Chapter six: High Seas
I had my mind taken off the sneasel as I finally reached my destination: a huge wooden crate. It was aboard a giant ship, which held nineteen more of these—according to the man carrying me.
The man brought the cage up to his face, reached a fat hand in, and ripped off my most valuable possession: my chingling collar
. My neck jerked down as he did so, and shortly after, the pain kicked in. He smiled greasily as he threw it to the ground, and I watched as he crushed it with his foot.
My eyes clouded over with fury. “My master bought that for me! How dare
you!” I shouted at the human as he threw me into the crate, my cage scraping along the bottom and my fur getting caught between the metal and the wood. I knocked my head on the solid surface, and I screamed as one of my ears became wedged between my cage and the cage I had smashed into.
“You won’t be gettin’ outta there
!” the man called, thankfully exiting the scene.
I whimpered as I felt the pain in my ear, and attempted to find a way to free it. I tugged at it once, but immediately regretted it as the pain surged through my ear. Deciding to endure the pain and keep pulling, I shut my weary eyes tightly. But it was no use, and for the sake of my pounding pain, I had to stop pulling.
I panted, my eyes still closed. I leaned my head against the metal bars as my limbs tensed under me. Just when I told myself I’d have to adapt to a trip forcing my trapped ear in place, I began to feel something strange. My eyes opened, revealing the scene before me. The wooden crate was turning! However, it only took me a few seconds to realise that it was me moving, not it! ‘Duh.’
I was turned over and my ear became free as I fell onto my left side with a thud. I shook my head, blinked a few times, and pushed myself up onto my paws again. My ear was finally unstuck, which made a feeling of relief relax my shoulders, and it didn’t take me long to wonder why. I turned to my right to investigate the reason for my fall, as I certainly hadn’t done it myself.
“S-sorry about the tumble,” apologised the pokémon inside the cage I was staring at. He seemed to shrink as he mumbled quietly, “I had to do it to get your ear free.” A smallish dinosaur-like pokémon had his long, green vines out. They trailed back to a giant bulb that rested on the pokémon’s back, which was also green. He had a large head with two triangle shaped eyes holding red irises. The pokémon was a light shade of blue with a tinge of green, and had darker green patches scattered in random places. He gave me a nervous smile as he waited to be either thanked or scolded—for whatever reason.
Looking this pokémon up and down, I recognised him as a ‘bulbasaur’. A few young pokémon trainers in the Kanto region would have them from the start of their journey. Commonly they would also have either an orange lizard pokémon who stood on two feet, or a cheeky blue turtle pokémon who was bald.
“That’s...alright,” I murmured. I was a little too focused on my pain to bother about giving a reasonable response to the stranger. However, he did do me a favour. “...And thanks,” I mentioned. He nodded shyly and sat his rump on the floor.
“Do you know...what’s happening?” I asked after a moment of silence. It was only then when I noticed we, along with about five others, were the only pokémon in the giant crate.
“I’m sorry...but I don’t know,” he mumbled. To this reply, I sighed heavily and tried to figure out why, in fact, we were being imprisoned. “But I think we have been captured, sorry to say. One second I was with my trainer...but now I’m here. The humans treated me roughly and without care. I’m...I’m scared of them,” the bulbasaur trembled, the fear in his eyes stressing his youth and timid nature.
“If they try to hurt you, you could use your vines to hold their arms or trip them over.” I gave him a faint smile. “Don’t be afraid of them.”
“B-but...they have those shocking things. A-and, us, as pokémon, aren’t supposed to attack humans. We’re bad if we attack them.” The bulbasaur had a panicking quality to his voice, and it showed as his fear began to speak for him.
“I believe that we’re allowed to attack them for our own self-defence. Just remember that the humans have no right to abuse us...” It felt weird thinking about abusive humans. I had only ever come across ones loyal to their pokémon, and in return their pokémon were loyal to them. Master never once mistreated me, and prior to now I hadn’t necessarily believed in humans such as the ones working for this ‘Team Rocket’.
