Four chosen Pokemon, only one will survive...a Pokemon/HG cross-over.
Chapter 1: The ReapingsEdit
- Thor #
There was once a rebellion against the Pokémon and the humans in the Pokemon regions. Much blood was spilled, and out of hundreds that died only two were actually important to us: my family's trainer, Twix, and my father, Rickson. Even though Twix released us a year before the war began, my family continued to act like her Pokémon while she was alive. But as Twix went on missions to spy on the humans, we saw her less and less. But, even when she was sneaking back to give us information, Twix would constantly wear a sash of light purple. It was okay in night, I suppose, but one day she realized that the other humans were getting suspicious, and Twix had to hurry to us in broad daylight. But, somehow, they figured this out and tracked her down. They found her hiding in a bush, her purple sash giving her away. They sent her clothing deprived body back to our head-quarters, a bullet in her brain.
After Twix's death, we attacked a band of traders, who were taking clothing - some of which had belonged to Twix - to Viridian City. They had some soldiers with them, as they were used to these raids even before the war, and most of the traders had a knife with them. But most of the blood spilled in the skirmish belonged to the humans, but there were a few of us who didn't make it: one of these was my father, who died on an infirmary's cot, holding my mother's paw in one hand and Twix's purple sash in the other.
But despite Pokémon’s power and determination to rid the world of those kidnappers the humans call trainers, we lost. The humans, I hate to admit, were smarter than us, making superior weapons such as bombs and sniper rifles.
So, this is how we ended up like this. The humans from all regions that participated in the war gathered up half of their Pokémon population and put them in districts, leaving the others to be kidnapped trainers; and those in the districts? Forced to fight against one in another in a fight to the death, something the humans liked to call "The Hunger Games." This year is the very first.
That's what I was thinking of as I plucked Pecha berries. Kanto is an agricultural region, and the districts are to help its economy. But it was pretty much slavery, really. You had to be an expert plucker, because out of five baskets that can hold thirty berries, you only get one piece of fruit. I turned to look at my little sister, a twelve-year-old Pichu named Tavia Ashwreath. She glanced at me, smiling. I grinned back, and then turned to finish my tenth basket. This would be my last basket for the day, unfortunately, because they made the reaping so early in the afternoon. The kids only got one hour for work at the fields, and then thirty minutes at least to get you looking pretty.
A horn broke out, signaling the time to get to the washing river. I reached back to grab Tavia by the paw, and hurried over to the truck where the Pechas would be shipped across Kanto and beyond - after the reaping, of course. We met up with Mom there, and all in all we got five Pechas. Tavia only got two in a half basket full and Mother managed to get fifteen baskets full, making ten looks meager, if you ask me. We hurried to our burrow and stored the fruit for tomorrow's dinner and had a quick snack of various roots. We then grabbed some soap and made our way to the washing brook, a body of water reserved for washing. There were other families, too, but because we were Pokémon privacy during baths didn't really matter.
"Who do you thinks going to be picked for our district, Mom?" Tavia piped up while scrubbing the bar of soap behind her ears. Mom and I just stood in the brook, waiting for our turn.
Mom didn't answer, and I could understand why. Just hearing Tavia ask that made me feel sick. It was a random drawing, so any young Pokémon could be picked. But, fortunately, Tavia and I were sorta lucky. After the war, the humans not only just collected Pokémon and put them in districts, but they also found the Pokémon of trainers that died in the war and put them in the care of the region's professor, where they would train for a few years and eventually move into the district that represented their type a month before the reaping; these Pokémon are known as "Careers," and my family is a trio of them.
After the bath, we returned to our burrow and got dressed. I stared into a discarded mirror I found while training at Professor Oak III's lab. I gawked at the black jacket and white shirt; I believe the humans call this combination a "tuxedo." I flinched out of my admiration as Tavia scurried into my room.
"Thor! Thor!" she cried, spinning me around to face the entrance and ducking behind me. "Mom's making me wear litter!"
"It's--not--litter!" Mom panted as she charged into the room, then bended down to put her paws on her knees and gasped for breath. She shoved the white dress in our direction. “Thor, does this look like garbage to you?”
