Author's note: I give credit to Edgar Allen Poe. This story would've been a lot better if he wrote it. Carry on.
Charlie sniffled. He gazed into the frosted-over glass panel, wondering what it was like in there. (Cold? Dark? Nothing?) What it would be like when they came out. In the future.
There was so much strange in the world. At least he knew his purpose.
He was hungry. To the pantry, then.
He turned and stopped, mid-stride. He was receiving a new Intel Report.
He was sick. Most Cubchoo were. Large globs of runny mucus would drip out of their noses until the day they evolved. They could sniffle it in, but to no avail. There was no way to hide it, so he had just stopped trying quite a while ago. That was when he received his first Intel report. He was at his house, at the time. That was lucky. He wouldn’t have been able to cope with it had he been outside in the rest of Iccirus City. It scared him at first. It would scare anyone. But it was clear in the first report what it was. It was a message from the future.
Intel Report #1
Dear Mr. Charlie Hall,
The first message had started that way. That was when he was most scared, if only because it knew his name. But it was what he had come to expect. All the Intel Reports started this way.
Do not be alarmed. We have sent this information to you from far in the future. The world has been nearly destroyed and very few life forms, Pokemon or Human, still exist. However, we discovered a cache of cryogenic freeze units as well as the plans for a machine which can send information through time. The freeze units include several different species of Pokemon, as well as humans who had various forms of knowledge which have been useful in rebuilding civilization.
We call upon you to help us rebuild. You must write down the formulas and plans required to build both the cryogenic freeze units and the machine which can send information through time.
The information will be sent directly to you shortly.
Sincerely, the Unova Intelligence Agency
At first Charlie had been confused. Suddenly, in the middle of his normal day, he had been waylaid by a bout of information. He hadn’t been told any of this, it just popped into his head as if he had thought it himself. It scared him. Then, he realized that all of this couldn’t possibly be real. That made it feel slightly better.
Then the second wave of information came. It blinded him with numbers, drowned him with scientific processes which wouldn’t be discovered for years to come. It was all real. He collapsed onto the floor of his home and fell into a fitful sleep.
When he awoke, it was several hours later. He glanced around quickly. The world seemed a whole lot stranger. He was working to save the world, several hundred years in the future. He started immediately.
Charlie blinked a few times, then kept walking to the pantry. This Intel Report was strange, compared to the others. The others were fairly straightforward, but this?
Intel Report #10
Dear Mr. Charlie Hall,
It had started the way they all did. While it was scary then, it was almost welcome now. He was used to it. He enjoyed saving the future.
We regret to inform you, but this will be our last communication. Following today’s assignment, your work for us will be done. We thank you for your cooperation.
Today, we require that you put Pokemon Trainer Bradley and all of the documentation you’ve made inside the final cryogenic freeze unit. Make sure he is carrying the rest of his Pokemon team. Follow normal procedures. His address is the following:
26, Frost Street
Icirrus City, Unova
We thank you for your continued support of our cause.
Sincerely, the Unova Intelligence Agency.
Charlie stared at nothing particular, thinking long and hard. He was shocked. The final communication? What did that mean? And why Bradley? While he was Charlie’s trainer, he wasn’t that bright and not that skillful. What use would he be in the future? But if the future had told him this, then he must have been of some use for them. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have told him to preserve Bradley in the first place!
He lived with Bradley, as his starter Pokemon. They’d known each other for many years and had always been friends. It wouldn’t be too hard to find him.
At first, he had been skeptical of the Intel Reports. Then, he realized that, if they were indeed from the future, they’d know what was best. After a while, he began to trust them. After all, how could they give faulty information? The present was their past!
The second Intel Report came in, telling him to gather the metal pieces and electronic gizmos for the cryogenic freeze units. He was to build six of them.
It was long, painstaking work. The information he had been given was very accurate. The message had also been very clear about the margin for failure. There was none. He was to check and double check every minor feature for effectiveness, triple check every moving part. He was also to check, for a fourth time, every critical area. The critical areas included the majority of the unit.
Fortunately, the basement of the house that he and Bradley lived in proved to be adequate. The ceilings were high enough, and Bradley refused to go down into the basement. He didn’t like the darkness, the crampedness of the basement. That made it a perfect place for the construction of the cryogenic freeze units. The Intel Report had been right about turning the basement into a workshop. In fact, it had been right about a lot of things. He was to do all his work at night, stealing scrap metal and ores from the Twist Mountain mining facilities nearby. It even told him to write down a copy of everything that he did and how he did it. It was time travel, after all. This information would be how the Agency knew what to tell him to do.
After a month of sleepless nights building the cryogenic freeze units, he was finally finished. He had been getting the Intel Reports at a rate of one a week, keeping him on track and offering advice.
When he was finished, he had about a day’s worth of rest. The next morning, he was given a new report.
Intel Report #5
Dear Mr. Charlie Hall,
Well done in building the cryogenic freeze units. Now is your first real assignment.
Today, we require that you put a Gurdurr inside the first cryogenic freeze unit. There is one at the following place:
It will be the first one you encounter. The proper procedure is to Charm it into submission, then have it follow you home. Then, you must give it a simple sleeping drug. When it is unconscious, you must put it inside the cryogenic freeze unit. Then, carve the name of the species, the location it was found, and the date into the steel at the top of the cryogenic freeze unit. Activate the unit.
