LUMIOSE CITY — Professor Augustine Sycamore, the now-infamous pokémon scientist and leading expert on Mega Evolution, has been acquitted of all criminal charges.
It will likely be remembered as the trial of the century.
When he made his first public appearance in a court room following his arrest, not even The Great Alakazam could have predicted the high drama that would follow.
It was eight long months ago and with a shock that the world was introduced to Professor Sycamore. He entered our lives wearing shackles and a canary yellow jumpsuit. He looked sad and serious but also calm and comfortable. He also spoke quietly but clearly when he declared his plea, “Not Guilty,” to the court.
Then, shortly after, he was everywhere. Professor Sycamore was called visionary. His work on special evolutions and with Mega Stones was the state of the art. He was also young, tall, lean and handsome with a breeze of long black hair hanging over symmetrical, gunmetal grey eyes. People said that if he hadn’t been a scientist, he should have been a model. Online fan clubs sprang up overnight.
We also heard the disturbing charges over and over. A mad scientist, he was called by his accusers. A man obsessed with power and a doctor who had no regard for the well-being of pokémon. A butcher. A wolf in sheep’s clothing.
To illustrate for the jury the man who stood accused before them, the prosecution summoned panoply of figures from Sycamore’s past – former assistants, colleagues, and even lovers – to weave the narrative portrait of a cold, obsessive narcissist who saw himself as an exception to the rules of law and society and viewed others only as obstacles or conquests.
“’There is no right or wrong,’ he would always say,” testified one of Sycamore’s former assistants. “Only ahead or behind. Evolution moves in only one direction.”
His defense team told a very different story: they spoke of a teacher and a mentor and a passionate researcher who loved pokémon and had committed his life to learning about how they grow. His experiments on evolution strictly followed all medical and ethical guidelines. He also methodically documented his procedures and findings and submitted his work to the scrutiny of the scientific community.
“He was a role model, a person who held himself to the highest ethical standards as a scientist,” said a colleague.
As Sycamore’s trial went on, it became increasingly theatric – a soap opera marked by postponements, multiple juror dismissals, attorney changes, allegations of jury tampering, witness intimidation, days in which cameras were barred from the court room, and all around tight security.
Prosecutors focused intensely on the testimony of former assistants who provided graphic accounts of observing Sycamore’s private experiments and their aftermath.
“Sycamore was splicing genes left and right for his mega evolution experiments,” recounted a former, long-time assistant. “He was trying to force evolutions that the mainstream community had dismissed a long time ago as failures. Those pokémon were dying horribly, but he just kept breeding more to replace the dead ones.”
Sycamore’s legal team constantly revisited the core theme of their defense: there was no physical evidence found of Sycamore’s allegedly illegal experiments.
“Where are the piles of dead pokémon you’ve heard witnesses for the prosecution talk about? We have no pictures, no DNA – nothing but circumstantial evidence about missing supplies and some seriously questionable eyewitness accounts.”
The prosecution responded by pointing out that much of the evidence appeared to have been destroyed in an unsolved break-in and theft believed to have been perpetrated by the criminal organization Team Flare and its mysterious leader, Lysandre.
On the stand himself, Sycamore was masterful. He was practiced, respectful, occasionally professorial, and fond of reminiscing about the many young trainers he had helped to start on their exciting journey into the world of pokémon.
“Pokémon are still great and exciting mysteries,” said Sycamore. “We will never know everything about them, but we should never stop loving them and trying to learn.”
Following his acquittal, Professor Augustine Sycamore was fully released from custody and escorted by police to his Central Kalos home.