Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Speech

            In the central courtyard of the gray town, two benches sat, warped by the season’s rainfall and covered in a haze of dust. They had been inoccupied for centuries, though their surroundings bustled and thrived with eager people all around them. Ideally, they came to serve as a landmark, and in their distance apart sat a flock of dark doves, pecking at worms and roots beneath the wet moss of the benches’ shadows. The birds’ coos were drowned out by the hum of peoples’ voices as they went about their daily lives. Some walked quickly through the streets, distinct as those who had somewhere important to be, and others tended to their shops and houses, sweeping and cleaning and scrubbing away as a dense morning fog formed above them. With it came a cold breeze that shook a nearby field of trees, from which a small brown fruit fell to the ground. Immediately a dark shadow, who had been lying underneath the tree, reached forward and picked up the piece. He stood up now and stepped out from the shade of the tree and into the gray morning, revealing a thin face with delicate features, large gray eyes and a mane of light green hair that swayed behind him as he moved.
            He stopped at the flock of birds in the courtyard, who now groomed themselves beneath the two benches, and, broke the fruit into an even number of pieces, tossing one to each of them. They ate and gave thanks with soft cries of delight, looking up at the young man who smiled back.

He now turned away from the winged friends and walked to the edge of the courtyard, inhaling some of the cool mist that swam around him. It had been quite a long time since he had been outside. He gazed onward, to the dancing blades of grass in the distant route that led to this town. Accumula, he had believed it to be called. Surely there was adventure waiting for him out there, beyond the dusty gates of this small village, but he felt little need to accommodate his yearning to discover it. He had heard from several of his people that today would be the day that would begin a revolution. That they would be the ones to do it. It would be here, of course, Accumula, a lively little town on the outskirts of the continent, greeted every morning with a fresh ocean breeze and every evening by a melting rainbow of twilight. It would be here, they had said, because these people were more likely than any in the entire country to believe anything they were told, isolated as they were from the rest of the outside world by towering mountains and a diminishing faith in technology. Blatantly stated, it would start here because this was indeed the best possible place, even the perfect place, to plant the seeds of innovation.
And then from somewhere behind him, the young man heard several people gasp.
Turning on the spot he found that a small group of citizens had gathered by the two benches in the courtyard, and were focusing their immediate attention on an apparently odd procession taking place on the opposite end of town. Two straight, even lines of silver-clad people were making their way toward the crowd, and only until they got within meters of the courtyard did the young man see the cause of surprise. Each one of them was covered in a metallic armor that shone brilliantly in the little sunlight that was present. It covered the wholes of their body, arms, legs, and even the head, giving the potential impression of spacemen, or even of a medieval group of knights preparing for a battle. Indeed, as they grew nearer still and their appearances became all the more distinguished, a small blue crest could be seen on each of their chests, where in the center shone a jagged, blue letter “P”. The young man bowed his head down and smiled again, jogging to the gathering crowd of onlookers, so that he could see what the strange beings would now do or say. As the procession reached the middle of the grassy courtyard, the two lines stopped and, turning to face the now quite large crowd of people, erected two thin poles, at the top of which waved a large blue flag engraved with the same blue “P” as their uniforms. Then suddenly the two lines broke apart, leaving an opening in their middle, where no sooner the strangest-looking person of all now emerged. He was very tall, and among profoundly chiseled and anguished features lay a stream of light colored hair, no dimmer than the moon in the night’s sky. And that was all that could be said of him, for despite his very determined scowl, he had no other means of bodily identification. He wore a long, billowing robe that split down the very middle to reveal a pure white undergown. On each side of the robe was depicted two formidable representations of a human eye, each colored in light and dark contrast to the other, though they both shared the same red center. And upon the crest of his shoulders, at the top of these robes, his head and neck were encircled by a piece that resembled the very top of a castle, emblazoned in the center by the great “P” logo. Though these features were standout-ish, especially for as humble a town as Accumula, he did not strike fear in the minds of his watchers, and indeed, even as he walked up the aisle created by his armor-clad comrades, he did so with such regality he might have been the center of a crowning ceremony. He stopped at the very front, now directly facing the still growing group of onlookers.

“My fellow Accumulans,” he raised up both of his hands, as if in praise. “My name is Ghetsis. I am here with my friends of Team Plasma,” he indicated the spacemen, who pointed to the two flags now streaming in the breeze, “in representation of a great cause. Today, my good people, I would like to speak with you of the liberation of Pokemon.” Many people in the audience gasped, some turned to their neighbors and whispered things. But the green haired young man did not stir. He had expected this much of a reaction from them, had known that such a speech would do little to drive them toward Team Plasma’s larger goals. But still he stood there, intent on saying nothing so that he may hear what more this Ghetsis had had to say.

