I had the idea for this story for quite a long time. It's original name was 'Blind Eyes', and it focused more on the Pokémon Characters, while this finalisation of the story focuses more on the Human Characters. There will be some fantasy elements in the story, and some dark themes, as well as few paragraphs of blood. Quite a short Prologue, but as usual, the coming Chapters should be longer.
It was a rainy night, and no moon hovered amongst the clouds. The candles’ fire fluttered out of existence, one by one, until the darkness filled the room. Addanc pulled the sheet up to his head, covering himself in a different type of darkness, a safe one. His ears caught the sound of the wooden floor of the hallway creaking, a sound that extended to his door.
He felt a hand pet his hair, slowly caressing the light blonde strands that danced in his mother’s fingers. He lay still, like he did on some nights, as his mother gave the same prayer she gave every day, for him to be safe, and as if the universe obliged, the rattling of the window against the rain stopped, and the wind slowly died down. Addanc heard his mother light the candle that rested on the other side of the room, not too far away from the bed, before she slowly closed the door behind her.
His head sunk into his shoulders, finding the warmth that he knew would always be there. A smile crept across his face as he curled into his body like a Pidgey in the middle of winter, and slowly, sleep took over. It had been a long year, and as Addanc’s mother pulled her own sheet up to her head, she forgot all her problems for the last time, and allowed the rest her body longed for to dominate.
I have no idea what's going on, but keep it up. :D
I didn't expect anyone to, to be honest, but all shall be explained eventually.
Originally Posted by Tsutarja
This is interesting. Your writing style is great too. I'm jealous. :3
My guess is that You certainly have set up an interesting beginning, so I'll definately be checking back to read more!
is involved, but I'm going to wait and see.
Hmmm, not a bad guess; I can see where you're coming from, but of course, I'm not going to say anything else. And thank you so much about the writing style; it's really a great compliment! I hope you like what is to come.
Originally Posted by Blitzle
It was only four months ago that Debonnaire had decided to leave her job as a Nurse and travel around the Regions. All the Trainers that had came in to get their Pokémon healed and rejuvenated had told her amazing stories, and spoke of a world that she longed to join.
“Be careful, Debby,” Zarya had told her. “Of course, a girl your age will think she is untouchable, but always be safe.”
Ever since Debonnaire had started working in the Pokémon Center, Zarya became like a mother to her. Being the Head Nurse, she had taught the young girl all the basics of the job; operating the machine, and reassuring the Pokémon, who were surely frightened, that the process was safe; having worked in the Rustboro City Pokémon Center, Debonnaire had encountered many Pokémon who had just been caught, and who were absolutely shocked by the amount of battles they were thrown into by their new Trainers.
There were even those who abandoned their Pokémon, those who released the newly hatched Pokémon, or those who simply brought in wild Pokémon in need of treatment, but refused to raise them. Debonnaire had vowed to never be like those Trainers, the ones who abused their Pokémon without knowing it, and caused more pain than those who intended to hurt their Pokémon.
They were smart creatures, and if a Trainer wanted to hurt them, they would know, and they would be able to fight back. But Pokémon were also emotional creatures, and if a Trainer pushes them to become stronger, then they will oblige, and they will push themselves, not knowing that they are being damaged as their emotions cloud their judgment. There were often tales of Trainers who rush into the Center, holding their Pokémon, and giving the story of how their companion had protected them with their own lives.
Now, in the middle of the tall trees, surrounded by the shaded atmosphere, and huddled around a campfire, Debonnaire was proud of herself; she had kept her vow. Beside her was Tyrogue, a small humanoid Pokémon that had been with her since the start of her journey. His body was purple, with some brown parts that resembled shoes and pants, he had three fingers on each hand, and three spikes jutted out at the top of his head.
Abandoned as soon as he was hatched because his Trainer didn’t think he would evolve into what he wanted him to evolve into, Tyrogue was too distressed to go his own way; after all, he was a mere baby at that time. Zarya had kept him in the Pokémon Center, taking care of him with many of the other Pokémon that were abandoned. Debonnaire was quite fond of these Pokémon, and was often socialising with them while all the other Nurses went out to gossip.
Zarya had given Tyrogue the name Tai, as she firmly believed that Pokémon deserved names as much as humans did, and one of the other Pokémon she had kept in the Pokémon Center was a Skitty named Skye.
A small cream and pink Pokémon that seemed more fragile than the thinnest of glass windows. She had four tiny stumps of legs, and a tail that was proportionally large, with three needle-like hairs at the end topped with a yellow circle each. Her eyes seemed to be closed, and her ears rose up above her head, as if she were constantly alarmed.
Tai and Skye were the two Pokémon that Zarya gave to Debonnaire as the young Nurse started her journey, and the pair had developed a sibling-like relationship; Tai had always looked out for and protected his young, clumsy sister. Debonnaire smiled as Skye slowly etched closer to the human’s lap; with her eyes closed, it was hard to tell whether she was awake or asleep.
Opposite them was Sho, a male Shinx that had joined them when they first arrived in Sinnoh. He was a little shorter than Skye, with a body that was coloured blue on one half, and black on the other. His tail ended in a yellow star, while the top of his head rose in an elegant formation of hair. He had met the group while Skye was on one of her many adventures, straying away from the group, and unwillingly causing trouble.
Skye had accidentally burst into a home of a family of Shinx on Route 202, and Sho was the only one who didn’t take alarm, and he guided her back to Debonnaire, who was calling out in worry. Ever since then, Sho had followed them, although he seemed to be following Skye more than anyone else. Tai had quickly become a protective brother, and he seemed to always keep Sho at bay, although there were the occasional training sessions in which Sho snuck and huddled next to Skye for a few hours.
The last in the group was a Wurmple; a Pokémon Debonnaire had met in the place they were now, Eterna Forest. Pokémon were much like humans, and she often heard stories of how a Trainer would rescue a Pokémon from being bullied by the other Pokémon in the area. Wurmple, or Wug as Debonnaire had called her, was one such Pokémon; she had always been the weakling of her group, and when they all had evolved, they drove Wug out, but she kept on returning, and eventually, Debonnaire and Tai found her being attacked by a group of Silcoon and Cascoon, and took her in.
