I've been on this site too long and written too many stories to keep continuing the ...
I've been on this site too long and written too many stories to keep continuing the way I am. I see my work, and I see that of others. My work burns with this hateful light, and I can't help but be disappointed with the quality. I did this once before when I was writing raze, I stopped because I thought my work deserved better quality, and I went on to other things to up my quality. I'm doing that again with Into the inferno and Shotgun diplomacy (except I'm DEFINITELY going to go back to into the inferno, I've got the plot lined up too well to ditch it). This series will be (hopefully) a much better quality of writing.
The whole thing's on my upd8 thing.
I don't have any association with Gamefreak Inc.©, Nintendo ©, Creatures Ink.©, and so forth, and neither does my story. I do not own Pokémon, but all OCs in this story are MINE! And if you nick them you'll be rick 'rolled in hell (whatever that means), or something like that. You have to as real nice first, then go through ten sheets of paperwork signing heaps of shit. Even then I might be like "...nnnnnnyaaa, changed my mind. *evil grin* bugger off and have a nice day!"
"This is how people speak."
This is direct thinking.
I may or may not have telepathy in this story, but if it is, it will be shown like this, as always.
A trainer's dream is to conquer the Pokémon world. Capture all they can and beat all the rest. Trainers chase their dreams town-to-town, gym to gym.
I'm not a regular trainer.
As I travel, town-to-town, gym-to-gym, I am fleeing. And as is the case with everything that flees, there is something chasing me...
And fuck is she pissed...
I don't want to say it, but I know it to be true. Under normal circumstances I would remain quiet. I wouldn't say anything. Anything I don't know can't hurt me they say... but I have to know.
And standing here, where I am... the sky above me split by the greatest marvel nature has to offer, it's the perfect time. The sun's rays have left me in peace, ceasing their endless beating to go to bed on the horizon, and spare me their anguish for just a little longer. Just so I can sit here tonight, and gaze at this wonderful aurora floating in the sky. Like an unfurling giant ribbon trailing after a spool carelessly dropped into space, streaming after it with wonderful colours in its wake, lighting up everything with so much more colour than I could have imagined. It seems to hum as it sits, so mysterious and so beautiful, wave after wave of new colour crisscrossing as far as the eye can see. They say wherever Suicune is, the most awe-inspiring aurora can be sighted from the ground, even on the most obscure, black and cloudy night.
No... I've been putting this off too long. I have to say it, and I'm not sure if I'm going to like what I get in reply... but it eats at my heart... I have to know...
"She's coming to get me..."silence. Dreadful silence, like a great void between us. "...isn't she?"
"Yes." It's like listening to something through water, like a heavenly chorus muffled and echoing the way something only could underwater.
The voice sways me as I stand, almost pitching me forwards off my balcony, over the wrought guard rail so miserably low at my thighs so I can fall the two-story journey to my grave, past glary windows as they would flash before my eyes, perhaps I would catch a sound from the TV blaring beneath me, the racket of which still beats through my heavy oak floor, polished like the bone of a fussy Marowak, and shaking my walls since my mother lacks the decency to give me a decent sleep at the expense of watching her stupid fucking programme... and my head would crack on the cobblestones beneath me like an egg. And I would be dead.
The first time I heard Suicune's voice, I fell over. My legs turned to jelly at that harmonious music lapping at my soul like a frothy wave creeping up the shore, rolling over the crisp sands and soothing their hateful stinging burning heat. If I were to be bold enough to use a metaphor, her voice was like honey-covered snowflakes frosted into ice-cream, and melted down into a creamy silver stream of sweet, succulent liquid that tasted like heaven itself. That was what it was like listening to Suicune. Yet Suicune's voice was something so shattering that turned fully grown, strong men into boys shuddering, and boys into... well, here you have it. Me.
"Is she going to kill me?"
"She will hurt you first." Brilliant. No, really, it wasn't that bad. If my imminent destruction and torture was to be heralded by anyone, I was glad it was Suicune. She just made the fact that my body would be wrapped wholly in agonising physical pain so great I would probably be on my broken, bloody knees crying and begging for mercy in death, seem so... meh. Maybe it was with the look of such indifference that crossed her muzzle as she spoke to me, and the way she just made the comment and silently dismissed it as if it wouldn't be a problem. Whatever she did, it worked, and my mind was further concerned with whether my supply of cereal was ready for me to tackle tomorrow morning than the horrible torture that awaited me for what I had done.
"Do you think I made a mistake? Taking you?" I ask finally. I've asked many times before. She has averted the question many times before. And once again, she repeats her history.
"My mother would have saved me." Suicune answers, still gazing out over the lake sitting sparkling in the moonlight. It shines as a sea of stars, taking the light from space so distant and giving it back twice as brightly off its surface.
"But what if she hadn't? What would you have done if she didn't? If I didn't?"
"Just..." Suicune turns around now, taking her soft, sad-looking eyes off the moon now so vividly captured in her mind. She steps softly towards the door behind me, a ranch slider with two glass panels set in it. Double glazed. I close my eyes to listen to her footsteps, to her soft pads landing without a squeak or squeal on the old, creaky balcony which always seems to make a noise for me, however small my movement. "Stop." She commands.
"I'm sorry." I turn and walk to her side, and sure enough the floorboards creak under me with each step, sinking and rising and causing as much of a commotion as possible to disturb anything in the night. I rest my hand on the back on her neck as I stop beside her and run my fingers through her fur gently, staring at the back of the curtain keeping my eyes safe from the blinding lights within my room.
We stand together for a moment, me stroking her neck slowly, I don't know why. But she doesn't object, and has gotten used to some of my unusual treatment of her. I have yet to understand her, though. Whatever I just did, I did it right.
I wrap my fingers around the wooden door handle and feel it: an icy presence against me, dusted with a coat of chilly frost and cold to the touch. My fingers whiten; the door handle darkens and warms in my grip as our temperatures are balanced and our heat shared.
With the same pull I use every day, I tug the door away. I release it and let it carry itself on rollers with the momentum I bestow. Suicune walks inside first, and I follow after her, and bring closed the door behind me, sealing off the outside world as I click shut the lock. The lock on my other door, the only exit to the exterior that isn't surrounded by an eight metre drop, is also snibbed shut. Just me and Suicune. All alone in our humble little abode.
Suicune stops in the centre of the room, dead in the centre of an Indian rug my father brought back with him, and instantly becomes the focal point for the piece. Her elegant slender white tails so ribbon-like like the aurora outside, and shimmering with the same perplexing multitude of hues that cross over in different lights, like bending, curving of coloured lasers, fluffy with residual light projected onto them. Her hide, soft and smooth thanks to her glossy blue fur that always appears wet and matted over itself innumerable times and in such a fantastically wild and beautiful pattern. White patches on her haunches are like patches of snow, soft and fluffy and oh-so fresh. Her hair is a remarkable violet, flowing always perfectly down along her back and billowing even when there is no wind, like a haze of intoxicating aroma trailing from her central body. She is a beautiful entity.
Red eyes, like those of Darkrai himself, the untamed, raw power that lies dormant within her body and soul, all too easy for her to unleash when and where she should choose too.
And, Arceus save me should she.
