Just putting this here for safety (I lost so much crap on my old laptop I know better now)
Attempted Capture: Two Abras
Fire burning me up
Desire taking me so much higher
And leaving me whole
-Fire by Augustana
“Good night, Hecate. I’ll see you tomorrow,” my trainer told me. It was a lie. I know that now. If my powers had been a bit stronger, I might have known then. Still, it was unintentional and if a lie could be sweet, this one was. I will never forget that night. Not if I live a thousand years.
It was so cold. I remember that clearly. There was a light dusting of snow on the ground outside. It was nearly Christmas in fact. My trainer started a fire in our small fireplace. I watched fascinated as she struck the match against the dry wood and it burst into flames. Her eyes sparkled with the light of the fire. I could see a reflection of the flame in their green depths. It was unlikely she could see anything in my eyes. They were just tiny slits in my face after all, seeing as I was an Abra.
She turned to me. “Now we’ll be nice and warm until tomorrow.” She patted me on the head before lifting me up and placing me in my bed. She tucked me in as if I was her daughter and I suppose I believed I was. I was almost human looking anyways. My skin wasn’t quite the right shade, my claws were too long, my head was cat-shaped, and I had a tail. Still, I was too young to understand that I was only her Pokemon. I looked over at my trainer as she climbed into bed. She yawned and closed her eyes. It was the last time she would do that. She shifted in her sleep and her long black hair fell across her face. I closed my eyes and fell asleep myself.
At least I didn’t feel any pain. I have that much at least. The pain came later, after I was already dead. I would never have to experience the roar of the flames, the smell of my own charred flesh, the taste of the ashes in the air, suffocating me, filling my lungs. I can only hope it ended the same way for my trainer. I know you’re probably curious, but I don’t remember anything about my death. The other side is still a mystery to me and it will be until the end of this half-life. All I remember was waking up and screaming. Screaming, and screaming, and screaming until I thought my newly acquired vocal cords would burst. Now there was pain. A terrible, searing pain. It felt as though my flesh were being ripped from my bones. I heard the familiar rumble of human voices and then I felt myself being lifted through the air, but this was even worse! Where those hands touched me my skin flaked off. I screamed again and tears began rolling down my face. They did nothing to soothe my burned face and instead made it worse. Every inch of my body was filled with more pain than I could possibly bear. I slipped into the sweet grip of unconsciousness.
“She’s waking up,” I heard someone say.
“Hold still, sweetie,” said another voice gently.
“Can you imagine what she’s been through…?”
“Oh my God, her entire body, the poor girl…”
I felt hands all over me, poking me, prodding me. I tried to move and was rewarded with a searing pain. I cried out and tried to hold as still as possible, though I still whimpered slightly. I could see the humans moving around me, but I didn’t know any of them. There was bright light everywhere, shining into my eyes, lighting everything up. I tried to Teleport, but I felt as though something were mysteriously absent. As if the part of me that could teleport no longer existed or as if it were being held down. I slowly became more aware of the problems with my body. My arms and legs were much too long. I couldn’t hear quite as well and I had almost no sense of smell. However, my eyes seemed to be working much too well. Everything seemed super focused and it was giving me a headache. And where was my tail!? I was confused. Too confused to understand what was going on. So I did what any sensible Abra would do in a time of trouble. I went back to sleep. I wasn’t yet aware that I was no longer an Abra.
When I awoke there was a human man in front of me. He was bald and kind looking and was surrounded by several Nurse Joys who were trying not to look directly at me.
“Hello there,” he said softly.
I smiled weakly.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news, ma’am. Do you remember anything that happened last night?”
I shook my head no.
He sighed. “Your home caught on fire. Most of your belongings were burned and unfortunately your Abra was killed. I’m very sorry.”
What!? I screamed in my head. The human must have mistaken my silence for grief instead of an inability to communicate.
“It pains me to say this,” he continued, “But you’re also very badly injured. You have third degree burns over most of your body and you’ve lost a lot of hair and skin. We’re going to have to perform several skin grafts, but it might take a while to locate a donor. In addition, we have, errr…been unable identify you as a result of your burns. Could you please tell us your name?”
