Heyllo folks! I had this story in my head for a while now and have finally decided to put it to the metaphorical paper (you'll see when this chapter takes place as the point I came up with it). After years of scouring this site for decent SI/OC stories that don't include every possible version of Ash, I've decided to take advice from Thanos and do it myself (thank the Lord for those few stories that don't follow the eternal 10-year old's perspective).
I'll make a longer note on the bottom once you've checked out the chapter (or just scrolled down, not like I can stop you) about what I want this story to be. Think of this as the intro chapter in which you see where my head was at when I came up with the idea.
And no, my life isn't as bad as my SI's is here, had to make some dramatic changes to get things rolling but I tried to take inspiration from my life experiences to make it feel a bit more real.
"Eat a bag of dicks, you slimy bastard!" Mark cursed as he slammed the door to his ex-boss' office.
A sea of curious, gleeful, and scandalized faces met him on his way to his desk in the open office of his now ex-employer. He ignored everyone's questions, both implied and direct, as he grabbed his things and stormed out of the building.
Once he got into his crappy car, he took a few minutes to calm down and think about his plan for the future.
With a frustrated growl, which morphed into a tired sigh, he fished out the phone out of his pocket and called up the one number he avoided dialing as much as he could.
After a few rings, a female voice answered with a distracted "Yes? How can I help you?"
Mark rolled his eyes while thinking 'Never looks at the damned phone,' and answered, "It's me, Mom."
Before he could continue, his mom spoke over him, "Mark! How are you, honey? Did you get your promotion yet? Did you light a candle at the cemetery or are you doing it after work? You do remember what day today is, don't you? Your father wouldn't care, but it's the right thing to do."
'Yeah, what would the neighbors think if you didn't inform them that everything's fine with your family,' Mark thought in stoic silence while he waited for his mother to tire herself out.
A minute later he had enough and interrupted her inane babble with, "I quit my job, Mom."
He rode over her indignant "What!?" without care and continued with what he needed to say, "They wouldn't give me the raise and would only look at it again in maybe half a year so I quit. I think it would be best I came back home for a while so I don't have to pay the rent on my apartment while I look for a new job."
The silence lasted for only a second before his mother started up the oh so familiar tirade of insults veiled in questions and advice on which she raised him and his sister on.
'It's no wonder dad offed himself,' Mark thought with grim certainty before interrupting the venomous rant dressed up in soft words, "Enough, Mom, enough. We'll talk about it when I get back. I'm going to light a candle for dad first, then I'm packing my things up, and driving home after I settle things with my landlord. I should be there by noon tomorrow. I'll see you then."
With that, he hung up and turned off his phone to preempt any guaranteed incoming calls.
He wanted to punch something but saw no point in venting his frustrations on his already beaten-down Aveo.
After taking a deep breath, he calculated with grim certainty, 'It's going to suck having to live with other people after six years of sweet solitude, but two years of sending almost half of my paycheck back home to help out with her business scams and debts should buy me a few months of rent at least.'
When he felt calm enough not to do anything stupid, he started his car up and drove away without ever looking back at his former place of employment.
The day after, once Mark got back to his family's two-bedroom apartment, his mother and sister ganged up on him and they had a nice long argument/bitchfest that ended with him getting the couch in the living room since his sister took over the room they used to share.
He didn't care that much. His sister copied his mother in everything she did, and the entitled bitch could have the cluttered mess she turned their room into for all he cared.
It still amused him, in an exasperated sort of way, that his mother now valued his high school dropout sister more than him just because she somehow managed to get engaged to a guy whose father owned a construction company.
After a few days of sulking, Mark always prided himself on his self-awareness so he had to admit he indulged a bit in it, he started to look for a new job.
The lack of job opportunities for his experience level in his quite specialized IT field proved an obstacle, still, he applied to even the ones that asked for ten years of experience in a profession that only existed for six and hoped for the best.
He also applied for jobs he thought he could do without issue so he could build up his funds to move out. Even then, he knew that his pride in the college degree he worked so hard for wouldn't allow him to apply for the quick cash hard labor jobs because he felt he deserved better than that.
In the meantime, now that he didn't have a steady job taking up his time, he decided to execute a plan he came up with when Game Freak and Nintendo announced they would release the new Pokemon games, Sword and Shield, a couple of months ago.
