“Jade!” Josh shouted, reaching a clearing in the forest, seeing her coiled around the upper branches of a tall tree fifty feet tall, yellow sap tears streaming down her face. His mount stopped on a dime, flicking him to her tail tip and throwing him up to her like a catapult throwing a cow. He screamed and struck the bark of the tree chest first, glad his hardened semi-Pokemon chest allowed him to survive what felt worse than any car crash. Jade's tail shot out and wrapped around his arm, swinging him onto a tree branch near her. He clung to her tail for dear life with one arm, and the tree branch with the other, holding on for dear life. “Jade, we need to talk.”
Her eyes narrowed, and she glared at him accusatorily. “Do you need more shallow, ostentatious, worthless comforts to dull the pain of never getting to see your family again?”
“Pain? I feel fantastic! My life as a human was terrible, and I'm glad I've left it behind.” Josh admitted.
“Oh, really?” She asked suspiciously. “If it was so sad, why do you never whine about it?”
“Because it sucked, but not that much. My parents treat me like the child they never wanted, and my hometown is full of assholes, and that's all. Online, I read stories about people that had it worse than me, and I learned perspective. I wasn't beaten as a child, I didn't have a pet that got killed, and I wasn't gender-reassigned at birth and forced to imitate perverse acts with my twin brother to condition me to accept my new lot in life.”
A look of absolute disgust formed on her muzzle, and she stuck her head over the branch to retch up a stream of brown-flecked green vomit. Josh looked away, and heard it splatter against the ground.
“Ewwwwww!” Rose shouted. “It splashed in my eyes!”
Josh heard her blow chunks and resisted the urge to vomit himself, trying to ignore the disturbingly sweet plantlike smell, and he waited for her to pull her head back up. When he did, he stared deeply into her eyes. “I've seen a lot of disgusting things on the internet. And because the internet is full of humans, I know it was a human that wrote down or took pictures or videos of every disgusting thing on there. There are a lot of ways my life could have been worse. And now, it got better. I'm not just another useless human any more. I'm a Squirtle!”
She chuckled. “No, you're just another squirtle. Destiny's been kind enough to make you a Pokemon, but not kind enough to make you a particularly powerful one. You're funny, but that'll never be helpful. Another nobody to live and die, never leaving anything behind.”
He smiled and blushed. “You really think I'm funny?”
She rolled her eyes, and he grew serious again. “Look, I'd love to leave a legacy behind, and a bunch of kids, and-”
“But you won't. It's your destiny to be a bad joke, and my destiny to...” She trailed off.
“To live out the miserable life of an arranged marriage?” He asked, raising an eyelid.
She laughed loudly, beginning to cry again. “Is that how Rose put it?”
“What makes you think she told me?” Josh asked. He knew better than to say “How did you know it was Rose?”
“She's the only one who knows who isn't too scared of me to talk. Unfortunately, she's too good-natured to fully realize how serious this situation is.” She looked away, miserably. “What did she say about his abilities? Did she say something like... Hecanrun400timesfasterthanthespeedoflighthecanstoptimeandrewindtimeanderasetimeandnothingcanhurthimandhessuperluckyandsuperstrongandhessostronghecancauseatomicexplosionsbypunchingreallyhard! He'ssoimportanttofatehehastwospiritguides! Two!”
He laughed. “Yeah, that's her. I find her cute.”
“Good, you and her can go on double dates with me and... Him. Josh... There's this boy. He's descended from a particularly powerful clan of warriors. This clan has saved many lives, and has a lot of friends. And a lot of political pull. Members of this clan grow powerful quickly, know some of the strongest aura techniques in the world, and have rescued a lot of Pokemon. If there are high-profile missions where big bases desperately want the missions to succeed, some of these clan members are called, and one is sent to eclipse everyone, carry the team, and get all the glory. This clan had a son, after years of selectively breeding and only marrying the strongest Pokemon they could find. This boy... His father is a cruel, manipulative, power-hungry monster that plays the part of the perfect hero. He wanted to marry my mother, calling her the only Pokemon good enough for him, but she turned him down. So partly out of spite and partly to get some of my mother's genes, he wants his son - a somewhat well-natured boy, but one of the stupidest people I've ever met - to marry me and keep having kids until one is born with the power my mom holds. This boy's name is Augustus Ryukata, and destiny has decided I'll be his wife.”
“What happens if you say no?” He ventured.
She smiled bitterly. “What happens if I say no? Try asking what happens if I don't play the part of the perfect girlfriend well enough to fool him. He's the kind of 'Hero' that has his aura influenced by his emotions. If he gets angry or sad, he snaps, and kills everyone around him. On the battlefield, this is useful, he's like a tactical nuke that kills friend and foe alike. In day to day life, everyone has to treat him with kid gloves for fear of ticking him off. Anything going even a little wrong is enough to set him off, unless he can be calmed down quickly enough.”
“Can we ask some strong Pokemon in other bases for help?” Josh wondered.
“Nobody's strong enough to have a snowball's chance in hell against this Pokemon. Not even one. I don't even have to meet them or know what they can do to know they can't beat this... this... mistake made by Arceus himself! This... this living proof that Arceus is dead and humanity killed him! Some Pokemon get special powers when they transform. Some Pokemon get special powers from being experimented on. Some humans get lucky enough to be born rich. Some humans get lucky enough to win the lottery. Some humans get lucky enough to win the lottery twice. AND THEN THERE'S THIS ASSHOLE!” She shouted. “He has 51,432,207,870,535,468 abilities!”
