Friday, January 28, 2011

Insert Whatever's In This Pokeball Here

It was a normal day in Bramble Town, the smallest, humblest town in the Naïveté region. The sun was shining, the Pidgey were cooing, a half-ton meteorite was hurtling down at Mach 2… wait, what?

The space rock crashed down and formed a huge crater right in the backyard of a ten-year-old boy named Kenneth, and immediately he rushed out to investigate. As he was admiring the mysterious rock, it split open before his eyes, revealing an internally flawless purple gem bigger than his fist!

Kenneth gasped as the gem released a bright red light. Slowly but surely the light solidified, forming into the levitating body of a creature decidedly not of this Earth. Its body was over five feet tall, red, with a humanoid torso and the gem embedded in its chest, and it had long, spindly legs ending in points rather than feet. Instead of arms, it had long tentacles, one red and one blue curled in a double-helix on each side, and its blue face was void of any facial features except for sharp, round eyes in parallelogram-shaped sockets.

Kenneth couldn't believe his eyes! This was a Deoxys, an obscenely rare Pokemon! He'd seen pictures of them in books, but he never thought he'd actually see one in person!

Just then the Deoxys let out a low hum, and immediately Kenneth knew something was wrong. The Deoxys was weak, and in considerable pain. It pushed him back and prepared to fly off, but Kenneth knew that he had to help it himself. He took out the Pokeball that he'd been carrying for the last two weeks and threw it at the DNA Pokemon with all his might. The ball struck the Deoxys right in the middle of its face, cracked open, and the Deoxys was converted into red light (different than before) and sucked into the Pokeball. The ball snapped shut and fell to the ground, wiggling back and forth for a few seconds before stopping cold.

Kenneth let out a cheer. He had caught the Deoxys!


A couple of hours later, Kenneth had packed his bags and was on his way. He'd called the Pokemon Professor at the laboratory in Nettles Town, the next town over, and told her all about today's strange phenomena. She'd ordered Kenneth to come over to her lab immediately, as she'd recently obtained some meteorites of her own, devoid of organic life but with a strange radiation, and she wanted to see if there was any connection. She'd even hinted that she might let him keep the Deoxys afterward. Now he was just in front of the town limits, and nothing could bring him down.

"OW!" came a voice to his right. "DAMN PLOTHOLE!"

Kenneth turned to see the source of the profanity, and found a boy, about eighteen, sprawled on the ground. The boy propped himself up and Kenneth got a better look at him. He was of average height, but a little chunky, and wearing a black sweatshirt and sweatpants. He was fairly unkempt, with shaggy black hair and a moustache and goatee to match. What his eyes looked like were a mystery, though, because they were hidden behind clip-on shades on wire-frame glasses.

At the same time, the mystery man sized up Kenneth. The kid was short and scraggly, with a dirty white polo shirt and jeans. His hair was curly and brown, and he had tiny brown eyes and a rather large nose.

"You okay?" Kenneth asked as the other guy dusted himself off.

"Fine," the mystery man replied. "You the kid with the Deoxys?"


"Good." Immediately, the mystery man pulled a badge from his pocket and flashed it in Kenneth's face. "Then I hereby place you under arrest for crimes against storytelling! You're going away for a long time, Stu!"

"Stu?" Kenneth repeated. "No, the name's 'Kenneth'. Who are you, anyway? What are you talking about?"

"I'm Agent Marcus of the Anti-Cliché and Mary Sue Elimination Society," said Agent Marcus of the Anti-Cliché and Mary Sue Elimination Society. "And you're coming with me."

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Kenneth insisted.

"Oh, come on! You expect anyone to believe that a meteorite containing a Deoxys just happened to crash in your backyard, and you just happened to catch it without even battling it? That's beyond ridiculous!"

"Look," Kenneth insisted. "I don't know what you're going on about, but I'm not going anywhere without a fight!"

"A fight, eh?" Marcus chuckled. "I take it you mean a Pokemon battle?"

