May Victoria Wallace
This section applies to the ILCOE.
May is the second most prominent human character of The Quest for the Legends, traveling with Mark for most of his journey.
- Age (current)
- Pretty tall.
- Long and blue, with two ponytails sticking out down to the sides at the back. She has a long wavy lock hanging down on either side of her face, with the top in several hanging spike things. Eh, just look at the picture.
- Blue shorts and a white jacket, with white shoes. She has a Pokéball necklace instead of a belt: it's a simple black thread with the minimized Pokéballs hanging off it in the front.
- Chibi May
May's father used to be a respected Pokémon trainer, but he quit after the death of his Meganium, and since then her family have been rather poor. They lived in New Bark Town in Johto and she always intended to take on the Johto League, become an even better trainer than her father and earn a good living that way. When she was seven years old she found a strange, dark-colored Vulpix, took her in and named her Spirit upon finding out that she had the mysterious ability to turn herself invisible and insubstantial at will. She always planned to make Spirit her starter Pokémon when she went out on a Pokémon journey, but one night when she was nine years old, a rich kid in town nabbed the Vulpix, prompting May to take matters into her own hands, break into the other kid's house and steal her back. After this incident, May became somewhat paranoid about further attempts being made to kidnap Spirit if she kept showing off her uniqueness, and thus she convinced Spirit to stay behind when she actually went on her journey.
When May was ten, she was allowed to get a starter Pokémon from Professor Elm, but driven by her competitive nature and her family's lack of money, she decided to postpone her Pokémon journey by a couple of years so that she could do some work with Elm, gaining valuable knowledge and experience for the journey in addition to earning herself the fare for a trip to Ouen, where she could capture her favorite Pokémon Skarmory at a low level. On her twelfth birthday (February 18th), she was ready to head out, but upon seeing her choices - Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile, as traditional in the Johto region - she went with the Cyndaquil upon discovering it was female despite disliking Cyndaquil, as she knew that females of the species were rare and valuable. She was never fond of her starter, and the Cyndaquil in turn was not too enamoured with her either.
She caught a Caterpie in Johto before heading off on a ship to Sailance, Ouen, from where she traveled through Cleanwater City to Alumine, the city near the biggest Skarmory nesting grounds in the world. After capturing a young Skarmory, she traveled back to Cleanwater City and was on her way to Sailance to catch another boat back to Johto when she came across Taylor Lancaster. He challenged her to a one-on-one battle and sent out his Pikatwo, forcing May to use Cyndaquil in order not to be at a type disadvantage, as her Metapod had just become a Butterfree. Cyndaquil was losing the battle when she began to evolve into a Quilava and subsequently defeated the Pikatwo. After the battle, Taylor offered to trade her a Charmander, supposedly around Quilava's level, for her; May agreed to the trade since she liked Charizard more than she did Typhlosion, but regretted it afterwards when she discovered that the Charmander was just a fresh, level five starter. Irritated at being taken for a fool, she threw the Pokéball away in frustration and resolved to find Taylor again to get her Quilava back. She changed her plans, staying in Ouen and deciding to take on its League instead while saving Johto's for a later time.
For a while she stayed in and around Cleanwater City, hoping to find Taylor still there somewhere. She met Mark for the first time while looking for him at the Lake of Purity, just around the time she had given up all hope of Taylor still being in the vicinity and decided to start focusing on training her Pokémon to take on the Gym.
When I was little, my stories usually featured male main characters despite that I am a girl. Instead, my feminist outlet came in the form of the female side characters who, as a rule, overshadowed the male lead in just about every conceivable way: they would be ridiculously badass, intelligent, good at everything they attempted and admired by everyone, especially the invariably unremarkable male lead. They were idealized self-inserts of sorts - while they didn't have my name and I didn't think of them as being me, they were more or less the epitome of what I wished I could be.
May was basically The Quest for the Legends' version of this idealized self-insert character, except that somehow, she ended up not all that idealized. She came out violent, overly competitive, emotionally challenged, borderline abusive, way short on temper... Ultimately, while she kept the intelligence and talent (this time at Pokémon battling) of her predecessors, her personality made her a less than flattering self-insert, to say the least. What is more is that I was aware of it, because even in the first version, Mark's narration remarked on finding her kind of creepy and violent. She only became more unlikeable and less admirable the more I wrote of her if anything, and meanwhile I developed in the opposite direction: I had something of a short temper and violent tendencies when I was little that are mostly gone now. I am happy to say that today she is really not much like me at all, save for some inside references: she shares my birthday, for instance, likes some of the same Pokémon I do, and has some of my mannerisms and quirks though they tend to be used in a different context.
She has always been one of my favorite characters of the story, at first because I could use her to exert fictional revenge on people I disliked, and later after I grew out of that because she was just such a delightfully morally questionable person who was just begging to be tortured a little. She's a sore loser, so it's fun when I can make her lose. She is more sentimental than she'd like to admit deep down, so I have fun making her release her sought-after Quilava after it becomes clear she can't be a useful part of her team. She doesn't treat her Pokémon very well, so I have fun making Alan call her out on it and having them argue about it (while she is always fiercely convinced she does not do anything wrong - you have no idea how much I enjoy making her justify everything she does in Ask the Characters).
Her primary plot arc in the fic, of course, is her poor treatment of her Pokémon and its escalating consequences. First it's Lapras's sudden announcement that she will not battle for her in chapter 33, which comes as a real shock to May since it's not that she thinks abusive behavior is okay: it would just never have occurred to her to consider what she does abuse, since as far as she's concerned abuse is only direct physical abuse ("I don't beat you or starve you or..."). She only accepts she may have done something wrong when Spirit, a close friend ever since she was little, agrees. At first it really gets to her, since again, she's well aware that Pokémon abuse is a bad thing. However, eventually she just casts away her guilt over it, decides that releasing Lapras is the end of it and that since the rest of her Pokémon haven't complained, they'll be fine.
But boy, is she wrong. Tyranitar turns out completely messed up, he kills Taylor, Mark explodes at her, and she finally has to face the fact that no, her methods aren't quite okay. For a couple of days immediately after, she was still in shock and didn't want to talk or think about it, but it slowly sank in that she'd done something very, very wrong somewhere along the way. Once she'd figured that out, she had some vague idea that she had to change and become a 'nice' trainer, and it was this that prompted her to find a relatively weak Pokémon to capture at the Ouen Safari. However, keeping up the act only felt forced and awkward to her, and this did not escape the notice of Stantler, leading to their conversation in chapter 57, which made May finally realize what the real problem was. She's recovered some of her confidence and drive by now, but as becomes clear in chapter 64, she has plenty of insecurities left, and Robin's arrival takes them up to eleven. I'm not done with you yet, May.