Wishes aren't that Great
Author Note: So begins segment three with Jek now out in Cerulean City. Hmm, I wonder what events await him and his new found mobile freedom. Or do I? Do you? I'm confused now...
***EDIT: Info about story non-update status can be found at the bottom for those whom are curious.***
Since it's been so long, I decided to add a quick recap/summary of the previous two arcs for those that have forgotten some things. I'm going to remove it two weeks after posting this chapter. So, here's Wishes aren't that Great in 60 seconds(or however long it takes you to read it should you decide to do so)!:
Jek, everyday pokemon naturalist(photographer of pokemon in nature), had a run in with an odd pokemon like creature. She? (the She? thing is just to convey that She? was so alien to him in every way he's not sure if attaching a gender to her is proper. Like, she may be A-sexual for all he knows and thus lacking gender all together etc.) decided to "give" him something, that being his deepest desire being granted. However, it was a trick, and he ended up as a pichu in a colony just north of mount Moon. He was taken in by two twin sister pikachu's, Cirrus and Nimbus, whom named him Stratus. After a time at the colony, where he bonded with Trek and Terra, he and other pikachu were captured by Team Rocket while being "out of bounds" of the territory, though not before he evolved into a pikachu. While captured, a pokemon Enforcer (whom are the opposite of Team rocket/aqua/etc. as they make up a pokemon militia for the sake of perpetuating justice) set him and the other pokemon free. He ended up unconscious while helping Sara Kimbl (the enforcer) and woke in a pokemon center.
He was deemed to be too domesticated and the nurse Joy decided to have him adopted out. After a failed escape he was pokeballed and moved to Cerulean City. There he met several other "patients", including two friendly and hyper minun. After enduring a lengthy process of being trained for domestic living, and failing a number of escape attempts, Jek finally gets a helping hand from a human in the form of a scientist, Fairbanks, whom works at the facility. Thus the story continues with him having escaped into the early winter beyond the pokemon centers walls.
Incidentally, I noticed when editing old chapters awhile ago how close to being the same Trek and Jek are name wise. When I came up with Trek's name, I wanted it to be a bit of foreshadowing, or appropriate to his off shoot stories. So I thought of a good pokemon name that would fit with the idea of journey, adventure, trip, etc. I didn't even think about how similar their names were at the time. Jek was just something random I thought up while trying to think of an anime style name that might fit in with the Pokemon genre in general. I'm not great with thinking up good names for chars so I leap on anything halfway decent. I'm thinking while trying to come up with a fitting name for Trek that having been saying Jek so often that the ek at the end of Trek came to mind easier than other similarly suitable names. Just thought it was odd after I noticed it so figured I'd bring it up.
Disclaimer: I don't own pokemon in any way shape or form.
'yap yap' thought speech
"blah blah" spoken speech
Chapter 24 - A Journey's Beginning
Being in the city with this snow didn't improve my opinion of it by much. Everywhere I went, there was grimy slosh all over, a mockery of the innocent white it had started as. People continued going on about their lives, only a few showing any change for what I always considered a festive holiday season. 'Folks are really different in the city compared to the country. This must be what they call the "rattata race".'
The only difference came in the form of people walking instead of biking, and the few cars around didn't seem to be running. I'd only seen public service vehicles, police cars, a couple buses, and a salt truck. I was becoming rather bored but fought the urge to leave my hiding place. I found out very quickly that a yellow pelt and snow, grimy or not, didn't mix well when you were trying to remain unnoticed.
After being spotted and chased by a group of kids, thankfully too young to be trainers, I'd staked out a hiding spot behind a department store. In all my predictions of the future, I'd never envisioned my sitting in a cardboard box behind a store. 'At least I have this much, a lot warmer in here than out in the open.' It wasn't the first spot I'd picked, but after nearly puking a lung up at running into a grimer behind a downtown grocery store in a particularly nasty alleyway, I decided a new, cleaner, location was in order.
