Chapter five: Boxed and Caged
I couldn’t help but to feel miserable. The capture had made me feel unwell and shaky.
The fact that I was being transported away from my master pushed me into feeling even more dreadful. Although Izante being with me had altered my thinking slightly and drove me into slight relief, I was still not nearly comforted enough to change my down-in-the-dumps mood. I didn’t know whether she shared my emotions or not, and I was not very keen to find out. If she felt the same way as I did, that would merely make matters worse, and I would feel even more upset. But I would have to cheer up sometime if I was going to think up a plan for escape. There was no way that my brain would be able to function properly if it had no proper stimulation or determination flowing through it.
We had been at the little camp for another day after we were moved again. The time we spent at there was when we were in cages separate from one another, barely able to hear the pokémon next door. Team Rocket had treated us like we were lower than dirt and all we could do in return was growl at them in our hopeless cooped up state. There were a lot of other pokémon, but the men had set out all the cages to be far away from one another so that we could not communicate, and so that we were purposely isolated.
Every now and again, the Team Rocket men had strut past me with mocking grins and smirks on their faces merely to spite me. One even poked his fingers into the cage in an attempt to torment me. However, since the only feeling I had been experiencing was anger, I automatically snapped at them, slicing through one with ease. The moment after I did so, I realised I would have effortlessly been able to take a finger off.
“ARRGGHH!! You beast!” he had screamed, a hideous expression upon his face. “Poliwhirl,” he had called, withdrawing a poké ball from his tattered black belt. “Water gun!”
Landing on the ground in front of my cage, the dark blue pokémon with a swirl on his belly shot a stream of water out through the centre of his body, and it came gushing onto my devastated face. I had screeched at the shock of the attack, spluttering and spitting. I'd known I had to endure it until it was over, so that was what I had done.
When the attack had finally broken off, my drenched body appeared small and feeble. An attack like that may have been simple, but it had hurt! I shook off and growled at the man. I knew that he couldn’t differentiate between the tears streaming down my face and the water dribbling from every strand of my fur as he jeered and stumbled away.
“And that’s why you shouldn’t mess with Team Rocket!” he smirked, picking up a stone and tossing it at my forehead. I winced and drew my head back, huddling at the back of the cage. I had felt
my eyes flickering with fear. My loud exhaling had become a sign of fury as my whole body trembled. I could not understand how these awful people could do this to pokémon. All of the trainers I had ever met were kind and they loved their pokémon... Well, maybe not all, but most of them. And what did these horrid humans do? Attack innocent pokémon, dragging them from their loved ones. I hope they knew...they wouldn’t get away with it.
I sat in a steel cage inside a moving van—a large metal human form of transport that moved with wheels. Izante, a marill, a drifloon and a sandslash were in the same compact space as me. I had been in the same spot for three days without food, and only a small amount of water which the Rockets had supplied us with. The rest of it was thanks to the marill. When we drank the liquid generated by the water pokémon, it had been slimy. I had felt the fluid flush throughout my system, and it tasted like salty...spit. Every time I swallowed it, I couldn’t help shivering with disgust. It would have been a whole lot better to be used as a substance for cooling off with. But it wasn’t. And I had to deal with it if it was nearly all that I had.
Thinking everything over, I raised my head slightly to see another cage nearby. It contained the marill and his drifloon friend. The cage next to it held a sandslash captive. They were all victims of being captured, along with me and Izante. They all belonged to the same trainer. I figured that they had all been taken at once, and were stolen for the same reasons we had been...which had not been set in concrete yet.
The sandslash, who I had overheard was called Wulua, was an irritated and a bully of a pokémon. He had displayed this by sitting around, fiddling with his sharp claws and pondering over how let he let himself be caught—and bullying the marill.
The marill, Koi, was a little male water pokémon. He often took deep breaths to calm himself, and apparently loved rolling around on the ground absent-mindedly. He was not very old by the looks of him, and didn’t seem to have matured yet, either. His intelligence wasn’t very high, and I suspected he was born as a marill rather than an azurill.
The floating balloon pokémon called herself Vesp. She was very quiet, but once I had been around her long enough, I would describe her as friendly.
“Are we there yet?” a small voice asked restlessly. My eyes scanned across the small room. A rounded blue body was rolling along the floor inside metal bars not too far away from me. The white patch on his stomach was appearing and then disappearing as he rolled. His black crinkled tail was big for his size, and ended in a blue bobble.
Making the decision not to reply, I merely shifted my gaze to the floor. There was a black spec of dirt placed in between my two eyes’ stare, and it caught my gaze long enough for me to zone out a little.
“No, Koi. Can’t you tell?” a rough voice snapped, and I heard claws clicking against a metal surface as he must have paced his paws on the floor.
