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TEEN: Insurgency

Jewel the Quaxly

Duckies! :3
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I debated back in forth in my mind before deciding to take the risk. I watched the thee Starters begin to walk up the cliff on a long slope, before taking a deep breath and going for the plunge. I walked forward and began following them from a distance.

I would stay until I found that stupid Poke Ball. Then I would destroy it, then leave this place for good.

There was no way in hell I would ever let that professor give me to some random dumb human.

No way in hell.

***

Pikachu's life turns upside down after meeting a peculiar boy with the ability to speak to pokemon. Only he didn't fall apart. He was put back together. Funny, since he didn't even realize there was anything to be put together in the first place...but the world has a funny way of working out sometimes.


***
Riolu(from Unknown: Escape): So, let me get this straight. You're putting MY story on hold to write a full journey fic centered around Ash's Pikachu?

Me: ...yes?

Esther(from The Trials of Mysteria): Oi! What about me, ye-

Me: Shush, you! I haven't finished re-writing you yet! Nobody knows how your personality is like! ...that, and, that title is REALLY outdated...

Riolu: Well, they sure as hell know what mine is like! I need to rescue everyone on the island, and I can't do that unless you write the next chapter!

Me: I'm getting to it, geez!

Riolu: Get to it faster! Don't you already have my entire plot-line written out already?

Me: ...well, not entire-

Riolu: It's definitely a lot more well thought out than Insurgency or The Trials of Mysteria!

Me: ...yeah, I'll get to that. Later.


Alright, I'm putting this story here because I need some advice and feedback on its general direction. It's kind of like a Takeshi Shudo AU of the anime, but with varying differences which impact the plot at large. So the direction of the story is very different as well as the story beats, even if some similarities might be there(like the checkpoints and events of the stories themselves). I do need feedback on my most recently written chapter, especially, as I find it to be incredibly lackluster in terms of direction.

This story is rated TEEN for:
-Blood
-Language
-Violence
-Graphic descriptions(?)

So! On with the story!

 
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Chapter I: Prologue

Jewel the Quaxly

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~Chapter I: Prologue~
The girl was beginning to get on my nerves. She spoke a mile a minute, pacing back and forth across the room, and acted like she hadn't just beat me up with her stupid pink clefairy to catch me in some stupid ball.

Did she even care?

"Gramps, I did what you asked! What more do you want from me? Come on, I have other stuff to do!"

I grit my teeth and felt my cheeks spark, then winced. My cheeks still felt sore from the magnitude of a Thunder I had unleashed earlier. I glared at the clefairy who had managed to counter it, who was currently watching over his trainer pace back and forth with a bored look on his face.

"Daisy May," the clefairy said sternly to the girl. What a stupid name. "You need to calm down."

The girl paused in her rant at her pokemon's tone then sighed. She turned around and I noticed a thin device in her hand pressed up to her ear. Was that was she was speaking into? "...fine, I'll wait a little longer. But if you and Gary don't get here in ten minutes, I'm heading out!"

She huffed into the device, "see you later, Gramps." She pressed something on the device-a button, maybe?-and slipped the device into her back pocket. I stared.

"What?" the girl asked rudely. "Why are you looking at me like that, rat?"

I ignored the clefairy's immediate groan in favor of getting to my feet in retaliation. As comfortable as the bed I laid on was, I would rather put this girl in her place. "Why are you so full of yourself? You just waltzed in on me while I was gathering berries and began attacking me like some psychopath! If anything, it should be me asking the questions around here!"

The girl rolled her eyes. "Clefairy, can you shut that thing up, please?"

The clefairy sent an incredulous look towards the girl. "I'm beat, Daisy May. Don't forget who took the brunt of that Thunder from earlier."

The girl waved her pokemon off like a typical human and swayed her hips back and forth as she left the room. "Yeah, yeah...can you watch the pikachu for a moment? I need to let Alex know that I'll be running a little late to the meeting."

"Sure, no problem." The clefairy replied as I directed my glare towards him. "What? You're a caught pokemon now, might as well just accept it."

"I'm not accepting a damn thing!" I shouted and desperately willed myself to fire a Thundershock. My cheeks fizzed out and the soreness came rushing back all at once. I felt my legs begin to shake underneath me... "I was perfectly fine as I was in the wild, and you and your stupid trainer had to come along and ruin it!"

The clefairy hummed to himself and began tracing patterns on the wooden desk he was sitting on. "First off, getting angry doesn't help your situation. All you're doing it making things harder for yourself and others. Second off, even if you don't believe me, it's true; you're far safer here at Professor Oak's laboratory than in the wild. You won't have to find your own food, either-it's handmade and homegrown here."

I wasn't really listening to what he was saying, but one word caught my attention. I slunk backwards as I felt my fur rise. The clefairy raised an eyebrow at my behavior but didn't comment. "Laboratory?" My voice felt faint even to my own ears. "This is...this is a laboratory?"

"Yes, it is."

I didn't know what a laboratory really was, but I did hear stories about it. As far as I remember, the only time "laboratory" was used in a sentence was when the words "screams" and "pain" were accompanied with it. It was a place of pure pain, I had decided and at the moment I first heard of it decided I never wanted to go near one.

Yet, here I was. Taken against my own will into some wretched red and white contraption as its walls closed in on me...I shuddered and tried to avert my thoughts elsewhere. That was a hard task in of itself, given my current location was apparently a...laboratory.

"Hey, listen," the clefairy seemed concerned, but I didn't really care. Nobody was ever concerned about the being of others in this world-concern wasn't normal. The only thing it was, as far as I was concerned, was fake. Nobody acted concerned for another unless they wanted something in return. And I really don't like giving. "This place isn't so bad. Daisy May might've made a bad impression on you, but she's really a nice human. That goes for Professor Oak too. He'll take care of you."

I recoiled from the clefairy's attempt to reach out. "I don't care," I hissed. "I'm not staying here-" I felt a sudden urge to yawn. "A-and, you're not going to do..." My eyelids felt heavy as I struggled to complete my sentence. I was swaying on my feet. What was happening to me? "T-to do...anything..."

I trailed off as I felt my body tilt. I fell asleep the second my head hit the pillow.

***

Everything hurt. My head was throbbing, my limbs felt sore, and my stomach felt turned inside out. The fact that I was floating in a dark space certainly was not helping any matters.

They had put me in that stupid ball again. I felt my heart pound against my chest as my breathing began to grow heavy. I felt lightheaded. I didn't know what was happening to me but all I was focused on was the fact that I was in that stupid contraption. It was going to hurt me again, I knew it.

Electricity thrummed throughout my body. My muscles tensed as I let loose a Thundershock.

I watched in horror as it deflected against the walls of nothingness that was this space and dispersed into particles of electricity. I tried again. "Pika...CHU!!!"

Again.

And again.

And again.

And-

I suddenly felt a very unmistakable urge to electrocute someone. Someone, anyone, just to get my stress out. Or more specifically, that stupid girl with her stupid clefairy. I hope she got trapped somewhere she hated one day with no way out. I hope she died there.

The thought that I might die here was one that hadn't crossed my mind yet, but once it did, it refused to leave.

I never really cared to think about the circumstances in which I would die. But I knew the last thing I wanted was to die here, of all places. If I was going to die, I was going to die by my own hands, not by the hands of some idiotic human with a god complex.

I guess that stretches to all humans though.

I took a second to try and gather my thoughts, ignoring my heart hammering in my chest and the blood rushing to my ears. That proved impossible, so I gave up after two seconds and decided to try a Thunder.

Thundershock might not have worked but at least I had Thunder as a backup. It was a powerful move, one that I used to scare off many pokemon in the wild. It helped keep everyone away from me.

"Pi-ka..." I inhaled sharply. Then I felt a strong pull and a bright light fill my vision. Panicked, I finished my attack the second I felt my feet touch...the ground? "CHUUUU!!!"

Screams filled the air and I cracked my eyes open to see the girl, her clefairy, and some random old dude on the ground with electricity crackling all around them.

"I told you Gramps..." the girl groaned as her clefairy began fussing over her. I scowled at him. What a kiss-up. To a human, no less. "That thing has problems."

"I'll show you problems!" I snapped, my cheeks still sparking. I got into a battling position, ready to take them down. If the clefairy was going to fight me, then fine, so be it. I would be glad to hand his backside to him.

The old man massaged his forehead with a sigh. "Yes, I realize that, Daisy May. But unless you'd rather go to Viridian City and catch another pikachu, we're stuck with this one."

The girl muttered something under her breath.

"Now, Daisy May, don't you have other things to do? If I recall, you have to attend a meeting at Mrs. Nathan's bakery with Alex, correct?"

"Oh, right. The thing I had to put off so I could catch some stupid pikachu for you." I gritted my teeth, ready to charge, but was held back by the clefairy. I glared at him to which he simply cast a dry look at me. Oh, how I wanted to punch him! "I'm guessing that means you don't need me for anything else anymore?"

"Yes, Daisy May," the old man sighed. "You can go now. Thank you for your help."

"Yeah, whatever. That pikachu is your problem now." She turned to the clefairy. "Come on, Clefairy, let's go."

"Got it," the clefairy replied and cast one more look towards me before following his trainer outside. Good riddance. I didn't miss him in the slightest.

"Now..." I felt my fur bristled as I realized I still had another problem to deal with. I felt a cold wash over me as the man's gaze met my own. "Pikachu."

I flinched and hissed at the man, my cheeks sparking with warning. He made no movement that seemed threatening, but I didn't really care. He was probably just pretending anyway.

"You don't need to be so alarmed," he said calmly, and I felt an urge to bash my tail in his face. His eyes softened. "No one is going to hurt you here. I'll make sure of that."

"Liar," I hissed, even though I knew he couldn't understand me. He was a human after all. Humans couldn't understand pokemon. They couldn't understand pokemon even if they tried. "You're just going to use me for something, aren't you? Or, even better, I bet the only reason you captured me is for some ulterior motive!"

The old man let out a sigh and pulled a chair out from under his desk. It took me a moment to finally register the fact that we were in fact in what looked to be an office. Or from what I heard about what offices looked like. This was my first time being in one.

I'm not entirely sure why the wild pidgey made offices out to be some sort of sacred place. It looked like nothing special to me. It had papers literally everywhere and books were stacked like it was bricks for a building. Only the building was destroyed by a hurricane and attempted to be built back together by a group of two year olds.

"Perhaps I should introduce myself first. I can't guarantee you'll like me," I smirked at that. Damn right I won't like him. Feed me as much lies as you want, old man. Either way, I'm going to fry your brain into ashes when you're finished. "But at the very least, let me try."

Satisfied with my Plan B, I let a reluctant nod towards him and straightened into a sitting position, staring expectantly.

The man took a deep breath, and began. "First off, my name is Professor Oak. I'm the lead researcher and owner of Oak Laboratories, which is this place right here. It's the only Pokemon Lab in the rural areas of the Kanto region, specifically in Pallet Town. My job is to research and help the understanding of pokemon by helping them and collecting information. Sometimes I catch pokemon from the wild to help with my research." He caught the look on my face and held his hands up in reassurance. "The research itself is nothing more than simple observations from a distance. My research is perfectly safe for all those involved and no one here at the lab is suffering in any way."

That didn't make me feel any better. How was I supposed to trust this man's words? And why was he telling me all this anyway? Did he think I was seriously going to be okay with getting caught by some stupid humans in some stupid ball to be a stupid test subject in some stupid lab?

The man was quiet for a moment and I turned my attention back on him. His eyes were trailing off into the distance and I narrowed my own eyes in response. He seriously wanted me to trust him?

"...However, I would like you to know that you are going to be what some may call a...Starter Pokemon."

My ears perked at that. A Starter Pokemon? What the hell was that? Sounds like something bad, no doubt...

"Being a Starter Pokemon means that on the very first of April, you would be given to a new and budding trainer from Pallet Town-this town-" I wasn't sure why he thought the name of this town needed repeating, but I didn't like it. Did he think I was dumb? Just because I was a pokemon? "And you'll be their partner on their journey. Does that sound good to you?"

I let him know exactly how good that sounded to me in the politest way possible. I smirked at the charred professor on the floor. That'll teach him to mess with me. There was absolutely no way in hell that I would be a Starter Pokemon. I didn't want to have anything to do with humans, let alone travel with one.

The man steadily rose to his feet, using a chair as a crutch. He sighed heavily as he plucked himself down on the chair and looked over me with old and tired eyes. He reminded me of that old bellsprout back in the forest I lived in, always looking like he sees demons flying around every single day. I had asked him about it one time, to which he replied that he did face demons every day. I thought he was being stupid. Even more so when he said that I bore the same haunted look as he.

Yeah, that old man was crazy. So is the one standing in front of me, I realized, as the professor began speaking again. "If it'll make you feel any better..." I snorted. He was still trying to console me? "You won't be alone in the matter. There are three other pokemon who are set to become Starters as well. If you'd come with me for a moment...I could introduce you."

Yeah, no thanks. I gave the man a leveled glare before jumping off of the table and sprinting towards the door. The old man gave out a cry of surprise as he stumbled out of his chair and fell to the floor. I laughed at him. Serves him right.

I pushed the door to open it but was surprised when I fell right back. I clutched my head for a moment. What the hell...?

I noticed a shadow over me and looked up warily to see the tired looking man. He sighed and ran his hand through his gray hair. "We were going to go that way to see the other Starters, anyway. You didn't have to go and hurt yourself."

"I didn't hurt myself!" I snapped. "It's not my fault this stupid door won't open!"

"Please, Pikachu," the man said. "Just come with me to meet the Starters. Please."

I growled at him then faltered when he put his hand on some sort of handle on the door and turned it. The door miraculously opened. I stared as he walked through. How...?

"Do you know how doors work?" I gave the man a look before walking out the room into some sort of hallway with him. "It's a rather genius invention, really..."

I pretended I wasn't listening as the man proceeded to explain the mechanics of a door and its handle. As soon as the man started getting far too technical and used words I didn't understand, I lost interest and tuned him out for real.

My thoughts turned to other things, like how I was going to escape this place. And why I hadn't heard any screams yet. Did this professor just silence the pokemon's screams? With what? Back in the forest, whenever a pokemon's screams were wished to be silenced by another, cotton was often used. Not many pokemon could produce cotton in the wild, so the pokemon often risked going to human populated areas to steal some.

I remembered my own experience with cotton in the wild and shuddered. Cotton didn't just stifle a pokemon's screams, it suffocated them as well. You'd be suffocating all alone and in pure pain just because you did something stupid like wander into some other pokemon's territory. Now that pokemon has complete control over what you did and nobody around could save you because they couldn't even hear you-

I shook my head and swallowed. I felt a lump in my throat. Best not to think about that now...

We walked for a while until we came across another door, which the man opened again. He must've stopped talking a while ago, since he wasn't right now. We walked outside the laboratory, which made me feel like a spec of dust in comparison to its size. Hell, I think even the professor looked like a spec of dust compared to it.

The man continued leading the way further and further away from the lab. We drew close to a forest and I did a double take. Why was he taking me to a forest? I corrected myself immediately when I realized that we weren't actually going inside the forest. We were just walking alongside it.

"How far are these so called Starters anyway...?" I muttered under my breath.

The professor must've guessed that I was feeling impatient, so he replied to my question without even realizing it. "We're almost there, Pikachu, so don't worry. Just a little further and we should reach an outlook...ah. Here we are..."

The man stepped to the side to reveal a cliff ahead. I felt my fur bristle and tensed. I sent off sparks in warning. He was planning on throwing me off, wasn't he?

The man held up his hand in defense as he stumbled backwards in a panic. "Ah, Pikachu, calm down! I just wanted to show you this place first! Please, just look around, I assure you there's nothing to be worried about!"

My cheeks stopped sparking, but I continued to glare at him. I made sure to keep him in the corner of my eyes where I could see him as I turned towards the outlook to view what that old man wanted me to see so damn badly-

My breath caught. The cliff overlooked a huge field below that seemed to stretch on for miles. It wasn't just a field, though, as I noticed the various habitats throughout. A huge lake in one area, a large forest surrounding the field, and dry desert at the very end of it all. But the seemingly impossible clash of different environments all in one place wasn't what stunned me. What shocked me was the pokemon. Everywhere I looked, I saw groups of pokemon in the field. Variations of flying types racing through the air, water types playing in the water, normal and grass types relaxing in the shade, ground and rock types battling it out as other pokemon watched...there seeming to be no harm in the battle itself...

But the thing that shocked me the most was the fact that none of these pokemon, despite presumably being a part of this laboratory...weren't screaming. They were calm. Relaxed. Happy, even.

"See," the man groaned as I continued to stare, at a complete loss for words. "I told you there's nothing to worry about here. You might not trust me, I know, but there are still plenty of pokemon here you can talk to and confirm that I won't harm you."

My eyes hardened and I looked away. I may not trust humans, but that didn't mean I automatically trusted pokemon. For all I knew, these pokemon could be doing something for the humans in exchange for safety and comfort. Something nasty, that's for sure.

The man got to his feet huffing and puffing. "I'm getting way too old for this..." he sighed. He put his hands behind his back and gestured for me to continued following him. I scowled before doing so. I had already decided I hated everything about my current situation, but I couldn't deny I was curious about all of this. Curiosity killed the cat, everyone says, but I often replied with "what type of cat?". I knew for sure that curiosity would kill a meowth, but it wouldn't kill a persian. Maybe I was that lucky persian.

He eventually led me to the bottom of the cliff, where the field of pokemon was. I noticed a trio of pokemon arguing up ahead, near a large rock.

"But I got here first!"

"Like hell, you cheated, Charmander!"

"Oh, put a sock in it, Squirtle. We all know you're just being a sore loser. Charmander wins."

"Thank you Bulbasaur..."

"Screw that! Fight me!"

"No!"

"Yes!"

"No!!!"

"Yes!!!"

The professor groaned as we approached the trio. I openly rolled my eyes at them. The three were bickering like a group of idiots.

"Alright, you three, let's break it up," the professor sighed. The trio paused in their argument before huffing and looking away from each other. "There's no need to argue."

"Whatever..." the squirtle mumbled under its breath. It turned its attention on me and looked me up and down. It raised an eyebrow. "Who the hell is this puny loser?"

I instantly decided I hated this trio of pokemon and wanted nothing to do with them.

Unfortunately, the professor stepped in before I could shock the squirtle and its dumb friends into oblivion. "I would like to introduce you three to someone. I'm sure you know I've been trying to find another Starter for quite some time now."

"Yeah..." the three Starters eyed each other warily before their judging eyes fell on me.

"Well, I'd like you to meet..." the professor stepped to the side and I met the three pokemon's eyes with a glare. "The newest starter, Pikachu. Pikachu, I'd like you to meet Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander, the other Starter pokemon. Now, say hello."

The trio exchanged awkward looks between each other, before the charmander spoke up. "Er...hi."

"Greetings," the bulbasaur waved with its vines.

"Hey," the squirtle said gruffly.

I continued glaring as the trio stared at me expectantly. I didn't really care about them, so I didn't see what they wanted from me, especially since we had just met a few mere seconds ago.

The professor stood awkwardly for a moment before coughing into his hand. "Bulbasaur, do you think you and the other two can help Pikachu around?"

The bulbasaur nodded wearily. "Yeah..."

"Good," the professor said before waving and walking away. "I'll leave you to it then."

There were a few moments of awkward silence before the charmander spoke. "So...you're the new Starter?"

I scoffed. "Hell, no. I'm not staying around here any longer. I said I'd stay until I met you three, which I have. So I'll be taking my leave now." I turned around, ready to bound towards the forest when I felt vines wrap around me. I turned around and scowled at the bulbasaur. "What's wrong with you? Let me go!"

"No," the bulbasaur said calmly, and I gritted my teeth. My cheeks sparked and the bulbasaur quickly rushed its next sentence. "Listen, even if you do run away, you'd still be a caught pokemon and that means you can be found if you stay within the region. IF you wanted to escape, you'd have to destroy your Poke Ball first."

I stopped struggling and looked at the bulbasaur curiously. "Poke Ball?"

The squirtle snorted at my question and I turned my scowl onto it. The charmander interrupted this time. "The round ball that you were captured in. You know, the one that turns you into energy? It's really nice to be in."

"Nice" was nothing but a lie. The Poke Ball, huh...so that was what that strange contraption was called. It wasn't nice to be in at all. It was painful. Every second of it and I wasn't exactly sure why the charmander was lying to me about it.

Still...that thing kept me a caught pokemon? Like hell. I began formulating a plan in my head to try and destroy it. "Yeah, and how would I be able to do that?"

The squirtle shrugged. "I dunno, just blast it til' it breaks? Why do you wanna escape so badly, anyway?"

I glared at it. "You don't?"

The squirtle looked down on me and I scowled. "Yeah, you're definitely a wild pokemon. You've inherited that stupidity they all tend to have." Oh, he was going to regret that...

"Pi-KA!" The Starters yelped and scrambled to escape the wrath of my Thundershock.

"Oh, yeah. You've got a one-track mind, too!" The squirtle shouted at me before he got smacked by one of the bulbasaur's vines.

"Are you nuts? Are you seriously trying to make him mad?"

"It's not my fault the guy's so angry. He needs some love in life."

"I'll show you love..." I hissed before firing off another Thundershock. The bulbasaur and squirtle continued to dodge before I realized something. Where was the charmander?