She was the smallest of the four Pokémon that were with Debonnaire. She had a red, spiky body, two yellow stingers at her end, and one on her head. Wug was standing next to a tree, the farthest away from the fire, and right behind Sho.
The Pokémon were yawning one by one, except for Skye, who had already fallen asleep, and as Debonnaire glanced around, she saw that all of them had finished their meals. She sprayed dirt on the fire, putting it out as Sho struggled to avoid the mud flying towards him, and as soon as the fire was gone, Wug crept closer towards the group, and fell asleep next to Skye.
As usual, Sho was the only Pokémon who didn’t huddle next to Debonnaire, as Tai was there, and he made a bed of stomped grass to sleep on. Tai was the last of the four to fall asleep, but he was surely to be the heaviest sleeper.
“Don’t forget to write,” Zarya had told her. “And Debby, I decided to start a postcard collection, so send me a lot of them.”
It was quite a cheerful morning; the breeze was light, the forest was full of the fresh scent of spring, and the sounds of Pokémon playing and singing filled the air. It was much like the cartoons Debonnaire used to watch in the orphanage, before she left to become a Nurse.
“Skye, don’t touch that,” she said, as the Skitty backed away from a sleeping Cascoon. “Don’t bother the sleeping Pokémon.”
Skye nodded as she glanced backwards towards Sho, who was following her, as usual. She skipped away, and towards Wug, using the small distressed Pokémon as an obstacle, and the forest as her course.
“Eterna City can’t be far,” Debonnaire said, constantly informing her Pokémon of the situation. “According to the map, we take a right now. Aha! There it is, I can see the top of the Pokémon Center.”
Tai was the first to dart forward; he had quickly become bored of the natural scenery, and wherever there was civilisation, there were Trainers that he was eager to battle. Even if Debonnaire didn’t want to participate in battles, someone was bound to think that he was a wild Pokémon, and Tai was bound to defeat the Pokémon they wanted to use to capture him.
Skye and Wug, on the other hand, were very wary of battling, while all Sho seemed to care about was Skye, and as he approached the always-distracted Skitty, Debonnaire picked him up.
“Not now, Sho,” she said as the Shinx growled at her. “We have to catch up to Tai before he gets himself into trouble; remember what happened at Floaroma Town? Really, he’s too similar to Skye.”
Sho stuck his tongue out in disgust at the idea of Tai being like Skye in any way. That was probably why Zarya had given those two to Debonnaire; they were quite similar, and learning to take care of one would have made it easier to take care of the other.
Not only that, but Tai was the type of Pokémon who would protect his friends viciously, and Zarya knew that. Debonnaire found a new appreciation for her mentor as she realised the extent of the thoughts that were put into choosing these two Pokémon to accompany Debonnaire.
The air slowly filled with the smell of baits and salty water as the group entered Route 205, where all the Trainers were focused on fishing rather than battling the Tyrogue that was trying hard to get their attention.
“Come on, Tai,” Debonnaire called out. “We don’t have time for battles, and you know I let you train hours each day.”
Tai shrugged Debonnaire’s comments, and waltzed ahead of her, arms crossed before him, and his head held high.
“Oh, don’t start with that, Tai!”
He gave no signal of hearing what she said.
“I fed you, I took care of you, and now you decide to ignore me? You’re like a teenager! Can you even look me in the eye?”
And again, Tai ignored her, picking up speed as Debonnaire walked behind him, treating him as any frustrated mother would treat a rebellious child; shouting and boasting about what she did for him, until the group reached Eterna City.
“Welcome to the Pokémon Center, Debonnaire,” Zarya said. “I am delighted to be the one welcoming you to our midst.”
Debonnaire studied the woman in front of her for a few seconds. She was an elderly lady clothed in the same outfit that all the others wore, except hers was completely white, giving her an angelic look. Her hair was completely grey, and her eyes were a light shade of green.
“May I call you Debby?”
“Umm, sure,” Debonnaire said. “It’s nice to finally meet you, Madam Zarya.”
“Madam Zarya?” the elderly lady gave a loud laugh that seemed unnatural compared to the woman’s size. “I’ve had newcomers call me Mrs. Attlee and various other formalities, but never ‘Madam Zarya’. You can call me Z; it’s what the kids are calling each other these days, right?”
“Sure…” Debonnaire quickly realised that, despite being the Head Nurse, someone who met many Trainers, this woman was still as distanced from ‘the kids’ as any other woman her age. “Can I just call you Zarya?”
“Sure, you can,” she said. “Now, I understand you’ve just turned 14, so I have a present for you, come with me.”
She was a strange woman. Zarya seemed to be juggling various roles stereotypical of any older woman. One second she was a figure to be reckoned with, while the next she was an old woman trying to keep in touch with the new generation.
“I actually read the applications we get,” Zarya said, distracting Debonnaire from the thoughts in her head. “And I saw your picture, so I had an outfit made especially for you; I’m sure you’ll grow out of it, but until then…”
Zarya opened a box that was stationed on her desk, and produced a blue outfit. “This will go great with your brown hair, and your black eyes,” Zarya said. “And you’ll look beautiful, not that you don’t already. The boys will fall for you, one by one. What do you think?”
“It’s great!” Debonnaire lied; she couldn’t believe that she would have to wear a dress that looked as if it had been stolen from a silent movie star for the first few months of her job. “I can’t wait to try it on!”
“I knew you’d like it.”
Not every city had a postcard of their Pokémon Center, but Eterna City seemed to be one of those few cities. Debonnaire walked to the salesperson, holding a bundle of postcards, and dropped them on the counter.
“A lot of friends back home?” he said as he scanned one of the postcards, and counted the rest before multiplying the price. “You bought one of every kind.”
“I know, but it’s worth it,” Debonnaire chuckled. “They should be pleased that I sent something.”
Of course, by ‘They’ she meant ‘Zarya’. Debonnaire gave the money to the salesperson, and left with a bag full of postcards. She walked back to the Pokémon Center, where her Pokémon had been waiting for her, and sat at the table, arranging the postcards inside a box, and placing a letter that she wrote on top.