“I wasn’t talking to you, Wulua!” Koi retorted, a child-like tone to his voice. As I moved my eyes to his face, I saw that he had crossed his arms.
“It means you can’t answer!”
“Oh, really? Answer, answer, answer, answer. Are you gonna arrest me now?” smirked the ground type. Frankly I found him to be just as childish as the marill.
“...What’s ‘arrest’?” Koi asked Vesp, cocked his body to one side.
“‘What’s arrest’?! You’re dumber than I thought!” Wulua mockingly sniggered. He got to his feet as his restlessness grew.
“Wulua, leave him alone...” Vesp intervened, looking at him with a frown.
“Well I’m SOR-RY!” came a sarcastic voice. Koi snorted at him.
“You should be!”
“Oh, go play with your liquids, water boy!”
“Go and dig a hole, you meanie!” he shouted back.
“We’re nowhere near dirt, blubber head! Sheesh, I thought all pokémon had brains until I met you!” Wulua hissed. Still watching, I observed what happened next.
Very rapidly, Koi had grown a wobbly upside-down smile, and his nose began to twitch. His breathing had become slightly heavier, and tears began to gather at the bottoms of his little eyes.
All of a sudden, the water pokémon burst out into tears, and turned around to find himself being hugged by Vesp’s string-like arms with little yellow hearts on the tips. Her purple balloon-like body was not too big, but provided comfort for Koi as he bawled his eyes out. I felt sorry for the little fella.
“What did you do that for, Wulua?” Vesp questioned, throwing a hard glance at the sandslash that was leaning against the bars of his cage. His yellow body stood out against the dark wall behind him, but his black eyes blended in perfectly. His thick, brown spikes located on his back sagged a little as he was pressed against the wall.
“Eh, felt like it,” he muttered, sounding a little proud.
“Do you think this is a joke, Wulua?” the drifloon started. She was obviously not impressed. “Being captured is bad enough. A little marill having to deal with that as well as a bigger pokémon teasing him is not good. And far too much for someone of his age!” she scolded, clutching Koi tightly. The little marill moved his body in the sandslash’s direction. With a helpless frown, Koi’s mouth continued to tremble.
“What are you, my mother?” Wulua laughed. By looking at her face, I could tell that Vesp had had enough.
“I could start acting like it,” she replied calmly.
“Go ahead! And why don’t you put on some spikes while you’re at it?!”
From here, I couldn’t stand it any longer. Those three bickering made me so agitated! They’d been going on for the past...what, three days? Couldn’t they give it a rest already?! “Guys! Stop it!” I yelled, eying the two pokémon in the other cages.
“Your arguing isn’t making anything easier! J’st...chill!” growled Izante, her eyes averted in order to avoid visual contact. She didn’t much like confrontations.
“Oh, great,” Wulua sighed gruffly, “another pair of—”
“Would you just shut up
?” I hissed, feeling embers sizzling inside. They felt about ready to leak between my teeth as invisible smoke stung my eyes. “We’re in cages
, for Entei’s sake! You’re ruining any...drop of hope we have, Wulua! And, Vesp, I know you’re trying to help, but you’re just making it worse!” I explained with a hard scowl, rising to my feet.
Izante looked about to agree, but she contained herself and just growled impatiently. A small chuckle came from nearby, not surprised it was the sandshrew evolution as I swerved my head.
“And what are you gonna d—”
In a split second, a gushing stream of water shot directly into Wulua’s face, causing him to splutter and spit. I stared wide-eyed, and trailed it back to where it had come from. Koi was the water’s source.
When the attack stopped, I could have sworn Wulua was about to cut Koi in half – despite the fact that they were in separate prisons – when suddenly, we were thrown across our cages and we bashed into the walls.
We had all screamed and tumbled, feeling limbs poke through holes in the metal, Vesp still clutching Koi. Several thumps and bangs sounded as I realised the moving humans’ vehicle had come to a stop.
I moaned, heaving myself to my feet again. The cage had turned onto its side, and it seemed to become smaller.
“What the hell?!” Wulua questioned. I didn’t think he quite knew what was going on... Although, he wasn’t the only one.
There was a bright light before something hairy reached towards us. The light was blinding, and I found it difficult to focus after it bounced off my face. The spot-light shone on us all, and hissing could be heard as most of us recoiled into the unrealistic depths of the cages. The hairy thing baring the light was found to be an arm—a human arm. With a few grunts and murmurs, the human clicked a switch on his item. Somehow, the light dimmed and disappeared, almost like it had been sucked back into the contraption.
