Warning: This story is Under Construction. Reading beyond this chapter at the time of this writing could and most probably would lead to the reading of bad writing, terrible grammar, and unforseen loopholes and/or bad descriptions or character dialogue. You have been warned.
Into The Minds
The Pokémon, the Trainer, and the Past
The sun held a brief grasp on the Jolteon, who perched on the stepping stone he marked as his own. He watched it quietly, unwaveringly, almost becoming one with the mountain rock. Shaking away his hold, he locked gaze at the Pokémon adrift, who had wandered past their boundaries to gaze upon his spectacle. He gave a hiss and growl to let the wild know what belonged to him. Alone, he kept his guard up at the Western side of Mt. Chimney. His name was Zap.
He left his guard post and continued along what he considered his boundary. No one was to cross it. He felt he should pity the sap who made the trek to his territory, whether it be Pokémon or Trainer. This was his continual routine, and every day for the past month he has guarded his place. Making his way towards the northern corner, he passed his homely abode, and watched his mate, a Flareon, as she watched him from the mouth of the small enclosure, the one cave cut off from any other entrance, where he, his mate, and his kit lived. His only kit. For Zap, every day was the same routine.
At the end of his boundary, he felt eyes watch him. But they weren't from afar in the forests, or up in the mountain. He knew these eyes as his mates. She came alongside him and watched the vast trees where the wild kept their distance when he was around.
Zap knew what was going to happen. He knew about where his mate came from. Lost from a trainer, Zap was the only one who could help her cope. Back then, he was not so uptight about security. It was about him and her. He thought several times about changing his mates name.
Rachel. Ugh, he thought. The names humans come up with.
For one reason or another, she liked her name, and Zap wouldn't have taken away something that meant so much to her. He only wondered of her fascination with humans, which was always so mysterious. She named all of their kits, all with the fascination of humans in mind. All of them…until they had only one.
"What are you doing away from Cathrine." Zap said. It was very straightforward and statement-like, no question intended.
Cathrine was his intentional pronunciation of his naïve little kit. Rachel always gave her a human enunciation when she spoke her name, always Catherine, never Cath-rhine. But Zap refused, nowadays more than ever.
"Zap, it is time we stop," Rachel announced sadly. "Why must you keep doing these patrols? One day, Catherine will be caught by a trainer. It is the way life is."
Indeed, the day Catherine would be caught was the day he dreaded the most. When he returned her gaze, he knew it in her eyes that she dreaded that day just as much as he did. For whatever reason however, she accepted it. But Zap could not, even though he knew it to be true. Every time this talk would come about, he would continue to deny it and say that Catherine was not the only reason he guarded them with an iron paw.
"I do this because of their cruelty," Zap answered. "The Trainers."
"What cruelty? It is the way humans are."
Zap wanted anything but to accept her reality. "You must remember…what they did to us. To the others…!" He would not speak their names. They were his kits; stripped out of true life, given no chance.
His mate lent his eyes a sympathetic gaze. "It is the way life is."
Zap felt offended. He'd never side on the human fence, but could not let her tell him that life meant such a high tolerance of violence. "What they did to us, is nothing like the humans I used to know. Those humans had no right to do what they had done!"
"Did you have the right to do what you did?"
His memories were returning. As much as he wanted them bottled at the back of his mind, they always came back. It was the reason he kept his guard up, after all. It was a curse, really. There was nothing worse than the curse of remembrance.
"Those trainers…they knew that these kits were not ready for the world. They still belonged to us."
"Yes Zap; you made sure of it."
It was true. He turned away, back to the forests, back to the mountain trail, to any direction that was not directly at her face. The memories seeped back into his vision, and returned to him.
Yes, the name as Zap would recall it. It was not a trainer he was calling, nor a human of any sort. It was one of his kits, with the name once again chosen by Rachel.
The harsh rains soaked his fur, more so his kit. The young Eevee looked helpless, defenseless, and the rain piled on his fur making him even heavier and struggle with every breath. The little Eevee was not going to make it alone, he was too worn-out.
"I can't walk anymore…" Mark said. His gaze was piercing, because he was so young.
