These stories are a series of one-shots based on the style of those told by the indigenous Australian people about the creation of the Earth and its creatures.
I. The Ancient Curse
[Pokemon Trainer Sarah - Team Trainer]
How Magikarp and Feebas Came to Be
A long time ago, before the regions of Kanto and Hoenn had split from each other by great tremors in the earth, there lived two strong and majestic Water-type Pokemon.
The first was known as Gyarados, and he was a fearsome cerulean serpent with a cream underbelly and patterns on his scales. Large, pointed white fins protruded all down his back and a crown-like blue structure framed his narrow eyes. Huge, powerful teeth stuck out from his oversized mouth and he was the ruler of the waters under the Pokemon sovereign, Kyogre.
The other serpent was Milotic. She was a water maiden with beautiful cream scales that glistened marvelously in the sun and a short horn upon her skull. Two large, pink ribbons protruded from her head and her tail was patterned with majestic blue scales which ended in four points. Her pure beauty was matched only by great Gyarados' fierceness.
The two water beasts lived in harmony, until one day, Milotic decided that Gyarados should no longer control the seas.
"I am a more beautiful Pokemon than you," she argued forcefully as the two Pokemon met, "why do you deserve to command the waters?"
"Because I am fiercer and stronger than you," Gyarados replied angrily. "Therefore the seas belong to me. Only I can instill fear in the hearts of those who oppose the great water sovereign’s power."
Milotic did not agree with Gyarados' opinion, and being the more cunning of the two, she challenged him to a duel to decide the rightful commander of the ocean.
"We will both compete in a task to decide the most worthy ruler," she challenged, flicking her beautiful ribbons, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
Gyarados was an extremely competitive Pokemon, and of course he could not refuse this opportunity to prove his strength. “I accept,” he snarled regally, flexing his great muscles in a show of power.
"Good," Milotic said, pleased. "We will both do the toughest test; we will both stick our tails in fire on the shore and whoever leaves their tail in for the longest is the tougher and stronger Pokemon who should rightfully rule over the ocean."
Gyarados roared approvingly, knowing that there was no way he could lose to Milotic in a test of endurance. With a nod from the water maiden, both Pokemon parted, agreeing to meet at sunrise the next day to decide who was strongest and therefore more worthy.
As promised, Milotic arrived in the shallow waters near the shoreline the following morning. Two small fires were already crackling brightly when Gyarados arrived, their flames licking hungrily at the air.
A large group of all kinds of different Pokemon had gathered from both the land and the ocean to watch the challenge take place. They stood surrounding the two competitors, as Gyarados roared confidently, while Milotic just smiled, her striking scales glimmering in the rising sun.
Both Pokemon manoeuvred themselves so that they were lying with their heads facing out toward the ocean and their tails next to the hot fires on the cool yellow sand.
With a nod from each of them, both Gyarados and Milotic lifted their tails and placed them in the flames. A gasp travelled through the assembly of Pokemon as the challenge began.
"I won't lose," Gyarados thought determinedly as the flames began to prickle at his thick scales. "Milotic may be beautiful, but I am stronger." He looked over at his opponent, expecting her to be sweating already as the flames licked at her tail, but to his surprise, she seemed to be smiling.
After nearly a minute had passed, Gyarados could feel the full power of the flames as they tore at his once-aqua flesh. The burning sensation was so powerful that he felt his eyes begin to water. "How can she still be standing?" he though desperately, positive that he should have won by now. He stole another glance at the charming serpent, but she was just staring out into the water, seemingly not feeling the horrible pain that must be shooting up her spine by now, as it was his.
Soon the terrifying dragon could take the pain no more. In a single movement he lashed his tail upwards and out of the burning sticks and brought it down to splash soothingly in the cool water around him. A cheer erupted from the crowd as Milotic raised her tail from the flames. Unlike his charred fins, her tail was as beautiful and radiant as ever.
"Looks like I win. The seas now belong to me." Milotic beamed smugly as she slithered back into the water.
Gyarados shook his great head angrily, and let out a shuddering roar, causing the gathered Pokemon to back away. "You cheated! How is your tail not black? You must have taken it out when I wasn't looking!"
Milotic just smiled her dazzling smile, before turning to a floating Pokemon behind her. "You... Goldeen... did my tail even once leave the flames during this test?" she chortled.
"No, Milotic," the orange and white, horned goldfish stuttered nervously, backing away from Gyarados as she answered.
"This cannot be!" Gyarados raged. "Then your fire must be colder than my own!" And with a defiant scowl on his face, he plunged his already blackened tail into Milotic's fire, only to whip it out almost straight away as the intense heat burned at his scorched scales.
"Nonsense!" Milotic smiled, "Stop being a sore loser. You've lost and that's that."
Gyarados frowned angrily, but knew there was no point arguing. "Fine then, I suppose you are stronger after all," he said nobly before turning blackened tail and diving beneath the cool water to seek solace for his damaged pride.