But I am still alive. I have run my fingers. My frail, pale human fingers through that beautiful, silky fur and felt its lavish touch on my skin. I have felt those ribbon-like tails as she would pass me, brushing it over my skin and arousing the flightiest yet most wonderful sensation. I have held, and I have stroked that billowing, flowing hair, feeling its velvety texture and running my fingers through, tending and touching as she saw fit.
Suicune let me touch her, and she let me live. I fleeted with the cold mistress herself, treading her path of ice and sea, rocking and teetering like an iceberg in the surf, blind as a Golbat. And I am still alive.
"Are you hungry?" I ask, walking towards a mini-fridge set under a granite counter in the corner of my room, with every step wary as if she might lunge at me in a terrible rage.
"I am not very hungry." She answered monotonously without moving from her spot.
"Would you like some food?"
"I said," she finally turns her head, watching me without hate nor love nor anything in between what, for a Pokémon of her calibre, were not the greatest of extremes. "I'm not very hungry." I've known her for a while now, and from that time I watched her, thought about her, I realised such a creature was capable of much more sinister than hatred, and much holier than true love. Two months since I took her from that cave. Two months since I, dare I say the word to her face, saved her, from that rampaging Dragonite. But she was a child back then. She was young. She was, dare I say again, weak. But that night, I felt something. As I lay in my bed, arms tucked around that tiny, whimpering legendary Pokémon protectively as she clung to my body for dear life, her ears attuned to every string of promises and words of warmth and safety I offered her, I felt it. Like a tremor, a tremor rising from her body and surging through mine. Anger, fury, sadness. Then, I knew this was not the true Suicune. And the true Suicune is out there somewhere, not as a benevolent guardian of purity, but as a mother, overwhelmed by anxiety and anger. Then I realised what I got myself into.
"I know what you said Sumieri." I say respectfully, rolling a large ripe, plump berry towards me along the mesh shelf at the bottom tier. Sumieri was her name. I gave it to her, and she took it. She didn't, and hadn't rejected it. Even now, she kept it, and it surprised me. "You're not very hungry. Would a few slices of Melinberry please you?" I knew how to talk to her, I knew her abstract ways... for now. She was constantly changing, like a teenage girl or something rushing through puberty way too quickly.
Sumieri watched me for a few more seconds. Even though my back was turned to her, I knew she was watching me. "It would." She was confusing, to say the least. I never knew what to expect from her. I shut the fridge door and lift the Melinberry onto the counter beside me. I steady it as I release it, to be sure it won't roll off.
Lying on the bench, as always, is my blade. Yes, I have a blade. A rapier. I never bothered myself with learning the metal it was constructed of, but my parents had been assured it was the finest quality in the entire world. They were picky like that.
My parents though, wouldn't have just bought me something so expensive without good reason, even though it would barely put a scratch in the wall of their cash-vault piled to the ceiling. No, this blade was because of my stunning success at the KRICIS, pronounced crisis. Nobody needed to know what the full acronym was, other than the "S" stood for swordsmen, and the "C" stood for "championship". Meaning I was, as I liked to put it in private or to scare people, one of the deadliest swordsmen in the entire world.
I wrap my hand around the hilt and lift it off the counter carefully, holding the blade perfectly level. Just a little balance practice, holding the blade perfectly horizontal. Practice wherever possible. With a quick flick of my hand and a practiced circle of it, it twist the blade a full 360 degrees around, and catch it again with a flourish, perfectly horizontal. With another flick, and a fast move I point the blade upright, and my hands are clasped over one another, around the handle just over my heart. The blade hovers dangerously close to my nose, between my eyes, it seems to shimmer and fluctuate left-to-right as I stare past it, down at the watermelon. Like an enemy.
I slash downwards in a blink of an eye, one hand still hovering over my heart, the other holding the blade in a firm, but loose grip as the Melin halves rock side to side on the bench, perfectly separated with a clean divide. One-two, the halves split again almost simultaneously as I dive into the first, retract in a heartbeat, and shear through the second, parting the soft, red flesh cleanly and leaving four pieces of fruit. Three, I cross-slash, drawing my blade along the bench through all four quarters, and slicing each in half once again. I spot just a quick spark as I do so as the point of my sword cuts into the bench, leaving a long groove in the smooth stone.
There was actually already a groove there from the last time I cut a Melin up. I this time was no different, perfectly executed with immaculate accuracy, this cut into the bench directly through the old one.
Four. With one last final slash, I sweep the blade through horizontally. It slices through the pieces just where the fruit meets the green, chunky skin, and separates them. I then quickly sweep all the bits of skin out from under the fruit pieces, leaving eight perfect three-sided pyramids of supple red splendour.
I flick my arm out holding the rapier, snapping the drops of watery juice into the air so they can rain down behind me, almost as a mist. Done with my fancy swordplay, I replace my weapon and scoop all the pieces onto a plate, and take them to Sumieri.
At some point in my somewhat absence, Sumieri had slipped across the room mute on her pads, and she lay on my queen size bed with her forelegs crossed, watching me, as she often would. What I'd give to know what she's thinking right now.
"Here you go." I place the plate gingerly in front of her, but not too close to her that it's in her space.
"Mmm...." She murmurs, and bends forwards and takes a piece in her mouth, and flicks it back into her maw quickly so the drippings won't wet my bed. As she eats, I head for my drawer beside my bed and drag it out, checking the contents. I remove a pair of satin boxers and a loose shirt, a few sizes too big for me without any particular pattern on the front or back.
I strip off, pretending to forget about Sumieri behind me. I have no idea how she feels about me just changing in front of her. The first time I did it, I simply said: "I'm getting changed" and did so. I didn't dare look at her. I didn't dare suggest she look away in case even that offended her, I simply changed and left her to her own devices without judging. Although, I had to say, I thought I had done a pretty good job of not offending her.
By the time I pulled my head through the neck hole of my shirt and stuffed my arms through their allotted holes, Sumieri appeared to be finished. But there was one piece of fruit left on the plate. "Don't you want this piece?" I ask as I take the plate, but don't move it away, waiting for her answer.
"Are you hungry?" She asked, fixing me an entrancing stare.
"Not really." I realise I've done exactly what she did.
"Then have it." We both hold fast our eyes, meeting each other, and briefly, without fear. Her offer catches with me... for a moment as I see her human side, all the anxiety I have towards Sumieri disappears, and we are equals, for just that moment. It disappears soon, and I take the plate back to the bench, breaking eye contact finally. I take the piece and take a large bite out of it, placing the plate on the bench. I pull down the door to my personal dishwasher and jam the plate in the bottom somewhere, then lift the door back up and click it into place using my foot. I wash my hands and return to my bed, now ready for sleep.
I climb on top of my bed, stepping over Sumieri who lies on the side without the wall against it, and crouch at the top. I slide under my covers in a way that won't disturb them for her. Lying on my side, facing away from the wall I grab a pillow from the corner, blue and white striped. I punch it a few times, but lacking too much effort, and present it to the Pokémon lying beside me. "Your pillow." Sumieri turns on the bed and lies down again, facing me and looking at the pillow I proffer. "Where?" She looks at the pillow, in no rush to choose, then at me for a glance, and back. She stands again and takes the pillow in her jaws. She surprises me then, shuffling a bit towards me, and dropping the pillow right beside my head. She lies down with her head resting on the further away edge of her pillow, and rolls onto her side.
