8th January 2010, 01:05 PM
Let's get funky!
A Galactic Christmas
Hey ho, everyone. Christmas is now over and so is the fanfiction competition. That's right, the results are in and unfortunately, I did not place. Nevertheless, here is my entry! Give it a read and let me know what you think!
December 25th 2009
Today I am beginning a journal. Today is the day I begin my journal because today is the first day I have known the date in a very long time, today is also the day I got my journal. I will tell you, journal, why I know the date today and I have not before, but first I should say what my name is. Unfortunately, I do not remember my real name; the only name I know myself by is ‘Grunt’. I do not think my name was always Grunt because there are others who are also called Grunt and the purpose of a name is to distinguish someone; I have seen many people with many different names. Master Cyrus for example is the only Cyrus and the Commanders too have unique names. They were once all called ‘Grunt’ too, that is why I believe I have a name other than ‘Grunt’, but unfortunately I do not know it, so I cannot tell you it.
The reason I know what the date it is today is because today is Christmas day and Christmas day is December 25th. The reason I know it is Christmas day is because Grunt told me. Grunt is not me. Well, Grunt is me, but my friend Grunt is not me, he is my friend who is also called Grunt. Anyway, Grunt is the one who told me it was Christmas, I do not know how he found out it was Christmas, but I believe his information to be accurate. Grunt has just one Pokémon, it is a Houndour, he is the only Grunt in our division who owns a Houndour, so sometimes we call him Houndour Grunt. I am not even as unique as him, I own a Stunky and a Zubat, and there are several Grunts in our division who own these same two Pokémon.
Today Grunt approached me and asked me if I wanted to know a secret. I was intrigued by this, we have been trained and trained so that we have no secrets from each other and from our superiors, we have had the individuality forced out of us, we have been made into trained monkeys, not one of us saw it coming and not one of us fought against it. I think there was a time before we were like this, but I can’t say for sure. The way to return to being allowed to think freely is to become a Commander, before that you cannot think freely under any circumstances. However, in order to become a Commander, you must show ingenuity, it is a vicious circle.
Anyway, Grunt asked me if I wanted to know a secret and I, naturally intrigued by this, told him that I did.
“It’s Christmas Day today,” informed Grunt.
“What does that mean?” I asked, at the time I couldn’t remember what Christmas was, I had a vague idea, but I really wasn’t sure.
“Don’t you remember Christmas?” asked Grunt.
“No,” I admitted, “It’s a special day though, isn’t it? It’s a big deal, right?”
“A very big deal,” informed Grunt, “You spend the day with your family and give each other presents and everyone’s nice to each other for one day.”
“Do you think Master Cyrus will be nice to us today?” I asked.
“No,” answered Grunt, “If Cyrus was going to act any differently today, he’d have let us know it was Christmas.”
“Have you told anyone else it’s Christmas?” I asked.
“No,” answered Grunt, “I only wanted to tell you.”
I should tell you now that Grunt is a man and I am also a man. I am adding this because I have heard that men and women sometimes pay each other special attention so that they can touch each other and be touched, but that was not the reason Grunt was talking to me. I once heard that two men could even touch each other, but I don’t know if that’s true.
“Why me?” I asked, I felt privileged, but I did not know what I had done to deserve this privilege.
“Because you’re different,” explained Grunt, “Most of the Grunts in our division have lost all imagination and free thought, just Cyrus wanted them to, but I’ve seen you, I’ve seen you thinking and you have a second’s delay when following an order where you think about it, not like the others who would walk off a cliff if one of the Commanders told them to and would knowingly end their own life if Master Cyrus told them to. You’re like me.”
I was honoured to be told I was unique but I had spent so long being convinced that I was not that I found it hard to believe.
“Alright,” I answered, “What does it mean then? What are we going to do about Christmas?”
“We’re going to celebrate Christmas,” explained Grunt, “We have to get each other presents and then we have to leave the HQ, telling anyone we see that we’re going on a top secret assignment, even if it’s a Commander and we have to tell them that we’re not allowed to tell them what it is. By the time they find out that there is no secret assignment, we’ll have already celebrated Christmas.”
“Will it be worth it?” I asked in fear, I did not want to face the wrath of Cyrus.
“Christmas is magical,” answered Grunt, “It’s the only thing I can remember about my life before Team Galactic.”
“So there was life before Team Galactic!” I exclaimed, I was happy that someone had finally confirmed what I had been suspecting for a long time.
“So are you gonna do it?” asked Grunt, “Are you gonna get me a present?”
