Just A Little Solace
Most of my days were spent traveling outside, but the air in Native Village seemed more clear, reinvigorating, even delicious, than anywhere else I’d traveled. This was the same belief that I’d held since I was a lot younger visiting here with my parents and sister. The smell of cooking from one of the wooden houses nearby grabbed the attention of my nose, and my eyes closed as the bakery style aroma teased my senses as I walked. Celadon City is next, I thought. Then Fuchsia City. My eyes opened and I removed my bag from my back, kneeling down to one knee, and I opened it to pull out my Town Map.
The map revealed that the name of the Gym Leader in Fuchsia City was Ozne, a raiser of Poison type Pokemon.
Poison types… I thought, sliding the map back in my bag and standing up. Dugtrio would be great against that. Beedrill is a Poison type, so it can even up the match at least. I zipped closed my bag and slung it over my shoulder, my eyes to the sky.
“Hey! Excuse me, sir!” a voice called out from a distance, breaking into my thoughts.
A young girl who appeared to be about my age was running through the grass towards me, seemingly from a house whose door was wide open. She was out of breath as she reached me.
“Huh?” I said meekly
She offered me a bright smile. “Hi. My name is Drock,” she introduced herself. She had a clear accent, as if she were from London or something. She extended her hand out to me eagerly.
I hesitantly grabbed it and gently shook it. “I’m Gary.”“It’s really nice to meet you,” she said. “How are you?”“Um… I’m doing okay. Thanks…” I said slowly, cautiously. I was going to ask how she was doing, but this just didn’t make any sense. I didn’t even know the girl. “Well, I’m going to be going now unless you need something.”Her smile faded a bit and she stared down. “Well… actually…” She continued looking at the ground and didn’t say anything.
After a moment of silence, my patience was getting short and I let out an impatient breath.
She looked up with a hint of fear, or worry, in her eyes. “I… I know I don’t know you or anything and we just met, but… I kind of need your help,” she spoke softly.
“With what?” I asked.
“Well, I have a Pokemon that I want to evolve, but nothing I’m doing seems to be working,” she explained.
That accent is cute, I remarked to myself, trying not to smirk at how funny she sounded. “What Pokemon?” I asked.
“My mummy caught me a Pokemon when I was little. A Horsea. It was the first Pokemon I had ever owned. I became a fan of the Pokemon of Kanto and decided to become a Pokemon Trainer and begin my journey out here. My mummy and daddy agreed to let me train out here for a couple of years before returning back home. They flew me out here to meet Prof. Oak, who I was excited to meet and was a huge fan of. He taught me a lot about Pokemon and gave great advice to me. Afterwards, it was just me and my Horsea and we began to travel. I raised her well and eventually she evolved into Seadra. Not too long after that, I found out that when Seadra holds a Dragon Scale, they can evolve even further into Kingdra! On my eighth birthday, my mummy flew down to visit me and gave me a present! It was a Dragon Scale! Since then, I have been making Kingdra hold the Dragon Scale and training her, but she won’t evolve.”“Oh, I see,” I said. “Some Pokemon, like Seadra, evolve when holding certain items, but there are some times when it won’t work, so you can force it into happening through the electrical stimulation found in trading machines.”“Yes, yes, I know! Exactly! I wasn’t far from this cute little village and it happens they have a trading machine, so I thought maybe I could find somebody who would trade with me here.”
“So, I guess…”“So I saw you and thought maybe you’re a passing Pokemon Trainer. I’m quite shy and very nervous right now if you can’t tell, but I sucked in my breath, gathered up all the courage I could, and ran out here to see if you wanted to trade with me. It will just be a quick trade, then we trade back. I have to do this now though because my flight is leaving today! This evening to be exact. Will you help me? Please? Pretty please?”I sighed and smiled. “Yeah, sure thing,” I agreed.
“Really? Oh, thank you so much!” She starting jumping up and down, her short brown hair bobbing lightly with her action. She was now becoming embarrassing.
“Alright, alright.” I raised my hands to calm her down, looking around as people walked by, watching us, and I was forced to smile at them. “How do we do this trade?”
“Right this way!” She ran off, her open dark blue jacket flying out at her sides, leading me towards the house she came from. She stopped at the door and turned around eagerly, bouncing in place excitedly in her white jean shorts and matching white sneakers.
I moved quicker and entered the building after her.
The room was a little dark and pretty bare except for a large machine, a Seadra glaring at me next to the machine, a smiling Drock next to the Seadra, a video phone in the corner, and an older man sitting in a chair.
He had his head behind a newspaper and lowered it to stare at me with a bored look before raising the newspaper again.
My eyes lowered to the grouchy Seadra. Man, that thing looks ready to kill me, I thought to myself. Slowly, I reached for my Pokedex, Seadra keeping her eyes on me, not moving a muscle.