Thinking of the gray mass almost sent me in a coughing fit once more. 'That was a most unpleasant experience... glooms have nothing on those things. I think I'd prefer death over a run in with one of their evolved forms.' Shaking my head, I rid my thoughts of that particular nightmare and focused on my plan. I had little else to mull over while waiting for night. 'I left the hospital in the afternoon sometime, and it's been a few hours at least. These people look like they're starting to go home so it has to be nearing four or five o'clock. It gets dark earlier in winter, so I should be able to move soon.'
I knew people would still be out and about at that time, but even with street lights I would be much harder to spot. There were a few hedges and tree's along the side walks, this was a tourist city after all, but not nearly enough cover for me to keep moving comfortably. My stomach growling reminded me of another discomfort, 'I'll need to get something to eat soon or I'll be in trouble. Even if I can survive without food for awhile, I can't afford to become weak from hunger.'
So it was, each minute passed slower than the last. I couldn't bring myself to sleep with the paranoia of recapture hanging over me. That sensation isn't one I can say I was happy to have acquired it. A year ago, I would never have thought that I'd be marked by days of capture. Even as I was mentally begrudging this, I couldn't help but be relieved that it had been with the "good guys" as it were. 'I don't even want to imagine what I'd have gone through if those Rockets hadn't been stopped.'
"Stop! Thief!" A cry from the street echoed out. Glancing out from the cardboard flaps I couldn't make out the source cause of the alley's walls, but it came from the left somewhere. People paused and glanced in that direction at whatever the commotion was. A couple people on the nearest side of the street quickly moved as a blur ran past at knee level. It was only a quick moment that I saw it but it looked like a furret with something in it's mouth. Just as quickly as it appeared before alley, it was gone. 'It certainly moved fast enough to be a furret.' Moments after the pokemon had gone by, a young man in a green market apron did the same, only he was huffing and traveling at greatly reduced speeds.
"And here I try not to stereotype. Guess that furret doesn't feel like breaking any molds right?"
Startled by the sudden voice I jumped and bumped the cardboard box with my head. The whole event ended with it flopping over on top of me. Gripping the edge and lifting it, I peeked out to see the bottom of two blue feet. Before I could decide where to go from there, the other pokemon had lifted the box up over his head. "What're you hiding under this thing for? Are you scared?" The machop was asking me without any hint of malice despite what could have easily been taken as an insult. Indeed, instead he had a somewhat clueless happy expression.
"I'm not scared, just cautious. No reason to invite trouble when it can be avoided." I gave a quick glance down either side of the alley to confirm whether anyone else had managed to sneak up on me.
"Huh, I guess so." Still holding the box over his head, the machop continued to stare at me with his vapid gaze.
Finally, after I could take no more I asked, "Is there anything I can help you with?" With my statement he looked puzzled then outright amused.
"Me need help? Hoho! Do these look like they're in need of help?" He flexed his free arm, tensing the muscles. "Naw, I'm fine. Just passing through."
"I see." I thought he would nod or simply walk away but there he stood, still. I was starting to get annoyed now, but before I could bite out a remark he waved and began to depart... with my box. "Uh, excuse me! You're still carrying that box I was in." Turning back around he spared me a nod and a "Yep". "Err... I was using it, do you think you can put it down now?"
"Why would I do that? I need a box; came here looking for one actually." My eye twitched slightly and before I could snap back he went on, "Oh, I guess I didn't ask, how rude. Do you own this box?"
"Well, no, it was out here lying around. It's just that I was using it already to stay out of sight and the weather." Even while I was citing a natural concept of politeness and social etiquette, I was musing over what an odd fellow I had run into. 'I'm not getting the impression that he's being mean, just, uh, not looking at it the same way or something.'
"Oh, it's fine then right? Sharing is important after all. I'll bring it back and you can use it again next! Hoho!" He turned around and continued down the alley away from the occupied street.
"Well... I guess that's true. Ya... sharing. Well, have fun with it then." It was obvious I wasn't going to get through to him on something like this, and the whole exchange left me a little baffled. 'Had to have been one concussion too many.' So I sat there, cold snow sticking to my pelt, as a machop walked away with my shelter that I'm, apparently, sharing with him.
