Chapter 11: The Mew hunter

When Mark and May entered Metal city, the first thing they saw was the man from the café. He went into a large building that looked big enough to have two pokémon arenas inside of it. It was not the Metal city gym, however, because that was a buiding at the other end of the town made out of Skarmory feathers. It was said to shine in the sun so bright most people and pokémon were blinded. The leader, Christopher, used this to his advantage. But this building was yellow with big gray patches where the paint had gone off.
“There he is! Let’s see if this house has a ventilation...” said May. “Come, Mark.”
“A ventilation? Why?” asked Mark
“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 back, and then sneak back outside. And the best way to sneak into a house is through the ventilation.”
Yes, the house had a ventilation. The outside grid was pretty high up the wall. May sent out Skarmory, plucked one steel feather off it, and flew up on it to the ventilation, used the feather to undo the screws holding the grid. Then she sent Pikachu into the hole and it used Thundershock to put out the air pump, then recalled Pikachu, got inside and told Skarmory to go down and get Mark.
When Mark was up in the ventilation and Skarmory was back in its pokéball, Mark and May crawled after the pipe that led through one room to another one. The end was right at the wall of the other room. May was going to send Skarmory to get them down from there after undoing the screws of the grid on that end, and then they’d go and find the pokéballs. Mark was now in front of May because he wanted to go down first.
The screws at that grid were clearly loose already, because Mark’s head hit it at the end, and the grid fell down with a lot of noise. Even better, the air pump started working again just then, so Mark fell down into the room. May quickly sent Pikachu out to put the air pump out again so she wouldn’t fall down too, but just as she managed to, the mysterious person came in. He looked at Mark very strangely, somehow like you would if you had spent the whole day searching for someone but then found them reading your diary.
“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, the man 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.
“You know very well what I mean! My goal, my life... Mew!”
Mew? That man asked for Mew?
“I don’t have a Mew,” Mark said.
“YES YOU HAVE! At least you had! 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 was shaking Mark.
“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 calmed down and looked a lot less mad now. He took a few deep breaths, then said: “I think I must tell you my story.
I started a pokémon journey when I was ten. 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. I wanted dangerous pokémon. 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 had 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 for 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. 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 in his eyes, 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 out pokéballs at the same time. They both it Mew at once, causing it to wake up.
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. 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, and Mew didn’t try to break out. We had to go and get the balls.
I knew Mew would choose me. Rick would enslave it, it wouldn’t have any mind. I would however get it to trust me slowly, and then we could own 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 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 the 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 hides. I was going to start following you again to find you, but then,” the man laughed, “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 man 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 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 the pokéball, and, like it was already planned, Scyther rushed at Mark and held him down with one of its scythes just by Mark’s throat. Then it whispered a threatening “scyther!” in his ear.
“Um, are you saying... what I think you’re saying?” said Mark, feeling quite uncomfortable.
“You bet I am, boy! You tell me where Mew is, or my Scyther will kill you!” said the man. He now sounded mad again.
“No! If I tell you where Mew is, you’ll catch it with that ball of yours and take over the world! I can’t let you!” said Mark, sounding braver than he felt.
“Actually not. I caught Scyther with ‘that ball of mine’, as you call it. But I do have another such ball, by the way...” said the man.
“Why do you want to kill me?”
“I don’t want to kill you! I want to know where Mew is!”
“You’re mad!” Mark shouted.
“Am I? I give you five minutes to think about it. No more.” Then the man went out of the room.
(to make the following conversation easier for you to understand, everything Scyther says is translated to English)
“Scyther, would you mind if you just... let me go?” asked Mark.
“Perhaps I would,” was Scyther’s answer.
“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’s voice always sounded calm, and that it never seemed to give clear answers to his questions.
“Hey, Scyther, 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?”
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Scyther asked. “He told you, I’m caught with the ball that prevents the pokémon from getting far away from the ball.”
“Scyther, what will you get out of killing me?”
“The question is, what will you get out of it if I don’t.”
“What do you mean?” Mark asked.
“He has other pokémon that would kill you with pleasure,” Scyther said. “If I don’t, they will.”
“But Scyther, wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable if you kill me? Wouldn’t you feel better if you just let me go?”
“You’re one of the first humans I’ve seen that admits bugs have feelings, too,” was all Scyther said.
“No, Scyther, this isn’t the time for jokes! Let me go!”
“Why should I let you go?”
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 for a murder!), but Scyther had those calm, not very clear answers to everything. A few times, he looked up at May, who was watching through the hole. Once, she reached back for a pokéball, but Mark shook his head to tell her not to, and Scyther held him even tighter. May understood that there was no way to know what the Scyther would do if she sent out a pokémon, but she was very white.
“Scyther, please!”
“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.
(this is the end of the conversation)
The door opened and the man stepped in.
“Well, has Scyther convinced you? Are you going to tell me where Mew is?”
Mark collected his courage, and then said: “No.”
