In Nimbasa City, there are countless spectators to the battles of Gym Leader Katmisure; among them all was a common sight in the city, a man with way too much money and not enough hobbies to otherwise occupy his time. He saw the absolute bullshit the Gym Leader could pull with her two Emolga, and wanted said nonsense for himself as well. Having no patience for the dubious yet common practices of breeding Pokemon for battle, he instead turned to others who did so themselves, and eventually he found himself the perfect Emolga. This was Alto: the child of two retired battle-trained Pokemon, they had a fierce yet not uncontrollable disposition, and were of a size above that of average Emolga. The man with too much money saw them as perfect, and it wasn’t too difficult to convince the person Alto lived with to part with them as if they were livestock.
At first, as any reasonable creature would when torn away from family and familiarity, Alto was (in the gentlest terms possible) a handful. The number of times they bit and/or shocked their new trainer could have filled up an entire book; it was a miracle the man didn’t end up in a hospital. But eventually, through a combination of lovebombing and other psychological manipulations, Alto grew to enjoy the company of their human. It was useful to said trainer that, despite being a relatively pampered Pokemon before they were ‘adopted’, the Emolga took to training with a certain zeal. They didn’t protest the reckless and dangerous way their trainer raised them to battle, too distracted by the thrill of adrenaline rushes to care much for the way they were being treated. Though they were always left fatigued and in pain, Alto learned to accept these feelings as their new normal.
Alto lived most of their life with their trainer, and though they sorely missed their family, they still never left his side. Though he raised his Pokemon to considerably high levels for a regular trainer, the man had no mind for strategy or any sort of complex thinking; he failed to achieve any sort of synergy with the team, and so they never climbed high into the ranks of any official league. Not that Alto cared much. They simply lived for the battle, and trivial things like badges, titles, prizes, or whatever else meant nothing to the Emolga. When they were directed to use a certain move, they would-when they needed to dodge, they’d dodge-Alto never thought too hard about anything.
Looking back on it, that was probably how they got their trainer killed. An already hectic and disorganized team will easily fall apart to regular, non-lethal challenge; throw in the living dead to the mix, and it all goes completely to shit. They’d never expected a zombie apocalypse to happen at all, let alone how rapidly it destroyed everything. Alto had no idea how it all started, or why, but what they did understand was either they would have to kill first, or they’d be killed. The undead creatures were straight out of a nightmare or a tale told to frighten, and were tough to kill, but they went down eventually.
Unfortunately, eventually was not fast enough. In the end, Alto was the only one of their team to survive the first month. Their Pokemon kin, their trainer, all of them either were killed or succumbed to illness. And they were alone. Thanks to their battle-born strength and small, nimble form, Alto survived on their own perfectly well-at least in terms of physical needs. It was the loneliness that hurt the most; they had no one to speak with, no one to watch their back. Alto barely slept for fear of ambush. At some point, their solitude and paranoia was so unbearable, the Emolga wasn’t sure they could keep going.
Then they met him. Fawkes, a tiny Joltik all alone in this world of horror-a child who likely only survived because of his small stature. The realization was a depressing one. Though incredibly timid at first, as Alto helped him find food and allowed him to sleep in the warmth of their fur, Fawkes began to open up more. He was a witty and energetic teen, almost like what Alto imagined a younger brother might be like. They began to see him as such, and made it their goal to protect the tiny Joltik from any harm that tries to befall him. With all other loved ones either assuredly dead or long since lost to them, who else did Alto have? The two have been traveling together since, almost never seen apart.
Fawkes was born a wild Pokemon. He had a twin brother, and from a young age the two were inseparable; only rarely were they ever seen apart. They had a normal, carefree life with their Galvantula mother-the children were ever curious and tiny bundles of excessive energy, and though they never meant harm, the two were quite a handful. Fawkes in particular loved to get into trouble by wandering off or exploring somewhere dangerous, and it was through pure luck that he or his brother avoided any serious hot water. He couldn’t help himself; he just wanted to see everything.
One day, Fawkes pulled his usual mischief, and convinced his brother to slip away from their mom again. He’d spotted a new Pokemon move in nearby, one he’d never seen before, and wanted to check it out. The two ran off excitedly; it was easy to get away and hide from their mother with their small size. The Joltiks hurried to see the new neighbor, but were left confused and disappointed upon their arrival; the Pokemon was nowhere to be seen. Fawkes’ brother accused him of playing a prank, and the siblings began to bicker. As they yelled and threw jolts of harmless electricity at each other, there was suddenly a massive roar that frightened them into silence. Suddenly, as soon as it ended, there were loud footsteps that shook the entire earth, and the Joltiks hid in terror as a massive Pokemon ran by. They had no way of knowing, but it was an Ursaring: an incredibly angry and violent one, no less. Young as he was, even Fawkes knew the sight of blood, and the Pokemon’s mouth and paws were covered in it.
It didn’t take long before Fawkes heard his mother shrieking. So horrible was the sound, both of the brothers broke past their petrified fear and began to run. His instincts screamed that his mom needed help; he had never heard a noise like that before. It sounded as if she were in pain. By the two made their way back home, though, their mother’s screams had already faded-she was nowhere to be found. Their home had red blood everywhere.
