Author's Notes: Here it is, the first story of The Beginning of the Road series! Poor little Emery. Everyone's so mean to her! Anyway, I hope I didn't mess her up too much, Eve. I think I followed your ideas pretty well. For some reason, Emery talks with really big words. I don't know why, that was just they way I ended up writing her character. Also, this is a story that is told in retrospect, as all the other stories in the series will be told. I hope everyone enjoys this! Don't forget to R/R!
Disclaimer: I don't own pokemon. I don't own Emery, she belongs to her creator. In fact, the only thing I own here is the plotline.
The Beginning of the Road: Eternity in Chains
A box of cigarettes. That's what I was traded for when I was separated from my parents. One measly box of cigarettes was what started me down the path of my horrific life.
I was five at the time I was first sold to a different owner. I didn't even know what was happening, didn't even know that I was a slave. My first owner, an elderly woman whom I had looked upon as a foster grandmother, found herself a few pennies short when she was trying to buy herself cigarettes. I distinctly remember the transaction that day. I was with her at the time. My parents had stayed home to clean up the house. The cashier announced that she did not have enough money to buy her cigarettes and she got really angry. While she was fuming over the price, the cashier was looking at me thoughtfully. He was the one who suggested the trade. Of course, my owner decided she could do without me but not without her smokes. She handed me over without a second thought.
I never even got to say goodbye to my parents.
My new owner took me to his house, a filthy rat-hole—no, not even a rat would lower its standards to live there. The place was crawling with vermin and decorated with molding food, most of it strewn upon the floor or spilling out of its fast-food container. I looked up at my new owner, not knowing what was going on. He answered by tossing a disgusting rag in my face and ordering me to start cleaning. I asked why and was answered with a slap to the face.
"Because you're a slave, that's why."
It was the first time I was referred to as a slave, but certainly not the last. Those six words became my creed. I cooked, I cleaned, I was beaten, all because I was a slave, that's why. The first months I spent with that man were hell. I cried myself to sleep every night, wondering when I would see my parents again. If I hesitated even for a second before doing some demeaning chore, I was slapped across the face or kicked. He never bought anything for me, and I don't mean presents by that. He never bought me clothes or food or even basic hygiene products. I wore the same squalid clothes every day and I don't ever remember brushing my hair while I lived with that man. The only food I got was what my master threw away. I was forced to scrounge through the garbage like an animal just to eat.
I was too young at that time to know that I didn't belong in that house. I thought that I had to stay there with that horrible man, doing all his chores and living in squalor. At first I thought I had done something wrong and that I was being punished for it. Then I believed that I had to stay with him because there was nowhere else for me to go. That was why I stayed with him until I was seven. At that time, I realized exactly what a slave was. I learned that there was no way out of the life of a slave…unless I could run away.
I got the idea of fleeing the Orange Islands when I learned that there was somewhere else I could go. I learned of Johto and the Indigo Plateau and other places. They were places without slavery. All I had to do was get there and I would be free. I wouldn't have to clean up a filthy house and I could wear new clothes and eat a decent meal without having to beg for it. So, one night, I left. It was that simple the first time. I just waited until my master was asleep and then I just walked out the door. Easy. I walked out into the street, then down the street. It only took me an hour to reach the edge of town, then all there was between me and my freedom was a small forest. Withholding a shout of pure happiness, I ran through the forest even though the rocks and sticks hurt my bare feet. These trees were the edge of town and, at the age of seven, what I believe to be the end of the Orange Islands.
There is no possible way to describe the disappointment I felt when I reached the shore of the ocean. In fact, disappointment my be too much of an understatement. I was horrified by the immense body of water I now faced. It was then I realized that escape might be a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. I stayed in the forest that night, leaning against a tree trunk with my knees pulled up to my chin, shivering and crying. If only I hadn't cried that night, I might have been able to escape sooner. It was my crying that caught the attention of a sole person out for a late night walk. That person recognized me as a slave and dragged me right back to my master. He hated being woken up in the middle of the night and let me know just how angry he was. He beat me until I blacked out that night. When I awoke the next morning, bleeding and sore, I found that he had clamped an iron slave collar around my neck. That was my reward for discovering the truth about my social standing as a slave. Now, no matter where I went, I could be recognized as a below-human servant. Sometimes I wondered if that was all I was meant to be…
No! That couldn't be my lot in life. I refused to accept it. Every night, I would try to run away. Every night, I attempted to make it as far as the ocean I had seen before. Every night, I was dragged back to town. Anyone who saw me in the slave collar knew that I must belong to someone. If they knew who owned me, I was returned immediately for another beating. If not, I was chained in the center of town until my master came back to claim me. Those times were the worst. I would be mocked by those who had their freedom. I even had rotten fruit and stones thrown at me. The stones that hit me left their mark, of course. I still bear the scars from some of the sharper ones.
Eventually, after several nights of running and being dragged back, my master decided I was too much of a hassle to keep. He took me to the black market slave trade, sold me for fifty bucks, and left me there in an iron cage. I lived there for only two days. A slave auction was my next destination, and I was sold off to the highest bidder. I don't remember how much I went for as I was not paying much attention to the proceedings. I do remember the man who bought me, however. He seemed so nice in the beginning. He smiled at me, bought me some new clothes and something to eat, and took me back to his mansion. He gave me my own room to sleep in. It was a nice room with a real bed, not like before where I slept in a pile of dirty laundry. I thought that perhaps this man would be kind to me and I wouldn't have to run away.