Among the other kits, he was the strongest. But Zap must have misjudged his might when dealing with the weather and their long trek across the lands. His other kits could barely stand.
However, none of that mattered at that moment. Their den was not far.
"How far can you go?" Zap asked.
When the Eevee collapsed, the answer was evident.
Looking through the distance, Zap tried to find a ray of light. A route of least resistance; the grass was too thick on these parts, but he knew he had to get through them somehow. He motioned for Mark to follow, but when he could not, he backtracked towards his kit. Father and son, their eyes locked.
"Let's go," said Zap. "I'll stop the rain."
He bit down on the Eevee's fur, carrying him from the scruff of excessive fur. Truly the water did make him heavier. It was a chore to take him across the land, but he didn't want his kit to think any less of his father. He was a Pokémon who would show his kits full responsibility.
The rains, however, refused to make the task any easier. Added to that, the tall grass felt even harsher. Much like his kit, all he wanted now was to be free of the rain and struggling. He wanted to be in the shelter of his den, where he could rest and feel an ounce safer knowing his kit had somewhat survived a trek with his father.
The cave was not far in the distance. His vision was blurred due to the water coming into his eyes, but he could see the outline in the distance. He used even more of his own strength, pushing through the grass with more force, his kit looking from left to right.
"I hear sounds…" Mark mumbled.
It's just the rain, Zap thought. It'll be over soon. We're almost home.
He continued on a sprint.
The cave became slightly clearer. He sprinted inside, letting his kit slide upon the floor, and then shook the water out of his fur.
"Nothing to worry about," Zap laughed, an exhausted air following. But something felt wrong about the enclosure. It was not like he had left it. And he smelled something else which was not native to his kind. He took notice of the entrance, and noticed it to be significantly larger. Here, Zap began to feel the fear Mark had been trying to warn him about.
"Rachel, we are here—!"
He stopped. It felt wrong to announce his presense. He gave one gaze to Mark, the one gaze that told his kit to stay put and not make any sounds. Between he and his kit, he noticed a wire. It came from outside, but it ended somewhere inside their den. Zap followed it quietly.
Where are they? He questioned. Rachel, where did you and the other kits go?
The other kits. Danny, Sarah, and Catherine. He hoped that his family was safe.
There was more light deeper in the cave. One of their walls had been torn down as well, leading to more intricate structures Zap was not aware of. The wire continued beyond the tunnel. In the distance, he saw a light, and it was closely approaching.
Humans! Zap hissed.
To his right, the nesting ground where Rachel and the kits napped was left unattended. There was a device beside it, and he knew what it was. He had seen one before, and Rachel had told him what it was. It was a laptop, further confirming the arrival of the humans.
Behind him, a voice shouted out, "Score! We got another Eevee and a Jolteon!"
It was all he would allow himself to remember. The remainder of the memory was too painful to recall just now. He returned those memories back to that dark place in the back of his mind, but knew it would do nothing. The fact remained that there was still a physical memory, involved in his life by waking up every day to find three of his kits missing.
"Was there something more you wanted to tell me?" Zap asked.
He hated to think of his mate without the tender care they had started with, but it was the only way to remain faithful as their guardian. He needed no attachments if he truly wanted her safe.
She brushed against him, hoping to lure him back towards the cave. But when he did not take the bait, she answered him, as the pushed away figure she had become.
"I just wanted you to come back home."
The town of Rustboro City is known for being the first stop traveling Pokémon trainers visit. Within its city limits are a vast assortment of trainer goodies: a trainer school, a GYM leader, and even the fantastic technologies organization, Devon Corp. As the sun settled down before the horizon, a house up on a hill began to fill with people, who started loud music and ordered several amounts of pizzas. Tonight, the town champ returned home, and his family and relatives, and every one of his friends, were sure to be there to cheer him upon arrival.
Darry Lucian and his brother Charley arrived at the same time. Darry wasn't so much surprised when everyone popped out from behind every hidden corner of the house to greet him on their little party, partly because it was expected of them and partly because all the vehicles out at the front were a major giveaway.
"You guys are great," Darry said with a smile.
