Chapter 11: The Mew hunter
When Mark and May entered Metal city, the first thing they saw was actually the guy from the café. He had a black full beard, a brown hat that covered his face in shadow and a brown jacket. He held his hands in the pockets of the jacket and walked hastily into a large, ugly building that was painted yellow, but had large gray patches where the paint had gone off. It seemed big enough to be a pokémon gym, but the Metal city gym was in the other side of town, so it must be something else.
“There he is! Let’s see if this house has a ventilation...” said May. “Come, Mark.”
“A ventilation? Why?” asked Mark, confused.
May shook her head and sighed. “Mark, do you think you can just knock on his door and say ‘hi, you stole my pokémon, can I have them back?’ We must sneak inside, steal the pokémon which are rightfully yours so it really isn’t stealing, and then sneak back outside. And the best way to sneak into a house is through the ventilation.”
Yes, the house had a ventilation, although Mark was wondering why May looked so professional suddenly. The outside grid of the ventilation was pretty high on the wall. May sent out her Skarmory, plucked one steel feather off him, and flew up on him to the grid and used the feather as a screwdriver to loosen the grid. She threw it down to the ground and then Skarmory dived down to get Mark too.
Mark went into the pipe first. It was very narrow, it was impossible to turn around in it. Well, they weren’t going to, anyway...
The screws on the grid at the other side were clearly loose already, because Mark’s head suddenly bumped into it, and the grid fell down to the floor with a lot of noise. Even better, as Mark leaned forward to see what the building actually was, May bumped into him and he fell down to the floor too. Just then, the guy from the café came in, obivously to check what the noise was. He looked at Mark very strangely.
“You!” His voice was hoarse and quiet, but yet it sounded very wild. “You... here... I’ve been... you didn’t have... must... get...” On second thought, he also sounded mad.
Suddenly, he ran towards Mark and grabbed his arm. “WHERE IS IT?!” he roared. The man sounded even more mad now.
“Where is what?” Mark asked, puzzled.
“You know very well what I mean! My goal, my life... Mew!”
“I don’t have Mew,” Mark said, truthfully.
“YES YOU DO! At least you did! I saw you!”
“Saw me when?”
“When you let it out of the window! Look, boy, I’ve been searching for Mew my entire life... I must get it! I MUST GET IT!” The man shook Mark violently. He was still very confused about all of this.
“Why don’t you just calm down and give up searching for Mew, if you haven’t found it yet?” Mark asked. Afterwards, he thought that had been a very stupid question.
The man actually calmed down and looked a lot less mad now. He took a few deep breaths, then said: “I think I must tell you the whole story.
I am a Mew hunter, meaning a person trying to find Mew. That is, I started a pokémon journey when I was ten, like everyone else. I got a Totodile as my starting pokémon. But I had read long before that about the one and only pokémon with real power – Mew.
I trained very hard. I wanted Mew, but I knew I could never get it until I was a skilled trainer. After Mew, I wanted dangerous pokémon the most. I evolved Totodile into Feraligatr for the strong jaws. I got myself a Sandslash and a Sneasel for the claws. I found a Kabuto fossil, got it resurrected at a pokémon lab and evolved it into Kabutops for the deadly scythes. I opened an unofficial gym with them as “armed” pokémon – pokémon with natural weapons. I was doing well with it, but at night, I was studying pokéballs. I bought a Master ball for all the money I collected from the gym. Then I used all I knew to change it into a special ball for Mew – a ball that prevented the pokémon that was captured in the ball from ever going too far from it. I didn’t want to risk that Mew teleported away when I sent it out to battle. Then I closed the gym, and went off chasing Mew with my pokémon.
But I had a rival – Rick, the gym leader from Cleanwater city. He was also young by then, but very skilled at cloning. He also had a special ball, but it was different. His ball was made so that the pokémon captured in it was forced to obey the trainer mindlessly. He just wanted to clone Mew and never use the original one. He didn’t respect Mew or its powers. He thought of legendary pokémon as tools to make powerful clones. I found it my duty to catch Mew before him. Mew deserved better than being a cloning slave.
