Black Albino

Thirteen
Annoyance

Although not very combative, it will torment its foes with poison spikes if it is threatened in any way.
Pokémon Silver Pokédex Entry

The new and annoying creature, which the Cubone said was a Pidgey, stayed up in the rafters squawking for much of the night. What it was squawking about, Aurinko didn’t know, and really couldn’t care less. All she wanted was for the thing to shut up, and she got vibes from the other Pokémon in the room that they did too. She wondered why the Pidgey didn’t get them.

She’d tried yelling at it and she’d tried ignoring it, then the Cubone had tried to reason with it, but nothing would keep the thing quiet. She’d heard a gruff voice from a few rows over demanding what the bird wanted, but still it kept on. Even an injured Jigglypuff tried singing it to sleep. Aurinko figured it was just toying with them, doing it’s best to annoy everyone. It was sure as heck succeeding.

Eventually four trainers came into the room, two carrying a ladder and another holding a small black ball Pokémon with a massive red flower on its head in her arms. The Cubone told Aurinko that it was a Vileplume.

The trainer positioned herself under the Pidgey and tossed the Vileplume as high as she could, crying out for it to use ‘Sleep Powder’ on the Pidgey.

The Vileplume faced its flower at the Pidgey and Aurinko could just see a twinkling, purplish-blue powder escaping from its centre. The Vileplume managed to flap its petals and fan the powder at the Pidgey just as it made its decent. The trainer who had thrown it up caught it again and told it that it had done a good job.

The Pidgey stopped squawking for a time, let out one last cry and collapsed on the rafter it was standing, one wing draped over the edge. Some Pokémon cheered, some breathed out sighs of relief, and others, including Aurinko, muttered under their breath, “About time,” or words to that effect.

As the ladder was positioned and the Pidgey was fetched down, Aurinko thought about the Vileplume. If she became a trained Pokémon, would she be able to do that? Knock out a Pidgey, which had been squawking itself and everyone around it silly for several hours, with nothing more than purple powder? She couldn’t wait to get out.

The sleeping Pidgey was laid carefully in the cage opposite the Cubone and Aurinko, and the cage door was closed. At least it was enclosed now, but when it woke up, it would definitely start squawking again. Aurinko decided to try and get as much sleep as possible.

Sure enough, the Pidgey started screeching again as soon as Aurinko had dozed off. A collective groan rose up from the group of more than ticked off Pokémon in their cages, but the Pidgey seemed to take no notice.

Aurinko cringed. The sound piercing through her skull seemed almost as harsh as Musta’s horn. She turned irritably to the annoyance, raised her poison thorns and growled angrily. Apart from her plaster cast, Aurinko looked quite formidable, though all she could do from her cage was yell at it. “Look, I don’t know what your problem is, but shut the hell up! You know exactly how annoying that is, so stop it!”

The Pidgey stopped for a short time and stared at Aurinko, a smug expression on its face. “You’re right,” it said, in a voice slightly croaky from all the screeching it had been doing, “It is annoying, isn’t it?” It grinned, as well as a bird could grin, and began screeching again, its eyes on Aurinko.

Aurinko rolled her eyes at it and curled up under her blanket, silently begging for the trainers to return and set the thing free. She consoled herself with the thought that eventually, either she or the bird would go, and she hoped that that would happen soon. What she would do when she got out she had no idea, but she knew life would be better out than in.

Over the weeks she had spent in the Pokémon rehabilitation clinic, Aurinko’s injuries slowly improved, though after a week with the Pidgey, she was sure her ears would never be the same again. But the wounds on her forehead and side had fully healed, and if the cast wasn’t on her leg, she felt confident that she would be able to walk. Not necessarily with ease, after a month with no use, her legs had all grown considerably weaker.

The second day after the Pidgey had arrived, the Cubone was more than relieved to be taken away from the ear-splitting screech. It sorrowfully said goodbye to Aurinko, but she couldn’t hear for the bird that sat no more than a meter from her. Not that she would have replied anyway.

Five virtually sleepless days and nights later, the trainer with her Vileplume arrived and ordered it to shake its magical purplish blue sparkling powder over the Pidgey, but it flapped it away, right back at its attacker. The Vileplume coughed, but was unaffected. The Pidgey continued to shriek.