"That's right!" Kenneth snapped, taking out his Pokeball. "Let's see if you can beat me and Deoxys!"

Kenneth tossed the ball in the air and it burst open. Deoxys appeared with a flash of light.

"Sounds good to me," Marcus said, pulling a Pokeball out of his pocket. "Magmar, prepare for battle!"

Marcus threw his Pokeball, and a Pokemon materialized. This one had a vaguely humanoid body, but with clawed hands and feet, a long, straight tail, and an orange duckbill for a mouth. Its body was consumed in fire, but it showed no signs of burns. "Magmar," the creature grunted.

"Magmar?" Kenneth commented. "That's a Fire-type, right?"

"Quit playing dumb and battle already!" Marcus snapped.

"Fine," Kenneth sighed. "Sheesh! Deoxys, use Swift!"

Deoxys buzzed and put its tentacles together, but then, amazingly, did a double-take and shook its head.

"Stop fooling around!" Marcus ordered. "Magmar, hit it with your Flamethrower!"

"Magmar!" Magmar replied, expelling a stream of fire that struck Deoxys right in its chest.

"Good, now don't let up! Strike hard with Fire Punch!"

Magmar nodded and ran at Deoxys with a flaming fist.

"Use Counter, Deoxys!" Kenneth screamed.

Deoxys buzzed indignantly as it was knocked backwards, but otherwise did nothing.

"I thought I told you to stop clowning around!" Marcus snarled. "I may be new, but I'm a serious contender!"

"Hey, I'm new, too!" Kenneth complained. "Now, Deoxys, use Zap Cannon!"

This time, the DNA Pokemon didn't even bother trying to use the aforementioned attack. Instead it let out an angry buzz and its eyes glowed blue. At the same time, Magmar was surrounded by an aura of the same color, then lifted into the air and slammed back into the ground!

"I said 'Zap Cannon', not 'Psychic'!" Kenneth complained as Magmar got to its feet. "What's it take to get you to listen?"

Deoxys let out a cranky hum, then turned on its trainer, put its tentacles together, conjured an orb of dark energy, and shot a dark beam called a Night Shade attack right at Kenneth's feet, making him yelp in fright.

"Oh, enough of this!" Marcus growled. "Magmar, finish it with one more Flamethrower!"

"Magmar," Magmar grunted. "MAG-MAR!"

The Flame Pokemon launched one more wave of fire with all of its might, striking Deoxys in the back and knocking it into its trainer, sending them both crashing to the ground in a heap, the DNA Pokémon's eyes filled with swirls.

"Pathetic," the older boy said, recalling Magmar into its Pokeball. "A Level 5 Stu should've provided far more of a challenge than that! You don't even know how to use that Deoxys!"

Then it hit him.

"You're… not a Stu, are you?"

"I told you, my name's Kenneth!" the younger boy snapped, recalling his Deoxys. "I don't even know a Stu!"

"Yes, yes, that explains the lack of battle skills," Marcus said, more to himself than Kenneth. "Inexperienced, but obviously eager to learn, starting off with a Pokemon far too advanced and clearly showing it…" He extended a hand to Kenneth, who stared for a second, then accepted it and got to his feet. "You're not a Stu. You're a reasonably interesting character."

"Uh, thanks," Kenneth replied. "I, uh, like your shades."

"It doesn't make sense, though," Marcus pondered. "If you're not a Stu, then why did we get an alert?"

"Beats me," Kenneth shrugged. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get going. I told Professor Willowe I'd meet her ten minutes ago."


"Professor" Willowe Diamond Ravenne Hyacinth Aurelia Sakurelle Dewdrop Arwennia Heliotrope Sandriline Delilah Aphrodite Bob Yuffiana Vipertooth Foxblade the Third paced her laboratory, waiting for her guest. It was a nice laboratory, big and high-tech, with all sorts of top-of-the-line computers and machines, and several interesting artifacts, the most prominent being four meteorites the size of basketballs in glass cases around the room.