I flinched as seven more cages were hurled into the crate, their occupants shrieking and crying out as they bounced against the hard wooden floor and metal of their cages. I flinched as every cage crashed to the floor; as every innocent, helpless pokémon were harmed. It began to build up. These pokémon were being hurt. “Bulbasaur!” I cried to the alarmed pokémon in the cage beside me. He looked me in the eyes with a frightened expression. “Use your vines to catch the cages!”
“B-but...that might hurt me! I-I’m sorry...I don’t think I can do it,” he retorted grimly.
“Would you rather try
to help other pokémon with a small risk of you being slightly
injured?” I snapped, my fur straightening out. I then blinked, as did the bulbasaur. I was getting pushy—and angry.
Another scream came closer as a different member of Team Rocket flung a cage in towards the other cages containing pokémon.
“Ahh! Quick! Catch that nidoran!” I pleaded, unable to stand another crash and shriek.
Long, green, almost string-like vines rapidly extended from under the bulbasaur’s bulb, and they stopped at the guessed landing spot of the cage. The cage continued through the air until it hit the vines, but as it did, both the cage and its supposed stopper plunged into the floor of the wooden crate, and the grass type pokémon beside me bellowed with a distressed cry.
‘Aw, geez—this kid is hopeless!’
I thought to myself as tears began to well in my neighbour’s eyes. His large mouth continued to let out an ear-piercing yell as I found myself feeling sorry for him, since it was my fault.
“Lift them up! You have to lift them up to free yourself!” I shouted at the bulbasaur, who was traumatized. It took few seconds to process, but the pokémon obeyed me as he heaved his thin vines up, standing the nidoran’s cage upright.
The vines dropped and retreated to their bulb as the bulbasaur continued to blubber. “Oowww!!” he whined. I could see that I had given him the wrong instructions. Maybe he was just too young to take the pressure and physical weight.
“Look...” I sighed impatiently, gathering myself. “I’m sorry. I got a little paranoid,” I guiltily explained.
I heard the bulbasaur beside me sniff and stop crying. He drew his vines near and inspected them. To me they seemed fine. It was probably just shock that affected the bulbasaur so.
“I’m...I’m alright,” he sniffed. “I forgive you, flareon. I think I was doing it wrong...” he replied with a red face.
“Dusty. M-my name’s Dusty,” I corrected. “My idea of catching the cages was to grab them while they were still airborne. It wouldn’t cause you any pain that way.”
“Oh...okay.” He seemed to lessen the sadness about him. “I can try that... But, my name’s Sed. It was the name my trainer gave me.”
“...Same. I was given to Master too early to have a name before-hand. She raised me since I was just a pup.”
“Oh. I’ve only been with my trainer for two weeks and...three days. He’s the only family I got,” Sed mentioned forlornly.
‘It must be terrible,’
I thought with sympathy. ‘He’s only been with his trainer for two weeks, and he’s already been separated from him...’
However, my thoughts were taken elsewhere as I heard another human approach. My ears perked up and stood high on my head as I stared with great interest at the entrance to the crate. “Sed...”
“I think I know what to do now.”
I turned to him. He gave a reassuring, cheek-raising expression. “You can do it. Just remember: catch them while they’re in flight,” I prompted. I shifted my paws to a more comfortable position as I watched in slight anticipation for a metal-barred box to enter the huge wooden crate at an unexpected speed. “Ready?”
“Yeah,” Sed answered. His focus was kind of questionable at first, but as the cage was tossed in towards us, he really proved himself as the vines reached out and caught the cage with little effort. The pokémon inside it opened her eyes after having them closed, and cheered as Sed set the cage down in front of us.
The pokémon’s body was a faint yellow colour, except for half of her ears, paws, cheeks and tail—which were all red. There was a cross pattern on her red cheeks, and her tail was shaped the same way. “Thanks for catching me!” she happily sung—or, at least, as happy as one could get given the situation.
“That’s okay. Glad...to help out,” Sed shyly responded.
“Incoming!” I broke the happy moment with my sudden word, my eyes trailing the new cube.
Sed looked past the plusle’s cage, hearing a grunt before another cage soared through the air. With a determined look on his greenish face, the bulbasaur outstretched his handy vines and snatched the cage out of the air.