Charley meanwhile, eased his way into the crowd, to get lost in the mass of faces who he sometimes knew, sometimes did not. It wasn't because he was not happy for his brother, but he seriously didn't want to be surrounded by people. He found himself on a kitchen stool. The pizza had been set down on the table, a good distance away from him. He had long since outgrown the taste of it, but when offered a slice, he took one to appear normal.
His 11 year old cousin sat next to him for awhile, who talked about his own trainer journey so far.
"I've been to so many places!" his cousin Marvin exclaimed. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you! I also saw Darry a lot, but I haven't been to as many places as he was. I'll tell you though, when I saw him in Slateport, and he told me he was going to challenge the Elite Four, I was just so amazed—!"
Yeah and you almost got him killed, Charley thought.
"Listen," said Charley. "Why don't you go talk to Darry. I'm sure he'll be happy to hear about everything you have to say about your journey."
"Yeah, I did, but he was talking to so many people at the same time, and it didn't seem like he could listen to me right, so he told me to talk to you about everything, which is still pretty cool really, because you're still on your journey too!"
Charley shot a glance at Darry. It went unnoticed, since his 16 year old brother was still busy at the moment.
"What?" It seemed Marvin was still trying to talk to him.
"So how many badges do you got?"
The one thing the 13 year old dreaded the most was coming to a party filled with relatives because he was afraid someone would ask that one simple and common question. It felt even worse coming from Marvin.
"I've got a few," Charley replied.
"Yeah, but how many?"
"Enough. Listen, I don't feel so good right now. Can we talk later?"
Marvin seemed upset. Reluctantly though, he agreed.
There was a momentary silence between the two.
"How many Pokémon have you caught?"
Charley said nothing for a moment. "I…I can't even remember."
"Oh…well, ok. I'll see you later, I think Darry doesn't have anyone to talk to now. Hey Darry!"
Marvin ran off to go catch his brother. Charley sighed, took a whiff of the pizza, and then a single bite.
"Yum," he said dejectedly, then pushed the plate away. His bag was at his feet, looking still as fresh and new as the day he'd gotten it. It was a complete contrast to Darry's, and even Marvin's bags, who had signs of wear and dirt, and very messy usage. From his bag, he pulled his Pokédex. The backlight came on, and from the start menu, he found the number of Pokémon recorded not-surprisingly low.
"One," Charley sighed, if anything, to hide the depressed feeling he was getting.
He thought about Darry's journey a lot. When he looked around the party, he felt rejected. Everyone cheered for Darry, and he did not even beat the Elite Four. He beat three out of four, not even meeting the champion. In all honesty, Charley was beginning to feel a little jealous.
Darry was by his side now
"Darry, what's up?" Charley looked around. "Hey, wasn't Marvin supposed to be looking for you?"
His brother pointed towards the bathroom, where his cousin was seemingly talking continually to someone inside. The rear door to the bathroom, however, was left open.
"Technically I'm listening to every word he's saying. But I got to get back there anyway before he feels really abandon." His tone became serious now. "C'mon bro, what's got you down? I can see it a mile away."
"I'm good," Charley replied.
"I don't see it. You need to relax a little. We're home, you're safe, and damn that's a blessing you need to count." Charley didn't seem stirred by this. "Listen, if you want, I can go ahead and tell the truth. I can try to make what happened seem believable. I know what you're probably going through, and I want to take care of you. We're a team."
Yeah, and you're still treating me like I'm still on your team, Charley thought.
"You don't have to worry about anything," Charley said. He looked down at his bags. They all seemed so unused, and it annoyed him to be the one to come home without the grit. "In fact, I think I might quit training altogether."
Darry seemed unsure how to answer that. But to Charley, it didn't matter how he would, if he even said a word.
"I'm going to our room," Charley continued. "But you enjoy the party. It's meant for you. I am very happy at how far you've come, Darry. After your adventure around Hoenn, there's absolutely nothing more than can surprise or stop you."
Charley stood from the stool. He was tired now, but his brother stopped him before he left.
"Take these," he said.
It was a badge case. When Charley opened the case, inside laid all eight badges Darry had won.