Looking around, I concluded that my earlier deduction on that box being the only acceptable one returned. There were two other boxes next to the dumpster, but one was filled with something slimy that I didn't want to investigate too thoroughly. The other was iced over from getting wet, and filled with garbage. 'Well, third times the charm. The next spot can't get ruined like these two, certainly."
There was a gasp behind me and an adolescent girls voice said "Look look, a pikachu mom!" Taking it as my cue to go, I started off down the alley away from the street without looking back. The teal bricks blurred around me as I belted down the alley. My ears pressed backwards against my head. I had always thought it was a stream lining thing when pokemon did this, but really it was just easier on their muscles to not hold them out against the air flow and it kept most of the noise from the wind passing by out of my hearing.
Shortly after I began my run, a handful of random turns at most, I came before a dead end. On edge, my ears lifted and shifted to catch sounds of unlikely pursuit. 'Nothing.' A fire escape before me was covered with plant pots (any berries that may have been there long since picked or dead), wind chimes, and other patio trinkets, pointed to it belonging to an apartment building of some form. The bottom of it caught my eye because it was within jumping distance. 'Securing high ground might be the way to go instead of trying to hide below eye level.'
Easily bounding from a trash container, to a windowsill, and then further onwards to grasp the bottom bars of the metallic fire-walk, I was once again amazed with my current form. 'I'm smaller than I was as a human, but can reach places beyond obstacles with far greater ease. Where's the justice in that... though, best not to look a gift ponyta in the mouth I guess.'
The metal was built for traction for a persons shoes, not small clawed paws aiming for grip. They stung from the cold metal digging into them uncomfortably as I climbed, but I knew it wouldn't cause any lasting harm. I was fortunate for the weather now at least, it was too cold for windows to be open and few would let their pokemon wander in it randomly. 'So long as I avoid parks or playgrounds, this is the water pokemon city.'
It was a bit hazardous making the final leap onto the roof from the railing below, but I was nimble enough and my claws held firm to the edge. 'I'd have just slipped off the ice on the edge in I didn't have claws... This is actually kind of liberating.' I realized I was enjoying having access to places I wouldn't have been able to go to before, either through social expectations, or etiquette, and even just physical capabilities. 'It's the little things that count sometimes.'
Of course, this thought was well on it's way out after the chilling wind hit me. I scurried to a roof access on the other end, closer to the street below. Being behind the protrusion of the stairwell going inside and downward, the wind was effectively blocked. 'It's still colder up here though, this is only temporary.' Maybe I had thought of this factor earlier when I decided to stay ground level and forgotten it since. It seemed fairly obvious now that I was dealing with it.
To make matters worse, my stomach made itself and it's displeasure known. 'I really wish I had pockets or a container. I could have packed some food while I was at the center.' You don't realize until it's too late just how helpful conveniences like that are. I was hoping I could make it out of the city and begin foraging for food on my own before I became hungry. I knew I should have eaten a full meal at breakfast, but I had been so nervous about my escape after I sat down for awhile I only ended up half halfheartedly eating a handful of poke-chow. All the running I did to distance myself from the center had sapped my vigor also.
'I refuse to beg, both for my pride and for the risks involved, but I'd loathe to have to steal food as well. There are bound to be strays in a city this size also, no doubt their taking what slim pickings there may be from scrounging.' I couldn't afford to be weak in the the forest though. In the city it's simply a question of capture and morality, but if I leave here hungry it'll become a question of mortality.
I decided to stray into the wind to look over the roofs edge and see the passerby's below. As though viewing something other than the wind swept flakes flowing past my gaze would inspire me with an acceptable solution to my dilemma.
It was about everything I imagined looking down from a city building upon the street would look like. Though it was novel to actually see the sight in and of itself. There was a majestic quality to it I hadn't considered before. Something about the energy of everyone having something to do, all the purpose that was thick in the air. 'I seem to be seeing a lot of things I never saw before, despite forging a career based on my sight.'
After being at the pikachu colony, I was looking at this place in a new light. 'This is one of my peoples nesting grounds. Well, one of many different kinds. I never really thought of it in terms like this before.' I stood there for a time, only breaking my gaze when the chill began to set in uncomfortably so.