For a moment of sheer terror, my skin crawls as her back brushes against my arm, but she moves again, closer, shuffling back into me further into my stomach. She lies against me. Sumieri is lying against me. Her strange cross of cold affection and somewhat gratitude leaves me stumped and unsure of how to respond to her on many an occasion. This was such an occasion. As cold and emotionless as she is, situations like these just showed that she was, to a slight extent, capable of small acts of affection. Though, she always seems to have her own reasons for these things. She may have been doing it simply because she was cold.
"Are you cold?"
"No." she answers ingenuously. I didn't get my hopes up. One thing I did notice about Sumieri, she was impulsive. She acted on impulse, and this was clearly such an impulse. After all, we all get sudden impulses to do strange things, and Sumieri was no different.
"Then why-" I stop. I should know better than to question her motives. "Okay." I nod and raise my hand, and with a sharp snap, my lights cease, light halting and pitch blackness illuminating the room. I drop my arm, the one facing up, on my side. Rather awkward actually... it would be much easier... I think... perhaps if she's so impulsive right now... maybe... "Sumieri?"
"Yes?" I lift my arm, bringing the covers up with them, and move it over top of Sumieri, but hovering, so I don't touch her. I lower one finger, and touch it against her soft, sleek fur. "May i?"
Sumieri remains silent. For a second, I think she won't answer at all, but I know that crazy, confusing brain of hers must have been processing my request. Impulsive, cold affirmation or equally impulsive, cold denial? What would I receive in response?
"Yes." Of course a sudden, impulsive answer. Of course, cold as ice. But still, affirmation. If I were any less tired, something would have leapt for joy inside me. I gently lower my arm, and drape it across Sumieri's belly. Her texture overwhelms my skin, that rich, soft fur more velvety and silky and wonderfully perfect than anything I've known, or ever will. Her hair spills over me too, like a veil laid across my body and encasing me. It still blows and billows, even inside here and tantalisingly plays on my skin.
In my state of warm, comforting bliss, my lips only manage to part slightly to utter the words: "Good night, Sumieri."
"Good night... Ben."
Eyes red, piercing, penetrating, she sees through me. She sees everything. I am transparent, my skin little more than glass. My being, everything inside that I am, is revealed through my complex of juts and angles, but not distorting the content within far enough to deceive such precise eyes. And she can see it all.
"What..?" I mouth as she moves so gracefully, the sea we stand on seems to follow her in heaves and frothy surges, crashing all around and over her feet as tiny waves. Like an ice skater, she sways and slides from foot to lovely foot, left, right, left, right, each movement slipping towards me without me knowing, her distance indistinguishable against the endless seascape behind her, stretching into the horizon that could just as well be a million miles away. But she comes in front of me, and she stops. She stares into my eyes. "What do you want?" I ask again, voice shaky with my half-hearted demand. She does not relent, her gaze intensifies, red eyes seeming to burn with a fierce fire. But she just stands there, watching me, curious. "What do you want, Sumieri?" My use of her name appears to shock her. That fiery, static stare she drilled into me widened, intensity dissipating on the world elsewhere. She sits, so fluently, with such a natural shift I have to be sure my eyes didn't' just deceive me. But no, she is sitting.
Her muzzle opens, and her voice is a flood, heavenly and horrid. "What will you give me?"
"Ben?" My door opens a crack, I've left it unlocked now that I'm awake. I am smiling as I look over my shoulder. The door opens further and a woman steps in, gingerly resting her fingers on the edge of the door. "You're up already, huh?"
"Hey mum. Yeah, I'm up." I nod pleasantly as I can as I press something blindly into the messy bundle of clothing in my pack. She murmurs something I just don't catch, turning her gaze to Sumieri, lying on my bed still, in the same position as she was last night.
"Well, seems the big day has come at last..." She smiles back at me, but a nagging twitch pulls at her lip as she does so. She'd been dreading this for a while to come, and now it's happened all too fast for her.
"It looks like it." I agree whole-heartedly as I tug one strap onto and over my shoulder and let my bag hang loosely behind my back. Mum smiles a bit at my enthusiasm. The thought that I'm excited probably cheers her up. We both nod in unison, as if communicating some kind of psychic message.
"So..." she says, angling her gaze towards my sleeping Pokémon. "What about her?"
"I'm taking her with me."
"Really?" Mum raises an eyebrow, trying to work over every possible way around this. She's always been wary of Sumieri. She was especially paranoid when I first brought her home, worried that the sky would fall or the ocean freeze over or something terrible. Her fears weren't groundless. I figured from day one when it hit me, that telling mum that an angry mother Suicune was probably on her hunt to exact righteous vengeance upon me and subject my soul to eternal torment was not the best way to ease her anxiety, and so I let her believe this was the one, and only Suicune. It had worked so far.
"I'm coming." I look at my bed with a short shock, replaying what I just heard to make sure it was real. "You heard me, Ben." Sumieri repeated, still lying immobile on my covers, appearing asleep.
"She says she's coming." I tell mum with a shrug. Strange thing is, it seems I'm the only one who can hear Sumieri speak. Mum thought I was crazy at first when I told her she spoke, when she clearly did not. I still think she has her suspicions, even now.
"Is that a good idea?" Mum raised Sumieri one last glance before returning her attention to me. "Carrying a legendary Pokémon with you? You'll draw attention to yourself. Why can't you just be happy with the starter Pokémon you're about to receive?"
"Would you sooner I leave her here?" I ask, raising an eyebrow. "Let you look after her?"
"I'd sooner you set her free." Mum sighed as she placed her hands on her hips.
"She is free." I say. I'd never try to keep Sumieri captive, for fear of what she'd do to escape. "She knows where her pokéball is, and I've told her she's free to take it and leave when she pleases."
"But she's still here..." I nod as I join my mother in watching my "sleeping" legend.
"I know." I confirm and nod. "And I'm curious as to why... so as long as she's happy to accompany me, I'm happy to accompany her." Well... happy was an overstatement. I have never seen Sumieri happy. Mum looks at me with her usual look of anxiety, half-biting her lip. She couldn't understand my relationship with Sumieri. Then again, neither could I. it was a confusing concept. I didn't know if we were friends, if she hated me, if she loved me, if she felt indifferent to me, if she begrudged my taking her from her mother...
I leave mum looking at Sumieri as I head over to the counter. The same one I worked at last night. I take my rapier from the bench and give it a little twirl, weighing it again in my fingers, catching the light at different angles. I take the sheath from beside where my rapier sat, twirl the blade to face down-hand, and stab it into the sheath. I remove the buckle of my belt and slip it through a loop connected to the sheath.
"You can't take that, Ben."
"Why not?" I ask as I turn and walk back towards her. "There's no harm I taking it." I say, ignoring the fact that the only reason why I am taking it is, to in fact, harm, should the need arise.
"You're going to scare people with it on your belt everywhere."
"Better them than me." I say with such a calm, casual tone that mum can't prepare a response. She's probably too shocked at my comment, however much she might agree with me. I play on that motherly protective urge, twisting it to my whims.
"Just keep out of trouble." That, right there, was her resignation. I had won my blade.
"I'll do my best." In place of what would normally be a snide grin at a time like this to throw her into a fit of needless worry, I spare mum, and retain a calm, serious expression.
"Do you have your credit cards?" My hand slides into the zipped pocket of my backpack, and I quickly draw it out again, complete with a brace of various cards between my fingers.
