Single post in The Journey Home
Hello! This will be the first story I'm posting here on PFQ. I'll be editing this post and adding each chapter in a tab, so feel free to comment whenever you like. Thank you for reading!
Note: My entries will most likely be fairly long, so it may be a day or two before I post the next chapter.
The Journey Home
Far within a large forest, untouched by human hands, two Ninetales sat together admiring their newborn daughter. The Vulpix lied silently in warm bedding, sound asleep. The family was at peace. The male Ninetales rose from where he sat, and told his mate that he would fetch food for them both. The female watched him depart, then went to sleep, wrapping her tails snugly around her newborn and herself. The male Ninetales stalked through the woods, in search of a meal for his family. He looked to the sky, and saw that the sun would be setting in around two hour's time. The male had plenty of time to find food and return before night arrived. The Ninetales sat silently, listening for prey. Instead, he heard loud, but distant, tromping and decided to investigate. An animal that did not care for his own silence was either a predator with nothing to fear, or very stupid. The male hoped for the later, because a predator near his home would put him, and his family, in danger. It did not take him long to find the source of the noise. After following the sound of snapping twigs and crunching leaves, the Ninetales caught a glance of two unnaturally bright pelts. Humans. Even worse, trainers. Two of the creatures were walking around in no general direction, seemingly in search of something. The male quickly hid in some underbrush, careful not to make a sound. He watched as the two trainers came near, and held his breath. However, the humans seemed to be too busy talking with each other to notice the hidden Ninetales. "Levi, we haven't found one pokemon here! You said there'd be plenty! Not to mention we've traveled so far, it'll be night before we get back." One trainer, a female, impatiently complained to the other. She was fiddling with a pokeball, as if itching to fight. The other trainer, a male, turned to her with an annoyed expression. "Well, maybe if you kept your voice down, we wouldn't scare them all off." The Ninetales found this amusing, remembering how easy it was to pinpoint the trainers' location. He hoped the trainers would wonder off in the other direction, away from his hiding spot. Encountering a trainer was never good. If you were not caught, you would be badly injured, and unlike domestic pokemon, wild pokemon had no man made centers to fix these injuries. "The only place we haven't gone yet is that way." The Ninetales followed the male trainer's outstretched arm, and was suddenly panicked. The trainer was pointing west, in the exact direction his family's home was. The female trainer nodded, and they started west. If the trainers continued that way, they would find the Ninetale's mate and child. While his mate was a very skilled Ninetales, his daughter would not be able to fight two trainers, especially if they had full parties. The hiding male had only one idea. If I fight them off, they will have to return home, he thought to himself. Even if I can only defeat one, surely they would go back to wherever they came from. Having no other solution, before the trainers could leave, The Ninetales jumped out of his spot in front of the humans. I have to do this. For my family. I have to. Back at the Ninetales den, the female woke from her nap. She heard the faint sound of battling trainers. She chucked to herself. She thought the idea of pokemon training was silly. If a trainer really wanted their pokemon to be great, let them live on their own, in the wild, rather than keeping them cooped up in those strange little spheres. "Never mind," she told herself. "It cannot be helped. Those trainers have nothing to do with me anyways. All I have to worry about is if I'll have a meal by dusk." At the thought of food, the female Ninetales wondered what was taking her mate so terribly long. Her stomach ached from hunger. The male Ninetales was usually a swift and experienced hunter. That is one of his best qualities, she thought. "Perhaps he found prey that is too heavy to carry back on his own." The Ninetales stretched and peered outside the den. There was no sign of her mate, and no scent of prey. After thinking for a moment, the Ninetales checked on the still sleeping Vulpix before leaving the den in search of her mate. It did not take her long to find the trail he took. She followed, quiet, but made no haste. The female assumed it was just a rough day for hunting, at the worst. I hope I do not scare any potential food from him... The female Ninetales eventually was lead to a clearing. After looking around, she found many different prints in the muddy ground. She recognized that two of the pairs belonged to humans. Worry filled the female's thoughts. Why was her mate here? Had the humans taken him? After studying the other prints, the Ninetales recognized her mate's. To her relief, they led off in a different direction than the humans. It was most likely a mere coincidence... The Ninetales tried to calm herself, but the feeling that something bad had happened lurked, and tugged at her thoughts. She followed her mate's tracks, finding that they didn't lead far. It seemed as if the male Ninetales had gone through the underbrush. The female walked through, trying to find more traces of her mate. The Ninetales glanced at a nearby Oak, and stopped in her tracks. The male Ninetales lied at the base of the Oak, unconscious. The female gasped and ran over to her mate. She nudged him gently with her paw, and was comforted when he slowly opened his eyes. "What happened to you? Are you alright?" The female wasn't sure why she asked the last question. The male was obviously in pain, and seemed to have suffered many injuries. He rose his head to look at his mate. "I... I was attacked by two trainers. They were headed towards our den. I tried to fight them off, I really did. But..." The male Ninetales