I didn’t get to instantly understand all the memories of my first life upon my insertion.

I didn’t get to meet any almighty being, or anything randomly omnipotent. Which, considering my new circumstances, would have been wild. Arceus as a god was crazy to consider.

Instead, I slowly formed into an overly mature child. That didn’t stop me from being caught in the wonder though. Being reborn into a world of pokemon will do that. There was a romance and a vibrancy to this world. Pokemon themselves made up the largest part but the people themselves were more upbeat. The simplest of things had more to them.

I’d easily spent vast amounts of my previous life engaged in the pokemon media. I wasn’t a diehard by any metric; but I was a fan for sure. Enough so that I knew things about the world. I’d had to test certain things at the start, such as which iteration of the pokemon world I was in. There was after all a world of difference between the various anime alone, then the games, and finally the manga.

An equivalent of the anime was perhaps the best outcome for all involved, ergo, me.

It did leave me with questions. Lots and lots of questions. Some of which I’m not sure I wanted asked, let alone answered.

I wanted some sleeping Entei to just keep slumbering. I wanted to live my second life for all that it was worth. That… had been possible with the occasional hitch. Thankfully I’d been able to put my knowledge of the pokemon world to great use.


In the past, I had another name and another life. Another world that, while mundane, was engaging, enjoyable, and mine. This second life I would treat as an extension with a new name much like a new situation. It would be no different than going to college and getting a new name that others knew me by assigned to me. That’s at least the way I rationalized it to myself.

These days, I went by Brock.

Brock as in the Leader of the Pewter City gym.

“Go Graveler!” I shouted. Pokeball discharging my chosen partner for this match.

“Go Nidorino!” shouted the challenger. The small rabbit-like rhino came down with a shake of its head that sent the overly large ears flapping. I let a small grin come out. It always amused me seeing pokemon that I once prized on my team with the game used against me.

“Graveler! Rollout into an Earthquake!” I called. I might have favored the pokemon originally but that was never a reason for me to go easy on them.


“Leap up Nidorino!” called my opponent with grit teeth. I braced myself as Graveller ended his first attack to slam both palms into the ground, calling out his name as he did so to cause the arena to shake. In the wild it wasn’t uncommon to be walking around and lose your footing. Dampeners around the arena stopped it from affecting the watching crowd. I considered it money well spent, and the crowds that frequented the gym since I installed them, judging by the steadily growing number of regulars, agreed. I had even started making decent money selling tickets for some of the pre-booked matches.

In my old world pokemon fights were often compared to cockfighting. A cruel sport marketed as pitting two animals against each other. This was incorrect. Perhaps in some other universe it was true in a grimdark world where everything was… Well I’d know if things were that bad.

Perhaps it was Arceus in this universe, or something else, but actual ‘blood’ occurring in most fighting was rare. It still happened and was more a sign of a pokemon being pushed to their limits. Death during a match was extremely rare. You had to be careful of course, as most incidents of this were typically from people that threw out top tier pokemon against rookies. Something that was extremely frowned upon, if not outright punished if found. Most pokemon had good enough instincts to know when to get out of a fight either by ignoring a trainer’s orders against a more powerful pokemon, or by staying down when they hit the ground.

The exception to this rule was typically in the wild with untrained pokemon, or with criminal organizations.

Criminals aren't big on following rules and social norms. Funny that.

“Nidorino! Use swift!” Called out the trainer I had largely been ignoring.

I refocused on the task at hand. I could admit to myself I was coasting in this fight. It was only a fourth badge standard match instead of anything exotic. It was the end of the circuit and this trainer wouldn’t be able to make it for this round of the league unless he had a pokemon well versed in teleport, along with having already gone to the places he needed to earn the Indigo qualified gyms. So far the trainer wasn’t impressing me enough that I could see them passing.

“Defense curl,” I finally answered after taking a moment to recall which moves this Graveller had.

“Thunder!” came the reply from the trainer, unknowingly sinking his chances of me passing him.

I stoically stare as the thunderbolt descends upon Graveller, who earths it by digging his feet into the ground slightly. When the flash vanishes, my pokemon is revealed unphased by the light show.

“Eh?! It was ineffective!?”

“Dig,” I say, ignoring the antics of my foe. Talking isn’t a free action after all. My opponent is flustered and compounds his earlier mistake. “Nidorino focus! When it pops up near you, go for Poison Sting!”

The pokemon dutifully nods before bracing. I huff in amusement. Leaping and using Swift would have been a better move, which would have shown more understanding of his pokemon’s strengths rather than bracing. Then again the fact that swift is a move that will never miss unless very specific moves are used is not as well known, I have found. Having some knowledge of the moves from the games has been a rather large boon.

Graveller’s fist shot out of the ground right under Nidorino, launching it into the air. “Jump after it and Seismic Toss it!” I push for the finish and the other trainer can only watch on as his pokemon is knocked unconscious.

The next fight of the challenge went even quicker with his Pidgeotto being a poorer choice for my gym. “Rock Throw,” I said to end it.

His pokemon fell from the sky and just like that, the match ended. He raised a pokeball withdrawing the downed pokemon as each of the raised dias we were standing upon sank back flush with the floor. I marched up to Graveller and checked her over.

The other pokemon trainer slouched up to me, “So… how’d I do?”

I gave him a look and shook my head. Then I employed one of the best things that I had been taught. Instead of me telling him, I started our fight review with, “You tell me what you think you did well, and then bad?”

He wasn’t getting a Boulder badge from me today, but maybe next year he might have another run at the league circuit. The badges won each had a two-year validity for the end of circuit tournament after all. I stretched and checked over the rest of the schedule. No other trainers had come in to challenge me but that was to be expected.

I waved to the crowd as they began to filter out. They knew no one else was scheduled in. The previous trainer had booked his time a few days ahead. I weighed up doing some talks with the crowd versus gym duties. I spotted a familiar face, covered in a beard with a hobo beanie. I almost thought I could smell them from where I was standing but shook the thought off. I considered talking to them for half a second. A roiling of emotions played out in my gut. Instead, I let my body turn me to the training area. I didn’t want to deal with… that, right now. Too many issues. Instead I wanted to focus on something else.

The lighter intensity and more sporadic trainer battles meant more time available for some of the dedicated staff or the people that had signed on with us.

It wasn’t just pokemon that needed to grow in this world. Another lesson trainers learnt as they progressed. It also helped to have locked in employment in a field they had experience in. Also warm, clean beds for those that lived in the gym’s housing were extremely nice. For people that had spent a year or two on the road, that was a pretty nice draw. I’d checked each gym’s facilities when I’d been a trainer myself to get an idea of what was offered. Most of them were the traditional apartment blocks of Japanese urban cities, and those were considered good. I prided myself on having a bit more than that and it showed in how I typically always had at least four employed trainers. If they weren’t employed by me then they were ‘sponsored’, which implied more mentoring and less me delegating tasks to them.

I entered the door to a more ruggedised gym that was broken into different training areas. It was part training facility for humans and part environment training space. I had a small pool along with a moat that ran along the edge of the room. Some pokemon bobbed around and tried to swim against the current while others simply bobbed along. In the middle pokemon traded pointers and lifted weights. Others dashed about or used their abilities against training dummies.

Further back I had an area for an open plan office with a conference room along with my own room for paperwork. Most of the time I spent I tried to keep out of the office however as trainers all preferred to be interacting with pokemon. That or training themselves.

The trainers I employed worked with some of the gym’s pokemon about the training area. Coaching them in the required moves that would allow them to be effective for certain badge level matches. There also needed to be a good deal of mentoring and counselling. It wasn’t good for the pokemon to simply use them for low-level fights and ditch them. That created resentment and bad blood with pokemon growing more aggressive.

Typically those ones faced a much more skewed win-loss ratio. Good pokemon at this level didn’t stay low level for long. You needed a certain type, and those needed care still as the ratio still applied to them. Rare was the pokemon that didn’t care about losing.

I nodded to the ironically named ‘Rocko’, a local trainer that had been one of the first to apply when I’d taken over the gym. He was laid back enough to be an easy hand with the low-level pokemon that stayed there. He waved back languidly before patting the head of a Geodude that bumped into him for attention.

I instead turned to one of the trainers that weren’t employed but rather ‘sponsored’ by the gym. Celia was a local that had garnered my interest and then the gym’s sponsorship with her showing at a local ‘little league’ where pokemon of a certain level were loaned out to fight. She’d accepted the prize of having her female nidoran from the tournament become her starter. She’d completed her circuit and now was in training for the Indigo League that wasn’t far off. I think she had good prospects.

She waved before tilting her head towards her pokemon. I waved her off and nodded to a side room where the computers were set up. “Let’s do some match review and scouting for your opponents.” That got a more fanged grin. She likely was dreaming of the day that would soon come where she would be ‘off the leash’ so to speak. Having completed her circuit rather quickly she had been hanging around Pewter for a month now. The Level of trainers here that could actually challenge her were few and far between. So most days she trained with her pokemon and came up with strategies. One of the things only recently implemented was the tracking of all trainers’ pokemon that they use along with movesets. This allowed for a much more competitive level of scouting if people were willing to put the time in.

Typically not something you could do when you were on the road, but in a gym with computers? It was more than easy enough. Celia already had a good understanding of most of her rivals' teams and strategies from previous sessions.

Before I could leave the room another of the Gym’s trainers entered. “Leader! Finished your match already sir?” Dennis asked as he marched up to me.

I nodded, “Yeah, the kid made too many mistakes for me to let him through.” I gave his dusty pants and shirt a look over, “Did you clean up the path for me tomorrow?”

“All taken care of Leader!” He said, doing everything but saluting at me as I dismissed him. The guy really would fit better with Surge, but I doubt his wife wanted to move. Turning back to Celia I caught her giving me a pleased look.


“Nothing, I just think it’s sweet you’re taking time off to go hiking with your brother! I wish I had a big brother like you!”

I rolled my eyes, “Instead you’ve got me as a boss. Which is probably better. You get paid you know?” She nodded happily and skipped ahead, her skirt frill flapping with each hop. She winked when she noticed me watching her. I rolled my eyes at her again before gesturing at the computer. We both settled in for some work. She’d have it pretty easy from now on for any duties required of her. I was pretty much coasting now that the circuit was coming to a close, and wouldn’t be asking too much of her.

Soon I’d have what could almost be called a holiday with the ‘slow’ period of the less flashy gym duties for four months. I’d quickly learnt that being a gym leader wasn’t a job, it was a way of life. I surprisingly enjoyed it. There was a constant level of work that was both exhilarating but tiring. There was a level of respect and recognition throughout the community I’d only associated with famous actors, athletes or politicians in my past life. I really liked it.

It made me wonder what I’d do when Ash Ketchum came around.

I knew that was close timeline-wise. It was something that, along with a few other things would need to be discussed with Forrest tomorrow. For today I focussed on the task before me that I could handle. Tomorrow I’d hike up Mt Moon and show Forrest —my younger brother — one of the secrets at the top.

Turns out it wasn’t just a meteorite and fairies using it in ritualistic evolution ceremonies that made Mt Moon special.