"I have other ones in my other pockets, too." I assure her. "I'm all set mum. I woke early to get everything prepared."
"And to leave me less time to say goodbye to you." Mum smiles softly. Enough to tell me she's kidding. "So this is it? I can't even interest you in breakfast?"
"I've already eaten." I lie, to put her out of her misery. The longer I stay the harder it will be. With a last, deep intake, I step towards mum, and meet her as she steps towards me.
"Good luck out there, Ben." She wraps her arms around me, just beneath my shoulders being a little shorter than I am. "Good luck."
I let her have her hug for a few moments more, and eventually push her off, knowing she isn't going to let go on her own. "I don't need luck." I say with a cocky grin. "I've got something better."
"You can't always rely on skill..." Mum tells me as she steps back, looking me up and down one last time with teary eyes.
I shrug as I head for a pokéball sitting on my drawer. I turn to Sumieri, pokéball in one hand. She opens one eye and looks at me for what seems like an eternity, and nods reluctantly. I press the little button on the capsule, and do my best to remember what lies before me before it fleetingly disappears into the ball in my hand. "When I said something better... I was going to say my sword, but if-"
"Oh, shut up." She smirks. "Sometimes worry about you..." I grin as I shoulder my backpack, and make my way past mum towards the door. But not before stopping one last time, to add cruelly:
"And so you should." And I leave.
"What is that supposed to mean?... Ben?... Ben!... BEN!"
Pallet town was a quiet place. Just that kind of slightly-more-than-rural township a guy could get used to. But used to it as I was, I craved something new... something exciting. Not like I could complain about being at home, though. A glimmering lakefront vista to wake up to each morning had its pleasantries. A three storey house complete with full-size billiard table, spa bath, TV in almost every room, and even a slide from the second storey into the lake outside, was nothing to be scoffed at. It was fantastic.
And now, I was back in remote, sprightly Pallet town, its white cottages and farmhouses peaking up atop each hill and rise, a little crop spread outside with a bounty of veges sprouting from the loamy soil. Yes, Pallet town has its own, unique charm to it, but it just wasn't the charm for me. My landmark for my destination peaked over the horizon, fans turning slowly and powerfully in the wind.
"There's the start." My hand touches against Sumieri's ball, half expecting some kind of reaction. But no. just the regular, bland metallic coldness. For a moment, I stop, considering that could be her reaction, but it just doesn't feel right. As cold as Sumieri may have been, she wasn't metal cold. She was ice cold, a much more intensely frigid touch would have been her reaction. Her reaction would have been stronger; she usually likes to let herself be known properly, and this meagre unsure chill wasn't strong enough for her. I was actually disappointed that Sumieri was showing so little excitement at the start of our journey- then again, the thought of an excited Sumieri was a little... strange.
Dust rises and settles as I pass, the track's life of its own rising up like a ghostly mist to embrace me. Like the spirit of the adventure eagerly prowling at my heels, urging me forth persistently with what I swear would be a grin at me, excited to watch where my travels will take me. But at my approach to the windmill, the dust disappears, floating backwards away, like an apparition ghosting away into nothing.
The front door to Professor Rin's lab is wide open, a calm breeze flowing past, carrying me in with it at my back as if arriving with me and presenting me to my new world, like holding me in its palms and offering me up with a sycophantic grin.
At the far end of the room in front of some machine, Rin turns with a curious look, seeing this newcomer to his lab. Not like other Pokémon professors, Rin preferred to keep a casual air to himself. His hair grew long and brown, hanging over his ears and draping to his shoulders were it rested. His lab coat was unbuttoned down the front, revealing a summer-blue singlet and pair of boardies.
Now, not meaning to brag or anything, but I when I enter a room I always notice the collective attention fall to rest on me, cutting short conversations in favour of staring. I don't know, maybe I'm attractive, maybe people are just interested by me, I don't know, but they stare at me. It kind of pisses me off. Mum told me that a strong posture and commanding presence are something I should be proud of, but sometimes I just want to be one of the crowd. And the stares I received from around the lab just remind me of my painful good looks.
Damn genes... Damn, sexy genes...
"Ben?" Rin takes a few steps towards me, adjusting the glasses that all professors seem to have sitting on their noses. "Ben Raymond?"
"The same." I greet the professor with a grin and nod as I stop at the mention of my name. "I'm sorry, I don't seem to remember you..."
Rin pressed the glasses back onto the bridge of his nose with a sharp laugh, resuming his pace towards me with an easy grin. "No, you wouldn't." He said as he came to a stop in front of me and crossed his arms, inspecting me thoroughly. "Man, it's been a while since I saw you! How have you been?"
"Um... alright, I guess." I grin a bit wider and shrug. There's something contagious about his good-will that gets me a little grinny-happy-stupid too. "So you know me?"
"I know your parents, come on." He motions to me to follow as he turns around and heads back for his machine. "Last time I saw you, you seemed a lot less talkative. You've really moved on from those "oogoo"s and "aga"s." He stops and leans back on his machine, waiting for me to say something.
"So you're going to give me that "my you've grown" speech, aren't you?" I sigh as my smile drops, and the polished bleakness of the lab sinks into my skin again, dulling my mood.
"Nah." I just cheer up a little. To an extent, he's cool.
"So if you haven't seen me as a baby, how'd you recognise me?"
Rin gestured to my waist with one hand. "You're the only idiot to be caught walking around with a rapier glued to your person somewhere." There go the smiles again.
"So you're finally getting leasing the dorm and packing your satchel?"
"Oh." My brow clears, and I nod. This guy keeps managing smiles out of me, only to kill them with something else. "Yeah. I was going to leave a couple back, but things came up at home and delayed the process, and so here I am."
"Good for you." He smiles and turns around to the machine, which only now I notice holds three pokéballs in what seems to be a bowl of... some thin and pale green fluid. "It's just a fluid to keep them clean." He says, as if agreeing on how irking the sight is.
"Sweet." I nod in that way people nod to pass just a second of time. "So what do we have here?"
"Well..." Rin bends down and takes one ball from the bile as if it wasn't the slightest off-putting. He holds it up for my inspection. "Shinx."
My mind screams: "DONE! XD". I'm sorry, but I almost shouted out loud right then and there. I. love. Shinx. I wait.
Rin takes another ball from the liquid in his other hand. "Horsea."
That draws little of my interest. And besides, I'm not sure how Sumieri might react to having another water-type around. "And finally..." Rin looks at the ball remaining in the bile. "Gible."
As much as the idea of a Gible strikes me, evolving into Garchomp and me flying along on its back at epic speeds through the clouds, I cringe with horrible resentment the more I think of the incredibly appealing idea, there is only one choice for me.
"Shinx." I say with a nod, mind filled with delusions of grandeur. A Luxray lying at my feet, half asleep and happy in the warmth of a nearby fire burning and crackling. Me lying, half sitting half draped on a couch with a leg hanging lazily off the edge, scratching at my Pokémon. For some reason, this appeals to me. But then again, I am totally aware of the slight unease I feel, not seeing Sumieri in my vision, almost feeling as if she should be.
Rin smiles and holds the pokéball to me in his right hand while his left drops the second pokéball back in the bowl. I nod gratefully and grab the ball. My fingers slip over the top of the ball as it refuses to leave Rin' hand. I look up at his face with a blank stare, reminding myself not to look surprised. His smug smile does little to calm my nerves. "Think it'll get along well with your friend?"