She closed the flaps, and sealed the box. “You guys wait her,” she said. “I’ll get this stamped and sent.”
Debonnaire held the box in her hands as she walked towards the escalator, knowing fully that whoever was going to serve her would be displeased. No one seemed to enjoy working in the morning, much less scan a box to make sure it is safe, and go through all the steps of Region-to-Region mail.
As Debonnaire approached the counter, she caught a glimpse of the lady behind the counter mouthing the words ‘Oh, come on!’, and she got closer, she heard a deep sigh.
“Hello, how may I help you?”
“Hi, I’d like to send this parcel,” Debonnaire said. “It’s to Hoenn.”
“Is your parcel clear of the forbidden items?” the woman said with another sigh, and immediately continued, not waiting for an answer. “Well, I’ll have to check it anyway.”
Putting the box through a scanner, and letting a look of resignation overcome her when she saw that it was filled with paper, the woman turned to Debonnaire.
“Can I have the address?” she said, sighing again. “Tell me it’s not for Pacifidlog.”
“It’s actually to Rustboro City,” Debonnaire said. “Not further address, just the Pokémon Center there.”
“It’s still Region-to-Region,” the woman sighed, ignoring the fact that her job just got easier. “Express delivery?”
“Yes, please,” Debonnaire produced the money for the stamp and the cost of the delivery. “Have a nice day.”
“I wish…” the woman grumped, placing the box as the first in a pile of mail to be sent.
Not being a Pokémon Trainer, yet travelling around, was a hard life; had Debonnaire chose to participate in battles, she would have made enough money to carry on her journey, but the way she decided to go about her travels left her with one choice; to work for her money.
She had to occasionally stop and get a job, working for a week before she moved on, using the money she made to finance her journey for however long before she had to work again. Debonnaire had been a salesperson in Slateport City, Professor Cozmo’s assistant in Fallarbor Town, and a waitress in Sootopolis City.
And this part of her journey was much like the rest; she had to find a job and hoard some income before travelling again, and looking around Eterna City, she quickly realised that there aren’t many working opportunities. She wandered around, searching for any posters advertising the need for assistance, or any shop window that invited applications.
But as she scanned through Eterna City for the third time, Debonnaire began to lose hope. Tai and the others were back at the Pokémon Center, where she left them for a few hours; every Pokémon Center had a backroom where the abandoned and wild Pokémon were kept until they recovered enough energy to be able to survive when released back into the wild, and Debonnaire found that her Pokémon liked being in the company of those other Pokémon, at least all but Wug, who was experiencing that for the first time; there was no telling how the new addition would react.
Giving up on the search, Debonnaire traveled to a part that intrigued her, a statue that seemed to be a tourist attraction. It seemed to be of a Pokémon that she didn’t recognise, and it must have held high status if there was a statue of it built atop the highest hill in the city.
Debonnaire glanced over the statue, circling to see it from every angle, but she didn’t care. Whatever Pokémon that was, whatever the engraving said, and whatever it meant to the people of Eterna City, none of it mattered; she just needed a break from caring for a group of Pokémon that seemed more demanding than any child she had encountered.
As she reached the eastern side of the statue, Debonnaire noticed an old man cleaning the statue, wiping it with a wet towel, and restoring the natural, rich colour.
“Hello, dear,” the old man said, turning his head to meet Debonnaire, who quickly noticed that his eyes were blind. “How are you today?”
“I’m fine,” she responded. “Enjoying the weather. How are you?”
“I’m good,” the old man said, sliding his towel across another part of the statue. “Just cleaning this old thing. My name is Conley, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Debonnaire, but you can call me Debby,” she said, taking slight comfort in knowing the stranger’s name. “Do you often clean the statue?”
“No one cares for it anymore,” Conley said. “They all seem to be more interested in battling, the kids. I’m the only one who cleans it anymore; it used to be important.”
“Do you need any help?” Debonnaire asked, finding sudden opportunities.
“I’m just finishing up here, dear,” Conley said. “But thank you for the offer.”
Silence drifted between the pair for a few seconds, disrupted only when Conley placed his tower on the side of a bucket of water. He rose up again to stand in front of the statue, seemingly admiring his work.
“I know what you’re thinking,” he said, and Debonnaire noticed the uncontained happiness in his voice. “You’re thinking about how I can possibly stare at the statue, but if there’s any advice I would give to your generation, it’s that you have to stop and admire what you’ve done, sometimes, even if you can’t see it. Otherwise, you’ll just be stuck in a spiral of trying to get better.”
“I used to work in a Pokémon Center,” Debonnaire smiled. “And the Head Nurse, Zarya, used to say that we should be proud of everything we do.”
“I suppose you brought her up because she’s as old as I am,” Conley laughed. “But yes, the older you get, the more you tend to focus on the past; seems like we all do it.”
Standing up straight now that he had finished his job, Debonnaire managed to study the old man much more thoroughly. His head was completely bald, and a scar stretched from his left cheek to his neck. His body was reminiscent of a fighter’s body, but the only feature that intrigued Debonnaire more than any other was the blindness in his eyes, and how despite it, he seemed to be able to see the world around him.
Conley reached down to pick up the bucket, when Debonnaire darted towards it. “I’ll carry that for you,” she said as the old man gave her a warming smile. “What Pokémon is the statue a tribute to?”
“I honestly don’t know,” Conley laughed as he led Debonnaire down a flight of stairs, towards a lake. “It’s not the Pokémon that matters anymore, it’s the legacy of the statue. Our ancestors cherished it, and it is why we are all here.”
“That seems to be a popular mentality here in Sinnoh,” Debonnaire said. “The old ‘fate is like a house of cards’ belief. I’m actually from Hoenn, where people seem to be even more obsessed about battling.”
“Ah, yes,” Conley smiled. “Becoming strong and all that; we were all there once.”
The pair was now at the lake, where Conley dumped the water in the bucket on the grass next to some trees, and left the cleaning equipment by the lake, for anyone to use it whenever they wish.
