K, so story #2.
Attempted Pokemon: Swinub (Medium)
Characters Needed: 10k-20k
Characters in the Story: 19,335
The Curious Incident of the Swinub in the Night-time
“More break-ins have occurred in and around the areas of Blackthorn City and Route 44. If you live in these areas, you are advised to lock all doors and windows at night, or any time you leave your home. As usual, the burglars left no evidence, and only took food items. Police suspect that people who are homeless are breaking in and stealing food. Thank you, that will be all for Channel 4 News Johto.”
The news anchor finished her report, and began to stack her papers and talk to her co-anchors as the credits rolled past them.
“Can you believe that, Will? That’s the fourth time this week!” exclaimed Will’s mom.
Will sat on the couch next to his mom while she watched the news. He was busy reading a magazine about Johto’s gym leaders. It was an article that went into detail on each gym; where they were, who their leader was, and what pokemon they used. Blackthorn was the closest gym to where Will lived, on Route 44. It was only a short hike through Ice Path, and then you came right out of the cave into the city. Claire was the leader of Blackthorn’s pokemon gym, and she specialized in the use of Dragon type pokemon. Due to her powerful pokemon, most Johto trainers elected to battle her as their final gym challenge.
Will was 12, and had been a trainer for two years now. He wasn’t the greatest battler, and he usually chose to just make friends with pokemon instead of battling them. When he received his starter pokemon from Prof. Elm, his pokemon was injured somewhat severely, and ever since then he has refrained from battling. Of course, if a neighbor wanted to have a friendly match up against him, he would accept, but he didn’t care for competitive battling.
He only owned one pokemon, a Yanma. The year that Will got his starter pokemon, Prof. Elm had chosen a variation of pokemon instead of the standard three pokemon he usually gave out. Every trainer got a different kind of pokemon that day. Will arrived somewhat late, as Route 44 was a long way from New Bark Town, and there weren’t many pokemon left to choose from. The obvious types had already been chosen, such as Fire, Water, and Electric, but there were still a few interesting pokemon left.
Prof. Elm greeted Will, and opened the pokeballs for him one by one. The first one contained a Sentret, a funny pokemon who liked to sit on top of its tail. Will wasn’t particularly fond of this pokemon, and he knew that you could catch them easily just outside of this town. The next ball contained a small, yellow and brown pokemon with a sprig coming out of the top of its head. It squealed upon exiting its pokeball and looked up at the Professor and Will with large, dark eyes. Will hadn’t seen this pokemon before, and Prof. Elm informed him that it was a Sunkern. Once again, will wasn’t impressed with this pokemon. The two he had seen so far had been weak looking.
Will then looked over at the remaining pokeball on Prof. Elm’s desk. The professor grabbed it and released the pokemon from inside. Suddenly, a large dragonfly was flying about the office, flapping its large wings around and knocking things off of tables. It soon stopped flying and hovered in front of Will. The first thing he noticed about this pokemon was how large its eyes were, they must’ve been the size of his head! The Bug type stared at Will for awhile and then made a chirping sound. The dragonfly, which Prof. Elm called a Yanma, bumped into Will playfully and chirped some more.
Will instantly felt a bond with this pokemon, and chose it as his starter. Prof. Elm smiled, and handed Will its pokeball and sent him on his way.
Soon after that, a trainer with a Cyndaquil challenged Will to a battle, and Yanma was injured. His pokemon had to stay in the pokemon center for a week, because of the severity of its burns. After it had healed, Will took it home with no intention of battling it unless he absolutely had to.
Now, Yanma definitely isn’t weak, but most of Will’s friends have much stronger pokemon, and more of them. They knew that Will didn’t care much for battling though, so they usually didn’t challenge him.
As will was reading his magazine, his mother began to speak again, “We’d better make sure everything is locked down tonight, we don’t want those burglars getting in.”
“I can’t believe that no one has even seen them yet. It seems like someone would have, especially after two weeks of robberies,” said Will.
Blackthorn City and Route 44 had been subject to a string of mysterious robberies for the last two weeks. People were breaking into houses, and only stealing food from pantries and refrigerators. The nature of the crimes, and the lack of evidence left at the crime scenes baffled police and victims. There were never any fingerprints left, nor any DNA.
