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"To unite all people within our nation."
Charis peeked around the tree, attracted by the commotion and trying to stay out of sight. He usually didn't come this close to areas where human's traveled, but his curiosity got the better of him, he wanted to see farther from his hidden home. His curiosity had been what had brought him here when he had heard a yell. The scene that met his eyes was a strange one. Two humans, the one he had heard speaking, were standing in the middle of the human road. They hey on white clothing with symbols of some sort on their chests. One appeared to be a female with gravity defying hair, the other was a male holding a rose. They seemed to be speaking to a hole.
"To denounce the evils of truth and love," the female was saying.
"To extend our reach to the stars above," the male continued.
"Will you two knock it off!" a new voice cut in, causing Charis to duck a little lower.
A Pokémon of some sort leaped in front of the two humans and began yelling at them, but Charis lost track of the conversation in his wonder. He understood human speech, as did most Pokémon, but as far as he knew, none could emulate it. The humans had taken the habit of naming them after the sounds they could make. But here was a type of Pokémon he had never seen before using human speech!
The young Pokémon's attention was drawn back to the scene as a voice came from the pit.
"C'mon Team Rocket, can't you stop with the pit thing?" it asked.
"You all fell in it," the male stated.
"Now let us finish out motto Meowth!" the female said hotly.
"Oh all right, just hurry it up," the Pokémon, Meowth, said in an annoyed tone.
The two humans took a pose standing back to back with each other.
"Jessie," said the female.
"James," said the other.
Charis watched, wondering if this was the normal human manner of introducing each other. The one he assumed was Jessie lifted an arm and clenched a fist.
"Team Rocket, blast off at the speed of light!" she said loudly.
"Surrender now, or prepare to fight!" James finished.
"That's right, that's right, now can we get Pikachu?" Meowth said impatiently.
James waved at Meowth while making his way over to the pit.
"Oh relax, they're stuck in the bottom of the pit, they aren't going anywhere," he finished as he leaned over to look into the hole. With the sound of a 'kachu!' from the depths of the pit, James was zapped with a bolt of electricity and fell over, twitching.
A strange form burst from the pit, at first Charis thought it was some sort of Pokémon he had never seen before, but looking closer he realized that it was a Pidgeotto with a Pikachu on its back. Charis assumed this was the Pikachu that Meowth was so bent on getting, but he didn't see anything special about it.
The Pokémon pair glided over Team Rocket as the Pikachu began raining down bolts of lightning on the small group. Jessie ran around frantically trying to avoid the assault, but was zapped despite her efforts.
While the they were occupied, three humans were climbing out of the pit. One wore a red hat and had a backpack, another had dark, spikey hair, and looked as if his eyes were closed, the last, apparently a female, with her some of her reddish hair sticking out of the side of her head at a strange angle.
"I can't believe you lead us into another one of those pits, Ash!" the female exclaimed.
"Well uh.." the one with the hat muttered, scratching one of his cheeks.
"Don't be so hard on Ash, Misty, it was his idea to use Pidgeotto to get Pikachu out of the pit," the other one said.
"Right!" Ash said, making a fist, "lets finish this off!"
Charis was quiet confused as he watched the three new turn to look upon the first two and the Pokémon. They seemed to be running in circles and trying to avoid the bird and mouse pair.
"Pikachu, Thundershock!" cried out the hatted human, Ash.
"Right, Ash!" the Pikachu cried, at least, that's what Charis understood, the humans probably only heard a 'Pikachu!' as it rained lightning down on the hapless Team Rocket. Jessie, James, and Meowth stood still for a moment, then feel over, smoke curling up from their forms.
"All right!" Ash exclaimed.
"You'd think they'd learn to stop trying by now," Misty said, looking down at the three.
The Pidgeotto and the Pikachu landed in front of the three humans, the mouse hopping off and running over to Ash.
"Nice work, Pikachu," Ash offered.
