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October 31, 2013

The Uncharted

Here it is, the Planned All Along Halloween Special! Of course, gotta end Poké-Month in a great way, so yes it is a Pokémon story. Call it a fanfic if you wish. I hope you'll enjoy it, and if you don't, well... Everybody has the right to have an opinion. So... Have a good read!

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Ah, it feels good to be back in Kanto! My home region, at last! I spent the past four years traveling from Johto to Kalos. I caught as many species as I could, spent a long while trying to figure out how to evolve some kinds of Pokémon… Damn Milotic, you got me searching for a LONG time! But yeah, I’m finally back home. All I have left to do now is to find the remaining hundred Pokémon species I still have to catch. That includes the Legendary Pokémon.
Oh wait, I had forgotten. Oak made sure you would just need to have the Legendary one in sight and scan it with the Pokédex to have every bit of info about it. The adventure against the different Teams taught the scientific community of all six regions a few things. As an example, capturing the Legendary Pokémon could lead to some serious trouble, especially since some of them have the duty to protect an aspect of our universe, and capturing them would sometimes be dangerous for the world. To make a long story short, capturing a Legendary is now forbidden, and if any of them is found in the PC, it is released instantly.
Well, anyway… the reason for my return to Kanto is that there’s been weird sightings around. Oak keeps thinking it’s a roaming Pokémon from a region we barely heard of yet. So, he decided to call back to Kanto some trainers who had collected more than half of all the Pokémon of the six regions. He also hoped to be in contact with trainers who had defeated the Elite 4 of each region. But of course, not many Kanto trainers achieved that yet…
I just left Oak’s lab. He told me what he knew of the strange occurrence. Some Trainers who encountered the new Pokémon only felt weird. There’s those who claim they were lucky enough to have an object in their bag increase in number. And the others… they can’t tell what happened. Oh, not like it’s a secret or anything, they would tell us. They just can’t. Somehow, encountering that Pokémon totally messed them up. They’re in a coma, in Pokémon Centers. As if they had fainted. Saved in extremis by their own Pokémon from an unknown fate. They’re really close to death, but they’re out of trouble. The nurses are trying to find something to cure the ones who were found that way.
Still, really makes you wonder what happened to them…

Alright, so I climb on my mountain bike bought in Hoenn, and I hurry through Route 1 towards Viridian City. I encounter a few Rattatas, a few more Pidgeys… well, they all run away when they meet my Flarrior. My Typhlosion, actually, but it’s his nickname. I also have a Pidgeot in my team, a Gardevoir, a Luxray, a Scolipede and a Lapras. Sort of a solid team, isn’t it?
I finally get to Viridian. My first thought is to go check on the Gym, just to see if it’s locked again. But I have something else to do right now, anyway. Hey, that old man’s still there. By now, I bet his son is a world-famous personality… Hey, I think I’m gonna go have a chat with him. He sees me arrive rather quickly.
Oh, hello, young kid!” He tells me. “I think I’ve seen you before, but I don’t remember when…”
More than four years ago, sir,” I answered him. “I left for my travels as a Pokémon Trainer more than four years ago.”
“…I don’t remember,” the old man finally said after a moment. I had sorta guessed he would say that. “After all, at that time I was showing my Teachy TV to everyone, and there were so many Trainers back then, I can’t remember them all.” That too. I knew he would say something like that. “Want to see it again?”
No, I'm kinda busy right now, Oak sent me on some kind of mission...” I tell him. “Sorry.” Seeing that sad expression on his face, I shake my head. “Oh, okay, alright, alright. But instead, cut to the chase, and just show me your tutorial on catching Pokémon.”
And so, the old man shows me what he's showed to every single Trainer who crossed his path: How to catch a Pokémon. He does it again, even if it’s actually totally useless to me! I have over 600 Pokémon, seriously! Eh, he really wanted to. And I'm just a nice person. Say, how many Rattata does that guy have now? His PC boxes must be full of ‘em.
Once the old man is done with his Pokémon-catching show, he turns to me. “Ah, it feels great to catch a Pokémon!” He turns away from me and releases the Rattata he just caught. Oh, so that's what he actually does? “I'm still this good after all these years, aren't I?”
It was great, really, but I gotta get back to that mission I was talking about,” I tell him. “So, well… See you later!” I take out my Pidgeot and fly off. The old man is probably waving at me now.
Some time after that, I land in front of Cinnabar Island’s Pokémon Center. Maybe I should go check on Seafoam Islands; maybe that’s where the thing hides. Well, that’s where Articuno used to hide, until it realized trainers kept going there to try and catch it. It probably flew off to another island, somewhere in another region of the world. Maybe it's off to Hoenn. Or maybe it went to hide in Kalos?
I call my Lapras out of its Pokéball and embark for a ride across the sea.