He planned to go through every game they released so far while he waited for the new ones. Before he quit, he even bought a Switch in preparation for it.
Mark loved the Pokemon games ever since his father bought him his first Game Boy Color and its copy of Pokemon Yellow at age five because he enjoyed the anime so much. From then on, he would get his dad to buy the new games and systems as soon as they came out and played them for hours without end.
In his teens, he signed up for all the competitive tournaments in his region, but soon gave up on them when he realized how much cheating went on there. He would spend days and weeks breeding the best teams he could and then get beaten when he got to the later rounds in the tournaments when everyone else had their perfect hacked specimens.
That experience at least didn't ruin the games for him, unlike what the Pokemon Black & White series did for the anime. Before it, he would watch the episodes as soon as they came out every week, once the Black & White part of the show started turning into a disaster he couldn't bring himself to watch anymore without getting annoyed at everyone involved.
Things that he chose to ignore in the main character, Ash, in the past now looked like glaring flaws in his personality, and the traveling companions they saddled him with made the whole experience ten times worse.
So he kept up with the games and abandoned the anime to nothing else except the little bits he picked up from the internet through social osmosis and the occasional Google search. And even then, after his father died, he focused more on studying and later his college education and career.
Another thing that gave Mark the opportunity of enacting his plan was that his mother and sister planned to go to their summer home on the beach, a place he didn't go to ever since his dad 'fell' to his death from the cliffs nearby.
Everybody but he believed it an accident, but Mark found the suicide note and hid it before anyone else could read it. Mostly because he didn't want people to think his father took the coward's way out, but a small bitter part of him wouldn't allow his father's weakness to cost them his life insurance policy.
He loved the man but had a realistic view of what his father would and wouldn't do. And staying married to a woman who insulted your very being from the time you got out of bed to the time you returned to it isn't something anyone with a spine could suffer through without snapping. 'Dad should have brought a friend along, preferably a spouse,' Mark would think in his darker moods.
The bad side of his family leaving for the summer home came in the way his mother kept dropping very unsubtle hints that she didn't have enough money to pay for the maintenance of the house and their apartment at the same time. It would seem her new/yearly pyramid scheme 'job' didn't pay as much as she expected it to, and his sister hadn't worked more than one summer as a waitress so she brought nothing to the table except for what her fiancée gave her.
Mark agreed to pay for the electricity, water, and internet from his meager savings to get them out of his sight because even a month at home with them had him thinking very dark thoughts.
That left him with an empty apartment, a bunch of Pokemon games, and the summer heat because of his mother not wanting to spend any money on AC units due to them 'never being home during Summer so it would be a waste of money'.
Occasionally he would go to a job interview, but a combination of a lack of experience, lack of interest, or lack of a vagina, prevented him from getting one.
He called bullshit on the experience excuse but they didn't care, and the part of his resume where his only job after college being the one where he told his boss to eat a bag of dicks didn't help with his references.
The lack of interest he admitted because most of the jobs he applied to he never worked at before, but you didn't need much zeal to work in an office.
And the lack of a vagina he couldn't do anything about, at least anything he wanted to do. He even understood the point of view from the other side where bosses, both male and female, preferred women for office jobs due to them not making as much trouble for the company as male workers could.
Of course, office ladies bitched about everything and anything to each other and their families, but at the end of the day they clammed up and get on with their work when the boss told them to. Men tended to have more explosive displays of frustration and didn't mind telling the boss what they thought. He presented the best evidence for that.
So as his summer continued, between sweaty sessions of Pokemon and air-conditioned interviews, he got more and more disillusioned with the real world and got sucked into the wonderful world of Pokemon.
Once he beat a game and caught and evolved every Pokemon in it, he would watch YouTube videos about it and read Wiki articles on anything that he could find about the game before starting a new one in the series.
Mark found that he had a much greater connection with the older games than he did with the newer ones. He never got enough of new Pokemon and battling and leveling them up, but he found that the story and characters in the later games annoyed him a lot more than he remembered when he played them in the past.
It just felt like they started to lose their soul and started to push out the newer versions with the sole purpose of getting more cash instead of improving the experience of the player. Also, he didn't like that they kept dumbing the games down as the generations passed.
However, even the large numbers of Pokemon games have an end, and once he finished he felt a longing for more deep down inside him.
