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Pokémon The Origins Of The Dynamax Phenomenon (The Walrein's Weekly Wednesday Oneshots #1)

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
Welcome to the first of hopefully many of The Walrein's Weekly Wednesday* Oneshots! One new oneshot every week, for five weeks in a row!

*May not necessarily be Wednesday in your time zone at time of posting. Or in mine, for that matter.

The Origins of the Dynamax Phenomenon

In a vast hallway beyond space and time, there stood a massive round-table carved from fragments of the eggshell that had been broken when the universe was born. Ethereal light shone down upon it through stained-glass windows depicting scenes of the gods’ greatest victories and inventions. Positioned around the table were dozens of ornate thrones of all shapes and sizes, designed to fit the varying bodies of the legendary Pokemon. Floating globes of water backed by half-shells of pearl accommodated the aquatic legends. Meltan rested in a lava-filled caldera that emerged from the floor of the hall, while Shaymin sat upon the petals of an enormous Gracidea flower. Had the hundred greatest artists in history been allowed into the hall, they would weep, knowing their collective life-span was too short to depict all the great wonders of the hall even should they should paint for day and night without cease.

Almost all the Pokemon there were very, very bored.

“Come on people, focus!” Mew said, hovering beside a dry-erase board scrawled over with multicolored markings barely legible against the background of half-erased earlier attempts. “Drones are used for more deliveries than flying Pokemon in sixty-two percent of the world! Mechanical teleporters are putting Kadabra out of jobs! Conkeldurr are nearly outnumbered by construction robots! We’ve got to do something to keep Pokemon relevant!”

“Ugh, what’s the point?” Meloetta said, not even looking up from their smartphone. “It’s not like humans will just stop inventing shit after this meeting. Even if whatever lame-ass compromise we settle on miraculously works this time, it’ll be obsolete within a year, and then we’ll be right back here again, having the same petty arguments again while our last remaining brain cells slowly wither and die.”

“That’s why I keep saying we need to work with technology, not against it! Why is everyone so opposed to armor evolution?” Keldeo said, giving a snort of frustration.

“Because our goal is to make Pokemon more independent and surpass the humans’ technology, not to further their reliance upon it,” Xerneas replied.

“It would make them more independent! If Pokemon could use human tools as naturally as they use their own bodies, then they could get the same sort of jobs humans could and wouldn’t need to depend on them to-”

“Because obviously what Pokemon really want is the chance to perform repetitive, soul-crushing tasks eight hours every day just like humans!” Meoletta cut in.

“That’s not what-”

“Wait, wait, wait, didn’t we already try the whole Pokemon-machine fusion thing like fifteen years ago? Whatever happened to that?” Tornadus said.

Mew sighed. “You mean the rotom project? It never really worked out. None of the rotom were really able to actually do anything with the appliances they possessed besides the usual fighty stuff Pokemon can do normally. And then the humans started using them as glorified smartphone apps...”

“Well, there’s no way that would happen with armor-” Keldeo started, but at that very moment, Deoxys, who had covertly shifted into their nap forme halfway through the meeting without anyone noticing, suddenly sprang awake and waved their tentacle-helix arm in the air wildly.

“Ooh, ooh, I’ve got it!” Deoxys said. “Maybe we can-”

“We’re not going to drop a meteor on the planet,” Mew interrupted.

“Aw, come on! You didn’t even let me finish!”

Mew sighed. “All right, I apologize. It’s been a long meeting. What’s your idea?”

Deoxys beamed. “Okay, so what if instead of trying to make Pokemon better, we just made the human’s stuff worse? If there was some sort of big catastrophe that knocked them back to the stone age, we wouldn’t be having this problem, right? Now, we could accomplish that with a massive flood, or maybe some volcanic eruptions, but if you think about it, a meteor strike would really be the best way to-”

No, Deoxys,” Mew said.

Deoxys shifted into defensiveness form and crossed their tentacles. “Why do I even bother coming to these things when you always immediately shoot down my ideas?”

“’Cause you don’t have idea-s, plural. You have one idea and it totally sucks!” Meloetta said.

“...if everyone is done interrupting me, can we get back to talking about armor evolution?” Keldeo ventured.