Hecate, I wanted to say, but I couldn’t speak. I didn’t know how. I could feel the muscles in my throat, but I couldn’t make them move correctly to make any noise. And what were they talking about hair? I didn’t have any hair….At least the pain had died down. It was now just a dull throbbing sensation that made my entire body feel as if it was pulsating. I was beginning to understand how badly I had been hurt. I wanted to see what I looked like now. To get a clear picture of what was wrong with my body. I climbed out of the bed I had been lying in and began to walk around. As I stood up, various wires and needles pulled away from me. I shook myself, making sure I was rid of them. The air was filled with many loud beeping sounds that I found unpleasant.
“Miss!” the human yelled. The Nurse Joys were also looking panicked. “Please lay down, miss, you need to rest.”
But I had been lying down long enough. Every footstep was agony, but the pain was bearable now, and I found if I ignored it, it was less of a concern to me. I explored the small white room as the humans yelled at me. They seemed afraid to touch me and I wondered why. Then I found the mirror. It was a full length mirror attached to one wall and there was nothing special about it. However, it was about to change my entire life. I stood in front of the mirror, staring at my reflection like a deer in the headlights. Only it wasn’t my reflection. It was my trainer’s, but oh God, it looked nothing like her at the same time. Her beautiful black hair was gone, completely burned away, and every inch of her flesh that I could see was burnt a hideous, bright red. Her eyes were dull and her mouth was charred into a horrid grimace. I put my head in my hands and began to cry. No, no, no, no, what was this?
I felt a gentle hand on my shoulder. “It’s going to be okay, miss,” the human told me. “Everything is going to be okay.”
And thus began my journey, both physical and mental, to make myself whole again. Over the next three years, I got my skin back piece by piece. My hair returned. Slowly, my life returned to me. Only it wasn’t my life. This wasn’t my body. This wasn’t my mind. The doctors at the hospital I had been taken to concluded that I had been rendered mute by the smoke I had inhaled. They taught me human sign language and it served me well. But I still felt miserable. I had only been a year old when I died. Now I was in a body that had been on the earth nineteen years. When I left the hospital, I was twenty two and had no home, no family, no friends, and no job. Nothing. Then I found him.
The night that I found him was also life changing, but for different reasons. Much better reasons. The rain was pouring down in the human city I had taken residence in. Saffron it was called. I hated it. There were no trees or plants anywhere. There was nothing but humans, human machines, human buildings. Skyscrapers blocked my view and swarms of humans were always bumping into me. It made me nauseous. The entire place was dirty, covered in grime. Fittingly enough, the only Pokemon that truly thrived here were Grimer and Muk. Even Ratatta couldn’t stand the human stench or the human cruelty. It had shocked me to learn the depths of evil that humans sank to. They murdered, fought, crushed, beat, raped, and worst of all, they burned. Not just creatures they considered lesser than themselves, but other humans too. I couldn’t stand them. So I did the only thing I could. I retreated to the company of other Pokemon. I would take jobs being an assistant at gyms, babysitting smaller Pokemon, things of that nature. I couldn’t communicate with them, but just their presence calmed me. I became more and more active in Pokemon rights rallies and it was on the way home from one of those that I first met the Pokemon that would help to rebuild my life.
I was the only one walking the streets of that despicable city for once. Humans tried their best to stay out of the rain, but I enjoyed the solitude it brought me. However, the humans that were out in the rain at night were never up to any good. I heard his cries before I saw him. Somewhere deep in my soul, I recognized the cries of another Abra. I broke into a run.