“You never told me if you were a Pokémon Trainer yourself,” Conley said, guiding Debonnaire back towards the buildings. “I hope I wasn’t rude to you all along.”
“Oh, no,” she shrugged off the assumption, almost disgusted at the thought of being a Trainer. “I just travel around. I do have Pokémon with me, and one of them is quite frantic about being strong, but that is apparently natural for his family.”
“I used to be like you, you know,” Conley said. “Travelling around with Pokémon by my side. I was actually what you would nowadays call a Pokémon Trainer, except at that time, before Badges and a title of Champion, we cared for the bond with our Pokémon more than we cared about battling.”
“And why did you stop?”
“I lost my sight.”
“No need to be sorry for me, Debby.”
“How young were you when you lost your sight?”
“About the same age as you,” Conley said. “Eighteen.”
Debonnaire wanted to ask more, know how he lost his sight, and how she can avoid it; the last thing she needed to hear was the possibility of losing something so important at such a young age. Her entire goal was to travel and see the world, and if someone like Conley, seemingly wiser than her, could lose his sight at that age, then it could happen to her.
But knowing that any further questions regarding that subject were rude, she remained silent, wondering how to steer the conversation back to a lighter topic. For a moment, she wanted to offer to clean the statue every day for a fee, but having heard Conley’s sentiments towards the job, and how important it was, she realised that trying to make money off of something that held a lot of emotional value was disrespectful, and she pushed that thought away.
“Well, thank you for accompanying me back here,” Conley said, standing in front of a tall building that housed many apartments. “This is where I live.”
“It looks nice,” Debonnaire said, studying the building quickly. “Do you by any chance know where I can meet the person who owns this building?”
“I do, actually,” Conley laughed. “All my property. Are you looking for a place to stay?”
“Well, yeah,” Debonnaire started. “But mostly I’m looking for some place to work.”
“I see,” Conley said, rubbing his chin. “I clean all the apartments myself, but in my old age, I wouldn’t mind taking a rest from that job for a while. I assume you won’t stay long, that you’ll probably want to make enough money to continue your journey.”
Debonnaire hummed an agreement.
“Well, then, I’ll provide you with a room to stay in for as long as you work here. Pokémon are allowed inside the building; what kind of society would we be if we didn’t allow that?”
“Really?” Debonnaire gleamed with joy; not only did she find a home and a job, but also a nice employer.
“Are you kidding? We can’t live without Pokémon!” Conley said, before pausing. “Oh, you meant the job. Yes, you’re hired.”
“And I totally won!”
“I can see that,” Debonnaire emitted a loud sigh, trying to silence the young boy who was showing off his new Stone Badge without being rude to him. “Here you go. Your Pokémon are all healed up. Have a nice day.”
“Yeah!” the boy beamed, grabbing his two Poké Balls and running out of the Pokémon Center. “Time to get our next Badge!”
Sighing in frustration, Debonnaire sat on the chair farthest from the counter. So many Trainers come by and go, and so many of them seem so happy to be participating in the series of events they called adventures, all while she was stuck in a job that didn’t fit her. Out of the corner of her eyes, she could see Zarya approaching, swinging a cane that she didn’t need.
“D!” Zarya called out.
“Yes, Zarya?” the young, frustrated Nurse answered, not bothering to hide her miserable mood.
“Cheer up,” Zarya said, suddenly returning to an attitude that Debonnaire found normal. “I know this isn’t what you want to do for the rest of your life, but you can’t just sit here and mope about.”
“What can I do, then?” she shrugged. “I don’t think I can even put on another fake smile.”
“I already gave you permission to leave whenever you want,” Zarya said, sitting down next to her apprentice. “And, honestly, Debby, I don’t know what else you want me to do.”
“Well, that’s a teenager for you.”
“I can’t kick you out because you’re like a daughter to me, and I can’t push you to do anything because you’ll just resist. You can’t stay depressed forever; it’s not good for you. What do you want to do?”
“I want to travel.”
“I already gave you permission to leave.”
“But I don’t want to be like all those Trainers, using the Pokémon only to get strong.”
“Well, then, you don’t have to do that. Just travel on your own.”
“I’ll be lonely.”
“Then take some Pokémon with you.”
“But I don’t want to make them battle! I vowed never to hurt them like that!”
“Then don’t battle,” Zarya said. “It’s as simple as that! Just go around, see the world, and be free. When I was your age, I did what I wanted to do, and now I’m the Head Nurse, and I’m happy with where I am. Go, be happy, Debby.”
The doors of the Pokémon Center opened, letting a young female Trainer in. She was holding a bundle of three Poké Balls, and she walked up to the counter with an unnecessary swing in her hips, a smug smile across her face, and a loud gum-chewing noise.
“Heal them,” she said as she dropped the Poké Balls on the desk. “I’m in a hurry.”
Zarya got up to serve the Trainer, and she picked up the Poké Balls one by one. “As I was saying, Debby,” she continued. “You don’t have to be a Pokémon Trainer; that’s not a life for you. Sure, you can be a Pokémon Trainer if you want to, but why degrade yourself?”
“Ugh!” the young girl’s jaw dropped. “Excuse me?!”
“Yes, dear?” Zarya turned to the customer, sticking her face uncomfortably close to the girl’s, and forcing her to take a step back. “Did you say something?”
“You’re a weird old lady!” the girl said. “Just heal my Pokémon!”
That was it. Debonnaire couldn’t stand to even be in such close proximity to one of those Trainers, the ones who thought they were better than everyone else. She had had enough, and Zarya was right; she must find what makes her happy.
“And you’re a rude bitch,” Debonnaire rose from her chair, suddenly finding the nerve she had been containing for four years. “I quit, Zarya. I’m leaving this place.”
Well it is certainly interesting, I like her Pokémon collection and the way you've established their personalities. Though I'm sure D. will have to battle eventually, it there's a true plot involved, she'll interfere somehow. I'm wondering how the prologue is connected to all of this but I'm sure it will be revealed interesting.
Overall, quite interesting, keep it up!