Luckily, Will and his mother hadn’t been robbed yet. Every night as a precaution, they locked their doors and windows.
That night, while Will slept, he heard a tapping noise downstairs. He quietly got out of bed and crept down the stairs. He peeked around the corner and saw that his kitchen was a mess. The fridge was wide open, and completely empty, and the pantry door was ajar. Half-eaten food was scattered on the floor, but most of the food from the fridge and pantry was gone.
Will looked over and noticed that the kitchen window was open. He was sure he had locked it, but somehow the robber had gotten in. He ran back upstairs and grabbed Yanma’s pokeball, and his bag, which had a few necessities in it. He put on warmer clothes over his pajamas, and headed outside.
First, he checked by the open window. He saw scratch marks all over the windowsill, and some food left outside in the grass. The burglar must’ve heard him coming downstairs, and split. Will looked out in his yard and saw more food. He noticed that a line of scattered food items made a sort of trail through the grass, and headed to the east.
“Yanma, come out and take a look!” he said. He released his pokemon and commanded it to go ahead of him and scan. Yanma had much better night vision than most people did.
Yanma flew towards the direction that the trail of food led and was gone for a minute or two. When he returned he seemed excited about something, and spun around in the air. He flew around Will’s head and then took off towards the East again.
Will followed Yanma for a long time until they reached the entrance to Ice Path. There was snow outside the entrance, and Will looked down to see a fresh path through it. There were no footprints, but instead a large streak through it as if something had been dragged through.
Yanma fluttered around the entrance to the cave, as if saying he wanted Will to follow him. Will knew it was late, and his mother wouldn’t want him going into Ice Path at night, but she would probably be even more proud if he caught the burglar and got their food back. He decided that he didn’t have time to think about, and dashed into the cave, following Yanma.
As soon as he entered, the air became more frigid and chills hit Will like a brick wall. He buttoned his jacket up and crossed his arms over his chest, trying to stay warmer. Yanma was afflicted by the temperature change as well, and he seemed to shiver as he flew.
Luckily, the cave wasn’t too dark. Recently, workers from Blackthorn came out and put a lighting system on the main path through the cave. They were small lights that hung from the ceiling, illuminating the walls and floor of the cavern. Though the lights were dim, they gave enough light so that travelers could see where they were going in the cave, even at night.
Will looked at his shivering pokemon with pity, “Yanma, would you like to go back into your ball?” Yanma stopped flying and flew back towards Will, looking at the pokeball in his hand. Will took this as a yes, and opened the capsule so that Yanma could enter.
With Yanma gone, the cave seemed a lot spookier to Will, but he pressed on in search of the thief. The trail of food was getting scarcer as he trekked further into the cave, making it harder to know which way the burglar had gone. Will assumed that the thief lived in Blackthorn, and was making his way back home, but he could’ve gone down any side path of the maze-like cavern to hide.
Will was walking, when he heard a noise that came from down one of the many side paths in the cave. He looked onto the floor and saw that the dirt was scattered a bit, and had scratch marks. He heard another grunt from down the corridor. Will thought that the burglar was hurt, and had stopped to hide.
Will reached for his pokeball and let Yanma out again. Yanma flew cautiously behind Will, they were both a little on edge. They heard the grunting noise once more, this time it was much louder. Will’s eyes searched the darkness, but it was in vain. The lights didn’t extend down the offshoots in the cave. He was relying on the short field of vision he had only a few feet in front of him, and on Yanma’s excellent vision.
They noticed that the path was getting narrower, and now Will could jump and touch the ceiling. This was good though; the cave was getting smaller, so the thief might be cornered.
“Yanma, use a weak Signal Beam to light up the cave a bit,” said Will. Yanma flew in front of the trainer and emitted a beam of light, illuminating the cave.
What they saw next surprised them. On the floor was a pile of food that Will recognized as his own. Some of it had been nibbled on, but most of it was intact. What they saw next, was a little more bizarre. A small Swinub was digging a hole, and shoving the food into it.
No wonder there hadn’t been any human evidence at the crime scenes! The thief had been a pokemon the entire time. Will wondered if people would believe him once he told them the good news.