Neither of the brothers said so verbally, but they knew they had to search for their mother. She must’ve been hurt, snatched away, or something else, but she couldn’t be gone. Fawkes refused to believe it. They searched all over the place they’d spent their childhood, and she was nowhere to be found, yet Fawkes still held onto the hope they could save her. The boys moved further and further from home in their search, going places they’d never seen until they could no longer find their way back, but their mother never came back into their lives.
What they did find was like the Ursaring the two had encountered before their mom was taken; there were violent, bloody Pokemon everywhere. Fawkes never knew anything existed like this in the rest of the world. Why had their mother not told them? It was easy enough to hide or get away with his tiny size, but that didn’t stop him from being utterly terrified. No matter how far he and his brother went, there was no end in sight. Fawkes wanted to go home; he wanted things to be like they were before. He wanted his mother.
Things took a turn for the worse when Fawkes and his brother became separated. It was as if his entire world, already cracked and falling, broke apart entirely. The only person he had left in the world was missing too, and Fawkes couldn’t handle it. How could he find his brother when the two of them together never found their mom? He still looked everywhere to no avail. He screamed for his family to come back, and all it earned him was being chased and driven into lonely hiding spots to escape cruel Pokemon. Fawkes felt a pain he’d never known before-the pain of being absolutely alone in the world.
One day, there was a response to his mournful cries, and for once it was not the angry howls or screeches of Pokemon that wanted to hurt him. It was a Pokemon whose species Fawkes actually recognized: an Emolga. They spoke kind words to him, asked him if he was okay. The Joltik couldn’t help himself from breaking down then and there; he was after all, only a child, and here was someone finally showing kindness. He let them scoop him up into their paws and comfort him. It was almost like having his mother back.
After telling the Emolga-whose name turned out to be Alto-his story, they promised to help Fawkes find his missing family. The two have been together ever since, the young Joltik well-protected by his new guardian.
•Though brash and having a tendency to think before speaking, Alto doesn’t act cruel or mean unless given a very good reason too. They’re actually very friendly, if a little eccentric, and love socializing; they get along well with different personalities easily
•Fluctuating impulse control; sometimes they’re overly hesitant and particular with everything they do or say, at others they simply blurt out any thought that pops into their head
•If angered or insulted, Alto is not afraid to get in someone’s face and tell them off. Should the argument escalate, they’re also not above throwing hands. It’s probably best to avoid commenting on many things about them, such as their size or gender
•Battles intrusive thoughts on a daily basis, most of them revolving around violence or sudden spikes of irrational rage. They’re very good at concealing this, though it still distresses them deeply
•In battle, they are incredibly reckless, with little thought for self-preservation or generally avoiding injuries. They’ll push themself to their limits, fighting even while wounded or still in pain/overstrained from previous battles. Having been raised and trained to see this as normal, Alto doesn’t understand being shown concern or frustration over their fighting style
•When in a good mood, they are very talkative and giggly, almost immature in a way. They’ll say stupid jokes, including vulgar ones if there are no kids about, and generally be an overly-active presence that can endear and irritate alike
•Has magpie tendencies, their brain basically goes “hoard the shinies!” when they see something they like. If Fawkes wants something, Alto will attempt to carry it too. Often results in amusing imagery of a small mouse attempting to hold stuff way bigger than them
•They have an older sibling connection with Fawkes, thus they both love to tease him and would kill someone should they try to hurt him. Occasionally will take on a more parental tone with him, but it’s usually only reserved for very serious situations. An example would be Alto scolding Fawkes for putting himself in danger
•A cheerful and sunny boy on the surface. Many people are given the impression Fawkes is not only an extrovert, but an overenthusiastic one as well; he talks a lot and appears to thrive off of attention, often to the point of it bothering others
•Rather polite, often using preferred honorifics (sir, miss, etc) and offering to help others. Sometimes, though, Fawkes has a hard time differentiating what questions, comments, etc are appropriate or not. For example, he’ll kindly ask Electric-types if he can feed off their power without stopping to think of how that could be insulting or uncomfortable
•Extremely clingy, with severe abandonment trauma; he is almost never seen apart from his guardian, and if they try to go off by themself, he will be in distress. Will also become panicked and possibly have a breakdown if Alto is gone too long
•In severe denial of past traumas, which has impacted his memories and ability to cope with mental stress. The boy is fragile, and only chipper because he has forced himself to live in a world of false optimism. He cannot bear to think of what has truly happened to his loved ones, so he stubbornly believes they are still alive
•Like any teenager, Fawkes is trying to find his own footing in the world-and unfortunately, he has to do so in a zombie apocalypse. It’s normal for him to test the boundaries of rules, even if doing so could be dangerous, and he’s very stubborn when he puts his mind to it. In the right circumstances, it would be easy for Fawkes to lash out and say hurtful things
•He has never lost his natural curiosity. Fawkes asks a lot of questions; it’s second-nature for him to direct them towards Alto, especially if they say something he doesn’t get. Since he‘s never had contact with humans, the boy is especially interested in things related to them. So far from what his guardian has told him, he’s gleamed that humans are really weird
•Can get along with younger kids, but is initially reluctant to do so. Fawkes is at that stage where he doesn’t want to be seen as childish or immature, so he’ll get annoyed if he has to hang out with children who aren’t his age. It doesn’t take long for him to defrost though, and after that he’s fun to hang out with