Author's Notes: Lumière is intended to be a rather new-age fan fiction that draws more on established literary norms. It is not as much about plot as it is about exploring concepts within the Pokémon universe when applied to a new region. Sorry if it's not necessarily a page turner, but I wouldn't say it's boring either. I wanted to depart from the basic, quasi-rigid fan fiction model of a protagonist and antagonist duking it out or a fan fiction revolving solely around battling. I hope this doesn't blow up in my face. Also the events of this story do not follow a linear progression.

Calda (sometimes referred to as Calh'dha and the Land of Fury) - A desert region to southeast of Hoenn.
Sandstone Town - The quintessential starter town of Calda. Relatively small, at the southern tip of the region. One of the only port towns, besides Pyrite Town to the far north. The site of the Kanto Imperial Court.
Pyrite Town - Calda's largest port.
Antimony Town - An oasis town in the middle of the desert
Opula City - The capital city of Calda. Fabled to have been founded by Orek, the champion-king of Calda. Site of the government and palace.
Spirits - Primordial beings that are said to have existed in Calda before the arrival of humans. Feed of the energy of living organisms.

Land of Fury

We watched each other in the night, felt our skins radiate with sunlight, with each other’s love, drank each other’s love until there was nothing left. Then we slept and knew one another in our dreams.
Days were unbearably long then, so long you could count the minutes as cells on the space between your fingers. As you continued, numbers trailing, meaningless words, new ones emerged and old ones died. Nothing constant, time flowing endlessly, a river of sweetest honey, the color of sin.

We trained in the day time, Sidney and I. He told me I was getting better, that the bond between me and my creatures was growing taut like a tight rope, fraying at the edges as distance placed on a strain on what we knew. Umbreon was mine by then, a gift that I cherished, that resembled its master in every possible way, its eyes like the twin moons I worshiped.
Now he’s gone, his bones somewhere far away. And I’m here, in this lightless country.

They call it the Land of Fury. The ground itself is but a tarp of flaming sands, a layer of dust upon a bed of hard and harsh rock. To the east of Sandstone Town the mountains crouch to us, condescending, wondering what it is we humans do. I have been here only a few days but already the Murkrow that like chandeliers hang above us do not scare me anymore. One has to wonder in such a world, the fury of God, if it one even lives, or if living is as much of a blessing as we may think. When you incur the wrath of God, perhaps it is better to die than live knowing you were not meant to survive. But nothing makes sense anymore, nothing but time, which drips through this country like the water for which we are all desperate, for which we are all endlessly thirsty and desperate.

They came and told me that they had spotted the Leviathan to the west. A golden dragon, they called it, attempting to speak the language of their colonizers. Taupe backs, leathery faces, eyes as round as juniper berries and just as bitter. “Take me to it,” I said sternly, attempting to sound as neutral as I could. Something in my gullet sang to me when I looked into their eyes. They bore the garbs of Kantomen, but I could tell from the way their clothes fit their bodies, how even when propped up like stuffed animals they did not feel at home. Orek and his brother Talqa, the liaisons of the Caldan king to the imperial city – and I am but a cog in my mother’s machine.


I left Pyrite Town yesterday. The Maractus watched timidly as I began my trek through the rift, my footsteps reminding me with each step that I was leaving a sanctuary of humanity and of culture for the wilds. I could sense their wonder, their eyes reading “Why does he leave his people for the whims of the sands? What is it out there for him but death and misery?” I ignored them, as I always do, and walked deeper into the belly of the whale.

Antimony Town is but thirty miles away from Pyrite Town. Atop Spear Mountain, one can see the hamlet of glittered waves as a bruise on the landscape, red and orange and blue. My mother is dying, and the trains are not running today. Nature is what separates me from she who conquered this country, the governor of Calh’dha.

A Cacnea approached me as I walked the ancient path to Antimony Town, and gave me desert berries to eat. Bitter things, but filled with water. I thanked it and it looked surprised that I did not immediately attempt to catch it. Its eyes told me that it was once a Trainer’s. Perhaps he abandoned it, or perhaps he, like I, had decided to take the arduous journey and was not as lucky. As I began to walk away, the Cacnea followed me, screeching as best it could while flailing its nettled arms.