The man suddenly looked strange. He looked like you would look if you owned a big factory and then came in and saw there were seven monkeys inside your office and had already ruined everything of worth. But that was only for a tiny bit of second, so then Mark thought it must have been an imagination. Because the man calmed down, 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. He felt Scyther’s arm move, it appeared very slowly, but at the last moment, 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 shouted this through the mist of the word ‘death’ that had formed all around him. It cleared, and he saw the man, with the same look on his face as when Mark had still refused to tell him where Mew’s hideout was.
“You were just threatening me to get me to tell you where Mew hides! You would never give up what is most likely your only chance in life to know where Mew is! I should’ve told by the look on your face when I still 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, and it almost worked! But I 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! 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 and I don’t tell the police! I win, and you give me my pokémon and let me go, but I’ll not tell the police!”
“But what if you don’t tell me where Mew is even after I’ve won the battle?”
“Then you 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 stood by Mark’s side.
“Scyther! What do you think you’re doing?”
“Scyther scyther!”
“You’re going to fight for me?” Mark whispered. “You’re actually going to fight at my side?”
“Okay! Let the battle begin! Hand me my pokémon!” said Mark, feeling happier than ever before. But the man suddenly looked devilish, and said: “Looks like you don’t need them anymore. You have a pokémon already. Go, Kabutops!”
Mark didn’t feel happy anymore. 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. But he wouldn’t give up.
“Scyther, this is unfair, I know, but you must do it!”
“Oh no! This is going to be a fair battle, five on five! Go, Butterfree!” May flew down on her Skarmory, holding Butterfree’s pokéball. She sent it out and landed, recalling Skarmory.
“We’ll win this together, right?” she asked Mark.
“Of course we will!” Mark replied. It had never been such a relief to see her.
“Butterfree, Giga drain!” May ordered. Kabutops glowed green, and small green orbs shot from Kabutops to Butterfree causing Kabutops’ glow to fade and Butterfree started glowing instead. Kabutops was getting weaker by ever orb that shot over, but it obivously wasn’t about to faint. When Kabutops’ glow was all gone to Butterfree, the glow somehow sank into Butterfree and it looked stronger.
“Kabutops, Slash it!”
Mark was surprised that the man didn’t tell Kabutops to use a Rock attack, Butterfree being just as weak to Rock as Scyther, but then he thought maybe Kabutops had much more power in its Slash than its Rock attacks. It had those powerful scythes like Scyther after all.
“Butterfree, fly so high it can’t reach you, and use another Giga drain!”
Kabutops missed with Slash, Butterfree being too high in the air, and Butterfree used another Giga drain.
“Kabutops, Ancientpower!”
“Butterfree, finish it off!”
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 obivously at least level 40 as it was a Kabutops. Then Butterfree used one more Giga drain, being left pretty healthy. Kabutops fainted for it.
“Kabutops, come back! Go, Sneasel! Slash!”
Sneasel appeared, and quick as lighting, it jumped up and Slashed one of Butterfree’s wings. Butterfree fell down and fainted.
“Butterfree, come back! Go, Skarmory! Use Steel wing!”
Skarmory flew down to Sneasel, striking it with its sharp wing feathers.
“Sneasel, Blizzard!” The room went cold as a blizzard struck through it, but it missed Skarmory.
“Skarmory, use Steel wing again!”
Skarmory used Steel wing on Sneasel again.
“Sneasel, Blizzard again!”
The blizzard hit Skarmory this time; it was seriously damaged, but didn’t faint.
“Skarmory, finish it!”
Skarmory used Steel wing once again and Sneasel fainted.
“Sneasel, return! Go, Feraligatr!”
“Skarmory, Drill peck it!”
“Feraligatr, Crunch when it comes!”
When Skarmory came spinning towards Feraligatr, it opened its mouth and bit Skarmory, then crunched it a few times. The steel in Skarmory’s wings was all bent. Skarmory fainted.
“Skarmory, good! Go, Pikachu! Thunderbolt now!” May yelled.
“Pika... CHUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!”
Feraligatr fained for the Thunderbolt.
“Feraligatr, come back! Go, Sandslash, Earthquake!”
This Sandslash was much quicker than Mark’s. Pikachu didn’t manage to jump up and having low Defense, it fainted.
“Pikachu, return! Go, Lapras! Use Surf!”
Sandslash fainted.
“Sandslash, come back! Go, Fangcat!”
A pokémon 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 fearsome.
“Fangcat, show them your fangs!”
Fangcat leapt at Lapras and sunk its fans deep into its neck.
“Oh no! Lapras, come back!” May recalled Lapras. “What do we do now? This thing looks really deadly!”
“We must use Scyther! Go, and do your best!” Mark said to the Scyther.
“Fangcat, punish Scyther for betraying me!”
“Scyther, fly up!”
“Fangact, jump!”
“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 Fangcat heard this, it decided to turn itself around in the air to defend from Scyther’s attacks. When Scyther flew down at it, Fangat ran Scyther through with one of its fangs. Scyther roared in pain, and Slashed Fangcat madly. When they landed, Fangcat also took more damage, landing on its back, and one more Slash finished it off.