Before I could retreat and regroup something below caught my eye. A shady seeming rattata was looking, leeringly, about in a small alley beside my chosen perch. They seemed to come to a conclusion and quickly bounced their way up into a cracked window above them. I was considering the possibility of them being a resident trying to find a way in before I could clearly see they were casing the domicile before pawing the sliding window open further.
'It seems theft by pokemon has become rather rampant in this city, rather unusual for such a tourist location. Usually the in flow of money and well maintained streets allows for a more positive mentality in the locals.' I was quickly considering simply ignoring it but my curiosity, and perhaps some amount of simple good will, kicked in. 'If nothing else, I'll get some warmth in return for the good deed. Considering, I doubt merit badges will be involved.'
Making my way down to street level was a simple matter. The gap between the two apartment complexes was barely five feet, a distance that was simplicity itself with my current acrobatic capabilities. After that, it was simply jumping down the ledges and different window sills. To say I was enjoying the new found mobile freedom was an understatement. 'Maybe I'm just looking for excuses to do this kind of thing actually.'
When I did finally reach the window in question, I didn't see the errant pokemon in the immediate room. It was apparently a bedroom window and the rattata had either decided to hide in here or was making it's way further into the house. I hesitated briefly before taking a step inwards, cautiously making my way past what had to be a kids room if the rockets and stars were of any indication. 'Hmm, they have a fixation with rockets and yet they're favorite pokemon, if the stuffed animals, stickers, and posters lying atop the space theme wallpaper are of any indication, is an onyx. How does a space junky fall for a traditionally grounded pokemon?'
The deep brown wooden door was already ajar and the hallway stretched before it. It couldn't have been more then eight feet in length, but it was still rather intimidating. 'Huh, actually this is the first time I've been in a home like this before isn't it? Makes sense...' There were several closed doors and a carpeted room, the living room more than likely, was positioned at the end.
It wasn't until I was halfway down the hall, ignoring the closed doors, that I realized I really didn't have a plan of action. 'I'd better come up with something before I go in there and just make a fool of myself. Somehow I doubt yelling or scolding them will produce desirable results.'
While contemplating a plan of action, the object of my focus rounded the corner from the carpeted area. Any doubts I may have had were slaughtered upon seeing the handkerchief with part of a french bread loaf sticking out the top. It was almost comical seeing it carrying the little makeshift stolen food bundle that was about as big as he, as I could now tell, was.
He stared at me like a stantler caught in headlights, but before I could capitalize on the situation a door opened behind me. My ears jerked to face the direction and was soon followed by my head. A man in his early thirties stood there in blue sweats looking at us blankly. He snapped to attention far quicker than me and was already bringing out a red ball from behind the doorway. That was about when my flight instincts kicked in and I shot towards the living room.
The rattata had just decided to abandon the food when I reached him and a cry of "Get them Rosco!" echoed behind me. At first glance the living room with a side bar like counter separating the kitchen from it had no immediate exits. While darting for the kitchen I spared a glance behind me. A persian had just swiped at the rattata and despite the seriousness of the situation I couldn't help noting how amusing it was to seeing a rattata dodging with a same sized loaf of french bread wedged in their mouth.
It took me all of half a second to identify the horizontal sink window as being open-able and jumping up on the counter to undo the latch. 'Adrenaline sure is handy.' I heard steps in the kitchen and could see the thief making their way to me with the defensive pokemon in pursuit in my peripheral vision. When I all but threw the window upwards after unlocking it I hollered, unnecessarily, at the pokemon to hurry and jump out with me.
It could only have been six or seven feet in the air so I wasn't worried about the consequences of the short drop. It turned out to be into the street, but I had other things on my mind to be worried about. I heard something hit the ground near me in the packed well walked upon snow. Shortly after I heard them running off. I gave chase, though I was confused as to why.
I found myself heaving in a snowy alley far from the scene of the crime at the end of the winding journey. Rat, as I was thinking of him now, was no better off. The slight whistling sound he made as the air rushed passed his buck teeth was rather hilarious.