After a year or so of chasing Mew, I finally found it, fast asleep in a clearing near the Lake of Purity. I got out my ball. I was ready to throw it when Rick came to the other side. He looked at me with hate, and I looked at him back in the same way. He took out his ball and was ready to throw it. Then we had a silent war, we both pushed at each other with our eyes, trying to say ‘I’m going to get it!’. Then, we both threw our pokéballs at the same time. They both hit Mew at the same time, causing it to wake up, of course.
All three of us knew that if a pokémon is caught by two balls at the same time, it is divided into the balls and neither trainer can ever send it out, and the pokémon is trapped inside the two balls forever. But Mew, being a powerful pokémon, could get all of itself into one ball. For short, Mew had to choose which of us was to catch it. Mew looked at me as it turned red and disappeared. We couldn’t see which ball had got Mew, as Mew didn’t try to break out, knowing it wouldn’t have a point. We had to go and get the balls.
Of course I knew Mew would choose me. Rick would enslave it, it wouldn’t have any mind after being caught by him. I would however get it to trust me slowly, and then we could take over the whole world. But as I touched my ball, I felt there was nothing inside. I felt the truth. Mew had betrayed me. Mew had chosen to be a slave of Rick forever.
Rick also felt there was something inside his ball when he took it up. He looked at me with a smile of victory. From his face, I could read ‘I got it! You have lost. I won. I have Mew. I have it!’ But he didn’t say anything. Neither did I.
The first feeling I felt was anger. I was angry with Rick for catching Mew, I was angry with Mew for choosing Rick, I was angry with myself not for having thrown my ball before Rick came. I hated the world. I spent days in my gym without eating, just thinking about how much I hated Rick. But later, my anger turned to sadness, and even later, the sadness turned into nothing. I decided to keep training my armed pokémon, I caught two more and I opened the gym again. But one day, when I was in Cleanwater city, I saw Mew again! It flew out of a hotel window. And who was letting it out was you. All the feelings from when I was hunting Mew returned with even more power. I now knew in my heart that catching Mew was still my deepest desire. I thought you must have been letting it out for fresh air or something. I started following you. When you went to Rainbow café, I nabbed your pokéballs. I sat for a while so I wouldn’t look suspicious. Then I went here, sent out all the pokémon, but none of them was Mew. I realized you had been releasing it. But I knew you must know where Mew usually hides, if it was freed from Rick, it would of course want to meet the person who freed it again. I was going to start following you again to find you, but then,” the man laughed softly, “then I heard a noise from here and checked what was here, and it was you! You came to me by yourself! And now, I want you to tell me where Mew’s hideout is!”
Mark listened to the impressive story, but he did not like the look of things. If he understood the guy right, he was going to take over the world, and Mark did not at all like the idea of a madman with dangerous pokémon and a Mew taking over the world. “I won’t tell you,” he then said.
“Oh yeah? Did you think that was a question? You’re telling me where Mew hides – now!”
“No, I won’t!”
“A little hard to convince, eh? Well, what do you say about this? Go, Scyther!”
A Scyther burst out of a pokéball he threw forward, and, like it was already planned, the Scyther rushed at Mark at incredible speed, knocked him down and held its right scythe by his throat. Then it whispered in his ear, “One little move, the tiniest movement, and...”
“Are you saying... what I think you’re saying?” said Mark, feeling very sick.
“You bet I am, boy! You tell me where Mew is, or else...” He drew his finger across his own throat, and was now starting to sound mad again.
“I can’t tell you!” said Mark, sounding a lot braver than he felt. “I can’t let you... take over the world...” He paused, then added, “And you’ll probably kill me anyway so I can’t tell the police about you.”
Mark’s heart was beating so fast he felt like it was exploding. He had never felt more terrible in his life than now when he admitted to himself that it was most probably going to end quite soon. “Why do you want to kill me?” he then stammered out, although his voice was pretty much leaving him along with every bit of color in his face.
“I don’t want to kill you! I want to know where Mew is!”
“You’re mad!” Mark somehow managed to shout. He didn’t remember having decided to say that.
“Am I? I give you five minutes to think about it. No more.” Then the man went out of the room, slammed the door back and left Mark alone with that terribly scary pokémon. After a few seconds of this tiny bit of hope breaking out, he decided he could barely be worse off if he tried.
“Scyther, would you mind if you just... let me go?” he asked.
“Perhaps I would,” was Scyther’s answer. He sounded very calm, and didn’t think at all before saying it.
“Oh, come on. You don’t like that person, do you?”
