Black Albino

Twenty
Civilisation

It is small, but its horn is filled with poison. It charges then stabs with the horn to inject the poison.
Pokémon Gold Pokédex Entry

Kuu had now been travelling for about ten days. He had left the forest behind him, having come in contact with nothing more than the odd Rattata, Sentret and a few Pidgey and all in all having a rather uneventful journey. He’d tried his best not to think about his mother and instead concentrate on his father. As he continued to scale the mountain range, he decided that, now that he was well away from ‘home’, he should start looking for Daddy, but where to start?

His first plan was to find out what exactly he was, but as the description his mother had given was different to that of the general appearance of his species, this would prove difficult. How was he supposed to find that out? Walk up to a Pokémon and ask, “You wouldn’t happen to have seen my dad around, would you?” Kuu sighed and sank down in the grass, consciously aware of any Noctowl that may be still flying overhead, or any early-rising Fearow.

Dawn was slowly approaching, and Kuu could see the first of the sun’s rays touching on the horizon and slowly creeping over the grasslands, swallowing up the shadows cast by the mountain range. Kuu resolved that, since he was almost at the top of the mountain—he figured he could probably make it by the time the sun hit him—he may as well keep going and see if there was anything worthwhile on the other side, or whether it was just more mountains.

As it turned out, there was something on the other side, a very big something, more like many smaller somethings, but each was still quite big. Kuu blinked in confusion at the cluster of strange structures nestled among the rocky outcrops of the mountain’s face. They seemed almost, unnatural, to him, like someone had created them. A particularly large structure stood proudly at the top of the cluster, its far side surrounded by a small lake, rimmed with rocks. Kuu thought he could see a dark shadow of a cave leading into the mountain beyond the lake, but he could have been wrong.

Ignoring his previous decision of never again travelling by day, Kuu hopped down the hill and up the other side. It was much tougher going up this mountain than it had been for any of the others Kuu had climbed, as there were rocks and boulders everywhere, coupled by short cliffs Kuu did his best to jump up, and he had to rest several times on the way up, but he a was determined young Nidoran and no matter how many obstacles he came across, he did his best to get up the mountain.

By midday he had totally exhausted himself, and he was still barely halfway up. His heart thumping with weariness and excitement, he gave himself a short respite, lying down in a small patch of grass in a shaded corner and dozing off.

Kuu awoke with a jolt well into the afternoon when he heard a sudden explosion that shook the ground at his feet. His ears shot up at the sound of the blast, and, feet braced and horn ready, he stared at the opening between the two jagged rocks that made up his corner. He was breathing quickly, feeding oxygen to his racing heart.

“No! Tangela! Are you okay?” shrieked a voice, which sounded all too close for Kuu’s liking. But there was something strange about the voice. It didn’t sound like that of a Nido, or a Rattata, or any other Pokémon Kuu had heard. Whatever this thing was, it wasn’t a Pokémon.

A faint reddish glow came from behind the rock, then Kuu heard the sound of footsteps. The steps sounded slow and lazy, scuffing in the dust and kicking the rocks aside, but nevertheless, they sounded rather big. Not as big as the massive green monster that he had narrowly escaped in the cave, but still much bigger than Kuu.

The creature that the strange voice, reddish glow and lazy footsteps had come from made its appearance from behind the rock, a rather downcast look on its face. The creature was tall, at least the height of two Nidorino, and topped with fuzzy black hair, held in place with a blue… skin of some sort, Kuu couldn’t put a word to it. Its pink skinned body was clothed in a red skin over the torso and a blue one over the top parts of its legs. Its heavy feet were bound in a similar brown skin, but they looked tougher, more worn.

Could this be what Kuu’s mother had called a human? Now that he thought about it, Kuu could vaguely remember in his very early days out of the burrow that he had seen a figure very similar to this far off in the distance, too far to make out anything but its upright way of walking and its long legs.

As Kuu was thinking about this, the human spotted him.

“Wow! A black Nidoran!” it cried. Its voice was that of a young boy. His right hand flew to one of six red and white balls at his waist, and in the short time it took him to cry “Go Ledyba!” he had grabbed the ball, pushed a part of it which made it grow to about the size of Kuu’s head and thrown it to the ground.

As it landed, it split open and let loose a flash of white light, which formed into the shape of a red Pokémon with a hard shell decorated with black spots. The ball closed and flew back to the boy’s hand, at which point he yelled with enthusiasm, “Ledyba! Comet Punch, now!”

Too many new things were happening in too few seconds for Kuu to make sense of them, and he was hit by the flying fist of the Ledyba before he had registered anything past the boy’s cry of “Go Ledyba.”