Well, I never thought Seafoam Islands could get this green. ...Er... …I mean, wasn't it an ice cave?
No, that's not right. It's just not normal. If this place was green, why did Articuno live here?
I remember now. It wasn't green. It was really an ice cave, and whatever is going on here is NOT normal. Far from it.
I seem to see a village in the distance. A village among patches of green grass. Again, I don't think I've seen that before. In Kanto, anyway. Many villagers try to avoid the patches of grass, because they don't want to randomly encounter some Pokémon defending their territory. So unless this village is populated by lots and lots of Trainers that can defend themselves...
NO! Why would this village not be on the Kanto map, then? The road between Cinnabar Island and the bottom section of Fuschia City! It's a body of water! And the only patch of land between the two is the Seafoam Islands!
...Er, what?
As I finally reach the strange land, I get off my Lapras to investigate. “Stay here, Lapras,” I tell my valiant sea Pokémon. “If I get in trouble, you'll help me.” Lapras nods. Aw, such a nice creature. I give her a pet on the head, search in my large bag for a Poké-Snack. I toss it towards her, and hop! She catches the snack with her mouth. Ah, those little tricks we teach our Pokémon, all those moments we spend bonding with some of them...
I start walking towards the small village. My brain still tries making sense out of all this. After all, it's impossible that a village appeared out of nowhere over the Seafoam Islands! Something's up. I let my Gardevoir out of her Pokéball, just in case.
I take a few more steps towards Seafoam Village, my Gardevoir carefully following me, ready to intervene if anything comes towards me. However, I quickly realized something was wrong. Are my eyes playing tricks on me? For a split second, it's like village disappeared and reappeared! Actually, it's weird, now it looks a little... blurry. Behind me, Gardevoir lets out a little “Voir!”, as if she suddenly got a bit scared. Yeah, if a Gardevoir gets scared about this, just imagine how I'm feeling right now. In fact, as I get closer to the village, it gets progressively blurrier. It's really, really weird.
In fact, that's not the only weird thing. As I get closer, a screeching sound also gets louder and louder. It sounds like radio interference. And this interference seems to get louder just as I get closer to the village and it gets blurrier. Now, it feels like a trap.
Now, the sound has gotten so loud that it's barely bearable. It hurts my ears! As I fall to my knees, I cover my ears with my hands and scream: “Make it stop! This noise! It's horrible!” A quick look at the village again... the houses are so blurry that it's impossible to see any differences between them. Just... What is going on here?
I had almost reached a grassy area. “No. I must keep on moving. I have to understand what's going on!” I say, as I get up and start walking again. Pokémon often hide in patches of grass, maybe I'll meet one and then I'll make a bit more sense out of all this.
As I finally set foot in that patch of grass, I hear the same screeching sound, but this time, instead of surrounding the whole place, it seems to come from the patch of grass.
A powerful hit pushes me down to the ground, and as I try to get back up, I see red and black lines appearing in front of me. The lines look like badly-rendered flames, it's really strange... and for some reason, it's almost forming a square... I never saw any Pokémon doing that before. Not even a Fire-type. However, after a moment the flames vanish, and in their place, a black ghost surrounded by a purple/orange-ish aura is now floating in front of me. It doesn't really have any features, except half-open eyes and a mouth that are nothing else but a white void. As if there should be something there, but there isn't. The ghost also has two hands bent downwards, and it doesn't have legs. It's a Pokémon I never saw before. Unless... wait... Yes, I saw that before! It's been well over four years, but I remember that thing! It's the illusory form taken by Ghost-type Pokémon in the Lavender Tower before I got the Silph Scope! Wait, does that mean the illusion form was based on a still-unknown species of Pokémon? …I'm confused. I grab an empty Pokéball and ready to toss it at the creature, but before I can, Gardevoir grabs my arm. “Garde.” Wait, does she mean I shouldn't catch it?
Hm. Maybe she's right. It's not smart to try and catch a Pokémon we know nothing about. That's why we travel around with a Pokédex. So, I whip out my Pokédex, and I scan the creature, which just kept standing there, floating above the ground, not even showing a different facial expression or moving its hands.
Missing Number,” the Pokédex says. “The ??? Pokémon. Dex number: Unknown. Height: 10'0''. Weight: 3507.2 lbs.”
...Wait, what?
Type: Dual Normal/Bird.”
Again: ...Wait, what? This looks like a freaking ghost, it's not a Normal monster! And even less a Bird monster! It shouldn't even be a Bird-type, it should be called a Normal/Flying type! What's going on! It doesn't have a number, it doesn't have a qualification term, it doesn't even have a normal NAME! And wait, you're telling me that this ghost, who's barely 4 feet tall in appearance, should actually be 10 feet tall? And that it's supposed to weigh over three thousand pounds? What's THAT?
Voir...” My Gardevoir says. She's terrorized. Oh my Arceus, what is this? One of Giratina's cruel pranks? An experiment that went horribly wrong? There's no answer to this! Psychic Pokémon have a natural talent in detecting the supernatural – and in our world, with all the species that exist, there's no shortage of supernatural – and facing it... but they don't cower from it! It gets worse: Gardevoir have a tendency to develop a protective personality towards their trainers, so they could fight against whatever threatens their master... And seeing how mine is reacting to this...
Wait a second, if this thing is a Normal/Flying Pokémon, maybe... Maybe my Luxray can use an electric attack on it! “Go, Luxray!” I say as I open the Pokéball.
Ray!” My Pokémon roars as it appears on the ground.
Luxray, use Thunder Fang!”
As it releases powerful electricity, my Luxray roars. The electricity aims for the ghost-like creature. However, to our surprise, as the electricity hits the ghost, it just... vanishes. Hey, no fair!
Coward!” I yell at the now-gone ghost. “Yea, sure, just run away! I'm sure I'll see you somewhere else anyway!” I call my Luxray back into his Pokéball, and I take another look at the village. Damn, the houses actually VANISHED! And somehow, a few other patches of grass vanished as well. And is it me, or I can actually see a few of those that are vanishing right now?
In a moment of panic, I take a few steps back, until I notice the grass patches closest to me are shaking again. Ah, I knew that ghost thing was hiding in there! Oh yes, I knew it!
