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Intelligence Factor: A Survey of Pokérin's Sapient Species is a Pokémon and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine crossover by GMBlackjack, author of Songs of the Spheres. It is written as a scientific journal by Dr. Julian Bashir recounting his travels around the world of Pokérin to study the intelligence of Pokémon. It can be found on Archive of Our Own and Offprint and is complete.


This fanfic provides examples of:

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  • Aliens Steal Cattle: Beheeyem abduct sheep-like Pokémon a lot because they find them cute.
  • All Myths Are True: According to Giratina all of the legendary Pokémon are real and even myths with no basis in reality can become real thanks to Infinity Energy.
    Giratina: "Yes, all these creatures you hear only about in legend are real. Well, most. There are some absurd stories you come up with. But, inevitably, those that gain enough traction will lead to beings of their own..."
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Downplayed. In the beginning, when Julian was beginning his research, he had no idea there are far more fantastical elements and thus was more skeptical of what had already been studied.
  • Badass Normal: Ezri Dax has fought alongside Pokémon a few times, even though she's a Human Alien with no combat superpowers.
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  • Beastly Bloodsports: Defied; Dr. Julian comments that Pokémon battles are not a bloodsport, as injuries are rare and there have been no fatalities.
  • Bizarre Alien Psychology: A recurring theme. Mr. Mime are capable of understanding human languages, but don't use them; Miranda speculates that they're playing an elaborate joke on Pokérinian society. Haunter and Gengar love to scare people, but nobody knows why.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism:
    • Male Kangaskhan joeys never reach adult size, and become Marowak when their mothers die. However, there are just as many stunted female Kangaskhan as well.
    • Grimmsnarl and Hatterene are different sexes of the same species; the former looks like a goblin, and the latter looks like a witch, but they both have jelly-like hair.
  • Brain Critical Mass: Many of the intelligent Pokémon species are Psychic-types.
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  • Brother–Sister Team: Latios and Latias are always born in pairs, and twins stay with each other for life.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Discussed in the Oranguru chapter, where Soma says that sapience is where most people draw the line between murder and hunting.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: It turns out that Infinity Energy improves itself by mimicking everything around it. There were no sapient Pokémon until Pokérinians evolved and Infinity Energy could "borrow" it from them. In turn, the way Pokérinians think things such as ghosts "should" be causes Infinity Energy to make those conceptions into reality.
  • Creepy Twins: The team encounter Indeedee twins on a Beeheeyem ship who serve a Malamar. They finish each others' sentences, physically torture people, and give death threats in a gentle, customer service-like tone.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: The general reaction from the Star Trek characters to the uber Legendaries. Julian has no idea how on earth he's going to report on this at all, especially after meeting these higher beings that exist far beyond the understanding of humans or even science.
  • Distant Finale: The epilogue takes place 30 years after Tapu Lele leaves Pokérin, by which point most of the mortal characters are either old or dead.
  • Drunk on Milk: Amped Toxtricity like to drink stagnant water because they're resilient to toxins, and it has an effect on them that's similar to getting drunk.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: Porygon2 are entirely emotionless and focus on tasks like a computer would, yet they still have desires to do things. Meanwhile, Porygon-Z has chaotic emotions that seem to change every few seconds, and its behaviours don't follow logic — or at least, not the Vulcans' definition of logic.
  • Equippable Ally: Miranda the Gardevoir wields an Aegislash as a sword and shield.
  • Fantastic Legal Weirdness: Audino are sometimes put on trial for assisting Zoroark in Unova, even though they can't legally be persecuted because they're not treated as people.
  • Fighting from the Inside: During Tapu Lele's battle against Leon, she gigantamaxes Dominus the Orbeetle, giving him the power to control minds. However, Dominus is unable to mind-control Dragapult because it's using the incredibly powerful attack Outrage.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Most Froslass will lose their minds from the loneliness, and invent their own language to talk to inanimate objects.
  • Hidden Elf Village: In the Metagross chapter, the group accidentally uncover a vast underground city of Metagross.
  • Human Aliens: The "humans" from Pokémon - called Pokérinians here - are described as "humanoid but decidedly not human."
  • Language of Magic: Mismagius exclusively speak a language called Arcanos, and everything they say affects the world around them.
  • Legacy Vessel Naming: Tapu Lele is on a ship called the U.S.S. Thiver in the epilogue, named after her Inteleon.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: Pokérin is on its way to becoming this, with several anthropomorphic Pokémon (such as Zoroark and Incineroar) being granted citizenship or becoming trainers.
  • Loads and Loads of Races: In the first chapter, Dr. Bashir notes that Pokérin has far more sapient species than any other planet in the galaxy.
  • Masquerade: Bashir recommends enforcing one regarding information about Mimikyu when he discovers that viewing ones true body (even a recording of one) kills the viewer. As he points out if someone with hostile intent gets access to a picture of a Mimikyu it could be used as a weapon of mass destruction against any planet with an internet.
