I'll never forget what happened that day, so long ago.  It feels as though it happened centuries ago, but the memory comes back like it happened within seconds of me writing this.  I suppose, however, it would be best to start at the very beginning, where all things have their start.

I was a young trainer back when Hoenn became the hot spot for trainers of all ages who were trying to "Catch 'em all", as the phrase went.  I was like these ambitious individuals, too, catching anything I hadn't seen in Kanto or Johto.  Thanks to the secret power of some of these new Pokémon, I was able to discover something that not even the previous regions had: Secret Bases.  I reveled in the idea and felt like I was a super hero returning home after capturing "'criminals' and discovering new methods of fighting 'crime'.  Yeah, it sounded like a real blast.

Funny how I should mention crime.  Every region has it's own crime rings, be it Team Rocket, Team Galactica, Team Snag'em.  You name a region, it's got a 'team' to compliment it's dark side.  Anyway, the secret base I discovered and called my own wasn't the only one I came across.  I discovered many others, one of which I won't soon forget.  The darkness that filled the cave, the dust that filled the air, the greed and ambition that filled my young heart.  I remember it all.

The Torchic I had brought with me from the local region's Pokémon authority lit the room to what appeared to be a long since abandoned laboratory, filled with all kinds of broken down gadgets, and large, shattered test tubes of varying sizes. The location of their contents, save for the liquid once contained within, was unknown, and, given the size of some of the tanks, it was probably in my best interest not to seek them out, or at least pray that they didn't find me.  The lab didn't give any hint as to its previous owner.  There was no insignia, a logo, or 'Pokémon exist for Team Rocket'-type posters anywhere.

The only thing that seemed to be of any use was a single specimen tube with a box next to it.  The tube, labeled "Subject 1020", contained what appeared to be a Ralts, but it was different than the others I had seen in the region.  This one had a cap that curled upward on the ends, revealing it's peacefully closed eyes.  I peeked inside the box and found a strange stone I had never seen before.  It looked as if it was a cross between a light colored water stone, but more circular instead of oval shaped, and a sun stone, given that the center of the stone appeared to look like the sun itself, or perhaps a shining star.

Curly in the test tube.

As I gazed at the stone, I heard a voice in my head.

"Help me," it said, sounding like a little girl.  I nearly jumped and looked behind myself quickly, thoughts of being caught in this forbidden place by one of it's former occupants and what they might do to me for discovering this secret filled my mind despite the softness of the voice, but I saw that I was alone, save for my Torchic, who illuminated the area for me.  I turned again and fell back in fright.  The little Ralts was gazing at me with sorrowful, crimson eyes.  I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised, since, because Ralts sense people's feelings, I was probably the first person in ages to come near her that she sensed.  She looked at me like an innocent person who had been imprisoned for a horrible crime she didn't commit.  The voice returned.

"Help me, please.  Help me."

I was such a selfish fool back then.  Instead of just outright saving the little Ralts, I actually thought about it.

"Well," I thought to myself, "I don't have a Ralts, so maybe it would benefit me.  Besides, maybe she's more powerful than the other Ralts in the wild."

I smashed the tube and pulled her out, feeling her sweet, yet wet, embrace of gratitude for freeing her from her cylindrical, flooded prison.  With nothing else left to do, I left the lab with the Ralts in hand.

Eventually, I gave the little Ralts a name.  Because of how her cap curled up in that unusual manner, I named her Curly.  She seemed to like it, saying it was much better than "Subject 1020".  Anyway, as time went on, Curly evolved into a Kirlia, and her curls didn't disappear with her evolution.  The "pigtails" if that's what you'd call them, curled up cutely, giving justice to her name, though I never did raise the little Ralts into a full grown Gardevoir, as I was able to defeat the Hoenn League without doing so.  I still kept her, though, since, even though I was such a greedy individual back then, I never considered abandoning my Pokémon an option, which was probably my only redeeming quality.

It was toward the end of my adventures in the Sinnoh region that it happened, the nightmare that haunts me in my sleep as my everlasting reminder.  My little Curly had returned home, as it was my custom to allow my Pokémon to venture on their own, and told me about a stone she had come near that gave her odd sensations.  Her description of the stone matched that of what I now knew was a dawn stone, the same one that I found next to her cylindrical glass prison years ago.  Why the stone she had come near didn't cause what happened next, I may never know.

"It couldn't be.  How could a female Kirlia be affected by a dawn stone?  Only males are affected.......right?", I thought to myself.  The Pokédex didn't mention anything about this, and neither did any other source I looked up.  As far as the world was concerned, Curly was one of a kind in that respect.

I told her about the stone I found next to her when I freed her, and it was then that I understood what was going on.  She must have been an experiment in genetic alteration and meant to be the first female of a gender exclusive species, but why?  Why go through the trouble of doing something like this?   What benefit would it have for anyone?  And who would do such a thing?