The longing, combined with his newfound frustration towards the world, and in part the stagnation of the games, made him download each episode of the Pokemon anime and start watching them. He considered streaming the episodes, but he hated buffering times and his mother's internet didn't give him the confidence that he wouldn't get a lot of it.
At first, nostalgia had Mark in its steely grip, and he allowed for the mistakes that Ash made due to his inexperience. That nostalgia haze cleared out once the anime reminded him of how Ash abandoned Pidgeot.
It reminded him of how, in his youth, he would expect the Pokemon that Ash left behind to come back sometimes in the future episodes, but they seldom did.
Only disheartened frustration and slowly simmering rage remained from then on. He watched the rest of the anime in a fugue state, ignoring the world around him he only slept, ate, and watched Pokemon.
Even the small hope that rekindled in his chest during the Kalos League got stomped out in the finals and he almost threw his laptop through the window after that travesty.
He only broke out of his rut once he finished the last available Pokemon Sun and Moon anime episode, the one before the last battle of the Alolan League final match.
In a stroke of unbelievable bad luck, his family decided to come back home a day after it aired. So he had to suffer through an almost full week of nagging from his mother and sister due to him not finding a job yet and the state of disrepair they found the apartment in.
Mark didn't care for much in his depression and had to admit that he let himself go. During that week he had a shave and a haircut and applied for many jobs that his pride wouldn't let him consider in the past.
Even with all that, he knew that he only painted an optimistic mask on his face and didn't let go of the long-building rage towards the world; both real and that of Pokemon.
He promised himself that he would watch the most recent League defeat of Ash's and then set Pokemon aside until he got his life back in order.
No one was surprised more than him when it turned out that Ash won. Mark even missed the other part of the episode because his brain refused to acknowledge the bullshit he sat through during the summer and all that it signified.
After a long time, he calmly moved to his desk and sat down at his laptop to check what the Internet thought of the latest development in Pokemon.
To his horror, the majority seemed to celebrate the new 'League Champion'.
Mark didn't notice his rising heartbeat as he logged into his account on the main Pokemon forum and created a new thread with the title 'After everything we suffered through, you're satisfied with this?'
He cracked his knuckles and started typing, 'How can anyone accept this third rate 'League' victory as anything else than a slap to the face of us longtime fans? For the love of all that is good and holy, the 'Champion' match didn't even feature a full Pokemon battle! The damned Indigo League had full battles in the top 16! I will not acknowledge this BS slice of life show they turned the Pokemon anime into as the real deal. If they wanted to turn it into this poorly animated kiddy crap they should have given Ash the Kalos League and changed the main character, not turned him into an even more ret…'
Mark's fingers stopped typing. His heart stopped beating a minute before they did, but it took his body a while to catch up due to the hatred-fueled focus he felt for the world and his body slumped over his table without the opportunity to post his frustrations to the Internet.
In an endless space where the souls of all departed ended up, a Being of unimaginable power floated with its siblings and watched over the vast river of souls as they traveled towards their next destination.
From time to time, one of the Beings would notice something amiss in the river and give a soul specific attention if needed. After all, their sole purpose was and always has been the wellbeing of the souls and the soul river.
As such, this specific Being noticed a soul shedding pieces of its essence while it drifted down the river. This alarmed it greatly, or as much as such a Being can get alarmed because it signified that the soul was in the process of dissipating instead of purifying.
In the Being's experience, this would only happen when a soul gave up all hope and decided that life held no joy for it. Most of the time such souls would self-destruct no matter what anyone did, but rare souls, like this one, still had a chance.
The Being focused its will into the soul to study what kept total dissolution at bay and saw a small core of will wrapped around some kind of entertainment property from the soul's previous life.
It took a moment for the Being to examine those last dregs of will and what the soul perceived when it thought about the entertainment property, and then turned its focus towards the infinite multiverse in search of the dimension that matched the soul's image the most.
Because of the accelerated rate of dissipation, the Being couldn't find an exact match of what it wanted, but it found the closest thing it could and sent the soul on a path towards its wished-for life.
The Being examined the integration of the soul into the selected Universe for a short time, and once it noticed an improvement in the soul it considered its job done and turned its attention back towards the never-ending river of souls.