"Thank you, they deserved it," the Pokémon answered.
"You too Pidgeotto," Ash said, holding up a red and white ball, "now return!"
A red beam was emitted from the ball and struck the Pidgeotto. Charis gasped as the bird Pokémon vanished. He pulled away in shock and hid completely behind the tree, holding his flaming tail nervously in his forepaws. He had heard that humans captured Pokémon in such manners. How could they do such things? Sucking them into little balls and only letting them out when the humans wanted to use them? But the two he had seen with the humans didn't seem to be working against their will, he didn't understand.
He hesitantly peeked back out from behind the tree. The three humans and the Pikachu were already a good distance away, further along the path. Team Rocket was still laying where they had been zapped by the Pikachu's electrical bolts.
Charis had to find out more about this. Did the Pokémon work with the humans willingly, or were they slaves? He knew he should turn around right now and go home, but his curiosity wouldn't let him rest. He had to know. He began making his way closer to the unconscious Team Rocket.
Charis peered from the cover of a nearby bush as the two humans and the Pokémon that call themselves Team Rocket began to awaken. Jessie sat up, clenching a fist tightly, a vein popping out on her forehead.
"How DARE they zap us... before we even had a chance to use our Pokémon!" she muttered hotly.
"What happened?" James asked as he sat up, rubbing the back of his head.
"You numbskulls messed up AGAIN!" Meowth declared, giving both of the humans a slash across the face, "You need better plans than digging holes in the middle of the road," he finished, folding his arms.
Jessie blinked a couple of times before turning red.
"How DARE you mess up my perfect face!" she yelled, bringing a fist down on top of the cat Pokémon's head.
Charis backed up slightly from the displays of violence. He hadn't known humans were so hostile. And was that the effect they had on Pokémon as well? He continued to watch from his hiding place, unfortunately, he didn't notice that his new position had positioned the burning tip of his tail inside of a clump of leaves.
"... to catch Pikachu?" James was asking, dusting off his charred uniform.
"We just need a better plan," Jessie answered.
"You two couldn't think up a decent plan if your lives depended on it," Meowth said, his back turned to the two.
"I don't see YOU offering any help!" Jessie retorted.
"Is something burning?" James asked glancing around.
"Probably your brain after the last shock," Meowth muttered.
"No, something is burning," Jessie confirmed.
Charis smelled it himself now, he hadn't noticed the scent because he had been too intent on the scene before him. In fact... the bush behind him was on fire! He was careless and had set it on fire because he was paying more attention to Team Rocket. Team Rocket had now noticed where the smoke was coming from and was looking at his hiding place! What was he going to do!?
"How'd that bush get on fire?" James asked.
"Well, go check it out," Jessie ordered with a helpful shove to propel James on his way.
James stumbled forward a few feet before falling face-first into the bush where Charis was hiding. Charis stared wide-eyed at the human a few feet away. The human, for his part, stared back. This might have lasted longer, if not for an impatient question from Jessie.
"Its a Pokémon." James said as he pushed himself up.
"What kind?" Jessie asked, walking over.
"Its just a charmander," James said, "Team Rocket doesn't have time for common Pokémon."
Charis began backing away in a frightened manner, hoping they'd just let him go, but the Pokémon, Meowth, spoke up before he got far.
"Wait a sec," he said, pointing at Charis, "that isn't a charmander, it has wings!"
"Wings?" both the humans asked, turning as one to stare at Charis. For indeed, he did have wings, which, at the moment, he was trying to get to lay flatter against his back as he backed away.
"A charmander with wings?" James asked.
"That has to be rare!" Jessie concluded.
"So what are you two standing around for, catch it!" Meowth ordered.
Jessie and James stood back to back.
"Prepare for trouble," Jessie declared.
"Make it double," James continued, pulling out a rose.
"Will you two idiots stop that?! Its getting away!" Meowth yelled, jumping and waving his arms in front of Jessie and James faces.