Thank you for reading and commenting! And yes, she will eventually have to battle, and that's when the fantasy element of the story comes in. And the Prologue does serve quite an important role, which as usual, I can't reveal yet.
Originally Posted by Tsutarja
Again, thank you for reading and reviewing my story!
Conley Abrafo had kept his promise and provided Debonnaire with a small room to stay in for as long as she worked. A bed was stuck to the upper right corner of the walls, where it hovered above the ground. Below it was a small, but thick, sheet that her Pokémon were supposed to sleep on, but knowing them, one of them was bound to creep up onto her bed.
There was a closet facing the bed, where Debonnaire hanged some of her clothes, and studied herself in the mirror; she needed a shower more than anything else at that moment. She was sickly relieved that Conley was blind; she might not have gotten the job had he seen the mess of a person she was.
A desk with a mirror was situated opposite the closet, right in front of the door, yet not obstructing its path. She walked to the door of the bathroom, poking her head in to see the area. It was obvious that Conley Abrafo, whose office was right opposite her room, had been taking care of the entire complex, and not just the apartments that were occupied. It was a small bathroom, but for such a cheap end to her bargain, it was spectacular.
“Alright, guys,” Debonnaire turned to her Pokémon. “I have to take a shower, so why don’t you go out and play for a while?”
Tai and Sho had been fighting to claim the bigger part of the sheet, while Skye, on top of the desk, was poking her reflection, laughing every time. Wug, as usual, seemed too scared to participate in any of those activities, and lay idly by the closet.
“Tai!” Debonnaire called out to her first companion. “Can you take the bunch with you? Make sure to protect them, and don’t get into trouble.”
Outside his door, Conley could hear the Pokémon shuffling out of Debonnaire’s new room, and heading out while she, presumably, took a shower. His hands were flat on his desk, and the breeze of the open window behind him brushed against his neck.
All but one of his Pokémon were dead, and having met someone who was on the same journey as he was, he longed for that companionship more than anything else. He could see no photographs, caress any old item, nor travel to his Pokémon; all he had were his memories.
Yet, the times of joy seemed to be clouded by the times of sadness and strife. He had been dragged into something he never imagined existed, and despite his wishes, was forced to fight a battle that took away more than it rewarded.
The memories turned the world around him, and he was suddenly reliving those moments, seeing them from afar, smiling as he was young again, travelling far and wide, accompanied by some of the most faithful Pokémon he could have ever had; they died for him after all.
He was snapped back into reality when the water stopped flowing, and the sound around him was replaced by silence. The breeze had stopped, and the shutting of a door meant that Debonnaire had exited her shower. He remained still for a few minutes, waiting for the sound of another door, one that would indicate that Debonnaire had left her room.
And then it was. He got up from his desk and opened the door to his office, sticking his head out as Debonnaire started leaving her room.
“Hey, Debby,” he said, quite cheerfully. “I was waiting for you to finish your shower. Well, not actually like that; that would creep you out! I was someplace else, but I just came back.”
“Where were you?” Debonnaire said, glancing for the third time at the sign across his door that listed his full name.
“You know us, old people,” Conley laughed. “Just reminiscing about the past. Obviously, I’m not going to start you today; that’ll be cruel of me! You have today, what’s left of it, and tomorrow off. You can go and explore the City, meet some people, make friends; I’m sure you don’t want your only human friend to be an old man.”
As usual, Tai was sparing against a tree, kicking the branches off, and leaving marks scattered across the bark. With each punch, he sent splinters flying, much to the dismay of the wild Pokémon who tried to approach the honey-slathered tree. A little distance away from the tree was a small collection of flowers, where Skye hopped around, trying to capture whatever pollen was being carried by the light breeze, while Sho stood close, watching her, yet not bothering to offer any help.
Wug, on the other hand, was cradled between Debonnaire’s arms; the human had quickly realised that her new Pokémon was scared of everything but her. She didn’t enjoy other Pokémon’s company, nor being free to roam the earth; Debonnaire guessed that Wug was a baby, probably hatched not more than a week before Tai had found it, and fended off the Silcoon and Cascoon that were attacking it.
Debonnaire was sat against another tree, looking at her Pokémon, while knowing full well that whatever attempt at social contact with humans would result in a disaster. She was a teenager after all, and like most teenagers, she was deathly pessimistic about meeting new people and making friends, especially if they were around her age.
“Why don’t we leave it to tomorrow, meeting new people?” Debonnaire whispered to Wug, talking to herself through the Pokémon. “I think that’ll be best.”
Wug looked up, confused, but nodded anyway, and returned to her curled up position atop Debonnaire’s legs. The air around them was fresh, and the smell of leaves dominated, masking the hints of flowers. The sun was nearing the end of her life for the day, yet her light was as strong as ever as she crept slowly towards the edge of the horizon.
“Hey, you!” a young boy approached Debonnaire, who idly turned her head towards him. “Are you a Pokémon Trainer? If so, then we must battle!”
“I’m not,” Debonnaire said. “I just have Pokémon with me, though I’m not a Trainer.”
“So that Tyrogue isn’t yours?”
“He is mine,” Debonnaire sighed. “I just told you that I have Pokémon with me, though I’m not a Trainer.”
“Damn!” the boy exclaimed. “I wanted to catch that!”
Debonnaire gave an understanding nod before returning to observing her Pokémon, prompting the kid to walk away. Moments passed by, and Debonnaire drifted through them lifelessly, completely oblivious to the setting sun, and the orange shade the world was slowly being covered in. Her mind was completely blank, not thinking about the past, present, or future, and she didn’t come back to her senses until a single drop of rain hit her face.
Wug started shivering in her arms, and Skye walked back to Debonnaire, having accomplished her job of jumping around needlessly. Sho joined them, and the group of Pokémon looked up to their owner, waiting for her to call Tai back.
“I guess this is it for today, Tai,” Debonnaire obliged. “Let’s go back to our room.”
She got up slowly, taking care not to drop Wug, and dusted her clothes off, sending a few pieces of grass hovering down to the ground. Tai was by her side, and the group went back to the apartment complex, arriving just in time to avoid the heavy rain.
