Chapter 22: Alan’s story

“Well, like I said, it all started when Dad had a dream. Molzapart was in it. He told his friends about it, and it turned out one had the exact same dream. They figured that if it could get into people’s dreams, it must be a Psychic type, and since it looked like Articuno, Zapdos and Moltres combined, they figured its type was most likely Fire/Electric/Ice/Flying/Psychic. Anyway, he went on a journey to find it, and – well, you know Dad is some sort of a magnet for legendary pokémon. He ended up finding Molzapart. Molzapart told him he had been waiting for him and that he had to tell him something really important that would have to be a complete secret hidden from everyone until “the time would come”.”

“What was that?” Mark asked.

“I don’t know. It’s a secret, and Dad took this really, really seriously.”

“Oh. Go on, go on...”

“Well, then Dad asked Molzapart if he could research him.”

“You’re joking.”

“No. And Molzapart took that just fine. He told Dad everything about himself, and Dad wrote it all down. When Dad came home, he used all the information to make a pokédex entry for Molzapart. He got it to Gary Oak – you know, the one who continued with the pokédex research after old Samuel Oak, his grandfather, died – and got him to put it in the pokédex. Didn’t tell Gary anything about how he saw Molzapart, of course. And no trainers have ever gotten to see Molzapart except maybe if they were killed too, so me, Dad and Gary were the only people who knew about Molzapart’s pokédex entry.

Well, shortly after that, a month before my tenth birthday, I was like usually nagging Dad to give me a pokémon now instead of waiting for a month. In the end, he gave in and said I could go and buy a pokémon as a pet in the pet shop. I went and bought a female Meowth and named her Pamela. On the way back, I saw a boy who was just evolving his Growlithe with a Fire stone. The Arcanine saw Pamela and started growling. The boy turned to me and said “Hey, I challenge you to a pokémon battle. My Arcanine against your Meowth.”

I told him I was not a trainer yet because I was too young.

“Oh, sorry,” he said. “I thought...” But then the Arcanine got itself out of his arms and was about to jump at me. Pamela jumped down from my arms, too. The boy didn’t seem to know what he was doing, he took out his pokéball, but the Arcanine, who was apparently called Aaron since the boy called him that – just grabbed it from his hands, spat it on the ground and melted it with a Flamethrower. He asked me if I happened to have a pokéball, and I told him of course I didn’t, because I wasn’t a trainer. He told me that was his last ball because Aaron came from a trade and didn’t obey him and always melted the balls. I shouted at him that he had to recall him because of Pamela.

And he ran out to the pokémon market. Pamela was defending herself pretty well, actually. High Speed. Evaded Aaron’s attacks. When the boy came back, he panted and said: “You won’t believe this! They were all out of pokéballs! Exactly now! And I can’t go to the next town without a pokémon, Aaron is the only one I have! What can we do now?”

While he said that, Aaron was getting tired and collapsed on the ground. The boy stared at Aaron like he was just about remembering something, and suddenly he muttered: “No...” I asked him what was wrong and he replied: “I – I evolved Aaron because he hated me. He missed his original trainer, Growlithes are so loyal. But the other trainer said he wanted him back, and... I mean, evolving him? If pokémon are too young when they evolve, their personality changes... and his personality has changed, so he must’ve had a personality that was pretty weak to evolution... still to young to keep that personality... he could as well be dead. I feel like Team Rocket or something.”

I wanted to comfort him, so I said: “Well, they aren’t that bad. They tried to steal Dad’s Pikachu hundreds of times, but he said they weren’t evil at all. Just funny. And sometimes they even helped him.”

You know, I was nine years old, so I didn’t really know exactly how to comfort people... but he said: “But what can I do? Maybe I can catch another Growlithe?” I told him that Dad says a good trainer can always tell the difference between his pokémon and another pokémon, and he asked me who my father was, anyway...”

Mark could just imagine Alan, nine years old, with his I-hate-attention expression, telling someone who his father was.