“But... I mean... you wouldn’t actually...”
“Why shouldn’t I?” Mark noticed that Scyther never seemed to give clear answers to his questions, which made him feel even more uncomfortable.
“Hey, Scyther – can I call you that? – you hate that man, okay. If you let me go, you can come with me and you’ll never have to see him again! How does that sound to you?”
“Sadly for you, there’s no leaving for me, because I happen to have been caught with a certain pokéball. So trying to bribe me with freedom won’t help you in any way at all.”
Mark decided to try another way.
“Scyther, what will you get out of killing me?”
“What will you get out of it if I don’t?”
“What do you mean?”
“He has other pokémon. Kabutops is very nice. His scythes aren’t as sharp as mine, though, he doesn’t think as much about the maintenance...”
Mark quickly changed the subject.
“But Scyther, wouldn’t you get a bad conscience if you kill me? Wouldn’t you feel better if you just let me go now?”
“You’re one of the first humans I’ve seen that admits bugs have feelings, too,” was what Scyther said. “Although this bug in particular has no feelings at all in the category you speak of.”
“This isn’t the time for fanciful talking! Your trainer is a homicidal madman, you have to let me go!”
“And why should I let you go, if I may ask?”
Now Mark started making up all kinds of excuses, some were completely out of nowhere (You wouldn’t want blood on your nice, clean scythes, would you?) while others had some bit of sense (You’ll be arrested, both of you!), but Scyther had those terribly calm answers to everything. A few times, Mark looked up at May, who was watching through the hole, unable to turn around and get help. Once, she reached back for a pokéball, but after some desperate facial expressions from Mark she managed to make out that he was telling her not to take any risks. So she just watched, the color having drained from her face, too.
“No, and if I’m right, your five minutes are over.”
Hearing footsteps, Mark shouted in panic the last thing he could think of: “I’m too young to die!!!!!!”
“Can’t believe you even tried,” was Scyther’s answer, and both of them stared at the door. It opened and the man stepped in.
“Well, has Scyther convinced you? Are you going to tell me where Mew is?”
Mark collected all of his courage, although most of it had apparently escaped through the window over the last five minutes, and then he said: “No.”
The man suddenly looked strange. But that was only for a tiny bit of second, so then Mark thought it must have been an imagination. The man calmed down again, and said: “Okay then. This will be over quickly. I assure you that Scyther’s blades are razor-sharp, no pain at all... well, Scyther...”
Mark looked up at May, as white as a sheet of paper, then closed his eyes for his death. He thought he saw a very bright light, or was he just imagining it? Suddenly, the most wonderful thought struck his mind.
“No, wait a minute! You aren’t going to kill me! You were never going to kill me!” Mark felt heat stream into his body again, and the weird white mist that seemed to have formed all around him in the last second cleared. The Mew hunter looked strange again.
“You were just threatening me to get me to tell you where Mew hides! You wouldn’t give me up, the only person who can tell you anything about Mew, would you? I should’ve told by the look on your face when I refused to tell you! Then you had the idea of acting like you were really going to kill me, just to put me under pressure for a second, and it almost worked. But then I suddenly saw right through you!”
The man looked more mad than ever before. “Maybe this trick won’t work on you anymore, but I’ll never let you go out of this building again! Never! Until you tell me where Mew hides, of course.”
“Hey, wait. You talked about an unofficial gym. Is this the gym? We can have a pokémon battle. You win, and I’ll tell you where Mew hides, you give me my pokémon and let me go. I won’t tell the police either. I win, and you give me my pokémon and let me go, but I’ll not tell the police anyway. How does that sound? You have nothing to lose, really.”
“But what if you don’t tell me where Mew is even after I’ve won the battle?”
“Then you just don’t give me my pokémon or let me go.”
“Hmmm... okay then, boy. Scyther, come on!”
Scyther stood up and Mark also did. But Scyther didn’t walk over to the Mew hunter.
“Scyther! What do you think you’re doing?” said the Mew hunter angrily.
“This is unfair,” said Scyther. “This is an unfair battle if I battle with you.”
“You’re going to fight for me?” Mark whispered. “You’re actually going to fight at my side?”
“Yes,” said Scyther, pointing his words to Mark.