The "professor's" appearance, however, was far more interesting. She was rather young, only about 23, with a very curvy body barely squeezed into a white lab coat. She had flowing, silky auburn hair, dark violet eyes, and teeth of a dazzling opalline white.

Finally, the door opened and somebody walked in.

"It's about time," the "professor" said. "You know, my schedule is quite tight, Kenne—who in the world are you?"

"The name's Marcus," Marcus informed her. "And I know who you are. You're Willowe Foxblade, Society Enemy Number One."

"Well, actually, the name's Willowe Diamond Ravenne—"

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. I'm here to arrest you in the name of the Society!"

Willowe laughed, a sound that brought to mind angels singing in perfect harmony. "Are you kidding?" she giggled. "A newbie like you actually thinks he can take me?"

"Hey!" Marcus objected. "I may not look like much, but I'm smart! I knew enough to borrow some strong Pokemon from one of my creations, and more importantly, I figured out your game!"

"Oh, really?" Willowe said, flipping her hair in amusement. "Enlighten me."

"You send down legendary Pokemon to ten-year-old kids and make them super-easy to capture. Then, once they come down here to see you about it, you drain away everything interesting about them and add another soldier to your army of Sues. You even compressed your level to five to keep the Society from getting suspicious, didn't you?"

Willowe looked stunned (yet still stunning), but quickly regained her composure. "Very good," she complimented. "It's a cushy job that I've been doing on and off for a while now. What I'd like to know is what you think you can do to stop me!"

"I'll defeat you is what I'll do!" Marcus shot back. "I've got a knack for writing battles, after all—I even refocused my writing to further increase my skills."

"As if I care," the Sue said, flipping her hair again. "But, hey, you've caught me in a good mood. I'll battle you, and on the off chance that you beat me, I'll leave this fandom. I'll even spot each of your Pokemon one free attack (although I wouldn't count on any one-hit KO moves landing). How does that sound?"

"It's your funeral," Marcus shrugged, taking a Pokeball from his back pocket. "Go, Magmar!"

With a surge of light, Magmar appeared, ready for battle.

"How cute, a Magmar," Willowe chuckled. "This will be even easier than I thought! Let's see you defeat this!

Willowe snatched a Pokeball (one of six) from her belt and lobbed it into the air. With a sparkle of light, an incredibly freaky Pokemon materialized. It was over twenty feet long, and serpentine in shape, with a strange pale-yellow orb on a string around its neck. Its body was gold, but with black and blue stripes on its belly, and a silver masklike structure over its blue eyes, and bands of the same color down its neck. It had silver spikes jutting out along its sides, and there were six long black tentacles extending from its back, each ending with a sharp blue spike.

"A shiny Giratina," Marcus sighed. "How predictable for a Sue."

"Just take your free attack," Willowe told him, rolling her eyes.

"Very well. Magmar, use Overheat!"

Magmar grunted and took a deep breath. It glowed red as its flames burned brighter, and finally it expelled a gigantic burst of flame that completely engulfed Giratina!

Willowe, on the other hand, simply laughed, and when the flames died down Giratina barely seemed hurt!

"You didn't actually think that that puny Magmar of yours could actually harm my Giratina, did you?" the Sue laughed, flipping her hair again. "Giratina, make this quick. Hit it with Ancientpower!"

Giratina roared and conjured a glowing white ball of energy in its mouth, then launched it at Magmar. The Flame Pokemon cried out in pain, then fell to the floor, unconscious.

"Okay," Marcus muttered, recalling Magmar and exchanging its Pokeball for another. "So much for the direct approach. Let's try this."

He threw the ball and another Pokemon appeared, this one looking like a fat palm tree that stood on two legs. Three coconuts dangled beneath its leaves, each with a smiling face.

"Exeggutor, use Leech Seed!"

"Exeggutor!" the three heads replied in unison, and then, from within its leaves, a large seed appeared. The Coconut Pokemon laughed and launched the seed, striking Giratina in the belly. The seed burst open and long, leaf-covered vines spread and constricted around the shiny Pokémon's body.