I smiled both on the inside and the out. He was getting better! And with every new catch, Sed became more and more confident about his selfless actions, and he was swiping the cages one after another with reasonable ease. And pokémon after pokémon, I could see that he was happy with himself for doing something good.
Brown eyes set at half-mast in the far corner of the crate were locked on the two vines’ movement. The pupils moved back and forth as the vines caught and placed down each pokémon cage that was carelessly thrown into the wooden prison one at a time. The eyes belonged to a dark face which was somewhat rounded. A very small smile was placed at the bottom of the muzzle, which completed the being’s unreadable expression. Further up the face, past the eyes, were two smallish ears which match the eyes in size, and were also dark. His body was long and slender, and ended roundly and without a tail. The top half of the body, including most of the muzzle, was dark green—which was often mistaken for black. His underbelly and limbs were yellow, however. Two oval-shaped red polka dots were between his ears, and they showed up quite clearly. The same sort of spots appeared in a group of three at the rear—before the dark green colour rounded off and turned to a light, faded yellow.
The pokémon was sitting down, his front paws out in front while its chest sat up. “Hmm,” he began, “seems like this bulbasaur’s confidence has grown...” His theory was supported as the vines caught yet another cage which was about to collide with a different one on the floor. “Impressive... But he’s not the one with the brainy ideas. That flareon is instructing him... I wonder where she’s from.”
“I doubt it’s near,” interrupted a voice that came from behind him. “That flareon’s not from around here...”
The quilava moved his head coolly towards whoever spoke to him. He noticed a light blue body seated in about the same position as himself, who had long ears and a darker blue almost hat-like head piece. There were the same dark coloured blue socks on all of her paws, and she had dark blue marks on her back. Her swishing tail looked the same as two appendages coming from her headpiece, which ended in a darker blue diamond and drooped down on either sides of her face. She was a glaceon.
“Good observation,” the pokémon mentioned in response, looking back briefly.
Seconds went by, and the two pokémon continued to watch the green vines move around. However, one of the pokémon was getting impatient, her agitation growing by the moment. “Raiys!” the pokémon snapped. The pokémon she was talking to didn’t seem to flinch at all. “When are we getting out of here? I’m tired of being held in these cages, and it’s not necessary.”
“Soon enough, Azure. Once the humans load up the crate completely, we can break free.”
“We shouldn’t have to escape,” she growled.
“While at it...we should also free the other pokémon.”
“What? Why should we? They’re all just insignificant strangers,” Azure hissed, “and it’s not part of our mission! As a matter of fact, being in here
isn’t part of the mission, either!”
“We could use
their help. This capture is merely a minor hold up. And we’re quitting. Or have you forgotten?”
The glaceon narrowed her eyes. “No, I have not! Our last mission is to hunt that pokémon down and report his whereabouts. We should see to it instead of being held hostage.”
“Yes. After that...you and I part ways,” Raiys murmured. “I assume that you’ll be returning to your co—”
“Working with you has been a pleasure,” she muttered hastily. “Now let’s break free! Why do we have to wait?!”
“Calm yourself. Your icy body might melt if you grow any hotter with agitation. You could use some of that energy to help me set some pokémon free instead.” Raiys still kept his cool, speaking with a calm tone.
you—we don’t need
“We need all the help we can get. Who knows how many Team Rocket grunts are out there who don’t know our identities?”
“Do what you want. But I’m sticking to escaping my
way,” huffed the glaceon. “I can fight them off myself.”
“It’s a wonder why he hired you. Even I’m having trouble keeping you on your lead. And that’s saying something.”
The glaceon would have shuddered at the mention of her boss, but focused too much on Raiys’ comment. “I am no-one’s
pet! My lead is far beyond broken, Raiys. And I was hired long ago...”
“Yes...your temper fires up too easily. I’m surprised you’re an ice type,” Raiys remarked. However, his supposed friend simply looked away, not wishing to listen to her fellow teammate. “It’s only a matter of time...”
Black shoes clapped against the hard ground, almost sounding like they were walking upon stone. Black clothes rustled and the red ‘R’ on the front became creased and almost unreadable. A man with high authority about him approached a large wooden crate aboard the large Team Rocket ship. He had a well-built body and was reasonably taller than the others around him. His facial expression – which suggested that he was always sneering – kept people from questioning his word.