"What gives, ya Green horn!?" I snapped to focus to see Rat looking at me angrily, the bread grounded at his forepaws.
"What the heck?" I stared at him confused.
Rolling his eyes he just hollered at me once more, "I had an entire sack, what the hells your problem huh?"
I'd normally get upset with anyone yelling at me like this, but he was fairly smaller than me so it was more amusing than anything else. "Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realize you wanted that foul up to be a private moment. I feel so bad."
He let off a low growl before picking up the loaf and flicking his tail in my direction as he began trotting away.
"Hey wait a second there, where do you think you're going? As I recall, you'd be meowth food right now if I hadn't saved your hide." I crossed my arms and stared him down as he looked back at me.
"Pfft, whadda ya want, a medal or somethun?" I continued to stare into his half lidden eyes, unwavering. "Fine, fine whatever... it's not worth battling over. Here twerp." I uncrossed my arms to catch a suddenly air born half of the bread loaf.
I wasn't really sure what had just happened and found myself dazedly saying, "What the heck?", once more.
I looked up to see Rat's retreating form yelling back, "Yer not getting anymore 'an that, so piss off jackwad!"
A few minutes must have passed before the whole event finally dawned on me. 'Ah wait a second, I just wanted acknowledgment that I saved his ass and deserved some gratitude. How did it end up like this? Now I'm an accomplice to his theft with half the spoils in my paws.' I stared at the morsel for a time. 'It's not like returning it would matter, they'd just throw it away since it was on the street and in a rattata's mouth... Speaking of, it was in a rattata's mouth while they were running like crazy.' I scrunched my nose with that last thought and continued contemplating it.
However I wanted to look at it, I felt my eyes were well and fixated on the half-loaf. Hardly any time passed before I was eating it slowly, savoring the taste of the freshly baked bread, and quietly removing the salivated end piece. 'This has got to be a new low for me, I just know it.' Carrying a small sense of defeat with me, I began making my way further into the back streets of Cerulean City.
END Chapter 24 - A Journey's Beginning
Parting Author Note: Thus his trip back to the cave begins, as does this story once more. I had to stop myself while writing this a couple times cause I kept coming up with episodic, light hearted plots. While the light hearted part was good, I didn't like the episodic factor. I don't want a story that rehashes over used plots (however cool I could make them) with a feel good ending on team work and friendship you know? So, it took awhile to actually find a plot course for him being in the city and leaving it that satisfied me.
One such plot was the ferret being a lackey for a large slow pokemon that suckers quicker, but weaker, pokemon into causing a ruckus and gaining attention while he steals things since he's too slow to do it himself without risk of capture. He tries to sucker Jek into being one of his fall guys(the ones that get noticed and often caught) but is turned down. Running into the ferret again, he finds out about the ruse. So he figures out the next mark and then communicates to a human working there about the upcoming theft. Pointing out that the fall guy isn't important and instead it's the one that comes afterwords (he'd use a rock to indicate the first guy then use a bigger rock and point out it's significance with it coming in after the first one and he puts it on his head and points at it to try and convey "crown/king" "head/boss"). In the end, the theft boss pokemon is captured and the ferret feels lost but ends up being pals with the human that laid the trap with Jek after the ferret agrees to work hard in the store and stop stealing. See what I'm saying about episodic? That was just one, I had to throw out like five of 'em. It was bad.
I have the general plot outlined, but I do the steps in between on the spot so I can retain flexibility and let the story progress naturally. I had an idea last year I was going to use, but it got fuzzy and the bits I did remember I didn't like, so had to dive back in from stage one.
I'm working on a college degree right now, so I'm not sure how often I'll be updating. Even if it takes three years (I hope not), I'm going to complete this though. That's the only guarantee I can offer sadly.
Jek is back! Yee Haw!
(My brother lost us our place when I was roommates with him so I was a vagabond for a year. Then I started going to college to get my PH.D as a Computer Scientist. Sorry folks, but not only is my time limited but this story is too far removed from me after all this time. I'm glad those of you who enjoyed it got something from it, and I wish time, energy, and inspiration weren't a finite resource, but life is what it is. Take care and have a good life. -Genjen 12/2015)