When they had arrived at the rocky area where she had found the scyther before, they had heard the distant sounds of a battle, but by the time they arrived, the poachers had left, and all that they found was an injured arcanine and later, the other scyther. With a sudden surge of anger she realized that the growlithe probably wouldn’t be able to track down the poachers who’d done this-everything was too wet and muddy, and it was starting to rain again.
A sudden excited barking from one of the growlithes alerted her attention, and she saw the police officer parting the branches of a group of bushes, revealing the still form of the other scyther-Justin’s. Katie was confused for a moment, but then realized that the female scyther must have been protecting him. She watched the others bringing Justin’s scyther to the ranger’s truck as well, before climbing into it herself. Her shinx stood up as she stepped inside, happily jumping on her lap. She knew it was better to leave with the others now; there was nothing she could do to help the police catch the poachers, and she wanted to see if the pokémon would be all right, and it was important that they got to the Pokémon Center as quickly as possible. As Nurse Joy got in the truck as well, Katie heard what sounded like muffled whimpering, and turned to the back of the truck, realizing that the arcanine was beginning to come around. Softly petting the fire pokémon’s head, she tried to calm him as the vehicle drove off, back toward the city.
The other police officer watched as his growlithe came back, panting and exhausted. He could tell from their looks that the poachers had not been found. He sighed. “It’s all right,” he told them, petting the fluffy pokémon, “I’m afraid we won’t be able to track anything in this weather.”
Regretfully, he and the pokémon turned and headed back toward the site of the battle.
By the afternoon, Rosie was exhausted. Battered, weakened, and alone, the vulpix lay curled up against the bars in her cage, without even Nightcloud to keep her company. The humans had rotated the pokémon guards, and she didn’t feel like talking to the granbull who kept giving her angry glares.
Throughout the day, it had been one battle after another, and Rosie had only once been allowed to have a drink of water. The humans had also given her a small amount of food, the hard brown pellets that most trainer pokémon ate. It had tasted vile, as if it was starting to go bad, but she had been too famished to care. The battles she had fought had been difficult, and from what she could tell, the humans were disappointed in her, and according to the other pokémon, that was not
a good thing.
Rosie jumped, startled, as the door opened and a human walked in, stepping beside her cage. Some of the other pokémon in the room gave her worried looks; obviously it was a bad thing if the humans approached a pokémon’s cage randomly after that pokémon had repeatedly failed them. Solemnly, the human unlocked her cage, activating the shock collar briefly to stun her before dragging her out of the cage and onto the floor. However, just as Rosie was preparing to fight her hardest to get away, she realized that the human didn’t seem intent on punishing her. Instead, he reached into his pocket.
“If you aren’t a good battler,” he was saying, seemingly not knowing or caring if she could understand, “You’ll still fetch a high price from collectors.” Rosie stared as he brought the object out of his pocket. It was a fire stone.
The human pointed the device that activated the collar’s shock at her, threatening her into staying still as he loosened the collar. Before Rosie could even try to free herself of it, the man pressed the fire stone against the top of her head.
At once, both stone and vulpix began to glow. Involuntarily, Rosie closed her eyes at the surprisingly warm stone was pressed against her fur. She felt a sudden, odd sensation, and with a flicker of excitement, despite her current situation, she realized…she was evolving…
The strange sensation grew stronger, and she could feel her tails lengthening, and three more like them growing in place. At the same time, she could feel herself growing at a seemingly impossible rate; her legs becoming longer, sleeker, her muzzle lengthening and becoming more pointed, and fur growing thicker, and longer too.
And for a reason she could not understand, she felt older…wiser. She also no longer felt weak or exhausted. She felt as if she could run for miles, defeat any opponent, do anything…
Rosie’s eyes flew open. The transformation was complete. Feeling the loosened collar still tight around her neck, Rosie twisted away from the human and reached up with a forepaw, feeling her claws snag on the collar as she pulled, enjoying the satisfaction that came with the resulting snap as the collar fell to the ground. With a growl, she turned on her captor, racing forward towards him.
However, it was at that moment that another human appeared from the doorway, and before Rosie could take notice of what he was doing, he had thrown a rope around her neck. The ninetales was yanked back, shocked and wondering if the poachers had anticipated an attack, as she struggled on the floor, seeking to free the rope from her neck.
But the human only pulled tighter, and with shocking alarm, Rosie felt her windpipe being forced closed. Coughing and struggling, she thrashed about on the floor, until her struggles grew weak enough that the other human could fit a spare collar around her neck. Only then did he loosen and remove the rope, and by that time, Rosie was too weak and still gasping for breath, thus unable to resist.
As she lay still, trying to recover, she thought bitterly about how much she wished she could place a curse on both of the poachers…no, all of them. But there was no way a young, barely evolved ninetales could accomplish that feat upon just evolving, and she had no idea of how it was done. In fact, she didn’t even know how to use flamethrower.
Through a haze of pain she felt one of the poachers stroking her long, thick fur, and wished she had the strength to turn and bite him. At least, she thought, this would mean an end to the battles…now they would just try and sell her to a collector, and if anything, maybe they’d try to make her appear as healthy and strong as possible, and at least give her a decent meal.
But all the same, as she was dragged back forcefully into her cage by both of the humans, she couldn’t help but wonder…if her troubles had only just begun.
To be continued...