It's What's on the Inside – Chapter 1: Hideo's Gift

My name is Hideo. I grew up with Pokémon in my parent's mansion in Celadon City. I was born with a special ability, the ability to hear the minds of Pokémon, and for them to hear mine. Though in reality, I am paralysed, and considered a fool, in my mind I am free. Free to run my fingers over the tall grass, free to roam to my heart's desire and free to have adventures with Pokémon. I have been confined to this mansion my entire life. However, two days ago my parent's mansion was seized, and we have been stripped of our belongings. My minder, Aika, and I fled. We don't know where we are going, or where we will end up, we just need to get as far away from here as possible.

Hideo felt the warm summer breeze brush against his face. It was different from the breeze he had felt in his parent's mansion. Somehow, this breeze felt more unrestrained, and wilder. "A-Aika, Where a-a-are we going?" Hideo asked.

"I don't know Hideo, we just have to get as far away from Celadon as possible," Aika replied solemnly.

"B-B-But where are going," Hideo asked again.

"Like I said, I don't know," replied Aika. She wished she could tell him something, something to ease him up a bit. But there was no point in lying, it was better for him to hear the truth sooner rather than later. Hideo sighed and looked across the field Aika was pushing him across. He could sense the various Pokémon in the field, and he thought about how they all differed. Bird Pokémon tended to have more calm and collected thoughts, and it amused him when the various plans and schemes they had flashed in his mind. However, they would make him jump frequently, because although bird Pokémon had calmer minds, this would disappear as soon as they sensed any danger, and they would react instantly to any threat. He lolled his head forward, and spotted a gang of teenagers with bikes hanging around on the path. "Th-th-th-they're smoking," Hideo mumbled.

"I know, just ignore them," Aika responded, hoping he wouldn't say anything. She was slightly nervous as they approached the gang. "Don't say anything, don't say anything," Aika repeated to herself in her head.

"That's n-naughty," Hideo said. Aika's heart leaped. What was he getting them into?

"Oh yeah?" one of the taller boys said. "What's it got to do with you?" he went on.

"Nothing, we're leaving now," said Aika hurriedly.

"Sit tight," the tall boy commanded. Aika gulped. She knew she couldn't outrun them, especially whilst pushing Hideo's wheelchair.

"Please, we don't want any trouble!" she pleaded. The tall boy flicked his cigarette, and blew smoke in her face. Her face rumpled with discomfort, and she started coughing.

"What's a pretty girl like yourself hanging about with metal-mike here for anyway?" he sneered. The gang erupted with laughter. Hideo didn't see what was funny, but he laughed anyway.

"Please don't insult Hideo, it's unkind," Aika said meekly. Suddenly, the tall boy grabbed Aika's hair. She struggled to get him off, but the more she fought, the more it hurt. "Please, just let us go!" she squealed. Hideo realised that the boys weren't joking anymore, and he felt uncomfortable.

"P-p-please," Hideo began, touching the tall boy on arm. The tall boy span around and grabbed him by the chin. He put his face close, and Hideo could smell the cigarettes on his breath.
"You touching me?" he said threateningly.

"N-no," Hideo began. He was getting worried now, and he could feel parts of his body shaking. His ears burned up, and tried to look down to escape the boy's gaze, but the boy pulled his face back up to meet his eyes.

"I said, are you touching me!" his spat. A lump was rising in Hideo's throat. He had never been in a situation like this. He thought of the long days spent playing with Aika and her Chansey, and how happy he had been. Is this what it was going to be like from now on? He felt a tear roll down his face, and he longed to go back home. The boy tightened his grip, and Hideo could feel his head shaking from the force.

"Get off him, you're hurting him," Aika cried running forward. The boy span around and slapped her across the face.

"Don't you tell me to do anything," he spat. As Hideo watched her fall to the ground, a strong feeling, stronger than anything he ever felt before rose in his chest. He felt like he wasn't in control of his body anymore.

"Leave her alone!" he screamed.

"Yeah, what you gonna do?" The boy said menacingly. Hideo was panting heavily, and he was clenching his fists. The tall boy started walking towards him, with a malevolent look on his face. The tall grass along the path started rustling. The tall boy didn't seem to notice, and continued his approach. Suddenly, a group of Rattata came charging out of the grass, clearly agitated, and running towards the thug. "What the..." he began, but before he could finish, they leaped onto his body, clamping down with their sharp teeth. "Get these things off me!" he cried to his friends. Hideo's anger dissipated, and now he felt sorry for the thug. His friends released their Pokémon, a Tyrogue and a Machop, but as they tried to intervene, a group of Pidgey flew down and began clawing at them with their talons.

"Let's go, Hideo!" Aika screamed. She grabbed his wheelchair, and made a break for it. She wanted to get as far away as possible, should the boys think the wild Pokémon were theirs and come looking for them.

A little while later, they arrived at Saffron Cities' Pokémon centre, exhausted and disturbed by what had just happened. "I need help!" Aika cried. "We were just attacked on the road by a group of teenagers, and I need some medical supplies to help my friend," she told the nurse.

"That's terrible, I'll be back in a minute!" the nurse exclaimed, and hurried into the back to get a first aid kit.

"Are you OK Hideo?" Aika said worriedly examining his face.

"I-I-I'm fine," he stammered. The truth was that he wasn't. He was thoroughly shaken by what had just happened, he had no idea that people could be so mean. But what was even scarier were the Pokémon. Did he do that? "Surely I couldn't," he thought. "I didn't ask them to," he went on. The nurse arrived with some medical supplies, Aika thanked her.

"You have a graze on your chin, that boy grabbed you hard," she said worriedly. "Now hold still, this might sting a little," she continued, dabbing a liquid onto a tissue. Hideo knew what was coming, and he didn't like it. He tried to pull his face away, but Aika grabbed it and dabbed the liquid onto his face.

"Owww!" he cried, his face burning.

"I know it hurts, but it's necessary," Aika said softly. "There, all done!" she said to Hideo's relief. "Now, are we going to talk about what happened earlier?" Aika asked. Hideo's heart stopped. Did she blame him for what happened? Was he in trouble? "I know it was you who set the Rattata on that nasty man," she said calmly. "Thank you for helping me, but in future you have to be more careful. You have a gift Hideo, but if you're not careful, someone could get hurt," she said gently.

"But t-t-that nasty man hurt you!" he cried.

"I know, but two wrongs don't make a right, and these things happen," she said, looking into his eyes. Hideo couldn't believe it, they attacked her and he was the one in trouble? "Now, do you understand?" she asked sternly.

"Yeah but!" he protested, but Aika put her fingers on his lips.

"No buts. Now let's check in and get a room," Aika said, standing up. Hideo reluctantly accepted his scolding, and looked down at the floor.

Later that night, Aika was still asleep. He could hear her soft breathing, and wished that he could do more to protect her. He felt for his leaflet, and picked it up off the bedside drawer. He had been carrying it round for years. Printed on it was a challenge, a challenge to face all 8 gym leaders in the Kanto region, and win. Hideo never got to have a Pokémon journey, but most of his friends left when they were young. Even Aika had a Pokémon, but hers wasn't for fighting. He thought about how differently their encounter with the gang would have gone if he had a strong Pokémon. "That's it," he thought. " I'm sick of being treated differently, I'm going to get a Pokémon, and defend Aika!" he continued. "I'll show her that I can protect her by defeating all 8 gyms!" he trembled. His eyes succumbed to sleep, and he dreamt of adventures with Pokémon.