“You said nobody would get hurt,” said the boy.
(a WAR entry by giratina)
Really, what is with these people? This boy is no older than six! His hair was brown and scruffy, flying out in all directions. Blue eyes were widened in horror, shocked that this big, scary man he was looking at had lied to him. I rolled my eyes – this isn’t a sandbox game, designed for little kids whose minds hadn’t developed yet.
Because they were just too freaking sensitive.
“And nobody did!” I retorted. Well, I was telling the truth - it wasn't like this put everyone's lives at risk, now was it? Nope. There were no casualties that rose to harm humanity by thinking up this little tournament and playing it out.
“I mean nobody! Like Pokémon too!” he snapped, pointing to the battered and bruised Charmander that stood - no, not 'stood', more like 'tottered from side to side threatening to fall over but just barely keeping its balance' - by his side.
To the Pokémon? Yes, there were casualties to the Pokémon. Of course there were casualties to the Pokémon. There was always going to be casualties to the Pokémon. It’s blatantly obvious in everything that happens that there were going to be casualties to the Pokémon. That's what defines the word 'battling', of course. It's the very nature of a fight. Things will argue, things duke it out, things get hurt.
"It's a natural cycle, you understand," said I. "Pokémon will fight each other, no matter what humanity does to tamper with that cycle. However, to some people placing more stock in that natural cycle than others seems like a logical and working way to ha-"
“To have fun,” he said. “You’re letting these Pokémon get hurt because you want to have fun watching them fight and get hurt.”
“In case you hadn’t noticed, we’re adults.” I pointed at myself, just to highlight the point. “I am thirty-five and a half years of age; you are not. I, an adult, can do and think many things that your young mind just doesn’t have the capacity for. This little game here was not designed for minors to compete in, so why don’t you just understand that and leave me alone?”
“Listen, kid,” I said. He perked up considerably; I guess he figured that when I brought out the ‘listen, kid’ that he had pretty much won that fight. Not happening, bucko. “Even if you find this so very wrong, this Pokémon battling that you are so strongly against, it’s not my problem. I’m not forcing you to compete in it, and besides – it’s only in the beta stages. We’re still working out the kinks.”
“Then work out a kink that stops my Pokémon from being hurt in this!”
“I know the perfect way to do that,” I said to him.
“How?” he asked.
I told him to pick up his Charmander. He did so. I walked up to him, turned him around, and steered him by the shoulders out the door. Having pushed him the final feet out, I frowned at him and shut the door. Locking it, I turned around and went back to my original position of sitting down at my desk.
If these kids couldn’t understand the simple fundamentals of what was going down in these Pokémon battles, then they can just shut up and leave the rest of us – the rest of us, who actually can handle what’s going on – to mind our business and do our thing.
I sighed. Kids these days.
A few years had passed. The steady stream of children and their shattered Pidgeys slowly decreased, and finally it seems that the objecting brats got it through their minds that in Pokémon battles, Pokémon battle.
So when the door opened one morning, I looked up, expecting it to be a couple of ‘Pokémon trainers’ who had finished their battle and came here to get the payment. What I did not expect, however, was an eleven-year-old boy and a Charmander to slowly enter the room, both of their faces reflecting the other’s: stony and emotionless and very, very businesslike.
His hair was brown and scruffy, and it flopped out in all directions. Two particularly long strands fell down in front of his ears, and the rest formulated into bangs around his face and dangled behind his head. He wore a cream-colored button-up shirt tucked into a pair of green pants. His arms were clenched into fists at his side.
It was hard for me to keep back a grin.
Looks like the Charmander kid came back, and he’s grown up… slightly.
“What do you want?” I asked. “Come back to bawl about the unfairness of my game again?”
He winced at the word ‘game’, but got over it in a few seconds and stepped forward. “I’ve come here,” he started, “because I have some ideas for you to consider about the workings of your ‘game’.”
I snickered. “Who are you to tell me how to run my business? What are you, ten years old? Eleven?”
“Yes, eleven,” he said calmly.
I hadn’t expected him to actually respond with the correct answer. I stared blankly at him for a second, before bursting into a fresh round of laughter. While I was snickering at my desk, he and his Charmander shared a look and he put his hands in his pockets, silently waiting for me to finish.
Finally, I noticed that he was still here and ceased the giggling. “W-wait…” I said, still spitting out the remains of the laughter. “You were serious?”
“Do I look like I’m kidding?” he asked. “Go ahead, tell me what you figure makes me joke around. I can change it and maybe you’ll take my ideas more seriously.”
I rolled my eyes. “Fire away, kid.” There was nothing of interest in that brain of his.
He started talking. Explaining things. I was hardly convinced that he could do anything at first – all he was doing was stating the facts. ‘Pokémon are in pain because we want something interesting to do,’ ‘this has to stop, we have to find a better way to do it so that it doesn’t harm the Pokémon,’ junk like that. No solutions at all, from what he presented to me in the first fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes blended into fourty-five, and when he finished I had almost forgotten this boy was eleven.
This was good stuff.
He had proposed we take unused islands, populated with no humans and possibly Pokémon, and work with the Pokémon there. Get it through their heads to be hardier, so that they could survive through the battles we demanded they do. And also that we add more order to the battles themselves – instead of booting them into a cage with one another and demanding they hurt the other guy, he proposed that the Pokémon should have turn-by-turn orders with certain ‘moves’, what were really just Pokémon attacks classified into categories and ‘types’.
“How are we supposed to get anyone to do this?” I asked after the initial moment of shock that I realized that I was listening to a lecture provided by a little kid.
“Don’t worry,” he said, “you can find a way. I mean, you can do and think things that my mind just doesn’t have the room or maturity for.”
“What’s your name, kid?”
“Samuel,” he said. “I’m Samuel Oak.”