“Ah, you’re back!” Conley exclaimed; he was sitting by a table near the entrance. “Did you have a nice day?”
“Yeah, it was relaxing,” Debonnaire gave a faint smile. “I think I needed that day off. Thanks.”
“It’s all fine,” Conley laughed. “Did you meet anyone? Make any friends?”
“No, I haven’t,” said Debonnaire. “I let my Pokémon have all the fun for today, though I’ll try to find someone tomorrow.”
“Good, good. People often forget that their Pokémon need some time off as well.”
“Yeah. Well, I’m going to bed for the night; I didn’t get much sleep in Eterna Forest yesterday.”
“Good night, then. Take all the rest you can get.”
As she had expected, Debonnaire spent the last day she had off with her Pokémon as opposed to meeting other people who were her age. And now that she was starting her job, it was too late to make any plans for socialising.
She knocked on the wooden door lightly. Her hands were gloved, and beside her was a small cart with all her cleaning equipment. Tai and the others were still sleeping in her room, and even though she knew that they will wake up before she finished cleaning all the apartments, she hoped to at least finish one floor before their demands began.
A middle-aged woman opened the door. “Oh, hello. You must be Debby; Mr. Abrafo told us about you. Come on in!”
“Thank you,” Debonnaire said as she pushed the cart into the apartment, taking a quick glance at the soft purple walls that created a mystical background for the collection of porcelain statues of Pokémon. “Nice home.”
“Oh, thank you,” the woman said as she shut the door behind her; now that Debonnaire was inside the apartment, she could see that the woman was still dressed in her pajamas. “I’m Carol, by the way.”
“Nice to meet you, Carol. Is there anything I should know before I start cleaning?”
“Nothing but the porcelain figures; they are fragile and thin and hollow, so they can be lighter than you would expect them to be.”
Considering how many there were, and how they were situated in such a gloating place, Debonnaire guessed that they were very important to Carol, and by extension, she was bound to break one of them.
She started with the kitchen, glad that Carol had taken good care of the dishes, knowing that some other occupants were probably depending on her to clean the plates and the cups for them. She was quite lucky to have started with this apartment; Debonnaire would have probably given up had she began her job with a sloppy one.
It took her less than ten minutes to clean everything thoroughly, and all that was left were the porcelain statues. Of course, there was a Glameow, seemingly in the lead, and Debonnaire started with it, taking care not to even use too much water in fear of brushing off the colours.
And from there on, she was too focused on keeping her job that Debonnaire hadn’t even noticed the rest of statues; all she cared about was cleaning them, regardless of what Pokémon they were representing.
After a little bit of gratitude from Carol, Debonnaire left for another apartment, surprised by the seemingly impossible way with which she left Glameow and her friends fully intact. She met a young artist called Toshie, whose art revolved around drawing on mirrors, and seeing your reflection through the painting.
“More straight forward than being critical,” she had said. “There is a bit of you in every art form; why not make it literal?”
Debonnaire moved on to Caron, a boy who was a few years older than her; Alfred, a man old enough to be Conley’s father, who lived with his wife, Stella; and Jaine, a mother who housed an extremely messy set of twins.
“I’m home, guys,” Debonnaire opened the door to her room, completely powerless to even remain standing for much longer. “It took almost three hours. The first floor was easy, except for that Jaine and her twins. The second floor was the toughest, and I’m so tired.”
Tai eyed Debonnaire, who had crashed on top of the bed. “You guys can go out to do whatever,” she sighed. “I’ll take a rest and a shower then follow.”
And just like that, her eyes fell shut, blocking out any other suggestion from her Pokémon. It was one of those dreamless rests, the ones that seemed to last days, while they only took up an hour or two.
Debonnaire woke up to find her room empty of everyone but Wug, who had fallen asleep next to her. She got up, dragging her body across the floor, barely looking through her own eyes. Her limps were still heavy from all the work she had done, and she almost didn’t want to leave her bed.
She took a shower and got dressed, leaving Wug asleep on the bed, and leaving the room to meet her other Pokémon; even though it was unlikely, Debonnaire firmly believed that Tai was going to get into trouble one way or the other, especially if he had no supervision at all. She hoped that one hour of sleep wasn’t enough to cause a day of troubles; she should have listen to Conley and taken a thirty minute break between every floor.
The calls of the panicked Skye distracted Debonnaire from her thoughts, the thoughts and worries that were probably true; something must have gone wrong. Two figures ran towards her, sprinting as if running from danger, trying as hard as they could to reach Debonnaire. She kneeled down and welcomed Skye with open arms, while Sho kept on jumping nervously from side to side.
“What’s wrong? What happened?” Debonnaire said, her panic increasing as she felt Skye shivering in her arms. Sho began going back the way he came, pausing to look back, and Debonnaire immediately recognised what he was telling her to do.
She ran after her Pokémon, still holding Skye, who was clinging to her owner’s shirt by now, biting hard on the fabric. Sho led his human companion to the doors of the complex, and out towards the open streets of Eterna City; there was a slight cold wind brewing around, and Debonnaire almost ran back into her room, and the warmth of the hot shower.
Before her stood a Trainer, someone she found faintly familiar. His hair was brown, and his eyes were a blinding shade of green. His round face held many similar features, ones that she couldn’t place in her panic. He wore typical travelling gear, a pair of jeans, long-sleeved shirt, and a jacket. In his right palm was a Poké Ball, one that had just stopped shaking.
Debonnaire’s face went white, and as she looked on in horror, thoughts raged through her mind, yet she could only express a few words.
Wow, now that's interesting. I was waiting for something like that to happen!
Next chapter will surely be interesting! :)
Hopefully, you will find it interesting. Thanks for reading and commenting!
Originally Posted by Tsutarja
Debonnaire took in a deep breath, slowly walking over to the familiar boy. “Excuse me,” she said, trying to convey as much confidence as she could through her voice. “I see you’ve just captured a Pokémon.”
“Yeah, I did,” the boy said as he ruffled his hair in embarrassment. “It’s nothing big really. I’m Odysse, by the way.”
Odysse offered his hand to shake, and Debonnaire accepted it hesitantly. “I’m Debonnaire,” she introduced herself. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what Pokémon did you catch?”
