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Have you ever seen a man burn down to his bones before your eyes?

To whoever is reading this, I pray that you would never have to. One minute he was helping me crawl out of a muddy ditch, the second he was incinerated by a vortex of flames. We were so close to the base as well… Poor bastard, I hope he didn’t suffer. The agonizing expression that was plastered on his face before being reduced to ashes would forever haunt me in my nightmares.

My name is …

Actually, it doesn’t really matter, does it? In war, we are all the same; simple pieces in a larger game. Consider me one of those unfortunate pieces.

After a water gun from a particularly aggravated Swampert practically destroyed my knee-cap, I was considered of little use in the battlefield. I’ve been sent to guard an underground bunker containing some of Kanto’s refugees. They named it ‘’Hope’’, what irony considering the circumstances.

I am currently recording this from that same bunker, while the roars of injured Pokémon blare above me.

I think a Croconaw was just electrocuted to death.

All these lives, both human and pokemon, lost over a pointless war with an unclear goal. I think it all started in Hoenn, as a conflict between pokemon liberationists and pokemon trainers. From them on, the battle simply escalated and the tides of carnage swept over other regions as well. The two fronts were established and the people choose a side, while others were unwillingly involved. I am the former.

I wanted to put a stop to the abuse of trainers; exploiting the loyal nature of pokemon and making them battle for meaningless prizes.

However, the initial enthusiasm quickly faded as I gazed upon the ruined towns, littered with corpses. Is this the cost of liberation? Standing among blood and ruins, as my childhood friends die in my arms, one by one.

An arbok bit the head off my Raichu. It just yanked it off like it was a bottle cap, spitting it to the side with disgust. It was clear that it didn’t enjoy what it just did.

I don’t blame it, I really don’t.

But I had to get past the unfortunate pokemon in order to slaughter the one who was responsible for it; that fucking trainer.

Arcanine was merciless, burning the arbok to a shriveled crisp before roasting its master as well.

Later that day, I lost my leg. Arcanine was able to carry me away from harm’s way and back to camp. It was established that will never walk normally again.

To tell you the truth, down here isn’t much better either. When I arrived, food supplies were already low and the crowd was, understandably, beginning to panic. Everyone began thinking that we have been left for dead, just sitting targets. Again, I can’t say I blame them. I myself doubt that anyone will be coming for us anytime soon.

A man wanted to leave the bunker. Under normal circumstances, I would’ve gladly allowed him to do so, but I couldn’t risk giving our location away to the enemy. What if he got captured and persuaded to reveal the secret path that led down to the bunker? That was something I wasn’t going to allow.

He became violent, threatening the other survivors, hording supplies and even resorted to defecating everywhere he could in hopes that we would be forced to kick him out. Unfortunately for him, simply disposing of him proved to be a much less risky solution. I trust that Arcanine made it as painless as possible.

While that temporary gave the rest of the group some ease, it didn’t last long. Soon, others began to crack under the pressure and decided to rush the entrance. My companion made sure that they didn’t get very far. Fortunately, they were all cremated on the spot, saved me the trouble of finding a place to bury them

The food eventually did run out and there was little water to spare.  A few days’ later people were already resorting to drastic measures.  We found a boy had been self-cannibalizing himself, slicing chunks off his legs with a broken piece of glass. Others saw their fellow refugees as food, but those people were quickly dealt with the only way that the circumstances allowed. The poor boy’s limbs got badly infected; he died from blood-loss when we attempted to amputate them. He was the same age as my son…

And now, it’s just us. The ones that didn’t riot are either already dead or reduced to crawling skeletons. I am in a pretty bad shape myself.

Tears fill my eyes as I look upon by favorite Arcanine, a shadow of his former self. His once luscious coat is now covered in bald patches; His legs are hardly supporting his frail figure. I stroke his head as he curls next to my crippled limb, getting ready for a nap he will probably never wake up from.

We were born on the same day, Arcanine and me, or hatched in his case I suppose. Although, he was just a Growlithe back then. My mother died when I was born and father was always busy with his research, so I was left in the care of my fluffy companion. We did everything together; eat, sleep, play and even bathe. As I grew up, I befriended other pokemon that became equally important to me. Then, Growlithe changed. Not in a bad way, mind you, rather he became more mature and focused. He started training by himself, perfecting his moves and learning new ones. I remember when he ran off one morning, I was truly devastated. He came back a day later in his evolved stage, hardly standing and covered in scars. But no matter how exhausted his body was, his eyes burned with wild fire. I never knew how competitive he was. In his new stronger form, he quickly established himself as the alpha of my team. We’ve been through so much, both good and bad, I suppose it is fitting that our journeys end together. 

           We were going to die here, die in ‘’Hope’’. See? I told you that the name was ironic.

The war is still raging on above me, and it doesn’t seem like it will be stopping anytime soon. I wonder how many victims of this war are currently facing a similar fate as me. On the verge of death, unaware if there was any point of fighting in the first place.

I just hope that somewhere out there, my son and my wife are alive and well. If this message ever reaches them, then… well, little Red might just know what exactly happened to his

daddy.

Written by Alex Murder
Content is available under {{#NewWindowLink:http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0%7CCC-BY-SA}}

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