The robed man continued, “I do not doubt that most of you, I am sure, believe that Pokemon and humans have become partners who need one another in order to survive, who in fact rely on one another. But is this really the truth? Pokémon are subject to the selfish commands of Trainers and get pushed around in order to do our bidding. They have lived with us, as servants, for only too long now. Has anybody stopped to think whether or not they in fact want this for themselves?
“Now, my friends, Pokemon are vastly different from humans. They are living beings that contain unknown potential; powers that have yet to develop under the rule of an unworthy human.” The young man noticed how Ghetsis had put a particular emphasis on this last word, as if he himself wanted nothing to do with the species responsible for enslaving the Pokemon. He wondered whether this was how Ghetsis truly felt.
“And so, what is our responsibility toward these wonderful creatures?” a couple people nodded, some gasped, while others showed less prominent signs of having been persuaded. “We must set them free!” Ghetsis yelled, “Then, and only then, will we two become equals, and our debt to these great servants be forever paid. I end here today by imploring you to consider the relationship between Pokemon and people, and the correct way to proceed. I—we—greatly appreciate your time.” And with those concluding words he folded his hands together, bowed his head to the audience, and with the effect of having made an impact, swept off in his long, dark-light robes, only to be followed by two straight lines of the silver-wearers carrying the Team Plasma flags in the back of the trail. It wasn’t until this line was completely out of sight that people began to discuss. The young man listened only too intently.
“Do you think what he said is true?”
“I’ve never considered…after all these years.”
            “Pokemon, our slaves!? That’s preposterous.”
            And slowly the crowd began to disperse, until only a handful of people were left standing in the gloomy court. And then, like a hunter sensing prey, the young man sensed something. It was faint at first, but as more people began to leave the clearing, he no longer doubted it: a strong, unmistakable wavelength that overwhelmed his senses and drew him toward two chatting friends that stood where the others had been before. There was something about them; one of them, at least, that hummed with life and energy. He was a Pokemon trainer. They both were, actually. But no, it was just he, the one on the right… His Pokemon were humming.
            As the two characters made to leave the courtyard, the green haired young man spoke.
            “Your Pokemon… It was saying something, just now.” He didn’t expect the puzzled looks they exchanged, for surely everyone knew to decipher the feelings of their Pokemon?
            “My Pokemon?” The strong trainer asked.
            “Yes, they’re talking. You cannot hear them?”
            He threw another strange look toward his friend. “No, I don’t hear anything.”
            “Oh. Well then, how sad.” and he really did feel a decline in happiness upon hearing these words. “My name is N.”
            “I’m Cheren,” said the strong trainer’s friend, “and this is White. We’re Pokemon trainers, and we’re going to complete our Pokedexes. And I,” he glanced back at White, “I’m going to become the most powerful trainer in the world!” N cared not about the last statement, but it was its predecessor that sent his spirits sinking even further downward.
            “The Pokedex? So then your mission is to confine many, many Pokemon in Pokeballs in the name of Science and Research, and have them be forced to do as you command them to?”
Cheren looked angry, but before he could say something, N continued, though this time he was careful not to let the distress caused by the idea of a Pokedex get the better of him. “I am a Trainer, too.” He knew he did not sound proud to say it, though he more significantly considered himself a Pokemon Friend.
            “Yeah?” asked Cheren, disbelieving.
            “Yes, but I can’t help wonder…are Pokemon really happy this way?”
            “What?” Cheren was stumped. “But of course they are! I mean, as long as someone is a good and kind trainer. That’s what me and White are…Are your Pokemon happy?” he sputtered.
            “I have just told you I only wonder.” He stared at White once more. He was practically trembling with the voices of his Pokemon. N knew what he had to do. He must know. “I’d like to battle you,” he said to White.
            “Me?” Cheren asked. “But of course!” and he proceeded to extract a shiny red Pokeball from his bag.
            “No, not you. You.” he pointed at White.
            “Really, me? Not Cheren?”
            “No, I’m sorry. Cheren does not emit the light that you do.” this caused the trainer to scoff and he turned nearly the color of the Pokeball in his hand. “Now, White, is it? Let me hear your Pokemon’s voices again!” he grasped the red orb in his hand, preparing to release its captor. Just a little longer, my friend, he thought to the Pokemon, and you will be free once more.
            “I’m ready.” said White. “Now, let’s do this! Go, Tepig!” the Pokeball hit the ground with a hollow thud, then opened to reveal a flash of red light, which was soon replaced by a plump orange pig. “Pig!” The Tepig shouted.  
            Its voice was faint, N noticed, but not unclear. It definitely acted as though it were in the hands of a great trainer, though N was not too sure. It is happy, but not perfect yet, N thought. 
            “Well then, go, Purrloin!”
            Purr!” cried a small purple cat with sharp features as it landed opposite to the Tepig. Contentedly, a great wave of gratitude could be felt by N, echoing off the voice of the little Purrloin. Its vivid undulations enshrouded him, so that he almost flew on the wings of his Pokemon’s trust of him. He smiled.
            “ Purrloin,” N commanded,  “use Scratch attack!” ...

(Not yet edited/finished) Let me know what you think!!!

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