Well, this was originally just a oneshot about Red before his final match with Gold. I started thinking of making a full-fledged novelization of the games and got a good 4-5 yes's when I asked if anyone would be interested, so I started plotting and here it is. Here's the oneshot that started it and the prologue (if you just want to skip to the prologue, ctrl-f "Rain Dance"). Enjoy!
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Red-Haired Thief
…: A Pokemon Gold/Silver Oneshot in Red’s POV
My foot fell into the loose gravel that layered the mountain trail before me like a thin and creamy fudge frosting on a sweet, sweet ten-layer chocolate cake. The rich taste would always linger in my satisfied mouth as I rubbed my eyes, being blinded as I walked with excited steps through the towering golden arches, bathed within the glorious, brilliant lights of the beautiful Indigo Plateau that defined the cutthroat battles that raged on in front of me in thrilling detail to bring to a conclusion each every perfect birthday as I grew up, my small hands grasping lovingly those of my mom who baked those delectable pastries. My mom who I had left behind for a light I couldn’t see.
I trotted along the path carved into the rock that surrounded me, my worn sneakers kicking up stones and dirt, my hand running along the wall as my eyes pierced through the darkness, searching relentlessly for the future that was among my most desperate desires. When you reach the top of world, what else is there left to do? Try to climb higher, obviously. That’s why I’m here, scaling the heights of Mt. Silver. Professor Oak told me I would meet my next challenge here. I only hoped he wasn’t referring to the wild pokemon as I watched my venusaur mercilessly throw a rhyhorn into the mountain with its mighty vines, leaving the poor rock-type to be buried in the crumbling wall.
I sighed as I continued my trek. Ever since the professor had given me my first pokemon, the venusaur whose victorious roar now shook the ground atop the range dividing Kanto and Johto, I spent my nights fantasizing about that one divine moment that I would stand at the pinnacle of the coveted Pokemon League, brandishing my trophy, my spoils of victory, my proof of ascending to the highest of ranks among pokemon trainers, the champion, the undefeatable master. That far off glimmer in the future, that light I was sure I would one day reach, drove me into battle against thousands of opponents. I was guided to victory by my urge to continue onward to my certain destiny.
That moment finally came when I beat Green in our final battle on the Indigo Plateau. My goal was finally met. I was the greatest trainer, the strongest trainer. No one could beat me. I held tight to my title with an iron fist that couldn’t be broken. But maybe that wasn’t what I really wanted. I enjoyed every battle I fought as I tried to get to this point. But after I got there, that thrill slowly depreciated with each victory. Maybe part of that thrill is the uncertainty of what’s to follow. I wanted to win so that I could move on to my next challenge, and keep going. But from here, where is there left to go? If I win now, I would only fight another battle later for the same goal, again and again.
I continued to walk forward. Professor Oak told me to come here. It was Professor Oak who had set me off on my journey to begin with. My heart beat with a sudden excitement at the thought. Listening to the professor had to be worth it. It almost felt like it was worth it just to be here right now, striding along a mountain path, my shoes digging into ground that, until now, had been unbeaten, to travel into new territory and experience something new, to face the unknown once again as I had three years ago. I didn’t know what Professor Oak had in mind for me on this little mission he had given me, and that uncertainty seemed to rekindle the old flame I had before I became the champion.
Yes, this journey was definitely necessary for me to grow even further. It was certainly a fact that humans are just not meant to reach perfection, to be the greatest at their endeavors, to never fail. People live because they believe in what the future has in store for them. However, when that future becomes the present, the glory and feeling of achievement will gradually go away and it eventually becomes a means to an end. A person’s will to live must be infinite, but what becomes of that will when that person has no future? People must continue to fail to keep living. I pulled my vest closer to my body as the air around me grew chillier and grinned. So Professor Oak had sent me here to fail.
And now I could see the world expand below me. Here I stood at the top of Mt. Silver, only me and the loyal partners who have fought by my side for the past three years as my only companions at this lonely point on our green globe. I was truly standing on top of the world where no one could reach me. But I couldn’t help but feel uneasy. However, with that uneasiness came a sense of excitement that sent my stomach hurling into a fit of somersaults. A feeling I haven’t felt in three years. What could this challenge be that Professor Oak was so determined that I fail in? I know it couldn’t be my imagination, my anxiety of coming to such a dangerous place. I was destined to fall from the top of the world.