If creatures from that Universe knew what the Being did they would curse it a million times, for had the Being even a shred of curiosity and looked into the future of the selected Universe, it would see what chaos the soul it sent them caused.
"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh!" Mark screamed as his world turned from the already fading unending instant of nothingness to this new series of too intense sensations.
It felt like someone decided to fire an automatic cannon right next to his ears while someone else had the bright idea of dipping him into foul-smelling and tasting liquid nitrogen during a rave party that had an enthusiastic lights guy.
The sheer amount of foreign and uncomfortable sensations broke him out of his stupor as his survival instinct kicked in. He didn't have time for a more complex thought than, 'Stop! Please stop! STOP!' but he failed to impress this urgent request with his continued screaming.
When his mind started entertaining the idea that he got sent to Hell, the overwhelming sensations started to die down to something more survivable. Even though he still didn't feel comfortable, it gave his mind the required time to somewhat compose itself and figure out his situation.
He consciously stopped his screaming and slowly, with gritted gums 'What happened to my teeth? Did they take them!?' pried his eyes open.
A blurry world of large figures and incomprehensible noises greeted him. With narrowed eyes, he tried to focus on anything that might help him sort things out but nothing came to focus and his eyes started to hurt too much.
Suppressing a frustrated sigh, Mark closed his eyes and tried to focus on the booming noises around him. For a long while, he couldn't isolate anything familiar from the incomprehensible babble, until a sole combination of sounds caught his attention.
He gave the repeating sounds the entirety of his focus, even ignoring the uncomfortable sensation of having something forced into his mouth and down his throat. Additional torture among the multitude of others didn't add up to much at this moment.
As he concentrated more on the repeating sounds something in the back of his head assured him that he knew them from somewhere. With inspiration only desperation could bring, he realized that the noise shouldn't sound so loud or deep so he focused on lowering the volume in his mind.
'BOOOOOMMM! VOOOoooommmm! Puuuumm! Viiilllllll! Viillleepp! Pllummm! Villeplluuu! Vileplum! Vilplume! Vileplume plume Vileplume!' the last word snapped him out of his focus making his eyes open involuntarily.
For a long moment, he stared at a large incomprehensible blob that took his entire field of vision, trying to remember why he felt sure he knew that sound before he closed his eyes again and focused back on the familiar noise.
This time it didn't take him long to isolate it, 'Where do I know that from? Why do I know it?' he thought to himself while the echoing sounds of "Vileplume!" rang through his head.
With every repetition of the familiar noise, something inside of Mark felt like it would burst out any moment now. Unconsciously, he extended his arms out and someone placed something huge in the palms of his hands.
At that moment, when his real body instinctually took hold of the strange thing, his mental self grabbed the elusive thoughts in his mind with both metaphorical hands and pulled.
Mark screamed again. This time not because of the pain that started to fade into generally uncomfortable irritation with prolonged experience, but due to the sea of memories that flooded his mind.
'That's Vileplume! I remember!' was the last thought that passed through his mind before nothingness took him.
Soooo, what do you think?
Took me a while to format all of this. I'm new at it and the site isn't that user-friendly, but I'll manage. If you spot any errors please notify me so I can fix them. I hate it when I spot errors in chapters that were posted years ago and still haven't been fixed so any help would be appreciated.
Anyway, the idea for this story is the SI reincarnating into an anime/games universe (you'll see where in the next chapter) and doing the things I always wished I could. I'll try not to make it a wish-fulfillment story as much as I can because I don't like those either, especially the ones where the MC gets wishes. Every choice of Mark's will be planned out a long time in advance to help his ultimate goal (I also dislike emotional thinkers who only react to things) so don't expect him to go outing Giovanni in the first few chapters.
The only 'cheat' he will have are his memories of the world of Pokemon, that too will be clarified in the next chapter. Expect this story to be of the 'fuck canon' variety, but will try to keep some semblance of it in the beginning purely from practical reasons (screw people who follow canon only with their own MC). You probably won't even notice canon too much due to Mark not wanting to have anything to do with Ash.
So, if you're fine with all that you're in for an (in my personal opinion) fun ride that should stretch through the entire anime timeline and beyond.
The next chapter should be out tomorrow when I've gone over it a bit more, it's almost 4 AM here and I want to go to bed so there's that.
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to post them in the reviews. I'll read them all and try to answer everyone who needs an answer.