“Okay! Let the battle begin! Hand me my pokémon!” said Mark. But the man suddenly looked devilish, and said: “Looks like you don’t need them anymore. You have a pokémon already. Go, Kabutops!”
Of course, Scyther, being very weak to Rock, wouldn’t stand a chance against Kabutops. And even if Scyther managed to beat Kabutops, this match was one on five. He was going to lose this for sure. But he wouldn’t give up, he just wasn’t that type...
“Scyther, this is one on five and whatever, I know, but you must do it!”
“I don’t think so!” came May’s voice as she swooped down on her Skarmory. “I have four pokémon with me, so this is going to be a fair battle, five on five! Go, Butterfree!” She sent Butterfree out and landed, recalling Skarmory.
“We’ll win this together, right?” she asked Mark.
“Of course we will!” Mark replied. He had completely forgotten that she was there too.
“Butterfree, Giga drain!” May ordered. The Kabutops glowed green, and small green orbs shot from it to Butterfree causing the Kabutops’ glow to fade and Butterfree to start glowing instead. Each orb weakened the Kabutops, but it was already clear that it was a very high-leveled Kabutops and was not going to faint in one attack. When the glow was all moved to Butterfree, the glow somehow sank into Butterfree and she looked stronger.
“Kabutops, Slash it!” said the Mew hunter angrily.
Mark was surprised that the Mew hunter didn’t tell his Kabutops to use a Rock attack, Butterfree being just as weak to Rock as Scyther, but then he thought maybe a Kabutops had much more power in its Slash than its Rock attacks. It had those scythes after all.
“Butterfree, fly so high it can’t reach you, and use another Giga drain!”
Butterfree quickly flew up as the Kabutops jumped and tried to reach her. She then made it glow green again.
“Kabutops, Ancientpower!” said the Mew hunter when his Kabutops regained the ability to move.
“Butterfree, finish it off!” said May.
The Kabutops was quicker and a band of rocks appeared out of the ground, hitting Butterfree. However, Butterfree was powered up and Kabutops was weakened, so Butterfree managed to survive it, even though it was a Rock attack and Kabutops was a very high level. Then Butterfree used one more Giga drain, being left pretty healthy. The Kabutops stood there for a moment as the Mew hunter told it to attack, staring blankly at nothing, then fell down, fainted.
“Kabutops, come back! Go, Sneasel! Slash!” the Mew hunter said madly. A Sneasel appeared out of his ball, and quick as lighting, it jumped up and slashed one of Butterfree’s wings with its claws. The wing was practically torn apart, and May’s Butterfree crashed and twitched a bit like a fly that’s about to die. Why did pokémon have to look so dead when they were just fainted...
“Butterfree, come back! Go, Skarmory! Use Steel wing!” said May and didn’t show any reactions to Butterfree’s state. Her Skarmory came out of the ball and struck Sneasel using his wing feathers like swords. The Sneasel was badly cut in a place or two, but just looked at Skarmory and awaited its trainer’s orders.
“Sneasel, Blizzard!” the Mew hunter commanded. The Sneasel’s eyes glowed white and the room went cold. A blizzard struck through the middle of it, but Skarmory avoided it.
“Skarmory, use Steel wing again!” said May, happy with the previous outcome. Skarmory dived down again and cut the Sneasel with his powerful wings again.
“Sneasel, Blizzard again!” the Mew hunter growled. Again, the Sneasel’s eyes glowed white and a blizzard struck through the room. This time Skarmory didn’t manage to get away in time, the blizzard struck him. After it passed, Skarmory shivered with some icicles hanging from his wings. He shook himself and icicles flew in all directions, as May told him to finish the Sneasel off. He dived down, spinning like a drill, and Drill pecked the Sneasel. It was knocked down and Skarmory’s beak pierced it. It screeched in pain, then fell limp. The Mew hunter recalled it.
“Skarmory, Drill peck it!”
“Feraligatr, ready with Crunch!”
When Skarmory span towards the Feraligatr, it opened its mouth and caught Skarmory when he came. The Feraligatr grabbed Skarmory’s wing, shook him violently and then dropped him to the ground. Then, as Skarmory attempted to get up, the Feraligatr thrust its leg onto his body and Skarmory’s metallic body went completely screwed up.
“Skarmory, good! Go, Pikachu! Thunderbolt now!” May yelled, throwing Pikachu’s pokéball forward. When the electric pokémon burst out of its ball, its cheeks were already sparkling.
