Fan Fic: Natural Liberated

Natural Liberated is a Pokemon fanfic written by Touko_K which combines elements from both the video games and the anime. It is a slight AU story since it contains characters from two continuities while trying to be faithful to both at the same time.

What little that can be said about the story without spoilers is that it takes place in the Best Wishes series of the anime, replacing almost the entire Episode N arc and taking up the time otherwise used by the Decolora Islands episodes. Ash Ketchum and several of his traveling companions from every region, save Kalos, must speak at a trial because N decided that people liberating Pokemon themselves was too reliant on their weak minds and biased judgement. Thus, he decides to do so himself. However, unlike Pokemon Black and White, their sequels, and the anime, N has the power to use the attacks of Pokemon via a device called the Natural Machine.

The full text of the story can be read here on Archive of our Own.

"Natural Liberated" contains examples of: !!

  • Abusive Parents: Ghetsis. He wants to use N's powers to further his goal to become ruler of the Unova region.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Natural Machine and its Technical Machine modules increase the potency of N's attacks, as well as how many he can use at a time. It is supposed to be the cube on his belt in pictures of him.
  • Artistic License – Biology / Artistic License – Physics: Present as a result of N's and the other trainers' powers. The human body is incapable of many of the feats described. One example is how most attacks are described like biological manifestations of energy weapons, more powerful versions of ordinary human actions, or more specialized uses of psychic powers.
  • Badass Bookworm: Clemont. Iris even lampshades this fact when Ash, Cilan, Touko, Touya, and herself are completing their Net training. In the anime, he is a Weekend Inventor who is intelligent but indicisive. In this story, he is the first to realize that N poses a threat, having the conviction to ban trainers who do not even know each other together into a resistance movement. Also, he provides them with the knowledge necessary to recruit more members, which he has either learned or discovered himself.
  • Benevolent Boss: Clemont. Iris lampShades this fact when she recalls how Clemont treats everyone as his "close friend", even the newest Net members, and how such behavior garners him the respect of those older than him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The truth about what happened to N is revealed, which is what N truly wants, but the jury cannot decide on a verdict. Two gym leaders have been killed, and half of the world's Pokemon and Pokeballs have been liberated and destroyed by the time the story ends.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Definitely more graphic than both of its sources. Rourke's death is one example.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: N does this to Ghetsis at the White Ruins when he argues that Ghetsis is to blame for giving N his powers because of exposing him to abused Pokemon.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: This happens to Rourke and Clemont. Clemont is killed while suffering through Coldblooded Torture, while Rourke's skull is, to put lightly, smashed with the natural machine.
  • Curbstomp Battle: N delivers some to Cheren, Bianca, and Clemont.
    • Curbstomp Cushion: When he fights Rourke, however, Rourke loses the fight, but he manages to injure him, thus proving that N is not an illusion. See Master of Illusion below.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Professor Cedric Juniper, when he suggests that Ash and his friends go to Virbank city to tell people about N.
  • Darker and Edgier: Along with Bloodier and Gorier, this is one defining trope of the story. The characters have more problems than just saving the world, or rather, the consequences for failing to do so and the way in which they have to do so are much more dire and complicated. They are put through situations that would never appear in the video games or anime, even in diluted, less edgy, forms.
  • Downer Ending: Another interpretation of the ending, where the issue of whether N should be formally tried for his crimes is not resolved and where the collateral damage done to the world and to its people is too great to be repaid by N being punished.
  • Elemental Powers: N, having the power to use every TM move and every move of the Pokemon he has met, can use all of them.
  • For Science!!: Colress finds the fact that N can use Pokemon attacks worthy of study, so he creates experiments which test and improve the strength and scope of N's powers. This motive is similar to that of his interpretation in Pokemon Black2and White 2, except he wants to unlock N's full potential rather than that of a Pokemon.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Clemont designs all of the Net's equipment and uses the money donated to his organization to buy supplies.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Happens when Ash is watching the footage of N attacking Rourke. The hologram ends when the Natural Machine is about to slam into Rourke's forehead, so this is purposefully invoked.
  • How We Got Here: The testimony. It essentially serves as a story-long flashback, as the witnesses are telling the jury about what happened to them.