looked at the ground, seeming disappointed in himself. "After they failed once to catch me, they decided to fight. I couldn't fight them all off... So I dragged myself away." The female sat herself down beside her mate. "It's alright. But you seem terribly hurt. If we don't get you back home and give you proper treatment..." The female looked worryingly at the male Ninetales. He was exhausted and in pain, but a small fleck of determination shone in his eyes. "No. There's no time... You must leave." The male rested his head on the ground again as he spoke. The female Ninetales looked at him strangely. "No time? No time for what? I can't leave you. Not right now! Look at yourself! You'll die if kept in this condition!" The female stood, and tried to get her mate to rise with her, but he refused to move. "Do not worry about me. Even if..." The male trailed off, unwilling to finish his sentence. "The trainers left after we fought. I expected them to turn around. But... They did not. They continued west. You need to leave. If they find our child..." The female knew what her mate said was true, and that she had to leave, to protect her daughter. However, she could not bear the sight of her injured mate, nor the thought of leaving him in such a condition. The male nudged her with his muzzle weakly, trying to get her to leave him. The female Ninetales gave him one last heartbroken glance, then ran off, determined to save her child. Dashing through the woods, the Ninetale's heart pounded. Adrenaline pulsed through her body, and she effortlessly dodged obstacles in her path. As the female neared her den, she stalked without a sound, as to not attract the trainers to her location. When she reached her den, she panicked. The two trainers were dangerously near her home. She decided to wait. If the trainers found her daughter, she would attack them. With luck, however, the trainers would move on. The Ninetales strained her ears to hear what the trainers were saying. "This is great!" Said the male. "I know a girl back in the city who's been looking to breed Vulpixes! She said that if someone found a female, she would offer a great trade for it." The human looked down at a red and white sphere. and then put it in his pocket. The female glared at him, clearly aggravated. "I can't believe you dragged me all the way out here, so that you could catch a tiny little Vulpix! I didn't even get to fight anything! You wouldn't let me help with that Ninetales, and now you're taking all the pokemon! I swear this is the last time I go anywhere with you!" The male laughed at the female, and the started to walk off. The Ninetales watched them leave in horror. They already caught her child. If she tried and fight them, there was still no way to get her daughter back. If she let them catch her, she may not even see her Vulpix again. The trainers would most likely decide to trade her instead, she would go to some other owner, and who knows what they would do with her child! The Ninetales flopped down, defeated. There was nothing she could do. Because of those two trainers, she had lost everything. Never again would she rest, curled with her mate and daughter. No longer would she be at peace. "Where are you going?" She asked her daughter, though the trainers were far away now. "What will become of my child?"
The Vulpix was sneaking through the woods. Her paws were silent against the dirt. She was stalking prey, however for the oddest reason, she could not recall what that prey was. Her stomach growled as she waited for the right moment to pounce. Her heart was racing. The Vulpix only had one chance, and she knew it. Finally, her prey was turned away at the perfect angle. All she had to do was... "Aphid! Aphid wake up! We've got a long day ahead of us!" The young Vulpix's eyes shot open as her noisy trainer's loud voice echoed in her ears. The Vulpix- or Aphid, as her trainer called her- looked around and let reality sink in. She was, in fact, not in a forest, and was not enjoying her prey. Instead, Aphid was being forced to wake up at who knows when, after being forced to sleep on an uncomfortable man made bed, and was now going to be forced to do whatever her trainer decided to force her to do. Three months ago, Aphid's original trainer had caught her from the wild, and then traded her to a girl named Eliza. Eliza had taken a liking to Aphid, and allowed her to sleep outside her pokeball at night. Though, in Aphid's opinion, being trapped in the trainer's den was hardly an upgrade. The Vulpix usually spent her days trapped in a pokeball, or if she was lucky, lying around accomplishing nothing in the trainer den with Dalia, a lazy Persian who was perfectly content with the life she had no choice but to live. "I don't see what your problem is," Dalia commented, while Aphid grumbled about leaving bed so early. "We get food, shelter, and a trainer who cares for us. What more could we ask for?" The Persian was sprawled out on the floor, watching Aphid with an amused look. The two pokemon were nothing alike. Dalia had the potential to be a strong, brave, and beautiful cat. Unfortunately, however, the Persian was born and raised under the influence of trainers, and the bravest thing Dalia had done since Aphid met her was try a new type of berry. "You would not understand," Aphid replied as she gave herself a morning wash. "You have never experienced the wind in your fur as you race through the undergrowth. Nor have you experienced love from your own kind. Our trainer has blinded you." As if on cue, Eliza came into the room the two pokemon were in, wearing a ridiculous outfit. Aphid never understood why humans changed the color of their pelts, and to such unnatural colors, at that. Dalia jumped up to greet the trainer, purring and following Eliza around, just like an average house cat. "Oh, Aphid. Weren't you just complaining yesterday about how you had never experienced those things yourself? What if you're wrong? The world could be, and is a cruel place. Our trainer keeps us safe and out of harm's way. You'll warm up to her, and this life, in time." Eliza