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Title: Swan Song
Dedicated to Maddie Blaustein, an inspiration to us all.
I was slowly walking down the streets of Veilstone City. My Pokémon were by my side, watching over me as I went through the poor, crime infested neighborhood. Goth, my Smeargle, pretended not to pay attention to me, but I know that his apathy was just a show, and he really cared about me. Ichigo, my Bellossom, sat gently on my shoulder, watching my back as I moved.
But Swan clearly didn’t want the slightest thing to happen to me. She gracefully floated across the street, looking down every nook and cranny. Her long dress waved in the wind as she glided from end to end of the street, making sure no one was coming my way.
Swan was a Gardevoir. She was one of my first Pokémon. I met her one day five years ago as I traveled through the Hoenn region outside of Petalburg City. She was only a Ralts, but I raised her until she became a fully grown woman.
However, Swan was different from other Gardevoir. Normally, Gardevoir come in various shades of green. However, Swan was cyan. She was, what I later found out to be, a “shiny” Pokémon. Her DNA makeup was slightly different than most other Embrace Pokémon, and she was a very rare Pokémon to come by.
Suddenly, Swan stopped me in my tracks. She pointed to an ominous man in the distance. The man slowly walked forward.
“Are you Masaru Aether of Lavender Town?” asked the man.
I contemplated not telling him my name, but it slipped out. He smirked.
“My name is Christian Sanders of Phenac City,” said the man. “I am a rare Pokémon collector. I have heard about your Gardevoir on the news, and I would enjoy for her to become a part of the Museum of PokéWonders.”
Swan vigorously shook her head at me.
“I don’t think she wants to be a part of it. I’m sorry,” I said with no sympathy in my voice. I subconsciously had a strong, unknown hatred for this man.
“Such a shame,” sighed the man. His eyes then lit up. “How about this? You and I engage in a three-on-three battle. If I win, your Gardevoir comes with me and will live in luxury for the remainder of her life.”
“And if I win?” I asked.
“I can reward you handsomely,” said the man. He then pulled out a small, azure colored flute. “If you win, I’ll reward you with the Ancient Azure Flute, and I’ll happily go on my way.”
I stuttered. I had no idea what to do. Ichigo nodded, Swan shook her head, and Goth apathetically rolled his eyes. He then walked to a wall, grabbed his tail, and wrote “yes” on the wall in a dim green. I smiled.
“You have yourself a deal.”
“I hoped so. Go, Shuckle, Tyranitar, and Wondertomb!” Christian threw three Poké Balls. Out of one came a blue Shuckle, another came a cream-colored Tyranitar, and out of the final one came a blue Spiritomb. I gasped, and he smiled. “All three of my Pokémon are alternate colors, just like yours. However, mine carry more secrets than you can imagine. Now, you may start.”
Ichigo, Goth, and Swan got into position, facing Shuckle, Tyranitar, and Wondertomb. I took a deep breath.
“Ichigo, Energy Ball! Swan, Magical Leaf!” I shouted. Ichigo started spinning, and a strange green glow formed around her. Swan winked and blew a kiss, forming pink, leaf-shaped beams of light. The two shot their attacks at Tyranitar, but barely anything happened. Tyranitar screamed in rage.
“Ice Beam!” shouted Christian. Tyranitar shot an Ice Beam out of his mouth at Ichigo. Ichigo panicked and jumped, making a large chuck of ice form on the ground where Ichigo once stood. Ichigo landed on the chunk of ice and started dancing. I quickly realized I should take down the weaker Pokémon before I try out Tyranitar. Since Shuckle had sky-high defense, I looked at Wondertomb.
“Ichigo, use Sunny Day! Goth, use Solar Beam!”
Ichigo sang a song, and a large orb came out of her mouth. It glowed, and Goth absorbed its energy. Goth shot a beam at Wondertomb, but it went right through it. I gasped.
“You will find that is quite impossible, Mister Aether. Wondertomb is a god among ants, and you have no idea of his potential! Wondertomb, use Ominous Wind!”
Wondertomb blew a gust of black wind at Swan. The wind hit Swan, and she was knocked off of her feet. I was angry. How didn’t the Solar Beam hit? I didn’t wait to find out.
“Swan, use Psychic!”
Swan’s eyes glowed purple, and then Shuckle seemed to get knocked back for no reason. Tyranitar then ran at Swan.
“Close Combat, Tyranitar!” shouted Christian.
“Wait a minute, Tyranitar can’t learn that move! What’s wrong with your Pokémon?!” I screamed.
“Nothing,” he said, frankly.
Tyranitar punched Swan with all of his might. However, nothing happened.
“Wait a minute, that should have done damage! What the Hell’s going on?!” screamed Christian.
I took out my Pokédex and pointed it at Swan. I looked at her level, typing, attacks, and ability. Her ability, instead of saying “Trace”, said “Wonder Guard”. I gasped.
“You’re cheating! Your Pokémon aren’t natural!” I shouted.
Christian laughed. “You know,” he said, “I can’t really say if my Pokémon are mutants or not, but what I can say is that we have a bet.” I stopped in my tracks. I knew what was going on. He wanted Swan, and he wasn’t even trying. He was cheating, with freak Pokémon. That flute might not even be real. I made a mistake. I should have listened to Swan. But I didn’t, and I was stuck in an unfair battle. I became furious, and then screamed.
