Black Albino

Seven
Changes

Small and very docile, it protects itself with its small, poisonous horn when attacked.
Female Nidoran Pokédex entry, Pokémon Silver

Aurinko knew she would never get directions to Opettaa’s burrow from Shinen, she hadn’t said a word to her since Musta left apart from ‘stay here’. If she asked, she’d just be slapped and ignored. Aurinko was a smart young Nidoran, and waited for Voimakas to ask. She knew he would, even if just to show her up. Of course, he did, the morning after he had first been told of him, and as always, Aurinko pretended to still be sleeping when they were talking. They wouldn’t want her to know, and would probably hit her for just being a wake. Albinos weren’t to know anything.

“Are you sure you want to see him?” Shinen asked. Voimakas nodded immediately, Kani a little hesitant. Shinen sighed. “All right then, follow me,” she said wearily, turning and making her way out of the burrow, Voimakas and Kani in her wake.

Aurinko waited a few minutes, then made her way slowly out of the burrow herself. This would be her first time in the sunlight, but she was more looking forward to meeting Opettaa. She stayed at the entrance, waiting for her eyes to adjust, then scented the air as she had heard Shinen warn, waved her ears and hopped out into the milky dawn sunlight. In truth, the sun had not yet peered out onto the lake and its occupants, but the light it gave was still far brighter than anything Aurinko was used to.

She didn’t stop to smell the fresh grass or spring flowers, she didn’t look up as the last star disappeared from the sky or at the glistening silver moon. She scanned the field with her eyes, ears and nose for her mother and two brothers. There were many other Nidos here too, all eating except for a small cluster at the top of the hill. Aurinko’s burrow looked straight out over the lake, some distance away, and, but for a ripple or two caused by an aquatic Pokémon of some description, the lake was glassy flat, reflecting the pale bluish purple of the sky beautifully.

But Aurinko wasn’t interested in any of that. She spotted her family and made sure to keep out of view, moving slowly and keeping in the grass, hiding behind bushes and trees when she could. Of course, being just before dawn, Aurinko had more Nidos to hide from than Voimakas, Kani and Shinen. Pretty much the whole mob was up above ground feeding, making it impossible to escape them all.

Soon enough, she began hearing gasps and whispers from around the mob, and noticed horrified faces around her, backing away, shaking their heads in disbelief. An albino! Here! They rubbed their eyes. It couldn’t be possible. She looked as though she was a month old, too. How had she survived so long? Why had her parents left her to survive?

Shinen was just a few meters from Opettaa’s burrow entrance when Saanto bounded up to her, a look of pure shock on her face. Shinen had never seen her friend like this.

“Saanto, what is it? What’s wrong?” she gasped.

Saanto was puffing too hard to talk. She waved a paw in the direction from which the trio had come. “Wh-wh-white!” she managed to stammer.

Shinen instantly knew who she was talking about, and swung her head to where Saanto’s madly waving paw was attempting to point, a look of sheer horror on her face. No creature had ever looked more petrified than Shinen did at that second when she saw her pathetic excuse for a daughter, the centre of the gaze of the whole mob. Not even a pack of Arcanine, blood red eyes glowing with hunger, would have terrified her more.

Voimakas and Kani knew why their mother was so scared. They had had it drummed into them from the moment they were born that darker Nidoran were stronger than lighter ones, that was why Voimakas always beat Aurinko, every time, without fail. They knew how much of an embarrassment this must be for their mother. Or they thought they did. Shinen had violent pictures swimming around her head, all involving the mob moving in on her, sparing no mercy. Throwing her into the lake to drown, or be eaten by the mythical dragons that were said to live there. Tearing her apart, right before her sons’ eyes. Whatever happened to Aurinko didn’t matter, she would die sooner or later anyway.

Musta was ropeable. He’d been sitting calmly at the top of the hill, gazing out over all that was his. Then out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a white dot, a pimple, in his kingdom. It had come from Shinen’s burrow, and he knew instantly that it was Aurinko. If looks could kill, he would have been able to knock out even the most deadly pack of Arcanine, easy as.

The surrounding Nidorina and Nidorino watched, puzzled and a bit scared, as their leader stormed back down the burrow, face blacker than thunder and eyes flashing with lightning. Then they spotted the white Nidoran, and knew exactly why he was so furious. Musta had a reputation for knocking off any pale Nidoran. The fact that one had escaped his watchful eyes was very strange indeed.

Musta had a one track mind. Kill Aurinko, then Shinen. He tore through the complicated maze of the warren, knowing exactly where he was heading. He met no other Nido on the way – they heard his steady, methodical steps and snorting of his nostrils. When he was in this kind of mood, any Nido within ten meters would be abolished in seconds.

He emerged from a burrow right by Aurinko and, not even pausing to scent the air for danger, he charged at her, a midnight black Tauros, not stopping until his target was obliterated.

Aurinko was not scared, however. She turned toward him and lowered her head, clenching her teeth and eyes shut. By now the whole mob was out of the warren, and murmuring among themselves. Who on earth were this, this, thing’s parents? And why had they allowed her to survive? Not that it really mattered now.

The rampaging Nidorino, snarling with rage, lowered his head and smashed his razor-sharp horn to Aurinko’s own. It slid, screeching painfully, down Aurinko’s horn and into her forehead, narrowly missing her left eye. Musta pumped as much poison through his horn as he could. He could feel it, rippling through his body, filling him with power.

Aurinko could feel it too. It pulsed through her skull and into her system, a great wash of pain through her body. She staggered back, sweating and breathing heavily, but still standing. Musta came at her again, and this time, punched her hard with his right fist, the same way as he had done to Shinen. Only Aurinko was much smaller, and so the punch sent her flying several meters.