For indeed, Charis had no intention of waiting around to be captured by these humans. He had turn and ran when they began doing... whatever that was that they were doing. Although he did have wings, they weren't developed enough yet for him to use them for flight. He might be able to get into the air in a year or so, but that didn't help him now. In fact, at the moment all his wings were doing were slowing him by being caught on branches as he crashed his way through bushes while trying to escape.
He heard the three behind him begin to take up the chase. The humans were larger and could probably move faster, he'd never make it back to the colony before they caught him. That thought struck him hard enough to make him stop. He couldn't put everyone in danger by leading the humans there. Taking a breath, his hide and wings bleeding from scratching branches, he began running in another direction.
He couldn't hear the humans anymore, he hoped that he'd lost them, but he couldn't take the chance of stopping, so he kept on moving. In his state, he almost ran right into some black leather boots. Skidding to a stop, he looked up at the female human.
"So, there you are," she said with a grin.
"Leave me alone!" Charis yelled, scampering backwards.
"What's that?" she asked, "Chardrake? Is that what you are?"
Oh course, Charis realized, she couldn't understand him. Most Pokémon vocal cords just weren't constructed for human speech.
"So little Chardrake," Jessie was saying, "you'll belong to Team Rocket now."
Charis turned to run and found the male human standing there. Aren't these two ever apart? Beginning to feel panicked, he whirled again to find Meowth blocking his escape in that direction.
"We've got you now," James said, pulling out a red and white ball, "Go Weezing!" he yelled as he tossed it in Charis' direction
Jessie pulled out a similar ball, throwing it with a 'Go Arbok!'
With a flash, Charis found himself between a large cobra on one side and a strange floating Pokémon on the other.
"Yes!" said the cobra.
"Go!" the floating thing said from two different mouths.
Charis glanced back and forth between the two, near-panic now as he tried to find some path of escape.
"Weezing, sludge attack now!" James cried.
"Sludge!" the thing, Weezing, called, spitting forth some sort of slime at Charis.
Charis cried out as the substance struck him in the face, burning his eyes and blinding him.
"Arbok, wrap it up!" he heard Jessie's voice say.
"Arbok do master!" he heard the cobra reply.
Charis knew it was a command for the cobra Pokémon to attack him, but he didn't know where it is. He tried to make a run for it, but felt a constricting force wrap around his torso. He flailed wildly, trying to escape, but felt another coil wrap around him and begin squeezing him with crushing force. The air was forced from his lungs and his struggles got weaker.
"It looks like we're winning for once, Jessie!" James' voice came, sounding far away.
"This will show the boss!" Jessie said.
Charis' struggles grew to nothing as he could no longer find the strength. He hung limply in the snake's grasp as all he could do now was fight to stay conscious. Tears dripped down his muzzle, whether from the stinging substance in his eyes, or the idea of becoming a slave, he wasn't sure.
"Okay Arbok, let it go," Jessie ordered.
"Yes master," came the reply, and the constricting force around Charis was released. Charis dropped to the ground limply, trying to breathe again.
With the commands, Charis heard the same sound that he heard when the Pidgeotto was sucked back into the little ball. He assumed the two Pokémon were gone now, lifting his head he tried to blind the blinding substance from his eyes.
"Okay James, toss the Pokéball at it," Jessie said.
"Me? I thought you had it," James replied.
"You forgot to bring a Pokéball?!" Jessie asked angrily.
Charis turned his head in the direction of the two humans as the arguing continued. He was able to make out two blurred forms. They seemed to have forgotten him for the moment as they argued over whose fault it was that they didn't have any Pokéballs. He slowly pushed himself to his feet, his strength slowly returning. The arguing humans were suddenly interrupted by Meowth.
"Looking for one of these?" he asked, holding up a blurry red and white shape.
"YOU had one?!" Jessie asked.
"Someone has to be the brains of this outfit," Meowth said smugly.