“Yes!” I answered with excitement, “And you’re gonna get me a present?”
“I’ve already got you one,” replied Grunt with a smile.
This smile may not seem like much but Grunts are not allowed to show emotion. Sometimes we do, but it is always frustration, rage, jealousy, sorrow or other negative emotions, it has been a very long time since I have seen anyone show happiness. Now, not only was I seeing happiness but I was experiencing it. I like happiness, it is a good feeling. Grunt walked away from me and told me he would see me later, I wasn’t to worry about us meeting up, he would worry about that, I just had to worry about getting him a present. And I was worried, I had no idea what to get him, where I would get it from or even a very clear idea of what a present was.
I spent the next few hours trying to find a present for Grunt. I did not know what he would like, I felt the present I got him should be unique and tailored to him, but he was not unique so how could his present be unique? The only unique thing about him was that he owned a Houndour and I wasn’t sure if he would appreciate a Houndour based present. After all, he had not chosen to be Houndour Grunt, his Houndour had been assigned to him. But then I stopped to think and I remembered that he had told me that I was unique because I thought and that that made me like him, we were unique together. That meant if I wanted to get him a gift that would be unique to him, it would have to be a gift that was unique to me as well. I realise that if a gift is unique to him it cannot also be unique to me, but it should be obvious what I mean even though I cannot find the words to accurately express myself, this is a talent which Master Cyrus has worked hard to strip from me. But he has not succeeded, not yet anyway.
Before I had this journal I had often thought about the fact that I would have liked to commit my thoughts to paper. To immortalise my musings so that perhaps one day other Grunts would read them. Maybe even people who were not Grunts would read them, but I tried not to think about people who were not part of Team Galactic too much. I was told they were the enemy, but I found this hard to believe. Being a Grunt is being oppressed, it is being half human, even being a Commander is not being fully human, like the Grunts, the Commanders do not have names like others in the world, they simply have the names assigned to them by Master Cyrus. Therefore the only real human in Team Galactic must be Master Cyrus and how can he be a real human when he strips so many people of their humanity? Surely therefore the only real humans are those outside of Team Galactic, so while I naturally accept that some of them are our enemies, they surely can’t all be?
Then I suddenly remembered that Grunt had a gift for me and for the first time in a very long time indeed, I felt excitement. I wondered what wonderful present Grunt would have gotten me and I began to hope, another thing I had not done in longer than I can remember. I suspect that I had not had these feelings before I joined Team Galactic, but I can’t say for sure because like I said before, I have no distinct memories of life before Team Galactic.
Knowing that my present would be excellent, I was particularly determined to get Grunt a present that he would appreciate, but as much as I thought, I could not think of anything that I could get him that he would not be able to get himself. In the end, I decided to go outside of the HQ in order to think. We are not allowed to leave HQ unless we are on a break, in which case we are allowed to gamble in the casino. We are given a small amount of money when we leave and we are expected to give any profit we may make back when we return. If we return with less money than we were assigned, we would be expected to pay it back. Therefore it was profitable for Master Cyrus to allow us to go to the casino. You would think that, in full knowledge of this lose-lose situation Grunts would not go to the casino, but they do every day, very few still possess the intelligence to realise that they only stand to lose from this arrangement.
As I left I was asked why I was leaving by the guards on duty, I told them I was on my break and I was going to the casino. Without bothering to validate my story the guards agreed that I should be let out, they did not even consider the possibility that I was lying. Even if they had been intelligent enough to understand the concept of lying, most Grunts lacked the intelligence to lie anyway. I am beginning to realise that I do think of myself as different to the others, I am better than them, I know I’m better than them. Perhaps I deserve Christmas and that is why Grunt chose me.
When I got outside I walked in the direction of the casino so that I would not arouse suspicion and as I walked I saw something on the floor. It was a strange red object that I felt I some how recognised, after a moment of inspection I realised that it was an item of clothing that is to be worn on the head, I believe it is called a hat. I recognised the hat for some reason, perhaps I battled the original owner of the hat. I don’t remember the people I beat in battle, only those who beat me, that is the way Master Cyrus says it should be. I didn’t care much for the origin of the hat but I knew that it was the perfect present for Grunt, clearly his biggest passion in the world was being unique. He was eager to be unique and although he would not be allowed to wear this hat when anybody but me could see it, he would be very happy that he could wear it when nobody but me could see it. It would let him know that he was still human.
