This section applies to the ILCOE.
Richard Lancaster, better known as Rick, is the leader of the Cleanwater City Gym, which uses low-level clones of legendary Pokémon. He is also the brother of Taylor Lancaster.
- Age (current)
- Tall and muscular.
- Usually jeans and various white shirts and T-shirts.
Rick and Taylor's parents died in a car crash when Rick was fifteen, leaving him alone with his two-year-old brother. It affected Rick deeply, and after this he saw Taylor as the last person he had left; to prevent Taylor from being taken away to be with relatives they'd never met, he therefore took the small boy with him on his still-ongoing Pokémon journey. He had been striving to realize his childhood dreams of becoming a Gym leader for a few years by this point, but after the death of his parents, he began to develop paranoia and a constant sense of insecurity that made him seek stronger and stronger Pokémon to feel safe and confident. He dabbled in genetics and cloning in particular, eventually deciding to head out to capture the strongest Pokémon in existence, legendary Pokémon, and clone them, after which he would release some back into the wild.
At first, he focused on creating true clones, but he was also fascinated by the creation of the genetically modified Mewtwo and wished to do something in the same vein. His first 'super-clone' was therefore Mewtwo², a frighteningly powerful creature modified from Mewtwo's in turn modified Mew DNA. He kept this creation secret when he applied to open a Gym using the unmodified clones, but he was met with horror and disgust, both at the idea of cloning legendary Pokémon at all and at the Pokéballs he had invented to contain them in, which had been based on older technology to weaken a Pokémon's will and force it into obedience that was necessary for controlling the legendary clones. This was a turning point in his life: as they told him his life's work was blasphemous and needed to be destroyed, he realized that he had already found the power and security he had been seeking for all these years, and using Mewtwo²'s powers to alter the minds of the officials, he managed to bend them to his will and be allowed to open a Gym at last. After this, he continued his research on genetic modification, creating more super-clones, but as he soon discovered that Mewtwo² repeatedly seemed to learn to resist the influence of the Clone Ball, he decided not to make more modified legendaries and focused instead on modifying ordinary Pokémon.
While those of the original legendaries he didn't release are usually only kept in Pokéballs at the Gym, Rick always had high hopes for the original Mew, which he intended to use in battle. Ever since he caught it, however, it has persistently resisted the Clone Ball just enough to weaken its attacks and allow itself to faint early. This has frightened Rick, who now lives obsessively for being the one in control, and as the story begins, doubt about Mew nags constantly at his mind.
There was never that much thought to Rick originally; he was just a guy who cloned legendaries and gave super-clones to his brother. But as I continued writing and thinking about it, the relationship between Taylor and Rick became clearer in my mind, as did the actual character of Rick, and now I absolutely love him despite that his apparent role in the story (so far) seems rather minuscule and flat. He has delicious Freudian layers of coping mechanisms and psychological complexes that nobody knows about but me. Mwahaha. Or well, if you read the Pre-Story Biography I guess you know a little about it now, too.
So basically, he started off as a generic Pokémon fic villain, and now I want nothing more than to give him a hug. Out of all the characters in this fic, he is probably the one I love the most disproportionately compared to how little reason readers have to give him so much as a second glance. At least right now. There is a little more of him somewhat later in the fic.
Regardless of his character, however, the concept behind him remains rather ridiculous even in the ILCOE, and therefore a few changes are being made in the IALCOTN. First, in the IALCOTN he did not attempt to found a Gym using legendary clones; instead, the Gym officially trains Pokémon that evolve by evolution stones, keeping to the general theme of varied low-level Pokémon that are nonetheless unusually strong. The legendary cloning business is all done in secret (until Taylor comes along, anyway) and merely consists of persistent rumours, though he still keeps investigations off his back using Mewtwo²'s powers. Second, in the IALCOTN he never caught any of the legendaries, besides Mew, to begin with; he just traveled around collecting DNA samples in order to create clones. This makes more sense, particularly with the part where he decides to resort to cloning even though he has the real legendaries as well as mind-controlling balls at his disposal. Thirdly, the entire Mew ordeal has always been rather silly, particularly because it all ends in Rick absurdly giving Mew to Mark; therefore, the IALCOTN will have him use Mew as a trophy similar to how he does now, but transformed into an Arcanine. Mew still fights the Clone Ball's influence to weaken its attacks and faint sooner than otherwise. Because Rick has been plagued with conflicted guilt about having actually caught a real legendary Pokémon and mind-controlling it, and he is afraid that Mew will eventually shake off the Clone Ball's influence altogether and take its revenge on him, he ends up desperately handing it to Mark and telling him to get rid of it; he assumes that Mark will simply think it's a normal Arcanine and ditch the ball somewhere out of the way or release it or something of the sort, or at most that he will use it himself and thus direct Mew's final vengeance towards Mark if it ever happens. However, Mark immediately switches it out of the Clone Ball, freeing Mew to reveal its true self once he sends it out.
In other words, the IALCOTN will not include Rick somehow deciding that giving Mew to some random kid is a good idea; he will just be using Mark to take Mew somewhere far away where he doesn't have to fear it or think about it.