And then he came. Venusaur stirred with low growls, eyeing the path we had come from with such ferocity. I heard the footsteps that bounced off the walls into the darkness as well. It couldn’t be a wild pokemon. No wild pokemon had ever gotten Venusaur so excited, not even Mewtwo. I smiled. Professor Oak’s challenge had arrived. The boy in the black-and-gold baseball cap looked at me with a fire in his eyes. The old fire I carried three years ago. We didn’t need to speak. We knew what we were here for. In a split second, our pokeballs were in our hands before you could blink. A pikachu charged out of my ball, its fur surging with electric sparks, and an aipom out of his, flexing its muscles mockingly at me.
Well now, Professor Oak, let’s see just what waits in the future beyond this battle. I won’t fall without a fight, Gold!
Prologue: Rain Dance
The field was quiet except for the occasional crow of a roaming hoothoot. The night was cloudy, but the moon was able to shine a dim light through the thin overcast. A slowpoke blinked its eyes lazily as its gaze surveyed the landscape. The trees of the surrounding forests shook lightly with the gentle breeze. The wind slowly picked up and a small group of happily chatting hoppip was blown out of the tall, unruly grass and into the dark abyss that was the southern Johto Region. The slowpoke blinked again and let out a loud yawn. As it rolled over onto its back in the rustling grass and drifted off to a heavy sleep, a rumble of thunder roared in the sky and a steady stream of rain began to fall.
The water splattered onto the bright red tent set against the boundary of a forest nearby. The drumming sound of the drops reverberated around the small space in which a group of four men were sprawled out on the floor in sleeping bags, making small movements and snoring in their sleep. One of the men sat up slowly, rubbing his eyes. He scowled as he heard the rain hit the roof of the tent and reached into the corner, grabbing a large red hiking vest, pulling it over his blank white T-shirt. He eased his way into a pair of dusty blue jeans and slipped a couple bulky brown boots on. Adjusting a red baseball cap over his neatly combed black hair, he carefully crawled over his sleeping comrades and squeezed through the door. He looked out onto the landscape as it was soaked with the water, the grass startling to glimmer in the last few bleak glows of the moon as orange crept into the dark sky in the east.
As the man’s thoughts drifted off to the distant town of Pallet, just on the other side of the mountain range separating the two regions of Kanto and Johto, a woman yawned and stretched, rising from her bed and letting the blankets fall lightly around her feet. She drowsily stepped into a pair of fluffy white slippers in front of her and walked down a carpeted hallway lined with potted, leafy plants at even intervals. Her oversized pajamas and slow, tired pace giving her the appearance of wandering ghost in the empty dark house.
The woman walked into the small, spotless kitchen and reached into a cupboard for a glass. While she stood in front of the tap and filled the glass, she drew the curtains back from the window above and glanced out at the downpour splashing against the glass. She drained the glass in a few gulps and sighed, closing her eyes and leaning against the counter doubled over. “What a terrible night for you to be out there,” she spoke softly. She brushed a few strands of black hair out of her eyes and glanced at a portrait hanging from the wall nearby. It pictured her dressed in a flowing, light blue dress, her long hair held back in a bun, standing next to a broad shouldered man in a black suit. Even though it was to be a formal shot, her husband had refused to go without his favorite red baseball cap. In her arms was a small baby boy. His hair, having grown in quite a bit at this point in his life, stuck up at an angle similar to that of his father’s when it wasn’t combed. She smiled half-heartedly at the baby in the picture. “I wish I knew where you are, too.”
The man gave an exasperated groan after his survey of the area. His hair and clothes were now matted down against his body from the rain falling around him. He frowned and scratched his back, his body starting to feel tight after the night in the tent. He was really starting to depreciate compared to his last quest just over three years ago. His thoughts were disrupted when he heard the distinct sound of a zipper behind him. The flap of the tent fell open to reveal the face of a younger man under a small stock of messy brown hair. The second man smiled when he noticed him. The man rolled his shoulders and straightened himself up, feeling his face glow red from being caught showing his age.
“The times are starting to catch up with you, eh, Crimson?” the younger man said with a grin. His voice was rather high pitched and cracked every now and then. At first, it annoyed Crimson beyond anything else, but after the last few months of working with the young professor now adjusting his round glasses, he grew used to it and hardly noticed it anymore.