But I wasn’t paying attention to the dress. My eyes were locked onto the streak of purple running across Mom’s chest. “Mom…is that?” I didn’t want to say it.
Her eyes followed my gaze, stopping onto the sash. Her black paw clamped down on it with such force only a Titan could break her hold. “Yes. It is,” she whispered.
I nodded sullenly. "Put on your dress, girly."
"I'm not a girly," Tavia huffed. "I'm the best knife thrower in class!"
I wince, not very happy for my sister's "achievement" at all, and mutter something about getting some air. I hurried out of the burrow, not caring about getting the tux dirty, and sat at the entrance to our home. Today, Tavia and I might never see each other again...never see Mom and Twix's purple sash again. End up like Dad, dying, while Mom watched. Don't think like that...I told myself in my mind, hoping that would somehow make the bad things go away.
Tavia and Mom popped out of the hole. Tavia wore a white satin dress with lace and an ivory collar, with a crown of flowers on her head. I smiled. "Wear that crown with pride, princess," I chuckled.
We take each other by the paw and go down to a clearing, where a stage was set and our mayor, Zapdos, stood with our escort, Mellion Trik, a silver-haired woman that would probably die if she smiled.
"BOO!" someone suddenly cries behind us. Tavia lets out a cry and jumps up, but I calmly turned around.
"Mrs. Pip," I grinned at the elderly Mangeton.
"Ugh," she grumbled. "I can never scare you, can I, Thor? Ah well..." She gave us a wink. "See you soon."
I resist the urge to say, "I hope." Tavia eagerly calls goodbye to Mrs. Pip. Mrs. Pip was our only friend while we were training at Professor Oak's Lab, where they trained all of Kanto's careers.
Mom taps us both on the shoulder, nodding over to some cages. "I suppose that's where you will be staying," she mutters.
"Caged," I hissed. "Like a Pokémon." But I grab Tavia by the paw and trudge over to the cages anyway. Tavia is separated from me and forced into the cage where the twelve-year-old girls are held, and I'm forced to stand in a cage with other eighteen-year-old boys.
Our mayor relates the tale about how "evil" we were and how we deserve this. I pretty much ignore him, and I try to spot out Tavia, but she's lost in a sea of faces. The stupid history lesson is over, and Mellion marches up to the glass balls. There's three, the one in the center to say if adults may be reaped, volunteer, or both. There are only four slips of paper in this bowl, unlike the other two, which say the names of the tributes. "To make the First Annual Hunger Games more special, the Capitol has decided that for this year adults will be allowed to volunteer for the Electric District's tributes, but will not be reaped," she announces, then goes over to the glass bowl holding the girl's names.
Mellion fiddles around with the paper, and then pulls a slip out. "Tavia Ashenwreath the Pichu."
I didn't get at first. Who's this Tavia girl? I didn't realize the situation until my little sister was trembling on the stage. I wasn't whether to scream or rush up to the stage and kill that escort.
I hold down my emotions as Mellion plucks out a slip from the boys’ ball. "Thor Ashenwreath the Pikachu."
Somehow, I managed to walk onto the stage without screaming. Without breaking down and try to get myself killed. Only my paws trembled. "Hmm...Brother and sister," Mellion muttered, emotionless as ever and making things much, much worse.
I fall to my paws and knees, hot tears pouring down. "I can't do it," I whisper, and then my voice became louder. "I can't I kill my own sister! I can't watch her die!" I cry. Tavia skitters over to me, wrapping her little arms around my neck.
"Then let him watch me die!" a familiar voice announces. You could practically hear all the heads turning to gawk as an old Magneton floated up the stage. "Adults are allowed to volunteer, right?"
"Um," Mellion exchanged a glance with the mayor. "Yes."
"Then I'll be the female tribute for the Electric District," Mrs. Pip announced.
Tavia rushes over to embrace Mrs. Pip. "No! Don't do that!" she cried, but Mrs. Pip was too stubborn to listen to reason; as always.
There was silence, then the Electric District seemed to break down. "Not some seventy-year-old! She'll be killed in the first battle and ruin our name!" Mayor Krik the Zapdos hollers, electricity cracking in his great feathers.
Mellion ignored him. "Meet Mrs. Pip the Magneton! Female tribute for the Electric District!" The next thing we knew, we were dragged into a room in the Justice Building.
