Disclaimer: I do not own the Pokemon franchise, it all belongs to Satoshi Tajiri*cough*-Sama*cough*, Nintendo and Gamefreak.
I woke up feeling groggy and disoriented, my front leg crumpled painfully under me. My eyes were sealed shut from moisture (tears?) and stung slightly behind the lids. Wiping them with the back of my good paw, I sat up and stretched my limbs out before taking in my surroundings.
I was in a small room; so small, that it would have taken me less than two seconds to sprint to the other side. My tail brushed against a smooth object that made a grating noise at it shifted on the hard concrete floor; a food bowl, partially filled with round, brown pellets. Sniffing carefully to make sure it wasn't poisoned, I pulled the dish closer to me. It had been many months since I'd last eaten human-made pokemon food, so I was a little curious to see how it tasted now.
Darting quick glances from side to side to make sure I wasn't being watched, I lapped up a few pellets and promptly spat them out. What was this!? Were they feeding me dirt? I sniffed again, and my anger turned to amusement. This was the exact same brand of poke food my former trainer used to feed me. In fact, I ate it twice a day, and considered it my favorite brand. But why my sudden change in taste?
Because you had partially reverted back to a wild pokemon during your time in the Clan...eating naturally grown food has changed your body's perception of food handled by humans, a little voice in my head told me.
It made sense, in a way. I didn't know whether that was good or not, but the fighting I had done earlier took all my energy, and if I wanted to be able to make it out of here I had to eat. I emptied my head of all other thoughts and concentrated on filling my aching belly.
My ears twitched at the sound of the door opening, and I quickly raised my head to see a human in an odd silver uniform coming toward me slowly. He quickly hid his hand behind his back as he approached me cautiously, but not before I saw the injection needle. I bristled and snarled a warning. Stay back.
Taking my lack of movement for a good sign, he stepped even closer, making the weird, cooing noises that humans mistakenly think calms us down. That couldn't be farther from the truth. Hearing those sounds only annoyed me even more, and the anger that consumed my mind was now overshadowed by insult. He was plainly trying to make a fool of me.
I forced my hackles to lie flat and waited until he got close enough so I could see the beads of sweat between his eyes, then lunged.
I was concentrating so much on the arm behind his back that I never noticed the rectangle shaped metal device in his other hand until it was pressed into my shoulder.
A painful shock rippled through my body; I screamed and fell on my side, upsetting the food dish in the process. The searing current froze me in place while simultaneously pumping hundreds, maybe thousands of volts into me. By the time he finished, I was nearly unconscious again. My limbs twitched even as I willed them to move again. Despite my condition, I glared defiantly at my captor. He may have overpowered my body, but my free will would never be his.
I growled feebly as he knelt by my side and ran his fingers along my back. Only chuckling when I opened my jaws and snapped weakly at him. Human faces were truly grotesque when they laughed. I settled for growling low in my throat. Even my vocal cords ached.
"Calm down now...that's a good boy. Good boy," he said in a soothing voice. Damn him. He thought I was male. "Yes...you will make a fine addition to Boss' collection. A fine one indeed." He eyed me thoughtfully. "Boss has yet to acquire a jolteon..."
Collection? What the hell was he talking about? Unless.....
I groaned inwardly. Storm mentioned them once. Onyx elaborated further on the subject, but I never thought I would encounter one. The standard Eon collector. The name pretty much explained the definition; problem was, this usually meant that I was expected to evolve into an Eon of my master's choice, most likely one he had not yet captured. Evolution was something I had yet to decide on, and I was not willing to let that freedom be taken away from me. Most young eevees spend the first two or three years of their lives looking forward to evolution, and deciding which form would truly suit them the most.
I shuddered; would they actually force me to evolve? Forced evolution is likened to rape in the pokemon world, especially in the minds of eevees and their evolutions. I'd heard the stories. Some hated their forms for the rest of their lives; others never came out the same after forced evolutions. Never the same....
The stiffness in my legs was slowly giving way. I flexed a hind leg; he didn't notice. He was speaking into an object that was attached to the wall by a wire. It took me several seconds to recognize it as a human device called a telephone. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make out any words on the other end, other than "Do not evolve him!"
"My first time leading a capture party and I bag an eevee." He glanced at my stomach. "My mistake, a rare female, as a matter of fact. Hm? Bruises? A few, yes. She put up quite a fight before we got her. All right. This one seems a few months shy of that. Acclimate her....with him? But Boss kept saying...all right then." His hand shook, as if he were afraid of the orders given him.