“I suppose they are,” Crimson grumbled and let a smile crease his face as well.
The man with eyeglasses pushed himself out of the tent and stood to his full height, which fell at least a good foot under Crimson. He was wearing his signature white lab coat over a teal dress shirt and brown slacks. Crimson never admired the professor for his attire of choice when it came to travelling, but also decided to let that go.
Crimson let out another tired breath and turned back to the soaked prairie spreading out around them. “I must thank you, Professor Elm,” he said slowly, “for helping me continue my research.”
The young man, Elm, nodded in a silent response and walked up to stand next to the taller man. “When Professor Oak discovered those three pokemon, I become interested as well,” he said. A low growl sounded in Crimson’s throat and the professor scratched his chin. “Of course, one must raise the question,” he continued, “of what happened between you and Professor Oak. I doubt there was anyone who wasn’t shocked when they heard the dream team that started the practice of pokemon training had broken up.”
Crimson merely shrugged. “Just as time is stealing my health, it also dissolved our partnership,” he replied. He watched as a pair of sentret scurried across the plains towards the forest, probably having been caught in the sudden downpour while out doing some early morning scavenging. “Nothing lasts forever, Professor, even the bonds between humans. Everyone has goals that can sometimes coincide, but eventually they do break apart.” The sentret had now climbed up a tree and started picking berries from the branches. A beedrill appeared from the shadows and flew toward one of them. The targeted sentret cried out in fright but the other simply continued to eat.
“I see,” Elm answered as he watched the scene that developed before them. “There is one thing I don’t understand though. Why isn’t Professor Oak interested in this project?”
Crimson snorted a laugh at this. “For being his disciple, Professor Elm, you sure no very little about Professor Oak,” he said. “While he’s a researcher, he also cares very deeply for pokemon. That is one of his vital weaknesses as a professor. He won’t get anywhere if he cares more for their welfare than for the benefit of mankind from discovering everything we can about them.”
“But, Professor Oak is trying to complete the pokedex, right?” Professor Elm interjected.
“He is,” Crimson replied, “but he believes the information we are searching for will disrupt the natural balance of the world. He believes humans shouldn’t know the secrets behind the legendary pokemon of life and death.” He looked down to the young professor who raised an eyebrow. However, before Crimson could answer this unasked question, the tent door opened once again and two more men walked out into the rain. Crimson nodded toward them. “Good morning, Aureate, Sterling.”
“Good morning,” the shorter man, Sterling, replied with a smile. His short black hair was a mess and spiked down in front of his kind, almost childish eyes. He shivered against the cold rain as he was only wearing a golden colored hoodie.
The other man had long red hair combed back the length of his back and wore a long sleeved polyester shirt of a dark purple hue. He simply glared at Crimson and Professor Elm with annoyance in his dark eyes. “I hope we’re close,” Aureate said with a low grumble as he glanced around at the raining falling around him. “I can’t I believe I agreed to come on this trip. You’re just lucky I’m interested in finding strong pokemon.”
Aureate’s eyes widened and looked up to Sterling, who had just patted him roughly on the back with a chuckle. “Cheer up, Aureate,” he said. “New Bark Town is getting pretty quiet, don’t you think? This was a good chance for us to put a bit more excitement back into our lives.” Aureate gave Sterling a scowl while Crimson and Professor Elm watched them with pitiful grins. The group then packed up the tent and sleeping bags in silence and threw their travelling packs over their backs. Everyone turned to Crimson as he stood to his full height and stretched his legs.
“Today’s the day,” he said and pulled a small device resembling a watch out of his pocket. He pressed a button and the screen blinked to a lively green light. The display showed a rather simple map that only showed pathways and directions. A label on the upper right corner of the screen named the name “Union Cave.” “Mr. Pokemon downloaded a map of the cave onto my pokegear and has marked the spot where we believe the egg is.” He held his free arm up and pointed forward.
