All I wanted was to catch them all.
It started out so innocently. You grow up in a Pokemon world, wanting nothing more than to be a Pokemon trainer. So when the professor offers you a chance to start your own Pokemon journey, to catch them all, of course you accept, who wouldn’t?
Yeah, it was all just Pidgeys and Rattatas at first. The Professor wanted them, so I sent them over; I kept getting stronger Pokemon, and the Professor was getting Pokemon for his research. I didn’t care for what - track their migration patterns, train them, test cosmetics on them, I dunno, it wasn’t any of my business. All that mattered to me was that I was a trainer.
That’s when they approached me. Leaders of their own teams, and each had scouted me as a prospective member - me, just some kid who was good at catching Rattatas. It turns out that’s how they get you; start ‘em when they’re young, make them feel like an important part of the team, and they’re yours forever. But I made my choice. Don’t ask which, don’t ask why, it’s not important. What’s important was that I was part of something - I was part of a team, part of the family.
And the team, we worked together. Taking over gyms, they called it; told us that certain key locations were “Pokemon Gyms,” where we could train and raise our ranks. So of course we took them on, every gym we could find. The coffee shop on the corner, the city’s local landmark, the church off of Main Street, wherever. We’d capture some gyms, power them up, feel good about ourselves, and the boss would give us some spending money as a reward. It was the best.
That’s when it turned ugly.
See, ours wasn’t the only team, like I said. And the other two, they were fighting for the gyms as well. And no one wanted to lose. Like I said, there was a lot of loyalty to one’s own team going on. So we’d take a gym, then the next team would take it over. We’d take it back, and the other team would sneak in and take it, then the first team would take it from them.
Over and over, the same pattern. No one ever kept a gym for long, the conflict never stopped. And no one was going to give up.
So we got smarter. Got stronger. Got bigger and badder Pokemon, started attacking in groups, ganging up on a single gym, fortifying our defenses, then moving on to the next. A team effort. And so did they.
Things just kept escalating; one team pulls out a Magmar, so you get a bigger Gyarados. They see your Gyarados, they power up an Electabuzz. Then you come back with some buddies. And things get personal fast.
None of us realized that all we were doing was fighting over turf for our leaders. Did they actually care about us? Oh hell no, we were just pawns in their big ol’ game. Lots and lots of easily replaceable pawns. But like I said, they got us early, and the rewards for taking a gym were just too good. We were caught, hook, line, and sinker.
I gotta wonder, did the Professor know? When he gave us those first Pokeballs, did he know we’d be caught up in this never-ending battle? The constant attacks and defeats, the unending fight for just a little more territory? I can’t prove it, but I think he did.
Anyways, that’s my story. I know it’s not much of a defense, but there’s no defending what I did. All I wanted was to catch ‘em all… and I ended up getting more than I bargained for.