I looked at the other pokémon. Izante seemed to be upset and growling, Koi was huddling up with Vesp, and Wulua spat while covering his eyes with one of his strong, yellow arms. Next, a big man stepped into the room, and stuck his fingers inside Izante’s cage whilst lifting it up. Izante stumbled, and looked as if she found it difficult to balance.
“Hey!” I yipped, the man merely looking in my direction. I head-butted the cage bars blocking my way, but nothing happened. It was useless! Next, I tried firing a stream of hot flames at the man, and he yelled, and backed off—but still held onto Izante’s cage. He then pulled out some sort of small device, and neared me with a bushy frown on his face. I huddled to the back of my small enclosure and rumbled. However, it didn’t stop him from sticking the device in between the bars, about a hair away from touching me, and pressed a button.
Unexpectedly, my whole body stung with pain, and a sizzling sound came from my fur. “Ahh-aaahhh!!” I screamed. This was unlike any raichu’s thunderbolt attack! The pain surged through me, and I could only imagine that the other pokémon watched with shocked expressions. Hopefully, this would keep them from being as careless as I was.
I slumped on the floor of the cage, my fur bristling and my painting notable. The smell of electricity popped near my nose, and suddenly my body began chattering. I felt paralysed. The man smirked with a face of satisfaction, and continued out with the cage that had Izante in it. Before she disappeared through the opening, she looked at me with certain sadness. Her ears poked through the sides, between the metal bars, and it was blatantly obvious that the cage was barely big enough for the rest of her body. I tried desperately to cry out, but the best I could manage was a flicker of my lips and a hushed groan. My delicate hope was hanging by a thread as it marched behind the man with Izante’s cage, and before she completely disappeared, the leafeon’s turned away.
Soon enough, all of the cages were being carried by men all dressed the same. My large and bushy tail was poking out of all cracks in the cage I was in, and I was beginning to regain feeling in my legs again. Soon enough I was in full control once again, but I soon realise I was unable to stand due to the roughness of the man’s handling. Every time I tried to get onto my paws, I would be knocked straight back down again. It was another thing that made me feel helpless and weak.
I decided to pay attention to where I was being taken, so I looked ahead at the path in front of me. And it was astounding.
Hundreds of men, wearing the same black outfits
, swarmed the area. They were everywhere! Their dirty clothing and hard faces told me they were all the same; they were followers of one another.
Apparently this area was the shore to the ocean, which stretched as far as my eyes could see. The men were all carrying one cage or more, which all held pokémon. Trees were scattered everywhere, because it was the edge of the forest, but the dirt was stale and dry. Nothing attractive grew—what vegetation there appeared to be was dry and soulless. Much like the humans themselves. ‘This must be where their proper camp is...’
I thought. Tents and human vehicles also occupied the premises, which supported my guessed theory.
One man, far ahead to the left, was holding a sneasel captive. She was a small, dark-coloured pokémon with one of her ears coloured pink—which was longer than the other one. The claws on her arms – two on each paw – looked sharp and deadly, while the two on her stout legs were no more than pins. A circular yellow orb both on her forehead and her chest glistened as she swayed by her carrier’s side, and three pink feather-like tails protruded from her lower back.
She hissed and swiped at her captor, nicking his shirt and tearing through it easier than a magikarp could lose a battle. The Team Rocket guy shrieked, dropping the cage. He cursed and yelled at the pokémon, kicking her cage several times to send it tumbling. The dark and ice type seemed to shake it off, looking hardly affected, and resumed her attempt to shatter the cage. The man then reached into his pocket and revealed the same device that shocked me into paralysis. I clenched my teeth.
I thought as another bump from my carrier threw me over.
The man, completely without hesitation, shoved the electronic weapon in through a hole in the cage, and I watched in horror as the dual-typed pokémon sizzled and cried out in pain. I seriously thought that the man held his hand there for an entire minute, and after he finally
stopped, the sneasel fell to her paws and knees. She cringed. “Learned your lesson yet?!” The Team Rocket man prodded the sneasel with the device, then pressed the button once more. For absolutely no reason whatsoever, the man shocked the pokémon for a second time, and sniggered at her suffering.
I boiled inside. He kept at it, and soon he was shocking the sneasel even after she had stopped moving. I couldn't help but to imagine her pain... It must have been excruciating considering she probably had no strength due to the poor conditions we were forced to survive in! And to be punished for wanting to return to her master sickened me, and stirred up my mind. If I could, I would have leaped to the pokémon’s rescue and happily defeated the man. But in my current state, it was clearly impossible—an unattainable goal.
Even if I did manage to break out of my cage, there was no way I would stand a chance against the number of enemies here. There were far too many bad humans in this place to even consider my chances...
Laaaa di da~