The other men nodded and followed him over the hill. The slope came to a mound of earth. The age old cave had obviously suffered centuries of weathering. The roof was a crumbling shell of its former glory. If it weren’t for the lose boulders and rocks, it would be a small plateau. The grass around the cave was dead from being buried under countless stones that had broken away and piled around the mouth of the cave, making it smaller than it had been years ago. Union Cave was one of the most peculiar spots in the Johto Region, attracting all people from tourists looking to take pictures and find souvenirs to travelers looking to challenge the cave. Due to its instability, many of these daring people had died in accidents. Those who had survived the cave speak of a monster living in the depths. Some of the local farmers have also claimed to hear horrifying cries occasionally coming from the cave.
Crimson lead the group over to the mouth that led deeper into the earth than their eyes could see. He stepped on a stone and twisted his heel against it. The stone sunk into the soaked ground and slipped away into the cave. Crimson quickly stepped back and regained his balance, then cleared his throat, pulling a coil of thick rope from a strap on the side of his bag. A hook was tied to the end that he struck into the dirt. “I’ll go first,” he said and faced the other three with stern eyes. “Don’t follow until I tell you to.”
They nodded and he squatted down and rolled over, sticking his legs into the small opening and, pushing the rest of his body slowly through. The rain rushed down his body as it fell with him into the cave below. Once he felt the muddy slope give away, he kicked his feet into the wall of the cave to giving himself footing and ducked his head through the opening, out of the sight of his companions who waited anxiously. Crimson dug into his pant pockets and pulled out a small flashlight, clicking it on. The sound bounced off the wet walls, giving a lazy echo, as he aimed the light downward and saw a good twenty or thirty foot drop to the floor. Gripping the flashlight in his teeth, he grabbed the rope and descended the wall. Once his feet met the dirt path, he tugged at the rope and shouted, “It’s okay, just watch your step!”
Once Professor Elm, Sterling and Aureate climbed down into the cave after him, the group left the rope to dangle at the entrance to wait for them. As they traversed the cave farther and farther, the feeling of being in a large, endless maze grew heavier on the four men. Crimson led the way with the help of his pokegear and the flashlight kept startled wild pokemon dwelling in the darkness out of their way. The sounds of claws and feet reverberated off the stones all around them and the ground rumbled now and then when an onix or another kind of large pokemon moved. Professor Elm would constantly look back over his shoulder and make a startled yip if he saw a pair of eyes from a sandshrew or paras look back at him.
Crimson’s pokegear started to beep, telling them it was already noon. He looked back and they nodded to his unasked question, collapsing against the walls and dropping their bags to their sides, pulling out sandwiches. They ate their meal in tired silence and continued their quest after what they agreed to be a good half an hour of rest. As they continued, the ground began to slope more, making it trickier for them to walk. They had to take small sliding strides while they pressed their hands to the walls to hold themselves in place. The air was becoming more humid and their throats were becoming dry. Crimson wiped some sweat from his brow and held the flashlight forward again to see what was ahead. The light showed the dark surface of still water several yards ahead of them.
He smiled and turned back to his companions. “This is it,” he said and glanced at his pokegear, spotting the small blinking dot Mr. Pokemon had used to mark their target. He carefully approached the edge of and the light expanded, revealing the water to be a small lake that filled the cavern they now stood in. His eyes squinted and looked around, his heart beating with excitement, until they stopped on a thin stone pillar rising out of the dark water. The pillar ended in a small bowl that held a small white oval object. Smiling to himself, Crimson bent over and started to untie the laces of his boots.
Suddenly, he felt a hand clasp his shoulder, making him gasp in shock and look up to see Sterling smiling down at him. “Don’t worry about it,” Sterling said. “I’ll get it.” He walked to Crimson’s side and took off his own shoes, socks, and hoodie. He dropped his bag with his clothes and dipped his foot into the water. His whole body shivered from the cold, but he shook it off with a grin to the rest of the group and he jumped into the lake. His head reappeared over the water, gasping for breath, before he started his swim toward the pillar. The water felt like it was clinging to his skin and trying to stop his movements, but he fought the sensation stubbornly.
Once he reached the pillar, he realized it was taller than it had looked from the shore. He gripped the rock with a violently shaking hand and pulled himself up and out of the water so that the surface rustled gently around his waist. He reached up and tried to grab the egg, but his wet fingers merely slipped along the smooth surface. He grunted and reached around it, pushing it toward him. The egg rolled over the edge and dropped toward the lake. Sterling quickly caught it between his chest and arm. The other three men who were waiting on the stone floor started to cheer and he looked back to them with a grin and a wink. He let go of the pillar with his other arm and plunged into the chilly water again.