I asked Curly if she wanted to try evolving into the form she was made for, and, scared, she refused.  Originally, I just let it go.  I didn't want to force her, but my greed, oh my greed.  It wanted more.  Days later, I practically forced her to use the stone.  She never even fought back, but, crying tears of absolute fear, accepted her master's wishes - my own, selfish wishes - and allowed herself to evolve.

Her evolution was different from the others I had witnessed.  Every other Pokémon silently, well, 'evolved', but Curly held her head as her body shook violently from the exposure.  The evolution process seemed longer too, and eventually, just before the metamorphosis truly too place, she let out an ear-piercing scream.  I held my ears and looked away as a result of the magnitude of the shriek, but when I opened my eyes, there she was.  Curly had become a Gallade, the first female of her kind.

She looked like any other Gallade, but her hair was, as to be expected, curly, her head-horn was a bit shorter than normal, and her, uh, 'UFO' was a bit smaller too. My internal jubilation over the fame and fortune that awaited me when I revealed Curly's form was short lived when I saw that her pain had not yet subsided.  She fell to the ground, her hands moving from her head to her stomach, rolling from side to side as she held in whatever pain was afflicting her.  I tried everything from Super Potion to Full Restore and even, quite stupidly, Max Revive, but nothing seemed to help her.  If anything, it only made it worse.

I was reluctant to bring her to a Pokémon Center, not because I wasn't near one, but because of the controversy of bringing in such a bizarre specimen.  And what if they found out I had done this to her?  I eventually swallowed my pride and brought her to the center.  The nurse set her Poké Ball on the pad.

After the healing process was over, she turned to me and said, "Sir, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to bring your Pokémon into the ER.  He's not fully healed for some reason."  She apparently didn't notice that Curly was female, but she would soon.

I followed her into the ER and sat next to Curly as the nurse hooked up some machines to help stabilize her.  After about 10 minutes, she calmed down, and looked at me with those crimson eyes - those tired, sorrowful, crimson eyes - that held so much pain that I could never fathom.  She simply smiled at me, almost as if she forgave me for my greed.  Did she feel this new emotion I was just now experiencing?  The emotion known as 'remorse'?

She weakly brought her hand to my cheek.

"It wasn't your fault."

How could she say that?  Was she really so forgiving that she would pardon the fool, the murderous fool, that put her through so much pain in so little time?  I held on to her hand, feeling her pulse weaken slowly...


...and then nothing, as a loud, continuous beep from the machines confirmed what my hand detected.

Some doctors came in and took her away.  I received only cold shoulders when I inquired as to where they were taking her, the nurse telling me that I was forbidden to follow them.  I persisted, but was nearly thrown out of the Pokémon center by two police officers that took the place of the nurse in terms of telling me where I could and could not go.  I was powerless, for the first time in my life, so I retreated.

I returned the next day and asked the nurse, the same one from yesterday, what became of Curly, only to be given a shrug and a monotone, uncaring, "I don't know."  Lying bitch.  I didn't need her to tell me, because I already knew.  I would have been surprised if a bunch of pompous scientists weren't ripping her corpse apart trying to figure out what made her tick right now, trying to win the Nobel prize for discovering...whatever the Hell would make them famous.

I guess I'm one to talk, huh?

As I left the Pokémon Center for the final time, I gazed at the dawn stone I used on Curly.  It was darker than a dusk stone, darker than a moonless night, a perfect physical analogy to the corruption that conquered my soul.  I vowed never to capture another Pokémon for as long as I lived, and even debated on releasing my own, making all these years of filling the Pokédex and my PC boxes a waste.  However, when I came home, an Egg lay near my doorstep.  I took it in, not knowing what else to do with it, and it hatched almost the instant I held it in my arms, most likely due to the hot sun beating down on it for so long keeping it warm, into a female Ralts...with a curly cap?!

I had no idea what to make of this.  Was this Curly reborn?  Or was this the misplaced offspring of another Ralts who was experimented on?  Or maybe Curly found this egg somewhere, and never told me for some reason?  Either way, I raised the Ralts, naming her Curly, after the one I had so heartlessly murdered.

Were you expecting a happy ending?  Well, maybe that can be considered a form of forgiveness, but it doesn't end there.  Sometimes I can feel something gently wrapping around me, almost as if I'm being embraced, along with a cute giggle.  Could it be the spirit of Curly wrapping her arms around me as a sign of forgiveness?  Perhaps, but the dreams...the dreams never end.  Every night, I see her there in the darkness, writhing in pain as she evolves again and again into that abomination that was never meant to exist, all the while crying out to me.

"Help me, please.  Help me..."

MetalShadowOverlord (talk) 07:36, March 24, 2014 (UTC)

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