While I was preoccupied with getting my legs to work again, the man (who, from his silver-white outfit I now recognized as a member of Team Galactic) muttered under his breath. I don't know if he was actually talking to me, or himself, but I found his words very disconcerting to hear.
"Yes...you are my meal ticket out of here. I might even be rewarded a year's salary for you. Two years, maybe. Pay my debts to Cyrus and marry in Kanto, along with a summer house to boot..." His fingers clenched painfully in my side as he spoke of what he would get in return for capturing me. I growled irritably.
I mewled in pain as he lifted me up and carried me into the hallway. I didn't even struggle as he dropped me inside a small mesh cage with a rubber handle. One thing I could never get used to was being carried around inside cages. For one thing, the carrier tended to swing it a lot, often resulting in prolonged dizziness. The man stepped into an elevator and set the cage down.
Shivering, I curled up in the center of the cage, drawing tighter and tighter against myself as I began to feel lightheaded from the elevator's descent. I had a gut feeling that we were many, many feet underground. The thought made me nauseous. Finally, after what seemed like hours, the lift stopped and the doors began to open, but the grunt made no move to carry me out. The room spun as air rushed into the small space.
A familiar scent flooded my nostrils-a scent I'd come to know so recently that I even raised my head to to confirm it.
"Chewy...is that you?" I squinted through blurry eyes.
"Yes....you could say that," he replied smoothly. My ears twitched. This wasn't the Chewy I knew. He was too calm, his tone of voice a lot more mature than before. "You look a little worn out," the Rattata observed.
"Yeah, well, aren't we all." I lowered my ears. "I'm sorry I wasn't able to save your family...or protect you, for that matter."
"Oh, don't say that, my dear little eevee. You have made happy some very important people."
My vision suddenly cleared and I was able to see again. I almost wished I didn't.
Standing beside my cage was not the frightened young rattata that sought my protection. The pokemon before me was poised, his lavender tail curled high over his back and his head tilted in an aristocratic manner. His finely groomed fur was glossy, and one did not have to look twice to see the hard muscles under his pelt. Even his fangs and claws were sharpened and polished to a shine. But above all else, the first thing I noticed was that he wasn't in a cage.
I drew myself up in open-mouthed surprise, still staring at him. "But...how?" I demanded, thrusting my muzzle at him. The cage bars felt cold against my face. Then I saw the collar around his neck. A pet's collar, with a pendant encrusted with diamonds.
"No...." My shoulders sagged.
"Surprised?" He grinned wickedly, walking along beside my cage as we left the elevator. "It didn't take much to lure a rarity like you into the trap my companions made. Never mind the fact that you still defeated them." He scoffed. "Useless buggers."
"You mean that entire thing was a set up?" I unsheathed my class and dug them into the padding at the bottom of my cage, both to steady myself and express anger. "You lied to me?"
"Hm....I suppose so." He shrugged and smiled half-apologetically. "If it makes you feel better, the part about the forest pokemon being lured into the open and captured is true. The valiance of those that come to the aid of an pokemon in distress amuses me. "
"So it was you! The entire time..." It all fit together. He'd lured the other pokemon out so the other Galactic members could capture them, then, in all the confusion ran off to find more pokemon to lure to the spot. And he ended up with me.
"Oh! Please, will someone help me, I'm wounded," He squealed mockingly, wringing his paws in a gesture of anguish. Once his snickers were ignored, I could see how anyone could have fallen for his act.
The grunt suddenly turned down a long corridor with rooms on either side. Some of the doors were open, and the voices of many pokemon reached my ears.
They were all suffering. A roar reverberated throughout the premises, shaking the passage to it's very core. I don't know from whom the cry came from, but I found myself crying silently at the anguish in it's lament.
"That Charizard's at it again," Chewy sighed, shaking his head. Chains rattled far off in the passage, followed by more pained roars.
"Wh-what are you doing to him?" The tears felt hot against my fur. I could almost feel his pain.
"Do not waste your grief. That dragon is responsible for the brutal deaths of many of our members and pokemon." He shook his head as I gasped in shock. "We would never have gone to the extent of breaking his wings if he had submitted to our treatments." I growled under my breath and flexed my claws even harder.