He swam further and deeper than he'd ever swum before, determined to escape all of the Pokemon who he had lost in front of, especially Milotic. It was embarrassing enough that he had failed to retain his title, but he had also accused his opponent of cheating, which had only caused himself further humiliation.
As the mythical dragon reached the depths of the ocean, he curled up into a tight ball and waved his burnt tail gently in the chilly water to alleviate the pain that was currently soaring through it.
"What is wrong, Gyarados?" A booming voice echoed around the empty landscape.
The great serpent turned his heavy head to see the great water ruler, Kyogre, lurking in the shadows behind him. The Pokemon’s immense wing-like fins were flapping calmly, casting small shockwaves through the water. Its great eye peered at Gyarados knowingly.
“Master, I have failed you,” Gyarados bowed sadly. “I lost to Milotic in a test of endurance,” he explained slowly as he began to retell the events of that morning.
"Gyarados, of course you lost.” Kyogre boomed powerfully. “Did you not know that Milotic has a special ability that raises her defensive power when she is burned or hurt in some way?"
When Gyarados learned how Milotic had tricked him, he grew extremely angry. He flicked his tail quickly, but the pain no longer hurt him, it just made him more outraged at what Milotic had done. He began to propel himself upwards, spinning madly as he jetted, creating an underwater tornado that shot up before him.
“Remember Gyarados, that the actions you take today will affect this planet for the rest of time…” Kyogre called in his mournful singsong voice, but the warning was drowned out by Gyarados’ thrashing.
“GYAAAAA!” the dragon roared in rage as his head broke the surface of the ocean. The piercing shriek echoed all around, and it wasn’t long until the fearsome serpent had spotted his target. He dove underwater once more to conceal himself, and then when he was close enough, he bit down hard on the unsuspecting Milotic’s tail.
The water maiden shrieked in pain as Gyarados’ sharp fangs pierced her scales. When he finally let go, both Pokemon were left floating in the green-blue water, eyeing each other warily.
“You tricked me!” Gyarados cried, his senses only heightened by his fury.
“It is too late. I rule now!” Milotic responded arrogantly, and before the dragon could reply, she shot a beam of freezing ice right at his head.
With a roar, Gyarados dodged the blast and fired his own attack back at the serpent. Once again, the attack missed, and the fight turned into a wild battle that soon threatened the other Pokemon around.
The battle raged on for two days and two nights, with both Pokemon tiring to the point of exhaustion, but still not willing to give up. A great storm blew over the land, whipping at the combatants and creating huge waves that slapped against the shore, knocking down the homes of land-dwelling Pokemon and stranding water-Pokemon in the process. Large, dark clouds blocked out the sun and sent lightning flashes down at the earth.
In this way, Kyogre was trying its best to quell the fighting, but it seemed as if the two Pokemon were so blinded with hatred for each other, that they could not be stopped.
From the spirit world, the ancestor of all Pokemon was watching the earth with dismay. So many creatures had already been harmed by the actions of the warring Pokemon below, and the ocean had begun to swallow up the land as Kyogre’s efforts to control his subjects went in vain.
“There will be no more fighting,” Mew thought, and with its Psychic power, the little feline stretched out a pink paw and pushed through the barrier between its own world and ours.
Mew looked down at its children in disappointment. The two had not noticed the pink Pokemon’s arrival and great tornados of dragon power were spinning around the combatants as they continued their struggle for power.
Mew shut its eyes for a moment, and sent out shockwaves of Psychic energy to calm the pair. Slowly, the Dragon Rage attack spun slower and slower until all of the tornados had disappeared. The clouds above began to disperse and sunlight reached the ocean for the first time in two days. Gyarados and Milotic were calmed by their ancestor’s soothing power, and soon the earth looked just a little bit brighter.
When the two serpent Pokemon had broken out of the lulling trance that had managed to quiet them, they shut their eyes humbly in sorrow for the damage that they’d caused.
"Milotic,” Mew spoke, its voice soft, but emanating power, “you value your beauty too much, and this has made you vain and boastful. From this day forward, your children will not be beautiful. They will not be majestic. Your children will be ugly and timid until they have realised the value of true
beauty, and only then will they change into beautiful Pokemon,” the pink cat finished, flickering its eyes open for just a second to shift its glance to Gyarados.
"Gyarados, you value your strength too much, and this has made you blind in the face of rage," Mew continued solemnly, "From now on your children will not be strong. They will not be fearsome. Your children will be weak and helpless until they have learned what it is like to possess no power or authority."
With a flick of its long tail, Mew opened its eyes and peered down about the Pokemon it had just cursed. “Don’t disappoint me again,” the small cat whispered, but its words were lost on the wind as it slowly faded back into its own world.
Gyarados and Milotic turned to each other in sorrow, not truly understanding the effects that their actions would have on their own kind for the millions of years to come…