We've been together for as long as I remember, Rattata and I.

We bonded instantly when he was presented to me on my birthday. Summers spent frolicking and winters of snowball fights blurred into each other. Before either of us knew it, we were old enough to begin training. Neither of us knew what that meant, really. My gym teacher just paired off the students one day, reading byzantine bylaws before yelling out, "Fight." I watched in horror as my classmate ordered his Spearrow to begin mauling my Rattata, under the approving glare of our instructor.

Malice flickered in the eyes of a child I had considered my friend. With each attack he congratulated his Pokemon on savagery inflicted. When I could take the grisly scene no more I forfeited the fight, earning a failing grade in the process.

That is when I realized, the other trainers didn't care for their Pokemon the way I did. They thought nothing of sending them into arenas, fighting for mere amusement. Their sharp, pitiless hunger for fame and fortune driving them to commit the kind of atrocities remembered by history books. This is why we do it; this is what strengthened our resolve.

There are enough fools wandering around, getting their fix for mindless violence, that posing as one is easy enough. Ask one to duel and they will agree readily - a vacant smile hiding their blood lust. Only when Rattata attacks them directly do they comprehend the pain they have been callously inflicting. As his incisors slice their soft flesh they gain the gift of understanding. While they are excellent learners, I credit Rattata for being an excellent teacher, always eager and able to spend a little extra time on the required lessons.

But, no matter how many people we educate on the nature of violence there will always be more willing to engage in depravity against Pokemon. The void is never empty long. Evil finds a way to flourish. Our only consolation is that even if it takes a lifetime to fulfill our mission, there is no where else we'd rather be than by each others sides.