"Huh?" I blink twice successively and quickly. "What?"
"I can tell a ball bulge from a mile away. I'm not dumb." My dumbstruck expression slowly twists around and down, and I stare at the bulge against my dark blue duellist's jacket. I call it that since it looks like that one that guy wears on Soul calibre, the guy with the rapier. I swear the bulge wasn't that obvious five minutes ago. "Don't worry, it's not too much of a problem." His teeth seem to glint in the light as he smiles a bit more warmly. "I know some trainers capture Pokémon they can't handle, and they need a friend a little easier to deal with."
Oh yeah, now THAT is an understatement.
"I'm just curious to know what it is." His grip on the ball doesn't relent, staying rock-solid and firm.
"A Growlithe." I say, since it's the first thing that comes into my mind. "He's just a little unruly, that's all." I realise I'm stuffed as soon as I mention Growlithe, and Rin's eyes seem to sparkle with pleasure.
"I love Growlithe," he says, by complete, miserable coincidence, and grins.
"He doesn't like people." I protest, eyes still locked onto Rin's and face set in a cold, blank look.
"It's okay. You can return him if he becomes aggravated."
Something stirs, interrupting my flying thoughts, screaming through my mind like five-year-olds throwing crazy tantrums, and everything stops. A wave of calm seeps into the recesses of my mind from all around, like a cool wave of water. I recognise it quickly. A wave of calming and cool washing up on sands of my mind, fiery with confusion and knotted with fear, and soothing those burning coals with their soft touch. Words uttered silently caress me and croon softly, in comforting tones that rise and fall and twist around like a maelstrom of harmony and disharmony, like the churning surges of a tempest, rocking and pounding against a flimsy trawler that is my mentality. This kind of terrifying beauty would surely drive any man, save myself, mad. Sumieri is doing something. She is doing something, even from in her pokéball. Her voice, words lost on me but meaning far from it, flows like a river, curling around me and drifting wherever it is taken. In her abstract, confusing way, she's telling me to proceed. Go with the flow.
Rin raises an eyebrow as he watches my staunch glare soften, my eyes shutting slowly at the touch on my soul. I can't be so still and silent with that sensation. My hand slides under the bottom of my shirt and pulls the capsule from my belt.
As Rin and my hand become connected through Sumieri's ball, my hand clasping the bottom and his only just touching the top, I see something change in his eyes. His grin of triumph is replaced with his lips loosening, eyes sharpening with what seems to be shock. He doesn't know what just touched him through that capsule, and suddenly, he is afraid. That terrible, horrible yet entrancingly sweet voice shakes him to his core.
"Just," he stops mid-sentence as he tries to lift his fingers from the ball, but fails as his curiosity betters him and holds for a second longer to dive once again into that uneasy undercurrent that seems to crash into him from all angles, "just go." He removes his hand, shaking. "Don't worry, I have other things to do." He grabs a red device that I quickly identify as a pokédex and thrusts it into my free hand without the usual "adventure and discoveries" speech he was known to deliver.
Darkness enclosing me, enveloping me wholly in my capsule, of sorts, my prison. My senses come back to me, washing unto my body with a dry tide from the corners of the blackness around me. I shiver involuntarily at the thought crossing my mind, of the fury I may have well provoked.
My heart is a storm around me, each pound the ring of the drum echoing mightily. With each pump, heat surges into my throat, heat I didn't know I contained. But it's there, cumulating in the back of my throat. I look up slowly, from the corner of my eye I catch my hair blowing just into my vision.
"Ben..." I say to the darkness, unsure if he can hear me. "...forgive me..."
I turn slowly, unsure if what just happened, happened. Did Sumieri just scare Rin away? I pocket the pokédex and replace Sumieri's pokéball with the Shinx's on my belt, and hold it up in front of my face as I head for the wide-open doors to the outside world.
For just a moment, I feel something. An icy touch meeting my fingers, like an instant shill to my bone. Sumieri, contacting me. "Do you want out?" I ask as the sunlight batters me upon my exit. It always seems so damn hot in Pallet town... Of course Sumieri doesn't answer. She's in a pokéball. But I should still let her out once I'm out of town. And the Shinx, too. Let them meet each other. "Awkward..." I mutter.
On my brief trip north through Pallet town, I think about how this is going to play out. How would the Shinx react? Finding himself, or herself, face-to-face with the goddess of the aurora? More importantly, how would Sumieri react?
Of course, I have to start north. It's the only way to go. First, it's route one, and thus it has to be of some significance. Two, I know the area to some extent, so it'll be good to walk on some more familiar ground for my first few days. But three, and most importantly perhaps, it's not south. South along route 21. The very route 21 where I found Sumieri in that coastal cave. That coastal cave, where resides no doubt, a furious, grieving mother.
I wasn't going near.
Those shiny gold eyes tilt, their sparkle shifting slightly as Shinx cocks its head. "Shinx?" It questions as it cocks its head the other way, imitating me as I kneel in front of it. I raise one hand from a knee, like they would in those alien movies to show peace. The little Pokémon looks at my hand to contemplate, and eventually raises a paw back to me, mimicking me again.
"Hi..." I say experimentally. Shinx grins just a little, a smile of amusement at me.
"Shinx." It responds in turn.
"I'm Ben..." I hold a hand out with curiosity, like a handshake.
"Shinx." Shinx nods, not looking at my hand but rather still watching my face.
"Yeah, I know." I reply with a small grin. It grins a little wider. This isn't going as bad as I thought... "So... you're my Pokémon... huh?"
"Shi-Shinx!" The Pokémon's enthusiastic grin warms me enough to sink whatever concern I had before. The Pokémon steps forwards to my hand, and gives it a big, happy lick, all over my fingers.
"Hehe... this might just work out after all..." I move my hand up and ruffle the little Pokémon's head, partly in affection, but secretly drying my hand off on his fur. But I notice something as I do so, and take my hand away slowly. The fur on his head is a little shorter than what I've seen on a number of other Shinx's. "Oh, I get it." I remember. "Female, right?"
"Shinx." She nods, her smile sinking with what looks like concern, as if her being a female might be a problem with me.
"Don't worry, it's fine." I reassure her with another scratch. "Call me sexist, but I guess I just assume the gender of a Pokémon I've just met is a male, until told otherwise." She frowns a little and swats my hand with a little paw, but playfully. "Alright, sorry." I grin as I watch her lean up into my hand with a purr. Wow, she's a friendly little thing alright... My smile drops. That's right. Sumieri. "Hey... um... Shinx?"
"Shinx?" She chirps up, watching me with a grin as I move my hand back, and slip it under the bottom of my shirt.
"I've got somebody I need you to meet..." my hand closes gingerly around the pokéball on my belt, and I bring it out into view. Shinx's eyes widen as she sees the ball, but with a look closer to the curiosity of a child than a look of shock or astonishment. "Her name's Sumieri." I tell her. "Now, when I release her, you have to really well-behaved, okay?" Shinx nods quickly, like she's telling me to get on with it. "You have to very respectful to her, okay?"
"Shinx!" She yelps, nodding aggressively with impatience.
"Alright." I take a deep breath to prepare myself for whatever may happen, and flick the button on the pokéball. I roll it quickly across the grass to my right, both of us watching it, and it bursts open. If I was expecting something strange or different to happen in this situation, I would have been wrong.
