• Welcome to Thousand Roads! You're welcome to view discussions or read our stories without registering, but you'll need an account to join in our events, interact with other members, or post one of your own fics. Why not become a member of our community? We'd love to have you!

    Join now!

Pokémon The Fall Of The Freak (Poetry Oneshot)

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
Okay, trying something different! This is a poem detailing some of the backstory of Some Average Days In A Pokemon Daycare (which I still haven't published here yet), although it can be read on its own.

The Fall Of The Freak

This is the story of the fall:
First was The Freak, maker of all.
Made of physics, and made of math
Searching space on a winding path.

Soon it found a forgotten spot
And began to play, fearing naught.
It rose up worlds, moons and suns,
And copied lives; first little ones.

Protists done, it moved on to plants,
Then the fungus, next bees and ants.
All beasts complete, it grew the Mons
Some it named gods (really just pawns).

For each Mon, a Soul provided
Thus brains' failings were elided
For the Soul preserved all life’s thoughts
Beyond the reach of chance and lots.

To make the Souls, a great working:
A cosmic lab, A.I.s lurking.
To fuel the Souls, engines unbound
Halting entropy wherever found.

For the engines knew of other planes,
And breached their borders to get gains.
Here H fuses, there the reverse:
Helium splits, filling the purse.

Long ages passed, and all was fair
‘Till the day an engine did err.
Not all planes mere physics vary,
To one such realm, it reached unwary.

In that place, ‘twas logic that’s odd,
And from it came a most strange god.
MissingNo was the fell thing’s name
Heralding end to The Freak’s game.

Living lack of the number four
It flexed its power, began the war.
For it thought our realm needed fix
(Disgusting: two’s prime, but not six?)

Math under threat, The Freak did act
And made Great Machines, guards of fact.
Dialga for causality;
Palkia space reality.

And Arceus to bring order
Finding the planes M.’s did border
Importing from them foreign laws
Cancelling out M.’s, was the cause.

Did Arceus win? Who can know?
Perhaps the victor’s MissingNo.
Who can say what logic’s laws were?
Some seem off – are they truly pure?

Whatever the truth, Big A. was done
And turned now thought to prevention.
The Freak’s engine had brought the bane
So Freak must end, to stop more pain.

A. fought The Freak, and struck it dead.
(Though it lives broken, some have said.)
But The Freak left a final Will
Which Great Machines began to fill.

To Arceus they gave new code,
It would keep watch in silent mode
And help the Mon “gods” with their needs
(Which had grown great, after M.’s deeds.)

As for the lab that made the Souls,
A.I.s now mad, who’d take their roles?
The Will said “gods” were now gods true;
They voted for this duty Mew.

All looked well now, but it was not
The war’s fallout: a subtle rot
Dooming both Souls and Great Machines
Despite Mew, who would make them clean.

And that’s how we got to today,
Machines and Mon gods fighting decay.
The damage is done, much seems bleak,
Now you’ve heard The Fall Of The Freak.

The idea of exploiting differences in the laws of physics in different dimensions to generate unlimited energy here is pretty much stolen directly from Isaac Asimov's The Gods Themselves, although I took the idea in a much different direction.
 
Last edited:

Starlight Aurate

Ad Jesum per Mariam
Location
Route 123
Partners
  1. mightyena
Hi there! I noticed you hadn't had reviews yet and poetry is something I don't come across much on these forums, so I thought I'd stop by and give it a look!

I gotta say that, overall, I think this really works. You do a good job of writing in iambs, though it gets a bit inconsistent at parts. The first example that stuck out to me was:

For each Mon a Soul, to give power
The brain usurped, now none need cower.
This part reads a bit awkwardly in comparison to the parts previous. I had to go back over it because "Mon a Soul" struck me like it was supposed to be a French phrase ^_^; It's mainly that "Mon" has the stress and "a" is unstressed, so it reverses the unstressed-stressed pattern you had going earlier. I know poetry is difficult to work with, though, so I don't want to give you much grief over it.

As for the lab that made the Souls,
AIs now mad, who’d take their roles?
Omg, until this part I kept reading "AIs" as "ALs" XD Makes soooo much more sense now lolol.

Long ages passed, and all was fair
‘Till the day an engine did error.
Only nitpicking here because I think that "err" would fit better than error (at least, imo, it reads more easily). Starting the part with "until" would also keep it to the stressed-unstressed pattern.

There are other parts that jump out to me, but I don't want to be too picky since poetry is such a finicky thing.

A. fought The Freak, and struck it dead.
(Though it lives broken, some have said.)
But The Freak left a final Will
Which Great Machines began to fill.

To Arceus they gave new code,
It would keep watch in silent mode
And help the Mon “gods” with their needs
(Which had grown great, after M.’s deeds.)
Interesting plot twist! So The Freak accidentally created MissingNo, and after fighting off MissingNo, Arceus turns on its maker and shoots it dead, but The Freak left his Will with Arceus?