She landed hard on her forehead, jerking her head back hard. Aurinko’s white fur was now matted with sweat, her own blood and dirt. But still she wouldn’t give up. She scowled and hoisted herself back up to her feet, staggering around to meet Musta’s blood-red eyes, filled with hatred. He swiped at her one last time, sending Aurinko into the hard trunk of a tree with not only a thud, but a crack as well.

Again, intense pain flooded her body, this time emanating from her right hind leg. Aurinko couldn’t stand the pain. Red flooded across her vision, quickly fading to black. As her vision died, so did her consciousness.

Musta charged her again and rammed his diamond-hard horn through her side, making sure she was well and truly dead. He withdrew his horn and whisked around to the silent mob. Musta was known for killing overly pale Nidoran, but he’d never been this violent before.

Nobody blinked. There was not a sound from anyone or anything but for the gentle rustling of the crisping grass and Musta’s rage-induced breathing. His head slowly turned sideways, blood red eyes scanning the mob. Each gulped as his gaze passed over them. He had the look of pure evil, and the crimson stain to his horn did nothing to improve his look.

When his gaze came to rest on Shinen, he grinned a psychotic grin and moved slowly and methodically towards her. As he moved through the crowd, they parted, leaving a wide circle around him. Shinen herself was quivering and stepping slowly backwards, repeating the word ‘no’ over and over again and shaking her head.

When Musta was just a few meters from her, her instinct took over. She turned and bolted down into the warren, running faster than she had thought possible. She knew she wouldn’t be able to escape him, but she would do her best. She wouldn’t give herself up.

“Come here, Shinen!” she heard his voice behind her, echoing eerily through down the tunnel. She glanced back and saw the glint in his eye that meant she would die. She knew she had no hope, but ran on anyway. Suddenly she felt a pair of strong jaws grip her tail, and she tripped over onto the dirt floor, sobbing. She screeched out in pain as Musta’s horn drove into her, again and again, until she lay, as her albino daughter had, unmoving, in the tunnel.

Musta snorted and turned away from the body of his mate, tramping back down the tunnel, his work now complete.

The Nidos on the surface could hear her pained screams cease, and knew that she had met the same fate as the albino, who they now decided must be her daughter.

Saanto bent her head and clenched her eyes shut, hiding her tears. Kani walked up to her and nuzzled her face.

“Where Mummy?” he asked innocently.

Saanto sniffed and looked into his worried red eyes, forcing a smile. How could you tell a kit his father had just killed his mother? She sighed shakily and cuddled the kits. “She’ll always be a part of you, don’t worry.”

The call of ‘trainer’ swept across the hillside, but the response was half-hearted. Instead of bolting, the Nidos hopped slowly into the warren, with sideways glances at the body of the albino. Saanto’s look was one of pure hatred. Essentially, that Nidoran was the cause of the death of her best friend. She showed no compassion for her.

The trainer arrived in a few minutes of the call having been made, and Aurinko was the only Nido left above ground. The trainer was dressed in the khaki green of the Safari Zone staff, and ran to Aurinko with a horrified look on his face. He could still see her breathing, only it was very shallow and very laboured.

“Oh, you poor thing! Who could have done this to you?” the man wondered out loud, fondling her ears. He carefully lifted her and carried her tenderly back to the truck. There was no way he’d be able to finish the rounds before this Nidoran would die, so he wrapped her in blankets and drove hastily back to the main entrance and out into the main city of Fuchsia, making a beeline for the Pokécenter.

He carefully lifted the unconscious and still bleeding Nidoran and carried her into the Pokécenter. The woman known as Nurse Joy saw her reddened fur and immediately ordered the two assisting Chansey to fetch a stretcher. The young Nidoran was placed on it and wheeled into the emergency operating room, and as the green doors swung shut, the red light above them turned on, leaving the Safari Zone man alone in the lobby.

He sighed heavily and lowered himself to one of the crudely cushioned seats and glanced over to the red light, clasping his hands under his chin.

“You can make it, little one, you can make it,” he whispered.

She lay silent and unmoving in the glass case. Her leg, side and head were bandaged. She had three tubes in her – one to breath for her, one to give her blood when she needed it and one to feed her. There were wires attached to beeping machines, monitoring her heart rate, her breathing, any movement she made. But Aurinko was still determined to live, to defy everything.

Her subconscious thoughts replayed the scene over and over. She could see the faces of the other Nidos. Some shocked, some terrified, some showing no emotion at all. But most showed anger. Not anger towards Musta, but towards Aurinko. She could feel again the poison pumping its way through her system. It made her sweat, it made her want to scream out in pain, but she defied it.

Again she went through the agony of being thrown hard into the tree trunk, the crunch that ran through her body, knocking her out. She vaguely felt Musta’s bloodied horn push into her side, but she was unconscious then, and that was just a scratch to her clouded mind.

She would evolve. She would find a moonstone and evolve. She would return to her pathetic excuse for a family and show them all. She was no weakling. Just because she was white, that meant nothing. Colour meant nothing. Why should it? They’re only weaker because they’re never given a chance. Now that she was out of that place, she had a chance. She would go back and do to Musta what he had done to her, only she would do a better job of it.

The Safari Zone man standing over her, resting his arms on the glass, had no idea as to the subconscious thoughts running around Aurinko’s head. To him, she was merely a baby albino Nidoran, attacked by some monstrous Nidorino with no conscience to speak of. Nurse Joy had told him that a Nidorino undoubtedly attacked her, and, being a Safari Zone worker, the man knew that Nidorino frequently attacked each other. But he still could not understand why an innocent young girl like this one had been attacked.

If he only knew.

Eight