Pikachu sent a bolt of lightning at the alligator pokémon, it got badly electrocuted and fainted.
“Feraligatr, come back! Go, Sandslash, Earthquake!”
This Sandslash was much quicker than Mark’s. Pikachu didn’t manage to jump up and having very low Defense, he fainted.
“Pikachu, return! Go, Lapras! Use Surf!”
Lapras sent a big wave of water at the Sandslash and it got soaked and fainted.
“Sandslash, come back! Go, Fangcat!”
A strange pokémon Mark had never seen before appeared out of the ball. It looked like a saber-tooth tiger, but its fangs were three times as long, and covered with blood. It looked very vicious.
“Fangcat, show them your fangs!” the Mew hunter hissed. The Fangcat jumped at Lapras and sunk its fangs into her neck.
“Oh no! Lapras, come back!” May recalled Lapras quickly as blood started leaking to the floor. “What do we do now? This thing looks really deadly and I’m out of pokémon!”
“We must use Scyther! Go, and do your best!” Mark said to the Scyther beside him. He nodded and walked forward, watching the Fangcat closely.
“Fangcat, punish Scyther for betraying me!” the Mew hunter said. The Fangcat started running towards Scyther.
“Scyther, fly up!” Mark shouted and Scyther took off.
“Scyther, fly higher!”
Fangcat jumped up, but didn’t manage to reach Scyther. When it was falling down again, Mark had an idea.
“Scyther, Slash it from the back!”
When the Fangcat heard this, it decided to turn itself around in the air to defend from Scyther’s attacks. When Scyther flew down at it, the Fangat actually ran Scyther through with one of its fangs. Scyther let out a terrifying roar, and Slashed Fangcat madly. When they landed, Fangcat also took more damage, landing on its back, and one more Slash finished it off all bloody.
“Oh no! Scyther! We must get that fang out of it!” Mark said as he ran over to the two pokémon that were stuck together. He grabbed the fang, and tried to pull it out of Scyther’s body, but he didn’t manage to. Scyther was breathing rapidly and getting weak fron blood loss.
“Wait, I have an idea,” said the Mew hunter. He actually looked very worried, which was a surprise to Mark as he had really expected him not to care about anything except Mew. “I’ll recall Fangcat, and then the fang must go with it. You know, like the girl recalled Lapras.” He then took a pokéball and Fangcat turned into a red beam of light that disappeared into it. Scyther was left lying on the floor, now unconscious. Blood was leaking out of the big hole in the middle of his body. He lay motionless on the floor. Mark walked a few steps backwards. He saw one of the man’s pokéballs suddenly disappear into thin air. Could it really be...?
No one did anything for a few seconds. Then May walked over to the Scyther. She went around him a few times, then walked right up to him and touched him carefully. She pulled her hand back quickly.
“He’s dead,” she then said after a moment’s pause.
There was a long silence.
“...no...” the Mew hunter finally breathed. “No! NO!”
May looked hateful. “Oh yes,” she said. “That bloody beast of yours killed him! Your own Scyther!”
“NO!” roared the Mew hunter again. Then he just let himself fall to the floor too and lay there looking just as dead as his Scyther, but an occasional sob witnessed that he was living. It seemed like ages spent, although it was probably not long in reality.
Then, the window suddenly broke, and Mew flew in. Mark couldn’t believe it, rubbed his eyes, but Mew actually was there, staring at him. Then it looked around, glanced at the dead Scyther and then closed its eyes. It became enveloped in purple glow. Scyther’s body also did. The hole in the middle of his body disappeared. The blood disappeared. Then the glow went out, first on Scyther, then on Mew. Scyther still just lay there. Mew flew down and poked Scyther, very much like it had poked the lamp in the hotel, first very carefully, then again but not very carefully and ended up punching him hard. Nothing happened. Mew looked annoyed, then went to Scyther’s leg, lifted it up and shouted “MEEEEW!” at his knee. Scyther suddenly rose up, slashed the air and then looked around, confused. Mew looked satisfied, and Mark realized that Mew had just decided to come and resurrect Scyther.
“Uh... May? I didn’t really get that... why did Mew shout at Scyther’s leg?”
“Scythers have ears in their legs,” May answered, still staring at Mew explaining something to Scyther in pokémon language.