“Well, he was a bit like you when I told him – no offense meant – you know, “wow, that’s so amazing” and all that...” Alan continued. “Then he asked again what he could do with Aaron. And well, because I really, really wanted a real pokémon that could battle, I told him: “You should just tell the trainer that Aaron hated you so much he ran away, and then you can catch a Fire pokémon and give him instead. And I’ll take Aaron as a pet, Pamela likes him.” Pamela was licking Aaron’s face, trying to get him up again, you see. And then I added, to sound less selfish: “I’ll ask Dad if there is any way to devolve pokémon and get their old personality back.” Of course I knew there isn’t. He thanked me and asked me when my birthday was. I told him it was September the ninth. He also asked if I was nine years old, and I said yes. He asked if I would start training pokémon then, and I said yes. He asked me to give him his phone number and be his friend, and I said yes. That was how Peter became my friend and I got my hands on Aaron...”

Alan paused for a moment, then said: “After we registered each other’s phone numbers, we saw that a Jynx was attacking a Pikachu in an alley. He asked why Pikachu wasn’t moving. I told him it was most likely frozen solid and was going to say that Dad had taught me a lot about battling status when I recognized the Pikachu as Dad’s. So I jumped forward, to get Pikachu, only to get hit by a Blizzard and get frozen too. I couldn’t move, but I watched as Peter got Pamela to attack the Jynx, and managed to drag us home. Dad made the Cyndaquil he meant to give me as a choice for a starting pokémon (the pokémon he intended to let me choose from were bred from his old Johto starters) thaw us out, and because Pikachu had been in the middle of using Thunderbolt when he got frozen, he shocked Dad. The funny thing was that we had a photo of him being shocked by Pikachu on the wall, and he looked exactly like the photo... anyway, he decided that because Peter saved us, he should get Cyndaquil as a gift. So Dad had no Cyndaquil to let me choose for a starting pokémon, so he decided to use a Charmander bred from his Charizard instead. That’s how I ended up with Charlie when I chose a starting pokémon one month later.”

“And then you started training pokémon?”

“Yeah. And Dad gave me Master ball before I set off. “Use it wisely”, he said. And I intended to. I went to Johto, to route 46, to catch some rare pokémon I knew were hiding there. I didn’t believe my eyes when I saw what I thought at first sight that was Suicune – that was where the head came from, at least. And then it had those unique ribbons Suicune has. Without thinking, I threw my Master ball because I knew Charlie wouldn’t stand a chance in a battle. But when I pointed my pokédex at the ball, it said it was a Fire/Water/Electric type with no data available. Well, it was Rainteicune. That’s how I got Rainteicune. Then I started training him and stuff... well, I battled someone the next day. And I ended up winning, but with Charlie badly paralyzed. I went to the nearest pokémon center and got the nurse to heal them... she took Charlie and Rainteicune into the back room but a few minutes later she hurried back telling me Charlie was evolving. And I didn’t want Charlie to lose his personality like poor Aaron, because Charlie was most certainly a lot too young to keep his personality after evolution, besides that his father hadn’t even when he was a lot older when he evolved. So I hurried to the back room, but I was too late to stop him from evolving. The Charmeleon was not like Charlie at all. It took ten minutes to get him back into his pokéball with Nurse Joy helping me, and when we finally did it, I had some bad burns. I put Charmeleon in a PC box and never intended to take him out again because I really didn’t feel like he was Charlie. Instead, I focused on Rainteicune, trained him and he was... very, very strong. I did well in the Johto league with no other pokémon at all.

But one day when we were up in the mountains, I saw a magnificent bird pokémon. And it came down to us; it was none other than Molzapart. I was scared, but Molzapart said: “I’m not here because of you. I’m here because of your pokémon, Rainteicune.”

And I asked Molzapart: “What do you want with Rainteicune?” And Molzapart answered: “I knew Rainteicune. I didn’t really bother when you caught him, but now is an odd situation and I need Rainteicune to be wild.”

I was stunned, because I really loved Rainteicune now. The only thing that could ever take Rainteicune’s place was Charlie with his old personality back, but I knew that wasn’t happening. But then Molzapart added: “Of course I don’t ask for a favor for nothing in return. And I can give you the best replacement for Rainteicune you can imagine.” And I asked how, and he said: “I have many abilities I don’t even know myself. All pokémon, actually, have many abilities they don’t even know themselves. But I’m special, you see. I can know any amount of attacks at once.”

