Here we are--finally done. :P
Chapter Ten: Futile Conflict
I bounded to the doors to the large crate, emerging into the salty air. The smell hit my nose like a rock; it was such a different change from what was previously poisoning my nostrils—a somewhat pleasant change. The sloshing sound of the waves met my ears with a warm welcome, and it felt like a weight was lifted from my shoulders.
Slightly surprised by the fact that I wasn’t lunged at as soon as I stepped outside, I began to find out why. I interviewed a pokémon nearby, being informed that at the front of the huge number of pokémon was the mightyena with the human male in his mouth. I pushed my way through the crowd, wanting the credit for conducting this bunch of pokémon, and I managed to find my way to the mightyena. I grinned at the sight of so many Rocket humans piling up to witness what was happening, and some of them were not moving at all, worried about the mightyena’s decision. A buzzing noise also drew their attention, and I soon realised what it was: the beedrill. She was rubbing her large, twin spikes she had for arms together, generating a grinding noise that was all that could be heard aside from the blue waves.
One of the Rockets moved, however, much to my surprise, and out popped a meowth. The pairs of whiskers poking from the sides of his head were bent down, and one was even absent. The golden coin-like object resting on his head appeared to be rusted and dirty, with sections chipped off and a greasy substance smeared across it.
His ‘trainer’ spoke to him, presumably instructing the normal type to communicate with us. The meowth nodded his head briskly, seemly eager to tear his fearful eyes from the Rocket man and over to me.
“I... Uh, Master wants to know how youse gots outta y’ cages, an’ why ya has his co-worker hostage,” the meowth stuttered in the humans’ language, his words spoken quietly. I didn’t know if he was talking to me or the mightyena to my right, but I decided to answer. Luckily I could understand human speech—only one language of it, though. At first, I suspected that I was hearing his speech wrongly, but I then realised that it was merely because he couldn’t speak the humans’ language properly.
I looked at him with sympathy. “We...” I began to say, drawing a deep breath. “We’re rebelling. Team Rocket won’t get this man back.”
The meowth translated my words to the humans, and they all seemed to stiffen, their lips pressing together. With a sudden outbreak of words in a harsh tone, the meowth’s master shouted at him again.
After cringing, the pokémon turned to me again, this time looking as if he was trying his hardest to be brave—but about his trainer, not because he was trying to stand up to me. “WHY...not?” he questioned, his teeth gritted as a result of his fear. I noticed he had his claws drawn, most of them chipped and dirty.
“B-because! They shouldn’t treat any of us like their subordinates!” I scoffed, taking a step forward so as to emphasise my point. The mightyena tightened his grip on the human while the big yellow bug pokémon with red eyes and flitting wings needed not to rush to the human’s front, holding the tip of one of her long, pointed drill-like cone-shaped arms to the human’s neck.
“MEOW!” the cat-like pokémon screeched, enduring a slap from his master’s hand. He then clenched the pokémon’s tail, hearing the poor thing scream as he brought him to his face. The meowth whimpered, drawing his paws in together as he hung upside-down.
“I SAID, stop them!” raged the human, then thrust the pokémon to the ground ruthlessly. “Is it that hard?!”
“Stop it!” I exclaimed, but of course the humans would only hear me yelling my species name. A rumble in my throat showed my anger and disapproval of the human’s actions, and my spine seemed to rise as my fur bristled. My tail rose as well, fluffing up more than usual. I immediately thought back to Roarake’s trainer as I began to growl even louder. Without hesitation I shouted at the meowth to come and join us. To rebel and take matters into his own paws.
After taking a few paces away from his trainer and towards me, he became shocked and still; he had obviously never considered doing such a thing. For a trainer to abandon a pokémon was cruel and wrong, but to abandon a trainer was ultimately betrayal and it, too, seemed wrong. It was like leaving your mother too early, or deserting your best friend. However, the meowth then pondered for mere seconds that seemed more like hours.