I go back to the grass patch. “Come on, show yourself, scaredy Skitty!” Pokémon are big enough that we'd see them from afar, after all!
However, as I start searching around the grass patch, I see something sprout from the ground. Oh hey, a Sandshrew! Sounds not too bad! ...wait. That's not a Sandshrew's head. That's a skeleton's head. ...Just... wait a second... that head shape looks like a Kabutops! A Kabutops' skeleton coming out of the ground? Ack!
I take some steps back, once again, as I see the fossil Pokémon come out almost entirely from the ground. I can see its thoracic cage, I can see all the bones of its body... The only place I ever saw that before was the Pewter City museum, and even then it wasn't so... lively!
Voir!” My Gardevoir suddenly gets in front of me and summons a protective energy shield. The bone Kabutops has now fully come out of the ground, and starts slashing at the energy shield.
I hear more digging sounds coming from the left. Ack! Another one is coming from the ground! I can see the head, then the upper part of the body, the arms, the legs... Now there are TWO bone Kabutops slashing at the energy shield!
And as I turn around, I realize that a third one has started appearing from the ground on my right.
And there are other ones behind those three!
Gardevoir, Psychic Blast!” I tell my Pokémon.
GARDE... VOIIIIIIIIIIIIR!” My Psychic ally yells as she unleashes a psychic attack that hits all the Kabutops. They seem to vanish as soon as they get hit by the psychic blast.
Awesome!” I scream in a victorious tone, as I see these strange opponents disappearing like dust as my Gardevoir's attack hits them. Once they're all disappeared, I look at the field beyond. Wait a second... The houses disappeared, some patches of grass vanished... and actually, now it looks like the ground itself has started vanishing slowly over there! I can see it being replaced by the snow-covered ground of the Seafoam Islands!
What... The... Hell is going on?
I'd better not be there when this field will disappear entirely under my feet, so I get my Gardevoir back in her Pokéball and try to leave the place. However, after only a few steps, I hear a loud thump behind me, like something heavy that fell from a small height. I turn around, and see a wall that appeared all of a sudden.
Wait, is that a wall? I dunno, because it looks more like a construction made out of building blocks. It's much taller than me and covered with lots of little colored squares of orange and purple color. I don't know how exactly that thing appeared there. Maybe it's this whole place playing yet another trick on me again.
From the wall suddenly comes a horrible screeching noise, exactly like the one I heard when I approached the village the first time. Except, this time it's LOUDER. Even more obnoxious. And if it comes from this wall... Could this thing be the cause of all this? It's just a wall, I can take a look at it. I approach the construction... However, as I get closer, it seems to be slightly increasing and decreasing in size, at a regular rhythm, and the sound that comes from it seems to be following the same rhythm.
That thing is... breathing???
No. This just can't be. Is that thing a Pokémon? As in... some kind of unknown Pokémon? Or is it a Psychic-type Pokémon's illusion created to drive me crazy?
Well, whatever the cause, this thing is there, breathing, and emitting that screech. Annoyed, I now run towards the wall, screaming like mad, ready to attack. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
I stop at a foot from the creature, and punch it with all my might. Ow, it's just as solid as a wall. But that's not all. Now, the creature's breathing speeds up a little, and its screech has increased as well. Bfore I even realize what happened, that thing unleashes an energy wave that blows me back ten feet at least. I land roughly on the ground. “Ow...”
I can only look at the creature until I realize that its screeching reaches higher than before. Then, in a move that reminds me of self-destruct, the creature suddenly explodes in thousands and thousands of... PIXELS???
All of its components raise to the skies, and suddenly I see that the ground behind where the thing was is now vanishing even faster. No, not just vanishing; its also raising to the skies as it gets separated into thousands and thousands of pixels as well. And unless I'm going crazy, is it just me or EVERYTHING around me is doing that too? It looks like everything left behind is but a white void.
I try to get up and make a run for it, hoping I can reach my Lapras before this catches up with me. I run and run and run... I quickly look behind me, and I see that where there was ground now, there is now water. Ah, so this whole place has been created above the sea route? Wait, and I could actually walk on it? ...And now it's gonna disappear under my feet if I don't run!
I keep running and I realize that the ground behind me is disappearing upwards faster than I'm running. Oh no, it's catching up with me! I'm still running, but I suddenly can't feel any ground under my feet, and I fall in the water. I still see the land raising to the skies, leaving behind only the waters of this Route. With my backpack and my clothes, I'm too heavy to float... Bllbblbblll... help me Lapra.....
Luckily, I wasn't too far from my Pokémon, so Lapras quickly gets near me and picks me up from the water. I manage to get on her back. “Thanks, Lapras. You saved my life.” I pet her again. I look behind, and I see nothing except the water Route and the Seafoam Islands a little further. It's like what just happened never actually happened. Phew, that's very reassuring.
Back home,” I tell Lapras, who starts swimming back to the burnt remains of Cinnabar Island. However, I look back at the Route we're leaving, and I notice something not quite right. All the fake field has disappeared, leaving only waters, but... How the Hell is it possible that now I see green in the skies? No, I wasn't dreaming. It really happened, it all happened. And it's not over, either.
No, it's not over. From this cloud of pixels in the skies suddenly descends another creature. That's... that's the skeleton of an Aerodactyl! The monster is heading towards me... “Faster, Lapras!” I tell my Pokémon, which starts swimming even faster, nearly reaching for the coast of Cinnabar. “Hurry!” I yell again when I realize that the Aerodactyl skeleton is flying even faster and has almost reached us!
My Lapras keeps swimming as fast as possible, but the Aerodactyl catches up with us, and before I even know what's going on, it attacks with its claws, leaving trails of blood on my chest, and then it blows a ton of pixels in my face, causing me to gyjuvhjvjfruvhvhhjghgtfhibgjkwgfwf gfwfuiwgfwfwnhjinwejiwgfwhjbfqwnmjkgbv hfyfghfjwbgfw ghfqyfhjkbfqwv gwfvgbvfnmv..................................

