This is pretty tame for one of my stories, but there is still a bit of gore, so be aware of that.
Target Pokemon: Cubone
Needed Characters: 10k
Actual Characters: 14174
“Don't fall away and leave me to myself
Don’t fall away and leave love bleeding in my hands.”
-Hemorrhage by Fuel
The piranha Pokemon disappeared into its Pokeball in a flash of red light. The Team Aqua grunt holding the Pokeball slipped it into the pocket of his blue and white pants and began to run away. I walked over to where he had been and saw the reason he had fled the scene. Before me was a gruesome mess. A young trainer and his Pokemon had been literally ripped to pieces. I turned away for a minute to regain my composure before looking again. I felt bile rise in my throat as I stared at the mess. The tile floor of the Oceanic Museum was slick with blood and various body parts were strewn across the room. The rest of our team was starting to leave. I assumed they had gotten the Devon Goods and were ready to get out of here.
“Team Aqua! Time to go!” I heard Archie shout. That was the official order then. Yet….I couldn’t leave just yet. I knelt on the ground, ignoring the blood that was soaking into my pants and prayed silently for the trainer and his Pokemon.
“Dear God, please forgive me. Please forgive all of us,” I whispered. I felt my eyes grow damp with tears and I blinked them back. I couldn’t let myself be weak. I heard sirens in the distance and turned to leave when I heard something. My ears perked up. “Hello?” I asked, surprised. Was someone still here?
“Cu…bone.” The voice was very weak. It sounded like it had come from under one of the tables in the room. I walked over to where I thought I had heard it come from. “Cu…” I heard it again. I lifted up the tablecloth and saw another awful sight. A Cubone (which I assumed had been one of the boy’s Pokemon) had managed to drag itself under the table to escape from the deadly teeth of the grunt’s Carvanha. Unfortunately, there was nothing left of its right arm but a bloody stump and there were chunks of skin missing from its tail. Suddenly, it seemed to notice me. It locked eyes with me from behind the thick skull helmet it wore and seemed to be begging me for help. “Cubone!” he said in a much stronger voice. Shaking slightly, I reached under the table and picked him up. His tiny, tan body went limp in my arms and if it weren’t for the slight rise and fall of his breath, I would have thought he was dead.
I began running. I didn’t know why, but I felt I had to save this Pokemon. On some deeper level, I felt as if our lives had become intertwined. Time seemed to slow down around me as I felt the little Pokemon’s pulse getting slower and slower. His blood was hemorrhaging everywhere. I felt almost as if I was drowning in a sea of blood. After what seemed like a lifetime of running, I reached the Pokemon Center.
“Oh my God.” I heard a Nurse Joy gasp. I placed the Cubone gingerly in her arms. She stood completely still for a moment, as if unsure what to do.
“What are you waiting for!?” I practically screamed at her.
She jerked back as if she had been slapped and hurried away. As she disappeared down a hallway, I watched the Cubone stretch out his remaining arm towards me. Then they were gone. I waited in the Pokemon Center for hours, waiting for the little Cubone to come out of the ER. I was told that he was currently in critical condition and his chances of living were about 50/50. I was curled up in one of the uncomfortable, sterile blue chairs when I was tapped on the shoulder. I looked up to see the Nurse Joy from earlier.
“Your Cubone’s been moved to a regular room. His condition right now is stable. You can come visit him if you’d like.” She smiled at me benignly.
I jumped to my feet. “Please show me where he is.”
I followed her down the long passageway I had seen earlier. This part of the Pokemon Center was for extreme injuries. The air was filled with the sharp smell of sanitizer, urine, and something at the edge of my awareness. Something I slowly realized was fear. I shivered slightly. After a long walk, we finally stopped at one of the many doors along the hallway. She opened the door and I saw him again. The little Cubone was lying in a hospital bed and he was connected to about a thousand wires and IVs, but he was alive. The stump where his right arm had been was wrapped in bandages. He locked eyes with me again, but this time, instead of desperate pleading, I felt that he was peaceful.
“Cu…Cu-Cubone,” he said and grimaced.
I walked up next to him and placed a hand on him. I started petting him gently. The Cubone made a low rumbling sound in satisfaction. It sounded almost like purring. I smiled. “When will he be out of here?” I asked the Nurse Joy.
“Well,” she said, “If there’s no signs of any internal problems, we can release him in a day or two. However, we have to keep an eye on him, to make sure he doesn’t relapse.”