As for the concept, I think it's overall very good! It was easy to follow along (until I read "AIs" as "ALs," but that's not on you XD). I think this story was neat overall, though admittedly I haven't read The Gods Themselves. If this is the backstory to another of your works, I hope you post it so we can read it! I'm not sure if it would make more of this make sense (I'm a bit confused about Arceus turning on its maker and then being handed the maker's will, but I could be misinterpreting) but this is certainly a cool concept and one I enjoy reading! I'm not really a poetry critic and I know writing it is difficult, but I thought you did a great job :) Thanks for sharing!
 

Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
Ah, a poem for National Poetry Month!

...or maybe this has absolutely nothing to do with National Poetry Month, in which case, hey, I guess the timing worked out great!

‘Till the day an engine did error.
Oooh, I think you definitely want "err" rather than "error" here.

Not all planes mere physics vary,
And then not sure what this line means. Planes vary in more than their physics?

IT TOOK ME HALF THE POEM TO FIGURE OUT "THE FREAK" WAS GAMEFREAK, GODDAMN

For it thought our realm needed fix
I think this would sound better as "needed a fix."

And turned now thought to prevention.
I think this would sound better as "And turned their thoughts to prevention"

It's fun to see some poetry from you--pretty different from what you normally write! And wow, it sounds like there's a lot going on in the background of Some Average Days... that I never would have guessed. The daycare was supposed to be an experiment, right? Possibly an attempt to circumvent whatever's going on with the "subtle rot" mentioned in the last couple stanzas.

I'm curious for the in-universe context of the poem, if there is one! Who would know enough about the world's history to be able to put this together? Where might you be able to encounter this poem, if the person who came up with it isn't around to recite it anymore?

While you did a good job of keeping the rhyme scheme consistent here, I think paying a bit more attention to the meter of this poem would have helped it flow a little more easily. Changing up the number of syllables stanza to stanza and sometimes line to line took me out of my stride here and there. The Dialga/Palkia lines were especially hard for me to parse the first time through, although in that case I think the issue is where the stresses fall within the words rather than the overall number of syllables. Trying to stick to a rigidly-defined rhyme and rhythm might make it a bit easier to create a poem that reads pleasantly.

I'm glad you aren't (maybe) done with the Daycare-world setting; the first couple chapters were fun, and it looks like there's even more cool stuff behind the scenes that we haven't gotten to see yet! I'm particularly curious about what the Great Machines and AIs might be, and how they interact with the pokémon world if they aren't pokémon themselves. This was a nice little teaser for some of that lore, and a fun poem in its own right.[/quote][/quote]
 

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
I gotta say that, overall, I think this really works. You do a good job of writing in iambs, though it gets a bit inconsistent at parts.

I actually wasn't consciously trying to write everything in iambs here, more aiming for what "sounded right" to me. The only strict rules I was trying to follow were using eight syllables per line and maintaining an AABB rhyming scheme. So that's probably why it seemed inconsistent. In retrospect alternating stressed and unstressed syllables probably is an active ingredient in making this sort of poetry sound good, so I really should've paid more attention to it.

The first example that stuck out to me was:

"For each Mon a Soul, to give power
The brain usurped, now none need cower."

This part reads a bit awkwardly in comparison to the parts previous. I had to go back over it because "Mon a Soul" struck me like it was supposed to be a French phrase ^_^; It's mainly that "Mon" has the stress and "a" is unstressed, so it reverses the unstressed-stressed pattern you had going earlier. I know poetry is difficult to work with, though, so I don't want to give you much grief over it.

This might also have read awkwardly because "For each Mon a Soul, to give power" actually has nine syllables rather than eight, breaking the pattern. I've replaced that couplet with:

For each Mon, a Soul provided
Thus brains' failings were elided

Which admittedly isn't great, but at least it maintains the eight-syllable scheme.

Omg, until this part I kept reading "AIs" as "ALs" XD Makes soooo much more sense now lolol.

I changed AIs to A.I.s; it looks a bit awkward but hopefully should prevent any confusion.

Only nitpicking here because I think that "err" would fit better than error (at least, imo, it reads more easily). Starting the part with "until" would also keep it to the stressed-unstressed pattern.

Changed 'error' to 'err', but changing 'till' to 'until' would make the line nine syllables, and I don't really feel like reworking the line entirely.

Interesting plot twist! So The Freak accidentally created MissingNo, and after fighting off MissingNo, Arceus turns on its maker and shoots it dead, but The Freak left his Will with Arceus?