Seadra. The Dragon Pokemon. When the female has given birth, the male will raise the child. It becomes incredibly dangerous and will stop at nothing to protect its child from dangerous foes, or even from those merely staring too long at its young.
“Oh, so they naturally look so angry,” I said, staring at the 3D image rotating from my Pokedex.
Drock laughed. “Yeah, but I love her,” she said, kneeling down and hugging her Pokemon.
I stared up at the video phone. “After our trade, I need to use that phone and call Prof. Oak. I have some questions for him,” I said, thinking about the mystery Pokemon I still hadn’t found out the identity of.
“Oh, do you know him, too?” Drock asked. “It’d be great to see him again. Oh my, did he give you your Starter?”
“Yeah, he gave me a Charmander,” I replied.
“Oh, I would’ve chosen Squirtle,” Drock laughed. “So adorable!”
I thought of Robin’s Squirtle. “Yeah…” was all I said.
Drock pulled out a tiny item from her back pocket.
It looked featherlike and almost had a rainbow color to it. She put it firmly between Seadra’s back fins. “You ready, love?”
“Dooo!” Seadra said excitedly, some kind of a hint at what may have been a smile on the Pokemon’s face.
Drock smiled and stood up, returning Seadra to her Poke Ball. She then smiled at me and began bouncing. “Let’s trade!” She rushed over to the large machine.
The machine was enormous in a sense. It didn’t take up much space and was slim, but it was certainly very tall and looked heavy. It was a metallic white with a few sections colored silver and black. The middle held a few buttons sat under a glass cover. A silver slate lay on the floor underneath the machine. A screen sat high atop the machine, held up by a metallic neck, several metal beams rising out from the sides and the top of it as well. On the screen was the image of a spinning Poke Ball on a white background. The beam from the top of the screen attached to a clear glass bowl, the beams at the sides extending outwards and stopping shortly.
Drock took her Poke Ball and placed it in a tiny groove that fit the ball on her side of the machine.
I slowly walked over, staring at the machine. I had never seen one in person before, to the best of my memory.
The machine was dusty, evidently not used often, if ever. It was a surprise this place even had a machine like this at all.
My eyes removed themselves from the trade machine and went to my belt with my Poke Balls.
Charmeleon. Primeape. Hoothoot. Beedrill. Butterfree. Dugtrio.
Hm, I pondered carefully. I grabbed Beedrill’s Poke Ball and placed it on the indent on my side of the machine.
Drock turned to the man sitting in the chair. “All ready!” she said joyfully.
The man lowered his paper and stared at us for a moment. He groaned as he bent over to set the paper down on the floor and then got up and walked over to the machine. He didn’t appear to be as friendly and cheerful as the other people in this village. The man lifted the glass cover where several buttons were covered and pressed a couple of them. With that, he silently walked back to his chair and picked up his newspaper with a sigh, proceeding to read.
My eyes widened as the trade machine let out a low rumble as it started up. The white background on the screen turned black, and the beams sticking out from the screen shot electricity from them, reaching out only about an inch in length.
Drock and I gasped, me in fear, but Drock held an amazed grin.
The Poke Balls glowed yellow.
I backed up a couple of steps.
Drock clapped repeatedly, beaming.
In a bright white flash, the Poke Balls disappeared.
The screen displayed two Poke Balls, the silhouette of my Beedrill in one, and the silhouette of her Seadra in the other. The two Poke Balls moved and overlapped each other before erupting in a bright flash and switched places. Seadra was now on my side and Beedrill was with Drock. Electricity shot from the beams and a ball shaped yellow light appeared where our Poke Balls had vanished. The glow faded and the Poke Balls appeared as the electricity disappeared from the beams. The black background on the screen returned back to white, and the machine went silent.
I grabbed the Poke Ball and Drock grabbed hers.
“Go ahead! Send her out!” Drock squealed.
An explosion of fire blasted through the wall behind the machine.
I was thrown back through the air and landed hard on my shoulder. A pained cry escaped from my mouth.
Drock was flown back into the wall a short distance from me.
I stared as the fire engulfed the trading machine.
“RUUUUUN!!” the man in the chair shouted. He leaped up and ran to Drock, yanking her up by the arm and ran, dragging the dazed girl. He reached me and pulled me up as well by my hand as I struggled to stumble after him as he led us out of the building.
I turned behind me to the building we had just escaped and saw it.
It was high in the air, shooting fire from its mouth and into the building.
The three of us were several feet away, still running, before the entire building exploded in flames!
The wind was enough to knock us over.
People were screaming and running throughout the village.
Charizard flew in a frenzy, blowing fire everywhere from its jaws, roaring.
