Chapter Nine: Predator
“Wake up, Boreas!” a voice spoke, awakening Boreas from a dreamless sleep. “Team Plasma has taken a Pidove, if we leave now we may be able to trail them.”
Boreas opened his eyes and saw Black looking both sleepy and agitated at the same time trying to awaken him. Boreas got up and followed Black outside, where it was still completely dark, though the sky had a slight shade of dark blue instead of black. Octa gave him a cold stare and for a moment Boreas couldn't quite remember what his problem was and why he felt like he should return the Snivy's stare. Then he remembered and his heart pounded with anger.
No. he thought, trying to keep his anger under control, He's giving me that calm, icy anger. I'll show him I can do that too.
He managed to keep a poker face, hiding his anger and returning Octa's haughty stare without a word. Yet aside from the anger, he also felt some regret. He couldn't help thinking that Octa was at least partially right and that he was being irrational and should just apologise to his friend.
He's not my friend! Boreas angrily thought, and even if he were right, I'm not apologising to him after he insulted me and my family. He's the one who should be apologising.
I was rather stubborn and stupid, though. And maybe we really should focus on Team Plasma, rather than some predator.
No way! Team Plasma only kidnaps pokémon, while the predator actually kills them, like they did to Mum and Dad! I can't let them get away with it!
Following Black, they had reached one of the stables, where Bianca, who looked like she was sleeping standing upright, and her pokémon seemed to be investigating. “Bianca,” Black asked, “have you found a trail yet?”
“Buh!” Bianca startled, “Oh, it's you. No, we haven't. Just the place where it happened.”
The spot was littered with grey feathers and bloodstains. “Perhaps Boreas can smell Plasma's trail.” Black said.
“I wouldn't count on it.” Octa spoke with an icy edge to his voice.
Boreas furiously turned to him to tell him to shut up, but caught himself, remembering to stay as calm as Octa was. Octa gave him an infuriatingly arrogant grin, but he managed to stay calm and just started smelling around, trying to pick up a scent. Apart from the Pidove, he could smell a faint whiff that smelt a bit like burning.
“To prevent us from chasing after something blindly,” Octa spoke to Oshy, “like some simple impulsive fool who doesn't have his emotions under control, let us ask the other pokémon here if they saw something.”
While Boreas tried to ignore Octa and find the scent of their enemy and Black and Bianca tried to find other clues with their flashlights and Munny's Flash, the other pokémon interrogated the other pokémon in the stable. It soon turned out only one of them, a Torchic, had seen anything as she had awakened a moment before the Pidove had been killed. “Oh, it was horrible! It was completely dark, but then a blinking set of monstrous teeth flashed, and bit right through his throat! And before I could even cry out in shock, both had disappeared into the darkness!”
“It must've been Giratina!” a Linoone cried.
“It's come to take us all to the Distortion World!”
“Oh, Arceus help us!”
“We're going to die! Or worse!”
“Calm down, gentlemen.” Octa said, “Those who can't control their emotions in favour of logic are, after all, a danger to themselves and others. To assume that Giratina itself appeared here to eat a simple Pidove when a much more mundane predator might have done the same is, quite frankly, almost as silly as someone pursuing vengeance against a person who has never even wronged them, for something that another did.”
“Oshy,” Boreas said, grappling with keeping a calm appearance like someone grapples with a lost piece of soap in the bath, “would you please tell our local narcissistic windbag to shut his self-absorbed mouth and stop distracting me while I'm trying to bring justice to someone who clearly deserves it.”
“Yes Oshy,” Octa said, “and while you're at it, could you tell a certain unrefined simpleton to do something productive instead of attempting to avenge his poorly-bred family by killing someone who wasn't even remotely responsible for their deaths?”
Boreas wanted to respond, but Puppy interrupted him. “Look, would you two like to be left alone for a while so you can talk this out?”
“No.” both firmly said.
“At least you agree on that,” Puppy sighed. “Stop drawing Oshy and me into your quarrel.”
Continuing to search for a trail, Boreas finally caught a faint whiff of the familiar odour that hang around in the stable too. He called the humans, and they followed him as he followed the faint trail across the clearing. Black stopped when he noticed Octa wasn't following. “Octa, don't be afraid! Come on!”
“Afraid?” Octa sniffed haughtily, “I'm not afraid, you just shan't find Plasma following him.”