As Jessie took the Pokéball from Meowth, Charis tried to run, but still mostly blinded, he fell face first in the dirt. Mocking laughter sounded from behind him.
"There's no escaping Team Rocket!" Jessie's voice came to him.
Charis felt something hit him on the back as he tried to rise. He felt a tingling sensation throughout his whole body, and the world changed. Blinking slowly and wondering if it was a trick of his burning eyes, he looked around himself. He seemed to be standing inside of a sphere, reflections of himself looking back at him from mirrors set around the perimeter. While standing, the roof was only a couple of feet above his head, the walls a few feet to either side, he felt cramped almost immediately.
It took a few moments for the realization to strike. He was inside the ball! He felt a rage burning within his stomach. He couldn't be captured by these humans! He wanted to be free! He felt desperate, like if he didn't get out immediately, he never would. Glancing around, he saw nothing except the mirrors and the walls, though he thought he could make out a line running around the ball.
Having no other ideas, and hoping that it was the seam, Charis threw himself against a wall, digging his claws into the line. Feeling a little leverage, he tried pulling the two halves apart with all the strength he had remaining. He wasn't going to be a slave! He wasn't going to serve humans! He thought he felt it giving a little and found a little more strength to put into the effort.
Charis suddenly found himself tumbling to the ground. Lifting his head in a slightly dazed manner, he realized that he was out of the ball! He was free!
"What?! It escaped?!" Jessie exclaimed.
"It couldn't have still been strong enough!" James said.
Charis lifted his head, though still blurry, he could make out the startled expressions on the faces of Jessie and James, Meowth just folded his arms.
"You two can't do anything right," he stated.
"Oh stuff it Meowth, we'll just weaken it some more," Jessie decided.
Charis growled quietly. He hated to fight, but he had had enough. He just wasn't going to take this anymore, but he knew he didn't have a change against those two Pokémon, so he had to act now. As the two humans pulled out their 'Pokéballs', Charis took as deep a breath as he could manage. Before the two could throw the balls at him, he exhaled the largest stream of flame he had ever managed, holding it a few seconds before degrading into coughing.
Coughing a few more times he lifted his head to see the results. The three stood there, charred black. Then they wobbled and fall over as one.
"I can't believe we've been fried twice in one day," James muttered.
"This is all your fault, James," Jessie muttered in response.
Charis didn't want to wait around for them to recover. He turned and ran again, not knowing where he was any longer, or where he was going, just wanting to get away.
"I'm gonna make that runt pay for this!" he heard Jessie's voice coming from behind, "Go Arbok!"
"Weezing!" came James' voice.
Charis tried to run faster, but he still couldn't see well, and kept tripping and running into things. He had used all his strength in the last attack, and those two seemed much stronger than him. If they caught him, he knew it would be all over. Charis stumbled forward, not knowing how far he went, before finally collapsing into an exhausted heap. He lay there, the world spinning around him as he tried to catch his breath, the flame on his tail low and flickering.
"Catch!" came a voice.
"Capture Pokémon!" came another.
Charis sagged, all hope draining away as he turned to look at up at the two Pokémon that serve the humans. His eyes now blurred from both the slimy substance as well as tears of hopelessness, he asked 'Why? Why serve the humans and fight your own kind?'
"Arbok do what master say, master is master," Arbok stated.
"Master," Weezing replied simply.
"Ha, so you've caught it," Jessie said as she appeared behind the two Pokémon.
"Its all ours now!" James said, making his entrance.
"Meowth, its about time you two did something right," Meowth said, hopping down between the two.
Charis sniffs quietly, holding his tail between his forepaws, a quiet sizzle noise sounding as a tear fell onto the burning end.
"Now, Arbok..." Jessie began, however she was interrupted by a new voice.