We were seperated, and I was set down on a velvet couch. I sat there, confused, but everything makes sense when Mom comes in, holding Twix's purple sash. "Thor..." she whispered. "I can't lose you. Not like Rickson and Twix..."
"I know, Mom...I'll...I'll make you proud..." Making false promises only made things worse. Her lip quivered, and she thrusted the sash into my face.
"Mellion said that we can give the tribute a gift from home. She called it a 'token,'" Mom explained. I nodded, taking the sash into my paw. "Bring that back, Thor...not a blood spek on it," she ordered, before some Peacekeeper humans dragged her out. I sat there, holding Twix's sash, until Tavia entered.
"Hi," she muttered, sitting beside me.
"Hey, princess." I managed a smile, and wrapped a yellow arm around her. She snuggled into my shoulder silently, except for a small exhale. We sat like there until the Peacekeepers came, taking her by the paw and leading her out. After Tavia left, they retrieved Mrs. Pip and I.
"I swear, your mother's the most annoying Raichu on the face of the planet," Mrs. Pip huffed. "She nearly killed me when I stopped her from volunteering, the batty lady." I just grinned.
We came to the Electric District's train station. We waited for a few moments, then the coal-black locomotive chug-chugged up to us, squealing to a halt. With Peacekeepers frowning at us, Mrs. Pip and I were loaded onto the train like cargo.
Oh, hey, did they just call my name?
I've been squatting down in the Water District's (the fourth District) cage where they hold the females of seventeen. I hadn't really been paying attention to the speeches...or anything, for that matter. Our escort, a green-haired man in a pony-tail called Eety Fok, paused, then repeated himself. "Err, Missile Donalphin the Golduck, please come up to the stage now..."
"Ooooh..." I let out a laugh, and skipped up to the stage. "That's me."
I can tell that Eety approves of me. "My, you look confident. Are you a Career?"
"Nope!" I laugh, and turn to grin at my family, all too young or too old to participate in the Games. Mother's crying, the eleven-year-old Psyduck brother of mine is grimacing, and the other four siblings were whispering to each other, confused.
The look on their faces made me remember the war. We were escaping the battle field, hearing from somebody that there was a certain spot near the ocean that not one bullet had been shot on. One day, my dad disappeared while we were sleeping, never seen again. A day later, we found our new home by the sea. After the war, our refuge - a marsh that turned into sparse, tall grass then a beach and then a sea - became the fourth District; the Water District. My family and I were lucky. We didn't need to move away like most of the Pokemon here.
The boy's name is called. "Shano Poddley the Squirtle!"
My optimism is replaced with shock and despair. I watch in anguish as the Squirtle ambles up to the stage. Shano was one of the refugee families, and might have dated during the war...But then he went a bit too far, talking about the future and how happy we'd be together. Me? I was happy being a playah, so of course I ended it. I haven't seen him ever since...until now.
Shano stood beside me, clasping his hands. He looked like a dwarf, compared to me.
"Okay, Water District!" Eery announces, dancing to the center of the stage. "Meet our very first tributes, Shano Poddley and Missile Donalphin! Give'em a round of applause!" The Water District being more pro-Games then most Districts, we got more than a bunch of clapping: we got three cheers.
Shano and I are ushered into the Justice Building and sent to different rooms. I sit on a black couch probably made of horse's hair, or something. My mother comes in, apparently feeling better. "Hey, Mum," I greeted.
Mother stared at me with those cold, gray eyes. The blue feathers around her eyes are wet and flatted down. Mother forces me into a bear-hug, practically squeezing the life out of me. "Missile...be careful," she pleaded.
"Oh, Mother!" I laugh. "Course I will! What do you expect me to do? Cause a rebellion?" I chuckle.
Mother released me, and stared hard at my face. Slowly, she strokes one of my last remaining Psyduck feathers. Mother lets out a sigh. "Oh...I miss those days when you looked like you were bathed in mustard and always had migraines."
I snorted. "Those were the days." And then a Peacekeeper marches into the room and dragged her away. The jerks.
My little brother of eleven, Pablo, comes in, holding one of his yellow feathers. "You're molting already?" I ask as he takes a seat next to me.