“Look, Keldeo, I’m sorry, but it’s just not going to happen. Mega-evolution and Z-moves didn’t work because they, A. required specialized equipment to use that we never managed to mass-produce, and B. had only very temporary effects. And armor evolution falls into those exact same failure modes, requiring an ‘armor stone’ and lasting for an hour at most,” Mew said.

“I wouldn’t say an hour is ‘very temporary’, but fine, I see your point,” Keldeo said. “But do we have any other workable ideas right now?”

A long silence ensued. Keldeo let his gaze slowly pan across the room. Meloetta was staring at her smartphone again. Tornadus was making a coin shoot out from the top of a miniature funnel cloud in between his hands and catching it again. Xerneas simply stared off into the distance, horns pulsing with a gentle yellow light. Mew had turned to face the whiteboard, muttering something as she scrubbed away a stick figure representation of herself emitting a speech bubble reading “blah blah blah”. Deoxys hovered sullenly. Groudon was repeatedly tapping the ground with their tail, causing-

“Hey, I’ve got an idea!” Palkia said, the sudden sound of the dragon deity’s voice startling awake the slumbering Shaymin to the right of him. “All we need is something that lasts a long time and doesn’t require any special trinkets or anything like that, right? My idea does both those things!”

As Shaymin clambered back onto their Gracidea flower throne, Mew turned away from the whiteboard again and looked at Palkia with a curious expression. “Well, whatever we come up with has to do more than just not have those specific failure modes, but what’s your idea?” she asked.

Palkia beamed. “It’s simple! The way I see it, all the Pokemon we have currently are great! They’re perfect just the way they are, and we don’t need to change a single thing about them! We just need to, you know, have more of them!”

“...you mean, more Pokemon species? Or larger population sizes?” Mew asked, tilting her head slightly.

“No, not that! I mean, like, more of them! Like, bigger!” Palkia said, stretching their hands apart to illustrate.

“You think we should make Pokemon species physically larger? I’m… not really sure how that solves the problem...”

“Not just a little bigger. Like, huge! Building-sized! Massive! Colossal! Think about it! If a Gurdurr was the size of a skyscraper, then they’d be able to build them a lot faster than any of those construction robot thingies! Or if a Pidgeot was larger than a jet plane, than they’d be able to carry loads more cargo than those drones can! Bam! Pokemon are relevant again- and really hard to ignore, too!”

Keldeo frowned. “Do you really have the power to make them that large?”

“Sure I can! I’m the god of space! Taller, shorter, wider, narrower, bigger, smaller - I can do it all!”

“So, how exactly would this be controlled?” Mew inquired. “I’m assuming you’re not proposing just gigantifying all Pokemon simultaneously. And they’d need to be able to shrink back down once they’re done doing, uh, whatever it is they’d do while they were big.”

“Oh, don’t worry, it’ll be easily controlled! Pokemon will be able to become big or small whenever they want to, no human assistance required!” Palkia said.

“...and that wouldn’t require any special control devices like key-stones or Z-rings?” Keldeo pressed.

“Nope! Not at all!”

“Is this going to require special design work for each Pokemon species it applies to? That was another one of the problems of Mega Evolution I forgot to mention earlier.”

“Oh no, it’d just be a simple scale-up! No extra design work needed!”

Palkia continued to field questions from the few remaining Pokemon in the meeting who were still awake and coherent, addressing each concern as it arose with enthusiastic exposition on the greatness of the ‘embiggening’ scheme. Eventually, everyone’s skepticism began to wear down, and at last Mew called for a vote on the plan.

“All in favor, say or telepathize ‘aye’,” Mew called.

“AYE!” Palkia yelled, almost drowning out the lower-volume ayes of seven other members of the council.

Mew sighed. “And all opposed..?”

A few scattered ‘nays’ arose from the table, but none with great passion.

“Alright, it looks like we’re going with it. The Great Embiggening it is. … we really need to come up with a better name for it...” Mew muttered as she circled the name on the whiteboard.

“Is this seriously the best we could come up with? Just ‘make them bigger’? Really? Really?” Meloetta protested.

“Hey, it can’t be any worse than ‘make them mega-er’,” Tornadus replied, heading for the exit.

“I can not believe this got picked over armor evolution,” Keldeo mumbled, staring down into his hooves.

“Look, let’s just give this a chance, okay?” Mew said, telekinetically gathering up loose whiteboard markers. “I’m not one of the biggest supporters of this plan, but I don’t see a problem with being cautiously optimistic about it.”