“I will not catch you,” I told it and it did not seem to hear me, looking me over. I continued on my way, and it continued to follow me. “Go away,” but that did not work. With time I acquiesced and allowed it to follow me without giving it the satisfaction of being owned. It was then that night alighted upon the dunes and the world was suddenly cold.


Orek told me that his name means “champion” in Caldan. He told me that Orek was the name of the first conqueror of Calda, the man who established the monarchial Opula City in the heart of the region. “To have the name Orek is to be the champion of the people, to create a space in which your family can prosper and survive.” And I asked Orek what it was that the champion conquered and he said “the spirits.” I asked him about the spirits, and he begun a long story, the peace and tranquility of Sandstone Town blurring into the din of jungle with each of his words.

“Eons ago, Calda was the land of foul spirits, those destined to incur the wrath of God. They were terrible and cruel and mean in life, but most importantly, they were disobedient. They destroyed Calda and brought death and destruction into the world with their crimes. They poisoned the earth and sickened the sky. They used fire to destroy the forests and attempted to drown the deserts with rain. Orek and his family came from the Sunbeam Isles to the south to Calda to escape a monsoon. They were smart to have left, for the monsoon swallowed the isles whole. When they arrived at our shores, the spirits assaulted them. All of Orek’s family feared the spirits and gave them power. Spirits feed off of bad energy, but the energy of human beings is stronger than the energy of Pokémon. They had never seen humans before and feasted on our terror. But Orek was not afraid. He said, “Foul spirit, you do not scare me,” and one of the spirits, Medra’ch, the spirit of darkness and of the unknown, replied “How is it that you are not afraid? No one can stand us,” and Orek said “No. I am not afraid because you cannot hurt me. You only exist if I allow you to exist.” And Medra’ch writhed at Orek’s words, like a sword had been thrust through his heart. His brother Kya’tchya, the spirit of disease and of pestilence, told Orek “I will make you sick and you will die a painful death” and Orek responded “No for I am as healthy as I will it” and Kya’tchya attempted to touch Orek, but the champion’s skin was too thick and too bright for his fingers. And Kya’tchya writhed in the champion’s light and was no more. Next was Ovryon, the spirit of misery and of grief. She said “Behold, traveler. Your home is destroyed and you have nowhere to go. Wallow in your despair” and Orek responded “My home is in my smile. As long as I smile I will never be homeless” and Ovryon could not bear his words and melted into the sand. Many other spirits approached, those of anger and of loneliness and of war and of lust approached and attempted to scare him with their deceit and each time Orek defeated them with his words. Slowly the spirits vanished from the earth, never again to terrorize lesser creatures. Finally, the spirit king approached him. Subahl, the spirit of pride, the strongest and most powerful of them all. And Orek’s family screamed at Subahl’s gruesome authority but Orek was not afraid. “Are you greater than I?” Subahl asked Orek, and Orek waited a few moments, gathering his thoughts. Subahl believed he had won when he noticed Orek’s pensive silence, and a grin crept its way across his face. Then Orek spoke. “I am no better than any other man, but spirits are not men.” Subahl responded quickly “But are you better than I?” and Orek replied “I am not better than any other man, but you are not a man” and Subahl asked capriciously “Than what am I?” and Orek responded “You are nobody.” And with a burst of violent light and a shout that shook the mountains, Subahl was no more. Orek’s family rejoiced at their father’s victory over the spirits, and made him their king. The site of Subahl’s throne became the palace of Orek, the first philosopher-king and Opula City built itself around the palace. With time, the entirety of the region was placed under the control of the throne. And Calda as we know it has yet to cease.”

“Do you believe that story?”

“Yes, why wouldn’t I?”

“It seems a little fantastic… Hard to believe, you know.”

“Your way of life is shallow and lacking belief. That is why your people are so grim and sad. Your truth, it has begun to infect us.”

“But isn’t truth good? Isn’t Orek a hero because he knows his own personal truth?”

“Truth itself can change. It is never constant. Nothing in this world is constant. It is your unwillingness to see that makes your truth venomous.”


I asked my father for a Blaziken and he told me that such a Pokémon was not fit for a young girl. I asked why and he told me that it was masculine and that I was to be a young lady with Pokémon suitable for young ladies. His assistants gave me many options, nearly all of them too girly for my tastes.

“How about Gardevoir, Princess Wen? It’s very charming but powerful.”

