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I was playing Pokémon SoulSilver one day. As I was leaving Ecruteak City, a Breeder came up to me. "Excuse me," he said, "I recently found this Egg, but I can't take care of it. You seem like a loving Trainer, so I would like you to have it. Will you take it?" A Yes/No box appeared. I selected "Yes", curious to see what it would hatch into. "Ah! Thank you very much! Here you go!" said the Breeder. After leaving me with the Egg, I immediately tried getting it to hatch. I got on my Bicycle and zoomed around the route. A few minutes passed, and I saw Ethan come by. My character got off the Bicycle as he approached her. "Hi there! How’s it going? I've been doing great—learning about Pokémon is fun!" he said.  All of a sudden, an exclamation mark appeared over his head. "Oh! That Egg you have there looks like it's about to hatch!" It went to the screen where the Egg cracked more and more until it bursted and revealed... A Magby! I squealed at how cute it was. "Would you like to give a nickname to the newly hatched Magby?" I selected "Yes" and the nickname screen appeared. I saw that it was a boy, and decided to name him "Burnie".  It may seem silly—but it's something.  After returning to the overworld screen, I saw that Burnie was now my walking partner. He looked at my character. First there was a question mark emote, then a silence emote, then he jumped as his cry played happily followed by a heart emote. "Awww!" said Ethan, "Newborn Pokémon tend to think that the first thing they see is their mother. So...congratulations, you're now a mama! Ha ha. Anyway, I better get going. See you later! And take good care of your Magby!" With that, Ethan continued on his way. I talked to Burnie.  He moved closer as his cry played happily, followed by another heart emote. "Burnie snuggled your leg!" I smiled at how sweet that was. But then I accidentally stepped into the tall grass and encountered a Raticate—Level 16. My character sent out Burnie, but I didn't want to use him because he was only Level 1.  I tried to hit "Run" but a text box appeared. "Can't escape!" I tried to switch out to one of my other Pokémon, but another text box appeared. "Can't switch out!" Having no choice but to fight, I went and took a look at Burnie's moves.  He only had one—Ember. I sighed and selected it. "Burnie used Ember!" It hit Raticate and took a huge chunk out of its HP. I gaped so hard, I almost hurt my jaw. But what I saw next made me gape harder. "The wild Raticate was badly burned!"

Badly burned?!

I didn't know there was a "Badly Burned" condition!

The burn ended up defeating the Raticate and Burnie got a load of experience points from it. After the battle, Burnie was in front of my character. He turned around and faced her. "Did Burnie make his mama proud?" A Yes/No box appeared.  I was reluctant at first, but I selected "Yes". Burnie jumped twice as his cry played happily, followed by a big smiley face emote. "Burnie wants to keep making his mama proud!"

I continued to take Burnie with me throughout my journey, training him as I go. Whenever I talked to him, he showed his affection in various ways. Sometimes he’d even find a Berry. It was always a useful Berry—the ones that cure status conditions and such. Then there were things such as when it’s raining or when we walked near water. “Burnie doesn’t like to get wet! Burnie wants you to carry him!” He’d jump into my character’s arms and she’d carry him around until we came to a dry place. When we traveled at night or in a cold place, he'd do this: “Burnie tried to use his heat to keep you warm!” Okay, nothing seems wrong here. But then there were the situations where I encountered Team Rocket or my rival. Burnie's attacks would always cause massive damage, and leave his opponents badly burned. The burns would do more damage every turn—like a Fire-type Toxic. After these fights, Burnie's cry would play angrily, followed by an angry emote. He'd then run in front of me and puffed fire at them. They'd say something along the lines of "Ouch! What's the matter with that Magby of yours?!" and leave. Burnie would then turn around, his cry would play happily, followed by a big smiley face emote.

I started to get a gut feeling that there was something up with my little Burnie.

None of my other Pokémon showed their love like that.

Not even my starter.

Eventually, Pokémon Black and White came out. I got my copy of Black and started playing that instead of SoulSilver. But it didn’t feel right to leave it in the dust, so I decided to transfer some of my Pokémon over. The problem was that I couldn’t access the Poké Transfer until I beat the game. Crap. When I finally did beat the game, I immediately used the Poké Transfer as soon as I had access. As I was transferring from SoulSilver, I noticed Burnie sitting in one of the boxes. He was a Level 32 Magmar. I decided to transfer him, too. When it got to the point where I had to catch them, I saw Burnie standing out in the open. He didn’t hide behind a bush or run around. He just stood there until I caught him. After I transferred all the Pokémon I wanted, I continued my journey to complete my Pokédex. I took Burnie with me whenever I had time to spare, and trained him alongside my team. I kept doing this until Pokémon Black and White 2 came out, where I traded some Pokémon, including Burnie, over. Once again, I trained him whenever I could, but I was mostly out training my team or catching Pokémon to fill my Pokédex. Then there was that one Friday where I met with N on the ferris wheel in Nimbasa City. It all seemed normal at first, until N said “Your Magmar…the amount of love he has for you is incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it. He seems to have traveled a long way…yet he knows that his current Trainer is always the same person—the one he thinks is his mother. He doesn’t care about where he ends up, as long as he’s with you. But knowing what kind of Pokémon that is and how attached he is to you, separation would have unimaginable consequences. That’s why you must never leave him somewhere or give him to someone else. But if you do anyway, promise him that you will return…and stay true to your word.

