Black Albino

Fifteen
Captivity

A mild-mannered POKéMON that does not like to fight.
Pokémon Yellow Pokédex Entry

As she was driven again through the streets of Fuchsia City, Aurinko wondered where the trainer was taking her. Her first fear was that he would take her back to the warren. She couldn’t bear that. Literally. If she were taken back again, she would be killed for sure. Now that she thought about it, she was surprised she was still alive even then. Why she had been allowed to survive longer than a week puzzled her, but she wasn’t willing to dwell on that. She wanted to forget that place. The horrible hole in the ground she had been forced to call home. That was not home. She had no home.

The truck stopped and the trainer carried her in her box to where her home would be. Immediately Aurinko could tell it wasn’t the warren. It smelt more like the Rehabilitation Clinic, only fresher, more open. There were Pokémon everywhere, she could hear them as well as smell them. She was taken past a place that smelt very strongly of the Vulpix, only there was another smell there too, very similar, but not quite the same.

She could hear the flapping of birds’ wings, and a quiet but constant squeaking, not all that different from those of Nidoran.

Then her nose caught a whiff she had hoped she would never smell. Its intoxicating stench teased her nostrils, playing with her mind. All the other new and exciting smells were forgotten and her mind was filled with the stench of Nidos. She knew she would be stuck with them, and it would all happen again. She would be almost killed by the head of the mob, then taken back to spend more boring days in the Rehabilitation Clinic. Memories of her father’s blood-red eyes thundering towards her flooded back, all brought on by the reek of Nido.

“So, this is the little albino, is it?” a voice said from above her, “She doesn’t look all that little to me!” A hand reached down and tickled Aurinko under her chin, but she was too worried about the prospect of being killed again to relish in it.

“She was when I found her,” the warm, familiar voice of the Safari Zone man argued, “just a little tacker, weren’t you?”

The hand drew around her and gripped her under her chest. Another hand caught her from above, making sure to avoid her spines. As she was lifted from the box, Aurinko saw the group of Nidos she was expected to stay with. She struggled hard, twisting around, trying to free herself from the firm grip. But all this did was make the hands hold her tighter. Try as she might, she could not escape, and she was reluctantly lowered into the enclosure with the ten or so other Nidos.

They were all staring at her with cold, hard eyes. Most of them were pretty average in colour, save three or four who were a tad lighter. Aurinko glared back at them, hoping she was making it clear she was not the kind of Nidoran they would want to attack. As her eyes met theirs, they each looked away sheepishly.

She turned and stormed off into the corner of the enclosure where she curled up preparing for sleep. At least in the Rehab place she wasn’t in physical contact with anything, now she was surrounded with Nidos.

Just after she was settled, she was rudely disturbed by a prod in her back by someone’s rather sharp horn.

“What?” Aurinko snapped, flinging around to meet the astonished eyes of a female Nidoran almost as pale as she was. “I’d just gotten comfortable, you know.”

The Nidoran blinked, as if trying to remember why she had come over to Aurinko in the first place. Aurinko raised her eyebrows. “Well?”

“Oh, I just wanted to welcome you here!” she piped.

“You do that.”

“Well, uh, welcome! I’m Talvi,” the Nidoran said awkwardly. Then there was silence. “So, ah, what brings you here?”

“What do you mean ‘what brings me here’? You saw the trainer put me in here.”

“No, I mean, everyone here has some injury or something. See?” She pointed to a group of Nidoran, one male and two female. “Their mum and dad died, so they got taken here.”

Her paw moved to a Nidorino with his back to them. “He doesn’t have a horn. Said he wasn’t born with one either. He’s kinda like the head of the mob, but not really. He didn’t ask to be, we didn’t appoint him. He just knows what’s going on, I guess.”

She directed Aurinko’s gaze to the back of the enclosure, to a pink back Aurinko hadn’t spotted before. “None of us know what happened to him. Just sits up the back there, doesn’t say a word.”

She indicated to a pale blue Nidorina with whitish eyes, “She’s blind. She’s really old and her eyesight just went.”

“What about you?” Aurinko interrupted.

“Me?” She coughed. “I, er, don’t have any poison,” she said quickly, “so what’s your name?”

“Aurinko. And before you ask, my dad nearly killed me.”

“Woah. Are you okay?”

Aurinko raised her eyebrows again. “Well, I can walk again. Dunno about ‘ok’ though. Just give me some sleep and yeah, whatever. Might be.”

“Oh, yes, of course. Great to meet you Aurinko, hope you get better soon!” And off she hopped to inform the rest of the ‘mob’ about the newcomer.

Aurinko was quite surprised at the new Nidoran. She hadn’t said a word about her colour, or even looked oddly at her for it. She was worried about her well being, having had a near miss with her father. She even went away when Aurinko asked her to.

Maybe this place wouldn’t be so bad after all. And at least the head male of the ‘mob’ didn’t have a horn, that was always a plus.

sixteen