I let out a sharp gasp as I felt something scratch my side and throw me against the ground. A weight pressed on me, keeping me down. "Sorry," the charmander apologized profusely as I growled at it. It had its claws pressed against my cheek as the bulbasaur held onto the charmander's paw with a vine. Its other vine was inside the ground. I had no idea what that would do until I let loose a Thundershock. The bulbasaur and charmander grunted, but the charge seemed to go through them harmlessly before it dissipated into the ground.

I was surprised by that, then immediately began struggling. "Let me go!" I screamed, thrashing underneath the charmander and bulbasaur's simultaneous hold. "Let me go or I'll fry you so hard you'll fall into a permanent sleep!"

The squirtle let out a lazy whistle as it put its hands behind its head. "Damn. Talk about extreme. Wild as wild can be, I see."

The bulbasaur groaned. "Squirtle, cut it out already. We get it. You have a prejudice against wild pokemon. Now can you be quiet for just five minutes, please?"

I don't know what it was, but the squirtle seemed to shut up after that. The bulbasaur turned its attention on me. "Okay, listen. We know you're frustrated, angry, upset, and probably confused as all hell as to what's going on, but hear us out for a moment. You. Are. Safe. Here." The bulbasaur emphasized every single word like I was an idiot and I growled in retaliation. "This isn't like the wild. Most of the pokemon here are domesticated and have been living that way for their whole lives. Battles between pokemon aren't that uncommon here because it isn't a fight over food or to the death. Most of the time, it's just for fun."

I was about to question the stupidity in that logic but the bulbasaur still wasn't done hearing the sound of its own voice.

"This doesn't mean that fights don't occur naturally, of course, because the humans in the laboratory don't interfere with anything in nature unless someone gets seriously hurt. If someone tried to eat you, for instance, they wouldn't interfere unless they were sure you had no way of getting out of it. You're provided food, you're provided rest, and you can go wherever you want in the laboratory without any real repercussions. Sure, some pokemon might chase you out or some humans will get upset if you mess up some equipment or whatever, but you don't have the constant threat of death here. If you want to still go back into the wild after hearing all that, then that's your problem. But at the very least, try and control your instinctual urges to kill anyone who even looks at you funny."

I glared at the bulbasaur as it released its vines and the charmander stepped off of me. The bulbasaur and charmander began walking in the direction the professor had earlier along with the squirtle. Having said their piece, I suppose they found it suitable to leave. But I guess they remembered they were supposed to be watching over me, because they stopped in their tracks and turned around.

"Right about now, it's lunchtime," the charmander said kindly. "We're heading to the lab where we'll get our food. Unlike the other pokemon, us Starters get the special privilege of eating inside the lab. If you really want reassurance that this place isn't that bad, then come with us to see for yourself."

The three turned around and continued walking, seemingly under the assumption that I would actually follow them.

I mulled in my thoughts. I wanted to escape, but if what the bulbasaur had said about the Poke Ball was true, then I would have to find that thing first and destroy it. And I had no way of doing that unless I stuck around.

Maybe I could stay for just a little while? At least, until I found out where my Poke Ball is?

I debated back in forth in my mind before deciding to take the risk. I watched the thee Starters begin to walk up the cliff on a long slope, before taking a deep breath and going for the plunge. I walked forward and began following them from a distance.

I would stay until I found that stupid Poke Ball. Then I would destroy it, then leave this place for good.

There was no way in hell I would ever let that professor give me to some random dumb human.

No way in hell.
 
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Chapter II: Conception

Jewel the Quaxly

Duckies! :3
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Pronouns
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~Chapter II: Conception~
A week had passed and I still hated this place.

I was also nowhere near close to finding out where the hell that stupid Poke Ball was. I tried to get more answers out of the bulbasaur and the other starters, but they refused to indulge me in such information.

I hated them.

The professor's granddaughter, the same girl who had caught me passed by on occasion, along with her stupid clefairy and her younger brother. I don't remember what his name was, but I did remember that I hated him too. Just as much as I hated the other three starters. Admittedly, it was also largely because he felt like a typical human to me, but also because I just hated his attitude.

He was annoyingly condescending. And it annoyed me even more that he got along well with the squirtle. They were perfect for each other.

"Heh, you like me little guy, don't you?"

The squirtle flashed the spiky haired boy a grin. "Damn right I do. Bet you like me even more." I groaned.

The boy smirked and looked to his sister. "Hey, Daisy May, do you think Gramps'll let me lay claim to this one before April?"

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah, good luck with that." She looked over the rest of us Starters before her eyes eventually settled on me. "I'm surprised that pikachu hasn't run away yet."

"Yeah, you've said that before," the boy said dryly as he picked up the squirtle and began pampering it. The bulbasaur rolled its eyes as the squirtle stuck his tongue out at the charmander, making the latter tear up. What an asshole. Not that I cared about the charmander, but he seemed to be even more of a jerk than that fearow everyone hated back in the forest.

"Well, I thought it deserved repeating." The girl scoffed before looking down at her device, which was called a phone, according to the bulbasaur. It seemed to be quite the know-it-all and took every chance it got to tell me something I didn't know or was confused about. It was annoying. "Anyway, are you ready to go yet? We need to be at Mrs. Nathan's by noon."

"Yeah, yeah," the boy waved her off in annoyance. He set the squirtle down, much to the water type's disappointment. I was gleeful. The sooner the humans would leave, the happier I would be. "Gramps wanted us to take these li'l guys with us, right?"

Wait, what?

"Yeah. I have their Poke Balls with me." The girl replied and my head snapped towards her. I could practically feel the bulbasaur tensing beside me. It was getting ready to grab me with its vines if I stepped out of line. I didn't care. If that girl had that Poke Ball that caught me...

The boy waved a hand. "We don't need to do that." He reached down to pick up the squirtle again. Oh, for the love of Mew, they were growing attached to each other. As if an even more annoying duo could ever be formed. "I want Ashy-boy to know who's gettin' this one here. Squirtle's been claimed, right little guy?"

The squirtle grinned and I tuned out his response. Instant best friends. If there was anything I hated more than Poke Balls, it was the type of pokemon who clicked with others instantly. No effort whatsoever and others instantly love them.

I scowled as the girl shrugged her shoulders. "Suit yourself. It's not like Gramps said they had to be in their Poke Balls, anyway." I cursed the boy for making me lose my chance to find out where that Poke Ball was. Still, I kept my eyes on the girl as we walked outside the lab to the streets, where something called a car was waiting for us. Outside the lab, and I was still trapped. The only thing preventing me from escaping was that girl...

I gritted my teeth and tried to calm my growing frustration. My cheeks began to spark, but I couldn't help it. I've been on edge all week and spending the nights letting out my anger on the trees and terrorizing the forest pokemon. Those nights simply weren't enough, especially since I had to sneak around that stupid clefairy to do it. I couldn't even attack any pokemon for real, since I had no clue what would happen if I disturbed the irritatingly omniscient peace of this place.

We all clamored into the car. The bulbasaur, charmander, and I sat in the backseat while the boy and his new pet squirtle sat in the front. The girl called out her clefairy from a Poke Ball-of course, and instructed it to sit with us. Why? Didn't know, didn't care. What I did care about, however, was the girl reached over and strapping something over me. She strapped that same thing over the other pokemon in the back, but why did she have to do the same for me?

"Oh, hold still," the girl grunted as she struggled to put the object over me. I didn't listen and continued to raise hell, letting loose a Thundershock. She screamed and the clefairy stepped in, using Psychic to hold me in place while she quickly strapped me in the seat. I felt the material dig into my skin and let out a whine. The girl stepped back angrily as the clefairy released his power. "Stupid rodent," she scowled. "Should've put you in your Poke Ball..."

"PiKA!"

She slammed the door in response and stomped to the front seat next to the boy, where a wheel was installed in front of her. I glared holes into the back of her head and tried to pull the strange strap off of me. It was so tight...

"Can't handle one single pikachu?" The boy snickered.

"Shut up, Gary."

The bulbasaur made sure to check on me with its annoying presence again. It explained how a car worked and what the hell was on me, but I tried really hard to pretend I wasn't listening, so it stopped after we had started driving for a while. Apparently, the thing that was suffocating me right now was something called a "seat-belt" and was supposed to keep me "safe". I thought that was ridiculous. Nothing that requires suffocation should have the authority to keep you safe.

I trailed off from my thoughts on the car and the ridiculous nature surrounding human inventions to focus on my previous activity: glaring as many holes into the back of that girl's head as possible. I guess I wasn't too subtle about it, because the girl twitched very five seconds or so. I eventually got the clefairy to send me a reprimanding glare to stop, but didn't care to listen. What was he going to do about it? Use Psychic to turn my head down at the floor?

I shouldn't have thought that because the second I did, he went and did exactly that. I felt humiliated as I couldn't move my head from that one position, looking like a sad pokemon begging for forgiveness to those they wronged...

My cheeks burned and sparked with anger. I glared holes at the car seat instead, to distract myself from the way my neck strained in that one position. It began hurting after a while and I let out a whine. The stupid clefairy must've taken pity on me, because it let go of its hold on me. I immediately turned my head to glare at it but instantly regretted that as I felt my bones snap.

As I nursed my wounded neck, the squirtle began commentating. "You know what that's called? It's called karma. You know what that is, right?" It paused. "Stupid question. Someone like you wouldn't have the slightest clue."

"Oh, shut up, Squirtle." The bulbasaur rolled its eyes and used one of its vines to unbuckle the seat-belt by pressing on a red button on it. It was then that I realized everyone was getting out of the car. "Just try and behave at the party, okay?"

"Yeah, whatever."

I frowned at that. Party?

The girl grumbled as she made her way towards me and unbuckled my seat-belt without my notice. I was startled when she opened the door and motioned me to get out. "Come on now. All of you stick together, okay?"

"Okay," the other Starters intoned. I simply glowered.

The car had stopped in front of this modest looking building with a sign in front of it. The sign had strange looking words on it that looked eerily similar to Syllabus, but I couldn't make heads or tails out of it. I stared hard at the sign, trying to unlock its secrets.

"Mrs. Nathan's Bakery." The bulbasaur's annoying voice made my ears twitch. I glared at it as it approached. "The whole town is here."

I raised an eyebrow. "The entire town?"

"Yeah," it replied. "Professor Oak talked about it yesterday during lunch. Mrs. Ketchum, some human woman the professor knew, and Mrs. Nathan, the owner of this bakery, have been planning this potluck for weeks. It's to celebrate the four trainers setting off on their journeys on the first of April in about a week from now."

My ears twitched. The first of April? Wasn't that the day when the professor was going to hand me and the other Starters off to some random kids? I glowered. That was a week from now. I needed to get that Poke Ball from that girl as fast as I could, or else I would end up stuck with some dumb brat. And that sure as hell was the last thing I wanted.

It got quiet for a moment before sighing and walking away. It seemed that the bulbasaur had given up on me. Good riddance, since I already decided I was sick of it the second we had met.

I looked around to see the girl and the boy-still holding the squirtle, for the love of-walking around the side of the bakery to the back. My ears twitched as I realized there was a loud buzz of celebration coming from the bakery. I hesitated before following them, keeping close as we approached the crowd of humans.

I felt uncomfortable as I noticed a bunch of humans stopping to look at me and whisper. I sneered at them and they looked away. The fact that I was threatening to shock them if they came any closer was probably the other deciding factor that led to them steering clear of me.

The squirtle looked down at me from the boy's arms. "Man, I am not going to miss you when I set off on my journey with this guy."

I stuck my tongue out at him and told him to shut up before following the girl. She had separated from the boy to go talk to someone, who was another girl. That girl's name was Alex, from what I could gather, but I didn't really care for names. She had blue hair and a funny looking haircut with funny looking bangs. It was a far easier way to remember her than "Alex".

I sat quietly and watched over the crowd of humans gloomily. The girl and her funny looking friend continued chatting and nothing they said interested me. Not that I was listening in the first place, but I couldn't help but overhear some things.

"...Jayden told me that her father wouldn't let her set off on the journey, which was why she couldn't fill out the application...oh, so Professor Oak signed it for Gary?"

"...I heard Ash almost forged his mother's signature on those papers...yeah, but she's not as strict as everyone expects her to be."

"My mom, on the other hand...our parents are still overseas...Starters were given two weeks ago then the applications came in..."

My ears perked at the word "Starter" and I suddenly became interested in their conversation. I ignored the girl's clefairy's odd looks, since it was sending me those since the beginning of the conversation and there wasn't anything different now.

"Yeah, so Gramps had to find another Starter pokemon at the last minute since the league messed up. They were supposed to accept only three trainers, but they admitted four instead."

"One's Gary, the other's Ash, then Leaf, then..."

"Ritchie, Mrs. Nathan's daughter? She's the fourth trainer. She was originally going to be put on the wait list, but I guess something happened in the system that set their records back. So her trainers license was made for this year instead of next year."

"Oof. So, one of the four is going to get a last resort, huh?"

"Basically, yeah."

I didn't like being referred to a last resort. They didn't mention me by name, but I knew they were talking about me. I scowled at them until the girl noticed me. A frown graced her features.

She gestured to me and continued speaking to the funny looking girl. "Yeah, this one here is actually the fourth starter I mentioned. The only one that knows about this guy is Gary, so Gramps is trying to find a way to tell the other trainers without sending them into an outcry."

"And they'd be upset, why?" The funny looking girl bent down to scoop me up in her arms and I instantly began squirming. The girl and her clefairy's eyes both widened as the clefairy used Psychic to rescue me out of the funny looking girl's arms before I shocked her. My Thundershock sailed harmlessly in the air, but caused a few people around us to scream.

The clefairy set me down with a stern look and I stuck my tongue out at him. Jerk.

The funny looking girl laughed nervously. "Never mind."

The girl rolled her eyes at me. "Well, aside from this one's attitude, excluding Gary, the other three kids are expecting there to be exactly three starters. Each of them have to choose between a squirtle, bulbasaur, or a charmander-and they might not get the one they want if someone else in the group got it first. Now that we have a pikachu..."

The funny looking girl winced. "Ouch. There's a definite chance of someone not getting which one they wanted. Unless they were all aiming for the same one..."

"That's the thing," the girl sighed and ran a hand through her hair. "Leaf's already hinted at how she wanted Bulbasaur and Ritchie has always gushed about the charmander. Gary's laid claim to the squirtle, but Ash has always fought with Gary over it..."

"Yeah, I can see where this is going. Poor kid's going to be stuck with the last resort, huh?"

"Yeah..."

I frowned then turned to the clefairy. "Who's Ash?" I demanded. I wasn't sure why I asked, it was a spur of the moment thing, but after thinking it through, I realized I really did want to meet this kid. If what they were saying was true, then on the chance I didn't find my Poke Ball in time, I wanted to meet this "Ash" kid. After all, I might be able to get the Poke Ball from this kid instead of the girl after we set out from the lab.

The clefairy eyed me with suspicion. Rightfully so, I suppose, considering I was planning on using the kid for my escape. "He's the son of Mrs. Ketchum. He's over there if you want to see him."

I looked over to where the clefairy pointed and saw a young boy who looked around the age of the boy at the lab. He was playing with a small rattata along with some other girl, who looked younger than he did, under a big tree in the shade.

I hesitated before bounding toward him. I took the clefairy not stopping me as a sign that I was free to do whatever I wanted here, as long as I stayed nearby I suppose. I slowed as I approached, noticing the girl and her rattata turning around to leave. The boy slumped in disappointment at something the girl said before waving goodbye.

I stared. He leaned back against the tree and sighed, closing his eyes as he did so. He seemed to be preparing to take a nap.

I carefully crept toward him and sat next to him, staring awkwardly at his sleeping form. Now what? It wasn't like he could understand me and I wasn't really in the mood for miming what I wanted to say.

...what did I want to say?

I debated back and forth in my mind for a while before the boy twitched. I flinched and stepped back. My mind raced before I decided to turn and run. What was I thinking? I needed to stick with that girl as close as possible and find the location of that Poke Ball out of her. Not some random boy.

I felt eyes on my as I sprinted further and further away from the boy, then stopped. I glanced around, my muscles tensing. When I noticed nobody nearby was spying on me I relaxed, only to turn around and see the boy from a distance.

His eyes were open and he was staring right at me. I shivered as our eyes met and looked away. Something about that kid bothered me, but I couldn't exactly figure out what. I felt something strange in my chest when I met his eyes and I didn't like it. I didn't like it at all.

***

I had spent the rest of the party taking a nap in the shade. The bulbasaur had started to avoid me, thankfully, but the charmander had stopped by a couple times to "check on me" and "see how I was doing".

It took a couple of threats and one actual Thundershock to the chest to get that hing to leave me alone. It cried and complained about me to the bulbasaur, who glared daggers at me from a distance.

Good. I hated them, so they might as well hate me too. Now we didn't have to pretend like we were friends.

When the party was over, we headed back to the laboratory and I stayed as close to the girl as possible. Or at least as close as I could without arousing the clefairy's suspicion. It was almost sundown and everyone was preparing to go to sleep except me. I kept my eyes glued to the girl.

I followed her down into some basement that was lit up with bright lights that blinded me every time I looked at them. She wandered to the center of the room, where a pedestal stood and reached into her back pocket, took out a Poke Ball, and laid it on the pedestal.

I tensed as I realized that this room had shelves of Poke Balls around the room. And right now, she was putting away the Starter's Poke Balls. Including the one that had captured me.

I hid behind some boxes and watched as she finished her task. She let out a loud yawn before turning to the clefairy and telling it to follow her back upstairs to get some shut-eye. The girl and the clefairy walked by me and I had thought I was safe until the clefairy used Psychic. On me. Again.

I bared my teeth at the dry look it sent me. It rolled its eyes and moved me out the room and back up the stairs. "You can let go of me now," I said as we made it back in the room where I slept with the other Starters. "I'm not going to kill you."

The clefairy sighed and set me down on a nearby cushion. It tossed me one last warning look before it followed the girl outside the room and shut the door behind it.

I let out a sigh through my nose and put my head against the cushion. I took notice of the three Starters conversing in the corner of the room, gossiping like the pidgeotto from the forest would whenever someone did something.

It wasn't exactly clear what you had to do to gain the attention of the pidgeotto from the forest, but it wasn't exactly a good thing. The pokemon who did manage to gain that attention ended up with their lives ruined. If you messed up and did something stupid, you'd better hope the pidgeotto didn't find out. If they did, the entire forest would know about your mistake in less than an hour. And that painted a target on your back.

I would know, since I had been one of the lucky pokemon to have been caught by the pidgeotto's radar. It was hell, living in that forest, but I was still luckier than most pokemon who had suffered under the pidgeotto's gossip.

Those pokemon were dead.

My curiosity got the better of me and I strained my ears to listen to what the Starters were saying. It wasn't anything worth listening to, so I tuned them out after a few mere seconds. At least until I heard my name. Then I got interested again.

"...tell him to back off?"

"Just ignore him. That's what I'm doing. I gave up trying to help him out a while ago, especially since he doesn't seem appreciative of me."

"Wow, somebody isn't grateful for your knowledge? You must feel so...insulted."

"Shut up, Squirtle."

"I dunno guys," the charmander spoke this time and I resisted the urge to shock them from where I sat. "Maybe he's just still adjusting?"

"There's adjusting and then there's simply being an asshole. That pikachu is the latter."

"Comes with being a wild pokemon, you know. You saw how that pikachu acted. He was basically savage. The professor probably made the mistake of getting him from the Mountain-side of Viridian Forest. That place is hell, from what I've heard."

I frowned. That was the forest I had came from, true, but how had these morons heard of it?

"Probably got desperate. Or Daisy May was just being herself."

"Bulbasaur, what's so bad about the Mountain-side of Viridian Forest?"

"You haven't heard about it?" The squirtle gaped and my cheeks sparked that time. I shifted my head ever so slightly in the other direction, as not to alert them that I was listening to their every word.

The bulbasaur had ignored the squirtle's rudeness in favor of an explanation. "The Mountain-side of Viridian Forest is populated by incredibly feral pokemon. Feral pokemon are incredibly detached from society, more so than any other wild pokemon. The reason for this is because of this forest's placement..."

"It's near the mountain." The charmander said. "But why's that bad?"

"The bottom of the mountain the be specific. But that mountain is apart of the Mt. Moon range and it has regular rock slides. It's terrain is pretty rough too, so the league closed it off to any trainers. Trainers coming from this area would have to use the only path through Viridian Forest straight to Viridian City. So, the few pokemon that actually lived in the deeper parts of Viridian Forest grew...feral over time. Last I checked, the last time a human went even near Mt. Moon was over fifty years ago."

"You're such a know-it-all," the squirtle scoffed. "So, you think that pikachu might be from that place? Would definitely explain his inability to understand basic stuff like how a door works."

"Wouldn't doubt it. He definitely seems to be feral. It's a term used more nastily than, say, 'wild', which most pokemon don't mind being called. Feral, on the other hand...it's a term held with disdain and is avoided like the plague. Call a pokemon a Feral and you're inviting yourself to a beating."

"That...sounds pretty bad." The charmander's voice was strained. "So...'Feral' is like a bad word to pokemon?"