The Vileplume tried three times over, ignoring the insults from the bird and just concentrating on its sparkling powder. The fifth attempt was finally successful, and Aurinko heard several calls of ‘thank you’ rise up from the over-tired Pokémon, directed at the Vileplume. She could see its tiny mouth smile in reply.

Now that the Pidgey had been carted away, Aurinko was left alone with no companions. No one to stare at her, no one to keep her awake with pointless screeching. She wondered pointlessly if all Cubone, Vulpix and Pidgey were like that. The Vulpix had originally smelt dangerous, but it ended up being far less dangerous than that. Then again, that Vulpix was only young. Changes were that fully grown Vulpix were more deadly.

She knew all Nidos were the same, only caring about colour. If a Nido was too pale, that was that, not a single Nido would even talk to them, let alone make friends. She could remember the looks of shock plastered on all the faces of her mob as Musta attacked her. Looks of shock that changed to looks of anger. Not anger at Musta, but anger at Aurinko, simply because she was white.

Everyone thought she was weak, just because of the colour of her fur. Why did they believe that anyway? What on earth was put into their heads in the first place that made them so certain that darker Nidos were stronger than lighter ones? Did they think that about other Pokémon, or just Nidos? Aurinko couldn’t believe how blind they were. They stuck to that ridiculous belief and based their whole lives around it, never considering for a second that maybe they got it wrong.

She’d show them, all of them. As soon as her leg had returned to normal, she’d be out of here in a flash and on her way to proving that light Nidoran could be just as good as, if not better than the darker varieties.

She spent another week alone, doing nothing but brewing over her pathetically narrow-minded species. Maybe she could rally together all the light Nidos she could find, then they could all become really strong together and change the minds of the darker ones. They could all search for the Moonstones her mother had told Voimakas and Kani about, the ones that turned Nidorina into Nidoqueen and Nidorino into Nidoking.

A week after the Pidgey had left, the same trainer who had been feeding Aurinko every day, and who had brought her in here in the first place, came up to her cage and rested his arms on the top edge of its front ‘wall’.

“Hey, Little One,” the trainer said warmly, “Time for you to get out of here. Sound good?”

Aurinko grinned. Finally!

The trainer lifted the top off the cage and laid it on the cage the Cubone had been living in, then he turned back to Aurinko and reached his arms into the cage. Aurinko immediately snuggled into his arms, feeling his strong, gentle hands ruffling through her fur.

He placed her in a cardboard box lined with blankets and carried her back outside to the car. She was nearly two months old, and this was only her second time out in the sunlight, third if her trip from the Pokémon Centre to the Pokémon Rehabilitation Clinic was worth counting. Now she was making her way back to the place where she was first healed.

“Hello there!” the nurse greeted when the Safari Zone man brought Aurinko in. Aurinko pricked her ears at the familiar voice of the pink-haired trainer who had somehow managed to heal her. “Back to have the cast off, I gather?”

The Safari Zone man nodded, grinning broadly. “She’s been a very well-behaved little girl, haven’t you?” He tickled Aurinko under the chin, something that she suddenly decided she quite enjoyed.

The nurse lifted her from the box and placed her on a small wheeled trolley the Chansey had wheeled out for her, and transported her into the operating room she had been in slightly more than a month ago, only this time she was well and truly alive, as opposed to the leaning-towards-death situation she had been poised in on her first visit.

She was pushed to the middle of the room, where a black curtain was dropped over her neck, blocking her view of the nurse. She heard a strange whizzing noise that sent shivers up her spine. The sound changed and she felt a pressure on her previously broken leg. It continued on, pushing its way down to her foot, where it suddenly stopped, and the most amazing feeling washed over her.

Freedom. Her leg was suddenly free of the heavy white lug of a thing that had disabled her for more than half her life. She felt the funny-smelling air of the operating room grab onto her old, sweaty fur and give it new life, penetrating through to her sweat-sogged skin and completely refreshing her.

The nurse lifted her leg and Aurinko could feel cool, silky water washing over it, cleaning away all the fur that had fallen out, all the dead skin and all the sweat that had been combined to give her the most annoying itch ever. Finally, she was free.

Fourteen