Black Albino

Twenty-seven
Sea

Although small, its venomous barbs render this Pokémon dangerous. The female has smaller horns.
Pokémon Red and Blue Pokédex

"Well," Talvi said as the two Nidoran made their way through the crackling grass, "based on our most recent encounter, I don't believe your plan on making a mob of pale Nidos is going to go very far."

"Shut up," came Aurinko's tart reply.

"So how do you plan on even saying anything to any pale Nidos when we get attacked by any mob we approach?"

Aurinko shrugged. The only thing she could come up with was by some miraculous phenomenon they could make friends with a dark Nidoran, then get them to round up all the pale ones. The main flaw in this plan was not the likelihood of being attacked by said Nidoran, but that Aurinko would never ask for help from anyone, dark or not. Her pride was not to be tarnished by having to beg for help by someone darker than herself. It would be denying her whole philosophy on life. It wasn't going to happen.

She'd pretty much given up on trying to get captured by a human. It seemed they thought the same about her as the Nidos did. Pale Nidoran never got a chance, let alone albino ones. They were all the same. They were all quick to judge by the colour of her fur and left it at that. If she was taught, Aurinko knew she could be strong. But only a dark Nidoran could teach her, and she wasn't about to let her pride slip.

A hushing noise reached her ears, and it was different to that of the cool breeze in the parched grass. It reminded her of the water that ran over her leg when she was freed of her plaster cast, only lower, more constant. With the sound came a strange smell. It was crisp and fresh and sent a tingle down her spine.

She turned her head into the wind, facing brown hills dotted with trees. A clump of green and pink lumps seemed to be floating and bobbing in the air, either under their own power or from the wind Aurinko couldn't be sure, but she felt it was a good chance to investigate the sound and the smell. She noticed too that Talvi had been taking deep lung fulls of the air, and her face registered whimsy.

"What are you so happy about?" she scorned, bringing the Nidoran out of her trance.

"Oh," Talvi replied, shaking her head to bring herself back to reality. "Smell that? That's the sea." She turned her face to the wind again. "My mob lived by the sea."

Aurinko nodded, not quite knowing why such a thought would make her happy. Home was the last place Aurinko wanted to be reminded of, and Talvi was almost as pale as she was. Surely she must have received similar treatment? She shrugged it off and made her way over to the floating green and pink blobs. The odd blue one was dotted through the cloud; these seemed to be held aloft by two puffy white balls on their heads.

"They're Hoppip, Skiploom and Jumpluff," Talvi explained, noting Aurinko's fascination with the Pokémon. "We had a group of them living nearish to us. Great for telling when a storm was coming, or anything like that."

"Whatever," Aurinko said irritably. She didn't like to be picked out as ignorant about the world, even though she hadn't seen much of it to learn about in the first place.

Sensing that the balloon-like Pokémon weren't a threat, the pair passed right under the cloud, craning their necks to see the floating blobs. They didn't look like they should be able to float; they were, after all, blobs. Even the ones with the white puffs didn't look particularly aerodynamic. Still, they seemed to enjoy themselves. Some attempted to perform tricks in the wind, flipping around and doing somersaults, or dropping like stones to the earth before taking off again. Some hit the ground before they managed to become airborne once more, and became the object of much laughter from the other pink, green and blue balloons. It almost made Aurinko smile.

By nightfall, they had reached the top of the hills, and Aurinko was greeted by a sight that took her breath away.

The brown hills, lit gold by the setting sun, rolled down steeply in front of her, meeting the most amazing expanse of water Aurinko had ever seen. It stretched on to the horizon in every direction, far larger than the lake of the home warren. To her right, the sun hovered above the horizon; a bright saffron globe that reflected in flecks of orange starlight from the dark blue sea and turned the dead brown grass to spun gold. To her left, the sky was the same dark blue of her sister Aamu. Waves lapped up against the shoreline, a soft, sandy white beach.

What slightly spoiled the scene was the area filled with holes down the hill. They were littered with Nidos, who had luckily not yet noticed the two white and near-white Nidoran sitting at the top of the hill. She quickly ducked down into the grass to avoid their line of sight and forced Talvi to follow suit.

"What was that for?" Talvi hissed at her, not happy with being pushed down.

"There's a warren over there," Aurinko hissed back, gesturing with her head.

Talvi kept herself out of view of the warren, taking her eyes from the setting sun and training them to where Aurinko had motioned.

Aurinko knew already that if they were seen they would have to make another dash for it, something the two Nidoran weren't quite up to for the second time during the day. She felt Talvi nudge her and turned her head from the mob, then to where Talvi was looking.

Off from the rest of the mob was a pale pink Nidoran with his back turned to them. It appeared that no other Nidoran were paying attention to him.

Aurinko grinned evilly and began crawling in a round about way towards the Nidoran. She kept an eye on the mob, keeping her head low and observing them and the lone Nidoran through the curtain of spun gold. Edging quietly up to him, she grabbed his neck by throwing both her front paws over him, pinning him to the ground and forcing his front teeth into the dust.

"Don't say a word," Aurinko warned, her voice low and threatening, but her eyes scanned the mob, and she hoped nobody had noticed her ambush.

"Come with us and nobody gets hurt," she hissed. She pushed her chin to his forehead, avoiding his horn, when he tried to turn and see who had jumped him. She knew that if he saw her, there'd be no way he'd come.

