Chapter 2: The Pokémon Warlord Database
Fan Fiction inspired by Pokemon, Pokemon Conquest
Rating: Young Adult
It’s been a little over a year since became a full-fledged professor for the University of Pokémon Studies. I still have my studio apartment in Celadon City where I conduct most of my research. For everything else in my life, however, things have changed quite a bit.
My pokémon partner Vileplume passed away of natural causes recently. She was a very old, faithful friend to me who had exceeded her life expectancy for quite some time now. Even so, she left me with an egg that produced a newborn Oddish. I never gave any of my pokémon nicknames before, but I felt compelled to call this new one Sakura, a name that I once gave to someone I loved, but has been gone for over eight years.
The girl I called “Sakura” had in turn gave me the name “Ginkgo,” a name I use as an alias as a pokémon professor. All professors use an alias professionally in the field in order to hide their reputation as normal citizens, but it is also a name used to distinguish a sense of pride as a professor in the University of Pokémon Studies system. Each one of us take on aliases of plants, a symbol of how our research in the field grows slowly, but progressively better with each research study, project, or experiment we work on. Ginkgo was a name fit for me because of my Sakura, but it is also a symbol of resilience. My resilience.
My other boss is Erika, the Celadon City gym leader, and the Kanto Gym Supervisor in the Pokémon League Trainers Association. That means that of the eight gyms in the Kanto region, she has the most authority. Lately she has been busy with tending to her gym members and taking care of her newborn son. Her gym is known most for being an all-girls gym, with the exception of one man: me. I joined the gym a long time ago and was accepted out of pity. Still, I went through the ranks as a member of the gym. But despite my being a professor of the University and Erika being a Gym Leader of the Trainers Association, she and I have a different kind of relationship.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
“Greetings, everyone,” I said as I began one of my special seminars. “My name is Prof. Ginkgo, and I am pleased to announce the development of my newest system for the University of Pokémon Studies: the Pokémon Warlord Database.”
Along with the help of Erika, I have been tracking down modern day warlords all over the pokémon world. There are a few of them so far since they are scattered about and are generally incognito. Still, we had to find them in order to achieve peace in our world.
I looked around at my crowd of about one hundred spectators. I’m still a new professor in the field, but this has probably been my most successful seminar thus far. Most of the faces I see are my colleagues, other professors in the field, while a few more are students interested in my research. Naturally I didn’t see anyone from the Trainers Association. Their interests tend to be separated from ours in the University system.
“Centuries ago, people who inhabited this world used pokémon in battle much like the battles trainers have today. Unlike today, however, these battles were fought for power and territory, fueled by humanity’s thirst for violence and greed. Lots of people back then were called warriors, and they fought alongside their pokémon partners as brethren in arms. Of these warriors, the most powerful of them were given the title of pokémon warlord. Warlords had incredible power and constitution over their pokémon partners, enough to raise armies of people and pokémon for their own selfish gains of prestige.”
The crowd seemed to be attentive so far. There were maybe one or two whisperers of the disinterested going around.
“In the present day, the philosophy and very existence of warlords have become obsolete. Thanks to our friends at the Pokémon League Trainers Association, trainers today must follow very strict rules regarding pokémon battles. Trainers continue to battle for fame and money, but they no longer have to battle along with their pokémon nor put themselves or their partners in grave danger. Even the youngest among us can achieve greatness as a pokémon master without harming a single person or pokémon severely. We uphold these values in high regards in such peaceful times.”
I continued to shuffle through the images of my visual side of the presentation with ease, still keeping most of the crowd’s attention.
“But even so, there are still a few warlords and warriors in the world today. Many of them have adapted to the times by only practicing a few customs and values that coincide with the Trainers Association and only battle the warrior’s way for tradition and reputation. Despite their assimilation into the contemporary era, some of the more ambitious warlords rise to satisfy their hunger for bloodlust and greed, committing various crimes in our world as a result. That’s where the University of Pokémon Studies steps in.”
I looked around and noticed a few very familiar faces at my seminar. One of them was my department chair, Prof. Ann Lotus. Despite her plain looks and thick elliptical glasses, she is a highly respected professor within the trainer relations field, second only to its board member representative, Prof. Lawrence Sycamore. Supposedly in her younger days, Prof. Lotus was also a Pokémon League champion in three regions.
Another familiar face was my former advisor, Prof. Ebon, of the Special Investigations Department. This department called SID for short is an organization within the University that monitors large-scale criminal activity. They are the intelligence bureau of our system.
“Along with the help of the Special Investigations Department, we have now developed a system to keep watch on these warlords’ activities. Essentially what happens, SID runs background checks and occasional reports on known pokémon warlords all over the world. Those reports are added to a database that monitors all of the warlord’s activities. Our SID analysts will then evaluate whether we can trust a warlord or flag them as possible criminals.”
As I was going through the specific details of my project, it seems some of the students started whispering more. I guess that can’t be helped.
“If in the case that a warlord does in fact commit serious crimes, we will search the database for trusted warlords to apprehend the criminal. As a peace-loving society, regular trainers can do very little against a warlord; meaning that only a warlord can defeat another warlord. This works in favor of our trusted profiles in our database because they can gain reputation when defeating another warlord, and we can continue to live our lives without having to worry about the most powerful of criminals. Given the chance of gaining favor through our system, many of the warriors on our database have agreed to being monitored in such a fashion.”