"No. I'm not sixteen yet...if I make it," he sighed, and puts it in my hand. The feather has a black string attached to it, making it a necklace. "It's your district token. The first feather you lost when you were molting. I found while playing in the attic." Pablo explained.
"Oh..." I whispered, slightly trembling. "Th-thanks, Pablo."
"No prob." He shrugged, and then it's his turn to leave too. My entire family payed me a visit, and a few admirers, before I'm taken out of the Justice Building, through the district, and onto a silver train.
Shano gives me a nudge as we board it. "Rooting for you, partner," he says with a wink. I just hoped it looked like I was ignoring him.
I watched her go up the stage, a Quilava appearently named Rascuvar Adams. She has a primrose bow tied around her neck, giving her a youthful, innocent appearence, even though she was at least seventeen - my age.
"And for the male tribute of the Fire District," says the escort for the eigth District, the Fire District, "Rocky Maning the Vulpix!"
Oh, great. That's me.
I stride over there, the silver tag on my collar jingling around. The collar my grandfather gave me when he lived with his trainer. I pad up to the stage, gasps rising up from the audience. That's right, you better love this thief, cause he just stole your heart! Even Rascuvar gawked at me. I smirked, knowing that my devilish handsomeness would bring on the lady sponsors.
The escort, a scrawny woman with fake fire-red hair named Duner Bonkin, shuffled away from me. "Err...you might want to look behind you, Rocky, dear."
Did she want a profile or something? I turned around. A patch of cotton stuck to my butt. "Uh..." There was some snickers. Hastily, I swung my head back to Bonkin. "Uh, I meant to do that!" I holler, but it only makes them laugh more. I hang my head in disgrace.
We're sent into the Justice Building. Nobody but my grandfather visits me, telling me that I can keep that collar as a token. Then we're taken to a train station, and leave the Fire District behind for what may be forever.
My family and I were against the war from the start. We were pacifists. And now I am reaped into a hellish thing the trainers have named a Hunger Games. And to think, I had admired them for their advance in technology and intellect: and now they have sent me to die.
My family and I used to live in Johto, hiding out in the Trainer School, reading the text books when the establishment was closed. My family and I loved to read; we loved to learn. Then the Trainer School was burned down by the Pokémon rebel army, and when the human recruits came in to stop the Pokémon from taking over Violet City, my mother and my twin brother had disappeared, whatever happened to them and their whereabouts still unknown. My father and I escaped to Kanto, where the fighting wasn't as bad as the other regions. After the war, we were sent to live in the eighth District: the Fire District.
"Rocky Maning the Vulpix!"
Oh, my. I could tell by just looking at the way he walked that this Vulpix was an air-head. A jock who people doesn't care about his small intellect as long as he's handsome and strong. I snorted when he realized that there was cotton stuck to his rump. What a fool.
Rocky didn't have a curly tail and hair like other Vulpixes. His was straight, and rather unruly, but I suppose it was meant to add to his fictitious "charm." I did my best to control my temper at him as I was ushered into the Justice Building. I sat on an elegant Victorian Era couch as I waited for someone...anyone. No one came. I know I'm not popular with my peers, almost hated, even. But my own father...not coming to say goodbye to his daughter sentenced to death. I couldn't help it. I cried.
I'm taken out of the room. Rocky doesn't seem to notice the streaks of red on my face caused by my weeping. No, he's too used to live in that “handsome” thick skull to notice anything but a mirror. But Duner Bonkin was definitely perturbed by it. "Everything alright, sweety?" She smiled a surprisingly legit smile at me - as if she actually cared. "Fire Pokémon were meant to control the flames, not make water works."
I almost laughed. "You must not worry about me. It's just..." I hesitated. I didn't want to say it with that demon, Rocky, around. He may think I was a weak, nerdy girl. Like the other kids.
"Don't worry," she whispered, patting me on the head, being careful with the holes where my fire quills were meant to spring forth. "The war was an emotional time; why not the Games?"
Surprisingly, I agreed with her. The Hunger Games is a war; a war for survival. And what of me? The pacifist geek girl? I'm one soldier against a military of thirty-four.
