3rd August 2004, 11:29 PM #1
Just An Ordinary Trainer
Fic title: October Sunset
Chapter number: one-shot, as always
Fic pairing(s): none
Fic rating: PG for angst
Fic summary: In response to Blackjack's challenge in the_sketchbook LJ community, I have written a ficlet involving villans from the most promienent to those that rarely cross your mind, all interacting with an emotionally broken Rapidash. Although not a songfic, this was inspired by the lyrics of October, an Evanescence song.
Other sites the fic can be found: none
The day is crisp and cool, typical of an October day, a day most Pokemon would say they were glad to be alive to witness, but not me. Most Pokemon would be spending the autumn afternoon in the arms of someone who loves them, but not me. I am a hostage, held captive by the young boy in front of me.
I was just a young Ponyta, fragile, innocent, when I first laid eyes on him. I thought he looked trustworthy, so I persuaded my parents to let me edge nearer to him. I whinnied softly and a smile sprang to his lips, but you must remember that I was young, foolish, and naïve. He was young too, with spiky brown hair, stained jeans, and a purple shirt, but his smile betrayed his pleasure that he had stumbled upon just another Pokemon for his…collection, not for a friend. I raced toward my family, my herd, but he was too fast. He released Blastoise, and the turtle Pokemon pounded me with Hydro Pump unmercifully. I knew it wasn’t his fault; he had been raised that way.
I sank to my knees, accepting the darkness and the fact that I was no longer free, but a captive held in unending depression by a senseless human. For the first time in my young life, I had given in to the ways of humans. The Pokeball was thrown, and I knew then that there was truly no way out this time...
I woke some days later, groggy with fatigue from my capture. We were in the back room of a stadium, and my new owner was talking in a low voice with an adult man.
“You’ve done well for a boy so young,” I could hear the man say. “He has potential, this Ponyta, and will grow to serve me well in my experiments with the new Pokemon my scientists created on Cinnabar Island. Who knows, perhaps you’ll become a Rocket novice yourself. Think about it and contact me when you’re older and stronger.”
“I’ll think on it, sir,” my unnamed captor replied. “When do you expect to give him back to me?”
“At the end of the session, Mewtwo’s powers must be harnessed first, and the only way to truly find his potential is by using other opponents to throw his strength on.”
Throw his strength on? I didn’t like the sound of that. I heard footsteps, and the boy I had thought to be my friend left. Stupid kid, did he even feel a tiny twinge of guilt? Knowing him, no. I disliked him, but he was my only savior and I had to depend on him to return.
At first I didn’t mind that my trainer had left because the Rocket novices fed me Pokechow mixed with thick oatmeal until I got my strength back. The man with the deep, frantic voice ran this establishment, but I didn’t see much of him that day, and haven’t seen very much of him since. He must lead a very tragic life, sitting back his chair as he watches others dish out pain right and left on many small television screens.
When the boy had left, the cage I was being held in was thrown open and I was immediately greeted with a swish of a rope. The man holding the rope was dressed in black with a large red R on the chest; he was a novice, obviously. There was no time for me to hesitate or attack before the rope was coiled around my neck so tight that I could scarcely breathe. I let out a groan of pain, of agony, knowing that I was giving in for a second time...
I was pulled immediately out of my dark prison and into a windowless but warmly lit corridor, my hooves echoing off the crystal-tiled floor. For the first time in my life, I was nervous; Mom and Daddy always said trainers were friendly people, so why didn’t they tell me about humans that would try to harm us? Did they not know of these people?
Fire flickered through the air as I tossed my blazing mane and the man opened a pair of double doors at the end of the hall. The light was much dimmer in here, and I found myself entering the side door of an arena or stadium. What hidden traps did these people have in store for me?
“Mewtwo, your adversary has just entered the arena,” came a voice from behind me, and I recognized the voice from the back room just a few minutes before. I whirled around, hooves clattering, mane blazing, a glare in my otherwise innocent eyes. The man with the Persian at his side looked less like a Pokemon criminal than the man who had brought me in. His brown hair was smoothed back with gel and he wore an orange business suit with black shoes, just polished by the look of them. He stood on a podium above all the empty stadium seats, surveying me and this…Mewtwo, who I hadn’t seen, with a smirk.
“Bring him forward, I’m ready to face whatever these Pokemon throw at me,” said a determined voice from the other end of the stadium. I assumed this Mewtwo was a person, so I almost jumped out of my skin when I realized the armored being putting on his helmet was a Pokemon. Not only was it a Pokemon, it was speaking English! If I wasn’t trying to prove to the humans that I was strong, my knees would’ve given way right then. I tossed my head once more, the glare gone from my eyes, but the defiance still there. I stepped forward into the arena, my hooves echoing in the silence.
“It seems, Mewtwo, that your young friend is ready to begin,” the man said, a smirk playing around his lips. It might’ve appeared to be a mere game to this human, but to me it was a black and white confrontation of life and death. The Pokemon eyed me with a smirk identical to his master’s, but I didn’t back down, my walk growing into a trot, from a trot to an all-out canter. Mewtwo was wearing his armor by now, and my blow didn’t faze him in the least, he merely lifted a hand and threw me into the stadium seats. As my body impacted with the seats, I could feel a sharp pain going through my back, but there was no blood...not yet, anyway.
I winced, trying to get my footing as I started down the stadium stairs and back into the arena, my breath shallow. No giving up for me, even if I died trying. This time I pounded toward Mewtwo, letting out a Fire Blast. The smoke engulfed his armor, but he smirked chillingly and gave me a reflected Fire Blast attack in return. All I could see were the flames, and all I could feel was the searing heat burning my skin. I could be wrong, but as I stumbled dazedly as I let the last of my strength leave me, I could hear the man in the suit laughing at me...
“Rapidash, pay attention!” Gary calls as we weave through the small unnamed village we’re traveling in. “Don’t be a Slowbro if you want to see the sunset.” I perk up, unsure as to why he’s using such a different tone than usual. Has something changed him? A feeling that I’ve not known since I was a foal overcomes me, and that is the feeling of eagerness.
We leave the boundary of the village and find ourselves in a meadow, the grass reaching my knees. I stumble behind as he sits himself down in the shade of a tree, the blazing sun that matches the fire in my mane just ahead of us. I lay down beside Gary, drinking in the silence and knowing that I can relax for the first time.
The tranquility is interrupted by Gary doing something he’s never done before: reaching out to stroke my mane. I know him personally, so the flames don’t bother him, but all the same I’m on edge. It’s unlike Gary to show affection for his Pokemon, so I edge away, eyeing him warily.
“You’ve got every right to hate me after what I put you through, Rapidash,” he says finally, dropping his hand and sighing. “I learned a lesson that day when I came back to the Viridian Gym and saw you bruised and bleeding: never make your Pokemon stronger just because the trainer wants them to, the Pokemon you befriend matter just as much. I’ve put you and your friends through a lot of pain, but I want to change. Will you help me to change, Rapidash?”
In that moment I finally know the meaning of the phrase “forgive and forget.” I don’t get closer to him, but I don’t shy away either. I can finally look up and be free again, knowing that the sky will always be there for you…even after the tarnished past you’ve experienced.