"Pretty much, yeah." The bulbasaur sighed. "It's pretty nasty. Especially when you consider how some pokemon are treated by humans, and how they used to be treated in old times. That's where the term 'feral' was first coined. When humans used to enslave pokemon in the olden times, pokemon weren't known as pokemon. We were called Feral."

I had never heard the word 'feral' before and felt insulted that they were referring to me as such. My fur bristled and my cheeks sparked one last time. I was done listening to their smack-talk. If they wanted a fight, they're getting one.

I stood up to my feet and growled, turning my glare onto them. The three Starters jumped and backed away from me warily. They exchanged fearful glances between each other. Good. They were scared. They were supposed to be, given what I was about to do to them.

"Pi-KA-CHUUU!!!" I let out a Thunder that engulfed the room in a bright light. The other three Starters let out screams as my electricity danced around the room and bounced off of various objects. I heard glass shatter as the window broke, letting my electricity to fry the grass outside.

"Would you cut it out, you psychopath?!" The squirtle screamed as he ducked behind a table. I narrowed my eyes and increased my output, making my range go further towards the outside.

"STOP IT!!!" The charmander sobbed. I paid no heed and continued increasing my output, further and further until I felt light-headed. The amount of electricity I was throwing around was backfiring on me, but I couldn't stop, even if I tried. And I didn't know why.

So I continued. I ignored the screaming and begging of the other Starters. I blocked out their pleading. I blocked out the slamming on the door from the professor and the girl, demanding the door be opened. I ignored the clefairy's attempt to calm me down. I just continued to let out my anger and frustration until something broke.

My electricity fizzled out. I couldn't see a damn thing, because my vision was blurry. Everything I saw meshed together and the colors were all dulled browns and grays. I heard noise, but didn't understand where they were coming from. Was someone speaking to me?

Then one sound filled my ears, loud and clear. There was no way that whoever else was in the room with me hadn't heard it, that was for sure. It was deafening. It was a thunderclap. That meant one thing.

My hearing came back for one brief second as all the blood rushed to my head and I began tilting.

"-a storm is coming!"

That was the last thing I heard before I hit the ground and blacked out.
 
Chapter III: Confinement

Jewel the Quaxly

Duckies! :3
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~Chapter III: Confinement~

My head was pounding. I awoke to see the clefairy tapping against the table with its claws in a bored manner, the other Starters huddled together watching it on the other side. The girl sat on a chair next to said table, with her head in her hand as she looked at her phone, seemingly doing something on it. The boy was flipping through what I believe was called a magazine next to her, with a sullen look on his face.

The professor was nowhere in sight.

My muscles felt sore and hurt every time I moved. I noticed something digging into my back and tried to strain my neck to see what it was. My eyes widened when I realized that I was strapped to the table with those seat-belts from the car. "PIKA!" I began struggling frantically, catching the attention of everyone sitting at the other table.

The Starters cowered behind the clefairy, who looked over me with contempt. The girl and boy bore the same looks and I screamed at them. "Let me go! Let me go right now! Or else I'll-"

The boy groaned. "Can you get that stupid thing under control already?"

The girl sighed. "I tried. Believe me. But Clefairy seemed really against me putting it into its Poke Ball for some reason."

My ears twitched at that and I shot a heated glare toward the stupid pink fairy. It simply shrugged at me and turned back to its trainer, who was looking down at it with a funny look.

"So, I did the next best thing I could think of."

"Tying it to a table with seat-belts?" The boy snorted. "That's the best thing you could think of? Where did you even get those seat-belts, anyway?"

"From the basement. Gramps has a whole box filled with 'em."

"Why does Gramps have...?" He shook his head. "Oh, forget it. I don't want to know."

Right at that moment, the professor rushed into the room, running a hand through his hair. He began talking without prompt, addressing the boy and the girl. "Good, you're both here. I need you to stay here while I go run a systems check in the power room. The storm is getting pretty bad really fast, so I need to make sure we won't run the risk of starting a power outage in the town."

"You don't want me to come with you, Gramps?"

"You need to stay here and watch Gary," the professor told the girl sternly. "And the other Starters-" he blinked then narrowed his eyes at the girl. "Daisy May."

"What?" She huffed.

"Why in the world is Pikachu strapped to the table with seat-belts?!"

"Why do you even have seat-belts...?" Gary muttered under his breath.

I stared expectantly at the girl. I couldn't help but smile in pleasure as she squirmed uncomfortably under the professor's gaze. Serves her right.

The professor let out a sigh after she refused to give a response. He ran a hand through his hair. He did that a lot, I noticed. It was yet another stupid thing that he did on a regular basis that pissed me off. I didn't know why it pissed me off, but it did. "Well, go to the basement and get the Starters' Poke Balls. I don't care whether or not your clefairy isn't letting you get them. We're not strapping innocent pokemon to a table."

"Yes, Gramps..." The girl muttered and trudged outside the room. The professor ordered the boy to watch us as he left the room as well, with nary a complaint from the boy. I, meanwhile, continued struggling against my confines. I ignored the whispers of the Starters about how I didn't deserve to be called an "innocent" pokemon and how I deserved to be tied down to the table like the savage beast that I was-

My cheeks sparks and burned with humiliation. I willed them to shut up with my mind. But it didn't work because they just kept on chatting. I hoped they talked until their voices went dry and set on fire. I hoped that their bodies would explode into a million pieces and be put back together again in the form of an ugly statue for everyone to gawk at. I hoped they got their limbs cut off and used for soup. I hoped the spearow used their corpses to clean their beaks. I hoped they fell in a hole and was buried alive. I hoped they-

A loud thunderclap violently snapped me out of my thoughts. The Starters finally shut up and the boy walked towards the window. He frowned as he closed the shutters, dimming the few lights in the room even further. He muttered something to himself under his breath before going to the phone hung on the wall next to what I remember was called a fridge. I wondered what kind of rodent pokemon the professor kept in there. Maybe I knew one of them. I knew that one of the members of the rattata tribe in the forest had gone missing quite some time ago. He had been marked off as dead, but maybe he was stuck in a fridge this whole time?

I couldn't help but pity him.

"Come on, come on..." the boy muttered under his breath as he tapped his foot impatiently. "Damn it, Ash..."

Ash. That boy from earlier. The one I was going to speak to in the shade. I had chickened out, but I still remembered his gaze following me when I ran away. His gaze...I still couldn't shake the feeling that there was something that just wasn't quite right about that boy. Something...

"Argh!" The boy slammed the phone in frustration before picking it up again and pressing some more buttons on it. "Please tell me you're available, Leaf..." He held the phone to his ear and looked more and more distressed as seconds ticked by. The squirtle crept toward him and placed a comforting paw on the boy's hand. He let out an exasperated sigh and pressed some more buttons. "Of course, she's not answering either...Ritchie, come on..."

There were a few seconds of oddly tense silence before I heard a faint click through the phone. The boy let out a sigh of relief. "Ritchie. Thought you'd never pick up..."

I could only hear one side of the conversation, but the side I heard wasn't very interesting anyway, so I focused my attention on the outside. The shutters were mostly closed, but I could see a little through the cracks. The sky was completely dark and there was rain pouring down from the sky. Wind blew objects and nature around everywhere, and there wasn't a human or pokemon in sight.

It was desolate.

The girl had finally entered the room and I glared at her as she approached me, a Poke Ball in hand. "You step any closer to me with that thing and I swear I'll..." I growled and let the sparking of my cheeks continue the threat. Of course, only her clefairy would understand what I was saying and there was no way in hell it would translate. Instead it used that dumb move it loved to use on me so much and held me in one place as the girl took off the straps. She pressed a button on the Poke Ball and it shrunk, startling me so badly I actually stopped squirming.

"You can stay out of your Poke Ball, but only if you behave." She said. I let out a low growl from the back of my throat. "But if you attack any one of us in here or damage anything in sight, into the ball you go. And there you'll stay until the first of April. Understand?"

I glared. At least I knew where the ball was going to be put next time. As soon as everyone turned their backs, I would take that thing and shock it until it exploded. With that plan in mind, I let out a reluctant nod and the clefairy let go of me gently on the couch.

The girl sighed and walked toward the kitchen, where the boy was still talking through the phone. "Who's that?"

The boy glanced at her, "Ritchie. I wanted to check on her since Ash and Leaf weren't picking up...wait, Ritchie, Ash called you, seriously?" He groaned. I found another reason why I gave up following that conversation. It was endlessly confusing. It was as if he were speaking to multiple different people at once, but he was the only person who could understand what they were saying and who was saying it. "Damn him..."

With no way to sneak out of the room without the others catching me, I decided to curl up on the couch and take a nap. If we were going to be stuck here, I might as well get some rest.

***

When I woke up, the first thing I noticed was the low buzz of conversation coming from the kitchen. The second thing I noticed was that I had fallen off the couch and onto the floor into an awkward position. I groaned as I set myself upright and shook myself out. I heard rain pattering down hard on the roof and jumped back on the couch to peek through the window's shutters. The clouds were darker, the wind was more extreme, and I noticed a couple trees had fallen over in the distance. The storm had gotten worse.

I slowly crept toward the kitchen and hid behind a couch, listening carefully. Nobody was in this area, so maybe I would be able to take my chance to sneak out? I was counting on the girl having put the Poke Balls back in the basement, true, but there was no way she would keep them on here. She didn't need to. The Starters didn't do anything to get put in their balls and I was asleep the whole time.

After a few moments of listening to the various conversation happening, I smiled and took my chance. They were distracted. I sneaked around the side of the couch and carefully crept through the small crack in the door. I froze when it made a creaking noise and frantically turned my head toward the kitchen table. I let out a sigh of relief when I realized nobody had noticed the sound. Without a second to wait, I swiftly exited the room and ran down the hallway, making sure to keep my steps as light as possible.

I made a few turns before hitting a few dead ends here and there. I let out a growl from the back of my throat as I realized I had gotten lost. I wandered around for a while longer, before I recognized the area where the basement was. I gleefully trotted over to the door before stopping.

...how did you open a door again?

It took me a few moments before I remembered to reach for the handle. It was far too high for me to reach so I climbed onto a nearby desk and measured the jumping distance from it to the door. I jumped and snatched onto the handle, pulling it down and resisted the urge to cheer when the door swung open.

I dropped to the ground and began bounding down the stairs. It was dark, but not dark enough that I couldn't see, thankfully. I began scanning the shelves, trying to find that Poke Ball...

Wasn't it on a pedestal? I ran to the center of the room and let out a cry of relief to see not three but four Poke Balls sitting on a pedestal. One of them was the one that captured me. I looked between them and just decided to grab one, not entirely sure what I would do with it, but it was something.

I recoiled immediately when my paw stopped inches away from the balls. "What the-"

I began pounding on what seemed like an invisible force field around the Poke Balls. Why couldn't I grab them? What was-

Oh.

"It's glass, you moron." I whipped my head around and fired a Thundershock on reflex. There was a yelp and a crash before a bunch of boxes filled with various items came tumbling down. I frowned in annoyance when I saw three very familiar pokemon.

"Get out," I told them. "I really don't feel like dealing with you right now. How did you get in here anyway?"

The bulbasaur raised its vines with a dry look. "I would've used my vines to open the latch, but luckily you made it easier on us."

At my questioning look, the charmander sheepishly spoke up. "You left the door wide open..."

I huffed and crossed my arms. "So, you just decided to invite yourselves in?"

The bulbasaur scowled at me. "What, you didn't? What the hell are you doing in here? You better not be trying anything stupid."

"That's none of your business, now is it?" I snapped.

The squirtle sent an incredulous look toward the bulbasaur. "Did you mean that in a rhetorical way or..."

"Rhetorical, you dimwit. I can tell he's planning on destroying his Poke Ball."

"Then why'd you ask?" I asked, impatience filling my tone. This was getting ridiculous. The way things were going, I was never going to get my chance to escape. "And what do you care if I destroy that stupid thing. It's not like it'll effect you in any way."

"No, but your one-track mind might lead you to accidentally destroy one of our Poke Balls. Do you even know which one is yours?"

I glared at the squirtle and felt my cheeks spark briefly. "I can smell them, you stupid, idiotic, hare-brained moron."

The squirtle narrowed its eyes at me. "Oh, you're going to regret that..."

"Make me," I taunted gleefully. "Or are you too scared?"

"Okay, both of you, cut it out." The bulbasaur snapped. It turned to the charmander, who had been standing there quietly the entire time, looking largely uncertain as to what it should do. "Charmander, can you go and get Professor Oak or Daisy May to come down here before things get ugly?"

"Sure," the charmander replied and quickly hurried to the door. I instantly turned on it.

"Oh, no you don't!" I screamed and let loose a Thundershock, making the charmander scream and fall. As the bulbasaur and squirtle checked on their friend, I sprinted to the door and slammed it closed, then turned back to the Starters.

The exchanged fearful glances and I felt immense satisfaction that I was the one causing them discomfort. "Nice try."

"Look, we don't want any trouble." The charmander pleaded. "We just wanted to see where you were going-"

"I don't care!" I shouted. "I'm destroying those damn Poke Balls and you're not going to stop me!"

I readied a Thunder, but was cut off by the ground rumbling. I faltered as loud cracking noises filled the air and items all over the room began falling off of the shelves. Balls rolled on the floor and we all exchanged glances, uncertain as to what our next move would be.

"What's going on?" The squirtle asked, then yelped in surprise. It pointed fearfully toward the back of the room. "G-guys...what the hell is that???"

We all turned to see what it was so afraid of, then recoiled. Large white cracks seemed to appear in mid-air throughout the back of the room, surrounding a large ethereal looking hole. Wind started swirling around the room and I felt a gravitational pull toward the hole. Panicked, I latched onto a nearby shelf as the other Starters did the same.

"What the hell is that?!" The squirtle repeated, screeching in order to be heard over the loud gusts of wind.

"How am I supposed to know?" The bulbasaur snapped, gritting its teeth as it held on to the shelf with its vines. The charmander let out a yell as its paws slipped. Thinking fast, the bulbasaur used its vines to latch onto the charmander's paws and both pokemon let out a sigh of relief.

But it was only a brief moment of relapse, as a loud screeching sound filled the air. I let out a cry as the sound pierced my ears, and unwillingly let go of the shelf. I screamed as I was thrust toward the hole. The shouts of the Starters melded with the sound of the wind and I couldn't concentrate-

Then I couldn't hear anything at all. "What the-" I muttered, my heart still beating wildly. I had been stopped in my tracks mid-air and was caught in something. Something squishy. And slimy. I shuddered and turned around.

I wished I hadn't.

That thing let out a loud screeching noise. I heard a Thunderclap in the distance outside and banging on the basement door above. The Starters were screaming and the wind gusts were still hurting my ears. Everything hurt and meshed together like a bunch of berries.

I unwillingly let out a whimper as I realized whatever that thing was wouldn't let me go. It was white, almost transparent, and felt like jelly. It had large translucent tentacles too. It was glowing almost unnaturally and I could practically see its insides. Whatever it was, it definitely wasn't a pokemon. And it had me in its clutches.

I noticed that the wind was starting to die down and it became a lot easier to tell what was going on. The thing-beast-whatever it was let out another screech, as if that was the only way it knew how to speak and began to squeeze me. No, suffocate me.

Memories flashed through my mind and I began panicking. This was so much worse than those other times. Whatever this thing was, it suffocating me was so much worse than the cotton. So much worse than the Poke Ball. So much worse than the seat-belts...

When that things's tentacles began surrounding me further, I had a realization that made my heart stop. It wasn't just suffocating me. It was absorbing me. I couldn't hold it in anymore and let out a scream, moments before the being had engulfed me entirely.

I began struggling, desperately trying to latch onto air. I couldn't breathe inside of this thing, whatever it was, and being inside it hurt. My body felt like there were thousands of pins and needles being inserted into it mercilessly and my head felt like someone was cutting it open and squeezing my brain. It was hell in the truest sense of the word.

My screams began to die out as I felt the loss of air get to me. I felt tears blur my vision. I hated this. I hated this so much. It hurt and I hated it.

I hated it even more when the whispering began. It was small, subtle, and I couldn't hear it at all at first. But then it grew in volume until it felt as if someone were screaming in my ear. The prickling sensation I felt all over my body intensified as well.

My head felt like it was going to explode. The stupid whispers coming from what I presumed to be the beast that held me captive were making it even worse.

"Listen..."

I groaned as the edges of my vision began to blacken. I was going to die, wasn't I?

"Listen..."

I remembered arguments between pokemon in the forest that occurred over differing beliefs as to what would happen once you died. Some believed you would turn to dust, others believed you would be reincarnated as a human in another world, and others believed there was an after-life for the dead made by Arceus. That had unbelievably sparked a stupid debate that never seemed to end, with pokemon going back and forth about it for weeks. I thought it was stupid, and stayed out of the crossfire. I was especially satisfied with my decision to stay out of matters when the debate had finally been brought to an end. Apparently, the arguments had been taken too far and a pokemon had actually died.

The only reason that hadn't erupted yet another war between pokemon was because it was an old rattata who was already nearing his death-bed. He was also known to be crazy, even more so than the old bellsprout, so many of the rattata colony stayed clear of him. No consequences there.

I supposed there would also be no consequences if I died here, as well. There was no one I felt any particular attachment to in this world and I sure as hell doubted anyone would miss me if I died. Nobody would miss someone they didn't like.

"Listen to me..."

I had to admit, I was curious in seeing who was right. Who knew, maybe my next life would be just as crappy as this one. Either way, I wouldn't know until I took the plunge.

"Stop fighting it..."

It would be so easy...

"...stupid child."

I blinked and choked as I felt myself able to breathe again. I panted and flailed about inside the beast. I couldn't see outside of it, because its insides were blackened for some reason. It was allowing me to breathe, but still kept me captive. Why?

"Listen to me..." Just because I was able to breathe again didn't stop the sharp stabbing I felt all over my body, however, and I gasped sharply as the pain hit me full force. I felt nauseous and my head...oh, my head... "Listen closely..."

"Alright, I'm listening, I'm listening!" I screamed, desperately wishing for the pain to stop. I squirmed and convulsed in one position. Why couldn't that stupid creature just let me die? "Stop it already you stupid-!"

"...you are one filled with hate, aren't you, child?"

"Shut up!" I spat, but couldn't deny its words. "Let me go already!"

"You wish for the pain to stop, yes? Then listen..."

"I said I was listening!" I screamed and arched my back. "Now stop hurting me already!"

"The pain will stop once you hear my message...so listen carefully..."

I was going to shove that stupid creature's "listen carefully" in its face-wherever that was-if it didn't stop playing games with me.

The creature must've had enough of me, because it wrapped a tentacle around my mouth and muffled my cries, forcing me to remain still. How it managed to stick its tentacle inside of its body, I didn't know. I honestly didn't even want to know.

"You have a lot of hate within you...I shall ensure you use that hate wisely...all for the purpose of a better world. One without the creatures who plague this planet with their nastiness and terror. One where everyone is united and organized. One where nobody has to bear the pain of suffering alone. You...shall be our first step into creating that future, young child."

My eyes widened as I let out an involuntary whimper. I had no clue what that thing was talking about and it chilled me to the bone. I hated humans, yes, but what was this thing ranting on about with creating a new world?

"You shall help us...you may not realize it now, but you are essential to our survival, young child...help us..."

I began to struggle more and more as the creature continued speaking into my brain. My cries grew louder, despite still muffled, as I felt a stabbing all over my body. I thought that stupid thing would stop hurting me if I listened to its stupid speech!

"...remember...you don't belong here...you never have..."

I froze. I wasn't entirely sure what to make of that. I knew it was true, which was why I had always hated everyone I ever met, and why I had others hating me in return, but...

But...

"...no one here loves you. No one here likes you. No one here would miss you if you disappeared...even you yourself admit to all of these things, yes?"

I let out a weak whimper and felt my body go numb. Whatever the creature was doing to me was making me unresponsive, and I hated it...

"...but we will. Remember, child. Remember always..."

I felt myself start to slip into unconsciousness as the creature spoke its final words.

"...remember that you are one of us..."

The creature let me go and my eyes snapped open upon reflex.

Then I let out a long and blood-curdling scream before I finally passed out into a deep dark oblivion. I begged myself, for all love and war, to please just let me stay that way...and for me to never wake up again.
 
Chapter IV: Destiny

Jewel the Quaxly

Duckies! :3
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~Chapter IV: Destiny~

The storm had sporadically continued throughout the rest of the week. It wasn't really much of a storm, anymore, but there was certainly a lot of rain. Either way, it didn't stop any of the preparations for April 1st, when the four trainers from Pallet would receive their starters.

One of which happened to be me.

I honestly had stopped caring about my situation some time ago. There was just no point. Especially when everyone I saw gave me a headache. I wasn't exaggerating, much to my surprise. Every time I saw someone, I immediately felt like that someone was splitting my head open and poking around in my brain. Much like how I felt inside of that thing...only it was ten times worse because I felt it all the time.

Maybe being ended up saddled with a trainer would help me feel less miserable and more angry again. I hated feeling helpless and I hated feeling exhausted. I was far too tired to fight anyone and my frustration was building fast.

It wasn't just me, I guess, since during breakfast, the charmander had suddenly burst into tears and started ranting about how anxious and nervous they were. The bulbasaur and squirtle were both pretty distraught too, but I didn't know why, nor did I care to know. The girl, the clefairy, and the professor had all fussed over the three Starters and soothed them while I watched from a distance.