He wanted to take this seriously, he really did, but when he said that, he was reminded of every powerwanking DC fanboy on every forum on the internet yelling “Superman can fly at five hundred million times the speed of light and he survived the end of the universe sixty times! He would stomp the entire marvel universe, Goku, the entire anime universe, and all universes!”.
He was reminded of every bad OC made on every roleplaying forum he'd ever made fun of on his shitty blog seven people liked.
He wondered if she was bullshitting him the entire time, and if this was all some elaborate hazing ritual to prank anyone that got a crush on any of the mayor's daughters.
This had to be a joke.
“51,432,207,870,535,468. He has that many abilities! I'm not making this up. Fire manipulation, ice manipulation, lighting manipulation, water manipulation, plant manipulation, dimension manipulation, mind control, body control, soul control, getting stronger in the sun, getting stronger in moonlight, getting stronger in darkness, getting stronger when you're surrounded, getting stronger when you're alone, reality warping, reality bending, reality rewriting, reality overwriting, reality erasure, space erasure, time erasure, time rewinding, time acceleration, time stopping, heart stopping, logic stopping, infinity stopping... The only powers in existence he doesn't have are Aura Channelling and what my mother and Rose and I have that lets us change size and density at will. That's why his father manipulated him into thinking I'm cool and thinking his childish admiration and puppy love is true love ordained by fate. Augustus's father, Timaeus, wants eugenics to make his grandson the ultimate life form. I don't know if he'll raise that ultimate life form for bragging rights, if he'll use it to take over the world, if he'll use it to destroy Pokextinction forever, or if he'll try and switch his mind with his grandson's, achieving immortality and the ultimate body. But for generations, this clan has only married the strongest of Pokemon, picking up powers like an alcoholic picks up bottles. So, I can either kill myself now and piss him off, kill myself with him, try to talk him into killing himself, and get brought back to life, or I can go back to crying on the inside while I accept the hands fate dealt me.”
He decided not to mention how casually she talked about killing herself. “Wait, stop powerwanking for a second, you can do what?” He wondered.
“How do you think I got up here without breaking any of the branches on my way up? I'm not exactly little.” She pointed out.
“You're the perfect size for me.” He said, waggling his eyelids. She rolled her eyes. “But why not make yourself smaller?”
“I can grow quickly, but shrinking is slower. A lot slower.” She explained. “And neither ability is as good as my mother's, which is pretty much instant. And if you're within 20 meters, she can mess with your size, too. She can expand your heart to kill you on the spot, shrink your eyeballs until they're practically nothing... All sorts of neat stuff I can't do. This world... isn't fair. You're a nobody, I can't escape my mother's shadow, and I'm going to be sold off to an idiot to fulfil a destiny some asshole made up to piss my mother off. Even when my life is being ruined, it all has to be about good ol' Mayor Fatass.”
He frowned, and started talking dramatically. “Yeah, life is shit. Life isn't just unfair, life is shit. There comes a moment in every boy and girl's life when he realizes this on a level nobody but him or her can describe. What separates the children from the adults? Not age or ability or what outlook on life you have. It's what you're willing to do to change that.”
“Says the boy that lived with shit parents and did nothing until we came for him.” She said, ruining the mood.
“Fuck you, I was going to move out when I was old enough!” He said jokingly, awkwardly pushing her, unable to move her. She laughed, and sighed. “Probably. Jade, remember when I said I've seen a lot of disgusting things on the internet?”
She nodded. “Humans can be so disgusting sometimes...”
“Well... When I came here, I saw beauty. When I saw you, I saw true beauty. I might not have money or fame or more than fifty million powers, but I can still give you my heart.” He said, looking deep into her eyes.
“Awwwwwww!” She said, coiling her tail around him lovingly. “That's sweet. Completely worthless, but sweet. Promise not to do anything stupid, like challenging him to a duel for the right to marry me, and I'll think of you when I'm taken away from my family and friends and sent to live with him in some bunker, dying on the inside while he lives out his juvenile fantasies of what married life is like.”
“I don't need to do anything stupid, because I'm going to murder him so you can be free.”
She slapped him in the head with the tip of her tail. “Don't be so stupid. Nobody on this planet can beat Augustus. Don't even try. Just... Let's just make some nice memories before I'm taken away. Please. For me?”
He gasped like a child told he could have all the ice cream he wanted. “You mean we're gonna-”
“No.” She said flatly.
“Aww.” He said miserably.
“Come on, let's go watch some anime together.” She said, picking him up by the chest with her tail and jumping off the tree, slowly floating down like a balloon light enough to act as a parachute for him.
Josh smiled up at Jade. “I lied.” He thought, smirking on the inside. “I'm going to murder him for you, no matter what I have to do. You deserve to be free. And then after I defeat that monster, you can be happy once again.”
When they landed, they felt something. Something that should not be. They turned their heads to see a massive buildup of aura so powerful even Josh could see it clearly.
Something teleported to them, something... dangerous.
“Wow, he's here early!” Rose said happily.
Josh, on the other hand, wasn't feeling happy at all. “Oh sh-”