“You stupid thing! You’re worthless! Worthless, y’hear?!” I heard a human yell. The stream of insults was followed by a loud thump and a horrible moaning sound from the Abra. I flipped around the corner just to see the Abra I’d heard picked up and thrown into a wall. He screamed again. I glared at the human boy. He looked slightly older than me. 23 or 24 maybe. He had shaggy blonde hair and icy blue eyes. I stared at him until he was forced to take his attention away from his Pokemon and turn it towards me. “What’re you looking at?” he slurred. That’s when I realized that he was probably drunk. This was followed by the realization that my current form was that of a small, feeble human female and I had no weapons. At the moment, I was too angry to care. “You’re not gonna answer me, huh?” I shook my head angrily. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a small pocket knife. “Why don’t you get out of here before you get hurt?” I stared deliberately at him, then the Abra. Apparently, he wasn’t too drunk to understand what I wanted. “Oh, so you want me to let him go?” I nodded. He chuckled, then took the knife and slowly cut the Abra from his ear to his chin. The poor Pokemon could do nothing but whimper.
Suddenly, I was completely overcome with anger. For the second time in my life, I felt the raging power of fire, only this time, it wasn’t painful. This time, the fire coursed through me as if it were in my blood, in my veins. It invigorated me. I felt as if nothing could stop me and nothing could. The human screamed as he began to levitate above the ground. I locked eyes with him.
“Please!” he begged. “Please stop! Let me go!”
He was now about twenty feet above the ground. I smiled at him and nodded. His face changed to relief before I dropped him. When he hit the ground he made a sickening crunch. I heard him moaning and knew he was still alive. So I did the only thing I could. I set him ablaze. Then I turned to the Abra. He backed away from me and I knew he could see the fire still burning in my eyes. I picked him up and set him down gently in my arms. Then I did what I hadn’t been able to do in the past. I Teleported myself home. Well, not home exactly. Just the place I’d been staying, a small apartment close to the gym.
Suddenly, the awfulness of what I had just done washed over me. I groaned and dropped to my knees, dropping the male Abra in the process. The fire in my mind was gone, completely extinguished by my guilt and hatred of myself. I curled into the fetal position and laid there for God knows how long before I remembered the Abra I had rescued. I forced myself to get up off the dirty tile floor of my apartment and take a look at him. He was covered in bruises and a few small cuts, but other than that he seemed to be all right. However, I could see faded scars all across his body. I could only imagine how long the abuse had been going on….The fire in my mind flared back up for a split second before burning out again. This time, I could sense the fire deep down. I couldn’t access it at the moment, but I felt it there, almost like a pilot light on a stove. I reached forward and traced one of the Abra’s scars with my finger.
“Brother….” I whispered.
I jumped up and recoiled from him. “Who said that?” No response. Cautiously, I leaned forward and touched him again, this time in the center of the forehead. I felt a warm presence wrap itself around my mind. Like the fire, but much gentler.
[Hello, sister. I believe you’ve saved me.]
I felt the warmth press deeper into my mind. It was frightening how personal it felt, as if my mind were nothing but a desk drawer for it to rummage through. I pushed back against it with all my might. [STOP!!!]
The presence recoiled until it was only touching the edge of my consciousness. [I apologize, sister. Did I harm you?]
[No] I tried to speak in my mind to him, [You just…scared me.] Surprisingly, it seemed to work. He could understand me as easily as I could understand him.
[Again, I apologize. Most psychics I meet don’t resist the sharing of minds.]
[I’m not psychic anymore.] I told him.
[Really? Then how are we communicating?] The Abra smiled.
[But…I didn’t used to be psychic. At least not in this form. I suppose I should explain….]
I felt his mind begin to probe mine again, but it was much gentler this time. [There’s an easier way, if you’ll allow me.]
[Well….] I gave a sort of mental permission and he jumped in. All of my memories started to flash up in my mind, as if we were going through a picture album together. Within only a few seconds, he seemed to know everything about me. I felt shock emanating from him.
[Sister…I….] I felt sympathy.
This feeling thing was weird….Could I do the same thing? I attempted to send him gratitude and was surprised when I felt the two emotions embrace in the area where our minds connected. It felt…pleasant. [What’s your name?] I asked.
He smiled again. [Find out for yourself.] He pushed his thoughts towards mine and I entered them.