How pathetic were they? They were seriously this upset over having a meeting with some random kid? At least they hadn't been trapped inside a tentacle monster to be tortured for-

I shuddered and tried to focus on eating my food. I gave up after the first bite and instead pushed the food around in my bowl. It was dry and tasteless. Did humans seriously expect pokemon to eat this?

Try as I might, my thoughts couldn't help revert back to the events that occurred the night of the storm.

The professor and the girl managed to break down the door mere moments after I had passed out. The details I heard from the Starters in the aftermath were really vague, but from what I gathered, they had hidden behind a fallen shelf throughout the entire time I was suffering inside of it. Once it released me, the hole in the air had magically re-appeared and the creature went through it, vanishing along with the hole itself. That was the moment the professor and the girl barged in and saw the chaos.

I refused to talk to anyone after the incident, my thoughts running like a ponyta being chased by a rampaging fearow-which I'd actually seen before, by the way. I mostly kept to myself in the days that followed.

Today was the big day. At least, the day before the big day, so preparations were in full swing. The professor drilled us on how to behave once we met the trainers and reviewed the importance of being a starter and how every pokemon in the trainer's party would be counting on you, blah, blah, blah...I swore, the old man loved hearing the sound of his own voice more than the bulbasaur did.

Speaking of the bulbasaur, it finally expressed its feelings toward me right after breakfast. I supposed my judgmental stares in regards to the charmander's breakdown had gotten to it. So, it finally let out all its anger by screaming what it thought of me and whatnot.

I had simply tuned it out, especially when the squirtle started to join in. I wanted to knock that turtle on its shell and shock it till it died. Those two didn't help my endless headache and in fact made it feel even worse, so I gave up trying to fend them off and instead walked away. Of course, not before I let them know that the next time they went near me would be their last.

They must've taken my threat seriously, because they started pretending I didn't even exist afterward. Good for them, I suppose, but they seriously had to wait til last minute to leave me alone?

The rest of the day went without incident and thankfully everyone decided to avoid me. At least until after dinner.

"Come on Pikachu, it's only for a little while-" The professor pleaded, Poke Ball in hand, but I paid no heed. There was no way in hell I was being put back inside that...that thing.

"Like hell!" I hissed. "You step any closer to me with that damn ball and I'll fry your brain cells!"

"Gramps, couldn't we just leave the Starters outside of their Poke Balls?" The girl asked.

The professor sighed and straightened up. "I'm afraid I can't do that. I'm breaking enough rules as it is with this pikachu."

The girl narrowed her eyes, just like how I narrowed mine. What the hell was that supposed to mean? And why was there a rule forcing pokemon into Poke Balls? I shook my head and scowled. Typical humans and their typical power trip, as always.

"Well, what's one more?" The girl's voice sounded odd to me. She was speaking very carefully, almost on guard. She cast a dark look toward the professor. "Unless we're going to use force."

My ears twitched and I immediately got on the defensive. "Like hell!" I snarled. The girl and the professor entered a staring contest, seemingly having a conversation with their minds. Then, without even me even realizing it, the girl whipped around and threw a Poke Ball. I jumped back in reflex then gaped when the clefairy popped out of it.

It raised its hands in the air, about to use Psychic, but I wasn't going to get trapped this time. "Oh no, you don't!" I charged up a Thundershock and zapped the startled clefairy before it could do anything.

"Oh dear..." The professor muttered from behind me. My ears twitched, but my attention was focused on the girl. She was the one picking a fight with me, after all.

The clefairy got to its feet and vanished in thin air. I looked around frantically before I felt something smash into my side. Hard.

I was thrown against the wall and bounced back, my headache getting about a million times worse. "Dammit..." I hissed as I struggled to get to my feet.

The girl and her clefairy cornered me. "Clefairy, you know what to do."

The clefairy raised his hands and started rocking them back and forth in the air, forming purple and green balls of energy around it. I stared in confusion before it directed its attack toward me and I gasped as those balls of energy began to circle me.

What-

Seconds later, the energy balls dispersed, and I was hit by the residues of its energy. Suddenly, I felt a wave of sleepiness hit me. As disorientated as I felt, though, I hissed at the clefairy as I began to sway on my feet. "I hate you."

"I know."

Then I collapsed on the floor and felt a Poke Ball hitting me before I blacked out. Again.

***

When I found out who invented the Poke Ball, I was going to have a serious talk with them.

Of course, by "talk", I meant I was going to shock them until I drove them off a cliff, because by all rights they deserved it. Humans truly were despicable creatures. Worse than that fearow back in the forest.

I almost laughed at my treacherous thought of referring to that fearow as "that fearow" in the first place. If I had said that aloud back in the forest, I would've definitely gotten maimed to death. Again.

I shuddered as my mind unwillingly went back to that time. The fearow ruled the entire forest with his mere presence. Everyone hated him, because he made their lives hell. I hated him too, especially since I had an encounter with him on one fateful day.

I learned three things about that fearow from that day. One-out of three of the fearow's sons, only the two oldest sons were birthed from the same mother. Two-the youngest son had run away from him. Rightfully so, in my opinion, especially as I happened to be there when he did. I was one of the few unwilling witnesses to an incredibly personal fight between father and son, much to my continuous misfortune. This led to the third thing I learned about the fearow. He had an endless stash of cotton.

I was one of the lucky ones and everyone knew it. It wasn't long before the pidgey line had found out about the runaway son, even though I had no clue as to how. The fearow had gone on a complete rampage after that, killing anyone who even dared to utter a word about the incident afterward. When things had completely quieted down in the forest, he turned his attention to internal affairs.

To those who were present when his son had ran away.

I wasn't sure why the fearow cared so damn much. His son cut ties with him, so what? It happened all the time. Family members go missing, get killed, get captured by other pokemon, get exiled by their own family for doing something dumb...but for some reason, this fearow had to throw a tantrum over his youngest son leaving.

I was the last pokemon the fearow had turned his anger on, but I had gotten extremely lucky. He found the one who leaked the information to the pidgey line moments before he had gotten to me. So, I was let off fairly easy after staying in the fearow's territory for a week.

Unintentionally, I let out a shudder as the memories of that week flashed by in my brain. It was fine, everything was fine, nothing particularly bad had happened to me, but still...I was sure that experience drove me to the verge of insanity.

"You shall help us...you may not realize it now, but you are essential to our survival, young child...help us..."

I squeezed my eyes tight. The things said by the beast shook me more than I would've liked to admit. What the hell was it even talking about anyway? The things it was saying...I shuddered. I didn't want to think about the implications.

Did I just get myself wrapped into something else? Worse than when I got wrapped into the fearow's drama? If that was the case, then...I wasn't sure how to react. I might've been better off with that creature killing me. I was preparing myself for it, even, but it didn't go for the kill.

I couldn't decide which was stranger, the words of that beast or the situation itself. It came out of a hole that appeared out of nowhere in the air...and its first instinct was to...

"The pain will stop once you hear my message...so listen carefully..."

Message. That's what the creature wanted, right? It wanted to send me a message...but why me? Why did it seem like it was speaking to me specifically?

I didn't know. Thinking about it made my head hurt, so I tried to distract myself. This was hard. Especially since there was absolutely nothing to do in this stupid Poke Ball. Seriously, how did nobody ever complain about this? This is supposed to be relaxing?

Since I couldn't think of anything to distract me, I tried to get some sleep. There was no rest for me in this place, but at the very least I could try. I did so and soon enough I fell into a restless sleep.

***

When I awoke, I was still in the stupid ball. I blinked the grogginess out of my eyes, curing this stupid contraption with every word I could possibly come up with. I don't think it would understand my meaning, since it was made by humans, but it made me feel better.

My head was still pounding, so this Poke Ball did absolutely nothing to help alleviate that.

Of course, my growing hatred toward the Poke Ball made me feel all the more relieved when I was finally let out of a it. I let out a sigh of relief and blinked to allow my eyes to adjust to the bright light. There was a boy standing in front of me, but not the one I had gotten used to seeing on a daily basis.

Hey, wait a minute, he looks like-

"It's so cute!"

I was wrapped in a tight hug a mere second later. My eyes blinked as my brain tried to process what the hell was going on. My mind was numb. My headache had stopped for some reason, which was bizarre, but it just added to my furthering confusion. Then I decided my next course of action when I connected a small piece of the puzzle: human, boy, holding, me.

"PI-KA-CHUUU!!!"

I jumped out of the boy's arms with a tightened brow and shot the professor a glare, who was coughing awkwardly into his hand.

That's right. Today was April 1st. I glanced at the smoking and groaning ten year old boy on the ground, the same one I tried to talk to at the party, and let out a sigh. That's what happens when you decide to cut your plans of escape for no real reason other than your stupid fears.

Then again...I looked back at the boy, who was now arguing with the professor over why the latter hadn't told him beforehand to watch out or that the other Starters were gone. I blinked. The other Starters were gone? Good riddance. I hoped they had safe travels and got eaten once they arrived to town.

I heard some humans liked pokemon chopped up before boiled. Maybe the opposite held true for whatever town they ended up at. I hope the squirtle got boiled first.

"Well, in any case, I'm sure you know what to do now, yes?" I turned my attention to the conversation between the professor and the boy. The former handed the boy a Poke Ball with a small lightning bolt mark on it. I blinked. I hadn't noticed that before. Was that mine?

...oh hell no. Did that mean that I had been searching for the wrong Poke Ball this whole time? I cursed myself for my stupidity and pouted as the humans continued their conversation over me.

"Of course I do!" The boy replied triumphantly. "This little guy may not like me now, but soon enough we'll become best friends!" So, I was stuck with an idealist. That was new. "Right Pikachu?"

I snorted and tossed my head at him. "Good luck with that."

The boy awkwardly laughed. He held out the Poke Ball with the lightning ball to me and I twitched. Don't tell me he was already going to put me back into that stupid thing...

"Well, we should probably get started on our journey...so, get in the ball, Pikachu!"

He was oddly cheerful for someone so demanding. I let him know of this by shocking him. He stood there in a daze before stumbling backward. The professor quickly caught him and helped him to his feet.

"I should let you know," the professor grimaced. "This pikachu...doesn't like Poke Balls very much."

"...it doesn't? Huh. That's unexpected."

"I did tell you there was a problem with this one..." I glared at the professor. How dare he! If anything, the one with the problem was with him, the stupid lazy psychopath!

"That's fine!" The boy said quickly, and I raised an eyebrow. "Hey, who oversleeps on important days like this one? There must be a problem with me too, then!"

That was...unexpected. Did he seriously think he could sympathize with me? I eyed him, drilling holes into the back of his head. He seemed to pick up on it, judging by the way he chuckled nervously in my direction. Even more unexpected. What was the boy's name again...?

"Well, then, I suppose you'd better get going. And perhaps you'd better first get a change of clothes..."

"Ah!" The boy looked down at himself in embarrassment. I was confused. What was wrong with his attire? Humans are so weird... "Yeah, you're right...well, best get going...bye professor!"

The boy ran out the room. I blinked and looked at the professor. This was going by way too fast. Was I expected to follow him? Judging by the look on the professor's face, I did. I let out a resigned sigh and ran after that boy. It was just one headache after another this week...

There was a crowd when I caught up with the boy outside the laboratory. I twitched. Great. More humans.

I watched in amusement as a woman began piling stuff onto the boy's hands, including what looked to be a change of clothes, which he apparently needed. "Don't forget that you need to look for the North Star if you get lost, follow moth on trees in rocks if you get lost, don't get lost at all and stay on the path-oh, and make sure all of the pokemon you catch are kept safely in their Poke Balls, as well as keeping berries on hand if you get hurt by any of them-" her eyes fell on me and I involuntarily flinched. This woman freaked me out. "Oh! Is this your Starter pokemon? It doesn't look like a squirtle. Or a bulbasaur. Or a charmander."

"Yeah, there was none left...so I got this one instead."

Their eyes fell on me and I scowled.

"Why isn't it in it's Poke Ball?"

"It doesn't like them."

"Really?" The woman raised any eyebrow. "Huh. That's kind of...weird."

It was getting a little grating to be talked about as if I weren't right there, so I let the humans know how I felt about their words. "PikaCHUUU!"

I smirked as the entire crowd of humans fell to the ground, sparking from head to toe.

"Urgh...hey, kid, maybe you really should take those rubber gloves your mom gave you..." a man raised a hand in suggestion from the crowd and I frowned. Rubber? What did that do again...?

"Why?" The boy asked, picking up his stuff, which had fallen onto the ground.

"Rubber doesn't conduct electricity, that's why..."

Ah.

"Oh, well..." the boy shuffled through his backpack and took out some pink gloves. I eyed him warily as he slipped them on. He stood up. "Okay, Pikachu, let's go!"

I refused to move even an inch. Who did he think he was, ordering me around like that? Your trainer, I thought to myself, then instantly began sparking out of reflex. How stupid was I to think that?

"...okay..." the boy crossed his arms, seemingly thinking for a moment. Then his eyes gleamed as if an idea had struck him and he began searching through his backpack again. He took out a piece of rope and I instantly got on the defensive. I hissed at him as he drew nearer. "Come on, I won't hurt you..."

"Like hell, you son of a-"

One rough fight in the dirt, two fried giants on the floor, an entire crowd of people running away, the boy changing his clothes in the bathroom, and three more people getting shocked later...and I was tied with a rope while being dragged through the dirt by that boy.

I glared at the ground as we drew further and further away from the lab. I eventually couldn't make out the professor and the woman, who had waved the two of us off anymore and let out a sigh, staring up at the boy. Great. It was just me and him now.

I made my body go limp to make it harder for the boy to drag me through the dirt. Unfortunately, it didn't do much. What was this kid made out of, metal?

The boy suddenly stopped in his tracks and sighed. "Are you going to be like this the whole time?"

"Yes," I said with a huff.

The boy slackened his grip on the rope for a brief second. "You don't like me, do you?"

"Got that right." I smirked at him.

He reached out toward me and I instinctively flinched, my cheeks sparking in warning. To say I was surprised when he barely grazed his fingers against me was an understatement. The boy instead untied my binds and let it fall to the ground. I blinked and looked up at him.

"There. Is that batter?"

I narrowed my eyes at him. "...no."

He sighed than slipped off his rubber gloves. I was confused. Those were his defenses against me, so why...? "You still don't like me, huh?" It wasn't a question.

"Pi."

I tossed my head toward him. I had no business in hearing what he was saying. At this point, I didn't even know what was happening. What did I even want to do here? I didn't know, since my motivations had faltered some time at the laboratory. Now that I had left...there was this bizarre boy that I was stuck with instead. I couldn't decide which was worse: the boy or the laboratory.

Well, I guess it didn't matter. I didn't like either or them.

"Well..." the boy began, and my ears perked. "I like you a lot."

I froze.

I whipped my head around and stared at him incredulously. He was joking. He was joking, right? This was a joke, one that he found to be extremely funny...

I burst into laughter. The boy knit his eyebrows together and I laughed even harder. "Y-you...you're joking right? How naive are you? You can't just 'like' someone you just met! That's ridiculous!"

His frown deepened and I put two and two together. "Oh, that's right." I mocked. "You can't understand me, can you? This is great! I could say anything in the world and you wouldn't be able to understand me! Like, for instance...you're stupid!"

I might have imagined it, but I saw a brief emotion flicker across the boy's face. It looked like...anger? Frustration, perhaps? Either way, I enjoyed it. This was on him for saying something so unabashedly stupid.

"I can't understand what you're saying! And would you quit laughing at me already! I don't like it!"

"Why? Afraid that what I'm saying is going to hurt your little human feelings?"

"No, I'm not-" His eyes widened and he quickly rushed his next words. "Can you please stop laughing at me? I don't want to do anything to hurt you, I just want to be your friend!"

I stopped laughing. "You're...joking, right?"

"...do you think I'm joking or something?" The boy spoke each word very slowly, as if he thought I were stupid. "Well...I'm not."

I narrowed my eyes with suspicion. Then something hit me. "Wait a second...how did you guess what I was saying?"

"Huh?"

"...y-you guessed what I was saying." I began waving my arms around, feeling confusion overtake my anger. "How did you know what I asked you?"

The boy stiffened. "I don't know what you're talking about." Then his eyes widened and he slapped a hand over his mouth.

My jaw dropped. "You can...you can understand me?!"

He opened his mouth but no words came out. Eventually he sighed. "Yeah...yeah, I can understand you..."

"...you're joking." I said weakly.

"Why would that be a joke? And that's like the third time you've asked me that question already..."

"Because I don't believe you?"

"Well, that's your problem, then! It's not my fault you're denying the facts!"

"Okay, fine." I admitted, then turned my attention back to what he had said earlier. "You're seriously trying to tell me it's a 'fact' that you like me?"

I went over that sentence in my head and cringed. I sounded like that one attention seeking tangela from the forest. I hated her, mostly because of how she always wanted everything to be about her. If somebody died, she would break down because everyone's attention was on mourning the lost family member. I personally didn't care for such matters, but I did know which one deserved more priority. She should've known too.

"Would you rather I...not like you?" The boy sounded confused for some reason.

"I just find it weird, given that I don't exactly like you very much." He winced. "If you think that I'm going to start liking you just because you like me, then you've got another thing coming."

"That's not what I..." He sighed. "Okay, fine. I don't like you. Are you satisfied now?"

"Yes."

The boy groaned. "You're weird for a pokemon...look, I...I just want you to give me a chance."

I raised an eyebrow. "Chance?"

"For my journey, I mean. New trainers are required to have a Starter pokemon, otherwise they can't battle gyms..."

"So? Get another Starter, then." I scoffed, not understanding what the issue was.

"I can't do that!"

"And why is that?"

"Well..." He furrowed his eyebrows. "I don't know, but-"

"And that," I paused for dramatic affect, "is exactly why I hate humans. You never think about anyone but yourselves."

The boy looked as if he were about to protest before his shoulders sagged. "...fine. You don't have to give me a chance, but I'll win you over someday, I swear!"

I snorted. "What makes you think I'm coming with you?"

Uncertainty flashed across the boy's face. "Uh..." I didn't give him a chance to reply as I turned heel and ran toward the forest. "Hey!"

I was done with this. Every single day felt dragged out for me ever since I first got caught by the stupid girl and her stupid clefairy. I fell into a relapse from trying to escape before my instincts flared up again from this weird boy.

Yeah, I am so done.

Time passed, and my legs began to grow tired. I glanced behind me to see the boy still running after me, gaining more ground with each passing second. Good lord, he was persistent! I narrowed my eyes. What was he planning on doing when he caught up to me, anyway?

I continued running before I hit a dead end: a cliff. I stared at the raging waters down below and let out a hiss. Damn it...

I turned around to see the boy drawing closer. With no other choice, I defaulted to my usual plan. "Pika...CHUUU!"

The boy screamed and scrambled out of the way. "H-hey! Cut that out!"

I ignored his cries. I increased my voltage as my Thundershock as my range grew wider. The boy's eyes widened. "Hey, be careful! The cliff is going to-"

The ground rumbled beneath me and I looked down to see large cracks form underneath me. My eyes widened but before I could move to react, the cliff gave way.

I felt suspended in the air for a moment before time caught up with me. Then I began to fall.

I plummeted toward the bottom of the cliff, where I now noticed a bunch of shark rocks and rapids lay below. Oh, joy. I was about to turn into that strange drink from the forest that the old bellsprout called a "smoothie".

...actually, that didn't sound half bad. It was better than dying while suffocating or dying in front of the likes of...everyone-

I felt arms embrace me and I froze. I craned my neck to see the boy clutching me tightly with his eyes squeezed shut.

What the-?

And just moments before I could contemplate what had happened, we hit the water and I instantly blacked out.
 
Chapter V: Interception

Jewel the Quaxly

Duckies! :3
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~Chapter V: Interception~
"Hey."

I groaned.

"Hey."

My head throbbed, but I kept my eyes shut.

"Hey-oh for the love of-!"

I felt something sharp hit my cheek and my head snapped to the side. My eyes cracked open to see a rattata right in front of my face...upside down.

The rattata huffed. "Good, I thought you'd never wake up."

I immediately went on the defensive and lunged forward. The rattata smirked as I realized I couldn't move my arms, legs, or tail. "What the-" I craned my neck to look upward and growled. I was tied up with a vine and was being strung from the ceiling of a cave like a sleeping zubat. I turned my head toward the rattata and tried to calm down my growing panic at being restrained yet again. "Did you just slap me? What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Now, now, deary," the rattata chided as she strutted up to another tied up figure on the floor, who I recognized to be the boy. He appeared to be unconscious. Of course...I had no idea how we had managed to survive, but at least I knew the answer of where we were. The rattata turned her head to the side as she smirked. "Is that any way to treat an ol' 'friend'?"

"Oh, I'm sorry," I said, sarcastically. "I didn't realize we were friends now."

She laughed and put a paw on the boy, gazing up at him in amazement. She changed the subject, saying, "so, where'd you find the human boy?"

"Like I'd tell you."

She frowned and began to walk back toward me. She studied my face for a moment before raising her tail and smacking me across the face. Hard. The vine rocked me back and forth from the ceiling and I felt nauseous. Tight, it was so tight... I scowled and tried to fire off a Thundershock, only to shock myself, instead.

"Careful," she hummed, staring at her claws as I tried to breathe through the pain. "You might get hurt. Remember what Ol' Bellsprout said? Vines are conductive~!"