“Scyther! We must get that fang out of it!” Mark said as he ran over to the two pokémon who were stuck together. He grabbed the fang, and tried to pull it out of Scyther’s body, but he didn’t manage to.
“Wait, I have an idea,” said the man. He actually looked worried. “I’ll recall Fangcat, and then the fang must go with it.” He then took a pokéball and Fangcat turned into a red beam of light that disappeared into it. Scyther was left on the floor. Insect blood was leaking out of the big wound in the middle of its body. It lay motionless on the floor. Mark walked a few steps backwards. He saw one of the man’s pokéballs seemed to be fading away. Could this be? May walked to Scyther. She went around it a few times, then walked right up to it and touched it carefully. She pulled her hand back quickly.
“It’s dead,” she said.
There was a long silence.
“” the man finally said. “No! NO!”
May looked almost as deadly as the Fangcat now. “Oh yes,” she said. “That bloody beast of yours killed it!”
“NO!” said the man again. Then he started to cry, very quietly, like you would if you suddenly saw that all your friends had abadoned you but are still standing all around you, so you can’t cry loudly. He fell down to the floor and lay as motionless as the Scyther. Only the sobs that could be heard now and then witnessed that he was still alive.
Then, the window broke, and Mew flew in. It stopped in the air, looked around, and then closed its eyes. It became enveloped in purple glow. Scyther’s body also did. The big wound disappeared. The blood disappeared. Then the glow went out, first on Scyther, then on Mew, it lay as motionless as before. Mew flew down. It touched Scyther, very much like it had touched the lamp in the hotel, first very carefully, then again but not very carefully and ended up punching it hard. Yet nothing happened. Mew looked angry, then went to Scyther’s leg, lifted it up and shouted “MEEEEW!” at its knee. Scyther suddenly stood up, Slashed the air and then looked around, then said “Scyther?” in a confused tone. While all this happened, the man had risen back up.
“Uh... May? I didn’t really get that... why did Mew shout at Scyther’s leg?”
“Scyther is a mantis,” May answered. “They have ears in their legs. Mew was really shouting in Scyther’s ear.”
“Oh,” Mark said. Then he asked again: “How did you know?”
“Well, if you want it short, I was top of class in pokémonology,” she said. “If that doesn’t explain, it 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?”
“Well, actually, I was top of class in pokémonish,” Mark said. “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 it, Japanese and English Caterpieish sound sort of the same, but when it evolved into Metapod... that was a nightmare! All it said was some Transell nonsense and I didn’t understand one word! Luckily, Japanese Butterfreeish also sounds sorta like English one, so when it evolved, I started to understand it again. It was such a relief...”
The man suddenly came up to Mark.
“I won the battle,” he said. “Scyther died.”
“That’s not fair!” said Mark. “Fangcat fainted first!”
“Yes, but then Scyther died! Dying is much more than just fainting!”
“It’s alive now,” Mark said. “Mew resurrected it.”
“Yes, but it 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 man seemed to be noticing just now that Mew was in the room. He reached for his ball and threw it at Mew, but it just Teleported away.
“Mew, you’re 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.
“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.
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 the man, then at the window. Then at Mark again, and then at the window again. Then Scyther flew out of the window to freedom.
The man stared blankly outside. He whispered: “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 that Scyther had gone. But Mark was sure Mew could evade the man.
“Hey, you said you’d give me my pokémon,” Mark said. The man handed him the six balls, and then started staring out of the window again.
When Mark and May were back outside, Mark handed May Larvitar.
“That surely was an adventure,” he said.
“Yeah,” May replied.
“I’m a bit disappointed that Scyther didn’t come with me,” Mark said. “I really thought it would. But Scyther wanted to be free, and I’m happy that it’s happy.”
“I pity that man a little, too,” May said. “He really loved his pokémon, but Mew overshadows them all. After a while, I’m sure he’ll give up searching for Mew and start searching for Scyther instead.”
“No, I’m sure he won’t,” said Mark. “Mew is his goal, and now he knows Mew is there somewhere. 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. Well, I sort of do pity him, he’s... out of his mind because of Mew. I’m sure he will always be searching for Mew in some way or another.”
They were now at the pokémon center. But before they went in, the Scyther landed in front of them.
“Scyther, scyther,” it said.
“What? Really?”
“Scyther. Scy scyther.”
“Oh, I see.”
“Yes, do you think so? Okay then, here’s a pokéball for you!”
Mark held out a pokéball and scyther was abrorbed inside it.
“What did it say?” May asked. “I told you, I’m terrible at pokémonish.”
“First, it said ‘I’m going to come with you.’ Then ‘I didn’t change my mind, I knew he would not care if I went to the wild.’ Then it said ‘If he knew I was coming with you, he would.’”
“You’re incredible,” May sighed. “How can you understand a language that is one word?”
“Comes with practise,” said Mark as they went into the pokémon center.

Chapter twelve

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