It is almost impossible to describe in words what I found in his mind. Millions, no, billions of memories! Each memory was like a video or a picture, but as if you were inside of them. I could look around and see everything from his perspective. Some of the memories seemed unimportant, such as a trip to the supermarket or a doctor’s visit. Others however, caught my interest. I was shocked and disgusted to find how many memories were of him being beaten. Every time I caught a glimpse of his trainer touching him, the fire in my mind would flare up, and I would have to back away. I was afraid I would accidentally hurt him. Finally, I found a memory of when he was very, very young. He must have only been a hatchling. A kind looking woman with long, blonde hair was holding him, rocking him gently back and forth.
“What shall we name you?” She whispered to him. “Hmmm….What about Enki? I heard it a long time ago somewhere….It’s a pretty name.” She bent down and kissed his forehead lightly. “My little Enki....”
I wondered how he could have gone from the ownership of such a loving woman to the terrible boy I had rescued him from. Before I could find out, I was pushed from Enki’s mind. He was smiling, but the smile was obviously fake. I lightly touched his mind again.
[Your name is Enki.]
[Yes, and yours is Hecate, correct?]
[It is.] Warmth seemed to flow across our connection, the mental equivalent of a hug.
We sat in silence for a moment before Enki spoke again. [What do we do now?]
[What do you mean ‘what do we do’?] I asked confusedly.
He grinned, and this time the smile was real. [You’re my trainer now. Aren’t you going to help me get stronger?]
I had never considered it before. Me? A trainer? How could I be!? I was a Pokemon, albeit one in a human body….Still, the idea appealed to me. Who would be a better trainer than a Pokemon? I was the only human in the world capable of knowing an Abra’s exact capabilities. It might work….
[We could try.]
Enki beamed up at me. [I will do my best, Hecate, for you.]
For the first time in many, many years, I smiled.
And try we did. Every single day, I took Enki into the forest behind Saffron. I was worried he would hurt himself, or reopen an old wound, but I didn’t need to. Enki, the Pokemon I believed to be fragile, was much stronger than he looked. Every Pokemon we came across, he defeated with ease. I couldn’t believe it. Why was his old trainer so cruel to him? Why did he call him worthless? It was something I could never understand.
Every night after training, I would take Enki home to our apartment. I worked a lot of night jobs so I could pay for food, potions, and our rent. Many times, I wouldn’t come home until three or four in the morning, even if we had to start training at six the next day. However, it didn’t matter how late I came home. Enki was always up waiting for me.
[Hecate,] he would tell me, [I was wondering when you would get back.] Then he would wait for me to get in bed before he would fall asleep, curled in the corner of my bedroom.
After many months of this, I was exhausted. Even before I had started my rigorous daily routine, I wasn’t doing so well. Now, I weighed less than ninety pounds, had bloodshot eyes that lead the manager of my apartment complex to whisper to anyone that would listen about my drug habits, and was only half conscious most of the time (which did nothing to help with the rumors of my drug addiction). Even worse, I was hounded by depression. I strongly believe if it weren’t for Enki, I would have killed myself.
One day, after training, Enki collapsed. My heart raced and the flames in my mind obscured my vision. I reached forward with my consciousness, trying to find out what was wrong with Enki, but I couldn’t get near him. I was pushed back by an odd, pulsing energy. Suddenly, my head was filled with a blindingly white light.
[ENKI!]I screamed, but I couldn’t see, either mentally or physically. Then the light died away. I fell to my knees. [Enki….] I whimpered.
[Yes, Hecate?] the voice in my head was stronger and deeper than I was used to. I looked up and saw a Kadabra standing in front of me. I ran forward and hugged him, surprising us both.
[I thought I lost you, Enki.] I told him.
[You can’t lose me, Hecate, I’ll never leave you.] Tears came to my eyes.
That night I came home around one in the morning. Enki was up waiting for me as always. I hugged him and went to go to my bed, but he stopped me.
[Hecate,] he told me, [I have something to show you.]
I nodded and he pressed his hand to my forehead.