Goth smirked. He pressed his tail against the Tyranitar, and the color drained out of its face. Goth jumped onto Swan’s head.
“Swan, throw Goth at Tyranitar with Confusion! Goth, use Close Combat!”
Swan made Goth glow a light blue color, and then a loud sound shot through the street as Swan shot Goth at the Tyranitar. Goth started punching, kicking, and biting Tyranitar with immense power. Tyranitar screamed.
“Ichigo, Leaf Storm!”
Ichigo screamed, and leaves burst out of the ground around her. The leaves flew around the street, and I ducked as they shot around me. The leaves soon formed into a small tornado, and then it formed around Tyranitar just as Goth jumped away. The combination of Close Combat and Leaf Storm was too much for Tyranitar, and he fainted. I laughed.
“Take that, you freak! Not even your cheating Pokémon can beat mine!” I taunted.
“Just you wait, Mister Aether,” said Christian, as calmly as he could. “Shuckle, use Rock Tomb on all three of the Pokémon.”
The Shuckle smiled slowly, and then the building next to it slowly started to crumble. The building’s rubble flew at Swan, Goth, and Ichigo. Ichigo cowered in fear.
“Goth! Ichigo! Run to Swan!” I shouted.
Goth and Ichigo grabbed onto Swan’s arms. The rubble flew around the three, but it refused to go close to Swan. Christian scowled.
“Using Trace to your advantage, I see? Well, let’s see if I can use Wonder Guard better! Shuckle, enough! Wondertomb, use Dark Pulse!”
Wondertomb shot a beam of black rings at my Pokémon. As it hit, the rubble around them scattered around, hitting Swan, Goth, and Ichigo. The three fell to the ground.
“Now, Shuckle! Use Bug Bite!”
Shuckle jumped at Swan and bit her leg. She screamed, and Christian smirked.
“Such a shame, Mister Aether,” started Christian. “I seem to be the better trainer. Now, I’ll take your Gardevoir.”
“…You’re not the better trainer,” I stated.
Swan, Goth, and Ichigo rose up from the debris and brushed themselves of dust.
“You use mutant Pokémon to win. You don’t care about the Pokémon. You didn’t raise them, did you?” I asked.
“No,” he said, flatly.
“Did you even try to raise any Pokémon by yourself?”
“Thought so,” I said sourly. Christian glared at me.
“You think that I’ve never met insignificant zits like you before?! For God’s sake, you’re using a Smeargle and a Bellossom! Do you even know how many Pokémon could simply gaze in their direction and make them faint?!”
“…I do. There are many times when I met Pokémon that could easily do that to Goth and Ichigo,” I said. “But…I never met one with a fraction of their spirit! No Pokémon can win unless they have a true soul, and I can tell that your Pokémon are just emotionless mutants!”
The Shuckle gazed at his limbs, confused. Wondertomb seemed unfazed.
“Wondertomb…SHADOW BALL, SHADOW BALL, SHADOW BALL!!!!!” screamed Christian. He threw the flute onto the ground in anger.
Wondertomb slammed itself against the ground, and three large, dark balls formed around it. They flew at my Pokémon, but then Ichigo, not waiting for me to say anything, used three Energy Balls on the Shadow Balls, canceling them out. Christian screamed in anger.
Shuckle didn’t move. Instead, he turned his head to the ground and spat stomach acid. I took his hint, but I wondered why he was doing it.
“…Goth, Sketch!” I exclaimed.
Goth ran to the stomach acid and pressed his tail against it. The acid disappeared. Shuckle then smiled, and then fainted on his own will.
“Goth, use Gastro Acid!”
Goth spat gastric acid at Wondertomb. The Spiritomb started flailing around, and I acted quickly.
“Triple Kamikaze Strike!” I shouted.
Petals formed around Ichigo as she danced and Swan and Goth started to glow purple. Ichigo used Petal Dance, Swan used Shadow Ball, and Goth used Draco Meteor. The attacks hit Wondertomb, and it fainted. I won.
“I’ll take the flute now, Mister Sanders,” I said slyly.
Christian didn’t move. He slowly reached into his pocket and took out a gun.
“Give me the Gardevoir!” he screamed.
He ran and aimed his gun at me. I screamed. Swan gasped. He fired. I shuddered. Nothing happened. I looked around. Ichigo and Goth were in shock, and I looked at Swan. She was lying on the floor, covered in blood. Christian gasped, returned Tyranitar and Wondertomb to their Poké Balls, and ran.
Five years later, I sat on Swan’s grave. She rested on the top floor of the Pokémon Tower, with a large tomb that dwarfed all the others. I didn’t care. All I knew is that she was dead. I’m nineteen now, and still, I visit Swan’s grave every day. Goth and Ichigo follow me, too, along with Ichigo’s son, an Oddish named Toya, and Christian’s old Shuckle. He followed me for days after that event, and I eventually caught him and named him Toadstool.
None of us couldn’t find blame to put on ourselves. I shouldn’t have entered the battle, and just ran. Goth and Ichigo couldn’t forgive themselves for saying I should have entered the battle. Toadstool blamed himself for the whole ordeal, being a part of Christian’s team. Only Toya could enter the tower with a smile on his face, not even knowing why his mother was crying.
I knew Christian and the Museum of PokéWonders were still out there. The only way to avenge Swan’s final stand was to find Christian and take him down. And to do that, I’ll need to use the flute from that night as a clue. That’s the only way…to avenge Swan’s swan song.