It started with Self-Destruct.
People who think it's wrong for humans to use Pokemon to fight one another have always been around, I suspect. You would rarely hear about them, however. Especially in my lifetime, Pokemon training had become so central to our culture that few people questioned it, much less were willing to hear people criticize their lifestyle. The only time anyone usually saw them would be picketing the Pokemon League Championships in various regions. To many, they appeared to simply be extremists.
Then, one day, those critical people became much more organized and significantly better funded. The Pokemon Liberation Front were gaining an unprecedented level of persuasive power for such a group after receiving substantial financial support from the Sky High Corporation. They started demanding meetings with high level Pokemon League officials to discuss the state of Pokemon rights within the confines of sanctioned League matches. To assuage the public, many such meetings did take place, but the League denied that there was anything morally objectionable about their practices.
The first major breakthrough for the PLF came during a Gym Leader battle in Cerulean City. A trainer on the verge of losing the battle ordered his Voltorb to use Self-Destruct, which successfully knocked out the gym leader's final Pokemon. The Voltorb was the challenger's last Pokemon, however, and also fainted from the attack. While ordinarily one might consider this a tie, using such a move with your last remaining Pokemon was against Pokemon League rules, and so the trainer was disqualified from the match. The trainer challenged this decision on the basis that a gym badge was earned by defeating all the Gym Leader's Pokemon, which he did, and the rule preventing moves like Self-Destruct was arbitrary. Plenty of people had expressed their disapproval for this rule before, but with a combination of luck and level of personal interest (this would have been his eighth badge) the story started to get national attention. He was even invited to the Radio Tower in Goldenrod--a big deal at the time--for an interview.
Suddenly there was national conversation on why Self-Destruct was banned in the first place. The reasoning was pretty straightforward: a match is won when, as defined by League rules, a trainer knocks out all of his or her opponent's Pokemon while still having Pokemon able to battle. Since Self-Destruct and Explosion cause the Pokemon to faint, they are unable to battle afterwards. Forcing a tie could not be considered winning, so the strategy was banned outright to preemptively solve such situations.
But the PLF was able to spin it another way: Why are attacks that cause so much strain on a Pokemon that they cause themselves to faint legal in the first place? If Pokemon battles are supposed to be good-natured, they argued, why are we allowing such stress to be put on Pokemon for what amounts to a tournament strategy? Certainly that amounts to abuse.
Surprisingly at the time, the public support for the PLF's case started mounting. They pushed for Self-Destruct and Explosion to be banned from sanctioned matches period. Suddenly it seemed they had a strategy: create a precedent for which future goals may be fought. They were successful in their endeavours, with the side effect of many Voltorbs and Electrodes being abandoned by their trainers.
To the PLF, this was clearly unintended and, they claimed, not clearly worse than being forced to explode by humans regularly. Perhaps a dubious case, but they changed their main motto soon enough. Next they wanted to ask if it was cruel for high level Pokemon to use their most powerful attacks against lower level Pokemon. A good trainer would never do this, of course, but trainers were often just kids. A frustrated trainer in a competitive environment could easily be tempted to end everything quickly and Fireblast a low-level Bellsprout. If anything, the Voltorb case brought to light how little regulation there really was outside of a few hard rules (such as not using two Pokemon to battle only one). Too many rules would be hard to enforce, but too few rules made the League appear not to care. In the end, the PLF successfully convinced the League that it was better to have some abide by superior rules than most abide by inferior ones.
You may be able to guess where this story goes: the public gets fed up with Pokemon fighting each other for sport and entertainment; participation in the League dwindles; new economic initiatives are created to compensate for lost markets; eventually, the PLF forces the shutdown of the Pokemon League and its gyms. Pokemon were still raised by humans, but never to fight each other for sport.
I admit, I saw the PLF's point. I wondered if it wasn't hypcritical of me to talk of friendship and trust while forcing my Pokemon to fight my battles for me--often fight other people's battles for me. And for what? My pride? My ego? My initiatives? It was hard not to reduce them to means to my ends. Maybe a world free of fighting for fun would be a better one.
Or maybe we were too far removed from our past. Few would talk about this, but the earliest Pokemon trainers as we understand them in the modern sense were military generals. Pokemon were absolutely meant to be tools of war. Pokeballs were developed for the immediate subordination and training of wild Pokemon to be used as foot soldiers in large clashes. When I was young, many people who remembered the face of war still commanded great influence within the League. But as time went on, we forgot why the League existed in the first place.
The creator of the League envisioned two things: first, that Pokemon could battle each other in ways that ultimately contributed to the peace and amicability between people of all nations; second, that the League act as a presentation to remind anyone that should war ever break out, the most skilled trainers with the most powerful Pokemon would stand in their way. Evil forces, should they arise, would be forced to work in the shadows rather than become active oppressors the way that so many had tried to do. The League was the only reason to keep the majority of Pokemon truly strong in a time of peace.
This was the brilliance of Giovanni's plan. True peace leaves the world weak and vulnerable. Team Rocket's plan to steal Pokemon no longer made sense in a world where Pokemon were weak. They began intensive training and genetic engineering on their own Pokemon, splicing powerful genes into already existing Pokemon and creating a race that the world's now-docile Pokemon could never compete with. There are rumors that their armies are simply clones of their most powerful specimens.
The Sky High Corp.? What a joke. It's like they wanted us to see through them and know who was really pulling the strings. As it rose to fame, the PLF started attracting members who were genuinely invested in the stated goals of the organization. How much its true founders were invested in it, we may never know, but they no longer had to focus on that at all; their unwitting successors completed that phase of their plan for them.
But it's hard to keep ambition in check. How many people who desire power can wait until they're dead to gain it? Intelligence has suggested that the Rockets' operation began ahead of schedule due to failing health on the part of their leader. Presumably he wanted to rule some part of the world himself for some period of time.
Luckily I'm just like him; I can't be separated from my old ways. The time I spent at the top of the Plateau will stay with me forever, as will everything I did to get there. My friends and I may be old now, but that old tenacity is what connects us to that time of peace we took for granted. I'm sure the few people out there who were able to defeat me will agree.
No matter the fate of this operation, I hope my actions today inspire people to take back what we tragically lost. And, if not, that whoever finds this account will find context in their lives no matter where they find themselves now.
My hands tremble now as we approach the great iron gate that serves as the entrance to the first true battle of this era. I know I'll find strength in the words I have not uttered to my closest friend in a very long time.
"Dragonite, Hyper Beam!"
Pokemon Liberation Front - Aftermath
Ancient One Self-Proclaimed Cake Lord 4143 posts 1.00 XCB
Posted 26 August 2014 - 04:52 PM
It started with Self-Destruct.
Oldies Grand Ultimate Super Poster 2965 posts 424.00 XCB
Posted 28 August 2014 - 09:32 PM
Ancient One Self-Proclaimed Cake Lord 4143 posts 1.00 XCB
Posted 29 August 2014 - 11:22 PM
Ancient One Pirate 2430 posts 126.00 XCB
Posted 12 September 2014 - 09:19 AM
so whats the moral of this i still dont get it ;x
Team XC Pretty Face 5159 posts 202.00 XCB
Posted 10 October 2014 - 09:43 PM
More than a month to read this, but now I can't wait for next chapter. =P
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