Following proper procedure, this should be over before the day is over. As always, we thank you for your continued cooperation.
Sincerely, the Unova Intelligence Agency
“Pokenapping!” Charlie thought to himself.“That’s what they were talking about. But still, there must be a need for it. The future is in danger, after all!”
It was true. If the Agency required one, he would get one for them. A Gurdurr would provide them a decent working Pokemon to help the reconstruction of the region.
He told Bradley where he was going, then he set out at once for Twist Mountain.
Cubchoo aren’t out of place in Twist Mountain, which allowed Charlie to blend into the crowd fairly easily. The mountain itself isn’t very twisty, just the paths. The paths crisscross in a maze of directions, going everywhere and nowhere at the same time. In the depths of the mountain, ice crystals formed readily. At the farthest you could go, ice coated the walls. It was pleasant down there.
But Charlie’s mission was simply to find and bring home a Gurdurr, not bask in the wonderful cool of the icy room. He soon found one, and with his careful Charm, convinced her to follow him home to Icirrus City.
It was nearly nightfall by the time they returned to Charlie’s house. He and the Gurdurr, whose name was Roxanne, had become fast friends. They talked a lot and smiled. She had no clue that she was under the effects of his Charm. Just according to plan.
They walked through the door to Bradley’s house, talking about how Twist Mountain was such a fun place to be. Charlie smiled up at Bradley, Bradley smiled back. Then, Cubchoo and Gurdurr hand in hand, they walked down to the cold steel and concrete of the basement laboratory.
It had been a month since Roxanne disappeared into the cryogenic freeze unit, into the future. In that time, a wild Palpitoed, a neighbor’s Pikachu and two Trainers had been sent to the future in the same way. Charlie had managed to convince Bradley that the other Pokemon had all gone home after the night was over, but Trainers were a whole different matter. He had to Charm those away at nightfall, to avoid his owner’s suspicion. Despite his carefulness, people were starting to notice the disappearances.
Now, he was devising a plan to preserve his own Trainer. It would be easier than the previous two Trainers, because Bradley was already inside our house. He slipped the sleeping drug in Bradley’s morning coffee brew and hopped for the best.
He was on the floor unconscious after the first sip. The problem was, Bradley had been ready to walk out the door when he took that first sip. He dropped the coffee mug, which smashed on the floor. Coffee spilled everywhere, all over him and the floor. Charlie nearly panicked, then. How would he get Bradley downstairs, into the basement?
Quite simply, he dragged him down the stairs. Every step thumped Bradley’s head, making Charlie more and more worried. He sniffled nervously as he stuffed sheafs of papers into Bradley's coffee-stained coat pocket. He would be discovered, he was sure of it. Someone must have seen him through the window. Or been expecting him to be somewhere by now. He would be discovered...
Bradley awoke as he was being stuffed into the sixth cryogenic freeze unit. The extra thumps to the head must’ve woken him early. Or he didn’t drink as much of the sleeping drug as he’d thought. Either way, there was a problem. And Charlie had to fulfill his duty to the future.
“Charlie!” Bradley shouted in fright, “what’re you doing!? Let me go! Please! For the love of Arceus!”
For the love of Arceus. For the future.
He screamed. He struggled. Bradley fought to delay his one-way voyage to the future with all his might. The little Cubchoo was overpowered, but had the advantage. With a quick slam, the door to the one-way time machine was closed.
Charlie slammed his paw into the button with all his might, as if it was his final lifeline, and slumped down the side of the unit. The glass pane frosted over, preserving Bradley’s wide-eyed, panicked look for hundreds of years. The whooshing of pressurized air was followed by silence, laying like ice across the room. Charlie picked him self up long enough to carve the documentation the Agency required of him onto the cryogenic freeze unit. He collapsed back onto the floor. After a few minutes, all that Charlie could hear was his own breathing, his own pulse racing.
Then the noises began.
The door of the basement smashed open and a SWAT team barreled in, assault rifles at the ready. They poured down the stairs like black tar, rolling down and out. A megaphone blared from the background.
“We have you surrounded!” It shouted.
The Cubchoo stood there in disbelief. His mind flashed back to the struggle with his Trainer, all of minutes ago, but what seemed like hours. Bradley, always prepared, had his phone set to call 911 on speed dial. The officers had heard the entire thing.
Charlie whimpered a bit, then sniffled. Before he knew it, one of the men had him handcuffed and was leading him out of the house he’d known for his whole life. They brought in Growlithe to sniff the room, looking for hidden things. As he passed by, Charlie overheard them talking.
“Can we free the hostages?” said one.
“Nah, we don’t have the technology. They’re frozen solid.” replied another.
“So is that murder or kidnapping charges?”
“We’ll have to talk to someone’s lawyer...”
“At least we stopped that psycho.”
“Yeah. Who knows how many he would’ve frozen?”
Charlie sniffled. He had saved the world. They had told him so. He was sure of it.
Pokemon going for: Cubchoo
Characters recommended: 10,000 - 20,000
Character count: ~12,000