"That'll do you absolutely no good," Willowe snickered. "Giratina, use Shadow Claw!"

Giratina snarled and slashed Exeggutor with its six tentacles, which temporarily took on a dark aura. Exeggutor fainted on the spot.

"Okay, next stratagem," Marcus said, recalling his Pokemon and sending out another, this one a purple and black anthropomorphic pig with a black pearl in its navel and two more on its forehead.

"Odor Sleuth, Grumpig!"

The Manipulate Pokemon grunted and began sniffing the air. A white aura appeared around Giratina for just a second, then faded.

"That's how you use your one free attack?" Willowe laughed. "Giratina, knock it out with Dragonbreath!"

Giratina exhaled a wave of green breath that engulfed Grumpig, which dropped where it stood.

Marcus said nothing this time, simply exchanging his current Pokemon for another, this one a three-foot-tall humanoid chameleon with a red zigzag on its belly.

"Kecleon, hit it with Shadow Claw!"

"Keclee!" the Kecleon squealed, leaping at Giratina with its right arm engulfed in a dark aura. Giratina backed away slightly, but otherwise seemed unharmed.

"Pitiful," Willowe sneered. "Ancientpower, Giratina!"

"Kecleon, use Substitute!" Marcus cried.

Once again, Giratina conjured and fired an orb of glowing light, but as it did, Kecleon created a dummy of itself and hid behind it. When the smoke cleared, though, the dummy was gone and Kecleon was on its belly, not moving.

"Amazing," Willowe said, flipping her hair again for no real reason. "Your Pokemon actually managed to faint even after using Substitute. I've battled a lot of Pokemon, but I've never seen one that pathetic!"

"Battled a lot of Pokemon, eh?" Marcus replied as he recalled Kecleon. "I take it it wasn't in the name of Pokemon research?"

"Of course not!" the Sue laughed. "I've never researched a Pokemon and I never intend to! My only goal is to seize control of the multiverse with my army of Sues!"

"I figured as much," Marcus said with a nod. "Now, I believe I still have two unused Pokemon."

The Society agent produced another Pokeball and tossed it, causing yet another Pokemon to appear. This one was rather small, and completely spherical, red on top and white on the bottom, with two angry eyes on the top half.

"Let's not draw this out, Voltorb!" Marcus ordered. "Just use Explosion!"

"Voltorb!" Voltorb replied in a mechanical-sounding voice. It squinted its eyes in concentration and glowed white, then, with the force of about four sticks of dynamite, it exploded!

When the smoke cleared, the lab was almost completely destroyed and Voltorb was unconscious, but Giratina still seemed relatively unharmed!

"Wow," Willowe giggled. "This time you even spared me the trouble of attacking! I guess that explains why you used Odor Sleuth, though—you needed to make Giratina vulnerable to Normal-type attacks so you could try and take it down in a suicide attempt! Too bad it didn't work, and now you're down to your last Pokemon, and based on what I've seen, I doubt you could possibly have one strong enough to beat my Giratina!"

"He might not," said a familiar voice. "But I sure do!"

Immediately Kenneth burst through the door, looking livid. "You were right about Professor Willowe, Marcus! She really did just want to use me! Now let me help you! Here," he said, handing Marcus his only Pokeball. "Use Deoxys to beat her into the ground!"

"Thanks, Kenneth!" Marcus said, tossing the Pokeball and releasing the DNA Pokemon. "You ready to win this, Deoxys?"

The Deoxys waved its tentacles and let out an excited hum.

"Good. Now, I believe I get one free attack? I'll go with… PSYCHO BOOST!"

Eagerly, Deoxys flew up in the air, then arced its tentacles to form an X with its gem in the middle. With a loud buzz, it formed a glowing multicolored sphere and shot it right at Giratina's face!

Giratina roared in agony. That attack had actually done some damage!

"Yes!" Marcus cheered. "The tides are turning, Willowe!"

