Hey. I'm Pseudonym and I have been absent quite some time from the forum. Now that I have found some time, I really want to integrate myself again to this wonderful place, and what a better way to do it: writing a journey fic. This is a re-write, I had already done a bit of this story although I didn't keep up with it. So here it is, The Mask's Secret.
Chapter 1: The stranger's arrival
The barman fetched a beer for a couple of drunk people and Geodude. People often caught them to help them with a lot of work, especially those regarding strength. Being a Rock-type, it was resistant to a lot of things excluding Water and Grass type attacks, but among the mountainous place behind the famous Mt. Silver, there weren’t any Water or Grass types for which Geodude were always useful.
After cleaning a couple of bottles, the barman noticed that the door opened abruptly and a man in a brown coat with a hat of the same color, rushed into the bar, walking with the rhythm of the horrible music that played and that the drunk workers sang. These, half-naked and completely focused on what they were doing, paid little attention to the stranger who had never been in the bar before.
The man was apparently strong, moving a couple of drunk-filled tables as he approached the counter. The barman started fetching a beer and the man just sat near him, waiting patiently for the thick glass to be full of the alcohol. Once he received it, he drank a small bit, leaving it on the counter again. He looked directly into the barman’s eyes, although the humble worker could not see this.
“I’m looking for a woman.” started the stranger with a serious voice.
“Where do you think you are?!” was the response of the worker, obviously bothered. He had thought that the stranger was looking for a woman to stay the night with, and he was tired of those requests due to the drunk laborers usually asking it.
“Red haired, middle height, blue eyes and glasses.” The stranger followed, describing the woman he was looking for.
The barman opened his eyes wide. He sweated and quickly got his fist and threw it towards the man.
This proved to be a mistake, however, as the stranger grabbed the punch with ease and twisted it, making his wrist crack. The barman yelled in pain and the man kept on doing it, further increasing the volume of the man’s groans. Nonetheless, the laborers kept on partying with their Geodude, who were happy tackling themselves or the wall without any particular reason.
“Where is her?”
The barman tried to recall the strategy that he had been taught to avoid these kind of situations but the pain in his hand was just unbearable and his memory wasn’t working.
“She told me… not… to tell…anyone…” managed the poor worker between screams of pains. “To…knockout…anyone…who asked…for her…”
The buffed up man released the man’s hands but before the latter could catch his breath, the former was already grabbing its neck, effectively suffocating him.
“Don’t bother. I’m much stronger; just tell me where she is. I need her urgently, I don’t want to hurt her.” Promised the man, while he kept on suffocating the barman in front of him.
“On…her…way…to…..Mt…………..Silver…….” were the last words of the barman before passing out. The man lifted him and threw him across the room. Nobody noticed, everyone was so drunk and distracted to even notice.
The man left the bar as soon as he could, and kept through the mountains towards Mt. Silver as the barman had indicated. In the middle of the way, he stopped to see the dark trees, the dark sky, and the black panorama around him. He sat on his place and took off his glasses slowly, revealing a couple of brown eyes, similar to the color of his coat.
He began to question himself why to do this. Why to search for her after the incident in the Sevii Islands. He had tried to help, but had embarrassed himself after Red had beaten him. After Blue had beaten him. After he had tried to fight Team Rocket in an effort to hold them from conquering the Isles with the help of both young but talented trainers. How could those two become so evil?
By this time, it was about a year or more since he had gone to live in the shadows, where he thought he belonged. Since he had retired, he hadn’t known anything of Pokémon with the possible exception of the Clefairy that danced and sang every certain nights in the caved he lived in, and even then, he could just hear them and not see them.
He was used to living alone. To begin with, when he was a little kid, he had lived with his poor parents until a villainous man had taken him to live with him for a year. After that, he had escaped to see his parents but had been caught by the man and his bodyguard, the former killing the people that he most loved. The bodyguard, who at least had heart, took him and raised him for the rest of his life in Quest Island. There, he had learned the art of fighting and raising Pokémon, but it took him almost 10 years to perfect this since he was on his own completely: the bodyguard barely gave him food and a place to sleep.
He had done jobs in Seven Island to raise a little money and have himself a Pokéball, catching a Machop with it, but weakening it with his bare hands. Done this, he started battling and training himself with Machop, and, through travelling across the islands, he caught himself a couple of Pokémon and met a couple of friends in the way. And after having enough money to have a ship back to Kanto, he came back to Vermilion and from there started his adventure just like anyone wanting to have Gym Badges.
He had a natural talent for it, he had managed to raise some strong beasts and overcome their shortcomings by specializing on Machop’s type, which, to him, represented his own style of battling: brute force. But not reckless brute force; planned brute force. This differentiated him from every other Fighting type specialist: he planned, he knew that his brute force alone wouldn’t be enough to be opponents and had learned it when Saffron City’s Fighting Dojo had lost its status of official Gym to the full-of-Psychic-types Gym of Sabrina, a girl of his age. But despite the disadvantage, he learned that Fighting types could learn other kinds of moves, like Rock types. Those other kinds of strengths of Pokémon were the ones to be exploited.
Eventually, he had defeated the Gyms in all Kanto and had gone to the Pokémon League. The thing was that the Elite Four was incomplete by those times and, thus, there was no champion and no fourth member. Upon his arrival, another boy named Lance had come for the same goal. In that moment, both kids were tested. They exceeded the expectative by far, and were offered a position as a member of the Elite Four. They agreed, but none of them occupied the champion position. Instead, it was left for the one who would beat the Elite Four. And so, the third member of the previous Elite Four was kicked out. But he wouldn’t let things as they were, and swore revenge against all of the Elite Four members. He nicknamed himself The Mask. But only people who really knew him told him by his real name.