“It’s gonna be great! Just give me five months to make this work, and I’m gonna make believers out of all of you!” Palkia cheered.

* * *​

Five months later…

Palkia stood before Mew in her private office, tail twitching nervously. “Okay, so, I’ve run into some minor setbacks...”

“Like what?” Mew asked, setting down the papers on her desk so she could give the dragon her full attention.

“So… it turns out that there’s this thing called the ‘square-cube’ law, and it means that you can’t just make a Pokemon’s body bigger without making any other changes to them. At least, not if they still need to be alive afterwards...”

“Wha- what- You’re the god of space!” Mew spluttered incredulously. “How did you not know about the square-cube law?! It’s literally the very first thing you learn when you do any research into increasing the size of things!”

“Hey now, just being able to control something doesn’t mean you know everything about it. And if it was so obviously going to be a problem, then why didn’t you say anything about it at the meeting?” Palkia asked.

“I don’t know! I guess I just assumed you had a magic way of bypassing it because you were the space god or something!”

“Well, I mean, that is sort of true – I can pretty much get around the problem using my powers. I just have to do a little extra design work for most Pokemon. No biggie! Well, I guess it kind of is a biggie when you think about it...”

“So what were the other ‘minor setbacks’?” Mew asked.

“Well, for starters, getting the embiggening process to trigger only when the Pokemon wanted it to turned out to be really hard, so I created this thingy called an ‘embiggen band’ to control it.”

“That’s… not what you promised five months ago,” Mew said.

“I know, I know! But it’s not quite as bad as key stones or Z-rings! It doesn’t require a specific extra thingy for each Pokemon species or type like mega stones or Z-crystals.”

“Okay, I guess that’s a start. Can these,” Mew sighed, “embiggen bands at least be mass produced easily?”

“No. Not at all. Takes months of effort to make a single one.”

“Can Pokemon use them on their own?”

“Er… they really work best when a human’s the one using them.”

“Ugh, great. So much for increased autonomy… please tell me you at least haven’t started handing these things out to the humans yet.”

Palkia shifted uneasily. “So, uh, I guess when I said that I created them, I really meant me and this other Oleana human. She might have given a few of them out already.”

Mew grimaced, then sighed again. “All right. I guess if it was just one other human, it shouldn’t be too hard to track all of them down.”

“Er… and when I said that Oleana and I created them, I really meant, me, Oleana, and her multi-national research team of like a hundred other dudes.”

Mew struggled not to rip her fur out.

“Um… but it’s really not that bad! See, the embiggening only lasts long enough for a Pokemon to use maybe like, three attacks, so it’s not like anyone’s going to be able to do that much damage!” Palkia said.

What?! That’s even less time than mega evolution lasted! I thought this wasn’t going to have that problem!” Mew shouted.

Well, I’m kind of, uh, still working on the duration thing,” Palkia mumbled. “… and oh, that reminds me! It’s gonna be really easy to track down those embiggen bands! See, the last setback I had was, that, well, in order for embiggening to work at all, it sort of has to occur in a place where the planet-relative spacetime matrix is especially stable – you know, lots of mystical stone monoliths arranged in circles, that type of thing – and Galar’s really like the only region with places fitting the criteria, so I won’t have a lot of places to look for the bands.”

Mew glared up at the spatial dragon. “So, to recap: Embiggening requires special design work for each Pokemon affected. It needs a human-operated trinket in order to work. It only lasts long enough for a Pokemon to use three moves. And it only works in a single region of the world.”

“Er… well, to be precise, it only works within specific areas of Galar. But, uh, aside from those few minor issues, the project is going great!”

“Those aren’t minor issues!” Mew snapped. “They’re huge, embiggened-Pokemon sized problems! If you can’t fix them, this whole project is useless!”

“Alright, alright! I’ll fix them!” Palkia said, holding up their hands in a placating gesture. “Just… give me five more months...”

* * *​

Five months later…

Well? What’s the status?” Mew asked. Palkia was once more shuffling nervously in front of Mew’s desk.

“Well, you see, it’s one of those, ah, good news, bad news type of deals,” they said.

“Okay. Well, I can’t say I wasn’t expecting something like that. What’s the good news?”

