[Vol. I] Side Story. Absol
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Eighteen years. Eighteen long years travelling the world alone, doing nothing but tracking upcoming disasters in order to help those in need. Absol had explored a huge amount of the world and seen things that few Pokemon or people had witnessed. A view from the highest mountain top. Deep sea caverns home to beings not yet known to humans. The birth of Legendary Pokemon.

At some point along the way Absol lost count of how many unfortunate events she’d put a stop to. But she never forgot the reason for her actions. While passing by a town just before she started her adventure, Absol heard a human say something like, “Those with the power to act, should act.” All Absol have the ability to sense upcoming disasters. They’re born with it. So, shouldn’t all Absol use that power to stop whatever disaster they had detected?

But playing the hero turned out to be a thankless job. Even in the modern age, where people knew more about Pokemon than ever before, there were many who still refused to accept Absol as a Pokemon that was coming to their aid. To both humans and Pokemon, Absol was a beast that caused problems. No matter how obvious this lie was, no matter if Absol defeated the real threat in front of others, no one accepted Absol. They needed something to blame and it was easier to thrust the blame upon an innocent Pokemon than to find the truth.

Occasionally, Absol would get angry after being reminded of how much she was hated. Barking matches would erupt between her and other Pokemon as she tried to convince them their assumptions were incorrect. But they never listened. Even if there were a few Pokemon that sympathized with Absol, they never openly said anything. Defending an outsider wasn’t worth the trouble. Taking her anger out on the real disaster was the best way to vent, it was two Pidgey’s with one Rock Throw. But still, Absol wished that someone would notice her good deeds. Somewhere along the way, Absol gained a second objective. She simply wanted to be accepted by others. To be seen as a good Pokemon.

About thirteen years into her lonely adventure, Absol finally encountered those who believed in her. She lived in a forest near the mountains in the East of Kalos. A large gathering of Pokemon was situated in that forest, from Cherubi to Tyranitar. The weak and strong created a home for themselves far away from humans.

Everything was going well. Finally, Absol was accepted by others. But all good things must come to an end. A few months later a faction of humans calling themselves Team Flare raided the area, capturing the powerful Pokemon to increase the strength of their Trainers. But that wasn’t their main goal. Absol overheard them mention something called ‘Zygarde’, and that it should be in this area. Absol had never heard of such a thing and didn’t have much time to think about it. She acted as a guard for the weaker Pokemon who were retreating, so she was quickly out of earshot and couldn’t gather any more information.

Once they had gotten to a safe area away from Team Flare, the Pokemon started shouting and blaming one another for what had happened. But Absol had heard this kind of thing too many times and wasn’t going to put up with it. She shouted the loudest and forced everyone to listen to her. If they were going to blame someone, they should blame her. She can detect disasters, yet Team Flare raiding her home hadn’t come up on her radar. Despite not wanting to have negative emotions directed at herself, it was the only way to unite the group right now. That was the most important thing.

With the problem of in-fighting solved, although not in a pleasant way, the next thing on the agenda was saving the stronger Pokemon that were captured so they could rejoin the group. After working alone for so long, it was easier if Absol just handled it all herself, so she just told the weaker Pokemon to wait where they were after confirming they would see their friends again soon.

Since she left immediately, Absol managed to track Team Flare to their nearby mobile base in a clearing in the forest. A cluster of vehicles, both large and small, to house a dozen people for a few nights. The largest of the vehicles was a truck that had cages full of Pokemon, not just the ones that were taken from Absol’s group.

But she couldn’t see every Pokemon from her group. Were some housed in Pokeballs instead?

She looked around at the humans, seeing all the ways a Trainer will hold on to their Pokeballs. The most common seemed to be a belt around the waist, but some had belts across their chests, while others had red leather patches on the back of their gloves that held three shrunken Pokeballs each.