"Congratulations, kid," Willowe sneered. "But that's as far as you'll get! Giratina, strike it down with Shadow Claw!"

"Dodge it, Deoxys, and touch one of those meteorites!" Marcus suddenly cried out.

Deoxys nodded and narrowly avoided Giratina's tentacles, then flew over to the nearest meteorite case (which had been blown wide open) and touched the meteorite with a tentacle of its own.

The transformation was immediate. Deoxys slimmed down considerably, and the red coloring on its legs and torso became black. Two of its tentacles (one red, one blue) had disappeared, and a long, narrow plate grew back from the top of its head. Only its face and gem seemed completely unchanged.

"Now do you see why I used Explosion, Willowe?" Marcus bragged. "It wasn't just to damage your Giratina (though I'll admit I hoped it would). I knew those meteorites would allow Deoxys to change between its Forms, and now they're within easy reach!"

Willowe scowled at her opponent, but showed no fear. "So you've unlocked a few transformations. So what? You still can't hope to stand against Giratina's raw strength!"

"We'll just see about that!" Marcus shot back.

"We sure will! Giratina, hit it with Ancientpower!"

"Use Agility to dodge it!"

Giratina launched another glowing sphere, but Deoxys put on a burst of speed and easily avoided it.

"Try a Dragonbreath!" Willowe ordered.

"Dodge with Agility!" Marcus commanded.

Giratina exhaled more green breath, but Deoxys just sped up and flitted aside.

"It's only a matter of time before you lose, Willowe!" Marcus taunted. "Thanks to Exeggutor's Leech Seed, Giratina's energy has slowly been draining away. At this point evasion tactics alone could win this for me."

"Oh, is that what you think?" Willowe raged, tossing her hair in anger. "Well, think again! I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve! Try dodging this! Giratina, Shadow Force!"

Giratina let out a roar. Its mask glowed red and then, amazingly, it vanished into thin air!

This isn't good, Marcus thought. There's no telling where that attack will come from!

"Hurry, Deoxys," he instructed. "Get to another meteorite!"

Deoxys nodded, zoomed across the room to another destroyed case, and brought about another transformation by touching the stone within. It grew much bulkier and regained the red coloration on its torso and legs. It regrew its two lost tentacles, and all four grew wide and flat. Its head and neck had merged together into a dome shape, but its face and gem still hadn't changed.

Just when the transformation was complete, Giratina appeared behind Deoxys and shot an arcing black beam from its mouth.

"Turn around and use Mirror Coat!" Marcus ordered.

Deoxys turned and spread its tentacles just in time to take a blast to the chest. It was blown back, badly injured. It remained airborne, though, and then, amazingly, it shot a beam from its gem, the exact same color as Giratina's last attack but twice the size, that nailed the Renegade Pokemon in the face and caused it to buckle under the attack's incredible power, struggling to remain conscious.

"This battle's nearly over, Willowe!" Marcus said. "Giratina just took its own attack at double the strength! One more hit and it's finished!"

"The same can be said of Deoxys!" the Sue retaliated. "And, in case you didn't realize, Deoxys is too slow to dodge attacks in its Defense Form!

"Now, Giratina, win me this battle with a Dragonbreath!"

"Avoid it, Deoxys, and get to another meteorite!" Marcus commanded.

Willowe just laughed as Giratina exhaled its green fumes, but she stopped short when Deoxys narrowly avoided the attack and moved to another space rock at moderate speed.

"Impossible!" the Sue exclaimed. "How can it be moving so quickly?"

"Don't you remember how Deoxys kept using Agility in its Speed Form?" Marcus responded. "Its Form may have changed, but it still kept the boost."

In only a couple of seconds, Deoxys reached the third meteorite and initiated its third transformation. This one looked a lot like its Normal Form, but its torso was black, and it had three pointy fins on its head, one on the top and two on the sides. Its face and gem were the same as ever.

"Excellent," Marcus said. "Now, Deoxys, since your attack strength has just gone up considerably, it's time to end this with a Hyper Beam!"