Chapter 2: Chariot RidesEdit
"Is this all really necessary?" I sighed as my prep team poked and prodded me. I didn't like any of them. The stupid band was made up of man named Coll, a spiky haired snot-nosed brat named Mitty, and a twenty-four year old woman called Fox. All they really did was brush my hair, grumbling about how messy it was, until my stylist walked into the room with Melion. My stylist was a plump, middle-aged woman with a light orange wig that called herself Vixen. I was a trying to make a joke about a female Fox and a Vixen in the room when she made me stand up, and made me slip on some silver bands around my torso, my purple slash going around my hips.
"Mmhmm...mmhmmm..." Vixen flashed a crooked smile at me, and then beckoned forth to Coll. As if he was holding a nuclear bomb, he gave Vixen a remote with two buttons, a red one and a green one. Vixen pressed the red on, and my silver bands began to intensely glow a golden radiance. She clicked the green one, making the glow disappear, and then the red one again, where it came back in full swing.
I stared at the bands while the make-up artists and Mellion clapped. "I don't get it," I said indifferently. "It's just blending in with my fur. Nothing special."
Vixen furrowed her brow. "Mitty, mirror."
Mitty wheeled in a mirror that was as tall as an adult male human. I stared at myself. "I'm glowing…" I had to admit: I was impressed. There was a golden aura coming from the bands, making me look like some sort of god. Or at least it would’ve if I was more muscular and a better face. Vixen and Mellion grinned at each other, their quest accomplished.
They ushered me out of the room and into the hall, where we met up with Mrs. Pip. She wore strings dangling from her magnets, and they had little lightning strikes attached to them. They sent us down to the stables, where a yellow chariot going to be towed by a Shimama awaited us. "Hi," I said, a smile on my face, as I crawled into the chariot. The Shimama looked over her shoulder and opened her mouth. I nearly cried. Shimama looked as if she remembered something, and giving me the feeling that she wasn't used to be muted just yet the Shimama closed her mouth and quickly looked away. I shuddered as I remembered her mouth.
She had no tongue.
The doors to the stable flew open. We waited for the first district, the Ghost District, to come out first, then it was our turn. We rode around the Indigo Plateau and on Victory Road, waving at the crowd and smiling. Cheers came all around as somewhere in the distance, Vixen or Mellion or maybe one from my prep team clicked the red button on the remote, making me glimmer and glow. The lightning bolts on Mrs. Pip's string began to shimmer.
We stopped at the Indigo Plateau building, and had a feast there. I was diving into some pudding when we were both tapped on the back of the head by a claw. I looked over my shoulder at the Abra, cocking a brow. "Yeah?" I asked, wiping away the pudding mustache around my mouth.
"My name's Thickle," he said with a smile, and beckoned with his head. "Won't you sit with us?" Before he could answer, he grabbed us by the paw (Mrs. Pip by the magnet) and dragged us over to a Mewtwo.
My heart fell like a stone when I saw her, eating her steak delicately. "Come on," Thickle purred, tugging at me. "Sit. We would like to make an alliance with you."
I stared at the female tribute, ignoring Thickle. "I..." I whispered. "I don't feel too good." Thickle released his grasp, and I darted away.
I forced my way passed the men's restroom's door, running into a stall. I locked the door and cowered behind a toilet, holding my face.
She was a tribute. The famous Pokémon that betrayed us in the war. It was because of her that we lost. I heard somewhere that she was appointed by the Elite Four as the mayor of the third district, the Psychic District.
It was Ter the Mewtwo. Ter the Traitor. Ter the Tribute...? Why was she here!?
Shano and I wait in the stables. The first District, the Ghost District, had just rode out, and the Electric District will be rolling into the open in three...two...one. Shano gives me a poke. "Would you like to make an alliance?" he asked.
"But we're not in the arena."
I think about it for a moment. The Psychic District leaves the stables. We have ten seconds until we follow forth. "Oh, well I-" Something makes our horse, an ugly Kerudio that's always glaring at the walls, move. We are towed out of the stables and into the Indigo Plateau
There are lights, cameras, cheers, people, Pokémon...everywhere! I quivered with joy, and waved eagerly. It's wonderful, no, it's beautiful! Everybody loves me. Everybody loves what I'm wearing: a blue satin dress with a golden-colored netting wrapped around the throat. My token, the yellow feather that my brother gave to me, is the only plain thing that I wear tonight. The chariot is lovely; looking like it was crafted out of iridescent pearls. I feel bad for Shano; he doesn't look pretty, nothing like the chariot and me. He wears a robe made of fish nests and his token: a necklace with red and white beads and a shell. It was something Shano made when he was little, or something.