Surprised or not, Will was still angry at the pokemon. This little pig had been stealing food from people, including Will’s friends and neighbors, for two weeks. He had to punish it.
“Ok, Yanma, fire up that Signal Beam to full power!” shouted Will. This startled the Swinub, who looked up just in time to be hit full force by Yanma’s beam of light.
Swinub quickly recovered from the attack, and turned around. His back feet began to kick furiously, throwing mud all over Yanma and Will. The trainer quickly wiped the dirt away from his face and eyes, but Yanma was affected more by the attack. His large, glowing eyes were coated with filth, and he flew around in a frenzy. His short arms were too short to reach his eyes, which frustrated the dragonfly.
Yanma’s Signal Beam had stopped lighting up the cave, which left the trio in darkness. Suddenly they heard Swinub stop digging and kicking mud. At first, this relieved Will. He thought that the Swinub had calmed down a bit, and he could attend to Yanma, but the mood quickly shifted. All around them, the ground began to shake. Rocks and stalactites fell from the ceiling, and Will was brought to his knees. He placed his hands on the floor to balance himself, but the vibrations jarred his hands. The shaking continued as Swinub continued to use Magnitude.
Everything seemed to be moving back and forth to Will. He got nauseous, and grabbed his aching head. The rocks falling from the cavern’s roof were getting larger, and they pelted Will and Yanma. Will felt like his head would burst if it shook anymore, and his feet went limp as the shaking continued.
Yanma tried to remain in the air to avoid the vibrations, but the rocks that hailed from the ceiling grounded him. He still had mud in his face as well, which made it difficult to navigate around falling rocks.
Finally, the shaking stopped. A few pebbles fell from the ceiling, and then everything was quiet. Will tried to stand, but found that his legs couldn’t support him. He used his arms to lift himself up, and then got control of his balance from there. He rubbed his head and then looked down to see that his right leg was hurt. There was a rip on his pajamas, and blood stained them just above the knee. He lifted his pant leg and saw that he had a large gash on his thigh. Luckily, he could still walk on it; it was just sore to the touch. He knew he shouldn’t let it bleed though, so he ripped off a strip of cloth from his shirt and wrapped it around the wound.
Once he had made sure he wasn’t hurt anywhere else, he went to check on Yanma. He looked around the dark cave, feeling the rocks below him for his pokemon. Finally, his hand felt Yanma’s wing bend beneath his fingers.
Will moved the rocks off of Yanma and pulled him out of the rubble. He wasn’t seriously hurt, but the unexpected rock slide that Swinub caused had knocked out the bug. Will got Yanma’s pokeball out and returned the exhausted pokemon to it.
The lack of a light source worried Will. He could hardly see in the cave, and Yanma, his only source of light, was knocked out. He looked behind him, searching for the glow of the main path’s lights, but saw nothing. Will turned around and started walking, but soon met a wall of rubble. He felt in front of him and saw that the way he had come in through was now blocked. He walked around the perimeter of his tomb, feeling every inch of the walls. After going around it three times, he accepted that there was no longer an exit. He was trapped in the cave.
Will sank to his knees and crumpled into a ball, whimpering. He had come into this cave a million times as a kid, and he and his mother go through it at least once a week to go to Blackthorn, but this would be his last trip to the cavern.
While he was lying there, crying, he heard a familiar noise. It was a grunting noise. He opened his eyes and noticed that they were slightly more adjusted to the darkness. He could make out the shape of something in the corner. Will got up and walked to the far side of the tomb, and saw that the Swinub, wreaker of all this havoc, was lying on a pile of rocks. He was looking around the room just as Will had been, looking for an exit. When he saw Will he backed into a corner, taking a defensive stance. The small pokemon growled faintly at the trainer.
“Look what you did!” cried Will. He kicked a rock past the pokemon and raised his hands in the air, causing the Swinub to cower. “Now all three of us are trapped in here forever! We’re going to die in here!”
Swinub was shaking with what seemed to be either fear, or guilt. Will’s sadness had turned into acceptance, and now it was boiling into anger. His tantrum worried the Swinub, who flinched with every one of Will’s movements.