I nodded and stroked the Cubone’s head again. I started to walk away, but he whined unhappily. I turned back to him. “Don’t worry,” I said, “I won’t leave you here. I just have to go get cleaned up.”
The Nurse Joy led me back to the normal part of the Pokemon Center, where I managed to get a small room for myself. After a quick look in the mirror, I realized my black hair was matted with dried blood and my clothes were also covered in it. I must’ve looked like a creature from a horror movie to everyone in the Pokemon Center. After a quick shower, I went to put my Team Aqua uniform in my backpack, and then changed my mind. I threw it in the trash can. I would never wear it again. Instead, I threw on a black skirt and a plain white shirt. I wanted to sleep, but I had told Cubone I wouldn’t leave him for long…
I spent most of the next two days sitting in the room with Cubone, waiting for news, and just talking to him.
“What’s your favorite color?”
Finally, we were allowed to leave the Pokemon Center. I was glad, as seeing the constant stream of dying Pokemon was depressing me. Unfortunately, I had forgotten something. Technically, this Cubone wasn’t mine.
“So all we need now is your Trainer License number,” Nurse Joy said as we were filling out paperwork on the way out.
“Well…I don’t have one,” I admitted. “This isn’t my Pokemon. I…found him the way he was.” I hadn’t advanced through Team Aqua’s ranks enough to earn a Pokemon. Besides, they weren’t too concerned with legal matters like Trainers Licenses anyway.
“That’s all right,” the Nurse Joy said, surprising me. “You can keep him as long as you don’t use him for battles or contests. Those are the only things you need a license for.” She pulled a Pokeball out of her pocket and handed it to me. “Since I assume you don’t have a Pokeball for him, you can use that.”
I took the Pokeball and nodded slowly. I felt a rush of excitement. My first Pokemon. I had started a bit late, I guess. Most kids already have a Pokemon by 17, but better late than never.
“One more thing,” Nurse Joy said. “I’ll need your name and your Pokemon’s name.”
“My name is Bianca,” I said. I wasn’t going to give her a last name. Not after I showed up here in a Team Aqua uniform. I wasn’t that stupid. “And his name is….” I looked down at him. “How about Dante?” I asked. He made the low rumbling noise again. He seemed to like the name.
“Dante it is,” said Nurse Joy. She smiled at me. “You should consider getting a Trainer License though. You’ve already bonded with your Cubone. You would make an excellent trainer.”
“Thank you,” I said and meant it. Once we left, I realized that we had another problem. We had nowhere to go. No friends, no family, no home. Maybe….Maybe I should get a Trainer License. “Dante?” I asked. He turned his head to look at me. “Would you like me to be your trainer?” He stared at me for a long moment, before nodding. I picked him up and held him. I felt like we could do anything.
Ten Years Later…
“Dante!” I yelled. “End this with Bone Rush!”
My Marowak leaped forward and used the large bone he always carried in his left hand to savagely beat the Raichu that had dared to fight him. He twirled the bone expertly, whacking the electric Pokemon over the head several times. The orange and white mouse Pokemon stumbled away with a few bruises on its face and head, but was still standing.
“Finish this with Fling!”
Dante threw the bone with all his might. It whirled through the air and hit the Raichu in between its large ears. The Raichu swayed back and forth for a moment before collapsing to the ground.
“Champion Bianca is the winner!” A voice said from the speakers that lined the stadium. The crowd burst into cheers. I felt wonderful. Every win felt as good as the first one. I loved everything about battling: the adrenaline, the fast pace, the strategy. It was what I was meant for. I had based my entire team around Dante and had become the first ground-type trainer to be a member of the Elite 4. Then I had risen to the position of Champion.
“Bring out my next challenger,” I said to the referee standing nearby.
The gate at the other end of the stadium opened and the challenger came into view. I gasped. It was Archie, the leader of Team Aqua. I had never met him personally, but I had seen him many times. He seemed to have aged much more than ten years since the time I had last seen him. He was still wearing a black suit and the trademark blue bandanna of Team Aqua, but he wore them differently. As if somehow, they were too heavy for him to be able to hold up. My throat dried up for a moment.
“So are you going to tell me the rules?” he asked with a trace of sarcasm.
I snarled. How dare he be so insolent to me! “Three versus three, challenger sends first, anything goes.”