“What the hell is going on??” someone screamed, staring at Charizard in shock.
Charizard flew fast into a house and tore through it as if the house were made of matches. It flew high into the sky and then dove down drastically into the ground, raising up a giant cloud of dust, the flying lizard rising back up again. The monster spit hot flames at everyone running, at the houses, and into the forest beyond.
It didn’t take long before the ferocious Pokemon had its sights set on me, Drock, and the man who had saved us. It flew at us with its mouth wide open.
Drock and I both screamed and turned to run. The man from the building jumped in the path of Charizard, extending his arms towards it. “CHARIZARD!! WHAT IS WRONG?? WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!” he bellowed strongly.
Charizard didn’t slow down. The ferocious look on its face could’ve been enough to make me wet my pants. It closed its mouth and easily headbutt the man.
The man was sent soaring through the air past me and Drock and grunted as he landed on his back. He seemed unconscious as he laid there.
Charizard opened its mouth again and I could see the fire flowing from its jaws.
Drock turned to run, but I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I had already assumed this was the end for me. Out of fear, my legs gave way and I collapsed to the ground, my wide eyes glued to my executioner.
Charizard suddenly closed its eyes and mouth and roared. It dropped down, landing on its feet, and falling further to its knees.
“Huh...?” I squinted in confusion, and before I could see more, I was grabbed from behind and thrown to the side.
Charizard raked at the air and got up quickly to its feet, charging ahead, stomping right past me, and it ran right into a building and tore through the side wall.
Somebody was on top of me, covering me and keeping me safe. The person leaped up and I saw a man dressed in a gray hoodie, gray sweatpants, and black sneakers. He carried a large sack on his shoulder. His hair was shortly cut. He glared at Charizard, holding some kind of a gun in his hand. He swiftly put the gun in his bag and easily pulled out a large, double barrel shotgun.
I looked back and forth between this man aiming his gun at Charizard, and Drock, who had stopped running and was staring at the man in shock.
The man aimed his gun at Charizard as the orange dragon appeared dazed on the ground next to the house it wrecked.
“STOP!” someone yelled.
I turned to see my grandma and auntie running up to us. “Gramma! Auntie! No!”
My grandma was yelling angrily at the man. “STOP! DON’T SHOOT IT!”
The man turned and squinted at my grandma and then he turned back and aimed for Charizard again.
“Don’t you ignore me! I know you heard me,” my grandma said sharply, and stopped behind the man, pulling her arm back, and slapped him hard across the back of the head.
The man stumbled forward and stared at her with a mix of anger and shock plastered on his face.
Charizard let out a low roar and grabbed our attention. It shook its head and let out a ferocious roar again.
Drock, standing behind Charizard, let out a terrified scream and turned to me. “JUST KEEP HER!! PLEASE!!” Her head shook frantically as she stumbled backwards. “TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER!! I LOVE HER!! PLEASE!! I’M SO SORRY!!” She ran away as fast as she could.
Charizard turned to stare at her, then turned back to us and let out a roar.
Drock screamed again as she continued to run out of Native Village.
The man lifted his gun again and quickly let out a loud shot that missed Charizard.
Charizard pulled its head back and sent a Flamethrower attack at us.
We all screamed and ran away.
Grandma and Auntie were right behind me, but the man with the gun had gone in the opposite direction.
“We can’t let him get away!” Grandma shouted, coming to a stop and turning back to the Charizard. “He can’t kill that Charizard!”
“Gramma, why?” I demanded as auntie and I stopped as well.
“Something is wrong with it!” she answered.
“Yeah, obviously, Gramma!” I shouted. “That’s why it needs to be put down!”“NO! Not like that! There’s something…” Grandma stared at the Pokemon as it flew around in a panic, aiming to burn the man with the gun as he tried to aim at it with his gun.
Suddenly, from the woods, three more men came out carrying shotguns similar to the first man’s. Two of these new men wore all black. A black hoodie, black sweatpants and black sneakers. The last man had black sneakers and sweatpants, with a green hoodie. They all carried a large sack around their shoulders.
“Who the hell are these men?” my grandma demanded.
Charizard noticed the new men and let out a loud roar, flying at them as they ducked and spilt up, Charizard just barely missing them with its giant wings.
A few shots fired from the first man’s gun, but none seemed to hit Charizard.
Charizard suddenly closed its eyes and let out an enormous, painful roar. When its eyes opened, they had nothing but fury in them as it whipped around in the air and then dived down, slamming into one of the new men.
The man screamed in pain as Charizard collided with him.
Charizard aimed a Flamethrower at the last two of the new men, who jumped out of the way and rolled.
“Enough!” my grandma yelled, and ran towards the commotion.
“Gramma, NO!” I ran after her.
“MOM!” my auntie shouted, running with me.
