- "We're going to give it our all! No one will ever say that we gave up! Agreed?"
Marty Atrice was an average Pokemon enthusiast from Pallet Town, the kind who anxiously awaited the day when he would be allowed to raise and battle with Pokemon of his own. When the day came, he set out, faithful Bulbasaur at his side, with one goal on his mind: the Pokemon League.
That was before the Beedrill came.
This is the story of a young boy who awoke in a hospital, barely able to remember anything about himself or his surroundings, and who is predicted to have weeks at most to live. And this is the story of the Bulbasaur at his side, the one who promised to help him achieve his dreams, and the one who would do anything to make sure that the remainder of his master's life will have been worth living.
The story takes a darker yet softer look at the Pokemon journey, the relationship between trainer and trainee, the individuals and social norms that make this possible, and just how far a Pokemon is willing to go for the sake of his master.
And at what point he should be allowed to stop.
- Accidental Murder: Bulbasaur was just trying to help Marty by sharing the Antidote, but it not only failed to work because he was human, it compounded the problem.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Bulbasaur assumes this about the Beedrill at first, leading to Fantastic Racism. Ultimately subverted completely when the swarm's reasons for attacking are revealed. To say nothing of Beedrill's status as The Woobie.
- Bee Afraid:
- The Beedrill in the beginning. Subverted with the Beedrill who joins the group.
- Berserk Button: Ekans doesn't think much of his former trainer, and reacts harshly to comments about him or the reason he was abandoned.
- Carnivore Confusion: Most wild Pokémon eat other Pokémon to survive. The acts of training against wild Pokémon and hunting them for food are repeatedly compared. And then there's Ekans, especially once Bulbasaur discovers that he has eaten at least one human.
- Collateral Angst: Aside from one notable monologue, the majority of concern about Marty's condition comes from characters who aren't him.
- Contrived Coincidence: Every Pokemon the group catches is at least partially Poison-type. This is never justified. One of them lampshades it later, saying he thought they were going for a theme.
- Critical Existence Failure: Unfortunately for Bulbasaur, averted. Those "weeks to live" turn out to be a steady decline, with no clearly defined moment of death.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Poison-type Pokemon are not always dangerous to be around. The ghosts are debatable.
- Decoy Protagonist: Marty
- The Determinator: Bulbasaur will not give up on his trainer, no matter what. This turns out to be a problem.
- Deconstruction Fic: Of the whole concept of Mons. Telling a story with Pokemon requires them to have human-like intelligence and characteristics. However, the idea of a human trainer only makes sense if the Mons aren't so intelligent... This contradiction drives most of the story.
- Easy Amnesia: Marty even forgot his goal. Unusually for this story, Marty has difficulty forming new memories as well and can't really remember things unless something else reminds him.
- Empty Shell: Marty becomes more and more like this as the adventure continues.
- Fantastic Racism: Not really, but Bulbasaur understandably finds it difficult to trust Beedrill. He also is wary of Poison-types.
- From Bad to Worse: At first it looks like this might play out like a typical underdog story and he'll still be able to reach his goal. Then Marty loses his Pokedex, and all of its knowledge. A setback, but with determination they can still make it right? Then it becomes clear that his memory is deteriorating, and it's already bad enough that he forgets things within thirty seconds. It doesn't really stop getting worse from there, either.
- Gentle Giant: Ekans/Arbok tries to act like this around the others. He is not always successful.
- Heroic BSoD: Bulbasaur's realization of his Poison-type, and all of its implications, as he freezes up and recalls memories from the rest of the story.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The first letters of the chapter titles.
- Incurable Cough of Death: Marty has one. Justified and treated later on.
- Internal Reveal: Many of the Pokemon are unaware that they are poisonous until later in the story. The fandom, however, knows.
- Jerk Ass: Haunter, especially at first.
- Kuudere: Zubat tends to be more practical than happy about being captured, but it's possible to get on her good side.
- The Last Dance: Bulbasaur's intent is to keep Marty working toward his goal, even if he cannot achieve it in time.
- Mama Bear: Pokemon tend to get aggressive when their nests are in danger.
- Monster Is a Mommy: It's eventually revealed that Zubat is not only a mother, but has had lots of children... and was only captured because Marty and Bulbasaur got too close to their nursery.
- My Greatest Second Chance: The way Ekans views his training. More significantly, the way he views the rest of the group.
- Naïve Newcomer: Beedrill. Arguably Bulbasaur and Marty as well.
- No Biochemical Barriers: Averted with, of all things, antidotes.
- Poison Is Evil: Type-wise, the main cast averts this, but the implications of using it and possible alternatives in battle are discussed frequently.
- The Power of Friendship: Bulbasaur constantly tries to evoke this with Marty. In the end, it doesn't actually work.
- Rousseau Was Right: Every character remotely played up as evil or scary (with the possible exception of Ekans's first trainer and a few hungry predators) winds up being a good guy. There are no villains present.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Subverted. Ekans/Arbok is not as bad as he appears at first.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Zubat eventually abandons the group.
- Song Fic: Every chapter ends with a two-line stanza loosely related to the chapter's events.note
- Species Surname: Every Pokemon is referred to by their species. This causes confusion, especially when some of them evolve. The one given name is not looked upon favorably.
- Time to Unlock More True Potential: All trained Pokemon do this to some extent, but Ekans's life practically revolves around it.
- To Be a Master: Marty's goal, until he forgot it, was to enter the Pokémon League.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Bulbasaur did not realize he is part Poison-type. Which meant he also realized he was never poisoned to begin with.
- Unreliable Narrator: Bulbasaur is the viewpoint character, and his view is not always correct. For one thing, he was never poisoned.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Bulbasaur toward Marty. Also Beedrill toward Marty, and later Arbok.
And that's before the last two chapters.
- Absurdly Dedicated Worker: Starter Pokemon remain loyal to the trainers who receive them. This is fine when their trainers are still alive, but...
- Brainwashed: Conditioning starter Pokémon to be loyal to their trainers ends up falling into this category.
- Breaking Speech: An epic one from another ghost Pokemon to the Head of the Pokemon League, pointing out a lot of Fridge Logic and Horror in the Pokemon world (or at least this version of it).
- Changed My Mind, Kid: Golbat, now evolved, rejoins the group. Though she prefers the new circumstances, it is heavily implied that the ghosts had a lot to do with the mind change.
- Demonic Possession: Of Marty. And later, many others in the same situation.
- Deus ex Machina: Giratina appears to move the plot forward with no foreshadowing, aside from the ghosts in the previous chapters.
- Dream Weaver: Haunter manipulates Ivysaur's dreams in an effort to better analyze his relationship with Marty.
- Driven to Suicide: Ivysaur attempts to ensure that his life ends at the same time as Marty's.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: The rest of the group attempts to convince Ivysaur to stop letting his life revolve around Marty.
- Replacement Goldfish: Using possession, Haunter becomes a full-time Marty impersonator.
- Shoot the Dog: Arbok destroys what is left of Marty's mind specifically so that Beedrill doesn't have to.
- Title Drop "You've poisoned their minds! And there is no antidote!"
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The ghosts are trying to protect the interests of trainerless starters, but their means are highly questionable. Made even more clear when they show an interest in using psychics.