Absol lightly growled at herself, a noise comparable to a human groaning, from her hiding spot in the bushes. The reason for her annoyance was that she was reluctant to attack humans. But if she wanted to free the Pokemon then she needed to destroy the Pokeballs. She’d seen it before, when a human had tried to catch a Legendary Pokemon. The Legendary had burst out and the ball had been destroyed in the process. If she could damage the Pokeballs then the Pokemon inside should just burst out, and it would no longer have a Trainer.

While thinking about how to handle getting her allies back, Absol picked up on the yawning of the humans. With Team Flare off guard due to exhaustion, she could rush in while targeting the Pokeballs. With some Pokemon to back her up it should be an easy victory.

So she executed her plan and it was as successful as she’d hoped. Using Quick Attack, Absol reached the first member of Team Flare before anyone knew what was going on. With her horn, Absol slashed at the back of the human’s hand. She hit two of the three balls and freed the Pokemon inside as the Team Flare member moved their hand away but stumbled on a root sticking out of the ground. Even if she had injured the human, there was no use paying them any mind. She was here to save Pokemon, not care for humans. 

The Pokemon that she’d free were a Noivern and a Bisharp. While barking orders at them, Absol moved on to the next human and performed the same series of actions, resulting in another two Pokemon freed from Team Flare.

From there a larger conflict erupted as some Pokemon chose to side with Team Flare. Absol felt like this would happen. Not every Pokemon they had would be against being caught. But the Pokemon wanting to be free outnumbered Team Flare’s Pokemon by a vast majority. The humans were forced to back down, they didn’t have the strength to do anything about this situation with the Pokemon that remained on their side.

After a fierce standoff, the humans eventually backed down and the Pokemon that wanted to be free from Team Flare remained in the forest.

But Absol didn’t remain. The home she’d created for herself in the forest didn’t feel welcoming anymore. Immediately after the conflict with Team Flare, without saying goodbye, Absol simply moved on. She resumed her lonely journey.

There were times where she was severely injured and no one was around to help, so she had to deal with it and rely on natural healing. There were times where she was close to having another home, but ultimately decided against it because she didn’t want a repeat of the Kalos forest. But there was never a time where she felt like giving up. This was her life now and, while it was lonely, it was fulfilling in some ways. She’d receive gifts like good food from the Pokemon she helped, and humans had begun to thank her. That second objective of wanting to be recognized had been achieved. Both humans and Pokemon were starting to change their tune about Absol. Not everyone thought it was the source of the problem anymore.

She started to think that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t so absurd to believe someone would come along and make her journey less lonely. One goal had been achieved, but another had sprung up in its place. A Pokemon or human to travel with.

And eighteen years into her solo adventure, her new goal was complete. While Absol’s impression of the human was that he was a bit odd, he at least seemed to genuinely care. He had no Pokemon of his own, yet he rushed back into the fight for Absol’s sake. This was the first time someone had ever come to Absol’s aid. She couldn’t believe it. But part of her disbelief was definitely about how foolish this human must be, to enter a fight with no way of winning.

Still, she was happy with the human. Absol just wanted someone around, even if they weren’t capable in a fight. When he offered to join Absol, and to train a team that could help her out, she was over the moon. She’d have many allies moving forward.

Although this scared her a little. She’d never been around people or Pokemon for longer than a few months. How should she act? The cool, powerful ally? Should she suppress her emotions now to avoid arguments between herself and the human’s other Pokemon? Just being friendly with her upcoming allies should be fine, but at the same time Absol felt like that just wasn’t here. It could end up being a facade that annoys her. 

Unable to reach a solid conclusion on how to act, Absol just decided to cross that bridge when she got to it. This didn’t exactly reassure her though, she was still scared about having a group of allies again.

As she drifted off to sleep on the warm carpet of a hotel room, she heard the human say from his bed, “Oh right, I forgot to say. The name’s Joe. Nice to meet you, Absol.”

Joe, huh? It was a bit of a bland name, but who cared. It was his personality that would make the upcoming journey fun. She barked back, acknowledging him.

After that, Absol was fast asleep and, for a brief moment before he fell asleep, Joe spotted a small smile creep across her face. She must be having a good dream.