Back at the pokémon center, Solus was seething. Some makeshift bandages made from strips of clothing had been wound around the espeon’s shoulders and middle. As he sat obediently by his trainer, he didn’t even look up as the other trainers helping his own returned from the pokémon center, many carrying pokéballs-some belonging to trainers that had been stored in the pokémon center, others they caught themselves.
The eevee evolution was glad his psychic abilities were able to block some of the pain from his wounds, though that took effort. He found it even harder to focus, remembering the shameful event that had just taken place all too well.
He…a strong eevee evolution, a cunning fighter …beaten by an injured, half-starved scyther
! The stupid pokemon hadn’t deserved to win. If he hadn’t been distracted…if he had been ready, he would have made her wish she’d never been born.
Trying to distract himself from his thoughts, Solus lifted his head and watched the trainers, the fellow members of Team Rocket. They were safe for now. Most of the humans his trainer called “Police” had left the city, trying to catch poachers. The ones that had come here had been dealt with already.
Solus looked up as another trainer approached his own, followed by a younger, not yet fully grown, human. “Did you find all the pokémon that could be of use to us?” Espeon’s own trainer asked.
The other experienced trainer glanced at the younger one, who nodded. “I caught all the ones inside the Pokémon Center that looked strong enough to battle,” the boy stated.
“Good,” Solus heard his trainer answer as he turned to look at the older of the two humans, “And the healthy ones?”
“There weren’t many,” the other trainer replied sheepishly, “I suppose the nurses were too busy helping injured pokémon to check on relatively healthy ones. But I brought the ones that were there.” He set down a backpack, which was filled with pokéballs of various kinds. Solus leaned forward to sniff them curiously, wondering what new pokémon he would be fighting alongside of in the future. Around him, several of the other trainers who’d been helping find the pokémon had sent out a few abra, and a few of them had already teleported away from the area alongside one of the abra.
Solus stood beside his trainer, listening to the man speak. “Well, it’s not as good as what I was hoping for, but I’m sure we got quite a few decent pokémon. Luckily you didn’t seem to have much trouble taking the pokémon, did you?” The other trainer simply smirked and he continued, “Now all that’s left to do is make sure we cover up all traces that any of us have ever been here.”
“How do we do that?” the younger trainer asked, feeling nervous now that he and the other two were the only ones who hadn’t teleported yet. The last abra sat beside Solus, who turned his back to her disdainfully.
“Simple,” Solus’s trainer replied, returning the psychic eevee evolution, “While you two were in there, others placed explosives in some of the rooms. Oh don’t look at me like that!” he added, seeing the boy’s shocked face, “The nurses and the ranger all came outside during the commotion. They’re well away from the danger. The main building will be the only thing damaged.” He lifted up a small device, and the boy noticed the man’s finger move over a button. “Stand close to Abra, you two,” he ordered, and the two trainers hurried to obey them.
Still, the boy looked worried and shocked. “What about the other pokémon?” he asked, “The ones that were too weak? What will happen to them?”
Solus’s trainer shrugged. “It doesn’t matter. They’re weak…worthless. And for all I care…they can burn and die.” He quickly pressed the button.
Abra then teleported the three trainers, as the main building of the Pokémon Center went up in flames.
Justin and Katie had not gotten very far, but somehow, they had managed to keep out of sight of any dangerous pokémon or poachers and also, unknown to them, the police. It had grown dark, and there had been no sign of the white growlithe. The two had reluctantly headed back to the city.
Upon reaching it, Katie immediately knew something was amiss. Huge columns of smoke were billowing up from somewhere near the center of the city, and though most of it had been obscured by the trees and the dark, cloudy sky before they’d reached the city, the bright lights of the buildings made it very easy to see. Justin and Katie gave each other alarmed looks before racing toward the source of the smoke.