I couldn't have been more wrong in my presumption.
One day, a few months later, I was out in his garden watching some Pidgey and Spearow flutter around the birdfeeders when my new master came up to me. He asked me kindly to accompany him back into the house. I did so, not knowing any better. He took me to a bedroom—his bedroom. I had a feeling something was amiss at that point. He had never asked me into his bedroom for any reason before. My feelings of unease were confirmed when he asked—no, ordered me to remove my clothes.
I kicked him in the groin and ran for the door. He could not stop me as he was writhing on the ground in pain. I ran out of the bedroom, but not before grabbing his wallet off the dresser. I was out of the house in record time, sprinting across the garden and disappearing into the woods. My master never found me. I was free from him and his perverted ideas.
I stayed out of sight for several days after that. I knew better now than to try and leave the Orange Islands so soon after I had escaped from a master. There was no doubt that he would make it known that he had lost a slave. Everyone would be looking for me and expecting a reward.
During my time living in the woods away from those who would enslave me again, I caught a few pokemon. Using the money from my ex-master's wallet, I bought some pokeballs from a trainer who had been passing through the forest. He was not from the Orange Islands, so he did not know about the slavery that existed here. Sometimes I wonder if I should have tried to leave with him, but it is too late for regrets now. I only had enough money to buy two pokeballs from him, so I had to choose the pokemon I wanted wisely. If I had pokemon, I could defend myself better against slave traders and would-be masters. Also, I would have someone to talk to. True, a pokemon couldn't really talk back, but it was better than being alone.
I ended up catching a Spearow and a Squirtle. I befriended them, so they chose to come with me willingly. I took care of them as they took care of me. Every once in a while, an Orange Islands native would find us and my pokemon would fight them off. I would then tend to their wounds and heal them as best I could without the aide of potions. My pokemon and I became good friends. In fact, they were my only friends and still are my only friends.
Unfortunately, my life in the forest was not to last. One day I was discovered by a young woman, probably in her mid-twenties. She tried to claim me since I was a slave, so I sent my pokemon out to scare her off. It was a terrible decision. She just smirked and watched me through her heavy-lidded eyes. Then she held out a pokeball of her own and released a huge Gyarados. Squirtle and Spearow never stood a chance against such a powerful pokemon. It knocked them both out before they could do any damage to either itself or its trainer. The sea serpent then grabbed me in its teeth and I was hauled off once more into slavery.
That woman, whose name I still do not know, was seriously sick. She would feed me and clothe me, but that was just to keep me in satisfactory condition. All other times, she forced me to fight, gladiator style, against her other slaves, or against pokemon for her own entertainment. I hated her more than I can express. Thus I only stayed with that lunatic woman for a month. In that month, I taught myself to pick pockets as well as locks. Using tiny pieces of metal, I picked my cell door and fled into the night. I remember hearing alarms going off and hearing large pokemon searching the surrounding area for me, but I did not stop running that night. I ran until my legs buckled under me. Only then was I a safe distance away from that madwoman.
Again, my freedom did not last long. I was found by a slave trader and was sold off again and again. Each time I became the possession of a new person, I would still refuse to do anything I felt was wrong or disgraceful. I refused multitudes of tasks my masters insisted upon. Each refusal led to a beating, most of which have permanently scarred my body and mind. I don't know how many owners I've had. Far too many to count, I'm sure. I was bruised and battered by all of them, especially when I would mouth off to them. I began to do that as I got older. I also became more and more reclusive while in a person's possession. I never talked to the other slaves. I would never leave my room unless my master would order me to do work. I tried to run away as often as I could, but I was never successful. Perhaps…perhaps I really am meant to just be a slave. I had all but lost hope until that one day.
On that day, I was back in the slave market. After being paraded around, it seemed that there would be no buyers. No one wanted "Untamed Emery" as I had come to be known in the slave market. I was about to be thrown back into my cage when a man stepped out of the crowd and offered to buy me. I was surprised by the amount he offered—several hundred dollars, far more than I was worth. The slave trader gladly turned me over to my new master. The man smiled at me eerily and I feared at first that he would be like the second master I had. But this man was different. Instead of taking me to a house, he took me to the town's harbor. I allowed myself the briefest flicker of hope, which was rewarded when I was escorted on to a boat. It was a luxury yacht, all black except for a red 'R' on the bow, which I paid no heed to. After all, I was leaving this God-forsaken island!
The man told me I could go anywhere I wished on the boat, just so long as I had an escort. He scratched the ears of a Persian that appeared at his side and told me that we were heading for Viridian City. Once there, I would become part of his organization. I agreed readily, anything to get me away from the Orange Islands. He then removed the slave collar around my neck, which made me almost hug hum in joy. Finally, I would be free! No longer was I a slave, I was my own person! I would gladly work for this man, seeing as how he seemed to want me as an employee instead of a servant. Yet now, as I look at his shadowy face out of the corner of my eye, I cannot help but feel fearful. He appeared to be trustworthy, but I had learned one lesson long ago, a lesson I will never forget.
Appearances are always deceiving.
Author's End Notes: The ending was a little depressing, wasn't it? Well, that's the way I pictured Emery's world. Also, please raise your hand if you thought the woman with the Gyarados was Professor Ivy. Anyone?