There were hints of electricity jolting up and down Debonnaire’s left leg; Sho must have been upset. Skye, still in her owner’s arms, had let go of the light blue shirt she was biting on, but was yet faintly shivering.
“It’s a Tyrogue,” Odysse said, and the statement almost threw Debonnaire to the ground; he said with such pride and confidence that conflicted with his previous shyness that the force of his words was enough to crush Debonnaire’s soul. “Quite a rare Pokémon, really proud I captured it. I think it had friends watching it from afar; they probably ran away when they saw my skills.”
“Or they didn’t want you to capture them as well,” Debonnaire said, struggling to construct a coherent thought. “That Tyrogue, I want him back; he’s mine.”
“What?” Odysse raised one eyebrow. “Sure, that sounds convincing. You’re not a good thief. If you were, you’d know that Pokémon with owners can’t be captured by someone else; did you steal that Skitty and the Shinx as well?”
“No, they’re both mine, but I didn’t steal them,” Debonnaire took a step forward, pushing herself closer to Odysse; according to Zarya, it made most opponents in a confrontation uncomfortable. “I don’t keep them in Poké Balls, so I never officially caught them, but they’re all mine.”
“Sorry then, love,” Odysse said, sounding older than he was. “It’s a fair game. I caught him, and that’s that.”
“How would you like it if I stole your Pokémon?”
“You can’t,” Odysse gave a grin. “Because I, unlike you, keep them in Poké Balls.”
“Aha, aha, I see,” said Debonnaire through gritted teeth. “Oh well, I guess. Then all I can do is this.”
She reached her arm and snatched one of the Poké Balls off of Odysse’s belt. She held it firmly in her hand, opposite Odysse’s face.
“He’s still technically mine,” Odysse said, though his words were losing confidence. “You never captured him.”
“It’s a he then? How interesting,” Debonnaire said, her face twitching with every surge of anger. “See, according to your logic, that Pokémon is now mine. I have the Poké Ball, and I stole it from you, so the Poké Ball is mine, and whatever is inside it.”
“That’s stealing,” Odysse said. “And you admitted it.”
“And what you’re doing is not stealing?” Debonnaire screamed. “Either give me back my Tai, or never see this Pokémon again.”
Odysse seemed flustered; he searched Debonnaire’s face for any sign of fear, tremble, or even a joke. She can’t possibly think she could own a Pokémon without putting in a Poké Ball; that would be idiotic. Her eyes were locked on his, and her hand was so tight around his Poké Ball that any attempt to snatch it out would probably result in him digging his own grave.
“Okay, fine!” Odysse said, taking a step back, and putting a much-needed distance between him and Debonnaire. “You can have your Pokémon back if you beat me in a battle.”
“No,” she said, still holding her position. “Release my Pokémon now, or make amends, because you’ll never even say goodbye to your Pokémon.”
Odysse let out a heavy breath, as if he was a bull ready to charge and attack. He shouted an intangible agreement, and threw the Poké Ball to the ground, letting out the agitated Tai, who quickly became confused at the presence of Debonnaire.
“There!” Odysse shouted. “I release you, Tyrogue!”
The boy fumbled to pick up the Poké Ball. He picked it up and hit the small dot that was the power button, permanently rendering the Poké Ball unusable. “Now give me back my Pokémon!”
Debonnaire stared at him as a few moments flew by before throwing the Poké Ball back to Odysse. He managed to catch it, surprisingly, without groans of anger; in his eyes, he had just lost a rare Pokémon.
“Come here, Tai,” Debonnaire called for her Pokémon, who walked to her obediently, knowing that nothing good can come from crossing her when she was using that tone. “We’re going back inside.”
The footsteps started. Debonnaire marched ahead, holding Skye, and leading Sho and Tai into the building, but as they entered, she noticed the extra footsteps behind them. She turned around, prompting her hair to fly and slash at Odysse’s face.
“Really?” he said; this time, it was his face that was twitching in anger. “Really?”
“Why are you following me?”
“I’m not following you,” Odysse said, barely contained enough to explain. “Believe me, I would never follow you, not even if you were the only salvation.”
“Then why are you in the building?”
“I’m here to visit my brother, not that it’s any of your-“
“Oh, fuck! Caron!”
The brown hair, the green eyes, the all too similar facial structure; it must have been Caron. That was why he was so similar, so familiar in her eyes; of course they’re brothers! Debonnaire cursed again as she hurried down a corridor to her room, leaving behind the confused boy. She had managed to get Tai back and intimidate Odysse, and but she knew that she will never have the upper hand when she’s cleaning the floor under his feet.
She suddenly reverted from a worried and defensive mother, to a worried and embarrassed teenager.
Caron’s apartment was the last; Debonnaire had hoped that by leaving it to the end, Odysse would have gone out. Looking back on yesterday, she wasn’t even sure he was staying with his brother, or that Caron was his brother. Yesterday was a tiring first day at work, and Debonnaire must have gotten the faces confused.
The door flung open, and suddenly, he was there. “There you are,” Odysse grinned. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
“I want to apologise,” Debonnaire started the speech she had prepared; she had no intention on doing her job while being scrutinised. “I still hold my ground that you had no right in catching Tai, but I could’ve gone about it without being rude. I was emotional, and I’m sorry.”
“That wasn’t sincere at all,” Odysse said. “You could be a better actress. And why didn’t you tell me your name yesterday? I had to ask Caron.”
“And I will assume he told you,” Debonnaire said; she had no intention on introducing herself. “You know what I’m here to do. Move.”
Odysse opened the door fully and stepped aside, letting Debonnaire in. “I don’t intend on pushing your buttons,” he said. “You can relax.”
“Well, good,” Debonnaire said. “Because I don’t have any buttons for you to push; I’m always like this.”
“I do, however, demand a battle,” Odysse said. “You have your Tai, and I have my Pokémon; it will be a fair battle.”
“No,” she said. “I don’t battle; I’m not a Trainer.”