“Yes,” Black said as he picked Octa up and put him on his shoulder, “you're right. It'll be dangerous, but we have to go on. We won't let them get away with what they've done.”
“That's not what- Hmpf, fine.”
The trail quickly led into the forest. Occasionally a feather would lie on the ground, clearly showing they were still on the right track. As they followed the trail through the forest, the sky slowly turned dark blue and then orange. Finally, in a tiny clearing, they saw the dark shape of a Houndour eating from a dead Pidove.
“A Houndour?” Black whispered in surprise, “Then this wasn't the work of Plasma? That was a waste of- Boreas, come back!”
A crimson wave of burning rage flooded Boreas' mind, he hated the Houndour with a burning passion like a supernova and the only thing he wanted to do was to hurt the Houndour, rip its throat out, and kill it to avenge all that he'd lost. He ran out from the cover of the foliage at the eating Houndour, who only heard him coming at the last moment and let off a surprised “What-” before Boreas Tackled into its side, knocking him away from the prey and down to the ground. Before the Houndour could react, Boreas jumped onto it, trying to dig his short claws into its flesh and bite its neck to deliver the killing blow.
A moment before Boreas' jaws would have closed around the Houndour's throat it managed to stop him with its paws. No matter how hard Boreas struggled in his insane rage, the Houndour was about twice as big and heavy as Boreas, so it managed to keep him away from its throat and throw him off in the ensuing struggle.
“What the hell did I ever do to you?” The Houndour roared, “Or do you just have a death wish?”
Boreas didn't say anything, but just tried to kill the Houndour again in blind fury, but this time it easily saw him coming and bit Boreas' leg painfully hard in defence.
“Octa, Wrap both of them!”
Octa's vines wrapped themselves around Boreas and the Houndour, separating them forcibly. Boreas struggled against the vines, clawed against them, in a desperate attempt to reach the Houndour, but he couldn't win. Aware that he would never get to avenge his family, and that even if he did, it wouldn't really matter as it wouldn't bring them back, all his raging fury turned into sorrow, and he started crying. He was vaguely aware that Black threw a pokéball, trying to catch the Houndour, but he just didn't care any more.
It was late in the morning by the time they returned to the daycare, Boreas still crying in Black's arms. Black put him on the ground next to Octa, and said “I guess it's time to really introduce you to each other, since you've only met in battle.” He released the Houndour from its pokéball.
“Octa, Boreas, this is Lucius. Lucius, these are Octa and Boreas.”
Octa extended his hand. “A good morning to you, sir. My name is actually Octavianus, but I find that too sesquipedalian for regular usage.”
Lucius just stared at him incredulously. “What?”
“I said my name is actually-”
“Yeah, and don't you wish you hadn't? Anyway, what's the matter with that that other guy? First he tries to kill me outta the blue, and now he's snivelling.”
“My parents were killed!” Boreas wailed.
“Life is unfair, kid.” Lucius said without even a grain of the sympathy Boreas felt he deserved. “Kill yourself or get over it, but don't be whiny. Now I'm gonna find some food, so see you later.”
How can he not feel sorry for me? Boreas thought.
But perhaps he's right. Remember what Octa said about everyone needing to eat? The Zangeese and Lucius all needed to eat too. If the world's really so unfair, what use is whining about it? Maybe I really should try to get over it. I have been acting a bit whiny lately.
No! He's a murderer! And my family are all dead!
I didn't try to kill him because he preyed on the pokémon here at the daycare, though. If I'm very honest, I did really go after him out of a misplaced sense of revenge.
No! That's not true, it's because he's evil like the Zangeese!
Boreas took a few deep breaths to calm himself down and tried to be calm and reasonable. Maybe Lucius and Octa are right. It's been a month since the Zangeese attacked. I shall miss my family forever, but it's time to move on. At that moment, he wished he and Octa were still friends, so he could talk to him about it.
Octa insulted me and my family. He may have been right about some things he said, but he's still an arrogant jerk who doesn't deserve to be my friend.
Maybe I should forgive Octa and ask his foregiveness in return.
But the anger that he'd just managed to get under control slipped from his grip and refused. I'm not going to crawl back to Octa with my tail between my legs, asking for his forgiveness. Let him forgive me first. And besides, I have more important things to do first. We still haven't stopped Team Plasma from stealing more pokémon.