"It was all for his own good, really."
"You...you little bastard!" I screamed, snapping at him through the bars. "Why must you torture him so? What has he, or any other pokemon here done to-"
"Silence!" The rattata hissed as my cage was set down in front of a door. "Do not speak of that which you have no knowledge of. That Charizard."-He smirked as another roar cut through his explanation- "...has endured this treatment since he first evolved into charmeleon."
I closed my eyes and fought the impulse to Shadow Ball his face.
"It is the only known Charizard without a tail flame, and he's ours. We have no intention of letting him go anytime soon. When it comes to charmanders that survive an extinguished tail flame..."His grin grew wider. "He was the survivor out of the hundred or so tested."
I let that sink in for a second. One out of a hundred? So that meant they killed ninety-nine charmanders just to get that result? My heart sank; I was told about the crimes Team Galactic had committed against pokemon, but I was in no way prepared for what I was hearing now. I sagged to the bottom of the cage, too overwhelmed by the sudden twist my life was taking. I wished I was dead.
The cage lurched, and I found myself being dumped onto the floor of another room. I lay there, too stunned to get up. Chewy padded in, flicking my ear with his tail as he faced me.
"There are many other pokemon here that are just like him-genetic anomalies, on whom we experiment to discover ways to harness their abilities."He laughed harshly. "I should know, I am one of them."He leaned in close to my face. "As are you." He padded toward the exit, tail waving mockingly.
"N-no!" I stood up on wobbly legs and cast a Shadow Ball at him. A bluish dome shimmered around him and absorbed the attack, leaving the Rattata completely unscathed.
"Nice try," he said, cocking his head to the side as his Protect shield wavered and vanished. "You threw your own dice, now let me cast mine." As he said spoke his body started to glow with an eerie yellow light. My eyes watered as the the flickering light grew brighter until it illuminated the entire room.
Blinded, I scrambled to dodge but it was too late; a powerful force struck me square in the chest, pumping a weak current of electricity into me. Unlike the stun gun, this shock didn't cause any pain; it only caused my limbs to stiffen and lock, freezing me in place.
"Now,"Chewy growled, his eyes darkening. "Let me show you a real Shadow Ball!"
Before the enormous orb of dark energy struck, I thought to myself: how many times am I going to be knocked unconscious before I make it out of here? And that's when darkness overtook me.
By the time I woke up, both Chewy and the grunt were gone, and the door was sealed shut. I cursed softly and tested my limbs one by one until I was convinced they were in working order. Then I stood there under the light and growled softly to myself. Damn that Rattata!
The room I was currently in was big and airy, with off-white walls and soft cushions strewn about the floor. At one end was some kind of fake pond with several large white fish with orange patches on their scales. I dabbed curiously at the clear surface, the fish gathering curiously around my paw and bumping it with their heads. I withdrew my paw and started to wipe it dry on my ruff, and that's when I felt it.
My claws clicked against something cool thin and metallic-a solid collar those despicable humans must have slipped on me while I was unconscious. A growing sense of panic rose within me; I scratched and pulled desperately at the collar even as it started to shrink. How long had this thing been on?
Yelping, I collapsed on my side and tried to twist my head enough to bite it off. I never even came close, only managing to tear out mouthfuls of my own ruff with every failed attempt.
"Dammit, get off me!" I snarled, tearing at it with all my might. I think even I broke one or two claws in the process. It grew even tighter than ever, crushing my windpipe, choking me into submission. The walls began to close in; my vision blurred until the room became a world of darkness and silence. But I wasn't out; not by a long shot. The wonders fear could give you at a time like this. I no longer felt exhausted.
I dug my claws into the lush carpeting and threw my head back, firing a Shadow Ball at one of ceiling lights; it went out with a pop! My next Shadow Ball flew into the couch, the dark energy burning through it with little effort.
I tackled the walls with every ounce of my strength and fired random Shadow Balls at will, even using my teeth and damaged claws at one point to rip open the scattered cushions. Oh, my demented mind enjoyed that part the most. I tore open cushion after cushion, sending pieces of white fluff flying into the air.
It was as I was clawing small chunks out the wall that I noticed for the first time the pair of red eyes watching me from the shadows in the far corner. My eyes widened, and I backed away from the wall with my head and tail down.