  • Mind Rape: During Allister's battle with Tapu Lele, his Runegrigus gives everyone in the vicinity flashes of something being torn apart by a Zoroark. It's enough to make his opponent Valyez go down.
  • More than Mind Control: Obstagoon hate the world by their very nature, making them easy for Malamar to recruit without resorting to mind control.
  • Named After Their Planet: The Human Aliens from Pokérin are called Pokérinians, and Beeheeyem are known as Ohbem on their homeworld of Ohba.
  • One-Gender Race: Defied with Throh and Sawk; they were believed to be all male until the Federation started analysing their DNA.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghost-type Pokémon are living creatures that happen to have an affinity for the dead.
  • Planet of Hats:
    • All Scrafty are rebellious. They rebel against the idea of being categorised as sapient due to the misunderstanding that the Federation are imposing it on them.
    • Malamar have a tendency to be megalomaniacs or at least desire chaos. Julian wonders if the non-megalomaniacal ones never leave their cities... or if they purge ones who have different ideals.
    • Cinderace treat everything in life like a competition.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Urshifu society revolves around them training until they're strong enough to fight in wars and survive.
    • Julian notes most Pokemon have an inclination for battling and companionship. Regardless of sapience, this is undeniable. He also started to realize just how complex the relationship is because even if the Pokemon are sapient, they have a symbiotic relationship and a bond that the Federation isn’t used to since they’re used to enslaved races not willing complex relations.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Miranda the Gardevoir and Soma the Slowking are the only members of the group able to resist a Galarian Slowking's subtle hypnosis.
  • Psychic Link: Ezri asks Miranda to psychically link her to Rayquaza so she can tell it that they come in peace.
  • Psychic Powers: The Grimmsnarl and Hatterene chapter explains that the Ghost, Dark, and Fairy types are derived from a similar psionic field to the Psychic-type, with the latter two derived from emotions.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Jynx's maximum lifespan is unknown; Fosic speculates that each one could be millions of years old for all we know.
  • The Reveal:
    • The "E" character who occasionally comments on the articles turns out to be a Gothitelle named Eulogy.
    • Zygarde, Giratina, Palkia, and Dialga tell the crew that Pokérin is the base template for all humanoids' cultures, which Infinity Energy (which is the essence of Arceus) then copied throughout the universe.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Audrey trapped Zygarde in a Pokéball so he wouldn't interfere with the war in Unova.
  • Shared Dream:
    • Dr. Bashir and Cynthia enter one facilitated by a Mismagius to communicate with Regigigas.
    • Musharna spend most of their lives sleeping, and their society exists within a giant, interconnected dream.
  • Single Specimen Species:
    • Unusually for a Pokémon fanfic, this is averted with most legendaries — it's explicitly stated that there are multiple Latis, Darkrais, Cresselias, and Tapus.
    • It's played straight with Regigigas, though; only one has ever existed, because it was created by Zygarde for the sole purpose of shaping the world. Zygarde also created Rayquaza to act as a guardian for Pokérin from extraterrestrial threats.
    • Diancie is also a one-of-a-kind mutation.
    • Zygarde, Giratina, Palkia, Dialga, and Kyurem are also entirelly unique beings created by Arceus.
  • Skeptic No Longer: At first Bashir dismisses the belief that Dusknoir are Psychopomps to be nothing more than superstition. Then he witnesses two of them rip out Ezri Dax's soul and open a portal to the ghost world. After that he's less willing to dismiss the beliefs that Pokérinians have about certain Pokémon.
  • Smart Animal, Inconvenient Instincts: Mienshao's predatory instincts are so overwhelming that the researchers didn't realise they were sapient until they found out that they can channel these urges into martial arts.
  • Starfish Language: Ludicolo communicate through dancing. Roserade convey simple messages through scent. Porygon2 communicate with each other through encryption that even the Universal Translator has trouble understanding. Malamar communicate through flashing lights on their bodies.
  • Talking with Signs: Since Siren is a Roserade, a species who can't talk, she communicates by writing. She holds up several signs during her battle against Leon's team.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: The sight of Mimikyu's true appearance is so deadly that Julian thinks it would be best to be kept a secret, lest it be used as a weapon of mass destruction.
  • Uplifted Animal:
    • Some Pokémon have this occur to them naturally, where they only become sapient after evolution. One such example is a Vespiquen the team encounters early in Sinnoh, who a while after encountering them develops her own language, barters her honey for amenities to her hive, and even develops a taste for mathematics.
    • Siren the Roserade, a species acknowledged to not be sapient, manages to achieve this for herself for the sake of spiting the researchers.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Chapter 68, The State of Pokérinian Civilization, summarises Pokérin's first steps to joining the Federation, and what various supporting characters got up to after the crew finished their survey.
  • You Fight Like a Cow: Unlike most Inteleon, Thiver won't stop coming out with jokes and one-liners. Julian wonders if he does this to distract his opponents.
  • You No Take Candle: Siren's writing contains poor grammar and syntax at first, such as “you think he be gooder by now.” Julian wonders if she's doing this on purpose to mess with him.

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