Here's a little story I came up with yesterday! Hopefully, this provides a bit of respite from those who are reading the 100k+ SWCs...
A Macabre Commentary
I often like to laugh at humankind’s ideas of what I should look like. The skull, the scythe, the tall, black-caped figure. Really, all of it is very funny. Oh, I never tire of the shocked faces I get whenever I show up. This one time I came for an elderly Spanish lady, and she tried to grab for her cross to ward me off! I mean really, as if a cross could do her any good against me. Eventually, though, all realize the truth of their situation, and either break down in tears or stoically nod in understanding.
This, of course, would be the point where you wake up and realize this. If you need me to put it bluntly, you are dead. Yes, this floating carapace is not an illusion, and yes, it is actually talking to you. Call me whatever name you wish, but I prefer the moniker Death. It is much more straightforward than any other name. Also, it has a certain ring, don’t you think? Death… just rolls off the tongue!
Anyway, back to business. So, you’re dead, boohoo and all that, but do not fret, I have come to take you to your next life. What, you think we just let your soul go to waste, or let it float up to some big party in the sky? Ha ha, very funny. Unlike you humans, we are all about recycling, and that means recycling the spirit as well as the body. Yes, that’s right, you get to live again! Except it’s not anything like this life. Here, there is a place I must show you. Just a sec, this might hurt a little.
..There. What, you feel a little queasy? Well, I guess that’s to be expected- very few people feel completely settled after their first teleport. This is called Navel Island, a nice island in the middle of nowhere. Literally, nowhere- it shows up on no map, and it cannot be reached by land, sea, air or space travel. Your people have made stories about Navel Island from time to time, sometimes calling it by its true name, sometimes giving it names like Atlantis or the Fields of Asphodel. As with so many things, you humans got it completely wrong; not one of your stories of Navel Island ever accurately described this.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you; those are indeed tiny insects covering every seeable surface on the island. These bugs are more accurately called Nincada, and in many ways they are similar to the cicadas you may know about. A Nincada grows to be a maximum of about ten centimeters long, and about as wide. They are so adorable, are they not? No? You humans have such strange ideas of beauty…
Anyway, despite the absolutely massive number of Nincada, Navel Island is always able to have enough vegetation and water to sustain them all. Look closely, because this is the next life I talked of- you will be reborn as a Nincada, and live your life out on Navel Island for a length of time equal to about ten years. Do not worry though- Nincada are very happy and social creatures, and you will never have the hardships of competition or adversity. Now, it is important to note that there is no night here- your time here on Navel Island will be one of peace, happiness and rest under a warm sun.
After ten years, I will show you what happens. See that rocky surface in the centre of the island? That is Navel Plateau, and it is the place where Nincada undergo metamorphosis. On Navel Plateau, a Nincada who has lived its full life fasts here for about seven days. After this, the Nincada’s shell cracks, and out of the dried husk comes the creature, now reborn as a Ninjask. Here, you can see a few emerging right now. See their glistening black carapaces, their powerful twin scythes… they are such graceful creatures. Ninjask get new, much longer lifespans, equal to about ninety years on average.
Ninjask are sent back to Earth to live out their life. A Ninjask grows for about five years until it reaches a maximum size of about sixty centimeters. After having reached maturity, a Ninjask begins fulfilling its purpose- to protect the weak, the infirm, the mistreated or the threatened people of Earth. You have probably heard tales of heroes who performed great feats while suffering under insurmountable hardships, or unfortunate people who were captured by criminals, only to escape their torturous prisons. Or maybe you know someone who survived a seemingly-incurable disease, or a person who survived several assassination attempts. Almost invariably, these things, and other miracles akin to them, are made possible through the hard work of a Ninjask.
Here, we’re teleporting again, so hold on… there we go. Not so bad the second time, right? Look, we are in a very poorly-maintained hospital. Below us, do you see those shadows lingering over the patients? Those are Ninjask. Pay attention to their scythes- do you see they glow a deep-indigo colour? This means they are bending Aura. Aura is something that pervades every corner of the world. It’s really hard to explain… I guess it could be considered the excess energies of the soul, emitted by every living being. Aura itself is able to do amazing things, like bestow people with miraculous insights or prolong the lives of people, but Ninjask, using their twin scythes, can shape and bend Aura to do much more. With Aura, Ninjask can cure diseases, stop avalanches or even bring people back from the dead. There is truly no limit to what Aura can do in the hands of a Ninjask.