“I thought it was just five,” I asked.

“No, it’s not just five,” said Molzapart. “That was what I thought when I told your father of myself. But now I know more. Much, much more. Wildness is one. It is what I’m going to use on Rainteicune to make him able to go wild even after being caught in a Master ball. Another one is Devolution beam, which I can use on your Charmeleon to turn him back into a Charmander and regain his old personality...”

Of course, I couldn’t believe my luck. But Molzapart continued.

“The downside of this, however, is that Devolution beam cannot be used without using another special ability of mine called Power drain. And let’s just say it hurts. Devolving a pokémon requires a lot of power, you see. It’s the same reason as why the trainer needs to help a pokémon to stop it from evolving most of the time, except it needs a lot more power. This power can only be supplied by using Power drain, and Power drain can kill a weak pokémon, but Rainteicune is certainly not weak. However, with Wildness added... Wildness hurts too, you see. So Rainteicune will at least be in a pretty bad condition after it, and there is a chance that he may not make it...”

I immediately said: “Then use Power drain on me instead.”

Molzapart was going to protest, but I added: “It won’t kill me, will it? And if it won’t, then it’s far the safest way for both of us. I’m ready to get hurt a bit.”

Molzapart said: “It won’t kill you, certainly not. What I’m worried about is that I’m not sure using human energy for Devolution beam has the same effect as pokémon energy. He may evolve instead of devolving... or not get his old personality back... or the Devolution beam might do nothing at all.”

I thought about it, but in the end I decided that at least Charlie could barely be worse off after it, and it was at least better for Rainteicune. So I got Molzapart to use Power drain on me. I tell you, that’s the worst feeling imaginable, I felt like I was going to die, but then Molzapart used Devolution beam on Charlie, and he glowed white... but to my disappointment, he evolved into a Charizard instead of devolving. But he wasn’t like Charmeleon had been, he was like Charlie, so he had his old personality back. Then suddenly, he glowed white again, and became a Charmeleon – but he didn’t go running around and trying to burn me.. And finally he changed back into a Charmander, looked curiously at me and then tried out this evolution thingy a few times, and it worked every time and his personality never changed again. So, the Devolution beam had not only brought his old personality back, but given him this added bonus! Then I said goodbye to Rainteicune, Molzapart used Wildness on him, and they were about to go when I asked Molzapart for a little extra favor. Namely devolving Aaron. And after that, I flew home on Charlie in Charizard form, phoned Peter and asked him to take Aaron to his old trainer and tell him that he just turned up. After that, I decided to compete in the Ouen league, I caught some other pokémon, and... well, that’s about it.”

“Wow.” Mark simply said. “Eh, Charlie? You know, I’ve been wondering for very long what it feels like to evolve...”

The Charmander looked at him, then said: “Well, I thought I saw I was in total darkness, lying... and a Charmeleon walked up to me, grabbed my tail and started pulling me. Something told me I should try to stay there at all costs... but the Charmeleon was stronger, pulled me off my place and lay down there instead with a smile of victory, then he faded away and I was alone in the dark... I lost track of time and I didn’t know what I was doing there, until suddenly I saw the Charmeleon in front of me, and it was like he was being pushed away from there, he tried to hold on but I came, pulled him off and took my place again, but a Charizard came... he tried to push me off, but I wasn’t as young, I endured... and then I felt like I was melting away with the Charizard, and – then I stood there with Alan, but much bigger, with wings, in a Charizard form... but it was still me... for some reason I did something and I was in the darkness again, but this time as a Charizard... and Charmeleon came, but didn’t manage to do anything against me... and I felt like I melted away again, and then I was back in front of Alan as a Charmeleon. And I wondered: Can I do that to make myself a Charmander again? And I did it again, and I was back in the darkness, and I saw myself coming... and the other me and I melted together instantly, and I was back as a Charmander... it’s a really weird feeling...”

Mark looked at the clock on the wall. “Look at the time! Sorry, my friend’s battle is probably already over and she’s wondering where I am... thank you for the story – stories, that is. Bye!”

And Mark rushed out.