The Umbreon's paws hardly made a sound on the carpeting as he padded closer. I stayed still and kept my posture relaxed, making sure not to meet his eyes as he circled me a few times and sniffed along my spine. Then, as if uncertain he sniffed again. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him shake his head. "No...it can't be,"he muttered under his breath.
I swallowed audibly as he stood in front of me once more. My paws kneaded the floor as I anxiously awaited his next move. I'd so carelessly destroyed his territory. Whatever punishment he dealt out was what I deserved for disrespecting his home.
A few more minutes passed. Then...
"Look at me." I let my eyes travel from his large paws, up his lean legs, over his muscular chest and neck until they reached his face. Blood red eyes stared back unflinchingly as he bared his teeth a little. "Name, age, and rank."
"I have no name, I am a little over two years old, and..." I paused, thinking. "Where I come from, they call me a trainee."
"Mhm..."He nodded thoughtfully.
"And..I'm sorry I messed up your den,"I said quickly. "But I need to get this thing off." I indicated the metallic collar.
Ever since I stopped trying to pry it off, it reverted back to its normal size and no longer choked me. The Umbreon shook his head.
"Sorry. I've never worn one of those things. Collars mean that you are their property...your particular kind is made to do all sorts of things if you resist orders or try to escape." He yawned, revealing long white fangs as he swiped his tongue over his lips. "I don't need one. I'm leased until my contract runs out."
"Lea....sed?" The word was unfamiliar to me.
He nodded. "That's right. I sold myself to Team Galactic for a set amount of time. I still have a few months before it runs out."
"And then?" The very idea of selling one's self to an evil organization was both horrifying yet fascinating. His fur was clean with no sign of mange, and he looked well-fed. They must have been taking good care of him.
"As soon as my lease runs out, I leave. However, my current client may want to renew it....just to keep me around longer. I have many desirable....traits...."
"Traits?" I tipped my head to the side.
He rolled his eyes. "Oh, come now. Have you not noticed?"
I stepped back, and it was then that I finally realized. "Your rings... are red? That's so cool!"
"That's right,"he nodded. His rings glowed even more brightly at the compliment. "Most shinies will only have blue rings. I guess you could say, I am one of a kind. My coloring and superior battle strength makes me respected among prospective clients. I have also sired many fine kits."
"So you're a dad," I whispered, half to myself. My dad hadn't even stuck around for my birth.
He let out an amused purr, eyes closed as if he were remembering something. "Never a dad. Not like I sit around and raise them. I leave that to their mothers. All I do is stud when I no longer have any missions."
My eyes widened. "No mate?"
He shook his head, almost sadly. "No mate...although once upon a time....many years ago...I had one. She was gorgeous."
"What happened?" My curiosity was sparked. I think I even began to sympathize with him at this point.
"It be none of your business, kit." He lay down on a cushion and flicked his tail toward another one invitingly. I obliged and sat across from him. "I was a jerk...and screwed everything up. We never would have worked out anyway...but I still feel like a failure when it comes to her. I broke her heart, then went back and left her new mate to bleed to death somewhere in a ditch."
I frowned. "You don't deserve a mate then."
"I suppose I don't...but I don't regret a thing."He began to lick his chest.
"Is he still alive?"
"Heh. Don't know. Don't care." He shrugged and crossed his paws in front of him, then rested his head on them. "I'll be having my rest now. Help yourself to anything you want." He closed his eyes, and sure enough, was asleep within a few seconds. I knew I was dismissed then.
Dragging my cushion to the corner, I settled down with my legs tucked neatly under me and closed my eyes. Despite my efforts to sleep, the Umbreon's words kept floating up in my mind.
Went back and left her new mate to bleed to death somewhere in a ditch....I shivered.
I wasn't the best judge of character, but I knew a bastard when I saw one.
Sorry this took longer to write, I was was busy with school work. The original chapter would have included the scene with the collar right before she met up with Chewy again, but I think this works out better. More eeveelutions in the next chapter.
Shi-Chan, since you're anonymous I wasn't able to pm a reply to your review, but I want to make it clear that our little Eevee won't have a real name until she evolves. Which may be a while from now. Heehee :D
Thanks for reading and reviewing, and if any of you have questions either pm me or contact me on my AIM, which I'll leave on my profile. I'm usually on at night.
Narutochica (yeah...I really have to change my name soon...and update my old fics)
P.S. Also check out my other story, Eon Love. It could be considered a sort of prequel.