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Invictus

Discussion in 'Creative Archive' started by Keleri, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Notes: So I've been working on this off and on for a few months, and I'm not 100% sure where it's going yet. Some background info: this is set in a "future" of the pokemon world where pokeballs are illegal, but an offshoot technology is used to change a pokemon's size and shape to approximately human so that they can live and work with humans more easily. They are referred to as "therians" (from the Greek therion, 'beast') or as "elementals", since "pokemon" is a defunct term without the pokeball. I wouldn't classify this as a "pokemorph" story though, as the shapechanger is more of a utility than a life choice (there also will definitely not be the kinds of sexual proclivities that your average pokemorph story is inclined to). Pokemon battles still occur and are still very popular but the pokemon are more independent and largely train themselves and each other, with input from coaches rather than trainers. Gyms also exist and maintain their hierarchy of levels, all the way up to the highest level league tournaments, they're just not primarily human-run.

    I haven't really divvied up the sections into chapters, but I'm pretty confident about leading with these portions. Don't be scared of the free verse section, the majority of the story will be standard format.

    Invictus

    And I heard, as it were the sound of thunder: one of the three beasts saying, "Come and see." And I saw. And I went forth conquering.

    =====

    He dreams.

    Swimming
    again
    down in the dark

    Lights flicker by
    sun glitters on scales

    The sea caresses his body
    soothes parched gills
    stringy and inflamed
    by water tainted
    artificial

    He swims the paths of
    his first year
    navigating by earth-field and current
    and then
    delirious
    electric dancing
    he feels them
    he hunts
    chase
    bite
    blood
    mouth

    He misses that.

    Misses what?

    Taste. Blood. Simplicity.

    He wakes
    He never slept so much
    Nor dreamed

    He walks to the bathroom
    rough scales catching on carpet
    tastes the sink water cautiously
    when he came here first
    wrong salt
    wrong taste
    it dried and burned

    Filtered water now
    most of the time
    empty water
    better than poison

    He looks
    in the mirror
    at his own face
    scaled and scarred
    horns chipped

    It is a sign
    of greater social intelligence
    to recognize oneself in a mirror
    she said

    He is aware
    on some level
    that she thinks this
    insanity
    is a development
    a breakthrough

    He fights
    for the joy of fighting
    changes shape
    for convenience
    but he would eat his own sired brood
    eggs in their millions
    just to escape
    the voices in his head
    they call self-awareness

    They call him Jormungard here
    some snake from a story
    they tried to tell him about names
    it made no sense to him

    names were to say, this one
    Bad Mother
    Big Fish
    Broken Horn
    Many Whiskers
    Gill Scar

    those were names
    they described a thing
    so one would know
    which thing was which
    and run
    or pass by
    or fight

    What was he?

    mouth
    hunger
    belly
    blood

    He is Maw.

    He walks to the pools
    human sized
    through human size halls
    falling through the air
    dry
    heavy
    he falls in

    Salt water
    not the same
    but
    not unpleasant.

    He touches the back of his head
    and for an instant
    he is energy, formless
    and then
    another shape
    but still
    cradled by water

    Ocean-mother
    calls him home

    Smaller monsters
    retreat into corners
    boisterous play, interrupted
    he is amused
    as if he would eat them
    as if he could.

    =====

    Dolores sighed and shifted another file to the ‘complete’ folder. The ‘incomplete’ folder was still intimidatingly full, bristling with documents. She twirled her moustache idly, thinking of the weekend, when she could get some proper rest. She’d evolved months ago, but some habits died hard. She took another look at her to-do list, and decided to make a trip to the kitchen for some emotional support.

    She liked her job. It was boring, routine, safe, and she was helping the Antherian movement. Elementals and humans living together, forming stable communities in a variety of settings: police work, search and rescue, exercise programs, medicine, forestry, agriculture, energy generation—data entry and analysis by those with a grasp of numbers and letters, like her. She was lucky to be human-shaped already, and not need the anthromon shapechanger.

    Her mother hated the a-mon. “It’s necessary to join society, they say—human society. So much work into a device that’s just glorified cute-washing. And en masse, therians flock to imitate their oppressors, fit into their version of the world, be useful to them. And what human wants to join therian society?”

    She’d had the argument many times. A few humans, adventurous ones, primitivists and survival enthusiasts used the shapechanger to become an elemental of their choice. They wrote books, made video serials. The gist of every account was, ‘it was awesome, it was invigorating, but boy am I glad to be in my nice safe bed where no one is trying to eat me.’

    Elementals didn’t have society. Most elementals weren’t capable of it. They were intelligent, smarter than chimpanzees or dolphins, but most were far closer to animals than humans. Even of the more intelligent ones—psychic types, mainly—living in the wild precluded luxuries like compassion, discussion, art, music. Wild elementals, if they communicated at all, talked only about food and where to get it, and who had mated with whom, who had hatched and who had died.

    Elementals who were different, less animalistic, with a yearning for something greater, had always sought out humans: for battles that were more than just scuffles and retreat; for companionship and friendship that lasted more than a season; for a place in warmth and health. So, yes, she was giving in to her oppressors, joining their society, but frankly, it was the far more intellectually stimulating option.

    And they had espresso machines.
    =====
     
  2. 52Crossroads

    52Crossroads Formerly Gya

    lol. i love espresso.
    short, but interesting.the title caught my eye because Invictus just happens to be my favorite poem. and i am eager to know why you chose that particular title.
    over all, good job. i cant wait to see where you go from here. ^u^
     

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