Charizard flew up a little and then flew low to the ground, charging at the men and flying past them, spewing flames at the buildings again, swooping through houses.
A section of the woods was on fire, Pokemon running out from it frantically.
Some people were carrying hoses from a building built right next to the woods. I knew that building had a big red plastic sign labeled EMERGENCY on the door. It was in case of fires. The people carried the hoses to the woods and tried to fight the fire.
What the hell is going on here?! I screamed in my head, my heart flipping out inside of me.
This was utter mayhem. Nothing made sense.
As Charizard caused a panic, burning down buildings and flying frantically, my grandma reached the four men. “Who are you and what are you doing here?” she demanded.
“We are the PEEU. The Pokemon Extreme Emergency Unit. We patrol areas and respond to calls of emergencies such as these that can’t be handled by regular law enforcement,” the first man who had arrived here, said.
“The Pokemon who?” my grandma questioned. “I’ve never heard of you. Who called you here?”“No one, ma’am. It’s lucky we were here patrolling the area and making sure things were fine.” An angry look was crossing his face. “We will handle this situation. This Pokemon is extremely dangerous and we are here to put it down.”“What??” my auntie gasped. “But there may be something wrong with it! Can’t we just put it to sleep or something and maybe when it wakes up, try to figure out what is wrong?”“Ma’am, this kid here was nearly killed,” the first man pointed to me. “I used my putty gun to stun it for a bit because this kid was in the way and I didn’t want him hurt by using this gun.” He waved his shotgun.
Charizard let out a roar and we all turned in time to see it use its Slash attack to rip its way through a grown man!
The body was left in a sickening heap in the grass, glistening and running in blood.
The men all turned to face us, stern looks on their faces.
“Don’t get in our way or things may end up differently for you,” the man said seriously.
The four of them then turned and ran at Charizard.
“Oh my gosh…” my grandma muttered in shock as my auntie gasped at the words the man said to us.
“Ma, what do we do?” auntie asked.My grandma stared as the men ducked and ran from Charizard, but returned to try to aim at it. “We can’t let them do this. We have to save that Charizard.”“Gramma, what is wrong with you?” I asked, my heart pounding. “That thing is killing people and is destroying your village!”My grandma took a couple of steps up to me. Her open palm came quick, knocking me across the face.
I gasped and stepped back a few feet, holding my stinging cheek. “Hey...” I uttered shakily.
“Don’t you dare talk to your grandmother that way! You will never speak to me like that again. Do you understand?”My eyes filled with tears as I nodded my head and swallowed in fear.
“That Pokemon has an issue that needs to be understood. Just look at it, Gary! Something is wrong! It isn’t just attacking us! Something is not right, damn it! I don’t trust those men, either. They just so happen to be here when this Charizard is raging? That doesn’t sound right to me. That’s too much of a coincidence.”
I turned to look at Charizard.
Fury was in its eyes. It was mad about something. But why? Was it more than just raging? Was it... distressed?
Maybe my grandma was right, I thought as I watched it battle the PEEU members. Maybe there is more to this.
This group, the PEEU, was strange as well. What incredible timing that they happen to be here of all times when this dangerous incident is occurring. Was it connected somehow?“Gary, I’m going to get my Pokemon,” my grandma said. “I left him in the house. Can you try and stop these guys with your Pokemon? Maybe even battle with Charizard to calm it down somehow?”I nodded. “Okay, Gramma.”
“Come on, Beverly.”
“Gary, be careful, please!” my aunt pleaded.
“I’ll be okay, Auntie,” I promised.
They both turned and ran home.
I turned to see a few Water type Pokemon helping to put out the fire in a separate location from where the residents stood with hoses.
The men continued to fire their guns at Charizard.
Charizard, standing on the ground, roared in clear pain this time, different from its previous cries.
“Oh, no!” I ran at them all as I grabbed a Poke Ball from my belt and threw it. “GO!”
“Charmeleon!” Charmeleon shouted.
Charmeleon. It’s the pre-evolved form of Charizard, I knew. Charmeleon and Charizard are like family. Maybe he can find out what’s been going on here. “Charmeleon, let’s go!”
Charmeleon took in the scene before him before rage came over his face and he charged forward.
“Flamethrower those guys with the guns!” I ordered.
“MELEOOOOON!!!!” Charmeleon screamed, blasting at the guys with guns.
The guys turned in shock and one of the men, dressed all in black, screamed as the flames consumed him. He screamed and was a rolling fireball on the floor, trying to put himself out.
The other men turned to me and then back to Charizard before turning to face me again, unsure of what to do.
The man stopped rolling and stood up shakily, his clothes seemingly intact and unaffected by the fire. He glared at me with a look that rivaled Charizard’s and started to raise his gun up towards me!