For the first time in years, the energy changed, and Conley recognised it immediately; it was the desperation and the conflict of a small child. His ears caught the sound of footsteps, footsteps that sped towards the door of his office, that echoed closer and closer, until his door flung open.
And he was there.
It had been numerous years since the pair had last met. His vile presence bled into the room, circling around Conley, and assuring him that the day had finally come. The man breathed heavily as Conley struggled to keep his footing; his entire body was giving away.
“Why are you back?” Conley struggled to find his voice. “It’s too late.”
The man just stood there, still breathing, and Conley knew that, like him, his enemy was frozen. “Talk to me, Addanc!” Conley beamed. “Why are you here?!”
His entire body had failed him, and all Conley could do was try to scare away his opponent. Addanc straightened up slowly, dragging all of his horrible desires up with him, surrounding Conley’s mind, and slowly closing in.
“You’re the only one left, Conley,” Addanc said. His voice was weak and trembling, hindered by his shivering. “You have to help me.”
“Not again, Addanc,” Conley begged. “You know it’s impossible-“
“It’s not! How can you say it’s impossible when you never tried?!”
“She’s dead, Addanc! Accept it!”
The moment passed by slowly, just mere seconds between the serene presence of Eterna City, and the death of many innocents. Addanc let out a scream of rejection, his vibrant power extending high above him, cutting through all the floors above them, and knocking Conley towards the wall.
Had he kept his Pokémon, had he chose to live in isolation, had he made any other decision, Conley would have saved those lives.
“I do, however, demand a battle,” Odysse said. “You have your Tai, and I have my Pokémon; it will be a fair battle.”
“No,” she said. “I don’t battle; I’m not a Trainer.”
“Then why do you keep Pokémon?” Odysse puffed his chest and crossed his arms, convinced that he had found a flaw in Debonnaire’s mentality. “Do you just keep them for fun?”
At that moment, when Debonnaire swung her head to face Odysse, the glass around them shattered. She let out a scream and ducked to the ground, hands over the back of her neck, and her face buried in the carpet.
There was sudden silence. Debonnaire slowly looked up to see Odysse’s arm covering his face, a small shard of glass jutting out, covered in blood. “Don’t move that!” she shouted, getting up slowly; Odysse’s confused look convinced her the pain hadn’t settled in yet. “Don’t scream.”
Odysse let out a groan as he took a step back, noticing the blood-soaked shard edged deep into his flesh.
“We’ll get that taken care of,” Debonnaire said, softly taking hold of Odysse’s arms. “Just- Just be careful.”
“Well, aren’t you awfully cal-,” Odysse let out another groan as he clenched his fist. “That hurt.”
“And you’re unnaturally composed,” Debonnaire chuckled, her noises slowly turning into concerned moans. “We have to get someone who knows what to do.”
The building shook violently, sending Odysse to the ground in agony as the vibrations almost shattered the piece of glass. A door behind Debonnaire flung open, and Caron rushed to their side.
“What was that?” he said, before noticing his brother, and rushing to his side. “Odd, what happened?! I heard your two murmur and I assumed you were fine.”
“We need to get him some help,” Debonnaire said, grabbing Caron’s shoulder. “And why did you take so long to get out of your room?”
“There was glass all over the floor,” Caron said, slowly lifting his brother’s arm. “And I did hear you guys, faintly; my mind was elsewhere.”
“I’ll take care of Odysse,” Debonnaire said, taking hold of the panting boy; Caron had helped him to his feet. “You go get whatever you need, and call an ambulance.”
“Thank you,” Caron said, before the building shook again. “I’ll meet you by the stairs.”
Debonnaire helped Odysse to the door, and out of the apartment, when the floor behind them fell a few centimeters below the one they were on. “Caron,” Debonnaire murmured. “Caron, get here quickly!”
She leaned Odysse against the wall of the hallway, and poked her head back into the apartment. “Caron!” she shouted; something terrible was happening, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that she had to stop it. “Caron!”
“I was just getting some spare clothes for Odd,” Caron said, appearing at the door of his room, walking towards Debonnaire. “Calm down; you can’t be anxious if we are to carry Odd down the stair-“
“Did you not feel that?”
And suddenly, just a few steps from Debonnaire, the ground beneath Caron gave away. The entire apartment was drifting down, falling towards the ground, carrying half of the building with it. Debonnaire fell to the ground, extending her arm and grabbing Caron’s; he was too heavy for her, the weight of his body and the gravity of his fall were too much for her.
His backpack fell to the ground, sliding from his free arm towards the rising dust. Behind her, Odysse was screaming in pain; beneath her, the floor was shaking violently, and at the end of her arm, Caron was slipping away. She tried to pull her arm up, dragging him towards safety in the process, but her strength failed her.
Where was the adrenaline she had heard of? The power that you only get in times of desperate need? It was one of those times, and she tried and tried, but as quickly as the building gave away, Caron slipped from her hand. He fell to the ground, landing on his backpack and screaming in pain; he was still alive.
Debonnaire rushed to the stairs, leaving behind an unconscious Odysse, trying hard to fight the rumbling floor beneath her. She rushed down, not bothering to grab anything that would ensure her safety. The steps were littered with the glass of broken light pulps, and the shards of what used to be clear window.
Finally on the ground, she saw Caron’s body not far from her. His chest was rising and falling weakly, but his eyes were closed, and his scream of pain had stopped.
She ran over to him, assuring herself once again that he was breathing. Around him was the rubble, the blood drops against the furniture and the glass, the torn clothes, and the dead bodies of Alfred and Stella. Debonnaire was hit by a sickening feeling, not by the sight, but by the quick realisation that a building does not simply split into two.
She heard a moan of pain, somewhere behind her. Her head shot back; someone else might be alive, and they might need her help. She rushed back, meeting a familiar body.
Conley’s face was covered in blood, all creeping from the holes where his eyes used to be.
Oh wow, quite an interesting development you got there. I love the way she got Tai back since I didn't exactly expect her to battle, it would be too sudden. But I can, however, assume that this Addanc guy is related to the central plot. Am I right?
Yes, he will be quite important, seeing as how the Prologue centred only around him.
Originally Posted by Tsutarja