Kuu was flung onto his back into the dust where Taishou’s battle training finally caught up with him. He shook his head to clear it, leapt to his feet and charged at the Ledyba, his horn hitting its shell with a satisfying impact that sent it onto its back the way it had done to Kuu.

“Quick, Ledyba! Supersonic!” yelled the boy, fully into the battle.

The Ledyba flipped itself upright and stood staring at Kuu. Its eyes glowed blue and rings of blue jumped from them, circling around Kuu.

For Kuu, everything suddenly grew fuzzy and wobbly and he could hardly see anything. He closed his eyes tight and shook his head, trying to clear his vision and get rid of the horrible ringing in his ears. He had now lost his two primary senses, and even his sense of smell seemed slightly off. He opened his eyes and blinked, still not being able to see clearly. He could just make out the rounded form of the Ledyba, and charged at it.

But the jarring sensation in his forehead wasn’t what he had expected, based on his former encounter with the Ledyba’s shell. It was more like hitting a rock. He opened his eyes, blinked a few more times and realised that in fact it was a rock. Funny, he thought, staring at the rock, I could have sworn that was the Ledyba.

His mind was taken off the rock when he felt the real Ledyba slam its stubby fist into him once more. Still unable to see, he thrust his horn in the direction he hoped the Ledyba was in and achieved impact, this time consciously squeezing the poison from the tip of his horn. He felt the Ledyba reel back and could just hear its squeal from behind the ringing in his ears.

But still the Ledyba came at him, throwing him again into the rock. Kuu was now riddled with bruises, and he could barely even stand up. Just a few minutes ago he was dozing happily in the afternoon sunlight, but now he was unable to see, unable to hear and unable to stand.

Another punch from the Ledyba left him lying in the dust, panting heavily and feeling the oncoming tears in his eyes.

“Pokéball, go!” yelled the boy.

Kuu wearily opened his eyes, glad to see that his vision was now clearing. He saw another ball flying through the air. Oh great, as if I’m not dead enough, he’s sending a Pokéball out to hit me, he thought, thinking a Pokéball was merely another kind of Pokémon he hadn’t seen before.

But this time the red and white ball actually hit him, rather than splitting open on the ground, and Kuu’s vision was distorted once more, turning everything to a red hue and at the same time giving him a rather unpleasant out-of-body experience that he could not find words to describe.

Thankfully this only lasted for a few seconds, after which he was confined to a very small, very black space. Kuu didn’t like it at all. He thumped his horn into the side of the tiny round space and pushed hard with his front and hind legs. Again he drove his horn into the side of the room, and a sudden bright white light filled the blackness, replaced by the rocky landscape of the mountain, the Ledyba and the boy, which Kuu was glad to find that he could now see clearly. But the bruises still hurt him.

“Damn!” muttered the boy, exasperated. “Another Comet Punch, Ledyba!”

“NO!” screamed Kuu, and charged at the Ledyba, driving his horn into the spotted Pokémon’s neck. “Stop hurting me!” he cried, more exasperated than the boy was.

The Ledyba suddenly turned to a strange red light and disappeared from sight, leaving Kuu slightly puzzled. He looked to the boy and saw him holding the red and white ball that the Ledyba had originated from in his hand. He returned the ball to its original size and clipped it back onto his waist. As Kuu saw him grab at another one and enlarge it as he had the previous, he leered at the boy and took off up the mountain before he could be attacked again.

He looked over his shoulder to make sure the boy wasn’t following him, then collapsed, totally exhausted and confused, in the dust, kicking an uncomfortable pebble our from under him. He quickly decided that he didn’t like humans, even less the Pokémon they kept. That Ledyba had no feelings for what Kuu was experiencing, even though it must have gone through the same thing itself once. It had been totally manipulated by its human trainer.

Kuu snorted in disgust at it and the boy, then returned his thoughts to his original intention of reaching the strange structures on top of the mountain. They just seemed too unnatural and strange, kind of like the boy. He was wearing strange skins that didn’t look like they were his own, or like they were from any Pokémon. They were unnatural. He came to the careful conclusion that the structures were made by humans, and resolved to steer clear of them, no matter how intriguing they were.

Humans were evil creatures, and it seemed that not even their Pokémon were like the other Pokémon Kuu had seen. They both just attacked for the sake of attacking. The Noctowl had attacked Kuu because it needed to eat. The Teddiursa had attacked in order to defend its territory. The boy and his Ledyba had attacked so they could put him in a little red and white ball. What that was supposed to accomplish, Kuu had no idea. He figured that if that was all humans wanted to do with him, then he would just keep away from them.

Twenty-one