Honestly, you humans are such frail creatures. Every time I pick up one of your souls, I cannot help but marvel that you survived for as long as you did. Without Ninjask, you all would be dropping like flies from diseases, organ failures, bad injuries, or other things! Yes, you owe however much life you got to the workings of a Ninjask, and yet, of course, up until now you had never seen a Ninjask. Well, that is because Ninjask are required to practice a policy of unaccredited intervention- Ninjask may help people, but they may never be known, so they bend Aura to make themselves invisible. I dunno, we just thought it’d be a bad idea freaking out people with bugs that are bigger than their faces.
At birth, every person is assigned a Ninjask. This Ninjask acts as something of a companion to the person throughout his or her life- many stories of imaginary friends are actually about Ninjask who tried to cheer up their child. As the person grows, its Ninjask usually stays around, helping him or her to live a full life. However, there are people who lose their Ninjask, but these are only the most despicable, evil and unredeemable of people. Ninjask are tasked with tending to humanity, and if a person would willingly harm more humans that he would help, than no Ninjask will be assigned to them. Yes, I guess it is cruel, but that is just the way it is.
Now that you know about Ninjask, you probably have a few questions to ask, chiefly why, if Ninjask exist, untimely death still occurs. Well, sadly there are limits to a Ninjask’s power. A Ninjask is able to cure any ailment, fight any hardship, and even bring back someone who died before they should have, but each time, there is a chance that the Ninjask will fail. Like many other things about life, Aura is dictated by chance, and it is never a guarantee that a Ninjask can save their assigned person. However, it is much more common for a Ninjask to successfully save someone than it is for a Ninjask to fail.
Eventually, be it through old age or through untimely demise, a Ninjask’s person dies, and the Ninjask dies alongside him or her. However, that is not the end of the spirit’s life. Here, one more teleport… Wow, you hardly even flinched this time! We are back on Navel Island again. Look into the sky- do you see those floating things? Those are the shells that Ninjask discard when they emerge from their Nincada bodies, and they are called Shedinja. After a Ninjask dies, its spirit returns to Navel Island and inhabits the shell it once discarded, beginning the last part of its life cycle. As a Shedinja, all of one’s time is spent conversing with your fellow Shedinja and ruminating on your life, and Shedinja are given an unlimited amount of time to do so. Basically, infinite bliss. The lucky bastards.
Yes, I myself am also a Shedinja. See, I have the little halo thingy and stubby arms? However, I am a special kind of Shedinja who actually has work I need to do. Now, it’s nice and all to be reborn as a Nincada, but what’s a soul going to do if it doesn’t know how to get to Navel Island? Well, that’s where I come in. Every once in a while, a Shedinja randomly develops powers to freely travel through time and space. These Shedinja become guides of a sort, guiding the dead’s souls to Navel Island and introducing them to what they can expect for the coming years.
And of course, there’s something in it for us too. After a Shedinja with these special powers has guided 1000 souls, the Shedinja may choose to be reborn as a human. Yes, a Nincada’s life is easy and pleasant, a Ninjask’s life is fretless and satisfying, and existence as a Shedinja is just unending bliss, but truly the best times one can have are as a human. Truly, you humans do not realize just how special you are; your art, your wealth of languages and communications, the fascinating ways in which you communicate. You are able to feel such amazing emotions, love, hate, jealousy, sorrow, anger, fear, passion, solace. Truly eternal happiness is nice, but it is nothing in comparison to the short but emotionally-full life of a human.
I’m starting to get sentimental. Bah! Anyway, this is the end of the tour. Welcome to your new life, and I hope you enjoy the years to come. Me, I still have thirty more souls to guide.
Goal Pokemon: Nincada (Simple). 5-10k characters required for Nincada.
Character Count: ~9500