Deoxys let out an excited hum and held its tentacles like it did for Psycho Boost, but this time the ball of energy was a yellow-orange color.

"Defend with Dragonbreath, Giratina!" Willowe screamed.

Giratina exhaled more green breath just as Deoxys released a powerful beam from the orb of energy, but the defense proved to be ineffective. The Hyper Beam blasted right through the Dragonbreath and, with a final roar, Giratina was defeated.

"Yes!" Kenneth cheered. "You did it! You finally beat her!"

"Hardly!" Willowe sneered, recalling Giratina and flipping her hair for… I don't know, emphasis? "In case you've forgotten, Giratina was only my first Pokemon! I have five more to use, and each of them is every bit as strong as Giratina!"

"Oh, really?" Marcus said with a grin. "Show me."

"You bet I will!" the Sue told him. She reached for one of the Pokeballs on her belt but, to her complete surprise, they were all gone!

"My Pokeballs!" she cried. "Where are they?"

Marcus smiled bigger and pointed beside him. There was a red zigzag floating in the air. The colors around it morphed and in a second Willowe recognized it as the Kecleon she had battled earlier.

"Keclee!" it said, opening its mouth to reveal the five Pokeballs within.

"W-what?" Willowe stammered. "B-but how—?"

"I had this all planned out from the beginning," Marcus bragged. "You see, I knew you wouldn't have just a single Pokemon, no matter how confident you were, so I came up with a plan to make sure you couldn't use them.

"You were right when you said that a Pokemon can't be knocked out right after using Substitute. In reality, Kecleon only pretended to be unconscious so I could recall it and use it later.

"Voltorb's Explosion provided the perfect diversion to cover me releasing it again, and it immediately camouflaged itself. Then, while you were distracted by the battle with Deoxys, it snuck up behind you and stole your Pokeballs with its tongue!

"I was three steps ahead of you the entire time. Face it, Willowe," he finished. "You've lost!"

"A battle and a cushy job, yes," the Sue snapped. "But not the war! You haven't seen the last of me, kid—that's a promise!"

With that, she tore a hole in time and space and leapt through.

There was a moment of silence in the laboratory, finally broken by Kenneth.

"Wow," he said. "Where'd she go?"

"Search me," Marcus shrugged, taking the Pokeballs from Kecleon and recalling it and Deoxys. "But for now, my work here is done. Here," he said, handing Kenneth the Pokeball containing Deoxys. "I'm keeping the other Pokemon as evidence. You just go on that journey of yours. We'll be monitoring you, but if you're lucky (but not too lucky) you'll never have to see me again."

The Society agent pulled out his portal gun and shot open a plothole of his own. With a final cry of "good luck!", he leapt through and disappeared.


"…and that's pretty much the whole story," Marcus finished reporting to Tash, his tall, blonde, British boss. Then, out of nowhere, she slapped him across the face!

"That was for not calling in backup when you first heard Willowe was there!" she told him as he rubbed his raw cheek. "Willowe is Society Enemy Number One! You can't just go after her alone, especially on your first mission!"

Then, even more surprisingly, she reached over and squeezed him in a bone-crushing hug.

"And that," she said. "Was for upending her plans for that fandom. It slowed her progress considerably. The Society definitely needs your brains."

"And I'm glad to provide them," Marcus replied.


Willowe, meanwhile, was sitting on her throne in her base, going over the day's events in her head. Finally, she came to a decision.

"Xavier!" she called.

Immediately a white-haired, blue-eyed, teenaged Stu appeared before her.

"What is it, my liege?" he asked.

"I'm assigning you a new duty. That boy I just battled? Marcus? Something he said about his writing caught my attention. I want you to investigate him. Take him on as much as you can and report your findings straight to me."

"Yes, ma'am!" Xavier replied. "I'll get right on it!"

"Good," Willowe said with a dazzling smile. "He's hiding something, and I'll do whatever it takes to use it against him!"

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