Black Albino

Twenty-four
Rage

It raises its big ears to check its surroundings. It will strike if it senses any danger.
Pokémon Silver Pokédex Entry

The weather had finally cooled down slightly. The sky was still bright blue, as it had been for every day of Kuu’s life, but the heat wasn’t so intense. It was still unpleasantly warm, but moving through the relatively dense pine forest provided Kuu with shade and so he could comfortably travel by daylight. He preferred to be able to make his journey under the sun than the moon and stars, as he could at least have a better chance of seeing any predator. That and Fearow were much easier to hear than Noctowl.

Kuu longed for a slight change of scenery. The clustered pines, although they gave much welcomed shade, also housed strange, giant pinecones, which Kuu had seen explode without warning. The first time he had heard the deafening crack of the Pineco, he had thought the forest was falling down. He had lowered his ears and crouched into the needled ground, wishing he could sink into it. His eyes had shot up to where the light of the explosion had originated, only to see the huge, black, smouldering Pineco laughing above his head.

After reaching the crest of yet another, though less steep hill, Kuu spotted a large lake through the trees, rimmed with dried mud and grass. He made his way quickly but steadily down to the lake, eager for a drink, but also knowing that if he hurled down the hill too fast, he would wear himself out and become incredibly vulnerable to any predators.

He reached the lake’s edge and first nibbled on some of the rather dry grass poking up from the surrounding earth, then made his way down the caked mud to the water’s edge. Not forgetting his previous experience with lakes, he kept his ears and eyes up as he lapped up the cool, slightly muddy water.

The lake was huge, and rippled in the wind, kicking up small waves of its own that rolled up the mud banks and splashed Kuu on his nose. It was quite refreshing how the smooth liquid ran up and around his ankles, tickling his black fur.

No birds of prey, Noctowl or otherwise, appeared in the vicinity. He saw a flock of Pidgey pass overhead, and what looked to be a Fearow, with its long neck and large wings, but it was so far off it wasn’t cause for alarm. The trees and grass, too, were void of anything that posed a threat. In fact, not a single creature had come to lap at the water’s edge.

What Kuu’s sharp ears didn’t pick up was a water approach. The water lurched up at him, encasing a gaping maw attached to a massive blue serpentine creature. Yellow teeth the size of Kuu’s horn grabbed him and tossed him high into the air, spinning him around. He completely forgot everything he had been teaching himself over the past few days and just stared down the jaws of his death. His view changed from sky, to trees, to lake, to the cavernous crimson jaws that lay in wait below him, that he would inevitably fall into.

But no, he remained hovering in the sky, held up by some unknown force. His paws in front of him were glowing black, if that was at all possible. Metres below him, the massive creature shone with the same black aurora, though it was thrashing around and roaring as if in pain.

It glared up at Kuu, guessing that he was the source of its pain. A torrent of water gushed from its roaring mouth, aimed straight at Kuu. It knocked the wind out of him with its force, throwing him back from his strange position in mid air and down to the ground, landing with a rather undignified thud. The water sloshed over him before rolling back down to the lake, which was now just a seething froth, the creature having disappeared below the browned surface.

All Kuu could manage to do was cough up some of the water that had infiltrated his airways before he collapsed in the puddle of water he stood in. The last few seconds of his life had been too frightening for him, and he fell unconscious, overwhelmed at all that had just happened.

Kuu was completely disoriented when he came to. The stark whiteness around him gave him quite a shock. What had happened to the lake? The trees? The grass and mud? What had happened to the sky? The last of these questions was what frightened Kuu the most. He had lived his life out in the open, unless he was in his home warren, below ground. But it was pitch black there; he had to rely on his nose and ears to guide him around the burrows. This situation was completely alien to him. There was no sky, and yet it was brighter than daylight.

His mind flicked back, trying to remember how he had gotten here. He could remember the lake serpent, which he decided to call a water Arbok (his mother had explained to him what an Arbok, and this was all he could relate it to), he could remember the strange feeling of being suspended in midair, with nothing touching the ground. Then there was the gush of water and he had collapsed on the ground. Some journey had taken place between when he had fallen unconscious and when he had woken up again.

A sound of wood on wood clattered to his left, and he turned his head to see a large, rosy pink egg-like Pokémon walking towards him.

“I see you’ve woken up!” the egg piped, bouncing over to him.

“Where am I?” Kuu mumbled into the blankets, now aware of the approach of a headache. It must have come from the water blast, or from hitting the ground. Possibly a combination of everything.

“Mahogany Town Pokécentre. It’s where injured Pokémon are taken so they can be healed, and I’m a Chansey.” The high pitch of the egg Pokémon’s voice didn’t help Kuu’s head, and it began throbbing quite painfully. Kuu had never experienced true pain. He’d felt the pain of loosing his family, but not physical pain. He didn’t like it.

“What happened?” he murmured, realising that any answer the Chansey gave would just irritate his head further.

“A trainer found you by the Lake of Rage and brought you here.” Kuu cringed and decided not to ask any further questions until his head stopped hurting.

“Just rest for now,” the Chansey squeaked, “You’ll be better by tomorrow.”

Kuu nodded and drifted off to sleep, not yet wishing to worry about whatever it was that had saved him.

He awoke again late in the afternoon when the Chansey came in with something for him to eat, in the form of small greenish-brown pellets.

“They’re not grass,” it told him, “But they’ll do.”

Kuu smiled in thanks as the Chansey turned to go, then began nibbling tentatively at the pellets. The Chansey was right; the pellets definitely weren’t as good as grass, but Kuu was too hungry to care very much what he ate.

Once he had finished, he took the time to check his surroundings, as his headache had taken leave while he slept. He could still feel a dull thud at the back of his head, between his ears, but it wasn’t half as strong as it had been earlier.

Kuu lay on a white-cushioned bed, lined up with nine others along the stark white wall. Another row lined the opposite wall and a third ran down the middle. About half the beds held Pokémon about Kuu’s size; Rattata, a few other Nidoran, a Spearow or two and several other Pokémon Kuu couldn’t identify lay dozing in the beds.

The room was given light by what Kuu could only describe as long, stretched-out miniature suns, glowing steadily from the ceiling behind semi-transparent plates.

When the Chansey returned to take away his empty bowl, Kuu felt he may as well try and find out more about his encounter.

“What saved me?” he asked, not realising that the Chansey had no idea what had happened.

“Hmm?” Its small face was puzzled.

“A huge, um, water Arbok attacked me—”

“A Gyarados,” the Chansey corrected.

“Yeah, and when it threw me up in the air, I didn’t fall down, I was just hovering, and—”

“Probably just a psychic Pokémon,” the Chansey interrupted, unfazed.

“Oh, okay.” Just a psychic Pokémon? It had saved his life!

The Chansey picked up his bowl in its stubby pink hands and waddled out of the room, leaving Kuu feeling rather bewildered. He knew there was no way he would be able to find the Pokémon that had saved him, as there were probably hundreds, thousands of psychic Pokémon. He couldn’t possibly find one.

“Thank you,” he whispered to it, “Whoever you are, wherever you are, thank you for saving me.”

He nuzzled into the blankets, yawned and returned to his dreams.

Twenty-five