We ride on Victory Road as well. I've always wanted to come here, but District Pokémon isn’t allowed out of the Districts. I wish I belonged to a trainer. But then again, my trainer could be a complete jerk, or a failure that is too weak to make it to Indigo Plateau. So, maybe a wild Pokémon…yeah...that sounds good.
We then head back to the stables, then stride over to the dining hall for a feast. When we sit down at a long table, Shano starts talking about something I don't listen too, because my mind is wrapping more around the delicious food. Suddenly, Shano lets out a sigh and walks away. Just like that.
I stare at him, an eye-brow raised. Then something under the table tugs on my dress. At first, I think about giving it a harsh kick, but as its tugging grow more and more furious. I scoot my seat back and look underneath the table. A little Rattata with strange green speckles in his brown eyes smiled at me. "Peace," he chirped.
"Sup, little dude," I said, grinning. I rolled my hand into a fist and stuck it an inch away from his nose. The little Rattata did the same thing with his white paw and extended his right front leg, bumping his tiny knuckles against mine.
"My name's Adath," Adath greeted. "And you're Missil. I watched your reaping; I watched all of the reapings, for that matter. You're funny."
"Why, thank you, lil' dude."
Adath crawled out from under the table. "My friends and I are forming an alliance, and I asked if you could join us. If you want to, that is."
I frowned. "I dunno, lil' dude. I already got an offer from my District partner."
"You mean Shano Poddley?" Adath asked, getting up onto his hind-legs and crossing his fronts. "I don't really like him, but that's just my opinion. Anyway, would you please come over and at least consider my offer?"
I hesitated, wondering if it would be such a good idea, but nodded anyway. Adath smiled widely as I got up and followed him to the other side of the table. Adath came from the Normal District, the fifth District. He introduced me to the tributes from the Psychic District, the female tribute from the thirteenth District, the Ground District, and the female tribute for the Electric District.
Adath let me use his seat, as long as I helped him onto the table. "The chair's too short for me, anyway," Adath said I lifted him off the floor.
No, you're just too short for the table! I thought, amused.
"So, Missil," said the female for the Psychic District, Ter, "Are you a career?"
I watched Adath scurry across the table, sniffing the dishes. "Who, me? Nah."
"The rest of us are," said Thickle, the other tribute for the Psychic District. “We’re made up of all the careers, except for that one from the Dark District, and we’re not sure about the male tribute for the Electric District.”
"I can use an axe, as long as it's my size," Adath squeaked before pulling out a cracker. Somehow, that didn't help his chances of me joining his little alliance.
"What weapon do you use, Obsidian?" I asked the Ground District tribute, a Rhyhorn.
"Does it look like I can pick up a sword!?" she growled.
“Obsidian prefers to use her head and feet than anything else,” Thickle explains.
I paused, and then asked a question that had been bothering me ever since I met the tributes for Psychic and Electric. "Ter? Thickle? Pip? May I ask you something?"
"What?" Ter asked.
"Mmmph?" Thickle grunted, looking up from his cake, smothered in trifle.
"What is it, dear?" Pip asked.
"Aren't you all a bit too...old?" I asked hesitantly. Thickle was, like, thirty or something, Ter must've been in her late forties, and Pip...oh, don't get me started on her.
"They selected a few Districts to have no age ban during the reapings. It's only to make the very first Games more special," Ter explained.
"I think they may re-use it for a Quarter Quell, but that's just me," Thickle said with a shrug.
Pip was looking restless. Suddenly, she floated out of her seat. "Now, please, I must check on Mr. Ashenwreath!"
Adath looked disappointed for a moment. "Aw. Well, it was nice meeting you, Pip. When Thor gets out of the bathroom, introduce him to me. It's always nice to meet a fellow rodent."
Pip nodded, and gave a swift goodbye to the rest of us. "It was nice meeting you, love," she said to me, and floated over to the men's restroom.