As he neared the crate, he observed members of Team Rocket passing cages of pokémon from person to person, until it got to the crate entrance, which was only a tiny crack between two massive doors which nobody bothered to pay attention to. However, as the Rocket man was thrusting the cages into the crate, the man standing and observing him noticed something which made him mad. He tapped his foot until he realised it was, in fact, missing. “Why don’t I hear a clash?!” the angry Rocket member demanded.
“What?” scoffed the man tossing the cages. As he turned around, he regretted saying it immediately. The man he had spoken to with such disrespect in his tone was one of the Team Rocket admins.
The highly ranked man snatched the lower man by his shirt, and brought him close to his face. “Would you care to re-phrase
that?” he growled.
“I m-mean, s-sir!” the young man stuttered, feeling completely terrified by the unwelcome visitor.
“Better,” replied the man with a raised right end of his lip, and a greasy tone, “but how about you answer the question?”
“YES, fool! Why
isn’t there a loud noise when you throw in the cages?! We don’t want these pathetic creatures to feel like they’re at home!”
The grunt swallowed hard, searching his mind for an answer. “U-um...I-I don’t know, s-sir.”
The admin tightened his grip, saliva seeping through his many teeth. “You pathetic WASTE OF SPACE!” he roared, his face radiating hatred. “I want them TREMBLING AT THE SIGHT OF TEAM ROCKET! NOW SEE TO IT
The intimidating Team Rocket member struck his victim across the face, then thrust him to the ground, hearing a thud as he landed. The smaller man scrambled up against the closest side wall of the crate, shaking and whimpering until his attacker spat and walked away. The frightened man slowed his breathing and reached to his eye where he had been punched. He could only see fuzzily through it, and when he pulled his hand away from to inspect it, red stained his dirtied gloves.
“Are you okay, man?” asked another random member. He bent over, placing down the cage he was holding, and attempted to tend to his colleague.
“Get OFF me!” he snapped, and the man who offered his help huffed, throwing the pokémon cage in himself. The man with the injured eye knew that the cage had been thrown into the large wooden crate, and he noticed something missing. “...He’s right... There’s no noise...”
“Get ready; another one!” I informed as an incoming cage appeared.
“SWIIII!” a pokémon cried as he soared through the air. The vines whipped (literally) into action, wrapping ‘round the swinub’s cage and holding it up in the air safely.
I smiled. This bulbasaur had really done a good job, and I intended to tell him.
“Thank you,” nodded a clogged-nose sounding small brown pokémon with stripes of black on his back.
“Hehehe...” Sed chuckled, still holding the cage in the air. I really thought he was having a great time. And with all these “thank you”s, he was bound to feel somewhat higher of himself than before.
I shrieked as a loud, ear-piercing screech echoed throughout the crate. A number of other pokémon cringed and squinted as it happened, and everyone turned their gazes towards the entrance. A rough looking man was hunched at the doorway, hanging one of his arms while the other one leaned against the door to the crate. His black clothes contributed to his unidentifiable silhouette as we stared, and I noticed Sed beginning to tremble.
The human stood with a rotten frown on his face and scanned the room as if searching for that someone to blame. But I was soon to find out that he was—and who that someone was. “YOU!” he boomed, directing a finger covered in black material at Sed and his frightened face. “YOU got me into trouble... This is YOUR
The man, looking like he was possessed with anger, drove himself into the crate. Sed screamed in both fear and confusion as he dropped the swinub’s cage and cowered at the back of his own. I stepped forward, my eyes widened and my chest puffed up. ‘I must protect him!’
The man reached for Sed’s cage, his hands progressing towards it in a frightening manner. However, it was then when I realised I couldn’t help my new friend—if I used my flamethrower attack, it would be more likely to hit Sed than to hit the man—who now had
In a desperate attempt to change the deranged human’s mind, I screamed, “NO,” and fired the flamethrower anyway. It powered through the bars of the cage and onto Sed, only mere embers jumping out to attack the Rocket member. I gasped horridly as I yelled out an apology, and screamed internally at myself for making a decision I knew
would turn out horribly.
Continued in next post...