By the time they got close enough, panting and out of breath, they could see that entire sections of the Pokémon Center had collapsed completely, and the flimsy looking remains of what was still left standing were blazing brightly. Several humans, including those who worked at the center, and water pokémon had gathered around the building, trying to put out the fire. However, there was little left of what had once been the main building of the Stonedust City Pokémon Center. Unable to look any longer, Katie turned away.
“Let’s get out of here…” the girl whispered to Justin, “I don’t want to watch this…”
Justin said nothing, but started to sullenly follow Katie, not knowing what he could say or do to comfort her.
“Those pokémon…” Katie whispered, “All those pokémon that were in there, and the three that I helped…they must all be dead now…there’s no way they could have survived if they were in there…there’s hardly anything left of the Pokémon Center! They probably weren’t able to get out in time…”
Justin nodded his head sadly; he couldn’t bear to think of what it would be like if one of his own pokémon had been in there, supposedly safe…only to die. At least from what he’d seen when he saw the building’s remains, the people who worked there had somehow gotten out safely, but they must have not had time to rescue all the pokémon. Up ahead, the faint rumble of thunder told Justin that it would probably rain again soon, but he didn’t care. He still couldn’t believe what had happened to the Pokémon Center…and all the pokémon who had been in it. He knew that now, or soon, several trainers would have to go through the pain…of loosing their faithful companions. Suddenly, Justin felt angry, though at first he was not sure exactly why. He felt his thoughts wandering back toward the three pokémon he had seen Katie help bring into the Pokémon Center. Not looking at Katie, he muttered quietly, “Scyther deserved it.”
“What?” Katie replied, turning to look at him.
“He deserved to die,” was Justin’s only response.
Katie turned away and said nothing.
After a few moments, she stood up again, noticing a few small drops of rain hitting the sidewalk. “Let’s go…” she sighed, starting to walk forward. Justin didn’t ask where; he wasn’t sure Katie even knew. She just wanted to get away from this place, and possibly start to head to another city…maybe one not so isolated as Stonedust was. Maybe one where she could get another badge.
The two said nothing as Justin followed Katie through alleyways and across streets, ignoring the rain that had started to fall down harder. It wasn’t until Katie stopped suddenly that he spoke. “What’s…”
But Katie didn’t give him time to finish. She ran forward, quickly disappearing into another alleyway. Justin followed her quickly and stopped, seeing her standing beside the unconscious form of one of the three pokémon she had helped earlier.
The female scyther.
Rosie could hear the angry cries of pokémon and humans alike, and all coming closer to the doorway. Trying to peer through the doorway again, the ninetales hoped to catch a glimpse of what was going on.
Before she could even register what was happening, the large form of the granbull guard burst through the doorway and into the room, lifting the limp form of a persian high in the air. With a growl he flung the pokémon to the ground, where it gave a weak cry as it collided with a group of empty cages. Rosie felt her own cage rattle, and she grimaced and looked away, back toward the doorway through which the granbull had come.
Various pokémon, all escapers, were fighting with several other pokémon who were fighting for the humans. After a brief struggle several escapers bolted into the room, the granbull guard soon charging after them. One of them, a nimble glameow, managed to slip away through another door and down a hallway, out of sight of everyone else. Rosie’s ears pricked as she strained to get a better look of the hallway, and although she couldn’t see much, the scent of fresh air slowly wafting from the hallway told her that the glameow had managed to open a door. That was a way out…
Her thoughts were interrupted as her cage was suddenly knocked over by two struggling pokémon; an escaped absol and a grovyle guard. From the looks of it, the guard was winning. The leaf attached to the grovyle’s forearm began to lengthen and glow, and with a sudden, fluid motion, he whipped the now blade-like leaf across the absol’s face, causing him to scream.
Rosie glanced away as flecks of the absol’s blood splattered over the bars of her cage. A second later, and the two pokémon had moved away from her cage in their struggle. Rosie looked up, calling out to anyone who would listen; her voice blending with those of the other still caged and helpless pokémon, “Let me out! Open the cage! How did you all escape?”