I turned to Ter. "Have we met?"
Ter thought about that for a moment. "No, I don't think so."
"Oh...must be my imagination, then."
We wore robes that looked like a bunch of cotton balls glued together, the soft orbs of fluff glowing in red and orange, like a flame. Our red chariot was being towed by a Ponyta, and I found myself continuously looking up at Rascuvar, that pink bow between her ears. I never knew someone could look as angry, until I stood on the chariot with her. Her eyes were furious, and her stylist -- Barrice, I think that's his name -- had made her features sharp and had definitely succeeded in making her face say, "You're gonna be dead soon. Trust me."
And boy, the audience loved her for it. They were already making bets on how many Pokémon she was going to take out in a week. I could tell by the way Rascuvar twitched her ears that she heard it, and I knew that how her eyes turned to slits that she didn't like it at all.
That pretty much sums up the chariot ride, at least for us. The audience cheering, the ride around Indigo Plateau and through the Victory Road. Really, despite the obvious, it wasn't that eventful. But I must admit: I loved how my prep team groomed me, and awarding me for my good looks and the way I took care of myself so well before we had headed to the chariots.
We had a feast inside the Indigo Plateau building, on a long table draped in white linen and dishes almost seeming to be everywhere. Next to us was the seventh District tributes, the Flying District. I glanced at the male tribute, a pidgeotto, and flinched. He was blind. I mean, sure, it's pretty stupid of me to be shocked of a blind Pokémon, but here's why: a, I don't understand how a bird could survive being blind. B, he was a tribute, and I always imagined the other tributes as pretty fit and ready to battle. C, I've never seen a blind Pokémon’s eyes before. His eyes were gray, and when I mean gray, I mean really dirty gray. The way those orbs just locked onto the wall while he should have been looking down at the food he was eating was sort of unsettling, but I guess it didn't matter to him.
The pidgeotto faced me. "What?" he muttered.
"M-me?" I stuttered. "N-nothing, really."
"Do I interest you?"
The pidgeotto glared at me. "Then quit acting like I'm the main attraction, Vuplix. How about you take my advice - fire may melt ice, but to tell the truth ice can take out fire just as well."
"GARRET!" I flinched as the female tribute, an aerodactyl, gave Garret the pidgeotto a sharp poke in the back, and then turned to me. "Don't mind him. He's always having these little visions..."
"They aren't 'little' visions, Elsa," Garret grumbled. "Sometimes, they're a matter of life and death. And many of them are true. Remember the time when I told you we would lose the war?"
Elsa frowned at him, and then Rascuvar shoved her way into the conversation. "That was either a lucky strike or a good observation," Rascuvar said. "Trainers are more advanced in war, to call out battles and strategies. Pokémon are just simple soldiers: designed to follow these orders ever since the first Pokémon was captured. Anyone with a sharp mind can see that. Plus, the humans were more technologically advanced, giving them a very sharp edge."
“So, uh, anyway,” I said, trying to change the topic. “I’m Rocky Maning and this is Rascuvar Adams. And what about you two?”
"My name's Else Freeflight and my friend here is Garret Avarice. It was very nice meeting you." Her voice wasn't cordial anymore, more clipped and maybe even hostile. The two flying types got out of their chairs and flew away. I was surprised to find that Garret was a better flier than Elsa.
I turned to rebuke Rascuvar for being so rude, but her growl cuts me off: "I hate fortune-tellers."
Rascuvar Adams - Tribute of the Fire District, the Eigth District
I stared at the amount of food, trying to hide my excitement as Rocky and I sit at the large dining table. Father and I could never afford such a banquet. I was glad that Rocky was too interested in the blind pidgeotto to notice me practically shoving the food into my mouth. I even swiped some off of his plate, just because I could.
The pidgeotto said something to Rocky, but I didn't bother to listen. The Magikarp over there was more interesting then some silly conversation between a Narcissis and a blind bird. But, just as I was chewing on a small, powdered cake, the pidgeotto said something that got my blood boiling: "They aren't 'little' visions, Elsa. Sometimes, they're a matter of life or death. Remember the time when I told you we would lose the war?"
