PokéBall and sent out a Blaziken.
"That... looks very familiar. I don't know why."
Jeff's eyes widened in realization. "Does the name Sean mean anything to you?"
"...It shouldn't. I don't know anyone named Sean, but I swear that name is important. Why are these things familiar? They shouldn't be familiar!"
But Jeff was mostly staring off into space.
He shook his head. "Sorry. I was just remembering something." He hesitated. "Hey, um... I made a promise with an old friend. Something...bad happened to him, but he would've wanted me to keep going on that. Anyway, would you, maybe, like to..."
"Complete the PokéDex with you?"
"Yeah. How'd you guess?"
"I dunno. I just...knew you were gonna suggest that. Somehow. This whole thing is so confusing. Things are familiar when they shouldn't be, I have your hat with no explanation why... I just want answers."
Jeff shrugged. "I... I might have answers, but I'm not sure about them myself. I'll have to get back to you when I'm sure."
"Well that's helpful."
"Heheh. Sure is. Or not. You remind me of my friend a lot, and let's leave it at that for now."
"Okay... So, um...do you want your hat back?"
"Nah. You can hang onto it for now."
They stood in awkward silence for a moment.
"Well... I, uh... guess that's it, then."
"Sure," said Jeff. "Um... Talk to you again some time?"
"Wait. I never got your name."
"Oh! Renee. I'm Renee."
"Renee. Well, nice to meet you, Renee."
"Nice to meet you too."
And she left the room, returning to Oldale town, leaving Jeff to just stand there.
"Reincarnation," he said to himself. "I don't. Believe it. Heh, I guess that whole 'we'll meet again' thing is sooner than I thought." He sighed. "Reincarnation. That's how things work. Hoo boy."
It's a Pokemon fanfic. You gotta deal with it.
So what happens to the characters in the game world when you hit restart? You trade Pokemon from one game to the other in exchange for "junk" Pokemon like Pidgey and Rattata, start a new save file, and save the new file, overwriting the old one. But how do the characters see this play out from their end? The characters are so attached to their Pokemon that they don't want to get rid of them all, so proud of the achievements that nobody will remember...
Sean was my character in Pokemon Sapphire. He was very attached to his Pokemon and formed a close friendship with Jeff, my character in LeafGreen. So when he learned his universe was going to be erased, overwritten, with all of his achievements and Pokemon completely unmade, he wanted to protect them. He collaborated with Jeff to trade away all he had so that when the universe is erased, they don't get erased with it.
Sean's reaction to his universe being erased is a lot like my own. I had a lot of memories in that save file, but I had reasons for restarting it. Sean's and Jeff's promise to complete the PokeDex together simply could not happen, since Sean sent a few of his Pokemon up to the Sinnoh region (or was it Johto? Honestly, I forget), including Latias, a Legendary Pokemon only available in Sapphire and Emerald versions. Meaning in order for a new Latias to appear, the whole world had to reset to before Latias' disappearance.
What I didn't expect was how sad this whole thing would make me feel. Thus, the story is sad. Sean is cheered up briefly, but never truly accepts any happiness about any aspect of his situation, and is completely numb when he starts to be erased himself.
Except nobody really knew what happens in these situations. When you restart one of these games, you, the player, take control of a protagonist, starting over. It's still the player in the same game, but in a brand new form. Sounds an awful lot like reincarnation if you ask me.
Thus, Renee's incredible deja vu. She doesn't remember Sean's life, but pieces of it, ones that meant a lot to Sean, are familiar.
Overwrite owned by Zorua076.deviantART.com
Pokemon owned by Nintendo
PS: The space-dissolving effect comes from the tenth Pokémon movie. You know, the one where Palkia went to this one city to recover from a battle with Dialga but Darkrai got mad because Palkia was invading his city and tried getting Palkia to leave but everyone thought Darkrai was threatening them and then the city got sucked into Palkia's home dimension and Dialga showed up and started fighting Palkia and then the town started to dissolve and Darkrai tried to stop them from destroying everything and got vaporized in the process but in the end the town was restored and put back and Darkrai was back to life? That movie. (try saying that in one breath)
PPS: The last pictures of Sean's save files, the stuff I couldn't transfer, can be found here.
Nice, so is this just a one part thing, or are you going to continue it?
I have part of a little story event that happens before partly written (they mention something about time stopping no less than four times). But I'd like to get some chapters of my other stuff out before I start focusing on other things.