His trainer was not his mother. His trainer was not his best friend. In fact, he was far
from it. His trainer had never been good to him. He had never hugged him, fed him treats, congratulated him, praised him, talked to him nicely or shown him affection of any kind—not even a pat on the head. He was forced to battle under harsh circumstances, and was barely healed between fights. The food he had only ever eaten were scraps that would sometimes be dirty from the ground, or cheap pokémon food with virtually no goodness in it. Consequently he was very skinny, his ribs easily shown, and his fur was matted and in terrible condition. He clearly had poor health, his teeth yellow and cracked and his muscles weak and frail.
When he had come to think of it...he had never been fond of his master. Never
. He hadn’t even liked him. Not ever.
Other Team Rocket pokémon had boasted about how well off they were with their masters, but this meowth could not once understand. The only reason he even stayed with his master was because he imagined that he was never able to escape. Else, it was pure and simple fear. The thought of becoming free was such a dream...and he suddenly realised it could become a reality. The pokémon in one massive group before him were all captured, and were somehow...free. Maybe he could become free as well. Free of Team Rocket, free of his miserable life, and free of his master.
“...No,” the white feline pokémon stated firmly. He was shaking on the outside and frightened to his core. All eyes shifted to him as his back turned to his master and his face became stern and decided.
?” The human formed a hideous sneer. “...DON’T be a fool, you worthless rat!” boomed the sick-minded human. He attempted to approach his pokémon, but the meowth span to face him, baring his fangs and tightening his disdainful face. Three claws on each paw revealed gleamed dangerously, and the Rocket man halted only a few paces away from the scratch cat pokémon.
“I is no
t w-worth less than you!” the meowth hissed, moving a brown back paw backwards towards us. Half of it remained upwards, his pink, dirtied pads drawing my eyes for a heartbeat.
“I AM YOUR MASTER! Follow my orders or prepare to be beaten by my own fists!”
“NO! You is NOT my master! Masters are kind! Masters treat his pokémon with respect! MASTERS CARE
!” With a final yell, the meowth snapped. In a flash, he had lunged at the Team Rocket member and in a fury of anger and revenge, he sliced at the man’s face, scarlet drops splashing up onto the pokémon.
The man bellowed with agony, and the other Rockets did not delay in rushing to throw the crazed meowth off their fellow worker—probably to exterminate the pokémon shortly after. A few humans removed their weapons from their holsters, and I gasped.
Fearing that it was the end for the enslaved pokémon unless I acted instantaneously, I howled at the top of my lungs for my army to stampede to the rescue. Before we all took off, the sound of flesh being pierced and severed floated to my ears with haste, and I immediately knew that our human hostage had had a long, spear-like drill bit planted into his neck.
I pounded the ship’s surface floor with my paws as I loped towards my new ally, not realising I was just in time to have him slam into me. The force was not great, but I fell over, tangled with the normal type. We both scowled, getting to our paws and wasting no time. A look of relieved gratefulness flashed athwart the pokémon’s face before he took off again as the galloping pokémon around us swarmed around the Rockets, and I could’ve sworn that I spotted my trusty haunter friend melt into the walls of the crate next to ours. It made me snicker, rethinking about how we would probably double if not triple their numbers.
“Hurry up, Bagon!” squeaked a small voice.
“I’m trying! It’s a little...difficult. I’m s-scared,” came another rustier but still young one.
“Quickly, now! We want to be as fast as we can!” an older, female voice urged subtly, following the orders of a dark almost cat-like pokémon instructing her.
Making a leap for it, a short blue pokémon with stubby arms and a silver helmet-like head feature landed with a thump on a darker blue fish-like pokémon’s back. Large butterfly-like wings expanded from the fish pokémon’s body, which was lined with a much lighter blue. The bagon went to grip these, but as he did so, the water type shot him a red-eyed glare. Instead he turned nervously to his friend.
