Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Shadow walks his usual route through the city. He hasn't seen many people around on the streets like usual. There must be a carnival or something in town, he thought as he continued down the deserted streets. His trainer expects him home by the time she gets up and opens the door. It's five something in the morning and his trainer wakes up at six. He starts heading home. On the way, he sees the neighbor's espeon curled up with her litter in the alley next to his home. He reaches his doorstep; his trainer hasn't woken up yet to unlock the door, Figures she'd still be asleep. He sighs and curls up on the steps.
A sharp pain in his ribs wakes him sometime later in his ribs. "Oh Shadow! Are you all right? I'm sorry," his trainer's voice still sounds drunk with sleep. He gets up slowly and nuzzles her affectionately to say he was fine.
"There's a pokémon festival in town this week, and I entered you in one of the contests." She smiles wide and scoops him up into her arms, "So that means you need a bath mister night prowler." Shadow hangs limply in her arms, he doesn't particularly like baths but, if it must be done...
Lots of water and a mountain of foam later, Shadow is lilac-scented with a large blue bow around his neck.
"There, all clean and ready for contests." His trainer is smiling again.
He scratches at the bow, it feels strange against his fur; it itches too. Shadow forces himself to sit still, If she put this thing on me it must be for the show. I probably shouldn't mess it up. He does his best to ignore the bow and eventually it settles into a comfortable place in his fur and he forgets about it.
The fair grounds are packed with people and their prized pokémon, So this is where everyone was last night. I thought it was a carnival of some kind. He smiles at himself for being so clever. He is scooped up again and carried into a large tent, This must be the show tent... Shadow glances around. Several other pokémon are sitting on pedestals placed around the walls of the tent, their poké balls next to them. His trainer walks him over to a pedestal at the far end of the tent, Great, I'll be judged dead last. He slouches and folds his ears back. His trainer pulls his poké ball off her belt and sets it next to him. It's almost completely white with a thin red line around the rim.
"Judging will begin shortly. Please remain patient." Shadow yawns and curls up for a nap while they waited.

...

Shadow is woken by his trainer, frantically poking his ribs. He opens one eye to see her face contorted with worry; he springs up and looks around him. Everything is chaos, pokémon and trainers running around everywhere, Is this how contests are supposed to work? Something doesn't seem right... Suddenly, the tent is torn from above them and a large flying fortress hovers in its place; a huge red 'R' painted on it. Shadow growls at it, What's going on here?

His trainer grabs him and tries to run but trips.

Shadow goes flying and lands hard a few yards away. Someone grabs him by the scruff of the neck, they mumble, "A shiny umbreon, eh?" and places him in a sack. "Let him go!" he hears his trainer's voice screaming. Cold laughter from beside him and a strange voice answers, "Not a chance, we're takin' these pokémon to the Boss." His captor starts walking away, swinging the sack rather carelessly; a weightless feeling and another hard landing. Grrr...who do these people think they are, throwing us around like this? If I weren't tied up in this sack I'd... Shadow growls loudly at whomever it was that had bagged him. He starts to wriggle around in the sack, eventually loosening the tie. He pokes his head out just in time to see the door of the large carrier slam shut and throw everything into darkness.
Shadow roars in frustration. He feels helpless, a new feeling for him. He runs over to the door and rams it. His futile struggle stirs a wave of rustling from the other sacks in the container. Shadow continues to head butt the door, gritting his teeth trying to ignore the pain, his paws slipping on the metal floor as he presses ever harder into the door. Eventually, he gives in, sinking to the floor. The container gives a great lurch as the fortress pulls it skyward. Shadow whines, Why did this happen to me and all these others? Why today? Why at all? My trainer, no, all the trainers must be sick with worry. Tears rolled down his face, falling between his paws. Why...
Shadow's body heaves with sobs, he's never been away from his trainer. What's going to happen to us? "I feel so powerless..."
A small hand touches his back; a pikachu is trying to comfort him.
Shadow turns to face it, both Shadow's and the pikachu's eyes are red, it has been crying as well. Shadow blinks the tears from his eyes.
"We all feel powerless to stop what's happening." the pikachu replies.
Several other sacks nod, agreeing with the muffled voices of Shadow and the pikachu.
"All we can do is wait, I'm afraid." It gives Shadow a final reassuring pat on the back and returns to freeing the others.
I hate waiting. Waiting is wasted time, better spent figuring a way out of here. Shadow gets up and looks around the interior of the container. All he sees is the smooth metal sides. Metal... "There's fire pokemon in here, right?" he calls.
The pikachu gives him a strange look, "I think so...Why?"
"They can melt a hole in the side of this box, we can all escape."
Muffled mumbling fills the container.
"Yeah, and what about how high we are? How will we land without dying?" the pikachu asks, skeptical.
"Birds can fly us down or we can land on trees. I don't think we're all that high up anyway." he replies.
The pikachu seems to be calculating something, weighing risks and gains, it grimaces trying to untie the sack its holding, "I don't' know, it seems kind of risky." Pikachu grows evermore frustrated with the tie.
"Don't you want to get back to your trainers? This could be our one chance to escape. Don't you think it's worth the risk?" Shadow glares at the frustrated pikachu; it's still struggling with the tie.
"I never said I didn't want to get back or that it wasn't worth it. I merely stated that it sounded risky, which it is." The pikachu returns his glare.
"Yeah it's risky, I'll admit it, but it's also the only way I can see for us to escape before this flying fortress reaches wherever it's taking us."
The pikachu finally succeeds in freeing the pokemon in the sack it's holding, a young growlithe rears its head and shakes out its fur.
Shadow smiles, "Exactly the pokémon we need for my plan."
The pikachu nods and sighs, "I guess it's worth a shot."

Shadow jumps around the inside of the container, searching for the thinnest place for the growlithe to burn through. He lands on a spot that has a lower pitch than the rest of the wall, "Finally, a weakness..." he claws the spot, leaving faint scratch marks before he falls back to the floor. "That spot right up there is the weakest point that I found."
The growlithe and some of its friends eye the scratch marks, carefully aiming their attacks. Then a virtual volcano of flame races toward the wall, liquefying the metal and creating a hole through which to escape.
Loud cheering fills the box, every pokémon now free thanks to pikachu and growlithe.
The pikachu motions for all of them to move, "Let's get out of here then." Shadow and Pikachu hurry up to the hole and look down, expecting a huge drop. But the drop wasn't' so bad, twenty feet to the treetops and another forty or so to the ground.
The pikachu gulps, "Twenty feet...that's not too bad." They continue to look down.
"We'll have to chance it, look." Shadow points to the front of the aircraft, a large dark structure looms on the horizon.
The pikachu looks back to the trees and jumps, landing safely among the branches. It signals the OK for the rest to follow, which they did, very quickly.
A waterfall of pokémon flows out of the side of the container, Shadow standing at the exit making sure of everyone's escape.
I can't believe the idiots flying this thing don't see this... he thought as the last of the captives goes free.
Shadow is left alone in the metal box, he runs to the sack he was captured in and fetches his poké ball. Holding it in his mouth, he makes the jump into the forest with the remainder of the once beautiful blue bow around his neck. "I have to get back to my trainer, she must be worried sick." As soon as his paws hit the dirt, he's running; running at full tilt, trying to get back to where the aircraft tried to steal him away from, his home.