The small pokemon was becoming more and more worried, so he finally used his front feet to dig a small hole. He buried himself within the dirt as a way to hide from the Trainer.
Seeing this, Will had an idea. “Swinub! You can dig! I can’t believe I didn’t think about this earlier!”
The Swinub poked its head out of the shallow hole it was hiding in, and looked at the trainer. Will came over to the hole and reached down to pick up the small, furry pokemon.
“Listen, I know we don’t like each other much, but neither one of us is going to live long down here. You can dig us out, that way we’ll both be saved,” Will said. “Sound like a plan?”
Swinub didn’t respond for a second, but then he nodded and jumped onto the ground.
“Ok, glad you see it my way,” said Will. He pointed over at the back wall of the tomb and began to talk again. “This is where we came in, so it would be easiest to dig through the rubble over here to the other side. Can you do it?”
Swinub nodded and ran over to the rocky wall. The pokemon didn’t start to dig immediately. Instead, he began to squint as hard as he could, and seemed to be focusing all his energy on something. Will had never seen a pokemon act like this before, and watched intently. Suddenly, the rocks around Swinub began to glow mysteriously. They shook a little bit, and then went completely airborne, hovering around Swinub. Slowly, other rocks began to do the same, until finally the ones that blocked the wall were in the air. All the rocks had a strange aura around them and floated in the air around the tomb. The strange light they emitted gave the cave a bit of light, allowing Will to see everything that was happening. Suddenly, Swinub used his energy to toss all the rocks aside, and into the side of the cave. When the dust settled, only a wall of earth was left where the rocks once stood.
Will now knew what technique Swinub had used; Ancient Power. It was a move that only a few pokemon knew, but it had the power to make a pokemon much stronger, just by using it.
The small pokemon now ran over to the wall of dirt and mud, and began to dig, tossing mud all over the cave. A cloud of dust formed around the pokemon, blocking it from Will’s view. He could only hear the pokemon furiously working to get to the other side of the blockade. Finally, the dust cleared, and light was shining through the hole that Swinub made. The sudden presence of light hurt Will’s eyes, but it was welcome nonetheless.
Will and Swinub climbed over the rubble and out onto the main path of Ice Path. Will was relieved to see the path again, only moments before, he didn’t know if he would ever see light again.
He began to walk off when he remembered Swinub. He turned around to see the little pokemon gazing at him. Yes, this little guy had caused a ton of trouble for his family and many others, but he had also saved Will’s life. He owed everything to him. Of course, Swinub wouldn’t have done it unless Will had urged him to. They knew that they were both indebted to each other.
The two looked at each other for a little bit, neither one moving. “Thanks Swinub. You helped me a lot back there,” Will said. Swinub looked up at Will, and he could see that it was smiling underneath all of its fur. “You know, they still think that people are behind the robberies. You aren’t in any trouble.”
The Swinub looked at Will, it seemed to understand what he was talking about.
“But, since I’m letting you get away with it, I hope you won’t do it anymore. Do you promise?” asked Will. Swinub nodded furiously. Just then, a thought came over Will. “Actually, I don’t know if I quite believe you. I think that you might have to come with me so I can, uh, keep an eye out on you. Sound alright with you, Swinub?”
He didn’t want Swinub to know that he had developed a soft spot for him, but he definitely wanted the pokemon to come with him. He felt like it was only natural since they had saved each other. Plus, this way the pokemon would stop stealing food from people, and Will would be a hero.
Will reached into his bag and pulled an empty pokeball out. He opened the capsule and held it out towards Swinub. The pokemon looked at the ball cautiously, and didn’t make a move for awhile. Finally, the pokemon walked over to the trainer and his pokeball. Will zapped the Swinub into the ball, and placed it in his backpack.
Will was sitting on the couch with his mom, watching the news. They could hear Swinub and Yanma playing outside in the yard, grunts and buzzing filled the air, as did sounds of battle.
“Shh, Will, they’re talking about the robberies again,” Will’s Mom said.
“As quickly and mysteriously as the string of robberies began, it has now ended. It has been a few weeks since the last robbery occurred at Route 44, and the thief is considered to have moved on. Police never did find out who was committing the crimes, but they are declaring the case closed.”