Black Albino

Thirty-one
Journey

Thank you! Your POKéMON are fighting fit! We hope to see you again!
Nurse, Pokémon Red/Blue/Yellow

She awoke with the sunlight bright on her eyes. She clenched them shut to try and keep the light out then rolled over on the unusually soft sand. But still the sun broke through her eyelids. She groaned and put her paws over them. She struggled to think what had happened to her to make her head pound at any sound or the slightest bit of sunlight.

It flooded back to her. The beach. The Golduck. The fight. Talvi evolving. Talvi attacking. The beach… She couldn’t hear the sea, just an intermittent beeping from her left and the odd shuffle of another body. She groaned again. She was back in the Pokécentre.

Great, just great, she thought to herself, I’m back where I started now.

She blinked a few times to get used to the artificial light then stretched her aching muscles and shook out her fur.

“Feeling better?” The shrill voice of the Chansey made Aurinko cringe, and her ears flattened.

“Great, yeah,” she said flatly, not turning to face the Chansey. She’d escaped an Arbok and two angry mobs only to be knocked out by someone she was almost ready to call a friend and dragged back to where she had begun. “When do I get out of here?”

“Tomorrow morning,” the Chansey piped, “if you think you’re up to it.”

Aurinko nodded and gave her neck a scratch with her hind paw. “So I’m not going back to the zoo then?”

“The zoo?” The Chansey sounded genuinely puzzled.

“Yeah, you know,” Aurinko answered, licking a paw and washing her face. “Big place full of Pokémon?”

“Ah, the one in Fuchsia. No, too far away.”

Aurinko stopped cleaning herself and looked at the Chansey. “Come again?”

“You’re in Lavender. A trainer found you down south a bit and brought you back here.”

Aurinko nodded to show she knew what was going on. There must be more than one Pokécentre. She shrugged and resumed her cleaning.

The nurse picked up a pen and ran it down the list in front of her, holding the phone to her ear with her shoulder.

“She just came in yesterday,” she said into the receiver, “Female Nidoran, almost eight kilos. She’s a big girl.”

The scientist’s voice crackled through the earpiece. “When do you want us to come in and pick her up?”

“She’ll be fine to go tomorrow.”

“Great, the plane’ll be there around, say, eleven?”

Nurse Joy scribbled the time down on the piece of paper. “Sounds good to me. Seeya then!”

She hooked the receiver back on its mount and walked up the corridor to the room the young Nidoran was in. She was nibbling on the pellets in the corner of her glass-enclosed bed. There was pity in her eyes when she rested her arms on the glass top and looked down on the albino.

Her injuries when she had come in the day before indicated that she had been attacked by a Nidorina, a member of her own species. Not only that, but there were scars on her face and left flank from a Nidorino horn, and her hind leg had been broken early in her life.

“You’ll be better off in the lab,” Joy told her, lifting the lid and scratching her behind the ears. She flinched slightly when her fingers toughed her snowy white fur, but continued to eat. “The wild’s no place for you.”

She sighed and took her hand away, then closed the glass lid. “Poor little thing,” she murmured, then left.

The next morning, Aurinko found a cage next to her when she woke up. The entrance had been opened, and at the rear end of the cage was a bowl filled with crisp green lettuce. Aurinko’s nose quivered at the fresh smell of the leaves. She knew exactly what they were there for. They were to coax her into the cage so she could be easily carried out. This only made her more eager to hop in through the opening and feast on the bait that lay at the other end.

Immediately, the gate was slammed down behind her, making her jump, and clasped shut. The handle of the cage was lifted, and Aurinko had to brace her legs to keep from slipping and falling over. She was carried down a corridor to the lobby of the Pokécentre and laid to rest on the floor while the person carrying her talked to Nurse Joy.

Aurinko blinked at her surroundings, finally getting time to take in what was happening around her. The lobby was much the same as the one she had been in earlier, only this one was smaller, and there didn’t appear to be anyone else in there apart from her, the man and Nurse Joy. The bright white lights on the ceiling reflected off the polished white tiles on the floor and shone on the deep green leaves of the potted plants in the corners of the sterile room.

Within a few minutes, Aurinko was lifted back up again and carried out the sliding glass doors. The man took her to a vehicle not unlike the one she had been transported in to get to the zoo. If she wasn’t going back there, where was she going?

The nurse waved them off, and the four-wheel-drive rumbled into life, jerking forward in a cloud of dust. There were fewer houses on this journey, and many more trees. When the vehicle stopped, Aurinko felt sure they had been driving for much less time as well. As far as she was concerned this was a good thing; she was less than thrilled with the sensation of moving without moving.

The first thing Aurinko noticed when the car door on her side was opened was the smell of the sea, and her first thought was that the man was going to let her free in the same place where Talvi had knocked her out, but this idea was abolished when her cage was taken out of the car. There was hard, dusty land below her, and the land seemed to drop off into the ocean rather than sloping gently down and ending in a wide strip of sand.

The man laid Aurinko back down on the ground when another man approached from the direction of a strange white, vaguely bird-like machine, bobbing up and down in the water next to a jetty that jutted out of the embankment. The two men talked for a while about things Aurinko had no idea about, then the second grabbed the handle of her cage and swung her over to the thing in the water.

Aurinko looked nervously at the deep blue liquid, and she suddenly felt less than content with her current position. One false move and she could be in there, with no way of getting out of the cage. Nevertheless, she was safely heaved into the back of the machine and secured down with a leather strap. When the door was closed, she couldn’t see anything but a patch of sky out the opposite window. At least she knew she wasn’t going back to the zoo.

She could feel that she was on the water; the undulating sensation already made her feel slightly sick. She could hear the men talking outside, then finally the second one opened the front door and climbed in, waving goodbye to the first. Aurinko craned her neck to try and see what he was doing, but failed and instead relied on her ears to tell her what was going on.

She heard a few clicks of switches being flipped, then the man fixed a strange contraption to his head; a pair of furry things joined by a curved band. She soon discovered what they were for. Her ears flared at the sudden loud buzzing that seemed to come from everywhere. She whipped her head around, trying to figure out where the sound was coming from, but saw nothing. The buzzing continued to grow louder until she felt she would almost go deaf with the noise.

She shifted uneasily in the cage, suddenly aware of a movement that wasn’t just that of the waves under her. The machine was moving. She braced her feet again to steady herself, her ears flared and waving, trying to figure out where the sound was actually coming from. It seemed to be from everywhere.

The seaplane turned around and the pilot tested each engine separately to make sure they were both working properly. Satisfied with their performance, he revved them to full throttle, sliding easily through the calm water of the small bay, and then over it, taking to the skies on the way to Cinnabar.

The ascension of the plane made Aurinko’s stomach turn, and she closed her eyes tightly to try and stop the less than pleasant feeling. Once she felt as though they had levelled out more she turned her attention back to the bowl of lettuce that still lay in her cage. It wasn’t as fresh as it had been earlier, but it was at least something to take her attention away from the deafening noise of the propellers.

Old Fiction