Master and I are resting in our human den- what he calls a hotel room- both sitting on a large comfy bed and watching one of the strange speaking boxes. Master has strange names for all these objects, but it is hard to memorize them all. I try to come up with something similar that I can actually say, but I feel like I get them wrong most of the time. Even the words coming out of the speaking box do not make sense, but I can still pick up bits and pieces of what the different creatures are trying to say. Master says it should be easier to understand than the calling box because I can actually see the creatures who are talking. I do not understand why this would make it easier or harder at all, but as long as Master wants to watch it, I am happy to keep him company.
"Just some videos of old myths, Rose. More like bad science fiction if you ask me," Master tells me with a hint of amusement, clearly ignoring what the image on the speaking box is saying.
I do not know what "science fiction" is or why Master is watching it, but he obviously wants some company. I curl up next to him and invite him to pet my fur. We both enjoy it, though Master is careful not to touch the fluffy lighter collar of fur around my neck for too long. The last time he tried to, his hand became injured. Master blamed himself for not knowing how Flareon cooled off their bodies. I still felt bad, because I was not fully aware of this myself.
"Now according to this so called researcher, a long time ago humans and Pokemon were all just different types of animals- like there really wasn't any difference between them, except of course humans still had towns and civilization and whatnot."
It is strange sometimes, living as one with fire. Even I as an older Eevee I was afraid of the flames, as the bad humans used to burn me sometimes before Master came along. When I evolved I no longer was hurt by the flames, nor any other kind of heat. This was very strange to me at first, and I did not know how far I could push this ability. I found later that I could even walk in molten lava without the slightest injury, which amazed me as much as it did Master. Unfortunately this also means that it is almost impossible for me to tell when my body or the heat around me is dangerous for humans. What if our den caught on fire while I was sleeping, and I did not even notice until the roof collapsed on top of us?
"Bacterial infections were extremely common back then, so humans had to constantly make new medicine to stay healthy. Unfortunately, the diseases just kept getting stronger and stronger in the process."
I have only ever met one or two other Flareon in the wild. Even when we last visited Cinnabar Island with Master and his friend, I did not see any other Flareon living near the volcano. I wonder if I ever met a colony of them, would I want to live with them to see what it was like? Would I want to know how a Flareon is supposed to behave? Part of me is curious, but I cannot leave Master. At this point I am closer to him than even the other fire creatures I have met in our travels.
"Eventually, one disease mutated so far out of control that it threatened to start mass extinctions of countless complex organisms on the planet. "
I stretch out my front arms and start grooming them slowly. The rich scent of the boxed dinner Master is eating is difficult to ignore, so instead I think about the occasional pattering of footsteps below me. The Purrloin Master had caught earlier ran under the bed the instant he let it out, and I was left wondering why it continued to move around down there if it was so bent on hiding.
"So a group of humans went deep underground and froze themselves in cryrogenic stasis for millions of years, while most of Pokemon on the surface died out..."
Master offers me a portion of the meat he is eating, but I shake my head in refusal. That is not to say I would not enjoy it. Human food is better than it sounds, for the most part- I just do not understand why they feel the need to put strange liquids and plant bits all over their meals. It seems to me like good scraps of meat should taste just fine without any toppings. I do not want to seem picky, either, it is just that I know Master would find his meal much more appetizing than I would.
"Can you believe this? They don't even tell you how the story ends. Or what evidence they used, for that matter. As if they can just pull this all out of a hat."
This much of the story I can make out, Master apparently does not believe what the pictures of the humans are saying. I would not trust a picture of a human either, it seems strange to listen to something that is clearly fake.
"Flare, Flareeeon Flar-flareon?" I ask him. ("Why are you watching it, then?") Humans only seem to really understand the voice of other humans, but Master usually understands most of what I am trying to say through my tone of voice and body language. For whatever strange reason, there rarely seems to be any difficulty the other way around.
"To be honest, Rose, I don't know why the boss gave me this. It has nothing to do with what we're researching. It's just a bunch of..." Master trails off and sighs. Is that a tone of regret I sense?
Part of me starts to wonder what he was trying to say, but then he starts scratching behind my ears and my concerns wash away. Of all the perks of having a human companion, this is probably the best of the bunch. Whenever Master gets rid of those infuriating itches behind my neck and ears I am practically reduced to purring like a naïve little kitten, and this is no exception. It is somewhat embarrassing, but if Arceus wanted me to be able to scratch there myself then I should have been given longer claws.
"Hey, uh, you mind checking if that Purrloin is alright?" Master asks, nudging me slightly.
I give a bit of a depressed whimper but slowly flex my body upwards, easily jumping to the floor in a single leap. I wanted to cuddle up there some more, but I know that Master is right in that I am the only one of us who can fit under the bedframe. I can see the Purrloin huddled up against the wall, glaring at me as I inch forward. Suddenly I see its arm twitch and I stop, not wanting it to try to attack me. For a few seconds we simply stare silently at each other, neither one of us clearly wanting to be under here.
("You should come out, little one. Master wants to meet you,") I tell the Purrloin, trying to sound gentle. I wait a few seconds for a response. Silence.
("My name is Flareon. I am not going to hurt you. There is no reason to be afraid-")
("You said you were going to kill me!") the Purrloin growled angrily.
("I did not mean it. I only said it so you would not run away.")
The Purrloin visibly relaxes a little but doesn't stop watching my every move. It obviously is confused and scared. I might try to move a little closer to the creature to comfort it a little were it not so cramped down here. However, the thought of being the target of several nasty claw gashes without any room to dodge did not sound appealing. I would have to take some verbal initiative.
("Purrloin, hiding down here is not going to help you,") I begin slowly. Being explicit about all of this seems like the only option at this point. ("Master wants to help you. He can give you food and warmth and a comfortable nest to sleep on. Treat him like the alpha of your pack and this will all go much easier for you.")
("The alpha... pack?") the Purrloin responds, glancing around nervously. Suddenly its voice became more agitated. ("Do you think I am some dumb Lillipup? I do not need to be led around by a two legged monster just to survive!")
I growl in frustration and realize that debating with the creature was quickly turning futile. Being able to interpret other species is not very useful if they will not even listen to common sense. What is wrong with having a pack leader anyways?
As I turn to crawl out from under the bed I hear the Purrloin again call after me, this time sounding more confused than angry. ("W...wait...") it meowed. (" It is strange, but... I do not feel scared about any of this for some reason. I do not even feel angry that I was taken away from my nest.") A twinge of fear. ("Is... is something wrong with me?")
I pause for a few seconds. Did the Purrloin really not realize what had happened to it? I suppose that it might not, but I feel a twinge of guilt as I realize I could be setting up the creature for an emotional crisis. But it had to be done. ("You were pulled through to the Other Place, in an object the humans call a pocket ball,") I explain, coming up with the closest phrase to the nonsense language Master uses for a capture tool. ("When you first go to the Other Place, you mentally bond with the human who catches you. It does not change who you are, but it makes being with a Master easier to accept.")
I knew this would give the Purrloin much to think about, so for a while we were silent as I let my explanation sink in. Perhaps it was all lost on him. Almost all creatures with humans did not seem to care about how the pocket balls actually worked, but it was something I found interesting to look at.
Suddenly, I hear a voice above me. "Rose, are you alright down there?" says Master. I give a yip of approval. "Alright, just let me know if you need anything. Our friend's food is getting cold, you know."
The Purrloin now had a rather curious expression. ("The human called you Rose,") it says. ("I thought you said your name is Flareon.")
I swish my tail in amusement. ("I am both Rose and Flareon,") I respond. ("Humans like to give special names to others close to them. So Master calls me Rose, because I am special to him and different than other Flareon.") I could not know whether this is what Master really thought, but I wanted to believe that way. Suddenly an idea strikes me. ("You can call me Rose too, if you would like...")
I sense surprise from the Purrloin, as if I had said something profound. Did it think I was crazy? Perhaps it might, but at least when Master's friend starts caring for it I do not have to worry about dealing with the creature anymore.
And then it was my turn to be surprised, as the Purrloin trembled and took a few steps forwards. ("I...") it began hesitantly. ("I would like a special name as well, if you do not mind...")
Inwardly, I smiled. ("Come and meet Master then, I will see what I can do,") I respond. After nodding at the way I had crawled in, I slowly push myself back out.
To my relief, this time the Purrloin decides to follow.