Crimson watched on as Sterling’s head resurfaced, but this time a look of pure terror was painted on his features. His heart leapt in his chest and he took an unconscious step forward. Stones broke off the edge of the floor and dropped into the water with small splashing sounds that broke the eerie silence of the cavern. He noticed Sterling wasn’t moving as the black haired man stared frantically at them. “Sterling, what’s wrong?” he cried out.
Sterling’s breath was coming out in short, quick gasps. His shoulders were thrashing around as the water around him was broken with ferocious waves. “Crimson, help me!” he shouted in an exhausted voice, deathly fear resonating around every syllable. “I can’t move my body!” However, before Crimson could respond, the water seemed to explode behind him. The whole cavern shook and the small geyser came crashing down over the lake like the downpour raining down on the land above. A large, snake-like shape rose over Sterling as he yelled for his comrades, his voice becoming weaker and weaker. The sea blue creature looked down on the struggling man with an angry look in its black eyes.
Crimson watched on, petrified, his face frozen in a surprised gape. He was brought out of his reverie by a splash to his side. He looked down to the dark water as Aureate’s head emerged and he started swimming toward Sterling. The enormous creature watched the red haired man approach and roared at him. Waves fought against Aureate as he swam toward Sterling. He gasped as he felt a cold worse than he’d ever felt before burn against his skin. His legs were roaring in pain as they started severely cramping. He pushed his way to Sterling with his arms and frowned. Sterling’s eyes were closed and his breathing was shallow.
Aureate grabbed the egg still clutched in the man’s arm with both hands and turned toward Crimson and Professor Elm, who were nervously leaning over the edge of the lake and watching them. “Crimson, take the egg and get out of here!” he yelled and, with every ounce of strength he could muster, launched the object in his hands toward them. Crimson mechanically reached out and gripped the soaked egg with both hands, nearly toppling over into the water himself. He sighed and stood up, looking back out to Aureate and Sterling. “Get out of here, Crimson!” Aureate shouted again. He turned around and faced the monster towering about them and pulled an ultra ball out of his pocket with a grin on his face. “I’m not one to let rare and powerful pokemon get away from me.” He thrust the ball at the creature but it simply swung its heavy head at the ball, which shattered on contact.
It roared ferociously again and giant flippers broke the surface on the lake. The water began to rise violently and a large wave grew in front of the creature. Aureate’s cries were drowned out as the water crashed down over him and Sterling. The water rode the shockwave to the edge and splashed up feet above Crimson and Professor Elm, who leapt back. Crimson scowled and turned to Professor Elm. “We have to get out of here,” he said. The creature cried again and another wave came soaring over them, causing the ground around them to start flood. They lifted their soaking feet out of the water and started scrambling up the path they had come from.
As the professor and Crimson ran up the slippery path, the cries of the creature in the lake below began to die out. The cave floor mercifully soon became flatter and drier. Panting for breath, the two men fell against the water and sat down. The egg rested peacefully in Crimson’s arms.
“Was that the rumored monster?” Professor Elm said, his voice coming out in stammering gasps. He looked at the shaking Crimson beside him. “That was a pokemon, though. I’m pretty sure it was a lapras.”
Crimson nodded and then spat on the ground at his feet. “I’m such an idiot,” he said with a growl. “I knew the rumors but didn’t believe them. And now, Sterling and Aureate, even after they volunteered to come along and help us…” His voice broke off as he didn’t want to finish the thought. Professor Elm patted him on the shoulder. Crimson sighed and pushed himself back to his feet. “Come on,” he said. “We’ll have to get back to New Bark Town and let them know what happened.” Without looking at Professor Elm, he started up the cave path again, holding the egg tightly to his chest.
Hope you liked it. Crimson, Sterling, and Aureate are my own characters. They are the parents of Red, Silver, and Gold respectively if you hadn't caught on yet. And as a side note, I've always played the Silver version (for both the gen II and IV games), so I'm used to the hero being Silver. I tried to name him Gold but kept putting Silver by habit and it was driving me nuts, so I'm going to stick with the hero as Silver and the rival as Gold for this fic. Sorry to any Pokemon Special fans who are probably about to eat my head off for this now. `^^