I suddenly realized what he meant.

When N said that Burnie knew that “his current Trainer is always the one he thinks is his mother”, he was referring to me. The real me. And when he said that Burnie “was happy as long as he was with me”, that meant that even if I put Burnie in the PC, he’d be happy…as long as it was my PC.  Burnie would be happy as long as he was in my game. 

When N and I got off the ferris wheel, I looked at Burnie’s summary.

He was an “Attached” nature. His characteristic was “Never wants to be away from Mama”.

Okay. That’s it. This has gone too far.

I went to the Pokémon Center and deposited Burnie into the PC, then I saved the game and shut it off. I took out the cartridge, put it back in its case, and left it on my game shelf. I occupied myself with other games and other things altogether. But I never forgot what N said to me.

Promise that you will return…and stay true to your word.

October 12th, 2013. Pokémon X and Y came out. I was overjoyed when I got my copy of X and immediately popped it into my 3DS and played it. I had completely forgotten about Black 2 by now…until Pokémon Bank was released 4 months later. I went through all the crap I had to do first and downloaded the app. After that, I learned that I could transfer Pokémon from the Gen 5 games through Poké Transporter—the extension of Pokémon Bank. After I downloaded that, I popped Black 2 in and selected the Pokémon I wanted to take to X…as usual, I found Burnie there. He was still an “Attached” nature that “Never wants to be away from Mama”. But I shrugged it off and transferred him to X. After putting X back in, I started it up and put Burnie in my party. I decided to go to Pokémon-Amie so I can feed and play with him a little before I went back to training. I took a look at his affection/hunger/enjoyment meters. His affection was maxed out—big surprise. Upon opening the app, Burnie looked at the screen and gave off and bunch of hearts as his cry played happily. I fed him a bunch Poké Puffs and played with him a couple times until it was time for me to go and train my team. I deposited Burnie in the PC at the nearest Pokémon Center and went off to train.

One day, I was playing X when I got a phone call from one of my friends, who had Y. He told me that he was trying to complete his Pokédex, and he would like me to help. “I just need to borrow some of your Pokémon—I’ll even let you borrow some of mine in return,” he said. I agreed and we started up the Wi-Fi trade system. I gave him a few of my version-exclusives, and he gave me some of his.

“So, is that everything?” I asked. “Yep. Well, actually, there’s one more thing.” he said. “What would that be?” I asked. “A Magmar. I’ve been looking for one, but I can’t find one.”

I felt like my heart stopped. 

A…Magmar?

I only had one: Burnie. 

But I was torn between helping my friend complete his Pokédex and keeping Burnie with me so he’d be happy. Maybe…just for a little while? “Uh…I-I got one!” I said. “Really? Great! Here, you want a…Dusclops?” “A Dusclops?” I said, cheering up a little, “Hell yeah!” “Okay, cool! I got a Reaper Cloth to give to him, so he’ll evolve into a Dusknoir when you get him.”

We came to the screen where we had to pick the Pokémon we wanted to trade. My friend selected his Dusclops, who was holding a Reaper Cloth. I held my breath and selected Burnie. But the moment before I traded him, I said “Don’t worry. Mama will come back. I promise.” “What?” I heard my friend say. “Huh? Oh, uh—nothing.” I said.

The trade initiated. As Burnie went, I could’ve sworn I saw him give me a distressed glance. He was sent to my friend, and I got his Dusclops. “Um…” I heard my friend say. “What?” I asked, as the Dusclops evolved into a Dusknoir. “Did your Magmar just…glare at me?” he asked. I was in sudden silence. But I shrugged it off. “Nah, you’re probably just seeing things. Anyway, thanks for the Dusknoir!” I said. “No problem. And thanks for the help with my Pokédex—I appreciate it.” he said. “You’re welcome!” I said.