“AWWOOOOOO!” a howl came from out of nowhere and the next thing I knew, the man was screaming and laying on his back, an Arcanine standing on top of him, growling.
Charizard then let out a blast of fire at Arcanine, who was hit and was blasted off the man!
Arcanine rolled on the ground before getting up and shaking off the hit. It growled at Charizard and Charizard glared back.
“Arcanine, stop!” my grandma commanded, running up to us.
Arcanine pawed at the ground, not taking his eyes off Charizard.
Charizard’s eyes suddenly widened in shock and a horrible look came over its face. It pulled its head back far, ready to fire an attack.
One of the four men lifted his gun and aimed.
“Ar-!” my grandma started.
“If that mutt so much as blinks, I’m shooting it,” another man said, raising his gun and aiming at Arcanine.
My grandma shut her mouth immediately.
BANG!Charizard’s head exploded in blood.I gasped.
My Grandma gasped.
The man waved his gun at Arcanine. “Put it away,” he told my grandma.My grandma silently put her Pokemon back in his Poke Ball, Arcanine growling the entire time at him.
One of the other men aimed his gun at Charmeleon.
Charmeleon bared his teeth at him.
“That thing keeps looking at me like that, it goes down next,” the man said coldly.
I returned Charmeleon to his Poke Ball without a word, leering at the man.
The body of Charizard stood in place, headless, blood running down all over its body.
“Now give us your Pokemon,” he told us.
“What?!” I couldn’t believe my ears. “Hell no!!”
The man took a step closer to me, pointing the gun in my face.
I swallowed a hard lump. I didn’t even scratch my ear that was itching.
“It’s too bad it had to come to this,” the first guy we had met from the group said as one of his partners stepped up to my grandma and took her Arcanine’s Poke Ball. “It’s too bad you don’t understand what good we’ve done for you and your people. Who knows what damage this Pokemon could have caused? Not only for this village, but also for many places nearby and so on. We are heroes as you shall soon come to understand, hopefully.”
“What are you doing with my Pokemon?” my grandma asked through gritted teeth as the guy patted her down and then made his way over to me.
My eyes remained glued on the gun in front of me.
The man my grandma spoke to, smiled. “We’ll be confiscating them for the moment. We need to make sure they’ve been properly… taken care of.” His smile widened.
I knew then that this man was definitely no good. None of these men were.
The man who took my grandma’s Arcanine stopped right next to me.
“We appreciate your time, but we must now leave and make sure to take care of other incidents just like this one that occur all over the world. Be safe. And remember us…”
The guy closest to me reached out to grab at my Poke Balls.
Even though a gun was right at my eyes, I actually flinched slightly and, without moving my head, looked at the man as his hands grabbed a pair of Poke Balls at my waist.
At my slight movement, the man looked up at me with a nasty look. “Don’t even think about it, kid.” He then snickered at me and carefully pulled the six Poke Balls from my belt, dropping them into his pocket.
“Whoa! Look out!”
More cries were heard from the other men, making me, Grandma, and the guy closest to me, turn.
They were looking at the beheaded dragon Pokemon.
At once, we all turned to look at it as well.
“Watch out!” I exclaimed, not turning away as I blindly ran backwards several feet, Grandma also backing up quickly.
“Oh, no! HEEY!” the man who tried to steal my Poke Balls pleaded as the carcass of Charizard fell forward. He turned around and tried to run, but his legs were caught by the heavy beast’s body as it trapped him. “Yuck! Get this disgusting thing off of me!”
The other three men turned to each other and then back to the partner.
The trapped man’s body suddenly jerked forward and he screamed out in agony.
My eyes were focused on Charizard’s back. There was a small black square object on it! I stepped forward to take a closer look and gasped as I came to a stop and covered my mouth to keep from throwing up.
The box’s center was flashing yellow and sending out visible waves to Charizard.
The man underneath Charizard continued screaming in excruciating pain.
“You sick, vile, evil…” my grandma said behind me.
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the box. That was why Charizard was so angry, I understood. It was in pain. It was getting shocked by this contraption.
My grandma spewed curses at the men, something she rarely ever does.
I finally had to look away. That box disgusted me more than the bleeding, dead Charizard.
The men said nothing as they silently stared at my grandma who continued to use the foulest words she could think up.
The man under Charizard finally stopped screaming and went completely silent.
The other guys moved swiftly, running up to him and pulling him out by the hands from under the dead Pokemon. They then slung his arms over two of the men’s shoulders as they carried him away. They got about five feet before the weakened man was sent flying back and landed on his back. He was now soaking wet.
I looked up and saw an angry looking Golduck! It opened its beak and blasted the remaining three men with a Hydro Pump before they could lift their guns. Its eyes glowed light blue and the four men were surrounded by a shade of blue as they hovered high in the air.