Real name. He had a real name, but given the circumstances, he had changed it (instead of using a nickname like The Mask) according to the bodyguard’s advice early on his life.
“Better rise untouched,” began the quote. “Although… remember your enemy’s names. No oblivescence.”
At first, he hadn’t understood what the meaning of that phrase. But soon, during hard moments, he remembered “Better rise untouched, no oblivescence.” and started to understand. He could take revenge; it wasn’t bad, but in a good way. Never harm someone completely, never kill, but make suffer. Make understand people that he was nobody’s fool. However, while rising to his glory, he couldn’t apply this: he had to restrain himself since using violence when he was not to was a great mistake. He had even heard that Lance had used violence in his early adolescence and further, and maybe he was hiding something he didn’t want to reveal.
Anyway, things in the league were perfect until, one day like another, a challenger came in. Blue Oak. The kid had potential, he had Pokémon of around his level and even beyond and his technique was remarkable. He was beaten, but proud of it. The same happened with the next challenger, Red, although this kid was certainly a prodigy for battles. Amazing level and expertise in battling, Red was bound to be the champion and even more.
After their decisive and epic showdown, with Red winning, Blue and Red kept on the region for a while although they went a couple of times to the Sevii Islands. After an incident which our shady character does not know that happened, Red went to train to Mt. Silver while Blue stayed as the Gym Leader of Viridian, replacing Giovanni. Team Rocket was apparently disbanded.
However, another previous villain came into the picture. The Mask had made himself stronger and had developed a lethal power. He could lower Pokémon levels to strengthen himself even more. Our heroes, and the other Elite Four members, were rendered helpless against this power and their Pokémon’s levels were reduced. This caused Agatha, the eldest member, to retire after a trauma. Lance and our character were able to withstand the shock and use their Pokémon anyhow.
But the first member, Lorelei, suffered the most. Her Pokémon’s level, all of them, were reduced to zero. They disappeared; The Mask took their levels for his own, thus traumatizing Lorelei and leaving her to return to her homeland. Our hero tried to help her out, but it was useless: she was very affected. Lapras, Cloyster, Jynx, Piloswine (obtained after she was beaten by Red), Dewgong, and even Slowbro, who wasn’t part of her roster anymore, were “absorbed” by the beast. Not having more power, The Mask left to unknown places and, as time passed, people forgot about him again, focusing on the emerging Team Rocket that was threatening Johto.
After this, a new hero named Ethan came and disbanded Team Rocket for real, challenging the Elite Four and, once again, our protagonist found himself beaten. With weaker Pokémon, but still beaten. Our man kept in the Elite Four for a while, with Lance being Champion, two new members of his level in that time, named Will and Karen, and his friend, ex-Gym Leader Koga, who had ascended to Elite Four.
And everything went perfect, until the day in which The Mask attacked Lorelei in Floe Island, trying to remove her from Earth. The Elite Four went and attacked The Mask in an attempt to finish him despite the fact that the ones needing revenge were our hero and Lance. This time, The Mask used its power to “convert” both Red and Blue to his side, and revive Team Rocket to take over the Island. It was amazing how much he had grown since the last time, Red and Blue were amazingly strong and not even the Elite Four combined managed to take them down.
But this time, The Mask wouldn’t be so benevolent. He killed Karen, he killed Will, he left Koga and our hero mortally wounded, but couldn’t finish Lance off because he was smart and retreated when he had to. Lorelei, despite her depression, managed to escape through Icefall Cave but her whereabouts were unknown from there on. Koga and our hero kept on looking for the mask with their identities hidden, but the Mask, recovered from the amount of energy wasted on converting Red and Blue, found them and finished off their Pokémon but not them since, once again, they managed to survive.
Our hero then entered a sick mind state in which he would refuse any Pokémon interaction. He couldn’t go to Quest Island since it was going to be captured, so he dug deep into Mt. Moon and made a “Secret Annex”, living on water and Oran Berries which he planted on a shrine near his place. And there he could hear the Clefairy from time to time, singing in their happiness.
But Kanto and Johto soon became shrouded in darkness because of The Mask’s makings and the power obtained by eliminating the Elite Four and their Pokemon. Blue and Red on their side, Ethan was killed and so was his friend Lyra and rival Silver. Every hero gone. Nobody knew anything from Koga neither from our hero, ever again until those days in which the man came to the bar.
The Mask began a regimen of terror, people were forced to work although they had certain freedom, to avoid massive rebellions. People against The Mask would perish, they would be followed and killed. Their Pokémon would be killed, too: The Mask saw no benefit in absorbing the levels anymore since he had obtained all the power he wanted. And although other regions were concerned about this, any action they’d do would affect the whole region, or any help sent would be “absorbed” by The Mask.
Yet one day, our hero woke up and looked at what surrounded him. He found himself hiding. He escaped from the mental trance and realized he had to do something to stop the problem. He had lost his strong character and it was time to gain it back. He couldn’t do it alone, though, he had to look for someone to help him. And through rumors, and a lot of hard-work, he had managed to buy some decent by sneaky clothes and have information of who he was looking.
And there he was. He rose to his feet, put his glasses again, and kept ongoing. Mt. Silver wasn’t far.