I stuffed the hat into one of my pockets and I prayed that no one would notice the large bulge in my pocket. I returned to HQ and no comments were made on the fact that I very obviously had something in my pocket, I suppose the Grunts were not intelligent enough to look. Each time I interact with a Grunt other than Houndour Grunt I realise how much I am superior to them, perhaps I will be a Commander one day. I returned the money I borrowed to the appropriate guard who did not question the fact that I had the exact amount of money that I left with, which surely meant I did not go to the casino at all.
I returned to my quarters, where I eagerly waited Grunt coming to get me and I didn’t have to wait very long. I don’t know how long I had to wait because there is no clock in my quarters, but I don’t think it was very long. Grunt came to my quarters with a sack and told me to put my present for him into the sack, he did not look as I did so. We left HQ together and there were no problems, eventually we arrived at a large tree with a thick vine hanging from it and Grunt instructed me to climb to the top.
I could not have fathomed what I would see inside this tree, the decorations blew my mind. Grunt must have been planning this day for weeks, no months. The walls were red and there were all sorts of contraband decorations hanging from them, I’m not sure of the names of all of them. Grunt told me the names, but I’ve forgotten most of them. They were things like tinsel, fairy lights, things like that, nice sounding things. In HQ, all of the walls are bare, that is the way Master Cyrus commands it to be. Once a Grunt painted one of the walls in their quarters blue and Master Cyrus had one of the Commanders flog her. If Master Cyrus found out about this, Grunt would surely be killed, and so would I probably. There was a tree in there also. The tree had lots of lights and shiny things on it, just like the rest of the room. There was a machine of some sort in the corner and its sole purpose seemed to be to play music, I had never seen such a machine in my life.
“This is magical, Grunt,” I remarked dreamily.
“I know,” answered Grunt, “It’s taken me a long time, but it’s worth it. I’m glad you like it.”
The two of us simply sat together for a long time and Grunt put the bag with the presents in it under the tree, apparently that’s what you do with presents at Christmas. I didn’t remember this, I’m so glad I have Grunt. Grunt produced a meal of some kind, some kind of meat I think with all sorts of delicious things all over it, I don’t remember the last time I ate something that tasted so good. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I ate something that tasted at all. The food brought back a memory of some kind, but I soon forgot it so I can’t put it down here. After we finished eating, Grunt told me that was the time to exchange gifts, that’s the way his family always did it. I was jealous that Grunt remembered so much about his family and I told him this, but he assured me he could only remember Christmas day and he promised me I would remember too. I think I did remember for a moment then, but I forgot that too.
I gave Grunt his hat and he put it on immediately; he liked it as much as I thought he would. After walking around modelling his new hat for a few minutes, Grunt ran to the tree and produced his present for me, a book of some kind and a writing implement, which I gather is a pen. At the time I did not know what to make of this, but this was the best present anyone could have given me, it was you, journal. Grunt gave me the ability to write down what I was thinking; I think it will stop me becoming one of them. You know, it will stop me becoming a Grunt.
I don’t know if anyone will ever find out what the two of us did today but I don’t care. Even if Master Cyrus does have us killed, it would have been worth it. I have enjoyed today more than I have enjoyed anything I can remember and I wouldn’t give up that enjoyment for anything. The only sad part about today was knowing that tomorrow, we’ll just be Grunts again.
8th January 2010, 03:36 PM
May Still Have Hope
Re: A Galactic Christmas
9th January 2010, 12:40 AM
A black and white world
Re: A Galactic Christmas
I like it. The awkward style makes it interesting...although also a bit odd because I don't know what continuity you're working in. I'm leaning towards Special because the grunts are shown to have pretty much no minds of their own in that series, but I have a feeling it's gameverse, which has the grunts being more wacky and stupid than brainless drones.
Also, something tells me Cyrus wouldn't kill them for this, since he's planning to kill everything ANYWAY. Although likely they wouldn't know that so they might *think* he would.
9th January 2010, 01:02 PM
Let's get funky!
Re: A Galactic Christmas
As it happens gameverse is all I know of the DPPt arc, I haven't read Special or seen the anime that far. (Well I've read a bit of Special, but I've only met the Grunts very briefly) And yeah, I was aware that this isn't really representative of the Grunts in the game as they say things like "I just got owned by a kid!" and "I am the gruntiest of the grunts" but I thought I'd go ahead and use my artistic license a bit =P
Originally Posted by Blackjack Palazzo
Your comment about Cyrus is also right and I actually didn't think about that. I suppose that then is something of an error, but you offered a believable explanation for it yourself so what the hell! =D
Glad you both liked it!