Sumieri emerges just like that, materialising with the usual red flash, but lacking the loud cry of "Suicune" that would announce her presence. She cranes her neck around to see the shocked little Pokémon, staring hard at her.
"Sh-sh-Shinx..." Shinx stutters as she beholds the goddess before her. Going from lab, to new trainer, to seeing a goddess in such a short time was just a little overwhelming for her mentality.
"Don't speak, Sumieri. Please." I ask her. "You know what your voice does to people." The poor little Shinx was barely standing as it was, she didn't need that astounding, wonderful voice pushing her over the edge and driving her mad.
Sumieri nods, understanding something a little different from what I am talking about.
"Shinx..." I place a hand on the Pokémon's head to calm her as much as I can. "This is Sumieri. She is Suicune." At that last word, the unfortunate Pokémon's legs give in, and she falls to the ground without a sound. "Damn..." I mutter as I place the back of my hand against the Pokémon's cheek, rubbing softly, not noticing Sumieri's expression dropping a bit, almost scowling. Her muzzle shifts back to her usual indifference as soon as I look back at her. "This is Shinx." I point out. "She's my new Pokémon- well, a new Pokémon." I correct myself, thinking the former sounded a little like this new Shinx was a kind of replacement.
"Where are we?" Sumieri asks as she looks around, observing this knew scene to her. Her voice really lacks interest and curiosity that I would expect from her upon her first experience outside Pallet town, but then again, I didn't call her the "cold mistress" for no reason... Lush trees and grass lines either side of the route 1 path, secluding it to some extent. The treeline isn't dense, and I figured I would be heading a little distance into the forest on one side when I decided to set up camp tonight.
"Route 1." I answer, returning the unconscious Shinx to her ball. "The path leading north from Pallet town." I sit back on my haunches, watching Sumieri as she looks around curiously, more interested in admiring her than the rest of the scenery. "What do you think?"
"Too much green." She says sharply. There she goes again. Cold. No emotion, whatsoever.
"That's it?" I demand in a tone that makes it sound like I'm simply querying her, so she won't be offended by my insolence. She's made me frustrated now. All this lush greenery and the wind sweeping through the trees and all the nature around us, and that's all she can say? "What about the bird Pokémon singing, and the wind, and the trees?"
"Hurts my ears, cool, and as I said, too much green." She replies correspondingly. Dammit! Inside I seethe furiously. She's no help at all. But I pick up on her first answer.
"Do you want me to return you?" I offer. "If it hurts your ears?"
"No. I want to walk." She says as she looks down. "I don't feel clay often enough."
"Okay then." I sling one arm through the strap of my backpack next to me and stand again, shouldering the other strap awkwardly as the breeze catches my hair again. I like letting my hair grow. Not too long like Rin's, which looks like he's come straight out of nineteen-eighty five college, but a little longer than most boys my age. I like to keep what I call a "Tamed natural" length. It lets it catch in the wind while it doesn't often get in the way of my eyes and blind me. "But if another trainer comes along, I'll need to return you so he doesn't see you, okay?"
"Okay." She agrees, but for different reasons than my own of keeping her safely out of sight. I begin walking north once again with that, and she moves to my side, keeping about a metre between us. I have to say, this is something else. Sumieri was always so static at home, she did little walking about, and as big as my room was, she didn't walk like this. Her lithe muscles rippled sturdily beneath her coat with each step, powerful as it may have been, it was regal with her violet mane blowing and flowing behind her like a cape and it was beautiful. Her body stayed level constantly, not dipping or rising with her steps, she remained flat as she went. She positively glided, glided with remarkable similarity to how she did in my dream. Her pads were silent as they landed too and the wind before her seemed to pare off either side of her in her wake since she just kept moving so smoothly and strongly, it was like another dream, but it was real. A sight to behold.
I also had to wonder how sensitive her pads were, cringing a bit as she stepped on a sharp looking rock. I picked up on a slight wince in the corner of her eye.
"Are you okay?" I ask without thinking, something about seeing her in pain tugs at my heartstrings. The way that her soft muzzle twitches so harshly, that look of pain contorting that lovely face... it was so wrong... unnatural... strange... immoral to deface such a pure thing in that way.
"No, I'm fine." She says, refusing to look at me, but I notice a slight drop in her next few steps. "It's nothing." She rights her step again, as if there was nothing there, and continues as normal.
"Can you..." I stop suddenly. I've gone this far. "Can you stop for just a moment? Please?" She does, looking at me over her shoulder with curiosity. "That looked like it hurt."
"It doesn't." She answers. I frown as I look down. Sumieri's gaze follows mine to the ground, also seeing the little drips of blood trailing from her paw, making a little path to where it rests now.
Damn. Sharp rock, much. I swing my pack off my shoulder and crouch down, dropping it before me and pulling it open.
"What are you doing?" Sumieri asks, still without any specific tone. I rifle through my pack and pull out a small white box, marked with a red cross on top. I lift the lid a little and look through the contents. I take what I need and snap the box shut again, then chuck it back in my bag.
I approach Sumieri slowly. She doesn't know what I'm doing, she's wary. "Can you lift it a bit?"
"Yes." She stares at me. For a moment I think she isn't going to do anything, but just as I'm about to stand again she lifts it, like on impulse again. A little more blood drips from the tiny puncture on her pad.
Like some kind of handmaiden or servant to my master, I kneel beside the goddess and quickly apply the Band-Aid to her injured foot. I smear the adhesive against her pad, which I am feeling for the first time. Oddly soft, which explains how it was injured so easily. Sort of plush, but kind of leathery at the same time. Soft leather... weird. Treads crisscross the bottom for traction. By the looks of things, it seems that the rest of the pad would sink around whatever she stood on for traction, meaning it should have been tougher. But then again, it was her first time on a clay road. Her feet probably weren't used to the rough terrain. "Be careful on this road." I instruct in a frighteningly mother-like way, standing again. "Your paws aren't used to this ground, so you're a bit vulnerable. If we keep travelling they should toughen up quickly." She bounces the paw experimentally on the ground. Rather cute the way she does it, looking at it like a child who has received her first injury. I realise with shock, that that's just it. She's actually about three months old, and already full size (thanks to my excessively feeding her Melinberry to fuel her rapid growth(She was still growing too. I knew from sightings of Sumieri's mother that full size Suicune's back was level with my shoulders, Sumieri's was level with just between my waist and shoulders, about the size of an Arcanine.)).
I had been the sole caregiver to her for over half her life, and she thanks me by acting like this? Cold, emotionless and dully? Not a shred of gratitude save the two rare occasions where she would lie against me to sleep. Was that even gratitude or did she have an ulterior motive? She had never, ever said thanks to me. Ever.
"Okay." Stinging me further with that last empty comment, she begins off again, watching the ground in the corner of her eye for more objects to do her harm.
In a lapse of judgement, one thing burns in my mind. Ungrateful bitch! My mind delivers me a huge mental slap cross the face as soon as the thought crosses my mind. Shut up you stupid bastard! Don't say that! Don't even think that about her! Fucking brilliant. My own mind has turned against me.
Mumbling and grumbling a bit, careful not to think ill of the fantastic creature pressing on ahead of me, I tail her, swinging my pack back onto my back and gripping the straps especially tight.