"After all we've been through, I'd say you've earned them."
Charley was frozen, questions running through his minds. "I can't take these—"
"Actually, you can," Darry assured. "The Elite Four already have me registered. I don't need to present the badges twice. And you know what? You've earned them. More than I ever could."
"I…wow, thanks Darry," Charley said. There was a bit of enthusiasm carried behind his voice. It was a gift that would not go unnoticed.
Charley reached out to shake his hand. Darry pulled him in, to a hug.
"Don't worry about a thing. It'll all work out in the end."
Upon release, Charley nodded, and continued on his way, up the stairs, to his room, where he would rest for the remainder of the night.
He laid on his bed, trying several different sleeping positions. He never had so much trouble finding a way to sleep before, but the past few days had been very different. There was no sleep coming. Not even the party was sizzling out. It only seemed to get louder.
But later on in the night, the people began to leave, and the sounds that had escalated were gone with them. Almost the moment when he felt everyone had left, the door was pushed open.
In came his brother, finally throwing his backpack on his bed, opposite to Charley. They shared a room. It looked like Charley would be spending a few more days with his brother than expected.
"You won't believe what I just got," Darry said excitedly.
"What did you get?" Charley replied tiredly, no interest in his voice.
"Bing! Check this out."
Turning again, Charley looked at what was on his hands. The lights turned on, forcing him to wince at the sudden brightness. He took another look at what Darry held.
"No way," Charley said in shock and amusement. "That's for the S.S. Tidal!"
"Wait, not done yet," he said, and pulled out another from his backpack. "Two of them."
Charley looked at the tickets, unsure of what to make of them now. "Wow—who gave these to you? You're going to the Battle Frontier?"
"You bet. And you're coming with me."
It was a sudden question, not in wonder, but a seriously question-y 'why'.
Darry paused, noticing the change in tone of the conversation.
"I figured, since you helped me out, this would be a perfect chance to get more of your own challenges."
"'my own challenges'?"
Darry tried to tread along carefully now.
"Listen, I know it was tough," he began. "These tickets were meant for me, and a friend of my choosing to come along." He paused once more. With a grin, he added. "And I choose you, Charley."
"Ha, funny, why aren't I laughing," Charley said sarcastically, but no longer with heavy anger, and more accepting.
"Come on. Will you come with me?"
"…uh…because you're my brother maybe?" Charley didn't respond. "Okay, listen Charley. You're the only one who believed in me. I know that right now, being a trainer is probably the last thing on your mind, but I think you could be the best trainer who ever lived." Darry sat beside his brother, the tickets still at hand. With his other hand, he reached onto his belt, and removed a Pokéball. "This was meant for me, as a gift, but I think you need it more." He handed the ball to Charley.
Holding onto the device and looking right into it, he asked his brother, "What's in it?"
Darry jumped on over to his bed. "Just open it. Find out."
Charley was worried at first. He shook off the feeling and told himself it was only a Pokémon inside, and nothing else would come of it.
He pressed the button release. The ball opened, a red energy escaping to form a small sized Pokémon in front of his eyes.
"Pika?" the small mouse-like Pokémon looked up at him.
Charley returned his gaze to Darry, unable to say a word. He sighed and returned the creature back to its ball, and places the device upon his night stand. He returned to finding a position to sleep with, leaving Darry to his inventory check.
Night had fallen beyond midnight. Late in the night, Charley finally found a sleeping position and had just barely been able to drift on to a dreamland. The night was quiet, almost peaceful.
There was a brief tap on the window. It was enough to return Charley to the waking world.
"Come…on…!" Charley groaned. He turned around again, his gaze going to the nightstand where his new Pokémon was held deep within the Pokéball. He wondered if Darry knew what was inside the ball before giving it to him. He had some very bad experiences with that particular species for a long time.
He couldn't have known, Charley thought. He wouldn't have done that. It was just the luck I have.
There was another tap on his window. Charley stood up in bed, taking in a yawn that further made him more restless. He looked at the window. There was nothing there. At least, nothing he could see.
Charley stood on wobbly knees and walked towards the window to take a peek at what could possibly be tapping against his window.
