Black Albino

Twenty-eight
Welcome

Nidoran males aren’t quite as fierce as the female Nidoran
IGN

Kuu didn’t like being the centre of attention again. That was one of the many reasons he had left his old mob; everyone stared at him much more than he felt comfortable about. Eventually, a plum coloured Nidorino walked up to him. Kuu figured he was the head of the mob, but he could see the Nidorino was obviously very nervous about talking to the darkest Nidoran he had laid eyes on. He couldn’t see why himself.

“Heh-” He cleared his throat, “Hello, I’m Palliko, the head of this mob.” He looked down, not knowing what to say. “What brings you here, oh great one?” he said quickly.

Kuu blinked. “Great one?” This was going too far. “Kuu’ll be just fine, thanks.”

“Yeah, well you are black. Sorry.” Palliko apologised for his blunt remark.

“‘Sok, I know,” Kuu said flatly.

Palliko looked slightly confused. “You’re sounding… regretful, almost.” He chose his words carefully, hoping he wouldn’t upset the Nidoran. He may not have evolved yet, but he was black. He could probably knock Palliko out with one swipe of his paw.

Kuu nodded and sighed. “I won’t bore you with the details though.”

Palliko took this as a sign that he didn’t want to talk about it, and, for fear of aggravating the black Nidoran, he didn’t go any further.

“Well,” he said cheerily, “On behalf of this mob, I welcome you to our forest.” He bowed his head.

Kuu rolled his eyes slightly, but accepted the welcome. He might be able to find out something, anything about his father here, if not at least he might be able to get Palliko to train him.

The tour took Kuu through the maze of tunnels that made up the forest Nidos warren. It felt strange for him to be underground again. He’d now spent most of his life outside, and wandering the corridors almost made him feel claustrophobic. He knew nothing would attack him while he was down here, but if they did, he would have nowhere to escape to. He didn’t like that feeling.

The musty smell under the earth reminded Kuu strongly of his home warren, and he longed to be back there. He could barely even remember Hamara and Jaa now. They had been almost forgotten from his journey. What shocked him even more was that he couldn’t even bring a picture into his mind of his mother. It upset him greatly, drowning out Palliko’s voice as he proudly showed Kuu around his warren.

The tour ended in the head burrow, which, like at home, was much larger than the other burrows. The sight of it brought back one memory of Kuu’s childhood-his mother lying in a pool of her own blood, and Taishou standing over her, looking pleased with himself. Kuu couldn’t take it any longer. Just as Palliko was halfway through letting him know he could stay in this burrow, he collapsed in a fit of sobs, his mind swamped with old anguish.

“Kuu?” Palliko asked, concern showing on his face, “what’s wrong?”

“Have you ever, killed any Nidos just because they were paler than average?” Kuu wept.

Palliko’s face turned to one of shock. “Of course not! Why? Have you?” He looked suspiciously at Kuu.

“No, no!” he paused for breath. “The head of my mob killed my mother,” he sniffed, “so I was just wondering if that’s the way they all work, killing just because of colour.”

Palliko’s face was a mixture of sympathy and utter confusion. “Your mother was pale?” he asked, just to clear things up.

Kuu nodded. “I’m only black because my dad was.”

“Your mum was pale but your dad was black?” He seemed more horrified now. This statement just confused him more. Why would a black Nidorino choose a pale one for a mate when they could have anyone?

Kuu nodded again, but didn’t say anything. He was just looking at the ground, sniffing, not realising how much he had confused Palliko.

Palliko would try to figure out what the black Nidoran was talking about later. A pale Nidorina and a black Nidorino together? Impossible! And he had said the head of the mob had killed his mother. That would mean that either his father wasn’t head of the mob, or that he hated him so much he refused to call him ‘dad’ anymore. The whole thing confused Palliko too much for his liking.

“Would you like to have something to eat or go straight to sleep?” Palliko asked.

“I’ll just go to sleep, thanks.” Kuu managed a weak smile, and Palliko left.

Even though this was his first time back with Nidos since he left his own mob, two or three seasons ago now, Kuu felt more alone than he had for his whole journey. He may be surrounded by Nidos, but he didn’t know any of them. He tried again to bring a picture to his mind of his mother, but without success. He lay down and quietly sobbed himself to sleep.

“He is so!”

“Is not!”

“Is so!”

“Is not!”

“Is so!”

“Well, if you so sure, why you not ask him?”

The young male looked at the pitch black Nidoran nibbling at the dry brown grass to his left, not far from one of the warren entrances. Palliko had said to be sensitive with him, because his mother had been killed by the head of his mob. The kit and his sister had rolled their eyes at the statement. He was black, after all; he could bare anything.

He turned back to his sister and grinned smugly.

“Alright, you wait and see then!”

He hopped off to the black Nidoran, closely followed by his equally smug looking sister.

“Are you here to make rain?” he asked bluntly.

Kuu blinked. Several grass blades poked from the right side of his mouth, which he munched and swallowed quickly. “Say that again?”

“Told you so, told you so!” the female taunted, bouncing around the two Nidoran, glee written all over her face.

“I said,” the male said, ignoring his sister, “are you here to make rain?”

“Rain?” Kuu asked dumbly.

The female collapsed in fits of laughter, but her brother continued to ignore her. “Yeah, you know, water that falls from the sky?”

“Give it up, he got no idea,” the small blue face cackled.

“Well you never seen it before too,” the male scorned, desperate to win the argument somehow.

“I’m not really here for anything,” Kuu said finally, “but I guess I could get rain for you, somehow. Any idea on how I go about getting it?”

The male was blowing a raspberry at his sister, which resulted in him getting pounced on and the two of them rolled around in the greatly drought-effected grass. Kuu rolled his eyes. He’d never been like that with his siblings. Figuring he’d get nowhere with the squabbling pair, Kuu decided he’d ask Palliko to fill him in on the situation.

Palliko was talking with some of the darker Nidorino in the mob under a tree.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Kuu began, “I’m just wondering what exactly rain is?”

One of the other Nidorino replied, “Why, are you going to bring us rain?”

“I don’t know,” Kuu answered honestly, “I’ve just never seen it before so if I maybe know what it is I could get it.”

The Nidorino were visibly stunned. Each of them widened his eyes and raised his ears. Kuu lowered his own.

“What?” he asked suspiciously. He was beginning to wonder what he’d gotten himself into here. Still, the mob had welcomed him; he owed it to them.

Palliko walked up to him and looked intently into his eyes. “Thank you,” he said simply. “I’ll come with you to help you. We have been without rain for almost three seasons. We haven’t even seen a cloud since the beginning of last autumn. Thank you,” he said again, bowing his head. The five Nidorino behind him followed suit.

A sick feeling made itself known in Kuu’s stomach. Seeing the bowing Nidorino made it clear that getting rain back to the mob would be no easy task. But he wouldn’t back down.

“So what do we do?” he ventured.

Palliko and the other Nidorino looked up. “We must go to the sea and gather together as many water Pokémon as possible, take them back here and have them perform rain dance.”

It couldn’t be as simple as that, surely. Otherwise the Nidorino would have done this much earlier. What weren’t they telling him?

Twenty-nine