The men struggled for a moment before giving up.
A ton of Pokemon walked out from the forest. A Psyduck. A Raticate. Four Butterfree. An Ivysaur. A Squirtle. And several other Pokemon as well.
Some people were also stepping out from the woods.
Pokemon started emerging from the huge lake as well, most of them unfamiliar to me.
All the Pokemon shared the same angry look, staring at the men suspended in the air by Golduck’s Confusion attack.
My aunt suddenly stepped out from the crowd of people and Pokemon, her hard eyes on the men. She then ran up to me and my grandma. “Gary, mom, are you two okay?” she asked, grabbing my shoulders before turning to grandma.
“I’m okay, Auntie,” I told her. “Where were you? Are you okay?”
“We’re okay, Bev,” my grandma said. “Gary.”
I turned to my grandma.
“Don’t you think your grandma knows how to be a cop?” she said with a smile. “You don’t think we ever had to set up criminals? Have officers in the back ready, just in case things got crazy?” She laughed.
I was in shock, surprised she could even laugh about anything right now.
“I had your aunt make sure the forest, the Pokemon, and everyone else was okay,” my grandma explained. “Then I had her call the police and tell them the situation. They should be here shortly. And it’s a good thing we have such a close relationship with these Pokemon, huh, Gary? I had her gather up some of the wild Pokemon and make sure that they tell the others to get ready to back us up. Your old grandma knows what she’s doing, Gary.” She smiled and chuckled a little.
I couldn’t even crack a forced smile. I was still petrified.
My grandma wrapped her arms around me in a hug. “It’s okay, Gary.”
My aunt hugged me and grandma. “I’m just so glad everyone is safe.”
“Thank you, Auntie,” I managed to choke out. “Thank you, Grandma.”
We broke our hug after the longest time.
The angry people of Native Village were shaking their heads in disgust at the captured criminals, some of them staring momentarily at Charizard’s body for as long as they could stand it.
More commotion was caused as, now that Charizard was out of the way, people could run to put out remaining fires in the village and take people to the medical help buildings they had.
My eyes reverted back to the sick group and I shook my head. I took a deep, shaky breath and held it, forcing myself to walk around to face them. To my surprise, they didn’t look angry nor did they seem upset.
They were smiling! Smiling as if they had accomplished some major victory.
I squinted at them in disbelief, my eyebrows furrowing.
They stared back at me, smiling smugly.
“Why…?” I managed to whisper to them.
They said nothing. They just held the same grotesque smiles on their rotten faces.
“Who the hell are you people?” I called out to them.
As if frozen, they simply smiled, the man who had been hurt by Charizard even smirking.
I felt like crying. Everything that occurred here today was too much to hold in. But I couldn’t cry.
That’s what they wanted. Whoever these four thugs were, they would’ve loved to see me break down and cry.
I wouldn’t give them that satisfaction. I held it in and glared back at them strongly. They probably were happy to see my anger, too. But, as far as I saw it, it was better than crying.
I could hear a couple of people crying behind me, but it wasn’t me.
That was good enough in my mind.
The men were easily arrested and put in the back of police cars. They didn’t resist in the slightest. It was like they wanted it to happen. As if they had planned it to go this way.
My Poke Balls had all been returned to me, as well as my grandma’s.
I had been questioned for a while, as well as every last person in the village.
My grandma was currently chatting with one of the cops.
My auntie was standing beside me.
The officers were still walking through the village, trying to find any evidence of anything else and checking to see if everyone was alright, offering to take them to the hospitals outside of the village.
The people here were just fine though and politely refused. They had what they needed to take care of themselves here.
It was night by the time my grandma shook hands with one of the Jennys and walked back over to me, staring me in the eyes.
“What happened, Grandma?” I asked her.
She stared at me intently. “They confessed to everything, Gary,” she informed me sharply. “They admitted to attaching that device on Charizard’s back to make it go crazy. They admitted to killing it. They just admitted everything, without any remorse whatsoever. They didn’t give a damn at all, Gary.”
“But, why?” I cried.
She stared at me silently. “They haven’t answered that.”
“Is the Pokemon... um... The gang they called themselves. Is it even really a thing?”
“Of course not, Gary!” my grandma snapped. “Use your brain, will you?”“Sorry,” I muttered, looking down.
“No such agency exists,” my grandma spoke more calmly.
I nodded and looked up at her. “I just don’t understand...” my voice creaked.
“I know, Gary. I know.” She stared deeply into my eyes.
I could see the hurt in them, and it was creating a pain in me separate from what I was feeling over the situation I had survived.