She needn’t have called for help. Almost as soon as she had shouted, a billowing plume of red-hot flames moved swiftly in her direction from the other side of the room. Ducking instinctively to avoid the blast, Rosie didn’t even think to try to convince herself that the flames wouldn’t harm her much…
After the blaze passed, Rosie looked up to see that the bars of one end of her cage were twisted and melted. Seizing her opportunity, she painfully squeezed her way through the opening, ignoring the heat of the metal against her cream-colored fur. Once out, she started to make her way towards the hallway she had seen the glameow escape through, when something stopped her.
Nightcloud was laying prone on the ground near the opposite doorway, the granbull standing over her. After a moment the guard turned away and hurried after another escaper. Dodging a few ranged pokémon attacks, Rosie ran to the mightyena’s side, noticing her black and gray fur was thickly matted with blood.
“Nightcloud…?” she whispered, fear and worry making her voice sound shaky.
The mightyena looked up, recognition dawning in her eyes. “You got out of your cage…” she whispered happily, “You can run free again now…”
“But Nightcloud, you need to get help! You have to get away from here and quickly!” Rosie was aware of the fighting around her, but only vaguely. As she wasn’t trying to escape, none of the guards seemed to care that she was standing there.
“Don’t worry,” the mightyena replied weakly, “The humans won’t let me die. Traitor to them or not I’m still a valuable pokémon in their eyes. Now look,” she continued, seeing that Rosie was about to argue, “I can’t get rid of my collar, but I can take off yours. You need to get out of here while you still can. The humans and guards are bound to restore order soon.”
Before Rosie could reply, Nightcloud sank her teeth into the collar around her neck and began to pull. Rosie gasped as minor shocks flickered over her fur. Nightcloud bit down harder. Rosie felt a large shock surge through her body for a split second, then the collar was gone. The ninetales gasped for breath as Nightcloud flung the collar away. “Go,” the mightyena ordered.
Rosie hesitated for a moment, but she knew that to stay here and be recaptured despite Nightcloud’s efforts to help her would be foolish. “Th-thank you…” she managed to stammer.
“GO!” Nightcloud yelled, and suddenly realizing the danger she was in as more humans and pokémon entered the room, Rosie made a dash for the hallway.
Suddenly well aware of the battles around her, Rosie barely managed to dodge stray attacks as she turned into the hallway, her claws skidding against the smooth floor. The light through a still-open doorway shone through the corridor, and relief flooded through her as she realized that miraculously, the humans and guards hadn’t noticed the open door.
But as she was looking at the door, Rosie had been distracted. Taking the ninetales completely by surprise, the granbull guard leaped toward her, his powerful paws slamming her to the ground.
Rosie’s eyes widened in shock as she was forcefully knocked against the ground, her right foreleg crumpling beneath her from the shock of the blow. Rosie then gave a cry of agony as she felt the bone snap. Turning her head, she bared her fangs in an angry snarl and launched an ember attack-right in the granbull’s face. Howling in pain, he turned away, allowing Rosie to painfully haul herself upright and limp toward the doorway and to freedom, holding her broken leg above the ground.
Once outside, she broke into a hobbling, stumbling run, gritting her teeth tightly against the pain shooting up her right forelimb, not stopping despite the agony the broken bone was causing her. After what seemed like hours, but really couldn’t have been anywhere near that long, Rosie finally allowed herself to stop in the shelter of some bushes and trees.
Laying on her side against the soft grass, Rosie closed her eyes and tried to forget everything that she had seen. There were so many pokémon who, unlike her, hadn’t made it to freedom. She spent a few moments in silence, listening. Apart from a few distant bird pokémon, no one was here. She was safe…at least for now. Softly licking her broken leg, Rosie closed her eyes, letting exhaustion overcome her.
To be continued...
I know this chapter was kinda depressing and stuff, but I know where this is going, trust me!