The Cori Falls MSTs
For those not knowing Cori Falls’ fics, allow me to summarize:
Pokémon fandom, too, has its Slytherfen.
Some people hate the nominal heroes of a story and fangirl/fanboy the villains, because they feel the heroes are obnoxious, the villains are more interesting, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, often, when expressing their opinions through fanfiction, they often destroy what makes the villains interesting in the first place by making them conform to their ideal of The True Heroes Of The Story, whether or not this had anything to do with the villains’ original personalities. Cold-hearted, smug bastards break out in tears and talk about their miserable childhoods, effeminate, goofy guys suddenly become manly and deathly serious, and borderline-amoral characters acquire more private rules and regulations than the United States Tax Code.
string villains, story, somepeople
She started out by writing “behind the scenes” versions of the canon – basically Team Rocket’s Tale view of regular episodes. These were rather corny and bland, with Jessie and James basically sounding like Hermione and Harry in a Harmonian fanfic. With some editing (mostly streamlining), these could have been decent, I suppose. They’re about as padded as Brisingr by Christopher Paolini – which is to say that it gets violently boring at points, but some people really seem to like it. At least it wasn’t the Draco Trilogy.
Then, she began acquiring a violent allergy to canon on the grounds that she perceived (around the time of the Master Quest season) that Team Rocket was being severely maltreated by the writers and Ash was becoming more obnoxious than ever. I can’t say whether there’s any merit to this claim at all, since I stopped watching Pokémon regularly soon after Johto Journeys began.
Also around this time, she befriended a Gary Oak fangirl, Shigeru1313, who convinced her that Gary was awesome, so in Cori Falls’ fanon, he befriended Team Rocket in some storyline which I can’t retrieve from archive.org that apparently involved Pokémon poachers or somesuch. A pity, since Shigeru1313 was a somewhat better writer than Cori Falls, and made my eyes glaze over much less. The characters were still bland and OOC, and bashing of Ash (and, to a lesser extent, Misty and Brock) still ran rampant, but at least I don’t recall a page here and there dedicated entirely to Jessie or James preparing French toast. More about this later.
Up to now, the stories tended to be filled with Team Rocket-self-pity, Jessie and James either nearly having sex or having sex that almost certainly violated the principle that “if you have an erection lasting for longer than four hours, seek medical attention immediately”, cookie-cutter declarations of true love, and the various issues I mentioned in the first paragraph. That said, they tended to be just bland and wangsty, rather than taking a flying leap off Niagara Falls into a floating platform made of guano without a parachute.
(Edit: Pardon me, from an in-story reference, I just realized that James was a practicing witch by this point, due to a story in which Jessie was possessed by an evil queen and he and Meowth had to fight off said queen on the spiritual plane. So things had already gotten strange, but it was within reasonable limits. Ash was also portrayed as a distinctly dimwitted brat and Misty as more than a bit of a bitch, but I’m inured to such things in shipping fic. Perhaps the OBHWF has even put down roots over in the Pokémon world? ‘We are the Weasley. Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile. Just ask J.K. Rowling.’)
Then entered New Directions. As the title might suggest, this is where Cori Falls completely split from canon, and did so without bothering with minor things like ‘common sense’ and ‘self-restraint’ – starting it off with a blood sacrifice. Well, technically, Team Rocket threw Ash into a healing spring afterwards that gave him convenient amnesia, but they gave him a mauling worthy of serving as a pre-rendered example of how badly I think the Muggle boys beat Ariana, albeit with some differences in the locations of the worst injuries. And I do quote from AFTER the beating:
“Sure enough, the Lake of Life had healed all of [Ash’s] injuries -- his cuts and bruises were gone, he had all of his teeth again, and his nose and jaw were back in place.”
As of New Directions, Ash is twelve years old.
Since Cori Falls was no longer bound to canon, it turned into something only marginally less boring than Draco Veritas as Jessie, James, and Meowth ventured across the land, racking up badges like I rack up soda cans in a boring meeting, making friends with just about every character-of-the-episode (who, of course, secretly hated Ash’s guts), yammering endlessly about Dungeons and Dragons, The Lord of the Rings, and Wicca, humiliating and torturing Ash whenever they met him, and so on and so forth. (It was STILL less boring than Draco Veritas, incredibly enough!)
And when I say “torturing”, I mean we get… lovely lines like this one:
“There was something perversely theraputic about the feeling of my claws rending Ash's flesh and tearing him to ribbons […]”.
The trilogy starting with New Directions would be a lot more palatable if not for the actively psychotic tack taken towards Ash. I mean… hooray, Jessie, James, and Meowth have quit pursuing Ash, and now are moving on with their lives. Finally. All is well, right? Sure, there are lots of pointless descriptions of French toast and jewelry and clothing, and there’s character-bashing and OOCness and Sueishness, but it’s relatively benign – holy **** they just started assaulting Ash with brass knuckles!
Oh, yes, and Giovanni is secretly a big softie. Nicest Yazuka-by-any-other-name boss you’ll ever meet… but OOCness really pales in comparison to Our Heroes repeatedly beating a twelve-year-old bloody because they blame him for everything that was ever wrong with their lives. You may not be surprised to learn that Snape is Cori Falls’ favorite HP character, because Snape is positively sane compared to these people. No word on her opinion on Bellatrix Lestrange.
By the end, Ash is widely regarded as a complete raving psychopath of subnormal IQ due to acting like the average shonen hero in canon, our heroes are beacons of sweetness and light despite the aforementioned psychosis, and Gary is married to an obvious self-insert of Shigeru1313. The next generation is also sickeningly sweet. I really don’t think Cori Falls would be worse than the usual Suethor – some are better, some are worse – EXCEPT THAT SHE DERIVES GREAT JOY FROM THE THOUGHT OF REPEATEDLY TORTURING A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD. That drops her down to near-Draco Trilogy-level territory, except, to be fair to her (urgh), she at least retains some attachment to a moral compass, in that Ash is supposedly a reckless, psychopathic sadist which is why he supposedly deserves his treatment, while Jessie and James are supposedly paragons of humanity and morality, which is why they get to dish it out. In the Draco Trilogy, by the time of Draco Veritas, Cassandra Claire has made it clear that she loves reckless, psychopathic sadists, while the paragons of humanity and morality get humiliated, broken, and ultimately either go mad or submit utterly to the local psychopaths, often both. So, er… I suppose I mean to say that Cori Falls’ fics are not the most guano-insane I’ve ever read…
In short – tags:
SnapeTeamRocketfen, Rabid, Where Did The Personalities Go?, Erection Lasting Over Four Hours May Require Medical Attention, Character-Bashing, Wangst, French Toast
Those of her fics rescued by sarajayechan for archival and MSTing purposes can be found here.
The Thrill of Defeat
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, and Part Eight.
A Warm Place
Part One and Part Two.
Two of a Kind
Blood on the Moon
The Thorns of the Rose
Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.
How James Got His Mojo Back
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, and Part Five.
The Power That's Inside (Dreamwidth only)
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four.
Part One (Dreamwidth), Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six.
Family Matters (Dreamwidth only; IN-PROGRESS)
Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and [Parts Four and up forthcoming]
To Denounce the Evils of Bad Fanfics
Spite!fic of The Prodigal Parents: At The Food Court
Part One/Part Two