"O-okay," the Nidoran squeaked, coughing in the dust, "Just please don't hurt me."

"Good, but don't turn around until I tell you otherwise." Aurinko loosened her grip on his neck, and let him walk in front of her. She jabbed her horn into his backside when she grew impatient with his progress.

They made it over the crest of the hill, but the Nidoran couldn't help himself. He gulped and looked anxiously over his shoulder. His eyes widened and his jaw dropped when he saw his captor. He stopped hopping and turned to fully meet the albino.

"What are you stopping for?" Aurinko growled, still threatening even though she knew her cover was blown. He could easily call out for the mob now. "Keep moving!"

The Nidoran had recovered from his shock and raised his brow. "I don't think so," he told her, shaking his head. "I can't believe I let an albino capture me. What do you want with me anyway?"

Aurinko sighed, not sure how to explain her plan without sounding helpless. It was Talvi who stepped in.

"She's trying to get as many pale Nidos together as she can so we can retaliate against the dark ones."

"Where've you been living?" the male sneered, "not that I don't want it to work, but how can you expect pale Nidos to win over dark ones? What makes you think anyone would want to follow an albino anyway?"

Aurinko pounced him again, pushing her full weight down on him. She may be white, but she was still quite a bit larger than the average female. "That enough for you?" she asked innocently, letting him up.

The Nidoran shook himself off. "I'd love to, but nuh, not for me. You know pale Nidos wouldn't have a hope against them, particularly if their leader's an albino."

"What makes you say that?" Aurinko was getting sick of his way of summing her up with that word, especially they way he said it.

The Nidoran just rolled his eyes and made to go. "As if you don't know," he snorted.

Aurinko threw her weight on him a third time, this time pinning him down on his back. She narrowed her eyes and barred her teeth. Had she been darker, she could have looked quite threatening. But as it was, the Nidoran simply glared back and mouthed the word 'albino', knowing that was what was getting her angry.

Aurinko cuffed him with her right paw, forcing him to retaliate in his own way. He struck out with his head, grazing Aurinko's nose with his horn. Aurinko's nose burned slightly where the poison had met her nerves, but it was nothing compared to the poison Musta had pumped through her, months ago now.

The Nidoran threw Aurinko off him and flipped himself onto his feet, bounding forward to stab the toppled albino in her haunches. Aurinko, now having gained her balance, spun around, easily ignoring the sting in her leg. There was something to have been gained from the torture the Xatu had put her through.

She stabbed her own horn into his side, though no poison left its tip. She'd never learnt how, and Talvi wasn't exactly about to teach her. Still, the force should be enough to show him she meant business. She swiped her paw at him again, making him stumble back, but not fall over.

"Aurinko, what are you doing!" Talvi cried, "There's no way you can win!"

Aurinko was sprawled in the grass again, the result of a clumsy but effective swipe from the male. As she was making to get to her feet, he came at her again, thumping her this time with his large hind feet and throwing Aurinko to the dust again.

"Aurinko!" Talvi squealed again, "RUN!"

Aurinko groaned from the beating and lifted her eyes. She blinked a few times, then sprung up and followed Talvi's lead.

Behind her she could hear the male, as well as the thundering feet of at least a dozen of other Nidos, mostly Nidorino. Colour didn't mean anything to her, but Aurinko knew that no Nidoran could stand up to that many Nidorino. They had physical strength rather than just the myth of the dark coat.

She bolted through the grass in the early evening, close behind Talvi and limping slightly from the scrape on her leg. It would fade eventually, but for now it held her back.

"Where do we go?" Talvi called back to her.

"How should I know!" Aurinko yelled, "You know about the sea, you do something!"

Talvi didn't reply, but suddenly veered off to the right, heading in the vague direction of the mob again.

"Where are you going?" Aurinko screamed.

"You've given me an idea," Talvi replied simply, not willing to explain.

Aurinko tossed a glance over her shoulder as they reached the top of the hill again, though they were now much further along from the warren. The Nidos were still thundering forward, slowly catching up. Aurinko pushed on, hoping Talvi knew what she was doing.

They streamed down the hill, Aurinko almost losing her footing from the speed. They reached the beach at the foot of the slope, and Talvi kept going, straight into the surf. Aurinko hesitated slightly, but upon looking back again, decided that it was probably the best chance she had of surviving and ploughed into the water after Talvi.

The water wasn't particularly warm, but it wasn't unbearably cold either. After the stress of the run, it was almost refreshing. She splashed through the waves, paddling her feet and snorting when the water splashed up her nose. She had a hard time trying to keep up with Talvi. The Nidoran had obviously done this before. Aurinko just hoped their pursuers hadn't.

Only two Nidorino decided to brave the waves, plunging into the water and wading through the water as the two Nidoran were now doing.

Aurinko groaned and struggled on, wondering where exactly Talvi was planning on going. This swimming thin was taking the energy out of her quite quickly and she didn't like it. Nidoran may have the ability to swim, but they only did if there was no other way.

Thankfully the two Nidorino decided the albino and her pale friend weren't worth all this trouble and turned back to the shore. Aurinko gave a hoi and the pair of Nidoran trod water until the group of Nidos had well and truly gone, at which point they lazily swam back to shore where they clambered out, bedraggled and dripping, to collapse in the sand and recover themselves from the pursuit.

Twenty-eight