The pokémon who had been on the water type first was yellow with black ear tips and tail and quite petite—the smallest of the three. The pichu, as her species was named, helped her friend’s confidence by steadying him on the lumineon’s back, ensuring that the pokémon taller than her wouldn’t slip off and tumble into the sea below. Her small paws weren’t much good, and she was not strong, but at least her bagon friend avoided falling; instead, he lay on his front so he didn’t have to balance.
“Go!” a rushed, hasty voice insisted, her large claws moving in a shuffling motion. Water rippled across the top of the sea as the lumineon sank below the surface, her passengers holding onto their breaths and attempting to grip the water type’s slippery back.
Several of the water ferries set off with pokémon on their back, transporting them away from the danger that was lingering just around the bend. Almost all of the baby pokémon had been shipped back to land, and a sealeo was the one to be leading the shoal to their destinations. It was a long way away, so once certain pokémon knew the way by themselves, the sealeo would take it upon himself to speed back through the water to the ship to assist more pokémon.
Turning around to gather the last of the few remaining pokémon, Zhol the sneasel blinked repetitively after finding herself looking upon a small blue pokémon. She had a protruding bobble on her head and squinted eyes, with small circular feet and a flat black tail that ended roundly. Two arm-like ear-type features came down from her head, and she used them to press against the deck. The pokémon had her face to the floor and was frowning delicately, her zigzag mouth barely moving.
Taking a second or two to figure out what the wynaut was doing, Zhol zipped away from her post. “What are you doing?” she asked quickly, studying the blue psychic type. The wynaut’s head rose, her strange black eyes fixed on the something she had been distracted by.
“Hole!” she exclaimed, not taking her eyes from what she was looking at.
Zhol felt a frown tugging her eyebrows, and followed the wynaut’s gaze down to a diminutive opening in the ship’s top floor. She opened her mouth, two pointed fangs being revealed, and set her long-clawed paws onto the surface. She focused her pupil and attempted to scan whatever could be seen through the hole. At first there was nothing, but as her nocturnal-trainer eye focused, she gasped and pulled her head away. “...Pokémon,” she whispered wearily, confused by simple factors. Moving cautiously, she returned to her feet and gave the wynaut an approving nod.
In a hurry, the blue pokémon waddle-ran to the white, single-horned dewgong who was waiting for her. The long limbs coming from her head jiggled back and forth as she ran, and her bobble was blown backwards. Zhol was not distracted as she turned back to the hole, despite being at the wrong angle to see through it. ‘...There are more pokémon to free, but...getting down one floor is a challenge in itself.’
She thought hard before coming to a conclusion.
“Well, I know I would not have come back to the ship if it weren’t for that pushy flareon’s inspiring speech. Hearing it actually changed my mind, ironically enough,” explained a navy blue bird pokémon as his large wings beat the air.
!” retorted a pokémon of the same breed, although she was more a lighter black than so much blue. Her underbelly was white, and her chest was coated with dark red feathers. She opened her yellow beak and flicked her two-pronged tail as she scoffed, “I thought it was rather stupid!”
“What? ‘Stupid’ my tail feathers!” squawked the male swellow, clearly upset with his flight companion. “If it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t be free!”
Taken aback, the female flying type widened her eyes in disgust and surprise. “Well...” she started, at a loss for words. The stranger – the other swellow – soon came to assume that the female was probably expecting him to agree with her.
They continued to soar in the opposite direction to the human’s generously large ship, the wind brushing past their delicate feathers and rippling down the rest of their bodies. The single baby pokémon in their grips whimpered as they were carried trees and trees – in regard to height – above solid ground. However, none of them dared to even think of squirming. If they slipped from their carriers’ grasps...who knows what would happen to them?
Other pokémon were in the flock, making their ways to the land which was not yet in view. It would soon be, however, and they could confirm that because of other pokémon who had returned to the ship and let everyone know where the land was.
The moonlit water guided the flying types across the expanse of ocean, careful not to get them lost. Each wave was directed to the shore, and the white, fluffy foam being carried on their tops seemed to become mangled involuntarily with the salty liquid.