“I’ve already told you, Turon, that I want a Blaziken. Bring me a Blaziken.”

“Your father said no.”

“I am the princess,” I said in English and Turon looked at me curiously, wondering whether or not I had said something indiscreetly foul. “I am your future queen.”

“Your Majesty, I cannot disobey your father’s wishes. These are the Pokémon that he believes are good for you.”

“Gardevoir, Delcatty, Carbink, Espeon, Wigglytuff – these are all fragile little things. I am a strong girl with ambition. A queen cannot be seen with something pink and fuzzy.”


“Fine, Turon. I will use Gardevoir.” I resigned, knowing that I would have my way eventually. He nodded, kowtowing before existing. I released the creature into my bedroom and looked it over. A sickly, skinny thing, with a head far too large for its body and eyes as large as moonpies. Its similarity to a human being perturbed me as it looked me over with equal contempt. “Well, go on. Do something.” I said in my mother tongue, but it did not understand me. I tried again in English, but it still seemed unaware of my intentions. “What are you, stupid?”

“Gardevoir is one of the most intelligent Pokémon out there, Princess Wen,” Rho stated from the doorway. I turned to him, his familiar eyes meeting mine as he walked in. Gardevoir looked him over with equal distance, wary of both of us, as if we were predators. “It has the ability to read the minds of humans, a rare skill in the Pokémon world.”

“Well why is she acting so weird? She won’t do anything?”

“Well, for one, it’s a he. Second, you need to give it a command.”

“Oh,” I responded and turned to Gardevoir. I peeked around its body, wondering how it was that Rho could tell his gender, but surrendered that endeavor relatively quickly. “Gardevoir, use Tackle.”

“You will have to speak in English until it learns the language. This Pokémon is most likely from Hoenn, raised by some elite breeder who more than likely speaks English. But Gardevoir learn quickly. Try telling it to use ‘Thunderbolt.’”

“Gardevoir, use Thunderbolt,” he hesitated at first, then sparked with a fierce light as an arc of electricity slammed into the ground.

“I’d still prefer a Blaziken.” I told my tutor and he laughed. “What? I’m serious.”

“Your father prefers you play with more queenly creatures.”

“My father won’t be king forever and when I’m queen, I will have whatever Pokémon I desire.”

“And no one will stop you, Princess Wen. You will be the inheritor of the gem of the world.”

It was a massive, ugly thing. A Steelix far larger than anything any of us had ever seen, dwarfing those of Bruno, who looked over it with absolute horror. Its eyes were blood oranges in its skull, its body writhing, coruscating, golden circles.
“The Leviathan,” Sidney said aloud, dumbfounded. And the beast roared aggressively, prompting the battle. Cynthia sent forth her Garchomp and it attempted to hold back the beast with its crossed claws but it was to little avail. Lance’s Dragonite circled the beast, attempting to inflict damage, somehow, but the beast seemed powered by its own anger, by a bloodlust that seemed impossible to quench. Gothitelle was only a nuisance to the others on the field, attempting to use my terror as a boost to its strength, but it was a fruitless effort. What are we but ants to such a thing, with the power to end life on a whim? What is mortal man to that which is too powerful to know death?
Bruno’s Machamp succeeded in landing a solid blow to the beast, and it spun back, lashing out into the sand. A cloud emerged around it and we were all pelleted by sand, blinded by the obstruction of the sun within the storm. If there had been a scream of help at the moment, it would have gone unanswered. So loud was the sandstorm around us, a din of earth on earth, earth on flesh. With a shrieking command, Garchomp cleared the storm and all the Leviathan by then had disappeared.
And so had Sidney.


We did not know where he had gone. The Leviathan was there and suddenly was no more, and Sidney shared the same fate. We imagined him within the damp cave of the Leviathan’s jaws, immersed under thousands upon thousands of pounds of sand, the golden snake burrowing through the ground towards its hollow. Cynthia was distraught, and so were we all. To lose a friend, a person you had spent so many days with, in the blink of an eye – who can endure that?
I was absolutely stupefied by the beast. Never before have I seen such a terrorizing force, something so massive, so seemingly omnipotent that even the strongest trainers in all the world were mere novices before it. Nothing, nothing at all can control that thing. No PokéBall can work against a beast who has no interest in being caught and tamed. Nothing can sooth a reckless, savage, sanguinary spirit such as that.
And no one should seek to try. The land is rejected us and the Leviathan is its harbinger.
This world is shedding us, is ready to start anew.