***

How is the patient?” Prof. Oak asked as he entered the hospital room. “Please, tell me what happened.”
Nurse Joy looked at the patient's file. “Amethyst is not doing fine. This Trainer has fallen into a coma.”
What? Like all the others?” Prof. Oak asked again.
Yes, just like Satoshi, Red and Crystal,” the nurse replied. “Professor Oak, four of the best Trainers to have ever traveled across the Pokémon world have fallen into a coma after meeting this thing. You should really stop trying to gather information about it. How could you even bring this Trainer to the Viridian City Pokémon Center?”
A Lapras arrived in Pallet Town with this Trainer on its back,” Prof. Oak replied. “It came from the water route that originally led to Cinnabar Island. This zone is where there has been the most sightings of the creature I'm looking for.”
But what is that creature?” Nurse Joy asked. “Four teenagers are in a coma because of it. You won't be able to hide this from the medias anymore. You really should tell everyone.”
But all I've gathered about this creature is the basic facts: Weight, height, appearance, typing... I don't even know if it's a Pokémon, which is why I don't classify it in the Pokédex.”
Yes, but...Where does this creature come from?” Joy asked.
We don't know. We've been theorizing, but it's one among many things that still puzzle us researchers all over the Pokémon world, like eggs that hatch into other eggs or items duplicating inside one's backpack through a strange force. For all we know, this creature is either a monster that has been created by Arceus and which can transcend our very reality, a demon of some kind who can use all sorts of dirty tricks to play with humans' minds and drive them crazy, which is what I think happened to Amethyst. That, or it's a creation of Giratina that took a life of its own and has found a way to enter our dimension, and Giratina won't do anything to stop it. It could also be a creature that has been around for as long as there have been Pokémon and trainers. We don't know what it is. We don't even know its name, because all we hear from it is some kind of screech. It's impossible to make up a name for this creature. All we know is that since it doesn't have a number in the Dex nor a name, we can only call it... MissingNo.”

Pixcture by spookydoom on deviantArt. All credit goes to
that user. I just HAD to use this picture, it's such a great
depiction of the horror behind MissingNo...
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So... Did you like it? Don't be afraid to comment!