Or, as Charis understood, 'Whirlwind attack!' as the same Pidgeotto he saw before lowered itself in front of him. Beating its wings quickly, the startled Team Rocket wasn't able to react as a funnel of wind formed around them. All five of them were quickly pulled off the ground and sent hurling into the air. As they disappeared from sight, Charis thought he heard them yell 'looks like Team Rocket is blasting off again!'
Not daring to believe that he's been saved, Charis scrambled back against a tree, staring at the bird before him suspiciously.
"Nice work, Pidgeotto!" the voice from before came, belonging to Ash, the human with the hat, who stepped up behind the bird with the other two humans and the Pikachu.
"Look Ash, it looks like a charmander with wings... this must be was all that commotion we heard with Team Rocket was about," the female, Misty he recalled, said.
"Its hurt," the other, spikey haired male said, digging around in his backpack and pulling out some sort of spray bottle and began advancing on Charis. Charis hissed quietly, backing away.
"It.. doesn't trust us," Ash said.
"After what Team Rocket did, can you blame it?" Misty said to Ash.
"I just want to help," the other one said, holding up the bottle.
"Let them help," the Pikachu said.
Charis looked over at the Pokémon who had spoken to him.
"Why should I?!" he snapped, "Humans just want to capture and use us! You're already their slave, you just want to fool me into being one too!"
The Pikachu shook its head.
"Ash, Misty and Brock are my friends, they just want to help you," it said.
"How can I believe that?" Charis said bitterly.
"Just let them help," Pikachu replied.
"I don't have much of a choice," Charis said quietly, looking up at the one he assumed was Brock.
"Now, this might sting a little, but it'll make your wounds heal faster," Brock said soothingly as he began spraying the substance on Charis.
Charis hissed quietly. It didn't sting a little, it stung a LOT. But the aches and pains were starting to fade, and compared to them the stinging wasn't so bad.
"Is that better?" Brock asked.
"... Yes, thank you," Charis replied slowly.
"Char.. drake? Is that what you are?" Ash asked.
Charis sighed at his inability to make humans understand and just nodded.
Ash pulled out some sort of red thing that flipped open and pointed it at him. A it flashed a little and a voice came from it.
"No entry available. There are many Pokémon not yet on file."
"Wow," Ash said, "an unknown Pokémon... Chardrake..."
Ash kneeled down next to Charis, pushing up his hat a little and smiling.
"Would you like to come with us, Chardrake?" he asked.
Charis stared at the human. It was asking him if he WANTED to come? Charis looked over at the Pikachu, confused.
"Not all humans are like the ones who tried to catch you," it said, "I told you that Ash is my friend."
Charis thought about it quietly. The chance to see the world, to find out about humans and all kinds of Pokémon he never even imagined before. But then he thought about his friends and family back at the colony. He had learned a lot today, not only about humans but Pokémon as well. He would have to tell them, make them understand. Charis looked up at Ash, then over at the Pikachu.
"I can't come with you right now. But... maybe sometime in the future I'd like to find out about the rest of the world," Charis said quietly.
Pikachu looked over at Ash.
"He needs some time," it said.
Ash nodded, looking back to Charis.
"Well Chardrake, if you change your mind, we'll be happy to let you joined us."
Charis looked a little surprised, the human could understand the Pikachu? Maybe there was hope for them yet. Charis stood slowly, testing his limbs and getting another surprise as he found himself mostly uninjured. Whatever he had been sprayed with worked pretty well. Ash stood as well, the three humans smiled at him. It was hard to think all humans were like Team Rocket with these three.
"We should let it get back to its home now," Brock said.
"We should get going too, I have more badges to get!"
"Oh Ash," Misty muttered.
Charis watched as the three humans and the Pikachu began making their way through the forest. However, they stopped to wave back at him.
"Bye Chardrake!" Misty said.
"Hope you change your mind!" Ash called.
"Be safe, Chardrake!" Brock offered.
Pikachu just smiled and waved. Charis laughed a little and waved back. He just wished they'd stop calling him Chardrake.
-- END --
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