"I don't care what that old man said." I snapped. "Let me go, you stupid bi-"

She pressed a paw to my mouth. "Oh, no. You're not in a position to make demands here. You don't answer my questions and I'll throw you an' that human over the cliff. Best case scenario, you somehow survive that. Worst case scenario, we'll skip the cliff entirely and I'll just take you to Fearow. And we both know how that'll go over."

I resisted the urge to shudder and instead opted to glare at her.

She shrugged innocently and removed her paw from my mouth. "Good. Okay, first question. Who the hell is that human and what the hell is he doing in our territory?"

I rolled my eyes. "I got captured by some stupid human, got stuck with them at some laboratory for about two whole weeks before I was given to that idiot," I jerked my shoulder toward the boy. "I got sick of his stupidity so I just ran off from him, especially when he told me he could talk to pokemon. He chased me down, I fell off a cliff, he somehow managed to fall down with me, then I blacked out and I guess I washed up in Mountain-side...?"

The rattata blinked, then held her head. "Wait, laboratory? You got stuck in a laboratory?!" She paused, before checking me over. "Ya got any scars you can show me? Or bruises, maybe? Ooh, did they cut off one of your limbs? I was too distracted tying you up to check if you had all your limbs but-"

"Oh, shut up," I said.

"-wait, did you just say that human can talk to pokemon...?"

"Finally caught up with your pathetic excuse for a brain, huh?"

"Now it's your turn to shut up-nevermind! Keep talking, and tell me why that boy can talk to pokemon...and how the heck do you know? What, did he just come out of the blue and say it?"

"Why do you care so much?" I drawled. "I don't even know how the hell he can and I was the one who got him to admit it. He was terrible at pretending he couldn't understand me...unbelievably, him being able to understand pokemon actually makes him less intelligent than other humans."

"What?" The rattata raised an eyebrow. "How does that make any sense?"

"Don't ask me. He kept going on and on about wanting to be my friend and how he liked me...it was kind of stupid."

She barked out a laugh. "See what you mean. What's there to like about you?"

"Certainly more than you, compared to whatever your mother sees." I shot back, earning a dark glare.

"Don't drag my mother into this, you stupid rodent."

"I could say the same, you pathetic excuse for a rat."

She bared her teeth at me before she smacked me across the face again. I hissed at her, saying, "oh, I'm sorry. Did I make you angry?"

"Don't test me," she warned, her tail whipping back and forth. I hoped it got cut off someday.

I growled at her and began thrashing against my restraints. "Yeah? What're you going to do about it? Hit me again?"

She narrowed her eyes, about to retort, before a groan was heard near the cave wall. The boy wearily opened his eyes and looked around. "Where am I?" He did a double take when his eyes landed on both me and the rattata. "What the-" He looked down at himself and saw that he was tied up. He instantly began struggling. "What the heck's going on?!"

"I kidnapped you." The rattata grinned.

"You...what?" The boy looked lost. So lost, that I almost felt bad for him. Almost.

The rattata waved him off. "Doesn't matter. So, word on the tree is that you can speak to pokemon. Is it true?"

The boy looked at me then sighed. "Yeah...I can't really speak or read the Syllabus language, but...I can understand it, at least."

"Feels kinda useless," the rattata said. "Pokemon don't exactly have much of value to say. Then again, neither do humans. Hey, maybe we have more in common than we realized! So, how well can you understand us? Completely, partially, vaguely, or what?"

The boy paused. "Well...sometimes it's hard to understand certain pokemon over others, and I can't really understand pokemon if they speak too fast-"

"Did ya hear that, mouse? He was talking about you."

"Shut up."

"-but it helps that the Syllabus spoken by Kantonean pokemon is really similar to Kantonese."

"Kantonese?"

"Yeah. It's...the language spoken by humans throughout Kanto. It's not the ONLY language, but it's the most common one, and the one I grew up on."

"Are you speaking it right now?" The rattata asked, and I gave her a look.

"Are you stupid? Of course he's speaking it right now."

She didn't reply, but instead opted to smack me across the face with her stupid tail again. The boy saw this and quickly rose to my defense. Who knows why...

"Hey! That's not nice!"

The rattata raised an eyebrow. "What are you, two?"

"I'm ten," the boy stiffened, "and what you just did wasn't nice. So, cut it out!"

"Listen, human, kid, boy, whatever your name is-"

"Ash."

"Whatever. I don't know what kind of pokemon you spent your life talking to, but this place isn't all flowers and rainbows, okay? You're in Mountain-side, where someone like you wouldn't survive a single day. Had this mouse not have been with you when I found you washed up in the river-on my territory, I might add-I would've killed you and given you to my mom so she could eat you from the inside out." The boy paled significantly. "Hell, if I just decide I don't want to keep you around, I could go ahead and do that right now. I might even get some kind of reward if I turn you and the mouse in to Mountain-side's self-proclaimed leader. So, shut up, only speak when spoken to, and don't talk back. Understand?"

The boy nodded timidly.

"Good. Now, I need to go get some food to eat." She shot glares at the two of us. "Don't you dare try and escape. You won't like the consequences." Then she dashed out of the cave, leaving the two of us alone.

Fantastic. I decided to ignore the boy's existence and focus on trying to get out of the vines. It was a struggle and I made no progress from when I started. I felt tears of frustration form in my eyes. That stupid, stupid, stupid rattata...

"Hey, are you okay?"

I looked at the boy. I couldn't see his face clearly on account of it being upside down and my blurry vision obscuring it, but...

"What do you care?" I muttered.

The boy sighed. He shifted for a moment, grunted, and my ears twitched when I heard sounds of...scraping?

I blinked the tears out of my eyes with confusion. The boy was pressing his back against the wall, standing on his two tied up legs-to the best of his ability, I guessed, and rubbing his back up and down against the wall. I stared incredulously. "What in the hell are you doing...?"

"Getting out off this thing." The boy grunted. He winced. "Oh, ouch...I think I might have accidentally scraped my wrist..."

I stared, not sure how I was supposed to react. This boy was...strange, to say the least. I had no clue what to make of him, and trying to think about it just brought on a headache. Normally, if I encountered a problem that I couldn't solve, I would just shock it to oblivion until it went away. It was simple and effective. It also let others know to never mess with me again, killing two birds with one stone.

My cheeks sparks as I continued observing the boy. Maybe if I tried that here...

"Yes!" The boy's sudden cry startled me and he instantly yelped. "Oops, I meant..." he lowered his voice to a whisper. "Yay..."

The boy stood up and the vines that tied up his arms to his sides fell apart. He freed his arms with a little bit more struggle, but eventually managed. He moved on to his legs and untied them as well.

"...how did you...?"

"Huh? How did I break out of the vines? Well, it's simple, really. I used my intelligence to scratch the vines against the wall and wear it away until it broke." He paused before muttering under his breath, "it's pretty much the only thing that I remember from my history class."

History class...?

Humans had really strange customs. Why in the whole wide world would this boy learn what seemed to be a survival tactic in a...class...about history...? What history did they learn anyway? The history of humanity?

I tried not to giggle at that. It sounded so ridiculous. And stupid. Who would willingly sit through a class on the history of humanity? It was bound to be filled with repetition and supreme amounts of stupidity.

"But, nevermind that!" The boy rushed as he broke the last of his restraints and stood up. "We need to find a way out of here." He walked over to me, then hesitated, before grabbing at my vines.

"Hey!" I growled, thrashing in his grip. He yelped, and jumped backwards. "What the hell are you doing?"

"...untying you?"

"Yeah, well I didn't ask to be untied!"

"Wait what-you don't want me to help you escape?"

"Well..." I felt words fail me. I glared and sent of warning sparks. "I don't care. Get away from me!"

The boy stepped back and put his hands up. "Okay. Okay, fine. I'm not touching you. Happy now?"

My cheeks continued sparking.

The boy sighed. "You seriously want to stay hung up from the ceiling like that? You don't want to escape or at least stay upright? You have to be feeling bad from being held upside down like that."

I remained quiet, not wanting to admit that the boy was right. The vines were suffocating and I knew that the stupid rattata had done that on purpose. She knew how much I hated being restrained.

The boy sighed. "Look, I know how you may feel about me, but...how about we call a truce to...get out of here?"

A truce, huh?

"What makes you think that this truce would help us get out of here? I know my way around this forest just fine. The only one who'd benefit from this 'truce' would be you. And believe me when I say I don't really feel like helping you out."

The boy sighed then looked toward me pleadingly. "I know, but..."

"But...?"

"...I want to prove myself to you. Prove that maybe not all humans are bad..." he looked me in the eye unflinchingly. "...And maybe we can be friends."

...this damn kid was starting to get on my nerves. Why was he so damn desperate to make friends? Friends with me, no less? Did he not have anything better to do?

Then again...I thought, neither do you...

I frowned. Sure, that was true, but...this kid was a human. I didn't...I had no obligation to go with him...and...he still had a Poke Ball that he could use to basically control me. Even if I ran, I was stuck. But...the rattata did have a good grasp of my hiding spots around now, so if she wanted to, she could easily find me...not to mention that it would make me lose my chance to destroy that dammed Poke Ball in the first place.

I met the boy's eyes for a moment, holding onto his gaze for longer then I had wanted to, so I looked away.

"...fine." I muttered under my breath.

The boy's head lifted. "Wait, what?"

"I said fine! You can have your stupid one-sided truce! Now, let me down, already!" I scowled.

The boy seemed in shock for a moment before his face lit up. "You mean it, really? You'll give me a chance?"

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, don't make me regret this...whatever your name is."

"It's Ash."

"Yeah, I said whatever."

The boy huffed in annoyance and started to untie me. He held me with one hand and I felt the vines begin to loosen their hold on me. I began to breathe easier when he finally untied the last of it and I could jump down from the air.

I shook myself off when I landed on the floor. "Oh, finally!" I said gleefully. "When I see that stupid rattata, I'm going to shock her into oblivion for tying me up!"

The boy raised an eyebrow. "Are you cluster...cloister...claustro...phobic, or something like that?"

"No." I said. I didn't know what...claustrophobia was, but whatever it was, I definitely didn't have it.

"...okay." That was that, I supposed...

The boy straightened up and looked around the cave. He frowned. "Looks like the only way out is the same way that rattata went...hey, have you been through this cave before?"

"Nope," I said as we began slowly walking out of the cave. "That dumb rattata's always changing places, so I never really know where the hell she and her mom live. They live separate from the rest of the rattata tribe in Mountain-side, some kind of deal or territory negotiation...either way, it's stupid." I huffed. "I usually stay out of drama like that in Mountain-side. It's the best way to survive out here."

"Huh..." the boy said thoughtfully. "Do you move around too? Or do you have a place to stay?"

I shrugged. "Not really. I mostly just wander around, seek shelter in the occasional tree. Sometimes I'd crash at Ol' Bellsprout's cave, but..." I smirked as the boy sent me a questioning look. "He's crazy."

The boy made an 'oh' shape with his mouth. He turned his head forward and I felt a little relieved that he stopped talking to me. I had only spoken to him for less than a minute, but I already felt mentally drained.

My peace only lasted a couple of seconds, sadly, as the boy began speaking to me. I audibly groaned as he asked, "do you have a name?"

The boy didn't seem to take offense and instead elaborated on his sudden question. "I mean, I heard that wild pokemon in particular often give out names to their kids...something called a Sacred Name, right? It's kind of like a privilege for some pokemon-"

"I know how Sacred Names work, dumbass," I snarked. "As for my own Sacred Name...you don't need to know."

"So, then, what am I supposed to call you? Just Pikachu?"

"Sure, whatever." I rolled my eyes.

"Okay...um-"

"You're not going to ask me another question again, are you?" I growled, sending off sparks to let him know how I felt about that idea.

"I'm just trying to get to know you!" The boy defended. "You're kind of hard to talk to..."

I rolled my eyes again. "You don't think I know that? You should give up while you're ahead."

"I never give up!" The boy declare triumphantly.

I rolled my eyes in reply. "Whatever. Look, we're almost near the cave entrance, so keep it down." I pointed outside as we hid behind some rocks and slowly started shuffling forward. It was nearly dark outside, the sky shrouded in dark grey clouds. I heard rumbling in the distance and rain was pouring.

"Ah, man," the boy muttered. "It's raining." He checked behind his back. "It's a good thing that rattata tied me up with my backpack...did she not know how to take it off?"

I shushed him and pointed near a large tree some distance away from the entrance of the cave. The rattata was gathering berries into a sack formed from large leaves. She was muttering something to herself, but I couldn't hear what she was saying.

"Let's go while she's distracted," I said. I scurried in the direction that the rattata had her back to without waiting to see if the boy had followed. I rolled my eyes when I had neared one of the trees around the cave and saw the boy still in the same place near the entrance. He was watching the rattata with a look of awe painted on his face, for presumably stupid reasons.

What a moron. He was going to get himself caught. I huffed, deciding that I should get out of here while I could. If he seriously wanted to stay behind, then that was his choice. As soon as I was about to turn around, however, the rattata shouted, "hey!" I cringed. Fantastic.

The boy yelped and scrambled backward, pressing his back against the outside cave wall. However, her focus wasn't on him. It was on me. She bared her teeth. "Leaving so soon?"

I didn't partake in her attempt at banter and fired off a Thundershock. I had wide range, so I'm pretty sure I accidentally hit the boy too, judging by his shout. The rattata unfortunately escaped her death by a margin and charged toward me with her fangs glowing.

Oh, shi-

I jumped backward as she tried to chomp down on my tail, just barely missing it. I glared at her. "You need some new tricks."

"I don't want you of all pokemon telling that to me, you one-trick rodent. Seriously, do you even have any brain cells left in that head of yours?"

I bared my fangs at her and tackled her to the ground in a fit of rage. We rolled around in the dirt, each of us trying to gain dominance over the other.

"H-hey!" I heard the boy say. The rattata managed to pin me to the ground and tried to bite me. I struggled to keep her off me as she kept me pinned. I noticed the boy making his way toward us, grabbing on to the rattata and pulling her off. She immediately took offense to that, biting down hard on his hand.

"OW!!!" The boy screamed and flailed wildly, trying to shake the rattata off of his hand. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!"

I got to my feet and stared in complete bafflement. What the hell was he doing...?

"Oh, screw this!" The rattata let go of the boy's hand. The boy fell backwards out of reflex and he turned his attention towards me. As did the rattata.

"Pikachu, get out of here!"

Oh, for the love of-

"This is ridiculous!" I shrieked and charged up my electricity. "It's a single freaking rattata!"

The rattata's eyes flashed as she charged toward me.

"PikaCHUUU!!!"

The rattata skidded to a stop with wide eyes. "That's-!"

She didn't get to finish her sentence as I released my Thunder throughout the entire area. The light engulfed me and for a second my vision blacked out. It took me a few blinks to adjust and realize that my surroundings were now burnt and sparking with residues of my attack. The air also faintly smelled like something. Kind of like something...burnt?

I heard a shout and sighed. Glaring, I turned my attention toward the boy, who was staring at the unconscious and charred rattata on the ground with widened eyes. "D-d-did you just...?"

I rolled my eyes and touched the rattata. She twitched slightly, but I could tell she wasn't getting back up again. "She's still alive, you dumbass. This is what you get for standing around gawking at pokemon like an idiot."

"I-I was just..."

"Yeah, whatever. If she wasn't attacking me, you would've been dead, so..." I smirked. "I guess this means you owe me."

"...owe you?"

"Yes," I said. "You. Owe. Me."

The boy stared at my triumphant look for a couple seconds. "Uh...sure?"

My smile faded. "What do you mean, 'sure'?" I demanded. Then I growled. "You know what, don't answer that. Let's scram."

The boy hesitated before following me through the trees. He held his gaze onto the area I had nearly decimated for a while longer. Then he piped up a question. "Hey, aren't you worried that someone might see all of that?"

"See what?"

"All of...this."

I didn't answer and continued walking. When the boy realized I was going to leave him behind, he rushed after me. I huffed in annoyance.

"So, uh..."

"Shut up," I said. "I really don't feel like listening to you talk."

The boy looked appalled. "I just wanted to thank you!"

That caught me off guard for a moment. "Thank me...?"

"Yeah! For, you know, coming back to save me. You could've just ran away first chance you got, like when the rattata was, er, biting my hand..."

I stiffened. "I got distracted. Don't think I was trying to be noble or whatever..."

The boy wiped the water dripping down his face and looked up toward the sky. A loud rumble was heard. "Hey, I can still thank you if I want to. What's wrong with that?"

I felt anger and frustration rise inside me at those words. I could think of plenty wrong with that. The fact that it was pointless, stupid, made no sense, was unnecessary...I frowned and avoided looking at the boy's eyes.

It was stupid. He was stupid. This was all plain stupid...

"Thank you, Pikachu." The boy went ahead and said it. "For saving us both back there."

...both of us?

"...whatever," I muttered. For some inexplicable reason, I felt tears gather in my eyes. I blinked them out of my eyes as best as I could and stared straight ahead, not meeting the boy's gaze. We walked in silence afterward, not uttering a single word.

I led the boy through the forest. We took a few turns here and there, hit the occasional dead end, and I began to feel my frustration built. "PikaCHUUU!!!"

The boy yelped and jumped backwards. My Thundershock dissipated into the ground in front of him. He looked shaken. "Well, that was...uh...random. Are you okay?"

"No!" I snapped. "I have no idea where the hell I'm going!"

"I thought you knew this place-"

"I do! But not this area specifically...ugh, that stupid purple rat probably knew I wouldn't be able to find my way out of here..."

"Huh..." the boy mused. He crossed his arms and seemed to be in deep thought. "Well, what if-"

A loud rumble in the distance made both of us jump, followed by the distinct sound of a lightning bolt striking the earth. I noticed a flash in the distance and turned toward it. I began counting, but before I could make it very far, the lightning struck again, this time much closer to our location.

The boy looked alarmed. "How the heck did the storm catch up to us so fast?!"

"How the hell am I supposed to know?!"

"Ohhh, man. We need to find shelter, fast-"

"Is that so?"

I felt the blood drain out of my face as lightning flashed again. I slowly turned around to see the owner of that chilling voice. A spearow.

No, I corrected myself. Not just any spearow...

The spearow adjusted his position on the tree branch he was perched on and leered down at us. Or, more specifically, me. I don't think he nor I cared about the boy at the moment.

The spearow's beady eyes burned holes into my soul. I tried to stop myself from shaking. If he was here, then...then...I swallowed the lump that formed in my throat. "Well, it's been a while, hasn't it, you vermin?"

I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came out. Damn it, why couldn't I say anything?!

"Hey!" The boy's voice made me flinch and I stared at him with wide eyed horror. Was he nuts? Why the hell was he calling out to a spearow? Let alone one of the most dangerous spearow- "Don't call him that!"

The spearow raised an eyebrow. "A human..." he muttered under his breath, as if he had just noticed him. I took his lack of shock in stride. The fearow sent his sons out regularly to human populations to...collect certain materials that he happened to want or...need. This spearow was his eldest son, so it was no surprise that he would be used to seeing a human...just not in this forest, that is. The spearow raised his voice. "Call him what, human child? This is no business of yours."

"You called him a bad word," the boy said stubbornly. I cringed. Wow, he had to be the biggest idiot in the world to talk back to a member of Fearow's flock like that... "Don't do that."

The spearow looked mildly offended and I felt my stomach churn. Nobody ever got "mildly offended" in this forest. It was either they didn't care or...

"You're going to regret that, human child," the spearow said. He was calm and I felt pure terror wash over me in waves. The spearow raised his wings grandiosely. I heard a magnitude of fluttering surrounding us. I glanced around and my heart stopped. An entire flock of spearow were staring down on us with ravishing hunger in their beady eyes.

I felt an icy fear latch on to my heart.

"Get them."

Lightning flashed and a second later, the spearow charged.

"Run!" The boy screamed. His voice snapped me out of my trance and I stumbled after him. I heard the spearow's cries from behind us, drawing nearer and nearer...

"Get away from me!" I shrieked, sending off erratic sparks in warning as a few spearow started pecking at me. Their sharp beaks snapped at my fur, almost as if they were trying to groom it. It would be kind of them, if they weren't trying to maim me to death. That, and, the spearow are absolutely horrendous when it comes to grooming anyway.

The spearows pecked at me harder and I found myself tripping. I fell into the dirt as more spearow began to peck at me. I felt their sharp beaks puncture my skin and I cried out in pain.

"Hey!" The boy ran over to me, holding his hands over his head. He swiped at the spearow and threw them off of me. "Back off!!!"

It was when he picked me up off the ground and began running, with me cradled in his arms that I realized something. Something about this boy. It wasn't anything I didn't know from our first meeting, but...this realization was accompanied with a strange feeling I had never felt before. The same feeling I got when the boy thanked me and I had incomprehensibly felt like crying. I couldn't put my finger on what the feeling was, but one thought rang clear despite it.

This boy, Ash, was a complete and utter moron.

"You're going to be okay, Pikachu. You're going to be okay..." he chanted over and over again, seeming to reassure himself as much as it was meant to reassure me. I stared at him in a daze. What...what was wrong with him...? "Y-you'll be okay, I promise..."

One of the spearow shrieked. I recognized him as the spearow who was Fearow's eldest. "Running from your punishment, I see! You're the same as ever, you pathetic vermin!"