I quickly swallowed my mouthful and set the treat down on a plate. "That was either a lucky strike or a good observation," I said, not caring that my voice was emotionless. "Trainers are more advanced in war, to call out battles and strategies. Pokémon are just simple soldiers: designed to follow these orders ever since the first Pokémon was captured. Anyone with a sharp mind can see that. Plus, the humans were more technologically advanced, giving them a very sharp edge." Immediately, I knew I was better than the flying pair. I raised my head higher, and smirked slightly. I didn't care if I was being a bit of an ass, I just wanted to make it clear that Elsa and her stupid seer were nothing but a duo of liars who disbelieved in science.
The Medieval jack-holes.
Rocky seemed to bristle at my common sense. The pidgeotto and his friend, an aerodactyl that I assumed was Elsa, stared at me. Elsa was narrowing her eyes, obviously agitated, but as for the pidgeotto...I couldn't tell what he was thinking. He was just staring at me, sightless, and I wondered if only his body was here in the world, and the rest of him was just...somewhere else. It made me shudder.
My district partner was desperate to make the conversation friendly. "So, uh, anyway. My name's Rocky Maning and this is Rascuvar Adams. And what about you two?" I wanted to back-slap him, for telling these gypsies are names, but I managed to hold my paws in place.
"My name's Elsa Freeflight and my friend here is Garret Avarice. It was very nice meeting you," Elsa said, and I was pleased to see that my hostility was known to the aerodactyl. Elsa and Garret flapped their wings and took off without another word. I snorted in disgust as Garret did three loop-dee-loops around Elsa in mid-flight.
Rocky turned to me, opening his mouth and looking annoyed. But did I care? Not one bit. And you know why? "I hate fortune-tellers."
The Vulpix paused, blinking. "I can see that," he muttered, slowly. "I can also see that it looks like you hate everybody."
I glared at him. "Excuse me?"
"You hate everybody. You treat me like an enemy. It looked like you were about to bomb the crowd on the chariots, and...and...well, the only time I've seen you show one bit of a soft heart was when you talked to Duner when we were going to the train. And after that, you avoided her as if she was a grenade." He put his paws on his red hips, and huffed. "What's the matter with you, Rascy?"
That made me confused. "Rascy?" Was that my nick-name or something. I fidgeted. I never had a nick-name before. Father never even gave me a pet-name, or my mother and brother when I knew them. "Because...because..." I fumbled for words. What I wanted to do was defend myself. I had loved once; I had loved my twin and Mother very, very much. I adored Father, until he abandened me on the day of the reapings. But, now that I thought of it, I really didn't have anyone to love. My brother and mother were probably dead, my father had turned his back on me, and nobody else really cared for me, so I didn't care for them either. I stared at Rocky for what seemed like hours, before I finally found my tongue. "Because I am forced to die. Because I'm forced to fight and kill. I hate fighting, and I hate killing. So, the only thing I can do is hate everybody else." Before he could respond, I slid out of my chair and headed for the ladies restroom.
I was only a yard from the door when Garret landed right in front of me, gray orbs narrowed. "Watch yourself," he said in disapproval.
I grimaced at him. "What do you want from me, gypsy? Pocket change?"
Garret snorted. "You treat him with cruelty, Adams," he grunted. "Stop. You'll only regret it in the future."
My paws started to tremble in anger. "If you hadn't noticed, bird," I spat. "I don't have much of a future. None of us do."
"Everybody has a future, even us tributes." Garret raised his head, slowly blinking those sightless eyes of his. "Without a future, we are nothing. Nothing to look forward to. That's why people commit suicide and take the lives of other without need. They slit their throats because they forget their future, and they murder because they forget that others have futures." He let that sink. "Though, in some cases, some people need to die."
"Do I need to die?"
Garret hesitated. "Not necassarily."
I started to circle around him to reach the door. His gaze followed, as if Garret could actually see me walking around him. "What is a future if I know what is to happen?" I countered.
The pidgeotto didn't answer. As I pushed on the restroom door, he added, "Treat Maning with some dignity, Adams," Garret ordered. "Trust me, you will regret it when the day comes."
I snorted, and even though it was built to slowly close by itself, I slammed the restroom door shut, hoping the loud noise would scare him away.