After going through a little more details, my presentation time had almost been up. I put out my hands and wrapped up the lecture portion.
“My friends, the world of pokémon and people has experienced a great deal of peace and stability in modern times, and we hope to continue experiencing that peace. While we are keeping an eye on our warlord friends, we hope that this database will create strong relations between our University system and the warlords. Thank you for your time.”
The audience applauded at the conclusion of my presentation as I continued to stand for the Q&A session. As my audience settled down again, one of the other professors spoke.
“So Prof. Ginkgo, how exactly can we determine that a person is in fact a pokémon warlord or warrior?” he asked.
“Currently our database is very loose on such terms. A warrior is defined simply as one who participates in trainer battles alongside their pokémon or trains their pokémon for very dangerous combat situations. Almost every member of SID is on the database, along with members of various investigation and law enforcement agencies. Naturally all of them have agreed to be a part of the database.”
“Could this method of monitoring warriors constantly be considered a violation of privacy?” asked another professor.
“All of the research we do on each profile follows the laws of each respective region. If a warlord does not wish to be part of the database for a very fundamental reason, then we will not monitor them, I suppose.”
“But what if the warlords that do not wish to be monitored become a threat in the future?” asked another professor.
“I assure you, that is a rare occurrence for our system as it stands now. But if that is the case, we can still analyze and summon a trusted warlord to apprehend such a criminal warlord in such a case.”
The questions continued to go on as professors asked me various things on the technicalities of the Pokémon Warlord Database. I, of course, answered each one to the best of my ability, keeping an eye on Prof. Lotus and Prof. Ebon. The two of them were probably asked to evaluate my performance as a lecturer. That will determine what kind of classes I will be asked to teach in the following semester.
And then a student spoke up in the crowd to ask another question.
“Professor Ginkgo, what can I do to become a pokémon warlord?” he asked.
The other students started getting more excited when he spoke. The young folks had burst with energy, asking more questions without giving me time to answer them.
“How can I be added as a trusted warlord?”
“Can we see a warrior battle demonstration?”
“Do you know any pokémon warlords?”
“Can you refer me to one of them?”
The questions poured out of the crowd faster than I could respond. I did not want to respond to them. Or rather, I could not respond to them. The students continued to curiously ask me questions but I could not hear a single one in the muffled space. I could not hear anything.
All I could hear is silence, and all I could see was the memories in the back of my mind of her: Kanon Aizawa. That vile woman who disguised herself as a pokémon professor. The person who fought with her pokémon as a real pokémon warrior. The battles that we fought. The encounters I had when she tried to ruin my life. And of course, the moment she took her last breath. The moment when she took her own life because I defeated her. The moment I regretted ever becoming a pokémon warrior.
I slammed my hands on the podium in front of me in fury. The professors and students all fell silent as I had clearly lost control.
“Being a warrior is not a game!” I shouted. “People and pokémon die everyday in a true warlord battle! Warriors take on an incredible responsibility with them into each battle, but for what? Most of them die long before their time should be up! You think being a pokémon warrior is going to make your life better? What will you do when you see your enemies, your comrades, your pokémon partners die just for your own selfish gains? What will you have left?!”
Professor Ebon and Prof. Lotus both grabbed me from behind to take me away from the lecture hall. I continued to scream at my audience for their rude comments and superfluous questions. They are still naive. They don’t know what it’s like to be a warrior. They never should.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Professor Ebon had me sit down in his SID office. I had remained a little more calm now that my atmosphere had changed.
“What’s gotten into you, Prof. Ginkgo?” asked Prof. Ebon angrily. “I don’t remember you ever lashing out at anyone like that before. And to our students? Have you lost your mind?”
“I’m sorry, Prof. Ebon,” I told him. “It’s just that what happened just last year… and all the events leading up to it… it’s too overwhelming.”
Professor Ebon patted me on the shoulder to comfort me.
“I’m grateful that you have done so much for SID with that database,” he said. “But Prof. Ginkgo, I think it’s time you should take a break. Remember what you told me a long time ago, about why you wanted to become a pokémon professor?”
I nodded. My dream of becoming a professor was so that I could mentor the next generation to treat their pokémon fairly and lovingly, like family. Professor Ebon was disappointed in that explanation at the time because it meant I would not be working for SID because of my goals. But now, he wanted to embrace that dream I had by supporting me in his own way.
“Being a professor is a great way to follow that dream, Shuichi. But to achieve that goal, you gotta start with your students.”
After a calm debriefing at the SID office, Prof. Ebon had escorted me out of the university so that I could catch the next train back to Celadon City. The University was in Saffron City, so getting back home wasn’t too far because they were adjacent cities.
As I left the campus, a familiar woman had stood in front of me, along with her familiar overcoat with the symbol of Sinnoh’s Pokémon League Trainers Association emblazoned on her sleeves.
“So, how did it go, Prof. Ginkgo?” said the woman. “Or should I say, Shuichi Oda?”