“Oh,” Mark said. He paused, then asked again: “How did you know?”
“Well, if you want it short, I was top in pokémonology, partly because this was on our test about the Bug type.”
“Top in pokémonology???? How did you manage that?!”
“Well, there’s always someone who’s top of class,” May said and blushed. “Have you never been top of class in anything?”
“Just third or so in pokémonish,” Mark admitted. “But pokémonology is much harder!”
“No! Really, have you never found it hard to learn hundreds of languages that are only one word each? Actually, my Butterfree speaks Japanese. I mean, Japanese Butterfreeish. I didn’t notice when I caught her because she still said ‘Caterpie’, but when she evolved... that was such a NIGHTMARE! All she said was some Transell nonsense and I had no idea what she was saying at all... then she evolved into Butterfree and became understandable again. That was a relief...”
The Mew hunter suddenly walked up to Mark.
“I won the battle,” he said. “Scyther died.”
“That’s not fair!” said Mark loudly. “Fangcat fainted first!”
“Yes, but then Scyther died! Dying is much more than just fainting!”
“He’s alive now,” Mark said. “Mew resurrected him.”
“Yes, but he was dead! I won the battle!”
“Okay,” May interrupted, “let’s say you won the battle. Then I’ll tell you where Mew is. It’s over there. Now, you let us go and give Mark his pokémon.”
The Mew hunter seemed to be noticing just now that Mew was still in the room. He reached for his ball and threw it at Mew, but it just teleported away.
“Mew, you’re out there somewhere. I’m going to catch you sometime,” he muttered.
Mark was happy. He was safe, Mew was safe, and Scyther was safe.
“But... but... where is Scyther’s pokéball?” the man suddenly said. “Where?”
“It disappeared when Scyther died, remember?” said May. “Pokéballs form such a connection to pokémon that when they die, the pokéballs will disappear...”
“But Scyther is alive now!” the man said.
“Yes, Mew resurrected Scyther, but not the pokéball,” she answered.
“But... that means...”
“...Scyther is no longer your pokémon,” May finished, “but a wild pokémon.”
Mark had a sudden idea. “Scyther, you now have three choices. You can stay here with him, you can come with us, or you can go and be wild. What do you choose?”
Scyther looked at Mark, then at his former trainer, then at the window. Then at Mark again, and then at the window again. Then he flew out of the window to freedom.
The Mew hunter stared blankly outside. “Mew... you’re out there... you are there somewhere... I’m going to catch you... and we’ll take over Ouen.” He didn’t seem to mind, or even notice, that Scyther had gone. But now Mark was sure Mew could evade him pretty easily.
“Hey, you said you’d give me my pokémon,” Mark said. The man handed him the six balls without thinking, and then started staring out of the window again.
When Mark and May were back outside, Mark handed May Larvitar.
“That was scary,” he said.
“Yeah,” May replied.
“I’m a bit disappointed that Scyther didn’t join me, though,” Mark said. “I really thought he would. But Scyther wanted to be free, and I’m happy that he’s happy.”
“I pity that man a little, too,” May said. “He really loved his pokémon, but Mew overshadows them all. He’ll probably realize it one day and stop searching for Mew.”
“No, I’m sure he won’t,” Mark answered. “Mew is his goal, and seeing Mew with his own eyes apparently turns his logic upside-down, as he didn’t even think of just holding me longer. He knows Rick doesn’t have it. The reason why he almost forgot about Mew is that Rick caught Mew, so there wasn’t any Mew to search for. He can’t think about anything except Mew now that he knows Mew is there somewhere. Well, I sort of do pity him, he’s... out of his mind. I guess he will always be searching for Mew in some way or another.”
They were now at the pokémon center. But before they went in, Scyther landed in front of them.
“I’m going to come with you,” he said.
“What? Really? Did you change your mind?”
“No, but I had to pretend to go and be wild because he’d never accept me joining another trainer.”
“Oh, I see. Okay then, here’s a pokéball for you!”
Mark held out a pokéball and Scyther was absorbed inside it.
“What did he say?” May asked. “I told you, I’m terrible at pokémonish.”
Mark told her what Scyther had said.
“You’re incredible,” she then sighed. “How can you understand a language that is one word?”
“It comes with practise,” said Mark as they went into the pokémon center.