There was nothing outside. Not even a tree with overgrown branches reaching towards him.
Charley opened the window to see if there was anyone outside who was trying to get his or his brother's attention.
Probably throwing rocks to wake us up.
But again, there was no one out there.
Charley turned away, scratching the back of his head.
What's going on here?
Charley turned around slowly. There was nothing even close to tapping against the glass. Charley closed the window and backed away. He returned to his bed and kept watching, waiting for something else to happen. He was going to sit up and watch the window to see what was causing the tapping before he'd do anything else.
A while had passed. He continued his watch, but he was growing weary, and much sleepier.
Some more time had passed. He shut his eyes for just a moment. A moment time which felt even longer than it should. He counted the seconds, and counted until he didn't know why he was counting, before finally opening his eyes.
The window was gone. It was a wall. A four walled room, with a door leading out to the hall. Darry was still asleep, and their belongings were where they were supposed to be. But the window was gone.
He took a second glance, unsure, thinking maybe his mind was playing tricks on him. But he remembered the last time he had that feeling, and it nearly destroyed him.
The wall became a smoky substance. And within seconds, it spread itself onto the ceiling, revealing the hidden window.
The smoky substance became black, and started to drip like liquid ooze onto the floor.
"Darry!" Charley shouted, but it was too late. His brother was asleep, and being covered by a coat of the smoky substance. "No!"
Charley jumped out of bed and grabbed his Pokéball. He sprinted towards his brother's bedpost and grabbed his brother's belt, which carried all his Pokémon.
There can't be any Pokémon in this room!
He opened the door, but his wrist with his Pokéball got caught by a tentacle strong substance, pulling him back. Charley threw his brother's belt out into the hallway, and using his free hand, snatched the ball in his other hand to throw down the hall as well.
As soon as he was left without any Pokémon at hand, the substance let go. A low growl from within the substance resounded around the house, and the thing clustered together to become a wall of darkness, letting his brother free.
"Sorry Darry!" Charley shouted, and shut the door.
Holding the door shut, he could feel the substance rubbing against the door, trying to find a way to open it. Below him, Charley could see it seeping underneath the door. To his sides and above him, the smoke was breaking through the door.
Charley walked back slowly, afraid to touch the door, but he tripped on his brother's belt. Behind him were the stairs, which he tumbled down every step.
A hand to his side, he rubbed his nose at the bottom. He was bleeding. Not only from there, but on his knee. He tried to get on his feet, but it hurt.
He felt the smoke coming. He could see the smoke coming down the stairs, coming right at him.
Charley crawled out of the way, pulling himself to the kitchen entrance.
"Help!" he shouted, hoping someone would wake up and see what was happening.
The smoke caught up to him, encircling his body.
"No! Someone help!"
He was flipped and pushed against the refrigerator, choking at the pressure held against his neck, arms and legs. He could not shout for anymore help.
"No—I—won—," Charley cried.
The dark liquid smoke oozed its way up in front of him, and started twirl, beginning to form a circle. It was going to take him. Once that happened, it would be the end of his life.
This is it…
Charley stopped struggling, a tear escaping him. All his thoughts were of his family, and how he never had the proper chance to say good-bye to any of them. But he was grateful that he got to see them one last time.
The lights came on, and the smoke vanished in a flash. Charley fell to the floor, coughing and choking, unable to hold his breath.
Darry was in the room. He came immediately to Charley's aid.
"What happened? Are you alright?"
Charley could not answer him. He was dizzy, and his throat was suddenly dry.
"I'm here for you; can you stand?"
There was fear in Charley's eyes. He spoke, his throat hurting so much.
"It—it came back—!" He found blood on his hands, probably from his nose. He coughed, the pain continuing. Following his cough, blood dripped from his mouth. He faced Darry again, teary eyed. "It's back!" he whispered in a panic. "It's here. It's back again. And it tried to kill me!"
It was all Charley had to say for Darry to understand. The memories, the horrifying incident; what was almost impossible to imagine had ever existed was in Rustboro City that night, ready to finish the job it started. The curse on Charley had not been lifted.