“Gary, thank you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for your help today. Would you like to stay at my house for a while?”I looked down to the ground before looking back up at her. “No thank you, Grandma. I appreciate the offer very much, but I think I’ll continue on to Celadon City.”
“You don’t have to push yourself so hard, Gary. You can’t just bottle up your emotions. It’s okay to be angry and cry and let things out. You can’t just expect to put things to the side and walk ahead of them.”“She’s right, Gary,” my auntie said. “Please, stay with her for a couple of nights. I’ll be there, too. I think I need to be with someone else right now instead of in my home, alone. Let’s all just head back.”“I’m sorry,” I refused, shaking my head. “I appreciate it, but I can’t. I won’t be able to just forget this day. It’ll be with me forever. And it won’t help just sitting around, dwelling on it and expecting it to just get better in a couple of days, because it won’t. It’s going to take time, and I think that the best way for me to deal with this is keeping traveling. I believe that I need to keep going, with this moment. I need to continue on in my life when things like this occur in order to learn how to be stronger. Sitting around moping about it isn’t going to help me. I need to live with the events of my past, the things I’m going through right now, and what will come in my future. It may not make sense to you, it may not be the way you do things, but, wrong or right, it’s how I’m deciding to do things for myself right now. I’ll learn whether it’s the way to be, on my own. I’ll learn from my mistakes.”My auntie and grandma stared at me silently, my grandma eyeing me more sternly than my saddened aunt.
My auntie stepped closer to me. “We just don’t want to lose you, too, Gary!” she cried. She hugged me tightly. “We miss your sister so damn much. We don’t hear from her anymore. We don’t know where she is. We’re afraid.”I hugged her back. “I understand, Auntie. I understand.” There wasn’t anything more I could add.
We just stood there, holding dearly onto each other.
My grandma joined in and hugged us both at once, having such a strong grip for an old woman.
When my auntie and grandma finally let go, I backed up a couple of steps and stared at them with determination. “Melissa is fine,” I claimed.
“Huh?” my auntie gasped.
“Gary, have you actually spoken to her?” my grandma asked, her hand rising to her chest.
“No!” I shouted. I didn’t care. I had to shout it out. “I haven’t, but I know she’s fine! And I know exactly where she is, too.” “Gary, don’t say such things!” my auntie barked at me. My words were hurting her. It was evident.
“I know where she is!” I insisted. “She’s on the road to becoming a Pokemon Master! Just like I am! And things get rough on this journey sometimes. Often, even. But we are, and will, be okay! Just trust me!” I was shaking hard, my fists pressed against my legs, my heart pounding, my stomach tight.
Grandma stepped forward and pulled me into another hug. “I trust you, Gary.”
“Thank you,” I said to her.
“You should call your mother before you go,” my grandma said once she released me, her hard eyes locked onto mine.
I lowered my eyes to the ground. “I’ll call her, Grandma,” I promised, returning her stare. “Just give me some time.”She nodded.
“I need to head out now.”
“Okay, Gary,” she accepted. “You call your grandma and auntie sometimes, too, okay?” She smiled.
I still wasn’t able to smile. I just nodded. With great effort, I moved forward to give my grandma one last hug and kiss, as well as my aunt.
Auntie wiped tears from her eyes as I faced her and grandma.
“Goodbye,” I told them.
“Bye, Gary.” My grandma’s voice broke, a mix of emotions all over her face.
“Goodbye, Gary. Be careful, okay?” my auntie warned me.
I nodded and quickly walked away. My mind was flooded with the thoughts of the day, starting with the incident with Charizard and that disgusting group of criminals. Who were they? What was their goal? What was the purpose of causing all of this? It bugged me so badly. I wanted to cry and be furious at the same time. I wanted to explode my emotions at the ground and just punch my way through to the ends of the earth. I had emotions within me that I didn’t know how to release. Emotions that I felt, if I didn’t keep under control, I didn’t know what I was capable of doing.
Just as I was about to exit Native Village, I came to a stop. My heart beat extra hard in my chest as a different memory surfaced. I started to shake, and it suddenly felt harder to breathe. One shaky hand reached to my belt and grabbed a Poke Ball from it. It was hard to swallow, and it didn’t help loosen my tight throat as I continued to walk out of Native Village. When I was deep in the darkened forest and was sure I was alone, I threw the Poke Ball.
Seadra popped out of her Poke Ball. The Dragon Scale was still sitting on her back fins. “Dooooo!” she screamed, and began to glow brightly. The silhouette of her snout became a little longer and skinnier. The large fins on her back began to grow smaller and morph into one fin. She grew taller. The light finally faded and the new Pokemon was now in view. “DOOOO!” Kingdra uttered loudly. She looked up at me.