I winced and curled up tighter in...A-the boy's arms. I hadn't paid much mind to it, but...

"Leave him alone!" The boy bellowed. I'm not entirely sure how, but he began to sprint even faster. "Come on, come on, come on..."

I wasn't sure what he was trying to do anymore. He should just give up right now, while he still can. All we were doing by running was just delaying the inevitable. Hell, the spearow flock might not actually kill him. I have a greater chance of dying, unfortunately, but I'm not sure why he's so hell bent on sticking around.

"Just give up already!" The spearow cried. "You're only delaying the inevitable."

Damn spearow stole my line-!

"No!" The boy screamed. Then he tripped and stumbled forward. I fell out of his arms as we both slammed onto the ground, mud splattering everywhere. Why did it feel like it was so far away...? Oh. I barely made out the edge of a trench above us. So, the boy must have not seen the pit before he fell right into it. Great.

The spearow began circling the sky above us, cackling with glee. Good for them, I guess. They finally managed to corner their victims. Knowing the eldest spearow son, he'll surely put on a show to kill us in the most deliberately agonizing way possible. Either that or he'll drag me to his father for him to kill me instead.

I wonder if there are any members of the pidgey tribe watching...surely, they'd have much to gossip about after this.

I curled in on myself and stared at the dirt, counting down the seconds toward my inevitable end. I went through my regrets. I never got to see that dumb squirtle get boiled and chopped up for food, so I guess that was something. Nor did I ever get to destroy that stupid Poke Ball like I wanted to. I didn't get to find out whether or not that professor actually kept rodent pokemon frozen in his refrigerator.

...I also regretted not doing anything of value with my life to the point where most of my actual regrets seem to have been accumulated over the course of two weeks.

Ah, well. I guess this is it, then-

"Pikachu." I sighed and sent the boy a weak look. Why couldn't he just give up already-?

The boy held out a Poke Ball with a lightning bolt on it-that Poke Ball-and rolled over toward me. He reached out to me. "Pikachu, please," he said. "I know you don't like Poke Balls, but if you go inside, you'll be safe. They won't be able to hurt you, so, please...go inside! It's the only way!"

I stared at the Poke Ball. Then at the boy. Then back at the Poke Ball again. He sent one last desperate glance toward me before shakily getting up to his feet and standing in front of me, his arms outstretched.

I stared at his white sneakers and slowly looked up. Lightning flashed and the boy began to shout toward the spearow. He was crazy. This boy was absolutely crazy.

"Hey, you dumb birds! Listen up!"

He was crazy.

"I'm Ash Ketchum, from Pallet Town, and I'm destined to be the world's number one Pokemon Master!"

He was a complete and utter idiot.

"I won't be defeated by the likes of you! You want me? Fine."

He...

"COME AND GET ME!!!"

...his legs were shaking. Lightning flashed. The spearows circled around and granted the boy's wish. They charged.

Time slowed down. Lightning struck a nearby tree. The boy's entire body was shaking, but he stayed standing. The fearow's eldest son led the charge-

Then I decided.

I got to my feet and rushed forward, jumping off of the boy's shoulders toward the spearow. Our eyes locked for a brief second and I felt my heart stop. He was terrified. I was terrified. We were both terrified-

Lightning struck a third time and it wasn't until I smelled something burning that I realized it was me.

Energy flowed. My cheeks sparks.

Then time sped up again.

"PikaCHUUU!!!"

This boy-Ash-wanted me to give him a chance, huh?

Fine, I thought bitterly. You'll get your chance, Ash.

Just don't make me regret this.
 

Daren

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Hi!
I was planning to go through the chapters sometime, however I've been doing a decent amount of computer work this week so it took longer than I would have preferred.

Chapter 1 review:
First off it's refreshing to see Pikachu's incredibly aggressive early Kanto personality in full form; I recall a lot of fics tend to tone him down a bit.
We're left with a few mysteries; why Pikachu finds the Pokéball painful while others don't and exactly what happened to him in the wild.
Nice to see Daisy worked in the show continuity, too.

I'm also interested to see there's a hint of wild and trained Pokémon sometimes looking down on the other group (I can't recall if the show suggested that, but the game hints at the idea in DPP).

I'll try to get to chapter 2 sometime this weekend.
 

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Chapter 2 review:

So it's pretty clear part of the idea here is that Pikachu acts pretty similarly to how he did in early Kanto but other characters are reacting to it more realistically and treating him like he's dangerous and unlikable. I'm quite curious to see how his character development is going to go compared to the original (and if Ash will act notably different with him), though the fic's title and your comment on it being Takeshi Shudo style certainly hints at things.

If there was anything I hated more than Poke Balls, it was the type of pokemon who clicked with others instantly. No effort whatsoever and others instantly love them.
This line has me suspect this version Pikachu remains more aloof towards people even after the first episode.

The discussion about starters during the party reminded me of how I always found the way starters were handled in the show a little odd due to the implication that some professors have some sort of duty of getting three particular Pokémon ready to hand out to new trainers in each region, which also felt a bit strange instead of having a single starter species everyone gets combined with situations like the one here and in canon where someone doesn't have enough traditional starters for everyone (in the games it always just seems to be professors handing them out under special circumstances so those questions don't come up).
 

Jewel the Quaxly

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The discussion about starters during the party reminded me of how I always found the way starters were handled in the show a little odd due to the implication that some professors have some sort of duty of getting three particular Pokémon ready to hand out to new trainers in each region, which also felt a bit strange instead of having a single starter species everyone gets combined with situations like the one here and in canon where someone doesn't have enough traditional starters for everyone (in the games it always just seems to be professors handing them out under special circumstances so those questions don't come up).
Honestly, I always found that a bit odd as well. So, I made an actual reason for it that will be revealed later on, as I kind of made a large overhaul on the Pokémon world's system as a whole.

Also, quick note: the world itself is Takeshi Shudo based(meaning I took inspiration on building this new world off of his own ideas), but...it doesn't have a direct affect on the title, if you know what I mean. They ARE correlated, yes, but...not in the way you might think.
 

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Chapter 3
This one was rather dark as Pikachu's anger and borderline nihilism comes out in full force, and then the disturbing scene with the...thing...in the basement where he seems suicidal.
The whole thing is turned into a complete mess whose only silver lining is the possibility things get better when he ends up with Ash. I'm very interested to see how that meeting goes this time.

So...was that creature Nihilego?

...why does Oak have all those seat belts?
 

Jewel the Quaxly

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I'm very interested to see how that meeting goes this time.
Ahhhhhh...don't get your hopes TOO high-I kind of messed up on their meeting a tad, which is why I'm trying to change course direction in the following chapters after...the first two episodes canonically. They have a few similarities, but the meeting itself is different in a...well, a rather unique way, I guess I should say.
So...was that creature Nihilego?
You could say that, yes.
...why does Oak have all those seat belts?
Fun fact: that was originally a throwaway joke, but when I updated my story notes some time later, I gave an actual reason for that huge box of seat belts in Oak's basement in there. Unfortunately, this fact pertains to a character who has not yet been introduced, so it shall remain a secret for now... (Although, it's not a very big one, lmao. Like I said, it's mostly a throwaway joke...and also a hint at a certain theme that's going to pop up rather often in the story.)
 

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Chapter 4

So we've caught up to the first episode of the show, though events are differing fairly heavily; I find one of the trickiest parts of a rewrite is figuring out what to keep, what to drop, what to change, and so on (I've never written one but it's something I've pondered as a sort of writing and plotting experiment).

The other thing is the oddness going on with Pikachu's headaches and Nihilego(?) earlier. I can't put a finger on it but I'm wondering if there's some sort of time-travel shenanigans going on here...not sure why that came to mind though.

One of the biggest difference here is Ash understanding Pikachu; right now I'm not sure if he only understands Pikachu or can understand any Pokémon but I imagine that will be clear soon enough.

And we end with them falling off a cliff which I think happened in the series right before they met Misty.

One thing I wanted to comment on is how the perspective flip works here compared to the main series (of course this isn't just a POV flip but that's the best time I can think of). In the show we followed Ash and are invited to feel sorry for him and wonder why Pikachu is so much of a hassle compared to other starters.
Here we understand why Pikachu is so angry and feel sorry for him being stuck in this situation.

I'm hoping to get the next chapter sometime next week, but I might do two reviews sometime on the weekend and get this then as well.

The other Starters were gone? Good riddance. I hoped they had safe travels and got eaten once they arrived to town.
I like this darkly amusing joke.

Noting a typo:
"There. Is that batter?"
Should be "better".
 

The Walrein

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Hello AnimeJewel246! I don't usually read anime-inspired fics due to a lack of familiarity with that canon, but I'm a big fan of Pokemon POV, so I thought I'd check this out. One question I have with the premise is that I'm not sure what you mean by it being a "Takeshi Shudo AU of the anime", since I thought that Takeshi Shudo was already the head writer of the original anime series. Were there significant differences between Shudo's original vision and the direction the anime took even for the parts he was writing?

I wasn't really listening to what he was saying, but one word caught my attention. I slunk backwards as I felt my fur rise. The clefairy raised an eyebrow at my behavior but didn't comment. "Laboratory?" My voice felt faint even to my own ears. "This is...this is a laboratory?"

"Yes, it is."

I didn't know what a laboratory really was, but I did hear stories about it. As far as I remember, the only time "laboratory" was used in a sentence was when the words "screams" and "pain" were accompanied with it. It was a place of pure pain, I had decided and at the moment I first heard of it decided I never wanted to go near one.

Looks like this is a bit of a darker world than the anime. I wonder if the wild Pokemon's tales are based solely off of Team Rocket laboratories, or if painful Pokemon testing and experimentation is legal in Kantonian society.

The old man massaged his forehead with a sigh. "Yes, I realize that, Daisy May. But unless you'd rather go to Viridian City and catch another pikachu, we're stuck with this one."

Are pikachu considered one of the 'traditional starter species' in this world, such that a more locally available pidgey or such couldn't serve as a replacement? I guess even older humans seem pretty able to shrug off Pikachu's electric attacks in this setting, so his readiness to shock people isn't considered an absolute deal-breaker.

I felt a cold wash over me as the man's gaze met my own. "Pikachu."

Missing a word between 'cold' and 'wash'.

"Liar," I hissed, even though I knew he couldn't understand me. He was a human after all. Humans couldn't understand pokemon. They couldn't understand pokemon even if they tried. "You're just going to use me for something, aren't you? Or, even better, I bet the only reason you captured me is for some ulterior motive!"

I'm not sure what the difference is here between Oak having Pikachu captured just 'to use [him] for something' and doing that 'for some ulterior motive' - they both mean roughly the same thing in this context. Also, it's odd that Pikachu is using the phrase 'ulterior motive' when Oak hasn't even explained what his ostensible motivation is yet.

The man took a deep breath, and began. "First off, my name is Professor Oak. I'm the lead researcher and owner of Oak Laboratories, which is this place right here. It's the only Pokemon Lab in the rural areas of the Kanto region, specifically in Pallet Town.

I don't think 'Pokemon Lab' should be capitalized here, since unlike 'Oak Laboratories' it's the name of a general class of institution and not a specific one, like how the phrase 'research university' isn't capitalized.

He reminded me of that old bellsprout back in the forest I lived in, always looking like he sees demons flying around every single day. I had asked him about it one time, to which he replied that he did face demons every day.

Hmm, are these 'demons flying around' supposed to be just local flying-type Pokemon the bellsprout is afraid of, or something else?

My thoughts turned to other things, like how I was going to escape this place. And why I hadn't heard any screams yet. Did this professor just silence the pokemon's screams? With what? Back in the forest, whenever a pokemon's screams were wished to be silenced by another, cotton was often used. Not many pokemon could produce cotton in the wild, so the pokemon often risked going to human populated areas to steal some.

Pokemon routinely raiding human populated areas specifically to acquire materials to gag torture victims with is certainly, uh, something...

"Whatever..." the squirtle mumbled under its breath. It turned its attention on me and looked me up and down. It raised an eyebrow. "Who the hell is this puny loser?"

I'm not sure why Pikachu uses 'it' for the starter trio members when he used 'him' to refer to Daisy's clefairy, who he has even more reason to dislike. Is it that he knows clefairy's gender but not that of the starters?

"Well, I'd like you to meet..." the professor stepped to the side and I met the three pokemon's eyes with a glare. "The newest starter, Pikachu. Pikachu, I'd like you to meet Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander, the other Starter pokemon. Now, say hello."

The first instance of 'starter' here should probably be capitalized for consistency.

I let out a sharp gasp as I felt something scratch my side and throw me against the ground. A weight pressed on me, keeping me down. "Sorry," the charmander apologized profusely as I growled at it. It had its claws pressed against my cheek as the bulbasaur held onto the charmander's paw with a vine. Its other vine was inside the ground. I had no idea what that would do until I let loose a Thundershock. The bulbasaur and charmander grunted, but the charge seemed to go through them harmlessly before it dissipated into the ground.

I think this would only really work if bulbasaur's vines had roughly the same or greater electrical conductivity as charmander's body has - if they were strong resistors like plant matter generally tends to be, most of the current would still route through charmander.

I was surprised by that, then immediately began struggling. "Let me go!" I screamed, thrashing underneath the charmander and bulbasaur's simultaneous hold. "Let me go or I'll fry you so hard you'll fall into a permanent sleep!"

The phrase 'a permanent sleep' seems a bit clunky here, and I don't think Pikachu's personality so far suggests that he's much of one for euphemisms.

"Okay, listen. We know you're frustrated, angry, upset, and probably confused as all hell as to what's going on, but hear us out for a moment. You-are-safe-here." The bulbasaur emphasized every single word like I was an idiot and I growled in retaliation.

I think having hyphens between every word in a phrase like you did with 'You-are-safe-here' is generally used to convey rapidity of speech, rather than an emphasis on every word. That sort of slow, deliberate diction I more commonly see conveyed by having a period after each word: "You. Are. Safe. Here."

***

I had fun with this one! I liked Pikachu's ornery personality and the bickering interactions of the other starter Pokemon. Starting it off with Pikachu already having been captured was a good idea to get the plot moving quicker. It was a bit darker than I was expecting for an AU based off the vision of one of the original Pokemon writers, but I thought it mostly worked; the only thing I thought was perhaps a bit edgy was the idea that Pokemon would raid human settlements distinctly for the purpose of acquiring cotton to gag and asphyxiate Pokemon with; which seemed improbable to me given that there's enough ways one could torture Pokemon just using common forest materials that the risk doesn't seem justified. It also feels a bit odd that you're still keeping the original-setting conceit of Pikachu's thundershocks just being something one can shrug off, even when Pikachu describes them as having 'charred' the victim, which is a cartoonier element I tend to associate more with lighter settings. I suppose it's not necessarily inconsistent with a darker world, though I wasn't sure if humans are just really robust against Pokemon attacks or if Pikachu was just exaggerating the effects of his shocks a lot (people screaming, being knocked to the ground, getting 'charred').

I'm looking forward to seeing how Pikachu handles becoming Ash's Pokemon in this fic, assuming that's still going to happen. Thanks for writing this, and I may see you again soon!
 

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One question I have with the premise is that I'm not sure what you mean by it being a "Takeshi Shudo AU of the anime", since I thought that Takeshi Shudo was already the head writer of the original anime series. Were there significant differences between Shudo's original vision and the direction the anime took even for the parts he was writing?
I can answer this; Shudo wanted the show to be darker than was allowed, and his idea for the ending was that Pokémon would revolt against humanity led by Pikachu with him and Ash ending up fighting against one another.
Edit: At some point Takeshi Shudo started posting on his blog about some of what happened behind the scenes; as I recall after Kanto he started getting overruled by highers up increasingly often and as I recall seemed unhappy when he was told in Johto that the show would run for another decade if they could manage it, probably contributing to him leaving the show before Advanced started.
 
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Jewel the Quaxly

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Hello AnimeJewel246! I don't usually read anime-inspired fics due to a lack of familiarity with that canon, but I'm a big fan of Pokemon POV, so I thought I'd check this out. One question I have with the premise is that I'm not sure what you mean by it being a "Takeshi Shudo AU of the anime", since I thought that Takeshi Shudo was already the head writer of the original anime series. Were there significant differences between Shudo's original vision and the direction the anime took even for the parts he was writing?

[REDACTED]

I had fun with this one! I liked Pikachu's ornery personality and the bickering interactions of the other starter Pokemon. Starting it off with Pikachu already having been captured was a good idea to get the plot moving quicker. It was a bit darker than I was expecting for an AU based off the vision of one of the original Pokemon writers, but I thought it mostly worked; the only thing I thought was perhaps a bit edgy was the idea that Pokemon would raid human settlements distinctly for the purpose of acquiring cotton to gag and asphyxiate Pokemon with; which seemed improbable to me given that there's enough ways one could torture Pokemon just using common forest materials that the risk doesn't seem justified. It also feels a bit odd that you're still keeping the original-setting conceit of Pikachu's thundershocks just being something one can shrug off, even when Pikachu describes them as having 'charred' the victim, which is a cartoonier element I tend to associate more with lighter settings. I suppose it's not necessarily inconsistent with a darker world, though I wasn't sure if humans are just really robust against Pokemon attacks or if Pikachu was just exaggerating the effects of his shocks a lot (people screaming, being knocked to the ground, getting 'charred').

I'm looking forward to seeing how Pikachu handles becoming Ash's Pokemon in this fic, assuming that's still going to happen. Thanks for writing this, and I may see you again soon!
Thank you for the feedback! I...see I still have quite a bit of room for improvement, lol. There had been something bothering me about the first few chapters I've written and I think the stuff you pointed out---like the inconsistent use of gender pronouns; that was originally done for a reason, but now it doesn't really make sense anymore...or the whole "cotton" thing; though this one is going to be a little harder for me to fix so it makes sense...---were probably it.

The whole tonal clash with Pikachu's electricity being shrugged off was actually something I DIDN'T notice, so I'm glad you pointed it out. Whoo boy...time to bring out the good old story notes and get to work, lmao.

As for the premise...the whole "Takeshi AU" thing is kind of getting misinterpreted a lot: I'm actually considering dropping mentioning it entirely because it's not really a direct one-to-one of one of Shudo's scrapped ideas and more like a "this idea is interesting, so I want to see how it will play out, while adding my own touch and flavor to it" kind of deal.

I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for reading, Walrein! :)
 
Chapter VI: Indication

Jewel the Quaxly

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This was actually written a while ago, so any feedback I've gotten probably won't show here...yet. I'll get things sorted out for chapter eight.

~Chapter VI: Indication~
My head was absolutely pounding. Everything felt numb, from my legs to my cheeks, and my ears felt as if they were bleeding. I groaned as I cracked my eyes open to see a dark orange and purple sky. Dark clouds were just starting to disperse and I glossed over the majestic looking rainbow in the North in favor of closing my eyes again.

My attempt to soothe my shrilling headache only lasted about two seconds when I heard groaning from beside me. I almost groaned, but refrained. That would take way too much energy right now...

"Pikachu...?"

I didn't open my eyes.

"Are you awake...Pikachu...?"

I felt something tickle against my fur before a gentle pressure was applied to my skin. It was running through my fur and though my cheeks sparked from reflex, I almost relaxed under it.

Wait. Was that kid seriously...petting me?

"PiKA!"

"OW! Hey, what was that for-Pikachu!!!" Ash shrieked with joy despite the shocking I had just given him and, I'm sorry to say, I was then forced to open my eyes. I sighed and looked at the boy with annoyance. He was lying right by my side on the ground, covered head to toe in scratches and dirt. "You're okay!"

I rolled my eyes. "Of course I am. Who do you mistake me for, some weak ol' magikarp?"

"Hey, magikarp are actually really cool, okay?! But you were still pretty awesome yourself, so I guess you deserve a pat on the back for that." Ash had the audacity to grin at me.

"You guess? You guess???"

"Yeah, I guess." Ash waved me off before he looked around. "So, what happened with all those spearow, anyway?"

I rolled my eyes at the subject change. "How the hell am I supposed to know? Maybe they died. Or got eaten. Or ran away."

"Probably the last one," Ash said quickly, and I snorted. He looked around, as well as one could while lying flat on the ground of a muddy trench. A moment of silence passed. "...so, does this mean that..." he said as he averted his eyes from my own.

I narrowed my eyes. Damn, I hate when mons do that. Now I find out humans do this shit too???

"Does this mean..." he swallowed and rushed to his next statement, "that you're staying with me...?"

I stared. He stared back.

It was an honest question. I had decided a split second before we were about to die, so naturally he wouldn't know of my decision. Then again, did I even know what the hell my decision was?

Ash flinched. I sighed. Deciding not to question the thoughts I buried underneath the surface, I gave him my answer.

"Yes."

Ash froze. Then his eyes lit up with glee. "You mean-?!"

"Ugh, for the love of-yes, I'm coming with you! But-!" I glared at him to get his excitement under control. "-this does NOT mean we are friends. I'm giving you a chance, that's all."

Ash's eyes softened. "You won't regret this, I promise."

I didn't look him in the eye. "...whatever."

Ash opened his mouth to say something again but was cut off by a bird cry. I froze, the cry reverberating throughout my entire being. We exchanged wide eyed looks and looked toward the sky.