bent down to pet Dalia, unaware of the conversation between her two pokemon. How stupid, Aphid thought, is it that a trainer can own us, but cannot even communicate with us? Before Aphid could reply to the lazy cat, Eliza pulled from her pocket an all too familiar red and white sphere. Almost instantly, the world around Aphid evaporated into nothing. Pokeballs were designed to be welcoming, and to be a safe place for pokemon. Though Aphid would have liked nothing more than to let herself rest, she had promised to herself that she would not let these machines fool her. She was not an item to be owned, no matter what the trainer believed. Even though Aphid saw no real escape, fighting the lures of the pokeball helped her believe that she was still free. That she had not yet given in to the life of domestic pokemon. Aphid still yearned to live the life she saw in her dreams. After what had seemed like years of waiting, Aphid found herself being sucked out of the prison-like sphere. When her eyes adjusted to the burning sun, she found her and her trainer outside an unusual human den. Eliza beckoned Aphid as she walked through the door, and Aphid cautiously followed. Aphid hadn't a clue what her trainer had in store for her. The Vulpix just prayed she would not have to fight other pokemon. Eliza walked up to a counter, where a large male human was standing with a smile on his face. Aphid assumed this was simply another strange thing humans did, and decided to explore the den while she was free. A large, soft, rectangular man made bed, or "couch" as Eliza called it, was placed in the corner of the den. There was a door to the left and right of the man's desk, however they were closed and Aphid was too short to see through. "Hello. How long will you be staying?" Aphid jumped, and whipped around to find a Litleo staring from the couch. The Vulpix hoisted herself onto the furry furniture and sat herself next to the pokemon. "Staying? No, I'm with the trainer." Aphid flicked her head towards Eliza, then huffed. "Though, I wish she would leave me here. Then I could find a way out, without her watching my every move." The Litleo looked incredibly confused. His eyes peered into space as if he needed time to comprehend Aphid's words. "You don't get out much, do you?" The Litleo readjusted his sitting position, then said, "This place is called a daycare. Trainers leave their pokemon here while they're out battling, or doing whatever humans do in their spare time. However, most trainers just leave two pokemon here so they can get eggs." Aphid was shocked. Was her trainer really going to leave her here? Surely she doesn't expect me... to breed... Aphid pushed away the awful thought and focused on what really mattered. "Is there anyway out of here? Other than the door, that is." Aphid doubted there was any hope of escaping, but if there was a convenient way out of this place... "Well, Silas usually lets us outside during the day to play, if that's what you're asking." The Litleo eyed her suspiciously. "You aren't planning to actually leave, are you? Because I doubt you'd make it far on the streets, and Silas keeps a pretty keen eye on us all... Not to mention, your trainer would miss you terribly if you left!" Aphid cursed herself for coming off too strong. The pokemon was obviously loyal to his trainer. In fact, she thought, I bet his owner is this Silas guy. There's no way out now! "Listen," Aphid said, hoping she could sound menacing, and keep the pokemon quiet. "I'm not like you. I hate being a prisoner to these humans. I do not love my trainer and she does not love me. If you are correct, she only keeps me to breed me anyways. Now if you go and rat me out to your trainer over there..." "Trainer?" The Litleo looked confused, and to Aphid's dismay, not at all threatened. "Silas is not my trainer. I haven't seen her since she dropped me off around a year ago. I think she just wanted to get me out of her hands..." The Litleo looked to the ground, and Aphid could not tell if he was ashamed, or angry. "Anyways, if you manage to find a way out, I won't stop you. I would hate for you to turn out like me." The black and tan pokemon smiled and gave Aphid a friendly nod. "My name is Kosmos, by the way." "Aphid. Pleased to meet you, Kosmos." The Litleo have her another nod before lying down and quickly falling asleep. Aphid felt sorry for him, left by his trainer to rot in a "daycare". Before the Vulpix could look around anymore, her trainer called her over. Aphid slowly walked over to Eliza and sat with a bored expression. "Alright Aphid. I've decided that I would like to breed Vulpixes, however I do not yet have a suitable male. So, I'm going to leave you here with Silas for around three days. By then I'll have found you a friend!" Aphid stared at her trainer in horror. Eliza was planning to breed her? She was still so young! Not to mention Aphid had never met whatever potential mate Eliza would be bringing back. This was all so wrong! The trainer finished speaking with Silas, then handed him Aphid's pokeball. The Vulpix watched as Eliza left the daycare, leaving only the large man, Kosmos, and herself in the front room. Aphid watched as Silas stored the pokeball in a compartment attached to the desk. He then left his spot and walked over to Aphid, towering over the young Vulpix. "Hullo there, little pokemon!" He bellowed. Aphid already disliked her new caretaker. "I bet you're awfully frightened being away from your pretty little trainer, so for now, we'll let you stay out here where I can keep an eye on you, okay?" Aphid huffed. She would much rather have some time to herself, so she could process everything. After sitting in the middle of the room for a few moments, Aphid decided to jump back onto the couch and rest her eyes. Eliza said she'll be back in three days. The Vulpix swished her tails around as she thought. This means, I must escape. I must escape within the next three days. Determination filled Aphid's heart as her mind filled with grand plans, all leading to her arriving safely back home with her family. I will go home.