Drock’s words echoed in my head: “JUST KEEP HER!! PLEASE!! TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER!! I LOVE HER!! PLEASE!! I’M SO SORRY!!” During that whole commotion with Charizard, she had run away in fear and left me to care for her Kingdra. Her very first Pokemon.
And she had my Beedrill.
My eyes began to tear up as I stared at Kingdra.
Kingdra looked back at me silently.
I knelt down in front of her. “Kingdra,” I whispered. Clearly my throat to speak more clearly, I tried again. “She loved you. You know that, right?”Kingdra looked back at me silently.
“She did love you,” I said in a weak, pained voice. “Don’t forget that. She raised you as a Horsea. She evolved you into a Seadra. She stuck by you and tried to evolve you into a Kingdra as well. She loved you, Kingdra. Remember that, because she wants you to know that. She needs you to believe in her. This wasn’t her fault.”“Dooo,” Kingdra said quietly. She looked away from me, at her surroundings, and her head lowered as she focused on the ground.
I wasn’t sure she had understood me entirely.
Pokemon and humans can’t fully communicate in some aspects. Pokemon can understand attacks and orders given, but it takes a lot of time and experience to truly connect and speak with Pokemon, and for Pokemon to understand the more complex parts of human speech.
Somehow, I felt that Kingdra, at the very least, got the gist of what I was saying.
I also felt that, while I was saying those things to Kingdra, I was also reflecting on my Beedrill. I had said things to Kingdra that I hoped my Beedrill knew that I felt about him. Things I hoped Drock would relay to him, and make sure he understood. I knew that Drock would want me to do the same for her Kingdra.
As I was speaking to Kingdra, I was simultaneously thinking of my Weedle. I remembered how I caught him in Viridian Forest. The day he evolved into Kakuna during our training for the Pewter City Gym. His evolution into Beedrill when battling Robin’s Drowzee. I remembered his fantastic battle against June’s Ampharos. I had even breached my fear for a moment to touch his head.
Tears flowed from my cheeks now as I stared at Kingdra, who stared back at me with a mix of confusion and sadness. Was there any chance of me seeing Drock again?
“I have to do this now though because my flight is leaving today! This evening to be exact.” Her words reflected in my mind.
I looked up at the starry, night sky. She must be on her plane by now.
“JUST KEEP HER!! PLEASE!! TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER!! I LOVE HER!! PLEASE!! I’M SO SORRY!!”
She abandoned her own Pokemon. Her friend. I felt a feeling of understanding for the situation, and yet anger over her cowardly action. How could she just ditch her Pokemon like that? I am ready to die for mine. How could a Trainer just abandon their friend in the face of danger?
Like Kiwi and June…?
I sighed. Maybe I was the one who was crazy… Maybe Kiwi, June, and Drock, all have the right ideas.
Kiwi and June weren’t like Drock. They were better. They stuck by me. They didn’t leave me to handle the dangers alone. Even when Kiwi lost her Starter, she continued on with me.
Drock cowered out. “JUST KEEP HER!! PLEASE!! TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER!! I LOVE HER!! PLEASE!! I’M SO SORRY!!”
I broke away from my thoughts with a strong shake of my body. Despite everything that had occurred today, despite all the pain deep inside of me, a smile actually managed cross my face. With a grunt, I got to my feet and held out the Poke Ball. “I’ll love you with everything I have within me. Welcome to my team.” My smile faded the instant Kingdra was inside her Poke Ball.
She didn’t need to know she had been abandoned by a cowardice Trainer. Drock loved her in her own way, I was sure. But I wouldn’t abandon her. I’d stay by her side. I’d love her. Care for her more than Drock did.
My new friend. Kingdra.
It hurt to lose my Beedrill for so many reasons. We were working together to get over my phobia of insects. He was my friend... That was my third Pokemon I had captured. He was the second Pokemon I had gotten to evolve on my own.
What hurt the most about losing Beedrill was that I didn’t even get to say goodbye...
There was no point in lying to myself as if I could stop the downpour of tears that erupted out of me with a pained cry. I had a better chance of stopping the rain from falling in the middle of a thunderstorm. The company of rain would have been nice in this moment. To be honest, it felt really, really good to let it all out. The hell of today had built up far too much.
My legs were just about ready to give out under me from the exhaustion.
Instead, they took a step forward. They moved me ahead one more step. I was walking. I had to. I couldn’t be this weak. I had to move forward, with this pain, in order to grow stronger. The flow of tears was lessening in time as I continued on shaky legs that seemed to gain more power with every step I accomplished. I couldn’t see anything through the tears still making their way out, but I didn’t care. I just continued blindly, crying silently.
The aching of my heart remained as persistent as ever as I carried Beedrill. The weight was becoming unbearable, but I didn’t dare stop. Acknowledging the pain, keeping it along with me, but moving forward.
“Goodbye…” I whispered.