A large, golden colored bird that shimmered in the colors of the rainbow flew overhead. I felt the wind brush against my fur and my breath caught. The bird pokemon, or whatever it was, flew toward the majestic looking rainbow from earlier and vanished as quickly as it came.

I wasn't entirely sure why, but I felt my stomach turn at the bird's presence. Weird. Maybe I was just thinking of the fearow? It kind of looks like him, anyway...

I blinked as I tried to process my thoughts. Ash rubbed his eyes and stared. He turned toward me with an expression filled with elation and I groaned immediately. Here we go...

"Wow, that was so cool!!!" He said excitedly. "Did you see that thing, Pikachu? Do you think it was a pokemon? Have you met any pokemon like that before? It was awesome, right!?"

"Yes," I replied, rolling my eyes. "It was very awesome. Now can you calm the hell down already-?"

Ash's smile instantly fell off his face and changed to an expression filled with worry. "Pikachu, you're bleeding!" He scrambled to sit up and checked over me. I pushed his hands away from me with a hiss.

"I'm fine." I huffed, trying to sit up myself. When I found that I couldn't I checked over myself this time and felt my stomach turn when I realized there was blood on me. "Oh..." I felt lightheaded and nauseous at the same time and I didn't like it at all.

"Come on," Ash muttered and gathered me in his arms, despite my weak protests. "We need to get you to a Poke Center."

***

By the time we arrived at the nearby human civilization, it was already dusk. Ash had gotten into an altercation with a strange blue haired woman named Officer Jenny, on account of her assuming he had stolen me. Well, she was right to be suspicious, considering how the guy who'd given me to Ash in the first place DID steal me in the first place...hell, maybe if Ash had gotten in trouble, that professor would've too.

...hm. I'm going to have to put a pin on that...

Ash cleared up the situation by showing the blue haired woman a strange red device called a Poke Dex. Its name was Dexter and could apparently talk like a human. So, it backed Ash up by explaining that he was in fact my...trainer. I thought it was a strange device, but couldn't help but find myself drawn to it. Unfortunately, before I could pester it with my questions, Ash put it away.

The blue haired woman invited Ash onto a small vehicle that kind of reminded me of a car.

"What's wrong?" Ash asked, when I began squirming.

"I'm not going in that thing," I snapped, scanning the vehicle frantically. "You can't make me."

"Pikachu, we have to-"

"No!"

Ash cast a helpless look at the blue haired woman, who was frowning. She frowned. "Do you know what's wrong with it, young man?"

"No...I don't think he likes motorcycles for some reason..."

"...I see..." The woman's frown deepened. She looked over at me sympathetically, but then her expression hardened. "However, that pikachu is gravely injured and we can't waste any more time than we already have. You're just going to have to hold on to it tightly."

Ash's arms tightened only slightly and I felt myself begin to panic as he sat down on the thing. I frantically looked around and sent sparks to try and get them to back down, but my cheeks fizzed out. I let out a gasp, realizing that I couldn't use my electricity. My breathing quickened, the woman sat on the motorcycle, Ash held on to her, and the vehicle lurched forward before it set off.

Wait.

...there weren't any seat-belts on this thing?

I let out the breath I hadn't realized I had been holding. Then I glared at the blue haired woman. Stupid, stupid, stupid, bitch and her stupid "motorcycle" or whatever the hell it was called-

"Hey," Ash whispered. "What was that all about?"

I glared. Ash didn't seem phased in the slightest and continued prodding. "I can't help you if I don't know what's wrong. Do you not like motorcycles or something?"

"You don't need to know," I snapped, then turned away. Ash frowned and stroked my fur. I twitched, but was far too tired to fight with him, so the touch remained. I was pretty sure that I was going to murder Ash once I got better, regardless of if I was giving him a chance or not.

Everything afterward passed by in a blur. I was far too exhausted to deal with anything right now and eventually found myself dozing off when we arrived at the Poke Center. I awoke some time later to a rhythmic beeping sound. I cracked my eyes open to see that I was lying on a bed with strange wires attached to my arms and my cheeks. There was white bandages wrapped around my torso as well. I frowned and moved to take the stupid things off but was stopped by a hand grabbing my paws.

"PikaCHUUU!"

I instinctively let out a Thundershock. My face morphed into a scowl when I recognized who the hand belonged to.

"Ash." I addressed the human by name. He was on the floor, groaning in a lopsided position.

He sat up and his face brightened. "Pikachu! You're awake!"

"Obviously," I said dryly. "Now, why the hell aren't you letting me take these stupid things off?"

"You can't take the bandages off!"

"Not the bandages, stupid! I'm talking about these weird wires!"

Ash relaxed. "Let's wait for Nurse Joy first, okay?"

"Nurse who?" I demanded, reaching the end of my patience. "Okay, I'm not waiting for anybody, you asshole. I want these stupid things off of my freaking-"

The door opened suddenly and a chansey rushed in. A pink haired woman walked in after it. "I'm so sorry for the wait," the pink haired woman said as the chansey began to take off my wires. About freaking time. I glared at the pokemon through the whole process. "I had to help a child's oddish with some poisoning..."

"That's alright," Ash smiled. "So, is Pikachu gonna be okay?"

"Yes, don't worry. Pikachu should be able to make a full recovery. However...while most of the wounds were light and should be almost completely gone within a few days...others were slightly deeper. They could really end up hurting it if it doesn't take it easy, so look out for it, okay?"

I looked down at my bandages, wondering what in the world this lady was talking about. I felt completely fine. Hell, I felt better than fine! Clearly, the woman was deluding herself. From what I've seen, humans were very good at that, so it wouldn't be too surprising. Maybe I could shock her out of her delusion? It would help us both. That way I didn't have to be annoyed by her and she wouldn't be declared as delusional by society.

The woman spoke to Ash for a while longer, but I tuned them out and instead looked out the window. It was completely dark outside, the city lights illuminating the sky. Despite only seeing a part of it from the window, the city felt ginormous. The buildings looked tall from a distance. I couldn't even begin to imagine how tall they were up close. The way the lights practically lit up the sky...for a bunch of stupid humans, they seemed to know how to make things look nice.

Eventually, the woman left and I felt Ash's presence take its annoying ass place next to me. "What do you think? The city lights are really pretty, right?"

"I don't really care," I said with a toss of my head. "All the lights just distract from the stars, which are way nicer than whatever the hell humans can come up with."

"...is that what you really think?"

I didn't respond. I willed him to go away with my mind, but nothing seemed to be working. This pesky kid just refused to leave me alone.

Oh, yeah. This was him trying to become my so-called "friend". Right. Stupid me.

Stupid him for even trying, I thought bitterly.

Ash let his legs sway back and forth on the edge of the bed. It got annoying, so I politely asked him to stop. He did so upon seeing my sparking cheeks and silence fell between the two of us. At least until he began speaking again.

"Nurse Joy told me that you need to change your bandages in a bit. She also said I needed to give you a bath."

My ears twitched upon hearing that. The thought of a human giving me a bath...I shuddered. It was repulsive. Ash seemed to notice this and tried to reassure me. "I'll do it gently, I promise! I know you don't like feeling uncomfortable, right? I just need to make sure your bandages are always fresh. That, and, well...Nurse Joy had to quickly bandage you, so she only had time to clean around your wounds." He looked awkwardly at me. "You're kind of still dirty from all the mud..."

"I noticed."

"...so? Will you let me-?"

"No."

"But-"

"No."

Ash stared helplessly off into space for a moment. Then he cautiously spoke. "If I don't do it, then Nurse Joy is probably going to do it herself, and you don't know her. I know you don't trust me any more, but...at least you...kinda know me?"

It was the flimsiest excuse I've ever heard in my entire life. I hated the prospect of any human touching me, but at least I "kinda knew" this one. "Fine," I snapped, snarling a little. "You can change my stupid bandages."

"And give you a bath."

"Fine, whatever."

Ash tried to pick me up in his arms and I instantly began to object. "Hey, hands off!" I squirmed out of his grip. "I can walk just fine, you moron!"

Ash looked hesitant before he relented. He led me through the hallway outside of the room. I couldn't help myself and looked around. The place was bustling with other humans and pokemon, mingling in groups or eating alone. I couldn't help but curl into myself. The amount of people and pokemon here made my stomach turn.

We walked into a different room with white tiles everywhere and a white tub in the corner of the room. What was this place called again...? Oh, right, a bathroom. I recalled the pidgeotto speaking of it before. Their description of an office was incredibly glamorous. Their description of a bathroom was incredibly generous. This place didn't look like a palace at all. Not to mention it smelled strangely, like the room I was in before smelled, only stronger. My nose twitched with irritation as Ash pulled a lever and water came rushing out of the spout and into the tub.

"Okay, so now we just got to wait..." he muttered to himself before getting back up. He turned to examine me. "Have you taken a bath before?"

I gave him an offended look. "If there wasn't running water nearby," I growled, "I'd shock you."

"What!? Why?" Ash jumped in alarm.

"Because you asked a stupid question, that's why!"

"It was a perfectly valid question!" He complained.

"You mean it was a perfectly stupid question!" I snapped back. "Of course I've bathed before. Contrary to what humans may think, pokemon can actually keep themselves clean, you know."

"That's not what I-" Ash huffed. "I mean have you taken this kind of bath? Like one with hot water and bubbles."

...bubbles?

At my confused face, Ash nodded. I snarled at the condescending tone in his voice. "Thought so." He looked back at the tub, now filled to the top with water and steam rising from it, then went over to a cabinet. He pulled out a bottle of...something, and poured it into the water. Or rather, "squeezed" is a more fitting word, I suppose.

"Okay, done." Ash said proudly. I gave him an unimpressed look as he walked over to me. He held his hands out then hesitated. "Um...I just realized the tub's kinda deep..."

"So?"

"Er...I'd have to hold you, then."

I narrowed my eyes. "You didn't think about this before?"

"...no?"

I rolled my eyes in annoyance then shuffled over to him. "Fine. But the second we're finished, I want your filthy hands off of me, got that?"

"Right...got it." He bit his lip before gently picking me up and holding me inside the water. I expected cold water like what I was used to, but nearly shrieked when I felt hot water greet me instead.

It was unexpected but...it felt nice, somehow. Relaxing, even. Back in the forest, if you somehow managed to find a body of water to bathe in, you'd have to constantly keep watch for the next pokemon who'd be willing to kill you over it. There were only a few scattered ponds in Mountain-side and almost all of them had been claimed by incredibly territorial pokemon. I would always sneak into the pond nearest to me, regardless of whose it was. I had to look over my shoulder almost every second to ensure that nobody would sneak attack me from behind and turn the water red.

But this...this was...

"Do you like it?"

Ash's voice snapped me out of my thoughts and I tried to give him a glare, but failed. The water just felt so warm and inviting, I felt my muscles loosen up. "It's...it's...okay..." I muttered, trying to hide my growing blush.

Ash gave me a big grin and lathered some soap into my fur. "Let's get you cleaned up."

The next few moments passed by in silence and I was forced to admit that it was a rather blissful experience. Ash's fingers massaged my fur as he washed out all the grime and dirt. It was in gentle, circular motions that made me feel all gooey and warm inside.

If the opposite of hell actually existed, I was sure that this would be it. This was unlike anything I've ever experienced before. It was quiet, nothing filling my ears but the soothing sounds of the hot water splashing. Ash remained quiet too, and for that single moment I could forget the fact that a filthy human was giving me a bath.

Good things never lasted, however, and I felt Ash pull me out of the water. I felt my heart sink and I began squirming in Ash's arms. "Put me back," I snapped.

Ash frowned. "You can't stay in there forever. I need to change your bandages, remember? You'll open your wounds again if you stay in for too long."

That felt stupid to me and so continued to protest. Ash paid me no heed and pulled a cord from inside the tub. I watched helplessly as the water began to drain, feeling a lump in my throat. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me. What was wrong with me? It was a stupid human commodity, nothing more. It was nothing to get upset over...

I shook my head. No, I wasn't upset over that. It was the fact that Ash only chose now to shut up. Any other time he would talk my ear off, but only now does he decide to shut his damn mouth. Confident that this was in fact the reason for my general upset, I sent dark glares toward Ash as he dried my fur and carefully re-dressed my wounds.

However, he seemed to misinterpret my glares, much to my chagrin. "I can give you a bath later, if you really want. Just, you can't take it all the time, okay? It wastes a lot of water."

I tried not to perk up, though I felt elation rise in my heart that I desperately tried to fight down. I looked away and muttered, "Whatever, I don't care", hoping that was enough to placate the damn human.

Ash hummed to himself in reply and I mulled over in my head as to what that meant. I followed Ash outside, distracted. What was that supposed to mean? A human? Humming? Was it some sort of secret code I was supposed to understand? Was he mocking me? I growled at that. Nobody mocked me and got away with it-

I bumped into something and fell on the floor. I scowled at the small figure, almost twice my size in stature, and let off sparks in anger. The figure wore a trench coat, glasses, and hat, obscuring his image. "What's wrong with you?"

"Me?" The voice complained. "What da heck did I do? Yer da one who bumped inta me!"

I froze, suddenly realizing that the figure in front of me, against all reason, was able to understand me.

That's twice now...I eyed the figure with skepticism. He brushed himself off and leered at me, showing off his very feline-like eyes. I felt a twinge of instinctual fear that I simply couldn't explain. "Watch yerself, rat."

My fur bristled and I nearly lashed out at him if it weren't for Idiot Boy shouting my name. I glared at the retreating figure, trying to fight down that unsettled feeling, before I turned and ran after Ash, who was sitting on one of the many couches in the Poke Center.

Ash beckoned me to sit next to him and I hesitantly obliged. He seemed to want me to sit in his lap, but I chose to put some distance between us. Boundaries. This boy didn't seem to understand them. His face fell but he quickly recovered. "Who was that?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"...that guy you bumped into. Um...the short one with the trench coat and hat."

I shrugged. "How the hell am I supposed to know? That asshole just bumped into me then blamed it on me, as if it were my fault he wasn't watching where he was going." I muttered that last part. "That, and I guess you're not the only one who can understand pokemon."

Ash looked at me with an expression of disbelief. "What do you mean? That guy could understand what you were saying?"

"What else could I mean?" I replied hotly. "I asked him what was wrong with him and he got all offended for some reason."

Ash frowned, deep in thought. Then something flashed across his face and his eyes widened. "Wait. Backtrack. Pikachu, do you remember that spearow from earlier?"

"Kinda hard to forget," I snapped.

"I..." he groaned. "Man, I messed up...I slipped up when we talked to him, remember? I quoted him, word for word..."

"Yeah, I remember," I recalled. "You repeated what he said, to stop calling me a bad word or whatever..." The words tumbled out of my mouth uncomfortably for some reason but I shrugged it off. Maybe I was still feeling woozy from the incident itself.

"Did he seem surprised to you?" Ash asked seriously, and suddenly I realized what this was about. "Don't you think that's a little strange? He's from the Mountain-side, right? Pokemon shouldn't be used to seeing humans, let alone ones that can speak just like pokemon."

He had a point. I shrugged it off at the time, assuming it to stem from how he was the fearow's eldest son and often went to human civilizations for supplies or recon or whatever the hell the fearow wanted him to get, but...the eldest spearow seemed to be completely indifferent to Ash's ability to understand Syllabus.

I narrowed my eyes. The more I mulled over it the more I realized how strange it was.

"And that rattata you knew, too...she kind of just got over my whole thing pretty fast-"

"We don't need to worry about her," I deadpanned. "She's just a freak, that's all."

"That's kinda mean."

"I don't care."

Ash grinned. "Sure, you don't."

"I don't." I said firmly, feeling my frustration rise. Ash opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by a loud blaring sound.

I jumped at the sound, nearly letting out a shriek myself. "What is that?!"

Ash's brow creased. "An alarm. But why-?"

"Attention all citizens!" I identified the voice as the one belonging to the annoying blue haired woman from earlier. What the hell did she want now? Why was this woman making it her goal to cause me misery wherever I went? My frustration from before the alarm began blaring began to direct itself toward the woman, whom I promptly decided was on my hate list. Guess I knew who else to point fingers toward the next time I get in a pinch. "This is a Code Blue level emergency! Members of Team Rocket have been spotted near the Viridian City Pokemon Center. Please stay calm and keep your pokemon with you at all times-"

Ash stood up instantly and held out his arms. "Stay close to me," he ordered, and I glared at him. "Please, Pikachu. Otherwise, they'll make me put you in your Poke Ball and I know you don't like that."

I hesitated before jumping in his arms. I was beginning to notice an irritatingly omniscient pattern with this boy. It gave me mixed feelings, each battling the other out for dominance. I didn't want to deal with that, though. Not now.

Ash held me close to his chest and walked over to a long desk at the center of the room, where a large group of people were gathering, holding their pokemon close or putting them back into their Poke Balls. I shuddered as I saw a nearby sandshrew turn into a strange red energy that was visibly pulled into its trainer's Poke Ball. How could any pokemon actually enjoy spending time in those things?

"Nurse Joy!" Ash called out and pushed his way toward the crowd. The pink haired woman was seen urgently talking to the blue haired woman. An orange haired girl stood next to them with a stern look plastered on her face. She looked awfully young compared to the other two women. Was she their daughter or something? Were the pink and blue haired women mates?

I pondered that for a moment and realized that it certainly made a lot of sense. Blue plus pink made orange, right? I nodded vigorously. So that was their daughter. Not like I particularly cared, but at least I knew who to use as a hostage, in case...I don't know, just in case!

Ash almost made it toward the three women before a thick, dark smog filled the room. People began to panic, their voices overlapping in waves.

"Please remain calm!" The blue haired woman spoke into a strange device that made her voice resound throughout the entire area. "Stay right where you are and-"

She never got to finish her sentence. Somebody screamed and everyone's attention was diverted toward the center of the room.

There was a beat of silence, then I heard the very distinct sound of cracking glass.

My eyes widened. Ash's arms tensed around me.

Then every single glass pane in the Poke Center exploded.
 
Chapter VII: Incursion

Jewel the Quaxly

Duckies! :3
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Again, any feedback won't be taken into effect until the next chapter...whenever that gets out. I still need to work out the kinks of it. Thanks for the understanding!
~Chapter VII: Incursion~

I wasn't entirely sure why, but the sight of all the glass shattering sent a shiver down my spine. I felt my breathing begin to pick up and internally cursed myself.

Calm down, I thought. You're panicking for no reason. You're being stupid. Stop being stupid, Pikachu.

At some point, Ash had gathered me in his arms again and took me to the side. We ventured a good while away from the crowd and ended up alone in the infuriatingly sterile hallways. He slid to the ground, keeping his back to the wall and we ended up being hidden by a large plant.

I glared at the plant, wishing for it to burn, shrivel up and die. It was just one thing after another and I was beginning to think I couldn't handle this.

'You don't belong here...you never have...'

I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to block out that nauseating voice.

"Hey, are you okay?" I groaned loudly as Ash asked the question. Did I look okay? Did he have to ask?

...better yet, why did he ask?

When I didn't give him an answer, Ash began to prod. "Are you scared?"

"No," I scowled and swatted his arms. I jumped out of his grasp and onto the floor, almost slipping on it. "I don't need your stupid help. I don't want it."

Ash looked struck and for a moment I felt a lump in my throat, but fought it down. There was no reason for me to feel this way. No reason whatsoever. I barely knew this human, so why did he get the right to manipulate my every feeling?

It wasn't like he could do anything, anyway. Every time my mind flashed back to the words of that creature, I felt sick to my stomach. It was best not to think about it, but it just came to eat at my brain at the most inopportune times.

Like this one, for example. The area I was in was a complete danger zone at the moment and I was panicking over...

...did I even know what the hell I was panicking over? It must be the injuries from the spearow attack. Yes, that was definitely it...after all, it made no sense for me to be panicking in the middle of nowhere like that. My stress accumulating itself had to have stemmed from my injuries.

"It's just my injuries," I said, swallowing the lump in my throat. "Are you happy now?"

Ash looked anything but happy. Still, he nodded, and gathered me back into his arms. I made no move to protest, even though I wanted to shock him for touching me yet again. This boy was far too tactile for my tastes.

"Weird..." Ash muttered as he peeked behind the wall where the crowd had previously been. "There's nobody here..."

My ears twitched upon hearing a strange sound in the distance and I strained to hear it. Eventually I gave up, leaped out of Ash's arms while startling him in the process, and carefully crept my way behind the desk the pink haired woman was at earlier. I could hear two voices more clearly now and I almost let out an involuntary shriek when I realized it was because they were right in front of me.

Panicked, I scurried underneath the desk and held my breath as two long purple bodies slithered past me. Pokemon...

"-thought thisss wasss a good idea? I mean, that wasss sssuch a wassste of explosssivesss back there."

"It was for theatricality," the other voice said, sounding annoyed with the first voice. I found this voice to be strange, as it was hard to follow what it was saying. Was it from another region? "You'd think you'd understand that by now, given that you're supposedly supposed to be Jessie's first pokemon..."

I could practically feel the eye roll from here.

"Oh, ssshut up, you jealousss pieccce of ssshit."

"Jealous? Are you kidding me?! You don't know what you're talking about."

"Don't I? How many timesss have you given me a dirty look whenever Jesssie usssesss me in a battle? How many times have you rolled your eyesss whenever I do sssomething ssshe praisssesss?"

There was a huff in reply.