As another flying type cruised leisurely behind the rest of the flock, the small pokémon in her grip’s eyes danced graciously, following the sparkles shimmering across the sea’s surface. His long brown ears both tipped with cream fluff were blown backwards in the soft wind, probably tickling the feet of the bird pokémon carrying him. His small paws were held against his chest, the right one’s crusty scab being bristled by the short brown hairs.
Two back paws were dangling in the breeze, their pink pads showing up on their undersides. His small black eyes held great interest as they didn’t take themselves off the wondrous sight, but he couldn’t help squinting as the wind’s paws poked at them. He felt the shallow scar curving across his right eye being exposed to the wind’s currents, which bothered him a fraction.
He finally was forced to close them, his cream coloured rounded eyebrows pressing down carefully. He sighed, opening them into slits so he was looking behind him. He began to feel marginally woozy as he was carried further, as he was facing directly below and straight at the intense waves. The bird pokémon had him by his waist, the talons wedged perfectly into the thick cloud of warm torso fluff, and as a result, the normal type was both unharmed and reasonably safe. The claws were just missing the large gap between two sections of the front of the fur. It had been separated some time ago—around the same time he received scars across various parts of his body.
The buneary gave a contented yawn, his tongue showing as his lips made way for the gaping hole of his mouth. ‘I’m glad I don’t have to battle,’
he thought happily, ‘but I hope everyone gets out safely.’
He pondered over why Team Rocket would have wanted so many pokémon, and why they didn’t just go out and catch pokémon themselves. It didn’t last long before he locked the thoughts away as a different thought came into mind. ‘I wonder when I’m going to get back home...’
“Go! Go off and release them all! Great job with the others—now finish what you started,” I commanded, my words flowing out hastily to the haunter levitating on the other side of a collapsed pokémon. He nodded and disappeared off into the night, fusing with numerous shadows. “Set them free...” I uttered, amused by the sight before me.
Countless Team Rocket pokémon were being brought down by the pokémon of the crates, helping in liberating themselves and fighting for each other. Humans were also being seized and tossed into the bottomless sea, being disposed of without a soul having to worry about them again. Their remaining pokémon would either be defeated and tossed over as well, or some would request mercy and elect to switch sides. I did underestimate their numbers a little bit, but with eight crates having their large wooden doors wide open, the innocent, ‘good’ pokémon were pouring out in unexpectedly high numbers.
Finding that a blue pokémon with no eyes and a hole in its head was flitting towards me, screaming at the top of its little lungs with a supersonic, I bent my ears down before whipping up a flamethrower. A burning sensation fizzled and then a stream of fire blazed towards the bat-like pokémon. Before the Team Rocket pokémon knew it, it dropped from the air and onto the ground with a thp
Pleased with the result although secretly upset I had to injure such a defenceless pokémon, I turned tail and bolted by using a quick attack to a nearby large, tall-standing purple snake pokémon with rings coiling themselves down her body. A powerful, thick tail was supporting her full weight, and the almost frightening black, yellow and red jagged design on a large flap-like chest made me recoil slightly. The marking appeared to be an intimidating face painted on the arbok’s skin which turned to me once the poison type had thrown a long brown and cream coloured furret aside with her snapper.
I continued to feel my body fly across the floor, my legs frantically snapping back and forth to propel my body whilst barely skimming the actual hardened surface. I became increasingly closer, and it was too late for me to dodge a flurry of white, glowing needle-like objects. They all hammered into me, breaking into pieces whilst causing damage. However, by simply staying put, the arbok had not had time to evade my own attack, and when I came close enough, my body slammed into hers, making the tall standing pokémon cry out in a grunt.
A thump sounded as I landed at her base, springing backwards in time to miss one of her tail whips. Countering it in midair, I opened my jaws widely, summoning a black matter-composed shadow ball. My body felt as if it was strengthening, and I was thrust backwards as the attack was sent spiralling into the pokémon’s flap-like skin. The shadow ball was, as everyone knew, more powerful in the time of shadows. It made the ghost type move deal more damage to its target, which situated me at the good end.
Continued in next post...