A few days passed. I forgot about what happened and traveled all over Kalos, catching Pokémon to fill up my Pokédex. I was in a cheerful an energetic mood…until I got a phone call from my friend. He sounded like he was in a full-blown panic attack. I tried to get him to calm down as I asked him what happened. “I-I was playing Pokémon Y and when I checked my PC, all of the Pokémon I had were charred and covered in ashes! They all looked like they were going to collapse, not to mention that they all had 1 HP and a “Badly Burned” condition, whatever that is! But that’s not all—I couldn’t find the Magmar you gave me in any of the boxes!” “You lost him?!” I yelled. “No! I didn’t! I left him in the PC after you gave him to me!” he explained. “Uh, okay, just…just try to heal everyone up, save, and restart the game. Everything should be fine.” I said, trying to stay calm. “Okay, but that won’t explain what happened.” he said. “Don’t worry. I’ll figure it out.” I said. After we finished talking, I had the sudden impulse to look in the “Items” pocket of my Bag.

Didn’t… I have a Magmarizer?

The next day, I tried to distract myself from playing X again. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened yesterday. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore. I took out my 3DS and started up X. To my surprise, everything seemed normal. I was where I saved last—a Pokémon Center. I talked to everyone and they all said their normal dialogue.  Huh. Maybe my friend just had a nightmare or something, because nothing seems to be wrong.

Until I stepped outside.

I received a Holo Clip. It was a news report. “We bring you a special bulletin.” said the reporter, “Large fires have been ravaging cities and towns all over the Kalos region.” A picture appeared, showing burning buildings, as the reporter continued. “The fires seem to have started from Santalune City to Dendemille Town. Further investigation showed that they were all caused by one person—or thing. But the identity of this arsonist has yet to be known. Whoever they are, they seem to be heading to Laverre City next. We ask that all residents evacuate immediately.” The Holo Clip ended. My heart pounded. 

Laverre City?!
That’s where I was!

I tried to turn the game off, but a text box showed up and said “You can’t leave yet.” I tried again and again. It gave me the same text every time.  Great. I had no choice but to keep playing. Suddenly, the screen shook as I heard an explosion. In a panic, I used Fly to Lumiose City. I landed at the Pokémon Center in the South Boulevard area. I went inside and tried to calm myself down.

How is this happening?! And why?!

I tried to piece everything together. My friend's badly burnt Pokémon, my missing Magmar, the Magmarizer I thought I had...

The screen shook again as I heard another explosion and I went outside.

Lumiose City was ablaze. People were running away. 

And then…

I saw what they were running from.

Is that…

A Magmortar?

It was.

But there was something different about it.

Instead of its usual smug grin, it was an angry frown. What looked like molten lava was leaking from its mouth, and its eyes were glowing orange. It gave out a cry that sounded like a regular Magmortar's cry, but slower and deeper. I saw it shoot fireballs at every building and object it saw.

Almost screaming in terror, I ran away. But suddenly, a text box appeared. "(Mama?)" I heard the Magmortar's cry. 

I turned around and saw it standing there. It now looked sad.  After a few moments, I turned back and kept running.

"(Mama, where are you going?)" I heard the Magmortar's cry again. It sounded more distressed.

I kept running.

"(DON'T LEAVE ME, MAMA!!!)" I heard the Magmortar's cry yet again. This one was a lot louder and sounded downright...heartbroken.

I was incredibly confused. Why was it...?

Realization hit me like a wrecking ball.

That Magmortar... was Burnie.

My conscience was practically screaming at me to go back. And it was right.  No matter how much apocalyptic damage he cause, he was still my Pokémon. I took a deep breath and went back to Burnie.

"(Mama?)"

He walked up to me. There was a moment of silence, then he hugged my character. "(Mama...You came back...Where have you been all this time? I’ve been looking all over for you! Why did you trade me to that other person? You should already know that I don't like being away from you! You promised that you would come back, but you never did!)" He hugged my character tighter.  "(But all that matters now is that we're together again. Just make this a promise that you'll keep…)”

The screen faded to black.

“(NEVER LEAVE ME AGAIN.)” Burnie’s cry played grimly.

My 3DS shut off by itself. I put it beside me and attempted to process what I’ve seen. About 15 minutes later, I reluctantly started X back up. I was in a Pokémon Center. I winced in fear as I went outside, but to my surprise, everything was normal. I check every town and city, and they were all fine. I was so relieved.

But…what about Burnie?

I went back inside and checked my PC. I flipped through the boxes until I found Burnie sitting in the very middle of the last one. I checked him out and saw that everything about him was normal—his cry, his appearance, his summary...everything. But I decided that from now on, instead of trading him to people, I would just breed him with a Ditto for Eggs to give away—though I rode my Bicycle back and forth on the same route as the Day Care to reassure him that I kept my promise.

And I never dared to break it.

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