"Exsssactly."

I tuned out what the two snakes were saying when they finally made their way past me. I let out a quiet sight of relief and tensed, ready to run the other direction. In the corner of my eyes, I saw Ash looking panicked as the two purple snakes approached his hiding spot. I rolled my eyes. Go find a new hiding spot then, dumbass.

"Hey!" I cringed as one of the purple snakes noticed Ash, who yelped. "What do you think you're doing-come back here!"

"Pikachu, run!" Ash called out to me as he ran past me, effectively revealing my hiding place.

I wanted to murder this boy.

"He's got a rat with him too!"

"Get them both!"

I scowled. Screw that...

"PikaCHUUU!!!"

I gasped sharply when I felt something wrap around me and hold me up in the air. It dodged my Thundershock? "Ssstupid rodent..." I opened my eyes to see an arbok hissing at me. "Let'sss sssee how long you can lassst, ssshall we?"

The look in the arbok's eyes told me that whatever he was talking about wasn't going to be a pleasant experience. I began struggling when I felt the arbok's body constrict around me, depriving my body of the oxygen it so desperately needed.

Dammit, not again!

I tried to fire off Thundershock after Thundershock, none of them doing anything to the arbok, much to my consternation. Why wasn't it working? It wasn't working, why wasn't it working?

"Hey! Leave him alone!" The arbok hissed angrily when a flying show came and hit the back of its head. It whipped its head around toward Ash, who had his hand outstretched. Yet again another example of how this child's stupidity is a concept that simply cannot be grasped.

"You're going to regret that, kid." The second snake slithered in front of the arbok, obstructing my view. The arbok began squeezing me again and I felt my muscles constrict. I didn't recognize the other pokemon. Was it an ekans? No, it looked more like a deformed arbok...only it was a blackish green color rather than a purple. Wait, why did I think that it was purple...?

Ash tensed and backed away as the other pokemon approached. He stumbled backward and took off his other shoe, holding it in the air threateningly. "D-don't touch him!" It took me a second to realize he was talking about me and not himself. "Let him go, right now!"

The snake pokemon barked a laugh as the arbok squeezed me tighter. I choked back a sob. Why did this keep happening to me? Why me? What did I ever do to deserve this?

"Or else, what?" The snake pokemon barked a laugh. "Little boy, you clearly have no other pokemon on you, and I doubt your shoe will make a formidable weapon."

Ash narrowed his eyes and without giving a warning, chucked it straight at the snake pokemon's face, hard.

The arbok loosened its grip on me, allowing me to catch my breath. "What the...did he just get knocked out? Did he seriously just get knocked out by a damn shoe? From a kid???"

Taking advantage of the arbok's distracted state, I let out a Thundershock. The arbok writhed and screamed, dropping me to the group with a hard thump.

I steadily got on all fours and, with a quick glance back at the two groaning snakes on the floor, dashed back toward the hallways. Ash followed me shortly afterward. He kept checking doors behind us, muttering things under his breath like, "locked, locked...oh, this one isn't-! Oh. Locked..."

I eventually slowed down to catch my breath and Ash eventually caught up with me proper. "Are you okay?"

I glared at him. Again with the faux concern...this boy, I swore, it was almost like he enjoyed leading me on. "What do you care?"

"I just wanted to see if you're okay-"

"I'm fine," I snapped. "And you should really quit while you're ahead."

Ash looked confused. "What do you mean?"

Before I could answer that frankly stupid question, somebody called out to Ash.

"Psst! Hey, you! Kid with the pikachu!"

Ash glanced around to see the orange haired girl from earlier poking her head out of a room. She urged us to come closer. "Quick, come in here!"

Ash hesitated, but obliged, and I unfortunately was forced to accompany him. The orange haired girl closed the door after we came in and locked it. I took a quick look around as the orange girl began to demand Ash to explain what he was doing still wandering around in the halls. The room made me feel uncomfortable. It was filled to the brim with those infernal contraptions humans liked to call Poke Balls.

"What happened to the crowd of people, anyway? And where's Officer Jenny? Or Nurse Joy?"

"Joy's in the back of the room," the orange haired girl replied, tossing her head in that general direction. "She's transferring all the Poke Balls to the Poke Center in Pewter City. Officer Jenny left to do crowd control, since everyone ran off screaming once those Rocket members made themselves known..."

"Rocket? I heard Officer Jenny mention that earlier...that's Team Rocket, right?"

I wandered toward the back of the room, where I could still follow along the needlessly loud conversation between the two humans and see the pink haired woman from before gathering a bunch of Poke Balls in her arms and throwing them frantically into a machine. A distressed looking chansey was bumbling around trying to help her.

"Have you not heard about them before? Where the heck are you from?"

"Pallet Town, and I have too heard about them, it's just...I guess I don't really see how much of a threat they are..."

"...they don't teach much history back in Pallet Town, do they? How do you not know such basic stuff?"

"Hey!"

A loud bang drew everyone's attention toward the door, including mine. The orange haired girl hissed and pulled out another stupid Poke Ball. "Do you have any pokemon on you?"

"Er..." Ash nervously glanced toward me. I glared at him and he looked away. "No...?"

The orange haired girl groaned. "Are you kidding me? Fine, grab one of the Poke Balls on the shelves and ask the pokemon to battle with you. That shouldn't be too hard."

Ash nodded frantically and began searching the shelves in hopes that his psychic powers would activate and the perfect pokemon would come to save the day. Right at that moment, however, the doors blew up.

"Well, look what we have here." A woman with gravity defying pink hair sneered at the orange haired girl. A large blue blob stood in front of her in a defensive stance. "A little girl. Is she gonna try and protect this place all by her self?"

"How cute." A man with short purple hair sniffed a rose. Why was he holding a rose? Was he Rose Man?

I think I'm going to call him Rose Man.

"She's delusional!" My eyes sharpened at who had spoken. A meowth. Who was speaking. Like a human-

Wait a minute.

"Oh, trust me when I say that I'm more than enough to take you losers on!" The orange haired girl declare, nervously shooting glanced to where Ash was still searching through the shelves and where I was keeping my distance. For some reason, the thieves or grunts or whatever they were called hadn't noticed the others in the room, nor did they point out what each of us were doing, but I just marked it off as classic human stupidity. "Now, come on out-"

"Hey!" I cried, running forward, my cheeks sparking with anger. I skidded to a stop in front of the orange haired girl, who seemed startled by my presence, her Poke Ball still held in her hand. "You're the guy who bumped into me earlier!" I pointed at the meowth accusingly.

I resisted the urge to shudder under its piercing stare. "An' yer dat careless rat." I scowled and fired off a Thundershock in retaliation, ignoring the orange haired girl's cries of alarm. "Hey, watch it!"

"Stupid rodent..." The gravity defying woman spat. She took out a Poke Ball and smirked. "I know exactly who should deal with you..."

I never got to found out who this fascinating creature was, as right at that moment, Ash decided to make himself known by throwing another shoe at the gravity defying woman.

There were a few moments of awkward silence.

Then, the gravity defying woman began screaming. "You little brat! I'll kill you for that!!!"

The orange haired girl cringed and turned to Ash. "Are you nuts? Why would you throw your shoe at her?!"

Ash looked guilty. "It wasn't my shoe!"

That's right, he threw both his shoes at those two snakes from earlier. Unless he had another foot somewhere, there was no way that was his shoe.

Did he have another foot somewhere? I began looking him over to see if that was the case, but was disappointed to find there wasn't any extra appendages the thieves could be worried about.

"It wasn't your-what do you mean it wasn't your shoe?! Who's shoe did you throw???"

"Oh, he threw mine!" The pink haired woman cheerily said, quickly poking her head out from behind a shelf, before resuming in her activity.

"Eyes over here, twerps!" The gravity defying woman snapped. "Who do you think you are, ignoring Team Rocket like that?"

"Uh, I'm Ash Ketchum from-"

"Don't answer to them!" The orange haired girl stomped on Ash's foot, causing him to yelp and stumble into the shelves. Poke Balls scattered all over the floors. "And why did you take so damn long to choose a Poke Ball? Just pick one and throw!"

"It's not my fault most of them were empty!"

"Oh, is that so?" The orange haired girl raised her voice a few octaves and I cringed. What was wrong with this girl? Was she trying to make me hate her? I hissed at her, hoping that she would realize she was being too damn loud, but either she missed my distress or ignored it. I opted to believe the latter. "And what about your own pokemon? You seriously don't have a single one?!"

"I do too have a pokemon!" Ash stuck his tongue out and I rolled my eyes. This argument was going absolutely nowhere.

"Then why did you say that you didn't have a poke-"

"PikaCHUUU!!!"

My Thundershock fired off wildly, hitting the pokemon thieves, the orange haired girl, and Ash at the same time. The pink haired woman and her chansey looked on in the distance, the former relaying the fact that she had finished transferring every pokemon to the next Poke Center and that the thieves would have no more pokemon to steal.

No more pokemon excluding the ones currently in the Center, that is. I tensed as the thieves turned their harsh glared on me.

"Yer gonna regret dat...take dis!" The meowth charged at me with its claws glowing. I jumped on its head, using it as a springboard toward the two thieves.

"PiiiKaaa-"

"Wobbuffet!" The gravity defying woman cried as she and Rose Man hid behind the big blue blob. "Use Mirror Coat!"

I was startled when the Thundershock I fired bounced off of the blue blob and directed itself back toward me. I screamed and collapsed on the floor, my muscles involuntarily twitching.

"Pikachu!" Ash cried in horror then glared at the thieves, who were smirking triumphantly over my downed figure. "You're going to regret that!"

"Just try us, little boy," Rose Man mocked. I gritted my teeth and tried to get to my feet, failing miserably each time.

"Wait!" The orange haired girl stepped in front of Ash. "I'll take care of them. You go and escape with Nurse Joy!"

Ash hesitated. "But what about-?"

"Forget about me! Just go!"

Ash looked conflicted but one look toward my defeated figure and his eyes hardened. He nodded affirmatively and ran over to me, cradling me in his stupid arms.

"Chuuu..." I weakly sent out sparks to let Ash know I didn't approve, but he ignored me in favor of running to the nurse lady.

There were shouts coming from the front of the room followed by hysterical laughter.

Then I heard "are you serious? You think that thing can defeat us? It's weaker than a caterpie!" and got extremely worried about my safety. Our last line of defense was that stupid orange haired girl and that's it? When her pokemon is supposedly weaker than a caterpie? What was this, a game?

The pink haired woman led us out through the back of the room with her chansey struggling to keep up with us. Poor thing. I almost pitied it over its bumbling size holding it back.

We were led back to the front of the Poke Center, where we saw the arbok and that black snake from earlier. I heard Ash curse under his breath and I cracked a smirk. This boy was the last person I'd expect to cuss.

Well, that's not entirely true. The kanga I used to know was the biggest crybaby on the planet. He'd only cried a few times, but a few times is enough to get you labelled. The amount of times I'd have to bail that moronic birdbrain out of a jam because he did something stupid like trying to reason with the group of violent mankey and primeape was nearly endless.

"It'sss that kid from earlier!" The arbok hissed and I rolled my eyes. No shit.

"I take back what I said about you," I muttered to Ash without thinking. "You're not the stupidest creature on this planet."

Ash looked startled. "Uh...thanks...?" Then it hit him. "Hey, wait a minute!"

"Get them!" The black snake hissed and the two pokemon lunged toward us. Ash tightened his arms around me, muttering reassurances under his breath, as if any amount of comfort could placate the situation.

Ash stumbled as he tried to move out of the black snake's way and ended up tripping onto the ground. I fell out of his arms and felt a numbness wash over me. What a day. How many times was I going to be left in pain like this?

"What to do, what to do, what to do, what to do-!" Ash muttered rapidly under his breath as he dashed across the room in a zig-zag pattern, being chased by the black snake. I watched with an expression of amazement on my face. The pink haired woman and her chansey stood frozen with the same fascination plastered on their own faces as well. The situation was ridiculous, that's what this was.

"What in the hell...?" The arbok muttered before its gaze fell on me. I felt a twinge of instinctual fear as the creature towered over me. It felt like that professor's laboratory, a million times larger than me, holding secrets that could destroy me if I got too close. I wondered what screams the arbok had muffled in its own lifetime. "Well, look who we have here..."

"G-get away from me..." I hissed. The arbok laughed and began circling around me. I tried to run, only to realize that it was trapping me with its tail. I began to hyperventilate, having recognized the slimy tactic used by the arbok. Wild arbok used this tactic all the time. They would circle around their prey, slowly enclose in on them, then when their prey was all wrapped up nice and tight...they would go for the kill.

"Aw, isss the little mousssy ssscared?" The arbok snickered as I fired off a Thundershock. It winced, but held strong, and I felt confusion overtake me. "Niccce try, but there'sss not much you can do when all your shocksss are being redirected into the ground."

I wondered what it was talking about until I saw that the end of its tail was stuck in the ground. What in the-?!

"How-?" I managed to make out, stunned at how fast the snake was. It laughed maniacally.

Then, once again, I found myself being rescued by the same damn human for, what, the third time in a row?

"Let him go!" Ash actually jumped onto the arbok and barreled into him, driving him into the ground like a hardened fighting type. I watched with amazement as the chansey came running up to me.

"Are you okay?" The chansey asked me breathlessly. "That kid just..." she sucked in her breath. "I don't even know what he just did..."

"I'm fine," I mumbled in response, still trying to process what my eyes were seeing.

Unfortunately, I wasn't given much time to do so, because right at that moment, Gravity Defying Woman and Rose Man came made themselves known.

"Hey! Leave my arbok alone, you little brat!"

Ash yelped and ducked behind a desk at the Gravity Defying Woman trying to grab at him. I rolled my eyes. What a baby.

"Stop!" The pink haired woman shouted. There was a thin line between bravery and stupidity, which she just crossed. I turned toward her and hissed. They were distracted! Just run away!

My stomach churned at that thought, but I ignored it.

"You leave that boy alone." The pink haired woman declared bravely. "What happened to Misty?"

Misty? She must've been the orange haired girl. So that was what her name was...not that I cared. Names were irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

"You mean Iizuka?" The gravity defying woman sneered. See? My point is just proven. Who the hell is this mysterious "Iizuka" character? She's still the orange haired girl, right? Humans were so needlessly complicated... "We gave her the slip. I bet she's still trying to figure out how to open up that damn door."

The meowth snickered. "Oh, yeah. Dis'll definitely give us a promotion from da boss. Wait till' he hears how we defied a member of da league!"

Now I was even more confused. I hated feeling confused. It made me want to attack something.

...well, there was a certain group in front of me I could vent my frustration out on.

"Pikachu!" Ash caught my attention and turned some strange contraption with two wheels over on the ground. "Come here! I have an idea!"

What the hell kind of idea needed something like that? What was it called...? A bike, right? I recalled that annoying girl's clefairy telling me something about it during the two weeks I was stuck at that stupid laboratory. Wasn't it a mode of transportation? What was that going to do against these guys?

Wait, were we going to force them to ride the bike to hell? I mulled it over in my mind and found the idea to be rather appealing. I had no idea how exactly this plan would work, but as long as they got to suffer, then that's completely fine with me.

I trotted over toward Ash as the pink haired woman engaged in battle with the pokemon thieves. "What is it?"

"Remember that Thunder you let loose in the forest? I need you to do that again. Only this time, I'll be helping you. With pedal power!"

"Pedal...what?"

Ash huffed. "Just trust me. Get on the bike."

I hesitated before complying. Ash put his feet on the pedaling things and began moving them in a circular motion. I couldn't stay mesmerized for long, though, because that was when the thieves noticed us preparing for our exorcism of their souls.

"...da hell are dey doin?"

"Stop them!" The black snake cried out. I yelped. Where the hell did he come from?!

Ash pedaled faster and I charged up the biggest Thunder I could muster.

"Piii..."

"Koffing, attack!"

"Wait, what?! James, are you crazy-?!"

"Kaaa..."

I took a deep breath...

"CHUUU!!!"

...then released a glory of electricity at the thieves. They only had a few precious seconds to react, but did nothing in their stunned state. I grinned as I saw their entire lives flash before their eyes...

Well, okay, I didn't see their lives, per se, but it was probably what they were thinking!

Then the Poke Center exploded.

***

"Well, that was...an adventure." The pink haired woman said awkwardly as she helped the orange haired girl stand up. Rubble and debris were everywhere, the Poke Center having been transformed into a complete pile of rubble.

The orange haired girl groaned and clutched her head. "Man, my sisters are not going to be happy once they hear about this...wait." Her eyes fell on the charred mess that had previously been known as a bike. "Is that my bike?!" She shrieked and I could feel Ash's flinch without having to look.

"Uh..." he grinned nervously. "Sorry about that..."

"You wrecked my bike!!!"

Ash yelped as the orange haired girl got up in his face. I smirked at the scene while the pink haired woman and the chansey chuckled awkwardly. Those two should run a comedy gig. I know a group of mankey that would love to take them in.

...if they somehow managed to listen to the two of them long enough to hear the comedy potential, that is. Otherwise, they'd be two comedians short and two human corpses extra.

"I'm sorry, okay! I had to do something!"

"That something required mutilating my bike?!"

"And the center," the pink haired woman chimed in cheerily. "It's completely decimated. Sure is a good thing I got all the pokemon transferred beforehand."

Ash gave the pink haired woman a funny look. "Ya know, for such a big Poke Center, I expected a lot more pokemon to be here. Were they all seriously just cooped up in that one tiny room?"

The pink haired woman tensed and I scoffed at her behavior. Damn humans. I wouldn't be surprised if she secretly took glee in trapping those pokemon in those infernally stupid Poke Balls.

The orange haired girl frowned thoughtfully, her pointless anger over her pointless bike forgotten. "Speaking of...Nurse Joy? Can I speak to you for a moment, please? In private?"

Ash stuck his tongue out at her, just like I did. Oh, good. He was learning.

The pink haired woman hesitantly nodded before she stepped to the side with the orange haired girl. I wondered if they were trying to figure out where the pink haired woman's mate went.

"So, Pikachu," Ash started, kicking absently at a small chunk of the Poke Center ceiling. Or was it the wall? Did they put posters on ceilings? "You're...okay, right?"

"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" I said defensively.

Ash shrugged. "Just wanted to check...you seemed a little...tense, earlier."

"I'm fine."

"If you say so." Ash sighed. "We're going back to Viridian Forest tomorrow morning. After we...ya know, find a place to sleep."

"Viridian Forest? Why?"

"You have to go through it to get to Pewter City. Viridian's the only way there, unfortunately. Well, the central path, I mean. The other path is through...you know...Mountain-Side."

"We're not going back there." I said bluntly. "I'll get killed, no thanks to you. You wouldn't even be able to feel bad about it because right after the spearow are through with me, they'll turn on you."

Ash shuddered. "Fun..."

"It's not, really."

"Somehow, I gathered that."

I snorted and Ash grinned. Unfortunately, our rather riveting conversation was cut short by the orange haired girl marching up to Ash and declaring, "I'm coming with you", with no room for real argument.

"What? Why?!"

"Because," the orange haired girl replied. "You're a maniac. And as a gym leader-"

"You're a what?"

"-it's my responsibility to make sure maniacs like you are kept under a tight leash." She gritted her teeth and muttered under her breath. "Not to mention, the sheer amount of paperwork that'll come from trying to clear this mess up will kill you."

Well, this was news to me. Paperwork can kill? Was that an actual move? Interesting. Maybe I could try and do that sometime...

"T-that can't be a real-"

"You can't really argue with my authority. Especially since you ruined my bike, which is gym property, by the way," she added with a pointed glare, "and I have a right to press charges against you along with the additional charges of..."

She gestured to the rubble surrounding us with a blank face and let that finish her statement for her.

Ash gulped. "Alright, fine. Just don't pester me, okay?!"

I grumbled under my breath as the two started bickering back and forth. Great. I have to deal with another human, now.

"By the way," the orange haired girl said suddenly. I was in awe at how quickly her tone changed. She sounded like a deranged maniac two seconds ago, but now she sounded thoughtful? Humans were so weird. "I never properly introduced myself. I'm Misty Iizuka, the gym leader of Cerulean City."

"Huh? Oh, uh...I'm Ash Ketchum, from Pallet Town. Nice to meet you."

Again, with the stark tone changes. Could I learn how to use Paperwork already, just to shut these two morons up?

Then, as soon as that thought came, the two started bickering again, over who knows what. I tuned them out entirely after two seconds.

If this was what the rest of the trip was going to be like, then I was not looking forward to tomorrow.

...not like that was anything new.
 

Daren

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I wanted to get to this sooner but between the review contest, working on my own fic, and getting through Legend Arceus I've been a bit short of time.

Chapter 5 review

So the end of this chapter starts to semi-link up with canon, but with a very different route to it. Giving the Spearow flock a bit of background (and even the Fearow from the end of Kanto in the original) is an interesting idea.

I was initially curious about why you gave Ash the ability to understand Pokémon, but I think I understand it now; him and Pikachu need to be able to talk to one another to work with the dynamic they have so far. It does make me wonder if his relation with Meowth will get a different lens than the main series.

As for Ash, so far he feels like a bit less bratty--maybe more on level with his OI self but without the battling skills--but it'll be interesting to see how that develops over time. I suspect Pikachu will turn friendly a lot more slowly than in canon.
 
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