“So, first, we finally came up with a better name for it than embiggening! We’re calling it Dynamaxing now,” Palkia said.

“Huh. Why that name? It sounds kind of… I don’t know… focus-grouped.”

“Er, we would’ve gone with ‘Betamaxing’, but that was already taken. It was the name of some video thing or something,” Palkia said. Mew hovered silently, waiting for further explanation, but Palkia just stood there, saying nothing.

“...so was that the only good news?” Mew asked after the silence had gone on uncomfortably long.

“Oh no, not at all! I was also able to do away with both the Dynamax bands and the time limit! Pokemon can Dynamax without a human and they can do it as long as they need to now. It just works!” Palkia said, thumping their tail proudly. “Although, all the non-band Dynamaxed Pokemon are kind of just rampaging around the Galar countryside wrecking stuff now...”

“Of course,” Mew said, rolling her eyes. “Well, I have to say, I was expecting worse. I bet we can probably just get the humans to deal with the rioting giant Pokemon thing. Try to sell it to them as some sort of fun group activity for trainers or something like that.”

“Um… that part wasn’t the bad news...” Palkia said, gaze turning away from Mew’s eyes.

Mew frowned. “Really? Then what is the bad news?” she asked.

“Wellllll… it’s kind of like this… see, the main obstacle to making Pokemon stay Dynamaxed for extended periods of time was that it took a lot of energy. And getting rid of the Dynamax bands made it even harder ‘cause it couldn’t be used to store or focus energy anymore. So, I talked to some of the other gods about the issue, and Yveltal suggested, you know, just use the Pokemon’s life energy to power the transformation! But just taking life energy from one Pokemon wasn’t nearly enough, so I kinda had to set up this system where the life energy was taken from a whole bunch of other Pokemon, but then that started causing problems when multiple Pokemon Dynamaxed at once close to each other, so I sort of had to make it able for the energy to come from Pokemon world-wide, but the longer transmission distances meant more of the energy got lost, so-”

“Just get to the point. How bad is it?”

Palkia said nothing for a long time. Then… “Well, uh, one thing led to another, and uh, half of all Pokemon species are extinct now. Yep. That’s it. That’s the bad news.”

Mew blinked. “Did you seriously just Thanos the Pokeverse?”

“I… may have Thanos’d the Pokeverse, yes.”

Another long silence ensued.

“AAAARRRGGHHHHHHH!” Mew said.

“Um, maybe we could try rebooting the timeline again?” Palkia suggested.

Mew groaned. “No, no, we literally just rebooted the timeline one meta-year ago!”

“Okay. ...well, uh, if it’s any consolation, I’m pretty sure that those elemental monkeys were among the species that got extincted. No one really liked them,” Palkia said.

A glimmer of hope appeared in Mew’s eyes. “Did… did that Pokemon that was just a literal bag of trash get eradicated too? Or that ridiculous living ice cream cone?”

“Uh, nope, they’re both still alive and well!”

“AAAARRRGGHHHHHHH!”

Palkia stood and watched as Mew wept. “Um, so the dynamax project’s still good to continue, right?”

Mew sniffed and dried her eyes. “You know what? Screw it! Screw it! Let’s just roll with this and see what happens. There were getting to be too many species to keep track of, anyways.”

“Alright!” Palkia cheered. “Yay Dynamaxing!”

“Now, who can we pin this on… let’s go with, oh, Team Galactic. They haven’t been in the news for a while now, and I bet people’d believe that killing half of all Pokemon is the sort of thing they might be able to do.”

“Oooh, I guess I’ll get to see Cyrus again!” Palkia said. “I’ll go get Dialga and Giratina! They’ll want to be in on this too, I bet!” With a sudden twist of the dimensions, they warped out of Mew’s office.

Mew hummed cheerfully to herself as she re-arranged the papers on her desk, shoving a bundle of documents labeled ‘Elemental Monkey Redesign Project’ into a rubbish bin. Yes, with the Dynamaxing initiative at last beginning to come together, the future looked bright for the Pokemon of the world! Or at least the ones in Galar, that was. That hadn’t just gone extinct.

And if Dynamaxing didn’t work out… well, there was always armor evolution to try!

THE END
 
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NonAnalogue

Losing her head
Location
Yes
Pronouns
she/her
Every paragraph of this was gold, but I especially love Deoxys and its meteor plan. I think they should have tried it!

(this post sponsored by Deoxys)
 

Negrek

Only the Lonely
Staff
Really glad to see these posted! I'm hoping that means Camp NaNo went well for you. More of your one-shots is good for me either way.

Deoxys, who had covertly shifted into their nap forme
NAP FORME OMG

I need a nap forme.

“Is this going to require special design work for each Pokemon species it applies to? That was another one of the problems of Mega Evolution I forgot to mention earlier.”
shots fired

Palkia continued to field questions from the few remaining Pokemon in the meeting who were still awake and coherent, addressing each concern as it arose with enthusiastic exposition of the greatness of the ‘embiggening’ scheme.
I think you want "exposition on" rather than "exposition of" here.

I bet we can probably just get the humans to deal with the rioting giant Pokemon thing. Try to sell it to them as some sort of fun group activity for trainers or something like that.
Honestly, given what we see of the pokémon world, "enormous viciouos pokémon are rampaging everywhere" seems like it would probably just get the reaction, "Sweet! I'm gonna catch one!" :P

Palkia said nothing for a long time. Then… “Well, uh, one thing led to another, and uh, half of all Pokemon species are extinct now. Yep. That’s it. That’s the bad news.”
Oh NO. The grimmest interpretation of Dexit, haha.

Palkia stood and watched as Mew weeped.
*wept

You've got a pretty rich vein to mine with Mew and her legendary council's highly questionable governance of the pokémon world, huh? Once again I love how you incorporate the meta commentary on Gen VIII with the pokémon world itself, and of course, this was a fun and hilarious read. Weirdly enough one of my more favorite parts may actually have been one that wasn't funny: at the beginning, where you were describing the council building. The idea of this huge table carved from the shell of the egg that broke when the universe began is such a cool idea, and you did a lovely job describing this kind of fantastical, magical place.

Other than that Palkia's initial progress report, where they're just running down the issues and Mew finally sums up how "embiggening" is actually the worst gimmick mechanic ever and fulfills exactly zero of the design requirements is golden. Thankfully they were able to fix most of them... and eliminate the elemental monkeys into the bargain, so it's really all upside, right?

I also enjoyed some of the minor-character gags: Deoxys' meteor plan, Keldeo being all-in on armor evolution, and Meloetta's overall attitude were all a lot of fun. All in all, a hilarious one-shot and a satisfying read. Thanks for posting!
 

The Walrein

Pokémon Trainer
Partners
  1. gulpin
Every paragraph of this was gold, but I especially love Deoxys and its meteor plan. I think they should have tried it!

#SMOD2020

Really glad to see these posted! I'm hoping that means Camp NaNo went well for you. More of your one-shots is good for me either way.

Uh... so about that... my goal was actually to post the five consecutive weekly oneshots in July, so I really kind of blew it on that. Even ignoring that, I only got 60% of my goal done... but that's still better than I've ever done at any kind of NaNo event, so there's at least that, I guess.

I think you want "exposition on" rather than "exposition of" here.

*wept

Fixed and fixed, thanks!

Honestly, given what we see of the pokémon world, "enormous viciouos pokémon are rampaging everywhere" seems like it would probably just get the reaction, "Sweet! I'm gonna catch one!" :P

Oh NO. The grimmest interpretation of Dexit, haha.

Yeah, this is pretty much immediately where my mind went after hearing about Dexit.

You've got a pretty rich vein to mine with Mew and her legendary council's highly questionable governance of the pokémon world, huh? Once again I love how you incorporate the meta commentary on Gen VIII with the pokémon world itself, and of course, this was a fun and hilarious read. Weirdly enough one of my more favorite parts may actually have been one that wasn't funny: at the beginning, where you were describing the council building. The idea of this huge table carved from the shell of the egg that broke when the universe began is such a cool idea, and you did a lovely job describing this kind of fantastical, magical place.

Thanks, scenery description is always something I find difficult so I'm glad to hear you liked what I did with the Legendary Council table.

I also enjoyed some of the minor-character gags: Deoxys' meteor plan, Keldeo being all-in on armor evolution, and Meloetta's overall attitude were all a lot of fun. All in all, a hilarious one-shot and a satisfying read. Thanks for posting!

Thanks for reading and replying!
 
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