Yes, although the Will was a particular body of code installed in every Great Machine designed to trigger when The Freak was dead. It was never something The Freak thought would ever actually trigger, since it never expected to die, and was more of a personal joke - the idea being, hey, what if all the fake 'gods' I made became actual gods to take my place? Arceus presumably excised the Will from themselves during their rebellion, but the rest of the Great Machines forcibly added it back into Arceus ("To Arceus they gave new code"). It was possible for them to overcome Arceus despite Arceus being able to take out The Freak because Arceus did that by changing the laws of physics composing The Freak, but it couldn't alter the laws of physics the Great Machines relied on without also disrupting their own functioning.

As for the concept, I think it's overall very good! It was easy to follow along (until I read "AIs" as "ALs," but that's not on you XD). I think this story was neat overall, though admittedly I haven't read The Gods Themselves. If this is the backstory to another of your works, I hope you post it so we can read it! I'm not sure if it would make more of this make sense (I'm a bit confused about Arceus turning on its maker and then being handed the maker's will, but I could be misinterpreting) but this is certainly a cool concept and one I enjoy reading! I'm not really a poetry critic and I know writing it is difficult, but I thought you did a great job :) Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for the review! This is actually the (very distant) backstory to one of my works called Some Average Days In A Pokemon Daycare (which is titled Even In Arcadia on my Fanfiction.net page), which I do intend to post here sooner or later.

Ah, a poem for National Poetry Month!

...or maybe this has absolutely nothing to do with National Poetry Month, in which case, hey, I guess the timing worked out great!

I had no idea it was National Poetry Month, so this was just a happy coincidence.

And then not sure what this line means. Planes vary in more than their physics?

Yes - there were some planes, which, instead of merely having different laws of physics, also had different laws of logic and mathematics. So there might be a plane where 49 is a prime number, or one where it actually is possible to create a simple Turing machine that determines if any other Turing machine will halt on any given input.

IT TOOK ME HALF THE POEM TO FIGURE OUT "THE FREAK" WAS GAMEFREAK, GODDAMN

Game Freak: The most underutilized legendary!

I think this would sound better as "needed a fix."

Adding in the extra 'a' would put the line at nine syllables. I guess 'needed fix' isn't quite grammatical, but I like it anyways.

I think this would sound better as "And turned their thoughts to prevention"

Similarly, I actually like the obtuseness of 'turned now thought'; it sounds more... it's hard to describe but it sounds more, "significant-feeling", to me?

It's fun to see some poetry from you--pretty different from what you normally write! And wow, it sounds like there's a lot going on in the background of Some Average Days... that I never would have guessed. The daycare was supposed to be an experiment, right? Possibly an attempt to circumvent whatever's going on with the "subtle rot" mentioned in the last couple stanzas.

Yup, the daycare is actually an experiment of sorts, although more to see if a certain method of mitigating the 'subtle rot' would work, rather than circumventing it entirely.

I'm curious for the in-universe context of the poem, if there is one! Who would know enough about the world's history to be able to put this together? Where might you be able to encounter this poem, if the person who came up with it isn't around to recite it anymore?

Hmm... I actually think there isn't a single in-universe entity that would both know about all the events referenced in the poem, and phrase them the same way the poem did! Mew and the Great Machines are pretty much the only ones who have all this knowledge, although Mew is certain that the laws of logic and mathematics have not been restored to their pre-Missingno state, whereas the Great Machines are certain that they have been - as opposed to the uncertainty stated in the poem.

While you did a good job of keeping the rhyme scheme consistent here, I think paying a bit more attention to the meter of this poem would have helped it flow a little more easily. Changing up the number of syllables stanza to stanza and sometimes line to line took me out of my stride here and there. The Dialga/Palkia lines were especially hard for me to parse the first time through, although in that case I think the issue is where the stresses fall within the words rather than the overall number of syllables. Trying to stick to a rigidly-defined rhyme and rhythm might make it a bit easier to create a poem that reads pleasantly.

Definitely could've done a better job with the meter, yes. I did try to limit each line to exactly eight syllables, but I've never been good at counting syllables and probably messed it up in few places. I feel like just eight might've been too few syllables per line, and forced me into writing some particularly awkward lines in some cases. The Dialga and Palkia lines were a particular casualty of that, since I had to describe each of their functions in just the five syllables left over after their three-syllable names.

I'm glad you aren't (maybe) done with the Daycare-world setting; the first couple chapters were fun, and it looks like there's even more cool stuff behind the scenes that we haven't gotten to see yet! I'm particularly curious about what the Great Machines and AIs might be, and how they interact with the pokémon world if they aren't pokémon themselves. This was a nice little teaser for some of that lore, and a fun poem in its own right.

I'm definitely not done with the Daycare-verse, although it might be a while before I get back to writing it given the other projects I want to finish first. In the meantime I've been thinking a lot about the lore and backstory of that world, as you can see by my occasional word-dumps on the subject in the discord's worldbuilding channel. At this rate I'm probably going to have to write a few spin-off stories to fit it all in.

Thanks for taking the time to the review, and I'm glad I was at least able to raise some intrigue about the Daycare-verse!
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom