What can I say about dedicating one's life to another that has not already been said? You of the wild with your forests and untouched plains may look down on me, but there is a strength and fulfillment in this bond, which burns brighter than the fiery heart of Cinnabar Island. To the humans you are merely "wild Pokemon", but with a trainer I have found one who calls me friend. I will continue to protect and aid him so we might better understand each other and ourselves.
That is how we begin- walking- down the overgrows hills of Unova Route 7. A mazelike mass of bushes, brambles and grass seems to extend across the entirety of the clearing, easily reaching well above my line of sight. What is left of the "road" mainly consists of worn patches of dirt skirting along the edge of this mass and a thick wall of pine trees flanking us on the opposite side. I wonder if plant creatures played any part in this, enriching the grass to grow so fast that the humans simply gave up on trying to trim it back.
Master towers over me, but he does not notice most of the hordes of wild creatures slipping through the undergrowth. I do not see them either, but their stench wafts through my nose like a Gloom's petal drippings. Creatures are slower and more rugged in these parts than those in Kanto, but no less dangerous. For that reason I am constantly scouting around as we travel. Out of the corner of my eye I notice a group of wild Deerling peering at us from further into the forest. I am prepared to incinerate any that stray too close.
"Hey, hold on a minute, Rose," Master says. He pulls out a small book from his back pocket and begins flipping through the pages. "Strange, isn't it? According to the guidebook, wild Purrloin normally don't live along this route. What do you think could have driven them this far north?" Humans have a strange habit of asking questions that those they are talking with cannot possibly know the answer to. I do not understand why this is, but I wonder if we might be investigating these creatures further.
As we move further down the road it is easy to make out small groups of the purple tinged felines horsing around and grooming each other in the forest undergrowth. Every time we get remotely near one it bounds off further into the woods. The seem utterly unperturbed by our existence but determined to completely avoid us none the less.
"Well, I did want to catch a souvenir before I left. Think Claire would like one as a present?" Master asks me.
I consider it for a moment and then nod my head. Claire is one of Master's human friends, and he sometimes gives her gifts that he collects. She does not travel anywhere nearly as much as Master, but she likes to take care of creatures from other regions. I do not think a small cat would be too difficult for her to handle, though it could potentially be more dangerous if it evolved.
"Alright, well, if you wouldn't mind bringing one over here I can handle the rest," Master says.
I signal Master to move back a bit, then scout around for the nearest group of Purrloin. They do not notice me as I slink silently into a nearby bush. Here I flatten myself as low to the ground as possible, hoping the lack of sunlight overhead will make up for the poor camouflage of my reddish fur. Motionless as a rock, I wait for the Purrloin to leave themselves exposed.
The closest Purrloin to me has his back turned to me and begins casually grooming its paws. My gut tells me that this is the time to strike. I dash in a wide arc towards the Purrloin, taking as few steps as possible. The others immediately scatter as soon as they hear me, but the one I am chasing is caught in a moment of confusion as it spins around and does not see me coming from the side. That moment is all I need. I close in the gap and quickly tackle it to the floor, pinning its arms down with my paws. The other Purrloin have long since vanished.
Keeping the Purrloin down is easy enough because of my superior size and body weight. It squirms around for several seconds, squealing, before finally giving in and glaring at me with a look of utter contempt. I pick up the creature by the scruff of the neck and begin to carry it back to Master. Hissing, the creature futilely attempts to scratch at me with his slender purple arms. No doubt the creature thought it was becoming dinner. Against another Flareon it might have been right.
"Flar, flarRE-on. Flareon." I growl, my voice slightly muffled by the Purrloin's fur. ("Do as the human says, or I will tear out your throat.")
I do not like to lump Master in with the other humans, but I want to make sure that there are no misunderstandings when dealing with these ignorant wild younglings. I bite down on it just a little harder than necessary to reemphasize the point. Arriving back at Master's feet, I drop the Purrloin in front of him. I take my position beside him, but prepare to spring the instant the creature tries to escape.
"Great job Rose, it looks like this one's a keeper," Master says. With a warm smile and outstretched palm, he tries beckoning to the frightened kit. "Well hey there little fella. Don't worry, I'm not gonna hurt you. My name is Mitchell, what's yours?"
"Purr... loin?" it meows in wide eyed confusion. It glances at me nervously, backing up slowly. I flex my claws deliberately, as if daring the Purrloin to make any sudden movements. To its credit it decides to stay put, but its expression becomes more panic stricken with each passing moment.
Master sighs and pulls his hand back, clearly disappointed at not getting a more positive response. He reaches into his right pocket and picks out a small purple sphere. "Well, hopefully we'll get to know each other better back at the hotel. Just hold on little guy, this won't hurt a bit." He taps a small white button on the front of the ball and tosses it out in front of him.
The Purrloin jumps back, but is quickly bathed by a red light which pours from the sphere. The creature is sucked into the ball, which shakes for a few seconds before finally coming to a rest. Briefly I think that moment when I was a young Eevee all those moons ago, excited and nervous, facing that same gut wrenching sensation of being pulled to the Other Place for the very first time.
Master puts the ball away and kneels down to scratch me under the neck. I can't help but nuzzle him in return. I do not understand everything he does, but I love when he reminds me that he can depend on me and that he treats me as a friend rather than a tool. I have seen other humans who want to catch every other creature they come across, then stuff them in a "storage box" and never even let most of them leave the Other Place to walk around in the open air. Master is not like that. He saved me from the bad people a long time ago and we've worked together as partners ever since.
A ringing noise sounds from Master's pocket. Continuing to pet my fur he pulls out a small black box. He looks at the black box and burrows his eyebrows. I can sense that he is annoyed, even if he doesn't want to show it.
"I'm sorry Rose, just give me a moment," Master whispers to me. He puts the box up to his ear and begins speaking into it. "Mitchell speaking. What's happening?"
I have seen Master use the black box before. He says he can talk to far away people with it, even without sight or touch between them. I do not doubt him, but he has let me listen to it before and the voices did not make any sense. Master says that it is different for humans, something about "supersonic waves" and how non-humans communicate. I do not understand this, but I do not mind too much. I would rather not listen to this talk that Master often finds so upsetting.
"Are you serious? What the hell was he thinking going down there alone?"
Master starts gently petting me on the back. There is something comforting about his touch that washes away any fear or discomfort. I feel that his fingers are cold, though, so I heat up my skin ever so slightly to warm him back up. It is not a particularly difficult trick, but Master seems quite proud when I do so. Sometimes he jokingly calls me his "personal space heater" because of it.
"Damn. Well, my Flareon isn't much of a fighter, I don't think-"
I pretend not to hear this last part. Master tells me that sometimes he purposely does not tell the truth to avoid people getting hurt. But I know that I am much stronger than I was as an Eevee, and I have won plenty of battles in the past. Part of me wishes he did not have to worry so much.
"Yes, yes, I know. Alright. We were already headed back to Mistralton, so we'll be inbound to Kanto on the next available flight. Meet me at my office at 2:30 tomorrow and we'll get this settled."
With the conversation over we continue along the path. At times the grass is so heavy that it seems like a dead end. Apparently the humans built narrow wooden walkways over these parts, but the effort in balancing on top of them seems ridiculous to the both of us. It is much easier for me to simply burn a path through with Flamethrower. Eventually the plant life begins to clear and I can see some of the human nests climbing up over the horizon. However, glancing back up I am unable to feel entirely at ease.
Master's hands are trembling.