“Sounds good,” he said and pulled a black and yellow Pokeball out of his pocket. “Go, Kingdra!” He threw the Pokeball to the ground and a blue, sea horse-like Pokemon appeared in a flash of red light. Though it lacked legs, it floated above the ground as many water-Pokemon could do.
I narrowed my eyes. Kingdra was tough to beat. “Get back,” I murmured to Dante. He wouldn’t be able to do anything to a Kingdra. I reached for one of my own Pokeballs. “Go, Flygon!” My own Pokemon emerged from its Pokeball. Flygon was a strange looking hybrid of a dragonfly and a dragon, but it was as powerful as Kingdra, if not more so.
“Hydro Pump, Kingdra!” Archie yelled.
“Looks like you don’t know your type match ups so well.” I smirked. “Use Dragon Claw!”
A column of water shot from Kingdra’s mouth and blasted Flygon straight in the chest. Flygon shook it off with no problem. Then, his claws began to glow with a mysterious purple light. His tail lashed angrily and he flew straight into Kingdra, raking it with his claws. Kingdra made an awful screaming sound and reeled back.
“Now use Dragon Pulse!” I commanded.
Flygon opened its mouth and a purple flame roared out. It completely engulfed Kingdra and when it faded away, Kingdra was completely unconscious. Archie scowled and called back his Pokemon.
“To make this a little more fair,” I told him, “I’ll use another one of my Pokemon as well.” I returned Flygon to its ball and pulled out another. “Go, Mamoswine!” Where Flygon had been perched, an enormous, brown, shaggy mammoth Pokemon appeared.
“What the hell is that?” Archie said. His mouth was hanging open.
I suppressed the urge to giggle at his expression. “It’s a Mamoswine. It’s an evolution of Swinub that is found only in the Sinnoh region.”
He glared at me before sending out his next Pokemon. “Go, Crawdaunt!” A red and white crayfish Pokemon tumbled out of the Pokeball. It scuttled back and forth, staring maliciously at my Mamoswine.
“Rock Smash!” I called.
“Night Slash!” Archie responded.
Mamoswine galloped towards Crawdaunt before rearing up on his hind legs and bringing the front of his body crashing down on it. Crawdaunt barely survived the attack and weakly tried to slice open Mamoswine with one of its claws. He didn’t even scratch him.
Archie didn’t even have time to call out an attack before Mamoswine pounded the ground with his feet, causing the earth to shake and Crawdaunt to bounce up into the air before slamming back to earth, knocking it out instantly. We both called our Pokemon.
“Your turn, Dante,” I said gently.
Archie’s eyes narrowed. He knew he was beat. Maybe he even felt bad for my one armed Marowak, though he wouldn’t if he had seen how well Dante could fight.
“Go, Sharpedo,” Archie said.
I felt a cold chill run up my spine. The black shark Pokemon was the even more ferocious evolution of Carvanha. Of all the Pokemon he could have picked….I wondered if Dante could handle it. His posture seemed to be stiffer than it normally was, but I couldn’t detect any fear.
“Bonemerang,” I said in almost a whisper.
“Crunch!” Archie shouted.
The Sharpedo seemed to swim through the air faster than my eyes could follow. Its mouth was filled with razor sharp teeth and I couldn’t look as it was fifteen, then ten, then five feet from Dante. Suddenly, I heard a resounding smack as the Sharpedo was whacked upside the head with Dante’s bone that he had fashioned into a boomerang shape. The Sharpedo seemed dazed for a moment before Archie gave it another command.
“Aqua Jet, Sharpedo!”
“Double Edge, Dante!”
Both Pokemon raced towards each other. Sharpedo surrounded by a bubble of water and Dante, preparing to use his bone as a lance. The two Pokemon crashed into each other and then flew back from the impact. For a moment, both laid completely still. The crowd watching us was completely silent. Then, Dante slowly rose to his feet. We waited another few seconds, but Archie’s Sharpedo was out cold. The crowd burst into cheers.
As Archie called back his Pokemon and started to walk away, I yelled out to him.
“Do you know why I beat all your Pokemon so easily?”
Rather than respond, he spit onto the ground at my feet.
“It’s because you don’t love them. You haven’t bonded with them. You don’t trust them. Come back to me again someday, when you can claim that you are one with your Pokemon.”
This time, he walked away without looking back. As I scratched the area where Dante’s skull connected to his neck, he rumbled deeply. I could only hope Archie would take my advice. For his sake and his Pokemon’s.