"Sumieri! Dinner!" I cup my mouth and call out to wherever she may be. When she wants to go for a walk, it's not my place to say no to her. I turn my attention back to the mush of berries simmering in the pot before me, hanging over a little fire pit by my do-it-yourself stand-thing.
Crouching on one knee, I stir the mix with a wooden spoon I nicked from mum's kitchen drawer. It's one I made a couple of years ago in school. But that's not for me anymore. Mum didn't like it, but I've always told her. As soon as I'm sixteen, as soon as I'm legally allowed to leave on my Pokémon journey, I would forsake school to do so.
I turn over my shoulder as I feel something scrabble up my back, and sure enough, Shinx pokes her head over my shoulder and peers into the pit. Her glossy red nose lighting up from the fire. I grin and give her a little scratch under her chin, making her purr and lean her head back with a goofy smile.
"Shi!" She chirps with her tail wagging cutely.
"You're my friend, right?" I ask eventually, a little unsurely.
"Shi-shi!" Shinx nods quickly, opening her eyes and looking at my eyes with a happy/sincere grin.
"That's a relief." I say with my grin returning with my reassurance. "I'll have somebody to talk to on this journey."
"Shi?" Shinx cocks her head, leaning around my head as best I can to see my expression a little better.
"Sumieri." I sigh, removing my spoon from the mix and holding it to my shoulder. Shinx immediately sets to work on it, grinning widely in excitement first, then lapping happily at the
berry mush still coating the end. "She's so cold, like a ghost or something. Like, she's there, but there's nothing on the inside. No emotion or feelings or anything. I know they call Suicune the cold mistress, but I didn't know they meant it in that way."
"Shi-shi-shinx." Shinx explains in a tone that is reassuringly calm. That "it's going to be fine" tone. "Shinx-Shinx-shi-Shinx."
"Thanks Cheri." Shinx cocks her head, silencing suddenly and stopping in her cleaning of my spoon. "Cheri." I repeat, moving the spoon towards her a little to encourage her to finish. "I had to give you a name at some point. Cheri, like cheery coz you make me smile." Cheri grins widely at me, and with one quick lick to the ear, sets back to her job at hand. "You know..." I think aloud, "maybe with your ridiculous optimism offsetting Sumieri's cruel coldness, this might be a little easier than I first thought. " I pat her on the head as she slurps up the last of the mush from the spoon with a satisfied grin.
I turn over my opposite shoulder as I hear the bush rustle. Sumieri slides from the growth in that way she does, like her paws glide with each step. Her presence dominates the scene as she comes to a stop just before the bush line, her violet hair flowing freely, still with no breeze tonight.
"I made dinner." I lift the stick with the pot hanging from it and hold it in her general direction. She nods. With an inwards grumble of annoyance I place the pot on the ground, then grab my pack from beside me and rifle through for some plates. Cheri still sits atop my shoulder, looking in the pack as I grab the plates out.
"Shinx." She says for some reason.
"Here we go." I lay three plates on the ground in front of me, a blue, a red and a white one. Into each I scoop a bit of the mixture of mush using my spoon, piling up different amounts onto each. "Sumieri." I offer the largest plate to Sumieri with a blank expression, determined that I'm not going to smile at her or show kindness until she does to me. Sumieri takes the edge of the plate in her fangs and lies down, placing the plate in front of her. I almost forget the other Pokémon in front of me since I'm too busy staring at Sumieri, but Cheri reminds me with a sharp jolt of electricity. "Ow!" I rub my elbow as I look to the Shinx with only a little annoyance. "Okay, I'm sorry." I sigh and place the smaller plate before her.
"Shinx!" She thanks me with her big, cheery grin, and then digs into her meal. I grin as I watch her tail flick and dance behind her as she eats. She's got such a great energy to her. I raise my own plate and grab a spoon. Yeah, I know there's nobody else around to tell me I have to, and I should be shovelling my food into my mouth as I please with my hand, but I guess mum's just drilled the routine of "proper table manners" into me too well. She insisted when her country club friends were around I had to act perfectly. It was a pain.
I don't know why people bitch about berries so much. I love them. I shovel them into my mouth with a grin, enjoying the strange but rich flavour immensely. Human food can get stuffed, I love this! I drop my plate in front of me with a sigh of satisfaction after a few minutes of hard-core munching, falling back against a tree trunk and relaxing. I finally look down, and get a shock.
"Shinx." Cheri says with a grin, sitting beside her empty plate with her tail twitching cutely.
"Y-you've finished already?" I demand. I thought I had finished well before anyone else, after all, I didn't have any breakfast or lunch...
"Shinx!" She cries happily, with a smug grin.
"Wow, you're a big eater." I say and pat her head. As Cheri rubs into my palm, I notice Sumieri watching me out of the corner of her eye. I look at her quickly, but fast as that she averts her eyes back to her food. Weird. Maybe she doesn't like Cheri...
I tear into the sack containing my sleeping bag, hanging just under my main pack. I unroll the sleeping bag and jump into it. I whip off my cargos and jacket and throw them over my pack, leaving me in my boxers and a black shirt. Aside from my dark blue jacket, I wear a lot of black. Black sneakers, black cargo trousers with those zips you can undo to turn them into shorts, and a black shirt. I never noticed until now...
Just before I lie down to sleep, I reach my hand up and tug the collar of my shirt out a bit, looking at my left shoulder. Four little prick marks, arranger vaguely in a square pattern. I smile as I notice how close together the top and bottom pairs are, then look up at Sumieri, still eating. She's really grown in these few months... I think as I imagine what kind of mark she would leave at this size. Of course, these marks are from that first time when I met her, when I hugged her, and we were lying in bed. I was stroking her and whispering to her... she got spooked and bit me... but I've never held it against her. She was young.
But then again, she still is.
I lie down, and immediately Cheri leaps onto my stomach and curls up with a grin. I drop one hand on top of my sleeping bag beside her so I can stroke her, and she shuffles across to be closer to it. "Night Cheri."
"Shi-shiiiiiiiiiii..." She yawns cutely and drops her head onto my sleeping bag with a content look. I grin and give her a quick affectionate scratch under her chin, then turn my head to face Sumieri as I lie my head on the ground.
"Sumieri?" She looks up from her empty plate as I hold up her ball. She stares for a few seconds, I notice her glance at Cheri, then she nods. I press the button, and she disappears into the ball without even batting an eyelid. "Goodnight Sumieri." I whisper to the ball as I hold it close to my face, then toss the ball down inside my bag where it's safe.
Nice and safe, right at my side...
"Shinx." Cheri sighs again, her body bumping lightly into my head as she is standing on my shoulder.
"Shi!" She cried with a grin, nodding a little.
"Mmm..." I dance my fingers across the bottom of my chin as I walk. I glance down at the road beneath us, dusty and dirty with the accumulated footprints of hundreds of passers and trainers. "Dirt?"
"Shi!" I wince as a sharp, light pain stings in the back of my head.
"Oh, come on." I drone and roll my eyes. "How could I have cheated? It was obvious!"
"Shinx..." Cheri grumbles and crosses her forelegs with a huff of annoyance.
Behind, Sumieri follows at a small distance, seemingly not interested in Cheri and mine's little game. "I should have brought something to pass the time."