  • In Media Res: The story begins with Ash, Cilan, and Iris walking through Indigo Plateau, nervously awaiting a trial.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: Ash recounts how N does this when he is about to take Pokeballs from a trainer or facility. Unfortunately, even after seeing these demonstrations, many citizens ignore him rather than fighting back.
  • Lack of Empathy: Reshiram and Zekrom hint at the Natural Machine, while connected to Team Plasma's Pokemon-brainwashing device, having this side effect. They cite how N was willing to commit crimes which he would never do otherwise as long as the Natural Machine was connected to him and directing his powers.
  • Mad Mathematician: N displays this tendency much more in this story than he does in the video games. Generally, the more math references he makes, the closer he is to hurting someone.
    • Genius Bonus: Depending on the math terms he uses, more about his feelings, motives, and method of harm can be determined. Thus, unlike in Pokemon Black and White when Ghetsis says that the player character must be eliminated, he is using the term in the physical version of the mathematical one.
  • Master of Illusion: N can become one by using Double Team and combining it with his Psychic Powers so his dopplegangers can interact with physical objects. Since he stays in a location for little time, and he can change his illusions as needed, he can disguise himself, liberate peoples' Pokemon, and legitimately make it look like he wasn't there after he does so. Becomes frustrating for the Net when they try to help people.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted, except where N is concerned. Characters often talk about hot someone will die or how there is a possibility that someone could be killed. N, however, prefers to say that someone will be "eliminated", which serves the same purpose.
  • Power Limiter: Played with. The Natural Machine, rather than limiting N's power, gives his power ways in which to manifest itself, in the form of the TM modules. The center block, attached to his belt, is the true power limiter, for if it is removed, N's true power can be unlocked.
  • Psychic Powers: N, being a psychic type, has many of these, including telekinesis, Telepathy, and those of The Empath. Sebrina, Reshiram, and Zekrom have them as well.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Played With. Depending on the character, the diction is varying degrees of this, especially noticeable when comparing Reshiram's dialogue with anybody else's. Since most of the story is dialogue used as narration, this trope could also be called "Realistic Syntax is Unrealistic". Performing typical "unrealistic" acts, like going on tangents, are even lamp-shaded occasionally.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mr. Ian Davis, the judge for the pseudo-trial. He always tries to be as unobtrusive as possible during the witnesses' testimony, only doing so when he wants a detail clarified for the jury. Only when he finds out that his lifelong friend has been killed does this demeanour vanish.
  • Restraining Bolt: The Natural Machine, when the center block of the top face is not loosened. The different power levels provided by the different settings of the Natural Machine serve to loosen said restraining bolt the more of them are aligned correctly.
  • Rousing Speech: Ash delivers one to the citizens of Unova from using Virbank City's television station.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Reshiram lapses into this way of speaking sometimes, but its dialogue usually lacks the use of the Author Vocabulary Calendar, instead using more formal grammar than the rest of the characters' dialogue.
  • The Scottish Trope: Similar to Speak of the Devil below, once N starts liberating peoples' Pokemon, they cannot say his name or else there are consequences.
  • Shout-Out: Ash, Clemont, and Dawn make references to James Bond and Jason Bourne as some of Clemont's favorite movies and technological inspiration for the Net.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Most of the story is very cynical, due to it somewhat deconstructing the tropes usually associated with the Pokemon video games and anime. Even N's original ideals from Pokemon Black and White are warped so that they are seen from a cynical perspective.
  • Speak of the Devil: A major source of Paranoia Fuel for the characters, they cannot say N's name, his abbreviated or full one, or even speak it using any form save pronouns, because of this trope. If they do so, they think that they will give themselves, and any nearby people, away by giving N's Psychic Powers a pattern in the thoughts of those around him which he can monitor.
  • Sound-Only Death: Happens to Rourke. Done so to Clemont as well.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: N's motives are more extreme than those of his video game counterpart, for rather than wanting to convince people to liberate their Pokemon, he wishes to use his power and that of peoples' Pokemon to prove that he is correct.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: N sees Ash as this, for wanting to become a Pokemon master and by wanting to befriend Pokemon by capturing them in Pokeballs. N is one of these when he meets Touko and Touya in Accumula town.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: N becomes this type of character after Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 when he meets Team Plasma at the White Ruins, by asking himself what obligation he has to people when most of them have been hostile towards him and when he is more like a Pokemon than a human?