The others have gone. No one remained, no one but me. Sinnoh is no longer a home to me. My life is here, in the wilds of this godforsaken country. There is nowhere else for me but here, but down, below the sands.


I received an invoice from the imperial court of Calda on the first day of spring. It came in the form of the prince of Calda, Rekka, clad in the traditional if not somewhat barbaric armor of his people; a golden chestplate over tough cotton bandages, his head adorned by an ornate helmet reminiscent of a Flygon’s face. “My lord Friedrich I of Kalos,” he started, kowtowing before me. A youngish man, worldly and seemingly aware of the world outside the borders of his long isolationist nation. He spoke English with a slightly audible accent, the likes of which both pleased and annoyed me. I waved and allowed him to continue speaking. “I come to you today to ask for your aid. For the past three months, a wild Steelix has been destroying many of the mining towns of our region. Augmine Town, Calda’s center of commerce and industry and the source of half of the world’s anthracite has been evacuated because of the Steelix, which he have begun calling Qhui’kya or the Leviathan. None of our warriors have been able to subdue it and we fear that it may jeopardize international trade. We ask for your aid today, so that Calda can continue its plans to slowly open its doors to the world.”
I looked over the boy with stern scrutiny, allowing his words to hover in the air as I analyzed them. Diantha looked to me with eyes of power. “What do you suggest I do, Diantha?”
“I say we help them as best as we can. It is within the interests of the people of Kalos to protect those who have not the means to protect themselves. Who are we to allow the destruction of our distant neighbors?”
“But what exactly is it that you desire, prince Rekka? Troops? Money?”
“Trainers. We require trainers who are able to conquer the Leviathan.”
“Do you not have adept trainers in Calda?”
“It is against tradition to capture Pokémon in Calda. Pokémon trainers are seen as users and enemies to the order of nature. For eons the Caldans have lived harmoniously within the Pokémon world and have never sought to conquer it. There are maybe only thirty or forty trainers in all of Calda and none of them are up to such a task.”
“I will go,” Diantha stated proudly but with fault in her voice. She turned to me and looked at me with apprehension.
“You can’t. You are my prime minister. You cannot leave me.”
“I am the strongest trainer in all of Kalos. If I do not go, who will?”
“We will find someone. I need you, Diantha.”
“King Friedrich, I promised to serve you unerringly when you appointed me as your prime minister. I am not promising to serve you by executing the will of the people of Kalos and of Calda by opening domestic relations to our sister continent. Is that not the best service I can do to my king and my nation?”
“What about the gym leaders or the Elite Four? Are they not capable of handling the situation?”
“If I may add, the Leviathan is seemingly uncatchable. It resists all of our PokéBalls. We fear the only way to subdue it is to kill it,” Prince Rekka added and I could feel my face grow dime in the light.
“I will return, my king,” my prime minister responded and I acquiesced as best I could, putting the future of my country’s international affairs in the hands of the woman who did not want to be my queen.


I did not welcome the outsiders to my town. They wear strange clothes, speak a strange language, have strange customs. They cut their hair so short and cake their faces with mud – they are uncivilized, but they think us uncivilized. The town guardians did not let them in, and snarled at them when they attempted to come through the gates. The sentry yelled “What do you want, outsiders?" from the lookout and they stared at him, unable to understand what he had said. He yelled again and they said that they did not understand him and that they wanted to stay in town to get out of the cold. I initially did not want them to come in but they begged and pleaded with me. One of them, a man of hardwood and stone, towering above us, really, told me that he and his friends were friends of the state, having come from far across the water’s surface to help us. “We do not need your help,” I told them and the people rejoiced at my words, equal in their disdain of the manifest of change before them. “We do not want to hurt you or your way of life. We’ve come to deal with the Steelix, that’s it.” Another approached, a woman this time, with hair the color of sand, and said that they had a writ from the imperial palace to sojourn wherever they wanted. I looked at them with aggression in my throat but I was in no position to go against my king. The guardians ceased their snarling, the flames ‘round their necks sated by their handler’s words, and the gates to our town were opened to the outsiders, the sea behind them astir in the evening light.

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