"Shinx." Cheri agrees with a nod, drooping her head on my shoulder.
"I wish we could find a trainer..." I mutter with a bored undertone. "Get a first battle, that would be cool..."
Sure, the world is a big place, the odds of finding something of interest are pretty low. But when you do find something... well, a big world just means bigger trouble. It was another hour or so before such an instance arose.
"Help!" I stop suddenly upon hearing the pleading voice approaching.
"What is that?" I ask behind me quietly, listening.
"Help! Somebody help me!" I instinctively grab the pokéball from my waist and flick the button, returning Sumieri behind me to it. I reattach the ball to me belt just as a boy comes rushing around the corner in front of me. "You!" He yells, rushing towards me with tears pouring down his face.
He's your usual kid. Bright fluorescent orange t-shirt, blue shorts with jandals and a blue cap. He comes rushing towards me and falls over flat on his face, bawling his eyes out.
"Hey, hey!" I crouch beside the kid and slide one hand under his shoulder to help him up. "What's the matter, mate?"
"He took him!" The kid bawls, falling back into a sitting position and whimpering with teary eyes. "He took Joe... my Jolteon..."
"Wait, took him?" I demand. "Like stole him?"
"He stole Joe!" The kid cries, bursting out into tears again and blubbering. "The man is the black suit with the "R" on it!"
"An R?" I ask quickly, remembering the reports I had heard on TV. "A red R?" The kid nods, begging me, to do something with his sad eyes. "Team rocket..." I remember that from TV. Those pricks who steal people's Pokémon. My blood boils at the mere thought of it, my teeth grit. "Where is he?"
"I don't know!" The kid sniffles, his crying dying down a little into whimpers. "There's this old abandoned shack just up the road, he might have gone there. Mum always told me to stay away but I didn't listen. I'm sorry, please get Joe back-"
"Hey, settle down." I say quickly. "I'll get him back. Don't worry." I take Cheri's ball from my belt and hand it to the kid. "Can you do me a favour? Wait here and hold on to Cheri. She'll keep you safe, won't you Cheri?" Cheri nods, and leaps off my shoulder to the ground.
"Shinx!" She says with a nod to the boy as he looks down at her, his look of fear disappearing. I turn around and wrap my fingers around my rapier in one hand, Sumieri's pokéball in the other.
"I'll be right back, so don't go anywhere." I say as I set off, anger pent-up inside me by this point. Stealing Pokémon... fuck, how low can you get?
The shack was easy enough to find. Hundred meters or so along the path there was this little side-path going into a gap in the treeline. Twenty metres or so in, a little wooden shack. For an abandoned shack, it was pretty tidy. That should have been my first clue. The walls were some bright wood, and the roof was made of corrugated iron with a little chimney out the top.
At the edge of a little deck, a man sits facing away from me. I can tell his uniform from his black cap and suit. He sits hunched forwards looking into the forest away from me. I stop and watch him for a few seconds, thoughts racing through my mind. I remember all kinds of stories on the news about "courageous trainers" who had confronted team rocket members who had stolen Pokémon and defeated them in battle. I watch him for a few more seconds. I left Cheri with that kid, and so I only had Sumieri. I really don't want to let anybody see her, especially a team rocket grunt who would spread word to all his little buddies... But then again... valiant confrontation and defeat him...
Reaching down, I take a fist sized rock from the ground in front of me and weigh it up in my hand. I look at the grunt, raise my arm, and toss the rock overarm at the man.
Without a sound, the rock collides with the back of his head, and the man falls forwards off the deck onto the ground in front of him. Well that was easy enough. I think as I edge around the deck to the unconscious man. I flip him onto his front, and fortunately, he sports the all-too familiar emblem of team rocket.
I grab a ball from his belt and weigh it up also, curious of its weight. Flicking the button, I point the ball forwards.
"Mightyena!" the Pokémon exclaims as it is free of it's ball.
"Fuck-fuck-fuck-" I hammer the return button, backing up at pace before the Pokémon notices me. fortunately the Pokémon returns in a red flash before it can notice me. "Phew..." I wipe a bead of sweat from my brow and flick it off as I toss the ball back beside the grunt and take the next one from his waist. More cautiously this time, I gingerly press the release button.
This time there is no cry announcing the inhabitant's presence, and before me the red flash recedes into the shape of a Jolteon.
"Jolt?" He says as he turns around, cocking his head to look at me.
"Hey bud." I kneel in front of him with a grin. "Let's get you back to your trainer."
It was just a five minute walk to where I thought I had left the kid. Obviously it was a bit longer. I stop in the path and look around. "I thought this was the place..." I mutter as I observe the familiar bush around me. "Hey kid!" I cup my mouth and call out. "Cheri? Where are you?"
"Jolteon." The Jolteon says rather loudly with a shrug.
"Hey." I turn left as the bush rustles, and a head emerges from inside.
"Here he is." I point to the Pokémon behind me with a slight grin at my success. "Just stuck the guy across the head with a rock and took him. Easy." The kid frowns slightly hearing this. "What? What's wrong?" I ask as he emerges. Then I notice something else. "Hey, where's Cheri-"
"What?" I blink twice. "Thun-" it takes far too long to register with me. The world twists suddenly, tilting up and around as I fall, my arms, legs won't move, nothing will move. I don't even feel the ground as I hit it, but it's all on a lean, the ground vertical to my vision.
"Oh shit!" The kid's eyes fly wide open as he lies down beside me, a huge look of shock spread across his face. "I get it now!" his face twists around and into a cruel grin. "The kid's a rocket member! Oh damn! Why didn't I think of that?" He mocks.
I try to open my mouth to loose my longest string of curses, but even it won't work.
"By the way, nice Shinx." He says mockingly, drawing a gurgling growl of fury from my throat. "I bet Toby'll have good fun with her. Last little girl he got he fucked her too hard and she bled to death from the ass, and he's been itching for another play-thing."
My growl grows into a feral, guttural roar of fury. FUCK! NO! CHERI! I feel the kid reach to my belt, and he quickly unstraps it and takes the whole thing, including my sword... including Sumieri's ball. SUMIERI! "Nice sword. Mine now." I swear, if I could have gotten up I would have killed him there and then with my bare hands, I would have snapped his little fucking neck. The way I was shaking I almost swore I was about to. Pure, raw rage surged through my veins, shaking me wholly as the kid frisked my pockets and grabbed my backpack and slung it over his shoulder. "You got some nice stuff. Thanks." And to add insult to injury, the very last thing I see, is a rock flying towards my face...
A bush parts nearby, and a head emerges slowly. It stares at the unconscious boy lying in the middle of the path, black shirt and trousers, no backpack or pokéballs.
Sumieri steps out of the bushline and edges closer to ben, staring at him curiously. Her head pounds with thoughts and confusion racing through her mind at what just happened. She edges a bit closer, and presses ben's leg just slightly with her snout. "Ben?" He doesn't answer. Something jumps in her as she circles him. Blood pools from his face, seeping from his nose and dried to his face, a fist-sized rock lying next to him. She looks back to the bush where she emerged from, and walks back. She walks back into the bush, and she disappears into the forest.
That's chapter one. Reading through my work I realised I lack something that almost every Pokémon writer has: a journey story, a boy/girl receiving his/her starting Pokémon and setting off.
So I hope you liked it as always. I'm writing for you, (readers) remember.